It’s that time of year again when we start thinking about the lifestyle changes we want to make as we enter a brand new year. For many, fitness plays some part in our goals for improving our lives and Chris Foote, owner of the Coronado Fitness Club gym, has a fresh perspective for positive growth.
Foote started the Coronado Fitness Club 11 years ago with the support of his family after moving to Coronado. Playing sports through college started his interest in health and physical training where he would help friends who were fellow athletes and went on to work at various gyms before starting his own. “I think I always knew that I wanted to do something in athletics, I loved being on a team,” Foote said. “I didn’t know I wanted to have a gym until I became a trainer and I just liked it. I got out of it for a few years but quickly discovered it was the only thing I was really passionate about for a career.” After working for larger gym corporations, Foote and his family, who had ties to Coronado and loved the city, decided to take a risk and open his own gym here. “I just saw an opportunity and it was a huge risk, and we just said, ‘why not?’”
For Foote, the wellness and self-care that comes with the gym territory is more than just a workout – it’s a lifestyle. “I think people were really receptive to it,” Foote said when talking about making the gym available to some extent after COVID-19 hit. “We sent a lot of emails and communicated with our members about what was going on – just like a lot of small businesses did here in Coronado – but for us I think the mental health just ties in so big with the physical health that a lot of people realized what they need to do.”
When quarantine began, Foote and his team immediately set to work and were able to rent out equipment and get workout sessions done via video to help their members stay healthy while home. “Then next we had all of our spin bikes out to homes,” he recalled, “we got all of our equipment rented out and I think that was huge, it helped us keep all of our employees paid.” This was one thing Foote was most grateful for and proud of, as he talked about his staff as a core group, a team. “Personal development is something we take very, very seriously…I encourage that kind of behavior, whether it’s training, personal development for your craft or it’s personal development mentally – educating yourself and mental health, I pour that into our team and that also goes back to serving our clients.”
The Coronado Fitness Club has undergone recent expansion and when it comes to the pandemic, Foote is able to appreciate the creativity they had to resort to with their space that was born from the necessity of quarantine and protocols that were new to everyone. “Had COVID not happened,” he mused, “then I wouldn’t have gained 3,000 square feet of space that we’ll now continue to use forever.” The Coronado Fitness Club now extends to the first floor and into the parking lot (now affectionately referred to as “the dungeon” for outdoor workouts) on the corner of Orange Avenue and Ninth Street. “We turfed it out, we made the investments,” Foote continued, “and those are just some ways we had to be creative that I never would have done to extent that we did this year, and I think our members love it, our community loves us for figuring that out. But my heart and soul goes out to every business that has had to face these same challenges that can’t have people inside.”
Now, Coronado Fitness Club classes are now back in person that make use of outdoor space with reduced numbers to maintain recommended safety measures. “We do a temperature check every time someone comes in, we only allow 10 people inside per hour right now, everyone gets their own towels and spray bottle, and we have these electrostatic cleaners to ensure everything is super clean,” Foote told me. “I think we make everyone feel healthy and we want to earn and keep our member’s trust to feel safe.”
With the new space Foote is anticipating a new hot yoga studio on the second floor, and they’ve started teaching yoga sculpt classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays which has quickly become one of their most popular classes along with interval training classes and spin classes throughout the week. “Our spin program has always been phenomenal and it always packs out,” Foote noted. “That’s why we’re making the improvement to have our own spin studio upstairs so we can offer more classes. We’re doubling down on our strengths and making it one place where people can come to and have so many different options.”
Something Foote and his team aim to do with their classes is to teach others proper techniques and routines they can take home with them to maintain healthy habits as well, such as with their Sunday stretch class. “Whether it’s in a gym or just out being active, the most important part is that people are taking care of themselves,” Foote said, noting the mental transformation that stems from physical wellbeing.
In addition to the yoga and spin studios, Coronado Fitness Club has a variety of equipment, classes, and therapeutic offerings for the community, including a licensed chiropractor on site and a new cryotherapy room. With the gym’s expansion, Foote has been able to redesign individual workout stations on the first floor that are spaced out the appropriate distance from each other to keep people safe while working out. Stations include a treadmill and a handful of other equipment such as weights already at their station so people don’t have to cross other’s space or share materials. Once things are safer, Foote hopes the gym can have a true opening for its new offerings. “I hope we can have a re-grand opening,” he told me, “I think with all the things we have, our community needs to know about it. We want to get back to our original plan, we want to do open houses once a month where we bring speakers in – chiropractors, nutritionists – any modality of health that people can come and learn from.”
Foote hopes the Coronado Fitness Club can continue to welcome the community and be a place for people to learn and grow. “We speak truth into each other’s lives” has been a mantra at Foote’s gym since its inception, and one he takes to heart in his role there where he welcomes honesty from his team and from members about how he can continue to improve and in turn continue to help them improve their health, wellness, and sense of self. “I’ve made every mistake in the book and I think once you’re okay with that and you know the people you’re serving respect you and that you’re doing right by them, everything else kind of falls into place.”
For more information about the Coronado Fitness Club, its classes, membership, hours, and other offerings, visit their website at https://www.coronadofitnessclub.com/ or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or 619-522-9200. You can also download the Coronado Fitness Club app for free on your mobile device.