Exercise and EMT grads open their own business
By Chris Cunningham
Lane Community College alums Randy Davis and John Jenkins admit that opening a cross-fit gym at the height of the recession tested their endurance.
In 2009, they squeezed refurbished gym equipment into a small downtown Eugene space, and launched ProFitness Personal Training.
A devoted membership grew, and with it, the need for more room. In February 2012, ProFitness relocated to a larger building a half-block from the Hult Center.
"Success all comes down to personal attention," Randy says with pride. "We know everyone by name."
Randy, 29, graduated from Lane in 2008 with a two-year degree in exercise and movement science. John, 31, is graduate of Lane's Emergency Medical Technician program and worked as an EMT for four years before deciding to enter the fitness industry.
Randy and John tailor members' cross-fit exercise programs to their ability levels. Training includes stretching, squatting, stepping, weight-lifting, and jogging.
But first, John says, "We make sure each person does the exercises properly."
Both men credit their human sciences-based coursework at Lane and internships with giving them realistic expectations about their respective careers.
Marisa Hastie, exercise and movement science program coordinator, says she and her colleagues had braced themselves for "the recession in the fitness industry."
But, contrary to expectations, the fitness industry has flourished, and exercise and movement science alums are key players in that growth.
Hastie says her students often are surprised that an AA degree—and even a one- or two-year certificate—offer "a career path that has a lot of career paths within it."
Her graduates work as fitness associates, group exercise instructors, and personal trainers, in health and fitness clubs, schools and hospitals, and resorts and studios.
Others, like Randy and John, take leaps of faith, and open their own fitness businesses.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the demand for fitness workers will increase by 29 percent through 2018.
For more information—
Published by Lane Community College Marketing and Public Relations, April 2012.