My Testimony – Coach Jan

We are all fools searching for a life worth living.” – Coach Jan


To me, my story is not that important, because you also have story to tell, and that’s why I want to finish writing mine; so I can listen to yours. I say it’s not that important (to me) because I am tired of dwelling on my past.

However, I think that by sharing it one final time you can see who I am and where I come from, and perhaps you will feel drawn to build with me. Bodybuilding for Christ is my ministry, and I have big dreams for it.

Sharing my testimony is also like the final piece of work I need to share for my own journey of soul-healing. You see, I’ve faced a lot of seen and unseen trauma in my life, and I believe it started after God spoke to me.

It’s like the enemy noticed the calling on my life, and he set out to destroy me, but I am still here; and “I am” stronger for it. God blessed me with a beautiful strong body and I plan on using it for His glory. For Christ.

GROWING UP

I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. We lived in the Northern Suburbs where Jack Parow, Fokofpolisiekar, and Braaivleis was the vibe. Oh, and skateboarding. That’s still one of my big passions.

My parents raised me and my brother (G) in a average looking home, in a average looking neighborhood, and we went to an average school; I got average grades, and nothing felt like it would ever really change.

My mother is a researcher in human molecular genetics and my father showed me what the LAW looks like. He was a Judge, and we did not see eye-to-eye. He gave up on his dreams, yet he was so filled with pride.

Always right, and never wrong. He expected perfection from everyone. Yet, he could do what he pleased. Glory to God for using him to strengthen me. All I experienced was oppression, rejection, and judgement.

The biggest part of my healing came from dealing with the *** in my fathers house. I returned home after running away like the Prodigal Son. This is my story, and it’s far from done. “Laat die skoenlapper gaan.”

METAMORPHOSIS

At the age of 7 I heard God’s audible Voice saying, “Let the butterfly go.” It was quite frightening to say the very least. I ran over to my mother who is a strong believer. She turned to me and said, “That was God.”

Anyway. It wasn’t long after that night that my mother noticed I was mixing words when I read from the Bible. She took me to a specialist and they tried to strengthen the muscles in my eye, and I got glasses.

That’s when the bullying started; and slowly over time I gained weight. By the time I was twelve I had ballooned to 80kg (176lb). But this was actually a blessing in disguise. I was stronger than most people.

In grade 6 the PT teacher told me how strong I am, and then he invited me to play rugby for his team. Approximately 7 months later I qualified for the Western Province U/12 team as their Prop (Number 3).

The training was so INTENSE that I lost 30kg in one season; and I returned to school to play Flanker #7. Skateboarding was always a thing for me, but now it became something I pursued because I could.

I felt HEALTHY, ALIVE, AND ACTIVE again. It’s wonderful what healthy confidence can do for your soul. Transforming your body and mind goes hand-in-hand, and when I realized this. I started doing more.

HIGH SCHOOL ’07

But then I met someone special. You know if you meet that person who just makes you forget about the existence of other people… Yeah… That was my high school sweetheart. We dated for 2 years before…

My mother’s company GeneCare Molecular Genetics was sabotaged by her PhD students to whom she generously gave shares for starting the business with her. My mother “died a little” inside. Depression.

I unknowingly started running further and further away from home and I became skinnier and skinnier. Obsessed with my physique. Obsessed with looking better. I became depressed when I ate too much.

My girlfriend left me after I told her how I felt. I was depressed and I thought about ending my own life. Rejection pushed me further down the rabbit hole. Eating disorder, body dysmorphia, fear of weight gain.

I would steal money from my mothers’ purse to buy fat burners. Scared that without the pills I would regain the weight I had lost. Guys at school noticed the pills. More bullying. Nicknames of Shame. I HATED school.

LIFE GETS WORSE

In Grade 12 I set my sights on passing the final exam with flying colors. Going to Stellenbosch University was expected of me, even though I had no idea what I wanted for myself. So I applied for BSc Dietetics.

You see, being obsessed with what you eat is not healthy, even if you know it’s not healthy, and then you study nutrition because it’s all you think about. Anyway… one day before my classes started I broke down.

