Speaker 2: Hello and welcome [00:00:30] to learning today. And I am Tyler Ross. My guest today is mark Hoda. Lik, I'm so happy to have you here. Thanks a lot for giving me your time, man.
Speaker 3: Thanks for having me, Tyler.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Oh, well, I don't know a whole lot about you. I've done a bunch of research online. I found of course been on your Instagram page. I know you got a couple boys, but the way I want to start is what I think is what you're doing now professionally with 29 0 29. Is that what you call it? 2,929 or 29,029. Yeah.
Speaker 3: Yeah, no, you nailed [00:01:00] it. 2,929. Yeah. That's an endurance challenge that I created with Jesse Itzler who I know you had on the show as well. And, uh, that was kind of the first partnership that we have. We, we do many businesses together now, but that's kind of where it all started, which is, uh, really just, uh, a pretty amazing weekend that combined part vacation, part challenge, part, self discovery, and networking all in one. And the networking honestly was like the least of my focus with the event. But I think when you bring a lot of really like-minded people together [00:01:30] and they bond through a really hard challenge, you know, it's a, you versus you challenge it's how many times can you hike up the mountain, take the gondola down and repeat with the ultimate goal being it's already six hours to climb 29,029, which is the height of Everest. So, you know, when you're hiking with people, sharing meals together, sharing a tent with them, you obviously bond. So I think it's bonding much more than it is networking. That's kind of the event in a nutshell. Yeah,
Speaker 2: I actually, uh, had just seen the event and I told my wife, I kind of want to do this. And then immediately [00:02:00] I got a, uh, an ad on Instagram that said four spots left. And by the time I exhaled, you guys had sold out
Speaker 3: Well, Tyler, I know people. So yeah, you know, it's, we, we limit them to 250 people and, uh, and are proud that both of them have already sold out. So this year, once in August and ones in a, not in October, but, uh, but part of that, keeping it small is really that focused on community. And over three days getting to meet everyone. And it's one of those things where a lot of people do hesitate about signing up for something so big. [00:02:30] It takes the average person, 27 or 28 hours to finish. It's a long time to hike, but you know, as you get older, I'm not sure how old you are. I'm 38, about to turn 39. As you get older, you tend to do less things where you don't know what the outcome is going to be. You tend to stay in your lane and stick the things that you're good at. And you know, nothing out there like this exists. When was the last time you shared a bedroom or a tent with a stranger? You know, it's probably when you were at camp
Speaker 2: When your first day
Speaker 3: Of college, right? It's either [00:03:00] a camp or in college and the same thing with, you know, how is your body going to hold up? How are you going to feel mentally and physically doing a challenge like this? And it's not meant for elite athletes at all. And we really don't get many elite athletes because we don't have a war. You know, it's, it's really, it's, it's
Speaker 2: Self scored by branding a wall with your name on it. You know, you take a cattle brand and kind of burn in and see her in each, each summit that you do. So it's a very different approach, but it's one where you kind of have to say yes first and then figure it out later, which, which tends to work pretty well sometimes [00:03:30] in life. Yeah. I've heard that mantra from Jesse himself. Uh, you know, you get your foot in the door, figure out the rest later. So tell me, tell me the origin story of 2,929. It sounds like your history, you've got a lot of, uh, you know, fun entertainment there if I want to coin a phrase, you know?
Speaker 3: Yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, I think a lot of things start off with a basis of kind of a question in your own head. Right? And, and for me, the question in my head was I was running 12 to 15 [00:04:00] miles, not daily, but like a long run once a week. And I would run it on the trails. And my friends would, who were also runners would run theirs on the road. And I would just say, well, I climbed X amount of vertical seat. And they were saying, well, who the hell cares? And I started thinking, well, how hard would it be to climb 10,000 vertical seats, 1520. And at the same time I was coaching my son, which we'll, I'm sure we'll talk a lot about today in flag football. And his oldest son was on the team and we just struck up a conversation in a musical kind of shared interest in endurance events and personal [00:04:30] challenges.
Speaker 3: And I had an event production company. It was like, I always wanted my own event. I was like, look, I got this kind of crazy idea about how many vertical feet to get. And the Jessie to marketing genius is like, can you get Everest? What did we did an event around Afghanistan? You know, I think there's a lot of times we're not as thrown out, but it was one that I felt like it was strong enough to like, look, we can build a whole brand around this and finding out how long it was going to take, like going in and testing it with a former college track team in a mind map. We're all very close friend of mine, my best friend, Jesse and Jesse's trainer. We realized like this is going to take longer than [00:05:00] we're an iron man takes. This is going to take sleeping.
Speaker 3: And then that's where kind of the whole camping and community share experience came, came to be. So, you know, very long winded way of saying that it came from almost a little bit of like, is this possible? How long would it take to just saying, wow, in trying this, I learned a lot about myself. It's a lot of time. And that time is not one that's scary, right? It's not like you're out in the middle of nowhere. It's like, you're just repeating something again and again. But it actually becomes harder [00:05:30] because when I did Leadville, which is a a hundred mile run, I'd never wanted to quit. But if you do want to quit, it's kind of pretty hard. Cause you're in the middle of the ride.
Speaker 3: You know, you may be seven to 10 miles from an aid station. Even if you're quitting, you still got to walk it somewhere. You know, they're not getting a helicopter to come get you. Whereas in 29 to 29, you're at the bottom of the beautiful resort. Every lap you can just decide to go inside and get farm to table food, to get a massage, all the amenities we are providing. Great. But they're also [00:06:00] all temptations and you got to choose to kind of climb up the hill the next time we're up the mountain the next time. So it's, it's been very well thought out and scripted in a way where it provides the right amount of challenge and uh, and, and really allows you to kind of learn about yourself by really digging deep and finding out what's what's beneath the surface and what makes you tick.
Speaker 2: Yeah, that's amazing. I wonder if about the first time you tried it, it was just something you had the conversation we're going to try to get 29,000 feet and then you just went and did it and said, yes, [00:06:30] people can do this.
