Ep008 - Danielle Paskewitz from Apex Fitness NW

Sehome High alumni FTW

Danielle joins me after the successful launch of her gym, Apex Fitness NW located in Bellingham, WA.  We go way back, like Fairhaven Middle School way back.  Danielle graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in marketing, but ultimately found a passion for training people with HIIT, or high intensity interval training.  

Check out Apex's Instagram story and you'll see plenty of hard working individuals.  To Danielle, the passion for fitness comes not only from looking and feeling better, but from changing people's lives for the long run.  If you can flip someone's mindset to challenge themselves and work hard week in, week out, you will notice those people becoming more adventurous and more active in other areas of life.  Danielle has seen this time and time again and uses these cases as motivation to build her business.

This passion for helping others extends beyond Apex and the gym floor.  Danielle is also involved in an organization called Girl Strong. The focus of the organization is to bring awareness to the fact that the majority of all coaches are men.  We discuss the importance of coaches in our own lives during the podcast and Danielle explains the purpose of the Girl Strong organization.  This hits home for me significantly because I have a daughter and I want her to participate in sports, but more importantly I want her to receive the positive influence only a coach can provide.  

About 20 minutes into the episode we are joined by the co-founder of Apex, Graham Gribble.  Graham is the strength training and health teacher at Sehome High School and replaced a local legend, Gary Hatch.  Anyone who has anything to do with sports in Bellingham (probably beyond) will know the name Gary Hatch.  Imagine filling those shoes. Imagine not only filling those shoes but having to come up with a new program to replace decades of what was taught before. I mean, I still am doing some of the stuff Coach Hatch taught me and I graduated from Sehome in '05.  Graham has transitioned the program at Sehome towards HIIT and has seen positive improvements in student engagement on a class-wide level.  We jokingly reminisce what life was like when it was the Bigger, Stronger, Faster program.  Not to say that you can't see results from BSF but you might not see the engagement that a HIIT system would generate.

Talking with both founders of the gym taught me a couple things about interviewing.  One, be ready to adapt to a changing environment if you bring more people into the mix.  The more people on the mic, the more opportunity there is to switch gears and leave existing conversational threads to start new ones.  Nothing wrong with that, but from an audience member's perspective, we may have moved on from a subject too quickly and missed an opportunity to communicate a complete idea.

I also learned what may have worked for a previous episode could easily not work for a subsequent episode.  This concept may come across as obvious but it didn't make sense to me until I experienced it real time.  You can draw from your past experiences to help move things along in the future, but don't expect anything to be completely fixed.  This is probably the most attractive part of the podcast for me.  Taking notes, trying to come up with a solution, implementing the solution, and restarting the whole process for each episode after the results are in.  The lessons I've learned from producing this podcast have been so incredibly valuable I'm just happy I finally got around to launching this project.

People are genuinely interested in the progress of the show.  Guests themselves show their support by making the time to record episodes with me.  I'm a demanding host.  I ask the guest to make time at 9PM because thats when the kids are asleep.  Then we record for over an hour and by 11:30PM I'm about ready to wrap things up.  Danielle and Graham have 5:30AM classes to be ready for.  Thats a huge compliment for them to make time for the podcast.

Overall the podcast is as motivating as ever.  The support from folks has been powerful and we have some exciting opportunities for guests coming up.  Stay tuned and keep an eye out on our YouTube channel as I intend to update the content there soon, hopefully.

- CM