The Surf Strong Show

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We welcome Troy Cole former professional soccer player and owner of E-Motion Fitness. As a fellow coach and trainer I invited Troy on to discuss how his experience as a professional athlete and coach influenced his path as he took up surfing later in life over these last few years.

Links to what we discussed in the episode

Full Episode Transcript

Greg Finch (00:00.878)
So as we kind of rolled into the straight, just start with talking to me about how surfing came into your life later in life. Like what was the spur for that? Did you see somebody doing it? Did you know somebody? How did you come into surfing?

Troy Cole (00:15.485)
Yeah, that's a really good question. Well, I live in Wilmington, North Carolina now. It's a big surfing community, uh, Wrightsville beach in particular. So even though we have little waves, there is a big community here, but I actually grew up in Southern California. So, um, I was near San Clemente and, uh, in that Laguna Hills, Laguna beach area. So growing up next to the beach, I was near the beach the whole time. And it was only recently, we'll call it the COVID years. Cause, uh, as fitness business owners, we all know what that time was.

I was looking for a new hobby and there was no better hobby to do than surfing. I had friends that did it. I was training athletes that were surfing. My physical location at our first location that we started in 2019 is 200 yards from the beach. So I feel with my professional soccer background, everything accumulated into this one moment where it's like, it's time to actually surf.

Greg Finch (01:12.243)
Nice. Now, how old were you when you moved from Southern California?

Troy Cole (01:17.053)
Yeah, good question. I was actually 21 when I did move and I'm 37 now. So there's been a lot of stuff that had happened in between, but let's just call it, uh, moving from California, uh, and going into more competitive soccer. Things that were extreme sports were a little bit out of the question until I retired playing soccer at 30 years old. So four years, four years ago, three or four years ago, that's when

I took up surfing as a hobby.

Greg Finch (01:48.654)
Did that influence also your ability to start surfing at an earlier age? You were obviously playing soccer since you were young, I would imagine. It was kind of like, nope, surfing is off the table. You have to really focus on your soccer. Risk of injury and otherwise?

Troy Cole (02:04.506)
Honestly, not really. I feel like growing up in Southern California, there was really a type of core personality. I mean, so 90s and skateboarding culture was so huge. There were skate parks everywhere. So it was kind of choosing my extreme sports. Living inland just five miles, lend itself to me. I was within two miles of really good skate parks. So I just put my time into skating while I was playing soccer.

So it was not like you couldn't do it or it's like not normal. It was very normal for people to be soccer players and surfers.

Greg Finch (02:39.778)
Nice. Yeah, it's interesting too, because taking it up, like you said, in the COVID years in North Carolina, if you were in Southern California, you couldn't surf. They closed the beaches. Where I am on the Central Coast, we were really lucky that didn't happen. We got some influx of obviously people coming from other areas and trying to get to the beach and otherwise. But yeah, my friends and clients that live in Southern California, there was that stretch where it was like, you could see them, but you couldn't get to them. And it was torture.

for them. So being in North Carolina, it's one of those things like, okay, well, they obviously didn't close the beaches during that stretch, right?

Troy Cole (03:17.609)
That's exactly it. It was one of those things where we did feel at least blessed that we could be outside. And then the gym being out indoors, we were not able to train in the gym. So we were training on the beach. So me looking at waves and it was just, it was meant to be to start something that happened.

Greg Finch (03:36.35)
Yeah, it was a natural evolution for sure. So that's interesting. You basically just took your business and your programs and being obviously close to the beach, you just said, okay, we're just going out onto the beach now. And you kept training through that whole stretch?

Troy Cole (03:50.133)
I mean, yes, absolutely. We found ways. People are desperate. It's not like these are regular people. We know what gym people are like. They're going to find a way to work out. So as long as the kettlebells were not on the sand, you were allowed to train. So you found the most clever ways to get something in. So very interesting.

