Spartan Up! - A Spartan Race for the Mind!

Trauma care is a creative process for Dr, Jeffrey Upperman. He mentors young surgeons by throwing them in a room together with very little to work with  and let their ingenuity and communication skills come to the fore to solve a problem under duress. He points out that these skills are becoming a lost art in the age of texting and tweeting but they are no less vital in forming a successful person. Upperman in his years as a general surgeon took cues from his father, a man who prided himself in working with his hands, and stresses the importance of upbringing, yet acknowledges that the whole community bears responsibility for nurturing a success.  

Lessons:

    1.    Creativity is key in emergencies, and it can be learned.
    2.    We are all responsible to hold each other accountable.
    3.    We need rites of passage to learn to cope under duress.

Direct download: 123-SUP-Dr._Jeffery_Upperman-FULL_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Cal Fussman, author as well as a writer for Esquire, went on a ten year worldwide journey with little money to his name. He subsisted on the good will of others, most often on those he met on the bus ride to his next destination. It was the perfect way to satisfy his insatiable curiosity and hone his interviewing skills. In this episode Fussman will talk about how to make everyday an opportunity for adventure and connection.

Lessons:
    1.    Ask a canned question and you’ll get a canned answer. Talk to people with authenticity.
    2.    When starting a big project don’t reflect long enough to talk yourself out of it; just keep going forward.
    3.    Treat each day like a unique experience.


CREDITS
Producer – Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.
Hosts: Joe De Sena with Johnny Waite, Sefra Alexandra, Col. Tim Nye, Dr. Delle & David Deluca
Synopsis – Matt Baatz
© 2016 Spartan

Direct download: 122_SUP_Cal_Fussman_LIBSYN_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

When your business is in trouble, this is the guy you need. Tim Gentry develops people to motivate his own success. As an Ironman competitor he exemplifies strengthening the body as a way to maintain a powerful mind, something he believes many business people neglect to their detriment. His suggestion: keep it simple and do just one thing every day. Listen for more tried and true methods to persevere and thrive. Gentry shares some gems on this week’s podcast.

Lessons:

    1.    Focused on the people in your business,and let hurdles dissolve to white noise.
    2.    To revive someone who is lagging, put them in charge of others.
    3.    Write down all the great things that are happening in your life and read them when you need inspiration.

Direct download: 121-SUP-Tim_Gentry-LIBSYN.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Mortgage officer and part of a Vermont family maple sugaring business, Ray Morvan found extreme multi day racing at random, after a battle with alcohol and opiate addiction. By helping him find community and a way to exert and build mental resilience it’s exactly what the doctor ordered . He  went on to compete in nine Peak Death Races which is almost certainly a record. We spoke with him at the Spartan Winter Agoge. Morvan credits stoicism for getting through life challenges that would break a lesser man. He is now championing  the issue of addiction by assisting anyone who is willing to reach out to him. Morvan’s phone line is open.

Lessons:

    1.    Figure it out. There’s always a way.
    2.    Simply put yourself out there, everyday, and have faith that it will get better.
    3.    In addition to PTSD think about PTSG - Post Traumatic Growth.


CREDITS
Producer – Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.
Hosts: Joe De Sena with Johnny Waite, Sefra Alexandra, Col. Tim Nye, Dr. Delle & David Deluca
Synopsis – Matt Baatz
Copyright - 2016 Spartan

Direct download: 120-SUP-Ray_Morvan-LIBSYN.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Damion Hahn came a hair’s breadth away from making the Olympics and advises those not achieving there goals “be mad about it, then turn your attention to tomorrow.” He channels that drive training a team that has been  near dynasty for the last quarter century of Ivy League wrestling. They got there by honing raw talent. The best persist, the rest need to find their niche elsewhere. Hahn has seen this success translate into the wrestler’s everyday lives and he shares the methods that have built such consistent winners.

Lessons:

    1.    Everybody’s motivated differently; adjust your approach accordingly.
    2.    Enter each day with a purpose!
    3.    Be part of a community that motivates you achieve.

Direct download: 119-SUP-Damion-Hahn-LIBSYN.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

This week’s podcast features two Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Christian Johnson and Chad Grills, disrupting the world of business. Johnson started Fotition a platform to unite brands people and charities to create a positive social outcome. He arrived at this idea by following  his lifelong mantra, “creativity will save the world,” which lead him to a vocation that will leave a legacy. Grills, a former Army infantryman, took note of better ways to do things during deployments in Egypt and Iraq and channeled them into a sharing and trading service for business assets called Twist.com. He discusses the ways he has used the challenges of the military and life to overcome obstacles.

Lessons:

1, The problem is the solution (permaculture principle).
2, Learn to love the word no. Turn it into an opportunity to overcome challenge.
3. Ask yourself if you are living up to your life’s mantra and serving the greater good.

CREDITS
Producer – Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.
Hosts: Joe De Sena with Johnny Waite, Sefra, Col. Tim Nye, Delle & David Deluca
Synopsis – Matt Baatz
© 2016 Spartan

Direct download: 118-SUP_Grills_and_Johnson-LIBSYN.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Nini Meyer created Positive Tracks as a way to get kids moving and involved with a cause through athletics. She has witnessed it not only helping the causes, but connecting the youth with each other and teaching them to manage risk, take on challenges and get active. Since not every child enters the program with the same resources, it also teaches them the vital lesson of using what they got at the moment and building from there. A lifelong volunteer who adopted ultra-endurance running well into her adulthood, Meyer found a way to combine the two into something exceedingly positive.

