Laird Hamilton InterviewJul 18, 2022
Many summers ago I was traveling a ton to mastermind meetings with some of the top fitness professionals in the world.
These trips kept me accountable to teaching the most cutting-edge training, nutrition, recovery, and mindset strategies to our awesome clients.
Lately we've been doing virtual masterminds so we can continue to collaborate and learn... it's way more efficient and no travel required.
I thought I'd share a story with you from a memorable mastermind weekend in Southern California.
It's just further proof that what we're doing at Arangio Athletic Fitness is unique, special, and very effective.
It can save you from man-eating sharks too.
Laird Hamilton Interview
So I'm at a private dinner at a beautiful home nestled in a very hilly neighborhood.
It's a good thing that it doesn't snow in these parts.
I'm chatting about surfer-specific strength-and-conditioning programs with a fellow fitness professional, Coach Steve, who is based out of Laguna Beach, CA.
I know a bit on this subject thanks to work I did with Laird Hamilton, the famous big-wave surfer.
Laird does a serious amount of training to prepare his body and mind for the rigors of surfing 50+ foot waves.
Yes, 50-foot-tall waves.
Funny thing is his workout philosophy mirrors what I've been teaching for 25+ years.
Hamilton, built more like an NFL linebacker than a surfer, does a lot of his endurance training on a stand-up paddle board (basically a super-long surfboard and a canoe-like paddle).
It's an amazing total-body conditioning workout, plus it requires serious levels of balance and stability.
His typical workout includes lifting stones and running underwater across the bottom of a deep pool, just to make sure he can hold his breath for a few minutes.
You can read the full Laird Hamilton Interview right here.
Coach Steve invites (challenges) me to try stand-up paddle boarding with him.
"Should be a piece of cake for you, Joe... since you already train like Laird Hamilton," he says with a smirk.
I ask him if there are sharks where we're going.
"Yes," he says with a blank stare.
I find myself daydreaming about a shadowy two-ton beast, with a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth, lurking under my paddleboard. I reluctantly agree to the challenge.
So the next day I drive to beautiful Laguna Beach, rent a stand-up paddle board, and slather on the sun block.
Standing on the sandy shore of the inlet, Coach Steve (a man of few words) gives me the following instructions:
Coach Steve: "You ever do stand-up paddle-boarding?"
Coach Steve (still expressionless): "Just stand up and paddle. And try not to fall into these sharky waters."
Me: "Okay great, thanks."
He hops into the ocean, kneels on the board, and takes a few smooth paddle strokes to push away from the shoreline.
Then he does one of the surfer-popups that we do at Arangio Athletic Fitness (virtually and in-person) and starts paddling furiously towards deep water, like it's a race.
I reluctantly follow him... glad I did all of those balance-board isometric squats to prepare me for this.
I had a flashback to 6th-grade Boy Scouts, paddling a canoe on some lake in the Poconos.
I think the most dangerous thing in that lake was a salamander.
Long story short, it was awesome.
We spent about an hour paddling (tailwind thank goodness) through the inlet to get us into deeper water.
Huge sailboats pass by and little seal faces bob up around me.
I recall reading somewhere that great white sharks eat these cute seals.
The waves are starting to pick up as we paddle around a pier and into a harbor... more seals.
I can see wide-open Pacific Ocean in the distance.
It turned really choppy and Coach Steve fell in a few times--but got back on his board really, really fast.
(Perhaps he was thinking about the toothy creatures that were surely prowling below.)
I fell in exactly zero times.
I credit diligent Arangio Athletic Fitness workouts and the theme from "Jaws," which was playing on a continuous loop in my head.
No joke, a 25-foot Coast Guard boat rolls up next to Steve to make sure we're okay.
I'm fine but Steve has fallen in again, as the waves are growing in size.
A Coast Guardsman removes his aviators and gives a look like, "you guys are idiots."
And then they speed away.
I don't want to press my luck, so I make a U-turn and start heading back into the inlet.
Coach Steve follows as a serious headwind kicks in, which makes the paddling twice as hard.
Mind you we've been paddling continuously for about two hours by now.
More seals pop their heads out of the glistening water and I get my second wind.
Thank goodness, because for the next 90 minutes I paddle as hard and as fast as I can.
At this point my focus is no longer on the beautiful scenery, but simply on making it back to the weathered beach hut that rented us the paddle boards.
We indeed made it back safely.
All told, we paddled our faces off for three-and-a-half hours straight, with a short rest to convince the Coast Guard we wouldn't drown or be eaten by sharks.
Needless to say, Coach Steve listened intently as I explained my training philosophy and methodologies over lunch at some fancy sushi place.
I thought I deserved a pizza after all of that work, but in California they do uncooked eel wrapped in rice and seaweed... when in Rome.
So what's the moral of the story?
Two things actually:
1. Every day that you settle for doing only what you’re comfortable doing... well, you’re choosing to delay reaching for those things you’re actually capable of doing.
2. We have a very special thing going on at Arangio Athletic Fitness.
Our system is science-based and it simply works.
It also prepares you for just about any random physical or mental challenge that life throws in your path:
- Yard work in the sun
- A long bike ride with your family
- A three-and-a-half hour stand-up paddle board excursion with toothy creatures lurking below
Candidly I train to manage stress.
It's also nice to be lean, strong, and athletic too.
If you want to build your body to handle the rigors of surfing, check out this 4-Week Surf-Ready Training Plan.
But you don't need to ride 50-foot waves to enjoy the benefits of a few basic habit upgrades.
One of the simplest things that you can do to improve your results is to add a weekly accountability check-in with a coach.
I’ve watched so many of my clients do this and increase their success rates almost instantly.
But I know that there are a lot of over-40 folks that struggle to add this to their weekly to-do list.
And it's all because you make it too complicated and over think things.
Now I occasionally overthink and overcomplicate things too.
I admit it's a struggle.
But creating an accountability habit is super easy and will take less time than you think.
You’re probably already doing some of it already.
The easiest way to add accountability is to start by just responding to my daily email lesson and checking in with me.
Here are some examples of check-in texts:
"Coach Joe I drank 150 ounces of water today."
"Coach Joe I exercised four times this week."
"Coach Joe this was my breakfast today..."
Most people struggle to achieve their goals because of a lack of accountability.
You're more likely to stay on track if you check in with me... at least weekly.
And even if you do fall off track, you’ll know about it much earlier and I'll be able to help you get back to good habits.
So if you want to add a proven accountability system, tell me more about your goals here.
Start with the basics, and see how successful you become.
- Coach Joe
Joseph Arangio helps 40+ men and women get leaner, stronger, and happier. He's delivered over 100,000 transformation programs to satisfied clients around the globe. If you want to lose weight from home, with the best online personal trainer, or you want to visit the best personal trainer in the Lehigh Valley, you can take a free 14-day trial.