Willpower to me means to have the strength, courage, and above all, the bravery to reach your goals or any goal. Doing this while remaining humble and mindful brings the warrior out in me.
There’s a man in my life that taught me what it means to be brave in so many ways, and I’ve taken that with me throughout the years.
I moved to New York City in 2002 to continue modeling. I was signed to a couple bigger agencies and did some print, acting and runway for a bit. It wasn’t my jam at all. It felt very incomplete and unfulfilling. I managed some retail establishments for a bit, then was bar tending in various large venues to make the most cash in the least amount of days of the week, so I could travel and pursue my own business.
I started my brand FITNUT in 2014 after returning from an extensive period of time in Southeast Asia. Toward the end of my 6 month stay, I experienced a painful breakup with my partner of two years and was feeling very isolated with moments of great sadness. I decided to volunteer with a children’s orphanage outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia for the hopes of becoming elevated enough to feel some light again. I was so moved by my experience. I was so inspired by the kids and workers at the orphanage that I wanted to go back home to NYC and start a new career path. I wanted to create a brand that not only helps people but also has a giving back component.
FITNUT currently encompasses private fitness and nutrition coaching, global luxury fitness retreats for gay men, virtual fitness coaching and global program design and health coaching. A product line is currently in the works which will be various gear for working out at home or travel and some fitness apparel. Travel is part of what inspires me to create fitness for people on the move. I have traveled to over 40 different counties over the last 8 years and have held multiple fitness retreats and or bootcamps in the USA, Spain, Costa Rica, and Bahrain.
On my second visit back to Cambodia after returning to NYC, I had $9,000 that I raised, and I dispersed it among a few orphanages in proximity to Siem Reap.
Upon my return to NYC after that trip, I started working with the Cambodian Community Dream Association (CCDO) and was named an ambassador to their organization in which I raised more money through fundraising events in NYC. Now, I take a percentage of annual sales and donate, again, to a variety of organizations.
Since the existence of FITNUT, we have raised over $10,000 independently through fundraising efforts that I have executed for various organizations in Cambodia. The people in Cambodia are far more impoverished than a life I’ve ever known. I was immediately drawn to their spirit of gratitude and positivity while living in poor conditions.
I’m currently working on a program designed to incorporate a larger giving back component to organizations that aid in the help of gay men’s emotional and physical health issues.
I have taken it upon myself over the last ten years, since I turned 30, to grow into my mind. I mean that I have spent a decade with a daily practice of meditations trying to live mindfully.
My mediations come in the form of extensive solo travel, self guided breathing techniques, guided meditations from an array of teachers and countless books I’ve read. Through this experience, I’ve grown into the man that I’ve wanted to be, or at least solidly on the way to be, and I attribute that to the work I’ve put in. I think I posses the understandings and knowledge today that could help others achieve the mindful success that I have gained which creates a safe space to explore any troubling emotional turmoils that surface being any man, not just gay men.