There comes a time when most people feel a little out of shape and perhaps unable to enjoy sports and hobbies they love. When that time came for Ashley Gondi, she literally decided to stretch her limits.
“I’ve been skiing since I was four and had always led an active lifestyle. After I had my daughter, we were in Vail, and I found myself feeling sore and not really able to hang in there for the whole week,” she said. That began to change during a later trip to California. Gondi and her husband discovered StretchLab, where “flexologists” help clients increase flexibility.
Returning home, Gondi was dismayed to find the closest studio was in Charlotte, North Carolina. Before having her children — now six and two — she had a career in finance. Her husband owns multiple businesses, and their combined skills eventually led to franchise ownership of StretchLab on Augusta Road.
“We actually looked at more than one company, but StretchLab requires an extensive background and education for employees. We identified with their values and phenomenal positive energy,” she said. Newcomers sometimes question this relatively new modality, thinking stretching is something they could do themselves. Gondi insists, however, that the results of having someone “do the stretching for you” exceed what one could achieve alone.
“Why go to the dentist to have your teeth cleaned? It’s the same idea with this type of deep stretch,” she said. “You feel good while it’s happening. You feel good when you leave — physically and mentally.”
Two more local StretchLabs will open soon. With all that to manage, Gondi doesn’t get to ski often, but the experience is better when she does. “I can do side twists and buckle my boots while I’m still standing,” she said. “I’ve realized how important range of motion is. Stretching has definitely brought new quality to my life.”