CAIRO — Dan Hatch never envisioned himself as the part-owner of a gym. After all, a full-time sales job and serving as head coach of the Catskill/Cairo-Durham varsity football team already took up a good chunk of his time.
But when good friend and personal trainer Tom Flanagan gave him the opportunity to buy into the Accountable Fitness and Nutrition gym, Hatch jumped at the chance.
Hatch is now a business partner with Flanagan and Stephanie Toumey and the trio recently opened a new, more spacious facility at 467 Main Street in Cairo.
“It was just there, this was not on my radar at all,” Hatch said. “But when the opportunity came along and I could tie it in with the school and the kids, helping keep kids off the street, get them in the gym, give them a purpose. It just made sense.”
The idea originally came about when Hatch began working out at Flanagan’s original gym a year ago. He brought along several members of the Catskill/Cairo-Durham football team and before long, the plan was hatched.
Hatch, Flanagan and Toumey kicked around a few ideas, one of the first of which was to open a bigger facility.
“We came in in March, did all the renovations,” Hatch said. “I started working out with Tom just before last football season and we started getting more and more kids in and the place was getting packed. We got in touch with the people from the Cairo Development Foundation and asked them what they’re doing with some of their buildings and it was done real quick.”
With a growing clientele, Hatch said moving into a bigger facility was a necessity.
“We opened the new gym on April 1,” Hatch said. “Tom had a small gym up the road, about a third of the size of the new location. I started bringing the boys there for conditioning and I thought ‘this is a good business.’ I wanted to get in it for a few different reasons, but we needed a bigger spot.”
Once the new gym opened up, Hatch and Flanagan decided to give local high school athletes a unique opportunity with a big assist from the Cairo-Devlopment Foundation.
“Tom needed a bigger place, needed a business partner with it and this gave us a conduit to have the kids — from any school and in any sport — come in to the gym and workout, Hatch explained. “I took it a step farther. In the offseason, I do Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-4, and the kids get to come in and work out for free with a trainer.
“Cairo Development Foundation is revitalizing Main Street and this works out perfectly. They’ve been very supportive and helped us out getting in here and getting us anything we need. The combination of the Cairo-Development Foundation and what we’re doing, it’s just a win-win for everybody.”
Hatch and his partners are hoping that local schools will take advantage of what they have to offer for no charge.
“This an offering to any of the schools around here, any of the Athletic Directors, any of the coaches,” Hatch exlained. “We have all the basic fundamentals that are needed for any sport and then we can find out from the coaches what they want their kids to work on and we’ll do it on Tuesdays and Thursdays and we’ll do it at no cost to the schools or kids.”
Hatch explained how the new partnership works.
“Stephanie Toumey is a third partner, she has her personal trainer certificate and she’s dedicated to it,” Hatch said. She and Tom do all the personal training and I handle the financial part of it, the books, some of the advertising, contacting the schools.
“I let them do what they do. I’m in sales for a living, it’s what I’ve been doing for 35 years. It’s a good synergy between us all.”
Flanagan is pleased with how the new partnership is working out.
“It’s been going great,” Flanagan said. “When we were over at the other location everybody always said we were the best kept secret that nobody could find. Moving here, we have more exposure.
With all of the windows everybody can see us and actually know what we can do. Just the added visibility has been a big boost to what we can do.”
Flanagan described how his training program works.
“We fall under the category of functional training. We don’t look at the body as individual parts, we look at it as a whole. When I have an athlete come in with a chronic ankle problem, but it’s not really the ankle. We look at the body as a whole.
“If someone has an ankle problem it’s probably the alignment between the hip, the knee and the ankle. Something has to be out of whack, so we’ll look at that alignment, we’ll look at the body and the imbalances and we try to correct them. We get them to function as one whole machine and get them to run fluidly.”
Flanagan said the gym works with all ages.
We work with the high school kids, but we have 59-year-old sisters that come in here and their biggest accomplishment is to go up and down the stairs without having to put both feet on the stairs.
“For them, looking at what they’ve done, and they’ve been with us for over a year now, but they’re doing what these high school kids are doing now. Just getting them to be able to do daily activities, for us, is a big accomplishment.
“We look at each person individually. A program I build for someone is different from one I’d build for another person because everybody is different. There hasn’t been a person that’s come in here that has had a problem that we couldn’t deal with. No matter what, we can help fix it, alleviate it and get it to where you can can deal with daily activities with less pain.”
It’s a personal touch that sets Accountable Fitness and Nutrition apart from other gyms, Flanagan said.
“We treat everybody like family here. We’re going to invest probably more in to you than you are going to invest in yourself. You’re coming into here to put in an hour worth of work, but for that hour that you put in to work I’m putting in 2-3 hours to make sure that the program that you’re getting is going to give you the results that you want.
“We’re trying to build that small community gym where you’re not lost in the numbers. Here, you’re a person, you’re somebody.”
Flanagan feels the future is bright for the gym.
“The possibilities are endless,” he said. “I can’t even put in to words what we can accomplish here. With Dan coming on board, it’s been a big push to where I thought I was going to be when I started this back in 2014.”
Accountable Fitness and Nutrition is open weekdays from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For information, call (518) 622-2200.