Gym owners say they should be able to reopen sooner

WOODINVILLE, Wash. — Some gym owners said they are fed up with the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order.

A gym owner in Woodinville has been busy making changes in an effort to reopen sooner.

The owner of Progressive Performance said he and other gyms like his have been closed since March 13.

And that’s long enough. They believe they can make their facilities safe for themselves, and their clients, too.

“I personally believe our gym can operate safely even in a phase one situation,” said Jimmy McCurry.

So he is chafing under the governor’s plan to reopen gyms of all sizes in Phase 3, at least six weeks away.

He said he understands the need to socially distance during this pandemic. But he would rather have his clients back in his gym.

“A hundred percent,” said McCurry. “It’s crazy how much I miss training people within the facility.”

It is an emotion his devoted clients share. Diane Bowers has been honing her powerlifting skills here in her retirement from KIRO TV. And she has racked up some pretty impressive statistics.

“As if I ever would have believed this,” said Bowers. “I deadlifted 300 pounds just about a year ago.”

Now McCurry has helped start a petition and a letter-writing campaign to sway the governor.

But the owner of Northwest Fitness Company is organizing an “exercising our rights” protest beginning Tuesday, asking his clients to come here to work out safely.

Jimmy McCurry isn’t planning a protest here.

“Typically, we would operate with the turf,” said McCurry, walking around his gym. “We’re not operating on this side at all when we reopen.”

But he said he is making major changes.

“Forty-five-minute sessions,” said McCurry. “ Six people max, washing your hands when you come to the facility, get your own equipment and your own workout station.”

Diane Bowers has stayed away during the governor’s stay-at-home order.

But she is persuaded she can safely work out here again.

“Being strong and being fit is very important not only to your physical health,” said Bowers, “but it’s certainly important to my mental health.”

The governor will almost certainly hold a news conference this week, as he has through much of this pandemic. So we may learn very soon whether the message being delivered from here reaches its mark in Olympia.