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Grand Slam Journey
90 minutes | Jun 20, 2022
15. Tracy Reifkind: The Queen of the kettlebell swing on transforming life
Tracy Reifkind is the Author of "The Swing!" Lose the Fat and Get Fit with This Revolutionary Kettlebell Program. Tracy's book is inspired by her transformation journey and is a fantastic manual that is detailed yet simple to follow and can be easily personalized. At forty-one years of age, Tracy, after being overweight her entire life, made a fantastic transformation and lost 120 pounds by using kettlebells, cleaning up her diet, cooking her meals, and using her mindset to create a lasting change. Tracy is a sought-after personal trainer and motivation and nutrition coach featured in Tim Ferriss's The 4-Hour Body. In 2006, she became a certified Russian kettlebell instructor. Since then, she has developed a unique training program that works for everyone at any fitness level. We discuss: Tracy's transformation journey to becoming the athlete she always wanted to be Tracy's book and how it came to life Kettlebell training - why is it so effective The importance of progressions, looking at trendlines, gradual goal setting Mindset: Readiness zone, drive, inspiration, consistency, confidence, visualization Taking responsibility and getting rid of thoughts that don't serve us, such as being-a-victim The importance of self-love and being selfish, creating time for yourself Purchase Tracy's book: "The Swing!" Lose the Fat and Get Fit with This Revolutionary Kettlebell Program. Tracy's training program: https://swinglean.gumroad.comTracy's Youtube channelMy training session with Tracy on YouTubeTracy in The 4-Hour Body video trailer by Tim FerrissInstagramFacebookBlogs: Training, Food, and ThoughtGirya StrengthSwingLeanMy experience of working out with Tracy ReifkindFavorite quotes:"Kettlebell Swing: It's the biggest bang for your buck as far as exercise goes. If you want to do the littlest amount of work with the most potential for change - then kettlebell swing is it." "Always reflect and act from a place of pride about who you are today and who you will become in the future."
69 minutes | Feb 20, 2022
14. Zachary Green: US Marine, Firefighter, and Entrepreneur talks about what does it mean to be a Warrior Entrepreneur
Zachary Green's experiences in the Marine Corps shaped his destiny. His time in the military, then as a firefighter, gave him the resourcefulness, integrity, and grit to become a highly successful entrepreneur. Taking risks, trusting himself, and never letting go of his dreams drove him to create, produce, market, and sell a product that saves lives. Zachary was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and has testified in front of the US House of Representatives Small Business Committee. Zachary's entrepreneurial journey has been featured on the front page of Yahoo.com and also covered by CNN, USA Today, CBS, and many other major news outlets. Key topics discussed in this episode: We talk about Zachary's book, Warrior Entrepreneur: Lessons From The Battlefield To The Boardroom. Zachary claims that being a warrior and a successful entrepreneur is the same, and the skills that helped him succeed on the battlefield are the same skills that carried him forward as an entrepreneur. Zachary talks about fundamental warrior principles: Teamwork, Purpose, Confidence, Tenacity, Adaptability, Never giving up, Grit, Sacrifice, Morals, and Serenity. We dive into grit: the importance of prevailing through crucibles, learning to overcome challenges, and the critical lessons that overcoming challenges teach us - how they sharpen the warrior's character and skills. We also dive into purpose, adaptability, sacrifice, and the importance of creating your serenity practice and a support team Resources: Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgZachary's LinkedInZachary's websiteZachary is also a Co-host of the Warrior's Voice Podcast.Purchase a signed copy of the book here.Purchase the book on Amazon here.
