Ep 75 – Growth through Adversity with Kyle Maynard

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“I think the big takeaway there, you know, and also a similar takeaway to what my parents had is that they didn’t buy into the inherent limitations that others would place upon us… You know for me, when I was born, there were a lot of doctors and specialists and other people that sort of hinted at the fact that, and I get why they did this, in kind of setting that expectation, for my family to not want to be disappointed or whatever else, but they basically told my family that you have to be prepared for the fact that Kyle’s never going have a normal life, he’s never going to be able to live on his own, never going to be able to go in a normal school, never going to be able to do really much of anything.  And, you know it was like, I think some parents, you know, if my parents heard that and not having been my parents, if they’d had a different mindset, you know, some parents would be more impressionable and think that that would actually be true.” -Kyle Maynard

In this episode of Pursuing Health, I chat with motivational speaker and best selling author Kyle Maynard.  Kyle is an entrepreneur, an ESPY award-winning mixed martial arts athlete,  a CrossFit box owner, and a photographer… and he has achieved all this despite being born with congenital amputation, a condition that has left him with arms that end at the elbows and legs that end near his knees.

Throughout Kyle’s childhood, doctors suggested to his family that he would never be able to live a normal life because of his physical condition.  Luckily, his parents disregarded these opinions and instilled a can-do attitude in Kyle.  In kindergarten, he opted to discontinue wearing prosthetics.  By middle school, he was participating in football, and by high school, he was dominating on the wrestling mat.

At the age of 19, Kyle authored a New York Times best selling autobiography, and was featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and Larry King Live.

During the CrossFit Sectionals in 2010, Kyle climbed Stone Mountain – an experience he credits with sparking his interesting in mountaineering.  He went on to become  the first quadruple amputee to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Aconcagua without the aid of prosthetics.

Kyle loves to inspire others to live a life of growth by overcoming challenges and adversity.  He firmly believes that a positive mindset can make all the difference in achieving your goals.

I recently caught up with Kyle to talk about how his childhood and how his family helped shape his belief that he can accomplish anything, how challenging himself and facing adversity has forced him to grow,  and what he hopes others can learn from his success.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Kyle’s early memories of realizing he was different
  • How his dad and grandpa’s engineering creativity were critical to cultivating his belief that he could accomplish any task with the proper tool
  • What led Kyle to make the choice to live without prosthetics
  • How his parents helped to make him a person that grew through adversity
  • What the future of medicine can look like when taking into account individual circumstances and encouraging a positive mindset
  • How Kyle likes to introduce doubt and uncertainty to get people to question and think in a different way.
  • How sports played a huge role in his childhood
  • How Kyle persisted through constant defeat at wrestling to ultimately become a very strong wrestler, so much so that some thought he was unfairly advantaged
  • His photography and film obsession
  • Kyle’s introduction to CrossFit through the “Nasty Girls” video
  • How CrossFit has made him feel stronger and more prepared than ever before
  • The upside and value of not specializing
  • How climbing Stone Mountain at CrossFit Sectionals in 2010 sparked his interest in mountaineering
  • What it felt like to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro
  • How carrying Army Private Corey Johnson’s ashes with him to the summit was the single greatest honor of Kyle’s life, and gave him the fortitude to continue climbing
  • How seeking adversity has helped Kyle to prove to himself what he is capable of
  • Three things that Kyle does on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on his health
  • One thing he struggles to implement that could have a big impact on his health
  • What a healthy life looks like to him

You can learn more about Kyle on his website, and you can follow him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 34 – Sal Masekela on His Achilles Rupture, Growing From Setbacks, and CrossFit Family

Ep 37 – Steph Hammerman on overcoming obstacles, teaching CrossFit, and crushing cancer

Ep 53 – Amelia Boone on Achievement and Growing Through Obstacles

Ep 55 – Lindy Barber on Overcoming a Life-Changing Injury and Finding Her Flow on Team CrossFit Mayhem

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWOD. Do you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.


