Survival of the fitness: An inside look at the new Pike Fitness Center Not just for jocks: Don and Regina Hubbard connect physical therapy to fitness and performance
Don Hubbard (Photo by Marilyn Rosenthal)
By Marilyn Rosenthal MILFORD — Why would someone come out of retirement to invest significant money and effort to buy back a fitness center he originally started? Don Hubbard will tell you it’s his passion for fitness. It’s also his feeling of responsibility to the community — which he and his wife of 30-plus years, Regina, are very much a part of. He sees it as his mission to deliver a comprehensive, safe, and fun experience for all people, from 14-year-olds to senior citizens. The Pike Fitness Center is not just a place for jocks. Don and Regina bought the center in 2003, and sold it to Damien Roche in 2015. Now they have it back. Don has decades of experience as a physical therapist and a personal trainer. He worked for many years at the prestigious Rusk Institute in New York. “There is a continuum between fitness and physical therapy," he said. "People go from fitness to physical therapy if they get hurt, and from therapy to fitness to restore function. Fitness has to do with performance, and PT has to do with function.” There is a symbiotic relationship between the two, he said. Improving performance enhances quality of life. Regina manages Nova Care Rehabilitation, a physical therapy center on the same property. She and Don, and the two centers, embody the symbiotic relationship between therapy and fitness. Many clients go from one center to the other. Don and Regina understand their clients. They are skilled at monitoring their needs. 'We change lives'Don introduced aquatic therapy to the center. The pool is heated to 91 degrees. The compression of the water allows people to exercise in ways they couldn't do in the gym. The pool is also available for swim lessons and for rent to groups or individuals for swim parties. Don renovated the Fitness Center, enlarging it and making the space brighter and more open. He arranged the floor with 35 stations that go from easiest to progressively more difficult. If Don is the soul of Pike Fitness, Lorraine Gebbia, the friendly, unflappable manager, is the heart of the place. Gebbia is a certified ACE personal trainer and well-qualified to help clients as they use the machines. Gebbia has been doing this work for 10 years. She loves her job, and you can see that on her face. She has a “can do” attitude. She encourages members as she walks around, her fabulous long, shiny ponytail bouncing to the beat of her enthusiasm. “I know everyone’s name," she said. "The members feel like family. I like being able to help people, see their accomplishments, and watch their progress.” Pike Fitness Center instructors are all certified personal trainers. Collectively they conduct 21 classes. There are three Silver Sneakers classes, free with certain health insurance plans, that promote health and well-being. Silver Sneakers members can take other classes too and have full use of the center. Don's goal is to introduce more classes, more yoga, and perhaps evening and Saturday classes. Regina and Nova Care plan to provide free monthly lectures on wellness. Don and Regina want to make the Pike Fitness Center accessible to everyone. They reduced the cost of the monthly membership. And there is a $10 day pass; senior citizens pay $7. Says Don: “Pike Fitness Center wants to be the best part of your day, every day, because we change lives.” Pike Fitness Center is located at 1346 Route 739 in Dingmans Ferry. For more information call 570-686-9496.