For the last year, veterans have worked at their physical and mental health at a new gym in Billings.
The Adapative Performance Center opened is celebrating its one-year anniversary.
The gym opened in March of 2020 just for veterans.
"It has exceeded all expectations that we ever had," said Karen Pearson, ADP co-founder. "And to get the feedback that we've heard from so many of our members about how grateful they are to have someplace to go, how much connection they feel again."
"Like people all around them," said Mitch Crouse, ADP co-founder. "They can go talk to anybody, and they know that they're going to understand them."
Crouse and Pearson say it's the first and only gym of its kind in the country, helping veterans with physical fitness and mental health.
"They just know they have a supportive environment to be in," Pearson said. "So it's not a formal structured therapy. The therapy happens while they're working out and as they're working out, and supporting each other."
"My motto has been 'work your body, work your mind,'" Crouse said. "And when we can do both of those, it helps so many people."
The center has added a lot more equipment in the last year, which shows its importance to veterans.
"Our first 11 days we got 46 members," Pearson said. "And for us to be where we're at today with 245 members, it's insane to see where it's gone in a year."
Unlike other gyms in the area, the Adaptive Performance Center was not closed during COVID-19 shutdowns.
"We were deemed essential because we're classified as a rehabilitation facility," Pearson said. "It was truly a godsend to be able to do that and we truly believe that we have veterans that had they not had someplace to go that they would not be with us today. It is beyond special for us to have our one-year anniversary."
"It's just fantastic that you know that you're helping these guys and gals," Crouse said.
The Adapative Performance Center, at 1420 Broadwater Ave., is holding its anniversary celebration on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.