4:31PM Apr 13, 2021
Hi, this is Julie Christensen with APSE. We're excited to launch the APSE Employment First employment for all podcast as a new way to connect with you. This podcast is a way to provide updates, real time advocacy alerts, and information related to all things Employment First, be sure to subscribe so you don't miss an episode. And thanks for listening.
Good morning, welcome to another episode of our podcast with national APSE. Today, we have Jimmy Claire with us and he is going to be talking a little bit about what he does his experience throughout his life career. And hopefully you'll talk a little bit about the crazy fitness guy, which is the name of his business. And he has a great website where you can get all sorts of information. But when we first hopped on here, I asked him if he was familiar with podcasts in a kind of joking way. And he said, Jimmy, how, what number is this for you? 65 Yeah, so I'm pretty sure you do your own podcast and are very busy in Pennsylvania, just like we are in New York. But um, before we get started, I just wanted to thank everyone for joining us. And Jimmy Do you mind introducing yourself and just giving us a little background on you know, where you've been, where you're going and you know what you're hoping to do in the future?
Sure thing. I'm a motivational speaker. I'm also an autism advocate, author and founder crazy fitness guy. I so I'm, I'm hoping to be come a well known world motivational speaker around the world and hopefully speaking at large events. I literally had a dream the other night, I was finishing up a show in front of like millions of people. And and of course I was across my alarm clock just went off when I was about to get a check for $750,000
Oh my goodness.
I woke up I was like, Hey, where's my money?
Now, I'm Jimmy with COVID though Have you had a lot more opportunities and experiences to do some of that motivational speaking?
Well, I got on. Well, I got a lot on a lot of different podcasts. It's I started getting on more podcasts because one of my friends she kind of had a bet with me. And this was right before last Thanksgiving, and I was like I bet you can't go on 50 before Thanksgiving. And it's like, it's like you should never you should never bet me because I'm gonna I'm a very competitive person. So I can say no to challenge.
That's too funny.
I got I got 255 before 55 podcast before? Actually no, sorry, it was 25 podcast before Thanksgiving. So that was 20 before Thanksgiving. Yeah,
I lost count after a while.
So Jimmy, um, I didn't mention this earlier, but I used to be a teacher. So I used to actually also do training with teachers and options for students with disabilities after high school. So I'm curious, um, you know, with your goals you have now and the fact that you're, you know, on so many podcasts and doing so many different things, what did highschool and kind of that transition time look like for you?
So basically, the transition I waited three years to to actually do something after high school because it's not that I didn't know that there was anything out there. I told him, I really I really did not like going to middle school in high school and elementary school. If you ask people who known me for a long time, they're gonna tell you multiple different reasons. Bipolar can't even tell you those reasons because as pie it is a big mix of different reasons and So I decided I wanted to say I took three years off after high school. The first year, I just took completely off, didn't do anything. And then by looking for anything, and for two years, I I just jumped from one job for another. And I even did some housework for my parents, which was absolutely brutal.
here Oh, well, I think working for anyone's parents can be challenging. I have done it myself. So I can understand,
well, some of those tasks that they had me to do, took a very long time. And I one of the tasks they wanted me to do was clean the grout between the tiles inside this, like this sounds like a prison work or something? I don't know. And so we, so we just so after doing so many different jobs and working for different employees, during employers during the summer, I decided I was gonna enroll in college, in college, because I said after high school and middle school, I was never gonna go to college and have to add them to my different jobs. I was like, I'm done. I'm going to college.
So did you enroll full time? Or did you kind of do you know, a little bit at a time
I enrolled part time because I get information overload really quick, if I get sound too much information at once. And so I'm taking like two sometimes three classes at a time. I said, I broke that rule this semester, because I'm doing one class this semester, because there were, there seems to be I had this one. The teacher I'm taking this class on taking for the semester is teaching like 10 of the same classes as like, Okay, I guess it's very slim pickings these days with the Coronavirus. So, let's go with one.
See one? Yeah, a little more variety. That makes sense. So how long have you been working towards your college degree then?
one to many years?
I think I'm in like, maybe I've been at my community college for like five years now. And I don't five different majors.
Well, then you're getting lots of information, but I know that you, you know, obviously are working at the same time. So that makes total sense. Um, I you know, I guess I have some questions about your website and just the fitness aspect of you're speaking to other people. So do you mind sharing a little bit on that?
