League of EXTRAordinary Black Men: Max Nazaire
TheBlackManCan is back in Sunny Atlanta, GA to bring you a Black Man who makes it his life mission to inspire others to live a healthy and active lifestyle. It is our distinct honor and pleasure to introduce International Wellness Ambassador Max Nazaire. Max sits down with TheBlackManCan to discuss living a healthy and active lifestyle, his book, being a scholar-athlete and keys to losing 50 lbs.
TheBlackManCan: Max, when did you realize that you wanted to inspire others to live a healthy and active lifestyle?
MN: As a child I knew very early that I wanted to be in a position where I can help people heal, through health and wellness. I explored some of the traditional careers in the health field and never really found something that I could gravitate towards. When I was 18 I discovered that I was born with a rare heart disease called Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome. After having a heart attack on the playing field and facing a near death experience it presented me with an opportunity to really focus on what my true calling is and line up with my passion, which is to help people heal through wellness and fitness.
TheBlackManCan: You excelled in the sciences but also on the athletic field. Why is it important for young black males to be student athletes? How do we develop this mindset in them?
MN: Education transfers to every aspect of life. An educated individual is an empowered individual. Educated individuals usually earn more, have more knowledge to make informed decisions, can lead their families, and are valuable members of any community. Knowledge is power, and educated people make the world go around. Being an athlete is great but at some point in time you have to move on with life after you leave the playing field. Even the greatest of athletes retire, but education, and developing the mind is a life long process and is far more beneficial then settling for being just an athlete. In this world, young black males have to be versatile, dynamic and 3 dimensional. There are many lessons that I learned as an athlete such as teamwork, patience, consistency, hard work, dedication and problem solving. All of these skills are necessary for any child, but being a student should always be the young black males first priority. I won numerous awards including MVP as an athlete but the two awards that I was most proud of was in college when I made Presidents list with a 3.75 grade point average and when I was award the Scholar Athlete Award for having the highest GPA for an athlete.
To develop this attitude in our young black men, as teachers, parents, and care givers, we have to stress the importance of literacy. We must encourage them to be thinkers first, rather than athletes first. With black boys, there is an idea floating around that readying is “corny”, and for “nerds”. The best way that I can put it is that we have to show them that it is “cool” to read and draw that bridge so that they can see the connection between their academic success and how it can lead to them accomplishing their goals and dreams in life. We also have to set an example for young black males by also reading and practicing what we preach. Young males usually learn MORE from what they see and not what they are told.
TheBlackManCan: Tell us about being diagnosed with Wolff Parkinson’s White Syndrome. What is it? What kept you motivated to keep fighting and beat the disease?
MN: Wolff Parkinson’s white syndrome (WPW) is a congenital heart disease that disrupts the normal blood flow of the heart. Faulty electrical signals are released from the AV node of the heart and causes deoxygenated blood to circulate through the body causing dizzy spells, unbearable pain to the chest, stroke and even death. I was motivated to beat the disease because I wanted to live! I knew that I had more in me and that I had a lot of life to live, and things to accomplish. Being diagnosed with WPW changed my life. It changed it for the better because it allowed me to find deep-rooted strength that I never knew I had. It caused me to be more spiritual. It allowed me to be resilient. Most important, it made me thankful for all the blessings that I have and it made me a respect time like never before. None of us know how much time we have in this world, so while we are here, it would serve us well to embrace every minute, enjoy every moment and make the best out of the time we have, and the life that we are granted.
TheBlackManCan: You are the author of Real Fitness, Real Nutrition: Hollywood Results with a Brooklyn Approach. Tell us about the meaning behind the title. What kind of content can be found inside?
MN: Well I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Many people that live in Brooklyn come from all corners of the world and Brooklyn often times is their first stop. These people come to America via Brooklyn to create a better life for themselves. Brooklyn is a blue collared kind of town. Now everybody knows Hollywood. It’s the bright lights…the glitz and the glamour. Everyone wants to shine, and the appeal that Hollywood brings, but it takes a blue collared work ethic to make it come to pass. The Brooklyn Approach brings that desire to create that better life and the willingness to make all of your fitness and wellness dreams come true. The Brooklyn Approach is also an opportunity to pay homage to the place that has shaped Fit2Max and all of the ideologies that produce results time and time again.