Speaker 3: Yeah. You know, I mean, there was a little planning involved. We realized that the downhill was going to take a real toll on us and that we needed to have a message to get down. And, you know, in Georgia we don't really have ski resorts and we didn't want to have to fly somewhere to test this. So it was, it was having a, you know, a friend of ours drive a suburban, you know, and also it was, it, it was a decent amount of challenge to find out, you know, I'm going to sound geeky saying this, but we had to be efficient in terms of vertical feet gains. So you wanted to find [00:07:00] something steep without a lot of flat because you know, you don't want to have to cover 50 or 75 miles to cover 29,000 feet. So you want to find something decently steep.
Speaker 3: So I talked to a lot of trail runners. I talked to a lot of hikers look just off of the Appalachian trail was trying to find something in north Georgia. And it found that a trail called Jack's gap, which is like 2,400 feet of gain over a little over two miles, which is steep. And luckily enough has a road running next to it. We were able to hike up and have a buddy and staff there for an hour. It would drive us down and repeat it. [00:07:30] And you pretty quickly realize like, oh geez, you tight just taken us 45 minutes and you do the math. You're like, wow, we're going to be out here a long time. So we were prepared with hydration and food and caffeine and everything that we needed to be an endurance athletes, but it wasn't really into the realization of like, you do kind of lap five, you know, and you realize, oh my God, like to finish this thing, we're going to be out here another 12 or 15 hours. That's, that's where it starts to weigh on you. When you've been out doing something for 5, 6, 7 hours, you can't let the enormity [00:08:00] of what is left, overtake, where you're at. And you just kind of have to stay present and stay in the moment for each lap. So even testing the event was a really big challenge for us. And we realized we were onto something and then also realized the right format, location support was really going to be necessary to, to, to make sure that people could accomplish this.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So to answer your question, I'm 35 and I'm finding myself becoming more interested in endurance events. And I, if I recall, [00:08:30] right, I read an article about you running track at Auburn at the collegiate level, but you are not an endurance guy, right? Like what was the shift towards endurance? Did you find it came with age?
Speaker 3: Yeah. I mean, look, I ran it all over and I wasn't really good, you know, to put in perspective, right. When you're lining up against Olympic athletes and looking down the line and kind of already having lost the race before it started. And I think a lot of people that run in college go one or two ways [00:09:00] after college, they have this, these, these unrealistic dreams for most of us of winning road races and making some type of career out running, which there's not much of a career there in the few that do it. It's a really hard life. Or you give it up altogether and start lifting weights because you've been 120 pounds. And you're tired of being the small guy. And I kind of did the ladder. I stayed in really good shape, but I didn't, I didn't really run a lot other than a couple of miles a day.
Speaker 3: And in the draw to my first iron man came from my best friend that I mentioned before Matt [00:09:30] Burrell did iron man, Florida in 2016. And I've never run a marathon. I mean, I've run 18 and 20 mile runs, but I've never even done a half marathon competitively. You know, I was a short distance guy at the end of the middle distance. I was an 800 meter runner in a miler. And so it was just not there. That was on my radar. I wasn't interested in running a fast marathon. Qualifying for Boston, had plenty of teammates that did. And it just wasn't something that really I was curious about. And my son was, my oldest son was six at the time about to turn seven. And we went down into your mat [00:10:00] on a, with my youngest and my wife. And he looked at me, he was like, dad, you can do an Ironman right now.
Speaker 3: I was like, sure. And, uh, about a week later signed up for Ironman Motrin blonde, which was going to be eight months later and I never run a marathon. I didn't know what a bike, I couldn't swim 50 yards across the pool. And it was just like, okay, this is going to be my next thing. This is going to be something that I really dig in. And that was my entree into nerd sport. It wasn't like for years I plotted out what I was going to do. It was literally like I have eight months [00:10:30] to figure this out. And you know, I'm not necessarily a gifted athlete in the realm of endurance sport, but I've been running a lot in my life. And certainly the marathon for people is daunting at the end of an iron man. It was almost something that I looked forward to in the sense that I'm a runner.
Speaker 3: The one thing I know I can do is run. So it was like, if I can survive the swim, if I can not have any mishaps on the bike, I know the run is going to go well and not being arrogant, but it's just, it's been something I've been doing my whole life. So that was the start. [00:11:00] And you know, that was my first marathon was in the iron man. I've done a few cents, but more as training runs, some were a little bit more off the wall. A close friend of mine runs a charity, the Kyle peace foundation and you push disabled athletes. Um, and so I did the Marine Corps marathon and, and pushed to, uh, an athlete named Dontavius Ridley and, you know, going a little less than four hours and, and providing, you know, an opportunity for someone else to run a marathon like Dontavius was equally, if not more rewarding than doing [00:11:30] my own bio and Ironman. So, you know, that, that was kind of my entree into that. And then kind of after doing that, I was like, well, what's next? And that kind of became the a hundred miler, which I'm not sure what's after this. It was my wife's cared about that, but I'm still starting to just scratch the surface of really what endurance sport is about for me, at least.
Speaker 2: So that's probably revealing a lot of qualities in and of yourself, a lot of self exploration there, anything that you've really learned about yourself on a human level that, you know, has been exposed through [00:12:00] doing these things that you had never really been conditioned to do.
Speaker 3: Yeah. You know, I think a lot, I don't want to take up too much time with this, but I certainly realized that through the training, I have incredible levels of discipline that I think I've probably taken for granted for a while, just because I lived in mostly healthy lifestyle or I didn't drink too much, or I didn't eat bad foods that much, but that when I focused on training, everything else in my life had to be optimized around that. So I had to get the proper sleep. I want to see my kids and play with them on a minimum. Once a day was a very [00:12:30] foreign thing to me. So it was like, I have to get up earlier. You know, I don't like the morning. And so I just realized, like, I'm not a morning person. I still hate the morning, but if I need to be in the pool and I, you know, an entrepreneur and run businesses with Jesse, I have a lot of work to do.
