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Everyday Athletes Podcast

Join Mat Lock in these unscripted and intimate conversations. Mat focusses on the subjects of lifestyle and leadership. He chats with coaches, sporting legends, business owners and subject matter experts.

Being happy and healthy are the natural antidotes to the challenges of the modern world. Physical health and mental wellbeing are important. Mat believes we can transcend the world of sport and business, helping understand what leads people, and groups of people to perform to the peak of their potential.

We all have the Everyday Athlete inside us and this podcast is your opportunity to start leading by example.

Episode Transcriptions

Mat Lock 

Amy Valentine, welcome to the everyday athletes’ podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you here. Thank you for having me. Now, whereabouts in the world are you at?

Amy Ballantyne

I am located near Toronto, Ontario in Canada.

Mat Lock 

Awesome. So it’s midday here, which means it’s what we’re about what time of day have you got? It’s about 9pm here. Oh, well, we all appreciate you. Putting in the hard yards and being available at 9pm. Thank you for that. Now, Amy. Yeah, you describe yourself as being the health chief cheerleader, and you spend your life coaching women and helping them put together the pieces of their health, with less guilt and more self love. Very importantly. And I guess in particular, just to sort of what does that mean, in practical terms, we’re talking really about wellness and weight management coaching primarily.

Amy Ballantyne

Yeah, so a little bit about my story, I have always been active, I was a ballerina dancing, my, my whole life growing up. And I did lots of sports. On top of that, I’m a big fan of moving my body and went to university, I was a cheerleader in high school and in university, and that energy and enthusiasm is something that’s natural to me. So that’s kind of why I am branding myself in that way. Because I seem to be the person that even when I wasn’t a coach, people were coming to me and feeling that energy and support. And that’s probably the biggest thing that I offer to people is that well, so a little bit more about my life. Now, I have three kids who are very, very active, I’m still involved in a number of different things in my family, my husband, coaches University baseball here, on top of his job, our kids play rock sports. So it is a wild and wacky life right with running in all directions. But finding ways to to keep health as one of the top priorities is one of the things that I love to share.

Mat Lock 

When you’re walking the walk, aren’t you, as you say you you’re leading a hectic busy life, like many people around the world who’ve got full time jobs and kids and everything going on. So you’re certainly walking the walk. And for those who were listening to this and not watching it on the YouTube channel, your energy, you’re just popping off the screen is awesome. Amongst the whole subject that you you help predominantly women, but the first subject that you and I wanted to talk about was all around self care routines. And as we talked about that can be equally applicable to males and females. But what I’d be really keen for you to share with our listeners is some of the common some of the common topics that cropped up around self care, even the notion of self care, and how you help your clients address those issues.

Amy Ballantyne

Yes, thank you. The first thing that I like to talk about when it comes to self care is understanding what that statement means to the person. Because it’s quite a buzzword now, right? self care, self love, even these are big words that we hear. And most of the time, when I’m talking with someone, the first thing that they tell me is a bubble bath. Right? That’s like for many women, that’s the thing that pops into their head right away. But I really important for all those people listening to really consider what does self care mean to you? Does it mean that you get five minutes just to go and be still and be quiet just for yourself, because you’ve got a whole lot of chaos. You know, lots of people right now the biggest thing that I’m hearing is this challenge that we’re facing in this time where for many people, their their work, life has shifted so dramatically. And for some people, their children are now in their house on essentially on top of them all day. They’ve got their job from home, down there trying to figure out their self, you know, activity and eating, all the pieces of the puzzle are all kind of in the home, which for some people could be a benefit, but for others, it’s causing a tremendous amount of stress. So self care, prior to COVID may have looked very different than what we’re looking at now. Right? So the conversation has shifted a little bit. But it’s some of these strategies like if the thing that came to you first when I asked you the listener, you know, what does self care mean to you and it was the bubble bath, then that’s the place to start. But if it’s that you are so sick of sitting at your desk on meetings, meeting after meeting after meeting on zoom, what is the thing that would fill your cup back up, that would actually help you to feel less pressure, less anxiety, less stress, less, perhaps discomfort, because you’ve been sitting in that chair for so long. And really taking a look for you what that would be. And then implementing a little smidge of that into your day tomorrow, you know, taking a real action on that. So if it’s that you’re sick and tired of sitting down at all the zoom meetings, is there a way to move your body in a way that you feel aligned in between the meeting or to schedule a five minute gap in between? You know, where you can get up? and do some jumping jacks? or do some burpees? Or do a yoga flow, right? Or maybe it’s that you just turn the computer right off for five minutes and you sit with your your eyes closed? And you just breathe?

Mat Lock 

Simple breathing technique? Absolutely.

Amy Ballantyne

For sure. But it’s it’s looking at what does what does it feel like to you? for self care, and starting there, it doesn’t have to fit into some typical box of well, self care is this and this and this, it doesn’t have to be like that.

Mat Lock 

And by self care, I mean, another way of describing that would just be you time. Yes. You time having taking time out for you and whatever that looks like let me funny when he said bubble bath. My I immediately started thinking about what time on mine be. And actually for me, it would be sticking in the air but and yeah, taking 10 minutes with headspace where it really can be just in the moment. But so rather than buzzing around with every device under the sun pinging and beeping and turning off the notifications, right. Yeah, actually funny say that I actually did, I dug into the settings on my phone about a week ago, and I’m still adjusting in a good way. But it’s weird. Because I go, Ah, there’s four or five messages, I didn’t see those, whereas previously would have been ding ding ding, ding, ding ding. I’m actually loving it. But I now have to consciously check my messages rather than Yeah, rather than relying on reacting to that little device. It’s nagging me. But it’s, I can only say I’m gonna have to say it was it was really quite noticeable.

Amy Ballantyne

Freeing yourself right like that. It’s like that concept of recognising that every time we hear that ding it’s the it’s almost like the tiger is coming after us. Right? The thing is the tiger rest. Okay. So if we can turn off those notifications even a little bit of time, we’re reducing the possibility that’s cortisol spiking up constantly, which impacts us tremendously.

Mat Lock 

Yeah, in every aspect of our life, right? I mean, from from being awake to being asleep. It affects everything. So when when you’re trying to install or help your clients install self care routines? Um, how do you how do you go about that? Because let’s face it, pretty much everyone on the planet is busy like you and like your husband, busy, just busy with life. And I think it was Tony Robbins, who wants I’m going to maybe try and get this quote, right. But the spirit of it’s certainly accurate is where, you know, I don’t have time, I don’t have time to meditate for 10 minutes a day. And it’s like, well, if you don’t have 10 minutes, if you can’t find 10 minutes in the day, you don’t have a life. And that really resonated with me outright, isn’t it? I mean, 10 minutes, out of 24 hours, we can all do it. Otherwise, we’re just kidding ourselves, but everyone’s busy. So how do you help your clients overcome that mindset of, Oh, I’m too busy for self care or whatever the barriers may pop up in their minds at least.

Amy Ballantyne

Yeah, I like to dive in a little bit to helping them to uncover why why now is so important to take care of themselves. You know, there’s so many different analogies the put the mask on first on the airplane, your cup is empty all of these things but until someone can really understand for themselves what happens if you the human, whether you’re you have a spouse, you have children, you have co workers, what does it look like if you physically can’t do your life? What does that look like and helping them to actually you know, I’m not a fear kind of person, as you can tell IMO like let’s rise above kind of person, but, but it’s helpful, I think, to take a look at, you know, the reason why I want to take some moments for myself. And when I’m feeling like holy smokes, I need to take some moments for myself, is because I want to be present. for the long term. I want to be around for the long term, but right now, if I’m not feeling good, I’ve got to take some time for me. So it’s helping them to see that if they don’t take Take some time for them, what will it actually translate to in the long term? So can we take the steps now to baby step it because sometimes, especially moms, I feel like and maybe I’m generalizing, but the women that I work with are so often putting themselves last, it’s very hard to, to carve out that 10 minutes when their whole life is a juggle, and it’s chaos. And they feel very disconnected from themselves. I can relate to that for many years. And I would say, for those women, and even men who are feeling really disconnected, it’s just picking one thing and actually scheduling it into your calendar, Brendon Burchard talks about if it’s not in your calendar, it’s not a priority, if it’s not in there. So if I were to go look at your calendar, I’m pretty sure I’d be able to tell what are the things that you really value in your life because they would be slotted in and they would be clear, so this way, and maybe when you got new babies or, you know, you’ve got this giant project at work, perhaps it’s a little bit more difficult. But even still, there’s ways to use some of the time that we have in our life a little bit more effectively. So if it’s the only time you can carve out to listen to some positive content, you know, the world is filled with a bit of negativity right now. And we need to bring some of that energy back in. If if the only time you have to listen as while doing dishes, will then turn it on while you’re doing the dishes. Or if it’s the only time that is while you’re prepping dinner, then turn it on. Who cares if your children hear good content. Now, if you’re listening to something where there’s swear words, and that’s not something you want them to hear, then that’s different. But like, if you are listening to positive content, positive words that are gonna lift you and they maybe it will ask you questions, and then there’s this opportunity. And maybe they’re too and they’re like, what does that even mean? Well, who cares? It’s an opportunity for you to listen, and have cool conversations with your kids, you know, and you’re fitting it in fitting time in for you, while maybe you’re doing an activity that could allow for your your brain and the feeling of your heart and energy to to be lifted up.

Mat Lock 

Absolutely. And actually, it’s funny, you mentioned the calendar, I actually when I I’ve been back in the habit of using headspace. 10, always 10 maybe 15 minutes a day. But I had to put it in my calendar. I it’s interesting, you say how you prioritize, you know, you can tell by looking at someone’s calendar, what they prioritise. And I deliberately put in the calendar so that because I look at my calendar regularly each day, and it just was that trigger reminded me and it sort of blocked that time. So as you used, you know, Calendly to for us to book this chat now. It’s too easy to allow everyone to have access and you know, Book Fair timing with you. You got to book your own time. And so that’s what I did, so that there’s no excuse that I can’t claim that I’m too busy or find any other myriad of excuses. And it’s funny, isn’t it? Because I’m an I really enjoy it. But I still can easily find some sort of reason why it didn’t happen, even though I can and are invaluable. Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So being being deliberate, I suppose. And if it means putting it in your calendar, then then do so I guess. But I’m lucky you bring in, you’ve just brought children into the story. And I think it’s important for the way that self care. It’s not only having an impact on us, but everyone in our sphere of influence everyone we come into contact with. And how do you broach that with your clients? How do you help them understand the positive benefits of self care not only for themselves, but for others as well?

Amy Ballantyne

Well, it’s, it often stems from the conversation of you know, them wanting to shift perhaps the frustration or the anger or the guilt that they’re feeling around being a parent or in that situation. So that call that conversation usually starts there with what they want to shift and it’s again, painting that picture of what does it look like when you’re not feeling overwhelmed? What does like life look like when you’re not feeling angry and having fights with your kids? What does life look like when you’re not feeling guilty and you can be fully present in that moment and then fully present in your work, and all is happy, right? All of these conversations are an important starting point. But then it’s looking at what are the action steps. Let’s just say a person who’s feeling really really overwhelmed between their children and their maybe their workouts and their job and their spouse and they’re just feeling really overwhelmed. It’s having them verbalize what it what they’re feeling and and visualizing what The life isn’t that they would like to have an asking them to come up with one, maybe two steps that they think are the starting points to make those shifts, because quite honestly, Matt, I can I can give you lists and lists of all the things that could work. But if it comes from the person, if it comes from that human, they’re far more likely to do it, if they came up with the idea, so that I start there, and that it’s creating that accountability around that action step. So that there is somebody either that’s going to hold them accountable, or they’re going to mesh message me, or is there some kind of tracking sheet on their fridge or, you know, all these different ideas to help people get into the habit? Because that’s part of the challenge.

Mat Lock 

Yeah, absolutely. instilling that sense of ownership, I understand how powerful that were, of course, they know the shedule best they know, their, their environment best. They know what’s somehow manageable, rather than just because it can be overwhelming. So you could you could give them a list. What most people can listen to, oh, I got it. All right.

Amy Ballantyne

I learned the hard way, man. When I started out, I would make these giant, multiple page lists, and then people would do nothing. And I’m like, Oh,

Mat Lock 

you were coming from a place of love and support and just completely overwhelming them. I couldn’t do all that I failed. No, hang on. Yes. It’s a huge problem. For sure. So it’s interesting. I appreciate that you switched your strategy. I’m assuming your list of available if people want them, but as a starting place. Yeah, just by bite sized, I guess.

Amy Ballantyne

Yes. Right. Size, it’s way better. Because then it’s not. They don’t think that. You know, it’s it’s a giant list on top of the giant list already. It’s one thing and if we can get them to have a success, right. It’s the same feeling that you have with all of your events. that’s helping people to have those successes and feel energized and feel connected. It’s that same concept. Have the success build on the success have any success built right?

Mat Lock 

Yeah, it celebrate the mini wins, and it can souring. It’s empowering. Especially when you when you say I mean, it’s the same for all of us that once you realize something is is within your grasp, you have control of it. That in itself is empowering. And then when you take that step, you feel good. And you say you’re motivated then to take the next step, which is what it takes it one step at a time. Yeah, really? That’s exactly right. Now that’s and that’s very helpful. Very helpful. Indeed. Um, is there anything else around the whole subject of self care routines that you’d like to share? I mean, are there any takeaways or exercises that you share with your clients that maybe our audience could hear now? and think, Oh, yeah, I’ll give that a go. Yeah, one of the things that I would offer is the concept of meditation. And now, some people just like roll their eyes and say, Well, I can’t do that. It’s too hard. Like, and I can relate being a high energy person. I, for a long time, I was like, well, that’s not really for me. I’m up here, like holy smokes. But it has really helped me to have that grounding, to have that calming energy on the other side. So I would, I would say is, there’s many, many apps out there insight timer is an app that I have some meditations personally on there. So you can look me up there. There’s also you know, 1000s of different people leading meditations. That’s one of my favorite apps. If you happen to be awake in the middle of the night, and want to join me at 1pm, Eastern, on Monday or Friday, for those of you like meditation, yeah, cool.

Amy Ballantyne

I lead meditations online at those times where you can always access them anytime. So I have clients who are in there, and they’ll use them before bed, they’ll use them first thing in the morning. So they have, I’ve been recording them for the last seven months. So there are many meditations in there that people have access to. And I can drop the link for that as well. But something as simple as that, if that calls to you to reduce your stress to reduce your anxiety. It’s a practice and part of the reason why I love guided meditations for somebody like me, who’s like all over the place in busy and chaos, it’s a short window of time, you can look and see what the time commitment is. So if you want a shorter one or a longer one, that’s another good reason about insight. timer as well. You can choose the time, but you’re not stuck in that experience. If you’re new, you’re not stuck in it on your own. Someone is like walking your brain through what to do, because sometimes we think about meditation is like oh, well, I’ll never be able to turn off my mind. Right. But if you Have someone guiding you, as you’re getting practice, it can be easier. I think it’s easier.

Mat Lock 

Guided Meditation rocks. And for anyone listening to this, who hasn’t tried meditation and did roll their eyes when Amy suggested that some more Honestly, I can only say give it a go. Because I’m an I, I was the ultimate skeptic before I tried meditation. And, and now I honestly I love it. And within, I recommend you start the little sort of breathing technique, which you don’t have to sit on the fourth floor cross legged, you don’t have to do any of that. I just sit in a chair. And if it’s quiet, also choose a quiet place. And within I literally think within three or four breaths, I’m on my way to that happy place of just being super relaxed. It’s just awesome. feel like it’s sinking into the chair? And yeah, it’s like it’s like anything, you know, when we train our muscles at the gym, the more you do it with meditation, the better yet, so yes, exactly. I think that’s great advice. For sure. We will put those links in the show notes now. I’m conscious of time. And if if people wanted to reach out and get in touch with you, how would they do that?

Amy Ballantyne

Awesome. So my website is there, Amy valentine.com. And there’s a link to book 30 minute chat with me for free if you’d like to connect and discover more about how I can be the the navigator the GPS for you as a coach, when you’re the driver in your life. Additionally, you can reach out to me on social media as well. It’s Amy Valentine on Instagram underscore Amy Valentine on Twitter, or I’m on Facebook, I have Amy Valentine dot official for my Facebook page. So I’d love to connect with any of you.

Mat Lock 

Yeah, fantastic. And absolutely, we’ll put those in the show notes. And just to be clear, I mean, normally your your target clientele is who just so we’re super clear who would not, here’s the majority of your clients.

Amy Ballantyne

The majority of my clients are women between the age of 40 and about 55 or 60. And they have children who are a little bit older in that they are somewhat self self sufficient. And this woman is now realizing she’s got a smidge more time that she can actually put towards herself. So if she wants accountability around getting getting moving and doing some of you or kinds of events, or if she wants accountability to get back to feeling like Who the heck am I and and who do I want to go like who do I want to be going forward in my life or shifting in health, growing confidence, all of those components, reducing stress, those are all things that I can be supportive for.

Mat Lock 

Fantastic. Well, I certainly appreciate your time. me. I know we’re gonna chat again. But thank you for your time on this episode. And I know that our audience are going to love hearing what you’ve shared with him. So thank you very much. Oh, it’s my pleasure. Thank you everyone.

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

feeling, life, meditation, care, people, bubble bath, minutes, clients, listening, amy, busy, person, hear, coach, women, helping, breathing technique, calendar, bit, energy

Mat Lock 

Cleveland Hughes, welcome back to the everyday athletes podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you back and looking forward to diving into talking about the healing MIT’s intention intentional boxing training system. How you doing?

Cleveland Hughes

I’m doing great. And it’s really great to be back. Thank you for having me.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely. No, we don’t need to pretend here that we’re This is a different day or anything at all. We recorded the first. Okay, cool. Yeah, that’s me. Occasionally, I get a guest from a disco, or do you want to move so the backgrounds different or change my dogs like that. We’re just trying to make the episode length. consumable, let’s say digestible. But But for those who haven’t listened to the the first interview that we had with Cleveland, I would certainly encourage you to do so when we talk about Yeah, but uh, your backstory, and also then how you got into boxing and what boxing has done for you and for your life. And what we’re going to do in this episode is talk about how you’re paying that forward and trying to share the same experience and have positive impact in other people’s lives through something you’ve created called the healing it’s intentional boxing training system. So with that said, what is that what intentional boxing, let’s talk about that. First, what intentional boxing, I love that phrase, by the way, talk well,

Cleveland Hughes

you know, we just, we just focused the intention on the therapeutic effects of boxing. That that’s, that’s basically what it is. Because that the thing that I started, you know, I’ve recently become a full time boxing coach, I lived in California before. And when I moved to Chicago area, I said that I’m not going to just do like the normal, like functional fitness training anymore. I want to be like, I want to be full time passion work, I want to work full time as a boxing as a boxing coach. And when there was a mindset shift that had to happen for myself, so I asked my clients or, you know, the people that were coming to give me money to do boxing training with, ask them why they were coming to see me. And 95% of them were said or said something like, oh, man, you know, I was in a domestic violence relationship with not wanting to take my power back, or, you know, you know, everyone in my family is alcoholics, I just want to, I want to make, you know, I want to make something better of myself. Some people straight up said, You know, I do this for therapy, it’s cheaper than the shrink. And so that’s where the intention came from. This is what this is the intention that people were going into the sport for, and they needed to release, stress, anxiety, depression, you know, then build their confidence and such. So, you know, I had to come up with it, I had to come up with it with a recipe to give them what they wanted.

Mat Lock  

I love I love that you took that on board and created something whether you know, there’s a CrossFit athletes from Australia is again, very successful. Can’t Porter and his company is called sweat therapy. And advocate around, are you okay? Which then in Australia is a suicide prevention, suicide awareness, organization, and, you know, kind of being very open about his challenges with mental health. Throughout his life. He’s a huge advocate for that, which we appreciate him for. And that, yeah, but the fact that he called his company, sweat therapy is perfect, because I think there’s so many of us, regardless of which our chosen sport is, or what form of training is. I think, for many of us, it really is some form of therapy at the end of the day. And, of course, you know, the physiological realities of the endorphins and all of that good stuff. For sure. I mean, that’s, we know that we understand that. But yeah, the mental health benefits of it. In addition to that, yeah, I see. super powerful, so. So you created healing, it’s the healing mitts system, which again, very clever name, love it, because they were talking about boxing mitt. So I haven’t created that. But what are the sort of core components of it? So if I was coming to you today and say, I’m really interested to go through this with you. And once you’ve dug into my why, and really understood helped me understand what my real motivation is. What does the healing root system actually look like?

Cleveland Hughes

Well, I mean, it’s, it’s, it’s based off four principles, and the principles are the things that I thought were what made boxing training therapeutic. And it’s a mixture of different things. And all of the components are important. So if I were, you know, if I had a new person in the gym, we would start with the first principle. And the first principle is what we call the art of relaxed intensity. And what tends to happen is, is when people come to me, for the most part, they’re, they’re dealing with some sort of depression, anxiety or stress, and it shows up in their ability to relax, you know, I mean, so trying to put somebody into a boxing stance, you will note, like, what I noticed a lot is my clients, they have like, almost like a nervous energy about them, you know, and they kind of move themselves all over the place, and they kind of shake and they bounce around, and they add a bunch of extra movements that shouldn’t be there. And so I coached them on how to, like, put their heels on the ground, you know, be in the moment and just stand there. And I tell my clients do nothing to absolutely nothing, until you’re doing something doing like, that’s it, stand there with your hands up, do nothing else. And when it’s time for us to do the next part, once you once you’re able to, to get past this principle, then we’ll start working on something else instead. And so basically, that’s that’s the way I would go and go through the principles. And we go through all four principles and every training session, not saying that everyone is able to master them in a training session, it takes lots of time. And even that, even at the point of mastery, you should still continue to practice.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, no, absolutely. And again, just to be sorry, just to be really clear, the four principles are.

Cleveland Hughes

The first one is the order, relax intensity. The second one is active concentration. The third one is champions breath. And the fourth one is technical focus.

Mat Lock  

Sure, 

Cleveland Hughes

And each one has a in some of them overlap. But the idea is, is that if you can do one of these things, it’s going to make improvements in your life inside and out the gym. If you can learn to use all four of these tools, you’ll be like, like a, like a jet, you know, like, you’ll have all the mind tricks that you need, and all the tools that you need to bring yourself to a point where you can make make sound decisions in stressful situations.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely. So the first art of relaxed intensity was what you just talked through, right? So then active concentration.

Cleveland Hughes

Yes, active concentration is about using your instincts. Right, sorry, about using your concentration versus using your instincts. So in a situation, you know, in a self defense situation, instinctually, we might do something that’s not necessarily like a trained response, you know, you need to have the correct tools to defend yourself in, in, in a self defense situation or in a boxing situation. So what I teach is I teach people to not just have a, a random reaction more, so to have a more trained response to different kinds of situations, basically. And that’s and and like I said, these, these are the principles that I think really help people in their everyday lives. And this one is really great for relationships. If you’re reacting to someone else’s energy, blindly, you you might, you might ruin a relationship that way. But if you have a train response, like you have a train response to boxing situation, you’re probably gonna come out of there, come out of this situation, a whole lot better off than you did. And if you just kind of reacted and just let whatever come out of your mouth.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, sure. So I guess not only at home, but at work as well, in any interview at

Cleveland Hughes

home, any work and human interaction. And I think that it’s really important to our mental health, that we find healthy ways to interact with other humans. And it’s actually it’s actually a part of us to, you know, to be connected to other people and it makes us feel really, really good about ourselves and our lives when we have good connections with other people.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely, you know, one of the observations that I have, I’m not alone, I’m sure but nonetheless, I’ll speak for me One of the things I make is I, you know, when we train at this, and when we say we go and train each morning, and it’s definitely got a community feel to it, you know, there’s a, there’s a group of us that are regulars, I’d say we’re friends, we don’t necessarily socialize a lot outside of that environment. But it’s a real close knit sort of community feel, you know, there’s a connection. And, you know, we sweat together, we suffer together, we smile together. And that really does forge and form some incredible bonds. Which, when I then think back in a business setting or business environment, it’s very hard to reproduce that same depth of relationship, the same depth of the bonds that are formed when you when you train together, again, you sweat together, you separate together, you smile together. The special happens in that environment. And I think it stems from a sense of vulnerability, because none of us are looking our best when we’re in that environment. Yes, it’s mostly the case, I can certainly speak for me where I’m certainly not the best athlete in the gym at that moment. So I’m not lifting the highest weights. I don’t have the best technique. I don’t anything. In fact, there’s a vulnerability with that, and I’m comfortable with it. No problem. But I want Yeah, I think that’s a key component of why in a sporting environment or fitness environment, we can create those relationships and that culture at the end of the day, but where it’s much harder to do at side of that setting, and it’s the same people, right, when we go to work when we leave the gym, which are we going to work with the same people, that something I think we often behave differently. In a business set. Yeah. Well, I think the more we can it’s true. And it sounds like you’re certainly making it the active concentration. Choose to respond, not react, I just read on your web page. And it’s right there, isn’t it? But imagine in a work environment if we chose to respond and not react? How much better that that moment would be that relationship would be and ultimately, that’s can lead to culture change, can’t it?

Cleveland Hughes

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, if, if everybody was mindful, that would really change the way everything happens. It will probably be the single most powerful thing that ever happened to humanity, if everyone became mindful.

Mat Lock  

It would change change societies as we know them for sure it would. So the third step is the the champions breath. And you say control your breathing, control your fight. So yeah, took us I know that sounds logical, but talk us through it, because I suspect there’s more depth to that. Yeah,

Cleveland Hughes

I mean, you know, the nerve, the nervous system is kind of, you know, it’s controlled by all these automatic mechanisms. And we don’t seem to have very much control over the automatic mechanisms except for the breath. If you fall asleep at night, you don’t have to think about your breathing, correct? Sure, the aren’t the autonomic nervous systems going to take care of you. But in stressful situations, we have a tendency to shallow breathe shallow, like, we don’t take as deep breaths, our breaths actually gets shorter when you know, our heart rate increases, our muscles tighten. And you know, when we’re no longer relax, even if it can be a phone call, it can be somebody honking the horn at you on, you know, on the highway. You know, it can be a stressful situation, it can be anything, but that our nervous system responds, and then our breath changes. But the coolest thing about champions breath is it’s just more mindfulness, it’s mindful breathing. And if you can slow your breath rate down, and take deep diaphragmatic breaths, you can change the whole, you can change your whole brain chemistry around what’s what’s happening in front of you. And you can, like I said, you can make more sound decisions and in a boxing situation, you know, somebody is hitting you, and they’re, you know, and you know, they’re really strong and they are you starting to breathe really fast, and you don’t want to fatigue. So you have to take those slow, deep breaths to get yourself back focus so you can stay in the fight. And why can’t you? Why can’t that translate to your everyday life when something isn’t going your way and you feel that because you can feel that tightness in your chest. And you can you can feel your heart rate starting going up, you can feel yourself to begin to sweat. Why not tap in to the most powerful thing that we have our breath, take a deep diaphragmatic breath and champions breath is a breath rate lower six, six s per minute or lower, which would be about 10 second breaths. And in Yeah, it’ll bring you it’ll bring your feed right back underneath you

Mat Lock  

Love that. It’s funny you mentioned 10 seconds. What I was thinking whilst you were saying that was I remember technique my, my father was a dental surgeons retired now but 6 million years ago when he qualified as a dental surgeon, sorry, dad, if you’re listening, he, they taught they used, they taught him the therapy as part of the dental college training. They don’t do that anymore, which is sad. And he’s used it many, many he did use it many times. Over the course of your 6 million years, a dental surgeon but remember, he used it once with me as a relaxation technique. And it was 10 seconds, the way he after a little after a little bit of training with me and a couple of sessions of hypnotizing me, if I want if I can see myself getting wound up now, even there, and he didn’t really implant it for this. But all I do is I close my eyes, take a deep breath, breathing through the nose, and I hold that you can attend in my mind. And then quickly exhale, seven seconds, and then quickly exhale. And it’s amazing how relaxed you can get as you exhale, long exhale. So the whole body relax. And as you say, yeah, underneath your feet on you feel your feet on the ground, or you feel yourself sitting on the chair, whatever it is. That’s interesting that Yeah, you also are working with that 10 second guideline, I guess. But I can certainly relate to me if anyone’s listening. Who thinks this is all a bit woowoo treehugger nonsense, give it a go. Give it a go. Yeah, breathe in through, take a long deep breath through your nose. Hold it can’t attend an exhale through your mouth quite quickly. And yeah, I mean, obviously, you’re saying do that for a minute, or at least the cycle of 60 minutes, so but even just once for the naysayers who may be listening to this or watching that. Very good for them, they’re the force that we have a technical focus, talk us through technical focus.

Cleveland Hughes

Okay, and so this one is is is basically what you would get if you go to any boxing gym, any boxing gym that has good coaches, they will teach you boxing technique. And what is very, very important, what’s what’s really apparent is that, there’s a lot of things that you need to do, when throwing a punch, you need to breathe out, you need to have your knees bent, and you need to have your hands up, you have to have your core engaged, you have the elbows and need to be close together, your your hands need to be, you know, above your chin, your eye, you need to be looking up at someone, there’s there’s a, there’s a long list a list too long for anybody to wrap their mind around, right. And so what happens is, if you’re trying to do all those things at once you have no choice, but to be in the moment, it is not possible for you to throw a proper boxing, punch in boxing properly, while thinking about what you need to accomplish at another time. Sure, so that’s where that’s where it all comes together. And that’s why it’s the last principle because we’re gonna have, I need you to do all four of these principles. You know what I mean? And I need you to do them simultaneously. And now there’s no other option, but for you to be in the moment and just live and be here and just breathe, and enjoy this moment.

Mat Lock  

They’re fantastic. And I’m guessing you’re seeing some awesome results with client of yours who are going through or part of the healing rich community.

Cleveland Hughes

Yes, yes. It is so interesting to me, the kinds of people that I’m helping, and at first it started off, you know, like, I was working with people that was stressed and anxious. And now I’m working with women, some women, I have a few women clients that are expecting children. And they, they really find a huge benefit in the breathing techniques, because they’re getting ready to give birth to a child. And a lot of that is you know, pain management and control on your breathing. And so, you know, they’re seeing benefit and they’re excited, you know, and they think that they’re going to be able to make these these things, they’re going to be able to apply these things when they’re giving birth to a child and I’m just and I’m just ecstatic. You know, it’s helping people in ways that I didn’t even imagine you know, which is nice. So I’m visualizing them learning how to punch their partner best in that moment when like you did this to me bam.

Mat Lock  

Interesting having having had you take us through it all and certainly in the previous chat that we had. The fact that it’s it’s a much more relaxed and sounds almost hypnotic state that you have to be in to be boxing or training well in that environment and you talk About relaxed intensity, you talk about, you know, active concentration, which is mindfulness really focusing on that. And yes, the champions breath. And really what you’re doing is you’re talking about changing state. Right, all of this is changing your state. And then, of course, the technical focus, so I can understand much better now, had you said originally at the beginning of the conversation are, you know, we’ve got some pregnant women who are signing up and getting benefit from it, I would perhaps have, is that the right environment? For someone who’s pregnant? Question. So I appreciate that you’ve come on to help share, I guess, a different perspective to help people understand more about what it’s actually about. And in particular, healing knits, of course, with what how you’re applying what you’ve learned, and your experiences and trying to, I guess, pay that forward? For others who just need or want, yeah, to enjoy the same benefits that you’ve had and continue to get from it, which is amazing. Again, conscious of time, Cleveland. Is there anything more about healing myths that you’d like to share with us that I’ve neglected? Or have we pretty much covered off? what it’s all about? Other than? How can people find out more about it if they want to?

Cleveland Hughes

Yeah, um, yeah, we covered it all. It’s, it’s, it’s really what you said, it’s about managing state. And like I said before, the better you get at managing your state, the better your life is going to be. So and that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing is because I want to help people have better lives, you know, because I don’t know what the life expectancy is in Australia. But you know, in here in the United States, it’s like 7076 years for men, and I think 80 years for women. And you know, that’s your best case scenario. So while you’re here, why not be in control and have have the best life that you possibly can. And that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m passionate about life, and I just want to help more people.

Mat Lock  

Well, I certainly appreciate you and I appreciate what you’re doing. As I appreciate you coming on to share your journey and expertise on the podcast. If people want to reach out and connect with you, or find out more about what you’re doing, where would they go.

Cleveland Hughes

Just go over to Instagram and follow me at Cleveland H dot fitness like the city in Ohio, Cleveland, H dot fitness. And then if you want to learn more about the program, and you want to see what it is that I’m doing, just go to WWW dot healing, MIT’s dot org.

Mat Lock  

Fantastic. And of course, we’ll put those links in the show notes for sure. And I’d also like to thank you for being one of the planet’s good people. And I’m glad that you have found a vehicle that’s helped you, improve yourself, improve your situation. And now people would improve other people’s lives. So on behalf of everyone involved, thank you very much. And I’ve really enjoyed chatting with you leaving. That’s really a pleasure. Thank you so much. I’m really happy to be here. Until next time, you take care

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

boxing, people, breath, healing, principles, environment, moment, training, therapy, exhale, cleveland, clients, deep breath, situation, relax, talk, breathing, dental, breathe, life

 

Mat Lock

So Cleveland Hughes, welcome to the everyday athletes podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you on here. 

Cleveland Hughes

Thank you so much for having me.

Mat Lock 

Now, of course, now, I know that you’re in Illinois, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you’re doing in Illinois.

Cleveland Hughes

Well, I’m 30 years old, I live in Chicago, Illinois. I help people fight depression, stress and anxiety through the sport of boxing.

Mat Lock  

Fantastic. Now very well, you’re also the creator of the healing MIT’s intentional boxing training system. Is that correct? Yes, which we’re pretty keen to dive into, I have to say, and then find out more about all of that. But I couldn’t help but read on your website that said that in 2009, it was a therapist who suggested you give boxing ago. And if you’re willing to share, it would be interesting to hear, I guess, the backstory that led to that advice from a therapist, and then be sure we can go forward from there and hear about the journey.

Cleveland Hughes

Sure, I’m happy to share. I feel like through hopefully, people listening can hear my experience, and they, too, will fight back and move forward. So I’m happy to share. So back right after so and during high school, I played, I played high school sports. And I learned to emotionally regulate through sports at the time. You know, as a young man, I hadn’t realized my condition, my illness, I hadn’t really understood, I didn’t really understand it the way I do now. But, you know, after high school, you know, I was kind of a smaller athlete, it was college sports wasn’t going to be anything that was on the horizon for me, and I always kind of wanted to be a professional athlete, but it wasn’t going to happen through the traditional basketball or football thing. But I was in I wasn’t into any other sport, those basketball football player, but so, after high school, I really started to try to figure out what it was that I wanted to do with myself, you know, in my adult life, and I slowly slowly fell into a depression. And I soon after, I started to feel like, there were there were some I started to behave kind of strangely, I didn’t feel like myself. Like, I wouldn’t leave the house for weeks, maybe even months at a time, like, you know, other than, you know, to do normal things like, you know, get food and things like that. But beyond that, like, I didn’t want to leave the house to do anything much more than this, basically feed myself and I knew something was wrong, because it was I was usually a social butterfly. And I you know, like to hang out and do all these great things, they do all these fun things with my friends and, and such. So I knew something was wrong. So I booked myself with a therapist, I paid paid out of pocket for it. And I went, and I started going to therapy, and I started seeing, seeing a therapist, and, you know, my therapists notice my enthusiasm when it came to sports, you know, like, I’m a sports guy, like, I just, I don’t know what life would be like, without sports for me. And, and that’s what was going on is I had life with no sports. Um, and, you know, he suggested, you know, he talked about a bunch of different sports that would be appropriate for a guy my size to play. But, you know, he really stopped and emphasized the sport of boxing. And he’s like, man, there’s weight classes in this sport. I mean, it’s a tough sport. And I’m like, I’m just fine. I’m tough. You know, and I’m, you know, the idea that I can compete against somebody the same size as me, was extremely attractive to me. And I took a I took the therapists advice, and I went to the boxing gym. Probably about a week after that, that session,

Mat Lock  

and it changed your life. I think it’s fair to say.

Cleveland Hughes

Oh, yeah, absolutely. Um, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without the sport of boxing. It’s something that I don’t even really want to think about

Mat Lock  

that. Absolutely. Absolutely. So at that stage, you were what you were about 19. Then in 2000, yeah. Around 19. Yeah, I was around 19. And you you mentioned, you mentioned your illness, but you didn’t say what that illness was the ovary talking about depression?

Cleveland Hughes

Well, um, yes. But there, there was a, there was a period and this is five years later that, you know, I was seeing doctors, because I wasn’t feeling good again. And they were, you know, they said that they thought that I was experiencing symptoms of bipolar disorder, which which would make sense because, you know, my mom is bipolar. So okay. Yeah. So I mean, so basically, I’ve been living had been living with this, this illness, mental illness for as long as I can remember. But I just thought it was normal. Yeah, well, I feel the way that I felt it Yeah, absolutely. It was my, my normal. And I thought everybody felt like I did. And, and I’m sure there are a lot of people that feel this way. But there are some people that don’t so

Mat Lock  

yeah, absolutely. I mean, kudos to you for taking steps to find a therapist and to seek advice. And take that advice. It’s It’s one thing to sit there and listen, it’s another thing to actually then stand up off of the therapists chair and actually take action which you did sound and curiosity. Right. That’s awesome. I’m very pleased that you did as I’m sure you did. You are? Um, yes, yes. So um, so let’s see them so you A week later you step into your first boxing gym? And how does that work? When you’ve literally zero background in boxing? fit looking going out? I’m sure you were then you are you were an athlete, at high school and so on. So how does that look when you step into a boxing gym for the very first time?

Cleveland Hughes

I it’s, it’s very humbling. Because you know, as an athlete, you walk in to, you know, you walk into a boxing gym like an athlete, but you’ve never done this sport before. And you don’t know what the finer details are about. And you would you assume that the boxing is about brute strength and aggression, but it’s, it’s a lot more relaxed and Zen like then than meets the eye. So you know, that’s it. For me one of the strangest experiences, though, one of the hardest, maybe not the hardest thing, but the first obstacle was, you know, shadow boxing, and shadow boxing for people at home that are listening that don’t know anything about boxing. shadow boxing is where you stand in front of the mirror, and you practice your techniques. And for a young man, you know, your punches, you’re slipping, you’re rolling, and ducking, and all that good stuff. But as a young man, he never spent that much time in front of a mirror. Ever. It was a really strange thing. You know, and it’s really interesting, because I think boxing helped my self awareness, just because I spent so much time in a mirror. You know, I just like study in myself, and something I hadn’t really done before.

Mat Lock  

It’s interesting, becoming comfortable with that.

Cleveland Hughes

Yeah, becoming comfortable with the just staring at yourself, you know, what I mean? It’s kind of a, it’s kind of a, it’s kind of a interesting experience that I had, but you know, it was it. Basically, it was humbling, because I knew nothing about this sport. You know, the transition from playing basketball or playing football was was a lot simpler, because if I can run fast and jump high and catch a ball, you know, I can play these floors. But, you know, boxing is, you know, a boxing. another level of focus. Yeah, it’s Yeah, you know, and, you know, when you’re gonna get hit, you know, it’s a different. It’s a different, different kind of sport. So that was what it was like, for me. It was really humbling when in the beginning.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. I can relate. Not through boxing, but I can relate, having gone from being a reasonably handy sort of ultra endurance athlete in the triathlon world, to then stepping into the gym and sort of try my first round of functional fitness training. And say, Man, it was like, wow, I know. I was very good at running, swimming and and riding a bike. But anything else? Yeah. Literally Forget it. So now I can somehow really, yeah, before we move on, I’m just interested when you think about looking in the mirror. I think a lot of people spend a lot of time looking in the mirror. But I think what you’re talking about was different. Because when you were looking in the mirror, I’m guessing you weren’t looking at your hair. You weren’t looking at any of that stuff. You were seeing yourself. You were looking at Yes.

Cleveland Hughes

Yeah. Yes. Yes, definitely. It’s very, it’s very different. I wasn’t getting ready. I was developing. I was getting to know where I was and visualizing where I wanted to be as a person

Mat Lock  

And is that a technique that you had been trained in? Are you just naturally found yourself visualize them? And I use visualization quite naturally. And it’s a very proven but for you as it’s just an inherent approach to it all, or is that something you’d been trained in or read about and then developed?

Cleveland Hughes

Man, it was so long ago, I think I think it was just a result of being in that environment and watching other people do it. Yeah, you know, if you if you if you go into a boxing gym and you watch someone that has experienced boxing and watch them shadowbox it really it looks like they’re fighting someone. It’s a really strange thing was when you’re watching and you’re trying to do it, you don’t look like you’re fighting somebody. And you know, these guys, you know, they’ve got the experience, and they’ve done it so many times. And then, you know, I’ve just kind of watched those guys, and tried to do try to mimic what I you know, to try to mirror what they were doing. And I don’t know if it was inherent or I learned it, you know, just being around all those other people. But, I mean, pretty early on. I fell in love with shadowboxing. I really enjoyed it.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, interesting, I guess, to the layperson, like me, who knows very little about boxing. I wouldn’t even think to isolate shadow boxing actors, you know, part of the story, let’s say, I only could imagine the training and then you see what happens in the ring, of course, which is the more publicized aspect of it all but so you fell in love with boxing and I guess, take us on the journey. What what, other than the physical fitness, which is obvious by looking at you now. And any, any boxer amateur or professional I’ve seen, they’re normally pretty fit. They fit in there quick on their feet, and have quick hands. But other than that physical fitness, how, what did it do for you? How has it served you?

Cleveland Hughes

Well, there is a certain level of relaxation that you need in order to get into the boxing ring, and perform like all sports. But the difference I think in boxing is is that there is a real danger. Like a it’s pretty apparent that danger like you know, in a football game or basketball game, yes, people get hurt, you know, but usually, they’re like, you know, they twisted their ankle or something like that. But in boxing, it’s the only sport where you win, you win by knocking the other person out. But you know, you’re causing a brain injury to someone else. It’s the only sport, there’s only a sport that that’s the goal that I know of. I haven’t seen any other sports like it yet. But, you know, in for you to, you have to get in there and can’t think about getting hurt. You know, you have to, you have to manage your anxiety, you have to manage everything that’s going on in order for you to stay mentally prepared to move out of the way and defend yourself so you don’t get hurt. And that obstacle is, I mean, it’s not a simple task to do, especially when someone’s trying to take your head off. But that was you know, and that’s what it was for me, you know, you know, you get angry in there and it doesn’t serve you you get afraid in there. It doesn’t serve you the only thing that serves you in that ring is to be in the moment and taking your time and being focused.

Mat Lock  

There’s a lovely phrase, which I’ve heard coined by a lithia burner who’s a multiple times CrossFit Games athlete and former professional gymnast and Commonwealth Games, athletes and so on. And she certainly talked about the best one one great piece of advice she gave us. Her words be way of fita. And it sounds like that’s what you’re describing, literally.

Cleveland Hughes

Oh, yes. Oh, yes. I mean, that that is that is something that sometimes I tell like when I’m working, you know, like with, with my clients and such as like, you know, fill your feet under your the ground like feel your feet on the ground. And it’s almost like a it’s almost like something that people kind of scratch their head at in the beginning. It’s like, wait, what do you mean, feel my feet on the ground? It’s like, yeah, you’re not feeling your feet when you’re on the ground right now. You need to be here president with me in this moment in order for you to take in what it is that I’m trying to teach you. You know?

 

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. And you find that flows over into your other other areas of your life outside of the ring or outside of the gym, or those areas you may have been able to apply outside of that environment.

Cleveland Hughes

Oh, yes, it. I’m a big believer in whatever you’re doing at any time, you’re getting better at it, you know. So if you’re thinking positive, and you’re, you know, thinking positive thoughts, and you haven’t good days, the better you are, the better you’re going to get at thinking positively and having better days. So when you’re in the gym, and you’re managing your anxiety, you know, because there’s a real threat in front of you. A lot of people, you know, like depression, and anxiety comes from thoughts of either like the past or the future, you know, leaving the moment is where it’s where we go wrong. And boxing helped me just kind of slow everything down. And even in and I’m, obviously I’m not perfect, there are times where I leave the moment. And it’s easy for me to remember, like, you know, I think about it, I think about a lot of things like boxing, it’s like, you know, I can handle what’s in front of me. I don’t need to be afraid of what the future holds. Because all I got to do is focus on right here right now. Anything, I can’t change the future. I can’t change the past, I just need to stay focused on what’s right in front of me. And it really is, in boxing taught me how to do that, like, you know, I can’t think about getting hurt. I can’t think about anything else. But getting in there and defending myself and, and performing the way I should perform.

Mat Lock  

I mean, it’s almost the perfect analogy for life, isn’t it?

Cleveland Hughes

I guess I I sincerely do agree with that. Because I mean, like, you know, there’s a mike tyson quote, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. Unless, you know, and when you get punched in the face, now what you’ve been punched in the face. Now, what are you going to do? You know?

Mat Lock  

So now I love that quote. And I think, if you think about, we’re recording this at the time, where we’re still very much the world is trying to get COVID-19 under control. And yeah, I mean, you know, all the people and all the businesses in the world had a plan in some form or other and yet, we globally got punched. So it’s time to adapt that. Yeah, I mean, I think that’s a very well understood and well coined, quote, which is perfect. But Oh, yeah. Yeah, claiming that I’m conscious of time, and I’m unconscious, we haven’t done we got into the sort of intentional boxing training system yet healing mitts. And so I know that we’re going to get on a second session to talk about that. So I think for now, I mean, I appreciate that you’ve been very candid, and sharing with you about, you know, sharing your backstory and sharing how boxing has helped you, and certainly using some of the terms of your website. But it’s what you’ve spoken about in terms of helping you regulate your emotions, sharpen the mind, and, and to be more confident in all aspects of life. I mean, that’s obviously fantastic to hear. And I think, very relatable for a lot of the people that will listen to this in their own sport, you know, whichever sport it is, and typically functional fitness training, or maybe even a triathlon as well. But I appreciate you sharing. So candidly, and are there any, before we dive into the next session and talk about healing MIT, is there anything in particular you’d like to share about the boxing journey or someone thinking about, if they’re looking for a new sport, or they’re looking to get fit, how boxing may serve them in the same way it served you?

Cleveland Hughes

Yeah, um, if you can, if you can get over the hesitation of going into a boxing training environment. Now, not everyone that goes into boxing training has to do competition, even maybe even has to spar, like you don’t have to, you don’t have to do the, you don’t have to get in the ring in order to do boxing training. And I sincerely believe that if, if you go into it and you take you take into account some of the things that I said here about focusing on what you’re doing and being in the moment, that it will have a positive impact on you. So anybody out there that’s that’s been thinking about it, you know, stop thinking about it, get up and take some action and I I would love to hear from you guys to tell and hear about your experience or what it was like when you started your boxing training and seeing if it if you got any of the same benefits I did.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, no. Awesome. Thank you. It’s wise words. And in your experience, the boxing community is normally very welcoming over dimension. Oh, yes, very welcoming. So anyone feeling a little bit? Maybe apprehensive about taking that first step through the doors of their local boxing gym? just kind of go for it. Because, yeah, in my experience, any of these different sporting communities are normally super welcoming.

Cleveland Hughes

Yeah, I mean, for for what for what we do as boxing coaches. There needs to be a passion there because it’s, you know, it’s a very you You have to dedicate a lot of time and energy to the sport in order to be successful at it. So we’re probably amongst one of the more passionate group of athletes to just because of how dangerous the sport is.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. And and if people want to reach out even then I would encourage them to do so if they want to find out more, they just want to connect with you. How would they do that?

Cleveland Hughes

best place for you to get me is I’m on Instagram. My handle is Cleveland H dot fitness. And if you want to check out my website, you can go to www dot healing MIT’s dot org.

Mat Lock  

Fantastic. And of course we’ll put those links in the show notes for sure. Alright, so for for this session. Clayton, thank you so much for your time, and sharing your experience and expertise and looking forward to diving into the next session with you. Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure.

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

boxing, sport, athlete, therapist, shadow boxing, people, training, boxing gym, sharing, life, thinking, hear, depression, physical fitness, punched, step, absolutely, session, triathlon, experience

 

Mat Lock

So Max Cathcart. Welcome back to the everyday athletes podcast. Enjoy chatting. I’m excited to be chatting with this time.

Max Cathcart

Thank you very excited. No, last time was really good. I’m excited to see what we cover on this one.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely. Well, and for anyone who’s watching this on YouTube, of course, they’re gonna know very well, that there was about 30 seconds between the last one and this one, because your background hasn’t changed. And then Oh, good. Um, so last time, we were talking about all things that I guess nutrition, your history, your background with supplementation, and then how you simplified that and thought to be great this time, if we could have a chat about the other side of your, your working life where you work with entrepreneurs, business owners, by buying entrepreneurs who are looking to make lifestyle and life changes, but conscious that, you know, we’re all everyone’s different, right? Everyone’s busy, you know that better than most? About how there’s only so many hours in a day. And it had to be efficient, though. So actually, we should probably start with the story that you wanted to share. Because we were talking off camera where I said you should do long days, you’re a busy guy. And that the truth. In fact, I’ve got a story about that. So let’s start with that.

Max Cathcart

Oh, so this was we’ll start with this and it’s, it’s a little bit crazy. But so in my younger days, I would have been I think I was 1819 year old 19 years old. And I was in a pay I was doing paving so I was paving roads. And the hours were just if anyone’s a paver have been a paver. You know, this, like your hours are just dumb. So it could you could be working that day, 10 hours, or 15 hours, or 17, I think I’ve worked up to 20 hours in one day. It was it was terrible. But actually that time, it was obviously here, we do paving all through the summer, but it was the last two months of our paving season. And it was funny because actually, at the end of those two months, I was also getting ready for one of my first one of my shoots in LA, so I must have been at least 21. And so the schedule, obviously, the work schedule is insane. It was super long, I didn’t know when I was done, I had no idea what the day kind of looked like. So I would actually have to get up at four, I would have my meals ready. And I’d be out the door at 4:30am. And then I would go to the gym from five to about 637 because I had to do cardio cuz I was getting ready for shoots. So I had to shed quite a bit. And then I’ll go work an intensive labor job from six to God only knows what time it was. I mean, usually I was home at about 11 3012 way, and then I would have to do that all over again. But so I had to figure out okay, how am I gonna, like make this work and hit my goals. So I had, everything was always laid out, like you’d like down to gym clothes, like I had three days in advance of like bags packed, or I didn’t even have to look right, like everything was just ready to go. My meals were made by someone else and delivered to me put in like had in my fridge like there’s, there’s no reason I had to mess this up. So I just made it as simple as I could stick to whatever I was doing, and show that but I mean I did that for I think it was like three months and I’m glad I’m not gonna do that, again. Just mixing in not much working out. And just that much like intensive labor job as well. I mean, it was it was insane. So it was

Mat Lock  

obviously committed to the cause no question about it when you say you’re going through what kind of shooter we’re talking about.

Max Cathcart

Yeah, so that was fitness model, I flew to LA and I just that was kind of my introduction. So I just met with a bunch of different photographers and kind of see how well you work with them and see if they work well with you. And then that’s when you would kind of figure out if you guys can work together and create some good stuff for cert x whatever company and and move on from that. So that one was kind of the biggest one because you want it to make sure everything Um, your body was obviously dialed in, and you were ready for those for those finish shoots. So but it was a good time. I mean, we, I met with my agency down there, we had a huge, like, get together and got to watch and, and they were doing actually casting for a whole bunch of TV shows. So I got to sit with them and go through some of that as well. So it was cool.

Mat Lock  

Hey, good, fun, fun. Now, as we said already, part of what you do for a living is work with your clients who are business alike, about how to improve their mental clarity. It could be built to build muscle, but certainly improve their energy levels. Yeah, I’d like to talk a little bit about how you approach that whole subject for you, I guess. There’s not many people on the planet wouldn’t like to improve their energy or have more mental clarity?

Max Cathcart

Yeah, so I was even talking to someone today as well. And even the business, their business was just getting quite large. And they’re just juggling a lot of different things. And I asked him today, I was like, what’s, what’s your main, like, what’s the first thing that kind of happens, and he was, like, I dropped my nutrition every time like, I know it, and I can see, like, immediately see the difference in my performance as soon as I do it. So that’s what like, when you live a busy, fast paced lifestyle, the first thing you don’t want to do is drop your nutrition, because that’s what’s gonna keep you running, that’s what’s gonna keep you moving. And keep obviously your head straight and making proper decisions. I mean, especially at that level, yet, you got a lot of decisions to make a lot of people to deal with, and, and you want as many decisions that are quality as you can. And when you’re not in a routine, and in a system that that’s going to keep you moving like that, then yeah, I mean, you can, you can see the difference in performance in general, but, but how we go about it is, is definitely going to be breaking it down your days, what you do in the day, and then we kind of set a good schedule on where he’s out as well, I’m not sure what level the fitness is, but on and just in general, it’s gonna be Yes, starting with the scheduling too, and, and then we just move forward with there. Yeah, and again, it depends on the person. But I think the biggest things is, is the schedule, because if we don’t get that down, now, then we’re gonna have a lot of issues, right, there’s gonna be a lot of missed, let’s say, like missed meals, or miss gym sessions, or whatever it is. So coming up with a solid plan, and just laying down your days is definitely the first start

Mat Lock  

for sure. does have like a tiny birth, if you work one on one with,

Max Cathcart

yes, so everyone starts, everyone has a different starting level. So that’s why we kind of do that initial call, and figure out everything that you might be having issues with or struggling with, and then we kind of make a plan from there are I have a good starting point for you to what the plan will be. But yeah, we just go really deep into what previously you have been doing what has been working, what hasn’t been working, like if you even tried anything, and then walking through how much time you’re putting into your business, and how much in the family and how much into friends and hobbies, right? So we can kind of get this down and figure out what’s gonna work best for you. And I mean, if someone can only work out three times a week, then I’m going to make that into their program. And we can make it happen. You don’t have to work out seven, eight, whatever, 20 times right, per week to get those results. So it’s, I mean, you might have to pay a little bit more attention to certain things and make sure that those workouts are quality. Instead of maybe texting on the phone. I think that’s one of the biggest things I see now is people just talking in the gym and texting on their phones and in while they’re sitting on a machine, and that’s not what they’re there for. So get in get out and and get a good job of it.

Mat Lock  

It’s interesting that one of the things I’m going to touch on love the app based programs. They, if I’m not at the moment, if I was following what I used to write on the whiteboard, and then put the flight mode, because not only do I identify the meeting escape path that that hour that 90 minutes is my opportunity to focus on working it. I try and thinking about the intention of the workout, the purpose of the working. I’ve mastered that, but I try and actually program called the program, which will Hank who’s our head of programming for the better games and he certainly he and his coaches. It never ceases to amaze me how, how much they write. For each workout. It always starts, what’s the tension of the workout? And really trying to get your head in the game. So that Yeah, you’re right. executing to the best of the best possible in terms of quality. But anyway, I digress.

Max Cathcart

No, that’s not a good, no, that’s a really good one as well as just coming, coming into your workout with a plan and you already know what you’re doing. Because a lot of people, that’s a huge setback to is like, even ask them I’m like, when you go to the gym, like you just walk in, and you just you’re hitting like, whatever you kind of feel like it. Like that day, you know what I mean? They’re like, Oh, I’m just gonna walk in and hit arms, because it’s, I’m kind of exhausted and I want to do something and arms just might be the easiest thing to do. Right? So when you when you have a scheduled like layout of exactly what you are going to do for that entire week. And not only that, but the workouts you’re going to be doing with like reps and sets. You don’t have to think about anything you’re in there, you’re, what you’re doing. And then you have it, you can have it on your phone, whatever it is, and you can just get it done. And I’ve noticed like even with me, that was a huge difference. For me, it’s like I noticed my workouts went up like crazy. Just, I just felt a lot better, I could get a lot more done. And just the focus was really well. And I could bang out a lot of workouts in a row that were like really quality. That was a huge difference for me for sure.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. In fact, listening to where it was Shane, or who is the husband, and Coach 40 a clear to me ticular or depending on who you’re talking to. But nonetheless, and Matt Fraser said, the two current fitness people on the planet for CrossFit. And he was saying that one of the things he loves, he said he can’t really teach this. He said one of the things he loved with both Tia and Matt, is that when he writes the workout down on the whiteboard, they just start with the first part of it. And they give their all to that. They’re not already thinking about what’s coming up, they just do the first part. And they add everything to that. And then that’s behind them the next and the next. And that’s even a Yeah, that’s taking the mental focus to an even deeper level, isn’t it? which is fantastic.

Max Cathcart

Yeah, yes. Then you don’t have you’re not thinking about all like, maybe you might not like that next workout, right? You’re not thinking about it while you’re doing your other one. And then it’s impacting your, your workout that you’re doing right now. that’s a that’s a great one as well, too. Yeah. Yeah. Don’t look too far ahead.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, sure. They’re gonna see the spreadsheet, even though you could not feel guilty because it’s somehow a distraction within the overall work. And it’s still a distraction, the mind blower something else rather than the job in

Max Cathcart

Yeah, that’s, that’s an every, that’s an everyday life thing too, for sure. I mean, you don’t want to look like you want to set plan for, let’s say, your business or fitness goals. Absolutely. But you don’t want to be thinking about stuff that kind of doesn’t matter. Or stressing about stuff that doesn’t matter in like a month or like two months time, right? Like it’s take it day by day, and just execute the daily things you need to do in order to progress you in that direction. So that was a huge one, obviously, I learned to that. Just don’t focus on like way down the road, just break it down into days, and, and just work towards whatever that goal is. But you need to find out what those daily actions are to get you there and just complete those every day. And it will come.

Mat Lock  

And that’s what you help your clients with.

Max Cathcart

Yeah, so that’s, that’s a huge one for us, is we kind of set up a wide goal. And that would be our three month range of what we’re kind of trying to target. And then from there, we break it down into like weekly tasks, monthly to weekly, and then it goes down to daily tasks. Like this is what we want to do every day. This week. And we sit down again, we have a call about how progress went and what went well, what maybe didn’t go well. And and then we make adjustments from there. shows and you’re

Mat Lock  

working across. You’re taking a holistic approach. Correct. So your life in general stress, sleep, nutrition, scheduling, work, yeah.

Max Cathcart

Yeah, because everything, everything affects it. You really want to have every area of your life kind of kind of down with it too. Because the smoother that all runs, then the smoother you’re going to run and the more stuff you’re going to get done as well. So

Mat Lock  

yeah, especially. Well, in your experience, what are some of the common? You know, there were five frequently asked questions, frequently asked sort of barriers, what what comes up time and time again, you hear the same thing from different clients.

Max Cathcart

I don’t have time. That’s, I just don’t I’m like, well, you don’t I mean, it’s just like, Well, why are you not kind of, or What’s your major issue, they’re like, well, I don’t have time to make my meals. I just run and grab something that’s a huge one. And then obviously that choice might not be the greatest or just the stress eating A lot to win with that as well. So they go grab something, and they’re just grabbing way too much of whatever it is. So yeah, it’s not even about, like, what specific food that you’re taking in. It’s just in general eating too much of it. Whether that’s chicken and rice, or McDonald’s, if you’re eating too much, either, it’s not gonna work. So,

Mat Lock  

I’m guessing Todd was a chicken and rice.

Max Cathcart

Yeah, no, just the time and just energy are the two most like common questions, I get it or just like, how do I do? Or get around this? And, and yeah, we tackle those ones. But other than their secondary goal, which would be like the lose weight or, or gain muscle, whatever it is. But in order to do that, we need to get these daily things down and, and organized and consistent within that to get to that secondary goal as well.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, it’s kind of efficient. Yeah. Because people who are time poor if you start talking about meal prep, yeah, well, I don’t have time for meal prep. Well Hang on a minute. It’s a really vicious circle. It’s catch 22, isn’t it? So I guess, again, with the meal and the middle of prepping, like he said before, making the meal simple. Just standardize as much as you can and keep it simple so that it’s achievable, then I guess it’s about mini wins, isn’t it? Creating millions? So that we can feel like Yeah, cool victory there? Yeah, we can build on that.

Max Cathcart

Yeah. So I mean, even even with my clients as well, it’s like, it’s not going to change overnight, like you’re not going to have, you’re not going to drop 30 pounds tomorrow, or, or the next week, probably not the week after that, that’s quite a lot. So it’s those, it’s those little daily wins as well. It’s just like, we have to watch progress in any form. So it could be like your visually changing, like, these are bigger ones, but the visually, obviously, like the weight goals, but also just looking at your consistency, like how, how has this task been doing for you, and you’ve been consistently doing that, then that’s a win like this use, you’re doing better than you were before. So that’s a win there. And once we consistently keep following through with that, then we’re going to get those results. So in that type of win situation like those, those little things are huge. And you want to really recognize those and because that’s what keeps you moving and keep you doing those things, right? Because it will carry on.

Mat Lock  

So when you’re coaching clients, do you? Do you build into their schedule and sort of time for reflection? To stop and think about these times? Yes.

Max Cathcart

It Yeah, again, it depends on the person. But that one’s a big one. I do that one myself, but we usually incorporate that stuff into nightly routines. That’s something that I push quite a bit. Because sleep is obviously one that that kind of gets set aside. I feel like a lot of people don’t recognize or realize how much of an impact that that plays on your overall recovery. And obviously, like mental clarity, like we want to be well rested, but I mean, not. We’re not too much. So that’s Yeah, I mean, the the nightly routine stuff, it’s going to be like your journaling, it’s going to be your reading. And then just like self reflection stuff, or like we do, I like to push like visualization stuff as well. I like to do a lot of that being a goaltender. My whole life visualization. I was introduced to that as I think I would have been like nine or 10 years old and you kind of just play out how you want the game to go in your head. And And sure enough, it does a pretty good job. So you want to go Labor Day. Yeah.

Mat Lock  

Wow. Flexible, fast reflexes and flexible.

Max Cathcart

Yep. Yeah, I would say I was I was half decently quick yet, but was definitely the shortest, probably one of the shortest ones for sure.

Mat Lock  

So yeah, totally off topic there. But the speed of the puck and the what kind of space to those

Max Cathcart

bullets. Yeah, once once you get into the higher stuff, it’s going pretty quick. And there’s there’s certain guys, those demon that just have an absolute bomb from from that blue line. And all you can feel it for a couple days for sure. Depending on where it goes. There’s a lot of little spots that aren’t covered that. That hurt pretty bad. So

Mat Lock  

Oh, wow. Okay, right. Yeah, I can imagine those as well as protecting the gold. Yeah, yeah, it was. Yeah. Absolutely. I’m conscious of time, Max. Yeah. If people want to reach out, they want to get in touch and find out more about what you do, or in fact, reach out and talk about maybe becoming a client of yours. How would they do that?

Max Cathcart

Yeah, so you can get me on Instagram at max Cathcart or my website at that’ll just be max. Katherine dot com. But I’ll give you a link to to start with. Because I know we talked about where to start and one of the main issues so I’ll actually give, I’ll give you a link to share with anyone who wants to know, you can look over it yourself. And, and just, it’s really, obviously that starting point. So how to manage how to break down your days and proper scheduling. And just to get you organized and moving forward, and then we can start putting in what those tasks are going to be. But that’s a good starting point for anyone who needs it, but we’ll definitely get that done.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, fantastic. Bill. I’ll certainly put all of that into the show notes so that people can just whack the button from there. But yeah, Max, thank you very much as always appreciated, chatting with you. Keep doing what you’re doing because you’re kind of crushing life. Healthy in smaller batches, which is perfect. Yeah.

Max Cathcart

I love it. I love it. Also, there’s nothing there’s nothing to be sad about here. But thank you for having me on. I love talking about it. And I’m excited for the future. Yeah. Another one of these.

Mat Lock  

Until next time

Max Cathcart

 yeah, see you.

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

workout, talking, people, clients, meals, max, schedule, day, paving, moving, life, feel, fitness, depends, goal, nutrition, scheduling, thinking, months, chatting

 

Mat Lock 

Max Cathcart. Welcome to the everyday athletes podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you here. Whereabouts in the world. are you right now?

Max Cathcart

I am in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, it is starting to get very cold.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, we’re sort of polar opposites out like when we chatted last week it was we’re starting to warm up here as you’re definitely not going in the wrong direction yet.

Max Cathcart

Yeah, we’re switching switch on with you guys. So

Mat Lock  

and has had everything going from a COVID situation where you were?

Max Cathcart

It’s, it’s up and down. I mean, it’s, you get little weeks where it’s everyone kind of freaks out in cases might go a little higher. And then it seems to tighten down a bit and and then it’ll kind of peter out and get more relaxed, I guess you’d say and less people were in mass and, and stuff like that. But it’s doing pretty good restaurants are are pretty well open. And yeah, like capacity wise, I think they’re letting more people in. But same with the gym situation, obviously, I pay a lot of attention to the ads. And I’m glad those are opened. And they’re not really well, where I am. They’re not really seeing how many people come in and out. They’re kind of just letting it flow, which is really nice, too. And there’s no mat like you don’t have to wear any masks or anything like that. So that’s your last touch. But

Mat Lock  

Sure, sure. Very good. Now, you mentioned the gym. So well, that’s quite a nice segue into tell us a little bit about yourself. What’s your Who are you? And what’s your backstory?

Max Cathcart

Yeah, so we’ll start with the backstory I guess I am. So I’m a nutritionist right now. I help high level entrepreneurs balance their health and with their business, just to get better results in their daily life and also in their business, just mental clarity, bring up their performance. And then obviously, their secondary goal, which would be building or losing, obviously there. But so how I got started into it. I was introduced into supplements very early, early age, and through coaches and everything like that, when I was playing hockey would have been about 15 years old there. And that’s when I got my first job in a supplement store as well. And so I really started learning about supplements and and what they do, and how do they bring you value if they do and then really, that’s when I started transitioning into the nutrition side. So I really wanted to figure out how much nutrition played a role in changing your body as well and your performance. mainly just because I heard through whoever it was that like, hey, like this is what you want to focus on, you don’t really want to focus on the other things right now, or we would call accessories. So that’s kind of how I got introduced into it. I was playing a lot of hockey too. So it was it was something that I wanted to see what what I could do to bring up my performance as well and my recovery along with it. As you get a little bit older and you start playing at higher levels, too. It’s like you got two games a week plus two practices. And then you have like a dry line session in there. So your body’s getting pretty rundown. But that’s where I first started that was kind of like the focus on soon as I turned into 18 that’s kind of when the focus shifted from hockey and performance into just all around lifestyle and kind of I wanted to build a body that I wanted. I was a really skinny guy. So I was this was like my straight just really driven at like hey, I want to build a lot of muscle and really go from there. And that’s pretty much been from there. That’s that’s what it’s been. Yeah, sure.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely. Now you if I’m correct you your first job would it be was at Popeye’s supplements.

Max Cathcart

Yeah, it’s called pop by supplements. It’s a Canadian supplement brand. Pretty yet just selling all sorts of supplements, you know, your proteins and your pre workouts and having all the goodies there. But yeah, that was the first job I started out at like 15 or 16 family friends, I think with the owner, and so he let me let me come down and try it out. And obviously I was super interested in it cuz I was already really into fitness anyway. So it was a pretty smooth transition. And it was easy to do and learn.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, sure. Look, I mean, not only in Canada, but around the world. It’s just I don’t know the numbers but it’s obviously a massive industry and growing rapidly. But I know that said there are some schools of thought that not all supplements are equal and or even necessary at all. So I mean, you obviously talk us through what what a racket, you know, when you first got into it and you were experimenting and, and sort of hardcore into what what did that look like? I mean,

Max Cathcart

yeah, no, it was definitely It was super interesting thank God that I worked there, though I didn’t have to really, I could either pay cost of the product or it was samples directly from whichever company it was like they would send you a ton of samples. So we would tend to use those as it was okay for me, for the average guy. I mean, if you’re taking as much like as much as like an athlete, or someone just in that realm, I mean, you’re going to be racking up quite a bit for every month, but so experimenting with that, yeah, it was definitely interesting. Um, it’s, the more I studied it, the more I kind of figured, uh, not necessarily, it didn’t work. I’m not saying that at all. I’m just saying that it didn’t have an impact on what I was trying to do as much as I thought it would do. So I was taking, as I mentioned before, a little bit skinnier. So I was taking like a mass gainer thing. I was taking creatine, there was pre workouts funneling through there. Of course, I wasn’t taking any vitamins or anything like that, because I was like, that’s a waste, even though that should be fun. Um, yeah, that like, definitely a few different types of proteins for different activities or timings throughout the day. bcaas like, there’s, there was a list and i think i racked up probably like, I was probably taken at least 10 different things a day. And that was that that only ran for like, two years before I started like weeding it out. And realizing that like, hey, once I started noticing that nutrition playing like a huge role. And the difference just from that after canceling out so many different supplements. There it was, yeah, it just kind of it faded away to from where I am now. I mean, there’s very few that I take. It’s like probiotics, multivitamins, and then protein powder if I’m running behind on meals, or whatever, but for me it food is king. And it always will be for sure.

Mat Lock  

It’s interesting, isn’t it? As you say that as you did, you didn’t really pay attention to the nutrition side of it so much. It was just about, I guess chasing the promise that each of these different supplements offer. Did that have interests? The 10 different supplements a day? Did you feel any differently when you came off with them?

Max Cathcart

No, you tend to? No, not at all. You would just when you’re actually taking that money to you just feel like you don’t feel good. You’re always like, bloated with whatever, you’re just always pumping, whatever it is pills down. Right? There’s lots of different things. But yeah, like even like there’s, there’s like all the fat burners and stuff like that, that will make you feel really weird and, and jittery depending on like, the caffeine amount in them. And like, those are thermogenics. And then you have Yeah, there’s just like a lot of natural stuff too. But it’s just you kind of got to if you want to take supplements, you just got to figure out which ones you really need. And then kind of start from there and see if you notice a difference. But the main thing I would say is don’t take that many at once. Or just try focus on one for X amount of time and see if it played a difference in your life. See, if you feel different, you feel better. If you’re taking three or four, you don’t know which ones actually making you feel better or perform better. You You just don’t know. So it’s better if you take them to take them one by one for X amount, I would probably say a month or two and then see how that goes from there. Either either worked or did something or didn’t

Mat Lock  

have and absolutely, yeah, sure. I mean trial and error. It’s Yeah. And then we Yeah, we’re all individual and what may or some sort of benefit for you, maybe for me and vice versa. So there’s no trying it as long as it’s a product in the first place. Or if it is if it’s being sold legitimately in any of the Western countries. So now you said that these days, you’re much more on a whole food diet.

Max Cathcart

Yes, yeah. So it’s been it’s been like that for quite a while. I would probably say since 18 1819. No, probably, yeah, 18 years old, is when it was that’s when I just hit that switch. And I was like, This is what needs to be done. This is kind of what’s going to either, like bring you up, or you’re going to stay the same kind of deal. So a lot of study and a lot of research into that. A lot of trial and error stuff on myself as well. Just trying seeing what foods work best with me. amounts wise as well as seeing how much I should be eating or how much I can eat. At that point it was seen how much I could eat. Cuz we all know when you’re trying to gain that, like just mass in general and you have a fast metabolism. You’re younger, you’re playing this much hockey already. I mean, there’s a lot of food that you need to eat. So it was it was all I was always eating. That’s that’s definitely what I remember. But no, it was it was good. But yeah, it was funny because my coaches thought like, Oh, he’s taking this like, like this hockey thing, like, pretty serious. And, I mean, I was, but like, my focus was completely somewhere else, because they would see how hard I trained and like, I would be training on dry land, but then I would also with the team, but then I would also be training after that as well like, by myself in the weights. And but yeah, it’s just my vision was was elsewhere. So the whole food diet definitely was was what made the difference for sure. Just feeling better.

Mat Lock  

With results. A bit of a bit of a side sidestep. momentarily, but then when we talk about hockey, disco, everyone’s clear we’re talking about ice hockey, because you’re in Canada, right? Yeah. Yes. So I thought about when did you fit in your boxing training to help you with your hockey? Man, when did they do that? Well, ice hockey is not just about ice hockey, right?

Max Cathcart

Oh, yeah. It’s funny you say that though? Because we used to go to a place I think I’ve I don’t remember what it was called. But for our drylands. Like once a month, we would go to boxing gym, then they would teach us. plus, plus, they would do like, like the intense cardio, just crazy hit work as well. And, and we were doing that pretty young as well. But yeah, it was it was good stuff.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. Good skills. Yeah. So we’re fast forward to where we are today. So you’ve referenced to the turning point of view was around 1819. And you’re what 26 at the moment? I am. And you’re certainly very, very busy running a number of businesses.

Max Cathcart

Yeah, I got I got my one nutrition. And then I have this one called Oh, club manufacturer with my brother as well. So we both run this one together.

Mat Lock  

Sure. So you’re a busy guy. No question. Yeah, sure. And so what is what is training look like for you at the moment, I guess, for you know, a lot of our audience are everyday athletes. You know, we all we all go to work. We all have home commitments, life commitments, and so on yet are for sure trying to while making time to train and to take care of ourselves and be healthy and happy. So I’m keen to hear how you balanced everything. I mean, I certainly the photographs on your website that know how recent they are, but I mean, you certainly you’ve obviously got an awesome physique. And you look incredibly strong, and how you maintain that whilst running businesses and everything else came to understand.

Max Cathcart

Yeah, yeah, no, it’s it kind of depends on on which way I’m going for look wise as well. So if it’s a cutting season, then there’s obviously a lot more that goes into it and I’m putting a lot more hours which I still, I still do pretty close to what I was doing for that. And I’ll probably carry on for quite a while into that as well like this year but let’s say it was offseason I was I want to do like an eight month bulk or something like that. That one is relatively simple, I would just I would just go for hour and a half in the morning or so. And I’m done for the day first thing in the morning you either be six or seven around there and then I’d be on the computer doing all the work stuff at nine, eight or nine and then I would be at four stop the computer stuff and then go to the shop or whatever else we need to do for the manufacturer and work till probably about usually about 10 o’clock and and that’s it but first thing in the morning for me is the best like it just if you feel good after it’s a My head feels a lot clearer as well. You get hydrated you get a lot more water in the morning to get your brain running. Ready to just tackle the day for sure. So I’m definitely morning guy. Late I just feel I’m I already just don’t want to go late. Like if I worked out at 10 I’ve done it before quite a few times. But that was probably because I was in a bind and I needed to get it in. So definitely not my first choice. But yeah, I mean, when it comes to fitting it all in your best friend is going to be your schedule. That is what it’s going to come down to especially entrepreneurs as well. Like they tend to have some flexibility within Office Hours I guess you would say and you can kind of leave when you want and and move stuff around like your work later or earlier. Whatever it is. So it’s you We just have to really break down your time and and look at where it’s going. And I’m sure you have the time there. I can promise that.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. And we’re gonna dive into, we’re gonna have another chat, we’re gonna dive into the whole topic of creating habits. Hell, yes. But in terms of your nutrition at the moment, I mean, do you? Do you do a big cook at once a week and a meal prep or habitat? Does that work for you?

Max Cathcart

Yeah, so I do, I do two times a week. I don’t want my food sitting there for six days or so. Right? You have to freeze maybe two days worth or something. And it just turns out, bro, so I usually do every Sunday and Wednesday are my prep days. The day before, that is when I get groceries as well. Just very routine with how I do it. And I’ve scheduled everything like that. I know how long it takes to make those meals, but I keep two of them at home. And I keep two on the road with me during the day. All very simple meals. I really like just keeping it simple. It’s not too complicated. It pretty much the same things every day. I like what I eat everyday as well. And yeah, like these foods that I’m eating still, right now I’ve probably had for the past three, four years, like straight. I mean, I’ll go out for dinners on weekends and, and whatnot. But for the most part, this is this is what I eat. I like it. And it works for me. And it definitely, it just brings down the confusion and trying to figure out tracking and trying to whatever you know. So like I know exactly how much to cook. I know what brings this much value. And I know I can stay within my calorie goals or my macro goals, whatever it is. And it’s really easy for me to do that. So that’s the way I do it. Not for everyone.

