I was born in Ukraine on December 15, 1984, and I’ve been living in the USA since 2010. I proudly became an American citizen in 2013.
When I was growing up in Ukraine, it was before the internet was widely accessible or used much, and even though cable TV was available in many countries, it wasn’t available in my hometown, so we did without. We did without many things, but it didn’t matter at the time.
Life wasn’t easy in Ukraine. The winters were extremely cold with a lot of snow, and the summers were the complete opposite with high heat and humidity. Our family didn’t have money, so I just played in the streets, rode my bicycle, and hung out with friends in the neighborhood.
Starting from a very early age, I knew there must be more than this. As I began to dream more, the desire to leave my city in Ukraine would burn inside me.
As I grew up, I became fortunate enough to become a model and start traveling. My modeling work in Europe gave me the opportunity to travel and see much more of the world. Education comes in many forms beyond school and books, and my education came from my traveling and learning from others I met along the way.
As I got older, I realized that modeling was grueling, and my health was beginning to suffer because of it. Many of the models around me looked great on the outside, but they were unhealthy because of the lifestyle. I’d see them eating junk food and drinking multiple energy drinks throughout the day to keep going, and this would go on day after day. I started researching and reading on how to become healthy…
That’s how I got started in fitness. I knew I was eating poorly, not exercising, and I was simply unhealthy. I wanted to change that, so I did.
Now my days are busy with healthy living, and my typical day starts at around 6 a.m. When I’m not at photo shoots, taking pictures, working out, or doing any of the other typical daily things that come up in life, I like to enjoy quiet time to myself. I have a pet squirrel, a dog, and a cat who keep me company, and sometimes I like to use any downtime to watch a good movie or series on Netflix, HBO, or Showtime.
My view of life is pretty simple: Take responsibility for yourself and your actions, and don’t expect anything from anyone. “Do” because you want to, not because you expect something in return, but know that the more you give, the more you’ll get back in the long run. Be humble and grateful, and always say “Thank you.”
Life is a mysterious and unpredictable journey — enjoy the trip along the way.
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