The Jersey Without a Number”
By Larry Indiviglia
On a recent Saturday afternoon at the “Magic Kingdom of ALL Gyms,” Fitness Quest 10, there were two young athletes (visitors) finishing their workout. I was at the front desk catching up on some work and trying to decide where I was going to go to dinner with my “kids,” actually young adults now at ages 25 and 21. As per the normal routine at Fitness Quest 10, there were a few baseball games on ESPN on the elevated flat screens on the wall. The two athletes were stretching, lying on their backs using ropes to stretch their hamstrings. One of them, looking up at the wall, commented on all the professional jerseys framed and hung on the elevated walls of Fitness Quest 10. Many past and present NFL stars including Drew Brees (#9) and LaDainian Tomlinson (#21) to mention two. Jerseys hang in tribute to the athletes who represent excellence in mind, body and spirit, and whose hard work over the years at Fitness Quest 10 made them better able to perform on the field and courts of sport and LIFE.
After completing their stretching routine, they made their way over to the front desk area and the cold case to purchase two recovery shakes and wind-down a bit. One ventured over to the left side of Fitness Quest 10 to take a closer look at the pro jerseys hanging high on the wall, as if looking down at the many “Joes and Janes” who workout and exercise regularly at Fitness Quest 10. His eyes traveled from right to left, looking at all the names and numbers, thinking how cool it was that he was working out in the same space as these top pro athletes. His eyes reached the last “jersey” on the wall in the top left corner of Fitness Quest 10. This is the jersey you see first as you enter the “Magic Kingdom of ALL Gyms” and look left. The athlete stopped walking and approached the wall to get a closer look. He called over to his friend seated near the front desk reading a magazine. “Hey Mike, take a look at this jersey that doesn’t have a number.” Mike rose from his chair and walked over to his friend looking intently at “the Jersey Without a Number” and remarked, “You’re right–I wonder who wore it?”
I looked up from my work at the front desk and knew I had to answer Mike’s question about who WORE the jersey… the solid white jersey with the blue sleeves and small bloodstain near the chest area. This jersey, soiled and rarely if ever really washed, had seen hundreds of TD Boot Camps on Mission Bay over 15+ years. It belonged to a person who played an instrumental role in inspiring Todd Durkin to set his intention and take ACTION on his DREAM of owning a gym – a wellness center, a performance center where people could find refuge and get stronger, get better and recover from the rigors of life through bodywork, massage and yoga. The “Jersey Without a Number” did not need a number, it did not belong to a pro athlete or a famous person. It was worn by a regular guy living an extraordinary life, without fanfare or desire for publicity. A guy who was more than a client at Fitness Quest 10. He was a client before Fitness Quest 10 existed. A loyal guy, a fun guy, a hard-working guy who loved Todd, Fitness Quest 10, and ALL it stands for. A guy, who unlike the pro athletes, did not have the “body of a champion” but who had a heart of gold and a “giving’ spirit. A man who truly cared about people and who said something simple every day–“DO BETTER!”
I walked over to Mike and his friend and told them that the “Jersey Without a Number” belonged to Ken “Sawman” Sawyer, one of the greatest guys in the world, who left our world all too soon, at age 51, in June of 2012 after a tragic accident just a block or so from his office on Mission Bay. I shared some stories about “Sawman,” his legacy, his consistency in attending Todd’s Boot Camp for 15 years, his generosity and jokes, his hard work and enthusiasm, and his love for ALL of us at Fitness Quest 10 and TD Boot Camp. Mostly, I shared the importance of being forever grateful for the “Ken Sawyers” in our lives, the clients, the members, the friends, and the associates who support us, encourage us, and inspire us to lead and to love.
As Mike and his friend made their way out the door, I thanked them for working out and spending time connecting with the atmosphere and culture at Fitness Quest 10. Mike thanked me and paused one last time and looked back and said, “Hey Larry, if Sawman’s jersey did have a number, what would it be?” I said, “I’d have to leave that answer up to Todd Durkin, but I think I know what he would say – the number “10.”
Larry Indiviglia has dedicated his life to the empowerment of others through service, fitness, compassion and love. As a graduate of the US Naval Academy, he served for 20 years in the US Navy and has dedicated his last 25 years to motivating and inspiring people in fitness. Larry is a trainer, holds two Graduate Degrees; M.A. and MBA and is the Director…fitness pros. He is a Platinum level Coach and Coach’s …..life. He can be contacted at email@example.com.