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

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

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.

1: For Dad – The Why

Welcome to the first episode of The Sisu Way Podcast. There are many reasons for this passion project, and I’d like to start the show with my ‘why’. One of the major themes is the awareness, appreciation, connection and gratitude for life and the opportunity to leave lessons for the next generation.  In this episode I share a deeply personal experience (12:41) and lesson in the balance of life and death. Within the same week, my first son was born and my father died.  Life is a privilege, not a guarantee.  It’s a reminder that health is wealth, and there is no time to waste in sharing how you feel with your loved ones.  With that being said, I encourage you to start writing for your loved ones, and have the generation in front of you do the same.  Don’t assume your kids know that much about you as a person, or that there will be lessons for them if something were to happen to you.  There is generational information that is lost between is, and there is something we can do about it!

Another reason for the show is to motivate, inspire, and help others.  I want to grow this together into a movement for service and personal growth.  Surrendering, writing more on social media, and opening up personal thoughts is something I decided to do because I found it reached someone at the right time.  That connection helps build us both up. Battles, adversity challenges are all universal and unavoidable but we have a choice how to react to it. Our attitudes and thoughts are in our control.  Accountability is happiness and strength is a choice.

This episode was a relief for me to record. I did not know how I would feel recording solo for the first time, but I am glad I did it. I hope you appreciate my honesty and I humbly thank you for listening. I am very excited for what this show has in store for all of us!

Stay strong,

Scott

Be the Light

The degree to which we are able to forgive determines the degree to which we are able to love our enemies. My friends, we have followed the so-called practical way for too long a time now, and it has led inexorably to deeper confusion and chaos. -MLK Jr.

I wanted to write this piece because I know we have a chance. There is good in us, there is light that wants to connect. After my conversation with my friend Sal Masekela (WODcast Podcast 240 1:15 and 280 53:40) seeing the response from the listeners, it reinforced the my belief that we can do better.  I am in a unique position that allows me to use my experience for good.  We all are.  We just need to open ourselves up and actually listen to each other. I mean actually listen to understand, not just hear and wait to deliver your point.  That is “versus” and a selfish mentality that does not lead to empathy and growth.  I see sides that want to prove they are right.  It hurts when I see darkness where there should be light.  It’s time to set down that bag of judgement, anger, bitterness, and retaliation.  Love is lighter and lifts us all.

Matin Luther King did many sermons that have impact on society today.  The quote in the photo below is from a sermon he did at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in 1957.  The relevance of his words feel like they could have been easily said today. It deals with learning to love your adversaries. “Loving your enemies” was so basic to King and part of his basic philosophical and theological orientation—the whole idea of love, the whole philosophy of love. This applies not only to people, but to situations and circumstances.  If we were to ask King today Continue reading

Character Building

You  cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself.   -James A. Froude

I have been blessed with the health and ability to complete workouts in honor of our Country’s finest people and fallen heroes.  I am one that is still here with the ability to drive on using the gift of movement and the strength of mind to appreciate the moment.  I am bathed in humility by the character of heroes that have given their lives in service to others, and I am sensitive to the lasting impact it makes on their families.  I revere them and I’m forever grateful.

Lt. Michael Murphy is one of those heroes. When Michael Murphy completed the workout that was eventually named after him he called it “Body Armor”. I think the workout not only makes your body stronger, it makes your spirit more resilient. It’s a character builder. The grind we go through in this particular workout is universal yet so simple. You learn to drive on through the doubt and pain while encouraging your teammates around you.  That is beautiful pain.

This year I wore some old body armor and carried the Sisu Hammer for the entire workout. I carried it on the run, held it on top of my feet while doing strict pull ups, and held it in my hands during the squats and push-ups. The hammer simulated a protection weapon that men better than me aren’t here to carry anymore. It represented a weight that I felt honored to carry, and no matter how heavy it was, it was a gift of burden that shows I am alive and can feel pain.  How lucky am I? Continue reading

Strong Willed – Part II

 

*Three months after the words of Part I.

Its not what happens to you, but how you react that matters. -Epictetus

Every obstacle is an opportunity. I truly believe that. In this case, the obstacle gave Connor the opportunity to live.  At this point we have been through five intrauterine blood transfusions and have kept Connor alive. The doctor has successfully transfused Connors blood through a long needle that went though Amanda’s stomach, into her womb, and into a vein in the umbilical cord. We were very fortunate to have this option.  Here’s why.  During this process, we were getting regular ultrasounds to check the status of Connor’s hydrops (cranial/body swelling and heart size). At one of our standard ultrasounds he switched over to a type of ultrasound that shows blood flow.  What he saw was another very rare condition called Vasa Previa. Vasa Previa, in our case, was a fetal blood vessel from the placenta that was crossing the entrance to the birth canal.  If that vessel ruptured, Connor would suffer from rapid fetal hemorrhaging and die within minutes.  The fetal mortality rate is estimated to be as high as 95% if not diagnosed before birth. Amanda was immediately put on bed rest, even though she had been CrossFitting almost daily till then. We needed to restrict her movement as much as possible and for as long as possible. We prepared for the worst and hoped for the best. The doctors wanted her in Labor and Delivery for seven weeks antepartum, in Continue reading

For Dad

This is a letter I gave to my father while he was battling cancer while my wife was pregnant with our first son, my dads first grandchild. The year was 2012.

Dad,

Today I am going to start writing documents like this one to give to my son (your grandson) some day when he is of age.  I am going to save copies in the computer and print out hard copies for a book of some sort.  I really like reading the stuff you and mom  put in my baby book, so I want to pass those special type of moments on.  I figured I would write you first and include it in our book. 

There are a lot of things I want to share with you but sometimes have a hard time articulating them.  I am hoping this helps and you have the strength to read this stuff at your leisure.  I know what you are going through is painful, frustrating, and scary and it will get worse before it gets better.  One of my goals is to help you maintain a strong spirit and ferociously powerful will!  Your flesh is going through hell but you don’t have to sacrifice your spirit.  You are not merely your body.  The will is stronger.  I love you, we all love you.  So keep fighting with your head up.


I want to share a Father’s Prayer with you by General Douglas MacArthur.  With our pregnancy and the growth of our son this prayer has been very important to me.  I have read it many many times wishing it to come true for Amanda and I. 

Continue reading