Hey, remember former-drug-kingpin-turned-fitness-superstar Coss Marte? I profiled him for SB Nation back in April. And now, he could use some help and I thought you’d like to know about it — check out his Kickstarter page here. Basically, he needs to raise $25,000 in the next 25 days so they can build a much-needed new studio space.
And remember, he’s more than just another fitness entrepreneur. He’s an ex-con trying to change the way the world sees ex-cons.
A recap, for the unfamiliar: He was making $2 million a year slinging weed, cocaine, and crack in New York City. Then he got busted and settled in for some hard time.
When he went to prison, a doctor told him he would die in five years because he was so unhealthy. He designed his own workout that he could do in a tiny prison cell and with it, he lost 70 pounds in six months and saved his own life.
And now, after serving his time and reevaluating his life and having some epiphanies, he’s turned his life around as a rising star in the fitness world with his company Coss Athletics, which he built around his prison cell workout. He calls it ConBody now.
One of the hardest parts of building the business has been finding a permanent studio space. When I was there, Coss was hiking some thirty minutes across town to a building where he had to rent space by the hour, sharing space with countless other entrepreneurs. He’s been in a new studio for the past six months or so, but to no fault of Coss’s, things aren’t quite working out. He has a vision for what he wants his studio to be, for what he wants his business to be. He just needs a little help taking the next step.
Hence, his Kickstarter.
Check it out, consider contributing. Even if you’re not in NYC, they still have incentives that can benefit you wherever you are.
One of the coolest parts of ConBody is that it hasn’t just changed Coss’s life and given other ex-cons a theoretical framework by which they might also change their lives — it is already changing other ex-cons lives, too. Coss hires almost exclusively ex-cons, believing in them in ways the rest of society is scared of.
I came to legitimately like Coss while working on his story. We still stay in touch. I think he’s a good dude who grew up thinking the world was one way, learned some things, and is now trying his hardest to do right.
Coss reminded me that many people who scare us are people we just don’t understand — and people who have gone most of their lives being misunderstood. (See my posts about some of his employees, Sultan and Ray.)
Coss and those who work with him prove that not all felons are felons for life. Bad guys can turn good.
As always, thanks for reading.