When we experience bullying or face emotional hardship, it’s hard to imagine a world in which everything will turn out okay. At just 20 years old, Doug Bopst was addicted to opiates and spent time in jail for “possession with intent to sell.” It felt like a death sentence at the time. But in dedicating himself to doing the work to shift out of a victim mindset, mindful movement, and the people who believed in him, this is not where Doug’s story ends, but where it begins.

Doug Bopst is an award-winning personal trainer, author of three books, and host of the Adversity Advantage Podcast on a crusade to inspire others to overcome adversity and become the best version of themselves. Doug has been featured on NBC’s ‘Today Show,’ Men’s Health, Forbes, Rich Roll’s podcast, Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu, The Skinny Confidential Him and Her podcast, and more. There’s even a short documentary about his story, From Felony to Fitness to Free.

In this honest conversation about facing demons and coming out the other side as a changed person, Doug reveals how he was able to kick addiction and reinvent himself, sharing how instrumental exercise and talk therapy have been in healing childhood wounds and limiting beliefs.

Doug and Karena discuss how important it is to be surrounded by people with similar values, not let the fear of other people’s opinions keep you from being true to yourself, and build self-trust and resilience through doing hard things. No matter how low you’ve been, Doug’s story is proof that you can heal and become the best version of yourself.

(00:03:27) Becoming a Felon At 20: Childhood Wounds Lead to Life-Changing Choices

  • How it happened: Felony conviction at 20 years old
  • Bullying and social challenges lead to drug use
  • Doug’s advice for anyone being picked on or bullied
  • Why it’s important to take inventory of the people you spend time with

(00:19:03) What Doug Lost (and Gained) While In Prison

  • Doug’s experience detoxing from opiates in jail
  • The transformative advice his cellmate gave him that changed his mindset
  • The impact movement and exercise had on him while in prison
  • How to reinvent yourself and overcome limiting beliefs

(00:28:48) Processing Limiting Beliefs & Strengthening Self-Trust Through Talk Therapy

  • How Doug maintained focus and momentum after leaving prison
  • The way talk therapy helped him process and rewire his need for external validation
  • The importance of building trust within yourself
  • One thing to learn before you’re able to change your life

(00:38:40) Overcoming Victim Mentality & Healing in Community

  • Staying out of victim mentality as a convicted felon
  • Karena and Doug’s experience healing through sharing their stories
  • How to handle people that judge you

(00:44:24) Cultivating Resilience by Making Peace With the Past

  • Navigating mother wounds and realizing it’s okay to have regrets
  • Take home tips on turning adversity into triumph


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“The Big Silence” theme song written and performed by James Nicholas Kinney.

Producer, Bobby Goldstein.

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