Welcome to our home.
Welcome to Fitness Porvida. Home of Alamo CrossFit and Constitution CrossFit. I think some of the most powerful tools that exist for humankind exist in stories. Not just stories for the sake of telling them…but stories for the sake of explaining WHY. The genesis of Fitness Porvida I believe is important for you, for us, for the Tribe and for potential clients to hear as it tells the reasons behind the why we do what we do. And on another, much deeper level, I feel very strongly that we ALL have a deep set desire to be part of something that is bigger than us. This story tells about why we are CrossFit pioneers in San Antonio and why we started a non-profit to support our wounded heroes. The stories are intertwined and as an former Army nurse who spent a portion of my life being molded by wounded heroes, I’d like to take a few minutes to share the reasons why we exist. This is our story. This is our mission, our reason for being and why we get up each and every day to serve you.
This is why we are everything you DON’T expect in a gym.
My name is Rick and my career has been as a health care provider – a registered nurse actually. Most of my years were in a variety of emergency and trauma departments around the U.S. and a tour in the US Army as an Army nurse. In 2005, I felt I had been given the rare chance to repay my country, so I took it. I raised my hand and was sworn into the US Army Nurse Corps. I hoped to deploy overseas as Iraq was a hotbed and well, as I mentioned, I was a trauma nurse. I wanted to go to the big-show. That’s how I thought of it. The big show. Downrange. The sandbox. I was ready to give my all.
But the US Army sent me to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC. I thought for sure it was a mistake. Right? I’m a seasoned and trained…locked-stocked and ready to rock trauma nurse! Really? Walter Reed? Stateside?
I believe in fate…in destiny…in God…and I do not believe in coincidence. It took me a while, but soon after arriving at Walter Reed I understood WHY I was there.
It was 12 minutes that changed my life and became the genesis of this desire and drive to positively impact the lives of those who join our Tribe. It was 12 minutes that forced me to re-evaluate my dreams and goals and to hone in on the things that are truly important, in my humble opinion. Our health…our well being..our heroes and the fact that I believe that we owe them.
I’d like to share with you what it was that changed my life forever, our story and why Fitness Porvida and our non-profit, Transition Possible exists. But it’s not about us…this is about you. The reader. And when you are done this is hopefully how YOU can join us in making a difference in the lives of our heroes either as a Tribe member or a donor to our cause called Transition Possible.
In 2006 I was an Army nurse at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I was working on a ward famous because our patients were amputees, suffered PTSD or traumatic brain injury (TBI). Young men and women who had recently lost something in service to country. I bet you think this story is about a young hero who lost a leg, and became determined to workout again. Right?
This story is about his mom. I had been a registered nurse for well over a decade by this time. It was 5:45 am on my first day at Walter Reed. My very first day. I walked into the report room, flipped on the lights and quickly realized there was a young lady asleep in the room…on the couch. She was all of 5’1”, I would say about 35 years old, brown eyes and dark hair, very average looking. She stood up and folded her hospital blanket, which I am sure the night nurse had offered her to use. Hospitals, you know, can be a cold place. She placed the blanket, very nicely folded by now, on top of her plastic hospital pillow and set them both down, very meticulously, on the edge of the couch she had just gotten up from. She kind of straightened out her shirt with her hands…ran her hands down her pant legs to smooth them out…as best she could. Fixed her collar. She mosied over to the sink with her overnight bag. I watched her…kind of curiously. I said “good morning” and watched as she made her way to the sink with her hand towel and make-up bag. She paused a second and just looked at herself in the mirror. I was just aimlessly watching her…not sure what was going on. I was in uniform. My ACU’s. Fresh haircut. Even today the aftershave I used still fills my nostrils as I think about this. Vivid. The pause, now that I think about it, was more than a pause.
It was a reflection and though it’s hard to describe…I really believe she was looking through her eyes in the mirror. I really believe she wasn’t seeing her reflection, but looking really deep into some part of her being. Into her soul if I could stretch it just a bit more. Because that’s how it seemed. Then she started crying. Just like that. Crying really hard. And she never took her eyes off the mirror. She never took her eyes off her soul. I am a trained registered nurse. I have seen trauma and death. I have seen humanity at it’s worst…and it’s best. I am a compassionate fellow and pretty good at helping people in their neediest moments. But I was totally frozen. I had no freakin’ idea what I should do…or if I should do anything. She cried for about 30 seconds. Nonstop. Tears. Sobs. Her gaze never left the mirror. Her gaze never left her soul and I swear to goodness that with each sob she seemed to grow a little more determined. Almost as if she was preparing for something. I didn’t know what.
