John Burk was born and raised in southeast Texas. Enlisting in the Army at the age of 17, he spent the majority of his adult life conducting daily morning physical fitness training geared towards combat related events. He served for 17 months in the invasion of Iraq and served in a variety of positions in the Infantry. Upon returning home from his first deployment, he was honorably discharged after completing his initial enlistment. After marrying his girlfriend and having their first child, Isabella, John left the Army at 6’2 and weighed 175lbs. After having been out for almost 1-½ years, he reenlisted back into the Army at 6’2 250lbs. His significant weight gain had been a result of poor eating choices, and a lack of physical exercise due to laziness and having little care for his personal health.
Upon reenlisting back into the Army, he deployed once again to Iraq for a 15-month tour of duty. After returning, his wife had their second child, David. John deployed once again, but this time to the mountains of Afghanistan in the Kunar province in the Peche River Valley, at the mouth of the Korengal. He witnessed firsthand the effects high altitude had on himself and his soldiers, and realized the importance for functional fitness in regards to job performance. Seeing soldiers passing out from exhaustion, heat cramps, and various other issues, he changed his views towards fitness to view it as an incredibly crucial part of life.
After returning from Afghanistan, John received orders to serve as a drill sergeant. It was during this time he began having psychological issues and difficult times dealing with survivor's guilt, and stress. It was then John began to suffer from minor depression and feelings of isolation and worthlessness. He reached out to a friend one night after feeling himself on the verge of making a foolish decision in regards to taking his own life. His friend had asked him one very important question: “When was the last time you were in the gym?”
John returned to the gym and began living a much more healthy and fitness focused life. It was through proper diet and exercise that he managed to deal with his demons, and begin paving a new life ahead of him using self-confidence as his guide. John met Ashleigh through an Internet dating site. Together they have embarked on a fitness journey where both support each other’s goals. Ashleigh competes in women’s bikini division in women’s bodybuilding, and John serves as a fitness motivator to any an all that are willing to heed his message and example of how health and fitness saved his life.