For more than 20 years, husband and wife duo Walt and Cheryl Bushey have been teaching fitness classes at their Lubbock-based studio, ArtFit. Their classes are unique, family-friendly, motivational, and most importantly, tons of fun. If you’re new to fitness, taking a class may sound overwhelming, but at ArtFit you feel more than welcome no matter what level of fitness or skills you have. Classes include martial arts, fitness, yoga, dance, aerial, and several others – there’s something for everyone! We spoke to Cheryl to learn more about her passion for fitness and for seeing others learn and grow.
What made you and your husband decide to start ArtFit?
“Walt has always done martial arts, and had been teaching for awhile. So, we decided to go ahead and open up our own place to teach classes. Also at the time I was doing competitive kickboxing. Over the years we’ve grown, added classes, and even changed our focus a little bit. But, martial arts and kickboxing is where we started.”
Can you talk a little about your personal fitness journey?
“I’ve been a dancer since I was very young, and it was important for me to stay active. I moved into the fitness field from there and found more ways to stay active. That led me into kickboxing and then into fitness dance and aerial skills. It was a natural progression of something I’ve always done.
Walt had a similar progression. He started doing martial arts as a child and just kept it going over the years while also expanding on his skills.”
What might you say to someone who is nervous about getting into fitness or taking up a new skill?
“I would say just start. A lot of people are afraid that they won’t be able to do a fitness class. They might think they need more strength or need to lose weight first to start, but that’s not true at all. You’ve got to start somewhere.
All of our classes are based on the idea that people are coming in, first day, with no previous experience or fitness. We start from there. For the people who struggle to start on their own, we want to make our classes fun and motivational. It’s hard to go into a gym and do the same thing over and over everyday. What we do is a progression. So, each and every class you’re striving for something new and working towards a goal. You’re always learning something, and it feels more like fun than working out. That’s what makes our classes exciting and keeps people coming back. But like I said, you’ve just got to get started on that journey. There’s no reason to wait!”
Do you have any stories of favorite memories with your students?
“That’s a hard question because for me, and probably for Walt, too, it’s about seeing people progress, learn, and blossom. There’s not just one favorite memory or moment. A lot of times it’s the small things that are most touching for us. Maybe it’s seeing someone with low self-esteem start to build confidence. Or, for example, when a student achieves something they’ve been working really hard on. We have so many students who come in and are working toward a specific goal, and when you see them attain that goal, you feel part of something special. Those are probably the most heartwarming memories for us.”
What do you love about being a local business in Lubbock?
“What I love most is the people, really and truly. We have customers who come and stay with us for years, and getting to know them is so special.
Also, with being a business in Lubbock there’s the uniqueness of having Texas Tech University and the medical center in town because they pull people in from all over. So it’s local people, but it’s also the people who come from all over to be local in Lubbock. I think it’s so much fun to get to know the individual customers and have experiences with them. We learn through our customers, and we feel like we’re a part of the community in that way thanks to those personal relationships we make.”
Where do you see ArtFit going as you continue to flourish and grow?
“I would like for more people to realize that what we do is attainable. I think so many people just look at the kickboxing or aerial classes and immediately think, ‘oh I can’t ever do that.’ So I think for us at ArtFit, it’s really about letting people know that they CAN do these classes and get these skills. We want to continue to get the word out and continue to give people a positive experience.”
ArtFit is a true gem in the Lubbock community. Thanks to local businesses like ArtFit, you get the benefit of a great workout while also knowing that you’re contributing to your local business economy. Want to find other unique local businesses in Lubbock? Download Towny to checkout the local hangs and find perks you’ll love.