From Rock-Bottom Drug Addict to High-Flying Fitness Star | Jay Maryniak


My life just went down a crazy path, and I chose that life over every person that I cared about, everything that meant anything in my life. And I took that, like, fast track to this dark bottom where I felt like there was no way out and there was no hope for me. I grew up in Northern Westchester. I grew up in a very suburban town. I played sports as a kid. I played everything: football, baseball. You know, I was a gamer. You know what I mean. Like most kids, you know, I played video games. And as I got a little older, I started getting into trouble. And by the time I was nine years old I was stealing cigarettes from my grandmother. As a young kid I was already kind of going down a bad path. Amidst getting into trouble I still stuck with the sports, and probably until I was about 13 years old. And that’s when I started to drink and get high. That was the thing that I wanted to do most. By the time I was 14 I quit every sport that I played. By the time I was 15 years old I was already taking OxyContin. Getting high every day, taking acid, snorting a plethora of different substances, and just getting blackout drunk. By the time I was 20 I was completely unable to hold a job anymore. I couldn’t work, stealing from my family and friends, selling drugs, just so I could just keep getting high. Drugs and alcohol completely took over my life. There was no more having fun getting high and enjoying life. That didn’t exist. I reached a point where I truly didn’t care if I lived or died. By the grace of God, you know, I had a moment of clarity. There were so many times where I was like, “How? How did I get this deep? Selling drugs, hanging out with people who were carrying guns and tons of money around; how did my life become this?” And that’s when I was like, “Man I can’t do this”. But, it had such a hold over me I couldn’t stop. So at about 20 and a half years old I reached out for help. And I reached out to my father and I told him I’m going to die. I need help. He helped me get into a facility where I could get some treatment. I got into a 12-step program. You know, kind of started my recovery. And I still, at that point, I didn’t feel like I had any purpose. So here I was, sober, but I still had all these things wrong with me. I still felt like I had this big hole in me that I needed to fill. I was always an athlete growing up as a kid, so one of the first things I did was I got into martial arts. I was like, “Yeah that would be cool” and so I got big into that. And as time went on with the martial arts training, while I was training for a fight, I was introduced to Crossfit and started doing crossfit. I got into some competitions and that kind of thing. Just like small competitions. And I’d place pretty high at a bunch of competitions but I just wasn’t winning. And I remember, just being so determined driven. I was like, “I have to win something man, I have to”. And I started training for this small in-house competition. I went to the competition, some fierce dudes in there, and I won. I won and I remember just being so happy. “I did it man. I really laid it out on the line.” At the same time I remember, I remember looking around after that competition, I remember feeling so weird. Fast forward two weeks, I remember I kept stepping on the scale. And the scale kept going down, and down, and down. I lost, like, 15 pounds. And I remember being face-to- face with my girlfriend at the time, and she looked at me and was like, “You look really skinny”. My vision started to get really blurry. I was becoming disoriented and I felt like I was under water. I felt like I was kind of drunk. I don’t know how I even drove myself to the hospital, but I went. They tested my blood sugar and my blood sugars were so high they could not even read them on a meter. So my blood sugars were over 1000. Within two minutes, my life completely changed. And I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I remember sitting there in the hospital bed. None of my family had arrived yet. It was just me strapped up to an insulin drip and just being like, “Oh my God. This is going to completely change my life. What is going to happen?” All these different things, I knew it was a very serious life- threatening disease. So, of course I was scared. I had doubts like, “I’m not going to be the same. I’m not going to be able to do all the things I want to do in life,” and all this stuff. And I realized that this is something that I can really embrace, and, being someone who’s already fit, really potentially inspire other diabetics or other people to take their hardships, man, and wear them like a badge. I still have days where I have anxiety and fear and I feel off, man, and all that stuff. I still have that stuff man, I’m so human. But I can honestly tell you that I have not had a bad day, it’s got to be like eight years, because my perspective on life has completely changed. Because I choose not to look at life that way anymore. I think one of the things, like, my philosophy on training, is to be good at everything. So I don’t want to just do crossfit or just be a bodybuilder; I want do some powerlifting and do a backflip, and then a triple-clap push-up, then jump 50 inches in the air. That just excites me. Like, it’s just, it’s cool, man. I just want to be the strongest that I can possibly be. I want to be the fastest. I want to jump the highest I possibly can. All this stuff, yoga, all of this, all the stuff is awesome. You know, we can take something from all of it. So, like, for me, training style, like, I do everything, man. I am so driven just to be better, man, to keep helping other people. Sometimes I need to just chill out because I’m just, like, going, going, going. Cause I’m, like, fired up, man. Like, fired up in life. I was so beaten down as a kid, with the drugs and alcohol, and feeling like I just wanted to die and like I had no purpose. To be the man I am today, and to be able to share and inspire people all over the world, is incredible man.

