I figured a blog post may be the best place to introduce myself to the CrossFit Diversion family. My name is Paul Buono and I have been coaching in the fitness industry for the past 9 years. I am a CrossFit Certified Trainer (CrossFit Level 3), OPEX Coaching Certificate Program Level 1, Precision Nutrition Level 1 and have been certified through a handful of other CrossFit specialty courses and seminars. I have had the opportunity to be coached and mentored by some of the best in the fitness industry (Matt Chan, Jason Leydon, Michael Bann and a handful of others). Now, I am currently taking pre-requisite courses in order to go back and obtain an graduate degree in Kinesiology with a concentration of Integrative Exercise Physiology.
My journey started when I was 17 years old and I tore my labrum in my left shoulder during my senior year of high school football. After a season ending injury, I began working out to rehab my shoulder for the upcoming lacrosse season. In this time, I became obsessive compulsive about body image, which inevitably led to anxiety, depression and an eating disorder.
During my first couple years of college, I followed the same pattern. I had learned to shut other people out around me, lean heavily on substances and place blame on others for my own problems. It wasn’t until my junior year that I began training with a more functional approach while seeking a way to cope with these issues. This allowed me to put more emphasis on the things I could get my body to do rather than a way I wanted my body to look.
To make a very long story short, this led me to manifest a dream of going to the CrossFit Games. Over the course of the next 5 years, I had made my sole intention of making the most of every single day to optimize my performance in the gym. This led me to leave my profession as a Civil Engineer, spending most of my money on training, and sleeping nightly on a couch, floor or spare bedroom with a friend or training partner’s house. However, all of the setbacks and shortcomings paid off when I had the opportunity to stand on the 2015 CrossFit Games Podium (Affiliate Cup). Everything I had worked for, every set back that I faced that I felt was impossible to overcome had led me right to where I wanted to be.
Fast forward a couple of years and a diagnosis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, I have had to recreate my picture of what health and fitness means to me. Health is no longer a destination or stopping place. To me, health is energy. Having the energy to do what you would like to on a day to day basis. This could be having the energy to do the laundry, being strong enough to pick up your children, be able to walk up the steps or run that 5K you have always told yourself you would cross off your bucket list. Health and fitness aren’t linear and they aren’t the same from person to person.
The reason I am telling you this? I have always known that my sole purpose in life is to help guide others. The path I have chosen to help contribute is through nutrition, training, and providing basic lifestyle guidelines. Fueling myself properly with the right quality and quantity of foods has allowed me to reach some of the goals that others told me were impossible. It is now my passion to give others the same gifts that I have learned on my journey. I am here to help inspire, motivate and give the gift of confidence to whoever is willing to work for it. Through training and nutrition, I have found a better lifestyle and person beneath my top layer. I’m looking forward to helping each and every one of you achieve your goals!