Today we got a glimpse into how the government views health and fitness facilities in Ohio. We get to open at the same priority level as Laser Tag, seemingly dead last. While the argument is being made by some that gyms are “high risk” facilities by nature, we have taken MASSIVE steps and carefully planned to ensure the safety of all participants in our facility. To not do so, would be a massive breach of trust of all of our employees and clients, and would be more harmful to business than anything. Each of us small gym owners know this, and each of us have more precaution built into our plans than any government recommendation or regulation could ever impose.

I got into this business because I wanted to help sick people get well. I had many options available to do so. I could’ve become a doctor or nurse, a first responder or military medic. All great options, and all people I hold a high respect for. However, I chose to get ahead of the issue rather than react after the damage was done. I dreamed of creating a place where people could come and fix their health issues before the sickness took control of their lives. Over the past decade, I am proud to say that we have helped thousands of central Ohioans get off prescription drugs, shed metabolic disease, improve body composition, improve mental acuity and health, build lasting relationships and create a lifestyle synonymous with being healthy. 

In our facility, we have Physical Therapists, Dietitians and some of the best fitness minds in the United States. We stand ready to help anyone reduce and even remove the metabolic diseases & comorbidities we’re hearing so much about today. We have done it before. And we will do it again. This alone should be enough to be calling our team into action. The governor should be screaming for all trainers, nutrition coaches and fitness facilities saying “We NEED YOU, now more than ever. Get Ohio Healthy FAST!”

But he isn’t. Society isn’t. Government isn’t. This disease is violently attacking the sick, the obese, the weak and rather than a call-to-arms to those who can help, we remain shut down longer than retail shopping. Grab your Jeni’s, some LULU, a Seventh Son beer and your Pizza Ohio…Quarantine is rough and we’re going to be here for awhile. Wear your masks, socially distance and take temperatures, they tell us that will save us. Do you know what is way better than a mask? A world class immune system. Do you know what really helps reduce the risks inherit with ARDS? Increased lung capacity.

At this point, it’s hard to say that we haven’t brought this upon ourselves. “You reap what you sow” as they say.  Our undisciplined way of life paired with our lack of reality & prioritization in fixing it has put us in a situation of fear based reactions, denial and avoidance. As a result, civil liberties are restricted, government is deciding which industries live and which die, and now we have to ‘protect life at all costs’.

Where is this sentiment in everyday life? Is there a major war on obesity, heart disease or metabolic conditions in Ohio? Did I miss the daily press conference on the 12,500 people that die every year in Ohio just from diabetes? Or maybe the in depth discussion on how the 750 who have died “from” Coronavirus are struggling with; “32 percent had diabetes, 29 percent had heart disease, 21 percent had chronic lung disease, and 9 percent had compromised immune systems.” (source)

From the WHO: “In 2016, an estimated 1.6 million [American] deaths were directly caused by diabetes. Another 2.2 million deaths were attributable to high blood glucose in 2012**.” “Diabetes can be treated and its consequences avoided or delayed with diet, physical activity, medication and regular screening and treatment for complications.”

So, an interesting thought experiment for the Ohio government might be: “How many diabetics or pre-diabetics might have started at a gym, worked with a registered dietitian, exercised under the watchful eye of a professional coach but instead are stuck sitting at home, without the guidance or accountability they need to avoid or delay the diseases impact? Will the number of victims from unchecked, unhelped chronic diseases surpass the number of dead from Coronavirus? Will COVID kill people 2-3 months from now that could have been actively working on their underlying conditions if fitness facilities were open?”

Until our country, and our officials, start to value and appreciate the fitness, nutrition & health industry as the priority it should be, we will continue to see massive preventable death from diseases like COVID. This is not just some once in a generation thing. This, TIMES TEN, happens in your country year, after year, after year, and it’s getting worse. Millions will continue to die every year from preventable causes. Healthcare costs will continue to be unsustainable and unaffordable. We must change our mindset.

I’m sorry to those of you in the Columbus area who had heard about Friendship, or any other small business gym that is doing amazing things. You probably heard how we can help, had seen  posts on Social and thought we might be just what you need. I’m sorry you won’t have that opportunity when you need it most. I’m sorry you have to continue to live in fear. Reach out to us, we will do everything we can remotely while the Government decides where we fit between liquor stores, Laser Tag and ice cream shops.