#ShopFranklin Spotlight – Optimize Fitness & Performance

In honor of Super Bowl Sunday, I’m kicking off the regular #ShopFranklin Spotlight feature with Optimize Fitness & Performance!

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I recently sat down with OFP’s owner, Devin Gray, to learn more about his business. As a personal trainer, Devin has been a small business owner “from day one,” formerly working with clients at Team Fitness Franklin and the office of local chiropractor Dr. Don Cohen. In September 2014, Devin opened OFP in its current space on Forge Hill Road, enabling OFP to offer its clients a unique “semi-private” training model. Unlike most personal trainers, who work with clients one-on-one or in small groups, OFP’s model allows clients to share the gym space while following individually designed programs. Not only does this semi-private training save clients money, Devin says that working out with others is good for morale. “People are more motivated, they’re more accountable, and they actually work a lot harder than you usually see in one-on-one personal training.”

OFP specializes in flexibility and ability to adapt workouts to a client’s particular needs. This focus on modification is especially helpful for athletes who are rehabbing from an injury or trying to prevent one. According to Devin, “if you’re training Tom Brady, you can’t train him the way you would a linebacker. You need that shoulder really, really healthy.” You don’t have to be an athlete to train at OFP, however; OFP can design a program for you whether you’re quarterbacking for the Patriots or just from your armchair. Every new client starts with an assessment to determine his or her current level of fitness, identify any injuries or individual needs, and set goals for the future.

Devin states that OFP also offers nutrition coaching and education, since “six-packs are made in the kitchen.” Devin understands that most people have a fairly good idea of what they should or shouldn’t be eating, but it can be tough to make a lot of dietary changes all at once, so OFP’s model is to start slow. Build one new healthy habit at a time, and when you’ve mastered that one, add another. OFP teaches clients not to be too focused on the scale, either; since building muscle mass boosts your metabolism, clients often find that they don’t lose pounds after starting a training program, but they do lose inches, so clothing size is usually a better indicator of progress.

As a native of Franklin and Medway and a wrestling captain at Tri-County, it was natural for Devin to come home to build his business after earning his degree in exercise science from Texas A&M. Devin loves that there’s a lot to do in Franklin itself, but also that it’s right in between Providence and Boston and it’s easy to get just about anywhere. The local business community has been especially supportive as well, and Devin has been able to build a great referral network of physical therapists, nutritionists, and other health and fitness professionals to ensure that all of his clients’ needs are covered.

OFP is located at 33 Forge Hill Road #1 in Franklin. Check out the website here and don’t hesitate to get in touch with Devin to set up a free Strategy Session to put together your Personalized Action Plan. Say goodbye to your inner (or outer) couch potato!

Fantasy Friday – St. Kitts

With two feet or more of snow on the ground outside, it’s time to go back to the Caribbean for another Fantasy Friday!

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This week, we’re going to Basseterre, St. Kitts, to check out a development of 16 cottages on a 12-acre former plantation estate with views of the neighboring islands.  2 and 3 bedroom cottages are available, and each cottage has its own private plunge pool and gazebo.  The landscape for each cottage has been individually designed with fruit trees and shrubs.

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With such wonderful surroundings, it may be hard to convince yourself to go inside, but each cottage comes fully furnished, so you’ll be just as comfortable inside as outside.  Pricing starts at $650,000 Eastern Caribbean Dollars, which convert to approximately $240,740 U.S. dollars, so this escape to paradise is definitely affordable, or at least a nice dream when you get sick of shoveling.

Throwback Thursday – 121 Main St., Medway

This week for Throwback Thursday, we have a home in Medway that’s brand new to the market!

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Built in 1880, 121 Main Street in Medway is listed at $485,000 and offers 3 beds, 2 1/2 baths, and lots of possibilities.  This home is located on Route 109 and is zoned Commercial/Residential, and it’s currently being used as a residence with a business on the main floor.  Antique details abound throughout the home, including a “bridal” staircase, wide-plank hardwood floors, exquisitely restored millwork, and classic New England stone walls outside.  Storage will not be a problem with pantries, built-ins, and other unique storage spaces throughout the home.  Although this home is antique, its internal workings are fully up to date, including a recently updated electrical system and brand new gas boiler.  They truly don’t make them like this anymore, and with open houses on both Saturday, January 31 and Sunday, February 1 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, you’ll have plenty of chances to see for yourself.

