Hi Andy! Please tell us about yourself.
I currently work as a librarian and I’m an aspiring blacksmith. I love being creative. I want to end up working with metals and have a full-time business hammering stuff.
I am married to an amazing partner who challenges me to grow and be better every day. I like to work out, ride bikes, and hike. I also like to read books, mostly fiction, play video games, design and build stuff (LEGOs, models, etc).
Some fun facts: I know a lot of random trivia, I love animals (especially cats), I like the snow but don’t ski or snowboard, I have never broken a serious bone (fingers and toes don’t count), I can sharpen a knife (most kitchen knives are so dull!), I love motorcycles, I love to cook and eat good food and my musical tastes run from synth and metal to hip hop.
How long have you been working with FF, and what initially inspired you to start training with us?
My wife Jess and I started getting interested in fitness and working out with trainers in 2015. We both value mobility and health, believing fitness and a healthy diet are very important.
In 2016 we moved from Illinois to Alaska. We worked out on our own, but not consistently.
In October 2019, Jess encourage me to come to a strength training class at Figarelle’s Fitness and it has now been about 4 1/2 months since we started attending Small Group classes. I know I work better toward a goal if I am having fun and feeling motivated.
The FF team is motivating, for sure! The weekly accountability Steph provides is a big part of my success. FF is a good community, and also gets results! It has been great so far and only seems to be getting better.
What are some of your favorite muscle groups to train, and why?
Calf muscle exercises are some of my favorites. I want nice big calves. I feel like many men I see spend time on their upper body, but have small legs. I like a strong core and a stable back. I also really like to train abs, they also look nice, so there’s that!
How about a few of your favorite exercises? What do you enjoy most about them?
One favorite exercise is riding my bike. I love to ride fast, it has always felt like more fun than work. It is also good transportation and I loved riding my commute most days when I lived in Chicago.
I really like to bench press because it makes me feel strong. I like to swim and love the water, even though I don’t consider myself to be strong swimmer.
When you think of the word “successful,” who is the first person who comes to mind?
The first person who comes to mind is Dwayne Johnson. He’s not successful at just one thing, but everything he sets his mind to. He takes his interests and creates a place for them in his life. He also seems to be a happy, genuinely nice person to everyone around him.
Being positive and having good character goes a long way to build social capital with people. He has a great outlook, strives for his goals, and then sets new ones to reach for.
I think the word success means that I can track my accomplishments and see that I have made great progress. I hope to one day be a successful blacksmith and work toward that goal.
I will have to push myself out of my comfort zone and do things I have not done before. That process makes one successful; by accomplishing new things, learning, and growing you become better at life and more successful at all things.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a paleontologist for a long time. I loved dinosaurs, geology, and science. But I found out that a lot of the job would be writing papers and securing grants for excavations, which I didn’t think sounded as fun. I probably would have really liked being a traveling excavating specialist for a scientist though.
Do you have a quote you live your life by or think of often?
I love the safety training quote from airline travel pamphlets, “Affix your own mask before helping others.” It is so true in every part of life, if you can’t take care of yourself then you can’t take care of others.
What advice would you give someone who wants to get fit but may not know where to begin?
I would say there is no perfect time to start, just start small. It will take way longer than you want it to and you will make a lot of mistakes. The persistence to keep at it and reach and surpass your fitness goals will be worth it.
What is your nutrition strategy like?
I do what my coach tells me 🙂 But I do try and change my old habits, especially eating mindlessly. So much of my life I didn’t think about how much or what types of foods I was eating. I just ate everything.
It is a tough thing to realize and decide to make a change. I really try and think about if I’m hungry or just eating because it’s there. I check in with my emotions, especially boredom, before putting food in my mouth.
What are you most excited about in 2020?
I am taking a trip to Japan in December 2020 with my wife and a group of our friends. It is going to be so much fun. I am also looking forward to hiking Pioneer Peak and getting my ass kicked by it all the way to the top.