369. Hitting Bottom & Rising: From Opiate Addiction to a Life of Purpose w/ Doug Bopst

Doug Bopst

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Doug Bopst shares his inspirational story on his path from addiction to freedom and how he found the strength and resilience to save himself.

Doug Bopst is an award-winning personal trainer, author, speaker, and podcast host. Those credentials and accolades are a result of his own transformation. He is a former felon, and drug addict, sentenced to months in jail due to being found guilty of “possession with intent to sell.” He chose to use his time locked in that small cell to beat his demons and reinvent himself thanks to a combination of faith, family, and fitness.

He has helped hundreds of people improve their health and wellness. The three books he has written are a reflection of his personal story: From Felony to Fitness to Free, Faith Family Fitness, and his newest book, The Heart of Recovery, where he interviewed roughly 50 of the most inspiring individuals who have beat addiction from of all walks of life, and with hopes of helping others get into recovery.

Doug is also the host of The Adversity Advantage, a podcast where he interviews people from all walks of life on how they have turned their trials into triumphs and the exact tips, methods, and tactics they used.

He has been featured in national media outlets and podcasts such as The Today Show, Men’s Health, Forbes, Goalcast, Cheddar, mindbodygreen, the Rich Roll podcast, Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu, Bulletproof Radio with Dave Asprey, Mind Pump, the Be Well By Kelly podcast, Rise Together Podcast with Dave Hollis, The Darin Olien Show, and many others…

The Baltimore Sun voted him as one of Baltimore’s “12 Fitness Heroes” in 2015. “From Felony to Fitness to Free,” a short documentary about his story premiered at The Reel Recovery Film Festival in Los Angeles and New York City in 2018.

He has spoken to and worked with many companies, organizations, and schools, including McCormick and the Clemson football team.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

A few days after his 21st birthday, Doug Bopst was in jail, coming off an opiate addiction cold turkey. After years of numbing his insecurities through food and drugs, he quite literally hit a (cell) wall. A divine encounter with a cellmate shifted his perspective, and training and fitness became his gateway to freedom. 

Flash forward to now, Doug Bopst is a changed man on every level. An award-winning personal trainer, author, speaker, and podcast host, Doug is proof you can turn adversity to your advantage, and break out of any destructive addictions you’re trapped in. 

Addiction is a topic that’s very close to home for me, and I have the utmost respect for people – such as Doug – who’ve found a way out. It’s not easy, but conversations such as these show it’s possible. 

03:34 — Doug’s Origin Story

  • Insecurities growing up and finding marijuana at 14
  • Selling, doing, and moving to harder drugs
  • Moving to opiates  
  • “Riding dirty,” getting arrested, and sentenced to jail 

23:50 — Recovery in Jail

  • Going cold turkey
  • The inmate that saved his life 
  • Finding fitness and discipline 

38:50 — Gateway Trauma, Gateway Drugs

  • The slippery slope of cannabis 
  • Self-awareness in decision making
  • Numbing pain with opiates
  • From ritual to survival 

01:00:50 — Adversity to Advantage 

  • Becoming a personal trainer 
  • A clean slate in the eyes of the law
  • AAA: Awareness, Acceptance, Action
  • Why The 12 Step Program didn’t resonate with him
  • Finding a deeper connection to God
  • Acts of service and building a brand

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

[00:00:00] Luke Storey: I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you. We share something in common, and that is that we both had a real hell of a time with addiction and both managed to claw our way out of that crab bucket somehow.

[00:00:36] So, I rarely go back to someone's origin story, but I think yours is kind of cool and perhaps a good hook to get people really invested in the best part of the story, which is how you're contributing to the world now. So, you're a kid in high school, maybe junior high, 14, you start smoking a little weed, getting a little frisky with the light drugs. Run us through the truncated version of how addiction kind of led you down the path it did.

[00:01:05] Doug Bopst: Yeah. And I guess to preface all if this, it's interesting that today, I host a podcast called The Adversity Advantage. I'm a trainer. I've spoken to different schools, and I've written a few books, and I have the complete blessing to be able to share my message and share my content now to so many people, but it wasn't long ago that my life was in complete shambles. I mean, I was incarcerated on felony drug charges back in 2008. I was suicidal. I had a horrific opiate addiction. I thought my life was over. I was a convicted felon and I was completely out of shape.

[00:01:40] But before I talk about like how that led me to where I am now, I want to go back a little bit. As you were saying a few minutes ago, I did start smoking pot when I was 14. And as I look back, I was just like very similar to your story, I was looking for the fastest way I could to escape, because I had so many insecurities growing up, so much trauma as I look back, so many painful experiences that I was really looking for the first way to manage it in a way that, at the time, seemed healthy, because I wanted to numb myself as fast as I could. But obviously, long term, it was incredibly unhealthy. And some of the stuff that I experienced very similar to you is my parents got divorced when I was five. I suffered a lot of abuse growing up. 

[00:02:21] I loved sports. I had this immense passion for sports. I love collecting sports cards. I love watching sports. I love playing sports. I love reading about it. But I was horrible at all of it, so I was always the kid that was cut, and I was like, why am I just less gifted than these other kids? Why me? And I started to develop this what's wrong with me mentality, because that and the fact that my parents were divorced when I was five, and amongst my friends, I was the only kid whose parents were divorced.

[00:02:49] So, I was like, what's wrong with me? Because back then, the divorce rates are much lower than they are today. And as I look back, I think one of the things that was the first thing to help me self-medicate from a lot of the trauma, and the bullying, and everything that I experienced was food, where for breakfast, I'd eat cinnamon buns, and bacon, and sausage, and pop tarts. 

[00:03:09] Luke Storey: Yum.

[00:03:10] Doug Bopst: Yeah, I mean, right? And like eating tons of pasta for dinner. As I look back, though, and I remember it wasn't like I was doing anything out of the ordinary. I think my friends were eating very similarly, but the problem was I just had bad genetics, so combine that with me eating a little bit more than everybody else. I started wearing husky pants when I was a young kid. I started gaining some weight. 

[00:03:29] And again, this what's wrong with the mentality just started to stack up. And when I was 14, I was offered my first hit off of a marijuana pipe. Now, I want to say this that when I started smoking pot, I mean, much like when you started smoking, I never thought in a freaking million years that I would end up in jail. Nobody does. Nobody thinks that they're going to just take a hit off a marijuana pipe, and then, boom, they're going to go to jail, because if people knew that, it was guaranteed, I guarantee you, there's a lot of people that wouldn't do that, because the consequences would far outweigh the risk, right?

[00:04:01] And this is how it goes, I mean, it's a traditional trajectory of addiction, one hit, I feel this massive monkey come off my back that I could finally be at peace with who I was. I didn't have to worry if I was ever going to find love, because I never had a girlfriend in grade school. I don't have to worry if I was ever going to be successful, because I was always kind of, obviously, anxious about my grades. 

[00:04:19] I don't have to worry about what my family dynamic was going to be like or what I was going to do about sports. None of that. It was all gone. And it wasn't like I love the taste of pot, I just love the way it made me feel. So, one hit led to two, led to three, and so on and so forth. And now, I'm building a tolerance, building a little bit of a habit, and I'm having to smoke every single day now, because I'm getting used to that addictive feeling.

[00:04:42] The problem also is that when you're 14 years old, pot's expensive to a 14-year-old. I mean, paying like $20 for a gram, or 50 bucks for an eighth, or whatever it was back then. Like when you're making, I don't remember what I was making, like five bucks an hour or six bucks an hour when I was 14 years old, like it's hard to afford a daily habit. So, I started to sell a little bit on the side to support that, and on my 16th birthday, my mom caught me selling a little bit of pot to, I think it was like my neighbor or something I was laying it out for, and immediately, kicked me out of her house.

[00:05:15] And up to that point, my relationship with my mom had become strained and I always was closer to my mom growing up. My dad and I have had a hard time always seeing eye to eye. Our relationship today is much better than where it was, but I got along far greater with my mom than I did my dad. So, when she kicked me out, I felt so abandoned, I felt betrayed, all these normal feelings like a teenager would feel when this happens.

[00:05:46] Now, as I look back, I think she obviously did the best she could in that situation. I don't think she was purposely like, I want to cause as much pain and harm to Doug as possible, right? I think in some context, I got a little bit of what I deserved. Just by the way I was acting out, I mean, I had a party while she was in the hospital. I was just horrible to her in the way I treated her.

[00:06:05] So, I'm kicked out, shipped to my dad's house to live there full time. He lived about 30 minutes away, changed high schools within 24 hours, thinking that that would force me to change my friends, change my habits, change my behaviors, and become like a better version of myself. Well, it went the opposite way, as you can expect, more trauma, more pain, more what's wrong with me, and it stacked up. 

[00:06:24] And I got to this new school and still kept smoking weed, found new people to get high with, still kept selling a little bit to fit in, be the cool kid. Like honestly, people thought I was a narc when I first came to the new high school, because I wanted to fit in as fast as I could, and I knew that the way for me to fit in was to sell drugs and do drugs. 

[00:06:47] So, I immediately went up to the kids that I thought might have been smoking or getting high, I'm like, hey, you want to buy some pot? And so, it's kind of like the new person when they come in saying that it's like a red flag almost to be a narc. A narc for people who don't know what that means is it's just pretty much a spy for the cops to know who's dealing and using drugs.

