COVID-19 may have forced Meghan Cox to pivot Just Movement Fitness but after opening a new home-based studio March 1, she couldn’t be happier.

The pandemic forced her to close her commercial studio in Minden at the end of November. She was shuttered from March to September 2020 and only made about 50 per cent of the revenue moving online. Even when allowed to reopen in September, she said restrictions on the number of clients meant she couldn’t afford the overhead anymore.

She said the decision was heartbreaking as she had been teaching in the space since 2003.

After that, she said she had many discussions and crying sessions with her dad, Wayne Cox, about building a space at her home.

“Because I’m stubborn and hard headed and wasn’t willing to just give up on my passion of helping others in wellness. It really hurt to be faced with closing my business and dream that I have worked so hard for. I just wasn’t ready or willing to do it.”

In the meantime, she was offering classes from her living-room, but said it was an ordeal with studio lights, cameras, screens and computers, and it meant never getting away from work, which was hard on her mental health.

She, partner Cebastian Joseph, who had some experience in construction, and her dad, a contractor, began work on an addition Aug. 22, 2020. They mostly did the build themselves, with only help from neighbours, her brother and a few friends on truss day.

“We worked every single day from Aug. 22 to Jan. 23 to build the addition. and converted an existing small granny apartment into a large beautiful private workout studio,” Cox said.

Cox is running in-studio programs with a maximum of six participants and some of the classes are also offered online. She said they have COVID protocols above and beyond what is recommended by public health to keep clients safe.

With the March 1 opening, she said she, clients, and onliners, are all glad to be back in-studio.

“Now that people are in the studio with me, my online clients have said they love the camaraderie of the group even more than when it was just an online group meeting and I have to agree. I really missed the connection, laughter, jokes and fun of the people and group,” she said.

With almost 100 acres of land, she’s also been offering snowshoeing classes and has more plans for summer outdoor bootcamps and nature meditation and yoga.

With the pandemic lingering, she said, “Fitness has always very much been a part of mental health for many of us … but I think we feel it more now. We see how it makes a difference because we are all faced with stress right now.”

Cox is also offering Mindset Coaching for clients “as it’s been an extremely difficult year for all of us and sometimes we just need help to keep moving forward.

“My coaching program has been amazing and I’m so happy to have this alternative service for wellness that isn’t about fitness necessarily. My passion and purpose are helping others in wellness and this piece allows me to help others with the mental piece of wellness.”

For more see: justmovementfitness.com; email: justmovementfitness@gmail.com or call 705-455-7270.

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