When you meet Dan LeBlanc, you assume that he was a natural born motivator and trainer. When you hear his story, however, you realize that his current profession as a personal trainer at Crux Fitness and his style of teaching is something he created himself. He is a tough trainer, a very likable person, and a big part of what makes Suwanee great!
What inspired you or led you to your current career?
I was in the Navy for eight years, and in the last couple of years I had completely let myself go — losing personal relationships and motivation and life was not good. Through losing a lot of things that made me happy I realized that something needed to change! I had no idea how to change things. I started going to a gym with a couple of buddies and we had no clue what were doing. I began to make some changes but it was a long, hard road. It seemed too difficult. I started educating myself and doing research to find out about anatomy, biology, biomechanics and nutrition, and how to discover an easier process to get from A to Z. It took about three years to get to a place where I thought I was in good shape only to discover that I wasn’t even close. I decided that I wanted to help others, so over the last 10 years, I have been doing just that. I went from somewhat depressed in life to the polar opposite with confidence, happiness and feeling great. By nature, I am an introvert and never thought of myself as a “people person,” but empowering others is what I am all about!
What is your favorite restaurant in Suwanee and what do you love there?
I love Ippolito’s. Love the location and the variety of food.
How long have you worked or lived in Suwanee?
I have lived here almost three years and I’ve worked here about six years. I am from Flowery Branch and grew up in the weeds! We had one four-way stop sign, the railroad tracks and one gas station.
What has kept you here?
I love how active and intentional Suwanee is. We seem to have a purpose where people are involved in sports, fitness, community activities, fundraising, etc. It feels like a very intimate city and something I never knew about before moving here.
How big is your family?
My girlfriend, Lauren, and our dogs Boogie, Lilly and Sophie, all rescues. We actually very recently lost our Bentley and have just adopted Bogie. We are a family of five again! Lilly loves to chew on bedsheets. She is somewhat of a loner and couch potato.
Who is the most interesting person you’ve met in Suwanee?
To answer this (tough) question, I think about when were opening the gym and this young boy, about 12 or 13, possibly with special needs, rode up on his bicycle and handed me a 10-dollar bill, telling me that he knew we must need it, opening a gym. I do not know his name but he rides by a lot and waves. I was impressed that he appeared to have done this on his own. I believe that someone taught him well to care about others.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Sicily. I lived there for three years and I miss it. It is ridiculously behind the times but in the best possible way. It seems like most people there simply do what they have to do. Life is simple there without all of the hustle and bustle. Greece would be second.
What is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
Batman with Michael Keaton.
What advice would you give a crowd of people?
Listen. People are always trying to tell you something.
What is something on your bucket list?
I want to swim with sharks. I have done a lot of scuba diving and night diving. There are no sharks to be seen in the Mediterranean. I would also love to dive with the whale sharks at The Georgia Aquarium.
If you could take anyone to lunch (dead or alive) who would that be?
Wyatt Earp and Clint Eastwood. They are iconic male figures to me who have earned every right they have deserved.
What is your favorite music? Name three bands you would like to see.
I love rage music, as angry as possible. Zao, August Burns Red and Stavesacre are performers I would like to see. I enjoy this music whether I am working out or needing alone time. It motivates and soothes me at the same time. We don’t play it often in the gym because most people cannot handle the raging!
What local business makes you the most nostalgic about Suwanee?
Town Center Park. I love the fact that it was built based on what residents wanted. It was a great investment of taxpayer money!
What is your favorite thing about Suwanee?
The community. I feel like we are a lot like Atlantis surviving on our own for the most part with what we need. Most things seem to work well and I attribute that to the people here and their desire to have a great city.
Would you rather speak to a crowd of 500 or sing to a crowd of 50?
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I see myself doing the same thing perhaps on a larger scale. I want to help people and do that the best and right way. If we can do for the state of Georgia what we have done in Suwanee opening Crux Gym, that would be awesome. I want to keep the foundations and fundamentals from changing and maintain the intimacy behind the reasoning for why we do what we do!
What is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
I have tattoos in places that you cannot see (laughs). I like the idea of mystery and shock value with the tats. I am a huge crier. I get emotional about so many stupid things — it’s ridiculous. I like being in touch with my emotions.