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When it comes to overcoming pain, whether in your body or in your heart, it’s not about how much you can lift or how ripped you are, it’s about how strong you are to your core…it’s about Inner-Strength.

During one of my recent anti-bullying talks at a middle school, one of the girls, who courageously shared her tearful experience of being bullied, asked me afterwards what I meant when I said “Fitness From Within”. There was something about her, about the look in her eye, that made me pause and remember what it was like as a teenager struggling with my own issues. So I sat down with her and shared some of my difficult experiences growing up, and how “Fitness From Within” changed my life.


She didn’t believe me when I said I was a “heavy” teenager struggling with my weight and self confidence until I showed her a photo of me at age 14 and 50 pounds overweight…she broke out into laughter. Chucking with her I said, “I can laugh about it now too, but it wasn’t funny when I was your age”. She apologized, but couldn’t stop commenting on my photo…”How did you do it? How did you lose all the weight?” I thought for a minute then said, “With tears and hard work…fitness was my freedom and helped me build Inner-Strength…that strength turned my pain into passion and changed my life.”

There’s something universal about overcoming pain…it doesn’t matter how old you are, where you come from, or whether you’re a man or a woman. We all have the same decision to make…you can let the pain destroy you, or you can let it drive you.

Are You Willing to Work Hard?

I used to look at other kids and convince myself that their “better body” was all because of good luck or genetics. I had those thoughts on a daily basis. I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror, so if I met someone who wasn’t ashamed to look in the mirror, it was easier to tell myself they were “given” that body instead of having to earn it. That was me projecting my insecurities, and the reality was I was lying to myself, binge eating, and not working out…I wanted to be fit again, but wasn’t willing to face the truth or work hard for it. Can you relate?


It Really Is All In Your Head

I spent years convincing myself that I didn’t have a weight problem, and then later, that I had been dealt a bad hand and there wasn’t anything I could do to change my body. It wasn’t until I met a kid in my Karate dojo, more overweight than me, who changed my perception forever. I will never forget sparring him my first day in class. I thought he would be slow and out of shape…I misjudged his body for his heart, and left that day getting my a$$ handed to me in the dojo.

The next year, I entered middle school and started wrestling. There weren’t enough kids on our team, so the 3 of us started wresting with the high school. I became known as “the fat kid that didn’t know he was fat”. They nicknamed me that because I refused to let my weight define me, and as each opponent misjudged me for my weight, they ended up on their back, starring at the lights as I pinned them. That year taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my life…

…your weight does not define you…what people say or do does not define you…the only things that define you are your belief in yourself and your actions.

Once You Believe in Yourself, You Will Be SET FREE.

Once I started taking responsibility for myself, for my eating, and for my training, my belief in myself started to change. Instead of coming up with excuses of why I couldn’t get fit, I came up with solutions of how I would get fit. It’s never really a question of CAN you do it…it’s a matter of WILL you do it. And this is where INNER-STRENGTH begins.


You may have heard that life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you respond to it. For me, fitness was my freedom, and fitness is 10% what you know about it, and 90% WHAT YOU DO about it. You have to take action…less TALK and more WALK. Getting started is hard, but keeping it going is harder. I had started my fitness journey, but there were so many days I wanted to give up…my body hadn’t changed, but something inside of me wouldn’t let me quit, something inside had caught fire. I wanted payback, I wanted to be free…I wanted to kiss a girl for the first time. So I trained harder and all the blood, sweat and tears gave me strength…Inner-Strength.

Fitness From Within

Without pain, there isn’t pleasure. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t make you stronger…because nothing worth living for or dying for is free…you have to earn it. If you want more Inner-Strength, then challenge yourself more. Fitness is the fastest and most sure way I know to build Inner-Strength because every workout, every set, every rep, you are faced with either dealing with the pain or quitting. When you face the pain, the fatigue, the fear…you grow stronger. What gave me strength was Fitness…Fitness From Within.

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