Speaker 3: Like I gotta be in the pool by 5:00 AM. And like, I didn't even like getting up until six 30, but I realized that like I had a lot of discipline and I was going to be committed to something. And then I've always felt like I was decently tough. I mean, in high school, I ran on a broken foot for four months, which ended up having really catastrophic results in this year [00:13:00] of running. But I, you know, I, I felt like I had a pretty high pain tolerance, so I'm able to do things. I don't know that I learned that I had that high of a pain tolerance going through this process, but I realized that quit is not something I'm willing to do. So I did, uh, last year in 2018, I did a 50 K I did a 50 miler. And then I did the a hundred and the 50 K was significantly harder for me than the a hundred, the a hundred.
Speaker 3: I had a good day and I had a bad day. And, you know, as I was laying on the ground, completely hydrated my [00:13:30] body and full cramps and spasms. I went from being in the top 10 of the race, and they're only a hundred something people in the race, but having 30 or 40 people pass me with two and a half miles last and I'm crawling on my hands and knees and shaking. And all I thought about was, oh, I still have five hours before that off. You know, there was never that thought of I'm not going to finish. It was just being frustrated. I'd let myself get dehydrated that I'd skipped an aid station. Cause I started thinking about a top 10 finish. I got distracted from my goal. So I was mad about that. But [00:14:00] what I learned about myself was that there was no quit and that the finish line and the joy of finishing was going to far outweigh anything that had been through.
Speaker 3: And that I wasn't going to give up on myself mainly. So I don't know if this is my own quote, if I've read it from somewhere, but I just want to make sure I preface it. But you know, one of the things I was thinking about is that, you know, your mind is going to constantly open the door to quitting. And are you going to let your body walk through that door? Right. And I just realized that day, like no matter what happens, I'm not going to let myself walk through that door and don't get me wrong. [00:14:30] It's not to say like in the hundreds, there were numerous times that I thought about, oh, it'd be so good if I was laying in bed or if I wasn't doing this right now, but you have to quickly change your mindset to just be the next mile, see the next family member, whatever it is to keep going.
Speaker 3: So I certainly learned a lot through it. And then I learned a lot about my family. I learned how much having a big goal, like this impacts everyone around you. And that maybe I didn't put into context enough, like how big a goal a hundred miles is and seen other people's reactions still to [00:15:00] this day that, that you did it, that you did it at one of the hardest ones, you know, in Leadville, Colorado at 10,000 feet climbing mountains, along the way. I didn't really put that in perspective through my training. I was just so focused on the goal and kind of seeing the unconditional support and love from my parents and my sister and my wife and my kids. That's had a big impact as well, but I didn't realize how much me doing something like that was impacting others too.
Speaker 2: Yeah. How much, how much of that, that quit now, you know, that willingness to, to not walk through that door and to not quit is, you know, [00:15:30] pass down from your parents and how much of it is some sort of practice that you've put into effect with intention and how much of it you think is just, that's the way you are. That's the way you're walking.
Speaker 3: I'd say it's 50, 50, right? So you named three ways. I would say, I think half of it comes from the way I've seen my dad work. My grandfather was a longshoreman. He owned a bar in New Jersey. And so always saying, you know, I believe half of it is kind of seeing those traits [00:16:00] and seeing that toughness and it being instilled in you at a young age, you kind of learn to respect it and truly understanding what hard work is, whether that was doing yard work in the yard. When I didn't want to, I mean, my dad could have afforded to have a landscaper come, but yet it was something I had to do on weekends to kind of earn, earn an allowance. And so it was kind of ingrained from an early age. I think having seen that from my parents and my grandparents, but then I believe, you know, running track in college, waking up early in the morning to work out, staying [00:16:30] late at work, you know, whatever it may be, the more you do things to kind of suck and are a little bit hard.
Speaker 3: I do think you harden your mind. So I believe it's a little bit half kinda who you are when you're born and who's around you. You absorb that, you know, I see my kids absorbing it right now. My nine year old, unbeknownst to me without even asking and wrote down in a journal that he has, you wanted to run 103 miles this year because by race was 103 miles. So that's his goal for the year and he's going to hit that by mid summer. But [00:17:00] you know, last year he probably only ran 10 miles in a whole year. He ran three, five Ks. So I think some of it you absorb kind of from who you're around and then you, you put it into practice yourselves. And so that kind of won't quit mentality, I think is something you can both learn and absorb from people year round, and then you can teach it to yourself. I truly believe that.
Speaker 2: How old's your other, do you have a nine-year-old how's
Speaker 3: Your other one? Yeah, so chase is my nine-year-old and Dylan's my seven-year-old so two boys.
Speaker 2: So Nate watch you train, they watch you get up early [00:17:30] and you think that example is just being soaked into them already.
Speaker 3: Yeah. You know, I mean, kids soak up everything around them. Uh, the good and the bad, you know, as, you know, being a dad, you gotta watch what you say. Your kids will repeat it at about two years old, they started to pick up on some of that stuff. So in our household, you know, a sense of humor, I'm a big goofball, I'm a jokester and a prankster, and I'm always trying to scare them or pull pranks on them. But then like, you know, the hard stuff that you do wears off too. And, uh, I think involving them in the process [00:18:00] is big. So my seven year old will probably be a much better runner than I was, would probably be better than my nine year old is he has no desire right now, so I'll push it. But when I would go for a long run of 17 to 20 miles on the weekend, I would want them to join me for the last mile or two.
Speaker 3: And, you know, I made chase my oldest part of that process because he wanted to my seven year old Dylan wasn't as interested in it, but, you know, maybe I could get them to ride the bike with me and they would see how tired I was, you know? And even this morning, I mean, I ran 11 miles this morning [00:18:30] and I know chase is gonna want to run tonight. Data's volt. We try to run on Mondays and Thursdays. So I get home from work tonight. The first thing we'll do is go run two miles together. And that's me kind of showing that I'm supporting his going. He knows this morning, you know, before he went to school, I'd come in. And I was, I looked like a wreck. It was hot and humid this morning and I'd already run my 11 miles and, you know, before I took them to school. So I do think they see that they recognize it and then them having their own goal is not something I even pushed on them. And I think once they have that, they kind of recognize like, [00:19:00] oh geez, like I have to consistently do this to, to see it come to fruition.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. So how old were your kids when they started, like really participating in, you know, watching you trying to reach your goals?
