Josh found his penchant for endurance racing while stationed in Monterey Bay , California with the United States Marine Corps . What started as a regular training regimen with his fellow marines turned into a passion when they agreed to compete in their first triathlon . From there , Josh was hooked , pushing himself past his physical limit and feeding off the thrill of it all . He continued his training well after his time in the service , participating in races in the Pacific Northwest while enrolled at the University of Washington . Upon graduating in 2005 with a degree in Middle Eastern Studies , Josh relocated to Washington DC to start a career and raise his family .
Seeking deeper satisfaction in his professional life however , Josh was recruited to join Speed Sherpa as a multi-sport coach in 2015 , a club that specializes in training athletes for triathlon and endurance racing . Already a member , it was a dream job , working with athletes who shared his passion for endurance competition and physical fitness while helping them achieve their goals , but many challenges stood in his way . There was the loss of job security , as he would be leaving a position in the government , one of which he had already spent several years building a steady career . Taking a substantial pay cut and losing out on several work-related benefits was also a factor , especially if he failed . And with a growing family to support , the question remained , “ Is this a risk I can even take ?”
“ As a coach , I try to get my athletes to flip the failure mentality . Instead of having a negative outlook on a situation , I want them to say , ‘ look at the opportunity in front of me . Look at all the ways I can succeed .’” For Josh , failure is not something to be afraid of , only an indicator of one ’ s current limit . He also understands that training your mind can be just as critical as training your body , and having trained both for success , Josh , with the support of his friends and family , made the career change , and hasn ’ t looked back since .
Having that support has been the building block of success throughout Josh ’ s entire life , from training with his fellow marines for his first triathlon to leaning on family for accountability during his career transition . In return , Josh uses that support structure as the foundation for his athletes ’ success , all the while finding his own motivation along the way .
“ People don ’ t believe they can ever run a marathon . But after working with them and watching them develop over time to accomplish their goals drives me to train harder . I ’ m seeing somebody overcome something that they thought was impossible , and I think to myself , ‘ maybe I can do the same ! Maybe I can accomplish something I thought was impossible too !’”
Incremental steps are the key to keeping a positive perspective and is a crucial part of Josh ’ s training , along with setting realistic expectations for his athletes . “ Nobody expects you to run a marathon within your first month of training . It takes time to build up to that level . Start by running a 5k . Then your next race can be a 10k , and then a half marathon , all of which are amazing accomplishments ! And eventually , with enough patience and persistence , you ’ ll work your way up to the marathon .”
“ The same applies to other aspects in your life . If you want to ask somebody out , but don ’ t have the courage , work your way up to it . Start by saying hi to a stranger on the street . Once you ’ re comfortable , start a small conversation with somebody on the bus and build up your confidence , so by the time you decide to ask that person out for a date , it ’ s no longer a big deal !”
As much as Josh loves training and inspiring others , he must constantly remind himself that there are things in life much more important than endurance competition . “ Family is number one in your life , followed by your career . Without those , what ’ s the point of anything else ?” It ’ s essential for Josh to create that balance with his athletes and to stress its importance , so eventually they can achieve their goals without severing relationships in the other areas of life .
With a vast array of clients , both men and women ages 19 to 68 , Josh mends to each athlete ’ s strengths and personality to help them reach their full potential , and is always looking for new athletes to train . “ Although earlier is better , there is no bad time to start training with a coach .”
The exhilaration of completing an Ironman , the emotional reaction one gets after running their first marathon , and reflecting on one ’ s progress over the course of their training are all feelings Josh has experienced throughout the course of his racing career . With his guidance , Josh has allowed many other athletes to achieve that same experience . Watching that number grow is what continues to motivate him . It ’ s what keeps him going , day after day .
It ’ s what will inspire him run to 41 miles on his next birthday .
If you are interested in an athletic consultation , training with Josh or finding a multi-sport coach , more information is available at SpeedSherpa . com .