Strive to Thrive contest resumes after OhioHealth Ontario Health & Fitness reopens | Strive to Thrive

MANSFIELD — After 10 weeks of being on pause, the Strive to Thrive contest will resume on Aug. 10 and close out the final three weeks of the competition. 

In March, the competition came to an abrupt and unexpected halt due to COVID-19 shutting down many facilities, gyms included. 

While Gov. Mike DeWine allowed gyms to reopen starting May 26, OhioHealth Ontario Health & Fitness Center did not reopen until July 22. 

“Being part of OhioHealth, they were looking at the larger picture for the hospital system itself, and during the time that we were shut down a lot of our staff were redeployed to assist with other things that were going on in the hospital like temperature checks at the doors and just helping with a lot of those other kinds of things that weren’t really positions or jobs that needed to be done,” said Carol Mabry, program coordinator for the Ontario Health & Fitness Center. 

The Strive to Thrive competition will resume with seven contestants, two officially dropping out due to not wanting to put their families or themselves at risk. 

Contestant Eddie Gallo can’t wait for the contest to resume after successfully getting his diabetes under control with the help of the competition. 

“It’s gonna be tough, I think,” he said. “You don’t have to have that initial soreness and stuff all over again that you’ve already gotten accustomed to, so it’ll be a little adjustment. I’ll just be glad to get back to the gym and have that opportunity to use the equipment and be with (his trainer) and have a little bit of insight and encouragement—hopefully keep things on track for the rest of the year.” 

The weight loss competition inspired by NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” consists of weekly personal training sessions, nutritional education and group competitions. One major difference, however, will be that no one will be eliminated. 

All contestants have received personal training sessions, a FitBit and a free membership to OhioHealth training facilities from Jan. 6 to (now) Aug. 24. An overall winner will be named based on his/her body composition analysis using OhioHealth’s InBody 230. 



Contestants were given the option to take a yoga or spinning class during the Strive To Thrive March community event.



The winner will receive a year-long membership to OhioHealth training facilities.

Gallo has never been interested in winning and already plans on getting a gym membership if he loses due to being more comfortable and active in that setting. 

“I’ve got a little bit of equipment at home but it just seems like there’s too much going on, or something that distracts you or somebody else’s schedule intervenes and we don’t really have the time to dedicate to doing it at home,” Gallo said. “So it’s almost like that thing where you need to go to that other place to make yourself be accountable for making it worthwhile. It’s one of the reasons I’ve missed the gym so much during that time.”


Below are the contestant standings the last time measurements were taken on March 15. We’ll update the standings with the remaining contestants the week of August 17.


Since reopening the gym, Mabry she’s seen an increase in membership and even their personal goal of reaching 100 visits a day. 

“We rolled out with a small schedule. We have to limit the (group class) sizes to nine people, so that we can make sure everybody’s able to socially distance. But we definitely saw an increase just the last couple of days once classes started back up, versus the week and a half prior.

Although the competition won’t get to end the way they pictured, Mabry is excited to get the remaining contestants back on track. 

“We’re thrilled that the fitness center is reopened and that people are starting to come back in and that most of the Strive contestants are going to be coming back in to get back on track or continue on their journey, because some have done a good job,” Mabry said.

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