My name is Braden,
The public sees me as a very happy and successful 25 year old that has it all together.
I own a health & wellness coaching business, I find great joy in my own training, and I am constantly challenging myself.
Last year alone I opened Train for Life, I bought my first home, I launched another business, and I completed a lifelong goal of an Ironman.
But it was not always sunshine and rainbows.
There is the story that everyone knows... here is the story you don't know.
A lot of people who see my lifestyle on Instagram put me on a pedestal. They see the cold dips, the competitions, the races, the business, and the brand. They think I’m different. However, at my core, I’m the same as everyone else.
I believe that everyone wants to be heard, we want to be understood, and we want to feel like we belong. I know that no one wants to feel alone. And even when we’re not alone, even when everything seems good, I know there is still darkness - and these anxieties are hard to capture with words.
I’d like to tell you about some of my darkness so that one of you might not feel alone.
I thrived in sports growing up but struggled to find purpose or meaning in my school work. With a love to move, and a passion to pave my own way, there wasn’t much in the world I hated more than school.
Sports grounded me - until grade 10; I was put out for over a year due to a knee injury and surgery. I lost my outlet, my pride, and my identity, and this set me on a different path. But the gym grounded me.
I was diagnosed with ADHD, anxiety, and depression in high school as a normal and, for the most part, happy teenager with good support and opportunities. As all my peers and I were corralled into the choices of post-secondary school - I didn’t have an academic interest in exercise sciences, so I chose psychology and music. I went to Guelph for one year. I partied, I was nearly nocturnal, and I ate like a college kid. But the gym grounded me. I was caught between the pressures of staying in school in a place I didn’t believe in and the daunting unknown of taking the world outside the confines of this path I put myself on. At the time, I watched entrepreneurs in a life I dreamed of. I broadened my entrepreneurship knowledge by listening to Garyvee podcasts and strengthened my intuition with audiobooks of Tony Robbins telling me,
“It’s in the realm of uncertainty that your passion is found”.
I stayed in what was familiar - drinking, chasing love, social jealousy, fear. Staying in situations that weren’t serving me went so far that I ended up in jail and the hospital a week before my 20th birthday due to others fearing my life. This was not the first time my emotional instability got me into the hospital. Laying on the cement floor of the jail cell was me hitting my hard rock bottom. This was the catalyst for change, though I didn’t see it was the time.
I was a victim of it, and I thought, “I shouldn’t be here.”
My 20th birthday is the next week, and I didn’t want to be here. But the gym grounded me. This was April 2017.
I knew something had to change, but I didn’t know if I had the strength to do it.
With support from my family, I left school fall of 2017. It tore me apart, but I knew I had to choose myself. As the training was my passion, I signed up for a bodybuilding show. This was significant as, growing up, I was always teased for being too skinny. This was my time to hone in on self-development. As I was training for this goal, I started personal training at a big box gym in Hamilton, trying to figure out whom I was and blogging about my fitness journey. As I found my confidence again - taking a massive leap to hold myself to this competition and the discipline that came with it, I also fell in love with training others.
Summer of 2018, I moved home and worked three jobs while I started my own personal training business. I built a gym in my garage, I developed my coaching skills through many outlets, and I fell in love with self-development.
I was in nature daily with my adopted best friend Sparky, I was obsessed with self-development, and I trained hard working to better myself and the lives of my clients. I had a purpose.
The change was not instant. But my habits made all the difference as they compounded over time. I quit drinking, I fixed my sleep, I spent more time alone, I explored nature with Sparky, I embraced discomfort, and I got inspired to seek my true potential.
Over years, I formed habits that served me; I regained my confidence and navigated my own darkness to become my own hero.
The training was - and still is - the foundation of my mental health. Training shows you who you are; it is the direct interface with character development, and it is the arena in which you evolve.
Life is the purpose for which you train for. It is the highest form of self-love.
Training is my greatest teacher, it is my greatest gift, and it's what made me what I am today - happy.
From depression to ironmans to biking across Canada, ultimately, all I’ve ever trained for is life.