What drives a five-time Olympian? Today, we hear from the true legendary champion Kerri Walsh Jennings. The best beach volleyball player in the world sits with us for a conversation all about drive and inspiration.
“My bronze completes me. My dark side completes me… You need to have both.” – Kerri Walsh Jennings
Discipline Liberates and Consistency Feels Great
One of Kerri’s favorite quotes is Jocko Willink’s “Discipline equals freedom.” A lot of high-performing people get either flak for being so disciplined or pity for being “punished”. But discipline liberates and allows Kerri the space to breathe and accomplish things.
Discipline is all about showing up and doing what it takes on the daily. And it is as beautiful a word as competition despite the negative connotation often attached to the two.
“It makes me feel good to be consistent and to do the hard things when things are hard and to do it until they’re done.” – Kerri Walsh Jennings
Love for Winning Always Wins
Like most athletes, Kerri loves winning. But her relationship with it is as unique as it could get. The joy of winning motivates and inspires her more than the pain of losing.
People would often say that losing motivates them, but Kerri thinks that losing is like a chronic injury or a weight on one’s shoulders. It gets into your psyche in a way that drives you crazy. It is a toxic feeling despite the positives to it.
“I love winning more than I hate losing, which I think is why I’m still going.” – Kerri Walsh Jennings
Feeling at Home in the Olympics
With her veteran status in the Olympics, one would think that she felt the pressure of having basically the entire world watching her either win or lose. But not once has this ever occurred to Kerri.
The Olympics is fun, and she has always found it helpful to create a bubble around her to make her feel safe and not get caught in the noise. She has found her home in the Olympics, and not even the millions of spectators would take her off her game.
To hear more about Kerri’s distinction between inspiration and motivation and a whole lot more, download and listen to the episode.
Kerri Walsh Jennings has been called, “the Best Beach Volleyball Player in the World”.
Kerri is a five-time Olympian, three-time Olympic gold medal winner, and a one-time bronze medalist.
She is the beach volleyball career leader in career wins.
And Kerri is half of what has been called “the greatest beach volleyball team of all time,” with her longtime partner Misty May-Treanor.
Walsh Jennings is also an entrepreneur. She is the founder of p1440, a beach volleyball event series launched in September 2018 with eight events in the 2018–2019 season, showcasing the best in women’s and men’s beach volleyball from around the globe.
We hope you enjoyed Kerri Walsh Jennings on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
How do you bootstrap your way to success? On this episode, Joe Kudla joins us for a conversation on taking action based on insight. How do you design a new athletic clothing niche for men and be known in a category so large?
“I’ll be totally candid. I had no idea what it took to run a successful apparel business.“ – Joe Kudla
A Very Personal Brand
Athletic apparel has been around pretty much since the creation of the fig leaf. So why did Joe think of building a brand in this particular niche? It started out of a personal need.
Joe was an athlete who would beat himself up playing football his whole life. About ten years ago, he began dealing with a lot of back pain. That was when one of his friends suggested that he do yoga.
Beyond the Mass Produced
He was taking yoga classes daily when he looked around and realized that he never got to know what dudes are supposed to wear to yoga. It was this question, this puzzle, that set him and his associates to this whole path.
Massive brands flood the athletic apparel market. Some have buckled up the channel with better material and construction and more tailored, modern fit. But Joe wanted more than apparel exclusive for the gym.
“We’re the anti-gym guys. We’re going to the gym but we just didn’t connect with that culture around it.” – Joe Kudla
Creating Diverse and Versatile Athleisure
Joe looked at the space and came across the stats of people practicing yoga versus those who go surfing and gained valuable insight.
“When I really looked at the brand that we were gonna create, it was inspired by much more than yoga. It extended to this diverse, versatile active life.” – Joe Kudla
No one can deny the appeal of premium active apparel that performs better. But even better are clothes you can sweat in and wear to the beach or when you meet a friend for some beer. And so he built a brand that is casual and can be carried around throughout the day.
To hear more about the inception of Vuori and the story of finding love in poop from Joe, download and listen to the episode.
Joe is the founder/CEO of Vuori is an active lifestyle apparel brand that draws inspiration from the aspirational coastal California lifestyle, an integration of yoga, surf, sport, art, and a strong visionary spirit.
Vuori makes products that stand the test of time and hopes to inspire others to be healthy, vibrant and live their dreams.
We hope you enjoyed Joe Kudla on this episode of Follow Your Different™! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
New Year resolutions have been made. How do we keep from being part of the 6% of people who can’t follow through? Professional athlete turned fitness trainer and entrepreneur Joey Wolfe joins Christopher on today’s episode for some practical ideas to make fitness stick in our lives and improve our well-being.
“I was doing all these other stuff more so than putting my health first and that is completely changed, and I honestly don’t feel like it’s ever going to change again because it’s part of who I am now.” – Joey Wolfe
Coming Up with a Plan
Joey is the founder of Paradigm Sport in Santa Cruz, California, the gym Christopher personally goes to. Every beginning of the year, new faces fill the gym. Then by February, the same people disappear — a trend across the gym business.
You need to have a plan so you don’t become the person that’s done by Valentine’s Day. Everybody has good intentions at the beginning of the year, but you must be clear on what your goals are. And goals are different from results.
Important Behavioral Changes
When planning your fitness routine, you must focus on the goals and the measures you will have to take to fulfill them.
“What are the behavioral changes we need to make in order to get you to achieve those goals… what are the behavioral changes I can be making to make my goal a reality?” – Joey Wolfe
In order to make these changes, you must get into a routine. This is what most people find most troublesome since routines are difficult to establish.
Workout Buddies and Realistic Plans
Joey has never been a morning person, and it remains true until now. But he found a workout group composed of other goal-driven and like-minded entrepreneurs. They helped him ease into the routine of working out first thing in the morning.
