The Les Mills Tribe has lost a true warrior
Posted January 28, 2012on:
If you’ve been on any social networking sites in the last 24 hours you’ll have heard the terrible news that we lost someone very special yesterday; Hernan Lopez.
I’ve been sitting at this computer trying to think of a way to articulate this loss and I’ve decided there’s no possible way I can do it properly. Right now everything is numb, I’m sad, so I’m just going to keep this short. Quite simply Hernan was a true Les Mills BODYCOMBAT warrior – he appeared on 7 DVDs (more than any BC presenter besides the Programme Directors to my knowledge), and for good reason. Hernan was the epitome of what BODYCOMBAT should be. He was an amazing talent.
I first witnessed Hernan at the very first combat filming I went to; BC38. I was immediately drawn to his teaching style. His nickname was ‘Captain Colgate’ for a reason – that massive toothy white smile just lit up the room. If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile you may recall I’ve written about Hernan several times. This is a paragraph from a couple years ago:
Straight after the AIM I wrote a post and mentioned that my absolute favourite instructor in the world is Hernán López. His classes are fantastic! Yes they are high energy, and motivating, but they are also fricken hysterical. I mean, if he wasn’t a group fitness instructor the guy should be a comedian. Even if you’ve seen Hernan on the DVDs (where yes he is funny “Kung Fu Panda” anyone??) he’s even more hilarious in his own classes where he’s not quite so scripted. They are just so much fun.
Hernan was truly my BODYCOMBAT hero. Whenever I made a trip to Auckland I’d always try to make his class. I found the fact he mixed working hard with humour so inspiring. The hour just flew by as you were just having such a party.
And now the party is over.
I first heard about his passing last night at about 10 or 11pm. Given it was late and I had an early morning Combat class I pushed it to one side of my brain, almost pretending it didn’t happen and tried to sleep. The first thing I did upon waking was check my phone. I had been inundated with facebook messages, tweets and texts asking if it was true. Again, I pushed the thought to one side – I had a class to teach.
In Hernan’s honour I taught Mortal Kombat (one of his DVD tracks) with his signature ‘air guitar’ – I got through the class okay. Left the stage to go get changed to participate in a BODYBALANCE class. I never made it to that class. In the staff bathroom the adrenaline left my body and I broke down and sobbed for a good 20 minutes. I suspect from the hundreds and hundreds of statuses and comments on facebook my experience was not isolated.
With the filming of BODYCOMBAT 52 just two days away it’s my hope that Dan and Rach will make the release a special tribute to him.
Hernan I suspect you never knew just how much you were loved – worldwide – by literally thousands and thousands. I don’t think you knew how many lives you touched. And how many people you inspired just as you inspired me. BODYCOMBAT instructors and indeed the entire LM tribe around the world are in mourning. You left us with some amazing memories; I’ll never forget BC40 with Tanya Walker and “Sweet corn”, your Kung Fu panda impressions, the gas mask in B44, your infectious laugh and smile. You were an incredible instructor and an amazing guy. Gone too soon but never forgotten. We love ya bud.