“Always focus on how far you’ve come, not how far you have to go.”
Admittedly, It’s a thrill to converse with renown experts, world-class athletes and celebrities.
But the most rewarding aspect of my job is occasionally turning my spotlight on the everyman — relatable people who have conquered adversity to reinvent themselves wholesale, all in relative civilian anonymity.
These people are a gift. Amplifying their stories isn’t just an honor. And it isn’t just my joy. I see it as a responsibility.
Through these individuals we are better able to see ourselves. Their weaknesses, struggles and strengths mirror our own. Their relatability uniquely qualifies them to reflect back upon us our shared, collective humanity. In their victories we can connect more viscerally with our own inner power and potential.
Today it’s my privilege to share yet another such story. This is the tale of Doug Bopst — an essentially normal kid who, like so many, suffered in silence from depression. To self-medicate he began experimenting with drugs in his teens. Smoking pot quickly evolved into a heavy opioid addiction. A day in the life involved snorting several hundred milligrams of OxyContin, complemented by a pack of cigarettes and the occasional cheesesteak. No exercise. No interest in maintaining relationships with anyone who didn’t do drugs. No self-confidence. And no care for tomorrow.
At 21, it all came to a head. High on opiates and on his way to make a drug deal, a cop pulled Doug over for a broken taillight. The officer found $2,000 in cash plus half a pound of marijuana under the spare tire in the trunk. Promptly arrested on a felony drug charge, Doug ultimately served 2 months in jail.
It was hardly the harshest sentence. But it was more than sufficient for Doug to hit bottom. Reflect on his errant path. And commit to an entirely new life. A life redeemed by sobriety, faith, fitness and family.
I was initially introduced to Doug through my friend Amy Dresner (another sober warrior you may remember from episode 341) and knew immediately I wanted him on the show.
In fairness to Doug, his story isn’t entirely that of the anonymous everyman. Now an award-winning personal trainer, author, and public speaker, his saga has been covered by a variety of media outlets, including The Today Show. But the press intrigue is driven by Doug’s innate relatability. And I’m fairly confident this conversation is the most complete chronicle of his life and redemption to date.
This is a conversation about what it was like, what happened and what it’s like now. We cover the low lows. Hitting rock bottom. And exactly how he was able to conquer his demons and put the past in the rear view.
It’s about the power of sobriety. Leaning on mentors. And how a love of fitness, spirituality, and putting service service first returned him to sanity.
All told, it’s a story of redemption full stop — and I’m honored to help tell it.
I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange.
Peace + Plants,
P.S. – I love my job.
Photos courtesy of Ali Rogers
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Pick up Doug’s latest book: The Heart of Recovery: Real People. Real Lives. Real Success Stories*
Background, Context & Reference:
- Connect With Doug: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube
- The Fix: Exercise: Making Amends to Your Body by Amy Dresner
- TODAY: How getting arrested and going to jail helped 1 young man turn his life around
- Men’s Health: This Man Kicked Opioid Addiction and Lost 50 Pounds
- Goalcast: Inspiring Man Loses 50 Pounds In Prison, Continues to Transform His Life Through Fitness
- Twitter: Doug Bopst featured on Cheddar News
- brobible: We Talked To A Former Prisoner Turned Award-Winning Fitness Guru About His Transformation And How Much Prison Sucks
- Thrive Global: “I’d like to start a movement to integrate fitness & nutrition into all drug treatment practices”
- Greatist: 5 Fitness Trainers Share the No. 1 Workout Move You’re Wasting Your Time On
- Baltimore Sun: Doug Bopst: Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach
- Inquisitr: Fitness Trainer Doug Bopst Says It Took Spending Time In Prison To Get His Life Back On Track
- The Epoch Times: A Former Felon Finds Redemption Through Fitness
- The Heart of Recovery: Real People. Real Lives. Real Success Stories*
- From Felony to Fitness to Free: Everybody deserves a second chance. Are you going to make the most of yours?*
- Faith Family Fitness: Because When your F’s are in Balance, You Find yourself living a more Fulfilling and Purposeful Life*
Notable People Discussed:
Amy Dresner: former stand-up comic, contributing editor for TheFix.com, author of My Fair Junkie: A Memoir of Getting Dirty and Staying Clean* and podcast guest
- John McAvoy: Once one of Britain’s most notorious criminals, he spent 10 years in prison but transformed his life to be a top Ironman Athlete. He is currently the only Nike sponsored triathlete in the world and one of the most popular podcast guests
- David Goggins: Navy SEAL, Endurance Athlete, author of Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds* and (2x) podcast guest
- Gary Vaynerchuk: (Gary Vee) 4x NY Times bestselling author, speaker serial entrepreneur and podcast guest
- Dr. Gabor Maté: physician, specializes in neurology, psychiatry, psychology, treatment of addiction and podcast guest
- Todd Durkin: motivational speaker personal trainer best selling author and life transformer
- Tony Robbins: motivational speaker, personal finance instructor and self-help author
Simon Sinek: author, motivational speaker and organizational consultant. He is the author of five books, including Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action*
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:
- RRP #341: Amy Dresner: Getting Dirty, Staying Clean & The Power Of Owning Your Truth
- RRP #379: John McAvoy: From Armed Robbery To Professional Athlete — One Man Reformed Through The Power Of Sport
- RRP #152: How Josh LaJaunie Lost 200 Pounds, Ran an UltraMarathon & Transformed His Life
- RRP #248: From Crack Addict To Running The Sahara To Prison Hero — Charlie Engle’s Third Act
- RRP #113: David Clark – How One Man Overcame Alcoholism, Lost 150 Pounds & Conquered Badwater, The World’s Toughest Footrace
- RRP #27: Mishka Shubaly: The Long Run To Sobriety
*Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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