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.
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 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
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.
8:30What it feels like to be an Olympian.
12:05College 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?
18:30Lesson in asserting yourself
20:00Business suit to Team USA suit – Staying in something you are not happy with.
24:14 How does someone find what makes them happy?
“Happiness is a choice.” – Lauren Gibbs
“Take opportunities and see them through.”
28:40I understand what I want to do. Public speaking, leading the youth.
You actually have to work!
33:00Do that thing you want to do. Time is not a right its a privilege.
36:00 Your authentic self.Learning to work hard.
42:00Training for bobsled and how to make the team.
45:10Setting up to go for a bobsled run.
59:04Fighting for gold.
1:04:00 Making Team USA and telling your parents.
1:08:27Is grit learnable?
1:11:30How to develop contentment with yourself.
1:15:58Best 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.”
1:20:44Selfie with the First Daughter, Ivanka Trump. You don’t have to agree to be civil. Americans taking a selfie.
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.
Below are some show notes and references:
3:12How do you curate a positive life and fall in love with that life?
8:20What legacy are you leaving? How can you be of service? How can you be more useful to your community?
11:20Humility is being teachable.
19:36What is a virtuous man?
“What I think about matters. What I say matters. What my actions are matter.”
31:30Dichotomy 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.
50:55Advice from Eddie Bravo: #1 – “Be in appreciation all the time.”
57:53What do you struggle with? What is commitment?
1:05:00How do you find strength to give all your outlets the opportunity they deserve?
1:10:30Meditation – Restored – Changing Behavior
1:37:13 Acting Career – Connecting with people – Favorite scenes and memorable deaths