When you think of socials, what comes to mind? Most likely celebrities, family/friends, and the occasional funny gem. However, social media has the potential to be so much more a way to teach and inspire others. Take Austin Dotson, boasting over half a million followers on his fitness and lifestyle wellness page, who is changing the definition of social media and fitness in a way that combines the two.
Dotson, 30, was born and raised in Carson, California, where he lived a childhood full of strife and adversity. His parents were unable to support his collegiate dreams, and his home life did not help to curb the anxiety of losing a chance at becoming something of himself. This was until Austin discovered football, which instantly won both his heart and his college education, as he received a very generous offer from Sacramento State University for his undeniable finesse in the sport. From high school through his collegiate career as a star on the field, Dotson won multiple tournaments and was eventually drafted into a professional arena league, where the victories did not waver. After two solid years in the league, Dotson decided it was time to move forward with his life.
However, life was not as enthusiastic about Dotson as he was about it. After drifting for a few years, he ended up working a dead-end 9-to-5 job with a mortgage job. Many can relate to how mentally draining and unfulfilling this line of work can be, and Austin felt its effects to the fullest. Spiraling into addiction and depression, Dotson's life seemed to be heading towards either homelessness or a jail cell. With a daughter to put through school, and no money to do so, Austin felt the world had turned its back on him. A DUI on Christmas day was the final straw for him he knew there had to be change.
But how? With debt, unemployment, and depression knocking his brain around day-in and day-out, how could he pull himself from this hole? Dotson recalls the day he did January 3rd, 2017. This was the day he sat for hours and hours reflecting on his life and ultimately invested in a cheap membership to a local gym as his first step towards something anything better. On top of grinding the gym every single day, he reached out for help with his addictions, becoming clean, finally. His experience in the gym and his charisma earned him a job as a behavioral therapist, where he began making the money that he needed to support his little girl and pay off his debts. A few years went by, and Austin was finally comfortable and happy with his life. From here, he created an Instagram account to share his experiences and inspire others with his passion for wellness, in hopes that he is the catalyst for someone in their darkest times to do better for themselves.
550,000 followers later, Dotson has brand deals with Gym Shark and Men's Health Magazine, with many more on the way. His comment sections are flooded with love and thanks for his workout routines, meditation techniques, and eating habits. Austin Dotson's journey was not an easy one, but his perseverance and triumph shine through the darkness of his past. In combining social media, such a vast web of people, with his magic of happiness through fitness, Dotson inspires the coming generations to be their healthiest selves. To keep up with how he is continuing to sculpt the digital fitness scene, follow him on his Instagram.