DALLAS – (August, 6 2014) – Each year, Gold’s Gym owners from across the nation are asked to identify their most inspiring members. While these inspirational stories are rooted in the world of health and fitness, they are not bound to physical transformations. This award chronicles a personal story or challenge that someone has endured, ultimately resulting in the achievement of a healthier, happier life – while inspiring those around them to improve their lives as well.
“Committing and resolving to lead a healthier, fitter life is an incredible achievement, but for those we have the privilege of calling our Most Inspirational Members, it’s extraordinary,” said Aaron Watkins, president of Gold’s Gym. “From overcoming breast cancer to recovering from a near-death experience, the people selected as our Most Inspiring Members have motivated us as a brand to continue our legacy of changing lives and helping our members achieve their fitness goals – no matter the obstacle.”
Once stories were submitted, a national awards committee was assembled to review the local entries – with the goal of finding the top three most inspirational stories. These finalists, as well as a guest of their choosing, were then invited out (all expenses paid) to the Annual Gold’s Gym Convention in Las Vegas – where the winner was voted on by everyone at Convention.
This year’s Most Inspirational Members and their stories include:
Robyn Lopez – In 2011, Robyn Lopez was diagnosed with breast cancer. A lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation were to follow – leading to terrible side effects ranging from hair loss and nausea to weakness and fatigue. The treatment left her immune system dangerously low, leading to several hospitalizations. Robyn stayed positive though, relishing in the time spent with her grandchildren, and following the completion of her treatments, she decided to make a lifestyle change for the better. Joining Gold’s Gym Syracuse, Robyn set a goal for herself to live a fitter, healthier life. Over a year later, she is now a regular at the gym – working out 4-5 times a week, no matter how tired, achy or lousy she might feel.
Dee Werry – During the past thirteen years, Dee Werry has been a fixture at Gold’s Gym Bloomington. The 77-year-old struggles to keep her body moving due to polymyositis, which causes inflammation in the muscles and results in severe muscle weakness. This has led to several setbacks ranging from a broken ankle to a compression fracture in her back, neither of which Dee let stop her. Even with these setbacks, Dee continues to push herself to get back in the gym and build the muscle that her disease continues to strip away. Dee carves this time out for herself because she knows that is what needs to be done in order for her to live the life she wants to lead.
Jeremy Valladares – Two years ago, Jeremy Valladares walked into a Gold’s Gym looking to make a positive change in his life. Jeremy became addicted to training, and soon enough, he crossed the finish line of his first triathlon. Things took a turn for the worst when Jeremy was on a humanitarian mission trip in the Yucatan peninsula, and had a head-on collision with an 18-wheeler. He laid stranded in the jungle for nearly two hours before help arrived. Jeremy’s injuries were extensive, including broken femurs, a smashed clavicle and a tremendous amount of blood loss. Making matters worse, he endured a number of botched surgeries and poor treatment in the first clinic he was brought to. Finally, a nurse and family friend found him and worked to get him transferred – an act that ultimately saved his life. Jeremy spent three weeks in the hospital and four more weeks in a rehabilitation home. He fought back, and exactly seven weeks from the date of the accident, he was rolled onto the stage at a local Gold’s Gym event and attempted his first steps. True to form, Jeremy wasted no time getting back to Gold’s Gym and doing everything in his power to rehabilitate himself. His goals may have changed, but he is focused on pain-free walking, leg strength development, getting back on his bike, and maybe even a triathlon.
During the annual awards at this past year’s Gold’s Gym Convention, Jeremy Valladares was named the overall winner of the Most Inspirational Member award.
About Gold’s Gym
Established in Venice, Calif. in 1965, Gold’s Gym is the most recognized gym chain in the world with more than 650 locations in 37 states and 28 countries. The iconic brand ranks in the top 15 percent of Entrepreneur magazine’s 2011 “Franchise 500.” Gold’s Gym offers the latest equipment and services, including group exercise, personal training, cardiovascular equipment, group cycle, Pilates and yoga. With nearly 3 million members worldwide, Gold’s Gym helps all kinds of people achieve their individual potential through fitness. For more information please visit www.goldsgym.com, www.facebook.com/goldsgym or www.twitter.com/goldsgym.