It is just before noon on the third Friday of September. Large brown grocery bags filled with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, loaves of bread and jars of peanut butter and of jelly crowd the front lobby of Fitness Never Sleeps Training Center in Santa Clara, awaiting distribution to the hungry and the homeless.
“Peanut butter and jelly,” responds three-year-old Isabelle Nunez predicatively when asked what her favorite kind of sandwich is. Isabelle is hanging out at the fitness center with her dad, Brian Nunez. “Strawberry,” she answers when asked about her favorite flavor of jelly.
Brian Nunez, the owner and founder in 2011 of Fitness Never Sleeps (FNS), 2342 Walsh Ave. near San Tomas Expressway, believes that community outreach is as essential to a good business plan as it is to personal well-being, to fitness of body, mind and spirit.
On the third Friday of every month, members of Fitness Never Sleeps (FNS) drop off pre-made sandwiches before they begin their morning classes. Then after the 12 p.m. class, the sandwiches are delivered to St. Christopher Catholic Church, St. James Park and a local food bank, all in San Jose. On an average third Friday, perhaps 400 or 500 sandwiches are collected; last November 1,000 were made.
“People want to give back. It really recharges them,” says Nunez. “And peanut butter and jelly is like soul food, comfort food. It feels like home and like people care.”
During November and December, FNS members also participate as a team in toy and food drives for organizations such as the Blue Star Moms and Sacred Heart Community Services of San Jose.
Nunez, who has a degree in kinesiology from San Jose State University and played on the football team, generates team spirit and a mega-dose of positive thinking to the 600-plus athletes (everyone is an athlete) who come to FNS each month. At 6 feet tall and 180 pounds, the buff, upbeat, native Californian is a role model to all.
“Everything I’d known was being part of a team. Through the low and high points in your life, it is the team that always kept you together. It was a bond,” says Nunez.
Noncompetitive fitness classes encourage and reinforce team work. During a free, trial class and consultation, athletes are asked to state why they want to live a healthy life and set personal goals.
“If you don’t share what you want in life, it’s hard for people to help,” says Nunez.
Debbie Cheng from Mountain View started out at FNS in 2012 and is now a group fitness trainer.
“I found that FNS was a community, and I got tremendous support here,” says Cheng. “If you’re interested in making long-term changes in a supportive, encouraging, motivating, inspiring environment, I recommend FNS.”
Santa Clara magician Phil Ackerly (www.makephilappear.com) was named FNS Athlete of the Month for September.
“Wow! I am humbled and honored,” Ackerly wrote on his Facebook page. “I share this recognition with ALL the athletes and trainers, who inspire and encourage each other to be the best and to finish the ‘race.’ You keep me going each time I walk in the door. We ARE team!”
“Metro” magazine readers voted FNS (www.fns360.com) the “Metro Best Health Club in 2016.”
“Fitness is an act of consistency. You are what you consistently do,” says Nunez. And that includes making and sharing peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.