Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Good Idea

I had lunch with Karen Jashinsky about a year ago, having met her through some relatives, and recently did some poking around to see what she was up to. Turns out the answer is 'a lot.'

Anyone in the fitness world will probably be hearing her name soon because she's got herself a pretty nifty business plan: a gym for teens. Sounds like one of those things that should have been in place around 1980, right? Well -- it hasn't been done, and now Karen's making it happen.

Creating a gym for teens has so much to recommend it that I hardly know where to begin: let's start with the rampant obesity, poor nutrition habits, and general sedentary lifestyle that a shocking number of teens are bringing with them into adulthood. Then imagine that if a gym for teens became a cool hangout -- and from the pictures and marketing materials, it looks like it has the potential to be VERY cool -- it could turn teen pack mentality to parents' advantage. Then let's talk about the dismal state of physical education in this country and how a gym for teens might be able to play a small part in rectifying that. And on and on.

Karen's idea is to create a gym that is part health club and part hangout: kids will be able to study and socialize there after they work out. They could take a martial arts or a yoga class with ten of their friends, then sidle up to the protein bar for a smoothie. Better that than smoking in the boys' room.

For every company trying desperately to jam new consumer goods down our kids' throats, onto their iPods, Xboxes, the fronts of their t-shirts, and the seats of their pants, it's inspiring to see someone who's offering teens and their parents something that -- novel idea -- might actually benefit them and enrich their lives.

Karen's a USC business school grad and has been featured in "Entrepreneur," "Los Angeles Family," and elsewhere. Looks like she's shooting for a pretty huge opening in LA this fall, and if I'm not mistaken, another opening in Tokyo (!) shortly after that. If you've got kids of an appropriate age, and live in the area, I'd say her gym's worth serious consideration, and even if you don't, the website is an inspiration in itself. Here's to a great launch, Karen!

Check out all the details of O2 MAX Fitness here.

Thanks for all the comments on The Recess Gym! Maybe I should have kept my brilliant business idea to myself...


Bob Devlin said...

Wow, great idea. That place looks great. And it's a great idea too. Thanks for posting

Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew!!

I am now starting to get up to speed on blogging and googles my name to see what came up and found this. Thanks for writing about me!! Ironically you posted the comment on my birthday as well!!

We are producing our 2nd annual live music/fitness event on Sept 30th called Energy Rocks. Check it out

and more about us

Thanks again for the support!!