Savannah gym owner offers free workout classes to current, previous breast cancer patients

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A local gym owner says his mother’s battle with breast cancer has inspired him to help others.

Alonzo Wright, who owns Beastmode Fitness on Skidaway Road, is offering what he calls the Shirley Special to breast cancer survivors or anyone who is currently fighting the disease.

“It’s powerful and we have to do something to combat it, so the only thing I can do on my part is offer to help with fitness,” Wright told WSAV NOW.

Any of the workout classes at Beastmode Fitness will be available for current or former breast cancer patients free of charge. 

Named after his mother, Shirley Wright, the gym owner and former football athlete says his discount will run through the end of the year.

“My classes are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 5 a.m., 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.,” Wright said.

He’s owned Beastmode Fitness for the past nine years.

“All you have to do is come,” Wright said. “You don’t have to give me an explanation, you just have to say, ‘I’m a survivor’ or ‘I’m a fighter,’ and I’m gonna take care of you, I’m gonna do my part to help you fight this battle.”

Wright says his grandmother succumbed to breast cancer.

It’s what made seeing his mom, whom he calls a superhero, endure her year-long breast cancer battle all the more difficult, he revealed.

“Watching her go through what she went through made me look at the disease a lot differently,” Wright said.

Shirley often appeared drained, he says, and it seemed as though the chemotherapy sessions were taking the life out of her.

Still, Wright shares, the woman who gave him life was a fighter up until the time she could finally ring the bell to mark the end of treatment.

“We were trying to help her fight on the outside, but of course, nobody could fight but her, and she won,” Shirley’s son said. 

He adds that three people have so far signed up for the Shirley Special and they have yet to miss a class.

“It’s very motivating to know that they want to do this,” Wright said. “When they come in, they’re smiling and every last one of them had on their pink, so I knew who they were immediately.”

He says his gym offers total body fitness training, and personal trainers are there to assist those who need more individualized attention.

The fitness expert says continuing an exercise routine while undergoing cancer treatment can be beneficial for several reasons. 

“For the physical aspect, you want to be as strong and as fit as you can be, but it helps your mental stability, it gets your mind off of it,” Wright said, adding, “It can be a stress relief, you have something to look forward to for the day, especially if you’re currently fighting this disease.”

He says he encourages anyone going through a breast cancer journey to keep on fighting.

“Just don’t give up,” Wright said.

To contact Alonzo Wright for more details on the Shirley Special at Beastmode Fitness, you can follow him on Instagram via @BeastmodeSavannah, or visit his gym’s website here.

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