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From benders to barbells: how Andrew turned his life around

 

We all know life can be a bit of a rollercoaster. Some days you will bench press your P.B and other days, a light set of dumbbells is just too much.

Whether it's first world problems or something serious, no one is free from the highs and lows of life. When times are tough, we turn to the classic ‘get-on-with-it’ Aussie mentality because it feels easier than being real.

The thing is… we’ve got to get real.

To start the important conversation about mental health, we sat down with OG SOF member Andrew Wilson who has been with us since 2014. When we first met Andrew, he was managing some of Brisbane’s biggest clubs and bars, which came with a lifestyle of excessive drinking, chasing highs, getting minimum sleep, and eating takeaway for every meal.

Despite how glamorous and fun things looked from the outside and on social media, the reality was that he was alone 90% of the time, regretting most of the decisions made and wondering how he could keep functioning.

“It was wild. It was all about the next thing, the next rush, the next event. Things moved fast. Everyday something new was on the horizon and it felt like nothing could go wrong,” said Andrew.

His routine was party Friday through to Sunday, then wake up Monday with a huge hangover and spend the rest of the week playing catch-up until it was Friday afternoon, and the party would start all over again.

This viscous and repetitive cycle left Andrew at his lowest point – both physically and mentally.

It was February 2020 when Andrew decided something had to give. Living back at home with everything on the verge of crashing, Andrew finally spoke to his parents and asked for help.

“To see the disappointment in their eyes was the flame I needed to get myself somewhat back together.”

Getting back on track meant it was time to hustle at the gym and spend more time with people who had a positive impact on his life. Working with our Director and Strength and Conditioning Coach Joseph Agresta, the boys created goals that would improve both his body and mindset.

Andrew went completely sober in May 2020 and began training for triathlons. These new healthy habits gave Andrew the mental clarity he needed to confront his past and accept his mistakes, so that he could learn from his experience and move forward. After time, hard work and many sweaty sessions, Andrew is now living a happy, healthy life, free from his past toxicities.

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Talking about the impact exercise has had on his life Andrew said, “With every small accomplishment in the gym or the pool or on the track, I notice bigger accomplishments in my personal and professional life. People feed off energy and having more of it from being fitter and more in control of emotions, means I have more good people in my life!”

Andrew’s story is one that had extreme highs and extreme lows – yet he still managed to cover it with the façade of a happy, successful, and enriching life. Unfortunately, due to a lack of conversation, some people are still just trying to ‘get on with it’, and not reaching out to their friends and family to get help.

What people need to realise is that Andrew could be among any of us, and men’s health is something we need to address now.

“Men’s health is important as I think by nature, we aren’t social. We talk shallow. We talk about things, not about how they are affecting us. We all have a front. We never want to be wrong or made fun of.

“I’ve realised that so many men have gone through something similar… most of us are terrified,” said Andrew.

For anyone who can relate to these hardships, Andrew shared that it’s all about listening to yourself and ensuring the people you chose to have around you are positive influences.

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“Talk to your parents. Cry. Focus on one aspect to base your life on. Talk to a professional. Get people around you to hold you accountable.”

“To anyone reading this… I’m always around if you just need to get something off your chest… and I can’t fix it but I may be able to point you in the right direction.”

 

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For the month of November, Science of Fitness will be raising money for Movember – the leading charity changing the face of men’s health.

See The Mo Row event we are hosting on Sunday 14th November and click here to contribute to our fundraiser.

Whether it’s for a father, a brother, a son, a friend, a partner, or any man’s life, it’s a time to rally together and show support for this important cause.

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