NAC member David Zaritsky is motivated and inspired by the James Bond character.
This unique fixation has brought David’s fitness journey great success. You can read his entire story below. It is definitely worth the 10 minute read.
David Zaritsky’s story as told in his own words.
In the movie Thunderball, James Bond is sent to a fictitious health spa called Shrublands to convalesce after an especially harrowing mission. In my real life, I was compelled to join an actual wellness center called the Newtown Athletic Club for similar reasons. Of course my “harrowing mission” was a life of inactivity and a rather sloppy diet, not quite the life and death equivalent but it did spur me on to change the habits and sedentary lifestyle I had adopted in my 30s. Mind you (see evolution picture) I wasn’t obese or in terrible shape, but I did have the doughy and somewhat atrophied body of a busy executive. I didn’t want to accept that this was who I would be as a representation as I grew older so as I entered into my 40s I made a conscious move to change to a more active and controlled regiment utilizing James Bond as the ultimate inspiration.
I have always been a long time James Bond fan and collector. I have one of the largest collections of Bond memorabilia, props and costumes in the United States and I have always enjoyed living the Bond lifestyle of travel, adventures, and similar trappings. But it wasn’t until 2008 that I finally realized what I hadn’t collected in my Bond lifestyle-the physicality and physique that Daniel Craig made famous in Casino Royale. Knowing Craig was about my age I realized that there was no excuse NOT to obtain the Bond Body and the only thing standing in my way were flimsy excuses.
The entire journey is documented in the Sept/Oct issue of Philly Fit, complete with year by year evolution picks. But what isn’t obvious in the article is the significant role the NAC played in this journey. Being in the advertising industry I am very careful with endorsements but I can say with great integrity that without the NAC my journey would not have been as successful and might I add, as pleasurable. For even though it has been hard work and discipline, the NAC environment and its employees were my Sherpa through the precarious mountain of health and wellness.
My wife introduced me to the NAC some five years ago citing it as “more than a gym”. I was dubious but curious and joined with the Bond inspiration pushing me through the doors. Some good friends (James Cain of Vault and John Fulton) volunteered to create Bond-like routines and always kept it energetic and interesting. I was trying to keep up with 25 year olds! But they and the NAC staff always were supportive and giving of their time. Soon, the discipline of getting up at 4:30 to start a 5:15 AM workout was my challenge, but I discovered a hardy and engaged group of people (the 5 AMers) that were all there for the same reason…something or someone had inspired them to value health and wellness over that extra few hours of sleep. There is a Bond quote from one of Fleming’s books that goes, “…there is time to rest when one is dead…”. So true.
Well, into my five year tenure at the NAC, the workouts have become a little less Bond related and a lot more therapy related. As an executive at a busy advertising agency my time at the gym is vital to detox from the stress and pressure of the day. Where Bond was my inspiration to begin, what has kept me moving forward is the inspiration from within that is fueled by seeing incremental changes and improvements month to month.
Now with the creation of the outdoor pool/resort area, the NAC has truly been transformed into a Bond-like environment. Reminiscent of the Fountain Bleu in Goldfinger, you half expect Connery to turn the corner in his baby blue toweling suit! If the inside of the NAC is where one can transform themselves into Bond then the outside resort area is where one can continue the fantasy. Drinks, food, ambiance, and music….at any one time the adult pool looks like a scene from a Bond movie…minus the occasional maniacal villain. Although there is that guy with the upside down paperback and dark sunglasses…but I digress.
My journey is far from over. All of us have areas of our body that we aren’t satisfied with and I am no exception. My core is the next ‘mountain’ I need to climb and I have adjusted my diet and exercise to begin focusing on my misgivings around my middle. Perhaps you will see me in the wee hours of the morning, iPod blaring the Bond theme and striving for that next level that gets me closer to the Casino Royale physique. What reassures me is that the NAC will be there to give me the surroundings to make it a fun and successful endeavor, that will leave me neither shaken, nor stirred….