The Bledsoe Show

Spartan World Championships Panel and The Ever-Present Need For Challenge

Spartan World Championships Panel and The Ever-Present Need For Challenge

We're going to do something a little different today. A couple of weeks ago, I was at the Spartan World Championships and I got to moderate a panel called The Ever-Present Need for Challenge. I had four guests, four people on the panel: Sean Pastuch, Robin Legat, Patrick Sweeney, and Matthew Legge. Yeah, we got to cover a lot of really cool stuff. Having input from four different people was a lot of fun, and yep, you're really going to enjoy this. Enjoy.

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Table Of Contents:

Spartan World Championships Panel Introduction

Spartan World Championships Panel Introduction

Mike Bledsoe: I'm Mike Bledsoe. I'm going to be moderating this panel on challenge. Of course, we're here at The Spartan Race here in Tahoe. There's a lot of people that are choosing challenge. I chose it this morning. There's a couple of things I didn't choose challenge for, but we won't mention what those things are. I want to kick this off … Let's see. I'm going to introduce each person. We have Shawn Pastuch from The Active Life.

Sean Pastuch: Pleased to be here.

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. We have Robin Legat. We have Patrick Sweeney, The Fear Guru.

Patrick Sweeney: That would be me.

Mike Bledsoe: Oh, yeah. And Matt Legge from the ATP Project.

Matthew Legge: Even that was a bit more exotic. It's actually Leg, just the walking things. Yeah. I served in the Navy with guy who had a name spelled like you, and it was Leggie. I was like … I was excited, because I thought I was going to nail it.

Matthew Legge: Oh. Well, this is the Australian version.

Mike Bledsoe: Oh. Yeah, you got me. Yeah, so we live in a world where it's getting a lot more comfortable. We leave our thermostats around 72, we drive everywhere, people aren't choosing discomfort. We're getting more and more physically comfortable, which in my opinion creates a lot more … We like to create a lot of discomfort in our mind, so I think there's a lot of value in choosing discomfort and then also, if you guys want to go down this path, we can explore rites of passage and the lack of challenge for people that are growing up.

Choosing Challenge and Experienced Growth

Choosing Challenge and Experienced Growth - Spartan World Championships
Photographer: Kristopher Roller | Source: Unsplash

Mike Bledsoe: So first, I want to get a personal story. Let's keep it under … Let's shoot for four minutes or under, from each person on when they chose challenge and they experienced growth from that.

Sean Pastuch: I'm on my eighth business right now, and I don't think anyone's heard of the first seven.

I'm an overnight success. It only took a decade. I had a coach who once told me that one of my greatest gifts is that there's absolutely zero challenge that I experience fear from, and that I'm willing to walk straight into anything. He told me the biggest curse is that I enjoy the mental masturbation of facing down that challenge and succeeding or failing either way. It's just the absolute entrenchment in it that I enjoy. So I would say that a quick story of challenge for me is I felt like there … I already had an event company, already had a chiropractic clinic, already hat two Crossfit gyms.

I was like, "You know what? You know what industry sucks? Fitness and hotels. I'm going to take that on." So I created a company, and when I say "company", there should air quotes. I literally made business cards at Staples and started going door to door to hotels in Manhattan and called it Concierge Fitness Incorporated. I'm like, "We're going to have a personal trainer on demand in your hotel whenever necessary, and I can't wait to do it because I finally get to get my trainers out of people's homes". But it got all the way to actually signing a contract with a major hotel chain, which then sold and told me to come sue them for it if we wanted to get the contract going.

Saying YES to too many things

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. There's a phase in, I think, everybody's life where they get opportunities. It's like, "Yeah, let's just go slay whatever dragon happens to be in our way. Oh, there's a dragon over there. Let's go kill it."

Sean Pastuch: And it's the cliché of you say yes to too many things and you have no room for anything. I think too many people now are hearing, "Say no," when they haven't actually figured out what they should be saying yes to, and they need to be saying yes and trying things. But once you're in the thing, then you can start saying no to the other opportunities.

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, there's a lot of yes that has to happen first.

Sean Pastuch: I don't regret the experience. I just … That was a good mistake for me. It gave a little challenge that landed me on my face.

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. Thanks for sharing

Sean Pastuch: My pleasure.

