Joe Wicks says he didn’t ‘hate’ his heroin addict dad ‘but hated what drugs did to him’ – The Sun
JOE Wicks has revealed the anger he felt towards his drug addict father while growing up on a council estate in South London.
The Body Coach, 33, emotionally said he didn't hate his dad but "hated what drugs were doing to him" as he was in and out of rehab for heroin for most of his childhood.
"I remember being in secondary school and I just remember somebody said something about my dad and I was just so angry, because again he’d relapsed," he said during a candid discussion on Desert Island Discs.
"I was disappointed and let down. I can just remember thinking I don’t want to talk about my dad. I hate him."
But he reasons: "I didn’t hate my dad. I just hated what drugs were doing to him, doing to my family.
"It was an angry thought and I suppose I let it out and I felt instantly bad. I remember just thinking what a horrible thing to say about your dad."
Joe now has a great relationship with his father, who still battles with addiction.
He says: "Now I love my dad. I’ve had that anger and that’s completely passed.
"The antidote to addiction is connection and love, that’s what I’ve learned."
Last year Joe, who is now worth an estimated £14.5million, told The Sun that his roofer dad Gary put his social worker mother Raquela and siblings through torture growing up.
He said: “My dad was a drug addict from a very young age, so he was in and out of rehab when I was a kid.
“He’s been through the 12-step programme God knows how many times, but he’s clean today, which is the most important thing, and he’s doing the London Marathon this year.”
“I grew up in a dysfunctional household. I grew up on a council estate, but I still had a roof over my head, we still had food, I went on school trips. I wasn’t completely deprived.
“The only thing was my dad was in and out – that was difficult. My dad was in and out of rehab, so he wasn’t always there.”
Asked if his father’s addiction was a catalyst for his dedication to health and fitness Joe responded: “Not health, but it definitely made me never want to get involved with drugs.
“It made me understand how damaging drugs can be to a family and someone you love, so I learned through his mistakes.”
Joe revealed that he is now “really good friends” with his father.
Speaking to Happiful magazine he said: “I love him because of the journey he’s been on. I don’t look back and go ‘Oh, the trauma’ and ‘I was abandoned’.
“I don’t live with judgement or resentment, I don’t have time for it. My mum and dad have gone through therapy for so many years, and I always think: ‘If you keep looking back, what are you doing today? How are you going to feel good today?’
“I love my mum for raising us, and I love my dad for teaching me what to avoid. I really believe you need to have some challenges in life, because you come out of it, and are better for it.”
Appearing on Russell Brand's Under The Skin podcast, Joe said: "Because of my dad's addiction, and the damage I saw that cause, me and [older brother]Nikki steered clear of it.
"We weren't smoking weed, we were training, exercising and playing sport. Along the line, I decided that wasn't going to be my destiny – that wasn't going to be my path."
The fitness coach – who also has a younger brother called George – went on to reveal his dad was in and out of rehab throughout his childhood and credits his mum Raquela for teaching him “right and wrong."
Joe added: "Now, when my dad's going through a low period, I'm texting him and ringing him and asking how he is – I'm not judging him for being an addict.
"He'll always be an addict – he relapses all the time."
Joe continued: "Before you turn to binge eating, addiction, drugs or anti-depressants, try exercise.
"It's hard, my dad says the last thing he wants to do when he's going through his low points is exercise. But I say, 'Dad, you know how it makes you feel – you always feel better'."
Joe – who is a father to daughter Indie, one, and son Marley, three months, with his wife Rosie Jones – is currently holding 30-minute PE lessons every Monday to Friday amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The lessons called "PE with Joe" are streamed live on Joe's YouTube channel at 9am.
The star has reportedly landed a children's book deal worth £1million following the success of his sessions.
An industry source told the Mirror: “Publishers know, with the huge success of being the nation’s PE teacher, he’s now a household name and they are desperate to tap him up to release his own range of children’s books in time for Christmas this year.
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