Chicago Resident Finds More Than Fitness at Galter LifeCenter

by David Modica | Feb 04, 2016
Community comes first for Evan Zemil, a north side Chicago resident and member of Galter LifeCenter. It’s the community environment at Galter LifeCenter that has anchored his commitment as a member for the past six years.

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It’s the camaraderie he found in Galter LifeCenter’s Boot Camp class that pushes him to surpass his fitness goals. And it’s the Rogers Park community of immigrant families that inspires him to help make a difference.

To say that Evan is committed is an understatement. At 52 years old, Evan is a five-year vegetarian. He swims three days a week, participates in Galter LifeCenter’s famous high-intensity 5:30 a.m. Boot Camp class three days a week and runs on the final day with members from what he fondly calls the “5 a.m. club.”  

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  “I never thought I would enjoy it as much as I do,” Evan said about his experience at Galter LifeCenter. “It’s the wonderful people, they all know me and I know them. We’re a family, and we consistently push each other to be better.”


As a long-time member of Galter LifeCenter, Evan has participated in a wide range of services offered by the medical fitness center. With the recent addition of the Unlimited Membership, Evan can choose among class types, times and difficulty levels without additional fees. “With the Unlimited Membership it’s less money for more things,” he said. “It’s incredible.”

Among the plethora of extremely challenging and rewarding classes provided by Galter LifeCenter, Evan’s favorite is Boot Camp—a high-intensity workout that features intervals of strength and cardio, designed to take your fitness to a new level. “What’s so nice about Boot Camp is that it’s always changing,” he said. “The instructor carefully selects different exercises every time, and all of us follow the intense routine. You’re not going to get that level of workout anywhere else.”

Over time, the relationships Evan developed with his classmates have transcended the walls of Galter LifeCenter. Evan and some of his workout peers formed a running group in addition to their regular classes which improved his triathlete and half-marathon results. “It’s been nice to run with the Boot Camp team,” Evan said. “We’ve really gotten to know each other extremely well.”

In addition to the community Evan discovered at Galter LifeCenter, he recently learned about another group not far from the facility. In the summer of 2015, after watching a documentary on the struggle of Afghan and Iraqi interpreters, Evan began working with No One Left Behind, an organization dedicated to helping Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) families adjust to their new lives as American immigrants.

When Evan first volunteered, he was given the responsibility of assisting two families in Rogers Park. In just a few months, he has assisted 23 families. “They just want you to help guide them,” he said. “I can show them the way, and it really does make a difference!”  In addition to mentoring the families, Evan assists them in finding jobs and furnishing their apartments, utilizing internet sites that allow community members to donate unused household items to the cause.  Evan does this all while owning his own business and participating in his rigorous exercise schedule.

The best thing about community is that it’s never-ending. It grows and recedes, but retains significance. The same can be said of Evan’s commitment; there is no end in sight and no goal that he can reach that will cause him to cease trying. “I want to be healthy and continue doing the many things I enjoy doing at Galter LifeCenter,” he said. “Those simple things are the most important to me.”

To learn more about memberships at Galter LifeCenter, call 773-878-9936.

To reach Evan for more information regarding how you can assist in aiding Afghan and Iraqi Interpreters, email him at or call 773-230-8225.

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