91 minutes | Jan 24, 2022
13. Amy Eliza Wong: Executive Coach and Founder of "Always on Purpose" talks about "Living on Purpose: Five Deliberate Choices to Realize Fulfillment and Joy"
Amy Eliza Wong is the Founder of "Always On Purpose" and an author of an upcoming book "Living on Purpose." Amy is a transformational coach and facilitator working with the biggest names in tech, organizations such as Salesforce, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more. Amy offers transformative leadership development and cutting-edge communication strategies to executives and corporate teams worldwide and in the halls of academia, with institutions such as Stanford University and the University of California at Berkeley. Amy pulls from various disciplines, studies, and practices to find a consilient approach to achieving genuine and lasting success - what she refers to as "the fundamentals of thriving." Amy has an intense passion for helping people experience meaningful joy and satisfaction in their daily lives, free of fear and false perception. In short, she thrives on assisting others to live and lead on purpose. For more than twenty years, Amy has devoted herself to the study and practice of transformation. As a certified Executive Coach using expertise in transpersonal psychology, design thinking, interpersonal neurobiology, and Conversational Intelligence, Amy has provided thousands of transformative experiences for individuals, executives, teams, and organizations. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in mathematics and has an M.A. in transpersonal psychology from Sofia University. When she's not writing, researching, and speaking, Amy spends time in the Bay Area with her husband and two children. Key topics discussed in this episode: We go through the five choices that Amy talks about in her book Living on Purpose The importance of having a mindfulness practice Side effects of Living on Purpose You can pre-order Amy's book "Living on Purpose: Five Deliberate Choices to Realize Fulfillment and Joy" on Amazon today or through other ways, which you can find on Amy's website. All resources discussed in this podcast can be found on Amy's website. Here is a link to Amy's articles, related to the discussion in this episode where you can find information on how to strengthen your self-awareness. You can then register and use text reminders to harness your focus, live on purpose, and thrive. I registered yesterday and find this practice to be a great addition to my morning routine. Please check out Amy's website for more information and an opportunity to participate. "Conversational Intelligence: Increase your Impact" Stanford Continuous Studies class we discuss in this episode.You can reach Amy via her website or social media accounts: Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook.
40 minutes | Dec 29, 2021
12. Samah Damanhoori: The story of Madina Papel, a story about finding your uniqueness and having the courage to show it
Samah Damahoori is the co-founder and creator of Madina Papel. You can subscribe to this channel on YouTube. Please watch the eight-minute story of Madina Papel before listening to this podcast. Samah grew up in Saudi Arabia and came to the USA in 2014 to pursue her Master's degree in Creative Writing at Notre Dame de Namur University. Samah worked for some of the largest tech companies in the San Francisco Bay area and HBO, where she managed the production of a VICE News episode, which followed the struggles of two Saudi sisters who escaped from their family and struggled to break free from a life dictated by Saudi Arabia's oppressive guardianship laws. During this episode, we discuss various topics revolving around: The movie and story behind Medina Papel The process of creating an animation We discuss Samah's journey and the difficulties for her to come to America to pursue her education due to the male guardianship laws in Saudi Arabia Favorite quotes from this episode: On finding and owning your uniqueness: "When I started this whole journey, I was living as a survivor. I wanted to secure myself and make sure that I didn't end up in a bad situation or regret choosing to stay here and work for myself and my freedom. I buried the pain that I was abandoned by my country and my family for a very long time - for almost seven years. I left the Bay area a year ago to live in LA, and that was the first time I lived in another place that is not the Bay Area. I have been to many states here, but I never lived and changed locations. That hit me hard and made me more aware of that pain to come out. It made me learn to accept, for people like us, who choose to be free and break so many cycles and break so many traditions, to really accept that we are alone. Not in a bad way, but you really are alone, you are different, you are so unique, and if you look around you, there is no one like you, and sometimes this is painful. And I used to bury that pain. Now I have come to a point where I fully accept this and am fully aware of it. It is ok to be unique; it is ok to be lonely; it is ok to be different and enjoy the moment and the people around me no matter what the past is bringing to me. And I am also learning that we are systems and these stories when they come back, we have the power and control to re-write them and make them in a way that we can still see the beauty in a day." What should we be doing more of or less of in 2022?"Keep going, don't give up!"