Lessons:

    1.    Whenever you see the hazy outlines of a starting line begin to form, don’t turn away. Run straight towards it.
    2.    You can’t cross the ocean by staring at the sea.
    3.    Achieving challenging acts with groups creates a sense of shared struggle and perseverance propelling you towards your goal through

Direct download: 117-SUP-Nini_Meyers-FULL-LIBSYN_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Helping runners move faster and injury free is the mission of Nathan Helming. A former Ironman qualifier, Nathan Helming runs programming for San Francisco Crossfit with a focus on helping runners and triathletes become better rounded athletes. He’s taking this passion into a startup called The Run Experience which guides athletes through strength, conditioning and problem solving to reach their goals through online webinars. Frustration with chronic injury spurred by a too narrow focus on conditioning caused Helming to seek out SF crossfit with its philosophy of a more balanced approach. He is now adapting his experience to propel athletes past their limitations.

Lessons:

    1.    Be process focused: set aside fear of the outcome and engage in the task at hand.
    2.    Understand that you have a choice at every moment.
    3.    Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Direct download: 116-SUP-Nathan_Helming-FULL_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

The founder of Charity Water, Scott Harrison was a successful nightclub promoter living a life of decadence many might envy. He found himself hobnobbing with the beautiful people on a daily basis, but he had an epiphany on the beaches of Uruguay. Though he didn’t lack materially he was morally, spiritually and emotionally bereft.  He sold everything, took up residence in a friend’s closet and volunteered in war torn Liberia, paying for the privilege. While there he found his mission: He would use his influence to help remediate the lack of clean water that often leads to disease for the 660 million people in third world nations who are affected.

Lessons:

    1.    To change your life, and the life of others, it may be necessary to step into a new story of your life and scrap the old one.
    2.    The best way to motivate change is through the promise of positive action with tangible results and not through shame or guilt.
    3.    Do not compromise your values and morality; maintain your tenacity and you will find a way through the challenge.

Direct download: 115forLibsyn-Scott-Harrison.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

With a military career spanning 26 years, retired Col. Fellinger has become a model of resilience and fitness. He asks that you bring him the hardest problems you have because he lives to overcome them. As he explains, it’s a process and one that can be practiced but not necessarily mastered. After all, if you’re not at least a little off balance, how are you challenging yourself and growing stronger? Joe and he discuss the most vital element to fitness--building mental strength through motivation, risk taking, mental agility and mental resilience.


Lessons:

    1.    Remember the French Paratrooper’s Prayer (to paraphrase): Give me Lord what others don’t want, uncertainty, doubt, torment and battle, but also the courage, the  energy and spirit to face them.
    2.    To stay motivated take the first step and you will soon create irreversible momentum, inertia that will take on a life of it’s own.
    3.    Build mental resilience through facing challenges you didn’t anticipate and generalizing the resultant confidence throughout your life.

Direct download: 114-SUP-Col_Fellinger_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

The “man whisperer” Mammarella-D'Cruz runs men’s groups that set them on a course to fulfillment. Clients, even billionaires, find they need help understanding how to achieve happiness. His ability was honed by the dire circumstances of his own childhood. After his family was placed on the death list in Uganda, Mammarella-D'Cruz spent a significant portion of his formative years on the run. This summoned his survival instincts, which were vital at the time, but when the threat eased were not helping him live the life he had dreamed. After a string of successful endeavours that left him wanting, he learned to live life to it’s fullest and is helping others do the same.

Lessons:

    1.    Find how your life’s “script” impedes you, to move on.
    2.    It’s more efficient to learn from other’s mistakes than to make them yourself.
    3.    If your life is entirely run by your internal protector you are surviving and not living.

Direct download: 113-SUP-Mamma_Rella_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Adaptive athlete Amy Winters, is so resilient she was chosen to help struggling athletes complete the brutal 60+ hour Spartan endurance event Agoge. If you ask her, she won’t credit rugged individualism for her perseverance. She relies on the strength of others to buoy her up as she does the same for them. It may be that the wellspring of grit that her loss summoned helped her to recognize and rouse that same potential in others.

Lessons:

    1.    When you see something different about a person, smile with them.
    2.    Working as a team, as a community, you bring to the fore each other’s strengths and lift each other towards completing the improbable.
    3.    To connect with people, disconnect from the screen.

LINKS:
One Step Ahead Foundation https://onestepaheadfoundation.wordpress.com/
One Step Ahead Foundation on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/OneStepAheadFoundation/

Direct download: 112-SUP-Amy_Winters_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Coach of the highly successful wrestling program at Cornell, Rob Koll wasn’t an overnight success. His virtuosity was years in the making, working hard and surrounding himself with the kind of motivating people that would eventually transform the program into a powerhouse. When asked, Koll denies that his methods involve any mystique. He simply doles out his nose to the grindstone, meat and potatoes work ethic with devastating consistency. Those who don’t have the discipline to endure it fall by the wayside. Those who do, find themselves competing with the best and winning often.

Lessons:
    1.    It’s not how much you want to win that day; it’s how much you want to win on all the days leading up to that day.
    2.    Even a mildly active wrestler is going to go through more pain, hardship and sacrifice than the average person on the street.
    3.    A supportive upbringing that instills good values is crucial.

