Sometimes the lack of self-confidence is a slow burn. 

Rather, it’s not caused by one thing or a singular event but gradually over time. 

It doesn’t mean your journey isn’t as difficult as someone else’s. Far from it. Only that feeling of becoming “lost” was created in a different way. 

That’s how Joel Jungell of Sweden describes his journey.

“Growing up, I was always timid,” he said. “I wasn’t bullied but I wasn’t popular. I was the invisible kid.”

Joel said he tried hockey and martial arts, but his physical development wasn’t as quick as his peers, so he wasn’t able to compete.

“I figured that my body type was more suited for gaming,” he added. “I tossed my childhood dream away of becoming fit and feeling strong. I always wanted to build that strength, both mentally and physically, but walking into a gym being 5-10 and 125 pounds didn’t seem like something I was capable of doing.”

That was, however, until five years ago when Joel uttered these words:

“Fuck it.”

Since that point he has never looked back.

“It came overnight,” he said. “I wasn’t going to dream about feeling different; I was going to do it. And I did.”

Lifting helped Joel in many ways, but foremost with confidence in himself. Building your best self is a process that takes years of dedication, and before he started this journey, he didn’t have the mental strength to focus on one task more than a month. 

“I've been lifting for six years now, and I am still as motivated as I was the first time I picked up a dumbbell,” he said. “Life changed in many ways since I decided that I was not going to be just ordinary. I'm calmer now, I am more focused, I am driven, all of those things that I didn't think I had in me surfaced, and I'm still growing. I try and motivate everyone around me to start the journey, so they too can understand that it's not only your body that is changing, it is your mindset, your way of living.”

APEMAN spoke to Joel because of the stories behind the brand. Each phrase or word is something everyone can relate to. 

“Everyone is going to encounter though times in their lives, that is a part of life,” he said. “APEMAN represents the people that grow from it, that push back. There is something very primitive and exciting about APEMAN that hits you on an DNA level. That inspires me when I feel like I can't pick up that weight, or I cannot finish that set.”

Sometimes all it takes is a change of mindset. Joel has some simple advice for others who are going through a rough patch: fuck it.

“My advice to anyone going through tough times would be simple – stay strong,” he added. “Just grind it out. It is not probably the most sensitive advice, but it's one of the few that works. Find that caveman DNA within you. We are all capable of so much more than we think we are.”