Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Esther Wynne, one of the Our Gym operators in Hardin, explains the specifics of equipment and exercises late Friday morning.

Local group works out plan to make ‘Our Gym’ work

Five years ago, Esther Wynne didn’t see herself as the type to attend a 6 a.m. exercise class. Now, following a year and a half of such classes, she is helping to run the gym – currently called Our Gym – in Hardin.
“When I first came, I could not do one full, on-your-toes pushup; now I can do 15-20,” Wynne said. “My new thing is to be able to do a full pull-up without jumping. I’m 61 years old, so I’m not sure if I’m ever going to make it.”
“Here’s the jump-up bar…I mean, here’s the pull-up bar,” she added, jogging to her exercise objective across a mat covering most of the room. Written on whiteboards across the floor were exercises that incorporated Our Gym’s mat and weight machines. Equipment was left to the gym by its previous owner Brandon Anderson.
“I have to give Brandon a lot of credit for getting it started,” Wynne said.
Anderson, a mixed martial arts fighter, founded the gym in January 2016, before it changed hands. Until the gym went under new management, he called it Fightstorm Fitness & MMA.
In late August 2015, Anderson had been scheduled to travel to Leavenworth, Wash. with his wife to log trees, but the transmission on his Ford blew out in Billings and his investors pulled out of the deal. His arrival in Hardin, he said while preparing the gym, “was another God thing.”
“Hardin, Mont., I never would have thought it,” Anderson said at the time, “but we have some very, very studly athletes here.”
Wynne was unsure as to the specifics of Anderson’s present plans and he declined comment at press time.
The gym’s grand opening is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 10 at its current location at 1215 N. Custer Ave. More than 20 people have full memberships and organizers are looking to add to their ranks.
Our Gym will operate in a manner similar to Anytime Fitness in Billings, Wynne explained, as members will be given a key code to enter the building.
“We’re all in this together,” she said. “The people who have come together and formed the gym did not want it to go away.”
Wynne, who also serves as the Big Horn County public health nurse, said the gym offers everyone from young children to seniors opportunities for physical activity.
“I was talking with some seniors…who drive to Billings to work out on machinery twice a week,” she said. “The wife was saying, ‘We don’t want to be driving to Billings during the winter if there’s something local.’
“We’re trying to keep the prices nice and low: gift discounts, family discounts, senior discounts. The main thing is we do want it to be available to people.”
Wynne and others had prepared for the possibility of taking over the gym when Anderson began commenting that he would be leaving for an extended period. As a member of the 6 a.m. class for a year and a half, she believes she has learned some of the basics for operating a gym.
Once he left, Wynne said, community members set to work incorporating the business almost immediately. 
Regular group classes are scheduled at 6 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
More information is available by calling (406) 281-2471 or visiting the group’s Facebook page, “Unofficial: Our Gym."