Speaker 2: Hey, welcome to learning the data. Tyler Ross, I'm Tyler Ross, and I am with Jason. DUSA [00:00:30] my professor at battlefield jujitsu, my friend for a long time. Uh, we got tons of stuff we can talk about, uh, you know, going to VMI. So being in the construction business, opening a jujitsu school, one that didn't make it. And one that is making it great. One that made it through the pandemic and the Hogan, um, wild family history, um, growing up in a small town, that's changing. Like we've got so many things we can talk about common from that perspective too, with the small towns. [00:01:00] And yeah. So thank you. First of all, thanks for having me. I really appreciate the opportunity. And, uh, you know, we've been, we've been talking about sharing some stuff for awhile, so it's good to finally get the chance to sit down. Yeah.
Speaker 2: I'm excited to have this conversation. So let's start kind of generally with your professional arc. Like once you graduated from VMI, like w w what would your career look like between there now? Yeah, so the, I guess the, the career [00:01:30] projection started at VMI. Um, I'll go back a little bit. So I was third generation construction. My, my grandfather was a developer builder, so he would buy the land subdivided and you'll get everything developed roads. And back then most everything was ditch line street. Right. And, uh, develop it and build the houses and sell [00:02:00] the houses. And back then it was the, you know, the baby boomer coming back from the war, do you know, thousand to 1500 square foot home, you know, people would raise three to five kids stuffed in a three bedroom state. Exactly. And, uh, so my grandfather did that and, um, self-taught, and my father learned how to, how to build houses from my grandfather.
Speaker 2: He built the house that I grew up in, and then, uh, my dad did. And, [00:02:30] um, I went to work for my dad after high school. My dad asked me in high school, you know, you thinking about college and all that kind of stuff. And I was like, no, absolutely not. And he said, okay, what are you going to do? You know, with a smile on his face? I said, well, I'm going to start working for you and out in the fields and learn the business and take over the business. And he chuckled. And so I started working for him in the field. I did that for a little while. And after, after work, one day, I drove to his office and said, Hey, uh, I think I want to go [00:03:00] into the military. And he said, well, why do you want to do that?
Speaker 2: And I said, well, I realized there's some things I need to, I need to get some things kind of focused in my life. And, uh, and then afterwards, I'd, I'd like to go to college. And, uh, he said, well, okay, what are you going to do? I said, well, I think, I think maybe stay in the military, but enlist and then get an education and then become an officer commission. And, uh, I didn't even know VMI existed. And [00:03:30] he did business with several VMI alumni. And, uh, he said, okay, take a couple of weeks. Think about it. If you decide, that's what you want to do, we'll meet up and I'll go with you to, to the, uh, to the recruiter. I said, okay. So we met up, nothing had changed on my end, but he had in the back of his mind from the beginning of that conversation had planted a seed for him.
Speaker 2: And, and he said, what if you could get both? And I said, what do you mean both? He said, what if you could do both at the same time? What if you could [00:04:00] get the degree, be in an environment that's, that's helping you get, get focused and disciplined and, and things of that nature. I definitely needed all those things. You know, the, uh, uh, I was a hard worker, you know, I enjoyed the hard work working out in the field for him and stuff, but it wasn't what I wanted the trajectory of my life to be. Um, and even eventually working into the, I knew I was gonna, he was going to keep me in the field for a long time. And, um, and, [00:04:30] uh, so kind of reflecting on that construction career path, which, uh, life, gosh, tremendous respect for the people that do it in any capacity.
Speaker 2: Uh, I just decided that that wasn't the trajectory I wanted my life to go, even though I grew up around it and knew so much about it, I decided that wasn't the path that I wanted. And, um, so the more we talked about it, I said, well, that sounds awesome. And, um, so, okay. So, uh, we went down and checked it out. We set up a, an appointment to go down. [00:05:00] I, I met with a recruiting officer down there and admissions and, um, introduced me to what VMI was like. We got in the truck afterwards and I looked at him. I said, that's what I'm doing. Um, they want us, that was so appealing about that. Um, as a 18 year old, oh gosh. At that point in time, I was, I was almost 20 when I showed up at V I turned 21, 1 month into my rat year.
Speaker 2: Yes, I [00:05:30] at 18 and 19 year old yelling at me when I was going through the rat line. Um, but, um, I liked the intensity of it. Um, I like the fact that the environment, um, you kind of like if you're trying to be focused on good nutrition, if you take an investment approach where you put your, you have your money automatically [00:06:00] go into an investment, you don't see it. Like if you're, you know, if it's coming out of your paycheck, so to speak, if you don't see that money, it goes straight into your investments. Same thing with nutrition. You don't bring that stuff home from the grocery store in your house. Then when you get the munchies, you're going to eat the healthy stuff. The environment is set up that the distractions aren't there. So you were distracted going up until that point, acknowledged it.
Speaker 2: And you're like, I need the environment where I don't have opportunities to make this exact center. [00:06:30] I didn't want to focus on the odd friends off at college that were spending the majority of their time partying. You know, when I, when I was working in, in construction, I was always looking for where's the fun time, you know, where are the women hanging out type stuff. And back then VMI was, um, single-sex education. And, uh, didn't go co-ed until, uh, 97, 98 and school year. Um, so I knew that there would be that focus there and, uh, um, [00:07:00] or that lack of distraction come to find out though that surrounded by for all girls schools and they were there a lot. And so the distractions were there, they were just ended up being limited to the weekends. So I guess there was some balance with it, but, uh, uh, yeah, so I liked that, um, there was every intention of going into the military once your point VMI.
Speaker 2: Yep. Yeah, yeah. At that point. Um, and, uh, during the course of that time was when I changed my mind. [00:07:30] Um, basically I, I enjoyed the environment, love it. Everybody has a love, hate relationship while you're there. Um, but I enjoyed aspects of the environment. I felt like I, it touched me the way I needed it to touch me and then decided I was going to go into the professional world as a, you know, civilian professional world. Um, and with the w what I determined later to be the wrong intentions and, uh, focused [00:08:00] on money. Um, and you know, everybody, a lot of guys that I knew approached me and they said, why, why aren't you going in the military? And what are you going to do when you get out of here and tying this back into the career stuff? I said to them, anything, but construction is so getting into the, the construction aspect of it.
Speaker 2: My, uh, I started looking at some different things. And then one of the individuals [00:08:30] that my father did business with who was an alumni said to, he called my dad, said, Hey, uh, you know, you mind if I go down and talk to him about him working for me, and, and I didn't know that they'd had that conversation he came to visit and alumni could pull you out of post, you know, as long as it was within certain timeframes of the day, they could pull you off post and whatever they wanted. And so we went out, had lunch, talked about everything except [00:09:00] working for him, or at work in general, um, mostly a personal conversation vetting you out. Yeah, I think he already knew he, you know, he'd known me for a long time. Um, you know, not more superficially, but he'd known me for a long time.
Speaker 2: He'd seen me a lot. And, uh, um, here and there, and at the end of the conversation, he said, so, you know, you want to come work for me. [00:09:30] I said, okay, so this is another construction construction, anything about construction. So here we are. And it was a, it was a neat opportunity to get into straight out of straight out of college. So they, um, had a license on a proprietary bridge system, a three-sided structural arch reinforced bridge system used mostly for, you know, secondary road [00:10:00] crossings. Uh, and in that size range, most things would disturb a stream bed, right. And this system gave them the opportunity to impact the environment as little as possible compared to other systems. Okay. And so the opportunity was, um, from, I ended up traveling all over the Mid-Atlantic states and I would help with sales, help support the sales process, [00:10:30] help support the production process, um, deal with logistics, with getting the pieces.
Speaker 2: We had three locations spread out in Virginia where everything was manufactured, but we would ship to Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina. And there was different licensees around the country. The, the person who owned the company that I worked for, the two individuals that owned that company. [00:11:00] Um, well, it was more than two, the two that ran it were partners with people that had designed the system. Yeah. So we were connected with the actual system itself, separate companies, but there was a strong connection there. And, um, I also, because of my construction background and the time at a young age that I'd had out in the field, I could communicate well with [00:11:30] food. You know, that half of, if you will, half of the construction industry, right. I was able to bridge the gap well. And so I got to travel around and, you know, help oversee the installations and set stuff up, coordinate with the crews and the companies and the crane companies.
Speaker 2: And, and so there, I was older, fresh out of college compared to most, I was 24 and, um, and, uh, but pretty much on my own [00:12:00] right out. Uh, how long did you do that for? I did that. It was probably three years. Okay. And then do you enjoy that? Generally? I enjoyed aspects of it. Um, I enjoyed showing up in an area not having seen that location, you know, quickly determining what would be logistically the best way to approach that working with the company, working with the trucking company, getting logistics, setting stuff up. So we could be as, as efficient as possible [00:12:30] and rolling in nothing's there within a few days, something's there and then I'm headed out to the next gotcha thing. So for somebody young like that, it wasn't a, it wasn't a grind, you know, it was the grind was the, the pace and the schedule, not the day-to-day.
Speaker 2: Yeah. You know, constantly doing the same thing, sitting at the same desk. I was constantly on the go, I was traveling, meeting people and because everything was closed, I [00:13:00] was traveling by car. So I got to see a lot of the mid Atlantic states and, uh, uh, and it was fun. That part was fun, but it was still construction. So that's what brought that to an end. I had another, this is a theme over your life in construction out. Yeah. Um, so, uh, then I had another alumni contact me and this one was more, um, you know, professional shirt and tie. Um, and, uh, [00:13:30] it just seemed like, okay, I'm sick of construction. I want to head that direction. And I did, I switched over for about a year and didn't like that either, because then, then you were more, here's your office. You go in that just doesn't suit me.
