A personal trainer working in a gym that is not her own, earning money to provide for her two young boys. A dance studio owner, finally living her dream of teaching what she loves to eager learners while being able to employ other teachers in a studio of her own. A gym owner who overcame countless life challenges to be able to instill his love of boxing to all who would walk in his door. Each had been living a dream that is now threatened by recent measures put in place to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Rebecca Rowley, who works as a personal trainer at Elevated Personal Training in Springville, said that when the pandemic hit, people started canceling personal training sessions.
“People are scared, and I get it,” Rowley said. “There is validity on every side, but it does hurt those of us who rely on this as our livelihood. People will come to the gym, and if they see 10 people, they will turn around and leave, even if the room is healthy. I have clients who are calling to ask if we can meet in two to three weeks. Now I’m looking at two to three weeks at least of missed pay, and as the main provider of my two kids, that’s not something that I can handle.”
Rowley said that although times are tough, and look to be getting tougher, she is going to focus on building her online clientele.
“I want to work,” Rowley said. “I love doing what I do. I love helping people reach their goals — I want to keep doing it however I can. There will be life after this, if we find a way to help each other make it.”
Natasha Baker, owner of Limelight Dance Studio in Payson, said that she has thought about the future impact the virus pandemic will have on her business, her employees and her students.
“We are doing online classes through the end of the month because all of our dancers have paid for the month,” Baker said. “I’ve had a few parents ask if they need to keep paying for dance if closures continue into next month, and I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to pay for a service my kids weren’t getting.
“When we were deciding on how to handle all of this, we debated whether to hold small classes or even do personal lessons, but what if someone got sick at the studio? Dancing is a contact and close contact activity, and the kids are always touching things. We can do our best to keep it sanitized, but it is the nature of dance. It has been really hard, and if it continues, it will get harder.”
Aaron Garcia, owner of Maximus Boxing Gym in Payson, has also closed his gym amid health regulations, but has a slightly different take on the future.
“I don’t want to worry too much,” Garcia said. “Whatever comes my way, I will face it. It’s like when we step in the ring. If you lose, you keep training, then get back in the ring and face it.”
Garcia spoke about hard times he has experienced in the past, and says that during tough times like these, it is the support of close friends and family that gets him through.
“Our gym is a family gym,” he said. “We are family. We help each other. Those who come to my gym know that I will give what I can to them and their kids, and I know they will help my family, too. This may affect us financially, but I want to focus on the positive.
“Right now is my vacation! I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t working. Since I was 16 years old, I have always been working. Now I have time to spend with my family. This is a time to enjoy your family. Take your son fishing. Be with your family. Help each other. When this is all over, that’s what will be important anyway.”