One of the largest automobile manufacturing facilities in the world—all 8.1 million square feet of it—is in … Georgetown, Ky. If you knew that without being a gearhead, living in Kentucky or Googling it, then maybe an appearance on Jeopardy!
is in your future.
Erica Broadway, for one, didn’t know much about Georgetown, let alone envision she would make her career there when she was first hired by HealthFitness back in 2012. Broadway is one of 17 HealthFitness professionals that lead the corporate fitness facility for the auto manufacturer’s employees.
“I was just going to work here for a year and learn and get experience,” she said. “Six years later, I’ve closed on a house and met so many great people. Working here has changed my life.”
“We are a family”
Counting contractors, the company employs close to 10,000 people in Georgetown.
“People drive for two hours to get a job here,” Broadway said. “It’s what keeps this city going.”
The auto manufacturing company is about nine times larger than the next biggest local employer.
“I know 90 percent of members by name; I know their faces, and what line they work on at the plant,” Broadway said. “I take pride in the fact that we are a family.”
The 43,000-square-foot fitness center is home to 6,900 members, half of which are employed by the company. Family members of company employees have full access to the fitness facilities as well, including children as young as 11; each member can also sponsor one additional person outside their family.
With three shifts of employees, the demand for the fitness facility is almost constant. As a result, the gym opens at 4 a.m. each Monday and stays open continuously until 5 p.m. Saturday. From employees, to their kids, to retirees, each day features a steady hum of activity with the common themes of exercise, wellness, health and belonging. Select amenities for members include on-site childcare, a Run/Walk Club, metabolism testing and free health and wellness seminars.
Once most employees become members, they stay. Many of those that leave return.
“There’s a real connection here,” Broadway said. “I really enjoy it when our members come back and say we now realize how good we have it.”
From one thing to the next
Broadway loves the variety her daily schedule offers.
A typical day includes leading group exercise classes, personal training sessions, interacting with members when they arrive and helping people make lifestyle changes.
“I’m proud of all the people who work their jobs and take care of kids and yet they come in for 30 minutes to exercise,” she said. “It makes them more energized and calmer.”
Recently, Broadway and her colleagues launched a barbell club that includes events like “Meat N’ Eat,” aka Powerlifting and Potluck. Don’t be fooled by the rhyming and alliteration. There is serious weight being thrown around, with each person trying to max out.
“It’s created a great community of lifters,” Broadway said. “You meet other people who you never thought were into it. It’s great to see many females doing something they’ve never done before and realize if they put the work in what the outcome will be in terms of strength improvement.”
When Broadway is not working, don’t expect to find her glued to the TV or staying in the house all day. Her happy place is outside, particularly when she is exercising and simultaneously surrounded by nature.
“My body and brain love being on the trail,” she said.
Broadway isn’t referring to a leisurely hike, although she enjoys those, too. A recent hobby is trail running, which she likes because of how different it is than running indoors or on a street. Broadway, ever the over-achiever, recently completed her first Ultra 50K Run/Hike, which equals 31 miles.
Where everybody knows your name
A group exercise class led by Broadway is an experience. And proof that people in motion at her classes—whether before the sun rises, over the lunch hour or after a long day at work—tend to stay in motion.
From the playlist, to spontaneous dancing or a corny joke, no detail is too small for Broadway.
“I can be a pretty big goofball and I love how leading a class lets you connect with people,” she said. “My participants get a high-energy class where every member is engaged and called by name. I love every second of it.”
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