26: Mary Beth LaRue – Creating Room for Embracing Vulnerability & Love

We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy. – Pema Chödrön

Mary Beth Larue’s professional passion is teaching yoga, meditation, mentoring and writing. She is the co-founder of the movement, Rock Your Bliss.  But it’s her soulful journey as a foster mom that has exposed her to wholehearted love and presence. For the past eleven months, she and her husband (7: Matt Aporta – Fostering Love) have fostered-to-adopt a beautiful little baby boy. They have opened themselves to the continually changing, dynamic nature of of vulnerability with a brutally exposed open and full heart. They have accepted that people might be temporary in your life, but that is not in your control.  What is in your control is the deliberate and passionate love shared in the moment, everyday.

Mary Beth is not who she is because she fosters. She fosters because of who she is.  Through the darkness, she has learned to focus on the light. She has learned to hold herself accountable for her thoughts, because they create her reality.  She has conversations full of possibilities, love and vulnerability. Her focus is on the now. Owning our story is hard, but not as difficult as running from it.  That strength, that vulnerability, privilege,and love, is what this episode is about.

SHOW NOTES:

Intro: Pema Chodron – When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times.

6:40  How to slow down. The moment is enough.

13:00  How to shine light on yourself in the darkness.

14:00  Relationship with Social Media – Perspective

27:00  What to do when starting to feel down.

29:03*  Holding myself accountable for thoughts that I’m thinking and whats coming out of my mouth because its creating my whole reality. I get to have conversations full of possibilities. Where as before I was having conversations with a giant stop sign.

29:47  A warrior is skilled in action and non-action. Vulnerability is Strength. The strength to allow yourself to feel.

35:00  The identity and transition in becoming a mom.

Fostering Baby A

47:00  Seeking the light in the face of loss.

48:53*  I’m different now because we’re willing to put ourselves in the fire. I want my heart to be all used up. I want ever inch of my heart and my spirit to have been used and grown and transformed because whats the point otherwise.

We get the privilege of making an impact in a child’s life, but mainly get the privilege of this child making a massive impact in our life.

58:20  How to become more self-aware so you can self-regulate.

1:07:50  Grief and Emotion is love. How to learn from kids.

1:14:20  Solitude is a super power. Micro Meditation.

1:18:00  The Yoga Room

1:22:30  Meditation and Breath work – It makes you kinder.

Mantras: Be fully present. Feel your heart. Engage in the next moment without any agenda.

1:35:03  What has yoga taught you? Being present. Finding peace in the chaos.

1:41:26  A letter from her husband. Gratitude, Intention, Love

LINKS:

MaryBethLarue.com     RockYourBlissMovement.com    TheSisuWay.com

SOCIAL MEDIA:

@marybethlarue  @rockyourbliss  @1scottmcgee  @TheSisuWay

24: Ryan Fischer – Strength, Work Ethic, & Reflection

Ryan Fischer has off the charts fitness, numerous feats of physical strength, and experience in helicopter flying, Olympic skeleton, BMX racing, competitive CrossFitting, and hiking all over the world.  His life is a set of circumstances that have developed him into a fulfilled gym owner.  But his biggest strength is his drive and his work ethic, and Ryan is more than a competitor or gym owner.

This episode is more than what his bio says.  This episode is about the man you think you know as Ryan Fischer. We had the chance to dive deep into Ryan’s life on a level you have never heard before. This episode goes beyond fitness as we reflect on where Ryan’s drive comes from, his relationship with his family, how he always knew he was different, what makes him happy, and where his unconquerable soul comes from.  This isn’t an episode I took lightly. I wanted to offer a platform of reflection and growth through a respectful path of vulnerability and strength. This special episode was an honor for me to record. I humbly thank you for choosing this to listen to with a special thank you to Ryan’s mom, Kim.

With gratitude,

Scott McGee

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Show Notes:

Short story:  The Cracked Pot

4:32  What is stronger? Your muscles or your work ethic.

10:36  To find your work ethic, does it need to found through physical effort?  Moments that forced you to be strong.

A story of a Son.

13:43  I never really had that dad feeling and because of that I searched for different things to put energy into that couldn’t be bought. You cant get it any other way except for super hard work. If I did that, I created that and it made me feel good.

Finding out some big news at 18 that changed everything.

22:30  I remember always telling my mom that there was something about me that was different. I knew that I was going to be different. I always knew it.

23:00  First contacts with real dad.

30:30  Raising money for Olympics.  The biggest check Ryan had ever received.

The $500 check.

33:20  The grandparents

37:40  Everybody has a struggle. Everyone has a deal going on. But there’s always room for a heart to heart conversation between a father and son. -SM

38:33  Do you think finding out made you a stronger person?

40:00  Reflection on life and relationships.

