Author

About the Author
Constantly striving to better myself physically, spiritually and emotionally, I have dedicated this blog to helping people achieve things they may have thought unimaginable. We are given only one life to live, so why not optimize yourself and make it epic? You can always grow. You can always improve. And, in the end, you can do anything that you set your mind to.

Ep. 4 Recap – Megan Kohler

So you think you can dance?  Then listen to Ep. 4 of The Optimal Life Podcast with Megan Kohler.  Megan went from high school cheerleader to college cheerleader to college dancer to NBA dancer.  A lifelong Clevelander, she knows what it takes to make it at the professional dance level.  She also knows what it takes to stay in shape so that an optimized body translates to an optimized mind.  5 A.M. workouts are not just a novelty – they are part of her everyday routine.

I want to thank Megan again for coming on the show.  She peeled back the curtain to life as an NBA dancer :: providing insight into its intense tryout process, practice schedule, and the mental focus required to handle “audibles” during live NBA games.  She also had a cool story about LeBron and Kobe.

Check her out @missmeganvk on Instagram and be inspired by her intense fitness and nutrition regimen & journey.

Ep. 4 – Megan Kohler, former NBA dancer turned fitness influencer

Megan Kohler is a former NBA dancer who is now focusing her career on sales and marketing, in addition to inspiring people through her fitness and nutrition regimen.

In this episode, we discuss Megan’s path from high school cheerleader to NBA dancer.  We talk about the personal dedication required toward achieving one’s goals and hear about the process to becoming part of one of the NBA’s elite, high pressured dance teams.  We finish with a discussion on Megan’s current fitness endeavors through use of her social media and what her aspirations are for both her short and long term futures.

Follow Megan:

IG: @missmeganvk | Twitter: @missmeganvk

Follow Nate:

IG: @nathanhaber

www.natehaber.com

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Ep. 3 Recap – Andy ‘Bull’ Barch

Thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with longtime friend, Andy ‘Bull’ Barch, as we discussed his journey in the broadcast radio industry.  The key lesson to take away from Andy is that networking is the name of the game.  Who you know is arguably the most important factor in the professional world.  The greatest talent doesn’t necessarily come with the greatest opportunities.  You have to create those opportunities by putting yourself out there and expanding your network wherever possible.  While honing your craft is essential, it is not the only factor that you must address in order to “climb the ranks.”

I look forward to Andy’s continued rise in media.  He is undoubtedly one of the best play-by-play voices in all of sports.  I have no doubt that we will see him as the voice of the [enter major pro team name here] in the years to come.

Ep. 2 Recap – Alissa Kolarik

So you think you can’t pick up running “late” in life?  Think again.  My conversation with Alissa really blew me away.  She is an outlier in the running community; never having run a single mile until in her late twenties after getting married, having two kids and taking on a full time digital marketing career!  Fast forward two-and-one-half years later and she completed her first marathon (NYC) in November 2017 in 3:23:13.  Sick!

Alissa’s story is one that proves that hard work, dedication and a “can do” mentality will allow you to accomplish whatever it is you set your mind to.  Have to be at work at 8:00 AM?  Then you get yourself to the gym at 4:00 AM.  Have kids to take care of?  Then you get yourself to the gym at 4:00 AM.  Have a husband (or wife) to spend time with?  Then you get yourself to the gym at 4:00 AM.  Have major surgeries that require you to be out of running for months on end?  Then you get your yourself to consistent rehab and force your will on your medical team to ensure that you are back at it as soon as humanly possible.  These are the types of sacrifices and actions required if you want to be elite.

Thanks again to Alissa for shedding light on her running journey and showing all of us that we, too, can achieve these miraculous feats if we simply dedicate ourselves to an ultimate goal.  I really look forward to seeing what Alissa does in 2018 and beyond (Olympics anyone?).

Ep. 3 – Andy ‘Bull’ Barch, sports radio broadcaster

Andy ‘Bull’ Barch is the play-by-play commentator for the Lake Erie Crushers, a professional baseball team out of the independent Frontier League.  He also hosts his own talk radio show, “Bull’s Eye on the Afternoon,” on AM 930 WEOL.

