Mar 04, 2017
How Can you turn your athletic drive into benefiting all area of your life?
This might seem cliche or just like words? Or nice to have ?
Well when you read Mark's athletic Journey from his world class level to building a solid foundation in his marriage, with his 3 children and his professional career, it's something that can be done.
How is it done?
How can your leverage your athletic drive and passion?
Why don't we dive right into few of Mark achievements?
Mark's Athletic career highlights among just a few of them include
As it's all about you the athlete, I'm excited to bring to you an amazing interview that Mark did for the high performer athlete.
Soul O: All right perfect. Hi Mark, I'm really excited. This is Soul here and we're here I'm really excited because we've a guest of honor where with us. Welcome. As you guys know this is a preview to our Forever Elite Athlete Telesummit.
I'm really excited to have our guest here that I'm going to have a chance to introduce in a short. He's amazing. As you know here in the Teleummit, what are we doing?
We're helping high performance athlete that are wondering what's next after their career. We're helping them stay high performer on the field and off the field.
With this said I'm really honored to have Mark Zollistch here with me. Mark is really a distinguished honor guest. Mark can you hear me?
Mark Zollitsch: Yes I can hear you just fine thank you and I appreciate your invitation. I'm glad to be here not only for you but for all of those people and athletes who may end up watching this and might need some help transitioning from their athletic life to their marriage, their career, etc. It's a big transition and something I could have used help on back when I made the transition.
Soul O: Thank you so much Mark. I'm really glad that you're here and really it's an honor to have you. It's a privilege. I'm really here, people are here for a treat and I really just want to make sure that people know who we're talking with and I want to make sure to introduce you a little bit and feel free to add a bit.
I want to mention, Mark from an athletic perspective, the sports he really played at high level in canoeing and kayak. Mark actually competed on the US Canoe and Kayak team from 1983 to 1996. Mark is a world championship silver medalist and that was in '95 in and 12 times Pan Am championship medal including five golds in '85, '89, '91, and Mark was also an MVP in '89 and '91 and 13 times US Olympic medal. Other 50 US national championship medals, plus two MVP medal awards. I'm really, really impressed.
Mark Zollitsch: Let me jump in, a really fun thing in our sport in canoe and kayak because we paddle, you don't just have most valuable player or most valuable person, MVP is Most Valuable Paddler.
Soul O: That's a great one. That's great. I mean really. Mark I know there has been so much more. One thing I even want to add is that Mark was featured in Sports Illustrated, he had a full layout in Men's Health, was featured/covered in USA Today. He was also cover in Kayak Magazine and of course numerous newspaper and local TV show. Really, really impressive Mark. One thing you know, you were a contestant, I know you are married but ladies if you listen to it, Mark was a contestant on a dating game on a TV show in '87.
Mark Zollitsch: That was a long, long time ago.
Soul O: That's a great fact here. A really, really ha ha. Man of course an amazing career. You met some of our distinguished president Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior. Amazing, amazing. Really, really I am really honored to have you here Mark and really thank you. Is there anything I missed? Obviously I know there is much more.
Mark Zollitsch: You certainly hit the high point and I appreciate the kind introduction. All I'll say is my athletic career is a big part of who I am but as I retired in '96, I mean think about this, we're in 2017. That's over 20 years ago. Of course I'm still active and fit and enjoy sports but I'm no longer training five hours a day for my sport of choice so that was 20 years ago that I moved on.
Soul O: Thank you. Why I think you're really an amazing guest for us here is that you have transitioned well and now you are also a health and wellness consultant. Wellness consultant is really, really very important because you've done well with your family. Really I want to say that and really I want to acknowledge you for that so really staying on that path. Obviously that's really something important. Do you want to talk about all the work you do now? Some perspective.
Mark Zollitsch: I'd be happy to. Actually let me start with something near and dear to my heart. Not only did I transition to career but I also transitioned to family. I've been married now for 18 years to my amazing wife Lily. I have three boys ages 5, 10, and 12 and I'm super proud of them and they're a huge part of my life of course.
