Highlight Tuesday - John Perez Jr. - 01.07.20

John Perez Jr. is a staple part of our evening workout family, but that wasn’t always the case. 

In 2011, John weighed in at over 500 lbs., had a list of medical maladies, and needed a bilateral knee replacement. As he put it, “Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before getting the motivation to make a change.”  With that wakeup call, John began to implement basic nutrition principles and added walking to his weekly routine. Within eight months, he had lost over 100 lbs., but it was time to take his health to the next level.  

At the encouragement of his father, John joined our Recreation family. “It’s difficult to be a big guy at a gym,” Perez said, “but you just have to get out of your comfort zone and do what needs to be done to take care of yourself.” It was difficult, but every day John committed to coming to the Rec for two hours. It began with just walking the track, but eventually he added strength machines to his routine as well. “That’s when I noticed the weight steadily coming off,” John said. 

In 2016, John was down to a healthy weight he thought he would never see again, and that’s when he decided to make another change for the better: the bilateral knee replacement. Following the surgery plus a couple of weeks of recovery time, John once again began the steady process of rebuilding his strength. Over the following months he graduated from a walker, to crutches, to a cane, and finally put all the assistance tools behind him. 

Now he is here every night without fail. When asked about what motivates him to work so hard, he said, “I know where I am. I know where I’ve been. And I’m never going back.” 

Keep up the amazing work, John! You are an inspiration to us. 

2011 - Now