34: Adversity is a Gift with Marcus Aurelius Anderson

We are only as strong as the adversity we overcome.  If that is the case, then Marcus Aurelius Anderson is a StrongMan of character.  But facing adversity isn’t the only prerequisite for developing grit, you have to choose to use it as an opportunity for growth so you can adapt. It is not freedom from adversity, but it is the freedom, the power, the choice to take a stand and lean into your adversity.  Our stories are unique, but the struggle is universal.  To the strong, Adversity is a Gift

My guest is Marcus Aurelius Anderson. Marcus is an author, TedX Speaker, and Mindset Coach who, while preparing to deploy with the U.S. Army, suffered a severe spinal injury that left him paralyzed from the neck down. His life was turned upside down, and after dying twice on the operating table, he was told he would never be able to walk or use his hands again. He discovered he was left with two choices, he could either be a victim, or change his mindset and become a Victor. Having no other option, he began looking for any lessons to be learned from his injury, and soon discovered that his set back was a gift. After being paralyzed and coming back from death, Marcus is here to help guide us not only out of adversity, but into it.

SHOW NOTES:

Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl

3:10 Who was Marcus prior to joining military at 38? Marcus the Younger

9:00  What he learned from his great uncle.  The power of intention and purpose. 

18:40  Joining the military at 38.

23:40  The concept of Arete and Ikigai

35:00 Knowing yourself – Temet Nosce

38:15  Grit – Dying and Paralysis – Movement is a Gift – the healing power of Gratitude

Genuine gratitude is not a buzzword, it is acting in a grateful manner.

57:34  You should be seeking out adversity, one in way shape or form. If you can have adversity as your compass, it will always direct you in the right direction, and for most people that are going through hardship, the answer they are looking for so desperately is found within the adversity that they are not facing.

58:30  Resiliency training – cold exposure – micro adversity 

1:05:50  Adversity Scale 

1:16:50  If you want to go beyond mediocrity, then you have to demand more from yourself. If you don’t demand something from you, life will start demanding things from you that you don’t want.

Misery loves company but not as much as mediocrity.

1:19:00 The meaning of service

1:22:30  Lessons from a failed marriage

1:31:17  Favorite quotes and books.

LINKS:

Book:  The Gift of Adversity: Overcoming Paralysis and Pain to find Purpose

Websites:  MarcusAureliusAnderson.com  TheSisuWay.com

Social Media:  @marcusaureliusanderson  @1scottmcgee  @thesisuway

Marcus’ Podcast: Epic Achiever 

The Sisu Way Podcast – PLEASE LEAVE AN ITUNES REVIEW IF YOU LISTEN TO THE SHOW

32: Finding Strength in Struggle – A Warrior’s Perspective with Dr. Theresa Larson

Beautiful things don’t come without some suffering. -Dalai Lama

What happens after an injury, loss, or major change? How do you adapt to this new normal state? How do you find strength in the face of adversity? How do you accept this new change without always wishing to be like before?  My guest, Dr. Theresa Larson, helps me answer these questions. She says our minds are a war zone and adaptation will occur no matter what, but there is a choice to to optimally adapt or maladapt.  

Dr. Larson (DPT) is a mom, wife, sister, friend, and TEDx Speaker who happens to be a former Marine Corps Engineer Officer, combat veteran, and professional softball player.  While that sounds like a resume of a strong person, it was the other moments where she developed her strength. Dr. T made it through the death of her mother at the age of 10, the loss of her father, and learned to suffer skillfully while battling an internal war with bulimia in the middle of an actual war.  It’s here she learned strength, positive adaption, and her call to help others.

You see, her greatest strength isn’t in which she has done. Her greatest strength was in asking for help.  Our stories are unique, but the struggle is universal.  The mission of this episode is to deliver info to people who need it.  To those who have gone through loss, trauma, or a major change in their life and needs to find their new normal again, this episode is dedicated to you.

Get Up Strong,

Scott

SHOW NOTES:

Intro: The Butterfly

4:40  Where does your weakness come from?

Can you measure strength? Cellular level and the mind.

12:30  Knowing yourself as a person vs athlete

13:50  Early lessons in strength.  A lesson from mom when she knew she was not going to go on:  

Life is unfair Theresa, and life has to go on.  I’m going to die, but your life has to go on and blossom.

27:20  Is strength teachable?

29:30  Battling an internal battle (bulimia) in the middle of an actual war.

Forgiveness doesn’t change your past, but it opens up your future. 

On the convoy, when am I going to next throw up.

46:54  No one is going to hold your hand. Life goes on.  I need to make those choices and stick up for myself, against myself.  My mind is a war zone.

47:20  TED Talk:  What is a Warrior?  What made me a warrior was not that fact that I was at war, or a professional athlete. It was the fact that I asked for help.

55:36  Ownership and healing yourself 

59:40  What is your why?  Physics of the why.

