T2 Fitness owner Tobe Taylor stands in his gym located off of Highway 58.

T2 Fitness owner Tobe Taylor is all about letting people know they matter and encouraging them to better themselves, whether they're his personal training clients, gym members, or kids he works with at local elementary schools or the Chambliss Center for Children group home.

Nine years ago the former bodybuilder opened T2, where he provides personal training for clients ranging in age from 5-70, training for student-athletes, a variety of fitness classes, and fitness equipment for members' use. He also offers a summer camp for kids ages 5-18.

"I try to provide a place where people can utilize their body and help their body to be better functioning," said Taylor, who opened his gym to the public last year after previously serving only his personal training clients. "I want to make sure people know they matter when they walk in the door."

From making sure people know how to use the machines to encouraging those recovering from surgeries such as hip replacements to keep moving and getting better, Taylor said he tries to make sure everyone at the gym feels like they belong there.

"Everything is always positive and motivating," he said. "I want you to feel a part of something."

That extends to Taylor's work in the community as well.

On Fridays he goes into local elementary schools to lead "Fitness Fridays" for students, faculty and staff, focusing on nutrition and making exercise fun. He's offered the program at elementary schools including Birchwood, Hixson, Bess T. Shepherd, Hardy, East Ridge and Orchard Knob, he said.

Next school year, he plans to do even more with the schools, including eating lunch with the students and creating a workout DVD that they can take home. He also wants to hold a final Fitness Friday in May, bringing all the students from the different schools he works with together to compete and win prizes.

Taylor said he also encourages his adult clients to bring their children age 7 and older with them to work out at the gym.

The former program coordinator for the Chambliss Center for Children group home, Taylor has a long history of working with at-risk kids. He allows kids from the center's transitional living program to work out at the gym, which he said gives them a healthy outlet for their energy.

"It's a form of medicine for many people," Taylor said of exercising, which can serve as a stress-reliever and mood-enhancer.

T2 Fitness is at 4944 Gold Wing Way and can be reached at 645-3241.

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