10 Embarrassing Traits about Mike: High School Years Part 1

I talked about my Elementary and Middle school years in previous posts. So now let’s conclude with my high school years.

Skinny Fat

I went from being a chubby middle school kid to a towering 6’ 1” in less than five months. This growth spurt occurred at the end of eighth grade into my freshman year of high school.   The problem with this growth spurt is that it hid my potbelly developed from years of neglecting my body. I now could fool people in thinking I was in shape visually but physically I was a very unhealthy boy.

Attempted To Be An Athlete

Due to my new height I was determined to play a sport. I always wanted to play football so I decided that my freshman year I would play high school freshman football. You couldn’t get cut so I liked my odds of making the team!

It was an interesting experience to go from coach potato to actually running sprints in football pads. Due to the mental block in my mind, I was convinced I should play on the offensive line. I kept thinking I was an overweight kid when in reality I should have been a wide receiver or tight end due to my new body.

I didn’t have confidence in my ability when compared to the others on the team who played since they were six years old! As a skinny offensive lineman I was definitely over matched! Lack of confidence also led to the coaches never knowing that I was the only player on the team without a playbook.

The two times I missed practice were the moments that playbooks were being handed out and team photos being taken. So there’s no proof that I played freshman football. No family or close friends saw me play. Only people who knew were my teammates.

One and Done

Well my high school athletic career did not last that long. During the third or fourth week of football practice I ended up injuring my knees. I did not even get hit or tackled. It was a fluke injury in which I just jumped and landed on my knees awkwardly.

What happened next was a pain that I’ve been experiencing for the rest of my life. I immediately knew something was wrong because both knees had pain in the same exact place.

I went to the doctor and got the news that I had sprained ligaments in both knees. Due to the severity I was told to use crutches for the whole first month of school. I kept that to myself and avoided the crutches. I ended up missing the last week of practice before school started.

The next time I showed up to practice was the first week of freshman year. I told showed the coaches my doctors note (which only stated I would need one week to heal). Due to this being week two I was told to go out and try to practice with the team.

I remember crying in practice because I was in so much pain! Teammates and coaches thought I couldn’t take getting hit. But the hits were not the cause of the pain. I felt like my body just gave up on me and my knees were in constant pain. I went to every practice and attempted but I was only 10% healthy. Feeling pressured by the coaches to “step up and be a man” is one of the biggest regrets in my life.

Due to the bad experience of the coaches (who thought I was lying all the time about my pain) and my knees never properly healing, I never attempted another sport while I was in high school.

Looking back I should have stayed in the football program and used them as a way to get into lifting weights. By lifting weights at that age I would have made my knees stronger as well as other parts of my body.

Additionally, I should have at least tried one more sport. For a sports fan like myself it’s sad to see the young me never taking a risk. The current me would gladly go back in time to smack this young version in the back of the head!

Still Smart and In Advanced Classes

I was always an outsider when I was in school because I was always placed in advance placement classes. In my freshman year I took a schedule that most upper classmen had therefore I had a lot of juniors and seniors in my classes.

I kept up with my theme of being friends with teenagers older than me. When I was in my own grade level class it was very hard to relate to students. I was so use to being around older crowds in my personal and school life; I just couldn’t connect with them.

When I was in classes with seniors, they were just average teenagers. Nothing advanced, just seniors doing the minimum to graduate. Most of them didn’t take school seriously, so I was selective in whom I would actually talk to. I had to play quiet Mike. I was stuck in this world of always feeling like an outsider.

Consciously Aware

In my advance classes I started noticing a pattern. This pattern had been developing every since I was in elementary school. I ignored it than but it become more obvious during my high school years.

I noticed that I was always one of two black male students in the class. I rarely had more than one other black male student. There may have been one to three black female students as well. Outside of the black students there may have been three to four other minority students in a class of 30 students.

I noticed that our curriculum always centered on European philosophy and history. I would rarely hear tales of the other races in our classes. If I’m in advanced classes why did my all projects and reports have to deal with people who disrespected my ancestors? Why does everyone always want to look at me when we rarely talked about slavery?

