We had the good fortune of connecting with Heather Sholl and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Heather, as a parent, what have you done for you children that you feel has had the most significant impact?
I am the mother of twin elementary aged boys. In my heart of hearts, I believe that one of the most important things I’ve done as a parent to impact them is my decision to do what I love, share the dream and the work with them on a day to day basis. They know work is real, and it can be tough but has endless rewards when you love what you do and serve others. 

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business started out as someone else’s dream, a training studio for trainers who wanted to love their work and help older adults maintain their independence through exercise. After many years working at the business and launching many side projects, I bought the gym and began building on a vision of merging medicine into our prevention business. At a former job managing a gym that collaborated with a local hospital, I learned that cardiac rehab is monitored guidance on exercise, diet and lifestyle factors that create risks for heart disease. I began to research the hospital-based programs to find out if there was a way we could help. I discovered that in Houston cardiac rehab programs were consistently overwhelmed with patients, despite a low percentage of referrals. Considering the data supports it being 100% effective in helping patients improve their health, why were the referrals low? Why are the programs unable to accommodate the low numbers? Considering heart attacks and cardiovascular disease are the leading cause of death in the world, what would happen if the referrals were as frequent as they should be to hep the maximum number of patients. Like many rabbit holes, this one turned out to be deeper than anticipated, but one with great possibility to build a business around serving others. Entrepreneur hat on, I set out to connect dots and create solutions. This Fall we launched our own outpatient VIP cardiac rehab and PREhab, the first of its kind in the country to accommodate Phase II, III and an exclusive prevention program. With hospitals struggling more than ever to accommodate non-emergency, non-COVID patients and with people avoiding non-emergent care, we can serve people who want the best but don’t have anywhere to turn beyond the hospital walls. There is a challenge we all face to understand our lives, our health and our humanity. For me, cardiac rehab is a place to explore all of that. I think that we tend to believe that if we had the solutions to our problems, we would solve them, but it’s not true. We know what prevents heart disease, but it still kills more people than anything else in the world. Why? There are so many big questions, and so many complicated answers. I love the problem solving, I love the people, I love the complexity. Most of all I love bringing it together and seeing a person change their lives in a way that shows them the power they have to control their health, their happiness. I want everyone in our path to have purpose and to own it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If I had an out of town friend visiting the area and I wanted to show them the best time ever, I would take them to the places owned and operated by locals. My idea of fun is experiencing people. When you visit chains, you experience systems and scripts, versus people’s livelihoods and stories. We’d have margaritas at El Tiempo Friday night and listen to the mariachi music, wake up Saturday and walk/run Memorial Park and tell them the story of the Astros owner Jim Crane’s Central Park vision for the park and its progress. We would head to Memorial Farmer’s Market and have lunch at Buffalo Grill. Kirby Ice House for happy hour and a trip around MFAA. We’d road trip down to Galveston for anything to ruin our diet at Miller’s Seawall Grill… and I’d make my way around to the interesting and unique art finds here for photos at Sawyer Yards, the giant Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern etc.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Ah the mentor question! Assigning credit to any one mentor feels dismissive of every other person who has encouraged me on my journey. The most influential group of people in my life have been women who pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. Every single time I have taken a chance, a big, fat, leap of faith into something big, it has been because a professional woman saw something in me, and encouraged me to the point that I believed in their vision of me achieving my dreams. To those women, I owe my own courage. And to my husband who unwavering faith in my ability to achieve my wildest dreams, I owe my sanity!

Website: www.thevillagesgym.com
Instagram: thevillagesgym
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thevillagesgym
Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-villages-gym-houston

Image Credits
Kendall Hanna and Lynsey Owens

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