Devin Gage ‘07, fell into entrepreneurship quite by accident. A Criminal Justice major poised for the Police Academy, he shifted gears suddenly after the birth of his daughter. Seeking flexibility and autonomy in his career, he set to building up the client base he’d long maintained as a part-time Personal Trainer.
As business grew, Gage rented studio space in West Chester to set up shop. Losing most of his Main Line clients with the move, Gage found himself thrust into small business ownership and struggling with confidence. “I had no idea what I was doing,” he says, “but I knew I had the passion to change people’s lives.”
Six years later, Gage Strength Training has seen over 2,000 clients and currently serves 300 personal and group training clients and student-athletes. People typically come to GST to lose weight or to improve their health, and they do. Dozens have lost over 50 pounds, and one shed 180 pounds and is training for a marathon. Clients see dramatic reductions in blood pressure, cholesterol, and chronic pain. They come off medications and remediate diabetes. “They’re coming home from work and still having the energy to play in the yard with their kids instead of sitting on the couch for the rest of the night,” Gage says. “There’s a real impact on their overall quality of life.”
And astounding as the physical results may be, it’s the inner transformations that are arguably most profound. “People we work with often have identified as overweight and out of shape for their entire lives; they feel that’s just who they are as a person,” Gage says. “They associate the gym with fear, embarrassment, and intimidation. But, through their experiences with us, become gym-goers and people who are passionate about fitness. That’s deep and really powerful.”
In recent years, Gage has incorporated a community service component into gym membership. He felt inspired by his time at Shipley and a recent talk at The Exchange Club of West Chester, where he saw the joy that volunteerism brought its members. Wanting that for his clients, he implemented GST Serves, a way for members to fundraise and volunteer for local charities including Chester County Food Bank, Safe Harbour, The Domestic Violence Center of Chester County, and SHiNE at the Chester County Hospital. Gage says, “As you get healthier, you have more energy to do better for the world. And, so just by being here, you’re going to impact the community in a positive way. This is what we do.”
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.