While most people are starting to struggle with their new year’s resolutions, David Freeman, ’05, is inspiring his clients to transform their outlook on fitness and make lifelong changes to improve their health.

Freeman came to the University of Richmond on a football scholarship and played running back for the Spiders. After graduating, he played for teams in Denmark and France before being drafted to the All-American Football League (AAFL), a proposed professional league. When the AAFL postponed its launch before the season kickoff, Freeman decided it was time to switch careers.

“When I was in France, the guys were really fascinated by the American work ethic — what we did in the gym, and our eating regimen,” he says. “I felt it was my purpose to do something for others, so I transitioned everything I was doing with football toward training individuals and helping them obtain their goals.”

Freeman now owns and operates Freemans Fitness in Apex, N.C., offering personal training services and nutritional guidance.

“I want to deliver something that sets me apart,” he says. “I’m always finding new avenues to help my clients. I want to make sure they have all of the resources and tools they need to be successful and meet their expectations.”

He also teaches group exercise classes developed by Les Mills, a New Zealand-based fitness company, and is featured in the organization’s international marketing campaign.

In February, Freeman brought his experiences both in and out of the gym back to campus as part of the University’s Black History Month celebration. He hosted his radio show, “Fitness with Free,” from The Pier at Tyler Haynes Commons, followed by a lecture about his story after leaving Richmond and his success in the fitness industry.

“I approached everything like it was still football, and I faced challenges like every day was game day,” he says. “Fitness day in and day out is never boring to me. I believe you’ll never work a day in your life if you find something that you love to do.”

While on campus, Freeman also led a special Body Pump weight-lifting class for faculty, staff, and students at the Weinstein Center for Recreation and Wellness.

“I’ve spoken in front of thousands before and taught in front of hundreds, but it was exciting to come back to campus,” Freeman says. “I love the atmosphere and everything that Richmond did for me and my classmates, so coming back is a blessing.”