I have three words for you.
“ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”
While I had intended to start off this blog post with a statement like “Hello world! I am back! Let’s get down to lifting!”, there is far too much brewing in my spirit to simply state just that. Don’t get me wrong, the lifting portion of things is most certainly going happen. I haven’t failed to stop training over the course of the past 5 months despite facing the most challenging obstacles of my life, and believe it or not, while away, I was able to coach a handful of women who had two BIG things in common with me. I”ll save that for another write up. Keep reading through this post to find out how YOU can get involved with my soon to be re-launched VIP training memberships. If you’re into kettlebells and bodyweight training, welcome! You’re at the right place at the right time.
BUT MORE SO. . .
Should you find yourself battling through the trenches of TWO of the greatest Public Health crisis’s facing America today, YOU are most certainly at the right place at the right time, and have found a website that will be dedicated to showing you how to eat smart, train hard, and enjoy your life one day at a time to surpass those two obstacles: trauma and addiction.
This is a Public Service Announcement, a call-to-action for not just myself, but for those of you reading this post looking for a way to revamp your mental and physical health through the use of strength training and sound nutrition. Beyond that, this blog WILL have posts dedicated to discussions on not just strength training and nutrition, but the role of those two aspects of wellness with respects to aiding, if not reversing, a lot of the damage done by trauma and addiction themselves. YES! There IS a connection with all of this, but before we dive into what that connection is, I’d like to at least take some time to reveal who I am, what the hell happened to me from the point of my last post on October 26th, 2017, where things on the blog and business are going now, and WHY this is all so important FOR YOU!
Who I Am
My name is Janelle Pica, and I am a Strong First Level 2 Kettlebell instructor and Precision Nutrition Level 1 coach. Having overcome an auto-immune condition years ago, I made a commitment to change my life through functional fitness and whole food nutrition that would eventually place my condition in remission. In 2013, I launched a company called Primal Fitness Pittsburgh, LLC and grew my fitness company in Pittsburgh, PA, teaching men and women the EXACT same approaches I had used to become stronger than they ever thought possible. The public recognition I received for such success landed me feature spots on major websites such as Robbwolf.com, Eattoperform.com, Balancedbites.com, not to mention feature articles in Whirl Magazine and Experience Life. I have competed in competitive lifting events such as the Iron Maiden challenge, and have written a publication called “Powerful Pressing”, a fitness manual designed to teach you the fundamentals of my favorite lift of all time, The Military Press. I am one of the few women in the world that can strict press two, 28kg kettlebells (that’s 126 pounds folks) above my head without the help of a barbell. I have done countless interviews on the Motivation and Muscle Podcast, and have been given the title as one of the Top 100 Strongest Coaches in the Nation. In 2016, I had the honor of being called back by Esquire Network to try out for American Ninja Warrior, which later lead to a serious love for the Reebok Spartan Races, of which I have actively competed in as well.
My fitness resume is quite lengthy at this stage of the game, but I am saying that not to fluff up my ego, but rather make a point with the MOST IMPORTANT aspect of my health at this time in my life. There’s no way to really sugar coat this either, so without further delay, let me say my difficult thing, much like I say it in my local AA and NA meetings.
My name is Janelle. I am an addict in recovery.
This brings me to the question I was asked repeatedly when I returned home in January, 2018 from Cove Forge Behavioral Health Systems.
Wait. . .WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?!?!
I have no short answer for this question, but I DO have a blog post that is live from before that explains the very nature of how this miserable disease came down my pipe. In 2016, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after a series of horrifying events had occurred in my life. You may read that blog post here by clicking this link. I had believed my own dangerous lie, telling myself that because I was physically strong enough to master the art of strength training itself, I could handle the demands of my life on my own. I would learn that hard way that no one. .. repeat. . .NO ONE. . . is strong enough to tackle the obstacle of trauma alone. After failing to remain consistent in my mental health treatment, and making one-too-many bad business decisions along the way, I found myself at the mercy of a self-medicated stupor that nearly killed me on two separate occasions. I was rendered incapable of working, let alone training to my full capacity for a period of time. I never earned my Spartan Trifecta like I had intended to do in 2017. Instead, I ended up with a trifecta of a drug problem that sent me away to Cove Forge Behavioral Health in November of 2017 for a VERY LONG TIME.
I spent a total of 77 days away from friends, family, loved ones and clients. I damn near lost everything I had on part of my online fitness business, and if it wasn’t for my Editor and Web-Developer contacting me while in treatment, this website may not have even be up to speed today. On a lighter and funnier note, I should point out that I was taking business calls to keep my business alive as best as I could while I was gone. I spent countless hours in my Counselor’s office, who by the grace of God, took a liking to me for my hard work both in treatment, and for my success leading up to that point. To quote her directly:
“In the pat 15 years of my practice, I have NEVER met a patient who willingly operated an online fitness business straight out of a Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation facility. You have a way with being so transparent, and you express such openness with what you are going through. I’m truly impressed and inspired. You really are stronger than you think. You need to get back to this when you’re well. Make THIS your new mission!”
I’ll never forget that day, and I will never forget my counselor’s words of encouragement.
THIS IS THE NEW MISSION!
