Personal Trainer | Coach
I have the classic story of “person gets saved by exercise.” Literally, training got me out of a lifestyle of drugs and maintained the role of education throughout my life.
Growing up in Florida I wasn’t going down the best road. Getting into drugs in grade school and hanging out with a terrible crowd. I didn’t care about my education at all and did my best to skip or sleep through most of my grade school years. The only real positive influence I had at the time was cycling. Cycling ended up being the one positive factor in my life that kept me from making nothing but bad decisions.
Going into my junior year in high school in the 2008 recession my family’s business went under, we foreclosed on our home and searched for a new place to live. We ended up in Asheville NC, one of the best places for a cyclist to live in the country. Away from my bad influence friends, all I had was my hobby of cycling, so I invested all I could in cycling and it became my life. Progressing from an amateur junior cyclist to an attempt at making it my career. But my knee had other plans…
My knee blew up from pre-existing necrosis of my cartilage I had since childhood and I had no chance of maintaining my momentum in my cycling career. I couldn’t walk for 8 months and multiple doctors told me there was nothing they could do. I wouldn’t be able to do the thing I loved again. My entire identity was shattered and the depression I battled my entire life took over. Even then, I still had this need to move my body. This is where I found resistance training and handbalancing.
One day I saw a video of someone doing a handstand and thought “I want to do that! And I don’t even need a knee for that!” So I did. I ground day and night and fell in love with handbalancing and gymnastics based movements. 5 knee surgeries later by a wonderful surgeon at Duke University and a new fancy surgery managed to replace my missing cartilage. All the while I still managed to train or research training. Even with a brace on my leg, limited mobility and weight-bearing potential, I hobbled my way down to the park to train on the pull-up bars. Eventually, my new love for strength training led me into so many other forms of strength and conditioning and today my passion has never been stronger.
Being a trainer/coach is a huge deal to me. There’s a certain point in an athlete’s career where they realize the level of athleticism they’re currently at or striving for isn’t attainable forever. At some point hitting personal records in your current specialization just isn’t going to happen any longer. There are a few ways to face the unstoppable impending doom of entropy: maintain your love for your craft by enjoying the process, paying it forward by helping your community, laterally transitioning to other similar disciplines, or quitting. By being a trainer I can pay it forward to my community and give people something that means so much to me for as long as I’m able to work. I’ve seen first hand the domino effect healthy fitness and nutrition habits have on people’s lives and that’s what keeps me driven to deliver my best. I want to give people what I get from my passion.
- 2015. About a year of training. One of the earliest Images I have.
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