Nancy Capp – A Heart for Fitness

By Leslie Moore

If you’re anything like me, when you hear the name Gold’s Gym you immediately think about big sweaty guys pumping iron, with no place for the average person trying to stay fit and healthy.

Guess what? We’re all wrong.

Southern Snaps: Nancy Capp

Walk into the Gold’s Gym in Myrtle Beach, and you will likely see owner Nancy Capp working with one of her many clients that include men and women of all ages and fitness levels. Nancy, an attractive woman in great physical shape, has more energy than most of us – a lot more.

Nancy starts her day around 4:30 am when she arrives at the gym. When we met at 2 in the afternoon, she had already done three strenuous workouts, but was still energetic and excited to talk about her life and work.

A Myrtle Beach resident since age 12, Nancy was popular and involved as a student at Myrtle Beach High School. She was a cheerleader and president of her class. Even at an early age, Nancy knew she wanted to serve others in some way, and, for a time, wanted to become a missionary.

After high school, Nancy left home for Clemson University where she studied nursing. Upon her graduation, Nancy went to work as an R.N. at Duke University Hospital in the critical care unit. But, even though she loved her work, Nancy missed her home. After meeting her husband-to-be, Ted, Nancy left Duke and came back home to Myrtle Beach with her new husband.

Ted is a competitive body builder and fitness was always an important part of their life together. In 1985, an opportunity to buy the Gold’s Gym in Myrtle Beach came along, and it was too perfect a fit to pass up. At the time, Nancy was working at Conway Hospital in the Cardiac Rehab facility. Her job was to educate cardiac patients on the best ways to get, and stay, healthy.

“There’s a lot of anger in cardiac patients,” Nancy remembers. “Once I had a 45 year-old woman, in the hospital with her second cardiac event. She smoked two packs of cigarettes a day, and her doctor asked me to talk to her. I walked into her room and when she saw me she screamed, ‘Get the hell out of my room!’ Of course, I didn’t leave. Her husband was in the room, so I told her that, yes I would leave and never come back if she wanted me to, but even if she didn’t think she was worth saving, how about her husband? Her children? Were they worth it? People have to qualify themselves before they can make any positive changes.”

I asked Nancy what “qualify themselves” meant and she told me, emphatically, that, “People have to decide that they are worth the effort, that they are valuable. Even in my work as a personal trainer, I can only give someone a good workout while they’re here in the gym. To be truly successful, they have to qualify themselves!”

Eventually, Nancy left nursing to work at the gym full-time. She loves the positive energy of the gym, and her work as a personal trainer. “I feel I’m at my best working one-on-one with a client.”

I asked Nancy what was the best way to find a good personal trainer. “Get referrals, personal references from friends and ask your potential trainer about their experience. You can be a personal trainer with a certification, but most good ones have a background in exercise science or something similar.”

Today, Gold’s Gym is a family affair. Nancy’s four children, her husband, sister and father have all worked with her at some point. Nancy’s dad, Robert Hirsch, didn’t start working out until age 70. Now, at 84, he is more fit than ever and does massage therapy at the gym.

“We care about doing things right,” says Nancy. “I want to create a positive experience for everyone that walks through that door. We make it fun and try to make people laugh while they’re here. If one of my regular clients doesn’t show up for awhile, I will call and check on them. I never want to get so big that I can’t get to know my clients and hear their stories.”

Nancy’s caring spirit shines through her warm smile and her passion for her work. She loves coming to work every day and it shows. Even though Nancy works hectic hours, she is active in her church and in the lives of her family. Her life and work are an inspiration to her clients and friends. As her clients say, “There is something very real about Nancy and this gym.”

Contact Nancy at Gold’s Gym of Myrtle Beach, 843-448-3939.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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