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53: Mindfit Coach- Jeff Vulpis


Jey (00:11.301)

And huzzah, we made it, we're here. Welcome to another episode of the Young Dad Podcast. I'm Jay and with me today is Jeff. Jeff, how are you, man?

JEFF VULPIS (00:20.97)

I'm doing great, man. How about you, Jay?

Jey (00:23.165)

I'm doing good. Another beautiful day.

Another beautiful day. Jeff, I wanted to introduce you a little bit to the listeners if they ended up skipping over the intro, which happens. Happens sometimes. I skip intro sometimes. You're not a dad. However, you're just a really cool dude and a great guy with an amazing story. I'm excited to hear more about it. Personally, you're a mindset coach, mind fit coach and speaker and you've overcome a lot. God has led you and I both here today because he ain't make no mistakes.

and he's given you a powerful story to tell. You use that story, you've been able to make a business out of it. So please, however much of the story you want to start with or wherever you want to start, floor is yours.

JEFF VULPIS (01:10.754)

Well, thank you, man. And I appreciate you having me. Yeah, the story definitely is a very unique story. And again, it's giving glory to God for getting me through a lot of things. I had a lot of trials throughout my journey from where I've come from to where I am now. It started out with my birth. I was actually born at six months, two pounds, 11 ounces. I almost drowned at three years old. I was raised by grandparents, bounced around from school to school.

I faced a lot of adversity in my childhood as far as when I would move back with my biological mom. She had a boyfriend that was very, very violent and I would end up having to separate them, save her. It was guns, bats, knives, police, just a lot of craziness. Dealt with a lot of issues through that. And then this is, we're talking 1994 right now.

And kids weren't so politically correct back in the day. And what would happen was it was up North and a lot of times up there, your families are volunteer firefighters and police and stuff like that. And they all have neighborhood scanners and they would call down and say, Oh, there's a domestic violence disturbance down at the house. And the dads would come down, bust through, you know, help whatever point the fight was at then.

And then as bad as that was every night, sometimes five, six, seven, eight, nine times a night, um, I'd go to school the next day and those kids, dads were in my class and they would say, Oh, my dad had to come save your life and your mom's life and everything. And then, you know, I would try to protect my mom's honor and fight the kids in class and I ended up legit getting snatched up by the teacher and would get in a fist fight with the teacher. Like it's diff. This isn't.

today, this is 1994, and I had teachers grab me by the throat, slam me up against a wall, and I would be fighting them. I'd be fighting kids. It was just a complete mess. So that was normal. I tell you, it was totally normal, especially up North. I tell you, it was a 10-day period. I was in... Go ahead.

Jey (03:07.449)


Jey (03:17.453)

I'm a crazy thing, that was normal back then. Like that was, that was normal. That was totally, that was totally normal.

Jey (03:31.684)

What do you mean up north? Like, where do you...

JEFF VULPIS (03:34.942)

PA in Pennsylvania. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Especially in those small towns like that. Totally normal. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But yeah, like I kid you not. So it was a 10 day period and 94. So I think it was between fourth and fifth grade. You know, I kept getting in the fights. It was like this really, really big school. It was like two stories and it was like, they have a weird setup. It was like K through eight.

Jey (03:36.621)

Okay, okay, yeah, totally normal, totally normal.

Jey (03:41.821)

Oh yeah, they don't got no coverage, they don't got no news, they don't got no media, they don't got nothing. Ain't no one gonna hear about it.

JEFF VULPIS (04:03.998)

or something, it was like a weird elementary school into middle school. So you're talking thousands of kids, two story school, massive. So I would end up fighting the kids. And then like you would transfer classes, which you didn't really do back in now, but you would transfer classes like high school in, you know, fourth and fifth grade, and the teachers would hear about me and I was labeled a problem, a class clown in 10 days. I kid you not, right. I got in two fist fights with teachers, got hit in the head with like books.

Jey (04:22.221)


JEFF VULPIS (04:33.698)

thrown out of class, suspended three times, and it was all for fighting for my mom's honor and stuff that I was going through. So a lot of times what I share with people, if I just take that year when I was 11 years old, that alone is enough to overcome as far as you get a complex with not being able to defend the woman that you love and protect the woman that you love, meaning your mom. You have this crazy anxiety of when is stuff gonna start?

Jey (04:57.73)

Uh huh.

JEFF VULPIS (05:03.562)

You know, how violent is it going to get going to get? How much can I help? Um, you have this like restlessness, all this stuff. You have this embarrassment where you feel like you're the kid down the street that everybody runs to help. And it's always drama. So part of my coaching business alone was just built on everything I learned at 11 and then how to unravel that as a man, like, okay, so I grew up around domestic violence, how do I not engage in it?

or I grew up in domestic violence and poverty and drugs and alcohol, how do I not go become an addict? You know, and like all these things, how do I deal with rage? How do I deal with anger? How do I deal with, in society, we're supposed to suck it up as a man and just deal with it, but a lot of the men that suck it up, the only thing they're sucking up is beers at the bar. And I didn't want to be that guy. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to help with domestic violence.

