Aaron joined Forward Fitness on Feb.1 2020. He started off with great consistency in his workouts and then COVID hit. I was really impressed with the way Aaron kept up with his workouts during the time that Forward Fitness was shut down. When we reopened, he made the choice to continue his workouts from home for awhile, but he stayed engaged with his Forward Fitness family during this time by participating in the Olympics and online challenges. Aaron definitely made the at home workouts work for him until he was ready to come back into the gym full time.
Aaron grew up in St. Peters MO. He went to college in Springfield MO and lived for a short time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a child his parents enrolled him in the local swim team in the summers to get him out of the house, because of this he identified as a swimmer. When in High School he found his niche swimming longer events. In college he swam occasionally and discovered the benefits of an occasional run.
After undergrad, Aaron really got into running. He was a live-in counselor at a group home. On his off days he didn’t have a lot of money to spend, and he didn’t have a car so he would go for a 5-mile run, eat a big meal, and take a nap. Since then, he has completed a few half marathons and in 2016 he ran a full marathon. He hasn’t participated in any long-ish runs since 2016 but might consider it again in the future. He has also raced a few casual triathlons and been swimmer for triathlon relays.
Health and fitness haven’t always been important to Aaron but after his son was born in 2019, he realized that he needed to take better care of himself. He saw other younger dads in his circle of people and realized that he needed to focus on strength and endurance to keep up with kids, life, and other younger parents.
When he was in college Aaron signed up for a one-time introductory kettlebell class at a community center. It was a terrible experience. “The instructor game me a bell that was too heavy, and then we proceeded to do swings for 45 minutes. Needless to say, I was sore and disappointed afterwards.” Even after that awful experience he was still curious about the benefits of kettlebell training. “I wanted to try a trainer who had more kettlebell knowledge and could teach me about how to leverage kettlebell training for health, Jenelle Sander recommended Forward Fitness and the rest is history.”
In the past Aaron had dislocated both of his shoulders and was worried that training at Forward Fitness would aggravate or re-injure them somehow. But by staying consistent and building strength in his shoulders he has felt stronger and had fewer uncomfortable shoulder days.
With the COVID-19 breakout Aaron also realized that fitness is a great anxiety and stress reliever. Now if he misses a run or strength session, he can tell that he is more wound up than usual. Throughout his health and fitness journey he is most proud of his marathon training and participation and more recently, completing the 2020 Forward Fitness 100 Workout Challenge.
The advice that Aaron would give to someone considering adding a fitness routine to their lives is, “Find an activity that you like, start slow, build up to your goal and reevaluate where you’re at whenever things feel stale. Find people to work out with you. It’s easier to be accountable to them than to be accountable to yourself.”
Aaron and his wife Jessica are expecting their second child in December and his son Philip and dog Domino are blissfully unaware of this change. They haven’t picked out any names yet so if you have any good suggestions be sure to pass them along when you see Aaron at the gym.