Speaker 3: Well, you know, I mean, I didn't have these big athletic goals until 17, right? So in 2017. So I mean, it's been, you know, there were seven and five. It's not that they weren't going to the gym with me when I worked out. Cause they did, you, they've always, my kids are with me a [00:19:30] lot and I try to expose them as to as many things as I can. Uh, but I think that the first time kind of seeing something as big as Ironman and then a hundred mile, or that's been back to back years, so it's been pretty full on for them the last couple of years, for sure.
Speaker 2: Cool. So 99, 2000, you had your first kid chase. And what were you doing professionally at that time?
Speaker 3: So, yeah, so that was 2009. Yeah. 2009. Goodness. Now you're good. No, I was still in college. [00:20:00] I didn't have any kids. Um, you know, at the time I was a management consultant and uh, I was a management consultant strategy consultant and, um, I had a charity event that I created for wall street executives on the side
Speaker 2: At the time I
Speaker 3: Was living in Manhattan at the time. Yeah. So I've always tried to involve them in what I did. So from the time that they were kind of able to, at three years old, you know, they gave away the metals at the end of my charity event, you know, it was involving [00:20:30] them. I mean kind of what I was doing and letting them see, even if it wasn't my full-time job, because it was some, some, some heightened side hustles wanting to involve them as much as possible.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So what, what that, being your side also, what your main job was on wall street in Manhattan? Like how did having two, you, your kids in the city, or at least your first kid in the city? How'd that?
Speaker 3: Yeah, we had, we had both kids in the city. I didn't work on wall street, but I was a management consultant. So I mean, we had some wall street clients, but you know, I was lucky enough to work for a firm that had really good [00:21:00] work-life balance. And although I was working 60 or 70 hours a week, I was able to work from home when I wanted to, most of my clients were in the city, so I didn't have to do too much travel, but your priorities shift a lot, right? It living in Manhattan, you know, there's happy hour every night of the week. There's always someone going out. It was very easy on my way home from work to go out with friends, new things. Now it was trying to hustle to make sure I got to spend time with my kids before they went to an early bedtime.
Speaker 3: And you know, it just changes your whole routine. And, uh, [00:21:30] I would say you find a way around everything, whether it's work, whether it's friends, you certainly prioritize things more, even the dog, right. We don't really have a dog for a year, but you know, the dog was probably the one that had the hardest time we had kids, my wife and I adjusted pretty quickly. And the dog couldn't believe, you know, how little attention he got down. So I think you, you learn to optimize for things that are most important to you. And obviously when we had kids, there were certain choices that you would make if you want to spend time with kids. And that may be turning down an overseas client because I didn't want to be in London all the time and it wasn't career suicide. [00:22:00] It was just letting people know why I was making that decision and where I wanted to be.
Speaker 3: And you know, there's a quote that I love that says that what seems small today, that the things that seems small today are actually turn out to be the big things later. And I've thought about that so much because I've never regretted hustling home from work. Or instead of having a call at five, o'clock saying it needs to be at seven o'clock or nine o'clock at night, right. I'm still going to do the work, but I never regretted having some time in my schedule to make [00:22:30] sure I got to get this run in with chase today. Like I've never been like, oh, that was a waste. I should have taken that business go. No I'm still going to do with the call. I'm just learning to just be really upfront with people and say, oh, you know, between this time I want to be with my kids or my kids have a baseball game and what we even had to reschedule about a week ago, cause I had some calls run over and then I didn't want to miss my kid's game.
Speaker 3: And you know, I was trying to keep those priorities in line of making sure that I do this things that I want to do. And I don't let anyone down on a business perspective at the same time that I won't look back [00:23:00] as my kids get older and say, I wish I would've done this with them. I wish I would've done that. You can't say yes to everything. And uh, and that's a hard thing with my kids cause I'm with them so much when I say no and it is tough for them. But uh, that shift in mindset was, was pretty quick when I had kids, I just, I wanted to be a dad so bad and I respect my father so much. And the time he spent with me, I only wanted to honor it. I know a lot of people in my situation would be like, oh, well you did, you have a neglected childhood with how much time you spend on your kids and you're trying to make up for it. I was like, [00:23:30] no, if anything, I just want to make my dad proud that I can get as good of a dad as he was because we have such a great relationship. And he did all those sacrifices for me. I want to make sure that I prioritize my kids the same way that he did my sister and I,
Speaker 2: Yeah. Most stuff. How far apart are your sister and you
Speaker 3: Were three years. She's three years older.
Speaker 2: Okay. So similar dynamic between your sons, I guess for sure. How long did you live in? I assume you live in Atlanta now or?
Speaker 3: I do. Yeah. I've lived in Atlanta since 2012, so seven years now. Okay.
Speaker 2: [00:24:00] Yeah. How do you like the difference between raising kids in the city and raising kids? I mean, it's still a city, but it's not Manhattan.
Speaker 3: Yeah. I would say no one would believe this unless they've lived it the first four years of your kid's life, there's probably a few better places, better than Manhattan because playgrounds play dates a bit rains and all the indoor gyms. And instead of dealing with car seats and traffic and all that type of stuff, you just put them in a stroller and walk and that for your social life, it's actually easier because you can still go meet friends [00:24:30] and I'm not a big drinker, but if you want to have a couple of drinks, you just, you're just walking home. Right. Uh, from all that perspective, it's easier. And then as your kids get older and now that they're playing like football little league and all these types of things, the city would be a complete pain in the. So, you know, we left the city when my kids were two and the other one was three.
Speaker 3: My youngest was three months. So we lived in the city for two years. And in the first couple of years in Atlanta were hard because while I had friends here and while I was building a network here, getting together was really tough. People be like, oh, [00:25:00] traffic, or, you know, I got to get home from work or I go to go pick up my dog or I have to do this. And then into Manhattan, it was just so easy to get together. Now it's starting to shift, you know, and, and I'm starting to appreciate the fact that we live in a place where you have a lot of green spaces. We can go out and run or ride our bikes. We can go out and run. We don't have to find an alleyway to throw the football. Um, we have a backyard to do those things. So I really appreciate it. Um, you know, I don't regret leaving the city. It was certainly the right choice. It's hard to raise kids there, [00:25:30] but those first couple of years, it's a wonderful place to have
Speaker 2: Kids. So where, where did you grow up?