Then career wise I kind of have two jobs I do simultaneously. One is what we'd consider a traditional career type day job where I work as a wellness consultant. I work for a number of large companies.
I kind of trend in the transition process, which I wish I'd had more help with at the time because I did a lot of stumbling and maneuvering and losing years here and there. Ultimately I followed my passion for the human body into the health field so I now work as a wellness consultant.
I've worked for a number of multi-national insurance organizations and now I have the pleasure of working with an organization that serves county employees across the state of Texas.
It's huge, we have 254 counties so we run a wellness program and go out and visit our counties across the state on a regular basis and work with and present to employees and commissioners courts who make the decisions for the county and that sort of thing.
I love what I do. I'm blessed to be able to do it. To have the impact that we have on people's health, their quality of life, their productivity, all those sorts of things, plus just the human interaction part.
It's actually a website ChrysalisHealthRevolution.com but you can also get to it from ChrysalisWeightLoss.com.
We've done a big bricks and mortar real life pilot program of it if you will and we had absolutely fabulous results and it dramatically changed people's lives.
Not just weight but improved their quality of life, their ability to do things that they hadn't done in 20 years and then changed all kinds of health risk markers like their blood pressure and cholesterol and triglycerides and that sort of thing. I love helping people. I've found my niche but it took me a long time to find it.
Soul O: That's really beautiful and thank you again Mark. Obviously, notably I want to mention that's the reason you're here is because that's where you and I connected is the heart you have for serving so I really, really appreciate that.
Really this is impressive and really I want to make sure that people will have that perspective and thank you for really being able to bring that into color here. That's really amazing and hopefully like you say, having a family is something important. Myself I have three kids and married as well.
To your point it's really that holistic perspective that I really want to share because really in perspective that's really what I really feel. It's being an elite athlete is really a way of life that you transfer into all areas of our life and it's not an easy task.
That's why I'm really happy to have you here. Really now, if you can help me and kind of go back a little bit, I know it's been a while. Obviously you competed at some of the highest levels.
What would you say what are some of the traits that helped you be one of the elite athletes, top athlete, that made you successful? Obviously you were successful.
Mark Zollitsch: Some of the things that helped me become successful, I don't even know where it came from. I have always had a tremendous ability to focus.
Single minded and focus in on a task or goal or something, almost to the unhealthy exclusion of other things where I can just beeline. At the same time in athletics when you're training for something very specific that ability to focus is very important.
I had a number of people in my life that really spoke into my life and encouraged me when I needed it. I had a coach in my younger years, actually I grew up in Maine. My folks were supportive of my athletic career which was great. I actually transitioned from Maine to California back when I was still in high school because I needed to be able to train year round.
My parents were supportive of that and I had a wonderful coach in Ventura California. Bill Bragg who was extremely supportive and encouraging and always believed in me and told me I could do it.
Then later on I had another coach, he was actually Polish, and he said, "Mark one day you can be world champion." He really meant it and I think that was a big help too.
Especially now as a father it's helped me to understand just how important it is when you have those people who speak into your life and your head and your heart also and help you to believe in yourself more than you may have previously.
Soul O: I just got chills when you just shared that. Oh my God. That's powerful thing Mark really and I'm glad you're bringing this up.
I'll touch a little bit on that. Really you talk about the focus and I think that's so important. I thank you for bringing that up. As athletes and I know here we have some people that are still competing and that are thinking about it.
I'm glad that you bring that up because this is one of the tools that's really important and can help us. A tool we can use even to further transition.
The second thing that you mentioned that's really powerful that I discovered in my story is you talked about coaching. Really you talk about, I look at it is these sources and people around us.
This is so powerful and in my career it's something that I totally neglected and it's only after looking in hindsight and looking back that I realize how important that was.
Like I share with you I was close to. Literally I felt I was so good that I was competing on my level. I even defeated the silver world champion at that time but I was to qualify because I had that perspective you say. I'm glad that you brought that home.
