Joe Ison is pure West Coast.
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As an Integrative Health and Wellness coach/ consultant, Joseph works with many different types of clients to improve lifestyle behavior change in meaningful and sustainable ways. He is passionate about supporting people with raising awareness within themselves to take back control of their health. This passion was born out of a realization that he himself wanted to live a healthier, more wholesome life not only for himself but for his family and friends as well. Joseph graduated with his Masters degree in Integrative Health Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies where his final thesis research focused on understanding the needs of hypertensive Filipino Americans from a holistic perspective.
You also may know him from his House of Commons (circa 2008) days back in Las Vegas where he and his wife set up shop to create a community that inspired connection and creativity for locals and visitors alike.
Parallel to his work, you can usually find Joseph enjoying hikes and roadtrips with his wife Saskia, riding his bike up, down, and around Marin county with his BRITEsport boys, or (as of a few months ago) on the mat training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Romulo Melo BJJ.
The laid back intuitive health and wellness professional is passionate about cycling, food, and maintaining balance while taking on new challenges. Joe accelerates through forty questions to give insight on riding, racing, and pushing limits.
1. What is the title to your movie?
All We Have Are Moments
2. Pick one: your sanity or your talent?
3. Who is your favorite Jim Carrey character?
Lloyd Christmas. Chip Douglas as a close second!
4. Single or Married?
My wife is one of my true inspirations. She’s courageous, mindful, loving, creative, and true to herself.
5. Favorite yoga pose?
Savasana, or corpse pose.
6. What made you start?
Cycling – My wife wanted to ride bikes in Golden Gate Park, so we bought some mountain bikes to cruise around on. Eventually I found my way to track bikes, and eventually progressed into road cycling/ racing.
7. What made you want to stop?
This is an interesting question because I’m at a point right now where I’m consciously making the choice for cycling to not consume so much of my time and energy, as it has in the past. I will never “stop” riding bikes, but currently I’ve stepped away from competitive racing and structured training. I’m quite interested in how an activity and sport fits in with our lives, and how that can change if we are open to gaining perspective around it.
8. What keeps you consistent?
In the context of being a competitive bike racer – Always finding ways to stay motivated and inspired. Setting goals and mapping out how I will go about attaining those goals while keeping things fun. Equally as important is surrounding myself with people who want to help me succeed in competition and in life.
As for consistency with staying active in general, the key is to find something that you truly enjoy doing. If there is no true connection with the activity you’re doing, it won’t last very long. Like I mentioned before, finding different ways to stay motivated is important. Lately I’ve been venturing outside of cycling and have been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It’s one of the hardest and most humbling things I’ve done. It may sound silly, but it’s also nice to wear something slightly different. The Atama Gi I have been sporting is actually really comfortable, making it easier to complete the challenging moves and exercises that are involved.
9. How does it feel to win?
I’ve been lucky enough to win a handful of bike races over the past few years. From what I remember, it was no doubt a great feeling. Surreal, even. The other kind of “winning” – simply being able to step outside and go for a bike ride, whether to do intervals or just enjoy being outside – that’s the kind of “winning” that is more important to me. Let’s enjoy the process.
10. How does it feel to lose?
Losing a race – no big deal. Take the experience and learn from it for the next time you line up. The other kind of “losing” – when you lose sight of the bigger picture of what you are doing with training or racing. Sometimes it starts to take a toll on you mentally, emotionally, and energetically. It comes with the territory of being an elite athlete, but it’s quite easy to spiral into a place that is disguised as being burnt out, when many times it is a combination of many things. I feel like I’ve been floating around in this space for the last year and a half.
11. How often do you drink alcohol?
My body does not process alcohol well, so not often.
12. How pretty are your feet?
I’ve been told that I have nice feet. Nice feet are healthy feet, no?
13. West coast or east coast?
WESTCOAST IS THE BEST COAST!
14. Winter or summer?
15. Do you like your water room temperature or cold?
16. How much did you know about UNDO before the interview?
Not too much, although I was always keen to the feel of what UNDO has been trying to do as a magazine. Truth be told I’ve seen a few photos from the last issue, as my friend Donalrey had some work in there including a photo of yours truly.
