We see them everywhere, on every corner in every town and in every state. A health club. Or gym. Or fitness center. Whichever you prefer. But the Fitness Athletic Club is different. So say owners Christopher and Jessica Page. And they guarantee it.
The story starts like this: A young woman finds her passion in educating others about nutrition and exercise. She begins teaching classes at a club where she meets another instructor with similar passions. They exercise, fall in love, get married and buy the business.
End of story? Not really.
Jessica Page is that young woman. At the ripe young age of 25, she is a successful fitness model and competitor, nutrition expert and business owner. Inside the walls of the athletic club she’s a certified ACE group fitness instructor and a licensed massage therapist. Her goal? To inspire each and every individual she encounters seeking a lifestyle change.
So who’s the lucky guy she met and married? His name is Christopher Page and he co-owns the club with Jessica. While Page Fitness is barely five months old, the location of the club and the fitness experience between the Pages is not. Where the club exists now, there used to be another fitness center and Christopher was its manager for over a decade.
“Chris has developed bonds with many people over the years and so have I,” said Jessica. “So when the owners of the former fitness center wanted to focus more on their physical therapy business we saw it as the perfect time to open a new chapter in our life together, to be able to do what we love! So we bought the business and turned it into the Page Fitness Athletic Club in September of this year. I know it sounds corny to some, but going to work every day is amazing for us. We love it.”
The First Chapter
Christopher Page says before he and his wife took over the business, it was merely coasting along. It was a workout center and nothing more. People came in, did their workouts on the equipment and left.
“That’s not my personality,” he said. “It’s not Jessica’s personality, either. We wanted more. So we incorporated nutrition software, got the best instructors and put together group classes. We’re trying to bring to the club only the best that the health and fitness industry has to offer. There are no more mass-marketed supplements here. We don’t want to be the same as everyone else. We want to be on the cutting edge, giving our members only the best.”
“People come in thinking that, if they work out they’ll see a transformation with their body. And they will. Working out is a huge factor in fitness. But diet is 80 percent of it and people don’t realize that,” Jessica said. “In many gyms, you walk in, they show you the equipment, tell you to have fun and that’s it. But we go further because we believe that nutrition is a big part of it.”
At the top of the hill the transformation of the fitness center is underway. The buildinghasn’t changed on the outside. But inside, the wheels are turning. The Pages want to make sure anyone who initially comes through their doors comes back, so they offer a seven day free trial.
“You’re going to notice things in our club that are really different than other places in town,” Christopher said. “The friendliness, the customer service, the education– even the cleanliness of the club are different. If I give you a week, you’re going to know if we’re up to your standards or not. We give people a free week so we can prove to them that we do what we say we’re going to do.”
What they say is that optimal health is the wave to ride. What goes into your body determines how you function. And while there is no revelation in that statement, the Pages realize that some folks find the goal of optimal health unattainable.
“We realize that when people come in they’re often intimidated,” said Jessica. “They worry that others will judge them. But we have people here of all different shapes and sizes. Whatever your reason is for being here, we want to show you that we have a solution to the problem.”
The Plot Thickens
Time and money are two major factors that allow us to make excuses for why we can’t improve our lives through nutrition and fitness. We don’t have the time to exercise and fitness center memberships cost money. Who can afford it in today’s difficult economy? So why bother? Jessica has the answer.
“With everything that’s going on with the economy right now, many people aren’t bringing in the money they used to. As a result, some are eating poorly. Others don’t have insurance. I like to think the advice and encouragement we give members keeps them going,” Jessica said. “It’s a great, holistic way to stay strong and healthy during these rough times.”
And it’s true. Think about it. If you eat nutritious, healthy foods, your body re-sponds in a positive way. If you eat heavy, gluten-filled foods with artificial preservatives, your body responds in a negative way. It’s elementary, the Pages say. They believe if folks spend a few extra dollars on good food and fitness, they’ll save hundreds on health insurance and you can get the nutritional and exercise advice you need to stay healthy.
“The numbers don’t lie,” Christopher said. “Why do you think large corporations have places like ours within their own walls? They know if they keep their employees healthy, they’ll save on astronomical health care costs. The facts are out there. We are like a health insurance policy. And people are listening. The economy is down, yes. But our membership is up.”
The fitness business is a niche market. It’s not for everyone. But the Pages want to expand that niche to include anyone who has ever had an inkling to change their lifestyle. That includes busy parents. The time is there, the Pages say. People just have to know how to make it.
“We have quite a few couples who kind of do a swap with their kids in our cafe,” Christopher said. “One takes a class while the other stays with the kids. And then they switch.”
End of Story
For Jessica Page, transforming minds and bodies is what she lives for.
“It takes a lot of hard work and it can be stressful,” she said with a laugh, “but at the end of the day, it’s all worth it. I get lots of e-mails and Facebook messages from people that are inspired by me.
That means everything! That’s what brings me to work every day. If I can help just one person see the potential they have, then I have done my job.”