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What's your favorite motivational quote? At the moment. It's one that I found on the get motivated separate it. Okay. And it's actually an Ernest Hemingway, quote, he says there's nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True. Nobility lies in being superior to your former self. I love that. It's like you're great just be a better version of yourself. Okay. Mine's a little different. Okay. Comes from Conan the barbarian. And it's an answer to what is best in life and his answer is to crush enemies. This driven before you. And so this is a little different than Hemingway. But I seriously think that my answer for what motivates me is provocation is like friendly competitions someone telling me, I can't do something. What about you? When I think I can't do something. That's when I really wanna do it like that's why I started running. And that's that's been the source of many new adventures in my life. It's still really hard to get motivated. Right. Even when you spend all of your time as you apparently have looking at the get motivated sub Reddit which is full of like, Hemingway and Conan motivational quotes and stories about people doing awesome things despite the challenges they face, right? But it feels appropriate that Arnold Schwarzenegger is referenced in your answer because we're about to meet Conan the barbarian. What? No, we're gonna meet someone who's pumping a lot of iron though. True. So my name is Jerry wells. I'm originally from Utica, New York, just moved to Denver and right now working over at appliance factory and trying to become a pro bodybuilder being pro bodybuilder what I think of is like basically, you get paid to go to places and put oil on your body and flex under bright lights. That's what I think. Are you saying thing I'm not gonna lie? Jared started his quest to become a bodybuilder pretty recently. Actually, he's still bulking up as they say, what is the part of your body that you're most proud of right now. Out to see my apps. Can you describe what you look like now? So about one hundred and fifty pounds. I was really aren't that big. They're getting there. My thighs are still kind of thin ice to I've got some pretty decent Cavs and then ripped ripped Avs. And then I'm building my chest up. Do you have like a target way? Target like circumference of your bicep or something. No, no targets are conference or anything like that. But I do I would like to be at least my goal weight is one hundred eighty one hundred and eighty. Yeah. That's my goal way too. But I'm thirty pounds heavier than that. Hey, man, we're we're both thirty pounds away. So. Yeah. Yeah. I'll meet you in the middle. Sounds good deal. If you think Jared's size in wait sounds a little small for your average bodybuilder. You're not wrong. This is partly because Jared's nude about building. But also because it's been a big year of transformation for him and not just because he moved from upstate New York to Denver January of last year. Are we two hundred seventeen pounds six just about six foot one? So as you can imagine, that's that's not very good. I was kind of kind of looking at death's door. My lung function had fallen severely. My mom, and I kinda been planning for the worst. We had talked to the doctors about hospice kinda have been thinking about that. But I definitely I looked my mother in the eye and kind of told her that that might be something I want to set up a, you know, will hospice the whole nine. I'm Ben Brock Johnson. I'm ama- Stevenson. And you're listening to endless thread the show featuring stories found on read it we're coming to you from Boston's NPR station. WBU are today's episode. Get motivated. A year ago? Jared was close to going into hospice because Jared has cystic fibrosis, and I'll be honest, I didn't know a lot about this disease. But Jared has lived at pretty much for twenty two years since he was born so cystic fibrosis is a degenerative genetic disease. That affects the loans and sometimes the pancreatic digestive system. We have a hard time clearing mucus out of our lungs. So builds up in can cause infections and make it very hard to breathe kind of clog it all up, and eventually some people have the digestive issue where the mucus can just kinda cover, you know, the digestive track and make it really hard to absorb the nutrients that most people would despite this Jared says that thanks to his mom and his older, brother. He had a pretty quote unquote, normal childhood. He went to school hung out with his friends pretty typical not so typical the medications and time consuming treatments that he had to keep up with every day. Enzymes to help them absorb the nutrients and his food nebulizers mile seven machine called the vest, which is literally machine that pumps air into vast fills it up, and then vibrates it very quickly to help break up that Nukus to make me cough it out as you might imagine. This stuff can get pretty tiring. Ng and last January. Jared was freaking tired after so many years. I was kind of sick of it. You know, even if I did everything, right? I felt like a still gonna get sick. And as prolong the inevitable. And I kinda just let my let myself go I kinda just decided to enjoy my life. To the volts instead of doing what I need to do to prolong it. Translation, instead of doing his treatments. Jared would go hang out with his friends. He started drinking