Why 2011 ROCKED!

Life Lessons and The Road Traveled

Coach Izzy

Well, and just like that 2012 is current in our calendars.  It reminds me of Mondays, full of possibility, the excitement for what will be accomplished, the excitement to turn the plans from the previous week into reality! I have a hard time understanding why folks dislike Mondays so much, they’re an opportunity for a fresh start or the continuation of greater purposes.

2011 felt like a breeze. Welcome, refreshing, enjoyable but short lived. I know that chronologically it is not shorter than previous year, but it certainly felt so!

One of my traditions since I started writing was to put a recap of the events of the previous year so we can reminiscence the good moments and learn from the hard ones.  It is something all my readers appreciated and could relate to.  I took a hiatus for a couple of years as I was involved in other ventures but I’m returning to it as many have been asking me for it.

Please join me as I go over the events of 2011 and recall all the moments that made it the awesome year it was.

January 2011
The January 2011 issue of “Shape” magazine publishes my article. Exercises like “Bell Spins” “Turkish Can Can” and “Crab Reach” are the talk of town.

The “Fitness and Strength Coach” program created by yours truly and sponsored by the Bainbridge Island Fire Department starts.

The Picasso Exhibition at the SAM, Wow! What can I say other than Wow!! Worth the wait and hassle.

The original article “Kettlebells and Muscle Mass” featuring 3-Time Kettlebell World Champion Lorna Kleidman is published.  To this date, this article has brought over five thousand unique visitors to my blog who have referenced and linked to it.

The Fitness and Strength Coach program concludes successfully. The program was hosted by the Bainbridge Island Fire Department and Crossfit 98110

February 2011
In an effort to combat allergies, respiratory congestion, and drowning in my own mucus, my wife and nutrition coach Kat Polo starts me in an elimination program to identify my sensitivities.

The self-care program Kettlebells for a Fit Therapist created by yours truly is offered through “Bodymechanics School of Massage” in Olympia with great success.

The article “Kettlebells and Pregnancy” featuring the “Kettlebell QueenLauren Brooks Miller is published.  Since its publication, this article has brought another four thousand unique visitors to my blog.

New 6 Week Kettlebell Program debuts on the blog. The program is broken down day by the day in different posts and accompanied by a video.

March 2011
Kettlebell Concepts makes a triumphant debut on Bainbridge Island with an instructor course hosted by Island Fitness and instructed by yours truly.

The Fitness Business Summit 2011 under the guidance of Bedros Keulian reunites me with friends I have not seen in a long time and gives me the resources I need to streamline my operations.

April 2011

Integrated Healing and Strength Systems is officially incorporated in the state of Washington.

The preview edition of Kettlebells for A Fit Diver debuts at the “Dive and Travel Expo 2011”

I have the amazing opportunity to speak to my fellow divers about being fit.

Nick Lucey, host of the Travel and Diving show Into the Drink covers the Dive and Travel Expo and interviews me about about Kettlebells For a Fit Diver.

The Dive and Travel expo was a blast! I get reunited with my fellow divers, meet new ones, and have a fun time helping them with their fitness questions, chronic pain issues, and of course, enjoying some shenanigans.  Thank you Rick Stratton of Dive News Network for the great opportunity!

Interviewed by ScubaRadio about “Kettlebells for A Fit Diver”

May 2011

My elimination program to remove allergens has been unintentionally morphing into the Paleo/Primal lifestyle.  This is the first spring EVER in which allergies have not affected me and my lungs are clear. I start experimenting with the deeper aspects of the Paleo approach increasing my consumption of proteins rich in saturated fats and cholesterol.

Scuba diving authority and wreck diving legend John Chatterton gives his blessing to “Kettlebells for a Fit Diver”

After a long and hard fought battle with cancer, beloved fitness trainer Olivia Carey passes on.  The outpouring of support from the Bainbridge Island community is tremendous who vow to keep her legacy strong and help others facing the same battle.

A tremendous show of support from the Bainbridge Island community on the auction benefiting Arms Around Bainbridge which helps cancer patients. A record attendance ensured funds to help cancer patients in need will be available.

On the lighter side, the world is predicted to end on May 21st.  As expected, nothing happens! The prediction was corrected later for October 21st, which eventually became known as “End of The World Flop Part Deux

I predict with a high degree of accuracy the world would not end on May 25th, 2011. My outstandingly correct predictions give testimony to my prophetic powers and earns me a loyal following (yes, that was sarcastic!)

June 2011
My article “7 out of 10, Now that sucks!” is published in the June edition of Northwest Dive News.

(Click image to read article)

We join Fat of the Land author Langdon Cook and Jeff Ozimek of the Bainbridge Island Parks and Recreation department for a fun Geoduck dig.

After an extended hiatus, I return to my passion, Scuba Diving. The beautiful waters of Puget Sound greet me with excitement.

July 2011
My article “Why the 7 out of 10 Concerns You” is published in the July edition of Northwest Dive News.

(Click image to read article)

3rd and 4th
Fun times with Bob Grateful Diver” Bailey diving at Redondo beach, and hiking Tiger Mountain and the Snow Lake Trail, and visiting Snoqualmie Falls. The trail lived up to its name and became impassable towards the end because of… Snow!!  Awesome!

The free report “How I eliminated 35 years of Back Pain in 3 Weeks” is offered through the IHandSS site and starts creating an immediate response.

