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

Ep006 - Aaron Johnson from the Cascadian Beer Podcast

Called in another favor from a fellow Sehome Alumni

Aaron Johnson has background in radio and television broadcasting, runs his own successful podcast (with plans for more), and freelances as an audio engineer for several other podcasts.  As of now, he is completely supporting himself with his freelance audio work and continues to produce excellent content for the Cascadian Beer Podcast.  Aaron sees over 100k downloads per month from the shows he is involved in.

Aaron and I graduated from Sehome High School together in 2005 and he was the only one who left the continent post-graduation, at least immediately.  As with Danny and Mike from Ep001 & Ep004 respectively, I wanted to get Aaron on the show early because we all went to school together and this would be a great opportunity to connect.

CBP is sponsored by BC Ale Trail.  Having a sponsor for your own show is a big deal.  And while I didn't quite get to asking Aaron how that worked out, there was plenty I was able to learn from this episode.  In fact, along with Ep003, Jonathan Schmitz, this episode ranks as second most valuable to me as an audience member.  Obviously because these two particular guests are podcasters, and successful to boot.

As I reviewed this episode and prepared it for publishing, it was hard to remove anything despite a couple spots requested by Aaron himself.  Nothing major was removed.  The conversation for this episode felt different while I was recording compared to listening to it a couple weeks later. In fact, to be honest, I was worried that I wasn't going to have enough enthusiasm to keep up with Aaron, the veteran podcaster.  You can tell he has plenty of experience so I guess initially I would have been intimidated by that.  This leads to why I was a little apprehensive to get the review of this episode done.  I didn't want to hear myself.

But all that was for nothing because the episode is great and I sounded fine.  Aaron was easy to talk with and kept the podcast moving along better than I did.  And now as I reflect on why I felt the way I did, its because I remember that I was the least prepared for this episode.  Aaron was ready to record an episode the second I asked him if he wanted to be on my show.  What do you expect from a veteran podcaster though? Jonathan was similar.  I understand the itch to get the content recorded.  Once you do it really feels amazing.  Something about having that episode in the ranks, ready to be polished off and published.  Makes you feel like you're accomplishing things.  Anyways, I wasn't going to push back an opportunity to get the raw audio recorded for another episode.  If I haven't said it on the podcast, my biggest fear is not recording another episode in time to hit the "every-other-Tuesday" quota.

Things I learned: Aaron brought a ton of great stuff for the resources section.  He detailed his entire recording setup which is portable and flexible for different types of setups.  Definitely going to save up and get the recorder he is talking about but I don't know about getting the battery one.  I'm a hardwired type of person but thats just me.  Particularly he suggested the Zoom H5 Field Recorder and Shure SM58 Microphones.

Post show stuff: Aaron has been very helpful as a consultant (as every other guest has been).  He's pointed out a few things on the backend that I need to work on to legitimize my podcast.  This involves migrating the existing YouTube hosted episodes to a paid hosting service.  Aaron was kind enough to master the audio track for the episode.  He also provided the following links for other shows he is involved with.  

Check them out when you get a chance.

Aaron also provided the link to an audio book he produced called Trying To Be Good.  It features his own original music and sound design.

Enjoy the episode and get back to me regarding any feedback or suggestions!  Looking forward to putting all the resources together from all the guests thus far.  Hopefully that will help some of the audience with their projects.


- CM