From social media, to blog posts, to coaching services, AC Nutrition and Wellness is just me, Antonio. I wanted to take the time to give folks a bit of my back story; I think it is an important component in establishing meaningful relationships, and I can't wait to learn more about you!
I'm originally from Saltsburg, PA, a small town in rural western Pennsylvania, about 30 miles east of Pittsburgh. I grew up in a small house with a big backyard, nestled right up to the shores of the mighty Loyalhanna creek. My earliest memories are of helping my dad with yard work, getting stung by yellow jackets, splashing around in the creek, and eating blueberries off the bush to the point of incontinence.
As a family, we were always active in sports, whether it was playing little league baseball or throwing the football around the yard. My first true passion in sports was basketball. I enjoyed not just the physical aspects, but the mental game as well: the strategy, the competition, the trash talk. Even now, while I play much less frequently, not much else can get me into a flow state quite like a game of pick-up basketball.
I've always had a penchant for anything analytical. In grade school it was a fascination with mathematics, but by the time I graduated high school, I preferred the logic and rhetoric of philosophy. In 2009, I began my freshman year at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Initially my plans were to head straight from undergrad into graduate school, to eventually work as a professor of philosophy. Coincidentally, it was my love of pragmatism (philosophy of race, in particular) that pushed me away from a career in academia. I wanted to be out in the real world, not stuck in a classroom building arguing about theory. I finished my philosophy degree, but I knew that was no longer the future I envisioned for myself.
In 2013, near the end of my college career, I was introduced to rock climbing at an indoor gym in Pittsburgh. After graduating, I lost access to the basketball court that had been my second home during my four years at Duquesne. Climbing quickly filled that void. The following winter, I found myself planning a cross-country climbing road trip. By fall of 2014, I was living out of my car, traveling the country and enjoying the freedom of the "dirtbag climber" lifestyle. Making the transition to a minimalist lifestyle was an incredible, liberating experience.
After a few months I settled in Bishop, CA. I showed up for the bouldering; I fell in love with the mountains; I stayed for the community. Leaving Pittsburgh had provided me a catalyst for personal and spiritual growth, and I couldn't have found a better landing spot to nurture this growth. The two and half years I spent living in Bishop were truly transformative. The people I met, the relationships I forged, and the opportunity to learn to love myself have played a large role in my desire to dedicate my life to helping others. I don't pretend to know what my future holds or where I'll end up, but Bishop will always have special place in my heart.
Lastly, I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude and appreciation for the friends, family, teachers, and many others who have provided me guidance, love, and support at some point in my life, from western Pennsylvania to Bishop to Tucson (to Bishop again) and everywhere in between. Without all of you, I simply wouldn't be the person I am today, and for that I am forever grateful.