Updated: Feb 28
Our next podcast interview is now live! Corey Howell grew up a stand out surfer on the East Coast. As he continued his surfing career, he found a passion for fitness and helping others. While winning a collegiate surfing national championship, Corey made his way towards becoming a Chiropractor. Once graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic, he opened up his own practice in his hometown of Melbourne Beach. His holistic approach to health has impacted hundreds of lives. Enjoy this episode telling his story from athlete and coach, to doctor and entrepreneur!
Link to the interview is below so be sure to check it out and let us know your favorite part of the interview.
Colby H.: Welcome back to the Grit.Org podcast. My name is Colby Harris, I'm your host for today. I'm here with today's guest Corey Howell. Corey, thank you so much for being here man.
Corey H.: Thank you for having me. Oh man, it's been a long time coming. I know you've been in my DM's trying to get me here since February, but the timing is perfect. So I'm stoked to be here.
Colby H.: Yes man, really excited to have you here. I know it's been this back and forth, but just a little background. I've actually known Corey since, well, it's probably 2014-15 that we first met. Corey actually trained me while he was surfing at UNF getting his degree. We kind of linked up, perfect little situation and just followed you ever since man. So really appreciate you being here today, to share a little bit your story.
Corey H.: Of course. I'm stoked to see what you've become with great University.
Colby H.: Hey, appreciate it man. Just again, super cool to be able to sit down with you and have this conversation. I feel like there's going to be a lot of good value, a lot of business, wellness, overall health and really, all of our listeners will be able to get out of here and have that value to go execute on their own lives.
So diving right in, Corey, tell us a little bit about your upbringing, and what led you to Melbourne Beach. You're right next to prime surf destinations in North Carolina where you originally grew up. So tell us more about those early days, and what led you to Melbourne Beach from Wilmington?
Corey H.: I grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, where I would go to Surf City topsoil a bunch to Surf. And through my years, competing with Esa, and SSA and other various organizations. I ended up moving to Florida, because we found ourselves coming to Florida almost twice a month whenever it was competitive season, and my family just grew a bond towards wanting to go to Florida, not only just for the convenience of the contest, but also the weather.
It's a really nice lifestyle, there's a lot of different waves to choose from. And my family's been living in Wilmington North Carolina for a very long time. So it was a much needed change of atmosphere.
Colby H.: You still spend much time up there?
Corey H.: My great-grandparents still live up there, a couple of my cousins and nephews. So yes, I go up there every once while, probably like every two years.
Colby H.: Nice, yes. I'm from Highlands North Carolina originally, I don't know if you've ever heard of it. But that's where I grew up before I moved to Florida and picked up surfing and stuff down here. So tell us a little bit more back in those times of growing up in Wilmington and into Melbourne. Obviously, you're a very accomplished surfer, but were there any other passions that you had at that age, that kind of got you into sports originally?
Corey H.: Yes. At first, growing up, I did the typical skateboarding, surfing, played basketball, I was super into soccer, but I really was finding that I couldn't do everything at once at early age. So I was missing the practices, but showing up for the games, and my parents really didn't think that was fair or right for everybody else.
So I just kind of ended up sticking towards surfing, and going to the skate park just to work on pumping and technique and whatnot. But for the most part, I was only surfing on the weekends. I was going to public school. I still went through public school all through high school.
So school was pretty center focused on the weekdays, and then I got to have that Sports application over the weekend.
Colby H.: Yes. And I think it's really cool too, surfing and skating even is individual sport. Compared to all these team sports, all your success rides on your shoulders. So what would you say that experience was like through the early age? And what did you learn through that of just stepping into individual sport and learning it that way?
Corey H.: So I started competing when I was about four years old, and I was winning a lot of things actually at four years old. I had an incident where my pinky got slammed in the door, I think at the age of six and a half, and that kind of put me on ice for about four or five months. I had to deal with going through that, and the amputation. And after that, I kind of fell off like my winning streak and I was kind of more in like that struggling style. I was kind of a little unconfident in my abilities, I was always kind of like looking over my shoulder and seeing who was watching me, and it just kind of put a lot of stress and strain on like how I felt as a kid competing.
And so, it was pretty challenging, I would say it wasn't until I hit about 15 or 16 years old that I saw a major difference in how I was able to compete and my confidence and my abilities to compete.
Colby H.: And that kind of segues right into my next question, again, you had multiple junior pro event wins, multiple East Coast title wins. But like you said, you do at a young age kind of tie your personal success to your sport. That's like your identity. So was there a time going through that High School period where you were really all in and so focused on winning, that you kind of felt deterred from surfing and almost considered even giving up maybe?
Corey H.: Yes. I definitely had the conversation with my mother. She said Corey, you're a really talented individual, you're a great athlete, you're committed in what you're doing. Are you sure surfing is like what you want to do? Because she was being real with me, like are you sure? Like you're really being hard on yourself, obviously surfing is a subjective sport.
And so she just wanted to make sure that this was something that I wanted to actually commit my time to. Which was a really great question I think for her at the time, because it was something I never really considered that I could do anything that I choose to do. I just got to think like is that what I would like to do with my time?
And I think at 15 years old, when I could start to actually drive, I started going to the beach more, I started to work out more, and I started to see that my confidence grew the more that I got stronger. Not only because I was getting physically stronger, but mentally, I knew I was doing what a lot of other people were not doing. And that gave me the confidence, it made me not have to look over my shoulder anymore.
And I knew like I was focused, I had drive, and I could see how training carried over into the surf world. And at that time for me, I didn't really see many people's training and surfing, it was kind of like a try hard almost like. It's kind of crazy to think you're looking back now a lot of these guys are training, but back then you didn't really see that as much.
You saw like Taylor Knox doing a lot of like Bosu ball training, and we had Endo board. But other than that, I didn't really see a lot of people exposing that side of the world. So it was kind of new to me, I felt like I was on the brink of a discovery.
Colby H.: Yes. I think one of my favorite parts from that is I love the saying don't be disappointed with results you didn't get from work you didn't do. And it sounds like that's perfectly applicable to that situation, because like you said, it was almost uncool to train and surfing 15 years ago, you just wanted to go out and be the hardest surfer out there, be the best you could be.