Speaker 2: I I'm, there's the aspects of construction that I like, and that suits my personality well, and then there's the aspects that, that [00:14:00] I don't like. And I think quickly moving into a more professional is the right word, right. Because there's certainly, you're certainly a professional, no matter what you're doing in the construction industry, people become experts in one, one cog of that wheel breaks and the whole system breaks down. Um, but I got into, uh, you know, the more shirt and tie professional type thing, and quickly realized that's not for me. So do you [00:14:30] wash out or do you go screw this? I don't want to do it anymore and then go find something else. Or do you just kind of let the candle fizzle and burn out, you know, at that point in time, it was, um, it was probably a combination of the two.
Speaker 2: So w leaving the construction again, I probably let that burn too long instead of looking for something I don't, I probably would have grinded that out some more, had the other opportunity not popped up. [00:15:00] That opportunity popped up. And I said, Hey, this looks, you know, this looks kind of cool and then just jumped, um, and, um, probably not the right approach. Right. But at that point in time, I'm not really reflecting on me and what I need to learn to grow me and who I am. And I'm thinking that that's unknown, not even really thinking it. Right. But you're just, you're looking to see what's right. Instead [00:15:30] of you knowing, or determining, coming to the realization of what's right for you, and then purposely seeking those things out. Now, reflecting back. I, I know somebody from childhood that they knew, you know, middle school level, high school level, that they wanted to be a dentist.
Speaker 2: They just knew it. And now reflecting back, I'm going, man, that, that wasn't even an inkling of a thought in my mind. And how far [00:16:00] behind am I now in knowing me and what I want to do. And, you know, this is years after even this next job. And, uh, but the impact of reflecting back on what that individual said about, they knew that path and everything they did was focused on taking them in that path. Yeah. And, uh, so at this point, um, I'm just, you know, it's like, oh, squirrel, right? Every, every flash, is that something I want to do? Is that something I want to do? Um, but, [00:16:30] uh, yeah, so that, that opportunity, um, I'm not meant for sitting in an office, I've learned that from that opportunity. And, um, so then I'm back in construction again. So there was an opportunity to get back into construction.
Speaker 2: And, um, you're so far not back in the family business, you're just in, you're in the business, the family's in, but the family's business, my father actually sold while I was a VMR. Okay. So, uh, yeah, [00:17:00] so that wasn't even an option anymore. Uh, so I did go back to construction this time site construction, which was more what my father did and, um, became an estimator, um, then from there and operations engineer then onto project management. And, uh, that's, that's probably when I hit the, the project management level, well, actually operations engineering is what really kind of, [00:17:30] um, had the biggest impact on me from a construction perspective and, and a lasting impression outside the career field for life. So you're starting to like get satisfaction in your life as a result of that position sing. You're not getting the satisfaction. It still didn't, you know, it's still not a hundred percent thrilled with construction, but, um, uh, I learned a [00:18:00] tremendous amount at that operation engineering opportunity and it was because of where we were as a company.
Speaker 2: So at that point in time, I was working for a company called American infrastructure and they were the 26th largest heavy civil contractor in the nation. Yeah. And so they obviously had resources that other companies I worked for did not have. And a big part of that was, was training. And the operations engineering position was an efficiency position. [00:18:30] So that kind of touched on things that I was doing in when I worked for the bridge company, logistics, how we can coordinate things and plan for things to go as efficient as possible through whatever you were working on at that particular time. And, and I really enjoyed that. Um, and then within that, the, there was a individual they might cast and he's a, we'll call him a, uh, an efficiencies expert in, in the construction [00:19:00] industry and among a very small group of people worldwide that, that had his kind of capabilities.
Speaker 2: And, um, and so they had hired him as an outside consultant and he was helping the company develop the operations engineers, which were essentially internal consultants. I want to jump concurrently into the history because you were wrestling at VMI where you training throughout this time, while you're in construction and traveling, and then kind of settling into [00:19:30] this, the office job. So yes, I was a sporadic wrestler at best and started when I was young, then jumped out of it and then back into it. And, um, people were involved in, everybody at VMI was involved in something. And, um, so I was on the team, my rat year, and then eventually ended up playing rugby. But the, you know, there was enough grappling background that, that kind of, that, that [00:20:00] was a reflection point with what eventually led me into jujitsu. So during, during this period of time, uh, I was not that, that early period of the career I was not doing, uh, jujitsu.
Speaker 2: Um, so, and it, it, it was probably right around that operations engineering position that I started doing jujitsu actually. Um, and the void that [00:20:30] wasn't being filled at that time, I'd started going to the gym a lot. And, uh, you know, I'm, I'm a small framed person and, um, you know, walked around then about 170 pounds and I'd got into weightlifting and I was, I bulked up for me a lot and I was over 200 pounds. Yeah, wow. Yeah. It was, uh, you know, an NBN, small framed looked a lot bigger than it actually was. You know, when you saw me next to a 200 pound person in, you're like, oh, you know, he's just an average dude, but then, you know, if I was at the beach [00:21:00] or something, I had this tiny little waist and a V-shaped back, and then I looked jacked, but then I put a shirt on and I didn't, you know, um, but, uh, I felt miserable from a perspective of how my, my body moved and, and I did reflect back on.
Speaker 2: And again, I was not a good wrestler. I was physical. I was, you know, I had athletic capability, but from a technical perspective, definitely not a good wrestler. Um, but I would, I was reflecting [00:21:30] back on that time. And I remember thinking, because I had, when I was at VMI, I had was about 1 75 when I got there. And I was down to about one 50 during that, that, uh, that season. And I, I didn't start, I was third string if I was lucky, but, um, uh, I remember thinking that in a physical confrontation that 150 pounds self would wipe the ground with the 200 plus pound [00:22:00] self. And so I, I wasn't happy with how I felt from what can I do perspective with my body. And so I literally just stopped. I was like, I'm not going to the gym ever again. And I said, I'm going to get back into that kind of shape. And jujitsu was gaining in popularity. Um, w what about what time is this? Uh, that timeframe is late [00:22:30] 1999. So [inaudible], was that early 93? 93? Yeah. So I started training 99 ish. Um, [inaudible] tie up until that point. No, I didn't start doing my tie until, um, uh, 2000, 2003 or 2004. Yeah. And then no, [00:23:00] 2002.
Speaker 2: Yeah, 2000, 2002 timeframe, 2002, 2003 timeframe. If you like your work life benefited from your martial arts training. Well, it depends. So the, um, and that's a good way to segue back in. Um, so with the operations engineering position, I ended up, um, the, the business unit that I was at in Virginia. They had business units in multiple states, and we did everything that the company, not, not our business unit, but the company did [00:23:30] everything from major highway projects, you know, major bridges, residential development, commercial development, uh, not the development aspect, but the site development site contracting work. And, um, we were struggling at this particular business. So that gentlemen that they brought in, they, um, they brought him in and had him focus on our business unit for awhile. So they'd taken all of us operations engineers got us trained, [00:24:00] and people had gone out to start actually working with the different teams to help them become more efficient.
Speaker 2: They sent him to work with our business unit because I had the training. They said, okay, from now, until we say done, you're glued to his hip. So in addition to going through the, you know, four months worth of training daily with him, now I'm glued to the hip of this expert and seeing how he does things and how he looks at [00:24:30] things. And, um, so during that time I started helping teams and the, what was going on with the teams that I was helping kind of caught the attention of the owner of the company. And next thing I know the owner of the company's made the, and I barely interacted with this guy. He's moving me into a project management position. Yeah. Necessarily [00:25:00] poor, like manifestation of your stated career goals. This is just kind of the forces of the universe when you, towards them.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Yeah. This is me blowing with the wind, you know, and it just so happened to, at this point in time, it was a good wind. And so I started utilizing the things that I was doing with him. I ended up glued to his hip for 11 months or so. So then when they moved me into the project management position, I started doing the things that I learned from him. He was a mentor [00:25:30] of sorts and unintentional mentor, but a life-changing mentor at that. Um, and so I started applying what I learned exactly how I learned it, and it, it coincided with what we were taught when he was brought in to make us all internal consultants. I just did it to the tee and focusing less on things that would be of corporate interest and more on things that would be getting the job done interest, um, that kind of caught the [00:26:00] attention of the owner of the company again.
Speaker 2: And then they wanted to implement the same stuff through all the project teams. Yeah. So then the company-wide the 26 largest heavy civil construction company in the nation started doing things the way that we were doing things, they ended up putting the corporate spin on stuff, but it was the same process. So I'd go into meetings with the different teams at our business unit. And if I said I needed a crew or a [00:26:30] piece of equipment or whatever, for a certain period of time that I meant it. And so I would extend by a couple of days or done a couple of days early versus the, each time you go in into a scheduling meeting, well, I need them this much longer. I needed to miss lunch longer, which puts us, pushes off the other projects with accomplishment of their timelines and stuff. And so those are the types of things that started catching their attention.
Speaker 2: And then they took that process and ended up doing it. Company-wide not my process Mike's process [00:27:00] that I just applied. Right? So here's this guy that they hired to come in and do things. We weren't really doing it the way he said to do it. I ended up becoming this little isolated, uh, island, if you will, within the company and having had full understanding of what Mike had given to us and expertise at this point, I applied it to the T. Did that feel good doing that? Or did you feel like you [00:27:30] were just a conduit, a part of a machine that, you know, you were just helping make more efficient? It felt good. That's an excellent question. It felt good because if we tie back into areas where I enjoyed construction versus didn't enjoy construction, the areas I enjoyed construction were the, get it done, see something completed, you know, it looked one way at the beginning, looks completely different.
