Where there was a medley of antiques, modern furniture and memorabilia at a West End storefront, there are kettlebells, gymnastic rings and chiropractic tables.
At 901 W. Beech St., the Treasure Chest thrift store, which opened in 2010, closed last year and made way for a chiropractic/physical therapy office and CrossFit gym. Friends since elementary school in Merrick, chiropractor Dr. Sean Pastuch and Mike Abgarian, a certified trainer, opened their united facilities, called Thrive and CrossFit King of the Beach, last October.
Pastuch wanted to move to Long Beach since he was teen working at his mother’s day care center in Atlantic Beach. After he got married last August, he and his wife, Kimberly, moved to the city, and he searched for a building to open a practice in the West End, where he believes pedestrian traffic is the best way to spread word about his business.
“The West End is almost its own town,” Pastuch said.
He had worked out of his father's Hicksville office and saw patients at a CrossFit gym in Garden City, where he also took classes to better understand their needs. Meanwhile, Abgarian had opened a gym in Allentown, Pennsylvania, called CrossFit 610. A lightbulb then went off for Pastuch.
“I called him and said, ‘You’re done in Pennsylvania; I need you to move back to New York and we’re going to open a gym in Long Beach together,” he recalled.
Before the 28-year-olds opened their doors, however, the former Treasure Chest needed considerable reconstruction. They moved a wall a few feet to add space for the gym, raised the ceiling a foot and installed two showers. Just last weekend, they installed a $30,000 floor that is more suitable for exercise.
“It was a lot of work and a lot of changes went off,” Abgarian said. “And it was a long wait. Sean put in a lot of work while I was still in Pennsylvania. He made it happen, really.”
CrossFit defines fitness across several areas, from strength to agility to stamina, and incorporates varied exercise, including weightlifting, gymnastics and sprinting. In Abgarian’s gym, patrons work out on rings and pull up bars and perform Olympic-style lifts such as the clean and jerk.
“CrossFit is group training and we incorporate functional lifting, which would be the moms who are lifting their babies off the floor, so that’s a deadlift,” Abgarian explained. “Some days we might do one movement, a mono-structural movement, and another day it might be a couplet, which would be two workouts.”
The separate businesses lend themselves to each other under one roof, where a physical therapist and massage therapist work alongside Pastuch.
“When someone in the gym needs to see someone for musculo-skeletal care, they can come see me, or if someone who comes and sees me is ready for fitness, we can send them right to the gym,” said Pastuch, who noted that both businesses are open to anyone, not just their patients and members.
Pastuch said his chiropractic care differs from others in that after he became a licenses chiropractor, he learned more rehabilitative exercises, techniques to alleviate problems in muscles, and how to find scar tissue and adhesion in muscles.
“There’s no: come in, get treated, go home, tell me how you feel the next time and we’ll keep doing it,” he said. “The first time, you feel like A when we start and B when we’re done. And we test, treat, retest every time, so that you know I’m making quantitative and qualitative gains each time you come into my office.”