Renowned wellness specialist opens up about his journey from the streets of Cleveland, Ohio and federal prison to the suburbs of Orange County, California and creating a balanced lifestyle to inspire others who may feel lost after the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Orange County, CA, June 27, 2021 – In 1998, Cleveland, Ohio native Malachi El-Kush (born Michael D Alexander) had a plan: Use the music industry to spread the word about holistic health while gaining the capital to acquire land for a self-sufficient, Aborignal American (Black) community. Two years later, he was indicted for involvement in an unarmed bank robbery, followed by another indictment in 2003 for organizing a few more. Under his birth name, Michael ended up being convicted and sentenced to a total of 10 years. Prison wasn’t his end, it was his incubator.
According to data analyzed by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 1 in every 138 adults was behind bars in the United States by 2004. That overall number came with a crazy statistical comparison:
– 12.6% of Black males (25-29 years old)
– 3.6% of Hispanic males (25-29 years old)
– 1.7% of White males (25-29 years old)
Among those Black males between 25 and 29 years old sat a reflecting Michael. During his time going through pre-trial, sentencing, and incarceration, Michael kept having the same question asked: What are you doing here? Attorneys, probation officers, correctional officers, and convicts, all pointed out Michael’s intellect and ability to solve problems. They all felt that he could have been successful in any legitimate career, so why involve himself in crime? Michael was also baffled by that very question. He vowed to use his time to reflect on and answer it in hopes of changing his life.
Like a lot of young men exposed to the lifestyles found in U.S. urban centers, Michael saw the effects of decades-old racial discrimination and oppression. He also witnessed the traumas that were absorbed and passed down in the families living under those conditions. His maternal and paternal families being amongst them. As Michael began the process to address his issues, which included taking advantage of voluntary mental health counseling offered in the prisons, he noticed that a lot of his behavior tied back to traumatic events in his life.
Based on research and data analyzed by Mental Health America (mhanational.org):
– Black American people living below poverty are twice as likely to report serious psychological distress than those living over 2x the poverty level.
– Adult Black Americans are more likely to have feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and worthlessness than adult whites.
– Black Americans are less likely than white people to die from suicide at all ages. However, Black American teenagers are more likely to attempt suicide than White teenagers (9.8 percent v. 6.1 percent).
As Michael read books on personal development, participated in dozens of psychology-related classes and therapy sessions, he was able to reach the roots of the internalized traumas. He used this time to begin working on his spiritual, mental and physical health. Oddly enough, he had unconsciously begun this journey years before his incarceration with his interest in holistic health. He read countless books on spirituality, psychology, and physical fitness, but he hadn’t made the complete connection to his life until that challenging time of being locked away. These literary works included Dr. Llaila O. Afrika’s “African Holistic Health”, which led Michael to see the world of wellness in a different light. It was a perspective that showed us the interconnectedness of experiences on the spirit, mind and body. In addition, he became with the concept of “alchemy”, which led to his contemplation of “Holistic Alchemi”:
– HOLISTIC: Incorporating the concept of holism, or the idea that the whole is more than merely the sum of its parts, in theory or practice.
– ALCHEMI (ALCHEMY): Any seemingly magical process of transforming or combining elements into something new.
By the time Michael completed his sentence in 2010, he had received dozens of certifications in disciplines ranging from drug abuse counseling to personal training. He also completed a college program for Business Administration with a 4.0 GPA, and wrote a 300 page book that was later broken up into three separate releases via Amazon. All of this was done while Michael helped dozens of convicts with losing excess body fat, improving health metrics, and overcoming mental disorders such as depression. Michael knew he was no longer the “troubled youth” that initially entered into the federal prison system at 23 years old, but he also recognized that there was still so much to atone for back in the community he left behind. He was officially released from federal custody in January 2011.
In 2012, Michael was offered the opportunity to work for the Greater Cleveland YMCA and assist in opening one of their new facilities in the same neighborhood where he once sold drugs and ran the streets. He knew this was his chance to give back and continue his plan to spread the word about holistic health. During his time there, he networked with local politicians and educators to design and lead community wellness events and programs for the youth. However, some of his initiatives were blocked by the scarlett letter of being a former felon. For those who knew Michael and his past, they were astounded by his change, but a small few individuals used his background as a means of keeping him out of “their arena”.
Michael moved on to found his own wellness company in 2014 that allowed him to work with hundreds of people throughout the United States. A few years after being home, Michael realized that staying in the place he grew up in was a blessing and a curse. The blessing was a chance for him to heal while giving back. The curse? Him not being able to completely step into his purpose because of those who wouldn’t let him live beyond his past mistakes. With that realization, Michael relocated to Northern Virginia in 2018 to accept a leadership position with Life Time Athletic (formerly Life Time Fitness). The experience was refreshing and challenging for Michael, however, there was still something missing that he couldn’t explain. This led him to go on a soul-searching, cross-country trip to Los Angeles which ended with him returning back to Northern Virginia for personal reasons.
At the age of 43, following another stint of working as a corporate leader for TITLE Boxing Club in the D.C. metro area, Michael finally returned to Southern California to start a new life as a father and soon-to-be husband. He was excited by the prospect of this new chapter in his life. A month after his arrival, COVID-19 brought the world to a screeching halt. Those life altering moments provided Michael with the opportunity to answer two questions that had been re-emerging over the years for him:
– 1. What are you truly here to accomplish?
– 2. Are you ready to share with the world what you’ve experienced and learned in your life, so far?
Knowing the answer, Michael (now Coach POWER UP) designed a digital, educational program that could be used by anyone, anywhere at anytime to achieve the transformation that they need in their lives like Coach POWER UP had accomplished through all of his trials and tribulations. He mastered a way to assist anyone seeking to change their lives for the better. To achieve their happiness and fulfillment in life. He realized that with the changing views on life, including perceptions of beliefs, cultural traditions, and definitions of success, a lot of people had voids that could be filled by what he had to offer. Question is: What is his process?
Coach POWER UP designed The H.A.C. System™ (The Holistic Alchemi Coaching System™) to guide individuals in:
– Lead you into the sensation of rejuvenation and vitality,
– Guide you into the feeling of being focused and present,
– Direct you towards the mood of satisfaction and fulfillment.
Coach POWER UP says, “The key is to align your holistic self (whole being – soul, mind, and body), which is mediated through the body’s chemical reactions (hormonal and neurological systems). The soul is your essential energy. The body is your interaction with the environment around you. The soul and body are able to communicate via the mind. When these three elements of your essence align, all things are within your grasp. When they are misaligned, chaos becomes normal in your daily routines.”
23 years after his original plan, Coach POWER UP has been certified in several different disciplines related to wellness. During that time, he has witnessed too many people disappointed with the multiple gym memberships, classes, fad diets, and wasted home equipment that they spent their time and money on to no avail. The question he likes to ask with everyone who shows this frustration: “Are you tired of wasting your resources and being frustrated with the schemes?”
If you answered “YES”, you can learn more about and join this program by clicking here.