By Steve Virgen
7:55 PM PDT, July 20, 2013
Marisa Wayne has a tone of pride when she tells the story about how her father broke into show business and became a movie star and an American icon.
It makes sense for her to be proud. Her father is John Wayne.
"He played football for USC," said Marisa Wayne, the youngest of the Duke's seven children. "But when he was body surfing he hurt his shoulder and lost his scholarship for USC. He had to get a side job. He started with work as a prop man for the studios. He did parts here and there, caught the eye of John Ford and the rest is history."
Wayne spoke about her father's connection to football to demonstrate her love for her father as well as her passion for athletics and fitness.
She has gone into business with Candice Collings and Matt Bourne to manage indoor cycling fitness centers. The three came up with a name as a tribute to John Wayne, naming it GRIT.
They are excited as they look forward to a grand opening event they'll have Thursday night at the new GRIT Cycle center, 1731 Santa Ana Ave. in Costa Mesa.
They are having fun with it, as they'll roll out a red carpet and create a party theme.
They want to welcome members of the community and introduce them to what they believe is a smart, quick, social-oriented way to stay in shape.
There was another reason they named the fitness center GRIT, other than the reference to the famous John Wayne movie "True Grit."
Marisa Wayne said she just really liked the definition of grit.
"It's the passion and perseverance to achieve one's goal," Marisa Wayne said. "You can have all the talent in the world but if you don't have the grit, you won't make it. You have to have that grit."
Spin classes are a great way to burn calories, said Bourne, who enjoys that type of fitness.
"Cycling is important in many different ways," Bourne said. "It's not as hard on your knees as running. In 45 minutes you can burn about a thousand calories and not even realize it was 45 minutes. Instead of going to happy hour, you can see your friends here. Indoor cycling is taking the world by storm right now actually."
Collings likes to say people's only enemy is the couch. She said GRIT can be for the youth, young adults and older people, basically everyone.
She said the concept of GRIT has been more than a year in the making. Collings has provided great energy for GRIT during that time.
"We started this because we wanted to open a fitness center that didn't just focus on the individual but focused on the community," said Collings, who like Marisa Wayne (Class of 1984), is a Newport Harbor High alumna (Class of 1999). "It's our goal to make the community a healthier place."
Collings, Marisa Wayne and Bourne also want to give back and support wellness-minded local programs, such as the Newport-Mesa Unified School District and the Newport-Mesa YMCA. They've created GRIT Gives, which will sponsor a different community program every month, donating $1 from every class purchase to a specific program.
They'll announce the first recipient of the GRIT Gives sponsorship program on Thursday night during the grand opening that starts at 6:30. The fitness center will also be a place for charity events, Collings said.
"A single class is $20 but $1 goes to like-minded programs," Collings said. "For the price of two martinis at happy hour you can come just be social and get healthy at the same time. It's a great social event. It's a bit of therapy. If your children are being trying or your husband is making you crazy, a lot of people go to spin. You can just take it out on the bike."