Local business makes $1 offer to help change lives

Submitted to The Journal

AMHERST – Could $1 really change your life? Cindy Keen is living proof that it could.

In just two years, Keen lost 258 pounds, and last year alone, she ran more than two dozen 5K races.

Dave Mathis is another example. Born with a rare genetic disorder that prevented him from walking until he was 7, Mathis is now competing in all sorts of athletic events while inspiring others.

The same is true of Leslie Hoffman. Once depressed and significantly overweight, Hoffman recently lost nearly 200 pounds – and she’s now loving life and enjoying time with her family.

What do they all have in common? They each took a courageous first step and sought help from a supportive local gym where they learned how to take control of their lives.

"Taking that first step is the hardest part," said Paul Zografos, owner of the Anytime Fitness gym in Amherst. "After that, it gets a whole lot easier.

"The key to making big changes is recognizing and appreciating little victories. Dozens of members and training clients of our gym have dramatically improved the quality of their lives one day at a time. Getting started can be scary, but with the right type of coaching and support, anything is possible."

Success story videos can be seen at anytimefitness.com/membership/success-stories.

To help new members get started on the right track, Anytime Fitness is offering a "Join for $1" special deal. Every new member will receive a fitness evaluation and coaching. While typically a four-day offer, Zografos decided to extend it until Jan. 31 so that every dollar collected can be donated to the Special Olympics of New Hampshire.

Current club members also will have the opportunity to contribute.

"My first ever fitness teaching experience was a high school internship working with special education students at the Riverview School in Sandwich, Mass.," Zografos said. "It was a life-changing experience for me. I am finally in a position where I can begin to give back for that experience."

Anytime Fitness recently opened its 3,000th gym and now serves nearly 3,000,000 members in more than 20 countries on five continents.