Charlie Cates was never your ordinary kid. An avid basketball player, in high school Cates routinely woke up at 5 a.m. to shoot hoops before classes started. In college, he rose at 5:45, exercised 4-5 hours a day, and consumed a daily intake of 8,000-10,000 calories. The motivation for his pursuits came from within. He would latch onto a goal—dunking a basketball, making the starting lineup, becoming a college player—and devote himself fully to the pursuit of that goal.
Aware that no amount of hard work was going to transform him into an NBA talent, Cates transitioned his focus during college from training himself to training others. He found that he loved the work, and midway through his freshman year, Cates had a new goal: open his own gym. Following graduation, Cates attacked that goal with the same dedication that typified his earlier pursuits. After years of long hours, including a nine-month stretch where he only slept 3 hours a night, Cates accomplished his goal and moved into his own gym early last fall.
His story illustrates how hard work and dedication can help you achieve the extraordinary.
Cates’ days as a trainer actually began before Williams. In high school, he became the unofficial strength coach of his brother’s basketball team, organizing hill sprints in the summer and weight lifting sessions in the winter.
“When I went to Williams, I thought that I wanted to end up working for a team, but during my freshman year, I realized that I wanted to run my own gym. I was sitting in Greylock dining hall for lunch, and the idea came to me. By the end of that lunch period, I had worked out a whole fantasy in my head of what I wanted to do.”