Newport Beach, CA

My fitness journey kicked off in 2004, fresh out of high school, weighing in at 215lbs and standing at 5'6". I was an overweight, self-conscious late bloomer, an easy target for bullies. Spending my teenage years working at KFC, indulging in fast food, and wallowing in self-pity, I found myself trapped in a cycle of low confidence and misery, longing for a change but unsure of where to start.

It took a nudge from my roommate to shake me out of my rut. "Let's hit the pool and train for a triathlon," he suggested one day. With nothing to lose, I dove in—literally. But my first attempt was humbling; struggling to keep up, I could only manage 10 laps while my roommate effortlessly breezed through 50. That moment was a wake-up call—a realization that I was being outpaced by someone older and fitter.

Determined to catch up, I threw myself into training, incorporating swimming, running, and cycling into my routine. Within months, I was not only keeping pace with my roommate but surpassing him. Buoyed by newfound confidence, I entered my first triathlon, clinching third place in my age category—an unexpected triumph that ignited an obsession.

However, my obsession took a dangerous turn. Fueled by a desire to shed weight rapidly, I spiraled into anorexia, shedding over 100lbs by the age of 19. It wasn't until a sobering encounter with my mother, who intervened out of fear for my life, that I realized the perilous path I was on. Seeking balance, I turned to weightlifting, proper nutrition, and education, embarking on a journey to reclaim my health and sanity.

In the ensuing 18 years, I explored various avenues of fitness, from high-level rugby to powerlifting, CrossFit, and strength and conditioning. Yet, it was in bodybuilding that I found my true passion. Despite initial setbacks—a disappointing 7th place in my debut show and discouragement from my coach—I refused to give up.

Determined to chase my dreams, I made the bold move from Australia to the USA, pursuing a career as a professional bodybuilder with unwavering dedication. Alongside my own journey, I discovered a passion for coaching, guiding thousands towards their fitness goals through proper nutrition and strength training.

From mentoring IFBB pros to empowering amateurs and everyday individuals, I've witnessed the transformative power of self-belief and hard work. While I may not have clinched pro status myself, I've found greater fulfillment in helping others unlock their potential and achieve personal growth.

As I approach my 37th birthday, I've come to realize that my purpose lies in empowering others to become the best versions of themselves. With each passing year, my commitment to education and mentorship only grows stronger, inspired by the friend who ignited my own journey nearly two decades ago.

Share Your Thoughts About the Story You've Just Read