Wednesday, October 10, 2007
After 14 years of driving trucks and training other people to drive trucks, Dexter Devon Morton left the road with a 46-inch waistline and weighing 360 pounds. Today, Morton, 38, is the wellness director for the downtown YMCA in Jackson, and at 6-feet-5-inches tall and 242 pounds, he has no problem fitting into his size 36 pants. With a small staff of trainers and fitness counselors, Morton helps members of the Jackson community reach their wellness goals and is an inspiration to those who know and love the "Rev."
Morton, who also works as a minister, says that working with people is his talent and that his position at the YMCA has allowed him to foster relationships with several community members. "My spirit bishops to my soul, and it leads me to deal with people," Morton says. "I show my heart in any and every thing that I do. I take interest, and I show them that I have interest in not just my own family, but them, too. They're just as important to me as my family."
Morton, a Jackson native and Provine High School alum, says that when someone comes to him seeking advice about how to lose weight, he tells them that first they must perform a "self-inventory." You may think you know everything about yourself already, but Morton says that it's important to look inward and assess yourself.
"It's hard to do something without looking at it first," he says.
Morton says that to be successful in losing weight or adopting a healthier lifestyle, the most important thing is to have a vision.
"I always relate to my favorite scripture, Proverbs 29:18 where it says 'where there is no vision, people perish …'" Morton says. "You see, this is a vision for me, it's not about just working out."
Morton says that people should also observe others working out, not to imitate them, but to assess the practices they would want to adopt. "Find a goal that you want to reach," Morton says. "And in anything that you're doing, you need to do it for yourself. Don't try to do it for other people."
Once people set a goal and devise a means to achieve that goal, Morton says that they should take their time to achieve it. Morton says that by working at a pace compatible with their lifestyles, people will see results, and those results will generate endurance. When the endurance pays off, people can reach their goals, Morton says, and that's rewarding.
"I love this job," Morton says. "I'm not here for the money. I'm here because it involves people—all people … I just want to lead as many souls as I can to the Lord and make sure they're healthy."
Maggie, Thanks for this story. It is always good to hear about people who can practice "Will Power." I wish it were sold by the pound. The trainer looks good. Is he SINGLE? LOL!