Real Fitness, Real Nutrition is all about being honest about what it takes to live a healthy and active lifestyle. There are many falsehoods and myths that are circulating about how to live healthy. Real Fitness, Real Nutrition shows you the tried and true methods that have allowed the Fit2DMax program to be one of the most successful programs in the world!
TheBlackManCan: What does it mean to be Fit2DMax? Why is it important for people of all ages to live a healthy lifestyle?
MN: Being Fit2DMax is all about walking your own wellness journey and fulfilling your highest spiritual, mental and physical potential. Fit2DMax is about being the best in every area of life. It is so important to live a healthy and active lifestyle because your health is your wealth. Without good health, you can’t be at your best. It places a glass ceiling on your ability to be the greatest you that you can be.
TheBlackManCan: What is the key to an overall healthy life?
MN: The key to living an overall healthy life is making the decision that your life is worth living. Tie yourself into your passion. Passion in life can come from every direction: family, personal and professional goals, past times, missions, or even just pushing towards a greater purpose or your higher calling. Whatever that is pour your mind, body and soul into it. Allow your health to be the life force to feed into things that you pursue the most. Be sure to eat nothing but the best foods for your body. Remain active 5 days a week. Get plenty of rest. Don’t stress yourself out about small things, and laugh a lot. Laughing is good for the body and the soul.
TheBlackManCan: What are three things a person must do if they have a goal of losing 30-50 lbs?
MN: 1. Write down their goal and why it is important to them. This will keep them focused on the goal, and will keep them encourage during the challenging times.
2. Aim to lose the weight in small increments. Many people try to lose a whole lot of weight in just a couple of days. Get rich quick schemes don’t work and neither do lose weight quick schemes. 1 – 2.5 lbs is the number one should aim to lose every week.
3. Never ever give up. See yourself losing that weight and never ever let go of that vision.
TheBlackManCan: In 2011 the Atlanta Tribune awarded you Best Personal Trainer and Fitness Professional. You have won numerous accolades, how does it feel to be honored for living your passion?
MN: It is always a wonderful honor to be recognized for doing great things and serving so many people in a great way. I’m living my passion because I feel like that is what I was put on this earth to do. When other people recognize you for being the best at what you do, it’s conformation for me that I am in the right place, and that I am making a difference in the world. Whether it’s working with someone on an individual level or being featured on CNN Headline News, I receive it all and I accept it with humility and thanks.
TheBlackManCan: Where do you see yourself within the next five years?
MN: In the next five years I see myself doing exactly what I am doing right now: Inspiring individuals, communities and organizations to lead healthy and active lifestyles through coaching, through the words I write in books, through the movement and exercises in the Fit2DMax DVD’s we produce, and through my speaking engagements throughout the country and the world.
TheBlackManCan: Why is it important for black boys and men to see positive images of themselves?
MN: We need black boys to see positive images of us because we are empowered by what we see. If we see stronger, powerful, educated, family oriented, socially responsible black men in our lives, it will show our brothers what the possibilities are. The possibilities for our people are endless. The more we see positivity, the more we will believe.
TheBlackManCan: What words of advice do you have for young Black males of today?
MN: I can only give advice based on what has worked for me. Make a decision at an early age that you will be great and that you will see greatness. Figure out what your passions are in life and work on them daily. Explore any and all interests that are positive and uplifting to yourself and others. Go to school, stay in school (for as long as you can). Leaders are readers! Read to achieve! Take care of yourself and the people around you and above all, keep God first.
League of EXTRAordinary is where we at TheBlackManCan highlight Black Men who are making positive and remarkable contributions to society. Nominate a Black Male today on the contact page or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.