Club Insider

October Cover Story Preview

Paula Neubert and Club Greenwood

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Paula NeubertPaula Neubert

This year, 2020, has been a year of firsts for so many us. From our personal lives to professional careers, we have had to adapt like never before. The same has occurred for us here at Club Insider, especially over the course of the past two months as important industry news continues to break, day-in and day-out.

We are thankful to be a nimble publication, because it allows us to quickly change editorial direction in order to effectively cover pertinent news in near real-time (both online and in print). Our recent August and September Cover Stories have been a testament to that fact.

Our August Cover story honored the life of Lyle Ray Irwin, inventor of The Step, who had recently passed away. Ray had defeated throat cancer, but sadly, he lost his battle with lung cancer. May Ray Rest In Peace.

Our Cover Story this month features Brent Darden as he takes the helm of IHRSA as its Interim President and CEO. Because of the importance of IHRSA to our industry, we felt that putting Brent on this month's cover was the prudent thing to do, so you, our readers, can be fully informed about what is occurring at IHRSA, why it is important to you and how you can help. Only together will we all emerge from the Coronavirus Pandemic with an industry we can continue to grow, protect and promote.

In the planning phases for each of these editions, neither Cover Story was the original plan! As news broke around us, though, we adapted to the circumstances. But, I do want to tell you about the original plan.

The originally scheduled Cover Story Subject for August was Paula Neubert, President and General Manager of Club Greenwood in Greenwood Village, Colorado. As each story broke, she was kind enough to let us push her story back to the subsequent month. As the Author of the story, it personally pained me greatly to do so, but as Publisher of Club Insider, I felt it was the right decision to make in each circumstance. And, I am so thankful for the grace in which she put others in the industry ahead of herself. Thank you, Paula!

That being said, I do want to give you all a quick preview of our October Cover Story. To me, the following question to and answer from Paula is one of the more beautiful takes on the importance of this industry in the lives of its members I have heard. And, it's especially so during these times.

October Cover Story Preview

Club Insider (C.I.) - Paula, we have talked about so much already, and I am so glad I have gotten to learn about Club Greenwood. If you can boil it all down, what do you say truly defines Club Greenwood in your community and in the industry?
Paula Neubert (PN) - We talked about the amenities and everything we do, but if I really, truly was going to define what makes us different, it is a sense of belonging. And, that is part of the reason that we rebranded to make sure the very first thing in our name was Club. Because, if you look up the word 'club' in the dictionary, it is a place where like-minded people belong and gather. That truly is the definition of who we are, and it is probably the one thing that our members are missing more than anything because of the restrictions on our capacities and the physical distancing.

You can use a treadmill anywhere. You can buy a treadmill and put it in your basement, or you can go to any single facility and get on a treadmill. Our treadmills are no different than the treadmill that you will find down the street or might find in somebody's home. But, what makes Club Greenwood different is absolutely the social component of belonging to this family. It is our reputation in the community. It is a reputation of who we have become over 33 years and a want and a need for a person in our community to say, 'I want to belong to that.' It really is what makes us different, it makes us unique, and it's why people seek us out.

We know that there are like-minded folks who belong to our club, and who we are and who we serve is well known in our community. The networking that happens at Club Greenwood is truly amazing, whether it is work-related or whether it is personal. The things that people share with one another here is in a family sense. And, when I walk by a closing room, and I introduce myself a new member, I always say, 'Welcome to our Greenwood family.' Because, we really are a family.

C.I. - I love it. That is beautifully said. That is what it is all about, right there.
PN - It really is. As a side note, Justin, I will tell you that our members who are a little bit older and have not been able to come back into the club because they either are scared; or their doctors told them they cannot; or they may live in a senior living facility that would not allow them to because they do not want to bring something back, are very sad. They call us regularly. They cry on the phone. They miss everything. It is not the fitness. I would love to say we have the best fitness around because I think that we have an unbelievable group of fitness professionals who provide the best, but it is not the fitness. That is not what makes us so different. It is the sense of belonging.

The two members I am thinking about right now are people who have lost their husbands in the last five years, and we have become so much more for them. They are depressed. They are upset. They cannot come in because their doctors have told them they cannot. It is truly killing them. It is absolutely hurting them not being here. I just cry when I talk to them. Our Assistant General Manager, Barbara Lubbers, will talk to them and she will say, 'Oh, my gosh, I just had to the nicest conversation, but they are so upset.'

We have actually created a program, for lack of a better term, called Pen Pals, where we call them just to check in. Many clubs have done this. We call to check on them and to figure out what we can do to make them feel better because they miss the club so much.

C.I. - Everything you just said is the absolute proof of that sense of belonging. That is the human proof of it. And, beyond the loss of life, the saddest part of this entire pandemic has been that emotional toll on the most vulnerable of our population. It is so sad.
PN - Yes, absolutely.

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Thank you again, Paula. We look forward to sharing your story! Folks, Stay Tuned to our October Edition of Club Insider! You will be able to read all about it at that time!

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