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 a a 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 

30: See Love with Ruben Rojas, Artist & Co-Founder of Beautify Earth

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. – Camille Pissarro, painter

Ruben Rojas, knows what it means to take beautiful intention and turn it into soul moving action.  To choose love over fear.  He is the co-founder of Beautify Earth, a social impact entrepreneur, and world-class artist that uses the urban landscape as his canvas to inspire others through his murals. To view the world through the lens of love.  That line right there: To view the world through the lens of love, to SEE with gratitude and LOVE… is one of the main reasons I wanted to do this episode with Ruben.  My intention was to make this episode a piece of art that will help open some eyes and and hearts.  To free ourselves from the self imposed addiction to suffering. To SEE beautiful things in humble places.  Sometimes, you just have to look up at a wall.  

It is my hope, that we tug some heart strings and help people begin with gratitude so they can choose to be postive, kind, and thoughtful.  Love is the way.  

Strength is a Choice,

Scott

SHOW NOTES:

Into:  Love and Be Loved

Martin Luthor King Jr – Loving Your Enemies

12:00  Navigating out of darkness and into a place of love.  Being aware of ego.

15:28  “If I shift how I view something, I can change my trajectory. We are the sum of the choices we make”

20:00 Strength and courage though vulnerability

22:45  Infinite love artwork – black on black

26:00  Forgiveness, Love, and Fear – We operate out of fear or love.

Exercise: Physical feeling or first kiss vs altercation

29:44  Relationship story showing love or fear based responses.

“Violence isn’t strong enough.”  Don’t defend.  Choose love.

How?  Take a moment. Go to your breath.  Be mindful.  Your self-awareness leads to self-regulation.

39:30  What does love and gratitude look like across the world? Traveling 

“People that have nothing and they will give you everything.”

48:00  The street art that reaches souls.

What does the art do for you? “We are all mirrors to each other.”

54:00  See Love

55:00*  “There is so much beauty out there. I hope people understand that they can see that stuff, and see it in the most humble places. Once you have that vision you become super powerful and thats where gratitude grows.” -SM

56:00  Feb. 13th DiscoverLa.com – Ruben’s art exhibit – No Ordinary Love

57:00  How to deal with negative perceptions and staying positive

58:40  Painting with elephants for the LA Zoo.

1:01:25  The Prison Project – ForGive : Forgiven

If you lack the power of forgiveness, you lack the power of love.

1:10:50  Your why is what you apply force from.  It is your ground.

What is your why?  Beautify Earth is on a world peace mission. 

1:16:00  End ugly wall syndrome – A goal of Beautify Earth

1:20:00  Begin with Gratitude 

1:21:16*  Who will you be?

The choice is yours…

LINKS:

RubenRojas.com  BeautifyEarth.org  

TheSisuWay.com

DiscoverLA.com – Link to Ruben’s art show on 2/13 in Los Angeles

SOCIAL MEDIA:

@rubenrojas    @beautifyearth    @1scottmcgee   @thesisuway

Ruben’s poems:  @loveruben_

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

25: Lindsey K. Mathews – A Peaceful Warrior Empowering Women through Love

Dr. Lindsey K. Mathews bio says she is a doctor of chiropractic, birth doula, NLP practitioner, strength and conditioning coach, and creator of the rockstar movement, BIRTHFIT! Beyond her extraordinary titles, Lindsey views every obstacle as an opportunity. She is a resilient woman in pursuit of truth, reflection, growth, and connection. Simply put, Lindsey is a peaceful warrior on a trailblazing mission to spread love.

Through the lens of friendship, exploration, and mutual respect, we discuss the trials we endure that introduces us to our strengths. We acknowledge that even at rock bottom, nobody is coming to save you.  You have the ability to see that the universe isn’t doing something to you. It’s doing something for you.  You have the ability to live a happy life through gratitude and service, you just may need a little guidance. When asked what she wanted to be remembered by, Lindsey said: To educate and empower women, so they have the tools to transition though any obstacle in life. It’s my goal that this episodes helps.

Strength is a Choice.

Humbly,

Scott

SHOW NOTES:

Opening: Rupi Kaur – Milk and Honey

Who are you and what are you capable of?

A peaceful warrior that’s on a mission to spread love.

6:46  What does the term “warrior” mean to you?

12:20  The trials we endure that strengthen our character.

16:40  Rock bottom and where Lindsey draws strength.

21:09  Nobody is going to save you. You have to save yourself.

22:46  The universe is not doing anything to me. It’s doing something for me.

23:27  The milestone moments:

Asthma and near death lesson, knee tear, medical mission to Africa.

35:03  Advice to the younger self going through abuse. You are worth it.

Most everything is either an act of love or a cry for love.

45:50  Bias, perspective, blindspots, and seeking to understand.

52:00  How a torn knee can shift a young women’s life. Identity cracks.

1:04:40  Medical Mission Trip. Lesson in touch and service.

1:11:35  Traffic is a test of character. Plan and use the obstacle as an opportunity.

1:13:50*  BIRTHFIT – What is it doing for you?

1:16:36*  All humans seek the happy life but confuse the means…How do you live a happy and fulfilling life?  Gratitude and Service

Challenge: As a negative thought pops up, immediately replace it with three thoughts of gratitude.

1:20:50  How can you be a good person?  Know yourself and do the right thing.

1:26:10  If you want to make this world a better place, continue to do work on yourself.  Make yourself better than you were yesterday. -LKM

1:29:50  Female role models. What would you say to the 12 year-old girls (and boys) out there?

How to identify an emotion without suppression.

1:39:36  What do you want to be remembered by? 

Educate and empower women so that they have the tools to transition through any obstacle in their life.

Closing:  Rupi Kaur – Bring Your Hammer and Fists

SOCIAL MEDIA:

@birthfit   @lindsey_k_mathews   @1scottmcgee   @thesisuway

LINKS:

birthfit.com  thesisuway.com

REFERENCES:

Mindset – Carol Dweck

The Obstacle is the Way – Ryan Holiday

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

22: Kenny Kane – A Path of Joy, Suffering, & Effort.

 

The Sisu Way is defined as strength and determination in the face of adversity. Persistence. Hope. GRIT. An unbeatable mindset full of courage, tenacity, resilience, willpower, triumph, and an unconquerable soul. They say the finest souls are those who gulped pain and avoided making others taste it.  Well ladies and gentlemen, that is my brother and esteemed guest, Kenny Kane. 

Kenny Kane is lighthouse to many of us, but even lighthouses have shadows.  If strength is a product of suffering and struggle, then Kenny is by far one of the strongest people I know.  He has faced a massive amount emotional trauma and death packed on top of each other.  He was force fed a beautifully violent lesson in the balance of life and death.  In the face of this much pain and chaos, how do you do the most good?  How can we use our resources to be in service to something greater than ourselves?

If there is a lesson I have learned from late world-class Coach Marion Kane Elston through her son Kenny, it is you have to be willing to get up strong each and every time without complaint.  You have to put in the effort and open yourself up to the experience, or the time won’t come.

This episode was an honor for me record, but the real honor was the vulnerable and heartfelt conversation.  Kenny is one of the best humans I know. I’m proud to call him my friend and a mentor.  This episode is dedicated to the Kane family.

Get Up Strong.

Humbly,

Scott McGee

Show Notes:

Three Marbles – W.E. Peterson

5:00  Oak Park LA Bio and intro

10:44 Introduction to hosting podcasts

14:00 First Question – There is no elegant answer.  It’s complicated. It’s a journey.

15:30  Birth of son followed by death of mom

Challenges outpacing capabilities

21:55  Pillars of Good and Pillars of Strength have shadows

23:22  Most valuable currency – Ability to Connect

25:20  Leaving a Legacy – Kane Family

37:00  Story of Effort – If you don’t open yourself up to experience, the time wont come.

41:35  What is it about your mom that you would want your kids to know?  Her willingness to get up every single time without complaint. What it means to be a Kane. Grit.

41:15  Revisiting the struggle of life and death

51:20  History of stand up comedy career and intention

52:50  Where are you finding resilience while doing the most good?

53:30*  Purpose

57:30  12 more deaths over 14 more months – intense cadence

1:00:20  How do you do the most good when faced with only right and wrong answers?

Are your actions contributing to the joy of the world or the misery?

Sacrifice Rejected

1:08:00  Talia

1:12:50  Justine – The silent walk – The 7 year old leader

1:20:08  VUCA – The world is volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous

1:21:10  The wildfires – Original Oak Park

1:29:30  Navy Commander Schultze band reference of vision, reality, and truth.

1:43:00 The passing of the torch – Becoming the patriarch

1:46:26  Slow down to move fast. Grinding, enduring, grit, and the shadows.

1:48:40  Attention and purpose – profession and family

1:54:20  (extra credit) Social Media and mind control

1:59:20  Student/Magician named Tristan Harris – Attention Economy – impressions and screen time – Time Well Spent

2:28:40  Restoration through fitness, breath work, writing everyday, therapy, and patience. Being okay with the scars and path.

Links:

The Sisu Way Team for Whole Life Challenge

Body of Knowledge  Oak Park LA

TED Talk – Tristan Harris

kenny@oakparkla.com

The Sisu Way

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

20: Logan Gelbrich – Awareness & Vulnerability on a path to Hold the Standard

Before recording this episode with world-class human Logan Gelbrich, Dr. Cara Miller had some advice for me. She said, “Hold him steady with love – Push him deep with humility – and be willing to go there with him courageously.” 

This episode is a journey into the man, not just the entrepreneur/coach.  We learn how awareness is a good and bad thing, what the cost of seeking adversity is, and that strengths have shadows.  Most people think the ability to endure is a good thing, but what are the consequences of that?  Can you choose your way to happiness?

There is something about Logan that makes us want to get better.  He is someone I admire as a friend and revere as a leader. On the inside he is an intuitive and introspective soul with deep and complex thoughts.  On the outside he is a world renowned leader who is pushing us to “hold the responsibility of the space between your reality and the standard and that never ending pursuit of it.”

It is my humble honor to present this deeply personal interview with my friend, Logan,  with love and respect.

Strength is a Choice,

Scott McGee

Show Notes:

Antonio Machado said: Traveler, there is no path. The path is made by walking.

“It would be a ridiculous coincidence if your life was like someone else’s.”

5:00  Asserting Yourself – Baseball story and a lesson from Dad.

10:00  Are you Happy?

“Grateful and very hurt simultaneously for that awareness.”

“Step into awareness with great vulnerability.

14:55  Introverted and Introspection in regards to Happiness.

16:50  Does any of this really matter?

Galactic Calendar

20:13  The Sisu Hammer

23:40  The ability to put things down.  Meditation.

26:20  Death and Surrendering

32:00  Our greatest battles are waged within.

Strengths have Shadows

37:40  Lessons from College – Seeking Adversity & balance?  Learning how to relax.

42:09  What do you do for fun?  Solitude

52:30  Understanding depression and vulnerability

56:00  Beacon of Light

“Used my endurance as a crutch and that left me holding a lot of responsibility.”

1:05:13  Something about Logan that makes other people want to get better.

1:08:35  “My ability to endure has consequences, negative ones. Im aware, we all are aware, this is a project worth solving. Not just for my own own peace but for the on paper results that are required of me as a leader. And I like that accountability.”

1:09:08  Benefits and strength of therapy

1:13:20  Relationship with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – Purpose and Utility

1:24:40  Personal relationships – “I seek relationships that allow me to help someone else grow or that help me to grow and that largely by definition is centered around the ability to give and receive the truth which includes negative feedback.”

*1:34:00-1:34:46*

The vulnerable ones who live with dissatisfaction.

1:37:20  What is Deuce Gym?  Hold the Standard

Performance | Community | Lifestyle

1:44:18-:35  Fitness is the mechanism for teaching a host of bigger lessons, namely holding the responsibility or accountability of the space between your reality and the standard and that never ending pursuit.

1:52:28  Its chemically impossible to be a victim and happy at the same time. To take on a victim mentality is to relinquish all control of your life. You have a say.

Strength is a Choice

Challenge: Use it towards the first question.

He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times. – Friedrich Schiller, Playwright

Websites:

Deuce Gym    Coaches Prep   Developing World Class Coaches Free E-Book

The Sisu Way

Social Media:

Logan Gelbrich    Deuce Gym    Scott McGee   The Sisu Way

19: Adaptive Athlete Lil Misty Diaz – Spina Beautiful

 

Lil Misty Diaz is a force of light that has grown out of darkness.  This darkness began with being born with Spina Bifida (birth defect affecting the spinal cord). Followed by 28 operations by middle school (not including exploratory surgeries) and compounded by medications, isolation, depression, loneliness, and 3 suicide attempts.  But like a lotus flower, she rose from the dust to bloom out of the darkness.

Through the power of gratitude and service, Misty’s ability has grown stronger than her disability. It has been a process. One in which her only goal was to simply feel better.  This process has grown into her ability to complete over 200 races including obstacle races, half-marathons, 5-10-15k runs, 24 hour, Spartan and Red Bull races. She even holds state records in the bench press.

It has been said that it’s not your disability that defines you.  It’s your ability.  Strength is a choice.  The only disability in life is a bad attitude, and Lil Misty has decided to live her life of service by helping as many people as she can.  She has inspired people all over the world, from all walks of life, including myself. 

This is her story, and I’m honored to present it to you.

Scott

Show Notes:

Your Will Is Always Within Your Power – Epictetus

The Sisu Way Poster

6:20  What is Spina Bifida? 

11:00  Cast Life.  Fighting since Day 1.

12:30  The term disability vs Adaptive Athlete

14:50  The races

16:17  What was Misty’s childhood like?

26:16  What can you do for a kid who is struggling?

27:20  Teenage years. The difficulties and the decision to choose a DNR.

30:20  2nd person ever to use a cell saver

31:20  The most painful surgery – Tethered Cord Syndrome

37:00  Depression – Loneliness – Suicide    Beautifully Broken

Dream as if you will live forever. Live as if you will die today. -James Dean

49:20  What woke you up?

53:30  “I felt free”

59:00  Acceptance – Free from morphine fog.  Senses woke up.

Strength is a Choice – Get outside comfort zone

1:03:20  Motivating and inspiring others

1:05:17  Biggest accomplishment (so far)

1:09:00  “It’s not how you win.  It’s how you lose.” -Louis Zamperini

Liz  #LizFreel  Coached Liz to State Division Bench Press Record, but together added value to each others life.

1:17:09  Mantras for others.   “Turtle speed is still a speed as long as you’re  consistently moving forward and helping others along the way.”

1:19:48  When someone thinks of Misty Diaz:  What do you want them to remember you by? 

1:31:10  What does it mean to inspire people in the Spartan Races?

Links:

lilmistydiaz.com  @lilmistydiaz  @1scottmcgee  @thesisuway

TheSisuWay.com      LilMisty.com

17: Dan “Nitro” Clark – Death Lessons

Dan “Nitro” Clark is a American Gladiator, TEDx Speaker, Writer, Happiness Seeker, & Gratitude Practicer, who is committed to serving others.  Dan’s path was one of suffering and trauma, but he grew into someone who set out to burn bright, or die trying. 

In this episode we learn about his past struggles, how culture taught him “big boys don’t cry,” how losing his brother created the person he has become, how sports has defined him, and how cheating death kicked his ass into loving, learning, and living his best life.

We discuss how to master the art of living a happy, fulfilled, and meaningful life worth living. 

Show Notes:

Why are you alive?  To be of service.  Live – Love -Feel

4:58  Losing brother created the person he became.

“We tie our happiness to what we achieve and we achieve in order to achieve, but that happiness is short lived.” “Happily achieve instead of achieving to be happy.”

9:20  Don’t chase gratification.  Chase Gratitude.

11:00  How Dan was culturally taught not to cry or show emotion. Big boys don’t cry.

14:00  Sports filled a hole, a chance to hide.

Visualization and the power of the mind. 

18:35  Morning routine. Key to life is being in right state.

*25:54  “Anything thats good in my life came through the dedication of self improvement and personal growth.”

Service to others.

30:00  Why are you alive?

**32:50  “Sports taught me about life, but almost dying taught me how to live.”

33:20  Health is Wealth – The ability to walk.  What are your stairs?

Gratitude Practice – Ka ching!

43:44  Vulnerability is Strength – “The vulnerability in me gives the light a chance to shine.”

49:00  Strength is a Choice

49:59  Smiling Practice – The ripple effect of happiness.

Dali Lami: “In every human interaction we have, we have a choice to make that person happier or less happy.”

54:20  Upstream Reciprocity

Relationships and Conflict Resolution.  Seek to understand, then to be understood.

1:02:50  What does surrender mean?  “Even though I was having a heart attack and dying… When I surrendered, I felt a deep sense and profound sense of peace.”

Meditation and breathing for overall health and well being.

The Wim Hof Method

“Life is not lost by dying. Life is lost minute by minute, day by day, by not really living.”

Time isn’t guaranteed. Live each moment fully.

Books:

F Dying – Dan Clark

Gladiator – Dan Clark

The Warrior and the Monk – Greg Amundson

Psycho Cybernetics – Maxwell Maltz

The Beauty of a Darker Soul – Joshua Mantz

Social Media and Websites:

@DanNitroClark  @1ScottMcGee  @TheSisuWay

TheSisuWay.com 

11: Christmas Abbot – Pressure is a Privilege

Christmas Abbott is an author, athlete, CrossFit gym owner, girl boss, former pit crew member, entrepreneur, branding/marketing expert, speaker, and model …but these titles DON’T define her. It’s her courage, spunk, guts, and her gumption that make her a relentless human. It is these qualities coupled with her heart, that will fuel her greatest title ever… Mom.

In this episode we talk about one of Christmas’ darkest years, how she is grateful for tragedy, the collateral beauty associated with it, what helps her recover emotionally, and her pregnancy. 2018 is serving to be a transformative year, as Christmas is using her vulnerability, struggle, fire, and heart to not only empower others, but to prepare for the best thing she will do with her life, and that is to be a mother.

I am honored to hear (and share) the news and super proud of her. I hope you enjoy this side of the one and only, Christmas Abbott. 

Show Notes:

“Stopped being impressed by things, and started being impressed by people that were happy. People that made other people feel good.” – Scott

4:00  Who are you? “Work in progress. A human who wants to leave a beautiful footprint.

8:00  1996 Sister’s car accident when Christmas was 13 – Darkest years of life, as was 2017.

11:13  2017 A dark year. Learned what made of and the bigger picture

13:01  Near death experience – Mortar round in Iraq

Experience in Iraq as a female

14:10  Looks a strength or a weakness? 

16:37  Health is Wealth – Broken Foot

2017  Broke up with finance – friend OD’d – Depression – Broken foot

19:15  Big Brother TV show – Human Experiment

23:10  What helped her recover emotionally.  Service. Vulnerability. Struggle.

Vulnerability is Strength

“Saving lives saves lives.”

26:20  Connection and therapy through social media

27:07 Caterpillar or butterfly?

“Life is awesome, but first I’m going to make you strong.” -Scott

28:40  Gratitude

Whats hurting you?  Word for this year is, “Transformative”.

31:00  Slice of life that “normal people” are protected from.

32:30  Nar-Anon – support group – community that understood demons

34:00  How to be honest with yourself.

38:20  How to figure of what your Why is.

38:53  Christmas is pregnant – Her greatest role is yet to come.

41:40  “I’m pregnant

“This is the best thing I will do in my life.”

47:00  Slow Down Challenge – Pay Attention

51:46  Grateful for Tragedy – Collateral Beauty

56:00  Get Up Strong – Live and Love on Purpose – Empowering Kids

1:03:20  Loving your body during pregnancy

1:13:13  Living the life that you Love

1:14:50 Social Media as a journal

 

Social Media:

@christmasabbott, @canutrition, @badassbodydiet 

@1scottmcgee, @TheSisuWay   TheSisuWay.com

Links and References:

Beyonce – I Was Here

How to reach Christmas: info@christmasabbott.com

Badass Life Book

Christmas Abbott Nutrition (CAN) Online Nutrition Platform

Amazing Video: Alexander Tsiaras explaining human development from conception to birth

Badass Body Diet Book

 

“I hope your day gets better.”

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

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