Born and raised in New Jersey, I grew up dabbling in a dozen different sports (never football though, thanks mom) and ultimately settled on lacrosse and wrestling. The North East was (and is) a national powerhouses for wrestling, frequently sending their high school varsity athletes to top D1 programs. I started wrestling later than most of the guys on my team, so I focused on athleticism and nutrition over technique. I didn't predict the outcome, but this path was highly influential in creating who I am in this current stage of life.
A coach introduced me to Crossfit in 2010, and I earned my Level 1 Trainers certificate in September 2011. This path developed an intrinsically competitive, near-masochistic perspective on exercise, but I've finally found a proper and sustainable balance after a great deal of trial and error. However, my insane regimen did produce some benchmarks along the way, including a 5:16 mile and a 465lb deadlift at the age of 19, weighing around 165-170lbs. My physical priorities decreased after entering college, as my focus shifted towards meeting people, exploring New York City, and having some fun in the five boroughs...
I pushed strength training and conditioning with my own programming for about two years before I hit a wall and injured myself, severely straining my lower back after completing a Crossfit workout twice with only a few minutes of rest in between workouts. Most injuries are a blessing in disguise, as it reveals an error in calibrating recovery windows, and exposes issues in mobility and positional strength. I took a step back to think about my goals, and I shifted to a hybridized powerlifting + conditioning program.
I studied entrepreneurship at Fordham, which allowed for me to follow more of a unique course structure than other majors in the business school. I was cycling through internships every 6 months or so (in addition to a long-term internship at Jamplify) throughout the latter half of my time at Fordham, and through that, I gained some base experience in practically every type of technology you could utilize on a computer. I was able to take Information Systems and Philosophy courses while enrolled in the business school, and I worked with custom Wordpress themes, Google's Adwords/Adroll/Analytic platform, Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, SQL, and Adobe Illustrator.
After graduating from college, I moved to San Diego with my partner Julianne, who I met halfway through our time at Fordham. She opened up Warby Parker's first retail location in San Diego, while I was hoping to develop my technical skills and knowledge of exercise science. After some research, I found David Miller, co-owner and head weightlifting coach at Crossfit Fortius, who holds a USAW-L4 certification and won Gold at the 2013 PanAms in the 69kg weight class. This relationship began my journey into olympic weightlifting, and the community within the gym became my home while living in San Diego.
I did not have good luck entering the biotech industry in San Diego, so despite physical growth, I felt unstimulated and was approaching the brink of a small existential crisis. I needed a meaningful career path, and I wanted to create- anything really, whether it was art, music, writing, or something else. We turned our sights to San Francisco, and in just a few weeks I received more interviews than months of job searching in San Diego. Julianne and I both committed to software development as our respective career path. We had different reasonings, but ultimately felt stagnant and jaded with our outlook on a future in marketing, retail, or sales. With programming, we realized it was possible to uniquely blend creative desires with highly analytical, process-driven thinking, and it also allows the freedom to shift between industries and work remotely.
After a year dedicated to coding every day I am now working in both a technical and customer-facing capacity that I find incredibly fulfilling and intrinsically motivating.
In addition to finding a fulfilling skill set and a general career path, there are plenty of opportunities for physical growth in the Bay Area. Marin County is just north of San Francisco, a short bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. This was the birthplace of mountain biking. Previously it was unimaginable to foresee selling my car, commuting via bicycle, and learning the intricacies of the sprawling trails in Marin. I feel like a maturing embryo on the mountain compared to some of the leathered and sun-burnt retirees who have been bombing up and down the mountains for decades, yet it feels absolutely incredible to get out there, away from the digital metropolis that is the Bay Area.
I am happy to call this unique environment my home for the foreseeable future. I was struck by a car last Fall, and after a year of more generalized weightlifting I'm prepared to return to an olympic weightlifting program.
When I'm not breaking things and rebuilding them on the computer, you can find me biking around Marin, playing guitar, enjoying a long weightlifting session, out at a club or venue, or spending time with friends and family. I've played electric guitar since I was 13 and have attended 500+ concerts over the last eight years, spanning nearly every imaginable genre. All of my endeavors are fueled by passion and coffee.