28: The Way to Breathe – The Oxygen Advantage with Patrick McKeown

The breath is the bridge between the mind and the body.

This episode with international best-selling author of The Oxygen Advantage® and master breath instructor, Patrick McKeown, will change the way you think about breathing.  How do you increase health, performance, resilience, mindfulness, fitness, and train the brain to be focused while lowering stress?  You follow the breath through your nose. But it’s more than that. Mastering your breath is the path to finding peace and potential, and this episode is the roadmap.

In our culture, we prioritize health and fitness with an emphasis and education on hydration and nutrition.  But, we can last days and weeks respectively with out either of those. It is air/oxygen, that we wouldn’t last minutes without. Without functional breathing, we do not have functional movement. But what is functional breathing? How can we most efficiently breath oxygen from the atmosphere and get it into the cells of our bodies? Why does that process matter to the health of our minds and bodies?

We answer all these questions and more.  Patrick and his breath work has not only forever changed the way I breath, but also the way I teach my kids about breathing.  I never thought I would be the one taping my mouth closed at night, but with an open mind I realized that it was my own mental boulder that was blocking my path. I am completely grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to sit down, face to face, with Patrick for this episode.  His knowledge, passion, and humility on this topic is fascinating.  Remember I warned you, you will forever be changed after this one!

Strength is a Choice,

Scott

SHOW NOTES AND TOPICS:

Intro: The Obstacle in our Path

5:30  Why is light breathing and nasal breathing not common knowledge?  Breathing less is more.

7:55  Advice to teenager: Find the job you absolutely love to do.

Your profession is not what brings home your pay. Your profession is what you were put on this earth to do with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling. -Vincent Van Gogh.

Looking at sleep to change resilience.

13:00 THE BREATH – How you breathe and how much you breathe matters.

Why do people end up chronic over breathing through the mouth?

16:35  If you mouth breath during the day or during sleep, you’re likely to gas out too soon during physical exercise, your mind is likely to be agitated, and your sleep is affected. 

20:18  How do you train the brain to be focused? You follow the breath. 

21:08  The Oxygen (Carbon Dioxide) Paradox and the Bohr Effect

How do you increase CO2?  You slow down your breathing. Don’t over exhale your CO2.

25:37  Light Breathing Exercise – and why it lowers stress and raises performance

35:00 Wim Hof breathing, box breathing, and “deep breathing”.

Wim Hof Method vs. The Oxygen Advantage

43:38  What I do is breath holding to change the brains sensitivity to CO2. I purposefully and deliberately increase CO2 in the blood. We hold the breath to increase CO2 in the blood to change the brains reaction to CO2. We reduce the sensitivity of the body to carbon dioxide and that translates to improved physical fitness. 

46:15  Diaphragmatic and nasal breathing – If you don’t have functional breathing, you don’t have functional movement. 

52:15  Combat/Warrior/Box breathing – Focus the mind through the breath.

54:14  The BOLT Score – Body Oxygen Level Test

1:02:40  The mechanical structures involved in breathing

Why mouth breathing isn’t as healthy as nasal breathing. 

Oxyhemoglobin Dissassociation Curve (OCD)

1:25:10  Breathing Masks

1:28:30  Nasal breathing and Taping your mouth closed at night.  Why, how, benefits, etc. 

1:36:30  Nose Unblocking Exercise. How to get rid of a stuffy nose naturally. 

1:42:30  The Mindful Warrior – Breath work, meditation, mindfulness – Finding the Zone

The mind dictates our quality of life. Thinking is a disease or a cure. 

Mastering your breath is the path to finding peace. -Scott McGee

LINKS TO WEBSITES AND SOCIAL MEDIA

oxygenadvantage.com    https://thesisuway.com/

@oxygenadvantage @TheSisuWay @1scottmcgee

The Oxygen Advantage book

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

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

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

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

 

14: Marcus Kowal – Life is a Moment

The Sisu Way: Strength and Determination in the face of adversity. Persistence. Hope. Grit. A unbeatable mindset full of courage, tenacity, resilience, willpower and triumph. An unconquerable soul….  This description, this definition, describes my guest Marcus Kowal. 

Marcus is a martial arts coach, gym owner and professional fighter that specializes in kickboxing, boxing, BJJ, and MMA. But as Victor Frankl says:

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances: but only by lack of meaning and purpose. Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: The last of human freedoms – to choose ones attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose ones own way.” 

Marcus and his wife have gone through something no parent ever should. The death of a child. They lost their 15 month old son, Liam, to a drunk driver. However his death does not define them, nor is it the end of their love. Liam, the people’s protector, has saved lives through organ donation and his legacy continues to make an impact in the social culture around drunk driving through awareness and education. 

Marcus is someone I look up to and have respected for a long time. He is someone I would walk with to face demons.  In the face of life’s worst loss, Marcus chose to fight. He is a father…He is a fighter…and when a man knows where he is going…. the whole world steps aside.   

I am completely humbled and grateful to Marcus for taking the time to be on The Sisu Way.  I would also like to thank the listeners for your time and support.  I sincerely appreciate you listening to this episode.  I humbly request that you take a moment to click through the links below, and help join the fight.  I believe that Liam did not die in vain. He continues to save and inspire, and there is something we can all do to help.

