Sharing one’s story can be a vulnerable and courageous act. It takes a lot of bravery to open up about personal experiences, especially if they are difficult or painful. But this act can have a profound impact on both the storyteller and the listener. In this article, we’ll delve into the journey of Tony Hoffman, who has learned the power of storytelling in his own life and how it has helped him to heal and empower others.
Tony Hoffman rose towards the top of the amateur ranks for BMX racing by the early 2000s which put him in a league of his own in that community.
Hoffman started riding BMX bikes when he was 12 years old, spending hours at the race track – and quickly established himself as a top rider.
An open and honest person, Hoffman isn’t afraid to speak his mind and share his feelings. As he grew to prominence at the BMX track however, he struggled to identify with his emotions and thoughts, making it difficult for him to put himself out there in a way that was helpful to himself and others. Eventually he hit rock bottom and was on the road to nowhere, when a spiritual awakening gave him the jolt he needed to share his mission with the world.
For Hoffman, his spiritual experience landed on January 21st, 2007 – the day before he was arrested for a home invasion.
“I realized everything was going to be alright,” he says, from his home in Dallas, Texas. “As I was sitting in the back of this cop car, I still felt a sense of peace come over me.”
That incident was the result of Hoffman’s addiction to drugs and alcohol, itself stemming from unaddressed mental health struggles that reached a boiling point by 18. “When I was younger, I had those coaches that spoke to you verbally from a position of power that made you feel small,” he remembers. “I didn’t do well with those types of leaders.” It wasn’t until a fellow inmate by the name of Toby Wade spent six hours a day mentoring him that he felt like he could finally reach his potential. “He (Wade) taught me about the physical principles of accountability, discipline, consistency, and intentional behaviour – and his ability to see my potential and not only encourage that, but mold it – was invaluable.”
The years spent locked away taught Hoffman to deal with the harsh realities of prison while constantly examining and pivoting his mindset. Hoffman views going to prison as a gift, as it forces him to assess the times in his life when he felt happy and what his core values are – identifying them as determination, focus, compassion, and empathy. Eventually, he’d utilize these skillset to bring awareness to others in their respectable journey’s – creating a connection between mental health and the outcomes in daily life.
He realized that sharing his story was not only healing for others but also himself, and found his vulnerability opened the door for others to heal while providing inspiration for those who may be struggling with similar issues. “I wish I’d heard stories like his when I was younger, but more importantly, I wish I was willing to listen,” he reflects.
Tony Hoffman was once a lost soul, struggling with addiction that eventually led him to prison. Today, he is a motivational speaker who has acquired many great accolades and is committed to inspiring others through his personal journey to overcome his struggles. He shares the quote he discovered in prison that unlocked the mental shackles he had placed on himself and how his journey from addiction and despair to a life of service and gratitude is achievable for anyone. That powerful quote by Gandhi is-
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
His comeback story is centred around his spiritual journey, which he calls pH Wellness. pH Wellness – a California-based drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, is based on the same principles he was taught while incarcerated; discipline, honesty, and compassion. Hoffman believes the foundation of a better life is honesty with oneself, and quiet time is how he connects with his true self, feeling that committing to being honest with yourself is the foundation for being a better person.
The staff he chose to aid in his rehabilitation centre echo the same drive for positive change he has; “We’ve hired staff that truly invest in others,” he beams, while reaching out with a heartfelt message to those in need: “I truly want anybody that is looking to change their lives, to sit down with individuals that are highly educated, and give us your life.”
Hoffman says that for the time patients are in his team’s care, they’ll receive the information and skills to not only recover from their addictions, but that they’ll never come back.
“We’ve been successful at that,” Hoffman says.
The story of this BMX athlete is one of perseverance, faith, and inspiration. Despite facing numerous challenges in his life, he has managed to overcome them and find success both in his athletic career and in his personal life. His faith played a major role in his journey, as with it, it’s possible to achieve anything. He cites the words of scripture, “Without faith, it’s impossible to believe,” and has taken these words to heart. He knows that everything he does, no matter how small, contributes to his future and that his faith in these micro-processes will lead him to his ultimate goal.
Tony Hoffman is a living testament to the fact that with the right mindset and approach, it is possible to overcome even the toughest obstacles and find peace and happiness. If you’re struggling right now, Hoffman encourages you to talk to someone who knows what you want help with. Sometimes something as simple as a conversation is all that stands between you and what you want.
Tony Hoffman came back from the brink to serve a better cause; to get in touch with him or follow his journey, catch him across the board on his socials; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube.
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