Special Announcement: Nature of Wellness Podcast

So I did a thing. 

I started a second company focused on nature and how it impacts health and wellness. The first episode of the podcast launched this past Friday. 

I’ll still be doing performance and wellness consulting with professional athletes, the military/government, entertainers, CEOs, healthcare organizations, etc. I’ll still be available for keynotes, workshops, and other speaking engagements. 

This direction is too important for me not to dive into. Nature and wellness have always been two of my passions. I have to say, I’ve been blessed to do some amazing things in my career (won a World Series, led programs for the Army, for the DoD, etc), but this one has me a special kind of excited. 

The amount and caliber of guests that we already have lined up is humbling and a bit overwhelming. I can not wait to share it with you all. 

The first two episodes are getting to know a bit about myself and my cohost Steve Otero. 

In the past two days of streaming, the Nature of Wellness Podcast has been downloaded in over 35 states and in seven countries. This only further validates the need and hunger for this type of information. We have received many photos and videos of listeners “connecting with nature” while listening. It has been nothing short of awesome. 

WELCOME to The Nature of Wellness Podcast. 

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. Let’s have some fun.

A few answers to the most common questions I’ve been asked through text, email and DMs:

  • as of now we are aiming to release a new episode every two weeks.
  • we will have a diverse range of expert guests throughout the fields of nature and wellness/healthcare. Bottom line, whoever you need to hear it from to have the most impact…we want you to have access to them. Since nature and wellness are for ALL of us, we want everyone to be represented. 
  • we have a dedicated Instagram page @natureofwellness that will have consistent updates about the podcast and much more. I’ll also be updating some here and will let you know as more ways to connect become available 

If you have listened, we want to thank you. If you have yet to listen, we want to encourage you.

The Nature of Wellness Podcast can be found at the link below and is streaming on Apple podcasts, Spotify, iHeart Radio, and Google Podcasts so far. Feel free to like, subscribe/follow, and leave reviews. 


Steve and I want to sincerely thank you all. We truly believe  that “The future of health is NOW.”

Be Well and Get Outside.

Mental Mechanics: The Impact of Nature

Few things influence
our quality of life like
walking with nature

I was having my morning coffee outside, doing a bit of writing like always, and started really thinking about the wooded environment around me. I have been in love with the natural world my entire life. I felt compelled to create a simple haiku and post today, explaining a few of the ways nature impacts us. Few things have been proven to positively impact all dimensions of our wellness, like nature. 

A few of the many benefits are:

  • Time in nature has been shown to increase our cognitive function, memory, and overall brain function. 
  • Just 20 minutes in nature improves our ability to concentrate and has shown to reduce the need for ADHD and ADD medications in children.
  • Visits to local parks (20-30 minutes) can improve heart health and circulation, while lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • Consistent exposure to nature has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, while promoting a sense of elevated moods, joy and fulfillment.
  • Short bouts of time in nature have been shown to lower stress hormones, which are the cause of many modern health challenges in our society. 
  • Increased well-being should be a top priority for yourself and those you love. Nature is a simple, inexpensive and proven way to easily make improvements. 

Today, take a look at your relationship with nature. Are you allowing yourself a chance to truly connect with this powerful force? Whether it is a local green space or exploring a state or national forest,  you will experience many benefits by simply stepping outside. How do you benefit from the natural world? I’d love to hear from you in the comments

Mental Mechanics: Bending, Not Breaking

The key to success
Is adaptability
Bending not breaking

–       mark

I’ll keep this brief again today.

I have been blessed to work with some of the greatest performers in the world: 

These individuals represent multiple fields, ranging from professional sports and entertainment to governments around the world, and even entertainment and the military. 

I have never focused solely on performances in their fields. I focus on performance in all areas of life. I look at the “whole person, not just the soldier, or singer, or quarterback. 

This work has spanned all age groups and ability levels. 

My unique path has truly given me a different perspective on success, adversity, and what it takes to be well in life. 

One critical component of all of these is the ability to be adaptive in life. 

