I’m a worshiper in the temple of science. If a factoid doesn’t have a solid foundation of research and logic behind it I judge it to be of no consequence other than as an insight into the mindset of the individual propagating the nonsense. Good science is an observation of nature that can be repeated time and time again by anyone following the same process. If it works for me then it must work for you or it's a coincidence. So if you are thinking, “what's your point?” then we are already on the same page.
I worked for twenty five years at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a instrumentation and controls engineer on high energy research projects. Prior to the lab I was an engineer, designer and service manager for AutoWeigh, a small in-motion weigh scale company.
My first job out of college was as a crystal designer in a quartz crystal manufacturing plant, CTS Knights, where I worked on the team that designed and built the first quartz controlled wrist watches and clocks.
Having graduated high school at age sixteen I had soon discovered that work was pretty sucky if you weren't doing something fun so I joined the army to get the GI Bill in order to go to college. It all worked out well for me.
My biggest problem in life is that I can't do anything half way. If I was partying it had to be full out. I ate the biggest steaks, drank the most beer, and lived life like there was no tomorrow.
At forty-four I had my first heart attack. I soon realized that I was enjoying life too much to let it go so I started working out in the gym and stopped eating red meats.
I had met my wife Ann in the same gym and we started exercising together. This ritual has continued on for over twenty-two years.
I retired from the Lab at age fifty-nine to strike out on my own. Ann and I started our fitness company in 2002. The very next year I discovered that I had stage 3b prostate cancer.
The doctors at UCSF weren't sure if it had spread so they started radiation therapy on my prostate. We spent a lot of time in waiting rooms in the hospital. Rather than waste our time reading old magazines we studied to take the American Council on Exercise Certified Personal Trainer exam.
At the same time I used the Internet to research and learn all that I could about prostate cancer and human physiology. We decided that it was time to become vegan based on what I had learned.
Almost nine years later I am still cancer free. Over this period of time we also took and passed the ACE Life Style Weight Management Coach certification. This gave us a chance to apply all that we had learned about nutrition while dealing with my cancer.
Just a few months back I had my second heart attack. I had been able to stave off coronary heart disease for over twenty-one years by keeping a routine of healthy diet and exercise. This time the doctors insisted that I undergo four coronary artery bypass surgery.
The interesting part is that just a month prior to my second heart attack my wife and I tested for and received the American College of Sports Medicine Health Fitness Specialist certification. We are qualified to shepherd my own cardiac recovery. Just four months into recovery and I am faster, stronger and have more energy than before.
Our business started out slow. Our business model is to train people in their own homes or at their place of business. We do wellness programs and group training in addition to personal training.
I have never had much interest in sports other than playing rugby for a few years in college. My interest, and my wife's interest, have gravitated to helping the elderly and post-rehab patients regain their quality of life.
As a fluke we started teaching group fitness classes in the local community college adult education program. This has panned out quite well as we are able to get people who would never join a gym to start to make lifestyle changes.
We are now working with the community college program staff to try and formalize all of their class offerings in dance, exercise, and cooking under the umbrella of a master wellness program. Our ultimate goal is to provide a pathway for the infirm and unfit to start into a very basic exercise and diet program and advance into more intense exercise programs while learning the basics of living a healthy lifestyle.
This month we start our seventeen week fitness challenge program to attract people into a weight loss program that provides exercise as part of the process. From here we hope to move them to the next level as we start with a new group. We are offering four other more advanced exercise classes in the same time frame.
I hope some day to be as successful as my hero Jack Le Lane. At age ninety-three he is still going strong and still helping others to life a quality life.
Here's to Jack. Here's to good health. Live long and prosper.
William R. Edwards BSEE, HFS, LSWMC, PT. William is a personal trainer and owner of WAEdwards Fitness Professionals in Modesto CA.
Follow him on Facebook