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Transforming the Definition of Fitness with Rob Eschbach

Updated: Apr 11

Episode 43 of the Fuel the Fire Podcast hosted by Shanon Safi, RD, LDN.

I love the competitive side of sports, like the times I spent on arena floors or on a field or on a track or wherever. Wherever I was competing, you learn so much about yourself and you. You build these bonds of you know, shared suffering, almost With the people around you. You go to war with them and it's a great experience and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I learned so much about myself and I really, really enjoyed all the competitions and all the different sports and athletic endeavors I've done.

Hello, hello, welcome to the Fuel of Fire podcast with your host, shannon Safie. Today I have a friend with me, rob Eshbach, who is the founder and CEO of F13 Performance. Rob and I actually met because I went to his gym for some time, and so I'm excited to have him on the show and share a little bit of his journey with you guys.

Awesome. Thank you for having me. I'm excited because it's been probably a year since we've caught up. It's been a while.

Yeah, yeah, ever since my like phase where I was just really confused about my whole life and what I wanted to do with fitness. But, yeah, I'm happy that we're able to reconnect and that you're able to be here today, because I'm really excited to get to share some of this part of my journey with people and also to share your story and how it's just influenced things and the people around you. So I'm excited.

Awesome. I really love your story, your experience with fitness and figure and competing and dieting and then weightlifting and crossfit and that competitive journey and how it's switched over to the non-competitive side of fitness and just the joy of movement and being active and healthy.

Yeah, yeah, it's interesting how that evolves over time, because I never really knew how that was going to end up, looking Like I knew what I was doing was not sustainable and I just never thought about like, oh well, how will this unfold and when will the journey shift and what will that look like and what will I settle into, like just kind of knowing that it was inevitable that my path would change. But it's just crazy. It's always like hindsight's 20-20. You're like, oh, this all makes sense, but in the moment you're just like I don't know, I'm just going to keep going till I burn out, I guess.

And it's so sad it happens to so many people. They, you know, they go into fitness with this all-or-nothing mentality and they go in hard, like I did too. I, you know, with bodybuilding and through college and then outside I called just powerlifting and then after that was crossfit and then competing and it's go all or nothing and somewhere along the way the joy of movement and fitness and being healthy goes away. You're just going to lose that, that fun and that connection to what you're doing and why you're doing it, and just grinding.

Yeah, so what really got you started in fitness? Like did you always know that you would be a gym owner? Or like when did that, when did that happen? Or like more than a gym owner? Sorry, I don't want to limit you.

No, no, I own a gym. I own a great gym here in Allentown, so I love what I do. It's funny youth athletics always in the sports. Now I was on the smaller side I'm 5'7 at the time when I played sports when I was younger. I wrestled 125 or 130 pounds in high school, so it wasn't big, but I was always fast, strong for my size athletics. So I've always been very into, you know, physique and strength and movement.

So when I was 16, I actually asked my parents for a gym membership instead of a car. Now I needed a car, guys at the gym so I had to figure that part out. But that's what I wanted. We had, you know, one of those universal things in the basement that had like a bench and a dip and a leg raise and a leg extension thing and a pull up bar like in a square in the basement. That I liked, but I wanted more.

So I got my gym membership and since then I have been working in or out of gym or owning a gym or training people in a gym since I've been 16 years old. I'm 42 now, so it's been a while. When I did that and I started working at the gym, I told myself one day I will own a gym. So it's been like a lifelong goal since I was 16 years old. So it took a very roundabout way to get there, not a direct path as most of us most of us do but I never really lost sight on that, on that goal. So it's always been something I wanted to do. I wanted to help people in you know, in a healthy way, and experience life to the fullest, being healthy and being active and being fit.

Yeah so that's. It's always been my goal, always been my dream. I'm lucky. I'm a lucky one, I get to live that.

That's awesome yeah. I'm curious a little bit more about like what this roundabout path looked like.

So after school, after high school, I went to college at Slipper Duck University, studied sport management, knowing I wanted to own a gym. So I wanted to learn the business side of it. I minored exercise science, minored in business, so today I get a little bit of everything there. And after college I kind of got out of the gypsy space and took a job with at the time it was clear channel entertainment motor sports, which ran Supercross, which is dirt bike racing in stadiums, and monster truck shows and arenas and stadiums, and then they got sold to live nation. Stuck with the same job. Then after that they partnered with NBC Sports, ended up running events for NBC Sports, an action sports tour called the dude tour. So in 2005 that started and I did that from 2005 to 2010 or 11.

Living the event life, which is like I we talked a little earlier it's awesome in your 20s. Travel has seen 42 out of the 50 states, been all over the country, had some great experiences, met amazing people, but probably the most unhealthy lifestyle you could ever live Now. I worked out this entire time but I was so unhealthy it was lack of sleep. You're working 12 to 24 hour days. You sometimes you don't sleep, just rolling the next day and when you're not working you're on the road, you're out partying, drinking, having a good time with sponsors, with friends, with co-workers, with however it works, and it's just, it's fun, it's a lot of fun, but it gets old pretty fast.