 

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Direct download: 111-SUP-Rob_Koll_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

A restaurateur with 7 NYC restaurants and a passion for fitness, his restaurants have succeeded in large part due to Chernow’s keen sense of emotional intelligence. One of the unique ways he keeps his staff happy is the emphasis he places on fitness in the workplace and the program he started to cultivate this. The interview takes place in Seamore’s which specializes in locally caught species that are delectable but often overlooked. Dogfish, for example, is just as tasty as trendier fare. Chernow is working new projects with a voracious diligence Chernow can trace back to his childhood. As a kid he walked dogs and delivering food to transcend his family’s modest lifestyle.

Lessons
    1.    Don’t underestimate anyone. There’s no way of gauging how valuable a relationship will be down the line.
    2.    Don’t “want,” “need,” or “wish” …. “do.”
    3.    Cultivate a happy, cohesive team and the guests will be made happy as a matter of course.

Direct download: 110-SUP-Michael-Chernow-FULL-for-Libsyn_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

UFC fighter “The Spaniard” and lifelong wrestler, Charlie grew up in normal circumstances. As he puts it “I’m just like you,” he didn’t have to overcome a great deprivation or trauma, he just worked hard and went on to great successes. Brenneman dispels the myth that you must follow a Rocky type trajectory to compete with the best. Instead he shares the simple steps he took, including surrounding himself with good mentors and Consistency. He arrived by realizing that in a sport like wrestling in which “heartbreak far outweighs the triumph” the journey is what matters.

Lessons:
    1.    Being in a normal family that provides good core values and a supportive environment is an underestimated advantage. It doesn’t take extraordinary circumstances to do extraordinary things.
    2.    Every opportunity, no matter how small, counts. Things add up.
    3.    If you don’t move the proverbial line in the sand, you’re never going to get best.

Direct download: 109-Charlie_Brenneman_VOTAG_Audio_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

A former infantry officer Josh Mantz was shot by a sniper in Baghdad.  He flatlined, and his life was in the hands of a nineteen year old medic in the heat of battle. Mantz was revived ten minutes after the period that’s considered survivable. When asked why, the medic said simply that he never gives up.  Mantz moved on to Tesla, pioneers in electric vehicles. The atmosphere there is in some ways as intense as the military.  Why? They too are mission driven. Outside of Tesla Mantz has harnessed his healing to help veterans heal from their trauma.

Lessons:

    1.    You can’t do it all alone, sometimes even your very life is in the hands of others.
    2.    Recognizing and absolving yourself of guilt and shame is the first step in overcoming trauma.
    3.    A solid sense of mission and purpose precedes any great accomplishment.


CREDITS
Producer – Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.
Hosts: Joe De Sena with Johnny Waite, Sefra, Col. Tim Nye, Delle & David Deluca
Synopsis – Matt Baatz
© 2016 Spartan

Direct download: 108-SUP-Joshua_Mantz-FULL-AUDIOV_01REV.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Former Olympic downhill skier Doug Lewis decided at 8 he’d compete on the Wold Cup level. Success came very early, but during his first World Cup race at age 17 he broke his back.  Failure, he now says, is critical to building confidence. He went on to win World Cup Bronze and represent the US in 3 Olympic games. The problem with peaking early is the looming question of what to do next - and will anyone care. Lewis chose to pass on the lessons he learned by creating a youth development program called Eliteam. He also chose to stayed close to ski racing and is a Skiing analyst for NBC for World Cup and Olympic games. Lewis is content with his life, but continues every day to look for new adventures and inspire kids to set lofty goals then dig deep to achieve them.

Lessons:
    1.    Good coaches set goals challenging enough to spur growth but not so overwhelming they create despair.
    2.    Students should set goals they may never reach, they will provide direction and inspiration.
    3.    Confidence requires failure.
    4.    In any meaningful life path, ebbs and flows are inevitable.

Direct download: 107_Doug_lewis-FULL-EXP-A_1_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

The founder of a massive sports promotion company Matchroom Sport, started off without a clear direction. He says just start, take a scattershot approach and eventually you’ll find your direction by the process of elimination. Aim high, then adjust. Hearn wanted to be a heavyweight boxing champion, but his path lead him to be a promoter instead. His own passion could comes across as draconian, but that’s only testament to how strongly he believes in the power of the individual to create a meaningful life.

Lessons:
    1.    At first take a scattergun approach in life; don’t set limits and then adjust to find your place.
    2.    Start an hour earlier and end an hour later.
    3.    Champions are impressive, but the people at the back of the field who refuse to give in may be even more impressive.

Direct download: 106-SUP-Bary-Hearn_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

His first memory is the moment his mother gave him away. Former NFL player, Anthony Trucks, wants to matter because his first memory in life was feeling like he didn’t. At 14 a harsh remark by a girl in school shocked him into self awareness. Sheer force of will it set him on a course that has defined his life to the present day as a successful business owner, athlete speaker & author.

Lessons:
    1.    Live a life that will produce a huge turn out at your funeral.
    2.    If you think the hand you’ve been dealt is an excuse, think again.
    3.    Practice effortless effort--that activity that resonates so deeply with you that the work you do starts to feel effortless.

Direct download: 105-SUP-AnthonyTrucks_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Explorer and mountain biker Shannon Galpin brings cycling to Afghan women.  The 2014 National Geographic Explorer believes bicycles are a vehicle for transformation in a society where this simple freedom and pleasure is denied to women and girls. This simple act, easily taken for granted in the West, provides them with a stronger voice so vital in what often appears like an insurmountable obstacle--positioning Afghan women in a place of greater equality.

