I won't lie. When I go to the gym, I check out dudes. OK. That came out seriously wrong...

Let me rephrase that. When I go to the gym, I watch how other fitness enthusiasts use the facility to maximize their potential. I take mental notes on their form, how much they push themselves, and how long they work out. I know, kinda stalker-ish, but let's be honest, how else can we be in top form unless we are led by example?

One evening at BoxFit, the new cardio workout program at Access Fitness, I was struggling with some of the demanding tasks that the coach was putting us through, noticing that while others were breezing right along, I was out of breath and ready to pass out. I mean, I really was TRYING to keep up, and for the most part I did. Punching, kicking, anyone can do that. Right? Then I heard a whisper come from the zone next to me "Traylor! Here, do it this way."

It was then that I saw local MMA fighter Adam Axelson slow down his sweep kicks to instruct me how to do the move properly. While I was attempting to emulate his motions, I began to notice that I was exerting less energy, yet with much more force. I was simply making it harder than it was suppose to be. Seeming that this pro fighter from Missoula had a bit more knowledge to share, I started using him as my shadow so that I could learn how to properly punch and kick. He noticed, and continued to coach me along the way.

Adam is not only one of the more seasoned fighters in the city, he's also the most dedicated. I see him more in the gym than I do in public lately, all due to the upcoming fight he has in Kalispell on November 9. Dedicated, aggressive, yet extremely approachable. Just with the brief amount of time I had with Adam, I've learned a lot and am certain he'd be willing to help anyone else get on the right track as well.

A new Make it Missoula article goes into detail about Axelson's journey.

Needless to say, it's quite obvious who I'll be cheering on when I see him in the ring.