At Evae, in Strasbourg, as at the Gymnasium fitness club (GFC), in Mulhouse, the recent reopening of the premises is greeted with joy by regulars deprived of sessions during confinement. Even if the health crisis is leaving its mark: reinforced hygiene measures and the sustainability of specific video courses.
Rubiales in the entrance hall, one-way traffic signs on the ground, sanitary instructions plastered on the walls, and bottles of hydro alcoholic gel galore Even the sofas have temporarily disappeared from the refreshment area. By reopening on Tuesday, the Gymnasium fitness club on rue Josue-Hofer, in Mulhouse, did not skimp on sanitary measures. Reopen in a hurry, without having taken all the necessary precautions? Unthinkable for director Sonia Talhi, who never stops checking every detail with a positive step. “If I wanted to do business at all costs, I would have already reopened the pool too! She slips, skirting the deserted equipment around a corner. But we will first empty the basin, disinfect, refill, then test everything for a week, even if it means that people are not too happy.
Their third place of life.
The luxury of similar precautions at Evae, in Strasbourg, where the doors reopened on Thursday, except the sauna and hammam areas This Thursday only to have time to see the rules prerequisites explains Patrice Schwab, co-manager of the premises with his brother Fabien. Because marking the ground in premises as large as ours takes a lot of time. However, no one immediately knew how to tell us whether to plan 4 m2, 5 m2, or 10 m2 per person. The correct answer? 4 m2, but Evae played it safe: here, it will be at least 5 m2 and even 10 m2 for high-intensity lessons.
What’s important to me, continues Patrice Schwab is that people feel safe. We were already riding on hygiene, but Covid or not, some things will remain, such as hydro alcoholic gel provision. As for our subscribers, the first feedback is overwhelming! The fans were already there Thursday morning happy, happy to see each other again. The club is their third place of life, after home and work.
The only constraint: the need to make an appointment upstream, until further notice, But the date, I think that’s a plus: it guarantees to have space, and it can even do via an app. Well, one lady still pointed out to me that she didn’t have a smartphone. But she went and bought herself one on purpose, and we set everything up for her. She was thrilled! I am confident about the recovery; I am convinced that our customers will come back, but we will have new ones because the sport is essential for having good immune defenses.
The club is my only pleasure.
Regulars shook up in their habits, the staff of the GFC Mulhouse also have a few: To stop people from being too close to each other, we removed 25 of the 40 indoor bikes from our RPM space. Suddenly, it was a bit bitchy this morning, notes Sonia Talhi. I’m going to have to double the lessons. The very principle of RPM “is to pedal in a peloton because we go slower on our own, adds Patrice Schwab from a distance. But that’s how it is: for now, we’re just keeping 33 bikes instead of the usual 100.
Similar problem on the side of CAF sessions thighs-abs-buttocks organized in Mulhouse: a little lost on a large tatami, seven students follow coach Hakim’s instructions, against up to 38 in ordinary time, taking good care of do not exceed the individual squares drawn on the ground. The funny atmosphere, divided between the joy of reunion, the desire to kiss each other as before. And scrupulous respect for barrier gestures.
Overall, it summarizes the president of the GFC group Marc Zenou; our subscribers are understanding. Above all, they enjoy coming back and, apart from a few who have requested reimbursement, they understand that their club is potentially in economic danger. At the opening at 9 am, the ‘hyper-frequenters’ were already there at the door, hyper-excited, with big smiles, adds Sonia Talhi. And it was the same at GFC Sierentz, which I also visited this morning. The hyper-frequenters? The most assiduous subscribers, what! But if I tell you that some people do two sessions a day, you won’t believe me.
As if to prove him right, here we are narrowly avoiding the trajectory of Lila, 69 brooms, who walks headlong towards the locker room. A hyper-frequenter, precisely, has been there for years between two households: Because I always work, perfectly! Otherwise, I never go anywhere except to take the dog out. The club is my only pleasure, so obviously I’m happy today. It’s similar to asking a blind man if he would be glad to see his sight again! Zou, here she is already off at the same pace as she arrived. Fifteen meters away, a cross-training course is about to begin under the supervision of Paul, one of the club’s eight teachers, built like a Greco-Roman wrestling champion.
It’s better to see yourself in person for motivation.
Here, it’s like a family for me, admits Valerie, all smiles. And I don’t think I’m the only one to think so. Here, the atmosphere is terrible, and the teachers are friends, adds Maxime, a 27-year-old big guy, who looks to have had a bad experience of the forced withdrawal caused by containment. Admittedly, the club reacted quickly by offering lessons on Facebook live, but it’s still better to see yourself in real life, especially for motivation.
One floor higher is the lair of the cast iron lifters, which is also gradually coming to life, despite the increased distances imposed, again, on both sides. Please disinfect your weights before and after use, recommends the must-have poster near the dumbbell rack. Not far from there, Daniel is already ready to resume his pace of one session a day. A GFC subscriber for pfffiou, at least thirty years, he has already taken possession of one of his favorite machines. During the confinement, I did as I could; I lifted sports bags filled with water bottles, that kind of thing. Ah, that, the D system, I also experimented, slips another regular. It quickly finds its limits. Social interaction, coaching the coaches, it motivates, it helps to get started.
In short, they’ve had it all, and now they’re happy to sweat it again, obviously like several thousand other Alsatian followers.