By 27, Kaitlyn Gannon had suffered three torn ACLs and undergone five knee surgeries. The recovery was a grueling one for the soccer player and swimmer, but using her exercise science degree from Texas State University, she rebounded stronger than ever. Gannon is now sharing that expertise with other recovery patients by opening her first gym, Dallas Iron Fitness.
For patients who are recovering from things such as heart surgeries but don’t qualify or are limited to minimal physical therapy, Dallas Iron Fitness can provide a comprehensive training plan to aid in recovery. But Gannon is quick to point out that her services don’t replace medically required physical therapy.
"We’re not taking away from PT or the occupational therapists or rehab facilities,” Gannon says. “There are patients that really need that, and it’s beyond our scope of practice. But we’re the gap of what’s after.”
The role of caregiver is not a new one to Gannon. As a volunteer coach at St. Edwards for the women’s soccer team, Gannon was hands-on with young athletes potentially at risk for the same injuries she suffered. While pursuing her masters in exercise science, she helped the women’s soccer team design their offseason conditioning program. It was at St. Edwards — where she worked on warm-up routines to prevent season-ending injuries — that she found her calling to help others.
From there, Dallas Iron Fitness started organically when a doctor asked Gannon if she treated clients at home. The company quickly grew, adding services such as online coaching and adding six more personal trainers to visit cardiac patients' homes to create specialized workout routines.
To open a brick-and-mortar location is Gannon’s chance to open new doors to the community.
“I’m from Dallas; I grew up here,” Gannon says. “It’s just creating this family atmosphere in a gym. You’re going to come in, people are going to know who you are, make you feel comfortable working out. But also very educated people in a setting that can really help you. And we’re not going to be the people that do a bunch of bodybuilding shows or anything like that, but we’re going to be the ones that get the population that has all these barriers or they don’t feel going into a huge gym.”
Dallas Iron Fitness is a full-service gym, offering personal trainers of different backgrounds and specialties. Group classes will be offered, as well as online fitness training classes for those not able to make it into the new location. Gannon will also offer a concierge service, arranging personal trainers to make home visits for those who prefer one-on-one training.
It’s an exciting new step for Gannon, a step made possible by the injuries she suffered. By working on healing herself, she found the passion to heal others.
“I was 27 years old and I needed a knee replacement," Gannon says. “I think I progressed so well, and did so well after because of my background. And I did do PT and I had a great physical therapist, but I also put in the work on my own. And I think that’s what’s important for people putting in the work on their own with maybe educating training like what we provide.”