I learned a few years ago from my mentor Todd Durkin that telling your story can be a very powerful thing. Powerful enough that it may even inspire someone. Well if my story can inspire even one person, then I’m glad to have shared. Here is my story.
My fitness journey began a LONG time ago, dating all the way back to when I was just a young kid. It’s always funny when I hear people tell me that I’m “lucky” because I’m just blessed with good genetics to be in shape. However, that is far from the truth. I’m not saying that I was born with zero God-given ability, because I was, and I’m very thankful and grateful for that; but I had to work very hard to compete with the other kids my age. I was that “big boned” kid. I was strong and athletic but, for lack of a better word, I was chubby! Yeah, I had big bones and thick skin, but I had a big heart to go with it!
The first time I ever played a sport was when I joined the local Little League when I was 9. I was already behind everyone else because they had started a couple years earlier. But I didn’t care; I was so pumped to just be doing what all the other kids were doing. I started to play every other sport too because that’s what all my friends were doing, but that changed quickly. The sports were always fun to me, but losing was never fun. I didn’t want to just play with everyone else. I wanted to be better than them. I wanted to win.
While most all of my friends had parents that were former athletes, or coaches, or at least had some background in sports, my parents unfortunately didn’t. I didn’t have the Dad that would play catch with me, or shoot hoops with me. But what my parents did give me was something far greater, at least in my opinion. They gave me LOVE, and they gave me BELIEF. Belief that I could be just as good as the other kids, if not better. But I would have to work harder than everyone else. I basically just had to take whatever coaching and teaching I could get at practices from other dads, and go home and practice on my own or with my older brother. I would take tennis balls and play catch with the garage to work on my arm strength, catching, and eye-hand coordination. I would stay out all night in my driveway and practice dribbling, and shooting baskets. I would run around all day and play tag, or hide and seek. I was always active, but I was still chubby, so I decided I needed to clean up my nutrition. I cut out all soda, and kept excess sweets to a minimum, and began to lose my fat (all that sugar is no good for you!) I finally leaned out, and was no longer the chubby kid, lol.
When I was in the 8th grade about to enter high school, I remember other parents telling my parents that I was a good athlete, but I wouldn’t be good enough to compete at the high school level. I tried out for three sports when I was in high school: football, basketball and baseball. I started in all three sports, and was a two-way starter in football. What now haters! HAHA! This is when I was first introduced to weight lifting and sports performance training. I began to love lifting weights, and saw the benefits and results from the training, so I started doing it all the time. I knew that if I wanted to be the best at the next level, I had to get an edge on the competition. Baseball was the sport I excelled in the most, and by Senior year, we were one of the best high school teams in the state and in the country. And after my senior season, the baseball team was ranked #1 in the nation!
I was recruited by a handful of Division 1 schools, but due to academic reasons, my choices became more narrow. I ultimately committed to San Jose State University because we had a really good local recruiting class, and one of my best friends also committed to play there as well. He was a big time recruit with Major League potential. His dad was a former Major Leaguer and was my hitting coach, so it made sense to go there and we could help build the program. However, my college baseball career didn’t go as I had envisioned. I ended up leaving SJSU and bounced around a couple different colleges for different reasons, and in my sophomore season, I tore my rotator cuff diving for a ball in practice. I ended up having to sit the rest of the season out and rehab, and then transferred to San Diego State University the following year. This eventually led to the end of my career, and the dream of playing professional baseball had died.
To be honest, I really didn’t know what I wanted to do after that. I thought I had a legitimate chance of getting drafted and playing pro ball by the time I was done with college, but now that was out of the equation. What do I do now? Outside of baseball, I always loved working out, so I thought maybe I’d try that out. During this time, I changed my major to Kinesiology, and I began studying the body, human movement, how the body works, and how to improve performance. It really interested me, and I thought to myself, I may have figured out what I want to do now! I got a job as a floor trainer at a gym while in college, which meant I would keep the gym clean, and I taught a free class a few days a week. I tried to learn everything I could. Once I finished school, I got hired as a full time trainer.
My first year as a trainer was an interesting one though. I was pumped to be hired on full time, and I was so ready to spread impact to gym members and clients, but I didn’t have a lot of clients yet. At this gym, you would get a few potential client leads here and there, but for the most part, you had to get clients yourself. I had a general manager that basically told me I would not last. In fact, he believed in me so little that he made bets with other managers saying that in three months time, I would be doing less than 40 training sessions a month. It dumbfounded me that the general manager was making bets against me, hoping that I fail. That was fine with me though, because all it did was make me believe in myself more. But I was FIRED UP now, and by month three, I was doing about 120 sessions a month. Needless to say, he lost the bet!
I now had a good amount of clients, and I loved training them and helping them reach their goals, but something was missing. I knew in my heart that I wanted to work with athletes, so I set that as my next goal. I told friends that I wanted to train elite level athletes, and professional athletes, and they would laugh and say, “Well so does everyone else, good luck.” Perfect, another group of unbelievers! All good though, because I believe in myself! I would stay home on weekends and read, study, and learn. I had done some work with Todd Durkin a few years back, and we re-connected and set up a meeting. I told him what I wanted to do, and how I could help. He believed in me and gave me a chance, and here I am today! That’s what brought me to Fitness Quest 10! I have a lot more I want to accomplish in this business and in life, and I have a long ways to go, but I feel like I’m headed in the right direction!
I share this story because I want to show that if you believe in yourself, and you surround yourself with people who believe in you, great things will happen. People will doubt you along the way, and people will tell you that you can’t do it. It won’t be easy, and you will have to make a lot of sacrifices. But if you truly want something bad enough, you WILL find a way. Whatever it is that you want out of life, get inspired, and then BECOME the inspiration! Stay HUMBLE, stay HUNGRY, let’s go!!
Fitness Quest 10 Personal Trainer & Strength & Conditioning Coach
There is a well-organized medical service with all necessary equipment. SCOTT & WHITE HOSPITAL- COLLEGE STATION.