MIND FIT

New Zealand Fitness - - EVENTS -

Life coach and per­sonal trainer JJ Economu helps peo­ple achieve longterm health and life­style changes and he is a tes­ta­ment him­self to that health change phi­los­o­phy. At the age of 13, he was a sports rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Scotts Col­lege and a Welling­ton rep­re­sen­ta­tive in rugby, ath­let­ics and bas­ket­ball – with an aim to be a pro­fes­sional sports­man. How­ever, he was hav­ing phys­i­cal prob­lems with his legs. His calves were very painful and swollen “like a sausage break­ing out of its cas­ing,” he says. Af­ter many vis­its to var­i­ous doctors and spe­cial­ists, not to men­tion a year in a wheel­chair, JJ was even­tu­ally di­ag­nosed with com­part­ment pres­sure syn­drome and told he prob­a­bly wouldn’t ever be able to walk again, let alone play pro­fes­sional sport. Pretty hard words for a young, fit and ac­tive young guy with huge as­pi­ra­tions.

Ask­ing one spe­cial­ist in Auck­land where he was re­ceiv­ing stem cell treat­ment, what sports he might one day be able to play, the re­sponse was to “play tid­dly­winks”. Not sur­pris­ingly JJ lost faith in the health sys­tem.

“They promised so much and noth­ing ever hap­pened”. At the age of 20, he had the long­est his­tory of in­jury in New Zealand.

Also not sur­pris­ing was that he lost faith in him­self and his abil­i­ties. Miss­ing three days a week of school due to his painful con­di­tion, he couldn’t spend time with his friends and found it hard to keep up with school­work. He got de­pressed and put on 20kg.

In his fi­nal year of school, JJ de­cided to make some changes. He wasn’t go­ing to re­main in a wheel­chair.

“Some­where within me I found the

JJ Economu is an ad­vo­cate of holis­tic fit­ness be­ing fun.

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