Hobby Jam

What People Do For Fun

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Author: Michele (page 1 of 3)

Connor Mulvey

Chicago native Connor Mulvey credits his ever-growing success to the values his parents instilled in him while he was growing up. He watched his parents work hard and enjoy life. Throughout his childhood, he was introduced to the need to work hard, to appreciate a good education, and the results that come with it. After being introduced to many of the finer aspects of personal and financial success, he aspired to create the same results for himself.

After high school, Connor Mulvey built on his education by attending Loyola University. There, he worked hard and created the results he wanted. When he graduated with honors, on the dean’s list, many job opportunities were opened for him.

Connor Mulvey has always enjoyed running and staying healthy. In high school, he competed in both cross country and track. He won a ribbon in his events every year and carried that love to his university days. In time, Connor Mulvey added weight lifting, golf, and other healthy activities to his long list of hobbies.

What is your hobby?

My favorite hobby is running. Well, it’s the one I’ve stuck with the longest anyway. I have a lot of fun moving through a course. It’s a great opportunity to just sort my thoughts and focus on me. That may seem silly, but while some people meditate, I run.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

In middle school, several of my friends and I joined track. It was a whole lot of fun and by my second year, I started to take ribbons. When I reached my 8th-grade year in track, I went to state on behalf of the school in the 1600. That’s a middle distance. After transitioning into high school, I learned about and joined cross country. It was perfect from there.

I haven’t stopped running yet.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love how you can go inside yourself or focus on nothing at all. It is amazing to think a single act can have such a long-lasting impact. It is beneficial for your physical health and a healthy state of mind. The opportunity to enjoy the quiet, nature, and the moment is immeasurable. I love how great I feel when I get home too. It is energizing and enjoyable.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

Since leaving high school I haven’t really joined any groups for running. While there are many you can join, I have yet to find one that really fits my schedule. When I am training for a marathon, I will sometimes connect with a friend who is training as well. We often keep each other to our schedule and our distance goals. This ensures we are ready on time for the event we are targeting.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought?

I always have to make sure I keep a good pair of sneakers. Besides that, I also keep a heart rate monitor and step counter with me so I can have a measurement to track for progress and results.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I typically pick up my sneakers at a local shoe store so I know I can fit them properly. The electronics are picked up through the usual outlets. Typically, I use Amazon, but I have also bought them from the Barnes and Noble marketplace on occasion too.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I have been running since middle school. I think the only book I’ve read about running was Runner’s World Big Book of Running. I think they have one for beginners too. It was an easy read.

How has this changed your life?

This has become the cornerstone of my workout routines. While I will lift, play golf, or do other physical activities, I always come back to running. It is a breath of fresh air that I couldn’t even begin to imagine living without.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

I would say, lace up your shoes and get out there. There I no time like the present to accomplish things and running fits anywhere into your schedule. Even if you can only do ten minutes in a day it’s more than nothing and it will have a positive impact on your health and well-being.

Running allows you to take care of you and your health at the same time. Don’t leave for tomorrow, the run you could do today.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I love golf. It can be a relaxing sport that you share with friends. It is easy to spend a whole day on the course with the right company.

I am also enjoying weight lifting. I am going to be getting involved in some of the competitions coming up. It isn’t something I plan to put as much investment in as I do my running, but it is something that I enjoy and would like to see what I can do with it.

The only other thing that comes to mind is my current preparations for the iron man competitions. These are so much more than a marathon and it would be the single greatest personal challenge for me to complete it. If I’m being truly honest though, I want to win, not just complete. The first time out, you are there to prove to yourself you can do it. The second you’re in it to win it. That may sound rough, but it really is what I would like to do. I have only been training for it the last few months. It is going to be exhilarating. My parents and siblings come to all my marathons, usually volunteering with water or at the finish line. It will be interesting to see if they are able to make it to the competition I’m entering in June. Bolder isn’t everyone’s favorite city.

You can learn more and follow Connor Mulvey on:

Lilly Goga

Lilly Goga is a native of Calgary in Alberta. As a child, she found inspiration in everything around her and her parents encouraged her artistic side. This led her to experiment with many different mediums. Among the options that she pursued for a time were finger painting, drawing with charcoal, creating digital art and eventually photography. It was the last one that moved her the most.

As a teen she began learning how to take portraits at family reunions and other events. By the time she attended college, she knew she loved photography, but she didn’t know she could earn a living doing it. Between entrance in a contest and earning a good pay amount from online stock photography sites, she realized that it was exactly what she wanted to be doing. Eventually, she earned her certification in photography alongside her degree in environmental science.

Today, she employs several methods of making a living with her favorite passion. This hobby turned profession has been the cornerstone of her life and future.

What is your hobby?

