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  • Writer's pictureOvercomer's Podcast

Episode 3: Damon West – Addiction and Life in Prison

Updated: Apr 6, 2021

Damon West

Damon West, a former Division 1 college quarterback, was sentenced to 65 years or basically life in prison.

In this episode he shares about his redemptive Journey through incarceration to his miraculous release and how he has turned his life around to become the person he is today.

Damon was a drug addict and now he is a motivational speaker, professor and author of two books: The Coffee Bean co authored with Jon Gordon and The Change Agent.

This is a must listen. If you have ever struggled with anything or seen someone struggling and wanted to have hope that things can turn around then this is for you.



2:17 - 6:04 - May 18th 2009 Damon is sentenced to Life in Prison. His mom tells him "Debts in life demand to be paid. No gangs, not tattoos. You come back as the man we raised or don’t come back at all."

6:37 - 11:26 - The Coffee Bean book was inspired by a career criminal Mr. Jackson who explained to Damon about how prison is like a pot of boiling water. If you put a carrot in boiling water it turns soft. If you put an egg in the water it turns hard. If you put a coffee bean in water you now have to call the water coffee. That little bean has the power to change its environment. Be the bean. Don't let your environment change you. You change your environment. The world is faced with the same choice right now.

12:00 - 13:33 - Position determines perspective. You have to change the way you believe if you are going to change the way you act. Damon has said the same prayer every day since prison. "God put in front of me what you need me to do today for you and let me recognize it when I see it."

13:33 - 14:32 - There are spiritual principles that exist in every religion. There are 5 Major religions in the world and regardless if it is Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity or Islam they all teach us to be unselfish, honest, pure and loving. Damon uses these as a matrix to test every decision.

18:33 - 27:10 - Damon comments "I meet more people in the FREE world who are locked up than I ever met in prison." Cyndy shares how long it took for Travis to no longer be institutionalized. Damon gives two recommended reads: Mans Search for Meaning and the Count of Monte Cristo.

27:59 - 31:36 - Damon points out that “Lighthouses don’t go looking for boats." Make yourself available to help others. Be a servant leader. Put positive stuff on social media. He shares a great story about Mr Rogers.

34:30 - 39:19 - How did Damon West go from prison to where he is today coauthoring a book with Jon Gordon? – Answer a program of recovery.

41:00 - Cyndy asks a question about how Damon came home and found love.





Before Travis Barnes became a best-selling author, international presenter, founder and franchisor of Journey Fitness 333 he spent a decade of his life in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. Upon returning home to his wife and daughter he worked hard to grow himself in the fitness industry so he could buy his family a home of their own. 2 months after buying their home Tropical Storm Lee caused it to be flooded to the second floor. Approximately 1 year after the flood while still rebuilding their home and during the Christmas holiday season Travis was let go from his employment as COO for a local fitness company. After he and his wife spent 6 months as traveling trainers and while still living on an unemployment check and in a FEMA trailer, they began what is now a fitness franchise . Most recently and with the rest of the industry Travis has overcome the obstacles of the pandemic by redesigning his business. Travis has used the pandemic as an opportunity to instead of returning to business as normal, he has returned to business as better than normal. Travis is an Overcomer.

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