Look, I’m not going to preach to you about how you like to have a good time, because that’s not my thing. I judge no one. What you do for fun is your own business—well, that is, unless you bring your drunken asshole antics into my personal space. Then we got issues. But anyway, since you are trying to better yourself, before we go any further we need to address a few things. Point blank, if you want a fighting chance at achieving your ultimate level of health and fitness, you have to take a step back and look at the daily choices you’re making.

Now, from my own personal experience of living in New York City and traveling around the globe for the last thirty-plus years I’ve learned a few things about the partying lifestyle. I’ve also lost a shitload of friends and family members, which was quite sobering. And as a matter of
fact, that’s exactly what I’m getting at . . . sobriety. Again, not judging—I’ve been there, too. I was a crackhead in the late eighties. You could say I know the drill.

While I was using drugs I was a bit of an anomaly because I was also trying to be a super healthy dude. As I was quoted saying in Triathlete magazine, “I’d smoke crack all night and still go get wheatgrass juice in the morning.” Honestly, that’s probably why I didn’t die with the amount of poison I was ingesting. I’d smoke crack and be up for days, then I’d have to pop pills to come down off the high and be able to sleep. By day I was like, “The enzymes contained in
organic raw foods balance your pH level and help to prevent cancer by reducing acidity in the body.” Then at night it was, “Yo, kid, lemme get twenty bucks, they got them jumbo fucking vials of crack up the block.” That’s no joke.

The sad truth is addiction runs in my family. My pops was an alcoholic and my brother suffered the same fate as well, being a pill head and alcoholic for the last twenty-plus years. Matter of fact, we almost lost him to heart disease as his bad habits finally caught up to him. They always do. Let me tell you, when you are face-to-face with an impending early death, it’s definitely a sobering wake-up call.

So why am I airing my dirty laundry here? First, because if it helps one person avoid what I went through, it’s worth it, and, second, because I want you to know I’m not telling you this shit from a pulpit but rather down in the trenches with you. I wake up and I meditate every day to maintain my sobriety. I know that one hit, one drink, or one pill and I’m right back where I was and that place was complete and total hell. Honestly, I shouldn’t even be alive with all the insane shit I did when I was using. Robbing armed coke dealers. Being in a drug house that was riddled with gunfire because someone I was freebasing with stole a pound of coke from the cocaine cowboy Cuban dealers in Miami. High-speed chases with cops in Los Angeles, weeklong binges in some of the most dangerous crack houses in New York, and on and on. So now that I’m clean and healthy, I feel it’s my duty to try to help the next person in line.

That’s why I’ve become such an advocate for training, eating right, and getting the message out about how to live a healthier lifestyle. That’s why I took up Ironman triathlons at forty-nine years of age, to challenge myself and to prove that this way of life works if you approach it properly.
I also didn’t wanna be one of those dudes who sit around in a bar talking shit like, “I used to be able to do this and that and blah blah fucking blah.” Well, now I’m fifty-one and I’m doing four Ironmans this year. I’m also in the gym six days a week and still tour with my band, the Cro-Mags, getting down onstage like I did when I was twenty. So, am I a little obsessive about training and eating right? Fuck yeah I am, but I’d rather be a fitness and health food addict than someone who’s strung out on some type of drug or booze.

You have to start somewhere and that place is eliminating some of the bad shit. Start the work and use your body as a lab; it will tell you what you should and should not do. Usually with its help you’ll make the right choices. Keep busy and keep the mind engaged in positive things and
you will stay positive. That’s why you also have to surround yourself with people
who are on the same path. Don’t be some negative fucker’s drinking buddy, and, ladies, that
goes for you as well. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard some of my female friends tell me they wish they never went home with such-and-such a guy but they were drunk. Don’t make bad choices, and if we are at all honest here, most bad choices are made when we are intoxicated.

Now let’s take a look at that word for a second: in-TOXIC-ated. The root word being toxic, as in poisonous to your fucking body, numb-nuts. Maybe that’s why when you drink you barf your brains out. That’s the body’s way of telling you, “Yo, jerk-off, this shit ain’t supposed to be in
here.” The other thing most people do after a night of hard charging is to end up at some sleazebag all-night diner eating God knows what and going to sleep with a full stomach
of all that poison rotting in their intestines. If you’ve been out all night drinking and eating toxins, do you really think you’re going to get up in the morning and go to the gym, play hoops, do yoga, swim, bike, or run a 10K?

Let’s be honest here, because my money’s on a definitive no and if by some miracle you do make it, your performance will be total shit. Now, just imagine doing that year after year, partying away, eating bad food, and the rest that follows. Sooner or later there’s going to be a breakdown in the machine. In other words, disease will strike.

Take the best example of the above-mentioned scenario if you will, these so-called rock stars. Oh yeah, nowadays with this microwave insta-fame culture we have, everybody dreams about becoming a rock star or celebrity overnight and partying like one, except they forgot to read the small print in their contract with the devil. The ones who they are trying to emulate have died, are dying, or are on their way to death. I’ve been playing music since the early eighties and from what I’ve seen, it ain’t no dream.