Lessons:
    1.    Simply doing something right can a powerful form of activism since it will inspire others to mirror you.
    2.    Hope and change prevail over fear.
    3.    Don’t take even the simplest things for granted.

Direct download: 104-SUP-Shannon_Galpin_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

www.spartan.com/103
As a professional recruiter and founder of Executive Athletes Ken Lubin knows what it takes to build a career. As one of the ultra endurance athletes that built the epic Stone Steps in Pittsfield, Vermont he knows grit and hard work too. He says it’s what will get you hired, and what will make you successful once you land a job. Knowing the company culture, offering them what they need is crucial too. Become the indispensable lynch. Building a massive network that includes all types of people, not just those who can obviously help you may be the most important step of all. Garner lots of career development gems in this week’s episode.

Lessons:
    1.    Be the guy that does the hard thing and you’ll distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack.
    2.    Know the culture of where you want to work and find out how you can fit in.
    3.    Realize the power of the network: even when it doesn’t look like a connection has any benefit at the time it may prove to be beneficial down the line.

Direct download: 103-SUP-Ken-Lubin_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

When Amelia Boone isn’t pulling i-beams out of frigid Vermont rivers for the Death Race or winning Spartan Races, she working as a highly competitive attorney. Every day she’s up at 4:07, running trails at 5 and at her desk by 7. Has she always been that way? Yes. As a child, in what must have seemed odd to observers, her family was encouraging her to relax and not take things so seriously.  She believes perseverance and drive can be a habit, don’t let them lapse. It’s harder to start or start again than just keep going.
Lessons:

    1.    Make success part of your routine as regular as brushing your teeth, not allowing yourself to opt out.
    2.    The difficult path is where the growth happens. Choose it often.
    3.    Make one small change a day and let it build into something great.

 

CREDITS
Producer – Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.
Host: Joe De Sena with Johnny Waite, Sefra, Col. Tim Nye, Delle & David DeLuca
Synopsis – Matt Baatz
© 2016 Spartan

Direct download: 102-SUP-Amelia_Boone_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

US Pentathletes Nathan Schrimsher and Dennis Bowsher.
The pentathlon has been an Olympic sport for over a century, but chances are most people don’t know much about it. What are the skills a messenger would have needed in wartime? Riding, swimming,running fencing and shooting. It has recently been given a modern upgrade: the guns shoot lasers instead of the original bullets. Joe talks to two of the best American pentathletes to discover what it takes to excel at this intriguing discipline - one on the current Team competing in Rio in a few weeks. Trust us, there are 4 or 5 key lessons that will carry over to whatever challenge you face on the way to your goals.

Lessons:

    1.    Run your own race, the race of life.
    2.    There is no substitute for the internal motivation to practice EVERY day.
    3.    Don’t underestimate the value of wisdom and patience.
    4.    Set aside your wins and your losses, focus only on what is in front of you now.
 

Direct download: 101-SUP-Pentathlon-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

One hundred episodes in, Joe, Delle, Johnny, Colonel Nye and Sefra talk about the guests that resonated with them the most. Spartan UP! has interviewed writers, athletes, generals, monks, CEOs, entrepreneurs, nutritionists, farmers, lawyers, doctors, explorers...to garner their unique spin on what it takes to succeed. There have been one hundred different answers, one hundred stories on how to live a fulfilling life, but many common threads. These inspiring people are telling us it’s okay to be afraid, but not to live in fear, to have a why, but live in the moment, and to find  a passion (or passions) and follow it with all we got.

Lessons from 100 Episodes:

    1.    Have a why.
    2.    Life is a series of moments. Live each one.
    3.    A challenging life is a satisfying life.
    4.    The first step to success is getting off the couch.
    5.    Surround yourself with good, supportive people. Lose those who aren’t.
    6.    Persevere, but if you find yourself on the wrong path, be prepared to go a different direction.
    7.    Aim to be a whole person, mind, body and soul.
    8.    Those who succeed aren’t afraid to fail, often.
    9.    Experiences are much more valuable than things.
    10.    Whatever you are doing, no matter how big or small, commit to it wholly.

Direct download: 100-SUP-100th-episode-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Alan Jope, president of Unilever’s Personal Care business, understands how to live. With such an high position many would not be surprised if Jove was a man completely consumed by his work. Though his commitment to his job is complete, it is not the source of his identity. He and four friends are riding stretches of a world spanning motorcycle trip with its share of mishaps and broken bones. What he does is not who he is, but enables him to become the person he always dreamed he could be. In this episode Jope also discusses the benefits of mission driven brands.

Lessons:

    1.    Where you are in the world is more important than what you’re doing in it.
    2.    Concentrate most of your energy into what you’re doing now, not worrying about the future, and opportunities will open up as a matter of course.
    3.    In life, follow the packing rule: put the big thing in first.

Direct download: 099-SUP-Alan_Jope_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Masha Gordon, a mountaineer who completed the seven summits and both poles in record time, ventured to take lessons in grit from the boardroom to the most challenging terrain on earth. Thirty minutes from the summit of Everest she was faced with an executive decision: should she risk getting caught in a storm and possibly putting her life in peril or divest and live to see another day? Luckily the risk was worth taking, but the tough mindedness she earned in business made her decision a sound one. Learn how doing great things has taught Gordon how little it actually takes to be happy and successful.  

