In middle school I was a smaller kid, with barely any muscle mass. I was 12 years old when my dad brought home a home fitness gym, and he had me start a small work out plan. I started lifting once or twice a week doing pushups, lat pulldowns, triceps pushdowns, machine biceps curls, and machine chest presses. It was an on and off process for about three years until my dad convinced me to try wrestling. My first year, in 9th grade my school, Oley Valley, had me wrestle middle school my freshman year from lack of experience. I finished the session with a record of 14 wins 7 loses. I overpowered most of the kids to win the matches.
In the summer between 9th and 10th grade, I started my first lifting routine. I was than moved up to high school level my sophomore year, and was in for a surprise. I finished the session with a record of 9 wins and 32 looses, at 152-160 lbs. I told myself the only way I can win is to lift my ass off train day in day out and stick with a program. Right after wrestling session I hit the weights as hard as I could. The summer going into 11th grade I started my lifting program and began taking supplements. I went from 160 to about 180 pounds.
When my junior year came around I was much stronger and faster. I wrestled at 172 lbs completely dominating in strength. During the middle/end of the session, I was illegally slammed on my right shoulder. The referee did not make the call and continued with the match. My record at the time was 22 wins and 7 looses. When I was slammed I felt a strong pulsating pain shoot from between my shoulder blades down my right arm. I thought nothing of it because the pain was not unbearable from the high I had of adrenalin. I continued to finish the match beating the kid 14 to 13. As soon as I came down from that high I was in excruciating pain. I could not breathe and was loosing feeling in my right arm. I still thought it was just a pinched nerve and maybe a torn muscle. Two days later was counties and I not planning on anything stopping me from winning.
Well I was wrong, my first match me and my opponent slammed heads off the whistle and I fell to my knees when the pain shot thru my body again, just as this happened I nearly passed out from the pain. I got back up waving the trainer and coaches off telling them that I will finish the match. I got so pumped with adrenalin and testosterone that I forgot all about the pain. I wrestled as hard as I could and suddenly in the third period I lost feeling in my right arm, and could barely move it. There was 30 seconds left and I was down 9-8, I needed one more reversal to win and I gave everything. I had nothing left, and ended up lying on the mat for the remainder of the match. I went straight to the trainers to see what was wrong. I could barely breathe or move my right arm. The next day I went to the doctors and they set me up with a series of MRI's and X-Rays. When the results came back I broke two ribs off my vertebrae and had a herniated a disk in my 6th-7th cervical. The doctor told me I am very lucky I could walk my self into the hospital this morning. He told me I was millimeters away from being paralyzed from the neck down, and that I was probably never going to be able to do any contact sports again. But at such a young age there was a chance that it could heal and I might be able to wrestle next year. I hit the weights harder than ever pushing myself to the point where I was about to pass out. I wanted to build enough muscle to support my neck and disk. I thought maybe this would help me pass my physical and wrestle the following season. I gained about 20 lbs. of lean muscle mass and shot up to 190 lbs.
The time came and I went back 6 months later for an MRI, but the disk did not change at all. Contact sports were no longer an option. I told myself I would not let myself go after all the hard work I put into building my body, but as the weeks passed I started losing motivation to lift, because I could not compete and prove to myself that I am doing something productive.
Then on New Year's Eve of this year, a friend talked to me about his personal trainer and some bodybuilding shows that he was preparing for. This was his first time competing so we could relate on how we felt going into the sport. I got in touch with his trainer, Angie Courduff, and she said she would have no problem getting me ready for the competition. She got me ready for my first show, the OCB Natural Bodybuilding Association Classic in Philadelphia, PA, where I took home a 3rd place trophy in the Men's Novice Tall class. After that show, we went over some posing problems I was having as a new bodybuilder and prepared for my next show, the OCB Bloomsburg Natural. We practiced my posing more and she gave me a great diet plan that I stuck to. It paid off and, being only my second competition, I placed 1st in both the Men's Novice Light-Weight and Men's Junior divisions.
After that big win, I set my goals to compete in a larger competition. I signed up for the Presidential Cup in Washington DC, a pro qualifier competition. I took second place in junior division, first in mens open middle weight and also brought home the best poser award. This was my lat competition I was planning on competing for the remainder of this year and the next. I wanted to put on more size and muscle mass for the next time I compete. I went though a bulking faze and got my weight up to 210.
I was then contacted by John Mitchell, photographer of BBpics. He offered me to drive up to Connecticut for a fashion/fitness shoot. I had to get back down and get in fitness shape, rather then being bulked. I cut nearly 25 pounds in two weeks and got ready for this shoot. I weighed 188 the night before we had the shoot. We then shot for the remainder of the weekend and I completed my first photo shoot. I now plan to follow though with fashion/fitness modeling and bodybuilding.