Been There, Done That

Like many people, I like to consider myself as being ‘well-rounded’. And I’m not one to brag, but I have always been kind of proud of my many claims-to-fame. To give you a better picture of the man behind the blog, I figure today’s as good a day as any to share some of my more memorable moments.

I always wanted to see – make that experience – the world and I’ve been fortunate and am extremely grateful to have traveled to more than 20 different countries (so far!); I even lived in England for more than 3 years.

I’ve experienced the view over Paris from high atop the Eiffel Tower, toured many of the great cathedrals of Europe, walked through 800-1000 year old castles in Scotland, enjoyed an outdoor wine festival in Budapest and had pizza the way it was intended to be made on the shore of Lake Como in northern Italy.

Years before the destructive tsunami, I snorkeled in the Maldives – at one point, I was swimming in about 30′ of water and looked down to see a trio of white tip reef sharks. It was cool to be so close to nature, but I’ve never been a great swimmer – in fact, I splash around like a wounded seal – so when I lost track of the 3rd one, you better believe I got the hell outta the water!

There was also the time I jumped out of a taxi without paying shortly after arriving in Athens, Greece. I’m sure my forehead had a big TOURIST stamp and the driver was obviously trying to ‘take me for a ride’. While I may have been clearly out of my normal environment, I ain’t no sucka’!

Getting back to fitness (the main theme of this blog, in case you forgot)…

When I was in high school in the late 1980s, I (along with several of my football buddies) had an opportunity to work out at a private residential fitness center in Chicago where we shared equipment with Mr. T. I remember as he finished his workout and was on the way out the door, he told us (in the way that only a guy with a Mohawk and dozens of gold chains around his neck could), “be cool brothas”.

In my 20s, I trained alongside powerlifting legend, Ed Coan, for more than 4 years at Quads Gym in the south side of Chicago. During this time, I learned how to get strong – REAL strong. If you’re unfamiliar with the sport of powerlifting, Ed is basically the Tiger Woods equivalent of his sport. (What would you say if Tiger asked if you wanted some help with your golf game?) Ed trained with such super-human weights and intensity, he would often spit blood after a set.

That reminds me, I met Gene Simmons at a tattoo convention in NJ a few years ago. Rather than give him the typical, “I’m the biggest KISS fan ever” line (actually, I prefer Iron Maiden anyway), I walked up to Gene, said hello and asked him what the last good album was that he listened to. Would you believe he told me, “Patsy Cline’s Greatest Hits”??!! (his reasoning: “She sold more records than anyone”) I also met “Vanilla Ice” at the same event, but I can’t say I’m particularly proud of that – although he did sell me some tattoo care oinment.

But I digress…
Over the years, I’ve carried the title of Official Fitness Trainer of Miss Delaware USA, worked with models, doctors, an actor and countless ‘regular’ people, too. My professional advice and ideas have appeared in books, magazines, websites, radio and television – I’ve become known as something of an “expert” in my field, but I still have to pay full price when I get my car washed.

Today, in my mid-30s, I suppose I could sit back, satisfied with my accomplishments and the knowledge that I’ve already gained, but experience is an addictive thing. The more you get, the more you want. And I’m just getting started.

Perhaps Einstien said it best: “The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. The more I realize I don’t know, the more I want to learn.”

My most telling claim-to-fame?
Even though I wish the number was still zero, I’m still proud to say I’ve only used an in-home training client’s bathroom ONE time. Such a rarity it is, she was even sure to point out the fact that I never do that. (By the way, I don’t think I ever thanked you for making that experience so uncomfortable, Liz!)


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