Mat Lock  

That’s a key point is the fact that you’ve simplified, streamlined and Yeah. Which means it’s more attainable, more sustainable,

Max Cathcart

and sustainable. That’s the thing. You want to find out what really works for you and stick to it. I mean, if it’s tracking through My Fitness Pal, then all like all too. Yeah, I mean, I couldn’t do that. go nuts. But I’m

Mat Lock  

doing it at the moment. Yeah, with a sports nutritionist Jen Ryan, just cuz I’m goals. I’d like to kick in them sort of making my Yeah, my habits. Yeah. physique, and strength gains and so on. And it’s interesting. I find it a pain in the bum tracking?

Max Cathcart

Yeah, yeah. So there’s a few different ways. Yeah, I was just gonna say there’s a few different ways to go about it we can get into later as well. But yeah, just making it as simple as you can. is going to be obviously the king to your progress. Yeah. And definitely, like just gaining that progress as well. So whatever it is, just try find what’s gonna work for you. And then how simple or how, how much more effective Can he do it? Or faster? Whatever it is. That’s what I would kind of look at. Yeah, especially if you’re so

Mat Lock  

Maxim conscious of time. You’ve mentioned already that as a nutritionist is something that you offer, you offer that as an online service. Do you work with people overseas? And yeah, perfect country?

Max Cathcart

Yeah, so I have people from Sweden. There’s like it. There’s everywhere like that. All over the world. It’s online based. And yeah, it’s just you come to my page, you fill out applications, and then we kind of just take it from there.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, sure. So what page would they go to? How would people get in touch with you?

Max Cathcart

Oh, yeah. So Instagram would be at max Cathcart. Or you can go to my website, and it’s just Max kaptara, calm. emails, just my last name first. name@gmail.com. And that’s pretty much it.

Mat Lock  

Yeah. Again, keeping things super simple. I love it. We’ll make sure we put all of those links in the show notes, of course. And yeah. Looking forward to our next chat. Thank you. This one. 

Max Cathcart

Yes. Thank you. 

Mat Lock

Yeah. So next time.

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

supplements, started, hockey, day, nutrition, bit, pretty, cathcart, moment, people, athletes, week, training, called, running, thought, goals, world, intense cardio, gym

 

Mat Lock

Coach cam, welcome to the everyday athlete podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you here.

Coach cam

Matt, thanks for having me. Really excited. I saw your podcast and it looks super awesome. So I’m honored to be a guest. Rob.

 Mat Lock  

Absolutely. Now well, why don’t you go ahead and tell our audience? We’re recording this very early in the morning. In Australia. I think it’s afternoon where you are. So why don’t you go ahead and tell us where in the world you’re sitting and a little bit about yourself?

 Coach cam

It is the end of the day here. I’m here in Houston, Texas, we almost got to 100 degrees, almost. I think it’s 97. Last I checked, but it’s the end of the day, at the beginning of football season. So super excited about that.

 Mat Lock  

Excellent. And your background. Your original background is in American football, correct? college football.

 Coach cam

Yeah, so I played college football, I played football and basketball growing up, I ran cross country for a very small window of my life. But you have football has been my first love and a gateway for your life and business along the way.

 Mat Lock  

Excellent. Well, I’m looking forward to hearing more about that. And just for listeners, in Australia and other parts of the world, I just want to clarify that 97 or 100, where you are is about 36 or 38 degrees Celsius. So that’s a pretty warm day. Do you have a high humidity there? Or is it dry heat?

 Coach cam

Oh, so it’s humid and so so we’ve got hot as crap and not hot as crap was out to two seasons. We don’t get like a true false, our leaves are green. Then they’re brown on the floor. There’s no transition.

 Mat Lock  

They are official measures of humidity and heat. Yeah, I was crapping that hat was crap. That’s it. Love it. So So you started playing college football. And then you moved into a coaching role. Is that right?

 Coach cam

Yeah. So I was very blessed. I played football at the University of Houston and enjoyed it and spent actually the very early part of my professional career working in NFL front office, the Houston Texans in their marketing department. And, you know, I was smitten by the coaching bug, unknowingly. And so I was very blessed. I’ve had amazing coaches, my entire Playing career. And it just kind of opened up the door for me to continue, you know, just being around the game, like I was just about earlier, just the love of being around competition, kind of just veered me closer into into the sideline.

 Mat Lock  

Yeah, excellent. And what do you think it was that drew you say you had the natural bug for coaching even before you knew what, what were the kinds of things you think there were hooks for you that piqued your interest? You know,

 Coach cam

so early on. I’m a, you know, a bit of a serendipitous guy early on, I did fill the burden of obligation, when I understood that I was overwhelmingly blessed with really good coaches. And you’re in there kind of young, Spry 20s. And what are you going to do? And it’s like, one, no, I owed it at some point to try to figure out how to pay your forward for the good coaches that I had in my life. And so, you know, it kind of started with a passion and I started, like, literally training kids, I started a youth training company, five star Academy, and, you know, enjoyed it out in the hot sun like this. And, you know, after a couple of months, it’s like, with damage, this is fun, but, you know, six hours a day and the heat is work. And so that’s kind of where I began to evolve. And you know, and begin to build a bit of a business acumen. But really, it was just, you know, I’ve been poured so much into how do I pour this back in the other people?

 Mat Lock  

Yeah, sure. Interesting. What? So in hindsight, what what were the traits of those coaches that made them so great, what was it that you felt was really, I guess? Yeah. Which which traits Do you think

 Coach cam

they were? You know, the first thing I say is the coaches that I had that were the most impactful in my life were probably 70% teachers 30% coach, and so they were truly like Craftsman and marksman of of the sport. And the second side of it is, you know, the 70% teacher, half of that was on field tactical work. The other half of it was just pouring life skills into me through the vehicle of athletics. I had a coach who taught me the lifespan of a Peruvian butterfly as a means to teach me about past pro in an offensive scheme, and so the necessity of the necessity of valuing every moment of a past rep to protect the quarterback through the life of a butterfly that lives 24 hours, like Who does that?

 Mat Lock  

It’s fascinating for some people. For me, it’s a sign of true intelligence when when someone is able to articulate their message in a number of different ways to be understood by everyone. There’s a definite intelligence, which I appreciate. And it seems you do too. And actually, I’d love to come back to that maybe if we have time to actually hear that. That analogy, how that played out. But for sure, so you moved into the coaching role yourself? How does that work? I mean, how, how do you transition from a player to coach because not everyone can do that? Of course.

 Coach cam

Yeah. So first, first, you you hit, you hit the player wall, right, you have to get injured to realize that you’re no longer a player. Yeah, so so I play semi professional for a couple of yours and got hurt. And I think like most things, and I think, like, most things, you find yourself when you come climb down from the tree, you know, very close still to the tree. And so as you kind of hang the cleats up, you figure out, what do you do you look around and say, Well, you know, where have I spent most of my time? Where’s most of my knowledge, understanding, I don’t know much. And so, you know, that’s kind of the natural kind of space. And then, you know, the unique thing, at least here in Texas is, you know, there’s always a person who’s looking to get better. And so, you know, there’s, there’s an overwhelmingly large amount of professional athletes that retire in Texas and Houston due to, you know, the lack of a state tax and the, you know, the extremely low cost of living. And so, you know, pretty soon you find that there’s kind of like the everyday athlete, a subculture of guys who just want to get better. And whether they’re athletes still, you know, pursuing or whether they athletes who transition, there is a sub niche of folks who just love to compete.

 Mat Lock  

Yeah, sure. And that coaching role, how long? How long were you in coaching before the coaching role.

 Coach cam

So I worked as a coach for about four to five years training athletes and developing them and really is working on this skill. Then I took a took a coaching job as a head coach and ultimately as athletic director for four years at a local high school and I was able to string together a number of wins, ironically enough. Basketball has always been my first love. And so while most of my career was spent playing football, I took a head basketball job and offensive coordinator job and then pretty early into that the athletic director position opened up and you know, a bit of conversation, I had the opportunity to, you know, bump the football coach, I could have taken his job and hired a basketball coach. But, you know, you know, I think there was more of a legacy, you know, especially as an athletic director, to build with what you have and find success versus you know, the easiest thing to do is a clean house. And so I left that that role after four years, but I was able to amass a large amount of wins in a relatively small amount of time.

 Mat Lock  

I believe I show how to practice this word, but you are recognized as the all time winningest coach winning just took me a few times before we came on on air to actually get that word, right. But it’s a Texas word. It’s a Texas I’m saying it wrong. Anyway, I’ve got the reaction happening.

 Coach cam

That’s it. No, winning Yes. Yeah. Yeah. What do you what do you want your kid to be the winning is

 Mat Lock  

gonna say someone who’s playing football, aesthetically, is very different to someone playing basketball.

 Coach cam

You know, um, I think that the athlete, his hips, and his his flexion right. So his ankle, knees and waist and really, it’s the fluidity to be able to transfer the school that coach that is a charter school. It was a it’s a that, you know, assigned as a highly underserved pocket. And so our demographics were like 85%, Hispanic, 14%, black, and then like one last white kid that didn’t know why he was there. So, so a big part of us building that football program was recruiting soccer players over Hispanic soccer players over from soccer. And you know, urban soccer is a tough sport yummy it’s a physical sport and so we would get these soccer kids who historically to your point wouldn’t be interested in football because they thought it was extremely Gladiator until you show them you know, a cornerback receiver matchup one on one is just as physical as for the strikers soccer like like if you can play that you can play over here. And you know, the soccer key those hips are just so fluid. I mean, they could just turn a foot those hips, so easy. So we actually, like our entire secondary came from our soccer field. And so, you know, they understood open space and understood coverage and understood closing on a ball. And so yeah, you know, I think there’s ways to marry up and I’m really, I’m really, I’m really fascinated with cross training, not just in sport, but in business. That’s, that’s a big piece of what you know, the success I’ve had is being able to take what I’ve learned here and apply it over here.

 Mat Lock  

Yeah, it’s a great segue. I was talking yesterday with a psychologist who specializes in customer and employee experience, he worked very much in the corporate space. Now he and his company does. And he also has a sporting background. And he’s a great believer in being able to pull an out you know that the synergies from a competitive sports environment and even doesn’t have to be competitive even it can be just the weekend warriors, let’s say the into functional training, which is very much our audience, you can draw parallels from what’s happening there from a psychological perspective, that sense of community, that sense of unified goal, all of those things, and camaraderie and, and how you can draw parallels with those into the business world. And it sounds like you’ve had a similar experience and be able to do that with your, your coaching and athletic director roles.

 Coach cam

Yeah, as an entrepreneur, the first thing I can say is, I, I can definitely see the direct correlation between being in the zone and on the playing field. And being a closer as a salesperson, right. It’s just it’s, I don’t claim to be like the world’s great greatest salesperson, but just the the feeling of anticipation of No, this routine, I know what comes next, you know, you’re in my grasp. And I know that if I’m consistent with my performance, that I’m not only going to get the result that I want out of this player out of this transaction, not I’m not a big transactional guy, more of a relational guy. But more importantly, like, I know what it feels like when I’m in the zone, and I can hit that shot or close that play or close on that ball. I see that translation directly but but from a from a macro level, you know, what I did with my sports construction company, was I took the background of what I understood in sports construction. I took what I’m naturally good at in servant leadership and community development. And I’m married them together. So you know, that’s, that was a birth of my sports construction company.

 Mat Lock  

Sure, actually, let’s, let’s just sit there for a moment. What do you what do you say sports construction company? Oh, yeah, since I’m Bill went for therapy, great.

 Coach cam

Yes, I build athletic surfaces. So football fields, basketball courts, putting greens batting cages, kind of you name the surface. And so I had a background in selling it previously, and building it, selling it working for another organization. But in 2017, during the Lenten season, during the spring, was really just perplexed in my faith, and just in where I was business wise, you know, I was having some success. But I also knew that the part of the servant leadership and you know, supporting my community was void. And, you know, just kind of had this honest conversation with God, like, Where should I be, to maximize what I know how to do and that’s where that kind of cross training and so you know how to build athletic surfaces, you know how to sell it, you know, how to get it installed. You also know, you know, some of the underserved pockets of your city and the impact that you can have, by putting dollars in that community, just put them together. And so I started in the residential space, and I would sell basketball courts and putting greens and batting cages and tennis courts in people’s backyards. And so, you know, for a batting cage 18,000 on a barricade I say, Well, hey, I’ll send this to you for, you know, for 17 for $15,000. You know, can you go write a $2,000 check to this nonprofit. And so, you know, you get your batting cage you want and I’ll take the kind of, I guess the loss on capitalize on what I could make, but now there’s $2,000 free it up or I can go across town and go do some meaningful work and what what it was not intended to be was the unique value proposition or unique selling proposition or was it a gimmick? very organic, but overnight is, you know, yeah, it was me and another competitor on a project. You know, I found myself overwhelmingly having success, because I was so true and so genuine with with the intent of driving commerce to make, you know, my city a better place.

 Mat Lock  

Yeah, that’s, that’s fantastic. Yeah, certainly, it adds another dimension, doesn’t it when there is a genuine purpose behind any business, that as you say, it’s not a marketing gimmick. It’s not a hook. It’s none of those things. It’s a very genuine, deep seated purpose ingrained throughout the business. That’s powerful stuff. Especially if the whole team were on board, and it really is company wide, it becomes part of the culture of the business. That’s, Yeah, super powerful.

 Coach cam

Well, would it turn not Thank you. And what it turned into for us was, you know, oh, wow, this really works. So being again, you know, not being too Pollyanna, but, you know, being true to who you are, what we value works, so much. So to the point, that we can look back as a team and say, Okay, well, if, you know, creating micro scholarships is important to coach cam, you know, for kids first and family to go to college. And if, you know, feeding families for Thanksgiving is important for you. And adopting families for Christmas is important for you, and, you know, refurbishing prom dresses important for you, we were able to create really a holistic season of giving around the folks that worked within, you know, my organization, and kind of, you know, regurgitate it out into our community and create a really deep impact, just by being true to what was important to us.

 Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s, um, I’m gonna name Brad, who owns a local company, he called it base camp, who have been a longtime support with by games, good friend, we’re in the surf club together, and so on. And I really like his approach with his business. And he employs about 18 people. And his approach to it all, is there’s enough for everyone. Like, I don’t need it all. And so it’s interesting to watch his business and operation and with his staff as well. And that’s really an ingrained part of the business. There’s not that trying to scrape every dollar they can out of every contract, every customer just said that Brad can build a bigger house, you know, he’s not motivated by that. And it’s just a nice ethos, isn’t it? There’s enough there is enough for everyone, actually. And yeah, we each of us don’t need it all. Often we need, you know, when we think we do,

 Coach cam

yeah, and I agree, and I think that, where so many of our athletes who migrate into business flipped the switch. A bit misguided, is so much of what we do is a zero sum game. And I don’t know I don’t see business or success as a zero sum game. I mean, if we’re on the same team, it’s or even if we’re, you know, competitors across the street, you know, if we’re selling burgers, I don’t have to outsell you to have more success, like what I’m looking for is my success. Now, whether that number is you know, higher or lower than yours is something different. But if my goal is to create amazingly delicious burgers, like that’s my race, and I think there’s a lot of what translates into individual, you know, athletes, individual sport athletes so well is I’m just running my race. I mean, every individual athlete enjoys a PR over a metal the right I could be in a slow heat and metal, that doesn’t mean I performed well, it really becomes, you know, what is my best?

 Mat Lock  

Yeah, it’s been over usually. So if I quite like the term, it seems to fit to that whole theory of stay in your lane, just run your own race. That’s it, run your race. Now you sound like a busy guy, you’ve got the construction company, sports construction company, and you’re consulting as well to business owners, right? You’re helping other business owners to improve their businesses, their lives, I guess, because it’s all around wealth, health, and success. Talk to me a little bit about that. How do you approach those subjects? Most small business owners, and I’m assuming that it’s small business owners, and correct me if I’m wrong, but if it is small business owners, they’re busy people, they’re juggling a million balls, all the ones you know, they’re running around, very busy in their work life. There’s a family life always to consider, of course, and their own health and wellness. I’m interested how you approach that, especially in a year. I mean, you know, we’re recording this in 2020. It’s a tough year globally, with the pandemic that touched every aspect of all of our lives. But you know, you’re based in the US and the US for sure has been hit hard by the pandemic. So I’m not to make this a COVID discussion. But using that somewhat as a pre frame given how busy business owners are these days, just trying to make ends meet, keep it afloat. How do you approach that?

 Coach cam

You know, I think so. It’s a really good question. The approach is similar to a freshman, going through an offseason program again, regardless of the sport, you know, you can take some pre workout and run around the gym, and that does, you’re not going to get bigger, faster or stronger. Right. So it really is about having a schematic. And so whether whether you know, no matter what your scheme is for you to improve or or for you to get, you know, add add bulk, add lean on, lean out, whatever it is not to have a schematic or framework for success, you know, no coach would go into a game without a game plan. And so it’s just simply just, what is your game plan to make the most of your day? And, you know, the idea really came about I wrote my first book last fall with alpha redefine, it’s about servant leadership. And I did a small promo tour about six cities. And the one question I got asked more than anything, was, you know, how do you do so many things in one day, and I just was shrug and say, I, when the first quarter of my day, I have systems and protocols in place, and they’re not overly rigid, right, and we have to be flexible, especially during COVID, you got to be flexible. And I typically get up at 330, to get to the gym and for where the gyms don’t open, you know, until five, at least here now. And so, you know, there has to be a bit of fluidity. But ultimately, like any other athlete, if you don’t have a game plan, you know, you’re planning to fail. So, you know, I say the short answer is, you know, identifying busy from productive and those are cousins, they look alike, but they’re not alike. But then you know, prioritizing, know what it takes for you to be successful.

 Mat Lock  

Absolutely. So I’m interested, I’d love the fact that you boil it down, not only just to a day by day blow, but actually, you’re talking about the first quarter of the day as being I guess, the the setup for the rest of that day. So how does that look? I mean, I assume this intention around the activities. I mean, you’re showing, let’s go talk me through the the ethos of the first quarter of your day.

 Coach cam

Yeah, so I break the first quarter of the day up into a number of different spaces. And the first one is, you know, literally, when you open your eyes, what is the first thing that you say to yourself that you say, you know, to God, or whatever being the to call upon and, you know, as a person in transparency, who can struggle with anxiety works way too much. Sometimes stress is a challenge. You know, the first thing when I went when I opened up on a wick, when I opened my eyes, I asked myself, do I need Grace? Or can I call on gratitude. And so the mornings where I feel the anxiety, I feel the urge to check my email or my voicemail, I know I have some to do from yesterday, I simply call on grace, and I’m just thankful for, you know, waking up, I’m thankful for standing up and you know, I have I have a little bit of back pain now. And it’s like, you know, I can feel my back. I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful for the toothpaste. I’m thankful for my family as I leave out of my house, and it gives me a sense of calm as I get ready to start my day. With the other side of it is if you’ve got great momentum, you close a deal last night, you know, things are going great. You know, you call it on grace. And so I’m really calm you grab so you have gratitude. So I’m you know, I have so much gratitude for the deal I closed last night and the momentum that’s gonna lead me into, you know, going to get a lift and and going to get a run in. And so no, it really does start with understanding where your energy is for that day. Knowing that that can can transfer either side on a day in and day out basis.

 Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. And so I guess here we’re talking about mindfulness. Here, we’re talking about actually taking the time to stop and reflect on all of those subjects, I guess what’s happening in life a bit like, I guess, guided meditation, where it gets you just to sit and be present and feel the floor under your feet and your hands on your legs, that kind of stuff. Yeah, a deep seated sense of mindfulness. So, I mean, how does that set you up? For the next step for what do they look like?

 Coach cam

So so once so so we literally do is like walk through like those first four hours. And so you’ve you’ve gotten up, you’ve had some time with God, you’ve reflected, you, you You’re now headed to go, you know, have some type of physical activity in no matter what that physical activity looks like. Right? So whether it’s a stretch, whether it’s yoga, whether it’s an intense lifts, so I typically lift for 45 minutes to an hour every day. And then, you know, come behind that with 30 minutes or 20 to 30 minutes of cardio, just depending on, you know, I’m not the I’m a pretty big guy. I’m agile for my size, but you know, I’d rather not have to run more than 30 minutes if I can’t catch it. 30 minutes. I’m not gonna catch it.

 Mat Lock  

We talked a little bit off air about your previous way. Well, what do you weigh in if at the moment if you don’t mind saying,

 Coach cam

so I’m, I’m six four, I’m 265. Now, I was 255 before COVID so I’ve got this Tim ward. COVID pals to drop. You know, the one thing I can say, you know, most people are fussing about their COVID weight. If you did not have fun putting on your COVID weight this year, I had a blast. I’ve got about 10 more pounds to get back to kind of my normal weight.

 Mat Lock  

Your chunk lighter at the moment than your I guess your 40 weight is what I think we talked about the 300 pounds or 156 kilograms. 

Coach cam

Yeah, so I was a big guy. And I fixed weighing. So I play, I plan it to 50 to 50 to 45 to 60 kind of window. But after I got through playing I below that I was plus 300 pounds. I was 300 pounds in in 2017. And I re engaged in my physical fitness journey in 20 2015. Outside, and you know, you know how it is it’s a process. And so you’re lifting and you’re working out based upon the mental of you being your best 10 years ago, you’re using outdated technique, and outdated workouts and frameworks that you kind of remember I think we used to do this and Lord knows you’re not running as much as you should get into cardio. You should. And then you know diet like What’s that? Right. And so the first two years I’d say was just get you know, falling back in love with the gym, I think I had a pretty strong detachment from working out when I got through playing I just didn’t didn’t do it. And so as I began to kind of get in shape, and again, you know your competitors, so like, what do you want that body to look like if some of it was, you know, hey, amigo, this isn’t you’re not going to look at 30 something Hallo it did at 19. Let’s just have a really honest conversation about that. So how do you, you know, reframe and reshape the best version of yourself that you can. And this also coincided with some pretty major setbacks in my personal life, I lost my job, I faced a pretty tough financial situation. And you know, as a coach, I used to always say, like, you know, you’re gonna have a hard time beating me, but you won’t beat me twice the same way. Like, you’re not going to do that. And so I say what I call my best, when I walked into my best, or the height of my best at the beginning of 2015, I was, you know, was not a shape, I was making poor dietary choices, making bad lifestyle choices. And I literally made the choice to rebuild and redesign myself and a lot of that had to do with, you know, physical fitness as being an anchor of who I am.

 Mat Lock  

Yeah, well, I’m certainly glad you found your way back. You know, it seems to be quite common that for professional or semi professional athletes, and you know, athletes who do it for a living, they do it full time. I guess naturally, when when you stop doing that, when you step out of that world, you’re stepping out of the whole support infrastructure as well, the whole ecosystem. Not just the actual training in the plane, but everything that the infrastructure goes around, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of support in place to help people transition from from that role into I mean, it’s similar for, you know, former Olympians World Champion, certainly team sport in particular, I think. Yeah, it’s a shame. And you can see how easy would be to either keep eating the same volumes without the same training volume. And of course, we understand well, that the the impact will be ordered, simply just go. And do you know what, I’m just going to go off the rails for it, and let it go.

 Coach cam

Yeah, right. It’s always funny, and, you know, you kind of age yourself, and you begin to have like, the class reunions and the team reunions. And you see, like, the all American are the guy who played professional sports, and it’s like, like, what, what, what did you do I What did you eat? You know, and some of it is, you know, you. And a big part of my message when I was coaching, you know, at the high school level is, you know, athletics, you have to have an ego separator of what your performance is on the playing field and who you actually are. And I didn’t have that skill set built into me. And so when I finished playing, you know, athlete was something I put down understanding, not understanding that it’s a lifelong journey of physical fitness and well being. And it was kind of a ego crosswire of, you know, yes, I’ve put working out and putting heavy stress on my body and lifting extremely heavy weights and running to you know, exhaustion down. Instead of picking the best versions of it up. I had to go back and pick those things up. Because ultimately, you know, that sacrifice really anchors who you are when you’re training and competing. You know, I think that’s it. When you truly feel the most liberated no matter what level of performance it is, and know, your skill set, you know, your PR, I mean, especially, you know, here, there’s a lot of perceived, you know, either bottom up body shaming, but like stress shaming, ego shaming, in, you know, like CrossFit and commercial gyms. And it’s like, you know, you don’t know my struggle, bro. You know what I mean? So some of it is just being isolated into, you know, into who you are, I faced that pretty significantly, I ran a 5k. This year. My neighbor tricked me into it. So my neighbor, my neighbor’s, the wife said, Hey, I want to run a 5k. You know, sign up, let’s go do it. And she didn’t back me out. Yeah, I’m a competitor. So yeah, sign up, I’m doing I mean, it was 30 bucks or whatever. So went even about the money, but I put my name on the line, I’m going to do it. So I began to alter my my lift and my my run, you know, workouts for about six weeks, kind of getting into that kind of, you know, shape to be able to run, you know, I call it a marathon. You know, some people laugh at me when I say that, but like I said, you know, 267 pounds, run in a couple of miles, come on. Now that that is a matter of thought. But, but the point I’m making is, you know, the runner community is so supportive, and they were like, literally, like, come with what you have, understand how far you can physically, you know, get yourself to go and just give it the best you got, like, let’s not, you know, just not kill yourself on your Apple Watch and check for you know, your pace and just give them the best you have. And I think that the run a community is such, it’s such a liberated community, within the sports niche. Because you know, it doesn’t matter where you are, where you come from, they just want you to try and glorify and accept that you’ve given the best that you have.

 Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. And if I’m honest, I don’t think that’s exclusive to running. I mean, I’ve that’s my experience in the functional fitness and functional training realm. Certainly, that’s the spirit of the bay games and everything we do. For our events, you don’t you don’t have to qualify, there’s none of that. Yeah, you all are welcome, all ages, all abilities. And the sense of camaraderie is something that’s quite magical. And that’s my experience in Yeah, as I say, in the in the gym environment as well, which the gym environment for me is, let’s say, f 45, CrossFit, you know, boutique, gyms that are into functional training. And the sense of community and camaraderie is just magical. And it’s empowering, and liberating to use your word as well, it’s, yeah, I appreciate and the running community for sure that they also are that way inclined. And it’s that sense of community that I think can help elevate all of us. And we all have the power to elevate others as a result by being part of but by playing our part in that community, and supporting those around us, regardless of what they can run, lift, whatever it is, I’m certainly no hero. In the functional training world. It’s a long journey of learning ahead as always, for everyone, but but loving it, and it’s not lost on me the power that we we each have within those communities to play our part. I’m conscious of time, Coach again. So I know that you’ve got you’ve got your course, which will be available, either very soon, or by the time we add this, it might even be available already called when the first quarter of your data playbook for wealth, health and success. I look forward to engaging with that. I think I want to know more about that or want to reach out and make contact with you. How do they do that?

Coach cam

Yeah, so you can find me on all social media platforms? COACH cam cares, on Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, I guess people still use Facebook. And then and then the course is a coach Cam courses.com. And yes, it’s available now. And we’ve gotten some really cool feedback from it. You know, the biggest takeaway is, you know, I know that I need structure in the first half of my day. And really, I’d say this kind of in closing, you know, what we’re building out in the first four hours of our day, is the offseason right. And so championships are literally won in the offseason because you leverage your success. And so by creating a snowball of wins before you get to your desk, you know, is really what I found to be the key to maximizing, you know, the 24 hours that we

 Mat Lock  

have. That’s such a good way of looking at it and the fact we have 24 hours right now Very good. Well sending all of the links and the various contact points, I’ll put in the show notes. But certainly I’d like to it’s been a pleasure to chatting with you. I appreciate what you’re offering to the world what you bring to the world. Certainly, you have a certain energy around you, which I have personally appreciated in meeting you today. And yeah, I look forward to continuing to watch your journey unfold. And yeah, obviously wish you every success in the world.

 Coach cam

Man, thanks for having me. I appreciate it. I love the show. I love the energy around everything about creating consistent athletes on a day in and day out basis and bringing a game is what the world needs for sure. So thanks.

 Mat Lock  

Absolutely. Until next time. There we go. Awkward poor so we can edit. I forgot to mention

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

run, athletes, coach, day, sport, business, success, community, people, bit, wins, understood, training, playing, coaching, physical fitness, construction company, servant leadership, life, world

 

 

Mat Lock 

Jacob, welcome back to the podcast for the third time. fantastic to have you here. How you doing?

Jacob Hohua

Good, man. Thanks for having me again, bro. This has been a blast,

Mat Lock 

though not at all. Our pleasure. And I have to say we could probably get to Episode 10 and have to call time on it. But for now, let’s focus on today. For those who are not familiar and haven’t listened to the last episode with yourself, I strongly recommend that you do but the plant based gorilla is who I’m talking to 113 kilos of awesome colonists all around thoroughly good guy and look, the last two episodes, we’ve focused heavily on a transition for yourself both in terms of what you eat, but also how you train, go from strongman, bodybuilding, strongman and CrossFit, CrossFit style sort of functional training and so on. But one of the, one of the more more recent, I’m not actually sure when it was, but it’s one of the more recent notoriety, as for yourself, of course, was through the publication of the production of it all. Was he featured on Australia Ninja Warrior?

Jacob Hohua

Did man Yeah, I did. I was really fortunate to get selected to run that course. And it was a great experience.

Mat Lock 

No, it looks amazing. How do you call it five out of interest? What’s the process look like?

Jacob Hohua

So basically, you got an online application and you send in a video, so you got to sort of be ready to be confident talking into the camera. So you know, just hold your phone up talking to the camera, explain who you are, what you’re about what you do, sort of what your story could be, and then your attach. So, you know, obviously, you might need help with someone making making the video for you. And you attach little bits of your training so that they can see what you what you can do fill out a bunch of forms and then send that in. And if they like you, they call you up and tell you to come to the physicals, which is which for me was in Brisbane. So I went into the physical and then once you sort of pass through that, and that’s it like I guess you know, because at the end of the day as a TV show, so if they like what you’re sort of bringing across, then away you go, you’ve made it to the show and start training and getting ready for

Mat Lock 

fantastic you did that did involve a big change in your training. Did you shift gears to focus more on that style of workout? I guess?

Jacob Hohua

I mean, I did, and I didn’t. So it was around the time that sort of COVID was sort of starting to sort of, you know, get around, you know, people more and more. Really, yes. Yeah. So it was actually filmed in March, when when COVID was actually yet you know, sort of just beginning to they were sort of talking about possibly locking down and stuff like that. So I remember being at the airport and my partner was like, you know, there might be locking down so just make sure you sort of don’t muck around when you’re getting home. And I was like well, but I’m training for it was just when I was sort of still fooling around so um, I was trying to go to like a ninja gyms and stuff like that, but it just never seem to really work out. So I got in to ninja sessions, which were was ninja specific. And it was a trainer, they showed you how to Lecce and how to, you know, grab bars and stuff properly. But pretty much I went flashy, flashy. You swing to the to the next class or you swing from one bar to the next bar. When you’re actually going to let go, and then you grab the other basket. Okay, that’s your last shot. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I actually just learned that as well. So I should have I should have specified that but yes, so I went to two of those. And then they actually sadly closed down. So basically, I went to the first session and he said, Look, man, it’s gonna be sort of, you know, around you, you know, this will be the last basically session and luckily, I was able to squeeze one in and then they shut down. So training for it pretty much this turned into me doing a lot of pegboard, a lot of rope climbs, a lot of pull ups just things that I sort of was trying to simulate what they did. But to be honest, I didn’t really get a good run at training footage, worry about items and stuff in you

Mat Lock 

know, sure enough. And so just where I’ve looked at last a while we were talking and it’s when you use your body has momentum to swing release of an object. There you go, who

Jacob Hohua

is my turn, you swing and let go of a bar and grab another bar.

Mat Lock 

That’s exactly what it does. It does what it says on the tin. Yeah, certainly, um, that was Sunday. I watched him. I’ve watched the last one he did. And you know, the commentator was in a very nice way, talking about you being the heaviest ninja there. And yeah, you were 104 I think they said at that point.

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, so I was I was around a sort of 107 110 but they sort of were like, you know, that just seems a bit unrealistic. So I think they sort of pushed it down to like 105 because just because you know, I don’t really look that heavy. Though they were sort of like, you know, we’ll we’ll say 105. And then we’ll sort of keep the crowd happy. So, yeah, they were saying I was about 105, which honestly, at that time, because I was training so much my weight was fluctuating from 105. Then I bumped to like 107. So I did, you know, didn’t do as much endurance training that weekend, because all my weight fluctuates heaps anyway, so I was happy for them to round it down to 105. But yeah, man, I was definitely one of the the big images, which sort of, I guess I was trying to prove that, you know, I’ve always been a big guy. So I’ve always been told, you know, I shouldn’t be able to do this, or I can’t do that. So I guess I was just trying to prove that. And I would just do have a good crack. And obviously, I didn’t make it as far as some of the ninjas. But um, yeah, we will give it our best shot. And the thing that I fell in on fell in on was, um, you know, I think it was one of the hardest obstacles, you know, that any of those ninjas had ever been through, you know, once we were out the back and we were all talking about it, you know, there was like a veteran ninjas there. And they were like, That thing was just horrible.

Mat Lock 

Yeah, sure. Yeah. It’s funny about the whole week thing, isn’t it? Don’t let the truth stand in the way of a good TV production. Yeah. But the, the, the Newman that got you, I guess it’s funny because they, they thought, when you climbed your way along sort of sideways from the water line, doorknobs let’s call them that. And, by the way, going upwards, and the only way you got to the end of this or tilt down and you know, there was saying, Oh, this will be the hardest part when it lands in the bottom of that and but that you made Yeah, that seems to be pretty straightforward for you, it was a transition over to the next one, that you had to sort of twist and turn and grab and reach. And at that point, probably being 40 kilos lighter, and a rock climber would have stood in good stead.

Jacob Hohua

Yesterday, well, they weren’t literally going up. So they were it was called the door not drop. So there were literally doorknobs that went across and then went up and from, I believe there’s a person holding a rope. So as they dropped, they, you know, give resistance. So when mine dropped obviously been heavier, mine literally went back, shut it down with I think a lot of the other athletes that was sort of a nice smooth drop, and when might hit I just slipped onto my fingers and was like, so you know, as I was trying to regroup, you getting sweaty hands are sweaty, they don’t let you use any chalk or anything like that. And yeah, once I sort of turned around, I couldn’t really see where the doorknobs behind me where I was trying to look if you if you watch the video back, I’m sort of looking out and trying to figure out where they are. And then I just thought I’ve got to go for it. And then by the time I let go this, you know, this hand wasn’t strong enough to hold, hold my weight. So for some I went,

Mat Lock 

we did a great job. And the way they were talking, I guess they were they were definitely saying, Oh, you know, this next one is going to be tough because you got to be quick and nimble on your feet. And you just smashed it like you made it really required. Yeah, they were they were obviously surprised, given your size. They were surprised it seemed like they were surprised that you got to where you did. So I mean, congratulations for being there. And the for flying the flag lab and proud my friend.

Jacob Hohua

That’s it, man. It was. Yeah, I mean, I was all stoked, he almost went off saying the course that we were running because um, you know, he runs a different course and I was when this is all the stuff that I would didn’t want to do, you know, was like the trampoline, it was the net. That was the, the blades, you know, when we hit one, they start turning and it was all the things that I just didn’t want to do. You know, the things that I had the very small amount of training with was like I said, bless Shane, it was the seven letter and it was things that was kind of a bit more brute strength. So yeah, getting there and seeing that I don’t think I’m going in on that trampoline. To get past that. I think I got through three obstacles and fell in on the fourth. Yeah, I was pretty stoked, man. Like, I wasn’t I wasn’t upset at all so funny because you know, my partner sort of looked into it and if I was in any of the other heats and made it that far in any of the other heats I would have made it to the semi finals, but it was just because of the heat I was in had all these super quick, you know, veteran ninjas and I just I didn’t make the cuts. We all fell in on the same thing. I think only like two or three ninjas made it through that one. But but because I got there slower than them that the time cut off, you know? Yeah.

Mat Lock 

Yeah, well, you’ve played the smart game. I thought you were you were thinking about the next obstacle clearly you were drawing your hands with a towel to be ready for and so on. And that’s the smart game, right?

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, well, I know being bigger that I’m not you know, I’m not this isn’t my forte and I’m not going to rush through it. I don’t really know what to expect. So I just slowed it down. And you know, like I draw my hand draw my shoes and that really stressed me at this time you might as my main focus was to make it fun because you know, no one really, if you fell in on the second obstacle, but you still made it through to the seams because your time people still kind of like that you still fell in you know, it’s I was just wanting to make it as far as I could go.

Mat Lock 

Now he did a great job. I had an interest in that style of I mean, this year’s competition, but that style of Training. I mean, I imagined it to be a lot of fun. And if you think about, you know, we talk about functional training, functional fitness, which you know, is everything we advocate for the everyday athletes, I can’t help, it makes me wonder whether the indoor rock climbing, the ninja gyms just helped to make the whole story even more fun, and relatable, and realistic and making life ready. And all of those things. I mean, when we’re kids, we love all of that stuff, right. And at some stage, we stopped doing it. But with with your clients, for example, is that something you’d advocate for, you’d encourage them to, to mix things up, add some more variety to it all.

Jacob Hohua

100% I’m, you know, a bit of a motto that I like to use as train for performance not to look. So and by performance, I don’t mean, you know, you don’t just have to be the top athlete as performance is also fun. And I’d learned trying to learn new skills and learn new things, you know, don’t just train to get home or look in the mirror, because it’s going to be a very mentally challenging journey. But if you’re sort of trying to hit a new PB on your squad, or if you’re trying to build your grip strength, so that when you go to, you know, a rock climbing course, you you’ve got a bit of grip strength. If you’re training for fun, and for performance, you’re definitely going to get a lot further with your training. And it’s not going to seem like this never ending journey is going to be excitement. And I think that’s what drew me to CrossFit so much was when I rocked up, and there was you know, muscle ups and handstand push ups and things that I couldn’t do. I was like, well, it’d be really cool to be able to do that. You know, let’s keep going. And let’s progress. And let’s see if I can eventually get to do those things. And yeah, once you get that done, I mean, it’s just so much fun, man. But like you said, it’s the ninja gyms. And the whole experience was very fun. It was you just surrounded by a bunch of adults who just don’t want to grow up, you know, and it was literally and that’s, that’s always been how I started about CrossFit. So you know, I did a bunch of posts about that saying, you know, for me, cross it was just like a playground built for adults, you know, you got ropes, you got monkey bars, you got, like I said, handstand push ups, you’re doing all these crazy fun things in a fitness aspect. So ninja was definitely very similar.

Mat Lock 

to rip off with Jimmy Carr joke and make it relevant to you. So you know, when I grew up, I want to be a ninja warrior would be both.

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, 100% man, I’m happy to not grow up, man, I like just having fun and, and try new things. And for me, I’m really big on seizing opportunities. So if something comes my way that, you know, is something that could be fun, I definitely will leave at it and jump at it. You know.

Mat Lock 

That’s, that’s awesome. That’s very motivating. I have to say, looking. As we said on one of the other episodes, you know, you’re a big guy, you’re a big strong guy, you’ve got the beard going on, we’ve got a fair bit of income here. I can’t imagine how many hours and dollars have gone into the ink. Good everywhere. you’re rocking it, you’re rocking here, you’re the dude and carry it all nicely. And what I really what resonated with me a lot was when I was introduced, I looked into you and I found out a bit more about you. You need to scrub and scrub. You’ve described yourself before, you know being very much the teddy bear on the inside. And you know, you’ve got your young daughter, Arlo, you’ve got your partner, and you’re all about it. And you’re very open with your emotions. Is you I think you said in the first episode, you don’t sort of you bought yourself down. You just kind of Yeah, you show your emotions, and you share those. And there was one piece in particular that I thought was great. And there’s obviously quite recent as in this year, that we’re recording this because you were making reference to when you discovered you are non essential non essential workers. And COVID was sweeping the world and shutting things down. And he talked about we’re all warriors inside. And yeah, maybe talk to us a little bit of that video in particular where talk us through that there’s not an I’ll put a link for sure in the show notes so people can watch it. But if you maybe just describe, describe the actual videos and a couple of minutes long, but what the motivation was behind that and what the underlying messages at the end of the day. That would be great to hear.

Jacob Hohua

So yeah, man, pretty much, my friend is a really good videographer. And he does a full time his name’s Jay Godfrey. So he, he’s a videographer. We always wanted to link up and you know, it was before pre COVID we’re always talking about linking up and doing like a gym workout video and all this kind of stuff. And then obviously COVID hurt. And we both had Tawana. And so we thought, let’s do a video. So I said, Oh, look, let’s just go to the beach and we’ll see what happens. So I think intentionally at first he sort of was thinking more along the lines of doing a meditation video and we’re going to sort of get this, you know, very chill sort of video happening and I and we both I’ve just got there. And, you know, we’ve both been through so much. Like we said in the video, you know, becoming non essential losing our jobs, you know, not knowing what the future holds. And we both looked at each other, and we had so much emotion bottled in that I just had moments of, let’s just see what happens, you know, let’s just you start filming, you sort of give me a few cues. But apart from that, we’re just gonna see what happens, then. That’s exactly what happened. We just started walking down to the beach, and he just let me do my thing. And, you know, I’m very, very connected to nature in a very open person. So I’m standing there looking out in the ocean, and I just started undressing. And he was just sort of he just rolled with it, you know, he just spill me and I started on dressing and putting my clothes down on it obviously seems to me rather cool if I go on the water. And he said, Yep. And he’s, he’s very young. He knows about all these practices, you know, Primal Scream, and meditation and whatnot. So I walked into the water. And that was it, man, once the wave sort of hit me over my head, and I come out of the water and just started screaming. And it was at a pretty public beach, too, you know, so there was sort of people around and they got what the hell, but yeah, just let it out, man. And then we sort of finished up and he was just like, Man, that was, that was cool. And he made the video, obviously, which was, which was great and go to an attraction. And he sort of put the emotion behind it by adding in, you know, a lot of like, the biking drums and singular walking things like a Viking woman singing in the background, and edited and animals and whatnot. And then a few weeks later, we decided to do a video and break it down. And that’s where we spoke about United States, you know, we’re all worried on the inside. And, and when we all found out, we were non essential, or something that we didn’t really get prepared for, and we didn’t get told what to do. And for me, I guess my message was to just let that emotion out in any way that you want, you know, whether that be crying. For me, it was more of a, you know, obviously, a scream, a primal scream, which is basically, you know, thinking about when you’re a baby and how you scream when you when you have something wrong, and, you know, we just get taught to hold all that. And so that’s what I decided to come across with was the primal scream, but like I said, you know, everyone’s got different ways of doing it, it might be crying, could be anything could be singing, you know, whatever, it helps them get their emotion. And that’s, that’s what what it was, man. And it was just about acknowledging that we’re warriors. And we’re going to get through these these crazy times. Like, as we have, you know, now sitting on sort of the other end of it, obviously, it’s, it’s kind of still a crazy place. But um, you know, it definitely made a lot of people realize what, what they’re made of, and what’s really important to them. So that was the message we were trying to get across.

Mat Lock 

Now, if you should also, look, you’re clearly the real deal. And so even though there was a camera there, and yes, it became a pretty awesome video, I have to say like, it was very moving. The The plan was the philosophy and the actual Primal Scream that you were delivering to the ocean that wasn’t staged for the camera that was you scream, performing a primal scream to Did you mean liberate yourself to just release the frustrations or the stresses or the lack of certainty, the lack of control that we all have over this situation, that’s, that’s what it was, right? Of course, 100%

Jacob Hohua

you know, it’s like I explained in the video, it’s like a fizzy drink being shaken up. And now it’s just really to explode and, you know, kind of explode eventually. So you can either do it in a controlled setting where you, you explode through emotion and you let it all out. And you know, an ocean or nature is a great place to do that. Because, obviously, you know, you’re very grounded and you’re connected to, you know, Mother Nature, but I’m sort of a believer, you know, it’s gonna explode eventually. So I’d rather do it in that setting, and then you leave and you just feel great. Like, honestly, what, you know, all these practices, like I said, meditation, breathwork, cold therapy, screaming, crying anything, you feel good, but it’s what resonates with you. And the first time I ever did a primal scream, it was just crazy. Because you just you just living it was like, it’s like when you’re training, you know, and you let a lot of stuff and you leave feeling really good. It’s like that, but you can do it in a matter of minutes. So like you said, that was definitely a real raw emotion you know, we kind of rocked up expecting to do like I said, a nice little meditation video and we’re going to try and calm everyone down and I was doing but no one wants to see that with none of us feel like that right now. We’re all pretty good stuff. You know, we don’t really know what’s going on. So let’s see what happens and I think he sort of knew that that because you know, it turned into that very like warrior feeling. You know, I had I had on my arm, my arm Tom around, which is like a Rolling Stone and I had my crystals on and I just, you know, not to get too too heavy on people. But you know, I just I had a lot of emotion and I just, we got there and it had that rural feeling and I was quite a cloudy sort of eerie day. You know, the sun was just sort of peeking through and it just yeah, that’s how it ended. The water was was Hold and it was funny, it was quite deep. You know, I went deep really quick. And it just, that’s what sort of made the video so sort of powerful.

Mat Lock 

Yeah, sure, by the way, um, I wouldn’t have taken it as hippie at all, I think you’re just being entirely authentic, clearly in touch with yourself with your emotions, and I think there’s a lot of people on this planet could learn a lot from it.

Jacob Hohua

That’s it, man. I think it’s, I think I need to stop saying that, because I do like to sort of go, you know, understand a lot of people, it’s so foreign to them. So for me, it’s always like, Oh, this is my hippie side. And then but it’s true. You know, it’s not, it’s not for me, it’s not a, you know, obviously, I don’t do it for foot logs or anything. It’s something that has always been called to me, and I’ve always tried to live that sort of lifestyle, you know, and that’s obviously, the whole plant based eating is helpful to that as well, you know, being, you know, a lot more in tune to what I’m eating and feeling a lot lighter and in every aspect. So yeah, man, but yeah, the The video was incredible. And it resonated with a lot of people and let them know that, you know, we’re all worried and we’re gonna get through this, if we all stick together was it was a pretty cool message that Jay and I were fortunate enough to get across to, you know, 1000s of people.

Mat Lock 

Absolutely. And I think young Arlo will grow up and one day realize how fortunate she is to have you as a dad to be so in touch with yourself and the planet. I can only imagine that your partner Bev is the same way. Let’s see. Yeah, I haven’t met her yet. But yeah, Lucky, lucky. Allah was all I can see. And

Jacob Hohua

the man hope, yeah, we’re gonna we’re, you know, we do our best. And we want her to be raised knowing that, you know, she has loving parents, and she can show emotion, as well and tell us and talk to us. So hopefully, that’s what we get across, we’re going to, we’re going to, we’re going to try from what

Mat Lock 

you described is only seven weeks old, from what you’ve described, and what your shade is a future Ninja Warrior.

Jacob Hohua

Oh, man, she’s always strong for her age, and she’s so emotionally connected and advanced. It’s just, it’s just not you know, she’s already making noises. And I said to be like, I honestly feel like she kind of spit out a word. So like, the way she’s trying and in, like, a sort of noise comes out, you know? And like, she’s gonna talk it like funny 10 weeks or something.

Mat Lock 

Until then she’s clinging to the primal scream, right?

Jacob Hohua

Literally, she seems good at I should have taken some point. And

Mat Lock 

that’s awesome. I’m Jacob, I’m conscious of time. For those who want to reach out and get in touch with you, and pick your brains and just maybe get to know you. What’s the best way for them to do this?

Jacob Hohua

Definitely, my Instagram is the best route to sort of get in touch with me and see what I’m about. I do most of my posting on my Instagram, which is literally just my name, Jacob obor. But if you want to sort of, you know, I’m on Facebook as well, but a Facebook page, which is Jake and Paul who are fitness. And then I’ve got a couple videos on YouTube, but they’re quite, quite funny because they’re sort of from back in the day. So pre pre beard pre long hair. So if you want to sort of see when I was in that strong male bodybuilding phase, you know, jump over onto YouTube, but yeah, man definitely um, Instagrams the easiest place.

Mat Lock 

Well, that’s awesome that you’ve been very generous with your time you’ve been generous with your learnings, your life lessons and so on so far, and I look forward to Yeah, staying in touch and getting hold of more of you in the future. And hopefully, one day we can get you down here for the bay games and watch you have a lot of fun in jervis Bay.

Jacob Hohua

Oh, definitely man that some after talking to you and hearing about those, the bay games it’s something I definitely wouldn’t mind starting to train for and then went over some COVID stuff is over. I’d love to get down and have a crack.

Mat Lock 

See, take home the trophy, the boss of the bay trophy. Let’s see that would be nice. We just need to get COVID out of the way. But thank you so much for your time, Jacob. I really appreciate great chatting with you. Thanks for having me on bro.

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

primal scream, emotion, ninja, training, fun, people, talking, video, rocked, jacob, big, crossfit, literally, meditation, ninja warrior, turned, thought, partner, bit, man

 

Mat Lock 

Jacob, good to have you back on the podcast.

Jacob Hohua

Hello. Happy to be here, mate.

Mat Lock 

Yeah, now awesome. For those who haven’t yet listened to your first episode I suggest you do. I’m talking here with the plant based gorilla. I love that name I have to say in for again, for anyone who’s watching on YouTube, or started following on Instagram, they will understand that name entirely. And what we didn’t get chance to where we didn’t your antics we were just chatting, I guess, in episode one. I know it’s a subject that you get asked about a lot night I do often I always try and find more interesting questions and subjects to talk around. But there’s no getting away from the fact that 113 kilos as we discovered super strong, super athletic, plant based, for sure. We’re going to want to know what goes into that on a sort of daily the average day, let’s say so that was certainly the intention of this episode to dive into. Yeah, what an average day of eating and training and recovery looks like for you.

Jacob Hohua

Awesome, man. Well, at the very moment, you know, I’m very fortunate to have a couple of sponsors on board. So I actually get all of my meals delivered to my house every week, and I get all my subs delivered as well. So super grateful for that. I’m very, very fortunate to have that moment.

Mat Lock 

I can’t tell you how envious I am of that.

Jacob Hohua

It’s funny man, sometimes I am, you know, I take it for granted. Like I get my meals and I’m just kind of like chucking them in the fridge. And then I have to sit back and you know, I’ve got a full fridge of pre pack organic plant based oil free meals, and I’m going yeah, I’m pretty I’m pretty lucky right now. So yeah, and that’s that’s what my diet mainly consists of at the moment, if anyone’s wondering. The place is called garden of vegan which is based in Berlin on the Gold Coast. I actually believe James Newbery is on board with us at the moment as well. So it’s pretty cool to be you know, I’ve never met him. We’ve spoke a little bit over Instagram, but it’s pretty cool to sort of be like on the same sponsor as him I guess, which is a cool thing. Absolutely. I

Mat Lock 

saw him. I saw something on him yesterday, over the weekend popped up him talking about not not sending it on every workout how working for quality of movement and, and so on, and she’s looking fit. He’s Oh my god. So fit. It’s Yeah, awesome.

Jacob Hohua

Awesome. He looks, I think he looks the best physically that he’s ever looked. He just looks like a machine

Mat Lock 

is pretty big right now. I mean, he’s super undefined, but he’s big and strong, right? I mean, he’s always been big and strong, but you know what I mean, he’s looking big.

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, definitely, man. Definitely. But yeah, man, not too bad.

Mat Lock 

Got a vegan that’s cool. See that oil free as well. Right so

Jacob Hohua

man there um, you know, obviously, it sounds like the Garden of Eden garden a vegan, they are literally that you know, they are organic, plant based oil free they have their whole kitchen is has been re piped with the highest quality pipes and filtered water. So everything that they even wash their food in is, has none of the chemicals in the water. So I was really lucky to be one of the was the first I guess, athlete Ambassador that they sort of reached out to which was, which was awesome. So they reached out and yeah, that’s what i what i what i get now. So they have you know, a huge huge range of meals. Going from you know, mac and cheese, which is the healthiest mac and cheese you can possibly think of you know, the source is made out of ingredients that are going to give you the energy that you need, they have paired ties, they have breakfast bowls, so I get that delivered to my house, and I try and consume between three to 5000 calories worth of those meals plus supplements and fruits and vegetables on top. So it’s funny man, I was in one of those meals, that must be a lot of those meals, I’ve got little tricks and stuff, you know, like for example, on their breakfast meals, you know, chucking a tablespoon of peanut butter and banana on top. But it is definitely when people get around me because I’ve always thought you know too much because, you know, like, beginning in the bodybuilding world and your watch, you know, like Ronnie Coleman and Jay Tatler if you don’t know who they are, they’re the biggest bodybuilders of our time. And you know, they just keel over things also, like I’m not eating too much. And then I get, you know, your average person around me and they’re just like Mind blown, like my bricky is like, three or four different plates are sitting in front of me and I just got it and I’m sort of like, yeah, I could probably have a bit more but I’ve been I’ve been not.

Mat Lock 

So I’m in terms of your daily routine. Is there anything before you actually hit the breakfast? The foods part of your breakfast?

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, yeah, definitely. So um, I’m a big, I’m quite a intuitive, I guess, quote unquote spiritual in a sense, you know. So I like to get up in the morning, a big glass of water. I do love my coffee. So I have a shot of coffee. I usually go and have a cold shower. And then if I have time, I’ll do a bit of breath work and meditation just to set my intention for the day. I believe it or not, do I fast a little bit in the morning. So that’s, that’s, yeah, that’s all I’ll have until about maybe nine o’clock. 10 o’clock. So it’s not a big fast, but it’s definitely 1212 hours. At least. So yeah, man, I’ll have that little fastened in. But then once I get home, and once the food starts going in, it pretty much doesn’t stop until you know, 9:10pm at night, so yeah, man, it’s a it’s a at first, you know, it was it was pretty full on trying to get those calories in. But like I said, I’ve always been a pretty big eater. So now it’s just like I could I could grow more I actually was talking to someone. And, and for me personally, I’m like, man, I would struggle to eat anything under what I’m eating like I would I would feel stabbed, I think.

Mat Lock 

No, it’s interesting. I am I mean, I was we talked about last time I’m plant based and right now and kind of put a bit of put a bit more strength into myself. And I’m trying to hit around 3000 calories a day at the moment. And to hit the the macros as well. I mean, not that it’s very deliberate. Right? It takes a bit of effort. And anytime I’m talking to anyone in the industry, and I sort of say what I’m trying to do, I’m an educated protein being in a plant based diet must be so hard. And I wonder whether the difference is actually just it’s a clean diet. The fact that it’s plant based isn’t the main issue, I think it’s easy to get calories, right? You can get calories on a crappy diet, whether you’re plant based or not. The calories are against getting the right calories is the trick. And what sort of advice would you give to people who are you know, they’re trying to be more conscious about what they eat? But a very calorie focused, I mean, how do you tend to approach it? Because you’ve also you’re eating very clean, right? Very clean.

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, yep. So for me, especially if you’re transitioning into a plant based diet, what worked best for me was probably not worrying too much about my macros, and it was worrying about hitting hitting my calories through a clean diet. So that was my biggest goal to begin with. Now that I’m fairway into it, I do look into my macros as well and make sure I’m hitting certain targets. But I think it’s also acknowledging your macros are going to change, you know, when you go to a plant based diet, it’s not going to be your typical, super, super high protein, moderate fat, moderate carbs, you are probably going to have more, a few more carbohydrates in your diet, your protein still going to can be, you know, a healthy amount for for you and your fats are naturally going to be a bit lower. So that’s one thing I had to wrap my head around and I try and tell athletes that transitioning so you sort of have to be prepared for that. And you have to realize that just because your protein is lower, you’re getting nutrients that you’ve never probably had that abundance of before so you know, your vitamins, your minerals, antioxidants, your amino acids are through the roof. So you’re going to get those benefits and recoveries from a different part of, of eating and your nutrition. Like either guy in the gym come to me and he was a big bodybuilder and he’s like, I’m gonna go vegan or watch Game Changers. And I was like, yep, also me didn’t want any advice. I said, Go for it, man. I’m going how you go. And he was eating like, kilos of tofu and cans of beans. And he come in and he goes, man, I feel like crap and I’m like it because your fiber intake through the roof you’re eating bad quality tofu like it’s, it’s you know that it’s not it’s one thing to say that you’re going to go on to a plant based diet, but knowing what you’re eating and trying to eat a variety of foods is the main goal that people I think specially transitioning into it need to focus on.

Mat Lock 

Yeah, sure. And it’s some, I mean, even though there’s a lot of information out there, it still can be really confusing. I mean, I’ve been known for a while now, but trying to Yeah, transitioning over to much more functional training style of life and trying to put a bit of strength and size on I’m still finding my way. And I know I’ve hooked up with a nutritionist and nutrition coach, and she’s helped me tremendously but still that day to day. What do I need to eat? When how much it’s kind of a challenge. There’s no doubt about it.

Jacob Hohua

Definitely is man and like I said, For me personally, obviously I’m very lucky that I get these meals but I literally make sure I’m just hitting my targets, roughly hitting my targets and and I think getting the calories in Like we’re saying getting good quality calories in is my main goal. Because as I was saying before, I know that my macros are going to be different to your average athletes macro. So if they sent me their macros and said, Hey, bro, try this, it’s not really going to work out on a plant based diet. So, but once I sort of acknowledged that, I’m getting different sources of food like that, you know, before going plant based, there was no way I was eating as much fruit, vegetables, you know, like little things like organic cow powder and beetroot powder. And I was never even looking at that. So, for me, it’s acknowledging that I have all these extra implements in my diet, I’m gonna get benefits from them as well, instead of just focusing on my, in my opinion, my protein and my husband, my protein, and sort of now it’s like, make sure I get an adequate amount of protein, which for me, is a lot lower now. And then it’s sort of spiraling into making sure I’m getting all these other variety of food and nutrients as well.

Mat Lock 

And that’s such a, that’s such a good point as well, because there’s so much focus given to protein, protein, not so much focus about it, but as you’re talking about, actually, what some people Many people consider to be restrictive diet plant based on the contrary, and smorgasbord of amazing food with amazing nutrients that we’re smashing into ourselves if we choose to eat more than most people who are eating the standard American diet, I think the terminology the sad diet. So we’re describing then the average diet let’s see.

Jacob Hohua

Couldn’t agree more, man, it’s Yeah, it’s something that once you actually give it a go and you realize, you know, instead of having a Polonaise which would be just, you know, meeting pastor, you’re now making volunteers with vegetables that you probably haven’t really tried before with different sources and you’re using, you know, different types of passing because you’re now you’re interested, you know, instead of being like the old traditional recipe, you’re now like, right, we’re not going to have you know, what we would usually have in it. What other options in there Oh, my god, there’s, you know, there’s wholemeal pasta, there’s all these different options and next thing you know, you’re having this really wholesome healthy meal, instead of you know, a cheap polonez

Mat Lock 

exactly right now look at it in terms of supplementation, i the only supplement I guess I’m using some protein powders at the moment, but the only supplement Other than that, for general health is b 12. We generally considered to be something of if you are following a vegan or plant based diet, you do need to supplement it with the only thing you actually need to to sustain life and I have to say, I got that wrong. A couple of years ago, I I just kind of ran it. And I just got out of the habit of little oral spray once a day. As all it is so easy, even taste nice. And the habit and it was really interesting. I didn’t realize how important that is for everyone, not just plant based people on a plant based diet but um, yeah, that was interesting. I, I just suddenly hit a brick wall. I was just flat had a mood change. I just was only interested in training which is most unlikely I had no anybody you know, I will go to the gym again. I just pick up a bag and walk back out. I just didn’t want to be there. No energy and and so on. And yeah, it ended up I was horribly deficient in B 12. And that was after about three or four months of not supplementing, and suddenly a series of injections later and back into the routine and no issue quite a quick fix, but very important, very important, but other than the 12 what supplements Do you tend to take if any?

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, so what is it early I’m pretty lucky I’m also sponsored by a supplement brand as well, which is called macro monster. They’re a plant based natural supplement brand. So macro Mike Yeah, macro Mark I’ve got one of the cookies actually here. So if they see things like this

Mat Lock 

from macro mind clean

Jacob Hohua

cookie Yes. It’s cool man like it’s I utilize a lot of supplements. If I’m being completely honest, it’s because they look after me if I was to not having this one so it would be like what you said it would be be 12 probably a good natural pre workout that is something that I’ve always liked to utilize and I utilize the super greens as well. And I’ll try and get something for gut health too just because for me, you can never have too good of gut health so they have a big range of that so at the moment supplement was like literally I bought a pre workout there amino acid. So I’ve got a brain brain function which you know, has all your mushrooms and they’ve got the gut health which I’ll take as well. protein and then I’ve obviously got snack so I just utilize their cookies and brownies and stuff like that to sort of help me to not eat you know, vegan Ben and Jerry’s before bed. Yeah, man, but definitely like you The supplements that I think you have to kind of look into is your V 12. Or utilize iodine a bit as well. So that’s, that’s in one of the products I take that from from, from a doctor. His name is the plant based doctor. So he created his own product, which is full of your B, 12, and iodine and things like that. And yeah, man, but it’s definitely, yeah, I think a good pre workout is my weakness, like a natural, I like to take a natural, so a good natural pre workout and then a good quality protein powder off the train. And your B 12. supplement is probably probably the things that you need the most, I think,

Mat Lock 

a good quality pre workout. I’m interested what’s in it.

Jacob Hohua

So the one that I take is, if I’m correct, it’s actually doesn’t have like proper caffeine in it. So it’s got your Okay, yeah, yeah, yeah. So it’s got all your all your citrulline, your glutamine are everything that you sort of need to help get through your session. And as God, what’s the what’s the stuff? What’s the stuff in the called grana? So I’ve got, you know, natural, I think it has goji in it, like it’s got things that are just going to give you that natural energy. Because I’m having coffee as well. You don’t really need a super strong crazy pre workout. And I find whenever I take them, I feel like crap afterwards. Anyway. So yeah, I definitely like to utilize a good natural pre workout, just looking at the ingredients and making sure it’s not just full of stimulants, you know, when you pick up a pre workout, and there’s there’s 700 milligrams of caffeine, you’re probably looking in the wrong place.

Mat Lock 

I agree. And that’s and that synthetic caffeine as well. It’s not natural.

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. 100% 100%.

Mat Lock 

So anything synthetic? I mean, why? If we can avoid that, man, it’s a good thing.

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. So definitely, about Yeah, like, looking for your, your supplements can easily take you off track, I believe. So if you’re, you know, if you’re looking for a plant based supplement, and it’s just full of, you know, synthetic ingredients, and it’s just, it’s just made to taste good. And to sell, then, you know, you really got to question that supplement that you’re taking. So I’m very fortunate that I’ve been around plant based supplements that are, you know, usually a natural Anyway, you know, but sometimes you can get dragged into the one, you know, sales games and stuff like that, where it’s like, it looks really good. And they promote that it’s healthy. But once you actually look at the ingredients, you can sort of get a bit cringe at it. So yeah, man, it’s definitely you got to look into your supplements, because like I said, I think if you’re on this really healthy, wholesome diet, and then you’re supplementing with the wrong supplements, and not good quality supplements, you can really sort of take you off the path that you’re trying to stay on. Absolutely.

Mat Lock 

And they also shouldn’t be a barrier. I mean, they said, Actually, the only supplement you need on a plant based diet is p 12. That is Yep, everything else is no choice and they shouldn’t be a barrier they shouldn’t get bogged down with are going to take all these things I’m just saying with any diet. supplement is a massive industry, right? And they got loads of money to pour into marketing to make us believe that we need it, that it will work for us. And I guess trial and error I reckon is the way to go. See how you feel. As we talked about last time, the the turning point view was when you tried going cloud based and just felt amazing. You had the fireworks going off inside your nuts. There you go. I felt amazing. So I carried on it’s the most logical thing in the world, isn’t it?

Jacob Hohua

Exactly right man. And I am I like to pass some supplements a lot just to remind myself that I don’t need them. So a lot of people don’t realize that, you know, you can pass anything you can pass from social media, you can pass from supplements. So I like to do that just to remind myself that, hey, these are good, you know, attribute to my diet and training, but they’re not this company that I need. I don’t have to take these. Now I’m gonna you know, if I ran out, or if I lost, responsible, something, I’m not gonna burn and crash it. Something that I utilize, and I’m very fortunate to utilize, and they do give me a bit of an edge. But it’s not something that it’s going to, you know, be the be all and end all of my of my health and training.

Mat Lock 

Except for the 12.

Jacob Hohua

Of course 100 will be 12 Yeah, like you said, you will feel a difference. If you’re not something I think I personally believe everyone needs to supplement with B 12. Because you’re just the day and age that we live in. We’re not getting adequate amounts of safety, right. Definitely. So nice. Exactly, exactly. So now you’re 100% right being 12 was the exception but I’m talking more like you know, your pre workout today. Yeah, there’s something that we’re, we’re people like you and I are fortunate to take but if your budget, don’t make that your priority, definitely get your food in your head, get your B 12 supplement in and just and you’ll be you’ll be just one

Mat Lock 

very good conscious of time ate the that supplement, the pre workout supplement you’re talking about. That micro mic as well.

Jacob Hohua

That is macro Mach two. So yeah, they, they literally everything I take us through them. Like I said, I’m big on natural supplements, so their products are 100% natural and

Mat Lock 

we’ve given them a chance and we’ll put them in the show notes and same garden a vegan for sure they nationally delivered nationally servicing James Newbery. That’s Yeah, I

Jacob Hohua

believe so. Yeah, they I think so that I mean, I know that was, was a struggle at first to deliver, you know, Australia wide, but I think they’re at the level now where they do deliver Australia. I can’t, I can’t speak highly enough of their meals, even when I tell people look, just like, honestly try and get a couple of their meals to have during the week, just to give your body that, that, you know, organic oil free plant based sort of nutrients and have a break from, you know, evidence of their own animal based product or a plant based diet. Diet, animal based diet, plant based diet, say that five times fast. Yeah, they implement those meals is going to slowly just give you that little bit of a benefit, I think.

Mat Lock 

So all I need to do is gain 20 kilos of muscle and call myself the plant based ape, and have a chat with those guys.

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, literally, man, it was. Yeah, I was really lucky when they reached out because I was sort of wasn’t really doing anything at the time. You know, when they when I reached out, I remember I was Mind blown. I was like, hey, come in for a chat. And I thought I’ll probably just going to give me a meal and try and try and sell them to me and make me buy them. And they said, you know, we’d really love to feel you and like to feel you and give you your food and see how you feel. And yeah, man, I haven’t looked back since I’ve been on board with him. So I think from a very, very lucky,

Mat Lock 

I think you’ve been very humble, there’s nothing like your man that you’ve you’ve earned the right to be in that position, and you’ve earned every single meal that they give you they fuel you with. So for sure, well, there’s a takeaway, if anyone’s to reach out to you, and get in touch with what’s the best way for them to do that.

Jacob Hohua

Definitely my Instagram would be the would be the best way. So it’s literally just my name, Jacob war. So jumping over on onto my Instagram and shoot me a message would be the best way to connect. But if you want to jump on my Facebook or my YouTube, there’s a few more sort of videos and stuff up there as well. If you want to check me out before Yes, shoot me a message.

Mat Lock 

She’ll say what Jake would appreciate your time. I know everyone who’s listened to this does as well. Thank you so much. And I look forward to chatting to you again. Awesome. Thank you.

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

supplement, pre workout, eating, meals, plant, vegan, diet, big, based, calories, plant based diet, macro, bit, protein, utilize, plant based, people, good, literally, natural

 

Mat Lock 

Jacob, welcome to the podcast. It is a pleasure to have you here. How you doing?

Jacob Hohua

Awesome, man. Thank you so much for having me. I’m really well, bro. How are you?

Mat Lock  

Yeah, it’s all good. at this end. It says spring has arrived. So we’ve just had a weekend of beautiful sunny weather. It was quite warm. And I’m currently wearing shorts and a T shirt for the first time in many months. Winning winning. Given where you are, you wear shorts and T shirts around. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you?

Jacob Hohua

So I’m on the Gold Coast of Australia. Definitely a beautiful place to live. Like you said you can wear shorts and T shirt year round features just around the corner. So I’m very very blessed and fortunate to live in such a beautiful beautiful place.

Mat Lock  

Let’s take issue that I know rounds back on the Gold Coast in the beautiful part of the world. So um, yeah. So you are the known as the plant based gorilla. For anyone watching this on the YouTube channel would understand why because you are a bit of a unit right? You’re about 100 kilos. Is that right at the moment? And you’re telling

Jacob Hohua

me at the moment? I’m about 113 kilos and kilos out there. Yeah, I’ve been. I’ve been doing a bit more squats and bench press and deadlift. So my body’s just putting on a few kings.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, that’s awesome. Well, certainly any anyone watching on YouTube will see that you’re an absolute unit. And for sure, in the show notes, we’ll have some links of view and action. So which is awesome to watch. But um, in addition to being what can only describe is the ultimate man’s man in terms of appearance. Huge, got the beard regard the rock in the bum, man band and so on. But actually a bit of a teddy bear at heart, right?

Jacob Hohua

Definitely, man, I’ve always been very in tune with my body and my emotions. And you know, I’m not scared to show runnability and show my emotions, man, you know, I’ve got a lot of love in my life. And for me to sort of try and bottle that down or just be silly, so I’m definitely not here to shed a tear of joy or sadness or whatever. Whatever my emotions come up. I’m not scared to delve into them.

Mat Lock  

That’s ultimate, we need more. We need more Jacobs in the world, but they got a lot of love in your life. Talk us through what does that look like? You’ve got your wife Bev and your very new daughter Arlo correct.

Jacob Hohua

Yep, that’s it, man. So yeah, I’ve got my partner Ben, I’ve got my beautiful daughter Arlo and my dog Diggs, who’s just as much of our family as I love, man, like I said, I’m just full of love at the moment, my life is looking pretty, pretty good. And I’m just loving it, man. It’s just the simple things. You know, that’s one thing I’ve definitely realized, since having a daughter is these, these, these simple moments are the things that really really matters. That’s incredible. That’s

Mat Lock  

awesome. And how old is Arlo at the time? We’re recording this, how old is she at the moment? She’s seven weeks, seven weeks ago, so she’s definitely free.

Jacob Hohua

Man, she’s, she’s definitely having the changes, you know, consciousness and, and trying to talk and laugh and she sees us and it’s just been crazy. Because obviously, when it’s first born, it is sleeping and eating where now you can get reactions from her and it’s just so awesome. And it takes up a lot of my day, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mat Lock  

That’s mind blowing at seven weeks old already. You seeing such dramatic changes in terms of engagement.

Jacob Hohua

She’s definitely an overachiever. I think a bit like a dad tries to be so you know, literally, she was born. You know, the doctor would say, you know, she’s, it takes them a while to, you know, latch on to the breast bone straight on and on. Okay. And then, literally hours later, she’s holding her neck up looking around and the nurses are walking and going. shouldn’t be doing that just yet. So she’s definitely an overachiever. And she’s, um, yeah, she’s progressing really quick.

Mat Lock  

I wonder where she gets that from? Probably from her mom. And has been doing as she take into motherhood. Yeah,

Jacob Hohua

she’s Yeah, she’s doing so Well, she’s honestly such a strong woman, I just have so much respect for her and all women in general, you know, after witnessing the birth and then seeing how strong they are afterwards, you know, their bodies go through so much changes that, I think most men wouldn’t be able to handle it all, you know, we put on a couple kilos and then and freak out. So for to see her go through that and be able to make that sacrifice of you know, you know, not going to the gym and not seeing friends and just really committing to our baby girl, it’s just been such an incredible experience. And like I said, My respect for her has always been higher. But now it’s like, Goddess level, you know about our

Mat Lock  

interesting, we’re doing a series at the moment, all about the five life stages for female athletes, everyday athletes, or females in general, because they didn’t have to be athletes. And then, as a result, we’ve been really digging into the details with some subject matter experts. And well, you know, I have a genuinely have a much better appreciation for what the female bodies go through. From the beginning to the end of their lives. It’s far more complicated than as far as I got, like, 10 times 100, or more, like, easy cream,

Jacob Hohua

oh, man, I couldn’t imagine, you know, training and doing all these things, and all of a sudden, it stops. And then you have to feed to people. And then once the baby comes out, you know, you got to you got to heal your body back. And then you got to slowly get back into training, and I get hurt and have to take a week off. And I’m losing my mind. And I’m looking in the mirror and I’m gay, you know. So yeah, I couldn’t I couldn’t imagine what they have to go through. And like I said that it just shows how strong they are mentally to be able to push through that and, and come out on the other end as a stronger woman. You know, it’s it’s incredible.

Mat Lock  

She’s now absolutely now. Well, speaking of looking in the mirror, you mentioned you’re currently 113 kilos. Is that your heaviest?

Jacob Hohua

so far? No. So my heaviest was when I was doing strongman. So I had a little strong menston. And I committed everything I had a strong man and I got up to about 130 kilos was what I was nearly hitting. So that was, I was a big boy then and lifting some crazy heavy weight. And that would be definitely the heaviest I’ve ever been. Sure.

Mat Lock  

I saw. Some I said you’re stalking on social media and the like. And I found out I think it’s on YouTube. There was a piece with you lifting one of the Atlas stones, which looked bigger than humanly possible, let me tell you, I mean, what was your heaviest Atlas stone look just as a guide, you can get a feel for the kind of weights we’re talking about.

Jacob Hohua

So literally just a rock of concrete was the heaviest I’ve ever lifted was 170 kilos up to I think it was about a two meter platform. So you’re literally picking it up from the ground, and then putting it up and putting it on a platform and pushing it over onto the platform. So that was my heavier stone. But I think my most impressive Atlas stone was 140 kilos from the ground up onto my shoulder, and then I would hold it there for however long and then drop it down. So that that for me was probably my, you know, I look back and I just go, you know, I look at 140. Now as a deadlift, and I’m thinking, I pick that up and use us to put it on my shoulder. So 170 is the heaviest. But that 142 my shoulder was, for me the most effective.

Mat Lock  

My one RM deadlift is 155 as a ball of concrete on your shoulder almost that week.

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, it was. It’s funny when you’re in the moment, you know, I remember doing that. And I’ll just post it up and honestly wouldn’t think I didn’t think anything of it. Like I was like, Oh, that’s pretty cool. And now that I’m out of that world completely, it’s like I look back and almost watch my videos as a spectator. And I’m just like, how did I do that? Like almost like the

Mat Lock  

other one I saw with relative ease just the way I’ve described it.

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, I don’t think I’ll be lifting those now though. Let’s just say that. So how long ago was there? Man, I’m so bad with timelines. And I came to realize that when I am listening back to a podcast I was on and I was playing on different timelines. But it was definitely a long time ago, years ago. So it was at least I think, three or four years ago, so I was also on the back end of bodybuilding. I’ve done a bunch of bodybuilding shows and was doing reasonably well and bodybuilding and I just needed to change and it was funny because I had actually given CrossFit a little a little and I loved it you know but I’m just I think back then and probably the specific gym I was in the community wasn’t quite what I was looking for. So I decided to look something else and I ended up falling into strongman when I made a mind to do come come to the strongman session and I remember I was freaking out like cuz you know, it’s something new and I was so nervous. I just thought you know, and that I would just go just go and give it a go. So when he gave it a go and yeah, and I absolutely loved it the first session it was something that I feel like my body type was sort of just built to do and I just loved that man you know, lifting stones and getting dirty and you know, haven’t coming from a rugby background going into bodybuilding which is quite I guess pretty Sport. You know, I was I was missing that that grittiness. So I went in and we got grazes, olevia from the, from the stones and you just, you just lifting heavy weight and eating bunches of food and it was cool, man. But yeah, it just, it just got to a point where I had to step away from it.

Mat Lock  

I mean, put your stage swimmers on recently since you left that world.

