After facing closure amid COVID, Raleigh gym owner says business is bouncing back

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) – JoJo Polk is no stranger to adversity.

The former arena football standout spent nearly a decade on the gridiron. While playing football he broke his neck and was paralyzed.

However, Polk would bounce back and return to the field. Nearly two decades after making a full recovery, he’s the owner of CORE Fitness Studio in Raleigh.

He’s hoping to bounce back once again.

“I think they think that we all want is hope,” he said. “We’ve seen familiar faces come back into the gym and we’ve also seen a lot more new faces and I think that going forward I think it’ll be OK,” Polk added.

With the mask mandate lifted and COVID-19 cases down, Polk said gym membership is up and that he’s even added more instructors.

CORE Fitness is in a different space from the first time CBS 17 visited the business back in January.

At that time, the gym appeared to be on the brink of closing.

“I was really worried that these may be our last days,” Polk said.

That was why he says they created an online fundraiser. So far, CORE Fitness has raised nearly $ 40,000.

“It is almost surreal. We give so much to the community. Just for them to return the favor it meant a lot for us, ”Polk said.

While Polk is optimistic, he said they are not out of the woods yet.

“I’m not quite sleeping yet, but think things are starting to get back to normal,” he said smiling.

Polk also recently put together a documentary on YouTube, which goes into his personal journey.

He said while classes are larger now, they still have a cap to keep people safe.

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