Mark Zollitsch: Coaching as skill is one thing and that's critically important because the more we're able to efficiently apply our power in whatever our chosen sport is and the greater our skill level of course the better we'll perform.
Really I think the difference between those microseconds between first and third or first and fifth come not from having a better skill but come from the heart.
If you've had that person who's spoken that thing to you that just makes you reach deep down for that extra thing, that's really the most impactful thing.
Soul O: Really you're right on that. I want to thank you so much for that. I think, I'm almost emotional here, because to your point that's what's leading me to create this Telesummit for athletes because I realize that's one thing ... that's how I realized when my calling really came about and into becoming a support for athletes.
That's why I'm really passionate about creating this Telesummit that's coming up for people so really I want to thank you for that.
Mark Zollitsch: Yeah I'm excited about it too.
Soul O: Yeah so it's really powerful. Obviously I'm glad that you brought it up. Mark, obviously now you're helping people.
Just curious what did you discover your calling to empower people and obviously here we're talking about athletes but in your case it's about people and wellness.
Mark Zollitsch: Really just the basic desire and ability to help people I probably discovered back, actually all of that during my athletic career.
I did a lot of work as a personal trainer and a coach. I had that privilege of working at Ken Norton's Golds Gym in Irvine California back in the 80s and I think it was during that that I said, "Hm, I really like this helping people."
On the other hand helping people one on one is very time consuming.
The ability to impact multitudes either as a speaker at conferences or large groups of employees or with my business or using this kind of technology where we can do Telesummits and we can do online courses is technology that wasn't even around in the 80s and 90s so it's really fabulous.
I think in terms of finding my true calling and my mission in life, that was just back then it was just I want to help people but I really don't know how.
I think for me it was a gradual evolution and quite honestly I wish I had had more coaching about the importance of career path, about the importance of my education.
I have a graduate degree now but back then my education was very disjointed. It was secondary to my athletic career.
My college career followed me around wherever I happened to be training and wherever the best coaches were and that sort of thing.
By the time I got my undergrad degree I think I was on my fifth school. If you can imagine I lost quite a few credits in the process.
My undergrad degree was exercise, science, and nutrition and I thought I wanted to be an athletic coach but in the process of going through school in those years it really dawned on me that everything I'm learning about high performance, about nutrition, about the human body and how it responds to training, high performance is one thing but everything I'm learning applies equally to human health.
What a tremendous and larger market we have because especially now going into the 2000s and the teens we're learning things like if things don't change radically by 2040 30% of the population will have diabetes.
The cost of that will outweigh all of the federal income taxes by the US government effectively bankrupting our country. There's a tremendous need to interact with people on the level of their personal health.
I don't know if you can tell the passion in me now about this sort of stuff. Back then during my college years I was still kind of, "Hm this is interesting but what am I going to do with it?
What does it look like? Is it a career? How do I go out and get a job?" I'm great at the athletic stuff and I do pretty well learning and getting good grades but what does the career look like?
That was a bit of a stumbling block for me when I was just lost for a number of years kind of stuck in, "Okay well obviously my body isn't performing now as well as used to but where do I go from here?
What do I do now?"
I didn't really have any guidance in that process. That was a struggle for a number of years and created a much longer transition that it should have.
I actually went back to graduate school because that's what I knew. I was good at school. I can do that. [crosstalk 00:17:44] other thing over here called a career and how do you get into something that's not just an hourly job but where you're actually earning a descent salary that can support a family.
I didn't even know what that looked like and I had nobody helping me get there. Even down to things like investing for retirement. Your 401K, your saving's account.
I got a pretty late start compared to a lot of people because my athletic career took ten years of my life where I could have been working and I had this long slow transition of moving from athletic career to career path.
Soul O: Right and Mark you're just kind of highlighting my own experience and I'm so grateful that here we'll be able to add value to people.
Actually you just nailed it because actually to your point it took me 18 months literally after my Olympic trial time, to a car accident 18 months later. Just going in because I did judo so I did bouncing also.