But like you said, working out was something that sets you up for success in the water, made you feel that much more confident. So tell us a little bit more about getting into working out, I know obviously that was a big portion of the last decade of your life as you kind of furthered your expertise. So tell us about breaking into working out, and what value you found in that. Not only in the water, but just for your overall mental health as well.
Corey H.: So whenever I first started working out, I would just go to the HealthPlex. I was just trying to like learn any kind of workout with weights, bench press, squat, the average. And then I started to look up what calisthenics was, body weight workouts. And I saw all the bar workouts that you could do. So I was like well, surfing is much like only bodyweight stuff. You got a little bit of resistance with the water when you're paddling, but for the most part, everything's calisthenics body based workouts.
So I started to get pretty heavy on that, I was starting to do things like the front plank, back lever, handstands, not the handstand push-up at the time, I just wasn't strong enough. But just things that people normally thought were like with the wow factor, you know what I mean? And through that, I started to keep showing up to the gym, learning a little bit more. Sometimes I would be more in like the resistance phase, where I would want to like do more like weights. Other times, I would switch back to the calisthenics. It was always like a constant oh, this is better, okay, no, now this is better, okay, I learned something new here so I'll do this for a while. So I never really focus on like one exact thing when it came to fitness. I was always trying to like discover more, try new things, because I think that's really how you end up learning and figuring out like new techniques.
Colby H.: Keeps it fun too.
Corey H.: Sure.
Colby H.: I mean, it gets old to just go in and sling up dumbbells for bench press all the time. I mean, I'm trying to get into the cow stanks thing now, but a little bit heavier set for it, so it's going to be a longer road for me to kind of get into the handstand push-ups, a little bit more advanced stuff.
So thinking about your next step now. I mean, at this point, working out, surfing very well, and obviously, you really excelled in school, maybe even just tell us a little bit about that. Like how did you balance school on top of pursuing all these other things, because I know you were a standout student all the way through Elementary, Middle School and High School. Tell us more about that, and how you bounce it, and really some of the things that you believe helped you excel at school.
Corey H.: Yes. I mean, of course, my parents like motivated me to be like school focused. But I think also my drive to like not want to slip up, like show people that I could do both. I wasn't really one to brag, but I would want to, like for me personally, I wanted to push myself. I ended up getting only one B in high school and that was while I was in Middle School for high school Spanish.
And then I carried over to do my AA degree while I was in high school. And through that time, I was getting all straight A's as well. And so for me, it was kind of like a test to see like how far could I push myself in academics, while also doing the same thing in sports. Because a lot of people tell you got to choose one thing to focus on and be great at one. But in this instant, I think it was best to do both.
Because I've seen a lot of people progress and be at the highest level of that you can at surfing, and then at some point, they have to have a career change. And so during that latency phase, a lot of people kind of fall off and make different decisions as well. And I was seeing this at a young age and realizing this was something that was going to be me in the future. So I had to, even though school wasn't always the most fun, I saw the relevancy that I needed to pursue something more just for myself.
Colby H.: So at that time, was the decision already made that you wanted to be a chiropractor? Or tell us kind of about making that decision to go ahead and eventually get to go to UNF. I know you said you got your AA while still in high school. But tell us, was that the plan all along? Or how did you end up landing on that?
Corey H.: Yes, not at all. UNF was obviously an easy decision, it was the closest University to the beach, so that was a major requirement. And also they had a really cool surf club at the time, we were like on the brink of becoming like a real surf team. I think we got like fourth or fifth in the East Coast Conference the year prior to me joining.
And that year, we ended up becoming a really great surf team, we ended up winning and started our, now I think like we're on like our 11th or 12th consecutive win streak for UNF, which is awesome. But that year that I joined, we won our first East Coast Title.
And all that time I was working out, and I was seeing my results, not only in school grow, but also surfing too. I was still working out all the time, it was like my passion and that's when I started training you a little bit as well. Because I could see the results for myself and I wanted to give that same result to other people.
Colby H.: Yes. I definitely want to talk a little bit about that too, because again, I love the don't say no mentality. Like create the time, don't be that, I've tried to make that change over the past year, is try to be the guy that's willing to make the time. We don't need to talk about my problems and what I have going on, but how can I help you and how can I make my time to be there?
So talking about creating that time to impact others. In a 2018 interview with Ron John, when talking about being a surf coach. You said just to help them build confidence outside the ocean and inside with their abilities. And to see them become overall happier and more confident themselves is empowering for me. A quote you said in 2018 about being a surf coach.
So can you elaborate more on that, and kind of the power you've found in assisting others while also chasing dreams of your own?
Corey H.: Yes. I was just actually talking to one of my patients today over lunch. I brought her a pizza, 93 years old a. And I was telling her, it's so incredible that I get to do something where I provide value to other people. I can make people literally they'll walk in with the worst day ever, they have all these problems. I give them confidence, I give them information about what's going on with their body, and I can empower them by teaching them how to take care of themselves.
And that's something that I've tried to give in all stages of life for people who are older, younger, still I'm training with like young kids and athletes for their mental state as well. And just trying to create, be a relatable figure for them. So that's why I ended up becoming a chiropractor, because I saw that a lot of people were enjoying their chiropractor. When I went to UNF, I joined the athletic training program.
I knew that was something that dealt with sports injuries, and I ended up working with a bunch of sports teams at the time. They had an incredible program there. If you're interested in learning about the body and taking care of athletes, I highly recommend joining the athletic training program. Just as a stepping stone, if you want to be an athletic trainer, that's awesome too.
It just wasn't like what I personally wanted to do. But through that program, I learned more through those two years alone, the value of like the research they provided, how to take care of athletes with taping and modalities. Working with different sports teams, and seeing how each sports team worked differently, worked out differently. And through that experience I saw a common theme that everybody loved to see their chiropractor.
Even if they were doing the same thing to everybody, everybody loved their chiropractor. You could spend five minutes with them, you could spend 45 minutes with them, everybody loved their chiropractor. And so it gave me the freedom to say like hey, I can be anybody I want to be. I can choose any technique I want to do, as long as I have great communication and the passion to help people, I can be that person that people want to go see. And so that's why I ended up going the Chiropractic route.
