Why I’m in Better Shape at 43 Than I Was at 17: The Secret Ingredient

When I look in the mirror today, at 42, I find myself in better shape than when I was a spry 17-year-old. Surprising? Perhaps. But when I reflect on the ‘why,’ the answers aren’t found in the tangible assets surrounding me.

Sure, I have a sleek bike in my garage and top-of-the-line gym equipment. I even have a well-structured fitness program on my app and an assortment of supplements in my fridge. Yet, these aren’t the sole reasons. And although I possess a fierce determination and an innate love for challenges, even those aren’t the primary contributors to my current fitness state.

The true secret? The community and the people around me.

The simple text messages like, “Hey Dan, you working out with us at noon today?” have more power than one might imagine. Such nudges give me not just a reminder but an added motivation. These are not just workouts; they are shared experiences with people who genuinely care about my journey.

This realization led me to establish Woodslawn Fitness in SW Portland. I wanted to offer a place where fitness, top-notch coaching, and genuine accountability merge. But more than anything, I wanted to create an environment where emotional support is the foundation. Our coaches and trainers, with their expertise, bring incredible value to our community. Yet, what stands out most is their genuine concern and commitment to every individual.

To anyone hesitant to begin their fitness journey: at Woodslawn, you’ll never walk alone. Feeling nervous? We’re here to guide you. Achieved a personal milestone? We’ll be the first to celebrate with you. And on days when the motivation dips and you skip a session? Expect a friendly nudge from us, checking in on you.

At 42, I’ve realized that the path to true fitness is paved not just with sweat and discipline but, more importantly, with genuine human connections. At Woodslawn, we live this every day.


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