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Awaken is all about holistic fitness

By MYLENE MENDOZA-DAYRIT, The Philippine STAR Published Jun 28, 2022 5:00 am

When I was asked to the Global Fitness Summit in Singapore to talk about new and upcoming local fitness concepts, I thought to myself: Who will start a gym during a pandemic? 

It is true though that it is just a matter of perspective. If you believe in fitness being essential, then the pandemic can be seen as a threat or an opportunity. To the optimists, now is the time to invest in what matters most in life.

Culver Padilla, Melvin Te, and their partners in Awaken Gym in Metrowalk, Pasig, are exactly the group of fitness enthusiasts and ambassadors who bet on their passion with grit and determination.

Awaken, the new workout playground in Metrowalk in Pasig, is a clean, private and compact sanctuary to work up a sweat. And it’s not only for adults. It offers a Kids Superhero Workout.

“We always wanted to start our own gym even before the pandemic began. We have seen that the fitness industry is growing and we are creating a new discipline in training for sustainability that the young and old can try and apply in their own lifestyle,” shares Culver. “However, we could not find our own space to practice what we believe in. The pandemic made us realize that one can never be too sure of his own safety, no matter how physically fit the person is. It showed us the vulnerability of one’s life. You may be healthy today; the next thing you know you are in the intensive care unit battling for your own life due to a virus infection.

“This pandemic has also emphasized the importance of having a healthy lifestyle and the need to exercise as your first line of defense against sickness. Thus, the whole situation made our vision to put up a gym of our own stronger. We used the entire lockdown to plan out and execute what we had in mind until such a time that we were able to find the perfect curated space that we could call our own. Our main purpose of training gym goers is self-development and development of others to unleash their full potential.”

Start them young: The two sons of Awaken founder and coach Culver Padilla (shown pushing the toddler), Zeus in the stroller and Cloud running along his side, have their dad as their life coach and best friend. Following right behind is coach Melvin Te, Awaken Gym coach and co-founder.

 It may sound like a gamble in the beginning knowing that the pandemic is not yet over and the majority of fitness enthusiasts are still scared to come out and work out in public.

“Despite the usual challenges of starting up a business, and the added limitations of the current health crisis, we believe that #THETIMEISNOW. It’s a long game and we’re just getting started. We’re glad we did,” he emphasized.

Get fitspired by Culver

Coach Culver Padilla has been featured in this column several times as celebrity coach to Iza Calzado and as a "fitspiration" dad. His list of loyal clients who stay with him through the years is a strong testament to his ability to deliver the results one yearns for. My eldest daughter Alexandra (who won Miss Earth Fire 2019 on her first try) is one of his avid clients.

Iza Calzado and Markki Stroem with coach Culver at Awaken: During quarantine, coach Culver paid home visits to Iza to continue her regular workouts . 

Humble, quiet and unassuming yet hardworking, focused and disciplined, coach Culver advised netizens on Facebook to just “Act on it!”

“Do something about that ‘low energy level’ you complain about: prioritize good nutrition, daily exercises and recovery. Do something about that job you are not happy about: review and set new goals, upgrade your skill set for more career options, go find a mentor or read books about your industry.”

The founders and coaches of the Awaken team in black and white: The dedicated and fully committed fitness enthusiasts that make up the team include Awaken coach Culver Padilla (second from left) and coach Melvin Te (fourth from left).

“Do something about your ‘joyless’ relationship: initiate ‘difficult’ conversations, get creative and spice things up, remember the other person’s admirable qualities. Your output will only be as good as the input. Take better care of yourself, and be mindful of what you feed your mind, body and soul,” coach Culver adds.

“Spend lavishly on your own health and fitness. Fitness fortifies your mind. Fitness strengthens your body. Fitness improves your mental health. Fitness levels up your confidence. Fitness increases your emotional well-being. When you take care of your body first, the rest of your life has an uncanny way of falling into place. Fitness must come first. It’s not an afterthought,” he adds.

So if you are looking for an all-local, homegrown gym that can provide you with holistic fitness programs that build not only your muscles but also nurture your mind, body and spirit then maybe you need to discover Awaken.