Born in 1976 and originally from Augusta, GA, I lived life being a kid, having fun, and dreaming of being, “somebody.” I wanted my life to count.
In 7th grade, I was diagnosed with Type 1 juvenile diabetes. It was a wild experience almost entering into a diabetic coma with a blood sugar of 680. I was in excruciating pain with Keto-acidosis, and went into Pediatric ICU for several days to learn I had diabetes. Being 13 years old, I had never heard of it until then. My parents always told me I could do anything if I put my mind to it so I had a positive outlook. I began the diabetes education, nutrition counseling and gave my second insulin shot to myself with no problems. Some doctors said it was typical for kids to return with complications within a matter of time. I was determined to prove them wrong.
In high school, I played football and soccer. My older brother and friend taught me the importance of lifting weights, and I immediately signed up for weight lifting class. I partied, played sports, did drugs, got drunk, ran after girls, and I also began smoking marijuana and quit football my senior year… BIG MISTAKE!! My mom busted me and because I let her down, I haven’t done it since. In May of 1994, the night I graduated high school, I became a new person. It was the moment Jesus became very REAL to me and number one in my life.
As I entered college life, I laid aside athletics and focused on being successful. I attended Rhema Bible Training Center to major in youth ministry. 1997 was a big year for me. I graduated, became a youth minister, and my daughter was born.
In 1999, I was back into fitness/nutrition, and I began implementing marketing into my church’s (New Life Christian Center) youth ministry. I worked out in the church’s gym and could only commit to ONCE a week. I knew if I were consistent, I would see results. Not too long after, at the breaking of Y2K, I began working out 3 times per week.
2000 was a wild year. My youth group grew from 15 teens per week to around 130-140 per week in a matter of months. I also went from weighing 160lbs to 185lbs. I wanted to look my best, but had a lot to learn. I kept pushing, but there were many hardships along the way. I went through a tough divorce and custody battle, but my family and good friends stood by me along the way.
In 2001, I joined my first health club and entered into a new level of training, commitment, and excitement. I was determined to learn everything I could by reading books, magazines, and studying it from a diabetic’s perspective.
In 2005, I began to see some changes in my life. I hosted one last season of RocHouse Cafe and began building up my graphic design business. I even quit my full-time job to focus on my business venture. Despite all this, I was still unhappy with my body. By end of the year, I had the opportunity for a print modeling job in Orange County, California. They asked if I could have a fitness physique in 12 weeks, so I accepted the challenge and got to work.
Little did I know 2006 would be such a monumental year of my life? I began working out 5-6 times per week, sometimes twice a day, and began to eat clean. After that first job, I began using my graphic design/marketing skills to help promote modeling and work just kept growing. My motive is to help my clients/friends be successful just as much as myself.
During the summer of 2006, I was selected as one of the top 16 male finalists for HardBody Entertainments World’s Fittest Model Search at Olympia in Las Vegas, NV. It was my first contest and though I didn’t win, something sparked in me that I could get better. So I competed in Fitness Hollywood’s Model America and placed 6th out of 34 guys. My friends and peers encouraged me to keep on, because I could make it to the top… and that I will… but for one purpose!
I realize my calling in life is ultimately to be as close to God as I can. Secondly, to be a joyful inspiration by touching lives as far as I can reach… especially the teen and young adult generation. My priority success goal is to be an influence in an ever changing society. Every one of us is given a life to live, a race to run, and a chance to win. The question is, “How BAD do you want it?!”
I’ve learned you can do anything you want… pay the price. Anything worth having in life costs something so… pay the price. You can pay now and play later or play now and pay later; either way… you’ll pay the price. Count the cost and give it all you’ve got!
John Mitchell was great to work with and a good style of photography. He has integrity and a good heart to better the character of the fitness modeling/bodybuilding industry. I would recommend anyone to work with him, because character and integrity go a long way in my perspective... I only like to work with good people and that is how he displayed himself with me."
Lovin God, Lovin People, Livin LIFE
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