Colby H.: And the experience really is what led you there, because that was going to be another question. I remember back when we were even training together, it seemed like you had this swagger to like you had it figured out. You made me, just like you said, you built that confidence in anybody. You were like running with me and doing the lunges, and doing the warm-ups and showing me how to do. I was like oh Corey's doing it, and he's confident and I can do it, like I'm going to follow in his footsteps.
When discussing navigating that next chapter, I think that's a huge struggle for a lot of young people these days, is they want to figure it out, they want to know what they're going to do after college or going through college. What would you say based on the stories you just shared there, what would you say people could do to best set themselves up or give them the best opportunity to figure that out?
Corey H.: Yes. I was doing something with Mr. Mitch Kaufman here in Jacksonville Beach. And in his Studio was Mike Ryan, he was the head athletic trainer of the Jacksonville Jaguars for like 30 plus years. And through that conversation, I was like hey man, like I would really like for you to come talk to our class since you're a former athletic trainer, I think he was just retiring. And you have such a great wealth of experience, and you're a big figure in Jacksonville. Come and speak to our class, and he said okay, perfect.
And during that little conversation I had with them prior to him coming, he gave me some valuable information. He said Corey, what is your dream job? And I said well, of course, it's to work on the world surf league as medical doctor of some sort. Whether it's to help people out or be the director, I don't know. But just to be there in the presence of my favorite sport would be incredible.
And so he said all right, perfect, so you already know what you want to do. Now who has that job that you want, or who is currently doing the job that you want, I said okay, well that led to the question, well actually, who is it? And I went on Instagram, and I did all this searching to see who that person was. And that's the nice thing about the internet now, is like you can find out information very quickly.
And so I found the person, I saw that they were doing a seminar and I easily went to the seminar, no questions asked and I met the person. Flew to California, had no ticket for the seminar I just showed up, because it was already sold out. Yes, I just ended up meeting the guy, and he's like oh yes man, you came all the way from Florida, no ticket, just to come to this? I said yes sir, of course.
And he said all right, well, at the end of the seminar, you can just pay us, but just come in for now. And I said all right, awesome. So I sat there and I had eight practitioners there all approaching problems differently from their point of view. And I was learning like crazy amounts of information, while I was already in Chiropractic. And I was like wow, all these people are like people I want to be associated with. And they ended up, at the end of the seminar, they had like a trick contest, like who can do the best trick on the ground?
And of course, I started, I did the front plank going up into a handstand push-up and everyone's like what, that was crazy. Like everyone's freaking out. And it was like a cool opportunity, because all that work I'd done in the past, working and training, I was now talking about it and being about it, which a lot of people like to see. And so I ended up meeting the guy, Dr. Tim Brown and became great friends with him, and everywhere he goes, like seminars wise, I tried to be there, and I just became like a great bond with him.
And ever since then, I was like wow, that's a great way to approach the problem, where do I want to go? Who's there? I need to meet them, what skill set do they have? I need those skill sets and just go from there. Because I think a lot of parents look at me as an example for their kids. I surf, I go to school. I have a clinic now. I'm somebody that a lot of people would like to be, and that's awesome. But people think that everyone needs to go to school, and I quickly remind them, like what are you interested in first? You can go to school, but if you don't know your end goal, you might be wasting time.
You're better off trying different fields and professions, shadowing people with things that you think you're interested in. Seeing and exploring that route first, and then if you like it, great, then pursue it. But if you don't like it, at least you tried it, so then when you look back, you don't like second guess yourself.
So that was a big thing for me. I ended up shadowing like ICU doctor, physical therapists, chiropractors, obviously athletic training, personal training I was into. And I found that chiropractic for me was my calling, and so, I feel confident now that I made the right decision.
Colby H.: And it's just such a good nugget for young people out there, trying to figure it out, because I've noticed that same issue now as most people say well, I don't know what I want to do and it's okay. Well, what have you tried? And then they don't necessarily have a track record. Like I remember I had a rule in high school even trying to get a jump on the gun figuring out what I want to do.
By the time I was a freshman, I made a rule that I wouldn't work the same high school job for more than a year, because I knew I would have exhausted the value at that point. Working as like a food delivery boy or as a kayaking tour guide, or then anything else that came along the way. Like trying to switch it up to best, trying to figure out what I wanted to do, and I did learn I love speaking, I love talking to people, I love conversation.
So I think that's super important for anyone listening that's trying to figure out, it's like go try to decide for yourself, figure it out for yourself by getting that experience. And you started to talk a little bit about all these people that you've encountered through that mentality, and I had a long list here of all these very high achieving, high level doctors and employees at places like WSL.
So tell us a little bit more about getting in front of a mentor like that, and how do you approach trying to kind of work with someone to add that value to them, while also, they're going to give it back to you.
Corey H.: For sure, that's a great question. Finding a mentor, a mentor can be like in a profession and a passion of yours a hobby, or just even somebody you want to learn information from. I have mentors all across in different categories, whether it's through gardening, doctor stuff, just friends that I like to be associated with. Mentors can be found anywhere, it just depends what information you're looking to seek.
And so, the best way I think to get in front of a mentor is to just say hello, it's easy. You can of course always invite them to lunch or dinner, and have a real genuine conversation with them, but they just don't have the time for that. Just even saying hello, and trying to get establish a connection with them, will serve you great deal.
Because then, your goal after you establish connection is to follow up, maintain that relationship, because it's easy to say hello to somebody once, but it's another thing to follow with them like a couple months later. Like hey, I saw that you're doing that, that looks awesome. Hey, how are you doing? I've been working on this, can you check this out? And so that shows people that you are not only interested in the first conversation, but you're interested in actually becoming a friend with them.
And that's what a lot of people I think are missing, is they want something immediately whenever they meet somebody. And maybe sometimes you just need to play the long game, until you figure out what you can deliver for them as well. Because people don't like when you take, take, take. So if you can somehow give something back to somebody, even if they have everything, there's still something that you can probably give to them that will make them happy.
Corey H.: Yes. I think there's very few supplements for time even, just to engage in that conversation and be genuine through it. Like you said, not necessarily shoving it down their throat of hey, oh come be a guest on my podcast, but instead, oh, beautiful car man, I hope you're doing well. Something very basic to get your foot in the door with that.