Speaker 3: I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama.
Speaker 2: Yeah. And what was, what was that context like? What was Birmingham like when you were growing up there instead of we're very urban or were you in kind of a suburb type?
Speaker 3: I was in, I was in the suburb, you know, I mean, you know, new construction development, every house almost looked the same, you know, I was able to, we are in an area where there's a lot of new construction. So as a kid, you know, I was able to ride my bike and all [00:26:00] these dirt roads everywhere in old trails. And you know, each time would lament is they open up a new part. They tear down woods to Oak to build new lots. That was part of my, you know, player that was gone. But, you know, I had like, I built forks in my backyard. We dug really deep holes. I don't know why you didn't
Speaker 2: Get to
Speaker 3: China. Yeah. You know, and you know, I played little league, I played basketball. I ran, you know, had a great childhood there, always active, always had friends and play dates. And it's the same thing for my kids are constantly active. We're kind of the house [00:26:30] that everyone comes over to. And I wouldn't want it any other way. Although I don't like cleaning up after the other kids. Cause my kids are really well-behaved and I've come, come to find out that, you know, when other people come to your house, they don't treat it. Like it's their own where my kids are much more respectful when they go to other people's houses. And that's the OCD of me that comes to help. So I'm trying to learn how to relax a little bit around that. But I, I love the fact that when, when the other kids come over, it's, you know, all time quarterback and a two on two game or I'm all the time, offense and basketball, you know, I want to be involved [00:27:00] even when they have friends over.
Speaker 2: Yeah. That's awesome. I know my wife wants us to be the house that all the kids come to. And I would love that. Also. Do you get to coach your kids in any sports?
Speaker 3: You know, I did. So I coached flag football. I coached them their first couple of years in T-ball. And then I realized that there's just others that are better at it. You know, I couldn't be more supportive, but it it's taken so seriously you're in the south. And that, you know, when your, when your basketball coach, you know, was, you [00:27:30] know, uh, starting forward in college, when your baseball coach played college baseball or minor league baseball, like they know drills, they know how to coach kids better. And so now that my kids are getting to that age of nine and 10, I'll kind of turn it over to the professionals. So it's still happy to catch. They're still be there and still try to go to their practices as much as I can. But I realized that my kid, you know, I spend my time in the backyard, we do a lot of stuff together. We try to take a lot of little mini trips together and do many triathlons and a lot of that stuff, but that there are others better suited to coach. And [00:28:00] I kind of let them do that now.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So, so piece of advice to anyone thinking about coaching, their kids, first one is defer to the experts. It sounds like you have any other experiences or advice to anyone who's thinking about coaching, their own kids,
Speaker 3: Your, your kids, no matter how it will behave, they are, are going to talk back and frustrate the hell out of you with the coach though. So, you know, I think my kids were probably two of the best behaved kids I've ever been around and I'm really proud of them, but in coaching them, there was a [00:28:30] certain level of disrespect. It would come out in coaching that I'd never seen before. And I was just like, wow, this is at like five or six years old. I don't know if I can get an order. So that, that was, that was time for me to bow out in that happen.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So actually that's a reasonable segue into asking you about like keeping your kids in line. Like, I think we want to give them a lot of space to run, but at some point we got to create some parameters to discipline them. Do you have a, any particular way that you go about this planning, your kids? It works doesn't work.
Speaker 3: [00:29:00] I, I don't know that I'm doing it right. That's the first thing, you know, I think no matter who I talk to you find the challenges of first of all, each kid is different and they respond to different things. My oldest is always striving to please us where I think my youngest is always striving to drive me to insanity. And then there's something that I love about that. Cause that's almost my personality. He's really hard-headed and, uh, he has a no quit attitude about anything. So, you know, that's going to serve them really well later on. I think as it comes [00:29:30] to disappoint is tough because the youngest at this point sees the oldest not get disciplined as much. And they're just different kids. I mean, chase, you know, his nickname was the golden child. Like you, it's not that he can't do wrong. It's just that his disposition is one where he just doesn't challenge that much.
Speaker 3: And I'd liked it, Dylan, my youngest challenges a lot, but he challenges us so much. You got to kind of put them in line and that's, that's a daily struggle because I don't want to constantly be picking on him. But I think the thing that I say the most is would you [00:30:00] talk to your teacher that way? And he'll say no. And I say, what'd you talk to your coach that way? And he says, no. And I was like, well, why are you talking to me that way? You know? And then he rolls his eyes and you're just like, oh God, like, you know, like, he's like, why are you asking me these questions? Like, obviously I talked to you this way cause I can, you know, and uh, there's been a lot of funny exchanges like that, that in, in the moment sometimes aren't so funny. So I would say that's, that's a challenge for me is, is, is understanding that sometimes it need to be a little more, more patient with my younger guy, because he's just wired differently. [00:30:30] And, and, and he notices that his older brother is not getting in trouble for things. And it's because he's not doing anything to get in trouble about, but he still internalizes. That probably is why I'm always the one who's in trouble. And that's tough. It's tough to find that balance.
Speaker 2: It's unbelievable how smart these kids are yet their capacity to disregard logic astounds.
Speaker 3: That's right. That's
Speaker 2: Right. Well, so how, how would you say that the way you were raised impacts the way that you're raising your kids?
Speaker 3: Yeah. You [00:31:00] know, I think my parents were really, and I know they were really inclusive. Humor was a big part of our family and still is. I mean, unfortunately I just lost my grandmother at 89 years old last week and she lived a wonderful life and have nothing but fond memories of her and the family getting together through a hard time, still had a lot of laughter and humor. Right. And so from an early age, it's, it's been the way I was parented was you have to have thick skin. You know, my mom's a nurturing, loving, caring, one that that's almost sweet to a fault. And my dad's a compassionate [00:31:30] guy, but my dad was a college wrestler, you know, he's tough. And, uh, some of the toughest wasn't physical, it was, you know, I remember being in high school and going to go on a date and then being like, you're going to take a girl out, wearing that, you know, and you know, you didn't know if he was joking or if he was being serious.
