Fitness Friday Profile: Robert “Big Bob,” Rogers
Jared Fogle is a name that most do not recognize. However, Jared “the subway guy,” is known across the country for losing massive amounts of weight eating sandwiches. Why can’t it be that easy for the rest of us? The truth is it can’t. Hard work and discipline are required to become healthier. Just ask Robert Rogers (or “Big Bob,” as we call him) Walltown Park Recreation Center’s very own Jared.
Bob spends more time at Walltown then the staff does. That’s why some of us refer to him as “Mr. Walltown”, or “The mayor of Walltown.” Bob is relentless in his pursuit of fitness. But, it wasn’t always that way for Bob.
Bob spent his career as an executive chef in Durham. He prepared food for celebrities, athletes, and even President Jimmy Carter. Bob loved to cook, and Bob loved to eat. His weight was becoming a problem. A few years ago Bob’s weight landed him in Durham County Hospital where doctors thought he may only survive a few hours. They told Bob that he had a choice. Change the way he lived, or prepare for a short life. Bob decided to fight. “I looked in the mirror and told myself that I could feel sorry for myself, or I could do something about it.” He started small, gave up cigars and alcohol, and began squeezing a black rubber ball to build his strength while watching television. Once he had built his strength and was taken off of oxygen he joined a local gym where he lost around 60 lbs. Deciding that the gym was too expensive and impersonal, Bob searched for alternatives close to his home. He began working out at Walltown in 2011 and has since lost 140 lbs. In total Bob says that he has lost about 200 lbs. to date. Coincidentally, 200 lbs. is how much Bob regularly bench presses at Walltown. He credits staff members for helping him gain the confidence to return time and time again. Nowadays Bob doesn’t just work out; he helps new members learn to use the machines. Coming to Walltown is second nature for Bob, “I feel lost if I miss a workout,” “If you do anything for 21 straight days it becomes habit.”
Bob utilizes Durham Parks and Recreation’s wellness pass. For $20 per month (with a playmore card) individuals can utilize fitness machines such as treadmills, cable weights, fitness classes, and Bob’s favorite for weight loss: the water wheel. “70 cents a day is a small price to pay for having your health back, you can’t even get a pack of nabs for that.”
Meet Big Bob. He’s our hero.