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Curves Paris

"Who would want to go to Curves while visiting Paris?" you might ask. I would--and I did, in April of 2006.

I'd joined a U.S. branch of the Curves women's fitness chain a few months earlier, since I didn't really like exercising (except for walking) and the Curves 30-minute workout seemed more doable than a normal gym routine. After every visit, I left feeling virtuous, since I knew that I was taking care of my body and strengthening my bones.

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ABOVE: A sign above the Curves entrance on the rue Mathurin Régnier in the 15th arrondissement. INSET BELOW: A flowering tree in the reception area offers a friendly welcome.

photoWhen my husband and I booked an apartment in Montmartre for the spring, I thought it would be fun to visit a Curves in Paris. I checked the Curves International Web site, and I discovered a Curves in the 15th Arrondissement, not far from the Montparnasse railroad station. All I'd need was the Curves traveling card, which would be valid for a month.

As the trip came closer, I had second thoughts. For one thing, I don't speak French: What problems would that cause? What if I felt out of place and not welcome? I decided to give it a try; presumably the traveling card would speak for itself, and--since Curves is an international franchise--using the equipment wouldn't be any harder (and certainly would be healthier) than figuring out how to eat at a French McDonald's.

So, on a sunny day in early April, I took the No. 12 Métro line from Pigalle to the Volontaires stop and walked the two blocks to Curves Paris. The club was on a quiet side street, where it occupied a two-story storefront with big windows. I entered and was comforted by the sight of familiar lavender-blue walls.

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LEFT: Two views of the changing room, showing lockers, showers, and hair dryers.

A friendly young woman who spoke excellent English helped me through the inevitable legal forms and gave me a quick tour. First, the locker room. Wow! In my Curves back home, we change in the bathroom. The Paris Curves had a spacious changing room with lockers, benches, four private shower cubicles, and a light well that brought in daylight from above.

Then it was time to go upstairs, where the exercise equipment--and a group of Frenchwomen--awaited.

Next page: Getting fit with the French


In this article:
Curves Paris - Introduction
Getting fit with the French, advice for visitors