Speaker 3: Right. And it was always that way. And it still is. It's, it's just constant banter and sarcasm and humor. And both my kids have that. I think it's one where, when kids make fun of them or kids pick on them, they're tougher. They don't let [00:32:00] everything just get to them because they're used to kind of being made fun of weather at home, you know? So we, you're talking about girls at school that like them, and I mentioned their names all the time. I'm just constantly picking on my kids, just like I, I, I joke with my buddies and, uh, I think having them be inclusive when I have friends over, you know, I do have a few dinners. I wouldn't call them networking dinners, but there's seven or eight guys where we get together on a monthly basis. And, you know, I let my boys kind of hang out for 45 minutes or an hour because [00:32:30] I want them to know my friends.
Speaker 3: They're really good people. They make me a better person, you know, and one of them there's two groups, but one of the groups, you know, eight of us all were in the a hundred mile or together. So they got know them really well. And I want them to experience my friends. And so I think it's important to expose them to a lot of things. And the other thing is I traveled a lot as a kid, even being growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, we traveled a lot. And I think that gives you exposure outside of the mentalities that maybe the south has or other areas [00:33:00] that aren't as favorable. Hey, they're not all true, but B where they are true when you go outside and see people of other races, cult, cultures, religions, and you experienced that, you grew up with much more worldly view. And so are our kids from an early age have been fantastic travelers because it was just part of their normal life.
Speaker 3: And that's something that I learned a lot from my parents was just, you know, there was no reason for us to cry or complain about travel. We were going to go to someplace good or bad. We were going somewhere. And, [00:33:30] you know, I was along for the ride and my sister and I weren't, and now that's the same way with my kids. You know, they're just, they're very easy to go to other places and get out of routine because it's been ingrained in them from an early age. Right. And, uh, and, and we've been able to be very casual about that and not make such a big deal about bedtimes or mealtimes or those types of things, because we wanted our kids to be a little bit more flexible and not as rigid in schedule. So everybody parents differently. I know I have friends that, you know, they won't go to California because it would throw off their kids sleep. [00:34:00] You know, we'll go for two nights and realize that they're going to be a wreck. Right. We're going to have a blast during the day. And we know we're going to forego some sleep because of that. But you know, my in-laws live in Southern California. And if it's a big birthday or for something, we're not going to miss it because you know, our sleep schedules are gonna get thrown off.
Speaker 2: Yeah. That makes perfect sense. I'm sure anybody that's got kids and friends with kids can relate to exactly that currents in style. I want to be sensitive to your time. So I want to knock out some, uh, for sure [00:34:30] Jordan answers here, what impact has having kids had on you?
Speaker 3: It's not, you know, um, it made me think a lot more about kind of my daily actions. I met a woman, not that long ago, that asked me a question. She said, do you like how you spent your minutes today? And I wouldn't say that I cared how much I spent my minutes until I had kids. I was always mindful of my time. I've never wanted to like binge watch Netflix or watch a bunch of TV. I've always been an active, productive [00:35:00] person, but I think as, as it relates to organizing my day, so I could read to my kids at bedtime or making sure I was at all their events. So it certainly changed my mindset about how I spend my minutes, because it made me think a little bit more about the time I spent with my parents. They don't live that far away, but kind of seeing the joy that my parents get from spending time with my kids had just made me, they're grateful that my parents are still young and healthy and able to have their grandkids.
Speaker 3: So it's, I've always been a sentimental person, but even having kids [00:35:30] has made me just be even more grateful for the relationship that I have with my kids. And, uh, it's really, I think crystallized to some of my friendships, my friends that care about my kids, I've just become closer with. And, uh, and they know that they're a big part of my life and, and they respect the fact of how much time my wife and I want to spend with our kids. We, we still have our own trips that we take. We're, we're not the parents that can't take time away from their kids. You have to find that balance, but it just helps put a lot more in perspective, I think too.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So what's on your not [00:36:00] to do list as a father,
Speaker 3: Uh, ever embarrass my kids, you know, or be a little them. I just don't think, I don't think there's anything to be gained from that to force them down a certain path. I think one of the things that I respect most about my dad is that as I was getting recruited from college programs as a sophomore in high school, he still supported me to go and sit at the bench and play baseball. And I made the decision on my own. And I think you have to let your kids make certain decisions. So a big thing on my not to do list is set out a path [00:36:30] for my kids or set certain expectations on them. Everyone has their view on maybe it's religion, that they want their kids to Burke, or to be involved in as, as part of a family. Maybe it's a career path.
Speaker 3: Maybe it's a school. They want them to go to the only thing that I would not let them do is go to Alabama. Auburn. I've made that pretty clear. Other than that, you know, I'm, I'm curious about that too. If they want to go, they can pay for it. But you know, [00:37:00] in the not-to-do list is, is, is telling them what's right. I mean, my nine year old would be an unbelievably gifted golfer or tennis player. His hand-eye coordination is off the charts, but he likes flag football and candidly between us. Like, I hope he doesn't hear us, but he's not that fast. He's not that agile, but if that's what he wants to play, we let them play it in the spring. We let them play it in the fall. He takes it after school. That's where he's happy. He doesn't need to specialize in something.
Speaker 3: I don't care about that. There's always a time in life. If you want to specialize or do something, and I'm not going to force [00:37:30] my kids down a path because I know what they're good at. It's I want them to follow what makes them happy and then find out the right way to support that through them, getting to make their own choices. And then also finding the right level of support. Because I think you have to have your kids to get some buy in themselves, too. There has to be willing to practice on their own. They may have to be willing to take some of their allowance. They may have to be willing to give up some things with their friends to show, to have some skin in the game as they get older. And those are things that I had to do when I was a kid
Speaker 2: That's really profound. I'm going to directly apply that. Absolutely. That [00:38:00] was great. So with exception to not going to Alabama, what would the greatest hope be for your kids?