Strength is a Choice,

Scott McGee

 

SHOW NOTES:

1:57  What is sisu? Discussion about the opener.

4:38  “Because of our son, there will be a change.”  Discussion about writing.

9:00  Don’t wait. Do that thing now. Why write the book, Life is a Moment. For self, son, and others.

12:50  9/3/16 – The moment no one should go through.

19:30  “It feels like life stops. What you love more than life itself has been taken from you, and how are you going to go on? I decided that we were going to find our way back to happiness.”

27:00  The background between Marcus/Liam and Scott/Connor. Respect, life guilt, honor, responsibility. How Liam inspires and motivates Scott.

How Liam’s Green Frog become the logo for the foundation and the symbol for this fight.

33:35  What is a hero? What is the greatest courage? The courage to suffer.

35:30  Therapy – Vulnerability is Strength – Surrender to help – True strength 

40:20  Ego is an enemy.  Mindset under pressure.

43:00  How can we combat drunk driving?  A discussion on the culture of driving under the influence.

51:41   “Its not a question of if we’re going to do it. We are going to do it. Don’t know how long its going to take but I wont stop until we get there.  Now I know I’m fighting for the right thing. I’m told all the time you’re up against giants, you’re up against Washington and Lobbyists. I don’t care, they’ve never been up [against] someone like me. They are fighting for revenue. I’m fighting for my sons legacy.”

Continue reading

13: Keep Swimming – An Episode on Grief

The most beautiful people are those that have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have still found their way out of the depths.

These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern.

Beautiful people do not just happen.    Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Grief comes in waves.  It can feel like you have been wrecked by wave after wave, all the while trying to cling onto some piece of the beautiful ship you used to and planned to have.  At first all you can do is try to stay afloat while sipping on air during the short stay on the surface. Eventually, maybe (just maybe) with the help of this podcast episode and what I want to share with you (because it was shared with me), you will learn that you can choose to function… and keep swimming

Life is not a guarantee nor is it a right.  We are here temporarily on this planet.  We are the lucky ones that get to experience the ride of life.  Parts of the ride can hurt, but those moments create character and strength.  Progress is made through holding up your shield, grabbing the shipwreck, confronting the painful events, looking at them squarely and facing the realities of loss, death, or disappointments. Be proud of the pain, feel the pain because you can, be proud of your scars.  Vulnerability is Strength.  Those scars, those strike marks are the battle wounds of life that make us who we are.  (That is why The Sisu Way logo has strike marks and scratches in it.)  We are the lucky ones who have the ability….the gift to hurt.

Here is the full post on Reddit by the user GSnow when asked for advice on how to deal with the grief and the loss of a loved one.  It helped me when I needed it, hopefully it helps you and/or someone you know:

[Serious] How do you cope with the passing of someone you are close to? from AskReddit

Get up strong,

Scott McGee

The Sisu Way

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

 

11: Christmas Abbot – Pressure is a Privilege

Christmas Abbott is an author, athlete, CrossFit gym owner, girl boss, former pit crew member, entrepreneur, branding/marketing expert, speaker, and model …but these titles DON’T define her. It’s her courage, spunk, guts, and her gumption that make her a relentless human. It is these qualities coupled with her heart, that will fuel her greatest title ever… Mom.

In this episode we talk about one of Christmas’ darkest years, how she is grateful for tragedy, the collateral beauty associated with it, what helps her recover emotionally, and her pregnancy. 2018 is serving to be a transformative year, as Christmas is using her vulnerability, struggle, fire, and heart to not only empower others, but to prepare for the best thing she will do with her life, and that is to be a mother.

I am honored to hear (and share) the news and super proud of her. I hope you enjoy this side of the one and only, Christmas Abbott. 

Show Notes:

“Stopped being impressed by things, and started being impressed by people that were happy. People that made other people feel good.” – Scott

4:00  Who are you? “Work in progress. A human who wants to leave a beautiful footprint.

8:00  1996 Sister’s car accident when Christmas was 13 – Darkest years of life, as was 2017.

11:13  2017 A dark year. Learned what made of and the bigger picture

13:01  Near death experience – Mortar round in Iraq

Experience in Iraq as a female

14:10  Looks a strength or a weakness? 

16:37  Health is Wealth – Broken Foot

2017  Broke up with finance – friend OD’d – Depression – Broken foot

19:15  Big Brother TV show – Human Experiment

23:10  What helped her recover emotionally.  Service. Vulnerability. Struggle.

Vulnerability is Strength

“Saving lives saves lives.”

26:20  Connection and therapy through social media

27:07 Caterpillar or butterfly?

“Life is awesome, but first I’m going to make you strong.” -Scott

28:40  Gratitude

Whats hurting you?  Word for this year is, “Transformative”.

31:00  Slice of life that “normal people” are protected from.

32:30  Nar-Anon – support group – community that understood demons

34:00  How to be honest with yourself.

38:20  How to figure of what your Why is.

38:53  Christmas is pregnant – Her greatest role is yet to come.

