MEQUON -- For his whole life, Anthony Moro wanted to serve in the Marine Corps, but after eight years of service, he was forced to take a different route in life.
Moro now serves as a fitness coach, and he says he's exactly where he always wanted to be.
"Honestly, I could just never see myself at a regular job. I needed to be standing up and moving around and doing something exciting and helping people," Moro said.
While he's a seasoned personal trainer, this is Moro's second career.
After high school, Moro shipped off to boot camp and joined the Marines.
"I was in 0321 which is a recon man and that was my job was amphibious reconnaissance," Moro said.
Putting on the uniform and serving his country was a dream come true, Moro says.
"Ever since I was a little kid I never dressed up as anything but an Army guy or a soldier or a Marine for Halloween. It was always my go-to costume," Moro said.
But seven years into his service, life threw Moro a curve-ball that changed everything.
"I was having trouble walking. I couldn't write my name right. I wouldn't be able to work out for more than 20 seconds at a time before I would have to call in sick even for work that day. I had no energy," Moro said.
Then, one weekend, Moro's vision began to blur.
"I thought that I had been looking at a computer screen too long," Moro said.
"Anthony being Anthony tried to eat carrots to try to correct his vision that weekend which didn't work," Lisa Wishmann, Moro's girlfriend said.
"It got worse the next day and the day after and until I couldn't read a cell phone in front of my face," Moro said.
Wishmann, who now co-owns Moro Performance with Anthony, took him to the eye doctor, and they were sent to the emergency room.
"It took about 12 hours for them to finally ask me to get a couple of MRIs and I did -- and it was awkward because when the guy came in to tell me, it was more of a 'by the way you have MS' kinda thing rather than sit me down," Moro said.
The abrupt diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a disease which attacks the central nervous system, came as a shock.
"I wasn't thinking. I didn't know what MS was. I had heard of it, and my first question was' how long do i have to live?'" Moro said.
"It was really hard to see someone who you look up to and who was an athlete their whole life and who always worked really hard at everything all of a sudden be told that they're diagnosed with something that could affect their movement," Wishmann said.
It also meant Moro could not re-enlist.
"That was my dream was to be a Marine forever. I loved what I was doing and there really, there was no other option for me," Moro said.
But as it turned out, there was another option. Another life-long dream would become reality for Moro: His gym, Moro Performance.
The Marine now spends his time coaching CrossFit with Wishmann and his service dog Pablo, training athletes and helping others living with MS to live their life to the fullest.
"I'm 100% an advocate for training and re-learning the motor function, similar to if someone gets into a car accident and they're told they can't walk again and you're told the success story about how just through determination and dedication eventually they're able to. That's kind of the approach I take," Moro said.
Moro's approach also combines his Marine Corps. background.
The motto at Moro Performance is "Be Uncommon."
"Be Uncommon comes from Admiral Nimitz and the battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. It was the largest all Marine battle and his quote was 'uncommon valor was a common virtue.' So go the extra mile. Don't do what everyone else is doing. If you do have MS -- get off the couch. Go outside. Walk around. Come back in. If you're an athlete, work harder than your competition. It's all-encompassing," Moro said.
"It's really cool to hear the dialogue he has with his clients and how motivating he is and encouraging and it's a really good feeling to know that that's my business partner and my boyfriend as well," Wishmann said.
Moro Performance has been open for about six months.
Moro is celebrating this Veterans Day by hosting the "Vet-mazing Race" -- a fundraiser for the Recon and Sniper Foundation.
CLICK HERE to learn more about Moro Performance.
Phone: (414) 614-1492
Personal website: train-ms.com