I had an engineering degree Mark but feel that didn't become valid to an engineering degree.
I couldn't find a job, not only because I was lost, to your point because I had no guidance. There's no textbook right so really, really highlighting it's just powerful.
Mark Zollitsch: I think, this isn't true of all athletes but it was certainly true for me and it sounds like it was true for you, we're so focused on the athletics and it's a huge part of our life, our heart, our desires, when we reach that end of, "Well I've got to kind of hang it up now."
Then there's this huge void. Most people go from college or graduate school directly into their career path and they take advantage of the guidance office at school to help them with that and many of them go and start internships directly out of school.
It's like, "I need to be here for this coach and I don't have time to do an internship." We also then lack the exposure and the guidance and that path that most people take from college into a career path.
That's not true of everybody. I also know, I have friends and fellow athletes that I've met over the years that have made very successful and quick transitions so it doesn't affect everybody but I think it certainly affects a good chunk of us who don't take the standard route.
Then it's like we're on this other path over here but your path just kind of stops. It's not a clear path back to this career path over here.
Soul O: You're right on, exactly and that's really what I'm hoping we can help people that don't have a direction.
Like us that got stuck to all of you right on. Thank you for sharing that.
That's interesting about you finding your journey and kind of interesting because a way to find it to your point, you talk about that trial and error and people that had guidance it was maybe easier.
One question I have in that, that from your own experience, from that trial and error, I know might be telling you to reach out.
Do you think there is maybe one thing or two things that allow you to get to your point faster if you knew then?
Mark Zollitsch: Something I wish I had known then that would have improved the process?
Soul O: Yes.
Mark Zollitsch: Or accelerated the process?
Soul O: Exactly yes.
Mark Zollitsch: The biggest thing I could think of is just somebody to talk to, somebody to process, somebody older with some wisdom, with some experience. even laid out, "Here's what I recommend, here are your options, and this is what you need to do next in order to transition into this." Kind of a thing.
Soul O: That's a beautiful thing.
Mark Zollitsch: That was something I sorely lacked was that ... It's a different form of coaching.
Some sort of coaching guidance about here's what you need to think of three years from now and five years from now. I didn't have that. That would have been helpful.
Then somebody just to be an encourager because I don't know if you experienced this but with me there was, I think being an elite athlete, at some level you have to be a perfectionist at a certain level because you have to push and push on that excellence.
You're so excellent over here there's a level of fear over here because I've never done this.
I don't know can I do this and to the level that I've been doing this over here for all these years?
Somebody just to encourage and mentor and guide whether it's a one on one relationship or online course or a friend or somebody to help in that.
Soul O: It's so interesting what you're sharing. I really hope that people are hearing us here.
It seems something so simple, so basic isn't it? Someone to talk to, someone to your point, it can be a friend, whoever it is. Having that perspective is so important right?
As an athlete we're so focused on ourselves, our mind is so honed which is a power but to your point having different perspective can help.
Then. Again we're coming back to people and community. That's really what I'm hoping really at the end of this Telesummit we'll be all lunching in a couple of weeks, is that it will create a community where we help and support each other in whatever it is.
Mark Zollitsch: Absolutely. That's so important. That's something I'm bringing up a lot in my Chrysalis Health Revolution is a big portion of it is about the mind and the heart and relationship because so many, whether it's a weight loss program or a diabetes reversal program or whatever, it's all focused on the behavior.
Behavior is important but we change because of other people, we change because of our belief systems, we change as a heart shift, not because we get told what we should do.
When we're living in a place of I should do this or I should do that, that's living from somebody else's value system. We want to get to a place where we want to do it. I want to eat better [crosstalk 00:25:02].
I want my body so that I can help lose the weight or whatever your personal health goals are.
I think the same thing applies in this, in the transition from athlete to career and family is we do this, we're more successful at the change because of our relationship with people and because of making some shifts in our heart and our head.
That has to come first or simultaneously. We can't just do the behavior or make the shift without adjusting the heart and the head first and doing it in the context of community and other people.