Where Things are Going
On January 20th, 2018, I was released from Cove Forge Behavioral Health and sent to Beaver County to live in a ¾ Recovery House. Within my first week of being released, I was INUNDATED with phone calls from all over the globe asking me about my next steps. I spent countless hours on calls with RKC and SFG instructors who were in recovery themselves, not to mention taking a host of conference calls with my business coach, former clients and coaches, and the likes of a number of superwomen from Girls Gone Strong all of whom had pointed me in the direction of my own new launch. I am happy to announce that all things eating smart and training hard ARE BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER! I now have my own apartment, with a designated training facility nicknamed “The Empowerment Zone” to begin working with you all once again. A few things to keep in mind while I work ahead on a number of programs for you all reading this too.
1). This blog is a point of reference for all things related to strength training via kettlebells and bodyweight work. You should expect to see a lot of discussion on the role of whole food nutrition too.
2). My email lists and blasts will be up by the end of this week. I will be making an announcement later this week on when you should all subscribe to the feed. WATCH FOR THE UPDATES HERE !
3). Facebook live sessions will resume THIS TUESDAY, and will run Monday-Thursday every week moving forward. All times will be listed daily on my facebook business page, so please make note of that and watch for the updates on when to expect those posts.
4). VIP online training subscriptions / memberships will be launched on Monday, 3/19/2018. I will be making announcements for how to get involved with online training with me via the forums this week as well. On that note, the Powerful Strength Coaching forum will be put back together, so if you were a part of that previously, expect to be added back in. For personal training/distance coaching inquiries here in Beaver County or abroad, please email me at Janelle@janellepica.com with the subject line “Coaching” and I will respond within 48 hours. I AM taking on clients here in Beaver County and abroad as of the current date.
5). In light of this new mission of mine, I would like to open a discussion on this blog moving forward on how strength training and sound nutrition can help facilitate stronger mental and physical health most notably with trauma and addiction. Bear in mind, I am NOT a clinician, but I DO have a degree in Psychology with specialization in Addiction Therapy from Saint Vincent college, the last of my “certifications” if you will that I have not yet put into practice. . .
Why This is So Important for YOU!
“Many psychiatrists today work in assembly line offices where the see patients they hardly know for fifteen minutes and then dole out pills to relieve pain, anxiety, or depression. Their message seems to be ‘Leave it to us to fix you; just be compliant and take these drugs and come back in three months-but be sure not to use alcohol or (illegal) drugs to relieve our problems.’ Such shortcuts in treatment make it impossible to develop self-care and self-leadership. One tragic example of this orientation is the rampant prescription of painkillers, which no kill more people each year in the United States than guns or car accidents.
Our increasing use of drugs to treat thee conditions doesn’t address the real issues: What are these patients trying to cope with? What are their internal or external resources? How do they calm themselves down? Do they have caring relationships with their bodies, and what do they do to cultivate a physical sense of power, vitality, and relaxation? Do they have dynamic interactions with other people? Who really knows them, loves them, and cares about them? Whom can they count on when they’re scared, when their babies are ill, or when they are sick themselves? Are they members of a community, and do they play vital roles in the lives of the people around them? What specific skills do they need to focus, pay attention, and make choices? Do they have a sense of purpose? What are they good at? How can we help them feel in charge of their lives?”
The healthier and stronger we become, the more resilient we are when facing life’s most challenging obstacles. Developing healthy mental and physical habits takes time, but the rewards we reap from eating smart and training hard lead us to sheer vitality. More so, we will find that we can reverse the damage done from our own self-destructive habits by simply taking the steps in the right direction. I hold the opinion that all things are reversible, and as long as we consistently make choices that better our health, we can expect an incredible outcome that may very well save our own lives. Narcotics Anonymous says it the best:
“As long as the ties that bind us together are stronger than those that tear us apart, all will be well!”
If you are a trainee looking to become stronger than you thought possible, welcome to blog! I look forward to making you stronger than you ever thought possible. If you are suffering form PTSD and/or addiction, welcome! Be on the look out for resources to help you get the help you need, and do feel free to reach out to me directly, and to agencies and facilities to get the help that you need. If you are a fitness professional, I urge you to pay attention to this blog as I will be coming out with some information that may help you better aid your own clients in training if they have had exposure to trauma and/or addiction themselves. Most of all, get ready for a whole lot more awesome in the coming months from yours truly on all the forums, VIP memberships and strength training discussions here on the blog and facebook. I am so grateful to be back!
WELCOME TO RECOVERY ROAD! Much love and respect to ALL OF YOU who have supported me to this day!
Let NOTHING stand in your way!
Special thanks to the following people and organizations for the unfailing support during this time: Megan Potts, Jen Sinkler and The Movement, Minneapolis, Melody Schoenfeld, Karen Smith, Delaine Ross, Strong First, Laurel Blackburn, Dragon Door, Lynn Coffey, Tom Jackobs, Dan Byrnes, Molly Galbraith and Girls Gone Strong, Kate Solovieva, Precision Nutrition, Dalia Evans and Cove Forge Behavioral Health, Lori Sober and White Deer Run, Lindsey Smith, Amanda Filippelli and One Idea Press, Dallas Texas Trauma Unit, PAAR, AA, NA, and all of the strong women I have had the honor of meeting over the course of the past year in treatment. Thank you all so much for everything!