The Journal

The Best of the Best with Jian Pablico of The Distrikt

Jian of The Distrikt


Our story with Jian Pablico starts in 1998. Jian coached Juice Truck co founder Zach Berman in Spring League Basketball. They went on to win the championship… a big deal for any 12 year old. Fast forward almost 20 years and Jian is still creating positive change through coaching whether it be at The Distrikt, his studio in North Vancouver, or with his other business, Varsity Initiative, where Jian empowers youth to be first string in athletics, community and in life. Anyone that knows Jian, knows the inspiring force that he is. A community connector, a creator, a part time poet and a role model for young and old. We sat down to talk movement, motivation and a little bit of reality tv. This is the ‘Best of’ with Jian Pablico:

Daily Breakfast: 85% of the time, it’s almond milk with granola and bananas. When I have time Acai Bowls. With a little coffee of course. French Press, sugar.

On the go Workout Snack: I usually have the Vega Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar…the one with caramel and peanut butter. I also eat a lot of guavas…my wife hates it…and everyone in the studio hates it…but it's my thing.

Can’t Live Without: Movement. At least once a day. Reality Television (all the Kardashians) with my wife…Foodwise, bananas and peanut butter…mostly together.. like on top of each other. Some Kanye inspiration throughout the day. The song Ultralight Beam, once a day.

Your Hero(s)/ Role Models: Anita Roberts (founder of Safe Teen). She’s a huge inspiration of all the work that I do. She’s a pioneer in terms of feminism and youth work in the Vancouver community.

Favourite Workout Routine: Hill sprints combined with burpees. I love looking for the next hill.

Favourite Single Movement: A full burpee. The most complete movement that there is.

Best Advice You’ve Ever Received: Recently, the best advice I’ve received was when I was in Kenya during Yoga teacher training. I gained a lot of knowledge in movement but also knowledge of myself. The advice I got was that if I found the experience enriching for myself, I should offer it to my community in the same way. There is no need to dumb it down. If I change any part of it, then I’m robbing others of the experience that I had. Who am I to say that they can’t have the same experience that I had?

Best Song to Workout to: King Kunta by Kendrick Lamaar

Best Song to Wake Up to: Blessings by Chance the Rapper

Favourite Karaoke Song: It would have to be a CCR song. Have You Ever Seen the Rain.

What Were you Listening to When You Were 16: Grade 11… I was really into Dave Matthews Band and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony.

Top Guilty Pleasure: Miss Vickies Jalapeno Chips. Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Secret Workouts…workouts before the workout.

Top 3 books: To Be Human by J. Krishnamurti. The Journey is the Destination by Dan Eldon. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (kids book). It's about missing your kid. Kid vibes. Dad vibes.

Top 3 Movies: The Shawshank Redemption. Crazy/Beautiful. Rudy.

Who Would Play You In a Movie: Jay Hernandez from Crazy/Beautiful. Although, someone asked me if I was Big Boi from Outkast the other day. Another guy asked me if I was Jarome Iginla. My father-in-law asked if a photo of Pharrell was me.

If You Had a Superpower For 1 Day: How on PVR you have a 20 seconds to rewind… I would want that for a day…so I can relive awesome moments throughout the day.

Top 3 Travel Spots: Kenya, Brazil, Hawaii…. Goals: Chicago, for the sports and the music.

Best Hidden Gem: The Lion's Den Cafe – Next to Matchstick at Fraser and Kingsway

Favourite Websites: and BOOOOOOOM obviously. And It’s a good website.

Top Goals on Your Bucket List: Give a speech at my sisters wedding. Learn to play a ukulele. Beat a politician at Connect Four. Give a Kardashian a high five. Wear sunglasses for 24 hours.

Where or When You’re at Your Happiest: The moment when I’m teaching class and the music drops at the same time that the workout begins. When I’m playing Lego with my family and sometimes when I’m on my own eating sushi at a new spot. (sidenote: this hole in the wall sushi spot on Yew next to Starbucks.. their Chirachi bowl)

Best Spot for Dinner: Family dinner on Sunday night…every Sunday, without fail.

What Does Your Best Day Off Look Like: Sleep in until 7am, do some yoga and meditation on my own, followed by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with my son and letting my wife and daughter sleep in. My son and I go to the forest and add things to our fort…right now we’re adding a zip line, which is proving to be very difficult… architecturally speaking. Brunch with the family. Sneak in a secret workout before dinner and then family dinner with everyone. Followed by lactose-free Coconut Bliss Ice Cream.

Go-to Juice or Smoothie:  The Strawberry Coconut and a Wellness Shot at The Juice Truck.

Your Current Mantra: "Step into your Greatness" – Baptiste

Check in/ Check out Question: What is the kindest thing someone has done for you recently?