27: Julien Pineau – Discovering StrongFit

Burn the questions, burn your doubts, burn who you were, burn everything. See if you can make your soul bleed.

Julien Pineau is a Humanist, Movement Specialist, and Founder of StrongFit, an intellectual and physical gym that has transcended the actual workout into an education. It’s a culture and a tribe of people who seek to apply force better. Julien is trained to visualize and correct proper human movement patterns.  He has a fascinating ability to diagnose imbalances, find the root of problems, and provide knowledge so you can become stronger, more fit, and a more resilient human.  To me, Julien is scientific philosopher who has chosen human movement as his art.  But he is also more than that.  He is the master of his fate and the captain of his ship.   When he is not busy traveling, podcasting or changing the world he is raising his daughter in an environment of love and curiosity. He is a man on a journey inward as much as he is outward. 

This is a beautiful conversation I get to have with my friend. We discussed the life and death moments that forced Julien (through stress/pain/intensity) to discover his strength.  It was here where he decided who he was going to become.  Like life, it’s not about technique, it’s about how you handle yourself in difficult situations. It’s in those moments where you are introduced to yourself.  Lucky for us, Julien decided to build StrongFit and become one of the smartest people I know. Now he is teaching how to build better humans, but it’s up to us.

Thank you for choosing to listen!

Strength is a Choice,

Scott

SHOW NOTES:

Intro: Drowning is not for Me

9:15  A conversation about Julien’s late brother, Jerome. 

17:36  Do you have to go through pain to grow?

Comfortable is the opposite of safe. To grow you need to be in a safe place. When you are comfortable you are unsafe. 

21:30  Main influences in life, the moments, and how Julien has used them to develop who he is. 

Are you going to relay on talent your whole life? Or are you going to build something? The thought of this changed the shape of his life.

27:30  What did Brazilian Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teach Julien about life? 

To face the world. Navigating with autism. 

28:50  Facing intensity, pain, and stress.  Needed for growth.

I think therefore I am…. or should it be I am therefore I think?

36:40  The study of human beings by putting them in stress.

It’s not about technique. It’s about how you handle yourself in front of difficult situations.

40:00  The greatest battle field is in our mind. 

Task Negative Network and Talk Positive Network. (where flow state is)

46:12  The Vagus Nerve and how to use to be in control of your nervous system.

How to shift yourself to the flow state.

51:37  Does Julien struggle with people?

55:04-55:47*  The price to pay for entry.

55:06  How much is going into Julien vs StrongFit Julien?

1:00:00  How does Julien learn?

1:04:05  What is the intent of the StrongFit Seminars?

1:07:40  How does Julien package information in a way that is satisfactory for him?

1:10:00  The eye of the Storm – Suicide – A defining moment on a Bridge – What his brother didn’t do.  Burning his sense of self.

1:13:42  There is something to scaring the crap out of yourself that introduces you to yourself.

1:15:40  Other moments that changed his life.  

1:16:30  Can you apply the lessons of internal/external torque to your thinking and dealing with emotional stress?

1:20:45  The nervous system as it relates to behavior.  Being able to apply force in a healthy manner.  What are the signs?

1:27:18   3 ways to stimulate vagus nerve to bring us back to parasympathetic state:  Movement, Breathing, Nutrition

How to train your soul.

1:39:30  Regulation in ice. Physical stress to mental relaxation. 

1:41:51 Self-Control – Auto regulation and self correction – self awareness and self regulation

You are not a passive victim of your system.

1:44:10  The Arch Theory 

1:49:50  Training Method WES: Weight bearing, Eccentric (lowering the weight), lower Skill

The quality of stress matters. Not quantity.

2:02:02 Chris Moore – Barbell Buddha 

SOCIAL MEDIA AND WEBSITES:

@strongfit1   @1scottmcgee   @TheSisuWay

StrongFit.com     TheSisuWay.com   

StrongFit youtube channel

BOOKS:

What is Life – Erwin Schrödinger

12 Rules for Life – Jordan Peterson 

Brain’s Way of Healing – Norman Doidge, M.D.

