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My Fitness Journey: Ryan Rogers

I have always loved sports growing up. From a very early age, I was very active and enjoyed trying as many different sports and activities as I could. I played soccer, baseball, and flag and tackle football in grade school. In junior high I would ride my bike all over and try to jump over anything I could. I even built a launch ramp for my skateboard.

In high school I switched over to tennis and ice hockey, and discovered mountain biking. In college, I got addicted to volleyball, competed in mountain biking, started rollerblading and playing roller hockey, and even played on an inner-tube water polo team. After college, I competed on some indoor sixes and grass doubles volleyball teams, tried my hand at indoor rock climbing, and played on a men’s soccer league. I have also run a half-marathon, tried a Tough Mudder obstacle race, and did an Alpha Warrior obstacle course.
Even with all of this sports background, when I got to college I thought I would major in something science or math related. But after the first few semesters, I just couldn’t stand the thought of doing anything in those fields for the rest of my life. The college I attended kept sending me letters that I needed to pick a major, but it was my junior year before I chose a major. I remember meeting with my guidance counselor and still not knowing what I wanted to do with my life. I knew I loved to work out and I loved sports, and when I found out I could major in it, I jumped in.

I started with just one class, an exercise laboratory class, where we got to conduct exercise and wellness tests on our fellow classmates. I loved it and tried to volunteer to be the subject for all of the tests because I loved finding out about flexibility, body fat, oxygen consumption during exercise, and much more. After this class, I was hooked and declared exercise and sports science as my major, and I never looked back. I graduated with a degree and headed out to Maryland for my first job.

My first job in Maryland was as the fitness director of a large chain gym. It was a great opportunity for me to get my feet wet and see how a gym ran. It provided the chance for me to help organize and run a fitness department. I worked with all kinds of clients doing personal training, as well as showing our members how to use the equipment and trying to pass on my love of training and fitness to whomever I came into contact with.

I made a contact with a local chiropractor while I worked at the gym, and when his director of rehabilitation position became open, he offered me the job. This was another great opportunity for me to branch out in the wellness realm and provide exercise and health guidance for people dealing with neck and back issues. Although I loved both of these jobs, I wanted to move more into the realm of training athletes, so I applied and was accepted to graduate school.

While in graduate school, I was awarded an assistantship working in the biomechanics lab, where I learned about how to take mechanical laws and apply them to human movement. And although this is what paid my bills, I volunteered every spare moment I had down in the athletic weight room working with the athletes from various teams. I loved the chance that this experience gave me. I got to learn about the theory and physics of human movement in the lab, and then I got to experience how to put all of it into practice in the weight room setting.

After graduating from graduate school, I looked for jobs in places that were warm year round. I answered an online posting for an open position at a tiny place called Fitness Quest 10 in 2001. I interviewed with two young guys named Todd Durkin and Brett Klika. That was thirteen years ago, and it has been an awesome journey to get in at the start of something that has become so phenomenal and aw- inspiring.

Who knew that these guys and a 2000 square foot performance facility would turn into a world-class performance center with world-wide exposure and impact. It has been great for me personally to grow as a person and as a professional with Todd and the Fitness Quest 10 team. My role has expanded from just doing personal training and sports performance to helping direct two programs, the mentorship and internship programs.

I have often felt that God created me for this profession. I believe that he gave me a real passion and joy for discovering what it takes to elicit positive change in the human body, and a love of sharing that with my clients and our members. When I reflect on the journey that has brought me here, I feel very blessed to come to work every day and be a part of something so fulfilling and special.

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