Meet the Guide – John Polemis

Growing up in the Bronx at a time when kids spent their days outside, the Bronx Botanical Gardens and the various (then) wild places along the Bronx River were John’s sources of adventure and contemplation. As he came into his own, John moved up into the Hudson Valley so he could explore the many trails and mysteries the region has to offer and fell in love with the area.

With almost 20 years in IT Management in the news industry, dealing with daily deadlines, crisis management and disaster recovery, John has long relied on forest therapy and hiking to build his resilience to the stresses that come with such work. The result is a good-natured yet edgy – sometimes mischievous – adventurer with a passion for nature and a desire to help others discover the wonders, adventures, and serenity that patiently await just inside the woods and wild places.

John is also the founder of You Are Who You Create dedicated to building a supportive community for those seeking to further their personal growth by facilitating support groups and providing transformational coaching services. As a coach John works with people struggling to make needed changes in their life by helping them bring focus and set practical goals.

The Brothers Grimm
(Try getting decent photos of black cats!)

An animal lover at heart, John volunteers his web support services to Animal Rescue Foundation in Beacon NY, a no-kill shelter where he adopted his beloved cats Wilhelm and Jacob (aka the Brothers Grimm). If you find yourself in need of a pet or like to support good causes, they are certainly worth a visit!

A few fun facts about John…

  • Loves trying new and unusual foods (yeah he’s eaten bugs).
  • Has been studying Japanese for the last 4 years but is still shy to speak it!
  • Is fascinated with urban decay, especially sites found in the woods.
  • Loves to hike at night, preferably without lights.
  • Is a tea fiend with a wall-o-tea in his kitchen.
  • He once used the same toilet Hillary Clinton did.  Jealous?
During his forest therapy meetup, I shared that I was feeling depressed and lonely.  When the event was over John took his time packing up his gear and just sat with me.  I said I knew he had a two-hour commute home and did not have to and he just chuckled that he was fine where he was.  Later I asked for some advice and he said something about me being the better qualified person to answer and offered me a free coaching session under the trees. Wow, I don’t know much about coaching but it reall… Read more
Shane, NJ