Greg Finch (04:11.234)
Yeah, that was one of those, yeah, that's one of those through that stretch right there, I still had my physical studio. My business now is fully remote and training service, but during that stretch, leading into it, I had clients that were in their 70s, some of them into their 80s. And what was a terrible situation, obviously, we all struggled for so many things, so many people lost so much, but the silver lining for that,

in those clients specific for me was what they would have absolutely resisted using technology, using video. They were completely open to because it allowed them to continue to stay connected, to continue to move. When I went 100% remote, they just came along with me. I have some of these clients that I've been training for 15, 16 years that during that

happy that a lot of them live alone. So they were able to stay connected. And I've gotten so much feedback over that stretch of, like, man, I'm so glad that this happened because I don't know what I would have done. And so it's, yeah, you're right. You just have to be creative. And you had to get through that to continue to help the people that you're helping. So that's a great job. Awesome. A lot of those people.

Coming back when things opened back into the studio are probably just such great clients now, right?

Troy Cole (05:41.417)
Yeah, you almost think of the alchemist, right? It's like getting back into that gym for the first time. It never looked so clean and so pretty and no one ever complained about the music again. They're starting to again, but you know how that rolls.

Greg Finch (05:55.562)
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, people are people, but yeah, that little, it's back to the honeymoon phase right there.

Troy Cole (06:03.469)
Oh yeah, heat and air conditioning are wonderful products that people are very grateful for. Um, but yes, even during that time, it, it was so interesting, but we found ways to connect as people, as coaches, as athletes that were striving for that. So some of these platforms that we're using now, it was really cool that they did get an opportunity to, to progress. And, and we found different ways and more efficient ways. Like you were saying for a lot of people.

in a lot of areas, which I think is awesome. There's more opportunity now more than ever to find specific coaches for exactly what you're looking for.

Greg Finch (06:41.814)

Yeah, I mean that part, you're right. It is absolutely amazing where geographically you're limited in a physical studio, right? You have that limitation where if it's five miles away, that doesn't seem very far, but just the way our minds work, it's enough of a barrier. And if it gets farther than that, then the resistance goes up. But when you have it geographically untied, like I just...

A client just started with me that's in the UK. And this is exactly what he was talking about. He lives away from the ocean and he was trying to train and do some things. And he has other people that he works with as a professional team for what he's doing, but no specific for surfing. And he's like, my stretches between sessions can go weeks, if not months sometimes, just because I'm 100 miles away from the ocean. So

When I get back to it, even if I've been consistent in other things, I'm not working in those specific areas within my surfing and my surfing struggles. So to be able to help that individual and then two days later, a client starts, that's right in my town. I mean, that's just, I had to stop and just think about it and go, you know what, this is, it's incredible. Like how we're able to connect with people and help that way because of the tools that are available. It's really.

It kind of blows you away if you stop and think about it.

Troy Cole (08:13.077)
Oh yes, and just pulling the thread of surfing alone and some of those struggles that go along with it and how much different training can look during those peak months while you're surfing and how you need to tailor that. I get it now because your body is everything when it comes to surfing, even as somebody that's in the profession of physical fitness, I get the down times and I get the up times and how that changes and it's so cool.

Greg Finch (08:39.24)
Yeah, yeah.

Troy Cole (08:43.449)
that there's people like you out there that can really tailor to that. Because I get it. And working with surfers and alongside surfers, their mentality around training, it all really leads to what's going to get me more waves, you know?

Greg Finch (08:59.222)
Yeah, yeah. What's great about that, you're right. I mean, that's a cool perspective of, you know, being a professional athlete and then having trained surfers and then surfing comes into your life first person and to be able to make all those connections. And that's one of the things that I'm so fortunate about in working with surfers is you're right. Like our focus is how do I up my performance, get more waves, do it for the rest of my life. And what's beautiful about that as a coach is...

