Born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, I will always be a Jayhawk at heart. However, it was at Truman State University where I was able to follow my dreams and continue my athletic journey, playing both football and wrestling on scholarship. My studies aligned with my passion for sport, and I graduated Cum Laude with a B.S. in Exercise Science.
Before landing on the personal training track, I spent four years gaining clinical experience as an intern and technician for multiple physical therapy clinics and medical family practices. As it turned out, my true calling fell more on the preventative side of the health equation. Having the broad experience of learning within hospitals, private family practices, rehabilitation clinics, research universities, athletic training facilities, and commercial gyms alike, I began to understand the shortcomings of modern medicine. And I would prefer to avoid treating merely symptoms of disease when and wherever possible. Thus my mission was revealed.
Before opening my dream luxury boutique fitness studio, BodySmith Personal training, I practiced my craft as both a trainer and fitness manager for several 24 Hour Fitness locations in Kansas City. I hold accredited certifications from the National Academy in Sports Medicine (NASM) as both a Certified Personal Trainer and Performance Enhancement Specialist. Additionally, I am a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), TRX Suspension Training System Instructor and most importantly have over 11 years of personal training experience.
The real stuff (my story, aka me just being me)
Let me go ahead and lead with something I used to not share with anyone. I have been fighting a battle with depression and substance abuse since I was eighteen years old. I’m proud to say that I am winning, but I still get humbled by life’s many challenges. Exercise is one of two constants in my life that has given me the energy and inspiration to take control, be proactive, and feel empowered to follow my dreams. My other passion is music and remains one of my favorite creative and emotional outlets. Furthermore, I have had to overcome many obstacles and “set-backs” along the way, including my most recent injury where I had to have my chest surgically re-attached to arm (ouch!). Oddly, I’m better off for all of it as I’ve made stronger connections with those who have shared experiences.
In high school I had very low self-esteem and was ashamed of my body. I had a love for sports and a dream to play college football, but I was a skinny 130 pound kid who was constantly overlooked by coaches and teammates alike. I will never forget the summer that I truly fell in love with the weight room and what I was able to accomplish in there once I started to believe that I could change my fate. Progress was slow, initially, but I learned the valuable lesson of “consistency x best effort = results.” (Which to this day is the most valuable advice I can offer to the “quick-fix”, “magic-bullet” world of today). In the end, my determination that year was paid off and the subsequent transformation of my body became the launching pad for a new soaring confidence that helped me take my personal and athletic aspirations to the next level, quite literally. That once scrawny kid got himself an athletic scholarship to both wrestle and play football at Truman State University.
In college I became an expert in the human body (at least on paper). At the time I did not understand the psychological aspects of human behavior that truly guide our fitness path. That didn’t come till I became a practitioner. With that being said, my Truman State education afforded me the scientific skills to achieve vitality, high level sports performance, and improved body aesthetics. As both a wrestler and “guy trying impress the ladies,” I practiced many diet and exercise strategies in order to achieve obscenely low levels body fat. As a football player, I understood how to increase muscle mass, strength, power, and endurance. As a student of medicine and physical therapy I studied and implemented strategies to prevent, treat, and rehabilitate physical injury. I was a walking testimony of how to run either a muscle building or weight loss program and to top it all off, I graduated with honors so that I could back it up to the professional world. But I still had a lot to learn…
After taking three years to pursue my musical dreams (we’ll leave that adventure for another day!), I reconnected with my health and fitness aspirations when I landed a personal training job at 24 Hour Fitness in Kansas City. I enjoyed it so much, I decided that being a physical therapist or doctor wasn’t necessary for me to fulfill my desire to empower others to take control of their health and improve their self worth. It took a while for me to understand that everyone’s journey is different, and what worked for me doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Life seems to get more and more complicated. What I do find to be necessary across the board is maintaining that delicate balance between discipline and grace. When I learned how to respect my clients various obstacles while still providing accountability and the simplest possible path to their success, my clients started getting AMAZING results and my business exploded. I was quickly promoted to Fitness Manager, where my job was to teach other trainers how to be the best in the industry. It wasn’t too much longer until I was able to realize another dream come true. I created BodySmith Personal Training.