Ben Segal

lactose intolerant pizza lover

Ah, you found me!
Welcome to my little nook of the internet. If you are new here, I'd suggest starting with the time I scootered 3,000 miles NY-CA.
Here is some other writing.A little about me.📍NYC

My Tik Tok Videos @SenBegal


Hey there! I'm Ben, and lets start my journey at the University of Michigan, where I explored my curiosity by studying computer science, psychology, and design. With a diploma in hand and heart full of memories, I embarked on a new adventure with Microsoft.

photographers standing outside

As a curious explorer at heart, the call for a new quest eventually became irresistible. So, eventually, with a dash of adventure, I set off on my no-motor razor scooter and rode cross-country 3,200 miles from New York all the way to Los Angeles.

photographers standing outside

Sure, I may have technically broken a world record but I'll let the official accolades gather dust as my prize was the experience that no paper could capture.

photographers standing outside

Somewhat related, I’m deeply passionate about the entrepreneurial spirit. I’m always amazed by the magic that happens when a simple idea sparks into something extraordinary. I've started a couple of online businesses and I'll always love learning about entrepreneurs.

photographers standing outside

In regards to my family, my grandma taught gym class at a college. My grandpa was the New York State swimming champion, something he never brought up and my family only found out about after dusting off an old newspaper in his basement. Unsurprisingly, my grandma and grandpa were voted “Best Dancer” for their Queen NY, Jamaica High School senior superlative. Their legacy of modest greatness helps me navigate life. To be honest, I’m even struggling to write this bio because it feels braggy.

In the fitness world, I've led everything from water aerobics to spin class, and now I'm channeling that same joyful energy into creating Banana Fitness. More on that later...

Until then, take care.Much love,

photographers standing outside

An Amateur Photographer’s Portrait of a Photography Conference

Before I even entered the conference doorway, I saw a swarm of smiling photographers passionately capturing a figure who clearly held some sort of legendary industry status. The subject was an elderly man, seemingly plucked from the 1920s – his style was so vintage Goodwill likely buys their clothing from him. In his hand was a museum-eligible camera, of notable size, crowned with a light bulb. I’m curious — is he able to do all his photography shopping at B&H or does he also have to go to Home Depot lighting aisle as well? Either way, with a pensive posture, this legend welcomed the shutters of eager, excited photographers.

photographers standing outside

I’m not even inside yet and I’m already giddy, infected by the surrounding positive, passionate energy. Then I waltz inside the Jarvis center, passing a vigilant security personnel — the conference’s lens cap, if you will. Inside, I see a massive congregation of camera enthusiasts. Hundreds waited in line, energetically yet patiently, in anticipation to pick up their badges. I skipped the waiting because I picked up my badge two days prior — sometimes my genius is almost frightening.

man with enormous camera

Within the convention center was an ocean of photography enthusiasts. They roamed about occasionally stopping to snap a photo. And what may seem obvious, but was right there in front of my eyes, glaringly evident, was a reminder of how we wander about the same earth, but all interpret it through our own lens; framing the same subjects differently.

photography lecture
packing a camera bag competition

As I continued meandering through the maze of corporate exhibition booths, I mostly heard English, which is likely obvious. Yet, occasionally I overheard the cadence of what seemed like Russian. Sometimes I overheard the warmth of Spanish. I heard other unfamiliar dialects too. To my untrained ears, these occasional foreign languages were entirely gibberish. Sorry, Duolingo. My point is this beautiful, likely obvious realization — a photograph tells its story in a universal language anyone can grasp. Between the camera gear, lectures, and attendees stood a delicate lesson; a photo has no linguistic boundaries. Photographs do not need a language interpreter — their silent vocabulary is understood universally.

very expensive cinema camera
point and shoot camera

My wandering steps took me past some classic, familiar names—Canon, Fujifilm, Sony. But, interspersed were those that made me stop and think, "Well, isn't that something?" There stood a whole booth – a whole company come to think of it — dedicated entirely to a Dolly company. It has customers!? Neat. I was slightly disappointed that this Dolly company hadn't hired "Dolly Parton" as spokesperson. Or perhaps her price was too steep? Perhaps their Dolly competitor beat them to the punch? Or are today's filmmakers opting for resourceful alternatives, like cameras on rollerblades, sidelining the traditional Dolly? If there is ever a Dolly Parton Dolly, I am buying that. Long live the ‘Queen of Country’.

photographer taking a photo of a model

Every so often, during a talk an inside joke specific to the photography world hopped on in. A famous lecturer asked the crowd, “What separates a photo from a portrait?" A hand swiftly shot up. With a hint of mischief in her voice an audience member shouted, “The difference between a photo and a portrait?...$2000." The audience erupted in a collective chuckle.

