In a world where social media is the platform in which many creative individuals will showcase their skills and expertise, others like Kevin Hughes, 42, remain the “dinosaurs” of the fitness world.
Hughes is co-owner of FTF Fitness in Clovis along with business partner Jacquelyn Chastain.
FTF Fitness is a strength and conditioning facility that utilizes CrossFit.
“We use the CrossFit methodology, and understand that CrossFit is a great methodology to add to your toolbox, it’s not your only toolbox, but it is a tool,” Hughes said.
Programs are especially designed by Hughes, who has a degree in exercise science from UC Davis and 17 certificates to boot.
“Most people have no idea that I have been coaching for 25 years, that the guy writing the programming has 25 years of fitness,” Hughes said.
Apart from running a business, Hughes is a full time firefighter, and admits that he was wearing himself thin.
Chastain was a member of FTF Fitness before becoming co-owner, and before her, Hughes owned many gyms that all ended in many bad business endeavors.
Chastain and her husband have all had a growing friendship with Hughes, and admit that they have the same vision for FTF.
“I’ve still got a vision for this place, but she has the same vision as mine,” Hughes said. “One of the great things about being able to work with Jacquelyn is I will give her my information, and pass on my information so that she can take the FTF vision forward.”
Much of that vision is changing people’s lives, and for Chastain this is all she has ever wanted to do.
“We get really good feedback from our members, and just the fact that they come in for that one hour changes their whole day, and we have quite a few people that thank us for making it possible for them to do that,” Chastain said.
Moving forward, Hughes plans to retire from the fitness industry in five years, but is assured by the new era fitness that will be taken on by Chastain.
Hughes found success in the fitness industry, but it’s not without its challenges. Many fitness trainers who have no degree will post photos and video on social media that gather a large following, and that was not the case 25 years ago.
“I’ve really had to fight to keep myself in the fitness industry,” said Hughes. “What about the dinosaurs who have been around for 25 years who people don’t know about? I think that’s where my frustration came in, and that’s why I’m passing the torch, because I am a dinosaur.”
The extinction of CrossFit gyms does not seem like an event that will happen any time soon, at least not if they are anything like FTF Fitness with its community based atmosphere, and trainers like Hughes and Chastain.
“As much as he’s switching focus right now, he is always going to be a part of FTF,” Chastain said. “I still see him as kind of my mentor. I go to him for guidance and advice. Even when he steps back and we get to that chapter, he will still be a part of it.”
“My name is Joanne Garcia and I’m 27 years old. I started FTF around 2014 when searching for a crossfit gym. I wanted to begin crossfit after failing my EMT physical exam. It killed me to know that I had made it that far, but because of my strength I wasn’t qualified. Realistically I knew if I went to a regular gym, I’d only end up running on a treadmill or walking by all the machines not having a clue what each one was for. Joining FTF was the best gym to prepare me for my exam and even more. It helped me not only pass my exam but made me gain strength I didn’t know I was even capable of. All of the coaches have been so helpful and motivating. They make it such a fun and inviting place. If you’re considering to begin crossfit, FTF will help you reach any goal no matter how out of sight it might seem.”
“I’m Sarah Mankin, 26 years old and working as Salon Manager at PetSmart. Currently going to school for Business Administration-Human Resources. I love the outdoors and I am mom to three furbabies. FTF has helped me in so many ways. One of the first is body imagine. I’ve struggled for years with how I look and feel. I had come a long way from where I was when I joined but these few months I have notice I don’t mentally pick myself apart. I am pushed every day to be better which in turn makes me stronger, physically and mentally.The best thing about FTF is the people. From owners to coaches to members the place is amazing! The programming is there to challenge you and the coaches really know how to get you going. I am so appreciative of the feedback and corrective instruction. The members are incredible! We are one big family and I am so happy to have met so many wonderful people because of FTF.”
Olga Garcia, 47, HR Manager at Niacc
“FTF has had a major impact on my life. It seems like it’s harder to stay in shape the older one gets. My weight has yo-yoed in the past few years. I don’t really care about how much I weigh; I just want to be toned and feel good and healthy. The workouts I get at FTF do exactly that. They push me to my limit (and beyond). I feel great and am starting to see results in the way my clothes are fitting and my increased energy level.”
“At 53 I have discovered, at some point everything hurts. It is not a matter of what I did or did not do to hurt myself, something hurts. The question is “How am I feeling?’
My body hurts, but I have been working my ass off at CrossFit and it is hard. I can now do things I never thought I could do. I know what a Burpee is and can do 100 of them. I can run a mile and do 100 sit-ups. No I am not the fastest and my form may need improving, but I can do it and I will continue to do it. The other option is to do nothing and that is not really an option. I have new muscles I never had and can dead lift 200 pounds. Yes everything hurts, and I am still a little afraid of my workouts. But so excited and even a little proud when it is done. I do a team of Coaches and Friends at FTF that tell me: ‘We got this’ and ‘You are a badass.’ When does a middle-aged married mother of two ever get to call herself a badass and prove it is true? I get thru each workout and forget about being sad, or lazy, or old, or grumpy. I leave it all at the gym – I go home, eat dinner, take Advil and ice the knees. Cause you know what? I will do it again tomorrow, because I can. I do not want to be the old woman who has nothing to do but bake and eat. I want to be a badass lady and tell my daughter Clare, ‘Did you see the workout today? It was a killer, but I did it! – and I’m glad I did.’