Art has always been my hobby. I have been doing something artistic since I was a little child. At first, it was painting, and my favorite was finger paints. I finger painted until well into my teen years. It was my cousin who bought me a camera as a gift. It was love at first picture.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

I had a party as a child and my cousin, who grew up locally near me, bought me a camera as a gift. I took a lot of pictures. We didn’t do anything real with it until our first family reunion. I took several pictures when we were there, and it was so much fun.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love being able to capture the moment and the energy in it. It is a whole lot of fun to find the right image before the camera catches it, then move anyone or anything into that right position. If the lighting is just right and falls upon the perspective things come together through the lens like nothing else.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

There are some online communities that I connected with. It has been thrilling and enjoyable to connect with other artists who understand your passion and joy. It is invigorating to be able to discuss editing programs, cameras, lenses, and other supplies with those who actively use them. And for many of us, we are able to help each other see fresh or new perspectives in our images.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought.

Photography can be very expensive. I have purchased several cameras, but my favorite brand to use is Cannon. You have to stay in supply of memory cards, cleaning supplies, and you need a case for each of them.

Sometimes settings also require lighting, so I have to purchase the right lighting equipment applicable to the setting. Thankfully, not all of my events require new lighting. That has been an on and off project to learn how to find the right lighting. Having the communities on Facebook and elsewhere have been key to that learning process.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

Really, I do a lot of shopping around when I’m looking for supplies. Often, I’ll pick up items from areas my peers have suggested, but some stores require more upfront investment, so I shop around instead. I have purchased some items from Amazon, others from Abes online, and some from other areas.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I would suggest starting with Studio Anywhere by Nick Fancher. He really has a handle on some artistic approaches that I was already starting to use. You can find so much more in this book that will help you see the art through the lens.

I enjoyed Exposure Mastery too. It helps you understand how your timing works with your shutter speed among other things. I don’t want to give too much away but it has such a wealth of knowledge that any beginning will gain something incredible from it.

How has this changed your life?

This hobby has become my life and my career. There is nothing more amazing than waking up each morning, checking my schedule, and knowing that everything on it is me getting to play all day long. There are few jobs you can do that you can both enjoy and make a living at it.

There are few artists that know they don’t have to be ‘starving artists’. I’m blessed to be one of those who know it and live it daily.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Get a camera and start taking pictures. When you find some you really like that you took, upload it to one of the stock photo sites. I also suggest doing a search for groups on Facebook that relate to photography as a business instead of a hobby. There are plenty of hobbyist but if you’re going to make a living out of it, you need like-minded individuals to work with or encourage you.

Even if you’re in business for yourself, there’s no reason to work it by yourself. Being connected to others in the industry makes a huge difference in your skills and success.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I still paint on occasion. I also create images in pencil or other drawing methods. When I have time to play with the images in a design program, ones that aren’t from a portrait session, I like creating original and unique takes on the images. They are a whole lot of fun. Also, whenever possible and time allows, I like to travel. I hope to one day visit and take pictures of ancient Roman cities.

You can learn more and follow Lilli Goga on:

Marudeen Aivaz

It is amazing when you are able to find your passion so young in your life and it is a passion that keeps you physically fit. Marudeen Aivaz has evolved his passion to suit his healthy way of life. He is a weightlifter and bodybuilder. He also believes that good nutrition goes hand in hand with the whole fitness aspect. In addition, Marudeen Aivaz believes that the cornerstone of any fitness lifestyle is the attention to nutrition and that chronic health issues can many times be addressed with good nutrition.

Marudeen was born in California. He is one of three children raised with a Middle-eastern culture centered around family, food, and fitness. His parents were very active and went to the gym regularly. By the age of fifteen, Marudeen Aivaz would join his parents at the gym and work-out on the equipment. By the time he reached college, he had a great foundation for pursuing weight lifting and bodybuilding.

According to Marudeen Aivaz, fitness is a lifelong journey. He believes nutrition is one key on the path. There are no short-cuts to be taken and no pill to replace the hard work, focus, and dedication it takes to achieve healthy lifestyle goals.

What is your hobby?
My hobby is weight lifting and bodybuilding. My parents were very active. They believed in staying fit and going to the gym. I use to go with them when I was about fifteen and I used some of the equipment and dabbled a bit with weight lifting. But I didn’t start my actual weight training until later.

How did you get started with your weight lifting and bodybuilding hobby?
Initially, I began weight lifting as a sophomore in high school when I was on the wrestling team. Our training consisted of learning how to grapple, but also required that we spent a portion of our time learning weight lifting for strength training. We learned techniques such as squat, bench, and deadlifts. It was not a passion of mine at that time more than it was a requirement of the sport.

