PUSH Fitness welcomes people of all shapes and sizes, with a unique commitment to the African American woman and her health needs. Read our Q&A with owner Connie Sheehan below to learn more about this local, community-driven fitness center.
When did you open the doors to PUSH Fitness?
On Thanksgiving Day 2015 I held my first class as a sign of thanks to all who helped me launch PUSH. PUSH celebrated its fifth anniversary on Thanksgiving Day 2020. Instead of our indoor celebration to kick off the holiday, we took the workout outdoors.
Why did you decide to open a fitness studio?
I decided to open PUSH for multiple reasons. Primarily because I know and believe in the wellness benefits of moving our bodies, and I want to share that with others. I also noticed people of color were missing from fitness classes. I have a strong desire to be a face of color and remove barriers for other persons of color who may feel they’re the only such person working out in the room.
What makes PUSH Fitness unique?
Our inclusive PUSH mission is to provide a safe space for people of all sizes and shapes to work out, emphasizing women of color. Our mission distinguishes PUSH; however, I think the PUSH community is what makes us unique. The PUSH family is committed to taking good care of our bodies and each other. We’ve figured out how to stay connected during these times when separation is vital for safety and health.
What kind of classes does PUSH Fitness feature?
PUSH offers various classes to fit every fitness level: high-intensity interval training classes (HIIT), strength training, spin classes, yoga and barre classes. PUSH offers outdoor boot camps, expert-supported cleanses, and we held our first-ever triathlon at the end of September 2020 with 50 participants!
Do you have any exercises you’d recommend for folks who are working from home or spending more time in their homes during this challenging time?
I recommend ANY movement you enjoy. Our bodies were meant to move, and when we move them, our minds and spirits respond in a positive way. So, turn on some music and dance for five to 10 minutes. Lie on the floor next to a wall and put your legs on the wall, making an L shape — this is a great brain refresher! Walk up and down the stairs of your apartment. The secret is to keep moving.
Can you speak to your values as a community business?
The need for community is what drove me to open PUSH, and it’s what has kept me sane throughout this pandemic. My supportive internal PUSH community motivates me by reminding me that I am not alone as I navigate the new world of online fitness. My community outside of PUSH, including Mississippi Market, reminds me I am not alone as I search for creative ways to maintain our health and feel connected.
What is your vision for the future of PUSH Fitness?
The pandemic has opened my eyes to the benefit of online training. Once we come out on the other side of this pandemic, I plan to continue to offer online and in-studio classes and hybrid classes. We have also had so much enthusiasm for outdoor classes, which provides an opportunity to embrace nature while we move our bodies and recharge our energies.
In what ways can co-op members get involved at PUSH Fitness right now?
Co-op members can sign up for classes — Mississippi Market member-owners get 15% off any class pack or monthly autopay membership!
Our Community Partners are small, independent local businesses that have been hit especially hard by the effects of COVID-19. Join us in solidarity and show your love for our community by continuing to eat, drink and shop locally.