Even after slipping into darkness and contemplating suicide, former Tarleton State University football player Savion Washington learned he could still find his way back to the light.
Washington said that about a year ago — while he was in what he described as a “dark place” — he couldn’t even comprehend why he existed.
Now, he’s launching his own business — SDUB Fitness — as a motivational and fitness coach. The “S” in the acronym stands for “Savion” and “Dub” represents the “W” in Washington. He carried that out even further, giving the letters SDUB deeper personal meaning — “S” for sacrifice, “D” for desire, “U” for unstoppable and “B” for benefit.
“I tell people those four words saved my life,” Washington said. “It comes down to sacrifice, anything that’s holding you back, from the desire to be better. You can only benefit from it.”
Washington's blessings reached a peak earlier this year. Through social media searches, he found and met for the first time ever his biological father, who was living in Virginia.
While wearing an "I Am Limitless" T-shirt, Washington said one of his favorite slogans describing his newfound attitude is "Attack the Day."
His business card lists him not only as a performance coach, but also as a fitness trainer and motivational speaker.
Washington’s dark time descended upon him despite having earned a master’s degree in kinesiology from TSU, and having married longtime girlfriend Lindsey Mann, a former member of the TexAnns women’s basketball team. They met their freshman year at TSU.
In spite of those positive developments in his life, somehow darkness took over. He knew it was time to find a career path, but had no idea what to do.
“I was scared,” said Washington, a former running back and linebacker for the Texans who came out of Garland High School as a first-team all-district football and soccer player. “I was drinking a lot.”
In late July of 2018, Washington and his wife were living with his mother in Garland. He was on the couch and awoke from another in a recurring series of nightmares, then walked into the bathroom.
“I looked at myself in the mirror, teary-eyed,” Washington said. “I didn’t want to live anymore.”
He admitted that, at that moment, he didn’t even consider how deeply his family would be affected if he carried out the act.
He went out for an hour-long walk. He saw the field where he used to play sports. He also stirred memories when he walked past the first house he lived in — where his mother raised him with no father around.
But then, Washington experienced an intervention — from above.
“God stopped me and told me ‘You’re here for a bigger reason.’ Since then, I have not had one nightmare.”
The belief in God he learned from his mother while growing up returned to his consciousness.
Washington said that was “when I knew I wanted to help people.”
Even beyond that, he now hopes that the people he helps will then be equipped to help others.
He staged “boot camp” style fitness classes at a park in Garland for about four months before he and his wife decided to move back to Stephenville and continue on toward his new occupation, new goal, new purpose in life.
Washington’s fitness and motivational classes will be starting in a simple outdoor setting, at the Optimist-Jaycee Park in Stephenville.
“It’s more like high-intensity interval training,” but with minimal equipment, Washington said, noting that he fell in love with being in shape during his freshman year at TSU.
Through the summer months, Washington plans to have adult and youth classes on Monday through Saturday each week, 7 a.m.-11 a.m. and 5-9 p.m.
“For kids, it’s more speed and agility,” he said. “For adults, it’s more about health and weight loss.
“All people really need is accountability. Accountability is a major, major key,” Washington said.
On July 13 at Jaycee Park — on his 27th birthday — Washington teamed with Dr. Stephen LaDuque for his first-ever Family Fun Fitness & Health Event.
Washington said that at his physical peak as a college football player, he carried about 210 pounds on 5 foot, 11-inch frame. But, he noted, “I’m in the best shape ever now.”
Washington said one of his goals is to build a performance center here where his classes will be held.
“I have a really big dream and a big vision,” Washington said. “Stephenville is the perfect place.”
For details about Washington’s SDUB fitness and motivational classes, search for him on Instagram (@sdub_fitness) or on Facebook.