Jacob Hohua

I haven’t. I’m not gonna lie, I think, man, I wouldn’t look like that anymore. But, you know, it’s, it’s funny because I think at heart, you know, I grew up watching Arnold, because, you know, my dad would put it on TV and all the bodybuilding. So at heart, you know, as much as I am in the functional world at the moment and and look at bodybuilding was a different sort of mindset, I still always look at it and think, you know, I think one day it would be cool to have another crack, because I did quite a young age. So I didn’t really have that muscle maturity. So I’m like, it’d be cool to just just see what I could do now. But yeah, I’m not sure if that will happen anytime soon, the thought of being on that strict of a diet just makes me cringe. You’re sure? Well, it

Mat Lock  

certainly seems like you’re an all or nothing kind of guy, and which which does segues nicely onto your diet, because you’re called the plant based gorilla for a reason. And that’s because, guys, obviously, so you follow a plant based diet, correct?

Jacob Hohua

That’s right. Yep. So we’ll be following a plant based diet for about three and a half years. So it’s definitely been a good run, you know, so it’s good to sort of show people that it wasn’t just a short term thing. And yeah, man, it’s definitely helped me kick goals, it’s definitely helped me achieve things in sport that I sort of didn’t think was possible. So it’s, it’s been a good transition into this lifestyle.

Mat Lock  

So it’s a very unconventional pivot there, right to go from strongman. And I’m assuming previously, to be that size. And to have that sign of strength, you must have been eating a lot. And I’m guessing there’s a lot of animal products in the animal protein and for meat, I’m assuming. 

Jacob Hohua

Definitely. So that was the turning point for me, you know, when I was in bodybuilding, so, basically, I went from rugby, to bodybuilding to strong men to CrossFit side, this basically traveled and in all of it. And when I was in bodybuilding, you know, I was only having, you know, a little bit of fish and chicken, and, you know, still lots of veggies and stuff. So it wasn’t, it wasn’t, yeah, it didn’t, it didn’t seem too crazy. But then once I went to strongman and I sort of started following, you know, the typical strongman diet, which was, you know, kilos of red meat, not much veggies, you just try and get calories, and it just became too much. And it literally started taking a toll on my body. So like I said, I was getting up to 130 kilos, I’ve seen the doctor regularly. And she was sort of giving me a little hint saying, you know, your cholesterol is climbing, your blood pressure is climbing, you know, you’re putting on weight, dramatically fast. So yeah, that’s when I sort of thought I’m going to make the transition into a plant based diet. And Originally, it was only meant to be for a cleanse. You know, I was like, I’m just gonna do a vegan plant based cleanse, I’m on any last two weeks. And that was when I was slowly transitioning, transitioning into like a CrossFit style training as well. So yeah, man, it just all sort of fell into place. And it’s the results. I guess we’re just, we’re just phenomenal. And that’s why I’ve stuck out for so long.

Mat Lock  

It’s the best motivation in the world, isn’t it when you feel better, and you see your performance improve? Like, what more do you need in terms of proof, I guess, but I’m definitely what sort of what are the most obvious changes for you?

Jacob Hohua

For me, the first obvious change is weight loss. So in a good way, so obviously, I came from strong men, which was, you know, I was watery, I was puffy, I was inflamed. I was just not a very good poster boy for health. If he asked me, so that was the first thing I noticed was dropping a waterway, a lot of the inflammation and the joint pain was going and literally just feeling incredible. So for the first, I would say, a month, I just felt like, well, like it was just I’ve always said it like this, and people think it’s a bit corny, but I said it was like fireworks are going off from our body, I would, I would eat something and obviously when I went cold turkey, so I just cut out all animal products and went fully plant based. And I would eat something and I felt like my body was just thanking me and it was just exploding in my body and given me this energy and these surges of energy. I stopped napping during the day I sort of I just had this newfound outlook on life and energy in life. So that’s why I sort of went more into the functional CrossFit style of training because I wouldn’t have got all this energy in my body feeling good and my joints are feeling good. You know, I want to I want to use it so naturally progressed into more of a CrossFit style training.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. I am, as we talked about off the off camera. I mean, I can relate. I’ve been plant based for seven or eight years now. And I was smiling when you were talking because I I can relate to so many elements of that. And for me, it was the recovery. I just recovered faster, I could have a massive what I did, I was doing lots of ultra distance triathlon training, I’d had, you know, big training days, and I would just bounce back the next day better than I had ever done before. I haven’t had the fireworks in before we’re just kind of right, you kind of feel like I felt like I was popping. I don’t feel like man, like I hadn’t known before. And I didn’t do it cold turkey again, you’re all in right? You were done. I, I can’t get out meet. So I went vegetarian for about three, four months, I educated myself more and more. Throughout that and decided to I watched forks, Forks Over Knives, the documentary was the turning point for me, I watched that and found it very compelling. And for me, actually, the biggest difference was ditching dairy, knowing what I know now that I couldn’t possibly go kind of plant based, I could try it, I go Alright, and for me, I’d say start with dairy, kick the dairy, and then get that you’ll naturally stop eating meat once you feel the difference. Yeah, but definitely recovery was the thing. So I mean, and it’s obvious, right? I mean, the low lower and less inflammation. I mean, my anything I’ve read and listened to that I believe, talks about, you know, all of us have some sort of inflammatory response to dairy. At some level, we might not be aware of it, but it’s there. And therefore, reducing dairy means that the natural inflammation we get through heavy training is not being compounded by having that increased existing inflammation from what we’re eating. So, yeah, please, that was your experience. And of course, that’s the best motivation in the world to keep going.

Jacob Hohua

That’s right, man. And it’s, like you said, it’s, it’s, I’m a big advocate at the moment for making those small changes, you know, I haven’t been perfect in the three and a half years, you know, I’m not going to jump on here. And a lot of people like, I’ve had two pops of question that have, you know, I’ve had moments where I’ve not known if it’s the right thing to do, but I’ve always came back to my core values and realize that it is, you know, I’m on this path for a reason, and I do feel really good. But I don’t like to lie to people, you know, I’ve definitely had slip ups of, of, like I said, I’ve questioned that, but that’s why I’ve now and the people around me, you know, when I very first did, it went plant based and you know, I was I was pretty, pretty full on with it and coming across to people with their view of sort of being like, this is what you have to do. And if you don’t do it, you’re a bad person to just for me wasn’t working. So for me personally, my message now is making those small changes and showing them the benefits that they can have, instead of showing, telling them negatives that they’re doing, if that makes sense, that sort of being like, Look, this is what I do make these small changes, and then you might feel better and your your athletic performance and everyday life keep progressing?

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I’m with you. I always like to frame it in a I’m not preachy, I don’t get it, I’m often not the one that will bring it up. Interesting. Even now, seven or eight years later, we you know, we go out with a group of mates and family or whoever we sit down, and it becomes a topic of conversation. But I haven’t said a word. And I know I’m gonna find something on the menu that I’m good with no problem at all. But this is immediate, what are you going to eat? What are you going to have, and then who you’re going to steak, and the usual banter, let’s say, seven or eight years later, in fact, some friends have only ever known me be plant based. And still it becomes a topic of conversation, but not in a bad way. But I always said the same way. Whereby identity is restrictive, because a lot of plant based or what can you eat without hanging them. And there’s lots of restrictive at all. And I like to try and make it accessible to people, if they’re interested, by design, look at them, think about what you can’t have. If you start adding extra or new foods in by default, you’re going to displace some of the other foods. That way, it’s not restricted in that way. You just naturally displace food and it’s not about perfection. It’s about progress. And even the terminology and even the terminology. You know, slip ups, I’ve had some slip ups. Like it is what it is like Yep, yeah. But what do you want in your myth? Anyone can but I understand the there’s a stigma attached to it. You’re either part basically or not. And if you are somehow making a statement, and you’re going to be attached if you slip off

Jacob Hohua

couldn’t agree more manage that for me for the first part of my journey? You know, I was scared to tell people because I’m going you know, what, if you know what if I decide not to do it, or what if something happened or you know, because your lives forever changing? You know, like, you just never know Silas was scared to even tell people and then it wasn’t until I sort of had that confidence to be like, now look, I’m still human. Like we’ve said, we’re parenting I liked this quote unquote column slip, slip up. But, you know, this predominantly is the lifestyle that I’ve lived in, you know, when I’m talking slip ups. I’m not I’m not talking, you know, all the time, but there’s been there’s moments in my life. So yeah, definitely man. And that’s, you know, being surrounded by mostly, you know, people who aren’t plant based, I feel like that the way that you and I are getting it across is going to sort of help them to give this lifestyle a try, you know, instead of walking, like we said, before we got on here, I’m really liking the thought of trying people the good side of things and showing them what what they can do and how it’s going to help them instead of being like, you. This is the bad side, and this is what you’re doing wrong. Because I’m like that if someone came to me before I did this and said, You’re this, you’re that I’d be like, I’m not gonna do it out of spite, I think. You know, for me, it’s like, it’s been like, you know, people will be like, How can you do this? And that athletic wise, and I’ll be like, Well, I think my diet has contributed and helped me to that. And then I go, Well, I might give that a go.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. I think you’re, you’re, you’re a pioneer, you’re leading by example. And that’s awesome. And I think about the documentary that is more recent, I guess, than the Forks Over Knives, you know, game changes. I think they handled it really nicely, because they showed the told the story through performance through real life examples. And again, for me, it’s about breaking down the stigma around the word vegan. I, I often use the word vegan to be understood. I’m technically Yeah, of course, because I, I wear leather products. I honey, for example, I saw I’m not actually vegan. But I’m not repelled by the name, I just find this more stigma attached to it. But often, if I say plant based, I think that can be confusing for some people, they don’t really understand what it means. And so I tend to say the V word. I think it’s got, yeah, it’s becoming more mainstream there. You know, we’ve got the millennials, and the next wave coming through, we’re much more open to it. And it’s normalized it very much. So I think it’s, we’re still a couple of generations away from it being the norm. And that’s okay. That means that people like you are pioneers leading the way. And that’s awesome. We’re looking for a European T, right? That’s what you do for a living? Yep. Yes. Your clients have the advantage of seeing you seeing your performance, seeing how you live your life, and the advice that you give them. And that’s awesome. That’s all we can do is have an impact. We all live in our own little bubble. And we can only really try and have a positive impact within that bubble. And many people this weekend for those who are ready to receive the 10 for the rest, that’s okay. Well,

Jacob Hohua

maybe, man, I think that, you know, being a personal trainer, it made me realize, and really humbled me to the the notion that it is hard for people to make that change, whether it be for culture, or the you know, they’ve been eating animal products their whole life. And it’s just hard for them to make that change. Because I’ll have clients come to me and say, literally, I want to look like you and do what you do. I go, Okay, well, this is what I do. And then they go, Oh, I can’t I can’t do that. Or I don’t want to do that, though. And I say, well, that’s what I do. If you want if you want to have similar results to me, then is I’m not saying one diet fits all, but I’m just saying this is this is what I do, you know, and they kind of get this really weird look on their face. And I was like, I can’t follow a plant based diet like you crazy. So it just, it’s letting me know that it is hard for people to make that change. And some people aren’t going to take longer than others. And once I accepted that it made my life a lot easier. Because you know, when I first started and you know, obviously you get all the knowledge come your way about what the animal industry actually is doing. And you obviously get flooded with information. And then you just want to tell people when you want them to know the truth. With that can be very overwhelming for some people. So everyone’s different parts of their life, you can tell someone and they just absorb it all and go Alright, well, like that’s, that’s all I needed to know, we can tell somebody one, they just got too much. And they either either fully shut off to it, and then whenever they hear it, they just, you don’t want to hear it at all. So that’s where I’ve learned to just sort of try and let people know slowly and again, let them know that I’ve had slip ups and it’d be gonna make mistakes. And so Ryan, it’s just trying to brag about getting back on the wagon, and you know, and getting back into your core values and what you believe.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, it’s a bit like any diet really, I mean, doesn’t matter. By diet. I mean, you know, in terms of what you eat on a consistent basis. If someone’s trying to vegetarian, they slip and have a bacon and egg roll one day. Well, that doesn’t mean it’s all over. All right, start again. next meal. Will anchors, head of programming for the better games. He’s a owner of a chemical wonderful. He’s a coach for the program by wonder fit. He’s a super cool guy, very knowledgeable, very experience, and I really liked his take on it, which was, he said, basically, his comment was he said, Everyone knows how to eat properly. He said, Look, I just say he says to his clients, so just try not to eat too bad meals next to each other. Like if you have something a bit crappy for lunch, make sure you have a good dinner. He said basically, just don’t be an asshole with your diet. or some kind of perfect.

Jacob Hohua

So true. So true, I’d say exactly what you said, you know, it’s funny, if someone slips up on a normal diet, you No worries. But if you come out and say on plant based or vegan, and you go, Okay, I want to be open with you guys. I’ve heard about the football, you’re fake, you’re a liar. You’re this, you’re there. And it’s like, it’s actually the opposite. I’m trying to be honest. And I truly believe that, you know, we’ve all made mistakes in life, whether it be on diet or something else, and in another aspect of life. So if you’re not willing to own those mistakes, and be open with your audience, you know, it’s going to be sort of a rough journey for you along the way, but yeah, man, I love I love that saying that. Your mate said that awesome.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely. Jacob, I’m conscious of time. And I’m also conscious, we haven’t touched what you actually eat. So I think we’re gonna have to do that in a separate, separate podcast episode. But for now, if people want to reach out and get in touch with you, as I imagined they would like to how would they do that?

Jacob Hohua

So honestly, at the moment, the best platform is my Instagram. So it’s literally just my name, Jacob port, which is spelled h h ua, shoot me a DM and I’ll try to get back to people as much as possible. Or you can jump on my Facebook. Like I said, I’ve got a few little YouTube videos that you can check out everything’s it’s really just my name. I’m lucky that I’ve got a weird last name so people, people can’t take it. So yeah, you you search up my name on most of those platforms, you’ll probably find me. But yeah, Instagram would be the best place if you want to actually connect and have a bit of a chat.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, sure. No, thank you for that. And I’ll put all of those details in the show notes for this podcast, of course. Jacob, thank you so much for your time. It’s a pleasure and I can’t wait to dive into what a what a day of eating actually looks like for you. Even though you probably get bored of telling the story. I look forward to our audience being exposed to that because it’s going to be phenomenal.

Jacob Hohua

Yeah, now I love it, man. I can’t wait to tell them. Thank you so much for having me.

 

Mat Lock

Hey, Julien and Ross, welcome to the podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you here. Hey, man, it’s man. It’s me. So you are two of the three co founders from an amazingly innovative and new company called time birds. But before we dive into all things time, but maybe we can hear a little bit more about yourself. For those who are not familiar, Julian, maybe let’s start with where in the world you’re sitting and tell us a bit about yourself.

Julien Claudin

Yeah, so. So I live in Melbourne now. I’m French. And you’ll probably see that as I’m talking. Yes, I’ve been working in the corporate world for quite a few years traveling a lot. And yeah, I ended up being transferred in Australia to start a small subsidiary here, about four and a half years ago. So yeah, and my background is in product design and mechanical engineering. So most of the, let’s say, design of time arises is mine. And, yeah, that’s pretty much who I am.

Mat Lock  

So my earlier reference to propellerheads before we went live, but didn’t refer to you, by the way. Oh, yeah. Sorry. We can do that again. Yeah, very good. And you’re sitting in Melbourne, is that right?

Julien Claudin

Yes, yes, I’ve been in Melbourne for for four and a half years now.

Mat Lock  

At the time of recording this, of course, Melbourne is in a state of lockdown due to COVID. So how are things going where you are

Julien Claudin

pretty tough. We’ve been in a full lockdown for about four weeks now. And really can’t wait to get to get out being able to go back to the countryside and even going back to the gym. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in a box. Yeah. Looking forward to the Edit.

Mat Lock  

Certainly fairly paying. We’re, um, we’re just yeah, walking the tightrope here in New South Wales at the moment, we’re still continuing to stay on the bright side of it all. But yeah, I mean, as Melbourne was evident, it really the only one click of the fingers away, right? Any of us that clap glad you’re holding up and rush you’re also in Melbourne. Is that right?

Ross Hastings

Yeah, just a few kilometers down the road from Julian. In lockdown in Melbourne. We’ve been doing everything around time, but it’s remotely for a few weeks now, which has been interesting. Haven’t seen each other for a while. But yeah, my as you can tell from my accent, I am also not originally from Melbourne. I’m from Scotland originally and spent a long time in Scotland, England, Canada, and been in Australia for a few years now. And my backgrounds, not so much around product, my backgrounds, kind of in the experience base. I have a background in positive psychology and coaching psychology. So those come from a real interest in I guess a couple of things around experience first and foremost, but also been in and around the sports and fitness industry for a long time when it comes to coaching psychology, so very interested in the psychology behind time. And the pie plays in our industry and in the fitness community, but also just fascinated knows have been around what brings us together as a community and obviously we’re all really part of a quite astoundingly tight community. So really, always had a fascination about how that that yeah, that plays a part in the human psychology and the and the whole psyche of what it is we do in the fitness industry.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. And look, I mean, in this in the spirit of the whole COVID situation. It’s been interesting. Every client does have a silver lining for me. I’ve seen Nothing but a community, as you said, awesome community pull together even more. And certainly for you guys in a moment who are not able to go to a gym or box or studio and train, I think it. Yeah, it really brings it to the surface, how much how integral that is to well being mental health, just that sense of community, that sense of belonging? How important is the camaraderie that comes with it? So, we wouldn’t wish COVID to be here. But there’s there are some silver linings I think,

Ross Hastings

yeah, it’s, it’s incredible, really. And I think you’re right, you would have thought that those walls that were your go to that sacred space that a lot of us go to that our community is lives within may have been hampered by this time. But I think like you said, if anything, it’s brought everyone closer together in a really challenging moment in most people’s lives, they’ve rallied together and found ways to stay in contact. And we find it really interesting. You know, a lot of my background academically is around team coaching and teams in general. And, you know, one of the commonly accepted elements of team is that they have a common goal or a common purpose and a common folk focus in in our functional fitness community of fitness community in general, we obviously have a number of shared goals. But what we found and really reflected upon and found fascinating is that time is one of those shared goals that wallmounted gym timer is such a focal point of that gym community. And I think one of the reasons we’ve seen such amazing engagement so far with time birds, and something we’ve been very lucky about is that people are really missing that connection to time whilst they’re having to train from home and being separated from the gym community.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely has a parallel here that resonates. Why didn’t I get that? So there’s actually three view I believe, we have? 

Ross Hastings

Yes

Mat Lock  

Of course, the third couldn’t be with us. But I think he’s, he’s the Australian amongst you. Correct.

Ross Hastings

He is the one Australian and Ira Australian founded businesses. Yeah. Yeah, we had to have it with the AB Yeah. Kieran, Kieran, is Kieran‘s very much responsible for everything you see around the look and feel of the time birds brand. His background, also globally, is in advertising, marketing, brand. development has launched a number of brands globally. So he’s, we’ve been so lucky and so honored to work with him and have him as our co founder. And yeah, like I said, He’s responsible for that the amazing brand that goes with, with time birds. And one thing you know, we talked about all of our professional backgrounds. But one thing that we’ve always found really interesting when working together on time birds is that we we all have a sporting backgrounds to a decent level, but in very in vastly different things. So Kieran was a college level basketball player and went up to the US to do that from Australia when he was younger. I played reasonable level of rugby back home, and then spent a long time in the skiing industry. And Julien, from suddenly recent history is a really strong runner. So we’ve always been really fascinated how CrossFit, and functional fitness in general brought us together into what brought us to meet each other, my family’s really diverse sporting backgrounds. I think, again, keep coming back to this, and we probably will keep coming back to this. But again, it just speaks to that community. And it’s the diversity of people that brings together different parts of the globe, different professional backgrounds, different sporting backgrounds, all ending up coming across each other and building this business over a shared love of something.

Mat Lock  

Yeah. Fantastic. And I’m keen now to dive in. We’ve used the word time that a few times and of course, we know what time birds is, but just for the listener who is not yet familiar with time, birds. What is it you guys are doing? What are you? What are you bringing to the world? God, do

Ross Hastings

Julien you want to take that? Or do you want me to.. 

Julien Claudin

I’ll have a go. And so basically timecode is a it’s a pocket sized version of a wall mounted gym timer. And how did we come up with the ID? Well, basically, I’ve been traveling a lot for work. When I say a lot, it’s maybe like 60 to 80 flights every year for the past decade. So it’s a lot of trainings in hotel gyms or, in fact, before I travel now, I always look at the closest gym to whatever hotel I potentially want to. And yeah, this is how I make my decisions of where I want to stay in the cities. So yeah, so it was not always ideal to train And I always missed my wall mounted gym timer for whenever I was doing a, you know, open gym session or, or some some of my own training and their hotel gyms. So I thought maybe I could do something around that. And yeah, so that was one and then my brother in law. One day, we were talking and I looked at his phone and he was all broken. And I said, What happened? And he said, Oh, I actually I took it at the gym the other day, and I dropped the plate onto and broke my screen. And I was like, Hmm, this is definitely something to be done around having a purpose-built fitness timer for people who want to take, you know, all the functions of the wall-mounted gym timer with them wherever they go. So yeah, that’s how the idea was born. We then made a few prototypes that we’ve been using in our box. And yeah, the feedback has been incredible. And yeah, we we thought, hey, let’s just explore that little idea further in time. Timebirds was born here in

Mat Lock  

a very exciting product. And we’ll get on to how exciting in just a moment to add of interest do you have? I know also in a podcast, you will be able to say to your listeners, but if you’re watching us on YouTube, do you have any there are a few that you can go well, this is what you must have one. There we go. Sure, I really would fit in pocket, right?

Julien Claudin

Yeah, pocket size. It’s got its, you know, strong enough to raise this to all the gym environment and you can throw it in your gym bag, it would still be fine. It’s water resistant. So a lot of sweat water splash rain, you can use it indoor outdoor. Yeah, it’s Yeah.

Mat Lock  

I was in training. Call the other day with a guy who runs a lot of online training. And I, in one of the breaks I sent him The link is he’s also into the functional training. I said, oh, by the way, Glen, check this out. heckles this. And he had looking at Oh, I said, I need one of those on my desk. He said for when I’m doing these came down, keep an eye on things like, there you go. There’s another application.

Julien Claudin

I mean, every time we’ve been talking about Tandberg to the different communities, we’ve always had very amazing feedback. One guy came to me and said, Oh, I’m a chef. And I love to do this in my kitchen. Because like the current kitchen timers, they’re not backlit, so you can’t see them very well. That’s exactly what I need. I’ll put one in my kitchen. And yeah, many people said, I’ll just use this clock. It looks really nice, very bright. So yeah,

Ross Hastings

it’s amazing how many different people that we had never considered the first point, have found a utility and an interesting use for time. But it’s time it’s it’s incredible. And it keeps us really excited. And we love hearing people’s stories. So please keep them coming. And it’s there was the there’s the Pomodoro timer, which productivity timer methodology that people have been saying that they’ll use it for and you know, quite a few people have said that they want to use it as an alarm clock and wake up to the beep, beep beep. So..

Mat Lock 

No, no, no, that’s not my drivers, we want go. Fantastic. So I guess I’m so you had the idea. So I guess you just get get a couple mock ups made? And yeah, just start selling them. That’s how it worked. Right?

Julien Claudin

Yeah, a lot of testing will probably, I mean, believe it or not, but the idea was born two years ago. It’s not related to the COVID situation at all. It was purely related to our own problems. So we were trying to solve. And yeah, we’ve, we’ve done many, many iterations to make sure that yeah, it was purpose built. And not just for the, you know, top athletes, but for the everyday athletes and to be used in, you know, at home, at the gym, inside outside. And we’re also developed quite a few molds to cover most of the training activities that templates can be used in.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, sure. Certainly no way brand specific. It’s a it’s a time of its really for initially, you know, in the first sense for anyone who’s into any sort of functional training, and then yes, or acknowledging there are a myriad of other applications that people are finding for it, which is awesome. Of course, but So, I mean, in 30 seconds, or ish. How does it how do you go about bringing something like this to market to get to the point of actually pre orders to get up to that point, which we’ll come to which is a subject in itself. But the thinking that goes into it, the process? As you said, there’s a few, a few variations, a few, a lot of testing, just sort of give a bit of an understanding around that because I think that’s an important thing for people to hear.

Julien Claudin

Yeah, I think people don’t realize how hard it is to make a product. You know, designing a prototype is the easy bit. Going to production is the heartbeat. It’s very, very hard to, to manufacture products. It takes a lot of time, effort and a tremendous amount of money. Originally, when we first started this project, we thought we don’t need to go through a crowdfunding platform, you could, you know, bootstrap it. And the more the further we were going through the process, the more money was being put into this. And at some point, we said, there’s no way we can keep going at that pace. So without on on funding, so yeah, we decided to, to go through a crowdfunding platform. So yeah, it takes a lot of effort, time and money. That’s, yeah, absolutely.

Mat Lock  

I think it’s the ultimate flattery is when someone picks your product and says, Yeah, isn’t that simple? Yeah, that’s when you know. Exactly.

Julien Claudin

Sometimes we get comments, ah, you know, why can’t Why can’t you ship it next week or next month? I wish we could. We’re working as fast as we can to organize production. And make sure that we ship a good quality product. Because this is definitely what you want. We don’t want to disappoint we’ve been, I think a lot of people are excited about timeouts and using it. But yeah, we want to make sure that we deliver upon our promises. 

Mat Lock  

You’d want to say to those people like guys, you do understand that only when we sell these, do we get money for this, like trust, motivated to deliver the Linux?

Julien Claudin

Absolutely. 

Ross Hastings

I think it’s, it’s, you know, one of those things that it’s a bit of a tightrope, often with an idea of like this demand can absolutely destroy you if you’re not ready to deal with it. And something like a crowdfunding platform really allows us to gauge initial interest, and launch manufacturing, to make sure that we can ensure the quality that we’re so passionate about this has to be it’s we’ve always purpose built it, like we said, for the everyday athlete we have, it has to have that quality. And we have to make sure we can fulfill as we promised, we have to make sure that we get the shipping rate so that we can keep shipping rates as low as possible for everybody, and do all these things that are so important to us in terms of the experience. So crowdfunding campaign gives us, you know, literally the exact number so that we can launch manufacturing based on that. And then that gives us the systems and the structures and the quality assurance, all those things in place to then go into traditional ecommerce retail environment at that stage. But you know, it just gives us yeah, it makes sure that initial wave of orders doesn’t bury us basically, it gives us a little bit.

Mat Lock  

I appreciate that. My my next question was going to be well, you know, why a Kickstarter campaign? But you’ve answered that question. And it’s not, it would be too easy for the lay person to assume you’re doing that just to get all the money up front. That’s nothing. That’s not it is more much more, as you’ve just described.

Ross Hastings

 It’s actually it’s actually, in some ways is wouldn’t be the best option for that. without going into too much detail around that. You know, I think often it’s tempting not to go through that sort of platform for financial reasons. But I think for us, yeah, it was absolutely just about gauging initial interest, giving a platform where people, and we’re so grateful for this people engaging with us through crowdfunding and doing so knowing that they’re not receiving their time or the next day in the post, you know, knowing that we’re saying, quite openly, this, this is going to be later in the year that you receive this. And, you know, without that, sort of, without that sort of trust and engagement and buy in from our community, you know, the crowdfunding thing doesn’t work. So we’re, we’re immensely grateful for that, and the support from the community that’s allowing us to, to launch this with, you know, with the experience and the quality that we’ve always been really passionate about. Yeah.

Julien Claudin

If I can add on to what Roy has just said, the other thing about crowdfunding is the level of insights we are currently getting about our product, we’ve been testing it within our own community, mostly, you know, in Australia, secondary to crowdfunding is it’s a different level different worlds, we’re getting a lot of insights that we we could potentially implement onto the existing product, which is what we’ve been doing with what we call stretch goals, but also insights that we want to use for the next generations and make sure that whatever we do, always answers a problem and will be adopted by our users. So it’s extremely valuable from that. That aspect.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. And so how many days ago did you launch the Kickstarter campaign? 

Ross Hastings

Last last Tuesday. 

Mat Lock  

Yeah, very good. So for those not familiar with Kickstarter, just a very quick overview of how it works. And let’s hear about your experience with it so far. And I’ve deliberately avoided referencing the number it’s gone up, by the way, it’s gone up by the time, you’re not going to bind other things in dollars. So

Ross Hastings

well, Kickstarter is the interesting one, the simple version is you, you launch a product, you have a set amount of time that the product is on the platform for, and you have to set a target. Now, your your campaign is only successful if you reach that target. Otherwise, everybody just gets their pledges and their money sent back to them. It doesn’t know what gets their product, and you don’t get the catch, obviously. So a big thing and kicks out, the first thing that’s important is hitting your target. And then obviously, your campaign continues for a set amount of time people are able to back your your product, be one of the first on the planet to get their hands on it. It’s your guarantee that they’re going to be the first in the first wave of orders. So that’s kind of the appeal around it. And I think that probably leads to your your next question, Matt, that you mentioned.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely. So you launched. And there’s a whole range of options in there different offers, like bundles packages, and all sorts of good stuff. But you went live. And I couldn’t help. I noticed on your website that you were fully funded in three minutes of going live.

Ross Hastings

Yeah, switch was incredible. So Julien, Kieran and I were on a zoom call for lunch. We, you know, we had some rough targets about when we might want to hit our initial target, that really important target I mentioned. And we thought, Well, you know, when we wake up tomorrow, or in the first 24 hours, it would be awesome if we just had that out of the way. So we had that peace of mind. And we can look forward to the campaign. So very quickly, it happened in three minutes. Yeah, like you said, and we were all kind of blown away. We had a bit of relief and euphoria around that. And we went on to then the initial target, Julian, made sure I got the figures, right. It’s about 17,000. 

Julien Claudin

Yeah. 18,000. us. 

Ross Hastings

Yeah. So we then went on to hit 100,000 us in under an hour. And 150,000 us in an hour and a half. So you know, what, the big thing for us with that is you have something like this that you there’s been built with us every day athletes in mind tested with like Julien said, the Australian community. And the reason that that was just such a euphoric moment for us was that just to see the support and engagement from our community? Yeah, extrapolated out globally, from what we knew was the case here. Just you know, it’s mind blowing. I mean, obviously, the the money side of things is important in Kickstarter, it means you can launch your business it means that you can get your product in the hands of all these people that you want to see use it, but probably more so for us at the moment, it’s just continued to be blown away by by that community. And And not only is it the backing and the funding, it’s like Julien said, People just reaching out and saying things like, well, I’ve backed you can’t wait to get my hands on the product. Can’t wait to use time but this is how I’m going to use it people coming back and saying I’ve I backed the product I’ve when I say back to that’s you know, you’re you’re ordering the product is known as plate, you’re backing on Kickstarter. People coming out and saying I’ve backed back time birds, it would be great if you could add this or great if you could add that, but it’s always I backed it. And it’s never if you do this, I’ll buy it. It’s just that just the community response, honestly has been breathtaking. It’s been unbelievable. And it continues to do so which is great.

Mat Lock  

Before we go further, I’m gonna have to say from from myself and the whole team here at bay games headquarters. A massive congratulations so far and what a huge success. 

Ross Hastings

Thank you. 

Julien Claudin

Thanks Mat. 

Mat Lock

And I understand this is a this is really only the beginning for you guys, because at some point, which we’ll talk about your bankroll to go into production and several of those. So it says that, hey, and then Okay, head down. I’d say you know what’s amazing to me when we before we went live. Well, actually, I won’t steal the thunder. Yeah, okay. When when we went live, you were staggering and I’m talking in Australian dollars and I’m looking at it staggering $701,000 pledge so far, with 22 days. Still to go. Since we’ve been talking. It’s gone up by another 2000 it’s never said 3000 Which is just the as we’re sitting here talking to people lighting this place in order to the end of the room. Yeah, I mean, it’s absolutely phenomenal. I mean, really well done. Congratulations. It’s just set we’re so excited for Yeah, I’m excited. 

Julien Claudin

This is actually, yeah, this is interesting, because we know we had a, we had plans for production and how many units we wanted the manufacturer with the first batch. And that number, that number keeps going, going up and up and up. So yeah, we’re currently organizing production, obviously, making sure that we build the tuning. And, and she very shortly after the campaign, given the success of the Kickstarter campaign, now, we we are moving everything ahead. ahead of schedule. I mean, so yeah, it’s hopefully we want to get enough units to ship to our backers. But also, like, all the people that will be ordering products for maybe Christmas, or slightly after, make sure we don’t have too much of a backlog. Once we go once once we go live after Kickstarter.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, sure how many, you’re very generously. I mean, if you’ve come aboard with the bay games, and we appreciate your support, so the first 60 that come off the production line. Of course, the winners, the top debate games, unstoppable edition, the online version This year, thank you, COVID. But now when we appreciate your support very much, we’re excited to have you aboard. And I know that when we announced to our audience that that’s the top three, and each division would be getting, but we’re giving them the bird, you when we give you the bird is now there was a lot of really good feedback around that. So we appreciate it. appreciate your support there. And actually, I think, as I’m sitting here thinking, it would be great to give another another podcast with with you guys in the future to dig into when you’ve got more time and you’re in a different space, to dig into the production side of it to really understand how that looks. Because there’s a lot of our audience would be really interested by that. Just to understand the mechanics of that. But um, but for now, I guess we focus on the Kickstarter campaign, this podcast is going live at a time when the campaign is still open. And for sure, we’ll we’ll be letting our audience know, as the campaign comes to a close, as well, but um, you mentioned already that you also heavily focused on production and getting units, active people, ideally before the end of the year is what you’re aiming for. I guess it depends on final numbers as well as to what your first order looks like with your supplier.

Julien Claudin

Yes, yes, that’s this is the challenge, because everybody wants to have product made for the Christmas holidays. So production lines are very, very busy. During that time. We’ve got many manufacturing partners in Australia, Hong Kong, China and in the US. So we’ve selected a few to make sure that we had different options and being able to control query again, it’s very important to us. And yeah, it’s, that’s the difficult part is to, yeah, align everything. So you can ship products, let’s say at the right time.

And, and the other thing that we need to take care of is, you know, production instructions. Like these sort of things that nobody realizes, usually testing the products or the regular regulatory testing, so we can ship safe products around the world to those things that it takes time. So it’s not just building the unit mechanically. It’s also all the peripherals, things going with it. You know, packaging is another one. That takes time. So yeah, it’s pretty, pretty busy.

Mat Lock  

Do you wish you had someone on the team that knew something about packaging?

Julien Claudin

Yeah. That’s, it’s been my everyday life for the past few years, so yeah, it’s so good.

Mat Lock  

So many of my former former life in the corporate world sent me I work for a company from Germany, who made safety and medical devices, often electronic devices at the salt throughout the world. So I can absolutely appreciate the complexities of this type of product going into multiple countries.

Julien Claudin

If you associate all of this to the current COVID situation, shipping products is a nightmare. At the moment, there are very, very few flights coming into Australia. So we can, you know, see what the quality is if everything is as per the specifications, and that being able to go and visit suppliers has been a little bit difficult as well. So we we do exchange a lot of emails, phone calls, conference calls. And yeah, we’ve been shipping product back and forth. But it’s just Again, it takes more time, if we were able to go to the factory and identify where the issues are and quickly correct them, it would be a lot more efficient than waiting for an email, waiting for a product, shipping everything back with the modifications, and so on and so on. So it has been a bit of a challenge and slowing us down a little bit. Not Not Not too much. But we could have been more efficient in a non compete situation for sure. 

Ross Hastings

I think it’s another benefit of the amazing response we’ve had on Kickstarter, like Julian said, is that it gives that element of certainty and assuredness around that first audit also gives us a larger first order. So we’re more likely to get like Julian said, that spot on the production line. So I think, you know, it’s another major positive of the response we’ve had so far to be able to bring those timelines forward just a couple of weeks. So that we can really make sure that we are delivering on on the timelines, regardless of your COVID. And the difficulties that that brings.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely, guys, I’m conscious of time to keep this as evergreen as possible to listen to it. Obviously, the Kickstarter campaign is important. But people go to your website, and the pre order button on your website at the moment obviously directs people to the Kickstarter campaign. So if we, what if you let us know how people can find you online? Whether web address that kind of thing? I guess that makes it as evergreen as we can. It’s time birds.com. Is that correct?

Ross Hastings

That’s right, yeah, that’s a website

Mat Lock  

with an S on the end, that’s plural.com. Where I’m from time, but

Ross Hastings

we had a, we had a long discussion. I think one of these times naming a business is obviously a pretty interesting process. Ultimately, we landed on on time, but it’s for a number of reasons. One, ultimately, these are a pocket sized version of your wall mounted gym timer that you can stick anywhere. So literally, we had this idea of time, birds, perching everywhere, poaching, wherever you wanted them to be all around the deer more around in this environment, chirping at you making noises and indicating, you know, obviously when you got to start stuff, and all the rest of it. But also we just, you know, we love this idea that time is all about freedom. And birds are all about so birds are all about freedom and time gives us this ability to time birds gives us ability to have freedom around when we when we work out when we’re being timed, it breaks us free of the kind of the limitations of something that’s wall mounted, or like Julian said, a phone that might be fragile, or whatever, there’s an element of freedom in there as well. And we we love the concept that time doesn’t discriminate, doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from or what sport you’re doing. It’s time it’s time

Mat Lock  

that you could tag on doesn’t discriminate. Right that day. I love that that’s the the story behind time. But I didn’t know that. And everything you just said is both very creative, but also makes a lot of sense. But if people want to reach out to you guys personally, how would they do that? How would they get in touch with you?

Ross Hastings

And probably best bet at the moment is by email for a personal connection. So it’s it’s simple. Rust s s at time buds calm or Julien with an E JULN. At the time, but it’s not yet a French question. Yes. But also, I would say that we’ve really enjoyed the way people have been engaging with us through social media as well. It’s been a source of a lot of the feedback and interaction we’ve had that we’ve been able to then think about incorporating into time birds. So for that you can get the contact or connect with us and please, you know, get in contact with us as well and speak to us through at time birds timers on Instagram, so it’s time birds again, but timers on the end this time.

Mat Lock  

Very good. All of those links, of course will be in the show notes of this podcast. We should also give a shout out to some of the partners that have got involved with your Kickstarter campaign. Some of you will stretch goals for example, feel free to just name those people or organizations. Yeah,

Julien Claudin

I’ll leave Ross answers with this one because he’s the one who’s worked really, really hard to get those partners partners on board. So

Ross Hastings

yeah. Yeah. I struggled say it’s hard work. It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with all of them, and then you know, they’ve all great to work with but we’ve we’ve partnered with relicense periodization. So RP strength one of the best nutrition coaches and nutrition resource centers around so they’ve they’ve, they’ve provided them a couple of their ebooks as well as a subscription to their IP diet app as part of the campaign which has been fantastic. Also brute strength. So anyone in and around the functional fitness industry will know that these guys are you know, one of the prominent coaching and again resource centers and programming experts around functional fitness. So they’ve they’ve contributed a discounted version of their ring muscle up program, which people could get back as can get as part of our campaign. The professor project and train your weakness, which are both headed up by Brent fikowski, in partnership with a number of other athletes and coaches like Bobby D here in Australia and Patrick Varner, Chandler Smith, Cole Sager, amongst others on on collaborate with him on those and they’ve donated on sorry, not dated, but they’ve contributed a discounted version of their train your weakness modules, and they’re the professor project side subscription to their premium premium subscription service there. And also, Andrew Papp, who has contributed the subscription to his everyday 365 program, but also very kindly contributed his 30 day bodyweight program ebook, which has just been released to all backers as our first stretch goal that got hit. And Andrew Papp is very prominent active member of the functional fitness community here in Australia. So we’re very proud to partner with him as well.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely. No, it’s great to get again, we’ll I will put links to all of those people and businesses in the show notes, of course. And as you say, it’s great to see all of them getting aboard and supporting. Amazing, fantastic. Very good, guys. Anything else you’d like to say at this stage? I’m pretty sure we’re going to have you back on in the future like a document we can dig into some of the specific areas. We’ve been asked to get back on, of course, when the Kickstarter campaign closes, so we know what the final result is. So interim, so far, when we’re talking is 703,316, which is 5337 backers. So far, of course, I guess the most backers have bought multiple units, which is just amazing. So again, congratulations from my side. Appreciate your time. I know you’re busy. Obviously, it’s a massively busy month for you guys. So appreciate your time. And again, very much appreciate your support at the bay games. Well, thank you for having us, Matt.

Julien Claudin

Thank you very much, Matt. 

Ross Hastings

It’s been a pleasure. And we just really like to say thank you so much. Again, it’s really, we always knew we were part of a really special community. But this is really solidified. And we’ve been completely blown away by, you know, everybody engaging with us and backing us. But also, like I said, just the communication. So thank you to everybody.

And we look forward to seeing everyone using their time. 

Julien Claudin

And we’ll definitely be part of the bay games probably next year that you’ll see a team time but it’s competing next year.

Mat Lock  

I think we need to have two teams so you can go head to head. Yeah. Alright guys, appreciate it. You take care.

Ross Hastings

Thanks Matt. Thanks a lot. 

Julien Claudin

Thanks Matt. Bye

 

Mat Lock  

Nathan, welcome to the podcast. It’s great to have you here. Thank you. Great to be here. And for those who are not familiar with you, Nathan Hart, or your brand unbroken, the apparel partner of the bay games, which suddenly we’re very, very proud of him, we’re gonna dive into that as well. Maybe for the listeners who are not familiar with you, if you just tell us a little bit about who you are and where you’re from.

Nathan Hart

Sure. I’m, my name is Nathan, last name Hart. I grew up in woolgoolga, Australia, I started unbroken that actually moved to London in 2015. I have been a branding designer, designer, creative director brand specialist really, for nearly 12 years now. And my inspiration for behind the brand was basically from my past and from the way I live life, and from things that happened to me and stuff.

Mat Lock  

And when did you find them broken?

Nathan Hart

It was initially founded in 2014, with a friend’s parents, and we were like, joined by another friend called Steve. It’s actually kind of a funny story, really. I had already been a designer at that stage for a number of years. And I was quite proficient in Photoshop. And I was messing around one day photoshopping Aaron’s nickname onto the back of random, random shirts that I found, and sending towards them to him telling him like I found it for sale and kind of watching him kind of lose his mind. So it’s actually that was actually the beginnings of what started the brand. Because I mean, shortly after that, after people caught on to the ruse and I mean, I think I got a little bit crazy. And I think I put his mobile number on the back of the shirt or something like that. I just started getting crazier and crazier until the point where people I think people were like, okay, what’s he doing here. But the owner of the gym that we’re attending at the time, he actually asked us, if we could put together some custom branded apparel for it. We were pretty excited about it. Like we didn’t really see it coming. But we loved the offer. I obviously being a designer and stuff, and especially a branding designer and stuff, I jumped at the opportunity. And I worked really, really hard on the range actually. And it actually ended up being amazing set of kit, and it sold really fast. And so from that, and I guess just from the quality and because people wanted to wear it and whatnot, we actually word of mouth actually spread. And before we knew it, we had quite a number of custom orders under our belt, from surrounding gyms. And so we thought, well, we better give this little project a name or turn it into a brand. And I mean, the name unbroken stood out to both Aaron and I like a bit of my past is that I’d struggled with and struggled with and suppressed really anxiety and depression. My whole life and Aaron had quite a difficult past as well. So when he proposed the name, it was like energizing just how much of a perfect fit it was. And I guess from the start, the concept was always that we would spread unbroken as a mentality first and a brand second. I mean, the these were just the heydays, the early days, we really didn’t know what we were doing. But what I didn’t realize at the time was that was the very easiest part of my story. My my story got quite difficult after that, but that’s that was its beginnings,

Mat Lock  

which is appreciated. So when you say that all your life you’ve struggled with anxiety and depression, that at that point that unbroken meant that you were you had found a way to manage that and Did you yourself previously broken and now unbroken? Is that? Was that the point? Or is that too simplistic?

Nathan Hart

Well, actually, at the time, I didn’t have a good relationship with my anxiety and depression at all. I just suppressed it, in order for it wasn’t there. In fact, I was. I mean, one of the common things that people do with anxiety is they kind of make themselves louder as a means to almost prove to themselves and prove to others, I’m not suffering from this kind of thing. And I was definitely that type of person, just loud and boisterous. And realistically, my like, without divulging too much into the gritty details of what I went through, I entered into what would be the hardest chapter of my life, when I did move to London, with my wife at the time, things just immediately grew difficult between us. And we divorced Later that year, for reasons that were just entirely out of my control, with complications that I just couldn’t understand and certainly couldn’t, couldn’t change. But I guess it’s just a part of like, where I was at at the moment to protect my ex wife. And because there was so many complications around the divorce, I chose not to tell anyone in my life that it happened. Not my friends, not my family, I didn’t even tell my mom. And for a long time that continued. And I guess at the time, I didn’t like I know this now. But I didn’t realize at the time that I was putting anything and everyone before myself, I guess, that I just felt that was right, possibly a byproduct of my anxiety and depression, which is obviously unhealthy. But by not looking after my mental health, I spun myself down and anxiety and depression fueled spiral in which declined to a place that, like I really just didn’t want to be alive anymore. And that was rock bottom for me. I was making horrible life choices that were detrimental to both my physical and mental health. I was neglecting myself, every part of my being really was hating myself. One day, I was reminiscing on better times. I couldn’t get unbroken out of my head, like, didn’t think about it at the time. But the moment sticks out to me just because it reminded me of how happy it made me to create something that people loved and that spread such positivity. Like it felt heal, almost healing for me, to help others. And I guess, feeling that from the brand really pointed out, like, how much of a dark situation I was in and how I wasn’t helping myself out of it.

Mat Lock  

But but at least you had that as a release. And I guess it makes sense, given your creative background. Yeah, but it was a release.

Nathan Hart

Yeah, well, that’s true. I mean, at the time, I wasn’t active with unbroken. So it was it was just something that was in To me, it was in my past, maybe I felt that perhaps I wasn’t good enough to keep doing it. Perhaps I thought that the moment was lost. But I guess a defining situation for me, that inspired me to change my situation was thinking to myself while I was in such a dark place that if it was a friend or family member of mine that was going through the same thing, I would probably give them the harsh became truth that they need to look after themselves, you know, and not just that, but like putting yourself forward time like putting yourself first from time to time like specifically in situations like the one I was in. At that moment, that was such a defining moment for me because at that moment, I reached out to family and friends, I got myself as support networks or therapists, told my closest friends about my darkest thoughts and, and really big regard began like my rejuvenation process. And to me the naming the brand, unbroken in the first place that it does have, it all holds a significant importance. But Following this, in my overcoming period, which is what I call it, that’s really where I’m broken means a lot to me, because I learnt things. And I gathered ethos and ethos that would then drive everything in my life from then on. And it took over four years. But like time had passed, and I was at a stage where I’m now looking after myself back in the gym. I’d spoken to numerous therapists I was understanding my anxiety and depression for the first time and I just changed my relationship with it dramatically. All in all, I was genuinely having moments where I like actually like to what was which for me was was huge. And I started to mentally reward myself which was big for my healing. So at this time, it dawned on me that I’ve come so far. And I felt like I learned so much that I could use the brand, as a platform to encourage others to put themselves forward. Like not just people who are broken, because that’s that that is my past. But it’s not everyone’s past. And so that the messaging wasn’t that, Oh, you are broke, put yourself forward, like actually put yourself first. It doesn’t matter who you are, you could be absolutely killing life. It’s about putting yourself forward still. Because you’re never at a stage where you should stop putting yourself forward, you know, you should never stop chasing yourself. So like I said, whether you’re killing life, or that’s killing you, you should be placing one foot in front of the other, and dedicating yourself to chasing your passion, you know, because there’s just such an invigoration in this self progression. That, like, feels amazing. And, really, I don’t know, I’m not I’m not saying bad things don’t happen to you, you don’t feel depressed, or you don’t feel anxious from time to time. But it’s just invigorating, you focus on it, you know, like your focus is on your forward progression. By mid 2019, I was the most stable and strongest I’ve ever been in my life. I had a great understanding of my anxiety and was progressing my personal life every single day, like I said, I like to I was and and I was making healthy decisions when it came to my mental and physical health. So it was at that time that I decided to inspire the unbroken mentality again through the bread.

Mat Lock  

Yep, you’re certainly doing that. And, you know, as you and I’ve talked many times, now that I know that I’m broken the brand and you at the end of the day, I mean, you have a passion for self care use that term already. Promoting mental and physical fitness as a means to the pursuit of personal greatness, in fact, is what it says on the website. And I love that. And the reason I love it, it to some people, it could sound like hyperbole, but not if they speak to you. Or if they believe what they’re reading, it’s you staying true to the brand, which is the end of the day, an extension of the way you not only live life yourself, but promote to others that they do the same, which is perfect.

Nathan Hart

Well, I mean, at the moment, I can I can tell my story at the moment. But it took a long time to get to this stage. I didn’t know how much I wanted to tell and stuff. But the reason I tell my story and why I’m so okay to tell my story. These days, even even with the dark parts included in it. The reason I’m so okay to tell that story is because everything I’ve learned from now I’ve applied to this brand. I didn’t just read some books, not that reading books, bad is bad or anything like that. But I didn’t come across this message without having such an impact on my life, you know, like it literally changed my life and potentially saved me. Well, not potentially, it definitely saved me. And so like, I mean, I fired the brand back up early to mid 2019. So we haven’t actually been going again for that long. But this time, we use the same similar underlying message. But with a few more layers and definitely more purpose at this stage than I had set on different courses in life. So I spoke with him. And we agreed that I deal with a loan from there. So it’s it’s at this stage, it’s just me, sorry, at the at the meet early to mid 2019 stage, it’s just me. And I really did take those life lessons that I learned and applied them to the ethos to the mission to the underlying values. And basically everything we do is a brand. We don’t do anything without without, like kind of consulting with that, that lesson and what message we’re putting out there. And it’s to this day that we are supported, and we support like mental health advocates. We aim to inspire people to chase their own self progression in everything we do. We encourage people to perceive their own greatness, like in their passion and persistence, rather than defining themselves by hardships they’ve been through. And to really see success in the small steps and to foster positive habits that, like promote physical well being. Because I mean, at the end of the day, regardless of your goal, it’s the pursuit that defines accomplishment. And the most important thing, I guess it’s just the most important message and it just means so much to me is just keep it going, you know, don’t stop. You might go backward today. You might not feel like you really progressed you might feel like a day was difficult. And like I said you don’t. This isn’t just talking about people unbroken. You might just feel like you’re comfortable in your job or whatever your things are going great. You’re in a great daily routine. But I mean, my point is what’s next You know, how can you? How can you keep working on yourself and never get to a stage where you stop, keep pushing, keep it go.

Mat Lock  

That’s a really satisfying message. I’m interested. But for those who are listening to this or watching this, who, yeah, maybe having a challenging time themselves right now. We spoke just before we started recording about the 30 amazing things that have happened today. And the one shitty thing that’s happened today. And of course, naturally, we kind of zero in on the one shooting thing. And if we allow it to it can consume us. What? given where you are now, what? And it’s not so much giving advice, because it’s all such a personal thing. And everyone’s situation is different. But how do you on a daily basis, if you feel yourself becoming anxious or concerned about something or digging into that the one out of 30, that’s not great things about the day, what’s your coping mechanism around that, to change the paradigm or to change your own state, to not allow yourself to go down the dark path simple,

Nathan Hart

I’m so glad you asked. Because this is the single biggest thing that I’ve ever learned in my life, and I’ve mentioned it a couple of times, and that is changing your relationship with your anxiety or with your depression or with your positivity. You know, and what I mean by changing relationship is, everyone suffers from anxiety, right? It’s a it’s a human emotion, we’re gonna feel it from time to time. Often it feels so heightened to us because of a traumatic experience. Because you get it a lot more than people, you might even have, like have to take some medication. I know a lot of people with anxiety, their serotonin levels just completely deplete, that’s me to a point where they just like really can’t cope anymore. And so there’s a lot of these factors. But there’s infinite apps, not infinite apps, there’s a there’s a few really good apps like headspace out there. And they just teach you to change your relationship with your anxiety. I feel anxiety every single day of the year. But it’s over here, it’s doing its thing, I’m over here, I’m doing my thing. And my relationship has changed with it to a point where we can coexist. And I think that is the biggest factor. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a constant battle with it. But what happens once you get into that space, and I would encourage anyone that is suffering from anxiety just to look into it, because I can’t stress enough just how good it is to change this relationship. And just to be okay with the fact that it’s there. Because it goes from feeling like this horrible monster that’s going to destroy your life to this thing, that’s that you know what’s there. And it’s not important. I can have anxieties before my biggest brand presentation. I can I can have, like anxiety attacks just before I go in. But my relationships with it. My relationship with it is at a stage where it just doesn’t affect me. I still go in, I still present. It’s fine. And I mean, I’m not saying I win every battle. Sometimes I lie awake. Sometimes when excessively big things happen. It’s still difficult at

Mat Lock  

some level, I think that’s true for anyone, whether they suffer with depression or anxiety or not. I think most of us I know I do. I have Gremlin regular Gremlins, that can sit on my shoulder whispering into my ear at three o’clock in the morning because there’s no distraction, right? Yes, sir. All of the daytime distractions are gone. And therefore, whatever concerns or worries we have in life at that moment, they are so easy for them to bubbled to the surface. And there’s no white noise to get rid of them. Exactly, exactly. I could I can only I can only agree. I mean, I’m a regular user of headspace. Love it. And for those who are not familiar with it, it’s a meditation app, a self guided meditation app by a guy called Andy Polycom. Who is it’s just brilliant. And they have a 10 minutes to 10 day free trial. And I encourage anyone, whether they’re suffering with anxiety or depression, or they could be the happiest person on the planet. I can only promote the benefits of meditation and I’m, I forced myself back into the routine of trying to, yeah, 10 minutes a day. 10 minutes a day, and I love it. To be honest, I really appreciate it. I don’t know why I often fall out of the habit of it.

Nathan Hart

Yeah, I guess life gets in the way. But I guess we should say that like no one’s telling us to say this. The reason we’re both talking about headspace right now is because it works. Oh, please do that. Please do that trial because it’s I mean, it just, it was a massive tool for me.

Mat Lock  

And if you’re not sure Listen to this and you’re not sure anything, it might be a bit of tree, Huggy Voodoo. Go to YouTube type in headspace and Polycom, Ted Talk. Yeah, spend 16 or 17 minutes of your life watching a very entertaining presentation by a cool guy, who will explain why it works, how it works and why it works.

Nathan Hart

And I promise your works. It’s just, it’s, it’s amazing. It really turned everything around for me. And I have, I’ve recommended it to so many people. And look, it’s not even you don’t have to be rock bottom. to want to use headspace, you know, you can just be struggling with extra stress, because you’ve either let’s just hypothetically, say you’ve advanced to a stage in your career where stress comes with that, because that’s what happens when you advance in your career. It’s a great way to slow down and to really be able to manage your stress and manage what’s going on inside your head.

Mat Lock  

But it’s pretty evolved these days. I mean, if you want to improve your performance, yeah, you can do that through God. Yeah, I’ve got a meditation. So they have, they’ve got a range of categories in there, which might just be if you don’t sleep particularly well. They have one minute sprints. Where if you’re having a bad moment during the day or night as matter, you’re literally 60 seconds. Off you go. So I love the variety. It’s in that I appreciate it. Yeah. But now look, I’m pleased that you are managing, managing it for you. Yeah, clearly, that’s demonstrated, from my perspective, I see the passion that you pour into the brand unbroken. I’ve been somehow associated with five or six different organizations that you’ve done designs for now. And they all they’re all different. They’re not cookie cutter, and they’re awesome. You’re gonna put me out of personal business or t shirts. That’s a good place to be. Well, that’s exactly right. But But now, I mean, it’s evident to me by talking to you when we first connected, all of the dealings we’ve had so far, in what is still a relatively young relationship. But nonetheless, yeah, I feel incredibly confident that this is a long standing relationship that’s going to flourish, because because of the values around unbroken, and the way you conduct yourself, then at the end of the day, as well, the quality of the garments that you’re providing the quality of the designs that you are putting out there, it’s all just top notch. Yeah. And that’s something that we find aspirational this and then I know, we just, I’m not going to date this podcast by a few days ago, we released the the unstoppable Bay games 2020 merchandise, and appreciate that you were as fluid as we are in making that the changes around the room because we’ve had to go online because of COVID. Thank you for that. But we’ve had such great response, so many people piping, you’re going to love the design. Yeah, I’m here, orders are coming in and the end of the day. We appreciate what you’re doing. For our audience. I appreciate that very much.

Nathan Hart

Well, I really appreciate the kind words and from my point of view, I love surrounding myself with people who are just as in just as inspiring and just as passionate as I am. And I mean, that’s I should really make a mention here just because I’m not doing unbroken alone at the moment around about may 2019. Actually, I should tell this story is quite funny of how we met. I was doing my second photo shoot for what I was calling, it sets the apartments up on my range up on my website now dating the podcast again. But I’ve been calling it the temporary, temporary legacy range. And it’s a limited release of gear that was just placeholder while we worked on like custom lines, our own custom lines. I knew I wanted to take them through quite a few rounds of prototyping because especially things like leggings and stuff. It’s not a one and done thing. And so to any of you female listeners out there, we are absolutely coming with female gear. We do apologize that it’s not up on our website at the moment, but we’ve worked hard on it like it’s been 12 rounds of leggings just

Mat Lock  

wait, that’s what he’s like.

Nathan Hart

So happy with them now. So it has been worth the weight. But the range of apparel was also just an easy way for us to know who our what we’re calling, it’s our day one as well. Basically anyone who’s been with us from the start, and we plan to reward them later on down the track that unknowingly before this second shoot. One of my models bails and in a desperate attempt to feel like the spot I reached out to I had this friend to create videos and he created one for a wb FF athlete. And he just this athlete just had this energy about him like I just found it really inspiring. And so within within less than 24 hours notice daini a guy I’d never met before turns up to my photo shoot and he Just nails every shot like. And, yeah, shortly after, we kept in touch and shortly after, he approached me and he just had this visible passion for building unbroken and wanting to join and wanting to help and stuff. And honestly, it was that energy that just reminded me of my own reminded me of people I love doing business with and it’s just that energy, you bounce back and forth off that energy, and it just, it’s really invigorating. So he also has an unbroken story of his own, but I’ll leave that for him to tell. Yeah, that’s, like together what we have created is and I’m really proud to say that it’s, it’s it’s a real brand with a difference. There’s rhyme and reason behind everything that we do. And gear is just we’re so proud of it. That’s Yeah, no, you should be here, you’ll

Mat Lock  

get amazing. I say that quite legitimately. And I’m wearing some right now. But I know that we had a lot of feedback that the Customize garments proof worn by previous audience of ours. And they just love it. They it’s the it’s the comfiest test kit they’ve ever worn. And they were very excited that you guys are bringing it to the market. And thankfully, you know how to design as well, because it’s amazing.

Nathan Hart

We’ve taken the design to the next level and where our photoshoots are actually going to be full of concept as well, those they’re looking cool. We’re actually in a very exciting space at the moment. We’re all ready and raring to shoot our first custom shoot this Sunday night.

Mat Lock  

Oh, excellent. Yeah. So I hope I qualify for some insider scoop.

Nathan Hart

actually send to the mood boards afterwards. I yeah, I really can’t wait for these ones to be released. Yeah,

Mat Lock  

fantastic. That’s very exciting. Nathan, I’m conscious of time. Yes. Yeah. Yeah, conscious of time if people want to reach out, which they will and they should. So to reach out both to you personally. And to connect with the unbroken brand, how would they do that, which are the different platforms,

Nathan Hart

our website is unbroken.com.au. We use Instagram and Facebook, we’re just at unbroken. Nothing else, just at the word unbroken. worked really hard to get those handles. If anyone wants to reach out to me personally, the brand is available at Nathan unbroken.com that you and existentially. Yeah, show. And the reason I put that out there is because we’re always looking to work with people who want to do something in the mental health space. We’re always looking for opportunities to push a message forward, push someone story for over the might inspire someone. And so I’m happy to get that in my personal email. If it’s for those reasons. So

Mat Lock  

absolutely. As as Ryan Reynolds does, with difficult. Even more super cool. He just sold about 600. Really? Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. But Nathan, I appreciate your time. I appreciate you. And appreciate you sharing your back. So I know it’s not easy. It’s not something you have done very often. So I appreciate you doing so here. And yeah. appreciate everything you guys are doing. Really? Just thank you, Matt, we appreciate you as well. And all of the all of the links that you mentioned will be in the show notes. Sure. When this podcast goes live, and yeah, I can’t wait. I have something that goes well and look forward to seeing what the kit looks like.

Nathan Hart

Sure. Well, yeah, we can’t wait to get it into people’s hands. It’s Yeah, we’re really excited about this change. I think it’s gonna be a difference maker.

Mat Lock  

Very good. Thank you very much, right. No worries. Thanks, Matt.

 

Mat Lock:

Mr. Stuart Walter, welcome back to The Everyday Athlete Podcast.

Stuart Walter:

You are welcome. And we’re back.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. And for those who haven’t listened to the first episode with yourself, I would certainly encourage you to do so. But Stuart is the founder and owner of Elite Mindset Institute and is a professional clinical hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner who works with elite athletes, ambitious entrepreneurs and individuals to help them recognise their potential of achieving great results. You see I just did your introduction for you.

Stuart Walter:

Well, I sound awesome. Why do I find?

Mat Lock:

So as we talked about last time, you’ve got an incredible heritage of working with 38 world champions so far across a whole range of different sports. But just so you can introduce yourself I mean, just to … I guess not what I’ve said but your version of what it is you actually do to help whoever it is you’re working with to get better results.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah. Thanks Matt and thanks everyone for watching/listening, whatever you’re doing. Yeah. I guess my role is to make people better. Okay? Remove the barricades, the blockages that you’ve created in your own mind. All right? Our minds are incredibly powerful and incredibly stupid. It depends on how you use it. Our mind has got what? 16 fundamentals of the human mind that always exists. So it’s understanding each of these fundamentals as a filter. And so what? This is this person. See you find me any person that I can drop them through these 16 fundamentals and go, right. “There’s the root cause of all the issues you’ve got now. Right? Do you enjoy it?” “No.” “Okay. Let’s change it.” And then lift them back up through these same 16 filters to go, right. This is a new version of you.

Stuart Walter:

Whereas remembering this is basically the deeper level of programme. Who we are on the surface is who we are. What we’re doing is responding to the programmes under these. So we changed the programme. So therefore who you are on surface becomes a totally different person. So I’m not talking about a typical psychology which would be, “Well, let’s go back and have a look at the past what made you who you are today. Tell me about your parents.” Because that’s already happened. The way I work and my model of working with people is, “Right. This is who you are. That’s where you want to go to. Who do you need to be to achieve this result?” And that’s all it is. Is basically changing the person, building the person that excels in business, in life, and in sport.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. No, thank you. Now to I guess pre-frame what we’re going to talk about today, for The Everyday Athlete Podcast, as the name would suggest, we are absolutely focused in everything we do on the everyday athletes of the world. And what we’re trying to do is ultimately create events that empower everyday athletes around the world. That’s the ultimate dream and provide the elite experience for everyday athletes. And we have a fairly broad spectrum. We have some absolute athletic weapons who come and play in our events and they go harder and it’s awesome to watch. We have some who are just stepping into that realm for the first time and having a red hot crack and loving it. And that’s equally awesome to see. And we have those standing on the sidelines who are thinking, “Oh, I think I’d like to do it but I’m not ready. I’m not good enough. I’m not strong enough. I’m not fit enough.”

Mat Lock:

Whatever it may be. All of those sort of internal messages, I suppose. Yeah we’ve recently had yeah, two or three people write in who are listening to the podcast. Thank you for that. And say, “Look …” Especially during the COVID-19 situation. Struggling to be motivated isn’t perhaps not the right way. What they’ve basically said is, “I find myself defaulting to working on my strengths. So doing what I’m good at the versus using the time to focus on my weaknesses.” And the question is from them why and could you talk to someone who could give advice for how to address that. And here we are today having this conversation taa daa. Enter Stuart Walter. So yeah. I mean, hopefully that’s enough of a lead in for you to … I guess, why do we do it is the first part and then the second part we’ll get to will be all right. What advice, tips, tricks or techniques would you offer to the listeners or the watchers who-

Stuart Walter:

Yeah. Quite simply, Mat, what’s happening people are defaulting. There’s two factors at play here. One is motivation is only possible when you have direction. Okay? Which is great because all the, I guess the elite athletes I’ve been working with in the lead up to 2020 Olympics, all of a sudden they had a direction. Therefore they had motivation. Pools were shut down, sporting events were shut down. The Olympics has shut down and therefore there’s no direction for them. So therefore, no motivation. So that’s one of the fundamentals. If people aren’t feeling motivated, you’ll probably find that they haven’t got a very clear direction or target in their life. So what I would say to a lot of people who are questioning don’t seem to have this is stop. Have a look at who you’re going to be, what you want to achieve in your life. How does it look? See. If you’re only kind of feeling half motivated, I’d probably say your goals are running half size. If you’re motivated some days and not the other days, I would say that same thing. The goals aren’t big enough or there’s something in that goal that’s scary.

Stuart Walter:

So therefore you start holding back or you’re creating fears and uncertainty, self-sabotage, procrastination. So that’s one of the fundamentals of focusing on the end result. Number two factor for why people would default is in times of pressure and stress you go back to learned behaviours. Okay? Learned as in survival. This is one of our major fundamentals of us. We’re here for one reason that’s survival. So we’re always on the lookout for things that potentially hurt us or harm us physically and emotionally. So our brain is always going to go back to survival in times of pressure and stress. To go right, how do we do this? So number one, if you don’t have a goal or it’s been shut off and you can’t do anything, you’re not going to have any motivation. Pressure and stress you go back to learned behaviours. If learned behaviour is kind of negative, that’s what’s going to happen. So we’re always going to find the positive part of our life and sit in there, okay?

Stuart Walter:

Because it gives us comfort. It gives us safe and security in a very uncomfortable unsecure world. So you can see exactly why our brains going back to go, “Well, look, I feel safe and comfortable here. Why would I push myself?” Okay? So maybe that helps and helps all your listeners out there and viewers.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. Oh, yeah. Thank you for that. Again, from my logical brain to break it down that way makes a lot of sense. To understand why it is. Certainly there was one athlete in particular who reached out who self described himself as a heavier athlete. He used to play a sport at a very high level, almost national level, different country. And he basically had to get a job and fend to a career and so on and kind of let himself go, his words, and is struggling with exactly the subject where he says he’s motivated yet based on what you’re describing or what you’ve just said, I wonder whether he’s sufficiently motivated let’s say. Whether the goal is big enough to truly motivate but certainly he has concerns around why he doesn’t train as he should. He knows he should and he thinks he wants to. I’m being a bit candid because I guess he’s going to be listening and people he knows will be listening. So I’m not going to name him but I do want to help him. And he’s not alone at the end of the day. He’s not alone.

Stuart Walter:

Oh, look, I would say this is typical of athletes. One of the greatest fears that I work with with athletes is the fear of success. Okay? So many people think it’s fear of failure, “Oh, I’m scared about failing.” They’re not because you can get probably 80% of the way towards success by getting away from the past. It’s this extra 20% is the fear of success kind of pushing back because what happens with judgement ? What happens? What would people think? What would happen if people are thrust in the spotlight? They’re not ready for it. They’re not strong enough and resilient enough to be able to hold this space. So a lot of people are actually self sabotaging back to that 80%. Okay? The other factor at play is just on this case alone, by listening and kind of reading and interpreting is if someone’s been in sports, the higher they go, the more they’re going to crash at the end of it.

Stuart Walter:

If someone in sport or business in life has been at the top and then bang! It’s crashed, the way the brain works … Again, we go back to the fundamentals, which is protecting ourselves from potential hurt, potential harm. We’ve now got this one experience not the highest of the issue, it’s the low from it. So our brain goes, “Right. Let’s go back up here.” Our brains go, “Why would we want to go back up and hurt ourselves again? Because that’s what happened last time.” So the higher we go, the more we crash. Next time we’re going to go up the brain’s going. “Yeah, let’s self-sabotage. Let’s hold back a little bit.” So if anyone’s been in a relationship and it was awesome and it ended in tears, you don’t go rushing out to go, “Right. Let’s do it again.” Most people go, “Let’s hold back a little bit just in case.”

Stuart Walter:

So if it does fail, it won’t feel as bad. In you in a negative space your brain goes back to look to past experiences. So it’s always going to reflect on the previous one. So let’s look at it. This one might be a 10 out of 10. It’s going to crash to -10. We start going back up to go, “Well, we’ll just sit at nine.” So if it crashes you think -9. It’s not that bad but it’s actually worse because in this one, it’s worse than the memory of this one. When you’re in a negative state, you only look backwards. So you’re looking at the -9 plus the -10 becomes a -19. So then you would go back up again. Your brain goes, “Oh, I don’t want to hurt myself again. So we’re only going to go to 8.” Bang! Bang! Bang! Bang! [crosstalk 00:00:11:01]. But you probably want to be this person that might’ve been successful in sport and crash. And they’d go, “Right. Let’s get back into business.” So you probably find there’s a limit to potential with the brain is actually going, “But I don’t want to hurt myself.”

Mat Lock:

No. That makes total sense. And what advice would you give to that person? And again, both people because he’s not alone. What would be the advice for how to handle that?

Stuart Walter:

Awareness is the key. Awareness is absolutely the key. If you can feel yourself going up here and go, “Yeah, I’m being successful. That’s great.” But don’t forget most people are seeking this conscious level which is only 3 to 5% of our human mind. I’m a specialist in this 95 to 97% to go, “Well, this is logical. Your brain doesn’t want you to perform because you might get hurt. What if you are a success? So what if you go twice as big this time and crashed twice as low.” We’re trying to protect you from this potential hurt. Remembering it’s only potential and as I mentioned in the last video, we spoke about the fear of sharks. Okay? You can’t have a fear of sharks sitting here but if there’s up to here in water and there’s one hanging off your leg that’s not a fear. That’s a reality.

Stuart Walter:

So it’s just taking a step, managing it. Taking another step, managing it. Okay? There’s always going to be fear. That’s a signal that your brain is going, “What you’re about to do is dangerous. It could hurt based on past experiences.” So imagine if you could just go back to the past, to the big extension lead that’s connected to that negative power, turn it off, unplug it. Imagine you can unplug the power to all these negatives and go, “Oh, let’s go plug it in out of here in the future and turn it off.” So all of a sudden you’ve got exactly the same person but we’re now going, “Oh, this will be good. This is somehow beneficial.” So it’s a matter of changing the programmes that are down at this deeper level. And that’s where I specialise. A lot of people can’t do it because they’re too caught up in this conscious mind, which is where all the emotions sitting as well.

Stuart Walter:

And a classic example is what I call the yeah-buts. Okay? You will hear it in everyday conversation, “Yeah I’m going to do it but.” The yeah is the unconscious mind, “Yeah I can do it.” The but is past experience and emotions. Yeah-but. Yeah-but. I’m a good person but. I know I need to lose weight but. I know I need to be successful, I know I can go harder but. So you can simply reframe it by take the word but out of it therefore you’d no reference to the past to go, “I’m a good person. And I know I need to lose weight. And I know I can be a lot better in my job, in my life, my relationships and …” So that then, that change of word from but to an and is actually now going to start creating a positive action and momentum. So maybe that can help that person that you know and a lot of people. If you hear yourself going, “Yeah, but” That’s exactly what’s going on. It’s your mind reaching back to past experiences to help and protect you, keep you safe.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. And for those who are listening who perhaps haven’t experienced hypnotherapy themselves and therefore have listened to what you’ve just said and go, “Yeah, but [inaudible 00:14:17]. It’s a bit tree huggy, a bit herbal, a bit green. It’s not really for me.” Out of the 38 world champion do you want to pull out two or three specific examples where as a result of working with you and what you do that performance has improved by X? It’s quantifiable, it’s measurable and undeniable on that basis.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah. Probably one of the good ones I mentioned the last one, which is a 400 metre hurdler.

Mat Lock:

That’s okay. Mention it again. Absolutely.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah. Okay. Let’s let’s just look at it. 400 metre hurdles. So imagine the 400 metre hurdle track. Number one, under 17 year old national champion. Now, remember he’s already Australia’s number one for the 400 metres. He was throwing up two days before an event because he was that nervous. He wasn’t sleeping. He was tightening up. Everything was just out the door. So his coach actually connected with me and said, “Hey, look, can you help? Because this is the situation.” So again, he’s caught up in this. “This is who I am.” And in the emotional triggers. “This is what I do, I run. Last time I ran I felt this way. Last time before an event I was throwing up two days before.” So here he is now two days before he’s going, “Oh, what happened last time? [inaudible 00:15:27]. throwing up. Oh, right. That’s the programme. Let me do it again for you. You’re welcome.”

Stuart Walter:

So I started working with this young kid who was running 56.5. Okay? This is all documented, verified and results because it’s on tiny sheets around the country and around the world. 56.5, a month later we had him running 52.6. So [crosstalk 00:15:52].

Mat Lock:

And nothing else changed?

Stuart Walter:

Nothing else changed. Conditions slightly, wind direction slightly but 3.9 seconds as a reduction in time over a 56 second race is huge. As I alluded to before, this is the end result. This is what I want to achieve. Okay? And then removing the nerves and the doubts and the fears. So now we’ve got excess baggage disappeared. This is where I’m focused on. Truly believing and trusting I’ve got this skill. I’ve got it. I’m number one in the country. Now I’m free on life where I’m not carrying this huge emotional weight. Gone. So focused on the target, the end result, managing nerves, doubts and fears. That was a 3.9 second reduction. I mean, the fourth session I did with him was actually at the state title track where he got that 52.6. I actually had him sitting there against the car tyre. I got him into a nice relaxed state, brought his coach in there. The coach was actually the one that says, “Right. Let me drop all the technical information into you.” While I had him in that state, brought him back out bang! Done. How this looked on track map was just incredible.

Stuart Walter:

So you can imagine 400 metres hurdles track roared the big egg. You’ve got the finish line. Okay? He was already crossing the finish line. The rest of the pack were about five metres behind. With his new reduction in time, 3.9 seconds, based on his average running speed, he would actually have a gain of 27.6 metres. So what happened is his crossing the line now. You reckon the 27 litres plus the five would be 32 metres. Okay? It wasn’t. That state title he actually won by 45 metres. That’s half the length of the main straight. You look at that and think, “How is that possible?” It’s because you look at the guy, he’s disappearing down the runway. All his opposition are looking at him and go, “Hang on. Not what is he doing but what are we not doing?” [inaudible 00:17:55] tightened up and they had a net loss of 13 metres by his results. So think about this within sport, within life. If you’re focused on your opposition, you’ll tighten up and you’ll end up going backwards.

Stuart Walter:

If you’re just relaxed and focused on what you do and trust yourself, you’ll be the one hitting records and everyone else is going to be going backwards because they’re too focused on you. Okay? That’s kind of the situation. So you look at that. That’s one clearly measurable outcome. Let’s look at other people. Who else we got? Melissa Hauschildt, three time world, 70.3 Ironman Ironwoman. I worked with her back in her steeplechase days and cross country days in Australia track and field team. I worked with her and she had a lot of … Well, she had a few issues in regards to travelling, coaches within the Australian side. There was this conflict of emotions and the way people treated each other. So basically with her, we’ve got “Look, every time you’re going to be travelling, you’re going to be in this environment. You’re not going to excel in this environment if you want to be the one you want to be. So let’s just remove yourself out of it.” So she did and changed the sport. And she won her first three Ironman.

Mat Lock:

Oh, she dominated.

Stuart Walter:

Dominated. And she’s still regarded as one of the strongest mindsets in I guess, triathlon or even world steeplechase.

Mat Lock:

I didn’t know that backstory for her. I knew she was steeplechase but I didn’t know that backstory because I watched her debut and she was phenomenal. I mean, she was next level.

