34: Adversity is a Gift with Marcus Aurelius Anderson

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

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

SHOW NOTES:

Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl

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

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

18:40  Joining the military at 38.

23:40  The concept of Arete and Ikigai

35:00 Knowing yourself – Temet Nosce

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

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

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

58:30  Resiliency training – cold exposure – micro adversity 

1:05:50  Adversity Scale 

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

Misery loves company but not as much as mediocrity.

1:19:00 The meaning of service

1:22:30  Lessons from a failed marriage

1:31:17  Favorite quotes and books.

LINKS:

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

Websites:  MarcusAureliusAnderson.com  TheSisuWay.com

Social Media:  @marcusaureliusanderson  @1scottmcgee  @thesisuway

Marcus’ Podcast: Epic Achiever 

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

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 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.

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 

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

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

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

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

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

Get Up Strong,

Scott

SHOW NOTES:

Intro: The Butterfly

4:40  Where does your weakness come from?

Can you measure strength? Cellular level and the mind.

12:30  Knowing yourself as a person vs athlete

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

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

27:20  Is strength teachable?

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

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

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

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

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

55:36  Ownership and healing yourself 

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

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

1:15:30 The Mind Trigger

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

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

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

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

Dr. Theresa Larson’s Podcast:

My New Normal

WEBSITES:

DrTheresaLarson.com movement-rx.com TheSisuWay.com

SOCIAL MEDIA:

@movementrx  @drtheresalarson @1scottmcgee @TheSisuWay

31: Dr. Jen Esquer – It Starts Within – Building Strength through Infidelity

Pain x Resistance = Suffering

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.

I’m proud to be part of her journey,

Scott

Thank you for your precious commodity… your attention. If you like the show, please rate and review us on iTunes and share on social media!

SHOW NOTES:

Intro: Potatoes, Eggs, and Coffee Beans

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.

55:00  The 5 Stages of Grief.  Dr. Kübler-Ross

58:08  Denial (and shock)

1:01:10  Anger (pain/guilt)

1:14:00  Bargaining 

1:17:19  Depression (reflection)

1:24:20  Acceptance (upward turn/hope)

1:38:20  A promise about ads – State and Liberty

Links:

DocJenFit.com  TheSisuWay.com 

@docjenfit   @themobilitymethod  @1scottmcgee   @thesisuway

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_

29: The Four Agreements – A Guide to Personal Freedom, Happiness, and Love

Your mind is your best weapon.

The mind is a battlefield, and we are all warriors. We are in a war for independence, for the right to use our own mind and break free.  We are strong enough to break free from our own mental cage, like a rope tied to an elephant’s leg. The journey starts with our awareness.  Awareness leads to choice. From choice comes the strength for action.  We have the ability to discriminate and focus only on which we choose to perceive. This is called attention.  We have been taught a certain way for a long time, but we can make agreements with ourselves to improve who we are, how we behave, and the results we want to achieve. We can discover our inner fire and learn to live with intention, arête, and impeccability: To break free from the rope.  This episode on The Four Agreements will show you how to do that.

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz shows us the self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.  I pair this book with The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness by Epictetus.  The messages in these books are thousands of years apart, yet they parallel and intertwine with grace in how they face challenges of everyday life.

You need a strong will to adopt the Four Agreements, but Strength is a Choice.  If you can adopt these agreements, the growth will be self-empowering. You will be the master of your own peace. Your self-awareness will recalibrate your ability to self-regulate. You are the captain of your soul.  It is my hope that this episode helps show you how powerful you are.

Get Up Strong,

Scott McGee

Here are the Four Agreements. Tune in to hear them discussed and expanded on.

The First Agreement – Be Impeccable with Your Word

The Second Agreement – Don’t Take Anything Personally

The Third Agreement – Don’t Make Assumptions

The Fourth Agreement – Always Do Your Best

LINKS:

Don Miguel Ruiz The Four Agreements book

The Sisu Way

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Scott McGee The Sisu Way Don Miguel Ruiz

IF YOU APPRECIATE THE SHOW, PLEASE CONSIDER LEAVING AN iTUNES REVIEW. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME AND ATTENTION.

