What if ‘IF’ had not been there for me? Or: We get by with a little help from our friends

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From left, Stu Arnett, looking fit with his motivational crew at Individual Fitness, Kelly Hopler, Marcus Sevigny and Kaitlynn Woodward. Courtesy Photo


Nothing is as boring as someone talking about their “fitness routine,” especially in the New Year, when everyone is on the wagon, so I’ll make this quick.

“What IF” is my unofficial tag line for personal trainers Individual Fitness (IF), where I have been a work-in-process for eight years. I have offered to be their perpetual “before” model if they find someone else for “after.” IF has just opened a new facility in Manchester, on Mammoth Road, and owners Jim and John Olson are the Click and Clack brothers of fitness coaching. So, go there and see-meet Jim, and sign up. End of plug.

What I will spend my few remaining paragraphs on – and staying on the Comeback Communities and Better Than Ever themes – is the role good people played in getting me and my early-stage business through the recent past, very long down economy period, in spite of an improbable business plan (mea culpa) and my own hubris, that I did not need anyone’s help.

So as I find myself busier today and relatively successful – certainly in comparison to the BODs (bad old days) and seeing how Jim and John also battled through that tough time (guess what a lot of people cancel when the economy goes south: fitness expenses) I am reminded of how fortunate I was to inadvertently meet many good people who threw me lifelines.

The Olsons helped keep me from physically backsliding in times of despair, and my weekly work-outs kept me accomplishing goals – however modest – while other results were not so good.

Past work associates agreed to work with us for rates that were below what they should have charged, and often time for free. A TtGL (thank the Good Lord) contract came through at the last minutes via a referral from a former colleague when I worked at the state; most “colleagues” either assumed I retired, died ,or was transported to outer space, I guess.

And the modest but dynamo editor-owner of this e-newspaper was an inspiration (if she can do it, well then…) and she allowed me a spot on her coveted contributors list.

And there has been my family and faith.

So before I get too busy again, thank you all.

[Now, get down to IF and give me 50!]


Check out the Better Than Ever archives here.


Stuart Arnett redevelop hometowns through his company Arnett Development Group in Concord, and is a founding member of the Better Future Alliance L3C, and has served as New Hampshire’s Director of Economic Development. He is the youngest of five sugar-fed boomers. You can reach him with your suggestions for city sites in need of remedy here.