JaQuan’s Story: From Video Games To Fitness And Beyond

A need for a more sustainable lifestyle 
Change is one of the most important concepts, yet one of the most complex. Change has been seen as both chaotic, and confusing and also as a necessary force to progress, grow, and move forward in life. Our guest episode, JaQuan, realizing he needed to make some changes, set out to shed some pounds in 2018 and ended up losing 37 lbs of his original 260 lbs. But he couldn’t keep it off for long and eventually put on even more weight. This time, JaQuan’s goal was to make a more permanent shift in his lifestyle by forming new, manageable habits, rather than focusing solely on losing weight.

We want to live a healthier lifestyle, but so often we try too hard too soon and it ends up derailing our plans. Matt’s advice, owner of Bent On Better Personal Training, is to take it easy and enjoy the journey.  Focus on building a lifestyle that is a reflection of who you are. Make small, incremental changes every day, and learn to accept yourself as you are, but always work to try and make yourself just a little bit better.  By breaking your healthy habits into smaller, achievable goals, you give yourself the chance to succeed instead of thinking about all of the obstacles hiding in wait to knock you off course. Stop worrying about results and start focusing on the process instead. That’s what will help you stay on the right path toward your goals.

For the Love of Video Games
Since joining Bent On Better’s community and creative team, JaQuan has produced the vast majority of the gym’s video and photographic material. When he first started helping out, he would take images and films of the gym’s training sessions. Now, he is responsible for almost all of Bent On Better’s video and photography content, including recording and producing these podcasts. 

As a teenager, JaQuan honed his video editing talents by watching gaming videos and wondering how the creators managed to pull off such impressive montages and cool effects. His love for video games led him to purchase a video editing software, which led to the purchase of his first camera, which then influenced his college education, and finally led to his eventual decision to pursue video production and photography as a career.

When JaQuan finished Kutztown University in 2020, it was such a  difficult time, especially with what happened globally. He thought it was strange and a little depressing that he couldn’t stay in school for very long during his senior year. Staying at home and being unable to find work, he decided to start a Youtube channel where he could share his knowledge of photography and videography through tutorials and how-to videos.

Eventually, he got a call and receive a job offer in Lafayette (College). However, the start of his fulfilling career came with a price. JaQuan would spend about three hours of his day just driving to and from Lafayette three to four times a week for work. While this could be tiring, it was one of those long drives when JaQuan had finally been able to reflect that something needs to change health-wise. JaQuan wanted to get in better shape because for one, camera equipment can be very heavy but most importantly, to reap the benefits of fitness, to feel good, and to be able to do things comfortably.

Starting with a Jump Rope
A jump rope was one of the first things JaQuan purchased when he embarked on his second fitness journey. This allowed him to exercise wherever he desired. The last time JaQuan had some free time from work, he did some jump roping in a parking lot. JaQuan eventually increased his investment in his home gym so that he no longer has an excuse to skip working out when he can simply roll out of bed and lift weights downstairs. Having a home gym means that JaQuan can still keep up with his workouts, despite the fact that he has to travel for work. JaQuan was able to find a routine that worked for him and that he could stick to, like jumping rope whenever he had time at work.

It didn’t become easier; you just got better.
JaQuan recalled how he was out of breath when he started jump roping and just how tired he was, but after a week, he already the feel the results, and it became easier for him and more fun. Matt was quick to note that what actually happened was that it didn’t get easier. It was the same amount of effort that was required to jump that rope; it’s just that JaQuan became better at it and began to enjoy it as a result. 

When you first start jumping a rope, it feels like it’s impossible. But, as your skills progress and you become better at it, you notice that the effort required to jump a rope becomes easier. It’s not the case that the exercise became easier; it’s just that your skills progressed to a much higher level which made the jumping rope seem less difficult.

“It’s not getting easier. You’re getting stronger, you’re getting better, you’re improving yourself, and that’s what’s making it more enjoyable.” – Matt A.

Jaquan, on the job and ready for battle.

The Importance of Documenting Your Fitness Journey
JaQuan also shared how he is starting to record his fitness journey. As the gym’s creative director, he has significantly contributed to documenting the journeys of Bent on Better members, so it’s also a good idea for him to document his own fitness journey. Recording your workouts will tell you what you need to work on and what you are doing well. It can also show how far you have come, giving you a good feeling about the progress that you have made so far.

All in all, the whole idea behind documenting your fitness journey is twofold. First, it’s a great way to learn about yourself and do some introspection about where you are today. Second, it’s a great way to stay motivated. You’ll be able to look back at your workouts from months or even years ago and see the progress you’ve made since then. You’ll have no trouble getting motivated for the next workout with such a clear picture of your progress in front of your eyes.

Patience is the Magic Pill
Recording your fitness journey also teaches you to be patient. Learning to be patient is something we all have to learn. No matter what stage of our fitness journey we are in. Because we want immediate results when striving to be more fit, we are often not very good at being patient. The key is that progress doesn’t happen overnight. Being fit will take work, dedication, and time. You have to stay consistent and keep at it every day.

Stop buying into the idea that instant gratification will ultimately lead you down a path toward success. Instead, realize that success comes from taking steps toward that end result and not feeling bad about the little missteps along the way.

“I don’t guarantee a timeline, but I can guarantee that if you can take that “patience pill,” and if you can stay consistent and keep it down, you will see the kind of changes, progress, results, and everything that you want to see.” – Matt

Failure in Inevitable 
JaQuan also added that failure is inevitable and learning from failure is key. If you’ve already failed and feel like you’re about to fail, congratulate yourself on your perseverance. If failure hasn’t happened yet, don’t stop trying; the only way to lose is to give up. So don’t give up and keep going forward. Stay motivated, stay consistent, and remember, if JaQuan has done it, you can do it too.

“The only way failure is a true dictator for whether or not you succeed is if you quit or if you keep going.” – Matt A.

Embrace Your Journey

“Enjoy your journey because that’s where you learn everything, that’s where you build your character that’s where you face your challenges, you know you overcome everything. Yes, think about your end goal but also embrace your journey.” – JaQuan A.

Just by realizing that your journey is just as important as your end goal, you’ll start to see some real benefits. You’ve got to be patient to enjoy the ride. Patience with yourself will bring more positive rewards. On your journey to success, it’s important to remember that where you are right now is just as important as where you want to go. Make sure you look back at where you’ve been, see how far you’ve come, and enjoy every second of it!


Follow JaQuan on Instagram.

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