My "Story" and what is motivating me to be BodyProud:
My life story...condensed! :)
I was never sure of my exact career pathway. I knew I loved acting, entertaining, writing, and speaking to a captivated audience. About what? Where? How? When? These were all unknowns and would only be discovered in stages.
The first stage was through York University where I worked for the Excalibur Newspaper, studied Creative Writing and Philosophy, and developed an appreciation for the publishing industry.
Using the skills and knowledge I acquired from the Excalibur, I lead a team in developing Canada’s First Environmental Magazine, Recover. The motto “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. And Recover” won the approval of Canadian Literary Hero, Farley Mowat, and my favorite cartoonist, Calvin & Hobbes who both provided content.
The second stage came after I enrolled in the CGA program to study accounting. At the time, I figured that this added knowledge would be an asset for the publishing industry and/or any other career pathway I may chose. During my studies, my father offered me a job in the family business. I remained there for four years, however, my heart just was not in it.
Feeling something was missing, I chose to take time off and reflect. I returned to the gym and a new passion was ignited. I felt there was something special about lifting; about stacking the weights; about becoming more knowledgeable about my body; and about shaping it with intention. As a result, I entered into the next stage of my ‘discovery process’, where I studied personal training, performance nutrition, and massage therapy. At this point, I still did not know the ‘what, where, how, and when’ of my career pathway, although I did know that its base was in fitness.
Then, one fateful day, while doing cardio at the gym, a bodybuilding competition happened to be playing on TV. That’s when it dawned on me that if they could sculpt their physique to seemingly perfection, so could I! “I want to be the biggest name in natural bodybuilding!” were the words that automatically flashed through my head. With out understanding what that meant exactly, why that was, how to accomplish that, or even where to begin, I decided that I was ready to take on the task.
Within two years I was invited to be the Head Judge and main Officiator for the very TV event that ignited my passion. I also competed in three competitions and gained experience as an athlete. However, I soon realized that competing alone was not my passion. Cleaning up the contest stage – and providing opportunities and exposure to natural athletes – was.
The following year I fell in love at first sight with my soon-to-be best friend, business partner, confidant, role model, mentor, teacher and wife , Mindy Blackstien. Together we launched and developed the World Natural Sports Organization, the Drug Free Sports Association, the FAME World Tour, FAME Media Group, FAME Magazine, BodyPROUD and this social networking community.
Along the way, I applied the skills and knowledge that I had acquired through the initial stages of my discovery process. I wore many hats during this time -- business manager, administrator, financial director, sales person, emcee, physique judge, media spokesperson, publisher, visionary, seminar leader, presenter, writer, ambassador and entrepreneur – and was successful, together with Mindy, in creating a movement, positively impacting people’s lives, and introducing natural athletics to individuals – and regions – around the world.
Today, I am is ready to wear one only one hat: that which suits me best and is the best fit. I am most interested in sharing my experiences; being a visionary; I experience products, services and other modalities to share and inspire our community; I enjoy bodyPROUD values; I am excited to help build the Sport of Bodybuilding & Fitness; and inspire people to live happy, healthy and loving lives!
I have experience as a:
People I'd Most Like to Interact With, Learn From and/or Inspire
FAME World Tour - led and produced a global tour of fitness and physique events for naturally-trained athletes. The inaugural event was in Toronto in 1998. A year later it was nationwide and by 2004 it expanded into the US and areas worldwide (UK, Australia, Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Europe).
FAME: Fitness And Model Expo - produced and developed the largest fitness consumer expo in Canada 5 years running. This event grew to include 400 exhibitors, a personal trainers convention, and over 900 athletes competing in sports ranging from fitness to bodybuilding to cheerleading to obstacle courses to arm-wrestling to dance.
World Natural Sports Organization (WNSO) - created a governing body for natural events worldwide that innovated new procedures within the Bodybuilding, Fitness, Figure and Model industries.
TSN Fitness Series - Produced one of the most successful fitness TV series for TSN & RDS. It was rated as the network’s #1 non-live athletic event and was given prime-time billing with multiple repeats.
FAME Magazine - Published an international fitness and health magazine quarterly, with a circulation of 50,000. It created celebrities, attracted industry notables and had an above average pass-through readership rate.
