Well, let me start this off by saying WELCOME TO THE NERDY ATHLETE BLOG! I am beyond excited to be starting this up, and I cannot wait to share my research, thoughts, and methods with you guys. Also, I want to take a quick second to say THANK YOU to everyone who is reading this. Whether you are family, a long time friend, or someone who happened to stumble upon my Instagram page, I want to say that I appreciate you and I’m thankful to have your attention.
Instagram posts can only tell you so much about someone, so I want to spend this first post introducing myself to you guys.
Who The Hell Is Mikael Ruffin?
First off (as you 100% know by now) my name is Mikael Ruffin, and I am an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer based in Austin, TX. I am the owner of Confront & Conquer Training Systems, which is my personal training business that I started not too long ago. I’m a Pacific Northwest kid at heart; I was born and raised in Puyallup, Washington, and I live for the nature and the people up there. Like many of you, I have always lived a very active lifestyle. Growing up I was always outside with my friends and always enrolled in sports. Whether it was skateboarding, soccer, basketball, baseball or football, I was liable to be involved in one of these sports at any given time. Even though I played a wide variety of sports as a kid, I absolutely fell in love with football. I played all through jr. high and high school, and ended up playing linebacker at the D3 level at Willamette University. Willamette blessed me with a literal shit ton of opportunities, including the opportunity to work closely with some world-renowned professors, and the opportunity to complete a 6 month internship at a local physical therapy clinic in Salem, OR. I absolutely fell in love with the exercise-science field, and Willamette is 100% responsible for that. I went on to graduate with a B.A. in Exercise and Health Science in 2018.
The education I received at Willamette taught me much more than just exercise and health science - it taught me that in order to grow, not just professionally, but as a human, you must dedicate yourself to being a lifelong learner. I’m sure you’ve all had teachers tell you that and your first thought is “bullshit”, but its the truth. I mean, you’re reading a fitness blog right at this very moment, so that saying absolutely holds weight. That desire to be a lifelong learner is what drove me to start this blog. My hope is to be able to provide useful information to help others become lifelong learners, while also learning new information in the field and growing as a professional.
Why Did You Become A Trainer?
Despite being an incredibly active kid, I was always rather overweight. Honestly, my weight is something I struggled with for a large portion of my life. The peak of that struggle came during the offseason of my junior year in college. I had sprained the hell out of my MCL in my right leg, and couldn’t condition with the team for about 4 weeks. In those 4 weeks I put on about 12lbs, and I can promise you none of it was muscle. That extra 12lbs severely affected my play: I was slower, less agile, and so much stiffer than before the injury. On top of that, my self-confidence was probably at its lowest it had ever been. I had almost debilitatingly low self-esteem, didn't like the way I looked and felt, and on top of that, I wasn't seeing the field. Being a competitor, I knew that something had to change if I wanted to compete at a high level, and that lit a fire in me to get in better shape. From my junior to senior year, I lost 50lbs (peep the above picture). Not only did this make a dramatic difference in my play, but it also made a huge difference for me personally. I had this sense of self-confidence and accomplishment that I had never experienced before.
That powerful feeling of accomplishment inspired me to want to help others reach their fitness goals and experience that exact same feeling. I went on to become a Master Trainer at 24 Hour Fitness, where I worked for just about 2 years and was able to learn from some of the smartest minds I’ve ever been blessed to be around, and developed an intense passion for helping people problem solve for themselves and change their lives through fitness. I am a huge believer that education creates purpose, and purpose yields results. I find great joy in educating, and do everything that I can to ensure that my clients are always aware of the purpose of every movement we do together. Rather than solely focusing on the “big picture” goal, I always break things down and focus on the small strokes of the paint brush that create the big picture. I believe that not only does this make big goals seem more attainable, but it also limits the stress surrounding a client’s goal. I want my clients to reach their goals, but I also want them to have fun while doing it.
So What Is The Nerdy Athlete?
As I said earlier, I truly have a deep devotion to continuing my education, and educating others at the same time. On The Nerdy Athlete Blog, you will find weekly educational posts on a wide variety of fitness topics. Ranging from strength training tips, supplement usage, mindfulness, and nutrition, I plan to use this blog to cover all of them and everything in between (while maybe crackin' a few jokes from time to time lmfao). Whether you are an aspiring or current fitness professional, or just someone with a desire to learn more about fitness, I want to create a community where you can learn, create, and share with myself and each other. See something you like? Let me know about it. See something you aren’t sure of? Let me know about it. See something you disagree with? Let me know about it. I want this community to be a place that encourages discussion. I also want to hear what you guys want to learn about. Each week, please feel free to comment topic suggestions and let me know what topics you’ve been curious about. Most importantly, I want this to be fun! Did you see a funny fitness meme earlier this week? Share it! I'm a goofy ass dude and I hope y'all are a little goofy too. That keeps things interesting hahahaha.
While you’re here, you might as well create an account so you can be the first to be notified when new posts drop, stay up to date with CCTS, and receive special offers on training and fitness programs! I’m beyond excited to get started with you guys. Thank you for rockin' with me, and I’ll see y’all next week.
P.S. I'm sure I left some stuff out because I am terrible at talking about myself. Feel free to let me know any questions you may have! Go attack the week family.