Top 4 Things I Learned in 2015

It’s roughly 21 days into 2016. Three weeks is enough time to sit, reflect on what occurred the previous year, and to see what needs to be adjusted.

If I can sum up what I’ve learned in 2015, it is to prioritizing and respecting time, think critically about what I have control over (and what I don’t have control over), owning my decisions, and not letting the crowd dictate what is right and wrong for me.

1. Re-Organize Your Thoughts

It is not always about acquiring new pieces of information. Sometimes it is best to re-arrange your current knowledge set, and then finding out what is missing. I have not had the blessing to attend to as many continuing education courses as I had wished to attend. However, I had begun to ask myself, “Why do you always need to go to a new course? For new information? What about the information you currently have? How can you best utilize that to the best of your ability?”

From here, I begun to implement a new course of thought, which is to identify how to improve how I see exercise selection, how I view exercise programming, improving the assessment process, along with continually sharpening my skill set as a strength coach and personal trainer from a motivational and interpersonal point of view.

Re-organizing my thoughts has also allowed me to prioritize how I view many things: whether it is education, time spent with others, or time spent on things outside of work. Sure, this is a lot of introspection on my end, but without understanding what is important to me, I won’t be able to act appropriately or represent myself in the best way possible.

What You Don't Know - Critical Thinking

What You Can Take Away From This

If you have any interest in mastery of any passion, learn to think critically. If you don’t have all the pieces to a puzzle in place, what can you do instead? If you do have all the pieces to a puzzle in place, what would you do if one of those pieces went missing? Stay ready so you don’t need to get ready.

Re-organizing my thoughts has allowed me to respect not only the time it takes to create something great, but also helps me to understand what is important to others, and how to respect their time as well.

2. Everyone Works Hard. Some Just Don’t Talk About It.

There is no such thing as an overnight success. Not many individuals are willing to both work hard and work smart – simply because working smart involves pattern recognition and seeing things in a more efficient manner, and working hard involves placing things into position one brick at a time.

With those combined, along with the implementation of the internet/social media, it is easy to see how people will talk about how hard they are working. Well, I can tell you that late nights and sleepless nights, traveling for hours for courses, traveling to see family (because that is a priority of mine as well) – it is not easy. No one will particularly find memorizing and synthesizing patterns of gait, or muscular patterns, or seamlessly integrating advanced exercise programming within a program to be particularly “sexy” – it is just part of the process.

I had a friend early on in my career tell me that his grandmother told him to, “Do the jobs that no one else wants to do – and you will always have work.” This resonates with me even to this day, because no job is above me, and I believe this to my core. 

Working hard is literally taking out the trash every night, and sweeping the floors. Working smart is getting someone to do it for you instead. Doing both means you help them so you can both leave faster. It all comes down to intent. No one tweets about how much trash they just took out, or Snapchats them taking out the trash – it is just part of the job.

What You Can Take Away From This

Everyone assumes greatness is on the way for those who “hustle” and “grind,” or for those who are always busy. I’ll tell you what – for every Mike Tyson, or Muhammad Ali, or Michael Jordan, or Stephen Curry, there are hundreds if not thousands of failed athletes that never made it for many circumstances.

Never assume greatness, and don’t count your chickens before they hatch. Plus, if you do happen to have that secret sauce for being super special, you need to fend off those who are coming for your championship belt or ring. The work never stops, it just changes its shape or form.

3. People Will Talk

People will talk about you. People will say negative things about what they think of you. Some will have nice things to say. I hear what people are saying, and I take it all with a grain of salt. Not everyone will like you. Not everyone will agree with you. This doesn’t mean you have to stop respecting people. If you watched Michael Jordan during his prime, you know he has had his fair share of rivals. This does not mean he wasn’t respected – it just meant that he wasn’t liked sometimes.

But what matters most is what you think about yourself, and how you will react to what these people are saying. The peanut gallery is not always correct. You can choose your own path, and once you make your decision, that is that.

Peanut Gallery

A professor of mine once said to me, “You make your own bed.” This was in response to seeing me breakdance in the hallways everyday after my exercise physiology classes. I was getting B’s and C’s in the class, when I could have gotten A’s. I have no regrets about those grades, because I have my own priorities.


This statement of “making my own bed” has stuck with me. I think about it every other day, because the decisions I make are ultimately my own, not anyone else’s.

Sure nuff, standing out from the crowd through my dancing has also allowed my foot to get in the door in many cases where I would not have had the same chance.

