Tallahassee Man Goes From Drug Addict to Body Building Champion

By: Lee Gordon Email
By: Lee Gordon Email

There's the old saying, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen....These days, heat is the least of Tim Durning's concerns. He recently bought the Crosscreek Grille in Tallahassee and in this down economy, many wonder why?

"I didn't plan that part."

Durning has been an executive chef for 23 years so it's no surprise that he's behind the grille at Crosscreek. But while food is his job, his passion is in the gym.

Everyday from 2-4, you can find Tim at the gym. He's 45 years old and already won two masters competitions this year beating guys half his age. He leads a manic schedule, but when you're training for nationals, it's what you have to do.

"It's a dream to set foot on the stage. If you could have seen me eight years ago, before that. There was no hope at that time."

Eight years ago, Tim Durning was addicted to drugs and alcohol. His life was in shambles and he was on a downward spiral.

"There's a saying, you can only keep what you have by giving it away."

So Tim kept his new life, by giving away his old one. And in doing so, he went from 160 pounds to this:

Tim is a perfectionist. Every meal needs to look perfect, every set has to be perfect. Because that's what you do when you know that one mis-step is all it takes to lose everything.

"I'm completely blessed. I can't believe I'm here right now. I can't believe I'm talking to you right now. I'd been in my skin the whole time, I know how bad it was. I know how good it is now."

And he knows how good it will be if he wins nationals on July 15th. Tim says his drive is evidence of a mis-spent youth. And it's that drive that keeps him alive, and striving for perfection at the restaurant...and in the gym.

Tim won the Masters Over 40 Class at the Shannon Dey Classic in Panama City held on May 15 through May 16.

He most recently competed in the Steele World Bodybuilding championships on May 30, 2009 in Mobile, AL. He won the Masters Over 40 class, the Open Light Heavy Weight Class and won both the Overall Masters and the Overall Bodybuilding Championship.

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  • by Steve Location: Tallahassee on Jul 3, 2009 at 06:08 AM
    Great story! I know Tim, what a good guy and good luck...I teared up watching that story.
  • by Barbara Location: Tallahassee on Jul 2, 2009 at 11:34 AM
    Tim, You're the best! Wishing you success with the restaurant and the competition.
  • by marilyn Location: jacksonville on Jul 2, 2009 at 10:36 AM
    The best of everything to a great guy. I had the pleasure of working with Tim at Ramada. You'll win!!
  • by beachgirl Location: Tally on Jul 2, 2009 at 08:02 AM
  • by JC3Blessed Location: Tallahassee on Jul 2, 2009 at 07:44 AM
    WAY 2Go Tim!!!! Man and Cross Creek Brunch is to Die for!!! I am so happy that he has the place now, his food rocks and he is a stand up guy!!!
  • by EMILY Location: TALLAHASSEE on Jul 2, 2009 at 07:01 AM
    Way to go! I met this man when i was working a second job at a local CVS. He is a good person. Always had a smile on his face when he came in. I hope he wins! And I hope the best for him.. Good Luck!
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