It was very tough to relate to most of the majority of the kids in those classes because they were not consciously aware yet. The majority of the kids in my advanced classes had a mom and dad at home. Whereas I was in a household of a single mother raising kids on her own.

I would see their parents buy them the latest computers, cars, video games, CD’s and clothing. The kids who were not financially wealthy appeared to always be in the “normal classes” not those advanced classes. That made me feel even more of an outsider among the advance group.

Knowing that I was ethnically and financially different made me want to stop being in the awkward situations I was in though out childhood. Due to growing up in that type of environment, it effected my decision to avoid the majority of engineering colleges in Virginia. I didn’t want to go to an Historically Black College, but I did want to go to a college that was ethnically diverse among all races.

5 Embarrassing Behavior Traits about Mike: Middle School Years

Today I will continue with the theme from a previous blog, 11 Embarrassing Behavior Traits about Mike: Elementary School Years.   I decided to go back in time and share some more traits I held as a kid.


What happens when you eat lots of junk food but never exercise? You’re most likely going to start packing on weight.  That’s exactly what happened to me between fifth and sixth grade.

In sixth grade, one teacher told me that I reminded her of a previous student. I never realized just what my body truly physically looked like up until that point.  No disrespect to the other kid, but it was a clear sign that I was no longer skinny Mike.

I have a brother who is four years older than me.  When he went through his middle school years, he started to put on weight.  From that moment on in his life, he’s always been built like a football offensive linemen.

I thought that I was destined to share the same fate.  I started to hear the fat jokes about me.  I had one nickname from my brother and dad called Bubba.  Not sure where it came from exactly, but during these years that name just reminded me of a guy who’s overweight.


I always watched TV over the years but it seemed to become my life during these years.  Cartoons, video games and sitcoms were my binge drugs of choice.  I would easily average four to six hours of watching TV a day.

My true best friend was the TV.  It would take me to worlds where I could get lost in my imagination.  It taught me right from wrong with it’s public service announcements.  The only time it abandoned me was when I turned it off.


Given the awkward years of puberty, I became quieter during middle school.  I can recall classes in which I only had to speak once the entire school year!

If kids kept calling me quiet, I just kept up that persona around that individual.  When I was at school, I didn’t care for being Mr. Popular.


During my middle school years, my family moved after sixth grade.  When that move happened, I had to start making friends all over again due to a new school and neighborhood.  It completely deflated me at that time.

I dreaded making new friends only to lose them again.  It became pointless in my young mind.  I did end up making some good friends at my new school.  I became part of a five kid clique who all lived in different neighborhoods. We had almost all the same classes so that’s how we became tight.

In my own neighborhood, I did not try to make friends.  The only kids I hung out with in my neighborhood were the kids that my grandma would babysit.


Being quiet, chubby with only a handful of friends made my confidence low.  In the elementary article, I mentioned how lucky I was.  During these years, I felt that karma was coming back around and that’s why I wasn’t as great as I use to be.

Kids become crueler as they approach the teenage years. You start seeing kids taking a mob mentality.  I would shy away from big groups and not try to be known at school to avoid such mobs.


Well there you have five traits from middle school. It’s amazing how much I changed from elementary to middle school. Puberty sucks right!  Share your experiences with me below.

11 Embarrassing Behavior Traits about Mike: Elementary School Years

You know that old saying, you don’t know where you are going unless you know where you been?  In order for you to be comfortable with me, I want to share some of my past.  The next couple of posts will reveal some information from my past.

First up, let’s talk my elementary school years.  Age 6-11.  Here’s some cool and embarrassing facts about me:


I was really thin as a child.  It was combination of genetics and being somewhat active.


I felt like the X-Men character Longshot because EVERYTHING went my way. Especially at school

  • Raffle Cake Walk: I would win
  • Field Day races: I would win
  • School Fund Raising Event: I would win
  • Kickball: Undefeated in elementary!


Despite the big ears and widows peak, the young ladies loved the kid!


Every year there would be a new girl that was obsessed with me. From Kindegarten to 1st, a girl in my neighborhood would give me a lollipop every time we played. In third grade, I had a classmate stalk and follow me all the way home…..That one was a little bit creepy


I use to beat up kids that were bullies. I was really really good at fighting. I watched wresting a lot as a kid and came up with my own finisher move. It was called the Mumbo Jumbo (Based off a villain from a cartoon called SilverHawks). Many bullies feel victim to it!