[00:07:06] And so, my volatile behavior continued through school, barely graduated, because all my friends and I would do was ride around, smoke pot, listen to music, and that was our life. We cut class and I barely graduated. And as soon as I graduate, it's like I only graduated from school, I graduated in the drug class, too, because I started to move more weight. I started picking up pounds of pot, and now, I'm meeting more people who were doing drugs, not just drugs, but harder drugs.

[00:07:34] So, I got introduced to coke like shortly after I graduated high school. And I remember vividly the first time I got coke, where I remember I was picking up a bunch of pot from this kid, he's like, hey, man, I got a little bit of coke, you want some? And my gut was like, dude, stay far away, but of course, like my heart in wanting to fit in was like, go, Doug, go all in.

[00:07:54] So, I took a little bit, and riding around with some of my friends, and we're hitting high, we're smoking weed, I'm like, hey, like I got some coke, and I was somewhat ashamed, because like once you transition, as you know, into the hard drugs, it's a whole another ball game, and ended up cutting up a line for some of my friends and they were into it. We did it. And that started another addiction.

[00:08:12] So, again, the same kind of thing that happened with the pot, where it started off smoking one hit at a time, with the coke, was one line, and two lines, and three lines, then I built the tolerance to that, and then I'm doing like a gram a day, then I'm doing an eight ball a day. And so, I'm like, I guess I'm right around maybe 17, 18 years old, 18, maybe, gosh, right around 18.

[00:08:34] And the problem that I had was coke and all the anxiety that I had went about as well together as like trying to lose weight and eat pizza every day. It just didn't work. So, I started getting massive panic attacks, panic attacks to the point where I went to the emergency room. And there was one night where I was high on coke, my face was numb like the whole nine yards, as far as being high on coke, smoking cigarettes, I was eating poorly, high on weed, had all this pot in my car, and my heart started racing. 

[00:09:03] My face went numb. My arm started hurting. I started just not being able to breathe and I thought I was having a heart attack. And at the time, I literally could have believed that I was going through that, because some of my friends had died at that point. Like people we had hung around with had died in drinking and driving accidents, or overdoses, or other substance-related issues.

[00:09:21] And so, I was sleeping on one of my friend's couches at this point, because I had been kicked out of both of my houses. My mom was when I was 16, and my dad right after I graduated high school. And I run into the house, and this is where things really changed with my addiction, and I run, I'm like, I'm dying, I'm dying, my friend's mom was like, are you OK? And I'm like, I'm dying.

[00:09:40] I was like, I need to go the hospital. She drives me to the emergency room. I run to the emergency room screaming, help, help, I'm dying, and I literally thought I was. And they're like, sir, sit down, you're not dying, like, what drugs are you on? I'm like, I'm not on any drugs, I'm literally dying. And I was having a panic attack, full-blown panic attack. And back then, this was like in the mid-2000s or whatever, nobody talked about mental health.

[00:10:04] Luke Storey: That's before panic attacks were trendy. 

[00:10:06] Doug Bopst: Right. Yeah, they were. Yeah, nobody was talking about it. And I had no idea that it existed. And I ended up buying like a book on how to navigate panic attacks, thinking that would help, went to some therapy, just didn't, because I was still using the drugs again. You would think this point in my life would be like, hey, Doug, stop with the drugs, change your friends, change your habits, turn your life around, look where your life's headed, you're in the emergency room thinking you're dying.

[00:10:29] And I needed to do what—see, I think what happens is when your family dynamic is broken, people will cling to whatever they can to find a sense of community. That's what I did with my friends. And not that my friends are terrible people, we just engaged in bad habits. I became a creature of my environment. So, I felt for me to survive, I needed to have my friends more as a mode of survival than to stop doing the drugs. So, even though I would get panic attacks from then on, from doing coke and smoking pot, because then, I started to get paranoid when I would smoke weed, because I was smoking so much. I mean, I smoked like a quarter ounce a day that-

[00:11:10] Luke Storey: Rastafari.

[00:11:11] Doug Bopst: Yeah, exactly. And that what ended up happening was I got so embarrassed to be around my friends at this point, because I would literally have to pull the car over if I was high, because I was paranoid and having a panic attack that one day, I was at a friend of mine's house and he offered me a five milligram Percocet. And I took it, and the same monkey that came off my back when I first started smoking pot came off my back again with the Percocet. 

[00:11:38] And that's where things really just downhill, super fast. And what I've realized is this, is I didn't realize how addictive these painkillers were. And again, I'm not blaming anybody for my problems with myself. I knew I wasn't putting kale on my system or spinach, but I didn't understand how quick you become addicted to opiates. And so, five milligrams very quickly turn into 10 a day, 20, 40, all the way up until I'm snorting three, 400 milligrams of oxycodone up my nose every single day to support my habit, half my left nostrils missing, and I thought my life was over.

[00:12:16] I thought I was going to die doing drugs, because very similarly to you, we kind of idolize like the people who died at 27. There was that poster, I remember, as a kid with the four or five rock stars, or whatever, that all died when they were 27. And my friends and I would often joke, and say, well, if we can't get high and get in party anymore, like what's the point of living?

[00:12:34] And I was spending several hundred dollars a day on pills. And at the time, one of my greatest, but I thought was my greatest setback became my biggest blessing, on Cinco de Mayo of 2008, 20 years old, I'm riding round with a few of my friends to make a drug deal. I had a half a pound of pot in my trunk, I had $2,000 in cash in the car, and I had a busted headlight that I've been meaning to fix. 

[00:13:00] And when you're doing drugs and when you're in the depths of addiction, all you care about is who you're getting high with, how you're scoring the drugs, what you're doing, what kind of music you're going to listen to, what you're going to eat afterwards, because you can't really eat until you're high. That's all that matters. It becomes like an obsession. It's like a ritual, if you will.

[00:13:20] And so, changing my headlight wasn't part of that conversation, even though it should have been, because I was riding dirty all around town. And so, cops running radar. And so, I'm such a brilliant guy at this time that I decided to flash my high beams at the cop, thinking it would hide the fact that I had a busted headlight, when in reality, gave him a reason to pull me over. So, he pulls me over, I kind of stammered a hand in my license and registration. At this point, my heart's in the pit of my stomach. I knew it was over. I knew this is it. 

[00:13:50] And one thing leads to the next. He pulls me out of the car, puts me in handcuffs and—or no, he pulls me out the car, searches the car, finds the half a pound of pot in the trunk, finds the money in the glove box, puts me in handcuffs, puts me in the back of the cop car, and I thought my life was over. I remember just sitting in the back of a cop car. And I don't know if anybody listening to this or you, Luke, has had this experience, where like everything kind of came to a head for me. It was like, how did all this happen?

[00:14:20] Because I was like, how did this kid who just wanted to be loved, how did this kid who just wanted to fit in, how did this kid who just wanted to be good at sports, how did he end up in the back of a cop car? Now, I was facing felony drug charges. And every bad choice that I've ever made in my life in response to my circumstances just started flashing before me, how I dealt with the divorce, how I dealt with girls rejecting me, how I dealt with being cut, how I dealt with being bullied, how I dealt with everything. And I thought that was it. And go to jail, I'm charged with a felony. It sounds funny today in 2021 saying felony drug charges with pot, it's the possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.

[00:15:05] Luke Storey: Was it all in one bag or was it parcel-

[00:15:08] Doug Bopst: It was all in one bag.

[00:15:11] Luke Storey: That's how they get you a lot of the time, right? Like you could have a certain amount of drugs, and if it's all in one cache, cache maybe is the word, then you're cool, but if you have a bunch of little bags of the same amount, then it's intent to sell and all that stuff.

[00:15:26] Doug Bopst: Well, it was that, then I—of course, I did—so I did a few cardinal sins when it came to selling drugs. Number one, I was riding with a lot of supply, like riding dirty with my own supply at a scale in the car. Yeah, that was a big factor. And then, I had a ton of money, right?

[00:15:45] Luke Storey: Yeah.

[00:15:47] Doug Bopst: And I think also from what I understand, people knew me around town. I mean, I've been selling pot for four years. It wasn't just like I just started like the month before.

[00:15:56] Luke Storey: What town was this?

[00:15:57] Doug Bopst: So, I was intermittently traveling between Baltimore and Harford County, so Harford County is where I got arrested, which was a more conservative county in the state of Maryland. So, a lot of that stuff was heavily frowned upon. But for me, like I didn't care. Like I mean, the risk, it was like, whatever, I'll never get caught, it'll never happen to me, they'll let me off easy if I do, or whatever, or I'll eventually just stop, because I wanted to stop. 

[00:16:24] Just like you, I wanted to stop. There are so many times I would wake up, and I'd have to literally snort 150, 160 milligrams of oxy just to function, I was like, I just want this to go away. I would just wish I could get a clean slate, and just wake up tomorrow, and not be addicted to drugs, not sell drugs, be financially secure, so I wouldn't have to do this, have good relationships. I wish this would all go away.

[00:16:48] But the problem is it was almost like me thinking this was being in this like really good dream, and then you wake up, like here you are, this is reality. And so, I got charged. A few months later, I go to court, which have happened to be September, September of 2008. And you would have thought that, again, I would have made some simple steps to change my life, look good for the judge, because I was facing—and I've been arrested on felony drug charges and potentially could go to jail if I didn't clean my act up, and I didn't. 

[00:17:24] Went to court, and the judge sentenced me to five years in jail, but suspended everything for 90 days. So, for those listening who aren't familiar with the judicial system, it means that he suspended everything from the five years except for the 90-day sentence. And if I messed up, I failed a drug test, if I didn't show up to probation, if I got another charge, I mean, violated any of the rules, I could potentially go back and serve the full five years.

