Richard Simmons has devoted 40 years of his life to getting people into shape and having fun while doing it. But in the past three years, the fitness guru has been absent from the public spotlight.
Tabloids speculated his disappearance was because he was having transgender surgery or that his housekeeper was holding him hostage, all of which Simmons disproved. But now after his three-year hiatus, Simmons has emerged and has some heart-wrenching news about his career.
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Entertainment Tonight reported that Simmons has decided to close his iconic Beverly Hills exercise studio after 42 years of business. The Beverly Hills studio was first opened in 1974 and catered to people who were well out of shape.
Simmons once said that the reason he opened his studio was because other workout studios catered to people who were already in shape. These other places made fun of out-of-shape people, but Simmons wanted to make exercise fun and accessible to people of all shapes, sizes, and ages.
The flamboyant workout instructor posted on Facebook that he could not make himself to go to the studio on its last day.
The post reads: I have never been very good with beginnings and endings. This may come as a surprise to some of you but I am not the most patient person. I just can’t wait for a movie to start, or a new restaurant or business to open, or for class to begin. Hurry up already! When I opened Simmons in 1974, I simply couldn’t wait to tell everyone that food could be healthy AND delicious or that exercise could be fun!
I worked my little striped shorts off to spread the message that you must move your body every day, that portion size matters and that while others may not always be kind to you, you must be kind to yourself. I traveled the country, appeared in malls and convention halls, talk shows, news segments and made more guest appearances than I can name. I made countless friends along the way and I hope I changed a few lives for the better.
Simmons ended the post by thanking everyone who attended any classes or supported him along the way:
You know, I’ve always said I am with you every step of the weigh. And you have been with me, at my side always, in happy times and sad. We laughed and cried together and have memories to last ten lifetimes.”
He added, “I want to thank everyone who has ever taken a class with me at Simmons or anywhere else. I especially want to thank my angels at Simmons, the incredible staff and teachers over the years, who always put themselves before others and helped me help you. I will be forever grateful for their loyalty and compassion.
While I’m not there today to share this last class, I know you will take comfort in the friends you’ve made and the lessons you learned. Truly, you don’t need me to tell you what to do anymore. You know. It’s within you. It’s in your heart and it’s been there all along. So get up and get moving!
Be kind to one another, be kind to your body and be kind to yourself
I love you. Richard.”
Simmons is now content with continuing his life’s work of helping people lose weight behind the scenes. Love him or hate him, the man was a fitness icon and helped many battle weight problems and for that, we thank you.