Mumbo Jumbo from SilverHawks cartoon show
The Inspiration For Many Bully Beatdowns


What’s funny is the fact that teachers always had me as their ideal behavioral student.   I would use that to my advantage. If a kid bullied another kid consistently, I would beat the bully up when nobody was around.

Sometimes the bully would threaten to tell. I would simply say: “Who’s the teacher/principal going to believe, you the troublemaker or ME?”


To me there were only two states in the US, Virginia and Ohio. Virginia felt like another country to me whereas Ohio was my home.

Those feelings came from being born in Cincinnati, Ohio and moving to Virginia at age six. A aunt moved to Virginia from Germany, so my mind always treated Virginia as this foreign country as a child.


Family and friends that know me from childhood all say the same thing…..Mike was so quiet!


Being quiet throughout the school year bottled up inside and exploded during the summer. My Aunt Pam and cousins got to see the hyper goofy Mike often during summers in Cincinnati.   Give me ten minutes after a good dinner, and you were bound to see this side of me in the summer.


I hung out with kids that were older than me majority of the time. I have a brother that’s four years older than me, plus an older cousin that I lived with during this period. I use to hang out with them and their friends more than my own age group.


From age six to eight, I was active in my neighborhood. I would bike ride, walk, and play neighborhood group games.  Oh how I miss the neighborhood tag games, water gun fights, hide and seek…..Do kids still do that stuff anymore?


From nine to eleven, I wasn’t as active. My family moved to a different neighborhood for the third time since moving to Virginia.

I just didn’t have the drive to make new friends in the neighborhood. Only time I went past my block was when I walked to school.

Now that I’ve shared my past, what did you do as a kid?

The Crusher of Dreams…Tales from The Locker Room!

Remember your first years in middle school, when you had to change your clothes in public.  Walking into that locker room.  You saw those locker rooms in numerous movies, but it’s nothing like stopping by for the first time in real life.  Watching this on TV was not nearly as nerve-wracking as this solo adventure.  Remember your first time?

You walk in with your brand new gym clothes neatly folder.  You were assigned a locker combination so you go searching for your locker number.  As you look around the room you notice that this place has sinks, toilets and…..showers?!  Hold on……Is it mandotary that we take showers?  All of a sudden you feel your heart pounding.  Showers!…..what’s the point of washing up in class.  We didn’t have to do that in elementary school.  What makes this place so different?

You start to notice other individuals progressing towards lockers near you.  You’re no longer the only kid in your row!  Your heart starts to pound just a little bit faster.  All of a sudden you hear the gym teacher yell out “You have five minutes to get dressed and be out ready for class!!  Hurry it up!!!”.   Why is that teacher telling me to hurry up?  Are they watching me!?

You start to undress and stare straight ahead.  You don’t want anybody to think you are staring at them because YOU don’t want people staring at you!  You’re so use to getting dressed by your self in privacy.  Well maybe in front of your brother or sister, but not this many strangers.  Not in front of Joey or Joanna who you’ve had classes with every since you were six.  This definitely wasn’t the same thing as nap time together!

Looking back at that scenario, could you envision the stress and panic?  Could you remember your own “first time” in a gym.  No matter your age, it always seems that we all have had some sort of nervousness about being in a locker room.  It’s just something about it that scares the bejesus out of the majority of folks.  It all comes down to being insecure with our bodies.  When you’re a young teenager going through puberty there’s nothing worse then your peers knowing about the changes to your body.  We are terrified about being judged for being fat, skinny, hairy, short, tall, etc.

That fear doesn’t stop in that middle school locker room.  It carries over to us as we become grown adults.  When you go to the locker room at your local gym, how many folks still have flashbacks to that middle school mentality?  How many still try to go to the back of the locker room to hide from being seen?

Don’t be ashamed, the majority of all us still do that!  Even the person with that perfect chiseled body, still thinks badly about their own bodies and is scared of others opinions.  YES, that person that you envy!  That person that seems to be straight out of the latest Dwayne Johnson action movie.   He/She thinks exactly like you.

