By Stephanie Van Ness, CSCS
Longtime ARXer Gordon Wong is an animal in the gym. Ask anyone. He attends classes consistently several days per week, is dedicated and hardworking even when tired or less-than-motivated, always pushes himself to excel, and is cheerful and friendly to everyone in class. So what makes him tick?
"Three years ago I weighed a less-than-lean 210 pounds," said the four-year Army veteran. "I started working out on my own doing the lone wolf thing and got down to 195, but my progress stalled. That's when I joined ARX, to get over the wall."
"I guess what drives me is the fact that I'm my own worst critic," he continued. "I always think I could do better so that's when I push myself. Since joining ARX a few years ago, I have managed to get down to 180 pounds and 11 percent body fat. Besides my success on the scale, I'm much stronger and I really enjoy the ARX workouts -- the variety and the group environment. It keeps things interesting."
"Being fit is very important to me," he said. "It's not just being physically fit. Being fit puts me in a positive state of mind. And let's face it: I was issued this one body with no trade-ins allowed and it's the most expensive thing I own so I need to take care of it best I can."
How did fitness come to take center stage in Gordon's life? "Growing up in Massachusetts, first generation, I didn't have much of a fitness background when I was young," he said. "It wasn't part of my parent's culture. I didn't play any sports and didn't really get into fitness until I joined the service. I was stationed in Michigan but traveled quite a bit throughout the U.S., as well as spent several months in Germany evaluating tracked vehicles for depot overhaul. I was always moving but today I'm in better condition then when I was in the service 20 years ago!"
And while most members think of Gordon as a talented runner, he came late to the game. "Contrary to what many may think, I didn't start running until after I joined ARX," he said. "My endurance was never great but after some time at ARX I was able to run 5Ks, a 10K, and a couple of half marathons. I enjoy it."
When not in the gym, Gordon works as a consultant in the parts department at Quirk Auto Group's Chevrolet Kia Pre-owned division. And every other Saturday, he delivers pizza for Dominos. "When I have free time I enjoy the rush of ziplining or hiking. I usually take my brother's dog with me on the trails, which we both enjoy. And, I also try to spend as much time as possible with my nieces."