Giving up isn’t in Vanessa Head’s blood even when faced with adversity.
The 31-year-old daughter of two United States Army veterans will open Brickhouse Cardio Club in Falls Church Saturday, despite her ongoing battle with multiple sclerosis.
Diagnosed 11 years ago, Head said she first felt tingling in the fingertips on her left hand. Before long, the tingling had spread all along the left side of her body. Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a disease of the nervous system that often gets progressively worse with time.
“When I was diagnosed, all I heard was the bad stories,” Head said. “Working out is my drug.”
Head will open the doors to the cardio club Saturday with a grand opening party from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fitness studio will offer a free workout for customers. Unlike gyms in the area, Head said the club will not have machines or free weights but will have classes in Zumba, Turbo Kick, Hip-Hop Hustle, P90X and Piyo Strength.
Brickhouse Cardio Club is a national chain. Head said she first heard of Brickhouse Cardio Club while teaching future physical trainers in West Virginia.
Head and her parents, Curtis and Lynn, who came in from Colorado to help their daughter open her cardio club, are putting on final touches to the studio. Head said she is glad to have her parents in to help and be there to see her dream become a reality.
Head, who likes to workout without actually working out, said people could work up a sweat and burn calories without actually doing traditional exercises.
“I found something that doesn’t feel like working out with this,” Head said. “It’s one of those things you do because you have a passion for it.”
Passionate is how Head’s mother describes her daughter.
Lynn said her daughter has always kept busy doing things she likes to do even if she’s exhausted from MS. Lynn said she and her husband are often amazed at Head’s energy.
“I wake up every day and say, ‘That’s my child,’” Lynn said. “This is the next item on her list of goals.”
More than 10 people have already signed up for classes at the studio, said Head, who works at the Department of Agriculture. Seven trainers, including herself, will run the classes. Head said there will also be some weekend classes and possibly more classes as the business picks up.
“We want to see what the demand is,” Head said. “We want to see the demographics.”