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The Balance Blog

Andy Babkes - Fitness Expert Zen Hustlers Profile

Age: 30 something

Company: Optimized Fit

Title: Owner

HQ City: Oakland, CA

Website: optimizedfit.com

Top Social:  Optimized_Andy +  Youtube videos  + Facebook

Top #tags: #optimizedfit + #optimized_andy



Where is your favorite place to visit in the world and why? 

I’ve only traveled to a few places, such a Europe, Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia, but out of the bunch I really enjoyed my stay in Thailand. I traveled all over their beautiful country and loved getting to partake with the local culture, food, and laid-back approach to life the Thai people seem to embody. Something I try to do whenever I travel to a foreign country is learning a new skill. When I was visiting Thailand, I spent a week studying Thai massage in Chiang Mai. What a treat! Although I wish I stayed longer, spending that week in the study allowed me to interact with the locals on the deeper level and of course allowed me to get lots of free massages. :) 

How does your work fulfill you, your purpose in life?

 It does very much indeed! I love the openness and the explorative aspects of being a health coach. In the 6+ years of being a professional health coach, it continues to evolve and change as I learn how to serve my clients more deeply.


What are you reading right now?

 Not too long ago I become certified as Life Coach with a focus using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP). With all that said, I’ve been reading a lot of books. The one that I am currently reading is called Heart of the Mind: Engaging Your Inner Power to Change With NLP Neuro-Linguistic Programming by Connirae and Steve Andreas. The book came out in the late 80’s and yet everything that is discussed in the book is applicable for today.
Highly recommend it for anyone who is a self-help junkie.

 What are you watching? 

I love watching stand up specials. Currently watching the Theo Von comedy Netflix special.


When most relaxed?

In the mornings upon waking up or after a meditation session. I feel like those are the moments my mind is clear and I’m ready to take on my day!


When are you most in flow, productive, energized?

Whenever I get into a groove working on a project and lifting weights.

Do you meditate or practice mindfulness? If so, how?

I’ve been into meditation for over 15 years now. By far the most impactful habit I’ve ever implemented in my life. I’ve often struggled with anxiety and my continual meditation practice has been such an important tool with mood regulation.


Who taught you how to hustle?

Myself. My passions and modifications to do better is my fire. What keeps me moving forward is my curiosity to do better. This applies to my professional and personal life.


What keeps you up at night (troubles you)?

My thoughts can keep me up from time to time. This isn’t a bad thing. I often come up with new insights and strategies while thinking in bed.


How do you exercise?

Part of the work I do is in Personal Training using the approach called High-Intensity Training (HIT). This is basically a unique approach to weight training that is safer and more time efficient. I’ve been training using this method for over 10 years now. In addition, I love practicing yoga, but I haven’t been as consistent with my yoga practice.


What communities inspire you?

I’m a big fan of the organization Planting Justice. There work is the empower economically challenged communities with better food systems, nutrition, and urban garden education.


Are you more Hustle or more Zen, lately?

I’d have to say more hustle, but working for myself has allowed me to be kinder to myself and cultivate the “zen” too!


What would you do if you did not do your existing work/business?

No clue, as I am doing what I love!


How do you define a good work/life balance, and how important do you think it is?

This is a hard question because I feel like my personal and professional life is one in the same. Before I was a health coach professionally I would pretty much be doing all the same stuff I am doing now… I just wasn’t getting paid for it. So for me, it’s a blessing to be able to get to play with my passions and make a living doing it as well.

What’s some advice you would give to new or struggling entrepreneurs/hustlers that seem out of balance?

Take some time each week to just play or to be bored. We’re so programmed in our culture to be constantly doing something and if not, we feel guilty.
It’s so important to have “chill time” and just be.


What advice would you tell your younger self?

Stop stressing over the small things, dude! Just start working at it and it’ll all turn out fine!


What is one issue you are out to change in the world?

Help people integrate more into their body and soul and try to not take life so seriously.   

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