Soul O: That's fantastic. Right on. Definitely I know you're giving your time and we really want to give people a few shifts here. You just touched on a lot of great, amazing things that I can see that you do for your people.
From your perspective and obviously now as a wellness consultant you're really successful, I think you touched on it. What are some of the tools that you help people shift with? I think you touched on it but I'm just curious so we can benefit people here.
Mark Zollitsch: Well when I'm working with people whether it's an individual or in a workshop or a seminar type setting really the very first thing I invite people to do is start thinking differently.
I just bring a touch of faith into it. You know John the Baptist was known for going around saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is near." One of the things that if you look up the Greek and Hebrew of that phrase we just hear that in English and we think, "Oh repent, repent, repent." That's not what it means. In that context it actually means change your understanding or think differently.
I think that's so important because it's how we ... You know Steven Covey talks about this too. You're a paradigm, how you think matters.
I always invite people to start thinking differently because I don't want the should on them. Even though my job, my how I serve people is helping them make changes but they have to want to make those changes.
I invite people to start thinking differently and in the process then their head will shift, their heart will shift, and they will own that change rather than wanting to do it because somebody else says they should.
Soul O: That's fantastic. That's great. I love Mark, that connection that you have and you just emphasized it. It's beautiful that you have that connected because many, many gurus talk about only one thing I was saying but I'm glad that you're connecting that and I think that's why you and I really connect.
I love that aspect. Obviously now one thing you're doing, you talk about ... Can you a little bit expand about because I heard you talk about what you're passionate about, but I really want to hear a little bit more so our audience can also learn, even myself, obviously you know I think there is a value in what you're doing now. Absolutely that's needed.
Mark Zollitsch: What I've, not just the transition, but the whole process in the last 20 years in my life have led to a place of truly knowing and understanding my calling.
My calling is to help people who are thinking about or ready to make a change in their life and to help them find the level of healing, transformation, and vitality that they desire, whatever that looks like.
That's ultimately my purpose and my calling in this life is to help people. Whether it's quitting tobacco or losing weight or reversing their diabetes or just feeling better.
Never mind all the health conditions and issues. How many of us just want to feel better day by day? How many of us want to be a little bit happier?
Our mental health is intimately connected with your physical health and our biochemistry. They're interconnected.
You can't separate them. Feeling good emotionally as well as feeling good physically. Having more energy are things that are just core to most of our desires.
The choices that we make every day, most of them are habit. A habit is something that we don't think about right?
While forming a new habit requires thought. We need to consciously go, "I want to do this." Where most of us brush our teeth every morning or every evening or both.
That's habit. We do it without thinking. We just boom, boom, boom right? I lost track of my thought there.
We do these things from habit and it's really critically important ... I really did lose my train of thought. I apologize for that.
Soul O: That is all right. You're talking about wellness right? The importance of wellness.
Mark Zollitsch: Right. All of these things happen because of the choices that we make consciously or unconsciously and most of those wrap around our lifestyle.
At some level, whether we apply them or not, most of us are aware that what we take into our bodies, our nourishment or nutrition and whether we move our bodies, exercise, is pretty important for our health. We seldom think about the other critically important things that are just as important like sleep or stress or gut health.
Our hundred trillion bacteria in our gut that have far more impact on our physical and emotional and mental health than we think they do, and these other areas that it's critical to weave those in as well.
For example, if you go just four nights of getting four hours of sleep a night, your insulin levels, which insulin is your primary storage hormone, your insulin levels will be 300% higher than normal. [crosstalk 00:31:43]
Soul O: Really?
Mark Zollitsch: Leads to insulin resistance which is the first stage of diabetes and obviously having three times the normal level of insulin means your body's going to be in storage mode so you're going to store everything.
Even if you're eating well and you're exercising some but you're chronically under slept you're going to gain weight because your storage hormone is up here all the time.
Understanding how your body works and how these different facets of your lifestyle impact your body is far more important than most of us think.
