"The natural state of a personal trainer is eternal optimist. The reality is that COVID-19 might slowly bleed us out."
Two weeks ago, I felt like we were finally on the path to somewhere. I didn’t know what our fitness studio, Bodymass, was going to become, but knew it was becoming something. We were about to increase our Arlington footprint, make improvements to our D.C. location in Petworth, and were close to opening another space in the District. Something sounded pretty good.
If you had told me when we opened our first gym that we would be able to do all of those things within five years, I would have called you a dreamer. If you had told me two weeks ago that we would have to close both locations, see revenue drop by 80%, have to pay rent for two spaces that can’t be used, and essentially lay off our entire staff, I would have called you a defeatist.
The natural state of a personal trainer is eternal optimist. Trainers believe that anyone can change their body and create a new lifestyle. The dreamer speaks to us and the defeatist just challenges us. The reality is that COVID-19 might slowly bleed us out. Relief programs may be too little, rents are due, vendors must be paid, expenses still exist.
I hurt most for our employees; we promised them the career version of “lose a hundred pounds and create a new lifestyle.” Now they face unemployment in an industry that vanished overnight. Their rents are still due and their expenses still exist.
These times challenge the optimist. The defeatist seems to be speaking louder than the dreamer, but I am still thankful. Thankful for our health, our understanding employees, and our members who continue to support our business. I still don’t know what Bodymass is going to become, but we still have something. And in a time where a growing number of people have nothing, something still sounds pretty good.
Readers: We want to hear your stories. Send your 300-word COVID-19 story and a photo to email@example.com. You can read more Covid Chronicles essays at arlingtonmagazine.com/category/covid-chronicles/