Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Can Rutland support another gym? No!

"Can Rutland support another gym?" someone asked over Facebook. "Aren't there already five or six? In this economy, are you taking too much of a risk?"

Some people might wonder if I have finally lost my marbles. Have I finally done too many head stands in Yoga? Why am I risking everything to create this new health facility when there are already many good ones nearby?

The truth is, Rutland CAN sustain all it has already and many more establishments focused on the well-being of the community.

Absolutely--Rutland already has some excellent health clubs and options for helping people get and stay healthy. But it is safe to say that not even five percent of the population belongs to a health club here. The existing clubs have done so much to improve the quality of life for Rutlanders, but there is still so much more to be done as Rutland County still tops off the scales in Vermont for obesity, diabetes, and other such health and wellness concerns.

According to the Southern Vermont Area Health Center, among the 63,331 residents in Rutland County, 22% smoke, 24% are obese, 16% binge drink, and 15% have no health insurance. Further, 165 per 100,000 people die from heart-related problems, 60 per 100,000 people die of stroke, and in all of these categories, Rutland County is bringing up the state-wide averages.

So, sure, there are fitness centers, but these are clearly not enough to spread the message of wellness to a community that desperately needs it.

And that is why we are starting Pyramid Fitness...not because there aren't already great exercise options in Rutland, but because we need more. We need a new mentality towards wellness. Pyramid Fitness is not just a health club or a gym--it is a wellness club. It is a place where like-minded people will come together in an effort to support each other on the path to fitness. Of course we have all of the equipment that makes this easy--brand new, safe, easy-to-use equipment. But we also have the people who will create a new atmosphere.

Pyramid Fitness isn't about wearing the brand name jogging suit or sneakers, or having the perfect body. It isn't about the elite membership fees. And it certainly isn't about filling the place with people who come for a month but pay for the service for a year. In fact, at Pyramid Fitness, we don't want your money if you are not actually using our services. We want to fill this beautiful, newly-renovated space with people who want to be healthy and are going to commit to using our services. In that light, we are going to be offering only a limited number of memberships. We want to create a vibrant community of exercisers, not frustrated people who never come back.

At the Pyramid, our members will be a name, not a number. The goals of our members will be our goals. We are a team. When you succeed, we succeed.

Of course, Rutland cannot support another gym if we define "gym" as a dirty, grungy place with old, broken down equipment where they lock you into contracts and take your money, even if you aren't going, so some off-site owner can take luxury vacations. No, in this economy, Rutland cannot sustain even one of those.

So what we are talking about here is a new breed of fitness club. A place that has everything you need equipment (but not too much--you don't need 40 treadmills--you only need one that works when you want it!), the people with the education and experience to help you define and reach your goals, and the atmosphere that makes it all possible.

And it certainly doesn't hurt that you have access to a multitude of other services--the sauna, the oxygen bar, massage therapy, homeopathy, acupuncture, Ayurveda, personal training, counseling and hypnotherapy, special classes and workshops, and of course, the only salt cave in Vermont.

I know some people probably think I am crazy...but I believe I am simply optimistic about the future health of our local Vermonters. I believe we can do this...I believe we will do this...and I cannot wait to let you know when we open our doors so you can check this incredible place out yourself.

Thanks to all of you who have expressed positive thoughts and support for what we are doing. We do hope to be open in the very near future. Watch for more information coming soon!

Be well!

William Kelley, Ph.D.
Pyramid Holistic Wellness Center

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