So after that that was in Chicago, I moved back to Pennsylvania. My both my parents died from cancer. My dad had passed away while I was in Chicago. Then my mom was sick so I ended up moving back to help her out and that's what brought me back here to the Lehigh Valley and then moved back here, had two or three odd jobs one at arts quest, then worked at a golf course and then opened my gym. So very round about they kind of all over the place, mostly in the event space, some management stuff, some HR stuff. But the gym was always a part of my life and never left. I always, even on those days where you work 16 hours and I was in a hotel, I found time or I made not done fine time. I made time to get to the gym. Whether it was 30 minutes or an hour or whatever that day allowed, I made sure I kept that part of my life active. So it was very all over the place for a little bit.

Yeah, that's really cool. What would you say the gym meant to you during this period and like, did it evolve as you moved to locations, jobs?

The gym was like the safe space. It was always that space where you. It's where I was comfortable. You know, if I was in a new city, I knew when I was at the gym. That's where I was comfortable, that's where I ran into like-minded people. Whether you were there to get bigger, stronger, faster or lose weight or just sweat or socialize, we all had a common ground in the gym. So that's where I met most of my friends. That's where I interacted and, you know, created my social life in new cities was through contacts and people I met at the gym. So that was a. It was an escape for me from pressures and stresses of life, but it was also a way to connect and meet new people.

Yeah, I think one really great thing about F-13 is the community. So I can really see that you've built that into your work now and how centered it is around connection, so I think that speaks volumes.

It was funny. I was talking to one of our members today and he he's been with me. We will be open 10 years in June and he's been with me from the beginning and I've been programming for him individually for five years or so now and he's like hey, rob, we're almost at a thousand programmed workouts.


And that's like that's a monumental number. So I've had a client who I have programmed a thousand workouts that he's completed, not just programmed those completed, done, checked off workouts. So to think that I'm at that point in my career and he's not the only one that has that many, there's a, there's a group that started with me. That's all coming up to that thousandth workout. Just pretty neat.

Yeah, it's very humbling. It is to see how far you've come and to be able to share that with someone else and like be a part of their journey, and I think it gives you both like just this mutual feeling of goodness, where you supported their goal, they supported your vision and it's it's really cool to see, especially when you have that longevity behind it.

Yeah, it's really neat. We were talking in the conversation I had with him today, you know, outside of the gym came up too, because you know, I reflect a lot. I'm very into taking time and space to reflect on where I'm at, where I'm going, where I've been, and we realized that our friends, our family, the people we interact with on a daily basis, are all from the gym. Like we live in different school districts, our kids are, you know, different ages, different points of life, different sports, but somehow our circle is still the same. You know, I live in different school districts and I don't really hang out with a ton of people other than my neighbors from our school district. We, my friends and family, are from the gym and it is the same way. It's really cool. I mean, look at, look at us. So we I would have never known you if it wasn't for the gym. Probably what three years ago, four years ago, when you first walked in somewhere around there is, I don't know. It's been a while.

Yeah, I guess. So Something like that yeah but we've stayed in contact.

Even though you don't attend the gym anymore, we've stayed in contact. We've been friends. I've watched your growth and your success and your business and your evolutions. And here we are today having a podcast and just catching up, like we hung out and talked for 30 minutes before we sat down and decided to record it.

Yeah, so that's so true, I like I feel like so much of life is centered around relationships and so to be able to do that and incorporate it into what you may see as your life purpose is really nice because it keeps you connected to what you're doing and it gives you so much more value because I feel like it's just different than sitting at a computer. Typing number is not, I don't know. I mean, maybe if you're an introvert, that works for some, but when you're someone that really values like deep connection, because you get to see more than just like, even though your business is centered around fitness, you see more than just that. Like you don't look at people as person who works out. It's like, oh, you're a whole human and you have a whole journey and we get to connect through that.

That's what's cool about the gym and working out. It's it is for. Maybe our gym is not, but the gym and that gym space and fitness is for everybody. Anybody's welcome, anybody can come to our gym. But if it's not this style of fitness that you like, that's okay. There's, there's going to be a home for you in this space, whether it's yoga or spin or rowing or boot camp or whatever stretch lab or whatever that. Whatever your you know your goal is, whatever you enjoy, there's a home for you somewhere in a gym. So it's it's really cool that fitness and activity can be a catalyst to relationships and friendships and connection.

Oh, I love that, yeah, yeah. One thing I really wanted to ask you about and know more about was kind of like your personal fitness evolution with, like, if you think about, maybe when you were in this stage where you were feeling more competitive like you, you competed in CrossFit is that correct?

