What is your name?
Where are you from?
Any John Cougar Mellencamp fans out there? Well, I’m from THE “small town”: Seymour, Indiana. No I don’t know him, and yes that’s the extent of the town’s notoriety. It was an incredible place to grow up, though, filled with incredible people.
What is your profession?
According to my youngest, my job is to talk on the phone and draw pictures on whiteboards. In other words a desk jockey (aka Programs Manager) at Intel.
Describe your family? (i.e. husband, wife, kids, siblings, mom dad, etc. )
I have an incredible family. My wife LaDonna and I have been married since ’99 and anyone who’s met her knows she’s amazing!!! And she does a very good job of keeping me from taking myself or life too seriously. Exactly what I need! We’ve got three kids, Audrey (9), Clayton (8) and Dayne (6) who keep us laughing and enjoying life to the fullest. Can’t imagine my life without them.
What obstacle(s) have you found most challenging in your life?
I have always been active/an athlete, and my body hurts if I don’t stay active. So over the years, between marriage, grad school, fatherhood, work, etc, my biggest challenge has been finding the time/balance for working out. Thankfully, I have an incredibly supportive wife who has learned that I am not only at my physical best, but also my mental/emotional best when I am working out regularly, so she is constantly encouraging—sometimes even demanding—me to go sweat a bit. I am such a better husband and father when I am actively challenging my body.
How did you discover SWEAT360?
Our friend Ellie Rickett invited LaDonna to a dance class at the gym one night and that immediately had LD hooked, so she convinced me to come check it out. I’d been running and swimming quite a bit at the time so thought I was in pretty decent shape—that is until I attended my first High Def class and nearly puked 2 min into it. Then I was hooked.
What is your favorite class at SWEAT360?
Anyone who knows me knows I have tons of different interests and NEED variety, therefore every class I’ve taken at Sweat has excited me in one way or another. In particular, HighDef, TRX, Spin and JiuJitsu classes have all logged lots of hours in the last few years. Three things keep me coming back: the variety, the intent, and the people.
Variety: I love the dynamic class structure with tons of movement variety and levels of energy. Just about the time my head starts yelling “this hurts, stop it, damnit!” the movement/speed/muscle changes and off I go again. For someone like me who quickly gets bored and is too mentally weak to grind it out, it’s perfect!
Intent: This is where the genius and dedication of Sweat’s instructors shines thru. All that variety I love so much—it’s not accidental. Go thru a few 6-8 week cycles and you realize how much intent and thought has gone into the programming; you’ve just made the rounds thru all the muscle groups in a variety of ways. So many times I’ve finished what I thought was some shoulder work only to have my abs and butt sore for the next 3 days. Like MAGIC! How’d they do that?
People: Always save the best for last. Wow—the Sweat(y) people. Talk about inspiration and heart. Kili & Robert have used their passion and experience to create a unique community—no, TRIBE—where an eclectic mix of individuals share a deep desire to grow, learn and achieve TOGETHER. Awesome people. The Sweat community is absolutely filled with extraordinary stories of individuals overcoming and becoming something more every day. I absolutely love the people I share this part of my life with.
What keeps you motivated and inspired?
Being able to actively participate in today and the hope of continuing to actively participate in life in the future. I want to always be able to explore my interests with my wife and kids, hopefully inspiring them to never stop moving, trying and enjoying. I want to be a husband who’s happy and engaged with LaDonna every day, a father my kids remember as making his health a priority, a grandpa that says yes to a Hood2Coast event, hopefully rolls some Jits with my grandson/daughter, or who knows where our interests will take us!
Describe your perfect day?
There’s little else I love more than sleeping in and waking up when I’m damn well ready. However, I learned a couple of years ago there are FAR too many things (excuses) I’m not in control of that compete for my time thru the day, so now my perfect day has become waking up at 5am for sweat and laughs with the Early Morning Crew, then home for strong coffee, breakfast and laughs with my family before we all head off for the day, followed by some work, and then my newest passion—Jiu Jitsu with the Lunch Crew. Finally, home for an evening of healthy food and even more fun with my very favorite people…my wife and family! Actually, that’s more of a typical great “day in the life of Derek”; my perfect day would involve a lot more Jits, a lot less time in the office, and a ton of adventure with my family and friends…and less work around the house.
What did SWEAT360 provide for you short term?
The biggest thing was the variety of workouts. As an adult with ADD, it gave me the variety I needed to push myself to new levels.
What did SWEAT360 provide for you long term?
A community that keeps me going. I’m healthier at 40 than I was in my 30s and it is due to the great support, accountability, and encouragement I receive here. I absolutely LOVE walking in each morning and seeing people I care about growing stronger and getting healthier together. I also love that as different and my workout needs are from LaDonna’s, she’s also found a home here and that is incredibly important to me. My bromance with Robert hasn’t hurt, either.
What is your life mantra? (i.e. Live. Laugh. Love. Etc.)
This is a new favorite from Carol Dweck’s book Mindset and has been written on our kitchen wall for a few months now:
Becoming is better than being.