115 minutes | Nov 27, 2021
11. Irina Lykina: Oklahoma University tennis player talks about her competitive tennis experience, trusting the journey, accepting the situation you find yourself in, and pursuing your happiness
Irina Lykina, originally from Kazan, Russia, played lines 1 and 2 for the University of Oklahoma's women's tennis team between 2003-2007. During her time at OU, their team was ranked #15 NCAA Division I. Irina's best NCAA D1 singles ranking was #63 and was named All-Big 12 Women's Tennis Singles Player in Spring 2005, a four-time member of the Academic All-American ITA Team, and four-time Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll member. Before college, during her Juniors tennis career, Irina was ranked in the top 300 in the world and achieved #1 ranking in Russia 16 and under in 2000. Between 2005-2008 Irina was also traveling with and coaching her younger sister, Ksenia Lykina, whose highest junior ITF ranking was #4 in the world during their joint work. Ksenia Lykina became a professional tennis player, achieving a career-high ranking of 171 in singles and 108 in doubles. Irina now works as a CPA but has kept her tennis passion alive, competing at different USTA tournaments and playing invitational tennis exhibitions. During her time in the Cayman Islands for work reasons, Irina won the Cayman Islands Championship in women's doubles in 2016 and mixed doubles in 2014 and 2016. Key topics discussed in this episode: Tennis game and mindset: what does it mean to be a tennis player, exploring all aspects of the game Differences between being a competitive college tennis player and playing professionally How does one choose a college tennis team and the benefits of playing college tennis How do you find resilience and stay positive through injuries and find the courage to go back to the sport that hurt you in the first place? The mindset and things Irina has learned when playing tennis that helped her excel in her professional career Fear setting: The power of living through the worst-case scenario and how you can use it for growth Creating boundaries and structure during COVID, gratitude, and choosing to focus on things that you can control and that bring you joy Trusting the journey, finding your passion, confidence, purpose Some of my favorite quotes: "You can't control everything in tennis. You have to react very fast, and adjust, and continue to be challenged.""In tennis, you can't replay things the same way, every point is a new page, and you don't know how it's gonna go, and that adds challenges to staying fit and injury-free, that element of needing to react.""That sense of togetherness is something I have not experienced until I got to college and I was 19 years old.""An advice I would give when people are looking at choosing a college for their college tennis career - find your passion and what inspires you, what do you want to do, and who do you want to do it with.""Teamwork is absolutely something huge in the work I do, I lead a team of brilliant accounts, and I am only as good as my team, and that is something that college tennis has taught me and really made me value.""Sports have taught me that: Find what you can do and push hard, don't give up, communicate well, make sure that everyone is aware of the situation and try to enjoy what you do have even when things don't always go as planned.""It's one of the things that tennis teaches you, and something that you learn is the reality of not performing. If you didn't win, you didn't make money. How are you going to pay for the hotel? How are you going to pay for the flight to travel?""How do you find resilience and stay positive through injuries? How do you go back to doing something that hurt you in the first place? By making choices and following your heart.""Change your life for your knee, or change your knee for the life you want - only you know what the answer is."
88 minutes | Sep 10, 2021
10. Jesse Burdick: Owner and Head Coach of PowerWod talks about baseball, powerlifting, strength, nutrition. The art of consistency and starting small.
Jesse Burdick's contact info: email@example.com. You can also find Jesse on all social media under Jesse Burdick and check out his strength program at PowerWod.com. Instagram Twitter Topics discussed in this episode: 1. Using sport to build your network of people, 2. The importance of asking questions and being curious, 3. What it means to be a dad to three daughters, and how Jesse goes about his fatherhood, 4. What does it mean to be an athlete, 5. Generosity, helping others, and paying things forward, 5. Baseball and the importance of strength and power for baseball players, 6. The importance of strength and simple tips from Jesse on how to build strength and power, 7. Importance of goal setting, 8. Cooking and nutrition, 9. The art of starting with the small, focusing on the low-hanging fruit - and building good habits that will drive significant benefits in the long term, 10. The importance of consistency About Jesse: Jesse Burdick is the owner and the head Coach at PowerWod. He has spent nearly two decades with some of the best athletes on the planet. Jesse is a former NCAA Division I baseball player and competed at the semi-pro level after college. After baseball, Jesse transitioned to powerlifting. Jesse has squatted 909 