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

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

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 

16: Greg Amundson – Warrior Monk

How do we master ourselves to be of greater service?

My guest, Greg Amundson, is an operational and spiritual swiss army knife of a human being.  He is the original CrossFit Firebreather, affiliate owner, a law enforcement officer, swat operator, DEA agent, Army Officer, martial artist, yogi, speaker, and author of the new book, The Warrior and the Monk.  Greg has continued on a servants path to become a true warrior who dedicates his life to self-mastery in service of others.

Greg inspires us to live with purpose, passion and a desire to develop strength in your mind, body, and spirit. Greg helps us achieve a mindset of positive expectancy, personal belief and an unshakeable faith through a disciplined use of words, thoughts, awareness and attention. We also learn the power of love, encouragement, support and what it means to be a warrior.

Show Notes:

The Warrior and the Monk introduction

6:00  How Scott and Greg know each other.  CrossFit origins and the original Firebreather.  How Greg became Scott’s mentor.

11:45  How our parents helped shape and launch us.

Dad – “Greg whatever you do, do it for love.”

Mom – “You know, Greg, everybody can encourage somebody and be supported at the same time.”

24:50  How being alone can lead to happiness.

Ownership and accountability

35:00  Who were you and who are you? Scripture says, “God works out everything in a pattern for good for those that love Him”

*35:30-36:00 “What I’ve learned from these experiences is that, whats even more important than any experience we have in our life is our thoughts about the experience.  That’s ultimately what shapes us. What is so important is that we always retain the ability, we have independence of thought. We get to choose how we think.  What’s amazing is that when we change the way we think about something, what we think about begins to change.”

37:30  The cause of effects.  The thought is the cause of every subsequent effect.

43:30  How do you master yourself? 

Body – Mind – Spirit

46:30  The Body.  Chasing virtuosity.

Greg Glassman: “The greatest adaptation to CrossFit is between the ears.”

Kyle Maynard: “The stronger the why in your life the stronger your life will be.”

1:00:51  The Mind

Self-Talk, cargo net story at the Navy Seal compound in Coronado.

Body-Mind connection – Putting our body into a position that is going to lead our mind into a position we want it to go.

1:16:16  The Spirit

Core to Extremity – functional physical and spiritual expression

1:21:20  Sadhana – Daily spiritual practice

1:22:00  The Breath – Warrior Breathing – Pranayama

The Valley of Dry Bones

Dan Brule: “Even one conscious breath a day is enough to have an entire breath practice.”

*1:28:24-1:28:56  The breath draws us into the presence moment.

Box Breathing and Nostril Breathing – See behind the curtain

1:38:38  Meditation and Yoga – The stillness of the Mind

The kingdom of God is within you

The unified and universal field that we all have access to.

I am. I am. I am. 

*1:45:10  “The closer we get to source, the more pure, the more radiant, the more beautiful the more full of love the quality of our thought becomes.

Whats the purpose of my life? How can I better serve others?  How can I be a better source of love in the world?  These thoughts are accessed through a mantra that gets us closer to source.”

1:50:10  Yoga – One seamless practice to bring together all the other practices Continue reading

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.”