Eric Chang

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Episode 123

Masterful Recovery of Life & Destiny

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Eric Chang's SGV 3

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About Eric Chang

Eric Chang is a husband, father, the founder of Reason Fitness, a published author, and a student of life.

He is a coach and believes that everyone should have someone in their corner helping them chase their goals and realize their capabilities.

He has been a in the health and fitness industry for 15+ years and helps people become the best versions of themselves.

Eric is a coach and an author because he believes everyone should have someone in their corner helping them chase their goals and realize their capabilities. Eric loves coaching because he loves seeing people win the fight for their health, relationships, and goals. His greatest passion is turning unbelief into belief in oneself. There’s nothing more fulfilling to him than setting someone on the path toward the life they always dreamed of but never realized they could actually have.

Eric spent years thinking he was fighting his fight. In reality, Eric was throwing jabs and hooks at the air, fighting an opponent that wasn’t there. He felt held back by his upbringing. He felt discontent in his relationships. It felt impossible to prioritize his health. He felt stuck in a job that just paid the bills. He blamed each of these things for keeping him from where he really wanted to be. And while Eric was busy throwing punches anywhere and everywhere, he never actually faced the fight holding him back from his destiny. He thought he was fighting, but he was actually running. Because it’s easy to blame what you can’t change. It’s harder to take responsibility for what you can. Facing his fight meant trading his excuses for his destiny, and his purpose is to help you do the same. Eric’s dream is to stand with you as you face your fight, recognize your real opponent, and open the door to your freedom.


Instagram: @coachericfreedom

Twitter: @theericfreedom

Podcasts: We the Trust Podcast
Finding Reason Podcast

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“Why [is being a husband and a father] so meaningful? When I think of my core identity and responsibility in this season of my life, I couldn’t think of two more important things.”

“Anger was the only emotion I knew how to feel for nearly two decades of my life.”

“I call my dad and say, hey, dad. I know we’ve been through a lot, and I know we don’t have a great relationship, but, you’re gonna be a grandfather, and I want you to be part of of her life. I want you to have a relationship with her. ​​I don’t want anything from you. There’s no strings attached. I just want to be in your life. And my dad starts sobbing on the phone; I could hear it in his voice. Like, you know, the cracking of his voice. And I say, hey dad, I love you, man.”

“The one side [of the wristband] says the easiest part of your day, and the other side says brick by brick. So what it means is we want people to know that whatever you’re building with us, you need to understand it’s going to be built brick by brick. It’s not gonna come easy.”

  • Eric is the founder of Reason Fitness
  • For 15 years, Eric Chang has been in the fitness industry
  • Eric grew up in Whittier, California, in the San Gabriel Valley
  • Eric did not have much of a relationship with his father until he reached out as an adult when he was having a child

Why are the words “father” and “husband” so meaningful to Eric Chang?

Eric believes being a father and a husband are part of his core identity and his primary responsibility in life. He can’t think of two more important things.


Where did Eric Chang meet his wife?

Eric met his wife in the San Gabriel Valley. In fact, they are actually high school sweethearts from Arcadia. They initially met at the age of 12 in Avenue Middle School. 


Where was Eric and his parents born?

Eric was born right here in the SGV in Whittier, California. His parents are first-generation immigrants from Taiwan. 

What is Eric Chang’s relationship like with his parents?

Eric is a child of divorced parents, and he is currently reconnecting with his father. His father lives in South Pasadena, but Eric plans to make a trip to Seattle shortly, where his father grew up. 

Eric admits that his father was probably in his life more than he actually remembers, but he believes the trauma of the divorce and all of the bad times have led him to repress quite a few memories.

However, he does have a vivid memory of going out to the mall in Santa Anita and going out to eat at the food court. They often ate at home to save money, so these moments were memorable, and life felt so simple to Eric back then.


Was there a moment when Eric Chang’s relationship with his parents changed?

There was a day he remembers incredibly clearly. He was sitting inside with his brother, waiting for dinner with their nanny, and they heard a gunshot. His nanny starts to get the boys to go inside, and Eric remembers feeling frightened when he heard another gunshot. He glanced and saw his father holding a gun and his mother backed up against one of their car’s bumpers. Thankfully, his father had missed, but in that moment, everything he thought about his father immediately changed and was second-guessed. 


How did this impact Eric?

Eric Chang actually repressed this memory for a long time. In his teens, he almost couldn’t place why exactly he hated his dad. And to combat these feelings, he started aggressively lifting weights, even though there never seemed to be any reason why he’d start or any influence. 

Looking back, he believes it was because he felt he needed to be stronger. He needed to be able to protect those he loved.


Did Eric Chang have any outlets for his anger?

Sports were a tool that Eric used to let off steam and channel his anger. He loved playing basketball and admits he was an angry player. He isn’t a very tall guy, standing at just five foot eight. So, he had to play with an edge to make an impact, and his aggression helped with that.


How did Eric rekindle his relationship with his father?

Eric was at an event with a bunch of other men at a church, and they discussed Father’s Day as an icebreaker. It broke Eric down, and he told one of the men in the group how jealous he was of their relationship with their father, so all the men encouraged Eric to call his dad. 

He ended up calling him in the car later on and asking him to be a part of his life, especially since his dad was going to become a grandfather. His father broke down crying on the other end of the line and it was a pivotal moment in their relationship.


What is the book that Eric Chang wrote?

Eric wrote Don’t Run from the Fight: the Freedom from Power for Men’s Power and Purpose, which he started writing back in 2020 and 2021. He signed with a publishing house officially in 2021, but he has been writing the content of the book for about a decade. He loves journaling, so a lot of the book came from that. 


Why does Eric Chang write under the name ‘Eric Freedom?’

Eric chose the name Eric Freedom to be his author’s name because he understands he is not the same man that he was even just a few years ago. 

He wants to believe he has grown in many ways and attributes this to his wife and attending church. He used to go to a Mandarin Baptist Church and now attends Epicenter Church in Pasadena.

Eric Chang book

What is the significance of Eric’s wristband?

Eric is very much into expression through art, which includes both tattoos and wristbands. The wristband Eric has been wearing lately is two-sided; one side says “the easiest part of your day,” and the other side says “brick by brick.” 

They are wristbands given out at his gym and are meant to inform gym patrons that things aren’t always going to be easy; it’s going to be built slowly, brick by brick.


What is Eric’s gym like, and where did he get the idea to open a gym? 

Eric admits that if you told him 25 years ago that he would own a gym at some point, he would have never believed it. He knows he is doing exactly what he should be with his life, however.

He used to play a lot of basketball growing up, but when he stopped playing basketball, he didn’t change any of his dietary habits, so he gained a lot of weight. His joints felt inflamed, and he knew he was significantly overweight, to the point he was worried his girlfriend might find someone better looking.

He ended up working under an athletic trainer, and being around sports and the athletes changed his world. He switched his focus to kinesiology and exercise science.

Eric’s gym is sort of built like a CrossFit gym. It offers private training, private coaching, nutrition, and also group fitness. 


Eric Chang’s SGV 3

  1. Edwards Cinema (which no longer exists)
  2. Arcadia High School
  3. Casey’s Barbershop – Monrovia