Life is constantly moving around us. It will not slow down; it will not stop; it will not wait for us. It will present us with opportunities and challenges. 

It is up to us to adapt to each and continue moving forward. 

The VERY best understand this and learn to adapt early and often. 

Today, take a look at a challenge you are currently facing. Are you adapting effectively? What would the situation look like if you were to be a bit more adaptable?

This is YOUR life. Only you can make it look the way you think it should. 

Start adapting and moving forward…today.

Mental Mechanics: The Gift of Presence

Repeat after me, 
“The future is made up of
a series of NOWs”

–       mark

I won’t take much of your time. I want you to log off and live your life to the fullest today. 

I recently spoke at the national wellness conference about elite performance and wellness. 

In my workshop, I mentioned that the ability to be present is one of the greatest performance and wellness skills we can ever learn.  This is not a new concept. People have been discussing this for thousands of years. 

I also talked about something that I want you to consider.

We have all been guilty of getting lost in dreams of the future. Allowing our minds to wander away from the present, imagining (hood and bad) future outcomes. 

While it is important to understand where you want to go, our future doesn’t really exist. We are never guaranteed anything in life, including the future. 

None of us can predict what will happen later today, or tomorrow, or a year from now. 

Instead of worrying about the future, or focusing on what we hope will happen next, think about how you get there. 

Each “now,” every single moment we live is a chance to shape what comes next. How we manage each moment will determine our direction. Each moment is where our power lies, where we have a sense of control. 

The future is literally made up of a series of NOWs. 

If we cannot learn to be present with each one, looking beyond them, we miss them. We will never get those moments back. 

Today, get an idea of what you want in life, but then try to embrace each moment along the way. 

You will most likely find that the journey matters more than the outcome.

Mental Mechanics: Practicing Patience

Keep being patient
Waiting is not punishment
But preparation

–       mark

Patience is not merely a virtue. 

It is a necessity. It is a skill which can be developed. It is a critical part of success.

Do not confuse patience with complacency.

Patience is not “sitting around, doing nothing.” 

Patience is deliberate. When we choose patience, we choose to manage those things which are outside of our control. 

Understanding that things often take time (which is usually out of our control) allows us to be intentional in practicing patience. The waiting is not usually the problem. How we choose to perceive it, manage it, and learn from it is what matters most. 

We choose to use our time wisely, we are committed to preparing ourselves for whatever comes our way, affording us a chance to be ready when opportunity arises. We are in no hurry, there will only be peace and confidence in our process. 

This allows us to be less stressed, less anxious, and less frustrated. 

Life is about awareness, development and growth, and consistent learning. These things mostly happen “behind the curtain.” They happen intentionally. They happen when we are patient with ourselves and our situation. 

Today, take a look at your own situation. Do you practice patience? Have you befriended it as a powerful ally in your journey? How would a current situation be different if you were to be more patient?

Life is what you choose to make of it. Give yourself the best chance to be successful.

Mental Mechanics: The Beauty of Silence

Silence is not bad
It is not awkward or sad
It is where truth lives

–       mark

Why do we fear silence?

Why do we feel as though we constantly need some type of background or ambient noise? 

Why are pauses in conversations considered awkward or bad?

One thing I know for certain…our lives are busy.  Many of us do not allow ourselves the chance to embrace moments of silence. 

We live in a society encapsulated by noise. For some, the constant background sounds act as a distraction, helping to tune out any unwanted thoughts.

For others, allowing ourselves moments of silence can provide critical opportunities for much-needed clarity. 

Finding time for silence can often be difficult, but science has shown that time spent in silence may offer benefits to multiple dimensions of our health and well-being.

Silence can aid in information processing, lower stress, stimulation of brain cells, and can boost concentration and creativity. 

That is why I enjoy time in nature. Although filled with environmental sounds (birds, wind, water, etc), it is a much-needed break from man-made noise. Although the occasional hikers, distant aircraft, or passing fisherman (asking “Catch anything”) may present themselves, the times between offer a chance to be somewhat alone with myself. 

What works best for YOU?

