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Respect for the Warrior Spirit

I’m writing this blog today from the Black Hills of South Dakota. When I am here I am reminded of the freedoms that we sometimes take for granted in America. Politically, I consider myself an independent.  Maybe it’s the fitness trainer mentality, but I don’t lean toward the left or the right, I lean hard toward merit, meaning I believe that what you put in is what you get out of life.

So, with me here in Deadwood, SD is my business partner Nancy Price, her husband Jerome (who I work out with most mornings along with Jeremy Harwell, AKA The Wrecking Krewe), their daughter Victoria who was recently promoted to sergeant in the Army, Kasie Banks our HOTWORX Executive Marketing Director, my girlfriend Brittany and our daughter Bria. We travelled to attend a benefit gala for Sacred Mountain Retreat Center, a special place in the Black Hills for our country’s wounded warriors and first responders. The HOTWORX franchise organization is a proud supporter of our military and the first responder professionals who give so much to keep our communities safe. There is a reason these folks are frequently referred to as our nation’s finest.

Sacred Mountain Retreat Center brings in people suffering from PTSD, drug, or alcohol abuse for a 7-day program. “As a kid and growing up, we loved the Black Hills,” said Founder and President of Sacred Mountain Retreat Center, Jerrid Geving. “It’s just a neat and interesting place and our slogan is ‘where the hills heal the heroes’ and I feel there’s a lot of truth to that. No one gets turned down, military, first responders, if they’d like to come to the facility, they’ll have to go through a little bit of a vetting to see where they fit in,” said Geving.

2021 Winter Gala…


HOTWORX has donated and installed many workout saunas at various fire stations across the country and will continue to do so in an effort to support the fitness and detox needs of our firefighter first responders. For Sacred Mountain as well, fitness plays a major role in recovery from both physical and mental injury. Two years ago we donated and installed two HOTWORX saunas into the Sacred Mountain Retreat Center weight room providing therapy for warriors in need of physical and emotional wellness.


Saturday night, at the gala, I had the privilege to witness the presentations from military personnel and first responders who gave everything to defend our liberties and to keep us safe. I felt a great sense of humility as I listened. It made me think that, as civilians, we should never complain about the petty inconveniences that we deal with at times. We should think about those who have sacrificed and have been forced to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds to find normalcy once again after giving it all to save lives and on the battlefield in the name of freedom.

We can all be inspired by these stories and we can access our own inner warrior spirit. If it takes thinking about our wounded warriors out there to muster the motivation for one more rep, then so be it. We can all do much more than we think we can. Do it for your family. Do it for yourself.

Do it to respect those who make it possible for all of us 👊🔥

Stephen P. Smith, MA
CEO and Creator of HOTWORX, Author, Former National Collegiate Bodybuilding Champion and Arena Football Player, Certified Professional Trainer