Speaker 3: You know, I I'd want them to want to be as dad and I'm getting emotional as much as I am. You know, like it's the happiest thing that's ever happened to me other than marrying my wife and I'd want them to look back on their childhood and say, man, if I could recreate this relationship with my kids, that would be great. I think, you know, you have certain career expectations. I would never want my kids to go to private school, [00:38:30] go to an Ivy league college and then feel some obligation because we've spent $750,000 education or whatever would be, did they need to pursue some job to make us happy? You know, it's unfortunate that most people don't get to do what they love. And I think sometimes that stems from societal demands. Other times it can stem from the parents, started putting a certain expectation. And so long as my kids were able to support themselves and their family, I would want them to pursue what makes them happy and what they feel like their calling is. And so, [00:39:00] you know, that would give me a lot of fulfillment and quite frankly, if they still want me in their life, you know, I think that would be a big thing that they don't want too long to go before my wife and I get to see them. And hopefully our grandkids that would be winning for me.
Speaker 2: That's I think that's wonderful. Actually. I'm going to say I'm a sidetrack here. Yeah. You have to grow old, but you don't have to grow up. I pulled that straight off your Instagram posts. What's what's that mean to you?
Speaker 3: Yeah, I mean, it, it just means [00:39:30] that I still want to play in the kid's games. Right. It's it's part of my play and happiness is for being in the backyard, playing the flag football game, being the quarterback or joking around with them. I'm going to have that immature sense of humor. And you know, when they have their phones, I'm going to send them the same poop emoji back. They're going to send me because you have to be able to laugh and have fun. And I think my, my dad is 69 and there's times where I think he acts like he's, you know, 16 or 19 again. And [00:40:00] as you, as you have a lot of life's challenges, weigh on you, the ability to laugh and have fun and play like a kid is truly where I find my happiest. I mean, this morning I was running on a trail and instead of worried about twisting my ankle, I flipped it to jumping off a route and doing things like I was a kid again.
Speaker 3: And I think if you're able to do those things and not do anything too risky, right. But you know, sometimes being a kid, being a kid is awesome. You know, I can't think of each year, my kids are like, oh, [00:40:30] I'm like, there's no better age of seven to nine. And next year I'm gonna say, there's no better agents than eight and 10. Then I was say, there's no better ages of nine and 11, because I remember where I was at at those ages. And I'm able to relive that now. So I kind of see the way my dad approaches things by just always having fun, being optimistic in this situation. And honestly, you know, kind of acting like he's a kid again, works pretty well. It doesn't work in every setting, but be mindful of that. But, uh, I think when you play with your kids, if you can play like a kid, rather than always [00:41:00] be coaching, and there's a time for that, don't get me wrong. But I think if you can just play that, it sort of brings me joy.
Speaker 2: Yeah. I love it. I feel you, you said it better than I can even think it. So if you were writing a book about your life as a parent, could you think of a name of a couple of chapters, maybe, maybe a chapter that you're in now.
Speaker 3: It's a really good question. Chapter I'm in now would be keep picking me. Right. So [00:41:30] I see with, as my kids get older, you know, they have play dates, you know, and I want to still be picked to be on their team. Right. I want to still be included. And I see that, you know, at bedtime, my nine year old probably doesn't need us to read to him anymore, but he still wants us to say goodnight. And that's a big part because I see them kind of transitioning to that next phase where they don't need us as much. And I don't want to let go with that right now. Like I liked that they're more independent. I liked it on a Saturday morning. They can make themselves breakfast, but I still want them to pick me to make breakfast because I like [00:42:00] still providing for them. And I know I'm gonna have a whole life of that, but I still want to get picked.
Speaker 2: Yeah, you you're making my eyes well up a little bit thinking about that. Um, so who's your favorite? I know you said you don't watch a lot of television, but who's your favorite TV Dan?
Speaker 3: Oh my gosh. I never really thought about that. Well, until recently it probably would have been bill Cosby, unfortunately, not anymore at all with his behavior, but I, you know, I love, you know, how he was the jokester. He was always [00:42:30] fun. He was, he was joking. I think that, that, that, that was like I said until recently that would not be the pick anymore. But that interesting question with, with TV dad, I mean, I think, um, I just think that people that, that have that real kind of a light approach to life is, is certainly what I lean towards.
Speaker 2: Awesome. How would you describe the dad? You'd like to be remembered as
Speaker 3: Trustworthy. Like I want my kids to know that I'm someone that they can come to with anything and they're not going to [00:43:00] get judged. I just want to maintain a relationship of, you know, if it's bad news, tell me, right. And that there's not always going to be some hammer on the other side of it. Right. So, and, and, and quite frankly, someone that they want to be around, you know, the relationships that I see that I really admire the fact that I want to talk to my dad, I want to talk to my mom is not an obligation for me to call my parents. And I, I know that certain people fall into that category. And I think you want to find that balance between someone that they look up to and come to for advice and provide nurture [00:43:30] and support and guidance. And at the same time, be your friend. Right. And it's, so I would want to look back and, and know that I was someone that, that checked those boxes for my kids and that I was somewhere that they wanted to hang out with still.
Speaker 2: Awesome. I have, I have three left. The first was given to me by a Lewis house. And that was, when do you feel the most loved?
Speaker 3: When my oldest holds my hand, it's become some new at night where he just [00:44:00] holds onto my hand. He doesn't want to let go. And, uh, that's, that's about as good as it gets, you know, you know, it's, it's that, and it's, um, my seven year old doesn't show a lot of emotion and it, when he does show emotion, he's really trying and it gets me. Cause I know, I know it's a stretch for him and uh, and it's not forced. So when he does it, it, it really feels good. You know? And then everyday when I come home from work and the dog knocks the kids out of the way, so I feel pretty lucky. [00:44:30] Um, he's on conditional with that on a daily
Speaker 2: Basis. That's the best walking through the door in the whole,
Speaker 3: Yeah,
Speaker 2: This is one of my favorite questions. It's the Tim Ferriss billboard question. If you could give a piece of advice that has to fit on a billboard for all the dads flying by at 75 miles an hour, what would you put up on that billboard?
Speaker 3: Oh, wow. It's really good.
Speaker 2: So Tim Ferriss's question. I wish it was mine.
Speaker 3: You're smart enough to ask it. So [00:45:00] the piece of advice I would give, they can read on a billboard driving by at 75 miles an hour. When your kids ask you to play say yes.
