Thank You, Dad

Thank You, Dad


Losing someone you love is never easy.

Even if you suspect that it could be coming, the reality of it happening hits you at a deeper level.

On Monday 11/23 I received the call that my father, Al, was gone.

If you knew my father, you know that he had some qualities that can only make you shake your head with disbelief and laugh. If you only met him once or twice, you might have thought, “What’s that guy’s problem?”

My dad was as stubborn as they come, and believe it or not, truly enjoyed fighting with people. Truly! Whether verbal arguments or physical altercations, this dude loved to throw down.

His brash, Mafioso persona, foul language and hardened exterior are how most people knew of him.

But those who really knew him, at his core…knew he was a dick… but also knew that deep down, he cared.

Truly cared.

My father loved his family. We may not have heard him say it too often, but he had his ways of showing it. As his son, I understood.

For instance, even though we didn’t have much money growing up, my parents found a way to take us to Wildwood every year for a family vacation. These trips are some of the fondest memories of my childhood.

It’s funny how the smell of cigarettes in the summer heat reminds me so much of these times. My father smoked since he was thirteen, and although I hate the smell of smoke, something about that smell in the summer air takes me back to some of my best moments with him.

The food, the beach, mini golf and boardwalk every night; we loved it. My dad, mom, brother and I all have memories from these trips that will last a lifetime.

When I look back on these days now knowing that we didn’t have much money, I can’t help but think, who the hell did he rob to make this happen?! I’m not sure, but hey, we had a blast.

For all the trips and memories, thank you, dad.

When I was a teenager, it never mattered what time of the day it was, my father was the ride for my friends and I. He’d pick us up in the middle of the night, dead of winter, hair standing straight up because I woke him from a deep sleep. He’d be in his pajamas and slippers with all the windows closed, smoking cigarettes, of course. I’d laugh at my friends who’d argue about who was going to sit behind him because no one wanted to get covered with ash.

When they’d ask if he could crack the window a bit more, he’d simply reply “You don’t like it? Walk!”

On long rides to and from parties or day trips to the Jersey Shore he loved telling us stories of the old days. My friends and I would crack up at the ridiculous things he’d say and he loved every minute of it. He’d blast Frankie Valli, Frank Sinatra and other oldies when he needed some motivation for his next story. The only downside of these trips was how bad you’d smell of smoke by the time we arrived.

For all the rides and all the stories, thank you, dad.

When I look back at my wrestling matches, hockey and football games growing up, there weren’t many that he missed. He’d be there with my Uncle John, standing off to the side, smoking, of course.

For showing up over the years, thank you, dad.

In 2013 my father’s health began to rapidly decline. He started to lose weight at an incredibly fast pace and couldn’t seem to stand or walk without falling. It took months of convincing, but some time in November we were able to get him to go to the hospital. I left work at the firehouse in the morning and picked him up. He was basically stuck in the basement. Unable to walk on his own, I put his arm around my shoulders, my arm around his back and helped him to my car.

From that day on my father never walked again.

His health continued to decline for seven years. Some of the things my family and I witnessed him go through were unimaginable. It sure as hell wasn’t easy for him or any of us, but my father was just as resilient as he was stubborn and somehow kept getting through it.

But through all the hell and hard times that he went through, there was one positive that I will never forget. We developed a stronger bond over these seven years than we’ve ever had. We grew closer, talked about things we’ve never spoken about before, and for the first time that I could remember, said that we loved each other.

For the relationship that we developed these last seven years, thank you, dad.

I wish it could’ve kept going. I wish we had more time together. I wish that we could have done more. But since this is the end of the road, old man, I want you to know this.

Ever since I was a kid I looked up to you. We may have disagreed and argued quite often, but I always loved you.

I pushed you over the years because I wanted what was best for you. I wanted you to get healthy. I wanted you to have a better life.

Regardless of anything that was ever said, I know that you cared.

I know that you loved us.

Whether I like it or not, your qualities are in me. When I see old pictures of you I can’t believe how much we look alike. No matter what you will always be a part of who I am.

Our conversations, your one-liners, your clever insults, and our time spent together will stay with me for my lifetime.

I don’t think I ever told you this, but my driving force to be successful is you. Since I was a kid I wanted nothing more than to make you proud.

I never heard you say it, but hopefully, you are. I think that you are.

But if not, I’ll keep trying.

I’m going to miss you, dad. I really am.

But I know one day we’ll be together again. And when that day comes I’ll have the opportunity to look at you and say thank you, for being my dad.

See you around, old man.

The Iron Life Podcast #74: Become Hard to Kill

The Iron Life Podcast #74: Become Hard to Kill

With all of the craziness going on in the world, it’s time for you to take control.

It’s time to turn your body into a weapon and develop the immune system to withstand anything.

It’s time to become hard to kill.

On today’s episode of The Iron Life Podcast we’re going to discuss exactly how to do that.

Some of the topics I cover are:

  • The best ways to strengthen your immune system
  • How to warm-up properly and why
  • How to get and remain explosive AF
  • Where to program the “big lift” of your workout
  • Getting strong AF for the long haul
  • Optimal rep ranges for hypertrophy
  • The best way to finish your training session
  • What you must do every 12-16 weeks for optimal gains
  • Recovery methods

And more!

