I’ve had a passion for fitness for as long as I can remember and I always knew that I wanted to work in the industry. However, I had no idea the path that my life would take or the events I’d endure that would lead to the creation of Georgetown Fitness…
I began taking my own training seriously and was in great shape. The results that I achieved also helped to enhance my career. I was in such good physical condition, clients realized that I had the knowledge to help motivate them reach their own goals as well. It makes sense that clients would want a personal trainer that was living a healthy and fit lifestyle, so I continued to attract new clients and was even promoted to a position as the personal training manager at the gym I was then working at. Everything was going really well and I thought my life and career were on a good track. But life had a different plan, as it often does, and I was suddenly faced with some very difficult obstacles.
The death of my grandmother caused me to fall into a state of intense anxiety and depression; I was very close to my grandmother and her absence in my life was devastating. My fight with anxiety and depression led to a season where I didn’t take care of my health at all. I was staying up late, eating poorly and wasn’t training well. I was disappointed in myself and felt like I lost my motivation and purpose. Anyone who has struggled with mental health or emotional issues knows that it is not easy to pull yourself out, so I felt stuck in this rut of not taking care of myself and of not focusing on my future.
I dealt with my anxiety and depression head on through support from my family and close friends. I gained back a lot of confidence, started training again and made the decision to compete in a men’s physique competition. This was a really exciting time for me and I was working extremely hard! Then, I was hit with another life-changing obstacle: three weeks from stepping on stage to compete in men’s physique, at age 25, I was diagnosed with cancer.
The treatment process for cancer was long and difficult and I never thought that there would be a day when I would look back and be grateful for the journey. But today I can honestly say that I am thankful for the path that my life took because the time that I spent in treatment forced me to slow down and I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time reflecting on my life and realizing what is truly important.
It was because of this time of reflection and growth that I re-committed to taking care of my health. Nothing will make you realize how valuable your physical well-being is like having it taken away from you. With this renewed commitment to health and wellness, I also began to see the importance of my role as a personal trainer. I came to see how training is so much more than just a meeting between two people; it is a place of relationship and connection. I realized what a privilege it was for clients to trust me and I realized how much our relationship meant to them. It was a truly humbling experience and I vowed to honor this role moving forward.
Now that I had a new perspective, I wanted to move forward. But once again life had different plans for me. I had returned to school at Canisius College to get my master’s degree with the goal of starting my own fitness business. I saw how inspired people were by my story and my attitude and I wanted to create an environment that radiated the positive energy and encouragement that was valued by my clients.
As I was in recovery from my second surgery, I received a call notifying me that the cancer had returned and that I needed to immediately start another round of chemotherapy. I had to drop out of school and put my dreams on hold. Again, this was an opportunity to learn and grow. I committed to keep moving forward, even if it was at a slow pace. Armed with my new perspective and motivation, I was able to see this setback as an obstacle, but not as a dead end. I saw this as an opportunity to dig deep and work hard and overcome.
I was in and out of Roswell Park Cancer Institute for the next several months; inpatient for a week and then home for a bit and back inpatient again. It was exhausting and I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through this time without my incredible support system. My family, close friends and my girlfriend at the time (now wife) were absolutely incredible: spending time at Roswell with me, taking care of me when I was at home and surrounding me with love and hope when I needed it most. It was because of their support that I was able to get back on the path towards my goals after my treatment was over.
A month and a half after I completed nine weeks of chemotherapy, I unfortunately had to schedule my third surgery. Recovery was longer and more difficult this time around and I spent over a month with very limited mobility; I felt like I had to start all over again. So that is what I did. I got back to the gym, back to school and also started the process of purchasing the facility that is now Georgetown Fitness. It was a lot going on at once, but after all that I had gone through, I knew that I could make it through just about anything.
I can’t even explain how much different I felt. I had a new energy and passion and I was hopeful for the future. I look at health so much more holistically now, knowing that we need to be emotionally, mentally and physically healthy in order to truly thrive. Because of this new understanding, I created Georgetown Fitness to be a small, intimate environment where clients can grow and relationships can develop.
I am so excited for how far I have come, and I also have big plans for the future. I am currently creating a program designed to help cancer survivors to gain their strength back and take charge of their health after treatment. I am always making updates and enhancements to the current facility and look forward to opening new facilities in the coming years. My goal is to share my story and experience to bring hope and inspiration to others, all while providing amazing fitness services in a positive and encouraging environment.
After my journey to health, I’ve worked hard to make sure that Georgetown Fitness is a place where we focus on creating our best self.
I hope that you will stop by to meet with me and take a tour of the gym… I think you will like it here.