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Breaking/Building Stuff - At an early age I had an extremely inquisitive mind. Much to the dismay of my parents I learned that one of the best ways to learn about something was to take it apart. More times than not, the result was an expensive toy that wouldn't go back together. However the result was an amazing parts bin of servos, motors, electronic control boards, and gears that could then be fashioned into interesting creations of my desire.
I remember in 3rd grade during an unusually hot lunch break outside on the playground I got an idea. I took an old motor and propeller blade from a toy (GI Joe hovercraft if you need to know) and brought it to school. I dismantled and reconfigured it with a switch, some wire, and then made a fan to cool myself off after recess. While the other kids stood there sweltering, I fired off the fan and began cooling off. It wasn't pretty, but it was effective. It got stolen the next day.
I've always had a love for science and the scientific method for solving problems. Physics, Math, Chemistry, Biology always came naturally to me as they were systems governed by a specific set of laws/rules. At least until you get to the subatomic level anyway. Learn the rules/laws and apply accordingly. Although I didn't pursue a career in the sciences, I credit my academic studies for providing the foundation to build my IT career. I have no regrets in the sweat equity I built up while in College. My future however was in Information Technology.
Great question. I've been fortunate in my career as an IT professional, solving some of the most vexing problems in business with creative and innovative solutions. Often times, the solution was under our noses, and all my customers really needed was to have that scientific method applied in a pragmatic manner to solve their issues.
Along my ascension on the corporate ladder were many amazing late night dinners, bottles of fine wine from around the world, and Scotch that my palate wasn't sophisticated enough to appreciate. Doing this for 15 years took a toll on me physically. At 37 years old, 5'8, and 190 pounds I was sick both physically and emotionally. Something needed to change. One day, I had "the moment" and knew I needed to get healthy.
I went back to what I knew and like my old toys I dissected myself (figuratively of course). I dissected my habits, my emotions, and my life in general. I was determined to do away with the old habits that got me to that point, and build new. Nobody needs 5 Diet Cokes a day. This time, I would put the toy back together successfully, and it would be better.
I became a student again, this time of nutrition, health, and wellness. I learned as much as I could and leaned heavily on fitness role models in my life (my wife, my brother in-law, and my brother) all in their late 30's or early 40's and in incredible shape. Just like many of the biological systems I learned about in school and the rules that governed those, your body is a system governed by rules. I call this my "DUH Moment." Know the rules that govern a healthy lifestyle, apply them, and you will bFit for life.
I lost 29 pounds. A relatively small amount compared to others. However this weight loss has been transformational for me. So much so that I became consumed with how I could help others achieve a healthy lifestyle. With a bit of prodding from my best friend and Co-Founder (my wife), we decided to take immediate action. The result is the bFitandLive platform.
I don’t know what it was but I always had a thing for helping people. I remember in kindergarten where we had to show up wearing a costume of what we wanted to do as a chosen profession when we grow up. I was dressed as a nurse, cap and all. I’m pretty sure that influence came from my parents. My dad, may he rest in peace, was a doctor and my mother a nurse. My father had his own clinic in the Philippines. From what I recall as a young child, my father helped out the patients even though they had no money to give him for payment. In return for his service they would would give him food, livestock, or just their gratitude. I saw that and realizing at a later age that he had so much passion for helping people. I wanted to be like that too. My parents are my heroes and they were the foundation that shaped me to become the person I am today.
I have always been an active child and a huge tomboy. When little girls wanted to be at home playing dolls, I was outside playing sports and climbing trees. I favored playing softball in my grade school years. In high school, I dabbled in track and field for a little bit but never stuck to it, partly because I was asthmatic as a child. I continue to struggle with it as an adult. My brother, sister and I used to play sports together often and when my brother started lifting weights I also started to take interest in it. I started lifting weights at 15 and really haven’t stopped since.
Fitness remained a part of my life through college and later in life. When I went to college I made the decision not to be a nurse, or pursue any health profession for that matter. It might have been all the science classes I would have to take. Maybe it was visiting my mother at Cook County Hospital as a teenager, the smell of sickness has never left me to this day. I decided to find another way in making myself useful to society went to college for business marketing. After I graduated, I became a real estate agent and thought that would be a way I could help people achieve their dreams. I was an agent for a few years until I became pregnant with my daughter. My husband (Phil) and I decided that I would become a stay at home mom.
As a mother, the most important thing is caring for the welfare of my child and providing her with the best nutrition, education, and parenting I can. The most important thing in my life is to be a good role model for my daughter. The decisions I make everyday are influenced by the needs and well-being of my child. However even as much as I love being a mother, I wanted to do something for myself. I decided to go back to school and study early childhood education. I became an active participant in my daughter’s school when she went to preschool. I noticed that many parents around me were active in their children’s education, many were also conscious about their children’s nutrition. It was also painfully apparent that some were more naïve about the impact that poor nutrition could have on themselves and their children.
Our country has an alarmingly high rate of obesity for children. Some experts are calling it an epidemic. I decided that I wanted to combine what I learned from my background in early childhood education withy my passion for fitness in order to promote healthy living in children. My goal is to leverage this knowledge/passion in order to change the habits of parents and children so we can have a better tomorrow. With the help of my incredibly good looking husband and my brother, we created bFitandLive to bring people together and help promote a healthy lifestyle.
At an early age, my parents instilled upon me the idea that with hard work and dedication you can accomplish about anything you put your mind to. I was born in the Philippines and raised in the United States. As a child I was always small and skinny, and usually the last kid to be picked for any games at the playground.
That motivated me at an early age to start exercising. I lifted weights in high school and played in all kinds of sports. Though I was active and fit, my diet was extremely poor. I had no concept of nutrition and eating healthy.
In 2001, I suffered empyema and almost died. I was hospitalized and had surgery to put a chest tube in my back for 6 months so my lungs wouldn’t fill up with fluid causing me a slow painful death by drowning. Luckily I pulled through. That was a wake up call for me. I needed to change my lifestyle habits and care more about my body as I aged. I started by paying more attention to my nutrition and continuing my workout regimen, more committed than ever.
I’m a former IT geek but realized later in life that my calling is to become a fitness geek. My true passion is helping others get in better shape by promoting a healthy lifestyle. At the age of 41, I competed in my 1st ever natural bodybuilding competition and won 1st place and Best in Show. Not too bad for an old guy. It is never too late to accomplish what you want! bFitandLive!
Spike doesn’t have time for writing bios, he’s too busy getting jacked and motivating the bFit Nation. Please see his interview here for all you need to know.