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Personal Background

My exercise, fitness, nutrition, and overall wellness journeys started even before high school with work, athletics, and outdoor, recreational activity. I grew up in rural areas of Indiana and have been working on farms, in fields, or on construction sites, playing sports, and going camping, fishing, and hunting my entire life. In my younger years I played a variety of sports, but I eventually found a competitive edge with my speed and agility in football and basketball, earning varsity spots all four years of high school. My interest and understanding for the need of exercise as medicine began to develop early as I watched my dad fight with health complications due to lifestyle choices and chronic disease. From my first years in kindergarten tea ball and soccer through little league baseball and middle-school football, my dad had always been my coach. A man of principle and of the church, you would never see him smoke or drink- but he did lean on food for comfort. He was diagnosed with type II diabetes mellitus at 38 just a couple years before my grandmother, his mother, passed away from the same condition. Many family members of mine on both sides were being diagnosed with diabetes or some other obesity-related condition while I was growing up. Even further smothered by the psychological stressors of body weight-related health concerns, many of them also took a downward spiraling route into depression and anxiety.

 

In reality, it’s a story not much different from many families across the U.S. around the turn of the 21st century. Increasing sedentary lifestyles, malnutrition, and a lack of prioritizing self-care brought chronic conditions to epidemic levels with more than 40% of adults and nearly 20% of children classified as clinically obese by 2018 and chronic disease holding responsibility for seven of every ten deaths in America that same year. The highest proportions of obesity trends were seen in the southern, northeastern, and my neck of the woods, the midwestern states.

 

To this day, my dad and other family members continue to deal with various health problems after more than two decades wrestling both the physiological and psychological issues that contribute to and come with these conditions. We've lost family members young and old on both sides of my family to various chronic conditions. Hypertension, coronary artery disease, kidney failure, retinal and peripheral neuropathy, digit and limb amputations, as well as poor sleep and energy levels, and musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction; the struggles I’ve watched loved ones go through drove me to break the mold and hunt down a deeper understanding of how to lead a healthy lifestyle. I know my hard-headedness comes from my dad as much as I know listening to his son can be a tough pill to swallow, but I’m confident that my work in health and fitness has inspired him to take better care of himself over the years.

I’ve seen time and again how all of this trend can be as damaging to the psyche, the spirit, and emotional wellness as it is to physical health. Pursuing an education and career path in exercise would allow me to help others take back control of their lives by taking ownership in their physical well-being. I drew from my successful experiences in athletics and decided that I might be better off studying something I had a passion for than burying myself in hundreds-of-thousands of dollars in medical school debt or chasing the big-business, corporate dream. As with my family, the state of health while I was heading off to university was rapidly declining across the nation and it was clear that the market was opening for a higher level of health and fitness professional. I knew that exercise as medicine and healthy living education would soon again become a priority for the U.S. and our economy’s leaders, and there would be new opportunities to have a real effect on our society.

My goal is to inspire those around me to always be working on improving some aspect of their health, careers, relationships, or whatever makes them truly happy; and, in return, I’m inspired by others to do the same.  Self-awareness, hard work, determination, persistence, mental toughness, self-tracking and time management; the lessons gleaned from sport, exercise, and life-long physical activity are second only to the amazing influences they can have on our physical health and quality of our lives. Currently, my wife and I are living outside of Sacramento, Northern California, where we continue to explore the great outdoors and reap the many physical and psychological benefits of recreational activity in the wilderness. We love animals and love helping out our friends and family by doing a little house- and pet-sitting when scheduling affords. I’m working for a local non-profit that offers exercise recovery programs to adult cancer survivors while also developing my own following and business in exercise, mindset, senior fall prevention, and performance enhancement. My wife, Raisa Rosas, is combining physical and mental wellness for our future generations, teaching after school Spanish classes in local schools as well as her own immersive and interactive second-language classes outdoors in local parks. In addition to being my beautiful best friend and partner, she is an amazing "juggler", flow artist, hula-hooper, and fire performer. We are working hard to lead as an example, setting new trends in physical and mental health by practicing what we preach.

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