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HOW IT ALL STARTED

Gary’s Story

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In 2007, Gary Salmirs found himself in a rut. He was 40 pounds overweight, his cholesterol was skyrocketing and he had a blood clot near his liver. Gary knew he had to make some changes if he was going to be there for his wife and three children. He decided to get on a wellness program, only this time it would be for life. No more fad diets or half-hearted attempts at fitness. With some “Ironwill,” Gary was able to turn his life around. He cut out the junk food, switched to whole foods and started running.

It was slow going at first, but pretty soon he completed his first 5K race. That led to a 10K, then a half marathon, then a full marathon and finally an Ironman triathlon. He’s been competing in triathlons ever since and is in the best shape of his life. His cholesterol level has come way down, his blood tests are all normal and most importantly, the clot near his liver is gone, something doctors said would never happen.

Although he alone made these changes, there were many people along the way who helped him get healthy. He wanted to do the same for others. That was the driving force behind the creation of Ironwill Foundation. It started as an adult wellness program (IWA) for low-income families in the Bronx and Newark and expanded to a kids nutrition education program (IWF), currently used in over 100 schools and after school organizations, reaching 6000 students. Together with the IWF team, Gary is helping people change their lives through healthy living and proper nutrition.