A new fitness facility in Moosomin—Iron Prairie Strength Lab—is expected to open in September of this year, with its grand opening scheduled for September 23.
The centre will offer personal fitness coaching, commercial gym use, and group fitness classes.
“I’m excited for it to be a really inclusive and welcoming environment,” said Jill Dowling, owner of Iron Prairie Strength Lab.
“The idea of joining a gym for some people is really daunting. I want this to be the best part of their day, I want it to be a place where people can come and bring their kids, and get their workout in.”
Jill and her husband, Spencer, moved to Moosomin at the beginning of 2020. Since their move, she has been offering fitness classes to people in the community from her home.
“Jill has outgrown doing it in our house, we’re pretty much full every day,” said Spencer.
“The number of people reaching out to me, and wanting to work with me, was a big part of opening the center, but honestly I wanted to create a community that is really inclusive to everyone,” added Jill.
“It doesn’t matter what your skill level is. That’s one of the cool things about the training I do is that it has a personal training feel in a group setting, so every workout can be modified to whatever your specific fitness level is.”
A big part of wanting to open a fitness centre in the community was to create an all inclusive workout environment for people to enjoy, said Jill.
“Fitness is something that a lot of people don’t even realize they need, and I really wanted to share that community with other people. Also to be family friendly,” she said.
“Brooke, our daughter, has been in the gym, she’s my assistant coach. She’s been in there with me since she was seven weeks old. I didn’t want people not knowing what to do with their kids to be a barrier for them working out.
“Our facility is going to be a family friendly facility as well, there’s going to be a kids space where kids can go.”
Spencer also said that having a dedicated space for kids to play while their parents work out was an important factor to their new fitness centre.
“Jill has clients who have scaled back, or not been able to continue working out, when they had kids because it’s really hard to find child care around here,” he said.
“It won’t be a daycare, but we’re going to have a kids area where people can keep an eye on their kids. It will be separate so kids are not just running around the gym.”
Jill spoke about the types of services Iron Prairie Strength Lab will be offering.
“It’s going to be primarily classes, but I’ll have open gym time where people can come and work out on whatever they want, also to use the equipment, to use the space,” she said.
“For now, it will primarily be classes until I’m able to get other coaches. I’m trying to accommodate as many people that want to be apart of it as possible.”
She was asked what first sparked her interest in becoming a fitness coach in Moosomin.
“I started doing the sport of cross-fit back in university and after we finished doing that, we moved to a small town in B.C.,” said Jill.
“We didn’t know anyone there, we ended up joining the cross-fit gym and meeting a great community of people there. I ended up getting my cross-fit level certificate there and started coaching.
“We ended up moving to Moosomin right at the beginning of 2020 which was really hard to meet people then. We really missed that community that we had found in B.C. so I wanted to create that here.
“I started coaching from our house with outdoor bootcamps from our backyard. We ran that until it got too cold to be outside. I ended up doing one-on-one personal training and have been doing that since 2020.”
Jill said the two of them moved to Moosomin after Spencer got a permanent job at the Nutrien Rocanville Potash mine.
“We wanted to start a family here and grow a family here, and be a part of the community,” said Jill.
Spencer said they hope to connect with people in the community who share the love of fitness that the two of them have.
“That’s how we met, I think all of our friends are in the gym too. All of Jill’s current clients too, it is a good community,” he said.
“Everyone does a great job motivating each other, it’s competitive, but it’s more about who is improving the most.”
“It’s a really motivating environment to be a part of, it’s really cool to share other people’s wins. To see someone else accomplish something, you feel like you’re a part of their success too,” said Jill.
“She’s also had some clients with serious mobility issues or chronic conditions, that have come a long way,’ added Spencer.
“I think a lot of the times people don’t understand how much they can do within their limitations and how much fitness can help those conditions too.”
Sierra D’Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The World-Spectator