For those of us lucky enough to know “Chappy” personally, we know that he is the tall, lean guy that runs F45 in Mandurah and Rockingham. He is the guy in the studio who always has endless energy and a huge, contagious smile on his face. He is personable, approachable and friendly to everyone he meets. He treats everyone with respect and whether you’ve known him for a minute or a lifetime, you feel so comfortable with him as he loves to laugh. Wayne “Chappy” Chapman is a huge inspiration and has been an incredible mentor to me, not only in regards to my fitness but also in life. He is probably completely unaware of the positive effect he has had on me and in fact everyone that he meets.
However, this week I found out that behind that smile, is a man who is dealing with A LOT more than what he lets on. Chappy is the inspiration behind this segment and a man of incredible strength. It is my greatest honour in sharing his story with you all.
As promised, here is my story. I want to share part of my journey with you with hope to inspire others to talk up, reach out and get the help that they need. If anyone can relate with what they are reading and I am sharing, then I just want you to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, there is hope.
So here is my story. Authentic, genuine and from the heart.
My twenties was tough. I spend a decade being involved in drugs, alcohol and self abuse… and I’m talking a lot of alcohol! My drinking consumed me, 3-4 sometimes five cartons of full strength beer a week! ( Yes – 120 stubbies a week…17 a day) I just didn’t give a F#@K. I ended up in a very dark place. I had low self worth and low self esteem. My first marriage had failed and I couldn’t help but feel unworthy of being a good dad because I wasn’t there for my son like a father should be. The guilt became unbearable, which lead to 2 failed suicide attempts, you see I felt so alone, ashamed of who I was. I felt unloved and unwanted. I was constantly pissed off at the world, angry and always in trouble with the police. I remember sitting in my car one day, drunk, holding a photo of Jake ( my son) and all I wanted to do was drive as fast as possible into the tree down the road.
At that point I got my first glimmer of hope. I looked at the photo and realised the impact it would have on this sweet child’s life. I cried for days. The alcohol numbed the pain, it took away all my demons and gave me the courage I needed to deal with my life, or so I thought. This went on for years and years. The self-abuse and negative self talk was having huge effects on my mental health. The stories I would tell myself would lead to darker thoughts and more hate. This once athletic successful basketball, turned alcoholic, suffered depression and had severe anger issues, self-image issues and hated people because I hated myself.
I can remember this one day, man it was like it was yesterday. A voice inside my head said ” You’re better than this”which I wanted to believe but didn’t! That voice hit my core. I wanted to be happy, I just didn’t believe I was worthy of it. I was 32, broken, lonely, empty and believing my life was over until I made a decision to change!
It has been a 10+ year journey now which has seen me working on myself to become the strongest version of myself both physically but more so mentally. I have spent around $200,000 on personal development and self-help in the means of books, CDs, workshops and professional help and I still feel that it isn’t enough.
It has taken a lot of hard work and a lot of tears. Once you get to the point of self realisation then things start to become clearer. It’s the fight of your life and it’s a fight worth having. I was blaming everyone else for my life and the things that were happening, yet the common factor was me. And so the journey continues. The mentoring still happens, the self checks and life’s lessons are still being learnt. I’ve learnt some shit and it does get easier but you need to keep working on it. You need to keep working on YOU.
The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is that you’re not alone, you only think you are. Have a voice and speak up, the world needs us all to be the best versions of ourselves and you’ll help a bunch of people by just helping yourself first. So who am I now? I am a life coach specialising in health and wellness and boy have I learnt some lessons about giving and taking. I am a public speaker, talking about a whole range of topics from overcoming fear, to living with passion and purpose. I own 2 very successful F45 studios with the vision of more. My vision is to empower all the men, women and children to step out and shine and be the best authentic version of themselves and not who the world thinks they should be (or who they think they should be themselves!) We all need to take self-responsibility for what does or does not happen in our lives.
If you can relate to this message, I hope you find it in your heart to ask for help and in return, then offer help to a brother or sister because we are all one…we are all equal and we all need hope.
Today as I write this I’m approaching my 42nd birthday and after all the work I’m doing on myself, I’m still struggling with some anxiety in certain parts of my life. Some mornings it is a struggle just to get up, but I do it. I have cut out a huge group of people who were once in my life because I need clarity on who I am. I’ve taken time out to find myself and most people don’t understand this. You see the journey never ends, it gets deeper, to your core. I’m struggling with my body image like a lot of other males and females. How do I look? Is it good enough? I put pressure on myself to look a certain way because I own fitness studios… but really it’s a load of shit. I just need to be happy! And that’s hard for most people because they don’t understand that happiness comes from within. I’m again fearful of being judged for making decisions I need to make for me, so that I am a better person, so I can give to others. We just need time for ourselves to figure out who and what we want!
I am a world changer, I am a giver, but when I’m broken I’m no good to anyone… not even myself!
Wayne (Chappy) Chapman.