In 1997, the exercise stratosphere reflected golden tan bodies and a lean muscular look. The essence of working out was to look and feel good about oneself. The fitness realm has come a long way in 20 years with the central focus of exercise as a supplement to athletic enhancement and/or health preservation.
On Dec. 22, 1997, Court House Fitness planted itself in the heart of downtown Washington Court House as a gym that would bring 24-hour access to its members for a low-cost membership. Originally opened by Mark Rogers and Ron Mussetter, Mark assumed ownership around 2002 as Ron went on to pursue business opportunities elsewhere. Now, with his wife, Kim, who finished college with a degree in recreational therapy and brought experience with a Fortune 500 company, Court House Fitness has, with great success, brought itself to celebrate its 20th year of operation.
“Some days it feels like it’s been forever, but it also seems like it has gone by exceptionally fast. Especially the last 10 years,” Rogers reflects on the passing years. “The core of our mission statement at Court House Fitness is to bring the absolute most services under one roof for the lowest possible cost. The heartbeat of this gym is our members. They bring a loyalty to this place that represents the ethos of this community; which is hard work and long-term commitment.”
Court House Fitness still has its first inaugural member and if you were to hang out at the front desk, float around the long halls, and explore the three stories that harness various equipment, it wouldn’t be long before you had a conversation with somebody who has been coming for awhile.
“I have been coming for the whole 20 years,” Richard Penwell, active member, said. “For the first two years I would get day passes, and then after that I just got a membership and have been here ever since.”
Mark says it is always a blessing to see people continue to come through the doors. Exercise bonds people together and fitness is a great equalizer of people. It is a true blended environment. There have been doctors, teachers, parents, athletes, and even a promised sighting of actor Jeremy Renner during a filming of Avengers in Wilmington, Ohio, among many others.
The building has been an overhaul since day one.
“We’re constantly doing projects to improve the facility. I would say that the most hectic time was when we were transforming the old Downtown Drug into our new front desk area and aquatic center. We didn’t have much money for a contractor, so we did 90 percent of the work ourselves and with the help of members, and several people in the community gave their time to help finish,” said Rogers.
“We will continue to grow and plan to be here for a long time!”