This man overcame addiction and became CrossFit star

Jay Maryniak took up the sport from the early years. At the age of 9, he was considered as a good athlete with future baseball career.

Unfortunately, at this time Jay starts smoking cigarettes and stealing from other people. At only 11 years old he tries alcohol.

As a teenager, Maryniak starts using drugs. The first stage was marijuana. Then Maryniak forgets about training and continues partying with friends. He reached smoking a pack and a half a day by 15.

IG: @jtm_fit

The next were Oxycontin, acid, and cocaine. A black-out drinker starts living only for the sake of drugs.

“It started out innocent,” Maryniak says. “It was fun, and then I got addicted.” His addiction continued until the day he turned 20.

“I finally hit a point—I couldn’t work anymore; I couldn’t do anything,” he says. “I was smoking crack, taking pills. I was out of control. Finally, I was in so much pain, emotionally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I hated myself. I hated the person I became. That was the moment I knew I had to do something, or I would die doing this.”

IG: @jtm_fit

To overcome addiction Jay starts to work as a tattoo artist. “I was still smoking a pack and a half a day, but trying to be active. I took karate, and started doing traditional bodybuilding exercises with the machines,” Maryniak says. “I remember that vividly actually. I’d be the guy smoking a cigarette when I walked into the gym and smoking a cigarette when I walked out.”

Some years later he was asked to be a martial fights instructor, which made him quit the cigs. “That’s sort of where my career began in fitness,” he admits.

IG: @jtm_fit

Then he finds out about the new deal of his future life – CrossFit. “I think the competitive aspect of CrossFit really separates it from other facets of fitness. You’re constantly trying to beat your own times on workouts, as well as other CrossFitters. There was just a constant push to go harder and push yourself to your limits,” he says. “I loved doing gymnastics movements, like handstand pushups and muscle ups, as well as heavy deadlifts and squat cleans.”

Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2013. He was 27.

IG: @jtm_fit

“I didn’t work out for like a month. Life was just so different. I had to relearn my body and what I was feeling,” he says. “But it changed me for the better. All of a sudden, I got stronger. I felt healthier. They think I probably had the diabetes for at least a year before I was diagnosed. I started feeling good, and getting stronger, putting on some weight, and putting on some muscle.”

Today Maryniak is almost an IG star in the sphere of CrossFit with 232k followers. He daily posts many insane videos lifting heavy weights in combination with kickboxing, bodybuilding, gymnastics, powerlifting, calisthenics, and general gym-time tomfoolery.

“Fitness was a massive part of me staying sober. Fitness really gave me an outlet,” he says. “It became something that I looked forward to, and without it, I’m not sure I would have stayed sober.”

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