Run DONNA, Train at Retro Fitness Free
Former Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback and current Retro Fitness owner, David Garrard has first hand experience with the effects breast cancer can have on a family. At the age of 16, he lost his mother, Shirley Ann Garrard, who had been battling breast cancer for two years.His oldest brother, Anthony, was left to pick up the pieces and carry the family on his shoulders.
“I was only 14 when she was diagnosed, and I had never heard of cancer. I certainly had no idea of the pain it caused,” says Garrard. “I had an older brother and a little sister, and we would go with my mom to her chemo and radiation treatments. We’d play in the hospital waiting room or just hang out by the car and wait for her. She’d be so tired and stay in bed, so we all picked up the slack and helped. She always did so much for us. When she got sick and we started taking care of ourselves, we had an even greater respect for all she did. She went through two years of painful treatments, and I was only 16 when she passed.”
Upon entering the NFL, Garrard decided that he would use his platform to bring more
awareness to breast cancer. He started the David Garrard Foundation to help single mothers who are currently battling breast cancer, just like his mother did for two grueling years. “My mother had a lot of faith, and it poured down to us,” David says. “I know right from wrong, and I was always respectful. That’s how my mother was, and I want to keep her legacy going.”
Now, David and his wife, Mary, focus on helping people get healthy, making healthy people healthier and making survivors healthy again. Together, they own two Retro Fitness franchises in Jacksonville and are in their third year as the Official Personal Trainers of the 26.2 with DONNA. This year they are giving all registrants an opportunity to train at no charge in their clubs up until the day of the race. Currently registered runners can train at either of their two locations by simply bringing in their registration documents and a valid ID.
Retro Fitness boasts 14,000 square feet of top-of-the-line cardio equipment plus free weights, tons of machines, TEAM training classes, personal trainers, kid’s club, a full smoothie bar and a friendly staff to cheer you on. “We want to help people get back to their health through fitness and we’ve put together a team of trainers and staff who genuinely want to see people joyful about life again. Anyone can build a gym,” says Garrard. “We want to do better than that, we want to build a healthy community.”