A testament to the strength and power of the human spirit. The will to go deeper, a place within you have never been before. An unexplained spiritual force where you exceed your own expectations. Taking it to another level when it is not about you. Understanding the why and purpose of the mission.


At 60 years old, my personal best deadlift for reps with my body weight is at 205 pounds for 20 reps. Then came along Diego and Marissa. Two incredibly special kids fighting the greatest battle of all.

Marisa and Diego fight the battle
Marissa and Diego will continue to fight the greatest battle of all. Beth Thorp

I strapped up and prepared to give my best. I glanced over at little Diego and Marissa. Diego gave me a big thumbs up. Marissa gave me a bright, beautiful smile. This was not about a personal best. This was about how much I can give of myself to two kids I never met before but knowing of their great battle.

Rob with Diego and his Dad
Rob Fletcher, Diego, and his Dad Beth Thorp
Rob prepares for the deadlift
Rob Fletcher prepares to exceed expectations. Beth Thorp

I began the deadlift…

At 15 reps I began to weaken. I felt I could get eight more reps max. Suddenly, I am at 24 reps, I pause. I think about the challenges ahead for both Diego and Marissa and the families. In that moment, I heard my father’s voice… “Go Robbie Go. You ain’t done yet son.”

I continue, legs are fried. Again, I pause, look over to Diego and Marissa who are cheering and clapping. My heart and spirit roar saying to myself ‘you got more’. I continue. Once again, I look over to the why “every rep matters” . . . Diego and Marissa lives matter. I nod to both; I scream out 5 more reps. I glance over again, 5 more reps.

Now, at 44 reps. My legs want out, I gave three more reps. Big TG brother Steve gets in my face, screams that I promised them five! I get another rep. Steve screams out for one more rep…one more!!! My knees begin shaking.and were about to buckle . . . a final pull for a total of 49 reps.

Rob goes over to hug Diego and Marisa
Rob Fletcher hugs Diego. “You are my inspiration” Beth Thorp

The point of this story, the why and purpose, was much greater than a personal best. You can far exceed all expectations. This is the place where the impossible becomes possible. At The Gym (TG), the VIBE is different. Vastly different. We are not only a gym, we are a culture of power and purpose. A conviction to strong faith, beliefs, and values.  My heart, thoughts and strong prayers will continue for Diego and Marissa.

TG Chula Vista “Every Rep Matters” Deadlift Challenge. For every deadlift rep you perform, TG Chula donates $1 to the Mitchell Thorp Foundation. TG Founder George Jackson formed a strong bond with Brad and Beth Thorp after losing their son forming The Mitchell Thorp Foundation. Raising funds for families and their children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. Together we can inspire and lift others up. Give hope when others are about to give up. Digging deeper to make a greater difference in someone’s life.

Pedro,George, Mike O, Mona, Rob,Clark
Pedro Aguilar, George Jackson, Mike O’Hearn, Mona Muresan, Rob Fletcher, Clark Bartram Beth Thorp