Weight lifting was a part of the college culture and many of my friends were into weight lifting. As a result, I continued weight lifting through my college years. My interest really peaked when I was in my first year of college. I was about 18 when I began to learn more about nutrition, fitness and the importance of sleeping habits. It was at this time when it became more of a passion for me. I have been pursuing knowledge and I have been evolving ever since.

What do you love about weight lifting?

There are many reasons why weight lifting is a benefit in my life. Being able to see your body transform over time is one reason. You can control the way you look. It is also a challenge. The more you put in the more you get out. I am a challenge-oriented person in general, it is always a challenge for me.  You can never be the strongest or the best or the fittest. It is the continued striving to be better that keeps me going.

What are some of the challenges that you have encountered in weight lifting?

There have been flexibility problems, back problems, shoulder problems and minor strains. Sometimes you can be walking down the street and if your hip is tight, you can pull a muscle, and be limping for the rest of the day. That has happened to me numerous times. I have also had a few surgeries. I have had broken fingers and broken toes.

Do you have any groups that you are a part of or that you attend to encourage you with weight lifting & bodybuilding?

I am not a part of any groups or organizations who participate in weight lifting or bodybuilding. However, I attend local powerlifting events to learn about the culture. I have not yet competed in any of the events.

Have you had to invest in any equipment and if so, can you share whatever you have bought?

Most of the equipment that I have bought is used for safety. I have purchased running shoes and a safety belt for my back. I purchased straps to make your grip stronger. I purchased chalk to make your grip stronger. I purchased wrist wraps to keep your wrists from hyperextending when you are working out. I believe that everyone should invest in safety equipment.

Where do you get most of your supplies?

There are two stores that I would recommend especially for bodybuilding equipment. The first source that I go to is BodyBuilding.com and the other one is EliteFts.

Are there any books you would recommend for beginners of weight lifting and bodybuilding?

For bodybuilding, I would recommend Arnold’s Encyclopedia by Arnold Schwarzenegger. The book I would recommend for powerlifting is 5/3/1: How to Build Pure Strength by Jim Wendler. These two books together would give anyone learning about both sports as a great comprehension of each sport.

How has being involved in each of these sports has changed your life?

One way it has enhanced my life is that I have been able to make so many friends with people who have the same interest. The gym is a very social place. You can develop a lot of close relationships and a lot of trusted relationships. If you go to the gym every day, you are seeing the same people there all the time. You become close to a group that you spend a lot of time with. Participating in these sports has increased my confidence. It always feels good when you reach a personal goal that you have set for yourself. It could be a body weight goal or a strength goal perhaps it is a certain number of repetitions that you’ve had in mind, it is just a really rewarding feeling. There are also times when a perfect stranger will approach you to ask questions about what you are doing. It is nice to share knowledge with people. It has kept me at a good body mass index (BMI) and maintain good habits.

What advice would you have for someone else starting out with this hobby?

My advice would be to remember that fitness is a journey. You will always be making evolutions in your body. Don’t rush the process. It takes a long time. It is not something where you can see results overnight. It takes much more work than people probably think. There is no magic pill or potion to achieve your goals. Stay consistent and continue to educate yourself as much as you can. I would also recommend lifting smart. Always keep in mind that an injury at the gym is not likely but always a possibility. The more you progress in weight lifting, no matter which techniques you use, powerlifting, bodybuilding, or Olympic lifting, there is always a chance of getting hurt. Also, taking rest periods is not a bad thing and it is good for your body. Picking the right exercise selection is a good idea. It would be a good idea to first focus on bodybuilding to start off with and then go to powerlifting. It would be a good foundation to set for yourself. After you map your foundation you can get into other things.

Are there any other hobbies that you have?

One of the other things I love is to cook. I started cooking in college. I believe it goes hand in hand with the whole fitness aspect. The cornerstone of any fitness lifestyle or program is the attention to nutrition. I believe chronic health problems can many times be fixed through nutrition. It is a very big part of my life.

You can learn more and follow Marudeen Aivaz at:

Schlomo Schmuel

Dr. Schlomo Schmuel became a podiatrist because he cares for people and aspires to be the best healer he possibly can be. He began his medical training in Independence, Ohio at Kent State University in their College of Podiatric Medicine. He continued his training at the University of Southern California Medical Center, located in Los Angeles County, California. The education that Dr. Schlomo Schmuel received provided the basis for his exceptional skills and encouraged the drive to care for his patients.

For the last twenty-five years, Dr. Schlomo Schmuel has excelled in patient care. His clinic is an accredited Ambulatory Surgical center. This enables his ability to care for all issues related to the ankle and foot. Some of those issues includes all forms of complex reconstructive and emergency surgery.

