When we asked Alex what wellness means to him, he had what seemed at first to be a simple and direct answer. “The first thing about wellness,” he said, “is lacking sickness.” But there is so more much tied into that. It means having to take the time to ask yourself what is wrong. What do we hope to improve or change? Maybe that’s about feeling confident in yourself through strength or ability, or maybe for you it’s about forming a discipline that can train the mind as well as the body. “Remove all the negative things around health,” Alex said, “and increase the positives.” Perhaps you don’t particularly enjoy working out, but if you change your point of view and take note of how you feel afterwards, that’s where you’ll learn what works (or doesn’t work) for you. Alex has shaped his gym’s philosophy around this idea. “We have some members who are hard core and incredibly serious,” Alex said, “but we joke they’re the 1%. (Although it’s closer to 5%.) Most members are focused on functional health, pain management, and rehab.”

Alex is well-aware that gyms can be an intimidating space. “There’s an initial insecurity of what are people are going to think, you know?” Alex said. “But everyone is really focused on themselves. The trainers are helping other people, and it’s fun to be around like-minded individuals who are taking that first step with you. Nobody’s worried about what you’re wearing, how you look, or how advanced you are.” It’s an important reminder that we all have to start at the beginning when trying something new, and showing up is often the hardest part. “This space is for everybody,” Alex said. “If you like nice things (like the best equipment) and a high-end experience with a sense of community, come on by. Walk through those doors and you’ll have a good time. That’s what brings people back.”

It’s also important to note that people’s goals at a gym can change, but that doesn’t mean the approach has to. “I’m not a heavy lifter anymore,” Alex told us. “I’m just a normal gym person.” But that discipline and focus remains. “I always make sure to take the drive to the gym, or sit in my car or office before working out, to really find that pre-game routine. Like, ‘all right, it’s time to kind of check myself and create the mindset I want.’ Give myself that time. Because even if I don’t want to train, I always feel better afterwards, and I think other people do too.”

Now, you might be wondering: How is this a place for me if I’m just visiting for the weekend? Well, you’re in luck because West Coast Strength has drop-in visits available for anyone curious to try it. “We’ve become sort of a well-known organization,” Alex said. “And so we have people coming in from Eugene and Seattle, buying shirts and taking pictures almost like a novelty thing. One of the coolest parts to this job is having visitors.”

So what helps with finding that motivation? According to Alex, it’s important to discover your WHY. The “why,” as Alex calls it, is what you return to again and again when feeling tired or lost. It’s the reason you wake up and stick to the plan that’s important to you. “Most people don’t know where to get started or what to do,” Alex said. “But the industry is here to help you, and once you have that ‘why’ then it’s worth it.” Your ‘why’ might be health-based, or maybe you want to prepare for an event. Maybe you just want to work on self-discipline and the gym is how you’ve chosen to do so. The why is up to you, but Alex and the entire team at West Coast Strength is here to help you see it through whenever you’re ready. “It’s a space to do work and feel good about that work,” Alex said. “I love selling fitness because I don’t sell something that I feel guilty about. Everyone at West Coast Strength fanatically believes in the product/what we do.”

So if you’re interested, all that’s left to do is stop by and check it out. Say hello to Alex and explore the different options available to you. Perhaps you’ll top it off with a private hot tub session at The Independence Hotel before bed. We’d love to host you and compliment your wellness journey with as much or as little as you want planned!