After years of planning, hard work and confrontation, Glenroy “Glen” Huggins and Laura Huggins have done more than just find their place in the community –they’ve taken part in changing it all together.
Glen, 27, and his wife Laura, 26, began Fort Myers’ Elite Profile Fitness Club with just some flyers, parking lot boot camps and a vision.
Glen was first introduced to health through Herbalife, a nutrition and weight management company.
“I ate fast food on a daily basis. In Miami, I had to drop out of my classes because I had no transportation to FIU. I lost my scholarship. So everything was going downhill,” Glen said.
Glen was born in the Virgin Islands and moved to Florida when he was four years old with his six siblings and their single mother, who built a hard working environment. They have undoubtedly been his inspiration from the start.
“I grew up in the hood and so I saw health as an opportunity to get out of the community I was in,” Glen said. “There was a lot of poverty and I was looking for a way to help my family and my community. It was when Laura got into the business that it really motivated me because she was growing so fast”
Laura Huggins was born in Mexico and moved to the United States when she was three years old. She grew up in Miami with her three siblings and diligent parents. Although she was always a hard worker, she was never really into fitness.
She says youth groups and clubs highlighted the team environment in her life. She has always aspired to help the community, originally hoping to be a nurse, but her heart was somewhere else.
“I always aspired to be my own boss,” Laura said. “I never wanted to work for anybody.”
From the beginning, they were a team. Glen said at first he could hardly stand to work alone. It made him physically sick to work without Laura. The two actually first met at a gym in Miami.
Now, they thank health and fitness for bringing them together.
“He got me into Herbalife and I immediately started my team,” Laura said. “When we started excelling, our business the boot camp grew. Everybody started bringing friends!”
The business was running well in Miami but something told them it was time for something more. After closing the gym, that vision became clear.
“I felt this pull on my heart,” Glen said. “It was something God was really pushing me to do”
For a few weeks, the couple was living in hotels and running boot camps in parking lots. They found a job at a local gym and spent their free time handing out flyers for their boot camp.
“We already had our ups and downs. We weren’t scared because we were patient and clear on our vision,” Laura said. “Every time we helped someone new, every time someone lost five more pounds, it gave us hope.”
About a year ago, Glen and Laura opened Elite Profile Fitness Club in Fort Myers in hopes to change individual personal development and Lee County as a whole.
“As the team grows, the impact becomes bigger,” Glen said.
Today, Glen and Laura have added a variety of classes to choose from and the sizes of the classes have tripled. One class, Laura taught all throughout her pregnancy with her newborn, Noah. This has been a huge source inspiration to her clients.
“Very few women think that they can empower others. It kept me on my toes and, because of everything we’ve built, I do have the opportunity to lay back and give my full attention to my son,” Laura said.
The couple’s success comes from their shared passion to make a difference in the community. In fact, Glen feels that financial success can only take you so far.
“You gain success by going out there and working hard and building something for yourself but you gain significance by making a contribution in other people’s lives,” Glen said.
Now, they are working as hard as ever. Throughout Laura’s pregnancy, she maintained her ‘top 3’ status in the organization and in the month of Noah’s birth she still was leading by over 2500 points.
The trick, they say, is to live with passion.
Because of the efforts Glen and Laura put into creating this positive, welcoming environment, clients suffering with depression, loss of faith or even loss of purpose have discovered the gym – and Herbalife – to be a healthy outlet.
Eric Przybylski, 21, is a junior at Florida Gulf Coast University. Before college, he had been involved in basketball and football and had always been in great shape. But after his first year at FGCU, he started to drift away from the drive to be physically fit.
“Losing all the hard work I put in was sad,” said Przybylski. “But when Glen introduced me to Elite Profile, I felt excited to start a new journey. It feels like a restart. They are always by my side and I really feel that I can get back and better than ever.”
For anyone looking to go down this path, Glen and Laura say the most important thing is to find a balance in your life.
“Try to build for your family. In the process, the pieces will come together,” Glen said. “Be someone who creates pillars in the community.”