This will be the first time that I have set down and really put on paper as to why and what Tough Brother Training means. A lot of people go through life with dreams and goals but live in fear and do not ever attempt to get started on their journey. Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Our time on this earth is very short and what we to today will result in what happens tomorrow, which is not promised to us.
Who are we?
Tough Brother Training has a deeper meaning than just some sexist sounding gym name. Words have never been my strong point of leadership but taking action and leading by example has been more of my style. I will try my best to give you the short version, that way your feet will not be to numb when you stand up to flush.
John 15:4 Abide in me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit itself, unless it abides in the vine. Neither can you unless you abide in me. When I was right around the age of twenty years old I started working for a living and I was just trying to survive and it was a blue collar type of job. At the time I really had no plans except to eat, sleep, train and work. The couple that I was working for (Steve and Kathy Horning) who are now my closet friends in the universe once sat me down and told me that I needed to start investing in myself. Those few words hit me like a truck and I didn’t know what to do. I began praying day in and day out asking God what his plan was for me because they saw something in me that I was apparently missing. I have always felt the calling to help others and I have always had a passion for the gym.
Lifting weights and being physically fit has always been the constant in my life, and from a young age hitting the iron has been my stress relief. The first time I competed in a powerlifting meet I was thirteen and ever since then I have had a deep passion for lifting heavy. Over the years I would venture out and try different training styles but my bread and butter has always been the big three lifts. Now back to the who and the why, for the next few years I would ponder and constantly ask God what do you want me to do?
The Garage Gym
My mom has always been a true inspiration to me because she has this smile that would light up anyone’s day and she has always worked and also cared for our farm and animals. In 2006 my mom and step dad had adopted two little boys that are brothers and I thought it was the coolest thing in the world because I was going to be a big brother which I had always wanted to be. Their names are David and Michael, and as soon as David who is the older one and at the time of adoption he was only five the first thing he did was start going through all of the cabinets. My mom had asked him what he was doing and he said I just want to make sure there is enough food for me and my little brother. For the next five years they continue to adopt and each of my brothers and sisters have a similar story to David and Michaels. I now have a total of five adopted brothers and two adopted sisters and I love them dearly.
One day I was working, running a piece of equipment just like any other day and I was deep in thought like always and God had answered my prayer. The vision of me having a gym came into my mind and it was clear as day, I was going to name it after my little brothers. There was no question in my mind that this was not going to happen. Nothing is going to stop me, this is going to be my purpose and this is how I am going to invest in today’s youth, help spread the good word, and make a positive impact on someone’s life. The big thing was finances, just like anything else in this world you need lots of money to survive, WRONG! Romans 8:6 To be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. The start was difficult but I enjoyed the process, the first Tough Brother Training headquarters was in a very small garage. We had just enough room for a free standing bench, half rack, and my weapons of choice some kettlebells. I would have up to ten guys in that little place but the worst was winter time. The torpedo heater fumes was another training aspect that you had to deal with along with your hands getting frozen to the bar.
Eventually I had to enough grit to look for a bigger place and I had heard of a vacant building, my wife and I went to look at it and we both fell in love with the place. There was no way I could have afforded the space but I knew this was going to happen one way or another. When I first opened the gym I didn’t have hardly any equipment but I had all the basics that any gym would ever need. Interested customers would come in and almost go in shock because there are no fancy machines or anything like that. What separates Tough Brother Training from any other gym in the area are our members. We have some of the best members that any gym could ask for and they are the ones who make up the gym. I have had the privilege training with some elite powerlifters, division one athletes, numerous sports teams, and some of the hardest working individuals that make this world go around. I took a leap of faith and like always God responded and coming this February we are going on our third year of being open. The gym has grown and I have been fortunate enough to invest back into the place by adding quality equipment, and that is what I am going to continue to do because our members deserve nothing but the best because of how they represent Tough Brother Training outside of the gym.
The struggle still continues but I truly enjoy the challenge and I know that I am never alone especially now, Tough Brother Training has three owners now. Jesse McHone and Matthew Akers have been true blessings in disguise, they both have their own qualities that make the gym run smoothly and the best thing is that I no longer have to do everything. As we continue to grow the most important aspect of the gym is that we has a positive impact on our current and future members. We want to become more involved with the community and help with the struggling youth because when it is all said and done and we are six feet under it does not matter how many records you break, the number of home runs hit in a season, or the number of games won, what matters is that you tried everything in your power to make an impact and change the problems that are in front of you.
Tough Brother Training is not just a gym. We are individuals that want to increase performance spiritually, physically, and mentally. You are held to a higher standard because we want you to honor the contract between you and yourself to accomplish short term and long term goals in all aspects of life. Thank you to all current and future members for making this gym happen!!