Dempsey MarksTell me a little about yourself and your background?

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.  I am a fitness influencer, personal trainer, group fitness instructor, yoga instructor, and entrepreneur. But first I am an athlete.  I’ve completed several half marathons, obstacle course races, triathlons, and one-half ironman. I thrive when competing.

What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?

I love how training makes me feel.  There’s nothing that beats the feeling you get after a good workout or a long run.  There are always new things to learn and try and I love challenging myself with different types of workouts.

How long have you been into fitness?

I’ve always been incredibly active.  I first started playing sports when I was just 4 years old and continued to play competitive volleyball and softball through middle and high school.  My sporting interests evolved as I got older.

How did you get into fitness?

Like I said, I was always a very active kid.  When I was 17, that lifestyle came to an abrupt halt when I was diagnosed with a disease called gastroparesis.  The condition paralyzed my stomach and left me unable to eat solid food.  I was so tired, weak and malnourished that I slept up to 15 hours a day.  After months of medications and experimental treatments, I decided to see if I could heal my body naturally through exercise and a modified healthy diet (a lot of traditionally healthy foods aren’t good for people with gastroparesis).  It was difficult and painful, but it worked.  Once I realized the impact fitness had on my life – I knew I needed to learn more, try more, and do more. And ultimately help others.

What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?

The turning point was when I was able to regain my health.  I had always enjoyed being active and took pride in my athletic accomplishments up until that point.  But this opened my eyes to how necessary fitness was to be maintaining my health. I became a personal trainer at my college gym within 6 months and I haven’t looked back since.

How has fitness impacted your life?

It saved my life.  It is what allows me to live a happy and healthy lifestyle.  It also led me to a career path that I am beyond passionate about.

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?

Find something you enjoy.  The key to getting and staying in shape is finding a workout or activity that you get excited about.  If you don’t like running, don’t run! Experiment and have fun with it.  There are so many options these days.  And look for a community or form of support – whether that is a gym buddy or a fitness studio.  There’s such a vital social aspect to fitness currently and that will further motivate and inspire you! And what a benefit to have a community with healthy people.

Instagram: @dempseymarks

Creator of the PreGame Fit fitness program @pregamefit

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