Our Athlete of the Month is Martin Ondrus! Martin has had one of our biggest 40 Day transformations and has kept adding on the wins in his year since. He comes consistently to 5am FTX almost every weekday and will be in the 300 workout club before month end!
Most impressive is that Martin starts his day with an early workout before starting his day raising his 3 boys, Milan (11), Miles (9) and Memphis (7...in a week). We say we do hard workouts at FitTown Jupiter, but there is no workout like keeping up with three active boys and making sure they are taken care of each day.
Martin lives each day in memory of his wife Mel who passed away in 2016 from cervical cancer. Martin says, "We were a great match, me being the reasonable/planner and she being the wild one pushing the boundaries." Now Martin has become the "wild planner" making sure his kids always have memorable life experiences like traveling to London/Paris and Mexico. He has inspired all of his sons to do FitKids classes at the gym and has even outfitted their bedroom with "American Ninja Warrior" type challenges.
It took Martin a while to join FitTown because at first he didn't believe in himself and didn't feel capable of doing what we did here. Says Martin, "When I was young I was bullied and poked on for being different. That made me think it is safe to stay low and be safe. Gosh, it took a long time to change this mindset. I feel like joining FT was a step in the right direction. It was challenging enough, yet judgment-free for me to continue. I needed to learn that no one can care about me as much as I can."
We love that mindset and love having Martin and his family in our FitTown family. He and his boys are one FIT FAMILY!
Here is Martin to talk more about his story:
First and foremost, I am a family guy. My boys are my everything. I try to inspire them and give them as many real-life experiences. It isn't always easy, but then I just remind myself it's ok and breathe. Every day is a new day. They all are unique in their own way and remind me of Mel every day.
I met Mel in 2004 and we both were pretty active, playing volleyball, doing triathlons, speed skating and roller derby, and just living an active lifestyle. She was a pretty smart lady, and got full academic and athletic scholarships to NC State school. She wanted to be a veterinarian. But life took a different turn and she fell in love with genetics, psychology and mathematics. She was smart, caring and opinionated in a good way LOL. Just a fun person to be around. I can totally see Miles there, loves math and being stubborn as hell. LOL!
So yes, we were a great match, me being the reasonable/planner and she being the wild one and pushing the boundaries. It worked great!
I grew up in Czechoslovakia and moved to the US in 2000. I could speak 4 different languages, but none of them was English. So in order to get anywhere I knew I had to learn it. I spent multiple years and long nights studying and eventually volunteered to teach other immigrants, and that was pretty rewarding.
My background is in mechanical engineering. I like to solve problems, take things apart and see how they work. But living in the US and having a couple kids isn't that simple $$wise so I went back to school and got a degree in Computer Science. And my first job out of school was to work for Itron.com as a Smart Grid Engineer. I had no clue what it was, all I knew was that it sounded cool. LOL I was so good at my job that the company paid to relocate us from Raleigh NC to Chicago IL to work on other projects there. After Mel passed away in 2016 from cervical cancer, I didn't have a reason to stay, but didn't really know where to go. So I waited and one day my boss mentioned opening in Jupiter FL. Same position, but working on FPL smart grid networks and advanced metering data collections. That is how we ended up, job transfer.
My job is pretty technical, but very rewarding, I can see how technology can help save lives, protect the environment and improve the overall FPL user experience. So that feels great when you know you are making a difference. And to top it off, I get to mentor other junior coworkers as well, since I have so much tribal knowledge :)
Things people may not know about me? I can ride a unicycle LOL, I built a race car, I can cook and stitch clothes. I even have an artsy side, like to craft and create. I am a handyman and can fix almost anything. I love to travel with my boys, recent trips to London/ Paris and Brussels or spending two weeks in the Mexican jungle. LOL
I also enjoy paddle boarding and boating or just chilling here locally.
Why did I join? Well, I was really good at finding reasons NOT to join LOL, but the reality was I didn't believe or felt like I am capable. When I was young I was bullied and poked on for being different. That made me think it is safe to stay low and be safe. Gosh, it took a long time to change this mindset. I feel like joining FT was a step in the right direction. It was challenging enough, yet judgement free for me to continue. I needed to learn that no one can care about me as much as I can. I had many "in head" discussions about why and how I am doing and learned a lot about positive attitude and self talk.
I also joined to improve my 5miles paddle boarding times. Up until then I was crashing every time I raced and felt like organized class led by the coach would be beneficial. Like all I have to do is to show up and do the work, not thinking about how to program anything. The improvement was so great that I improved tremendously and didn't feel so exhausted after each race.
My diet was all over the place, eating whatever and whenever. But taking this exercise seriously made me realize that I should reevaluate my diet as well. I made some great progress there, but don't feel like my diet is restrictive or ruling my life. I just strive for balance.
*Martin dressing up for a Halloween workout. Not his usual attire.
My mottos would be:
- No one cares about you as much as you do.
- Love and put yourself first!
I am a pretty positive person and always looking for the silver lining in life. As strange as it may sound, since Mel passed away and looking back at my journey - I can honestly say, " I am a better man."
Funny gym moment would be my oldest son Milan "flipping the bottle" and accidentally hitting the new ceiling fan blades LOL! The bottle flew across the room. That was also oh shit moment.
I mainly come at 5am, sometimes half asleep. There are days where I am all psyched up and others where I just want to skip the workout. Those days I value the most, being uncomfortable, pushing myself, and not getting hurt. Just show up.
I don't care much how I place on the leaderboard. All I know is that those little things I do here and there will add up over time. I have a pretty good cardio baseline, so I am always excited about getting stronger and lifting heavy. Man, I used to hate that metal bar thingy "barbell" LOL I avoided it as much as possible, but learned to enjoy it with time.
What keeps me motivated? I feel like at this point it became my lifestyle and I just do it. Simple, I prioritize what is important to me...
Why should someone try FitTown? I believe if a person is not doing it for themselves, they will fail and not last. This isn't just to get your summer beach body and be done.
Do it for yourself, the benefits aren't just frontloaded. True, you can see huge progress at the beginning, but doing this on an ongoing basis will only magnify those gains - it will keep on giving.
What do I love most about FitTown? It is the community, the energy inside, the welcoming feel and the no judgment zone. I also love to see my boys doing the FitKids programs.