FREDERICK, Md. - CEO and Founder of Soldierfit, Danny Farrar, had a difficult childhood to say the least.
"I was adopted when I was 2-years-old," Farrar said. "I was actually adopted by my great aunt. A lot of my adopted brothers got in a lot of trouble, they had run-ins with the law. My dad, I don't think he wanted me there. Then growing up, one of my brothers and my sister molested me."Farrar also didn't meet his biological parents until he was in his teens. He later went on to serve in the Army in 1998, and when 9/11 happened, he was actually on-site at the Pentagon.
"I actually took the first team into the Pentagon for the Army to do search and rescue," he said.
Farrar then got out of the military to pursue more. After getting fired as a sales representative, he joined the reserves and was in Iraq from 2005 to 2006.
"I completed over 700 convoy missions," he said. "I was a convoy security gunner and spent seven or eight months over there. I've been pretty much everywhere."
Farrar then came back to apply for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services. However, he went homeless and his life took a turn for the worst after a night of becoming depressed and mixing alcohol and pain killers.
"I tied a sheet in a knot to the bannister, tied it around my head, and made a jump for it," he said.Danny survived and went into a psychiatric ward and learned that after all the bad things in his life, he just wanted to be happy.
"January 2011 we roll out Soldierfit, and it's as much boot camp as you want to come to for 25 bucks a month. When I tell you that people laughed at me, I'm not being figurative, I mean they literally laughed at my face and said 'This would not work,'" Farrar said.But it did work. Soldierfit now has three locations in Frederick, Gaithersburg, Owings Mills and a third location opening in Columbia in November.
"We're franchising the brand, plan to be a national company within five to seven years, and no one's laughing anymore," he said.
Danny's past is a reflection of what Soldierfit is all about.
"The whole goal for Soldierfit, even though we're a fitness company, is to give people a sense of community because that helps you become successful," he said. "And also to revitalize the American dream."Soldierfit has around 3,000 members in all of their locations. For more information about Soldierfit and how you can join click here.