Matthew's Story Of Challenge

Matthew's Story Of Challenge  - Spartan World Championships

Mike Bledsoe: All right, Matt

Matthew Legge: It was a very recent one, actually, that was a really good lesson for us. Sometimes when you hit hurdles, it's a time to stop reflecting, "Am I on the right path? Am I actually on the wrong path, and this is an opportunity to change, or is this something that I believe in? Is this a mission that I'm on that I'm going to fight for?" In Australia, we've probably got the most regulated country of all, and we have a sports supplement company. What we wanted to do is introduce health and wellness into sport supplementation, because it was basically pre-workouts and protein. So what happened is we helped a lot of people change their lives, okay?

Those people felt the need to spread the world, all through social media, Google reviews, retailer's pages. So people were saying things like, "Oh, they've changed my life. They've helped my symptoms. Oh, by the way, I've got diabetes." Someone else said, "Oh, my rheumatoid arthritis has disappeared while I've been using these anti-inflammatories." And "I stress less, I can sleep better." They're all therapeutic claims in Australia. The government came to us and said, "You are making therapeutic claims. Your products must be drugs. You have to recall them and register them." So we had that opportunity to go, "Right. Do we fold our hand, take our bat and ball and go home?", which is a typical Australian saying, or "Do we then fight the cause? Do we push on for the mission?"

Becoming Brand of the Year in Australia

Matthew Legge: And that's what actually has brought us here to the Spartan World Championships here in America, because we have become Brand of the Year in Australia the last few years. We've now hit all these challenges. We don't want to just go and do proteins and pre-workouts, because we're changing lives and we're really helping people. We're using that obstacle and that hurdle to reinforce our conviction that we're on the right path. We're doing everything we possibly can to do it at our absolute best, and that means leaving the country that we were really supporting and trying to build up. We're trying to break into America, because we have more opportunity in this place to help more people, and even via America, we can go back into Australia and help the people we're always helping.

We believe it's important, and we're also going through the battle to fight for our rights to actually help people with food.

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah.

Matthew Legge: According to Australia, food is only macros or a source of allergens, so we like to talk about the functional aspects, the connection to Earth, the importance of nutritional status and that sort of stuff, and all of those things are now trying to be regulated, because everything's being called a disease, and anything that helps a disease is now a drug. We are fighting really hard for that and pushing through, and we're going to make it work, because we're helping too many people to think that we were on the wrong path. If it was people complaining that we're hurting people or things are going bad, then well, that's the wrong path. That's an obstacle we don't want to push through.

Patrick Sweeney's Story Of Challenge

Patrick Sweeney's Story Of Challenge  - Spartan World Championships

Patrick Sweeney: So I'll give you a huge challenge in my life, a little bit of background on it, and then the neuroscience behind it so some of the folks in the audience can have a chance to maybe reflect on how it might help them. So at six-years-old, I saw a plane crash in Boston, Massachusetts. That planted a seed of terror that ended up contributing to turning me into probably the most afraid kid ever. I was a complete wimp, terrified of everything. And certainly, flying was one of them. I didn't realize it, but I was trying to hide that fear out of shame and out of regret and everything else my whole life. I spent six years training for the Olympics and was one of the only Americans to make the World Cup.

That should've been one of the happiest days of my life, and it was one of the most terrifying. Long story short, after the Olympics, I went back to business school, started some business and ended up getting a really rare form of leukemia. I got into hospital and the doctor said … Which is a challenge in itself, but the doctor asked me if my affairs were in order in that doctor-speak for, "You're fucked." So as I sat there reflecting on my life and incredibly regretful and shameful and no sense of peace or joy or accomplishment or anything like that, despite trying to do a lot of stuff. I decided if I got out of here, I was going to get rid of that fear of flying.

Getting out of the hospital and eventually getting a pilot's license

Patrick Sweeney: So I ended up … Without giving it away, I lived. So when I got out of the hospital, I went to Leesburg Airport in Virginia, and I started taking flying lessons. I'm not going to kid anyone, the first time I went out there I had to pee four times before I got in the plane, and it was horrifying. The second time, we hit some bumps and I think I pooped myself … Just a little bit, not a lot. And then, an amazing thing happened when I took that challenge on. After four or five lessons, I fell in love with flying and I got my private pilot's license, my instrument rating, my commercial pilot's license … Even though I'm never going to fly for a living. And now, I compete in aerobatics.

