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Pursuit of Gold with Laura Wilkinson
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Pursuit of Gold with Laura Wilkinson

Author: Laura Wilkinson

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Olympic and World Champion diver, Laura Wilkinson seeks to equip athletes with the most effective tools that will help them reach their biggest goals in sport through conversations with elite and Olympic athletes, sports professionals, coaches, and experts. In these conversations we unlock the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual tools that shape the whole athlete and generate peak performance.
54 Episodes
Today’s guest made history in Tokyo this summer, becoming the first woman to medal in springboard diving at the Olympics since Kelly McCormick won Bronze 33 years ago in Seoul, Korea in 1988. Krysta Palmer made her first Olympic team this summer at the age of 29. Watching her smile and giggle at the podium with her Bronze Medal proudly hanging around her neck warmed hearts all over the country. Krysta’s positivity is infectious and her perseverance throughout her journey to get to the Olympic podium is absolutely inspiring. Today she opens up about the injuries that took her out of contention in the sport of trampoline, what it was like to start a brand new sport at the age of 20, and she walks us through her extraordinary adventure in Tokyo, from a close call in the preliminary round to the very moment she realized she had medaled. Krysta offers mindset tips all along the journey, and she shares with us her favorite way to process both the good and the bad so that she can keep coming back stronger.  Krysta begins with her unique journey in sports, and reflects on coming back stronger from her recurring injuries, as well as how she ultimately found diving at the age of 20. She talks about transitioning her skills from trampoline to diving, working with her coach, Jianli You, to change certain habits, and entering the 2016 Olympic Team Trials following her graduation from the University of Nevada. Krysta tells Laura about a training trip to China that served as a turning point in her path to becoming an Olympian, as well as how her own experience as a coach has helped her as an athlete, and what she learned from competing in the 2017 and 2019 World Championships (her first international meet). She explains how her mindset to learn and grow from setbacks has helped her through the pandemic, and shares the moving story of receiving her Olympic ring from Laura. You’ll hear about Krysta’s memorable experience at the Tokyo Olympics, how her faith keeps her grounded, and the surreal and exciting moment she realized she had medaled in Tokyo. Krysta’s honesty and perseverance throughout today’s conversation are sure to motivate and inspire as she shares her incredible journey, and everything she has overcome to be able to do what she loves to do. Episode Highlights: Krysta’s journey in sports, beginning with gymnastics and trampoline at a young age Coming back stronger from her heartbreaking injuries and finding diving at the age of 20 Transitioning her skills from trampoline to diving, changing certain habits, learning new dives on the fast track Entering the 2016 Olympic Team Trials following her graduation from the University of Nevada Her training trip to China in 2016, and how it brought her closer to becoming an Olympian The difference between platform and springboard diving, and Krysta’s transition from platform to springboard Supporting her athletic training after college through coaching, and how this has helped her become a better athlete Her experience at the World Championships in 2017 and 2019 Learning and growing the most from disappointments or poor competitions How this mentality helped her make the most of trials and tribulations brought on by the pandemic Training through injuries and her family’s support throughout her career Krysta’s very special memory of receiving her Olympic ring from Laura Her unique experience at the Tokyo Olympics The importance of Krysta’s faith The surreal and exciting experience of realizing she had medaled in Tokyo How Krysta continues to process her accomplishment and what the next season of her life looks like Continuing her education and studying toward an MBA Quotes: “At the age of five, when I was young, I really really had this lifelong dream of being an Olympian one day.” “You're always having to use your visual awareness to spot where you are. And make changes based on where you are. So I learned that through trampoline, and that actually really progressed well into my diving career.” “I've had two big struggles in learning how to make a proper entry. And also learning how to get the rhythm and the timing with the springboard, because also trampoline is very quick - quick twitch muscle work.” “I competed platform in the 2016 Olympic Trials because we weren't quite there yet with springboard. And my coach had always said, Give it time. Because springboard need time to develop the skill of it.” “I came into the team mid-semester, so in January. And I had to learn all my springboard dives for 1-meter/3-meter before Conference in