Madison, NJ 07940
I've been involved in fitness since I was nineteen. At first it was just to help pay the bills while in college. My mother and father worked their butts off to put their five kids through school, so we each did what we could to chip in. For me, that meant a job cleaning equipment and folding towels at a local health club.
It really wasn't a bad job, though. I'd always been interested in working out - and "human performance" in general -- so for me, I was in my element. As a boy I used to build obstacle courses in the woods near my house to challenge the kids in the neighborhood. At age fourteen, to challenge myself, I signed up for The Marine Military Academy summer program. In high school, my challenges included captaining both my baseball and football teams.
Shortly after graduation I discovered Triathlon - a sport that appealed to my desire to push myself as an individual. Over the next five years I qualified for the Ironman World Championships four times and won enough smaller races to earn a pro card. I also studied exercise science in college, and attended a Marine Officer's program.
I may have started out doing grunt work at gyms, but it wasn't long before I helped introduce the concept of personal training to New Jersey. I created the personal training programs at three health clubs and ran them simultaneously. Eventually, I opened my first private studio where I could give my own coaching style full reign.
That style reflects the influence of far too many coaches, uncles, drill instructors, and others to mention here, but there are three who have inspired me in such different ways that I'd like to tell you about them.
First, John Kemper. John owned Diamond Gym in Maplewood, N.J., arguably the most hardcore gym in America at the time. Diamond was my home-away-from-home while training for the Triathlon. What John taught me was that fancy equipment didn't mean diddly when it came to working out. The tone and "ambience," as he would say, is what is important in a gym.
I've never forgotten this, and do everything I can to make sure my gyms live up to this ideal.
Second is my father, who showed me the meaning of an honest day's work and how you have to be true to yourself. On weekends and over the summers I would tag along with him to his body shop. Being around the guys there was incredibly important in shaping my world. "Be who you want to be, not who someone else says you are." That's what my father taught me.
Most importantly, there's my beautiful wife Holly, who has made me complete as a coach, a teacher, and as a father. While her gifts to me are many, I'm most grateful for her incredible patience. She's taught me to take in each and every moment - and to enjoy it all. Together, we work hard not only to build a wonderful family life for ourselves and our kids, but to have a valuable and lasting impact on the lives of all of our clients.