ocal Jabz Boxing franchisee Samantha Ford has a personal connection to the women-targeted fitness studio’s new partnership with cancer prevention and early detection nonprofit Bright Pink.
She has a family history of breast cancer.
“Every single female has gotten breast cancer—thankfully later in life, so it wasn’t fast spreading and nobody has lost their life to it, just because it was again later in life,” noted Ford, who runs Jabz North Phoenix, located at 32nd Street and Shea Road. Her location was the company’s first franchise, having opened in 2013.
The partnership, which coincides with Breast Cancer Awareness Month and includes a series of donation-based classes across various locations, is important to her because she said it’s focused on spreading awareness of breast and ovarian cancers. She recalls having to be proactive in her own life to learn about the risks.
“I love to see that it’s being proactively talked about now and younger people are getting tools that could help them and they don’t have to demand and be their own advocate,” Ford said.
Jabz is a 45-minute, full-body, circuit-style workout based around boxing-inspired exercises—which Ford clarifies are adaptable to the individual needs and fitness levels of each client, who should be aware of their limits. Classes incorporate cardio, strength, plyometric and other functional exercises, with workouts changing daily.
The upcoming donation-based sessions are open to the public, though attendees still must sign up in advance. They’re set for 5 a.m. Monday, October 26; 6 a.m. Tuesday, October 27; 7 a.m. Wednesday, October 28; 9 a.m. Thursday, October 29; 4:30 p.m. Friday, October 30; and 6, 7, 8 and 9 a.m. Saturday, October 31.
All attendees are encouraged to wear pink, and a minimum donation of $5 is recommended per class. Ford said her location will also have a donation jar on-site, so anyone looking to support the cause can drop by; 100% will go to Bright Pink.
Though Ford noted Jabz has launched partnerships in the past, working with Bright Pink is a new initiative.
“I like their concept because they’re focusing on education and prevention rather than just dealing with it once you have it,” she explained. “And it’s not just breast cancer. They’re doing the ovarian cancer, which is really, really important because we have female-based clients and I have a lot of women, more than I would like to say, that are battling breast and ovarian cancer.
“We’ve lost a couple of clients to both of those diseases, and it’s horrible,” Ford continued. “So just educating people on prevention is huge.”
When it comes to cancer, Ford said just maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t enough. Bright Pink will give attendees of the special classes digital tools with information on individual risks and personalized prevention plans.
“Most of our client base are being proactive in their lifestyles and train to live a healthy lifestyle in general,” Ford said. “I think a lot of people think that they’re immune to these diseases because they are living a healthy lifestyle—and that’s not necessarily the case.”
Though Ford feels her studio was always cleaned and sanitized well, efforts have been stepped up due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jabz locations are being cautious about CDC, local, state and federal guidelines, according to the company’s website. Precautions include staff temperature checks; sanitizing stations; continued nightly cleanings and at least one professional deep cleaning a week; station cleanings between classes; reduced class sizes to ensure social distancing; and distanced class arrival times.
According to Ford, sessions aren’t rotating stations as they usually would either.
“Our clients are staying put, but everyone will have a bag—or a BOB, which is called a body opponent bag—and they’ll be doing some bag work on them with a mix of” workouts, she said.
Ford is excited about the partnership and feels her clients have been supportive, so they will echo that sentiment toward Bright Pink. She said “it’s for a good cause.”
“We’re excited. Our community is very important, especially due this pandemic. You’ve been reminded how important community is, and it’s been an honor,” she said. “Our client base has stepped up, they’ve been a huge family, huge support as a small business trying to get through this, so I think they’re going to rally up and we’re going to have a successful Bright Pink charity."