Seaside Half Marathon & 5Kby Murray BalkcomJoin thousands of other runners for the 18th Annual Seaside Half Marathon & 5K on Sunday, March 1, 2020. Visit early and enjoy the entire race weekend
Grayton Beach Fitness is your quintessential neighborhood gym located about a quarter mile north of 30A in Mystic Porte close to Hurricane Oyster Bar. Its location is perfect for locals and easy to find for visitors during the busy season. The gym is fully-equipped with 24-hour access availability. It offers personal training, group fitness, athletic conditioning, weight loss, fitness evaluations, body composition assessments, consultations, orientations, and blood pressure checks. It’s got everything you need in a fun and friendly environment.
Group fitness includes Spin, S.t.r.e.t.c.h, Yoga, Yogalates, Core, HIIT, Bootcamp, Circuit Training and Kick Boxing. Classes begin at 6 am for you early risers and as late as 5:45 for those who prefer early evening sessions. Coming soon, patrons will be able to take advantage of private group sessions which focus on specific training, as well as a kids program that they’re hoping to have available twice a week, so that youth can be involved in activity at the gym while parents work out.
Grayton Beach Fitness is deeply rooted in the 30A local community by constant participation with the local agencies, charities and businesses making it a much-loved establishment by all around. My wife Katie and I have been members for over a year now, and we love it. We came from a larger market where every corner had a large franchise fitness center, so we were a bit surprised when we saw the size of the gym. It was much smaller then what we were accustomed to. We quickly learned this was an asset. We got to know Paul (Owner / Trainer) quickly and he made us feel instantly at home and part of a family. That is the one thing that stands out for us. There is an openness about this place that is so rare these days. Paul and his staff are all wonderful and eager to be of service whether it’s showing you the correct form, how a machine works and why you should use it, to helping you turn on the T.V.
When I decided to make Grayton Beach Fitness my very first “Featured Business” I sat down with Paul and his wife Debbie (Co-Owner / Trainer) to get to know a little more about their background. One thing you need to know about Paul is that he is always on high gear. He has such a positive attitude and gives you encouragement as soon as your foot crosses the threshold of the gym by calling out your name from across the room with a big “GOOD MORNING!” When I interviewed them at 10:30 AM, Debbie had just completed her third training class and she still looked amazing! Of course, both have an energy aura that is captivating and just draws you in. They’re so easy to talk to.
Both Paul and Debbie grew up with busy, single parents. There really wasn’t any encouragement for sports, they just had a yearning for it, so they ended up being very active in after school sports activities. Debbie cheered, played soccer, swam and was eating healthy before it was even a thing. She joined her first gym in college, learning how to really push herself and become self-motivated. Feeling healthy to her was about eating well and staying active. She still teaches swimming, bikes and lives an active life outside the gym in the Destin area. In school, Paul was involved in most sports, including endurance biking, outdoor pursuits, rock climbing, survival, etc., but wrestling caught most of his attention. Being a wrestler, proper nutrition and knowing how to cut weight was vital for his success. The science behind it persuaded him to go to college and study exercise nutrition.
Paul’s career in sports and nutrition started twenty- nine years ago. He moved here in 1994 after working for Bally Total Fitness. He was fitness director for five years at Top’sl Fitness Club and taught nationally at conventions and clubs for a company called Resista Ball. He met Debbie in Destin when they were both volunteering at an event for the American Cancer Society. Paul was a “bachelor” and Debbie was his dance choreographer. The timing and fact they were both there was due to a delay caused by Hurricane Opal.
With a boatload of experience, Paul decided to work for himself and become a personal trainer. In 2004, a friend told him that a local gym was up for sale. It was barely afloat at the time. Paul took the plunge, took over the Gym and hasn’t looked back. Today, Grayton Beach Fitness offers something for any fitness level. Ages vary from sixteen years of age, to ninety- five. Debbie says “Fitness is for everyone and if it’s done right, you should feel better.”
Paul’s philosophy to exercising is simple - basic motions like squats, walking, running, skipping, sprinting climbing stairs, pushing, pulling, and rotation. He says “From teens to professional athletes, everyone moves the same. It’s how well, how much and how powerful you move thru those motions that counts.” Debbie is hands on when teaching her classes. “Form is so important. If we use weights and the form is wrong, we drop the weights and get it right. The Individual’s abilities in the group are most important and get the most attention.”
Do yourself a favor and go visit Paul and Debbie at Grayton Beach Fitness. One of their daughters Hannah or Lo could very well meet you at the front desk. Paul may even take you on a tour of the brand-new facility that will soon be opening right next door. March 1st is the expected open date. Grand opening TBA.
Steven helps Clients buy and sell vacation and second home properties along 30A and South Walton, giving them confidence in a local, reputable Agent. Steven’s work ethic begins by being of maximum ....