Former Humber athlete Jesse Bruce goes from student to entrepreneur

by | Feb 7, 2014 | Sports

Jesse Bruce, once a Humber Hawk, now runs his own (PJ Valois)

Jesse Bruce, once a Humber Hawk, now runs his own business, Alpha Obstacle Training. (PJ Valois)

P.J. Valois
Sports Reporter

Jesse Bruce went from student athlete, to owner of a thriving fitness business in order to help transform others.

Alpha Obstacle Training, Bruce’s burgeoning business, is a 557-square metre facility located at 13 Polson St. The facility is based on the obstacle race theme.

“After years of being in the fitness industry, I thought this is it,” said Bruce, referring to his idea of opening an obstacle race themed facility. “Having an extreme passion for fitness and helping people (reach) their goals, I thought this was a great way.

“My whole life, in high school, as a kid, I was always the smallest, the skinniest, the weakest,” said Bruce. “I had confidence issues, no self esteem, and didn’t like how I looked in the mirror.”

He said he then picked up a set of weights and started getting fit.

“It legitimately changed my life, I finally had the confidence I never had before and I wanted to share that with others,” said Bruce.

Bruce, 32, captained the cross-country team for two of his four years at Guelph-Humber University and Humber College, before deciding to focus on his business, Alpha Obstacle Training, full-time after the fall semester of 2013.

“I would not be where I am today without Guelph-Humber and Humber,” said Bruce, who also spent time at Niagara College where he took fitness and health.

Bruce graduated from the kinesiology program at Guelph-Humber in 2012 before enrolling in business management at Humber to fine-tune the skills he needed to run his business.

Bruce, a 19-time obstacle race champion including the Spartan Sprint Open, Mud Hero, and Warrior Dash, gives a lot of credit to his time on the cross-country team and Humber athletics as a whole for his success.

“I’ll always want to be representing this school and I’ll always want to give back to it whenever I can,” he said.

Darren Mancini, a fourth year Sports Management student at Humber, is Bruce’s friend, former teammate, and also helps promote Bruce’s latest fitness endeavors.

“No matter where I am in life, Jesse will always have a job for me,” Mancini said of Jesse’s selfless attitude. “I try to do my best to promote his business.”

The two met in their first year on the cross-country team and Mancini said forming their relationship in such a competitive environment was a positive thing.

“If we’re working out together, sometimes we’ll get mad at each other,” he said. “With any relationship you have with a teammate you just want to push each other as hard as you can without hurting each other.”

Teresa Mancini, one of Bruce’s cross-country coaches at Humber, called Bruce one of the most inspirational athletes she has ever seen.

Monique Haan, one of Bruce’s cross-country coaches at Humber, said Bruce was a natural born leader, adding she has no doubt about Bruce succeeding in his new venture.

“He looks the part,” she Haan. “He is strong and lean. When people look at him, they get motivated by him. His story alone is motivating.”