Andrea “AJ” Leaver likes to have a good time. She also likes to work out and stay in shape. The two, of course, don’t have to be mutually exclusive -- except, perhaps, when you own a bar and a fitness facility.
Andrea owned The Boathouse on Tyngsboro Road in Dracut before opening Define Fitness in 2019 in the Beaver Brook Mill, 91 Mill Street (behind Owen & Ollie’s). A single mom with a young daughter, AJ decided one of the businesses had to go. She sold The Boathouse in 2020 to Dave Paquette (who shortened the name to The Boat), and put all of her energy into Define.
It also didn’t help matters when the pandemic closed both her bar and her gym in the spring of 2020.
“It got to be too much for me as a single mom,” AJ says. “Working out was more of a passion for me” than owning the bar.
With January 20 being Women’s Healthy Weight Day, it may be a good time to “Define how you want to get in shape,” as the facility’s website states.
A Tyngsboro High Athletic Hall of Fame inductee, AJ knows about staying fit. The 1999 THS graduate played tennis and basketball, and continued her hoops career at Rivier University, where she was named Athlete of the Year in 2002 and finished with more than 800 points and 800 rebounds.
Define has about 900 members. It’s a 24-hour gym that includes a general workout room, day care, new locker rooms, a spinning studio, a yoga and workout room, and a small-group training facility, as well as a barista bar with coffee and specialty smoothies.
AJ says Define Fitness, like most gyms, is slowly coming around, but COVID is still a factor, especially considering that January is usually the sweet spot for fitness facilities. (Think New Year’s resolutions.)
“Realistically, I’m hoping by March things will be back to normal,” she says.
Check out www.definefitnessdracut.com or call 978-677-2167 for more information.