From left to right: Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce Director, Caitlin Christiana, Chamber Board member Amy Duffy, Fitness Solutions Owner, Operator, and ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Nathan Marshall, Chamber Treasurer Julie Hayes, and Chamber Past President Dan Harrington.
The Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce is excited to welcome another young business owner to the mix in Springfield! On Wednesday, February 5th, in anticipation of the Grand Open House (2/8/2020) Chamber Board members performed a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate Nathan Marshall taking ownership of Fitness Solutions, a private gym located at 19 Front Street. The historic building was built in 1902 and originally served as The Hartness House’s carriage house. Over the years it has served many purposes, including being a home to CCV, and at one point a hair salon, but the space has been operating as a private gym for 25 years. And now, under Nate’s energetic ownership, the business is evolving into its newest incarnation with some nice changes in the works.
Nate Marshall was born and raised in Springfield. He is a Springfield High School alum, currently residing in Proctorville. An American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified personal trainer and certified nutrition specialist, Nate’s interest in fitness started at a very young age. He recalls memories of watching WCW Wrestling with his dad at 8 years old and being blown away by the wrestlers’ physiques and strength. Nate saw them as athletes and thought “One day I want to look like that!” By age 10 he started working out and weightlifting. Through his teenage years and into his early 20s, he began noticing others around him exercising with poor form, and it got him thinking “I could show people how to fix that.” He started with helping friends, and over time he started to think about providing that guidance to other people, helping folks to prevent injuries.
Meanwhile, Nate was working in various jobs he was unhappy with – a very “punch in, punch out” existence that left him feeling like he wasn’t living up to his potential. His encouraging wife, Denise, started pushing him, saying “You can do this! You can get beyond just comfortable in a job and do something you love - I know you can do this!” Denise Gebroe is a talented personal trainer herself, as well as a massage therapist, Yoga and Spin instructor, and bootcamp leader – she has been successful with running her own private gym in Cavendish and she felt confident that Nate could do the same in Springfield. “You’d be a great personal trainer,” she persisted. “She really drilled it into me,” Nate said, laughing. “I started to see the appeal in the freedom of owning my own business, and eventually it just started to make sense!”
So Nate began the slow transition of becoming certified. For a while, he had a full-time job and worked at SNAP Fitness on the weekends, then gradually adjusted to part-time work and part-time training, and eventually spent more and more of his time at SNAP. After a year, he managed to build up enough clientele keeping him so busy that he didn’t need to go back to his other job anymore. And then he found the opportunity to take ownership of Fitness Solutions and his dream became a reality in January of 2020.
When asked why he chose Springfield as the location for his business, Nate responded simply, and with a smile - “It’s home,” he said. He has lived in the area almost his whole life (with the exception of six months in New Mexico), and Springfield felt right. “This town - it’s got just enough of what you need. I just love Springfield, Ludlow, Chester – there’s a lot to do around here, it’s beautiful, and calm - you can do what you need to do, with some options. It’s big enough, without being a big city. I think its beautiful and I love that it’s starting to be fixed up!”
As a new member of the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce, Nate is very interested in the ongoing efforts to revitalize Springfield. He and his wife attended the Chamber’s Annual Meeting Dinner in January, and Nate said he “felt very inspired, seeing this group of people that are passionate about fixing up Springfield. I witnessed [the town] go downhill in the past, and now, seeing some of the new projects coming into play, making it beautiful again – I definitely recognize that I want to help in some way. Whether it’s sponsoring events, donating to programs, helping with fixing up the downtown - any way that I can, through the Chamber and through my business, help the causes that lead to the bigger picture results, I want to do my part. I recognize that it’s such a possibility and if more people just give a little, it all makes a big difference.”
As a young person, making the decision to stay in the area and taking the leap to invest in a small business here in town - particularly a business focused on health and wellness - is a phenomenal way to support the vitality of the community. Fitness Solutions focuses on functional fitness, proper body mechanics, and teaching people how to use their bodies optimally - fixing posture, moving correctly, and, of course, strength training. Another area of focus is weight loss through nutrition. “It really comes down to what you eat, and you can’t starve yourself either. Building muscle, improving balance, whatever someone really is looking to do, I will work with them to meet their goals.”
