What if Christmas lost its meaning?
You’d probably be sad. You’d probably worry about ever being happy again. You’d probably wonder, why me?
Christmas of 1999, I received the strangest phone call ever. My uncle called and urged me to rush to his house. Oh, oh, I thought. My uncle was involved in, let’s just call it “extracurricular activities,” kind of like the energy drink industry, except for the drink part.
Anyways, I hurried over to see a police car stationed in the driveway. Oh no, my uncle is going to the big house. But wait, he’s standing next to the police man.
The officer slowly walked over to me. His boots echoed across the eerily quiet Los Angeles streets. “Are you Tony Arreola?” I nodded. “Is Richard Arreola your brother?” I nodded again. His eyes watered as the words that threw my life into chaos leaked out of his mouth.
“You need to call the coroner’s office.”
My life ended that Christmas. Horror, sadness, and tragedy engulfed my world. Two days before my 21st Birthday. I hated life.
My only escape was alcohol. I cried and cried, and drank and drank. For the first time in my life I blacked out. I was sure if the alcohol didn’t kill me, the sadness would. But I didn’t die.
I lived a sad, resentful life. I ballooned up to 192 pounds, the heaviest I had ever been. And I didn’t care. This wasn’t the life I imagined. But it was the life I was given.
I inherited most of my brother’s belongings and amongst them, I find a lifesaving treasure. My brother loved to work out and fate left me his weightlifting set. This was it, I found it. Working out to honor my brother is the answer I desperately needed. My passion for fitness had taken on new meaning. Every repetition brought me closer to him, the stifling rage released into a punishing workout. As I got stronger, I felt better. As my muscles grew, my soul healed. The workouts gave me strength, the strength gave me healing, and the healing gave me control. I was no longer lost. My destiny had arrived, my future was here. Fitness became the catalyst to spark happiness back into my vulnerable life.
After UC Irvine, I began my career as a personal trainer. If fitness helped me escape the depths of depression, and brought me back to a peaceful state, could its powers be used in other ways? Could my passion be the fuel to inspire others to do more, to aim higher more, to achieve more? Time answered these questions resoundingly as my clients’ lives were completely transformed. Fitness was working and it was helping. As I saw growth in people, I wanted nothing else but to serve more. Clients lost thousands of pounds, ran their first marathons, completed triathlons, and one even biked the West Coast! My life’s passion led me to form my own company, Total Body Project. My goal was to build a brand to preach the gospel of fitness and fulfill my ultimate passion of life empowerment.
For the past eight years, I have poured every ounce of my soul into Total Body Project. I strongly believe in our message, “Fitness Simplified.” The industry makes fitness way too complicated. It’s like the more complicated the workout sounds, the better. Wrong. The best workout is the one you actually do. We have an incredible success rate. I know this is true, because we measure and check. Our clients have seen tremendous success. The success not only drives our growth, but it fills our lives with meaning and passion.
Total Body Project exists to make fitness success accessible to all. We have seen each one of our clients live’s transformed. We will continue to share our knowledge with our beloved community until we simplify fitness for all.