Beyond Aquatics Owner Turns COVID Lemons Into Lemonade


This article is part of our “COVID-19: 1 Year Later” series, exploring the ways COVID-19 has affected and changed daily life over the past year. For two weeks, we questioned our readers about how COVID-19 has affected them. Read the results of our survey here.Today we share the story of how a local small business weathered the pandemic storm.

Michael Burrows, owner of Beyond Aquatics, is an Iraq war veteran and knows how to survive, but COVID-19 has hit his business like everyone else. His time in the military may have taught him to keep going through tough times, but the pandemic is an enemy you can’t see coming. Initially he made all the necessary adjustments to his business, then as it evolved he decided to take the time to be a better father, a better business owner, and to seek the “Lemonade” in the process.

Beyond Aquatics offers indoor pools with specialized aquatic therapy / exercise equipment for weight loss, low impact exercise, pain relief, physiotherapy, and more.

MORE: What Small Businesses Are Saying About COVID-19: 1 Year Later

“During the pandemic,” Burrows said, “I was able to take time off work, visit the Grand Canyon, spend more time being a great dad, improve my life, and improve my business. I have also taken the time to examine and observe my own mental and emotional processes, which lead me to live life in a more complete and enjoyable way.

Like all other businesses, his initial response was to shorten the hours of operation, and they ceased to be open on Sundays. They have also increased the consolidation measures.

“Several days I got home early and spent more time with my family because no one was coming to the business,” Burrows said.

Burrows changed their business strategy and limited their services to accommodate fewer customers at a time. They stopped their “Mommy and Me” group swimming lessons and went to all private lessons.

“We were already doing private swimming lessons,” Burrows explained, “and that didn’t change except that a lot fewer people were signing up. We haven’t completely locked down. We have limited the number of people in the pool at one time, whereas before we did not limit. “

They became even more private and one-on-one with their lessons. They started giving their members access to their facilities at night or early in the morning, which allowed them to exercise and relax in a more secluded and private atmosphere.

“Overall, the pandemic has helped us improve ourselves and the way we do business,” Burrows said. “I see us keeping all the changes for the foreseeable future and adding new services like virtual swimming lessons, in-person massages and other possible alternative health services.”

Like many people, some of her clients suffer from depression, anxiety, and isolation. Swimming and relaxing in the pool helps alleviate some of these sensations. He wants to do what he can to help them cope.

Burrows is grateful for the SBA’s disaster relief loans. He was able to continue to function thanks to the receipt of one of these loans. “Without the help of the SBA,” he said, “I don’t think the company would have survived.”

He unfortunately lost staff because he couldn’t give them enough hours, saw longer delivery times on supplies, and larger customers who referred their patients to Beyond Aquatics stopped sending them. But her small staff and close friends remained healthy.

“I turned last year’s lemons into lemonade,” Burrows added, “and I’m so excited for the future to come!”

Beyond water sports
236 Robert Rose Drive Murfreesboro, TN 37129
Telephone: (615) 962-9500
Working hours:
Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

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