a little bit more. He started sleeping more which doesn't seem like a big deal on the surface. But when you have cystic fibrosis backing off of the fight starts to turn into a death sentence injured knew that he just thought he was ready for it one day after a doctor's visit he had the talk with this mom about setting up his will in preparing for hospice, preparing the I think it was maybe the next very next day. My lung function job so much those practically suffocating myself. Just remember calling my mom saying that we need to go to the hospital. And then being in a wheelchair. Finally, getting emitted into hospital as I remember coming out of that. Saying like, there's gotta be more and something just clicked that said, I'm not I'm not ready yet. This is when Jared decided to do something totally out of character for him, and especially out of character for someone with his disease. He had this friend from town. The friend's dad ran a body building gym in Utica, and that friend invited Jared to come workout sometime if he wanted so one morning pretty soon after he decided he didn't wanna die after all Jared hit the gym. But this was not your so-called sports club with, you know, cucumber water and Asana so to super old school bodybuilding Jin. Yeah. There is no windows only a few skylights. And then we have one big Raj Storto Walzer concrete with like paint, chip and on them. There's a there's a wall of all the people that have trained there that have gone pro. And of course, you got all the old school bodybuilders when embody builders with the, you know, the sign timeframe photos, so like what? Did you do on your first day? I definitely followed my friend around like a little puppy, which your friends, then Vinnie Donnelly Dinnie Donnelly you in Vinnie. So we did a decline bench press. I was only doing the bar, but you know. Got to start somewhere. We did chest press believe we did a just a flat bench. Was there a moment? They're like clicked for you. Were you like, oh, yeah. This is my this is it. This is my jam. I'm going to do this now. Not really. I was thinking it was going to be a one, you know, couple times, and then kind of quit. I've known it was I just started going every day, and you know, after Mr Donnelly Vinnie's dead. Kinda wanted to take me on this project. Everybody looked at me and said, well, you're not getting out of this now. Reckitt? Go on your own. Nice job. Can you describe Mr Donnelly like again, I'm gonna come from a place of pop culture, basic references here that I'm just like thinking of the guy from rocky the trainer from rocky would like a stogie and his mouth. You know, and he's got a little cap on his head. Oh god. He's he's about six onus as like six three. He's he's a pretty massive guy and is very hard of hearing. So sometimes you get like screaming his ear. But you know, you ask them any questions about bodybuilding. He's more than happy to help anyone his he's just that kind of guy. Mr Donnelly had actually trained with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Lou Gehrig, no in Venice beach, there's some legit bodybuilding pedigree there, and he saw something in Jared, partly attendance. They train at six AM every day because Jared wasn't really into having an audience. There were fewer people there to stare at Jared who was frail and pale. And honestly didn't look like he could lift much of anything out of says probably like two or three weeks down the road. When I started. Actually, having energy and put on you know, five pounds away. And I was like this. This is amazing. This is exactly where have on it to be. In the first three months, Jared put on thirty five pounds. And that's not even the best part of my lung function. It it jumped up to about what it was three years ago, which was kind of unheard of typically cystic fibrosis when you lose that substantial amount of lung function. It's very very hard to get it back, and I kinda done that what seemed impossible since then Jared has had really mind blowing journey and all in the last year, eventually render caught wind of post about Jared on Facebook and posted pictures and his story to get motivated community on Reddit it blew up just like Jared had then came more posts with pictures of Jared of the gym and captions like Jerry didn't take today off did you and some people just don't make excuses. He basically became his own neem in even though he's at best read at lurker. Jared kept up with the memes and comments on. These posts. What do you make of that? What do you think of all these strangers just kind of doing and I over your what you've made of your life? A never would've expected in a million years for me to kinda go viral for people to to be so impressed or motivated or inspired by what I've done. Jared says the whole thing his work at the gym. And the results he's had the training under Mr Donnelly and the red reaction hasn't thinking about the future in a way he hasn't before what keeps you motivated. Like, I feel like I could like not be able to find my ear buds or like not have short said I want, you know, and I'm like kind of wet outside. Yeah. Anyone can start going to the gym. It's it's continuing to go to the. I definitely have my days where it's a they're tougher than others. But what really what really keeps me motivated the fact that I can kind of take control of my life again. And be healthy as well as motivate and inspire others to