Where I Am

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I spent a lot of time alone as a kid.

Part of it was due to my personality. I’m an introvert through and through.

Part of it was because I was the middle child. My sister is six years older than me and when we were younger she was more into Rick Springfield, denim, and The Outsiders than hanging out with me playing with GI Joe and He-Man action figures. Once she went off to college it was pretty much me and my younger brother to keep each other occupied.

My brother is five years younger than me, and once I was older into my tweens and then teenage years I was more into sports, baseball cards, and Mariah Carey than hanging out with him. “LEAVE ME ALONE RT, I”M LISTENING TO DREAMLOVER. GOD!!!!! MOOOOOOOM.”

But I have to say, the biggest reason for spending so much time alone was because I grew up in a very rural area.  Like, no traffic light in my hometown rural. Like, you have to drive ten minutes to get to the nearest grocery store rural. Like, there’s a good 1/2-1 mile gap between houses rural.

It wasn’t like I could just walk across the street and knock on the Smith’s front door and ask them if little Timmy could come out to play some wiffle ball. There was nothing across the street except a massive corn field.

Warning:  you can imagine how much of a mindf*** this was when I watched Children of the Corn back in the day. Not smart. Not smart at all.

So yeah, I spent a lot of time alone as a kid playing any and all kinds of sports in my back and side yard. And like most young boys I had dreams of playing professional baseball.

That didn’t happen.

I did, however, make it further than 99.99% of the athletes from my hometown did, and had the honor of earning a scholarship and the luxury of playing baseball for four years in college (with a sprinkling of a few professional tryouts).

I know it’s coming across a certain way, but I don’t say any of this to give off a melancholy vibe or to play the role of Debbie Downer.

I say all of this because as I sit here typing these words, I can’t believe how far I’ve come.

As I type these words, these very words, right now, I’m sitting in a Starbucks in the heart of London.

London!!!

Don’t believe me?  Here’s a picture of me pretending to make a call in one of their famous red, street pay phones (that still work!):

Sadly, it wasn’t a secret entry way to the Ministry of Magic.*

And here’s a picture I took of the first double decker bus I saw once I stepped out of Paddington Station:

I know, I’m such a tourist.

Right this instant I’m across the street from Tower Hill (and the Tower of London) waiting for it to open. I was a little early so decided to make a pit-stop in Starbucks to get my caffeine fix, snake some Wi-Fi and to do a little writing.

I didn’t have a game plan to what I wanted to write, so this is what’s coming out.

1. This city is amazing! I wish I had more than 36 hours to be a tourist, but starting tomorrow and for the rest of the weekend Dean and I will be talking to 30 or so coaches and trainers from around Europe on anything and everything to become a better trainer and coach.

2. It’s quite nice to accidentally bump into someone on the Tube and they say, “sorry mate!” instead of being given a look of death or challenged to a knife fight if the same thing happened in Boston.

3. If you would have told me twelve years ago, when I first started in this industry, that I’d be in London for a speaking engagement where people from the UK, Italy, Poland, and Spain would be paying to come listen to me, Tony Gentilcore, the kid who grew up in Central Middle-of-Nowhere New York, collected Mark McGwire baseball cards, wore white high-top shoes, and brought a yo-yo to school with him cause he thought it was cool (yes, true story) , if you would have told me all that, and kept a straight face…….I would have laughed.  And probably punched you in the face for being an a-hole.

“Yeah, right dude.” I would have said.  “What’s next, telling me Arnold Schwarzenegger is gonna star in a movie where he becomes pregnant or that he becomes Governor of California? Pffffft, whatever.”

But here I am. That’s exactly what’s happening. I’m in London. And I feel so lucky.

I guess all I want to say is thanks, everyone.  THANK YOU for reading this blog, thank you for reading my articles, thanks to those who I get to work with and train on a daily basis, and thank you for the endless support.

Or maybe I should say cheers!?!