Kind of pivoting into another topic that I wanted to ask you about, when thinking about your sports career, again, we didn't touch on a ton, so maybe we'll loop it back real quick to your time at UNF on the surf team. You guys, like you said, well, on 11 East Coast titles?
Corey H.: Yes, something like that. I think while we were there too, we got second in the nation two years in a row.
Colby H.: And first once or twice right? Or I guess you won some individual?
Corey H.: Yes. A couple of us won some individual titles, which is great. I think we won, the girls won, the guy won, I think Patrick won like the longboard twice and then I ended up winning the short board twice.
Colby H.: So tell us a little bit about the mentality going into that. You were kind of heading up the team your last two or three years there, and again, found a lot of success. And it's not easy to coordinate that through raising funds, and then actually performing in your heat. So tell us a little bit about that as kind of leading it, and also just competing, and the mentality behind trying to go out there and win every year at nationals.
Corey H.: Yes, it was awesome. We had a great group of like friends that ended up becoming a great force in the surf team. We had some of the people originally that were more like just stoked for us to even be there, and then as we started to have more accolades, people started to come from South Florida to the team.
It was a big like pivotal switch for UNF I think, because we started to see people from the beach sides coming to UNF. I mean, you're thinking South Florida to Jacksonville, that's quite like a temperature jump. But people started to see that we could still surf and go to school, which I think is what a lot of people actually like to do.
And so Max Martens and I started to really develop the surf team, get people interested in coming and have it be like a great atmosphere, not only for the parties and the clubs, but also, for the surfing. And yes, we didn't really do much like training I would say, but it was more just like having the ability to corral everybody and have like a similar goal.
Our goal was to win the national championships, which has never been done by an East Coast team ever. And so that's pretty crazy when you think about it, but that was a good goal for us to have. And unfortunately, it never happened. But through that, we actually had like a lot of people that I think were kind of like falling off from surfing, and then they reignited back into surfing, because we actually had like an athletic team to be associated with, which was really cool.
Colby H.: Yes, I love the atmosphere that you created. It sounds like that's really what you guys did. It's like hey, we're going to worry about what we do in the water when we're out there, but other than that, like let's just be stoked to hang out and be getting ready to go do something like that at nationals.
Corey H.: Yes. I mean, for sure, like a lot of them were seriously competitive. Like everybody kind of wants to win, but it's like it's different. And so to like make everyone feel comfortable, like not too much pressure, because some people just don't perform under pressure like that well. Still keep the fun aspect of it, I think is what now UNF team is still doing amazing. Everyone's just stoked to be there.
Colby H.: Yes. It's definitely thriving, and that's one of the pitches I've always gotten about going to UNF, is that the surf scene is super cool. Not even just with the team, but kind of know a lot of guys from the Pier, from Talbot even all the way up to Fernandina. Like guys kind of all get out together in those areas.
So thinking back to that time, and then immediately kind of pivoting into the business world. Not only with your coaching, individual surf coaching, but fitness in general, and then your chiropractic office. What have been some of the things maybe outside of creating that camaraderie in that atmosphere that you've taken from your experience in sports, and just directly applied it to business.
Corey H.: I'm not really good at business to be honest with you. I don't know, it wasn't something that like I was ever forced to do as a kid. I was just always told just to go to school and everything's going to be good. And then switching into business, business was pretty challenging for me. I don't know why, but like taking money from people was always like difficult to me.
I felt like I always had to be like the plug, always giving people hookups, and like establishing connections, and switching into a more business role. It's important to take capital and money, and that's something that I still like working on myself, because you want to try to give people so much. But if you're not taking also, then it's hard to keep building.
And so with the clinic, it was a great opportunity. Like I said, I'd shouted so many doctors and I had gone across the world to take information, techniques, different products, and then now is my chance to blend it all together. And that's why I didn't even hesitate whenever we got out of chiropractic school, my wife, Jesse, she said Corey, you need to open a clinic. I said really, are you sure I need to open a clinic?
She said yes, you're good enough. I said okay, I was like but I just don't know, like I don't have the notes, I don't have the software, I don't have this or that, she's like you'll figure it out. She's like either way at some point you're going to have to figure it out, so why not now. I said okay, you're right. I mean, because if I go work for somebody else, yes, it's going to be a great experience for me, but then I'm going to have a latency period where I'm not making any money, so the best time to not make money is like right now.
Before like I become dependent on it, and she was 100% right. I went straight into it. I knew nothing about construction, but we worked our way through it. I knew nothing about billing and doing some of the node stuff, we worked our way through it. Same with the technique. A lot of people didn't really realize that I was pretty fresh out, but I had the confidence that I wasn't going to hurt anybody, so I really need to actually work and perfect my craft.
I wasn't practicing on people, but I was actually honing in on my craft of what I was really good at, identifying things I was a little weak at, and then seeking out some mentorship and help for like picking up the bar on some of that stuff I was struggling with. But at no point did I feel like I was not where I needed to be. Like I didn't have like impersonating syndrome. Every time like I helped somebody, I felt like people appreciated what I was doing and it just gave me confidence to keep it going.
Colby H.: Yes, that's amazing that you took that risk. And have you just been, I mean, like you said, you had a lot to, not only it was funny you said you wouldn't be making money, but in a business, you're investing in as well. So I mean, have you been able to just completely fund it yourself to get everything off the ground and get all the equipment things like that, you needed your space?
Corey H.: Yes. Through athletic training, I acquired like a couple Mac pros and a lot of other therapy devices. But I ended up doing like payments on my table, and then I ended up manifesting a Shockwave machine. When I was out in Canada, I was like man, I really want to Shockwave, I really want to shock wave, and I tried like three different types of shock waves and there's levels to shockwave and it comes with a price tag.
And somehow, I just ended up with a perfect opportunity to buy like the highest grade shockwave machine for a crazy price. So I was like all right, let's do it. And so along the way, I just started manifesting these things into like what I wanted to have. Dr. Colby here at Back In Motion in Jacksonville Beach, he hooked me up with a vibe play and a pelvic bench. Every seminar that I went to, I tried to like buy a product.
