In the winter of 2007, Alex and Joy Bannister came to visit Joy's parents in Custer, WA. "We liked how quiet it was" says Joy
Lex had just come to the conclusion of a pro bowl career in the NFL, but was forced to retire due to injuries suffered playing one of the most competitive, agressive sports in the world. He and Joy were making choices about what to do with life after the game, living off of savings from his football earnings. He was interested in investment property and contacted a local realtor.
"She showed me this big house on 5 acres," says Lex "it was perfect. I didn't even know I was looking for it. It was just one of those things. I wondered, given my retirement, would get that house I was looking for? Did I squander my chance?" At once point, Lex owned a few houses and condos, but he was more careful with his money now, facing an uncertain future.
The couple decided to buy, and within 5 months, were residents of Whatcom County.
Joy took a job with Rice insurance, and Lex was at a crossroads, debating his next career move.
A Passion for Fitness
"I found myself asking important questions about my future. I asked myself what would I do anyway for free? Where you love this thing so much that money wouldn't matter. Will it help anybody? Ultimately it came down to three answers: I love to play ball, I love music, and I love to work out." says Lex "I've always liked to teach people, to train people, and to help people, so I thought training might be my route."
He submitted his resume to several gyms in Whatcom County, and was given part time offers to train and answer phones, or positions went to other local trainers. For someone who had once been at the top of the athletic spectrum, it was a real shock. But he pressed on.
"I got in touch with my rookie year roomate from the Seahawks, Lloyd Garden. He had started doing fitness bootcamps in the Atlanta area. I flew down there and learned about what he was doing, it was many of the workouts I had done in football and track training, but done in a circuit form. I realized I could take the bootcamp to the next level" Lex says.
He caught his break after being asked to train the parent's of students at North Coast Gymnastics academy as a supplementary activity while they waited for their children. It was a good start and the opportunity he'd been looking for. Starting with a few free classes, he soon had people from Rice insurance to come in and try out his training style.
As you can see, things have changed a bit since the beginning.
Today Lex and Joy train in a large industrial space dubbed "The Sweat Arena," which is equipped with all manner of modern and cutting edge training equipment, and covered in a field turf (simulated grass used in many professional and collegiate sport's facilities) surface.
In addition to their Fitness programs, Lex and Joy focus on their property, where they enjoy gardening, raising chickens, and the quiet serenity of nature. They also produce music, which you can hear in the song rotation during sweat camp from time to time.
Lex Bannister fitness has a number of classes and programs which can help you find your inner pro. Come down and drop in for a class, or sign up for a session. You'll get into the best shape of your life!