How old are you?

37 Years Old

What is your occupation?

Former Restaurant Owner, Current Vice Principal of Newburyport Middle School

What month and year did you start CrossFit?

November 2013

What made you Join CrossFit?

I have always considered myself somewhat of an athlete and was just in a rut in my normal gym routine. Wasn’t seeing much progress doing everything on my own. One day I was in a spin class, the next day I was running on a treadmill, lifting weights and doing other things that was keeping me moving but again my results were not showing. I had some friends signing up at a local CrossFit that was opening around my home in Miami so I thought it would be perfect timing to get more involved in a regimented program and community of people that would start a new fitness journey together.

What were your original goals?

The competitive nature of myself was that I was going to walk in and be an absolute savage. I had done most of these movements while I was a college athlete so I figured I would just walk in and be an absolute beast at everything. Fortunately, I had a great community and support that kindly broke my ego down and assisted in my progress as an athlete to realize that goal number 1 is to understand the principles of CrossFit and how it is applied to daily life.  Through this I have realized that being a better version of myself in all phases of my life needs to be at the forefront of my CrossFit journey.

What is it about CrossFit (vs. other fitness alternatives) that has made you successful?

Structure, sound coaching, patience and most of all the incredible community of the Swamp that has embraced my family and I as their very own. As a resident 5am’er, we have created a special bond among us that runs through this community that it is infectious. The support of the coaches and fellow athletes inspires me to continue to reach my goals and pushes me to work on weaknesses and develop not only as a an athlete but more so as a person.

What is the biggest factor in your success, and how do you maintain it?

Consistency! Not every day is a PR or a personal best but every day is an opportunity to get better. There is no such thing as failure as long as you use those obstacles or challenges that you faced as learning opportunities to grow. CrossFit is not easy, it is going to make you feel uncomfortable and it is going to challenge you every single time you walk in and it is the equivalent to what life throws at you. We are thrown in all different directions as people, parents, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and every other hat we wear daily but the great thing is that if we are resilient, if we are mindful, if we are humble and if we just keep grinding, greatness will appear through hard work, grit and resilience  both in our lives and in CrossFit.

How many classes do you attend each month?

Typically 20-25 (5 days a week)

Has nutrition played a role in your success?  If so, how? Be specific.

This is the game changer! I always thought I ate “healthy”. I stayed away from carbs but still drank on weekends. I stayed away from ice cream but would top salads off with a pound of salad dressing and would indulge in half a tub of peanut butter. Again, not every day is perfect in my nutrition but I am so aware of the healthy choices I can make when I am out to a restaurant. I am also so much more aware and cognizant of portion control. My main concern with nutrition is not necessarily for looks, even though it hasn’t hurt, but it is more so to fuel my workouts and my overall performance. I eat healthy carbs around my workouts, eat healthy fats and lean proteins and have felt the best I have ever felt with our programming and nutrition just dialed in more.

How much weight have you lost since you joined The Swamp? Any other significant physical transformations?

Started Swamp around 230lbs. Waist 36-38 and Around 20% Body fat and I thought I was in shape because I could Rx most workouts, not necessarily performing at a high level but just because I could move the weight around. I am proud to say I am not 196lbs. Can actually squeeze into a 30 inch waist but comfortably wear a 32 inch waist and am around 8-10% body fat.

What is your most memorable CrossFit moment? Accomplishment(s) you are most proud of since joining?

My most memorable moment is probably my most humbling, frustrating but also became one that I am most proud of. When I first hit the workout “Diane” I was told just to Rx it. I was not proficient at handstand pushups however at another box in Miami I was told to just finish it. After 21 Minutes of failed handstand pushups I finally quit. I looked in the mirror and I said this will never happen again. Unfortunately, it did happen again actually it happened 3 more times where I was time capped but it was much more controlled in a healthier setting with the correct stimulus. “Diane” became a workout that I dreaded but also became a barometer for my progress with a movement that I have struggled to progress. In this year’s open a form of “Diane” was programmed and the immediate anticipation, nerves and reflection kept me up all night. That morning, coaches and I had a game plan, I had my partner in crime (G-Train) judging me on every rep, coaching me up (more like screaming at me) to keep moving. I was just 1 rep shy of finishing the workout and I could have seen it as a lost effort but then I thought back to that moment of defeat that I had earlier and was so proud of my progress on the workout and it showed that “This S#!t Works!

If you could send yourself advice 10 years ago what would you say?

I know one thing I know, I know nothing- Socrates. Just LIVE! Do not take anything for granted. Seize every opportunity to make yourself better and don't wait to walk through that door and be the best version of yourself TODAY! Don’t wait for tomorrow.

What are your current goals?

Continuing to work on gymnastics movements and overall strength are definitely on a long list of goals. From a personal standpoint, it is to continue to have more balance between family, career and CrossFit goals. I know I can continue to grow as a person and watching some incredible dads and husbands daily is inspiring to me to continue my growth as well in those realms.
What advice would you give someone thinking of starting CrossFIt?
Get in the door and understand that everyone in the box was just like you at some point and we totally understand what you are feeling, going through are nervous about and just be assured that you are going to get through it and never regret the decision to join this incredible community.

What would you hope your CrossFit Future holds?

A dream would be to get close to competing as a Master’s in the online qualifier. I have A TON of work to put in and continue to make progress in a lot of areas but I am willing to continue to put the work in and work towards a very far reaching goal. Overall, I am in the best shape of my life and I hope to continue that through the rest of my life in this great community.

What has been your biggest hurdle and how did you overcome it? How has this experience enriched other areas of your life?

I actually saved these questions to answer last purposely because these are the most important reasons that I hope to inspire others to join this incredible community. On the surface, I am sure people see a man in me who is passionate about his fitness, his performance, his attention to detail, his love to help others and their goals and his drive to be the best. I hope they see my commitment, my integrity and my deliberate intention to make a difference in people’s lives whether that is as a fellow athlete, as a coach or as a friend. The truth of the matter the reason I am the way I am is because of a few people that have truly changed my life. Inside this man you guys know as “the greek monstah” was once a boy and man that struggled tremendously with his weight, his image and what he saw in the mirror. A former college athlete, a successful entrepreneur and educator who was able to inspire, coach and assist others could not even look in the mirror because he was disgusted with what he saw physically, emotionally and mentally. Growing up where nothing was ever good enough. Straight A’s on a report card, all star nominations, college acceptances, attaining praise from national accredited institutions highlighting his teaching practice still never good enough. Opening a business, building a concept and a brand and working 90+ hours a week for peanuts and looking in the mirror for glimpses of hope that everything is going to work out. Sleepless nights, endless doubt and fear of being a failure ran rampant almost daily. However, with the support of my wife, the love of my son and this amazing community that is my family I have grown in every facet of my life. My biggest hurdle in my life has always been my perfectionist nature and my fear of falling flat on my face. My fear was always looking at the man in the mirror and being filled with heartaches and tears. However, now I fall on my face daily, literally daily as I practice handstand walking and I can look in the mirror and say good job, Nick. You see, the man in the mirror never lies. The man in my mirror is a man of integrity, a man that knows me better than I know myself. That man comes alive daily when I hug and kiss my wife and when I tell my son I love him and that I am proud of him. That man comes alive when I see my Swamp family, my Swamp brothers and sisters daily and they know how much they mean to me. I am enriched, I am blessed and I am the most fortunate man alive because I am better today than I was yesterday and I will be better tomorrow than I was today. Thank you to the Swamp, you have literally played a role in saving my life and I am forever grateful.