Dr. Schlomo Schmuel’s hobbies include outdoor sports like jogging and cycling. He also enjoys flying to exotic locations in his own plane. All of this he shares with his family.

What is your hobby?

I love taking my bike out for a long ride. Cycling is a passion as well as a sport I enjoy sharing with my children whenever possible.

How did you get started with this hobby? What inspired you?

Like many people, I started riding the bicycle as a child. It was something that connected me to my friends and gave me the freedom to go places I couldn’t have before that time. As a child, I earned the trust of my parents and was soon able to cross town to visit with friends or go to the parks further from our home.

Tell us what you love about it.

I love what it feels like to be able to extend my reach and go into nature. The ride is both peaceful and refreshing for the mind. It gives me the joy that comes with both solitude or the connection when I am enjoying it with my family.

Are there any groups you’re a part of or events that you attend related to your hobby?

I’m not part of any organized group of bicyclers, although there are many that exist. I have engaged several bike tours for longer routes and looked into a variety of additional opportunities of that nature. Perhaps, when things are slower at the clinic, I’ll consider doing a long tour that takes me across the country or to some of the more scenic areas of the state.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you’ve bought?

Everyone has to invest in this hobby. I have of course purchased a good quality bike and the needed safety equipment. Safety equipment is a must. I would suggest, as the bare minimum a person purchases, a quality helmet. The brain is one of the most important parts of your body and should be covered in the event of a longer ride, especially when that ride may take you into traffic.

With the options today, helmets are much more lightweight and durable than years past. Really this eliminates many of the uncomfortable excuses for not protecting your head.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

That’s a good question. My favorite locations for quality bikes are the local bike shop. They are an amazing resource for trying new things and finding a bike that fits you and your needs. You’re able to ensure you find the right product for what you need it to do. You can, of course, go online to buy it afterward if you want to shop around, but start with your local shop.

Are there any good books for beginners?

Well, I can’t say I’ve read a lot of books on cycling. I’ve read some magazines, kept myself up to date on new trends through a few other channels, but not so much through books. Although, you can pick up audiobooks for longer rides. That’s always a nice way to enjoy a bike ride. Oh, and podcasts are good too. You can always set up a podcast.

How has this changed your life?

This is one of my favorite ways to stay healthy and share that fitness routine with my family. It has enabled me to remain energetic, flexible, and still have good stamina even as I’ve gotten older. Over the years, it’s introduced me to numerous people, kept me connected to old friends, and provided a way to connect to my children.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Go to a local shop to find something that’s good for you.

Don’t be afraid to start riding and get into the flow of things. Getting going is the best way to hone your skills, but more importantly, have fun. This is a low stress, low threshold sport. If you like the freedom that comes with getting outside and getting moving, all you have to do is get on the bike and go.

Oh, and if you’re at it for a while, it might be good to know the local laws.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

Well, I love jogging. Really, I like anything outdoors. Most outdoor sports give you a measure of connection to nature, which is peaceful and refreshing. I also like flying. I got my pilots license a while ago and that has really given me wings. My wife and I make it a habit to visit uniquely exotic locations when we are able to.

Anytime I am not able to do one of those things, I take long walks, often with my wife. It is so wonderful to be able to spend that quality time together. There have been times when those walks are all we get out of a busy week between the clinic and our other obligations. There is no measurement for being able to keep yourself healthy, both in body and mind. And having that connection to my wife ensures my mind is not distracted by anything when I am working, flying, riding, jogging, or anything else I may do.

You can learn more and follow Schlomo Schmuel on:

 

Hyounsik Noh

Hyounsik (Andrew) Noh is currently a student at Columbia University in New York, New York. Currently pursuing his Masters of Science in Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), focusing in the areas of financial risk management, strategic communication, and market volatility.  Hyounsik, originally born in Seoul, South Korea moved to the United States to pursue an education in Risk Management in 2012. Hyounsik is passionate about participating in campus clubs and societies and is currently a project manager for the Korean Graduate Student Association at Columbia University.

Hyounsik’s hobbies include badminton, surfing and scuba diving. When he is not analyzing market results for the day, searching for volatilities and potential you can find Hyounsik spending time with his friends whether they are just hanging around campus or trying a new activity to burn some extra energy. Hyounsik is especially interested in learning how big economic markets influence the daily lives of people, but also, organizations and hopes to use this interest to develop a fruitful career in risk management.

What is your hobby?

Narrowing down all of the activities I enjoy to just one hobby is tough. I see myself as a very energetic, people-oriented person so that has influenced the many hobbies I have taken up. Most of my hobbies have been developed by the fact that I can do them all with my friends. A couple of things I absolutely love to do are playing badminton, surfing, and scuba diving. I get to do all three of these things with my friends, but I also have the chance to meet brand new people through the various clubs that I have been a part of for surfing and scuba diving. I have also acquired my first-step, open-water scuba diving license which was a major accomplishment for me.

