By Ray Peleckas, Founder
After an invasive knee surgery the following March, I was prescribed percocets to deal with the pain. Initially, I took the pills to truly cope with the pain. Then I found myself enjoying the pain killers' numbing side effects and continued taking the pills well after the surgery. For EIGHT years I was popping pills. At the height of my painkiller addiction I was taking 20 pills a day and smoking up to 60 cigarettes a day and I was still able to keep my addictions a secret from my friends and family!
On the outside I seemed to lead a perfectly normal, if not great life. I worked out regularly. I dated girls. I had tons of friends. On the inside though, I felt miserable and defeated. After my football dreams were shattered, I no longer had a path to follow, no motivation to energize me. Working at my family's construction company and addicted to medication, I was lost. I didn’t have a purpose.
Then out of the blue, my close friend, Nate, asked me to help him get back in shape in order to gain self confidence so he could start dating again. I was happy to take on the challenge and help a friend. Within 6 months, I helped him lose 50 pounds. With his newly gained confidence, Nate then met his future wife. After that experience, I realized that I could do something with meaning, something that could change peoples' lives. It was an empowering feeling. I was on top of the world. I finally found a purpose in this crazy life.
After that experience, I knew I had to become a trainer. My friend connected me with a manager of a nearby Boston Sports Club, and I became an apprentice trainer. The night before my first full day, I knew I had to quit both smoking and pill popping. I cut them both out cold turkey and amazingly never looked back. When I have a goal in my mind, I am very determined and focused. I quickly rose through the ranks. I went from apprentice trainer to pro trainer to master trainer in 6 months. I was working 100 hour weeks --practically living at the gym, taking naps in my truck and inside a yoga classroom closet. I typically had 200 client sessions per week and was consistently on the BSC Top 10 Trainer Leader Board. After several years of working at Boston Sports Club, I realized it was time to man up and venture out on my own.
99% of my clients followed me from BSC and continued to train with me. I started training clients in my small apartment then moved my business into a small 1000 sq foot space. A year later I branched out to a facility 3X bigger! I grew a team of trainers and created what is now BodyBurn by Ray. Everyday I wake up with a smile on my face, excited to take on the day. Seeing the club packed with happy clients working hard towards their fitness goals makes me work harder to provide them with the best facility, instruction, and community. For me, fitness is not just a means to an end. In my youth, it was my salvation from despair. Today, fitness is my reason for being, my true passion.
So, in the end, with a bit of good fortune, and a heck of a lot of grit, hard work and dedication, I was able to rewrite my story. Sure it wasn’t how I planned it originally, but that’s what makes life interesting. That’s what makes life worth living. So, is this the end of the story? My happily ever after? Hell no! This party is just beginning. Believe me, you’ll want to keep being a part of the RayFit family because I’m just getting started and the next chapter is going to blow your mind...BOOM!