Meet March’s Member of the Month – John!

John Williams ZUM Fitness


Back when you first joined ZUM, what made you decide you wanted or needed to join a gym? 

It was a dark summer night when I found myself in the back of an ambulance on Rte 2 in Leavenworth. I couldn’t feel my fingers, my blood pressure was 180/120 – it was pretty scary. I’d been a “bucket of stress” for some time. My mother had recently passed away; one of my long-time employees had just left my company heightening an already stressful work environment; I was striving to be super dad, super husband, and super boss simultaneously. I thought I was doing everything I was “supposed” to do, but by putting everyone else first, I wasn’t taking care of myself at all. And there I was with my body essentially shut down on itself.  Gratefully, I ended up being totally ok.

When I returned to Seattle, I took a mental inventory of what I needed to do to fix how I was ignoring self-care. I decided to walk downstairs from my office and check out ZUM. I’d never been much of a gym guy. I was more of weekend warrior skiing and cycling. But I needed to make an investment in my health and be pushed a little at the gym. I joined and started making appointments with myself to go to classes. If I didn’t, it was too easy to succumb to client requests for noon-time meetings. I started saying “no” to my clients, and you know what? They were able to make other times work and the sky didn’t fall. So, I made it to my classes, and they kicked my ass for about 3 months. It was worth it though, because you can’t just bear stress, you’ve got to get it out!

Since joining ZUM, what results have you achieved?  

Overall, better health and sanity! Working out is routine now. I miss it when I can’t do it. I miss feeling sore (in a good way) and the stress release. I’ve also really improved my mobility and strength which has had positive chain reaction helping improve back pain and other body ailments I’ve had to work through.

What do you like best about ZUM?

It’s really hard to say. If I had to pick one thing, it’d have to be the coaches. They’re so much more than employees at a gym; they’re my peers. They’ll email with me outside of class to make sure I’m  feeling supported, answer questions, listen to feedback, and share life. A close second are the people – the members. There’s a great camaraderie that develops from a shared experience in class. We’re all going through the same “pain” at the same time.

What would you say to someone who is new to ZUM or considering joining?

You’ll work hard, but you’ll feel good. And like ZUM’s tagline says, “it’s good to feel good.” I love that!

What’s a fun fact about you we may not know? 

Last year I successfully navigated the Pond Skim Challenge at Stevens Pass. It was awesome to cross that off my bucket list. Next up is to ring a cowbell at a European ski event.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

I really enjoy craft beers.

Do you have a favorite ZUM class?

Derek’s Xcelerate on Mondays at noon. I always have a standing appointment with myself for that one!

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your ZUM experience?

ZUM has had such an impact on my life, that it played a big role in choosing to renew my office lease in the building. That’s saying something coming from a someone who was never a gym guy.