My Love & Passion for Fitness
My story begins in the small town of Winsted, Minnesota. Which is located west of the metro about 45 minutes, with a population of roughly 2,500 people. Just like any small town, you could blink and have already past it. But Winsted isn’t your average country small town, along with it being a farming community, a lot of successful large and small businesses call it home.
I grew up as the oldest child of 3. My Dad and Mom did a great job distilling a strong set of values from a young age in all of us. Unfortunately for my parents, I was the rebel child of the 3. Learning the hard way a lot of times, later learning why the set of values we were being taught were so important. As we all grow older, we can start seeing the characteristics we’ve stolen from our parents.
My Dad had a major influence on the man I am today. A few defining characteristics I stole from my dad, include being disciplined, dedicated, and determined. Being disciplined is knowing that through continuous hard work, towards whatever it is in life, comes favorable results. Which leads me to the next characteristic, dedication. He showed me that nothing worth having comes easy. That devoting oneself, time, and effort towards a task or goal, is the most efficient and effective way of earning the results you desire. This characteristic plays into the next, determination. Developing a firmness in purpose towards your goal, develops a relentless determination to succeed. These 3 characteristics define who I am, at everything I set out to accomplish. Which has engraved in me a never ending drive to improve and be better at all aspects of life.
My Mom, I don’t know where to begin... I’ll start with telling you guys I’m a momma’s boy, and I’m proud of it. My mom is the living definition of being persistent, and resilient. By definition, meaning continuing with a course of action no matter the difficulty, and the ability to withstand or recover quickly from hard times. I’d like to think these characteristics have definitely been engraved in who I am as well as I’ve gone through my own hardships. She’s taught me how to be a fighter, and to never lose faith/hope. She’s endured the loss of a child, what would have been my older brother, in a horrible car accident that left her body broken and put back together with metal. She was victorious in a long fought battle with thyroid cancer. She raised my younger siblings and I after a difficult divorce when I was 15, my sister 13, and my brother 10. And after all of this, has continued to be one of the most grateful, nicest, down to earth persons I’ve ever known.
Now that you know what characteristics define me, and how/where I developed them from. Let’s get into my personal experiences that make me, me. My life up to my parents divorce in 2012 best explained would be similar to an aggressive roller coaster with a lot of ups and downs. Life at home was very peaceful at times, yet hostile in the flip of a switch. Myself, and my family live with trauma from domestic violence to this day and it’s something we’ll carry with us forever. But through the most difficult of times, came a lot of great memories and experiences that impacted who I am.
One of these great memories and experiences is with my Dad when he introduced me to bodybuilding for the first time. My Dad was a mentor to me and many others in the community when it came to fitness. I can honestly say still to this day, he’s the largest natural bodybuilder I’ve ever met in my life. At 6’2”, 240 pounds in his prime, it was crazy to watch him throw around weight I still haven’t come close to putting on a barbell at 24. When I was 10-12 years old, I would just tag along and observe him. When I turned 13, he started to teach me the basics and fundamentals of weight training.
I started going to the gym with him 3-4 days a week, following in his steps from workout to workout. (Obviously with only a fraction of the weight he was lifting.) This really benefitted me in sports as I got older. I started wrestling when I was a kindergartner and began wrestling varsity as a 7th grader. Weight training gave me a competitive edge in physical sports through my early teens. But just like every teen, I went through my growing stages, where my competitiveness ultimately came back to haunt me.
If I could sum up my high school athletic career, with the exception of junior and senior year football, with one word, it would be: injured. From the age 15-18, between my body naturally growing, and my aggressive nature, I broke 8 bones and completely tore my right labrum in my right shoulder, all sport related. It seemed like I couldn’t stay out of a cast or a sling to save my life.
It was also a really dark time for me. With the injuries keeping me out of sports and weight training, which at the time was my therapeutic outlet to deal with the trauma I went through growing up, I resorted to alcohol starting at the age of 15. I got in a lot of trouble constantly with my parents who started to catch onto what I was doing on the weekends. I continued to resort to alcohol throughout high school. My senior year of football was a slight turnaround from my bad habits.