Because we do so many things by habit, now certainly when you have a newborn at home there's times when you can't get enough sleep but so many of our things that we do by habit like snapping on the TV for the last hour or two before bed and getting hooked into a movie that keeps us up a little too late and then the alarm goes off and we go, "Oh I only got five hours." It's going to have an impact on our health and we don't think about that. Some of the things that I'm passionate about.
Soul O: That's really ... Even here thank you for the ... I had no idea about this sleep how it's going to affect your weight. Wow that's powerful.
Wow Mark obviously this is so pulling me in. Really obviously I think this has been really helpful going through your journey of being an athlete. What's some final thought you can share with athletes? What's at the end of the tunnel? What should they keep up?
Mark Zollitsch: Yeah. Final thoughts or conclusions. I would say actively or proactively seek out help in your journey. Whether it is a career counselor after college, whether it's a coach, whether it's a parent or a relative who is a successful business owner or career person.
My gut is that people are more helpful and friendlier than we think. Sometimes they don't know that we need help unless we ask for it. Reaching out and saying, "I need some help, I need some guidance, I'm coming to the end of my athletic career."
Even if you're at the pinnacle of your athletic career if you're anticipating two or three years from now I'm going to retire, getting some help and advice is a really good thing.
Another thing I want to encourage people on is to stay active. Of course health is my passion but stay active and think short and intense.
I spent so many years training so many hours a day that when I transitioned as the transition happened and I started my career when you're working 40-60 hours a week.
For the first five years I was like, 'Well if I don't at least have an hour a day to work out I'm not even going to bother." I didn't bother for a long time because I had this false concept in my head that it was the amount of time that mattered. If I only got 45 minutes then it wasn't worth it.
Actually what the science and what the research is showing now is that both high intensity intervals, aerobic intervals and high intensity strength training is more effective than jogging an hour a day or whatever your sport is, skiing and hour a day, biking, what have you.
The long, slow distance stuff is not the most effective way to stay healthy, keep your metabolism up, stay trim, etc. The short, high intensity stuff is far more effective.
As a busy career person I travel a lot for work too, I've got my three little boys, how many of us say, 'Oh I have an extra hour a day. Not a problem." Most people go, "I can't do that."
Once you transition into your career. If you can spend 15-30 minutes a day, most of us can find 15 minutes.
I spend 15 minutes or less when I do my aerobic workouts and I spend 30 minutes or less for my strength training sessions. Almost all of us can find 15-30 minutes a day.
Soul O: Wow this is impressive. Actually you're teaching me a few things that I didn't even know. I think obviously there's a lot of value. People obviously even I hope you can feel that, people listening, even if you're still training and competing at a high level, I really believe that Mark's knowledge can definitely serve you and help you and obviously after career for sure.
Really Mark even make me now even want to follow up more with you actually. Obviously it's a wealth of knowledge. How can people follow up with you and if they want more information on more coaching or more resources?
Mark Zollitsch: Yeah sure. You can reach out to me. First off you can go to my website which is Chrysalis ... Chrysalis is spelled, it's a transition right? Chrysalis is a caterpillar to a butterfly. It's a process of transformation.
Chrysalis, C-H-R-Y-S-A-L-I-S Chrysalis Health Revolution or Chrysalis Weight Loss.com. My email is on there, my contact information, my telephone number so feel free to reach out direction or you can just take a gander at the information on the website, I have some videos posted on there.
Enjoy yourself, reach out to me directly or I'll share my email publicly because I just don't mind. You can email me at [email protected] My last name is Z-O-L-L-I-S-T-C-H. That's a doozy.
Soul O: Thank you so much Mark. Again [email protected]
Thank you so much Mark for your wealth of wisdom and really I want to thank you so much for your time and providing this information and your sharing.
People if there is any contact Mark and we hope to see you at the Telesummit. If not stay healthy, stay strong. Thank you so much Mark for your time. I know you have to go. I really appreciate it.
Mark Zollitsch: Thank you for having me. Appreciate it.
Soul O: Bye cheers. See you at the Forever Elite Athlete .