Who Is Coach Izzy?

I will never forget the moment I decided to pursue the health and fitness field for a living. It meant forsaking the steady paycheck of a job for which I was highly skilled but I hated. I meant using my savings and applying for loans to return to school full time. It was an uncertain future. The prospects for a fitness professional seemed bleak and other than some part-time gigs, it was apparent that it would be difficult to pursue it as a living.

But there was an inner voice, the one that speaks our truths and lets us knows that we’re onto something, and as implausible as it looks, we should follow that path.

It proved correct. A few years after with my degree in Exercise Science and Sports Studies, and ample experience in sports medicine, it was time to face the rightness of my decision. It took me only one week to find a full time position and the start of a new life. The next two decades involved similar decisions and every time the inner voice of truth spoke, and it has led me to grow and improve as a professional, and allow me to serve my clients in ways I’ve never imagined.

Many times the voice tested my mettle. The morning of September 11, 2001 was one that changed my life immensely. I knew there were faces I’d never see again, I knew some of the faces I always saw in my morning commute to 7 World Trade Center only remained etched in my memory. I was a full time fitness professional for the private facilities of then SalomonSmithBarney, in the 47th floor of 7 World Trade Center. That tragic day also meant I was out of a job.

I applied to many corporate facilities looking for a similar position but the inner voice also compelled me to apply to commercial fitness facilities and start recruiting my own clients.

It was rough at first but it was the right decision. I met amazing colleagues and people who enriched my life. It opened doors to learning experiences not possible with the corporate fitness world.

I remember when I first was introduced—and humbled—by Russian kettlebells in late 2001. I knew I found an incredibly valuable tool, loaded with variations and possibilities in one small package. I sought the guidance of many teachers and coaches to learn as much as I could. Many told me I was wasting my time and time, that the kettlebells were a fad and would soon be forgotten.

They were wrong! Kettlebells keep claiming their place in the fitness world and places that previously shunned them, now sing their praises. As many start to discover the potential of kettlebell lifting, I’ve already established myself as one of most experienced kettlebell coaches and through my affiliation with Kettlebell Concepts, Inc., I lead workshops coaching the new instructors.

I remember when I started pursuing more education in the Olympic Weightlifting arena in early 2002. I was ravenous to learn and found great coaches to guide me. I was told, again, that I was wasting my time trying to learn about a dangerous activity that had limited use and nobody wanted to learn.

They were wrong again! My intuition guided me to learn and understand them well, which has put me in a privileged position. I’ve guided hundreds of lifters from the basics to advanced levels in international competition. What an amazing experience it’s been. And it’s been like this all this time. I was told I had no business learning about the pain therapy field and that would mean abandoning my role as a strength professional, but I had powerful reasons, and only now others are starting to see their deep integration.

It’s been a great journey and I see no end to it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve contradicted myself as I learn more. That’s why I’m opinionated in my approach. If I can help others avoid the mistakes I made, then I’ll make every effort to make sure I do so.

Whenever I speak is not purely out of emotion. If I oppose the rationales of conventional stretching, foam rolling, and heavy-handed manual therapy is for a good reason. As I learn from those making a difference in the health and therapy field, I can see why prescribing exercise to address dysfunctions can be a major blunder and exacerbate the conditions more.

I can occasionally get a little rough when I deliver my message but I always acknowledge when I do so. It’s always a challenge trying to show patience with those unwilling to listen despite repeating their mistakes and it always tests my patience. I’m only human.

I hope you gained an insight of my persona and that if you feel I’m the proper fit for you, that I get the chance and privilege to be part of your life through my services, books, or products. My only desire and drive is to serve and make a positive difference in your life.

I look forward to the chance of meeting you.

Coach Izzy