If you had to describe yourself using five words, what words you choose?
- Confident – I have learned that success follows hard work, and I’ve never been afraid of doing the work.
- Focused – When I zero in on what I’m trying to accomplish, I tend to block everything out except for that goal.
- Relentless – Similar to the focus, once I know what I want, I don’t stop.
- Content – I still have many things that I would like to accomplish, but I have become very happy with where I am in life, both personally and professionally.
- Accountable – As a black male that is a parent, a husband, and in a senior position in corporate America, I feel the (self-imposed) responsibility of being a role model.
Where are you from?
I’m from Ettrick, Virginia and I went to school at the University of Richmond. After graduation I moved to Maryland and have lived here since 1998. Maryland has a lot to offer, but every now and then I get the urge to move back to Virginia in order to be closer to my parents.
What’s your 9 to 5?
I am one of the Vice Presidents of Finance for Maxim Healthcare Services. We provide a variety of different services in the healthcare sector throughout the United States. I have been here since 1998 and I have grown with the company from an entry level associate to my current position. Although I do not provide direct patient care, it’s a great feeling to know that the company that I work for is helping to improve the lives of others.
How do you balance the demands of your career and being an IFBB Pro with being a devoted husband and father?
I look at it as an opportunity to impact others. People are always telling me that they can’t get in the gym or eat well because they have kids, they travel, they have demanding jobs, they are too old, etc. By making it all come together, it gives me a chance to set the example of what is possible.
It can be tough, but as long as you have your priorities straight and stay organized, it simply becomes a way of life. My parents set a great example of how to be there for your family, so that always stays a focus. It’s especially important to me being that I have all daughters. I want them to know that their father is always there for them. Obviously things happen and you can’t be at every event, but I make sure that I am there when I can be.
Over the past few years, a significant amount of travel has been added to my job responsibilities. I enjoy the opportunity to get away from my desk and get more involved, however it of course adds a bit of challenge. It all comes down to being prepared. I travel with my food, call ahead to request a refrigerator and microwave, and scout out the local gyms so that I make sure I stay on point from a training perspective.
Lastly, none of it would be possible without my wife, Cristina, being a partner and supporting me along the way. She plays a significant role in everything I do.
What is something you enjoy outside of fitness?
Outside of family and work, I probably focus the most on shoes and comic books. I have a separate shoe closet and I have boxes filled with shoes throughout the house. It started with Jordans and has transitioned to different brands that I wear casually and of course, different types of training shoes. Right now, I’m a big fan of Kobe’s and Steph Curry’s line. My latest shoe venture has me trying to introduce my wife and one of my daughters to the shoe game!
My brother introduced me to comic books many years ago and much like the shoes, I have boxes throughout the house. I’m primarily a Batman fan, but I’m really enjoying all of the superhero based movies and television shows that are out right now.
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been” by George Eliot. I found this quote when I started to compete and it has really stuck with me. Personally, it speaks to the fact that I started my competition career at a fairly late age, but as the quote says, it’s never too late.
How can people stay connected with you?
I’m fairly active on social media, especially Instagram. I also have my website, DuaneBrickhouse.com.