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Anytime Fitness fans show their passion with tattoos

How much do you love your company? Enough to tattoo its logo on your body? And I'm talking about a permanent tattoo, not one of those sissy washable tattoos.

Anytime Fitness fans show their passion with tattoos

How much do you love your company? Enough to tattoo its logo on your body? And I'm talking about a permanent tattoo, not one of those sissy washable tattoos.

Anytime Fitness Inc. owners, employees and even customers love the franchise so much that more than 500 of them have had the fitness company's purple "Running Man" logo tattooed onto their bodies over the last few years.

Mike Gelgot, a personal trainer from Indiana, started the trend several years ago when he accepted a dare to have the Running Man logo permanently inked on his body. Anytime Fitness co-founder and CEO Chuck Runyon paid for it, and Runyon eventually got one himself.

Now tattooing has become part of the company's benefits package. Hastings-based Anytime Fitness provides a tattoo artist at its monthly training events, with the company paying the $100 it costs for people to get the Running Man tattoo.

And the franchise expects to add up to 100 people to its ranks of tattooed fans at its annual conference at the end of September in Washington, D.C., where the company has hired a mobile tattoo parlor.

Why so much passion for the company, which has adopted the credo "Bleed Purple"?

"Anytime Fitness franchisees, employees and members say the company has dramatically changed their lives, whether helping them to shed 200-plus pounds and get healthy, or helping them to find a successful new career doing something they love as a franchise owner," the company said in a statement.

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