It’s weird to think back on a time before weight lifting was such a big factor in my life. It’s now so engrained in my daily routine that I can’t even begin to imagine what life would be like had I not fallen in love with the gym. For anyone that follows me, it may sound weird to think at one point I NEVER wanted to work out. My mom would ask me regularly if I wanted to go to the gym with her and I was perfectly content with staying home and playing Xbox all day. I mean why would I take precious time away from Call of Duty?
The military was always a big influence in my life at a young age. I saw my older brother leave for the Navy when I was 7, and I think that’s where it first started to creep into my head. I can remember putting on my camo outfit when the recruiter was coming to get my brother to take him to basic training in hopes that he’d ask me to come as well. Then a TV show sparked my interest to be a pilot in the military and that’s where I set my sights. I told my parents I wanted to be a fighter pilot and the idea just stuck with me for a long time. When I found out I could be in JROTC in high school and get to wear a uniform, I was all in. I would always see the physical fitness team practicing and, at that time, they were the only ones that got to wear the camouflage uniform. It was a status symbol that had to be earned as you only got it if you were on one of the competition teams. That’s when it all started. At first, I’d skip practices all the time, but as I became closer to the guys on the team, the more I’d go until eventually I couldn’t get enough.
Through the Raider team, I was first exposed to fitness competitions and found the drive behind being in shape. I hated losing or being back of the pack on anything. Not to say I was ever the best by a long shot, but I knew I was pushing my hardest. As the guys on the team started to become the people I hung out with, they’d invite me to the gym to lift and that was the first time I’d really liked going to the gym. Definitely a different feeling going to work out with your buddies instead of your mom (sorry mom). This was somewhere around 16 years old, and I’d barely consider it to be training. More of just going into the gym and hitting some chest and arms because what young boy doesn’t think that’s all you have to hit? The memory of how this transitioned into more serious lifting between then and the start of college is a little blurry, but I do remember going to my mom a few months before going to college and telling her I didn’t want to be the small kid anymore. Of course the first thing I asked for was a weight gainer protein, because that was obviously the thing I was missing (hopefully you read that with the heaviest of sarcasm).
Oh the early college days trying to figure out who I was now that I was on my own. No parents, no real responsibilities other than class attendance and a whole new world to navigate. I continued with my lifting journey and managed to find a good friend that was into powerlifting competitions and the idea that I could compete in something came up fairly quickly. After a quick glance of the numbers in my weight classes for powerlifting, I decided I’d do better just showing off what I could build. I’m not really sure where I’d heard of men’s physique but I just remember telling my boy I thought it’d be cool and with his support, I started to train towards that. After getting linked up with my first coach, I set a date for a competition in November 2013 and once I got on stage and got under those lights, I was hooked. I didn’t do well at all my first show, but the entire experience just grabbed me by the feet and flung me in the deep end.
At the same time, I was starting my bodybuilding journey, I was also working towards being a United States Marine Corps Officer. I joined a program that would allow me to go to Officer Candidate School while attending college so that once I graduated I would go straight in as an Officer. I still had every intention of becoming a pilot and I had chosen the most elite branch I could find, cause ya know, bad ass. While my fitness was improving in the weight room, I was not doing the proper type of workout to be ready for the training they’d throw at me once at OCS. I thought because I was getting bigger and stronger that I’d just blow right through OCS with no problem. If I could go back and smack some common sense into myself, I totally would cause I got my ass handed to me at OCS. I was not ready for the amount of running we would be doing and my body took the full brunt of it. I ended up with 4 stress fractures and getting sent home early from training. As I left, I remember telling everyone there I was coming back and not going to let this stop me, but in my head I knew I wouldn’t cut it. I got back and told my parents I wanted to own a gym and I wanted to switch my major to Kinesiology (fancy word for Exercise Science) and that’s when I first started to expand my knowledge of the fitness world beyond the meathead stuff I’d learned on the internet.
I’ve been on this bodybuilding journey ever since and I can honestly say it has been one of the best experiences of my life and has grown me as a man more than any other aspect of my life. Bodybuilding has taught me how important things like dedication and discipline are and how they can be the most valuable asset in your life. With enough dedication and discipline to follow through, anything you set your mind to is achievable. I’ve learned the value of hard work through bodybuilding and the lengths you have to go to sometimes in order to accomplish things others only ever dream of.
That is where my true passion lies, in showing others the same thing through fitness. I want to help as many people as possible better their lives through their fitness journey as possible so that they too can know how much it can benefit you more than just physically. I want to be the guiding light for as many people as possible so that they don’t have to fumble through this thing by themselves. With the amount of information that is out there on anything related to fitness, it can often be difficult to figure out what you should do and who you should listen to. My goal is to be a resource for anyone looking to better themselves through fitness by giving the best information possible and helping navigate through every aspect that comes with improving physical health.
So, that’s the shortened version of what got me started down this path to being an online coach and personal trainer. I wake up every day excited to hear from my clients and see their progress. It’s was wakes me up in the morning and what drives me throughout the day.
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