Nan Gorton considers Manchester Athletic Club (MAC) in Manchester, Mass. to be her second home. Unsurprising, seeing as she spent many days of the past seven years at MAC as a fitness trainer and co-owner of Hilltop Training, a running club popular among MAC members. Gorton’s dedication was recently rewarded, as last week the company announced Gorton had been promoted to the head of MAC’s growing fitness division.
Gorton spoke with Club Solutions about her new role and what changes to expect at MAC in the near future.
CS: How do you feel about your new role with MAC?
NG: I am excited to get started. I love this club. It has been my home for the past seven years. I am very proud to work for such an organization. From our owner, John Donovan, all the way through our staff, we have people dedicated to changing lives and helping people achieve their goals. I am honored to be a part of the MAC community and look forward to some exciting and fulfilling years ahead.
CS: Are you working on any exciting initiatives MAC members can look forward to?
NG: We sure are! These last few months have been exciting and filled with energy around a bunch of new programs. To just name a few:
We are launching the “Commit to Get Fit” program in mid-September. It is a program that helps individuals break through behavioral road blocks by providing support and education necessary to achieve real, lasting results, whether a person is seeking to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, increase energy or achieve weight loss. It is a 90-day program that is seeing huge results in other parts of the country and I am thrilled to have this program coming to [MAC].
We are also taking strides to improve and offer more in the way of Pilates programming, TRX® training, small group training, group exercise trends, boot camp classes and functional training. We are energizing all of it!
And lastly, a program near to my heart as a seasoned coach, MAC is now offering SPI@MAC, a sports performance training program for kids ages 10-17, which focuses on corrective movement patterns, mobility, flexibility, speed, agility and explosive power. We have had a great summer with this program and look forward to working with our young adults as they move through the school year.
NG: I think all communities, including ours, are increasingly facing the challenge of obesity, disease, disorders and a myriad of other health problems. MAC offers solutions to these problems by offering a comprehensive wellness program. We are committed to helping people live well by truly listening and discovering where people are when they walk through the door. We have personal training, wellness coaching, family opportunities, swim programs, tennis teams/lessons, Pilates, TRX and many fun programs that foster social interaction. All this, under one roof. Why would anyone go somewhere else?
CS: There are people who believe some clubs miss the mark when it comes to appealing to a majority of the general population. Why do you think that is, and is there anything clubs can do to change that perception?
NG: Many people believe and harbor a certain amount of fear that health clubs are scary and intimidating. They often have the perception that health clubs are full of athletes, hard bodies, youngsters and super jocks. That perception makes it hard for a lot of people to step over the threshold into a club.
What can we do? We can keep encouraging people to come, and offer programs catering to those who think a health club is a scary place. When this happens people will discover that MAC, and really most health clubs with a similar mission, are the safest places to be if they value their health and wellness, which I would argue most people do. Our mission is to help people look better, feel better and live better. That’s what we do!
As told to Rachel Zabonick