On a warm sunny day, back in 2008, at Southern Boulevard Elementary School stood a very tall man (6.5” to be exact!), soft-spoken, warm and friendly as he was surrounded by a whole group of children running around him (at his knees).

His name was Mike Czech and he was teaching the kids how to play a game on the open court.   I introduced myself to help assist him as a fellow volunteer, but he clearly had everything under control, which I found fascinating! My 3 children have me feeling outnumbered on occasion! The kids just loved him and were having so much fun – and so was he!  In his spare time, he said he was a sports coach and personal trainer, and competed in Ironman and Triathlon events 

Mike made quite an impression on me – enough to hire him myself as I trained for an Olympic length Triathlon back in 2013, and now just hired him for my teenage son as he is on a weight gaining and strength program for football this fall. Mike is the expert when it comes to proper nutrition, sports conditioning and teaching the right mindset to get to your goals.

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Mike was born and raised in Edison New Jersey, He and his wife Donna live in Chatham and have 2 grown sons; Luke who is attending USMA (United States Military Academy) West Point, and Nick who is working in management. His professional direction was inspired early on.

“I entered the fitness business when I was 24 years old. Being an overweight kid with a lack of esteem contributed very strongly to my obsession with getting fitter.  After working many years in the corporate world, the opportunity to start my own business was a welcome change.”

He was interested in running as a child and in High School, a member of the Track and Cross Country Team.  A college honors graduate from the Rutgers School of Business, he now has his own company where he trains endurance athletes, young adults, team and individual sports conditioning and fitness enthusiasts.

‘Watching people of any age become successful is a massive charge for me,” Czech said “When I founded my business, Fit/Fast Training and Conditioning here in Chatham (www.fitfastnj.com), I made a conscious effort to combine physical fitness training, nutrition coaching, and emotional wellness for every willing person. The results have been astonishing. Adding to this mindset, my deep knowledge of running/ triathlon, sports conditioning, self-defense, and psychology, 

A person does not get all of that experience from books alone.  Czech has competed in about 200 races since the age of 16.  His biggest accomplishments were running 1 mile in 4 min 42 seconds and completing the Iron Man in Lake Placid 11 hrs 55 minutes!

How does one work out for 12 straight hours?

“It is so extremely mental,” Czech explains, “Your body can accomplish the task but your mind has to guide it through many different physical and emotional feelings. If you are properly trained in advance you won't physically get hurt, but your mind can take you out of the game at any time unless it too is trained to persevere.”

Mike gives himself a lot of preparation time and does not enter races “on a whim”.  He practices visualization and transcendental meditation.  As he says, “both of which allow my mind to get stronger and see myself finishing or winning.”

Czech’s words of advice to adults and kids that want to meet their fitness goals:

“Fitness professionals will tell you the same thing: set reasonable goals, make them measurable, and don't give up.  Fitness is not a quick fix or something to be accomplished and abandoned- it is a way of life and reality is that proper nutrition is about 90% of the game.”

Janice is an avid animal lover who enjoys writing, and a great book in the quiet of the early mornings.  She has a full-time position going on 7 years, as a large energy consultant for New Jersey Green Energy Consulting, and recently became a distributor part-time for Somaderm Gel, a product which changed her life, and now she is helping others do the same.

Her favorite activities are skiing and golf, and equally enjoys spending time with her 3 teenagers, Taylor, Samantha, and Richie and husband Pete.  When she is not working, you may see her riding her bike with her dogs Scooby Doo and Hope jogging on the side or working out at Equinox in Summit.

She is known for saying “if we could all be a little more like our dogs, in the way of unconditional love and forgiveness, the world would be a much more peaceful place to live.”