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Gyms find creative ways to keep members fit during coronavirus pandemic

In an effort to keep members on track and business afloat, 9ROUND is offering daily virtual workouts at a reduced monthly price.

SAN ANTONIO — The sound of hard work is silenced inside 9ROUND, a kickboxing gym in the Medical Center.

All nine locations across San Antonio are closed. Hundreds of members and dozens of trainers are now left wondering: "what's next?"

"With everything going on right now, where is their escape? Where is my escape?" said Clarissa Villanueva, lead trainer at 9ROUND. "My heart is just like gone because this is my home away from home."

Josh Gonzalez, a 9ROUND operator, said they made the decision to close a couple of days before Gov. Greg Abbott made closures mandatory for bars, restaurants and gyms across the state.

"It would've been devastating if any of the cases came from 9ROUND," Gonzalez said. "For us, we just felt it was the socially responsible thing to do, even though it was difficult to do. We put our employees and our clients on a pause."

"It's what keeps me going, the members keep me going. It's been hard," Villanueva said. "It's something I never thought I'd ever go through during my time here at 9ROUND."

In an effort to keep members on track and business afloat, 9ROUND is offering daily virtual workouts at a reduced monthly price. 

Gonzalez said they said they still have bills to pay and going virtual gives them a fighting chance to reopen when all this is over.

"I think the greatest fear right now is not being able to open our doors again," said Josh Gonzalez. "There are thousands of gym owners and just to know they're also in the same boat, breaks my heart."

Orange Theory, Planet Fitness and other gyms are also offering online workouts to members. 

Gonzalez said he's leaning on his faith to stay hopeful during this uncertain time.

"We're also revisiting our mission," Gonzalez said. "Circumstances may have changed, but honestly, our goal was to impact San Antonio. It was to change lives, so whatever life brings us, we're committed to doing that."

Villanueva has started to do her daily workouts through Facebook live to motivate the members who have become more like family to her over the years.

"When I was done with the online workout, I just broke down," Villanueva said. "I was like, this is how we're going to do it, this is how we're going to continue and move forward."

Even if you don't belong to a gym, Villanueva said it's still important to exercise. At the very least, she suggests going outside and taking a walk for at least 30 minutes a day. 

"Squats, push-ups, and sit-ups," Villanueva said. "You do that for 10 minutes and you'll break a sweat because it's all bodyweight stuff."

A fitness journey is filled with challenges, just like this new reality. Villanueva said it's nothing they can't overcome. 

"It's the next best thing to help people get through this," Villanueva said. "This is just another bump in the road. We're going to be fine. We'll find a way."

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