By Chris Gregory
Jan. 22, 2015
Courtney Steele has been running her own gym in Morell for just under a year and she says the rural community desperately needs the support.
After spending a year in the Fitness & Lifestyle Management program at Compu College, she jumped right into the fitness business.
She began working the front desk as well as personally training clients at Atlantic Fitness East, a membership based gym in Morell.
Unfortunately for the community, the gym was shutdown and was moved to another location, leaving community members without access.
“The gym left the community and I felt there was a lack of support oriented fitness in Morell.”
In April 2014, Steele opened up an 800 square foot studio in Morell and began teaching small classes and training clients.
“So when I decided that it was time to start my own business, I decided it was going to be based on personal training, group fitness classes and building individualized programs for people, rather than just selling memberships.”
Later in 2014, she expanded the studio to 1800 square feet.
Since then, the number of new members signing up for classes has multiplied by 10, Steele said.
Though she wants to stay in Morell, she does think other rural areas on P.E.I. could use a similar support system, because she notices great development with her clients.
“I do think there is a demand in other areas for it. Because of our support system, we have very noticeable changes, which generally, you don’t see with a membership based gym.”
Mikaela McEachern, an instructor at Full Throttle Fitness, came up under Steele’s wing.
McEachern said it was Steele who convinced her to get her training certificate and to start teaching classes along side of her.
“I used to go to the gym that she worked at (Atlantic Fitness East) and so she was my trainer. We ended up working out together and she put the idea in my head.”
So in August of 2013, after four-plus months of debate, she signed up and received her personal training and instructor certificate.
McEachern says Steele was a wonderful mentor who was always looking to help and teach.
“Courtney was my go-to guide, she was my mentor through it all.”