Lessons:
    1.    Even when you invested a large amount in an experience the smartest thing could be to divest if it means living to see another day.
    2.    Move counter to stereotypes so that they no longer define you.
    3.    Let a healthy fear and respect complement the excitement of your expeditions.

Direct download: 098-SUP-Masha_Gordon_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

The sole survivor in a vehicle obliterated by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, Earl Granville had to find a way to get up again, but with only one leg remaining. This interview transpired after Granville completed the seventy+ mile, sixty hour adventure known as Spartan Agoge, so clearly he is well on his way.  As if the accident weren’t bad enough, Granville’s twin brother took his own life, but in his greatest tragedy he also found his redemption. As a motivational speaker, he has used his misfortune to be in service to others. Granville’s life so far is a testament to the Nietzsche truism, “He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”

Lessons:

    1.    Sometimes the most unfortunate people are the ones who are never tested.
    2.    We should honor the privilege of being alive by giving back.
    3.    The upside of adversity is that it can be harnessed to find your passion.

Direct download: 097_SUPEarlGranville_Audio_Revised.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Bob Roth, transcendental meditation teacher of 45 years, has seen the progression of the practice go from a fringe activity to a scientifically backed technique taught widely in such institutions as schools and prisons. As Roth describes it, transcendental meditation allows one to be a better warrior, whether on the OCR circuit or in facing daily life, by bringing you to a state of level headed calm where you can make the best decisions. A large part of building resilience, after all, is finding ways to put the tumultuous highs and lows into the proper frame of reference so you can sail easily past  life’s obstacles.

Lessons:
    1.    No matter how much turmoil exists on the surface of the ocean it is insignificant compared to the depths of calmness that lie underneath. The mind is like an ocean.
    2.    Meditation is Spartan in that it gets to the essentials of your body and mind.
    3.    To the mind that is still, the universe surrenders--Lao Tzu. I.e., If you have a complicated mind, you’ll be a victim to life’s obstacles.

Direct download: 096-SUP-BobRoth-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

The eastern philosophies that influence the school headed by Master Xi Qi Ling provide a valuable counterbalance to our western ones. In our individualistic culture we often forget that in order for our lives to function optimally we need to consider how they can harmonize with the greater whole. For example, the school realizes that if they merely teach the students and neglect what happens when they go home, then the teachings are at risk of being lost; therefore they teach the parents as well. In short, the universe is more powerful than any one person and if we nurture it, it will nurture us right back.

Lessons:
    1.    Health and well being depend on harmonizing your physical, mental and spiritual being.
    2.    Everything is connected.
    3.    Some problems can be solved very quickly while others can only be solved slowly. Knowing the difference is important.

Direct download: 095-SUP-XingQilin_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Tim Morris, adaptive athlete and SGX coach, didn’t need to get off the couch, his quest for the Spartan Trifecta started from a wheelchair. He powers through a course relying on the strength of his upper body. If, for some bizarre reason, this doesn’t impress you, try the same across your living room floor. He trains an increasing number of adaptive athletes as well as the able bodied. He can teach both groups much about grit. But his teaching by no means ends there--he demonstrates that by the simple act of living passionately those around you will learn what it means to be fully alive.

Lessons:

1.Talking about things merely kicks the can into the future; you have to do them.
2. Build your life around the three “p”s: passion, perspective, and perseverance.
3. Always be aware that your reality affects others and act accordingly.

Direct download: 094-SUP-Tim-Morris-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Jennifer Gilbert, a wildly successful events entrepreneur, was assaulted to an inch within her life outside her friend’s New York apartment. Not only did she survive but she went on to live a very rich and fulfilling life. How? The struggle was all too real. It wasn’t an overnight transformation. She was able to recognize the vast, and sometimes elusive, source of resilience that she discovered that day and draw on it to create the kind of life she always wanted. Her story is jarring, graphic, visceral, enraging, senseless, but at the same time life affirming, hopeful, and deeply important.

Lessons:
    1.    The resilient person that you are in your most challenging moments is there for life to aid you whenever the need should arise.
    2.    Fear is the worst feeling to make a decision from.
    3.    Beautiful things often grow from dark, ugly places like flowers from compost.
    4.    You cannot control one thing in the world except who you are afterwards, whether you move towards the light or wallow in the darkness.

Direct download: 093-SUP-JenniferGilbert_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Before retiring Sgt. Major Frank Grippe was the senior enlisted Soldier for US Central Command in charge of military operations in 20 countries in Northern Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. He came out of the subzero weather of the Spartan Agoge to share his wisdom of grit hard earned through his 30 years as a ranger in the army. His is decidedly a no nonsense approach. Grippe knew what he wanted and simply did the job day in and day out, learned all he could from the best mentors he could find and when the opportunities to advance presented themselves, he was ready. He has gone through life with a single minded purpose and one might come away with the impression that he hasn’t entertained  the idea of an alternative livelihood, even for a second.

Lessons:
    1.    Knowing exactly what you want makes getting it that much easier.
    2.    Force of will is everything.
    3.    Positions of responsibility demand complete transparency.

Direct download: 092-SUP-Sgt_Major_Frank_Grippe_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

According to Col. Liam Collins, Phd., Special Forces Qualified Officer, West Point Professor,and past winner of the Best Ranger Competition - approximately one percent of prospective candidates persist to become members of the special forces. Joe’s always looking for these people but, alas, they are elusive. They may not not linger long by the waterfalls, but are always eyeing the craggy terrain just ahead. Understandably, it is difficult to find those who will consciously fling themselves into relative peril. How does Col. Collins find them and train them? That’s what we want to find out.

