Many local businesses throughout the country are feeling the effects of the COVID-19 crisis, having to close down shop for the foreseeable future and figure out a away to stay afloat.
Stacie Venagro, who is the owner of Stacie Venagro Fitness in Cranston, is part of that group, but has found a fun way to continue to interact with clients and to keep herself busy for the time being.
Starting last Monday, Venagro has been hosting virtual workouts online for her clients and having plenty of fun in the process.
Along with the actual workouts, Venagro has been throwing in fun twists along the way. During her first online workout, she donned a friend’s Richard Simmons outfit to help lighten the mood and give viewers something to chuckle about.
“I am such a goofball. For the first workout, I borrowed a Richard Simmons outfit because we were looking to have that shock factor. We want to spread positivity during this dark time for the community, for those people that are stuck at home, who went from going to work, picking the kids up from school, to not having any of that. We are just trying to spread positivity,” said Venagro.
While the crisis began to intensify early last week, Venagro spoke with her clients to gauge their potential interest in such workouts, and many were excited at the prospect of being able to continue to work out, despite being sheltered at home.
“During our last boot camp, I asked people if they would be interested in doing virtual workouts in order to give them something to do while they are away from the gym. By taking away the gym, you are messing with people’s emotional well being, they need this for their spiritual well being and their mental health. I decided, ‘I am going to do this and see if it takes off,’” said Venagro, who was also focused on keeping her clients and staff safe during the pandemic. “We had clients coming in as recently as (last) Monday, but we decided that we didn’t want to chance it. We didn’t know what clients could be bringing in or where they have gone. We wanted to keep them safe and wanted to keep ourselves safe.”
Since the first workout, viewership has steadily increased and Venagro has begun receiving feedback from new participants … including some who are not yet paid members of the gym. As of last Saturday, Venagro had been receiving over 2,000 views per workout and expects the number to increase moving forward.
“I have already had people reaching out. The amount of people who have shared the videos and the amount of people that started following me, it has trickled into something out of nothing. It’s awesome,” said Venagro.
Venagro plans to continue these workouts for as long as business will be shut down, and embraces the opportunity to serve the Cranston community during these tough times.
“I’m going to be doing these videos for as long as we’re closed,” said Venagro. “This is my own personal studio, I live 30 seconds away, I plan to continue these workouts for the people that need it.”
To view the online workouts, visit Stacie Venagro Fitness on Facebook or Instagram. You can also visit the gym’s website at stacievenagrofitness.com.