Dalla Adams - before and after he turned his life around
Dallas Adams was abused as a child. Today, he's turned that abuse around to help others just like him. For Adams healing is holistic, mental, spiritual and physical. Reporter Whatitiri Te Wake spent the day with Adams in Hastings.
Dallas Adams says he has reached a milestone in being the most capped F45 member in New Zealand.
He was the first person to sign up to F45 Hastings four years ago. With 96 F45 studios around the country helping thousands of New Zealanders, he couldn’t believe when he found it he was the top gym goer.
“The owner said, 'No I’ve consulted and you are the most capped member in New Zealand with attending classes, completing them, which is close to 1400'," he says.
It was an achievement that he says didn’t come easily. He had had a life fueled by alcohol and drugs and he says the addictions were fueled by childhood trauma.
“My first experience with sexual abuse is when I was dropped off at my uncle and aunty's house - I was five years old.”
Helping to heal
Now the 37-year-old uses such experiences to inspire and motivate those who can’t do that for themselves.
A health coach for Health Hawkes Bay, he says it's these very experiences that make him relatable with the whaiora (patients) he works with and who want to heal.
“My role as a health coach is to support whaiora or patients with lifestyle changes, whether it's nutrition, exercise, sleep or hygiene.
“Genuine empathy, being real – it speeds the process in them making positive changes in their life,” he says.
Baring all with social media Influencer Nix Adams, he wanted to create a space for other tāne to own their trauma, and to deal with it.
“When I got the opportunity to speak with Nix (Nicola Adams) about my journey in giving up the drugs and alcohol, that was my medicine to deal with all the trauma that took place when I was a little kid.”
The key to physical and mental health
This Waitangi Day Adams achieves another milestone, five years alcohol- and drug-free. He says it was these experiences that made him decide to ditch drugs and alcohol – and make better and healthier choices, like working out at Hastings F45. It is a positive environment he says, which encourages togetherness and collective action.
“It's more about having fun in the process and that's what we (Māori) are all about and that's what we whānau like to do. So we are embracing that in our studio at F45 Hastings and it's really opened up that audience target.”
F45 Hastings owner and former international rugby and league player Ryan Tongia says physical exercise is key to achieving not only physical health but also mental health – and Adams is a classic example of this.
“To see the person that Dallas has become, with his story, it's been a complete 180 degrees turnaround and he can now be a shining light and a mentor and a clear example for those in our community.”