Here at Natural Life Fitness, I believe in learning continuously about fitness and nutrition, about you, and helping you discover ways to incorporate fitness into your natural life. For some of you, that is going to mean feeding your competitive spirit. For others, it means exploring the world and being able to enjoy long walks, kayaking, canoeing, or hiking. It could also mean getting fit enough to enjoy outdoor activities with your kids, setting an example of life long fitness for them as well.
I’m not here to judge you. I’m here to HELP you. Each and every one of you has a goal, a dream, that is important to you and that means it’s important to me. Together we can live those dreams by learning how to eat right and get fit, while feeding the body, mind and spirit and learning how to avoid dreaded injuries so you can live and enjoy life fully and naturally.
Joseph Sutton – What do I know?
I have been training in sports since the age of three. Being an athlete has given me perseverance, confidence, and knowledge. Pushing myself has led me to being team captain for many sports and tutors for classmates. It has led me to a state medal in wrestling and two world titles in jiu-jitsu.
In the beginning …
My entire life has been lived in a competitive environment. I was born a fighter – I had the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck and I had to fight my way out. At the age of 16 months, I was hospitalized with rotavirus, and a fever of 106, and fought my way through to survive. As a result, I developed speech apraxia and fought my way through therapy to achieve a normal speech pattern. One could say I have been fighting, competing with myself, and nature, my whole life.
When I was 8 years old, my parents opened up a martial arts gym. I grew up in that gym, practically living there every day and night. From age eight to thirteen, I competed in Karate and Jiu-Jitsu competitions regularly. My daily routine was a competition against myself and/or others around me for a better time, or higher repetitions, or greater long term gain.
It was during this time that I began to understand fitness as a way of life and began reading books and articles on muscular and skeletal anatomy, high intensity training, sleep patterns, and diet and nutrition.
Continuing to grow …
In Jr. High, I wrestled for the first time and I excelled at it due to my background in Jiu-Jitsu and Judo. I finished off my rookie season with a State Championship Medal. Even though I was just a young teenager, I loved nothing more than waking up to train two-a-days at 5 AM and 3 PM, five days a week. It was brutal, but for me, it was fun and it was just a part of who I am.
Throughout high school, I played sports: Football, Baseball, Judo, and Jiu-Jitsu. I trained in at least one sport five days a week for all four years including summers just to be able to maintain an active and fit lifestyle. My last two years of high school were my most competitive of all. The hard work from all the previous years paid off. I earned my way to two consecutive NAGA World’s titles in the Teen Expert Division. I also earned a path to compete in the Combat Wrestling National Championships and US Team Trials. Facing many experienced wrestlers and grapplers from all over the U.S., I placed 4th in the 18-29 year old division. I was 18 at the time.
Injuries happen …
I should know. The truth is, I’ve learned quite a bit about injuries over the years — torn ACL, torn MCL, and fractured Tibial Growth Plate, and I know how to prevent them. My brother suffered a second impact traumatic brain and spinal injury that left him in a wheel chair, unable to walk more than 2-3 steps. I was there while he worked through rehab and learned to not only walk and run again, but to train again. I was also there to watch him recover from heart failure after a rogue virus infected his heart muscle — not only recovering, but making it to a max bench press of 400 lbs eight months later. In all of these cases, it was a natural life of fitness and faith that saw us through.
Moving forward …
My senior year in high school, I took courses towards a certification as a Nurse’s Aid. I became CPR and Concussion Certified. Prior to reporting for duty with the US Army, I attended Saint Louis University majoring in Athletic Training. While at SLU, I walked onto the Rugby team and made a starting position on the A squad. I also started working towards a certification in Personal Training with ACE. At Basic Training, I excelled at fitness and I completed Airborne School as the Honor Graduate. Later that same year, I fell victim to a heat stroke. One year later, after a full recovery, I completed a MURPH on the anniversary date. That level of recovery didn’t happen by mistake. It was measured and deliberate, and I learned a lot.
Along with my normal Army PT regimen, I now follow a personal fitness program similar to that of CrossFit along with two programs from Monkey Method Fitness. With almost two decades of competition and fitness experience, I know what works and what doesn’t … and I have no intention of stopping that learning process now. Join me, and let’s journey together to find your best natural life.