August Athlete of the Month

Congratulations to Joe Urnise for being named the August Athlete of the Month. Joe has really turned it on since we were shut down and his consistency has been amazing. Joe works hard, implements health and fitness beyond the gym, is willing to try new things, and he makes class better when he is there. We can see the results from the effort. Keep up the good work and thank you for being a part of the gym not only as a coach but as a contributing member as well!



1. Please tell us about yourself.

I’m a 41-year-old engineer originally from Kansas City. We moved to New Castle 8 years ago via Seattle. I’m married to Dr. Karen. We have 2 crazy kids, Hazel and Patrick, and a dog.

2. When did you become a member at Defiance West?

I started in Feb of 2019. Was way too hard on myself and was too worried about what others were doing around me... Ended up quitting for about a year, rejoined in 2020 with a different attitude, focusing more on longevity and quality of movement. That is probably a better approach.

3. What made you join Defiance West and why do you do it now?

Karen and I joined because the Owens wouldn’t shut up about it. I go to the gym now because I can't shut up about it... Fitness has become philosophical for me and I am really digging the deeper meaning behind what we are doing.

4. What were your thoughts after your first workout?

I distinctly remember the smell of my hands after picking up a barbell for the first time in about a decade. I forgot how much I enjoyed lifting.

5. What is your athletic background?

High school athlete that could have played college baseball but my folks wanted me to get a better education at a bigger school (see #11 for how that played out).

6. What is your favorite movement or workout?

I really enjoy the longer workouts that test physical capacity and concurrently involve conversations with the little guy inside your brain that is telling you to quit.

7. What is your least favorite?

Same. That little guy usually wins the argument…

8. What has been your favorite or proudest moment since joining?

My first complement as a coach.

9. How has Defiance West changed your life, lifestyle, and level of fitness?

I was on a road to mediocrity prior to joining. I have a picture of me on the beach carrying my daughter that might as well be a “before” picture on some infomercial. Now I can honestly say that I’m in the best shape of my life with more to accomplish - it's been a total paradigm shift. Defiance West’s coaches and community make it so much easier, you all are a very inspiring group! My interest in health and fitness have gone beyond the gym walls and have become a central driver to most choices I make now. Lifestyle wise, every other shirt has the DW logo on it.

10. What are your fitness goals for this year?

Muscle ups are always on the list, but mainly just showing up consistently.

11. What is something most people don’t know about you?

I flunked out of my first attempt of college but was engineering student of the year 2 years later.

12. What advice would you give to people looking to get started at our gym?

There is a small sign at the gym that says “Little by little, day by day” which says it all. Sometimes the hardest part is just putting on your shoes to get to the gym - so don’t wear shoes at all :-)

Featured Posts