Where Are They Now?
Lauren Closic Bunney
by Debra Roth Kane
Lauren Closic Bunney, Randallstown High School class of 1990, does not sit still a lot. Late this winter, she and her business partner, Donna Pierce, opened Arenal Fitness at Quarry Lake, offering CrossFit group classes and personal training in this unique facility. Bunney lives in Mt. Washington with her husband of 13 years, Don, who manages a paramedical company in Towson. Seven-year-old son Ethan attends Summit Park Elementary School.
iNSIDER: Where did you get the name for your fitness center?
Lauren: We wanted to name our company after something that was personal to us. Both of us (Donna and myself) visited Costa Rica and the Arenal Volcano during family vacations. I went in December of 2008. Our trips were absolutely amazing and really made an impression on us, seeing the active volcano and experiencing the variety of activities offered in Costa Rica — so we decided to name our company after the Arenal (R-N-Nal) Volcano.
How is Arenal Fitness unique?
We built Arenal Fitness to be the size facility it is so that we can have a relationship with all of our members. We don’t want to lose track of people and not realize they haven’t been coming in until they return. Sometimes life takes turns that spin us out of control; we neglect our health not realizing that a fitness program could have really helped us relieve stress. Here we don’t let time go by without touching base with people. Weíll call or e-mail if we donít see you. Our members talk about their CrossFit family. There is amazing camaraderie here.
How is the club doing?
It’s going great. I was born and raised in the Randallstown/Pikesville area. I know the demographic and the community. People have been beyond nice and supportive. Our members treat the club as if it was their own home, actually even better than their own homes. They help us; if we’re busy, they will greet new people at the door, take them through the place, and tell them about our programs. Where else do you find your customers literally working for you and helping your business grow?
What’s your background in this field?
I started in the industry out of high school. I worked my way up from the front desk to fitness management. I went to college at Towson University for a sports management degree, plus I have a variety of national certifications, from post-rehabilitation to general fitness to high intensity training.
Is your son into fitness?
He was brought up being fit. He started on skis at 18 months old, rode bikes with us since he could support his head riding in a child seat on the back of our bikes, would go hiking with us in a kid’s pack until he could walk himself. He never knew anything but being active. As a family, we don’t lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Did you have an interest in fitness in high school?
I’ve always been active in sports or family activities. Skiing is my passion. All my life, my family has been involved with the ski patrol, starting at Oregon Ridge, then moving to Wisp Resort when Oregon Ridge closed. I’ve been on the ski patrol at Wisp since I was 15. I am proud to say that I’m now the ski patrol leader of the eastern section for the Wisp Ski Patrol.