[00:17:46] Gave me five years probation, 200 hours community service, all kinds of fines, and drug classes, but he looked at me, he's like, Doug, you're 20 years old, this felony conviction is going to haunt you the rest of your life, because he also found me guilty of the felony. Because back in 2008, it was much more stigmatized to be a convicted felon, especially of drugs, right? He said, why don't I cut you a break, and I'm like, break, after you just tell me what you just told me, that's a break? 

[00:18:10] He's like, if you complete everything without messing up, no missed probation appointments, no failed drug test, do your community service, you do all that, I'll take the felony conviction off your record at the end of the five years of probation. I'm like, alright, man, whatever. Like I didn't think I was going to live to see my 25th birthday, because like I had said, I've been to several funerals of people I hung out with, not just like people I might have seen on Facebook or people that I might have heard about through the grapevine, people I knew.

[00:18:36] And so, my faith in living was nothing, zilch. So, I was like, alright, man, whatever. So, he gives me a few weeks to gather my belongings and I ended up reporting to jail three weeks later, which ironically was a week after my 21st birthday. And what's crazy, the craziest part of this whole thing is when I walk through the gates of this detention center, I cried, because I didn't want to go in. But when I left, I cried, because I didn't want to leave. And here's what happens, so mind you, I'm incredibly terrified, I'm scared, anxious, fearful. 

[00:19:15] Every like thing you think about what happens in jail was going through my mind, especially from the kid who was so unhealthy, uncoordinated, super unconfident. I was like, man, I am freaking done. Plus, I had a horrific opiate addiction to kick. So, I walk into the detention center, and then the first thing, obviously, that happened was a detoxed cold turkey from the oxy, which for those who aren't familiar with that, it's like having the worst case of the flu.

[00:19:42] Like uncontrollable bowel movements, you're vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, pain, depression, like sleepless nights, you name it, but the worst thing I think for me was this feeling of trying to crawl out of your own skin. But as I look back, it was almost like the old me was trying to crawl out of—the old me was like kind of being like it was—the old me was essentially disappearing, so the new me could come out and appear. And my soon to be cellmate was sitting at the scrabble table playing scrabble, he looks at me, he could just tell, my shoulders are all rounded forward.

[00:20:16] I was very quiet, and soft spoken, and he could just tell there was something kind of off with my demeanor. He was like, what are you in here for? And I kind of told him a little bit about what I was doing, and he's like, okay, he's like, you're going to start working out with me when you get through your detox, and I'm like, dude, have you seen me? Like I could have been a model for Pillsbury, there's no way I'm working out with you. And I like to describe him as like a more jacked version of Brad Pitt from Fight Club, because I've been a trainer now for over 10 years and he's still, to this day, like either the most or one of the most jacked people I've ever met.

[00:20:48] And that night, it was the night after, he was doing like thousands of push ups, pull ups, running all kinds of laps in the gym and climbing the, there's like fencing, but there's like these bars in the jail common area. I'm like, who is this guy? Like for hours. Because that's what people would do to kind of kill time. And so, a few days later, we're kind of having this conversation, and he's like asking me what I'm in there for, like what happened at me. And I'm like, oh, my divorce—or my parents got divorced, the kids picked on me, and the girls. Can I cuss on here?

[00:21:24] Luke Storey: Yeah, all you want.

[00:21:25] Doug Bopst: Alright. And he looks at me, and he goes, quit being a bitch. And where I come from or in jail, like you don't want to be called that, right? But there's some people, I'm sure, that might not relate to this or might find it offensive, and I understand that, but the context of this is what's important, he said, you're blaming everybody for your problems, but yourself. He's like, there's plenty of people whose parents get divorced, there's plenty of people who get bullied, there's plenty of people this and that, they're not in jail.

[00:21:56] He's like, you chose to respond in the way you did, and now, you're here. I was like, huh? And it wasn't what I wanted to hear, but, Luke, it was what I needed to hear, because my logical mind had come back a little bit, and I was like, huh? Up until this point, I'd had like 20 or 21 jobs by the time I was 21. I damaged so many relationships. I was a drug addict. I'm in jail for felony drug charges.

[00:22:22] So, clearly, the way that I was choosing and blaming everybody for my problems wasn't working. And he was somebody who had no skin in the game. He was giving me this advice and he wasn't like my close friend. He wasn't anybody in my family. He wasn't like a probation officer. He was just a person I met in jail. And I felt empowered in that moment, like I felt, finally, for the first time that I needed to do something about it, because he said to me, he's like, you can be a man or you can be a bitch.

[00:22:50] He's like, you can be a bitch and go cry in the corner, say woe is me, and blame everybody for your problems, like most people will do that when they're faced with stuff like this, or he said, you can be a man, look at yourself in the mirror, and say, you got yourself here, and the only way for you to get out of this is for you to move forward, then that's the context, I think it's important for people to understand, because that's life.

[00:23:11] Like no matter what you're going through, like circumstances are terrible, and there's a lot of things that people go through that are horrific and horrible, and I get that, but what I also know is that if you play the victim, and you blame other people for your problems, and you blame people for your actions, it makes the situation a lot worse, and it did for me, because I went from just the kid who was having the problems I did, to now, I'm in jail. And so, I decided to give working out a try. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.

[00:23:42] But I did it, and I remember getting down and do a push up, couldn't do a push up, couldn't even do one for my knees, and could barely walk up and down the stairs, because I was smoking cigarettes before I went to jail. And I remember saying to him, this was something else that was important to me that people, again, I mean, if you find this offensive, it's just you have to find what drives you. That's what I've learned. This is something that drove me, is I said, why can't I do a push up? He said, because you're fat. And he's like, you're freaking fat. He's like, I don't know how else to describe, and I'm like looking at him, he's like, I don't know what else to say to you.

[00:24:17] He's like, you got belly fat around your core. Your core is weak. You're not able to hold yourself up. I hated that word. I hated being told that I was fat. And I swore to myself I would never be called fat again, and that was one of the big drivers for me. So, we set a goal in jail. Again, this sounds kind of crazy to do a set of 10 pushups and run a mile b the time I left my 90-day sentence. 

[00:24:41] And what happened from there was magical. He trained me in there during my sentence for—and with his motivation and encouragement, and holding me accountable, I was able to do it, I was able to run that mile and do that set of 10 push ups. And I felt this light bulb go off in my head that I was finally ready to take control of my life and change. I felt this sense of accomplishment I never had, this sense of discipline.

[00:25:04] I felt that I finally was able to get comfortable with the Doug Bopst in the most naked way possible. I was finally able to get comfortable being uncomfortable, because all the masks came off. I was faced to be as naked as possible, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. And it was just me versus me. And I learned to reattach behavior to emotion. That's what gets people, I think, twisted, too, is like when they get into recovery, they don't find new coping strategies to deal with the emotions.

[00:25:34] The emotions are still there. I got news for you, when you stop using drugs, things get a lot harder before they get easier, right? And I was lucky that if I didn't manage my emotions in a healthy way, I would have got my butt kicked, I would have ended up in solitary confinement, or worse, or whatever, but I was forced to change the way I talked to myself. I was forced to change my perspective. I mean, one of the things that was hardest for me was my freedom being taken away. I couldn't talk to who I wanted to, I couldn't go where I wanted, couldn't eat what I wanted.

[00:26:04] I couldn't do all that. And I gained a lot of understanding on the importance of just being thankful for the small things when I was in there. And so, the day I left, I was very emotional. I cried and I said to my cellmate, I was like, how can I ever repay you? And he said, pay it forward and don't mess up. I had no idea what paying it forward meant. I was like, alright, man. And he gave me a workout plan that I still have framed in my place today, so I never forget where I came from.

[00:26:33] Luke Storey: I got to interject. There's a lot of points I've wanted to, but I've withheld, because it's a great story. Do you know where this Brad Pitt, Yoda of jail is?

[00:26:44] Doug Bopst: Yes.

[00:26:45] Luke Storey: That guy, are you in contact with him?

[00:26:46] Doug Bopst: I have been through the years. And the funny thing is after I got out, him and I had done some workouts together, and it wasn't my like baseline level novice workout that we were doing in jail, it was me keeping up with him. And then, we wrote, exchanged some letters back and forth and have had some conversations, but we've kind of lost touch a little bit. I don't know where he is as far as like what he's got going on, but there's never a day that goes by where I don't think about like what he did for me.

[00:27:17] I dedicated my first book to him, and that he saved my life and it opened up, really, my gaze, if you will, to the importance of spirituality. It helped to kind of start that, I think, in paying it forward, and being of service, and passing the torch, and saying, there was a reason that I was in jail when I was. There's a reason that he was there when he was there. 

[00:27:43] And he taught me all these lessons and I've now been able to carry forth with me in today, carry forth with me today, and help other people, or just through fitness and other things. But I think the other thing, too, is, sometimes, Luke, when you're so faced down in the freaking mud and you can't see what's in front of you, because life's a freaking mess, and there's so much chaos around you, you can't see any light.

[00:28:07] I think what he did for me was he pulled the back of my head up just a little bit, so I could see just a glimpse of light. And then, once I saw there was light, just my natural ability as a human to want to be happy was like, just go, and go, and just keep moving one step at a time. And part of me, frankly, when I left jail, like most of me, I should say, doubted myself, because up until that point, without the help of my cellmate, I'd failed miserably in every aspect of life.