And you did some bodybuild yeah it's like yeah, I would love to hear kind of what led to those switches, like what took you from bodybuilding to CrossFit and from CrossFit to where you're at now. Or like how you how you train and keep yourself healthy.

Right. So I mean I said the sports of always been voice, had that competitive mindset. I think it's entrepreneurs, we, we all have that some way shape or form, whether it's through fitness, fitness or business. So sports growing up, after that got in the bodybuilding I said I was a small guy and growing in the 80s and 90s you watch these movies with Arnold and still own and van dam Always guys and it's all about strength and physique and athleticism and it's those were our, you know, tv male role models. These mine were, you know. And so after competitive sports and I was already in the gym, I want to get as big and strong as I could. So got into, got into natural bodybuilding.

In college I would train twice a day every day. I never missed. I would go nine o'clock on a Friday night. I didn't get my workout in. I was doing that before I was going out with friends. It was just.

It was almost an unhealthy obsession, but a healthy obsession so I couldn't doing something much worse for myself, but it was still Probably detrimental in the long term. I think any too much of anything is so bodybuilding for a while and because of the building, I will never way and measure food again that had a really unhealthy relationship with food. So I weighed and measured Spinach. I weighed and measured every piece of meat. I weighed and measured, I counted everything for two years. So I'll never do that again. I'll never diet, I'll never count macros, I'll never Do any of that, just because it's I don't enjoy it. And that time in my life it was stressful, put a lot of pressure on yourself when you do that kind of competing. As you know From there, after the jobs traveling in that, I did a found crossfit.

Someone told me, try it and it got that Petitive side of me back out and it was fun to have that for a while really was. I really enjoyed it and had fun competing in some national level events. But it was one of the things where you know your see a national shut down if you keep pushing it to this maximum level over and over and over again and try to be competitive. That's that's where you go every time you're in the gym without proper guidance. Okay, I didn't have a, I didn't have the proper coaching around me at the time, I was kind of doing it myself. I was learning that style of fitness on my own, so I got burned out and lost the lost, the fun.

I remember sitting on a bench one day after training. I'm like I just don't, I don't enjoy this all anymore. I really didn't. I felt like a job and the gym for me has never my life been a job until that moment. And I remember that day. I'm like I'm done competing, done, walk away, new. At that minute I'm very like I make my mind or I feel something. I'm done with that. There's not a discussion. It's like I'm very like matter of fact, I'm out. So that's kind of who I am as a person. So that day I decided like I'm done competing. So now my fitness is, it's fun, it's what it is.

I'm trying to stay healthy. I want to active. I have two little girls. I have a third little girl on the way. I'm forty two, I make sure what. I'm sixty, I'm still on the ground, I'm still playing sports. I'm picking them up, care of the steps you know gonna be at, graduations and weddings and all that great stuff as they grow up. So my goal is to just stay active, stay healthy. Do I want to be strong? Yeah, we all do. I mean, I think you need to be strong to be successful in life. You know you have to move a couch, you have to pick something up, you want to carry your kid, my you know, seven year old, upstairs when she falls asleep. You gotta be strong enough to do that. So I want to make sure, now that I can do that, I'm not worried about you know how many pull ups I can do in a row, or how much I can snatch or clean and jerk or bench or whatever else. Yeah, it's like.

Strength has a different definition now than maybe you used to where before. It was defined by, like you said, how much you could move, but now it's like okay, do I have the strength to do the things that make a difference, like in the life of my family, or yeah, whatever it may be yeah, you know you're.

As a, as a male, I want to be the protector of my girls, protector of my wife and my three daughters. I want to make sure, if anything would happen or we're in a scenario where I had to protect them, I want to make sure I'm Athletic enough and strong enough to do so. So it's like a functional, it's a. It's a functional thing. They say functional fitness, the buzz term last ten years, which is hilarious to me because functions individualized, your functions very different than my function. So why are we both doing the same? Functional fitness? That's a rabbit hole we can go down. Yeah, so I just want to be functional and I want to be healthy and active.

Yeah, I can really relate to that, because I feel like when I think back to my journey is kind of like, oh, I'm, I think I missed sports when I went into college Doing something. I was like I feel like I'm a competitive person and I like, yeah, like it felt good to do something and so I kind of like fell into bodybuilding because I got a job at gnc and my boss is a bodybuilder and he was like, oh yeah, like you look like someone that's athletic, you should do bodybuilding. And I was like I don't know anything about lifting. And he was like, okay, it's cool, take you under my wing. So that's kind of like my segue into the gym. That's really what it looked like.

Is before that, like playing sports, it was more like, oh, I ran mostly to be conditioned, so I played soccer and basketball, so it was never really like weightlifting wasn't a big part of it. Like I did some, but Not something. That was at the forefront of my mind in high school. Then, once I started doing that, it just got to the point. I think the first competition and only competition that I did, I pretty much was like I think I'm developing an eating disorder. Pretty much. It's how I felt because, like the level of deprivation, you know, while in many ways people look at you and you're like, oh, and they see it is, oh, my gosh, you have so much discipline and it's so admirable, and like that would go to my ego, and I'm like, yes, admiration for discipline, yes, and like it made me feel good to get that.