Speaker 2: You've built something or been a part of a team that built something. And so at that point, when [00:28:00] I went off into that aspect of it as a project manager, first, let me say I was blessed with the, the team that was built around me. I could not even doing it with the understanding that I gained from Mike. I could not have done it without that team. I haven't worked professionally with a group of people I had not. And have not since worked with such an amazing team of people [00:28:30] there, a hierarchy within that team that you were kind of the project manager, and then the kind of in construction, it depends on the company. So some companies, the superintendents run the projects and the PM's are basically no more than admins in some companies, the PM's run the projects and the superintendents, you're, you're kind of a, you know, a horizontal as far as your, um, where you are in the food where you are [00:29:00] in the food chain, but then, you know, if you're in this structure, but you're the one responsible the PM's going in and sitting at the, you know, on the other side of the television with the owner at corporate, and you're the one getting, you know, Hey, good job, or getting reamed for, you know, how your financials are going and stuff.
Speaker 2: So based on that, this company did the structure where the PM's ran the projects that a superintendent that you might have a superintendents got multiple [00:29:30] projects, and that superintendent is working with multiple PMs. They tried to structure stuff geographically that these PMs worked with this superintendent, ultimately the superintendents, um, got the work done, but the PM's would make the decisions that they made the final decisions. So from leadership perspective, you had the PMs and the superintendents. I always looked at it as a kind of from looking at the military environment. A lot of the PMs were older. I just so happened to be younger. Um, [00:30:00] but I looked at it as, um, you know, you're a young Lieutenant or a young captain, and you've got this, you know, gritty Sergeant that's been doing things forever, truly knows the military better than you do knows the right answers.
Speaker 2: And so I took that kind of understanding from my time at VMI and, and I utilize them from that capacity. I didn't make any decisions without first vetting it through the superintendents. And then sometimes I would, [00:30:30] in our meetings, I would do the multiple project meetings in one meeting. So I would have multiple superintendents to be getting well, what do you guys think? Not your project, but what do you think about this? Yeah, so most of the time, the, the answers and the solutions weren't mine, they were what I was garnering from those people that knew it much better than I think we have that in common and stepping back to allow someone else to kind of, even though you're in a supervisory role that you need the [00:31:00] input of the person. So like, if you, for those people who have a team of people, uh, what was unique about that group that you were with that was so highly efficient and effective?
Speaker 2: Like, was there, was it the individuals involved or was it the way that it was run from the top down or bottom up, or what, what are the things that made that particular team so successful that someone else could apply to their business? You know, the, uh, a significant part of that was the individuals. [00:31:30] The, um, uh, I like to say that it was them when I talked to them, they like to say, you know, I bumped into them once in a blue moon and they like to say that it was, was me. I think everybody on that team was for everybody on that town on the same rope. Yep. And, uh, you know, and everybody took their part and made it their part. And, um, you know, so you had that, that commitment [00:32:00] to each individual role that made the commitment to the whole just fall into place.
Speaker 2: And so if I set up, uh, uh, a system of how to track things, to make them more efficient, there was people would just get right on board with it. And if somebody, you know, utilizing their expertise in their realm, you know, mostly coming from the field and that capacity from the superintendents and the foreman and, and w [00:32:30] you know, we all saw the value in it. Nobody fought it, we just would embrace the things. And, but then there's sometimes, you know, coming from any direction, we might say, well, that didn't work as well as we thought. And we very quickly would analyze it and either tweak it or move on from it to something else. It just, uh, to answer your question, I think you have to, [00:33:00] you have to take in from those who know their areas best. And some of it was a, self-awareness a lot of self-awareness and a lot of ego check, right?
Speaker 2: So some of it was, you had these young people working for us that were fresh out of college, but technologically speaking, super advanced to what us older, and I'm saying older, but these superintendents, a lot of these guys were, you know, 20 years older than me. [00:33:30] And then we had these people fresh out of college who just knew they were whizzes of technology. Well, the construction industry has become very technologically advanced to the, how the equipment is operated. And you know, now you have degrees in how to run this stuff. Now just a couple of handles anymore. It's all, you know, there's computers, equipment. Yeah. GPS for shooting, you know, you you'll set a, you know, you'll have a, a point that sets your project and then everything's done from [00:34:00] GPS. So you have to know how to run that. So we leaned heavily on, we realized the weakness in us and leaned on these young people that could essentially teach us larger companies follow that lead because you had this team that was able to be nimble like that, but did the whole company see that team success and then start behaving that same way.
Speaker 2: That's what led to it being dispersed throughout the entire company. Now, again, you know, anytime [00:34:30] something like that happens, they put the company twist on it. And, and I think to an extent that it's like bureaucracy at that point. And a lot of times that gets in the way of efficiency. Um, but it definitely had an impact corporate wide. It wasn't because of us, you know, we're, I'd like to pat myself on the back, but the reality is any team that had operated the way we operated as a team [00:35:00] and embraced the information, the knowledge that we had been given know, I got that knowledge. I got this team. They said, oh yeah, that's great. We just exited, executed and bringing it back to jujitsu. It's like, I tell you guys a lot with jujitsu. I didn't figure this out. I'm just listening to the guy that proved to me that it worked.
Speaker 2: Yeah. And then I do it that way. Now there's things you tweak over time. You find cool setups and stuff like that. But for the most part, we just did what we were told. [00:35:30] They saw the value, and then it ended up spreading throughout the entire organization. I think, I think more than anything, you know, if I have to look back on that, it, it was an opportunity to demonstrate the reason why the organization hired Mike approved Mike. Right, right. If we have to boil it down, Mike's the brain. Yup. They saw the value in Mike brought him in, worked at getting his [00:36:00] way of doing things out throughout the company juice, but then just the natural w our business unit struggling, Mike being assigned to the business unit, me being assigned to Mike's hip, and then getting promoted. It gave us a, an island to execute precisely the way he taught us to execute.
Speaker 2: And that proved his concepts. That's the best way I can explain it. It wasn't anything special about us. [00:36:30] So to answer your question, could w how could any organization do that? It's, it's really, if you see the value in something that works, everybody has to commit to it in its purest form to see the benefit you might say, oh, well, we tweak it a little bit this way and make it even better for what we do, but you have to give it that. Try and I had a team [00:37:00] that everybody was committed to giving it a try. If you had one or another person kind of fighting that process, it could have been completely different. So, uh, for, for me, I chalk it up to, I was blessed to have the opportunity to spend the time I did with Mike. And I was super blessed to have the team that just so happened to be assigned to me, to do, to cultivate that within the team or where they were just the good fortune of the role is that you had a bunch of open-minded self-aware people that were willing to try [00:37:30] something new.
Speaker 2: Well, not all of them were open-minded at first. And some of them will tell you that, you know, a lot of times, you know, especially in construction guys that have done things a certain way for 30 years, you'd come in and you tell them to start doing it different. And their initial reaction is to push back. We're come that if I'm running my business and I had a bunch of stubborn people, and I'm trying to apply something new, did you some technique or a idea that you could express it, it would help them change that. So that takes me back to when I was doing the operations engineering. And, um, [00:38:00] two, two things helped me there, the, the commitment to the details in showing them that it was right and showing them that it worked. And some of that was done with video. I would, I would video the crew and then show them where their inefficiencies were and then take those inefficiencies out and chop the video together and say, if you'd do it like this, this is how fast you get it done.
Speaker 2: And that's probably not, a lot of people were doing stuff like that. That was again, stuff that Mike introduced from his years of, [00:38:30] of doing this type of work. And so then combine that with the time that I had spent in the field with my father fast forward to this point in time, some of the guys that I was standing next to in a ditch are now running their own crews, that in those years of me going off to college and then working for the bridge company, and then being an estimator, and then getting into that operations engineering role, I'm revisiting these [00:39:00] guys, you know, 15 years later, 13 to 15 years later, and now here they're foreman running their own crews. So there was already a connection to the point where they still, you know, give me the side-eye about whether it was going to work or not.
Speaker 2: But then at the end of the meeting, they go, all right, Jason, I'll give it a try. Yeah. And so a lot of it, again, a blessing there, you know, guys that were like, that's not going to work. And [00:39:30] then some of the guys go on alright, for you, I'll give it a try. And I think that having that ability to communicate both from a field perspective and an office perspective and bridge that gap helped me a lot. So this, this is about the point where you are getting married and having a kid close. So we're, you know, we're, we're where were you in your devotion to your professional life when you met Dan's mom? Um, I, I was spending all my time either at work or doing jujitsu by that point. [00:40:00] So jujitsu became a, um, uh, five to six day a week thing for me.
Speaker 2: Um, and at that point had started, um, training more Ty, so that the transition there was started jujitsu. And then, because I already had some grappling capability that you Jitsu came quick. I think it was actually good. I had enough wrestling to help with jujitsu, but not enough that I [00:40:30] embraced techniques that sometimes it takes longer to embrace because yeah, because, you know, you got a wrestler has been doing it since they were five years old. They're super awesome. They're, you know, they're like, they're a fifth degree black belt if there was one. Right. And, uh, so some of those things, uh, I embraced quicker and I think because I wasn't as good of a wrestler, but I had enough background and, you know, controlling people and stuff that it was beneficial from there. A bunch of the guys I was training with, [00:41:00] um, the instructor I was training under was an undefeated pro MMA fighter and MMA much different back then.
Speaker 2: I remember watching videos of him with the, the cage. It was literally a chain link fence wrapped around, uh, you know, an elevated platform to the point where the, the chain link. It was like raw chain link and people would, their foot would slip out and get hooked. A chain link would stab into their foot and they couldn't pull their foot back out. So he was doing it when it was really, you know, like fight club style. Um, and, uh, [00:41:30] and so a bunch of the guys kept saying, you need, you need to fight. You need to fight. And I hadn't done any striking since I was a kid, you know, little bit of TaeKwonDo. And so that instructor, a gentlemen, by the name of Chad LeBron, he, um, I don't even know how they made the connection, but he had, um, Ricardo, a friend of his was coming in and teaching and he had a significant background in white tie.
