Before Mike Whitmore started at Fit4Lincoln, he was smoking a pack and a half a day and could barely run across the street. Earlier this year, he finally became fed up with his unhealthy habits.

“I was going through a lot of things at the time, and I just needed to get out and do something,” Whitmore said.

He met Fit4Lincoln owner Matt Priess and was immediately blown away by his geniality and genuine eagerness to help.

“If you’re new, he doesn’t just let you walk in, he’ll introduce you to everyone at the gym, saying ‘This is so-and-so, she’s new so wish her luck and help her out when you can.’”

Whitmore praised both Priess and the rest of gym goers for motivating him to keep going.

“That’s what’s different about this gym. I’ve had a trainer and been to a couple other gyms before, but these people actually cared about you and wanted you to succeed. They’re all amazing people.”

Beyond the gym

The familial atmosphere Priess created has even extended beyond the gym. Many of the members run races together and have forged friendships through the solidarity of hard work.

“Matt’s become a really good friend of mine. I went to his daughter’s birthday party, his brother’s birthday party … he’s a great all-around person; this isn’t just a job for him.”

Since joining, Whitmore’s eating habits have improved drastically, he’s run two 5K races and the last cigarette he smoked was Jan. 6.

“I am really proud of him to see him make so many positive changes in his life,” Priess says. “He is now one of my most avid members and a good friend to me.”


Whitmore is now in the best shape he’s ever been in, but said his accomplishments won’t end here. Every day, he aims to be better than the day before. With a supporting cast like the one he has at Fit4Lincoln, located north of 33rd and A streets, that shouldn’t be a problem.

“I don’t even know where to begin to thank Matt. It’s been a whole new world for me since I joined”