Two years ago, GET Fit started as some scribbles on the back of a paper place mat over a cup of coffee at a little local diner between two friends. Two years later, we have outgrown our home at 50 Central Square in Bridgewater and are preparing to move onto our next chapter at Winter Place. But two years flies by and as I stand in the middle of our almost emptied studio, I find myself smiling at the journey.
As a young female business owner, legally blind and stubborn as hell, the journey was not always easy. I will always be humble enough to admit that the beginning days of GET Fit started out with 14 hour work days, sleeping on a weight bench to catch up on much needed sleep and walking an hour to and from the gym after a long work day, just to say I put in the effort to make this business successful. But those tough long days were not the only key to success. I went to every local business in walking distance to tell them about this great new gym down the road. I networked with as many people as I could, built relationships, made friendships, and tried like hell to get those people into the gym just once to see what we were all about. Once they finally came through the door, they stayed. They became friends, they brought their friends, and then, we built a community.
We soon became known as the “orange place in the center.” Not entirely what I was hoping for but brand recognition is better than nothing! We were becoming more known and growing fast. Then Coronavirus happened and we had to close. My newly growing business was mandated to close with no prediction for the future. We had to evolve otherwise, we’d be forced to close like so many other small businesses.
As a gym owner, it is my responsibility to provide health and fitness services to the community of Bridgewater. If GET Fit had to close due to the pandemic, who would our clients turn to, where would they be forced to go? Would they be limited in services provided to them to help better their quality of life? Absolutely, and I couldn’t live with that answer, so we used the shutdown as some of our most productive time for reflection, educating and training to strengthen our business and our team to make sure we could help pull our clients out of the quarantine black hole.
My business mentor prompts me to identify weekly bright spots; great moments in my week that are noteworthy, both personal and professional. As I stand in this empty studio with bare bones of equipment to train my clients with in our last days here, I notice they are happier than ever. They’re enjoying our last few days here, enjoying one another’s company after being in quarantine for so long and enjoying seeing their health improve after 4 months of limited activity and stress. Get Fit’s mission is happening right in front of me – creating a sense of community that brings people together, teaching them how to enjoy living a healthy lifestyle they can pass on.
As I yell my last few motivational commands during our final lifting class here, I see those scribbles on the back of a place mat over coffee. I see my “why” for building GET Fit, growing right in front of me and thriving more than ever and I could not be more humbled. Start small, aim high, help as any people as you can along the way.