Yeah, and then I liked the validation with like how I looked and I was like really feeding off of that. And eventually, when I actually did the show and I had to have my eating match, that and it was so extreme and meticulous and it was taking up like so much of my time now still a student, now I'm like struggling with school, which is like why I'm here, because I'm trying to do this bodybuilding competition and my brain is fried because I haven't eaten and I would start to like Dude, I could have looked at a piece of card and been like giving you a bite of that, like that's how deprived I felt and I just remember doing like wild things, like chewing my food and spitting it out, because I was like I just need to taste something other than tilapia and asparagus and like.

I was just like dude, this is not good. And I just remember, towards the end that show, I was kind of like I don't think I ever want to do this again because mentally I like feel very unwell and I just never felt like it was good enough. Even the day I stepped on stage is like no, like I don't feel good about myself and it's like that's, you know, the leanest I've ever been in my life and that was what I thought would make me feel successful and happy, and it wasn't like I couldn't do anything, but just like judge myself and not a good way.

That's the whole sports. That's judgment. You stand on stage in Next to nothing, in a bathing suit guys, smaller than being so, I would normally wear, yeah, yeah, and it's in there and you think, oh, did I cut enough water today that I get enough sugar in this morning? Make my veins are more muscular, vascular, like that little stuff that you know? Did I pump the right way? And backstage, did I put my tanning back? Then I had to put my. You had to put your own tanning stuff on, so to put my tanning stuff on evenly, it's just. And you're saying, on stage is bright lights and you have a whole panel of people judging you and there's like, oh, your, your calves aren't symmetrical to your quads. Like, really, is that where we're at? Like, it's it. I have so much respect for people that do it is so hard. It is such a it's a really, really difficult lifestyle. It really is, but it's not one that I could have stuck with long term.

Yeah I learned a lot.

Mhm, you do, you learn a lot and like you learn a lot about your physical body, and I think from there I mean I feel like I knew that wasn't it. But I don't think I like moved to the right thing either, because then it was like, oh okay, well, I don't want to be judged on how I look, so like let me move into a sport. That's like judged by how strong I am. So I started doing powerlifting because I was like that is not subjective, it's like numbers are numbers and like I feel good about this part of myself, I feel strong for my size and my weight and everything. And it kind of was down the same path as like my body hurts. I don't like this, I'll be mad at myself if I miss a lift.

The fun started to come out of it and it was really like again, like I did one and only one powerlifting competition. I had a really similar experience where I was like a one and done, because it was just this build up of what I thought it would feel like and I was really proud of some of the things that happened, but like I didn't hit numbers that I thought I would hit and all of this, and so I just left feeling like really angry. It was also compiled by some betrayal that I felt during that experience. That's like a whole whole story we'll let go of.

I'm gonna let that one just karma does its own thing and yeah, that's an off the off the record conversation.

But, yeah, like a lot of deep stuff that didn't sit well with me and I was like, okay, I think I have to leave this to. And that's when I started CrossFit was like I'm gonna do this and just do it for fun. So I joined my first gym and was like, okay, like I'm not competing. And then I think, probably, like when you're the new person, no one really expects you to like be able to do anything. But because I came from powerlifting at a really good lifting background and I always saw myself as an athlete, so I always conditioned to. And so the gym owner was like, hey, you should compete. And I was like, no, I'm not gonna do it. And then he's like, okay, well, you don't have to. But like, why don't you train with this group of people that competes? And I was like, okay, well, I'll do it because, like, I'd like to make friends, that would be nice.

And then, of course, like after so many times me saying no, eventually I was just like sure, I'll do a competition like someone was like please, I need someone, and I'm like, only because I don't want you to like go without it, like sure I'll do it, and I think I probably did a few.

And then I think there was one that really just like my body was in so much physical pain, like one of the events just really freaking got me, and then since then I had this like neck shoulder pain and I was like dude, like it's not supposed to be like this, like I just want to feel good, like I'm like tired of just beating myself up, never feeling good enough and like always pushing for more, like I just want to accept myself, I want to be content, I want like I don't want the gym to now take away, because like I couldn't sleep because of how much pain I was in and all of this and I was just like this is the opposite of what fitness is supposed to be. And so I think that's when I came to your gym and I was just like I just need to start fresh like.