I wrote this so that next time you enter that locker room, I want you to remember that you’re not alone.  Most of us had a bad initial locker room experience.  Without even knowing it, it affects how most of us view working out or just going to the gym in general.  We shouldn’t let something so trivial in our past dictate how we feel now.

Next time you enter your gym and you see a 80+ year old man/lady proudly walking around buck naked, give them a silent MicVinny salute of approval.  If they’re not afraid of judgement why should YOU!



Intro to MicVinny

“Why should I take advice from you, you’re not that muscular”

“I never have the time to workout.  I’m just different than you”

“Wow, how did you get in good shape?  What diet did you follow”

“I’m a full time mom.  You don’t know what’s it like to be busy”

“I eat right all the time.  I don’t know why I’m fat”

“The only reason that guy is so strong is because all he does is go to the gym seven days a week!  If I had that much time, I would look just like him!”

“You need to be certified to teach people how to train.  That’s the only way they’ll listen”

“I’m starting this new juice only diet.  Man, I tell you I’m going to look ripped in two weeks”

“I eat enough vegetables.  I should be losing weight”

“I run five miles everyday and eat just a salad a day.”

“You eat too much protein.  You’re going to hurt your kidneys”

“You eat too little protein.  You need to eat over 400 grams a day if you want to be strong bro!”

“Paleo diet is the best diet.”

“Eating a vegan diet is the only good diet.”

“Don’t eat carbs!”

“Don’t eat Fat!!”

“Don’t eat meat!”

“You don’t do CrossFit.  What’s your problem?”

“My genetics are awful, so why should I bother to work out?”

“You don’t cook vegetables with butter and salt?  How can you eat them?  Do you deep fry them?”



Man with a microphone yelling enough!!!

………And that folks is why I have decided to start this blog.


My name is Michael and I’ve had enough.  I’m the type of person that prefers to listen before talking.

In my youth I was viewed as “that quiet guy”.

Over time, I’ve come to realized that I’m just a very good listener.  For some reason when you are a listener instead of a talker people assume you are shy.

Well folks, let me go on the record and say that I am definitely not shy!

Over the past years I have researched various techniques on how to become fit.  It became my favorite hobby.

Majority of the time I spent online, I was peeking at weightlifting websites.  Learning new methods of how lifting weights could make you lose weight.  I found out how bodybuilder’s achieved lean bodies just be eating a certain way.

I experimented with extreme diets to cut corners in the war on fat.

I lifted to get strong.

I lifted to lose fat.

I learned the difference between powerlifting vs. weightlifting.

I did sprint intervals.

I walked on treadmills.

I jumped rope.

I tried yoga.

As the years have went by, many friends and family have asked questions about fitness.  They would tell me how I always seem to know the answer.

In my mind, I didn’t know that much.  As those years have turned in to over a decade of me experimenting on my own body, I realized

“Why not me?”

I have so many years wrapped up in this fitness world that I should be informing people about living a healthy life.   I use to think that only the people with the perfect six packs could give out advice.

Only the guys with 30 inch biceps truly knew what it took to reach the top of that mountain!

I finally sat back and thought, “How many…..”:

  • People have lost 85 lbs despite traveling all around the world working 60+ hours a week?
  •  Struggle with their own body image?
  • Front page models in bodybuilding magazines actually like their bodies?
  • People have had to learn how to eat right when they’re in a country where they cannot drink the tap water or eat the vegetables?
  • Still believe the lies that are being told?”

After all these years, I started to realize that this listener needed to step up and start talking!

I have decided to create this blog to inform the public and share my story.

I’m definitely not Mr. Perfect.

What I am is human.  I plan on providing the reader with the reality of living a healthy lifestyle. I’m willing to share my successes and failures in my quest for my “perfect” body.

You can laugh.  You can poke fun.  You can be encouraged.  You can be inspired.  All I plan on providing to you is the truth.

I don’t care who you are, but with a healthy mental attitude, you can accomplish anything! 

Maybe, Just maybe it’ll help change your life (or someone you love) for the better.

Visit my About Page for more info.