Former NFL Players open business in Columbia
COLUMBIA - A new business pushes its clients to their limit and has them sweating bullets.
Two former NFL players and Mizzou football players Jerrell Jackson and Micheal Egnew opened Athletics Performance Institute last week.
The gym is an addition to the All-Star Performance Institute. API has cheer and tumbling, sports performance training, adult training and boot camps.
Clients worked out at API's second boot camp Saturday in their new location. API has individual and group sessions.
Jackson said when he played in the NFL he learned importance physical training.
“I was blessed to be able to get a full scholarship at Mizzou,” Jackson said. “Once I graduated, I made it to the NFL, played three years in the NFL and I understood that as an athlete your body was your biggest investment. Which means you really have to put your body through some stress in order for you to reach those goals.”
Jackson said he focuses on providing his clients with the tools, and motivation to stay committed.
“Being in this position and knowing I’m inspiring others, motivating others, man it’s just like an ultimate goal of mine," Jackson said. "I just feel blessed.”
Jackson said he grew up in a poor neighborhood and he continues to push himself because others look up to him.
“I’m still pushing to be great,” Jackson said. “People in my neighborhood see that. They always hit me up, they always contact me and say 'bro we so proud of you man. Keep it up you inspiring everybody to be great.' And that’s what it means as a minority that the same kid that grew up in that neighborhood made it out.”
Jackson said he’s blessed, but anyone can accomplish their goal with hard work and staying committed.
“Just inspiring people in my similar situation,” Jackson said. “And letting people know that it don’t matter who you are, where you started, who your family is, if you started with a million dollars or what you know. You can make it, you just have to work hard and be persistent.”
Jackson said he trains a wide variety of clients.
“Right now I have a kid that’s 12-years-old and I have a lady that’s 57-years-old,” Jackson said “It’s so broad. It’s men, women, short, tall, young, old.”
API client, Catherine Miller said API is for everyone regardless of where you are in your fitness journey.
“It didn’t matter what size, shape, where you were in your journey,” Miller said. “If you’ve never exercised, if your just coming back. Everyone wants to see you succeed. And that’s like the best atmosphere to be in.”
Miller said she rearranges her schedule to make it to workout classes.
“I hate missing class,” Miller said. “Like I hate missing class and if I know I have a meeting for work that I have to go to so I’m like hey can I trade classes and like come in the morning which is tough for me. It’s like a 5:30 class, and I’m not even a morning person but I’m willing to get up and come at 5:30 in the morning because I don’t want to miss those workouts.”
Miller said seeing her transformation has been worthwhile and caused her to invite her friends.
“You want to have your friends who have been struggling, like 'hey why don’t you come with me? Like I know a place that you can become success at.' So I’m all about telling my friends, bringing folks here because I wanted them to be successful like I’ve been.”
Client Kelly Holtkamp has been working out with Jackson since last fall. Holtkamp said she's seen major changes and encourages others to join.
“I’ve lost 6 inches in my stomach which is critical,” Holtkamp said. “And just give it a try, I’ve been going to gyms and working out all my life and I’ve never experienced the enthusiasm and the support as genuinely as this.”
Another client Victoria Thompson said working with supportive people, like Jackson and the API staff, has made the difference.
“He just cares about you and your progress so much that you don’t have any other option but to be great," Thompson said.
Jackson said opening a business would not have been possible without the support of his co-owner Micheal Egnew, All-Star Performance Institute owner Melissa Wilhite and head trainer Jordan Brewer.