MONTVALE, N.J. — The number 25 holds special significance for longtime Montvale resident Jim Freeman this year.
Freeman is celebrating his 25th year as a physical education teacher at Memorial Elementary School while enjoying the fact that he has lost 25 pounds since becoming an independent health supplement distributor.
"It's pretty ironic [that I'm] back to the shape and weight I started at back in 1990," said Freeman, also the 15-year recreation director in Montvale.
Freeman left his first teaching gig in Trenton to earn his Masters Degree in Texas. Montvale, however, seemed a more natural fit.
"It was a great place for me to be able to give back to the community I grew up in," said Freeman, who taught all three of his children during gym class. "There was never a time I thought I wanted to look to do something else other than teaching."
Freeman lost the weight after becoming an independent distributor for AdvoCare , a health and wellness company. He says it's another way for him to help people become better versions of themselves.
One thing that Freeman wants both his youngsters and clients to know is that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to. He even developed a mantra for students to say with him during class time.
"I'll say 'when we get to that hill,' and they'll say 'I can and I will,'" Freeman said."I have my students say it every single day before they leave the gym."
"The hill represents anything that's difficult in your life," said Freeman, who used his expression to stay motivated when he first tried to lose weight.
The health and fitness instructor has plans to develop his new business with AdvoCare but doesn't plan on sacrificing his 25-year gig for it.
"Right now, I absolutely love teaching," he said.
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