BodyPROUD Community - Developed an online community for bodyproud individuals to influence and empower those ready to transform their body and heal their life. Within a 12 month period, Alexa ranked within the top 100,000 websites online. It has attracted over 4,500 unique visitors per day with average time on site 20 minutes and more than 15% of visitors returning over 25 times per month.
The FAME Agency - launched an agency for visibly fit individuals to gain exposure. It quickly became the go-to for casting directors who often bypassed all other agencies and scouts.
Awards and Recognition
⤇ Produced Fitness Series for TSN which became their #1 non-live sporting event
⤇ Produced Canada’s largest Fitness Consumer Expo for all 5 years it ran
⤇ Covered in Local, Regional, National and International Media
⤇ Helped people achieve personal fame (magazines, TV, motivational speakers, celebrity trainers)
⤇ United 7 fighting African nations in the spirit of Fitness (people walked for days to attend)
⤇ Front Page of the Toronto Sun
⤇ Received Gifts from Government Officials and Country Presidents
⤇ Created the concept of being “bodyproud” (used by athletes, trainers & fitness enthusiasts globally)
⤇ FAME Magazine had highest pass-through rate and exceeded sponsorship expectations
Media Appearances and Promotions Include:
NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox & Friends, Channel 5 (UK), ESPN, TSN, RDS, Telemundo, ESPN International, ESPN Radio, Army TV, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Life Network, Slice, Global TV, CTV, CBC, City TV, Sirius Radio, CBS Early Morning Show, The Today Show, Pride TV, Breakfast TV, The Howard Stern Show, TV Guide, The New York Times, The National Post, The Star, The Sun,
Muscle & Fitness, Playboy Magazine, Oxygen Magazine, American Health & Fitness Magazine, Ironman Magazine, Exercise for Men, Fitness Rx, Planet Muscle, Men's Health, Fitness Hers, Abilities Magazine, Musclemag, Natural Muscle.
If I tune into my heart's desires, here is what I feel is my purpose and life dreams
Some of my accomplishments include:
World Natural Sports Organization (WNSO)
Drug Free Sports Association (DFSA)
FAME: Fitness And Model Expo
FAME World Tour
FAME World Championships
Some of my Specialties include:
Presenter, Physique Judge, Writer, Scout, Publisher, Event Host, Manager, Event Producer, Promoter, Emcee, Spokesperson, Ambassador
Something deep about me or my beliefs that I believe others should hear:
My dream is inspire & empower 100 million people around the world to to love how they look, love how they feel and love the thoughts they think. To be bodyproud, mindproud and financially-proud. I ask the universe for the wisdom to accept and use wisely the riches I received at birth and be in my power to direct my mind to achieve whatever I desire because whatever my mind can conceive and believe it can achieve!
Over the years we saw thousands of people rise to FAME who looked like their own Superhero, however the walk and talk didn’t always match. So we set out to course correct within the vast and growing industry we helped create. Five years of research and intuitive guidance led us to conceptualize Golden pathways to fill a void that benefits both the fitness athlete industry and the mainstream public they inspire. A cost-effective bodyproud-conditioning healthy pathway that financially-rewards all active participants. A pathway that provides tools, resources, products, services and education to empower others to kick-start, redirect or continue their journey of self-focus, self-care and self-love. Together with our personal mentor - Casey James Combden - we developed a program to help people evolve into their own Superhero, effectively helping anyone become or be more bodyproud, mindproud, spiritually-attuned and prosperity-proud.
Hey Jeff, Nice to hear from you. I hope all is well. The last time I seen you and Mindy was in Ft. Lauderdale. What a great time. I was there with Vahanna Dorsi. I always wished you both well. The vision you both had what was exactly what we had been looking for. But things had change and the show in Vegas, in my opinion didn't turn out well. How I see it, just a learning experience. I would love to connect with you all to see what your latest happenings are. I appreciate you reaching out. Until then keep the Dream Alive.
Yes!! Thank you!! This looks like a fantastic opportunity to help others reach their goals and dreams with the tools at our fingertips! Awesome!!! Thanks again for taking the time to talk with me!! I'm so excited!!! :D
Morning... April will be the fist time competing... I was wondering if you could recommend anybody in Alberta or BC who I could go to, to learn to walk and whatever else I need to learn by April. I live in the NWT and do not have access to Pro Fit Trainers or persons in the pro fit profession. Thanks sooo much!!!