19: Adaptive Athlete Lil Misty Diaz – Spina Beautiful

 

Lil Misty Diaz is a force of light that has grown out of darkness.  This darkness began with being born with Spina Bifida (birth defect affecting the spinal cord). Followed by 28 operations by middle school (not including exploratory surgeries) and compounded by medications, isolation, depression, loneliness, and 3 suicide attempts.  But like a lotus flower, she rose from the dust to bloom out of the darkness.

Through the power of gratitude and service, Misty’s ability has grown stronger than her disability. It has been a process. One in which her only goal was to simply feel better.  This process has grown into her ability to complete over 200 races including obstacle races, half-marathons, 5-10-15k runs, 24 hour, Spartan and Red Bull races. She even holds state records in the bench press.

It has been said that it’s not your disability that defines you.  It’s your ability.  Strength is a choice.  The only disability in life is a bad attitude, and Lil Misty has decided to live her life of service by helping as many people as she can.  She has inspired people all over the world, from all walks of life, including myself. 

This is her story, and I’m honored to present it to you.

Scott

Show Notes:

Your Will Is Always Within Your Power – Epictetus

The Sisu Way Poster

6:20  What is Spina Bifida? 

11:00  Cast Life.  Fighting since Day 1.

12:30  The term disability vs Adaptive Athlete

14:50  The races

16:17  What was Misty’s childhood like?

26:16  What can you do for a kid who is struggling?

27:20  Teenage years. The difficulties and the decision to choose a DNR.

30:20  2nd person ever to use a cell saver

31:20  The most painful surgery – Tethered Cord Syndrome

37:00  Depression – Loneliness – Suicide    Beautifully Broken

Dream as if you will live forever. Live as if you will die today. -James Dean

49:20  What woke you up?

53:30  “I felt free”

59:00  Acceptance – Free from morphine fog.  Senses woke up.

Strength is a Choice – Get outside comfort zone

1:03:20  Motivating and inspiring others

1:05:17  Biggest accomplishment (so far)

1:09:00  “It’s not how you win.  It’s how you lose.” -Louis Zamperini

Liz  #LizFreel  Coached Liz to State Division Bench Press Record, but together added value to each others life.

1:17:09  Mantras for others.   “Turtle speed is still a speed as long as you’re  consistently moving forward and helping others along the way.”

1:19:48  When someone thinks of Misty Diaz:  What do you want them to remember you by? 

1:31:10  What does it mean to inspire people in the Spartan Races?

Links:

lilmistydiaz.com  @lilmistydiaz  @1scottmcgee  @thesisuway

TheSisuWay.com      LilMisty.com

18: Wim Hof Method: Breathing, Cold Exposure, & Mindset with Retired Peace Officer Erik Milosevic

One of the best and simplest pieces of advice anyone could give to benefit energy, freedom, and health is:  Remember to breathe and relax. We are constantly faced with acute and chronic stress, which causes soul cavities.  Stress causes inflammation, which may contribute to many serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.  Chronic stress may also give rise to emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, fear, anger, feelings of despair and hopelessness, as well as loneliness. These health issues create distance from our ourselves and our loved ones.  The good news is…there is something we can do about it.

Joining me on this special episode is Certified Wim Hof Instructor, retired Peace Officer, lifetime Yogi, and my dear friend, Erik Milosevich.  Together, we discuss ways to find peace and improve our emotional resilience.  We share our personal journey with the Wim Hof Method of breathing exercises, cold exposure (via cold showers and ice baths), mediation, and mindset to strengthen our mind, body. The goal of this episode is to help you develop self-awareness skills and self-regulation tools to overcome adversity and stress in a healthy manner.

Get Up Strong,

Scott

For those lost in pain, we have to become gladiators. Power is within us all. Anything can be overcome by going within. –Wim Hof

Show Notes:

Opening:  An excerpt from the book, The Warrior and The Monk: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Potential And Finding True Happiness by past guest Greg Amundson.

