I was always a small, nonathletic kid growing up. I had a hard time in school and didn't excel in sports so I didn't have a lot of interest in them. But being picked on and not having a lot of confidence in myself, led me to the path of self improvement.
When I was 16 I decided to finally take up the practice of martial arts. Like most kids my age, I thought ninjas were super cool, so why not become one? I started practicing on my own at first, and at 17 I joined a local karate school in my small town in upstate New York, and after a few years I earned my black belt.
The training was hard, but it instilled in me the value of hard work and also how training the body could improve your physical abilities. I studied from any books that I could find on how to strengthen my body for the martial arts. I was hungry for more progress and I still wanted to learn more and keep pushing my limits.
After high school I studied graphic design at a two year school, but it proved to be a dead end for me. I was too interested in martial arts and learning more about the human body, but I hadn't put the pieces together yet on how to make these things into a career.
With the encouragement of my dad, I enlisted in the US Air Force, for a four year contact on active duty. There is no easy way to say it, these were the toughest four years of my life. But I will never, ever, regret them. They made me so much stronger mentally, and I needed that experience to grow as a person and see who I really was. During my time in the Air Force I also was able to gain some experience with personal training by becoming a certified Physical Training Leader.
After the Air Force, I returned to my small town, not sure what I was going to do. I started working as a laborer (roofing, remodeling, construction) and I loved the physical work but it didn't seem like a good long term plan. I also went back to my old karate school and took it over from my instructor to run it as my own business. This went on for about a year and a half when I decided I had to study the body in a formal setting and make a career in health and fitness.
I attended Ithaca College and earned my bachelors degree in exercise science, which gave me the foundation I needed to really understand proper training principles. While I was there I was also able to learn a great deal through internships. I worked with D1 College athletes in Syracuse NY, was an assistant strength coach to my own colleges swim team, worked in cardiac rehab, shadowed physical therapists and worked part time in my schools wellness training facility.
All of this practical knowledge led me to several different training jobs after graduation where I could further hone my skills as a coach, getting to work with hundreds of clients. Boutique style personal training, large group outdoor bootcamps, athletic strength and conditioning for golfers, tennis players, and football players, being a fitness director for a tennis club, and working freelance.
I am still learning and growing and I love to help people reach their health and fitness goals. Turning my knowledge and experience into practical change for others is what I am passionate about. I hope we can work together to reach your goal!