Speaker 2: And then [00:42:00] another gentleman, Doug Esposito, who trained under Doug at the time had a, uh, more Thai background. And so primarily I started training under Doug with the Moines tie, and then would supplement that with, uh, Ricardo, when, when Chad would have him come to visit, and then a gentleman named Jeff Ruth who's up here in Northern Virginia, who was pretty accomplished Stryker in his own. Right. And then that's what led me to MMA. And I met, [00:42:30] uh, Dane's mom right after my, my, uh, fight in 2005. My first fight in, you had fights before being married and after. So, before being married and after being, you know, I guess one of them was before, before divorce. So it's like a bunch of stuff kind of happened in the, in the, in between there. So went into a phase where it's competing in jujitsu, um, [00:43:00] some MMA and then, uh, deforce career change.
Speaker 2: Yeah. The tank of the economy in 2000, th th those years getting into this period now is pretty, that's where everything happened for me. Good and bad, a lot of bad, but, uh, but good and bad, a lot, a lot of bad that eventually after years of reflection, you know, became good, but that's kind of the, you know, when you talk about, um, your stories of things, people go through [00:43:30] that change, who they are and kinda help set the path. We talked about the path and I was just kind of what direction the wind takes me. Then you start going through things that make you start reflecting on what's, you know, how, how are you going to tack with the wind now to get where you want to go? And that's really where all that started for me in that timeframe. But I definitely want to get into a lot of that, but the one that's in my mind now is like, what draws you?
Speaker 2: Most people spend [00:44:00] their life avoiding fights. Like what draws you, what boxes to check to get into a ring and get into a full on fist fight with somebody? Um, I don't know. It was never a goal. It wasn't for me, you know, some people get into this and it's a goal. They especially now, right? When, when I got into it, now you can quarterly. If you want to fight there's organizations where you can get a fight, it took [00:44:30] almost a year them to get me my first amateur fight. Yeah. It was a back then combat sports challenge would come through the area every once in awhile. And that's, that's who that the first fight was with. Um, and, um, Lloyd Irvin actually made the call to get me a, a fight. And, um, so they said, okay, [00:45:00] we'll get them on a card. And that's, that's kinda how that happened, but there's a lot to, you know, we were thought we had a fight on this card and then it wouldn't happen.
Speaker 2: Thought we had a fight on this card and then it wouldn't happen. And he's the one that made the call that, that somebody said, okay, we'll get them a fight, which didn't end up happening because we showed up. And, uh, my opponent didn't show up. And then another guy's opponent didn't show up. And he used to weight classes above me. He literally, when you look at us standing in the ring, he's more than a head taller [00:45:30] than me. Yeah. Yeah. And it, and it wasn't because I was, you know, short, stocky. He was too skinny guys in the ring. And, and, uh, so the promoter, cause we, you know, when we showed up for weigh-ins, they go, well, you two can fight. And I was like, at that point, I was like, okay, I've trained for this long to try to get to a fight.
Speaker 2: I'll, I'll take it. So how'd you fair? I actually did. I did it back then. It was two, five minute rounds. Now it's, uh, three, three minute rounds for amateurs. And, um, [00:46:00] I won say nine minutes and 45 seconds of the fight. And he won the most important 15 seconds. I dominated the fight literally until the very end. And then there was a scramble at the end and I got caught in, uh, uh, he, he ended up on the scramble on my back and caught me in a rear naked choke. And one of my arms was caught between us and with the glove. I couldn't get it out and I didn't know the time. And I was trying to hold out. [00:46:30] I knew we were close to the end of the round and ended up tapping. And so I lost that fight, but so what'd you, what'd you, what are the main takeaways you got from doing that?
Speaker 2: Um, you know, th probably an, an unpopular sentiment in 2021, but I, I think, I think for, for men, for boys probably, you know, adolescent age range, um, I think it's, it's good for keeping you in check and, and again, [00:47:00] this has nothing to do with the MMA aspect of it, but I think it's good for a younger male to get punched in the face. I really do. I think that it's a, it, it keeps you figuratively just taking a fist closed fist to the taking, you know, you, you, you take some, then I think it's important to know there's repercussions for your actions and males learn that different than females do. Um, and while, you know, like [00:47:30] most of us, he wished that there never has to be that, but at the same time, males, I believe, need to know their capacity to do that.
Speaker 2: Um, and also that if we, we need to understand the results positive or negative. Um, and, uh, and I think it keeps your ego in check too, to some extent, you know, um, [00:48:00] even if you do well, you know, you think a lot of times, as you know, guys think that, you know, 10 foot tall and Bulletproof, right, and, and this helps you and not just, you know, MMA jujitsu, any, any kind of, you know, combative art like that. It helps you keep in perspective that you're not, you know, um, dichotomy that I'm experiencing [00:48:30] where it's like, all right, my dentist in a sound engineer, come in here and have me in a position where they're in, I'm in their complete control. I tap out and I feel better knowing that these guys can whoop me at their leisure, makes me feel more confident. It's kind of bizarre in that way.
Speaker 2: It is you, you, it gives you a measurement and, and jujitsu constantly gives you that measurement where you can [00:49:00] assess, especially if it's people you train with regular, you can assess where you are, your measuring stick to theirs. How am I progressing against that person? And based on what I'm learning, how am I seeing them progress? Where am I starting to? Cause there's so many different areas, right? Where am I starting to catch up to them? Where am I maybe even starting to pull ahead of them in an area and, and evaluate as a whole [00:49:30] where or how you need to grow to make more progress. And it's a, you know, sometimes you surpass an individual, sometimes your growth, in most cases, your growth then continues to push them forward. And so you do end up celebrating that you do end up, you get excited for your friend who, yeah.
Speaker 2: Okay. They, they catch you a bunch of times, but you know, you get to the point where, you know, you'll chuckle a lot of times after I know what you were doing there. [00:50:00] And people wouldn't think that that would be the case, looking at it from the outside. There's a lot of talk going on around the problem with hierarchies. But in jujitsu, I find that your place in the hierarchy is so clear. There's a huge amount of respect I have for it. And the people that participate in it, it's I think not knowing where you stand is what provides people with a lot of insecurities and lack of confidence. And when you come in and you know, you submit one guy and you, you draw with somebody else [00:50:30] and somebody else submits you, there is a clear hierarchy and you can feel fully aware of where you are and there's something good feeling about that.
Speaker 2: Sure. And then, and then you can train with somebody and the there's not a definitive ending. Will you submission, for example, that person didn't submit me, but I knew they absolutely controlled me at will. And you'll reflect on that. [00:51:00] A lot of times people, they look at the, this submission as the winner, the loss, and then as you progress and you get better, you'll look at how somebody can completely dominate you without submitting you. And then you almost feel worse about right. You come away from that situation going no matter where this moved to. I had nothing. Yeah. And then sometimes I'm like, man, I'd rather where [00:51:30] they would have just submitted me. Cause, cause then my ego could have had that moment and right. But then you got to keep that ego training that he'd go to. And, um, so there's, there's variations in how you have that moment, you know, um, variations of, of what happens out there that make you reflect the bond, what you can do and what you can't do, you know?
Speaker 2: Okay. [00:52:00] I want to take a super hard pivot. Yeah. We've spent a lot of time talking about, uh, the early career stuff. And then, yeah, I'm trying to figure out how to phrase this. The, I think a lot of people will get a lot of benefit out of the answer to the question I want to ask. Sure. And it's, how do you have a conversation with your child about their mom dying? That is a hard pivot, isn't it? So, um, [00:52:30] um, maybe give us some backstory too, for people that are listening. Sure. It's not unique as people's parents die all the time when they're kids, um, anybody that ever has to face that like sharing experiences has to be important. Sure. Um, so Dane and Dane's mom and I met, um, and instantly we just got along and had a lot of fun together. [00:53:00] Um, and, um, you know, things, things were good, uh, got married.
Speaker 2: Dane was born. Um, and then, you know, you over time, you'll find that maybe somebody is not right for you. And we had determined that, um, and went our separate ways. I'll say the long and the short of it. I, you know, you could spend a lot time hashing through various things. I think that we both had growth [00:53:30] to do as individuals, uh, which, you know, there's constant theme there. I didn't know what I wanted to do. The career wise, things kind of long. And the short of it as it didn't really know what I needed to be looking for in a partner in life. Um, but we both work really hard after the fact. Um, doesn't, we, we did not have a positive divorce, like many people don't, but after the fact, we worked really hard to put Dane first and then, [00:54:00] and that's, uh, an ebb and a flow situation interacting with a, you know, when you're co-parenting like that.
Speaker 2: How old is he now? He he'll be 15 on Wednesday. Oh, cool. Yeah. But at this age, so when we separated, he was seven months old. Oh, wow, okay. Yeah. Seven, eight months old. And um, and then the period of time from there to the divorce was about two years. Um, and then after that, we kind of slowly [00:54:30] start after that two year timeframe, we slowly kind of started getting into a groove of, um, growing up is the best way I can explain it. You know, as far as in that type of situation here, we both had these professional things in life going on. And, but in, in regard to, you know, how you interact with somebody in, in a situation like that. And, um, I think we learned to appreciate things about each other and from the outside, a lot [00:55:00] of times people didn't understand and like a lot of times people on the outside will judge a situation.
Speaker 2: And, and we, I think we did a really good job of saying, Hey, we know what we're doing now works for us. And it does not for other people to understand. And, and in that, in that time period, I can say with 100% confidence that there was more time doing things and quote unquote family pictures than I see from [00:55:30] other families. You know, we would even if it, if it was my time or her time, we would get together and do things and we would document those things and, and we would have fun. It didn't mean that she and I behind the scenes didn't have the typical struggles that co-parents often do. But from Dan's perspective, he got to see a lot of positive time together. Um, you know, I could sit here and I could, you know, uh, and some people probably say [00:56:00] that I'm white washing the negative, you know, to, to put a better spin on it.