Stuart Walter:

Oh yeah. You wait until she comes back. This is going to be absolutely mind blowing. Okay? Now she’s had her daughter. You wait for that. [crosstalk 00:19:43] see what she’s doing. I did a podcast with her only a few weeks ago. Yeah. So she’s an incredible lady because what we did with her, there was … She’ll be fine mentioning this but she’s got her potential, which is 100%. And you’ve got the 0%. I’ve actually documented this as well through [Brain Best 00:00:20:09]. Who was the coach for James Magnuson, [inaudible 00:20:08] all the fastest women in history back at that time. Brian Best was his swim coach. He’s a client of mine now. A good friend. And I’ve run this measurement through with him as a physical coach but it’s me being mindset. Now, most people start feeling resistance to potential at 40%. Think about that 40%.

Stuart Walter:

So you can double what you thought was tough and you’re still not near your potential. Okay? Think about that. So with say [inaudible 00:20:37] for example, she wasn’t able to push through that 80% barrier. All three disciplines, cover everything up and go hard. And she goes, everything was sitting around the 80. So what happened is it’s not the 80 that was the issue. Okay? The fact that she couldn’t achieve the 100 because every time she’d do that, she’d get hurt and break physically, emotionally. So the body kept her held back. The mind kept her held back to 80% so she didn’t have to push any further. When you look at the results, even at 80%, she’s got three or four or how many world champions? Okay?

Mat Lock:

Yeah.

Stuart Walter:

The game is not pushing harder. The game was actually slowing down and this is where we got the results because most people will push, push, push, and get to breaking point. Then they’ll step back and go, “Oh, I’ll go back to 40%. At least I’m doing something.” So if you’re now training within this 40 to 80 percentage range guess what happens? There’s your muscle memory. You are now training between 40 and 80%. It’s not optimal. Again we come back to the basics of the human mind. Apply pressure and stress you go back to learnt behaviours. Now, all of a sudden, when you go to a competition, you could be anywhere between 40 and 80%. There’s inconsistency.

Stuart Walter:

So how do we increase? It’s simple. When your brain says slow down, don’t slow down, stop. Totally stop. Put your feet up. Watch a movie, have a beer, refocus on what’s important. Then when you get that motivation to go again … So trusting your mind and trusting your body, then bang! Straight up to 85%. all three disciplines. What happens next? Right, if you start feeling that resistance at 85% stop. Okay? Don’t go thinking, “Oh, everyone else is doing something.” Yeah, they are. They breaking themselves. Let them do it. Okay? Come back, stop, refocus, bang! 90%. Do it again, 95%. Come back. Do it again. Bang! 100%. So what we’ve actually done is now you’ve trained you your body to only perform at 100%. So when you train it to 100%, when you compete it to 100% so now next time you go to an event, you know you’re going to be at 100%. There’s belief. Your opposition know you’re going to be at 100%. There’s pressure for them. Okay? That’s how you win.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Fascinating. So it’s another example where less is more sometimes.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah, absolutely. And you know what? You’d be the same. If you have one of those days in business where you just can’t break through everything. Everything seems to be on this downward spiral, like I do. I know where my rate is. I’m not producing anything at 50%. So I’ll shut off. Go and spend the day. I’ll put the feet up, go for a drive, have a coffee, watch a movie, have a beer, have a pack of chips, refocus. So then when I pick up again, bang! Straight back to 100%. But if yours is 50% and you keep pulling it down, pulling it down and you got a huge recovery again. I’ll just shut things off and go, right. Change state, walk state, go back out. So when people see me, they only see me at 100%.

Mat Lock:

Yep. That makes sense. [inaudible 00:23:35] Absolutely. That was fascinating. That was very helpful. Thank you. And I kind of put you on the spot with some of that so my apologies but I appreciate.

Stuart Walter:

It’s all right. Not a problem.

Mat Lock:

You know your craft. It wasn’t the first time you’ve heard that described I’m guessing. No, but I appreciate it. So I’m conscious of time. So if anyone want to reach out and get in contact with you, how did they do that?

Stuart Walter:

Yeah. Through any of my websites. We’ve got the elitemindsetinstitute.com or the Athletes Secret Weapon. If you’re looking for more of the sports related, go to Athletessecretweapon.com website. If you’re looking for the more that, the everyday type of thing, business and life issues, Elite Mindset is probably more the pathway for you. You’ll probably get those links I would think in your notes.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. I’ll put them in the show notes for sure. And you mentioned you have a podcast as well, so feel free to give that a shoutout.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah. Athlete’s Secret Weapon Podcast. Yeah, it’s on basically about six different platforms, Spotify-

Mat Lock:

On everywhere.

Stuart Walter:

Not yet. It’s more about interviewing some of the best athletes in the world. I’ve got bull riders, rowers, motor racing, [inaudible 00:24:46] cup guys. I’ve got Brain Best the swim coach. I think there’s only about 10 episodes there now. The next one is coming up in a few weeks. Yeah Melissa is there. We’ve got a five time world karate champion. She’s coming up next.

Mat Lock:

Oh, fantastic. Pretty good.

Stuart Walter:

So that’s the Podcast, Athletes Secret Weapon. But yeah, if anyone’s interested I’m … I’m not sure if I mentioned the Dear Diary Process eBook, if people are interested in that. Which is one of the greatest self-empowerment tools that I’ve created a published book. If anyone’s interested in an ebook version of it. Okay? Put that in the notes as well. That’s a downloadable book. They can actually-

Mat Lock:

Yeah. That’s very kind of you. You made the offer last time and continues to do so where it’s a free downloadable eBook which is absolutely self-explanatory. I’ve read it and used it. I have to say it’s excellent. And I will put the link in the show notes so that everyone can access it and we’re going to work it out in one of the weekly emails as well, so that it’s available to everyone.

Stuart Walter:

Fantastic. Yeah. Awesome. And I think I’ve mentioned specials as well for my online programme [inaudible 00:25:48] eight week athlete’s secret weapon, online programme, hypnosis, workbooks, self development, self empowerment tools and resources spread out over an eight week period. If anyone’s interested in that, I think I mentioned last time, a 40% discount offer.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. That’s fantastic again.

Stuart Walter:

Just there’s a special promo code. We’ll put that in the notes for you. That’s 40% off the $4.95 so it’ll be coming down to about $2.97.

Mat Lock:

That’s awesome. Thank you very much.

Stuart Walter:

Yes. If anyone is interested and even face to face or not face to face these days but Skype. Yeah, just feel free to just connect on email and we’ll work out a way to have a chat and connect.

Mat Lock:

That’s amazing. Thank you very much. I appreciate your time again and your expertise. I’m sure it’s not the last time we’re going to have you on the podcast. And I know that this is mindset and performance big topics for everyone certainly in our sport as are all sports. So thank you again. And yeah, you continue to take care and stay safe during COVID-19.

Stuart Walter:

Will do. Stay safe. Stay distant.

Mat Lock:

Absolutely. Sure thing.

Stuart Walter:

Thank you very much. Take care. Bye

 

 

Mat Lock 

Jenn Ryan welcome back to the everyday athletes podcast. 

Jenn Ryan

I’m back. It’s great to have you back. And you haven’t changed a bit at all since our last yet. So good.

Jenn Ryan  

Still good in tan.

Mat Lock  

That’s exactly right. For those who haven’t yet listened to your first episode, where you talked about your road to the games is never an athlete. And if you haven’t, and you’re listening, I would encourage you to do so. If you could just give a very short. Yeah. Introduction to yourself, who you are, and what you’re about, please.

Jenn Ryan  

Yeah. So I’m Jen Ryan. I live in beautiful sunny San Diego, California. I am a nutrition coach and an ER nurse. I’ve been an ER nurse for 11 years. I’ve transitioned more to doing online nutrition coaching. So still still working with people, which I guess is my kind of my favorite thing to do. I’m also, I guess I’d call myself a CrossFit athletes. Yeah, I’m a Masters athlete. I’m 40. I got to compete at the CrossFit Games three years, this year would have been the fourth. But yeah, that’s kind of me in a nutshell. I have my two pups, two dogs, and that’s kind of me, you’ll probably see me either posting things that we’re talking about my dogs talking about CrossFit, or work.

Mat Lock  

Or you’re preaching to the converted. We’ve got three dogs and two cats in our household. There you go. There you go. kids coming out Tuesday, but what are your puppy’s name? Oh,

Jenn Ryan  

my gosh. Jordan is my three legged Yorkie mix. And then Paris is my over 16 year old Pomeranian terrier mix. So one is 10 pounds and one is five pounds. I keep them small, I give them small.

Mat Lock  

What’s the very quickly what the missing leg What happened there?

Jenn Ryan  

That was right before I got her. So I got hurt about three months old. And I think when she was like two months old, something happened. She was it was fractured or something like that. And unfortunately, it didn’t heal properly. So the owner left it at the vet, and I was blessed enough to take her from the vet. So

Mat Lock  

sounds like she was blessed as well. Let me tell you,

Jenn Ryan  

he’s awesome. She’s literally the happiest dog ever. Oh, she

Mat Lock  

doesn’t know right?

Jenn Ryan  

Now she has, she literally has no idea. She, oh my gosh, she scares me with some of the stuff that she doesn’t like no.

Mat Lock  

More feeling sorry for herself and complaining about everything because she doesn’t know and doesn’t care.

Jenn Ryan  

Nope, nope, not at all. Not at all.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely. So well. Well, thanks for the introduction. And it’s a pleasure to be talking to you again. And when I when I first talked to you, for sure it was around the whole CrossFit. You’re winning and going to the CrossFit Games again this year to find out that actually that wasn’t going to be the case. But then I was really interested reading your website, Lifeline performance.com I have to say, I love the I love the way that’s written. It was it felt like I was learning about you, rather than just doing that, which is wonderful. And I was really interested if you could share with us today, let’s talk about how your nutrition has changed enough. So you’re someone who obviously is competing and performing at very high level. But you also look amazing. And you feel amazing, as you talked about last time. And that’s so important. It’s not about aesthetics, necessarily how you feel how you perform. And yeah, great to talk about how your nutrition has changed over the years, and then really importantly, how you’re applying that same learning for your clients and your athletes.

Jenn Ryan  

Yeah, oh, God has

Mat Lock  

changed. When did that really come on? Pop onto your radar, I suppose.

Jenn Ryan  

nutrition in general. So I don’t know if you’ll find this money. I don’t know if anyone can relate to this. But I started paying attention to my nutrition in high school. Actually, I think I was a freshman in high school freshman or sophomore. And one day I just decided I told my mom, you know what, I’m not drinking the 2% milk anymore. I’m gonna need skim milk. And if we didn’t have skim milk, I would put a little drop of 2% in like the bowl and then add water cuz I didn’t want the fat, right? Because I’m 40 now so back then. Everybody was afraid of fat, right? That made you fat at that point. And I also decided I wasn’t going to eat any kind of meat besides a chicken breast and Turkey and some fish. Yeah. So that was when I started to dive into nutrition. I would take my own I would take my own little jar of fat free salad dressing to school every day, I would get a salad from the salad bar. Most people tend to do because we don’t quite have it all figured out, I would also sometimes get a cinnamon roll. I had these little inklings of trying to figure out nutrition. I was i a lot of it had to do with my body image. And the way I wanted to change how I looked. And so that’s where it all started. And those were the little things that I started doing. From there, I kind of changed.

Mat Lock  

So no, no, sorry, I’m just before we move on, understand the motivation. And that’s not uncommon, sadly, even today, if that motivation, but wherever you’re getting your advice from at that point, then to make the decision about you know, fat being bad, and I’m only going to eat white meats, and even particular cuts of white meat. Where were you getting your information from? At that point?

Jenn Ryan  

I honestly, I don’t remember. I don’t know, I think I just started paying attention to different magazines, I was probably reading some kind of Health magazine or something, you know, seeing you know, meal plans handed out, my my mom. So none of this really comes from my family, which is strange, because when I work with people now I hear so much of the way people’s minds are shaped around nutrition and body image, it does come quite often from a parent or a grandparent or a family member, right. But that no one really in my family paid a lot of there was not a talk of dieting or things like that. Um, and so I think it came from other other feelings that I had image, self image, things like that about myself. And so I think the information that I was getting was more so most likely from magazines and things that I was reading. Yeah, so so I think that’s it, right? Because back in the day, shoot, we didn’t even have cell phones then. So and the computers, you know, if there wasn’t like, a lot of googling all this stuff, and certainly what’s available now. I couldn’t even afford them back then. Right. And so it wasn’t as easy to get a hold up. But maybe in the the grocery store, I was pulling a magazine off the shelf, right? Things like that. So and we all know what some of those, say on the right, like, kiss or stop eating this and you’ll drop this or you’ll look like this celebrity. And of course, that’s that’s where I was getting my

Mat Lock  

seven days and look like this.

Jenn Ryan  

Yeah, yeah, a cabbage. I don’t know if anybody can remember this. But you know, here in the States, we had the cabbage soup diet or eat grapefruit, grapefruit only will help you lose fat. I mean, these are the times that I was living in, you know, and then I went

Mat Lock  

and did those studies.

Jenn Ryan  

Oh, my gosh,

Mat Lock  

ah,

Jenn Ryan  

jeez, Louise, when I think back to it, you know, but, and then, you know, there was the Atkins diet, the South Beach, all these things. And then going through my 20s, I was kind of reading things like oxygen magazine, and, and all of this. So I continue to be very interested in nutrition and health and fitness. I decided to go the route of becoming a nurse because I was very interested in health and fitness and nutrition. I didn’t know how to make the connection with what I wanted to do at the time, but even back then, I was so interested in it, and I wanted to work with people and also picking figuring out for myself, you know, because I was struggling, I was struggling so much. So, again, we didn’t have Instagram, we didn’t even have Facebook, till I was like my late 20s that’s, that’s how old I am. For sure, yeah, I got my first cell phone at like 19 or 20. I think you know, 20 Um, and so. Yeah, right. Those are crazy times. And there wasn’t as much if there’s something

Mat Lock  

I mean, it would have been old school mainstream media.

Jenn Ryan  

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So um, and then fast forward to when I started CrossFit, of course, paleo was the rage. Of course back then in Oh 910 11 when I started paleo and zone and so I tried both of those. And I’ll tell you my turning point and we’re really fall in love with With nutrition and CrossFit and what it could do for you was when doing like paleo and and starting there, and then I started to also realize that if I wanted to feel good, perform good and just be where I want to be in CrossFit, I needed to eat more, and I couldn’t be afraid of food. And all this nonsense from the past, had to stop. And I, I started eating more. And I introduced red meat back in one of the coaches that I worked with at Carolina, CrossFit back in South Carolina took me to this amazing burger place, and I ordered a burger and I remember them all staring at me as I took a bite. And I was like, oh, what am I been missing for so long, you know? And, and I remember just thinking, I want to be strong, I want to be healthy. And I want to feel good. I’m so sick of this. I’m, you know, being afraid of food. And so I just kept reading more and more than the CrossFit journal used to have so much out there on nutrition very much about, of course, zone and paleo. And so there’s only so much paleo you can eat when you’re trying to put on size and fuel yourself well, for CrossFit, as I began to find out. Yep. So fast forward, then to 2014, I began working with a nutrition coach who kind of introduced me to macronutrients and eating for performance. First and foremost, I was not put on any kind of a diet, I didn’t just get sets of macros. She showed me how to eat around training. So the first thing she said to me was, Do you realize that your nutrition, your your food intake sucks for an athlete? And I was like, What are you saying, you know, and as I started to learn how to use food as fuel, and that literally was just this aha moment. And I was no longer afraid of food. And it was, it was the start of just where I am now.

Mat Lock  

probably felt at the time, like a seismic shift in thinking, but now I imagine it just feels so natural and right. Yes, that I imagine that’s what you’re absolutely trying to accelerate that aha moment for your clients, I’d imagine.

Jenn Ryan  

Yeah. Oh, man. Absolutely. And especially, and I work with so many different people, so many different athletes, and could be someone who is just starting to work out. Or it could be someone who has been working out for a while. And just kind of needs to change just, you know, has been kind of where I was almost afraid of food, not understanding what your body actually needs to achieve what you want to achieve. because quite often, if you’re eating for performance, you’re going to see some most likely a better body composition as well. Right. And that’s the really cool part that so many people are missing out on. And that’s what I was missing out on, you know. So yeah, I love when people start reporting back things like, Oh, my gosh, I feel amazing. And then suddenly, they, they are changing the way they look. And they’re finally like, Oh, this is what I’ve been trying to be like all along, you know, and they went through the same thing I did,

Mat Lock  

what I love about the diet shift, a change in diet. And by diet, I don’t mean weight loss, just in terms of what you eat the diet. I love how profound it can be for people, if they haven’t had a great diet. If they literally just clean it up, this is before getting longer term results and body composition changes and so on. Just within a few days, even people feel so much better.

Jenn Ryan  

Like, oh my gosh, I’m sleeping better. Or I just don’t feel groggy later in the day, or I oh my gosh, I’m not as bloated or my digestion is better. I’m like, yeah, that’s a big sign. You know, that’s exactly right.

Mat Lock  

And hopefully then that that becomes that fuels the motivation, because the better we feel. I mean, if you do something that feels good, well, you’re more likely to do more of it, because it feels good, right? I mean, that’s the way the brain is wired. And so that’s one of the things I love about people who go clean up the diet and they immediately almost feel some incredible results and then the short, they can sustain that and I’m interested to hear how you how you work with clients and make things sustainable. I mean, we live in a world six week challenges, eight week challenges, the biggest loser type shows and so on. But But actually, I’m much smarter, as I’m sure you are about enduring, enduring within health and wellness and diet is really at the heart of that. I mean, it has to be it’s the fuel, we wouldn’t put diesel into our Ferrari, would we? So why would report junk into our bodies, I mean, and expect them to perform like a Ferrari. That’s just not common sense. So I really love to hear your thinking around your whole approach your philosophy, I suppose of, of installing something that becomes a sustainable and enduring way of life. Yeah.

Jenn Ryan  

A big part of it is giving people information, like, but not just spewing out something from a book or spewing out something I read, actually applying it to each person. So I always start out by talking with someone on the phone, like, my first, we may 1 communicate via email, or if someone messages me, but I’m always getting on and talking with someone. Because I need to know, how do I how do I help you not need me anymore? Down the road? You know, so. And it, there’s so much you can get from somebody and talking to them one on one as opposed to just through email or just through like an intake form. So that’s a really important piece of it to me is talking with someone not just about, Hey, what did you eat yesterday? What are you eating now? Okay. Right. kind of find out a little more about what makes them tick. And then, okay, what can I help you change first? And how can I educate you on why this is important for you? Right? Not, you know that you can throw out generalizations on things, but so good, how many people are like, Oh, you’re not talking about me? Okay, well, how can I let you know that I yeah, yeah, I’m actually talking about you. And and this particular piece of it does apply to you. But let’s see how we can help you figure that out.

Mat Lock  

Ownership, isn’t it? Yeah. That’s not to mean that now I own that piece of information.

Jenn Ryan  

It’s not just info from a book like everybody should eat this. You know? Yeah. ownership. Yes, exactly. I love that. Yes, your education.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. So so one step at a time. I know. I’m not a swimming coach. But I’ve done quite a lot of swimming. And I was so bad to start with. I remember that little tips, tricks and techniques I was taught, so I’m able to impart those to people who are not great swimmers. And it’s right. It’s the same philosophy, I suppose. Where if I was to say to someone, right, okay, now next time, change the position of your hands change efficiently head Oh, and don’t forget about your feet, Oh, and by the way, do this and give them three or four things to try and adjust in one go. That’s not going to work that overwhelmed. It’s too much. The human brain often can’t cope with that anyway, and becomes unachievable. So it sounds like you also one step at a time, let’s work on the first and most important thing and get that under control. And next. Exactly.

Jenn Ryan  

Yeah, yeah. And, and taking a look at more than just, okay, you’re gonna put me on a diet, right? When I start working with you. I’m like, Ah, you know, let’s take a look at everything that’s going on here first, and maybe we don’t need to, like diet diet right away, you know, if you feel like crap, and you know, everything else is kind of in the gutter. Let’s talk about how we make all of this better first, and then you’ll probably start seeing things on the outside start changing. So that I think is a really big part of it. And again, not just throwing out generalizations like, Hey, you need to sleep more, hey, decrease your stress and eat more veggies. Well, somebody’s gonna be like, okay, like, thanks. I will. I don’t even know what to do this. And so again, that’s where it’s kind of like talking through every part of things with someone. You know, there’s a lot of people I talked to about their sleep, and they’re like, they start out with telling me Oh, I sleep really great. Oh, well, and then I’ll ask a few more questions like, Oh, you know, yeah. My, my two year old sleeps with me. Oh, yeah. And they wake me up like a bunch of times night. Oh, yeah. My old dog. I gotta, I gotta take them out, like two times a night. And then you know, maybe, like significant or snores. Hmm. You know, I guess I don’t really sleep very well at all, Jen. And I, like, you know, but it’s that if you just were to have an intake form where it says, Well, how do you sleep or how many hours you sleep What’s your sleep? Like, they’ll initially just give you that. And then it gets completely, like thrown to the wayside. And then someone wonders why, like, their body composition, performance, and like, you know, carbohydrate until, you know, tolerance is the where it is, and we’re missing like this really key part. And then I don’t just say, Oh, well, then you need to sleep better. Okay, you know, then then we’re breaking it down. And we’re talking about why and I’m talking about, Hey, this is the little piece that it’s affecting, you know, so. So it’s all these little things. So that’s my approach I take, it doesn’t matter who you are, even, you know, the only the the athletes, the elite, and the athletes who are just the everyday athletes, right? They all start the same, we look at every single little thing. I can’t just hand one group macros. And you know, another group of people hand you this is, everybody’s got start with the same little things, because I made that mistake in the past of just jumping right to something. And then we have to come back and completely revamp something be like, whoa, wait a second, we have completely missed over some of the most important things. And so I start everybody out with the same kind of the same thing we got to go through, just like when I’m a nurse, you got to triage someone. And there might be four people that come in with abdominal pain and nausea and vomiting. Okay. But that’s, that’s just the start of it. There’s going to be basics, right, so I’m going to get a set of labs. But if someone’s only got abdominal pain, and just, you know, and that’s it, but someone’s got abdominal pain with nausea and vomiting, I’m going to get them different subtle labs, maybe or further labs, or maybe you’re going to get fluids than the person with just pain isn’t or there’s going to be different diagnostics, right. So there’s always the basics. And then there’s the next the treatment, you know, and that’s what’s different, and it applies uniquely to each person.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. We’ll hanker from wonder fit retreats, and the program. He does the programming for our events. He’s had the programming and then he also, he in a team provide coaching services around fitness, coaching, and so on. And I’ve always loved his approaches. And similar to yours, I have to say, this is why I thought to mention it, but it starts off with learning about the individual sleep stress, how is it a work, how’s it at home has everything, you know, every aspect of that athlete’s life, to be able to even think about what it is that required to move them forward towards whichever goals they have stated. And it might well be that it’s not, it’s not the programming, that’s the starting point, it might be the sleep, it might be the de stressing it might be any number of things. But that’s so important that we are all different. We all have different, different makeups different bodies at the end of the day, the nuances, our own nuances, let’s say to our life, and so, yeah, it sounds like a really, yeah, yeah, offsets working. It’s worked for you, and it’s working for your clients. So given that our audience here is, you know, absolutely everyday athletes, a fairly broad range, therefore, what would be your sort of one or two key takeaways piece of advice for them? If they’re looking to, I guess, improve their wellness, their performance? Both? What would be some general, you know, you see, what are the general themes that come up that you give advice around?

Jenn Ryan  

First and foremost, I would tell people to take an inventory of yourself. So take different feedback areas and rate yourself and be honest about it, right? energy levels, your mood and motivation, your sleep, stress, you know, your hunger, your libido, you’re training these areas and rate them, you know, where are they at from day to day, you got to take that self inventory first. If you take into account digestion, right, all these things, know what you’re starting with. Because if all of those are in the gutter, then then you kind of have your starting point, right. And so I see a lot of people who don’t do these self assessments, all they see is what’s in the mirror, and they immediately go the opposite direction. And they’ll take advice on nutrition on Okay, I need to do a calorie deficit. I need to eliminate all of this. I need to take out carbohydrates. I need to do this or that. And it’s like, Oh, you didn’t even take a cell phone. assessment on where you’re at yet. So number one thing before any of that is just rate yourself because then at least you have a starting point. Today, I think one to

Mat Lock  

1010 being awesome.

Jenn Ryan  

10 Yep. 10 being great or even could be one to five, you know? Um, yeah, just one to find nice and easy, right? And just rate those different areas. And, and then you can start to say, Okay, now, what’s the next step? Cool. So then the next step that I usually go to people is to say, Okay, well, now, where’s your health that, right? If you just need to start being healthier, if you’ve kept yourself a food log, and you take a look at it, and you don’t have much variety, and it’s a lot of white, you know, like, processed, a lot of processed foods are white, right? So next thing is like, hey, add some color, let’s add color to your plate. Because now, if, if any of that feedback is kind of in the gutter, we start adding a little more color, a little more volume. Now we’re gonna start seeing some of that increase, you’re getting more micronutrients. And I mean, quality, right? So now you’re improving quality. If you are self assessing, and you’re super stressed, not sleeping, well, always tired, add color and add some volume, right? So add a little bit more volume to your plate, but add volume in the right stuff, you know, in that color. So those are those are the couple of key points I would say is self assessment with those items, and then taking an assessment of what your your plate looks like what your daily intake looks like, and improving from there. Those are some starting points, because you can assess continually then from there on on all of those things, you know, you know,

Mat Lock  

fantastic advice. Thank you. And of course, you’ve already mentioned your coaching services you offer our online, so if anyone listening was interested to reach out to you, and have that chat and maybe become a client of yours. So how would they get in touch with you to do that?

Jenn Ryan  

You can get in touch with me a couple different ways. If you’ve just got some questions on anything related to nutrition, or lifestyle, you can always

Mat Lock  

pull it back to about nutrition, no.

Jenn Ryan  

life, life nutrition, or I’m sorry, life advice. Because sometimes I say Do as I say not as I do, especially to the kids that I train with, or in their 20s I’m like, you don’t want to know about me back in the day. No, yeah, nutrition or lifestyle, you know, nutrition around like training or you know, doing a competition, things like that, you can always send me a message on Instagram, it’s Jen, underscore, underscore, Ryan, don’t mind chatting here on Facebook at Jen Ryan, you can message me or you can send me an email at Jen at Lifeline performance comm or you can go onto my website, Lifeline performance, COMM And you can contact and get in touch with me there. So any of those ways. Like I said, I don’t mind answering any questions that you’ve got to so.

Mat Lock  

And all of those links will be in the show notes for sure. When we released this episode, so we’re, I could talk to you all day. And I’ve got a question for you once we finished. But nonetheless, thank you so much again for being so generous and giving with your time, your knowledge, your expertise. And I didn’t say at the end of the last one. So congratulations again for an amazing result this year. And we’re just saying you smash it out of the park again in 2021. But we’ll stay in touch him again. Thank you so much for your time.

Jenn Ryan  

Thank you. Thanks a lot. This has been awesome.

 

Mat Lock:

Melissa Wu, welcome back to the Everyday Athlete podcast. It is a pleasure to have you back.

Melissa Wu:

Thanks for having me.

Mat Lock:

And for those who haven’t yet listened to the first episode with you, and if you haven’t and you’re listening now, I’d encourage you to go back and listen to an amazing story that is Melissa’s life so far, that saw her at the Beijing Olympics and leaving with a silver medal in Beijing, which is incredible. But just in case someone hasn’t listened to that, just Melissa, could you just give us a short version of who you are please?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, sure. Okay. Well, I’ve been diving for about 18 years now. I’ve been to three Olympic Games, four Commonwealth Games and I’ve won an Olympic silver medal. Basically started competing internationally from the age of 13 and went to my first Olympics when I was 16 and it’s still going all these years. Doing pretty well and basically still trying to give it my best shot for Tokyo, which will now be in Tokyo 2021.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, that’s right. Yeah, I have to think as well. Yeah, no, absolutely. Thank you. An amazing career so far. Obviously I look forward to seeing how you go in Tokyo next year. We will all be watching.

Melissa Wu:

Fingers crossed.

Mat Lock:

No pressure. I mean we spent quite a bit of time talking about your career so far, and during that conversation it came out that at some point you moved from Brisbane to Sydney. Needed a change, and I’m not sure if you’re aware of it, certainly we as a company, The Bay Games, we’re closely aligned now with R U OK? here in Australia and the equivalent of R U OK? in about five other countries. And certainly a big push for us is around mental health, suicide prevention, which is very real for many people in this world. And even if we haven’t personally had a relative or friend suffer with it, then we know someone who has. That’s the reality of it.

Mat Lock:

Thankfully, there’s a lot more awareness around it today and with organisations like R U OK? and about starting a conversation and even giving support for people for how to have that conversation, which is awesome, but we’re doing our bit as much as we can and trying to raise awareness as well.

Mat Lock:

But the subject for this episode, as you and I talked about before, is around the subject of mental health. And we talked about the pressure of course, at such a young age, competing at the highest level. And you mentioned in there that when you started shifting away from synchro diving to individual competition, your words, you choked, you find that you were choking, the pressure was too much for you. Could you just talk to us a little bit about that, if you’re comfortable to do so. Just how that was, what you think was causing that and how you’ve gone about dealing with that and improving that.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, sure. So from a young age, I’ve been pretty lucky because not everyone gets paired with a good partner to be able to do synchro. But basically from the start of my career, I had a couple of really good synchro pairings and had a lot of success there. So my silver medal at my first Commonwealth Games was in synchro. My silver medal at the Olympics was in synchro, even though they were with two different partners. Still synchro medals.

Mat Lock:

You were the common denominator, okay.

Melissa Wu:

I’ll go with that. So I had a lot of success in that, but at the same time I was still also competing in individual. It took me a lot longer in individual to have good results there. So it was a bit of a safety net when I was younger to compete in both events. And I always did not too bad in individual, but I never did a comp where I put my best performance forward. And that wasn’t because I wasn’t capable. It’s because, like I said, I put it down to I guess choking and not having that person there with me to dive next to me. I always felt a lot more nervous going into individual competitions than I did in synchro competitions.

Melissa Wu:

And I think I always felt when I competed in individual comps, already going in, I knew I didn’t really believe in myself and not that I wasn’t confident, I think I was confident, but I think having that real self belief and knowing in yourself that you can do it, that’s what I definitely was missing. And I think as I got older and I had the pressure put on me a little bit more, I really struggled a lot with that and always just felt a bit like I kept missing medals that I should have been able to win and I failed to meet expectations and I showed a lot internally. And I’ve always been a bit of like a kind of shy and reserved sort of person, so as a teen, it took its toll on me and I ended up just feeling really bad about myself.

Melissa Wu:

And after my first Olympics I moved to a different coach. We didn’t get along. He kind of always found ways to kind of frustrate me and made me miss school and things like that. And I felt like he was just doing it on purpose and I ended up just really unhappy, which is what kind of forced me to move to Sydney because I actually wanted to quit the sport. But actually I had depression and anxiety and for me, I just felt a bit stuck there in that point in time, which was a bit of a struggle. So in the years following I had to work really hard to get on top of that.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. I appreciate you sharing a very candid answer. Are you happy to talk about some of the strategies that have been put in place? Have you worked on it? Because I know that a lot of people listening to this or watching this, I mean we all have our demons at the end of the day, so asking for a friend. No, I mean really, I mean if you’re willing to share just some of the actual strategies that you put in place that you have found useful and that have worked for you.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, for sure. So I think like the number one thing that I had to do when I was in sort of a dark place was make that big decision to change, to do something different. So I was really unhappy with where I was. And like I said, I felt a bit stuck there and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to get out of it. I knew I wasn’t feeling good mentally, it wasn’t enjoying diving. So for me it came down to moving to a different state when I was 17 years old, which was a big move. And obviously my mum was not that happy with me leaving in the state that I was in. But I think that was really good of her to let me do that because it gave me a chance to kind of be out in the world on my own a bit and figure things out and that really helped.

Melissa Wu:

And I moved to Sydney and I’ve been training with the same coach since I’ve been here and he’s been awesome from the get go. And having him as a really good support for me was super helpful. So I think that first step was just taking that actionable step that was going to help me to overcome things. That was a physical kind of move.

Melissa Wu:

And then mentally I think basically, I had to work really hard to just see things differently, even if I couldn’t see myself differently. Just kind of stop having this narrow focused kind of mentality and just appreciate the little things, appreciate the opportunities that I had and see the good things and be a bit more grateful. And then I got to a point where I was happy in my life, but my diving, there’s still something kind of missing there and it was good, but it wasn’t great and I still lacked that real kind of self belief.

Melissa Wu:

So even though mentally I’d made a lot of improvement, there’s still something I had to work on. So it would have been about maybe six years ago, I started seeing a mindset coach and I’ve been seeing him ever since. And he’s just kind of… I don’t know, we just gel together. He’s very positive and everything that he does is based on a programme that he created called the boomerang effect, which is basically what you put out is what you get back. And he was the first person that kind of make me maybe take responsibility like how I was feeling, I guess, in a nice way basically. I couldn’t make any excuses with him. There was no option but to be positive. And I think my family had always done that for me, but I think just having someone external really helped me and we’ve made a lot of progress over the years and with him, I’ve been able to start having that self belief, and he first of all changed how I felt about myself, and then that had that follow on effective to diving and everything else I was doing.

Mat Lock:

Oh, fantastic. It’s great that you found him as a resource, and you’re welcome to give him a shout guys if you’d like to.

Melissa Wu:

Oh yeah. He’s John Novak. And John Novak, boomerang effect. That’s him on Instagram.

Mat Lock:

I’m guessing he’s Australian.

Melissa Wu:

He is. I don’t know what his background is, some sort of European type thing.

Mat Lock:

All right. But he’s settled, judging by the name of his programme.

Melissa Wu:

Oh, boomerang effect, yeah. Exactly. Very Aussie. [crosstalk 00:13:11] Yeah, love it.

Mat Lock:

Very good. Out of interest, I mean, is John a hypnotherapist or what is he? What’s the basis of…?

Melissa Wu:

So he used to be an athlete. He used to be a fighter. Then he’s done, I can’t even name all the things that he’s done. But basically a lot of study. He was in politics and that kind of thing for a while as well. So he’s done a lot. But basically he’s put all his years of experience and research and working with people into creating basically the boomerang effect. So yeah, it’s all based on, like I said, what you put out is what you get back. And even though it’s pretty simple, it’s all about positivity and I think you don’t really realise sometimes how negative your outlook can be. And even though I’ve been working with him for six years, I still find the same thing. We’d be doing something like, why am I thinking about that? Just be positive. But it is really hard to do. And you kind of condition yourself to always look for these negatives or all that kind of thing.

Melissa Wu:

So basically there’s a lot that goes into it and I’ve worked very closely with him in basically overcoming all the things sort of personal to me. Just kind of acknowledging some of the things that I have done well and building from the ground up from there and just trying to change how I think about myself and what I’m doing, and then that’s kind of enabled me to get that real self belief in me again.

Mat Lock:

Cool. And would you say, given that The Bay Games audiences, we’re all about everyday, a mindset coach is really only for the elite athletes or if we had someone who was a competitive everyday athlete, then a mindset coach is something or someone you would recommend?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, for sure. Because like I said, most of the things that we worked on were for number one to help me first as a person and those things helped me in all aspects of my life. So not just my sporting career but everything else. And like what happened for my whole life, if you don’t have that number one thing right and correct, no matter what you do, no matter how many hours I trained or whatever I did in diving, because I didn’t have that first, I couldn’t compete to the best of my ability. I couldn’t get the best out of myself, both in and out of the pool. I would really recommend… Anything. He’s awesome. Any strategy that you find helps. Sometimes it doesn’t always have to be about the sport or being an athlete or the things that you’re doing and you want to excel at. Sometimes just peeling back those layers and trying to find a way to be happy, healthy. They’re the main things.

Mat Lock:

Well, it’s the foundation, isn’t it?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, exactly.

Mat Lock:

The inner self is the foundation for everything we do, the way we interact with people, the way we perform in any aspect of our life. No doubt about it. Obviously, to compete at the level you have and do, obviously super focused, very dedicated and disciplined. Now, I know you in 2014 you suffered a tragedy in your family and we’d be interested to hear how you managed, both for yourself and your family, to get through that and still continue to compete and have that sort of focus for the sport and everything else. If you’re happy to share that with us.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, yeah, sure. Yeah. I would say that’s the number one worst thing that’s happened to me and I think it always will be. It’s been a real struggle for my family and it still is. And people say that time heals all wounds, but I actually disagree with that. I think it almost gets worse over time actually. But for us, like I said in our previous podcast, my family has always been like a real tight knit family and we were a pretty big family and we’ve always supported each other to get through no matter what. And that situation was no different. It kind of brought us closer together, but we haven’t found a way to, I guess, overcome it. I don’t really think… Everyone has their view, but me personally, I don’t feel like there’s a way to overcome it. You just kind of learn how to live with it and then just learning to live with it gets a little easier maybe.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. For the listener, because I only stated the year, I didn’t actually say what happened. Kirsten your sister took her life in 2014. Was she your older or younger sister?

Melissa Wu:

Younger.

Mat Lock:

She was the youngest.

Melissa Wu:

One year younger, yeah.

Mat Lock:

Right. Okay. So that’s what we’re alluding to in what we’re just talking about. And obviously desperately sorry for your loss, but certainly how you handled, as you said you were a close knit family.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah. Yeah. We couldn’t really imagine… Life was never going to be the same and literally in that month or so after, I just couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t live life anymore. I didn’t know what to do, how to do it and just that feeling is like someone crushing your heart constantly and like you’re trying to do something normal and all of a sudden something would just take your breath away and it would hit you like all over again. So basically for my family, we all decided, it was probably about a month, to just go back to our sport and just kind of be around people again and try and get some kind of a routine and bit of-

Mat Lock:

A bit distracted almost.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, a bit of a distraction and something. That was actually really helpful for us and I think in that regard, having our sport actually kind of helped us. It’s not that it helped to get… Basically it’s helped us to get through it or learn to live with it rather than overcoming it. I still think we haven’t really figured out how to do that. But the more I was at training, the more I kind of enjoyed it and I guess I learned to appreciate it again all over again. It’s something that I enjoyed and something to help distract me and take my mind off things and give me that routine. Because I had that long career as an athlete, it took me a while actually to kind of get back into it.

Melissa Wu:

I just kind of kept striving for the next thing, next thing, next thing, which then spurred me on to get to the Olympics and that kind of thing. But actually I struggled a lot physically when I first went back to it and I lost a bit of weight, and I’m not like a big person, so a few kilos for me is a lot and kind of changed my whole sort of body shape and everything. I struggled with power, and I can’t even explain it. It was weird. I just felt heavy when I was rotating and it didn’t feel right for a long time.

Melissa Wu:

So it took me a long time to kind of get back to normal, which is something I just couldn’t understand. No matter how hard I tried, it just didn’t work. And I knew it was just an emotional kind of thing and just everything. But eventually, it all kind of started clicking again and I just kind of reset set my goals and kept working towards the next thing and the next thing and getting back to trying to get the best out of myself.

Mat Lock:

Sure. Absolutely. Thank you for sharing. And of course Kirsten’s name, obviously her memory lives on for all of you, but her name lives on, which is where you alluded to HrdKAW Strength, which is a business that you’ve co founded that with your brother.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, it is. Yeah, yeah.

Mat Lock:

Give him a shout out if you’d like.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah. So my brother is Josh Wu. He’s a weightlifter. He’s also a weightlifting coach, for anyone who’s interested. We started HrdKAW Strength together. It’s H-R-D-K-A-W. So the K-A-W is Kirsten’s initials, Kirsten Amelia Wu and we dedicated our business in her name and she loved baking. She wanted to have a bakery called HrdKAW Cakes or whatever she wanted to call it. And she wanted to have it on her number plate and everything. So we kind of stole it, I guess.

Mat Lock:

I don’t think she’d mind.

Melissa Wu:

No, probably wouldn’t want. So it’s good. It’s good to have part of her as part of our business and we always love keeping her close to heart, which is also why Havok my other business is spelled H-A-V-O-K. So we kept the K for her with that too. So she lives on in all of us and I know she’s watching over us all the time.

Mat Lock:

I’m sure. The strap line be fierce, be humble, be kind. Was that associated with Kirsten as well? Did that kind of speak to who she was or is that more about the two of you?

Melissa Wu:

I think it’s kind of everything. Because we are such a close knit family, it is kind of what Josh and I are about. But our whole family are very similar with our values and things that are important to us. So I think that those things definitely also explain exactly what the kind of person that Kirsten is, but it’s also kind of a whole family thing as well.

Mat Lock:

No, sure. That’s great. And whereabouts are you based? Where is HrdKAW?

Melissa Wu:

So we have basically like a garage gym, which I’m sitting at the moment. So it’s quite well equipped and we run out of here, but we also-

Mat Lock:

It looks it, in the background. Certainly, yes.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, you can kind of see it. That’s the gym. And my brother also coaches out of CrossFit 2147. So he coaches his weightlifting club out of there. And also he started an only for kids weightlifting programme, for kids aged about three to 10 years old. So kind of operate out of both at the moment.

Mat Lock:

Fantastic. Well, you’re certainly all keeping busy, which is great. It’s the only way.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, it is, exactly.

Mat Lock:

And certainly we’re all looking forward to getting the COVID-19 pandemic under control for the good of everyone, including ourselves so we can-

Melissa Wu:

I know. Yeah. I can’t wait.

Mat Lock:

Normality.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, exactly.

Mat Lock:

You’re waiting to release your next range of Havok athletic clothing and are you waiting because you can’t get it out of China? I assume it’s coming from China.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, it is. No, I can. I think they’re all back to normal now, but just here, I thought I’d wait because everyone’s kind of stuck at home. Because I’m a fairly new business, I just thought better to wait a little bit longer and then when everyone’s kind of coming out of their home training gyms, it’ll give them something to look forward to. Some nice new gear. Yeah, it just gives me a bit more time as well to bring out things, the best quality and everything for the next collection.

Mat Lock:

I was kind of gutted that you have sold out of the burger t-shirt. I quite liked that.

Melissa Wu:

That one went first. 

Mat Lock:

One of the company’s had donuts on some shorts, but they sold out like that too. Donuts, what’s going on? 

Melissa Wu:

Can’t say no to food, hey. Love it.

Mat Lock:

No. Very good. Melissa, thank you again for your time and for sharing some very personal details there. I really appreciate it. It’s been lovely chatting with you.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, you too. Thanks again.

Mat Lock:

If people want to reach out and get in touch with you or find out more about Havok or HrdKAW, for sure I’ll put all of the links in the show notes. If they want to reach out to you personally, what’s the easiest way to do that?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, so personally, probably Instagram’s the best. You can DM me. My Instagram is @melissapaigewu, so can either send a message to there or my emails also at the top or in my bio there as well.

Mat Lock:

Fantastic. And as I say, I’ll make sure all of the different links are in the show notes so that. Thank you once again, and we’ll speak before then, but we’ll look forward to watching you in Tokyo.

Melissa Wu:

Hopefully. Thank you very much.

Mat Lock:

Take care.

Melissa Wu:

Thanks.

 

Mat Lock

Jenn Ryan welcome to the everyday athletes podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you here.

Jenn Ryan  

Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Mat Lock  

No, not at all. It’s a pleasure. And you’re dialing in from sunny San Diego in Southern California. Am I right?

Jenn Ryan  

Yup. Good old San Diego.

Mat Lock  

And how’s it looking where you are right now.

Jenn Ryan  

It’s beautiful. It’s been really really nice. Every once in a while. It’ll be a little like gloomy, but it doesn’t last very long. The clouds just kind of fly on by and then we have our beautiful sunny San Diego weather. So

Mat Lock  

you get the gloom, the gloom.

Jenn Ryan  

Well, they usually call it may gray and June Gloom. But this year, I swear it may has been pretty darn. Not great. So I’m actually really impressed. I’m hoping June Gloom doesn’t come either. For the first time since I’ve lived here. I would be really excited

Mat Lock  

about it. Fingers crossed. But hey, we don’t want that little bit of sunshine in amongst this whole pandemic. That’s taking the world by storm. So we’re Yeah, happy to have a bit of sunlight shining down. Yeah. And do your skintone gives you away? You spend Oh, man.

Jenn Ryan  

Yeah, well, you know, I’ve been since we the gyms haven’t been open, I’ve just been working out in my quarry or my yard. I’ve got this nice big area. So I’m outside. More than I have been in the past how many years even with games training. You know, we’re still in the gym a lot. So I’m like, wow, I’m already more tanned. I’ve been even like leading into the games just because I’m not inside the gym. Like twice a day I’m outside, which is awesome.

Mat Lock  

show you a victim and D levels were through the roof, which is good. Yeah. Very good. So Jim system for those who are not familiar with you, if you could just tell us a little bit about yourself. Introduce yourself to our audience and, and then we’re going to dive in and talk about the road to the games as an everyday athlete. But who is general? And how do you describe yourself?

Jenn Ryan  

Oh, man. So um, you know, when people ask me who I am and what I do, I, I generally lead with I I’m an ER nurse, I’ve been an ER nurse for 11 years. I am originally from Iowa, which is in the Midwest for people who don’t aren’t super familiar with the states. That’s the Midwest. Good old Iowa. I lived for 14 and a half years on the east coast and South Carolina. And then I picked all my stuff up, put what I could in my Jetta and drove across the country to San Diego, seven and a half years ago. And that’s where I’ve been. I have been completely in love with CrossFit since I started in 2009. And it’s, it’s kind of been a game changer for me. It I’ll tell you, I think it made me grow up and it made me kept me out of trouble. And it’s really kind of shaped who I am along with being a nurse. And so I’m also a nutrition coach. So that’s, you know, kind of how I identify myself as an ER nurse and nutrition coach and a CrossFit athlete. Um, yeah, so that’s kind of who I am.

Mat Lock  

That certainly keeps you busy, I’m guessing certainly keeps you busy. And then yes, I guess there’s an ER nurse. Yeah, I guess things have been a bit crazy with COVID-19. Now well, I’m

Jenn Ryan  

also very lucky and well, not lucky, but I haven’t worked in the ER have worked in shifts in a while. You know, being a nutrition coach keeps me on my toes. I find more and more that people need me just as much as they needed me in the hospital. And so I’ve been very blessed to set myself up in a way that I can help people, however I want to. And that to me is so free. So you know I love being in front of people. I love being at the bedside. But I haven’t been there for a little while. I’ve been working with people on lifestyle. on nutrition, I’m just kind of I’m really enjoying that that side of things, you know, but getting to keep in touch with all my co workers, you know, just kind of hearing everything they’re going through right now. It’s a lot.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, that’s exactly right. You know, listening to what you’ve just said, about the path that you’ve taken. I’m not surprised, therefore, that we have crossed paths. Because a lot of what you’re saying resonates deeply with me, and certainly would, with the whole team at the very games, no question about it, and lots of the listeners. So she’s fantastic. Now, I guess, how did how did our paths cross, and I guess I reached out to this random guy from the Bay games in Australia. Because I saw a post, I read one of your posts on the second of May. And I don’t have a great memory, I just refresh my stalking on you this morning. Before we chatted, second of May, and I had to say, it was a post, which I’ll let you explain. But it was just something about it really captivated me and kept me reading all the way to the end. And it just, it was really quite beautiful, very humble. It made me want to reach out and sort of make contact with it was very humble. There was an underlying confidence to it. And an overarching, there’s something bigger going on. And it’s not all about me. But I didn’t want to have a mini celebration about this achievement, because of what I know what it’s taken to get there. But maybe if you don’t mind, I’ve got it. I can read it. I put it on my screen, but maybe it’s nice to get your version of that post. behind. Oh,

Jenn Ryan  

thank you very much. It. Yeah, that post was? Yeah, well, the, the cool thing was when I posted it, I just so many people reached out or repost it and said, just some amazing things that, you know, just made me feel like, like, what I’m doing is really beyond just being an athlete, which is what I would want, you know, for people to see. But basically what happened was, you know, we found out all the videos for the online qualifier for the Masters war were done, they had assessed them, and then they they set the rankings, and then literally, like, two hours later, I think they were like, oh, and you guys are done for the year. There’ll be nothing else done. No, no prizes given out. You know, see you next year. And so I think many people were left just kind of like, Okay, um, what the heck, and, you know, we didn’t receive anything like an email or, or notification, but you know, that’s CrossFit is very much like that. And I’ve been doing CrossFit since 2009. I have met Dave and, you know, worked alongside him, you know, gotten to personally like, talk with him numerous times. And I don’t take any of it personally, like, honestly, I didn’t take the fact that we didn’t hear anything else about the cancellation personally. And so, so I guess I was okay, handling that. The cool thing was that I’ve not ever actually really finished first, I think in anything, sort of on my own, that maybe a maybe a small local comp or something, you know, back in the day, once or twice, but but not very often. And you know, even in high school, when I wanted to play sports, I was just, gosh, I just wanted to be on the varsity team. And getting to start was even just, that was my goal for the season was to get to start, you know, and so when I finished first, it was just like, Okay, wow, do I celebrate this? Am I supposed to celebrate it? This is super cool. Like, this feels really great that I, I’ve worked my butt off for this. And then I thought, I don’t know, I don’t know if I should post that, you know, what will people think? And so, there was this excitement. And then I wanted to shout to the world that you can do this, you know, and anybody can. And so that was a big part of me wanting to post that, that I wanted to take the time to celebrate something really cool that I felt I had been working for, I guess since I was a teenager and I’m 40 now. So that was really cool. You know, and, um, and I overcame some, a lot of things, and everybody did, but, uh, you know, the fact that I didn’t finish first in any of the workouts, but my lowest placement was a 12. And no one else in that top 10 can say that, you know, and I finished ahead of people, some women in that top 10 have to first places And I still finished ahead of them. And to me, there’s, there’s just something freakin cool about that. Just say like, Hey, you don’t have to be the best at something you like you don’t have to be. Cuz I used to get so upset when I wouldn’t want to work out. And I would think I never gonna be where I want to be if I can’t win everything. And that showed me that like, everything I’ve worked for, which is building on my weaknesses and just maintaining my strengths, you, you can still finish where you need to be, you know, like, you don’t have to be number one at every single thing. And that just, to me was probably more important than even finishing first it was just that I finally realize that if I just do what I’m capable of, I’m gonna be where I need to be, you know, and I’ve never, gosh, in so many years leading up to this year. I didn’t see that. And it led to like a lot of disappointment, frustration, you know. So. So anyhow, that was like the really cool part for me, that I felt like I really wanted to share. And then the disappointment, of course not going to go on. But I have a really great mentor and coach and CJ Martin. And, you know, when Dave announced on Instagram weeks before that they were going to try to get the games to happen in aromas. I think a lot of the masters and teens were like, yes, that means us too. In my head, I was like, No, it doesn’t. But I remained optimistic. And CJ, reached out to me that night and sent me a text and just said, Hey, I want you to know that no matter what I’m really proud of the way you handled the season, the way you approached it. I had an emergency appendectomy, two and a half weeks before the open this past year. I had traveled to Brazil the week before the Masters qualifier, and got jetlag and really sick this three days before the qualifiers perfect. perfectly. Yeah, right. Yeah. And but you know, he’s just said, He’s like, I’m just really proud of the way you handle the year. And no matter what, you know, whether it happens to be an online games, or if nothing comes of it, like you’re my champ, like, you’re number one to me, and, you know, I’m just really proud of you. And that was really cool to me. And I said to him, you know, CJ, I’m okay with it. Like, I’m actually okay with not having anything else happen from here on out for our season. And that wouldn’t have been the case a few years ago. But I now identify as something more than just a CrossFit athlete. And honestly, I put more value in what I can do for people as a coach than anything else. And I was just like it, this has just been a really eye opening year for me, and I’m okay with it. And it was cool. I think that he reached out and inside that, because then leading into the announcement from CrossFit. I didn’t feel blindsided, I didn’t feel upset. I already moved on kind of and I already knew I had more value to give to people than just going and competing, you know?

Mat Lock  

Yeah, absolutely. I wonder if the epiphany that you had around the realization of not having to win everything to actually win as if enemies? And perhaps Yeah, maybe that the realization that or being the well rounded athlete, actually is what’s required. I wonder if that epiphany would have been quite so striking or strong. Had it not been this odd year where the games isn’t happening for the majority of people and so on. And maybe there wouldn’t have been so much self reflection around it. Yeah, I wonder, but I mean, it’s certainly to to your credit, and sand, frankly, for the benefit of those that you work with and coach and, and mentor as well. So no, absolutely fantastic. And so just to be clear, it was the CrossFit open, online qualifier that we were talking about, and you came first in your age group.

Jenn Ryan  

Yeah. First in the 40 to 44 year old division. And the qualifier.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, sure. And certainly the stalking I did earlier would suggest as well, you were actually also second overall in the US. Is that wrong?

Jenn Ryan  

Ah, oh, well, I don’t know. I didn’t look at that.

Mat Lock  

I’m not sure I’m third overall worldwide for women. 44. That’s what the CrossFit Games leaderboard says. Then it must be true, but yeah, second overall in the US, and third overall worldwide, so I’m thinking yeah, you’re welcome.

Jenn Ryan  

Take it cool.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely. That’s great. Cool. So you when you gave the hint that it made you grow across it made you grow up, which gave the hint that maybe there was some, some more wild years under the belt at that point. We don’t need to dive into but I’m interested what the catalyst was. That what sparked that interest to try CrossFit and then to fall in love with it, and to sort of make a lifestyle around it. Or to use it to create a lifestyle, maybe I’m really interested to know how that looked.

Jenn Ryan  

Yeah. So interestingly enough, I tried CrossFit the same year 2009 that summer, I had actually just graduated from nursing school. So I was convinced by a couple of my friends to start CrossFit as well, just to give it a try. This is when I lived in South Carolina, and I had four and they had been asked me for a while and I thought, Oh, no, no, I don’t like that. And I had just been doing my, my regular like, spin classes, step class. You know, all the all the fun stuff, maybe a little dilly dallying in some, like weightlifting here in there. And so I tried it. And I loved it. It was a super hot, humid day in June in South Carolina. And of course, the gym doesn’t have air conditioning. It’s an open gym, right? Like most CrossFit gyms, just a couple of big fans. And I mean, you’re just drenched in sweat, your you know, you can’t breathe, and I loved it. So um, yeah. So I kept going back. Interestingly enough, there was about a two month span, where I stopped going in my first year. And I’m so glad I keep thinking back to like, oh, where would I be right now? Had I not gone back? I don’t even want to know where I would be right now, to be honest. But yeah, so I loved it. And I think it’s because I’ve always been a competitor at heart. I’ve loved sports I played. I mean, I was an athlete growing up, you know, I started playing soccer really young. And then in high school, I would literally just play a sport every season, just so I didn’t have to get a job after school. I’d be like, wow, like, I gotta go to practice. She’s like, even even like swimming, who cares, right. So I just did all these different things. And that’s the cool part is, I think CrossFit kind of kept kept me entertained, almost of you, there were so many different aspects to it. And it was like in high school where I could play all of these different sports. And maybe I wasn’t the best at any single thing. But I could, I had some strengths. And they showed up in some of the workouts that got program. And then of course, had some things that challenged me and frustrated me and made me keep going on the other one. So then I did a couple of CrossFit competitions, I did the open in 2011, when it started and competed on a regionals team. And that was it, I loved being out on that competition floor. It gave me It gave me a new reason, just to to identify as something like, some kind of path in life. And I think it was the path I was looking for, for so long. And I just didn’t have something like I needed a reason for something. And you know, before that, I feel like in my 20s my reason was always to, like, look good, and like, make people like me or be able to just, I don’t know, I don’t even know, right. So, um, there was a new meaning to why I was working out a new meaning to why I was being healthy. Why I was looking to eat the way I did. Yeah, it was kind of cool. And then as a nurse, you know, working, you know, people were really interested in it. They’re like, how can your kunstraum or, you know, there was just more to it. And I, I loved that. So yeah, identifying as, as an athlete and having a meaning behind why I was going to work out and a reason to, like get better, was just very addicting to me. Yeah. So, you know, and I think a lot of people do these, like these sports, whether it’s like a Spartan Race or anything to, to feel that, you know, yep. Yeah,

Mat Lock  

that’s absolutely right. The and you mentioned I guess that that that’s, that’s where the drive comes from came from. And what does that actually look like in real terms for you, as you say, Your nurse, you have your own business, Lifeline performance, your coaching, so you’re working full time, right? I mean, you’re, you don’t get paid to do CrossFit.

Jenn Ryan  

No, no, I don’t. I’m not one of those. No, I’m not one of those. So, um, Yeah, when I moved down here, so I was a full time nurse before moving out to San Diego, when I moved out here, December of 2012. I I coached cross the Pacific Beach. I did like 24 classes a week. And then I also would work shift or two on the weekends at the hospital. And then I transitioned more to a year later, I went year and a half later, I think it was I went to full time at the hospital. So and cut back on my my coaching classes. And basically, I shifted, so I literally shifted everything around my training. So I would work my three shifts. So I was able to schedule myself every Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday. And I would do an 11am to an 11:30pm shift. So Sundays and Thursdays, of course, were my rest days, Wednesday, I would get up at 630 in the morning, go to the gym and get my training in, I’d come home at about 10 o’clock jump in the shower really fast. My food was all packed. I literally prep my food, I would eat this I had the same set meals for literally probably two years. I knew exactly what I was doing. Because I knew my schedule, and it was so tight and regimented. So yeah, so then I would go to work on Wednesday. And then, of course, work again Thursday. And so that’s that’s what I did. And it, it was a lot, it was a lot of commitment, right. And then even on Saturday nights when I would go out, you know, go meet friends, things like that, if I wasn’t coming home till like 930. And I didn’t have what I needed for my planned meals for Sunday, you better believe my boat wasn’t going into work without a plan, right? Because I needed to train again Monday and I needed to feel good. So I stopped at the store, got what I needed and made sure I could have what I needed for that Sunday. And I think I don’t know if it’s like that for everyone. But for me, that’s what it’s like it was 100% commitment. Like, that’s what I needed to do. And, and then I move forward to begin, I began nutrition coaching. So I opened I have my own business. So I started to shift again to more coaching more nutrition clients, and then cut back to part time as a nurse, but then I would do every Sunday and Thursday, kind of shifted more to a day shift schedule. And then even at that it was still very very regimented. Thursdays, I would get off work at 730 or eight o’clock, come home, take my dogs out and I’d go to a pool at a 24 Hour Fitness and I’d swim for 3035 minutes. Because if you’re going to go to the CrossFit Games on Team Invictus, you better be able to swim. So, you know, again, like, there is no maybe I’m in maybe I’m not in I’m 100% in right and so, again, I don’t know if that’s what everyone has to do. But I know for me to get to where I am. That’s what I had to do. And that’s what it looked like for me.

Mat Lock  

But you don’t sound like you feel like you’ve sacrificed anything in doing so On the contrary,

Jenn Ryan  

I don’t feel like I did. It’s the path that I’ve learned so much. I’ve grown as a person. I I honestly I need like structure for me is so important. It’s been very freeing, right? Like mentally, and to have that goal. I don’t feel like I’ve sacrificed a lot of things. Some people might think so I’m in my 20s let’s be honest, from the age of like, 19 to like 30 Believe me, if people think I’m missing out on partying. I bartended for like 10 years, I didn’t miss out on anything. I I will be fine for the rest of my life. If I if I don’t, I won’t worry about missing a party. So no, I don’t feel like from that age on I don’t feel like I miss things right. And I know a lot of people they they feel like maybe that happened but um, I I lived I lived it up and like my body is very happy. Of course I still put a lot of stress on it with CrossFit. But you know, I’m

Mat Lock  

filming and sanding. Amazing. So hey, yeah, I’m enjoying it. So yeah, I guess when people if anyone wants to consider any sort of sacrifice on your behalf, let’s say that you have sacrifice I guess that would be lacking an understanding of the awesomeness that is brought to your life and the amazing experiences and how it fulfills you. And also I guess it depends on everyone’s got their own barometer. And societal norms come to play, don’t they? Well, and it’s just kind of, yeah, everyone’s got their own barometer. And we were talking before we sort of went on air, let’s say. And he said, You wish everyone on the planet could have that one time to experience hitting, hitting the main arena with the big lights and the spectators and the crowd and everything that goes around, whether it’s the games or an event like that. And just to get that experience, even just once, and I think then, the naysayers if there are any, would perhaps have a better appreciation, then. It’s not about sacrifice. On the contrary, you’ve enriched your life by Yeah, by doing what you’ve been doing, and continue to do. And, you know, kudos to you, I have to say, I can assure you, I mean, yes. 40 is the new 30. Yeah, that’s what we’re gonna go with.

Jenn Ryan  

That’s what they keep telling me. I feel great. I, I, I didn’t even know when I turned, I turned 40 on New Year’s Eve this past year. And I was kind of like, I don’t I don’t even know what to think like, everyone I train with is literally, I don’t, there might be one person over the age of 30 that I train with. So I don’t even know I’m not even sure you know, I’m around really young people all the time. So I just kind of go with it.

Mat Lock  

I don’t know. I’m a handful years away from 50. And honestly, I love particularly with running or swimming, that some of the guys and girls I train with, okay, most of them lift heavier weights than I do when we go for a run or swim. I score them every time. Yeah, I’ve refused to use age as any sort of excuse.

Jenn Ryan  

Oh, well, even if I try to they don’t let me Believe me. I try. They don’t let me So then my ego jumps in. I’m like, all right. I’m gonna show you I’ll show you guys,

Mat Lock  

the has to come out to play for the very good dungeon. I’m conscious of time. And we probably need to wrap it up. I know, we’re gonna talk again, I can’t wait to talk to you about the whole subject of nutrition. But for today, if anyone wants to reach out and connect with you on social media, or with your business Lifeline performance, how would they do that?

Jenn Ryan  

Yeah, I am on Instagram, Jen, underscore underscore Ryan, please reach out I do I check my messages. If I don’t see it right away, I’ll I’ll keep coming back to it. You can see I’m on Facebook, Jen Ryan. And then Lifeline performance comm is my website. You can always get in touch with me there too, but completely fine. Reach out via Instagram is is really easy for most people these days. And I can always, you know, talk with you more.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely love it. Thank you very much for that we’re gonna put the all of those links will be in the show notes so people can get to them. And with that said, thank you so much for your time and for sharing your journey so far. And I look forward to seeing you as the 2021 season what that looks like for you. But in the meantime, stay safe and well and thank you so much.

Jenn Ryan  

Thank you. Thanks so much.

Mat Lock:

Melissa Wu, welcome to the Everyday Athlete podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you here.

Melissa Wu:

Thanks.

Mat Lock:

I’m sorry, for those who are not familiar with who you are, if you could just tell us a bit about yourself. And then I’ve got a few statistics in the background that I’ve been gathering about you online. So let’s see which bits you skim over and I’ll come back to it. But maybe just tell us a little bit about yourself?

Melissa Wu:

Okay. Sure. Well my name’s Melissa Wu. I’m a three time Olympian in diving. I’ve been diving for, it’s probably about 18 years. So a long time. Too long to count. From a very young age. I’ve been diving since I was about 10. And, I competed in my first international competition when I was 13 years old. So that was Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006.

Melissa Wu:

And then I went to my first Olympics when I was 16 and that was the Beijing 2008 Olympic games. So that started my career and since then I’ve pretty much been diving internationally. Since then I’ve only had maybe a year or two off due to injury, but still going strong. And currently training for Tokyo 2020 in 2021. So a little bit delayed with that. But it’s all on track. So looking forward to giving that my all.

Mat Lock:

Absolutely. Well, firstly, congratulations for whenever Tokyo is going to happen. Congratulations for your whole career so far. It’s actually phenomenal, isn’t it. And actually before we dive into that, I forgot. I should check myself. Happy birthday for last Sunday.

Melissa Wu:

Thank you. I stopped counting about 10 years ago.

Mat Lock:

Come on then. Well if my homework’s certainly correct then you’ve just turned 28 is that right?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah. 28

Mat Lock:

Well, that would explain the 18 years already. You’ve got years of, let’s say professional diving career behind you. But absolutely phenomenal. And am I right in believing that you still the youngest Australian ever to win an Olympic medal at diving? Is that still the case?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, I believe so. Pretty sure.

Mat Lock:

And I’ve only got one more. At age 16 you had medaled in every major international competition.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, I had.

Mat Lock:

That was quite the journey.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, it is. It seems so long ago now, all that. From starting at that young age. People always ask me about it, but I have to think really hard about it, back to then. Because it’s a long time and a lot happens. But it’s still going. Still hanging in there.

Mat Lock:

Apparently so. Absolutely. But very much so in fact. And so how did you get into diving at 10? What piques the interest at the age of 10 versus all the other sports that you had available? And your whole family, I think your brothers and sisters, also big sporting background?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah. I came from a pretty sporty family in that we did a lot of sports when we were younger. We got involved in all the school sports. And my older sister in particular was really good, pretty much at everything. I wasn’t so much good with everything, but she led the way and got us all into sport. And she was particularly really good at swimming.

Melissa Wu:

So she was quite competitive when she was younger. So she used to race a lot at Sydney Olympic Park and I hated swimming when I was younger. I preferred flipping around the house. I really liked gymnastics, but because I come from a family of five, it was difficult to put the hours in. Well they always want the kids to do ridiculous amount of hours when they’re younger, which was just something that we couldn’t really commit to.

Melissa Wu:

So I still did gym but wasn’t super serious about it. But I loved doing all that stuff around the house and everything. So I used to watch my sister race at Olympic Park, that’s where I first saw diving. And from the moment I saw it, I knew it was going to be super fun. As soon as I saw it, I fell in love with it and just begged my parents to let me start. And eventually just started from there in the club.

Mat Lock:

Awesome. Well, thankfully you managed to con them into letting you do it.

Melissa Wu:

I did. It took a bit of persuasion, but we got there.

Mat Lock:

I guess no one wants you to see the little girl get hurt, did they say?

Melissa Wu:

Well they were actually worried that we didn’t know anything about diving. So they thought I wouldn’t stay fit just going and jumping off a board. We had no idea about all the behind the scenes training. And how strong you have to be to do it.

Mat Lock:

I was reading a little bit about your training regime. Maybe we could talk about that for a little bit now as well. Yes, it’s not just diving off the platform is it. Certainly when I was chatting with Meredith, my wife earlier, who you’re in contact with, and I said, I wonder which came first? The gymnastics or the diving element, the water element. Because it’s a blend of the two, right?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, it’s more gymnastics definitely. Obviously most of our training is in the pool doing diving. But then the other half or the sessions that aren’t gym sessions are actually what we call dryland. So it’s basically very similar to gymnastics style training. So it’s on trampolines, crash mats, doing somersaults, going into those big foam pits and all the fun stuff. So it’s very similar to those acrobatic sports. And usually when we try and bring new kids into Institute programmes, we still learn from all those sports, trampolining, gymnastics, tumbling, all those kinds of things.

Mat Lock:

Awesome. I haven’t had a go in one of the big foam pits yet. Actually it looked like a lot of fun.

Melissa Wu:

You have to do it. Definitely

Mat Lock:

I’m just not sure if there is one firstly. I imagine you can just give yourself to it knowing you’re going to get hurt.

Melissa Wu:

As long as you don’t go head first. So you can’t take it too literally. You can’t dive into it. That’s dangerous.

Mat Lock:

Good point, well made. Thank you for that. So when you went to Beijing, I think we were chatting just before we went on camera, you were 16 correct?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah. 16 in Beijing.

Mat Lock:

So you were juggling school, I think homeschooling I’d imagine, and a massive training regimen.

Melissa Wu:

So training, it was pretty full on from a young age. So from about the age of 12 I got into a junior AIS programme in Brisbane. And that’s where the AIS was based in diving before, not out of Canberra. So I literally went into a squad and got to train with the previous Olympians who had literally just come back from Athens and won a bunch of medals.

Melissa Wu:

So that was a really amazing opportunity for me. And from that moment, my training really ramped up and it’s been the same since then, which is basically 10 sessions a week. So it’s twice a day, most days, morning, afternoon. So from a young age I’ve been pretty used to that hectic training schedule and when I was at school that meant doing it before and after school. So each day was pretty long for me.

Melissa Wu:

So it was hard to juggle both, but I think I actually struggled more when I started travelling. Because at least when I was training it would be before and after school and I’d still have that time at school. And still time for homework and assignments on the weekend. But when I travelled pretty much the whole week or two weeks or however long it was, it was dedicated to diving. And you’re at the pool most of the day with minimal time to get studying. So for me that was a bit more of a challenge.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, I guess. And also obviously there’s the nutrition side, the recovery side. And they’re formative years, you’ve got to have time to be a kid as well in those years, I guess. Pretty awesome, incredible level of discipline and mental fortitude and an amazing family around you, I guess, and coaches and a whole team of people supporting you.

Melissa Wu:

For sure. I’ve had a lot of family support from a really young age. We’re a really tight knit family and as I said, a family of five kids. So we’ve also always had that support and come from a sporty family. So that’s been really helpful all the way through. And good coaches as well. Had a really good coach when I was younger, that took me through as just a junior diver into an international career. And that was in Brisbane.

Melissa Wu:

And then when I moved to Sydney, I’ve been diving with my coach now, it’s probably been about 10 years. So he’s awesome. He’s like a dad and then also a mentor and everything. And he’s not just a coach, but he’s been a really big support for me, in and out of diving.

Mat Lock:

Isn’t it amazing how we can find those people in our lives and really a part of our life.

Melissa Wu:

It’s awesome.

Mat Lock:

That is amazing. Absolutely. So in 2007 in Melbourne, you got yourself a silver in the World Championships, correct?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah.

Mat Lock:

And that was synchronised or solo?

Melissa Wu:

That was synchro. So I did a lot of synchro in my first years on the international diving scene. And then probably less. Still been doing it, but being focusing a bit more on individual in the backend of my career.

Mat Lock:

Sure. So that was your first medal, and then it was the Olympics the following year, correct? I think we froze there. Sorry.

Melissa Wu:

Sorry. All good. So basically I did that World Champs in 2007 which was the second year on the international diving circuit. And we also had a lot of other international comps that year. So a lot changed from when I was at my first Commonwealth Games to my first Olympics. Because my first Commonwealth Games, I was brand new to it, no pressure, very naive. But even though I was young going into my first Olympics, because I’d had those two years of international competition under my belt already, I actually went in with a fair bit of pressure into my first Olympics. Because we were real medal champs then.

Mat Lock:

Sure. Like being that young wasn’t enough already.

Melissa Wu:

I think it’s actually easier. Looking back, I think it’s easier when you’re younger.

Mat Lock:

Okay. That somehow makes sense. So talk us through it. 16 years old, part of the Olympic team representing Australia. Big picture, how was the overall experience?

Melissa Wu:

There’s a whole lot that goes into it and everything. So overall it was a really good experience for me. I was able to come over with a silver medal, it was in Beijing, which was really special to me because of my Chinese background. And I had family that have watched me. So it was awesome. And it’s what you dream of and everything you’ve been working towards.

Melissa Wu:

And I just remember, I would obsess about it beforehand. I had stickers and all the merch. Not because I thought I was going to be there. But I just wanted it so bad and I remember just everything revolved around it. And it didn’t really disappoint. It was amazing. And you know how the Chinese are, they do everything top notch as well. So all the food, everything. They this massive games room, I used to go there almost every day. And there’s games where you shoot the basketballs into the hoops. I loved all that.

Melissa Wu:

And there was always something happening. It was really cool. And being so young, that was awesome. But it was also that little bit of pressure going in as well. So it was a relief when I did well, if anything. I was happy. But I think too, growing up in a high performance programme and having that pressure constantly to do well. For me, I was just relieved. More than anything that I’d gone and hit the expectation that was expected of me.

Melissa Wu:

But overall, amazing experience. And the first one’s always the most special as well. That’s the one, you won an Olympian and then you became an Olympian. Not that the others after that don’t mean, they’re still mean a lot. I think that the first one holds a really special place in your heart.

Mat Lock:

I can understand. Absolutely. Well, I guess every aspect of it, it’s the first time.

Melissa Wu:

Yes. Exactly.

Mat Lock:

Or massive impact. Probably like a sponge absorbing it all.

Melissa Wu:

Exactly. Just soak it all up.

Mat Lock:

The second time around you somehow have some idea of what to expect of this.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah, exactly.

Mat Lock:

But so going into your first Olympics at the tender age of 16, obviously there was a huge amount of coaching support around the physical aspects of it and so on. How much support did they give you on the mental aspects of it in terms of support and keeping you grounded and not letting the pressure get to you or any other athletes, obviously not just you. Was support in place for that?

Melissa Wu:

Unfortunately not a lot. Like I said, we had the AIS programme in Brisbane at that time, which has since, basically it’s just dissipated and everyone’s moved now into the State institutes. So that one programme in Australia doesn’t exist anymore. And basically that happened because it wasn’t the best thing for the athletes. And there was a lot of people that struggled mentally in that situation.

Melissa Wu:

And they were very strict. Like I said from a young age, that pressure, most of the pressure I felt was actually not just that I had to go and win a medal at the Olympics for competitions, it was to keep my place in that squad. Because they’re were quite cutthroat about it. And when I first went into that junior programme, I went in with three or four other athletes and within a year I was the only one left of those kids that they took in. And there were a lot of senior athletes.

Melissa Wu:

Even my first Commonwealth Games that I went to, it was amazing. But when I made the team that meant that one of my best friends in there got the boot, because she didn’t make the cut. So it’s really hard because you have these friendships and you all want to do well, but you’re all against each other as well. So it wasn’t a great place to be in mentally.

Melissa Wu:

So I did have a good coach. So that coach when I was young, took me to international level. He was awesome. I had a really good rapport with him. So for me that was everything. Because he was the one I wanted to impress and do well for. So I think that most of the mental support I received was from him and I knew he was always looking out for me and had my best interests at heart.

Melissa Wu:

But generally there wasn’t a lot of support there. So it was good in that it made me grow up pretty fast and I was around a lot of older athletes. So I just had to learn that. Learn to deal with pressure as I went. But it is something I did struggle a lot, I think, after the Olympics. I had to move up to the senior squad, which they should have done when I was starting to compete a few years before. But they let me stay with that coach for two more years, which is good.

Melissa Wu:

But once I moved up I really struggled a lot and I wanted to quit diving actually. So that’s what ended up forcing me to, not forcing me, why I made the decision to come to Sydney. Because for me it was literally I quit or I move. Something drastic had to happen. Because I think it’s hard when you get older and that teenage age.

Mat Lock:

Sure. And so you moved from, you were in Brisbane?

Melissa Wu:

I was in Brisbane.

Mat Lock:

You move to Sydney?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah. And I’ve been here ever since.

Mat Lock:

It’s home now in fact?

Melissa Wu:

Sorry?

Mat Lock:

It’s home now, it’s where you live now?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah. I actually grew up here. So it was like coming back I guess. So that’s why I chose to come here because it was like I was coming home. So my dad still lives here, my grandparents. And I had a good rapport with the coach that I train with now. So, it was a really good move for me. One of the best things that I ever did.

Mat Lock:

Well done of making it. So 12 years on from the first Olympic debut. That’s a stupid English. Your Olympic debut. What drives you now compared to what drove you then? You obviously have a hugely competitive streak in you. You have to have, to perform at the level you have and do. But I just wonder as you’ve evolved, and I’m not calling you old, but you’re 12 years older than you were since your first Olympics. How do you think that’s changed? What keeps you going?

Melissa Wu:

I think I’m pretty lucky in that I’ve always been pretty self motivated. So for those early years it was all about just getting to Olympics and making it. And then once I made it, it was about getting the medal and that kind of thing. But I guess, I did well, I wanted to keep going. And then I’ve kept going since then. And basically since then it’s just been all about getting the best out of myself.

Melissa Wu:

And as I said before, I had a lot of success at a young age in synchro. And I did compete at both. I competed Synchro and individual. And I quite often choked a lot in individual, not having someone there with me. I didn’t do as well under pressure. And I really struggled to overcome that.