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

23: Author Ryan Munsey – Awareness Creates Choice

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 the  reason 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.

Show Notes:

Invictus

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.

7:16  Line in the sand – What are you going to do?

15:20  Who are you and what does it mean to be a good human?

18:34  You can control your Attitude and Effort.

19:50  Your life is perfectly designed for the results that you are getting.

23:15  How 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

31:18  The 85 year-old Challenge.  Memento Mori

Appreciation not Expectation.

36:00  How 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.

46:30  Limbic System – emotional ego driven teenager – feelings – the now

Prefrontal Cortex – the sage. – awareness

58:50  What is the vagus nerve and how does it affect you?

Emotional Resiliency – Bandwith

1:10:35  How to stay relaxed in traffic.

1:12:00  Wim 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.

2:03:08  The 360 sphere – Do not be out of round

Links:

F*ck Your Feelings – By Ryan Munsey

RyanMunsey.com for signed copy

Check out Ryan’s podcast: The Better Human Project

Instagram: @ryanmunsey_  @1scottmcgee  @thesisuway

TheSisuWay.com

The Sisu Way Team for Whole Life Challenge

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

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

18: Wim Hof Method: Breathing, Cold Exposure, & Mindset with Retired Peace Officer Erik Milosevic

One of the best and simplest pieces of advice anyone could give to benefit energy, freedom, and health is:  Remember to breathe and relax. We are constantly faced with acute and chronic stress, which causes soul cavities.  Stress causes inflammation, which may contribute to many serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.  Chronic stress may also give rise to emotional issues such as depression, anxiety, fear, anger, feelings of despair and hopelessness, as well as loneliness. These health issues create distance from our ourselves and our loved ones.  The good news is…there is something we can do about it.

Joining me on this special episode is Certified Wim Hof Instructor, retired Peace Officer, lifetime Yogi, and my dear friend, Erik Milosevich.  Together, we discuss ways to find peace and improve our emotional resilience.  We share our personal journey with the Wim Hof Method of breathing exercises, cold exposure (via cold showers and ice baths), mediation, and mindset to strengthen our mind, body. The goal of this episode is to help you develop self-awareness skills and self-regulation tools to overcome adversity and stress in a healthy manner.

Get Up Strong,

Scott

For those lost in pain, we have to become gladiators. Power is within us all. Anything can be overcome by going within. –Wim Hof

Show Notes:

Opening:  An excerpt from the book, The Warrior and The Monk: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Potential And Finding True Happiness by past guest Greg Amundson.

11:00 Milo’s history and life experiences

20:45  Wim Hof Method intro

26:40  Stress and Trauma, first responders, organizational stress

“The ability to breath and relax is a science and an art.”

33:40  The Autonomic Nervous System and the two branches, Sympathetic (Fight/Flight) and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems (Rest/Calm/Relaxed).

37:20  The Vagus Nerve.  Understanding these systems helps your self-awareness which leads to the ability to self-regulate.

41:00  Mastering Peace

42:00 Purposeful and Mindful BREATHING.  Different types of breathing tactics including nasal breathing, Wim Hof, box breathing, circular breathing, ocean breath, etc. all aimed at giving us tools to self-regulate our stress.

58:48  The gift of Wim Hof breathing. How to do it and why.  The power of the journey inward.

1:11:30  Breathing and its relationship to Grief. Mindfulness – Be here and now without judgement.

1:19:20  COLD EXPOSURE – (Cold showers and Ice Baths)  How, why, what are the benefits. Mindset and emotional, psychological, and physical benefits.

