Letter: Support your local gym

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Editor of the Reformer:

There's a voracious appetite in corporate America, and one of its gyms just opened in Brattleboro. It all looks so good. Spanking clean and brand new, with tens of thousands of dollars up front for promotion and marketing, beautiful new equipment all in purple and yellow, and a price that's unbeatable.

But this letter is about why I go to a local gym instead, and why I'm asking you to join me. For almost 35 years I lived in Marlboro, and exercised outdoors. Always outdoors. The idea was that I could become fit and stay fit, outdoors; rebuilding our old home into a farm, raising sheep, running to and from South Pond, downhill and cross country skiing, cutting, splitting, stacking and loading our winter wood, and gardening (ahhh, bending over!).

Now in my later 70s, not so much. We've moved to Brattleboro a year and a half ago. Over the past 10 years major life changes have threatened me, decked me, scared me, humbled me and I can now say, saved me. I can't run any more (new knee), I can't play my cello or build any more (carpal tunnel), and problems of my heart have challenged my stamina. But I can go to a gym, and I do, a local gym close to home. Closer to home I could go to a larger nationwide chain, but I don't and I won't. I just like small scale and professional Supreme Fitness, with well trained and certified staff always available, plus old and new friends always available to help — that's my kind of gym, and my kind of people. Mostly we are just plain folks, a lot of us retired, mixed in with younger people getting our acts together in all sorts of healthy ways. And by going to this local gym I'm being local, supporting my local community, helping a wonderful local business, getting healthier and stronger every day. Come join me.

Craig Hammond

Brattleboro, Feb. 19

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