As his experience grows, Nate continues to gain confidence and expertise, and it’s obvious that he is passionate about his work. “Watching people progress is really rewarding. Seeing them achieve a better quality of life – slowly but surely – it’s not about before and after pictures, you can’t always tell from a picture! Working with people who suffer from chronic pain, and now they’re stronger in their core and feeling better, and picking up their garage door with one hand, or a little old lady carrying her own groceries – the work we do together actually makes their lives easier and more manageable. Because yeah, you can spend an hour or two at the gym, but what about everything else in your day? Vacuuming, painting, shoveling snow – a woman who can say she assembled a bureau and didn’t need her husband to help her! Those are the successes, from my perspective. A client who is now stronger at age 71 than she was in her 30s! Seeing individuals develop awareness, empowering themselves, and watching their self-esteem going up – it’s amazing.”
Nate talks of one client who is now in his mid-life years – “twenty years ago [the man] had cancer and had to have part of his hamstring removed, so he had no use of his calf and half his hamstring, he couldn’t use his foot – he had no use of that leg for twenty years. Then he came to me last summer and wanted to run again - he used to be a runner, but was told it would be impossible.” Nate told the client, “With enough work, I think anything is possible. With hard work and dedication, core work, and balance - you can’t run the same way you did, it’s not gonna feel natural, it will be like relearning from day one. But I believe you can do it.” Within five months, the client was able to jog on the treadmill for the first time in twenty years. Nate, rather than take much credit, extols the virtues of believing in oneself, saying “the dedication [this client] gave, the coming in there with the right mindset and attitude - it was really inspiring to see. If you really want it, no matter what doctors are telling you, it can be done – there really isn’t anything in fitness at this point that can’t be done if you work for it. You’ve just gotta get past that fear. First you crawl, then walk, then run – now it’s something we do almost every time he comes in – he’s like a different person now, a year later. It was really excellent for me, to be able to give him back something he hadn’t had for twenty years. My knowledge set aside, if he didn’t have the dedication, it wouldn’t have mattered how many certifications I have. He put forth 100%.”
So, what unique factors differentiate Fitness Solutions from other fitness centers in the region? Nate’s establishment is a private gym for clients only. People aren’t coming and going at will, but rather, he explains, “clients are entitled to their privacy, with no distractions. A lot of people are self-conscious, they have insecurities, or they’re easily distracted. At Fitness Solutions it’s just me and the client in a private setting and nothing else matters. So you’re not worrying about how you look, or what others are doing, or trying to impress or compete.” Everything is custom tailored to each unique individual – their own past injuries, body mechanics, flexibility – everyone is different, which is what makes the one-on-one format so beneficial.
It’s hard not to be inspired by Nate’s enthusiasm. The facility features an impressive amount of equipment and he’s made some beautiful improvements to the space, including a fresh coat of paint in a handsome shade of gray, with plans to bring in some new machines as well. His energy seems endless, and he’s clearly optimistic about what the future holds. “I’m excited about being a part of the Chamber – I know I need to promote myself and get the word out about my business, but I’m also happy about being able to take part and fix up Springfield. It’s hard seeing any community go downhill, and it will feel good to have a part in helping and trying for progress.”
His fitness philosophy? “You’re gonna have some days that are off – but listen to your body first and foremost, when to push it and when not to. And just don’t give up.”
“I love my job more than I ever thought I would,” he grins. “I’m extremely passionate about what I do, and very lucky to be doing it.”
Nathan Marshall Fitness Solutions is located at 19 Front Street in Springfield, open Tuesday through Saturday, 5am to 5pm by appointment only. Contact Nate by calling 802-591-2957 or email email@example.com to learn more about rates and services and find out if this private gym is the solution you’ve been looking for!