to make a change in their life as well jersey, even considering something that he never would have considered a year ago becoming a motivational speaker, even if it's not just in the gym if I can inspire someone to take control of your life, or you know, do something more with their life. That's that's everything. And then being able to show my mom that everything she did when I was younger is not going to waste. Was it hard for her? When you moved not not really she kinda. She's really excited to get me out of Utica. What I was expecting you to say. I mean, don't let the door hit you. But. I mean, the day of she she got very emotional and nocco, I probably the first time I've seen her cry when I left these are big steps nine months of heavy training and Utica after years of not training at all moving away from home to a new city dryer city where Jared can breathe better a new job in an appliance factory someday motivational speaker, but in some cases, you've got to start with the bar before you add weight Jared's bar right now is getting his personal trainer credentials and leaning into the bodybuilding community where you go to competitions. You can win prize money after being judged on the symmetry and sculpting of your muscles. Also, where Jared has found camaraderie that he never knew existed. You competed in your first bodybuilding competition recently did how did that go? It went very well wasn't expecting it to be as as friendly and as much of a community backstage as it was. You know, I I was I was just chatting with people. I didn't even knew even know I just met. Placed fourth overall in my in one of my divisions, one of my classes, and then fifth and another. So I did I did pretty decent. Not as good as I would have liked to. I wanted to win. But I'd say for my first go at it. It was a learning experience. And I'm going to take that and kind of build on that what's the high five caution backstage how many high fives are around. Oh, God plenty. Everybody. Everybody is is such a great supporter of each other is is very very eye opening thirteen. Then I haven't moved get motivated quote. Oh, yeah. Yeah. It's Jimmy like, Jared, Lou. I mean, it doesn't have the same bar Barrick rage of seeing your enemies driven before you Conan style. But I'm in. It has a nice ring. In fact, I'm motivated Emory and there's proof and it's on the internet, which means it's forever. We examined Ben's proof of getting motivated in twenty nineteen in a minute. Emory. Let's talk about the cloud. The cumulative biz these here is at least Stratos the data storage cloud. My friends, we're talking tech cloud. Yup. And they're a couple of companies working together to change the data storage game packet, and what's Sabi. If by changed the game, you mean, faster cheaper, compute and storage delivered on a high capacity. Low latency global fiber network with no transfer fees. You saw the talking points they were stored in the cloud. They were stored in the cloud. AO ask your company's web developer to check out was obvi- impacted a dream team of cloud computing companies extra dreamy because they support endless thread. So why not support them? Learn more at packet dot com and with Sabi dot com. Endless thread is supported by. Indeed. If you're hiring with indeed you can post a job in minutes, set up screener questions and then zero in on your shortlist of qualified candidates using an online dashboard get started at indeed dot com slash NPR podcast. It's one forty one. And you're listening to night call. From New York City. I'm Emily Yoshida and from Los Angeles. I am tesla. And Molly, I'm Bert. Are you in need of company during those strange days and lonely nights every Monday, meet other at dark rooms for free jazz blend of cultures theory, internet fascinations combing, listen tonight, call on apple podcasts Spotify or wherever you get your favorite shows. Emory. Can you remember my New Year's resolution that I told you about well, I remember you saying that you wanted to get fit and lose some weight specifically, I think the words I used were that I'd like to turn my dad bod'ed into a little more of a red, bud. Oh, yes. It's all coming back to me. There's a RAD Bhatt inside of me here. I just know it. Okay. Whatever you say. Okay. Look, I realized that this is the trope easiest of all New Year's resolution tropes. But let me just say number one. I'm not that unhappy with myself. I feel like my goals are within reach a pretty active guy. But my dad life would the whole milk in the fridge the garbage truck cleanup for whatever the kids won't eat the happy life. I've lived enjoying beers. And all the things over the last ten years Emory. It's caught up with me and for myself. But also for my family, I want to get a little healthy make a little change. I like this. I support you. Thanks, man. And naturally, of course, instead of recruiting you Emory because I knew that you'd kill me in the gym. I recruited a redder to help me with this resolution. My name is Daniel Peter on from Thunder Bay on -tario Canada. And my my day job. I work as a sales rep in the family business here in town. Daniels family business involves providing bingo sheets Ameri too. You know, like all the retirement communities and other avid, bingo hours in north on -tario. Didn't know that was the thing. I know I forgot that. Bingo. Bingo sheets you need like actually from somewhere. Yeah. Exactly. But the business