His idea of fitness is far from routine
Daniel Ancheta’s portly exterior is long gone – much to his delight and the delight of his clients.
“My parents came from a culture … when they might be worried if they would have enough to eat, so when food was plentiful, you indulged yourself,” Ancheta says about his chubby childhood days. “With me, my mother made sure that I always had plenty to eat, and that I enjoyed every bit of it. I still love to eat, and can eat massive amounts, but I had to learn to balance my eating with intense training.”
Now a chiseled champion of athleticism, Ancheta is the antithesis of the overweight child of Filipino parents. His mother and father have left Charlotte, N.C., to spend their retirement in the Philippines. Ancheta remains in North Carolina’s largest city, where he’s turned his zeal for fitness into a haven for people at varied points on the fitness scale. He’s the owner and founder of Edge Performance Training of Charlotte (www.myedgecharlotte.com), the 5,000-square-foot epicenter of his health-and-wellness enterprise. His roster of 40 clients includes men and women ages 25 to 52. They come to Ancheta, in part, because of what he calls “functional fitness.” Such training involves building a body capable of doing real-life activities in real-life positions, not just lifting weights in an idealized posture established by a piece of gym equipment.
For Ancheta, fitness is a calling, one he owes to a familial friend who took him to a karate class when he was 11 years old. The University of Georgia graduate (he earned a B.A. in exercise science) taps into his years of experience as a professional fighter, coach and second-degree black belt in taekwondo every time he instructs an individual client or an entire class. Most days, he’s training his first client at 6 a.m., then teaching or training until 9:30. Client workouts often resume as early as 3:30, and his last class ends four hours later.
“I’m able to provide effective and fun workouts,” says the 37-year-old Ancheta, who’s a National Strength and Conditioning Association-certified coach.
The International Kickboxing Federation’s website lists Ancheta as a Southeast U.S. Light Heavyweight Champion. Years of experience as a fighter have left him with the inevitable – and sometimes traumatic – battle scars of his former pursuit.
“I’ve sprained knees, torn ligaments in my knees, cracked ribs, suffered numerous cuts, but you can deal with those injuries, even if they are severe. The concussions are injuries that you never get over. I have suffered at least 10, and I think that’s 10 too many. Unfortunately, I thought I was indestructible when I was younger. (That’s) definitely not the case.”
Like any other athlete, the good-natured Ancheta aspires to develop proficiency in new areas – not an easy feat for a man running a full-time fitness facility by himself.
“I’m still working on mountain biking. Just like anything else, I know it will take time,” he says. “Unfortunately time isn’t always available, and I always seem to be running out of it.”Photo by Jessica Milligan Photography