CW: For those people that are not familiar with you-self can you tell us a little about yourself and what you do?
AV: I’m Andrew Vlahos, Sydney boy from Australia with Greek/ Italian heritage. Honestly there isn’t much too me, I am an 22 years old, who is an accountant and also studying. I am the quintessential gym junkie, dieting, training regimes and anything of that manner and I am a big follower of trance music and the festival scene.
What was the Turning point in your life that made you who you are today?
I was 16 when I really went through a lot of changes in my life. Family life and school was difficult for me with numerous things happening. I think trying to find my identity and find myself was a hard part of growing up, I was very introverted and spent most school holidays with my grandmother and younger brother and didn’t really associate with friends. After a difficult time during summer holidays in 2009 I decided to join the local gym and would ride my bike every night down to really work towards bettering myself and building my confidence and honestly feel accepted.
Where there any obstacles you faced through the road of success?
I would say that with any path taken in life we all face hurdles and that events will at some point test our character. I guess the big factor for me was trying to see results with fitness/ modelling and going into that industry that is very judgemental and competitive. There were days I would cry and honestly get so overwhelmed with things, that sense of being lost with no idea what I was doing and if anyone really cared about my passion and vision.
How did you overcome them?
Its a process, a journey, taking it one day at a time, enjoying the present and letting the future take a natural course. I started to realise that things fall into place when you least expect it (some call it luck – I think it comes down to hard work and persistence).
What is your formula, so to speak, of your success?
My formula is to keep testing your limits. When you think you’ve done all you can do – do more ! I like to believe that the people that say ‘you can’t do it’ or ridicule you are the ones that will say they know you when you make it, say you were mates or trying and feed off that success at some point. I like breaking stereotypes also, most people assume gym goers are for lack of a better word docile or stupid, I test that theory by being a university student and doing accounting.
Are you living your dream? What advice would you give people to pursue their dream?
No, far from the dream. Yes things are amazing in my life, I have achieved a great number of things for a 22 yr old, but my concept of the dream is to be internationally known on a grand scale, work with the elite and to have my family and friends enjoy the fruits of what I do.
My advice is to buck the trend, go against the grain and do what you want. If you aren’t hurting someone or negatively impacting someone’s life than do whatever the hell you want. You can’t make everyone happy and why should you? Make yourself happy and do what you want, people will say things regardless. Oh and be humble. Yes its fine to be cocky and be a show pony, but at a certain time and place. First and foremost, never forget who you are, who was there when you had nothing and the people that helped you along the way.
What’s next for you?
I want to go international on a new level, US is the target, with visas’ so hard to attain I am currently working on one and when I go to the US I will hit the ground running.
I often ask this question- do you have a mantra? If so what is it?
My mantra is that when someone is that hungry for success, the worst thing you can do is tell them “you cant do it” or ridicule them, because that’s what inspires me most. Yes it is good to have people in your corner cheering you on, but that one person that doesn’t believe you always has the most impact. That’s what gets me out of bed when I don’t want to get up, that’s what pushes that last rep and that’s what makes me win. My idol Cristiano Ronaldo once said “your love makes me strong, your hate makes me unstoppable”, words that have been with me since I was the young self conscious boy in high school.
Andrew Vlahos is sponsored by Sekonutrition, Sekofitness and Gifted Nutrition