also involves something that would seem to run counter to any effort to lose weight ever. Yeah. The other focus of our business is like concession food. Snacks. Have you ever been to like a hockey arena and had Nacho cheese or slushy or an icy for the American people out there? We supply all of that in this part of the country operation dad, bud to RAD Bhatt is off to an iffy start. Yes, I'd mitt getting in touch with a guy whose family business literally provides concession Nacho cheese has some pitfalls, but Dan is actually the perfect person to aid me on my quest or my journey, which he told me is the term folks us because losing weight isn't easy Daniels. Started his own journey about three years ago. I started at a round. Eighty. I'm not one hundred percent, sure. The exact number, but it was four eighty four ninety. But I just always use forty s my point of reference long story short. Dan, had a friend living across the country that was getting in shape, and that friend kind of inspired den to get cracking Thunder Bay. So we got a personal trainer. He started working out started eating better in two years. Dan, lost two hundred pounds. So I mean, I've gone down twenty inches there or in pant size and all that going from six seven XL shirts too. You know, sometimes an XL shirt somewhere along the way Dan got involved with the community on it called lose it where he eventually became a moderator. I mean when I joined it was a lot smaller than it is now. So it was only six hundred thousand people are so whereas now in the last eight months, it's gone up to like one point three million people or whatever. So it's the dynamics definitely changed a lot. But you know, it's a great place where people that come in it just encourages. All the things I said like movie more healthy. And it puts you in a group set in with other people. And it's definitely been a really good tool for me. And I know a lots of the people that use it end up finding as a great resource as well. What do you think about around this time of year when it comes to the common mistakes that people make and what vice could you give to people like me who are like? All right. This is it I'm gonna use this to get my shit together. Right. The first thing I always liked to say to people is that like, I mean, this is when I started I started January sixth, and you know, as we've discovered I've had my own success. So don't think you're gonna fail before you start. I like to hear that. That's yeah. And but I mean, the biggest mistake people make is trying to too much too fast. And you're trying to make fifty changes at once while still having a real life and working and all that comes with that. And it's it's just too much. So when you're starting right now, I mean, your your focus should only be your food. Basically what you're eating because that's the biggest thing to kick or change. What you're doing is. In theory, should be changes for your life and not just changes for right now. And then you you end up in a position where what you're doing isn't a diet anymore, or it's not a pain in your ass or anything. It's it's just what you do. You know, eat this way. I go to the gym three days a week. And you know, that's just my life. And that's what I do. I enjoy versus the the terror of, you know, trying to go to gym at five AM every day, and, you know, eating those since getting that and not having that. And you know, it's can overwhelm yourself. Right. You just gotta take. One step at a time. It's a marathon not a sprint as it were. Yeah. Well, exactly, right. I mean, that's a perfect analogy. And I tried to avoid so used all the time. But I mean, it it is a perfect knowledge. But yeah, no, it is the perfect analogy. I mean, it's going to take time to undo the damage you've done so to speak, you know, to your waistline in that. And you know, you've spent twenty six years being fat Faulk. So it takes me a year longer to get where I wanted. Then I thought then so be it. Right. You don't have to be good everyday. You just have to have more good days than bad. You know, what Ben this all sounds like solid advice in spite of your marathon and sprint cliche. But I'm not wrong right now. Daniel also told me a less cliche saying which is popular in the it community. It is not what you eat between Christmas and new years. It's what you eat between New Year's and Christmas. Basically every day is new opportunity to have a quote, unquote, good day. But what's a good day going to look like for you? Like, what are you going to do in this operation dad to RAD, bud? Okay. Well, I did some research which already gives me a little more hope that you're serious about this. I gotta say, yes. And not only did I do research Amri, you're going to be so proud. I posted a draft of my plan to the lose it community on Reddit looking for feedback. I am so proud good job, dude. In now. I'm going to break it down for you. Okay. The headline is I may not like it. But this is what my peak thirty eight year old dad looks like I have a plan. But I'm not sure it's the right plan advice ready. Yes. So I've got a diet section here and fitness section. Okay. So for diet, I'm gonna try to cut out all refined sugar. I'm gonna like coal back. My carbs big time. I'm gonna lose the beer and swap it out for booze. No eating after ten pm. So that's going to help me hopefully, go to sleep earlier and also like not put on weight by just eating late