What would you do with more time?
Just think about it for a minute. It’s a question we held close when we created the CAVA app, and it’s one that continues to resonate with us daily.
So let’s meet Joe Holder – an NYC-based fitness expert, master motivator, and one of five busy changemakers we posed this question to: Given a few extra minutes in your day, what would you do?
Joe’s answer? Well, it might surprise you. Keep reading to hear his story:
Joe Holder could have become a doctor. His father is a doctor, as are two of his six siblings.
He also could have become a pro athlete. After excelling at football, basketball, and track in high school, he went on to play college football with impressive success.
But after sustaining a serious injury that was set to sideline him for nearly a year, Joe came to a crossroads.
By forcing him to slow down for the first time ever (and inadvertently giving him more time), Joe’s leg injury helped him carve a path that was neither predicted nor prescribed. It helped him find strength in balance – a skill that continues to contribute to his success today.“When I injured my leg, I was devastated. But I gave myself a choice. I learned from my past mistakes – times when I used to overdo it or try to force recovery.”
“I didn’t let the injury defeat me. And I came back in a shorter period of time than anybody thought I could.”
By combining rehabilitation tactics ranging from careful stretching to strategic workouts, Joe got himself back to full health in closer to a one month – instead losing out on the rest of the season as his therapists originally predicted.And that’s when it all clicked: There was a way to combine his two passions – helping others and physical wellness.
So he put the doctor idea away – and the pro athlete one, too. And he made a brand-new path.
Joe’s resulting Ocho System philosophy goes way beyond the ideas you usually think of when you think of a personal trainer. It goes beyond simply cranking through a lifting session a few days a week, or doing infinity sit-ups in rapid succession.
The Ocho System is an encompassing, actionable, inspiring wellness approach.And it’s working – for many more people than just Joe himself. His growing roster of clients is a veritable who’s-who of NYC-based entertainers, models, and musicians.
But when you see Joe, you notice how his physique screams fitness fanatic. And when you follow him on social media, you’ll see him crushing weights and sprinting through a circuit workout in quick succession. He lives the pace of New York as aggressively with frenetic gusto.
“They say that New York is the city that never sleeps; but for the younger generation now, it’s really the city that never stops moving – and moving quickly.”
“Yoga and meditation.”
Yep, you read that right. This perpetually moving personal trainer is actually hooked on slowing down.
“I operate in extremes – I’m either always going or I’m always resting. If I had more time, I’d use it to just recover a bit more.”
When he told us this, we were reminded that there really are two Joe’s – the college athlete who pushed so hard he nearly sidelined himself for good; and the thoughtful holistic-wellness professional who now knows that way will never work.
And we realized we were talking to the new Joe. The Joe who spends the first few minutes of every morning doing a meditative breathing exercise. The Joe who treasures unencumbered time.And if Joe’s father taught him about physical wellness in his experience as a physician; his mother taught him about how to eat. Together they taught him that wellness has many layers.
“Growing up, my mom was an amazing cook. She was feeding a small army, but she still made everything from scratch.”
“The smell of sautéed kale, brown rice – all of those amazing whole foods weren’t really the norm then, but they were what I was raised on. And I kind of forgot that for a while when I was in college.”
So Joe makes time for meditation every morning. And he focuses on a plant-based diet. A diet that doesn’t rule anything out, but still celebrates fruits and vegetables for their ability to fuel his active lifestyle. One that his mom would be proud of.That doesn’t mean he doesn’t push his physical limits to new heights each and every day. But he knows there’s a bigger picture. And he’s deeply committed to making that big picture attainable.
“I’m more passionate about overall wellness and food than I am about fitness.”
“Fitness is the baseline, but I prime my clients to help them understand the whole picture a bit better. I want to help them learn how to make good choices when I’m not around. It’s no longer about me – it’s about helping them figure out how to do more with less time.”
Doing more with less time? That’s something we can all get behind.
This summer, we’re talking about turning turn time saved into time savored. Catch more of Joe’s story on YouTube, or join the conversation on Instagram. Tell us what you would do #withmoretime.