Illusion Apparel: What’s your favorite thing about your craft?
Fausto Castellanos: I love helping people find hope in some of the most darkest times. I help a lot of people with addiction, mental health, trauma, and just day to day struggles because I’ve also struggled with all those topics and I’ve found a way to heal and create a life full of joy, and now my mission is to be able to share that with anyone who is open to it in order to give them what they deserve. Because I believe everybody here on Earth deserves to experience true joy, connection, and love.
IA How long have you been working on your craft?
FC: Jumping rope, you know, that started with one of the darkest times of my life. I heard about the jump rope when I was 20 years old, or 19. I started really utilizing that tool when I was 25 and I hit my rock bottom in my alcohol and drug addiction. It was one thing that I had to remember in my bag, and I heard that exercise is a good tool to help raise up your dopamine levels, serotonin, and oxytocin. So I remember in the beginning of my sobriety journey, I would go to the gym every morning, around 6am-5am-7am, and I would just jump rope for hours and hours, fighting off that disease that has been trying to kill me for years and because of that I have been able to maintain my sobriety now for almost 30 months, which would be 2 and a half years, and because of that I was able to channel my obsession for getting high and drinking in to the jump rope and because of that I’ve been able to develop what people see on my Instagram videos as one of the fastest jump ropers or quickest, or most efficient, and that’s how I started getting into my craft, you know, it saved my life.
IA: How did you get started?
FC: The way I found jumping rope in my life, I was 20 or 19 years old. One of those two. And not having a brother or a father figure in my life, or uncles, I’ve always looked towards men as a person to follow and have in my life. So, one of my cousins that I was close to, I wanted to kinda do whatever he did. Whether it was music, working out, skateboarding, a certain way to dress. So, we were at the gym, and he’s like, “Hey, have you ever heard of this guy ‘Buddy Lee’?”. I was like, “No, who is that?”, he goes, “Watch this video.”. So, he shows me this video, right, and it's just some crazy video and I’m like, “WHOA, I want to do that!”. And he goes, “Well I have his jump rope that he made.” So, I remember that’s how I first got introduced to that. And, fast forward to when I got sober, that’s why I still had that rope. You know, I still remember that video that I watched. So, I was using his rope to - just to use. Because I remembered when I was younger that’s what attracted my attention, right. And, I mean, I don’t know. I’ve tried running. I’ve done bodybuilding before, powerlifting, calisthenics. And its just something about the jump rope that, when I touch it, it just speaks to me. You know, it’s like, I just feel so alive. I feel so connected. I feel so much joy and I don’t feel those things when it comes to bodybuilding, powerlifting, calisthenics.
IA: Who or what are your current inspirations?
FC: The video of Buddy Lee – Man, I love that guy. And that’s a crazy story too. And this is why I believe like, law of attraction, or if you act as if you already have it for a period of time, it will become your reality. So, when I first got sober, I'd watch Buddy Lee videos on YouTube just to get motivated. I remember I wrote out this list in my first month of sobriety, because I heard in a podcast like, kinda write out things that you want – so you can look back on it one day and see if it's happened in your life. So, I wrote out this list. And on this list, one of the things was I want to meet Buddy Lee one day and let him know how his jump rope saved my life. So, I followed him on Instagram, and I started making jump rope videos and just tagging him into it, just putting my story out there consistently. Every day. And I would talk about it to people. Like dude – I’m going to meet Buddy Lee! And he’s going to be so stoked, and this is how it’s going to look. And because I was doing it at such a consistent pace, I remember I was at work, and I think I had maybe like 10 months sober. And I’m sitting at work, just finished group therapy, and my phone’s ringing, and it's this number from Virginia. So I thought, okay, this probably spam or a bill, so I answer it. And it was Chris Rawlins, which is a jump roper for Buddy Lee. And he does the seminars with Buddy, and the CrossFit games with Buddy. So, I’m talking to him, and he goes “Hey Fausto, I have somebody that wants to talk to you.”. And then it gets quiet for a bit, and then Buddy’s on the phone. I remember just like,being in awe. Whoa. The whole world just stopped. And I was just like in this moment. And he’s like “Hey Fausto, I’ve been watching you for like the past year and I’ve seen how consistent you are, I’ve seen your message. It's very powerful. You’re going to do big things in this life. And I want to do big things with you, so just stay patient and just know that things are happening.”. And I remember just like whoa…like this really just happened. And a few months after that I get another phone call from Buddy. And he says, “Hey – I’m going to be having one of my level 2 certification things happening in Washington DC, I want you to be part of this. These happen very rarely because I’m very busy, I’m usually out of the country. So, this is big.”. And I remember being like “Yeah, let’s do it!”
Illusion Apparel: What are your other interests?