Melissa Wu:

So over the years it’s just been this inner drive to not only to produce the performance I know I’m capable of, but I guess to do it for myself. And like I said, I did struggle a lot mentally, which resulted in me moving to Sydney. And even though I moved and was happy, I still struggled a lot mentally and didn’t feel good about myself. Which obviously is going to have an impact on performance if your mental mindset is not there.

Melissa Wu:

So then for me it’s been about overcoming that, not just so I can dive better but also just to benefit me as a person and basically achieve everything that I can do. So still been chasing that. I’ve made a lot of improvement and it’s made me really appreciate how hard you have to work for mindset. And the hard work that I have done has helped me in all aspects of my life. But yes, it’s still chasing the perfect performance and producing something I’m really happy with. You’ve got to be a real perfectionist in diving, so that drives me to keep going as well.

Mat Lock:

Absolutely. Huge kudos there I have to say for that level of self-reflection. And I guess adapting over the years and becoming more reflective. And it’s not so much about the accolades and the medals so much. It’s about you as a person growing and just striving to be better, if that’s the right word, whatever the word. That’s awesome. So that’s where we are today. So I guess along the way, you have started some businesses, correct?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah.

Mat Lock:

Alongside the huge sponsorship deals that all Olympians get. And I say that with [inaudible 00:19:38]. I was talking to a mutual friend Felicity Lemke, formerly Felicity Galvez. She laughed as well when I said that shit.

Melissa Wu:

I never even think they exist anymore. Any of those huge sponsorship deals.

Mat Lock:

Sure. [crosstalk 00:19:54]. All the work and energy and effort and everything that goes into it. But at the end of the day, there are bills to pay and so on. That’s just real life.

Melissa Wu:

Exactly.

Mat Lock:

Certainly you’ve formed a couple of companies, I believe. HrdKAW Strength, for example, and have Havok Athletic. Talk just a little bit about it. Maybe Havok Athletic. I think we’ll touch on HrdKAW Strength in the next episode. Maybe Havok Athletic. What’s that all about?

Melissa Wu:

Sure. Well as we’ve talked about, I’m not young anymore. So definitely-

Mat Lock:

You are young.

Melissa Wu:

I don’t know how much-

Mat Lock:

I’m nearly 20 years your senior.

Melissa Wu:

Every time I wake up in the morning, I feel I could probably be another 20 years older. But who knows how long I have left in the sport. I’m going to give it my all for the next, well I’ve another year now for Tokyo, which I didn’t…

Mat Lock:

Extended your career.

Melissa Wu:

Exactly. But going into this I didn’t expect to have that. So for me realistically, I wanted to start setting things up for after sport. And even though it’s always been really important to me to have something other than diving, I just never really enjoyed anything or found I was really doing what I loved.

Melissa Wu:

So I’ve been at uni for about 40 years now and haven’t finished a degree. I’ve just moved between them. So I’ll talk you through HrdKAW, later on. But basically Havok. I’ve always been interested in fashion and because I train so much, I pretty much live in active wear, so I just couldn’t find [crosstalk 00:21:32].

Melissa Wu:

And as an athlete doing fairly rigorous training, I couldn’t find some of the clothes that are comfy to train in. I decided to create my own. Especially here in Australia, there’s a few other brands in the U.S. and other places. But I just wanted to make something that was going to be a bit more accessible to people here. So I just started Havok. It was something I was thinking about and looking into for a few years. But just put it off. And I actually had a… God I’ve got a bad memory. I think it must’ve been I had some injuries.

Mat Lock:

You can make it up, no one will know. It’s your story.

Melissa Wu:

So basically I’ve had a bit of time off for injuries the last few years. So every time I end up with that extra time on my hands, I’m not training as much. I always kept coming back to it. So I think I just got to a point where I was like, stuff that, I’m just going to have a crack and just do it and I don’t want to keep thinking about the next time I get injured and be like, I should’ve done it.

Melissa Wu:

So basically just took the leap and started it. And it’s pretty new. And I’ve had to put the latest collection on hold because of Corona. So looking forward to bringing out something new maybe when we come out of this.

Mat Lock:

Absolutely. And I think maybe it’s the creative aspect of it, it seems, that that’s appealing to you there. Yes, of course it’s a commercial reality to it, but actually it seems it’s the creative aspect that you enjoy.

Melissa Wu:

Yeah. 100%. I’ve always enjoyed it. I’m not super creative. I like to try to be creative maybe. And something about it just keeps… Now I get my brain. So I definitely am drawn to it and I love doing it. And it is really different. Everything in training and diving is very regimented. There’s like a certain way it has to be done. But this is my own thing. It can be done however I like.

Melissa Wu:

And I guess too, it’s something that I really loved about this, is just bringing people together from different sports. So, I have a few ambassadors for Havok. I’ve got ambassadors from across different sports. I’m trying to create basically a community where people support each other and we’re all united together in strength, which can be physical, but also that mental strength as well. Which is really important at the moment.

Mat Lock:

Well, I think the strength regime is united by strength?

Melissa Wu:

Yeah it is.

Mat Lock:

United by strength. Which, is a wonderful message. Melissa I’m conscious of your time and very appreciative for your time and chatting us through and sharing with us your experience. If people want to get in touch with you or reach out to you or they want to find out more about Havok, how would they do that?

Melissa Wu:

Sure. So Instagram is probably your go to. My Instagram name is Melissa Paige Wu. So you can DME on there or my email address is in my bio as well. And then Havok, you can go to Havok Athletics. So it’s H-A-V-O-K. So you can find us on there. Or head to our website for Havok as well which is Havokathletic.com.au.

Mat Lock:

Sure. And I’ll put all that in the show notes of course. So that people can just click on it and go and find you. But thank you ever so much for your time today. Thanks for sharing. And massive congratulations for everything so far. And for Tokyo to come. And we’re going to have another chat and look forward to doing so.

Melissa Wu:

Thank you. Thanks for having me.

 

Mat Lock  

Rachel Kerrigan, welcome to the everyday athletes podcast. 

Rachel Kerrigan

Thank you so much for having me on. It’s real privilege to be here. I really appreciate it. 

 Mat Lock 

No, not at all. And as we’re about to find as we go through your story, I think the privilege is certainly mine. And anyone else who’s going to be listening to this now in the future. So um, before we dive into your backstory, just a little bit about where do you live at the moment? Where are you from? Just give us a taste of who you are.

 Rachel Kerrigan

I’m a country girl. I’m originally from KMC on the north coast. So I grew up in an area that was amazing. So I had you know, the best of both worlds the beach in the countryside. So I grew up and horses, as well as surfing and things like that. And I’m currently based in Newcastle in New South Wales and loving it here. Yeah,

Mat Lock  

if I also know spot, a former industrial area that has like so many others has changed its way to beautiful spot.

Rachel Kerrigan

Yeah. And it’s so close to everything. The wineries Sydney beaches, you know how to valet it’s all here. It’s really beautiful. All the good stuff.

You say I like the outdoors.

Mat Lock  

Absolutely. No, I noticed you’ve got the door closed behind you. Is that to stop any of our four legged friends wandering into Say hi Daddy, my daughter. Yes. So let’s give a shout out to your daughter. What’s her name? Chiara Chiara. Yeah, you’ll probably hear a bit about a She’s good. How old Carrie? She’s just turned off. She’ll be turning 17 actually in October. So a busy busy few years. Yes, yes, you’re 11. And how many four legged friends we have in the house are three knives. And they are. They are blaze Chloe and Flynn. Beautiful. Well, as we talked chatted about last week, when we had a quick chat, they are welcome to make a cameo appearance anytime they like that when they’re ready, Rachel, I appreciate you being here. We we connected via the relatively new t fitness Facebook page, which is something that Tia and Seamus put together, which is awesome. And there’s now 1000s of everyday athletes just connecting on there sharing their story, inspiring others, which is just fantastic. And you shared your story as part of that sort of introduction to that Facebook group. And I have to say I was quite touched by it, we really caught my eye. I commented at the time, and I loved the the humidity of your reply if you’re just me, which I understand complaints there. But nonetheless, it’s it’s quite a story. So if you don’t mind sharing that with us, if you could take us back to 2010 and maybe give a little bit of the backstory and and talk about what life looked like from 2010 onwards. That would be, I think, very inspiring for people to hear.

Rachel Kerrigan

Okay, um, well, I spent seven years serving in the Royal Australian Air Force, and I saw some active service and operations slip out in Afghanistan in 2002. I noticed things weren’t quite right when I got back. So I just thought I was over the military basically, and ended up leaving because I had high levels of stress and anxiety. Then I set up a server around 2004, I got into a fairly successful career and project management and contract administration and heavy industry and mining. And if I looking back, now I can see the decline. But in 2010, I really hit rock bottom, I was diagnosed with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and chronic depressive disorder. I’ve literally become a prisoner in my own head, I took up to 30 tablets a day, just to get through the day. And there’s some pretty strong medication in that I suffered a stress induced stroke and lost all movement down the left hand side of my body as a result of that. I’m only five foot so I’m not really tall. I ballooned up to 119 kilos. And also be you know, I couldn’t even bend down, put my shoes on when I could move again. And I’ve got to a point where my anxiety, stress, distrust of myself, the world, everything was so bad that I couldn’t even actually walk outside to go to the mailbox or hang the clothes on the line. And my daughter became my self care. We lost everyone, my family, friends all pulled away, ended up homeless for a little period, battle cancer a couple of times, it was just a different period. And it wasn’t till about 2016 after continual struggle that my life turned around because I found sport, specifically powerlifting fell in love with it gave me a drive and a passion in three sport. I was told I’d never work again, I’m now working part time I compete nationally in powerlifting, as well as wheelchair basketball, and obviously back out in the world and talking. So a few years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to have this conversation with you. Like, my daughter literally decided what clothes I had to wear because that was just too big of an issue for me and just sent me over the edge even working out what to wear for the day. She did bills she got herself to and from school, she did cooking, cleaning. I remember the things she said to me the most was there’s only two things I won’t do Mum, and that’s ironing and clean the toilet. Like, if that’s all it gets like that baby. I’m happy. So between the two of us we managed and yeah, it’s been a rough journey. But here I am and sky’s the limit.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, seemingly so. And I mean all power to you and have a virtual hug. What an incredible series of years to go through I guess. And Kara would have been a young girl and this is happening. She’s 17. Now it’s 2020. So this is back in 2010 onwards. So she was just a young girl. Yes, yeah, yeah, she got left with all of it. So yeah, impressive young lady in it.

Rachel Kerrigan

Yeah, I was really lucky because as part of my PTSD, I had a lot of anger because when you have PTSD, you don’t understand why your body’s reacting the way it’s reacting. Logically, you know, how you’re reacting is not a logical reaction, but you can’t stop it. And that creates confusion and then anger and a whole heap of things. So she put up with a lot of that but she was able to look at it and go, it’s okay mom. I know who you are. And this is the PTSD. Like, I know that your reactions are because of your condition and not react flexion on me. And from a young age, he was able to make that distinction. And that was, yeah, I don’t know where she came from. But she’s, I’m blessed to have

 Mat Lock  

you with us, but I know what you mean. Absolutely. Now, you mentioned that you were 119 kilos. I mean, just to have that gives us an anchorage you’re like, so right now, for example, you’re roughly down next time. Exactly. But what kind of weight are we talking about? Just so people can understand the difference?

 Rachel Kerrigan

Yeah, I have around the 63 to 64 kilos, and I compete around the 60.

 Mat Lock  

So I mean, you’re talking you were twice your current weight, more or less? Yeah. Okay. And that was as a result of the medication or depression or both? Both.

 Rachel Kerrigan

So it has little bit to do with the stroke, because I couldn’t move at all. And I’m allergic to alcohol and things. And obviously, yeah, my drug of choice was food. That had a bit to do with that, but also the medication. It changes your metabolism. Because I was on so many different tablets, my body didn’t know whether I was here or there or what was going on. So it was always in like a hunger mode and sort of a starvation mode. So it just kept storing fat. So I could go days without eating and still put weight on.

Mat Lock  

Wow. Yeah, that’s a vicious circle, isn’t it to be enable? And looking back now? I mean, what level of awareness? Did you have the big picture? If you were looking at the sort of jumping up and get looking down on yourself in your situation? How much awareness? Did you have? Can you remember how much awareness you had at the time or again? Was it more of a haze?

Rachel Kerrigan

Yeah. It was just everyday rain into every day. And because of the medication that I was on, I didn’t really feel anything. So you know, that’s one of the reasons I sat down with Dr. And said, Look, I need to stop coming off some of these tablets. You’re telling me I need to recognize my triggers. I need to try to work out what’s making me feel this way. But I said I can’t because I know I love my daughter, but I don’t feel it. She tells a joke. And I know I should be laughing. But I can’t. I see something sad. And I know that she’d make me cry. But I can’t. I’m just numb. I’m just literally existing in this. Hell, basically, because I’m not feeling anything. I don’t know what I should be feeling. I can’t make a conscious decision on anything. And you’re telling me this is what my life is going to be like, the rest of my life? And I’m sorry, but no, this is gonna be something more out there.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, very powerful mindset to adopt in that moment. Do you think that was and forgive me if these ignorant questions, I’m not aware that I’ve suffered with mental health issues so far in my life, and therefore if they’re ignorant questions, I apologize. But that is not having those emotions that you kind of know you should have. Was that as a result of the medication? Or is that a form of the depression that it had with your again? Both? Which,

Rachel Kerrigan

yeah, no, definitely both. Both the medication is meant to sort of normalize everything, but then the depression and the anxiety because you with the PTSD, you have really high highs or really low lows, there’s not a lot in the middle. So the medication is there to bring you back to the middle. But in doing that, you don’t experience any of the highs or lows. And sort of you know, so I was just sort of going between? Yeah, it was just like a numbness. It’s really hard to explain. And I think, I think I shut down a lot too emotionally, because I didn’t understand what was going on, you know, I’d gone from someone who was making decisions on multimillion dollar projects have made life and death decisions when I was in Afghanistan, you know, I was able to think on my feet, to not being able to control anything disassociating. If I even went out in public, the nightmares were just unbelievable. So I just I couldn’t control what was going on. And I think a way of sort of dealing with that was literally shutting down.

Mat Lock  

Sure. And you say, a lot of the sort of what you would expect with the normal support networks fell away. It sounded like you literally basically it was you and your daughter there for a while. Yeah, it was one of the conversations we had, which I mentioned to you before, we had Steve commando Willis and cam Porter, on one of our online get togethers, and certainly can’t in particular, was talking about how the him, you know, we’re all alike. You know, we all support Are you okay, for example? And it’s a valid first question, but he’s always been an advocate for Well, what next? What goes after that question? If you get the answer that you’re not comfortable with, how do I handle that? And so therefore, you’re maybe almost fearful to ask because you don’t know how to handle the answer and so on. What do you say to people now, if you’re trying to help them, maybe they are depressed or they’ve got someone friend or family who’s depressed and they’re not really sure how to handle it as someone who has suffered death and maybe still do at some level? Do you want to be asked? Do you want to engage in conversation? Or actually? Is it the more essentially want to isolate away? And I understand that your situation in your answer is different to perhaps someone else’s. But for you, if you’re giving advice, or sharing your experience, at least about you, what what do you tend to say to that?

 Rachel Kerrigan

Um, it’s a really interesting question. Because you know, the place that you’re in, you feel like you need to be isolated, because you’re dealing with all these things. But yet, you don’t want to be isolated, because he needs the support. So it’s, it’s really difficult to work through that. So it’s really nice to get a text message from someone or a phone call saying, Hey, I was thinking about you today, how are you going? But when you ask that question, you got to be ready for the response. And from my side, people have to understand that if I say, Hey, I’m not having a bad day, yeah, I’m having a bad day. I’m not really coping, I really don’t want to talk, don’t take offense to that. That’s me saying, I’m not having a good day. So maybe just check in on me with a text message in a couple of hours to say, Hey, you know, you feeling any better, you know, sending your hug or sending your smile or send me a joke, or you know, just something to sort of brighten the day, you don’t have to, I think the problem is with the IU, okay? Everyone thinks they got to fix the problem. True, want to fix problem. If we don’t understand the problem, you can’t fix it yourself. You don’t need anyone else to fix it for you. So it’s more just having that support. And the people that are going through it, it’s being able to say, this is how I’m feeling. I don’t know why. But this is how I’m feeling. be okay with that. And you know, if we’ve organized to meet up and I ring you and say, you know, look what I just not up to it today, don’t take offense to that. Or if I’m a little bit short or snipping, you know, that take offense to that I lost a lot of friends and people because they just got sick of me not turning up, or they got sick of me sort of getting a little bit short and cranky with them. And they didn’t understand that that was actually a result of what I was feeling, and not what they were doing. So people pulled away. And that just made the loneliness even worse. And in the end also meant I didn’t trust anyone because there was just no one there. No one was reaching out anymore. And in a way, it made me stronger, it actually made me have to rely on myself because I didn’t have that support network to rely on. I didn’t know how much I missed that support network until I found my tribe, again, through sport. And having that connection with people really made me understand what I’d been missing out of being part of the community. But you know, it also, I suppose, forced me to make some decisions on my own and move forward and not rely on other people. So I suppose the biggest thing is, one, be honest, talk out, let people know you’re not feeling okay. Because at the end of the day, true friends are going to stick around and stay there for you. And for the other side. Just be there. Don’t try to fix anything, just let them talk or if you know they’re not okay. And if you get a grumpy response back, don’t take it personally,

 Mat Lock  

you know, good luck with the job. Yeah, yeah, you’re still reaching out. And even if they don’t appreciate it, it means the world. But it might have been a crap joke, by the way. So yeah, no look, great, great advice. And thank you for sharing. And I know, I get I think I heard it. I heard someone say this once. But it’s true. One of the challenges with any sort of mental health topic is you can’t see it. As in, I can’t see it. When I look at that person, I can’t see it necessarily. You know, if they’ve lost a leg or they’ve broken an arm, you can kind of see that and not be more sympathetic, but somehow, it’s more tangible, you can understand it perhaps more. Whereas if you’ve never been exposed to mental health, personally, mental health issues, then it’s hard to under you can’t visualize it in the same way that you’re trying to describe it. And I think I I think that’s a very helpful way of explaining when you say, Well, I just felt numb. And I never should laugh at that, or I should love that. I don’t feel and so that actually was the best explanation I’d ever heard that resonated with me, let’s say. So hopefully the same is true for for those listening to this. So when you say that, you mentioned community sport, that you found yourself again, and I know that that was I believe it was through the Invictus Games, is that right? 

Rachel Kerrigan

Yeah. And my daughter. Thinks she because I was starting to get back into doing some rehab in that after the strike and I was doing a few things. So I like was tracking coder and I did the Borneo deathmatch and a couple of things like that and really wanted to get out and find I found that actually training for something gave me a purpose. It gave me a reason to get up in the morning. Because you know, my depressive state somedays getting out of bed was the biggest achievement that I had. So I set that as a goal every day to at least get out and make the bed and make it to the lounge. If I did that I chase something for the day something positive. So and then having something to train for, actually gave me a purpose again and gave me a reason to get up and gave me a drive because it gave my life some meaning I was working towards something positive. And I didn’t realize how big of a change that would be until the Invictus Games and getting out there and competing. Getting amongst a group of people that understood, or being in such a supportive community. And actually having a go like, I didn’t win any medals, I actually ended up breaking my hand and nothing else when paid at the level I want you to compete at, honestly. So as far as medals and all that sort of stuff. Yeah, no, I wasn’t one of those people. But it changed my life. Like I came home a different person, and I came home and I went, I love powerlifting This is what I want to do. And it drives me then to find a coach took me nine months to actually do that. And when I did find a coach, I actually sat outside the gym for two hours arguing myself whether I should go in or not. And then I got the courage to go in. walked in, someone dropped away and I passed out. Right?

 So it was so bad.

Mat Lock  

What was that conversation? What for two hours? What was the the good and bad voices one on one shoulder one on the other? What was the discussion that was going on?

 Rachel Kerrigan

As a bit of everything? Like it’s like, oh, you’re not good enough to do this, you’re stupid? How are you going to do this, you know, you can’t do anything without your daughter, and you’re expecting go train, you know, you can’t be in a room with people, you get overwhelmed and crowded these people. You know, when you were doing Invictus, you’re around people who had mental health issues that had physical disabilities. So if you had a meltdown, they’d been there, they understood, this is a whole group of people you don’t know, you don’t know whether they’ve had any mental health issues, your coach might not want, probably the coach might want anything to do with you. Because you’ve broken your the issue that you know, at this point, I still had very low self esteem and very low outlook on what I could achieve. Like I knew I could be better than what the doctor said. But I still didn’t realize how much better that could be like, I was always told at school to I wasn’t an athletic person, you’re you’re the academic, you’re not the athlete. So you know, just concentrate on the academics because you’re not built for any sort of sport. And I sort of thought it could be another disappointment, you know, I’ve got these aims of sort of wanting to compete in powerlifting. What if I go in there? And I’m not good at it? Like, how is that going to send me backwards, it’s just all of this sort of stuff, showing

 Mat Lock  

me how the subconscious works. And we just reinforce our own vulnerabilities, insecurities. And ultimately, what you just described, at the end, there’s the fear of failure, which holds so many of us back, it’s the fear of failing rather than the lean in as you did in Venice. But nonetheless, just in the end, find the ability to lean in and give it a go in understanding of course, hopefully, in an environment where people are not standing in judgment, in fact, only want you to succeed in whatever that looks like for you. And, and everyone’s in the same boat, right? I mean, none of us were born doing any of this. So to speak for myself. But the opportunity to go in and what was your experience?

 Rachel Kerrigan

Um, it was my coach was amazing. He he literally started me off training me in the gym on my own. After So after I sort of calmed down and everything again, he says to me, Rob, I just want to see you do one lift, deadlift, one lift bench, one leg squat. And then he said, Yeah, I can train you. You know, he got me back in. Um, so that was in February. I had met my first competition in July. And I absolutely freaked out. Went to run from another buddy at a holiday party last July. And this was in 2017. Okay, so three years ago. Yeah, yeah. And, yeah, he he got me through and he got me competing. And I ended up getting served at nationals in August. Wow. You know, I went from not being able to lift the bar and train to getting served at Nationals. I mean, it was an amazing lifts or anything, because my anxiety was getting the best of me. But what I took away from all of it was that I actually competed. Regardless of the result, I’ve gone from not being able to walk into a gym to actually now competing at a national competition and actually getting through enough to get a result.

 Mat Lock  

You’ve gone from the winner of the day, getting out of bed. Actually, so yeah, I mean, really sad. That’s huge. That’s amazing. That in itself, I can tell by your face and the way you were taught that there was impairing liberating the realization of that.

 Rachel Kerrigan

It was it was because it sort of helped me understand that I could still have dreams. I still have ambitions, I could still work. And that’s when I realized that my PTSD is a part of me. And it’s something that I’ve got to embrace. And it’s actually a blessing, because it’s taken me down to the worst of depths. You know, like, I nearly took my life three separate occasions. And, you know, I’ve been in a really dark places, if I can get through that, look what I can achieve. When I put my mind to it, there’s still so much and because I’ve seen the really dark, I actually now really appreciate the good. Like, it’s sort of so much more. And I actually saw so much of me and that original drive and that original thing that I had, and I go, okay, it’s not the life I planned when I joined the military. And where I saw myself, looking back on the experiences I’ve had, and things that I’ve done now, it’s probably better than I could ever imagined. And I hadn’t been through that that place, I probably wouldn’t have got that.

 Mat Lock  

It gives you such a different level of perspective, I imagined. Yeah, most most of us are living to use the term used earlier, sort of fairly normalized lives, right? go through life, the kind of normal, whatever normal is, but you know what I mean, it’s kind of, whereas you’ve, you’ve had the low, and it gives you the ability to therefore appreciate the high, and the high might be back to normal. But that’s a high. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Because you’ve got some perspective on it.

 Rachel Kerrigan

Yeah. And it gives you a better understanding of yourself, and what you can actually push yourself to do. Sure, um, is a greater understanding. So I actually now probably understand myself and accept myself and love myself more than what I did when I was normal. You know? Yeah, you learn to appreciate little things again, instead of just being so focused, and when the little problems come up, yeah, I still overreact. But I can sort of look back and go, you know what, at the end of the day, that’s nothing.

 Mat Lock  

Sure, yeah, absolutely. No, I understand. I’m just out of interest. I mean, you obviously parties still participate in wheelchair basketball, is that correct? Yes. But you’re not wheelchair banned?

 Rachel Kerrigan

No, no. You can still you don’t have to be wheelchair bound to participate in different. Okay, sports. So because I’m going to stroke and some issues I’ve had with my hips and ankles and things as a result of some injuries from service. I qualify to be in the National League.

 Mat Lock  

So normal life doesn’t require a wheelchair for you.

 Rachel Kerrigan

No, no. We don’t know down the track because I still have issues sometimes with my left hand side shuts down. You don’t know why it’s all psychological, apparently. So my body just reached the point where stress is too much that shuts me down so that I stopped.

 Mat Lock  

Yeah, sure. Sure. self preservation mode.

 Rachel Kerrigan

Yeah, yeah. I’m still working on that. But I sort of that again, the reason I looked at the sport was one, I loved it when I was doing it with Invictus. But two, I wanted to play a team sport. And I thought, you know, people have said to me, you could end up in a chair. Okay, if I’m getting up in the chair, I want to be able to still do things. I’ll get used to it. Now look, what can I do? I can play sport, I can, you know, there’s all these different things you can do. Because being disabled is a disability, it’s actually just finding a different way of being able, you know, it can open up so many opportunities.

 Mat Lock  

Yes, I’m just conscious of the bit of background noise at minus four, but I will I will edit this piece out for sure. As in just this little bit while they’re talking. They’re going to quieten down in a moment. It’s um, yeah, so we’re off recording at the moment. It’s fascinating. Isn’t the human body amazing?

Rachel Kerrigan

It is it is. And now working in sort of the disability space and things like that. Just seeing what people can do. Like, you know, you look at someone in a chair and think what they can’t do. But Wow, what they can actually do is just amazing.

Mat Lock  

Yeah, that’s exactly right. So, look, Rachel, I’m conscious of your time. And look, I can’t thank you enough for being willing to share your story publicly. I can’t imagine what that must take. I know, it’s not the first time you’ve done so. But But still, I’m guessing there’s an element of it takes you back to when I asked you to get back to 2010 it’s not lost on me that that’s probably not a place you keep want to keep going back to. So I appreciate that you have and for the benefit of our listeners, I appreciate that you have and for anyone who is struggling with depression, or maybe have suicidal thoughts or any form of mental illness, what would be your advice to them? Based on your experiences?

Rachel Kerrigan

Yeah, um, you will never forget what happened in your past. It will always be a part of you. But that doesn’t stop you have deciding to have a future and that future can still be anything you want it to be and you know, just start by little goals. As I said my goals was just as simple as getting out of bed, making it moving to the lounge. And then when that became a habit, I added another goal. And you know, that was as simple as getting up and actually making my own breakfast and my daughter didn’t have to make it for me. And, you know, just every day, if you can add something a little bit more, and you achieve it great, if you go backwards, that’s okay, as well, like my little girl told me once, it’s always better to be tiptoeing forward than running backwards. So as long as you’re making little progressive steps forward, you know, your life will just keep improving, and keep improving and keep improving. And there’s a reason why the rearview mirror is so small and a car, it’s so you can look back and look how far you’ve come, instead of it being the main PHR. So just make that decision to have a future what that means for you, and start taking little steps towards it because you hilt still can have a productive, amazing life with mental health.

 Mat Lock  

Absolutely. I appreciate that those insights. I mean, they’re just raw gold, I have to say, it makes me want to chat with your daughter at some stage. Because I suspect it would be really interesting to hear her take on it. And again, for those who are living with someone who was going through some challenges, I get a different insight. Wouldn’t it from your daughter be different than me? She sounds like an incredible young lady. Very proud of are very proud of our game engine. Absolutely. Right. So if people want to reach out to you and connect with you, how would they do that?

Rachel Kerrigan

You can find me on Facebook just after under Rachel Kerrigan. It’s a public page. So I’m happy to have people to sort of pay me and things like that. Or my email address is Kerrigan 03, at gmail.com. So I’m happy for anyone to reach out.

 Mat Lock  

Awesome, thank you. It’s very kind. And I’ll put those in the show notes as well so that people can easily access those. And is there anything else you’d like to share with us before we sign off for today, um,

 Rachel Kerrigan

just about how you know, sport is such an amazing thing for everyone to be involved in. I love what you’re doing with, you know, the everyday athlete, because everyone can be an athlete in their own right. And, you know, sport is such a good way to be healthy and to have such a fulfilling life. And it’s an awesome community. So just thank you for everything you guys are doing by creating a community that everyone can be involved with. I think that’s just absolutely amazing. Because, as I said, without sport, I probably wouldn’t have come to where I am. And you know, places that you’re offering mean, people like me can actually be a part of something and work towards something. And I think that’s, that’s what’s important. There’s a lot out there for people to actually be a part on. So thank you very much.

 Mat Lock  

It’s a It’s a pleasure to have a legitimate excuse to connect with people like you, Rachel, I have to say, but I have to say thank you to Taylor and Shane as well as him. Because Yeah, they’ve created a form and a platform where we’ve connected and you can see everyone’s just connecting on there and sharing stories and reaching out and offering support and having some fun on there as well, which is just awesome. So when fairplay to those guys, it’s not like they’re not busy. I mean, as we’re recording this, it’s a very strange time for them to where was the whole CrossFit Games being well, when will it be and, and so on. So you know, they’re they’re, like the rest of us. Everyone’s being affected in some way by COVID-19. So, but no, it’s a pleasure. Rachel, thank you so much for your time, a pleasure to have the chance to chat with you and it won’t be the last time I’m sure. And yeah, looking forward to doing so again. 

Rachel Kerrigan

Thank you so much. Really appreciate your time.

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, life, understand, sport, bit, daughter, gave, absolutely, compete, thought, result, legged friends, rachel, athlete, wheelchair, day, powerlifting, medication, invictus games, literally

 

Mat Lock:

All right, Dave Harvey. Good morning and welcome to the Everyday Athlete Podcast.

Dave Harvey:

Morning Mat, how are you doing?

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Good. Appreciate your time very much. I know you’re busy running a number of businesses, which we’ll get into, but I appreciate your time very much

Dave Harvey:

More than welcome. Love to help out.

Mat Lock:

Excellent, appreciate it. And for those who are not familiar with Dave Harvey, if you could just tell us a little bit about yourself, just I guess your background from your footy days onwards.

Dave Harvey:

Yeah. So I guess, yeah, grew up playing rugby, was lucky enough to play professional rugby for a number of years. Probably about eight to 10 years, eight to 10 seasons spanning across probably four countries, being Australia, or maybe five, Australia and a few in Europe and then in Brazil as well. And then, yeah, landed in F45 and ever since then has been running that business sort of coincide a little bit of pre rugby/business running and then set away from rugby and now I’m I guess a full time dad, full time a business owner and still wannabe athlete.

Mat Lock:

Well the still wannabe athlete, having seen you in action the other day under The Bay Games last year, you’re going okay.

Dave Harvey:

Still working on it.

Mat Lock:

You look amazing. You’re looking super lean and strong at the moment.

Dave Harvey:

It’s all in the kitchen.

Mat Lock:

Right. That’s interesting. We might come back to that. So that’s actually a major transition. Living 8 to 10 years you said as really a pro footy player, pro athlete. I’m guessing that was living, breathing, eating, sleeping footy every day of every week, every month, every year.

Dave Harvey:

Yeah, pretty well. Stemming from starting in Australia, I did things a little bit backwards. I kind of did Australia, a little bit of Australia and then did Europe and then came back here and then played pro back at home, which was fantastic. 

But yeah, it’s just seven days a week I guess, or five days a week with a couple of days off. Had morning sessions, time off. We’d get a fair bit of time off, but sometimes whether it’s mental reliefs or you kick back and doing nothing and then back in the afternoon for a bit of training, a bit of video analysis and studying your game, opposition games and then games on the weekend and the next day would be a recovery. And it was a full time job at the time, I loved it. Made lots of mates, lots of life-long friends. Learned a lot about myself in good and bad ways. But yeah, it was intense. But wouldn’t change it for the world.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Excellent. It was interesting, we were chatting to Felicity, now Lemke, originally Felicity Galvez, Olympic swimmer, gold medalist in fact who was talking about when she was leading into both of the Olympics, ’04 and ’08 that she competed at. She said literally her day was, I think at least five days a week was three training sessions a day and she had in between those it was eat and sleep, literally. Eat and sleep, go back and train again.

Dave Harvey:

Pretty much eat, sleep, watch TV, you’d watch TV shows, watch movies, there’d be Xboxes, PlayStations, coffee, wander down the shops and that’s it. Some clubs would let you do what you want. Other clubs were really adamant on doing nothing and relaxing and resting and recovering. Probably more knowledge and content around that kind of stuff now compared to when I was playing. Bit of a, I wouldn’t say an old school approach, but a bit more like you can do as much as you want kind of thing. Whereas now there’s a huge emphasis on recovering and resting, getting your body right. But we did a bit of that. It was training and then nothing and then training again. So switch on and switch off.

Mat Lock:

Sounds like to the everyday athletes like me and most of the audience listening, that sounds like the dream life. However, I’m guessing it was also not so easy.

Dave Harvey:

Nah, I think a lot of people perceive it as the dream life. As much fun as it was, it’s also very mentally challenging. Physically challenging, but you can get physically challenging by training as much as or as hard as you want with a full time job. 

But more the mental aspect of it was a little bit tough. Especially for me living away from home, that was pretty hard. But even playing back here, you’re studying opposition, you’re studying yourself, you’ve got to remember plays, you’ve got to remember what the opposition is doing. One bad game puts you on the outer, you never really have a full time job. You’re a full time player, but you never really have a full time job in the rugby aspect because you’re signing one, two three deals and then after that, you don’t know where you’re going to be. Whereas if you’re a school teacher, you’re a policeman, whatever it may be, you own your own business. Technically you’ve got a job for life. You tick boxes, you don’t exactly have to perform perfectly day in, day out.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. I imagine it’s an immense amount of pressure knowing that I can assume. So you transitioned then to, as you said, you bought an F45 franchise.

Dave Harvey:

Yep.

Mat Lock:

I think you said the other day when we were there last week doing the photo shoot, you were the sixth ever F45-

Dave Harvey:

Yeah. We’re actually the third F45 opened. So I was still playing at the time and I’d just left my contract playing Super Rugby and I wanted something to do. I’ve got a teaching degree, which I used a little bit, but there’s no jobs out there in the world of teaching at the moment. My rugby agent at the time ended up owning a few put me on to F45 and I bought one in 2013, I think we opened early 2014. Continued to play a bit, I was in the seventh circuit with Brazil at the time, so it was a fair bit of travelling and playing and training and working at the same time. So trying to juggle everything. But yeah, so we’ve traded at Castle Hill for about, well this would be our sixth year now, which is pretty cool.

Mat Lock:

And enjoying it?

Dave Harvey:

Loving it. Yeah. Still loving it. The alarm goes off at 10 past four, wouldn’t say I bounce out of bed, but I get out of bed and once I’m at work, yeah, I really enjoy. So yeah, I really enjoy being there.

Mat Lock:

Well you just mentioned before we went live, you were saying that your daughter has only just, I think in the last night or so sort of slept through. So I’m guessing over the last couple of years that’s been a challenge.

Dave Harvey:

It has been a challenge and there’s some good nights and rough nights. I mean there’s times where I’ve slept out in the other room, I’ve been fatigued, but there’s nights there’s three or four wake ups at night, but everyone has their own challenges and mate we wouldn’t change it for the world. And like I said, as soon as I’m in my work, it’s almost like game face. You switch it on and run the class, have a bit of fun with clients, help them as much as we can. Then if I need to hit a wall or come home then I kind of do that away from that public domain.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, of course. I’ve often seen gym owners, PTs, the emotional drain the clients can be without intending to be necessarily, but it’s not just being on your feet thinking about the workout and the programming. It’s also a little bit like hairdressers where people are sharing all sorts of life things…

Dave Harvey:

I think so, yeah. I think a lot of clients kind of look to you for advice or even just to chat, which is fantastic, which I enjoy, which is really cool. But at times, it can be draining. We’re pretty lucky at Castle Hill, we’ve got a lot of clients who are, we are not handfuls, which is fantastic. We’ve got a good client base and they’re all phenomenal, so it’s actually a little bit of fun. Like it’s fun going to work. You will help them and push them as much as you can, but it’s like chatting to your mates. Seven classes a day or so, four in the morning and three at night, yeah, it’s really good.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Fantastic. It’s great to hear that level of passion is still there because it sounds like it’s the motivation itself in training clients which is cool. Was that a hard transition to go from full, what, five days a week as a pro athlete to then setting up a business and all of the infrastructure that goes around it and everything’s involved with the day to day running of the business? How did that go?

Dave Harvey:

Yeah, that was probably the hardest thing. Probably the scariest thing is learning. I guess you probably said that, you said the words just then, the infrastructure of the business. Making the transition from playing rugby professionally to working wasn’t really an issue for me. F45 kind of gives me that team comradery and that sort of team environment, which is fantastic. But on the flip side it’s just running a whole new model, whole new business. I mentioned before, I got my teaching degree as a backup and I did a little bit of but nothing in terms of running your own business. And I guess I probably just learned on my feet, learned as I went. The first couple of years was pretty tough. I think first, probably six to 12 months I worked three jobs so I was playing footy, teaching and running the business. So trying to keep everything afloat.

Dave Harvey:

And then business started to get a little bit better, but it was just learning from the stakes and positives and negatives and probably not taking anything to heart, learning in the fitness industry that people come and go all the time. Fads change, people move, there’s waves of different ideas and different theories behind training. And yeah, just learning how to, from accounting to marketing as we discussed earlier and in terms of like Instagramming and everything, just people relations. And the way I see it, if you can speak to someone then you can run a business. If you’ve got no people skills, you’re in a lot of trouble.

Mat Lock:

That’s exactly right because every business needs customers.

Dave Harvey:

100%.

Mat Lock:

For sure. And I’m interested, did it give you a different insight into I guess what everyday athletes are doing? You know, the mums, dads, people who go to work nine to five or longer, five days a week and who are then training and trying to eat well as a hobby at the end of the day? The training and the competing is very much a hobby. Did you have a better insight having gone from being pro to trying to find your own time to get your training in and maintain your own fitness and so on?

Dave Harvey:

Yeah, definitely. I think there was a new appreciation for it. Being a full time footy player, even on days off it’s like, oh, it’s 10:00 AM, I’m going to go train now. Or I can get up early and go train or we had scheduled break times, we had scheduled field sessions and had massages and recovery. And the day was my leisure and I could do what I want. Now with the business, I kind of look at my clients and pretty much in awe of quite a lot of them. I open the studio at quarter to five or 5:30, oh sorry, 4:30, quarter to five in the morning. They come in, they train, they get changed, they go straight to work, they go home. So not only they’re working an eight til four job, a nine to five job, but they’re training at 5:00 AM, they’re getting changed and going to the city or they’re coming on their way back from work and they come in and do their session.

Dave Harvey:

And there’s just a new found respect. I guess I’m understanding now, but a bit more respect at the start to go, crap, these guys, they’re living a normal life. They’ve got to work, they’ve got to look after their family, they’ve got to cook, they’ve got to eat well, they’re on the run and they’ve got to train as well with this. There’s probably quite a few people out there going, well it’s not hard. It’s only 45 minutes of your day or an hour of your day, but I think mentally and physically it’s pretty tough. And making that transition now to family as you mentioned earlier, got a two and a half year old and family life and dad life and business life into training life now. Yeah. There’s a few hiccups on the way and yeah, huge, huge appreciation for what everyone does.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Absolutely. And so when you’re coaching your clients, when you’re guiding them, mentoring them along their journey, what’s the general advice based on that insight that you tend to give them around maybe recovery, maybe not think too hard on themselves, nutritional or maybe knowing when to push and so on?

Dave Harvey:

For me I guess a lot of the world, especially in the fitness industry is, everything is complicated. Everyone tries to overcomplicate things. There’s 50,000 diets out there. There’s 10,000 ways to do a dead lift, there’s you should be getting this amount of sleep. You should be drinking this, you should be drinking that. I just, I really try to encourage them just to keep it as simple as possible. When it comes to nutrition, just try and get your time into food right. Obviously, I don’t really tell them how much to eat or what to count, it’s great for some, not good for others. I just tell them to try and keep it really simple. Eat clean whole produce food. My family and I, we eat organic and what not and we go to farmer’s markets and we love it. That’s our lifestyle. So I try and preach a little bit of that. Otherwise try and get as clean as possible.

Dave Harvey:

And then just with training as well, just try and be as consistent as possible with the training. If they’re going to do three a week or four a week, do three or four a week every single week. If they’re training more, do that. If you want to go for recovery, get out on Sunday, get a bit of vitamin D, go for a walk and just get moving. And the consistency with food and training and just keeping it as simple as possible. I think if people overcomplicate things, I tell them, if they overcomplicate things they get a little bit stressed and they start to question why and they research and look for answers rather than researching, not looking for an answer. You tend to kind of broaden your mind and learn and educate yourself. So yeah, just kind of just tell them just keep it as simple as possible. Probably in every aspect, especially the food aspect, which is probably the hardest thing for them.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. I think we all know that if you go onto Google, you can find any opinion you want.

Dave Harvey:

100%, yeah. And most of the time people go onto Google and they go in with a predetermined or a mindset of they’re looking for an answer. So when they hop on Google, they’ll have a look and they’ll find what they can’t to see. Actually I’ve got my own coach at the moment and his best bit of advice to me was if you’re going to research something, research without looking for an answer and you’ll sit on both sides of the fence and you can make an informed decision for yourself. So ever since then, it’s probably opened up a few things for me, which is great.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. I remember watching Forks Over Knives, it’s a documentary that’s now on Netflix and certainly one of the lead doctors on there was talking about whenever you’re reading anything anywhere, the first question you have to ask yourself is who wrote it and how were they funded? Who paid for the creation of this documentary?

Dave Harvey:

Exactly. Who wrote the article, who paid for it? Because they want to get their point across.

Mat Lock:

That’s exactly right. So particularly on Google where you can be splattered with millions of results instantly. I think that’s a really important thing. I certainly try and pay attention when I’m really researching something and understand what was behind it. Is there an agenda?

Dave Harvey:

Yeah, definitely.

Mat Lock:

And it might be okay if there is, but it’s just good to know that so you can make an informed decision.

Dave Harvey:

Yeah, spot on.

Mat Lock:

For sure. Very good. Well, we’re getting close to time now. I’m interested with the F45 model, the way you run it, what do you think is the main motivation that keeps people coming back? I certainly having been to your facility and met some of your clients and seeing that amazing sense of community and that sort of loyalty to the brand and to you, to each other. What do you think builds that?

Dave Harvey:

I think you just nailed it on there. This community. Results is fantastic. Seeing people lose weight, put on muscle mass. Results, numbers speak for themselves. But for me, the first and foremost thing within business in the fitness industry community, you build community, you’ll maintain your clientele. You look after your clientele, you’ll care about your clientele, your clients will probably care about you as well as a business owner. So they show a little bit more respect. And then after everything’s secondary. So you move into your results and food and how they approach every aspect of their life and every aspect around their training.

Dave Harvey:

But community is the key. So whether it be putting on events for them or learning everyone’s name that walks through that door at quarter to five in the morning half asleep. I think that’s a really important thing. Just getting the little tiny details possible. I always tell my members learn everyone’s name, if there’s three people in the class, run it as if there’s 303 people in the class. So keeping it the same, show as much energy and as much attention to detail as possible, but not only that, but build community and build fun and build a place where people want to come and they’re safe to come and comfortable and come.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. No, I appreciate that. And that was certainly the impression I got when I came with you and yeah, that was amazing.

Dave Harvey:

Awesome, glad you did.

Mat Lock:

All right, Dave, thank you very much for your time.

Dave Harvey:

You’re welcome.

Mat Lock:

We’re going to get you on for another episode, but for now I’ll just say thank you very much. If people want to reach out to you and connect with you, where’s the best place to do that?

Dave Harvey:

Probably on Instagram, I’d say. That’s Daveharvey17. It’s probably the best to reach out, just that way as opposed to emails and trying to keep my emails for business only and try and keep everything separate. So they want to reach out or anything like that, it’d be good.

Mat Lock:

Excellent. Dave, thank you very much.

Dave Harvey:

Thanks mate. I appreciate it.

 

Mat Lock:

Welcome back Will. Welcome back to the Bay Games of vlog and this is our opportunity yet to pick your brains at programming for the real world because as you know, The Bay Games and everything we do is all about the everyday athlete. So firstly, welcome.

Will Henke:

Yeah, thanks for having me back again.

Mat Lock:

And for those who haven’t yet seen or listened to, your first vlog where we talked about programming for the Grand Slam 2020, could you just give us just a on one minute lowdown on who Will is and then we’ll dive in.

Will Henke:

Yeah, if you wanted to go back and watch that video (Episode 002), it’s a little bit more in depth, but yeah. I have a pretty extensive background in the military, in the U.S. Army. So in that time I myself and also trained others soldiers for combat and combat preparedness. So that moving forward allowed me to kind of mesh those principles that I learned in the military with the principles that I’ve learned when coaching weightlifting, gymnastics, CrossFit, and a few other things as well in sport specific training process.

Mat Lock:

Excellent. Thank you. So obviously Head of Programming for The Bay Games, I think, I imagine most people listening to or watching this will be aware of that. But outside of doing that programming for this team, what else do you have in terms of businesses?

Will Henke:

So two things. My wife and I, Carrie, run a business, called WanderFit Retreats. The business itself is run under the umbrella of WanderFit Ventures and under that umbrella we have two main businesses that we do. The first one is WanderFit Retreats. So we do active adventure and fitness retreats around the world. 

So right now we have fitness retreats in Bali, Portugal, Costa Rica. And next year we have a really exciting, I don’t know when this is going to launch so I’m going to keep it hidden, because we haven’t announced it yet, but we have a really cool fourth location for 2021 that we’re looking at, that we’re going to launch. So, that’ll be coming up here. That will launch in March, end of March, 2020 so look out for that. So we do that. That couples fitness and active adventure going to some of the most beautiful destinations around the world, while keeping your fitness up and travelling with like-minded people, kind of building a very strong community of travellers who like fitness.

And that, to me and Carrie, is the core of what we love. Carrie is probably the most functional gypsy you’ll ever meet in your life. And I love fitness, one of my passions. And for us to be able to combine those two things together as a married couple in a business is our dream and it’s great. Additionally to that, underneath the WanderFit Ventures umbrella, we have a training programme called ‘The Program’ by WanderFit. And that is created for the general population of people, not competitors. And that’s one thing that as the training programme we have at our core. There’s plenty of great competition prep programmes out there but I don’t feel there are many general health and wellness programmes that deal with functional movement, training proper positions for longevity of life and health. And that’s what myself and my coach Cassie, are developing together.

She’s a Canadian who lives in Australia. Amazing, amazing coach, amazing woman. So she’s been instrumental in building this with us. So with that we have also our individual programmes where we do specialised individual programming. Presently I have 11 athletes that I train individually.

Cassie has a few athletes that she’s training as well. So with the mentoring that I’ve been giving her to teach her to coach online and also move into the performance both for athletes and for people that just want that one on one relationship with a coach, I’m teaching her how to go about doing that together. So I have my own philosophy just like every coach has their own and it’s, I think it’s a great thing for me to be able to show her, not my secrets, but what I think makes a great coach and she’s able to take what she likes, bring it with what she’s done very well and learned from her background from track and competing in the sport of body building and develop into her own as a coach, which has been amazing to see over the last year.

Mat Lock:

Awesome. Mate, just before we dive into the details of ‘what’ it is, when you’re doing individual coaching in particular, you mentioned the WanderFit Retreats and of course you have a whole string of Bay Games winners and Grand Slam winners scheduled to go on all sorts of retreats this year with you. I think it’s what, three or four, or is it more now.

Will Henke:

Yeah, some in Costa Rica, some in Bali. I think we had one of the teams book, one of the Bali retreats with all four of them are coming together. That’s going to be such a cool thing to have them come out and show them a good time and reward them for their hard work for the Games last year.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, exactly right. And we certainly appreciate your support from, WanderFit Retreats and at the end of the day provide those as prizes for the winners of the various events. So thank you very much for that.

Will Henke:

Oh, it’s our pleasure.

Mat Lock:

Okay, I think it’s important, but so, when we talk about the individual coaching, is it as simple as say, if I could come to you and say, yeah, look, I want to drop a bit of weight. Can you write me up a programme? That might make your skin crawl. What would your reaction to be to that? How would you handle such a request?

Will Henke:

I think that understanding why. Why do they want to lose weight? Are they unhealthy? They’re looking just to get a better body composition. Is there a specific goal in mind? Losing weight or gaining strength or any of those things, there has to be an underlying reason. And for me as a coach, I don’t, I’m not just, when I do one on one coaching, I’m not just providing a programme and if that’s what someone’s looking for is just to receive a programme from me, more of a transactional relationship, that’s not the type of relationship I have with my athletes because I don’t feel that whatever you do in your training session, whether it’s an hour or 90 minutes in the gym, that is such a small fraction of your life and that’s not the biggest impact that’s going to be concerned with your results.

Will Henke:

And if someone’s only looking to receive a programme, I’d be looking to refer them to someone that does do body comp training. But if someone was looking to have someone, a coach on their side, someone that always has their best interests at heart, who’s looking to make changes in their lifestyle that’s more conducive to that are sustainable, incremental changes such as, what does your sleep look like? You know how many hours of quality sleep are you getting? Nutrition, how dialled in is that? What’s the quality and quantity of foods you’re getting? Vitamin D exposure, water consumption. There’s so many things that go into someone’s fitness self that controlling just what you do inside the gym isn’t enough. And to be honest, that’s not going to get the athlete where they want to be. And I think being able to actually coach that person to show them how to make these incremental sustainable changes to their lifestyle, we’ll give them a better quality of life.

Will Henke:

I’ve been working with an athlete for a while. A friend of yours, actually, Josh Sharp. It’s one of the, just by far, is one of the coolest experiences I’ve had as a coach. And it has nothing to do with fitness. 

So Josh came to me, he’s a very, fierce competitor and very, very hard on himself. So when I started working with him over a year ago, I asked him, how’s your sleep? What’s your sleep look like? And he would tell me, and it was by most people’s standards, probably average, normal. But when I was saying, hey, let’s try to increase your time in bed by an hour or 90 minutes. Let’s make some sleep hygiene changes where you start with stop looking at a screen at a specific time leading up to your bedtime, working with your partner. So his partner, Georgia, when they were here visiting, they actually said, now they do these things together.

They both say, okay, now it’s a time when we stop looking at screens and dim the lights. They start training the brain to be in a rhythm of, all right, like sit down. We’re getting ready for bed. You know when they wake up in the morning to finding that time where they can have the most restful time to allow your body to recover. Now Josh is saying if he’s not getting at least nine hours in bed, that he feels not fully rested, and the fact that he’s able to actually understand his body and how it feels when certain actions are taken or not taken, gives him the mindfulness of, and the tools to be able to say, all right, like I know what I have to do. So it’s not me telling him you need to do this. It’s him receiving the coaching that I’m providing, implementing in to his life and how it’s implemented because I don’t know, I’m not with him every single day.

I can’t tell him exactly when to do things but when he has the tools and can do it himself and he sees the results and he’s performing better, his body weight’s a little bit lighter, he’s lifting heavier. I think a little while ago he matched his all-time PR deadlift when he was 15 kilos heavier. Now that he’s 15 kilos lighter, right? So those are the things that we’re looking at, is these incremental changes that don’t necessarily come up in one specific change, but being consistent with your changes and making the changes that are sustainable where you’re not just going to do it for a week and stop. That’s when you start to see coaching. And for me that’s what coaching is about, is giving you a programme that’s going to get you toward your fitness goals, giving you the requisite tools that you need to do and implement in your life, whether it’s sleep, vitamin D intake, all these things, how your diet looks. And then using all these tools collectively together to push toward your goal. So that’s what I enjoy.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, that’s awesome. And I know Josh, or Sharpie as we know him at this end. I think it’s been transformational for him and he continues to learn so much and he, in particular as an athlete appreciates that. And you say you’re providing the tools for him to then go and discover those aspects for himself.

I guess as well, it sounds like it’s a very intimate affair when you’re coaching and you’ve got 11 and I know you’re not looking to take, to grow that to a hundred, 200, 300, certainly not on your own, maybe with an army of coaches, but it sounds like it’s a very intimate affair and therefore do you have the chance and is it important with all of the other life things going on? For most people who are at work, maybe have children have stresses in their life, surely that’s all part of it.

Will Henke:

Yeah. You have to look at what they’re doing outside the gym. You could have two people that want the same programme or that wants the same results, right? Let’s say just a general health and wellness. Someone who’s looking to be healthy, look good naked. So when someone says they want to look at naked, that generally means they want their body composition to change, right? They want to look better. So if someone has a job where they’re a construction worker and they’re on their feet and moving for nine, 10 hours a day of strenuous work, then the other person who wants the same goals has the same body type is sedentary and sits in an office on the computer all day typing, right? You can’t give them the same programme because one person having a much more active lifestyle where you have to take into that time to account.

The other person doesn’t. So that person may lack in the flexibility needs they need versus the person who’s on their feet all day. They may need some things that aren’t going to be super active but are strengthening specific conditions or certain conditions they need to. So it’s on the coach and this is an evolving relationship and you’re right, it is very intimate and that when you do individual coaching, there needs to be a cap. So for me, my cap is 11 people and now when new customers come in that are looking for one on one coaching, I get Cassie on the phone and Cassie is starting to take on those clients because the moment that your quality is lost that’s the end of it. And you can’t, no one can give individual programmes, you know, a hundred to 200 per week because there’s no way you can follow up with that many people.

You can’t have the intricate knowledge of what is your athlete doing right? I can tell you pretty much what my athletes are doing right, now, because I know generally how their work schedules are, when they train, how they train, how they feel, what their partners are like and things like that. So it’s very intimate as far as understanding, hey, how was your day today? Anything crazy happened this week? You know, how are you feeling? That’s a common message that a lot of my athletes get from me every day. How are you feeling? Not just like, Oh I’m good. Like genuinely like tell me like how are you feeling mentally? How’s your mental state? How’s your physical body? Like how’s your relationship with your partner? All these things that add stress to the body, that’s going to limit your ability to recover optimally when you don’t manage your stress properly.

If someone’s not getting enough vitamin D, their energy levels and their mood is going to be a lot lower. So their motivation to go to the gym might change. So there’s a lot of these variables that are going to constantly be in flux and as a coach you need to kind of try your best to get a handle on that. One thing for me that’s really important is everyone, when they want to work with a coach, they think I’m going to work with this coach. He or she has it, like they know what they’re doing. They have the perfect programme. There is no perfect programme. It doesn’t exist. The programme that’s perfect gets you to where you want to go and to get where you want to go, you can do that so many different ways and there are so many intelligent coaches out there that can get you to the same goal, the 17 different ways, but it’s understanding what way is most conducive to that specific person.

If you’re doing a one-on-one track, now, if you have like a group programme, you’re trying to take a general programme that you feel is your specific person. The working mom and dad that have kids, the single girl who wants to look good naked, you know, whatever they’re doing in their life. The guy who’s tried, the single guy who’s trying to impress the girls, by looking in a certain way. The ones that just want to perform well, they don’t really care how it look, but they want to perform well. And in that mass programme that you create, you have to make it somewhat, not individualised, but scalable for all. And one thing that I massively disagree with is when you write a programme in a functional fitness gym and you’re in what I hear all the time from people who say, programme for the best and scale for the rest, that’s a lot of gym philosophies on programming. You programme for your best athletes and you scale for everyone else. And there’s two things that are ridiculously wrong with that.

One, when you say you scale for the rest, that means you’re saying everyone at your gym that’s not the top athlete at the gym isn’t good enough to have your thoughts and the thought and mindfulness that goes into those scaling options for people is usually a last minute thing. It’s like, oh, you can’t do handstand push ups in this workout for 40 reps? Okay, just go over there and put your feet on a box and do some modified push ups. How’s that prepping them in the right way and allowing them the adaptation to build to that? Right? And the other option is, people are thinking scaling option is always down. So in my opinion, when you programme a work out, it should be for the general population of your pool, right?

Whether it be a gym, an online client, finding who your finding one person that you’re programming for, you programme to work out for them. And say yes, I know that there are people who if they do this work out this stimulus won’t be the same for them. So we’re going to get a scaling option that’s up that’s going to allow that stimulus to still being met as if they were this person. Now there’s also a scaling option for people down and adjusting movements, taking into account injuries, mobility issues, equipment limitations, things like that. So finding that common ground of understanding like who your specific person is that your programming’s for and what their goals are that you’re trying to get them to in your programme. That’s important. And a lot of coaches, gyms, whomever, that are doing programming or designing programming for whoever their clients are, don’t typically do that because they think, oh, I’m going to make everyone go to the CrossFit games where there are barely any gyms where that’s your target pool.

And usually those people are doing their own programmes because the class programmes aren’t enough of a training stimulus to prep them for sport. The sport of CrossFit versus you know, just staying fit and using CrossFit as a tool or F45 or these other, you know, there’s a great gym in Melbourne called Pick It Up Fitness. They are a functional training gym. You won’t see barbell snatches because every person in the world doesn’t need to be doing barbell snatches, nor do they have the overhead mobility and their lats or their thoracic spine to move that way. So you don’t need that for general health and wellness in my opinion. But I think for sport you do, if the sport calls for that.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. Yeah. Absolutely. I appreciate that great answer. We’re getting short on time, but what I would say is how can people reach out if they’re interested to find out more about what it is you offer and how you offer it or to reach out and make contact with you. What’s the best way for them to do that?

Will Henke:

A few ways they can do a lot of people just reach out to me via my Instagram as a direct message. To be a little more formal, you can send me an email to will@wanderfitretreats.com, you can reach out to our Instagram account for The Program by WanderFit, or our ‘retreats’ Instagram too. Myself and Carrie run all of those, so if you really wanted to find out more information, it wouldn’t be that hard to find somewhere. 

Mat Lock:

I think they could even come on a retreat with you and chat about it there.

Will Henke:

They could, yeah. I’ve had a lot of people that have been retreat clients, left, then became individual clients or clients of the programme just because they liked the coaching they received on the retreat and they went home and wanted to have that as well.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, for sure. And certainly all of the links and connection points will be in the show notes when we publish this. So if anyone’s interested to reach out to Will, if you look below, you’ll find all of those details there. Will, thank you once again for your time. Appreciate it. Always good to chat. And somewhat envious of you right now, even though we need the rain where we are, almost post-fire season in Australia, kind of envious with the shirt-off tropical look going on.

Will Henke:

I mean, you know you’re always welcome here, man. You know that.

Mat Lock:

Well, we’re only a plane ride away, right? All right, mate, thank you very much indeed for your time, Will.

Will Henke:

All right, man, have a good one.

 

Mat Lock:

Mr. Stewart, Walter, welcome to the Everyday Athletes Podcast.

Stuart Walter:

Thank you very much, mate.

Mat Lock:

It is a pleasure to have you here. Now you and I have a little bit of history. We’ve known each other for, I’m guessing two or three or four years now, actually.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah.

Mat Lock:

I’m very excited to introduce you to the Bay Games audience and the everyday Athlete Podcast Audience, and I just know that there’s going to be a whole tonne of value in this for everyone listening. If you could just tell us a bit about yourself, who you are, what you do, and then we’ll dive in.

Stuart Walter:

Okay. I guess let’s go on taglines. I’m the guy that world champions choose to get their head in the game. That’s pretty much me. At the moment, I’ve got 38 world champions I work with of the elite levels of sports. Also working on the, I guess the average sports. Also I’ve got online programmes, business and weight loss. Basically anything to do with the mental aspect of life basically. But I just love that elite level. I love pushing the limits of mind and body.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Fantastic. So you are the founder and owner of Elite Mindset Institute and you are a professional clinical hypnotherapists and an LP practitioner.

Stuart Walter:

Yes. It doesn’t really say much. I mean, clinical hypnosis people would probably already judge me by I’m always going to make them to do some weird stuff. But it’s the concept. It’s the process. And I spend a lot of my time demystifying the whole making you do stupid things on stage, but the whole of the clinical side of it is actually coming from stage hypnosis.

Mat Lock:

Right. That’s interesting.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah. It’s fascinating. Even typical every day wording and life, we’re talking about being mesmerised. Anton Mesmer was the founder of modern day hypnosis. And it was known that basically you look into his eyes and therefore you became into this weird trance. So Mesmer eyes is actually the eyes that are created, like fixed focus stare. And that’s where it’s all coming from. So it’s within so many community channels these days. It’s just amazing.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. Absolutely. And so you’re using those skills. You’re working with elite athletes, ambitious entrepreneurs and individuals and you’re helping them recognise their potential about achieving amazing results. Is that fair to say?

Stuart Walter:

Yeah, that’s fair to say. It’s interesting. I love the word potential because it’s like with real estate. You buy potential, but you’re only paying reality. I use the example of if anyone’s interested, a great equation I use for all my seminars and workshops is your existing results equal your potential minus your fears. Think about that. So think about what you could do and I can guarantee where you are now is a result of all your fears. So all we’ll do is basically getting question and manage your fears and next thing you get closer and closer to your potential.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. Now let’s see, some people I suspect might tune out a little bit subconsciously even when they hear the word hypnotherapy because you mentioned the whole onstage thing and people being made to do crazy or silly things. And I know last time we spoke, but for this audience, my father was a dental surgeon for 40 odd years. And back in the day in the UK, they received hypnotherapy training as part of their clinical training. And he used that on and off throughout his career with some patients, not many. But there were a couple of patients in particular that had extractions done or other work done whilst hypnotised because they just couldn’t bear the thought of having an injection because they were good enough subjects that he was confident and he did some pre work with them and was able to use it to very good effect for that, which for me made a lot of sense.

Mat Lock:

But outside of his work as well with family members, you have people being nervous about taking their driving test, literally down to that level. Phobias of flying for example, bit of claustrophobic, for example, and had amazing results. So I used to be a nonbeliever. I was the classic cynical guy. Yeah, it’s all voodoo, nonsense. And I can speak from personal experience having being hypnotised several times by him for various reasons. It’s so powerful.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah, it is incredible. And it still blows me away with the results that my clients get. I typically, when I’m doing seminars, I do an example of a national sprint and hurdle champ back in 2008 that I worked with. He was throwing up two days before an event. So you can imagine that. And this kid is already number one in the country. So you can imagine someone number one in the country, what is he nervous about? Okay. It’s all pre determined. It’s all these programmes that are operating underneath.

Stuart Walter:

There’s judgement . There’s fear. There are nerves. And it’s if I was nervous last time, I’m probably going to be nervous this time. Therefore, next time he’s going to be. So it’s a never ending programme that he’s running. I mean, as an example, he was running 56.5 when I first met him. So for the 400 metre hurdles. Within a month, while getting focused on the end results, managing nerves and doubts and fees, we reduce this time down to 52.6, that’s 3.9 reduction. That wasn’t changing technique. That wasn’t doing anything else. You can’t train in a month and reduce your time by 6.9 seconds when you’re already number one in the country.

Mat Lock:

So nothing else changed, not nutrition, not training, not recovery? It was purely the mindset.

Stuart Walter:

Purely mindset, which is focused on the end result, removing nerves and doubts and fears because you’re into the physical aspect of sports. So what happens is if you’re stressed and nervous, your brain goes back to learned behaviours. Okay? So therefore it’s also going into survival, which is hide, tighten up. So you don’t actually relax.

Stuart Walter:

I mean, when you’ve got a tight muscle like this or relaxed muscles like this, and all of a sudden you’re getting greater expansion, greater explosion. Okay? All we needed to do with him was to relax, trust what he’s capable of doing because if you’re training relaxed and then you go to a competition and you’re tightening up, all the training’s useless because you don’t have the right technique, you don’t have the reach, you don’t have everything else.

Stuart Walter:

So all we did was just basically teaching how to remove the nerves and doubts on track and bang. Blitzed it. But you’re looking at that on track. That 3.9 second was a 27.6 metre gain.

Mat Lock:

Wow.

Stuart Walter:

You look at his average running speeds. So you look at that running down the track. I mean, he was already winning by five metres with the next in line, but now he’s another 27 metres ahead of that. All we got position looked at him. It wasn’t, what is he doing? But what are we not doing? They tightened up and went backwards even further.

Mat Lock:

Sure. And so that’s one of them. Was it 36 or 38 world champions now?

Stuart Walter:

38.

Mat Lock:

38 you’ve worked with. Across what range of sports are we talking here?

Stuart Walter:

With NRL for a Rugby League World Team’s challenge. I’ve got bull riders [inaudible 00:07:58], duathlon, BMX, rowing, solar rowing. What else have I got? Swimming.

Mat Lock:

Diving?

Stuart Walter:

Hold up.

Mat Lock:

Do you still have diving, or?

Stuart Walter:

No, I have diving second. Olympic silver metal. Paste.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. [crosstalk 00:00:08:17].

Stuart Walter:

Body building. Junior Olympia and Mr. Olympia overseas.

Mat Lock:

Yeah.

Stuart Walter:

So lots to be honest.

Mat Lock:

And do you go into the pseudonym of the athlete’s secret weapon?

Stuart Walter:

Yeah. Well, it’s funny. We just had a bit of a talk before that. One of my, a 15 year old diver I work with back prior to the 2012 Olympics. She was 15 year old Brittany Roven. I was working with her. Yeah. She was going through all sorts of changes and disappeared over to London. We finally got selected over there. But 15 year old, she just turned 16 before the Olympics smashed out a silver medal. When she was getting interviewed by Australian media, they go, “Hang on. You’re only just 16. You’re on the biggest stage in the world. You’re clapping all your opposition coming down. You’re patting them on the back side to get up those stairs. You’re so relaxed. You’re having fun. But as soon as you step on the step to go up to the platform, you just change. What’s your secret?” And she goes, “I’m not telling anyone about the secret weapon”.

Stuart Walter:

And that was basically it. the name stuck. It stuck. And it became my online programme. My brand for athletes. I mean, it’s more than athletes now. I do work with a huge amount of entrepreneurs, business people as well. So the athlete model and the business model very similar when you look at the big performance. One is more physical than the other is mental, but athletes are actually now creating their own, I guess, business identities. So they’re going into the brand in the business. Whereas a lot of entrepreneurs now are getting away from a typical corporate look and the game more towards the athlete. So it’s eating healthy, it’s exercising, it’s getting all that in there. So they’re basically moulding between each other and becoming almost very similar.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. It strikes me. Actually, while you’re talking, it reminded me of a recent chat I had with Felicity Galvez, the swimmer.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah.

Mat Lock:

Awesome lady. Love her to bits. And she was sharing, yeah, quite candidly I guess, her experience of how she got her two gold medals and the lead up. She was going into detail about the lead up to the Olympics and how it works. And it’s pretty brutal. The whole process of being selected and so on. But maybe it has to be. But nonetheless.

Mat Lock:

But she said when she was in Beijing and the banks to go into those two sort of key races in particular, one of the differences for her was she didn’t let go of caring. Of course, she cared. Her whole life revolved around this. But she relaxed. She relaxed into it and allowed herself to perform, obviously, at her best and came home with two gold medals. But that was definitely a key moment. Perhaps I didn’t realise the magnitude of that at the time, but now discussing this with you it becomes obvious.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah, it’s incredible you just look at a lot of other athletes and you see, this is the biggest stage in the world. They train four to six days a week, two to three hours a day, seven days a week for one event that might last 10 seconds every four years. How can you get in that zone?

Stuart Walter:

And that’s one of my unique abilities is to actually get them to go, all right. Bang. Here you are. Switch on. So no matter what’s happening in the lead up to an event, as soon as the goggles go on, or as soon as the helmet goes on for motor racing or a golfer grabs their club, instantly that trigger is going to trigger their mindset to go right back into that zone. Okay? So therefore I can virtually guarantee that every time you have step on the line, grab a club, put your goggles on, hop on the bike, put your shoes on, hop on the spikes or the starting blocks, you’re basically just switching straight into that mode, which is getting you to a relaxed state as well.

Mat Lock:

That’s interesting. And another example from my dad, actually, he helped a friend of mine who was a police officer and he was taking his police motorcycle test. And it meant a lot to him. That was what he wanted to do. And he was a great bike rider actually, but he was super nervous. And the trigger, that dad did some work with him. And the trigger was, he said, “The second I put the key in ignition on the bike to go and do the written part of the test, I was just flooded with the knowledge that I knew I was going to pass. I knew I was going to pass.” And from that, he said, “I enjoyed the whole test, actually because I was just in the groove. I was in my zone. I was doing my thing.”

Mat Lock:

For sure. He passed with flying colours.

Stuart Walter:

That’s amazing, that whole psychosomatic connection, which is the mind and body. If you’re thinking tight and nervous, you’re going to tighten up. Your body’s just ready to go into survival mode rather than relaxing.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely.

Stuart Walter:

If you do that. Yeah. It’s the same as I’ve got a lot of the post-career cup drivers, V8 drivers, same thing. Soon as their helmet goes on, bang, everything shuts out. They relax. They become mechanical. There are no emotions in there, They trust the automatic response because the speeds they’re going, it’s just incredible. They can’t overthink it.

Stuart Walter:

So as soon as you pull up, I guess you’re thinking out of this conscious mind, which is where all the emotions are down to this logical level, there are emotions down here. So therefore you don’t have fears. You don’t get nervous. You don’t second guess. You don’t doubt yourself. You don’t have anxious or anxiety responses because you just come back down to this logical. You almost become mechanical, which is how you train.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. I wonder what drives the nervousness? What is it that causes us to get anxious, to get nervous? I trained for four years for a ten second race, for example.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah. It’s the pressure we put on ourselves, basically. You go, “Oh, I need to really perform”. So that need is enough to go, “But what if I don’t?” So therefore you’ve now got two conflicting thoughts within your head. One is going to be, “Yeah, I know I’ve got the abilities, but I’ve got the emotional responses. Your brain in times of pressure and stress, you always go back to learn behaviours. So when you got back to learned behaviours, if your last event you were nervous, your brain goes, “Oh, put pressure on. Oh, therefor I’m going to be nervous.”

Stuart Walter:

That’s how the brain works. It’s what we call a trigger-based response. That there’s going to be all the same triggers. But imagine we can rewire a positive response versus a negative response. And that’s all it is. It’s just like switching emotions around. To rewire it, you go, “All right, when the pressure’s on”. this is where you then go back to, “Hang on. I’ve done the training seven days a week, four hours a day for eight for one event that’s 10 seconds.”

Stuart Walter:

So instead of this automatic response, we’ve now got this new response. It’s like triggered by a sweet spot, like a traffic light. When you see a red light, you’ve already got your foot on the brakes. Do you know how many calculations happen in one second in your brain? Neural pathways fire.

Mat Lock:

Yeah.

Stuart Walter:

There are 3,000 neuro pathways fired.

Mat Lock:

Right.

Stuart Walter:

So I’ve got like a little demo, one tennis ball. So between here and there, 3,000 neuro pathways okay? Because your brain has to kind of hand eye coordination. As soon as the ball hits, you’ve got that response of catching it. But what if you just decide, “Hey look, I’m-“

Stuart Walter:

Okay. It’s the hand eye coordination. So where a lot of people go, “Yeah, just think of a happy place”. You can’t do that because your brain’s already fired. It’s already got that negative response, that fear based response, which is the protection, because it knows that if any athletes going out to push themselves, they’re going to hurt themselves physically and emotionally. They are going to push themselves to potentially breaking points. So the brain’s going, “Yeah, but I don’t want a break. So how can I hold myself back?” There’s all sorts of second guessing and doubting and conserving energy. And then you get to the end of it and go, “Could have done more”. Okay? I think your microphone’s off.

Mat Lock:

Oh, sorry. There we go.

Stuart Walter:

We’re back.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. You snuck the F word in there. Use the F word and it ironically not by design. I’m wearing a tee shirt for our athletes this year that signed up earlier fearless. But you used the word fear. I guess, is that what’s underpinning? Is it a fear that I won’t perform a fear? I’ll choke of fear. I won’t be my best, whatever it is.

Stuart Walter:

I use the example with fear. I mean, fear is again, we’ve got this, your existing results equal your potential minus your fears. You may think, Oh, but I’m not nervous”. Okay. Do you guarantee where you’re going to be? Can you relax? Are you second guessing? Are you’re doubting yourself? Are you not sleeping well? Are you churning at night? All those are fear responses. They’re all manifested behaviours based on that thing called fear.

Stuart Walter:

Our unconscious minds have got one job and that’s to protect you from potential harm, physically and emotionally. Okay. So in times of pressure and stress, we always want to go back to that, right? How can I protect myself? Look at the whole COVID thing that we’ve been through. Initially. It was just fear, fear, fear. Okay. That is what was spread, but you look at the reality of it. Okay. So what was the reality? Fear is only created through past experiences.

Stuart Walter:

Okay? You can only have fear based on the past experiences. So past experience is once you can disconnect that sensation of fear or the emotional connection to it, it’s just like cutting it off and going, “Right. If I could start life again now with everything I now know, what’s possible?”

Stuart Walter:

Because imagine a builder who every time he went back to pick up some power drill or power tool got electrocuted, how many times would you go back and touch it? You wouldn’t. And that’s exactly what emotional experiences are like. If this experience in the past hurt you, you wouldn’t want to go back and touch it. So you kind of remove yourself from it, suppress it and push it aside. So then when you need to go, “Right, I want to go and do this”. Your brain goes, “Yeah, but remember this one? That’s going to hurt you.” So it holds yourself back.

Mat Lock:

Awesome. So when you’re working with an elite athlete, let’s say, how do you try and address that? What’s the process you go through?

Stuart Walter:

It’s more of a questioning at the time because when people go, “I’m nervous, I get fears”. Okay. So it’s easy just to throw it out there, but I’m the one that kind of goes, “Okay, so how do you know what you’re feeling is a fear? What are you thinking is actually a fear? Is that a fear or is it reality?” Okay?

Stuart Walter:

You might have a fear of sharks, but you kind of have a fear of sharks sitting in your office. Probably reality. You can’? Have a fear of sharks standing on the beach. Okay. When was the last time they just kind of came up and got you? They don’t. If you’re up to your neck, you’re in the water and there’s one hanging off your leg, is that a fear? No. It’s a reality. So fear is only present up here based on what we think may or may not happen.

Mat Lock:

And that could be based on experience or we’ve seen something. We’ve watched yours. Most of us have never had a bad experience with sharks.

Stuart Walter:

No, exactly.

Mat Lock:

And we’re not going to, but we’ve seen a movie that instils that fear into us.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah, that we haven’t learned what fear is. We haven’t been programmed by parents or media or friends. Even if someone says, “Hey, look, public speaking is scary”. If you’ve never done it before, you’ve taken that belief on because you believe that person, therefore you go out and you conform to that belief. So with athletes, once you question, okay, what is fear? Fear is just the past. Okay. Can you have fear in the future? No. But what if you went to have a look at, imagine yourself on the podium with a gold medal around your neck. Is that scary? No. Okay. So why should you be scared now about that end result? And it can actually unwind and re engineer itself.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure.

Stuart Walter:

Go back. So therefore fear is not ever relevant.

Mat Lock:

Excellent. So that’s [inaudible 00:20:17] for me as a logical minded person in the way I think. That makes total sense and to deconstruct the subject that way for me is thoroughly logical and therefore resonates with me. But so then do you then instal, I mean, through hypnotherapy you then instal or give them systems to use that they can … When they’re in that moment or before that moment, how that they can bring themselves to a point of being relaxed?

Stuart Walter:

Yeah. So for me, Mat, you’ve got the conscious mind, which is the top three to 5% of how we think act and behave. This is where everyone’s sitting right now thinking, where is this guy going with this conversation? So I specialise in the 95 to 98, because if you’re up here on the surface, you are a result of all these programmes. Trying to change who you are on the surface is virtually impossible. If you’ve got these programmes running. So with hypnosis, we’d get below that conscious level. We come into the unconscious programmes and go, “Right. Is this helping you? Yes? Okay. Keep doing it. No?” Change it. Bang. How do we change it? So as long as it’s helping you. So when you have thoughts of fear and automatic responses, as you say analytically, it makes sense. For those people that are really kinesthetic or emotional, you go, “Okay. So where are you feeling it? Are you feeling it around your throat? Are you feeling nervous is in your arms, is in your stomach?”