Speaker 2: And now, but the reality is that's sometimes things are challenging and I've had these conversations with Dane, you know, kind of bounce back and forth here about his mom dying. One thing I learned from, from that process is the importance of being completely honest with your children. And so he knows a lot about the negative aspects of that relationship. [00:56:30] I think there's a learning opportunity for him. And there is a cementing of that for me to go over those things from a perspective of what do I need from me and what do I need from me as far as progress and growth, right? And so, you know, a lot of people like to the water under the bridge, the water over the dam, and there's a lot of learning. If you don't let that water go completely, don't, don't burden yourself with it, but the, the knowledge [00:57:00] is there, right?
Speaker 2: And that's another thing in life I've learned is that, you know, when you're on the high tide life is great, but the low tide is where you grow the most and learn the most about yourself. When you, when you're in the trough, then when you catch the next peak, you enjoy it that much better. It's that much more meaningful to you. So I try to, you know, share those things with Dane and, um, and, and then he [00:57:30] has a lot of positive that, that he can reflect upon. So, you know, go into the conversation. I had that conversation in February of 2012, um, but going back 4, 5, 5, and a half, almost five and a half. So, um, I have a five-year-old son now. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So imagine having that conversation, very challenging thing to do, but going back a little bit before that in December of 2008, she had an aneurysm she had what was, [00:58:00] or is known as an AVM arterial, venous malformation.
Speaker 2: And the best way I can explain it is where veins and arteries would go down to capillaries and the veins, the arteries would send the blood. It would go down to the capillaries, get dispersed, come back through the capillaries, into the vein and go back to the heart. It didn't go to the capillaries. It was kind of like a straight pass through. And it looks like a knot. Those capillaries look like knots and the tissue there tends to be weaker than the tissue structure, deeper or [00:58:30] farther up into the veins or the arteries. And they can be prone to having a rupture or bleed. Some people live their whole lives without having that happen. And then some people has it happened and, um, you know, minor things, some people have them happen and it it's, uh, you know, either changes them forever or could cause death.
Speaker 2: And so she had that happen in, in 2008. So I went [00:59:00] from a co-parenting situation to a full-time parenting situation. And we, the way we had things split was pretty much 50 50. She had the first half of the week, I had the second half of the week. And, um, and so for a period of time there, while she was recovering, I was parenting a hundred percent of the time. And, uh, you know, and, and being with them when they were time together, because she couldn't even hold him at that point. And so she works through that recovered to the point that, you know, she had, did a couple of triathlons [00:59:30] after she recovered and there's things she had to pay attention to from a blood pressure perspective, excuse me. But, um, uh, she had she'd recovered. Um, and then in February of 2012 she had another one and that one ended up that was fatal.
Speaker 2: Yeah. So, um, that happened on a Saturday morning. Um, you know, the, the portion of the week that I had Dane was always Thursday [01:00:00] mornings, by this time I'm, I'm operating my first school. So we're, you know, we're, we're into the, the 2007, 2008 downturn construction. It was 2007, 2008. When we started feeling it, the rest of the world really started feeling it outside of that industry 2008, 2009. So, uh, I had, um, transitioned into teaching jiu-jitsu full-time at my first [01:00:30] school. I had Dane the second half, I get him Thursday mornings. And then I either had him till Saturday night or Sunday night, typically on the longer period of time, you know, as to be expected with a mom, she would start yearning to be with her child. And so it was not uncommon for us to get together on that Saturday to do something go for a hike, you know, do whatever. And, uh, usually about the time [01:01:00] I was cleaning up the mats on a after Saturday morning training, I get a phone call from her, you know? And so that Saturday I'm training, I hear the phone ringing, assuming that it's her. And, uh, so while finished mopping the mats off, you know, and sure enough, it was her. And, uh, actually can't remember if the first message was her sister or not.
Speaker 2: [01:01:30] The first call was from her. The first message was from her sister and, and I just knew it. And then before I talked to anybody, I just started driving to the hospital and, uh, she had had, uh, another, another bleed. And, um, by the time I got to the hospital, she couldn't, she could barely see me. I was standing there and holding her hand, she's holding my hand and she couldn't see me well. [01:02:00] So it was starting to impact, you know, a lot of the functions of, of her body. And, um, we stayed there, talked to her that particular day, whether made for, uh, a ceiling that they couldn't fly medevac. And so they, we loaded up an ambulance and headed to Fairfax. Um, and then over the course of that transport, [01:02:30] things went south and where it was going at this morning. Um, it, at this point in time, my mother would watch Dane for both of us.
Speaker 2: So if, if I wasn't available and she had to do something for work, my mom would watch him if, uh, if I had him and she was unavailable, my mom would watch him. So at this point in time, he's he's with her. Um, and, uh, so he got the, to the hospital. I wrote an ambulance. I don't even know [01:03:00] how I got back to my vehicle, but somehow I ended up back at my vehicle spending the next several days at the hospital. And, um, to get to the point of having the conversation, once, once somebody gets to a point where they're intubated, there's a period of time. If you know, in that situation, it was evaluating whether she was brain dead or not. They have to [01:03:30] go through a period of time when there's a bleed that the bleed occurs for a period of time.
Speaker 2: And then you have a period of time where you assess the damage and it's like a 72 hour mark. And I don't know all the details about how they, how all that is managed. I just knew the timeframe. And, um, you know, once we got there, they, they informed us of that. And understandably the doctors and the nurses, they keep saying things like, well, you don't have to, we have to wait and see, we don't have to. [01:04:00] Um, eventually I pulled the doctor side and I said, and I, you and I need to go somewhere and talk. And, um, uh, I said to him, I said, we have a five-year-old together. And I said, I understand why you guys handle this the way that you do, but I have to prepare to have a conversation. And you have to help me prepare for that. Now, not in 72 hours as I need [01:04:30] this time to prepare.
Speaker 2: And I'm either going to have a conversation. That's, Hey, mom's sick, but she's going to be okay. Um, mom's sick and she's going to be different, or you're never going to see your mother again. And, you know, we're a day and a half into it at this point. And he looked at me and said, you need to prepare to tell your son, he's never going to see his mother again. So, you know, at that point I go into holy crap, you [01:05:00] know, how, how am I going to have this conversation? You know, you got a five-year-old, they don't communicate. They don't like we do. They don't understand terminology the way we do. They don't understand systems and functions and stuff like that, the way we do. And, uh, and I, I D I didn't know, didn't know what I was going to do. Didn't know what to think.
Speaker 2: I did have the opportunity that they, they had several, you know, psychologists like [01:05:30] that associated with the hospital. They send in a talk to you. Various doctors came in to talk to me. And, um, and a couple of things kind of rang true through that and did afterwards to which we can get into with people that I knew that suddenly came out of the woodwork that had lost a parent, that I'd never knew. I knew the people, but I'd never known, they've lost a parent. And, um, the importance of telling the truth, you got to tell them the truth. [01:06:00] And, uh, you can't, you can't say things like mom fell asleep and didn't wake up. Cause then he's going to be terrified to go to sleep. Or mom got sick, you know, cause then he's, every time he gets sick or anybody gets sick, he's going to feel an anxiety towards loss.
Speaker 2: And, and, uh, so, so how do I explain this? And they kept saying, you know, you'll, you'll figure it out. You'll find a way. And then, so that happened over the course of the next day or so. Um, and then I left the hospital [01:06:30] one evening and it was the evening before she was going to be removed from, from life support. And something just hit me that I had to have the conversation before that. Um, and, uh, in the family, you know, her, her family had decided that was going to be the option. Um, and I still, when I left the hospital had, had no clue and you're talking a 45 minute ride, um, [01:07:00] back to, to the house to get to him. And, and I literally, I, I prayed the entire drive. And when I pulled in the driveway still had no clue how I was going to present that to him.
Speaker 2: And, uh, um, walked in the house, got him, you know, went off to a room where I could sit and talk with him and, you know, told him, Hey, you [01:07:30] know, he had, he hadn't asked, it was weird because he would ask regularly on his time with me to talk to his mom, or if he was with his mom, he would ask to talk to me. And so we did a lot of phone calls every day. There was phone calls back and forth to spend time, you know, so he could get a chance to talk to the other person. And I kept because I was at the hospital so long, I kept asking my mom, is he asking about her? Is he asking me? She's like, no, it's weird. He hasn't, hasn't asked one [01:08:00] time. And, uh, the second I walked through the door knowing I was going home to talk to him about this, literally the second he put eyes on me, he wanted to talk about his mom.
Speaker 2: Yeah. And so I said, well, you know, buddy can, let's, let's go over here. I want to, I want to talk about mom. And, uh, and that's when we got to that point, it just came out, you know, to the people that [01:08:30] were, were there later said to me, how did you do that? How did you sail? How did you know what to say? And to this day, I, I don't remember most of it. Um, but they said it flowed through, like I had prepared for it. And, and, uh, um, the only way that I can explain it to myself as though I was saying it, it wasn't me saying it, you know, um, the, [01:09:00] uh, uh, that I will always believe that that was a divine intervention in my life to, to go through it. So fluently to go through it. Um, so concisely and explaining things.
Speaker 2: And they said that you'd come up with ways to explain it to him. And, um, he was always playing with hoses, right? A lot of kids like to play with the hose. And so when it got to the point of, you know, and this is deeper into the conversation [01:09:30] with him, but when it got to the point that, of how to explain it, this wasn't that night when he was, would ask, I just used hose. She liked to play with hoses. And sometimes I was going to have a weak spot in pop, and, you know, you get a bubble and you show him on a hose where there was a bubble and this pops, the water comes out. And then I was able to explain to him that blood in the body is good when it's in the places where it's supposed to be in, in bad, where know it's in places where it's not supposed to be.
