MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Two fitness enthusiasts and childhood friends have come together to help empower the Black community to live a healthy lifestyle. They not only want to improve their clients’ bodies, but their minds as well.

For T.J McCord, fitness is part of his DNA. 

“I’ve been training, I’ve been performing, as far as sports performance, basically since I was eight years old,” said McCord.  

After playing football in high school, college and some time in the pros, he focused on life after football. 

“That’s one thing football does teach you, it teaches you perseverance,” said McCord.  

That’s when he got into personal training, also teaching classes while helping people reach their fitness goals and gain peace of mind through his business QuickFits Wellness.  

“It was a hobby, something to do outside of what I was doing as a regular job but then it became something I wanted to pursue full time. So, I stepped out of faith,” said McCord.

Ayla Goodson was also a student-athlete and quit her day job in Houston to focus on her passion for pole fitness here at home in Mobile. 

“I was working as an accountant. A revenue accountant. And I was just not fulfilled in my job. It was just more to life than going to work and going home,” said Goodson.

That passion became her purpose, teaching women of all backgrounds to be better in tune with their bodies, through her business Gemini Studioz.  

“A diverse group of women. White, Black, Asian, Hispanic. Doctors, lawyers, teachers. Just across the board of diverse group of people that come to the studio,” said Goodson.

The two friends got together in 2017 to help the Black community on their fitness journey.  

Ayla remembers that first conversation with T.J. About the business venture.   

I’m opening this studio, you can do fitness classes, let’s just make it like a one-stop shop,” said Goodson. 

Five years later, with more clientele, business is even better.  

“It’s almost as if you can’t say one brand without the other,” said McCord.  

“We cross-promote, and it really works. He’s a really good person to be in business with. I always say I don’t think I could be in business with anybody else,” said Goodson.  

They both said the road to being entrepreneurs hasn’t always been easy. 

“It’s already difficult being a business owner, but to be a Black business owner, it’s challenging. You learn so much about yourself when you deal with the challenges you come up against,” said Goodson. 

They hope their stories motivate other aspiring business owners.  

re are going to be some long nights and some early mornings and the days will be long. But if it’s something that you really want to do, and you have a real purpose for what you want to do as far as why you’re doing it. The money will come, as long as you’re doing it because you love it,” said McCord. 

“I think when you’re aligned with your purpose. Everything falls in place how its supposed to,” said Goodson.

To learn more about Gemini Studioz click here.

To learn more about QuikFits Wellness, click here.