The pandemic was hard on all of us in different ways. One of the saddest days was when Newberg’s Excell Fitness, a beloved gym and community-gathering place, closed its doors for good in December of 2020. This wasn’t just any gym. Excell was a place of connection,
accountability, growth and joy. Parents could bring their young children to the kid’s room and enjoy an hour to take care of themselves. Lifelong friendships were formed here. Members and staff would often comment on how everyone there felt like family. There’s a reason for this–people bond in special ways when they do something challenging together.
We, Kara Johnson, Diane Kenney and Crystal Merrow, are highly trained and committed fitness instructors who worked closely together throughout the pandemic. We stayed loyal to Excell Fitness (a long-time workplace for us) during the first shutdown, teaching free Facebook live classes for months. After the gym closed for good, we wanted a way to keep our community together. Two months later, we started Level Up Cycle and Fitness, as a virtual gym, offering a full schedule of Zoom classes. Through the tremendous support of the Newberg-Dundee community, we are now getting back in-person by opening a fitness studio designed with the same passion and community spirit that we were all born from. Welcome to Level Up!