April 9, 2009

Fit-4-Life ‘exceeding expectations’ through generous local donations

According to a popular business theory, nine out of 10 new businesses fail in the first two years. Common causes of business failure are owners lack standard business knowledge, product market analysis, personal ability to manage and sufficient money.

But Center’s newest business Fit-4-Life won’t be worrying about that. According to Fit-4-Life board member John Mahoney, the fitness center would never have become a reality without the kind businessmen and women in the area.

"Without businesses (support) it wouldn’t have happened," Mahoney said.

Fit-4-Life started as the brainchild of Libbie Johnson almost four years ago. Snowballing support from other Center citizens, businesses and the Center City Council, Johnson’s dream became a reality as Fit-4-Life officially opened its doors last November. Since that time, membership has skyrocketed to 84 current members with day, week or month passes also available. The board’s business plan has a goal of 60 members.

The gym offers 24-hour cardtrol controlled access to a circuit of 14 individual weight-training machines, free weights with four different types of benches, all of which are Nautilus equipment, two elliptical trainers, recumbent bikes and four treadmills. Fit-4-Life is staffed eight hours a day, but security cameras provide protection for the equipment.

"It works out really well," Mahoney said, who works as the city attorney.

Although the space is a bit smaller than originally planned, board member Janet Erhardt noted they have made good use of what was available.

"I can bring a class of 20 students in here and they’re all busy," she said.

Currently, two Center-Stanton classes take advantage of the facility. The weights and cardio class visits in the mornings and lifetime sports students attend in the afternoon for about a month.

"It’s handy to have right here in town and not have to run all the way to Bismarck," Mahoney stated, adding the facility completes the indoor pool and beautiful golf course Center already has.

And the benefits of a healthier lifestyle and more exercise have already been having huge effects on some members. Johnson told those present for the donation by NextEra Energy about a member whose cholesterol dropped 30 points since she joined Fit-4-Life.

Showing their gratitude for the support received along the way, Fit-4-Life will have a dedication ceremony from 7-8:30 p.m. CDT April 15. Each machine will have a plate installed with the specific donor names engraved on them. During that time Johnson said she will be providing free health screens.

With no plans of slowing down, plans are in the works to possibly train Fit-4-Life employees to begin teaching yoga, Pilates and T’ai Chi. Classes could be taught on the wood floor of the racquet ball court located next to the gym in the Civic Center. A signup sheet will be made available to scope interest soon, Johnson noted.

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