Tell me a little about yourself and your background?
My fitness journey really began when I was a freshman at Penn State University. My girlfriend of 2 and 1/2 years had just dumped me, and I was devastated. Not only that, but I hated school, I didn’t fit in and I was completely overwhelmed. At this time, I had what I like to call my “quarter life crisis” lol. I questioned everything – What should my major be? What do I want to do with my life? Should I have pancakes for dinner? Everything that could be questioned was questioned. But between naive confusion, female rejection and a burning desire to make something of myself, I discovered a place where I would find my solace…. the weight room. And my life changed. Not instantly of course, but my vision had been born. What followed was roughly 36 months of me trying to “find myself” (whatever that means) and figure out the “thing” that I was truly passionate about. Luckily, that thing was fitness and I haven’t looked back since. And that brings us to where we are today… 70,000+ followers on Instagram and a platform to help others along their own fitness journey. It’s pretty incredible.
What aspect of fitness do you enjoy the most?
The thing I enjoy the most about fitness is seeing what I am capable of in real time. When you put weight on a bar and it’s just you vs. you, that internal mental battle combined with the physical external battle is something else. You just can’t beat it.
How did you get into fitness? How long have you been into fitness?
I’ve been into “fitness” my whole life. Growing up I was a soccer player, so I was always active and running around. At 16 I picked up the weights for the first time, and now I’m 24.
What was a turning point for you to take it seriously?
The turning point for me from dabbling in fitness to taking it seriously came during my time at Penn State. I had been lifting weights for about 4 years prior but never really knew what I was doing. That all changed when I decided to seek knowledge and motivation from others. I hired a personal trainer. I watched YouTube videos of Steve Cook, Marc Fitt and Christian Guzman, and I went out and got myself certified as a personal trainer. All of this knowledge, and desire to become better, really gave me the confidence to commit to the journey of building a body I am proud of.
How has fitness impacted your life?
Fitness has not only impacted my life, but probably saved it too. I dealt a lot with anxiety and depression once I began college, and fitness was the only real outlet for me to express myself and serve as a form of stress relief. Without fitness, I have no idea where I would be. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
What words of advice or encouragement would you like to give to someone who is just starting out or would like to start but doesn’t know where to begin?
The best advice I have for someone who is just starting out who doesn’t know where to begin would be this: Wherever you are, start there. And start now. There’s never a perfect time, and you can’t get ahead until you get going. Eat well. Exercise often. Believe in yourself. And always have fun. And don’t ever quit. You WILL get to where you want to be if you just stay the course and figure it out along the way. I promise.