1:34:30  Chest freezer turned into Ice Baths

1:45:50  Mindset and MEDITATION

1:47:00  Ice bath conversations

1:51:32  Pursue Satori

Links:

TheSisuWay.com  The Wim Hof Method

@erokdaworld  @1scottmcgee  @TheSisuWay  

Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

 

15: Caroline Burckle – Strength in Vulnerability

Caroline Burckle is an Olympic Bronze Medalist Swimmer performing in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 4 x 200m relay.  She took gold in the 2007 Pan Am Games in the 800m freestyle, was the 2x NCAA champ, and was named the 2008 NCAA Swimmer of the Year. 

But this is not a story of accolades. Titles and achievements do not define a person.  In this episode, we look between the medals and at the person.  Caroline takes us through the darker side of being an olympic athlete. We learn about the personal struggle of what to do after spending years preparing for a narrow window of opportunity. 

We also discuss the strength in being vulnerable, mentoring, and generating a positive mindset in the face of adversity.  I am proud of this conversation.  Caroline is an honest, powerful, and unconquerable soul.  I humbly thank you for listening.

Strength is a Choice,

Scott

Show Notes:

3:05  Creativity and Fear  “Fear doesn’t want you to do anything” -SM

*5:17  Strongest when faced with a challenge

7:33  Was swimming and the achievements a challenge for you?

15:10  What was it like for your parents when you made Olympic team?

19:30 “I had no idea who I was. I was lost. I was depressed. I was in a dark place.”  This was in the six months after winning an Olympic medal.

21:00  Transitioning your identity after being a competitive athlete

The dark side of the Olympics

28:00  Have you found what you are looking for?

“I am more than just what dives in the pool and mermaids around.”

39:00  Heel injury

47:00  What is your injury teaching you?

1:03  The Why

1:07  The power of depression

1:09  How do you generate a positive mindset shift

*1:17  What is your brother most proud about you.

“Im so proud to be part of what my sister did.” -Clark Burckle

1:20  The Spirit of Battle

Continue reading

12: Olympian Lauren Gibbs – Happiness is a Choice

Lauren Gibbs is an American bobsledder who won a silver medal at the 2018 Olympic Games.  While that is a statement of fact, it does not define Lauren’s character. She is equal parts power, intelligence, intuition, respect, and drive. This makes her a champion of a human being. Our conversation is meant to show people that grit is learned. That you can choose to be happy. That anyone can achieve their dreams if they work hard and are honest about deficiencies, and believe in their ability to choose.

Show notes:

8:30  What it feels like to be an Olympian.

12:05  College Coach Diane Short: “It was not a surprise at all. She never folded under pressure.”

Lauren says this was not true because she relied on natural talent. What does this mean now looking back.

Are most lessons through suffering and pain?

18:30  Lesson in asserting yourself

20:00  Business suit to Team USA suit – Staying in something you are not happy with.

Finding purpose

24:14  How does someone find what makes them happy?

Happiness is a choice.” – Lauren Gibbs

“Take opportunities and see them through.”

28:40  I understand what I want to do. Public speaking, leading the youth.

You actually have to work!

33:00  Do that thing you want to do. Time is not a right its a privilege.

36:00 Your authentic self.  Learning to work hard.

42:00  Training for bobsled and how to make the team.

45:10  Setting up to go for a bobsled run.

59:04  Fighting for gold.

1:04:00 Making Team USA and telling your parents.

1:08:27  Is grit learnable?

1:11:30  How to develop contentment with yourself.

1:15:58  Best lesson: “Be able to have open and honest conversations about your deficiencies.”

1:17:45  “You’ll you never be successful if its something that you can do different or better, then that means you have the opportunity to be better.”

1:20:44  Selfie with the First Daughter, Ivanka Trump. You don’t have to agree to be civil. Americans taking a selfie.

Social Media:

@lagibbs84, @1scottmcgee,   @TheSisuWay  TheSisuWay.com

Health is Wealth – Vulnerability is a Strength – Strength is a Choice

You are the Master of your Fate – You are the Captain of your Soul

Get Up Strong – Be Unconquerable