My story, or how I got here, and why I needed to get here is all you need to know about me and PrimeFITT.
I grew up in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio -- surrounded by 4 brothers and a lone sister and with my parents of Irish, English, and German descent.
We played sports because Dad did. And, we cleaned our rooms and behaved because Mom would have it no other way.
But it was a glorious upbringing filled with sports of all kinds and we played with anyone who was up to the challenge.
So, needless to say I do not like to lose at anything. We practiced and played from sun-up until sundown, only stopping for lunch and when those streetlights came on.
We all knew that you had better be home by then or there would be trouble...
Life Was Good Until...
Life for me was good, until life was not so good and would teach me valuable lessons.
I was CUT from my freshman high school basketball team. I had never not succeeded and have never been "cut" from a team before. This hurt badly and left a bitter taste for sure. So, I did the only thing I knew... I practiced harder and longer than ever. I made a choice to do whatever it took to “be prepared.”
I did prepare myself to the best that I knew how. But, how could I be prepared for the “what comes next may not be what you expected?”
Setbacks and Roadblocks
Any plan must also include a way to handle setbacks and roadblocks. My plan needed to include a way to handle setbacks and roadblocks. Although I went and outworked everyone else that was small, weak, and could not jump high enough to dunk until I made the varsity team as a Junior – I found myself unprepared and without a good plan to handle adversity
My dream of becoming an NBA player was dashed, for sure, when I became so frustrated with things, of which I had no control, that I QUIT my team. And, ultimately QUIT on myself.
You may be familiar with the saying: “Winners never quit, and quitters never win!”
I learned this lesson the hard way.
A New Lesson to be Learned
What I hadn’t learned yet was that everyone has setbacks. Everyone at some point finds themselves unprepared to deal with their own setbacks.
That was me. I wasn’t prepared.
So, like many others I took the easy way out. I quit on myself.
It was not until a few years later that I discovered how a mentor, or a good coach could help me set up a plan and use those early failures to motivate me. It would help me find out not only why I failed, but how to be successful in the future
What I eventually discovered was a formula. At first this formula improved my health through fitness. Then, I applied it to all areas of my life. This exact same formula would later become the foundation for PrimeFITT.
But, initially it inspired me to dive into fitness to help myself first -- which eventually lead me to pursue a career in fire service and fitness training.
Real Life... from the Beginning
However, before the formula I was at that point in life where so many young people struggle. I was searching. I didn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't have a plan... much less a back-up plan. Anyone else suffer from that naivety?
After high school, I graduated to a life of uninspiring work and weekend sports. Nonetheless, I never lost my competitive drive to be a team player and continued to compete in local sports as often as I could.
Because of this drive, I always found work. I was accustomed to outworking my peers at every turn. I stayed in good physical shape. I maintained a positive mindset. It was as if my inner soul continued to prepare me for something.
But for what?
My journey eventually led to my being tested and hired as a firefighter. As such, I began a new career in public service.
Plus, I was also now a family man having married my high school sweetheart and bringing two great kids into the world.
I did not know it immediately, but I had found both my passion and inspiration in this new career.
Public service provided me with clarity and salvation. Somehow, serving the public allowed me to let go of the shame and disappointments I had carried with me as a youngster. I soon thrived in service and served with pride.
A Fit Firefighter and More...
Serving the community as a firefighter is physical in nature. So, working out in the gym and weight room helped both my physical conditioning as well as my emotional desire to "better" myself as a way to make up for past failures.
It was this combination of lessons learned, hard work and having a sound fitness plan that prepared me for the opportunities that would present themselves.
As a firefighter’s representative I created a wellness program that helped my new teammates -- brother firefighters with their own fitness, health and wellbeing. This program prepared all of us for the physical riggers of the job as well as the many stresses faced by professional firefighters.
Later I would assist other firefighter "brothers" serving other communities to improve their health, fitness and wellbeing. We were creating heroes. In fact, over the years it became apparent to me that sports figures and politicians are no way near the "heroes" I worked with every day. The guys who run toward burning buildings to preserve life and property.
Sharing the Health...
In addition to serving as a firefighter, I also earned my ACE certification as a professional fitness trainer. As such, I often helped people with their fitness goals at private fitness clubs, public recreation centers and senior apartment complexes. I even built a small fitness studio addition to my house for people who requested more comprehensive one-on-one training and motivation.
I've continued my fitness education and it has only fueled my desire to make a real difference in people's lives.
Over the past 5 years I have specialized in working with mostly age 50+, de-conditioned and sedentary individuals. I help them get started or reintroduced to exercise and fitness.
I am also certified in Silver Sneakers class formats and continue to teach my proprietary PrimeFITT programs such as FITTstart, as well. These days, I teach both "live" and "virtual" fitness classes and offer a variety of coaching options for my clients.
I am sure that as a fitness coach and exercise professional this program will put you on both feet moving forward to your best life!