The thing that would've absolutely fucking terrified me going upside down, pulling five Gs in a plane by myself, is one of my greatest sources of joy, passion and fulfillment, and so I wondered why fear had locked away this great source of joy for me for 35 years. So that's when I started down this road that led to the book, Fear Is Fuel, and trying to figure out the neuroscience behind it. What I found out is when we have the opportunity, when we get to that point where something is challenging, as you say, to either look at it as a challenge or look at it as a threat.

If we look at it as a threat, then the part of our brain called the limbic system where the amygdala is takes over and we have a fight, flight or freeze response. If we make decisions based on that, it's always going to be the wrong decision.

How our brain takes the challenge

If we look at it as a challenge, then there's another part of our brain called the SGACC, which most people never hear about because you can't even pronounce it. It's sub-geneal anterior cerebral cortex, and if you choose to make that a challenge, then it gets routed to that courage center and your whole life challenge. So taking that challenge mindset instead of the threat mindset, like you guys said, is what leads to growth.

It's that, instead of what leads to shame and regret and failure.

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. I have the pleasure of meeting some of the best in the world at what they do and the most successful people, and it always seems like the people at the top of their field, that was a weakness at one point. That was the thing that they were weakest at, and they went directly at it. It's always so impressive.

Patrick Sweeney: It's like hitting some of these obstacles here during the Spartan Race. Some people just … They avoid them. They'll do the burpees, and because they're afraid of them, it's too much of a threat to them. So if you take that and you hit that challenge, on the other side of that fear is where all of your dreams are, where all of your success and happiness and fulfillment comes from.

Robin Legat's Story Of Challenge

Robin Legat's Story Of Challenge - Spartan World Championships

Robin Legat: I'm going to go directly to Spartan World Championships, because that's a world I live in. I'm a Spartan coach, I'm a Spartan athlete. I want to talk about my experiences here, because this is my fourth time in Tahoe. My first time in Tahoe was one of the most overwhelming, terrifying thing that I experienced. That was my first ever Spartan beast. It was 13 some odd miles, my first year ever in racing. It was a new thing for me. I am not a naturally gifted athlete, I never have been. I admit that, but I seem to like doing this stuff for some reason.

And it's me. Yep. I went out on this mountain … And I live in Los Angeles. Talk about comfortable. Talk about not having to face challenge unless you're getting on the 405. That is a challenge.

Mike Bledsoe: It is.

Robin Legat: But it's warm, it's comfortable, there's no elevation. I didn't fully know what I was getting into when I got on this mountain for the first time. I spent seven-and-a-half hours out there. I faced hypothermia or borderline hypothermia for the first time in my life, because I just don't deal with cold climates ever. That was just … I was wrecked from that race. Wrecked. But I always knew I'd come back. It wasn't one of those experiences where I was going to walk away from it. I always knew I'd come back, and it turns out I'd keep coming back.

The second-year I came back … And although I didn't have to deal with the hypothermia issues, I did have to deal with 330 burpees that day. I had a lot of fails that day. So 330 burpees. Almost seven-and-a-half-hours.

Coming back at Spartan World Championships for the third time

Robin Legat: Many, many obstacles. It was just a ridiculous day. But you know what? I was going to come back. And so I came back a third year, and that was last year. I somehow shaved three hours off of my race time.

Mike Bledsoe: Wow.

Robin Legat: I don't even know how that happened. I remember being two-thirds of the way through the race and realizing what I had left and doing the math in my head and it's like, "I'm almost done. That's crazy." I will be going out there tomorrow, and tomorrow's the first time that I'm ever competing in a gated championship race in my age group. I'm 44 years-old, I've been doing this in my 40s. I started in my 40s. That's another thing that I've become very passionate about is sharing the stories of athletes who are over 40 who are challenging themselves, because it's such an important thing for people who are older to believe in their own abilities, because messaging in the world tells them that there's a cap, there's a limit.

Maybe that's why I keep coming back and why I've become so immersed in Spartan World Championships Race. So Tahoe, this mountain … I don't even say Tahoe, I say this mountain that I'm looking at in my window to the right, that is my ongoing challenge, and I continue to come back and face it.

