Firewalking & stand up surfing: The Progression Project’s podcast with Josh Waitzkin

Josh Waitzkin podcast The Progression Project
Josh Waitzkin podcast The Progression Project
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Josh Waitzkin is one stoked sup surfer.  He’s also a genius in his own right.  Remember the movie, “Searching for Bobby Fischer” about the child chess prodigy?  That’s Josh.  Check out the most recent Progression Project’s podcast talking with Josh on everything from Mental Representations, Firewalking, Learning to Love the Storm and, of course, how it relates to standup paddle surfing.  It’s a ride you won’t forget.

Josh Waitzkin:  The Art of Learning

Josh Waitzkin is an 8X US National Chess Champion.  He is also a 2X Tai Chi Push Hands World Champion and he holds a black belt in Jiu Jitsu.  To say the guy has an interesting mind is an understatement to the understatement.  He’s a reflective, cognitive soul with a huge passion for standup paddle surfing.  Beyond that, he sounds like a great guy.

In this most recent episode from The Progression Project’s podcast series, Erik leads a circuitous conversation with Josh on the art of learning.  The Art of Learning happens to be the title of Josh’s book, but it’s also a framework he’s constructed from his years of chess playing, martial arts, living and now, surfing.  The discussions flow from the learning principal of reducing complexity to focus on higher level concepts (such as sup surfing a larger board to take away the element of balance and allow a surfer to focus on moves, turns and dynamics of wave riding) to living on the other side of pain (celebrating the discomfort zone because we all know growth happens there) and holding your own compass.  Josh is an excellent example of the individual who needed to find his own way, address his own personality and wants, in order to succeed.  To hear him focus this thinking into the realm of stand up surfing with Progression Project’s Erik Antonson is a journey you won’t forget.

Give yourself about an hour +30 to hear the full podcast.  Cook a big dinner and settle down to discuss.

The Progression Project

Stay inspired by listening to The Progression Project’s ongoing series of podcasts on stand up paddle surfing and reach out to Erik for private coaching camps in Nosara, Costa Rica to take your stand up paddle surf performance, and maybe your life, to the next level.



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Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.