Sure. So I created crazy fitness guy. Near the end of one of my semesters in college, I had my English professor who told me that the only way to get better at writing was to continue practicing over and over again. And I know there's the only way for me to stay accountable to continue writing was to do something that was that was helping others and not just myself. I didn't and rely on others. And I didn't. I know I can write in a Microsoft Word document over and over again, because that's just going to get boring. And no one does anything. Nobody does anything over and over again if it's boring to them. So I decided to create a website. And it took me nine different times to get a website up and running because no one taught me how to do this. I was self taught. I looked at multiple YouTube videos. I also learned a lot from different people on Facebook groups. And and after a year of working on WordPress platform from 90 plus hours a week for almost a year. I got burnt out really really badly. And I was I really wanted to give up. And I'm jumped over to Squarespace and I've been there for four years. yours now. And Funny thing is, it's a perfect day because to have this interview because crazy fitness guy just turned four years old today. And the podcast turned one years old. So
nice. I was gonna ask how long so thanks, that is exciting. Happy anniversary,
thank you. I wish I could say that I was as the most perfect four years in the world, but I would just be lying.
Well, I think most people who are working and trying to do a lot of things on their own, would agree with you so. But you do learn when you know things are different, and things are changing. So I'm sure you've gained a ton of skills through this process.
Definitely, that's an understatement.
That's great. So in terms of the fitness part, I know that on your website, it kind of talks a little bit about your experiences growing up, and different surgeries that you had. And I think the fact that your parents were told you might not be able to walk when you were born. So I'm curious, you know how you got so involved with fitness. And you know, what your encouragement would be for other folks.
So how I got into fitness was my I was, I had a long, I had a long experience with different bullies in my life. I was again, bullied in elementary school. Maybe I was getting bullied on the buses. And I got all the way from elementary school into middle school into high school. And so during high school, I met my dad, we're watching this TV show. I'm watching TV one night, and we saw that infomercial for p90x from Beachbody. And they. And it's a 90 day workout program that you do for 90 straight days you get one day off. And I was me and my devil both looking at each other because we've tried working at home, he tried arganda gyms can never lose the way to ourselves. So we both sat there and say, I think we should do this. And so we both said, Yes. What do we have to lose? dignity seems I gave my dad the door a long time ago. And so we decided to he decided to order it. And the first night we went down at 6pm. And we got a warning on the DVD and says make sure you consult your doctor. Well, he's either having dinner with his family, and but he's not in the office. So it's either now or never. And it was not the smartest thing I've ever done in my life. But I knew if I didn't start it that night, I was not going to do it at all. And so I just ignore the warning. And I just did what I could. And I lost 30 pounds with p90x and I stood up to the bullies and and they got really scared when I confronted them in during math class. And the reason why I confronted them during my math class was I want two witnesses. Because I didn't trust the security cameras in the hallways, as I never seen any. Like those TV monitors or security monitors anywhere in the school. And so I was like, Well, if I don't really want to get pinned somewhere that I might get beaten up or anything, so let's do in a public place. Good idea.
Makes sense? And how did that play out? So I
stood up to them in the math class and they got really scared. I got one body expelled. And and once I lost all the way I knew I needed to keep it off. And I used to have a lot of autism meltdowns when I was younger. And for people who don't know when autism meltdown is it with it. Think of them like Think of it like a bomb going off in the whereas just like just kind of just like self destruction emotions. Sometimes there's stuffs done around. Or it's kind of like a turtle. You can even consider like a tornado as well. And all the emotions are just pouring through your body left and right. And I hate a feeling that I Hagen knows. Finances makes me feel more happier. And it challenges me. And it keeps my it just makes me a more rounded better person, I believe.
Nope, that makes sense. You're able to channel your energy probably in a different way.
So because my mom says, I'm like, kind of like the perfect poster child for fitness because she knows the days when I don't work out. Or, or because something's skipped me for him. Made me skip my workout. She can tell when I turn into like the Incredible Hulk. Except I don't turn green. And I don't become like seven foot tall.
Oh, well, that. That makes sense. So how many years have you been kind of keeping up with the program?
I've been. I've been doing a lot of programs on Beachbody on demand lately. I also, I've been in I'm also taking kickboxing class classes on zoom. For I've been with Tiger shamans, karate for many, many years. I've been with the same sensei for many years for you and asked him Hey, with Tom, may I've been with him one too many years. He can hit me.
Well, it's really not a bad thing. So Oh, goodness. So Jimmy, um, in terms of, you know, absi, I know that we try to focus on Employment First and making sure that you know, all people with disabilities have opportunities to do what they want to do in terms of employment. So I'm just curious, I know you run your own business on Can you tell us just a little bit about maybe like, how you came up with the plan? Or who supports you or who you choose? To have maybe give you some help? You know, do you do everything yourself? Or how does, how does it work? for yourself?