What You Can Take Away From This

Almost every day I work with high school athletes, and I hope to instill the confidence that if they were to walk into a collegiate or professional gym at any point in their careers, I instilled the most correct form, technique, and sound advice that I could have in the moment. With this said, it is tough to go against the grain if a team of people are saying you should do one thing, when you know the other action is the most correct form.

Have the confidence to stand up for yourself, and stand up for what you believe is right.

Now this tip, along with the first lesson, are biased because it is assuming that everyone wants to be great. This is something I’ve come to accept as well. Others simply would love to settle for whatever it is they currently have. That is fine.

4. All that glitters is not gold.

What this means to me is that just because something is shiny, or a low hanging fruit, does not mean it is the most correct or best decision to make. You need to prioritize what is important to you, and then figure out whether or not this specific shiny item is meant for you or not.

apple tree

Your shiny object could be ice cream. It is a low hanging fruit, and it is easy to buy on the way home from work, and it is an awesome tasting treat. I’ve driven out to get specifically just this item many times late at night. For some people it is a beer, others it is candy.

Your decision to invest time, attention, and energy on that shiny object may come at a cost of a specific emotional, physical, or financial investment that you did not have the foresight to see during the heat of the moment of that decision of “Yes” or “No.” The cost of doing business has far greater implications than originally planned.

Should you go out to party? Maybe – you might meet your future wife at this party.

Should you stay at home? Maybe not! You might miss out on a great time that will solidify years of friendship down the line.

We all make decisions daily – not many think about what the cost of these small, minute decisions has on our day to day life, or our year to year life.

What You Can Take Away From This

Let me tell you a quick story:

I had met Tony Bonvechio at a seminar in early 2012, and he caught wind that I was applying for an internship at the then Cressey Performance. Fast forward a few months, and I was in the middle of my internship at Cressey Sports Performance. I previously just made a “jump” from New Jersey to Massachusetts, and in fact, I didn’t know a single soul in the area – it was fairly uncomfortable for me to live in an area where I didn’t know anyone!

Later on in 2012, I remember Tony buying me lunch (we had pizza) and we talked shop for a little bit after a seminar. He was on the fence about applying for this internship in 2012. I had no other advice but to “jump” and do it.

Two years later, and I end up getting hired at CSP at the same time he begins his internship in the fall of 2014. We didn’t know that we would be working together because we had different paths, and eventually his brilliance shines through, so we end up working together – and the rest is history as they say.

“The first step, before anybody else in the world believes it is you have to believe it. There’s no reason to have a plan B because it distracts from plan A.” -Will Smith

Tony prioritized, made a jump, worked hard (and didn’t tweet about his hustle), and ended up benefiting greatly as a cause of committing 110% to what he believed in – he ended up getting hired in 2014.

Prioritize what is important to you, and just decide.

My 2015 can be summarized in these few lessons. Crazy to think that almost 365 days out of the year can be summarized in just four short lessons, but these are some things that I’ve reflected on. I hope to improve upon my decision making process, along with prioritizing the things that are important to me as the rest of 2016 unfolds.

As always,

Keep it funky.


What You Will Takeaway By Interning at Cressey Performance

If I could have $0.05 for the amount of times I’ve had people tell me they wanted to apply for an internship at Cressey Performance, I would have about $0.25 more to my name now.

In all seriousness, there is something to be said for those who “say” they are going to do something, and then those who actually go out and “do the thing” they ventured out to do. It is a big undertaking to move out to a state that traditionally does not have all the amenities that, say, Southern California has, along with leaving family, friends, and whatever and whomever else you love back in whichever state (and in some cases, countries).


If you haven’t figured out by now, I’m the type of person to make a decision, jump into the thick of things, and then figure out where I’m out afterwards. I also envy those who are smarter than me and who also have the work ethic to match that intelligence. To put it bluntly, I’m not the brightest tool in the shed. (Wait for it…)

What is my biggest personal takeaway from an internship at Cressey Performance?

You need to hustle to stay on top.

To me, this translates to understanding the gross anatomy of the human body (if you’re in the fitness industry, it should be your job to at least identify the major muscle groups that you tell people to use everyday).

Further, I remembered one line that one of my co-workers from a previous job told me:

Do the little jobs that no one wants to do, and then eventually the big jobs will come through.

Take out the trash. Vacuum the whole facility. Wipe the chalk off the bars. Wake up early to do group classes. Get over the fact that it gets below freezing in October/November, and get to work.

What is my biggest professional and business takeaway from an internship at Cressey Performance? 

Get partners that compliment your skill sets. Oh, and hustle to stay on top.