41:04  What do you think your mom is most proud about you? A conversation with mom.

(Ryan’s mom): He never followed the crowd. He stayed true to himself and his values.

Where does Ryan’s drive come from? And how his drive is a weakness.

49:30  What makes Ryan happy?

58:00  “Settling down” and relationships.

1:04:30*  What is your inner conversation like during a workout?

Once everything starts to hurt, we just started working out. Let’s go to work.

Little cues to help push through the work out.

1:10:20  The Little Man Story

1:14:10  How memory retention works. 

1:16:11  The CrossFit drive that transcends and the ripple effects.

Two things that define you.  Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.

Happiness vs Fulfilled

Planting the seed of gratitude is in someone else’s couch. -SM

1:28:09  Military dreams. How training to be a Nazy Seal led Ryan to CrossFit.

1:37:00  Wim Hof, Ice Baths, Float Tanks, Saunas

1:42:00  Being dedicated to action and non-action.  How to destress.

Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation

1:48:14  What has hosting a podcast taught you?

2:01:15  Ryan’s online programming

You don’t see a moving truck behind a Hearse. 

Links:

@RyanFisch  @1ScottMcGee @CrossFitChalk  @TheSisuWay

CrossFitChalk.com    TheSisuWay.com

21: Andy Petranek – Stepping Up through a Beginner’s Mind

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” — Zen Master Shunryu Suzuki

Andy Petranek couples curiosity and enthusiasm and applies it to learn new perspectives for a better way.  He is an early adopter, coach, athlete, entrepreneur, family man, and a life-explorer who travels with a sense of humor. He loves to work on developing and improving himself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, but more importantly he strives to help others do the same. He lives his life based on the words of his grandfather, “Never stop learning. Never stop growing.” 

I open the show with a lesson on Shoshin.  Shoshin is a word from Zen Buddhism meaning “beginner’s mind.” It refers to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner would. 

What is most fascinating about Andy is his curious mind and his ability to choose strength. These themes are evident when we take a step back and observe from a different perspective. From this framework, we take a look at some of the events that have lead Andy to become the father that he is and his ability to change lives for the better across the world through The Whole Life Challenge.

Strength is a Choice,

Scott

Show Notes:

2:20  Shoshin – Lesson in a Beginners Mind. 

6:10  Spoon Challenge – See it for the first time with a curious mind.

11:20  Perspective Chair Challenge

13:30  Opening question on purpose and emotion

17:25  85 year-old self Challenge

21:00  Musical background and the life bowling analogy

29:10  Trumpet player to Marine – What was he looking for?

34:20  Outdoor Eco Challenge races – Lost for 36 hours, learning, and pushing himself

“Trust your compass”

52:40  Learning a new skill like unicycling.

56:15  The 10-Minute training to overcome weaknesses.

1:04:10  Back Tucks and what you can learn about life through them.

1:07:48  CrossFit History

1:15:13  How do I have a better impact on the wellness of my clients? Beginning of The Whole Life Challenge

1:22:11  “Its the transformation of humans. Its working on virtues. Its developing peoples courage and commitment and testing their resolve. Being in the game of life, rather than thinking of winning or losing.”

You have the power to change your life for the better.

1:26:00  We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence therefore is not an act, it’s a habit.

Virtues are formed in a man by doing the right actions.

1:27:28  The 7 Daily Habits

1:33:30  Awaken with Gratitude

1:37:20  Fatherhood, post-it notes

1:44:55  Lessons learned from The Andy Petranek Podcast

“You’re taking curiosity, enthusiasm and applying to people to learn new perspectives for a better way.”

1:54:25  Stepping Up – Newsletter

2:04:20  Fitness – Movement is a Gift

Links and Social Media:

AndyPetranek.com  WholeLifeChallenge.com   TheSisuWay.com

@andypetranek  @wholelifechallenge  @TheSisuWay  @1ScottMcGee

The shin box for opening the hips

Oxygen Advantage

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

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

9: Lindsey Valenzuela – Strength to Give

Lindsey Valenzuela is someone you may identify as a CrossFit Games Athlete, but Lindsey is more than that. She is a powerhouse of emotion, passion, strength, and love that has had a renewed sense of purpose since the birth of her son.  Lindsey has inspired generations of men, women, and children to “Lift Like Lindsey”, to find their strength through vulnerability, and that its okay to show your emotions. She isn’t defined by her victories or loss’s, what matters is what kind of human being she has become. 

In this episode we talk about having belief in your ability to work for what you want, successes and failures in CrossFit, letting pain resonate and moving on, being true to yourself, legacies, becoming a mom, giving back, perspective on growth, what its like to be married to a law enforcement officer, and where she draws strength from.  I am lucky to record this episode with Lindsey, surrounded by loved ones, because she is like a little sister to me. This is a also a special episode to me because we learn to not only Lift Like Lindsey, but to have a Heart Like Lindsey.   

