Wes Pedersen, or I call him the Oprah the OC, is one of my favorite human beings of all time. Wes and I met three plus years ago in Newport Beach. I remember Rob Glick (the GFM I took over for) telling to me just say yes to Wes because he was the star at Newport Beach…and he was right. Wes IS Newport Beach Equinox.
Wes and I stayed in the manager:instructor role for a good year or so until we had some breakthrough conversations about life, goals, next steps and just getting to know each other on a new level. I always saw something special in Wes. Wes is able to connect to his students in a way I had not experienced before. Now granted, Wes has been at Newport for a solid four plus years so he is well-known, but he is able to make the same exact connection with a brand new students every class.
Wes helped launch Tread & Shred (an indoor coached running class to music and cueing) at Newport Beach. He is so incredibly talented at coaching…he has a true gift. Take me for instance, I loathe running, seriously, I just cannot get my head around it, but when I am in his class, with his music, his flawless cueing and affirmations that take my mind out of the equation and put me into my body; he makes me feel like I am invincible, like I AM a runner. Not many coaches can do that…It is rare and it is who Wes is, he is a rare and special coach. If you were to go to an OC Equinox today you would need to stand in line thirty-minutes before every class to even think about getting a treadmill for class – I am not kidding, it is cut throat, those OC ladies (and some men) are all business!
In addition to Tread & Shred Wes has spread his coaching wings to the cycling studio (to full house of course), into the main studio of Equinox teaching ETC (Equinox Training Camp) as well as Shockwave, TRX and other strength and conditioning classes. But what I am most proud of Wes is his accomplishment of building the Equinox Road Runners Club in Orange County.
Wes began the running club a couple of years ago as a casual program to just get a group of people together to run and have a good breakfast together after…there were fifteen to twenty people, successful and on a smaller scale…cut to present day and there are fifty plus members training for 10Ks, half and full marathons with the help of Wes’ expert coaching, inspiration and weekly programming. Wes takes his programming seriously… from scheduling their weekly workouts, offering nutrition suggestions and updating their Facebook page with nuggets of information, motivational quotes and success stories of the members. But what I admire most about Wes is that he coaches from his heart. You can hear and FEEL his compassion in his coaching. He is super knowledgeable, no one could argue his skills, but his true talent is in his ability to connect with his students from his heart, from a place on empathy and sincere kindness…it is truly special to see …
Wes is also kind of a rock-star…a lululemon alumni ambassador and now one of the few select athletes selected to rep Athletic Recon. Here is a great article about him. Wes is putting his name out there as a fitness force and a known community builder. When Wes isn’t teaching or training he is fulfilling his most important roles in his life which are being a husband to his beautiful wife and a rock-solid father to his adorable son Quinn. Wes makes it look easy…juggling work, life and play, but I assure you he is like any other human and has challenging moments, but Wes keeps his eye on the prize and continues to pursue greatness for the betterment of all the communities he has created and is a part of…
It is such a joy seeing you grow into the person you are becoming Wes…keep chasing your dreams…they are coming true before our very eyes.
What was the last experience that made you a stronger person? While this wasn’t an experience per se, the words were powerful. One of my clients makes it a point not to answer questions about the future (i.e. what are you doing this weekend, whats your next move at work) and at first it was really annoying because I just was trying to make small talk. But his point (which I now appreciate) is that it is hard to live fully in the moment/present if you are constantly looking ahead!
Five words that best describe you:
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Raising a healthy, happy, well-adjusted son who interacts with the world around him in a playful, curious, and trusting way.
What is your basic life philosophy?
We aren’t made to spend a life as separate individuals. Being with people is the most important thing that you can add or improve upon in your life. Physically being around others CAN be life giving but being intentional with that time by listening, expressing, and appreciating others WILL be life giving.
Most important relationships in your life are…:
The ones where both people feel heard, understood and appreciated. I don’t have to agree with everyone but I continue to work at making sure that I take care of those first three steps . . . I can struggle at this sometimes so I’m a constant work in progress in this respect.
What does a perfect day look and feel like?
I don’t know. I really enjoy the way that my life is set up right now. There are hard times where I struggle for sure but it is a conscious choice to live in the reality/environment that I have created. The exciting thing is that with that environment already set (and still being fine-tuned to a degree), everyday can be a perfect day.
What is your legacy?
I would like to be know as a person who brings people together into a community focused on healthy living. I feel that my responsibility is to get people together, show them the path or opportunity to be healthy and then get out of their way and let them do the work.
“Contrary to what we usually believe, the best moments in life are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times. The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.”
How do you lift others up?
I don’t think that often enough we are told how great/amazing/special we are so I make it a point to always tell people when I think they are doing a great job. It can be contagious so GO TRY IT!
If you had an extra hour in a day, how would you spend it?
Going for a walk with my family