FC: Aside from my jump rope, what I do for a living is I’m a drug and alcohol abuse counselor and mental health counselor. And with that, again, I’ve lived that life. So, it's crazy because I went from bartending and DJing, to when I got sober again another manifestation. I was 9 months into my sobriety, and I was like I can’t do this no more, I can’t work as a bartender – it’s against what I believe in. I’m feeling tempted every day that I’m here. Because I believe the better you do, the more temptation is going to arise because something out there does not want you to do good. So, I remember I was praying on it, like help me figure out what I’m going to do, you know. I didn’t go to college; I wasn’t smart in school. I have no idea what I’m going to do. And one of my regulars came in, he’s like, “Hey Fausto, you’re still sober, right?” I’m like “Yeah.” And he goes, “My Dad owns a rehab, do you want a job?” I was like “Oh man. Yeah! Let’s do it!” I have no idea what I’m getting myself into, but this sounds like a cool opportunity. So, I started working in treatment and I started off as a drug and alcohol tech, which is like babysitters, basically, for the clients. And again, opportunity came. I was in the office filling out my paperwork, probably 2 weeks in. And they go, “Fausto, somebody didn’t show up for work that was going to run a group for group therapy. Did you want to do it?”. I said, “Alright, let's do it!”. And I ran a group on I believe “what is the difference between self-love and self-lust. And from that moment on, the past year and a half, I just continued to grow in that type of work. And then went to school to be a counselor, became a counselor before I even finished school, and now I help people with mental health, addiction, trauma, and you know, I tied in the jump rope to those things because it’s helped me. And I’ve had the opportunity to run jump rope groups at my facilities, I do jump rope stuff with my sponsees, that I sponsor outside of work. And what I try to tell people is like, first off – if you’re very aware of what’s going on in your life mentally, then you can figure out like, how powerful exercising is for you. So, what I learned is that jumping rope releases the 3 things that people with mental health and addiction, and trauma lack. And that’s Dopamine, Serotonin, and Oxytocin. So, when you’re jumping rope, you’re releasing all those chemicals. And you’re exercising those chemicals that come out more naturally to last longer, to be more potent. And when you create those chemicals, it creates connection. And the opposite of addiction is connection. So, if you put that together in your mind, it’s like – so, every time I jump rope, I’m raising the chances of me not relapsing. Every time I jump rope, I’m raising the chances of removing my depression. Removing my anxiety. Every time I jump rope, I’m able to heal my wounds from the past. And as you continue to do it, you start to see it lessen and lessen. And that’s why I’m like dude – jumping rope is more than just physical. It is so mental. It is so spiritual and so emotional. Because it can literally save your life by what it’s doing to you.
IA: How do you define ‘illusion’?
FC: The word “illusion” to me, in my life, for my experiences: an illusion is a false belief created in your childhood due to your surroundings, whether it be a caregiver, a parent, a friend, or society. And that illusion that is created, creates false doubt, false beliefs, and when you can identify that none of that is true, then you can break through that illusion, the world becomes yours. Anything is possible now. And in order to break that, you need to work through it. You need to figure out what are these false beliefs that I tell myself? Why do I tell myself that? In order for you to reprogram your brain to not think that way – because we’ve programmed ourselves to think negatively about ourselves to doubt what we can do and what’s possible. And when you can reprogram that with positive self-talk, having a coach in your life to point out the bigger picture, because you can’t see the bigger picture when you’re in it. So, you need somebody to point out and break the truth of these illusions on a day to day basis until you’ve experienced that illusion isn’t an illusion. And now you have confidence in that to work through it. And then as you pass that wisdom to somebody else that you help, it's going to help break the illusion even more for yourself. Because when you teach, you learn it best.
IA: How do you break illusions in your craft?
FC: The way I break it in my life, is:
1) I surrender that I have no idea how to live life because my life is unmanageable.
2) I came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity and understand that these illusions are false. And then
3) Coming to believe that, you know, as a God as I understand, will help me out which gives me that confidence that, you know, everything is going to work out. That these illusions will vanish if I trust the process. And then writing out, like I said, what are these self-doubts and beliefs, sharing it with somebody to get their feedback, and then working on a day to day basis of removing those illusions. I pray on it, you know. I practice challenging these beliefs. And then every time I teach somebody about this truth, I notice these illusions – they don’t even come back anymore. They don’t even come back. And with the jump rope, the way I see that work is, you can jump rope and be like I can’t do this. I can’t do that, you know. I’m not that talented. I’ve plateaued, I haven’t got any better these past few months. What I’ve learned is – that’s the illusion. You know, ask somebody who has what you want and see what they tell you. Because they’ll help you break the illusion. And that’s what I did. I would reach out for help, do a lot of research, and then I’d pass that plateau, and then I’d pass the next plateau. And then there you go, and now the emotions attached to that truth, and that’s how I work through my illusions. Illusions aren’t real. Illusions are false doubts and false beliefs. We were created with a gift. And our job is to understand that that gift is already inside of us. And utilize that gift because that gift will break every illusion that’s created in your state of mind.