Story by Dallin Watkins
Jason Lee, a junior majoring in international studies, said he was never very big, yet today he has sponsorships from two different fitness clothing companies.
He said he has always enjoyed playing sports but was not always into weight training.
“I was always the small guy, and I grew up really tall,” Lee said. “You know, I was kind of comfortable being the beanpole.”
But, about six months into his mission in South Korea, he said all that changed because of one companion. He said this companion was a professional weight trainer and had been very successful before his mission, setting records in his weight class in Utah.
“He loved it, and so, because I was his companion, I had to follow him to the gym,” Lee said.
He said he began to learn from his companion and also began to see the benefits of being in good shape.
Lee said he began to really like working out, but that it was not easy. He said he felt little working out with his companion.
“I hated working out with him,” he said. “But, if I had let that get to me, I would not be where I am today.”
As Lee began to learn more about working out, proper form and tips, he said he began to love working out more and more. He said he began to see positive results in muscle gain and physical stamina. He also said it helped him with the emotional and mental strains of the mission.
As he pursued his new found passion, he said he became better and more knowledgeable a little at time, and, when he came back with a 43-pound muscle gain, he kept working toward getting bigger and learning more.
“You’ve got to find what you love,” Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple, said. “The only way to do great work is to love what you do,” according to Entrepreneur magazine.
After about a year back from his mission, Lee said he was still working out and loving it. He said the idea of sponsorships started as a joke.
“Last semester, me and my buddy, Allen, were looking through Instagram just at other people who throw up pictures of them, you know flexing and whatever,” Lee said.
He said they made an Instagram page with fitness motivation, workout ideas and tips.
“I woke up one morning, and I had a message from Paragon Fitwear,” Lee said.
He said Paragon offered him a sponsorship and he accepted the offer. Then a week later, he said he was approached by another company, Aesthetic Elites.
“I thought it was just going to be a little thing,” said Allen Gentry, Lee’s friend that helped him start the Instagram page. “You know like two guys on the journey to mad gains.”
Lee said he now promotes these companies’ products by posting pictures of himself wearing the clothing on social media.
“It is not fun to hurt, but, you know, good things come to those who wait and to those who sacrifice,” Lee said. “Patience is really what brought it about.”
He said that this summer, he plans to go with one of the companies to a convention in Anaheim, California.
Although he does not plan to make a career out of fitness modeling, he said he will pursue it at least until his dream career of asian language translation takes off.
“Motivation does not require stress and fear,” Kimberly Giles said in her book, Choosing Clarity. “It just requires a why. As long as you have a good reason to do something you will be motivated to do it, and love is a very powerful why.
Giles is a professional life coach, author and founder of Clarity Point Coaching.
“It’s never easy pursuing your dreams,” Lee said. “You know, if it was, we’d have a lot more authors than we do, a lot more artists than we do. So don’t get discouraged when things do not work out.
He said pursuing his passion was very discouraging at first, but if he had let discouragement get to him, he would not be where he is today.
Lee said he believes that when discouragement is at its greatest, success is soon to follow.
“Satan hits us the hardest when we are about to succeed,” Lee said. “And I think that applies for anything. He does not want us to be happy at all.”