Hey I’m Mike.
I am a full time personal/group trainer from Toronto (North York) Ontario, Canada.
On this page I talk about:
– How I got into fitness
– Where I started from (hated working out, tall skinny kid, stories of being bullied)
– How sports changed my life
– How I got into personal training
The video covers the same stuff as the post but it’s not exactly the same.
My First Memories of Fitness Were Not Pleasant
My first memories of working out go back to when I was 4. My dad would hold his hand up and get me to punch his hand. Most of the time he would say my punches sucked and maybe once in a while like 1 in 10 I’d get a good punch.
We also practiced kicks. I didn’t really like working out at the time but I was ok with it. So next my dad decided I wasn’t kicking high enough and need to be more flexible. So like 1-2x per week he would sit me with my back to a wall and slowly stretch my feet out using his feet until I could pretty much do the splits.
I would cry and hate it every week. My mom did nothing. This went on from age 5 to 9. Something like that.
When I was 12 the basement to our house was converted into a gym. My dad would basically lock me in there to force me to workout. I would just sneak my gameboy with me and play games when he wasn’t watching.
My First Love was Skateboarding
Even though I hated working out, I did enjoy being OUTSIDE. I was obsessed and could spend hours outside skateboarding. My dad obviously was not a fan and would limit my time that I could go out.
From age 12-15 I was a tall really skinny weak kid. I was never overweight but I was just really skinny and weak. SO I would get picked on from time to time. I was also a shy, nice type of kid so I didn’t handle things well. On top of that, I had this military asshole at home beating my confidence down further. Not the makings of anything good.
I remember in grade 8 recess this kid stole my shoe and I tried to chase after him. He was like the alpha kid at the time. I couldn’t catch him and I went into the bathroom and cried. They probably didn’t know I didn’t enjoy my home life and now my school life was kinda shitty too.
Combat Sports Changed My Life
I will write a seperate blog post about this but I believe that combat sports (boxing, wrestling, judo, bjj, mma) turns BOYS into MEN. If you can handle the pain at the start.
When I was 16 my friends wrestled and I took up boxing.
I remember the first time I boxed was this kid named Nick and I was not ready. I had never gotten punched before so my natural reaction (everyone does it) was to close my eyes and turn away. Not really good boxing technique. I also cried because I got beaten up so bad.
My coach took my headgear off and said “are you going to quit?”. I was crying like a bitch but I said “no”. He said “ok”. and I came back the next day. and the next. and the next. I got beaten up for quite a while. Eventually I got better but some people are just good and will still beat you up in sparring.
I lost every boxing competition I had
Not a lot of people know this. I’m sure I lied to a bunch of people before and said I won one or something but I lost all of them. I had 4 boxing matches in like 4 years and I lost them all.
I wasn’t that bad at boxing, it was just…I didn’t know how to compete. I was still a bit young and afraid. I needed more experience. I can’t say it was the coaches fault because I feel like I just wasn’t ready.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
After boxing I was about 18 and I tried Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I did it on and off for a few years. Now I am doing it very consistently (4-5 practices per week and competing once every month or 2).
I lost my first 3 BJJ competitions. One time I drove out to Montreal with the team, paid for a hotel, food, etc… lost in the first round of the tournament and had to go home empty handed.
I don’t know why but I kept training and competing. I’m not sure why I didn’t quit.
On my fourth tournament I had a turning point. I lost my first two matches but I wasn’t out of the tournament yet. I took a seat outside the gym and thought
“Man, maybe this just isn’t for me. I lost every single boxing match I had, I lost every bjj match I had so far. FUck.” I might’ve cried a bit but I had to compete again soon.
Then I somehow didn’t give a shit and won my next match, and the next one, and the next one. I think I won 6 in a row after that and lost in the finals to some dude. I got a silver medal and it was the greatest day of my life. I actually didn’t feel like a piece of shit. Nowadays if I get a silver medal I would be pissed but back then it was the FIRST MEDAL I HAD EVER WON.
The tournaments after that went much better. I saw what was working and kept improving. Nowadays I usually get 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in whatever competitions I do. I know how to compete now. It took a lot of competitive experience (and really good coaching).
I Was Supposed to Be an Accountant
I went to York University (not shulich) for accounting. I finished a bachelors degree in 3 years and left as soon as I could. I hated accounting. I jsut didn’t know what I wanted to do. But how could I sit in an office for 8 hours a day with people I don’t like. I couldn’t accept it.
So I started working as a waiter. Then I got a few personal training clients. Then it was like 50% serving and 50% training. I got more and more clients and eventually quit serving and now only do training full time. FOr the past year I have been pretty busy and I love my job. I think I have the easiest job in the world.
I also openned up a boot camp Richmond Hill Boot Camp. I have a great group of people that train at the boot camp. Everyone has been there for a while and we have a very positive, friendly, HARD WORKING vibe going on.
I’m not sure what I will do in the future. For now I am working 7 days a week (not all day every day) as a trainer and am competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu once a month or 2. I wanted to share everything I learned. I have so many insights and inspirational stories from the people I have trained.
Training people is beautiful because it introduced me to so many people that I would have never known. And you build such a good connection with a lot of them. I go to work and see my FRIENDS. And we workout. It’s a pretty easy job and I love it. I love seeing people achieve goals too.
This was some real shit I discussed about myself. I decided that if I have a website and youtube channel I will only put REAL INFORMATION FROM EXPERIENCE. I will not bullshit anybody. I’m here to help people, inspire someone, give a word of encouragement. I suggest you do the same (to yourself and others).
If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop it below or email me at email@example.com