Jenny and Thor Parrish are fitness advocates.
Through their love, communication and collaboration, the two Florida Gulf Coast University graduates blended their fitness backgrounds to create Thunder Performance. It opened Jan. 7.
Thor Parrish (’19, professional golf management) describes the facility as a CrossFit gym and golf performance studio. But he and Jenny (’19, communication) have visions and long-range goals that are much more for their members.
“There’s the sport of CrossFit and the methodology of CrossFit,” Thor said. “The methodology has been lost in the explosion of the sport. [The sport is] much more competitive, heavier, stronger. But the methodology works for everyone.”
Fun and dreams
Thor, the CEO, and Jenny, the CHO (“chief happiness officer”), met after their third day on FGCU’s campus in 2015. It’s a day she won’t forget for another reason — she borrowed her roommate’s car but accidentally crashed it.
“I asked how I could make it up to her, and my roommate said to put on the most ridiculous outfit, walk down to a friend’s room, knock on a door and do a dance.
“I wore a rain jacket and had a fishing pole in my hand. As I sang, Thor was standing right behind me. He thought it was super funny.”
Thor was still smiling when they met the next time, and a romance blossomed.
While at FGCU, Thor eventually spoke to Jenny about his desire to establish his gym facility.
After their December 2020 wedding, they embarked on a joint venture to make the dream a reality.
“Thor always had an entrepreneur’s mindset,” Jenny said.
The couple wanted to give their building on Cam Court in Fort Myers a country-club feel. Inside their 4,400-square-foot facility is a recovery room; a sauna, ice bath and showers; and a smoothie bar and meal-delivery service. There also are workouts that incorporate the outdoors.
Jenny guides new members through a three-session onboarding process. This helps the new participants understand their physical limitations and introduces them to trainers and an in-house doctor of physical therapy.
An Eagles network
While developing their business, Jenny and Thor have stayed connected to FGCU.
Jenny serves as co-president of the Alumni Association’s Naples chapter. She partnered with an FGCU fitness sorority called CHAARG to offer about 30 female students free workouts. They also hosted a complimentary alumni workout.
Thor is on the Eagles Club board of advisors. Next spring, he’ll teach a PGM course, “The Body Swing Connection.”
About 20 current FGCU students and staff have joined the gym.
A quarter of the gym’s approximately 100 members are hard-core CrossFitters who compete in events. Others compete in spartan races, 5ks, pickleball and golf tournaments or are focused on being healthier.
The couple has their own long-term fitness goals. At 100, Jenny wants to be able to do a squat and pick up shells on the beach, and Thor’s goal is to walk 18 holes of golf. And they plan to achieve these centennial goals together.
“I told Thor he’s stuck with me,” Jenny said.