17. How do you undo ordinary?
By listening to my intuition and trusting the process. It’s a fun and delicate balance. By constantly increasing my awareness and consciously choosing how I participate and engage in the activities I put my energy towards. I remind myself that I have a choice. Lately I’ve been asking myself what is it about cycling or jiu-jitsu that keeps me interested, motivated, and waking up at dawn to go train and participate. I feel like it’s a combination of the sporting aspect as well as things like discipline, self-esteem, confidence, a sense of community, and teaching myself something new everyday.
18. What is the nicest thing someone has done for you?
It’s usually whenever my wife asks me what I need in a moment of crisis (serious or not). That’s truly the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me.
19. How many hours do you sleep?
About an average of 7 hours/ night.
20. Would you ever dress up as a woman?
21. Choose one: your eyes or your ears?
I basically only use my left eye to see everyday. I have a bad case of keratoconus in my right eye, and so things are crazy distorted in that eye. I am thankful for my left eye. Yeah, my eyes.
22. How have your eating habits changed over the years?
They’ve shifted dramatically. Up until five years ago, I did not have the sensibility nor the awareness to listen to how my body was feeling after I ate certain foods (TV dinners, fast food, etc). In a nutshell, I am now more mindful of the things I put in my body. It doesn’t mean that I won’t ever eat a donut or pizza (free of the bad stuff of course), but I just make sure I am aware of what I’m consuming. I am no longer walking around with my head detached from my body.
23. What is House of Commons?
It’s an unspoken bond between our friends (most of which started out as our customers). HOC was a retail boutique that doubled as a clothing store and a common space for showcasing local artists in Las Vegas. It was a manifestation of the vision that my wife and I had for adding some culture to the Las Vegas community. As time went on and circumstances changed, House of Commons has evolved into what I like to think of as an inspiring community that exists across multiple platforms. Much of HOC has been cycling and streetwear related, but as many people know, it has grown into much more than that. My wife and I are proud of the evolution of HOC.
24. What is 156 divided by 13?
My calculator says 12.
25. What one word will people use to describe your legacy?
26. Left brain or right brain?
“In humans, the eyes are wired to the brain in such a way that visual information from the left side of your field of vision is transmitted to the right side of your brain, and vice versa, no matter which eye that information comes from. In other words, if you stare straight ahead, everything to your left is transmitted to the right hemisphere of your brain…”
– Leonard Mlodinow, How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior
27. What is your go to Karaoke song?
I don’t do Karaoke, but I’d like to think it would be any song by The Clash or The Smiths.
28. What is the worst thing to eat before a workout?
One time I had a huge lunch consisting of multiple plates of Burmese food. I’m not sure why I decided to go for a 3 hour ride not too long after that meal. I’ve made smarter choices before.
29. What book would you want to be stuck in for the rest of your life?
Good question. Either The Sports Gene by David Epstein, or any Graham Hancock book. I love sports just as much as I love exploring whether or not there were lost civilizations on our planet at one time.
30. Coffee or tea?
Coffee usually in the morning and afternoon, and tea in the evenings.
31. Dream destination for a bike ride/cycling trip?
Calpe, Spain or anywhere in Australia and New Zealand.
32. What habit can’t you stand?
Smoking cigarettes. I used to be a chain smoker for almost 11 years. Then somehow, 7 years ago I quit cold turkey.
33. What habit can’t you kick?
Eating almond butter out of the jar. Wait, I don’t want to kick that habit.
34. Biggest misperception about you?
That cycling rules my life.
35. Your proudest moment?
Watching my wife finish her first sprint triathlon. I was elated.
36. Favorite recipe for a vegetable?
Slow cooked sweet potatoes lathered with ghee. Yum.
37. Do you speak another language?
I can speak Tagalog when I want/ need to.
38. Favorite scents?
Butter and garlic. And bacon.
39. Guilty pleasure?
Verve coffee in Santa Cruz has these gluten-free donuts… that is all.
40. Pen or pencil? Pen.