“Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity.”- Henry Hartman. It took some time for me to grasp this quote, but I am now aware that I have been preparing my entire life. To me, the quote means we have bodies that we all use differently; whether we are sedentary or active and it is up to us to prepare ourselves, mind and body accordingly. Personally, I'm preparing for any challenges, experiences and obstacles I may encounter each day that I am given.
I grew up in the dojo; and was fortunate to have been supervised under two great leaders, my father and Master Ivan Mendez. Principles such as integrity, perseverance, concentration and respect were instilled in me at a very young age. My dojo training helped foster the indomitable spirit within me. Additionally, the ability to move through space and knowing when to flee from danger keeps me sharp and focused. Two new forms of “Martial Arts” I am developing, Myofascial Therapy and Functional Training, keeps me performing at my highest level. I am passionate about sharing this mindset and these skills with the world.
By utilizing the mental, spiritual principles and physical skills learned from martial arts, I transitioned into sports quite easily. However, as with any sport, the risk of injury is nearly inevitable. I suffered a grave injury that required surgery, causing me to miss a couple of games early on in my senior year of football. Through physical therapy, functional movement and strengthening my mind, I was ready to return. Approaching my head coach with utmost enthusiasm, “I’m ready coach!”, he looked me straight in my eyes and told me NO with zero explanation; my heart sunk. In the moment of hearing no, I recall my mind going blank; not knowing exactly what was going to happen next. Even though I had a lot of anger built up inside of me, I didn't express it physically; instead I used that energy to build myself back up. Eventually, I was led down the path of fitness, and on to the…