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Richmond glides into Phase 2 reopening

Posted at 12:51 PM, Jun 12, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. -- As Phase Two began in Richmond Friday, gyms and fitness centers opened their doors for the first time in more than three months after the COVID-19 shutdown.

At Fighting Gravity Fitness on West Cary Street, workouts were in full swing.

"There's an adrenaline rush that comes with it. I think that's what makes it so fun," said Amy Lord, who attended the Aerial Dance class Friday morning. "I love everything about it."

Lord said she found Fighting Gravity Fitness about a year ago and quickly developed a passion for Aerial Fitness.

She said the several months without access to the studio were difficult.

"I've been waiting for them to open up watching for the day to come," said Lord.

Owner, Audrey Bonafe, said the past few months of only offering virtual classes due to the coronavirus pandemic weren't easy.

"I am so happy to be back in the studio," said Bonafe. "I can’t tell you how hard this has been for us financially and for the clients as well, and this type of fitness is something that’s not easy to do virtually."

That's why Bonafe said she knew as soon as Richmond entered into Phase Two of reopening, she would open her doors. But Friday, things looked a little different.

"We’re just super, super cautious. We’re definitely keeping our distance," said Bonafe.

She said class sizes would be smaller, and people attending would have to fill out a questionnaire at the door. She also said hospital-grade disinfectant was being used on the mats and anything touched.

Mindy Loiselle, another regular who attended Friday's Aerial Dance Class, said she too, was thrilled to be back.

"It’s wonderful to be in Phase Two," said Loiselle. "It's wonderful to be out in the world with friends. It's wonderful to exercise with people who are supportive and caring. And this is just a great studio. I’m very happy to be back."

Phase Two of reopening in Richmond meant gyms could open at 30 percent capacity and restaurants at 50 percent.