I have been an athlete all my life. I'm very fortunate in this way. I never had to deal with the insecurities that children have from being picked last for the gym class game of the day. I did, however, have to overcome physical issues such as size and strength when it came to playing on a level higher. Because I was always the shortest and smallest kid on the field, I regularly got pretty banged up, but I never quit. I would occasionally suffer minor injuries, but nothing too serious. I learned in high school that if you want to continue doing the things you like to do, you must prepare yourself accordingly. Training with weights is part of the puzzle that keeps athletes healthy and performing well. In high school my team and I would regularly train together after school, but we didn't really know what we were doing at the time. In college I learned quite a bit more, as everyone was significantly bigger than what I was used to. I knew if I was going to bang heads with these guys for four years, I better man up and get bigger, faster, and stronger. I then became infatuated with training. I worked harder than most others and my efforts were rewarded with a successful collegiate career. After college some of the guys I played football and trained with have all but ceased their training in the weight room due to careers, families, and other interests. But my interest remained... I wanted to get better, and I wanted to share my knowledge on how to make others better in the process. After college I had the fortunate opportunity to play a football season in Finland for the Varkaus Steelers. It was an amazing time and the first time I was away from home for so long, with the exception of college. I learned a ton about myself and the world in general. I highly recommend traveling to everyone, it's always a tremendous experience. Within a few days of arriving back in the states after the season in Finland, I was greeted with the horrific tragedy of 9/11, the bombing of the Twin Towers. At the time I lived a few hours from New York City, and everyone in my area was hugely affected by this occurrence. But one of the things that I learned from this disaster was that we all have to live the life we want to live and be the very best we can be, for we never know when our ride is going to end. So, for the past decade I have been doing what I love to do, training hard and training other athletes and motivated individuals to become the strongest version of themselves. Strong in body, mind and spirit. They are interrelated. I loved helping motivated kids learn the tools they need to be positive and successful. Today, another opportunity arrises. I have been given the opportunity to go overseas once again to display my ability and share my knowledge with the Warsaw Eagles of Poland. It has been 10 years since I have played football competitively, but I feel the best I ever have in my life because of my current training and philosophy of living. This is a blessing and I am truly excited beyond belief. An old friend and college teammate of mine moved to Poland after college. We haven't spoken since. But recently a cool new social website was developed that made it easy for old and new friends to connect. You probably haven't heard about it, though, as it's not that popular. It's called Facebook, only about a billion people use it. Anyway, he caught wind of the things I was doing and told me what he was up to in Poland and how he was involved with the new American Football team in Warsaw. I thought it was awesome and he then invited me to come play with them. I balked at the opportunity at first, I thought to myself, "I can't, I'll get hurt, I'm running my own business now, this doesn't make sense, my time has passed," the list of excuses goes on and on. But a little bit of thinking and the realization occurred that my time has not passed and I might just be more capable and prepared now than ever before. Also, I never want to have the feeling of "What if..." So I am doing it, not a big deal for some, but a huge step for others. I'm more fueled and more passionate about training now than I have been in a long time because I have a definitive purpose and a goal. Every ex athlete wants to believe they still have what it takes. But for most, it's just lip service. I'm laying it all on the line. I'm strapping up and getting in the game. Those reading this have their own game, it's not necessarily about football, it's about having a goal, making a decision and executing with gut busting inspirational effort that inspires others to stand up and fight for what they are passionate about. I am not going to Poland for the free plane ticket and Kielbasa. I am going for the experience of working with men who are passionate about what they do. I have seen video of the training footage of the team and I am honored to be a part of their dedicated journey to success. I was a running back in college, but in high school, I played both offense and defense as an outside linebacker and cornerback. I returned kicks when necessary and even caught a few passes. I really loved running the football the most, but I took pride in my versatility. It is all about athleticism in my book. You have to be able to move, and do it faster and more explosively than everyone else around you if you want to be successful. The reason I have a particular affinity for running the ball is because everyone is chasing you, they all want to hunt you, hit you, and hurt you. But they are chasing, I lead the way. If I make a move to go right, they must try to catch me. If I cut and go left, they again must try to stop me. But my favorite path to glory is right through someone's chest. I would routinely look a man in the eye and run right at him with horrible intentions of breaking his ribs with my face. This may seem appalling to some, but those who have ran on the gridiron with black eyeballs glaring through a face cage understand that their simply is no other way. A successful football player has a kill or die mentality. Sure, it's a good way to get tackled and even hurt, but more often than not, a different colored jersey would be lying on his back and not me. Its all I got against all you got, no tricks and no excuses. Bring your best, because I'm bringing mine. To me, there is nothing like running the rock. It was that mentality that earned me All-American honors as a junior and senior for the Susquehanna University Crusaders in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania. I was named team MVP as a junior and senior, Commonwealth League MVP and Middle Atlantic Conference Best Offensive Player as a senior. I played in the 2nd annual Tazon Azteca, the Division III All-Star game held in Mexico. I have just recently learned of the Warsaw Eagles and met the coaches and players via the internet. I am extremely excited to meet the guys in person and have a tremendous experience in Poland. I have been doing some independent research about Poland recently and look forward to experiencing their culture. My fathers parents were born in Poland, came over on a boat and started a life near Philadelphia, PA. I have no knowledge of my family history in Poland as my grandfather died before I was born, my grandmother died when I was 8, and I couldn't understand her language. My father died when I was 14 and before that I really didn't care much about history as I was too busy scraping my knees and elbows at that age. It would be amazing if I learned more about my family history during this journey, but those are not my intentions. I have a mission, and I am staying the course. I feel that I have a lot to offer the team as I have been playing football since age 8. 17 years on the gridiron teaches you a lot about the game. To the best of my knowledge the sport of American Football has only been played in Poland for the last 10 years, and really gaining in popularity the last 5 years or so. So I am excited to share my knowledge of the sport, as well as my knowledge of athletic and physical preparation, while it is still in its infancy in Poland. I currently train athletes of various sports in my personal gym, so this will make me feel right at home. My specialty is explosive training for speed, strength and power, which is exactly what football players need. My expectations are high for this trip to Poland, I expect to win a championship and I believe we are going to do it. The team is highly motivated and they look impressive. But I also am very excited to experience the culture that Poland has to offer. I plan to enjoy every moment. I grew up near Philadelphia, and as a boy I wanted to play for the Philadelphia Eagles, so fittingly enough I am now an Eagle, just a few thousand miles away.
(Fight song commences)