100 Comments

  1. God Bless You 😉

  2. Loved it when you said "by the grace of GOD ".
    No chemical solution to a spiritual problem.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Like sunjay dutt story

  4. Great job bro…may allah bless you..

  5. Hmara firangi sanju
    Great bro

  6. Love u beautiful people! 🤗🤗

  7. God? LOL. Nop.

  8. You great man !!!

  9. Sanju Baba!

  10. inspring stuff ❤

  11. Drug addiction is one of the worst problems out there

  12. Love you man ❤️ respect from bottom of my heart ❤️🔥 keep shining

  13. Could do with taking a leaf out of this fella book!

  14. chuitya sala

  15. Grace of God changed my life man iam really encouraged by yur life

  16. Your such a strong man I wish I was like that I just recovered from alcohol and drugs like a fiew monthes ago and I have crazy anxiety and confused people like you are my role model

  17. The grace of god,lol, next you'll be saying your addiction is a disease.

  18. It's just a better looking addiction

  19. Well done for stoping doing the things you shouldn’t of been doing in the first place 🤣🤣

  20. Great boady keap going

  21. this is a great video

  22. 😍😍😍❤️❤️❤️

  23. Everyone’s a drug addict when they’re in their teens

  24. cani..sa fi valoare pana la moarte

  25. i can absolutely relate to this. I started getting into drugs and alcohol at age 12 (got severe alcohol poisoning at 12). I was hooked on oxy contin by age 15… eventually leading into heroin and meth by 19. long story short, ended up doing 2 years jail time and 2 years prison and got out at 22 years old. I was given a second chance at life! I was able to find my passion in makeup artistry and fitness and have developed a business out of it all on my own. I always say Addicts are the strongest people. it's incredible ones capability to turn your life around. Great testimony, Jay! I love your videos so much!

  26. My brother has T1D and you were a big inspiration to him he went from being an amazing wrestler to not being able to wrestle. He stopped working out and sports for awhile until he found your Instagram. From there watched your videos and now he is built like a rock and you look at him and think there is no way he could ever be a diabetic.

  27. , to God be the glory Hallelujah Jesus bless you

  28. Very respect.. Very motivating video… geart work.. bro

  29. Train. .evolved…grow 😎😎😎

  30. It's funny, I work with addicts and when he talks about the rush/high he gets from fitness he sounds like he traded one addiction for another… except this one continues to lead him in the right/positive direction

  31. Dude is singing my song. God bless you dude keep at that sobriety

  32. This reminds me of when stewie wasna recovering coke addict lol

  33. Wow, very inspiring story!!!!!! Awesome job man!

  34. This hit home

  35. Awesome you go brother God loves you and you have a lot to offer

  36. How old he is this time

  37. There’s a million of these stories out there. Well done to all of you.

  38. How many months changes your body

  39. Owsome……..

  40. Legend 💪💪💪

  41. How do u do sir.. I wanted to know how long did it take to reach your goal, To as far as massive size now compare how you used to look; also what style of martial arts did you study

  42. Way to go ,maan !😅

  43. So good , minus the diabetes and add 15 or so years on the drug and alcohol abuse and that’s me . You can change , your life and outlook can change . Anything is possible . Every day I thank God and am grateful for the clean and sober life I now live . Many never break it out of that old life 😔

  44. Get kids to exercise at a young age. They will take that routine for the rest of their lives.

  45. Superman

  46. I like this guy's approach to training! Inspiring for me.

  47. Just wow. Keep inspiring people who need it. I cant go into my own story here. But keep doing awesome stuff. Courage comes in many forms. What you have managed is one of the best forms of courage

  48. Thank you: inspiration is what you give!

  49. Well done dude!!!! Very inspiring!!!!!!!

  50. Amazing. Got me in the feels

  51. What an amazing story. What an inspiration, thank you for sharing your story. People like you are the ones that make a difference in this world. I've learned to see things from a different perspective in life… your story is proof to me that trials and blessings we go through life are the same exact thing. That's how we become passionate and we are able to help others. May God continue to bless you on your amazing journey.