In this episode, we discuss Andy’s path from Bowling Green State University to where he is today, and the types of approaches required to make it in the broadcasting/media industry.  We discuss people who have played instrumental roles in Andy’s rise within the industry and end with a conversation about Andy’s current and future prospects.

Follow Andy:

IG: @bull_brasky35  |  Twitter: @theruleofbull

Follow Nate:

IG: @nathanhaber

www.natehaber.com

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Ep. 2 – Alissa Kolarik, runner who began elite running journey at 30

Alissa Kolarik is a 31-year old wife, mom and business woman who has become an elite runner in just 2-1/2 years after starting her running journey.

In this episode, we talk about Alissa’s incredible ascent to the top of the running world.  We discuss the type of workouts and dedication required to become elite, and the mindset that is needed to achieve success.  If you have excuses of why you can’t become a runner (i.e. work, school, family obligations, injuries, etc), I suggest you turn up the volume and listen to Alissa’s extraordinary story of why you can.

Follow Alissa on Instagram: @AlissaKolarik

Follow Nate on Instagram: @NathanHaber

www.natehaber.com

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Find Gratitude

All, I want to keep this post short and sweet as we head into the new year.  In 2018, I have vowed to find gratitude in life’s simple moments.

Not every day is a “walk in the park,” but every day is a gift. 

Be grateful for everything in your life that is not catastrophic.  Find joy in the little things – i.e. playing with your kids, reading a book, having a good meal, exercising, etc.  There are people in this world who won’t experience any of these moments that so many of us consider normal or even take for granted.  Therefore, I vow to be more conscious, more aware and more appreciative of life’s “tiny” blessings in 2018.

Happy New Year!

Ep. 1 Recap – Beanie Wells

Wow…what a way to launch The Optimal Life podcast!  I could not have asked for a better guest to join me as we introduce ourselves to the podcasting world.  I hope you were able to feel Beanie’s authenticity in our hour-long conversation.  He’s a remarkable man who has always kept with him a winning mentality in every facet of his life.  It was clear that he was raised by a good family; a sound support system who only wanted to see the best for him.

I was blown away by his USC recruiting story near the beginning of the episode.  Here he is, this young, 17 year old in the Hills of LA, rolling with some of USC’s elite players – its city’s biggest stars at that time.  Beanie was a senior in high school and had already committed to Coach Jim Tressel at Ohio State, and, most importantly, had already committed to his mom that he’d be going there!  But, like he said, he simply wanted to take one visit outside of Ohio to see what else was out there.  So he went to the bright lights of Hollywood, and, rather than a typical tour of the facility and maybe a quiet dinner off campus, he ended up at the Playboy Mansion surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful women.  Talk about pulling a 180 from Columbus’ Short North!  And you can imagine what happens the next day when he’s with USC Coach Pete Carroll as his mind has completely shifted away from Ohio and instead now to LA… (I will leave the rest for you to listen to as Beanie said on the show that this was the most detail he’s ever shared publicly on this event).  The power of [persuasion] recruiting!

I was really impressed with how Beanie seemed to handle the pressures and responsibilities of being THE star player at THE Ohio State University during his junior season.  He knew that temptations were always there, but that he did not want to let down the people who believed in him the most.  I also found it fascinating that he could hardly go anywhere on campus – including class – without getting hounded for pictures and autographs.  What a crazy year that must’ve been for #28.

I also thought Beanie said it best when he said many guys face an ‘identity crisis’ once their professional sports careers come to an end.  All these guys have known since they were kids was athletics.  Now you take athletics away and force them into the real world and it can be a crazy, emotional tug-of-war to find your next purpose in life.  He mentioned someone he knew who only played less than two years in the NFL but needed ten years thereafter to figure out his life.  Find what makes you happy.  Bless the fact that you were able to play in the league for even one year.  Make it a part of your journey and understand that each and every player – no matter how successful – struggles with this next phase in some shape or form.  To all former professional athletes: you are not alone.  Take time to bless the situation and then to accept the fact that this universal cycle exists.  Don’t let your best years in life be the ones you had before age 30.

