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Latina entrepreneurs help themselves and others

by Elías Cepeda | trad. Victor Flores
Extra News

CHICAGO — Tanya Diaz, a working mother of three and supportive wife, knew all the excuses for not exercising throughout a busy week. “I used them all,” she says. “I’d say, ‘I’m too busy with the kids.’ Then I’d come home from work and by the time I got the house ready I’d be so tired that I’d excuse myself from exercising.”

But eventually Tanya decided that it was time to stop making excuses, and start making time for self-care. In the process she and personal trainer and makeup and hair stylist Maria Barrera came up with a concept to help other women do the same and developed their own business.

Knockout Fitness and Beauty began running their “boot camp” classes out of Jabb gym in late March. Tanya is not only a partner with Barrera, she’s also a student of hers, taking part in the circuit training that combines plyometrics, boxing, aerobic and strength exercises.

Tanya’s added a new job and workout regime to her already busy life, but she says she’s never had more energy. “Now I’m working out and finding myself with more energy and feeling revived,” she says. “From a mother’s point of view and a wife’s point of view and someone who already worked part time before this, it can get easy to ignore your self on focus on everything else going on around you. But we offer different packages to help you feel and look better and to reward yourself.”

Members of Knockout Fitness and Beauty can not only take part in the workouts, but also get makeovers. The point of the all-woman environment during classes is comfort, according to Diaz.

“Women come from different backgrounds. Some have great self esteem and some have very low self esteem. As women, …

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