pounds, bench pressed 601 pounds, and deadlifted 820 pounds in competition, and holds an elite status in 5 consecutive weight classes—a feat accomplished by very few lifters. He trained with some of the greatest athletes in the sport's history, such as Chuck Vogelpohl and Paul Childress. Jesse's quest for diverse and extensive knowledge in athletic training and life has led him to share some of the most respected people in the industry, and Jesse, through his achievements and results of the athletes he now coaches, has undoubtedly become one of those people himself. He is a highly sought-after Trainer and Power Lifting Coach helping to produce a long list of successful athletes from NFL, MLB, NCAA, navy Seals, UFC, Lion Fight Bellator, and the Crossfit Games. Jesse is a father to three girls that mean the world to him and husband to Crossfit Games competitor Katie Hogan.Some of my favorite quotes from this episode:On Jesse's transition from baseball to powerlifting: "For the next four years, I never missed a meal; I never missed a training day; I slept 8 -10 hours a day."On what being an athlete taught Jesse: "Being an athlete means you have a built-in identity. Everybody should be at least a little bit of an athlete as long as their abilities will allow them to.""I have been very lucky to have been taught to ask questions, to be curious, and always gonna keep improving one way or another.""If you can accomplish the big goals, that is awesome, but - very cliche - the reward is the journey. ""You should want to be the best at something, and if life gets in the way or you don't necessarily accomplish it, you are not a failure. You went all in, and you did what you could. Let the chips fall where they may. It is what it is."Balancing nutrition, recovery, mobility, training: "It is a giant ever-changing puzzle that it doesn't matter which one you start with. You just need to start.""We can complicate this stuff but get really good at something first before you need to complicate it. Start with the basics and move from there.""Take a look back, look at things as a whole, and find the low-hanging fruit. The easy stuff that we can plug into people's lives. These small little bread crumbs that they can do over and over again that can become a good habit that therefore lead to greater things as they go."
90 minutes | Aug 9, 2021
9. Don Tirsell: Head of Partnerships at Google Cloud talks about basketball, balancing competitiveness and mindfulness, celebrating mini-successes, bringing teams together, and appreciating differences
Don Tirsell and I reminisce on our athletic college years. Don talks about his basketball journey, what his sport taught him, and how his Basketball journey evolved from being a competitive collegiate basketball player to using his sport as something that allows him to create new friends and support groups at work. Don also talks about him being a father, his journey of supporting his kids to choose their sport, and letting them find their passion. Last but not least, Don was also a Basketball coach, and we discuss his coaching principles and the mindset he has learned playing and coaching basketball, and how he applies it in his everyday life and at the workplace. Don is currently the Head of Alliance Partnerships and Business Development at Google Cloud. I had the pleasure to meet and work with Don in my previous job when I worked for Ericsson. From my experience, Don has a genuine partnership approach to business, which I find is very rare to find nowadays. Some key topics we explore in this episode: Competitiveness and goal setting Simplification, structure, and accountability The transition from being a college athlete to the next chapter of our lives Mindfulness, valuing the present moment, facing adversity, and the importance of celebrating the mini-wins along the way. High-performing teams in sports and at the workplace The value of diversity and appreciating our differences Some of my favorite quotes:On the transition from basketball to real life: "The six months were tough for me too, in terms of a transition. Realizing that I was at the end of one journey and then had to figure out what's the foundation for the next path." On parenting: "Finding those areas that you have in common that you can share and make sure you are not trying to push too much. You are supporting. You are not pushing." What sport taught us: "Set audacious goals, with a timeframe for completing them, but that you actually believe you can complete, and create space to form the plan to get to that end destination." "Holding each other accountable on that journey and celebrating milestones, the mini-successes." On mindfulness: "I think it is a really good concept for people to absorb - the concept of mindfulness, of being focused on the immediate rather than worrying about the big is an important one for the workplace and important one for us as people. It helps you tackle every day." "That whole mindset has been a good thing for work because it allows you to let stuff go, allows you to refocus on things, and that mini-celebration concept is something that keeps me motivated in adversity but also allows me to have pleasure in little things too." Teamwork: "How we learn and appreciate our differences will make us a better humanity and have more enjoyable experiences."
