URBANDALE, Iowa -- Anytime Fitness in Urbandale held a memorial workout fundraiser for a member who unexpectedly passed away.
Warren Batiste was in the hospital after suffering a heart attack due to a hyperthyroidism issue and passed away early Tuesday morning.
"It was pretty surreal, especially at our age. We are in our early 30s and it's not something you expect to deal with," said Tom Lone, a personal trainer at Anytime Fitness.
Lone graduated with Batiste from Dowling Catholic High School in 2006 and the two had been working out together recently until his death. Lone used his personal training expertise to organize a workout in Batiste's honor Saturday morning. It featured ten different workouts with 34 seconds of rest in-between because 34 was Batiste's high school football number.
Lone said, "His sense of humor, he was always cracking jokes. He was always able to make everybody laugh. He was one of those people that could make you feel like you were the only person in the room."
The fitness club's owner also donated $10 for every attendee and raised $360 for Batiste's fiancé and children. In addition, the group purchased various Christmas gifts for Batiste's children.
Lone says he learned the importance of teamwork while playing football with Batiste, and this was another way to lend a hand to his teammate one last time
"You're going to have a time when that guy next to you is maybe not playing so great for whatever reason and you are going to have to carry him, and that was immediately what I thought of. Warren wasn't just a teammate then. Once you are a teammate, you are a teammate for life, and of course his family by extension. I knew when this happened it was time to step up however we could," Lone said.
A GoFundMe account is set up to help the family at this time of need. Donations can be made to it here.