Joe Wicks says his father's heroin addiction was the reason he got into fitness

Daniella Scott
Photo credit: David M. Benett - Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

The Body Coach star Joe Wicks has spoken about his father Gary's drug addiction, saying that it changed his life and is part of the reason he got into health and fitness.

Wicks, who has previously spoken about his father's struggle with drugs, spoke to Lauren Laverne for BBC 4's Desert Island Discs, saying how his father's heroin addiction stopped him from ever wanting to try drugs, saying, "Because of my dad’s life, I didn’t go near it. I was scared of it and I got into exercise and fitness and so his mistake changed my life."

The father of two spoke about how he struggled to cope with his father's addiction as a child, "I have had that anger, and that has completely passed. The antidote to addiction is connection and love. It has allowed me to find peace."

Wicks then told listeners that his father Gary is now sober, saying "He is clean today. Narcotics Anonymous has worked for my dad, although he has had times when he has relapsed. I have more empathy now. He needs me to tell him I love him. I am learning to pull him closer. Unconditional love is so important for people with addiction."

Wicks' online PE classes, which he has shared on social media since the beginning of lockdown, now reaches millions of people, with Wicks donating the ad revenue from the YouTube workout series to the NHS.

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