February.” “I think the biggest thing was just trusting my coach [Jianli You], because I knew that she has the knowledge and the skill to teach me, whatever it is. I'm learning and I have the talent to try it. And it only takes me trying it to learn something new.” “That was the trip that made me stronger as a diver and as a person.” “I really gained a whole other level of respect for my coach at that time, because I really saw how respected she is amongst all the Chinese coaches and athletes.” “For me, it really made me appreciate my sport and my country and our freedom to choose to be able to do sports.” “I think that was the biggest takeaway for me from the trials is just feeling like I fit in. But I know that there's still more in me and I still need to learn more in order to get to that point.” “We really did take a step back from platform at that time. Then springboard started to pick up, and I was competing in it at all the Nationals and getting better and better.” “The springboard is very similar to trampoline, and I can do a lot of the same skills that I would typically do on a trampoline as well.” “I was coaching our club team. And that's really the majority of where I got money in order to survive and make a living. And so I was starting to see things from a coaching perspective, which actually helped me as an athlete as well.” “That's been a big learning lesson as I transition from a college athlete to now a professional athlete, is just to really pay attention to everything that surrounds me as an athlete, and what's going to help me achieve my dream.” “My first ever international competition was the World Championships in 2017.” “Coming back from that competition, I really had done a lot of processing and journaling, writing things down of what went wrong. What I learned was my mentality going into this event - I really learned that I had put a lot of pressure on myself. And nobody else did that. I was the one that did it to myself.” “I really needed to learn from that. And not necessarily get dragged down by the failure of it. But stepping into, kind of, that failure and learning from it, and then growing from it, and taking the next step into the next chapter, and facing what happened… These competitions were actually the ones that I've learned and grown the most from.” “I think my mentality through all my injuries really helped me through the pandemic, because it was really, Be stronger than you were before the injury. And coming into the pandemic, I could see it two different ways - I could see it as a disappointment and as a setback. Or I could see it as an opportunity and an area to grow, and another year of training, which is really beneficial for me because I’m still a new diver.” “I really chose to look at it that way and took that mentality from the injury standpoint and said, Hey, I'm going to be stronger than I was before the pandemic.” “For me, it's a performance. I love getting out there and just showing off what I love to do.” “That was just a beautiful, beautiful moment for me to receive [my Olympic ring] from you. And you're telling the story - I'm still getting chills because it's special for me.” “For me, what keeps me grounded is reading the Bible and getting my time with God.” “At that point, [Coach Jianli You] knew that I had medaled. And so I gave her this big hug. And she just held me tight. And she just said, We did it. We did it. And so that's just - that was a beautiful moment.” “I don't think this is my peak performance as a diver... I know that there's so much more that I still have left in me.” Show Links The Pursuit of Gold Homepage Life at 10 Meters: Lessons from an Olympic Champion 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days               Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page Krysta’s Social Media: Krysta Palmer’s Instagram Cheer for Krysta Facebook Page Krysta Palmer’s Twitter @PalmerKrysta
With the start of the new football season upon us, the timing is perfect for 2-time Super Bowl champ, Tory James, to join Laura on the podcast. During his 11 season career in the NFL, Tory enjoyed great success with a few different teams, especially the Denver Broncos, and even earned a spot in the 2004 Pro Bowl. Tory’s resilience throughout this extensive career is very much a function of the influence his family had upon him, and, especially, the unwavering belief that he had in himself, and he discusses these factors and so much more here today. He begins by sharing his early involvement in sports, his shift into football, his mom’s perspective on it, and both those who doubted and believed in his potential. He then goes on to summarize his playing career from high school to college to the NFL, the pivotal injury he suffered and his recovery from it, his ability to use fear to help him, and the source of his impressive longevity in the NFL. He finishes up by sharing the hardest and greatest moments in his career and what he does these days in retirement. Throughout this fascinating conversation, Tory highlights the role that family, gratitude, love of the game, and his unwavering belief played in his success, and his story as told here today will undoubtedly move and inspire all who