I just need to just be a human, be regular. But yeah, I think my relationship with fitness and nutrition was really confusing in that phase because I I was still like teaching things that I wasn't personally doing, and so I was feeling out of alignment. And so, from there, I think it was kind of like what you described. It was like I just like couldn't get myself to go anymore. I was just like I it still was meaning something that it shouldn't have meant right. It was like if I missed a day, it was more the feeling of like why would you do that? Like how could you do that to yourself? And it was like so much shame I would feel for missing a planned day. And I think I just hit the point where I was like I just, I just think I need a break. Like what would it look like if I let go of this?

And I did literally didn't work out for like a year, like I would just go on walks and some yoga and like that's all I did. And it was probably almost two years, because just recently I was like okay, like a couple months ago, I decided to start lifting weights again and my relationship with it looks like totally different. It's like, oh okay, like I'll walk and I'll do yoga and that feels really good and it feels very healing. And if I go to the gym, I don't like I don't have to like beat my whole body up to feel like it was good and I'm just like I say I'm in my soft girl era because I'm like I'll just go walk for 30 minutes and if that's all I felt like doing, that's great, and then if I decide to do anything more, that's great too, but if I don't, who cares? Like as long as I feel good and that I was able to use that time to relax and be in my body instead of.

The gym used to be like detached from my body and completely like because to get to get through some of those crossfit workouts that I would do is like, oh, I had to just completely like black out for me to get through that because you'd have to push really hard and it was like that's not. That's not what I want the gym to be in my life. I want it to be a moment to appreciate my body and be grateful for it, instead of just like another part of my day where I was exiting my body so that I could like think, to like make myself look good or to feel like I'm worth more because I'm stronger than the person next to me, or whatever, like a lot of that was so unhealthy that I had to let go of.

You know it's one of those things as a coach I do have. I have some very competitive high level athletes that I work with. But we have those conversations and they're like my goal is to make nationals when we're lifting, my goal is to make wada palooza, this very large crossfit event or whatever event they want to make. I'm like, alright, okay, we can get you there. But so you know, getting there means these sacrifices, these feelings, these things get to work through. So I make sure I'm very honest with them, upfront with you have to understand to be a competitive level athlete, there's things you have to sacrifice. You're gonna be uncomfortable, you're gonna be sore, you're gonna have to watch your diet, you're gonna have to get the right amount of sleep, right amount of recovery when it hurts. Some days, when you work out, you got to keep going and that's the competitive side of the sport. That is awesome. I love that people want to do. It's not for me anymore, but there's a lot of people that still do it and love it and they're great at it and I will fully support them. It's just not where I'm at in my current journey, but with you know experience and research and you know thousands of hours of classes and, you know, studying the body and fitness and energy systems and how it all works. I can 100% support and guide those, those athletes, along the way on their competitive journey. But there's conversations we have after events like did you enjoy it, what you get out of it, what was your experience, tell me. But let's go through each workout. How do you feel at the end of the day? So we golf now. How do you feel after a week off? Do you want to go back into it or do you want to step away for a little bit? So it is.

There are real life conversations that I think need to be had with high level athletes. So they, you know, if you're a professional, it is your job, it feels like a job because it is your job. You know you have to, you know work your life around that and that's what it is as part of what's required to be that good at something. But coaches need to be honest with with their athletes and let them know that before they say, yeah, you can make the CrossFit games come to class once a week, you can be fine, it's not how it works.

Yeah, you know this open season is coming around for CrossFit and it's so funny and like, if you're like I'm gonna do these workouts, I'm gonna make regionals this year. I'm like you come to class twice a week for six months, you're not going to regionals. Bud, like, let's talk about what we really want to do here and they be honest with people and then explain to them what it what it takes to be that level of an athlete. And if that's what they really want to do, then you guide them along that journey. And if it's not, it's like, alright, let's talk about goal setting and what direction makes the most sense for you and your lifestyle and the people around you, and what you want to do, and then let's focus on that, maybe not focusing on going to some high-level competition.

Yeah, I think it's really beneficial to have a coach that has gone through the experience, like you're saying. Like okay, in this phase of my journey I would like to support other people along that, because I've been there, I have perspective. Being outside of the situation, I can see, maybe, when to ask the right questions of like, how are you feeling? And being able to check in with someone, because sometimes when you're in it, you don't see it. To have someone that can see it, I think is really valuable and, I think, really beautiful, because I feel like it gives you just like a new layer, new level of your own personal journey and your own evolution with how you can support people.

Because I think back to like when I was in my most competitive stage with CrossFit. It was like I trained for like at least three hours a day. On the weekends we would spend the whole day there, like we would literally be there for eight hours because we were trying to make it to regionals, and so it was like that took over my whole life. Everything revolved around making sure that I had this perfect eating schedule and it was like I ate X amount before, x amount after and I like adjusted my work schedule so that I could go in the middle of the day and gave up most of my social life because I was too tired to do anything after. And it's a time in my life that I look back and I have a lot of fond memories and just like again, going back to connections, like yeah, those people were connected for life because we went through that time together and it's really cool.

and also now I'm in different phase and like I cheer people on, I'm like, hey, if that's the part of your journey that you're at, like that's freaking amazing. I know what it takes and I also know the joy that it can bring. And if you're feeling like you need support because there are the heavy elements of anything you choose, like there is emotions that come up and stuff that you have to process and that's part of it. So it's nice, like I really think that having a coach and having a coach that not only programs for you, but someone that can really reflect back to you and help you figure yourself out along the way, because so much of it is like you're driven by something deep within you and to have someone be able to pull that out of you and like figure out what that is, so that you can have a healthy relationship with competing and it doesn't become something that can drive you into the ground or hurt all of your relationships.

