About Me

Let me tell you about my childhood.

Well, maybe not THAT far back.

Let’s begin with:

NASM Certified Personal Trainer 

ACE Certified Health Coach

ACE Certified Group Fitness 

ACE Functional Training Specialist

ACE Mind Body Specialist

NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist 

NASM Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning Specialist 

NASM Senior Fitness Specialist 

Those are my certifications and specializations – Now this is my story.

Going briefly back to my childhood, my parents would send me out the door in the morning and most days not see me again till dinner.

We rode our bicycles everywhere, all day, miles and miles.  I’m sure we missed meals and were not drinking enough water but what did we know.  There was no internet, or cell phones, or video games – there was outside and that was where the fun was!

Ragbrai 1

RAGBRAI 1996

For most of my friends, when they acquired a driver’s license, their bicycle was relegated to the garage to collect dust and rust.  That was not my experience. Bicycling for me became my main source of exercise, a passion that stayed with me for many years to come.

As I grew older, when cycling was not convenient due to a time constraint, or when I was traveling for work, I would run.  Running was something I did for the exercise but not for enjoyment like cycling.

Brian1

Central PA

About 25 years ago I discovered mountain biking – what a blast!

Serious regression riding through the forest jumping over downed trees, sailing down rocky hills as my brother yelled, “Don’t Slow Down!”

I seldom emerged from the woods unscathed.  One of us, usually me, was bleeding from at least one wound, if not many.

Days I was not mountain biking, or running, or hiking, I would do push-ups, some upper body resistance routines and some core work, but never all that seriously, just enough to stay fit.

Another hobby/habit of mine was drinking yummy microbrews.  With the explosion of the microbrewing industry there were so many choices and more being produced just about daily.  I had acquired a taste for the strongest flavors, particularly IPAs, double and triple IPA’s.

Not only are those beers high in alcohol content, they are also chock full of calories.  One for me always equalled three, or more.

My drinking buddies would ask me why I got up in the mornings to go for a run, or go for a five hour mountain bike ride on weekends, and I would jokingly respond, “I exercise so hard so I can drink more!”  Seemed funny at the time.

Too often I partied too much and slept too little.  The only thing that kept me from gaining an extra 100 pounds was my commitment to exercise and cycling.

One ride about a dozen years ago, I did an endo, flipped the bike and went over the bars, into a stream and landed on a rock, in the middle of my chest.  Broke a couple of ribs and damaged my sternum.  At the hospital I was told my blood pressure was really high but they said it was likely due to the trauma.

Due to the damage at my sternum and the break in my ribs I was told I had flailing ribs.   If I coughed or laughed or sneezed or bent forward…it felt like that scene in Alien!

Soon after I had healed enough to get back on the bike, I severely twisted my right ankle.  At the hospital I was advised my blood pressure was really high but it was likely due to the trauma.

Before I could even walk without limping, I was mountain biking again.  This time I smashed my knee so hard that it looked as though a I had a third knee just below my right knee cap.  I decided to avoid the hospital visit.

A week later my knee looked worse so I went to my see an orthopedic specialist.  He said my knee would heal just fine, but my blood pressure was way too high.  He sent me directly to his Doctor.

His Doctor, now my Doctor, advised me that my blood pressure was through the roof.  210/130.  Not realizing the danger of that diagnosis, my immediate concern was could I mountain bike that weekend.

My Doctor emphatically said, “No, I don’t want you doing any exercise till we get your blood pressure under control.  You are walking around in stroke territory.”

Funny, you are told to ask your Doctor before exercise, not expecting him to say NO!

My friends, I tell you now, that should have been my wake up call, but I missed the big red flashing arrows!

Pharmaceuticals of course were the answer.  After a few weeks or so of adjusting the dosage, I was out mountain biking again, followed by a cold beer as my recovery drink.

In 2005 I bought a motorcycle and it was love at first ride.  Seemed a normal progression as I had an affinity for traveling on two wheels.

One crisp afternoon in March 2007, while out for a motorcycle ride, a car turned from a side street directly in front of me.  One second I was enjoying the beautiful day and a relaxing ride, the next second there was a car’s rear bumper inches away from my front tire.

Victory After the Crash

My immediate response was to swerve hard to the right just missing the car, steering off the pavement into grass and weeds, correcting the lean of the bike back to upright, barely regaining control, (mountain biking skills prevailed though I was maneuvering an additional 850 pounds) just in time to see a mailbox, mounted on one of those thick wooden “T” posts, directly in front of me. (Of course that all transpired in mere seconds.) Upon waking up in the hospital I discovered that I took out the mailbox.

