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Hi my name is Alex Roertgen. I was born in upstate NY, but moved to Long Island when I was four and grew up there in Smithtown. I lived there for over twenty years, and it wasn't until very recently that I decided to chase my dreams, and moved to Venice, CA. While living on Long Island, I attended college at Stony Brook University where I graduated from in 2010 with my Bachelors degree in Engineering Science. In my first year at Stony Brook I was a member of the Cross- Country and Track & Field Teams. After graduating, I went on to work at a small engineering firm in Glenwood Landing, NY.
I come from a large, active, athletic, tight knit family. I have one older brother and sister, and two younger brothers. My parents were both avid cyclists, and big into the outdoors. Growing up, my family was always outside and active. Me and my brothers were sport fanatics, and always competitive in every activity. We were also fortunate to have grown up in a neighborhood full of kids our age that loved to play sports. Every morning all of the kids from the block would show up at our house ready to compete at something. Whether it was basketball, baseball, football or soccer, we were always active. From a very young age I grew up loving sports, and was always striving to be better then everyone else. That mentally has stuck with me until this day.
Coming from a large family my parents couldn't afford to send me and my brothers to sports camps or to play in outside leagues. So, I didn't start playing organized sports until middle school. Following in my older brother's footsteps, I became a member of the Cross-Country, Basketball, Volleyball, and Track & Field Teams. My family genetics and small frame prevented me from playing football or any contact sports. Right off the bat, I excelled as a runner. However, due to my size, I received very little playing time in basketball, and was always substituted out at the front of the net in volleyball. I was very good, but was only 5' 0" and about 90 lbs. I was a late bloomer, and only grew about an inch or two until I went through puberty the summer going into my senior year. Being so small throughout high school prevented me from excelling at basketball, and volleyball so after my freshman year I gave up on them and decided to focus solely on running. From tenth grade on I ran all year long competing in Cross- Country, Winter Track, and Spring Track. I was very good. My senior year I was ranked top 10 in the county, and went on to competing in the State meet my senior year, and then went on to run for Stony Brook University in my freshman year.
Growing up in an athletic, exercise- centered family, I always ate fairly healthy. There was always very little cookies, chips, soda or any junk food in my house because my parents refused to buy it. When I started taking running very seriously in 9th grade, I became even stricter on my diet. I wanted to be the best, and I was willing to make any sacrifices and do whatever it took to get there. It was from this time on that I always ate a very clean and balanced diet.
Being a very competitive runner instilled a lot of values and great qualities in me that I still have to this day. I developed a great work ethic, and became very disciplined and determined to succeed. That discipline has made it easy for me to eat clean, and stay in such great shape throughout the years. Similar to fitness training and body building, in running the real opponent is oneself. The other competitors are not the real enemies. His adversary lies within him, in his ability with brain and heart to master himself. It takes an incredible amount of will power, discipline and hard work to be an elite fitness model or bodybuilder. It is important to not only try and be better then everyone else, but to try and be better then yourself. It is all about having the desire to challenge ourselves. To train and persevere, and exert yourself to the fullest within your individual limits.
I always run, even to this day, but it wasn't until I was 17 that I started lifting and working out. Right after I graduated high school I started working at an Italian Restaurant. I was constantly picked on by these two older waiters because I was 5'11" and only about 140 lbs. I was a twig, and I had no self confidence in myself. I couldn't get a girl to save my life either. It was pretty frustrating, and I hated being the subject of someone's bullying. I vowed to myself at that time that one day I would be bigger then them, and would never allow them to bully me again. I ended up becoming very good friends with both waiters throughout the years, and I couldn't be happier now that they had pushed me to start lifting.
It wasn't until the following year, however, that I really became a gym fanatic. In my first year of lifting I was still always running, so it was very hard for me to put on any size. But, in my second year of college I broke my foot in two spots and had to get screws put in my foot. I was in a hard cast for three months, and even when it came off I wasn't able to walk fine for another few months. It was a very long time before I was able to run again. To fill this absence in my life, I completely turned all of my attention to working out. Thanks to one of my best friends, he took me under his arm and taught me everything I needed to know. I became a gym fanatic, and in the first year I went from being 140 to almost 160. In the following years, I went on to gain about 5-10 lbs of muscle every year after. My thirst for knowledge, however, was never satisfied, and I was constantly fine tuning and trying to improve myself. I read everything I could get my hands on in order to acquire more knowledge, and to learn how to eat properly. I became a sponge and absorbed so much information.
Every year it is always my goal to look better and be better in some aspect then the previous year, and each year I find myself becoming more dedicated and disciplined. It is an obsession for me, and I always want to look my best. I am addicted to working out, and looking good. I refuse to cheat even in the slightest, because when I do it eats me up inside. In this industry you truly get out what you put in, and I am always giving it my 100%. Working out is no longer just a hobby for me anymore, it is a lifestyle. One that is always constantly bettering me.
Even as good of shape as I was in, I had never competed or participated in a shoot. I had considered it, but never knew where to start or even how to go about it. It wasn't until I moved to Venice Beach that that door opened for me. I had happened to move labor day weekend, during which was the Muscle Beach Championship. I was walking around and taking pictures when I was approached by a very nice man. He had asked me if I had ever been here before, and then went on to compliment my figure and tell me that I should compete. I was completely flattered, and didn't even know what to say. He went on to introduce himself as John from BBpics.com, a fitness photographer. He was very nice, and generous and offered to do a mini shoot to help me gain exposure and see what I was capable of.
The following day I met him down by the beach, and we spent a few hours doing all types of shoots from bodybuilding poses to fashion modeling. It was an all around great experience. He was very easy to work with, and he made me feel very comfortable considering it was my first time. We went to various locations and did various types of shoots. He was thoroughly inclined with how to make me look athletic, fashionable and aesthetic. I came in not knowing what to expect. I was a little concerned about how I would look, and whether I was even ready for this, but I left feeling happy, accomplished, and confident in myself. I was blown away by how great the pictures came out. They couldn't have came out any better. Not only did he do a great job, but he was very professional about everything. It was a truly great experience working with him, and I would recommend him to anyone.
Thanks to John I now know what I'm capable of, and I have gained valuable exposure to the fitness modeling industry. The whole experience was an ice breaker for me, and pushed me one step closer to my dreams. The door has been opened, and I am going to continue to pursue more avenues. I know have a portfolio, which I would like to build upon. My goal is to become a top fitness model, and be an inspiration for millions. Thanks again John!