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Weathering the Storm

Gym 5's Recovery after the Tornado

Sade Meeks, MS, RD


March 3, 2020, was a night Nashville won’t forget. A deadly tornado ripped through much of Middle Tennessee, destroying many homes and businesses, and unfortunately taking lives. That night seven tornadoes swept through Middle TN. The EF-3 Tornado struck at 12:30 in the morning and brought much damage to Davidson County. At a traveling rate of 57.3 mph, the tornado spanned a total of 60 miles impacting the John C. Tune Airport area, buildings from Cockrill Bendray and Briley Parkway, TN State Prison, TSU, and Germantown. The tornado only intensified as it made its way towards East Nashville, causing unthinkable damage. There was EF-3 damage to businesses and other buildings in the Five Points area and EF-2 damage to homes in the Lockeland Springs and Barclay Drive neighborhoods. While many could only imagine how devastating such an experience could have been, others didn’t have to imagine it; it was their lived through experience.

Though tragic, it warms my spirit to hear how business owners were so resilient afterward.

Among these stories of resiliency is Gym 5, one of the first businesses in East Nashville. Gym 5 is East Nashville’s original locally-owned and operated full-service fitness club. On the night of the tornado, GYM 5 suffered an estimated half million-plus in property damages. Everything from the floors was destroyed, only the original flooring from half the building remained. Because of the extreme damages, GYM 5, which had been in operation for 15 years, was forced to temporarily shut down. This put a strain on the local business owner, Adam Wright.

During the shutdown, they did not charge their members monthly fees; at the same time, they also lost existing members. Thankfully, they were still able to keep and pay all of their employees. Wright goes on to highly esteem his employees as being an essential part of overcoming these challenging times. The tornado and the shutdown, put GYM 5 in a tough situation, but they weathered the storms. With the support of the community and employees, GYM 5 was ready to reopen with a smaller version of the gym after 1.5 months. By August, they were ready to fully open, ahead of the mandates inflicted by the pandemic.

One of the biggest changes that the new GYM space has seen is an upper-level cardio mezzanine. Gym goers can now enjoy their workout with an East Nashville view overlooking downtown Nashville through the large garage windows. Additionally, the GYM offers an abundance of other spaces and equipment to fit your interests in staying fit and active.For instance, their outdoor workout space was one of my favorites! This was one of the first parts of the Gym to reopen. Move Nashville got on the scene on a beautiful 60 degree winter day, and I can say we all wanted to enjoy a workout in the outdoor space.

Gym 5 also offers workout programs, which include: boxing boot, boxing, spin class, power lunch, TRX Cross-Training, and Strength and Conditioning. Wright and many others are glad that the Gym is back up and running. Amid the pandemic, it’s been a space to help the Nashville community stay active and healthy. Gym 5 is not just a reputable gym in East Nashville; it can now be seen as a symbol of the strength and resiliency in Nashville.




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