Rene Olmos is one of those lucky people who loves going to work each day.
In little more than a year, he and partner Irina have turned a Levin warehouse into a state of the art 24-hour gym and fitness centre, and a finalist for the 2021 Electra Horowhenua Business and Innovation Awards.
Olmos, 39, was originally from Argentina and an accountant by trade. He moved to New Zealand in 2009 with no English. Within days he had a job cleaning a hostel for three hours in exchange for free lodgings, and was hotel security by night.
"It was pretty good really because all I could say at the time was 'hello my name is Rene and I want a job'," he said.
Through total immersion and library visits his English quickly improved to a standard where he landed accountancy work, and that was what he did until a "midlife crisis" a few years ago.
At the time he said he was under a lot of pressure, so made a decision to take six months off work, live off his savings, and re-evaluate his life path.
"I was under a lot of pressure. There was pressure to keep working as an accountant, but people evolve," he said.
During that time he kept working out at the gym - several hours each day - and ate healthy food, and realised that was what he wanted to do.
"I had to make a call," he said.
So he went back working as an accountant to raise the capital need to open his own gymnasium - qualified as a personal trainer - and scouted New Zealand for a suitable location to open his own fitness and wellbeing centre.
He originally fell in love with fitness when chosen for the Argentinian national handball team as a 17-year-old, but made a decision in his 20s to study as an accountant, and on graduating he had worked as an accountant in his homeland for more than 10 years.
But he always kept those learned healthy habits and remained a regular at the gym, and found a kindred spirit when meeting Irina through a shared passion for dance.
Irina was a professional dancer and pilates instructor originally from Moscow, who had lived in New Zealand for 25 years.
Together they moved from Auckland to Whanganui, and three years ago started a pilates and dance studio, but they were keen to open a new fitness centre.
Whanganui was saturated with established fitness businesses, so he scouted the country, even looking to Australia for the right location, and eventually decided on Levin as the perfect spot for the new venture.
The couple now live at Foxton and commute the short distance to work each day.
One thing that strikes newcomers to Prime Performance was its size and the amount of equipment. Olmos said he saw no reason why smaller towns couldn't have access to the big city fitness centre experience.
Olmos said although he puts in long hours at Prime Performance, he loves being there and teaching people.
They work together to make it work. As well as business owners, they are receptionists, coaches and cleaners.
"To be honest, there is no part of my day that feels like I am at work. Thank God I have found what I really like," he said.
The second and third floor of the Prime Performance building was currently under renovation, which they hope to open soon.
The focus would be on bio-hack treatment and recovery, featuring a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, a floating therapy tank, red light LED therapy bed, electromagnetic bodysuit, sauna and ice bath, and steam showers.
There were also plans for pole dancing classes, a pilates studio, acupuncture and beauty therapy centre.
Olmos said fundamentally it was about helping people achieve longevity and a better quality of life.
"Longer and stronger," he said.