SHORELINE — Employers may want to take note of one owner’s end-of-the-year practice with his employees.
It could be among the reasons George Norden’s Joint Effort Exercise, a gym for people over 50 and those struggling with a chronic illness or weight issues, has grown from its first location in Guilford in 2015 to locations in Branford, Old Saybrook and, most recently, Cheshire.
“I always ask my employees to share their personal goals and professional goals so we can work together to achieve them,” he said.
Run a marathon, regional manager Shannon Palumbo told him late last year.
Fantastic, Norden said. Let’s do it together. Let’s go big. Let’s do the New York City Marathon.
Soon clinical exercise physiologist Katrina Cordeiro, the manager at Joint Effort’s Old Saybrook location, signed on.
The charity they selected to gain entry was New York Road Runners Striders, which provides free fitness and wellness programs for seniors around the five boroughs of New York City.
Their missions are virtually identical, according to Norden.
“We’re both seeking to enable seniors to maintain their independence and quality of life in a climate that encourages them not just to show up but to stick with it,” he said.
Joint Effort members pitched in to help meet the fundraising goal of $3,000 per runner.
“I saw how much working out at Joint Effort has helped me in my daily life and I wanted to help the people who got me there,” said Joann Weymer of Guilford.
“It’s inspiring,” Guilford’s Barbara Fennelly said after the three had completed the marathon. “It’s great to see the people who lead us practicing what they preach.”
As for getting on board with his employees’ goals for 2020—scaling Mount Everest? running with the bulls?—“I’m game,” Norden said with a grin. “Stay tuned.”
For more information about Joint Effort Exercise, visit jointeffortexercise.com or call 203-458-6683.