listen. Episode Highlights: How Tory became involved in sports and football in particular Listening to the one coach who believed in him His feeling of unwavering belief His Mom’s perspective on his playing football Tory’s impact on those who doubted him His transition for high school to college football Getting to the NFL The difference between the NFL and college football His knee injury and recovery Using your fear to help you His return from the knee injury What makes the NFL so tough The source of his longevity in the NFL Loving to play The important role family plays The hardest and greatest moments of his career What Tory does in retirement Quotes: ‘‘It hurts so bad. It hurts still to this day, because I still like basketball over football. But I was always good at football, so I took his advice and I started playing football.” “So when I'm helping little kids, I tell them, ‘See it in your mind, you do it perfect in your mind over and over again until it becomes you and it becomes natural.’” “For whatever reason, people put their fears on you, and I just never let it affect me.” “I think you probably changed their entire outlook on how they saw the world, and I think that's huge.” “That's, like, the joy when I think about playing football - how it made people feel.” “The power of just having one person believe in you like that one coach when everybody else is saying ‘No’, it makes a huge difference.” “It was really hard to mess up in Denver, they just had it down. That's probably one of the most professional teams I've ever played for, and it showed by us winning and everybody loved each other, and everybody helped each other. It was amazing.” “We're all going to go through stuff, and it's how you handle it that's going to grow you as a person and your character and who you are the rest of your life beyond your sport, too.” “Fear is feeling excited and ready.” “Now today, what I do is I'm thankful for everything that happens.” “Hard work, dedication, drive, and just willing to do what you have to do and just not ever giving up on your goal.” “I hope everybody else that I'm playing with feels like they're the best because that's the type of players I want to play with.” “You tell me I can't do it, I'm going to find a way to prove you wrong.” “You made this choice to enjoy it and to have fun and playing the game the whole time.” “The reason I'm playing is for family.” “I learned discipline, hard work, to be honest, from my mom.” “It turned out to be the best thing that happened to me because I think if I wouldn't have gotten hurt early on, I don't think my body would have held up as long as it did.” “They always kept me grounded and humble, like, you know, and I kept that with me my whole football career.” “I wanted to get 10 years and I felt like if I got 10 years and that's like my goal, that's like my gold medal.” “I love your mental mindset. I love your passion, your gratitude, you're always so thankful for every opportunity, good and bad. I love that you showed us your purpose that's beyond yourself, your unwavering belief in your dreams.” Show Links The Pursuit of Gold Homepage Life at 10 Meters: Lessons from an Olympic Champion 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days               Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page
Joining Laura on the podcast this week are Dr. Chad Carlson and Dr. Brian Bolt, two guys from rival schools who came together with a common purpose: to think deeply about sport and faith. They both grew up as competitive athletes and are now coaches and sports scholars, Brian as the Dean of Education at Calvin University, and Chad as a Professor and Director of General Education at Hope College. They have also teamed up to create the ‘Sport. Faith. Life.’ podcast which they describe as ‘a conversation that meets at the intersection of sport and faith’. After hosting the 2nd Global Congress on Sport and Christianity at Calvin University in October 2019, our two guests made a commitment to continue to explore the athletic world through the lens of Christianity, and that is precisely what they do hear today. In today’s episode, Chad and Brian discuss the connection between sports and faith., concepts like forgiveness, and how sports can become a part of one’s identity. Together, they also delve into viewing sports as a form of play, how not everybody is drawn to the idea of competition, and how sports must be enjoyed at the moment. They conclude by exploring athletes’ mental health and the sense of loss they feel after certain events such as the Olympics, and by discussing how to view sports as a separate space from other things in life. Filled with ideas regarding how to lead with grace, call for truth, and be a light on a very diverse team, today’s conversation is enlightening, informative, and, above all, one you do not want to miss. Episode Highlights: Competition in sports: the good side and the bad side Comparisons that people make while playing sports Sports and their impact on one’s identity How human beings are meant to be playful Forgiveness and the concept of a community Selfishness in sports and attributions people make for their successes or failures Mental health and sports Redemption in sports Quotes: ‘‘And we see this, especially those who are in Olympic sports, where, you know, it’s not like you play Major League Baseball, where if you don’t do well, one day, you get a chance to the next day, right?” “And what’s so interesting about athletes or successful people in some ways is that they attribute failure to things outside themselves.’’ “And so, from a faith perspective, I think it’s a reminder to us that when we watch our heroes, we’re watching real people with skin and flesh and people who are dealing with real everyday issues. That’s important for us to remember in the midst of our heroism - the way in which we worship athletes at times, for sure.’’ “And then we also need to take a step back with someone we trust - a coach, a teammate, somebody - and logically look at what happened without the emotion and learn from it instead of just blaming all the time. Because I’ve had teammates who blame judges, who blame this, that, and the other all the time.’’ “If you use your energy to fix what you're doing wrong, instead of blaming other people, you might actually be a better athlete.” “There are experiences that we have on Earth, that may be glimpses of Heaven, and when we're at play, we're doing something because the joy of it is in the doing. We're experiencing that Kingdom at hand.” “I have parents that ask me all the time, like, ‘How can I make my kid more passionate?’ and, like, you’ve just got to let them fail. Like, if he fails and he wants to keep going, like, he’ll find the passion.’’ Show Links The Pursuit of Gold Homepage Life at 10 Meters: Lessons from an Olympic Champion 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days                Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page   Connect with Brian and Chad: Sport. Faith. Life. Homepage
Joining Laura on the podcast this week is 3 time Olympian and 6 time National Champion in Aerial Skiing, Emily Cook. Currently the manager of sport and human potential at Skullcandy, Emily also manages programming for the non-profit, Classroom Champions, coaches young athletes at the Utah Olympic Park through the US Ski Team’s Elite Aerial Development Program, and is an ambassador for Right to Play and Kids Play International. Throughout her career, Emily has routinely demonstrated her ability to overcome obstacles and elevate her game to new levels, and she shares her inspirational story with listeners here today.   In today’s episode, Emily discusses her commitment towards her sport, her experiences at the World Cup and the Olympics, and the multiple emotions she went through while training. She also delves into dealing with injuries, making difficult decisions, and compares being a coach to being an athlete. She brings the conversation to a close by sharing details about the important work she does these days. An inspiring model of perseverance, Emily has so very much to share here today that is sure to motivate all who listen. Episode Highlights:   Emily’s realization of her love for aerial skiing Dealing with injuries as an athlete Her experiences at the Olympics Emily’s work at The Speedy Foundation How she had trust in her coach Emily’s commitments in the sports sphere Being a coach vs. being an athlete                         Emily’s work outside the sports sphere Quotes:   “So, I always determined before a training block, whether it was a three-week training block or something, what my negative thought stoppers would be, and, you know, exactly what mindset I wanted to be in on the hill. I use music a lot as well.’’ “And then, every once in a while, like, as humans, we’re just not reliable, we’re not reliable to our own commitments.” “But regardless of who’s there watching, you know…you’ve accomplished something that you set out to do so many years earlier, and it’s an incredible feeling.’’ “And so, it was a daily choice, it was a choice of showing up and showing up 100% no matter what, no matter what my mood was, no matter what was going on around me.’’ “In the end of the day, knowing exactly what I wanted to accomplish, and then debriefing exactly what I did accomplish, so that I knew what I needed to change the next day in order to perform even better.’’ Links: The Pursuit of Gold Homepage Life at 10 Meters: Lessons from an Olympic Champion 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days                  Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page     Connect with Emily:   Emily's Homepage   Classroom Champions   The Speedy Foundation
