What made you first get into fitness?
My parents always promoted a healthy, active lifestyle and I played sports my whole life — often two or three at a time, all the way through high school. When I decided not to continue on to collegiate-level track and field as a high jumper, I finally committed to the gym regularly as an 18-year-old high school graduate.
What motivates you to show up every day?
My friends who invited me to the gym had already been working out for about a year, but were naturally much smaller than me. I came in and lifted more than them on the first day and they couldn't believe it. My body responded immediately to the workouts and I gained 30 lbs of muscle in the first year! The physical transformation I was witnessing right before my eyes in the mirror everyday was the positive reinforcement for the hard work put forth in the gym that motivated me to continue to put in the work for further progress.
What are your health and fitness goals for the future?
I've gained 90 lbs of muscle in 10 years, 50 lbs in the first three years, and 40 in the following seven years. I won Mr. California as a super heavyweight bodybuilder in 2015. I then took a break from bodybuilding and lost 50 lbs in the following year from adopting a regular yoga practice and becoming a certified yoga instructor, and also running on a regular basis. Now that I'm getting older and have a 5-year-old daughter, I just want to look good, feel good, have fun, and find balance — not only in my workouts, but in my life as well. I want to continue to lift weights to stay strong and aesthetic. I want to run and do other modes of cardio to stay young, healthy, and lean. And I want to continue to progress my yoga practice to strengthen my flexibility, balance, body control, spirit, sense of self — and to better align my body, mind, and soul in hopes of becoming a better human being.
What is your favorite exercise?
On the weight floor I like dumbbell lateral raises because they cause a mountain range to form from shoulder-to-shoulder that makes my upper body look killer! In the yoga studio I like any inversion, but particularly handstands because they require upper body strength, core strength and balance. They are super fun and challenging, and they look crazy cool and impressive.
What made you choose Dissident Gym Wear and how do you relate to the DISSIDENT brand's message?
I was born and raised in San Diego and I love supporting local companies. A couple of my peers had already connected with Dissident and I loved the look and message of the gear/brand — so I wanted in! I've been dissident my whole life. It should be my middle name! I've always gone against the grain, living by my own watch, making my own rules and usually bending anyone else's.
What is your favorite Dissident piece?
I love all the stringers. The cut and shape of them are flattering and the material is flexible and comfortable, with high quality graphics and stitching.
What is your proudest fitness achievement?
Transitioning from an 18-year-old, 200 lb California State High Jumper to a 28-year-old, 290 lb California State Bodybuilder.
What is your advice to anyone seeking to improve their health and fitness lifestyle?
It takes education, motivation, and accountability. You need to know what the right types of exercises are best for you and your goals. You need to find the motivation to follow a regular program and change your lifestyle, and you need someone or something to get you going and keep you going. If you can afford it, a personal trainer would be an awesome investment for your health. At the very least, have someone customize a program for you that you can follow on your own and have a nutritionist or dietitian help you with your diet. As we know, the majority of any body transformation is done through diet, lifestyle and behavior modification. It is my professional mission to inspire, motivate and educate those desiring to achieve any fitness goal in order to ensure success, safety and enjoyment throughout their program. Let me know if I can help. :)
What is your favorite quote?
“All you need is love.” <3
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