101 minutes | Jul 11, 2021
8. Nadia Belkind: Kindness has no language, the art and benefits of building and investing in relationships, the power of interpersonal communication
Nadia Belkind is passionate about supporting work environments that thrive on interpersonal communication. She sees it as her mission to help generate trust, mutual understanding, connection, and positivity. After her relocation to Stanford in 2018, Nadia started teaching her class called "The Secrets of Interpersonal Communication" at Stanford Bechtel International Center, helping dozens of international spouses communicate confidently and effectively. In 2019 She co-led a MasterMind Job Search group, and in 2020 she worked as a Teaching Assistant at Stanford BioSci Career Center, supporting a group of Ph.D. students. Today she is an Operations and HR Generalist at the Silicon Valley startup ScyllaDB. Nadia holds a Master's degree in Sociology of Education from Tel Aviv University. Nadia and I talk about the importance of relationships and interpersonal communication. Nadia is a fantastic storyteller, and I appreciate the examples she shared from her life journey growing up in Israel and then moving to the USA. In both instances, she relied on her interpersonal communication to create new relationships. As Nadia would say, "Communication is not that much about what we say, but it is about how we say it. It is how we make people feel about themselves - that is what they will remember." I love Nadia's larger societal view and, at the same time, her skill of being able to see the individual pieces of the puzzle and how they fit together. What stood out to me about Nadia the most is her positivity, curiosity, energy, and ability to think things through from all perspectives. Favorite quotes from this episode: "Kindness has no language. If you are kind to another person, they will feel it no matter what.""Great things happen when we genuinely enjoy doing something for others.""I realized how important is non-verbal communication in this context - when you are a foreigner - when English is not your first language - when you are trying to make new connections with people. It is all about communication but not the verbal communication that we think is so important. It's not about the words that I say as much as how do I make the other person feel.""When we have too much choice, it is very hard for us to focus."
104 minutes | May 18, 2021
7. Mitch Williams: Telecommunications executive, former professional racquetball player on the power of adaptability, finding your way to win, measuring what matters, doing less is more
Today's episode is with my friend, a former colleague, and a professional racquetball player, Mitch Williams. Mitch and I started at Ericsson at the same time and on the same team. Much of our telecom journey to date has been very similar as we seemed to make similar moves at almost the same time and in a similar direction. I had a lot of fun speaking with Mitch about many topics related to sports, cross-pollination of sports, how sports shaped us, including the joy and pain we get from winning and losing. We discuss the painful transition from the sport we loved into what I call the normal civilian life and the mindset we have learned by playing the sport, and how we are now applying it in the next chapter of our lives. Mitch shares many fun stories from his upbringing, racquetball journey, and his current life of being a dad to three young daughters and the only male in his house - living in Arizona with his wife, three young daughters, and two female dogs. Other topics covered in this podcast: Mitch gave great examples of strategic alliances and having a network of people who helped him get to different positions. The importance of timing in life, measuring what matters, and focusing on the things that make a difference. The importance of knowing yourself, knowing what drives you, and being self-aware of where one finds purpose, fulfillment, and career/ job-fit. Article about Mitch and his racquetball retirement Some of my favorite quotes from this episode: Winning and losing: "I learned in racquetball; there is a lot of different ways to win. You don't have to win just by doing this one thing." On the transience of a loss or a win: "That's the hardest thing to tell a kid that you coach: It doesn't matter how you win the game today. You win. You are going to play tomorrow. And tomorrow, you can wake up and have the worst game of your life, or the next hour or the next match, it all disappears." "I love sports. I love the immediate response of a win or a loss. That's the greatest equalizer in life." Racquetball and sports in general: "Racquetball definitely gave me a different view of the world and how I conduct myself in the professional life." Timing: "If I were to summarize my professional racquetball career, these were the two big examples to learn from that: 1. Timing is everything in life, and what you do with that and what you do with that time and that opportunity is important, and 2. then how do you step back and really focus on what's important and how do you make yourself better." Preparing and doing less is more: "And a lot of it was early on; I never allowed myself to be successful because I was chasing a dollar and not preparing. So that's that mentality of how do you learn to be a professional. That was eye-opening. How do you focus on the things that are really impactful?" On transitioning from racquetball to the next chapter of life: "I needed to get to the professional environment and learn a trait or a skill outside of playing racquetball for lack of better terms. So it all kinda worked out, and it was the right time. It wasn't at the time. It was a pretty dark couple of years of my life because everything gets taken away when things are going well. But in the end, it made me realize two things: 1. At anyone one point in time, something can be literally taken away from you, whether you like it or don't like it. 2. So enjoy the moments that you do have with something."