Joining Laura on the podcast this week is the top-ranked female adaptive snowboarder in the U.S., Amy Purdy. Diagnosed with meningococcal meningitis at the age of 19, Amy has gone on to become a three-time World Cup para-snowboard gold medalist, the 2014 Paralympic bronze medalist, and the founder of Adaptive Action Sports, a nonprofit organization that helps youth, young adults, and wounded veterans with physical disabilities get involved with action sports. She is a professional motivational speaker who has been featured at both TEDx and Pop Tech, and is also an actress, model, dancer, clothing designer, and an experienced product spokesperson. In addition to all this, Amy was also the breakout star and a finalist on season 18 of 'Dancing with the Stars'. A true inspiration to us all, Amy shares her incredible story with Laura and her listeners here today. Amy starts by discussing her love for snowboarding during her teenage years. She then discusses her struggle with her medical condition and how she rose above her hardships through her self-belief. As you listen, you’ll learn of Amy’s many accomplishments, such as securing brand deals and winning a bronze medal. Along the way, you’ll understand Amy’s positive contributions to athletes with disabilities/special needs, and the lessons you learn from this podcast will definitely inspire you to look at difficulties in a whole new way. Episode Highlights: Amy’s early days when she snowboarded with her friends How meningococcal meningitis impacted Amy Amy’s struggle with self-doubt How Amy discovered a creative solution to help her snowboard How Amy co-founded Adaptive Action Sports Amy’s successes with snowboarding How Amy’s injury complications changed her life Amy’s experiences and how she connects with her audience Quotes “So yeah, so snowboarding really was my passion. That’s what pulled me through my darkest days. And then you know, who would have thought that it would become almost my purpose, right?” “And when I woke up from this coma, a few days later, I still have this respirator down my throat. And so, I couldn’t talk. But I wrote out on a piece of paper that I was given a choice and I chose to stay.’’ “I was just hanging on, and also incredibly grateful, like to have the opportunity to hang on and fight. And so, gratitude became a big part of not just a practice, but to be honest, like a very natural organic thing for me, because every day I woke up and I was alive, I was grateful whether I’d lost my legs or not.’’ “And I remember at one point saying, ‘I don’t know if I can do this, but if anybody can, it’s going to be me.’ ‘’ “I needed a community of people who are like me, and it didn’t really exist and needed something to pull it together.’’ “It’s like going through the valleys of despair and like finding your way out and having these real realizations of what’s really important in life, and how do we get through challenges. And I’ve decided to share the journey along the way.’’ Show Links The Pursuit of Gold Homepage Life at 10 Meters: Lessons from an Olympic Champion 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page Connect With Amy: Bouncing Forward with Amy Purdy (Spotify) Adaptive Action Sports Homepage Amy Purdy on Instagram Resources: On My Own Feet: The Journey from Losing My Legs to Learning the Dance of Life (2014)
Joining Laura on the podcast this week is Chad Busick, owner of Championship Mindset, an organization that works with both corporate and athletic teams. Chad is a Master Facilitator with Advance Sports Technology, working with college teams at the DI, DII, DIII and NAIA levels as well as high school and competitive teams across various sports. In addition, he is a certified trainer for The Power of Positive Leadership training with The Jon Gordon Companies.  Chad is also the host of ‘The Championship Mindset Podcast’ as well as the author of his new book, The Rock Tumbler.    Laura begins by sharing some exciting information about her own new book, and then Chad details his background and his journey to the work he does now, including some of the principles and techniques he employs in that work. Along the way, he shares a number of excellent resources and examples of his philosophy in action, offers valuable advice to athletes and parents alike, and provides a glimpse into his new book. As you will hear, Laura resonates with so much of Chad’s work, and you will undoubtedly do the same with the many lessons revealed here today regarding the world of sport, and, indeed, life in general. Episode Highlights:       Laura’s new book Chad’s background and his journey to the work he does now The Ten Principles of Entelechy and sports mindset His Championship Mindset brand and company The hardest part of achieving the championship mindset Emotional safety ‘Taking change by the hand’ during the pandemic Jon Gordon’s The Power of Positive Leadership Mark Batterson’s Win the Day Chad’s Championship Mindset chart and how to apply it Working with a team vs. working with an individual Chad’s The Rock Tumbler and his favorite lessons from it His advice regarding parental involvement Jessica Lahey’s The Gift of Failure Quotes:     “It's the seven fundamentals of mental fitness. I've been a master facilitator with that for the last six or seven years, which has led me now to start my own company called Championship Mindset, and a lot of other things.” “Whether we're working with corporate clients, whether we're working with athletes, coaches, teams, it's really just focusing on helping them be the best that they can be.” “This championship mindset is the formula for success in all areas of our lives.” “At the end of the day, it really comes down to our talent, our hard work, our attitude, our mental toughness, our teamwork, and our passion into everything that we do.” “The things that I've learned through diving are the very things that helped me in my life outside of the