Jen Widerstrom’s resume will tell you that she is a celebrity fitness trainer, Coach on the NBC show The Biggest Loser, former American Gladiator, model, best selling author of the book Diet Right for Your Personality Type, entrepreneur, and Fitness Director for Shape Magazine. But as we know on this show, sometimes: “Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; and everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.”
If there is anything in her bio that stands out and shows her heart, it is that Jen was rated the nations most authentic trainer. To me, she is a girl from Illinois trying to help others to embrace their true selves while pursuing a lifestyle that better suits their wellness goals. In this process she herself is repeatedly growing, learning, and healing. You see folks, we are all humans, going in and out of our own suffering, its just that some of us have learned to use those obstacles as opportunities. The strongest have learned to use compassion to bring others up in the process. What we do with our pain and our love defines our character, and Jen continues to prove she is not only a gladiator, but she is an unconquerable soul.
I hope you enjoy the insight, humanity, and compassion in this episode. It will raise your awareness in the power of service and dedication to helping others become strong, from the inside out.
This episode is dedicated to mastering peace and learning how to live a happy and fulfilling life. I believe a peaceful life is centered on 3 main themes: mastering your desires, performing your duties, and learning to think clearly about yourself and your relations within the larger community of humanity.
My guest Eva Charlotte helps us remember how to do those things. Eva studied and taught with healers, shamans, and masters from many different traditions. Among these masters was Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements. The Toltec master selected Eva for an individual, intensive training that lasted for nine years, during which she gave talks, taught workshops, and coached individuals alongside don Miguel and his family. But like most of us, our experiences are some of our best teachers. Eva shares extraordinary events that profoundly impacted her perceptions, including near death experiences. Sometimes you need the dark to see the light.
Eva travels the world and shares her life empowering message Rise in Love & Be a Peacemaker, a message of authentic love of self and life, the happiness that comes from stripping away personal stories, beliefs and falsehoods that shield us from our true selves, releasing all need for mental control.
Like strength, to R.I.S.E. in Love is a conscious choice, a deliberate action, a powerful personal statement. Knowing who you are and what you want gives you the foundation to move forward on our path towards peace. It is our hope this episode helps guide you in the direction you may need.
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
Dr. Nicholas Romanov’s mission is to advance the science of human movement and make it useful to people. He is committed to empowering people to take greater control of their well being. Dr. Romanov is a 2-time Olympic Coach, developer of the Pose Method of running, author, coach/athlete and world-renowned sports scientist. His career has spanned over forty years in numerous countries all over the world, all which started with very humble beginnings in Russia.
This is not just about the Pose Method, this is about the man behind it. Dr. R left his country after his poor childhood in Siberia’s wilderness. He struggled as a teenager and had numerous brushes with death. Through it all he has maintained a strong dedication to his family, and to discovering the truth. He has faced extreme circumstances most of us can not fathom, but only he has turned those moments into becoming the greatest mind in running.
It is my extreme honor to be able to not only have him on my podcast, but in the studio in person. He is one of the smartest guys I’ve met, but it’s his character that leads the way.
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.
In life, things happen around us, and things happen to us. The only thing that truly matters is your choice of how you respond to it. You can learn, adapt, and choose to make the best of each experience. Pain is inevitable and inescapable, but suffering is optional.
Emotional progress is made through confronting grief, pain, and calamity. Instead of avoiding the painful events of life, face them squarely and lean into them. By facing the realities of death, loss, and disappointment, you free yourself of illusions and false hopes and learn your truth.
Every difficulty in life presents us with an opportunity to turn inward and to invoke our inner strength. An opportunity to practice your growth. Like core stability, it starts from within. Regardless of our trials, we all possess incredible strength. We have strength we don’t even realize we have. Its not other people that heal us…its you. Happiness does not depend on external sources. You are your own souls doctor. This episode will help guide you.
