From the outside, it looks more warehouse than workout center. It’s a barren metal building in an industrial area on the far west side.
No nautilus or pilates here. Just sweat and steel, dialed in for the disabled.
"You won't see any kind of gyms around here that are really geared toward adaptive training, the way that they do here, like for veterans that have prosthetics and other issues,” said Dallas Cortez, an Air Force Reserve Tech who’s also a fitness buff and a member of the Warrior Fitness Center, a no-nonsense gym designed to accommodate the disabled.
The Warrior Fitness Center is only two years old and the brainchild and business of Tre Tremillo.
After being medically discharged from the Marines in 2015, Tremillo started the Warrior Fitness Center in his garage. He had seen tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and suffered from extreme PTSD. Once out of uniform, he launched the gym to help heal himself and other recuperating veterans.
However, he admits that he also did it as a tribute to a fellow Marine veteran with PTSD who committed suicide.
“As soon as I let my body process what happened to Cole, and just figure out everything,” Tremillo recalled. “I ended up staying up all night, and I drew the logo and I drew a blueprint for what I was going to build.”
He didn't really build a gym, but he bought the equipment, arranged it in his garage, and invited everyone he knew to join. Soon, he began designing personal fitness plans and listening to other veterans who needed to heal, and eventually created a community of support.
"Our mission is to help these veterans who need that help, who say, ‘I want to get my life back,’" Tremillo described.
Tremillo had no college degree, no business plan, and no investors. But like a real entrepreneur, he saw a need and filled it… with heart and soul.
"You're gonna grow as a person, and you're gonna be sore for a long time. So that's the only thing we can promise you,” he said.
Tremillo doesn’t have a license or background as a counselor, but he says that the connection between veterans and the willingness to listen make his gym different.
And his clients agree.
"When I think of Tre, I think strength,” said Yolanda Eddy, another gym member. “Just somebody who has compassion for people, who sees the need, who says, ‘If no one else is gonna do it, I'm gonna do it."
The Warrior Fitness Center has moved twice since its inception. The newest location is on the far west side of town, near Sea World. And yet, wounded vets and a few others pay the dues and make the trip.
"I've done crossfit before,” Cortez said. “But what we do is HIT training, high-intensity interval training, and it's a lot different atmosphere."
As if that wasn't enough, Tremillo also applied for a slot on the U.S. Invictus Team, was selected this year, and competed on the U.S. Marine Corps Squad this past September in Toronto.
He describes the event as cathartic.
"And I'm telling myself, ‘You need to go out there and do this for yourself,’” he recalled. “This isn't about the medal anymore, this is about going out there and proving to yourself that you're fulfilling your journey."
And his journey is far from over. He wants the Warrior Fitness Center to relocate again, to a bigger, better location that would be easier to accommodate more clients.
He wants more equipment and a full-time staff as well. But what he wants to keep is the same focus on fitness for warriors trying to get back on their feet.
That's why he's one of the people who make San Antonio great.
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