An “accountability partner”, along with a realistic plan catered to your fitness level, will help you follow through your plan.
To hear more fitness tips from Joey Wolfe, download and listen to the episode.
Founder & CEO Paradigm Sport
A native of the Central Coast of California, his talent and passion for baseball took him to the professional level where he worked with some of the country’s best trainers. As an ACSM-certified trainer, he now shares his experience and enthusiasm with world-class athletes and fitness clients alike.
Joey has built a business with the goal of bringing the most advanced techniques and the highest levels of individualized athlete training to the Central Coast community.
- 30-minute workouts will suffice.
- Share your goals with those closest to you, or if you’re up for it share it on social media.
- Get a gym membership or outfit your garage with exercise equipment.
- Have a large visible calendar or “accountability mirror” to track your workouts in advance.
- Have workouts written in advance.
- Find a workout partner who can motivate you.
- Don’t get caught in the mental trap that “going to the gym” is the only way to workout.
What do you do when your dreams get crushed? On today’s episode, Alex Hult shares his awesome story of business and life success. He tells us how he rose from a halted hockey career and became a legendary restaurateur.
“My mind was still thinking as fast, everything else was going as fast, but my body couldn’t just handle the speed that I wanted to go.” – Alex Hult
Three Things We Learned
Alex’s promising hockey career
Hockey has been a gigantic part of his life. Growing up in Sweden, Alex was one of the youngest players in the elite league and was ranked second in the country. With a bright career ahead of him, the San Jose Sharks eventually drafted him in 2003.
The injury that stilted everything
Alex Hult got injured the summer right after he got drafted by the Sharks while in a playoff as part of the Swedish team versus Russia. He prematurely got back in the ice a month after the injury. He was late to realize that injury took six to nine months of rehabilitation, and his career took a turn for the worse.
Becoming a restaurateur
After he got married, Alex gave thought to what he wanted to do and the restaurant business sounded fun, so he opened up HULT’S in 2013. On the fourth year of the restaurant, he opened the first Flights location which took off like crazy. At Flights, they serve everything from drinks to food in three different ways.
They give good value to their customers and this commitment shows in how they are full every single day. The massive success birthed a decision to spice things up and remodel the old HULT’S location to become another branch for Flights. Since then, Flights have become one of the most reputable restaurants giving their customers a whole new experience.
Alex is a Swedish native drafted in 2003 in the eighth round by the San Jose Sharks of the NHL. After a knee injury sidelined his career in hockey, he retired in 2009 after stints in the Swedish and European hockey leagues.
Alex met his wife, Sarah, who was Miss Nevada 2011 while pursuing a professional career in cards in Las Vegas. The couple married in 2013 and returned to the Alameda CA area where Sarah is from.
We hope you enjoyed Alex Hult on this episode of Legends and Losers! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!
What is the ultimate importance of music and the arts in life? On today’s episode, legendary baseball player and jazz guitarist Bernie Williams joins us. He talks about how it was growing up in Puerto Rico, playing for the New York Yankees his entire career, and why he wants kids to love music, too.
“Not everybody’s gonna be a virtuoso musician but to use music as instrument for education, I think, is vital for every culture.” – Bernie Williams
Three Things We Learned
Making life connections through music
Bernie believes exposing kids to music and the arts helps them make a connection with the world. There is actual scientific evidence that supports the importance of music and the arts to make children well-rounded. He wishes to contribute in having every kid get this opportunity in their lives.
Importance of music and art education
All thriving cultures around the world with great public education systems have their core music, arts and athletics in the forefront. Indeed, mathematics and literature, among other subjects, are important. But there is also the fact that exposure to music and the arts gives better understanding and opportunity to utilize parts of the brain otherwise not used.
A successful life through music, the arts and sports
People often say that a successful life is all about good timing. The same can be said for music and sports: music is about hitting the right note at the right time. Then there is baseball, which is about hitting the ball at the right place at the right time.
At a young age, Bernie was able to make connections with life through music and the arts. In a society where people give the sciences and maths much more importance and leverage, we should also remember that music and the arts feed the heart and soul.
Growing up in Puerto Rico, Bernie Williams discovered his love for baseball and music at roughly the same time. At the age of eight, he fell in love with the sounds of a flamenco guitar his merchant-marine father brought home from Spain. He also felt the same exhilaration when he first picked up a baseball bat.
The young student-athlete quickly excelled in both pursuits, going on to attend the special performance arts school Escuela Libre de Musica at the age of thirteen. He became one of the most noted young athletes on the island.
When Williams signed a contract with the New York Yankees at age 17, he brought his love of music with him. In his 16 year career patrolling centerfield for the New York Yankees, Bernie Williams was a four-time World Series Champion and a five-time All Star.
Throughout Williams’ years with The Yankees, his passion for music never waned. The sound of a guitar would often be heard emanating from the clubhouse or during team flights.
Whether acoustic or electric, a guitar was a constant presence in the star’s locker or equipment bag. In 2003, he demonstrated how serious his musical pursuit was with the release of his first album, The Journey Within.
The record featured fusions of jazz, rock and the tropical rhythms of Williams’ heritage. It was met with both strong critical praise and instant chart success- reaching #3 on Billboard’s “Contemporary Jazz Chart.”
Bernie also co-authored a book in 2011 published by Hal Leonard Books titled, Rhythms of the Game: The Link Between Music and Athletic Performance. The book examines the symbiotic relationship between musical artistry and athletic performance through the eyes of a man who has mastered both.
We hope you enjoyed Bernie Williams on this episode of Legends and Losers! Christopher loves hearing from his listeners. Feel free to email him, connect on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and subscribe on iTunes!