There are moments in one’s life that forever alter what’s important. For Jesse Leyva, the revelation came 5-6 years ago when he realized winning trophies should take a back seat to changing people’s lives. “Back then, everything was about my bodybuilding role and being a bikini coach,” said Leyva, a personal trainer for nearly three decades. He owns Outlaw FitCamp, originally known as Jesse James Fit when he opened his first Flower Mound location on Cross Timbers Road in 2007. The business moved to the Lakeside DFW district in 2021.
“It hit me like a ton of bricks that I was chasing trophies to have some kind of validation of who I was,” he said. “Since then, the whole demeanor of our brand changed. I love stories of husbands and wives who either never had or lost it 20-30 years ago when started having their kids and families. They are now shells of their former selves.” As part of that new focus, Leyva decided to give away a pair of three-month personal training memberships plus FitCamp group fitness plus twice-monthly leadership training with him – a total value of nearly $2,000.
To find deserving people, Levya used his social media outlets and email lists seeking nominations in November. After receiving nearly 20 candidates, he, wife Tiffany, and their trainers whittled that down to the top three from which two – Grand Prairie’s Anne Rotert and Flower Mound’s Tracy Tyner – were selected Dec. 1. All other candidates received one-month unlimited FitCamp memberships. “The goal is to not only have them physically fit but be really strong women after that,” Leyva said. “We asked nominators to let us know why they should be nominated and how would the nominee benefit.
“There were some that just brought tears to your eyes. It was hard to narrow it down. The trainers, once we went through this, we were thinking if we can afford this thinking about giving two memberships away. One trainer said she’d train the second person for free.” Rotert, a former member, was nominated by her 15-year-old daughter Abby Moore.
“Me, my mom, and my sister were all members a couple of years ago, but because of my mom’s work schedule and her health, we had to quit,” Moore wrote. “She has beat cancer twice, survived Covid, and in the last couple of years has been dealing with abdominal issues ultimately resulting in surgery to remove a tumor in her colon. She is finally starting to feel better, but her confidence is lost. I think if my mom were to win, it would really help her get back on her fitness journey.” Tyner was brought to attention by her wife Kimberly Reed.
“I am nominating her because she has spent her entire adult life caring for others at the expense of her own health,” Reed wrote. “Something has changed in Tracy. She has become more serious about improving her health. If Tracy received this incredible opportunity, it will transform her life.” Leyva has previously sponsored a few individuals, but never through nominations. He said he’ll open them for the next quarter in March.
“It’s just good for the community. It’s good for the people. It’s good for the business. It’s a win-win for everybody,” he said. “We want to have fun with it, and it was beautiful seeing all the people who cared about somebody. That’s why we wanted to see those heartfelt writings. I wanted to see life-changing things that will help change a life, and that’s who we picked.” Besides the Flower Mound headquarters, Outlaw currently has franchises in Keller, Fort Worth, Hickory Creek, and McKinney. Outlaw Flower Mound has 15 employees and features individual workout areas Leyva calls jail cells with outlaw towns and names.
Before opening Jessie James Fit, Leyva owned two other fitness businesses – New Body and Texas Sports Club. He survived the closing of the latter and his current business’ challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic to today assisting more than 300 overall clients. “We’ve made our mark in Flower Mound by giving people something,” he said. “We’ve changed lives. We have clients in their 70s and 80s who have been here 14-15 years.” “Now we want to train every kind of body there is and focus on people who just want to fix their life. Our whole business model changed. It’s not about hard bodies. It’s about human body performance.”