11:00 Milo’s history and life experiences

20:45  Wim Hof Method intro

26:40  Stress and Trauma, first responders, organizational stress

“The ability to breath and relax is a science and an art.”

33:40  The Autonomic Nervous System and the two branches, Sympathetic (Fight/Flight) and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems (Rest/Calm/Relaxed).

37:20  The Vagus Nerve.  Understanding these systems helps your self-awareness which leads to the ability to self-regulate.

41:00  Mastering Peace

42:00 Purposeful and Mindful BREATHING.  Different types of breathing tactics including nasal breathing, Wim Hof, box breathing, circular breathing, ocean breath, etc. all aimed at giving us tools to self-regulate our stress.

58:48  The gift of Wim Hof breathing. How to do it and why.  The power of the journey inward.

1:11:30  Breathing and its relationship to Grief. Mindfulness – Be here and now without judgement.

1:19:20  COLD EXPOSURE – (Cold showers and Ice Baths)  How, why, what are the benefits. Mindset and emotional, psychological, and physical benefits.

1:34:30  Chest freezer turned into Ice Baths

1:45:50  Mindset and MEDITATION

1:47:00  Ice bath conversations

1:51:32  Pursue Satori

Links:

TheSisuWay.com  The Wim Hof Method

@erokdaworld  @1scottmcgee  @TheSisuWay  

Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

 

17: Dan “Nitro” Clark – Death Lessons

Dan “Nitro” Clark is a American Gladiator, TEDx Speaker, Writer, Happiness Seeker, & Gratitude Practicer, who is committed to serving others.  Dan’s path was one of suffering and trauma, but he grew into someone who set out to burn bright, or die trying. 

In this episode we learn about his past struggles, how culture taught him “big boys don’t cry,” how losing his brother created the person he has become, how sports has defined him, and how cheating death kicked his ass into loving, learning, and living his best life.

We discuss how to master the art of living a happy, fulfilled, and meaningful life worth living. 

Show Notes:

Why are you alive?  To be of service.  Live – Love -Feel

4:58  Losing brother created the person he became.

“We tie our happiness to what we achieve and we achieve in order to achieve, but that happiness is short lived.” “Happily achieve instead of achieving to be happy.”

9:20  Don’t chase gratification.  Chase Gratitude.

11:00  How Dan was culturally taught not to cry or show emotion. Big boys don’t cry.

14:00  Sports filled a hole, a chance to hide.

Visualization and the power of the mind. 

18:35  Morning routine. Key to life is being in right state.

*25:54  “Anything thats good in my life came through the dedication of self improvement and personal growth.”

Service to others.

30:00  Why are you alive?

**32:50  “Sports taught me about life, but almost dying taught me how to live.”

33:20  Health is Wealth – The ability to walk.  What are your stairs?

Gratitude Practice – Ka ching!

43:44  Vulnerability is Strength – “The vulnerability in me gives the light a chance to shine.”

49:00  Strength is a Choice

49:59  Smiling Practice – The ripple effect of happiness.

Dali Lami: “In every human interaction we have, we have a choice to make that person happier or less happy.”

54:20  Upstream Reciprocity

Relationships and Conflict Resolution.  Seek to understand, then to be understood.

1:02:50  What does surrender mean?  “Even though I was having a heart attack and dying… When I surrendered, I felt a deep sense and profound sense of peace.”

Meditation and breathing for overall health and well being.

The Wim Hof Method

“Life is not lost by dying. Life is lost minute by minute, day by day, by not really living.”

Time isn’t guaranteed. Live each moment fully.

Books:

F Dying – Dan Clark

Gladiator – Dan Clark

The Warrior and the Monk – Greg Amundson

Psycho Cybernetics – Maxwell Maltz

The Beauty of a Darker Soul – Joshua Mantz

Social Media and Websites:

@DanNitroClark  @1ScottMcGee  @TheSisuWay

TheSisuWay.com 

16: Greg Amundson – Warrior Monk

How do we master ourselves to be of greater service?

