He was 10-years-old when, one day, his father “just didn’t wake up." Soon after, Yonkers native John Pike sunk into a deep depression.
His father, also named John Pike , was an active Yonkers resident that taught in public and parochial schools, was a lector at St. Anthony’s Church, and was a much-loved stay-at-home dad.
The junior Pike moved to Irvington in 2008 following his father's death, but it only deepened his depression. He had to adjust to a new school where friends were few. To deal with his new reality, he slept all day and turned to food.
At 16, he weighed 260 pounds.
Pike knew, for health and emotional reasons, he had to change. So, at his aunt's urging, he connected with Sam Langer of GYMGUYZ, a personal training facility that comes to you.
Still, it was tough. Pike continued to eat junk food -- and cancel his GYMGUYZ appointments. “For a long time, it was hard to get into it—thankfully [Sam] was forcing me—which was a good thing,” said Pike.
"I remember thinking I’m never [going to lose weight]; I just figured I'd forever be fat.”
Then, Pike was given a pre-diabetic diagnosis with a failing liver and the possibility of a liver transplant at 17.
Slowly, he began to turn around his thinking, thanks, in part to Langer's insistence -- he'd often pick up Pike from school, grab food and talk.
“Once we were able to develop a friendship where he could truly trust me, we were able to see some strong results," said Langer.
In a few months, Pike dropped 120 pounds. In the meantime, his confidence climbed.
“I remember Sam and I just finished working out [one day] and I don’t know I was just into it," said Pike. "Afterwards I was like ‘this [feeling] is pretty nice.’ Seems like something I should get into the habit of because I know it’s good for me.”
Pike's workouts consisted of cardiovascular exercises and circuit training— high-intensity endurance training where he'd go from workout to workout—three-to-four times a week for a little more than a year.
By the end of 2015, he weighed around 150 and Langer started focusing his workouts on weight training.
More importantly, Pike's depression subsided.
Langer no longer trains Pike, who’s now 19 and weighs around 160. He said he's continued to keep the weight off and live a healthier life not just for himself, but for his family and his father.
“[Throughout this journey] I’d always think about my mom and my dad and how my dad wouldn’t want [an unhealthy life] for me,” said Pike.
“He would want me to be healthy and stay around as long as I can to take care of my mom and [family]. I need to take care of myself to help take care of them.”
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