Everyone knows him as The Body Coach – the fitness guru who’s inspiring millions of people around the world to get in shape, especially during lockdown.
But a large part of Joe Wicks’ success stems from his rough childhood, growing up on a council estate in England and having a drug addict as a father.
Speaking on British comedian Russell Brand’s Under The Skin podcast, the 34-year-old says he used exercise as a way to manage his feelings as he watched his father, Gary, battle with heroin.
“Because of my dad’s addiction, and the damage I saw that cause, me and Nikki [his older sister] steered clear of it [drugs].”
He credits his mother, Raquel, for keeping him and his sibling on the right path. Today he says his father, who’s been in out and out of rehab for most of his life, still battles his addictions, but he tries to help where he can.
“Now, when my dad’s going through a low period, I’m texting him and ringing him and asking how he is – I’m not judging him for being an addict. He’ll always be an addict – he relapses all the time.”
“I don’t look back at the past. I don’t judge my dad and think, ‘I had a really rough upbringing and it was terrible’– I just love him right now.
“You can live your day happily and not care about what happened in the past, and who gives a s**t what’s happening tomorrow. Right now, that’s where it’s at.”
He encourages his father to exercise as he can see it helps him. “Before you turn to binge eating, addiction, drugs or antidepressants, try exercise, I tell him.
“It’s hard, my dad says the last thing he wants to do when he’s going through his low points is exercise. But I say, ‘Dad, you know how it makes you feel – you always feel better.’
“When he goes for a run, he comes back a different man. The physiological state can change your mental state. It may be temporary, but you have that ability to do it every day.”
Joe himself is a father of two. He and his wife, Rosie Jones, an English glamour model, have one-year-old daughter Indie and three months ago welcomed their son, Marley.
His popularity has climbed even more during lockdown with his daily lessons for kids and adults.
Sources: Daily Mail, Instagram