Hate Exercise? This Story Doesn’t Suck!

Grand Rapids, MI – Despite the horror stories he was hearing about the Michigan economy, fitness coach Joe Stankowski moved from Delaware to Grand Rapids in August 2008.  Before the big move, he already started building a local following for his weight-loss support group, This Workout Doesn’t Suck!

A 15 year veteran of the fitness industry and an avid fisherman in his youth, Stankowski remembers thinking, “Were people in Michigan even interested in fitness or would I be better off shifting gears and opening a bait and tackle shop?  I was walking into unknown territory and I needed to get a feel for what my soon-to-be-neighbors really want out of life.”

Through social networking websites such as facebook and tagged.com, Stankowski became virtual friends with local residents and organizations and whenever he was in the area house-hunting, he’d meet as many people in person as he could, always asking questions.

Using the meetup.com platform, he then organized a group of his own and stood back to see if a free program billed as “fitness for people who hate exercise” would pique anyone’s interest.

Before the moving truck even arrived at his new home in East Grand Rapids, he already had over 20 members.

Members typically find his group while browsing other nearby “meetups” which include interests for every taste – from political to social to spiritual and everything in between.

Today, Stankowski’s meetup membership has more than doubled and while he admits there are still “growing pains” to get through as an organizer, he’s confident the best is yet to come.

“This Workout” members can access an online message board in which they ask questions, share their own experiences and support each other’s efforts.  There are even live events in which members can meet the faces behind the online profiles as well as participate in various forms of exercise for every fitness level – with emphasis on the fun-factor.

“Ultimately, I’d love to see ‘This Workout’ chapters everywhere.  Universities, neighborhoods, church groups, you name it!”  Stankowski continues, “There have been weight loss support groups for decades, but they always focus on food.  Somewhere along the line, the idea that fitness is a byproduct of both eating right and exercising got lost.  ‘This Workout’ changes that.”

For more information about joining “This Workout” or starting a chapter within your own organization, contact Joe Stankowski through his meetup site at www.ThisWorkout.com.

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