125 minutes | Apr 13, 2021
6. Christian Wassmer: CEO of Betheone Sports, former UTA tennis coach talks about college tennis, coaching, fitness, confidence, rest and recovery, sports mindset, ethics, and sportsmanship
Today's discussion is with my former UTA tennis coach, Christian Wassmer. I had so much fun speaking and re-connecting with Christian that we ended up running over our reserved time, and I still had many questions left.Christian and I talk a lot about tennis, our college tennis journeys, and different coaching styles - things we could have done better and things we have implemented to maximize our athletic potential. We dive into sports mindset, confidence, the importance of goal setting, injuries, sports in general, ethics in sports, anti-doping, and the meaning of sportsmanship. We also discuss creative problem solving, teamwork, collaboration, commitment, and cultural awareness needed when organizing Olympics, as Christian worked for the International Olympic Committee. Christian and I dive into all parts of his journey and career change decisions. I find Christian's journey fascinating, and I am amazed how he has been able to make career choices that aligned with his passion and talents and, at the same time, pushed him to learn more and grow. What also stood out to me were his transitions. The way I hear Christian narrate his journey, it appears that he has a strong sense of inner wisdom where at specific points of time, he has decided to slow down, or outside circumstances forced him to slow down and re-examine his passion, growth, and what he wants to put his energy into next. Christian Wassmer is currently the CEO of betheone-sports in Germany, where he does sports consulting and management with different clients. His primary operations focus is on institutional consultancy, including governance, strategic planning, development, project management, and GAISF/IOC recognition. Link to a story that Christian shares in the latter part of the podcast from Wall Street Journal on how they saved the Men's Alpine Skiing Olympic Championship in Sochi, Russia is here. Additionally, Christian lectures International Sports, Intercultural Communication, and Sports Law at the Berlin Steinbeis University Bodensee-Campus. Some of my favorite quotes from this episode:On navigating career changes: "You are happy. You are successful. Do you really want to move forward? Ask yourself: Do you really want to do something different?"On the importance of focus and goal setting:"The key ingredient is to focus on the next step. The next step allows us to focus on the goals. Setting goals is super important. But to set realistic goals is almost equally important. If you set the goal too high, it is good because you will improve, but sometimes you might not know where you're going. If the path in front of you is not laid out properly, it might be difficult to achieve the big goal or to make a change. Now, with the next step approach, with smaller steps that are achievable, people are more likely to succeed."About tennis, coach & player fit, style of coaching:"This is why tennis is such a fascinating sport because you can become successful with so many different ways of coaching and playing. It just seemed that this style of coaching and focus on my strengths fit me better than trying to improve my weaknesses."On transferring to a different university: "Something wasn't right for me in the environment. I didn't feel 100% comfortable."
86 minutes | Mar 30, 2021
5. Liz Goldman: Life and business coach talks about leadership, inspiration, benefits of slowing down, cultivating trust and wisdom, and moving to a world of possibilities
Today's conversation is with Liz Goldman. Liz is my personal life coach. Liz has been assisting individuals and groups in accessing their unique gifts and wisdom for over 20 years.Link to Liz's website. Liz and I discuss her diverse and cultural upbringing in New York City, family dynamics, the importance of support systems, communication and challenges, coaching, the benefits of coaching, trust, and Liz’s journey to becoming a life and business coach. Liz also shared several tips and important skills that might be useful for your journey and self-reflection. Key topics: What does it mean to be a coach, the value of a coach, and how coaching fits into a support system Leadership, building your leadership and its relation to inspiration Benefits of slowing down and connecting to your inner wisdom Being more courageous and be willing to be messy, clucky, and awkward The importance of cultivating greater trust and self-trust, starting from us first, changing our conversation or starting a new conversation with ourselves that allows us to change how we see our reality and move into a space of possibilities Some of my favorite quotes: "I believe we all come into our lives with certain lessons to learn and opportunities to grow." "It was difficult as a kid to feel so much and not know where to go with it or how to understand it. That was a very clunky experience when I was young, and I know it let me to where I have gone professionally.""Anything is possible for people, regardless of where they came from.""It's important to give people the space to be real and to have people hear them and all that in service to where do they want to go.""If we don't know what's happening right where we are, we don't have a very good shot at creating much that is of value in the world, much that is satisfying or fulfilling for every one of us.""One of the most productive skills I have seen people take into their lives is to be willing to be messy, to be willing to be clunky, and to be willing to be awkward.""If we start with us, everything is an extension out of that.""If we slow down and focus on ourselves, bring it back into what is happening inside of us, what do we need, how can we show up better, what are our values, and to really look at us...and then extend out from there, we can change our reality, sometimes very quickly, and sometimes it is a longer process, but there is so much more possible from that place."I enjoyed listening to the stories that Liz has shared about her life so openly. This conversation allowed me to see the connection of how her journey and experiences contributed to Liz being the person she is today. I got so curious about many things that we ended up running out of time, plus I faced some technical difficulties with my internet connection. Technology - we cannot live without it, and it rarely works as we would like it to when we need it the most. I hope to record another conversation with Liz about many more topics that I am curious to discuss with her in the future.
