When Mariah Prussia started Xtreme Measures Women’s Health and Fitness in Fargo, N.D., she was simply a mom with a 2-year-old at home and dream in her mind. Her time was captivated as a full-time mother, but she had to pursue her dream, regardless if she didn’t possess a business degree.
Xtreme Measures came into fruition from her dream. An all-female health club that focuses on the empowerment of women through fitness, its name stems from Prussia’s own personal experiences and struggles.
“I knew that I wanted the word Xtreme to be part of my business name … being a tri-sport collegiate athlete, and also the fact of being a single mother,” she said. “Stepping into a new realm of my life by starting my own business with a child under the age of 2, I expected it to be extremely difficult, especially building from the ground up without a back-up plan. The word ‘measures’ completed my business name while taking the measurements of a former client.”
Prussia launched Xtreme Measures in June of 2007 and has since expanded (in 2009) from 2,000 to 5,600 square feet. That expansion brought more space for the group fitness studio, a new daycare area and new spa rooms, where massage therapy and reflexology are offered.
At first, though, times were difficult. Prussia had a degree in exercise science, and could thrive as a personal trainer (she still works as a trainer at Xtreme Measures). But the business side of things was more challenging in the first few months.
“When starting Xtreme Measures and not having a business degree, the most difficult struggle was setting a budget and not knowing what type of cash flow would be coming into the business,” Prussia said. “Through trial and error we discovered what worked best for advertising and were able to fine-tune where our advertising dollars were spent.”
The message conveyed by any advertising Xtreme Measures does now is female empowerment. The goal of the club is to give women an edge in a male-dominated world — something Prussia knows a little about, as she is training for her first MMA fight this year.
“Xtreme Measures plays a huge role in teaching the women in our community how to become empowered, how to feel empowered and how to empower others,” Prussia said. “Our facility goes above and beyond knowing who our members are through name recognition, what activities they are involved in and what goals they have set for themselves.”
The health club not only empowers women through fitness, but also empowers the Fargo community as a whole. Xtreme Measures is involved with nonprofits such as the MS Society, the American Diabetes Association and the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center. Prussia even began her own nonprofit, the NOW Project, which focuses on the same principles that are part of the Xtreme Measures brand.
“I feel it is essential to teach women and children at a young age the importance of establishing healthy boundaries,” she said. “We as women need to realize that it’s all right to say ‘no’ and mean it … The NOW Project will teach women and children how to protect themselves in real-life scenarios. With how our current society is, one never knows when they can fall victim to an attack.”
A sense of belonging permeates the club, and Prussia prides herself on having created a place where any woman can be comfortable with who she is. “Xtreme Measures was created to form a community, where members feel comfortable sharing their experiences, their day and their life with us,” she said. “We are a family and that is the difference … I’m very passionate about changing the health and well-being of the world and believe that when each of us finds our true self, that each of us can change, empower and make a movement not only in our community, but in the world.”
By Ashley Scoby