Lessons:

    1.    The true test of character is the decisions you make under duress.
    2.    You develop your mental fortitude like developing muscles: push to the limit of your capacity; recover, then push to the new limit.
    3.    The key to success in a highly competitive environment is not to wallow in your comfort zone.

Direct download: 091-SUP-LIAMCollins_Audio1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Not too long ago every self respecting long distance runner was toting a dog eared copy of Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run, reconsidering their choice of footwear or forgoing shoes altogether. McDougall’s current explorations have led him to ask new questions such as: what makes a hero, are our vast human skills learned formally or innate and suppressed by culture? Is the ability to survive in dire circumstances unique or is it present in all of us and awaiting the opportunity to be unleashed? You may know Joe’s take on these questions, and in this episode learn if McDougall agrees.

Lessons:

    1.    To be compassionate can also mean to help someone with their problem while it’s small and before it comes back to affect the community at large.
    2.    Many skills are latent, lurking just below the surface, and our mass culture has  limited their full expression.
    3.    Being successful often means identifying and taking that one extra step that no one else is taking.

Direct download: 090_SUP-ChristopherMcDougall_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Kevin Cleary, CEO of Clif Bar, has his company on the right track if not the most trodden one. Whereas most companies only think of maximizing their quarterly profits, Clif bar is planning decades ahead and profiting from the foresight. Whereas most companies focus on satisfying their shareholders, Clif Bar has a firm social and environmental mission that strengthens the company and community at large. They’re one of the few, but important examples that doing good, yet remaining lucrative, are not as mutually exclusive as many believe.

Lessons:

    1.    It’s much better motivation to tell someone they’re a hard worker than to tell them that they’re smart.
    2.    A company that can focus on long term goals, despite the pressure to show quarterly profits, will ultimately make better decisions.
    3.    A purpose driven business keeps those involved with it engaged and passionate.

Direct download: 089-SUP-Kevin_Cleary_audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Wrestling requires a mindset that transcends sport. What can you learn from them? Everything. It’s a sport with no excuses. It’s just you and your competitor and if you fail, there is no one else to blame. The sport by its very nature develops mental toughness. Joe talks to three promising young wrestlers, Nate Carr Jr., an Olympic hopeful in a legendary family of wrestling greats, and All Americans from Cornell, Gabe Dean and Nahshon Garrett. They discuss  the unique aspects of the sport that prepare its participants to excel in life.  The thing that they all share in common is their sense of drive and moving forward no matter what.  The very tools that’ll help you grapple with life’s inevitable adversities.


Lessons:
    1.    If nothing changes, nothing changes.
    2.    Sometimes to master adversity you need to create it.
    3.    Treat people to your gift.

Direct download: 088-SUP-Carr-Garrett-Dean_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Biohacking ground breaker Dave Asprey, got the controversial trend of adding butter to coffee going and it turns out that’s just one of many hacks espoused by this alternative health entrepreneur. He believes that by gathering the right data, our bodies can be optimized through unconventional methods. Asprey himself has been hacking his mitochondria for many years. Besides the things we can monitor, Asprey describes the confounding array of activity that occurs without our conscious awareness. Yet this state that is most difficult to pin down turns out to be the one in which human performance peaks.

Lessons:

    1.    Recovery is a vital part of training but often gets neglected.
    2.    The flow state is elusive but when we reach it we do amazing things.
    3.    Biohacking attempts to understand when your body is helping you and when it’s betraying you.

Direct download: 087-SUP-Dave_Asprey_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

While running the Boston Marathon, clinical social worker Jeffrey Zeizel had to call up all his expertise and coping mechanisms when a bomb went off at the finish line. His son was ahead of him and there was a chance he was caught in the fray. Though nobody would blame him for panicking, he immediately went into action administering psychological first aid reassuring others that the worst case scenario is not the most likely one and in the process helping himself to cope as well. Zeizel has a wellspring of insight on what it takes to be resilient and the good news for humanity is that, in short, it involves bringing all of our best qualities to the forefront.  

Lessons:
    1.    The last stage of going through grief is not really acceptance but developing the tools to cope.
    2.    Remember AAA: action alleviates anxiety.
    3.    It’s easy to fulfill mundane responsibilities, but to do the things that give life meaning is difficult yet worthwhile.
    4.    To be resilient optimism is crucial but it must be tempered with a healthy dose of realism.

Direct download: 086-SUP-JeffreyZiezel_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Reno Rolle, to paraphrase Hippocrates, let food be his medicine when seeking ways to ameliorate his son’s ADD. It worked so well Rolle pivoted his successes into a company, Boku Superfoods. He harnessed the power of nutritionally dense foods, popularly known as “superfoods,” to create a line of foods. In his years long effort to develop a superior product, Rolle not only fulfilled his mission of having a positive impact on people, but gained some valuable insights into a productive life as well. Obstacles are a part of life and a few successes in pursuit of a lofty goal provide the impetus to overcome them.

Lessons:
    1.    Nutrition is a key factor in meeting challenges.
    2.    In starting a business, focus on having a positive impact and the money will eventually take care of itself.
    3.    A taste of success may be all you need to provide the impetus to overcoming great obstacles.

