My entire career has been focused on the health and wellness of mature adults and seniors. I have worked in my family’s home healthcare company since I was 17 years old. Over the past 25 years I cannot tell you how many times I have heard from our patients that they wanted to exercise and improve their health but they just weren’t comfortable with the existing options, whether that be the big box gyms packed with millennials or a senior center with outdated equipment and no instruction. It blew my mind that there were no gyms for seniors. In response to these requests our home healthcare company began offering our patients exercise classes for seniors. Within a few months attendance at these classes far exceeded the capacity which planted the seed that would grow into 55 Fitness.
In 2017 my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. One year into her treatment I accompanied her to an appointment with her doctor where she was informed her insurance would no longer cover the bi-weekly physical therapy sessions she had been receiving as part of her cancer treatment. Her doctor said, “Donna look at the improvements you’ve seen over the past year. You were given virtually no hope to survive more than a few months but here we are a year later and you’re off your blood pressure medicine, your mobility is the best it’s been in 10-15 years, you’ve lost over 50 pounds, and most importantly you’re still here and you’re beating this cancer. Please get a gym membership and continue to exercise like you have been in PT.” As soon as we left the doctor I pleaded with her to go sign up at a gym but she refused. She stated that she was uncomfortable working out around young, fit people or even at a senior center. It was at that point I knew I could no longer wait to pursue my dream of starting a truly non-intimidating gym for seniors and mature adults where everyone felt welcome. That is my 55 Fitness story.
– Brendan Skeen, President/CEO