Fitness guru Richard Simmons has elected to close the doors to his Beverly Hills exercise palace. Please adjust your oldies generated sweat withdrawal sessions accordingly.
Boasting the impeccable name Slimmons, the exercise studio had been operating since 1974 and encouraged a wide range of participants to pop by. (Slimmons also deserves kudos for helping Simmons build the empire that helped invade 80% of all VHS cabinets of senior citizens in the ’90s.) News of the official closing of the facility comes during a year where Simmons has refuted claims that he was being held against his will and found himself hospitalized over what was considered “bizarre” behavior.
According to Entertainment Tonight, Simmons was not in attendance for Saturday’s final day of operation. The perpetually energetic instructor elected to write a message instead as a way of saying goodbye in-person.
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 Slimmons 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.
Well, it’s been over forty years now, and I am finally taking my own advice. I am being kind to myself, and putting myself first. I am making changes and taking time to do the things I want to do. Please know that I am in good health and I am happy. No one has ever been able to tell me what to do and the same is true today. I am still independent, determined and opinionated. I simply am making a new beginning for myself — quietly and in my very own special way.
Simmons stressed that he wished “to thank everyone who has ever taken a class with me at Slimmons or anywhere else” and encouraged the public to do something good for their bodies. No word yet on if he and David Letterman have submitted their Amazing Race audition tape yet.
(Via Entertainment Tonight)