If that's taken care of in their life and it's balanced and focused, you know the other aspects of their life are also coming along for the ride, right? It's such an elevated activity that if you are recovering and your stability and your mobility are good, then you know the other aspects of their life are in sync as well. Nothing's being left behind if the surfing is going really well. And that leads me into...

kind of what I just said is bringing those pieces together. Talk about what that was like to have been a professional athlete in soccer and have that kind of level of performance and experience and then backing that up with your own expertise in movement and fitness and then putting that into your own surfing. And so a short way to ask that question is, what blew your mind when you started surfing that you struggled in?

What was that like for you?

Troy Cole (10:28.297)
I mean, starting over, right?

Troy Cole (10:33.077)
thinking about all the struggles that it got to get to the point where you get to even kick the soccer ball as competitive as college or professional. And then going right back to those same thoughts and feelings when you get on a surfboard for the first time, the third time or the fourth time or the fifth time, the first few months, it was a real kick in the ego.

thinking that you're going to pick something up fast and thinking that if you have a skating background or a snowboarding background, you're going to pick it up fast. So it was really diving into the character traits of what it takes to, I think, be an entrepreneur really, because as hard as professional soccer was, owning your own business equally, if not harder, and trying to really get into that mindset of how much grit do I really have because I know

It's that feeling of like, is this fun or is this just like this unique challenge that is net you never win? Are you always chasing that one moment where you at first it was just popping up and then it was other stuff like, Oh, looking down the line. And then now it's like, okay, wave time. Okay. Timing of waves. All right. Changing equipment. There's always these other levels that I felt like to leapfrog.

into that next base camp, if you were climbing Everest, Everest being surfing that biggest wave. Oh man, they took a lot more time than you would have thought. And you would think that you transferred well as far as fitness goes, but it did not. And it just reminded me that a lot of fitness can come into play, but you need equal amount of time in the ocean. To be.

Greg Finch (12:19.786)
Yeah, yeah, well said. It is, it's the fitness side and the experience and other movements and other sports that have similar board and rotation. Those are resources, those are assets you can bring to it, but it's by far the most difficult thing that I've done physically in my life. I've been surfing since I was 15 and I'm 49 now, and there'll be days where you'll go out

Like on Sunday, it wasn't big, it was like chest high, and I was just surfing really well. Things were just lining up and it just felt good. I got a lot of waves. Sometimes it feels like there's this idea of really being in sync with the ocean where stuff does come towards you when you're really in that place and present. And then the next day you can go out and paddle and be like, you've never surfed before.

It can feel that extreme. It's not quite that extreme, but it feels that way. You're like, what is off? And I found a lot of times, probably 90% of the time when that happens and I'm just out of sync, I'll stop and I'll think back to the last few waves in that session and I'll be like, you were thinking about something else. You were somewhere else. You were thinking about the things you had to do or anytime presence gets taken away, all of that starts to break down.

And I think for myself, that's one of the main reasons why I keep coming back to surfing. And I'll do everything I can to keep it in my life for the rest of my life because of that idea. Like you have got to be right there. You cannot do anything or think about anything else because it just falls apart. And having that forced presence and then the additional part of

instantly realizing that this is much larger than you. And back to that ego idea, that humbling part, you put those two things together and you're like, everything is just better after surfing. And that's really the reason for it. Waves are a bonus. Certainly we love the feeling of being on waves and all of that comes with it, but it's really just getting in the ocean and having those two things happen. Presence and realizing you're not as important as you think you are.

Troy Cole (14:43.989)
That's such a good.

Greg Finch (14:44.17)
And it's just having that in your life is so great. And you hope for like everybody you work with, surfer or otherwise, right? That's like kind of that area you wish you hope everybody has, wherever they can find it.

Troy Cole (14:56.985)
Yes, I couldn't agree more. Helping people find that, so that, I like to call it that, so that. So that surfing becomes present. It's not present if you have a little niggle in your shoulder or there's something going on in your back or the session feels longer than it should. That makes you grateful when you have done the work and you feel like, oh, my shoulders are feeling good today. My hips are feeling good. I've focused on recovery.