I could not go out to face the world. You see because my father never taught me and brother how to be strong men, we became adolescents who lived in another reality. One where you can use cheat codes…

Being weak is a sad thing because you are reluctant to try new things. Staying in your comfort zone will never get you from point A to point B to point C. So you will always resent those who seem to have it all.

My problem was I had no dreams. All my life I was performing for love and acceptance; and now I was standing at a crossroads where I felt unworthy of my parents love. I was weak, and it was killing me.

HIDING AWAY

World of Warcraft occupied my mind and kept me from thinking of the things that were trying to break me. Playing a Blood Death Knight was like playing number 3 and 7 for my team. I was the one who tanked it all.

However, in real life (RL) I was a nobody. I had no income. I had no purpose.  No education. No confidence. Just a depressed kid playing TV games all day, and trust me it was all day. I logged on from 7 am to 3 am.

It was in this comfort zone that I learned to grind for in-game achievements, for gold, and for rare mounts. My best friend would visit me and I would continue playing WOW. It was sad. I was hiding away from life.

My father “suggested” I go to the business school to get something behind my name, and so I enrolled. During this time I met cool people, but the shame and weakness still kept me from feeling comfortable.

I had a relapse (breakdown) just before the final business plan presentation because my presentation wasn’t something I wanted to share. It was for a mental health organization that supports students.

One week before my presentation I changed everything. My new business plan was for a web design company, and that gave me 50% to pass the program. That following year I enrolled for web design.

I was weak, and it was killing me.

– Coach Jan

WITH THE FLOW

The classes were creative, and challenging, and my brother from another mother Dirk de Klerk moved in with us for a year to finish his thesis with my mothers supervision; and we started going out more often.

The problem was… we were going out drinking with the intent, or well I was, to get with a girl, to feel loved, to feel good enough, to feel comforted again. I only ended up sleeping in the wrong bed, with a headache.

One of the girls I really liked rejected me for being too skinny. So I did a quick Google search to find out how I can build muscle. I joined a gym, and Dirk joined too. We still went out, and I still smoked, but it changed.

About 7 months into our bodybuilding journey the booze lost it’s appeal, and I quit smoking to support my dad who was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. I became motivated and developed robot-like discipline.

That’s when I turned to my mother and said, “I want to be a Personal Trainer.” She looked at me and said, ‘Finish what your currently studying first.” That’s not what I wanted to hear, and eventually I got my way…

So, I left Prestige Academy 1 year early with a certificate in Graphic Design and wholeheartedly embraced the #FitLife with everything I had in me. I became a qualified PT and started working privately soon after.

MEETING JEZEBEL

I was still spending most of my free time doing what I do best, and that’s to play my Blood DK in WOW. Online dating sounded like a good option at the time, and that’s where I met her: The Seductress in Red.

She sent me all of these sexy lolipop-licking playboy bunny modeling shots. It was crazy. Then she invited me over to help her with her SD (sexual deprivation). I merely said, “I can help with that.” And that was that.

I fell into her web of lies, and the craziest part of it all is the fact that she told me multiple times about how bad she is and how she was a compulsive liar all her life. It started in school to fit in and be cool. Now look!

I was oblivious…***! 4 years later and I almost married a 3rd generation witch. You see she had a very dark past of rape and abuse that nobody knew about, and it opened foothold for the enemy to use her for evil.

God stepped into my life just in time. All hell broke lose before the wedding day, and I stayed away while she was at the altar in black. My parents and everyone was there. The Shame pushed me to Jesus Christ.

Someone invited me to church that night and I remember standing there at the back feeling that message penetrate my heart like God was speaking to me. I raised my hand and I said “Jesus if you live, show me.”

HOUSE CLEANING

I stepped out in faith and invited God in. He opened my eyes to see what was really going on all along. Jesus was so loving, so gentle, so amazing, that He used me to save her and then He healed our hearts.

I walked through the apartment praying a cleansing prayer someone had mailed me. When I walked into the bedroom I said something… “Samarah Hayden, the Devils Guardian. That’s the key!” She exclaimed!

