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Cover Story
The Ultimate Fighter: Renzo Gracie
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Best Bet - Turning Point of Holmdel
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People On The Move - John Nies
06/27/2010 - By Teja Anderson

People On The Move - John Nies

QUEST FOR INNER PEACE

John Nies grew up in Ocean Township with his two sisters Kim and Tara and younger brother Eric (yes,  the guy from MTV’s The Real World), his parents, mother Anna May, a pre-school teacher and father  Jack who was one of the longest running referees in NBA history. John Attended Ocean Township High School after his experiences in private school were not so pleasant.

“I went to RBC for two semesters and I got abused and hazed on the bus. They did that to freshmen  then. What happened was that I had a reputation as great athlete who played soccer and baseball so they  wanted me to play football. I made the mistake of telling them that my mother wouldn’t let me play  football and the abuse began. It was brutal; it was embarrassing and humiliating. They would make me get down on my knees and bark like a dog at the girls that walked by,” John recalls ruefully. Luckily, the  cliché is true - that which doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. John is now a very strong person;  physically, spiritually and mentally and he harbors no ill will against his former tormentors. “I don’t  believe in revenge. I am a big believer in cause and effect; what you put out there comes back. I believe in karma,” John says adamantly.

John did end up playing football and soon established himself in 1985 as one of our area’s most notable  athletes as an all-state wide-receiver and the captain of the statefinalist Spartans. While attending the University of Arizona in 1990 he was drafted into the NFL by the Buffalo Bills where he played for one  year as a punter. After a stint in Arena football John had careers as a fashion model, actor and host of  numerous ESPN programs. Although he enjoyed the spotlight and the fame he was not fulfilled. “I was a mess. I was lost and confused and living a very selfish, narcissistic, hedonistic life. I wasn’t looking for  love and I wasn’t really even capable of love. I had planned on being a bachelor my whole life; but God  had different plans,” John laughs.

His life changed when on a visit from L.A. he first locked eyes with his future wife, Michelle at The  Handle Bar in NYC - although they didn’t speak. He saw her there again a year later and although they  still didn’t say a word to each other he managed to get his number to her through a mutual friend. She  called him and three months later she was pregnant with their first daughter, Nicole (now 14)! The Nies  have three other children; Michael (10), Jack (8) and Juliet (5). If John had his way there would be many  more. “I could have 15 kids. I love children, I love being a dad. I love their personalities, how they  interact. My most favorite thing in the world is kids.”

John’s transformation from “Shallow Hal” to “Zen Life Coach” began to take root when he started  studying in earnest with Grand Master MacDam, a Vietnamese doctor who upon first meeting him in  1995 had immediately seen through his outer bravado and ego and into the underlying insecurity and  self-doubt that held him hostage. He offered to take him on as a pupil.

It took years for John to be ready to commit but he did and in 2002 founded the Power Center in Red  Bank with his brother Eric. John focused all of his energy and experience into developing a new approach  to fitness rooted in ancient wisdom while acknowledging the benefits of modern day information, a  technique he refers to as 'East Meets West.'

John developed The Seven Disciplines™, an insightful approach to helping people find inner peace and  balance while fulfilling their full potential. “I took the lessons from him (Grand Master MacDam) that  gave me peace and happiness; that is a big part of what life is,” John acknowledges. In addition to his

highly regarded sports specific training program for athletes, John also specializes in helping people  overcome weight challenges, substance abuse, insomnia and depression.

John’s brother Eric is currently in Vietnam studying with Grand Master MacDam and will be bringing  back his experiences to share with the center.



STATS
FAVORITE RESTAURANTS

Sawa, Eatontown

FAVORITE MUSICAL GROUP
U2

FAVORITE MOVIE
“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

PET PEEVE
People who have no regard for the welfare of our earth

THREE PEOPLE YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH
My paternal grandfather and both of my great grandfathers




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