Stuart Walter:

Because generally the stomach is a second brain. Okay? So if this is tight, ?his is going to be taught. Okay. If your brain is churning, your stomach’s going to be churning, which is why people say I’ve got butterflies.

Mat Lock:

Interesting.

Stuart Walter:

Okay? So what I look at is going, “Okay, well, if that thought equals that sensation, who chooses your emotion? Who chooses your actions? Your behaviours, your beliefs?” You do. So therefore, why are you choosing to be nervous? Oh, good point. Okay. If you can choose to be nervous, what would you choose to be instead? Okay, I want to be relaxed and [inaudible 00:22:21]. You can’t be relaxed if your brain’s tight and your stomach’s tight. So there’s this process as I said, with the hurdler where you can actually pull out these emotions that you’re feeling through this trigger, bang, dump them.

Stuart Walter:

Then all of a sudden, it’s like when your brain has this trigger again, it goes straight to that place in your stomach. That sensation isn’t there now. And we can simply replace it. We can replace it quite simply. If you’re a tennis player, okay. Every time you get the ball, okay. What is this worth to you physically, emotionally, financially? How does it make you feel if you’re the world number one? What if all your dreams came true? But what if you could imagine that in your stomach? Then all of a sudden that trigger is going to trigger this sensation? This is the place. This is where I can show off all my talents, my abilities, my skills. Yeah. The hard work is done at training, but now this is time to shine versus how am I going to go? So you know exactly what’s going to happen.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. It’s a fascinating subject. I know that again, an example from myself, for summary, over 20 years ago, for some reason, suddenly got really nervous about the thought of flying. And it was really frustrating because I wasn’t aware of any reason for it. I hadn’t had a bad experience. And again, a logical mind was just so frustrated by this, but it was a very real sense actually as you say, that the churning stomach. Like really two days before flying and long story short, I had two 10 minute sessions with that. That was my first introduction to hypnotherapy, which is 10 minute sessions. It’s all it was.

Mat Lock:

And there were two things that stand out in my mind. One when I was during the process of being hypnotised, I remembered thinking I could open my eyes at any time, but I don’t want to because this is awesome. My arms felt like they’d sunk way into the arms of the catch I was sitting on. And it was just the most wonderful thing, but I felt totally in control. And going back to the beginning where we talked about people doing silly things on stage and so on. For me, yeah. I just simply had the total awareness, felt like I had total control and just loved it. It was such a relaxed feeling. It was awesome.

Stuart Walter:

That’s one of those typical things that people think because I say stage hypnosis, but the stage hypnotist also tells these people they will not remember what they do. So therefore, they don’t remember. So people think they’re in some way trance because they don’t remember, but they’re told to forget. So they do. If I was on stage, which is exactly the same process, so if anyone’s out there thinking, is that real on stage? Yes, it is. Because one, I’ve done it. Two, I’ve had it done to me. So I know exactly what goes on.

Stuart Walter:

But imagine someone else pulling out, say a bikey out of the crowd, little bulletproof tats, beard, leather, denim. And you go, “Right, bing. Play this music.” When you hear this music, you become a ballerina. So here’s [inaudible 00:25:20] no skills, no abilities, no talent. There for the entertainment, happy to make a fool of himself because that’s within his normal model of the world, prancing around on stage, thinking he’s a ballerina.

Stuart Walter:

So that’s entertainment. So what I do, I step on stage. I pull out a ballerina of the crowd. Okay. When you hear this music, you become a ballerina, all the grace and the speed and the height and the power that you need. I mean, she’s already got the skills, abilities, talents. She does what she needs to do, remove the emotions. And then all of a sudden you’ve got one of those ballerinas in the world. It’s exactly the same process. And there’s that trigger base response. When you hear the music, you become and you remember when you walk on stage and you will feel good and that’s basically it.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, no, absolutely. That’s a that’s a really great way of explaining it. And sort of the second point from my experience was even now, I mean, I’ve done the last 20 years, a lot of flying in my corporate life and so on, a lot of flying. And literally it was like getting in a taxi. I wouldn’t even think about it. It’s irrelevant. But even there without any conscious thought on my part, as the plane pushes back from the terminal, without me having any awareness, I fall asleep. And as we [inaudible 00:26:39] lagged and the seatbelt goes ding, I just gently wake up, feel amazing and smile because I know what’s just happened. But I was completely nothing conscious about that from my perspective at all. And that was over 20 years ago.

Stuart Walter:

Amazing, because everything we’ve done in our past, it’s all back here. I can take you back to any day in your life. I can get you to tell me what happened when it happened, what you were wearing, who you spoke to, every single word it’s all in there. All we’ve go to do is that trigger based response. So now a plane equals that. You can’t lose that. It’s in there. It’s programmed.

Mat Lock:

Right.

Stuart Walter:

That one versus how powerful and negative one day.

Mat Lock:

If I need to remember what I had for breakfast today, you’d be able to find that out for me? Because I find myself getting more and more these days.

Stuart Walter:

Exactly. No, that’s just old age.

Mat Lock:

No, absolutely. No, it’s a fascinating subject. So I’m conscious of time. What sort of hints or advice would you give to our audience who are predominantly everyday athletes? They’re not professional athletes, let’s say. We’ve got some weapons, but we’re not talking about professional athletes. That’s what they do for a living, let’s say. If they haven’t tried this, if they haven’t tried hypnotherapy, for example, but they know they get nervous or they’re just good and they’re looking to be even better. What would your advice be?

Stuart Walter:

My advice would be really question where all these responses came from. Because if you are choosing your behaviour, your actions, your habits, your responses, because they are your choice. But you can have … Look at coronavirus. As an example, some people have collapsed under the pressure. Others have flourished. It’s exactly the same trigger, but it’s a choice of, is this going to happen or is this going to happen?

Stuart Walter:

So when we bring it back to right, this is the awareness, this is the acceptance of who you are in the past. If you’re feeling a sensation of fear and nerves, it’s based on past experiences. So therefore you’re choosing that. Actually, what I’ll offer is for everyone that’s listening at the moment, maybe I can send that through to you, Mat, the file for the Daily Diary process.

Mat Lock:

Sure. Yeah, I absolutely can put that in the share notes.

Stuart Walter:

Actually, one moment, please.

Mat Lock:

Oh, there you go. For those listening, not watching, it’s a book called The Dear Diary Process.

Stuart Walter:

The Process. Yes, it’s a process where I work with a professional golfer back in 2010. 17th of March, 2010. I know that because it was such a memorable day. He said, “I write in my diary every night”. I went, “Why? It’s history. You’re done.” It’s like watching the news. It’s history. I said, “Well, the way your brain works is if you’re writing something down, you’re bringing it to your attention. You’re feeling the emotions. So if you had a bad golf game and you think writing that when you go to bed, what’s going to be in your head? Bad golf game, bad golf game. You’re going to be processing that for the next eight hours. Then you’re going to wake up and go, “That’s right. I’ve been thinking about bad golf all day.” So therefore, ta-dah! That’s what you’re going to get. But he was very consistent in his crappiness basically within golf.

Stuart Walter:

So as I said to him, “The way the brain works is whatever you’re thinking about. That’s what’s going to happen. So instead of writing tonight, what you did, how about writing tonight how tomorrow was in advance. So how did you sleep? How did you wake up? How did you feel?” Okay. As an example, bang, tomorrow, the first day of the Bay Games. I slept beautifully knowing I’d done the work. It’s all going to be fun. This is where I can really get out there, have fun and shine. As soon as I woke up, almost like a bit of a check through my body, bang. Came alive, full of energy, full of life. Ready to go. Okay? Think about what we’ve just done versus the negative of, “Oh, I don’t know how I’m going to go, but what if, but what if, but what if?” Last time I was nervous.

Stuart Walter:

I’m feeling nervous now. And you start sleeping on that. The brain can rewire itself according to intention and emotions. So the data already processed is setting your intentions about how tomorrow went. We’re using the past tense words to say it did happen. This is what I did, how it felt and the end result. So therefore if you’re processing all that at night, you’re more prone to sleeping deeper because you know what the outcome is. So therefore it’s going to start conforming. That’s the intention. That’s the emotional connection. And you basically can transform your life while you’re sleeping at night. So yeah. Happy to send you the ebook version of that. It’s basically instruction manual for life. You basically write it down how tomorrow was in advanced. So I would say for any advice for people that are unsure about their mind and their powers, you’ve got the skills. You’ve got the builders. You’ve got the talents now to achieve whatever you want.

Stuart Walter:

The only thing stopping you is this little element of fear. If you can write fear out of the equation and just go, “I felt amazing, I felt light. I felt strong. Halfway through, I decided to put my arms out like a plane and fly around on the beach.” It happens because I do it, I test it and I know the incredible results.

Mat Lock:

Absolutely.

Stuart Walter:

It’s a good step into people taking control of what they can control. I’m not saying I’m not hypnotising you, it’s just you’re kind of hypnotising yourself like your new programmes.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Stuart Walter:

When you get, I guess, an analytical person that goes, “Oh, what are we going to do? I’m scared about hypnosis. What’s the first thing we do>” well, as I say, the first thing I normally do is de hypnotise people, get rid of the old programmes, the old responses, the old version of you and rewire you are with a new version.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. That’s fantastic. Well, that’s very generous. Thank you. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah, you’re welcome.

Mat Lock:

And yeah, absolutely I would encourage them. And I’m familiar with that book actually and can speak to it. So, yeah. That’s great. Thank you very much. For those who would like to reach out and find out about you or maybe work with you, or you mentioned you also have an online programme. How would they do that? Where do they find you?

Stuart Walter:

Yeah, same, same .reach out. I was going to say a bit like a virus, but that’s probably not good terminology these days. Yeah. If you just do a search for Elite Mindset Institute, okay? That’ll go to my general everyday website, but if you’re looking for it, just go to the athletessecretweapon.com website and all the information’s there. You can contact me there. You’ve got access to the online programme. And if you wanted to, what we can do, Mat, is set up a discount for any of the people listening. If they want to purchase the online programme, it’s 495 US. So we can do a 40% special if you want if anyone’s-

Mat Lock:

Wow. Thank you very much. That’s amazing. Again, very generous. Thank you.

Stuart Walter:

Oh, you’re welcome. That’ll bring it back to what? 295, 297 US, which is around 450 ish Australia at the moment.

Mat Lock:

And that’s an eight week programme?

Stuart Walter:

Eight week online delivered hypnosis programme with workbooks, all the processes we’ve spoken about.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. And I find … Well I’ll certainly put the link to that as well in the show notes and the report and pop that in a weekly email as well. So make our athletes aware of that.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah, because of this time, when people are in lockdown, it’s amazing the programmes I’ve got to share international world champions running through that programme at the moment.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. That’s amazing.

Stuart Walter:

Yeah. It’s an incredible programme. It’s really good.

Mat Lock:

Thank you very much. Well, I appreciate your time.

Stuart Walter:

You’re welcome.

Mat Lock:

It’s been great to catch up and I’m never going to chat again about a slightly different subject and I’m excited for that. But for today, thank you very much and I look forward to seeing you next time.

Stuart Walter:

You’re welcome. And thanks everyone for joining. Take care.

 

Mat Lock:

Felicity, welcome back. It’s great to have you back. Thank you very much. And today, we’re going to talk a little bit about life after your career as a professional swimmer, when you brought home two gold medals at the Olympics. And you corrected me last time, three world records, not two. Hey, you earned them, so I’d have done the same thing.

Mat Lock:

But before we kick on, just in case, for those who haven’t listened to the first episode with you, and if you haven’t, I suggest you do because you’ll get to hear the story up until this point and you’ll get to hear the background for Felicity. But nonetheless, just give us 30-60 seconds, Felicity, of … yeah, I guess your background and who you are.

Felicity Lemke:

Sure. So, I’m Felicity Lemke, formally known as Felicity Galvez. Used to be a professional swimmer for over 10 years. Went to two Olympics, 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing Olympics where I won, like Mat said, two Olympic Gold Medals. And now I own my own gym here in Canberra and have a beautiful family with two little girls. So, that’s my new life.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, no, absolutely. Awesome. And today, we’re going to take a deep dive into when you took the plunge to starting your own business. Sorry, it’s appalling, isn’t it? Sorry.

Felicity Lemke:

I wasn’t going to say it was appalling but, I see what you’re doing here.

Mat Lock:

There we go. So, life after being a professional athlete. I mean, we heard last time quite what it involves. And I mean, it was really something, as it is for, I guess, all professional athletes. But nonetheless, how was it transitioning out of that? So, you obviously left on a high with your gold medals and world records. And how did you arrive at the decision to step away from your career in swimming at that level?

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah, well it’s quite an interesting one. I went to our 2008 Olympic Trials. We’ll backtrack. So, 2004, I went to that Olympics for an individual swim, so the 200 butterfly. And then, obviously four years later, you want to be able to hit that same event again and then hopefully come out with a medal. I went into that trials with the best prep I’d ever done. I’d never trained so hard. I hadn’t swum … I was swimming up to 70 km a week in the pool. I did everything.

Felicity Lemke:

Like, literally, some days I would get home and the only thing that didn’t hurt were my eyelashes. Like, I couldn’t put the handbrake down in the car some days because I was just … I was stuffed. But then, I went into our Olympic Trials in 2008 and I just put too much pressure on myself. You’re already going into these trials and there’s a lot of spotlights on everyone and there’s a lot of pressure as it is. I just over thought it and swum my 200 fly and came third. Third is normally a really good outcome, but not at our trials. Only top two qualify. So, that meant that I didn’t gain that spot for the 200 butterfly to the Olympics. But obviously I gave myself some other opportunities with adding some more events into our trials. So, hence why I then came third in the 100 butterfly, which I was really happy about. And that got me a spot to do the heats for the four by one medley relay and I also qualified for the four by two freestyle relay.

Felicity Lemke:

But coming out of that, there was a point where I was devastated and I didn’t think that I’d qualified and almost threw the towel in. So, there’s a good pun for you, Mat. You’d like that one.

Mat Lock:

I like it. I see what you did there.

Felicity Lemke:

See what I did there? But yeah, I almost gave it up and I’d started hating the sport, I think because of the workload. And I’m sure a lot of athletes that would be listening to this have been through a moment where they’ve done everything possible and they haven’t go the outcome that they would have wanted. And it’s devastating and it does make you rethink, “Do I actually want to do this anymore?” Do I want to put my body under this much strain all the time?

Felicity Lemke:

Anyway, they announced the team on the last day. And I was more surprised than everyone to have qualified. So, I had to re-change my mind frame because all of a sudden, I was going to an Olympics when I’d thought I’d missed. And then, I had a World Short Course coming up four weeks after our trials, which I was kind of excited about. I love short course. And I kind of said to my husband, I was like, “Do you know what? I haven’t trained this hard for nothing. I’m not going to just go and not care.” But I also changed my attitude with a lot of my racing post that Olympic Trials. I went in and I thought, “You know what? I’m going to have fun when I race.” Everything else, training isn’t fun. It’s hard work. The racing side of it needed to be fun.

Felicity Lemke:

So, that was one of the first meets. And this was towards the end of my career that I all of a sudden clicked. And I went over to Manchester and swum in World Short Course and came away with two individual world records, four gold medals, two silver, and a bronze. The best Australian swimmer that’s ever swum at a short course heat, only because I went out and I smiled before every one of my races. And I thought, “You know what? Fuck it. I’m just going to have fun.” I’d done the work, so I didn’t need to worry about that. It was just about letting it happen. And I know athletes that would be listening to this would be like, “I get what she’s saying. You’ve just sometimes got to …” You know? We’ve said it, just send it, just let it happen. But enjoy the process of letting it happen.

Felicity Lemke:

So, that carried me on after that meet because I swam so well and I had reignited that fire in me to keep going, and then swam for another two years. But then, I knew coming up to the end of 2010, I’d done Commonwealth Games in Delhi and swam okay, didn’t swim great. But then knew I had World Short Course in Dubai. And I loved it and I wanted to replicate the same kind of meet that I had in Manchester two years ago before that. And I knew that was … In my heart, I knew that was going to be my last meet. So, I said to my husband, “Fly over, watch me swim. This will be it. Promise, I won’t drag you through any more meets and any more anxiety.” So, yeah. Look, I left there. And I did say to him, “I will not leave here until I have one of those gold medals individually around my neck.” So, thank god I did because otherwise I probably wouldn’t be here.

Felicity Lemke:

So, that was it for me. I just knew I didn’t have the passion for it anymore. I had the ability. I was swimming the fastest I’d ever swam up to the day I retired. But setting the alarm clock, getting out of bed, and doing the hard work, I resented it. I didn’t love it. I made it harder for my coach than anything, just asking why we had to do it, whinging and moaning, a bit like my kids do to me now.

Mat Lock:

Is that your penance?

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah, so I just thought, “Well, I’m going to give that opportunity to someone that actually really wants it,” because there was one moment. A lot of the time in my career, where I really wanted it, and I had the opportunity to do what I loved. So, that was the moment I gave back.

Mat Lock:

Sure. So, it was just time. You just knew it was time. Yeah, sure.

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah.

Mat Lock:

And of course, you’ve gone on to, as we’ve mentioned already, you’ve opened your own gym in Canberra called Galvanised Fitness. How’s that been? I mean, going from being a professional athlete to opening and starting your own business? Yeah, talk us through it. Enjoying it so far?

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah, you know, look, the biggest transition for me wasn’t starting my own business. For me, it was going from … You know, athletes are super selfish, and you have to be. You have to devote 90% of your life to doing everything you possibly can to be the best athlete or the best whatever on the day. And then, for me, transitioning from being an athlete to then being a mom, where you have to be the most unselfish, everything is about this child, you know?

Mat Lock:

Polar opposites.

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah, it’s just a total role reversal. So, I had my firstborn, Sophia. And everyone would be ringing going, “How’s the baby?” And I was like, “What about me? Why is no one asking about me?” I went from everyone going, “How are you? How’s your prep? How are you feeling?” Everyone asked about me, to then no one really gave a shit about me, and it was all about this baby that was just crying all the time. So, it was a huge transition from athlete to mom life.

Felicity Lemke:

So, then transitioning into opening up my own business was almost not too bad. It was almost going back into an athlete life where I could afford to be a little bit more selfish and put my heart and soul into something that I really wanted to make work. A lot of time has gone into it. But I love it. I love that I can now give back and find amazing things in people that they don’t believe that they could have done. That gives me such job satisfaction every single day.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, I can imagine. And having met a number of your members and competed alongside them and trained alongside them, it is clear that they are very, very fond of you. And it’s clear that you absolutely just get the best … I was going to say drag the best out of people. But I don’t think you do drag it out, you naturally bring it to the surface by virtue of who you are and how you approach training. So, how would you describe your gym? It’s not a CrossFit gym, but functional fitness oriented?

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah, look, it is. It’s definitely not CrossFit. It’s functional. So, our motto is making people stronger. So, stronger for some people is just being able to lift their shopping from the boot of their car into their house. Someone might be, they want to be strong because they want to be able to do 10 chin ups in a row. Everyone’s got their goals. But it is functional. So, the average age for our clientele using our gym space is probably mid-40s. And they’re not elite athletes, we’ve got some-

Mat Lock:

Are you having a poke at me at this point? Is that aimed at me?

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah, like you. No.

Mat Lock:

You’ll have to speak up, I can’t hear you very well. I’m mid-40s, you know?

Felicity Lemke:

But you know, it’s not about being the best in the gym. We don’t have any egos in the gym. One of the biggest things is we’re just trying to build a community that support each other through our fitness goals. And it’s something that I’m really, really proud of because I’ve had so many people come through our doors going, “Wow, this is something that we haven’t ever experienced.” So, I’m proud of that. I’m proud that I am different to what else is out there.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. And yeah, and you are. And you certainly put me through my paces when I was there. And so, certainly, again, we’re recording this at a time when COVID-19 is upon us. As you mentioned already, that’s changed nearly everything for most of us. How has that been for you? How have you transitioned so far? It’s still only, what? Three or four weeks in. And of course, we don’t know how long the new norm will be the new norm. But anyway, we deal with it one day at a time. But how has that been for you?

Felicity Lemke:

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster. And I think most people would agree. But it’s kind of gone … It’s been quite funny. We kind of knew it was coming on. And so, I was cleaning the gym more than I clean my own house. Like, I would have eaten off the floor at the gym, but I wouldn’t eat off the floor in my own house. So, I went through a phase of cleaning everything, being really diligent more so than ever, just so clients would feel really comfortable still coming to the gym because there wasn’t any bans at that point on doors closing or what you could do.

Felicity Lemke:

So, that was a really big thing. We stopped doing partner workouts, so that people were spaced. And then we got told the news of closing the doors. So, that was fine because we could still train in groups, smaller groups and outside. I had a great space outside, so we comfortably kind of transferred into that. And then, within a week, that all got turned on its head. And then we could only go to one on one training. So, I think I’m blessed in the fact that I’ve got amazing support in clients that have got my back through this and they actually want to see me come out the other side, and they want to see Galvanised Fitness past COVID-19.

Felicity Lemke:

So, I quickly transitioned into taking on one on one clients. And then, I desperately wrote to you going, “Help me. I need you to teach me Zoom. I need to set this up. How do I do it?” And I was frantic. And this was past the point of when I had my mini-meltdown. I think, and I’m sure men need to do it too, but as females, I think we need a moment where we just lose our shit, we cry, we have that hour or two to really let it go. And then I felt like I had a clearer head and I could just sort out what I had in front of me. And as much as it looked like chaos, because I had all my clients going, “What are we going to do? How are we going to train?” And they were anxious about it too. And I felt like I was just being strong for everyone and going, “It’ll be fine. I’ll sort it. I’ll get back to you. I’ll let you know.”

Felicity Lemke:

Telling my kids that I’m now home schooling, which is totally out of control. But that’s okay and we’ll be fine. And trying to juggle working from home with my husband as well. And this is where I just flipped it because I got the timetable from the girls’ school going, “And from 9:00 until this is when … And this is when maths is on.” And I was like, “What? This is not … How am I meant to work and teach my kids everything they need to know?” So, I think that’s what really … That was like the needle in the haystack that really broke me. But we’ve kind of got into a little routine. You’ve taught me Zoom, so we’re Zooming all over the place now. I’ve got a good little setup in the garage.

Mat Lock:

You have. You’ve got a great setup in the garage, yeah, absolutely.

Felicity Lemke:

And it’s working well. And it’s quite beautiful. I’ve got a big screen TV there where I’ve hooked everyone … You know, they’re all up there. And it’s quite nice before we start class. They’re all like, “Hi Daryl, hi Richard.” And they’re all saying hi to each other. And they have this little moment where they all talk. And then I’m like, “Righto. We’ve got 40 minutes. Let’s get this done.” And they’re great. And the feedback’s been so positive.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. When I was chatting with Alethea earlier, again we both came to the conclusion that we can’t help but feel that actually this has caused an even greater connection, by being … because it’s more deliberate. It has to be.

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah.

Mat Lock:

I think we’ve become perhaps a little bit complacent when we all rock up at the gym. And we had taken that for granted. And it requires a bit more thought and determination to maintain those connections. And in some way, that makes it even more valuable, even closer, even though it’s digital, if that makes sense. And it certainly sounds like that’s a similar experience to yourself with your members.

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah, absolutely. It has brought everyone together. And I’ve been doing little posts on our Instagram with me in front of the screen or whatever. And the people that haven’t been involved all of a sudden want to be involved because they almost, I think, feel that they’re missing out on an opportunity to not only do a workout which helps physically and mentally, but be in touch with that network that they were in touch with daily, you know? They feel part of this family that we’ve created. And they don’t want to miss out.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. And certainly, I’ve had a few comments certainly across at Jervis Bay, where they had night training. Same story, it’s Zoom and so on. And yeah, a couple of people have said quite clearly to me that they appreciate it because that time at the gym with their gym mates, that’s what sets them up for the day and keeps them sane. And actually, one of the guys actually said, “When I train on my own at home,” he said, “After a while, it feels like the walls of the garage are just closing in a little bit.” And certainly, we’re all making a really conscious effort around the topic of mental health to make sure that everyone’s all good.

Mat Lock:

And I guess, certainly you may have heard or read the phrase I’ve been using more recently on it, “Leave no one behind.” And I think that’s the point. And really paying attention to who’s not on the Zoom call. Who’s suddenly just stopped turning up? And being deliberate in then reaching out to them, just to make sure they’re okay. There may be a reason. Well, there will be a reason, but it might not be a great reason. But it doesn’t take a lot. But it takes a determination to be conscious of that and to be aware of that. So yeah, I find it fascinating. It’s like a massive social experiment, isn’t it?

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah.

Mat Lock:

And I wonder how much of what we’re now doing digitally, how much of that will either stick and become part of the new business model, or whether everyone will just revert to business as usual, which might be okay as well. But I can’t help but feel that some opportunities will come up out of this.

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah, no, I agree. It’s something I’ve actually thought of. It’s maybe just … And you know, it’s probably opened the eyes up to your clients as well that are now doing this, going, “Actually, I’ve got a little bit more time in my life. So, if I don’t want to turn up to the gym every day, maybe I can do some gym sessions where I’m there. And then, some of it can be done online in my own backyard, involve my kids,” you know? Whatever it is. So, it’s definitely something I’ve thought of as well. And it’s just trying to find the time then. If you go back to your normal ways, how do you then continue and implement all of it?

Mat Lock:

Yeah, no, absolutely. And yeah, I think right now, for me, I find there’s less white noise. I find I’ve got more time to contemplate my navel and ponder different aspects of the business that I’m involved in. And actually, I quite appreciate that. I’ve grown to cherish that, even in just a few weeks. I’m determined to not simply return to all of that noise and buzz that’s going on, and to make the most of that breathing space I think we’re all being afforded. Admittedly, I’m not home schooling, so yeah.

Mat Lock:

Well, we have got the cats and the dogs, so it’s similar, hey?

Felicity Lemke:

When your seven year old’s like, “So, I don’t understand this maths question.” I’m like, “Neither do I.”

Mat Lock:

That’s right. Hang on, I’ll Google. Hey, Siri.

Felicity Lemke:

Oh dear. Yep, that’s why she misses school.

Mat Lock:

There’s no shame in that. Well, certainly, it seems like … I mean, you seem to, knowing you reasonably well these days, you look much more relaxed than you did a week or so ago. You’ve obviously got into the swing of it all with your members and so on. So, that’s awesome. And well done to you. It’s such a challenging time. But you’ve obviously found your groove, and that’s good. And I guess, yeah, we look forward to both yourself and Jess being at one of the live announcements for the Grand Slam 2020. Of course, the likelihood of that is it means you’ll be doing it remotely via Zoom, unfortunately. I can’t believe restrictions will be lifted before then. But nonetheless, we look forward to yourself and Jess going up against … I don’t know, Alethea and Khan maybe. I don’t know.

Felicity Lemke:

No, that’s not fair.

Mat Lock:

No, no, no, wouldn’t do that to you. We’ll find a similar pairing for you to go up against. So no, it’s a pleasure, it’s a joy to have you in our lives. It’s a joy to have you involved in the Bay Games. I say that quite sincerely, you know that. And very much appreciate your time again today for this episode of the podcast. And it might not be your last, because I can imagine, like Ned and I and everyone else that we know, just being naturally attracted to you and appreciating who you are. So, thank you very much for being you. And if people want to reach out to you and get in touch, how would they do that?

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah, so just on Instagram is the best way. So, swim fit chick is my personal one. And then, if you just also look up Galvanised Fitness is my business. And then, I can write back.

Mat Lock:

And that’s Galvanised with a Z, right? Because that’s the American spelling?

Felicity Lemke:

Yeah. Yeah.

Mat Lock:

Because of your maiden name, as I was quite rightly corrected earlier. No, Felicity, thank you ever so much, and look forward to chatting again in the future.

Felicity Lemke:

Awesome. Thank you.

 

Mat Lock 

Hi and welcome to the bay games online get together. I’m Mat Lock your host, and I’m joined by my co host, Mr. Ed Morrison from Melbourne. Hello, ed. Hi, Matt. How are you? Yeah, I’m good. How’s life in Melbourne? I might it’s a bit. It’s a bit chilly down here. We’re just speaking off air before that potentially looking forward to getting back indoors because outdoor sessions are getting pretty old pretty fast here. But other than that, all good in Melbourne.

Mat Lock 

Excellent. Good to have you here. And I guess what’s the idea for these get togethers? Well, you can only watch so much Netflix and we wanted to bring something special, straight to your character. With that said, welcome to our audience here within the Zoom Room. And of course, to everyone watching this right now on Facebook Live. If you have any questions you’d like to ask either of our guests tonight, just comment under the facebook live feed and we’ll do our best to get to them. So don’t be shy. We are live and this is your chance to chat with a couple of the legends. Of course if you’re here with us in the Zoom Room, then you can ask you questions directly. You see about halfway through the 60 minute chat best. We’ll be opening up the floor so that you can chat with these guys directly. Okay, there’s no doubt Coronavirus is changing the way we live, work, communicate and play this pandemic and the government’s response measures such as restrictions on social gatherings, they’ve had a significant impact many people around the world, often causing stress, anxiety and concern. Prioritizing our mental well being has never been more important and it’s one of the keys to staying healthy. Now, as many of you know, long before c 19 stepped into our lives. The Bay Games has been supporting suicide prevention and mental health charities here in Australia and in other countries around the world. It’s been a testing time for everyone and we’d like to open tonight by hearing from the CEO of IU Okay, Catherine Newton, who is reminding all Australians that having meaningful conversations with mates and loved ones could literally save lives.

Hi, everyone. I’m Catherine, CEO of IU. Okay? Right now we don’t need to tell you that it’s challenging times. What we are here to tell you is that we can be a nation of kindness, of looking after others and of connectedness.

Many of us right now will be feeling different levels of anxiety, fear and confusion. But for those who are feeling when unable, we’re encouraging you to check in with your friends, your family and your teammates. How can you do this when we’re being told to distance where we can use the devices that are at our fingertips, locking, a FaceTime, locking a phone call, send an SMS or post online, all of these things are available to us. And it’s also a way that we can trust the science. If we spot this, someone’s behaving even more out of the norm, for example, that might be listening or looking at the language that they’re using, what they’re doing online. Are they posting more or less? Are they answering your calls or your messages, just anything where you think your gut is telling you that something’s not quite right Most of us right now can be a virtual showdown. So please stay connected and ask.

Mat Lock 

That’s such an important message now, apart from being absolute bloody legends, our two guests tonight are also Are you okay ambassadors? And with that said, I’d like to introduce the first guest, Mr. Steve Willis, also known as Commander Steve, who’s an Australian personal trainer, author, and television personality. In fact, he appeared on the Australian version, the biggest loser as a trainer from 2007 until 2015. But as we’ll find out tonight, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Steve, good evening. It’s great to have you with us. How are you doing at your end?

On wonderful, Matt, thanks for having me on and hello to Aaron Khan. Good to see you faces it’s been some time.

Mat Lock 

It’s a pleasure to have you here and where are you? Where are you coming to us live from tonight? Where in the world are you

So I’m logged from, from Sydney. I’m at Castle Hill way. And yes, I as, as I was saying earlier, it is getting a little chilly in the outdoors sessions are getting hotter, hotter each day.

Mat Lock 

That’s exactly right. We’re looking forward to the 13th of June. We can get back into. Yeah, definitely. Absolutely. Now very good. Thanks, Dave. Appreciate you being with us. And what I’ll do is, I’ll hand over to you and you can introduce our second guest for this evening.

Yes, well, our guest tonight is a man of many talents. He’s a four times individual CrossFit Games athlete and one times team member on a CrossFit Games team. And it’s fair to say that he’s one of the most likable people in the competitive functional fitness scene both for his ability to to completely send it when necessary, and also how approachable he is off the competition floor. Now whilst being one of the most consistent crossfitters over the last decade, he’s also been a gym owner and he has helped raise awareness and promote conversations around mental health and the role that he exercise and training can play to improve mental health by being open and honest about his own challenges. He’s more recent brainchild the sweat therapy company is a unique training philosophy with self discovery, happiness and growth in all walks of life at its core. And as Matt said, He’s also an IU. Okay, Ambassador of course speaking about con Porter con. How are you this evening, man?

Good. Thanks, buddy. Lovely little rush here from you, man. Very fun of you to say those nice things. Yeah. Good to see everyone good to kind of catch up a bit chilly as well over here but are loving it.

Excellent night. Well, we’ve got a lot of topics to dive into with yourself. And let me just say it’s nice to finally get to chat slowly with you because I always feel like I’m just chasing after you while you’re trying to warm up or you’re in the marshalling area of a competition for me it is it’s always that back and forth. I will apologize as well in advance. I’ve got a very excited copy. That’s pulling it cords on my computer trying to find every noisy toy in the house if you see me kind of diving out of screen, see grab something out of us me out, but he’s not supposed to.

Mat Lock 

If you want to get him on camera, we’d like to say hi as well. And they’ll probably say hi at some point I’m sure you’ll hear us right now actually speaking the devil is I counted the challenges of COVID-19 have been pretty evident for everybody. So I guess we’ll start there but but for you made a sort of feel like elite athletes, their challenges have been very public in terms of having their livelihood or there are the events that are going to compete in taken away now for yourself. You qualified for the 2020 CrossFit Games as an individual last year, you didn’t go as an individual. So a lot of people and I’m sure yourself are looking forward to your return there. Have the last few months being for you to sort of grapple with with the uncertainty around the CrossFit Games.

A good question might have Given the context of a lot of things in the world at the moment, my, let’s call them issues around not knowing what’s happening with competition seemed pretty small comparatively. So in that sense, you know, as much as it is, like frustrating not having a very clear end goal and not having clear goal posts for what I’m working towards as an athlete. It’s certainly it’s kind of like, given there’s a bigger canvas. There’s bigger things going on, if that makes sense. So sometimes Yeah, it can be frustrating and I certainly went through a long period early on in the quarantine stuff. So when I was trying to train and then sort of became a little bit apparent that we had no idea what we were trading on another toy, I’ll be wrong.

Mat Lock 

Never will never work with animals.

I think what I’ll be I think that’s all the squeaky ones go on. I think that’s that’s the only noise making ones

Anyway, yeah, no, the only the whole period I was trying to stay pretty dialed into training. And then obviously, as things became more and more apparent that this wasn’t going away anytime soon, I definitely had to kind of drop off from doing the full volume. Obviously, they’re still, I mean, they’re still planning to try and go ahead to the games in some capacity. I don’t know what that’s gonna look like. But I was one of the lucky few that, I guess. Pending, a lot of things could still compete. But then again, like, there’s so much going on in the world that I just, yeah, I don’t know. Like, it’s hard to say. I feel like it’s as much as I would love that to be the thing is at the forefront of what I’ve been thinking about and thinking about during this period. It’s not so yeah, it’s been it’s been interesting.

Absolutely. And I think a lot of people would, would resonate with that in terms of what what was at the forefront of their mind a few months ago sort of gets pushed to the back. So I think I think that’s something that that listeners would definitely resonate with.

MADI if we cross to you, sure.

Mat Lock 

Yeah, absolutely. I guess. Yeah. So Steve, I mean, from your perspective, obviously. It’s been, I imagine having a huge impact on life and business at your end. How have you been, I guess, lots of trainers lots of gyms have taken their training online. What’s it look like from your perspective? Have you tried to keep your your athletes and your members active and moving and sort of have the right mindset?

Yeah, a lot of going online and engaged. It’s, you know, with people through zoom, I guess fortunate in the in the profile piece to have had many, many gyms in the like, reach out and ask me to run like a zoom session for the members. Just as an offering and something different, so I’ve done that numerous times, you know, from James O’Brien, Perth, down Melbourne, ya know, here in New South Wales and up in Queensland, and and that’s great. And I guess it’s, it’s the description too, and a lot of people don’t have the resources or the equipment at home. And those that do, I guess, are quite fortunate. It’s it that’s definitely a benefit. So a lot of bodyweight workouts for me and I think that that online space, it’s much like taking a group fitness class, you know, it’s not like you can just stand there on the end of the camera and just dictate, you know, are we going to do an email and you know, explains rosters and doubles press and whatever you want to do some, you know, lunges and sit ups and the like, and just let them go at it. You kind of got to do it with them. So I was getting a lot of volume in myself in that way. But I think now how these restrictions have lifted a little it’s, it’s great to get outdoors and be trying to group so Bringing number of trainers together. And then just breaking those groups up over an hour and just playing the rotation game. And so they can all share the love and just have, you know, a few little lamb wraps here and there. And, you know, I’ve got a load of equipment and a full drive, so I just load it up and go to the park. But it’s, I guess in in the, in the biggest sense with business, it’s, it’s killed pretty much everything for me. Like I used to do a lot of appearances and a lot of travel and a lot of almost ambassadorial type work and with corporates, and in one day, that old disappeared. I’m talking every job through to the end of the year. And you’ve got to do you’ve got to do the best you can with what you’ve got. And I’ve got a satin, you know, shed many tears, but I just had to do the best with what I’ve gotten. You know, just just stick with it. And I think that all rookie signing, you know, it’s about taking the punches and get knocked down and it’s just about getting back up. You just got to keep getting back up and just keep in check that emotional state solid about being, and it’s like a breath around it and just put a process procedures in place that, you know, see you stepping forward. And as we gain more clarity, you can you can expand back out into what you may have been doing previously.

Mat Lock 

Yeah, sure that I mean, yeah, absolutely. And it sounds like some of the terminology, we’ve invented a heart back to your days with ADF. In terms of you can only deal with what you’ve got. Yeah. Got and, and basically, yep, create a new plan when that plan hasn’t worked. So well. Isn’t there something Yeah, everything changes. I guess you’ve been faced with adversity in many different aspects over your career so far. It certainly sounds like that had an impact on how you’re now adapting.

Yeah, and and again, I don’t know what the future looks like in a few months time. It’s some you know, jobs wants that coming back in because people trying to You know, all companies trying to market themselves again and get their get their wares out there or might not and, and I’ve been enjoying the grassroots stuff I love, I’m passionate about what I do. I’ve been in the game, you know, for a long time. And I’ve loved CrossFit from the moment I was introduced to it back in 2004, or to the end of 2003 started 2004 and I’ve adopted and pulled that methodology across the board for myself with on the biggest loser which, you know, I great success competing in CrossFit. And I guess just promoting it in many different ways. You know, I guess I had a number of different things that were all happening at the same time and I chose those over continuing my efforts as a as a CrossFit athlete, but it’s great to see guys like Khan come through and you know, host a whole host of others and you know, it’s CrossFit evolved in in leaps and bounds and I get to deliver that Every day, you know, whether it’s indoors or out in the park, you know, you might call it a boot camp or group training, but to me the methodology is the methodology and, and that’s what I adopt and you’ll see me pretty much with my truck going all over the place with with Gallo PVC, you know, and it’s it’s, it’s that skill sets it’s that vise and pay when you employ that, and I guess you, you show you care, you give a damn. And you help people to move better. They want more of it, and I’ll come Yeah, degrees I’m saying

Mat Lock 

that’s exactly right. What was interesting I sent you um, I think it was an interview or maybe it was one of the key pieces that you’ve done where you reference the the onscreen persona of the commando from the biggest loser. And the real you are that there’s no difference. Because you are passionate about what you do and you absolutely you brought What you brought on screen is what you bring off screen. That’s just your philosophies. I think what you’re saying is that that’s how you operate.

Mm hmm. which is fantastic. Now we’ve got them. Yeah. And I guess you know what? Sorry. Yeah.

No, no, no, you read the site. You’ve got you got a question. Oh,

Mat Lock 

yeah. We had a question sent in from someone called narrowed, Alok who is related to me, I’m not going to lie. But like everyone else, she has sent a question. And it seems appropriate. She certainly said after leaving school, he joined the army spend a great deal of time in Special Forces. And what did you learn about yourself and those you served with the translated into your career as a fitness professional? awareness, observation. So it’s your ability under immense amounts of pressure to remain observant or, you know, had that awareness of your environment and self and you know, look at look at the tier one CrossFit athletes it’s their ability to, to assess what they’re doing in very small time frames, or very short time frames and under a lot of pressure. And it’s, it’s that observation, there’s a, there’s a great book actually, I think it’s called chasing fire where they they delve into that a lot more about those who step out into the peripheries of, of life and, you know, achieve amazing things. And it’s, it’s that skill of awareness. And that’s probably the greatest thing for me from the military. And I’ve gone on, I guess, in many senses, you know, with all you Okay, and I guess just getting older as well, where you recognize that your energy and your time is precious, and the way you afford or you know, that direction, what you choose to put your energy and time into his arm is an art and I’ve really enjoyed cultivating a lot more of these Inside of things, just focusing on being more calm and still and away, and it’s actually helped me even in my own training. Now you can be in the midst of your training and what people will see from the outside, what you’re actually feeling is this just, this is hurt, but you co exist in the middle there somewhere. And you can still achieve this state of calm and you talk to endurance athletes about the rhythm, they’re getting into this, this flow. And when you get there, it can almost seem surreal. And it’s like it’s not really happening and you can almost pick yourself up intentionally to break out of it. But once you start to experience it, you want more of it, it’s almost addictive and you just want to go to that place. there in the middle in and amongst all of it, it’s like almost having an out of body experience on site. and off you go.

Mat Lock 

It can be described as almost hypnotic, I suppose. And that was a nice feeling that would make you wanted it. For you,

that probably is a nice segue, I would say for us to talk about. I think I could direct this to both of you, gentlemen, because you’re both iraq ambassador. And I know this is something you’re both passionate about. But can perhaps I’ll start with you. You’ve always talked about how training and exercise can improve mental health and, and some of the struggles around mental health and and that we need to have more conversations about that. Do you think that the last two or three months one of the silver linings is perhaps that people have been more open to have those conversations given that everybody is going through some sort of challenge?

Yeah, I am. I certainly think that it’s been a really good period, because people have had time and when people have had time, particularly downtime with themselves, you get a come face to face with some thoughts and feelings and have to explore them in greater depth. And one thing that we’ve still been able to have during this period is the ability to communicate with each other. So it’s certainly something I think that in my immediate circle, I’ve seen a lot more conversations. But I think and hope that that’s a shift, irrespective of code, and that’s something that is starting to become more normal. And sort of how I look at mental health and how I look at talking about mental health is it shouldn’t be and it in my opinion, it’s no different to talking about physical health. If you get someone that’s going to the gym, or they start a new diet, and people start a new diet, I shut up about it, but I’m starting a new thing. They talk about it and it’s so normal. I’m going to the gym this afternoon. I’m going to do this this afternoon. The altar the goal, ultimate goal was not for me, but I think for society. And what I would love to contribute to is a cultural shift to talking about mental health in that same way. And I think that the conversations are starting and they’ve certainly been given a little bit more light of it’s a given recent events, but I don’t think we’re quite there yet, because I still think that we’re here. Nicola, the awareness stage, if you’re going to look at like making massive change, I think change requires three things, awareness, understanding, and then action. We’re aware that mental health is a real issue. We’re aware that it exists. But I don’t think other than the people that are kind of dealing with it diving into it headlong every day, I don’t necessarily think that the understanding is there yet. And I think that there’s going to be more education required before we can actually create meaningful change through action. That’s going to lead to, I guess, normalizing the conversations at a level that needs to be normalized, I think for particularly blokes to be making any kind of big changes.

Yeah, sure. I think we should, like respect the fact that both of you gentlemen at a high level CrossFit Games athletes and there’s a there’s a view around I guess, hyper masculinity that you’re incredibly mentally tough or you have to be incredibly mentally tough to get to that level of athleticism and stuff. Sometimes people think that means not showing that you’re struggling. Steve, can you speak to that? How do you balance out being mentally tough in in situations like the CrossFit Games, but then also being honest and open with the idea that hey, at the moment, I’m actually struggling?

Well, it starts with acceptance in my book, you know, we, I guess, use the phrase mental toughness, and I’ve been in Montreal, I’ve worked with some guys, I thought were phenomenal human beings. And they did the job, too. And never left anything on check. yet. They’ve then transitioned out of the military, and they’ve unraveled. And, you know, you talk about resilience, and you talk about this, this mental toughness, and I had all of that, but in a different environment, and in a place where there was a lot of uncertainty and then maybe they were in hyperbola adopting or utilizing the skills or manner meant that they, they, they struggled and for me, I guess from the military, you know, CrossFit doing some television stuff. And again, just life in general through experience is is the ability to accept, in the present moment, what’s going on within the environment. So there’s that acknowledgement of what’s taking place within the environment and how I’m re reacting. Or if I’m mindful of my reactions, and I’m gonna put myself in a place where I can be more responsive and with the response means you don’t have to respond. And so you don’t have to afford time and energy to something that doesn’t need a response. So then you can be more focused and do the things that you do. And the big thing is acknowledgement as well. So acceptance and acknowledgement, and when something is acknowledged, it tends to come and Then it’s not it’s not hyper vigilant or it’s not, there isn’t agitation, or anger, or too much aggression in that sense. And it just you can sue things you can, and I’m talking more so from inside as well. And you put that in the context of working out a lot of people. If you look at CrossFit in its early days, they never told you what the workout was going to be. There was always that uncertainty and it was sprung on you, you know, within, you know, a couple of days or even hours, I was like, This is what you’re going to do. And you’d see people go to water when when exercise, you know, or workout wasn’t a strength of this. They were always they were already beaten. And that’s I guess that was the kind of the Dave Castro art being an ex Navy SEAL as well. He would just play with people in that way. That’s that’s where I think the mental toughness is Things is where you can, regardless of the situation and or the environment and how you’re reacting to that you can calm things through things and just come from a place that’s a little more centered. You then don’t burn up and utilize too much unnecessary, I guess mental energy and physical energy so you can then just you can you can have laser focus on what it is that you need to do.

gonna love to hear and we all we all you. Yeah, sorry. Go ahead, Steve. Go ahead.

Yeah, it’s um, we everything that we do, there’s an emotional response to it. We can’t we cannot do anything in life without there being emotion attached. And it’s being it’s being observed and if that emotion you know, are coming from the military again, you know, you talking on that. They used to say to us, it’s the ability to compartment laws and to remove emotion from action. And you might be able to suppress emotion for a period of time, but it will always come back. You’ll it’ll always be triggered in some way shape or form over time, the more you suppress something, or you resist something, the bigger it gets. And that’s like what Tom was saying before humanity at this, you know where we are in the year that we’re in, because we’ve been ignoring things for such a long period of time. It’s getting bigger and bigger. And if we don’t do something about it, well, it’s our own fault. Because it’s not the world that’s in crisis. It’s humanity. Humanity needs to just calm down, be accepting and acknowledge the things that are taking place, and then put a plan and procedures in place to interact and be more connected and kind and loving and, and compassionate with one another because we’re not

Yeah, absolutely. Um, can I I wouldn’t mind just hearing your thoughts quickly on That I’m using the word contradiction, but I would prefer it to be a different word between the extreme mental toughness that I know it takes I mean, I, I watched you your performance, I think was regional 16. That last workout the rope climb thruster where you you made it to, to the games by winning that workout. That’s probably one of the most mentally tough things I’ve ever seen. But then the the other side of that is being open enough to admit when things are a struggle. So how do you balance out those two things?

Yeah, it’s kind of exactly what I wanted to. What I would love to add to that is that I think mental toughness is a concept is almost contradictory in nature, because I don’t, I think the toughest thing mentally that you can do is actually to be vulnerable. And I think that you will gain more. Let’s call it strength through being vulnerable, then by trying to be kind of like, extremely tough of mine. And I think like what Steve was saying is perfect, like you’ve got to acknowledge and you’ve got a He said, acknowledge and like speak about what like your current situation and where you are in life and where you are in the world. And to do that, to give an honest appraisal of yourself like nobody’s perfect, there is a great deal of vulnerability that comes with accepting where you are right now. And then taking responsibility for change. And I’ll even say if you look at like sort of mental toughness that it is, there is a great deal of ability, ability to deal with discomfort plays massively into being in cost with that, in fact, I would say that my ability, I wouldn’t say that I’m necessarily the finished or the strongest or the most skillful athlete, but I can really, really, really hurt and I could deal with it really, really, really well. And I’ve always been good at that. Whether that’s because of my background or whatever it is, like, I’m just good at that. I get that. But the hardest thing for me about being an athlete and I’d say I mean hats off to him, he was on national TV as well. The amount of vulnerability that goes into putting yourself out there in front of people, opening yourself up to criticism And particularly doing something that you care about, like I give a shit about being an athlete, I really care about that. And every time I take the competition floor, I’m going out there and I’m putting myself on display at something I’ve worked really hard for, and I care deeply about. But in those moments of vulnerability, that’s where I gained the most mental strength. And I think that that’s the shift that we need. That’s what I would love to instill into people. When they’re thinking about how to become more mentally tough. I’d say the answer lies in becoming more vulnerable.

Mat Lock 

Interesting, fantastic answer from both the graph and thank you for being so candid. I guess it flies in the face of I guess the way a lot of us have been brought up, especially for the males who still these days, you know, certainly from my generation, were brought up very much you know, being the providers and a little bit the caveman mentality and so on, where we weren’t encouraged to To be open and be vulnerable, it just that’s not the way life works. I mean, what would you suggest is the first step for those? I mean, obviously, for the next generations coming through, if we’re parents, of course, we can have an impact there and that the whole subject is more openly discussed. So hopefully that has an impact for future generations. But what would you say? I mean, how did you what was the turning point for you can for example, what’s the tipping point where you felt able to and felt the need to show that vulnerability? Was there? Was there a tipping point? I mean, was there a moment you remember? Yeah, it was definitely a tipping point when I realized I needed to take action on the state of my mental health and it was a fairly dark, dark period in my life. In terms of being open and honest about it, I guess, as an athlete, I’ve always had a public persona and I felt like for a long period of time, my public persona was this idealized version of myself. I wanted to put out there and the weight of them Trying to go through this process of addressing some mental health issues that I’ve had since I was a key they just didn’t align and just one day I think like I was just so over the the kind of mental and emotional toll that it was taking on me kind of living is almost like a double life, let’s call it where I was betraying one thing online and then dealing with another thing in my own head. And I was just really I had a really open and on a really long open post about just how badly I battle with anxiety and how much that is triggered by the competitive process. I was back then. And I think that I got such an overwhelming response of people saying like, Oh my god, I can’t believe you’re just admitting to that and like I really resonate with the age that so many dudes reached out to me and it was right around them that actually decided to go back and study psychology and counseling and I saw that that was so much more powerful a path for me to go down then the athletic popping in itself. And yeah, I don’t know if you call that a tipping point, but it Kind of like I just just bit the bullet and spoke openly about how I was feeling. And then that was cathartic in its own way, like I’ve always used writing as a means of managing my mental health. So when I’m going through something, I’ll write about it. And often just in my notes section, it’s really easy way for me to brain dump when I’m being overwhelmed when I’m in like, an anxious loop about something and I’m in a really bad like, part of like depressed state, I’ll just write about whatever it is, and it gives it kind of it almost, it takes it out from being just in my head, gives it a tangibility, and it separates me from it for a period of time. And I know that I can come back to that and look at it. And you know, it’s not something that I need to keep thinking about because I’ve got it there and I can come back to it. And I think that was just like, one day I just brain dump and then posted it. I was like, like, here we go. Let’s see what happened. They said that was a big tipping point for me, wasn’t how I was able to manage my mental health and how I was able to approach the whole process of being an athlete and The value that I can take from that experience over and above just performance based things. So yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know if there was necessarily there was definitely a tipping point where I decided to go and get help from a mental health. But I don’t know if that was necessarily when I then opened up to the public It was probably was two years before I really opened up to the public, I guess about everything that was going on for me.

Mat Lock 

Yeah, sure. No, again, I appreciate the kindness of your own friend, Steve candidness is important. That’s what I’m trying to talk about to Sorry, I hate to interject, I doubt it. I speak about it candidly, because for me mental health should be spoken about like that. It shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be something that you should be embarrassed about. And it shouldn’t be something that requires great deals of bravery or praise for speaking about openly and honestly I think to normalize talking about mental health, we need to speak about it super candidly and not from like that perspective of like embarrassment and shame and not from a perspective of like a place of like our you know, bravery. And look you What I’m doing type thing I think it’s a really big distinction to make. But the more candidly, we can have these conversations, the better it’s going to date.

Mat Lock 

Yeah, absolutely. Hundred percent. And Steve, I mean, being very, very mindful of what Cannes just said, nonetheless, from, from your perspective coming from, you know, from the regiment, I can’t imagine a more blokey bloke career path to have taken it in terms of an external stigma that’s attached to that. And for you, when you spoke openly about your your history, with bullying at school, and so on, and how that impacted you and what you took away from that, which were positives, certainly as from what I’ve listened to and read, how did you go about taking that first step with breaking down the barriers of this, you know, this external perceived persona of a career path you Jolla. I guess for myself It stems back to childhood and for most of us that does, you know, the issues that I’ll put them body armor on when I was quite young and it was it was, well fast and insecure for many years and I, you know, shut myself down it served me well as a child in my teens, you know, I struggled and I actually used exercise as a means to try and change changed myself. I didn’t think too much of myself, I didn’t like who I was. And I did it in a way to, to gain acceptance, I guess from my peers and parents and those that were were older than me. And I guess I, I pushed myself hard and found myself in the military and doing those roles for some maybe delusional illusion that, you know, I needed to step up to this mark, and if I did, you know, I’d get this, this, this praise and this, this acknowledgement. And I did that for many years and I think I was so scared living in a, in a sympathetic state. I photo flight. I didn’t realize I was right. But looking back, I was always sick. I was always getting a cold I was always run down. I was always just, you know, a crush myself in workouts and then and then it would take me days sometimes to come back from things. And I remember after the CrossFit Games in oh nine are the thought of exercise and doing anything hard for Betty Ross or just, yeah, just couldn’t even entertain the thought. And I had to have a long, hard conversation with myself and I was 33 at that time. And I was just like, what am I doing? You know, I was, I was engaging, I guess, with thought processes, an emotional state of being that came from a lot of aggression and anger and upset and, and self loathing. And I realized at that point in time, that if I continued on that trajectory, I was done. I would have cooked myself and I needed to do something about it and I in that relationship with exercise back in my teens, it grew over time because anyone knows you do anything hard enough for long enough. And you got to dig deep. You got to ask yourself some pretty big questions and you might be engaging with it superficially at the start, but to maintain it long, long term and have that commitment, that consistency, that fortitude, kind of mental strength, right, you’ve got to have a sound intent. And at that point in time was like, doesn’t matter. I’m not it what it comes down to is what you’re willing to do when the lights are off. polls are closed and no one else is around. And, and I enjoy doing what I do to that degree that I can do that and having others around, just magnifies it and makes it so much more beautiful and and joyful to want to share in those experiences. But at the heart of it, I can, I can do it on my own. And I guess I’m fortunate I’ve always been able to do that. Sorry, the kids are all at someone’s house and they’re all running around killing each other. That’s about me bursting here in a second. But Mat Lock  any squeaky toys? Yeah, it’s Yeah. The 33 and then and then moving forward was some, you know, my kids and realizing that I didn’t want to parent or be a father to my kids like how my father was to ask growing up and not that that’s his fault. But it could definitely do with some improvement and I didn’t need to use a lot of anger and, you know, an aggression to to kind of subdue a situation because I was uncomfortable. And there was, you could come at it from a comma splice and learn to Just be a little more eloquent with your language and the words that you use and not so aggressive because most us blogs are big enough and have deepened out even raising your voice. And to be a little more gentle, you know, kind of calm and I guess I’ll just deepen that understanding, you know? Jason, it was 44 on Friday, can you believe it? And there you go. Things like, what? Saturday Hey, I can’t believe it myself. It’s like, Well, you know, 44 but, but yeah, just a lot of many wonderful things. And more so than anything is, I guess, some clarity and an understanding and, and a body that functions well, you know, I move better nowadays than I moved in my younger years and that that’s because of that awareness and a willingness to Want to explore? You know, we all have injuries and you know all of these things, and it’s, um, I think when you go after it, and you and you chip away at it, you know, it’s we’re organic, aren’t we? Yeah, that’s exactly we can transform ourselves which way shapeshifters we can. We can do amazing things, but it’s a willingness to want to do that. And it first starts, you know, within our head, you know, we conceptualize and have these ideas, these views around things. And then we put the effort in and we create the form, whether that’s ourselves or, you know, whatever we’re most passionate about.

Mat Lock 

Absolutely. Well, you’re certainly both of you are leading by example, which I know, I appreciate, and I think many of us do now, where we’ve talked, we’ve used the term mental toughness a few times this evening. And we actually had an email sent in from elk Brooks with a question that kind of centered around mental toughness. mental blocks. But I’m actually pleased to say that LP has also joined us live in the Zoom Room. And I think Jim from undefined media is pushing buttons in the background. And elke is about to There she is. Okay. How are you?

Good. Thank you. How are you guys?

Mat Lock 

Yeah, we’re doing well. Thanks. LTM. Where are you? Where are you streaming from?

I’m in Torquay. So just L’Oreal.

Mat Lock 

Yeah. Fantastic. Excellent. Well, thank you for joining us. And I know you have a question and it can be for either or one of our guests, Steve or can over to you. What’s your question? Okay.

So my question is for both of you just like if you’ve ever suffered any mental blocks, just how you’ve overcome them, whether that be leading up to CrossFit Games and training for that or as work as a personal trainer, how you guys have overcome those

Mat Lock 

Do you want to join a lead on that one? Great question. Okay.

Yeah, it’s a really good question. And it’s a it’s a pretty common one, I think. Geez, I can’t come up against mental blocks all the time. As an athlete as a human being, and I think I kind of come at it in two different ways. The first one is that I will always and this is something I’ve got a lot better at. So I will always ground myself in. I’m gonna call it like a higher purpose or a sense of like a knowledge and an understanding of why I’m doing whatever I’m doing. So I know I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out what that is for me and what it is that genuinely motivates me and making it big enough and powerful enough for me that at the absolute hits of whatever things going on, it gives me enough kind of reason why to go through that suffering. In fact, there’s a brilliant quote that kind of goes with that from nature, and it’s He who has a why can enjoy anyhow. And so I think that’s always for me a big overarching thing that I can anchor back to when I do come up against a block. Now, that said, it doesn’t necessarily take away from when I say that Let’s say I’m feeling anxious leading up to a competition or like that negative self talk and that doubt, and I think, like what Steve was talking about earlier like that, that acceptance of the negative as part of the journey, and knowing that when I feel anxious when I feel nervous when I feel upset when I feel all these negative emotions, rather than trying to push back against them and ignore them, I just let them happen and understand that they’re a part of the journey and that they don’t actually have any power over me or my performance. Unless I let them you know, I know that I worked hard enough to do what I’m about to do. And I have to rely on the fact that even though I may be nervous and to the point where like, I’ll throw up before some events I’m so like, secret nerves and anxiety. I can. I’ve competed with having slept barely an hour the night before at regionals, because I’m so nervous about Pilates and pieces and you look at that 2016 perfect example. First time in three years, I found myself out side, the top five looking in going into the final day of competition. And I knew I had to pull something out my ass and I don’t think I slept more than say 3045 minutes that night. But I still managed to come back and take a third in the first event then when the final event, because I just put all of those kind of nervous, like those terrible thoughts into the back of my mind or not into the back of my mind, I just let them run there. I didn’t try to push them away. I didn’t try to tell myself I’m not nervous. I just was super accepting of the fact that I was and then again, it all goes back to that vulnerability, being willing to feel negative emotions, and understand that they’re just a part of the journey. But then I think that anchoring in that why, like that’s superduper important as well. And it’s, it’s sort of seems cliche and people but people harp on about it for a reason. And it’s because it is it can be really powerful. But it’s not a it’s not like a sit down in 10 minutes and you’ll realize exactly what that is. Sometimes it takes like big life events to happen for you certainly get For me to really be able to figure out what it was that I got out of, let’s say being and I think there’s probably use that as one of the biggest things that I regularly come up against mental blocks in. And I can always anchor back to that meaning to why I’m doing that. And then that allows me to push past it.

Thank you.

Mat Lock 

Thanks, john. And, Steve, how about yourself when it comes to either training or competing, overcoming some may pop up?

Well, I guess first and foremost is that you’ve had the ability to acknowledge mental blocks. So there is in a no but self awareness. And a lot of people lack or aren’t in tune enough to be aware of mental blocks because they’re too resistant. So things start to come up for them and they will push away. And a lot of the time was so we we create justification. They’re almost excuses for reasons why, why not. But that acknowledgement of the mental blocks and that recognition, like Kahn was saying is just just observe and just let things be. And a lot of the time it does, it takes practice, to engage or be in the middle of something with all of that kind of running at the same time. And I found that for myself, Well, you know, my younger years, definitely the training side of things, which I would consider is like an active meditation, because you help to calm the mind because you draw your focus, you narrow it into what it is that you’re doing. But that doesn’t mean that what you’ve, you’re not dealing with at that point in time has been dealt with. You’ve maybe just pushed it to the side for a little bit. But bringing it back to just being still and one of the hardest things to do is to just sit quietly on the floor and let whatever is beat what’s going on. Within your mind and within your physiology your body, I’m just accepting of that and just calm, calm things down, you know, give provide reassurance for yourself legend, let yourself know that just safe and with that with that acknowledgement thing I was saying at the start, they just they just come in, you find that you are you can go into whatever it is that you need to go into with with a little more focus. And another perfect example of calm said there is that you’ve put the effort in the trainings there the consistencies there, you know, you provide yourself with that reassurance. And then you go after it, you know, and last year I did a I did an Ironman distance triathlon with Maddy Rogers. And you know, I’ve done some long cycles and runs and stuff in the army but doing a three point ik swim together with a 190 k bike and then a marathon off the back of that I can tell you my that’s different ballgame. Cross and, and, but and and you’re absolutely I would say stupid to think that you could participate in something like that without any training or with very little training and you just got to be diligent, you got to put the hours and the time in and I came up many mental blocks, and a lot of it for me was the swimming, and the running the cycling, I pretty much had in the bag that was probably that was my strength. But the running this ID, if I’m going to go and run, I want to run five minute case, you know, we’ll find 30 case, but really, my body and with all the training that was in the bag, I was maybe only capable of running six minutes or six minutes 30 case, but to go out there and actually run at those at those times, which I know I could run faster but because of the training I was incapable of that moment, helped me build the foundation, but it’s overcoming those obstacles and those obstacles Psychological there, there are a mental obstacle and with the training and that consistency and you build at it, those times gradually come down so when I hit that marathon off the back of cycling 100 and swim in cycling 190 days, and I started out at 545 K’s and I think you know averaged six minutes 25 K’s for a marathon which I’d never done before my law at the age of 40 at 43 and that I think that’s just looking at the looks of some mental blocks and I just wanted to prepare myself as best as possible for that day. And I was just fortunate that you know, the, the guards were looking down on me favorably because many people come on stock even with all the all the training in the world.

Mat Lock 

That’s exactly right. That’s a that’s a huge undertaking. Right. Well then.

Thanks. Thank you guys.

No worries. Okay, and diligently taking notes. great answers now, I believe we we have Shannon on the line as well. I think Jim is going to unmute you Shannon and I believe you’ve got a question for one or both of the Jets.

Hi, um, this kind of leads on a bit of what okie said so she’s started with it. Um, I have a friend that has a quite a bad injury and can’t actually do CrossFit at the moment and is struggling in terms of mental health and staying motivated in that way. And I myself am struggling. I really want to master muscle ups and given that sticks I’m shocking like I’m terrible. And I guess mentally heating it. I’ll get so far and then take a lot of steps back. So I guess leading on from any little other tips to add I guess for both of us injury wise and when you’re really trying to stick it out with something. Yeah, just things to keep in mind. Because I get quite easily frustrated and cranky at times, but um, yeah, anything else, I guess further to add? And it can be for anyone if they want to answer, totally open.

Let’s start with calm. Oh, yeah, set the bar really, really low, like really low. So we’re I’m really unmotivated. So let’s use COVID-19 for example, super motivated the startup I had during I was meant to be going away twice during the last few months for some competitions. The last 12 months have undoubtedly been the most I’ve put into my training the best my trainings ever been in the best shape I’ve ever been. And probably the first time I’ve really just gone You know what, for 12 months, I’m gonna make being an athlete, my 100% focus, and it was cool. It was amazing. Like the progress that I’ve had in the last two months been awesome. I felt really, really good at these competitions. Kind of lined up as a bit of a benchmark to test where I was at, go overseas to do them, and then boom rug pulled out from under us. So I sort of try to go from that place of being right up where I like in a really good shape to cool. I’ll just keep training like normal, because I don’t know when I’m going to be able to come back and compete. I really don’t want to lose what I’ve already got this little bit of momentum that I’ve got at the moment, or I’ll start to be annoying. What happened was, that was fine for two weeks as kind of lockdown sort of going I realized that I had no clue when I was coming back to training. And rather than try to drop the bar back down, I just kept trying to push on with my you know, two sessions box and additional cardio session here in there. Make sure you stretching for this amount of time per day, and I was getting really frustrated, really angry at myself really anxious about worrying that my performance was going to drop from where it had been. So what I did was I dropped it back and I’m set the bar extremely low. And I went back in from there. So it was four times a week, I had to do two parts of the train two part training day. So like one thing, two things in a day, that’s all I had to do. And for someone that normally does maybe like a seven, eight part Training Day, that’s setting the bar really, really low, and how motivation works. You have to be you have to be ticking boxes to keep motivation going the way that it kind of works neurologically, and stuff like that is it feeds off success, you have to be taking things off. Otherwise, you’re going to be getting frustrated. And it’s going to be hard to keep going without motivation. So if you set the bar really, really, really low, like really low, super achievable, process based goals, so whether it’s process based meaning something that you can control, and it’s just a part of the training process itself, rather than if I don’t have a muscle up in the next four weeks, I’m gonna beat the dummy and I’m not going to try it anymore. It gives you power to be achieved power over achieving those goals. By starting to tick off the little goals that’s going to in itself provide you with motivation. So as your mate with his injury, his or her injury, sorry, they might not be able to do CrossFit exactly as CrossFit needs, but they’re injured, right. So logically, there’s, there’s a reason why they can’t do that. I guarantee you, they can do one thing every day, that’s still going to be productive towards them improving their health and fitness that they can just tick that off. Do that for seven days, then add another thing. Do that for seven days, then add another thing, right and keep building it on from there so that you feel like you are you’re still moving towards something. I mean, that can be something as simple as get a really good book on sports performance and read 10 pages a day, you can be completely bedridden and still do that and you’re achieving a goal that benefiting you and it’s pushing you, it’s still moving you towards where you want to go. Rather than setting the bar here, not hitting it and then going fuck this, I’m out. I’m leaving. I don’t want to train anymore. Yeah, that’s my biggest, biggest thing for anyone that’s struggling with motivation, set the bar way lower, and then know that you’re going to build on from there.

Yeah, that’s really good. Thank you,

Dave, walk us through that for us.

Yeah, I guess was, in a roundabout way, it’s very similar to what Khan is saying. And I guess the the one word is expectation, be mindful of expectation. And a lot of the time, you can work yourself up, you know, into a tether, because you’re trying so hard. And you want to have something now, when, you know, the universe is saying you ain’t have in it right now. And that’s where the consistency and the discipline and the work comes in. And you just got to keep chipping away at it. And if you’re coming at it from a certain angle, or you know, like a bearing on a compass, and that’s not working for you, well, then you’ve just got to rethink, rethink things. You’ve got to, you know, shift And come at it from another angle. And if you don’t know, that’s where there’s a we’ve got technology now to who’s and Dr. Google helps, you know, that works wonders with getting online and just watching how others break down and muscle up to check out what Karl’s doing and you know, put into practice some of the things that he does or, you know, one of the other, you know, athletes that you see just making muscle ups look like they’re easy and, and giving it a go and that’s the big thing is the frustration is that agitation, we create our own resistance through expectation and just calm things down. You know, bring that Bob back down. And, and just chip away at some of the smaller things, you know, a lot of the reasons people don’t get a muscle up is is because of that first pole, you know, and getting getting themselves getting those rings or if it’s the bar to the chest, so working on improving you know, some of the baselines in doing that, you know, and then dips, and that’s and then there’s that new Ural transition from the pole into the bottom position of a dip and then the drive out. So just nearly facilitating that greasing the groove, you break it down into its parts, and then try and bring it back together as a whole down the track doesn’t work all right, where is it that I need to come at come at it from again. And that’s just the muscle up and Gosh, this could apply to anything in life and but you’ve just got to be mindful of expectation and, and due diligence, you just, you just gotta keep going. You want something bad enough, you’ll get it. And it’s just, it’s just a matter of time and surrounding yourself with people who believe enough in like, that’s one of the things that I really enjoy is imparting a belief into people that they then believe more in themselves. And that’s why I think CrossFit facility He’s so darn amazing because you walk into one of those rooms and you’ve got others pumping you up and they’re chanting your praises and they’re they’re uplifting. You can you can achieve amazing things and they look at competition. It just helps. It helps people to just step it up to the next level and they do things you know, they sit PBS appear. And lawyers things. Yeah, in in that kind of meaner sense. So don’t give up.

Really, Thanks, David Am I make sense? Thank you as well for the injury advice to you. Thank you, Shannon. for that question. Gentlemen. I’m mindful of time but I’m gonna I’ve got one more for each of you. And they’re they’re selfish ones that I wanted to ask you, but I’m gonna start with you because I was really fascinated before that you said not to necessarily react to people talking about mental health and saying things Like, oh, that’s really brave. And and I was really interested by that, because I think that’s probably been a reaction that I’ve had to sort of think, Oh, it’s so brave to come out if someone talks about their mental health. So I guess what I want to follow up with because it was really insightful. How should we react? Like, what should the response be when somebody does talk openly about mental health how, how, as a friend or as a mate or as a coach should? What should the response be? made? Fantastic question. And I guess given the short time of short timeframe before it is extremely brave, to speak openly about mental health for the first time and when you are starting to come to terms with it. I don’t want to minimize the fact that it is extremely takes a great deal of vulnerability to do that. And what I meant by that more so was I wish he did it because that is how like stigma exists. On both sides of the equation, when we say cheese, That’s so embarrassing. There has been a stigma attached to that. When we do say cheese, that’s really brave, that in itself attaches a stigma to it as well. Yeah, it’s not having the conversations with other people, though you’ve, it’s a really tough honestly depends, I guess, with what they come in with. The biggest and most important thing to do is to understand that most of it, again, pending the severity of whether they’re dealing with just a bit of general anxiety, or an anxiety disorder, a little bit of general sadness, or genuine depressive disorder. The first and most important thing to do is don’t minimize what they’re saying, no matter how, like they’re probably coming to you in a highly emotional state. And the absolute worst thing you can do when someone is emotional, is tell them that what they’re feeling is invalid. Because all that’s gonna do is is amplify it out of control. And that’s, I mean, we see it so much at the moment with the world everyone’s got an opinion and a highly emotionally charged opinion on all the different issues that the world is going through right now. And you just I mean, I spend way too much time reading comments on Instagram in different posts and just watching the world descend into chaos, because I just think, defies belief in my head sometimes. But when you see this conflict stem from it’s where people push back against an emotional reaction. And they try to say, No, you’re wrong because of this. And it’s one of the worst ways that you can deal with someone that is emotional. And I mean, look, I’m not perfect at this as well. I’m not sure my partner would say the same thing. But we need to start to get better at trying to understand or not understand where people are coming from, empathize with them, and do our best not to minimize whatever it is that they’re feeling. And that also includes not trying to problem solve. I really think particularly for guys, when we’re faced with a problem and want to solve it, and it’s just human nature, and it stems from a good place. You’ve got someone you care about going through a tough time and they reach out to you about it. What do you want to do you want to fix that? Most of the time that you’re not going to fix it in that initial kind of like conversation, where they’re coming to you emotionally charged, they probably just want to listen. So that would be I mean, that was a really roundabout way of saying that the best thing you can do when someone comes to you, and they want to talk about their mental health is just listen, hold space for them, try to understand as best as possible, rather than pushing back with your opinion or your thoughts on it. Even if you think that your thoughts and opinion and the logical thing in that situation, it’s never, it’s not gonna help, it’s not going to solve the problem, and you’re only gonna add fuel to the fire, when they’ve calmed down. That’s when you can kind of work on problem solving together, but it’s got to be collaborative, and you should probably let the person that’s got a problem, initiate that active problem solving, right when they’re talking to you about potential solutions. That’s your time to kind of chime in and offer some of your own thoughts and opinions, particularly if you’re not qualified in that sort of area as well. Because I think that that’s where like Like, inadvertently, that even in of itself adds to the stigma when you’re when you’re feeling something so strongly and someone gives you a real simple, that’s how you’re going to fix it. You know, man, like I’m really stressed. I’m really anxious. I’m really stressed. I’m really anxious. Oh, you need to get more sleep.

That’s it. That’s that’s the answer to all my problems in that statement right there. Man, man, I’ve never thought of that before in my life. And can you see where someone’s saying that’s gonna come from a place of genuine love and care? And then and then my Fuck, I’ve read all these studies on sleep, we should probably get more sleep now. Right? But I should sleep more. But in the heat of the moment, it’s very minimizing it the way that the person feels. But in terms of getting it, I mean, that’s when you’re having those conversations. If we’re looking at kind of more culturally, how do we get rid of the stigma? It’s really fucking tricky because you do want to encourage people to speak up and that is difficult, and that takes a great amount of strength and vulnerability. But perhaps it’s on that kind of big level people like myself. The aspects that are comfortable speaking out about it or people that you see, regularly speaking out in that space, being more kind of just, I mean, allowing it to just be a conversation rather than a kind of a round of applause for this person’s bravery or Geez, oh my god, that’s so embarrassing. And sadly, I still see both sides of the coin I have seen on other people speaking about mental health, and people will go like, I don’t know why you’re speaking publicly about it. That should be for your own private life and stuff like that. I get fucked, like, encourage people to speak, be encouraged and to speak in a way that allows for continued conversation rather than it’s just like speaking.

Mate. It’s just brilliant and super practical advice. I think I’m like, elfi. I was taking notes here. So thank you very much. Steve. My last one for you is super, like very superficial. I’m sorry. I have to ask you. Everyone talks about 1009 CrossFit Games like the worst, by far Is it? Is that the truth on games? Are they the worst?

Lou said that I just was like, Yeah, okay, fair enough. But I talked about that like it was just a destroyer of souls and the programming that year. I think a few people if you’ve been around the traps across it for a while you’ll know this but a lot of people potentially don’t know you’re the, the highest ever male finisher that Australia has had at the CrossFit Games. Do you? Do you reminisce about those times often, like we own our own games?

Not too much. Like it’s, it’s kind of in the past. It’s, you know, hey, I’m proud of my of my achievements, but it CrossFit as a sport and the caliber of athletes has definitely evolved. And I guess you’re much like talking. The topic of mental health. There’s got to be pioneers. There’s got to be people kind of part The kind of paving the way and then and then those come those who come behind deep understanding and then a knowledge base that’s that’s next level but for me yeah it was that was sort of what I knew and that’s that was way cross it was at that point in time and that was the expectation was kind of rough and tough it out and I remember standing there at seven o’clock in the morning and Dr. Castro telling us what we were actually going to do and everyone’s like oh shoot here we go maybe they everything was printed on like a full pieces of paper and yeah, it’s just it was it was very rudimentary. And I remember my daughter she was with us she was on a game on solvent. You know, she was commenting from head to toe from running around, out on the out of the property there and all my I had a blast but but You’re freaking ruined me all I was all after some of the most simple simply simply prescribed events that I would just just absolutely hectic by they just left you on the floor and they’ll twice I got carried into the into the into the tent with the medics and the like and they’re actually gonna send me to hospital because I think I started the experience a little hate exertion because you gotta remember it was it was winter back here in Australia. So I was trying in leading up to them and got to the San Francisco and out to around Miss and it was pretty Don Hall. And the first event was that something like a seven k he’ll run all that crushed everyone. I think Jason khalipa passed out in the round and smashed his face on the ground. And, you know, he fought he fought back to finish just behind me and it was a reverse though.

Sorry, my brother just tried calling me then it was a reverse starting sequence. So depending on where you finished in the event previous was where you started in the next Have you finished last in the in the first event you started the next event first? Yeah. And yeah, it was just, I was toying around with a whole host of different things. We were just a guinea pigs. Brutal

Mat Lock 

Oh good. conscious of time, gents. Great questions, Ed, and equally great answers. Now we have focused on the importance of mental health and our desire to make it a regular part of daily conversations. Our two guests have been candid and compassionate around the subject leading the way as role models and for that, we appreciate them for everyone watching now, or in the future. Let’s all be vigilant. Let’s keep an eye on our loved ones and our mates. When you notice a change, no matter how small trust your gut and ask Ask, are you okay? Then follow up with that conversation? as we’ve talked about tonight, if you’re concerned about someone, and you’re not sure how to have that conversation, the team are you, okay? Have a whole heap of information on the website. So please reach out. They’re an awesome team and they’re there to help. With that said, thank you so much for tuning in on this Australian long weekend. Steven can from Ed and myself. A huge thank you for joining us tonight. And until next time, everyone, lead by example. Have fun and stay safe.

Thank you, guys.

Mat Lock:

Brendo McCormack, welcome to the Everyday Athletes Podcast.

Brendo:

Thank you. Thanks for having me. I’m about as every day as it gets. So this is great.

Mat Lock:

No, no. I’m taking that title. I’m more every day than you are. I’ve seen your videos.

Brendo:

I love it.

Mat Lock:

Great to have you aboard.

Brendo:

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Mat Lock:

I appreciate you making the time to talk to us. So big picture stuff, if you could just tell us a bit about yourself and how life is in WA right now.

Brendo:

Yeah, for sure. So, I’m Brendo McCormack. I’ve been in the fitness industry since I was 18, so it’s 17 years this year. So I’ve pretty much spent more than half my life within the fitness industry. As I grew up, all I wanted to do was sell protein and I got to realise that dream at 18 years old, which is pretty cool.

Brendo:

I live in Perth and I’m the founder of a popular platform, Perth Fitfam. So some people over East may have seen that, may or may have known me. I was a commentator for The Bay Games last year and hopefully back this year.

Mat Lock:

You will be back. If we can run it, you’ll be back.

Brendo:

On top of that, also one of the CrossFit Games commentators, I’ve done some cool stuff. I’m shot with Arnold Schwarzenegger. So, that was all built around this Perth Fitfam platform. But then from there, really stemmed, I guess, what I help fitness business owners with, which is a social media marketing.

Brendo:

So, 85% of businesses that I catch up with, which is about 400, whenever I ask them what the biggest issue is within their business, it’s always marketing. So they had a great product, they love what they do, they’re great trainers. They just never reached their potential because they didn’t know how to market themselves. So, that’s what I do.

Brendo:

So that’s where Fitfam Social Academy came in. And what we do is we teach fitness business owners, how to market their business. On top of that, before we get into it, I’m also a little bit of an entrepreneur. And last year we launched a dating app for fitness singles. So that got launched actually at the start of this year, by the time it was actually available on the app store. So primarily that’s where I spend most of my time at the moment.

Mat Lock:

And that’s a massive congratulations as well, because it’s going really well. It’s no mean feat, so massive congratulations for what you and the team have achieved so far.

Brendo:

Yeah, that one’s been a fun one.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. So, obviously we’ve had the… at the time of recording this we’re just starting to hopefully come out of COVID-19 and hopefully there’s not a second wave or a spike, let’s say. But obviously the fitness industry globally has been absolutely slammed with COVID-19. And the realities of not being able to operate and taking [inaudible 00:03:22], lots of gyms have taken their training online and so on.

Mat Lock:

And certainly here in Australia, we’re just on the precipice where the rules of being relaxed sufficiently to have 10 groups in some areas, 10 groups for act or boot camps and so on. Nothing indoors yet. But there’s certainly setting a relaxation. And I was really keen to get you on the podcast to have a chat about, if I was a gym owner or if we can talk to all of the gym owners out there, and just give them some really good advice about some of the things that they can do to help themselves in the way they handle their social media stuff around the whole COVID topic.

Brendo:

Yeah, for sure. I think that we’re in week number eight now that we’ve been in lockdown, at least from WA’s standpoint. So eight weeks ago or nine weeks ago as this-

Mat Lock:

You have a lockdown and WA.

Brendo:

Oh, we’re pretty much out of it now. So I’ll touch on this in a second. So, I’m going to go right back to the start. I’ll give you guys the advice that I gave my students and people, and I’ve done multiple interviews and podcasts on it. I spent two weeks just helping out business owners that didn’t know what to do. So I just said, if you guys want a free half an hour call, if you just want someone to voice with, to work out a plan for you, I’ll open up my Zoom. And so I spent a lot of time with business owners over here doing that.

Brendo:

So first of all, my main thing was that people needed to look at their finance. And obviously there was different stimulus packages that came out at different times and they needed to establish that they were going to be okay. So that they either came out a job seeker, job keeper, that they could get the super payouts, whatever was suitable to them.

Brendo:

As soon as they had that sorted out, then they could remove the… They could remove the fear that their business was going to go under, that they were going to lose their house, that they weren’t going to be able to eat. And as soon as those basic things were taken care of, then they could start to think a little bit logically. So the first thing was sorting out the finances.

Brendo:

On top of that, as part of the finances was making sure that you could keep memberships or subscriptions going. So a lot of people that are going to be watching this, they would be from the boutique or the studio based gyms. Like, your CrossFit, your F45s, these sort of gyms. Different payment gateway providers, they had different outcomes.

Brendo:

So some of them cut membership straight away. Some of them you just needed to showcase that you had adapted, and you could basically keep your memberships ongoing. So for a lot of gym owners that I’ve worked with, I would say that the median drop off of memberships is around about 30%. Which means that, with the government’s stimuluses if you’re retaining 70% of your members, then you’re actually going to be in a decent situation. So that was the first step. From there-

Mat Lock:

[inaudible 00:06:07], sorry, I’ve heard a similar number, anyone I’m talking to. But of course, a lot of the gym owners have cut their rates, their membership rate. So even though it’s only 30% of their members per se, they’re actual dollar value of their revenue was significantly lower.

Brendo:

Yeah, I wouldn’t have done that. So my advice on that was, if you could, maintain it the same. And I know that different gyms have gone about this process differently. So some had kept it the same, some had had a lower rate and then some had still offered their services for free, that people that lost their jobs. And I thought that was a great thing to do too.

Brendo:

So if we look at the value, so for me, I pay, I think $60 a week for my gym membership. And I kept my payments ongoing, except every gym was a little bit different. So I was like, “Okay. Well, you can no longer charge that high rate if you’re just doing online training because the value doesn’t equal the same.”

Brendo:

So you needed to adapt your membership options. So whether you were lending out equipment, online programming, whether you’re doing Zoom workouts, whether you’re doing a weekly Zoom. You needed to showcase additional value within that membership, because you probably had about a three to four week period where people would be okay to pay. But then if the value didn’t stack there and finance got here, then the gyms is a luxury item. I guarantee you, it would have been the first thing to go.

Brendo:

So these are the things that we addressed early on. From there, once I had established in the early stage that their business was going to be okay, it was about innovation. So they obviously, as we touched on, they needed to innovate their product to be able to create something which not only was good for their current members, but all of a sudden there was all these people that were stuck at home training at home, wanting something to do, which for me opens up an opportunity that, hey, you can start to provide value to people within your community that probably would never have come to your gym, but all of a sudden would be looking for something to do at home.

Brendo:

So if you were to able adapt your product and then innovate it, you were then able to market it to a completely new market that you wouldn’t have had before and bring on more memberships that way. So, that was starting right at the unknown where we didn’t know what was going to happen with COVID. Some businesses did well, some businesses kind of got to that adaptation stage, but they didn’t get to that growth stage. Which is okay. It’s absolutely fine.

Brendo:

But fast forward through this eight weeks, and I can give you guys an update from Western Australia. So as of the 18th of May, which is Monday from when this podcast is being recorded, gyms are actually able to open up under certain restrictions. So you can have indoor or outdoor classes up to 20 people provided that there’s minimal to no shared equipment.

Brendo:

You don’t use machines. So that’s things, assault bikes, rowers, skiers treadmills. Provided that you disinfect or wipe down the equipment after every session, which should be self explanatory. I know we do that anyway. And provided that you don’t go over one person per four square metres, which if it’s 20 people, that’s probably okay for most gym sizes. So we’re essentially about to go back to normal with classes capped at 20. That’s really, really good.

Brendo:

Which means that we’re going to start to see things rolling. Now over East, I know that you guys are a little bit different. You’re a little bit behind, I think you mentioned they’re just about to open up outdoor training.

Mat Lock:

Yep.

Brendo:

So we’re about to see some normality come into play. Now, from the recommendations that I’ve been giving my guys, because it’s been very reactive. You try and stay in front of the game, but we’re always trying to get people ready for what’s coming next. So throughout this process, the kind of content that we’ve been getting people to deliver is just honest content with where they’re at, at the moment.

Brendo:

So I know for me on my personal platform, I don’t often do workout videos, it was never really my style. But before coming into lockdown, I made a decision to myself, that I was going to be better off physically, by the time we got to the end of it and I was going to be better off financially, by the time I got to the end of it. So it was just two things that I could stick to.

Brendo:

And then from a physical standpoint, I knew I wasn’t going to have equipment. So I just said, “Okay, I’m going to have skipping rope. And I’m going to have a 24 kilo kettlebell.” And whatever the workout is, I’m going to adapt it to be able to use those two things. And as I started training, I just started recording my workouts, putting them out there in a way just to showcase the people that, “Hey, I’m doing this I’m with minimal. So you can do it too.”

Mat Lock:

Leading by example.

Brendo:

Leading by example, yeah. And I didn’t expect it, but the engagement on that content actually became really strong. Not just with likes and comments, but from people actually saving the workout for later. People then tagging me in the workout. And then people just coming back with messages, like really nice messages about how that’s helped keep them going.

Brendo:

And we’ve got the gyms to implement a very similar strategy with just putting out things and providing value through this time. Not trying to jazz it up through content that they’ve shot within the gym from ages ago. You’ve really got to meet people with where they’re at, at the moment and be relatable through that. So that’s I guess, from a content side of it.

Brendo:

We are going into stories. Stories is like 100% where it’s at. That’s your engagement component of the platform. Now, coming out of COVID and going back to WA where we’re at. So, hopefully with the Eastern States, you guys aren’t too far behind, you’re going to see a massive influx. Like people are going to be hoarding to come into the gym.

Brendo:

And the trick of this is you’re going to have to kind of balance between taking care of your current members that are there, making sure that you fill up classes and that everyone can get in, and then establishing through your booking system or however you go about this, realistically, how many people can you onboard at this point in time? Because you’re going to get an influx of people wanting to join. You’re not going to be able to service all of them.

Brendo:

So you really need to understand from your business point of view, how many people can you service at this point in time? Because getting new members at the moment is going to be the easiest that you’ve ever experienced within your business. You’re probably never going to experience this again.

Mat Lock:

Right. Yeah. But kind of a nice problem to have, however [inaudible 00:12:27]. But having awareness of that and building a strategy around that. The how to handle that. Especially with the restriction around numbers and so on. And whether that therefore means you have to put on more classes. More [inaudible 00:12:39] to accommodate the volume of people and so on.

Mat Lock:

But in terms of communicating. I mean, for me I think communication is the key, isn’t it? And I can only… It resonates when you say, you meet people where they are or where you go. And communication’s the key. And so certainly for our business. The question when it all kicked off was the how to handle that. You can hunker down and go quiet and stay out of the way, or you can reach out and offer all sorts of support and so on.

Mat Lock:

And so we decided to… Because when it kicked off, social media was just flooded. So everyone in the world was being thrown upside down. Not only with training, but with possible work, possible finance issues, health issues maybe, who’s at risk, who’s not at risk and so on. So it was just kind of massive.

Mat Lock:

So certainly from our perspective with the events in mind, so we’re not so much of a day to day consumption, let’s say. We’re not part of a daily routine per se. We decided to just reach out, be of help, but equally recognising what everyone else was doing. And basically not trying to just become part of the noise, let’s say.

Brendo:

Yeah. Well, social media had an increase of, I think Instagram was 30%, I think Facebook was 40%. So, it was super active. It’s definitely gone through the roof. People are just at home. There’s not as much to do. But then you have the mix of, there was a lot of doom and gloom. There was a lot of uncertainty, there was a conspiracy on… Yeah, walls are full of conspiracies. Sorry I press mute a lot.

Brendo:

Yeah. There was definitely a lot going on. And even now the biggest thing that I find from our guys in Perth is when the government releases an update is they’re uncertain about how to handle that situation, even though it’s positive. So I’ve found out that people… Not everyone, but a lot of businesses out there, even if they’ve been told what they can do, they on asking for more clarity. Where my big thing is, it’s very obvious for you.

Brendo:

You need to innovate and you need to have a plan to put in play. You shouldn’t be on the back foot in this situation. It’s like, okay, you’ve been given the guidelines, understand what that means for your business, put that into play now, have your steps. So, get your members, your current members, sorted out. And then work out, “Hey, can we bring on more people at this point in time?”

Brendo:

What’s your offer? So what are you going to provide these people? Is it going to be a standard membership? Is it going to be a post COVID special? Like, what are you going to provide to these people? And then put that into play. That’s what you’re going to start to market consistently at this time and keep people up to date with what’s going on.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. Certainly, as you know, with my background around business model innovation, I think one of the biggest missed opportunities for a lot of business owners will be to simply go back to normal. When we can, to simply get back to normal. Back to the status quo. I think that will be a massive missed opportunity for many, many business owners.

Mat Lock:

And if I think about this industry, the fitness industry, I’ve spoken to a lot of gym owners in the last eight weeks. And there’s been an overwhelming response about how the online training has created an increased sense of community, a better connection.

Mat Lock:

And it’s not all about just doing workouts. I mean, some of those gyms have gone, “Okay, well, we’ll do a stretching session at 7:00 PM on a Thursday and have a glass of wine.” If you want to have a glass of wine, well, we’re doing it. That kind of thing that had just literally a 30 minute check in, “How are you going?” Everyone just jumps on, chews the fat for half an hour, off they go.

Mat Lock:

So much more social rather than just, “Right, we come online for just this, and we’re doing that, and there we’re going again.” And that’s important, which is from a workout perspective, having a routine is important. But some have gone beyond that. And I think it would be a shame if they let go of all of that, just because they no longer have to be online.

Brendo:

They innovated, it was so good. So I can give an example of someone within my network that implemented this really, really well. So he’s actually a trainer at a big box gym, so just a personal trainer within there. And so straight away, a lot of his business is gone and he would have had the option to do one on one coaching through Zoom. But what he did is he actually created a group.

Brendo:

So he had his weekly rate or his monthly rate, whatever that was he had within Zoom and exactly the things that you’re saying, like the stretching, he brought on a yoga teacher, he brought on a nutrition coach. He had his things that he was bringing to the group. And it was set schedules and people just jumped in and they did it together. It was that sense of community. And he actually got so many new clients who were outside of the gym, who hadn’t trained before.

Brendo:

The people that I was saying, the people that generally wouldn’t be your client. He came on and they opened up outdoor training last week for us in WA. And was out there and he said, “All my outdoor group training sessions are completely booked out.” He never did that before. And he said, “My business is actually doing much better now than what it was in the gym.”

Brendo:

And he’s not like I’m a young techno PT. He’s been in the game for years. He’s definitely at the older stage of his career. But he was able to adapt and innovate and use technology. And now he’s got a complete online business where he has all these clients that are going to stay with him online and he’s way better off.

Brendo:

And that’s literally what I wanted for people. I’m like, “Innovate, understand where you’re at and your business should be better off if you do this smart.”

Mat Lock:

And having a bigger impact, you could argue rather than just being a PT, that’s only one part of the story, isn’t it? To then have the mobility, to then have nutrition as well. It’s a much more holistic service that you’re actually offering.

Brendo:

Yeah, absolutely.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, it’s interesting, It’s interesting, that example. I was talking with a gym owner I know, who initially wasn’t confident about charging for still providing this. Well, they found their feet they just wanted to keep their members active while they figured out how they were going to handle it. And handle home life, homeschooling, everything around it.

Mat Lock:

But they were running basically… Had their Facebook group and they were just running the daily workout. But loads of people were really engaging and sharing and loving it and commenting. And same thing, it was like a magnet. Quite a number of new clients now, come to them going, “Oh, how do I be part of this? I keep seeing this and I’ve heard about it. It’s awesome. It looked like fun. I need to do something.”

Mat Lock:

So new members, absolutely new members who now… I mean, at best staying with them, then it’s not just a fad. That they’ve now onboarded a whole bunch of new members that they would never have accessed previously. So-

Brendo:

It’s so important. So, one thing that I’ll point out… And I always reiterate this to the business owners over here is, in Western Australia less than 17.9% of the population has a gym membership or does regular exercise apart from walking. So, it’s less than 20% of the population actually trying.

Brendo:

And the biggest thing that I say is, the industry I don’t believe is saturated. I believe our ability to market to different kinds of people is probably limited and this is a big part of why we teach people marketing. Is to find their niche, find what they’re good at, and then hone in on that. Because you can have gyms on different corners, but provided that their product or service is tailored for different people, realistically, the goal of the industry should be to turn that, 17.9, 18% up to 30% or up to 40%.

Brendo:

And this gave us a great opportunity to do that now, because all of a sudden that became of interest to people that wouldn’t normally train, which is what we’re saying now. So I would hope that people would learn from that and that they would be able to adapt that, to make a bigger difference in a world, which is really stickly, getting people fitter is what our industry should be about.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, plus their healthcare, absolutely. And in our local area here, we’ve commented a few times, how we’ve just seen more people out walking or jogging or cycling, or whatever they’re doing. Just more people at about, because I think you’re right. It’s just raised the conscious level of needing to move and not be sedentary and to get out of the bed and so on. And clearly an opportunity, if you’re in the fitness industry. Clearly an opportunity.

Mat Lock:

But Brendo, I’m conscious of time. Obviously you are a huge wealth of information around this subject. If people want us to reach out to you and find out more about, you mentioned the academy earlier that you’ve got designed for exactly this. But maybe just take a minute to tell us about that academy and where people could find out more about that.

Brendo:

Yeah, for sure. So as I mentioned, Perth Fitfam is my main platform, which is the social group of the Perth fitnessing over here. So I run that. But from that, as I mentioned, the biggest issue with fitness business owners was their inability to market or reach their potential. So that’s how Fitfam Social Academy came about, which we officially launched as a brand the day after we got told that gyms were going to be locked down. So, interesting time for us.

Brendo:

So we can be found on Instagram at Fitfam Social Academy or on Facebook at Fitfam Social Academy. And throughout that programme, we offer a range of courses to be able to help fitness businesses, crushing business by utilising their social media platforms.

Brendo:

Most of our clients who come on, they’ve got minimal to no experience with social media, or they might have used an agency in the past. And we basically just supply them with the tools and the accountability to be able to run their social media campaigns, their social media platforms efficiently and effectively themselves. So they can generate leads and sales by utilising social media.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, awesome. And I’ll put all of those links in the show notes, of course. No question about it. And I’m assuming, and fingers crossed that The Bay Games can go ahead and November as planned. We haven’t announced it, but I guess we’re doing so for anyone who’s listening to this podcast, when it goes live, we are going to have a business workshop day, the day before the weekend kicks off on the Friday.

Mat Lock:

And that you’re going to be one of the guest speakers there. And we’re going to have a workshop dedicated to exactly this and what we’re going to be telling anyone who’s coming to that workshop is, bring your phones, your laptops with you, because it’s going to be all about implementation, actionable advice and implementation.

Brendo:

Yeah.

Mat Lock:

Excited to have you come and share the wisdom that you developed over the years, and having personally been helped by you with a couple of tricky aspects around Facebook, I can attest to the fact that you really know what you’re talking about.

Brendo:

Yeah. I think that’s the biggest thing for us. It’s being able to really educate business owners that didn’t have that understanding how to do this. Like, just teach them how to do it at a high-level. And so they can do it themselves. For me, that’s really, really powerful. So yeah, I look forward to it. I look forward to dropping some knowledge whilst I’m over there and having some fun on the mic.

Mat Lock:

Absolutely. Well, we look forward to that too. Brendo, thank you very much for your time. Appreciate it, man.

Brendo:

Thanks Mat.

 

Mat Lock:

Hey, Leanne Watson. Welcome back to the Everyday Athlete podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you back.

Leanne Watson:

Hey, nice to be back.

Mat Lock:

And if we’re being honest, we can say now, it was actually just a few minutes ago we talked about episode one with you.

Leanne Watson:

Same scarf.

Mat Lock:

Same scarf. Exactly right. No, no. So it’s great to have you back on here, but I wanted to, I guess dig a little deeper into who Leanne is. The background, not only from a Grand Slam and a Bay Games perspective, but actually it’s about you and to understand where you live, what your background is, and really dig into your athletic and sporting endeavours, but also how that fits in with life. And we all have life commitments. We have family, we have work, we have bills to pay, we have all of that going on. None of us are professional athletes, so we’re trying to do what we love around the realities of just normal life. But maybe we start with where you live, where you’re from.

Leanne Watson:

Oh, well West Virginia, little small town in West Virginia and I grew up here. I went to college about four hours from here and then I decided I wanted to be close to my family so I moved back.

Mat Lock:

You did say the town. Is it Morgantown?

Leanne Watson:

Yeah Morgantown, Morgantown. Sorry I didn’t say it. Yeah. So good old mountaineer city, born and raised and have stuck here ever since.

Mat Lock:

Ha ha, you say that like you’re stuck there.

Leanne Watson:

Well I’ve stuck around ever since.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, I understand. Well I guess with snow on the ground, the mind wanders and other parts of the world.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah. Like Jervis Bay.

Mat Lock:

Absolutely. So you’re born and raised in Morgantown. I guess, I know you as the athlete. We met through Bay Games Grand Slam last year, but maybe if we go back, have you always been really into sports and a competitor and super fit and strong or is there a backstory there that you’d like to share?

Leanne Watson:

Well, whenever I was in elementary school … So I was always in sports, but I was never really the athletic one. Fun fact, I was 200 pounds before I was in fifth grade. So I was a very overweight child that … I was always on the basketball teams that my parents coached because we were the ones that nobody else wanted on their team type of thing. So my dad was always our basketball coach because none of the other coaches would take us.

Leanne Watson:

But then I got really sick in my fifth grade year and I ended up losing a bunch of weight. And whenever I did, I took on the mentality of, “You’re never going to gain this weight back and you are going to be healthy, you are going to get fitter and healthier.” And so I started actually spending time in sports and trying to be better at them and basically trying to be the best athlete I could be and I never turned back. So, and then-

Mat Lock:

So fifth grade, sorry for my benefit, what age are we talking there?

Leanne Watson:

About 11 years old.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, okay. And you’re now … Are you happy to share your age?

Leanne Watson:

Oh yeah, I’m 28.

Mat Lock:

Sure. So that was a turning point, but quite a long time ago. Not that long, obviously.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah.

Mat Lock:

A little while.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah, so after that I started getting really involved in sports and because I had lost so much weight, I had started being a little bit better at sports. I’d started getting a little bit more friends, being a little bit more social and then I just actually started taking it more seriously rather than … Before I was just like, “I’m here because Mom and Dad are forcing me to be and I just have to be.” But then middle school, high school range, I was like, “No, I can see myself doing this longterm.” So took into CrossFit and here I am.

Mat Lock:

So when did you stumble into CrossFit?

Leanne Watson:

So in college I was a thrower for my track team. After that I was like, “Well I need to still do something after I graduate.” So there was this boy I was trying to impress and he was starting CrossFit as well. So I was like, “Well, I want to show that I’m cool too, so I’m going to do CrossFit and maybe he’ll like me if I do.” And he never did. Nothing ended up happening there. But then I found CrossFit and fitness in general has now become a huge part of my life, so it still works out.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Awesome. And I think we can agree it was his loss. Okay. His loss for sure.

Leanne Watson:

It was his loss. I hope he watches this. No, I’m kidding. I’m kidding. There’s nothing wrong.

Mat Lock:

If you want to name and shame, I don’t mind.

Leanne Watson:

I probably better not.

Mat Lock:

No, let’s not. He knows who he is.

Leanne Watson:

He does know.

Mat Lock:

Awesome, that’s how you got into CrossFit and the rest is history, so to speak. And you’re still loving it and living life large and really throwing yourself into it eh?

Leanne Watson:

Yeah. Loving every single day. Every minute.

Mat Lock:

Awesome. And so how often do you train? What’s your training regime look like?

Leanne Watson:

So well, like we said earlier, today was a rest day for me. So usually I’ll do Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdays normal training day, Thursday’s usually maybe as long as I’m feeling good, a cardio piece or some mobility, just something a little bit lighter. And then Friday, Saturday are training days as well. So I usually will train in the morning and then maybe some type of aerobic piece in the afternoon or mobility or skill or something like that in the afternoon. But the bulk of my training in the morning and then just something tiny in the afternoon.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. So very focused and even on rest days it’s about active recovery or some cardio. So it’s always moving. Always moving.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah. Yeah. Something.

Mat Lock:

Sure. And how does your … What’s nutrition look like for you? Are you super focused on your diet as well?

Leanne Watson:

Yeah. It’s funny you say that too, because I’m super … I like to weigh and measure absolutely everything. So even this morning whenever I was doing my meal prep, my little pan had … For my brussel sprouts, I would weigh them out before I would roast them. So it just had all these little sections of brussel sprouts with these little dividers in it so that I would know, “Okay, well that one’s a serving. That one’s a serving. That one’s a serving.” So I’m pretty particular on my macros too.

Mat Lock:

That’s good. Do you follow any particular sort of diet or paleo, keto, vegan?

Leanne Watson:

I try to keep it clean so I guess it would be the closest to paleo, but I still will eat sweet potatoes and I’m a little bit more relaxed about that as long as it is more of a natural or clean-

Mat Lock:

So real food?

Leanne Watson:

But then, yeah, real foods, as long as they fit my macros type of thing.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure, sure. I can’t imagine life without sweet potatoes.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah, I don’t know how people do that.

Mat Lock:

I don’t either. Well that’s awesome. So obviously there’s a lot of time and energy goes into your training, your competing which of course includes your nutrition. What about outside of all of that? What does that look like?

Leanne Watson:

Well, my sister and I are very, very close. I mean we live together. I like to spend a lot of time there with her. And as I said earlier, I was born and raised here in the Morgantown area. So being close to my family’s really important to me too. Being able to go out and see them.

Leanne Watson:

They’re probably my biggest athletic supporters I’ve ever had. I can guarantee my Mom is probably going to be watching this multiple times even. She watched the live feed even though it was at 2:00 AM during the Bay Games. So my Mom and my Dad, going out and visiting them. My little sister has autism so she will always be living with them. So going out and visiting and just seeing them and spending time with them is a big piece of what I do.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, awesome. In fact, I’ve had some messages with your Mom and so I’ve got to say, “Hi,” to your Mom there, and actually had we known, when you win the Grand Slam this year and when you come back and do the Bay Games in November this year, we’ll have to make sure we give your Mom a shout out on the live stream then, because that’s a big effort. Staying up till 2:00 AM in the morning to watch it.

Leanne Watson:

She does too. And then she even does a screen recording on her phone so that she can keep it all the time.

Mat Lock:

Oh, that’s awesome. Legend. So your younger sister’s at home, so do you therefore live with your older sister or are you the oldest?

Leanne Watson:

Well, I’m a twin, so I have an older sister, so there’s four of us. But I do have an older sister, but I live with my twin sister. And then my little sister’s at home.

Mat Lock:

And would I be confused if I was now not talking to Leanne, if I was talking to your twin sister would I know or-

Leanne Watson:

I don’t know. Well you said you’ve never seen me with my hair down, so … No, we’re not identical. We’re completely fraternal.

Mat Lock:

Sure, sure. That’s cool. But yeah, you said you’re very, very close.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah, yeah, definitely. Basically best friends, so I don’t even view us as sisters.

Mat Lock:

That’s awesome. Yeah, that’s fantastic. Really. And what do you do for a living? I actually don’t know the answer to this question.

Leanne Watson:

Well, it’s funny you say that too because within the last year I have probably switched my career path two or three different times. And it’s one of those, not a matter of job hopping, more so a matter of I’ve realised what I like and what I … Just growing up I guess. So my degree is in education. So leading into the Bay Games I was teaching at an elementary school, a local elementary school teaching reading intervention. And it was just one of those … I went to work every day. I liked it. It was okay. And then I was also in the evening I would come and I would coach CrossFit classes and I was just like, “You know, I enjoy coaching a lot more. I feel like that’s where my passion is. That’s where my energy is.”

Leanne Watson:

So the gym I was coaching at offered me a general manager position. They had lost one of their coaches and they needed someone to take over more full time hours for the general manager spot there. So I just recently, within the last month or two, took that. And so now that’s what I do for a living.

Mat Lock:

That’s fantastic. Congratulations.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah, so thanks. So, yeah, I hated to leave teaching, but it was one of those … I mean, you got to do where your passion is. So my passion is with CrossFit, so that’s where I want to put my energy at.

Mat Lock:

I can relate. I stepped out of corporate life about four years ago now, I guess three and a half years ago, because I just wasn’t passionate about it. And here we are. Yeah. And I’m passionate about … I love what we’re doing with the Bay Games.

Leanne Watson:

And you’re doing better for it because of it.

Mat Lock:

I’m certainly happier and yeah, it’s great. I mean, I do sometimes miss that monthly hug of the bank account that corporate used to provide, but I wouldn’t change it for the world, because yeah, we’re just happier and enjoying life and meeting so many cool people and yeah, it’s awesome. It’s absolutely awesome.

Leanne Watson:

I completely agree with that.

Mat Lock:

And being a part of stories like with yourself, the whole journey with the Bay Games and the Grand Slam last year, which was awesome. You never get that in a corporate environment.

Leanne Watson:

Exactly. And I’m glad you did it too because I would’ve never gotten to meet you guys.

Mat Lock:

Exactly right. You know I was interested … When we chatted last time, you said something that I guess peaked my interest because you said, “Oh you know I thought yeah I’ll give the Grand Slam a go because I want to go to Australia, but things like this don’t happen to me. I don’t win competitions that get me to Australia,” and so on. And of course you did win and you did come to Australia and I wondered if that had had a deeper impression on you and whether that had changed any of your outlook in terms of what’s possible for you and believing in yourself and so on?

Leanne Watson:

It did. Not only making it and winning the Grand Slam, but whenever I got there, I would say a huge turning point for my fitness journey in general was the Bay Games. I don’t know if it’s because it gave me so much mental clarity. Maybe I got waterlogged getting drowned there in the first event, but when I got home, I started making a lot of changes. That’s when I decided to opt out of teaching and take this general manager position. I made a lot of changes as soon as I got home because the Bay Games showed me that I was capable of a lot more than I had ever given myself credit for.

Leanne Watson:

And I had, honestly, before I even left to come to Bay Games, been thinking about quitting CrossFit in general. I was burnt out. I was, even during the Grand Slam, I was just kind of like, “Ah, this isn’t fun anymore. I don’t like it.” And something during that competition just was like, “You know what? You should be grateful that you’re able to do this. You should be grateful that you’ve been given these abilities, these capabilities. Go use them and just have fun. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, just have fun doing it.” And so it redefined fitness as being fun for me and when I got home now I’ve been on fire for training and enjoying it ever since.

Mat Lock:

That’s amazing. That genuinely warms my heart, Leanne. Honestly, that’s awesome. I’m so pleased that that was your experience and that we’ve played a small part in facilitating that, but at the end of the day you did the hard work. You had the mental fortitude to get through, it sounds like a bit of a tough time with training. Literally, I didn’t know any of that actually, that you were thinking about throwing in the CrossFit towel as it were.

Leanne Watson:

That’s why I thanked you guys so much. I’m like, “You guys literally have changed my life by that whole trip.”

Mat Lock:

Yeah, that’s amazing. Amazing. Well, well done to you because at the end of the day it was all you. You did all the work and I know you’ve got your support team around, you’ve got your family and your coaches. We all do. And that’s part of the story isn’t it? But nonetheless, you dug in and you got it done. So I’d high five you, but we’d probably break our screens. But that’s amazing. That’s amazing.

Mat Lock:

I guess I don’t need to ask. I was going to say what would be your message to someone else who was thinking about, “Should I have a go at the Grand Slam this year or should I have to go to the Bay Games?” What would your message to them be?

Leanne Watson:

I would definitely say give it a go. You never know what can happen. And not only that, regardless of where you place, you’re going to have fun doing it. So prove yourself wrong. Show yourself that even just finishing the qualifier, just finishing all the workouts, that’s a huge accomplishment of itself because those workouts aren’t easy. So just doing it and just finishing it. Give yourself more credit than what you think you need.

Mat Lock:

Oh, absolutely. I think that’s a great message that applies to all of us. Every single one of us. And I’ve seen the workouts for the Grand Slam this year of course, tested a couple of them, and yeah, they’re not designed to be easy. You’re right. Equally, they’re not designed to be mind-numbing or just simply hard for the sake of it. They’re not designed for that.

Mat Lock:

In fact, this year I gave you one snippet in the last recording. I can’t give you any more other than to say we’re really trying to be inclusive. We are exclusively about everyday athletes and so if you are a professional athlete and we’re going to define that as clearly as we can, but it’s not for professional athletes. We had a shoot yesterday with Khan Porter , Alethea Boon. They can’t compete. They can’t play with the Gland Slam because it’s not for them. It’s for everyday athletes and they liked that approach.

Mat Lock:

But it’s designed to be inclusive. It’s not just for CrossFitters. You can be from F45, you can be from a Globo Gym, doesn’t matter. So we’ve really given, as we did last year, but a lot of time and thought to the programming for this year, especially given it’s pairs now. It’s pairs, which changes of dynamics totally for each workout and a good way, in a good way. Excited to see how you go. But I’m conscious of time Leanne, and very grateful because it’s Sunday evening where you are isn’t it?

Leanne Watson:

Oh yeah. But-

Mat Lock:

But all good.

Leanne Watson:

It’s rest day. So I literally have nothing to do. So you’re good.

Mat Lock:

And are your food preps done or-

Leanne Watson:

Yeah, yeah. I finished it this morning.

Mat Lock:

Of course you have. You might need to give me some lessons about it that. My food prepping, I think because I can be a bit … I mean I eat clean but I’m not … I guess I don’t have a routine that forces me to have to be that regimented. But I like the idea of it. I see photos of different people online and, “There’s my the next week.” And you go, “God that would be great,” rather than, “Right, what should we have tonight?”

Leanne Watson:

I mean there in Jervis Bay, all those different restaurants, I don’t feel like you really need to.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, and that’s not food prepping is it?

Leanne Watson:

That’s true.

Mat Lock:

That’s really lazy. But you’re right. There’s some great cafes here. Very good. Leanne, is there anything else you would like to say to the audience before they start seeing your face around the time of the Grand Slam?

Leanne Watson:

Make sure you sign up. It’s for a great cause, but don’t beat me.

Mat Lock:

That’s right. Be good, but don’t be too good.

Leanne Watson:

Be second.

Mat Lock:

Well very good. Actually top 10 finishers this year, top 10 finishers in each division get cash prizes. We’ve got starting with $2,500 US dollars first place and it goes down in 50% increments from there. So even if you get a decent chunk of cash in the pocket and a bunch of other stuff. Actually we’re going to include as well, there’s going to be a copy of Khan Porter’s ebook, which is called Fitter Everyday and that’s got 230 conditioning workouts that he’s done in the last year. I’ve got a copy which I bought last week, and it’s just excellent. So anyway, so again, top 10 winners from each division pairs will each get a copy of that as well and a bunch of other stuff. 

Leanne Watson:

You guys are outdoing yourselves.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, that’s right. That’s exactly right. Yeah, we’re trying to make it irresistible because we want … The more people we get involved, the more impact we’ll have for the mental health charities and the more fun we’ll be having around the world, I guess.

Leanne Watson:

I like it.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Cool. Very good. Well Leanne, thank you so much for your time and if people want to reach out to you and connect with you in some way, how would they do that?

Leanne Watson:

Instagram and Facebook. My Instagram’s Leannewatson25 and then Leanne Watson on Facebook.

Mat Lock:

No, problem. I’ll put those details in the show notes and if you haven’t already watched the first episode with Leanne, I strongly recommend that you do because it talks about her journey from the Grand Slam through to the Bay Games and everything in between. Leanne, thank you very much and I wish you a good evening.

Leanne Watson:

Thank you. You too.

Mat Lock:

You take care.

Leanne Watson:

Thanks. You too.

 

Mat Lock:

All right, Dave Harvey. Good morning and welcome to the Everyday Athletes Podcast.

Dave Harvey:

Morning Mat, how are you doing?

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Good. I appreciate your time very much. I know you’re busy running a number of businesses, which we’ll get into, but I appreciate your time very much

Dave Harvey:

More than welcome. 

Mat Lock:

Excellent, appreciate it. And for those who are not familiar with Dave Harvey, if you could just tell us a little bit about yourself, just I guess your background from your footy days onwards.

Dave Harvey:

Yeah. So I guess, yeah, grew up playing rugby, was lucky enough to play professional rugby for a number of years. Probably about eight to 10 years, eight to 10 seasons spanning across probably four countries, being Australia, or maybe five, Australia and a few in Europe and then in Brazil as well. And then, yeah, landed in F45 and ever since then has been running that business sort of coincide a little bit of pre rugby/business running and then set away from rugby and now I’m I guess a full time dad, full time a business owner and still wannabe athlete.

Mat Lock:

Well the still wannabe athlete, having seen you in action the other day under The Bay Games last year, you’re going okay.

Dave Harvey:

Still working on it.

Mat Lock:

You look amazing. You’re looking super lean and strong at the moment.

Dave Harvey:

It’s all in the kitchen.

Mat Lock:

Right. That’s interesting. We might come back to that. So that’s actually a major transition. Living 8 to 10 years you said as really a pro footy player, pro athlete. I’m guessing that was living, breathing, eating, sleeping footy every day of every week, every month, every year.

Dave Harvey:

Yeah, pretty well. Stemming from starting in Australia, I did things a little bit backwards. I kind of did Australia, a little bit of Australia and then did Europe and then came back here and then played pro back at home, which was fantastic. 

But yeah, it’s just seven days a week I guess, or five days a week with a couple of days off. Had morning sessions, time off. We’d get a fair bit of time off, but sometimes whether it’s mental reliefs or you kick back and doing nothing and then back in the afternoon for a bit of training, a bit of video analysis and studying your game, opposition games and then games on the weekend and the next day would be a recovery. And it was a full time job at the time, I loved it. Made lots of mates, lots of life-long friends. Learned a lot about myself in good and bad ways. But yeah, it was intense. But wouldn’t change it for the world.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Excellent. It was interesting, we were chatting to Felicity, now Lemke, originally Felicity Galvez, Olympic swimmer, gold medalist in fact who was talking about when she was leading into both of the Olympics, ’04 and ’08 that she competed at. She said literally her day was, I think at least five days a week was three training sessions a day and she had in between those it was eat and sleep, literally. Eat and sleep, go back and train again.

Dave Harvey:

Pretty much eat, sleep, watch TV, you’d watch TV shows, watch movies, there’d be Xboxes, PlayStations, coffee, wander down the shops and that’s it. Some clubs would let you do what you want. Other clubs were really adamant on doing nothing and relaxing and resting and recovering. Probably more knowledge and content around that kind of stuff now compared to when I was playing. Bit of a, I wouldn’t say an old school approach, but a bit more like you can do as much as you want kind of thing. Whereas now there’s a huge emphasis on recovering and resting, getting your body right. But we did a bit of that. It was training and then nothing and then training again. So switch on and switch off.

Mat Lock:

Sounds like to the everyday athletes like me and most of the audience listening, that sounds like the dream life. However, I’m guessing it was also not so easy.

Dave Harvey:

Nah, I think a lot of people perceive it as the dream life. As much fun as it was, it’s also very mentally challenging. Physically challenging, but you can get physically challenging by training as much as or as hard as you want with a full time job. 

But more the mental aspect of it was a little bit tough. Especially for me living away from home, that was pretty hard. But even playing back here, you’re studying opposition, you’re studying yourself, you’ve got to remember plays, you’ve got to remember what the opposition is doing. One bad game puts you on the outer, you never really have a full time job. You’re a full time player, but you never really have a full time job in the rugby aspect because you’re signing one, two three deals and then after that, you don’t know where you’re going to be. Whereas if you’re a school teacher, you’re a policeman, whatever it may be, you own your own business. Technically you’ve got a job for life. You tick boxes, you don’t exactly have to perform perfectly day in, day out.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. I imagine it’s an immense amount of pressure knowing that I can assume. So you transitioned then to, as you said, you bought an F45 franchise.

Dave Harvey:

Yep.

Mat Lock:

I think you said the other day when we were there last week doing the photo shoot, you were the sixth ever F45-

Dave Harvey:

Yeah. We’re actually the third F45 opened. So I was still playing at the time and I’d just left my contract playing Super Rugby and I wanted something to do. I’ve got a teaching degree, which I used a little bit, but there’s no jobs out there in the world of teaching at the moment. My rugby agent at the time ended up owning a few put me on to F45 and I bought one in 2013, I think we opened early 2014. Continued to play a bit, I was in the seventh circuit with Brazil at the time, so it was a fair bit of travelling and playing and training and working at the same time. So trying to juggle everything. But yeah, so we’ve traded at Castle Hill for about, well this would be our sixth year now, which is pretty cool.

Mat Lock:

And enjoying it?

Dave Harvey:

Loving it. Yeah. Still loving it. The alarm goes off at 10 past four, wouldn’t say I bounce out of bed, but I get out of bed and once I’m at work, yeah, I really enjoy. So yeah, I really enjoy being there.

Mat Lock:

Well you just mentioned before we went live, you were saying that your daughter has only just, I think in the last night or so sort of slept through. So I’m guessing over the last couple of years that’s been a challenge.

Dave Harvey:

It has been a challenge and there’s some good nights and rough nights. I mean there’s times where I’ve slept out in the other room, I’ve been fatigued, but there’s nights there’s three or four wake ups at night, but everyone has their own challenges and mate we wouldn’t change it for the world. And like I said, as soon as I’m in my work, it’s almost like game face. You switch it on and run the class, have a bit of fun with clients, help them as much as we can. Then if I need to hit a wall or come home then I kind of do that away from that public domain.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, of course. I’ve often seen gym owners, PTs, the emotional drain the clients can be without intending to be necessarily, but it’s not just being on your feet thinking about the workout and the programming. It’s also a little bit like hairdressers where people are sharing all sorts of life things…

Dave Harvey:

I think so, yeah. I think a lot of clients kind of look to you for advice or even just to chat, which is fantastic, which I enjoy, which is really cool. But at times, it can be draining. We’re pretty lucky at Castle Hill, we’ve got a lot of clients who are, we are not handfuls, which is fantastic. We’ve got a good client base and they’re all phenomenal, so it’s actually a little bit of fun. Like it’s fun going to work. You will help them and push them as much as you can, but it’s like chatting to your mates. Seven classes a day or so, four in the morning and three at night, yeah, it’s really good.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Fantastic. It’s great to hear that level of passion is still there because it sounds like it’s the motivation itself in training clients which is cool. Was that a hard transition to go from full, what, five days a week as a pro athlete to then setting up a business and all of the infrastructure that goes around it and everything’s involved with the day to day running of the business? How did that go?

Dave Harvey:

Yeah, that was probably the hardest thing. Probably the scariest thing is learning. I guess you probably said that, you said the words just then, the infrastructure of the business. Making the transition from playing rugby professionally to working wasn’t really an issue for me. F45 kind of gives me that team comradery and that sort of team environment, which is fantastic. But on the flip side it’s just running a whole new model, whole new business. I mentioned before, I got my teaching degree as a backup and I did a little bit of but nothing in terms of running your own business. And I guess I probably just learned on my feet, learned as I went. The first couple of years was pretty tough. I think first, probably six to 12 months I worked three jobs so I was playing footy, teaching and running the business. So trying to keep everything afloat.

Dave Harvey:

And then business started to get a little bit better, but it was just learning from the stakes and positives and negatives and probably not taking anything to heart, learning in the fitness industry that people come and go all the time. Fads change, people move, there’s waves of different ideas and different theories behind training. And yeah, just learning how to, from accounting to marketing as we discussed earlier and in terms of like Instagramming and everything, just people relations. And the way I see it, if you can speak to someone then you can run a business. If you’ve got no people skills, you’re in a lot of trouble.

Mat Lock:

That’s exactly right because every business needs customers.

Dave Harvey:

100%.

Mat Lock:

For sure. And I’m interested, did it give you a different insight into I guess what everyday athletes are doing? You know, the mums, dads, people who go to work nine to five or longer, five days a week and who are then training and trying to eat well as a hobby at the end of the day? The training and the competing is very much a hobby. Did you have a better insight having gone from being pro to trying to find your own time to get your training in and maintain your own fitness and so on?

Dave Harvey:

Yeah, definitely. I think there was a new appreciation for it. Being a full time footy player, even on days off it’s like, oh, it’s 10:00 AM, I’m going to go train now. Or I can get up early and go train or we had scheduled break times, we had scheduled field sessions and had massages and recovery. And the day was my leisure and I could do what I want. Now with the business, I kind of look at my clients and pretty much in awe of quite a lot of them. I open the studio at quarter to five or 5:30, oh sorry, 4:30, quarter to five in the morning. They come in, they train, they get changed, they go straight to work, they go home. So not only they’re working an eight til four job, a nine to five job, but they’re training at 5:00 AM, they’re getting changed and going to the city or they’re coming on their way back from work and they come in and do their session.

Dave Harvey:

And there’s just a new found respect. I guess I’m understanding now, but a bit more respect at the start to go, crap, these guys, they’re living a normal life. They’ve got to work, they’ve got to look after their family, they’ve got to cook, they’ve got to eat well, they’re on the run and they’ve got to train as well with this. There’s probably quite a few people out there going, well it’s not hard. It’s only 45 minutes of your day or an hour of your day, but I think mentally and physically it’s pretty tough. And making that transition now to family as you mentioned earlier, got a two and a half year old and family life and dad life and business life into training life now. Yeah. There’s a few hiccups on the way and yeah, huge, huge appreciation for what everyone does.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Absolutely. And so when you’re coaching your clients, when you’re guiding them, mentoring them along their journey, what’s the general advice based on that insight that you tend to give them around maybe recovery, maybe not think too hard on themselves, nutritional or maybe knowing when to push and so on?

Dave Harvey:

For me I guess a lot of the world, especially in the fitness industry is, everything is complicated. Everyone tries to overcomplicate things. There’s 50,000 diets out there. There’s 10,000 ways to do a dead lift, there’s you should be getting this amount of sleep. You should be drinking this, you should be drinking that. I just, I really try to encourage them just to keep it as simple as possible. When it comes to nutrition, just try and get your time into food right. Obviously, I don’t really tell them how much to eat or what to count, it’s great for some, not good for others. I just tell them to try and keep it really simple. Eat clean whole produce food. My family and I, we eat organic and what not and we go to farmer’s markets and we love it. That’s our lifestyle. So I try and preach a little bit of that. Otherwise try and get as clean as possible.

Dave Harvey:

And then just with training as well, just try and be as consistent as possible with the training. If they’re going to do three a week or four a week, do three or four a week every single week. If they’re training more, do that. If you want to go for recovery, get out on Sunday, get a bit of vitamin D, go for a walk and just get moving. And the consistency with food and training and just keeping it as simple as possible. I think if people overcomplicate things, I tell them, if they overcomplicate things they get a little bit stressed and they start to question why and they research and look for answers rather than researching, not looking for an answer. You tend to kind of broaden your mind and learn and educate yourself. So yeah, just kind of just tell them just keep it as simple as possible. Probably in every aspect, especially the food aspect, which is probably the hardest thing for them.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. I think we all know that if you go onto Google, you can find any opinion you want.

Dave Harvey:

100%, yeah. And most of the time people go onto Google and they go in with a predetermined or a mindset of they’re looking for an answer. So when they hop on Google, they’ll have a look and they’ll find what they can’t to see. Actually I’ve got my own coach at the moment and his best bit of advice to me was if you’re going to research something, research without looking for an answer and you’ll sit on both sides of the fence and you can make an informed decision for yourself. So ever since then, it’s probably opened up a few things for me, which is great.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. I remember watching Forks Over Knives, it’s a documentary that’s now on Netflix and certainly one of the lead doctors on there was talking about whenever you’re reading anything anywhere, the first question you have to ask yourself is who wrote it and how were they funded? Who paid for the creation of this documentary?

Dave Harvey:

Exactly. Who wrote the article, who paid for it? Because they want to get their point across.

Mat Lock:

That’s exactly right. So particularly on Google where you can be splattered with millions of results instantly. I think that’s a really important thing. I certainly try and pay attention when I’m really researching something and understand what was behind it. Is there an agenda?

Dave Harvey:

Yeah, definitely.

Mat Lock:

And it might be okay if there is, but it’s just good to know that so you can make an informed decision.

Dave Harvey:

Yeah, spot on.

Mat Lock:

For sure. Very good. Well, we’re getting close to time now. I’m interested with the F45 model, the way you run it, what do you think is the main motivation that keeps people coming back? I certainly having been to your facility and met some of your clients and seeing that amazing sense of community and that sort of loyalty to the brand and to you, to each other. What do you think builds that?

Dave Harvey:

I think you just nailed it on there. This community. Results is fantastic. Seeing people lose weight, put on muscle mass. Results, numbers speak for themselves. But for me, the first and foremost thing within business in the fitness industry community, you build community, you’ll maintain your clientele. You look after your clientele, you’ll care about your clientele, your clients will probably care about you as well as a business owner. So they show a little bit more respect. And then after everything’s secondary. So you move into your results and food and how they approach every aspect of their life and every aspect around their training.

Dave Harvey:

But community is the key. So whether it be putting on events for them or learning everyone’s name that walks through that door at quarter to five in the morning half asleep. I think that’s a really important thing. Just getting the little tiny details possible. I always tell my members learn everyone’s name, if there’s three people in the class, run it as if there’s 303 people in the class. So keeping it the same, show as much energy and as much attention to detail as possible, but not only that, but build community and build fun and build a place where people want to come and they’re safe to come and comfortable and come.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Awesome. Awesome. No, I appreciate that. And that was certainly the impression I got when I came with you and yeah, that was amazing.

Dave Harvey:

Awesome, glad you did.

Mat Lock:

All right, Dave, thank you very much for your time.

Dave Harvey:

You’re welcome.

Mat Lock:

We’re going to get you on for another episode, but for now I’ll just say thank you very much. If people want to reach out to you and connect with you, where’s the best place to do that?

Dave Harvey:

Probably on Instagram, I’d say. That’s Daveharvey17. It’s probably the best to reach out, just that way as opposed to emails and trying to keep my emails for business only and try and keep everything separate. So they want to reach out or anything like that, it’d be good.

Mat Lock:

Excellent. Dave, thank you very much.

Dave Harvey:

Thanks mate. I appreciate it.

Mat Lock: 

Alethea Boon, welcome back to The Everyday Athlete podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you here again.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, good to be back, thanks.

Mat Lock:

Not at all. And today what I’d like to talk about is the fact that superhumans are human too. And I know many of us look at yourself and many other athletes and go, “Wow,” the pro athletes, and go, “Wow, incredible strength, stamina, and skills.” But at the end of the day, you are human too. And we find ourselves, certainly in the C-19 pandemic, as we talked about last time, and we talked a little bit about your routines and how you’re dealing with that and getting through that. 

But firstly, maybe if you could set the scene for those who maybe have been living under a rock and are not familiar with you, just tell us a little bit about yourself in terms of your family and athletic background, please.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, sure. So a bit of my background, I was a gymnast from a really, really young age, from about nine. And I competed in gymnastics, all the way to collegiate gymnastics in America, until, I think, 2004. After 2004, I had retired from gymnastics and was just an everyday person, studied, exercised on and off, and then I got a wee bit bored of that. I did full ill in 2010 and after that incident, I had bilateral pulmonary embolism, after that incident, it actually sparked me to see what I could get out of my body, even after that.

Alethea Boon:

So I started working towards half marathons, and I ran a few hours, and then I got bored of running and I Googled, “different way to get fit”, and hence the CrossFit journey.

Alethea Boon:

So I joined CrossFit in 2013, at CrossFit Active, and since then I’ve been going to the games since 2014. I had to take a year off to compete in the Commonwealth games, weightlifting. So that was my other sport.

Mat Lock:

Of course you did.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah. And so yeah, I’ve just been training in CrossFit and just trying to keep fit and healthy since then.

Mat Lock:

That’s awesome, and congratulations for everything so far, because it’s an amazing journey you’ve been on. And, actually, I didn’t realise that you’d been doing the half marathon thing and got bored of it and looked for something new. I didn’t know that. But I guess it’s a luxury you have as a professional athlete, being able to train eight to 10 hours every day, and doing nothing else for living. Correct?

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, I wish I had eight to 10 hours to train and recover and do all of that. But no, no, the entire time I’ve actually been working full time at my full time job, working in property. And like everyone else, I’ve got to balance my schedule, balance training, and making sure that I still have enough energy to give 100% of everything that I do. So I wish I could train a lot, I wish I could have the time to recover, but I don’t, but I was able to manage and make do with the time that I did. So I go through the same challenges that everyone else does too. And also with the levels of motivation, I mean after a whole days of work, it’s really hard to actually just pick up your bag and go to the gym. But I found that if you actually just do it, just put your shoes on, and just go, you find the momentum and you just keep going from there.

Mat Lock:

Sure. And certainly, even on the days when it’s tough, I know I’m always glad I’d done it afterward. I didn’t necessarily look forward to it, but I’m glad I did it. And you get the endorphins flushed, the guilt’s gone, because if you skip it you’re going to feel guilty. But nonetheless, so you’re working Monday to Friday full time, correct?

Alethea Boon:

Yep. Monday to Friday, full-time hours. And then I train around those hours.

Mat Lock:

Right. So do you tend to train in the mornings or in the evenings or both?

Alethea Boon:

Normally, just in the evenings. If I’m training for a competition, I’ll start training in the morning. But my priority is my bread and butter, which is working, and I want to make sure that when I’m at work I can give 100% of my effort. I mean, I hate to go into negotiations feeling tired and groggy, so I’ve got to give 100% there, and doing that actually allows me to switch off in the evening, and then I can give 100% to my training session.

Mat Lock:

Sure. Yeah, absolutely. So okay, so you’re training mostly in the evenings, other than if you’re leading into a comp. And how many evenings a week is that or the weekends, are they different? Pretty sure you don’t have to work.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah. So because weekends are free, I generally push a lot of the training to the weekends. So during the week, Monday to Friday, I’ll train four days out of those, and it’ll be evenings from 6:30 PM or 7:00 PM to whatever time it takes me to finish, which is probably around 8:30 PM, 9:00 PM, maybe a little bit longer if I’m chatting with everyone.

Mat Lock:

Surely not.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah. But in the weekends, I make the most of the time. It’s the time where you get to go outdoors and bike, swim, run, and just enjoy being outdoors.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. And so, with the current self-isolation, and you mentioned in our last chat that you and Lima are somehow reconnecting because you’re having more time together than normal. That makes more sense than ever now, because you’re either at work or training, normally.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, absolutely. And we literally turned our dining room table into our office, so we’re sitting right opposite each other. But it’s good, because when it’s time to work out, we’re both holding each other accountable. We’re like, “Okay, computers off, let’s go.”

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Fantastic, fantastic. And I guess training’s only one part of the story, right? I mean you’ve got work, you’ve got training, but you mentioned, already, recovery, obviously really important. And of course nutrition, food. How do you juggle all of that?

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, so I am a bit of a creature of habit. I do like routine and discipline, and I think that if you actually plan and schedule everything out, like I do. My meal plan is through RP Strength, and I actually use an app in which my meal times and what I’m eating is scheduled out, so it’s easy to follow. And I do the same with my training and my work schedule. So everything’s routined, everything’s diarized, and it just keeps me that little bit more accountable during the week. And in the weekend, I’ll have one day where it’s a little bit more relaxed.

Mat Lock:

Sure. And with RP, just to dive into that rabbit hole, do you have a personalised programme from them or are you using the app? Like I would be, let’s say?

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, so originally I started off using the personalised programme with Nick Shaw, and it was amazing. It definitely was a game-changer in terms of performance. The education you learn from that one on one coaching, it helps when you transfer over to the app. So for me, I’m actually just on maintenance right now, and I’ve learned so much previously and what I need to eat and when I need to eat, that it’s easy for me to just use the app, and the reminders actually keep me accountable to eat as well.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. No, interesting. And yourself and Lima are aligned? There’s not two meals being cooked or you tend to eat the same things?

Alethea Boon:

I think …

Mat Lock:

That was a stupid question, if Lima’s there, I’m sorry Lima. It’s not a loaded question.

Alethea Boon:

Lima’s a bit more free-spirited on what he eats and drinks. I think there’s a good balance between us, is that he’s a bit more relaxed, I’m very intense in the way I approach things, so it does make a good balance for both of us.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. So you’ve found somewhere in the middle.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, we’re definitely in the middle.

Mat Lock:

And you mentioned just a few minutes ago, about, I guess, having that focus, you’re very deliberate with your training, depending on, obviously, whether you’ve got a comp coming up or not. But what motivates you to … When you go to the gym, that was the link for me, was even if you don’t really feel like it, but your shoes on, go and do it anyway. I mean that could be misconstrued as a very easy throwaway line, which I know it isn’t, with yourself. What do you tell yourself, when you … Big day at work, maybe the normal stresses. You mentioned negotiations, that’s stressful, that’s a lot of cerebral firepower required, often it can be exhausting.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, absolutely.

Mat Lock:

But when you’re sitting on the fence a bit, thinking, “I don’t really want to go to the gym, it’s eight o’clock already,” what is it that motivates you to do that? What’s the conversation you have with yourself?

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, so I wouldn’t say … There’s nothing that actually motivates me, per se. It’s not so much motivation. It’s more so just I think, “Okay, show up.” I break it down little by little. I say, “Show up, put your shoes on, start your first exercise.” If you break it down into bite size chunks, then you keep that momentum going, you tick off one box, you keep ticking off another box, and next thing you know you’re done. And you can walk away feeling so much prouder of what you’ve done.

Alethea Boon:

It’s also thinking about the bigger picture. If you keep taking those little boxes, you’ll get to where you need to be later on. So like I said before, it’s staying accountable to your future self. You’re not always going to feel motivated, but if you show up and get the work done, later down the track, you will want 100% be grateful for what you did back then. You’re just not going to see it today, but you will see it down the track.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. No, I think that’s great advice, and a great perspective to have. Now, before we started recording, we did touch on the fact that you have, again, qualified for the CrossFit games this year. You and your team. The team name is … ?

Alethea Boon:

The team name is Star Strength Black, and it consists of myself, Christy Bishop, who’s actually a nurse on the front line at the moment. And then we’ve got [Jodi Gardner 00:10:03], another Kiwi, and Reese Mitchell, who was actually a Teens games athlete back in the day.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Awesome. So two out of the four, this would be their first games year, correct?

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, two out of the four, it’s their first games, and they’ve worked super, super hard. So we’re just waiting to see what’s going to happen.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean it’s interesting, I was chatting with a couple of other athletes recently who are going to the games, about how they’re handling the uncertainty of well will that go ahead or not? Because of course, we’re now in April, so I guess from May onwards those athletes will be super focused, 12 week lead into the games. And with the current uncertainty, I wonder, how do you handle that? Where’s your mind-set at with that?

Alethea Boon:

For my mind-set, it’s still business as usual. I still train every day. It’s my non-negotiable. And every transition that I go into, I always bank on giving 100% of what I’ve got for that day. I may feel absolute rubbish, but I’m still going to give my best effort for every little piece that I do. It doesn’t have to be high volume, but it has to be quality, and that’s how I’ve approached my training since I started CrossFit. And it’s still how I approach it now. And then I think bigger picture, it’s not so much just about the games, it is still training for everyday life. And I will train like this regardless of whether the games are on or not.

Alethea Boon:

And I think for the team as well, we’re all in the same boat, we think the same way. I think we work together the same way, and a good thing that Luke Starr’s done with us, is that we actually check in with each other every week. Sunday night, 7:00 PM, we’re still checking in with each other, and it’s keeping everyone’s spirits up regardless of what happens. We’re still a team. We still made it. We still qualified for the CrossFit games in 2020. Whether it goes ahead, not sure, but still, it’s still an achievement.

Mat Lock:

Oh, it’s a huge achievement, absolutely. And of course, like you, fingers crossed that it will go ahead. Hopefully, the pandemic can be under control sufficiently where it’s all relaxed a little and events like that can go ahead. And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t, and I guess everyone will find a way to handle that.

Alethea Boon:

Exactly. Life still goes on. This is just a small thing in the game of life. We train for life, so we’ll still carry on regardless.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, that’s exactly … I love that, that we train for life. That’s exactly right. I mean, I enjoy competing, but I have to say for me it’s more about the routine, the daily routine, the daily grind, almost. The training, the camaraderie.

Alethea Boon:

Absolutely. Trading, pushing your body to the limits, it trains this more than it trains the body. It keeps me sharp for work, it keeps me sharp for everyday life, and I’m sure it does a lot for everyone else too.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Well, Alethea, I think that’s probably all we’ve got time for today. Again, thank you so much for sharing so many of your insights and allowing us into your lounge room, your dining room or-

Alethea Boon:

My dining room/office.

Mat Lock:

That’s the whole thing with Zoom, right? You’ve allowed us into your home. Thank you for that.

Alethea Boon:

Thank you for having me. It’s always great chatting, Mat.

Mat Lock:

Absolutely. And if people wanted to reach out and connect with you, maybe have some questions or just want to share a funny video with you, how would they do that?

Alethea Boon:

Oh, I do love funny videos. Yeah, absolutely. Just reach out to me on Facebook. It’s Alethea_Boon. Either Facebook or on Instagram. Same thing.

Mat Lock:

That’s awesome. And we’ll keep fingers crossed that the CrossFit games go ahead, but we know that it’s not the be-all and end-all.

Alethea Boon:

Not the end-all, be-all, yeah.

Mat Lock:

Lovely spirit as always, Alethea, thank you very much.

Alethea Boon:

Thank you. Thanks for having me. Stay safe, everyone. Look after yourselves and stay connected with everyone.

Mat Lock: Ed Morrison, welcome back to the Everyday Athlete podcast.

Ed Morrison: Thank you Mat. Thanks for having me back.

Mat Lock: So, this is your second time so far.

Ed Morrison: Yes.

Mat Lock: I appreciate you very much making the time to be available and share your wisdom with us.

Ed Morrison: My pleasure.

Mat Lock: Today, we’re going to talk about nutrition around competition for the everyday athletes. Because, as you know, everything we do and everything we’re about is ‘everyday athletes’ not the elite athletes.

Ed Morrison: Yes.

Mat Lock: Certainly, this one I know for myself and for mates of mine who I do comps with and so on, the whole nutrition topic in general isn’t that well understood, but particularly when it comes to competing, it’s like a big black hole.

Ed Morrison: Yeah.

Mat Lock: Everyone’s got their opinions but they’re often not based on too much. But, before we dive into the nuts and bolts of it all, just in case anyone watching or listening haven’t listened to your first episode, which is nutrition for everyday athletes, and if you haven’t, I’d encourage you to do so. We’ll put links in the show notes to that episode. Maybe give us a short intro to who Ed Morrison is, please.

Ed Morrison: Sure. Mat, I’ve been a trainer for 10 years now. I started in a CrossFit in 2010. It’s 2020, I’m still trying to wrap my head around that, which is a problematic. I guess throughout that time I was fortunate enough, I’ve worked with CrossFit seminar staff, which is something that I still do. I started a Bachelor of Food science and Nutrition at Deakin University. I started that way back in 2009.

Ed Morrison: Just from my experience, and I talked about this in the last show, I worked so closely with athletes on how to move well and how to execute all these different movements that they see in the gym. What I knew deep down, is that nutrition was the base of all health. I wasn’t talking and working with people as hard on their nutrition as I would work with them on their squat.

Ed Morrison: Over the, sort of that 10-year journey, I found myself being more and more drawn to making change to people by nutrition. That’s led me to sort of start working for The Method Now and helping people. Predominantly with their food, but then obviously, the food and training and sleep, they all tie into one another and also being a happy person at home. So, really trying to work with people on just that, being the best version of themselves.

Mat Lock: Fantastic. In the last episode, certainly you rolled out, I have to say, some pearls of wisdom around the whole topic of everyday nutrition for the everyday athletes. As we said, today we’re going to talk about competition. If we take, I guess from a Bay Games perspective, we have the two events. We have the physical event, in Jervis Bay, where I’m sitting right now. We also have the Grand Slam, which is the online comp, which is… For those not familiar with that yet, it’s a bit like the Open. It’s not a qualifier, but it’s an online competition.

Mat Lock: Maybe we start there, because I mean certainly in our case, we have five workouts over three weeks. We have two workouts in a week, one and three. We have one normally longer workout in the middle of week. What sort of general advice… I mean we’re assuming that our athletes train regularly, they’re keen, that they might be at CrossFit, they might be at 45, they might be from a Global gym but they’re pretty keen athletes. They’re still everyday athletes. They’re not elite athletes. They have a very keen interest in health and fitness, but may not be currently optimised when it comes to nutrition, let’s say.

Ed Morrison: Sure.

Mat Lock: If we’ve got moms, dads, we’ve got family life. We’ve got long work hours. We’ve got travel for work. We’ve got all of these things that get in the way, not only with nutrition but training and everything else. But, when it comes to, “Okay. Now I know what the two work outs are for week one…”

Mat Lock: I’m going to do my first workout in the first week of the competition, how far should I be thinking about nutrition and hydration, would you say?

Ed Morrison: Well, you somewhat read my mind there Mat. I think when it comes to pre-competition nutrition, we can probably break it down into two, if not three distinct timeframes where we are thinking about your nutrition. The first and most obvious one that most people sort of get drawn to is, “What should I eat on the day that I compete?” So, they’re like, “Right, I’m going to do the workout at 3:00 p.m. Tell me what I should eat leading up to 3:00 p.m, to get the most out of myself.”

Ed Morrison: Then, there’s, “What should I eat during the week leading up to competition?” Now, this one here is one that I find is, if done well, is almost the most profound. I’m going to put to the athletes during the Grand Slam, in particular, that the way that you eat probably from Monday to Thursday, is going to have more effect on your performance for the workout depending on when you do it, than will what you have for breakfast that morning. Then, of course as a new nutrition, months, if not years before a competition, what are you doing to maximise your body composition so you can perform.

Ed Morrison: I know, right now, that I’m potentially speaking to a lot of different people that are doing a lot of different things when it comes to their nutrition. So, rather than telling certain people to eat this much carbohydrate or this much protein or this much fat on the day of competition, my number rule for anybody who’s going to compete is that whatever you are going to do with your nutrition, it needs to be practised. You cannot try to adopt something new on game day and hope for it to work out.

Ed Morrison: Now, it doesn’t matter what that thing is that you want to do, you need to have almost conducted your own science experiment on yourself to see what works best for you. You can be the judge of that both in terms of, “Hey, this is the performance that I was capable of”, and “This is how I felt.” That leads me to, I guess… and, this is not necessarily just about nutrition, this piece of advice, but this is a piece of advice that I have given people when they’ve done online competitions, like the Grand slam or like the Opens. I would schedule you out exactly when you think you’re going to do each workout. And, if you believe that you’re going to need to hit that workout multiple times, I would schedule that in as well. That way you at least know what your requirements are for that period of time.

Ed Morrison: So, rather than just going by the seat of your pants and just sort of like, “Oh yeah, that workout looks like a good one for me. I might try and do that today.” It’s like, no, no, no. Decide that you are definitely doing the workout when it’s released on… I believe they’re going to be released on Thursday evening.

Mat Lock: Thursday, yes.

Ed Morrison: Irrespective of what it is, I’m doing it Friday morning and irrespective of what it is, I’m going to redo it on Sunday morning. If that’s your tactic, then that’s your tactic. That will inform exactly what your nutrition needs to be, once you have that sort of game plan sorted. I know right now I haven’t spoken necessarily to exactly what people should eat, but I think, you can’t really decide what you’re going to eat until you decide exactly what activity you’re going to do. That’s the first thing that has to happen.

Mat Lock: It’s incredibly personal. I don’t think in this environment, you could be expected to start rolling out, “Well you must eat this food or when.” As you said already, you’re talking to the masses and everyone’s got their own story at the end of the day.

Ed Morrison: Yeah.

Mat Lock: But, I think, already you’ve provided some great insight around the level of planning. The focus that nutrition should have. When you talk about nutrition, do you include hydration, or is that a separate subject?

Ed Morrison: No. We definitely do include hydration, and I don’t want to always fall back to, “Hey, whatever you should do should be practised,” but hydration seems to be just as personalised as nutrition. Look, the literature on hydration is, it’s been swinging like a pendulum. Originally there was always this sort of, “Hey, have a litre of water for every 25 kilos of body weight, plus an extra litre for every hour that you work out.” So, if you’re close to 100 kilos like myself, you’d be having four litres every day. Plus if you work out, there’s another litre, five litres.

Ed Morrison: And then, after that was sort of the, I guess, the consensus amongst people. There was this swing back, because of the rise in hyponatremia which was basically people flooding themselves. There was a few cases, one in particular and I believe it was the Boston marathon, where somebody over hydrated and actually killed themselves, like they drowned their brain.

Ed Morrison: Look, what I tend to advise when it comes to hydration is that you need to drink to until thirst is quenched. But, most of the hydration that you can effectively do is going to be done the day before the event and the morning of the event. Once the event is hours, or even half an hour away, a lot of the hydration that you will do will just be anxiety and nerves. Just you trying to sip on a water bottle, because your mouth is getting dry. At that point in time, you’re unlikely to be hydrating yourself.

Ed Morrison: When it comes to hydration, I just make a real point, during the week leading up to the event or during the Grand Slam, just being very mindful that you shouldn’t be feeling thirsty at any time.

Mat Lock: Yeah, sure. That’s great advice, thank you. So, then if we shift to an event like The Bay Games, which if you’re competing, let’s say as an individual on the Saturday, we’ll have six workouts this year-

Ed Morrison: Yeah. Wow.

Mat Lock: … which is awesome. One of which is a floater, so it doesn’t mean that we’re having an extra one there. It doesn’t mean that it’s simply making the day longer. All workouts are the same duration, for example.

Ed Morrison: Sure.

Mat Lock: There’s going to be a couple that are pretty fast and furious, to keep the day manageable and make it fun. Keep athletes moving around and rather than having long down periods, it will reduce the amount of down time. Still at a manageable and sensible level. 

Mat Lock: But, let’s say, I was competing as an individual athlete at an event where there are multiple events like the Bay Games, I’m guessing that the advice for the day, is the week leading up to that event are, again, crucial in terms of what you eat and drink?

Ed Morrison: Yeah. I mean, the specific foods that you eat on the day of a long competition day probably become more important than something like a one workout day like the Grand Slam. When we’ve got something like the Bay Games where there’s six workouts in a day… Did you say six or seven?

Mat Lock: For RX, six.

Ed Morrison: Wow. I’m going to work and I’ve got some tips that I’ll have for athletes in a moment on what they could do on the actual day. In the week leading up, I would just very much recommend that athletes not be in a caloric deficit. All that I mean by that, it doesn’t matter what your views on nutrition are in terms of if you’re vegan, Paleo, carnivore, whatever it is. I just wouldn’t be in a state where you’re losing mass going into an event like that because the reality is calorie deficit is how we lose weight but if you’re looking to perform later that week, I don’t want you in that state of where your body’s trying to beat itself like that. We want to be using the food that you eat.

Mat Lock: Yeah, sure. Certainly the rule of thumb I was given in sort of ultra endurance stuff I did was, once we get to take a week and it typically wants to take a week, keep eating the same way and I know that I did. I was very compliant with my coach and so on. I got some results I was happy with. I know that by towards the end of taper week I was starting to feel a bit pudgy, which I didn’t like obviously from the greatly reduced training. I was kind of getting ready to climb up the walls and so on. In particular, I remember feeling always just feeling bit heavy, a bit pudgy and not really liking that. I stuck with it because I’d had some results. I appreciated it on the back of that. I never liked it and the risk was I would have a lot. I’m not working out as much, I’ll reduce my intake.

Ed Morrison: Okay. Yeah. You’ve touched on something there. There’s two main points I can make around that. When you taper in, your caloric expenditure is significantly less specially endurance athletes because they tend to go from… When I taper them, they tend to taper so aggressively. The reality is you probably don’t need as much food to make sure that you’re not in a caloric deficit. Depending on the athlete, I do ask them to use a little bit of intuition. I have said to my athletes is just like, “Hey, this is the amount of food I prescribe to you.” If you know that you’re having a particularly low energy expenditure diet, whether that just be like you haven’t got your steps up or you haven’t been out to go to the gym, then don’t just eat for the sake of eating. You can reduce the amount of food that you’re eating if that makes you feel better. Like I said, you use your intuition on that.

Mat Lock: Yeah, sure. Certainly in the endurance world as I think it is here, I’m a great believer in feel.

Ed Morrison: Sure.

Mat Lock: It’s only more recently, I’ve put a Garmin back on my wrist. Yeah. I used to race, certainly by feel. I trained with numbers and then raced by… feel. Towards the end I trained by feel and raced by feel.

Ed Morrison: Yeah.

Mat Lock: For me, I found it more enjoyable for it to command over the head-

Ed Morrison: Yes.

Mat Lock: … but as well it reduce the possible failure points on race day or race weekend or three days, whatever it is.

Ed Morrison: I think you’ve touched on such a valid point that. There’s a process to get to being able to train and eat by feel. You don’t just all of a sudden, “Oh, I’m just going to train and eat by feel.” You have to go through the numbers, you have to go through the process and typically there’s some failures there as well, before you can be as intuitive as that.

Ed Morrison: I must say without getting on too much of a tangent, I think one of the big mistakes that is made by the everyday athlete, including myself, I did this a lot early on, is that we look to the elite athletes and it looks particularly with their nutrition on competition day like they are just going by the seat of their pants. I’ll never forget that Rich Froning would just drink milk or eat pizza in the morning of the CrossFit games and it’s like, “Okay, cool. I guess we can all do that.” Just remember he’s very, very practised. I’m not saying he’s practises at eating pizza in the morning, but everything that he’s doing is in the context of years and years and years of knowing what his body’s capable of. So, don’t just jump to that end point. You’ve got to earn the right to get there.

Mat Lock: You read my mind. I was thinking of exactly that clip from YouTube where all of them in the room were just stuffing pizza down their faces for breakfast and chugging whatever. But, you’re right. They’re at the pointy-end elite athletes. They spent years knowing how they feel, what they need-

Ed Morrison: Yes, that’s right.

Mat Lock: … and whether pizza for breakfast is the right solution? Anyway, different subject, but nonetheless.

Ed Morrison: Yeah. Exactly, yeah.

Mat Lock: They did it all knowingly. I for one, was astounded to see that. I didn’t expect that.

Ed Morrison: I definitely don’t… How do I put this, respectfully? I can’t help but feel a little bit of it was hammed up for the cameras. But, the reality is he definitely was eating pizza for breakfast. He got it right for him, so I’m not going to question it.

Mat Lock: That’s exactly right and he won, so…

Ed Morrison: Yeah, can’t argue.