How did you get started with this hobby? What Inspired you?

Many of my hobbies were taken up because I love physical activity. I have never been one to just sit around and play video games, instead I find my passions in activities that challenge my body and my mind. My dad used to preach to me a famous quotation from John F Kennedy, “Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, but it is also the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity”. This line has stuck with me and drives me to always try new things to push myself further.

What is your favorite thing about your hobby?

I like being active and my hobbies allow me to do that. On top of having the chance to be physically active I also get the opportunity to spend time with people and meet new friends. Badminton requires a teammate or opponent, while surfing and scuba diving demand a partner for safety reasons. All of my hobbies encourage me to get moving with my friends and create lasting memories that will stick with us forever.

How would you say your hobby has changed your life?

My hobbies have shaped me into an incredibly passionate, people person. I have been able to translate all of the energy that I carry with me every day into an opportunity to stay physically active, build lasting long relationships and maintain a healthy mind even through the mental stresses of university. My hobbies have made me who I am, and I hope to maintain these hobbies as well as find new ones in the future.

You can learn more about Hyounsik Noh  at hyounsiknoh.com

Paul Brunst

Paul Brunst is an outdoor sports enthusiast from Cincinnati, Ohio. Some of his hobbies include mountain climbing, hiking, running, sky diving, and has a real passion for biking. His passion for biking began at a very young age when he and his father would share twenty-mile bike trips together. That activity inspired him to participate in downhill kamikaze mountain bike riding on the challenging terrain of the San Francisco hills. He was also enthralled with the beauty and magnificence of the giant red oak trees as he made his way through winding paths of the California forests.

Paul attended the University of Southern Illinois with a focus in business administration. His passion for biking followed him through college as he found the time to continue biking throughout Colorado and across much of the United States.

Paul was enlisted in the Naval forces for many years. He spent the first few years as an entry officer into the Navy and eventually transitioned into created a full career with the hopes of serving his country. One of the principals that remained consistent during his years of service was his desire to stay in top physical condition.  As an outdoor sports enthusiast, he took every opportunity to maintain the balance of his mind-body connection.

When not pursuing his passion for outdoor sports, Paul Brunst is a full-time entrepreneur.  He has created a thriving family business providing top quality camouflage pants. He enjoys spending quality time with his family and volunteers his time within his community.

What is your hobby?

I have many hobbies. They all revolve around the outdoors. The hobbies that I enjoy most often are hiking, mountain climbing, running and sky diving. The most prevalent activity throughout my life was bike riding.

How did you get started with your hobby? What inspired you?

One of my father’s most revered hobbies was bike riding. At a very young age, my father would take me on twenty-mile bike trips. We were on the main roads. I gained an exuberance in biking as the trips continued to develop.  It ultimately became a passion.  It eventually led me to downhill kamikaze mountain bike riding in San Francisco, California. I biked through the large red oak trees as well as the forests; I found it to be so beautiful. Throughout high school and college, I was able to travel to Colorado and all over the United States.

What do you love the most about biking?

What I appreciate the most is the health benefits that come with the sport. There is a significant health advantage gained by doing what I love to do most. It also offers the value of a challenge. It provides a detachment from everyday worries. It is a positive activity that enables you to clear your mind.

Are there any groups that you are a part of or any events that you attend?

I am a member of the National Mountain Bikers Association. The association collaborates with other biking organizations to assemble groups for outings, they also do fundraising from time to time to develop new mountain bike trails.  Having local mountain trails enhances the value of communities and encourages a healthier lifestyle for everyone.

Have you had to invest in any equipment and if so can you share whatever you have bought?

My father purchased my first mountain bike so that we could share the sport. I used it for quite a while.  Ultimately, I gave that bike to my best friend who wanted to begin riding. I upgraded my bike at the same time, and I have had this one for years.

Where do you get most of your supplies?

I get all of my supplies at bike specialty shops. They carry most of the same supplies, so I don’t really shop at any particular bike shop. I don’t buy supplies online, I prefer to shop in stores.

Are there any books you would recommend for beginners?

I have been riding since I was very young with my father. I had him as a guide, so I haven’t read about the sport itself.  However, for the information that I want, I have watched YouTube videos.  I search YouTube under the title of “mountain biking” to research trips, locations, and destinations that I would like to go next.  I find that YouTube is a great resource to plan my outings.

How has this changed your life?

Biking just makes you feel good. It does your body well and is an excellent way to clear your mind and focus. I have always been athletic by nature. I believe in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and I think biking is a beautiful way to maintain that lifestyle easily. It is something that anyone can do to be fit.