Speaker 2: And so then he understood and [01:10:00] he would, when he would tell the story later, or we would talk about it, he would. And, and, and he did, even in, uh, early in his school days would explain to people that the hoses in his mom's head popped, you know, so he understood, he grasped the concept, but basically I pulled him aside and I told him that, uh, that, that his mom died and he was never going to see his mom again. And, uh, um, [01:10:30] at first he, he, I, I think he thought I was kidding. Um, and then he looked at me and saw my face, and then he just melted. Yeah. Yeah. It was tough. Um, then he collapsed into me for a long period of time sobbing. Um, maybe there was, there's some other things that I, I said in explaining to him that, uh, you know, that she had [01:11:00] died and he wasn't going to see her and he collapsed and he must've sobbed for five minutes or so.
Speaker 2: And, um, and then, uh, when he popped up, the first thing was his dog. Somebody had been watching his dog, he wanted to go get his dog and bring his dog home. And so he did that. But, um, uh, you know, I, I explained to him that, um, tried the best that I could to explain to him when, when that happens, there's, [01:11:30] there's no going back. It took them about a year and a half to fully understand that. And we were driving down the road one day and, uh, and he came to the realization that the death was a permanent thing. I pulled over the side of the road and it was like, it was like reliving that day, from his perspective, he, he crawled out of his car seat, climbed up into the front of the vehicle and collapsed onto my lap and just sobbed.
Speaker 2: And we [01:12:00] sat there on the side of the road for probably gosh, at least 20 minutes. So that for, for him, it was, was multiple steps. Um, and, and that held true to things that the, the doctors and the psychologist said, you're going to have opportunity to have this conversation multiple times because he's a child. Right. And, uh, and so what you get wrong now, you're going to get chance to get right [01:12:30] in subsequent conversations. And, um, the, the more times that we had to go through it, he also was older each time. And then he would understand things a little bit more. And because he would reflect on things, unlike what most children do, because they don't encounter something like this is, um, his ability to reflect on that situation. And other situations grew tremendously [01:13:00] from that. So, um, there was a maturity that started happening with him that you don't see in, in most kids.
Speaker 2: Um, so you could have more, in-depth serious nature conversations with him. Um, but, uh, hardest conversation I've ever had. And I, and I couldn't tell you that that period went on [01:13:30] for quite a bit of time. And, and I, I can tell you, you know, key things that I said, I can tell you the distinctly, the, the moment where he didn't think I was being serious and looked up at me and I could see by how he looked at my face. Um, he looked down at a point when I was explaining it to him and, and I could tell something about it was hitting him. [01:14:00] There was a, uh, confusion, but, but a permanence to how he was reflecting. And I started getting choked up. And, uh, and I don't know if he perceived that as maybe I was teasing him and looked up with a smile on his face expecting to see, um, to see something that it wasn't true.
Speaker 2: [01:14:30] Oh gosh. Can you imagine a horrible thing to do to a kid kidding around, but, uh, but then reflecting on that situation, I can sit back and think too to myself, if I was a kid, horrible thing to have occurred to me, but man, what a relief if it was right. And then when he looked up at me and saw that I was choked up that's, that's when it hit him. And that's when he lost it, jumped in my lap. And, uh, [01:15:00] yeah. Did you feel like at that point it was important to be stoic or like emotional with him? Um, honestly, that, that thought never went through my mind at that point in time. There was other times when, when I thought in, in his journey since then, when I thought it to be important, but I've also tried to be sensitive to the fact [01:15:30] of the damage that can be done if we don't allow people to, to experience their loss and their emotions.
Speaker 2: And, um, I knowing what that meant for him and then his, I just knowing what that meant for him in, in, in being the one to have to deliver it to him. [01:16:00] I couldn't, I couldn't control myself at that point. You know, I was fighting it back, trying to minimize it as much as possible, but, and then when he lost it, I lost it. Um, the moving forward. So here's, here's an interesting twist to this situation. My grandfather lost his mother when he was eight years old. And, um, the, the situation was a very negative experience [01:16:30] for my grandfather, not just the loss. So back then, it was the influenza early 19 hundreds. And a lot of the people were being hauled away in horse and carriage and a horse and buggy type situation. And, um, so he watched his mother, you know, like out of something, out of a movie, there was a little bridge there and he watched her cross that little bridge and never saw his mother again.
Speaker 2: And nobody really explained anything to him. Um, my grandfather, he was one of five [01:17:00] or six at the time. And the youngest, my grandfather, my great grandfather remarried had another five or six kids. And, um, the, the way the story is told to me that the new wife never really embraced the other kids, him being the youngest at eight years old, some of his siblings were already grown up. So they're, you know, some of them not needing a mother and certainly not looking for a replacement, whereas my grandfather [01:17:30] at eight still needed that, you know, to some capacity. And, um, I'm sure very much wanting it, you know, wanting his mom back. So, so I'd had, I'd had preparation without knowing it was preparation. Um, and then seeing how that turned out and how the negative aspects of that not only affected my grandfather, [01:18:00] but then how that affected what became his immediate family.
Speaker 2: And, um, he was not prepared for life the way somebody would be with a loving, nurturing mother. And my, my grandfather worked all the time. One of those situations will always, you know, especially with that many kids, you're working constantly to support that family. And, uh, so he didn't really have much of a, a male role model or female role model. And, [01:18:30] um, and my, my dad's family suffered that fate and there was some, some pretty significant abuse that my father grew up with, um, extreme physical abuse and abandonment and things of that nature. So, you know, we talked a lot about third generation construction. There was paint a rosy picture almost, but there, there was a lot of, a lot of negative in that situation. Um, and, um, uh, thank [01:19:00] God. My, my father didn't continue. My father broke that cycle. Um, my father had an extremely loving mother and it wasn't that my grandfather was all horrible, but a good amount of him was good.
Speaker 2: A good amount of him was not a good, good person. And, uh, but he had a very, very loving mother that was, uh, that will say made up that, that difference. It's kind of a great introduction and segue into the present time. [01:19:30] But before I jumped to that, I want to ask you for the benefit of others, if you were to counsel someone that said, Hey, I have to go have a conversation. I have to go have this conversation with my kid. Like, what's a piece of advice that, you know, you're sharing elevator with, with the person. And you just say, you know, here's my, yeah, I think it goes beyond just that conversation. I think it's important that kids know the truth. I think that, um, we, if we try to sugar coat things, it, it makes it, [01:20:00] it creates false understandings of situations.
Speaker 2: If we try to avoid things, it leaves to figure it out on their own. And, um, um, I didn't want my son to end up like my grandfather. Um, so telling him the truth, having the conversations regularly with my grandfather, everybody abandoned the conversation. Nobody wanted to talk about it. The new wife didn't want to talk about it. And then, you know, she, she very [01:20:30] well could have been a great woman. I don't know. And I, you know, I can't, I can't judge her or, um, but my grandfather needed more and whether maybe she didn't know how to provide it, maybe she tried and he didn't perceive it that way. There's a, you know, fast-forwarding interesting dynamic with blended families, but, um, you gotta tell them the truth. You can't avoid the topic. Um, you have to prepare them. Life is full of adversity. We talk about it on the jujitsu mats, right?
Speaker 2: And [01:21:00] the adversity you go through on the mats can help you with adversity in life. And, um, and I talked to the kids a lot about that. And, and intentionally, this is going to maybe seem horrible, but a lot of times I use Dane's situation when I'm talking to the kids for two reasons to help kids understand adversity happens, no matter how much we've got things lined up to go well for ourselves, [01:21:30] life is going to punch you in the face at some point, and the better prepared we are, the better we will handle those situations. And then I'll use that example with Dane sitting there, you know, in, in varying degrees, very, you know, various ways of utilizing it. Because my goal through this whole thing was that I didn't want Dane to be crippled by it. The way that my grandfather was, I wanted it to [01:22:00] be a, a trough that he got the full understanding and growth potential from the situation so that when he's in his next peak or when he's in a peak of life, that it is an asset and not a liability.
Speaker 2: So I talk about it regularly pro definitely more at times than he wanted to. And, [01:22:30] and I'll, I'll tie that into all the people that started coming forward that shared with me that they had lost a parent. One of the things they said was everybody avoided talking about it because they thought they were protecting me, but what they did had the opposite effect, they didn't have the pictures out. They didn't. So every single one of them, 100% pictures make her visible and talk about her all the time. So I did. And in the best way to explain [01:23:00] it was, I wanted Dane to get to the point where figuratively, he had a scrapbook on a shelf. And when the emotions came to him, that he wanted to experience that dive into it at that moment that he could, that it could be positive, negative, happy, sad, whatever it was live in that moment.
Speaker 2: And then when he was ready, close it and put it back on the shelf, knowing that it was always going to be there for him and that he could move on it from [01:23:30] it at that moment and get back into what he's doing in life and not have it be something that, that he needed a crutch in some capacity to help him carry on. I wanted it to be a, at a young age, however, we could accomplish it at a young age when an adult rationalizes about losing a parent, the pain isn't gone, but you can, you can rationalize it. You can stop have your moment. And then [01:24:00] after that, moment's gone, we're back in to our day-to-day life because we have to right. We have to move forward. So talk about her a lot, got pictures all over his room of her. Um, and, um, and we've, we've made it something that he can, um, build off of.
Speaker 2: And it doesn't mean that there won't be times of weakness because of the emotional aspect of it, but we've given [01:24:30] him experiences and helped him build resources that he can take that and make it a catalyst. And, and now it's a thing where he'll help other kids who might not even be the loss of a parent, but there's dealing with some kind of struggle. And, and I will say to him, Hey, you know, we've got this kid dealing with this thing you think you can. And he, he is, [01:25:00] he's so empathetic to people's struggles. And because he's not going to say doesn't struggle, but he's at a point where he's got a healthy relationship with it. He does a really good job of helping other people with the challenges that they're going through. And he doesn't get wrapped up in it because he's not wrapped up in his own.
