Renovated fitness center encourages active lifestyle and strong community

  • Anna Dark leads a yoga class at Take Charge Fitness - Crystal Huskey

  • Class at Take Charge Fitness - Crystal Huskey

  • Mika Yoshida is also an instructor and personal trainer at Take Charge Fitness - Crystal Huskey

Take Charge Fitness has made some renovations to its facility to make room for a new business downstairs. All the workout equipment is now upstairs, and the entrance has been moved to the side, located by the top right parking lot.

The fitness center was bustling on Monday morning. Gym members were taking yoga classes, running on treadmills, walking the track and, what is a little less common at a gym, building community.

Many members at Take Charge Fitness tend to be in an older age bracket than at other facilities. One member, 74-year-old Farris Dagly, was helping a 93-year-old gym rat off the treadmill because he was starting to get a little shaky.

Instructor Mika Yoshida took the gentleman’s blood pressure and watched out for him as he recuperated, as did about four other members. Dagly talked about how he and his beloved wife drove out West three times over the past year. They love looking out the windows at the scenery as they drive.

“You can’t beat it,” he said.

They just got married 14 years ago, he said with a grin, after reconnecting at a high school reunion.

“She was the head cheerleader!” he said.

He lost his first wife when she passed away from cancer. After being single for five years, he remarried at 65. He’s head-over-heels in love with his wife and can’t help but smile when he talks about her.

Staying fit and active is important to him, as it is to the other members. They know each other by name and encourage each other as they keep their bodies strong and minds active.

“We have a very tight-knit group here,” said fitness director Anna Dark. “Everybody knows everybody. You’re a person here, not just a number.”

The low turnover rate in staff has something to do with that. Dark has been at Take Charge for 14 years. Instructors Daniel Butler and Yoshida have been there longer than that.

“It’s the same great staff with the same great classes,” Dark said.

The bottom part of the building is home to CORA Physical Therapy — which purchased the former Clinton Physical Therapy — and Occupational Health Services leases the section that used to have the cardio equipment and front desk area. The building is still owned by Kelly Lenz and Joyce Klee.

Take Charge is offering a half-off registration special for former members. The basic membership is $35/month and there is no contract. The facility is located at 1921 N. Charles Seivers Blvd. in Clinton.