I love the competitive side of sports, like the times I spent on arena floors or on a field or on a track or wherever I was competing. You learn so much about yourself and you build these bonds of shared suffering almost With the people around you. You go to war with them and it's a great experience and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I learned so much about myself and I really, really enjoyed all the competitions and all the different sports and athletic endeavors I've done. I'm just at a different spot, like the spot I never thought I'd be at, but I'm really comfortable with it and I'm actually thriving and happy that I'm not in that competitive part of athletics anymore. Now I will say that I still have the competitive side in me with the business. So I spent a lot of time looking at PNL and numbers and projections and growth and expansions and how can we do more, how can we make this better? What's a better experience for our clients? So I still have that grind mentality, but it's different.

So I think you don't ever lose that part of your personality, it just gets refocused. Maybe I found it for myself at least, and also with family. My goal is to be there every minute I can for my girls. I almost the fault where I want to drive them and take them everywhere and I feel like sometimes I don't give my wife the opportunity to do it. I'm like, no, I'll take the basketball, I'll take them both with me, you can stay home and relax. She's like, well, I want to go too. I'm like, okay, come along. So that's one of those things where I'm so driven in so many things, and I think it starts with the sports and athletics and then, as you evolve in your life, you stay driven and just refocus what you're driven towards.

Yeah, I really like that perspective because I remember, or just thinking back to being in that competitive phase where you can't imagine your life without it and you just don't know what it's going to be like until you actually step into something different and kind of like you talked about in the beginning. I feel like we all kind of have those defining moments where you're like, oh, in this moment I know that it's time to pivot and I'm no longer in this phase. I'm in this phase For some people. I think it's amazing that you can be like, yeah, done onto this.

Yeah, I'm very abrupt in life. I know all that I do. I'm good, nope, not good. See, it happens that fast for me.

And that's really admirable because it just shows that you're trusting your intuition and you know when it's time and you don't try to cling to the past and take things that you feel like no longer serve you. So that's really cool and I love to hear that. And so, yeah, just knowing like okay, it's time for me to step into this different phase and while maybe elements of me die, like there's a small part of my ego that's shed now that I'm stepping into this phase, but that doesn't mean like who I am has to die along with it, like I can take these traits in myself and energetically expend it in a different way that still serves me, that still honors who I am and still fulfills that need that's in me. Because I think we all have different characteristics and purpose and different traits that are louder in some than others. So I think, especially in this space, more in the mental health space, I think there's like been this really big call to kind of slow down and relax.

But also, in the same note, some of us are meant to be driven and to have those elements where we do keep pushing, because that journey can inspire others and maybe we're meant to accomplish something specific in this lifetime to us and I think it's acknowledging okay now that I see my drive has served me a purpose here. But there's a new purpose now for this trait of mine that I can use in a different way, that can inspire others, that I can talk about in a podcast, that I can use in my business, that I can help raise my family with and you find just like it's like this revival of a piece of you and you get to see your own evolution and make peace with like those layers that you got to shed.

Right, yeah, so I feel like when you move on from a phase in your life, there's always you know you leave a small piece of you behind, but the whole of you is still moving forward. So who you are to the core and your values and what you do, as they shift and evolve as you get older or as you experienced different things in life, you're still to the core, I think, a very similar person with very similar setup prior to as you move on through life.

Yeah, I know, personally I always had trouble with like mourning the loss of a former version of myself. I'd get really stuck to like, oh, but like I know myself as the fit chick that does this thing, that owns this business and I like had so much trouble just letting go of that and being like, okay, I can be something different. And that doesn't mean I failed, which I think was the hardest part, because a lot of times, especially if you're really driven and you hold yourself to this really high standard, I feel like it's really common for people to feel like, oh, I'm a failure because I couldn't go as far as I thought I could with this thing, or it's different. When I started this, I had this vision that I'd be on TV doing this thing and it's like, well, you're just pivoting. It doesn't mean you failed, but I think it can feel like that.