August 2011
The post Injuries that should not be creates tremendous response amongst the public and fellow therapists. I have a hard time keeping up with my inbox.

Integrated Healing and Strength Systems, Inc. teams up with InHealth Imaging LLC under the guidance of Dr. Manfred Henne to provide patients with accurate structural measurements via digital imaging.  The information also streamlines and makes treatment more effective.

Hiking the Blue Lake trail with Bob “Grateful Diver” Bailey.  He knows amazing trail underwater and on-land!

Fun times at Winthrop! What a gorgeous area. Getting fresh produce and fruit from the farm stands and stopping by Leaventworth.


September 2011
Barbelles and Barbeasts debuts in the Olympic Weightlifting Competition Arena. The event “Deus Ex Pisarenko” is an official USAW event sponsored by Jessie Ward of Lynnwood Crossfit.

Today marks the tenth year anniversary of the events of September 11th. Back then, I was part of the SalomonSmithBarney fitness center located on the 47th floor of 7 World Trade Center. I constantly reflect on the circumstances that made me change my schedule and saved me from beholding the tragedy unfolding that day. My thoughts are always on those who did not make it and their loved ones mourning their loss.

Part 1 of a 3 article series of the effects of leg length inequalities in children and health is published. The joint effort between Neurosomatic Educators Inc. and Integrated Healing and Strength Systems, Inc. featuring a video and article create a flood of response.

October 2011
My article “Avoiding Overuse” is published in the October edition of Northwest Dive News.

(Click image to read article)

The much awaited second installment of leg length inequalities and children’s health is published!

Barbelles and Barbeasts makes its team appearance at the Washington open at the Thrush Sports Performance Center. The team composed of Sal DeRosalia, Timary Daniel, Kat Polo, Darrick Baker, Shawn Kelly and yours truly at the helm makes a stellar performance.  It was great to be back in the coaching and competing arena!

A day of a great reminder. I reconnect with Mr. Carlos Lopez Valderrama AKA El Profe Lopez, one of my high school teachers and he gave me the chance to publish a passionate article in our school gazette.  The article exposed the excessive physical abuse inflicted by hall monitors and teachers to tardy or disobedient students.  The reaction was explosive, earned me the hate of the school monitors and of many teachers.

The weeks following the article were tumultuous to say the least for El Profe Lopez and me, but despite the threats and hate, I earned the respect and appreciation of my school mates, and I learned about the untamable power of the pen. Physical abuse virtually disappeared the rest of the school year and I learned I actually made a difference.


 El Profe Lopez was one of the few teachers who disdained the traditional school system of copying the notebook and memorizing. Instead, he taught us how to become thinkers and channel our voice, he was one of my greater influences.  He taught us too well perhaps as my classroom, though polite and respectful, became one the most controversial and outspoken in school history.

This was an excellent reminder that when one writes, our beliefs and passions should be channeled to bring our message without being callous but without yielding to unnecessary political correctness or censorship. Revelations and innovative thoughts will always offend but that should not deter us from bringing our message!  This was the moment that turned me into a writer and encouraged me to reach others.

November 2011
I become a member of OfficeXpats. So grateful that such a productive and amazing place is now on Bainbridge.

The third and final installment of the effects of pediatric Leg Length Inequalities is published with its most controversial revelations yet!  The response to the video surpasses all my expectations.

The official and final version of “Kettlebells for A Fit Diver” is now available through Amazon.com and Eagle Harbor Book Company on Bainbridge Island.

December 2011
Crossfit 98110, home of Barbelles and Barbeasts, opens its second location with a larger facility and more room for the growing demand. Lots of platforms and bumpers to practice the lifts to perfection. Barbelles and Barbeasts relocate their Wednesday practice to the new location.

After nearly 21 years, I meet again with my great friend, teacher, and spiritual guide Carlos “Cocol” Saenz Vargas.  He’s pursued his vocation as a missionary priest and life brought him to Burlington, WA. How amazing seeing old friends again!

An amazing time with the talented crew of Island Fitness and their shenanigans at their fun Christmas party.  My wife Kat is one of their nutrition coaches, group exercise instructor, and trainers. Thank you Michael and Alexa Rosenthal for being awesome hosts!

“Think Week” starts at OfficeXpats. This week is dedicated to maximize the week and get a lot of work done.  I have challenged myself to complete three major goals this week and I have made them public to become accountable.

The post “Denial and Fear Disguised as Self-Esteem” as a rebuttal to the ridiculous viral post of “A mermaid or a whale” is published. The reaction is immediate and about a dozen offended individuals unfriend me on Facebook.  On the other hand, over forty fitness enthusiasts and professionals add me to their Facebook networks and thank me for saying what they had in mind.  A reminder once again to bring the truth, speak what others fear, and never try to please everyone.

I finish “Think Week” successfully after accomplishing all my goals at OfficeXpats.  Focus, systemization, and time management rule supreme!

I unplug and I remove every form of electronic communication to relax and receive my birthday in company of my beautiful wife Kat surrounded by quiet and nature.

Was that an exciting year or what?

My plans for 2012 are laid out and I’m already started.  What a privilege to have the opportunity to improve upon what was built the previous year!

Wishing you nothing but success and all the best in life!

I’ll see you on the exercise floor.

About The Author


Coach Izzy has been part of the Strength and Conditioning field for over 25 years. He speaks of the advantages of self-sufficiency and the drawbacks of relying on the liner approaches the health world seems fond of.