Community rallies to save Toronto gym that may not make it through the lockdown
Members of a crossfit gym near Lansdowne Avenue and Bloor Street West are coming together this week and raising money in an effort to help the establishment make it through the lockdown.
Sara Jameson, a loyal member of Auxiliary Fitness, started a GoFundMe campaign on Dec. 1 to raise funds to keep the business afloat, and she told blogTO she and other members are worried the gym may not make it through these trying times.
"We are trying to raise enough money to get through the next two months," said Jameson. "It is much more than a gym. It is an entire community and we want to do everything possible to save it."
So far, community members have raised $3,715 of the $20,000 goal, but Jameson is hoping more people will pitch in in the coming days.
The GoFundMe page also includes a lengthy write-up about what the gym means to its members, complete with photos and stories about how the owners and trainers have been there for customers throughout the pandemic.
"We can all agree that Aux is unlike any other gym. Aux has been there for us, in every way possible, during lockdown. They took care of our bodies. They took care of our minds. They took care of us. And they did it because of who they are and what they believe. They gave us everything they had and more," wrote Jameson.
"They found ways around no equipment, minimal equipment and some equipment. When they realized we couldn't get what we needed, they lent out what they had."
In the write-up, Jameson also said the gym has been incredibly flexible and managed to shift from outside to inside to online training several times, whenever required by public health restrictions.
"They adapted and adapted again," she said. "They ran around tracks and couches. They demonstrated with furniture and bags of books. They found us options we didn't know were possible. They found ways to keep us moving."
She also shouted out several of the gym's coaches by name, highlighting their tireless efforts to clean, disinfect, provide new offerings, adapt old ones and constantly encourage members despite the circumstances.
Now, Jameson said it's the community's turn to give back to the coaches that have been there for their members since the beginning.
She added that this second lockdown is more than most businesses can handle and highlighted that many are having to make difficult sacrifices when it comes to deciding how to pay bills and salaries.
Gyms throughout Toronto were required to shutter on Nov. 23 as a result of the province's lockdown rules.
Others, like Axiliary Fitness, have simply taken it on the chin and followed restrictions in an effort to protect the health and safety of both customers and employees.
"This is family in every sense of the word. And when family needs us, we step up," said Jameson. "We needed them. They need us now. It's go time."
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