FLATWOODS The COVID-19 pandemic prompted plenty of life-changing decisions for everyone, but for Steve Schmidt, it reopened the door to a dream.

It didn’t happen immediately for the owner of new two-fold fitness facility in Flatwoods.

A father of three, Schmidt had to quit a longtime job to take care of his two youngest — who are now 14 and 9. The eldest is 23.

Schmidt, now 47, became a self-employed contractor about three years ago. He eventually wanted to pursue a goal that had been in the back of his mind since his teenage years.

“This has been a dream of mine since I was young,” Schmidt said. “I went out on my own (as a contractor) and it worked, so I thought, let’s try this.”

In January 2023, he purchased the basement portion of a building on Argillite Road. The main floor consists of a law office, dentist practice and a tax preparation company.

Schmidt and fiancee Amanda Bryan are the tag team behind Thoroughbred Athletic Club, a business that also contains Just Breathe Yoga and Fitness.

Initially launched with developing young athletes in mind, it quickly caught the attention of area people of all ages.

While youth is still present, the median age of gymgoers has climbed during the summer months.

Thoroughbred currently features open gym from 5-9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday. Membership cost is $20 a month — $10 for each additional family member. A day pass is $5.

Special classes are $5 apiece. Yoga class is $10.

HIIT — high intensity interval training — is every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 5:30 a.m., and on Saturday at 9 a.m. This week, Friday is a double dose, with another HIIT class at 5:30 p.m. HIIT consists of three rounds of 40-second-on, 20-second-rest intervals at between 10 and 12 stations — concentrating on a variety of muscle groups and types of training (strength and cardio).

Zumba classes are typically two to three times a week. Yoga is about three times a week. The schedule is updated weekly on the club’s Facebook page.

Fitness boxing has been a popular class as well. At times, Schmidt and Bryan will even combine the HIIT and fitness boxing.

Schmidt said he came up with the name a few years ago as the label for a travel football team. He was involved in JFL for 10 years prior to that.

When COVID disrupted the football club, he held the name in his back pocket for the time when his dream could reach fruition.

Schmidt said he and Bryan both were aware of the risk they took a few months ago, but they’re enjoying the results so far.

“It’s super scary to take the first step, just like it is sometimes when you take the first step into a gym for a workout, but you’ve got to face your fears and overcome them,” Bryan said. “We don’t regret it at all.”

Bryan enjoys the camaraderie aspect of working out together. She’s already seen several friendships originate at Thoroughbred.

Schmidt and Bryan want the gym to be a generally uplifting place. With the rise of anxiety and depression since COVID, exercising with friends is a mood-enhancer, she said.

Visit the Thoroughbred Athletic Club Facebook page or call (606) 585-8913 for more information. The club is at 1919 Argillite Road.

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