O-DIESEL: WORLD-CLASS TRAINER & FITNESS MACHINE
World-class personal trainer Oscar “O-Diesel” Smith chooses to let his actions speak louder than words. While his actions have resulted in building an impressive client list including several celebrities and professional athletes due to their word of mouth, these actions have also played a larger role in transforming a former aspiring Olympic gymnast into the world-class person he is today.
Smith may not have fulfilled his ultimate dream of competing in the 1988 Summer Olympics, something he often thought of as a young gymnast at the BK Gymnastics Center in Long Island. But he turned what at the time was a heart-wrenching negative – breaking his leg before the Olympic Games were set to begin – into a life-saving positive.
Working hard in the gym to help himself after he suffered his injury, Smith in turn helped others on the road to his own recovery. He started his own gym in Tribeca appropriately named “O-Diesel”, but perhaps more importantly became a valuable member of the United States Lifesaving Association and the NYPD Scuba Team. Smith has also been certified as a Level 3 Lifeguard for 18 years and continues to be a big-time triathlete. These experiences speak for themselves in terms of promoting a healthy and fit lifestyle because he lives it every day.
Smith counts becoming one of 30 members of the prestigious NYPD Scuba Team (out of 40,000 NYPD officers) as one of his greatest accomplishments. The NYPD Scuba Team has been involved in numerous rescue efforts in the New York metropolitan area, from hunting for victims after the emergency plane landing in the Hudson River to searching for bombs on the waterfront.
“Somebody suggested it to me, and then I trained for it and was very happy when I made the team,” Smith said. “I consider that a huge accomplishment from a physical level.
”I stay in shape because I have to. My life depends on it.”
Smith has served as an inspiration to his own clients and become somewhat of a celebrity in their eyes. Yet he is an extremely humble man who does not feel the need to talk about all of his credentials. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education from Queens College with a minor in Business and also owns a Masters Degree in Kinesiology and Biomechanics from Hofstra. In addition, he worked as a substitute professor at Nassau Community College for six years.
In fact, Smith’s gym was born when a Victoria’s Secret model, who lived across the street, needed a place to work out where men wouldn’t be hitting on her constantly. Within two years, he built up his clientele from 10 to 60 people before bringing that back down to the current number of 30 so he could give them more personal attention. Along with working with the New York Police Department, Smith believes his ability to keep his gym running like a well-oiled machine while seeing his competition come and go remains a major achievement.
“Most of my clients deal with my wacky schedule that I have,” Smith said. “(And) a lot of my clients brag about having such a world-class trainer.”
March 4th, 2010