Athletic Lab is the training home of professional and elite athletes as well as adults looking to get in the best shape of their lives. We have a diverse and vibrant community. The common thread across all our members is that they are hard-working and goal-minded.
Each month we highlight one (or more) of our members in our member of the month feature. For the month of May, we’ve chosen Joe Milazzo. Joe is a long time member of our Performance Fitness program. Despite our forced facility closure in response to COVID-19, Joe’s dedication to fitness and health has stood out. Joe has joined 100s of athletes and fitness enthusiasts participating in our online and virtual training options. Even in this digital format, Joe has proven himself to be an uplifting and enthusiastic pillar of our community.
You can also check out our previous members of the month here.
What city were you born in? Indiana, Pennsylvania, about an hour east of Pittsburgh. I grew up in Blairsville, a smaller town near there in the Appalachian foothills.
What do you do when you’re not working out at Athletic Lab (occupation, hobbies, etc)? I work as a chamber of commerce executive, leading the Regional Transportation Alliance program – a business leadership group that focuses on regional transportation.
Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my wife, Claire, our children Joey, Mary Chiara and Ellie, and our dog Holly Bell. Day trips to state parks or to the coast, National Park trips (currently on hiatus due to the pandemic), as well as archery and throwing the football in our backyard, and spending time with friends are all wonderful and looked forward to. House and yard projects are also a frequent Milazzo household reality. I also enjoy reading; three common topics of interest are business, political science/policy, and sports.
I was able to “combine” work and Athletic Lab about 18 months ago via a video we unveiled at our RTA annual meeting – partially filmed at Athletic Lab – where we honored the leadership of the NC Courage soccer team including Courage forward Jessica McDonald.
Has your occupation changed during the Pandemic? My chamber of commerce job often involves interactions with others, so some elements have actually become much easier, due to GoToMeeting and similar, while other parts concerning in-person interactions have been effectively impossible, or at least they were until phase 2 began on May 22nd.
What’s your favorite at-home exercise? Least favorite? I have found the additional practice on pistol squats, and new-to-me airborne squats, to be very helpful. I can’t do handstand pushups any better at home than I could do them at Athletic Lab, so I am still in the pike push-ups stage.
How are you staying fit and active during the Pandemic? For the first two weeks I did the TeamBuildr workouts on my own with decent regularity. The daily 7 am virtual classes have been an outstanding addition, from both a routine as well as coaching standpoint. In addition, our family has been taking a ton more walks through our neighborhood and nearby areas of North Cary than we used to.
What has motivated you to continue training during the COVID19 closure? My motivation for training has not changed as a result of the pandemic. I believe physical fitness to be foundational for health as well as overall mindset, that showing up is 90% of the battle, and that process leads to results – none of that has changed over the past 2-3 months. If anything, my motivation has increased, since the consistency of the 7 am class has enabled some semblance of a daily routine. Kudos to Mike, Cate, and the coaches for creating and maintaining the virtual classes for members.
What has been your greatest accomplishment since you started training at Athletic Lab? Showing up, not giving up, getting comfortable with being uncomfortable, and showing up again the next day.