Former Pro Athlete Turned Fitness Entrepreneur Opens First Black Female-Owned Gym in Richardson

Despite the ongoing pandemic, Victoria Thomas opened the third location of her JourneyFit Gym, where she helps people on their fitness journeys with in-person and online classes.

This year has proven to be a time of struggles and small victories for many business owners, and JourneyFit Gym Founder and Owner Victoria Thomas is one of many entrepreneurs that have pivoted 2020 in her favor. On Oct. 3, she opened the gym’s third location, which happens to be the first Black female-owned gym in Richardson.

As a lifelong athlete, Thomas is no stranger to challenges. She began her career playing volleyball at Rutgers University while her sisters went to other schools for track and volleyball.

“We have that very competitive sports background within our family,” Thomas told Dallas Innovates. “Working out and fitness just became second nature, and it became the culture of our family.”

Now, Thomas encourages people to set goals in their fitness journeys, have a solid strength-based program, and to eat more nutrient dense food. She believes that the evolution of fitness changed how women can be seen in the realm of body sizes.

“There was a time period where it was taboo for women to lift weights, then CrossFit came on the scene and then it became beautiful to be strong,” Thomas said.

[Image: Courtesy JourneyFit Gym]

She opened the first location of JourneyFit Gym in 2017, the second in 2018, and the third earlier this month. As a trainer, Thomas helps people every day on their fitness journeys with in-person and online classes due to the pandemic, but it hasn’t been easy opening the third location during COVID-19.

“We’ve actually been constructing on this project now since March,” Thomas said. “There was a lot of pushback and a lot of disorganization based on the city being shut down and them furloughing employees.”

While working on the construction of the new gym, Thomas still had to pay full rent for the location while incurring new expenses to make working as safe as possible for patrons and employees, including touchless scanners, sanitation, disposable wipes, and paper towels.

[Image: Courtesy JourneyFit Gym via Instagram]

Thomas said that JourneyFit ran out of money and had one of their locations broken into during the protests in Dallas.

“It’s been a crazy ride, just trying to get this facility open,” Thomas said. “And I think it’s one of the reasons why it’s such a testament to the relentless nature of my staff, myself, our faith, our faith in God because of the things we went through.”

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