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

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

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

8: Tait Fletcher – Humility is Growth

Tait Fletcher has a wide-ranging resume from addict, fighter, stuntman, entrepreneur, podcaster, actor, etc. but that is NOT why he is on the show.  Through adversity, he follows his passion that happens to give him those titles.  Through his brokenness, Tait curates a positive life for himself that empowers those around him.  He has the life experience and perspective that taught him that service leads to a fulfilling life. Tait’s number one rule is to lead a life of appreciation. THAT is why this unconquerable soul is on the show. As Tait says, humility is the ability to be taught. I am proud to call Tait a friend, but he is also a mentor, soul recalibrater, teacher, and standard holder.

I am humbled to have a soul to soul conversation with Tait about appreciation, gratitude, and growth that happened to be recorded for this special episode. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Stay strong,

Scott

Below are some show notes and references:

3:12  How do you curate a positive life and fall in love with that life? 

8:20  What legacy are you leaving? How can you be of service?  How can you be more useful to your community?

11:20  Humility is being teachable.

19:36  What is a virtuous man?

“What I think about matters. What I say matters. What my actions are matter.”

31:30  Dichotomy of thought. Positive thought hack. #thoughtdrunk

Replace with 2 positive thoughts, or 1 positive action

Change you Actions – Change your Thoughts

38:14 “If you want to learn. If you want to grow. Get rid of your defensiveness.”

47:15  (Homework) Have a conversation without saying anything. Just sit there and listen.

When you have a negative thought, follow it up with a positive action.

50:55  Advice from Eddie Bravo: #1 – “Be in appreciation all the time.

57:53  What do you struggle with? What is commitment?

1:05:00  How do you find strength to give all your outlets the opportunity they deserve?

1:10:30  Meditation – Restored – Changing Behavior

1:15:00  Kids?

1:26:16  Leadership

1:37:13 Acting Career – Connecting with people – Favorite scenes and memorable deaths

Tait’s websites:

Tait Fletcher, Pirate Life Radio, Caveman Coffee Co,

Social Media to follow:

@taitfletcher, @functionalcoach, Ryan Moody, Aubrey Marcus, Joe Rogan

Scott McGee, The Sisu Way

Things to read:

Claudette Colvin, Letter from Birmingham Jail

Eric Greitens, Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life

TheSisuWay.com

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 

6: The Art of Living – Epictetus, Stoicism, & Serenity

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The Art of Living is the classical manual of Epictetus (a Stoic philosopher who lived from A.D. 55 to A.D. 135) on how to live a good and moral life. It has helped me effectively meet everyday challenges of life, deal with life’s inevitable major losses, disappointments, and adversity. It came at a time in my life when I did not have a philosophy of inner freedom and tranquility to follow.

It started me on a path to mastering my desires, performing my duties well, and learning to think clearly about myself (Temet Nosce) and my relationship with others. It gave me the ability to see that some things are in my control, and some things are not.  I can either accept things, or resent them, but most importantly, my will is always within my power.  Well there are some things are within our power, and some things are not.  Sometimes the things that are not come in the form of an unexpected violent cancer.

My Aunt, the one who gifted me this book many years ago, is in a fight for her life. She is fighting for her husband, her boys, her family, and her future grandkids. She is a warm ball of light stuck in a human body, and that human body is failing her.  There is not much I can do physically, but I don’t think it starts or ends there.  This is an opportunity and reminder that Strength is a Choice, and there is something I can do in her honor.  I can use this platform to pass along the gift that she gave me to you.

I give this book to people very frequently because it helps learn the art of living a good life. Since I cannot physically hand each of you a copy, I would like to take this opportunity to share the gift with you via the podcast in my Aunts honor. The Sisu Way podcast is telling a story, and this is part of the journey.

Vulnerability is Strength, so I hope this helps you as much as it has helped me. In following podcast I present, read, and paraphrase some of my favorite parts of the book with you. To begin, I open with The Serenity Prayer.

Humbly,

Scott McGee

TheSisuWay.com