pool.” “I would say everything for me starts with culture, we have to have the right culture.” “The first thing that we have to build is we have to build emotional safety.” “Players don't care about how much you know, until they know about how much you care about them.” “When we really think about what we've gone through this last 14 to 16 months, what we've really been doing is, we've been grieving.” “Just be there for your students be there for your players in this moment.” “It's okay to grieve the dream, but don't stay there.” “Regardless of those tough events that we go through, we still get to choose how we respond.” “How you do anything is how you do everything - and to me, that's the core of the championship mindset.” “How we view the world and more importantly, how we interact with the world, greatly affects what you get out of the world.” “If you have to go through it, you might as well grow through it.” “Own your journey, it's your journey, own it to the best that you can.” “We need to let our kids fail.” “The most powerful thing that you can say to your athlete when they're done competing is, ‘I love watching you compete. I love watching you play.’ ” Links: The Pursuit of Gold Homepage Life at 10 Meters: Lessons from an Olympic Champion 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days                   Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page     Connect with Chad:   Champion Mindset Homepage   The Rock Tumbler   Championship Mindset Linktree   Championship Mindset Podcast   Championship Mindset Twitter   Championship Mindset Facebook   Championship Mindset Instagram     Resources:   The Power of Positive Leadership   The Gift of Failure   Win the Day
Once again this week, things are a little bit different as today’s episode features Laura being interviewed by former Special Forces Green Beret, Fran Racioppi, on ‘The Jedburgh Podcast’. Touted as ‘a conversation with prominent visionaries, drivers of change, and those dedicated to winning’, this podcast is a natural and timely fit for Laura, as she participates in the Olympic Trials this week and next in her bid to compete in her fourth Olympic Games. Be sure to tune into the Olympic Channel and NBC and join Fran in cheering her on in her attempt, and enjoy this interview here today which outlines precisely just what it takes to reach similar success in your own life.   Laura and Fran begin by looking at what it takes to reach elite levels, and then discuss Laura’s career from her start in high school to present day. Along the way, they explore her perspective on failure and fear, the need to take ownership of your performance, her Sydney Olympics experience, and her Dream Chaser philosophy. They also delve into Laura’s neck surgery and recovery, her preparation for the Tokyo Olympics, and her take on finding balance in life and achieving longevity in sports. The interview concludes with her thoughts on channeling the pressure of the moment, ‘The Pursuit of Gold’, the 3 things she does every day, and the elite performance characteristic that Laura most exemplifies – drive. As Laura heads into the Trials which will determine her immediate Olympic future, today’s sweeping examination of the many components which have brought her to this moment could not be more relevant – listen in and prepare to be inspired. Episode Highlights:       What it takes to reach elite levels Laura’s high school diving experience and her ‘call to action’ Her perspective on failure Taking ownership of your performance Laura’s performance at the Sydney Olympics, the events leading up to it, and the pep talk she gave herself Dream Chaser Her neck surgery and recovery Laura’s thoughts on fear and moving past it Preparing to qualify for Tokyo Dealing with the ‘uncontrollables’ Her thought on finding balance in her life Achieving longevity in sports Channeling the pressure of the moment Her ‘Pursuit of Gold’ podcast Laura’s next couple months The 3 things Laura does every day to be successful The elite performance characteristic that Laura most exemplifies Quotes:    “Faith and determination separate the good from the great.” “Just because somebody tells you you can't, doesn't mean it's true.” “Failure is part of success. And the concrete actions that you take from the moment you accept that you failed are what defines you as a leader and as an elite performer.” “I'm not afraid to look like a fool.” “When we talk about the development of elite talent, there's a requirement to be humble and show humility.” “How can I become better? How can I fix that? How can I move forward?” “It doesn't matter how old you are, doesn't matter what station you have in life, you can really make a difference for somebody just by being there for them.” “This pressure that you felt became a power.” “I realized that there were so many people that probably would never have the opportunity that I was in at that moment.” “The task ahead of you is never greater than the power behind you.” “I absolutely loved it, because it wasn't about me in that was about something so much bigger.” “So it's about the pursuit, it's about the hunt. It's about who you become. And I think that's what I really mean by Dream Chaser.” “You have to