78 minutes | Jan 28, 2021
4. Wayne Ferreira: Former #6 ATP tennis player talks about his tennis journey, being an entrepreneur, now an ATP tour coach of Frances Tiafoe, live from the Australian Open
Wayne Ferreira is a former ATP tour professional tennis player from Johannesburg South Africa. Wayne had an outstanding tennis career. He won 15 top-level singles titles and 11 doubles titles. His career-high rankings were world no. 6 in singles and world no. 9 in doubles. Wayne is the third tennis player with 56 consecutive Grand Slam appearances in men's tennis. During this podcast, Wayne and I talk about his upbringing and his route to tennis. We discuss some of his wins and achievements and the diverse styles of tennis players he competed against. We also discuss his longevity and being able to compete at the topmost levels for 16 years and playing against the best tennis players of three different eras starting from Borg, Lendl, McEnroe, Connors then competed against top players such as Edberg, Becker, Sampras, Agassi, Chang, Ivanisevic and at the end of his career having an opportunity to play against Federer and his era of younger uprising generation at that time. Wayne achieved the semi-finals of the Australian Open twice and we also discuss his three Olympic appearances. We talk about Wayne's transition from professional tennis to becoming a father and focusing on family life, his entrepreneur journey, and then transition to becoming an ATP coach. Wayne is currently coaching Francis Tieafoe. What stands out to me from this conversation is Wayne's talent, commitment to work hard, and ability to easily transition between different journeys and careers of his life. It is almost as the life is unfolding itself for him as he moves forward through different stages. He makes it seems very graceful and almost effortless. I appreciate Wayne's straightforwardness, transparency, and all he shared about his life journey. I love how grounded Wayne seems to be and his humble, open and warm personality. Some of my favorite quotes from this podcast: On never giving up: "Ultimately you want success at the end and I still had the ability to focus and concentrate and fight hard enough for what it is that I wanted even though it may have taken me much longer than I would have liked it to. I still wanted to try to succeed." On losing: "Sometimes losing when you are younger is better than winning because you learn how to compete and you learn how to learn to win." On mental toughness, self-confidence and perseverance, being able to fight and come back to win matches despite being behind: "In my senior career, I often came from behind to win because of my belief and the will to win. I realized that if I just hang in there, the opportunity of my opponent getting worse and helping me out was a lot and I won a lot of matches that way. And it became almost a test for me… How many times can I win when being down? It is a lot more fun to win matches when you are down…. Deep down. On trust & teamwork: "Trust is key in creating teamwork. You can only have success when everybody works together as a team." On life: "There is always good and bad, in everything that you do." On challenges & commitment (paraphrasing): There are challenges in everything that we do and that is also what makes life interesting. We try to get a result and you try to win. And being a tennis player and wanting to win, and wanting and trying to have success can be a good and a bad thing. You may not always make it but ultimately you will be better off for trying and learning. Commit, work hard and preserve through challenges and obstacles and you will have a chance of making it.
