November Athlete of the Month

Lon Whitner

Meet our athlete of the month for November, Lon Whitner. 

There are no barriers or prerequisites to becoming a Fit Crew athlete. Fit Crew is truly for everybody, and we mean every body. We encourage all individuals to get up and find a way to move, and Lon is a great example of someone with a can do attitude who doesn’t limit themselves. Lon has been Niels’ client for over 10 years and has been loyal and supportive of Fit Crews growth from the beginning. We love seeing him in the gym, as he is an example of what a dedication to fitness can do for anti-aging- and he is truly one of the original Fit Crew athletes. We’re so happy to have you, Lon.

Lon’s Background

Lon was born in Queens, NYC, and lived there until his teenage years, when he moved to Richland, Washington. There, he attended high school, and started playing basketball competitively. After high school he attended the University of Washington, where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in business, played basketball at the collegiate level for one year, and participated in a fraternity. Upon graduation, he joined the military. Once he completed three months of basic training and five and a half years in the reserves, he settled down in Marin County of the San Fransisco Bay area. Here, he joined Merrill Lynch, met his wife, and had two boys. When the boys were reaching their teenage years it became apparent that they were athletic and quite good at tennis. Lon had just retired, so he and his wife decided to go on an adventure- moving the family cross country so the boys could train with Nick Bollettieri and attend school at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. One of the boys went on to play tennis for University of Miami while the other played tennis for NYU, and Lon decided to stay in the local area.

Why Fit Crew?

Lon was a Fit Crew client before the business actually existed. Over 10 years ago Niels and Lon’s wife met while she was training with personal trainers in the local area. She insisted that Niels and Lon meet. Lon has been Niels’ client ever since, originally training with him at Lifestyle Fitness and then following him over to Fit Crew when Niels left to start his own business. When asked what he thought made Fit Crew different than other gyms Lon said, “Those two guys…”. Niels is the reason he is at Fit Crew, and in large part, the reason why he has stayed in the Bradenton area.

Lon’s Proudest Athletic Moment


While Lon was never a superstar athlete, he was always talented enough to play on a team- both at the collegiate level and in high school. While Lon enjoyed playing at the University of Washington, he said that his proudest moment was actually in high school when his team went to the state tournament and came in fourth, which was the best in the school’s history.

On his favorite and least favorite part of training. 

Lon practiced yoga his entire life. He started when he lived in San Fransisco, and said that yoga has “been his savior”. He still practices yoga everyday, but not as a full routine; nowadays he likes to switch it up. While there may be certain aspects of training that he doesn’t enjoy, Lon trains for a purpose and embraces the things that may be difficult. When asked about his least favorite thing in the gym, Lon said  “Theres really no answer to least favorite. When Niels challenges you for the day there’s a purpose, and that’s to get a part of your body worked. I come here three times a week so it’s always a big ‘ugh’, but I’m getting stronger and stronger… I don’t complain though, because I know what the purpose is.”

Outside of Fit Crew

Lon’s family is now scattered from California to Argentina. Currently, his wife practices the tango in Argentina- Lon and his wife started out tangoing together; while Lon appreciates tango music, he doesn’t enjoy it to the level that she does. For fun, Lon likes to go hiking, but only when the humidity is low and temperatures are 70 degrees or lower. Lon expressed that topographically, Florida isn’t his favorite state, as he is used to the mountains, hills, and dryer climate in California. This time of year, however, is much more enjoyable for him. He plans to do some hiking and bicycling with his son in the Florida parks soon.

Lon’s Fun Fact

When asked about one of his hobbies that people may not know already Lon said “I like gardening, and unfortunately live in a condo association so my gardening has narrowed down to potted plants. I really like Bogen Vita because they are really hearty… The point being, since that’s outside, I don’t do a heck of a lot of it in Florida. I did do a lot of gardening when I lived in California!”