Speaker 2: You know what I mean? He's able to touch on in little ways to, you know, he'll show a kid that's [01:25:30] excuse me, insecure or something, and he'll show them a way to that. There's, you know, there's somebody to talk to. And, and if a kid is, um, needing somebody to show a little support in them, he'll do it, but not, not too much. Yeah. You know, it's like, he's almost like you going back to that bookshelf thing. You need a little time, but you don't, you don't let it, you don't immerse yourself [01:26:00] in it and stay there. So he'll, you know, check the kids and then go about his thing. And, you know, you know, I can see him looking to see how they're doing and stuff. And so, so I think thus far, a we've we've turned, it we've turned a negative into, uh, something that will give him a foundation and strength for his life. Yeah. Yeah. You can never turn that into a positive, there are things that he utilizes his maturity from [01:26:30] that situation in positive ways, but we've helped him turn it into part of his foundations in life.
Speaker 2: Uh, so now you guys seem to be in a wonderful place, uh, with your family, uh, um, Amy, uh, her son, your son, and then autumn together. Um, any advice to anyone who is introducing their children to the concept of blue blended [01:27:00] family or new maternal, you know, another jujitsu analogy. I know enough to know that I don't know everything, right. So I've been doing jujitsu a long time now, and then the deeper I get into it, the more I realized that I still have so much to learn. And I would say the same about, um, I would say the same about a blended family and one of the things that, um, so I have a, I'm my [01:27:30] older brother's guardian. I have an older brother who's, um, uh, extremely mentally handicapped. And, um, and I, I watched the struggles that my parents went through and, you know, families go through hardships and things.
Speaker 2: And, and one of the things that my parents would always say to me is that, you know, love will see things through essentially, right? They didn't phrase it exactly that way, but you, when, when you love each other, when you're there for each other, you [01:28:00] can get through the challenging things, blended families are challenging, right. And, um, and we have certainly not been what you see in other families, but unlike my wife, you know, we, we love the kids, the, um, the being for each other helps you get through those challenging [01:28:30] times. You have different parents and somewhat different parenting styles because you've had time with your child and coming up with your ways of doing things and you, the other person's had time with their child coming up with ways of doing things that works for them. And now all of a sudden we're blending that together.
Speaker 2: And it's not just the parents looking at each other, you know, going well, you know, I kind of do it this way. The kids are also looking at you're confused. Right? Well, I'm used to this. So there's [01:29:00] a period of transition there where you have to say, well, you know, the, the affection for each other is you, you keep that love and commitment there and you find the way, um, I don't necessarily say that everybody could do this aspect, but one of the big things for us that I believe really helped was [01:29:30] you had the, there was, uh, a separation, even regardless of the effort, there was a, it was two distinct families, right? Yeah. Two distinct two-person families. And then autumn coming along, made a connection to everybody. Yeah. It's, Amy's biological daughter, my biological daughter, Dane's biological sister, Colson's biological sister. [01:30:00] And, and that really anchored everybody together.
Speaker 2: Yeah. It is now a family that is completely tied together in some way, you know? And, and I think that that helped lighten kind of, you can't really do that if you've got open and see it did, it really did. Um, I think the, um, anybody who's been in a relationship can say that relationships are hard. My, my father said at my sister's wedding, that, um, [01:30:30] when he gave his little father of the bride speech, um, that you people change and you have to be prepared to fall in love with that person. Every time they change. And about every five years, you're going to be looking at a different person and, you know, reflected that story to the growth of him and my mom and the challenges that they've been through and, and how they committed to always loving each other. And as they grew and became, you know, they met, I [01:31:00] think my mom was 14.
Speaker 2: They started dating when she was there out of high school and been together 55 years, married, married 55 years, been together for 60 years. And, um, so there's, if you, if you stay committed to that capacity, it doesn't, I'm not trying to say that everybody needs to put up with certain things that aren't good, but life's, life's challenging. You're going to face adversity, marriages, [01:31:30] face adversity, uh, families face adversity. And if you lead with that love a lot of times the, the answers reveal themselves, the solutions reveal themselves. And sometimes that takes time. Sometimes that's that's right away. So my advice to people in blending a family is don't get so hung up on perfection. If you know, that's where you want to be. It's challenging enough for two people, [01:32:00] sorry, it's challenging enough for two people, the husband and the wife. And now you've got these additional personalities that don't have the advantage of starting from day one and learning and growing within that dynamic of how you to set it up.
Speaker 2: So now you're trying to create that dynamic that fits more personalities and adapt that to a way that fits more personalities. Um, and [01:32:30] I think if you look at each person with that type of affection, you'll find the way. And in that way might change in a week's time. You might realize you might come to the realization that man, I, I need to change me here and now for this aspect to take us another step forward. And it steps a lot of times, it's not, there's, there's no [01:33:00] distinct. If you do X, you'll get the result. Y um, you look at more of that approach of you becoming a new and different person every day. You don't see it on a daily basis, but five years from now, you see it. And so if you're committed to, to constantly looking for the things that you love and appreciate about that person in a relationship, [01:33:30] in some cases, you can continue to grow and fall in love with that person over and over again, until you hit that 55 60 year mark, right.
Speaker 2: And same holds true with the kids. And, you know, we've had to, um, Amy and I have had to look at things from a perspective of a father typically takes a certain type of approach with kids and a mother takes another approach. And one, it feels more natural to the person, but it also, in addition [01:34:00] to that role as the person, it doesn't necessarily feel natural doing that with somebody else's child. Right? Right. So you have to then find the way to, to do that with that child. And that only comes from the action of doing with your child. It's natural, right? And there's always exceptions, right? Not every, not every person that has a child has [01:34:30] the same, but the majority of people, you hold your own child in your arms. And that instant you change that very first child that you hold in your arms you're changed as, as a person, especially as a man, especially with a daughter, right.
Speaker 2: We both have daughters. I changed in a different way when autumn was born than I did when, when Dane was born. Well, when it's somebody else's child, you it's, that's one of the reasons that we require our kids, coaches to have [01:35:00] children or their own, because you change in how you look at all children, but it's still not the same as you do with your biological child. So when a blending family perspective, the emotion, the desire is there automatically in a blended family situation, it's more, the action comes first, then the things develop over time. And that's one of the things that Amy and I have had [01:35:30] the discussion of what, what we do now. And this is going back years. Now, what we do now, we won't necessarily see today or tomorrow. We might not even get a feedback that we did well until the kids are adults.
Speaker 2: And you're talking about the boys, right? Autumn different situation. But talking about the boys, we, we might never get that feedback. It might feel uncomfortable for my stepson to say something [01:36:00] because he might feel like he's betraying his father. And so all I might get that says, Hey, I did a good job or a bad job might be a little sign, or maybe one day, you know, he'll come to me and say, Hey, thanks for teaching me X or Y or, you know, you, and that's another thing with the blended family. You have to think about the dynamic of the outside parties as well, you know, and, and how that, how that makes things complex for the child. And, [01:36:30] um, I made a commitment from day one that I, that I shared with my stepsons father. And, and, uh, as Colson's gotten older with him, because there's, there's a pole there.
Speaker 2: And, and I don't think initially that his father and I don't necessarily blame him, believed that, but I told him, I will never try to replace you. I would never have won. W would have never wanted anybody to try to replace me with Dane. [01:37:00] And I will never try to replace you with him. I will be a father figure in the home. Um, but I will, I will always support the fact that in that regard, from an emotional perspective, you come first, um, and I've had the opportunity as Colson has gotten older to, to reinforce that. And, and it took him getting older to believe that [01:37:30] I believe. But, so there's kind of so many dynamics that you have to take into consideration that could be different from family to family. That I don't think it's a recipe. You know, I think it's a, uh, I think you have, you know, they always talk about how great chefs they generally know what they're going to do, but they, they don't have a recipe.
Speaker 2: Right? There's this, there's this sprinkle, this, it's not a tablespoon. It's a sprinkle, that's a pinch. It's not a [01:38:00] chair. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, my wife and I made a big step forward when we both gave each other a hundred percent benefit of the doubt, like whatever I said, however, you took it once you start taking it the way that, I mean it, which is with love and patience, and then suddenly the conversation becomes productive. So do you feel like you're, as a stepfather, [01:38:30] your role is to kind of earn the benefit of the doubt so that your steps honor that, and in another circumstance, stepdaughter understands that what you said is born out of a desire to be of value to that child? Well, I'm, I'm a firm believer that my job is to be a child's parent, not a friend. Um, I think too many people tried to be their children's buddies and friends and best friends.
Speaker 2: And, um, and I'm [01:39:00] very clear with the kids that my job is to parent you, my job is to prepare you for the day that you're no longer here. You know, you're, you're on your own, you're doing it your way and on your own, it's easy to not do that. Oh, very easy. Right. Um, and I think another thing that helped cement that for me was Dane's loss. And I have to make sure that he's as prepared [01:39:30] as I can have him at any given day, because at any given day, I might not be here for him also. So everything for me was a reflection of, and this was always, and still to this day, you know, stressful for me, how do I have him as prepared as he can be at eight years old? How do I have him as prepared as he can be at 12 years old?
Speaker 2: How do I have him as prepared as he can be at 16 years old, or, you know, pick any random age in the event that I might not no longer be there for [01:40:00] him. Do you feel like that deprives them of childhood in any way to some degree? I believe it does, but there's when you, when you look back on your life and you see different friends who have either had, or not had childhood, I can find examples of what we as a society consider success in every one of them. Sure. Yeah. And so, um, you know, Elon [01:40:30] Musk is pretty popular these days. And, uh, and I don't know the full details of the story. I've only touched on bits and pieces of it on, you know, social media and stuff with it doesn't sound like he had the greatest childhood with his father, but look what he's become.
