New obstacle course gym, The Endurance Factory, empowers athletes to overcome barriers

SAVAGE, Md. - Facing obstacles can be daunting. You hope to get over or around them, while grappling with the fear of falling and starting over.

A new gym, The Endurance Factory, aims at empowering you to overcome barriers you can, and can't see and it's just in time for that New Year's resolution.

It lives up to the name of the town where it's located, Savage.

"Monkey bars, the rig, multi-rig, rings, ropes, things like that," Owner Ken Peluso said the goal here is the same as any other gym, get your body in shape, but there's also a focus on overall well-being.

"If you go to a playground, you know, sometimes that doesn't work out. Especially if there's a lot of kids there, you cant really bring 10 adults and have them swinging from things," Peluso said that's how he started training his friends when they got into Obstacle Racing Competitions.

So he decided to leave his job in advertising and follow his passion, opening The Endurance Factory in December.

Since then, he's enjoyed watching his athletes excel and conquer competitions. "Watching them grow and get better or you know doing a rig for the first time, or getting across these 12-foot monkey bars for the first time, and seeing that look of success on their face," he said.

One moment in particular stays with him, "a good friend of mine did her first race this Summer and was totally fearful of the 8-foot wall, which is just an 8-foot wall. You have to run, launch yourself at, and jump, and get over. She got over it, it took her about 30-40 seconds, but she hit the ground and had tears streaming down her face and just ran over to me and gave me a big hug and a high five and that right there, seeing people succeed in that, is what drives me every morning."

Peluso said it's so emotional because it's like taking an obstacle in your life and putting it physically in front of you, reminding you, you can face any challenge.

His personal challenge took months to overcome.

"Well I build furniture as a hobby and a few years ago I lost the tips of three of the fingers on my dominant left hand...My doctors told me that I'd probably never rock climb again and I'd never play guitar or play hockey... Took about a year of just working with putting my hand in a bucket of rice to build up grip strength, carrying weights around everywhere I went, playing with putty and getting back into things I love," Peluso said.

He's competed in two Obstacle Course Race World Championships and isn't slowing down anytime soon.

"I take it from Tony Horton from P90X fame that I tell people all the time you can do anything for 30 seconds," he said, encouraging everyone to take hold of their obstacles on the course and conquer them.

The Endurance Factory will host a grand opening Saturday January 6th, 2018 and is located at 8725 Bollman Place in Savage, Maryland.

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