But I knew part of the ways to help with domestic violence is not only helping, you know, the moms, the majority of the moms that deal with it, it's helping the men say, look, we got to stop this. And we stopped this with addressing the problems that we may be carried from childhood that wasn't our own, but it's our responsibility. So that's kind of just a little bit of a story. There's so much more, but I mean, we can bounce back and forth with that if you want.

Jey (06:08.537)


Jey (06:22.585)

Of course, man. No, that's crazy because the age you're talking about, just psychologically speaking like stages of development for boys, like that age you're talking about is exactly when a young man is trying to find like, start to discover early manhood, like who he is as a man and stuff. And you compound that with, I mean, trauma also can stunt and hinder development in several areas, especially DV.

Seeing it being around it, experiencing it, having it happen to you can stunt the growth of youth in general. But especially for boys because we're already, what, three, four years behind our female peers at that same age. Like, they might be 11 years old but emotionally and cognitively, typically speaking, they're about three, four years ahead. Developmentally, on average.

JEFF VULPIS (07:04.302)


Jey (07:19.353)

It's really interesting to think about that, but when it came down to it, what happened as you got into adulthood? I mean, obviously you got through it, you're still here with us. It wasn't easy, I imagine. When did you discover your faith and how to overcome those obstacles? Because I'm sure there were plenty of times where you wanted to give up.

JEFF VULPIS (07:36.974)


JEFF VULPIS (07:46.354)

Oh yeah, a hundred percent. And, uh, really, so that happened at 11, um, and happened the whole year. So I think I was 11 turning 12, moving out of that situation. I went and moved back in with my grandparents. And I tell you like 12, 13, 14 years old was just, I don't even remember it. It's like, I blacked it out of my mind. I guess it was so much trauma and so much trying to, you know, unravel what just happened. Um, my biological mom went on her journey.

Um, I went on mine with my grandparents and just, you know, I could tell that from 12, 13, 14, I really don't remember every like anything at 15. It was very like I'm lost. I'm in pain. I hated school. I hated being around people. I had so much like anxiety. I would throw up at like the thought of like leaving the house. And at 15, I actually went to a Josh McDowell concert and, um, he was talking about Christ and everything and about. And

Jey (08:23.043)


JEFF VULPIS (08:42.498)

The biggest thing that hit me is that Christ will take your pain. And I grew up Catholic and it was very like, you know, I have nothing wrong to say about anybody. You know, I love the Catholic faith and everything, but when I was 15 and I went there and he said, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior? And I decided to. And that really sparked so much for me, which we can get into after that. But yeah, I accepted Christ as my Savior at 15.

Jey (09:12.274)

Okay. Love that. So you got, and I think that's common, like, for people to black out certain stages of their life. Like, if you asked me anything between zero to eight, there's...

There's some memories like about baseball and like some broken promises with my biological mother and stuff. Then my grandpa passed away at 8 years old. Um, that was raising me. After that, I probably don't have another...

Jey (09:47.297)

really anything so eighths about third grade so fourth grade i could tell you who my teacher was fifth grade i know i changed schools uh... very minor things

Probably not until maybe...

7th grade there's some minimal so there's like a big chunk of time. It's probably up until I'm maybe in 8th grade or so Before you know, there's things that start coming back. So there's probably a good five years was just very minimal Memories of anything happening. I mean that of course happens to of course when you have five concussions like I have you forget you certain parts kind of Go black a little bit, but I don't think that's uncommon

to where your brain and the trauma you go through because your brain wants to hide it and cover it up and to forget about it. And you mentioned pain, the pain that comes along with that, your body wants to forget that pain. Naturally, your mind wants to forget it, your brain wants to forget it because it doesn't want to produce those chemicals because it hurts your brain, brain's trying to develop. So I would say that's very common, 12 to 14.

JEFF VULPIS (10:43.323)

Yep. Yeah.

Jey (11:04.725)

Lot goes on, puberty. No one wants to remember when they started puberty that age. Nobody, I tell ya. So, that's not uncommon. So 15, you went to the concert, you accepted Christ as your savior. You grew up Catholic and of course, you know, those are, it's not easy to go from, you know, kind of where you were raised and what you knew your whole life to something new, especially on your own. It can be really scary.

JEFF VULPIS (11:11.794)


Jey (11:34.273)

So kudos for you for doing that in general. So after, you know, 15, after this concert, you accept Christ as your savior, what changed? What changes after that? Just in the moment, rest of high school, going into that next stage of life, early adulthood and into adulthood.