Ep 74 – Brooke Wells & Jessica Griffith on Forging Friendships & Striking a Balance

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“I just really want to inspire other people.  I’m so young, and I just want people to understand that they can do more than just school, that they can do both, and that muscles are beautiful… If I can inspire anyone by doing what I do, that’s what motivates me to do it.” –Brooke Wells

Brooke Wells is a three-time CrossFit Games athlete, making her first appearance after winning the Central Regional at just 19 years old.  She is consistently one of the top 20 Fittest Women in the world, finishing 16th in 2015, 6th in 2016, and 14th in 2017.  In addition to her full training schedule, Brooke also attends school at the University of Missouri where she is earning her business degree.

Jessica Griffith is also a three-time CrossFit Games athlete, and made her rookie debut as an individual in 2017.  She works full-time as an emergency room nurse at a Level I Trauma Center in St. Louis and enjoys how many people she’s able to help on a daily basis through her work.  Jessica successfully balances her long work hours with  a rigorous training schedule that helps prepare her for the challenges of competing at the Games.

Brooke and Jessica were hallmates at the 2017 CrossFit Games and formed a fast friendship as they encouraged each other through the trials of cyclocross, swimming, an obstacle course, and more.  I caught up with Brooke and Jess at the Rogue Winter Classic to chat about their evolution as CrossFit Games athletes, how they balance their training with school and work, and what tips, habits, and practices they use to be successful as they train for the 2018 CrossFit Games.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Where Jessica & Brooke grew up and how they ended up in Missouri
  • Which sports they participated in growing up, and how that contributed to their CrossFit journey
  • How winning her first scaled CrossFit competition inspired Brooke to pursue CrossFit more seriously
  • How Jessica evolved from a team athlete to an individual Games athlete
  • Their favorite and least favorite moments from the Games and Regionals
  • How Jessica and Brooke’s friendship grew as they encouraged each other through the 2017 Games
  • Brooke’s feelings on the importance of finishing school as a priority over CrossFit, and how she manages her time to accomplish both goals
  • How Jessica balances work as a full-time emergency room nurse while training for the Games
  • How unhealthy working in the healthcare field can be, and how CrossFit gives Jessica an avenue to share healthy lifestyle with others
  • Jessica’s growing interest in holistic healthcare
  • Habits and practices that Brooke and Jessica find to be helpful on a daily basis
  • Brooke and Jessica’s daily routines
  • What motivates Brooke and Jessica to train with such intensity in addition to their full schedules
  • Using CrossFit to inspire others to lead healthier lives
  • How they handle the stresses of being away from their regular training routine
  • Three things Brooke & Jessica do on a regular basis that have the biggest positive impact on their health
  • One thing they struggle to implement that could have a big impact on their health
  • What a healthy life looks like to Brooke and to Jessica

You can follow Jessica Griffith on Facebook and Instagram, and  you can follow Brooke Wells on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Links:

Related Episodes:

Ep 14 – Camille Leblanc-Bazinet on moving forward, engineering, and body image
Ep 18 – Scott Panchik and his father on running an affiliate, competition, and recovering from injury
47 – Coffee Talk with Katrin, Jen, and Kelley at the Reebok Athlete Summit
Ep 56 – Katrín Davíðsdóttir and Ben Bergeron on the Process of Creating a Champion
Ep 72 – Finding Balance with Two-time Third Fittest Man Patrick Vellner

If you like this episode, please subscribe to Pursuing Health on iTunes and give it a rating. I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below and on social media using the hashtag #PursuingHealth. I look forward to bringing you future episodes with inspiring individuals and ideas about health every other Tuesday.

This episode is brought to you by MobilityWOD. Do you struggle to get into good positions in your training and workouts? Are your movement compensations causing you undue pain and grief?  M|Wod’s belief is that every human being should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves. Join hundreds of Olympic and World Class athletes, College and Professional Teams in the NFL, MLB, Basketball, Hockey, Rugby and Soccer by using MobilityWOD to train and compete at your best.  Visit www.mobilitywod.com to receive receive 20% off your annual membership with code JULIEFOUCHER.

Disclaimer: This podcast is meant to share the experiences of various individuals. It does not provide medical advice, and it is not a substitute for advice from your physician or health care professional.