My Story: Discovery. Training. Empowerment.
Working with people to improve their lives brings out a deep-driven passion in me. Through personal experience, I’ve discovered that overcoming your daily emotional and neurological challenges is indeed possible.
What's the secret? Taking ownership of your circumstances and revealing your true self.
This journey is unique for each person, but there is one commonality. You first must grasp the concept of neuro-plasticity, and how everything in your life is interconnected.
The perceptions triggered in our mind impact our brain's neural dynamics, directly influencing our emotional and physical state. The challenge for most people is balancing out their distractions (negative perceptions) with more experiences that they truly, deeply connect with. Increasing the frequency of these more profound, meaningful experiences can be life-changing. It creates the proper mindset for natural healing and empowers you to design your healthy lifestyle process. Stay genuinely committed to the process, and you too will accomplish your health goals, just as I did through functional fitness.
I was blessed growing up, playing multiple sports all the way through high school. As a young athlete, I learned that executing well-designed fitness plans improved my performance and overall confidence. However, my character was dealt a blow halfway through my senior year when I was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), a neurological seizure disorder.
In January 1990, just weeks after being diagnosed with epilepsy, I acquired bacterial meningitis. I have no memory for much of that year. I'm told it was a frightening experience for my family and friends. I was blessed to survive. Unfortunately, however, the bacterial meningitis increased my seizure frequency from one every couple months to one every couple of days.
So within just a matter of weeks, at age 17, my identity was shattered. My world was utterly altered and full of uncertainty. I could have easily played the victim-card at this time and put my life on hold. However, that wasn't being true to myself. I decided to press on. I therefore returned to finish my senior year of high school. I then worked over the summer and entered college at UNC-Chapel Hill that fall. I was moving forward with my original plans of attending college, but I also had to explore new ways to cope with my epilepsy.
Over the next few years at Carolina, I noticed how my seizure disorder compromised my cognitive abilities. I no longer had the same intellect and recall. What was once easy for me to understand in high school was noticeably more difficult in college.
Feeling slower mentally took a toll on my self-confidence. I became even shyer. I felt embarrassed and ashamed. The question I kept asking myself was, "What is happening to cause all these changes in your life?"
Lot's of theories ran through my mind...
Maybe it was the bacterial meningitis a few months prior.
Perhaps it was the slow destruction of brain cells occurring with each seizure.
Perhaps it was the anxieties caused by chemical imbalances in my brain. Maybe it was my difficulty adjusting to the college lifestyle away from home.
Perhaps it was side-effects caused by all the prescription medicine I was taking to control my seizures.
I felt lost and out of control, except at the gym.
I looked forward daily towards my light workouts at UNC's Woollen Gym. Doctors advised me not to lift heavy weights due to my disability, so I only performed balance and stability exercises. While other guys there were pushing much heavier weight, I focused less on intensity and more on proper form, alignment, and tempo. It taught me the importance of balance and connection. It taught me the deeper meaning of fitness beyond appearance and performance. It taught me an awareness of my surroundings and feeling the neural-muscular dynamics of functional fitness training.
Workouts served as my escape. Anxieties of an uncertain future were pushed aside. I was more present with myself in the moment. Exercise helped me cope emotionally with my seizure disorder. I even began to understand at a young age how behavior change, not quick fixes, will alter your mindset, appearance, and performance in all facets of life.
Looking back at those theories I ran through my mind, my problem was exploring too carefully at the details. I was looking for the single cause of my seizures so I could find a quick cure. However, I was going about it all wrong. Life is not that simple. There is no single direct cause. It is a combination of all the influences we allow into our lives. It is a big-picture, holistic mindset. Everything is interconnected, and our perceptions directly influence not only our brain's neural dynamics, but our emotional and physical health as well.
Throughout college there was no change in my seizure condition. I was still averaging 15 seizures per month. The medicines only succeeded at making me tired and feeling useless.
So in 1994 (my senior year at UNC) I underwent another brain surgery to cure my epilepsy. It was helpful, but not completely successful. When doctors began tapering back my medication in 1995, the seizures returned. The good news - the operation decreased my seizure frequency, and my condition was now finally controlled by medication. The bad news - the side effects of the medication (constant fatigue, brain fog, inability to concentrate) continued. Rather than feeling hopeless, I just accepted my new reality. I shifted my attention to the corporate world, knowing deep down that I would most likely continue the medicine for the rest of my life.
As we all know, work-life balance is challenging. I allowed long office hours to interfere with my personal time and regular workout routine. My lifestyle was consumed by meetings, business travel, little rest and a lousy diet - all critical factors leading to poor health. In just two years I gained over 30 pounds, increased four pants sizes, and had dangerously high blood pressure. It took me another six years to wake up and realize enough was enough. It was time to seek alternative actions to better myself.
In 2008, at the age of 36, I started my health and fitness transformation. Since then I’ve been on a fascinating life path. I devoted more time and variation to my functional resistance workouts. I increased core strength and power by manipulating my workout volume, intensity, momentum, alignment, and tempo. Improving my diet (low-carb, high-fat) was a big factor as well. I now have excellent blood pressure, weigh 40 pounds less, and am down to a 29-inch waist.
However, that's only the beginning!
My lifestyle transformation resulted in a healthier body, empowering me to take another chance. In 2016 I again tapered down my anti-seizure medications, and this time it worked! I am now seizure-free and entirely off the medicine.
Please understand, I'm NOT suggesting that those suffering from TLE should follow the same path as myself. I'm merely sharing my story as an example of how our body has the natural ability to heal over time if one consistently fuels it with the proper stimuli (movement, nutrition, sleep, lifestyle) on a daily basis.
My path to clean health wasn't easy. It took relentless experimentation, awareness, sacrifice, and self-discipline. However, overall, achieving my goals under challenging circumstances has been well worth it. I'm a stronger person in both body and character. I've been very fortunate. After finally solving my health issues using natural methods, I seek to help others nurture their foundation for optimum fitness.
Now it's your turn. Are you ready for me to help you? Then email to schedule a free consultation.