If you were looking for a community hero, it would be hard to beat Anthony Collova. Better known as ANT, you can see from our cover photo of him that he’s got a great body. But there’s definitely a story behind it.
An active kid, he was thin, agile and fast – hard to catch. Over the years he participated in hockey, gymnastics, tae kwon do, boxing, soccer, baseball, motocross and Greco-Roman wrestling. And after he joined the Coast Guard, he added resistance training to the mix. But eventually growing tired of being involved in so many activities, Collova decided to settle on weight training, not so much for the sport but rather for his health and physique.
As so often happens in life, he says he lost sight of his priorities and ended up getting involved with street drugs, losing seven years of his life as he systematically destroyed his body. But he eventually entered a treatment program and has managed to stay clean and sober for the last 17 years. It was following a painful divorce 12 years ago that he decided to go back to the gym and started working out once again.
In 2010 Collova saw a friend compete in bodybuilding and he decided to give it a try. Even though he says bodybuilding is more of a beauty pageant than a sport, he feels more comfortable with it compared to the other team sports he had been involved in when he was younger. He competes in the Men’s Physique division that is different than bodybuilding. Rather than a bikini, they wear board shorts and have a different set of poses. They are also not required to be as massive or as lean as the bodybuilders.
Although one of the smaller competitors, he says he doesn’t compete to win a trophy. To him, it’s about bettering himself. Collova likes to challenge himself. He loves the gym and loves showing off his hard work and looking sexy. It’s really about having fun and staying in shape.
Along with Kathy, who he calls “the love of my life,” he runs the company they founded based on a dream he had (literally!) – MyOatmeal.com. With a mission of making the world better and encouraging others to do the same … one bag of healthy oatmeal at a time, the company reflects their values of giving back to the community and encouraging others to do the same.
Offering healthy oatmeal blends as well as gluten- free, vegan protein powders and granola, you not only can choose your oats, you can also order your own special blend of oatmeal with flavors like amaretto, carrot cake, German chocolate cake or pumpkin spice. Next you can add your choice of fruits, nuts, seeds and more; more as in sweetener, spices and exotic powders like bee pollen or an antioxidant blend of 22 savory spices. Your very own special blend is then shipped to you anywhere in the world based on your schedule.
It’s no surprise that with such health-conscious ingredients the company sells mostly to athletes. But their goal is to use the company as a platform to do good things in their community. They align themselves with non-profit organizations and community groups that help at-risk youth, children and adults with special needs, deployed military members and their families as well as anyone who simply needs a hot meal. According to Collova, “We LOVE knowing that what we do directly contributes to the health and happiness of someone who needs it. That is our real purpose for being in business. Helping others.”