Speaker 2: Yeah, that's great. That's great. So I lied. I got,
Speaker 3: I asked you to do, excuse my language that you don't want to do. And you know, I find myself struggling sometimes saying instead of playing this game, so we play this game because this is what I want to do. And I think just saying yes, when they ask you to do something, always ends up being the right call. [00:45:30] Even when it gets me in trouble with my wife or it'd be too late of a bedtime, we're supposed to come inside, we're not supposed to be playing. And you know, they say, can the game go to overtime? And I say, yes, a lot, very few times. Does that come back to,
Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. I'm I'm with you. I was chastised just yesterday for doing an airplane with both my kids when they were supposed to be brushing their teeth. That's right. Yeah.
Speaker 3: So normally wrestling, I get them all riled up at that time when they're supposed to be brushing teeth or reading a book and they want to have a two on one wrestling match. [00:46:00] Yes. That Northern furlongs bedtime by about 15 minutes. So it could be worse for your wife. She could, she could be dealing with three people wrestling rather than, you know, airplane.
Speaker 2: Oh, I love that. So I know I told you three, I'm going to jam in an extra one. So I got two left. Uh, I like this question. If you could give a gift, regardless of, you know, anything, just any gift that you could conjure in your mind to give to every dad on the planet, what do you think would be handy for that? Every dad, dad
Speaker 3: It's either the [00:46:30] time or the flexibility to get, to spend that time with your kids, because you don't know what a moment is going to bring and you just, you got to kind of be there. And that's tough. I do feel for some dads and I know that their, their work schedule doesn't allow them to spend the kind of time that I get when my kids. And I think, you know, the gift of flexibility, if that's an option, right? That's something that I truly value that I've been able to kind of carve out a career where [00:47:00] it, it may mean, like I said, at night from eight to 11 or eight till midnight, and I'm doing the work that I would have been doing between five and eight, but I have that flexibility. I don't have to be in an office. There's not some senior partner that's leaning over me or some deal has got to get done the next day.
Speaker 3: And when there is that deal, I don't feel as guilty for doing it because I've carved out the other time. But, but I realize, and I'm very grateful that I'm in a position where I'm able to do those things and that not everybody has that flexibility. And I would, I would just want that for them because there's, there's those that have to work two and three [00:47:30] jobs, uh, to provide and do other things. And, and I would want them to kind of get, to spend those, those moments of joy that I get on a daily basis.
Speaker 2: Wonderful. Wonderful. You don't get it. You don't get time back. So my, my last question, I'm going to sing. If I see if I can get the waterworks going on your mark in the event, this recording lasts forever and you have an opportunity to pass a message along to your kids, their kids, their kids, their kids, and forever on like, what's, [00:48:00] what's a jam that you leave them.
Speaker 3: I don't know that I have many gems, but first of all, there's no wrong way to do the right thing. You know? So, um, it's kind of a corny, same, but it's something I think about a lot in that, you know, you just want to lead a life that you're happy with and that you can look yourself in the mirror and be proud of who you are. And for me right now, it's, you know, keeping my priorities in order. And you know, I think that [00:48:30] we all have an obligation to make the most of our minutes and that we're all going to get off track and spend times doing things we probably shouldn't be doing, but my kids were going to listen to this and want to pass it on to their kids. It would be to say, you know, I've made mistakes. And that I regret the fact that in my twenties and early thirties, you know, I wasn't doing some of this endurance sports that I'm doing now because of the amount of growth and personal satisfaction that I've gotten from it.
Speaker 3: But I'm doing it now, right? I'm going to be able to do this for another 25 30 years. I confidently believe [00:49:00] I'll be doing it until my late sixties. And at least I was willing to try. Right. And that, you know, I think what we first started talking about when we're talking about 2,929 saying yes, and figuring out a little bit later, I just believe in it so much. So many people get caught up in what are other people going to think or what if I fail? Well, you know what I mean? I've had a huge career failure with a startup that I created. And I learned more from that than any success that I've had. And, you know, I learned more and falling down and being unbelievably dehydrated [00:49:30] and cramping like crazy in a 50 mile. Or then I learned about myself cruising across the finish line with both boys hands between mine at 103 miles.
Speaker 3: So you don't know where the learnings are going to come from. You don't know where the joy is going to come from. You don't know where the memory is going to come from, but you gotta be willing to put yourself in those situations and surround yourself with people that, that build you up and military. Now there's, there's way too many people who you'll value their opinions and their, they don't care about your best interest. They're about their care, about making themselves feel good [00:50:00] or trying to prove to you that they're smart or that they have the better advice. And I think that if, if you just trust your gut sometimes, and you put yourself in a situation where you don't know what the outcome is going to be, you'll learn the best about yourself, right? And, and even if you fail, you'll learn what you need to do the next time.
Speaker 3: And that doesn't mean that you should go into things on preparer. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't seek advice and have experts and do all of those things. I truly believe in all that, but, but sometimes it just means taking on a really big task and, [00:50:30] and finding out what you're made of. And, and, and I don't think you can do that enough. Right? And the last thing I would say is that following that advice can lead you to be selfish and that you have to find that balance of as much as I love doing that, a hundred miler, the biggest part of last year was seeing my wife do 29 to 29. That meant more to me than doing Leadville because she got to experience what I wanted other people to have when I got myself. And as you get older, the Alaska say is, you don't do many things that you would look back on [00:51:00] and say, you're proud of every day.
Speaker 3: My kids are coming home with a piece of artwork or, you know, a storage from a flight football game at school or something that they're proud of. And that as you get older, it gets a little bit tougher to be proud of what you do and or what you did that day or that week, or that month. And that, I think you need to put things on your calendar that you're going to look back and be proud of. And that may be taking your kids camping and being proud of yourself for carving out that time. That may be running a hundred miles that may be doing 29 and 29. That may be learning a new skill, [00:51:30] but you need to put things on your calendar as you get older, that will challenge you. And that you'll be able to be proud of yourself for doing them. Cause I think that kind of positive momentum will translate to all aspects of your life.
Speaker 2: That's awesome. Well, that's, that's mark. Thank you so much for being on
Speaker 3: Man. Awesome. Tyler. Thanks for having me, man.