I grew up in a small town on an island in the middle of the Ohio River just outside of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Yup a real island called Neville Island, I think about 1200 people still live there. At the time, it was a depressed community with a troubled economy and little industry remaining after the collapse of the steel industry. My childhood was comprised of fishing off of rafts built from pieces of drift wood, skateboarding and riding dirt bikes. Blue collar pride in the rust belt of America. There wasn’t a lot going on and in that vacuum; great temptation to use and abuse drugs and alcohol. Think Huckleberry Finn mixed with Eminem. I was lucky though, because my parents and teachers saw a spark in me and in 7th grade rather than going to the local high school that only graduated 60% of its seniors - I went off to a magnet private school.
However, I was less than enthusiastic about leaving my public school friends and took out my frustration on the lacrosse field, the newfound private school sport that I loved! The fire for fitness was officially ignited! And although I resisted the change of schools I can now see that getting a quality high school education changed the trajectory of my life. I went on to get my engineering degree from Virginia Polytechnic and State University where I “double majored” in martial arts. I think in the martial arts classroom is where my true passion for self improvement was first contacted. I could literally see and feel the changes to my body and mind as I practiced complex punches, kicks, strikes etc.. I continued my martial arts study in earnest when I moved to New York City and studied with Master Fuki Yang at Heart Mind Martial Arts.
I’ve always loved the feeling of freedom and power that I have gotten from working out. While working a 9-5 job back in 2004 I started moonlighting as a personal trainer at New York Health and Racquet Club to try to make some extra cash. It was so fun and I was so good at it that I was quickly booked up and had to “quit my day job” to take on my burgeoning client list. Around that time I was also doing stand up and improv comedy. Another trainer I knew who was also an actor introduced me to his manager and since then I have been steadily booking roles on television commercials in addition to personal training clients.
My attitude as always been that the sky is the limit. I try to bring that into every one of my training sessions. I KNOW my clients can do more because I have seen the more troubling side of life and am living proof of the changes and improvements one can make. You just need the right coaching and support and you can achieve anything.