10 Questions with November’s #LocalHero, Joe Arko!
Today, we’d like to highlight Joe Arko, a Mindset & Life Performance Coach, International Speaker, Proud Pa-Pa & Spouse, and the #LocalHero for this month!
1) Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m Joe Arko — a spouse to an incredible wife, a father to two amazing kids, and an avid outdoorsman who likes to hunt and fish.
I’m a Life Performance and Mindset Coach and have been working with people for 24 years ranging from UFC fighters, Pro Athletes, Executives, and Entrepreneurs. I’ve spoken across the globe from Australia, Europe, and all over North America. I’m also a published author! I have hosted two TV shows, and I’ve been awarded the 2017 International Trainer of the Year.
I love hiking, being outdoors, learning new things, archery, drumming, and exploring new areas and restaurants.
When it comes to the environment, one of my favorite things to do is to get up early in the morning and clean the park and basketball courts near my house.
2) What inspired you to start getting involved with your community/start cleaning your neighborhood parks?
Over two years ago, I went to the park one day to meditate. I sat on the bench to relax and became aware of all the bottles and litter all around me. I didn’t like how it made me feel and found it hard to relax.
So, I decided to clean up the area and I loved the way it immediately made me feel better. That’s when I decided I wanted other people to feel the same way when they came to the park.
3) What specific actions/steps do you take to help the environment?
When I get to the park, I clean the litter and the bottles in the field, on the basketball courts, and the children’s playground. The majority of the garbage is plastic bottles. I separate the plastic from the regular garbage and put it in the blue bin for recycling.
4) Why is having clean spaces in your neighborhood important?
For me, it’s all about the feeling I want to give someone who’s going to come and enjoy the park. I love knowing that a mother won’t be worried about her child picking up or playing in garbage. I love knowing a few friends coming to play basketball won’t have to deal with water bottles all over the place. It’s about creating a standard and leading by example for people.
5) What challenges or obstacles do you face when pursuing your goals?
The only real challenge is ME and making sure I get up in the morning to do it.
It can be challenging when the weather isn’t good, or it’s cold and raining. However, once I’m out there, I’m reminded of how great of a feeling it is to be making a difference.
6) How do you keep yourself motivated?
I think the easiest way to stay motivated is to find something you’re passionate about, or find the passion in what must be done. Picking up trash may not seem like passionate work, but I like finding the passion it in.
- The number of people I’ve met because of this journey
- Listening to my favorite music and catching up on motivational tracks or podcasts while cleaning
- Incorporating exercises, like lunges and squats and other movements, to get in a good sweat at the same time
7) Who inspires you in terms of activism and making a difference?
To be honest, I’ll have to say my grandmother. She’s always whispering in my ear to do something nice for others, to keep things tidy, and to do good in the world.
8) What has been your favourite experience on this journey so far?
The incredible people I’ve met, and the kind smiles and thank you’s I receive from people.
9) What was something that surprised you during your journey?
The impact and example it’s been for other people to do the same. I love seeing messages on social media of people tagging me after they’ve done the same thing and cleaned up the park in their area. That ripple effect is really cool to witness!
10) Do you have any recommendations for people wanting to make a difference in their community
It doesn’t have to be big, just start with something and be consistent. Don’t look for praise or recognition, just smile knowing that you are making a difference!
Find out more about Joe Arko: