In addition to coaching CrossFit, I also help people who do CrossFit reach their body composition and performance goals through nutrition. I write about nutrition and recovery on my website and send a weekly “Fitness Bullet Friday” newsletterwith actionable nuggets of nutrition, training, and recovery advice.
I graduated from Chapman University in 2012 with a B.S. in Business Administration in the top of my class. That does not define me one bit. I feel like my degree and education distracted me from my true passion: teaching others what I have learned about how to achieve a healthy body & strong mind.
To understand who I am, I should probably tell you why I am who I am. My dad is still the best athlete I know and he is 55 years old, and my (younger) brother is the most coordinated kid I’ve ever met so I developed a bit of a complex growing up when it came to athletics. I had to fight my way out of my dad’s shadow, and somehow stay ahead of my younger brother for my own sanity. I was a late bloomer, but I was just good enough to earn the opportunity to play lacrosse in college, and I fought my way to the top. I was named the Inside Lacrosse MCLA Player of the Year after my senior season, and was honored 3 straight seasons as an All-American (including two as an academic all american) among other achievements and attribute this success ‘late’ in my athletic career to four things:
1) Hard Work: I was at the bottom of the depth chart at the end of preseason my Freshman year- then we had an alumni speak to us early in the spring season. This was a guy who had an award named after him, the award was originally called the Walter Payton award, Walter Payton has a famous quote: “the only place success comes before hard work is in the dictionary.” This legendary alumni laid a few lines on me that would change my life, and I want to share them with you. He said “luck is where hard work meets opportunity. I got incredibly lucky that I finished my career as an All-American. I was the worst player in program history my freshman year but was given the opportunity to improve and worked harder than everybody else. I got another opportunity, I finally got on the field. My hard work allowed me to capitalize on that opportunity, and I saw the field every game from then on.” I took it to heart and started putting in 2 hours of work outside practice every day and finally saw the field every game. I continued to cultivate this adopted hard working mindset, and then I got lucky again…
2) CrossFit: I worked as a lifeguard the summer after my freshman year of college, and was given the opportunity to do CrossFit workouts 3 days/week as an employment perk. This was my second exposure to CrossFit. My lazy self rejected it in high school, but now that I had discovered hard work pays off, I welcomed the opportunity. I continued to train HARD at CrossFit gyms through December until my Spring lacrosse season. Above all athletic benefits, CrossFit made me a mentally stronger person than anybody I stepped on the field with. My ‘can’t be beat attitude’ led to the best season of my life, All-American accolades, and all-tournament honors championship weekend. I was hooked on this new training style after seeing the results and immediately signed up for my CrossFit Level-1 certification.
3) Meditation: In the fall after getting my L1 cert, I took a class called “Eastern Concepts of Health and Healing”. A huge segment of this class involved exposing us to different types of meditation. For those of you who might have a poor or incomplete understanding of the mindfulness practice, it is (put simply) focusing your attention on and experiencing the present moment. We started with mindful breathing. This practice had the unintended but welcome side effects of further improving my athleticism in two ways. I was able to breathe properly through movement, and by allocating all of my attention on the present I was able to generally move better. If you do not meditate daily, I encourage you to at least start a mindful breathing practice.
4) Diet: Around the same time I discovered meditation I started reading Mark’s Daily Apple and The Zone Diet because of their popularity in the CrossFit community. Going from a college dining hall diet to having my own kitchen and new nutritional knowledge was like changing from regular unleaded to rocket fuel. I leaned out, saw performance gains, and that brain fog I never noticed I had was lifted. I found a new normal and realized I had been living life with the parking brake on. Then the zone failed me during lacrosse preseason. My energy was low, so I unintentionally started carb back loading and it led to yet another All-American season, but this time I was nominated for Player of the Year and received a significant proportion of the vote as a Junior.
I am excited to continue my journey of self-experimentation & athletic development, and to use this knowledge to help the members of Paradiso CrossFit realize their potential!