Everyone knows the challenge of balancing school, work and other life responsibilities often requires a certain amount of self-denial. From time management to tough budget decisions, some life goals are put on hold for a season, until circumstances change.
For Deja Lewis, capturing this struggle in a comedic video yielded a radical shift in circumstances. As a student at Montgomery College and part time worker for the city of Gaithersburg, Maryland, she lamented the financial deficiencies that kept her from purchasing a gym membership. Given that “necessity is the mother of invention,” as they say, Lewis came up with an affordable way to work out at home and decided to share it on her social media accounts.
Inspired by a similar video she saw online of a man who used powder to create a slippery surface for running in place, Deja put her own spin on the idea. “It was just me waking up and doing something weird and dumb,” she said. “I didn’t expect it to go viral.”
The video did just that, gaining over 22.6 million views and 1.5 million likes on Twitter. Celebrities, such as Wale and Leslie Jones shared it, and numerous popular accounts reposted it, including House of Highlights, 9GAG and The Shade Room, among others. With just over 1,500 followers before the video, Lewis now has more than 12,000. “It felt unreal,” Lewis said, describing the experience. “I really thought I was dreaming.”
While friends sent their congratulations and many rushed to gauge her reaction, the team at Generation Active sought to ameliorate the situation that led to the hilarious video. After contacting Lewis and determining the best gym options in her area, they went to work finding the perfect membership fit for her. They decided to give Lewis an all-access, 18-month membership to LA Fitness for free, telling her: “No dish soap required.”
This subsequent surprise left Lewis in shock once again. “I was like, ‘This can’t be real,’” she recalled thinking, upon reading the news. “Because I’ve been waiting to get a gym membership. I’ve been on my boyfriend’s guest pass for the past year. To actually have my own, I can go whenever I want to, it’s pretty cool.”
Lewis said she could not contain her excitement around her coworkers. “I was showing everybody, ‘Look these people got me a membership!’” she said.
Now, she’s making up for lost time, proving that she would not neglect the new opportunity. “I’ve been there every day since,” Lewis said. “I specifically like LA Fitness because they have a basketball court. Also, they have a hot tub and pool available, with a sauna.”
Perhaps most of all, Lewis is looking forward to building a routine. “I can actually have a workout plan and stay on track with it,” she said. “Now I don’t have to think of other workouts in my house, so that’s good.”
Generation Active is powered by ZOOM Media. To learn more about ZOOM and their partnerships with over 4,000 gyms, click here.