Changing the Narrative

Changing the Narrative

 David Freeman

-National Program Manager for Alpha Training: Life Time Fitness

-Featured in: Experience Life Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal

-Played football at the University of Richmond

-Played football professionally overseas -Husband to Mechelle, and Father to Bayne (6) and Harley (4)  

Family First

My kids are the inspiration behind my mentality. My parents are my biggest influence in developing and growing my mindset, and mentality plays a central role in my family life. As a husband, I am always looking for ways to elevate my marriage by supporting my wife Mechelle. Reciprocity is a very real thing: I always strive to show her positive energy, so she can give that same energy back to me. This helps create a great dynamic between us, where we feel like we’re on the same vibe. This vibe translates to being the best father I can be for my kids. Bayne and Harley are always watching what I do, and as their father, I recognize how important it is for them to see how I respond to various life circumstances.

Fitness: Between the Ears

Mentality is everything when it comes to fitness. The way you approach your health and fitness will show in your results: you reap what you sow. Fitness is a constant journey of evolving and educating yourself on how your body responds to training and other life factors so you can set yourself up for success. The desire and drive to pursue self-evolution is a critical player in the fitness mindest game.

A Purpose-Driven Career

I have been blessed with the gift of human connection: I tap into people and help bring the best out of them. I perpetually seek new ways to effect positive change in this world: identifying my driving factor as helping people centers me as I attack my daily objectives. Reinvention and personal development are an inescapable part of the growth process. So when it comes to mentality within my career, I regularly revisit my strengths and what inspires me to fulfill my purpose in my work life.

On Vulnerability

I sometimes think we are conditioned as men to not show emotion or vulnerability. I’m not usually one to hold my feelings back, but sadly I always withheld on certain emotions that made me feel exposed and rarely expressed them. So when COVID-19 happened, that’s when reality hit me. All the emotions I suppressed over the years hit me like a sack of bricks in the face, and BOOM I started experiencing sharp chest pains and anxiety. Then I was furloughed by my company. I tried so hard to remain positive because that was the role I assigned myself. But it’s hard to be the light for others when my own was pretty dim. Fast forward to coming back to work from furlough, and then BOOM anxiety is back again because of the unknown. What I left versus what I came back into was a whole different world. To compound everything, the George Floyd murder happens. That really hit home: my anxiety grew and insomnia set in.

A Message to Fellow Men

This has been an especially challenging year, but it’s taught me some invaluable skills. The biggest lesson I learned was how to give back to myself. I needed to stop filling everyone else’s cup and fill my own; personal time and reflection were key. I did a lot of journaling and long walks to completely declutter my mind. Your uniqueness is what makes you special: don’t shy away from what you were put here on the earth to do, and stop trying to fit in with someone else's vision. Be true to yourself and always be sure to allow yourself grace. You only have one mind and one body: you have to get your mind right for your body to follow. Take time to give back to yourself and rest when needed. When it comes to managing all the things constantly thrown my way, I heard something recently on a podcast that stuck with me: “Look at the situation and ask yourself: is this going to have a strong influence on your life 10 years from now? If the answer is ‘no’ then it can wait.” It’s OK to show emotion and embrace vulnerability as a man. Let’s change the narrative and show the world how men can be loving, caring, and nurturing all while protecting and providing for our families.