My guest, Greg Amundson, is an operational and spiritual swiss army knife of a human being.  He is the original CrossFit Firebreather, affiliate owner, a law enforcement officer, swat operator, DEA agent, Army Officer, martial artist, yogi, speaker, and author of the new book, The Warrior and the Monk.  Greg has continued on a servants path to become a true warrior who dedicates his life to self-mastery in service of others.

Greg inspires us to live with purpose, passion and a desire to develop strength in your mind, body, and spirit. Greg helps us achieve a mindset of positive expectancy, personal belief and an unshakeable faith through a disciplined use of words, thoughts, awareness and attention. We also learn the power of love, encouragement, support and what it means to be a warrior.

Show Notes:

The Warrior and the Monk introduction

6:00  How Scott and Greg know each other.  CrossFit origins and the original Firebreather.  How Greg became Scott’s mentor.

11:45  How our parents helped shape and launch us.

Dad – “Greg whatever you do, do it for love.”

Mom – “You know, Greg, everybody can encourage somebody and be supported at the same time.”

24:50  How being alone can lead to happiness.

Ownership and accountability

35:00  Who were you and who are you? Scripture says, “God works out everything in a pattern for good for those that love Him”

*35:30-36:00 “What I’ve learned from these experiences is that, whats even more important than any experience we have in our life is our thoughts about the experience.  That’s ultimately what shapes us. What is so important is that we always retain the ability, we have independence of thought. We get to choose how we think.  What’s amazing is that when we change the way we think about something, what we think about begins to change.”

37:30  The cause of effects.  The thought is the cause of every subsequent effect.

43:30  How do you master yourself? 

Body – Mind – Spirit

46:30  The Body.  Chasing virtuosity.

Greg Glassman: “The greatest adaptation to CrossFit is between the ears.”

Kyle Maynard: “The stronger the why in your life the stronger your life will be.”

1:00:51  The Mind

Self-Talk, cargo net story at the Navy Seal compound in Coronado.

Body-Mind connection – Putting our body into a position that is going to lead our mind into a position we want it to go.

1:16:16  The Spirit

Core to Extremity – functional physical and spiritual expression

1:21:20  Sadhana – Daily spiritual practice

1:22:00  The Breath – Warrior Breathing – Pranayama

The Valley of Dry Bones

Dan Brule: “Even one conscious breath a day is enough to have an entire breath practice.”

*1:28:24-1:28:56  The breath draws us into the presence moment.

Box Breathing and Nostril Breathing – See behind the curtain

1:38:38  Meditation and Yoga – The stillness of the Mind

The kingdom of God is within you

The unified and universal field that we all have access to.

I am. I am. I am. 

*1:45:10  “The closer we get to source, the more pure, the more radiant, the more beautiful the more full of love the quality of our thought becomes.

Whats the purpose of my life? How can I better serve others?  How can I be a better source of love in the world?  These thoughts are accessed through a mantra that gets us closer to source.”

1:50:10  Yoga – One seamless practice to bring together all the other practices Continue reading

15: Caroline Burckle – Strength in Vulnerability

Caroline Burckle is an Olympic Bronze Medalist Swimmer performing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 4 x 200m relay.  She took gold in the 2007 Pan Am Games in the 800m freestyle, was the 2x NCAA champ, and was named the 2008 NCAA Swimmer of the Year. 

But this is not a story of accolades. Titles and achievements do not define a person.  In this episode, we look between the medals and at the person.  Caroline takes us through the darker side of being an olympic athlete. We learn about the personal struggle of what to do after spending years preparing for a narrow window of opportunity. 

We also discuss the strength in being vulnerable, mentoring, and generating a positive mindset in the face of adversity.  I am proud of this conversation.  Caroline is an honest, powerful, and unconquerable soul.  I humbly thank you for listening.

Strength is a Choice,

Scott

Show Notes:

3:05  Creativity and Fear  “Fear doesn’t want you to do anything” -SM

*5:17  Strongest when faced with a challenge

7:33  Was swimming and the achievements a challenge for you?