Greg Finch (15:04.094)

Troy Cole (15:27.169)
even if it's not the best day, feeling good in the ocean, it is like this benchmark of what you were talking about. Those moments that you have, where you, nature, your body, all present at the same time, to click into place, it's not even the wave, that's the bonus, that's a good little nugget right there. But going back into, everybody can find that version of surfing, and I think.

for a lot of people that could be as simple as when I talk to parents of kids is when their kids are starting to get to that age where they're running and they're jumping and they're moving all around and that parent has that one thought. Sometimes it's a negative one like I don't know if I can keep up or I don't know if I can change levels. But when you hear them their feedback of they have done the work in the gym even if it's a few days a week, hour sessions long like I noticed that

Greg Finch (16:12.382)

Troy Cole (16:23.717)
squat mobility that coach has been telling me is really paying off in my parenting. As silly as that sounds, I see the translation.

Greg Finch (16:29.43)
Yeah. No. Yeah. No, it's profound though. It really is. It's the same idea of something larger than yourself. And also, as much as we seek presence or should work to seek presence, being here, connecting the presence, whether it's in your movement or ability to get on the floor and play with your kids, and then projecting that out to grandkids, you know, pushing to healthy into our 90s, great grandkids.

that ability to see that connection to what you are or aren't doing in the present, that's difficult to do. But it's so important, you're right. It's being able to prioritize the things that are going to give you that quality of life that you're seeking. And that's hard sometimes, it's either complicated or we're not quite sure.

or the disconnect between cause and effect, right? Like I'm really uncomfortable doing the extra 20 burpees that Troy's asking me to do and connecting that to my grandkids that might come 25 years from now, right? That's not really the way the human brain works, but the more we get that repetition and the more we start to see that applied in our day-to-day movement and what that means for quality of life.

That's our jobs, right? It's our jobs. So for me, it's a little easier of a path because the surfers I work with, the core ones that are like kind of, what I always wanna be working with is that surfer that is starting to see their surfing really drop because they have mortgages now, they have kids, they have all of this time commitment that is coming out of their week and

And then they go to surf and they're seeing their performance just drop. And it's like getting them moving out of the water to make sure they keep that in their life. Like I said before, if their surfing is going well, all those other things underneath it, the ability to play with their kids, stay healthy, stay up with them. The idea of surfing with their daughter when she gets to be the age that she can do that. Like those ideas come along for the ride. And so you have a little bit more difficult of a path that

Greg Finch (18:51.402)
If they don't have that one thing that internally motivates them, you have to try to really bridge that gap to that connection to like, this is for your kids, your health is for your kids. And sometimes it's hard to keep that connection.

Troy Cole (19:07.601)
Yeah. And I mean, that's our challenge as coaches, right. Is to try to connect more meaning because we found it in our own lives, which is really cool because you and I can talk hours on end on how important it is that we're waking up and doing the things that we need to do for our hips and lower back and this and that, and the sleep that we're doing, the mindset, the breathing techniques. Uh, we see it applied so easily, but helping people connect the application to them starting or ending their

training session with conscious breath and how that is going to apply. But even though they might be over here, our goal is to, you know, get somebody to trust you enough to be like, no, like I believe in me, like do this stuff consistently, let this training be the consistency for three, six months. And man, you're, you will, you will change the way you surf, especially if you haven't done it. If I feel like somebody, when I see surfers that they haven't done

Greg Finch (20:02.143)

Troy Cole (20:05.193)
just strength training, the ability to produce and absorb force, they're like, oh my gosh, this is a game changer because they're already surfing at a high level or their mobility specific, the surfing is really, really good. But when you start to pull them away from surfing specific mobility, they add these things that they aren't actually doing. It's pretty incredible and powerful. And that's when you start to trust yourself as a coach too, more and more is like.

If we can just get these people to buy in on simple concepts done consistently well, you're in a good spot.

