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As music boomed from inside the building and the sun heated up the asphalt Wednesday, a small group of people gathered in a parking lot on Perry Road to exercise together.
It’s a different scene from what CrossFit Bangor members are used to, but they are at least back together with their fellow gym members, even if it is in small groups with everyone spaced out.
CrossFit Bangor has used its parking lot as an outdoor gym since May 11 while the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep many businesses, including gyms, shut down.
Gyms were initially scheduled to reopen June 1, but Gov. Janet Mills’ administration has delayed their reopening in light of concerns about the virus’ transmission in indoor environments where people are exerting themselves.
Clockwise from upper left: Daija Misler, an instructor at CrossFit Bangor, writes up workout of the day on a board to place in the parking lot for members to see during an outdoor workout session on Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Nora Pangburn works out in the parking lot of CrossFit Bangor. Misler sanitizes equipment that was returned from a member who rented it.
Still, gyms such as CrossFit Bangor are finding ways to keep their clients working out.
That started with two months of coaching virtual fitness classes.
Now, with outdoor, in-person classes an option, the gym is following safety precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus among staff and gym members.
With a stay-at-home order in place, some fitness facilities are getting creative to help their clients stay active indoors.
Daija Misler, a level one instructor, set up cones in every other parking space to keep the seven members who attended safely distanced during the workout she was coaching on Wednesday. There were paper towels and disinfectant at each member’s station, and members brought their own gear to avoid any sharing of equipment. A maximum of 10 people can attend an outdoor class.
“We learn every class what works and what doesn’t. It is different than being inside the gym,” Misler said.
Members so far have been embracing the outdoor classes. People enjoy being able to work out together again, Misler said, even if it is from across the parking lot.
“It’s so much more energetic than virtual fitness,” she said. “It’s really nice to be able to be with our community again.”
Misler said she enjoys the outdoor classes more than virtual fitness classes.
“I struggled with it as a coach with the camera,” she said. “I couldn’t always see everyone working out, so it’s nice to see people and be able to coach them more than I could via Zoom.”
Wednesday’s class was the second outdoor class for CrossFit Bangor member Maegan Rodway, who also participates in Zoom classes the gym offers.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Rodway said. “It’s the people that I look forward to, and we take all of the safety precautions.”
CrossFit Bangor is currently offering two outdoor classes and one Zoom class every day during the week and one Zoom class on Saturdays.
After the gym closed in March due to the coronavirus and owners Melinda and Karl Metten realized it was going to remain closed for an extended period, they decided their members could check out equipment for a $25 deposit. When they bring back the items, the gym returns members’ deposits, but in the form of a gift card to a local business of their choice.
“It is our way to give back locally to small businesses that our members frequent and support,” Melinda Metten said.