Austin Steimle started boxing when he was a teenager on a high school boxing team in Cincinnati. A former Marine, Steimle never boxed professionally but has retained his passion for the sport.
“I really fell in love with the art of boxing. That’s what a lot of people on the outside don’t see. There’s so much to it. It just never gets old for me,” Steimle said. “Boxing for me, it’s kind of the discipline that comes with any combat sport. It’s the individual effort required, the discipline, the training.”
Steimle hopes to instill the same passion he feels for boxing in others through a boutique Solana Beach boxing club he acquired in December – Golo – after working at other clubs as a manager and trainer.
Full Body Workout
The name Golo stands for gloves on, lights off – a reference to the boxing classes Steimle and club trainers lead under multi-colored lights.
“It’s the whole energy, with music and lights flashing,” Steimle said.
Sharing a site at 742 Genevieve St. with other fitness-oriented businesses, Golo is small at about 1,800 square feet but Steimle said it’s the first of a series of similar boutique boxing clubs he plans to open throughout North County.
“That’s a year-plus down the road,” Steimle said.
The centerpiece of Golo is a room filled with 14 heavy boxing bags dangling from the ceiling of the main room. The heavy bags, six feet tall and 160 pounds each, are for pummeling, mostly in group classes.
With more than 100 members, Golo also offers weight training and individual training sessions for those who want to spar one-on-one.
“We’re mostly a group fitness gym,” Steimle said. “It’s a full body workout. You think boxing is mostly upper body. It’s full body.”
More than 60% of Golo’s members are women, according to Steimle.
Jill Cole, Golo’s manager and a trainer, said women like the sense of empowerment as well as the improved fitness they develop in boxing. Like Steimle, Cole has had a longtime fondness for boxing after hanging out at a boxing gym in downtown San Diego’s East Village neighborhood.
“I would walk in there and I was the only girl and I fell in love with it,” Cole said. “There was something empowering about the sport of boxing, something that gave me an edge. Obviously it’s the physical piece, but the confidence.”
Learning how to defend herself was part of it.
“There was a piece of me that knew I could at least throw a punch, and that to me felt like everything,” Cole said.
Before becoming manager of Golo, Cole taught yoga for several years, but she said joining Golo renewed her passion for boxing.
“It all came rushing back, that feeling of self-control, that feeling of confidence that I could handle myself in any situation,” Cole said.
Fully Engaged Training
She said she sees that same feeling in women who come to Golo.
“These women are fully engaged, they’re there. They are in it. Everything falls to the wayside and they are punching with every ounce of strength that they have. It’s that release,” Cole said. “There’s something about hitting that bag. You release whatever the day brings you, whatever the kids have thrown at you, whatever trials and tribulations that are coming at you, and you leave at the front door.”
Young and Old Participants
Age is no barrier to enjoying boxing, according to Steimle and Cole.
“We have a lot of older clients, middle-aged clients who never thought they’d be boxing. They try it once and they fall in love with it,” Steimle said.
“We see it all,” Cole said. “We have young kids that come in and box. We have all the way up to older folks that come in.”
Golo also has donated heavy boxing bags to the nonprofit Boys to Men, a mentoring program for teenaged boys, and offers boxing classes for people with Parkinson’s disease.
“It’s that mind-body connection with the Parkinson’s folks. They benefit from the movement of boxing,” Cole said.
CEO/Owner: Austin Steimle
Headquarters: Solana Beach
Business: Fitness center based on boxing
Notable: Offers weekly classes to students who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.