Throughout our conversation, you notice that Beanie always felt that he had to prove someone right and to prove someone wrong.  “For every person who thinks you’re the best thing since sliced bread, there’s two others who think you ain’t shit.”  And that’s why this 6’3″, 230 lbs beast has always succeeded at every level.  And why he continues to succeed in life after football!  Restaurants, day care centers, a trucking company, and successful radio and TV gigs are just some of the things that consume Beanie these days.  The grind never stops.  You can never get complacent.  If you want to be the best, you must always work; always grind.  There is always someone there to take your spot the moment you begin to slip.  It’s a warrior mentality that has allowed Beanie to remain at the top.

Unfortunately too, sometimes that warrior mentality can be a hindrance if not managed properly.  Beanie admits that he came off the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list in his fourth NFL season way too early.  It was his “grind” mentality of not letting the next guy in line take his spot that forced him back onto the field prematurely.  And likely that which caused his injuries to intensify and ultimately lead to the end of his career.  It’s a subtle, underlying lesson that can be learned from :: we must maintain a balanced approach in all that we do.  We must have that warrior mentality, but we must not let that warrior ego get in the way of what is ultimately best for us as individuals.  We must hone it and make sure that we know when to push and that we know when to pause.

At all times, life is about trust.  Trusting in yourself and in your faith.  And having perseverance, yet also having patience.  And just like Beanie said as we wrapped up the show, “Not rushing the process.”  It’s this balanced warrior mindset that we should all seek to achieve.

 

Ep. 1 – Beanie Wells, former NFL running back turned entrepreneur

Chris ‘Beanie’ Wells is a former Ohio State all-American running back who went on to become a first round draft pick of the Arizona Cardinals in 2009.  After a breakout campaign in his third NFL season in which he rushed for over 1,000 yards and ten touchdowns, his following season – and ultimately career – was cut short due to injuries. 

In this episode, we talk about the path from high school to college and ultimately to the NFL.  We dig into the challenges of being a star player at a major university and the mindset required to achieve elite success.  We end with a discussion on the difficulties to transition from professional sports life to real world life, and what former players must do in order to avoid an ‘identity crisis.’  From the Playboy Mansion to Ohio State and everything else in between, you won’t want to miss this intimate conversation with Beanie Wells.

Follow Beanie:

IG: @beanie26 | Twitter: @beaniewells26

Follow Nate on Instagram: @nathanhaber

www.natehaber.com

*Please SUBSCRIBE and rate us 5 stars!*

‘Shake Out’ Runs

Hi all! Hope everyone had a kick-ass weekend. Now that my first 10K is in the books, I wanted to share briefly my post recovery workout routine this past week. I must admit, I wasn’t quite as sore as I expected come last Sunday (the day after the race). But I still needed to give my body several days off to properly recover from the 6.2 miles in 35 degrees run. So I waited until Wednesday evening to hit the gym. I decided that rather than put in a lot of miles, I would instead do some speed work – short and fast intervals – on the treadmill. I ran for a max of about 20 minutes and pushed the speed to a max of 8.4 MPH for about five minutes somewhere in between. My calves were actually still a bit sore from the race, but I hadn’t realized this until this first ‘shake out’ run.

After the treadmill I followed up with the bike for about 20 minutes, logging an additional five miles. By this time I was pretty much spent, but felt good knowing my body desperately needed this type of post race engagement in order to prevent from tightening up throughout the week.

Also, I got one more run day in yesterday (Saturday) exactly one week after the race. It included a 1.7 mile run in the 28 degree outdoor weather and then an additional 1.1 miles inside on the treadmill.

Needless to say, while my legs are still feeling somewhat of a soreness, it the type that you know leads to eventual gains. ‘Shake out’ runs must not be avoided at any cost. They are important to keep the body loose and to keep your muscles in action so that they don’t lock up.

So next time you put in some decent mileage, be sure to keep the oxygen flowing in the days following your race and keep those runs coming regularly. It’ll pay dividends in both the short and long terms.

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