About Me. Billy Edelen
Billy Edelen graduated in May 2016 from Bellarmine University with his B.A. in Exercise Science and garnered his Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) credential in September. He has been a competitive athlete since he could literally ride a bike. Billy won multiple BMX national titles in his youth and played on Bellarmine’s Division 2 2015 Final Four basketball team. He recently finished second in an international Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament, has won his last two regional tournaments, and recently had two super matches in regional shows.
He first created moBILLity Basketball with the intent to unite his love for the game and the lessons he has learned to provide upcoming players with the opportunities and training so that they can reach their dreams with the proper guidance and mentorship.
Furthermore, Billy developed his moBILLity lifestyle out of necessity to harness his anxiety and deal with a low back issue that crippled his college basketball career in order to live in balanced health (mind, body, and spirit). This lifestyle is founded on his “health hacking” principles, and living as a yogi and a martial artist. His broad goal is to share his lifestyle and expertise in moving mindfully to help others dissolve disease and dysfunction in their own lives and achieve balanced health and longevity.
In his free time Billy enjoys yoga, jiu jitsu, tinkering with his moBILLity training, listening to podcasts, reading, listening to music, and exploring his consciousness and the wonders of the universe.
During the course of my career as a basketball player, which ended with me playing through college, I was a meathead, continually chasing strength and power gains to go along with my skill development on the court. I was continually chasing added explosion to my vertical jump. Starting in middle school with contrast sets that paired timed weights lifts (such as squats, deadlifts, and cleans) with different plyometric exercises (squat jumps, split jumps, box jumps, depth jumps, etc.) Culminating with me utilizing the French Contrast Method – an even more intense strength training system focusing on plyometric, power, and force generation – my last couple of years as a collegiate athlete. Long story short, my physical gains – specifically those I needed for my sport – were spot on. However, near the end of my collegiate career chasing these continual gains –trying to increase an already standing vertical of 36 inches, power cleans of nearly 300 pounds, etc. – while balancing daily on-court conditioning and skill, work only broke my body down. My ability remained limited due to a sketchy low back that was always on the verge of tweaking out on me. I was overtrained and had reached a point of diminishing returns. With how I was training (oh how my basketball career would have welcomed concentrated daily mobility work!), the effort needed to improve outweighed the benefit of having that added athleticism, for in the process my body and mind couldn’t handle the demands and stress placed on it.
I’m sharing my story because it encapsulates my view of health. I genuinely break my life down into pre-basketball Billy and post-basketball Billy. I’ve always been super type A. Anxious all the time, diligent, hard-working, disciplined, always ready to knock out whatever needed to be done. The pressure I put on myself to excel and achieve on the court and in the classroom had me in tunnel vision – an utterly unbalanced individual. I was obsessed with basketball, and nothing else mattered to me. From my vantage point today I laugh at myself because I was a severe hazard to my health, as previously described with that constant pushing towards improvement. For me, it was never difficult to push harder. It was much harder for me to relax and take a day off, or even a workout. Unlike most kids going to college, I was not excited about drinking alcohol, parties, or even girls. Basketball consumed me and made for a very narrow-minded, driven, focused, tense individual. My social life or life outside of ball and school was non-existent, and I was okay with that.
As I progressed through college the stress, anxiety, and pressure I put on myself allowed for me to continue excelling in the classroom and get my game to a level where I knew I was capable of being a significant contributor. During this time my grandpa – MY HERO – died during this time. Rather than letting this emotion out and coping with it I channeled it into my charging hard drive towards my goals. Looking back on it now, the trauma manifested more in my psyche and physical body than I could have ever imagined. As the years passed and the playing time didn't come, the anxiety and pressure, I put into myself to be sharp and perform at a high level (something that I always used to my advantage) turned into toxicity and tension in my mind and body that made me unhappy, disconnected, and even more unbalanced. What made this worse was the fact that I didn’t even know that I felt this way because it had become the norm for the last handful of years and I knew nothing other than basketball and school. Back issues were a result of my overtraining habits, but I truly believe the stress that was going on internally manifested in the physical back pain. What I’ve learned since is that fear reveals in the body and vice versa. A free body and free mind are one in the same, connected at a deep level.
