Community Fitness for Ages 8 to 78
Story by Sara Coates
Photo by Jamie Harris Photography
Over the past five years, a program called “High Fitness,” has been rapidly expanding across all of North America. Thanks to Roxboro native, Lindsay Carver, it has made a big impact on little Person County. The program began with two friends, Emily Nelson and Amber Zenith, “who found what was missing in the fitness industry and turned it into something incredible,” said Carver, “they took old school aerobics, added modern fitness techniques and created an inclusive culture which has resulted in a fitness movement.”
Originally, High was not a career for Carver, who said it began as something she was drawn to on Instagram. Carver found there were no classes in North Carolina at the time, but that an instructors’ training was taking place in Virginia Beach. She took a chance, quit her job, and started teaching classes in 2017. She explained that “as awesome as High looked on Instagram,” what “got” her was “the community aspect.” She talked about how the program “is grounded in positivity, support, and encouragement,” with an on-going theme of “community over competition.” Carver believes this is an important message, especially for women and girls. “Supporting others never takes away from ourselves. All ships rise with the tide,” Carver went on, “that was a company I wanted to be a part of.”
Another great aspect of High, there is zero dance ability required. Just about anyone, at any current level of fitness, can obtain benefits by getting involved. High is “for all ages and stages,” said Carver, noting that “you can find eight-year-olds and 70-year-olds in [her] class at the same time.” There are options for everyone, and Carver loves to look out and see such a variety taking place all at once. For example, Carver explained that when the class drops down to do a burpee, “the option is to stay standing or do a squat,” as “both keep your heart pumping, sweat rolling, and gives everyone the opportunity to be successful.”
Carver “could write a book,” about the benefits High offers. For her, it was initially a chance to start something where she could set the tone. “I could determine the vibe and ensure it was a positive, uplifting experience for every single person who walked in the door,” Carver said, “I think everyone benefits from having that place. It is my number one focus, always. I am very protective over it. I try to greet every single person at the door so they know I am so happy and excited to see them. I know it’s not always easy to make it to class, it’s not always easy to carve out an hour for yourself. Life gets busy and crazy and I am always so proud and thankful to see people making it happen. Having that outlet is a BIG deal,” she said.
Overall, Carver likes to be the “sunshiny part” of people’s day, and it is more than evident that this is the impact she leaves upon people. Participants such as Jessica Davis, Anna Scott Lawrence, Barbara Walters, Heather Jackson, and Mary Champion, all from Roxboro, were quick to come forward and tell how they have been impacted by Carver and this program that has developed into something so much more for them.
Davis has attended High for about a year. Recovering from surgery, she’s had to take some time off, but says she is “slowly getting back into it.” Davis keeps going because “it’s addicting,” and because “I love the vibe it puts off.”
Lawrence decided to give it a try, much like Carver, because of what she saw on Instagram, Lawrence keeps going back “because Lindsay makes it so much fun.” Lawrence loves how the program allows her to incorporate her love for dance into a workout. “Lindsay has been such a wonderful encourager and motivator,” said Lawrence, “making me want to jump higher and squat lower!”
Walters was looking for a “strength-building workout program” that would be the “perfect fit” for her. She continues to go because the program has become “one large family,” where “every member genuinely cares about one another.” High has helped her become healthier than she’s ever been. “In fact, I find myself scheduling everything else around my workout schedule,” said Walters.
Jackson has been going to High for two years, attending for the first time because she simply wanted to see what Carver had to offer. “I keep going back for the workout, the music, and overall uplifting atmosphere.” “Lindsay places high importance on self-care, and taking care of yourself, no matter your age, stage, or schedule. She pushes us to take time for ourselves and not feel guilty about it.” On top of this, “Lindsay is positive and full of great energy that is contagious,” Jackson concludes.
Champion has been taking part in the program for a little over a year. “Seeing physical changes in several of my friends finally made me curious enough to want to attend,” said Champion, who keeps going back because she is starting to see the same results within herself. “Lindsay makes exercise so much fun,” adding that Lindsay is “a blessing to all who come in contact with her.”
In the end, “fitness doesn’t work unless you do,” said Carver, “and if it’s not fun, no one is going to do it for long.” The reason Carver keeps doing it is “because they do,” she said. “I love seeing people sweat and smile. I love seeing people walk in scared and unsure, but coming back again and again. I love seeing people set goals for their health and being able to meet them,” concluded Carver, “I will always want to continue that.”
Individual classes are $5 per person. No memberships or sign-ups required. Individuals can also purchase a pass worth 10 classes for $40. Classes take place on Mondays and Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. at Palace Pointe, Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Rox Fitness Center, and Saturdays at 9 a.m. at Palace Pointe.
Sara Coates is a graduate of Roxboro Community School, where she developed a deep love for journalism. After a year at Piedmont Community College, she is transferring to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, with plans to obtain a degree in social work. In the future, she hopes to return to Person County and have a great impact on the lives of children within our foster care system. In her spare time, Sara loves working with children, as a teacher in the three-year-old class at Small World Daycare in Timberlake, but also loves getting the opportunity to take photos and write for Hyco Lake Magazine.