Greg Finch (20:41.13)
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. That's my experience so often that what happens a lot is, so surfers that have surfed most of their life, right? Again, it's such a high level activity that it's kind of kept them in the place that they need to be, at least at a baseline, to be able to be healthy and have movement. But a lot of times, that's all they've done.

is just surf. And so you're right, in those areas within surfing, they stay baseline solid, but they're not doing anything out of the water. And again, it goes back to that client that starts to have kids and starts to have a mortgage, and then suddenly they're surfing 50% less than they used to, yet not doing anything out of the water. It really is, as corny as it sounds, it really is a game changer.

When I can get in front of them and say, okay, your movement, your breath, and your mobility out of the water, give me 15 minutes every day. That's all I'm asking for right now. Is it everything that you need to do to be well balanced and really raise your performance in surfing? No, but for the next six weeks, if you give me 15 minutes, I'm gonna...

Absolutely change the way you feel about your surfing and your movement in your life Just because they've never done anything out of the water and we start adding these little baseline things that you just said done consistently and Effectively doesn't overwhelm their schedule. It doesn't overwhelm their attention They start bringing that and bridging it to their surfing or any other movement for an individual and you're right

Like the light bulb just goes off and you're like, just give me that time, commit that to yourself, invest in yourself and you're going to change your path. I guarantee that if you put the work in. That's such a, I mean that's what keeps us coming back as coaches, right, is to have that experience with somebody like, this is going to change your life.

Troy Cole (22:51.345)
Oh, for sure. I know. And I mean, and you are seeing it, right? Like the, the amount of durability and I don't know how well you follow the WSL and, and the surfing, but the durability that is needed, even for the highest level surfers, they are going to need to protect that asset and you see it, like what they're like, what are you doing the off season, like surgery, you know, um, not to bring it back down, but it, it's, it's an expensive.

mistake if you're a high level surfer and if you want to make sure you're staying in the game a lot and your ability to Absorb produce force and if extra range of motion takes you 15 minutes a day, but gives you 20 more years on your career It's a question of insurance policy plus something you can enjoy and just add to your level and you're seeing it at the highest level There's a pregame routine. There's a reflection routine

Greg Finch (23:38.806)

Greg Finch (23:47.574)

Troy Cole (23:50.165)
There's a recovery aspect that is so huge amongst surfers. I see the cold plunge in the sauna. And I'm thinking like, you're kind of majoring in the minors because what have you done the three months leading up to that surf comp, you know?

Greg Finch (23:55.938)

Greg Finch (24:03.586)
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And that's really, that's some of the first questions I always ask somebody when I get in front of them or they're asking me about, you know, what can they do to improve? It's like, well, what's your pre-surf routine and what's your post-session recovery? Start with that right now. And obviously often it's, well, it could be better. And you know, it's like, so you always start from there because you're moving into, again, this high level activity.

You're right, there's a ton of force. There's a ton of, it's multi-planar. You know, they might not know the terms, so you keep it on a level to communicate, but it's like, there's all these circles moving. Like, what are you doing to get your body ready to handle all of this multi-planar work, force coming from different areas? You need to absorb that, you need to utilize that energy. Like, what are you doing to prepare for that? Well...

I do a little of this, you know, a little of that. It's like, okay, well, that's the first thing we start with. It's like, here is a very focused, it's not about being perfect, and it's not about what's ideal. That'll get that a lot. Well, what would be ideal? Like, well, ideal is going back to the professional surfer idea. That's a professional that has time, attention, and funds to treat it as it is a full-time job. You, on the other hand, me, we have

an allocated amount of time. What's realistic for us to do consistently. So I'm gonna help you build this five minutes before you're surfing, and here's five to 10 minutes after you're surfing. And again, for six weeks, don't make it a non-argument habit. You have to do these two things every time you go surfing. If you start with that, we can expand to get closer to your ideal. It always comes back to it. We both know this.

