1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
My name is Joe Pepe, I am a 24 year old fitness specialist from Philadelphia. I specialize in weight management, sports training, and fitness education. I also write articles for STACK magazine, Livestrong, and Ehow.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
My father was my inspiration when it came to fitness. It wasn’t your typical role model however, he was a construction worker. At a very young age he showed me the value and honor of working with your hands. He would bring me to work and I would do the small jobs like sweeping, or setting up little things, and I would watch him carry bricks, lift them overhead, help lead a group of men to finish a project. His biggest worry was that he always wanted me to use my brain as well and not waste away throwing blocks around all day like he did. I realized at that point the amazing feeling it was to be strong enough to do those task.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
He knew how important soccer was to me (I was aiming to become a soccer player, and actually made it to the minor leagues at one point). He knew I would need fitness and he decided to buy me some fitness equipment and some free weights. From that moment on I was hooked on fitness, I was in the basement everyday working out. At first I had no idea what I was doing, so he decided to subscribe to a few fitness magazines. This is when I became obsessed with building routines and this is where I learned how eating played a major role in what my goals were at the moment. I tried to absorb as much as possible, I would rip out every article I thought was important, I would highlight certain lines, and add it into one of my two binders (Nutrition & Fitness).
4. How did their lesson change your life?
My father was never a big motivational speaker. He would show me what to do by his actions. He showed me what hard work was as a child. I learned responsibility not just for myself, but for a group of coworkers. This helped me immensely with my soccer teams and now with my coworkers, and my clients in the gym. The biggest message I learned from my father is what has made me successful in soccer and in the fitness industry. The lesson I learned is that while I am resting and relaxing someone out there is becoming better than I am. This just showed me I had to work not only on my strong points, but my weak points as well. Also eating healthy fell into this category as well, because every time I would go to eat poorly, I would think what if my opponent is eating better and therefore has that slight edge now. This advice would always help keep me on track.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
I coach soccer from age 4 and up. I like to convey this message to the older students of mine, but with a little twist. I tell them that if they want to make it to their goal they have to always look to progress. That being good isn’t good enough because eventually someone will come along with more talent. That in any field they decide to go too they would need to realize that their maybe someone with more talent than them. However they cannot be outworked. It will come with trial and error to find the right workout program, the right diet to guide you to success, but if they decide that their fitness dreams are that important then they will not be outworked.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
My main message is to find what you love and continue down that path. Some people enjoy Crossfit, others Zumba or a different style of fitness. Every style of exercising is a great style because it has you active. You just need to find what you love and learn everything about it. It will make working not fun, instead of a chore.
7. Do you have a web site you would like to promote….web address only?