"The best time of our lives."
October 12, 1989 - the marking of a journey that is now heading towards its final destination.
Thirty one years ago, Glenn Maynard made the leap of faith to purchase what we call Countryfit Health and Fitness Gym from Des and Dianna Walker.
Having trained at what was previously known as the Mudgee Squash and Fitness Centre as a teenager, Glenn, who was a personal trainer and residential real estate investor at the time, was eager to take the reins, despite having a lack of experience with business management.
"We made some excellent decisions as well as some horrible ones. We learnt as we went along, knowing what a fantastic adventure we were on, and what I'm still on to this day," Maynard said.
The first few years as the head honcho were "insane and hectic" as Maynard implemented group exercise classes - "the gym was rocking."
Despite seeing a fair share of crazy health fads over the years, the Countryfit team always stuck true to their vision which has seen membership numbers continue to grow over the years.
"I've always believed in keeping it simple, not over complicating things. Members or clientele don't want to see how many clever exercises you can think of, they want a physical workout, not a mental one," Glenn said.
"I have always steered my fitness centre to being more of a family oriented club with the crèche, the ladies only area and offering personal programs."
On July 23, 2020, Glenn and wife Fiona made the announcement that they will be semi-retiring, a decision that was not expected but necessary.
"Time flies by so quickly so looking back it doesn't seem so long," Glenn said.
Looking forward I know that I could keep doing this. I always envisioned myself driving my gopher to work and I was even going to have parking solely for gophers, for me and my friends.Countryfit Health and Fitness Gym owner, Glenn Maynard
"Due to health issues in our family we decided the time is now, so looking forward we have a different plan in place.
"We feel incredibly lucky as we have the most incredible staff that have stayed with us on our journey, several have been with us for 29 years and are still going strong. To me our workplace is just a group of friends or mates having fun.
"Fiona and I will miss Countryfit for sure but it has been our life for so long. I really do love what I do but again we have been dealt a hand and we have to plan our future.
"I suppose I have been doing this since I was 15 to 16 years old. It's a way of life, a lifestyle and looking back I wouldn't have done it any other way. I love what I do and I have made some wonderful friends. I really enjoy being around positive and self minded people."
The sale of the facility will be dealt with by Hugh Bateman of The Property Shop, and while the gym will be under new management, Glenn and Fiona will still show their faces around as much as possible.
"This was a complicated decision but with Hugh's knowledge and expertise of the Mudgee region, he has helped us tremendously. We should see some marketing in the next week or so," Glenn said.
"Walking into Countryfit after it's sold is going to be really strange, I'll have to check myself so I don't go fixing something or asking someone if they are ok or correcting them on an exercise, I'll have to try and remember my place.
"There are so many crazy and wonderful moments over the years, personally myself doing the renovations has always been rewarding, giving our members a never ending shock to our new rooms and we always reminisce over our fancy dress cocktail parties, now they were fun.
We are really looking forward to the next step for Countryfit, knowing that someone is going to come in with a vision and enthusiasm just like I had 31 years ago.
"Neither of us will stop training or exercising, it's a lifestyle whether we own Countryfit or work out as members, we don't intend to go anywhere.
"We would sincerely like to thank all of our members for being so loyal, the journey wouldn't have been the same without you all."