Growing up in Camp Hill, Alabama in the 70’s was not easy for Ruben Rowell Jr. As a kid who experienced turmoil throughout his childhood, it would have been easy for him to abandon hope. But that’s not how Rowell Jr.’s mind works.
“Dealing with bullies and racism to the 10th power will typically crush someone’s spirit, but not me,” said Rowell Jr. “Luckily, I was born with the spirit that I have. I’ve taken every bad thing that I’ve experienced and instead of letting it be poison, I’ve turned it into medicine.”
He attributes his unique outlook on life to the Bruce Lee movie The Man, The Myth which he saw when he was nine years old. According to Rowell Jr., this movie showed him that anything is possible through hard work and inspired him to start taking martial arts courses at a local YMCA.
He carried this work ethic with him to the United States Marine Corps where he graduated number one in his platoon. During this time in the military, his love for martial arts grew as he began teaching it to his friends. It was through this teaching that Rowell Jr. realized that he wanted to open his own traditional Muay Thai gym.
“At first I thought it was just something I was passionate about, but after putting some thought to it, I realized that what I went through as a child is not something that I want to see anybody else go through,” said Rowell Jr. “So, in August of ‘98 I fully opened Extreme Power Gym in Oceanside and I have been teaching students how to become better human beings ever since.”
Although he still runs Extreme Power Gym full-time, Rowell Jr. still finds time to give back to his fellow Marines through free training sessions and mental health talks that he gives at local Marine bases, including Camp Pendleton.
“I don’t turn any students away who want to talk after our sessions. I talk to them and help them get their self-confidence back on track while teaching them valuable life lessons,” said Rowell Jr. “It’s important to build up the younger generations because soon they will be making up the workforce and building a better community for all of us.”
Because of his invaluable efforts to volunteer and give back to his local Marine Corps community, Extreme Power Gym was recently approved by Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest to become a BBB4Good Verified Business.
BBB4Good is a new community-forward program that enables trustworthy, purpose-driven businesses to become BBB4Good Verified by committing to standards of higher purpose, community engagement, authentic marketing, and social and/or environmental impact substantiation.
“The BBB itself is a stamp of credibility. Anybody in business that uses common sense and deductive thought knows that it makes all the sense in the world to get BBB accredited,” said Rowell Jr. “With BBB4Good, once I fully understood the values and purpose aspects of it, I immediately applied.”
The program focuses on the belief that better businesses create a better community. A recent study showed that 84% of consumers believed that companies should demonstrate how they are following through on their corporate social responsibility initiatives, a number that has continued to rise in recent years.
“It takes a community to raise a child. And in the same sense I do believe that it takes a collection of good businesses to build up a good community,” said Rowell Jr. “That’s ultimately why I was interested in BBB4Good and why I encourage other businesses to do the same thing.”
BBB encourages businesses to operate with integrity, and helps consumers make wise marketplace decisions. Our innovative approach to business growth provides the tools that companies and entrepreneurs need to build better businesses. Become BBB Accredited and join our mission to create a community of trust
Published with permission from Better Business Bureau.
About the Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest
Better Business Bureau has empowered people to find businesses, brands, and charities they can trust for more than 110 years. In 2022, people turned to BBB more than 250 million times for BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million businesses and Charity Reports on about 12,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org. The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Incorporated locally in 1938, BBB Serving the Pacific Southwest serves Greater Arizona and Southern California, providing critical tools to ignite success including mentorship, online products, coworking and access to capital. Our objective expertise educates the community on ethical behavior in the marketplace and how businesses can build trust.