What advice would you have for someone else starting out with this hobby?

I would advise people just starting out with biking as a hobby to start out slow and build up your endurance. Always challenge yourself to get to the next level.  You should always consider safety at all times, cars are not always watching for cyclists. If you are on a mountain trail, one slip up can land you in a tree or cause some sort of injury. I would suggest that you make sure to wear a helmet when biking.

Are there any other hobbies that you have?

I work out in the gym. But, I am an outdoor sports enthusiast. I really enjoy mountain climbing, hiking, sky diving, and of course biking.

You can learn more about Paul Brunst at:

 

Luke Persichetti

Luke Persichetti was born and raised near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, in 2018, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics.  Luke has relocated to Manhattan to pursue a career in the financial industry. While at Yale, he had the opportunity to work in fixed income trading.  Luke Persichetti hopes to become a knowledgeable and respected investor.  His long-term goal is to open his own business within the industry.

Luke’s hobbies include weight-lifting to keep physically fit, and while he was in school, he participated in track and field as a shot-putter. He also volunteered his time as a coach. He enjoys movies and watching T.V., but his biggest pleasure comes from reading various genres. You would either find Luke Persichetti studying the markets and the financial industry or engrossed in a classic novel of his choice.  Overall, Luke immerses himself in the literary arts, films, and T.V. dramas. He considers the parallels in these artistic presentations and enjoys the comparison of and interactions between these different forms of discourse.

What are your hobbies?

I was a shot-putter in track and field at Yale University.  As a thrower, I would model much of my strength training after that of Olympic weightlifters. I enjoy training this way today to keep strong and physically fit. Currently, my favorite pastime is reading. I am most interested in historical reading and books about the American economy, the financial system, political strategy, and public policy. I also enjoy watching movies and television shows that revolve around significant moments in American history.

How did you get started reading such a wide range of genres?

I took an economics course in high school that was very challenging. I also found it to be extremely interesting. It compelled me to explore the possibility of majoring in economics at Yale. It was not until after college, however, that I became deeply interested in connecting the principals and the underlying logic of economics to other subjects. I began reading about behavioral economics, geopolitics from a macro perspectives, and many other academically intersectional topics. My reading interests largely stemmed from studying economics, which also led me to the financial industry. Working on wall street further stoked my interest in reading the works of the most influential figures in finance and investing.

Can you share what you love most about reading?

Again, its use in my education and professional background plays a big part. I also simply like having a variety of subjects on which I am knowledgeable. I find that if nothing else, it makes you more conversational.  It becomes much easier to express your thoughts and expand on any type of discussion.  I also think reading virtually anything can help improve analytical and reasoning skills.  Finally, reading a diversity of viewpoints and opinions allows for a thorough approach to forming one’s own ideas.

Are there any reading groups or events that you attend regularly?

I have found great success having open discussions with colleagues on a regular basis. I haven’t found any other discussion groups thus far, but I am open to expanding my horizon in this regard.

Can you share some of the books that you’ve purchased?

I just finished reading A Man for all Markets by Edward O. Thorp. Thorp began as a math professor at MIT. He later came up with systems to beat a number of casino games. He developed card-counting systems to beat blackjack and baccarat as well as a wearable computer to beat roulette.  After that, he took his talents to wall street and opened up a hedge fund centered around the then-novel idea of statistical arbitrage. I greatly enjoyed the book. I have just begun reading a Stephen King novel called Misery. Every sixth book I read is fictional and I really enjoyed the last novel I read of his. I think there is a reason that so many of his works are made into films.

What are your favorite all-time books?

A nonfiction book that I like a lot is Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Another is called The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks. As far as fiction goes, my favorite novel is probably One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. At risk of sounding cliché, I also love J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye.

Where do you buy most of your books?

I buy most of my books on Amazon.

Why do you rely on Amazon for all of your books?

I rely on Amazon because I have a Prime account and they make it incredibly easy to order books. It allows me to speed up the process screening new books to read and to save options for later.

If someone wanted to start reading to develop it into a hobby what kind of reading would you suggest?

I would say to find the thing that most interests you. Think of your hobbies, as well as one person, event, or idea that you have a cursory knowledge of from school but would like to know more about. You can also focus on topics that you think will most benefit you in your chosen career. One of the best ways to ease into reading daily is to start with a wide array of newspapers and editorials.  Beginning with shorter, fresher pieces can help you train yourself to read consistently.

How has reading changed your life?

It definitely has. It has made me curious and knowledgeable about far more topics than I otherwise would be.  A mental library can be extremely beneficial in conversations, debates, and all kinds of other human interactions. Reading is also a great way to relax and lower anxiety. There are few things better than sitting on the beach with great book and I’ve found it very helpful during the most stressful times of my life.

