In my usual column space, I want to share an inspiring testimonial from my student Camilo Bandes. Once a shy high school kid, he lost 60 pounds to become a great martial arts student, succeeding in college and today displaying great confidence. Most Doral Tribune readers have set their New Year’s resolutions yet by March, most will have given up unless they have Camilo’s perseverance. Here is his lifechanging story, in his own words. (If he did it, so can you).
“My name is Camilla Bands, and when I was younger, I never had many friends. Some could say none at all. I was that strange, quiet, obese child who most seemed to say would never amount to much. In fact they would have probably been right had I not found Anta’s Fitness and Self Defense.
“Through my teachers’ guidance, Master Anta has not only taught me how to live fit, but also to live fearlessly, to have confidence in myself, not only in what I do now but what I will do in the future.
“About three years ago at about age 17, I weighed an astonishing 240 pounds. I am exactly five feet, eight inches in height, so it was obvious that I was more than borderline obese. In fact, for most of my high school years, I was overweight, making it the hardest time of my life.
“People would chew me out, call me names, pick on me, look down on me with pity because of how I looked and acted, and my lack of confidence. I would never give speeches in class, nor would I raise my hand to answer a question.
“I was unable to go up a flight of stairs without losing my breath, a bad situation that became so bad I started to agree with people around me who said I would never amount to much. I felt useless, alone. I felt like a loser.
“When I started college, it was a strange time for me. I know that to survive I needed to be stronger, but I didn’t know what to do. When I went to buy groceries, I found the school of Anta’s Fitness and Self Defense and decided to put my fears away for one moment and enroll.My first class was May Thai, not at all easy. In fact, it was one of the most intense things I have ever felt.
But even after what I experienced, something inside of me did not want to quit. I kept going to classes and eventually joined the Kung Fu course where my Master taught what has made me the man I am now: to be confident in myself, and to be strong..
My favorite quote of his while doing exercises: “Live fit” after which we respond: “Live fearless, sir!” Thus: “Live Fit, Live Fearless” — I am honestly basing my life on that quote, because it is the quote that now defines me.
“After two years at Anta’s Fitness, I am now 20 years old, weigh 180 pounds, and can run up a flight of stairs with ease, I walk, talk and live with confidence, no longer doubting my abilities. I can do more than I ever thought possible so that now I can say with pride that I am strong, I am confident, I no longer live in fear of how others see me nor how I act or who I am.
“I even teach classes now as an Instructor in Training so that children may learn early what it means to live with confidence.
My name is Camilo Bandes, I live fit, I live fearless.”
Julio Anta is the owner of Anta’s Fitness and Self Defense in Doral since 1998. Contact him at 305-599-3649 or via the internet at www.AntaMartialArts.com