Mike Bledsoe: Thank you.

Robin Legat: You're welcome.

Why Challenge Is Important For Them?

Why Challenge Is Important For Them? - Spartan World Championships
Photographer: Samantha Sophia | Source: Unsplash

Mike Bledsoe: I'm going to leave this open to anyone who wants to take it. A lot of people already injected this into the initial question, but in case there's something that was left out and someone wants to step in, can you answer why is challenge important? Why is it important to you?

Sean Pastuch: I think that, without challenge, you will create a self-narrative. You'll create a story for yourself that's not true, because you weren't willing to go to the place that you found out what the truth really was. I think that too many people look at the fear of failing in the face of challenge as the reason not to start, instead of facing down the fear and hitting the failure and recognizing, "Oh. It wasn't quite as bad as I thought it was going to be.

I can bounce back from this, and the next time I do something, anything like it, I'm going to do these things differently because of what I've learned. And also, I'm doing that in my relationships. It didn't work when I was talking to that executive. Maybe it's not working with my wife, maybe it's not working with my parents of my kids."

So I think that facing challenge in one part of your life has a phenomenal opportunity to translate to all parts of your life if you allow yourself to learn the lessons. If you stay in the fear and the shadow of, "But what if I fail?", then you never get the lessons.

Following the Golden Rule?

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah, and the depth of the lesson. A lot of times, I watch people. They accept a challenge or take on a challenge in one aspect of their life, and they experience growth in that area of their life, but it seems like it didn't translate over. And so there's a depth of contemplation that can go on around challenge and failure.

Sean Pastuch: For sure, and I think that that's why it's important to be able to observe the moment after it's gone.

And be ready to apologize to somebody else, be ready to apologize to yourself for making mistakes, and then make the move better next time. One thing always carries into something else. I'll give you a quick example. I used to follow the Golden Rule. You guys all know the Golden Rule? Terrible rule.

Mike Bledsoe: I agree.

Sean Pastuch: I used to treat people the way I wanted to be treated. I'm a brash New Yorker. People don't want to be treated like a brash New Yorker, so everybody thought I was an asshole. I'm not. I really want you to do well. I want you to perform well. It became this thing where … One time I was working with an elite level athlete, and I just asked him, "Do you want to fucking win or not?" And that was the end of our relationship. I thought this what you wanted. It's what I would want to hear. And I recognized I'm doing that to my wife, I'm doing that to my friends. I need to modulate how I speak and how my intent is received. So facing down challenge can be transformative.

Getting our first challenges when we were kids

Patrick Sweeney: You mentioned something, Mike, which was growth. If you think back to the most challenging time in our life when we received the most growth, it was physically and mentally when we were kids. When we were kids, we had this window on the world that's huge, because everything's new. Getting on a school bus was a challenge, and figuring out how to open up a lock. Anything as a little kid is a huge challenge and it's big and your lens on the world is like this. So you start populating your subconscious database with all of this fascinating information. What happens as we get older, our window on the world gets smaller and smaller and smaller, because we're comfortable doing stuff.

We've come into that comfort zone. There's no more challenge, so now we've got this little thing that neuroscientists call our "prior beliefs", and that sets our tone on the world, and that sets our judgment. For anything that's outside that window, we all of a sudden think, "That guy's an idiot. That guy's an asshole," instead of having this wide open lens of curiosity. So if you want to continue to grow, you have to seek out challenge. You have to go back to that mindset where everything is fascinating, where you're curious about everything instead of being judgmental based on the database that you've built up so far.

Replacing Judgement With Curiosity

Mike Bledsoe: So the follow up question on that is how do you get someone to open up? When someone's, say, got a narrow view of what's going on and that is … In their mind, this is the reality and there's nothing outside of this, what's the first step out of that?

Patrick Sweeney: Yeah. So if someone wants to get themselves out, then they have to realize that 75% of our decisions are made by the subconscious mind. All right? So when you go into Starbucks, you already know what you're going to order before the words come out of your mouth, and then you justify it with your biases and say, "Oh, well. I feel like having that now." But in truth, that's how we can drive home and talk on the phone, and before we know it, we pull in the driveway and we don't remember taking the left turn or putting the signal on because all that stuff's happening subconsciously.

