Tell me a little about yourself and your background?
My background is a bit odd for someone in this industry. I graduated from B.C. undergrad in 1997 and cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center in 2000. I practiced law for eight years, played professional poker for three, was a bartender for two, and then began working as a trainer at The Omni Club. Six years later, I am now the General Manager of Athens Health and Fitness.
What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?
I don’t know that I could narrow this down to just one thing. I love moving heavy weight and seeing how strong I can be into my 40’s (my PR for all three major lifts was set at the age of 40). But I have also grown to love running and training for OCR events. I guess I could say that what I love most about fitness is what I am capable of and then pushing to expand and exceed those limits.
How long have you been into fitness?
I was very fit back in law school, but eight years as an attorney and three years playing poker for a living resulted in a lot of weight gain. It was a very sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle. I started my weight loss journey in March 2011, began working at a gym in the summer of 2012, and started running OCR events in 2013.
How did you get into fitness?
On March 24, 2011, I was playing with my son and his friends in the backyard at his birthday party and had to sit down. I was struggling to breathe, sweating like a pig, and thought I was going to be sick and he was only five years old. I realized then that if I didn’t make a change, I was going to be watching him from the sideline instead of as an active participant in his life. I was 275ish pounds with a 40 inch waist. I started the next day.
What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?
I had a two different turning points. The first was the one mentioned above playing with my son in the backyard. The second came when I was asked by a client to run a Spartan race in March 2013. I was instantly hooked. It changed my approach to fitness from just exercising/working ou to training for a specific purpose.
How has fitness impacted your life?
It has become my life. I went from being fat and out of shape to being healthy and fit to being an athlete to being a personal trainer to being the General Manager of the gym.
What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?
Motivation isn’t going to be what gets results. Motivation is fleeting – it comes and goes. Dedication and determination are what gets results.
Think of it this way – we aren’t always motivated to go to work. We do it anyways because we are dedicated to the job and/or to getting our paychecks to pay bills and support our families.
There will be times you are motivated to workout and that’s wonderful, but there will be times you are not motivated. Do it anyways. Treat it like something important and dedicate yourself to doing what needs to be done.
The results are worth it.
And if you don’t know what you are doing, get help. I worked with a trainer and took Fight Club classes to make my initial transformation. It was well worth the time and money spent.
General Manager of Athens Health and Fitness (@athenshealthfitness)