Consistent and consistency is just, I always circle back around. The questions I get are like, well, tell me what I should be doing, or tell me what's the perfect deadlift form, all those things are important, but only after this baseline aspect of it. If you don't have this consistent, for us it's alignment, breath, mobility, stability, strength. If you don't have that circle and are touching those points consistently,

Greg Finch (26:29.238)
Don't get into the weeds. Don't distract yourself from this. Come back to the basics first.

Troy Cole (26:35.505)
Man, that's, speaking of, I think any conversation you have with anybody kind of always leads to that moment. But what I also like about that too, is not asking a lot out of people. The habit is stacked before and after. And I think that internally they want to do that, but don't understand maybe the, how important aligning those things are and how much of a, I just call it a PED, that's a performance enhancer drug right there. You know what I mean? Like you're a better, enhancing.

Greg Finch (27:02.229)

Troy Cole (27:05.777)
your brain with your breath, you're aligning your body with simple movements. You're getting that blood flow and that aerobic capacity to be turned on before a session. Um, that's what I also can relate to my professional soccer career is like the amount that you can get done in five to six minutes before a game that can change the outcome of your career and the, uh, the difference between winning and losing is huge. And I'm not saying that people do need to take that seriousness of their surfing.

But feeling good right away when you get in the ocean, doing five minutes routine, and then right after to book market to start the recovery process, is not, even if you're a beginner surfer, you can get so much out of just that.

Greg Finch (27:52.322)
Yeah, absolutely. I totally agree. And it's, it's difficult. It's difficult because even the, the beginner surfer, they don't have their habits in their routine started yet. So there's some difficulty there. It's also an opportunity because the surfer that's been surfing since their whole life, they have their routine like, Oh, I do this and I go, but when I go, and it's like, so to get them to, like you said, habits stack on that, it's, it's always the focus.

And it's, again, it's an opportunity, but it's where you have to really focus into. And they wanna go, well, let's just start talking about the breath protocols that you have developed that you talked about before. And I'm like, yeah, we'll get there. Trust me, they'll be amazing, and they're difficult, and they're gonna help you so much. But first, it's this. And they go, okay, all right, all right. And that's kind of like our job as a coach. Enough of the carrot out there, the stuff that you're,

is shiny and exciting, it's there and we're going to introduce you to that. But this non-sexy thing that we're going to do every day about this, this is what's going to really keep you where you need to be. And it's going to get you to go where you want to. And it's hard. You just got to circle back around. Here we go. You know.

Troy Cole (29:14.201)
I know, I wish it weren't like that, right? It'd be nice if it was shinier than, wait, I've already heard this before. But ultimately there's a reason that it's said, and coming back to those basics. But that's what the coaches for too, is a lot of times keep you accountable and remind you not to get ahead of yourself, and to slow it down and realize where you are at. I love that, I love that about coaching.


Greg Finch (29:45.504)
Yeah, and to be able to focus on where we're at right now and get the information that you're wanting. I just had this with the client yesterday, the check-in call where he was asking very specific questions about the things that he was doing. And those are important and everything. And he was talking to me, well, because my program, my program, my program, he just kept talking about what he was doing in his program. He said, all right.

These are great questions and we're gonna cover them. But I want you to stop for a second. The words that you're using right now are this huge disconnect between your quote unquote, your program and your life. And what I want to really reiterate to you and reinforce is these are one and the same. So your program is your training ground for your life. And your life is information to pull back into your program. They're seamless.

The more in tune you are in your program about how you're feeling about a certain stimulus or movement, the more you can apply that in your movement and be aware of it in your life without being overwhelmed all the time and then take that information and pull it back into us coaching and client collaboration and influencing on your program. This is the secret weapon. The more you connect those. And he was like, oh,

I hadn't really thought about that way. And I was like, okay, well, that's my job to always remind us, like connect these two. They're one in the same. This is just your training ground for your life. And whether it be your surfing life or your movement, just be in tune with your body and get as much information back from it as possible.