15:10  What was it like for your parents when you made Olympic team?

19:30 “I had no idea who I was. I was lost. I was depressed. I was in a dark place.”  This was in the six months after winning an Olympic medal.

21:00  Transitioning your identity after being a competitive athlete

The dark side of the Olympics

28:00  Have you found what you are looking for?

“I am more than just what dives in the pool and mermaids around.”

39:00  Heel injury

47:00  What is your injury teaching you?

1:03  The Why

1:07  The power of depression

1:09  How do you generate a positive mindset shift

*1:17  What is your brother most proud about you.

“Im so proud to be part of what my sister did.” -Clark Burckle

1:20  The Spirit of Battle

Continue reading

14: Marcus Kowal – Life is a Moment

The Sisu Way: Strength and Determination in the face of adversity. Persistence. Hope. Grit. A unbeatable mindset full of courage, tenacity, resilience, willpower and triumph. An unconquerable soul….  This description, this definition, describes my guest Marcus Kowal. 

Marcus is a martial arts coach, gym owner and professional fighter that specializes in kickboxing, boxing, BJJ, and MMA. But as Victor Frankl says:

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances: but only by lack of meaning and purpose. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: The last of human freedoms – to choose ones attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose ones own way.” 

Marcus and his wife have gone through something no parent ever should. The death of a child. They lost their 15 month old son, Liam, to a drunk driver. However his death does not define them, nor is it the end of their love. Liam, the people’s protector, has saved lives through organ donation and his legacy continues to make an impact in the social culture around drunk driving through awareness and education. 

Marcus is someone I look up to and have respected for a long time. He is someone I would walk with to face demons.  In the face of life’s worst loss, Marcus chose to fight. He is a father…He is a fighter…and when a man knows where he is going…. the whole world steps aside.   

I am completely humbled and grateful to Marcus for taking the time to be on The Sisu Way.  I would also like to thank the listeners for your time and support.  I sincerely appreciate you listening to this episode.  I humbly request that you take a moment to click through the links below, and help join the fight.  I believe that Liam did not die in vain. He continues to save and inspire, and there is something we can all do to help.

Strength is a Choice,

Scott McGee

 

SHOW NOTES:

1:57  What is sisu? Discussion about the opener.

4:38  “Because of our son, there will be a change.”  Discussion about writing.

9:00  Don’t wait. Do that thing now. Why write the book, Life is a Moment. For self, son, and others.

12:50  9/3/16 – The moment no one should go through.

19:30  “It feels like life stops. What you love more than life itself has been taken from you, and how are you going to go on? I decided that we were going to find our way back to happiness.”

27:00  The background between Marcus/Liam and Scott/Connor. Respect, life guilt, honor, responsibility. How Liam inspires and motivates Scott.

How Liam’s Green Frog become the logo for the foundation and the symbol for this fight.

33:35  What is a hero? What is the greatest courage? The courage to suffer.

35:30  Therapy – Vulnerability is Strength – Surrender to help – True strength 

40:20  Ego is an enemy.  Mindset under pressure.

43:00  How can we combat drunk driving?  A discussion on the culture of driving under the influence.

51:41   “Its not a question of if we’re going to do it. We are going to do it. Don’t know how long its going to take but I wont stop until we get there.  Now I know I’m fighting for the right thing. I’m told all the time you’re up against giants, you’re up against Washington and Lobbyists. I don’t care, they’ve never been up [against] someone like me. They are fighting for revenue. I’m fighting for my sons legacy.”

Continue reading

13: Keep Swimming – An Episode on Grief

The most beautiful people are those that have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have still found their way out of the depths.

These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.