75 minutes | Jan 8, 2021
3. Fazal Syed: Tennis career, finding purpose, being of service to others, transforming human lives, harmony, and self-awareness
Fazal is a tennis coach a former professional tennis player and a friend of mine. We met in Dallas in 2007 playing mixed doubles together. He was #1 junior in India, represented India in Davis Cup 1998-2001, and achieved top 200 and top 400 ATP ranking in doubles and singles, respectively. Fazal was the National grass-court Champion of India in 2000. He was a Bronze medalist at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok and earned No. 1 ranking as an Amateur by the USTA 1997-98. He also won the 1997 USTA National clay court championship. After his retirement in 2002, he coached Mahesh Bhupathi (former No.1 doubles player) and Martin Damm (top 10 Doubles) on the 2005 US Open circuit. During our podcast we discussed Fazal’s upbringing and how was it to grow up playing tennis in Kolkata, India. Fazal shared his challenges about having good quality coaching and support system that prevented him from reaching higher levels in professional tennis. We discuss his decision to come to the US and play tennis for a D1 University at Temple Philadelphia, a decision to quit school to go represent India at Davis Cup and play the ATP tour for 3 years, and then another decision to quit tennis and go back to school to finish his education. After finishing his university degree Fazal ended up accepting an investment banking job in Dallas. That was two years before the market crash happened. During the market crash, he lost his job and ended up moving back to Philadelphia. His route of self-awareness took him back to his purpose and passion - tennis. Fazal founded and runs his own tennis academy named Level 7 Tennis and coaches kids of all levels and ages to become better tennis players, and ultimately, better human beings. What I admire about Fazal is his state of harmony that he mentioned numerous times during our discussion. His ability to look at life through the positive lens, gratitude that he holds in his heart, hunger for constant learning, strong resilience, and determination to keep going without worrying what other people may think. We talk about a strong commitment and drive to achieve his dreams no matter how crazy or wild they may seem… and through it all, always be giving back and serving others who may need our help. My favorite quote from this podcast: “Our actions reflect what we leave behind.”My favorite topics from this podcast: #purpose, #passion, being of service to others, the joy we get from helping to transform human lives, finding flow, balance, harmony, self-awareness Book recommendations: The FountainheadThe Footsteps of the Prophet Biology of BeliefThe Hidden Messages in WaterHow to Read a Book
66 minutes | Dec 12, 2020
2. Takeshi Fujiwara: Olympic Athlete and 400m record holder on believing in yourself, goal setting, gratitude, optimism, balancing hard work with grace and his new book Strong Like Never Before: Transform your life in 12 weeks
About the podcast: Takeshi and I talk about his multi-cultural upbringing, the launch of his new book "Strong Like Never Before" and his path towards becoming an olympic athlete. What stood out to me during this conversation is Takeshi's well roundedness, optimism, deep wisdom and ability to build in space for grace. We talk about the importance of having a good support system, setting goals, believing in yourself and your goals AND through it all - having fun and cultivating joy through gratitude. Takeshi's book: "Strong Like Never Before: Transform your life in 12 weeks" is a fantastic manual to becoming a more fit human being, or an Olympic athlete - if you wish, and his food plan is very flexible and simple to follow. About Takeshi: Takeshi Fujiwara is a Japanese athlete in possession of Tokyo’s and El Salvador’s Record in the 400 meters race. As an athlete he has participated in the Olympic Games of Athens 2004, 6 World Championships in Grosseto 2004, Osaka 2007, Valencia 2008, Doha 2010, Istanbul 2012, Bahamas 2017, and one Universiade in Belgrade 2009. He was born and raised in El Salvador to a Japanese father, and Salvadoran mother. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico, an Online Professional Certificate in Data Science from Harvard University and an MBA at The University of Texas at Arlington in Economics and International Business. Cofounder of Green Dreams athletics youth club and entrepreneur. Currently, he is in preparation for the next Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.Link to purchase the book: Strong Like Never Before: Transform your life in 12 weeks.Link to Takeshi's website.Link to Takehi's Tedx Talk on: How to Achieve your Goals.
64 minutes | Nov 5, 2020
1. Julianna Gates: Tennis coach and my former doubles partner talks about her tennis journey, mental toughness and the power of reframing
During this episode, Julianna Gates and I explore the beginnings of our tennis journeys, what it takes to be a professional tennis player, and the importance of mental toughness. We talk about the benefits of slowing down, visualization, productive vs. unproductive thoughts and the awareness of our thoughts. We also discuss how to rewire our brain to improve productivity and the power of reframing. Julianna is a tennis coach in San Diego. If you would like to improve your tennis game and work with her please reach out to me and I will share her contact information.
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