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Dec. 7 2010 12:00 AM

Fitness Quest 10 &Todd Durkin Enterprises

EDUCATION:BS in Kinesiology, College of William& Mary; MA inBiomechanics and SportsMedicine, San DiegoState University; NewLife Institute (nowRising Spirit Institute)Massage Therapy School(Atlanta, GA)
CONTACTINFO:phone: 858.271.1171email:

When Todd Durkin laidout his vision for thecoming year last December,he decided that 2010would be the year hecreated "impact on a deeperlevel." With athriving fitness studio, a reputationas the go-to trainer forworld class athletes suchas Drew Brees, LaDainianTomlinson and AaronRodgers, a seat on theUnder Armor AdvisoryCouncil and animpressive following of everydayfolks who can't getenough of everything he hasto offer, Durkin knew hecould deliver even more.

"This year was aculmination of strong intention,"says Durkin.

Little did Durkin knowthat his strong intentionwould manifest in abook, his first forayinto the realm ofauthors and a dream of his forthe past seven years.And that book is called, ofcourse, The IMPACT! Body Plan. It was published by Rodale and is alreadyworking its wayup the booksellers'charts.

Durkin's successes havealways been a result of strong intention -- of willing himself to succeed --and that ability to gethis mind right, working for him rather than against him, is a large part of theDurkin mystique.

It wasn't always thatway. Durkin entered the fitness world as an injured quarterback, hooked onVicodinwith no clear picture ofhis future. With three herniated discs, spinal stenosis and degenerative backdisease, Durkin left theEuropean football league and headed home. He wanted to heal himself withoutthe surgery that doctorsrecommended. With the bodywork knowledge he gained from the massage therapycertification he earnedyears earlier, he began rehabbing himself at his sister's day spa in NewJersey.

It was there that Durkinmet mega-famous television producer, Michael King, who owned KingWorld Productions(which, at the time, produced Oprah, Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!).Durkinbegan to train King anddo massage and bodywork on his ailing back.

King suggested thatDurkin move with him and his family to Los Angeles so that Durkin couldcontinueto train them andimmerse himself in the "fitness capital." Durkin did. Soon, he wasliving in Sting'sbeach house and trainingthe King family. But the West Coast couldn't cure Durkin's lingering back painor his addiction toVicodin.

Durkin says this is whenhis "true" education began. He met Dub Leigh, a man who combinedRolfing,Feldenkrais and energywork into what he called "Zen Bodywork." After five sessions withLeighworking on Durkin'spsoas, Durkin says he felt like a new man. After the sixth session, Durkin gotupoff the table anddeclared that he wanted to play football again.

The 80-year-old Leighslapped Durkin across the face and said, "No, Dodo bird, your time is up...itis now time for you tostart working on athletes yourself and doing this work."

The Zen Bodyworksessions also began to detox Durkin. Leigh would often comment on how toxicDurkin was, but it wasn'tuntil Durkin wrestled with bouts of vomiting and diarrhea during the courseof his sessions that hebelieved Leigh. The Vicodin Durkin had become reliant on was purged from hisbody. He never touchedthe painkiller again.

What's Your Favorite...
...workout equipment? I don't just have one. I would say TRX, Total Gym, Super Bands, kettle bells, Keiser Functional Trainer, and a Concept2 Rower & Ski Erg.
...healthy snack? Coconut water and Chewy Chocolate Chip bar from Optimal Nutrition
...quote or saying? "The way you do anything is the way you do everything." "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." "GET YOUR MIND RIGHT!!!"

"This is when mycareer really started," says Durkin, who was 27 at the time. "It wasthe shot I neededto give up football forgood and really dive head-first into my career in fitness and bodywork."

He left LA, got hismasters degree in biomechanics and sports medicine from San Diego StateUniversity and opened asmall personal training studio called Fitness Quest 10. It was January of 2000,most people had neverheard of a "personal training studio" and Durkin was 29 years old.

"I remember peoplesaying I was crazy," says Durkin. "They said, 'You are going to opena studiowhere people only payyou when they come in to train or get a massage? That is the exact opposite ofthe traditional modeland that's not going to work.'"I said thank youvery much and opened anyway. I had very little money, no business plan and noclients. I had a ton ofpassion and energy."And I wanted totake my lessons from that of an athlete and combine it with my experience in myhealing journey withDub," says Durkin. "I wanted to combine my personal training andsports backgroundwith my 'healing'background and alternative forms of wellness."

Durkin negotiated threemonths' rent free at his new space, which helped him ramp up revenue.He bought onlyrefurbished equipment and kept his studio bare bones. Even though he spent mostofhis first month inbusiness working out (because he had no clients), he had seven trainers on staffsixmonths into hisbusiness, and he's been profitablesince day one.

Something was missing,though. Durkin hadn'tworked with athletessince he left football and, realizinghow much he cravedtraining athletes, heset an intention forthat to come into his life. In2001, he became the teammassage therapist forthe San Diego Chargers.LaDainian Tomlinson, arunning back for theChargers at that time, heardthat Durkin was trainingpeople under a new philosophycalled "functionalfitness" and said whenthe season was over, he'dlike to train with Durkin.

The day after thefootball season ended Tomlinsoncalled Durkin and Durkinbegan trainingTomlinson. Tomlinsonreferred then-Chargerquarterback, Drew Brees.Brees overcame a devastatinginjury to his throwingshoulder in 2005 whileworking with Durkin andhas trained with Durkinfor eight years, workingon all aspects of his game.Because Durkin hadbecome such an integral partof Brees' recovery anddevelopment into a championathlete, he invitedDurkin to Miami for SuperBowl XLIV. Durkincelebrated the New OrleansSaints' Super Bowlvictory with Brees.

Along the way, Durkindoubled his space inhis studio, at a cost ofmore than a half milliondollars, and added morestaff, which is up to 35.He is a frequent speakerat industry events, is amember of the UnderArmour Advisory Council,and leads severalmastermind groups. But itis still Fitness Quest10, which he calls his sanctuary,and his wife Melanie andthree young childrenthat bring him the mostpeace and joy.

Durkin says his futurewon't be much differentthan his life now,because he is already living hisvision. He will bespeaking more and conductingIMPACT events around theUS. He and Melanieare setting up afoundation to create furtherimpact in thelifestyle-related diseases and fitnesscrisis facing ournation. But mostly, he willcontinue to make adeeper impact in the lives healready touches, andthose he soon will.

"I will keep my heart open and be ready to go with the flow of life," says Durkin.