1:06:13  Your first step in regulating your emotions is stabilizing your attention. You can stabilize your attention by bringing it right into your breath and stilling your mind. -SM

1:15:30 The Mind Trigger

1:17:30  Adaptive Athletes – Fitness, Breath work, Community – Ways to recover your strength

1:18:50  LOVE Principles: Lead yourself first, Oxygen (breathe), Vulnerability, Elasticity (you can change)

What are you doing for the world?  A practice in gratitude through service reflection. 

1:42:58  State and Liberty: Code “STRENGTH” for 15%

Dr. Theresa Larson’s Podcast:

My New Normal

WEBSITES:

DrTheresaLarson.com movement-rx.com TheSisuWay.com

SOCIAL MEDIA:

@movementrx  @drtheresalarson @1scottmcgee @TheSisuWay

27: Julien Pineau – Discovering StrongFit

Burn the questions, burn your doubts, burn who you were, burn everything. See if you can make your soul bleed.

Julien Pineau is a Humanist, Movement Specialist, and Founder of StrongFit, an intellectual and physical gym that has transcended the actual workout into an education. It’s a culture and a tribe of people who seek to apply force better. Julien is trained to visualize and correct proper human movement patterns.  He has a fascinating ability to diagnose imbalances, find the root of problems, and provide knowledge so you can become stronger, more fit, and a more resilient human.  To me, Julien is scientific philosopher who has chosen human movement as his art.  But he is also more than that.  He is the master of his fate and the captain of his ship.   When he is not busy traveling, podcasting or changing the world he is raising his daughter in an environment of love and curiosity. He is a man on a journey inward as much as he is outward. 

This is a beautiful conversation I get to have with my friend. We discussed the life and death moments that forced Julien (through stress/pain/intensity) to discover his strength.  It was here where he decided who he was going to become.  Like life, it’s not about technique, it’s about how you handle yourself in difficult situations. It’s in those moments where you are introduced to yourself.  Lucky for us, Julien decided to build StrongFit and become one of the smartest people I know. Now he is teaching how to build better humans, but it’s up to us.

Thank you for choosing to listen!

Strength is a Choice,

Scott

SHOW NOTES:

Intro: Drowning is not for Me

9:15  A conversation about Julien’s late brother, Jerome. 

17:36  Do you have to go through pain to grow?

Comfortable is the opposite of safe. To grow you need to be in a safe place. When you are comfortable you are unsafe. 

21:30  Main influences in life, the moments, and how Julien has used them to develop who he is. 

Are you going to relay on talent your whole life? Or are you going to build something? The thought of this changed the shape of his life.

27:30  What did Brazilian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teach Julien about life? 

To face the world. Navigating with autism. 

28:50  Facing intensity, pain, and stress.  Needed for growth.

I think therefore I am…. or should it be I am therefore I think?

36:40  The study of human beings by putting them in stress.

It’s not about technique. It’s about how you handle yourself in front of difficult situations.

40:00  The greatest battle field is in our mind. 

Task Negative Network and Talk Positive Network. (where flow state is)

46:12  The Vagus Nerve and how to use to be in control of your nervous system.

How to shift yourself to the flow state.

51:37  Does Julien struggle with people?

55:04-55:47*  The price to pay for entry.

55:06  How much is going into Julien vs StrongFit Julien?

1:00:00  How does Julien learn?

1:04:05  What is the intent of the StrongFit Seminars?

1:07:40  How does Julien package information in a way that is satisfactory for him?

1:10:00  The eye of the Storm – Suicide – A defining moment on a Bridge – What his brother didn’t do.  Burning his sense of self.

1:13:42  There is something to scaring the crap out of yourself that introduces you to yourself.

1:15:40  Other moments that changed his life.  

1:16:30  Can you apply the lessons of internal/external torque to your thinking and dealing with emotional stress?

1:20:45  The nervous system as it relates to behavior.  Being able to apply force in a healthy manner.  What are the signs?

1:27:18   3 ways to stimulate vagus nerve to bring us back to parasympathetic state:  Movement, Breathing, Nutrition

How to train your soul.

1:39:30  Regulation in ice. Physical stress to mental relaxation. 

1:41:51 Self-Control – Auto regulation and self correction – self awareness and self regulation

You are not a passive victim of your system.

1:44:10  The Arch Theory 

1:49:50  Training Method WES: Weight bearing, Eccentric (lowering the weight), lower Skill

The quality of stress matters. Not quantity.

2:02:02 Chris Moore – Barbell Buddha 

SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEBSITES:

@strongfit1   @1scottmcgee   @TheSisuWay

StrongFit.com     TheSisuWay.com   

StrongFit youtube channel

BOOKS:

What is Life – Erwin Schrödinger

12 Rules for Life – Jordan Peterson 

Brain’s Way of Healing – Norman Doidge, M.D.

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