I wasn’t always this fit guy you see now. When I was 29, I had a profitable career as a car salesman, working 60-hour weeks. But I was extremely unhealthy. I ate fast food for every meal and eventually topped the scales at 275 pounds! I also smoked two packs of cigarettes a day and downed a case of beer nightly. After I had neglected my body, soul, marriage, and every other important area of my life, my wife left me and took everything.
Then, as my life continued to spiral out of control, I turned to drugs, alcohol, and more food to numb the pain. I was on a destructive path towards prison, the hospital, or worse . . . death. But God stepped in and got my attention, and changed my world forever.
One night as I fell asleep (on my mother’s couch), I felt deep within my soul that I was supposed to move away from the city I was living in and the negative scene and people that were surrounding me. With only $272 to my name, I packed a suitcase and moved to Oklahoma City. I paid the weekly rate at a low-end hotel and began looking for a job. I changed everything in my life—from the city I lived in, my phone number, and what I did in my free time, to my career. I got a job waiting tables so that I could spend more time seeking God and His plan for my life.
One day at my tiny one-bedroom, all-bills-paid apartment, I was looking in the mirror with tears streaming down my face. The person staring back at me was unhealthy, unhappy, and far from being the man I was created to be. Right then and there I knelt down on my living room floor and surrendered my life to God. I cried out to Him to show me where to make a change. There was no audible voice or burning bush, but as I caught sight of my old running shoes and iPod, I knew without a doubt that He was telling me to run.
So I did. I fell completely in love with running, and as I spent hours and hours out on the road alone with God, I would constantly ask Him what He wanted me to do next. And He consistently said, “Shawn, I want you to keep running.”
I then made a New Year’s Resolution in 2009 that I would complement my cardio by hitting the gym three days a week. Within six months, I had lost over 50 pounds. One day as I looked in the mirror—but this time with tears of joy streaming down my face—it hit me like a truck that I was getting a new body and becoming a new man. And it was then that God said, “This is what I want you to do with your life—help get people fit.”
I immediately began working on my Personal Training Certificate, which I received through The National Academy of Sports Medicine. Once I completed my certification, I began training anybody I could find—mostly the waiters and waitresses from my work. As they began to lose weight and I became a better trainer, more and more people wanted my help. That’s when the idea came to me to open a fitness boot camp.
I prayerfully designed a group training facility that would help people accomplish their fitness goals and honor God. I created it with an exact mission in mind:
“To passionately shepherd all those in need into a life of physical and spiritual fitness through training, encouragement, compassion and love. We will lead by example. We will operate out of love. And give all glory and praise to God.”
And now, that’s what we do here day in and day out—fight on the frontlines of clinical obesity and sedentary lifestyles. We take what would be an otherwise miserable task—running, jumping, lifting, sweating—and make it as enjoyable as possible with fun, challenging workouts, encouragement, support, laughter, love, and prayer.
This is more than a gym or boot camp—it’s an awesome fitness family, and we would love for you to join us and let us lead you on your journey to health and fitness. It’s my hope that my story will inspire you to take that next life-changing step, believing that with God all things are possible.