How do your other hobbies influence your reading?

I am very interested in television and film. Many of the shows and movies I watch tend to be analogous to what I read. For example, love the first season HBO’s True Detective partly because of the many Lovecraftian influences it draws upon. If you are well-read, you can find a lot more to tap into and think about when watching and interacting with other forms of art and discourse.

You can learn more about Luke Persichetti at:

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian was born in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in The Bronx and attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan. A graduate of the State University of New York at Albany, he founded 5WPR in 2003 as a one-man office. Today, the firm employs more than 175 communications professionals in the company’s headquarters in the iconic Helmsley Building in Manhattan. The name, 5WPR – stands for the 5W’s of marketing – who, what, when, where, and why.

Torossian is one of the most well respected Public Relations professionals in America. He is on the board of numerous charities, including his family foundation, The Ronn Torossian Foundation. He lives with his kids on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

What is your hobby?

Charity Work.

How did you get started with this hobby?

I’ve been involved with helping people since my childhood. In my home, giving back to your community was basically a requirement. From a very young age, I have known the importance of giving. As for what inspired me, my mother, Penny Waga. She’s my hero.

I would not be who I am today without her, and that includes my belief that giving back is necessary to be successful.

Tell us what you love about your hobby.

Helping people is awesome and amazing and great.

What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?

This is a bit harder to answer, as so much of charity is seated in not buying anything for myself, but instead giving that money to those in need.

What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?

Practically everything; it’s a hard hobby to dislike. I get to help people in several different ways, whether it’s with education or helping them connect with their community and heritage, or even donating to cancer research, I feel great about all of it.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I quite enjoy “A Path Appears” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. It goes into the importance of accountability as well as some of the neuroscience involved in philanthropy. I re-read it annually as it inspires me to give more and ensure more goes to the intended receipients of charity.

How has your hobby changed your life?

Giving to charity and being involved with charities has made my whole life better. It’s our obligation as people to leave the world a better place and I genuinely think giving to charity has made every aspect of my life better. As Winston Churchill famously said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

Find a cause that speaks to you, don’t pick a charity at random. Really connecting with people is the single greatest way to enhance the aspect of giving, which is something I think we all take for granted every day.

Vito Glazers

Vito Glazers is a California based media entrepreneur originally from Chicago, Illinois. He is considered an expert in media and publicity especially as it pertains to digital marketing. He attended Prospect High School in Mount Prospect, Illinois where he graduated with honors when he was 16 years old. After high school, he attended Columbia College and DePaul University, but quit school at 19 to become an entrepreneur. Vito has been appearing on television since 2009 and has collaborated with celebrities and shared stages and the silver screen with celebrities like Dennis Rodman, Gorbachev, Mancow, President George W. Bush, Kevin Harrington and is now producing a biography about Ron Jeremy.

What is your hobby?

Traveling

How did you get started with this hobby?

I have been a life long traveler ever since I was a child. My mother was originally born in Guatemala and we would frequently our relatives there. By the time I was 5 years old I had learned to speak Spanish fluently. I had always loved traveling and traveled as much as I could, but for a long period, I did not have many opportunities to travel internationally because I was so busy running different companies. My love for travel was reawakened by my friend Tim Burd who had been traveling the world coaching and lecturing about digital marketing. He invited me to join him on a few trips and my travel addition was reawakened.

Tell us what you love about your hobby.

Traveling is great for putting things into perspective. I love not just the fun and excitement of planning a trip, but the best part is landing in a completely new place and experiencing a completely new and different culture. I love comparing the similarities and exploring the differences between different countries and regions. But what I love most about traveling is trying the food!

What types of things/equipment have you spent money on for your hobby?

My biggest investment in equipment for traveling has probably been investing in some good quality luggage. It can get very expensive but good luggage will last a long time.

What are some of your favorite places to shop for your hobby?

Amex Travel is probably my favorite place to shop and explore trips. AirBNB has also become a great place to book lodging for travel if you are looking to experience a more immersive travel experience.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I probably should read more about traveling but one book I read that taught me a lot about how employees of airlines view you, is Diary of a Pissed Off Flight Attendant. After reading that book I definitely have a new appreciation for the work done by stewards, stewardesses, pilots and all other flight support.

How has your hobby changed your life?

Traveling has changed my life in many ways. It has allowed me to have a broader, global perspective. It has helped me appreciate different cultures, and accept and appreciate different ways of living and doing business. I take something home to America with me from every country I visit. A lot of times my friends and I will come back from a trip and a word from another country will permanently slip into our vocabulary. For example, after a group of us went to England, we all came back saying “Cheerio” – it’s just a great expression.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

I would advise people to travel a lot when they have some resources saved up. Traveling in style is so much more fun than budget traveling. I would also advise spending some time truly immersed in a country’s culture, and not just do the tourist activities. It sounds cliche, but traveling is the only thing that you spend money on that makes you richer! Take lots of photos, but also live in the moment. There is no wrong way to explore the world.