Then she stopped. Just like that. She washed her face…patted it dry with a towel. Put on just a bit of make-up. Not a lot. Folded the towel, grabbed her small bag and walked out. The door slowly started to close behind her. Like a strange dream, as soon as the door closed behind her it immediately re-opened and my morning crew of five RN’s and charge nurse walked in. It was as if the previous 12 minutes existed only in my mind.
Little did I know how much my life had just changed. Forever. The night crew signed off, the day crew, us, signed in and hit the floor to go meet our patients. I gotta say I was excited. Excited because of where I was and who I was caring for. I had my patient list in my hand…room 502…turned the corner…there’s the room…knock-knock…come in…I opened the door and began to introduce myself as Lieutenant Martinez…and I froze.
The lady from the lounge. She was my first patient’s mother. He…Well…He was a young man who lost a limb…an eye… part of one ear…and his mom was at his side. The same five foot nothing lady from the lounge who I had just seen. She greeted me with a smile and a thank you for taking care of her son and it was then that I realized the absolute power of destiny and all it can offer us and all we can take from it IF we just learn to listen to it in the right way. This mom, who started off my 18-month tour at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, woke up every single day with the same routine. She cried in the same place. She let it all out before walking into her son’s room each and every morning because she knew she had to be strong for two people – for her, …and for her son. There was an easy road…I’m sure. To ask God why…to cry in front of her boy…to let the environment take control…to just quit…to give up. But she chose to take control of her environment. She chose to control her situation. She made the conscious decision each and every day for the many months they were there…to take charge of her day… of her life. She inspired me. She made me think even more about my own family, my teenage kids and how easily the tables could be turned. She…and her son…made me re-think my life and how much more each of us has inside of us to make an impact.
I got to know her and her son. They both healed. They both overcame their obstacles and they both became better people…changed for their experience. And me for mine.
What I discovered in my first 12 minutes at the hospital was my call to action. I believe, in my heart that I discovered my very own personal “WHY” and now I choose to share it with you. What I learned from that mom and subsequently 100’s more wounded troops in my care was the absolute power of the spirit and human will. So, when I left Walter Reed I just couldn’t go back to nursing. I had to do more.
WE…have to do more.
There are so many more people AND heroes out there y’all that need our help. That want to be infused with the spirit of “no quit” and are screaming to be surrounded with people who share the same dreams and desires. Thus was the birth of the Fitness Porvida movement and Transition Possible. I believe we here at Fitness Porvida have an entrusted duty to help you look better naked…seriously. We all want it, so let’s not sugarcoat it. I also believe we all now have the moral obligation as Americans to help our heroes. The Transition Possible way.
This is the Fitness Porvida and the Transition Possible story, it’s all true and from the heart…the next chapter is for us to write. Together.
I hope you’ll do what you can to join us
Before I left Washington, D.C. there was a parade. It went right down Constitution Avenue. I rode my bike and walked through the crowd. It was Veterans Day. The parade procession went by…heroes…guys with US flags on Harleys…bands…and then it was him. My patient.
Our hurdles will rarely ever be as tough as theirs.
Folks, I have taken charge of my life and health and I would love the opportunity to help you take charge of yours, so let me share a few really cool awards and stuff we’ve done (this is where I get to establish some credibility and hopefully you’ll call or email us!):
3. We give back. In fact, we give back a lot. It’s part of our charter here at Fitness Porvida. In 2010 we were awarded the very prestigious Jefferson Award for our continual support of our wounded warriors and heroes. We know that none of this is possible if not for their sacrifice.
We want to enhance your life…to enrich your life…to be a catalyst for change in San Antonio health and fitness and in the lives of our heroes.
Folks, I’d like you to trust Fitness Porvida as the company that will inspire moments of triumph on your quest to be the best YOU that you’ve ever been.
I look forward to working with you, to changing you and for helping you seize the day…every day.
With warm regards,
Rick Martinez BSN, RN