I think of myself as the every day man. Not that my motivation and drive is average, nor is my flexibility or fitness level. I’m a bit above average in those respects. But I wasn’t always this way and that’s why I consider myself an every day man. I grew up overweight (242lbs at my heaviest) and although I moved around enough as a kid and young teenager, I ate far too much and not the right kinds of food. I didn’t know any better and I didn’t have the resources like we do now. So I had to turn my own life around and it didn’t really happen until I was 25. I joined the military at 20 years old and although I lost a good deal of weight (got down to 210lbs) I still didn’t understand nutrition and when things were slow in the army I still struggled with my weight (with the exception of some bodybuilding competitions I tried to get in shape for and dropped serious weight but put it back on when it was over). I played too many video games and didn’t spend enough time educating myself where it mattered.
When I started working at Soldiers of Fitness as an Instructor that slowly changed (note: I worked for many gyms before that but this is where I consider my real journey began). I lost weight over time and got in better and better shape. The first five years of working as an Instructor, then manager, then owner, I was so busy with the business and other things I still didn’t quite know what I wanted to know about nutrition. Sure I knew a lot about bodybuilding and boot camps because I spend 10 years bodybuilding and five years already in the infantry reserve. But that didn’t teach me what I needed to know to be mobile, healthy and strong for life.
I have to give some credit to Shawn Mozen at Agatsu (www.agatsu.com) for giving me the desire to be so much more than I was. Yes I had done a bunch of half marathons and races, but my knowledge of fitness wasn’t where I wanted it to be. Shawn and Sara (Agatsu) gave me the motivation to learn to be one of the best trainers out there. They taught me about mobility and movement (and certified me), kettlebells and so much more about life by listening to them and seeing how they live. We all go through tough times but they were happy and I wanted to be the same.
It took a lot of years but I changed the way the Soldiers of Fitness Boot camp program ran. I rounded it out better with a focus on flexibility, mobility and joint stability instead of just focusing on boot camp and breaking people down with high intensity intervals. Of course I still did a lot of that, but it was far better programmed to bring more balance to the individual. It also opened up a market for the average person who didn’t even know how to move well bio-mechanically.
In the previous 10 years I powered through a lot of sports including ice hockey, Jiu-jitsu and Muay Tai kickboxing. But in 2016 I found the spark I was looking for. I ran an Obstacle Course Race with my wife (Polar Hero in mid winter) and it gave me the bug. I did a few more obstacle course races that year, then decided to start my own team in 2017 and to start training to be an elite competitor.
So full circle on my story I consider myself an every day man because I wasn’t a track star at 16 years old in high school running 14 minute 5 km races. I was just like a lot of people – lost in my goals, trying new things and looking for what fit. Now that I’ve found my passion I feel the sky is the limit. Can I outwork and outsmart the training of some of the most elite competitors who are many years younger than me? Only time will tell and the type of race (the older you get, the better off you are running longer distances – you can’t beat the speed of a young guy/girl, but you can beat his/her will to go on)
For now I love being out in nature. I’ve loved hunting since I was young and I’ve always gone to the forest as a way to break free from my life stresses and rejuvenate.
Follow me on my quest to make people more educated about training for races, living in nature and being adventurous. We were meant to be.
2019 update: My 11 year business journey came to a close when I took a position at Carleton University to have a better life/work balance. My kids are getting into OCR and I want to be less stressed out from business finance, promotion, etc. Working with Carleton the last 2 months has made my training skyrocket because I have more energy and drive for it.