Who am I? Why read this? Good questions! I ask myself those questions regularly! This may help…
In 1999, I began a career in Fitness that would see me:
- Take over a struggling Personal Training staff in a large, privately owned health club and get them to think of themselves as professionals – and subsequently quadruple average monthly Personal Training revenue while improving retention.
- Be tasked to move to a brand new facility 6 miles north and recruit, train and activate a brand new staff of Personal Fitness Pros that included a Physical Therapist, a Registered Nurse, a Black Belt Karate instructor, a Yoga instructor and an Olympic Boxing Gold Medalist. In the 3+ years I managed the Personal Training department in that club, we held the distinction of having the highest client retention of any club in the chain.
- Become the only Fitness Coach in the chain to focus on Youth Fitness AND Transformation Training – and succeed at BOTH!
- Co-found All-Star Sports Academy, one of the most successful businesses of its kind.
- Work with thousands of youth athletes and hundreds of adult clients, including professional baseball, hockey and football players.
- Co-author 3 books on training and programming.
- Write a book on coaching, “Alchemy: Where the Art and Science Collide in Youth Fitness,” published in 2015.
- Be named “Coach of the Year” in 2013 by the International Youth Conditioning Association.
- Become a featured speaker at the inaugural “Developing Champions Clinic” in 2016
- Become a speaker at the International Youth Conditioning (IYCA) Summits in 2017 and 2018.
- Be a member of the IYCA Advisory Board and a featured content producer for them.
- Become a speaker at the Activeight Fitness Summit in 2016 and 2017.
- Serve as the Strength & Conditioning Coordinator for dozens of Youth Sports and High School sports teams and organizations.
- Become a repeat guest on local cable sports talk shows and on radio and podcasts.
- Be a “go-to” resource for Strength Coaches and Youth Fitness Coaches all over the world.
- Start my own podcast, Four Pillar Fitness, available on every major podcast platform.
More interesting than the things I’ve accomplished and have yet to accomplish is the life I’ve lived and the challenges that have shaped me. Combine that with the people in my life and the influence they have on my thoughts and feelings and you can appreciate why I have the ethos, logos and pathos I have around health, fitness and performance.
Shortly after I began my career in 1999, my wife, MaryJo, was diagnosed with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia. Our search for treatment and management plans and techniques taught me much about how humans respond to stress, and how long-term, low-intensity stress can take a toll on the body, mind and soul.
Since that time, she’s also been diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis and a rare heart condition most often found in Japanese male septagenarians. Did I mention that she’s unique?
In 2004, I suffered a significant spinal injury while working for a health club chain. As a result, I now am the proud (?!?) owner of 2 lumbar and 2 cervical disc herniations, along with all the fun and games that accompany them.
In the 18 month period that followed, I experienced severe pain-induced anger and depression cycles. It often seems as if there is a blank spot in the story of my life that corresponds with this time. We as a society, fail to treat depression with the attention and seriousness needed. Depression is a dysfunction of the psyche that can be crippling, and can lead to other, more serious physical, mental and emotional manifestations if ignored or mistreated.
I know this, because mine was treated lightly by the medical community (not to mention the worker’s compensation legal community,) and it nearly killed me.
What may well have saved my life was returning to work with athletes. In 2005, I took over as the strength & conditioning coach for the ice hockey team at my high school alma mater, remaining in that role until 2010. The athletes with whom I was blessed to work and the relationships I was fortunate enough to enjoy as a result of this role opened my mind to greater possibilities and a belief in my own abilities and in my role in their lives.
Over time and with help from some great friends in and out of the fitness field, I began the healing process, physically, emotionally and psychologically. That work continues.
In 2008, I opened All-Star Sports Academy with a partner. We rapidly grew into the largest youth, sports and family fitness facility in 3 counties. We serve “athletes, ‘mathletes,’ and ‘non-letes'” from age 6 and up. Few facilities can say that on any given day, busy moms and dads can be found working out alongside their kids, who are working out alongside professional athletes.
While I’m proud of the work I do with All-Star, I’m most proud of the work I do with the people I get to work with.
I’m lucky enough to get to work with 6 year olds, whose nascent movement patterns are fascinating, challenging and more fun than a barrel of monkeys!
I get to work with busy moms and dads, who rarely take enough time for themselves in order to care for their health, wellness and fitness. I get to help them see that taking care of #1 lets them take better care of everyone else in their life!
My practice has become a magnet for high school athletes preparing to embark on college sports careers and fulfill their scholarship dreams. I make it my job to help them understand that this serious business is a journey to be appreciated as well!
I have the pleasure of working with pro athletes, as well. These high achievers need specified, intensive care and training to hone their skills to the nth degree and lengthen careers.
Recently, I have had the opportunity to work with other coaches. For some, I get to help them launch their careers and businesses, ensuring they build the LIFE they want, as well as a great business. For others, I get to help them embrace the science of what we do and learn how to deliver it in ways that develop, edify and support their clients and the goals they have.
Working with coaches blesses me with a way to help the fitness field multiply its’ reach and help more people than any of us could alone.
As a Christian, I strive to embrace the lessons of my faith and impart them to my clients in ways that reflect the everyday and help them develop as people. To “be more human,” so to speak. My goal is to let faith reinforce the best in them while allowing them to be themselves.
While I’ll cover this in a different page, I believe that all of life is Transformation. We are always becoming something new. We have a choice in what we become. Do we grow and become better, stronger, more loving and more effective? Or do we allow ourselves to transform to the negative, withdrawing and offering less of ourselves to the world and those around us?
The choice is ours. I choose to grow and reach more people. If you believe that’s you, too, perhaps I can help.
I am at your service.