So it wasn't like I had a lot of expenses all at once, I steady accumulated things, and then before I knew it, I was like wow, I have everything that I actually need to open a practice. And then since then, I've tried to roll over almost all my profits into equipment. Because reinvesting into a company, it takes time, but I was okay without making money for now. I was stoked to just even be afloat, much less be able to like have profits to keep buying more stuff. So everything I buy, I kept using myself, so it was like a win-win.
Colby H.: Right. Just able to keep the doors open too. Like you said, I mean, getting people in and having that opportunity to serve at the highest quality too. I'm sure it's a huge confidence booster for you, especially in the early days, where you can believe in what you're selling to people already. Contrary to some people, they kind of rush into it, and then they don't have that same confidence when they are serving their customers.
Like oh, I can't wait for a year down the road, when I can actually fulfill my purpose here. So what about your day-to-day, when you're going through this in the patience of it, what have you learned through delayed graphication, and your entry into running your practice down there in Melbourne?
Corey H.: Yes. I think it'd just become comfortable being a beginner, right? Like it's okay to like want all these things, but once I get them, just seems like I'm still me. Like I could drop, I bought the new X machine, I thought it was going to be like a pivotal role and like how I was going to change my clinic, like 11 grand for the machine, still it was me. Everything that I kept buying, I thought like oh, this is going to change the game for me, no, still saying me.
And I think that's how we need to treat like having products, and nice things, and money is at the end of the day, you're still you. So like let's just be comfortable with where you're at right now, and build on that. So every day, try to like do something where you kind of push that needle forward and like step closer to like this is the person that you want to become. And that's why I just try to focus on the most.
Colby H.: Yes. I'm actually, so Wednesday of this week, I'm actually going to my old high school and I'm giving a speech on how to create success after High School. Mainly focusing kind of on what you just say, like your habits, your schedule, your mindset. No matter what job you have, like these are going to be the things you need to implement. So I've been asking a lot of people I know, how do you define success and what as someone who's still doing things every day. What do you see now in the future for Success compared to maybe what you thought it was when you were younger?
Corey H.: Yes. At first, I would say success would be having money, and I treat a lot of people with money, and I see that they think success is maintaining a great business, but also being healthy. And so that made me like whoa, okay, I already have the healthiness I have like what a lot of people are searching for is to be healthy.
So let's enjoy the time that we have now. And so success for me before would be more money oriented, success for me now is just being happy. Focusing on the things that give me passion, trying to do those every day, and then just being grateful for like where I'm at right now, that's real success for me.
Because you can be ''super successful'' and be all the way at the top, I learned that at the Jacksonville Jaguars working as an athletic trainer there for the summer, that was the top. It wasn't that fun for me. And so I think a lot of people get confused with what that being in the top is being successful, and I think being successful is having a good mindset and just being happy with where you're at right now.
Colby H.: That attitude of gratitude is really powerful. Again, same here, learning that over the past couple years like since I got out of high school, I used to say there was always somewhere I was looking to go, and then recently, I just did what most people advise you do, make sure you're around good people, and you are having a schedule and you're prioritizing making waves for yourself while also investing in others.
Try to do some right moves for myself, and for the first time, I was actually able to say, you know what? I'm like happy to be here today. I'm not like worried about what I've got going on down the road, and this and the other. So I think that's a huge thing. And even talking from you now, obviously something that was probably passed down to me through my history around you, and you're doing a lot of other stuff too.
Like you said, I mean, you'd still love to get involved with people outside the office, and one of the things I wanted to ask you about are these Typhoon Lagoon training sessions you've been putting down, something you kind of launched through 2022. So for those who don't know, Typhoon Lagoon is a wave pool at Disneyland, and you're able to rent it out and put on these sessions.
So tell us a little bit more about diving into that, and kind of launching another little fun project to get involved with people and continue to fulfill your mission really.
Corey H.: Yes. The Typhoon Lagoon sessions are pretty cool. My friend, Dalton Smith ended up like where they kind of co-created, but it kind of took the reins more so with doing it. And so he pretty much fronts the money, sets them all up, and basically, people can buy individual passes into surfing Typhoon Lagoon. Which before you had to buy the whole package, which is pretty hard to negotiate ten people showing up at once.
Colby H.: Yes, and it's steep too, it is not cheap to get out there.
Corey H.: Yes. And so it just opened the doors for other people to be able to do it singular or just meet cool people. So for me, I just show up, and I'm pretty much like the hype man. I just help people with what they're working on body mechanic wise, stoke people out while they're there, and just try to help them achieve better technique or hits, whatever we're working on for that day.
And so I go there probably like once every month or two months. It's nice because I get to Surf, I get to get some video. I stow people out and I get to meet people in the community as well.
Colby H.: Yes, that's kind of my role. We were just talking, I just came from the flag football field, and that's really, I'm the hype man. That's my designation. There's a spot for that. I mean, what would you say the value you found in that too, of just kind of being if you weren't necessarily contributing on the field or off the theoretical field. What do you think that energy has served for you in meeting people and continuing to do the things that you do?
Corey H.: Just put your foot in the door, like when you are the hype man, you're the hype man for everybody. You don't know who they are, which is the beauty of it too. So I met a lot of people just through being the hype man, because they're like whoa, okay, this person is like nice to everybody, that's incredible and people value that.
So being the hype man can be all like from giving the advice whenever they actually want it, just saying something before they walk away and they turn around they smile and they're stoked on it on you, and just bringing the energy to the room has a powerful statement. And I'm just happy to prove it.
Colby H.: Yes, just like you said, helps get you noticed. I mean, in a room of 100 people, if you're the loudest and most energized guy there, they can't miss you.
Corey H.: Of course.
Colby H.: As you said, I'm sure they'll all come over. And then back to one of the discussions we had a minute ago, talking about WSO. You said that was what you wanted to do one day, you were fully sold, I want to work on the WSLB around Surfers, work on the best Surfers in the world. Experience that energy, those are kind of smaller events, just some people on the beach, it's absolutely electric at every event.
But you ended up getting to do some work for the WSL earlier this year or was it in 2021 that you first got out? I think I saw you at the Vans Huntington Beach event. Tell us about that, that was pretty much your dream being brought into fruition. So what was that experience like in kind of the emotion you experienced through that whole process.
Corey H.: Dr. Tim Brownie invited me out and I said heck yes, I'll go there. So there was no question I went out there, I got to like meet a lot of people that I'd never seen before, a lot of familiar faces as well, which serves me good.