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Why I will ALWAYS wear a full-face helmet!

The mailbox was not the only casualty – Dislocated shoulder, all of my ribs on my left side from my armpit down were broken and splintered, my lung punctured in more than one place… among other injuries.

Days spent in the Trauma center followed by a few miserable weeks of painful recovery wherein my lung was not healing.

Back to the hospital for a thoracotomy.  During the surgery to clean out my pleural cavity and repair my partially collapsed, partially trapped lung, the Surgeon also removed a section of one rib so badly damaged that he said it would never have healed properly.

At the very least this was yet another big red flashing arrow that I chose to ignore.

I am lucky to be alive today, for more reasons than the accident.  My motto after the accident became, “Every day is a bonus!” and yet I still did not change my path.

For months I sat upright in my recliner each night, which doubled as my bed, sipping a cold beer and watching TV.  That is when I began noticing those P90X infomercials.  I figured there was no way I could do that!

Patiently I began the slow road to an exercise routine beginning with push ups practically vertically standing at my kitchen counter, then a chair, then the edge of the sunken living room, until I could do one on the floor, then a few more… Carefully I began mountain biking again.

A couple of years after the crash I began paying more attention to the P90X infomercials as I was polishing off my final beer of the evening. I started thinking, I could do that!

Sure, I had been mountain biking most weekends and doing some upper body and core routines 3 or 4 days a week, however, Simultaneously I had allowed myself to make all the excuses I needed to eat the way I was eating and drink the way I was drinking and skip exercise most days, culminating in my sad shape as the year 2009 came to a close.

P90X arrived in January 2010 and it was TOUGH at first, but I stuck with it.

Looking back, I think because P90X was tough, and I continued doing those routines beyond the 90 day program, it allowed me to drink more beer and maintain my condition instead of improving it.  Work harder, play harder!

Let’s fast forward to August 2011 when events in my life caused me to step back and take a serious look at where I was and the path I was sprinting down.

After a very difficult yet life changing decision, I got even more serious about exercise, fitness and nutrition and quit drinking beer entirely.

September 2011 is when I finally answered my wake-up call and changed the path I had been on all those years.

I am forever grateful for my best friend who helped me begin this new stage in my life.

Tony Horton also has my gratitude for motivating me to improve my health and inspiring me to live the rest of my life maintaining my fitness via good nutrition choices and daily exercise.

As a result of the fitness level I had achieved from the P90X series my interest in health and fitness, particularly in motivating others to find their path to a healthy lifestyle, has become a passion, my friend might say an obsession.

Daily I research all things relating to what I refer to as – cross functional fitness.  In other words total body fitness with emphasis on core, balance and stability.  Books, magazine articles, websites and blogs – I am constantly ingesting all information I can find on fitness, nutrition and exercise.

I made the decision to gain more knowledge in Functional Fitness and learn the methodology of training others.

NASM Certified Personal Trainer

ACE Certified Health Coach

ACE Certified Group Fitness 

ACE Functional Training Specialist

ACE Mind Body Specialist

NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist

NASM Mixed Martial Arts Conditioning Specialist

NASM Senior Fitness Specialist 

October 2014 I attended the Central PA Health and Fitness Expo where I got to meet Tony Horton, listen to his motivational keynote speech, and participate in a workout he led.  He cited Jack Lalanne as his inspiration.  Not sure if Tony ever got to meet Jack but I am glad I attended this event and got to meet Tony.  He is a very gracious and genuine guy with a passion to motivate others.

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Me with Tony Horton at the Central PA Health & Fitness Expo

After that event I became even more passionate to get the XFNC launched and help others change their path.

That is the motivation for the XFNC – I want to inspire you with my story and motivate you in your fitness journey.

Believe me, it is NEVER too late to change your path!

Today my walking around weight is over 20 pounds lighter than it had been throughout my life, which believe me is a huge difference.  My blood pressure is completely under control!

Mentally and physically I have never felt as healthy and happy as I do today!

Exercise, Fitness and Nutrition have become an integral part of my existence.

My personal exercise goal is six days a week. Most weeks I manage five, some weeks only four, while other weeks I complete all six.

I have an occasional cheat meal but never an entire cheat day.

AND beer is a drink in my past but not my future.

That is my story.  Exercise, Fitness and Nutrition will be a part of my healthy life plan for as long as I am still breathing!

Raider Dragon

Every Day is a BONUS!