Beautiful people do not just happen.    Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Grief comes in waves.  It can feel like you have been wrecked by wave after wave, all the while trying to cling onto some piece of the beautiful ship you used to and planned to have.  At first all you can do is try to stay afloat while sipping on air during the short stay on the surface. Eventually, maybe (just maybe) with the help of this podcast episode and what I want to share with you (because it was shared with me), you will learn that you can choose to function… and keep swimming

Life is not a guarantee nor is it a right.  We are here temporarily on this planet.  We are the lucky ones that get to experience the ride of life.  Parts of the ride can hurt, but those moments create character and strength.  Progress is made through holding up your shield, grabbing the shipwreck, confronting the painful events, looking at them squarely and facing the realities of loss, death, or disappointments. Be proud of the pain, feel the pain because you can, be proud of your scars.  Vulnerability is Strength.  Those scars, those strike marks are the battle wounds of life that make us who we are.  (That is why The Sisu Way logo has strike marks and scratches in it.)  We are the lucky ones who have the ability….the gift to hurt.

Here is the full post on Reddit by the user GSnow when asked for advice on how to deal with the grief and the loss of a loved one.  It helped me when I needed it, hopefully it helps you and/or someone you know:

[Serious] How do you cope with the passing of someone you are close to? from AskReddit

Get up strong,

Scott McGee

The Sisu Way

12: Olympian Lauren Gibbs – Happiness is a Choice

Lauren Gibbs is an American bobsledder who won a silver medal at the 2018 Olympic Games.  While that is a statement of fact, it does not define Lauren’s character. She is equal parts power, intelligence, intuition, respect, and drive. This makes her a champion of a human being. Our conversation is meant to show people that grit is learned. That you can choose to be happy. That anyone can achieve their dreams if they work hard and are honest about deficiencies, and believe in their ability to choose.

Show notes:

8:30  What it feels like to be an Olympian.

12:05  College Coach Diane Short: “It was not a surprise at all. She never folded under pressure.”

Lauren says this was not true because she relied on natural talent. What does this mean now looking back.

Are most lessons through suffering and pain?

18:30  Lesson in asserting yourself

20:00  Business suit to Team USA suit – Staying in something you are not happy with.

Finding purpose

24:14  How does someone find what makes them happy?

Happiness is a choice.” – Lauren Gibbs

“Take opportunities and see them through.”

28:40  I understand what I want to do. Public speaking, leading the youth.

You actually have to work!

33:00  Do that thing you want to do. Time is not a right its a privilege.

36:00 Your authentic self.  Learning to work hard.

42:00  Training for bobsled and how to make the team.

45:10  Setting up to go for a bobsled run.

59:04  Fighting for gold.

1:04:00 Making Team USA and telling your parents.

1:08:27  Is grit learnable?

1:11:30  How to develop contentment with yourself.

1:15:58  Best lesson: “Be able to have open and honest conversations about your deficiencies.”

1:17:45  “You’ll you never be successful if its something that you can do different or better, then that means you have the opportunity to be better.”

1:20:44  Selfie with the First Daughter, Ivanka Trump. You don’t have to agree to be civil. Americans taking a selfie.

Social Media:

@lagibbs84, @1scottmcgee,   @TheSisuWay  TheSisuWay.com

Health is Wealth – Vulnerability is a Strength – Strength is a Choice

You are the Master of your Fate – You are the Captain of your Soul

Get Up Strong – Be Unconquerable

 

10: Traver Boehm – Strength Reborn

Traver Boehm is a man of the heart. He is a primal man, a sensitive man, and a Man Uncivilized. Traver is a man that was completely broken by life, and decided to skillfully use the pain as rocket fuel for growth.  It is that pain that rebuilt a life dedicated to service. That service is vital to our current state of thought in regards to what it means to be a man.

This episode aims to challenge your way of thinking, and open your mind to the action of surrender, ownership, and forgiveness. We talk about service, choosing strength, soulful crying, surrendering hate and regret, creating space to think, finding gratitude, “seeing” in darkness, finding yourself, the 21st Century Man, and helping guide others like a lighthouse in a storm.  It’s okay to feel.  Vulnerability is Strength. I am full of pride and gratitude for Traver and this episode. This may be one of the most important ones I do. Because of Traver, we are One Day Stronger. 