line at conference

In that dimly lit auditorium, ironically evoking feelings of a photography darkroom, I looked around at the amused photographers. The joy felt from that joke resonated deeply, perhaps cutting too deeply for some who clearly have an arsenal of expensive lenses. Yet, the roaring laughter that enveloped the space reminded me, in my eyes at least, to the invisible thread tying together a community. Some sort of mysterious, magical, hidden, mutual passion, hidden within niche humor.

live podcast

Later, I passed by a group of four “time-refined” individuals, immersed in their own live podcast recording. Let’s call them the Larry King Quartet. Among the Larry King Quartet, three grabbed microphones and one clutched the portable recording equipment. As for the ‘gear guy,’ the one holding the recording equipment — his smirking and shimmering eyes told a story of a cheerful silent scribe. I’d say, he was quietly chronicling life’s fleeting little moments. Right in the middle of the swirling event action the Larry King Quartet tossed around conversation with the zest of children. Even though I couldn’t make out what they said in the distance, their joy and shared passion clearly radiated from their soul.


Even though I am no seasoned photographer, this gathering still filled my soul with wonder. I was constantly nourishing. Each individual at this event resonated with a shared enthusiasm. The feelings I experience during the event are pressed into my mind like some sort of mentally framed photograph. While this event was intended for photographers, there was a welcoming spirit felt throughout the center. Perhaps, the event was actually for those who joyously capture life’s little moments — those who remind us that our world is as broad as our own viewfinders allow it to be.


Razor Scootering 3200 Miles NY-CA

I rode my kick scooter the width of the United States, from New York to California. To clarify, this wasn’t on a high-tech electric scooter, but rather my $100 non-motorized Razor. Two Benjamins. One Benjamin — the scooter being $100. And me, Benjamin — though, I mostly prefer Ben. I don’t mind “Scooter King,” which I was called during the journey.

Anyway, the feat was not without its challenges. By the journey’s end, my modest scooter was worn and so very battered. Her once round wheels were eroded, rubber stripped away. But, she proudly displays the valiant scars of our expedition; they alone tell tales of a relentless terrain.

Before setting off, I sprayed my “budget Ferrari” with a coat of bright yellow spray paint. Then, along the path west, I invited newfound friends to add their names with a sharpie to the scooter, much like one signs a cast. Transformed by the miles, the scooter’s once fresh shade of yellow, dimmed and dulled — but not defeated. No. The scooter became a wise, well-worn artifact; a brave chariot of our shared adventure.

Camping out typically went without a hitch — typically. One night while camping in ‘nowhere America,’ an ominous ambiance settled around me. Impending doom slowly settled around the campground. (See, I wasn’t alone. Doom joined.) Darkness encroached. Dread descended. The surrounding wind intensified, and the trees around me swayed intensely.

Then, my phone’s alarm pierced through the violent, leaf-blower like wind. My phone displayed a chilling message, “Your Uber Eat is delayed.” Only kidding. It read “TORNADO WARNING.” And my sturdy basement? A two pound polyester tent.

When I thought it could get any worse, the county siren wailed. A pickup truck fled the scene. I did some quick mental math and by my calculations, my tent was lighter than the pickup truck. I feared the worst. Then, came morning. Not only that, I was welcomed by glorious, clear weather. It’s true — Every storm, with time, eventually passes.

The Joy of Pointless Goals

While this journey may seem foolish, the satisfaction was immeasurable. Constant bliss. I cherished every moment of my scooter adventure— every moment. The sun’s warmth — euphoria. The counteracting cool breeze — blissfully invigorating. The open road — stunning…maybe a tad repetitive. But, every little moment of this experience was a gift — cherished memories in the making.

And even though this adventure was “solo”, I wasn’t ever truly alone. For example, while on Route 66, a compassionate woman spotted me from the parallel I-90. She pulled over. Then, extended a gesture of pure kindness. She offered me a homemade burrito. Did I die? Is this heaven? A burrito!? Yes. And each flavor-packed bite was perfect.

One Mile at a Time

As for the map? Everytime I faced the enormity of the route I was overwhelmed. The sprawling, expansive width of America — daunting. So instead, I focused on each mile. Kick, push. I pushed on, and on. Then, almost magically, the Pacific Ocean came into view — Waves, waving. That, or I was severely dehydrated.

On one leg of the trip, I rode through a residential area. (Now seems like a fitting time to address the question I’m always asked — Yes, I switched legs). While in this suburban stretch, I crossed paths with a man enjoying a cold beer on his front lawn. As our conversation unfolded, he eventually shared a tragic story. His brother’s life tragically ended by a stray bullet. An innocent bystander — dead. This single bullet caused a far reaching web of grief.

Maybe cliche, but a snowflake can turn into an avalanche. However, a small simple gesture — like offering a warm burrito — can leave a smile on someone’s life, forever.

Thank You

To each honking truck driver—thank you. To every person who shared a story—thank you. To all who joined in on this journey—thank you. And to my legs, I’m sorry.Much love,

Below are some of my thoughts & writings.

Cooks, Bakers, and the Rhythm of Life