“So, little–known fact, I’m still on the meal plan,” a slightly shameful Darren Tomasso proclaimed as he began to describe the demanding task that is eating, “and not just like dining dollars, like the actual swipes.” Ever since his sophomore year of high school, Darren’s been heavily dedicated to fitness and strength training, so the average “seven plates of food” he consumes each meal is really only economically feasible with the swipe system.
“I had an injury sophomore year, so I spent a lot of time in the trainer’s office, learning about how to train people, how to prevent injuries and heal injuries. Then, from there, I helped my mom lose over 100 pounds, because that was her goal, and so I helped train her, motivate her and then I had that sort of one–on–one client relationship and really realized how much I loved training other people.”
It seems as if that minor plot point in his life really drove home the concept of living his life centered around people. Even in settings literally defined as competitions, he manages to view other contestants as part of a community. “[Before the competition] all the guys and all the women are lifting weights, just trying to look bigger, and then they bring out a thing of baby oil, and then just like, you open up the oil, people are doing pushups on the ground, the oil is spilling everywhere, people are sliding all around, and I remember we created like a train, and we’re all putting oil on each other’s backs. It’s not competitive and we’re all helping each other out; It’s a fun environment,” said Darren of the Mr. and Ms. Penn bodybuilding competition that he competed in and won his junior year.
An extrovert in the truest sense of the word, he gains his energy and joy from other people, which is why he of course took the opportunity to be an instructor at Pottruck for a Brazilian butt lift class. “I have so much fun, I just like go into the studio and blast music and everyone comes in, they throw their book bags down in their little cubbies, take their jackets off and then once the music starts bumping, they’re about it, and everyone starts doing the workout and every training session just makes my day.”
When he’s not busy sculpting the glutes of Penn’s community, he dedicates his time to being president of Class Board of the Class of 2017, a post he’s served for all four years since his freshman year. “It’s been an awesome opportunity to hold a ton of different events throughout Philadelphia and meet a lot of people in our class and bring people together. I met most of my close friends just campaigning first semester freshman year and without Class Board, without running in an election, I don’t think that I would have met them. Also, I just don’t think I would have met all the people I’ve met at Class Board events, so I think Class Board has really shaped my experience.”
While he doesn’t have an exact plan for the skill set he honed during his time at Penn, he has a few things in mind. “I’m in–between consulting, marketing, pursuing personal fitness, maybe running for president or going into politics because, why not? And then also living vicariously through my children to make them professional tennis players. So something in there.” If he does end up trying to lead the nation, know that it probably means a re–screening of his freshman year campaign video featuring his twerking skills.
Darren in his own words:
Street: If you are what you eat, then what are you?
Darren Tomasso: Protein? Protein. Protein powder.
Street: There are two types of people at Penn…
DT: Those who face the glass in Huntsman GSRs and those who face away from the glass in GSRs.
Street: What would a cartoon version of you look like?
DT: Well, I’m going through this like, mid–senior year crisis right now with this beard. So definitely some type of very adolescent facial hair.
Street: If you were in a lip sync battle, what song would you sing?
DT: I think we have to go back to the campaign video, Miley Cyrus’ "We Can’t Stop." Yeah, definitely that.
Street: If you were a contestant on The Bachelorette, how would you make your entrance?
DT: A weird freak combination of twerking and bodybuilding poses, so flexing. A weird combination of the two, so I would probably end up shirtless at some point.
Street: What’s your biggest change since NSO?
DT: Biggest change. So, I came into Penn weighing 135 pounds, and now I’m 170. So that’s a big change. Plus like, no, yeah, that’s the biggest change.
Street: Approximately how many times would I have to go to your Brazilian butt lifting class before my butt was Brazilian and lifted?
DT: Two weeks. It’s an hour each, plus that’s like over 200 squats. If you don’t have it, you’ll feel like you have it, and that’s a big confidence boost.
Street: What’s one question we forgot to ask you?
DT: Buddy the elf.
Street: Are you going to answer it or just leave me hanging?
DT: You have to pick up the phone so ring, ring, hello?
Street: What’s your favorite color?
Street: Tell me three things you remember from kindergarten.
DT: Okay, so I want to unwrap the question a little bit, three very specific things or?
Street: Three different memories or three things you learned in kindergarten.
DT: One, we had like a system with cards where if you were good you got a green card, and if you were bad you got a red card, and yellow if you’re just all right as a discipline system. One day, my brother, who’s four school years ahead of me, and he came in and changed mine to red. I was such a good kid and I had no idea why I was being punished, so that’s one. The second one, for Thanksgiving, we had a little presentation on like what we were thankful for, and parents came at night and we read them to our class. I didn’t know better, and I didn’t know what this meant, but I stand up and read ‘I am thankful for my balls,’ because I was athletic and I played a lot of sports. So they still have that hanging up on the fridge today. I remember the look on my parents faces. Well, I don’t remember, they told me, they just like looked at each other horrified. Three, how to interact with people and math.
Street: If you were the eighth dwarf in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, what would your name be?
DT: I would say Trolly. When I’m not working out, or training, or doing class board events, I’m on Facebook trolling. I got Facebook my freshman year of college, so I’m on Facebook making really bad photoshops on PowerPoint. I don’t know how to use Photoshop so I’ve mastered how to make things on PowerPoint, so yeah.
Street: If someone made a movie of your life, what genre would it be under?
DT: Definitely something satirical. Even in my fitness classes, I tend to trip awkwardly or make awkward jokes and look around the room and see that no one really caught the jokes except for the two people in the class who know me really well. Plus, like, the amount of "deez nuts" jokes I make. It’s been like two years and I still do it. So it would be about me but like also really, really just making fun of me. I enjoy self–deprecating humor.