Digging out

I hope all of you came through the Blizzard of 2015 with little trouble!  The roads are once again open for travel and many businesses are open today.  All schools and municipal offices in Franklin will be closed today, however.  There will also be no scheduled trash pickup today.

I’m hearing that the main roads are in good shape, but side roads can be tricky to navigate with high snow banks narrowing streets and making visibility difficult.  Be careful if you’re heading out today!

Due to the blizzard, last night’s rare book program at the Franklin Library has been rescheduled to February 19 at 6:30 PM, so you didn’t miss anything when you were hunkered down at home last night.  The library will also be hosting Organizing Boston on Sunday, February 1 at 2:00 PM for a talk on “Manage Your STUFF – Five Steps to Getting Organized in the New Year.” Definitely worth checking out!

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New to Market – January 19-25, 2015

This week we have three great Franklin properties to feature!

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Listed on January 20 for $314,900, 679 Pleasant Street is a 3 bed, 2 bath home with tons of space inside and out.  Set back from the road on nearly an acre of land, this home is surrounded by woods for privacy and wildlife viewing.  Inside, you’ll find two full levels of finished living space, including a master suite with a newly updated bathroom.  A large screened-in porch lets you enjoy the outdoors without fear of mosquitoes, and a large family room with fireplace and a play room in the lower level provides plenty of space for indoor fun.

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Listed on January 22 for $350,000, 3 Cook Street is a 3 bed, 1 1/2 bath Colonial with easy access to everything Franklin has to offer.  This home has great features on every level!  On the first floor, you’ll find a large fireplaced living room, an updated kitchen with lots of sun, a formal dining room and a half bath, plus a family room with built-in entertainment center and French doors to a large deck with 6-person hot tub.  Upstairs, the master bedroom has two huge walk-in closets, one of which could be converted to a master bath, plus two additional bedrooms and a full bath.  You’ll have plenty of storage in the attic and basement, and a newer furnace will keep you warm.

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Listed on January 23 for $389,900, 15 Concord Street is a 3 bed, 2 bath home which is being updated from top to bottom!  Located within easy walking distance to schools and the Town Common, this home has a front-to-back kitchen with brand new maple cabinets.  The upgrades aren’t yet finished, which means you get to pick out the granite countertops, appliances, lighting, and carpets you want. The first floor also has a front-to-back living room with wood-burning fireplace, with hardwood floors throughout.  Upstairs, there’s a laundry hookup for a stackable washer/dryer, or you can set up your laundry in the basement if you prefer. A heat pump and central air will keep you comfortable no matter what the weather brings.  Don’t miss the chance to make this your perfect custom home!

Supporting local business – how to help!

To follow up from last week’s post on supporting local businesses, here are a couple of ways you can help to get the word out about your favorite local gems.

Some of you may already be familiar with Wicked Local, which hosts a number of Massachusetts news websites.  Every year, Wicked Local publishes its Readers’ Choice Awards, which is a great way to publicize your own favorites and to find out about new places to try.  Voting for 2015 is now open, so please vote for your favorite local businesses and services here, and you’ll be entered to win prizes including a Bose mini Bluetooth speaker, baseball tickets, and gift certificates to local restaurants! This isn’t limited to Franklin, so no matter where in Massachusetts you live, you can participate. Don’t delay, though – voting ends February 11, 2015 at 5:00 PM!

For those of you who live, work, shop, and/or eat in Franklin, a group of Franklin residents and business owners has created the hashtag #shopfranklin for Facebook posts about Franklin business.  If you’ve just had a great meal at the brand new Curry House or received excellent service at Daddario Hardware, and want to share your experience with Facebook, consider adding #shopfranklin to your post to help other Franklin-area folks know what’s happening.

Fixer Upper Friday – 85 Lake St., Wrentham

This week for Fixer Upper Friday, we have a home in Wrentham with tons of potential…

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Listed for $279,900, 85 Lake Street in Wrentham is currently a 2 bed, 1 bath home located on the waterfront of beautiful Lake Archer.  This home is being sold as is, and needs total renovation or replacement, but intrepid investors or contractors could make this into a showplace.  The Town of Wrentham has already approved plans for a 3,000 square foot home with 2 car garage, and the seller has a septic plan in hand.  All of the prep work has been done, so bring your ideas and visions and make them a reality!