“I’ve always been wrong, but I can go from wrong to strong. It’s never too late to change, never too late to make better decisions, never too late to ask for help.”-J.C. Almanza
Julio Cesar Almanza is a fitness trainer, mentor, author, and entrepreneur. Residing in Arizona, his current lifestyle is far from what he imagined it could be.
Growing up on the gang-ridden streets of Chicago, J.C. had to protect himself. He needed an escape from his home life where he was subjected to severe abuse by his family.
At nine years old, he was smoking weed, drinking, and befriending gang members. By eleven, J.C. had officially joined, fully immersed in gang culture.
To support himself he was burglarizing and stealing cars. Eventually, he was offered a gig with the Mexican cartel. He steadily moved up their hierarchy, earning exorbitant amounts of cash. J.C. became Intoxicated by the lucrative and dangerous lifestyle the drug trade provided.
His livelihood halted at seventeen when he was arrested. He was sent to an egregious island off the coast of Mexico. Drug dependent and surrounded by violence, this prison was his home for the next four years before he was extradited to the U.S.
He spent the next seventeen years in and out of prison, staying true to his thuggish mindset. His story may seem shocking to you, but this was normal life to him. It was all he knew.
During one of his stays, an inmate was stabbed over a piece of chicken. Now forty, J.C. sat in a cell thinking to himself, “What the f**ck am I doing with my life?”
He attended a program hosted by a volunteer mentoring the inmates. Truly caring and teaching them a better way. They weren’t inherently bad. Past mistakes don’t define them or their future.
This man was able to break through J.C.’s rough exterior. He taught him to pause and think before he spoke. He showed him that he wasn’t broken, that change was possible.
J.C. adopted a new attitude that transformed his life.
Today, J.C. is a successful entrepreneur and coach. Owns a fitness company, Wrong to Strong Fitness, a clothing line, Wrong to Strong Lifestyle, and runs a non-profit, Wrong to Strong Inc.
His non-profit mentors those freshly out of prison, teaching them to become fitness trainers and encouraging them to embrace positive changes.
Now he goes to prison a free man. As a volunteer, he’s an unchained example that change is not only possible but leads to a path of freedom. Freedom from the shackles of addiction, poverty, and depression. Teaching inmates a new vocation, and being a friend to those that need a bit of guidance and goodwill.
He spreads his message through his YouTube channel engaging with over thirty-five thousand subscribers. Sharing fitness tips, advice, and life experiences. Reminiscing about thrilling adventures brimming with danger, violence, grief, and plenty of light-hearted fun. All captivating and leaving you eager to hear more. His infallible wisdom and charisma are accelerating his career by attracting new fans and clients daily. Check out his channel on YouTube.
J.C. Almanza is the epitome of why people deserve a second chance, that change is truly possible. If you want to hear the in-depth story of his life, keep an eye out for his upcoming autobiography.
Check out this interview with J.C. on Life of a Lifer, hosted by Taylor Conley who is currently serving a life sentence, advocating for second chances from the inside.
If you prefer the audio version, you can hear it on Apple Music or Spotify.
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