Troy Cole (31:28.137)
That's really cool too. I love that idea of that feedback. And how many times did I, when I was starting surfing, probably want to overcomplicate the process, but going back to what would I say as a coach, get in the water. And what would I say as an athlete that spends a lot of time in the water is just starting this movement journey. It's just, just stay on the journey of doing the movements. Don't get too detailed. You will get there eventually because that is it.

It's just showing up even, I mean, you think 12 weeks time, I don't know about you. We've probably been training consistently for 15 years. I'm still trying to perfect the perfect form on all these movements. And I'm trying to connect to exactly what muscle and exactly what exercise I should use. But you never really get there and it is tough and it is good to connect it back to like, you just showing up and you...

understanding that you're starting something new is what it's all about and uh taking it one step at a time um in that you know and that's

Greg Finch (32:33.6)
Yeah, yeah.

that I have, yeah.

Greg Finch (32:42.37)
Sorry, I didn't want to keep talking over you. I'll edit that part out. Yeah, no, so.

Troy Cole (32:43.689)
Oh, no, I love that idea. And your life is your program, and your program is your life, and if you were to just start a new program, well, let's, you know, how patient are you? Because, you know, I'm gonna take that.

Greg Finch (32:59.274)
Yeah. I have a client that I've been training for a number of years and we work through all this very active his whole life. He's in his seventies, very active his whole life and had never really trained specifically for his surfing, although he had served for decades. He was very active on his mountain bike and other stuff we're doing. He also had never got any formal training on some real base movements. So we started going through some of the foundational things.

He started, he's really consistent. Just as a, he's like perfect for a coach. He's like, perfect. You're like, you tell them, okay, these are the things I want you to work on. Then I check in with him two weeks later and I've been tracking all the stuff he's doing, you know, within our app and our program. And like, he hits everything. And then we get back together and he's got like bullet points that he wants to cover. He's like, perfect for a coach. You're like, great, go work on this. And then it's like, yeah, it's ideal. Yeah. And then we, yeah, so great.

Troy Cole (33:48.149)
Thank you. I need to share my knowledge. Yeah. That's the best way to act like that.

Greg Finch (33:57.022)
And then we, now we're at this point where he does this program consistently, I track the things that he's doing and all we work on is deadlift. We just work, and it's, you're right, it's just like peeling an onion. Like you're just peeling an onion more and more and you're getting information constantly. Every time I do it, it's something new or a different thing or influence the way I slept last night or all of these. And it's just keeps you focused on connecting to that.

And then that is a great trickle down to all the other things like for instance, this client, all the other things he does. So all we do is that. Is that everything you need to do? Of course not. But when you're doing the other stuff, it's this way to focus into what's the feedback biodynamically and the movement in this really, what is perceived as a simple motion of this hip hinge motion. And we know, and anybody that starts getting into deadlift form and understanding is like, it is...

simply difficult form. You're just like, you're constantly relearning it. And that's great. I mean, this is our brains as coaches. We're like, this is great. I love this stuff.

Troy Cole (35:02.525)
know, but like you said, it takes some time to get there. That's why it's so, it's crazy that you always have to start with consistency and adherence and then once they, once you've proven the ground that you can train three days a week, 52 weeks a year, well, now we can start diving in, but it's that whole big rocks theory, right? Get granular later, hit those big rocks.

Greg Finch (35:26.323)
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So hey, let's talk a little bit about what's the culture of emotion fitness that you've really worked to collaborate. You and your wife have obviously built this business, it's grown, we talked about going through COVID a little bit. Just tell me a little bit about the culture of your business that you guys really focus to keep at the center.

Troy Cole (35:48.465)
What comes to mind is community, which is really cool because you actually have a place here and we have a family here that we've built over the last seven years and it's just fitness, family and fun. We just have a culture that we train safely, we get results and that's going to be individualized for each and every person and we have fun and we try to do it in that order. So.