It can definitely feel like that. But then, stepping back to the fit chick that had this business, that was strong and that person you're still. You're still strong, you're still active, you're still successful, you're still doing what you just told. Now you're out doing podcasts, which is a growing thing for you. Now you know, we've stolen the nutrition world and helping and making a difference, which was the ultimate goal when you started nutrition right, and you're making an impact. So did you fail? Or your goal evolved and it's now actually better, it's more complete than it was before. You're still healthy, you're still active, you're still fit. It's a different kind of fit, it's a different kind of active. So I mean, there's always a way to wrap your head around them. They, you know, maybe I was forcing myself in a bucket that wasn't right for me. Now I've shed that bucket and then moved on to what is right for me, and that'll change too. It's always going to evolve. Thank you for those kind words.

I appreciate it.

Yeah, yeah. So I mean that's how I felt my journey Like. My journey is constantly it's evolved as a business owner, as a coach, as a father and as an individual Like you. You think you need to squeeze yourself into whatever this bucket or what you're told you need to be, or what like. If you're a gym owner, you need to do this. If you're going to do cross fit or coach athletes, you need to coach this way and that way. I'm like. Well, I learned from a lot of different teachers and they all had great things. They all had bad things, though, too, things I didn't agree with for the way I wanted their approach coaching or owning a business so I took the great parts and the good parts that I agreed with and created my own approach. So what you did, you took all this knowledge that you had and all these experiences and travels and interactions that you had, and took the good things from each one of them and evolved yourself into who you are now, and as you take more in, you'll continue to evolve and grow.

Yeah, that's so true, and I like what you said about just kind of like taking in what feels good and what feels aligned and just releasing what you know deep down doesn't work for you. So I think that sometimes maybe the danger with coachings I sometimes feel that when people look for coaching and they look for support, a good coach really helps you turn inward and look at within yourself what it is that you feel like is aligned, rather than being like do this, do this, do this, do this. Because what can happen with that is people come to you feeling like, oh, I'm in a loss of my power, I don't know what to do. I need support, and if you're just giving them information to follow, it's not really building them up.

You're kind of just like I think I always use this analogy of like you're just becoming an actor in a new play Like it's not really you if you're just picking up someone else's lines and performing it. So it's like okay. Instead, can you just take what really aligns, check in with yourself and ask yourself, like, does this align? Do I see myself continuing to do this? Can I keep doing this, Instead of just completely distrusting yourself and doing what someone that you do trust and think is on the right path to do, because everyone's path is going to go a different direction and so it's allowing that and having the ability to check in and say like, does this feel aligned for me, Does this work for my vision? Not just like, oh, this is the vision of a gym owner and I should just want this.

So I think that's what sometimes can keep us feeling stuck.

Right, and as a coach, too, you look at it that way and you have your athletes like. You have a, you know, 225 pound man that can deadly 525 pounds and he's strong, he's, you know, played football and he's like I want to get into some ultra running. And a coach that doesn't listen like, no, you're a big, strong guy, we're gonna keep staying big and strong because that's what you're meant to do. It's like, no, no, no. Ask him why he wants to get into ultra running because he has connection when he runs and he feels free and it helps him relieve stress. Cool, Support that.


Like ask the questions and listen to the people that you interact with and then support them on their journey. That's our job as coaches they get. My job as a coach is not to give people what I think they need by looking at them to my job to support them in whatever journey they want to go on and make sure they're healthy and they can enjoy their journey along the way, as I don't want to spoon feed somebody something they don't want. It's a you know that one dimensional coach is like you know. I know I know strength and weightlifting. I want to be a runner, but you have to do strength weightlifting. No, no, they want to be a runner, so let's help them be a healthy runner. Let's work on stride length. Let's work on, you know, some lactic threshold stuff. Let's work on some foot striking. Let's look at you know, work on all that great stuff, unilateral strength and help them become a better runner Instead of just throwing weight down.

So, like listen to your clients. Ask questions.

I think asking questions is so important because I think in like coaching gets dangerous when people are not asking questions, when you're like just telling someone hey, this is what you do.

I feel like a good coach, asks the right questions. That's so important Because I think about I don't know. I almost think back to like all right, almost like a random movie plot or like a common movie plot of the athlete that is just so good at this thing. And you know, they don't even love it because they feel like their mom wants them to do it and their dad wants them to do it and their coach wants them to do it because they're good at it.

They're like I hate my life, like I don't know. I feel like this is a common show thing.

It's not just a movie thing, it's a common real life. I had a young female swimmer come in and she was swimming for a club team. She was swimming at her school. She was dad was watching nutrition and he's like she's good, but she's got stronger off the wall. I need her. She needs to get stronger and kick.

I'm like, okay, this you know, I'm gonna sit down and talk with you and her together. She was a young teen. Because you don't meet the young team by yourself. You talk to their parents and then I'm like, after we're done talking, I do want to meet with her. What I wanted to hear? How she feels. And when she was done I talked to her dad. I'm like I, you might want to talk to your daughter. She sounds like she's a little burnt out. I don't think she wants to do this. He was trying to force his drive on top of her. What she wanted to do was be part of the science fair and do this project where she was building something electronic for, like this science fair and Philly that could about national notoriety. It's really cool. But he didn't want to hear that. He wanted to hear that she needed to be stronger, to be a better swimmer. I'm like I'm. I could take her on as a client because I didn't feel right for me to do so, because it wasn't what she wanted to do.

