Q&A; with Mike Donaghy: No shortcuts for this fitness guru

Mike Donaghy is a La Cañada Flintridge native and St. Francis High School graduate who in April celebrated the 20th anniversary of his health and fitness business, the Training Center. Donaghy answered questions from the La Cañada Valley Sun via email.

Sun: What inspired you to get into the physical fitness business?

Donaghy: I've always worked out on a regular basis since age 13. With the determination to improve myself, combined with a business background, I jumped at the opportunity to open my first gym at age 21. I started my first business, auto detailing, at age 16, and did that until I graduated from St. Francis. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur.

Q: What was your favorite sport or activity when you were growing up or attending St. Francis?

A: My favorite activity during high school was working out, but also building friendships that are still strong today.

Q: You've been in business in La Cañada for 20 years. How has Foothill Boulevard and the La Cañada business community changed in that time?

A: There are so many more corporate stores in La Cañada today compared to 20 years ago. One example is that there was no Starbucks in those days. The main coffee place was called La Cañada Coffee Roaster — and coffee was nowhere near as popular as it is today.

Q: When you and your family have quiet time, where do you like to go and what do you like to do?

A: My family and I love to spend time together and usually find ourselves in Old Town Pasadena or the Americana at Brand to get a bite to eat and walk around.

Q: Who would you like to give a shout-out to?

A: I would just like to thank all current and past clients for supporting my business and making a great success for the past 20 years. I could not have done it without them.

Q: What do you like to listen to when you are working out?

A: Since I grew up in the '80s, I still find myself enjoying the music from that decade the best, though we listen to a wide range of music at my gym, from the '60s to today.

Q: What would be a good activity for a person to do to burn calories or gain strength while, say, reading a newspaper?

A: No short cuts. You should exercise first; then, when cooling down, replenish your body with a good source of protein, like eggs, and enjoy reading the newspaper.

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