I recently had a mentor ask me this question in a zoom meeting with other gym owners from around the world. Crap… I wasn’t ready for this, but I thought back to the WHY and how it all began.
When I was in elementary school, I had my first thoughts about health. I personally observed the unhealthy lifestyles of family members who had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and were pre-diabetic. I didn’t understand it. I didn’t believe back then that they should have to be dependent on these prescription drugs. I didn’t understand their unhealthy behaviors and to me, all I wanted to do was be able to “fix” my family.
I remember jumping in the car to head on our annual family vacation to the shore (OCNJ) and the conversations and checklists of “don’t forget the high blood pressure medications”. Who the heck wants to have to remember to take a pill on vacation?
From that point on, it was my mission to be able to figure out the WHY and to be able to help my family change their lifestyle habits so they could live life to the fullest and get good reports when they visited the doctor. It is my family that inspired me to study exercise science in college. Even after that was completed, I still felt like I didn’t have the answers. I decided to continue my education at Bowling Green State University and study exercise physiology. There, I had a ton of hands-on experience, participated in research, conducted research and continued to read and get as many answers to my questions as possible.
Upon graduation, I landed a personal training position at a company in Malvern, PA which is where I was introduced to kettlebells. The way that movement and strength were presented to me was completely different than anything I had ever learned. I loved the kettlebells! I became obsessed. I just wanted to do them correctly. I remember one of the first weekends after being introduced to them, I asked my manager if I could take a bell home for the weekend and that I would have it back by 5 a.m. Monday morning. He said yes. It was a rainy weekend and I was outside in my backyard doing get-ups, swings and squats in the mud. I didn’t care that I was covered in mud. I just wanted to “get it.” I wanted to get stronger and move better and not hurt after lifting. These movements did it for me. During this time, I also decided to get back into soccer after a few year hiatus and play for my old club team, Erzgebirge (VE). I spoke with one of the coaches at the gym and he put me on a program with squats, swings, and getups for 6 weeks, 5 days per week. I didn’t run or anything else. When I stepped onto the field for the first time in 3 years for a game, I felt more prepared than ever before. I was recovering faster than anyone else on my team. I was running circles around the other team. Opposition players were bouncing off of me. I was stronger than I had ever been, and my conditioning was solid.
Kettlebells completely changed my philosophy and thought process when it came to health, fitness and strength.
Every Friday, I will be popping into your inbox with my Under the Bar information for the week. It will include updates, thoughts, motivation, stories, opportunities, all things health, fitness, strength, mindfulness related. No topic is off limits. If there is anything that you want me to discuss, feel free to send me an email. Looking forward to bringing more discussion and thoughts to YOU!
Until next time…pick up heavy things and put them down!