Because normally, people are just walking right past you, but then since some of the athletes were coming, I'm like hey dude, like that's cool that you're here right now, you've been talking about it for a long time, that's what you want to do. And so to be able to like provide value to the people that I like to be around is awesome. So working out event was great. I was hustling I think three or four days in a row all hours.
They said like oh, this is your shift, this is your shift. I'm like no, I'm going every shift. So to show up and perform that was a really big confidence booster, and then I went straight into the cabarete pro and Dominican Republic and worked that QS event and also surfed it. And once again, I was working it all by myself, my wife came and like helped me with the scheduling and timing and setting people up.
But for the most part, I was just grinding 30 people a day, surfing all day as well. Whatever my heat was up. So that was really like a cool experience, I was like wow, I can really do something with this. But it was also mentally exhausting because here I am playing two different roles in worlds.
I'm helping the people that I'm competing against, but I'm also like not paying attention to where to sit, where like free surfing as much as I should be. So it's a tricky balance, but it's something that I enjoy to do, and I look forward to doing more of this.
Colby H.: So still competing, how did that event end up going for you?
Corey H.: It was not good.
Colby H.: Not ideal?
Corey H.: No, it wasn't ideal. I just had some weird priority rulings, but it's all part of the game. You got to learn.
Colby H.: I think I saw something about that.
Corey H.: And so that day was my first QS event ever, ever competing in QS event I always was sitting at school. So this is my first time to actually go compete, I felt really good, I still had a good energetic spirit, and I was there to be there all the way up to the finals day. And so I think to be there competing, lose, but then still showing up and helping people out, like that to me is like action and I love of that.
Colby H.: Yes. So thinking about working with your athletes, so I know you said you do a little bit of the mental performance coaching as well. What advice would you give to someone that's in that situation, where they're kind of juggling a bunch, but at the end of the day, they still have a heat to get through that day. What is your general advice to try to get someone in that right mindset, to go out do their best perform and hopefully get a win?
Corey H.: Well, I mean, for sure, when you're at competition day, your practice sessions are over. You're there now to compete. Now the biggest thing is your mentality. Making sure that you get adequate sleep, you're hydrating well, you're eating well throughout the day. A lot of athletes slip up and they just surf like all day. Blow their hydration out of the water, they don't eat much and now they're like kind of weak at this point.
And so if you're really looking to be serious, you need to think about these things, like look at your calorie intake. Because you don't want to be surfing all day and then you got a big day tomorrow and now you got none left in the tank. So that's when you start to see the people that are really taking it serious, conserving themselves.
Even though you want to go out and surf all day, maybe you shouldn't. Instead of like talking with your friend’s right before your heat and not paying attention, maybe you should be like in your zone focusing on breathing. But also, everybody's got a different mentality when it comes to that. So that's where you got to like focus on your strengths and your weaknesses.
Maybe somebody's like too much in their head before, so it's good to have some conversation. So you really got to see like how you perform the best at, and then just go based on that. Because for sure, like everyone doesn't fit in the same book.
Colby H.: Yes, I can totally agree with the idea of you got to figure out what works for you. I think there's a lot of conversations that can be had. But it ends up coming down to well, this works for me, I like to do this pre-heat whether it's a weird ritual that you might have to get through, or if it is like I like to sit on the beach and chop it up with my boys for five minutes before I paddle out.
We either line up together and that makes me confident in going out on the water. So tell me about kind of what works for you? I mean, obviously, there's a lot of conversation out there of like million dollar morning routine, or do this to schedule your day. What does a day in the life look like for you now, and is there kind of a system that you like to follow to be most productive?
Corey H.: Day in a life of me is sporadic.
Colby H.: Don't doubt it.
Corey H.: It is sporadic. One day I'll be here doing this thing and the next day I'm doing like something completely opposite. So for me, a day in the life for me is like having a goal that I'm working towards, like getting like a bunch of random jobs done.
When it comes to competition time, I definitely try to focus on my sleep and drink a lot of liquids, because a couple of times, I've had like some muscle spasms and just bogged out by the end of the day. So definitely hydration for that. But I don't really follow a schedule, I just try to get adequate sleep, hydrate enough, and do something for like physical activity every day if I can. Sometimes, working, the day escapes me. So lately, I've been trying to wake up early in the morning and get after it, because by 6:30, 7 P.M I'm pretty toasted.
All I want to do is eat dinner and then just kind of chill out and do some stuff around the house. So I think now it looks more like workout in the mornings, figure out if I can surf during the day in between all my patients and then just do some stuff around the house after that.
Colby H.: Yes. Many hats over here, one of the things I definitely want to talk about is a place you've invested a lot of time over the last couple years is into your garden.
Corey H.: The shred garden.
Colby H.: Yes, the shred Garden. So obviously, I've got you on Instagram, so I can say you have been going to the gym early about 6 a.m. I'll get that story every day. But tell us a little bit about the garden, and the mentality behind starting that.
I mean, I have found it really interesting, because you talk a lot about if there's ever a shortage or if there's ever, if they continue to produce food that in the first place isn't positive for me to be eating. So tell us a little bit about starting up your garden in the long term goal and plan that you have kind of invested into that.
Corey H.: Yes. The original spark in like growing was for my Grandma Rose, she used to grow a lot when she was alive, and it was something I wanted to kind of do like for her, but also for myself. Because I grew up like not really growing anything, I can't think of one thing I really grew as a kid, zero.
So this was like a good challenge, and also I liked food. So the moment I found out that there was different varieties of this and that, I got a rare seeds catalog and I was like I can't believe there's all these things to grow, and like we don't see them anywhere in the grocery store. And then you go in the grocery store, and almost everything is imported from a different country. And it's like wow, I thought Florida is like the home of growing. Orange trees, lemons trees, the climate is perfect.
And so, I just started, my goal was first year, own 50 plants. I didn't know what 50 plants even looked like, but I was just going to own 50 plants, couldn't even think of 50 plants. And then the more I just found out that each variety or each type of fruit that there was, I wanted it.
And so this was like a natural progression as well. I would get like two this week, and then I would get like three this week, and I would trade like this for that with friends, and I started to grow and accumulate all these plants. And before I knew it, everything was either in a pot at my clinic now, or it's already planted at the shred garden, and I'm working on like using cardboard to recycle and weed suppression.