Right now, it just me and me. I wish I had my multiple clones of me, that would be much easier. But I came up with crazy fitness guy, because I was I was known that's something else before. But it turned out to be that someone else had that trademark, and I was infringing upon his work. And it was an actual company of work, which I was actually surprised they found me because I was really, really, really small back then. I'm still small, but I didn't think anybody would find me and I didn't do it on purpose. I can. I didn't know anything about trademark laws. I didn't know anything about copyright laws, etc. etc. I knew that they existed, but it's not like I actually knew what any of that meant.
And it is very complicated. I would agree just, you know, even images. And I think there's folks that you know, that is their job looking for places that people may have, you know, borrowed or use something that wasn't theirs. But so I can understand that. You wouldn't have had all the background information. I don't think many people do.
And I was actually, I was surprised I was it was geared towards just fitness. But when I changed my major from personal training to media studies, because I want to be a motivational speaker. I knew I had to shift the website a little bit to be geared towards just healthy living in general. Because there's so many different workout programs out there. So many nutrition programs out there. It's not just one size fits all. You got to find what's it just got to find what's something that's going to work for you and stick with it. And once your body gets used to that you just have to switch over to something else. And to another program to keep your body guessing is like I can't figure this out. Right your body might like cry when but then your brain says like I can do this.
Now, Jimmy, do you work with any vocational rehab organizations in Pennsylvania? Or are you primarily doing any, you know, everything by yourself?
I'm currently doing everything by myself. At the moment. I'm tired. I'm geared towards people who are on the spectrum and people who are off the spectrum, and are just people who just want to genuinely live a healthy living lifestyle, and don't know where to get started. I seen that's why I try to differentiate myself from others, because there is a tell you on Oh, here's how you get started working now. I mean, something start sometimes is articles ran by people, I can't how to start working out but but there's, there's always like, Well, here's step one, here's step two step 3am. I as I go, just to work out, you have to do this. Try this workout program, try this new fitness tool or etc, our program, but they don't acts as a necessary How do you get started? Or data? or where to start? Or how do you get your mind set? and ready for working now? Because I never seen that covered anywhere? And if they do, they might like plants over it a little bit?
No, that makes sense. So have you been able to connect with a lot of people in your area and across the country to you know, kind of help them get started?
I would say I have, I felt like I got I've connected with a lot of people. On my podcast, I been less than two and seven different countries. I've reached 1700 total plays on it at 873 downloads in a day last month.
Oh, that's great.
I was like, Man, you guys clicked on that, like it was your job?
Well, it's obviously you know, something people value and they're using it. So that's awesome. That is great. So Jimmy, before we get off, I just wanted to see if there was anything else you wanted to share with our national FC members and non members just about, you know, what you would encourage people to do or, you know, any friendly advice you might have.
Um, I would say for my advice would just keep, keep asking for help when you need help. I think that's one of the things that has gotten me where I am today is because I asked for help. I had this one of my favorite teachers growing up in seventh and eighth grade. It was both my seventh grade teacher and eighth grade teacher. And I still keep in touch with her today and show you when I didn't know how to ask for help. By then she knew that there was something wrong that was bothering me. She was the only one. She my teacher and my guidance counselor are the only one who knew that the bullies were picking on me and got and until the principles that they need to take seriously. And I think without them I don't think I'd be where I am today. Because I struggle with down. I struggle with the boys for many years. And, and I owe I owe for them because they help me figure out how to ask for help when I needed it. And because I didn't have I didn't know that. Even though asking for help is very simple. Now. Back then I just felt like it was a sign of weakness. And it's not.
I think a lot of people feel that way. Jimmy so I think that's a great a great thing to share. or anything. Yeah. Is there anything else before we say goodbye?
Nothing that I can think of?
Um, do you want to let people know where they can access your podcast and your website?
Yeah, sure. You can access again, if you want to learn more about me go to crazy fitness guy calm. And I'm going to bother trying to share with you where you can follow me because it is right on my website and I have one too many profiles.
Perfect. And I'm sure we can connect it when we posted as well so people can find your stuff your stuff easily so. So thank you, Jimmy for joining us today. And I'm hoping that you'll get some new followers, both on your website and hopefully with your podcast. And I'm glad that things are moving in the right direction, and that you found something that works in terms of helping you regulate and also something that you enjoy doing and sharing with others. So thank you so much.
Thanks for having me.
Yeah, we'll have a great day and we will see everyone again next week.