Business urges people to 'never touch bottom'
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For more information about Never Touch Bottom, visit nevertouchbottom.com.
MILTON Jim Badertscher signed up for a gym membership the day after his wife told him she was retiring.
He wanted to get in shape to make sure they’d have many years together doing the things they love.
But he didn’t like the workout machines and quickly became discouraged. He was about to quit when he noticed the pool and decided to give it a try.
That was two years ago. Since then, Badertscher has lost 60 pounds of fat and gained 20 pounds of muscle, he said.
He’s developed his own pool regimen that has taught him not only about exercise but also about perseverance and achieving goals, he said.
The 60-year-old Milton man has turned his newfound passion into a business, Never Touch Bottom. He sells DVDs explaining the workout and how it can apply to all areas of your life.
He said he’s more interested in changing people’s lives than making money.
“I think it’s going to be a very powerful thing,” he said.
The concept is simple: Set a goal for how long you want to tread in waist-deep water, and then try to go that long without touching the bottom or sides of the pool.
“The idea isn’t to see how long you can do it,” he said. “The idea is to set a goal.”
Within three months, Badertscher could tread for an hour. Now, he does it for an hour and a half three times a week. He has developed different movements to add variety and work different muscles.
He often does the workout in hotel pools when he and his wife travel or spend time on their Blanchardville farm. Many hotels will let you use their pools for a small fee even if you’re not staying there, he said.
As Badertscher, a retired school superintendent, continued his workout routine, he noticed its applications to everyday life.
“I started thinking about all these connections, and the educator in me came out,” he said.
Outside the pool, “touching bottom” could mean failing to meet a goal or giving in to temptation. Badertscher’s “touching bottom” is overeating, he said. A friend who is a runner told Badertscher that his “touching bottom” is giving up at the base of a hill instead of running up it.
Badertscher compiled a list of 80 concepts the program addresses, such as perseverance, goal setting, motivation and stamina.
“The applications are what excite me even more than the exercise,” he said.
He hired professionals to create the “Never Touch Bottom” Web site and DVD.
When he asked Mark Groshan, owner of the Janesville Athletic Club, if he could rent the club for filming overnight, Groshan let him do it for free.
“I just admire his passion and his focus on the project,” Groshan said. “He truly believes in what he’s doing.”
Badertscher charges $14 for the DVDs. He said if he makes money from the project, he wants to use it to put low-depth public pools in communities.
The Web site went online last month, and the business already has sold about a dozen DVDs, he said. He’s not advertising it much right away and doesn’t want it to be seen as a fad exercise, he said.
“I don’t want to trick somebody into buying it because it’s a glitzy thing,” he said. “I want it to have its own life based on the merit.”