Before he was a four-time CrossFit Games competitor, he was a self-described “asshole” kid.
Not many people know Austin Malleolo was the type of renegade who was in trouble with the law and ended up going to reform school for two years.
“It was a big turning point for me from the perspective of ‘the decisions I make and the people I surround myself with can directly affect my entire life,’” he says of reform school.
During that time, his father supported him—no matter how much he screwed up.
“He kept investing in me and forgiving me,” Malleolo says.
Today, Malleolo has Venia tattooed on his back—a word meaning forgiveness in Latin.
“If I didn’t have that experience in my life, I don’t know where I would have been,” he explains. “It’s not the mistakes that make us better. We learn in the journey to and the journey from. Mistakes are mistakes. They’re inevitable in our journey.”
Video by Mike Koslap.