…That fitness, nutrition and other wellness approaches be incorporated into all drug treatment/recovery practices in some shape or form. I’m not saying that is the end all be all, but it definitely has to be part of recovery. Being someone who trains people who struggle with addiction, the results that a fitness routine gives them mentally and physically are truly life changing.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Doug Bopst. Doug is an award-winning personal trainer, author, speaker and business owner. Those credentials and accolades are a result of his own transformation. He is a former felon and drug addict, sentenced to years in jail due to his poor decisions. He chose to use that time locked in a small cell to beat his demons and reinvent himself thanks to a combination of faith, family and fitness. He is the author of two books: “From Felony to Fitness to Free,” written to inspire people that they too can turn a negative into a positive and to make the most of their second chance as well as “Faith Family Fitness,” to encourage readers to grow closer to God, believe in themselves and surround themselves with the BEST and to stay mentally, physically and spiritually fit.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?
Well, one that comes to mine is when my drug felony conviction came off of my record in January 2014. I was very lucky because when I went to court on felony drug charges in 2008, the judge gave me a deal. The deal was that if I completed my five years of probation, fines, my jail sentence along with my community service that he would take the felony off my record at the end of the five years. At the time, I didn’t think I was going to see the end of my probation. I was so hopeless and suicidal but by the grace of God, I made it through. Finding my passion in helping other people through my fitness business was a major help in getting through. Anyway, I completed the stipulations the judge gave me and the felony came off my record in 2014. It’s really interesting to me because it’s very rare that a judge will remove a felony conviction from your record and change it to a PBJ, (Probation before Judgement) . I’m just so grateful and honored that the judge did that. It inspired me to write my first book “From Felony to Fitness to Free…”
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Ahh there were many but I would say the biggest mistake I made when I started was not building my platform sooner. Having a platform is super important these days. From sponsorships to inspiring your audience to getting a book deal, platform is everything. I only started taking my platform seriously a few years ago but thankfully, I learned that it’s never too late to start.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?
The most exciting project I’m working on now is my newest book called “The Heart of Recovery” which is due out sometime early 2019. It’s gonna showcase some of the top tips and tricks from some of the most inspiring sober individuals from all walks of life all over the world to show that addiction and recovery don’t discriminate These tips and tricks are part of personal interviews where they reveal what they do to workout, who they hang out with and what inspired them to get into recovery. I pray that this will be a vital part to help others get and stay sober.
Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?
I get inspired very easily but if I had to pick I know one person that comes to mind that inspires me it’s got to be Michael Jordan. I mean you have a remember how much adversity he faced He went from getting cut from his high school basketball team to becoming one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA. If that weren’t enough, his dad was murdered. Michael retired, but then came back again to play at an elite level and win 3 more championships. But, you know actually, through this new book I have been writing, I’ve been inspired by so many of the people I’ve interviewed. They have all overcome incredible adversity to beat their addiction. This been really influential in my own recovery the last several months.
Which literature do you draw inspiration from? Why?
I love reading w a lot of self help and personal development books. Some of my favorite authors are Gary V, Jon Gordon and Dave Ramsey. These are some of the people that I can go back and read and then re-read their books because their messages are so deep and layered that I discover new things with each read. I like reading things that challenge me to be a better person and their books definitely do that. I also enjoy reading addiction memoirs One of my favorites are Amy Dresner. Her book “My Fair Junkie,” is as real as it gets while keeping you laughing at the same time.
How do you think your writing makes an impact in the world?
I think my writing makes an impact in the world because I speak from the heart, tell it like it is I’ve been very fortunate to turn a negative into a positive and I enjoy writing about the mistakes I made and the lessons I learned from those mistakes. I’d like to think that my writing helps people to know there is hope out there for them, to inspire people to remember how far they’ve come and not how far they have to go
What advice would you give to someone considering becoming an author?
Just start writing. Remember: to get better at anything, you must practice. Write Write Write.
How do you think your story can impact others?
I think my story can encourage others not to give up on themselves. There were plenty of times I wanted to quit and give up. But each time I remembered what I was fighting for: simply for my life to be better 2, 3 or 4 years from now than it was that day. Life can be tough sometimes. It’s important to keep a positive attitude, hang out with the right people and keep telling yourself that you “can.” And like I said before, keep your focus on your accomplishments and not your mistakes.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
That fitness, nutrition and other wellness approaches be incorporated into all drug treatment/recovery practices in some shape or form. I’m not saying that is the end all be all, but it definitely has to be part of recovery. Being someone who trains people who struggle with addiction, the results that a fitness routine gives them mentally and physically are truly life changing.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1. Not to take life too seriously. I took my business way too seriously at the beginning and neglected to make time for myself or for fun. Big mistake. You have take care of yourself for your business to succeed.
2. Finish what you start. I had a habit of taking on too many things and not getting anything done. I make it a point to only take on things now that I can see through. Finish one thing and move on to the next. It’s always better to be great at one thing than be average at five.
3. Patience is truly a virtue. I’d heard it before, but I guess I needed to hear it again.. I expected things to happen yesterday. Good things take time. When we are impatient, we make decisions we regret later. Practicing to pause is key.
4. Trust your gut. Many times I have gone against my gut feeling and I’ve always been regretful that I did.. Whether it was a personal or business decision, I think it’s always important to trust your instincts
5. Mistakes are good. We put such a negative spin on mistakes these days. I love making making mistakesas long as they don’t put me in jail or in the hospital! Mistakes are opportunities to learn, grow and become a better version of yourself. Take some risk in life and if you fail, so what?Get back up and try again. This has been something I am constantly reminding myself of.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Scooter Braun and Gary V. I love how successful they are at such young ages, yet continue to grind it out, give back and provide a ton of value for their fans. What Scooter and his brother have done with the “Pencils of Promise” program is amazing. I hope to be able to do something like that someday. Gary V. is someone I have have followed for years on social media as well as read his books. He is spot on. Tons of value and inspiration there. As an entrepreneur, you’ve got to find people that light a fire under you and these two are certainly the ones that come to mind. I also wouldn’t mind having breakfast with Giada de Laurentiis. I used to watch her cooking shows when I first got sober with my grandparents and her cooking really inspired me. I love to cook these days and she was very inspirational to me.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
FB: Doug Bopst (fan page)
Originally published at medium.com