[00:28:41] But I knew that if I focus solely on that, I was going to lose, I was going to fail. That's what happens to people, is, and I know it sounds cliché to focus on the positives and be optimistic, and I get that, but what I am saying is that if you focus solely on the shit in your life and all of the stuff that's gone wrong, you're going to be depressed, you're going to be anxious, you're going to be fearful, your confidence is going to be in the shitter.

[00:29:06] And I knew the only shot that I had, the only shot was to legitimately lean into this blind faith in knowing that I could be relentless with everything in my life, that I'm becoming the best version of myself, following everything that I knew that would help me become better just one day at a time. And it's funny because I didn't go to AA or NA, but this was just something that was ingrained in me through my cellmate, of just controlling what's in front of me.

[00:29:34] I knew that if I worked out, I knew that if I ate right, I knew that if I stayed away from certain things, if I had a positive outlook, if I was just looking towards the future, it gave me a chance. Not guaranteed, but it gave me an opportunity to stay in the game. And also, like I'll kind of wrap this up with this, and then we can go on, was one of the things that I learned early on is that it's a freaking journey.

[00:29:57] Because we were in the cell one night, and while recovery and beating addiction was very important to me, the other thing that I was really self-conscious of was my weight. I mean, I was just a doughy kid, I was just fat. And I said, how long is it going to take for me to lose this weight? He's like, how long you've been beating your body up for? And I forget what I said. I mean, I'm like a long time or something like that.

[00:30:19] He's like, it's going to take a long time for you to lose weight, and that stuck with me, so I knew there was a process where it wasn't going to happen overnight, because an addiction, or as an addict, you're so used to responding impulsively, that with that mindset, I think a lot of people have a hard time transitioning when they get into recovery to knowing that it's going to take a long time to heal a lot of the crap that you were dealing with before.

[00:30:44] Luke Storey: I want to go back to, and thank you for this story, it's captivating to say the least and addresses my probably number one core fear outside of just death itself, and that is being incarcerated. I only went to jail once and I was only in there for a few hours, thankfully, but I've almost followed in your footsteps on a number of occasions. But going back to the earlier part of the story where you start to smoke weed and you're able to feel comfortable doing that, and then you start smoking more weed, and you try a little coke, then the Percocet, then the oxys.

[00:31:26] I remember being a kid and there was a lot of propaganda kind of in the '80s that just say no era and all this stuff, where they called marijuana a gateway drug. And I always thought, oh, that's so stupid, no, it's not, I just want to smoke weed and listen to my rock and roll. And for me, it always actually was a gateway drug. Like any time I attempted to stop drinking or doing hard drugs, I could hang in there for a little bit, but I could never quit smoking weed.

[00:31:57] It was incredibly addictive to me. And any time I would have a little bit of quasi-clean time, I never quit smoking weed, because I couldn't. It was the hardest thing for me, and then when I smoked weed, then it would open up the floodgates for all of the other stuff. And I think it's interesting now in the health and wellness space that you and I both share a career in, in different capacities, I don't know what to think about cannabis exactly now, because I can only see my subjective experience and I had to quit smoking weed 100% in order to get sober off all the other stuff that was much more life-threatening.

[00:32:38] So, I don't know if there's a question in there, sort of just an examination of this plant that is a plant medicine that has so much value. I mean, I do all kinds of different CBD things, sometimes, even like a tincture with THC and CBD, but not like to a psychoactive dose, where I'm stoned, but just for sleep and things like that. So, I use the plant and I think the plant has an immense value, but I don't think it's as innocent as many people think it is. Like it's just natural, it's just a plant. But I mean, it really devastated my childhood and prevented me from being able to get sober off all the other stuff, because I just was so addicted to it psychologically. 

[00:33:23] Doug Bopst: Yeah, it's interesting. For the longest time, I thought it was a gateway drug for me as well. Well, there's part of me that obviously still believes that, I think there was also a lot of gateway trauma that led me to that. I often wonder, if I didn't have the trauma, would I have fallen down that same path? I don't know, and I don't think it serves any real purpose to try to figure that out because it's irrelevant, because that's not what happened, right?

[00:33:53] But yeah, I mean, with anything, you just got to—I always say like, well, why are you doing it? Like, what's the reason? And I think people need to understand, if they do have some trauma, they do have some stuff that they haven't dealt with, or they have crippling anxiety, or depression, or insomnia, or whatever, it's a slippery slope, because that sense of euphoria, that sense of like that bear hug you feel when you're under the influence of one of these substances to be able to be yourself is addicting, and that's the problem.

[00:34:34] Luke Storey: More of the experience that you have than the actual substance, yeah.

[00:34:38] Doug Bopst: Yeah, because I've said this before, it's not like I love the taste of pot.

[00:34:44] Luke Storey: I did.

[00:34:44] Doug Bopst: Yeah?

[00:34:45] Luke Storey: I still do.

[00:34:46] Doug Bopst: Yeah?

[00:34:46] Luke Storey: I'm the guy, like I walk by someone blazing weed, and I'm like [making sounds] oh, that smells good. Yeah, I love it. I love it. I've been in weed stores a few times just because I'm curious. I'm like kind of jealous of the people that still get to go there and like enjoy their cannabis. Well, not like I really want to, but it's off the menu for me, but I go in there, I'm like, oh, my God, I wish this was here when I was 20. So, yeah, I do, but anyway. 

[00:35:11] Doug Bopst: Well, no, but I became addicted to the experience of how it made me feel in that moment. And that's what can be hard, because then, you start to develop a tolerance and you're doing more. And then, sure enough, like you're not even aware, because a lot of times, what happens is like, there's something that goes on in your mind, where your mind gets hijacked, and now, your sense of pleasure, your identity, and how you feel about yourself is now wrapped up and tied to getting high.

[00:35:39] And so, you've kind of lost touch in many cases, again, not just in my own experience, you lose touch with the things in life that are healthy, that give you pleasure, the things that if you weren't under the influence of a drug would be meaningful to you. And that's the problem. And I think what also happens is because you're numbing yourself with a substance, your decision making falters, right?

[00:36:08] Luke Storey: Yeah. 

[00:36:09] Doug Bopst: You develop a new normal, right? Because I think your environment can create a false sense of normalcy. So, if you're around 10, 15 people, and all you're doing is smoking weed, and listening to, you're listening to music, and not that there's anything wrong with that, but this is your life, you're eating fast food, you're just talking about like nothing, you're not being productive, that's normal now for you. You become that.

[00:36:36] And so then, let's just say, the same friend group, two months down, now, you start snorting a little bit of coke, everybody else around you is doing it. It's normal for you. And then, you can see where I'm going with this. And eventually, maybe it's pills, and maybe it's heroin or worse, God forbid, because that's normal for you, where like, it's just kind of like when—I use this analogy a lot, it's that when so you have somebody, I'll use me for—say, I was somebody that had a drinking problem, I was at the bar every day from like 9:00 in the morning until 5:00 at night, every single day, getting hammered, coming home. 

[00:37:12] And say, I'm married, say, my spouse is like, Doug, you have a problem, like what are you doing? I'm like, I don't have a problem, everybody else is doing it, because everybody else is doing it. Everybody else has a drinking problem. But when you're in that moment, you can't see outside of that, because it's all you're focused on. And so, environment is everything. 

[00:37:31] And the other thing that can be really cool about your environment too is like the space we play, and when you're around a bunch of people that are doing stuff like this, where you're focused on health, you're focused on wellness, you're focused on helping other people and bettering yourself, that becomes your normal, too, so you learn not to tolerate other stuff that might bring you down.

[00:37:52] So, that's why I say it's a slippery slope, because there's a lot of factors that can play into it. What does your friend group look like? What's your life like? Are you really happy with who you are without the drug? Like are you happy with the direction your life's headed? How are your relationships? I mean, how is your job? Are you still like excited about life?

[00:38:12] There's so much more that goes into it than just saying, oh, I'm just going to start smoking weed, because it's now legal. It's not that simple, because think about some of the other stuff that's legal, processed food, cigarettes, alcohol. Those three things are legal. You can buy them whenever you want if you're 18 years old, and 21 to buy alcohol. Anyone can do it. And it's in every state, these things exist, so it's not even like everywhere.

[00:38:43] So, I invite people to not necessarily equate being legal with being the best decision for them. Again, who am I to say what you should or shouldn't do? I'm just speaking for my own personal experience and the experiences that I've talked with other people about and just knowing that you have to do what works for you, do what works for you, whatever you're doing in life, I don't care, drug or non-drug related, make sure it aligns with like who you are at your core and know that, like develop a sense of awareness about who you are as a person.

[00:39:14] Because I think if you don't, you'll start to cling and fill, use other people's identity to fill yourself up, because you don't have your own sense of self. That's why I think getting a baseline in recovery, and doing the work, and trying to figure out why you were using the drugs in the first place, or abusing alcohol, or whatever it was, is so important. It's paramount. It's crucial. So that you don't fall down the of addiction later on in life, because you weren't able to cope with some of the stuff that you should have dealt with when you first got into recovery. 

[00:39:44] Luke Storey: On the weed thing, it is an important distinction around why you're doing it, right? And what comes to mind is that I have a few friends that use cannabis recreationally, and are still thriving and living their best life, and it doesn't escalate to drinking all the time, or doing Percocet, or coke. They would never, they'd be like, ew, gross, I don't do that stuff, but they're able to use it medicinally. And I think it's probably true of most substances.

