Coach Theo and Amber



April 2016

What Many Motivators Leave Out

“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.” (Romans 7:15-20 NIV)

Sometimes when I read Paul’s scripture above I think, why’s he messing with me? I’m not good at riddles. Or is my learning disability kicking in again because I can’t figure out what he’s trying to say.

But there’s a lot of truth here. We say one thing but we do another. We mean well but we keep falling back to our default mindset and behaviors. The more you grow in your faith, the more you learn that there is no ultimate escape. Sin dwells so deep within us that we never fully escape it. In fact, it may only get harder at times. Being aware and accepting this is what helps us awaken from it. Then constantly and consistently guarding up with #TRUTH is what helps us to continually fight against it.

See that’s one thing we as motivational speakers/coaches can’t leave out. We may do a phenomenal job with sharing great insight and wisdom about life, but we can’t leave people hanging and holding onto fluff. Without the importance of understanding that true power does not come from within, it comes from God, the change we may help create becomes temporary not everlasting.

I love reading about Paul’s drastic life change. He went from killing Christians to being the most powerful promoter of the faith, next to Jesus. Did he do it on his own accord? No. It was Divine Intervention the flipped his world upside down on his trip to Damascus.

And what kept that change going for him? Here’s what I just read and I love it…..

In Paul, A Man of Grace and Grit, Charles Swindoll writes, “The man, who tormented and killed the saints of God, understood and explained grace better than any of his contemporaries. Why? Because he never got over his own gratitude as a recipient of it.”

Change is hard. But maybe if like Paul we never get over the gratitude of what we received, it will become a little bit easier, and we’ll stay motivated to keep striving for it.


Coach Theo




Growing Up Poor, And Always Looking Back

gio garage

Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going.” (John 8:14)

Whenever I go home to Youngstown, Oh, I always come back fired up. It’s refreshing to be around my parents and my family, it’s fun to show my kids where daddy grew up, and it’s very motivating to never forget where I came from.

My parents wouldn’t agree with me saying this, but we grew up poor. My mom and dad would tell you we had everything, and figuratively speaking we did. It an Italian household, family is everything and fortunately my parents and siblings have all been blessed with good health and positive lives. But financially speaking, we fell into the working poor class.

I didn’t even know I was “poor” until I was working as a social work intern at the age of 22 years old. It hit me. I was helping families attain financial and social resources who had larger household incomes than we did as a family. The federal poverty guidelines for a family of 6 at that time in 2006 was $28,600 (now for 2016 it’s $32,500). There were times when my dad was working at a grocery store while my mom ran a childcare out of our home with a few kids for only a few hundred dollars a month. They weren’t making more than $24,000 as their combined yearly income. We lived in a 900 sq feet house, never went on a family vacation, we drove used station wagons, and we wore Jordache and L.A. Gear shoes from Kmart.

We didn’t have much. But we had plenty.

I often hear this current generation of parents’ concern for wanting to provide a comfortable future for our kids and never wanting them to do without. But I say, why not? I had a gut wrenching epiphany from my way back home after my last trip to Youngstown. My son and daughter will never experience some of the same things I did. Humble, blue collar, sacrificing circumstances that I’m convinced developed my character into what it is today.

They will have no clue what it’s like to have a washer that required my dad to carry buckets of water outside to the backyard during every rinse cycle. Or to sit on the middle console of the $200 used Camaro that six of us squeezed into on our way to grandma’s house for Christmas. Or the excitement we felt when we finally got our first new car (a Geo Prism) in high school and the manual crank windows actually went down. “We got windows!,” we used to all cheer.

My kids live in a big, comfortable house with their own rooms, a basement filled with toys that they don’t even play with, two new cars that their parents don’t have to fix every month because they barely run, and have went on more family vacations in their first few years of life than we did throughout our entire upbringing.

Would I want it any other way? No. Am I grateful and blessed that I have the resources that can provide them with a lifestyle and new experiences that many other children will never experience? Absolutely. There’s nothing wrong with it and there is a lot of good that comes from it. It’s just different. And all I’m saying is that there are some things that no matter how hard Amber and I try, we’ll never be able to teach them.

The other major takeaway for me is that we all have a story. Your story is what makes you who you are and never doubt that it matters. Recently we started digging back into our ancestry even more to learn about our family tree. Our grandparents and great grandparents came over to the U.S. on a boat from Italy with nothing but change in their pockets and faith to reach this land of opportunity.  Tell me that isn’t motivating. How could you not take advantage of a life that your bloodline fought hard to create for you? The past doesn’t dictate your future but it does define who you are and we all need to appreciate it.

I know there are times when my parents feel guilty and struggle with the fact that they couldn’t provide us with more. But here’s the thing, they provided us with everything children could ask for. They were there for every baseball game or wrestling match, they were at every meal with us even when they worked third shift, they hugged us every time we even stood near them, and they put us first over everything.

Because of them, I know personally from experience that to be great parents and raise healthy kids we need to love ours so much that it hurts. Our kids will never care about our socioeconomic status. They won’t be concerned with our careers. They’ll remember that we made any sacrifice necessary to love them unconditionally and we did everything in our power to show it. So if we fail at anything else in life, let us not fail at this.

Even though as a life coach in some instances you’ll hear me say never look back, for this one I am. Because I have found so much value in never forgetting where I came from.

What’s your story? I encourage you to discover it, cherish it, and start sharing it today. And it may just be an absolute game-changer for you and everyone in your life.


Coach Theo



3 Reasons Why You’re Not Doing It, 1 Easy Fix

I have found that when I’m not doing something that I said I would do, I also find that it’s because of one of three reasons:

I don’t want it bad enough.

