Couple Brian Orrell and Bill Jones keep their family life rolling with fitness regimen


TICKET TO RIDE | Bill Jones, left, and Brian Orrell will team up in September for the Lone Star Ride in the fall. (Arnold Wayne Jones/Dallas Voice)

Love is patient. Love is kind. And love can motivate you to ride a bike more than 170 miles in two days. At least that’s how love works for Dynamic Duo Brian Orrell and Bill Jones. After “marriage weight” and work travel caught up with him, Orrell made a commitment to losing 90 pounds during the past year. Jones joined in his partner’s journey to a healthier life and together they signed up for the Lone Star Ride, which benefits AIDS Services of Dallas, AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County and Resource Center Dallas. To date, the couple has raised more than $2,000 for the nonprofit organization as they prepare for the big ride this September.

— Jef Tingley

Name and ages Brian Orrell, 41, and Bill Jones, 45.

OccupationsOrrell: Technology Officer, Pariveda Solutions; Jones: Software product manager

Length of relationship:  16 years

Athletic activity:  On the Slow Spokes team for Lone Star Ride.

How did you become involved with the Lone Star Ride?  Orrell: We were friends with quite a few folks on the Slow Spokes, and thought it would be a great way to have a goal to work toward while having fun raising money for a worthy cause.

Exercise regimen: On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, we do an hour of weightlifting with Kelly Barnett at Uptown Energy Fitness. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we go to spin classes. We also try to ride at least 15 to 20 miles once or twice a week.

What was your catalyst for becoming more physically active?  Orrell: “Marriage weight” crept up over the past 12 years — and so did traveling a ton. I decided on my 40th birthday that it was time to get serious about tackling the extra pounds.
Jones: Brian started weight training a few months before I did.  He enjoyed it, and I thought it would be something fun we could do together.

Most memorable athletic goal accomplished?  Orrell: Losing 90 pounds in a year is definitely the best thing I’ve done. Diet alone didn’t do it and exercise alone couldn’t do it. I had to be purposeful about both and monitor everything.
Jones: It was when, as a kid, after three miserable years as a sissy-boy playing Little League baseball, I finally hit the ball. After that, I felt no need to return ever again to play baseball. As an adult, it was completing my first 40-mile ride.

Least favorite exercise or piece of gym equipment?  Orrell: The tricep dip machine. Ugh, hate it.

Words of advice for people trying to work fitness into their life?  Orrell: Don’t let slipups get you down. You’re in it for the long haul.
Jones: As difficult as it may be to get started and develop a routine, just stick with it. It’ll become a habit and its own reward before you know it.

Ways you stay fit together? Jones: When one of us isn’t feeling it, the other will motivate him to press on. We also eat at lot of meals from My Fit Foods.

How do you motivate yourself to work out?  Jones: Packing for the gym and work before I go to bed. If I have to do too much right after I wake up, it’s not going to happen.
Orrell: I just look at some of my “before” photos.

How does your partner motivate you to work out?  Orrell: His working out with me really keeps me motivated.  If I’m not feeling like going to the gym, and I see him going, it pushes me along.
Jones: Just looking at Brian and admiring his progress motivates me.

Favorite song or playlist for working out?  Jones: Anything by Phoenix, Foster the People, the Kooks, Jamiroquai, and (I’m not ashamed to admit it) ELO.
Orrell: Sirius XM’s BPM station.

If you could become an Olympian in any sport, what would it be and why?  Jones: Archery, probably because I recently enjoyed The Hunger Games series so much.
Orrell: Haven’t a clue. Did we tell you that we are not “sports people”?

How do you reward yourself for a great workout, accomplished fitness goal, etc.?  Orrell: I go and buy a tech gadget. I’m a gadget freak.
Jones: Dinner at The Porch or Velvet Taco.

Which celebrity or athlete’s physique would you like to have and why?  Jones: Alexander Skarsgard. Who doesn’t want to look like an incredibly hot, thousand-year-old vampire who was once a Viking prince?
Orrell: Jason Statham. Wowsers, he’s incredible. Plus he can kick some serious butt.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 20, 2012.