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A welcoming place for fitness

  • Above, Eric Mosher helps client Norma Kapitulik of Shelburne Falls at Common Ground Fitness Center on High Street in Greenfield. Below, Eric and Hannah Mosher with son Micah, 3 months, in their new business, Common Ground Fitness Center, replacing ACD Women’s Fitness in the building. Recorder Staff PHOTOS/Paul Franz

  • Hannah and Eric Mosher with son Micah, 3 months, in their new business, Common Ground Fitness Center, at the end of High Street in Greenfield. Jan 15, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz...

  • Eric and Hannah Mosher with son Micah, 3 months, in their new business, Common Ground Fitness Center, at the end of High Street in Greenfield. Jan 15, 2018 Recorder Staff/Paul Franz—Paul Franz...



Recorder Staff
Thursday, January 18, 2018

GREENFIELD — A healthy lifestyle should be inclusive, accessible and affordable — that’s the vision Hannah and Eric Mosher had in mind when they opened Common Ground Fitness Center on High Street earlier this month.

The gym is located in the space formerly occupied by ACD Women’s Fitness, where Hannah Mosher taught classes for more than a year. The Greenfield couple decided to purchase the business when its owners announced they would be closing last month.

“You could see so much heart and soul that had been put into it, and it suddenly sank in that it was kind of tragic for this place to close. It’s sort of a hidden gem,” Eric Mosher said.

So they decided to take a leap of faith.

Eric Mosher quit his security job at Baystate Franklin Medical Center to become the gym’s full-time manager, while Hannah continues to work as an ophthalmologist’s assistant in Northampton, working at the gym early in the morning and teaching fitness classes in the evening. The gym’s former owners and instructors also continue to teach at Common Ground.

“Everybody’s pitching in,” Hannah Mosher said.

Although the gym is no longer just for women, the Moshers said one of their goals is to build an inclusive environment where everyone feels welcome. While a few people were upset about the change, they said most members have stayed.

“I find that really admirable, because change is really difficult — especially if you chose a gym years ago because it was a women’s fitness center,” Eric Mosher said. “We have to reassure people that the men who they’re afraid of seeing are not the men they’re going to see in this gym.”

“Everyone is welcome here. We chose this name very specifically for that exact reason,” he added.

The couple also wants to make Common Ground financially accessible to as many people as possible by offering low rates and no fees. A basic membership costs $30 per month, and nonmembers can drop in on classes for $10.

“We want to have the lowest rates possible so that everybody feels comfortable financially and everybody feels included so we can make a big difference health-wise in the community,” Hannah Mosher said.

A passion for fitness

A dancer for 18 years, Hannah Mosher found her niche teaching choreographed exercise routines.

“Dance was my world and I wanted to continue somehow, but recreational dance wasn’t quite making a difference enough, I wanted to do something more with that experience,” she said.

For Eric Mosher, it was joining the Army that sparked his interest in fitness. As an infantryman, a vital part of his job was staying in shape, but at first, he didn’t know where to start.

He began processing for the Army in 2009 and went to basic training two years later.

“I just had no idea what I was doing. Then, once you join the military, it’s all very structured and you meet people who are big gym rats,” he said. “You take what you can from those things you learn, and I was blessed to be able to go to several different schools when I was in the Army that had to do with fitness.”

In addition to exercise equipment, Common Ground offers discounted personal training and classes including PiYo, which combines pilates and yoga; Elasticize, a low-intensity flexibility workout; cardio kickboxing, TRX, Zumba, and BASIC — a workout that Eric Mosher created based on his military training.

They also plan to add spinning classes in the near future.

“We hope we have something for everyone,” Hannah Mosher said.

Common Ground Fitness Center is located at 368 High St. For more information, visit commongroundfitness.com or call 775-9944.