Raymond Reimer has no regrets after he and his wife purchased a gym more than six years ago.
The co-owner of Vanderhoof Health & Fitness has seen his fair share of challenges brought on by COVID-19 with gathering restrictions and shutdowns.
“I feel like gyms are targeted a lot more, but I wouldn’t change it,” Reimer said, acknowledging anyone with small business is likely struggling.
“I still love this job and coming in, and I know that we have a lot to offer in the future, so we’re going to hopefully keep doing that and upgrading this place. I think for a small-town gym, it’s a really good gym and we just want to keep getting it better.”
Recent upgrades have meant easier access for new and current members who can now sign-up or renew their membership, reserve the squash court and more all through an app.
This May will mark seven years since the couple became business owners after returning home from Alberta, where Raymond had completed his physical education degree and Stephanie a psychology degree.
At Vanderhoof Health & Fitness, Raymond is a full-time personal trainer and typically works one-on-one with clients.
Stephanie, meanwhile, does bookkeeping and office management.
“Definitely not my wife’s dream, but she supports me fully and has been helping me out a lot with it,” Raymond said.
“It’s been my dream to have a business like this and then just work with people in the community.”
With provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recently giving the green light for gyms and fitness centres to start gradually reopening as of Thursday, Jan. 20., Vanderhoof Health & Fitness hopes to build its membership back up.
Reimer estimates their once 500 strong membership has dropped more than half to around the same mark when they purchased the gym in 2015.
“It’s not great, but we’re moving along and the people that are in here are very good and they’re supporting us, so we’re hopefully going to keep open,” he said.
When Raymond and Stephanie are not busy operating and managing Vanderhoof Health & Fitness, they enjoy spending time with their one and a half year daughter and keeping busy with family and friends.
Both also enjoy cooking and making doughnuts which Raymond said is ironic having a gym.
“We both loved living in Vanderhoof before, and we liked growing up here, so we felt it would eventually be nice to come back and have a family here as well,” he added, noting it is nice to be surrounded by family.