Pandemic sparks Triangle personal trainer to start business
Posted August 4, 2021 9:40 a.m. EDT
Updated August 4, 2021 9:47 a.m. EDT
Raleigh, N.C. — The COVID-19 pandemic left Triangle area personal trainer Brenna Doyle out of work.
"I was on vacation last March," Doyle said on this week's WRAL Out and About Podcast. "I was flying back to North Carolina, and I was in my layover in the Fort Lauderdale airport when I got a phone call that I no longer had a job. I was laid off indefinitely because all gyms were closing (due to COVID-19)."
Doyle said she remembers just looking out of the window and crying, wondering how she was going to pay rent.
"In that moment, in my tears of despair, I guess I also felt this thing in my stomach where it was like, 'This is a good thing,'" Doyle said. "Something just told me that this is the moment that I've been waiting for to do what I've always wanted to do. And that is create a fitness business from my heart."
Doyle quarantined in her home for two weeks after that call, using the time to brainstorm a new personal training business. She reached out to two of her previous training clients to see if they wanted to meet at a local park for an outdoor workout. Though she didn't have much equipment, she was able to tailor the workout to the smaller group's needs.
"They were like, 'Wow, this is the hardest workout I've had in a really long time,'" Doyle said. "I was able to turn on my personal trainer brain."
Doyle said was able to apply her one-on-one personal training experience to the small group, which resulted in a fun and challenging workout.
After a few workouts, she realized she had a business on her hands. She named it Six Foot Fit because of the social distancing guidelines of remaining six-feet apart due to COVID-19.
"Once I realized that people were really enjoying this, I was like, okay, I think I have something here," she said. "It has grown so much more than I ever thought that anything could over the past year."
As the number of classes and clients grew, Doyle went from packing her Toyota Highlander with equipment to needing a 10-foot trailer to haul gear.
Six Foot Fitness has classes daily in Cary and Morrisville. Classes include strength, cardio and yoga. There are also children's classes that coincide with adult classes so parents can bring their children to work out too.
Doyle said classes include a variety of fun competitions and elements like playing Scattergories while holding planks.
"Then we also have our team sport days where we'll all meet up on a weekend and play kickball or play soccer," Doyle said.