We don't choose what language we speak, the color of our skin, where we went to school, how many siblings we have. But if we want to get out of that small lens, then we have to start replacing judgment with curiosity. And every time we make a judgment and we say something about a person or thing or an event, we have to ask ourselves, "Well, if we know that's true, how do we know it's true?" And be curious. It really comes down to that. It's just curiosity, but you have to have this self-awareness of understanding when you're making judgments.

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. And the mind, which is primarily made up of words and phrases and all of this, that's inherited.

Patrick Sweeney: Yep. Absolutely.

Everyone has a different version of you

Matthew Legge: Well, there's another interesting fact that everyone has a different version of you. Everyone that you meet, everyone that you interact with, they will have a version of you. Some people might think you're an asshole because of the way you talk, but you know in your version, that your intention was good. So you know … You're supposed to know your own version and who you are. Everyone else that perceives you has their own version. Family, friends, based on what you've said, what others have said, what they've witnessed.

This is why challenge is important, so you can understand who you are and get a good understanding of what you're capable of, what you stand for, and get a good understanding. And also, to prove to other people what you're capable of doing and who you are.

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. I think the challenge in how other people perceive you is interesting, because you may have grown or transformed in some way, and the majority of people you interact with who may have known you for a decade or two decades, they weren't there for the transformation.

Matthew Legge: Yeah.

Mike Bledsoe: They don't know that you're different, so they're treating you how you used to be. If you can put on display a challenge, if you put something on display, then people are more likely to buy in. Or you can just talk to them and tell them, "I've changed."

Matthew Legge: "You've changed."

Every challenge is a long game

Robin Legat: I can speak to that a little bit, because I own a gym where we do obstacle race training. It's very small, and we have people that come to us. Some of them are seeking challenge, and some of them are just seeking a place to work out. Our mission is to get them to seek challenge, to help them seek challenge. You have to meet them at their level a little bit, when you talked about people to embrace. For some people, you really do have to meet them at their level and not force it upon them, but try to push them in little bitty ways. My goal is always to help them find small wins that light them up to want to continue to embrace challenge.

Everything I do, I call a long game. Every challenge I face is a long game, and when I'm working with them, it's often a long game and it involves really getting to know them individually. What is holding back? What is restricting them? And then, pushing them just little bits at a time so that they can embrace a small physical or mental challenge that they might not have, and all of a sudden, they're lit up.

So whether they come to me with this desire with their own curiosity, or whether they have their own restrictions in place, my goal is always to help meet them at a level that doesn't freak them out, that doesn't push them too far, but small little baby steps to get them to see their own potential and what they're capable of and get excited by it, and then go from there.

The Best Piece Of Advice For People Who Wants To Challenge Themselves

The Best Piece Of Advice For People Who Wants To Challenge Themselves
Photographer: Nik MacMillan | Source: Unsplash

Mike Bledsoe: The best piece of advice for people who want to challenge themselves. Maybe someone's listening to this and they're going, "Yeah, I've been slacking. I could use a little more challenge in my life. I feel stagnant in my life, I feel stagnant in my own relationships, in my fitness, in my business, in my career." What is your one piece of advice to get that person to take on new challenge?

Robin Legat: That's actually a question I ask my podcast guests almost all of the time. I talk to people ranging from, so far, 40 to 92 years-old who all challenge themselves physically. I always ask what advice they would give to someone who would be considering doing something like this, but maybe is intimidated. I've gotten so many answers, but the one that resonates with me the most, and maybe it's because it's what lights me up, but it's find something that lights you up. Find something. Whether it's a physical challenge or a hobby or an entrepreneurial pursuit, just something that excites you in some way. Because if you're not lit up by it, why are you going to push yourself to do it? If it doesn't excite you, why are you going to push yourself to do it?

So if you want to take on the immense work of starting a business, you'd better be excited about what you're starting a business about. If you're going to take on the immense challenge of a race, you'd better be excited about what it's all about. There's methods to getting started, and you can go on the internet and learn almost anything if you want to get started. But first, you've got to be excited.

Set one goal a month and decide

Sean Pastuch: I think it's important for people to … And these are going to be at odds with each other, these two pieces of advice. One is to do things in a sustainable way, as opposed to taking challenge on for the sake of challenge and not really having any outcome from it. A friend of mine taught me this, her name is Melissa Joy Kong. What she taught me was each month, one habit, one experience, one goal. Create one habit, and at the end of the month, decide do you want to keep it or not? So for example, I started drinking 100 ounces of water per day. I decided I didn't need to drink 100 ounces of water per day. I backed it down to 80.

