For Jackie Anscher, the closing of the boutique fitness studio where she taught spinning classes in Long Beach, N.Y., until March meant more than the loss of a job. It was the end of something she was passionate about and halted the deep connections she had built with clients.
“I miss it like I’ve lost a limb,” she said. “What started as an exercise class encompassed so much more. I’m a therapist on a bike. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to the emotional loss.”
Ms. Anscher, who taught eight to 10 classes a week, said her financial situation was stable because of her husband’s job. But there’s nowhere to go to keep teaching as gyms remain closed. “This was a forced retirement,” said Ms. Anscher, 58. “I’m not ready to retire. I’m waiting to see how I can pick up the pieces.”
Stephanie Horowitz, the studio’s owner, didn’t think the moratorium on classes would be the end of her business, Ocean Ride, when it was imposed in March. She offered spinning classes over the internet, she said, “but it never took off the way we needed it to.”
By mid-July, the financial drain was too great, and she decided to shut down after seven years. Some of the bikes have been sold, and Ms. Horowitz has been cleaning out the space on the South Shore of Long Island, a few blocks from the Atlantic. Seven part-time workers, including Ms. Anscher, have lost their jobs.
“We were a staple in the community and we had a good run,” said Ms. Horowitz, 40. “It’s emotional. We had just bought new bikes last year. Who knows what the future holds for any of us?”