Then came that fateful day at the end of my junior year when I decided to no longer play ball – at least at Bellarmine, for I planned on playing in graduate school after finishing my undergraduate studies at Bellarmine – because I knew I wasn’t going to get the opportunity to play. I couldn’t go through another year of busting my ass and holding myself accountable at the level I’m accustomed. I didn’t want any more parts of that stress, strain, pressure, and anxiety on my psyche. So I decided not to play. Moreover, it felt great. It sounds cliché, but a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I would jokingly comment that I was freed from the shackles of injustice that was Bellarmine basketball. This was partially true, but only because I was freeing myself from the pressure that I’ve always placed on myself. I was the one doing the unjust acts.
I’m not going to lie; I was lost that summer. My entire life was basketball, and although I told myself that I would play in grad school in the same conference as Bellarmine so that I could prove to them how good I was, deep down I was done, and the fire that drove me on the court was gone. The tunnel vision that I previously had was lifted, and I realized there was so much more to the world than basketball. I bounced around that summer playing poker as a way to fill my basketball void, but my life still felt empty, that same emptiness that I’d had during the end of my ball career. Previously I never recognized this emptiness, this absence of internal peace and calmness but now I saw this glaring hole in my life that left me as an unbalanced individual.
Then there was another fateful day in July that has led me on the course I’m currently on. I was online one-morning researching rehab and treatment for some chronic turf toe I’d been going through. A recommended interview with Kelly Starrett – the Supple Leopard himself – popped up in the recommended videos section of YouTube. I clicked on it and became enthralled in the interview, which was being conducted by London Real, now one of my favorite podcasts. Over the course of speaking K-Star named dropped Tim Ferriss and this meta-learning section from his 4 Hour Chef book. It sounded interesting so the next day at work I researched Tim and found much of his stuff invigorating.
On a whim, as I was driving home, I went by my local library to see if they had any of Tim’s books, which I figured was a long shot. I ended up finding all three of them and as I was pulling the last one off the shelf, I spotted a book written by none other than Kelly Starrett himself. It was his new book, which I didn’t even know he had written. It was titled Ready to Run and detailed how to prep the body for running and had direct information relating to my toe issue. In 24 hours I had come full circle, and I believed it was more than a coincidence. I felt that I was connected with something higher, something I now define as being in tune with the universe, or some other type of hippie mumbo-jumbo. That day led me on the path of self-development. Podcasts (specifically the Joe Rogan Experience which connected me to many other great influences). Voracious reading. Meditation. Breathwork. Philosophy. Consciousness exploration. New music. Deep connecting conversations. New movement practices. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Bruce Lee. Aubrey Marcus. Alan Watts. I can list all of the influences and things that have brought to where I am today, but it would take even more time than this narrative is already taking. If you’ve read this far contact me and I’ll send you a medal too. No longer was I that close-minded tunnel vision person who used to have a specific plan on how to live. I felt open and free and was confident that the universe was working for me. I began each day telling myself to be positive, respond peacefully to situations in life (specifically the things I don’t have control over), and to pursue my passions – the things I genuinely enjoy, the things that resonate with my soul, my purpose in life.
My state and peace of mind at this time were the best it’d ever been around October 2016. I knew I was tapping into something higher than myself and living in accord with it. Those “coincidences” were becoming more frequent and common, affirmations and clues for me to continue following this path. I began to put this vision into place. I created my first website and made YouTube videos around the time I got my first full-time job working in the fitness center at Humana in Louisville. This is where “moBILLity” was born.
I was in my element getting to share what I loved with people. Granted the job didn’t allow me to work one on one with people like I wanted but I was still able to form connecting relationships and help people with my fitness and health advice as I feel called to do. I also feel that my passion and positivity was the energetic boost many people needed to uplift them during their stressful workdays.I organized stretch breaks, created and gave presentations, created my “Active Mobility” class, and shared my YouTube videos in an effort help the desk-bound workers to achieve better posture, mobility, lower their stress levels, and increase their overall health. The feedback was tremendous. I felt alive. I felt fulfilled.
