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Members react with shock, sadness to gym closing

Lauren Magnuson | 10/17/2012, 9:06 a.m.
Brandy Cruthird, founder of Body by Brandy Fitness Center and...
Brandy Cruthird, founder of Body by Brandy Fitness Center and Body by Brandy 4 Kidz in Roxbury. courtesy of Brandy Cruthird

“I’m just doing what I love ... I didn’t know that what I was doing was going to have such a great effect on people,” Cruthird said. “To know that you’ve impacted someone’s life like that is priceless.”

Sealls, who, like many of BBB’s members, has grown close to Cruthird over the years, echoed her sentiments.

“Brandy is so close to what she’s doing that she wasn’t able to see what was right there in front of her,” said Sealls. “She’s so busy operating that she can’t enjoy the fruits of her labor.”

Vanessa Wilson-Howard, a fitness instructor at BBB who has known Cruthird for 15 years, said the closing is bittersweet.

“To have … one of the heartbeats of that neighborhood remove itself out of there does leave a void,” she said. “[But] I know that Brandy is a shining star, so she will shine bright no matter where she goes. This is part of her journey and there’s still many miles of her journey yet to travel.”

Cruthird said that she will continue offering health and wellness outreach programs in the community in the interim, and that she has been filled with emotion by her clients’ reaction to the closing.

“It means a lot to me because I’ve worked really hard,” Cruthird said. “I’m just moved personally that it’s had an impact like that … and that it’s touched the community. I don’t think you can ask for anything more.”