Brett Balick

Brett Balick is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is a graduate of Queens University of Charlotte, earning his bachelor’s degree in business management. He is currently working in the supply chain management industry, shipping air freight globally.  He is currently exploring his options for a new position within the industry.  In addition, Brett Balick is anticipating a relocation to a large metro area. He is considering areas such as Atlanta, Washington D.C., or Chicago to continue his career.

As he is creating his new future, Brett Balick spends his free time drumming. He has a love for music and his passion for playing the drums. It has become a daily routine for him as of late. Drumming came naturally to Brett. In fact, he has been playing drums since he was in the seventh grade. It has been ten years since he first began to play. What may have inspired him according to Brett, is his father. He was a D.J., so perhaps it is in his blood. He plays every single day. He just purchased a new drum set. This is the hobby that continually excites him.

The art of drumming has expanded Brett Balick’s appreciation for different artists and different kinds of music from eras gone by. He can be playing on his own or with friends, either way, it brings him joy. Brett Balick suggests that new people who may be starting out with drumming as a new hobby, to first take lessons before making any kind of large investments.

What is your favorite hobby?

When I was in school, I played lacrosse. I still play from time to time.  I really enjoy snowboarding.  I go snowboarding whenever I can get the opportunity. Aside from snowboarding, I also occasionally play poker with friends. I watch sports, particularly college basketball. I am a big Duke fan.  My favorite hobby of all is playing the drums. I believe that my passion for playing drums is primarily because I find it to be therapeutic. No matter what mood you’re in, it will always get better.

How did you get started playing drums? What inspired you?

I use to play guitar hero a lot (a video game) when I was a kid. I was pretty good at it and I really enjoyed it. More specifically, I thought it might be something that I’d be pretty good at. I started taking lessons at a place called Music Matters. I took lessons for two years. At that time, I did a number of performances with other band members and on my own.  I discontinued lessons but I continued to play. Drumming has just come to me very naturally.

Tell us what you love about it?

I enjoy the freedom of playing the drums. It gives you the ability to express your creativity. You can listen to any music and apply the drums to that music. It has expanded my taste in music. I appreciate the music of many eras. It brings me full spectrum.  It also works great to get rid of anger or aggression.

Are there any groups you’re a part of our events that you attend related to your hobby?

I do not have any events right now. I have two friends, one who plays the piano and the other who plays guitar. When we get together, we always play. We have a great time. Perhaps in the future, I will be able to spend more time with a band. Right now, it is more of a hobby. It is something that I do for fun.

Have you had to invest in equipment and if so, please share some of the things you ’ve bought?

I have an acoustic drum set and I also have an electronic drum set. I have invested a lot of money on this hobby. The equipment is quite expensive. I have acquired what I wanted little by little, piece by piece over the past ten years.

Where do you buy most of your supplies?

I shop locally for my equipment as well as any supplies. I usually buy my supplies at the Guitar Center or from Sam Ash.  Both places are located in Charlotte.

Are there any good books for beginners?

I have never read books on how to drum. Instead, I took lessons. I would recommend that beginners take drum lessons.  It takes quite a long time to learn. It is a slow process but it eventually builds up and it becomes something that is really great to do. This is a physical activity. If you want to learn about the history of music or the story of a great drummer, then reading a book would be the way to go. But, if you want to learn how to play the drums, I would recommend taking lessons.

How has this changed your life?

I feel like drumming has made me a much more creative person. It has sharpened my taste for music.  I learn to appreciate music more and more each day. I am constantly finding new artists to listen to and it is all through my drumming. Music is where I go to express myself or to change or enhance my mood. It is a great thing for me. It is very therapeutic.

What advice do you have for others starting out with this hobby?

I would tell them not to be impatient.  Also, if you are taking lessons, learn how to play jazz music because it is very technical and very hard. However, if you can learn that music you will be able to play any music. Also, practice your rudiments. The rudiments are your basics. Once you get that down, you sound much better than you really are. It is the fundamentals that you have to get down. After you get the fundamentals, it is a matter of practice and repetition. Then you get to the point where it is just like riding a bike and everything will come naturally.

Are there any other hobbies you have?

I have other hobbies, I enjoy watching football and college basketball and hanging out with my friends. Typical stuff.  I played Varsity lacrosse in High school, and I go snowboarding any chance that I get, but there is nothing that surpasses drumming for me. It is my passion.

You can learn more about Brett Balick at: