by Dana Cavalea October 19, 2017


As I was on my daily walk yesterday (at around 3pm), I couldn't help but here all the traffic coming from I-95.. What was meant to be a peaceful walk to “decompress”from the day turned out to be just the opposite..



Driving from Long Island to Westchester two days ago at around 6:15am.. I could to believe the volume of cars on the road at that hour…


After 2 hours of driving.. I finally covered my 60 miles and made it home..


Traffic. Drivers. All either racing to work or racing home from work.


STRESS. My body after that drive was a bit rattled from my back being tight to my shoulders lit up with tension.. as well as a tired calf from all the braking..


As a type A..I told myself.. If I have to do this again.. I will leave at 4am!


Good plan to avoid the traffic.. bad for my physicality and mental freshness..


So what does this have to do with high performance?


If you are seeking high performance, you must understand how your choices can effect how you feel..


My most successful clients live 15 minutes from home so they can avoid extra “stressors” like traffic, bridges, and other time eating ,stress causing hazards…


Since the work is usually all encompassing and consuming for them during their work hours.. living closer to work allows them to leave the house later.. after their morning routine of reading the paper, having a coffee, getting a workout in, and taking an extended shower.. they are not coming into work prepped and primed…


This way… post work.. they can do WHATEVER they want… and they have prepped themselves early for what the day would through their way..


My formula of STRESS + STRESS = STRESS has done wonders for these guys..


Typically a group that would overextend themselves working all day and night.. then including high mileage, high intensity runs after they are fried from the work day… they now sub their long hours and high intensity work for massages, stretching, slow bike rides, basketball games and nature walks.. keeping a heavy monitor on their daily stress levels to avoid burnout and blow out.. meaning heart attacks and blood pressure elevation…


Last week I talked about Heart Rate Variability.. a study of “how you are feeling” by analyzing resting heart rate.. how many of you have days where you are mentally and physically “shot” but push through anyway.. leaving your body more depleted?


Those are the days to sub out your hard exercise and a long day for a short day or light “thought” day.. and more “Recovery” work..


You will not feel great everyday.. accept it.. the goal is to feel great most days by modifying the stressful behaviors, thoughts, activities, and people you expose yourself to.. control it.


The stimuli you put yourself around, the people you are around, the amount of “drain” you allow yourself to be exposed to without pulling out or correcting your path will determine how you feel day after day.. 


Make the modifications or become a statistic. We do this with high level CEOs, high level athletes, and entertainers to optimize performance longer and most consistently.. you must know when you “pull out” or you will get “knocked out”…


You will know when you are FORCING YOURSELF to do something… and you feel your body TENSE UP as a result.. your body is very smart.. so listen to it! You must listen and feel..


And for the record.. feeling fatigued, tired, tense, and lacking clarity of thought are not normal behaviors and daily feelings.. if that is you.. CHANGE!!


Dana Cavalea
Dana Cavalea

Dana Cavalea is the World Champion Director of Strength and Conditioning & Performance of the New York Yankees. Currently, he is a High Performance Speaker & Consultant to Pro Athletes, Entrepreneurs, Business Executives, and Workforces on lifestyle strategies to reduce stress, improve work/life integration, and most importantly improve daily performance /outcomes. Book Dana to Speak at your Company Event or Conference Today!

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