Sgt. Maj. William A. Hines walking with his German shepherds, Mia and Layla.

Sgt. Maj. William A. Hines is known by many in the Lithia community as ‘the Man With Two Shepherds’ because of the miles he has put in throughout the community with his German shepherds, Mia and Layla. Those that know him are drawn to his infectious positivity and the path he takes day in and day out to embrace fitness.

Daily, Hines can be found outside walking or running and at his gym, Anytime Fitness.

Anytime Fitness owner Ronald Rigaud said Hines is a constant encouragement to everyone he encounters.

“Bill embodies the Warrior Ethos that exercising is a way of life, not a seasonal or simple period in life to get in shape. It’s everyday putting in the work,” Rigaud said.

Sgt. Maj. William A. Hines.

A career Marine who achieved the highest noncommissioned rank, Hines’ dedication to fitness may seem typical; however, Hines retired after 27 years due to severe illnesses.

After a run in 2010, he was rushed to Tampa General Hospital because he couldn’t breathe. Doctors found blood clots in his lungs. What followed was a dark period in his life: forced retirement, countless doctor appointments, extended time at Mayo Clinic, and a final diagnosis that included fibromyalgia, factor V Leiden thrombophilia, lupus and severe chronic fatigue. By the time Hines had the diagnoses, he was in the worst shape of his life, hardly being able to get up the stairs to his bed at night.

He was at rock bottom emotionally and physically. Then, doctors cleared him for physical activity. He went out a few steps at a time on the FishHawk trails with his dogs Mia and Layla. Before long, a quarter mile turned into a half mile. Now, he often puts in 10 miles a day and on an average month hits the gym around 34 times. In 2023, he amassed the most gym visits in a year since the facility opened in 2016.

Hines said he doesn’t have daily goals. He has a life goal to go out and enjoy life.

“There is no excuse in life. You’re gonna have ups and downs. But are you gonna get up? Or are you gonna let it beat you down?” Hines said. “Is your glass empty or half full? Live with a full glass. And get out and move. Go enjoy life. Don’t just sit and do nothing.”

Hines said making time for fitness is key for quality of life.

“There’s always time. If you make it a priority in your life, you can do it. Everybody can squeeze in an hour. There’s an hour of wasted time in your day,” Hines said.

Hines highly recommends people to find a gym with a personal trainer for accountability. For information about Anytime Fitness Lithia (FishHawk), located at 16144 Churchview Dr., Ste. 201 (second floor) in Lithia, email

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