[00:40:20] I mean, I don't know anyone that is really happy and successful, and does recreational crystal meth, heroin, coke. I mean, there are things that I think like everyone would kind of agree are probably not a great idea to do on a regular basis, if ever. But with the weed, it's kind of the intentionality of it. And as you said, having the ability to be introspective and being honest with yourself, right?

[00:40:49] It's not like a moral, to me, whether someone does drugs or not, A, it's totally not my business, like you're so eloquently stating, this is just your own journey. But in the interest of those listening in finding value in a conversation around this topic, it is really an individual thing and the only one of any of us that can determine whether or not our behavior is adding to the value of our life and the lives of those with whom we relate or not is the ability to be honest with yourself, right?

[00:41:19] To really look in the mirror and go, okay, yeah, I'm knowingly just going off the rails a little here. And I do this sometimes just not with drugs, but I mean, just with, I might do something that's a bit extreme. So, my biohacking stuff, whatever, and I'm like, alright, I'm getting a little far out here, but I'm aware of it and I'm willing to go there, because I want to see what happens, or I'm experimenting for the betterment of my fellow humans, because I want to find something out about something, right?

[00:41:47] But cannabis in itself is kind of its own unique thing, because it is totally natural and requires no processing other than cooking it or smoking it, right, it's a nature-created substance, and in terms of whether or not it's addictive or not, as you said also, I think it depends a lot on what someone's prior experience is. In other words, if you don't have any emotional baggage or trauma that you're trying to run from, the likelihood of you becoming addicted to weed is much lower than someone who's had a really rough life, and gets that sense of relief and that bear hug experience that you explained.

[00:42:29] Doug Bopst: Well, really quick, I think, and I might be butchering this, I think the way addiction is defined, I think, is continued use despite adverse consequences, despite negative side effects. So, I think, again, it's like-

[00:42:43] Luke Storey: By that metric, I'm definitely addicted to my phone.

[00:42:46] Doug Bopst: I think we are, but I think this is where it can be helpful, I think, for those, listening, because I think, obviously, pot's a thing, you have to ask yourself, is it negatively impacting your life? Like sure, there's plenty of people that can drink socially and not have adverse effects. There's plenty of people that can smoke pot and not have adverse effects. There's plenty of people that can, frankly, I'm sure, get away with eating some processed food and not have adverse effects, right?

[00:43:14] But it all comes down to you. Like, how are your relationships? Are you having to smoke, are you having to eat in order to get hungry like I was? Like I couldn't go anywhere without being high. I felt like almost just weird. Even if I was going to a sporting event, I don't care if I was going to my family's house for the holidays, I couldn't do anything without being hot.

[00:43:35] Luke Storey: Oh, no way, are you kidding me? Go somewhere sober? Hell, no. I remember I used to wake up in the middle of the night, like to go to the bathroom, and I would get high just to go back to bed. It was like, literally like the goal was to not have a sober breath ever, and I was very successful at it. Going back to the opiates, because you said something there that I kind of forgot about, and I think this would be helpful for anyone that is still recreationally doing drugs. 

[00:44:06] I'm like, these guys are nerds, I got this, this is never going to happen to me. With opiates specifically, and I was never huge into pills, we didn't have OxyContin, back in the old days, when I was doing drugs, we just had pure heroin. But I remember when I first started doing heroin, it was like, A, there was this cool mystique around it. I don't know. To me, I'm going to be honest, I thought it was like cool.

[00:44:31] And I remember when I was going to move to Hollywood when I was 19, I'd never done it. I've done all these other drugs, but I was like, man, when I get to LA, I'm going to find me some heroin. I want to be like Keith Richards, like I want to be like William Burroughs. I want to be cool. I'm going to do a cool drug. And it's so, and I'm sure this is true with the synthetic pharmaceutical opiates, but what you said about you're addicted before you even know it.

[00:44:58] We used to do this thing, we call it chipping. It's just like, you just do it here and there every once in a while, and me and my little drug buddies, and we started doing that stuff, it seemed like it was every once in a while. And then, it was like, one day, I just woke up, and was like, I was dope sick, and I knew what it was, because like I need some of that stuff. And I'm like, What? Wait, what just happened?

[00:45:22] It was like I had been in a dream or something, and all of a sudden, like now, I'm actually a heroin addict. That was not the plan ever. And then, each time I would kick, and stop, and then I'm like, I'm never doing that again, and then that insidious thought of like, well, someone's got a little, like you want a little taste? And I'm like, it'll be fine this time. 

[00:45:48] And then, maybe I would do it that one night, and then a few days would go by, and then I don't know, again, you slip back in this dream, and then I'm like, I'm back on all day, every day again. It's just, with opiates, it's really, really tricky like that, because it really does sneak up on you. It's like you're out in the sea, and a shark starts kind of nibbling at your toe, and you're like, that doesn't really hurt. Next thing you know, you are in its mouth, being dragged under, and it's too late, like it's got you. It's really spooky.

[00:46:16] Doug Bopst: The crazy and unique thing about opiates, I don't know if you experienced this, is that when you do it, you have this sense, you have this ritual at first, because it begins with, at least for me, I mean, I talked about the 5 milligram Percocet, but when you actually get like an OxyContin. So, OxyContin, for those listening, who aren't as familiar with it, maybe because, I mean, I think they've tried it to get a lot of them off the streets. 

[00:46:39] I know they've cracked down on doctors, and that, I'm sure, contributed obviously to the increased heroin use, but Oxycontin, you would get these pills, and on one side, would have an OC, and on the other side, it would have the milligram. So, they would have tens that were, I believe, white, so would have OC and a 10, 20s, which were pink. You have 20s that were pink, then you would have 40s that were orange, then you have 60s that were red. 

[00:47:06] Luke Storey: Like Skittles. It sounds safe.

[00:47:09] Doug Bopst: Yeah. And then, you would have 80s, which were like the cream of the crop.

[00:47:19] Luke Storey: Those are black, the black pill.

[00:47:19] Doug Bopst: No. They were like this green with 80 on one side, and then OC on the other. So, when we would pick up like an 80 milligram, which was the more common ones for us back in the day, we would just cut it up and we might split it with a friend or split it amongst four of us, where we would each snort like 20 milligrams, or each snort 40, or whatever. And it becomes like this ritual. But then, what it also does when you snort it, it's why it's so dangerous, is you get this feeling of euphoria, like, wow, this is awesome, like I love this.

[00:47:45] And then, there's this sense of peace it also brings you, where you're able to numb the pain, where coke doesn't really do that. You get this massive, euphoric rush when you snort coke, but you're jacked up. You're not like numbing the pain, right? I mean, hence why OxyContin is a painkiller, because I believe it numbs emotional and mental pain just as much as it does as physical pain. And you'd always look at like people, who were homeless, oh, that'll never be me, like those are the real bad addicts, but then you come to realize that you're the same person and addiction doesn't discriminate.

[00:48:22] And there's a time where, and I say this a lot, because I think there's a lot of truth to this, where initially, you do drugs, I don't care if it's pot, I don't care if it's coke, I don't care if it's oxy or heroin, where there's this novelty to it, and you're doing it with your friends, and you're listening to music, and you're like, man, you alluded to Keith Richards, or Jimi Hendrix, or Kurt Cobain, or Janis Joplin, or whatever and then like somehow, the line gets crossed, where now, it's not the ritual, it's survival.

[00:48:57] And you're doing it to numb the shame, you're doing it to be healthy. I mean, healthy in the sense where you need to be able to get out of bed, or you need to not be sick, or you need to be able to show up to a family gathering, and you're so ashamed of who you are, you can't go there sober, because if you're sober, like all hell is going to break loose inside of your mind, because you're not comfortable in your own skin.

[00:49:21] And so, with opiates, it was incredibly challenging to kind of catch your breath, if you will, because it's just how everything happens so fast. Like my stint with opiates wasn't that long. I mean, I think maybe it was two or three years, maybe, of that. But it was intense two to three years. And as I look back, there were definitely times, and I think I said this, where I wanted to stop, like I wanted to.

[00:49:54] Like there were times where I was like, man, like I just wish I could just stop doing the drugs, but the problem was I didn't know how I would find different friends. The problem was I didn't know how I was going to deal with my shit. The problem was I damaged every relationship up until that point. And I just said, well, what's the point? And literally, we get to the point, where I would literally like look at a line of like coke and oxy, because I would mix that, too, and I'd be like, I wonder if I snorted this if I would wake up, like what would happen when people miss me?

[00:50:23] Like I started asking these questions and I never like tried to commit suicide, but I definitely have thoughts in my mind that I was like, I wonder if people would miss me, or sometimes, I would think, like I pray that I don't wake up. If I'm going to go out, I might as well go out doing what I loved, and that was drugs, because you become obsessed with it. And people might be like, well, just stop, your brain becomes hijacked, like that's all my brain knew.

[00:50:55] And unfortunately for me, and I say this now, I went to jail, because it saved my life. And I was taught a lot of the lessons that I learned in jail about dealing with my shit in a good way, and that life's not going to be easy, and to stop making excuses for my behavior, and to take care of myself, and to stop wanting to try to fit in with people just because you think that's the right thing to do.

[00:51:21] And I think isolation, as I'm sure we've all experienced during the pandemic has been something that's been really hard for people, and for me, it was something that I struggled with as a kid, too, because I never wanted to be alone, because I wasn't comfortable with myself. And what I learned is that when I intentionally spent time with myself after I got out of jail, like at my grandparents' house, who took me in after I got out, because I wasn't going to stay with my parents. 

