Thosh Collins strives to make every pursuit better than yesterday. Motivated by his family, as well as the practices of his ancestors, Thosh is forging a new lens with his photography and his following. Contributing to the growing wellness movement across Indigenous communities, Thosh takes a holistic approach as he encourages others to embrace health. Movement and gratitude are positive influences on his spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. To be active, he notes, is to celebrate the life we have.
At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to invest more in your personal fitness?
In 2003, I started working with a functional fitness coach. It was a new phase of my physical fitness journey. Before that, I was a breakdancer and played conventional sports. All of my competitive attributes carried over into functional training. I knew that I could excel. In 2010, I turned things up a notch, beginning a consistent training regimen and working with more strength and conditioning coaches, which I have been doing ever since.
What keeps you motivated?
What keeps me motivated is my family — being well to be a good father and husband. I stay motivated by the thought of the people in my community, where we have a high rate of diabetes. Often times, I receive messages from other Indigenous people sharing how they’re motivated by the content I produce to get out and move more. This is a large part of my own wellness journey.
"I embrace what I don’t understand and let myself get ‘humbled’ by the failure of trying to learn the technique. I think humility is key in success."
How do you embrace the “Better Than Yesterday” mindset in your day-to-day?
Some days, I start to slack on doing my part in achieving our family's goals, then I’m reminded that I’m only stifling our progress. I’m reminded that in order to live the vision that we see as a family, I must be better than yesterday.
What’s on your fitness bucket list?
Building my own home gym is at the top of the list. We’re in the process of building a house on our property on the reservation, and I have a vision of the perfect training space to build alongside it. I visualize a training space that's not bound by rigid ideas of how to engage with fitness and movement.
What lessons have you learned from fitness that have served you throughout your life?
Fitness is a very evident, physical representation of the concept “you get back what you give out.” The consistency and dedication we put into fitness is the same work ethic that can be applied to all aspects of life to achieve success.
What idea, person, or book has been the most influential in your life? Why?
There was an Indigenous philosopher and orator named John Mohawk from the Seneca people of Upstate New York (one of the Nations in my lineage). He wrote a series of essays and articles about Indigenous ideas of our places as human beings in the interconnectedness of the natural world. He clearly and eloquently sums up all of the teachings I’ve heard from elders in my community. This has been influential in my journey to partake in preserving and evolving age-old Indigenous wellness practices for future generations.