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Personal Trainer Brad Bolton Remembered as an Inspirational Force

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By Jorge Casuso

August 29, 2019 -- Even as he was stumbling, Brad Bolton tried to lift others up, his former friends say.

The personal trainer, who took his life Saturday at age 49, inspired those he knew and mentored -- from Santa Monica and Venice residents to well-known athletes and LA's elite ("Suicide on Saturday Marks Fourth in Downtown Santa Monica Parking Structure in Less than a Year," August 26, 2019).
Brad Bolton
Brad Bolton and friend at Santa Monica Bike Shop

Friends recall how Bolton, a charismatic man with the big smile, was always pushing and encouraging them to attain levels they didn't think they could reach.

"Just being in his presence made you feel like you not only wanted to do better, achieve more and push harder but he also made people feel they legitimately could do anything," his latest girlfriend Gable Carr said.

"He gave you that push you needed, that boost of self esteem to really believe in yourself and your abilities by lifting you up and making you feel good about yourself!"

"Brad was a bigger than life personality," said Steven Lake, who worked as a trainer with Bolton at Gold Gym in Venice for eight years. "His infectious smile, sensitivity and compassion for others is what set him apart.

"He lived for sharing his knowledge of fitness with others," Lake said. "He always had a joke on hand to make us laugh. Brad will be greatly missed."

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"Brad brought many folks tons of joy," said Matteo Baker who managed Gold’s Gym for ten years. "He dedicated his life in helping others."

Born in Oklahoma, Bolton made Santa Monica and Venice his home, friends said. He was a fixture on the Santa Monica stairs at 4th street and Adelaide Drive and loved swimming to the buoy off Santa Monica Beach at the crack of dawn.

But behind the confident smile was a man fighting with demons, Carr, his girlfriend, said.

He suffered from "mental health issues" that went untreated and was in and out of rehab, religiously attending AA meetings only to relapse and alienate those who cared for him most.

Brad Bolton and Gable Carr in 2017
Brad Bolton and Gable Carr in 2017

"I so wanted to make him believe in himself the way he could so magically and gracefully do for others," Carr said.

"No one deserved that feeling of greatness and confidence more than he did. There was just a demon not allowing him to believe that about himself."

Patrick Gavin Alexandar, Bolton's former roommate, recalled how those who knew Bolton had hopes he would pull through because of how special he was and how he treated everyone the same.

“That dude was the best trainer I ever worked with," Alexander said. "He would train a famous movie director hours after he worked with me.

"And he always had clients before and after me. He stayed busy when he was devoted to his craft."

Heidi Carigan, a friend of Bolton's, tried summing up his life.

"Brad was an amazing man -- a great personal trainer -- good looking -- always smiling -- willing to help others -- friendly -- and truly cared for people!!!

"I hope he is in peace now -- which is what he deserves! His smile will always be cherished!!! RIP Brad -- you made a positive difference in my and so many other people's lives!"

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