Fitness centre to open in Emo next month

EMO—Give the steady rise in obesity and health problems, long-time Emo resident Gaydonna Baker decided it was essential to have an easily-accessible fitness centre in the community.
After lightly tossing the idea around for years, Baker jumped on it full force in recent months and now is in the process of transforming the old Cloverleaf grocery store on Front Street into Rejuvenate Fitness Club.
“There are three reasons I choose the name Rejuvenate,” she noted. “First because Emo needed this store to be filled up to rejuvenate the downtown area.
“Second because you will be able to rejuvenate your mind and body, and third to rejuvenate the building, which is a piece of Emo’s history,” she added.
Baker said she will be keeping the original hardwood floor and refinishing it, and hopes to keep the area bright by putting some coloured glass on part of the window.
“It is the best location,” she stressed, citing the beautiful view of the Rainy River as one example. “I can’t think of anything better than running outside than running on a treadmill overlooking the river.”
She explained the fitness equipment will be situated facing the large windows.
In fact, a sales professional from Winnipeg has arranged the set-up of the equipment to maximize the space of the room and the effectiveness of the machines.
Rejuvenate will feature treadmills, an elliptical trainer, a recumbent bike, a rowing machine, a Bowflex, a Smith machine, and much more. There also will be men’s and women’s change rooms and showers.
“It’s kind of a three-stage process,” Baker explained, noting the first stage is getting the workout equipment and showers ready to go.
The second stage consists of a lounge or coffee shop area opposite the gym, where Baker would sell small food items and protein drinks to those working out or even to people just off the street.
She hopes to have the lounge area completed within two years.
“I’m not in a rush to get that underway, but I am in a rush to get the gym open,” she stressed.
The third stage is an aerobics room where fitness classes could be conducted.
“The aerobics room could come before the lounge, though,” Baker said, noting everything is happening so fast that anything could happen.
“I’m just starting out, but there is the potential for growth,” she added. “There will be room for more equipment.”
Baker believes the fitness centre will do really well in Emo.
“Emo has the potential,” she enthused. “With the mill in Barwick and professions like police officers, we need strong people. And then there are the people who just like to use weights.”
Rejuvenate also promises to be senior-friendly.
“Just because people get old doesn’t mean they can’t be physically fit,” argued Baker, who, while nearing retirement age herself, enjoys all kinds of physical activities, including curling, skiing, swimming, and running.
She said several of the machines are easily-accessible for older adults, such as the recumbent bike (which one does not have to lift their leg over to get on).
Still, Baker strongly recommends people not use the machines until they learn about them from either herself or someone else who is trained.
“You have to know what muscles you are working and how to use the machines safely,” she stressed. “I don’t want anyone getting hurt.”
The fitness centre will be based on an honours system since there won’t be set hours and no one will be continuously manning it.
“But they never know when I will stop by,” Baker added, noting there will be a surveillance camera focused on the door and also a sign-in book for security.
Members will have a card or code to use to gain access. “They will just have to make sure to shut off the lights and lock up when they are finished,” she said.
Memberships will be sold only on a yearly basis because Baker noted it would be too difficult to regulate anything else. She will have an individual rate, a family rate, and a student/senior rate, all of which will be announced at a later date.
However, Baker said she will be selling memberships prior to her grand opening during Spring Fever Days (April 20-22)—and that there will be a deal for those who sign up early.
Until then, anyone interested in a membership is asked to contact Baker at 482-3271. She also will be setting up a table at Cloverleaf in the near future to sell memberships.