Running in step many years ago while competing on the Ramona High School cross country team, Sandy and Mario Balcom continue their union with fitness, an integral part of their daily lives.
“We have been married for 22 years and have stayed very active for the entire length of our marriage,” said Sandy.
Sandy has been in the fitness industry for 16 years. She is a certified group fitness instructor and personal certified personal trainer.
“I began teaching fitness when my husband was working, and we were living temporarily in Northern California,” she said. “It started when I was working out daily at a local fitness center and was then recruited by the fitness club owner.
“When we returned to Ramona, I began my own business, Aerobics on the Go, teaching classes at different locations, and eventually settled in at the Conference Center facility, which was located in the Country Estates. The owner of that building decided to open Village Fitness, which then became my home away from home for the next 12 years.”
When Village Fitness closed Sept. 30, 2008, “Mario and I decided to make a move and open our own studio, which we have wanted to do for a very long time. We worked very quickly to open our fitness center to give the members of the former Village Fitness a new home.”
Still running in tandem, they opened GetFit at 751 Main St. in Ramona.
Balcom family roots run deep in Ramona. Mario’s family moved here in 1970, and Sandy’s family arrived in 1976. Sandy’s mother, stepfather, brother with his family, and sister continue to live in the community.
“My mom was a hairstylist in town for over 20 years,” said Sandy. “We attended Ramona Elementary, Ramona Junior High and Ramona High School. We grew up in this town and have very fond memories.
“Mario’s family was very involved in the horse community. Buck, Mario’s father, was one of the founders of Santana Riders, which is still going strong. Buck owned a welding business in this town for over 25 years and Mario worked for him while growing up. Unfortunately, we recently lost his dad. However his mother still lives in this community.
“Mario has so many great stories of growing up here. His stories could fill a book, and this is why we have chosen to raise our family here in Ramona, too.”
The Balcoms have two daughters, Brittany and Tessa, who’ve been raised in a household that stays active. Brittany was 3 months old when Mario took her in her stroller to participate in The Scripps Ranch 4th of July 10K race. To this day, Brittany continues the tradition by competing in the same race.
The couple’s legacy continues since both of their daughters attend Ramona High School and are on the cross country team and track team, and Tessa plays on the girls basketball team.
“I believe what will set us apart from other fitness facilities is, the hometown feeling,” said Sandy. “We just love this community and want to give Ramona residents a place where they can work out that is non-intimidating and friendly.
“When someone comes in to set up personal training, we talk about many things, including their history, health and fitness goals. Every client will come in with different goals. My responsibility and objective is to set up a program that will be effective, and one that the person will want to do. The key to sticking with a fitness program is finding something that the client will enjoy doing.”
The studio is equipped with everything needed to get a complete workout.
“Our family is dedicated to making everyone feel welcome, helping our clients in meeting their health and fitness goals,” continued Sandy. “We offer great class schedules, with excellent certified instructors. We have personal training, group training, and sport-specific training, offering Cycle, Pilates, Step, Yoga, Body and Core Strength sessions.”
Memberships are offered to people who only want to take classes, for those who only want to use the studio and for those who want to use everything. There is a day rate of $8, good for 24 hours, for those who do not have memberships.
“Fitness is our life,” said Sandy. “We want to share our passion with the community we love. Personal training appointments are designed to accommodate our clients’ schedules, as I am very flexible with my time.”
The Balcoms have started the GetFit Ramona Runners, a AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) club for adults and children. The club meets several times a week and over the summer will go to 10K and 5K races. At the end of summer training will be a camp trip to the Sierra Mountains, where club members will train at 11,000 feet, said Mario.
GetFit is open Mondays through Fridays from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The telephone number for GetFit is 440-3105.