“He’s kind of like, I guess for a lot of us around here like a father figure to us. So, he’s been great to us in that aspect.”
“He’s a tremendous guy. Very dependable. Will give you the shirt off his back. Very trustworthy…”
In times when you can, its important that we “give someone their flowers while they can still smell them.” We hear this a lot for people who hold big legacies behind them and this certain legacy reigns from a local gym.
“The good thing about Don, is that he knows so many things about different sports that he can make the workout sports specific to the event you’re doing. And that’s the thing that I like so much about him.”
Extending his strength knowledge all throughout Central Louisiana, Don Fields would tell you that his journey to this point has been a wild one.
“Long…. hard…. extremely rewarding. So rewarding. Very much so.”
It all began in the late 80’s when he found himself moving to Alexandria from Austin, Texas. He had experience as a graduate assistant and personal training from the University of Texas. He then began a strength camp where he began to build his clientele out of another local gym. But, once his clientele grew more and more, Built by Don Fields was more in 1992.
“Its interesting to watch it grow. Its interesting to see the different things.”
“Small areas need big programs in a sense so I think its great that we have this here. At least a gym like this, people like me and Don and strength coaches that can kind of bring that atmosphere and this type of level of training to the area.”
I asked Don what keeps him so invested in this busy. He says the money will come, but the passion is priceless.
“If you do what you’re supposed to do,whatever he’s directing you to do, the money will come. Someone taught me a long time ago they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
That same passion is also what drives Don to go beyond the gym. Over the decades, he’s worked with so many athletes over time. These local coaches are a testament to what his ethic has done for their programs.
“Dealings with Don was whenever I was coaching over at Pineville High school and we were really on track with our cross country program. Got him and he worked primarily with our cross country program and we ended up winning four state championships at that time period and won several in track and several runner-ups too so we been good friends through the years since then.”
“We needed an offensive line coach and Don came in and said look I’d like to do it. His son, Don Michael plays and did a really good job for us. His primary role is strength and conditioning. He’ll have our kids all year long. He has them 12 months out the year in the weight room. He stepped in and did a great job for us as an offensive line coach.”
But without a doubt, Don Fields has and continues to leave his mark on his community. Not expecting things to get as big as they’ve become. He says he feels as though he’s doing his due diligence.
“My father has been a around, he’s a great influence. But its certain things where a parent’s knowledge of certain things ends and somebody else kind of steps in and trains and takes over whatever the parent has laid down. And with him, that’s kind of where he stepped in.”
“That’s why I’m here. That’s why God put me here. I’ve always said this all along. The reality is, I should not be here but obviously there’s a reason why I’m here and I just get up every morning and do what I do and I’m very blessed to have what I have.”