Show Notes: 

Be Strong when you are weak, Brave when you are scared, & Humble when you are Victorious. – Michelle Moschetti.

1:03  What is Autumo?  It is Latin for “I Believe.”  A motto and way of living that has guided Lindsey.

2:30  The “why” for this episode.

6:50  Believe in your ability to work for what you want.

11:53 “Take whats yours.” –Coach Kellee Roesel.  If you want something, but willing to go work for it.

13:10  “It doesn’t matter about victories or loses. It matters about what kind of human being you have become.”

13:34  2014 CrossFit experience and lessons learned from “failing” to make the CrossFit Games. 

18:12 How silly does not making the Games look now?

19:23  Victories, defeats, letting pain resonate with you, and learning to move on.

21:30  Vulnerability is a sign of Strength.

24:30  Lindsey’s honesty about her pregnancy

35:17  Titles? How does Lindsey identify herself? Vulnerability, passion, and emotions. 

38:45  Being true to yourself in the face of adversity. Being a role model.

44:15  Ability to make others feel good. Strength to Give.  Strength is more than a muscle. 

At just 10-months-old, Fritz was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Disorder, a fatal genetic disorder leading to progressive muscle degeneration. It’s incurable though physical therapy can help re-build weak muscles, but living beyond 30 is rare. Fritz’s parents started a non-profit to raise awareness and help fund research for a cure. **Lindsey’s gym did a fundraiser to help support the family.  You can help by clinking the link below**

“Live on Purpose” – Scott

56:35  What do you want your legacy to be?

“Get Up Strong.” – Scott

58:50  What message would you want to leave for your son to find in 20 years?

“I didn’t really start living until he was born.” – LV

1:02:53  What its like to be married to a law enforcement officer and how does that affect parenting.

1:19:30  Where draw biggest strength from.

“He shows me what it means to make hard times simple.” – LV on her son. 

“Lift Like Lindsey. Heart Like Lindsey!”

Books talked about in the episode:

Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

Emotional Survival by Dr. Gilmartin

Websites:

AutumoCrossFit.com

Fritz and Friends   Please click to donate and learn more.

TheSisuWay.com

Social Media:

@liftlikelindsey, @1scottmcgee, @thesisuway, @autumocrossfit, @dro

7: Matt Aporta – Fostering Love: A Story of a Family

Episode 7: Fostering Love with Matt Aporta is more than a story of what its like to foster-to-adopt a child.  It is a lesson and reminder that everyday is a gift and nothing is more powerful than love. Relationships can come and go in an instant. Nothing in life is guaranteed.  Love with a sense of urgency and live on purpose.

Fostering a child is the highest form of service. In the dictionary, service is defined as: the action of helping or doing work for someone. What act is greater than giving a child-in-need a family?  The opportunity to be loved beyond words, a safe environment, and the chance to thrive? 

People might be temporary in your life, but that is not in your control.  What is in your control is the deliberate and passionate love shared in the moment, everyday.  Nothing is guaranteed, regardless of the word (bio, adoptive, foster, step) that comes before parent. What is guaranteed is the love and dedication in the heart of my guest, Matt Aporta and his wife Mary Beth Larue. 

They have opened their heart to foster-to-adopt a newborn child, giving this soul a chance to thrive in the most loving environment.  In these moments, Matt and Mary Beth became what they were meant to be.  This is the story of a good man, who grew into a great dad, and a women who has never known a love like this or had a “purpose as deep as the sea and as vast as the sky.”

I hope you open your hearts and enjoy this story,

Scott

Matt’s Instagram: @matt_aporta

Mary Beth’s Instagram: @marybethlarue

Scott McGee’s: @1scottmcgee  @TheSisuWay

Nonprofit foster family, adoption, and advocacy agency: Extraordinary Families 

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

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

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

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

Keep Swimming

original-image-1920x1200

Grief: keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow;painful regret.

As humans, we go through the best and worst parts of our life.  If we are fortunate enough, we have friends to help us along the way.  Sometimes, those friends know when to hold us up and when to let us fall so we can learn to stand back up on our own.  Because when we do stand, we come back stronger than before.  We might be dinged up, have some scratches, bleed, but those heal and form the scars of life we are lucky to have.

A very close friend of mine, one who fits the mold above, sent me something recently that resonated with me.  It is what inspired me to share a post here after some absence.  He and I have been through the balance of life together as it relates to light and dark, life and death. We have experienced life and death at the same time as if one was passing the baton to the other.  Our stories are unique, but the struggle is universal.  After reading this post, I knew I had to share it with others because I feel it may help 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