Direct download: 085-SUP-Reno_Rolle_Audio_2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

If Ned Spieker is a typical billionaire real estate mogul, then the path to success isn’t what you might expect. According to Spieker, it’s not about being an autocrat, but being a servant, not creating a hierarchy, but sharing responsibility, and not about wanting it all, but starting small and working very hard. Serendipity, Spieker admits, plays a big part, but that’s out of our hands regardless. It often takes a little luck to get past seemingly insurmountable obstacles. But in the meantime we have to lay the groundwork that effectively loads the dice in our favor.

Lessons:
    1.    When you’re going through difficult episodes they’re crises; but in hindsight they’re blips.
    2.    Self esteem is earned; you can’t give it.
    3.    Good leaders eat last: when you serve your people and build trust they will work harder and smarter as a result.  

Direct download: 084-SUP-Ned_Spieker_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Aiden Chase, a spiritual healer for Hollywood types, entrepreneurs and regular folks, takes a holistic approach to success in life: we approach our highest selves through a balance of mind, body and spirit. Fanciful as it sounds, there’s common sense behind it.  The mind functions optimally when allowed to reflect clearly and honestly in the quiet places that are growing scarce. Importantly, he guides clients to identify their biggest obstacles, their fears, and no longer repress them, and then do it anyway. Chances are they won’t become billionaires, but then again it probably won’t matter. They’ll have obtained something far more valuable.

Lessons:
    1.    Success is achieved through a holistic integration of mind, body and spirit.
    2.    Fear is the biggest obstacle we need to transform to move forward.
    3.    Nature is the best place for quiet contemplation in order to envision your direction in life.

Direct download: 083-SUP-Aiden_Chase_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Zhong Lou’s path to MMA prominence was never in doubt. He started practicing karate not long after he learned to walk and talk and has mastered a strikingly diverse number of disciplines, from Chinese acrobatics to Mongolian wrestling, since. Forty years later Lou is determined to leave a legacy with his San Francisco gym, Dragon House MMA. The money to keep it up and running is not easy to come by, and it’s not unheard of for a student to sweep the floors in exchange for training. But the bottom line for Luo is human transformation, and in that he is making a tidy profit.

Lessons:
    1.    Even in solitary endeavors, mastery often requires a team effort.
    2.    When money isn’t quite cutting it, passion will keep the doors open.
    3.    Fitness priorities shift with age; training for invincibility while young must gradually shift to training for health if one is to remain viable.

Direct download: 082-SUP-Zhong_Luo_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Human guinea pig and journalist A.J. Jacobs has lived according Old Testament rules, outsourced his entire life, and subjected himself to every diet and fitness program he could find to he could to see what he could learn.  Besides the more obvious lessons, like sheep don’t do well in New York apartments and long beards are itchy, he gained valuable takeaways that he shares in his books which include “The Year of Living Biblically,” “Drop Dead Healthy.” He provides a whole other angle to the trope, “fake it til you make it.” Through his interesting experiments Jacobs proves that some of the best adventures can be conjured up in the mind.

Lessons:
    1.    Expressing gratitude for everything develops awareness of just how many things we have to be thankful for.
    2.    It’s easier to act your way into a new way of thinking then to think your way into a new way of acting.
    3.    In terms of genealogy, we are all one large extended family, so be kind.

Direct download: 081-SUP-AJ_Jacobs_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Col. Nye spent the weekend at the very first Spartan Winter Agoge to to get a taste of the lessons shared by instructors there.  We’ve also included a special message about Agoge’s meaning from Joe De Sena.  The Spartan Agoge is a 48 or 60 Hour test of mental and physical endurance. The goal is not just to break you down but to build you back up with greater purpose, resilience, commitment and knowledge of yourself.  The winter Agoge includes the practical survival skills you’ll need to complete the event safely even in the brutal sub zero conditions this year’s participants faced.  This is Col. Nye’s first time doing solo field interviews for Spartan Up, let us know what you think. PS- this is an episode we suggest you WATCH.

Direct download: 080-BONUS-Agoge_Spartan_up_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Hoby Darling, CEO of Skullcandy, in pursuit of his success, got out over his skis and accelerated through the turns, got up early every day, set the bar high for his community, and built up obstacle resistance by challenging himself on a regular basis. Darling demonstrates the wisdom of leading by example, not by decree. He shows that one of the most crucial aspects of motivation is redefining what is possible thereby opening the door for others to excel. In this episode, Darling will reveal what it takes to dream big and turn that dream into a reality.

Lessons:

    1.    Leaning into yes makes life a lot more fun and interesting.
    2.    The best way to motivate others is to set a great example and let those you’re trying to influence figure out their path.
    3.    The best way to advance in life is to concentrate on doing your best everyday and the bigger picture will often take care of itself.

Direct download: 079-SUP-Hoby_Darling_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Synopsis: Which diet will optimize your obstacle resistance-- Paleo, raw foods, clean eating or some emerging trend? According to Cornell head nutritionist Clint Wattenberg, there is a time and a place for almost any kind of food as long as you eat it in moderation and your grandma would recognize it. Trying to be “perfect” with your diet will often drive you to the other extreme or, worse, to an eating disorder. If you love food and eating, then Wattenberg has some great news.

Lessons:
1. Be moderate with your diet, not extreme.
2. Only eat foods that your grandma would recognize and as many whole foods as possible.
3. Nutrition is the foundation to build a performance, not the golden key.

Direct download: 078-SUP-Clint_Wattenberg_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Bart Yasso earned the title of Chief Running Officer at Runner’s World magazine through a rugged initiation that involved life altering missteps in his adolescence. It took a stark confrontation with his own mortality via the loss of a close friend to jolt him onto his path of pursuing his passion. This experience upheaved his frame of reference from a toxic one to one of redemption. It’s a running theme in our tales of grit: climbs to great heights very often begin at rock bottom. Yasso’s love for running and for life shines through in this episode.  


