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Community Highlights: Meet Daniel Hinojosa of Lift ATX

Today we’d like to introduce you to Daniel Hinojosa.

Daniel, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was born and raised in Corpus Christi, Texas by a loving single mother with two siblings in a typical Hispanic household- it was never empty. We didn’t have much and lived in a rough neighborhood, but my family kept us busy with sports- baseball and football. After high school, I moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas and East Austin quickly became my home. While in college, I began working with middle school students and launched my career in education. For the next 15 years, I worked in schools serving students that needed a little extra support. I was a tutor, mentor, counselor, coach, and eventually athletic director.

After 15 years, I found myself a little burned out and wanting to engage the community in a different way. When an opportunity to go to graduate school presented itself, I took it hoping to gain the business skills necessary to own my own business. After earning my MBA, I began planning to open the gym. I looked forward to being able to give back to the community that made me feel so at home for so many years. On September 1, 2020, Lift ATX opened in East Austin and we haven’t stopped grinding since!

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
COVID, COVID, COVID, 2021 Texas Winter Freeze, COVID, COVID, COVID. Yes. COVID has presented challenges we could have never predicted. A major challenge has been trying to balance mental and physical health- ours and that of our community. We had to make decisions to keep the staff and members as safe as possible but also recognized that the gym provides a safe haven and outlet for people. We changed our layout, added fans, added doors, added outside turf, and added outside equipment so that we could maximize the safety of the space. Also, our gym is very vocal about support for our community and use social media as an advocacy tool. While social media provides an opportunity for advocacy, it also creates space for negativity and hate I quite frankly underestimated.  I was surprised by the amount of hate-filled responses from people that never come to the gym, never will come to the gym, but never miss an opportunity to attack our social media accounts when we post about our COVID decisions, racial injustice, inclusivity, LGBTQ rights, and other political or social activism.

We’ve been impressed with Lift ATX, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Lift ATX is a gym with a primary focus of serving the community. In addition to providing an affordable, welcoming, inclusive environment to promote health and wellness, Lift ATX engages the community by hosting fundraisers, drives, and awareness events that center East Austin. Our gym is a showcase for local artists, our Manager and staff are born and raised Austinites, and we frequently feature local Austin vendors at our events and on busy weekends. And, one of our favorite features- Lift ATX, is dog friendly!

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
My mentors have come from different places. When someone exhibited a particular trait I really admired, I sought them out to talk. You can also learn lots from just watching people. Watch not just what they do, but how they do it.

Pricing:

  • $35/month + $25 one-time sign up fee
  • Discounts provided for military, educators, first responders, and students

Contact Info:

  • Email: danielh@liftatx.com
  • Website: www.liftatx.com
  • Instagram: @lift_atx
  • Facebook: lift_atx

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