Speaker 2: So is, um, and then you look historically back in childhood being this magical period of time, [01:41:00] I think has a lot of adult reflection back on how we viewed the world as children. And none of us want that to get cut short. Right? Yeah. And we all spend time trying to get back to that, but the reality of life is it's going to punch you in the face. Right. And that's what we talked about earlier. And so, and that happens to everybody at different times. Some people, it won't happen until a decent amount into adulthood. Some people that happens, you know, when they're a child and, and it could be a loss of a parent, it could be a child suffering through the Kamia. Maybe [01:41:30] the parents did everything they could. So that, that child had that magical childhood and completely out of their control.
Speaker 2: The child gets cancer. Sure. How do you protect that innocence in that situation? You're incapable of it. So you have to then say with what we have here in now, how do we make sure that we're building foundations of success? And I think that is so different [01:42:00] in so many different situations that we are all left with a, doing the best we can at the moment. And as long as we're, as long as we're steering the ship from the right perspective, the course isn't necessarily always important. Could we steer the wrong direction and ended up in a little bit of a storm that we could have avoided? Had we known sure. [01:42:30] But we know the storms are coming. If there was a right way, there'd be a handbook and everyone would read it and then everything would be done in, right? Yeah. Yeah. And, and we have to touch people from, from where they are and our stories.
Speaker 2: There's so many people going through things that, that may be so different that I can't share anything that helps them. Sure. [01:43:00] My story is what it is. The, the aspects of it are what they are. And there's somebody out there that will benefit from it, how it happened, how it was laid out. And, and I think I would be thinking too much of myself. If I tried to say, based on my experiences, here's the recipe that you move forward through life with in this situation, I said, at the coffee shop this morning, it takes a village. It takes a village. Absolutely. And that's why we have these conversations because [01:43:30] this is our 39th episode and be, take something from everyone and everyone could take something from everyone else. And that's a great way to say it. How many of our conversations have we had where I'm like, man, I love bouncing these things off of you because I take something from that conversation.
Speaker 2: And it might just be knowledge that I'm like, well, that's cool to know. Or might be knowledge that applies to the situation that we were having the conversation about. Yeah. And that's what I think is, is important. If somebody hears [01:44:00] this situation, you never know, somebody might say that is the situation I'm dealing with. How do I reach out and talk to that person? And then you're having a direct effect. Yeah. I think you, you have to go about it in a way that you're, you're committed to loving those people. And that comes from, from me. [01:44:30] Yeah. Right. It's, it's my action. It's my action in loving those people. And I'm not always going to be perfect with it. Right. How many times do I, and I'll say this, because this is going to be on record 99.9, nine, 9% of the time. It's my fault.
Speaker 2: Right. In my marriage that just, hopefully just got me really good brownie points with my wife. So, but the, um, you're going to be wrong. They're going to be wrong if [01:45:00] everybody's, if everybody's leading from that love and putting in those actions, even if those actions, aren't the perfect actions at the time, you really can't do horribly wrong. Yeah. It's the benefit of the doubt thing like Amy or Jason did this, it was wrong, but I've them the benefit of the doubt that it was 100% intended to be as good as it could be. And if you, if you use that the [01:45:30] way you say it, you can measure intention. And very rarely is the intention going to be bad. Yeah. You know, what's up the week. We've been talking for a long time. Let's let's, let's do our rapid fire answer. Have you done it? Have you heard any of these totally fun. Yeah. All right. So the first question, when in your life do you feel the most love?
Speaker 2: [01:46:00] Um, when in my life do I feel the most love for me? The hugs? Yeah. That's the, you know, I can, I can come up with examples of times where I've been in a situation and I, I can see somebody observing it and looking at how they're viewing me and say, that person loves me. Or, um, on, on the flip side, [01:46:30] if I'm, you know, watching Dane and I'm experiencing love from the perspective of giving it, you know, in something that he's doing or, you know, looking at my wife in a certain way, but it's at the moment where that physical connection happens and it's different types of right, the way you love your children, the way you love your wife, the way you love your friends. And, and I think that you had jujitsu, people were always hugging each other and from somebody outside, [01:47:00] it's gotta be weird, right.
Speaker 2: Constantly hugging each other on my favorite parts. It's one of my favorite parts too, you know? And, and I think that, you know, and there, and there's a love aspect. You, you develop, uh, an affection for the people that you're on the mats with. And at that moment, you're, you're giving of yourself and making yourself vulnerable at the same time. And it is a, it's really hard to fake the hug now. And that's different than the bro hug. Right? You got people out, hanging out and do the bro hugs. This is different. And I think [01:47:30] that's, that's really where you feel it. Uh, what's a gift. Money's no object. Time is no object. What's a gift that you would give to every dad on the planet. Every dad should experience or have this having a daughter hands down. Um, and it doesn't, you know, the, um, in my whole life, if there's one thing I wanted was a, was a family above everything else.
Speaker 2: I wanted a family and I wanted to be a father and I wanted a whole bunch of kids. And, and that, that didn't happen for me in [01:48:00] the sense of being a dad. I've got, you know, a ton of kids with the academy that I'm able to, to interact with and be involved in their life in some way and watch them grow. But, uh, the, you really think about yourself as a male when you hold your daughter for the first time, and you realize that this is the life that you have to protect. [01:48:30] What are three things, three adjectives that someone would describe, uh, a superdad as what qualities, what three qualities has this super dad had? Oh, man, um, super dead has to be, you have to be loving and it's a different, you're different to the different people. Your kids need to see, not your perfection in [01:49:00] love, because none of us are perfect, but they have to be able to see that you love their mother.
Speaker 2: Uh, you know, you have to, um, they have to see and feel that you love them and they have to see and feel how you, how you love or you know, how you are in that manner towards the community. Right. And they need to, they need to see those different things. Cause they're all important. Um, and this [01:49:30] is one that, um, all right, life's a journey. I'll preface this. You gotta be, you gotta be, or be in the process of developing more patients. And in some ways you'll have it. And in some ways you might not, God bless the father that has patients in every way. That's not me. Um, and, and I don't, I don't know the exact word to describe [01:50:00] this. You have to be the spectator. I don't know. How would you, how your kid has to know that you're their fan and, but still their dad.
Speaker 2: Right. So we talked about my job is not to be your friend. I don't believe, you know, my job is to be your parent, but, but that child, and that's different than love. You [01:50:30] know, you can completely love a child, so maybe it's supportive, but, but not, it's different than saying that. Yeah. You know, you want to do this, I support you and do that. That's easy, but your child, you have to be positively engaged, present, present, present. Well, yeah, but it's gotta be, it's gotta be an engagement. Right? I know nothing [01:51:00] about lacrosse. I learning to love the sport. Always liked it. When I watched it, I know nothing about it. I said this to him, Dan's coach. We were walking into a game last weekend and I said, the more he learns and loves the sport, the less I realize I understand about it, but the tag on it, I'm sure having fun.
Speaker 2: I think you would have loved lacrosse. It's such a cool sport. So, you know, so I, and it's funny because we'll have the conversations and they'll look at me and I'll say, man, I really didn't understand what I was talking about [01:51:30] when I just said that to him. But, but he, even in those moments where he kind of rolls his eyes, like, God, dad doesn't know what he's talking about, about lacrosse. He feels me engaged in what's important to him. Enthusiastically. Yeah. I'm his fan, you know, I'm, I'm, I'm their fan. I was whatever it is that moves them. Uh, who's your favorite fictional dad? My favorite fictional dad [01:52:00] can't be built cosmic. No, it's not. You know, and that's, that's funny. Uh, have you ever read the book iron John? No. I just started listening to it and it, and it's talking about men now, modern men versus men historically, and they talk about the sit-com dad and how it, it was a, a big transition away [01:52:30] from the vole.
Speaker 2: Men are intended to play in life. And, um, and he used Cosby as an example and kind of, you know, there, a lot of the sit-com dads are bumbling idiots and, you know, the they're always screwing things up. And, um, so just, you know, from that perspective, um, I can think of more, [01:53:00] more, what I would say would be male role models. I can think back to a movie I saw years ago, I was probably 12 or 13 movie Windwalker and it LA native American in setting. And there w it's more the, the, um, how the, the male role model figure helps in the growth of an another male. [01:53:30] So I wouldn't say it's specifically like, Hey, this is the dad, but you can see the same thing in dances with wolves where he bonds with what becomes his wife's, you know, with his father-in-law and, and how he grows from that.
Speaker 2: So I can think of, think of a slew of examples of how the male role model helps the male grow. And that's a lot about, well, what that book talks about, how the male role models, how the, the males in a, a [01:54:00] group, you know, we call it a tribe or a, you know, how that influences helps grow iron, Joan, iron John. That's a pretty cool book. So far the billboard question you're on 66 going 80 miles an hour. And you have a billboard that you've rented. And on that billboard is the one piece of advice you would give to every dad on the planet, but you gotta be able to read it as you're blown [01:54:30] by it fast. So you only get a couple of words, it's got to fit on a billboard don't waste, what's left. I like it. All right. This will be my last question.
Speaker 2: We have so many things that we could have talked about, but super grateful for the time. And I've learned a lot, and I hope that somebody gets tremendous value out of our conversation. So this is recorded. It'll last forever, as far as we know. Uh, so you get to [01:55:00] leave a message to your kids, or, you know, their kids are great, great, great grandchildren. You'll be far gone. Um, what's something that is something you'd like to pass along to generations of. It's important for my kids, that they know that I love them. And, and, and to them, this isn't going to be a surprise because I make it a point to daily that they understand it, [01:55:30] that they feel it, that they know it in their head and they feel it in their heart. Um, and, um, that, and I believe in them and I want them to what it is they want to, the best of their capability, find out, you know, what it is that is their snapshot of success. They pursue it relentlessly that they understand that that [01:56:00] target can change. And that, uh, that I, that I love them believe in them. And, um, you know, 100% they have to feel that it's important to me. So I think they do. All right. Thank you. Absolutely.