[00:51:52] I mean, my mom wouldn't let me back and I didn't want to stay with my dad, and I don't even think he wanted me back in his house anyway. I learned that when I spent time with the same group of friends that I hung out with, I felt alone. It got to a point where the conversations would be awkward, it's almost like a bad first date, where there's nothing to talk about, because it was just like I was a completely different person. 

[00:52:14] Like I don't remember who I was before I went to jail. Like the memories are still there, but it's hard to really get connected to that person, because so much had changed. And so, I had to make a decision like, alright, like do you want to still hang out with the same group and run the risk of potentially like doing drugs, because you're a byproduct of your environment, or do you want to make a hard choice, and make a short-term sacrifice, and spend some time by yourself, and stay with your grandparents, spend more time with your grandparents?

[00:52:44] And I did, and I would stay home on the weekends and watch things like Dancing with the Stars and the Food Network, but I got comfortable being alone. And I think you feel much more connected to yourself when you're spending time alone for a conscious, healthy reason than you do when you're hanging out with the wrong crowd of people you're not aligned with. You feel very lonely, and I'm sure there's plenty of people listening to this who have experienced this throughout their life.

[00:53:15] And that trajectory of fitness, and transformation is what got me to where I am today, because once I got out of jail, I kept obviously working out. I lost a bunch of weight and decided, like I said, I was going to change my friends, change my nutrition, learn how to cook, read men's health, read men's fitness. I still have like the Arnold Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding. 

[00:53:37] And I just got into different things, and I wanted to channel a lot of that negative stuff into something positive, and I decided to pass the torch that my cellmate had gave me, and become a personal trainer. And became a trainer back in April of 2011. I mean, I got into a point, fitness-wise, where I was happy with the way I looked and I was just ready to help other people use fitness to change their lives.

[00:54:01] So, I got a job at a local wellness center, and I had to beg for my job, Luke, because I was still a convicted felon. But literally, and again, if people listening to this can just adopt this mentality with anything as like this whatever it takes mentality, like literally, like doing whatever it takes to achieve whatever it is. You might not always win, but you're sure as heck and be proud of yourself for giving it all you got.

[00:54:23] And I looked at the hiring manager, and I said, I'm a convicted felon, I shared a little about my story. And of course, they hesitated. And I said, listen, fitness changed my life, I just gave them my spiel, and then I said, I'll do whatever it takes, I'll pee in a cup every day, I'll do whatever. You want my probation papers, you want my court papers, whatever. And then, after talking to HR in different interviews, I was given a job, I was given a chance. 

[00:54:50] And I took that as like a new high of helping people, because I could relate to these people I was training, because most people, I would say everybody, I would argue, it's not a weight loss thing, it's a happiness thing when they would see themselves in the mirror. Like people don't just want to lose weight, they want to be able to look at themselves authentically and be happy with that person they see in the mirror, which is, I mean, why they would want to lose weight, because they feel better about themselves.

[00:55:14] So, I could relate and connect to people that I was training on a deep level, because I've been the kid who was ashamed of how I looked like, I was the kid who was depressed, I was the kid who felt uncomfortable, I was the kid who just hated myself, which a lot of people, when they come to the gym, they're not happy with the way they look. And you just kind of know when you're in flow, I guess that I call it now, but back then, it was just me just doing me and helping other people use fitness. 

[00:55:39] And time flew by. I built a really successful personal training business. And it came to a point where my probation was up, and I didn't use drugs, and passed all my drug tests, did my community service, did all my probation stuff, and my probation was complete, and it was time for me to write the judge a letter for modification of my sentence. And just so happened, I trained a lawyer, which we crafted up a letter, sent it to him and he granted me my day in court.

[00:56:06] And in January of 2014, I stood before him and he took the felony conviction off my record, because I completed all the stipulations he gave me. I never realized how much one's life can change in a matter of seconds from being shackled, really, as a convicted felon and not being able to vote, not being able to leave the country, having to do this, having to do that, not being completely free. 

[00:56:27] And it started to get the ball rolling that I was put on this Earth for more than just to train people. And that's when I decided I wanted to start to share my story to help other people. And I wrote my first book From Felony to Fitness to Free, to inspire people to make the most of their second chance, turn negative into a positive, and also like focus on how far they've come, and then how far they have to go, because that's like the hardest thing, I think, for people, especially in recovery. 

[00:56:51] They're like looking at their—sometimes, I mean, I can imagine, again, I didn't get sober in the 12 steps, but people who are in there and they're hearing stories of people who are in recovery for like 40 years, 20 years, they maybe sober four minutes, four hours, like how am I going to get there? But if I can just invite people just to lean in to the fact of how far you've come, the small steps you have made, and just focus on that and build off of that, you'll get a lot further than if you put your sights solely on like where you're going to be 20 years from now or the person you were 20 days ago.

[00:57:29] Staying in that present moment and focusing on the positives that you have. Not that everything's going to be positive, but focusing on the positives that you do have in your life will help your minds—help like your mindset like operate in a way where you're going to remain more optimistic and more hopeful of where you're going. And then, after my first book, I wrote a couple of other books along the way, and I've been blessed to share my story on various media outlets and talk to people like you. 

[00:57:56] And this is where like the whole notion of The Adversity Advantage came from was I just knew that there's plenty of people that go through hard times that make their problems worse, and I did that. Growing up, I did that completely. But I said, you know what, if I could help people use those dark times to become better? Not that you're going to just take this magical experience you're going through—or this experience you're going through, and turning this something magical right away, but what if I could help people use adversity as a muscle and just know that life is going to suck sometimes? 

[00:58:32] It's going to be hard. It's going be challenging. But it's not that that matters, it's how you adapt to it, it's how you get through it that counts. And so, just talking to different people about how they've actually gotten through hard times has been something that's been meaningful to me, because I think of adversity as a golf ball-sized problem. And what happens is the way they respond to it, whether it's excessive drinking, or drugs, or gambling, or spending tons of money, that golf ball becomes a bowling ball. And now, they've created more unhealthy habits, unhealthy behaviors as a result of the inability to deal with whatever was placed in front of them in the first place.

[00:59:09] Luke Storey: Yeah, that's really it in a nutshell, dude. It's like I'm thinking back on my relationship with drugs and alcohol, and it was, you could minimize it to a tool of just to be able to change your perception of your in this moment experience manually, and automatically, and for a time, reliably, right? So, it's like you get sober, however that happens, and then what do you have to do to replace that?

[00:59:44] If you want it to last and you want to be fulfilled, you do what you just explained, which is you come up with organic, self-disciplined ways to change your perception of reality, right? I was thinking about a couple of days ago, a friend of mine, Dr. John Lieurance, was going to come out here and record a podcast. He's on his way out here, he wasn't feeling that well, he's like, you know what, it's not the right time, I'm going back home. 

[01:00:09] And he's, oh, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry. And I was stoked. I'm like, oh, perfect. That's not what was supposed to happen this weekend, you know what I mean? It's like it wasn't even like, okay, oh, I'm disappointed, this sucks. Now, let me like figure out how to change my attitude and my perception. It was just immediate perception was, I'm sorry that he wasn't feeling well, of course, but it was just like, oh, this is great.

[01:00:35] You know what I mean? Like the same situation happened, and that's like a really easy thing, take a parking ticket, a divorce, or letter from the IRS, whatever, an injury, an illness, a death of a loved one. I mean, of course, that model is scalable and it gets more difficult the more stake you have in said event, but still, it's the same tool, it's the same principle of that reframing of something. And it's as you said earlier, it's like it sounds somewhat vapid or superficial, like, oh, just think positive, like turn that frown upside down, and it's corny, but actually, it's how life works.

[01:01:13] And if you're an addict or alcoholic that's actively pursuing that, that's all you're doing, is you're just changing your perception of a situation, like you said, oh, I feel like fat, girls don't like me, I suck at sports, I had all of my issues, my feet were too big, I thought I was dumb, like whatever. I could change that with this facsimile attitude change, it's like a fake way to do that, not an internalized way, where you literally shifted your reality based on your perception. You just trick yourself into thinking reality is a little different, because you're high on whatever.

[01:01:49] Doug Bopst: And I think the thing, too, is that there's these different muscles that you have to work at in order to be successful in life. And I talked about the adversity muscle, but there's also like the perspective muscle, there's the gratitude muscle, there's the faith muscle, there's the discipline muscle. I mean, I can go on and on, but these different things that take time to adapt to. 

[01:02:10] And you had the example, a few minutes ago where you were talking about how, oh, this just wasn't meant to happen this weekend, or whatever. And I think people get caught up, again, in thinking like, why aren't I thinking that way? It takes time, it takes discipline, it takes practice, it takes years, it takes a lot of not thinking that way, and it takes off, maybe you have five situations, where you do think that way, and then you have two that you, and five that you do, and it's just repetition.

[01:02:37] It's just discipline. And I also think that when people are going through adversity, one of the things that I say is there are like three As that I like to use. Number one is awareness, so meaning like being aware of what you're feeling, being aware of what you're going through, being aware of what's happening around you, develop awareness. And the second part, I think, is very important, is acceptance, is knowing that this is just part of life.

[01:03:03] It's part of your life to feel off some days. It's part of life to feel anxious at times. It's part of life to not feel right. It's part of life, right? But I think so many people that get caught up in the shame of it, like why am I not happy, or why am I feeling this, or why am I feeling that? And then, they just start to spiral down, and spiral down, and spiral down, and that bad hour, or that bad 30 minutes, or that bad three hours, or whatever it is, turns into a bad three weeks, because they're caught up in that shame cycle.

