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Coastal Bend Fitness Keeps Equipment in Good Shape

Technology has evolved in the fitness equipment industry. Here, James and Lety Elizalde stand near a treadmill equipped with a computer monitor and a keyboard. James Elizalde has learned to service problems with the computer screens and equipment found on treadmills.

Coastal Bend Fitness Service owner James Elizalde and his wife, Lety, are celebrating two special anniversaries this year: They have been married and in business together for 10 years. While celebrating their decade as partners in marriage, they are also celebrating their jointly owned company that repairs treadmills, elliptical machines, and a variety of other fitness equipment for other businesses and public entities.

James Elizalde opened his business in 2008 inside of the Hest Fitness Products building after working for Hest for 20 years. He began his job at Hest in July 1989.

“I have learned new skills on the job,” said Elizalde, whose only job before starting his own business was working for Hest. “Everything I learned on the electrical side was with Hest. They sent me to classes to learn.”

Elizalde wanted to open his own business because he was good at helping people, he said. It’s what he enjoys the most about his work.

Lety Elizalde works the front office, handling paperwork and scheduling service calls.

“What I enjoy the most is getting to work with my husband,” she said, adding that she, too, gets down in the trenches by helping repair equipment.

“I’ve learned a lot and can diagnose a problem almost immediately when someone calls to tell me what’s wrong,” she said.

While the couple employs a part-time person in the office, James Elizalde does most of the equipment repair work himself except for some larger jobs, which he contracts out to a few repair people.

“These are people I know and trust,” he said.

He travels to areas outside of Corpus Christi to repair equipment, including Brownsville, Victoria, and San Antonio. His clients are schools districts, the Corpus Christi Police Department, the city of Corpus Christi, universities, and anywhere else where exercise equipment is found.

Elizalde said he once had a job at the University of Texas at Austin fixing equipment then drove the piece down from Central Texas to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas on a large flatbed trailer.

“We go to the location to fix it,” he said. “I’d say, 95 percent of the time, our calls are in the field, although customers sometimes drop off equipment. I’d say most of calls for repairs are about half for treadmills and the other half are for ellipticals.”

The most frequent reason fitness machines break down is because they are not maintained, Elizalde continued. He recommends once-a-year maintenance for his residential clients. For high-use facilities such as gyms and apartment complexes, Elizalde recommends regular checkups.

“Every three months, maintenance should be done,” he said. “We will come out and clean, vacuum, and adjust it. Also, technology has changed a lot with the machines.”

He has had to learn how to repair small computer monitors, which come installed on top of many of the treadmills. Computers now calculate heart rates, calories burned, and miles traveled while also playing music or even streaming video.

“I want to perfect and continue helping the community,” Elizalde said of his efforts to stay on top of the ever-changing fitness technology.

Coastal Bend Fitness Service shares a building with Hest Fitness Products at 4730 South Padre Island Drive, Suite 1, in Corpus Christi. Call (361) 334-9798 or visit the company’s Facebook page for more information.

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