have this done just to be a mom because if you trip down the stairs, if you have a small car accident, like, that could lead to a quadriplegic.” “A lot of times we're scared of the unknown…fear is a lot of times a liar.” “To wholly stay in the moment is really the biggest key…and you have to practice that in practice.” “I think really breaking my foot back then was such a gift because it gave me that opportunity to focus on visualization, to go through so many competition scenarios in my mind with so many different athletes.” “Adversity makes you stronger.” “The challenge in front of you sometimes becomes the blessing that you needed.” “I have learned this last year is that I can just tear my plans up, throw them out the window, because I’ve got to roll with it. And I'm not good at that.” “I think one of the best things COVID taught me was that I need to have my kids be part of what I'm doing.” “They saw the sweat, they saw the tears, they saw the frustration, they saw how many times a day I was having to do this stuff and how hard I was working, all just hoping to get back in the pool. So it provided a lot of really good conversations for us.” “The best people you see doing this are beginners at some point, like, you have to start somewhere.” “I've had a lot of times where I'm like, you know, God, I'd be okay, if He closed the door, and we're done with this. But He's made it very clear, this is where I need to be, and He's made a way, and then that fire is back, and that fuel is back.” “I've learned not to be scared of my emotions. I've learned how to use them and how to direct them.” “And it's not about the pressure, or the expectations, or all these other things, just let that go. And it's just about me enjoying the moment.” “This is actually my way of finding the resources and giving them to other athletes.” “Learning those lessons from people and taking that with me, I think makes me not just stronger mentally, but emotionally and spiritually.” “There's this need for achievement and growth mindset - be better today than you were yesterday, continuous self improvement - that you display that has set you apart from all of your competition.” “For all the people who maybe think they're too old to do something they love to do, don't let society or culture decide that for you. If you love something, do it.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold Homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days                   Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page  The Jedburgh Podcast: The Jedburgh Podcast Website The Jedburgh Podcast on iTunes The Jedburgh Podcast Instagram The Jedburgh Podcast LinkedIn
Joining Laura on the podcast today is Olympic Taekwondo athlete, Victoria Stambaugh. The daughter of a professional boxer, Victoria took to Taekwondo at an early age, made the US National Team in her teens, eventually joined the Puerto Rico National Team, and has since qualified to compete for Puerto Rico at the upcoming Tokyo Games. Having suffered a number of injuries and resulting surgeries over her career, Victoria has demonstrated remarkable resilience, and, through her faith in Christ, has persevered to achieve her dream of becoming an Olympian. In today’s conversation, she not only shares her inspirational story, but also turns the tables to pick Laura’s brain for some of her sage advice as well.   As with all guests, Victoria begins by sharing how she found her way to her chosen sport, and then she goes on to relate the story of her career to date. Starting with how she made the US National Team, Victoria proceeds to recount her battles with injuries over the years, how they have affected both her career and her emotional state, her transition to the Puerto Rico National Team, and how qualifying for the Olympics works in her sport. She also delves deeply into the role that her faith has played in her life and career, the impact of handing control over to God, her 17 scars and what they mean to her, and her work with Master Bang in preparing for Tokyo. Victoria concludes the episode by questioning Laura on her Olympic experiences and advice, and the role that her faith has played in her life and career. As you will hear, Victoria and Laura are very much kindred spirits whose personal, professional, and spiritual lives resonate considerably with each other, and also offer valuable lessons for all listeners here today. Episode Highlights:   Victoria’s sports history and how she got into Taekwondo Making the US National Team How Taekwondo athletes are selected for the Olympics Her knee injuries and surgeries How Victoria’s faith has helped her Her story of not qualifying for Rio and focusing on Tokyo The times when God spoke directly to her heart Transitioning from the US to the Puerto Rican Team How Olympic qualifying works for Taekwondo and diving Her knee injuries and surgeries while preparing for Tokyo Handing control over to God Qualifying for Tokyo Her 17 scars and what they mean to her Master Bang Victoria and her fiance’s Taekwondo and Parkour studio Laura’s best advice for someone competing at their first Olympics What’s different for Laura now Laura’s thoughts during the finals for her gold How Laura’s faith