Dan was recently awarded the highest honor in his field, the Personal Fitness Professional magazine personal trainer of the year 2014, out of over 500 trainers from 8 nations. Dan has a broad background in the fitness industry including training and management in commercial and university/hospital-based fitness, for-profit, not-for-profit and educational facilities. His primary areas of expertise are in personal training for special populations: athletes, pregnancy, blind, stroke recovery, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer's, etc. He has worked with Division I athletes some of whom have been professionally drafted. He has also worked on state funded research on exercise for severe dementia Alzheimer's type. He regularly presents at national and regional conferences and has been active on committees for the American College of Sports Medicine. He completed his Ph.D. in Health and Kinesiology, with a minor in Gerontology at Purdue University.
Cody is a professor, trainer, speaker, writer, entrepreneur and recognized leader in exercise for mid-life and older adults with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He is a past recipient of the Idea Program Director of the Year Award and regularly shares his expertise at conferences and in publications. Cody completed his master’s degree in Exercise Science from Virginia Tech in 1996 where he was first exposed to working with older adults in the cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program. He attended the University of Virginia for the next four years during which he worked as a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, exercise specialist and graded exercise test technologist at a local medically-based fitness center. He completed his PhD at Purdue University, and is now an assoc. prof. at Harding University in the physical therapy program.
With a background in the fitness industry, degrees in health and fitness, and an interest in “opening our own place and doing it a little bit differently,” Dan Ritchie and Cody Sipe launched Miracles Fitness in January 2007. Specializing in personal and small group training, the fitness facility set out specifically to be friendly to baby boomers, seniors and those with medical conditions. Unlike centers where fit people come to work out, Miracles Fitness provides “a place where people who are not fit or have any sort of health concern can really get the help they need,” says Ritchie. Operating at 257 Sagamore Parkway West, West Lafayette, IN (www.miraclesfitness.net, 765-463-3007), the business has earned the December Small Business of the Month Award from Greater Lafayette Commerce. Ritchie and Sipe, now a professor at the University of North Carolina Greensboro while remaining a business partner, first began talking seriously about opening Miracles Fitness, which now employs 10, in 2005. They met at Purdue, where Sipe earned his doctorate in 2008 and Ritchie in 2009, both in Health and Kinesiology. “We have a small, intimate health club,” Ritchie says. “It’s a warm, homey feel. You can’t get lost finding our locker room.” A small facility was by design, he says. So were its high standards. “Our trainers have four-year university degrees in health, fitness and how the body works.” Hailing from Wauconda, IL, northwest of Chicago, Ritchie was a student athlete. “In high school, I took Anatomy and Physiology. I like the way the human body works. In college, I knew I wanted to get into this arena.” He came to greater Lafayette to earn his doctorate at Purdue. Sipe is from Virginia and now lives in Greensboro, NC, where he works on different aspects of the business. He frequently returns to Greater Lafayette. "Greater Lafayette is a wonderful spot for the business", Ritchie says. “The more we looked at it, we saw that very few were doing what we wanted to do—high customer service, quality trainers, a focus on boomers and seniors, a professional facility with an intimate feel. This is a good market.” Plus, he and his wife, Jenifer, love the community, and are raising five children here, ages two to 12. Their community support includes countless donations of fitness packages. “We do a lot of that, giving our time and service,” Ritchie says. Among those supported with in-kind or financial contributions are schools, gymnastics clubs, basketball camps, Bach Chorale, Civic Theatre, Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, arts groups, Hanna Community Center and Wabash Valley trust for historic preservation. They’ve also helped Habitat for Humanity, Trinity Mission and the women’s shelter. And they’ve been involved in the Coalition for Living Well after 50. “We try to do our part,” Ritchie says. Miracles Fitness also operates a stand-alone fit body bootcamp, housed at Golden Steps Dance Studio in West Lafayette and another in Greensboro, NC. “We are in the process of looking for a location in Lafayette, hopefully to open spring or summer,” Ritchie says. Housed within Miracles Fitness is a separate business owned by others, Miracles Rehabilitation. “They approached us about being in the space, and they’ve been a great partner,” Ritchie says.
Remember that resolution you make every New Year’s? You know the one—"This year I’ll work out every day". Never lasts, does it? Miracles Fitness, one of the area’s newest fitness facilities, is here to help you keep that resolution and achieve the fitness you want. Miracles Fitness opened in January 2007. The Lafayette location is the 6th one in the country. “This is a very young, exciting franchise,” said Dan Ritchie, co-owner with Cody Sipe. Though the franchise is young, the facility is not geared toward the typical muscle-bound fitness buff. Instead, Miracles Fitness specializes in fitness for the over-40 set. “We cater to folks that aren’t comfortable in a typical health club,” explained Ritchie. The company was founded by registered nurse Dottie Drake, who became interested in helping people achieve personal fitness after witnessing the results of the modern sedentary lifestyle. “I want to teach you to be healthy, not sick and disabled. There is almost no disease process that can’t be prevented, reversed or at least controlled by a program consisting of a healthy low fat diet and exercise program,” said Drake. To help clients, Miracles Fitness has a staff of personal trainers. All of the trainers are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree in a health related field. Said Ritchie, “We only hire trainers with degrees in the field. We have the most qualified, educated personal trainers in the Lafayette market.” that personal attention makes the difference at Miracles Fitness. Trainers are available at all times. Clients at Miracles Fitness appreciate the caring atmosphere. “They know we care about them and know them by name. We are dedicated to developing the overall well-being and health of each individual who seeks our support,” Ritchie said.