There were 3 major events in high school that has lead me to where I am today…
Losing 20lbs before high school
It was the summer before my freshman year in high school. It was the first time in my life that I took an active approach to losing weight. Growing up I was always active and played many sports but I was always overweight. I told my mom that I wanted to lose weight before I started high school. Soon after work one day she surprised me with a Gazelle Walking Machine, made famous by Tony Little, you remember the dude with the huge quads and an awesome ponytail on those infomercials. I told myself that after dinner every night I would burn 900 calories. I’m not quite sure where I came up with that number but I stuck to it. My little brother must have hated me at the time because we shared bedrooms and that Gazelle barely fit between our two beds and it was always out.
This is how I lost 20lbs and learned how to set goals and stick to them.
Learning how to properly weight train
At that time I also wanted to play freshman football. The Naples High Football team has always held weight training for incoming freshman and current football players as an opportunity to train in the summer. My friend Joey’s mom would pick us up for training every morning. Before then I had never known what weight training was. There was something about training with the upperclassmen that made me want to be better. I loved the feeling of improvement and challenging myself.
It was there where I learned about the importance of a well-rounded strength and conditioning program and how to challenge myself to want to be better.
Becoming a wrestler
After football season was over, one of my good friends asked me to join the wrestling team. I wasn’t sure what to think but I wanted to stay active after the great time I had playing football. The transition to wrestling couldn’t have been better. I was a natural. Wrestling four years in high school I became one of the best wrestlers in the state, which is an amazing feat given the fact I had very little experience. I had many ups and downs as a wrestler but something that I learned that I’ve never forgotten is to “finish what I start”. My wrestling coaches always reminded me of this when I wanted to quit after a big loss or a difficult time making weight.
Wrestling taught me to remain disciplined and focused on the task at hand. Quitting wasn’t an option.
It is my belief that we are the product of our experiences and the effects of those experiences. High school was the greatest learning experience of my life. I took many of the things I learned with me to become the best coach and gym owner I can possibly be. I’m constantly learning new things that add to my resume of experience but some of the things I learned in high school I will never forget.