Wellsboro One-Stop WellnessFeb 01, 2022 09:00AM ● By Lilace Mellin Guignard
When temps creep below freezing and your face hurts when you take the dog out to pee, your mood may sag like a pine bough piled with snow. It’s not your fault—it’s biology. Less sunlight means more melatonin, making us sleepy. It also means less serotonin, the hormone that makes us happy. Suddenly we lose motivation to do the very things that cheer us up. Suddenly we growl at our friends who love winter. Suddenly we growl at our dog because he pees outdoors.
There’s help in the neighborhood. Chris and Lisa Bull created a new wellness complex in Wellsboro to help put some spring in your winter step. Serotonin levels increase with regular exercise and social interaction, and the businesses at 299 Tioga Street have you covered. Chris and Lisa bought the old bowling alley last year, when they wanted to expand 365 Fitness. “But the building was too big for just the gym,” explains Chris. They found other businesses to rent space and developed a multifunctional building that contains their twenty-four-hour gym, Mountain Life Cycling Studio (MLCS), and Arise Café, all of which are interconnected for easy access indoors. Carol’s Beauty & Glow Salon is housed separately. Carol’s offers a full range of hair services and five levels of tanning.
A line of parking spaces stretches the length of the building from Carol’s, on the left, to Arise on the right. There are front entrances to 365 and the café. Drive to the right of the café around to the back to find the main parking area. The double doors in back are handicap accessible and open onto a large room of tables, sometimes full of people playing Euchre and drinking coffee. The back hallway leads left to the café, to the 365 Gym door in the center, and the entrance to the spin studio on the right.
The spin studio is almost 2,800 square feet of space, whose walls are an energizing white, teal, and purple. There’s a platform up front for the instructor, and four rows of four bikes. Sue Webster, owner of MLCS, offers a variety of morning and evening classes. She moved her business from the Deane Center so she could have room to space the bicycles six feet apart. Having shut down for the pandemic, she reopened here in October 2021. Sue had a spin studio in Bucks County before moving here and has worked in the fitness industry for twenty-five years.
“Spinning is a non-impact cardiovascular workout on a stationary bike, appropriate for people of all ages and fitness levels,” she says. “Cycling is often used in rehabbing knee injuries.” Though the instructor has a program they lead, it’s up to each person to decide how hard they push themselves—or if they even follow the program. It’s common for someone in class who’s starting out or has joint injuries to have the goal of simply pedaling for forty-five minutes, the length of a class.
The Zone is located in the back of the same room, with mirrors, dumbbells, mats, and more for group classes in barre, circuit training, and body sculpting. Group classes are for those who like the accountability of knowing friends will be there, and who like a supportive atmosphere that is not aggressive. Sue says, “With group fitness you get the benefits of the hours of preparation that certified instructors put in creating classes specifically for their students, down to the music. We make it fun.” Join a theme ride, like seventies songs or Christmas in July.
Walk back down the hallway to enter the door to 365. Now you’re in 6,000 square feet of cardio and strength training. The locker room offers four private toilet/shower/changing rooms. The red, black, and silver room holds Life Fitness ellipticals, treadmills, stair climbers, arc trainers, bikes, and a rower you can program for your own virtual coach. Or you can watch Netflix or YouTube while burning calories. There’s free Wi-Fi throughout the gym so you can get Spotify or Sirius while using the free weights or selectorized machines, which allow users to choose the amount of weight they move for each exercise.
At the front counter, manager Austin Dunham and his staff is happy to show a visitor around or set up personal training sessions. “Not everything is about business here,” Austin says. “We want to build relationships.” Staff are there from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. But what sets this gym apart is the twenty-four-hour access possible if you get a key fob. Want to come after finishing a graveyard shift? No problem. Can’t sleep and need to blow off some stress? Come on in.
After you’ve finished a morning workout and want a power smoothie, or any time you want a warm place to connect with friends, Melissa Owlett has what you need at Arise Café, open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day but Sunday. She describes Arise as “a healthier eats café,” then laughs when she considers the popularity of her made-from-scratch maple-glazed pumpkin cookies. Paninis, soups, salads, breakfast sandwiches, and egg bowls use locally sourced ingredients when possible, and always her own recipes (including the Buffalo Chicken sauce). Gluten-free options are available. “The biggest way to beat the winter blues,” Melissa says, “is a cup of coffee with a friend—or two, or three . . . or thirty.”
This year, show the blahs who’s boss by getting down to 299 Tioga Street, connecting with folks, exercising at least thirty minutes three times a week, and eating healthy. For more information on these businesses, look them up on Facebook, check out their websites, or give them a call.