Thank you for visiting my online journal of fitness, philosophical musings, reports from the field, and reflections on living a deliberate, indigenous life of simplicity, honor, wonder, and courage, primarily from the perspective of a naturalist, zen informed worldview.

One of my ‘teachers’, Henry David Thoreau, said while contemplating his life at Walden Pond that “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I have not lived.” These words took root in me long ago as inspiration and challenge.  The intent of this journal is to serve as an occasional pothole on the High Mesa for rejuvenation along ones sojourns.

I currently reside in Western Colorado, where the Rocky Mountains meet the high mesas and deep canyons of the Colorado Plateau, though consider many a given place on earth as home; from the canyons and alpine peaks of this land to the Taiga and Tundra scapes of Alaska, the deep woods of northern forests, to the deserts of the southwest. My lifework is primarily that of professional fitness trainer, coach, and wilderness guide.

My explorations have taken me from the scaling of  high altitude peaks, kayaking thru ocean deep currents of the inside passage,  trekking thru deep desert canyons, and dogsledding behind magnificent huskies across winter snowfields; from the sweat lodge of the Native peoples to the companionship of Zen Roshi’s;  to schools of some of the worlds greatest coaches, martial arts masters, and fitness experts; from the recesses of  libraries to the zafu of Zen monasteries; onto both the back stretch of fierce 5000 meter races and into the fighting ring of the Dojo. There has been no greater experience however, than raising two incredible children with the love of my life. It is thus far a wondrous experience.

Professional Experience

My resume includes that of a certified ISSA trainer, a senior teacher at Wholistic Fitness®, and as a conditioning and yoga instructor at High Desert Martial Arts®. Along with High Mesa Fitness® I approach my third decade in guiding young athletes as an ASEP certified and lifetime licensed coach on the National Coaches Registry. Furthermore I have a lifetime of outdoor guiding and education experience including Adams State University Outdoor Program, the National Park Service, Sierra Club, Colorado Mountain Club, and Rainbow Expeditions II®.

I’ve participated as both an athlete and a coach in state, regional, national, and international championships resulting in championship and elite podiums for myself and my athletes in sports as diverse as track and field, trail running, winter sports, and martial arts.

~ Joe Sheader

Live life deliberately, train as a warrior, practice awakening, walk reverently on the earth.


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