Written by WOLACO Creative Director @nickdio
IT'S SAD TO THINK I’LL LOOK BACK ON MY EARLY TWENTIES AS THE MOST UNHEALTHY YEARS OF MY LIFE.
Twenty-two years old, those few years post college, often regarded as your physical PRIME, I was drinking, smoking, and had a terrible relationship with food.
Having just moved into NYC and thrust into a “professional” world that heroizes happy hours, indulgence, and operating on as little sleep as possible, my understanding of personal health and wellness was broken at best.
While I was spending considerable time in “the gym” pressing two plates and looking at my phone, I had no motor, no mobility, and no real routine.
Looking back, I started developing these habits in college and while I can fondly reflect on 2AM Pizza and hung-over left-overs at noon - I started to abuse my physical PRIME by taking it for granted.
YOU SEE WHAT HAPPENS IS, YOUR METABOLISM IS FUCKING AMAZING.
And your body and brain bounce back from the average hangover at 4G LTE speed, or so we think. Those two things coupled with foolish confidence and a splash of arrogance, gave me a false sense of security that life is good FOREVER.
What I’ve learned is that life is good FOREVER, but your body and mind won’t be, they’ll get pissed at you and it will show. As many of you reading this know, the hangovers hurt, the fast food makes you mushy, and you end up feeling dull everywhere.
The saddest part about this process is that many people never recover. Imagine being over the hill by the age of 25. A washed-up has been who has given up on their athletic gift because the chance to do it professionally wasn’t an option, because some coach isn’t still telling you to do it anymore. 1/4 of the way through life and you’ve effectively thrown in the towel. It really is just sad.
SO HOW DO WE STOP THIS FROM HAPPENING? HOW DO WE CHANGE THE COURSE OF A DAD BOD APPLAUDING, BINGE EVERYTHING GENERATION?
We start by talking about it. We declare out loud that if you have ambition to make your mark on this world, if you want to challenge the way it works, if you want to be here for 100 years, then you need to understand the roles of movement and wellness and prioritize them as soon as possible. You need to make it a Way of Life.
The sirens went off for me when I realized that waking up past noon on a Saturday hungover with a breakfast sandwich in my hand became par for the course. My body urging me to MOVE - screaming at me to get up and GO. So I left the apartment and picked a bridge I had never been over and started to run, 12 miles later somewhere in Brooklyn, I found a part of myself that had been dying to come back out. From there the journey has been a slow and steady progression into becoming more AWARE. Aware of the connection to my movement and my mind, aware of how my body physically responds everyday, aware of what I put into my body. That kind of awareness causes us to ask ourselves questions everyday, and if you have any appetite to know yourself - the more informed you become.
What I’ve learned is you have to look in the mirror and understand who the person is starring back at you. There are so many people that are GOOD with the world the way it is. They have no ambition to leave their mark on it and no desire to challenge the way it works. My fear is that our generation will be defeated by our own complacency and I’m writing this to help one person from not continuing down that path.
WOLACO advisory board member, @strausszelnick has long been a muse for our brand identity. Newly appointed Chairman of CBS, and CEO of Take 2 Interactive - at 61 years old he’s physically in the best shape of his life and mentally sharper than ever. He’s taught us by example, that if we wanted to really DO THIS, if we really wanted to build WOLACO into something remarkable, that it would take a consistent physical and mental output that would only be possible if you built your body and mind to be a machine that could withstand the lifelong battle of entrepreneurship. Movement of the body, moderation in diet, and finding space to pause and think. Simple and sound advice that have gotten us to this position today. Check out his book “Becoming Ageless”, if you want to hear how he’s done it.
When we started doing WOLACO Wednesdays on the West Side Turf in NYC there wasn’t a grand vision, no master plan to build a 1000+ person community. It was a few of us who found that we would work harder when we had our peers there to help hold us accountable. Our small group didn’t grow overnight and some fell off and then came back again. But we made a commitment to move and have fun doing it, to create a inclusive space where the barrier to entry was so low - that all you have to do was show up.
I know the more we talk about it, the more we show you people living it, the more we create spaces for conversation and movement, the more potential we have to all be better for it.
If you’ve made it this far, my ask is that you share this to the person that needs to hear it. The one who still has something within them, a story to be told. Someone who has a grand vision for what they hope to achieve in their life - and is still trying to figure out how to start. I believe our collective potential is limitless.
Thanks for reading - this. Let’s win together.