Since the age of 8 i’ve always found myself testing my physical and mental capacity to the limits. Training in traditional Japanese martial arts (Shotokan Karate and Judo) at a very early age when most of my friends were playing Basketball or Soccer had certainly set me apart from the “norm”. However, I was overweight….weighing in at 195lbs by the time I was 15 years old,
suffering from bouts of asthma, bullying for being the size of two kids, developing an eating-disorder to comfort myself, depression and lack of motivation in school and life….something needed to change but where to start? Thankfully, I was given braces to help fix a jaw misalignment which put spacers in-between my upper and lower jaw. What that means is I couldn’t eat anything besides apple sauce and mashed potatoes for A WHOLE MONTH! I went from 195 lbs down to 123 lbs and from that point on I promised myself that I would NEVER gain back that weight. I am pleased to say that I have been able to keep that promise through formal education, certification and course completion in Holistic Lifestyle Coaching, Exercise Coaching, Yoga and Martial Arts.
However, it wasn’t without years of testing and learning more about my body and then helping others with their well-being changes that I truly understood what living a balanced and holistic lifestyle meant. When it came to nutrition I certainly WAS NOT doing much in the realm of what they call “clean eating” but once I hit my mid 20’s is when my metabolism started to take a dip and realized that I needed to adapt with my physiological change because the old stuff was not working! I tried vegetarian diets, paleo diets, intermittent fasting, If It Fits Your Macros diets which gave me insight but nothing that was reliable. For exercise I looked up every program available for free on bodybuilding.com, I purchased DVD courses from famous Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai fighters and Cardio Kickboxing classes but still couldn’t find anything that was sustainable. That’s when I STOPPED LOOKING outward and found a mentor who helped guide me in the right direction. I will say this, competing in martial arts tournaments for years gave me the tools to help mold my character and virtues, a unique entity that’s learned from experience the value of discipline, strong habits, belief and continued education in all facets of my life.
Moving away from traditional martial arts training to focus on resistance training was the next evolution in my personal growth, specifically barbell training, strongman and embracing the training of Powerlifting. Having competed in Powerlifting (I still do) as well further solidified the belief that the mind-body connection is so important to the health of our spirit as I’ve learned from my mentor Elliott Hulse. However, every hero’s journey has had some setbacks, injuries and scars along the way. All too familiar with myself I’ve accumulated countless injuries from herniated discs, torn muscles, you name I’ve had it. After a major injury in the winter of 2013 I was forced to step back and ask myself, “if I continue on this path how much longer will it be before I’m in a wheelchair?”.
Scary thought right? That’s when a very dear friend of mine shared with me the opportunity to take up Yoga. Now if you asked me a month before that injury if I would ever do Yoga it probably would have been a flat out “No”. I suppose the saying “never say never” is quite applicable as after my first yoga class I immediately signed up for a 200 hour teacher training course at CorePower Yoga, spending the last 3 years teaching at CorePower Yoga and being a coach for their Teacher Training Programs, honing my craft learning from the brightest and seasoned teachers in the Yoga community (Annie Carpenter, Kino MacGregor, Patrick Beach to name a few).
For the last two decades i’ve had the opportunity to train with some of the best martial arts instructors in the various arts (Dan Sullivan OCK&MMA, Gracie Family Gracie Academy in Torrance CA etc.), but the most important lesson I’ve learned is that in order to achieve any goal you set for yourself a certain level of belief and determination is required. Belief in yourself that you CAN attain your goal and determination to NOT let up when others or circumstances may voice otherwise.
From the lessons and training received by the C.H.E.K institute I have been able to adapt and continually grow both my own practice and help others on their journey to become the most powerful version of themselves through nutrition, goal setting, awareness, balancing working out and working in principles and being a coach to help those who wish to change and grow in their own lives.
My D.R.E.A.M (Direct Reflection Expressing A Miracle) is to help others find the awareness in their own bodies to become a master of their life, what is your dream? Let’s work together and help each other grow.