When Pastor Dan showed up at the ATC in September 2013 I thought he was 70 years old not 53.  He was extremely over weight, very little mobility and very poor cardiovascular fitness.  We had just launched our adult program and never expected someone in his condition to join our program.  I thought to myself there was no way he was going to last.  A couple of weeks later he was in distress after a workout and revealed he had an irregular heart beat.  We informed him that we needed a letter from his cardiologist before he could return.  We did not think we would see him again.  HOW WRONG I WAS!!

Pastor Dan returned in November and began his incredible journey to fitness and health.  To date he has shed some 55 lbs. and reduced his body fat from 36% to 16%.  He has become a veritable machine at the ATC training 5 to 6 times per week.  He is always near the top in our competitive indoor bicycle workouts in terms of the amount of power (watts) he is producing.  In October he finished in first place among the men in our 31 Day Challenge.  In the last week he rode 100km on successive days in our Indoor Bike room to ensure he won.  As I said Pastor Dan is a machine!   


Pastor Dan's Story 

"You are basically a healthy guy. You can live into your 90's except for the fact that you are morbidly obese! Do some exercise, and don't eat anything white. No pasta, no bread, no rice, no potatoes." That is what my doctor told me the week after Labour Day 2013.  I don't know if it was her bluntness but Dr. Aliya Khan's message to me hit home. I knew I needed to do something about my ever-ballooning weight, and soon.     


Except for a few brief years of my life, I have always been a guy with a weight problem. I actively avoided most physical activity because I was afraid of being heavy, slow, and awkward. Combining a sense of inadequacy with a tendency to try and relieve the anxiety in my life through compulsive eating of high-fat, calorie laden "comfort" foods, led to me embracing a toxic attitude toward health that greatly worried those who cared the most for me. Dana Clark, the physiotherapist at Sheddon Physiotherapy tried his best for several years to get me more active and healthy. His determined intention was often met with casual indifference and the usual avoidance on my part. I felt that I just did not have the time for the exercises that he would prescribe for me. Health was low on my list of priorities in life.


The same week that Dr. Khan read me the riot act, I was at Sheddon and overheard heard Dana discussing this adult fitness challenge with the other people on his staff. I asked him about it, and he said I should give it a try. I was nervous.  I could probably see the 21 days through, and then go back to my usual routine a few pounds lighter. After the first day I was pretty sure that I was not going to make it. The pace was too intense, and I was afraid that I could not keep up.  


After a week and a half, a congenital heart defect resurfaced, and I was not able to complete the challenge. I was both disappointed at having to quit, and relieved to have an excuse that would allow me to quit. I waited weeks to see my cardiologist, and was sure that I had fallen so far behind the rest of the group that my return would be an impediment to everyone else, and an embarrassment to myself.  By the end of October, I was given the all clear to return, but I was nervous, not knowing what to expect upon my return when everyone else had moved ahead in their training. The first few days were physically tough, but emotionally inspiring, and I was determined to live up to the confidence that everyone showed in me.   


As a reluctant athlete, I felt completely lost and intimidated in other training facilities, but all of the  support, and encouragement that I got from Richard and my fellow adult athletes made me feel like a real member of the ATC Family


I have returned nearly every day since then. I have lost 55 pounds to date, and feel great. My energy is up so much it scares me at times. My allergies that used to plague me without fail from October to May have yet to make an appearance this year.  In October 2014 I finished first in the ATC 31 Day Challenge. Never in my life had I ever finished first in a physical effort or sports contest.  Winning was great but more importantly the effort I put forth has given me a self confidence to tackle any thing that comes into my path.  


The physical benefits have been wonderful, but the spiritual growth has been even more amazing.  For example, I have had to ask the question: Can I call myself an ATC athlete if I continue to eat bad food?  Is the inner nature not necessary to the sustenance of the external reality? I have struggled, and still struggle at times, with the change in nutrition lifestyle. I never thought I could do it. Over time with Richard's help I have become predominately PLANT STRONG eating mainly nutrient dense foods. My wife calls my changed eating habits a modern-day miracle, but I have come to see that, as much as anything we do in the gym, what we do outside of training makes us the athletes we aim to be.   


At times the journey has been hard.  Richard is relentless in his quest to keep all of us adults on track to fitness and health.  When I started to plateau in terms of weight loss Richard would question me non-stop on what I had been doing nutrition wise. On a few occasions I have found my myself saying DO I REALLY NEED THIS S#@T.   C'mon I was down 40 lbs what does Richard expect. However, at the end of the workout I would feel great and realize that he just cares about our health, sometimes more than we do.  


The ATC has become my second home. I love the camaraderie that permeates every training group. We have days where we do just strength work and days where we are given tough metabolic circuits.  We push prowlers (weighted sleds), use the battling ropes, push through excruciating body weight exercises, very tough core sessions and work on flexibility in Yoga sessions.  Two or three times per week we go into a World Class Indoor Cycle room where throughout the ride we get constant feedback on our performance via the Performance IQ system and MyZone heart rate system.  Simply AMAZING!  


In June I brought my daughter Brittany in to join me.  She had gained weight while away at college.  Her transformation in three months was also amazing. She shed over 20 lbs. and by the end was literally crushing me during indoor cycle sessions.  It was so demoralizing that I was secretly happy when she returned to school.  



I consider myself to be a person in recovery from a life and a situation that was killing me. I know that I could not have done what I have been able to do without all of the support from my fellow ATC Adult Athletes.  I know I can become the athlete that everyone can see in me. 


I have come to believe that all movement in training is prayer in that it serves to bring us into line with God's purposes of health for our lives. So I want to thank everyone for your support in making my prayer and my health possible. I consider myself privileged beyond imagination to be sharing this journey with you. I pray that in some small way that I may return the blessing to you as you have been such a blessing to me.  


Contact us
If you have any questions or if we can be of service in any way do not hesitate to contact us:

Richard Clark - (416) 919-0743
Wes Clark - (647) 876-0183