33: Perseverance & Gratitude with NFL Athlete Erik Swoope

Train Keeps Moving: No matter what happens in your life the train keeps moving and it doesn’t stop for anyone.

Erik Swoope is an NFL Tight End with a humble spirit who was with the Indianapolis Colts the past 5 seasons. He is 6’5”, 250 lbs, athletic, fast, and moves with the mass of a truck and coordination of a gymnast. The impressive part is this: He’s never played football before playing in the NFL. The more impressive part is that for as big and strong as Erik is, his character is more powerful. If perseverance, depth, gratitude, humility, and grit were measurable statistical categories, Erik would not only be an All-Pro amongst the NFL, he would be in the Pro Bowl of humans.

This episode is dedicated to understanding where Erik’s grit and gratitude come from, his upbringing, and the importance and meaning of family. We look at his accomplishments in the classroom, community, and on the court/field. We learn what it’s like to go from playing ACC basketball at the University of Miami to playing football for the first time (ever) in the NFL.

Want to know what it feels like to score a touchdown in the NFL? This episode is for you.  Want to know how to overcome setbacks with a growth mindset and perseverance?  This episode is for you.  How you handle yourself when everything is great is one thing, but the best of us excel in the face of adversity.  That struggle is where true strength is forged.

SHOW NOTES:

Into:  Keep Your Dream

Don’t let your own will be the reason you fail.  Keep that will strong and unconquerable.  There are too many dreams buried in the cemetery of collapsed wills.  Not yours. Be unconquerable. -Scott McGee

8:30  Where does Erik’s grit come from?  What does it mean to be a Swoope man?

18:30  Family and upbringing. “If you start something you have to finish it.”

25:50  Athletic background as a kid.  First dunk at 12 years old.

Lake Elsinore to Harvard Westalke (Los Angeles)

36:20  What are some of highlights from high school? “My struggle.”

One of my fondest memories. I found out how to do something the right way. I knew how to put in the effort, but are you doing it in a way that benefits you.

39:30  More proud of academics or sports? 

The school work was where I had to prove to myself that I’m willing to go through something with no one else’s help. I had to find a way.

41:05  When did Erik figure out he was really good at sports?

48:00  How went from high school in SoCal to Miami to play basketball. What was it like leaving family?

56:22 Train Keeps Moving: No matter what happens in your life the train keeps moving and it doesn’t stop for anyone. If you think that life is going to hold up because you hit something… that train is going to keep moving. 

59:00 Post college – The interest from the NFL Scouts. They want to see if Erik had “football traits.”

Learning football and drills. Try outs. 4.57 40 on first try. 

1:01:40  Jimmy Graham – Mentor – First advice from former basketball player turned football player. “Football is not fun”. Ha.

1:10:40  Workout with NFL scout to the Indianapolis Colts

1:17:45  Learning the basics of football.

1:24:34  First time getting hit really hard in practice and a game. First Catch.

1:30:30  What it was like playing with Andrew Luck.

1:34:40  What it feels like to score a touchdown in the NFL.

1:39:40  The hardest part of playing football in the NFL…  Handling stress

1:41:11  Where does Erik find the fun?

1:49:00  Purchases with NFL money.

1:51:50  NFL journey through being undrafted, injuries, practice squad, active roster.

In game experiences…

Responding from injuries, surgery, and learning to recover stronger than before.

2:07:18  Where does he go from here?  Restricted Free Agent

2:09:16  What do you do with your doubts? I try and take that energy and put it into my training. My journey is not like anyone else’s. 

2:13:50  Tips to Overcome Setbacks

Social Media:

@swooperstar86   @1scottmcgee   @thesisuway

Website:

TheSisuWay.com 

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

 

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

Val Voboril – Our Wonder Woman

Val Voboril is the everyday woman with super-powered fitness.  She is a MOTHER, 4th Grade TEACHER, and a CROSSFIT athlete on the way to her 6th CrossFit Games.

But these titles do not define her. The quality of her character is also shown through her lesson in resilience, her sisu story, and how she came out of her dip which began in 2015.

At the 2015 CrossFit California Regional, Val struggled mentally and failed to qualify for the Games.  Her passion for competition that previously drove her to multiple successful competitions wasn’t there. Val, despite her almost super-human powers, had doubt in herself and felt the fear of disappointing others.  This is a place we have all been, but it’s not where we 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: Continue reading