About

I am Coach Chonko, or Coachonko! I am passionate about exercise physiology and particularly obsessed with strength training. I love lifting progressively heavier weights, but I also love perfecting my martial arts skills and hiking non-stop for several hours in high mountains.

When I am not pushing my body out of omeostasis, I spend my time on less energy-intesive activities such as music, photography and computing; I consume a large amount of music of many different genera and I have built some electric guitars for fun despite being trash at playing them. I shoot people with my Pentax camera, the beloved tool I use to take pictures of the landscapes I visit, small insects and details in my everyday life. I administrate servers remotely and automate tasks because I am lazy.

Education

  • Bachelor of Computer Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Exercise Science
  • Master of Clinical Exercise Physiology
  • Bachelor of Exercise Science

Certifications

These are expired and I do not intend to renew any of them

  • IFPA Personal Fitness Trainer
  • IFPA Sports Nutrition Specialist
  • IFPA High-Performance Training for Sports
  • IFPA Pre & Post Natal Instructor
  • IFPA Special Populations Trainer
  • IFPA Corrective Exercise Specialist
  • IFPA Senior Fitness Specialist

More about me

I wasn't just the average child, I was the child of an immigrant in a city full of racists and xenophobics. This lead to a lot of discrimination, bullying and abuse by primary school classmates and teachers, which in turn lead to eating disorders, obesity and then to exercise and sports.

My first experience with sports was Judo, I was so little I barely have any memory of those times. Then football, which I quit over discrimination and bullying. I then tried Athleics, which I loved, but the instructor had no interests in teaching a fat kid. My mother got me to try a french Vovinam knockoff, which seemed fun at the time, but I was very young and naive. I also tried Rugby, but I didn't like it so much.

When I was 11 years old, while lying on my bed, my knee suddenly got injured and resulted in a loose body in my knee joint. The problem could have been solved relatively easily by removing the loose body, but unfortunately, all the 20-ish surgeons I met offered me a full knee replacement instead. I didn't take the offers, thanks to my parents who were skeptical of these offers despite them not understanding what the problem was.

From age 11 to age 22 sports were not fun, even walking was risky: every single step could cause large amounts of pain and a terribly swollen knee, it would happen often, too. At first I lost weight by dieting only, after meeting with a professional who prescribed me a diet. I also got more into gaming and programming as I could do those without walking. But then, after about 3 years, I couldn't handle it any more. Strength training, karate, boxing, brazilian jiu jitsu and tomoi quickly became my new love. Despite the pain and the feeling of helplessness I kept going, this is how I discovered how important exercise and sports are to me.

At the end of high school I had to choose whether to pursue medical school or sports. My experience with medical doctors made me want to be better than those I met, but I also really loved exercise, sports and nutrition. At the end I applied to a bachelor of exercise science and in the second year of the course I finally got surgery to remove the loose body in my knee joint, the two surgeons who operated me were my professor, and a friend I made while practicing martial arts.

I do not compete in any sport, but I love training and helping those who want to be helped. I love understanding how the body works down to the molecular level and how it responds to training and dietary changes. This is why I pursued studies further and earned a master of clinical exercise physiology. I intended to become an academic and researcher but unfortunately the SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak began and burned down my doctorate opportunities. At the same time, the pandemic made me understand once again how important exercise and sports are to me.

My current dream is to have my own gym and conduct research in it. While I try to make this unachievable dream happen I write this blog. I want some of my thoughts to be organized and shared, I hope this is just another path for me to help others.