Six years ago her dream of owning a gym was on a shelf and tucked away.
Then something “clicked” in Peggy Maerz’ mind.
Since then Maerz, has turned Bulldog Boxing into a mainstay in the community, produced national and provincial-quality boxers and improved the lives of many.
In September the gym will be moving to from Lifetime Fitness into the old Canadian Tire location.
“We have outgrown the space at Lifetime and we will be able to do so much more in this new space,” says a beaming Maerz in the new gym.
The new gym is still under construction but crews are hard at work to make the planned mid-September opening.
“The vision includes rock climbing along with fitness programs and of course our boxing program in an inclusive and welcoming environment,” says Maerz.
Included in the plans for the new space are a regulation size boxing ring, mens and women’s change rooms with showers and a sauna, a handicap accessible change room, a cardio workout space and plans for a climbing wall.
“These features will help the gym to be more inclusive for everyone in the community.”
The new gym will be more than triple the size of the current gym.
In order to keep the gym running smoothly, Maerz is adding six fitness instructors including a registered nurse with Muay Thai experience.
“Having instructors work with me will be a big change, but it will allow me to cycle through some of their classes, not to evaluate them but because it will be fun to be a participant.”
A certified early childhood educator with experience in marital arts and working with acute special needs youth has also signed on, which is important to Maerz since she works with many children and adults with acute and high functioning special needs.
“I have built this great team to work with me, the only piece of the puzzle I’m missing is a receptionist,” laughs Maerz. “That’s not too big of a concern at this point.”
When Maerz started Bulldog Boxing she had to rent bags and other equipment from well known Salmon Arm boxer Mickey Sims and had to “borrow” space from Lifetime Fitness.
“Six years ago I would not have believed any of this could have been possible, even Mickey was skeptical it would work out. As cliché as it sounds – I am realizing my dream, this is what I am meant to do,” said Maerz.
She says in the gym’s infancy, she was essentially homeless.
“I had nothing. I was sleeping on peoples’ couches and in my car. At least now if I end up homeless I’ll have this amazing new gym I could call home,” Maerz joked.
Aside from the fitness and boxing classes, Maerz vision includes the ability to host provincially sanctioned bouts at the gym. She is hopeful to host the first bout as early as November, provided there is room in the provincial calendar.
“We will be able to hold events here, we are just getting bigger and better at serving this community,” she said.
Maerz said the idea for the climbing wall was her desire to give climbing a try. She says there is a large climbing community in the area and this wall will give them a space to climb in the winter.
“Right now we are probably a year away from installing the climbing wall. I want to get settled in first because this is such a huge change all at once.”
Once the climbing wall is installed the panels will be interchangeable allowing for new routes.
“Every six weeks we’ll change the wall because once you master something – you have to look for a way to push yourself or else you will stop continuing to improve,” Maerz said.
The idea of changing things up is nothing new to Maerz. She says she has done the same thing with her fitness programs and tailors each session with her participants in mind.
“There is no one way to do things, everyone is different and deserves a program tailored to them. It’s all about being able to include everyone.”