A Women's Exclusive Gym by HALE
Sledge hammers pounding a tractor tire at 7AM – Our neighbors loved it…
“The Wright Brothers started in a garage. Amazon started in a garage. Hewlett Packard and Disney both started in garages. Mattel started in a garage. The Ramones started in a garage!”
On November 3, 2012, HALE Strength and Shape started in a garage… our garage, a two car garage, situated just outside our home where our driveway ends. The inside of our garage had never seen a vehicle, though. Our garage was home to weights and bars and platforms and sleds and a mess of homemade contraptions constructed from wood and metal and stone.
Having grown weary of training only with me, my wife asked if I could design a program that could accommodate a handful of her friends. She had embraced strength training and loved the way it made her feel but there was something lacking. She was looking for some external motivation and a bit of camaraderie and so, a training group consisting of my wife and four of her friends was born. We met twice a week. The group learned how to move heavy things and I learned how to tweak my programming to maximize its effectiveness and efficiency.
Before long, other friends learned of our training group and inquired about how they could take part. We invited a few more women when we could and slowly, things began to grow. In January of 2013, we registered as a business and began a quest to slowly expand and share our training with the public.
Throughout the following year, we continued to take on new trainees, adding a session here and a session there in an effort to accommodate growing interest in HALE. Other than our Facebook page, we did no marketing. Word spread via our trainees and the population of our little community began to snowball. We dodged falling walnuts, chased away our share of red squirrels, withstood hostile neighbors and saw a group of amazing women train through the infamous polar vortex in an un-insulated, barely heated garage!
By early summer, it was clear that our home could not be the future of HALE so we began to look for a commercial space. After visiting the long-vacant property at 406 N. Main, we fell in love. The building was dated, bricks were falling off the outside and the interior was in need of major updates. And yet, it was perfect for us. There were two garages that would become our training space! Through long periods of negotiations and trials and tribulations involving lenders who simply couldn’t take a chance on a guy in a garage, we finally purchased our building at the end of 2013. After several months of renovations, we were ready to move our community over. We had grown from a group of five women to well over a hundred HALE girls and in March of 2014, we ran our first workout in the “East Garage” of our new building.
Since our inaugural workout, we’ve continued to expand in the manner we always have, taking on new trainees and friends who hear about us in one way or another. In the summer of 2014, I took a leap of faith and quit my seventeen year career as an engineer to devote myself fully to HALE. As our community has grown, so, too, has our list of offerings. Our “East Garage” is now home to Strength, Metabolic Conditioning and Kids’ classes and after months of work, we are proud to offer Yoga, HALE Barre, Cardio Sculpt and Cardio Hip-Hop classes in our beautiful “West Garage”. All of the training sessions and classes we have added are conducted by long-time HALE girls and we feel very fortunate to have these amazing, talented women in our community!
We are far from done and as time passes, we will continue to alter our building and services to turn HALE into what we ultimately want this place to be. So far, though, we really like what we’ve got!