April Featured Athlete- Joseph Briante

Joseph Briante

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

I grew up in Ontario and I've lived in Guelph, Kingston, and Toronto.  I followed my sister to the West Coast, and I've lived in Vancouver and now Victoria.  My parents moved to Victoria when they retired, so most of my family is close by. I'm an uncle to two beautiful and amazing children, Antonia and Vincenzo.

Can you tell us a little bit about your athletic background/what sports or type of fitness you do?

I did competitive swimming, track and field, cross-country, and triathlons as a kid. These days my fitness staples are CrossFit and yoga.  Most weeks I add a dash of barre, hiking, trail running, movement and dance classes. Looking to sprinkle in bouldering and spinning on a more regular basis. Dancing to proper house and techno is essential for me.

Do you have a life-changing experience that shaped your future self or future direction?

I continue to be shaped by a close-to-complete collapse of my life and the process of starting over from rock-bottom.

I've experienced depression since I was a teenager, I had a manic episode, later escalating to a full-blown psychotic break. During the psychosis, I slashed my neck with a butcher knife. This is how bad mental illness can get.

I was found by mom bleeding to death and with some serious medical heroics (my mom, EMT, ER, OR), I survived. When I regained consciousness, I could not speak or swallow and when I was handed a pen in the hospital, I could only scribble. I was left with an anoxic brain injury and took me more than a decade to recover.

I did everything to drive neuroplastic change: meditation, movement, music, art, languages, improvisation, countless therapies, and group process work. With amazing support, persistence, and curiosity, my life has been transformed. I am equally grateful to be alive and for this experience.

What do you do professionally?

I am starting a healing and wellness practice using BodyTalk, a priority-based energy medicine system that I started learning during my recovery. It worked wonders with my brain and managing mental and emotional states.

I am also starting school in the fall for massage therapy, training as a yoga instructor and coordinating local body-mind trainings and events.

What would you say to someone who is trying to start living a healthier lifestyle?

Show up every day. Make yourself your priority.  Notice your gains and celebrate them. Ask "what's possible?". Keep going. Repeat.

What do you think the world needs most at this time in history?


What are 5 quick facts that your best friend would use to introduce you?

  1. He laughs at his own jokes;
  2. He's always learning (languages, musical instruments, songs for karaoke, dance moves, trying new recipes);
  3. He'll ask you to go dancing and karaoke with him;
  4. He's a Taurus (and he loves eating, cooking, travel and nice things);
  5. He's a recovered lawyer and has the scars to prove it.

What is your favourite Fit Balm product, and why?

I am a minimalist when it comes to skin care: hot yoga, cold showers, and a great exfoliant, so I love the Coffee Scrub.  And more reason to love coffee when it also gives you great skin.

Podcast Channel? "Under the Skin" with Russell Brand

Book or Author? "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell

Movie? "Free Solo" for documentary film and "Star Wars" since I was 4.

Snack Food? roasted Japanese sweet potato

Article of clothing? sunglasses

Quote? “Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.”- Rumi

Athlete? Wim Hof

Non-athletic activity: karaoke

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