Are you looking for a fun, new way to get into shape and lead a healthier lifestyle? If so, you can relate to our member, Tom’s story.
Tom Brekke has been training Muay Thai at The Cellar Gym since 2017, and although he’s been a lifelong martial arts enthusiast, his road to Muay Thai is a testament to hard work and healthy habits. As a kid, Tom was enthralled with the power and discipline of martial arts, and he especially loved superheroes and karate movies. When the Scholastic book fair came to his elementary school one day, he saw a karate picture book and bought it immediately. He started practicing the techniques he saw in the book every night after school. Eventually, his parents got the hint and signed him up for karate classes.
Tom was thrilled and hungry to learn all he could. He was fascinated by the sport and couldn’t wait to learn the jumping and spinning techniques that he saw the higher belts practicing. He soon started to compete, and he discovered that he loved the satisfaction and the rush. Through martial arts, Tom also found the confidence to stand up to bullies, speak up for himself, and defend his friends. After he earned his black belt in high school, his social life and other interests took precedence and he drifted away from martial arts (for a while)…
While attending college at St. John’s, Tom realized that he was missing something in his life. He didn’t have access to any martial arts training while in school, and after he graduated, he found himself quickly getting bored with lifting weights at a regular gym. He’d planned to get in shape so that he’d be stronger when he eventually made his way back to martial arts, but regular workouts simply could not hold his interest. He needed a goal and a way to exercise his mind as well as his body. One day, he decided he needed to just jump back in and work through the discomfort.
Tom’s first karate school had also offered Muay Thai, and although he’d always been interested, he’d never gotten around to trying it. When Tom learned that The Cellar Gym was nearby, he knew right away that he needed to check out the Muay Thai program! He immediately fell in love with the classes, and he especially relished the mental workout and the nuances of learning new techniques.
Even though he worked in retail at the time and often found it difficult to make it to class, Tom committed to being stronger than his excuses. He started making healthier food choices, running, and shadowboxing in his spare time so that he could build up his stamina and keep improving his skill level. After he quit his retail job, he was able to train consistently and he fully committed to developing his martial arts skills.
Over two years later, Tom has his blue rank in Muay Thai and has even competed in a smoker fight! Tom says that training at the Cellar has transformed his life because he’s motivated to make healthier lifestyle choices and he is always working towards a goal, which he’s proud to share with his friends and family. “I always want to learn,” he says. “I always want to get better. I’ve seen so much more growth in myself over the last two years… I feel awesome.”