Mat Lock: For the everyday athletes at an event like the Bay Games, during the day, you’ve given us some really good feel for the lead up to that event, but sort of on that event, breakfast through to in between each of the events. Again, I’m not asking for specific what should people eat and drink, but any rules of thumb that you’d like to share.

Ed Morrison: Look, this is the way that I ask my athletes during competition days to try and go about it. We pre-prepare the food that I’d like them to eat. Anything from the time that they wake up to the time that the competition finishes, we actually punch that into some sort of tracking mechanism. They have MyFitnessPal or whatever and they have a list of foods to eat so that they don’t have to worry. Am I getting enough energy? It’s like, “Hey, we have put this in,” and then I know that you are getting enough energy. Within that, I always allow a little bit of wiggle room, “This is the foods that you have to eat. I need you to eat this food, figure out a way to do it.” Often, we’ll practise exactly when that should take place, but everybody knows that on competition days, particularly when you hit that new level of intensity, strange things can happen to your hunger.

Ed Morrison: If it’s hunger disappearing, then that is just something that I really ask athletes to try to push through. Unfortunately, it’s part of competing that some things you have to do when not comfortable. If they don’t want to eat, I try to get them to choose from the list of foods that are provided. It’s like eating a thing that you think is most palatable now. If they feel like eating more, great, I’m all for it on competition day.

Ed Morrison: I don’t care if you have excess calories on competition day. The only thing that I do, and this again relates back to what we were just talking about. Just because you’re competing and you’re allowed to be an excess calories, I don’t want that to be an excuse for ice cream and pizza and lollies and all that type of stuff. If you’ve practised with that stuff and it’s done well for you, absolutely use it, but the reality is your body is probably craving things like vitamins and minerals, it’s still vegetables, it’s still rice. It’s still meat. If you are a meat eater, that’s going to provide you those things.

Mat Lock: Yeah. Again, I think that’s great advice. I probably need some help because at The Bay Games, we do have a selection of food vendors, which is pretty awesome, but there’s some of them for sure have what you’ve just talked about on offer, and naturally, when we are inviting vendors to be a part of the event, we’re coming from a health and fitness perspective.

Ed Morrison: Sure.

Mat Lock: We’re not looking for burgers and chips and so on, or pizza. I mean, I’m not decrying those things, but we’re local level vendors and yeah, we’re certainly having some consideration to the fact that it’s going to be for athletes and spectators, but athletes are going to want a selection of food that gives them good healthy options as well as perhaps a few discretions for those that want it.

Ed Morrison: I actually think that the fitness community’s got so much better at that sort of the fitness competitions. There was a day when you’d wake up then when you walk up and it was just burgers and chips. Now, it’s like if you were very unorganised as an athlete and you didn’t prepare any food, you’d probably be okay if you went to an event like the Bay Games because there are vendors there that are providing nutritious food for competitive athletes.

Mat Lock: Yeah, absolutely. To prove that this is not in any way scripted, I have one final question for you.

Ed Morrison: This one’s a bit easier. Yeah.

Mat Lock: No, I guess, coffee features heavily, it seems, in the functional fitness world and we take care of that at the Bay Games. We have Convict Coffee Company with their cold brew. We have local vendors with hot coffee, let’s say that. To coffee or not to coffee and here, we’re not saying is coffee evil or not. For athletes during or before competition, what are your thoughts on… In the end, caffeine is what we’re talking about.

Ed Morrison: Yeah, and it’s a great question and it’s one that I think… Let me get the things that I’ve reiterated a few times out of the way so I can give you a more specific answer. First of all, whatever you do, make sure that it’s practised.

Mat Lock: Yes, sir.

Ed Morrison: No, no, eight shots of espresso on comp day if you’ve never had a coffee in your life, that won’t end well. Second of all, it’s very individualised. If somebody says that, “No, you shouldn’t drink coffee on comp day,” that doesn’t mean it’s not for you and vice versa. I think it’s worth understanding exactly what the effect of coffee is. It does two main things for the purpose of giving you energy. It stimulates you neurologically and it oxidises fat. The oxidisation of fat piece from coffee is potentially unlikely to be super beneficial for you in a scenario where you’re doing shorter events like what you probably get asked to do at the Bay Games. However, that’s not to say that if you don’t do an endurance event of The Bay Games, that having more oxidisation of fat won’t be helpful. In that sense, coffee can be particularly helpful.

Ed Morrison: The neurological stimulation side, for most people, is purely psychological and mental. That shouldn’t be discounted. There’s a lot of getting through a good competition day is being able to mentally deal with the discomfort. If you’ve got something that you know makes you feel a little bit more up and about and makes you attack a workout, then I think that’s something very valid. The two, not negatives, but the two things that I am very mindful of with people with consuming large amounts of caffeine is that one, what goes up must come down. Stimulants, once that cortisol raises and then it drops back down, there’s a natural low, and then people tend to have more caffeine and then they feel over caffeinated. They’re almost sort of jittery and anxious and that’s problematic.

Ed Morrison: The second thing, and look this is a little bit of a stretch, but it’s still something that should be acknowledged is that when caffeine raises cortisol, cortisol raises insulin and insulin is not something that I want you to be producing or have in your blood stream during a competitive event. That’s a storage hormone that’s going to tell your body to store the food that you’re eating and we want the food that you are eating to be accessible.

Ed Morrison: I haven’t really given you an answer in terms of should you or shouldn’t you, but these are all the things that you would want to consider. Personally, and I’m happy to share, I have one coffee in the morning of a competition day and then I try to place a second one after the event that I know will be most gruelling. Not directly after it, but after the event that I know is going to take something really out of me just so I get a little bit of a buzz while walking around even though its the warm up area. That’s purely a psychological thing for me.

Mat Lock: Yeah, sure. I appreciate your answer and I think you answered it perfectly actually. It wasn’t a coffee yes or no question, and you explained it beautifully. I have to say from my own experience, I actually stopped drinking coffee about two and a half years ago purely to try and sleep better, actually, and it worked for the first week. I’m not sure it’s helped since, but I kind of got out of the habit, but certainly, back in sort of a couple of years ago, I had the most amazing example or demonstration of what caffeine and sugar in this case can do.

Mat Lock: I was competing in a 100K run race. It was an evening event in Singapore. It was hot, it was humid. End of the day, already tired and so on. When I thought it was spicy, I realised at the halfway point when I was in fourth position, I had no business being in fourth position and I turned into a bumbling mess and I remember Ned or Neridah, my wife, riding along.

Mat Lock: She found me on the bike and I was literally, I was looking at my feet. I could barely walk, almost incoherent. I suddenly had, I think it was Ned arriving, I had this moment where I realised what I needed to get me through and that was what I referred to as black magic.

Ed Morrison: Sure.

Mat Lock: It’s Coca-Cola. It was just incredible. Ned shot off, came back, bottle of Coke, a little bottle of Coke and I just sculled it, hot, thirsty anyway. Honestly, I went from being a bumbling mess, within a minute, a minute and a half, I was on my toes and I was off again, like lightening, again, way too fast.

Ed Morrison: Wow.

Mat Lock: But, the up comes down. Absolutely, that didn’t last very long. I can’t remember now the number, but she ended up basically ferrying backwards and forwards to the shops, because she couldn’t carry too many on the bike.

Ed Morrison: Yeah, right.

Mat Lock: Giving me more and more. I drank the most ridiculous amount of Coca-Cola and it was the best example to me of why I don’t drink Coca-Cola as a matter, of course and would only defer to it in situations like that where I needed something just to bring me back to life and get me through to the end.

Ed Morrison: There’s a whole host of research about the physiological experience that you would have been having, which is basically… and this happens all the time to endurance races, as you would well know. They hit the wall as it’s called, which is basically you’ve run out of glycogen stores so there’s no longer glycogen to be converted into blood sugar. You’ve got two options, your body can either go to fat and try to oxidise that fat and convert it to sugar or you can drink something that’s really, really easily digestible. That’s why you see endurance runners just shoving packets of Glu down their mouth because it’s got that sugar in it. I guess, in a perfect world, what we’ve done is train the body in such a way that when it does run out of glycogen stores, it’s got the metabolic machinery, if you will, to take from adipose tissue and convert that to sugar.

Ed Morrison: Now here’s the reality, if that machinery isn’t there, it’s not going to develop in the middle of a 50K race. You did what you had to do at the time. There was no other option. You weren’t going to all of a sudden be able to convert that, but I suppose moving forward, we’re hearing this term more and more. It’s called fat-adapted and that’s the ability of the body to switch from using glycogen or sugar as the main source of the body’s means by producing ATP and switching over to using fat. That’s where we’re starting to see more and more endurance athletes put some time and effort into that.

Mat Lock: Yeah, 100% I can relate to that, exactly and certainly. Later on in my career, let’s say, in the endurance world. Yeah, different stories and black magic now really is, I always encourage any athlete I’m working with, but have a plan B. Always have a plan B, and for me, black magic is plan D or E, I think.

Ed Morrison: Whenever I hear stories like that, and I’ve heard Coca-Cola gets used often for that type of thing. You think to yourself, wow. That’s what it was capable of for you when you were in that state.

Mat Lock: Yup.

Ed Morrison: Imagine what it does to the body when you decide to have a Coca-Cola while watching a football game and you’re perfectly well fuelled, but you have that on top. It’s quite scary when you think about it.

Mat Lock: Absolutely. My words, when I recovered off of that what was, this stuff is evil, evil. I mean it served a purpose, but for me, it’s such a demonstration of why Coca-Cola shouldn’t be featuring in anyone’s diet on a regular basis.

Ed Morrison: Yeah. I do my very best to not use the words good or bad, or you can and can’t have, but Coca-Cola, let’s say, I can think of very few scenarios and you’ve named one of them, where it would be okay.

Mat Lock: That’s exactly right. Now, very good. Ed, you’ve been very generous with your knowledge and expertise and your time, thank you very much. If anyone wants to find out more or to get in touch with you or indeed to get involved with The Method Now and sign you up as a coach, how do they do that?

Ed Morrison: themethodnow.com.au is The Method Now’s website and if you’d like to try the nutrition coaching that we offer, they can go there. If they’re particularly keen to have me as a coach, they can do that by requests. I have open bookings at the moment. But, if they just wanted to chew the fat or say good day or whatever, I believe Instagram, I’m not particularly adept at social media, but I have a Instagram, #edwardlmorrison is my hashtag, so contact me there, and just let me know what you thought. I’d be more than happy to get back to any messages there.

Mat Lock: Fantastic. In the meantime, I look forward to you and I standing in the first live announcement for the Grand Slam 2020, the location yet to be disclosed, but looking forward to working with you.

Mat Lock: Great to have you on board, be a part of the team and yeah, thanks again for your time today Ed.

Ed Morrison: Thanks so much for having me, Mat.

 

Mat Lock:

Felicity, welcome to the Everyday Athlete podcast. It is a pleasure to have you here.

Felicity Lemke:

Thank you for having me.

Mat Lock:

Not at all. Today we’re going to talk all about your journey as a professional athlete that led you to winning two gold medals at the Olympics, and you were a two times world record holder, I believe.

Felicity Lemke:

Yes. Actually three individual world records, but sorry to correct you in the first minute but yes, three individual world records in short course, so the 25-metre swimming pool.

Mat Lock:

Yes. What an amazing history. I think if we just kick-off, if you could just take a couple of minutes just to talk us through who you are, what you do, where you’re from, and then we’ll dive into, no pun intended, your swimming career.

Felicity Lemke:

Sure. I’m Felicity Lemke, married for now 10 years. But when I was swimming I was Felicity Galvez and the gym that I own now is Galvanised Fitness and a pun on my swimming maiden surname, so Galvez. And yes, I was a professional athlete as a swimmer for 10 years. I went to two Olympic games, 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing. Beijing was where I came away with two super gold medals and I’ve got them here.

Mat Lock:

Ah, let’s have a look at them. I know you were a little reluctant in fairness, but we want to see them because they’re awesome and you worked hard for them.

Felicity Lemke:

That’s them there. So both in relays and as a heat swimmer, so it was one of these, and if you don’t mind me going into it, so one of these kinds of special moments where Australia was the only country at that Olympics in the swimming space that decided to take eight swimmers for the four by two and the four by one medley relay. 

They swam a fresh four in the heats and a fresh four in the finals. Now the reason they did that was that for the first time ever, they swapped the heats and the finals times around. They had the heats in the night and the finals in the mornings. Total shift on what we were used to doing and what our bodies were used to doing and getting ready for. Everybody trains better at night time. If you’re going to go and do heavy lifts, you’re probably going to do them much better at night than you would in the morning.

Felicity Lemke:

And the same thing goes for racing as an athlete. Australian swimming thought, well, the best way to do this was to have fresh athletes for our heats so that we could qualify through as one of the favourites to go into the finals because it was tough. Everyone’s there with their best swimmers on the day. I was part of the heat swimmers for both the four by one medley relay and the four by two freestyle relay where we came away with a win and obviously, heat swimmers are valued just as much as the final swimmers and we got those gold medals as well. So it’s pretty cool.

Mat Lock:

Yes, that’s incredibly cool. I’m fortunate enough to have had the backstory before now when we’ve caught up and yes, I look forward to sharing that, but yes, absolutely. Congratulations to all of you. It’s an amazing achievement.

Felicity Lemke:

Yes, thank you.

Mat Lock:

I guess by diving straight to the Olympics and the gold medals, it overlooks a huge amount of work and training, and that must have been your life for many years to get to that point. It doesn’t happen by accident.

Felicity Lemke:

No, absolutely not. That was my job. I had a little gig on the side just working at the AIS where I was swimming, just to make a bit of money on the side as well, but it was two hours in the pool in the morning, two hours in the pool at night. Then in between that, we had an hour, an hour and a half of weights and then you’re trying to get your massage and physiotherapy done. Eating, because you can eat a huge amount of food as an athlete and then just trying to rest so that you can then prepare yourself for that afternoon session again. Pretty intense, yes.

Mat Lock:

Yes, absolutely. How many days a week would that be your regime?

Felicity Lemke:

So trained every day, Monday through to Friday and then we did big sessions on Saturday mornings, so we had Sundays off.

Mat Lock:

Literally off or active recovery?

Felicity Lemke:

No, everything you didn’t have to do anything. Yes.

Mat Lock:

That’s a heavy load. Just out of interest, not to dive into the details too much, but what caloric intake were you consuming and what would you have to eat?

Felicity Lemke:

I was one of those lucky people and I guess I still am now, where I can eat whatever I want and I don’t really have to watch my intake and calories. I didn’t ever watch calories and I still don’t watch calories, to the point where I was probably one of those athletes that had to make sure I was eating enough to keep the weight on. So I’d be doing threshold sets in the pool and then my coach would get me out. He’d tell me to smash down a power bar or something like that and a fruit tub and then keep swimming just because I would just lose weight.

Felicity Lemke:

Before Beijing Olympics, I was 58 kilos and my coach said if I dropped underneath that he wasn’t going to let me go. So I just had to work really hard on eating lots of food to try and maintain that 58 plus weight category otherwise… 

Not that it mattered when it’s swimming, but you can be too lean and with a sport where everything’s about being buoyant, you want a little bit of fat on your body to be able to help with that buoyancy. So yes, it was something I had to think about. Just eating, not worrying about what I was eating.

Mat Lock:

Absolutely. And you’re right, you are lucky in that regard. Obviously a massive training load, but as you say, it was your job. That’s what you did full-time and I’m guessing that you also had loads of endorsements and a great salary from all of the programs that the government would run and so on, or was it actually a little bit harder than that? Was it making ends meet where possible and kind of limping along?

Felicity Lemke:

Yes, look, swimming, unless you were the Ian Thorpes and the Grant Hacketts and the Leisel Joneses, sponsorship wasn’t a big thing for the other 40 swimmers on the team every year. I was lucky in the fact that I had a scholarship at the AIS, so they supported us, they gave us a certain amount of money every year to help with either rent, or you could live on-site and then everything was kind of looked after for you. But as for making really good money and retiring and living on heaps, not so much. 

For me anyway, but I’d always enter myself in some of the meets that you could go over and win great prize money just to be able to pocket some of that and put it away as savings.

Felicity Lemke:

So not a sport that I would tell people, “If you want to make a lot of money, go and do it.” Maybe do tennis or golf or something more amazing. But yes, swimming for me wasn’t about making money and I never started it because of that. I did it because I loved it. Walking away with a little bit in my back pocket was enough because winning those medals and all the memories and the world records that I broke was enough.

Mat Lock:

Priceless, in fact. Yes, literally priceless. But I think most sports are that way. There are very few sports, it’s really only the very pointy end of the stick that is earning major money. I guess soccer, football probably. At the end of the day, most sports are that way inclined and you knew that going into it. So money was never your motivation, right?

Felicity Lemke:

No, not at all, yes.

Mat Lock:

For sure. Was it very much a solo endeavor or was there… I mean obviously you won the medal as part of a team, but you also had world records as a solo swimmer. So would you describe the whole journey as a solo endeavor or was it a team effort?

Felicity Lemke:

It’s one of those funny ones. As a swimmer, you train in a squad, you’d know that with your triathlon training. I’m sure a lot of the times with your swimming stuff, you’re training with a squad. So you never really feel like you’re on your own until you get to the point where you sit down with your coach and go, “All right, what are my goals for this year? What do I want to personally achieve?” And then as a squad, you train and do it all together. But obviously the pressure is on you as an individual.

Felicity Lemke:

If you want to make the Olympic team, you’ve got to qualify individually or do the best race you can individually that then hopefully qualifies you not just for an individual event like I did for 2004 Olympics, but then hopefully your spot for one of those relays because they’re a pretty special thing to be part of. It’s one of those things that yes, it’s an individual sport, but because you get to train as a squad and you’re doing that training together and then you go away as a team, it almost doesn’t feel like it’s an individual sport. But at the end of the day, you stand behind those blocks and no one else has got your back other than yourself. So you definitely do feel like it is an individual sport when you’re standing there.

Mat Lock:

Yes. That’s an incredible if not surreal moment I can imagine. Talk us through the qualification process because certainly when we chatted about it before, it sounds really quite unforgiving. You have to bring your best game to that particular moment on that day. But yes, talk us through how that works.

Felicity Lemke:

Yes, well every year we have Australian titles, so our trials for whatever meet it is for that year. So whether it’s an Olympic year, we have that. We usually used to have it in April, and then obviously August is when the Olympics normally lands. Then the same thing every other year, whether there was World Championships or Commonwealth Games or, there was always one Olympic trial. One trial for it. With my events, I used to swim the 50, 100 and 200 butterfly, sometimes throw in the hundred freestyle and 200 freestyle, each of those at the long course meets would be a heat swim in the morning, in the afternoon or night and do a semi-final. Then the top eight summers go through to the final the next night. But then that next day you may have another event. You may have another heat some of some other event, and then you may have a semi-final and the final of another event on the same night.

Felicity Lemke:

So you could be backing up two to three times, and then if you’re swimming in a relay because you’re part of a club, you could have up to three to four swims each night as well. If you that meet, and a lot of athletes would know the whole taper sickness. So you train really hard and you put everything on the line and then you start tapering and you build down the kilometres or whatever, your strength work or whatever you’re doing in your specific sport. Then you get to the point where you’ve got minimal training in that week before your race meet, and your body can just go into a bit of a hole. There’s a thing that’s called taper sickness, and that’s that really fine line of just making sure that you’re resting enough, you’re eating the right stuff, you’re having all your supplements so that you’re keeping your body healthy, but not getting sick. Because we literally had one shot at it and if you are sick, that’s just unlucky. You’ll have had the best prep and it doesn’t matter.

Mat Lock:

Brutal.

Felicity Lemke:

Yes.

Mat Lock:

But it is the same for everyone, so I guess it is what it is. But nonetheless.

Felicity Lemke:

And look at the Olympics and World Championships, it’s not like they go, “Oh look, we’ll throw another meet on because Felicity was sick.” You have one shot and that’s it. It’s probably the best way to do it. As hard as it is, it’s no better way to prepare for something than doing it how it’s going to be in real life.

Mat Lock:

Yes, no, absolutely. Talk us through the first time you went to the Olympics because it’s something that the majority of athletes in the world will never do. Whatever sport they’re in. Was it as awesome as we’d like to imagine? 

Felicity Lemke:

Yes, I think it’s amazing. I don’t think there are many opportunities where so many amazing athletes from all different sports and all different countries around the world can all come together into one place at the one time and all have their eyes set on the same prize. Those elusive gold, silver, and bronze medals. There’s only a handful of them to be handed out to so many athletes. To be able to sit down at these epically long dining tables in the food hall and sit with Roger Federer and Nadal and amazing people. And you’re just sitting there eating because that’s what you do. Then just walking around the village and you see these basketballers, they’re just these gigantic people. All different shapes and sizes and you’ve got little gymnasts that are amazing in what they do. And then you look next to them and they’ve got this Chinese basketballer and he’s like triple the size of these gymnasts. It’s just amazing to see, you’ve got your weightlifters and they’re so big. Just to be all in that one space at the one time was pretty amazing.

Mat Lock:

Yes, absolutely. Did you get star struck at all? Did you get to meet any of your heroes?

Felicity Lemke:

Oh look, I love tennis. I think I’ve said tennis about five times since we spoke. Yes, like when Nadal and Roger Federer were there and we’re literally sitting having dinner at the same table. It’s cool. You don’t really say anything or I didn’t, you’re just too scared. You just ask for the salt to be passed down…

Mat Lock:

Maybe they were having the same thought about you!

Felicity Lemke:

No doubt. There are times where you’re like, “Wow that’s so and so.” And you just all pretend to look away and not notice them, because you don’t really want to make that eye contact because it is scary.

Mat Lock:

Yes, sure. Yes, of course, then I guess it comes to the big day when you have to actually compete. Is that like a regular day in terms of the routine that you would go through in terms of eating, warm-up, and so on, or was it all a bit special?

Felicity Lemke:

It is a little bit different. When I was swimming, we did try to replicate events and races so that your body gets used to that whole routine of this is when we have to get up, this is what we need to do pre-warm-up. Then we go and eat and you have to eat a certain time before racing so that you don’t feel too sick. Then there’s the whole travel to the pool, do your warm-up at the pool, get your race suit on. Because that’s like a whole event in itself, which we’ve spoken about before.

Mat Lock:

We’ve got a video that we’re going to share later.

Felicity Lemke:

It was just part of making it as normal as possible so that when it becomes race day, you’ve got enough nerves, you’ve got enough uncertainty going on with racing people you’ve never raced, and possibly missing the bus because if they’re full and you have to wait for the next one and maybe being late to warm up. You almost have to go in with a really, whatever happens, happens attitude. If you go in with an attitude like that, you’re going to deal with it the best way you can because so much of it is unpredictable. A suit ripping. That was just part of what happened. So you take three into the change room, be ready for two to break, and hope that that third one doesn’t so that you’re ready to go out and race. It’s just another thing. It’s weird. Yes.

Mat Lock:

Yes. Actually speaking of the suits, we had some fun. You hosted us, we stayed at your home with your family a couple of months ago, and because Ned wanted to see them all, you were kind enough to get them out and were showing us how they worked. The technology that goes into those is incredible, isn’t it?

Felicity Lemke:

Yes, absolutely.

Mat Lock:

Yours were even a special order, where were they coming from?

Felicity Lemke:

Japan.

Mat Lock:

Japan.

Felicity Lemke:

I was 10 to 12 kilos lighter than I am now. The swimming suits that were made by Speedo in Australia just weren’t small enough to fit my frame. So they had to order special size ones from Japan to bring them out for me and a couple of other girls on the team, just because you need them to be as tight as anything to be able to hold everything in so that you didn’t have any drag so that when you dived in, there weren’t big bubbles.

Felicity Lemke:

This photo that I feel like you’re going to share with everyone, I’m kind of like holding my chest [inaudible 00:17:36] so that everybody knows. What you do is you grab water and you push it all onto your body and then you flatten out the suit so that when you dive in, there’s no gap between your body and the suit. It kind of sticks to it and then it doesn’t let the air bubbles go in the suit, which makes it [inaudible 00:17:56] drag and then super uncomfortable. The last thing you need to feel is a bubble floating around in your belly when you’re swimming.

Mat Lock:

Yes, no, sure enough. Well, I wasn’t going to use that photo, but now I’m going to, and I’m pretty sure when I sent it to you earlier and asked what you were doing, your comment was that that’s how professional athletes warm-up and that’s why I wouldn’t know that. I believe your second comment was I was warming my chest up for a gold medal, which was perfect.

Felicity Lemke:

Everyone’s like, “Oh, she’s cocky.”

Mat Lock:

Well, maybe it was your second. You’d already got the first one. Those suits are incredible. When we were at your house you did the whole pour water onto it, it was just crazy. It repelled the water even before it came into contact with it, it looked like. Incredible. Yes, amazing technology. So in the interest of time, and I’m conscious of your time, was it euphoric, that moment when you realised that you’d got your first gold, you were part of the team and you’d got the first gold. How was that moment?

Felicity Lemke:

Do you know, it’s funny, I just got invited to Queensland. Obviously, because of the girls… The Olympics was meant to happen to this year, so they invited the four by two freestyle relay girls to Queensland because they had a staging camp for the prospective four by two freestyle relay girls for this year, now it’s next year. As almost like a mentorship program for them to talk to us and delve into how we dealt with it and what we felt and how we prepared and what were the kind of things [inaudible 00:19:39] to make it difficult. We touched on this and it hasn’t been years since I’ve spoken about how it felt or really dove into it since I guess I retired.

Felicity Lemke:

I don’t feel like I was super happy for myself. It was more those four girls because that feeling of when you’re behind the blocks and you’re doing it not just for yourself but for the four other girls in the heats, and that was myself and the three other girls. You just want to produce the best swim you possibly can because it isn’t just about you. It’s about those three other girls. And then for us, it was the three other girls in our heat and then the four other girls that were hopefully going to qualify for that final. For me we did our job, we qualified those girls for the final, and then when they touched the wall and that four by two we won, and we weren’t meant to. We were the underdogs. We were in lane seven, they thought America was going to take it and they should have, but we just put four exceptional swims together on the day and did it.

Felicity Lemke:

For me it was knowing what those girls have felt for the past eight minutes or just under, knowing that they touched the wall and they won, and they broke a world record at the same time. Just that elation of knowing that they’ve done it and yes, we helped them get there, but it was just that sense of relief that that’s what they did and knowing that feeling that they would be feeling, I actually felt that, but it wasn’t like, “Yes, I got the medal.” It was more that we did it. We did it as a team and we’ve represented our country in the best way possible.

Mat Lock:

Absolutely. She said taking out a world record at the same time.

Felicity Lemke:

Yes.

Mat Lock:

That’s spectacular, and what an absolutely amazing journey. I guess just to touch on very briefly, I guess the Olympics as we now know, have been shifted to next year, to 2021 on the back of COVID-19. Can you imagine the impact of that, how it must feel for all of the athletes affected by that necessary decision?

Felicity Lemke:

Look, I have talked about this a little bit because I’ve had a few people ask me that same question, and I think it’s affected, everyone. We’re all in the same boat. It’s not like it’s unfair for some countries and fair for others. I think there’s a certain period of time, and this happened for me as I’m sure it’s happened for everybody else in the last few weeks. We’ve gone through a huge change in our lives. I had a day where I had a massive meltdown and I cried and I lost it, and then I gathered everything together, pulled all my shit together because I think.

Mat Lock:

Yes, absolutely.

Felicity Lemke:

Then just thought, “Well, you know what, there’s no point whinging and moaning about it. Just get on with it and make the best you can of it.” You know what, if you were going into trials, which they were going to go into in the next few months and you hadn’t had the best prep, well then you’ve just won yourself another year of prep. Great. If you were going in with the best prep, you just go, “Well, I’m in the best shape I’m in now. Just maintain it.” And that’s not hard to do. It’s just about resetting those goals and I’ve had to readjust my whole business model with my gym, and thanks to you helping me with Zoom, I’m now discovering that I’m now pushing myself out of my comfort zone and my clients are loving it and I’m like secretly loving it too. It’s kind of special. I still get to sit down and have dinner with my family because I’m Zooming from my garage and I finish that and I come up and I have dinner.

Felicity Lemke:

There are little highlights and little golden nuggets that come out of this. And I think it’s the attitude that you take and the positive way you look at stuff, is what is going to make or break you at the end of the day. So everyone’s Olympics has been postponed. It’s not just Australia, it’s not just that individual athlete. Everyone is in the same boat. So you’ve just got to go, “Righto, we’re all in this together. See what you can do. Ships in the night.” Whilst other people might be whinging and moaning about it, be one of the ships in the night that just keep moving, and then you just take control. I just think it’s an opportunity more than anything.

Mat Lock:

Yes, absolutely. I was chatting with [inaudible 00:24:03] earlier, and we came to the conclusion, I referenced Mike Riley [inaudible 00:24:10] basically said that on race day in his case he always briefs athletes. He said, “There’s only one thing you can control and that’s your attitude. So be nice to everyone. Stay positive and know that you have got control of your attitude if nothing else.” I think that’s applicable here because there’s so much uncertainty around the whole COVID-19 topic. However, there are things absolutely in our control and the more we focus on those and take control of them, the better off we’ll be.

Felicity Lemke:

Absolutely, yes.

Mat Lock:

Very good. So Felicity, if anyone wanted to reach out and get in touch with you, what would be the best way that they could do that?

Felicity Lemke:

Well, if they wanted to get in touch with me, they can look up Instagram. So swim fit chick is me. And then there’s also Galvanised Fitness on Instagram as well. Otherwise, search websites, Galvanised Fitness is my gym website as well.

Mat Lock:

Absolutely. And do you have a Wikipedia page as well? You’re welcome.

Mat Lock:

I’ll put all of those links and so on down in the show notes as well. But Felicity, thank you ever so much for your time. Always a pleasure, you know that. And look forward to speaking to you in the next episode.

Felicity Lemke:

Awesome. Thank you.

Mat Lock: Alethea Boon, it is a pleasure to have you on the Everyday Athletes Podcast. How are you doing?

Alethea Boon:

I’m doing well, thank you. Thanks for having me, Mat.

Mat Lock:

No, not at all. Always a pleasure to chat, and as we just, I guess, said a minute ago, I’ve already burned 15 minutes of time chatting with you before we have started recording, and it’s always a pleasure. But we find ourselves in this strange time, do we not, with C-19 upon us.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, it is a really, really strange time to be living in. A lot of people have had to adapt and change the way they do things. Yeah, definitely an interesting time.

Mat Lock:

I guess in Australia here we’re, I think, three to four weeks into the current, let’s say, lockdown. It’s not a lockdown, it’s sort of isolation, self-isolation, and social distancing, or physical distancing as Brenda would like us to say from [inaudible 00:01:37] in Perth. Which I think is right, actually. It’s physical distancing. But I guess we’re all settling into a new norm and what I thought we’d do today is just take the opportunity of, I guess, digging a little bit to how you’re handling the whole C-19 situation, how you’re staying motivated.

Mat Lock:

I know that in a future episode we’re going to talk about the reality of you also being an everyday athlete and having a full-time job. You have family commitments, you have home commitments, you have everything that we all have, actually, but I’d be really interested, someone that’s performing at your level and obviously has maintained that supreme level of fitness over many years now, how are you doing? Where are you at?

Alethea Boon:

Well, I’m sure like everyone, when the gym’s closed down, I feel like my norm was just thrown out the window. Routine and schedule kind of changed a lot. I actually came back from Bali from a wedding and had to go into 14-day isolation where we couldn’t leave our apartment, and in that time I guess I was able to adjust and actually just find ways, creative ways around the house to just move.

Alethea Boon:

For the head, it’s not normal for me not to work out, so I had to make it a point to actually just get up and do something and at the same time every day. But other than that it’s all about getting creative and just trying to find ways to stay moving and stay active. It’s good for the head, the body and just keeps you normal, keeps you feeling normal through these times.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. So you created a routine for yourself? You had a routine that became your new routine for those 14 days?

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, absolutely. I’m still working. I’m still working full-time. It’s probably longer hours now. I’ve had some few midnight finishes, but creating that routine, it’s still business as usual if you keep it as normal as possible in your head, writing down a schedule of get up, move for about half an hour, then have breakfast, sit down and do my work and schedule in a lunchtime break and a lunchtime walk if you can, and then just stick to that schedule. So even in the evening, it’s the same workout hours and then come back and the same routine. A bit mundane, but it puts structure to this chaotic time.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. Like all of us, I’ve got many friends who are now working from home and one in particular, it was the classic. He stood up at the end of our call and he was wearing his pyjama bottoms.

Alethea Boon:

Yes.

Mat Lock:

And I said to him-

Alethea Boon:

I’m not going to lie. The attire has definitely changed.

Mat Lock:

Fair enough. I’m not going to ask you to stand up now, just in case. But I won’t name and shame Alex Penny, but I said to him, “Mate, you’ve got to get into a routine.” I mean, you don’t have to dress like you necessarily would for work, but I personally think there’s a benefit to certainly having that level of discipline.

Mat Lock:

I’ve worked from home on and off for years, and I needed that. I needed that sense of get up, move, train, whatever you’ve got to do, but then somehow get dressed.

Alethea Boon:

Yes.

Mat Lock:

And then be in my workspace, albeit at home, and as you say, make sure, if anything, set alarms that you’re going to have smoko, have a lunch break, whatever it’s going to be.

Mat Lock:

But I personally felt that that was important to A, it helps my sanity a little bit, but also it stopped me just working through from getting lost in what I was doing and suddenly I haven’t moved, I’ve just been sitting sedentary for hours, probably not hydrated properly and stuff like that. Which is yeah, really… Look, I do have a green tea with me right now.

Alethea Boon:

Yep, I have a Hydralyte with me, so we’re still good. We’re staying hydrated.

Mat Lock:

Very good. So you came back from Bali, had literally 14 days of confinement.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, 14 days of confinement, really close quarters with myself and Lima which was really interesting.

Mat Lock:

In an awesome way, I’m quite sure.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, we’re definitely getting to know each other a lot better. We’re reconnected, I’m sure. We’ve also discovered TikTok, which is really time-consuming.

Mat Lock:

Well, I’ve been watching that. I’ve been liking your TikToks, no question. Time well spent. Time well spent. But during those two weeks, were you doing anything online with any of the gyms that you’re associated with? Have they moved to the online training? Have you got involved in that?

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, so the gym I go to is CrossFit Active and they transferred everything to online. They hold Zoom classes in the morning, in the evenings, and then they also offer like mind-set and mobility segments that you can do at home.

Alethea Boon:

So I jumped in on the classes and that was the best thing to do to stay accountable, not just to yourself, but to a community in general, because if you didn’t show up, you had your friends messaging you saying, “Hey, come on. Stay consistent. Where are you?” And I think that definitely helps just keep you involved and connected with everyone in your community.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, fantastic, isn’t it? If anything, obviously it’s a dreadful situation for many people around the world and it’s uncomfortable for most of us, I think, to be in this situation, although most of us don’t have too much to complain about in reality. But I can’t help but feel that this has caused a good shift in the direction of even more camaraderie, even greater connection because we have to be more deliberate about it. We have to go out of our way to think about it.

Mat Lock:

Certainly, we’ve been sort of hosting and talking about recently about how the grand slam, it’s morphing into all about maintaining that community, giving the community something to focus on, and at the end of the day leave no one behind, actually. It’s a line, it’s a tagline almost that’s naturally evolved because that’s the spirit of it now. It’s shifted in the direction of just make sure we keep everyone with us as we go through this journey of, I guess, self-isolation yet staying fit, and also taking care of mental health.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, I think that it’s definitely forced me to reach out and stay connected with those friends and family around the world. I definitely have more time because there’s less distraction of having to be somewhere. Now that you’re at home, you’ve actually got the time to make those connections with people and I’ve found it be really valuable for myself and for my friends.

Mat Lock:

Interesting, isn’t it, how much more room there is. You’re right. I think there’s a lot of the white noise seems to have gone.

Alethea Boon:

So much of the white noise has gone, and I think we always come up with excuses to not do something or to not reach out to someone. Now it’s taken all that away and it’s actually created more valuable friendships now, I feel.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, I can only agree, and I reckon that whenever we come out the back end of this thing, we will, whenever that is, being conscious of not allowing, or at least minimising the amount of that white noise that returns to our daily grind if you like because there’s definitely a value in not having it there.

Alethea Boon:

Absolutely, I have to agree with that, for sure.

Mat Lock:

I guess we say that with all good intentions now, but of course when normality returns, whatever that looks like, it’s hard to hang onto it, isn’t it? But I think trying to be conscious of that.

Mat Lock:

Anyway, but now you’re beyond your 14 days. What do your days look like now? You said you’re working still full-time, in fact, if not more hours, which I’m sorry to hear, because I know you already worked a lot of hours.

Alethea Boon:

I’m very grateful to still have a job, and I know that the better that I do my job, other people will get to keep theirs, so it’s also bonded us as a team in my workplace. We’re actually working super hard just to make sure that everyone else gets to keep theirs.

Mat Lock:

No, absolutely. Well, that’s an incredibly positive and awesome way to look at it, which is right as well, I think. You don’t have to name the company, but you can if you want to. What do you do for a living?

Alethea Boon:

I’m a property manager, so we mainly deal with leasing for all of our bulky good furniture retail.

Mat Lock:

Yep.

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, so I work for Greenlit Brands, Freedom Furniture, Fantastic Furniture, Snooze, and Plush, OMF, a lot of other brands.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, okay. So hence the reason you’re busier than ever. Interesting times.

Alethea Boon:

Absolutely, dealing with rentals and leases.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. So when you’re not doing that, how are you managing your training and, I guess, maintaining your level of fitness?

Alethea Boon:

I’m still following a structured programme, so I’m still with Starr Strength and he gives me the group programme on a weekly basis and I try to follow it as much as I can. That way, if I have the programme set out, it takes away any excuse to not do something. So by having a structured programme, I’m accountable to that. Plus, I also have my own personal goals that I’m still trying to work towards, and I’ve got to remember the bigger picture. So I always focus on the bigger picture and not just the here and now.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. Is that something that you focus on a sort of daily basis? Is that something you work on or remind yourself of, you know, vision boards or just having it written down and refer to them? Do you meditate? Any of those aspects feature in your life regularly?

Alethea Boon:

Yeah, so I’ve actually started going back to the whole journaling process, just five minutes every morning just to set my intentions for the day. Also try to express daily gratitude each day, and the intentions are normally set out for work goals and also a workout goal and just like a connection goal with someone or a family member. And I try to, when I am training, I still think of that bigger goal.

Alethea Boon:

Yes I love to compete, and I think I put out a post the other day about staying accountable to your future self. If I take a day off, if I am lazy or if I am bingeing on food, am I going to regret that later? And more often than not it’s yes, so that motivates me to get up and keep moving.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, no, that’s amazing and obviously clearly a big part of how you’re staying motivated during the current pandemic, which is what it is. So how’s Easter weekend gone, then, if you’re being that intentional and deliberate with your training and your nutrition? Are you a chocolate fiend or…?

Alethea Boon:

I haven’t had any Easter eggs. None whatsoever. I have had a couple of hot cross buns though. I may have discovered wine drinking again, so I’ve had a couple of those, but I think you’ve also got to have a bit of a balance. You’ve got to be relaxed as well as keep to your goal.

Alethea Boon:

I’ve had a few Zoom catch-ups with some friends over a couple of wines, but again, my non-negotiable is to get up and move, so the next morning, straightaway, get up, go to a park and do some step-up lunges and go for a run. Doesn’t have to be anything crazy, it’s just stay consistent.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. No, that’s great, and the balance, that resonates with me and I think it will with our audience. But also, I remember Craig Alexander, or Crowie, who was a very successful world champion ironman, Australian, lives in Cronulla or did, I remember hearing his answer once. I said, “Do you ever drink beers? Is that part of your routine?” And he said, “Yeah, I have a beer.” He said, “I never have enough where it will affect my training the next day. That’s always my focus.” He said, “So I have a beer, but never enough that it will impair my performance for training the next day.” And it always struck me as a very sound answer.

Alethea Boon:

That’s a great answer.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely.

Alethea Boon:

That’s absolutely a great answer. You still want to be as normal as possible as like an everyday person. You still want to enjoy life. Life is there to be enjoyed. But you also want to keep going with what you have in mind and your goals.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. Absolutely. So if we were to give any takeaways, I think, from today’s chat, actually, I think what you’ve just talked us through, but certainly, the journaling seems to be an important part and being, was it staying true to your future self?

Alethea Boon:

Yes. Stay true to your future self, stay accountable to your future self. That is probably my biggest takeaway if I’m to impart any sort of wisdom or knowledge on everyone.

Mat Lock:

And in particular, I think the journaling right now, because for sure, each day’s a bit groundhog day-ish for many, and therefore I could imagine the journaling being quite useful, beneficial for many just to kind of reset each day and be clear about what today’s objectives are.

Alethea Boon:

Absolutely. Journaling and setting your intentions for the day and realising that there’s still so much good even amongst all this chaos, and be sure to recognise it. They say that if you take away small wins or small things of gratitude, it builds, it builds momentum, and I think that keeping that momentum going or the positive mindset, cultivating a positive mindset, you’ll come out of the other end better.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. And look, without doubt, Tony Robbins has made popular, amongst others, one of the human needs we have, the number one is certainty, and at the end of the day, what none of us have right now is certainty. We have lots of uncertainty. We don’t know how long this is going to last for. Certainly here in Australia, will we get locked down further or are we going to try this herd immunity approach? There’s just uncertainty riddled throughout our lives.

Mat Lock:

But I think, and certainly the way I look at it is, I guess I worry about the things I can control, the things that I have direct control over, and number one, coming again from my sort of endurance competition days, one of the announcers, Mike Riley, used to say, there’s one thing you can control and that’s your attitude. Out there-

Alethea Boon:

Absolutely.

Mat Lock:

… on the course, in that case, is your attitude and no one else has control of it, only you.

Mat Lock:

I think that’s incredibly pertinent in today’s times when we don’t have uncertainty, therefore we can take control because we do have control. Even if it’s over the most minuscule of things in our lives, we still have control over it and that, to me, is a very important mindset to try and retain.

Alethea Boon:

That is definitely a great way of putting it. Control the controllables and your attitude is definitely one of them.

Mat Lock:

Absolutely. Alethea, for those I’m sure who would want to reach out and connect with you and say hi or maybe have some questions, how would they do that?

Alethea Boon:

You can just reach out to me on Instagram, alethea_boon, and it’s the same again on Facebook. Send me a message, a DM or even just email me. I’m always open to conversations, and if you ever need anything, just email me: aletheaboon@gmail.com.

Mat Lock:

That’s awesome. Alethea, thank you so much for your time today. Much appreciated.

Alethea Boon:

Thank you. Thanks for having me. And stay safe everyone.

Mat Lock: Leanne, welcome to the Everyday Athlete podcast. It’s a pleasure to have you here and to see you again.

Leanne Watson:

Nice to see you too.

Mat Lock:

How have you been?

Leanne Watson:

Pretty good. Just enjoying life, missing Australia.

Mat Lock:

Well, you didn’t miss much of a summer here, I have to say, with all the bushfires. Right now, I’m not going to lie, you can see with the white shirt I’m wearing, the sun is shining and it’s pretty lovely. As I look across Jervis Bay, which is, of course, a place you know well.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah, I think we have snow on the ground outside, so I really missed that.

Mat Lock:

There’s the difference. We’re not building snowmen outside right now. Certainly. Yeah, certainly it looks like all of your training’s been going really well and you’re kicking some goals at your end.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah. I’ve had some ups and downs since I got back, but I am finally on the upper end of it. I hurt my back as soon as I got back, but then probably about three, four weeks ago, it started really healing up, and I’m back in full training now. So I’m pretty excited for it.

Mat Lock:

It took that long, hey? Because we are recording this at the beginning of March and you would’ve got back in middle of November, I guess.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah, it was one of those. It progressively got really bad and then I started actually kind of working with it, and now it’s really good.

Mat Lock:

I’m glad to hear you’re on the mend, that’s awesome, of course. Certainly some of the weights I’ve seen you pushing around on social recently, your back seems to be okay.

Leanne Watson:

I’m feeling strong.

Mat Lock:

You’re looking strong. Good for you. Of course, you were here in Jervis Bay as the winner. As the RX international female of the year, of the Grand Slam 2019.

Leanne Watson:

One of the best accomplishments in my life.

Mat Lock:

Well, I’m glad to hear that, awesome. 

It was a pleasure to have you here and it was a pleasure to see you compete in the Grand Slam as well. What would be really great for the viewers and the listeners, if you maybe talk us through right from the beginning, how you first heard about this event that was being run from Down Under and how you got involved with it.

Leanne Watson:

It was really weird and kind of random. My coach got an email from you guys and it said that if you win this Grand Slam competition, they pay your plane ticket to Australia to compete at the onsite competition there in Jervis Bay. And I was like, “Well, that literally is the only place in the world I have ever wanted to go. So I’m going to try this competition. I don’t care what else is going on at the same time, I’m going to try this Grand Slam thing and see, if anything, how close I can stack up.” Then Grand Slam started and I actually had another qualifier going on simultaneously with it.

Mat Lock:

Of course you did.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah, so one of my other coaches was like, “Well, you have to choose which one do you want to go all in on. You either need to go all in on Grand Slam and then let the other one kind of go to the wayside, or go all in on the other and Grand Slam, just be what it is.” So I was like, “Well, there’s a good chance I’m not going to qualify for the other one. I want to go to Australia, so I’m going all in on this one.” So I started doing those and I am the worst video person ever.

Leanne Watson:

There were so many of the Grand Slam workouts I had to end up redoing because I messed up the video, or I messed up the metres to feet conversion for one of the walking lunges. So anyway, I finished out that qualifier. Whenever I saw the assault bike WOD for the last one, the 100 calories, I felt pretty confident on finishing strong enough to hopefully make it to semi night. I’ve got to, so I was pretty stoked about that.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, you certainly did. I remember one of the lovely comments you made at the time, I think we were into week three. By the way, as a side comment, this year we’ll have metric and Imperial weight and distances for all the workouts.

Leanne Watson:

Awesome.

Mat Lock:

Otherwise, we can’t call ourselves an international event if we don’t take care of it.

Leanne Watson:

I have my little unit converter.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure. But nonetheless, we’ll try and do the heavy lifting in that regard on your behalf. I think you were sitting in first place when we got that most wonderful message from you, because you could see that, “Yeah, actually I really have a chance at winning this thing.” You were in the lead and looking strong. Do you remember that message that you sent through to us?

Leanne Watson:

Is it the one that I was asking, “Are you going to fly me home too?”

Mat Lock:

Yeah, exactly right.

Leanne Watson:

I was convinced that, “Oh well, there’s no way that me of all people could be sitting in first place to win a trip to Australia.” Things like that don’t happen in my life. So I was like, “There’s got to be a catch here somewhere.” And I think that was your response, “No, there are no catches. We will fly you here and fly you home.” So yeah, I’m still kind of mind blown that all of it happened.

Mat Lock:

Oh no, you’ve earned it. At the end of the day, you work hard and you have years of training behind you as well. It’s fantastic. I often tell that story about that message, because I guess from our perspective, because we know we’re completely legit, but it’s online, right? And you at that stage had no relationship really with the Bay Games. You didn’t know the Bay Games and the Grand Slam. And so, of course, we sat there, I received that message and thought, “That’s such a fair question.”

Mat Lock:

Because you don’t know us, it could just be a massive scam, couldn’t it? But it wasn’t, as you know. It was great, that reaction. That’s all right. That’s why I felt the need to go, “Yeah. We’ll get you home again as well. It’s not just a one-way ticket.” Yes, Australian immigration won’t let you in one way.

Leanne Watson:

Whenever I got there I had some user errors on my visa, but that was my own fault.

Mat Lock:

They don’t make life easier, I don’t think. So that was fantastic. Did you enjoy the workouts for the Grand Slam?

Leanne Watson:

Oh my goodness, yes, I did. Loved them, I loved every single one. Opening up with a max three-position clean and then finishing off with the assault bike. I don’t think I could have asked for any better online competition.

Mat Lock:

It was kind of written for you, wasn’t it? In hindsight, those workouts over to you. There were no shenanigans, we hadn’t met you before.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah. I definitely had a lot of fun with that one.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, fantastic. So yeah, I guess we broke the news. You won and we got you on the live broadcast to let you know the great news, and then you came to Australia. How was that?

Leanne Watson:

That was amazing. Even as soon as I got there, you guys met me at the airport, on our way back you guys were extremely hospitable. The entire time we were going to Jervis Bay, you guys made sure that I always had everything I needed. Honestly, I even called my mom. I remember calling her and talking to her while I was there and saying that I felt like a queen. I felt like I was being treated like a queen the entire time I was there. It literally is one of the best experiences I think I’ve ever had in my life.

Mat Lock:

Oh wow, that’s awesome to hear. I couldn’t be more pleased to hear that that was your experience, that was the intention, of course. It’s not just, “Yeah, there’s your plane ticket.” We were so happy to have you here. And obviously you just fell in love with the area, that was clear. And you and I went for a swim off the wharf.

Leanne Watson:

You taught me how to dive.

Mat Lock:

I taught you how to dive, that’s right. Clay and I were giving pointers. Although I have to say in fairness, Clay was more adept at keeping his goggles on when he was diving in.

Leanne Watson:

I just needed to learn how to get my head in first.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, that’s right. How do I dive in without getting my head wet? It’s a neat trick. Yeah, but you certainly got involved and you seem to enjoy the area. It’s hard not to, I guess, but what was your impression of the actual area on his day?

Leanne Watson:

Oh, it was so beautiful. And afterward I went and toured all throughout Australia, and Jervis Bay was literally my favorite place in the whole country. I mean, we went Great Barrier Reef, we went all these different places that you hear about all the time, but it’s like Jervis Bay is this little well kept secret that you don’t hear about it. You don’t know a lot about it, but it was the most beautiful place in the entire country that I went to.

Mat Lock:

Oh, yeah. Honestly, I can only agree with you. There are lots of beautiful places around Australia, but I love calling Jervis bay “home”. But you know what, we shouldn’t tell everyone. It is a well-kept secret. Although we had the big event over this weekend with the 4500 athletes, and I don’t know, 8000 spectators. So it’s not that well kept a secret. Yeah, triathlon.

Leanne Watson:

You guys let the secret out.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. Now, unfortunately, the triathletes have found out about it. It’s a pretty special area and I’m glad that you felt as welcome as you did, it’s important. I mean, you were traveling alone, it was your first time to Australia. We were obviously aware of that and we wanted to make sure that you felt very comfortable. You certainly brought your competing pants with you because you came, what? Where did you finish in the end?

Leanne Watson:

I ended up getting second.

Mat Lock:

Exactly right.

Leanne Watson:

Which I was super surprised about too. The entire thing was just a pleasant surprise to me. I had zero expectations and I left feeling like an extreme winner.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, this is exactly right. The swim wasn’t easy, let’s face it.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah, the swimming didn’t bode well for me.

Mat Lock:

Yeah. No, absolutely. I wonder if you had been able to do well in event one, how that would have placed you overall in the end. But I guess that’s the game, isn’t it?

Leanne Watson:

Yeah, I thought about that too. I’m like, “Man.” Because I know I got stuck in that current, I know I’m not a strong swimmer. Even the current being aside, I’m really just not a strong swimmer anyway. But at the end of the day, it showed me what I need to work on.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure.

Leanne Watson:

So I know it for this year.

Mat Lock:

Well, we were chatting before we started recording that we did a week ago in Canberra. When asked how we got on, I said, “Yeah, it certainly exposes your weaknesses.” Shines a bright light on them because there’s no hiding. But you’ve seen the workouts for the Bay Games 2020, and you may notice there’s actually not so much swimming this year. Less focus on swimming.

Leanne Watson:

I did notice that.

Mat Lock:

I’m sure you did. Lots of people did, although they didn’t notice as well. It’s a bit more of a run in there.

Leanne Watson:

I can handle running.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure.

Leanne Watson:

In West Virginia we’ve got access to places we can run.

Mat Lock:

Well you can’t drown running, can you?

Leanne Watson:

Exactly.

Mat Lock:

That’s a common tale given over the weekend. It’s like, “Yeah, I don’t really like running, but I’d rather run than swim.” So they’re very good. I’m glad that was your experience. I know that you’re planning to have a red hot crack at the Grand Slam in 2020.

Leanne Watson:

I’m shooting to.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, sure.

Leanne Watson:

I’m working on some partners. Actually, in the process of this I think I might have gotten a couple other people to sign up also. So I’m like, “That’s fine. You guys can sign up but you’re not allowed to beat us.”

Mat Lock:

It dawned on me the other day because obviously we want the viral effect. We want everyone to get involved and the more people the better. But as you say, you’re kind of looking around your gym, look at some of the weapons, you go, “Well, I don’t think I want them to compete because they’re pretty strong.” I think we’ve got a fundamental flaw in our marketing approach.

Leanne Watson:

Especially not knowing what the workouts are, because they could be pretty good if the workouts fall in their favor, but then they’re going to beat us. So yeah, it’s kind of fun though to look around and look at it like that.

Mat Lock:

Well here’s a little secret I’ll share with you. Obviously I know what the workouts are, they are fully finished and tested. I can tell you now, there’s no bike.

Leanne Watson:

There’s no bike?

Mat Lock:

The only thing I’ll give you, there’s no bike.

Leanne Watson:

Oh, no. That was my strength.

Mat Lock:

I don’t know if I’m helping or hindering at this point, but now we’ve decided. It’s hard, you know. With the different brands of bikes out there now, it’s really hard internationally.

Leanne Watson:

I can see that.

Mat Lock:

Well, this is the bike you must use and that’s really the only fair way of handling it. But it’s not fair if it’s not the bike you’ve got at your gym. In fact, in some areas, like here on the East coast of Australia, particularly New South Wales, there’s a local brand that is not the Assault bike. They’re really quite strong because they’re here. There are lots of those bikes out there, but they’re not the assault bike, which is the sort of more traditional go-to for the CrossFit community.

Leanne Watson:

That makes sense.

Mat Lock:

And of course, they’ve got the Rogue Echo bike coming out, and so on. They got very many different algorithms for the calories, and so on. So anyway, there’s no bike, but you’re the first to hear that outside of the inner circle. So there you go.

Leanne Watson:

I feel honored.

Mat Lock:

This will be going out in a few weeks, so you’ve got a head start. You know not to be training too much on the bike.

Leanne Watson:

Okay. So don’t ask anyone that’s great at the bike.

Mat Lock:

That’s right. No, exactly right. Of course, I shared with you the other day, and by the time this goes live it will be well publicized that we’ve kind of flipped and become a pairs event. Grand Slam, 2020 is going to be a pairs event and will be forevermore, I would say. I guess we decided to do that for a couple of reasons. One, because we’re aligning ourselves with mental health charities around the world, and certainly a portion of every single registration will go to a mental health charity in that country. So in your case, it will go to “The Walking Wounded” project in the US. If it was me here in Australia, it would go to, “R U OK” and so on. So a portion of your rego goes to your charity in your country, let’s say. We decided that, given that we’re focusing and wanting to support the whole mental health topic, then having an individual workout, a competition where you do it solo, that wasn’t the right message really.

Mat Lock:

We felt we’re doing it in pairs, at least at the end of the day it creates conversation, connection, comradery, community, at the end of the day. That’s what it’s all about. Here we’re doing it through competition. And when we were honest with ourselves, and we polled our entire audience, and I think you probably saw that last year, “How do you like working out?” Is it individually, pairs, teams of 14 to six? The clear winner was in pairs and that made us stop and think, “Well yeah, actually we like competing in pairs.” As very much everyday athletes. It makes you more accountable, but somehow there’s less pressure because you can kind of bounce off each other. But you’re accountable to each other, so you go harder. It’s a good excuse to train more regularly with who you’re going to compete with, and therefore it’s creating that connection and conversation.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah.

Mat Lock:

All important. I know that seems to resonate with you, when I told you about that.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah, I love the whole reasoning behind it. I love that you guys are doing that for the charitable cause, really, I do. I love the whole thing. I’ve never actually competed in a pairs event, so it’s different for me. It’s different, but it’s a good different. It’s forcing me to even branch out and to find people to work with. That whole communication thing and bonding thing, and all of that. I love it. I love the whole thing.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, awesome. What’s been interesting, yesterday I told you we did a video shoot for the Grand Slam and we had, I’m going to call them everyday athletes on camera, but they’re pretty handy everyday athletes. We were at CrossFit Play, which was founded originally by Khan Porter. By default, they’ve got a lot of pretty handy athletes there. They are everyday athletes, they’re not professionals. Nonetheless, they’re pretty handy. But what was interesting was you’d say, “Okay guys, we’re going to do lateral burpee box jump overs.” “Oh, okay.” “But they’re synchronized.” “Oh, yeah, yeah, no problem.” And then they go to try and do them and they’d have to stop and go, “Oh, hang on. So we’re going to go on three, two, one.” You could immediately see the need for communication.

Mat Lock:

We’re doing synchronized double-unders, which actually isn’t going to be a requirement, but we thought it would look fun on camera, and it does. But even then again, “Yeah, here we go. Oh, no.” Stop, have a conversation, think about it, have a laugh, laugh at each other. It was just great to see immediately as soon as you make it pairs, that it does. It gets the conversation going, it’s a bond, as you said. Strengthens and having a bit of a laugh at each other in a good way. It was good to see.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah.

Mat Lock:

But yeah, so looking forward to that. Of course, the burning question, and you don’t have to name them yet, but have you found the buddy that you think you’re going to train with?

Leanne Watson:

I’ve got a couple of friends that I’m trying to get to do it with me. I guess I would call them my coaches. They have definitely helped me mentally, physically, everything. One of them is the coach at my current gym and another one is one that just comes up and trains with us a lot. Both of them, I’m trying to get one of them. I’m hoping, this is what I was saying earlier, I’m really hoping that they don’t decide to pair with each other and then leave me out, and then I still have to find someone else. That’s my biggest fear right now. But I’m hoping one of them will at least join up with me, and then the other one will find someone else.

Mat Lock:

Are they male or female?

Leanne Watson:

Male.

Mat Lock:

Okay. So if they did pair up together, they’d be a different division anyway.

Leanne Watson:

They would. But I’m still just like, “Guys, don’t do that, pair up with me. One of you pair with me, the other one can go pair with another guy and then we’ll still be in different divisions.”

Mat Lock:

Because they have the advantage. A lot of boxes around the world, they know it’s real. They know they can really come to Australia if they win.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah. Oh yeah, they’re fully aware. And that’s where I’m like, “Well, get me there and then you guys can still get there by getting someone else with me.”

Mat Lock:

Maybe you talked it up too much. Maybe you have to start going, “Actually I was wrong about the trip to Australia. It was pretty crappy, actually. Jervis Bay is ugly, the water’s dirty and the sun never shines. The view was horrible.”

Leanne Watson:

It will be like a good cop, bad cop thing. Only tell one of them that it’s really bad, so the other one will still join with me.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, absolutely. Oh well that’s good. That’s great to hear. Even there we have conversations being created about trying to get a buddy, we’ll find out which. We sort of grab a mate, get involved. So I’m sure you’ll find some. So you are ideally for the mixed division?

Leanne Watson:

Possibly. Then if they do end up pairing up, I do have another friend. I haven’t really talked to her about it yet, but she was very competitive with me in the open this year, to get one of the sanctional spots. We’re very fairly matched as far as athletically, so I might reach out to her and be like, “Hey, would you want to partner up for this Grand Slam if they end up leaving me in the dust?”

Mat Lock:

Sure. No problems, regio is open on the 27th of March, which is probably going to be already passed. But I’ve just timestamped this episode. But nonetheless, it’s probably already passed by the time this goes live. But so that you know, we basically go live in three weeks. For the first couple of weeks we’re going to have an early bird package, which is going to be irresistible. I’ll tell you more about that offline maybe. But yeah, pretty exciting. So you’re only a few weeks away from signing up, I’d suggest. You need to try and pin the guys down or find someone else.

Leanne Watson:

I definitely am, every day.

Mat Lock:

Very good. Well, I guess we’re getting a little bit short on time now for this episode. I know you’re going to join us for a second episode, we’re looking forward to that. If people want to reach out to you and ask you questions, or just connect with you in some way, what’s the best way for them to do that?

Leanne Watson:

I’ve got an Instagram, @leannewatson25, and then I’ve also got Facebook. Both of those are great ways to get a hold of me.

Mat Lock:

Yeah, fantastic. I’ll put both of those down in the show notes so that people, wherever they are watching or listening to this, they’re able to. If they want to, they can connect with you. But Leanne, thank you so much for your time so far. It’s a pleasure to see you and we were laughing before we started. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you with your hair down. You’re always in training or competing mode when I see you.

Leanne Watson:

Rest day.

Mat Lock:

When we first got on line “Oh, Leanne’s got long hair.” I didn’t know that. Very Good Leanne, thank you so much for your time.

Leanne Watson:

Yeah, thank you.

Mat Lock:

I can’t wait to see how things unfold for you in the Grand Slam this year.

Leanne Watson:

Thanks.

Mat Lock: Hello Will and thanks for joining us here on The Bay Games podcast.

Will Henke: Yeah, my pleasure. Thanks for having me Mat.

Mat Lock: Yeah, of course. And you are the Head of Programming for The Bay Games, which includes the Grand Slam naturally and we love having you aboard. As you know, we’re friends as well as now somehow working together in a business environment and yeah, we love having you guys as part of the team, you and Carrie.

Will Henke: Yeah. Thank you. Just before we go on. You know that Carrie and I live in Bali, so if you hear any motorcycle sounds or dogs barking or things going on, it’s just the natural sounds of Bali. I say some times that it sounds like the Sons of Anarchy motorcycle gang is doing runs behind our house, it’s so loud. It’s like this small little alleyway with the motorcycle stuff.

Mat Lock: It’s real life and I think they’re part of the charm of Bali. Are they not?

Will Henke: Agreed. Yeah. It’s a very unique charm to Bali. Some love it, some hate it, but the ones that hate it leave, which is nice.

Mat Lock: I love that before we started recording I mentioned, “Ah, classic Will, no tee-shirt,” and you went to go and get a tee shirt. It’s like, “Well actually no. I guess this is an opportunity for the audience to experience Will, and Will is without a tee-shirt as often as possible.” Correct?

Will Henke: Correct. It’s one of the things I was just talking to a friend … I feel like so many times in life people will do things they don’t want to do just to appease other people or they don’t do something because they’re afraid of how it may look to someone else that makes them feel good. 

So for me, my wife and I live in Bali, we came here from Miami, which Miami is probably one of the most superficial places you can live in America, maybe the world. So there everyone cares and judges you based on what car you’re driving, what watch you’re wearing, what shoes you’re wearing, and Carrie and I are not about that life. So when we came to Bali, it’s like, “I enjoy not wearing a shirt. It’s comfortable. And so yeah, it makes me happy and that’s all that matters.”

Mat Lock: Yeah, that’s exactly right. 

Now for those who are watching or listening to this who are not familiar with Will Henke, just maybe if you can give us just a 60-second version of your background as it relates to functional training, life, quality of life and the like.

Will Henke: Sure. Yeah. So a large part of my experience with functional training stems from my time in the military. So, I spent just under 9 years inside the Special Operations Community within the United States Army. In that time I found and was able to have the opportunity to learn a lot of very different and unique functional training methods to go along with preparing soldiers for combat and just overall relative strength-focused training. So being as strong as you possibly can at the healthiest and lightest bodyweight possible. So it’s being able to lift heavyweight but also move for extended periods of time. And if you’re too big and too heavy, you won’t be able to move. And if you’re too small you won’t be able to carry your weight and contribute. So it’s a very neat balance when you think about what it takes, and again, what body types go into that.

Everyone’s not one kind of body. So learning that when I got out of the military, I transitioned to coaching CrossFit, which is when I started learning Olympic weight lifting, gymnastics, and then more complex movements that weren’t so simple as far as snatches and clean and jerks, things like that. So being able to take those two very different concepts and marry them into one allowed me to develop myself and my philosophy and how I do program design, which I feel sets me apart. And I think that’s why you approached me. So when I met you and Ned when I was coaching here in Bali. Yeah, we struck it off and did a PT with you guys and I think from there it was, yeah, here we are.

Mat Lock: Yeah, exactly right. That was the beginning of what is becoming a beautiful relationship. And, as you know, we’re avid fans of Bali as well. We love Bali. But I guess from that PT actually and that meeting and honestly the discussions that stemmed from there, you joined the team last year to do the programming for the inaugural Bay Games Grand Slam in 2019.

Will Henke: Yeah. I guess I’m biased, but I think it went off very well. The feedback we got from the programming, both from my close friends and also people that I’d never met, from the feedback you guys sent out, the anonymous feedback, came out very well. We had some lessons learned, which is probably my favorite thing about doing a program is yes, people will say, “Oh, it was great. I loved it.” Although that’s not the most helpful, it’s nice to hear. 

But it’s helpful when people really give constructive criticism and say, “I loved this, but this wasn’t a thing,” and it helps both the Grand Slam and the upcoming Bay Games, to reassess and evaluate what we’re doing so we can start having a programme that we’re designing that we feel is the best possible programme to test the fittest of that specific field.

Mat Lock: Yeah, exactly right. And by the time this goes to air, we will have announced already that the Grand Slam 2020 and onwards will be a pairs event, which is something that we’re really excited about and I know that you guys are as well. And in fact, tell us a little bit about your week so far this week because I had a great message from you last night. What have you been up to this week?

Will Henke: So normally in my training weeks, I have a different approach to training. The days of going in the gym and doing workouts where you start at 100%, you go to the middle of your workout at 110%, and then you finish your workout at 120%, those days are well out the window and aren’t conducive to the longevity of training. And we’ll get into that a little bit later in a different chat about programming for the real world.

Will Henke: But competition programming is much different. You want to be able to test the programme and you should be going as hard as you can because in that specific condition you’re testing your fitness against others. So you have to go hard. So with this week, all the testing that I’ve done for all the events for the Grand Slam, I’ve had to go and push as hard as I can each day.

Some workouts, when I tested it, I wanted to change something and see how it was a little different so I would test the same workout the next day at the same intensity or as much as I could. So the three weeks, and we’ll say the six scored events of the Grand Slam, it was all condensed for me in a matter of one week. So that was quite taxing on just my body in general, my levels. But it was good fun. And with having a partner to test it with, and we’ll get into why we decided to make the shift of individual to pair to the Grand Slam, but having a partner there allowed me to push harder than I probably would have on my own, especially in the testing phase. So I’m excited to see how that translates over into the Grand Slam. Yeah, it’s been a fun but exhausting week.

Mat Lock: Well I know that I and we… all of us appreciate all of the hard work that’s gone into both developing the programmes but testing them as well. And I guess one of the key points for wanting to have this particular chat for the vlog was to try and help people understand, for the everyday athletes that are our audience, exactly what it is that goes into developing a programme. I guess most of us walk into the box or the studio or the gym and when we do the programmed workout of the day, we don’t necessarily think about how it’s been constructed. We just turn up, we do it, we enjoy doing it and then we leave again, and we come back the next day.

I’m guessing there’s a big difference between that type of programming and programming for a comp, but even so, I mean, both require a deep level of understanding and expertise, but they are different. Correct?

Will Henke: Yeah. I’d say vastly different. If you take general programming for let’s say a regular functional fitness gym, you have to look at who your members are. A lot of gyms, from my travels and Carrie’s travels, we’ll go to gyms and the programming on the board is a workout where it’s super ridiculously long and the weights, they’re very heavy and they’re like that every single day. So it’s not allowing for the body to recover. So if you’re constantly pushing your body to 100%, you’re not allowing your body to have the state of rest that it needs to recover to progress forward. So with everyday programming, there needs to be some consideration and thought into the amount of volume you’re doing and the amount of intensity you are doing and how those are going together where it promotes a healthy lifestyle moving forward, not just for that specific week.

Now with competition programming, it’s different. You’re trying to bring everyone together and test how you’ve been training. So every workout that you’re trying to get into and test your maximal effort. Sometimes with sport, sometimes form is sacrificed for speed, but in normal training, there shouldn’t be any sacrifice of that form for speed because you’re trying to accumulate as many quality reps as possible in your training life. That’ll get you into better positions that allow you to stay healthier longer and train those positions and strengthen those good positions versus if you take an Olympic weightlifter in a competition and they do a lift, they may not have the same form at their maximal contraction that their testing, but they’ve still got that wrapped up.

So there’s a huge difference in how you approach these two types of things. The everyday athlete versus a competitor athlete and the everyday athlete is generally the mass population that you’re programming for. The affiliates you go to, things like that, but when you’re doing this testing, it’s typically a very small pool of people that you’re looking at.

Mat Lock: Yeah, sure. And so just for the layperson, when we first approached you and we talked about the Grand Slam … Let’s use 2020, the pairs comp, the inaugural pairs year as a basis, I mean you have a sheet of paper that has nothing written on it and you have a pencil. How do you begin to flesh out what becomes the programme for a comp like the Grand Slam 2020?

Will Henke: For me, it’s thinking about what areas you want to test. So the first thing I think about is what makes a team, a holistic team? Because if you just give everyone all team events, you’re not testing the individuals in the team. Especially with a team, you have to test the strength component, communication, how well they work under fatigue, how does that communication change when duress is brought into the picture? I think one of the things I was telling you is the strength component that we are going to test for the Grand Slam … Obviously I’m not going to say what it is.

Mat Lock: No that’s right.

Will Henke: Yeah. But it was a lot of fun to test it and the big thing I learned that I’ll explain, when we do talk about my tips and things for the workouts is although yes, you may be very strong and be able to do a hundred kilos of a specific movement, but when you’re working in unison with a partner, whatever the movement is, you may not each be able to do that 100%. You may have to go to your 95% because if you’re both at 100%, how are you going to manage your communication when you’re doing these things, if you’re working together? So it’s going to take an ego check saying, “Yes, I can probably do this weight, but communicating well and working together as a cohesive unit, we probably should back it down to this weight and find what it feels like first.” And that’s going to be the cool thing that I really like is testing these pairs to see who has the innate ability together to command a team that will be the best team, not two individuals that are just partnered up.

Mat Lock: Yeah, absolutely. It will be interesting to see and actually having watched that video that you sent … Because of course when you’re testing the workouts, you’re also testing other factors like camera position so that when the judges are reviewing one of the workouts to make sure that the camera is able to capture, it’s placed in the right location to capture all the movements correctly and so on. But, so you sent me an example last night, one of this year’s workouts … Is it fair to say that that one is locked in there in your mind?

Will Henke: Yeah, that one’s locked in, yeah.

Mat Lock: Yeah. Great. And so the person that you were working with, the partner that you were testing with, did he also have some lessons learned, let’s say some observations he hadn’t thought about as a part of that testing?

Will Henke: He did. He really liked how the tiebreaker was scored on that workout, but he also had to find himself slowing down. So in the first phase of the workout when we are moving was not easy, but it was more manageable and didn’t take a lot of thought. But as we got to the later phase of that movement or of that piece, I found him trying to move faster because that weight may have been a little too heavy for him. And he saw that and he slowed down, which changed the movement entirely, especially if you’re testing a strength piece. If you have to slow down when you’re trying to use some kind of momentum, it can be challenging. So in the end we were both, like “Yeah, that was a lot different than we thought,” not just because of the weight, but how you work together as a team.

And going back to finish your question you asked, the blank sheet of paper, what are you looking at testing? What makes a holistic athlete and especially what competition conditions, like the Bay Games and the Grand Slam, and how does that tie into it? So if you look at a sport like CrossFit, they have the three modalities they typically test, the metabolic conditioning, the gymnastics and the Olympic weightlifting.

With F45 for another example of a functional training tool is they don’t do complex barbell gymnastics. They don’t do a lot of very heavy testing. They don’t do double unders. This was those things, and we’re trying to make sure that we’re creating a competition that tests the everyday athlete. So, anybody that can do CrossFit, that can do F45, various boot camps, OrangeTheory Fitness, all these places, I go into it. So how do we test a strength piece that allows everyone from all those different areas of functional fitness, without excluding anyone or giving an inherent advantage to someone?

Will Henke: And that’s one of the biggest things is obviously we don’t want to make … If someone’s doing various boot camp and we do a movement that’s specific to them, that doesn’t really make sense because then it takes everyone away from it. So it’s challenging in that part. So finding what exact things you want to test that you feel will create the best team. That’s what you have to figure out first on your empty sheet of paper. And then from there you can start to mould, “Okay what energy systems are we looking to test in those specific things and how do they relate to the weeks that go one, two, three and so on?”

Mat Lock: Yeah, absolutely. So far more to it than the layperson could perhaps understand. I know certainly last year talking to you about it, I find it fascinating and understand the methodology or the philosophy of how you programme it, is so important. And what’s the ultimate goal? If you were to… if you could, and I’m putting you on the spot now, in one sentence the ultimate goal of a programme like this is to test what?

Will Henke: To find … I guess it comes back to that, the whole, for me at least from my philosophy, is to find what is the strongest relative team? And that for me goes back to my military days is you want to find … For me, find the person that has the best fitness ability is the person that can do everything very well, but not one thing more so than the other. So you may take one strong person, they can do a 270-kilo deadlift, but their mile run is like a seven or eight-minute mile run, not very fast. For some people it may be, but for a competitor, an eight-minute mile is not fast. But you take someone else can do a 235-kilo deadlift, but they run a five 30 mile. Who would you say is fitter in that point? Someone that can do a little bit of a heavier deadlift or just slightly less, or can run two or three minutes faster on their mile, not just with two of those things but also can pull their body weight, can lift their body weight and move everything and communicate well.

You’re trying to find a team, at least for the Grand Slam now with 2020 the philosophy behind that is finding a team that is the all-around best team with communication, strength conditioning, also separate conditioning and strength, not just together. So although we’re testing a pairs workout, spoiler alert, there will be some parts of the programme that do test individual abilities with their fitness.

Mat Lock: Excellent. Very good. Well, I think we’re about out of time. Is there anything else you’d like to add about Grand Slam 2020 around the programming or is it just a case of we have to sit back and wait for them to be released in June and, I guess have a lot of fun like we did last year watching people, in this case, teams, really have a red hot crack at it?

Will Henke: I’m really excited to see how teams are going to respond to when the workouts are released at the live announcements. But I’m also excited to see the feedback from it. One of the biggest things that we’re going to do, and you were talking about the early bird signup, is we’re going to do a drip sequence of one team work out every week for, I think you said 12 weeks leading up to it. So there will be some insight into those that do sign up early, that way they can start working on communication, pacing with your partner. Because when you do partner workouts, how do you pace that? Because sometimes you may work one-on-one. Are you working at 100% of your effort before you switch? If there was a workout where you’re both working at the same time, what level of intensity should you be working at where you can sustain that over a period of time? So it depends on what you’re doing. So I’m excited to see how teams strategize and execute these when we see the videos coming in for the judging.

Mat Lock: Yeah, absolutely, likewise. And I know that you’ve also programmed two sample workouts, both for Advanced and Open athletes. They’re on the website, thebaygames.com and the .com.au. But I guess even if you’re watching or listening to this after Early Birds have closed, you can go to the website, you can download those and we’d encourage you to give them a go. At the end of the day, they’re designed to be everything Will’s talking about, but a bunch of fun as well, which is important. That’s what it’s all about in the end.

Most of us are not competing for a living, and it’s about getting together with a mate or a bunch of mates, having some fun around it, pushing each other, growing, learning and yeah, leaving with a big sweaty smile on your face.

Will Henke: Yeah, and I think everyone’s going to be able to compete in this environment because they have a partner and they’re going to have that satisfaction of not wanting to let them down, which makes them push harder, which will give them more of a rewarding feeling in the end. But I think that’s going to be something cool to listen to at the end of the three weeks.

Mat Lock: Yeah, absolutely. Will, thank you very much for your time and we’ll leave it there and look forward to chatting with you next time.

Will Henke: Always a pleasure, Mat. Thanks.

About The Bay Games:

The Bay Games is the home of the world’s everyday athletes! The team at HQ in Jervis Bay, NSW, Australia are all about creating connection and community through competition 

You do not need to qualify for their events – they are for all abilities, all ages and all are welcome.

 

 

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