Business owner, wife, mom, board member are just a few of the hats Rikki wears every day. Rikki is a lifelong Riversider with family roots and a community member working to cultivate a healthier, more inclusive neighborhood through her gym, t3 Fitness.
What is your personal origin story with t3 Fitness?
“I started as a client for about six or seven years, and it was then that I absolutely fell in love with the community of women here- because it’s so much more than only working out here. This place was and still is just safe for me. I remember when I first joined as a client all those years ago I felt this open, ‘come as you are’ atmosphere. I and clearly so many other women really needed that.”
How did you come to own t3 Fitness?
“To be honest, God just flew the doors open for me. It’s so surreal and I still can’t believe I get to do this every day! Here’s my journey in a nutshell: I went from client to instructor which felt really natural. Then in 2018, the doors almost literally flew open for me and I had the opportunity to step into this ownership role. Against any odds I remember thinking to myself, ‘How can I not?’ The rest is history but I will say this, I knew that I wanted my first decision as owner to be to honor the brave women at the gym who came before me. With that, I rebranded to really show our values and reinforce that ‘come as you are’ concept that drew me in in the first place. It’s so important that we as women feel safe in community and that we link arms.”
What do you love most about your role as owner?
“Being with my girls! Community is everything. So it will never be lost on me that I get to gather women. The mental health aspect is a major component of our community building here. Working out gives you that happy high and being surrounded in community pushes or sometimes even peer pressures you into taking the next leap to get to the good stuff– being held accountable and reaching your goals. Doing it alongside new friends is of course a nice bonus, too.”
What does ‘Tone. Transform. Together.’ mean to you?
“’Tone. Transform. Together.’ was actually a part of our rebrand process. Originally the messaging way ‘Trim. Tone. Transform.’ but I felt like that wasn’t as accurate for us anymore. Sure, we all come to the gym to get fit, meet goals, all that good stuff. But what’s special about t3 is that we’re doing it together. Adding ‘together’ to the mix was important to me because it highlights what we stand for as a women’s gym.”
How has fitness influenced your life outside of the gym?
“I grew up dancing competitively and that taught me the reward of investing in yourself and building up others. And sadly I also saw the other side of that– what happens when we aren’t rooting for each other. So at t3 we heavily focus on being incredibly supportive. I’m also on the board for Girls on the Run Riverside County and I occasionally go out to Shamel Park for outdoor classes or I teach at the CBU Ladies Night. It’s important for me to meet women where they’re at and also to teach girls when they’re young what it means to know that they’re beautiful and to love their true selves. I see how powerful it is when we’re all cheering each other on and that’s what helps keep me going.”
Do you have any mottos around the gym?
“I find myself ending each class with, ‘You are beautiful. You are strong. You are not alone.’ Because, again, it’s never lost on me how important it is for us [as a women’s gym] to build each other up. t3 Fitness is more than just a gym, it’s a community– a community for any woman no matter where she’s at in life. We like to say ‘come as you are and let’s figure it out together.’ And what’s great about that is we’ve also cultivated a community that truly lives by that. We work hard to be intentional about that, about cultivating the community we want to live in. At the end of the day, I want women to feel comfortable when they come here.”
What makes t3 unique?
“Gyms are scary. Groups of women are scary. I wanted to break that barrier. Walking into a big gym can be so intimidating and that’s one of the reasons why I started at t3 all those years ago and that’s one of the main reasons why so many of our clients walk through our doors. We need to invest in our health, but we need to do it in a safe zone. That’s how so many stories start here at t3 and that’s why being a women-owned, all-women gym is so important. It really goes beyond physical fitness– we’re mentally stronger and tougher because of it.”
Tell us about the t3 Fitness location.
“I really can’t imagine not being located in the Brockton Arcade. I love it here. I mean, we aren’t t3 without being nestled in this little neighborhood. The Brockton Arcade is such a tight-knit family. I feel safe, my clients feel safe knowing that our neighbors have our back, and we’ve got theirs. There are even times when classes will end after dark and other business owners will wait for us so we can walk out to our cars together. You know, that’s what I’m talking about when I say tight-knit. The owners and residents around here are constantly making sure we’re not just connected but feel loved, and to me that’s important.”
Do you ever sense competition between other Riverside gyms and t3 Fitness?
“I don’t have a scarcity mindset. I don’t feel like I’m competing with other gyms and I think the other gym owners feel the same way. If anything, we build each other up. Sometimes even relying on each other. During the major lockdown periods or when gyms were opening back up we were constantly calling each other and asking, ‘Okay what are you doing for this?’ or, ‘How are you making your clients feel safe to return?’ We have a pretty close gym community, I love it. If I can link arms with you then I’m going to because that is the best way forward for our community– not just our gym community but our Riverside community.”
What do you love most about Riverside?
“I love that we’re a little, big town. It’s true! We deeply care about each other even as we’re growing. I think a lot of that is because so many of us have family roots here or are starting family roots here. We keep growing but we’ll always be the Riverside we know and love. Our leaders are also accessible and our business owners are involved, paying attention and asking questions. And that is a huge part of keeping that little-big town aspect to Riverside. Riverside is family.”