While working at a central Wisconsin outsourcing company in 2001, I started helping my cohorts with exercise programs and nutritional myth busting. Fresh from 4 years of studying journalism at college, I enthusiastically jumped aboard the company newsletter as author of the Fitness Frontline. The column included research and personal findings on topics from proper weightlifting practice and technique, to high speed energy drinks, fast food statistics, nutritional bars vs. candy bars and diet and fitness fads. Soon my inbox was filling with workout questions from other employees. Increasingly uninspired by telesales, I responded to a tiny ad in the local newspaper: “Personal Trainer Wanted”. Since, I’ve been professionally certified by three different institutions, witnessed thousands of pounds incinerated and convinced many everyday Office Joes and Janes to pick-up a paddle, jump rope or axe for their next workout.
My original roots can be traced back to grade school as a nonathletic, overweight and often picked on youth. Facing one more frustrating year of high school, I decided to take charge by running and weightlifting over the summer. My uncle donated a set of the old sand weights, and I struggled to lift them just a few times. But when the school bells rang in September, the students and faculty at Weyauwega-Fremont High School didn’t recognize a 50lbs lighter me.
Kelly King of King’s Personal Training and Equipment in Oshkosh graciously gave me a shot as a personal trainer in March of 2005. He and his trainers showed me the ropes of the business from studio maintenance to program design to keeping clients accountable. Throughout the following years we worked hard on marketing, staying on the cutting edge and being a presence in the community, which left us with a diverse, growing and healthy, clientele.
Our eyes beheld many changed lives through effort and exercise. Its interesting when someone’s physique improves, it changes many other aspects of their life too. Some of the remarkable conquests included clients losing anywhere from 20 - 70 pounds, everyday office workers turned triathletes, a few journeys of the tragically injured climbing back to their sports and others completing ½ and full marathons. We also had 6 people in their 80s coming regularly to keep strong and stable. Some of the best stories though had to be the people battling diseases like cancer, diabetes and obesity. For some reason their smiles and successes meant a bit more to me than someone’s personal best running time or state championship medals.
In September of 2009 I met a woman from Colorado and experienced my first airplane ride ever at the age of 32. Alleigh and I had a 1000+ mile relationship for one year and then wed on September 7, 2010 on the banks of the Walla Walla Creek in Waupaca, WI. Three days later we loaded up the truck, a couple dumbbells and hit the low road for Littleton, CO.
Upon arrival, two people expressed interest in strength training and yoga classes. Armed with a load of faith, we transformed our basement and borrowed a friend’s basement to start Personal Trainer Aaron, LLC. Working handyman jobs to fill the schedule cracks, slowly more interested-exercisers emerged. In circumstances only describable as God’s grace, Personal Trainer Aaron saw 2 appointments a week transformed into almost 30 each week. When our first son was born, we extended our branches to include in-home trainings, parks and recreational areas, schools, Club Form and Mojo Fitness of Littleton and Lockheed Martin locations around Colorado.
With assurance from above, we decided to move back to Wisconsin in June of 2013 with a 5-year goal of owning our own personal training studio. Prepared to rough it for a bit, little did we know that God’s timing and miracles would happen much quicker then expected.
It was recommended that I speak with Waupaca exercise guru Tim Lencki who was opening an outdoor and fitness store on Main Street, Adventure Outfitters. After a 90-minute conversation, he hired me immediately and I caught wind of a vacant 1,100 square foot space above the store. In the meantime I bought some PVC pipe from Lowes to assemble some slosh pipes for training sessions. The cashier mentioned a chance to win a drawing by completing the survey on the back of the receipt. So I did. A few months later I was contacted by Lowes who wanted to FedEx me $5000 as their quarterly sweepstakes winner. Within 30 seconds I called Tim and his business partner and asked if we could transform the upstairs into a personal training studio. They said “Yes!”
Slowly but surely I spent late nights in a 140-year old building with a hammer drill, paint brush, reciprocating saw and 80 sheets of drywall, while personal training and taking any dirty job I could find during the day. All the hard work took shape in January of 2015 with the opening of The Upper Room With Personal Trainer Aaron. During the process my wife gave birth to another son and became Personal Trainer Alleigh.
Looking forward to the next 5 years we anticipate clinging tightly to God’s direction and word, while continuing the high standard of creativity that trainers like Tim Lencki provide in Waupaca. It’s important to me that we lead our customers in new directions and fresher perspectives instead of putting the same product out every training session. We have teamed with local farmers to provide vegetables (aka real foods) for post workout recovery and look to keep the Upper Room a clean, unique and modern personal training experience now and when my kids take over.
Aaron, Alleigh, A.J. + Joab Allie
Certified Personal Trainer by the American Council on Exercise (ACE)
Performance Enhancement Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)
Medical Exercise Specialist by the American Academy of Health and Fitness Rehab Professionals
TRX Qualified Professional