Kenny Santucci, Director of Body by Solace
I grew up in a household with two brothers and a sister where we shared everything. Our family was blue-collar and working class, and I like to think that growing up in that environment has taught me the value of hard work and generosity above all. My parents, regardless of how much they had, were always extremely generous. They’ve never taken a vacation, and have lived their lives solely for their children. As I’m older I see them—and appreciate them—in a new light. I’m no longer looking at them like my parents. I’m looking at them like two people who have made incredible sacrifices. And the sacrifices they made have in turn made me a better person.
In my house you always had to pull your own weight. There was no other option. Now, I’ve built a career on helping others. It’s my passion to give people a hand when they need it. But I also believe that those who can help themselves SHOULD help themselves. And I’ll be the first one to tell you that. People often misunderstand my teaching style. I’m very passionate and teach from an empathetic point of view because I was fat and uncomfortable when I was younger, and I know the style of coaching that helped me change—that helped become the person I wanted to be, but was afraid to get to.
As a kid, I was afraid of my own shadow. And it took a lot of tough love to get me out of that place. There have been so many people in my life who have taken me out of my comfort zone: my brother, my Dad, my high school wrestling coach. Their tough love pushed me to take control of my life. They didn’t accept excuses or bad habits. They were passionate about helping me, and that kind of love really has an effect on your sense of self. So many times we give ourselves limits that are completely self-imposed. When someone shows that they truly believe in your potential, it changes your world in a big way.
You are the People You Surround Yourself With
The Team Beautiful philosophy emerged from the idea that you are the sum of the people you surround yourself with. I want everyone to elevate everyone else. When you’re down, the best thing is to have someone around you that will elevate your spirit. I’ve trained people long enough to know it’s not me that makes the class, it’s the people and the energy they bring. It’s not the weight you are moving but the effort you move with. People notice and feel that and feed off it.
I’ve listened to many interviews with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, and other great rival athletes of their caliber. They always thank the other person for being there. You need competition to push you to be better than you were yesterday. I notice and appreciate the people in my class who are pushing themselves, who are motivated, and who inspire other people to try harder. And this kind of energy can come from anyone—it doesn’t matter how fit you are (or believe yourself to be). It’s your effort and dedication that counts. Which brings me to Team Beautiful’s Rule #1: ALWAYS TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WANT TO BE TREATED. No matter what religion, nationality or job title. Making everyone feel like a someBODY is more important than anything else.
Rule #2 of Team Beautiful is to never take yourself too seriously. No matter what you’re doing, never think too much of yourself. Let yourself be humbled by others. You will be better for it. You’re never above or below anyone; we are all sharing the same world.
No Holding Back
I love the people who are here. Solace has given me the opportunity to leverage what I do well and that is to help our members make their lives better. I am inspired from this every day– to be a better person, to train harder, to push my limits.
I get heated in class and take some slack because of it. But I KNOW when someone is holding back. I know if you are giving it everything. I know what people are capable of and I want to bring out this potential. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing someone hit a PR, or accomplish something they never thought they would be able to do.
I am the person I am because I took chances. I’ve lost. I’ve won. Multiple times over. You have to take chances; you have to be willing to jump. I didn’t believe in myself enough when I was younger. But I had great coaches around me who inspired me to chase my dreams.
Don’t Just Be Anybody, Be Somebody
My style…is kind of an old school way of coaching. It’s not something you can hide from. You can’t just cruise by in class. I’m here to make your workout worth your time. If I’m not your cup of tea that’s okay. I coach with the style that I personally want; it’s what I best respond to in training. I am committed to not only helping people to change their bodies—but to change their minds. There are so many things we tell ourselves we can’t do. And I want to be that voice that says, ‘You CAN.’
Everyone here is trying to be someone. Everyone who shows up is invested in his or her own improvement. It makes a huge difference to be around other motivated people. I feel so fortunate being in the fitness world because it’s different than other walks of life. The people I meet are those beyond money. They aren’t aren’t as attached to it as most. Yea, we all like it and want some but it doesn’t make you happy. And fame? Fame makes you paranoid. A poet back in the 90’s said ‘Mo Money , Mo problems.” That’s true. Live for something beyond money, beyond fame, beyond materialism. Live to serve other people. One act of kindness can change the way someone looks at the world.
If I die tomorrow I will be content with the life I’ve lived—and I want other people to be there with me, in that mindset. I once had a job where I lived to work. I lived weekend to weekend. Money ruled and I was miserable. I knew I had to make a change in a big way. It wasn’t easy, but I finally made the jump and left the security of the job that was making me miserable. Now, my life day to day, Monday to Friday, is just as great to me as my weekend. Time flies because I look forward to waking up each morning.
Find what you love; chase what makes you smile. Try for something you think is cool rather then the safe bet. We all know that nothing is 100% safe. So why not try for what you really want?
A Community Of People Not Looking For Easy
What is Team Beautiful? It’s a community of people who are not looking for an easy way out. It’s a community of people who give it their all every day. Who don’t compare themselves to others but focus on their own self-improvement.
Beauty is not only the physical, but also the mental and spiritual. Team Beautiful is about knowing there are other people around to build you up and make you better. Find beauty in the journey of becoming the best version of you. That means the most physically fit, the most emotionally resilient, the most compassionate and generous version of yourself.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that we all fall down. And having a team there to pick you up is second to none.
If you want a team, it’s here— at Solace.