One month, I checked my bank account everyday. I hated that habit, so I just threw it out. But create on habit each month. I had one experience each month, which made every month feel like Christmas for a Jew. It was, "Set one goal." That means set a goal that is real enough that it's not like, "Oh. Well, my goal is to wake up at five o'clock in the morning tomorrow." Yeah, you can do that, but all of the goals for that month should lead you to the one big goal. And then, the other part of that, the thing that's at odds with is what I tell people, which is, "If you really think that you're doing something in the best way you possibly can, I want you to try an unsustainable week."

"Results, not excuses. Have you done everything you possibly can do to get a result that's a result?"

Results, not excuses

Matthew Legge: Our company motto is another synergy that we had with the Spartan Group. "Results, not excuses," was one we came up with right from the start. Now for us, what that means in regards to challenge and that sort of stuff is, if you've done everything you can … So if you've done all of the preparation and everything you can to get a result and left no room for excuses, then you've done everything you can. And so for us, that has been a big part of our company.

Everything that we go back and think about is that "results, not excuses," and that one piece of advice, it's pretty much every meeting we have, every project we give. Anytime someone says, "I can't do it, I don't think I can do it?" Well, "Results, not excuses. Have you done everything you possibly can do to get a result that's a result?"

Because at the end of that, if you've got no excuses left, then we've learned a lesson or we've won something. So for us, "results, not excuses" simplifies everything. That's probably my one piece of advice that I think has helped me through my latter part of life. The early part of life was a lot of fear of failure and did not even start. So you get to that point of results and excuses going, "It's okay to fail if I don't fail with a pile of excuses."

Matthew Legge: The end result is a lesson or something else.

Using Fear As Fuel

Patrick Sweeney: Let me touch on that as mine. So Fear As Fuel, the book, one of the biggest premises is that we have to scare ourselves every single day.

And there's a lot of neuroscience behind why we do it. One of the interesting things that neuroscience has just proven, and I don't even know if it's published or not yet, because a lot of the research I did I've published now before it's peer-reviewed. And we won't hear about it for a couple of years in the science journals, but I got to write about it because I interviewed these guys, and procrastination is a fear response. Just what you said, thinking about it, talking about it, they're not doing it because their amygdala is activating and they feel some threat. So if you scare yourself everyday, and it doesn't have to be jumping out of a plane or repelling off of the side of a mountain.

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. It's where the excitement and fear intersect.

Patrick Sweeney: But that's the whole point of it, if you take little steps, if you do little things, what you're starting to do is fire neurons over to that courage center that I was talking about, that SGACC. Those neurons that start to fire together will end up wiring together, and it gets easier and easier to choose courage. So just by scaring yourself a little bit each day, and if you're in the habit of choosing courage, you won't procrastinate and you won't worry and you won't have this fear of failure and that sort of thing. So just scaring yourself a little bit everyday is a great first step. "Fear inebriation" is what I would call it.

Unhealthy Challenge Seeking Behavior

Unhealthy Challenge Seeking Behavior
Photographer: Marco Lermer | Source: Unsplash

Mike Bledsoe: Yep. What does unhealthy challenge seeking behavior look like? Because there are some people who are not seeking enough, or they're seeking it a lot in one area of their life, but maybe not in other areas of their life.

Sean Pastuch: Yep. So I actually think what I'm about to say might be a little bit controversial, especially given where we are and who we're with. I think that … The challenge to move the needle. What I mean by that is we all know what the big domino in our life is that we need to knock down. If you really sit in a room and think about it, you know what the domino is. You know that if you knock that domino down, other things will start to fall into place. I believe that a lot of people, myself included, in my past and sometimes in my present, opt to knock down a domino that's on a different playing field altogether, because it's easier.

They'll do something, like sign up for a Spartan World Championships Race, to say "I'm facing down challenge." Cool. I'm with it if you do that Spartan World Championships Race to develop that courage to apply what you learned there to the domino in your life that you need to knock down. It's problematic if you're just signing up for race after race after race so that you can mask the fear and mask the inability that you have to actually face down the challenge that's going to move the needle in your life by doing something that is just objectively hard.

