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 

24: Ryan Fischer – Strength, Work Ethic, & Reflection

Ryan Fischer has off the charts fitness, numerous feats of physical strength, and experience in helicopter flying, Olympic skeleton, BMX racing, competitive CrossFitting, and hiking all over the world.  His life is a set of circumstances that have developed him into a fulfilled gym owner.  But his biggest strength is his drive and his work ethic, and Ryan is more than a competitor or gym owner.

This episode is more than what his bio says.  This episode is about the man you think you know as Ryan Fischer. We had the chance to dive deep into Ryan’s life on a level you have never heard before. This episode goes beyond fitness as we reflect on where Ryan’s drive comes from, his relationship with his family, how he always knew he was different, what makes him happy, and where his unconquerable soul comes from.  This isn’t an episode I took lightly. I wanted to offer a platform of reflection and growth through a respectful path of vulnerability and strength. This special episode was an honor for me to record. I humbly thank you for choosing this to listen to with a special thank you to Ryan’s mom, Kim.

With gratitude,

Scott McGee

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Show Notes:

Short story:  The Cracked Pot

4:32  What is stronger? Your muscles or your work ethic.

10:36  To find your work ethic, does it need to found through physical effort?  Moments that forced you to be strong.

A story of a Son.

13:43  I never really had that dad feeling and because of that I searched for different things to put energy into that couldn’t be bought. You cant get it any other way except for super hard work. If I did that, I created that and it made me feel good.

Finding out some big news at 18 that changed everything.

22:30  I remember always telling my mom that there was something about me that was different. I knew that I was going to be different. I always knew it.

23:00  First contacts with real dad.

30:30  Raising money for Olympics.  The biggest check Ryan had ever received.

The $500 check.

33:20  The grandparents

37:40  Everybody has a struggle. Everyone has a deal going on. But there’s always room for a heart to heart conversation between a father and son. -SM

38:33  Do you think finding out made you a stronger person?

40:00  Reflection on life and relationships.

41:04  What do you think your mom is most proud about you? A conversation with mom.

(Ryan’s mom): He never followed the crowd. He stayed true to himself and his values.

Where does Ryan’s drive come from? And how his drive is a weakness.

49:30  What makes Ryan happy?

58:00  “Settling down” and relationships.

1:04:30*  What is your inner conversation like during a workout?

Once everything starts to hurt, we just started working out. Let’s go to work.

Little cues to help push through the work out.

1:10:20  The Little Man Story

1:14:10  How memory retention works. 

1:16:11  The CrossFit drive that transcends and the ripple effects.

Two things that define you.  Your patience when you have nothing and your attitude when you have everything.

Happiness vs Fulfilled

Planting the seed of gratitude is in someone else’s couch. -SM

1:28:09  Military dreams. How training to be a Nazy Seal led Ryan to CrossFit.

1:37:00  Wim Hof, Ice Baths, Float Tanks, Saunas

1:42:00  Being dedicated to action and non-action.  How to destress.

Self-Awareness and Self-Regulation

1:48:14  What has hosting a podcast taught you?

2:01:15  Ryan’s online programming

You don’t see a moving truck behind a Hearse. 

Links:

@RyanFisch  @1ScottMcGee @CrossFitChalk  @TheSisuWay

CrossFitChalk.com    TheSisuWay.com

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

17: Dan “Nitro” Clark – Death Lessons

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

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

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

Show Notes:

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

4:58  Losing brother created the person he became.

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

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

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

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

Visualization and the power of the mind. 

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

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

Service to others.

30:00  Why are you alive?

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

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

Gratitude Practice – Ka ching!

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

49:00  Strength is a Choice

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

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

54:20  Upstream Reciprocity

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

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

Meditation and breathing for overall health and well being.

The Wim Hof Method

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

Time isn’t guaranteed. Live each moment fully.

Books:

F Dying – Dan Clark

Gladiator – Dan Clark

The Warrior and the Monk – Greg Amundson

Psycho Cybernetics – Maxwell Maltz

The Beauty of a Darker Soul – Joshua Mantz

Social Media and Websites:

@DanNitroClark  @1ScottMcGee  @TheSisuWay

TheSisuWay.com