I use algae around my coconut trees, and so I try my best to do everything like DIY or like pretty like not spend a lot of money, so it's relatable to people because easily I could go out and buy like the nicest thing this and that and it would look perfect. But I don't think a lot of people can relate to that, so my journey for the shred Garden is to create something that people are inspired by, and that they choose to do themselves.
Because the only way that we can change our action from being like only a consumer to now a producer, it's a hard journey, but we should all just focus a little at a time. Like okay, we'll learn how to grow this and now we'll grow that, because everything that we can produce on our own is less we got to go spend money on after taxes to go by ourselves.
So a lot of things that we purchase right now, we could actually find in the wild or also just grow ourselves. So why are we wasting our time working to go pay taxes and then now use the money left over to go buy the same food that we could have at our house? Made no sense to me. At least for me. Some people don't mind, but for me, this was like a really good challenge and a good lifestyle to like hey, there's a banana right there, I'll take it off my tree. Hey, there's this I want to go cook with, I'll take this right here.
And it's like it's organic, it's back to like the grassroots, it's simple. But also working with people all day, getting my energy drained. It was like a great way for me to force to go outside, be connected to nature, reabsorb a lot of my energy that I used and expended on other people, and I think that it just made me happy.
Colby H.: I was going to ask, I mean it's got to be pretty meditative for you to end up going out there and just spend some time in the Sun, and working on your plants and things like that in the evenings.
Corey H.: I just go out and I just laugh. I'm like I can't believe I own this property. I can't believe like I'm growing all this stuff and like no one is doing it. Like it just baffles me. And it's going to be so cool in the next few years when I can like teach and like give people all these crazy exotic things that I own, like that's the goal.
The goal is like yes, to have it for myself, but to share for other people, because one time, I posted on my Snapchat I said like wow, I can't believe like if something ever goes down, I'm set and someone said well, I'm going to come over and rob you. And like normally, people would be like huh, that's true. But I was like that might actually be true, so I'm better off to just go and start helping people out grow now.
Like why do I have to have all this just myself, I could easily, so I go and plant things at my friend's house. I'm like oh, I'll plant a mango tree here because I know it'll get huge. I'll plant this there because I know it'll get big, so I'll come back and collect in like 10 years whenever it's booming. But also too, it kind of gives those people a responsibility that maybe they wouldn't have thought of themselves.
Colby H.: You literally plant the seed?
Corey H.: Yes, just like hey dude, I got these, like I got four mangoes and I'll go plant this at your house. They're like oh sick, but I know in like five years, I'll go there and grab some mangoes. But then they might be actually stoked to grow more. I help them start their gardening adventure which is pretty cool. Just like I helped you like drink Kava for the first time, I tried to do that with everybody, with everything. Like I like people to have a first experience of like good products and good experiences. So then maybe, it sparks like a change for them.
Colby H.: I remember, there was a post I saw from you about this time last year, because I remember I was coming up with questions for the document and one of them that I immediately wanted to ask was, I remember last year there was a client you had come in and she said she was experiencing seasonal depression.
So kind of on this topic of mental health and things like that, what are some things that people could go out, habits, anything of that nature, consumption, what they're putting in their body. What are some things that people could do to immediately see effects in their mental health? Or how could they analyze how they could try to make themselves feel better?
Corey H.: Yes. I mean, feeling better can, it has a wide range. You're talking about blood testing is a huge thing, you never know what kind of levels you're low at. So if you're really struggling and you can't figure out a solution, maybe you should go get your blood panel tested, and you could be low on this one thing, you take a supplement for it and boom, you're right back in action.
People who take like blood pressure medication, they might be low at a certain coenzyme Q, which is a production for muscle potentials to react. So little like tips and tricks like that can make a huge difference on how you feel mentally. If you're like in a depression, I would say focus on being outside a little bit more, there's been huge studies on micro dosing as far as it changing your experience of the way you look at life, without like all the negative effects of it, of like other prescription like antidepressants.
And once again, one thing that might work for one person and another not, so I think it's YouTube, YouTube that thing man. I YouTube everything, so what you want to try out and learn, YouTube it up.
Colby H.: Yes. Do your own due diligence and then come back and think about those different things. What do you think about, are you a big component of cold water therapy as well or what do you think about using that too?
Corey H.: Cold water therapy scary mentally.
Colby H.: Yes, I was like oh, he's got a new spin on it.
Corey H.: Oh yes, it's scary mentally for sure. I don't have a cold therapy ice plunge at all right now, it's something that I would love to have, but right now, I don't. But a lot of people who do it on the regular, they love it, absolutely love it.
But mentally, it's difficult. It's one of those things where your brain says no, but you have to overpower and override it. But it's not something I can really say much about, because I don't do it on a regular basis. I do go to the sauna quite a bit because it's convenient for me at the townhouse, but it's something that I would definitely like to have in the future and do more.
Colby H.: Yes. I think the convenience of it would be ideal. I do remember there was a couple months ago where I was kind of having an off day, very busy, little scatter brain and now it's like you know what I got I think it was like a birthday dinner that night. So it's like no, I got to hit the switch. I need to like feel better, be on my A-game.
So I ended up going and getting eight bags ice, I did six minutes at like 55 degrees, maybe a little lower and I felt amazing for the rest of night. I think it's because you literally shut off everything because you just want to survive. You're like I just want to get through these next few minutes without like seizing up.
So tell us too, one of the big things I think too kind of leading that happy life finding that success is who you're going to do it with. And just recently, you got married, congratulations.
Corey H.: Thanks so much.
Colby H.: Big decision. I heard it was an amazing time, you guys had a beautiful venue too. So tell us a little bit about that for you, and what value has come with that as well. And I think you and Jesse have been together for going on maybe like five years now, maybe more?
Corey H.: Almost four I think, yes.
Colby H.: Almost four, so it really hasn't been too long. Just tell us about her impact on your life and kind of moving forward, what that means to you.
Corey H.: Yes, it was good because I already had a direction in life. So I kind of knew where I wanted to go. I wasn't completely like graduated, I think I had like two more years ago. So she really helped me a lot with like nutrition, I'm really good at cleaning dishes, she's good at cooking. She's good at the business side of things, and I'm good at interactions and making connections.
