My Story and Why You Need To Live The IRON MAN Lifestyle.
(Probably the longest post I will ever do) :-)
When I opened my eyes flames were licking my face. I tried to take a breath and couldn’t. I was crushed behind a curtain of metal. I was all alone. You will never know what your reaction to certain death is until you are in the midst of it. Mine was to fight. I didn’t think or reason, I just entered the fight of my life, for my life.
It was the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college and was a turning point in my life. I was a collegiate athlete who up to that point had put all my effort into training. I realized I couldn’t run forever, so that summer I was determined to dig in at school and prepare myself for the future. I was working long, hard hours for my dad as a janitor in a New York City school and really enjoying it. In the evenings, I got together with my friends from high school and in between worked out on the track and in my garage with a full weight room, using the lessons I learned in IRON MAN Magazine. Life was good!
One night I was getting ready to go out with some friends and my dad told me to stay home. “You’re burning the candle at both ends,” he said. I decided to go out to the movies with my friends anyway and told dad that I would come right home. Which I did. I was so tired that I slept through the movie.
Driving home I realized just how tired I was. As I neared an intersection I saw a million stop lights careening across the intersection. I knew it was only one light and that I was so tired everything was becoming a blur. At that very moment I decided to pull over and take a nap.
Then the explosion! I was heading straight toward a house. Without thinking I cut the wheel, saw two trees immediately in front of me, thought I could steer between them, then it went pitch black. Everything ended. It was over. A bad dream. I didn’t see that cool white light people talk about; all I saw was black.
Then it all came flooding back as the flames licked my face. Somehow I fought my way out of the car. My left foot was pinned between the tire and metal and my right arm was twisted around the steering wheel, the dashboard, and the engine and I couldn’t breathe. I was crushed. I just kept kicking, pulling, and pushing at raw metal and glass until I fell into the street and was able to fill my crushed lungs with air.
My initial reaction was to run away. Just run home and get into my safe bed. I took a step and realized that nothing moved. I looked down. My left foot didn’t look like a foot. It had a hole through it, it was the size of a football, looked like chopped meat and was full of blood. My attention was taken off my foot when I saw a fountain shooting into the street. The “fountain” was blood shooting out of my face with the rhythm of my heart. I grabbed my face to stop the blood but I couldn’t because it was from my nose. It was gone and the only thing left was a hole in my face. I also realized that my right arm wouldn’t move so I looked down and my hand was back by my elbow. Breathing was impossible because every rib was broken and my breast bone was split in half and separated by a few inches.
Soon, a car light broke the trance I was in and a woman stopped to see if she could help me. Before she could speak she vomited on herself. Then everything went black again. I remember waking up on a stoop, surrounded by horrified onlookers. They gave me a huge blanket to cover my face but it was instantly soaked in blood. I took a shallow breath and said, “I can only say this once. Call my mom and dad and tell them to come here. Please tell them I am alive.”
My dad turned the corner, got very weak kneed, and softly said, “I thought you were dead…when we saw the car….I left mom in the car.”All I asked my dad was, “Did I hurt anyone?” “No.” “Did I kill anyone?” “No.” Okay, I thought, I can deal with this now. At the hospital they didn’t think I would make it initially. I overheard a few say, “Why bother, he won’t make it.” But the warrior nurses and doctors didn’t listen and kept diligently working through the night and into the morning. These memories took a few years to return to me and I am still not 100% sure of accuracy, but this is how I remember it. They later told me that I probably fell asleep back by the light, with my eyes open and was aware enough to steer for a while. After that, everything went blank for a while.
This is where the real fight began. I had to rebuild my body and my life. My dreams were crushed along with my body; but I was alive and decided not to look back. Through this very long, extremely painful, and lonely process I realized the value of a healthy, strong body. A focused, unwavering mindset. A faith that can move mountains.
Through this blog, I will share with you what I have learned over the thirty plus years since that pivotal day. The tools to crawl out of a fiery crash and rebuild a body, life, and career from the ground up may be just what you need. I didn’t know what to do so I sought out the people who did. I became an unrelenting success detective, uncovering the clues to success. Yes, success does leave clues—you just have to mine for them like buried treasure; when you find them they enrich your life.
Over the years I have become friends with some of the brightest minds in real estate, business, fitness, nutrition, bodybuilding, the media, medicine, and entertainment. What I will share with you is the knowledge that I gleaned from many who were willing to share their lives with me, and that I now share with you. But don’t worry, the rest will be upbeat and fun! The only reason I told you about my accident is because tragedy has a way of defining who we are.
I’m Not Just an Author . . . I’m Your Guinea Pig!
I’m nothing special. I am just a regular guy, from a regular New York neighborhood who wanted to achieve the extraordinary and would settle for nothing less. I believe you are looking through the IRON MAN site because you want more of what life has to offer, so dig in and enjoy.
Many of the people on this site are my personal mentors. John Balik, Steve Holman, Lonnie Teper (who I know for more years then either of us want to admit), Jerry Brainum, Doug Brignole, and the list goes on. When I spoke to John Balik and Steve Holman about working with Iron Man and bringing on some of my personal mentors who are also top experts in the world, they totally embraced it. Jon Benson, Shawn Phillips, Tom Venuto, Mike Geary, Tom Terwilliger, Kristi Frank, Nick Nilsson, Zach Even-esh, also thought it was a great idea and that is why they are here. They want to share what they have learned over the years to help you live the life of your dreams… and while your at it get the body of your dreams! :-)
I’m here to give back but there is also a selfish side to this. I want to be amongst some of the greatest people I know. I have been in real estate, owned various business’s, including the gym the movie Pumping Iron was filmed in, am now an author, speaker and radio and TV personality, but my heart is and always will be the heart of an IRON MAN. The bodybuilding lifestyle is the best lifestyle available to enhance every area of your life and being part of the “brotherhood of iron” is something that never leaves you. In fact it leaves its mark on you for the better and forever!
If you want certain subjects covered, just leave me a message here. Come on, join the conversation! We are going to have a blast!