A mission to impact lives

Todd Durkin encourages clients during a workout at Fitness Quest 10. (courtesy of Fitness Quest 10)

A mission to impact lives

Fitness Quest 10 founder Todd Durkin has a favorite word which permeates his approach to business and life.

“My life’s mission is how can I impact and change lives,” he said.

Back in January 2000, when he founded Fitness Quest 10, there was little evidence to suggest he would accomplish that mission let alone have much of an impact.

“I had just finished grad school at SDSU where I met my future wife, Melanie,” he explained. “We decided to stay in San Diego. She got a job as a teacher at Southwest Community College and I had this dream to change lives with a fitness studio in what was then the sleepy town of Scripps Ranch.”

There were, however, some glaring challenges.

“I had no clients. No money. No business plan,” Durkin said. “I had very little business acumen.”

Yet, he knew one thing: his dream was to offer an alternative to the popular approach to fitness at that time which involved big box gyms with lots of equipment. Instead, he wanted to provide people with a personalized approach to training, working out and generally improving their overall well-being.

“It was a scary time in my life. I was just trying to survive in order to pay bills,” he said.

Fast forward 20-years and Fitness Quest 10 has been recognized nationally as one of the premier facilities of its kind and Durkin has become a highly regarded and highly sought fitness trainer by numerous professional athletes.

(courtesy of Fitness Quest 10)

Durkin has appeared on national television programs and has been featured in national magazines. His popularity grew even more when he appeared as a trainer on NBC’s popular fitness show “STRONG.” In addition, he founded and runs the Durkin IMPACT Foundation which raises and awards scholarship funds to deserving student-athletes that are college-bound, and to families that have faced tragedy.

“I started out as a one-man operation,” he explained. “Today, we have 42 teammates including instructors, trainers, massage therapists and administrative support.”

Perhaps somewhat surprisingly in this day when the mentality is often expansion equals success, Fitness Quest 10 remains in the exact location as it did 20-years ago, 10006 Scripps Ranch Blvd. – albeit with some physical expansions over the years, taking over nearby space from businesses that left.

Durkin has also stayed away from franchising and licensing, which are two of the more common strategies used for growth.

“A mentor of mine asked me whether I wanted to build one facility or hundreds of facilities,” Durkin recalled. “I told him I wanted to build one great one where people from anywhere can come and be impacted in a positive way.”

One of those ways has come in an unexpected fashion. When fires touched the Scripps Ranch community, Fitness Quest 10 became a place for people to gather.

“In times of community challenges, we have become a sanctuary for residents to come and share what is happening – an opportunity to take a break and reflect on what is going on,” he explained.

The facility is also a sanctuary for Durkin himself, who has taken around 40 trips this year to all over the U.S. to China, Europe and Australia. Yet, he remains tied to the community.

“When I am in town, I am at Fitness Quest 10 nearly every day,” he said.

He can also be seen on the sidelines of Scripps Ranch High School football games where he is a volunteer coach. Two of his three children attend the high school. Throughout the years, he and his wife have remained very active in a wide range of community events.

Yes, if you go to Fitness Quest 10, you may see him there working with a famous athlete from the NFL, MLB or some other sport, but Durkin believes he has succeeded not because of working with star athletes but rather because he keeps  Fitness Quest 10 focused on the residents of Scripps Ranch.

“Over half our members are over the age of 50,” he stated. “They are hard working mothers and fathers, kids from the local schools. Many of my favorite stories are not about the rich and famous, but rather community members who have achieved a fitness goal they never imagined possible or overcame an illness or hard time in their lives.”

Even today Durkin keeps his dream alive by helping others dream, too.

“You only grow as far as you go,” he said. “The person who is healthy has a thousand dreams. The person who is unhealthy has only one dream; to get their health back.”


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