Charlotte, NC has been home my entire life. I attended Dilworth Elementary, Sedgefield Middle, Myers Park High, and Central Piedmont. Growing up within walking distance of Freedom Park provided me with baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, biking trails, and more which would ultimately guide me towards a career in fitness.
I started lifting weights around the time I started playing middle school baseball at Sedgefield. This was also the time I was forced to burn off all my body fat accumulated by a childhood of Honey Buns, Doritos, Big Macs, and Sodas. My coach was a former Major League outfielder who had apparently gotten the baseball team confused with the track team. This was what I consider my first introduction to fitness.
About the time I hit high school was when my parents bought me my first computer. That’s when I discovered the internet. If I had a question I would Ask Jeeves, AOL chat with people I knew, make websites, play an endless supply of games, read articles on any topic, buy anything imaginable, it was amazing! I didn’t have to leave my room. So for a long time I drank my sweet tea and snacked while surfing the web, as a result, all that body fat my baseball coach had burned off came back and then some. I still played baseball but where most of my free time in the past was spent playing pickup games and riding my bike around Freedom Park it was replaced with sitting in a chair, eating processed foods, and washing it down with sugary beverages.
At some point I grew tired of being overweight and lazy, I was determined to get in shape and improve my athletic performance and as a result I spent the next three or four years jogging and sprinting around the soccer fields of Freedom Park EVERY night rain or shine. In hindsight, I may have been overtraining a bit but that’s how I got my start and I’ve maintained an exercise routine ever since.
I was getting compliments on a regular basis for losing the weight. I was still playing baseball and with the weight loss had generated a lot of speed on the bases. Then on the basketball court I was able to jump much higher than I ever could before.
What I like most about exercise and nutrition is that it is very self reliant and you are forced to hold yourself accountable. Success is a result of your own work ethic, whatever I accomplish I can look back and appreciate all the hard work and sacrifice I put in. In addition, your legitimate excuses for failure are very limited. If you didn’t lose the weight, if you didn’t build the muscle its usually because YOU didn’t do the work. When you do the work, and you reach the goal you set for yourself, fitness is very rewarding.