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Joe. Founder of ConFit

Why did you start ConFit? What is ConFit’s mission? 

When I was released from prison I was working in construction and it was soul wrenching for me because that’s not what I wanted to do. I started ConFit because I found purpose in it and it was a way for me to really feel free. Fitness is what I know best and I wanted to give back to the community in a positive way and help others who walked down the same path feel the same purpose as I do.

There’s so much raw fitness knowledge coming out of the prisons and I wanted to share that with everyone outside of system.

Our mission is to break down negative criminal stereotypes by creating holistic fitness communities. We also offer incredible training sessions. This helps formerly incarcerated inmates to transform their lives and to become leaders. They in turn want to give back to their communities, ultimately never seeing the inside of a prison cell again for these individuals.

What are the major benefits you’ve seen because of ConFit? 

The trainers benefit the most. They’re all ex-inmates who can use their fitness knowledge to give back to society in a positive way.

The recidivism rates in NSW reveal that 1 in 2 inmates will return to prison within the first 2 years, therefore providing ex inmates with a purpose-driven life we are saving taxpayers and government spending lots per ex-inmate not going back to prison.

Of course our clients also benefit greatly. They not only see the physical changes but to start the day energised after training has positive psychological benefits that translate to other areas of their day.

Beyond the health benefits why is staying fit and active so important? Do you think it helps focus the mind? 

There is a massive correlation between physical well-being and mental health and vicé versa. I believe the body, mind and spirit are all interconnected (Yin and Yang) everything needs to be in equilibrium. At ConFit we understand how important this is and incorporate the hard and soft intensity workouts followed by stretch and meditation.  

How can staying fit and active help with other aspects of your life? 

Staying fit is a way of life and a discipline. You can’t not just brush your teeth for 3 months and just go to the dentist you have to be consistent to maintain healthy teeth that is the same for your body and this consistent practice translates into other areas of your life for example relationships, career, and self-development.

For those who have never worked out, what’s the best advice you can give? 

Just do it – find something that you find interesting and give it a go. Don’t procrastinate

Any advice for those struggling to find motivation? 

You need drive to find purpose. Ask yourself, “Why do you want to do this?” Set that goal and be consistent in the steps to achieve it.

What does a good diet look like to you? 

Why treat your diet any different to your workout? You don’t do high intensity training 5 days straight so find variety in what you eat to keep things fresh. 

How does your training schedule differ from most?

I’m not doing this to feel good but I just feel that this is a natural progression – kinda like a calling. If I didn’t do this, the time and experience that I went through would all be in vain.

How does it feel to give back to society? 

I have 5 ex-inmates working with me on ConFit atm who are committed to the cause and lots more who are interested that are still incarcerated. I want this initiative to spread even without me in the picture.

How can society be more empathetic towards one another? 

We’re all humans living in the same society and we all have individual stories. No story is greater or lesser than the other. Your life could have been completely different if you had small tweaks in your life – growing up in a different neighbourhood, different school, different culture, no father etc.

Empathy starts with trying to understand and have an open mind that there are billions of lives in this world who are completely different to mine.

What does ‘together not the same’ mean to you in terms of being in Australia?

Australia is so diverse and we all come from different walks of life, cultures and beliefs. While we are diverse and different, we are united by common ground which is that we’re living in the same country. I’ve spent long stretches in solitary confinement by myself and I’d rather be together with other individuals rather than being by myself.

Find out more about ConFit here.