Hi, I’m David.
Some of you may know me as Rosie, or a number other of hockey-related nicknames.
I guess this is where I’m supposed to put the “About me” section on my website.
So this page is about nothing but me. My ego is salivating.
In a word, I am a writer.
In a few words, I am a writer, learner, and reader.
I am one of those people with a job that’s very hard to explain to my grandparents, let alone strangers.
I grew up in the small town of Jericho, Vermont. Although I was an athlete, I also enjoyed school. In 4th grade, I played chess every day at lunch, and at night I did all those sporty kid things like go to hockey or baseball practice.
After high school, I decided to take a gap year and continue playing competitive Junior A ice hockey. During my gap year, I was learning so much that one gap year turned into two–I traveled to Spain, El Salvador, Australia, and back to Spain again. During these travels, I learned Spanish in a matter of weeks, and ignited my love for language learning, a tale I tell in this essay: How to Conquer Fear: Developing Courage on the Beaches of Barcelona. My gap year also led to an opportunity to become a personal trainer at a small gym, Fit 2 Excel, near my hometown.
At Fit 2 Excel I was immediately thrust into teaching adult classes, youth classes, and one on one personal training. I gained experience working with people of all ages, in groups of all sizes.
I learned the value of communication, the importance (and difficulty) of coaching, and to this day I’m convinced that teaching 6th-grade boys how to do dumbbell rows is harder than training professional athletes.
Throughout my time off from formal education–
At Fit 2 Excel, in addition to all the group and one-on-one personal training, I started writing for our gym’s blog.
I wrote about training, coaching, athletics, and reflected on the lessons I’d learned as a young trainer.
The process of writing these articles forced me to think about what I’d learned, what frameworks and cues worked best when coaching, and why any of it was important at all. It helped me consolidate my ideas, develop them, and become skeptical of them.
I realized that it not only made me a better trainer, but a clearer thinker. Through writing, I could face the inexactness of my thoughts. I could critique, cut, and sharpen.
With all of my ideas bubbling on the surface, and the empty space of a gap year, writing was the best way to refine them, and ultimately, share them.
I began to see writing as a selfish pursuit of learning, a vital tool to put up a mirror to my thinking.
As a trainer, I followed up time with more hands-on experiences, working as the strength coach for my entire junior organization, and interning with Umass Lowell hockey.
After two years, I knew that my interests and unique talents resided outside of strength and conditioning. Whether it was training, or language learning, coaching, history, or politics, I began to realize that writing was the medium for me to express it all.
That’s why, in 2019 when I was 20, I enrolled in The Gallatin School of Individualized Study, a program at New York University where every student creates their own major, or “concentration,” as we call it in Gallatin.
At Gallatin, I went in with the intention of learning how to write. All kinds of writing. My final concentration was called “Writing and Storytelling for the Internet Age,” a reflection of my wide range of writing interests, and how they apply to a rapidly changing digital world.
From nonfiction writing, to poetry, to biography writing, to late-night comedy writing, to ancient persuasion and rhetoric, at Gallatin I gained a large breadth of knowledge as a thinker, writing about esoteric topics such as volcanology, Aristotle’s Rhetoric, and how the Roman Emperor Augustus used images to create a brilliant marketing campaign.
I graduated from Gallatin in the spring of 2022, in three years.
Concurrently with my time in Gallatin, I also began to explore the world of entrepreneurship, personal branding, and digital marketing. I began working for New York Times bestselling author John Romaniello, who, in Campbellian fashion, opened the doors of professional possibilities for somebody who knows how to write, how to think, and how to speak effectively. (How we connected I share in this article.)
By the time I was 21, then, I was writing for various fitness websites, leveraging my combination of fitness expertise with writing skills.
Today, I’m busy on a wide-variety of projects.
I’m the co-owner of Roman Fitness Systems, a fitness content site which we monetize through Search Engine Optimization (and which I wrote about in this article on how passive income paid for all of my travels.)
I’m the head editor of Pro Hockey Strength, the official website of the Strength and Conditioning Association of Professional Hockey, which is the organization for all of the NHL and AHL strength coaches.
I do various freelance writing projects, principally in the fitness space, for various supplement companies, content sites, and exercise technology companies. I’ve run email newsletter overhauls, overseen everything related to SEO, and written too many product pages to count.
While I enjoy all of this, my true love is not writing about supplements, exercises, or marketing. (Sorry clients). As I mentioned before, for me, writing is a reflection of my thinking, or my personal learning process.
I’m fortunate to have the skills and opportunities to work for myself, and have the freedom to write about whatever is on my mind and feels important to me.
Often, I write about the intersections of persuasion and politics, and how important word choice is in the political realm.
Other times, I write about language learning, which is often a metaphor for learning how to learn, which I believe is one of the most important skills for the 21st century.
Really, I often find myself excited to write about anything related to communication, persuasion, and learning.
Today, I live in New York City, and, despite wanting to resist the stereotype, I have become one of those people who is hopelessly in love with New York, as I wrote about in this IG post. For a non-native New Yorker.
I often travel to my other favorite city, Barcelona, thanks to a deep connection with lifelong friends, and my love for Barcelona’s bilingual atmosphere.
So, if you’re a brand or a business looking for a writer who can actually write, then I might be your guy.
And if you’re a person looking to learn how to become a better thinker, learner, reader, or writer, then follow me on Instagram or sign-up for my email list.
Some Fun Facts:
- I love pop-punk. Like, I really love pop-punk. State Champs, Neck Deep, The Story so Far, Knuckle Puck, Bearings, and A Day to Remember are some of my favorite bands. Catch me moshing at the next show in New York.
- I ‘m trilingual. English is my language. My Spanish is full professional fluency (although I also know lots of unprofessional sayings learned in Barcelona’s streets). In Catalan, Barcelona’s main language, I’m conversational proficient and it impresses lots of Catalans. I’m sure as the years go on, I will add 4th, 5th, and 6th languages.
- Bookstores are my favorite places in the world. Local bookstores have changed my life, and I think they can change yours too. Support your local bookstores.
- My favorite authors change frequently. But historically, George Orwell and JD Salinger are my two favorites. For Spanish literature, it’s tough to be Cervantes’ Don Quijote and more recently, Carlos Ruiz Zafón.
- As a true Vermonter, I love maple syrup. And I bring it with me everywhere, so don’t be surprised when I whip it out at brunch. Get that fake shit out of here.
The best way to get in touch with me is to follow me on Instagram or sign-up for my email list, where every month I said out something related to being a better reader, learner, or thinker.