“You can either celebrate what you can do, or mourn what you can’t.”
Documentary-style filmmaking has a way of exposing some of the most heartfelt elements of the human condition. In that regard, the documentary film Augie does not disappoint. Augie is raw, emotional, and moving. Created by award-winning director James Keach, viewers are taken on a journey through the life of fitness entrepreneur and icon, Augie Nieto.
Augie, a legend who is often recognized and referred to on a first name basis, is the founder of Life Fitness, as well as the chairman of Octane Fitness. He is a man who let nothing stop him while on his pathway to success. It seemed like Augie had it all – until he was diagnosed with ALS in 2006.
In an almost cruel and ironic twist of fate, Augie found himself suddenly battling a fatal neurological condition, which slowly weakened his muscles and impacted his body’s ability to move. However, Augie was determined not to just sit at the sidelines and let the disease win. Instead, he started a nonprofit called Augie’s Quest, which funds the ALS Therapy Development Institute and their efforts in finding a cure.
“The best gift I can give my wife and kids is to do something when you’re faced with adversity, and that’s a gift.”
Little is currently known about what triggers ALS, but scientists are working hard to better understand this disease and find methods to stop it. Those suffering from the disease start losing control of their voluntary muscle movement, but retain the functionality of their brain. There are two types of ALS: sporadic and familial. Sporadic is the most common and accounts for about 90% to 95% of all cases. This means it can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time. As stated on the Augie’s Quest webpage, “ALS is not an incurable disease. It is an underfunded one.”1
Augie does a wonderful job of highlighting the charismatic personality and refreshing sense of humor that Augie carries with him while making the most out of his life. Augie’s upbeat demeanor acts as an inspiration by showing that no matter what we are faced with, a little humor can help us carry on. Aside from highlighting just Augie’s life, Augie introduces viewers to short interviews of others battling ALS. It is interesting to see the perspectives of both those diagnosed with the disease as well as how it affects the loved ones around them.
Augie is a love story. It is inspirational and educational. And it is the next must-see documentary on your watch list. Augie recently was screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival and will be released later this year. Find additional upcoming screenings here.
LA Fitness is proud to stand behind Augie and support his efforts in finding a cure for ALS. For over 6 years, LA Fitness has partnered with Augie’s Quest to help raise funds for a cure. Help LA Fitness in our efforts to support Augie’s Quest by donating here. To learn more, please visit http://lafitnesscares.com/.
- “Fundraising.” Augie’s Quest. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2017.
- “About The Film.” Augie. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2017.