My special guest is Dr. Jen Esquer. She is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, creator of The Mobility Method and The Optimal Body. Recently, Jen announced via her Instagram that she walked away from manipulation, infidelity, and an unfaithful relationship. This emotional violation prompted her to have the courage to share her truth. To be a voice in this space for others who feel like they don’t have one. To fight/heal for herself and others. To recognize that Vulnerability is Strength.
This episode is not about what happened to her. It’s about her inner strength and decision to inspire in the face of emotional adversity.
4:45 Jen’s Mission: To HEAL the world the best way she can, and that is through empowering you to learn how to heal yourself!
9:20 Core Stability – The first step towards regulating your emotions is stabilizing your emotions.
11:08 Awareness of the body helps detect where you have been neglecting.
12:45 You cannot change the past, but by choosing to forgive you open up your possibilities for the future. -SM
14:30 What you resists, persists. Pain x Resistance = Suffering
18:00 The only cure for grief is grieving.
20:00 Revisiting infidelity – Owning the high road
30:41 I am just choosing to align myself with the values and the morals that I appreciate and I admire and the people that are going to uphold those same kind of values.
31:00 The Instagram announcement
31:24-32:03* I am so determined to be a voice in this space for people who don’t feel they have a voice and that is my want, my drive, my power behind this is truly coming from this place of wanting to help… and rise as one.
37:17 The hindsight of the relationship – Clues and Signs
49:00 The 7 wonders of the world – Gratitude
53:30 What is it about you that you are not listening to. Ownership.
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.
How do you create an unbeatable mind that provides the fortitude, grit, sisu, invictus, and mental toughness to overcome adversity? How do you positively alter your mental state? This is the episode that answers those questions.
The goal of this episode is to bring awareness on how we make decisions and how we take action and responsibility for our lives in an intentional way.Self-awareness is something we can develop.This awareness is what creates choice.
My guest is Ryan Munsey, author of the book, F*ck Your Feelings.Ryan is an artful scientist who has the drive, curiosity, and compassion to explore thereason of why some people succeed and others do not.He is also a high performance consultant, speaker, and host of the podcast, The Better Human Project.We discuss how to master your mind, accomplish your goals, and become a better human while being rooted in gratitude and lifted by awareness.
Moments – You are writing you’re own eulogy. When you’re gone, People will think and speak of you in the way that you live your life. We have the ability to shape how that conversation goes by the way that we move through the world.Those moments are a choice.
7:16Line in the sand – What are you going to do?
15:20Who are you and what does it mean to be a good human?
18:34You can control your Attitude and Effort.
19:50Your life is perfectly designed for the results that you are getting.
23:15How do you measure success? Hint: It shouldn’t be extrinsic.
Chris Dancy – We don’t know how to measure what we value so we begin to value what we measure.
The Rocking Chair Test – Health, Happiness, Performance
28:00 Can you measure happiness?Heart Rate Variability
31:18The 85 year-old Challenge.Memento Mori
Appreciation not Expectation.
36:00How do we positively affect our mental states? How the brain makes a decision.
44:20 95% of our decisions are based on how we feel in any given moment.
Feelings – a mental experience of a physiological state.If we change our physiology we can change our feelings.
46:30Limbic System – emotional ego driven teenager – feelings – the now
Prefrontal Cortex – the sage. – awareness
58:50What is the vagus nerve and how does it affect you?
Emotional Resiliency – Bandwith
1:10:35How to stay relaxed in traffic.
1:12:00Wim Hof Method
Breathwork – how to stimulate your vagus nerve and why its important to exhale longer than inhale.
Cold Exposure – Stay parasympathetic in an environment that normally makes you sympathetic.
1:19:00 What you can do right now to improve mental resilience and toughness.
Developing grit though: Cold showers – look towards the sky and focus on the breath.
Be kind, be rooted in gratitude turn off defense mechanisms, etc.
Posture – Don’t sit or stand like a victim.
1:39:05 Playing – Don’t be the reason you stop playing.