Lessons:
    1.    You are the average of your five closest friends, so choose wisely.
    2.    You need to think like a champion before you can become one.
    3.    Say yes often to new experiences; embrace and love them.

Direct download: 077-SUP-Bart_Yasso_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Thom Beers,  successful producer of shows including Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers & Monster Garage has taken a treacherous path to achieve his success himself.  Starting at the bottom he worked his way up through grit, persistence and staying one step ahead of everyone else. His passion, apparently very much alive, propelled him through the rough patches. He has some valuable tips on how to navigate those icy roads and stormy seas that one will inevitably encounter along the way to any achievement worth pursuing.

Lessons:

    1.    Passion is the most important thing in the world: If it doesn’t make your heart pump Kool-Aid, it’s not worth doing.
    2.    Develop an optimal business culture by gathering together people with the same passion as you.
    3.    Hire really good people and then let them run.

Direct download: 076-SUP-Thom_Beers_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:13am EST

What could Dandapani, a Hindu monk turned adviser to entrepreneurs, have to offer to a world seemingly far removed from the monastic life? Plenty it turns out. Through his practice he has come to personify the calm in the midst of the storm, and if there is one way of being that would be a boon in the tumultuous climate of the business world, this would have to be it. Calm reflection is the key to creating positive habits of the mind and Dandapani has mastered this in his many years of practice. He has built a solid foundation of wisdom which he will touch on in this week’s podcast.

Lessons:

    1.    Motivation requires a lot of energy, therefore it is important to let go of the things that drain your energy including negative media, tv, toxic friends and sometimes even family.
    2.    One of the greatest gifts you can provide yourself is taking a few moments each day to clarify your direction in life; once you do that, you can overcome almost every obstacle.
    3.    Use positive affirmations to shape and change your mind in order to attract good things into your life.

Direct download: 075-SUP-Dandapani-Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Entrepreneur and athlete Sami Inkinen, along with his wife, rowed 2,750 miles over 45 days without using any of the traditional “athlete foods” conventional knowledge says are essential: sugars and carbs. They didn’t starve, far from it. They came out of it healthier than can be expected from such an endeavor. Why? As fit as Inkinen is, he developed prediabetes by following the standard diet and surmised that sugar was the culprit. If someone like Inkinen is vulnerable, we should all be aware. Inkinen recounts his amazing journey from California to Hawaii.


Lessons:

    1.    The key to success is anything is a growth mindset: Don’t go through an experience, grow through it.
    2.    Sometimes you have to face a challenge as if you were eating an elephant, one piece at a time, slowly, as best you can.
    3.    The only way to escape an unpleasant experience is to embrace it fully, not fight it.

Direct download: 074-SUP-Sami_Inkinen_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

As Outside Magazine Editor, Mike Roberts has access to the stories of the top outdoor athletes in the world and to their wisdom as well. He’s seen Kelly Slater, “the Michael Jordan of surfing,” heal his life through the zen of the water, and age gracefully through his sport. He has also seen top climbers act boldly, but with a skill honed through the culmination of years of dedicated practice. Through these stories we can garner how to be a better human, how to risk without risking it all, how to truly be alive and not just live.

Lessons:
    1.    In tough times you can either be afraid or think “what an interesting time to be in” and seek creative solutions.
    2.    Use the lessons that you find in pursuit of your passion in the other areas of your life to help make you a whole person.
    3.    Excellence in sport doesn’t necessarily have to waver once you reach middle age: for one thing, you often gain the wisdom to keep going, to learn to suffer a bit better.

Direct download: 073-SUP-MIchael_Roberts_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

Spartan pro Isaiah Vidal, through the rough circumstances of his life, took the road less traveled to success: He saw the troubled path of his father and didn’t take it. Sons often repeat the mistakes of their fathers, how did Vidal manage to turn things around? In a nutshell, it was a combination of will, determination, and an orientation towards positivity as well as turning towards other strong role models in his life like his mom and grandfather for inspiration. Their influences, as Vidal will describe, laid the foundation for his transformation.

Lessons:

    1.    When proceeding with your life, think of the legacy you want to leave, the example for your children to follow.
    2.    Take measures to guard against negativity in your life.
    3.    If you want to get back on your feet, first you have to get off of your ass.

Direct download: 072-SUP-Isaiah_Vida_Audio.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

No one should ever wish tragedy into their own or other’s lives, but it has the potential to lead to some incredibly beneficial life changes. Chris Kresser transformed a decade long struggle with a rare chronic disease into something that benefits society. He was able to restore himself to health and is now doing the same for others. His main piece of advice, “eat real food,” is deceptively simple until you look at the food trends in American culture and realize that the majority of the people the majority of the time are doing no such thing. It may be the single most important thing you can do for your well being. Kresser explains why.

Lessons:
    1.    To stay focused, create a pointed mission in life; do everything that delivers you towards that mission, eliminate those things that don’t.
    2.    In order to accomplish your goals, you have to be a whole person: if you don’t optimize your physical and mental well being, then you’re not much help to others.
    3.    Eat real food. Maximize nutrient dense whole foods and minimize those that come from a box, bag or can or use sugar, white flour or seed oils.

Direct download: 071-SUP-ChrisKresser-Audio1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST

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