Thank you for taking a chance on a 23-year-old girl who didn’t have a clue, and now she goes forward in life feeling strong, confident and loved because of the support she found at Fitness Incentive.
In October of 2001, I would have never known that taking a ‘temporary’ desk job at my local gym would change my life. At 23, I didn’t have life all figured out yet, I wasn’t sure what career path I was going to take, and I hadn’t even finished college. Since then, Fitness Incentive has been a central part of most of my major life decisions. If it weren’t for Fitness Incentive, I wouldn’t have finished school as a Registered Dietitian. Cor and Ken were so supportive of me pursuing my dream and offered me my ‘dream job’ after I graduated. It was also at F.I. that I began a relationship with my husband. I had known him before the gym, but only because he became a member did we have opportunities to see each other, talk, exchange numbers, and start dating. Who knew you could find your soulmate at the front desk of Fitness Incentive?
Then the babies… oh, my babies. I had my first delicious little cherubim in 2009, and he started coming to work with me when he was only weeks old. At first, he stayed in my office right with me, and then when he was ready, I completed entrusted him to Ms. Linda’s care. Since then, Ms. Linda has become a surrogate mother to him and his three other siblings. Without the F.I. nursery, we would not have had the ability to complete our family with our four beautiful kids. I consider myself a ‘stay-at-home’ mother who works full time. I never miss a game, a Mother’s Day tea or kindergarten sing-along. I am there to kiss every ‘booboo’ and stay at home when they are sick. I could not have had this remarkable life without F.I.
Fitness Incentive is considered a family gym, but that has more than one meaning. Yes, F.I. is an excellent place for families. It is a place you can bring any family member, and there is something for everyone. The gym environment is so inviting, non-threating, and comfortable for any age. But it also means you can find ‘family’ here. Some of my closest friends that have become like family to me are those that I met at the gym. Working at the gym for 18 years has given me the chance to be involved in my colleagues, members, and my clients’ lives. I have gone to milestone birthday parties, showers, weddings, graduations, holidays with people that I care deeply about from F.I. My kids also have lifelong friendships with other kids from the nursery. F.I. is our extended family, and it is at this point of this ‘good-bye’ letter that it is hard for me to hold back tears.
I am excited about what the future holds for my family and me. We have decided to try life off Long Island, and we are moving over this summer to the Saratoga Springs area in upstate New York. But this move doesn’t go without pain. I feel a tightening in my chest thinking about leaving the friends I have made, the job that I love, and people that have supported me in the best and the darkest times of my life. I can’t fathom finding the love and support that I have here at Fitness Incentive. So, this is my “thank you.” Thank you for taking a chance on a 23-year-old girl who didn’t have a clue, and now she goes forward in life feeling strong, confident and loved because of the support she found at Fitness Incentive.
About the Author
Rachel Ezelius was a significant contributor to this newsletter, and to gym operations for almost 20 years. She reliably performed many of the tedious back office management tasks that no one notices or appreciates unless they go wrong. Her work in the Eat Smart program, for which she was 7 times awarded Best of Long Island, improved the lives of hundreds of people. She will be missed. Good Luck, Rachel!