Courtney Nappa's journey from brainy entrepreneur to beauty queen started in Natick.
The 32-year-old co-founder of Ten X Club fitness centers—the first one opened in Natick in 2006—was crowned Mrs. Massachusetts after her husband Corey suggested in January that the mom-of-two go for it.
“I'm always the person to reach out beyond what I've done,” said Nappa, whose first club in Natick has expanded to four in the Greater Boston area. “I had just had a baby. Worst case scenario, I'd get in shape for the pageant.”
Nappa embarked on a whirlwind 12-week diet and exercise plan to get in top shape for the swimsuit and evening gown segments of the April 9 competition. She spent many early mornings training, and often plunked her now 9-month-old daughter into an Exersaucer as she hit the treadmill. She also has a 2-year-old daughter.
The pageant was the first for Nappa, and she said that besides working out and dieting, her strategy was to let her personality shine through during the interviews. There was no coaching or prep work in the weeks leading up to the event, except for one other detail.
“I practiced in heels in front of my husband because going out on stage in 4-inch heels cold turkey” would have been a bad idea, said Nappa.
Nappa, a Franklin resident, started Ten X Club, a combination fitness center, spa services, and healthy eating center, with her husband in Natick in 2006. The fitness centers are now also open in Canton, West Roxbury, and most recently, Norwell. In all the locations, they took over an existing gym, and she said they've managed to double membership.
“My husband and I are both very passionate, motivated people,” she said. “I think from the beginning we just always felt the concept was going to work.”
Though appearance factored into her win, there's no disputing Nappa's brains. She graduated from Bentley University with a degree in accounting, information systems and business management. Before opening her own business, she worked as an internal auditor and in risk management for corporations.
She'll be heading to Las Vegas in August to compete in the Mrs. United States pageant.
Nappa said that her family was ecstatic when she won, especially her husband who had encouraged her to compete.
“They were floored. They were just so excited. I could hear them screaming in the background,” said Nappa. “There were so many great competitors there and I was just really surprised and happy that they picked me to represent the state.”
Megan McKee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.