Three years ago, at age 62, Roger Kuecker of Denver started working out at the Cedar Falls Recreation Center. That's where he met trainer Ryan Downs.
When Downs opened his own gym, Next Level Extreme Fitness, Kuecker joined. However, he admits he had reservations about keeping up because of his age.
"My wife even thought I was too old. I kidded Ryan to have a body bag for me because I wasn't sure I'd come out alive," said Roger Kuecker.
Three years later, Roger Kuecker has stuck with it. He gets up before 4 a.m. every weekday for a 5 a.m. kickboxing or bootcamp class.
"His work ethic is insane. He's here even on the snowiest days. He's in Denver, so he's driving 20-30 minutes," said Ryan Downs.
Kuecker said people often comment on how fit he looks, but for him it's more about how he feels. He has more energy and feels decades younger. He even recently went skydiving!
"More like a 45, 40-year-old. He feels that way and he looks that way, too. He used to weigh about 220 pounds," said Downs.
Kuecker did lose weight, but then began building his weight back up in a healthy way as he gained more muscle. He said he wasn't sure he could do it, but he did, and so can you.
His advice to anyone else hoping to get fit in the new year is don't be afraid to take that first step.
"If you don't get out and do it once, you'll never do it," he said.
A self-proclaimed ice cream addict, the 65-year-old said it isn't easy but the results are worth it.
"You gotta do it. Nobody can do it for you. You won't lose weight by wishing it off," said Roger Kuecker.
Roger Kuecker hopes his fitness journey inspires someone else to take that first step in 2014.
Kuecker said keeping a food diary has really helped him keep on track with his fitness goals. Next Level Extreme Fitness has locations in Cedar Falls and Waverly with new sessions starting the beginning January 6th. A new location in Mason City is set to open January 20th.
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