41:40  “I’m pregnant

“This is the best thing I will do in my life.”

47:00  Slow Down Challenge – Pay Attention

51:46  Grateful for Tragedy – Collateral Beauty

56:00  Get Up Strong – Live and Love on Purpose – Empowering Kids

1:03:20  Loving your body during pregnancy

1:13:13  Living the life that you Love

1:14:50 Social Media as a journal

 

Social Media:

@christmasabbott, @canutrition, @badassbodydiet 

@1scottmcgee, @TheSisuWay   TheSisuWay.com

Links and References:

Beyonce – I Was Here

How to reach Christmas: info@christmasabbott.com

Badass Life Book

Christmas Abbott Nutrition (CAN) Online Nutrition Platform

Amazing Video: Alexander Tsiaras explaining human development from conception to birth

Badass Body Diet Book

 

“I hope your day gets better.”

7: Matt Aporta – Fostering Love: A Story of a Family

Episode 7: Fostering Love with Matt Aporta is more than a story of what its like to foster-to-adopt a child.  It is a lesson and reminder that everyday is a gift and nothing is more powerful than love. Relationships can come and go in an instant. Nothing in life is guaranteed.  Love with a sense of urgency and live on purpose.

Fostering a child is the highest form of service. In the dictionary, service is defined as: the action of helping or doing work for someone. What act is greater than giving a child-in-need a family?  The opportunity to be loved beyond words, a safe environment, and the chance to thrive? 

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.  Nothing is guaranteed, regardless of the word (bio, adoptive, foster, step) that comes before parent. What is guaranteed is the love and dedication in the heart of my guest, Matt Aporta and his wife Mary Beth Larue. 

They have opened their heart to foster-to-adopt a newborn child, giving this soul a chance to thrive in the most loving environment.  In these moments, Matt and Mary Beth became what they were meant to be.  This is the story of a good man, who grew into a great dad, and a women who has never known a love like this or had a “purpose as deep as the sea and as vast as the sky.”

I hope you open your hearts and enjoy this story,

Scott

Matt’s Instagram: @matt_aporta

Mary Beth’s Instagram: @marybethlarue

Scott McGee’s: @1scottmcgee  @TheSisuWay

Nonprofit foster family, adoption, and advocacy agency: Extraordinary Families 

2: Strong Willed – A Parents Story about Strength, Willpower, & Resilience

Episode 2: Strong Willed, is a story of strength, fortitude, and a celebration of resilience told through letters that were written to my sons from several months in 2015. In Episode 1: For Dad I looked back to the generation before me. In this episode, I take a look at the generation after me by sharing a story of life and death with my son, Connor. This story may bring you thoughts of sadness or grief, but I want to change your perspective on that.  This is a story of choosing to overcome adversity, and how an unborn child recalibrated his father’s mindset with one powerful kick. Things happen to us, but like Connor proved, those things don’t define us.  Good and bad things come and go like life speed bumps, but you can choose to have an unconquerable soul and turn anything into an action for good.

This is only part of Connor’s story, as I will discuss him more throughout this podcast.  In this episode I tie together the words my parents wrote, especially my dad, in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I share how I forgave my father about writing to his grandson too late in life, from a letter he wrote me on March 16, 1981.

Time is not a right, it is a privilege. Life is precious, unexpected, and unpredictable.  But like my mom wrote to me in 1979, “This world is only as you make it.” Health is wealth. Vulnerability is strength. Strength is a choice.  You are the master of your fate. You are the captain of your soul.  Choose strength and be unconquerable.

Books mentioned on the show:

The Art of Living by Epictetus

Mask of Masculinity by Lewis Howes

Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman

Pain Now, Pride Forever.

Written in September 2016

Hard times build hard people.

The pain.  The pain you feel is a white ball of healing light. -Tyler Durden

The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way. -Marcus Aurelius

Does what happens to you keep you from acting with justice, generosity, self control, sanity, prudence, honesty, humility, straightforwardness?

NOPE – Then get back to work.

The following is free form writing.  I found out today that after dedicating hundreds and hundreds of hours of work and sacrifice towards a goal, I did not make it. I failed.  When I found out, the first image that came to my head was a visual memory of the look on my son’s face when I had to leave him.  He was two years old and wanted to play with his dad.  I remember having to clear him from the threshold of the door so I could close it.  He had a lack of understanding in his eyes, but his understanding of the world made more sense then mine. We locked eyes as I closed the door.  Those hours, those moments I will never get back. He will never be that age again.  I let him down. 

The moment I oriented myself on the information I had received, I felt like someone had died. I felt like I was under water, my hearing changed, time slowed, I felt like someone had their hands on my heart. The feeling felt similar to when my dad died and when we found out about Connor. As I sit here, I temporarily feel like any laugh or smile is only surface related.  There is a deep level of grief. 

This grief, this pain, I want to meet face to face.  I want to allow it in.  I want it to hurt me.  I’m lucky because it hurts. I want to cry.  I will grieve.  I will respect these feelings.  I will get up and stand with them.  I am brave enough to face them. I will stand up in the storm.  I will face these arrows.  I will be proud and unbending in defeat.  I cherish these moments.  This pain is a blessing.  

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