Fitness Career Spotlight: Duane Franks, MS, USAT Certified Coach, ACSM Certified Director
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA, RD on OCTOBER 18, 2012
Learn how Duane Franks overcame Legg Perthese Disease and is a successful triathlete who also owns Trifiniti Endurance, a triathlete coaching company. – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of fitness and exercise?
See “what skills you were born with…” Legg Perthese Disease led me to where I am now.
Your Job Title
Health & Fitness Consultant, Endurance Coach, Founder of Trifiniti Endurance
Company you are with now:
A typical (or not so typical) day in the work-life for you?
Wake up, walk the dog and go grab a mocha at the Good Earth Natural Foods. Then I hop on the computer and write training programs for athletes. My work also involves weekly coaching calls to follow up on events/racing; meet with athletes/coach power cycling (there is a lot of admin work when you are your own boss); head to the South End Rowing Club to swim; bike up Mt. Tamalpias, run the trails; prepare for my wife because she’s got way too much going on!
How did you get your current job in fitness and exercise?
I began managing for the Western Athletic Clubs (WAC), who owns the San Francisco Bay Clubs, in 1994, during which time I was already competing in Triathlons. I was being led deeper into management with an opportunity to grow, but also moving further away from doing something I knew a lot about, coaching athletes in triathlons. When WAC was purchased, I decided to make my break. Fortunately, I was already coaching several very committed triathletes and my athlete clientele was growing; leaving the San Francisco Bay Club was a big decision but I never regretted it.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
As a child, I was diagnosed with Legg-Perthes Disease (like Forrest Gump). I remember coming home after the diagnosis and found my bike missing. My mom told my sister to take it away since I would be wearing braces on my legs. But from time to time, those braces would come off as I raced the neighborhood guys around the block. Knowing I had endured limits as a child probably made my desire for motion even stronger. I have just completed my Master’s of Science in Exercise Kinesiology with an Exercise Physiology.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
Well, I started my own business and created my own work hours so I could do what I wanted to do. It was the best decision I made, next to marrying my wife, Dorette.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what
would it be?