By OKKI KLIJN
Festival lights decorated the showground, beams of colour bounced across the night sky and the sound of live music filled the air. Twenty-one-year-old Jordan Potts sat on a branch, metres off the ground, watching the commotion of the festival below him. He felt invincible, on a high.
However, it wasn’t a natural high that had Potts buzzing at the 2015 Splendour in the Grass. His friends below watched as he slipped and fell 10 metres to the ground. Intoxicated and unconscious, Potts went into an epileptic fit and was placed in an induced coma for three days.
It was to be the pivotal point in his life.
Potts had started partying heavily when he was 16 and this ‘phase’ of his life lasted six years. Even in his early teens, he started spending more time away from home and was soon being exposed to addictive substances. Potts moved to the Gold Coast when he was 18 and says that he spent the next few years pushing the boundaries every weekend.
“It got to a point where partying was the new competition, drug taking was the new competition,” he says. “I kept pushing the limits because of my competitive nature and this led to some really bad abuse.”
Potts reflects on this period, feeling incredulous that he became so distracted from his true values. It is as if he was another person. He shivers as he talks about the tremors that would rack his body during the nights.
“After some weekends, my body would be on this come down of so many chemicals and I remember there were times thinking I’d have to check myself into hospital,” he says. “Those last 12 months before the accident, I wouldn’t have cared if I’d overdosed. I was so unhappy.”
Doctors said it was a miracle that Potts survived the accident. Had he landed on his head, it would have been the end of his life. A firm believer that everything happens for a reason, Potts took his second chance as an opportunity to “step into his truth”. It gave him a chance to reflect and ask himself what sort of life he wanted to live.
He moved from the Sunshine Coast to Melbourne and, for the next six months of his life, worked towards evolving himself. He gave up drinking and partying and became a student at Woodford Sports Science Consulting, an elite coaching school. Having played rugby for most of his teenage life, Jordan had an underlying passion for fitness and moving to Melbourne allowed him to bring this to the forefront of his life. He changed.
“Moving to Melbourne taught me so much about manifestation of thoughts and how important it is to attract the right energy,” he says.
Melbourne was Potts’s fresh start but when he was offered a job on the Woodford Sports Consulting team after six months, he decided that the city wasn’t the right place for him. He moved back to the Sunshine Coast with his partner, Nichola Spain, whom he met in Melbourne. The couple fell in love in the middle of his transition and became partners in life and in work when they opened up their own gym on the coast.
Potts had a new-found desire to be a better version of himself and to educate himself more on what matters to him. He joined Real Movement, a community of coaches and athletes who focus on training, mindset, health, nutrition and much more. It opened Jordan’s eyes to a holistic sense of development.
“Being around these inspiring people gave me the passion to start Exalto,” he says. “The name, Exalto, means to rise above in Latin and I think we should always be looking to progress.”
Exalto is a holistic hub on the Sunshine Coast and focuses on the mental and physical development of clients. Kids are the biggest focus of the gym as they are the future’s generation. The coaches workshop the minds, bodies and behaviour of the children at Exalto to teach them perseverance and allow them to grow in various aspects of life.
As co-founders, Potts and Spain believe that health begins on the inside and that when you nourish your mind and body, you are able to achieve any goal you set yourself.
“The breathwork sessions I do now are better than any high or any drug that I’ve ever taken in my life. It makes the surf, the ocean, my relationships better,” Potts says. “And it’s making me healthier.
“I crave, as a human being, I crave happiness and joy and good vibes. And I’m aware of that now. And I’m very selective of what I cultivate and who I’m around and the conversations I have because now I know what I want,” he says.