A bit about me…
I’m a writer, aspiring solopreneur, Army veteran, retired martial artist, old school bodybuilding fan, husband, father, and proud grandpa.
I grew up in Tonawanda, NY located on the Niagara River between Buffalo and Niagara Falls. This resulted in me having a lifelong addiction to pizza and wings because Buffalo has the best! I love any pizza as long as it doesn’t have hot peppers or anchovies, and never turn down a slice.
I’ve always been an avid reader I would spend much of my free time at the local library when I was young, reading everything I could find on my two passions, bodybuilding, and martial arts.
I used to draw from the photos in those books for hours, and got pretty good, with all of my teachers in school encouraging me to pursue a career in art…instead, I joined the Army.
Graduating in 1984 and not wanting to go the college route, I decided to join the US Army Military Police. I would proudly serve a little over eight years in total becoming a Military Police Investigator which is the best job I’ve ever had. My only regret, like many others, is not staying until I reached twenty years and retired.
We are a military family on my father’s side and all three of my sons have served in the military as well, with the US Air Force. This is also where I developed my love for coffee, which I drink straight-up black, no sugar, no nothing.
I began practicing martial arts in my parent’s basement from the books I could find at the library. My official training would begin while stationed at Camp Ames, South Korea where I studied under the late Master Yun Tak Bong in a very traditional form of Tang Soo Do Korean Karate.
I would go on to train and teach Tang Soo Do for 30 years until injuries and surgeries put an end to martial arts for me except for Tai Chi, which I do as part of my fitness regimen.
These are the arts I have studied in chronological order. I earned black belt rank in the ones marked with an asterisk.*
- Tang Soo Do*
- Tae Kwon Do
- Shotokan Karate
- Sin Moo Hapkido
- 8 Step Preying Mantis Kung Fu
- Tracy Kenpo
- Suenaka Aikido
- Yang Tai Chi
- Chung Do Kwan TKD*
- Combat Hapkido
- Ground Survival
- Kaneshi Kwan Hapkido*
Bodybuilding and Fitness
I have loved the sport of bodybuilding since I was 12, after picking up the book Pumping Iron at my local library. Not all bodybuilding, but old school bodybuilding from the early days until the early nineties.
Over the years I have had friends and co-workers who were amateur competitive bodybuilders and worked out with them regularly, but martial arts always came first. While stationed in Grafenwoehr, Germany (1988-1991) IFBB Pro Jeffrey “Box” Long was stationed there as well and was working on earning his pro card. I would see him train from time to time, but never worked out with him, I was nowhere near that level. Vince Taylor 2000 – 2001 IFBB Masters Mr. Olympia, was also stationed in Germany at that time, serving as a weapons specialist in Berlin. Bodybuilding was bigger than it is today, especially in Germany.
Now in my fifties, I am trying to see how far I can take my body training naturally and at home in my garage, using basic equipment and old-school bodybuilding techniques. I love the look of the bronze and golden era bodybuilders, balanced, defined, and aesthetic, many of whom achieved their physiques before steroids were even around.
My favorite bodybuilders are Steve Reeves, Vince Gironda, Shawn Ray, Mohammed Makkaway, and from the big guys of the late nineties and beyond it is hands down Jay Cutler, 4-time Mr. Olympia. I read and research all I can find on these guys to learn and apply tips and techniques to my own training.
To further my fitness knowledge I would get certified as a personal trainer and specialist in senior fitness through the I.S.S.A. (International Sports Sciences Association) training clients and working at the Buffalo Athletic Club for a few years. Now I am putting this knowledge to work rebuilding myself.
A rough couple of years…
Over the years I always dreamed of working for myself but at the time it meant having the money to open a brick and mortar business. With no computers or internet, I tried multilevel marketing companies like Amway, Melaleuca, and Primerica Financial Services, which all left me with less money and a dislike of sales, so I just continued in manufacturing.
In November 2013 I decided to leave the manufacturing industry after 14+ years, to learn the Air Conditioning trade and try again to one day work for myself. I thought it was a great idea at the time, but in December 2013 I realized it was the worst decision I had ever made, changing my life forever.
I would fall through a ceiling at work severely injuring my shoulder, requiring two surgeries and 14 months of therapy which kept me out of work and practically inactive for two years. Then, 8 months later, I would tear the meniscus in my knee requiring surgery to remove the torn piece and allow free movement of my knee again.
Six months later, while riding my bike to try and strengthen my knee, I would have an accident, flipping over the handlebars and landing on my head, opposite shoulder, and knee.
Yeah, it was a rough couple of years.
Then came 2020…
Then came 2020 and the COVID pandemic, and on April 23, 2020, I would get laid off from my job after just turning 54 years old. I never thought I would be reinventing myself and starting over in my fifties, but after more than a year of applying for jobs with no results, that’s exactly where I found myself along with millions of others. Overweight, out of shape, and more unemployed than I have ever been in my life, I decided enough was enough and vowed to take control of my life.
I began researching and learning all I can about creating passive income online, personal branding, writing, online marketing, and studying entrepreneurs like Gary Vaynerchuk and Pat Flynn. For the first time in my life, bodybuilding (body RE-building really) is now my primary focus, trying to lose 50 pounds and transform my fitness, health, and physique. Training solo, in my garage, I work to lose fat and build muscle using old-school techniques.
My goal is not to create a huge business with employees and make millions. I want to replace my and my wife’s income and have the freedom to work wherever and whenever I want, living life on my terms. I want to improve my health and fitness and have an active and abundant life well into my later years, enjoying my children and grandchildren. We all deserve that.
So that is a bit about me, how I got to this point, and what I will be doing going forward. This journey will not be easy and will not happen overnight. It will take a ton of work, persistence, and patience, but the only way to fail is to quit…and that’s not going to happen. Did I mention hard work?
This is my journey and I invite you to join me!
Kevin lives in Wesley Chapel, Florida with his amazing wife Betsy. When he isn’t working, writing, or working out, Kevin can be found relaxing at home with family and enjoying the beautiful gulf coast beaches!