Editor's note: Kendra is blogging about being a mom trying to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic at My Rebound by FOX 17. She is married with four kids: a 1-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son, 5-year-old son, 10-year-old daughter and 16-year-old bonus son. She is also the owner and lead fitness coach of Allegro Coaching in Grand Rapids, which she founded in 2009. She lives in Tallmadge Township.
It’s been 13 weeks since my fitness studio was forced to shut down.
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Like most small business owners here in West Michigan, it came as a complete shock, followed by the anticipation and fear of how long this would go on. Not to mention how long we could stay afloat.
I’m a pretty optimistic person, but I hit rock bottom the night that small businesses were finally able to apply for the Personal Protection Loan back in April. I had worked diligently all week to prepare the paperwork for both myself and my husband’s small painting business. Instead of uploading and processing our applications in a flash, the system just kept spinning and spinning – and spinning. I couldn’t get through. I had this fear that only so many businesses would be able to apply, and it was first come, first served.
After three hours of trying to submit our applications on a Friday night, I broke down into a ball of tears on the floor. How could my business of over 10 years be taken away from me that quickly? How could I lose everything I had worked so hard to build up in this community. My heart was so heavy, and my hope was gone. That was one of the worst nights of my life.
A few days later, I tried again, and the applications went through. Thank you, Jesus. The federal government had just shelled out billions of dollars to small businesses across the country and somehow, we got help. Yet, the road is still so long and hard ahead.
My facility, Allegro Coaching in Eastown, is still not open, and there is still no clarity from the last executive order as to when we can re-open and serve the community. I get that we had to pause and study the data, the trends and the hot spots of this virus. But I don’t agree with having to shut down our entire economy, which will now have serious implications for years to come. Especially the fitness industry.
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I don’t agree that we are non-essential and should be the last ones to open. There are over 100 boutique studios and gyms in West Michigan. Yoga, barre, cross-fit, martial arts, dance, spin, you name it. We are a huge part of not just the daily community and connections. We are the army that will help you stay healthy and strong. Boosting your immune system and doing our best to help you fight this virus now and for years to come. We need your support now, more than ever before. Yes, the bars and restaurants have felt the outpouring of love and support. The salons are excited to make you pretty again. But please, don’t forget about the coaches and trainers who want you to be healthy from the inside out.
On to another week, of cleaning, planning and getting ready for a re-opening in the near future! Oh, and training for my virtual half marathon to stay sane and healthy myself