In Shape Fitness owner takes over Vaughan Fitness Center

Published 5:30 pm Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Driving down Medical Center Parkway, some might notice a new sign has been put in front of what was Vaughan Fitness Center.

Just over a month ago, the center was sold to David Johnson and Julius Talton and now serves as the hub of In Shape Fitness.

Johnson is the owner of In Shape Fitness and the two are co-owners of the property.

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“Julius Talton came to me with this idea,” Johnson said. “Julius and I have established a relationship over the past few years, and he has always been a role model of mine.  He knows I have always wanted to own a health club, so he approached me with this idea back in March of 2016.”

Johnson said the two wanted to purchase Vaughan Fitness because they felt like it would benefit them as well as the community.

“We decided to purchase the fitness center because we both saw it as a great opportunity to meet our desires. We both have great feelings for the facility and want it to thrive and do well,” Johnson said. “Julius and I both love Selma, and want this to be a good, safe, family-oriented place for our community.”

Johnson said he plans to update the facility from the inside out. Some of those renovations will include relining the pool, painting, installing new carpet and repairing the tennis courts.

“Julius and his family are big tennis players and see this as a great opportunity to repair the tennis courts and make this a prime spot for the tennis community,” Johnson said.

David McCormack, CEO of Vaughan Regional Medical Center, said he is glad to see the building go to Johnson and Talton.

“I’m happy that they’re going to invest some funds in there and upgrade it and just make it a better facility,” McCormack said. “I think that they’re going to do a great job.”

The hospital operated Vaughan Fitness for more than 10 years, but McCormack said it was just time to focus on the hospital.

“Our business is the hospital, and we really have to focus on the hospital and what we’re doing here. That’s our core business,” McCormack said. “We just did not have the resources to spend on the fitness center. Our priorities are with the hospital.”

Vaughan Fitness was staffed by the hospital, and McCormack was glad that Johnson decided to keep the employees after the name change.

“I think our staff did a good job there, and I’m glad that they’ve kept our staff,” McCormack said.

Johnson is from Selma and graduated from Auburn University. After returning home, he was looking for a job and decided to spend his spare time coming up with a workout program.

“Ever since I was old enough, I’ve always loved fitness and loved working out,” Johnson said. “I got really into it when I moved back to Selma from college.”

He said he held a free class at Bloch Park in February 2011 and only five people showed up. But he kept it going and over time more and more people started signing up and wanting to take classes from him. Eventually, it got to where he had a full-time business.

“I didn’t really know this was going to be my career path,” Johnson said. “I always loved fitness, and I’ve always wanted to help people, so I feel like this is my passion and this is one of the things I’m on this earth to do.”

Johnson said he believes the new location will help the overall goals of In Shape Fitness.

“The new building is [going to] be very beneficial. Our goal is to boost membership, promote healthiness and to make each member feel like part of a family,” Johnson said. “After all is said and done, we want to make this a top-notch place where people can come to work out, relax and spend time with their friends and families.”

The new facility offers a weight room, cardio room, aerobics room, cross training room, racquetball court, swimming pool, tennis court, basketball court and child care. Some of the classes they offer are yoga, step, spin, arthritis classes, boot camp, body sculpt and barre classes, and Johnson said they plan to offer intense cross training once they complete the renovations.

Overall, Johnson said it’s just about helping people and giving them the best facility he can to achieve their goals.

“What I love most about my job is helping others. I love to see people reach the goals that they set for themselves,” Johnson said. “It is so rewarding to see people overcome obstacles that they thought they could never get past. This is an answered prayer for me and my family, and I want to thank God for making this possible.”