Athlete of the MonthJune

Steve D.

Congratulations to Steve D., our June MOM! Read on to find out how he's in the Baseball HOF!

What or who brought you to High Function Fitness? 

I decided that Planet Fitness wasn’t cutting it 2x per week, and I knew I needed something more.  I thought I was in decent cardio shape as I ran and biked but wanted more muscle toning and needed to learn how to work out properly.  HFF was just about to open, and Jeremy and Emily convinced me that they could help me accomplish my goals.

What was it like getting started? How did your first workout go?

It was eye-opening.  After three classes, EVERY muscle in my body was sore – no exaggeration!  But I looked at that as a good thing. It was an affirmation that I would be able to get my necessary cardio workout and exercise muscles that hadn’t been exercised in a very long time.

How long have you been a member, and what has changed in your life during that time due to your experience here?

I have been a member since the very first day HFF opened.  I’ve learned proper lifting techniques that translate into real life, so I don’t pull muscles when doing more strenuous activities like shoveling or landscaping.

 What do you like about HFF that keeps you coming back?

The classes change every four weeks, so there’s no chance you or your muscles will be bored.  Constant change means constant challenges.

 What class time do you attend the most, and are there any regular members you work out with at that time?  

7 am my class, so it helps me start the day off with a clear head.  I cannot work out in the evening after working all day.  We have a pretty good morning crew – Yvonne, Matt and I have been together since the early days.

You attend semi-private training as well. What made you decide to add that on to your routine on top of group classes? What do you like most about having semi-private training?

Initially, for me, it was an opportunity for closer, more attentive coaching.  Early on, there were many more people in the morning than there are now – it was consistently 9/10 people.  There was not much chance to ask questions or get individual attention if something was sore.  Plus, being new to a gym and never having touched a barbell, the larger class size was a tad intimidating.  The smaller setting of semis allowed for questions and interaction without interrupting a group of people  – to me, a class is meant for the majority and not the exceptions (unlike our politically correct world where it’s opposite).  E & J do a great job of accommodating everyone at all times, so it wasn’t anything they didn’t expect or welcome; it was me as I am just not one to call attention to myself because my friggin shoulder hurts – waahhhhhh!  “Put a friggin band-aid on it and shut up and press” (that’s what Yvonne would say)!  But in a smaller setting, you can quietly ask how to do something or about a modification or why something hurt (was it because I wasn’t doing something correctly and therefore causing pain), etc., without calling too much attention to yourself. Semi could be geared to something that one of the 3 (rotated) of us needed more special attention or something that that person wanted to work on. As an example, for me, it could be shoulders, or deadlifts, or bench presses …  It allows the potential to be coached on something or ask more in-depth questions, and it’s more like a private session where you can truly focus on you… And it’s not a ton more money.

What are you most proud of accomplishing?

Every 12 weeks, the testing week takes place.  There used to be a workout called 8-50, which was one of the workouts during testing week.  It was eight exercises, 50 RX reps each and you had to finish in 25 minutes.  It took me four times to break the 25-minute mark – and I remember that workout like it was yesterday.  I got to the 8th exercise – burpees (NOT my favorite).  As I got to the 25th minute, Yvonne (long since finished) and Em came over to root me on.  They got me through those last eight burpees, and I looked up – 24:48.  Done! (Fun Fact: If you ever wondered why we had a testing week workout called “Steve,” here’s your answer.)

What are some of your favorite workouts or experience(s) with HFF and the community there? 

Something more serious comes to mind – I have had two very painful injuries outside the gym.  I could NEVER have gotten through those injuries and beyond without the guidance, help, knowledge, concern, and commitment of Emily and Jeremy.   Not only did they physically help me to regain strength and mobility, but they mentally helped me through those “plateaus” one hits during recovery.

What are your short term and long term goals?

Both short and long are the same – stay active and healthy for as long as possible.

What sort of life changes have you experienced because of HFF that you didn’t expect?

The gym used to be a chore – now I find it’s more of a hobby or activity that I love to do – like skiing or biking

 What advice do you have for our newer members or those thinking about jumping in?  

The only person you’re competing with is you.  Stay within yourself, and you will be extremely satisfied when you do things you never thought you could do.

Fun Stuff:

Tell us a little about yourself – what is your life like outside the gym? Where do you work, do you have kids/pets/spouse/partner? What are some of your favorite hobbies outside the gym?

Outside the gym, it’s all about my family. My wife, Paula and I have been married for 36 years.  We have two grown kids – My son Andrew and my daughter Samantha. As we get closer to retirement, we’re looking forward to doing our most favorite activity- traveling as much as possible.

Motto or Phrase you live by?

Two come to mind – 1. You cannot change things that are out of your control. 2. You get what you give.

 Favorite music to listen to while working out?

Definitely rock – classic or metal.

What is something we might not know about you?

I am in the baseball hall of fame in Cooperstown.

If you know Steve, you might find this hard to believe because he is a self-proclaimed non-athlete – so we found proof. Robie did a little networking at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and well, the rest is history… Here’s a link to PDF scans from Library: Click Here.


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