It was a book she wrote as a hurt 16 year old girl. Samarah Hayden was the devils daughter, and a boy who was like her brother came and he saved her. I burned the book that night. All the lights started flickering…

This was my first experience with the “dark side” and it opened my eyes to the unseen battle we all face. God’s Word says, “Our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities of darkness.”

She was baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit and is now happily married with two beautiful boys to a loving Man of God. I am grateful for the parts we shared on this journey back to God’s purpose for us.

Shortly after the Holy Spirit prompted me to take a leap; and I quit my job as a Personal Trainer. After I jumped God gave me a new vision and then He resurrected GeneCare and He placed it in my hands.

RETURNING HOME

I stepped out in faith, even if there were moments of doubt in me. In the Bible it says, “They worshipped Him, but some doubted.” “Oh you of little faith”. “Do not be afraid, do not be dismayed, God is for you!”

God has a funny way of being for you. Sometimes it feels like He allows you to walk through hell with a loving voice that says, “But did you die?” I don’t think we can truly ever know God without being shown.

What I mean with this is the fact that God cannot be God if there is no reason for Him to be God. Jesus Christ is dangerous; and He will throw you to the wolves just to show you what He placed inside of you.

God sent me another wife, or well I thought so. You see she was an amazing woman, broken nonetheless. She had manic bipolar disorder, and she used to do coke. But Jesus saved her, and I believed she was O.K.

God knew the only way He could send me back home was this way. She invited me to her church, and said things like “where have you been all my life”, and then she asked me to move in with her. So, I said yes… lol.

Three months later all her wounds were re-opened. It was pretty intense seeing someone with bipolar pacing up and down the hallway talking to herself until another person emerges. Cruel, brutal, and hurt.

MY FATHERS HOUSE

Needless to say she kicked me out. God bless her soul. I moved back with my parents, and that’s when my eyes were opened to the reality of my fathers house. It was a shadow compared to my childhood memories.

You see I ran away from home for a reason. It was an unseen reason. I was blind to it, and so were they. Both my parents were oblivious to the weight hanging over their home. God placed me there to see it.

You see I learned there are images hanging over the braai area that came from Greece. These depict slavery, oppression, racism, and Greek gods. One of these gods are called Amun, or the hidden one. See Wikipedia.

God gave me scriptures to confirm the fact that these idols MUST be removed from the home. Cleaning the home or God’s temple is not merely a spiritual act, but a physical act as well. We must be sanctified (clean).

These things have been in the home for such a long time that nobody noticed the changes, but I witnessed my father slowly dying as he grew weaker and weaker, and I could do nothing because he was unwilling.

God hates pride. It keeps you from being vulnerable. It keeps you from changing your destructive ways. Unfortunately I did not grow up with a dad who rejoiced over his sons, but it’s okay. God rejoices over us.

CHOOSE TO BELIEVE

God is still shaping me and I have learned to let go of the outcome. I can only see what He reveals to me. Dreaming big is what I want to believe a life worth living is about. Doing something that seems impossible.

I believe in the dream I keep within me because He is actively guiding my steps (John 3:8) to make it a reality for me. Do I believe GeneCare will serve 10 000 000 people? I would like to. Let’s start with 10, 100, or 1000.

Feel free to follow my journey on Instagram @coachjan @bb4chr1st @genecarelife and keep an eye on what God plans to do in my life. I still have some scar-tissue I am working through, but I believe it will heal soon.

My wish is that you find Jesus Christ like I did, and that God will restore you, heal you, and dance with you. Jesus Christ is dangerous. He will go to trance parties with you to minister to broken people. Let Him do it.

You have a golden heart, and that is why the world hates you. My story is far from perfect, but I am not the author anymore. I gave that responsibility to the Good Shepherd. He said He would lead me like the wind.

Every word on this website, and every word in the fitness app, and every moment of every day I choose to live and breathe and write and share because I believe He is alive, and He loves us, and He wants to use us.

I need help though. The truth is people are like sheep. God knows this too. If those who join Bodybuilding for Christ don’t value it, others won’t either. The more people use it, the more people will want to use it.

It’s not perfect yet, but I am working on it like Noah and Nehemiah did.

Join me by getting stronger, leaner, faster.

“Freely I have received, and freely I will give.”