How The Gym Saved Me | Mark Raines

Standing in the Las Vegas Convention Center at the 2015 Olympia Fitness Expo in September, handing out supplement samples, interacting with ourMetabolic Nutrition team, and even meeting people in person who knew me from my Instagram account, @california_thor, I realized something had changed in me. I felt extremely happy and joyful, the kind of joy that comes from your core, and it felt so good. It’s a feeling that had not surfaced a lot in the past five years due to an onslaught of unfortunate circumstances I’ve listed below:

· 6 months of extended, initially undiagnosable extreme lung sickness

· The discovery that black mold in the walls of my rental home caused the sickness and months of moving in and out of my room and my home to try to solve the problem while I fought with the rental company and homeowners.

· A year struggling with an adult-onset speech impediment (which at first they thought may have been caused by all the meds I had been on or by the mold), including five months of speech therapy and attempt after attempt to find a cause and cure — all while attempting to continue my career as a classroom teacher and public speaker.

· The struggle of my health issues helped lead to the end of a serious relationship that I thought was leading towards marriage.

· A discovery that my problem was neurological and Parkinson’s medication can control my speech, then two years of using multiple types of the meds to try to find one that would make me less drowsy, as I fell asleep all over the place including behind the wheel of my car at a traffic light. It felt like I was sleep walking through life...

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