Get Up Strong,

Scott McGee

No Man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.” -Seneca

Below are show notes, quotes, links, & more info discussed in the episode:

Intro: Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

3:47  So who were you?  Unfigured Out. Something was deeply missing. I was half born. 

5:21  Beautiful Death – Knowing Thyself – Temet Nosce

8:51  What moments woke you up?  “Hang on”

11:10  Meditation – Go sit down and be with yourself

12:50  Utah – Month in the Wilderness. (Boulder Outdoor Survival School)  – Discussion and lesson about forgiveness.

22:00  Service “My life would not have been ripped to shreds to be be rebuilt in a way that would be self-servicing. I am dedicated to service.”

22:40  Driven by pain or driven by love? “Pain is the catalyst that got me here.”

Balance “If your pain could speak to yourself, what would it say?”

25:44  Strength is a Choice. Comparing Down.

How do you get someone to choose strength?  Humility. Find Gratitude.

28:28  Surrender, Ownership, Forgiveness

30:00  Carrying Hate. How to surrender it?

32:00  Learning to Breathe  “Create Space”  How to meditate. Box breathing.

39:45  The Year to Live Project – 28 day Dark Retreat, 28 day survival course in Utah, volunteered in a hospice

42:00  How long did it take to journey inward while in an environment with no light or sound?

49:15 How do you see in complete darkness? Hallucinations

51:21  “If you are strong within then you can deal with anything without.”

52:52  Why spend time in a hospice? “It is a blackbelt in space holding.”

54:24  Standing in front of someone you love that is dying.

56:45  How do you deal with regret?

57:00  The 21st Century Man

1:02:30  Write

1:03:55  It’s ok to feel. Vulnerability is Strength.

1:07:45 What do you struggle with?  How to find a home.

1:10:35 Communities – Built on a universal struggle

1:11:55  Combat – Taking a throwing a punch – Man Uncivilized

TraverBoehm.com -email, text….. Reach out for help!!

How to teach kids Grit…. Get Up Strong

1:26:45   How can people in support roles help their Men?

Books:

Today I Rise – Traver’s Book

Way of the Peaceful Warrior – Dan Millman

Social Media:

@traverboehm, @1scottmcgee, @thesisuway 

Links:

Ted Talk – How to make Pain Your Guru

TraverBoehm.com

traver@traverboehm.com

http://www.traverboehm.com/category/year-to-live-project/

TheSisuWay.com

Please be sure to rate the show and give an honest heartfelt review of the show on iTunes. What you say matters, and it helps guide others who may be looking for a show like this.  I humbly thank you.

8: Tait Fletcher – Humility is Growth

Tait Fletcher has a wide-ranging resume from addict, fighter, stuntman, entrepreneur, podcaster, actor, etc. but that is NOT why he is on the show.  Through adversity, he follows his passion that happens to give him those titles.  Through his brokenness, Tait curates a positive life for himself that empowers those around him.  He has the life experience and perspective that taught him that service leads to a fulfilling life. Tait’s number one rule is to lead a life of appreciation. THAT is why this unconquerable soul is on the show. As Tait says, humility is the ability to be taught. I am proud to call Tait a friend, but he is also a mentor, soul recalibrater, teacher, and standard holder.

I am humbled to have a soul to soul conversation with Tait about appreciation, gratitude, and growth that happened to be recorded for this special episode. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Stay strong,

Scott

Below are some show notes and references:

3:12  How do you curate a positive life and fall in love with that life? 

8:20  What legacy are you leaving? How can you be of service?  How can you be more useful to your community?

11:20  Humility is being teachable.

19:36  What is a virtuous man?

“What I think about matters. What I say matters. What my actions are matter.”

31:30  Dichotomy of thought. Positive thought hack. #thoughtdrunk

Replace with 2 positive thoughts, or 1 positive action

Change you Actions – Change your Thoughts

38:14 “If you want to learn. If you want to grow. Get rid of your defensiveness.”

47:15  (Homework) Have a conversation without saying anything. Just sit there and listen.

