Two women started a Cedar Grove business to not only better themselves, but to help others become the best they can be, and although it wasn't always easy, both women said it has been nothing short of amazing.

Between planning a wedding and going through a pregnancy, Jaclyn Battistuz and Raina Koterba were extremely busy when they decided to start their own business. Despite what was going on in their personal lives though, both women knew this business was something they wanted to do, and so Limitless Performance and Therapy was born.

Limitless Performance and Therapy is a center that offers a variety of different options for health and well being, including fitness classes, pediatric therapy services and athletic performance classes, among other services. The business was born from not only Battistuz’s and Koterba’s shared love of health, but also their past with each other.

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Before reconnecting at New York Sports Club, Battistuz and Koterba went to elementary school together. When they first saw each other again, they started discussing their shared passion.

“We started talking about our ambitions and how we wanted to open our own business that would focus on improving people’s quality of life,” Battistuz said.

At the time, Battistuz was planning a wedding while also planning this business, which she said was challenging. Still, Battistuz was able to stay organized and enjoyed her destination wedding in New Orleans. She was able to come back with fresh ideas and excitement, she said.

Koterba had a lot going on in her personal life as well, as she was four months pregnant when they closed on the gym and also had a soon-to-be 3-year-old. She welcomed her second daughter on September 4, 2015.

“I was beyond overwhelmed and still find myself thinking it is all a dream,” Koterba said. “I learned to rely not only on my own strength and ask help of others but to find and hold steadfast to a greater power.”

Even with a lot of excitement happening in their personal lives, Battistuz and Koterba’s passion is what helped them succeed.

For Battistuz, starting this business was a way to help clients and provide a great experience without solely thinking about profit.

“For myself, I’ve realized in the fitness industry that after a certain point of upward mobility getting positions of increasing responsibility, it became less about the people and more about strictly numbers,” Battistuz said. “I wanted to do meaningful work that was focused on clients and members and knew that by providing a great experience, we would generate a profit.”

It was also her own past struggle with her weight that helped her find her passion for fitness. After a bad break up and series of life events, Battistuz found herself obese at 24 years old.

“I decided it was time to make a change, and lost 140 pounds through lifestyle changes, incorporating a healthy diet and exercise,” Battistuz said. “I became so passionate about wellness that I wanted to make it a career.”

Battistuz has been a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2007. She also holds various specialty certifications and is a certified USA Weightlifting Sports Performance coach and a CrossFit Level 1 trainer.

She was not always in the fitness industry, though. Battistuz started out working in mechanical engineering from 2005 to 2007 before she entered the fitness world. Since finding her love for fitness, Battistuz has been a personal trainer, master trainer, fitness manager and general manager for New York Sports Club and also worked with a small start up based out of Alpine before deciding she wanted to work for herself.

For Koterba, it was working with children and bettering their lives that made her want to start this business.

“My sole purpose in this life is to educate and empower people working and living with children who have differing abilities,” Koterba said. “By opening up my own private practice, I could focus not only on treating the child from a therapeutic approach but also have a chance to work closely with parents and caregivers on alternative interventions to address emotional and behavioral concerns.”

Koterba has been a pediatric occupational therapist for 15 years working in private practice, public schools and a school for special needs children in Nutley. In 2006, she expanded her education in the field and became certified in an alternative healing modality called Pranic Healing and began learning tools and strategies to complement the traditional therapeutic process. Through that, Koterba was introduced to SuperBrain Yoga and integrated it into her therapy sessions. The results were so amazing that she joined with a special education teacher and neuroscientist to conduct research proving the efficacy of the technique on children with and without special needs. Their study was shared on CBS news and Koterba became an international lecturer.

“I didn’t choose OT and alternative intervention, it chose me,” Koterba said. “I applied for the occupational therapy program as a second choice next to physical therapy after I read a brief description of what it entailed. Unbeknownst to me, I received a scholarship to attend the OT program at the school of my choice. How could I say no?”

Battistuz and Koterba closed on their facility on April 23, 2015. They did a soft opening in November 2015 and held a grand opening for Limitless Performance and Therapy in January 2016.

Since opening, the business has had its ups and downs, Battistuz said, but the women received plenty of love and support from people they have worked with in the past and the business has been growing rapidly.

The facility’s variety of options is something that sets it apart from many gyms. Services include CrossFit Affiliate, CrossFit Cedar Grove, one-on-one personal training and small group training. They also have a sensory gym for children of all abilities. The gym is comprised of swings, trampolines, pillow pits and gross motor equipment.

Regardless of the challenges these women have gone through to reach success, Battistuz said the experience has been one they are proud of.

“While starting a business has its pros and cons, there’s nothing better than loving what you do,” Battistuz said. “I won’t say it’s been easy, but it has without any doubt been worth it.”