Kids enjoyed Fun Day at Country Strong Gym

By Tami Stevenson

Live Oak, Fla., – People gathered at Country Strong Gym in Live Oak last Saturday during their free All About Kids event. Parents were able to get a first-hand look at the different programs and classes the gym offers to keep kids and adults active and healthy.

During the event, kids enjoyed a free lunch while choosing what character to have painted on their face at Makayla Richey’s booth. The challenging obstacle course was of particular interest as well as a bounce house and a slime booth.

George and Kasey Stover, of Live Oak, were among those that attended, with their three children. They were members there a few years ago and wanted to see what the new establishment was like. Their children each had a blast running the obstacle course set up in the CrossFit room.

“They have a lot to offer,” commented Kasey Stover. While George said he was interested in boxing, they were also interested in getting their kids involved in Karate and self defense, which, they said, also teaches self discipline.

The gym has 24/7 access for members and offers over 50 classes including Yoga, Senior Sweat & Tone, Indoor Cycling, Karate, Tabata, CrossFit, Zumba, STRONG, Water Aerobics and swimming lessons. They also have personal trainers on site.

Kristy and Scott Vervisch purchased the gym about 2.5 years ago. They were doing well before COVID hit, says Kristy Vervisch. Today, they are about two-thirds of the way back to getting their memberships to where they were before the pandemic.

When asked where the they were from, Kristy stated, “Nowhere.” Both of their fathers served in the military while growing up and they had no one place they called home.

Scott Vervisch took after his father and joined the military. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel with the U.S. Army after 20 years of active duty serving as a Special Forces Officer. According to their website, he spent many years apart from his wife Christine (Kristy) and their four children, serving multiple tours in the Middle East, Africa and Israel. They are proud Patriots.

“We love our police, first responders, our nurses and our military,” said Kristy.

After they met, they found out both families were stationed in Sacramento and missed each other three times growing up, but finally met in Germany.

Owning and operating a fitness gym was always a part of their retirement plans and they are happy to be in Live Oak. They originally were going to build a gym in Mayo until the Live Oak opportunity came to light.

Country Strong also has event rooms available for birthdays, weddings and other happenings, including a bounce house on the second floor for kids parties.

HH Performance Supplements has a shop inside the gym where owner Brian Huff is also a personal trainer. He spent 21 years in the Coast Guard where he earned a master’s degree in health science and worked as a trainer there as well.

The Huffs came here two years ago and bought a 30 acre farm in O’Brien. He retired from the Coast Guard to spend more time with his family.

“I love what I’m doing, I’m in the gym all day long. I get to coach some of the kids around here and I really enjoy it.” Brian Huff stated. He also offers online training as well. Visit their website at to learn more about the high quality health products they offer.

The karate classes are offered by Mad Dog Karate with owner Michael Bass. He offers classes for kids and adults alike. READ THE STORY ABOUT MAD DOG KARATE, CLICK HERE.

Kristy also mentioned they will host a Craft Fair on October 17. In November they will host a Turkey Trot where proceeds will go towards Love Sparky’s Kids for Christmas gifts. In December they plan to hold a weight lifting competition and proceeds will go towards the weight lifting team at the high school.

“We believe in giving back to the community.” Kristy added.

Country Strong Gym is located at 405 11th Street SW in Live Oak and can be reached by calling 386-362-6954. Visit their website at

Makayla Richey, originally from Live Oak, is painting a black panther on Leonardo Arenas while his brother, Rafael, was next in line to get Pokeman painted on his face.                                                                                           -SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Braelynn Stover doing pull-ups during the obstacle course run.
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

George and Kasey Stover with children L-R Keegan, Linwood and Braelynn, of Live Oak, at the obstacle course.                                                                                         
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

All About Kids event at the Country Strong Gym in Live Oak last Saturday.

-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Jessie Huff discovering the ooey gooey slime made by Keionna Walker during the All About Kids event.
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson

Owner of HH Performance Supplements Brian Huff with daughter Sadi. Sadi is a budding artist and writer, taking after her mother.                       
-SVT Photo by Tami Stevenson