BY BROOKE WILLIAMS
Kelly Fry wants Rivertop Wellness to be more than just a fitness center.
Using her background in teaching exercise science and wellness theory courses, she hopes to promote all aspects of wellness through her new business in Tunkhannock.
“That’s really what I want this to be: physical wellness, social wellness, emotional wellness,” she said.
Rivertop Wellness, formerly River Street Group Fitness where Fry was an instructor, opened on 112 River Street next to Riverside Park in the beginning of September. Former owner Paul Herbener, who also runs a chiropractic practice out of part of the space, asked Fry in the spring about potentially taking the fitness area over after she asked about expanding it.
“I changed the name and remodeled the whole upstairs to move the program up here,” she said.
Starting a wellness center was something “on her heart” for a long time.
“I just really wanted to offer something to the community that supports a healthier lifestyle and educate people on what that means as far as lifestyle and not just the fitness piece of it,” she said.
Through Rivertop Wellness, Fry hopes to help people improve their quality of life in whichever way that means for them, as each individual differs.
“The bottom line is a community that supports everybody on their journey,” she said. “It’s a no judgement place.”
At Rivertop, one could find a variety of classes and workshops tailored to wellness each month. This includes cycling and cycling/circuit with stationary spin bikes; dance fitness; guided meditation; interval training; pound fit; rock steady boxing for Parkinson’s disease; total body conditioning; and yoga varieties such as zen barre, holy yoga and power yoga.
“We have more intense classes and then lower intensity classes,” she said. “Hopefully everyone tries a variety of them.”
For seniors, Rivertop offers SilverSneakers programs that certain insurance providers cover, and Fry also plans to kick off classes for children and young adults this month.
Sally Johnson, who instructs spinning, zen barre and SilverSneakers at Rivertop, said the class turnout has been positive since the soft opening earlier this month.
“It’s great. There’s a little bit of everything,” Johnson said, noting that it fulfills a need in Tunkhannock that other fitness centers lack. “This one’s different because it’s real homey.”
On Thursday evenings, Rivertop holds free wellness workshops with guest speakers that address a variety of topics such as self-defense, cannabidiol products and self-motivation, just to name a few. Fry also plans to educate people about essential oils, hold DIY classes and collaborate with Laura Maxson, who runs Premier Nutrition Counseling next door, to promote healthy eating.
Classes so far have been predominantly female, and while Rivertop isn’t exclusively open to women, Fry is pleased that they view it was a friendly atmosphere. As a woman and a mother, Fry said she understands that women want to feel comfortable when they work out, have privacy and sometimes prefer only exercising around other women.
To meet this need, Rivertop plans to offer a women’s only whole body fitness class scheduled alongside yoga for kids to accommodate families. In addition to large group classes, Rivertop offers personal training, as well as small group classes of no more than six people for those who want customized plans and one-on-one support to meet their goals.
Fry saw a need in Tunkhannock for one place that promotes all aspects of wellness, including spiritual well being, which she hopes to help people find through holy yoga and other programs.
“Our community has some great things, but I think this piece of what we do here, what is under our umbrella of wellness, was definitely something our community needed,” Fry said.
Rivertop Wellness holds its grand opening this Saturday, Oct. 5, during Hometown Fall Fest. Starting at 10 a.m., the public can participate in class demos every 30 minutes, with a break for a ribbon cutting ceremony at noon.