When you have a negative thought, follow it up with a positive action.

50:55  Advice from Eddie Bravo: #1 – “Be in appreciation all the time.

57:53  What do you struggle with? What is commitment?

1:05:00  How do you find strength to give all your outlets the opportunity they deserve?

1:10:30  Meditation – Restored – Changing Behavior

1:15:00  Kids?

1:26:16  Leadership

1:37:13 Acting Career – Connecting with people – Favorite scenes and memorable deaths

Tait’s websites:

Tait Fletcher, Pirate Life Radio, Caveman Coffee Co,

Social Media to follow:

@taitfletcher, @functionalcoach, Ryan Moody, Aubrey Marcus, Joe Rogan

Scott McGee, The Sisu Way

Things to read:

Claudette Colvin, Letter from Birmingham Jail

Eric Greitens, Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

TheSisuWay.com

6: The Art of Living – Epictetus, Stoicism, & Serenity

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The Art of Living is the classical manual of Epictetus (a Stoic philosopher who lived from A.D. 55 to A.D. 135) on how to live a good and moral life. It has helped me effectively meet everyday challenges of life, deal with life’s inevitable major losses, disappointments, and adversity. It came at a time in my life when I did not have a philosophy of inner freedom and tranquility to follow.

It started me on a path to mastering my desires, performing my duties well, and learning to think clearly about myself (Temet Nosce) and my relationship with others. It gave me the ability to see that some things are in my control, and some things are not.  I can either accept things, or resent them, but most importantly, my will is always within my power.  Well there are some things are within our power, and some things are not.  Sometimes the things that are not come in the form of an unexpected violent cancer.

My Aunt, the one who gifted me this book many years ago, is in a fight for her life. She is fighting for her husband, her boys, her family, and her future grandkids. She is a warm ball of light stuck in a human body, and that human body is failing her.  There is not much I can do physically, but I don’t think it starts or ends there.  This is an opportunity and reminder that Strength is a Choice, and there is something I can do in her honor.  I can use this platform to pass along the gift that she gave me to you.

I give this book to people very frequently because it helps learn the art of living a good life. Since I cannot physically hand each of you a copy, I would like to take this opportunity to share the gift with you via the podcast in my Aunts honor. The Sisu Way podcast is telling a story, and this is part of the journey.

Vulnerability is Strength, so I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me. In following podcast I present, read, and paraphrase some of my favorite parts of the book with you. To begin, I open with The Serenity Prayer.

Humbly,

Scott McGee

TheSisuWay.com

5: Val Voboril – Strength is a Choice

 

 Val Voboril is the everyday woman with super-powered fitness.  She is a mother, 4th Grade teacher, and a 6-time CrossFit Games Athlete.  But these titles do not define her. The quality of her character is shown through her resilient spirit, her unconquerable soul, and her commitment to teaching kids that they have the power to choose strength.

Val’s successes has not come without a dip, a trial of “failure.” Despite her almost super-human powers, in 2015 at the CrossFit Games California Regional, Val doubted herself and felt the fear of disappointing others by failing to meet certain standards. This is a place we have all been. We have all been knocked down, but that’s not where we have to stay.  She thought about the kind of message she wanted to send to her daughter, her students, fans, and the community.

Her dad asked her:

What do you want the story to be to tell your daughter? That you pulled through, gave up, or persevered when it was hard?

When faced with adversity, we have a choice. Val found strength in having fun and connecting to the community. She used strength and love to conquer. Val remembered to smile. Through this simple act, Val showed the power of having fun. That Health is Wealth. In turn, through her unconquerable spirit she prevailed in competition and triumphed over her own adversity.

Val is not only a role model to the CrossFit community, she leads the way by teaching her students the importance of a positive attitude and how to get themselves out of a dip. This mindset and indomitable spirit is why we at The Sisu Way are proud to welcome Val as our first guest.

