By Randy Lefko
MIDDLEBURG – Ridgeview High football and track standout Skyler Humphrey has run the gamut of trials and tribulations in his short lifetime.
“I had a major knee injury, couldn’t work out, was making bad decisions and just not finding a passion for life,” said Humphrey, who just recently opened a new fitness gym; Stretch and Flex in Middleburg on Palmetto Street. “I missed the gym and with the work I was doing just not giving me a fire in life, I decided to open the gym.”
Humphrey was a notable wide receiver for the Panthers football team and a state-ranked hurdler on the track before a knee injury his junior year stifled his athletics.
“If I knew then what I know now about sports preparation and nutrition, I would have been a lot better,” said Humphrey, who finished with a degree in exercise physiology at the University of Central Florida.
While at Central Florida, Humphrey rekindled his friendship with his former quarterback Josh Moore in a fitness room and started a return to fitness.
“Josh woke me up,” said Humphrey, who built himself up to a Joe Weider Classic bodybuilding novice title in Atlanta. “We were both gym rats in high school and he got me back in.”
Fast forward five years and Humphrey is grinding in an office and working parttime at a local restaurant.
“I always knew I wanted a gym because I liked the environment and I could pursue my bodybuilding goals,” said Humphrey. “I just up and made myself do this; Stretch and Flex. I wanted to chase my passion and not the money. The money will come later.”
Stretch and Flex offers a plethora of fitness pursuits with 24 spin bikes, yoga, zumba, treadmill and weights, plus a recent cache of weightlifting machines (lots of old school stuff), but Humphrey is more connected to the social good of a local gym.
“The energy I want to bring is going to make the difference,” said Humphrey. “I’ve been working on the building for about eight months. It’s a process. The pandemic isolated us. The gym will bring us back to being a community.”