Bodden finds financial success after NFL

LANHAM, Md. (WUSA9) -- Leigh Bodden stands over one of his gym members and offers encouragement.

"Oh you can't stop now," says Bodden laughing.

When you study the background of Bodden you discover he is a guy who has always chosen practicality over pomp. "It all started when I was young," says Bodden. "It was in me, it was just something that God gave me."

God gave Leigh Bodden a few gifts, for one the ability to play football. He starred at Northwestern High School in Hyattsville, Maryland and parlayed that into a scholarship to Duquesne University and then commenced a nine year pro football career.

God also gave Bodden good sense. Throughout his professional football career, Bodden earned more than $10 million, and he saved much of it by living well below his means.

"To be honest my check wasn't that big," says Bodden laughing.

Relatively speaking of course. While some teammates around him spent foolishly, he did not.

"I still drive a GMC (Denali) to this day," says Bodden.

Today he is launching a new career. Bodden is financing a group of area gyms throughout the D.C. metro area called Retro Fitness. We caught up with him at the Lanham, Maryland location.

"I equate it to being an owner in the NFL, my manager here is like my head coach," he says.

It is 17,000 square feet of equipment for members of all levels of fitness. It is pretty impressive when you consider the idea began at Bodden's home in Bowie, Md. Before he joined forces with Retro Fitness, Bodden was helping his mom, aunt and sisters get fit in the family garage.

"My mom would go to work and her co-workers would say wow where are you working out and she would say Bodden's gym and it was the garage," says Bodden laughing.

So he is obviously got the knack for the business, but can he make it pay off. Only time will tell.

Regardless he's a Prince George's County success story. From Northwestern Wildcats to the pros, and now businessman.


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