Today, try to find a few moments of silence. Whether a walk, or a meditation, or just sitting outside…give yourself permission to enjoy a quiet time.

Mental Mechanics: Living on Purpose

“Living on Purpose”
Being deliberate is a key to success
regarding our happiness in life
Focusing on the things that matter most
lowers our levels of stress and strife

–       mark

Want to be happier in life? More successful? More connected to others? 

Be more deliberate each day.

Deliberate living is a key to creating the life we want. 

This type of living is the best way to get from where we are, to where we want to be. 

When we learn to live deliberately, we align our actions with a greater sense of meaning and purpose. 

This helps us create a future that feels of our effort…a life worth living. 

Being deliberate means that we have an increased sense of awareness. We are more aware of our abilities, our challenges, our needs, our strengths, and how we interact with the world around us.

Being deliberate also means we are aware of those things (and people) that distract us in life. The ability to minimize these distractions allows us to fully focus on what truly matters. 

Today,  focus on being deliberate with one aspect of your life. Engage a family member, or a work task with complete awareness and focus. Notice the difference in how the interaction goes.

Life is truly what you decide to make it. By being deliberate, you give yourself the greatest chance and happiness and success. 

Mental Mechanics: Two Roads Diverge

Robert Frost is one of America’s most famous and influential poets. I remember reading his work “The Road Not Taken” when I was very young. 

My mom explained to me that it meant that we should blaze new trails in life and break away from the status quo. She told me that following everyone else will only make us like everyone else. 

This laid a foundation for my lifelong pursuit of escaping the status quo, creating my own paths, and learning from each bump and bruise along the way. I began to understand the importance of our life choices, both big and small, and how each  shapes our journey. 

Every time we walk in the taller, undisturbed grass, we learn something about ourselves. We also learn how to navigate the unknown and make our own way despite the challenges we face. 

Today, take a look at the path in front of you. Do you want the ease of following a worn trail that many others have made? Do you want to learn and grow by creating your own? 

Life is what we choose to make of it. I will always choose to make fresh footprints on my own path. 

As the poem says

“…Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”

Be well.

Mental Mechanics: A New Story

Can I ask a quick question or two?

If you started reading a book for fun, and it turned out to be incredibly boring after the first chapter, would you continue reading the next 300 pages?

If you started watching a ten season show, and realized that nothing about it appealed to you after one episode, would you continue investing your time in it?

I have never asked either of these questions and received an answer other than a resounding “NO WAY.”

Why do we continue writing a story for ourselves that we don’t like? 

If we are unhappy with our lives, we can always turn the page and start a new chapter. It is a choice. 

This is your story. Make sure it reads the way you want it to. 

Start writing today. 

Mental Mechanics: Happy New Year

New Year’s Day morning
Resolutions? Sticky buns?
The struggle is real

As the new year is upon us, most is us woke up with a list of resolutions that we set the night before. 

The beginning of a new year seems like the perfect time to make life changes, quit smoking, lose weight, try new things, change careers, or just begin a new path in life. 

Setting goals is a good thing, but it can become troublesome when they come wrapped up as resolutions.

Most of us create resolutions without giving much thought to how we will achieve them. We scribble down a few general things that we would like to accomplish, change, or leave behind in life. We forget some important steps…like how and why.

Unless we give our attention and focus to a comprehensive plan, complete with actions and contingencies, we are likely to walk away when things get tough.

If you are like me, you’ve abandoned resolutions within a few months and spent the rest of the year beating myself up for it.

Studies show that less than 20% of people keep the resolutions they set. One of the most common reasons is that we are a bit overzealous and unrealistic, over-committing in a way that is impossible to sustain. 

The good news is that we can take those resolutions and turn them into lasting lifestyle goals. 

Studies show that less than 20% of people keep the resolutions they set. Take time today to explore one resolution you made yesterday. Explore why you want it, how you can take ONE step today to get it, and what you will do to stay on course when things get tough. 

We CAN make these changes. Once we become deliberate in planning, acting, and adapting, we can navigate whatever temptations come along….even sticky buns