Skip to main content

John and Nelson’s Corner: Fitness and Persistence

By March 27, 2017April 10th, 2019No Comments



Have you ever met someone who says they want to be out of shape? Of course not – we all at least say we want to be fit.

So how do we do it? What’s the magic trick?

Well, there is actually a trick, a single word that’s not exactly magic, but comes pretty close. I’m talking about persistence.

I want to share with you a few of my friends who embraced that simple word and accomplished everything they wanted.

Larry Eiler is a successful businessman I met 35 years ago, when he and his wife came to my dental office. His wife, Sandy, passed away unexpectedly a couple of years ago. Needless to say, it was extremely difficult on Larry.

One day I invited him to come to Imagine. Larry was trying to lose a few pounds, and also embrace life after his devastating loss. I introduced him to one of our trainers, Natalie. Before I knew it, Larry had lost ten pounds and was coming in all the time.

“I feel great,” he told me with a big smile. “I was just at my cardiologist and he told me I was in the best shape I’ve been in in 35 years.”

I loved Larry’s enthusiasm. He’s been working out daily, seven days a week, for an hour at a time, and watching his diet too. He feels fantastic and has a whole new lease of life. Persistence.

Then there’s Heinz Grassl. I’ve known Heinz since our days as undergrads in aerospace at Michigan. I won’t even tell you how long ago that was because I really don’t remember.

Heinz was active, played volleyball at a competitive level, and loved a stiff Manhattan after work. As he aged, his love for Manhattans increased and his volleyball faded.

Heinz is one of my best friends and I want him to stick around for as long as possible, so I kept encouraging him to take up yoga to improve his flexibility, balance and overall health. He finally signed up for a class with Sam – in fact, he was Sam’s first student at Imagine when we opened. He struggled, but Sam was patient, he had her full attention.

To my amazement, Heinz stuck with it, and soon Sam’s class started attracting more and more people. It’s now the most popular class at Imagine. The students love yoga and they love Sam – and they also love to party.

Heinz himself is an expert at parties, having run a business with me years ago called Parties Unlimited. Yes, this was an actual thing. A well-kept secret you should definitely ask Heinz about.

Heinz now takes two yoga classes and two fitness classes a week. Parties or no. Every time I see Heinz, he’s upbeat, all smiles, and looks fit, very fit in fact. I’ve known Heinz for years, and he’s never been dull, but I must admit I’ve never seen him quite this energetic.

Two weeks ago Heinz told me that he’s even been encouraging his sister in Germany to start working out, and she finally has. Heinz has become a fitness crusader. I love it.

Persistence, persistence, persistence.

I could stop here, but let me tell you two more quick stories.

Kit Howard – a patient of mine I’ve known for about twenty years.

She’s extremely bright, smart and entertaining, and one day she came to a yoga class at Imagine – and promptly left a few minutes later. I didn’t think she’d ever come back. Boy, was I wrong.

Now I see Kit often at yoga classes, fitness and cycling classes. She’s attended all of Jackie and Natalie’s presentations on nutrition and never hesitates to add her two cents worth. She’s definitely taught me a thing or three.

Lastly, there’s Victoria Paye, whom I met a year ago at Imagine. Victoria is in her early 30s, and the first time I saw her in Nelson’s fitness class, she couldn’t do one push-up.

How times have changed. Now she can hit at least ten push-ups, her form in planks is something to admire, and she can hold one for at least two minutes. And her yoga? I’m glad you asked. I saw her taking Wendy’s class, and for those of you who don’t know, Wendy is a tough teacher. She does not mess around. Well, neither does Victoria. She was more than holding her own. Who knows? Maybe she’ll be teaching one day.

Like I said, it all comes down to that one magic word – persistence. All four of these people found their path to persistence at Imagine. And trust me, you can too.