Over the next couple of weeks I will be introducing a new Q&A series interviewing some of my models and brand ambassadors. I will be asking them about kindness in their lives. Jon Brown or, "JoBro" is a colleague of mine at my day job. He has sort of taken on a big brother role to myself and those he works with. He is always concerned if he hears myself or someone else talking about dieting and weight loss. He has such a healthy outlook on health and fitness! If we are beating our self up for eating a cheeseburger he tells us, "it's OK it's all in moderation." If we are not eating enough he tells us "that's not good you need to eat! You need calories!" I have really enjoyed getting to know Jon a little bit better and I hope you will too. :)
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself? (Hobbies, interests, day job, dreams...)
First of all, I want to thank you Dee for giving me the opportunity to do this. I'm 28, I have a Degree in Sport and Recreation Management and I work in Business Development at Skillsoft.
Like most guys, I like sports, I'm a huge comic book fan and I have a secret love affair with Wrestling (WWE - the fake stuff.) As a kid, I've always dreamed of being a professional hockey player, at 16; playing hockey for Chipman High School I realized that was pretty much unattainable, so in my early 20's I got into the fitness industry and set my sights on maybe someday doing that as a professional, or at least bringing in a pay cheque from it - which hasn't happened either haha.
How long have you been a physique model and what got you interested in it?
I've competed as a middleweight bodybuilder in 2011 so I guess you can say I've been in the game for about 6 years.
And honestly, being a wrestling fan is probably what got me started. As a kid you look up to these guys - The Rock, Macho Man, Hulk Hogan, Randy Orton, even the movie industry guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sly Stallone, you see these amazing physiques and they are very impressionable on the young kid. You almost develop a mindset that having a nice physique is all part of being successful and being an "Alpha Male." At least for me anyways.
The competing part was just part of me being a competitive athlete growing up and looking for an outlet to strive for something to let my competitive nature come out since I stopped playing hockey at 21.
Do you find the fitness industry is kind (why, why not?)
The fitness industry is kind, you think about it it's made up of a niche of people trying to achieve the same goal - look their best, feel good and achieve something that 90% of the population won't. There is a great support system involved and I'm happy to be part of it.
That being said, just like any competitive sport - especially when dealing with a sensitive issue as someone's body being judged, I think it can be unkind at times. I think some people do get upset/jealous, if they don't do as well or place as good as some other competitors. But usually, those people don't last and are involved for the wrong reasons.
You are currently reading the book "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck". How did that book make you look at yourself differently and challenge the way you think? Has it made you be more or less kind to yourself and to others?
It's a great book, I felt like it was written for me personally haha. It's made me think a lot about values, entitlement, the way I think and what's worth suffering for. A lot of things I was placing value in where materialistic things, I essentially was giving a "f*ck" about the wrong things and too many of the wrong things.
The books taught me to place better values and be kind to those closest to me - my wife, my friends, my family and my coworkers. Those are the people you have to deal with everyday and you're going to create a lot of unnecessary problems for yourself if your not kind to those people closest to you.
What motivates you to be kind to the people who you work with?
Well my mamma did raise me to be a nice guy haha. But in all seriousness I think it's all part of being successful in the workplace, plus it's easy since I like and get along great with my coworkers.
But honestly, people who are unkind in the workplace usually don't last long or jump from job to job and blame other people for what happens to them.
It's nice that "The subtle art" has taught me to take responsibility for everything that happens to me, and I think in the workplace it all starts with being kind, and valuing those relationships you have with your coworkers.