The easiest way to put of what we do is, is that in those three big rocks, but on a more granular level, we have yoga, Pilates, bar, fitness classes, and what we call the studio side. And then on the fitness side, we do semi-private personal training and group training. And those trainings on this side maybe look more like stuff that you might do where you program in.

general programs and then specifically individualize in their own manner. So we train movement and by training movement, we have a two facilities. We have a facility like we're saying 200 yards from the beach, which is really, really cool, but expensive real estate, 872 score through the phone is what I like to call that place. So that's our personal training studio that grew and grew and grew until we were able to collaborate. My wife and I, her being in the yoga.

Greg Finch (37:07.158)

Troy Cole (37:16.281)
side of things since she was 21, she's 33 now. And we've been able to connect those two. We just have a door in between two studios, which is really cool. So we get to train Pilates and yoga, mobility specific classes. So we have this really cool feeling where it's like low key yoga in the sense of not dogmatic. And I don't mean that in any way. I love some straight up yoga breath work. Give me that all day.

Greg Finch (37:25.69)
Oh yeah.

Troy Cole (37:45.513)
But what we tend to see is we are in a Westernized culture. So bringing some nice, loud music and some hot heat panels to help people feel motivated to come is a really good idea. So we do a lot of hot classes with infrared heat panels. And we've just grown such a team and a community of people that were once athletes that are now coaches. And it's that perfect thing where the...

the athlete is then the coach that coaches another athlete and it's this organic growth to where, man, we're just having fun all the time and we're getting to watch people progress in their own ways and then you have that accountability and support that you need every single day. And Wilmington really being a small town, that small town meaning people are gonna pop in anytime. Like we got a coach popping in the back door right now. So I don't know if that gives you a good vibe on what we got going on at Emotion, but.

That was off the top of my head.

Greg Finch (38:44.778)
Yeah, no, that's great. And it's one of those things that people are just, they're really seeking so much. Obviously COVID shined a really bright light on it, but it was happening before that. And I think post this, I've seen this a lot is, even though my business is fully remote, like community is the aspect of it, whether it's tools or the mechanism in which I do things is to connect people. So my whole focus is,

to keep surfers surfing for the rest of their life. That's our objective, right? That's our mission. But how you do that is yes, in movement, breadth and mobility, it's also community and connection between other surfers. So how we seek that so much. So like the business that you've built in Emotion, having that at its center, it's what people will come back for. They're not gonna come back for perfect deadlift form, right?

That's us as our coaching mind that we are like, if I do this, but community and that connection, we all know people in our lives, we've probably been it now currently or in the past where fitness motivates us, right? We do that. People will come to me and they'll say, oh, you must just love working out. And I'm like, are you kidding me? No, I love to surf though. I will do this to keep surfing. So,

For that connection is clear, but like for you in emotion, that community is what keeps people coming back. They might not love the movement and the fitness, they love what it does for them, and they love the feeling of it, but coming back and connecting to that community brings us back and pushes us back into that consistency. Again, that's our place. How do we use these tools? How do we create this feeling and space?

to have people coming back for more so they get the consistency and we get to help keep coaching them and pushing them forward into their goals. So that's great. You guys should be really proud of what you built there and an asset for the community. That's really what it is, a place to connect.

Troy Cole (40:56.277)
That's, couldn't have said it better myself. I mean, we even, we don't even call our front desk, front desk people, we just call them connectors because they're there to greet you when you're in the door and they're there to connect. And that's what it is all about is that connection. So I love that you mentioned that. And I definitely feel that in the surfing community, that's what connected us in a lot of senses. So that's really cool to tie it all in.

Greg Finch (41:21.687)
Thanks Troy, I really appreciate you taking the time to be on the Surf Strong Show and best of luck to you in North Carolina, best of luck on your surfing path, keep at it and thanks again for coming on.

Troy Cole (41:33.137)
Dude, I appreciate it. We'll be in touch. I'll have to let you know if I need any help here.

Greg Finch (41:38.034)
Yeah, cool. So, all right, so I'm going to stop recording now. So just stay in studio with me for a second. And then.

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