night. I'm gonna generally cut back on my dairy so chill on the cheddar cheese. Wop whole milk for skim milk, or soy? So that's my diet plan. Love it fitness plan. Do everything Emory does. Now, my fitness plan is commit to four hours per week of exercise. So that's gonna be a little tricky. But I can do it. I'm going to do that by working out in the morning. I'm gonna get more sleep for real Z's. I'm going to focus my exercise basically on cardio core. Strengthening and arms work because I want to be able to invite people to the gun show. Do you have a trainer or are? You just making your own my trainer weirdly as my dad. Okay. Because we go to the gym together in the morning. Hell, yes. My dad like he texts me every morning if I'm running late and has like, hey, man. I'm down here. Sweating doing this. I know hero. He is a total here. And I'm Sarah. Right now. But I'm working on it. And my question is will this work. Will it take forever? And will I look less like a seal and more like a dull Fionn? It sounds like a lot. But I think there are tools that can help you do that for sure. Okay. You're up domestic totally okay. Cautiously optimistic but I'm optimistic. Okay. Thanks. So I also asked Dan for his feedback for what your mission is. Right. I mean, your mission isn't to become a planet, fitness, Mr. fitness, or whatever, you know, what. I mean, your your mission is just to get a little bit healthier. And look a little better. Right. So I think it is going from dead bud to read data. Yeah. Definitely. For slightly red. Oh, I think you'll do just fine. I mean, it's. I mean, it's going to suck. Sometimes it's not always going to be as hunky Dory has as as you want it to be but. What you wanna do? Right. And I mean, what you want to achieve has to be important enough to you that it's kind of overrides everything. Sure. But in doing that. I mean, eventually gets the point where it's not overriding anything, it's just your new normal your new routine, right? Then thank you so much for giving me all of this advice in for talking to us about this and telling us your story. Thank you. Well, Ben this point. I'm not sure what else there is to say other than let operation dad Bod to RAD vodka manse. I mean, I'm basically perfect. I just need to tone bit. That's all and stop eating like all the doughnuts. What about you though, we talked about your New Year's resolution possibilities? We talked about a couple. Yeah. Okay. So you remember last summer, we went swimming at the pond by your house. Yes, we did in these frigid days that feels like another planet. And I feel like swimming is a generous term for what I was doing because I can't really swim. I mean, you definitely stayed afloat. And we swim pretty far. But you did it with what I would characterize as very energetic. Doggy, paddle, very energetic. Yeah. No, I can tread water for days, but I just have zero swimming technique. So this year, I'm gonna learn how to swim, and I got myself a swim. Coach on read it. Nice. You got to surf the internet before he can swim. So how where who was? Her name is Leah. She lives just outside of Boston. And she has agreed to up my swimming game roll tape. No, no. No, I'm going to dive in pretty soon. I see what you did there. So we're going to have to do an episode update. I think from the fantastic future of red dad Bod, Ben to Emory. Katie Decky Iverson, dammit, this means we actually have to Paul through. Give me ten Johnson. All right. If you wanna take a look at the detail version of my fitness and nutrition plan and the amazingly detailed endure, I say encouraging positive feedback. You can do that on read it where we are endless underscore thread while you are on our page, by the way hit that follow button. So we can stay in touch with you. They're also huge thanks to the lose it community, and Dan for helping with that and thanks to user. So Dak Zach for connecting us to Jared, you the man also by the way soda Zach is featured in one of our other episodes called gator roll, you should totally check it out. It features three great love stories from read it, and yes Emory, and I will update you with our progress on our missions at big wins, or epic fails. Endless threat is a production of WBU are Boston's NPR station in partnership with red it. Our shows a dream realized by Jessica Alpert who rolls into her Jim with that school. Cool iris Adler is our executive producer. And when we told her we were entering a bodybuilding competition. She said that happened mix and sound design by Paul vicous who when looking at Ben's workout plan, he said. No, our web producer is Megan Kelly who stares at inspirational Jared posts because she loves Polston memes. Michael pope is our advisor read it who thinks lose it is full of life protests, Josh Schwartz's, our producer. And he thinks about New Year's resolutions. Like expectation verse reality extra production assistance from James Lindberg. Thanks, redder. Or suicide by thug for this week's artwork. It is called delete Facebook hit the gym lawyer up. It's great, by the way, if you wanna Email us, you can hit us up at endless thread at WBZ dot org. You can give us a juicy story tip. So we can tell it like we did today or let us know if you wanna make art for an upcoming episode. We'd love to work with you. My co host and producers Ameri seabirds, I'm senior producer and host brought Johnson. Now, let myself out. We did it baby Shaq do.