[01:03:30] Luke Storey: Oh, yeah. You just described my life years ago. Totally. 

[01:03:33] Doug Bopst: Right?

[01:03:33] Luke Storey: Yeah.

[01:03:34] Doug Bopst: And so, once people can gain acceptance, and saying, okay, this is happening for me and not to me, again, it sounds cliche, but I mean, there's no other way to really think about it during times like that, and then you can start to take the third A, which is action, which is like, okay, and that doesn't have to be anything like substantial, you don't have to go like run a marathon or anything, but what are some things that are in your toolbox that you know you enjoy doing, that you can do to make yourself feel better and are aligned with the person you want to become?

[01:04:08] Like what are some healthy things? Could be going for a walk, could be meditating, could be calling a friend, could be listening to music. It could be going out and getting a healthy meal, or what have you. It could be listening to a podcast. Could be watching a funny movie, which is something that I like to do if I'm having a bad day, like watching something funny, it's just what makes me feel good sometimes. And then, that mitigates the adversity, because what tends to happen is we have this massive spike of fight or flight when something goes wrong, it's my experience, and then we, sometimes, will get caught in that fight or flight, and we just focus on that.

[01:04:46] And then, when you channel that into something else, a lot of times, that fight or flight can flatline a little bit and you feel better for a few reasons. Number one, because the activity that you did just naturally will make you feel good, whether it's exercising, whether it's watching a movie, or going for a walk, or meditating. But then, you feel better about yourself, because you managed a situation that was challenging in a way that was healthy.

[01:05:11] And I think there's a sense of confidence that's built from that, from looking back, and being like, wow, like five months ago, I would have gone and drank, or five months ago, I would have snapped on my partner, or five months ago, I would have gone out and spent a bunch of money on stuff I shouldn't be buying. But look where I am now, I chose to take five minutes, and practice the pause, and write down my thoughts.

[01:05:35] I took 15 minutes to go take my dog for a walk. I took 30 minutes to go for a drive and listen to a podcast. And then, you build off that. That becomes a muscle. And then, you start to rewire. Again, I talked about reattaching behavior to emotion. You start to rewire your brain. And then, when you get stressed or anxious, the first thing that comes to mind, at least, again, this is my experience, isn't the do drugs. It's like, well, where can I get a run in? Who can I call? 

[01:05:58] What kind of podcast can I listen to? What kind of movie can I watch? What kind of stand-up comedian can I watch? And that becomes your new normal. And again, that's what life's all about. When you can create that new normal for yourself, so that when you're going through hard times, you're able to challenge it with things that you know, might not feel "extremely better" short term, like you're not going to get the same euphoric rush from running that you probably would from snorting a line of coke, right? I'm sure. I mean, I don't know what happens-

[01:06:33] Luke Storey: Depends on how fast you run.

[01:06:34] Doug Bopst: Yeah, I would say most people probably won't get that euphoric feeling that people maybe are used to they're snorting a line of coke. What I can guarantee is this, is that after you're done running, you'll feel a hell of a lot better than you do after looking back—or after you would have snorted that line of coke, after that high goes off, right?

[01:06:56] Luke Storey: Oh, God.

[01:06:58] Doug Bopst: So, yeah, I mean, I think there's a lot-

[01:07:00] Luke Storey: The thing I find interesting about your journey, getting to know you a bit today, is that you found a model of recovery that is exceedingly rare. I know very few people that were legitimate, dyed in the wool, addicts or alcoholics that didn't go through a 12-step program. I mean, a lot of people that have had issues with drugs and alcohol. And I mean, I could probably count them on one hand that I've met in my entire journey that didn't take that route.

[01:07:34] And what I find interesting is that your perspective in the chain of events, in your experience from meeting the Yoda, Brad Pitt, ripped, quasi-coach, guide in jail is that it seems like you got out, and you became a seeker of truth and a seeker of fundamental principles, by which one can live their life, and learn to adhere to and apply, and over time, those become ingrained in your character, and ultimately, just become who you are, and as a result, how you do things, right?

[01:08:14] So, to me, that's what the 12 steps provide people, is a framework of universal truths, spiritual in their nature, which, if applied continually over the course of some time, change you and your perspective in your experience of life. But because it's so rare that someone finds another path other than, every once in a while, someone like becomes an extreme Born Again Christian or something super wild, like that happens, right?

[01:08:42] And they're just like, poof, they're changed in an enlightenment experience, or religious conversion, or something of that nature. But yours still, to me, sounds a little nebulous. It's like, how did you not relapse? You got out of jail, you're like, I'm just going to think positive and go to the gym. It's like a lot of people try going to the gym, dropping some weight, thinking positive, reading a couple self-help books, and they end up right back in the bar, right back in the back of a police cruiser.

[01:09:08] So, I wonder what's different about your journey having not gone the 12-step route? And more specifically, I think what those other models of recovery do for most people is get some of the falsehoods about who they think they are out of the way, and that toxic, erroneous, addictive negative thinking gets subsided, and ultimately, you get a bunch of junk out of your way and you form a relationship with the higher power. You find a spiritual way of life through living by those universal truths, right?

[01:09:46] You put these principles in your life, and ultimately, those lead you to spiritual practices, and then to a relationship with some higher power that gives you the fortitude and strength that helps you weather life's storms without having to resort to the old coping mechanisms. So, in that long diatribe is the question, how did these practices and truths that you discovered after getting out of jail and getting sober, how did those help you create a spiritual framework for your life, or did they?

[01:10:22] Doug Bopst: I should say this, it did and it didn't. It did in the long run, but initially, it didn't. And I guess to go back to your point, one of the things that saved me was I was terrified of going back to jail, because I just knew that if I went back to prison, because I was backing up to five years, that I wouldn't last very long, just because I just knew that I just wasn't the guy that was meant to survive prison, like I just wasn't a fighter, it just wasn't me. And so, I was terrified. Plus, in, I guess, a healthy, co-dependent way, I didn't want to let my cellmate down. Like that was part of the motivation. And again, you have to find what drives you, and I've said this before. That was something that drove me was this guy-

[01:11:10] Luke Storey: You don't want to see his ass back in there next weekend, hey, sorry, man, thanks for all your time and effort, I went out and did Oxy. 

[01:11:16] Doug Bopst: But I was just so, I think, taken back and touched that this person had come into my life, almost like an unexpected angel, if you will, to help me change my life at a time where I had no confidence or ability to do it. And so, that was a big part of it. Obviously, the fear of going back to jail. I had a lot of accountability with being on probation, too. Like when you're going to the probation officer regularly, and having to pee in a cup, and report, and do all that stuff, and go to community service, you're kind of reminded of what's going on or what reality is.

[01:11:54] And to your point about fitness and what else was there as far as spirituality, because I mean, spirituality is a big part of 12 steps, it's a big part of many recovery programs, I muscled my way through it literally by working out. And I did change my friends, and I think the other thing that helped me was because I learned fitness and the importance of focusing on goals. I set goals in other areas of my life.

[01:12:19] It just happened as a byproduct. And so, I started to get involved in different things, and going to work to a mentorship that helped me, and joined a mastermind group early on when I was in my early 20s, I guess. I forget how old I was. But early on, I just adapted, and found success, and setting and achieving goals. But there was a point in my life where I hit another, I wouldn't say rock bottom, but there was a point where I was broken and everything really came before me, because you have to remember, like people are always asking me, like what do you wish you would have had to make you happy back when I was doing drugs?

[01:13:04] And I can't fully answer that, because from what I know now of what doesn't fulfill me, totally is, back then, I was like, yeah, I just wish I would have had girls, or I wish I would have been ripped, or I wish I would have just made good money, or whatever it was, but I've had that, and it hasn't brought me 100% happiness, just doesn't. And there was a point where I was in the best shape in my life. 

[01:13:31] I mean, I was like 5% body fat. I was incredibly rip that every ab muscle there was. I was making great money as a trainer, just written my first book. Obviously, I wasn't using drugs. But there is still something inside of me that was missing. I still had resentments about myself. I still was ashamed of who I was. I still had torn relationships with family. There's a lot of guilt. I still was watching myself just have bad experiences in dating, for instance, and self-doubt, and just my confidence.

[01:14:05] Like I would look in the mirror and I would still see the fat Doug. I had a hard time being like, this isn't who you are anymore. And I remember I was hanging out with a mentor of mine, he's like, dude, you need some faith in your life. I was like, what? I was like, no way, man. He's like, dude, you're a good looking dude now, you're successful, you have a good friend group, you've written a book, like he's going off on all these good things that I had going for me, he's like, but I think the spirituality part is missing for you.

[01:14:32] And right around that time, I was training a guy who was a pastor at a nondenominational church. He was very positive and happy, and he was like, you want to come to church with me and we'll go to Chipotle after? I'm like, nope. I was like, I'm going to hell for putting you through this workout, and I never believed in God. Like I grew up like traditional religion, where I knew if you were good, you went to heaven, if you're bad, you went to hell.

[01:14:56] And so, I was on the highway to hell already, I already checked that box based on my actions growing up, and I also said, if God is about love and he's real, then why did I get picked on? Why this? Why that? Why this? Like asking all these questions that I'm sure other people ask. And there was a time, where I was like, again, in the best shape my life, having these successes, and I was at a retreat, I just broke down, and I could just finally feel this void that had been in my life that I had been, I think, using fitness, and all these other tools to kind of fill that for a while like wore off.

