Dec 7, 2022
Title: Balancing Being a Parent & High Performer with Nike Trainer Betina Gozo Shimonek
Betina is a Nike trainer of 8 years who advocates strength training. Her number one goal is to promote fitness and training to inspire people to make positive lifestyle changes, live their most optimal life and most importantly, feel great. She’s known for motivating people to reach outside their comfort zone to transform body and mind in every stage of life.
In addition to leading workouts for thousands of people worldwide, Betina has made an impact in the digital fitness world. She’s known for her Lead and Follow workouts for beginners, pregnancy, and postpartum routines with Nike Training Club, Apple Fitness+, and NordicTrack.
With over 10 years in the industry and an array of certifications, she’s honored to be on the Women’s Health Magazine Advisory Board who she collaborated with for the book The Woman’s Guide to Strength Training – Featuring Weight Training Workouts to Help You Get Toned, Burn Body Fat, Increase Longevity, and Pursue a Healthy Lifestyle (Women’s Health Publishing).
She is also a Mother to her daughter, Aluna, with another baby on the way.
In this episode, we dive into balancing parenthood with being a high-performer, the habits and practices of putting yourself first so you can better serve others, being present as your #1 value, and much more.
Connect with Betina:
Connect with James:
5:45 Service to Others, Service to Yourself
Betina: “Service is so important to me, but you should always service yourself first. And you know, it’s always so refreshing. Even if I miss her and I miss my husband. I know that I'm able to do something for myself. I can recharge, but then I'm also doing something that's serving others. So it gives me another sense of purpose and it helps me get into that mindset of… it's okay that I'm going to miss all these things. You just have to shift your mindset.”
James: “People will ask me, don't you wish that you spent more time at home? Or do you like that you travel so much? And here's what I've come to understand. By me traveling and impacting other people around this world, that actually makes me a better father and a better husband. And yes, there is a sacrifice to that, but it also allows me to be more present when I am with my family, and I can bring the passion and the love that I have for my work into my family.”
13:00 Time Blocking
Betina: “I try to block out time. I listen to a lot of the Huberman lab. I love his episode on focus. I try to go for no more than 90 minutes of really focused work. On a good day, I'll have two of those sessions, but that's on a really good day. But I'm very happy if I have a 90 minute session. So that's the biggest thing for me. It's gonna take me a little bit to warm up. I need that 5 to 10 minutes to do whatever on my phone, check Instagram, you know, make my coffee, and then sit on my computer for 5 to 10 minutes, check my email, get all the clutter away and then say, okay, this is the time for it to go away. And now I need to focus.”
James: “My office is right by the living room and so when I'm in brainstorming sessions or content creation or research mode, I have to have noise cancellation headphones to even remotely focus on the task. And could I go somewhere? Yeah. But I also like the flexibility of once I'm done with my work, I just walk out my door and see my son and Amanda… So it's like really having to block out time and communicate to Amanda…. Like just really communicating my needs so that I can still get work done at a high level despite external distraction.”
17:15 Getting Good Sleep (Even with a toddler!)
Betina: “I am so good on my sleep. It's like the one thing that I do have right now. I'm so grateful, especially having a toddler. We put her down at 7:30 to 8:00 at night and then Nick and I will hang out and watch TV or relax or do whatever. But when it comes time to my wind down routine, I'm very good. I have my brain dump. I think that's something that everybody should do. Because even last night I didn't do it and I actually woke up in the middle of the night and I had all these things that I was thinking about. But I usually just journal for 15 to 20 minutes and I have to do that because that is where I put all the thoughts in my head away and I just can go into dreamland.”
19:30 Having an intentional morning routine
James: “What I've learned is there's your ideal schedule of how if your morning went like this, it would be the perfect day, but then you also have to be prepared for none of that to be able to happen. And what are your quick, 5 to 10 minute routines or habits that can snap you into high performance thinking or being to still get the job done? People are going to be somewhat empathetic and compassionate to the fact that you have kids, but at the end of the day, they're hiring you for a reason, right? You have a job to perform. You have an outcome that you need to get, you have a result that you need to create. The older I've gotten, the less I've been dedicated to my morning having to go a certain way. It's more so like I need these small staples, whether that's breathing for a certain way or just some jumping jacks. Something usually centered around breath or movement is enough to get me to where I need to go.”
23:10 Surrendering Control
Betina: “I read a ton of books before and it's funny because now, this time around I'm like, I'll figure it out. The common theme with all those books and just health and wellness in general is taking care of yourself. Everyone's always looking for that magic book or magic pill that's going to make life so much better. But it really is all about you taking care of yourself, not just what you put in your body. Or what you do with it exercise-wise, but how you take care of your mind because that's gonna help you with the way you react with your children, with the way you react with your spouse, with the way you treat yourself.
James: And also surrendering that you can't control it. That was the hardest thing and still is the hardest thing for me to wrestle with. I believe it should go this way. And then it's the complete opposite and like me having to calm myself down from not meeting the expectation. And if you could get better at that, then parenting will be easier.
29:19 Do This One Thing Before Having a Child
James: “For someone who wants to be a parent who isn't currently a parent, what would you tell them to think about before having a child? What I think has helped Amanda and I is that we've had a lot of life together. It was me, and then it was Amanda, and then it was James and Amanda, but it was James and Amanda for a while. We traveled, we did things, we experienced life. We got to understand what that was like. We supported each other in different business ventures and, and just found our love first, and then had a baby. So we had our own energy signature of what it felt like and the memories that were associated to us. And then the family came. Now that's a different version of us, an upgraded version of us. But for us, we established that time together initially.”
35:33 Becoming a Parent Has Made Betina Feel Invincible
Betina: “I feel like I'm invincible now. Being a mom, or just parents, it's just different, you know?
I feel like even my confidence has changed. I didn't think that I would be a mom in the next two years from the last time, I think the last time we chatted. I just feel like there's so many things that I could do. And then even now, like trying to watch Aluna and write a book and travel and do all of these and be a wife and take care of three huge dogs that each weigh in total over 350 pounds. I really feel like I can do anything. It's been a privilege and an honor to be able to show a lot of women that they can do that. Um, that's one thing that I've always told myself is when I'm sharing anything on social, I wanna share it in a way to show that women that, hey, in reality I'm struggling at times, but guess what? You totally can do this. And I think it's cheesy, but the Filipinos, I just wanna show all the Filipino women in the world, look what I'm doing. It's pretty cool.”
39:29 James’s Upcoming Book on Listening
James: “I'm actually in the very elementary process of writing a book. On listening. The strategy is to be a better listener. So I think that one of the struggles that we all see in society is that we don't listen. We think we listen. We don't listen to ourselves and partly because we don't listen to ourselves, we can't listen to other people because we're just so concerned with how we're being perceived or what other people are thinking that we're out of the moment.
So it's like if we can learn to listen truly, then we're connecting to the moment, which means we're present. And that means we're giving the best gift that I think we can give other people, which is our time, our attention. And if parents can be better listeners to their children. If bosses can be better listeners towards their employees, if presidents can be better listeners to their countries, if countries could be better listeners to other countries... we would have deeper levels of understanding.”
45:00 Presence as Your Number One Value
James: “So we talked about presence a little a moment ago, right? That is my number one value. That's the thing that I try to be the best at in my own way. Well, when you have kids, it's like that gets fractured. Very rarely are you going to have the undivided attention, right? And, and so that's the challenge that I've been tasking myself with is can you still be. And I don't know if it sounds like an oxymoron, but even with the distraction, like can you be one with the distraction to the point where the distraction does not take you out of the moment, but you're still able to be in the moment, like it's you bring it into the bubble.”