With the football season starting, and only being 4 months post-op from my shoulder surgery, I had a decision to make. Play 2 months earlier than the doctor recommended and risk further injury or sit out majority of the season. For me, the answer was easy, I was going to play. With taking proper precaution and wearing a shoulder brace, I took on the challenge. I went on to have one of the best seasons as a running back in school history. Even with missing 3 games, due to tweaking my shoulder again and a foolish suspension. I went on to rush for 1,059 yards, averaging 6 yards a carry and scoring 13 touchdowns in 8 games. With the opportunity to play after high school, I made a hard decision to focus on my health.
That being said, weight training became more relevant. I finally hit the beginning of a stretch where I would go without a major injury until I was 23. With high school in the past, my college years began. With alcohol still very prominent in my life, weight training started to not only sound like the better choice, but also felt like it. When I was 19, I realized that alcohol served no purpose in my life. After being on the verge of failing out of college and drinking so much that for a period of time I became allergic to alcohol, my intuition finally took over.
One day I woke up and just said enough was enough, and fitness in the form of bodybuilding began to consume me. This was a really lonely point in my life. Choosing to avoid all environments that involved alcohol also separated me from a lot of my friends. Whenever alcohol was present, I’d remove myself from that situation. Sometimes going to the gym at 10PM and not returning back to my college home until 1-2AM. I began to weight train on the daily.
My split at the time was legs/arms, chest/shoulders, back/biceps, legs/shoulders, chest/triceps, back/biceps, with a designated arm day. So no days off, training 2-3 hours a day. I stuck to this split for a year. In that year I went through crazy transformation, going from a skinny build 178lb 19 year old, to 215lb 20 year old. Adding 20-25lbs of lean mass. During this time is when I competed in my first (October 17, 2017) natural bodybuilding competition in Duluth, MN, in the Men’s Physique Division. I placed 5th, talk about a pride check. I instantly went back to the drawing board, changed up nutrition coaches, and got back in the gym.
Eventually my body couldn’t take the strain of a 7 day workout split anymore. After dealing with many minor training injuries, I switched to a 5 day routine in the following format: Legs, Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms, with weekends off for recovery. I had my eyes set on another competition at the time that was only 6 months away from my recent competition (April 7th, 2018), the NPC Gopher State Classic in Minneapolis, MN. With this competition no longer requiring competitors to be natural, I knew I had to bring a way better package. Even though I brought a better overall physique than before, I placed 7th amidst the second call-out. This one stung worse than the first loss, so right back to the drawing board I went. This time, I took a year off with plans of competing in the same show again the following year.
Little did I know, that would be the last show I’d compete in. The NPC Gopher State in 2019 was cancelled a month before the competition because of poor management. Along with a show in the summer of 2020, the Twin Cities Open due to the COVID19 pandemic. So I have been patiently improving my physique, waiting for the next opportunity to present itself.
I’ve now been bodybuilding consistently for 4 years now, with a large amount of knowledge in what it takes to properly put on muscle and burn fat. I’m currently in the midst of another recovery, this time being a knee reconstruction surgery after completely tearing my ACL and damaging my meniscus on August 4th, 2020. Just another injury I can add to my resume of setbacks I’ve overcome. I’m currently training without a competition in mind but am looking to step on stage again in late 2021, or summer of 2022.
I’m grateful for all the hardships that have occurred in my life, because each one has taught me a lesson and showed me the key characteristics that make me, me. My mission now is to share my knowledge I’ve learned thus far with as many people as possible through my business, Flight Physiques LLC. Looking to help others find their connection between mind and body. Read more about what Flight Physiques has to offer in the about us!
I created Flight Physiques to help people tap into their full potential. What sets Flight Physiques apart from the competition is every routine is goal specific to the client. Today's fitness world is saturated with the thought of "one way works for all." Flight Physiques is here to break the trend. After 1 consultation with me, I personally take the time to customize your full fitness routine and have it sent to your inbox in under 48 hours. After receiving the fitness routine, I will check-in with you weekly to assure your results and to help hold you accountable. The first step to everyone's fitness journey is always the hardest, and I am here to help you make that first step and take flight towards your new physique! Contact me below for your free consultation!