I’ve always had the goal of having my own training business. This is a vision I’ve had since middle school. This situation gave me the proper inspiration for me to begin seeing how I’d operate things. Starting in December, the creative muse hit me with ferocity. My vision for the future came to me. Not just for business, but for my training, and where I want my life to lead. It was like a higher intelligence was supplying me with the ideas. Everything was coming to me so clearly.
I got lost creating, continually going, going, going, trying to make it all happen right away! Maybe only 5 hours of sleep per night for a person who has prioritized 8 to 9 hours the majority of his life. However, the creative muse was that strong. Training, work, crafting my ideas for moBILLity and continual self-development were my constant obsessions. I ran myself into a manic frenzy, which was great for my creativity, but severely strained my mindfulness and presence to the moment of the here and now. Everything I’m currently putting into motion was brainstormed and developed during this time. I saw the end product, and I was ready for it to be here now!
In March I was called down my management because I technically broke corporate rules by sending out emails with my videos. I get it. I was only trying to help people, and I had no one there telling me I couldn’t, for I didn’t have an on-site boss for over three months. I merely took the initiative and found a way to serve my population. Management was threatened by this and to make a long story short I left because I was no longer going to be able to help people in the fashion that I saw fit. Instead, I would be spending more time doing administration type work. That's the differences in philosophies. That’s life. I left on my terms.
Since then I’ve been living moBILLity. Training up to five hours a day at times between yoga, jiu jitsu, and my supplementary training (i.e., moBILLity). I’ve been training people, implementing my classes and making the dream a reality. I’ve been working on myself a ton because that manic creative surge unbalanced me. I’m still feeling the effects. Impatience has been the biggest obstacle. I have much trouble being at peace with the present because I’m so caught up in what I want. It’s so close! My creative mind has become a beast, and with it I can sense, see, and feel what’s to come in all aspects of my life. Now I’m allowing the logical, disciplined brain to come into play so I can make the action steps, like creating this website and typing this post! It’s about the process, not the end goal. For by taking care of the steps, the goal comes. I’ve known this, but I’ve relearned it. I’m attacking my training and my creation of moBILLity like I did during my basketball career with the lessons I learned along the way.
Whereas I was once too disciplined, I then became also free and loose. The extremes are part of the process like the peaks and valleys of a wave. Also, now I’m reigning that back into balanc
My grandmother – my Maw Maw – has been my biggest cheerleader and therapist during this journey. She witnessed me and listened to me as I was struggling with my mortality as a basketball player. The entire last season where I hate being around the game that I loved. A game that was such a part of me that I would get scared thinking about life without it. She listened to me when I said I couldn’t work a regular 40-hour job while I was doing my observation hours for PT school. She listened when I started brainstorming in the fall of my senior year of college (2015) about starting my own business. She listened when I told her I subconsciously bombed my PT school interview. She listened when I told her I turned down my spot. She listened to all my dreams and aspirations. She listened to me struggling with a rapid post-basketball maturation. She listened to me as I began to speak moBILLity into existence. She watched me struggle as I made the jump into full-time self-employment – prematurely I might add. She witnessed me build moBILLity’s infrastructure on her living room floor, picking momentum as I was climbing out of my own deflated funk. As everything is coming together for me, my Maw Maw died unexpectedly in late August of 2017. I had been working like a manic madman. My mission with the moBILLity Movement is ready to be shared with the world. Primarily, I’d made a jump to put myself out there finally. However, again, pushing too hard! This event, although it drove me off the balance needle once again, has made me prioritize rest! Sleep. Eat. Recover from training. Work on these projects. With that recharging, I’ve been pushed me this active-creative state. I’ve been making sure to stay charged and rested and then continue to expect great output from myself.
I’m a man with a mission. I call it my, mobillity mission for it’s something that’s greater than myself. I’m merely the delivering the message. My Maw Maw would want me to keep pushing forward making my dreams goals, and ultimately my goals a reality. It’s going to be a fun ride, and I’m excited for you to be a part of the moBILLity Movement as well.