Exercise had been the most important part of my life for the past ten years. It was my medicine and my best friend… the one thing I knew was always there to help me feel better in times of sadness.
And in times of joy? The ultimate tool for self development.

Before exercise was part of my life, I had been a teenager depressed about being overweight. I was addicted to video games, and stepping away from my virtual escape meant letting the floodgates of negativity open in my mind.

To this day, I can remember the self-hatred I felt every time I looked in the mirror…

When I was 15, I stepped into Lifetime Fitness for the first time. I did not know it then, but I had found my second home for many years to come.

Over time, I built the body I had only dreamed of when I was young.

Chiseled abs, muscular arms, sculpted back — my goal had been to look comparable to Michelangelo’s David, and I had aesthetically surpassed even that.

I came to a point where I was completely happy with my body, but I still had a deep sadness within me..

I was 22, and I was very alone.

I remember sitting in my car after attending a huge party thrown by my university’s campus recreation center. I was at such a low that I felt compelled to record my thoughts in a video to myself.

I talked about how I had every reason to be happy, and I simply wasn’t.

Two weeks after that night, I met Kristen, who would become my girlfriend. She brought me happiness like nothing and no one else could, and we fell in love.

But love can be a double edged sword.

Soon after we started dating, I dislocated my shoulder. This was where the descent of my fitness began.

The process of recovery was a slow one, and as much as I wanted to hit the gym, I just couldn’t. Instead, I spent as much time as I could with Kristen. We would spend days rolling around in bed with each other, eating out at restaurants, and living a blissful, albeit indulgent, existence.

I would not trade those experiences for the world, but they came at a cost. I became more and more accustom to a sedentary lifestyle. I stopped paying attention to my diet.

And once my shoulder had recovered, going to the gym was no longer a priority.

Over many months of living like this, my body changed.

I went from 165lbs at 4.2% bodyfat, to 180lbs at 23% body fat at my heaviest.

Slowly, I lost confidence in myself. It became very clear just how depressed I was all those years ago, because I was beginning to feel like that again.

This began to negatively affect my relationship with Kristen, and it was at this point that I knew I had to make a change.

There were many false starts in my attempts to get back in shape. Times where I would be consistent in my training for a week or two, then fall off completely for another couple of weeks.

Were it not for a trip to the other side of the world, I may still be struggling with maintaining fitness as a habit.

Three weeks in India to teach me about friendship, camaraderie and my own fortitude.

Eight weeks in Thailand to teach me gratitude and show me where my passions truly lie.

Three weeks in Bali to teach me true adventure, partnership and the spectrum of love.

Two months back in Texas to rekindle my relationship with cannabis.

One month in Germany for the illuminating experience of AcroYoga Teacher Training.

I created this website for many reasons.

I want to share my passion for movement, cannabis and experimentation with the world.

I want to utilize what I’ve learned over the past 10 years in the gym (including 5 years spent earning a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology and Exercise Science), and build a career around it.

I want a space to share my poetry, which is sometimes the only way I can adequately ¬†express what’s going on inside.

Among other things…

This is a work in progress, and I hope you can appreciate the evolution of Yogabud as much as I’ll enjoy building it.

Update 11.20.17: I just launched the Yogabud podcast! Please check it out on any podcast app, or look up @yogabud.flow on Instagram


– James