So we both had things that complemented each other in our relationship, and I think that was a good success for us. A lot of people say like opposites attract, but also like don't people who are like the same kind of bring better value to each other? If you're an opposite then that means you're just, you have more time to be alone and that's why you can tolerate each other more when you're together, in my opinion.
But whenever you're together, I think you're stronger, because you have someone you can rely on undoubtedly. And that's powerful, because I don't have to ever worry about like what she's doing. I was like yes, go do it, that's no problem, and she trusts me fully too. I think that that's awesome, because now that's something that I don't have to think about during the day like oh, I need to go out to the bar to go find this girl, I need to go to this to go hang out with her.
I'm focusing now on like things that I actually want to go do. And so to have that mental stress of not worrying about that stuff, and now focusing on things that I actually enjoy is pretty alleviating. That was something I spent a lot of time doing, was trying to like impress others or like do something for this person, and now, I don't really got to do that, now I have somebody I can actually trust, I can do all these amazing things with, and it's pretty crazy I spent almost like, most of my time with her and she's like my best friend.
We always have things to talk about. And I think that for us, it's rare, we see a lot of people with relationships that they do kind of opposite things like I said and they're together like at night time.
But I don't know, for us, we can go pretty deep in conversation about like what we want to do, how you felt about this, and then she can tell me like hey Corey, like that conversation, you were not acting really nice and so I'm like I got to accept that, that was nice that you told me that and I can reflect on like why did I say that, but to have somebody that can tell me like hey man, you're kind of like out of line on that, check me, that's good. Because most people wouldn't do that for you. So yes, it comes from a good place.
Colby H.: Yes. I think I can definitely understand the never complacent, but the content feeling you get from knowing it's like man, I could go, I could bomb today, I could kill it today, I could be the guy on top of the mountain, I could be the guy pushing the wagon up the mountain and I've got someone to be there and to back me up.
Corey H.: Of course.
Colby H.: And kind of pivoting on that question or piggybacking on that question, what about a lot of the people that you hang around down there in Melbourne Beach? I know we were talking earlier, we even had one of Corey's good buddies Liam in here last week, stellar guy, played college baseball really into the fitness space as well.
So what value have you found in those type of relationships, and the people you surround yourself with and outside those mentors, but the guys that you can sit down and you can drink Cava with, and also just kind of cut up about the week in life and things like that.
Corey H.: Yes. I think with relationships, people kind of think too much into it. And me, myself I was kind of that way as well. Like if I'm not hanging out with that person every day, we're not really like friends. But that's not true at all, like I said try to maintain relationships and contacts with people every once while.
You don't got to hang out with them all the time. But if you're coming into town, hit a couple of your boys up and rekindle that relationship. And so that's what I try to do. Each place I go to, I say what's up to everybody? I try to be friendly with everybody, and really focus on building who I know. I know electricians, I know plumbers, I know people from when I was in high school still.
I know really wealthy people, I know people and business owners, everyone is important that plays a role. I hang out with that old lady today, we had like a 90, she's in my 92 year old patient and I brought her some pizza. And I think just knowing everybody is so valuable, because you never know who you might need to rely on at some point. And I feel good knowing that I give everybody time.
Everyone I talk to, I try to be as nice as I can, because I never know what position they may be in the future for me. And so that's a really valuable thing to accept and understand. So in high school, I was nice to a lot of people, and now a lot of those people became people in different professions. So now when I go and talk with them, like yo, you were always nice to me, like you helped me out with this, like no problem, I'll help you out now.
And I think a lot of people pigeonhole themselves and ruin relationships, and then 10 years down the line they need something from that person, they're like I didn't forget what you did to me that day. And so I just want to be friends with everybody.
Colby H.: Yes. To even drive a couple hours north come to a podcast with a guy you've only met a number of times.
Corey H.: Of course. Every little move matters, and if I can just spend my time wisely and challenge myself like coming here and talking, it's definitely something that's a little nerve-wracking, but it's a good challenge and I like that.
Colby H.: And I think it just aligns with everything you've been doing. I mean, I knew from the get it go when we were starting this podcast in fall of last year, we came up with a few guests. You might remember Sean Poynter, a very accomplished surfer from the East Coast. He was top of our list, but I immediately started thinking and man, you literally felt I think it was like number three, first person that came to mind.
Like who aligns to come on this podcast and tell their story. So we really appreciate you coming on today man, everything you've done has been super admirable. As you know, our grit Creed is 12 principles that Grit.Org is really built on something we believe everyone could pick and choose from or abide by all of them to lead a happier more fulfilled life. So looking at now, what part of the Grit Creed resonates most with you and why.
Corey H.: Yes. I think it's this one that you circled, yes, that was me. All right, so yes, out of the 12 that I looked at back. I would say I am mentally, physically and emotionally resilient.
Colby H.: Is there any reasoning behind that or is it just the resilience too that really resonates with you?
Corey H.: Yes, you got to walk it like you talk it. I'm a doctor, I need to be coaching people about health. I need to be the role model for them, so then when they sit there and speak to me, they know I'm not bullshitting them. And that is very important because people can see through that. So you need to be who you want to become, and I'm already that now.
So I just focus on every day doing something physically, I do something mentally challenging, dealing with people and figuring out complex situations and emotionally. I try to harness all that together every day I'm working towards building that. It is never perfect, I always have struggles, but it's how I handle those struggles with action is what I think makes me with the Grit Creed I'm mentally, physically and emotionally resilient.
Colby H.: Powerful stuff man. Well Corey, thank you so much for being on today brother, it's been killer. That's a wrap for us today here at the Grit.org podcast. Check out Corey's office in Melbourne Beach, follow them on socials as well. What's your personal and office account?
Corey H.: Yes. My personal is Shred doctor. The clinic is Central Florida health clinic, so CFL health. And also, the garden is the shred Garden.
Colby H.: Got it all covered, make sure to check him out there. As for us, please check out our other episodes, leave us a comment, tell us something you enjoyed or really were impacted by through Corey's story. Share it with someone else you think it would resonate with, and as always, we appreciate you tuning in for another episode of the Grit.org podcast.