Train. Eat Clean. Relax and Recover. Repeat.
Inside the Temple of Dustin Watten, the Most Zen Man on the Court
Standing six-feet tall and chiseled of solid muscle, Dustin Watten can seem like an imposing figure until you start to chat with him. It’s not long before you’ll realize that there’s a reason this gentle giant is known as the most zen guy in volleyball. Dustin grew up in Long Beach, California playing basketball and soccer until he was introduced to indoor volleyball at the end of his freshman year in high school. In college Dustin played indoor volleyball while attending California State University, Long Beach and it wasn’t long before his talent was recognized by the national team.
Dustin remains humble when he recalls his transition from college volleyball to the professional ranks. “It’s such an honor being a member of the national team because I never really had aspirations or a belief that I could compete at this level. It was difficult transitioning from college to the national team but I’ve just always had a growth mindset where I believed I could find a way with my work ethic and the intention I work with, on and off the court.”
Watten’s work ethic shows. In 2015 Dustin and his national team won a bronze medal against a record breaking thirty-two other countries at the 2015 FIVB World League in Brazil. When asked to describe his favorite memory on the court, the game is still etched in Dustin’s memory as he fondly recalls “starting and winning bronze in front of 15,000 Brazillians who were rooting for Poland.” Later that same year Dustin and the national team went on to win a gold medal at the 2015 FIVB World Cup in Japan. More recently last fall, Watten won bronze again at both the FIVB Nations League in France and the FIVB World Championship in Italy/Bulgaria with his national team.
How does Dustin fuel his body to compete at a professional level in volleyball? We asked him to walk us through his typical day as he trains and recovers with a plant based, adaptogenic diet that includes CBD:
- 7:00 Glass of water with apple cider vinegar.
- 7:15 HUGE dense green smoothie with parsley, cucumber, kale, banana, dates, buckwheat sprouts, chlorella, Moringa, blueberries, Ashwagandha
- 7:30 Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps tea
- 9-11:30 Team training
- 12:00-1:30 Team weight lifting
- 1:30 Post recovery smoothie
- 2:00 Team lunch: Buddha Bowl, lots of veggies, greens, plant based protein and whole grains.
- 3:00 Iced Chaga latte
- 4:00 Berry smoothie bowl: frozen blueberries, acai, frozen bananas, dates, topped with granola, buckwheat sprouts, fresh blueberries, fresh strawberries.
- 6:30 Buddha Bowl, rice, beans, greens, sweet potatoes, avocado
- 8:00 Ashwagandha and Reishi tea
It’s not always easy to eat healthy and find fresh produce on the road. “I’ve lived in twenty different locations in six countries” says Dustin. “Next year I will live and train in Katowice Poland for seven months with my professional team. The summer is national team season, where we train in Anaheim. Because we travel so often throughout the summer, we bounce around air B&Bs usually along the coast.”
Why is Dustin referred to as Mr. Zen? It’s not just because of his love of Buddha Bowls. Watten knows that maintaining a healthy body is only half of the equation: “ I started meditating six years ago playing in the stressful environment of Brazil, it helped create more space in between stimulus and response. Two years later I came across the ancient philosophy of stoicism and have enjoyed connecting lessons from the ancient Stoics and present day athletes and how we can have more clarity, more tranquility and less anxiety from their writings.” Watten often reflects on his favorite quote about the power of mindfulness from Viktor Frankl.
“Between stimulus and response there is a space.
In that space is our power to choose our response.
In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
“It’s about creating space. There’s so much outside of us that we can’t control but what we can control is creating space through a meditation practice so we can navigate difficult situations and respond with clarity and confidence, time and time again.”
There’s never been a time in history where we’ve faced such an overwhelming amount of stimulation in every moment and aspect of our lives. As more people struggle with anxiety, restlessness and difficulty sleeping, it’s important to take a few deep breaths and calm the mind. But, sometimes we all need a little help. Dustin pops a CBD SoftGel after training as well as the full spectrum tincture before bed to suppliment his #relaxandrecover regimen. If he’s extra stressed or sore he’s a fan of applying a little CBD balm before bed. His favorite product? A resounding “tinctures!” They’re the perfect way to add a dose of cannabidiol to everything from smoothies to shakes, tea, and even a Buddah Bowl or two, or three… or more. Stay hungry friends.