College Fitness Creative Director John Lee Explains Athletic Background!

I recently spoke with College Fitness Creative Director John Lee, as he takes on new responsibilities in the world of fitness. Find out more.
Article Summary:
  • As a child medication required caused a decrease in his metabolism.
  • When he was given some dumbbells as a gift, he found his motivation.
  • Years later he is now the Creative Director of College Fitness LLC.

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    College Fitness Creative Director John Lee Explains Athletic Background!

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    [ Shawn Wells ] Briefly introduce yourself.

      [ John Lee ] My name is John Lee, and I’m the current Creative Director of College Fitness LLC. I’m responsible for content creation, article reviews, interview production, and blog supervision. I’m also involved with talent search and recruiting for the company all over the country.

    John Lee Is The Current Creative Director Of College Fitness LLC.
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    John Lee Is The Current Creative
    Director Of College Fitness LLC.

      I started as a lowly personal trainer in college and worked my way up the ladder. It’s been a long journey but I’m very proud to be in the position I am today.


    [ SW ] And what position is that?

      [ JL ] A position that is poised to change the world for the better, one small piece of the puzzle at a time.


    [ SW ] Wow, that’s quite a statement to make. Before we get to that though, and we certainly will, let’s go back and get the basics out of the way first. I understand that you weren’t born in the states. Tell us a bit about that.

      [ JL ] I was actually born in Beijing, China. My family was poor, because the country was poor back then, but my parents gave me everything they could. I am an only child, so naturally, I received all the love, but also all the expectations.

    I Am An Only Child, So I Received All The Love And All The Expectations.
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    I Am An Only Child, So I Received All
    The Love And All The Expectations.

      The unconditional love and the unrealistic expectations are two of the main driving forces that molded me into the man I am. To return their love, I promised myself that I’d do everything in my power to succeed.


    [ SW ] What got you started in lifting weights?

      [ JL ] Well, as they say, the greater the fall, the greater the ascension. I was born as a gifted athlete. In 4th grade, I was already competing against boys twice my age in track and field events. I didn’t know what work ethic was back then, and things still came easily to me. I also threw the discus, played soccer, visited military camps and started martial arts around that time.

      Then tragedy struck (maybe not tragedy by our standards, but certainly one for a 10 year old boy). I came to the states and one of the required shots came back slightly on the positive side for Tuberculosis.

      To clear me, the doctors placed me on a year of medication. I knew very little at the time but the drug slowed down my metabolism so much that I was unable to stay in the same shape. Also, I was just introduced to Western customs and had to relearn an entire language. Guys also didn’t play the same sports here as I did. During recess, the only thing that looked familiar to me was a swing set.

      The slowed metabolism, the new language and customs, the lack of playable sports, and being plucked away from childhood friends and extended family members essentially collapsed the world around me. I couldn’t have had much self-esteem back then. I felt like someone kept taking things away from me until I had nothing left.

    I Felt Like Someone Kept Taking Things Away From Me Until I Had Nothing Left.
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    I Felt Like Someone Kept Taking Things Away
    From Me Until I Had Nothing Left.

      Looking at old pictures, I probably gained close to 50lbs in 2 years. I had the stamina of a tree sloth and the only teams who took me in PE class were the ones who got the last pick. I went from being the star to the nobody so fast it still seems like a blur to me even today.


    [ SW ] Wow... And then what happened?

      [ JL ] One day after work, Dad brought home a pair of 15lb dumbbells from Academy. End of story.


    [ SW ] That’s it? That’s all it took?

      [ JL ] Yes sir. The minute I picked up that pair of dumbbells, I knew life finally came calling. I started using them and never looked back. I was driven from day 1 and never needed anyone to remind me what I needed to do. For guidance, I never asked for help.

    I Started Using Those Dumbbells And Never Looked Back.
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    I Started Using Those Dumbbells
    And Never Looked Back.

      I went straight to a convenience store the second day and bought a Muscle and Fitness magazine. Read it from front cover to back cover without putting it down once. It was an issue with Arnold Classic coverage, I still remember it to this day. Kevin Levrone was first, followed by Flex Wheeler and Paul Dillett. That’s how much impact that magazine made in my mind. I haven’t had that issue in 15 years and I still remember parts of it like I read it yesterday.


    [ SW ] Thanks for sharing John. Now tell me, how did you get involved in the health/fitness industry?

      [ JL ] Well, actually BB.com got me started. I was bored one day and came on this forum. At the time, a company called Controlled Labs was doing a test for for one of their products. They were looking for good people.

      Out of curiosity, I sent in a couple of pictures. Didn’t expect a word back from them, but sure did. Tried the product, loved it, and one day shortly after that one of the company reps approached me with a contract (thanks a million, Paul). I was pretty stunned at the time because working out was just a hobby and I never expected anyone to offer me money. Still, it was too good of an offer to refuse, so I took the chance.

      Shortly after that, I went and received my certification for personal training from ACE and started working part time at 24 Hour Fitness in Austin, TX. Speaking of 24, I will never forget them for taking a chance on me. The district manager himself interviewed me 10 minutes after I walked in and hired me on the spot. That kind of blind faith meant everything to me, and still does.


    [ SW ] Needless to say, you moved on past 24 Hour Fitness in your journey.

      [ JL ] Yes I did, Shawn. I became the Fitness Director of a gym in TX and also worked with USPLabs.

      Last September, the CEO of College Fitness and I sat down for a lunch meeting and we were so in-sync with our ideas that he decided right away to have me on the team. We have a lot of mutual respect and faith between us. He’s a bright guy with a tremendous future, and I’m absolutely honored with my new job title. The team is made up of ambitious guys in our prime, and that is why I say we are poised to change the world.

    We Are Poised To Change The World.
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    We Are Poised To Change The World.

      I knew my heart was always in the right place, and now I can say with certainty that the rest of me is right there with it.

      Check Out John Lee’s BodySpace Profile Here.

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