The grand opening for GRIT Cycle turned into a lively party in Costa Mesa Thursday night.
I was one of at least 200 who showed up and I was glad I went. There were so many familiar friendly faces.
It was really great to see former athletes like Carolyn Doyle, the former Conway, of Newport Harbor water polo notoriety, as well as Trevor Theriot, a.k.a. Moose, who starred as a football player for the Sailors.
I also saw former Newport Harbor girls' volleyball standout Kirby Burnham. Her father, Scott, was one of several people GRIT owners Marisa Wayne, Candice Collings Loomis and Matt Bourne thanked during the grand opening.
Wayne, the youngest of John Wayne's seven children, said Scott Burnham helped secure the building located at 1731 Santa Ana Avenue.
It's an interesting spot to be sure, as there are other wellness/fitness centers nearby. YAS Fitness Center is not too far away on 17th Street and not too far from there is Fixed Gear, which also offers spin classes.
Marisa Wayne, Loomis and Bourne don't seem too concerned with the thought of competition. Loomis stressed the importance of community before the grand opening and was OK with saying spin could be a part of someone's routine fitness in addition to other activities.
Because of the proximity of each center, there must be competition, I thought, but at least it appears friendly. I met at least three YAS instructors at the GRIT grand opening.
GRIT will also include yoga, as the owners are set to open a studio on Pacific Coast Highway in Newport Beach in August.
With the reception at the grand opening and the new yoga studio, the owners can't help but be excited.
"It was pretty overwhelming," Marisa Wayne said of Thursday night. "We really weren't expecting so many people to show up."
She also thanked her mother, Pilar, John Wayne's third wife, for appearing at the grand opening. Pilar was one of several people who showed up to support the GRIT Cycle concept.
Pilar graciously posed for a photo with a few of the Costa Mesa High cheerleaders, who were there for the beginning of the festivities.
Loomis planned for the community to be involved during the grand opening. She said the large turnout at the event touched her.
The owners also gave back. They created GRIT Gives, donating $1 from each spin class purchased to support wellness-minded programs. The plan is to have a designated program for each month.
Marisa Wayne announced the first program to receive donation will be the John Wayne Cancer Foundation's Roundup River Ranch, a special camp for children with cancer and their families.
Everyone applauded for the announcement. The cheers were deserved.