TOPEKA (KSNT) – A helper at heart, Anthony Cay was inspired to serve following a national tragedy.

Today, he uses his experience from the military to make a difference for local athletes and veterans alike. In South East Topeka, you can find a gym that will push you like no other.

A Topeka native, Cay owns and operates Total Fitness Body Zone. He’s looking to create a culture that showcases the local athletic talent right here in the capital city.

“We get overlooked,” Cay said. “You get K-State or KU, some of the local colleges that are division 1 that won’t start in their own backyard. This is where that changes.” 

His journey to becoming a personal trainer started back in 2001, when the twin towers fell.

“It was something that rocked the whole United States at one time,” Cay said. “That was one of the biggest times that you’ve seen us be unified as one. It didn’t matter what color you were, it didn’t matter what your actual payment status was or anything. Everyone was united, and I was really ticked off about the whole situation. I was like, `What can I do to help.’”

Anthony became a combat medic with the Army, helping fellow soldiers at their darkest moments.

“One in particular happens when we lost two marines when we had our front gate blown up at the police station,” Cay said. “That one, that one’s rough.”

Today, he’s using the skills he learned while serving to improve the health and abilities of local athletes, and fellow veterans. Creating a welcoming environment for those who have also served.

“I know the different struggles that vets go through,” Cay said. “PTSD issues, disability issues, and then just not being understood. A lot of times when my vets come in we just chat a little bit, have good conversations. It’s a brotherhood and sisterhood. Just being able to talk to somebody who understands what you’ve been through is huge.” 

From division 1 hopefuls to veterans, all are welcome to Anthony’s gym.