Shaun Drone was around 40 years old when he decided it was time to make a change. An engineer and project manager in the automotive industry by day and a DJ whenever time allows, Shaun was also an athlete in college, having graduated from the University of Akron. But as his professional and family life progressed, Shaun admits that he may have let his athletic side slip a little.
A confluence of events not only got him back in shape, but on track to become an entrepreneur, too. Now Shaun and his wife Isabel are preparing the opening of their own F45 Training franchise in downtown Farmington
, a new group training and fitness center on track to open in January 2022.
“This was my idea but she’s really the brains and motor pushing the ship,” Shaun Drone says of his wife, Isabel.
“One day I saw a photo of myself with a belly sticking out and I said, that’s not the guy that played D1 basketball in college. I wanted to give horseback rides to my kids without my back hurting for two days after, to run around with them in the backyard for more than three minutes without getting winded,” Shaun says.
“I got motivated to get back in shape when I was around 40 years old and now I’m in the best shape of my life.”
It might be hard to believe that Shaun was ever out of shape, given his drive. In addition to his professional life in the automotive industry, where he’s currently a Project Chief at Stellantis, Shaun has run his own DJ business for well over a decade, providing music for events throughout the region. After being hired to DJ fitness classes at a different F45 Training location, the instructor told Shaun to put on a playlist and join the class.
The F45 fitness regimen utilizes both circuit- and HIIT-style workouts in team settings, with instructors, video screens, and energetic music combining to get the most out of a group, and all in relatively short amounts of time. In F45 Training, the “F” stands for functional; the goal is to burn 750 calories per 45-minute session.
It was such a positive experience for Shaun that he began researching franchise opportunities, leading him to building out a storefront in downtown Farmington.
“It’s all about balance, managing stress. We learned how important that was during the height of the pandemic,” Shaun says. “We want to be the foundation of a 360-approach, including mind, body, and spirit.”
Work is currently underway at their building in Farmington. Shaun hopes for a January 2022 opening date but, as he says, he doesn’t have a concrete date for opening because shipping companies don’t have concrete dates for delivery. Like many an industry, the materials and equipment he needs are caught up in the supply chain tie-ups currently gripping the country.
In the meantime, Shaun and his wife Isabel — “This was my idea but she’s really the brains and motor pushing the ship,” he says — are out and about downtown, performing community outreach, drumming up interest in their new venture. There was an initial event earlier this month and Shaun hopes for another around Thanksgiving. The partners in life and business are also reaching out to neighboring businesses, looking to form relationships with other business owners in the health and wellness industries.
It’s a lot to balance — family, work, music, starting a new business — but physical fitness has helped with that, too.
“My children are what motivate me,” Shaun says. “In order to operate optimally mentally, you have to be operating optimally physically.”
Visit F45 Training online for the latest updates on their build-out, forthcoming opening, membership info, and more.