HAMLET – Fitness is a growing trend in today’s society and Richmond County is not immune. Where there only used to be one gym in Hamlet and one gym in Rockingham, there are now multiple locations for one to achieve their fitness goals.
However, Fit Period, the new gym on the block located at 14 Front Street in Hamlet, targets and supports more than just fitness and physical well-being.
Fit Period is the brainchild of high school best friends and former Raiders, Chris Clark, 30, resident of Rockingham, and Richard Murphy, 30, resident of Hamlet.
Both owners went the military route upon graduation from Richmond Senior High School in 2005, and much of their passion for health and wellness is fueled from their shared experiences.
Murphy enlisted in the Marine Corps and Clark graduated from West Point Military Academy and is a former officer of the U.S. Army. Both found themselves back in Richmond County earlier this year, Murphy in April and Clark in May. And from the simple text message of “are you back home?,” they found each other again and together, a new purpose and vision, Fit Period.
During deployment to Iraq, Clark got really into fitness and health. Sitting on his grandmother’s couch one day, during mid-deployment leave, Clark, decided to take his commitment to fitness to the next level and the name Fit Period just came to mind and stuck.
From that moment, he became a certified personal trainer, and after relocating back home, he decided that his skills and passion for fitness and wellness would be best utilized in his own backyard: home, would be the location of the gym.
In a meeting in June, Clark shared his vision with Murphy, who mentioned he was also wanting to get into personal training. Murphy pointed Clark to the 14 Front Street location in Hamlet, and Fit Period is now reality.
Since its inception, they both agreed that Fit Period would be more than a gym.
“We saw that it was something greater than just a personal training studio,” said Clark.
“Hence the community service center, C&M Community Service Center” he added. “With a shared vision and with our love of home, it kind of just made sense to do something more with this space than just train people.”
Just like it’s logo, that at first glance looks like a chemistry set, a closer look would reveal that it is actually a person in a yoga pose. Fit Period is not just about what it looks like, but is inclusive of the whole being of a person, mind, body and spirit.
“When we train, we want to develop the person’s entire being,” Clark explained. “So, we discuss diet, self-esteem, even down to the music you listen to.”
On August 5, Fit Period and C&M Community Service Center, affectionately name for Clark and Murphy, hosted its first “Feel-Good Fest,” which was an opportunity for members of the community and neighboring business owners and employees to gather and get to know each.
A Women’s Empowerment Conference, which began this week, is currently being held at the gym and center Friday at 6 p.m. with a closing date of Saturday, December 2.
Fit Period and C&M Community Service Center sponsored its first soccer team this past season, and is looking forward to the start of its afterschool program “Seventh Period.”
Clark and Murphy have received an outpouring of support from members of the community, whether it be information on zoning, decorations for the space, clothing donations or officers on standby for security.
Murphy, a former firefighter with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, expressed his gratitude and appreciation for his community.
“It’s been a lot of positive feedback. It’s been love,” Murphy said. “Being from Richmond County makes it even more meaningful. It’s just been a lot of love and support and we’re grateful.”
Clark and Murphy hopes all of Richmond County can live by the tagline “we are well.”
For more information on scheduling gym classes and personal training, as well as updates on the community center, please contact Clark or Murphy at 910-557-5368.