Yeah, I know I like that reminds me of one of we didn't actually go through with her becoming a client, and not for me not wanting it, but it was because the parent didn't want to hear my perspective on the situation like very similar. Like a mom had invested all this money into her getting trained into, like you know, picking her up and all the investments that you make for your kids sports, and like all these extra camps and all this and what was happening is the girl was like sneaking candy and right, and her mom felt that this was like inappropriate behavior, that she would have candy and she needs to really buckle down and like shouldn't be eating this way because she needs to eat for performance and focus on just this. And you could clearly tell the girl was miserable, unhappy, felt like, could feel so much pressure and no longer loved the sport that she used to really love. Now it became like this chore that she didn't enjoy and so from my professional perspective, I was like hello, great to meet you, interesting story.

But I can't support us telling like I'm not going to tell your daughter to not eat candy, like I'm not going to tell her to cut these things out. I'm not going to tell her to limit herself, because if that's what her body is asking and she's now sneaking it, that's showing us a deeper issue at hand. It's not that her nutrition is out of control, it's that she can't like. She's clearly being restricted in ways that she's not wanting and her body doesn't want, and so this is how it amounts. And then mother didn't love this. She left and never saw them again. I think about that. Girl. If you ever listen to this episode, reach out to me. Let me know that you're safe.

But like, no, I just like it scares me sometimes to like have to see that and not be able to do anything about it, because, especially when they're kids, you can't you can't control the environment that they go back into. And yeah, that's the hardest part of it.

Yeah, but it's important for you to do what you did and I feel it was important for me to have the conversation I had to and not just take the money for this one on one client and push her to do something she didn't want to do, that it wouldn't work. It wouldn't work anyway. She's probably what got her because she was just not into it. It was an unsafe environment for her to train in. She didn't want to do it, she wasn't focused. I think it's.

You know, go ahead and swim, but if you don't want to be in three different clubs and doing this and doing that and training on the side and going to five am workouts and then it needs to be a real conversation at home and just like a coach, I, you know, I try to take it home and I try to listen to my daughter, even at seven years old ask questions what do you want to do? Did you enjoy this? Do you really enjoy this? Why do you enjoy it? And you listen to what they have to say and they're going to be honest because they don't know anything different yet. True.

You know, so I like asking questions and listening, like parents, coaches, friends, family. I think that's what you need to do, just to support those around you.

Oh, what a beautiful note. I love that. So, so true. I feel, like we can just keep chatting. It's like just keep beating off of each other. It's always great to have conversations with you because I feel like they always go deeper than one would think. Right, I think initially I was like, oh Rob, this guy, he owns the gym that I'm going to and I just see him around.

And then I think one day I just like unloaded my life on you and then you had such a beautiful perspective and I was like, oh man, he's been here this entire time and I'm like never really got a chance to chat with him. But like, slowly but surely, we just started having more conversations and it's really cool to see that you're in the space that you're in, because I feel like you're really great at it and I think that you're a great dad too. I love to watch it and I think it's so beautiful to be a part of your children's lives. Yeah, yeah. So if people want to continue to connect with you after today's episode, where can they find you?

Social media. It's Instagram at coach underscore Bobby E B-O-B-B-Y-E. We had a name conversation earlier about that's. That was. That was the things in my life. And then at the gym F 13 performance here in Allentown. You can email me through the website as well. It's info at F 13 performance. I'll respond to that. Stop by the gym. If you can't find me there, reach out to Shannon, she'll find me.

Yeah, and if you do email him or slide into his DMs, call him Bobbert.

He likes that yeah. Like I said, I've answered the worst.

Yeah, bobbert, for 25% off memberships Code word All right Awesome Well thanks so much for being here and, yeah, anytime you'd like to come back, we'd be so happy to have you and continue the conversation.

Yeah, thank you for having me. I really enjoyed this Thank you Thanks.

Thanks so much for listening to today's episode. If you're enjoying listening to this podcast, I have a special gift for you. If you leave a review and send me a screenshot, I will send you something personally in the mail just to show you how much I appreciate your help in helping me spread the empowerment across the world and showing other women the magic that they have within themselves, just the same way you do. Babe, if you're enjoying this episode, then I would love it if you took a screenshot and posted it on your story on Instagram and tagged me at fuel the underscore fire. Let's have a conversation about it. Let's chat about it. I love to hear your thoughts and your feedback. I'm here to support you in any way that I can. I love you guys so much and I'm excited to keep coming at you with some new guests, new information and new techniques to keep blowing your mind and making you feel invincible. Thanks for listening. Love you, bye.




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