I don’t have someone in my corner.

I haven’t signed up for something.

Let’s break these three things down and I’ll tell you what I think is the most important to get YOURSELF MOVING ALREADY.

Look, this is ok. Sometimes it’s just not something you’re passionate about. Just admit it and move on. I don’t have a twelve pack because I don’t want it bad enough. I don’t want to put forth the discipline and nutrition regimen it takes to see every ab muscle in my stomach. So I’ll take my two-pack and enjoy my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches every now and then. But don’t say you want to lose weight, or improve your marriage, or save up money, then allow your actions to completely show otherwise.  Because then, I’ll say you don’t want it bad enough.

Ok, ok, let’s give you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you do want it bad enough, but you’re recognizing that willpower is not enough. So here are the next two things you need to look at.

In one of the chapters in my book, Conversations With Gio, I talk about the success tip of Being A Coach and Being Coachable. God has placed people in our lives, like our kids, that we are an example for and need to coach. He’s also challenged us to keep pursuing personal development from Him and each other. “Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,” (Prov 1:5).

No matter where we are at in life, we all  need coaches. This doesn’t have to be a professional. Just someone that believes in us, knows we can do it, and voices their encouragement. Almost without a doubt you have somebody in your life that wants you to succeed at whatever it is your heart desires. Enlist that family member, friend, fitness coach, whoever it is, to hold you accountable and more than anything, push you along your journey. “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

You need someone in your corner. So if you don’t have someone, start looking around. But even if you want something bad enough, or have others rooting you on, there still may be something else you haven’t done yet.

A huge motivator for every human being is to SIGN UP FOR SOMETHING. For me, even if I sign up for something as simple as a 5k run every few months, my motivation stays high in the gym to prepare for my best. None of us want to do less than what we expect of ourselves.

Maybe you have been talking about starting your own business for years.  It’s time to sign up for that entrepreneur’s workshop to get you moving in the right direction.

Maybe you want to write your own book.  It’s time to sign up for that author’s club.

Maybe you’re stagnant in your faith and need rejuvenated.  It’s time to sign up for that Life Group at church.

In my opinion, out of these three things I think the easiest fix is to just sign up for something already. Get online, go to that website, access that membership, join that network, sign up for that race, join that Facebook group, email that pastor, call that place.  Whether you’re ready or not. Just sign up.  It’s one of the easiest action steps for you to take.

Then watch what happens.

You better believe you’ll put the next two steps in place to help you succeed. You’ll find that person or multiple people to get in your corner, and if you didn’t want it bad enough before, you definitely will now.

Here, need a fitness related goal to sign up for:

SMILES FOR SOPHIE FOREVER 5K JULY 4 (registration open)
HITMAN CHALLENGE AUG 13 (registration open soon)


Coach Theo



When It Comes To Training, Simple Is Better


A NOTE FROM COACH THEO ‪#‎LunchTimeInspiration‬

8,781 hours of training since I first began in 6th grade.

If you heard a snippet of my story, you know at the age of 12 Rocky Balboa inspired me to start running sprints around my house, do push-ups daily, and begin lifting my dad’s rusted out weights he had lying around in the garage. Over the last 21 years I have only skipped an 8 week stint without working out after college wrestling ended and burn out began. So this calculated number is based on a minimum 6 day per week routine, years of 2-3 hours of training and two-a-days for wrestling, and tacking on the two year period when I completed 7 marathons.

There’s a lot you learn after all those hours of training and trying almost every method of working out you can possibly think of. The revolutionary finding is this….Simple is better because Simple works.

You come to a point as a fitness coach and athlete where you stick to the same system, challenges, and protocols that work, and eliminate the complicated, risky, and fancy ones that don’t. Why not focus on things that give us the most bang for our buck? Now this isn’t always “fun” for newbies and individuals with commitment issues. But what’s special about you FMU gamers is that you get it and ‪#‎TrustTheProcess‬.

This Summer Shred Series again incorporates a lot of basic components—bodyweight training, weights, sprints, and incredible total body athletic movements. What you do outside of the gym will be more important however. It’s time to step up your game with nutrition, sleep, off-day workouts, and reducing stress from your life.

And I totally understand that some of you don’t want to or can’t think when you come into the gym. You have a lot going on and this is your release and escape and you want to just DO. I get it and I appreciate it. But part of my vision for FMU is to be a teaching facility. Wonder if one day something happens and I’m not there anymore? FMU has to continue and it’s you—the community—that will carry it on because you KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING and you don’t need me because you understand the concepts of training and what makes up an effective workout.

So here are some one-liners I want you to think about to help you gain more from your workouts:

1. You don’t have to kill yourself to get in great shape.
2. Slow things down sometimes.
3. Pick up heavier weights from time to time.
4. Focus on your breathing through your movements.
5. Reduce your reps if you’re losing form.
6. Don’t strive to be in the red zone every workout.
7. Count your reps.
8. If something is too easy figure out a way to make it more challenging or enjoy the break.
9. Go with new people.
10. Introduce yourself to new members.

There’s ‪#‎Truth‬ in the statement that, “The more you begin to know, the more you realize you don’t know.”

I still have a lot to learn. Rest assured that over the next 8,781 hours of training, whatever is revealed to me will be revealed to you. And it may just be an absolute game-changer for you, me, and everyone in our lives.

‪#‎ItsNotAboutUs‬ ‪#‎PracticeWhatYouPreach‬ ‪#‎BeAnExample‬
Coach Theo

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