Cape Regional Miracles Fitness Celebrates 20th Anniversary - Dottie Drake, founder, Reflects on 20 Years
May 17, 2018
RIO GRANDE, NJ - Dottie Drake, founder of Miracles Fitness, began her fitness journey 20 years ago with a mission of helping people stay healthy, get well and enjoy life. And, today, the Seaville resident is continuing that same mission, but with added firepower: Miracles Fitness announced its partnership with Cape Regional Health System earlier this year.
Cape Regional Miracles Fitness, located at 408 Rio Grande Ave. in Rio Grande, offers a full-service gym, health club, group exercise classes, personal training, group coaching, customized medically-supervised fitness programs and more for teens through seniors.
Teaching People How to Live
Dottie’s journey into the fitness club business is unique. After serving as a hospice home care nurse for 18 years where she taught people how to die gracefully, Dottie decided that she instead wanted to help teach people how to live and feel well.
“But I had to start with myself,” says Dottie, who had a total-knee replacement, and suffered from several conditions related to obesity, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and anxiety. She was also taking 10 prescription drugs to help treat her ongoing health issues.
“Even though I was a nurse, I knew nothing about health and wellness,” says Dottie. And at the urging of her children, she headed to the local fitness club; but her experience was not what she expected.
“I was completely discouraged with what local health clubs had to offer at the time. They were not prepared for an unhealthy person, like me, seeking to get well. I was hopeless and felt that I was too far gone.”
Gyms were focused on vanity; not health and wellness. “I learned that you can never allow someone to feel hopeless,” she says.
Pioneer in Senior Fitness
This experience set Dottie on her mission.
At age 47, Dottie opened her first health club “Fitness First for Women and Seniors” in Rio Grande, to fulfill a need for older and deconditioned adults in a “non-intimidating” gym environment. She made her mark over the years and was even featured on the cover of a club industry publication for her pioneering efforts in meeting health and wellness needs for seniors. Dottie has also provided speeches across the nation and was even hired as a consultant for other fitness centers about how to attract senior membership. Around 2001, Dottie’s fitness club’s name was changed to Miracles Fitness, at the urging of her members who experienced one miracle after another, thanks to Dottie.
You’re Never Too Old to Get Healthy
Dottie firmly believes that age should not be a barrier or excuse for seeking better health. Case in point: a 95-year-old woman Margaret, who joined her gym in 1995 - arriving in a wheelchair. Margaret’s wish was to go up in a hot air balloon before her 96th birthday. And with the help of Dottie and her team, she did just that.
“It’s never too late for anyone to grow back muscle or bone at any age,” says Dottie, a mother of two and grandmother of seven.
Now, 20 years after starting her business, Cape Regional Miracles Fitness is poised for growth and helping more people get fit and healthy and live happier lives.
For more information on Cape Regional Miracles Fitness please call Nick Elisano, General Manager, at 609.886.7070, or visit www.miraclesfitness.com.