Testimonial from our own Mark Gish:

We are so proud of Mark, Melissa, Evie & Ellie Gish for starting and continuing their journey to being a healthy and STRONG family! Being part of these transformations is the best part of our job!! Their girls come and train hard at all of our kids' workouts because they see their parents doing the same. Mark is super consistent at attending workouts 6-7 days a week and Melissa is an active member of my online community of fit moms and women working hard on their goals and helping their families be the best they possibly can be. She's even a coach on my coach team!! We love fit families and the Gish's are a true example of what's possible when you stay consistent & committed. Check out Mark's testimonial:

Tell us about your Spartan story and what motivated you to do a Spartan race:
"As a husband, father, and professional, being a positive role model is constantly on my mind. I want to be a man that my wife, daughters, and coworkers can look up to. After college it became harder and harder for me to balance my every day life. I struggled with making the time and commitment to stay healthy, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It was so easy to make excuses. To say to myself, "I'll start eating better tomorrow", or "I was really busy today, so I'll work out later." The next thing I know I am tipping the scales at 275 pounds. My relationship with my wife, daughters, friends and coworkers began to suffer. I did not have the mental clarity or the energy to be the husband, father or friend that I needed to be, let alone the role model I so wanted to be.

In January 2017, my wife, Melissa, changed things up. It was small at first. She started weeding out the processed foods, artificial flavors and sweeteners, and started making an effort to ensure we were eating clean. She started working out and taking the time to be active. Her passion for this new healthy lifestyle was incredibly inspirational and contagious. By June 2017 these changes of her's had become habit. I was still struggling with being consistent with being active and working out. I jumped from gym to gym and work out regimen to work out regimen. In October 2017 we joined Ferguson Fitness and everything changed.

Let me be clear. I had no intentions of racing. I just wanted a team environment to work out in. I wanted people to hold me accountable. I found that with the Ferguson Fitness family. From the very first work out, I was hooked. I was surrounded by such a dynamic group of people. People who were there to hold me accountable, to give me encouragement and to push me harder and further than I thought was possible. I found myself surrounded by a team of positive role models.

Fast forward eight months. Ferguson Fitness is not just a gym we go to. Spartan is WHO we are. I say we, because my whole family is on this journey. Both of my daughters fight through every work out with their team and it brings tears to my eyes to see how proud they are after every tire flip, wall climb or burpee. Ferguson Fitness was the catalyst that made this happen. The team at Ferguson is why we have all conquered the Charlotte race. They are the reason why my daughters are itching to run the kids race in July. My teammates are the reason I will complete my first trifecta this year.

I can not speak enough on how important a healthy lifestyle is to one's daily life. Forget the fact that I am down 55 pounds and 4 pants sizes. The thing I want to emphasize is that being on this journey with Ferguson has helped me get back on track to being the positive role model I want to be to everyone around me. Its helped me remember how important dedication, perseverance, tenacity and passion is. Its helped me show my daughters that strong isn't just a word, its a state of being."

Spartan Race Training & Experience:
"How anyone shows up to Spartan races with out some kind of preparation blows my mind. I participate in every SGX, Formidable and Speed and Agility class I can. These classes are a great way to get a taste of what you face on race day. Each class has a mix of something you will see on race day. There was not a single obstacle in Charlotte that I did not feel prepared for. In fact, I crushed the bucket carry and sand bag carry because of the work I had put in during these classes.

I have always played team sports. I find I excel in that team environment. The Ferguson Fitness Family is my team now. The blood, sweat and tears we shed together is what drives me during every class. They push me every class and in return I push them. They were there to help with strategies on overcoming obstacles as well as other best practices for race day."

Describe your Spartan race day experience: "Cold. Rainy. Muddy. Rewarding."

There are so many things I could say. I could write a book on all the things I learned while watching my daughters. Ill focus instead on my experience. This was my first ever race. I felt prepared and confident, thanks to my team at Ferguson Fitness. Despite the mud, despite the cold and the rain, I finished in the top 20%. However, the kicker for me, was that this was the first time I got to return the favor for all the times my team mates helped me. Along the course there were times I got to help people over walls, with their buckets and sandbags. I got to be the source of encouragement that my team has been to me. It truly was an amazing experience."

What would you tell someone who is thinking about training for a Spartan race?
"Just make the commitment. Worry about the details later. Dive right in. Get muddy and sweaty."

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