Vals website: Just Val

Instagrams to follow: @valvoboril  @1scottmcgee  @thesisuway

Books: The Art of Living

Daily Stoic

Temet Nosce – Know Thyself

4: Health is Wealth – Memento Mori – Movement is a Gift

Health is Wealth” is one of the tag-lines of The Sisu Way, but if I were to make the title of this episode longer it would say, “Health is Wealth, Movement is a Gift, and Your Will is Within Your Power.”

Without health, all the perceived wealth in the world is irrelevant. We all have health, if you didn’t you would not be able to listen to this podcast. If you can’t hear this podcast then be grateful you can read these words. If you have the ability and resources to purchase whatever device you are listening to it from you have health.  We also live in countries that allow podcasts, and other peoples opinions can be heard.  These are all gifts.

There is a latin phrase, Memento Mori, which means remember death, or remember that you will die. This stoic practice of reflection on mortality is an opportunity to reflect on the temporary state of our being and to appreciate what we have in the moment… health, the gift of movement, the freedom and opportunity to choose strength, and the gratitude for it.

Buddha said: To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.

To go a bit further, beyond just a healthy you….is a healthy you full of appreciation, gratitude, and a resilient mind to see the gifts in the world instead of what you don’t have. The ability to wake up from wants and needs and appreciate what you have right now. Remember to forgive and love yourself, and take a moment to really appreciate the ability to see, hear, and talk with your loved ones.

For more info and episodes go to: TheSisuWay.com

Instagram: @thesisuway

Personal: @1scottmcgee

3: Strength to Love – MLK “Loving Your Enemies”

Episode 3: Strength to Love is about perspective. This episode stands to provide a different light on the finger pointing mentality we sometimes show, and instead, turn the light back on ourselves. We have the ability to chose strength, love, and forgiveness.  This leads to growth, not pain.  We are the master of our fate. We are the captain of our soul.

I open with the Man in the Arena, a speech by Theodore Roosevelt that hammered critics who look down upon people who are trying to make the world a better place.

One of those people was Martin Luther King Jr. He is someone I very much admire. His approach to dealing with hate and negativity is so simple yet very difficult. It starts with analyzing ourselves and forgiveness. We can show the strength to love by looking within. We can heal by actively and intently listening, taking accountability for ourselves, and learning to forgive. That includes forgiving ourselves. His sermon, Loving Your Enemies, is covered in the middle of the podcast.

I close out the episode by providing a way to stand up in the storm and have compassion for those that fail. I provide tenets I try to live by and a social media challenge.

The goal of this episode is to shine light on some of the dark thoughts we have and show you that it’s okay to put the heavy bag of resentment down. It’s time to surrender. Love is the Way.

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Books:

Strength to Love – Martin Luther King Jr.

2: Strong Willed – A Parents Story about Strength, Willpower, & Resilience

Episode 2: Strong Willed, is a story of strength, fortitude, and a celebration of resilience told through letters that were written to my sons from several months in 2015. In Episode 1: For Dad I looked back to the generation before me. In this episode, I take a look at the generation after me by sharing a story of life and death with my son, Connor. This story may bring you thoughts of sadness or grief, but I want to change your perspective on that.  This is a story of choosing to overcome adversity, and how an unborn child recalibrated his father’s mindset with one powerful kick. Things happen to us, but like Connor proved, those things don’t define us.  Good and bad things come and go like life speed bumps, but you can choose to have an unconquerable soul and turn anything into an action for good.

This is only part of Connor’s story, as I will discuss him more throughout this podcast.  In this episode I tie together the words my parents wrote, especially my dad, in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I share how I forgave my father about writing to his grandson too late in life, from a letter he wrote me on March 16, 1981.

Time is not a right, it is a privilege. Life is precious, unexpected, and unpredictable.  But like my mom wrote to me in 1979, “This world is only as you make it.” Health is wealth. Vulnerability is strength. Strength is a choice.  You are the master of your fate. You are the captain of your soul.  Choose strength and be unconquerable.

Books mentioned on the show:

The Art of Living by Epictetus

Mask of Masculinity by Lewis Howes

Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman