This episode is about The Character Mile and the reminder that Movement is a Gift, Health is Wealth, the Present is a Present, and that we have the freedom and opportunity to choose not only strength, but gratitude. Our paths are unique, but the courage, resilience, and willpower to overcome is universal. For those that don’t know, The Character Mile was a challenge to complete one mile every day during the month of December. One mile might not not seem like much for some, but that’s not what it was about. It was about character, consistency, commitment, and a celebration. The health we have, the ability to move, our senses, our will to move forward on our path – is all a gift. There are no ordinary moments.
This episode is dedicated to the community of people across more than 14 countries that not only participated in it The Character Mile, but found connections, awakenings, and appreciation for what they GET TO do. In the episode I read some of the comments and emails I have received as well as play some of the audio messages from our own character community that participated in this challenge. You see, it was never just about the running, the time, or how you completed it, it was an expression of character and gratitude. Gratitude isn’t just the best attitude, its a super power… greater than any negative.
Every difficulty in life presents us with an opportunity to turn inward and to invoke our own submerged inner resources. The trials we endure can and should introduce us to our strengths. -Epictetus
Thank you for listening, participating, and revealing your character!
Humbly, Scott McGee
P.S. I hope you don’t forget to celebrate and get yourself and a loved one the MOVEMENT IS A GIFTshirt. It is under the store tab on TheSisuWay.com
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.
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.
Erik Swoope is an NFL Tight End with a humble spirit who was with the Indianapolis Colts the past 5 seasons. He is 6’5”, 250 lbs, athletic, fast, and moves with the mass of a truck and coordination of a gymnast. The impressive part is this: He’s never played football before playing in the NFL. The more impressive part is that for as big and strong as Erik is, his character is more powerful. If perseverance, depth, gratitude, humility, and grit were measurable statistical categories, Erik would not only be an All-Pro amongst the NFL, he would be in the Pro Bowl of humans.
This episode is dedicated to understanding where Erik’s grit and gratitude come from, his upbringing, and the importance and meaning of family. We look at his accomplishments in the classroom, community, and on the court/field. We learn what it’s like to go from playing ACC basketball at the University of Miami to playing football for the first time (ever) in the NFL.
Want to know what it feels like to score a touchdown in the NFL? This episode is for you. Want to know how to overcome setbacks with a growth mindset and perseverance? This episode is for you. How you handle yourself when everything is great is one thing, but the best of us excel in the face of adversity. That struggle is where true strength is forged.
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.
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.
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
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.
Intro: Pema Chodron – When Things Fall Apart: Heartfelt Advice for Hard Times.
6:40 How to slow down. The moment is enough.
13:00How to shine light on yourself in the darkness.
14:00 Relationship with Social Media – Perspective
27:00What 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
1:22:30Meditation and Breath work – It makes you kinder.
Mantras: Be fully present. Feel your heart. Engage in the next moment without any agenda.
1:35:03What has yoga taught you? Being present. Finding peace in the chaos.
1:41:26A letter from her husband. Gratitude, Intention, 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.
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.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
4:32What is stronger? Your muscles or your work ethic.
10:36To 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.
22:30I 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.
23:00First contacts with real dad.
30:30Raising money for Olympics.The biggest check Ryan had ever received.
The $500 check.
37:40Everybody 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
38:33Do you think finding out made you a stronger person?
40:00Reflection on life and relationships.
41:04What 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.
49:30What 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.
1:10:20The Little Man Story
1:14:10How memory retention works.
1:16:11The 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
1:28:09Military dreams. How training to be a Nazy Seal led Ryan to CrossFit.
1:37:00Wim Hof, Ice Baths, Float Tanks, Saunas
1:42:00Being dedicated to action and non-action.How to destress.
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.
“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.
6:10Spoon Challenge – See it for the first time with a curious mind.
11:20Perspective Chair Challenge
13:30Opening question on purpose and emotion
17:2585 year-old self Challenge
21:00Musical background and the life bowling analogy
29:10Trumpet player to Marine – What was he looking for?
34:20Outdoor Eco Challenge races – Lost for 36 hours, learning, and pushing himself
“Trust your compass”
52:40Learning a new skill like unicycling.
56:15The 10-Minute training to overcome weaknesses.
1:04:10Back Tucks and what you can learn about life through them.
1:15:13How 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.
1:26:00We 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.
1:27:28The 7 Daily Habits
1:33:30Awaken with Gratitude
1:37:20Fatherhood, post-it notes
1:44:55Lessons learned from The Andy Petranek Podcast
“You’re taking curiosity, enthusiasm and applying to people to learn new perspectives for a better way.”
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,
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.”
5:00Asserting Yourself – Baseball story and a lesson from Dad.
10:00Are you Happy?
“Grateful and very hurt simultaneously for that awareness.”
“Step into awareness with great vulnerability.”
14:55Introverted and Introspection in regards to Happiness.
16:50Does any of this really matter?
20:13The Sisu Hammer
23:40The ability to put things down.Meditation.
26:20Death and Surrendering
32:00Our greatest battles are waged within.
Strengths have Shadows
37:40Lessons from College – Seeking Adversity & balance?Learning how to relax.
42:09What do you do for fun?Solitude
52:30Understanding depression and vulnerability
56:00Beacon of Light
“Used my endurance as a crutch and that left me holding a lot of responsibility.”
1:05:13Something 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.”
1:09:08Benefits and strength of therapy
1:13:20Relationship with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – Purpose and Utility
1:24:40Personal 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.”
The vulnerable ones who live with dissatisfaction.
1:37:20What is Deuce Gym?Hold the Standard
Performance | Community | Lifestyle
1:44:18-:35Fitness 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.
1:52:28Its 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