* = hopefully some Harry Potter fans got that reference.

Did what you just read make your day? Ruin it? Either way, you should share it with your friends and/or comment below.

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  • Kyra

    Love it – got the HP reference and it made me smile. 🙂 If you want friendly and no death stares, please make sure that one day you come to Australia – you’d love it here and we’d love to have you visit. 🙂

    • TonyGentilcore

      Actually, Kyra, I’ll be in Australia in March. In Ballina and (hopefully) Sydney…….;o)

  • Roberto Aguilar

    Cheers mate! Keep going never stop!

  • Cheers! (and I got the reference, too!)

  • Danielle D

    no, thank YOU for posting such interesting and amusing articles on a regular basis for the masses. have fun & enjoy london!

  • Ran

    I can always relate to the things you write, Tony, being an introvert myself. You will always be an inspiration for me now that I have officially transitioned from a lifting-enthusiast to a certified personal trainer, the posts that you wrote about making it in the fitness industry as an introvert truly gave me the confidence that I needed to give it a shot.

    Thank you for all that you do, Tony!

    • TonyGentilcore

      Well, I appreciate that! And I’m honored to know that I served as one of the “role models” to you entering the field. That’s awesome.

  • Kevin

    Enjoy London Tony! I am sure you have been asked already, but will your seminar be available for purchase at all? thanks!

    • TonyGentilcore

      Unfortunately, no. We filmed it last fall in Edmonton, but had some technical difficulties. We’re hoping to film it again soon, though.

  • Kirk

    Don’t get “splinched”

    • TonyGentilcore

      Is that when someone looks the wrong way when crossing the street?

      I’m hoping that’s what it means….haha.

  • Guzzy

    Hi Tony, I’m a weightlifting Italian chick that lives in Vancouver BC and my trainer thought I’d enjoy your blogs. Boy was he wrong because you are freakin hilarious and I more than enjoy them – I love them, and dead lifting too! You MUST speak in Vancouver. We could gather a pretty good size crowd for you!

    • TonyGentilcore

      Wow, thanks for the compliment! For a split second I scared you were going to tell me off.

      I’ve been to Vancouver once – back in 2012 and LOVED it!!! Such a beautiful city. Would love to come back for a visit again soon.

  • Scottie2Fit

    Thank you Tony. Always love reading your work. It’s hard to find solid people to take advice from in the fitness online world 😉

    • TonyGentilcore

      Thanks Scottie.

  • Brent

    I’ve learned more from your blog than I ever did in sc hool. All the peoples I follow in the industry I pretty much got from your blog…even my idol Tracy 🙂 I don’t know of a single other blog/website out there that manages to somehow blend humor with solid, top of the line info. Some try. Many fail. One of these days I will make it to the East Coast and buy you a Tofurkey smoothie for all them knowledges you have 🙂

    Keep it up Tony.

    PS – Ain’t nothing weird about bringing a yo-yo to school. We had yo-yo assemblies at school back in my day. Greatest day ever. I brought marbles and pogs to school too. Heck, if someone called me up and wanted to play pogs…or marbles in a Starbucks…or a random street corner right now, I would be there in a flash. Money don’t buy you happiness, experiences do. Going home on a Fri. afternoon from school with a massive king size marble I won at recess that day felt awesome!

    • TonyGentilcore

      Brent –

      Thank you so much for those kinds words. Makes me feel really great to know that I’m helping so many people not only train better and feel better, but also homing their skills as coaches.

  • Andy

    Thanks for the years of blogging and coaching. You have always found a way to keep thing light and entertaining and still knowledgeable even for a weekend warrior like myself. Enjoy London!

    • TonyGentilcore

      Andy!

      Hope all is well on your end my man! Hope to see you back in Boston soon.

  • Shawn

    Rural living has its advantages though too. I literally got to start on every sports team I wanted while performing in plays and making sure my attendance in afternoon classes was +/- 50%. Talk about multisport athletes haha