Man becomes physical trainer to honor father killed by heart attack

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SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man grew up emulating his father, but when his father's life was suddenly cut short one young man didn't just mourn. He decided to take inspiration from his dad to help make sure that others could be healthy and happy.

At first glance, Ben Roush is an exercise science intern, gaining practical experience training teams of two participating in this years 100 day heart challenge at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.

"I am one of the trainers for the 100-day heart challenge," said Ben Roush. "My job is to help them meet their fitness goals."

However, at a deeper level, Ben's passion for physical fitness spans generations.

"My dad was a sport medicine physician," Roush said.

Roush's father helped with the sports teams and athletes at Utah Valley University and Brigham Young University.

"He was on the sidelines of a lot of football games, basketball games," Roush said. "For me that's what I've wanted to do since I was three or four years old."

But at age 16, Ben's life took an unexpected turn.

"Nine years ago, (my father) passed away from a heart attack while with the BYU gymastics team in Cancun," Roush said. "It was definitely a hard experience and I still remember a lot about him and a lot of the lessons he taught me."

Roush said now he tries to pay his lessons of fitness forward to benefit other people.

"That's my real motivation is to be able to help other people and fall in the footsteps of my dad," Roush said. "I realized how important health is and I wanted to continue his legacy. I felt like his legacy was cut short. I always try to be positive with whatever patients I'm with because I know that's one of the things that everyone always tells me about my dad. 'You know he was so positive, he had such a good energy.' "

From father to son, for some healthier generations to come.


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