Community, movement, and comfort are at the heart of how Stacy Gogolinski approaches exercise – and those values are tangible inside The ComeFit Zone, a gym that Gogolinski founded more than a decade ago and which has recently returned to Lincoln County after changing hands several times.
“It seems that people are always outside of their comfort zone when they’re working out, but I want them to feel like they could be in their comfort zone,” Gogolinski said, standing on a foam mat in the gym’s airy interior on Friday, Jan. 5.
The idea for the name of The ComeFit Zone originally came to Gogolinski when she was walking out of a high school after teaching an educational course on sexual assault. With a background in rape crisis counseling, Gogolinski said that creating a welcoming, comfortable environment for people to experience safe and positive physicality and touch was a central aspect of how she first imagined the gym.
In addition, Gogolinski imagined that the gym could function as a place for people to gather and enjoy music and motion in community. The need to gather groups of people together to form communities is “a part of” who Gogolinski is, she said, noting that music-based classes are particularly conducive to such healthy communities.
“There isn’t really a place as a grown-up person … if you don’t want to go to a club, where you can go to move to music with other people,” Gogolinski said.
More than a decade has passed since Gogolinski first imagined her gym, and in that time, The ComeFit Zone has surpassed her expectations. Gogolinski, who is a licensed massage therapist and certified personal trainer, teaches a wide range of classes at the gym, from workouts set to music to mobility workshops designed to reduce pain.
She has also built a strong community around the gym that comes together to focus on wellness, inclusion, and fun.
“Some people are drawn to (the gym) because of its name,” Gogolinski noted.
But while The ComeFit Zone today is an enormous part of Gogolinski’s life, it has not been a constant over the last 15 years. In fact, the gym’s new location in Jefferson only opened in the first week of 2024; before that, it had not been operational since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
Gogolinski founded the gym in 2008 and ran The ComeFit Zone successfully for several years and was thrilled at the gym’s growing community and the opportunity to teach group classes, she said. But a move to Idaho for her husband’s job made running the gym from afar more difficult and less rewarding, and she ultimately made the decision to sell the business in 2011.
The gym then changed hands again before closing ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, and had not been open again since. After returning to Maine from Idaho, Gogolinski ran an exercise studio first in Waldoboro and then in Damariscotta under the name Studio3. But once it became possible to reclaim the name of her original studio, Gogolinski knew she had to do it.
After the initial sale, Gogolinski said she “didn’t realize how much of a loss I felt – losing a community, and how much the name really did mean to me.” Now, in 2024, with The ComeFit Zone operational again and back under Gogolinski’s name, the personal trainer said she is thrilled to consider what the future may hold.
The ComeFit Zone has expanded its offerings, as well, with Gogolinski’s daughter Cheyenne Ross bringing her expertise as a psychotherapist to allow the gym to offer a more holistic view on health for its patrons.
The ComeFit Zone will continue to offer the wide variety of classes and events that the family have taught in the past, from workouts set to music to mobility workshops and even events on body image run by Ross.
The gym’s new home is at 207 Waldoboro Road in Jefferson, in a building shared with JJ’s Garage. The move to Jefferson has been met positively by the gym’s clients, said Gogolinski, who also noted that she has also seen a few new faces in class.
Some locals who “are used to traveling” out of town to work out “are excited that we are actually here in Jefferson,” Gogolinski said. She also hopes that the gym will be a positive addition to brighten Jefferson’s business community.
Newcomers can take two group classes for free to get a feel for the gym’s atmosphere, Gogolinski said. For more information, go to comefitzone.com or call 619-1223.