Josh Ford and Morgan Van Mierlo have recently moved from Guelph to Rodney. They purchased property at 22266 Thomson Line, and renovated a horse barn on the property, converting it into a fitness studio. It’s called Fitborough.
Ford is Fitborough’s head coach. He is a strength and conditioning specialist and holds a Master’s degree in Leadership.
Ford has an extensive background in his field, both coaching athletes and mentoring interns.
Van Mierlo, meanwhile, grew up in West Elgin, while Ford is from a small town in Northern Ontario.
The training of customers began on the property, in their garage and outside, last July. The barn was opened in November 2021. Part-time employee Kenzie Fink has recently joined the staff.
The house and property for many years were in the Felder family. Herb and his father Konrad built the “chicken” barn after they bought the farm from realtor Joe Soos in 1961. The original studs were reinforced by Ford and others recently, along with the pouring of a cement floor and other improvements.
The house in which the couple live was built in 1870, and the Felders all lived there. The barn on the farm was destroyed by a mini-tornado about a decade ago. The farm property now belongs to Miller Farms.
The services provided at Fitborough include small group personal training, one-on=one personal training, nutrition coaching, and online coaching.
Yoga has just become available, with instructor, or yogi, Natalie Coles.
Youth and athlete development are planned, with future additions to the regimes on offer.
Ford brings a unique skill set and experience to the private sector, having spent the past 12 years working as a strength and conditioning coach in the NCAA, USPORTS, and with National Sport Organizations such as Canada Basketball.
He says he has been fortunate to work alongside award-winning coaches, world-class therapists, and unbelievably resilient athletes.
Giving back to the community is a key goal of the couple, and so far they have done so through sponsorship of the Mother’s Day road race and a donation to Parkinson Society of Southwestern Ontario. They are also partnering with the municipality to operate a youth program this summer.
Fitborough’s mission is “to fortify our community by empowering individuals to discover the best version of themselves through fitness. We don’t need to be the best part of your day; we just want to help you be ready for it.”
Fitborough plans on continued growth, both in membership and staffing, to serve a larger population. They are building an outdoor training area to expand their programming, and are looking to offer more options for youth athletic development and fitness.
Their garden area is quite large, and chickens will soon be added to the roster, so perhaps an option for a Community Supported Agriculture box of locally grown vegetables and meats might be available for members down the road.
Having set a goal of 50 members in its first year, Fitborough already reached that goal and is seeing an increase of even more members.