‘Energy is Everything’: Cody Ko on His Latest YouTube Channel and Staying Motivated | Arts

For Cody Ko, energy is everything.

In the early morning, he grabs his camera, records himself preparing subpar oatmeal — which he affectionately calls “B’doats” — and dons his baseball cap that reads “Energy is Everything.” Then he trains. Whether he’s running tens of miles, spending hours on his bike, or swimming off the California coast before sunrise, Cody Ko trains almost every day for his next endurance challenge while vlogging and uploading videos to his newest YouTube channel, “Cody Trains. ”

Cody Kolodziejzyk — known to his fans as Cody Ko — is a media professional with popular podcasts and YouTube channels that regularly garner millions of views. His latest venture deviates from his typical comedic reaction videos and music content and instead focuses on amateur endurance training. Ko started training about a year ago.

“I was in a super bad rut,” Ko said in an interview with The Harvard Crimson. “I’ve always been a pretty upbeat and cheerful person, and I hadn’t felt that way in a long time.” Ko was a D1 collegiate diver at Duke University and grew up in a family full of athletes. “I used to watch my family do incredible endurance feats. And I realized that somehow I had lost that part of my life.”

His answer was to sign up for a 40-mile ultramarathon and begin an endurance training pattern that he’s consistently maintained ever since.

“I feel like I found myself somehow,” Ko said, grinning. “It wasn’t just about going out and running, it was more about being able to trust myself again, that I was actually going to show up for myself and do those workouts and finish something difficult.”

Ko completed the challenging ultramarathon in August 2022 and uploaded a video of his journey to his main YouTube channel, which was well received by his viewers.

“In the comments, people were like, ‘This encouraged me to start running,’ or ‘I had never done anything before, but I got off the couch and went for a walk,'” Ko said. “I sometimes go back and watch this ultramarathon video just to see how I’m feeling and to remind myself of the impact it’s had on my life.”

Stimulated by the success of his ultramarathon video, Ko launched his separate “Cody Trains” channel in September 2022. Its content encompasses imperfection and even failure as he follows his latest training adventure: preparing for an upcoming Ironman race. Whether he’s vlogging the arduous process of assembling a stationary bike, telling his fans about his injuries, or even cooking up a full breakfast only to admit it doesn’t even taste good, Ko doesn’t hesitate to paint a picture of the realistic. and even humorous, battles of endurance training.

“A lot of the reasons people don’t start doing things is just that daunting part of the learning curve where you don’t know,” Ko said. “So I think it’s important to show something like that.” For Ko, the most troubling learning curve was cycling.

“I don’t understand bicycles; they look really intimidating. There are so many moving parts,” he said with a sigh. “For example, I want to focus on my job. I don’t want to sit down and screw things up for an hour trying to figure out how a bike works.”

However, Ko has stuck to his Ironman training, bike maintenance, injuries and other challenges as his fans cheer him on in his comments section.

“Nothing is constant, linearly upwards,” mused Ko. “With this career, I’ve learned to deal with it; there are peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys.”

By taking on challenges directly with his channel, Ko has inspired his viewers to do the same. His comments are flooded with positive reinforcement – not just for himself but for other members of his community as well. Ko even reached this positive community personally.

“When I was in Palm Desert for my wedding, I went to breakfast with my wife, Kelsey,” Ko said. “And we met a girl who said to me, ‘I watch your ‘Cody Trains’ videos and it changed my life. My brother, who is severely depressed and hasn’t gotten up in months, gets up every morning now and works out because of your videos.’” Ko paused. “Kelsey and I just started crying because that’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. It makes me want to go harder and keep doing stuff like that.”

“Cody Trains” is more than inspirational: it’s funny. Ko brings humor and jokes to every aspect of his videos. For example, his now-classic slogan “Energy is everything” comes from an old hat he found abandoned in his house.

“I thought the phrase was pretty cheesy, and who left their hat here? It’s not mine,” Po laughed. “But then I just started saying it. And now it’s become this thing that holds the channel together.”

The mixture of humor and motivation is intentional, but also natural for Ko, who is experienced in the digital media landscape.

“Now when I pull out a camera, it’s sort of a natural thing to try to be a little bit performative,” Ko said. “I really only vlog maybe three minutes a day, so thinking of a funny joke isn’t much. That’s what I’ve always tried to do with my content – ​​to make people laugh.”

Ko believes his infectious energy for endurance training isn’t unique to Ironman.

“A lot of the things that I talk about to surface for yourself every day, people think that’s specific to training,” he said. “But you can apply that to anything else in your life.”

Ko then went straight to advice for his readers and fans who may be starting to build motivation for their own projects.

“You will find that it is a composite thing. You start getting better and better faster and faster, and you start having more fun, and then it snowballs,” Ko said. “That’s the advice I would give. Pick something you want to get better at and just do it a little bit every day.”

– Associate Stella A. Gilbert can be reached at [email protected].


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