Kevin Lawrence: Health and fitness are his passion

Along with Kevin Lawrence’s regular duties as one of Durham Tech’s success coaches, Lawrence has taken on the roles of trainer, dietician and psychologist for a group of Durham Tech employees who have committed to follow him to make their lives healthier.

Born in Oshkosh, Wis., Lawrence participated on the track and field and the swimming and diving teams in high school and college.

“Being in sports during my younger years set health and wellness as priorities,” Lawrence said. “It became a mindset and later, a passion.”

Lawrence earned his undergraduate degree in elementary education and taught for a few years and coached swimming and diving in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

“I liked teaching, but coaching was calling me,” Lawrence said. “I knew swimming and diving and coaching made my athletic mind tick.”

Lawrence had coaching stints at the University of Kansas and the University of North Carolina, but 20 years on the pool deck began to take its toll.

“I was kind of burned out, so I joined the Peace Corps for two years and spent time in Mongolia,” Lawrence said. “But being away from coaching showed me I still had passion and interest in the student-athlete, but it was clear things had changed and I would need my master’s degree to work in higher education, so it was off to Clemson University for me.”

Master’s in hand, Lawrence found his way to Durham Tech. It was then that a simple photograph honed his already sharp focus on health and fitness.

“I was 32 years old, and I looked ‘fat’ in the picture. To me I looked fat. I didn’t like how I looked.”

Lawrence said to himself, "I’ve got to do something about it now." What came was a life focused on healthy eating and exercising — a lifestyle change that included others and their struggle to get and maintain health.

“It was also at this time that I knew I wasn’t getting married anytime soon, but I wanted a child,” Lawrence said. “At age 33, I decided I wanted to be a single dad. I adopted my son, David, when he was 12 years old.”

Each of Lawrence’s major life decisions led him to his passion for helping others lead the life they choose and live it in a healthy way. He wanted to help people emotionally and physically by looking into what makes leads to the decisions they make.

“I like bettering the whole person. I work on physical health, emotional health and all the factors that play into how we see ourselves and live our lives,” Lawrence said.

Lawrence started a healthy living group at Durham Tech. The group has taken on two major self-improvement challenges and is starting a third that has members looking at finances, fitness, spirituality, kindness and self-care.

“This will be a time for members to cleanse body, mind and spirit,” Lawrence said. “It is a 10-day life cleanse that will deal with 10 aspects of life that need exploring or revamping so each can become a strong habit.”

Lawrence has made making healthy habits a habit for himself and now, along with his success coach job where he counsels Durham Tech students, he works closely, often one on one, with healthy eating group members

“Supporting and helping people works with my personality,” Lawrence said. “I like to find the silver lining in things. I believe this positive outlook is a choice and I encourage others to live positively. I tell them, ‘Decide to live healthy. Decide to do it and go enjoy.’”