Several members and friends have asked me to recount the decision I made to rename our fitness center Tinderbox Fitness for Women. While is might seem like an unusual name to some, it resonates deeply with the beauty and inspiration this place holds for all of us.
In the beginning, when I first introduced the name, Tinderbox Fitness, the members of Women's Wellness balked. Many were offended.
What is this? A box gym? A tobacco shop? A website for hookups? This is a women's gym, after all. What on earth?
Their reactions were a testament to their deep love of the original place, Women's Wellness and Fitness, which they had frequented for years. All the positive associations were implicit in the name.
However, in recent years, the gym had languished, and its reputation diminished. At the point when I assumed ownership of the gym, it was on the verge of closing down, like a fire sputtering out.
We needed a fresh start, and a new name provided that.
To me, the image of a tinderbox, which contains the means to start a fire, perfectly expressed our intention to revive this business. However, it wasn't enough to share the connotations of the word-- survival, life-giving heat, illumination, or to mention the metaphorical fires we hoped to kindle in our members-- enthusiasm, joy, imagination, passion. This was all too vague.
So let me attempt to explain exactly why this community of women, bound by years of friendship and a commitment to fitness, is aptly named Tinderbox Fitness for Women and why it is an indispensable resource for women in Winston-Salem.
The primary reason women attend this gym is to be in a women's only facility. Because of religious or cultural constraints, some of our members could not attend co-ed facilities, so our gym is their best option. A camaraderie develops easily in this kind of environment and over time, friendship.
When women walk through the doors of this gym, they step out of their worlds briefly with all the pressures and problems of family and work. Often, when women first begin attending, they have a sense of vulnerability. They've neglected themselves as they've cared for others; they feel out of shape, overweight, unattractive, worn out. Sometimes they are struggling with an illness or disease.
Moving Ahead with Fresh Vision:
At Tinderbox Fitness for Women:
We provide a safe space to begin working toward greater wholeness and health of body and soul.
We endeavor to ignite the joy that comes through investing in yourself, to ignite the enthusiasm necessary to discipline yourself to do the hard work that will make you stronger and more capable.
We encourage the ignition of affection for the woman next to you working shoulder to shoulder.
We help women release themselves from the unrealistic standards of beauty that our culture saturates them with, and to know that their value isn't tied to elusive youth and physical perfection.
Health, strength, joy in movement, pleasure in company, that's what we offer. We work to provide excellent instruction and oversight as you pursue your goals.