Local veteran and gym owner uses military background to create uplifting community


ALTOONA, Iowa — Discipline, drive, and independence are traits that anyone might expect someone to gain from their time in the military, but how do these skills transfer after they get out? One local gym owner, and veteran, is using those traits to help shape his career goals.

Owner and manager of Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping in Altoona, David Shilling said he has taken everything he learned in the service and applied it to how he runs the business. 

“When I was in the Corps, and I got out and one thing I really missed was the camaraderie. And doing things in a group, and struggling together, and motivating each other, and pulling each other up, and lifting each other up, and pushing towards goals as a group. And then hitting those things and just being just really satisfied. We’ve been able to do that,” Shilling said.

Before owning a gym Shilling had tried out various different career paths, but ultimately wanted to become his own boss.

He said the community that owning a gym offers is something that he wasn’t always used to, as he grew up in a military family and moved around a lot. 

Shilling wanted to make sure that his members were able to talk about and recognize veterans this week, so members brought in photos of family and friends who served in the military. 

“We asked our members to bring in photos or anything to that effect of somebody, whether it’s themselves were members or the family or friends who are veterans and we have them bring it in,” said Shilling. “When you see things on the table that say my father was in the Army 24 years and I have another member who was, whose father was in the Army for 24 years and they were both Vietnam vets you know, we have a connection we have something we can talk about.”

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