Saturday, February 25th, 2012
Lion’s Gym, our old favorite, is offering a Groupon deal this weekend. (If the link doesn’t open the Lion’s Gym page on Groupon, click “all deals” on the menu strip at the top.)
If you live in the Twin Cities and you’ve been thinking you really ought to get back in to a fitness routine, check it out. Lion’s Gym has two locations now–in St. Louis Park and in Robbinsdale.
When you go, tell Stephen that Noel sent you. It’ll be as good as if you area already his old friend. Please let me know when you sign up, so I can high-five you.
Below is what I wrote a year ago about Lion’s Gym and Stephen & Leah Menya, the owners.
I have to say, my first drive-by impression was underwhelming. If I hadn’t been looking for the gym, I wouldn’t have noticed it, tucked between a tanning salon and something else in a mini-stripmall sort of building.
But we all know it’s what inside that counts. And our friend was very persuasive, so we signed up. It was amazing.
Here are some of the things I like about Lion’s Gym:
- There’s a flavor of Africa in Stephen’s voice and words and laughter and often in the music playing.
- He calls us Mamá and Papá as he would any other people his parents’ generation in his home village in Kenya.
- After our one initial session, Stephen knew what we needed. Mamá needs to work on her abs. Papá needs to strengthen his lower back.
- Stephen sets the tone at the gym, and he is outgoing, happy, and funny.
- He introduces members to each other so we introverts can’t just sweat and be miserable in our separate corners.
- Stephen and Leah are Christian believers, and we have prayed together about challenges in their life and business.
- When we arrive, we sometimes hear worship music playing.
- Where else would the encouragement to push harder be, “Don’t waste your reps!”
- Stephen and other staff train all 3 of us at the same time, cycling us through sets on separate machines or sets of weights. I have seen them work effectively with 6 at the same time, each doing different exercises.
- Most important, the trainers know their stuff and are good teachers. We always appreciate the breather when we pause so they can show us a chart and explain how some group of muscles works so our exercise makes sense to us.
- Occasionally we get to see their wonderful toddler Sam. He drops into knee bends at the prompt of ”up – down – up – down.”
- Finally, you know that I care about life being accessible to people with disabilities. Recently, I found out that Stephen and Leah rearranged all those monstrously heavy machines so that one client who is visually impaired can make his own way around independently while he is working out.
Postscript: Matt Ledbetter joined the staff after I wrote the above. He’s good. I’ve seen him working winningly and effectively with both ends of the fitness spectrum: high-level athletes at one end and at the other end, elderly people who can hardly walk into the gym.
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