“I don’t want my daughters ending up with who I used to be,” Jeff heartfeltly shares. Jeff spent the first half of his life running from responsibility. He struggled with hard drugs and alcohol for 18 or 19 years, was in and out of juvenile homes, and went to prison a couple of times. He fathered his first child early on while still an addict. “I wasn’t ready to be a father. I ran from the responsibility more than once.” It has now been 13 or 14 years since Jeff’s life has been transformed.
Jeff has seven children, ranging in age from 8 to 22 years old, and one grandchild. “Having my kids in my life has helped me to realize how much I am needed. I knew I needed to start to care more about myself in order to be here for them. They have helped me become more loving, understanding, caring, open, and hearing – I listen more and try to respond with personal experiences and can say this didn’t work for me so don’t do what I did.” Having been raised in church, Jeff says that prayer has been wired into his brain from early on. “All I can say is all glory to God. If I lived how I wanted to by nature, I’d still be messed up because it was just about me.”
Jeff found purpose through his health journey. “As a recovering addict, wellness has become my anchor. As long as I’m staying committed to wellness, nutrition, and serving people, which is my life’s mission, I’m good to go. Otherwise, if I don’t have that balance, things don’t go right for me.” Jeff got involved with several functional fitness outlets and eventually became a coach. “I learned how to work with people by seeing my mom be the boss of her business while I was growing up, and I learned how to help others by watching other trainers. After coaching my kids in track a few years back and watching them go to nationals, I thought, maybe I have something here.”
Jeff started and has become part of several non-profits focused on wellness and recovery and, in addition to soon opening a nutritional supplement store, hopes to possibly own a wellness center someday. “My goal is to see wellness affordable for everyone so there are no excuses. Every parent has their own battles you have to take into consideration and not everyone arrives at the same time, but remember you have to, no you GET to, be a single parent so make it count. If you are not here, who will your kids have? You just need to love yourself enough to know you deserve more, be brave enough to demand more, and be disciplined enough to actually work for more.”
Thank you, Coach Jeff, for inspiring us with your story of transformation! We celebrate the journey ahead for you and your family!
Published May 2021