ROSEBORO — As a self-proclaimed gym rat, Gilbert Owens is looking forward to a new journey as the manager of the local fitness center.
The Point Fitness Center, a 24/7 facility, recently opened its door to community members. Gilbert’s uncle, Percy Owens, purchased the property at 210 W. Martin Luther King Blvd. It was previously owned by Grid Iron and Jerris McPhail, a local football star who played several years in the NFL. The Point Fitness Center has many of the same members from Grid Iron and they picked up new ones along the way.
“We went back and forth about trying to find out if it was worth it,” Gilbert said about the transition. “After some research, we determined that it was a worthwhile investment that was going to entail some work.”
With the transition, Gilbert said members will have more access to staff, fitness class options, and a juice bar with options such as protein shakes. Another goal is to have activities for children and their parents.
One of the recent events held was a free NFL draft party with refreshments. It’s a way to show appreciation for members. They want everyone to feel like they have ownership in the gym.
“We want them to be able to voice their opinions and to voice their suggestions,” Gilbert said.
Percy made the decision after his father Jessie W. Owens passed away in the fall. He became depressed and spent many days in his home. The business venture gave him a lot of motivation to going forward.
“Now I’m in here every morning at 5:30,” Percy said. “I’m out doing things and I’m not sitting in the house depressed and meeting new people. Problems don’t seem as bad as they were.”
Gilbert got involved with fitness and training during his days in the military. Prior, to his service, he played football at Roseboro-Salemburg High School and Fayetteville State University. He admits to not having a good exercise routine at the time.
“I just went out there and played,” Gilbert said. “That’s probably why I kept getting hurt all the time, not because I was the smallest one of the team. I was not physically prepared to play.”
While stationed at Fort Riley, Kan., Gilbert became friends with a lieutenant in charge of the local gym.
“He was the first one who taught me how to workout and I stuck with it every since,” Gilbert said. “We want to do the same thing here when it comes to promoting fitness. Fitness extends a person’s life and it makes them think clearer.”
Gilbert pointed out how one member said the gym changed his life and believes the same can happen for others.
The Point Fitness Center officially opened in early April, but the official grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, June 30.
“We’re very excited,” Gilbert said.
By that time, new signage will be put up. Some of the other developments include building a website and starting a Facebook page in 2018. They haven’t did a lot of advertising about the gym, but Gilbert said word is spreading about the new management.
“We hope that this gym will be one of the focal points for the town of Roseboro,” Gilbert said. “This is the only place in Roseboro where people can come together and really enjoy each others company, fellowship, work hard and play hard. I made friends here that I never though I’d have from all different races of people.”
He feels that the town’s gym is the melting pot of Roseboro.
“There’s no other place in Roseboro,” Gilbert said uniting people. “Not even the churches have the type of people that come together, all at one time, all at one place, like The Point Fitness Center.
“Everyone has the same common goal — to improve their physical fitness,” he said. “That overruns all races and all politics. That’s why everyone here gets along.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-592-8137. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.