When a friend of mine, who is a local journalist, approached me with the idea of pitching a story about my fitness journey to OUT in SA, my first thought was how it would affect me and the people I love. Ultimately, I decided to go forward with the article because I wanted it to serve two purposes. First, I wanted it to remind people that it doesn’t matter where you started or where you are, you can ALWAYS re-design, re-create and transform your life. Second, I wanted it to serve as a 'thank you' to the people who inspire, motivate and accept me for exactly who I am.

When I received the magazine and read through the finished article, I was filled with pride, gratitude, and excitement! The article allowed me to reflect on the past 32 years of my life, and the lessons, memories, and battle scars that made me the man I am today.

For me, inspiration comes in many forms: my niece walking for the first time, my family waiting for me at every finish line, and all of my JoyRiders sweating it out on the bike week after week. But, in my opinion, the greatest source of inspiration has to come from within. Your goals and visions are important to your success---ALWAYS keep them in your mind and heart. Be proud of your accomplishments, big or small, and use them to push yourself to the next level. You never know who YOU are inspiring through your actions.

My faithful JOYriders---being a part of our community has changed my life forever! Seeing the determination, fire, and life in your eyes during every class ignites something powerful inside of me---I feel like I can conquer the world! Thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives, and for giving yourself time every week to create a stronger version of yourself. Remember, if you want to be around to take care of your loved ones, you need to take care of yourself first.

To the woman sporting her signature pink hat, who took a chance and walked into my Whitney vs. Mariah class, thank you. Your guidance, perseverance, and determination inspire me every single day---I would not be writing this blog if it wasn’t for your support. Thank you for your friendship and I can’t wait to see what we cook up next!

To my partner and our two, four-legged kids---thank you for giving me the support to fulfill another one of my passions. Your patience as I spend countless hours in front of the computer creating my playlists, or training at the gym shows me your love. Y’all are always in my heart and mind. Knowing that I am coming home to a house filled with love and encouragement makes everything easier.

The strongest bond I have is with my greatest group of supporters and advocates---my family. From the first time I told y’all I was gay (imagine it: we were sitting in the parking lot of an iHop) there has been nothing but love, support, and acceptance. Everything I have and will accomplish is because of you. I love you.

Finally, I want to thank OUT in SA magazine for giving me the opportunity to be part of a publication that educates our city on acceptance and equality. It is a privilege to know that my story could motivate members and supporters of the LGBT community to continue to lead a healthy lifestyle, or initiate a conversation to begin one.

I’ve been asked, if I could change anything about my past that would have allowed me to lead a healthier lifestyle, what would it be? My answer, absolutely nothing! In hindsight, I am thankful to know what it feels like to be a couch potato, unable to run 1/4 mile. Remembering what it feels like to be insecure and uncomfortable in my own skin is what I use to push and challenge myself every day. I know that it’s up to me, and only me, to design my body---I will never settle for anything less than what I know I can achieve!

Re-designing your body starts with changing your mind---deciding when YOU are ready to accept the challenge to change your lifestyle. It probably won’t be easy, but I guarantee that It will be worth it!

Words of Wisdom:

"The next time someone asks you, ‘Hey, how did you get to be a homosexual anyway?’ tell them, ‘Homosexuals are chosen first on talent, then interview. The swimsuit and evening gown competition pretty much gets rid of the rest of them’."

- Author Unknown