This translates to being humble enough to understand that you need others’ expertise to compliment yourself to help expand your business.

Eric Cressey has Tony G. And Pete Dupuis. 


Q-Tip, Ali Shaheed Muhammad, and Phife Dawg made up A Tribe Called Quest.


Run had D.M.C and Jam Master Jay.



Basically, you can’t do it alone.

What is my biggest takeaway period from an internship at Cressey Performance?

Have fun. Do what you love. I had [several talks] with Pete Dupuis (Eric’s business partner) about starting a bboy fitness oriented movement, and while I’ve had the idea linger in my head, I’ve always had my doubts as to whether or not I could do it.

You know what? Even in the face of my own doubt, I am jumping out there and seeing where it is taking me.

On top of that, I’ve lost count of the amount of relationships I’ve developed through my time in Massachusetts.

So long story short, I’ve more or less told this story of mine in too many blog posts. Kind of similar to how Taylor Swift will talk about her ex in her next song, or how Drake somehow manages to make every one of his songs softer than a feather down pillow while sleeping on a cloud.

You learn so much more than just learning how to coach. You learn so much more beyond what it takes to deadlift four wheels for the first time. You learn so much more than shoulder pathologies.

If anything, all of the relationships I’ve formed from this internship alone has had a more profound impact on my development as a person and professional than any of these guys involved will ever know about.

So what are you going to do about it?

If you’ve learned anything from my posts, I hope I impart how I’m doing what I love. If I have crashed on your couch, or vice versa, I hope to one day celebrate the day when we all don’t have to wake up at 5am, and sleep at 10 or 11pm. But, it is all good – especially if we are all doing what we love, because I can stay up for 24 hours or more doing this.

Now let me take a moment while I reflect on all these feels I have.

…Okay moment is done.

In the meantime, while you save up your money for a year or more before you decide to make the big move to Hudson, Mass., check out this product from Eric Cressey. It’s called High Performance Handbook, and it is beyond a solid product. It is essentially his work-baby. And if you’ve ever met him, you’ll know that he has probably stayed up a little bit past your normal bed time, just to get you a product to get you more jacked, ripped, and stronger.


Yes, I am promoting it because I will be receiving affiliate money. But you know what, I also contributed an additional bonus, called Maximal Tension for Maximal Results. And I worked pretty damn hard at it. While I know you don’t give a damn, I hope you realize that I am working on building my newsletter-ship, and in all honesty I don’t have the biggest community to reach out to. Thus, this is all in the open.

But if you decide to stick around, and if you decide you enjoyed what you read, please subscribe on the homepage or to the left. I promise to not disappoint. I’ll be staying up much past your bedtime, to give you awesome information on strength, conditioning, a few nutrition tips, but more dancing tips along the way.

Right now, brutal honesty is my biggest weapon. If you’re in this game of the fitness and S&C industry, you’d be doing a disservice to yourself and your clients by ignoring anything Eric Cressey, or any of the staff at Cressey Performance, put out. These guys  are some of the hardest working folk in the industry (that I’ve been exposed to…), and I’d be willing to bet that they are some the kindest as well.

So for that, these guys will always have my gratitude. I also realize that I have my work cut out for me. So if you ever have any questions about anything that I haven’t gone over in any of my posts up to this point, please feel free to use my contacts page to shoot me an e-mail. I make my Facebook and Twitter page open to you as well.

So what do you do now?

In reality, I’ve been chatting a lot about my past, how I’ve interned, and how I’m hustling everyday now.

For starters, I’m a strength coach at Endeavor Sports Performance, a place not too far from home in New Jersey. My co-worker/boss/person-I-ask-too-many-questions is Kevin Neeld, along with Matt Siniscalchi and Matt Sees (he is a gorilla in his own regards). I’m currently coaching a variety of the youth athletes that come through the gates at Endeavor.

Even if I do awful with our Fantasy Football League, I’m still having fun cracking jokes, pointing out the elephant in the room (Left AIC/Right BC in everyone), along with getting some quality lifting sessions.

On top of that, I work at a private club in Philadelphia. If you’re interested in visiting, just contact me know beforehand.

With all of that, I also take online coaching clients, and I more or less write programs for my friends, along with working with my alma mater’s bboying group, the Temple Bboys.

It is quite a workload, and while I’m relatively exhausted at the end of the day, I’d have to say I wouldn’t have it much different than where I’m at now. Okay, I lie – if I had a bit more freedom to choose, I’d love to hang with my bboy community more than I am now.


Keep it funky.