Heart Failure Won’t Stop Him

Fitness and exercise have always been part of Jeremy Woodward’s life. “I’ve always had a strong passion for fitness,” Jeremy says. “It’s the best thing to define who I am.”

Despite his passion for fitness, Jeremy, the owner of MINDBODY’s BOLD Business of the Year Jeremy’s Bootcamp in Concord, New Hampshire, took an atypical route to starting his own business.

“I received my certification in 2002, but I didn’t know what to do with it,” Jeremy explains. “I wanted to have it just in case I wanted it someday. That day came in 2007 when I began working with a few clients on a 1-on-1 basis.”

After a few months of 1-on-1 personal training appointments, Jeremy left his dad’s construction business and became a full-time personal trainer. Four months after that choice, Jeremy’s whole life changed.

“I got really sick. I felt really crummy. I couldn’t pinpoint what it was and then I started gaining weight. I associated that with the stress of taking a leap of faith.”

Over the next few months, Jeremy gained 30 pounds of fluid in his body and realized his weight gain wasn’t from the stress of opening a new business—he was in the early stages of heart failure. Jeremy’s wife, tired of how sick he was, made him drive to Boston for treatment.

“In Boston, they said I had the worst stage of heart failure and that I was lucky to have been able to walk into the hospital. I was super stubborn and in denial. If I had waited a week more, I might have gone to bed and not woken up.”

While in Boston, Jeremy underwent open-heart surgery to replace his aortic valve with a mechanical valve. After the surgery,  Jeremy spent the five months after his heart failure questioning whether or not he made the right choice by leaving construction and going into fitness. After his recovery was complete, he made the choice to go back to training.

“I haven’t looked back at all.”

From beginning to offer group training classes in 2009 to opening his own location in March 2013, Jeremy has exemplified the courage that many small business owners show daily.

“Running a business is always crazy, because every month, you’re like ‘Okay, are people going to come in the door?’ You have to keep looking at it with a very positive outlook. We’re delivering a good product and people want to come.”

Jeremy’s advice to other people looking to open their own businesses is simple: “Do it. If you love and have a passion for what you do, then it will all work itself out.”

Jeremy’s passion for fitness has changed the lives of his clients by helping them reach their potential by become stronger, faster or losing weight.

“I recently had a client text me, ‘I’m more confident.’ She lost 30 pounds. Those moments in people’s lives are breakthroughs. I know this is all working in hopes that this is my legacy back to my community and my girls. That’s why we do it.”

It’s hard to ignore Jeremy’s legacy in the Concord community. Jeremy was named Concord’s 2014 Young Professional of the Year, completed an IRONMAN triathlon with other survivors of heart disease as part of a documentary, and was named Concord’s best fitness instructor.

When Jeremy started his business, there were only three pairs of shoes in this rack.

Since opening his own business in 2013, Jeremy’s business has grown through referrals and word-of-mouth. Jeremy hopes to expand his facilities in the near future, and his business’s performance in 2014 is proof that what he’s doing works.

“I started 2014 with a goal to hit 4,000 check-ins. We are less than 100 check-ins away from 7,000. We nearly doubled our projections for this year.” But for all of his successes, Jeremy doesn’t know where his business would be if he hadn’t found MINDBODY.

“Hands down, without a doubt, MINDBODY was the best single investment of my business to date. I was online and needed a way to track my clients. I needed to figure out the analytics. At the time, I was writing things down in a notebook, but I needed to know how many people were coming in. Now, I can do all of it from my phone. That’s how powerful the system is.”