I played sports all my life.  I was always active and interested in being fit.  When I stopped playing field hockey in college, I started to get interested in running.  It was in 2006, a month after I had my appendix removed, I decided I wanted to try to work with a personal trainer.   There was a sign on the side of the road for “No Limits Personal Training.”  It was in the basement of a house so I hoped it would be cheaper than a gym.

I started working as a client of Don’s shortly after.  Not less than a month went by when he asked if I would be interested in working out with him.  Me, a scrawny girl lifting with this huge, muscley dude.  I thought he was nuts for wanting to do that, but it saved me money so why not.  From that point on, Don and I lifted together.  Starting out three times a week at 6 am turned into 5 times a week at 5 am.  We worked our asses off.  We became best friends, in and out of the gym.  At the time, Don was the coordinator at a fitness spa and asked if I would be interested in teaching.  I got certified to teach group classes and Don and I got closer.  We worked together, worked out together and were best friends.

He got me into fitness, he taught me everything I know about strength training. Don eventually opened his own studio and I worked for him as a personal trainer.  I continued to learn from him every day.  If it wasn’t about fitness, it was about life in general. Don eventually got to know my whole family and he became my family.

He was the happiest person I know.  Sometimes, I would even get annoyed at how he never got angry or irritated.  He would hug me almost every time he saw me, and that was every day for a few years.  The high fives were endless.  He found the good in everything, he was the most positive, caring and genuine person I will ever know, I am sure of it.

Don passed away at a much too young age.  He affected so many people.  So many people. He was everyones best friend.  He made each person he met feel special, because to him, we are all so special.

I never got the chance to tell Don that because of HIM, I know where I want to go, what I want for my future.  Without him, none of this would have been possible.  I wouldn’t know that I want a future in fitness, that I want to work with people on an individual basis to help them be the best they can be.  That is what Don did.  He helped every person he met see their own potential and helped them reach that potential.  I want to be able to be half the person Don was, even half of what he was and I will be happy.

I am having a hard time coping right now. I know a lot of people are. Family, friends and the community are hurting.  I, personally, don’t understand.  He was a great person.  He was an amazing person and irreplaceable

Don, I hope you know you changed my life.  Because of you I want to be a better person.  I want to be positive and happy and NICE.  I want to help people.  I want to live my life to the fullest, just as you did every single day.  You are and always will be an inspiration.

Make it a great day



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