  52. Really! Who the hell can put a “thumbs down” to this video?? Such a great story a really inspiring! I’ve been following JTM for a while now and have incorporated a lot of his exercises and it has made all the difference.
    Rock on bro 🤘

  53. Matching story 😣

  54. Very inspirational video proud of you. Makes me feel like I could do something better then where I’m at now! Awesome video!

  55. Story of my life brother, but I have yet to get in this kinda shape. Happy and proud of you! Keep it up

  56. Hate the fact he is saying `Drugs and Alcohol` its all the same. no point for seperating drugs from alcohol ist all the same it makes you an addict if youre in a bad shape of and dont pay attetion what you really do

  57. Legend

  58. Love smoking weed shits lit after a workout. But good job bud, overcoming your struggles and shit

  59. I’m ready to get back, I fell hard to dope and depression, anxiety and fear!! Inspired now

  60. I'm t1d as well wow what a story, glad it turned out good for him

  61. awesome story. Great job.

  62. Really inspiring. well done

  63. so inspirational. Much respect

  64. Awesome bud!! Inspiring story!! God is good!! All the time!! 👍🏻😁💪🏻

  65. awesome!!!

  66. Fake

  67. Respect.

  68. Incredible man …. lots of love

  69. hot and down to earth

  70. Yess bro ✅

  71. no pics from before?? FAKE!!!!!!

  72. Good luck with your future endeavours , you might have inspired millions of people with this video. Happy 2019

  73. Stealing cigarettes at age 9? Holy shit.

  74. Workout saved my life too. I would possibly be a junkie if there was no love for working out!

  75. Turning negatives into a positive

  76. Wowwwww this is the most touching relatable story I’ve ever heard and this comming from a black man from
    The street of Philadelphia

  77. Good job dude I was into Alcohol at 13 too and I good help with people and I wanted to die too but now I am 14 black belt in karate and love working out so keep doing what your doing we all have a reason to live and be on this earth

  78. I am struggling with recovery and this shit gets me amped but I don't have the family support nor the financial resources I'm stuck all I want is to be a wildland firefighter as a US Army Vet I feel lost with no help but I WILL FIND WAY THERE I went from a 5th a day to half …. I WILL GET THERE ON OWN

  79. Very touching! Thank you for sharing! You took a bad day for me and completely turned it around.

  80. I’m diabetic type 1

  81. Respect

  82. Brilliant video , amazing person. Absolutely love his mentality of taking parts from everything and trying to get good at as many things as possible. No hate on anything

  83. Well done, great recovery! inspirational. Thank you for sharing

  84. This made me feel so good

  85. Or you can do both ;))

  86. Day 1-Weight loss journey

    101 pounds
    4'2

    Today I drank a bannana milkshake, no sugar or anything else. Planning to go to the gym with my mom I'm gonna try eat more nutritious foods. 👍🏼

  87. 27 year old male here who has lived with type 1 for 20 years and counting. I am also an alcoholic, currently in a twelve step program. Only 5 days sober. Thank you for the inspiration and showing me it is possible.

  88. Type 1 Omnipod user here. Very similar diagnosis story. “Take your hardships and wear them like a badge.” That’s amazing! Almost made me cry!

  89. What is that he wear?

  90. So you got demons like us all most just lie

  91. My respects for this guy

  92. I use to use heroin, now I'm an 18.02 stone bodybuilder from Leeds UK

  93. Man that's the rough road we all walk… there is something out there which we all get addicted to. Finding the purpose and getting addicted to good things are best way to shape our mind.

  94. I am a type 1 diabetec and a marijuana addict.i am motivated…I want to leave this life behind

  95. Now i m 16 and i started tsking marijuana,alchol and smoking cigarettes from the age of 14 plss tell how did i recover from this heavan

  96. Man… What a Story! You inspired

  97. Please keep this sort of content going, its seriously really inspiring.
    I relate so much to this man it's like hes telling my story.

  98. 45 drug addicts disagree

  99. I am 11 months clean from heroin. I was 157lbs, homeless, had hep c from sharing and using dirty needles, had a lot of legal issues, suicidal, and fucked up from ptsd. Today I am 212lbs, stronger than I have ever been, cured from hep c, legal issues fixed, and my family talks to me again. My financial situation sucks but thats my only complaint today. I look at how my life turned out and feel like a loser when I compare it to others. I realize I should not do that and i have come a long way but feel lost and that I have so much more to improve before i will be happy.p

  100. Very inspirational story we all have things about us that make or break us its just whether you let it or not everything in each individuals life is predicated on how you perceive things and view things from your own Windows of your soul which is your eyes…… 💯💯💯

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