[01:15:32] And I finally decided to call my client who is a pastor and give like this Christian thing a try. And I think the important thing to remember here is it was because I wanted to do it, not because somebody else wanted to do it for me. And so, I mean, I kind of laugh a little bit at this, but I called him, I was like, hey, man, I think I'm ready to give my life to Jesus and try this Christian thing.

[01:15:55] And you would have thought that this guy just won the lottery based on what I just told him. He's like, alright. Like I went to his office, and I just prayed this prayer, and I acknowledge that Jesus died for my sins and [making sounds] . And the same monkey that came off my back when I was doing drugs came off my back that day. I started crying. And I don't know how to explain it.

[01:16:14] Like I don't know how to explain other than I just started crying. I called my mom when I walked out and I just—for the first time in my life, I called her and I told her I was sorry for everything I did growing up. And so, over time, I acknowledge that Doug didn't get me here, God did, and that I couldn't make up the fact that there was a guy helping me use fitness to change my life in jail, and now, I'm helping other people use fitness to change their lives.

[01:16:43] And I started to realize that I might not have been proud of all the decisions and choices that I made, but God was, because now, he's used all of my stuff to help other people. And that became my spiritual journey, and to help me really realize that things really happen for me and not to me. And I'm not a check the box, go to church on Sundays, type of person. I mean, it's more about a relationship and how I treat other people. But it's given me this sense of purpose and meaning in my life for a lot of the bad stuff that happened that I didn't really fully grasp until that moment.

[01:17:18] And that's the important thing, I think, about any—no matter what type of spirituality walk people take, it's kind of like just got to do what works for you. And if it works great, just keep doing that, but don't be closed off to other forms. I mean, I still like other forms of spirituality. I mean, I can be friends with anybody. I like to meditate what I'm good at it, or breathwork, or other things that people stay in silos about. I mean, you've got to do what works for you and just be open to try new things.

[01:17:47] Luke Storey: Awesome. I knew that was in there somewhere, because I'm like, there's no way this fool could have stayed sober without some connection at a certain point.

[01:17:54] Doug Bopst: Yeah, I muscled though it for a while, but there was a time where I had to develop this deep connection with something other than Doug Bopst.

[01:18:05] Luke Storey: Yeah. Well, Doug, you also—I think it's funny, because of course, my framework is coming again from the 12-step model, which is the thing I'm most familiar with, but as you're talking, I'm like, okay, your mentor in jail was of service to you, right? He loved you unconditionally, right? And then, so many of the experiences that you had when you got out, and you started to build a community of like-minded people, support group, you took yourself out of the former environments and new environment completely, like you changed everything, and all of those things, even though your route was different than, I think, the vast majority of people that have been successfully able to remain liberated from that life, the same touchpoint still ended up coming your way anyway, right?

[01:18:51] You hit a certain point at which you went, okay, this spiritual element of my life is missing. Had kind of a surrender moment there with your buddy at the church office and felt something happened, right? And that was the seed of that relationship. There are so many parallels, and it just speaks to there not being one right way to do any of this, right? It's almost like we're all doing the same thing, right? We're exploring our consciousness, and our evolution, our growth, and our relationship with other people and with some sort of higher power, and we all get the same benefits from it. No matter what route we're taking, it's like all those roads eventually end up in the same place, which is that place of truth, and love, and unity, and those things that really make life worth living.

[01:19:36] Doug Bopst: Well, I think the one thing too, that, I know, is a big part of a 12-step community that I learned early on was accountability. I had to be accountable to my cellmate. When I was in jail, like I had to be accountable to him. And then, when I got out, I was obviously on probation for five years. And then, my grandparents, when they took me in, they said that I could live there essentially rent-free.

[01:20:03] I wouldn't have to pay for groceries. They would give me money to spend if I wanted to go out my friends, but I had to make my bed. I had to take care of my room. I had to exercise. I had to have a job. And I had to bring them receipts for what I spent money on. So, it forced me to take accountability. I mean, maybe I didn't have the traditional, obviously, sponsor or whatever, if you will, but I still had to have that, that element of responsibility to myself and my actions as I went along the course.

[01:20:33] And then, I think what was different for me was instead of maybe going into 12-step meetings, I joined, like I said, like I went to a mentorship group fairly early on when I became a trainer. I think it was within a year or two of becoming a trainer. And I joined like a mastermind with like a like-minded group of fitness professionals and people that were looking to better themselves in their businesses. So, that became like my accountability group, if you will, because we were all pushing each other to thrive in our businesses, thrive personally, thrive professionally, and that sort of thing.

[01:21:04] So, organically, I guess even though my path wasn't as linear as is, sometimes, the 12 steps, even though they're not, can seem, because obviously, all recovery is like more of a zigzag, if you will, I still kind of found my way through all that. Like being of service was a huge thing for me. And it's something I've even juggled with now, where I'm not training nearly as much as I was when I was a full-time trainer, I'm obviously podcasting more and doing a couple of other things, where I've had to almost let go of that, where it's been hard, because I'm like, wow, like I go back to jail and this is what saved my life. Not that I'm not exercising, because I'm still working out, but I've had to let go of the fact that right now, I'm in a different place than I was when I became a trainer.

[01:21:54] I've grown a lot. I've met a lot of people. I've built a brand and that sort of thing. So, it's been something that's been a struggle of mine, is really being okay with trusting the process with everything that's going on, because my level of service, and while the podcast obviously hopefully helps people and is service to that, most of my service came from passing the torch that my cellmate gave me in helping other people use fitness to change their lives. But essentially, I'm also doing that now, where I'm sharing my story and helping to encourage other people that if they are struggling to find themselves or explore fitness to just get down and try to do a push up, and go from there.

[01:22:38] Luke Storey: Yeah, that's great. I've actually experienced that, too, where there was a lack of direct one-on-one service at one point, which had become just such a fulfilling part of my life. And then, when I made the move into doing more public and far-reaching content, I've had to reconcile that lack with the service that I think we do when we create a platform is more diffused, right? You don't get that tangible, like I'm working with this one guy, just doing the shit I say, and it's working, and his life is transformed.

[01:23:12] You get random messages from people on Instagram or your website that are like, I followed X, Y, and Z that you recommended or demonstrated, and modeled for me, and my life has changed. So, it's like a lower touch, less intimate relationship with those people that you're serving, but ultimately, we have to acknowledge that based on the feedback that we get that this is still service, it's just, you have to acclimate yourself, so you're kind of casting a wider net, right?

[01:23:40] You're not saving the one—not that we're saving anyone, but contributing to the welfare of the one fish that you catch, you're kind of like scooping a bunch up at once, and it's a less intimate relationship with the people that you're helping. But I think it's the value of still having your effort to be about contribution, and about serving, and about alchemizing the things that you've struggled with into solutions for other people that are just now hitting that stage of struggle or those type of challenges. It's a great life, man. It's a rewarding life.

[01:24:16] Doug Bopst: It is. And I think the one thing I'll say to that is like traditionally, while it's individualistic for so many people, traditionally, I think the advice you give to one is very similar to the advice you might give to others, generally speaking. And so, like in the one-on-one model, yeah, it's great, obviously, to have the intimate connection and be able to talk to them on the phone, or now, you're on FaceTime, or whatever, and have that relationship, but in the podcast space, essentially, either through your own content or when you're interviewing other people, you're getting a lot of the wisdom that you would say to that one person in these episodes, and it's being spread to so many more people.

[01:24:59] And now, maybe instead of getting the one or two messages that you would get like from a couple of clients that you would work with per day, you would get these messages about maybe you had a breakthrough with a client one day and they sent you a message like thanking you, you might get 10, 20, 30. And while it can be overwhelming at times, I think it at least gives us a sense of relief that we're on the right path. And in both of our lives, we've had to let go of who we were in the prior to become who we were, who we are in the present, who we want to be in the future.

[01:25:35] And that's just an important lesson for anybody who's listening to this is that you got to change yourself before change changes you. There's going to be a time in your life, where you've been wanting to make that move or even wanting to, whether it's getting to recovery, start a podcast, write a book, move, whatever it is, eventually, something's going to happen where you're going to be forced to change. And it might be for the good, might be for the bad, but regardless, like you just got to do it, and just know that whatever you're doing, there's purpose in that.

[01:26:13] And would you rather change yourself now where you're kind of more so in control, when you're doing it for the right reasons, you're going to be proactive about it, or you're going to be forced to change when something drastic happens in your life. We see that a lot in the health space. Like I can't tell you how many people, I'm sure they know that they should be like losing that 50 pounds they need to lose, but they wait for the doctor to tell them, you just woke up from having a heart attack, or whatever it is, to change.

[01:26:41] Like we always wait for things to get super bad in our lives, and I've done this, we've all been there before. We actually take that step, and say, you know what, like I need to do something right now. Like don't wait. Like I don't care if it's your recovery, I don't care if it's asking that girl out, I don't care if it's a job. It's like life's short. I think the one thing that the pandemic has taught all of us, I don't care what you believe about it, is that life is short.

[01:27:12] And there's a lot of things in life that we all take for granted, myself included, and I learned all this in jail. I took for granted my health, took for granted my emotional health, took for granted my spiritual health, my physical health, and nearly cost me my life. And so, I invite people listening to this to just take action on yourself, never stop believing in you, and just to really focus on how far you've come, and on how far you have to go. That's everything in life.

[01:27:45] Luke Storey: I love it, brother. Thank you for coming on The Life Stylist podcast.

[01:27:49] Doug Bopst: Luke, thanks for having me, man.


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