Founder Feature: Aaron Ogden
For this month’s Founder Feature, we are pleased to introduce Aaron Ogden, one of Summit Wellness’ founding partners. Aaron is a native Utahn who was raised in a family that actively embraced an outdoor lifestyle. He graduated from the University of Utah in Exercise Science.
Aaron is a certified personal trainer through the American College of Sports Medicine, has Reebok Neuromuscular Training, is an herbalist from the School of Natural Healing, and is a Wilderness First Responder.
Aaron was asked a series of questions in hopes to better introduce him to our audience, clients, and readers. Reading his responses below, we hope you too can enjoy getting to know Aaron a little more and understand why he felt inspired to help create Summit Wellness.
What inspired you to work as a physical fitness trainer in the first place?
When I graduated, I always wanted to be a dentist. I started Pre-Med classes at Salt Lake Community College but changed my major several more times. I looked into becoming a sports broadcaster, a weather broadcaster, anatomist, and physical therapist. But after community college I still didn’t really know what I want to do, so I transferred up to the University of Utah and started out with biology to pursue some type of medical profession. This decision led me to pursue a degree in Exercise Science. After I finished my Exercise Science degree, I got a job at LDS Hospital as a cardiac rehab therapist. Around the same time, a friend of mine informed me that there was a personal training position open at the sports mall and thought I’d be interested. Personal training ended up being the perfect fit for my personality. I have been a trainer for 20 years and never look back.
What inspires you now?
Ten years into my personal training career I started asking my clients to participate with me in outdoor adventures. I was shocked by how many of my clients had never been to Zion National Park, Arches, or any other beautiful outdoor destination in Utah. This inspired me to start taking my clients on what I called “gratitude trips”. I was trying to give purpose to my clients’ workouts beyond just maintaining fitness and health.
My inspiration for working out has always been outdoor activities. I’m no different than anyone else; working out at the gym is not my favorite thing to do. However, my passion for adventure drives me to live a certain lifestyle. To me, there is peace, fulfillment, confidence, and purpose to life in the outdoors. What brings even more satisfaction is that my children are now participating with me. There have been so many great things that I have learned and gained from having an adventurous life.
What is the best part of working as a fitness trainer?
As I said earlier, I have a unique personality and working as a personal trainer is the perfect fit for me. It has come from hard work to build a full-time personal training business. I have thought many times that it would be easier to go get a regular 9-to-5 job, but every time I have interviewed for another job, I have walked away saying that it is just not for me. One of the best parts of being a fitness trainer is the flexibility to live the life that I choose to live. Another great quality of being a personal trainer is the relationship I make with my clientele. Most of my clients have been with me for 15 to 20 years and I do not consider them as clients anymore, but as friends.
What has been your favorite journey so far?
My favorite adventure this year has been the five day Packraft trip down the Escalante River and canyoneering along the way. One of my favorite things to do is link as many activities as I can together in one adventure. So this trip we were able to backpack, kayak, and canyoneer. To participate in this adventure, you needed to carry a backpack that weighed 50 to 75 pounds. It also required long days to get in all the activities that we want to do each day which meant we had no problem falling asleep each night. Utah is an amazing place and at the age of 47, I have had this epiphany that I am on the downward side of what my body will allow me to do in the next 25 years. For this reason, I cherish every moment I can spend in the outdoors with friends and family.
Why did you want to be a part of Summit Wellness?
Five years ago, I started my own company preparing people to get in shape for adventure activities. I met Martin, Gordon, and Michelle. It was then that I realized that teaming up with them created a complete service that would really enrich people’s lives. As you go through the journey of learning how to improve your passion of motive, you will become more healthy and more balanced in life. Just as the Summit Wellness tagline says “The Greater the Effort, the Grander the Experience”.
Two of the greatest rewards in life are to positively impact the life of another and then see how that impact inspires the enrichment of that individual. I have seen this with my family and my clients, so to be a part of a company that offers these values is something important to me.
What are your goals for the company?
I am a pretty simple person and try not to clutter my life with you too many distractions. I have based my life on a few things; one is to work hard and play hard, and 2 is to build my character in hopes of leaving a legacy of good for my family and my community.
My goal for Summit Wellness is to teach people that there are so many amazing things that can be accomplished by doing things out of their comfort zone. Having fun throughout the journey makes the biggest and most positive difference.
Get to know more of our founders here.