What's your intention?

Mike Bledsoe: Checking in with yourself when seeking challenge. "What's my intention here?" And going into contemplation over that, if your intention is to look good for others, versus going after that domino. Right?

Sean Pastuch: And I want to be clear, too, this is absolutely in no way, shape or form a detraction to something like a Spartan World Championships Race. I'm inspired by the people who are here doing the thing. I saw Joe walk up yesterday to set up, just to check out the site. It was immediate that I understood why this company was so successful, and it was immediate that I understood that these Spartans who run these races are disciples thereof, and the staff is so in line with everything that's going on, and it's phenomenal.

I just want to be clear to the people who are doing things like this that it's okay to do it recreationally. You should. It's fun. I don't believe it's okay to do it as the other challenge that makes it so that you feel as though you don't have to tackle the one in your life.

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. Yeah. I haven't run a Spartan World Championships Race competitively in five years. They've all been recreational and rewarding. Anyone else want to speak on seeking unhealthy challenge?

Matthew Legge: Again, just public risk and health and safety of others. It's fair enough to have your own risks, but I really don't like people that do crazy stuff on the public roads. I really don't like people that take risks in public places that could result in hurting other people. So I think, again, you want to challenge yourself. There are places like the Spartan courses and that sort of stuff where you can do that.

Don't take risks in public places

Matthew Legge: You don't need to be doing stuff out in the public domain or in the public roads, and that sort of stuff. The other thing was, again, back to that "results, not excuses," sometimes people do unhealthy challenges to give them an excuse for a lack of results.

Sometimes they'll occupy themselves or they'll overburden themselves with stuff and use that as an excuse to not actually getting to that pinnacle that they could possibly get to and to live a life of mediocrity but saying, "I was there. I was constantly plugging along, but I didn't actually ever get to my maximal potential and hit that result that I could've done, but I was very busy doing it." Some of my staff get a little bit cranky sometimes, because I say, "I'm not impressed by people that make things just look hard. I still want to get a result."

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah. Yeah. I like the results conversation. That's something I've been looking in my own life and in business as well is, "What's the impact we're making? Am I rewarding myself with hard work?" Is the hard work in itself supposed to be the reward? No. "What's the impact in my life? What's the impact I'm making on people close to me? What's the impact I'm making on the planet?" If more people were zooming out and taking life from that perspective, things would be a lot smoother.

Matthew Legge: Yeah. And what is my why? You can set up your challenges to help you get towards your why. You get what your goal is, and you set up your challenges that way, not setting up challenges to distract you from your why to make you look busy in the meantime.

Mike Bledsoe: Yeah.

How To Connect With Robin, Matthew, Patrick, and Sean

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Photographer: Jakob Owens | Source: Unsplash

Robin Legat: Okay. So my podcast is called Seasoned Athlete, interviewing athletes over age 40 from a variety of sports. Somewhat selfish in my motivation to start it, because I want to know what makes them tick, but I also want to inspire other people to seek out challenge in their own lives and believe in their own capabilities and possibilities in their own athletic potential. The website is seasonedathlete.me or at Seasoned Athlete on Instagram. You can also find me at @RobinLegatSGX, that's R-O-B-I-N L-E-G-A-T SGX at Instagram, as well. If you're in the Los Angeles area, check out Rise Up Training, rutsm.com.

Mike Bledsoe: Thank you.

Patrick Sweeney: Right on them. Patrick Sweeney, the author of Fear Is Fuel, which you can pre-order now on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It comes out in January. My website's pjsweeney.com, Twitter @PJSweeney, and on Instagram TheFearGuru, and LinkedIn, Patrick Sweeney.

Mike Bledsoe: Looking down that Twitter game.

Patrick Sweeney: Exactly.

Matthew Legge: Good day. My name is Matt Legg and you'll find me at ATPscience.com. We have a podcast called The ATP Project.

Sean Pastuch: Nice. All right, I guess I'll close it out. Dr. Sean Pastuch, and if you want to find me, head to Instagram and look up Dr. Sean Pastuch. That's D-R S-E-A-N, P like Peter, A-S, T like Tom, U-C-H. You will absolutely be able to find everything else that I do from there.

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