You don’t want to miss this info-packed episode.

Click here to listen to Episode 74: Become Hard to Kill


The Iron Life Podcast #73: The Power of Pain and Struggle with Luka Hocevar

The Iron Life Podcast #73: The Power of Pain and Struggle with Luka Hocevar

Luka Hocevar is a world renowned strength and conditioning coach.

He’s the owner of of Vigor Ground Fitness and Performance Center in Renton, WA, Transformation and Fitness Business Coach.

On today’s show, Luka and I dive deep into:

  • The power of pain and struggle
  • What’s required to achieve real, sustainable change
  • What most men do to mask their truth
  • Getting a hold on trauma
  • How to raise your standard
  • The power of groups and masterminds
  • Overcoming the obstacles of life
  • Breaking through the life of quiet desperation
  • Top mistakes most trainers and gym owners make

Luka is a wealth of knowledge and he shares so much of that with you today.

Listen to the episode, but more importantly, TAKE ACTION on what you’re going to learn from this info-packed show.

Click here to listen


The Iron Life Podcast #72: Training with Injuries and My Favorite Finishers

The Iron Life Podcast #72: Training with Injuries and My Favorite Finishers

Most people sabotage their progress by taking huge blocks off from training.

Occasionally these gaps are justified in their own minds due to an injury, but I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to put your training on a total hold whenever you get injured.

In fact, that’s the exact opposite of what you should do.

On today’s show, I’m going to teach you how to work around injuries, rather than through them, as well as my favorite finishers that you can work into your routine right now.

These finishers are guaranteed to give you a bigger bang for your buck in your workouts.

Click below to listen.

The Iron Life Podcast #71: 10 Ways To Raise Your Standard

The Iron Life Podcast #71: 10 Ways To Raise Your Standard

Complacency kills in a lot of ways.

In life we become complacent and our goals, dreams and ambitions die.

That’s going to change today, because on today’s episode you’re going to learn ten ways to raise your standard, kill complacency and live the life you were meant to live.

Get ready to level up.

Click below to listen.

The Iron Life Podcast #70: The Philosophy That Will Transform Your Body & Life

The Iron Life Podcast #70: The Philosophy That Will Transform Your Body & Life

Kaizen, is the Japanese philosophy for “continuous improvement, or change for the better”.

This philosophy, when applied to fitness, is the best way to achieve the outcome you want, and maintain it for the long haul.

It’s what I teach my coaching clients to help them melt fat, build muscle and drive positive change in their health and lives.

Think of this as a way of setting standards, and then continually improving those standards.

I believe that to achieve fulfillment and true happiness we must be on a never ending quest of self-improvement. So then the Kaizen philosophy should always be applied to every area of your life.

The idea of constant improvement by introducing small, gradual changes to all areas of your life can lead to a compound effect, and over time result in drastic change.

In today’s show I’m going to teach you how to apply this philosophy to your fitness (and life) so you can start making true change today.

Click below to listen

The Iron Life Podcast #69: The Truth About Building Muscle

The Iron Life Podcast #69: The Truth About Building Muscle

Over the years of training and experimenting on myself and my clients, I’ve learned a few things about building muscle naturally.

On today’s episode I share with you exactly how you can start packing more muscle on your frame.

You’ll learn:

  • The surprising truth about building muscle that no one will tell you
  • Appropriate rep ranges to train in to build real muscle
  • How to optimize nutrition to not gain fat while building muscle
  • Proper training loads

And more

Click below to listen

The Iron Life Podcast #68: The Full Training Blueprint for Police Officers with Dru Mejico

The Iron Life Podcast #68: The Full Training Blueprint for Police Officers with Dru Mejico

My guest on today’s show is Dru Mejico.

Dru is a strength coach who works exclusively with police officers and first responders, helping them get stronger, shredded and perform better without beating up their joints.

Today, Dru and I discuss:

  • The BIGGEST mistakes police officers make in their training and how to fix them
  • How to handle the struggles of shift work
  • How to enhance sleep
  • The one cardio mistake you’re making and what to do instead
  • The struggles cops have with diet and what to do to overcome them

And a lot more.

Click below to enjoy this info-packed show.

#68: The Full Training Blueprint for Police Officers with Dru Mejico

The Iron Life Podcast #67: Heal Your Gut with Rachel Scheer

The Iron Life Podcast #67: Heal Your Gut with Rachel Scheer

Rachel Scheer is a fitness model and Functional Medicine Nutritionist with a BS in Dietetics.

Rachel is incredibly knowledgeable on nutrition, and today her and I go deep on the topic.

More specifically, we cover:

  • How she almost lost her large intestine
  • How your current diet is effecting your hormones
  • How to heal your gut and fix GI issues
  • The gut’s role in mental health and depression
  • Nutrition protocols you can take right now for better health
  • Supplements for a healthy gut

And much, much more.

You’ll want to have your notebook handy for this one.

Click below to listen.

Enjoy the show.