As a young child I was very introverted. I kept to myself mostly and was afraid to leave my comfort zone. With a much less than happy childhood, I became very depressed and anxious. My mother and father split when I was ten years old, and I was always afraid, and we were forced to move quite a bit in my short life. I found myself very unhappy, and nothing really helped to cheer me up. As I became more and more depressed, I eat more, and stayed in more. Never left the house, only for school or work, I just became heavier and heavier. I saw therapists, took anti-depressants, but nothing could bring me out of this funk, or so I thought.
When I was about 21 years old, I was at my lowest and my heaviest bodyweight: 200 lbs. At 5’9”, I was a sight to see. My mother doing the best she could would just encourage me and tell me that the worst is behind me, and that I have the whole world to look forward to. Her advice withstanding, it still wasn’t enough to get my body into shape; it just gave me a more positive attitude. To this day she still encourages me to be the best I can be.
Back to the topic at hand: being that family was my only outlet for support, I stayed close with my siblings also. My eldest sister Genevieve would always let me stay over at her house for summer vacations and the like. And it was through her that I met her husband Glenn Pratt: my brother-in-law, my friend, and my future mentor. He was at the time my driving force to getting back into shape. This man is single handedly the most driven gym minded guy I have ever met in my life. A natural athlete, he stands around 6’3”, 240 lbs. He is a phenomenal guy and was the man who opened my eyes to bodybuilding. I saw him as a happy go lucky guy, and I never saw him lose his temper. Two summers ago, I spent about two months with my sister and Glenn. During that time he mentored me through the beginning stages of my body development. Suggesting proper diet tips, working through his normal routine, he also forbade me to drink anymore sweetened drinks: soda, juice, and the like.
I left their home that fall with a new outlook on life. I became happier, my body started to change, I felt stronger, more alert, and most importantly: for the first time in my life, I was happy for more than an hour or two at a time. I immediately joined a gym of my own, Bally Total Fitness where I began my own routine. Every day I would go to the gym and ask my self what Glenn would do, and set to work. In a matter of a year, I dropped 50 lbs. of useless disgusting fat. Summer of last year, I marched right into the Bally’s personal training directors office and said I wanted to be a trainer. With a handshake, he said: “with a physique like yours you will do fine.” Six months later, I was the top selling trainer of December 2006. At this time in my life, I met my very loving and supportive girlfriend Maureen. She took time out of her weekend to actually drive with me up to Connecticut from Philadelphia because she wanted to support me. She is always there when I need her, and always has nothing but support for my present future endeavors.
I have a very strict lifting routine in which I adhere to. It tends to be changed every few months, but since I’ve just started my present routine, I feel it ok to share with you the reader my feelings on my routine.
All of this in preparation for my first shoot with John Mitchell. He saw my photos, and saw the potential within me. I am excited because of his enthusiasm and professionalism, and together we see a future in our business relationship.
I do not want the reader to think I’m all business when it comes to lifting and fitness. I do tend to make time for some fun activities. I love the movies, but my weakness is that I have to have a popcorn and cherry coke so obviously I don’t see too many movies in a month! I have signed up for salsa dancing, and I bet it’s going to be a blast! Cooking is a passion of mine. I can cook everything from Chinese to Mexican, and Italian to southern cooking. Even with all this culinary expertise, I still find myself on a strict diet, with a modest split of carbs to fats to proteins. Yes I have all three and don’t skimp.
John and I both have come to an understanding of my body and my body goals. Currently I am 158lbs, 4% b.f. and my ideal goal is to reach 165-170lbs at 4% b.f. this spring so I can begin my journey as a bodybuilding competitor. Then I will invite my brother Glenn to my first of many competitions, and when I walk off stage with the first place trophy, we can be equals.
I would like to thank you the reader for taking the time to learn more about me. And without a doubt I would like to thank John for his time and effort! I am looking forward to many successful shoots in the future!
As I anticipated, my first shoot with John went phenomenally well! He was a real trooper, staying up late for my arrival at 10:30 pm after a little detour landed me outside his town. He had even cooked me dinner! But being the business minded people we are, we had just enough time to exchange pleasantries, and went straight away to work: my kind of guy. We both were all business, all the time.
Not to say it was ALL business, we had fun too. We shared stories about my interests as a personal trainer, and he shared stories of his clients that he felt were relevant to our situation. What really surprised me was his generosity. Any request while I was his guest was fulfilled and then some, all in preparation for our upcoming shoot. Our shooting went better than I had hoped, and we had a fantastic chemistry as artist and medium. As we made trips to and from the different locations, he gave me plenty of helpful advice as a new comer to the modeling world.
At this time I would also like to thank Paul DeSimone of Gym Warriors and Brian Vanderploeg of Total Image Fitness, two great gym owners who allowed me to work with John at their respective gyms. Paul and Brian are also featured on BBpics.com if you are so inclined to see what real hardcore bodybuilders look like. Me?? I’m just a pretty boy with muscles.
All in all, the weekend was everything I had hoped for. John’s business sense and kindness made me feel at ease.
I had the opportunity to shoot with John again the beginning of February, and it was no disappointment! He had actually put me in contact with the Gedney Agency, a modeling agency based out of Connecticut. The day after, John had taken me to a location to shoot my first ever outdoor shoot. Though it was bitter cold, I still had my moments to shine. I had plenty of fantastic background shots to accent my portfolio, and all in all I found I was not just a body in a gym, it can translate into fashion modeling with the help of John’s eyes.
I seriously recommend anyone who is reading this article and is unsure how working with John to lay your worries to rest. It was a very great opportunity shooting with him.
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