In 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 95 percent of people who needed specialty substance abuse treatment did not receive that help. What's more, they didn't even recognize that they needed it.[1]

Jay Maryniak belongs to the other 5 percent. This personal trainer and functional fitness expert is on his own level as someone who took his recovery one step further, channeling old addictions into an all-out obsession for athletic pursuits. He's also on his own level in being able to perform Jay Maryniak's Impossible One-Take Workout. But that's a little later in the story.

After wrestling with substance abuse from the young age of 13 up until he was 20 years old, Maryniak couldn't hide from a dark truth: He was spiraling toward death. The turning point was a remarkably simple, but certainly hard to reach, moment of clarity: "How did my life become this?" he asked.

Jay Maryniak

This question, on top of rock-bottom desperation, led him to seek help from his family. The clouds broke in his mind, and he took the step that many are too trapped to even recognize. And since then, he's moved forward physically and mentally at a breakneck pace.

Looking at Jay Maryniak today, one of the coolest parts about him is the fact that he doesn't specialize in just one gym sport. The essence of his healthier life and functional training style is proficiency in all things gym related, from strength to conditioning to borderline acrobatics. All this, while managing Type 1 diabetes.

"I don't want to just do CrossFit, or just be a bodybuilder," Maryniak says. "I wanna do some powerlifting and do a back flip, and then a triple clap push-up and jump 50 inches in the air. Now that just excites me."

Maryniak shows that you're never in too deep. He transitioned from a life of substance abuse to a life of substance—and never looked back.

  1. Lipari, R. N., Park-Lee, E., & Van Horn, S. (2016). America's need for and receipt of substance use treatment in 2015. In The CBHSQ Report. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (US).

About the Author

Kailan Kalina

Kailan Kalina

Kailan Kalina is a former content editor, competitive powerlifter, and certified personal trainer.

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