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The Day the Club Went Dark

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I remember March 18. It was the day our club went dark, due to stay at home orders. We closed our doors, facing the uncertainty of not knowing when they would open again.

But what I didn’t realize was the day our club went dark was the day our team members would truly shine brighter. Maybe you’ve experienced the same realization.

Our mission statement at the Wisconsin Athletic Club is “To Make a Difference in People’s Lives.” What I’ve proudly experienced over the past two months is that this doesn’t stop when the doors close.

I’m reminded of Mr. Rogers quoting his mother, who said when in times of fear or uncertainty, “look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” Most of us enter the health and fitness industry to make an impact and help others, not realizing there would be a time we’d be called to action, to step up in a whole new way. We are a customer service-focused industry and that doesn’t stop — in fact, we’ve stepped up and shown up in a big way.

As I scroll through social media searching for some good news, I constantly see health clubs offering workouts, posting recipes, and sharing meditation techniques, fitness challenges, Zoom meetings, Facebook Live classes, and much more. We’re helping people recognize that the physical and mental benefits of staying active and healthy during this time are a necessity, not a luxury. While our clubs may be considered non-essential, we’ve made it our essential mission to serve our members and communities in their health and wellness journeys outside our clubs.

We’ve collaborated, connected, donated and volunteered — all the while, showing that our clubs are more than a building with walls. Our team members have gotten creative and innovative, searching for ways to continue to connect with members and make a difference. May we never lose that, even when the doors are open again and the lights are back on.

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Ann Glor

Ann Glor is the group fitness director at the Wisconsin Athletic Club-Lake Country. She can be reached at aglor@thewac.com or visit thewac.com.

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