Original article featured on Invisible Children blog
I don’t spend a lot of my time, or for that matter, any of my time, perusing inspirational-gym-videos on the Internet. However, if they all turned out to be as motivating and beautiful as Optimal Performance Training‘s newest video, I would definitely need to rethink my video watching schedule.
Enter Joey Bellus and Shaun Rico. They are the epitome of the term: movers and shakers. In that, they are also literally moving and shaking (spoiler alert: they own and work for a gym). Joey and Shaun have been involved with Invisible Children since 2011. And its safe to say, after they saw KONY 2012 they couldn’t get enough.
When did you both get involved with Invisible Children and how?
Joey: I became involved with Invisible Children in of April 2011 when my good friend Ananda was getting ready to become a roadie, well she was getting ready to interview to be a roadie and I pretty much gave her the most amazing pep talk one could ask for…just ask her, she will tell you!
Shaun: I’m not sure when I first heard of Invisible Children but I do remember the first time I watched the original documentary— I was completely blown away. Later on, when I met Ananda, who was a Roadie at that time, I learned a lot more about the characteristics of Invisible Children.
I hear that you got members of OPT to attend cover the night. Tell me more about that!
Joey: We got members? We dominated Cover the Night! We held an event that lasted all night and we hung posters, bed sheets and stickers all over Gilbert, AZ. We kept getting pictures from people asking “Was this you guys?”. Couldn’t have asked for a better night with the people we rounded up!
Shaun: Yes, Cover the Night was perhaps one of the most amazing nights of my life! It was a combination of having so many significant people in my life coming together for a common good and being a part of something that was much greater than ourselves. I know it is easy to make our efforts seem like a drop in a limitless ocean, But what is an ocean but a multitude of drops, right? It was a night that we still talk about.
While you’re at it, tell me more about the livestream event?
Joey: The livestream was our third Invisible Children event we’ve held at Optimal Performance Training. We had an amazing group of people show up, not just for O.P.T., but from around Gilbert as well! It was so much fun seeing everyone do challenges– the teacher who ate dog food was awesome. Four of us shaved our heads and Shaun got a TATTOO! Who does that!? We do! We truly believe in Invisible Children and what it stands for, so we loved helping out.
Shaun: Oh yes– the lifestream event. Well if anyone knows us here at O.P.T we strive to defy imagination and set a standard for what is possible with the least amount of resources or time. As a result, our facility has such great energy and creativity. Our goal was to raise over $2400 in one hour. But I challenged our clients and the viewers, that if we were able to raise $3000 or more, I would get an Invisible Children tattoo. Well, we made it happen and actually raised over $3000 in one hour! So, a week later I got the piece that will be forever sewn into my skin, sealing my devout support for such an incredible organization.
What similarities do you see between the mission of Optimal Performance Training and Invisible Children?
Joey: The similarities that I see between is it always we both always have stayed true to our roots; through really amazing times and really crappy times nothing will derail us from our overall greater vision. Leaving a lasting impression on this world that will inspire others to live for more than just yourself and take action to help better yourself and others.
Shaun: We both run on the passion of the human spirit to operate successfully. Through the use of social media to spread its mission, community service, and a devotion to making a stand for the recovery of humanity, Invisible Children and Optimal Performance Training may operate from a different platform but we exist to acknowledge the greatness within everyone.
What’s next for both of you?
Joey: Since starting O.P.T. it has been a constant evolution of the company and its priorities but never losing the vision of helping people see that life is bigger than money, looks, the house you live in, the car you drive or the “things” one can accumulate before he or she dies. We just choose to use the platform of health and fitness to spread our message. We will continue to learn how to grow and inspire others along the way hoping we leave not only a long lasting positive energy but a long lasting positive message before we exit this earth.
Shaun: Well if I told you then that would ruin the surprise wouldn’t it?
So there you have it– two amazing and dedicated supporters. We’re inspired, challenged and motivated by not only the dedication of these two, but their whole gym’s dedication to living a better life. Watch out for all of the members of Optimal Performance Training because they’re going to move mountains– perhaps literally.