Methinks I should have gone first on these Coach Spotlights so the bar was not raised so high with Meagan, Erin and Nancy!
How about some fun facts to know and tell?
As Nancy shared we met in school, and because we had the same last name we shared a mailbox (it was a small school). For a couple weeks I would find anonymous “interest” notes in the mailbox and couldn’t figure out where they were coming from. Duh! In my defense I just didn’t think anyone as beautiful and wonderful as Nancy would have any interest in me – who knew? Always makes you wonder when the ugly guys end up with the good looking wives. Anyway, we have been married 28 years as of Saturday February 8th, so I guess it worked out ok!
The Carlson Family (sans Kimberly)
Besides the whole last name thing, there was some other things we had in common. Her dad and my dad are both only children. Her dad and my dad are both Civil Engineers, and her mom and my mom are both nurses. And no, she is not my sister!
I grew up playing sports, and was really not an exceptional athlete at all. I went to a small private school and lettered in 3 sports (basketball, baseball and my first love soccer), but I probably would have gotten eaten alive at a larger school. My strategy now is to outlast all those guys that used to kick my butt back in the day. I actually am doing pretty well so far at that one!
I served 3 years in the Army at Ft. Benning, GA, which is where my son Tim is now stationed, and where he and Jeff spent the first couple years of their lives. Went back there for the first time in over 25 years when he graduated from selection school late last fall, which was kind of cool. Next time we go down I look forward to spending a little more time poking around.
After leaving the service I got a job with Domino’s Pizza in Manchester as an assistant manager, eventually working my way up to store manager and assistant supervisor of all three Manchester stores. That is really where my fitness journey began, because that is where I started to pack the weight on. It is a tough environment to be in. Fast paced, late night, grab and go – really just excuses I know, but those excuses eventually turned me into a serious fat boy.
Fast forward a few years, Tim is 15, Jeff is 14 and surprise – Nancy is expecting again! God certainly has a sense of humor, because we thought we were well done with kids. I am so glad now that He had another plan, but that was a doozy. I was working in the CAD department at A&B Lumber in Pembroke, and Nancy still had the daycare. Obese, pre-diabetic, and in a couch coma most of the time. Go to work, eat too much junk, sit on the couch and watch TV after work, go to bed and repeat. I still tried to play some pickup basketball here and there, but I am not sure I ever realized how poor of shape I really was. I got a clue at a church picnic, in fact the same one the picture on the wall in the Concord gym was taken at. There were some games and activities, and I came in dead last at a couple of the more active ones. I figured it was a normal part of getting older, I mean I was 33 or 34 after all – practically an old man! Never dawned on me that I could (or should) actually do something about it.
And then the wake-up call. Nancy is 5 months pregnant with Andrew (who is now about to turn 11) and I get a call on my phone at work from my son Jeff, who was homeschooled. “Derek is not breathing. Mom is working on him.”
And life changed forever.
Derek died of SIDS three weeks shy of his first birthday. We thought the stress was going to cause Nancy to lose Andrew. And yet by the grace of God here we are, over 11 years later, with 2 little girls added to our family, and with a whole second family called Get Fit NH.
When Derek died it made me realize I was wasting my own life. I couldn’t keep up with my teenage boys, and our family was going to get bigger soon. How would I ever be able to keep up with Andrew when he was 13 or 14 if I can’t even get off the couch now? At that time I weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 280 pounds and wire tight 46” pants. 9 months later I was down to around 200 pounds, and that is where you all come into play. I loved training again, having lifted weights in some capacity since I was 14 lifting the old Sears concrete filled barbells in the barn. People asked me how I did it. This is America, so I figured I would make them pay me to find out! Seriously though that is when I started my education in fitness training, including a 3 year mentorship with King Sports International, and now have earned more training credentials than are worth talking about. And I continue to work at my craft because now I have a passion to be a better version of who I was for so many years.
The Get Fit Family!
I started training some clients one-on-one at the house, still working full time at A&B, and then starting mulling around doing group training. Really it was Dan Yeaton (that is Danno to you) that finally got me off my butt and in May of 2008 we started Get Fit NH outside, in my yard under a halogen light connected to my basketball hoop. We had eight friends of mine (including my best friend Nancy) coming, and then 2 days before we were going to start we got our first paying client sign up through the website – we were in business!
And it has blossomed from there. Sometimes (usually) I still can’t believe it. By the grace of God, the support of more people than I can name, especially Nancy, and a bit of hard work I now get to do what I love – which is train you! We have been so blessed with a fantastic team of coaches through the years, and of course I think we have the best clients in the world.
How cool is that?
Thank-you for all you do, and keep Making It Happen!