Catapulted by his dedication to be a positive example for his daughter, David has made fitness a part of his lifestyle. Through learning new fitness skills, movement and building community at Active Wellness, he has felt the amazing benefits of fitness not only physically but even mentally/emotionally!

Read David’s story below to learn about his journey to fitness and how he’s reaching his goals!

David’s story: Firstly, I’ve struggled with depression for much of my life and being able to be active. Most of my life I’ve been overweight, with the heaviest being around 388 lbs at my daughter’s birthday, slightly more than 2 years ago.

I decided I needed to be a better example for my daughter so I started eating better and lifting weights. Then in February of last year I got her started in Jiu Jitsu and by May I was doing it myself. By August I was taking 2-3 classes of Jiu Jitsu and Kickboxing a day, 4 days a week. By the end of the year I had gotten down to 256 lbs (130 lbs down). In October of last year, in an effort to level up my Jiu Jitsu game I started training Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and added yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Within a month I noticed some major improvements, but after a couple months it was time to find a new yoga studio.

After doing some research, I decided to try out the Active Wellness Center at Reed’s Crossing. Amazingly enough the main yoga instructor is the same one who had taught at my previous studio so I immediately felt comfortable. Also, thanks to Mario, the Kids Club was open later on Tuesdays and Thursdays, which was my day to be at AWC. In my time here, I found that the entire staff is amazing. The fitness instructors are always happy to take time to help with learning new exercises, help ensure I have correct form or to just hear about my successes.

Although I initially joined the Active Wellness Center just for the yoga, I’ve expanded to Victoria’s HIIT Express and Triple Threat classes. I really appreciate that she will offer different levels of each interval, from beginner to advanced. I always try to do the hardest level when I’m given options and somehow she always finds a way to step it up just out of my reach. I take this as a challenge and now I show up to her classes at least twice a week and often make all four of them. I will keep up one day!

I’ve also been pushed outside my comfort zone in more than just the physical sense. During the classes, Victoria often asks for a callback and she wasn’t getting it, so I felt like I needed to step up. One day I even encouraged another member when they stopped mid-exercise. As an introvert this was totally unlike me, but I got a thumbs up from another member so I kept it up. Occasionally I have members thank me for the encouragement, which makes me feel great and encourages me to keep pushing myself mentally/emotionally.

Even more recently, I had one of the staff encourage me to try out the Bachata/Salsa class. Never in a million years did I imagine I would be taking a dance class, but they even showed up and took the class with me to make me feel more comfortable. And it turns out I absolutely loved it and now it’s a regular class for me. So I guess my favorite thing about the Active Wellness Center is that I’m not only pushed to improve physically, but mentally and emotionally as well and that’s amazing. You simply won’t find that anywhere else.

Congratulations on your incredible results, David! We are so inspired by your story and your fitness journey and are happy to be a part of it! We sincerely appreciate you sharing your story and all the ways you spread inspiration and motivation to others!