Creating a fitness environment for women

Teresa Marquese, physical trainer and founder of Rock Solid Fitness in San Francisco, said she found her calling when she needed strength to end her old career.

Then a first-year law student, Marquese had been working, as she put it, “in the corporate world,” providing business consulting for a number of San Francisco firms. She grew tired of the field and wanted out but wasn’t sure her body could handle the stress of living outside institutional reins.

“I’d always been physically active,” Marquese said. “But I found that it was needed to be physically able to make that kind of transition.”

Marquese began a fitness boot camp and developed a passion for training. After a while, Marquese, who got an undergraduate degree in education, found herself so capable that the instructor asked her to substitute.

“I saw women coming to me who felt comfortable coming to me,” Marquese said.

Marquese had nominally left her job with the idea of starting a business. Now she saw the opportunity. Analyzing the market at the time, Marquese said she discovered no women-only fitness groups.

In 1998 Marquese founded Rock Solid Fitness, organizing classes right on the San Francisco Bay waterfront at Crissy Field.

She said her aim was to keep classes small to personalize the experience for women, and make them feel more comfortable — especially those who might be intimidated by a large, dedicated group.

“It’s more about community than about fitness,” Marquese said. “What women really enjoy is the friendships that they make.”

Marquese since expanded the program beyond classical fitness routines of weights, stairs and kickboxing to include holistic health coaching, yoga and a new food preparation program.

Even after gaining her juris doctor from New College of California, Marquese — who said she would want to be a rock star if not training women to be fit — decided not to deviate from the joy she had found within her business.

Still, at least once a year, Marquese travels to Honduras to indulge her other joy: scuba diving.

Rock Solid Fitness has a small staff of part-time instructors. Marquese said she has contracted with publicity firms and other agents, but she otherwise handles the business herself.

“It’s like a love affair,” Marquese said. “Just a plain old pursuit of passion.”

<p>Teresa Marquese

Business

New project: Nutritional cleansing

Last project: Writing book about philosophy of fitness/wellness

Essential Web site: dailyom.com

Best perk: Starting every day outdoors

Education: University of Minnesota, New College of California

Last conference: Ladies who Launch Live

First job: Running clock and stats for summer hockey league, age 13

Career objective: Publish book

Personal

Hometown: Brainerd, Minn.

Sports/hobbies: Scuba diving

Transportation: White Toyota Tundra

Favorite restaurant: Millennium

Computer: IBM ThinkPad

Vacation spot: Roatan, Honduras

Favorite clothier: Calvin Klein

Role model: Madonna

Reading: “The History of the Siege of Lisbon,” by Jose Saramago

Worst fear: Being alone

Motivation: Being your best

businessBusiness & Real Estate

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

U.S. Attorney David Anderson announces federal firearms charges against two men for their roles in a March 2019 shooting outside the Fillmore Heritage Center in a news conference alongside SFPD staff at the Phillip Burton Federal Building on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Departing U.S. attorney predicts corruption probe will continue

David Anderson shook up City Hall as top federal prosecutor

Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton has been asked to mediate union contract talks. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Supervisor Walton tapped to mediate teacher contract talks

District and union at odds over hours in-person students should be in the classroom

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

A Bay Area Concrete Recycling facility that opened on PG&E property in 2019. Former PG&E employees have been accused of accepting bribes from Bay Area Concrete. (Courtesy of Bay Area Concrete Recycling via ProPublica)
Lawsuit reveals new allegations against PG&E contractor accused of fraud

By Scott Morris Bay City News Foundation Utility giant Pacific Gas &… Continue reading

New protected bicycle lanes stretch from the city's Portola District to Bernal Heights. (Courtesy Bay City News)
City leaders celebrate protected bike lanes in city’s Portola, Bernal Heights neighborhoods

San Francisco city leaders on Thursday announced the completion of new protected… Continue reading

Most Read