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,
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.”
1:08:50 What did it mean to you guys when you found out your wife was pregnant?
“It was the brightest light in a very dark tunnel.”
Liam: The peoples protector
Nico: The peoples victory
1:12:55 What to say to grieving parents.
1:23:30 The final (physical) fight
50% Profits going to Liam’s Life Foundation.
Life is a Moment – spells out LIAM
LINKS AND REFERENCES:
LiamsLife.org – Liam’s Life Foundation
Letters to Liam – A film about a fight for change. A story to save lives. A documentary to battle drunk driving.
Systems Training Center – Hawthorne, Inglewood, Westwood, Encino (Southern California)