The Gym HD: Owner Defies Lockdown to Help His Clients

 In Business, opinion

Jacob Lewis is the owner of The Gym HD in Victorville, California.  He reopened his gym on Friday, with the city and county both threatening to close him down again on May 4. But he believes closing the gym in the first place was a mistake because veterans and other clients depend on it to help them with their PTSD and overall health.

Here is his Instagram post:

“Walking out of The Gym today after receiving 100’s of emails, insults, texts, and requests to cancel, Etc (I was pretty beat up), I saw an older man standing outside the front door with his head down. ( I almost stayed inside as I was just beat but something told me to go out side).

So I asked the man “how’s it going buddy”, expecting to get my ass chewed for being closed, or billing issues. The man asked, “you can’t even let 10 of us in at a time?” (while gym capacity is over 500) I said, “No, from what our Gov says. Our hands are tied.” He went on to tell me how The Gym is his home away from home and his #diabetes has gotten out of control and he is falling apart since The Gym has closed. This brought me to a moment in my life where I realized I was being a BITCH!! By letting down the people that matter most to our community!! By not providing a service that helps them get through all the bull shit! And gives them hope, strength, and health.

I went home and went through our inbox and found 100’s of messages from vets with #ptsd, single moms, and young men and women trying to make their way into the military, team members, and people that truly LIVE to go to The Gym. This woke me up so I looked into the rates on suicide, depression, domestic violence, all of them have increased since the shut down.

I then had one more conversation with an older friend in NV begging me to come out for a workout, he told me “they took my gym, this is all I LIVE for!” Added, “it keeps me out of jail” I laughed, he said “I’m not joking Jake”. I then realized The Gym is “essential” to people’s mental and physical health.

With that being said, I, Jacob Lewis will take full responsibility for re-opening of The Gym on 5/1/20 @ 6 AM This is against all my supervisors instructions ??. If you’re sick or feel like this isn’t for you, #stayhome ! For the rest of you, we appreciate the support and promise to always deliver the best service in the industry. Gyms are essential and have a lower flow than Costco, Walmart, Target Etc. There is no reason Gyms can’t operate under the same protocol. It was a mistake to close gyms and a bigger mistake to keep them closed.

To that we add AMEN, Jacob. With gyms across the country closed during this lockdown, people are being deprived of healthy activity. Sure, in some places you can walk around outside, or take a hike. But trainers are essential employees. At a gym, there is camaraderie, along with essential exercise.

The City of Victorville will likely fine Jacob heavily for opening, and it may shut him down again.  Every other machine is shutdown, and protocolas and cleaning are being done. Not that California’s rigid leaders will care about such things.

Featured photo: screenshot via CBS Victorville


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  • Janet Chepulis

    I really hope you do not get fined or shut down again. The people need you, and you are willing to take a risk for them. May God watch over you and help your Governor understand why it is so important for you to stay open with the guidelines being carefully in place to prevent the spread of this virus. You are a great man, and others will thank you too.

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