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Lessons from Dominick Parente

This is me and my grandpa, who I called Pop, circa 1987 since I’m probably around four years old in this picture (yea, my hair grew out, not down for the first couple years of my life).  We’re rocking He Man and She Ra t-shirts, and probably just finished exclaiming, “I have the POWWEEERRR!”

He passed away two years ago today, so I wanted to write a blog and share some of my family’s favorite “Pop Lessons” with you…as they may or may not relate to your health and fitness.


Don’t kick a dog when it’s down. This can apply to others as well as your self.  Don’t kick anyone when they’re down.  If you have  a bad day, if you skip a workout or eat a sh*tty meal, don’t beat yourself up.  If anything, forgive yourself and move on!

They can knock you down, but they can’t keep you down. This is one of our all time favorites, because no matter the magnitude of the defeat or failure you can ALWAYS get back up…and you should.

Trust no one. Ok, Pop was old school and he really meant this exactly as it reads.  However, I’m going to spin this one to say trust no one but yourself.  Listen to your own gut and intuition first, before considering that of others.

Always know your surroundings. Pop was big on safety, this doesn’t mean be paranoid, but you should be aware of who’s around you, what you’re doing and if there’s any potential for danger.  It never ceases to amaze me how irresponsible people can be.  For example, the number of students on city campuses walking alone at night on cell phones who get mugged.  Pop was a big fan of any effort you could make to not be a target.  I concur.

Don’t count your money in public. Another safety (safety falls under health!) issue…people don’t need to know what you’re carrying around in your pocket or purse.

Don’t ever let anyone say anything bad about the Puerto Ricans. The significance of this one is that people can change (as long as they want to).  Like I said earlier, my Pop was old school, Italian, from Brooklyn.  When my mom started dating my dad who’s half Puerto Rican, Pop called him Chico for the first few years, and was not a big fan.  Fast forward about 30-35 years.  My dad never had a relationship with his own dad, and Pop had four girls, they became each other’s missing links.  At his 80th birthday, we went around the family and everyone shared their favorite Pop story, after my dad shared his, Pop raised his glass and said, “Don’t ever let anyone say anything bad about the Puerto Ricans.”  You can teach an old dog new tricks 🙂

Lessons from Dominick Parente