FitWit Decatur February Member of the Month – Derek B.!

Derek makes every class better for coaches and members with his ROCK SOLID attitude and his 110% effort! He’s been one of our top consistent members of the last 5 years, and it’s been great to watch Derek reap the benefits of his hard work. He is stronger, faster, has more energy, and is hitting some major goals like his sub 8 min 2k row! You can always count on seeing Derek in the dark, early hours of the morning rocking shorts and a tee no matter what the weather forecast. You know it’s really cold if he shows up in a sweater. Members enjoy working alongside Derek for that extra motivation and maybe a joke or two during class, while coaches love seeing him push his limits or scale it back when he needs to modify. Next time you see Derek, give this all around rockstar a big hi-five and congratulations!

Age: 48

Hometown: Middletown, RI

Occupation: Software Product Management

When did you first start FitWit-ing? 
First class was April 3, 2017 – motivated by my impending bday a couple of days later and wanting to diversify fitness beyond running. 



Tell us about your sports & fitness background:

For the majority of my adult life I’ve tried to be active in one way or another.  Through my late teens and early 20’s I focused more on strength & weights and wasn’t very good at mixing in cardio while as I got older I moved away from weights and focused more on running logging up to 40 miles a week just before joining FitWit.

What sort of changes have you seen in your body, health, and fitness since starting FitWit?

Oh man, the list is long, but here are a few!

  • I’m in much better overall shape than I’ve ever been – even comparing my 20’s – and I am sure to mention that to anyone who will listen.  
  • My core is much stronger, and I don’t have any lower back pains I’ve had in the past, and I believe this also contributes to things such as…
  • Better mile times.  My mile times were slowing prior to FitWit, but now they’re at least as good as they have ever been and maybe… just maybe… even faster at times
  • I have so much greater flexibility.  No creaking and cracking or stiffness after sitting for long periods. 
  • Overall I just feel better.  Much more energy even when compared to when I was logging all those miles.

What sort of changes in your life have you experienced out of taking on something like FitWit that were totally unexpected?

I think the most unexpected for me was how it has helped me get a handle on sleep issues.  I’ve struggled with insomnia for as long as I can remember.  After joining FitWit I started to go to bed much earlier than I ever had so that I could be sure to wake up on time to tackle whatever challenges were in store in the next morning’s FitWit class.  Through this, I discovered that going to bed early and at a consistent time helped me fall asleep right away vs. always trying to stay up late to “get tired”.   This has been an enormous &  unexpected benefit.

Why do you FitWit?

The reason why I started to go to bed earlier was in order to make sure I got up in time for FitWit and because of the trainers and other members.  I wanted to make sure I was part of it. Here you have all of these people getting up wicked early in the morning, day-in and day-out, to push sleds across the parking lot, swing kettlebells, jump rope and fight through pull-ups all before most peoples alarms go off. Not to mention all while being cheered on and guided by knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and caring coaches – who also get up wicked early.  I mean – everyone is so bad-a$$! I feel badly for those who don’t FitWit.

Favorite workouts?

I don’t know that I have a favorite per se as I enjoy the variety, but I do really like some of the recent workouts that allow experimentation with weights.  I feel it helps push outside of some habits / comfort zones.

Least favorite workouts?

Anything with the bike.  I always choose it when given the option hoping it will grow on me.  It hasn’t worked yet.

Any favorite FitWit moments?

It was a 500m partner relay day on the ERG, but there were odd numbers so I said I would just do the entire 2k myself.  This was maybe only the 2nd time I had ever been on an ERG.  How bad could it be? After hitting 2k I literally rolled off the ERG with my eyes closed, barely able to breath and not able to feel any part of my body, while simultaneously hurting all over. As I lay on the ground with the sound slowly returning to my ears I finally opened my eyes, and all of these are people hovering over me cheering and congratulating. And it was at that point when I realized… if I got sick now it would be really embarrassing.

Three words to describe you:

Persistent, Stubborn, Fun (at times)

Fitness Goals?

 To be able to move freely for as long as possible

Words to live by?

“It’s better to be an hour early, than a minute late.”

Something my grandfather used to say.  Requires discipline and demonstrates respect.   

Something cool we don’t know about you?

I am teaching myself to weld while restoring a 60 yr old car – that I hope to finish before I myself am 60.

Anything else you’d care to share?

Thankful for the FitWit Crew!