Checking In With Jared Wells, Bodybuilder With Cystic Fibrosis

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Jared Wells has battled cystic fibrosis for his entire life. Since 2018, he decided to take up this fight in a way that was completely out of character for him — and especially for someone with his disease: He started bodybuilding.

We first shared Jared's story on Feb. 16, 2019. Recently, Amory Sivertson, who co-reported that story, checked in with Jared to hear how things have been going.

AS: I want to know everything, but I guess I’ll just start with: Are you still bodybuilding?

JW: So, I did kind of have to take a step away from that, just with everything that's going on in the world right now. You know, gyms are still open, but ... with me being at such a high risk, I don't want to take that chance.

AS: Yeah, of course.

JW: I'm still exercising as much as I can to retain any weight and muscle that I do have. But, until everything starts to clear up and things get better, I think it's best for me to stay away.

AS: Sure. And when we last talked to you — that was … early 2019. And you had said — I know you had gone from 117 pounds at your lowest to 150 in January of 2019. And you said you had a goal of 180 pounds. Is that still your goal? Are you there? What's the status?

JW: I wish I was there. That is still the goal. I had a few brief moments where I was hitting 160, and I was doing really well. But it can be really tough to retain that weight. I think I'm at 152 right now.


AS: This is such a weird time for everyone. And a really difficult time for a lot of people out there. And I feel like staying motivated is hard enough under normal circumstances, and here we are in the furthest thing from normal circumstances. I guess I'm just wondering ... have you felt derailed at all during the pandemic? Is anything setting you back?

JW: Yes and no. With everything going on, and a lot of places being closed for quite some time, that was really tough — just the mental aspect of it, not being able to go to the gym or work on myself. But, at the same time, no. Because just because things are closed down, or life isn't necessarily going the way I want it to go, nothing's really changed. It's: continue to work on myself to be better, to get better — and do it at whatever cost there is.

AS: What keeps you going?

JW: I mean, my family and friends are a huge help on that. A lot of the times it's the people that follow me and look to me for inspiration. I know if I were to just give up or slack off, it's not the greatest thing for them to see. I know we're all human, but I want to be that source of inspiration and that light. It's also a matter of survival for me. If I don't do these things and I don't take care of myself, then I'm just gonna go back to where I was before, and I definitely don't want to do that.

AS: A lot of people have wanted to know how you're doing, so I feel like we have good news for those people. You're on track. You're still Jared.

JW: Thank God. Wouldn't want to be anyone else.

This segment aired on August 22, 2020.


Headshot of Amory Sivertson

Amory Sivertson Host and Senior Producer, Podcasts
Amory Sivertson is a senior producer for podcasts and the co-host of Endless Thread.


Headshot of Ben Brock Johnson

Ben Brock Johnson Executive Producer, Podcasts
Ben Brock Johnson is the executive producer of podcasts at WBUR and co-host of the podcast Endless Thread.



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