has helped her throughout her career Laura’s biggest goal when competing at the Olympics Her upcoming trials Laura’s thoughts on not being able to have family at the Tokyo Olympics Quotes:    “When I saw Jackie Chan, Jet Li, I was like, ‘I want to be these guys’.” “For the Olympics, only two weight categories can qualify, female and male, per country.” “Deep down inside, I knew that my knee was never the same.” “I know God put the right person at the right time that I needed to hear those words, ‘not to quit’ and to ‘come back’.” “That started the process of three knee surgeries within a period of six months.” “What I picture is kind of like God just wrapping His arms around me and giving me a hug. And at that moment, I was able to continue on and it was actually just the very next day where I was like, ‘Okay, I'm going to go for Tokyo’.” “He had to take out the rest of the meniscus…in my mind, I was like, ‘You just took my whole career away from me’.” “And then, sure enough, God always sends the right message, the right person, at the right time.” “God has seen your tears and, and He's with you. Don't give up, keep going.” “I was done emotionally, mentally, you know, physically, spiritually. I was just drained. And that's when I just released total control to Christ and let him handle it.” “Christ was my confidence…and I qualified for the Olympics.” “A reminder of everything I've been through and everything God has brought me out of. And what better reminder, really? It's basically tattooed on my body.” “People get so lost in the aura and the bigness and the pressure of the Olympic Games. But, just, you’ve got to be able to let that go.” “That's for Him to use this for my good and for His glory.” “You don't have to have the lead if you have the heart to come from behind.” “I've had a lot of big dreams that I've fallen very short of, but, in that moment, I was living it. And to me that was one of the greatest things that I got to take away.” “Now I do want to boast about my weaknesses, because that's the chance for the power of Christ to rest upon me, and for the world to see, you know, exactly what He can do.” “The biggest thing that I need to do is stay in the moment.” “Maybe I can just really spend that time dependent with God.” “You've got to kind of expect the unexpected, and just roll with it.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days                   Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page   Victoria's Instagram Victoria's Facebook Victoria's Homepage
Today’s episode is a little different in that Laura is actually a guest on another podcast, and is interviewed by veteran broadcaster, Bill Houston and former LPGA Pro, Tracy Hanson, from the Power Up Sports Ministry, an outreach of Our Daily Bread Ministries. Listeners may remember Tracy as a guest on Episode 20 of Pursuit of Gold where she very vulnerably opened up about recognizing and overcoming abuse. As you will hear, this week’s episode is an extra special one for Laura as she shares so much that is close to her heart, but that she doesn’t always get a chance to discuss in other arenas.   She begins by briefly reviewing her personal and professional lives, and then delves deeply into her spiritual journey, including a moving account of the moment her life changed and she started fully trusting God with it. She also describes how she brings her faith into her competitions, the impact that the Tokyo Games postponement has had upon her and her training, her experience of returning to diving after neck surgery, and how she approaches sharing her faith with others. Laura concludes by offering her perspective on ministering to other athletes, as well as details regarding her wonderful family, and what she has learned about herself in her quest to return to the Olympics. Laura truly loves ‘just being able to be open and honest about Jesus and sports’, and that is precisely what she does today in this enlightening and thoroughly inspiring interview. Episode Highlights:   A brief history of Laura’s personal and professional lives Laura’s spiritual journey and the moment her life began to change Trusting God with her life Taking her faith into her competitions The impact of the Olympic postponement on Laura Returning to diving after her neck surgery Sharing her faith with others Her perspective on ministering to other athletes Laura’s family What Laura has learned about herself Quotes:    “I was told I was a waste of space… fortunately for me, it lit a fire.” “I had reached out and I kind of realized that I had taken the reins of my life and I'd made a mess of things, but I was reaching back out for God.” “I just remember thinking that God was saying, “Look, when you trust Me with your life, I have plans for you. I have a purpose for you.” “You are probably impacting people's lives all over the place and you don't always see the fruit of that. But you've got to know when you're trusting God and you're doing what He's asking you to do, like, waves will be made, seeds will be planted, you know, and the harvest will come.” “I was much better at staying in the moment because of Him, because I was focused on Him.” “God always gives you these challenges that you're like, ‘No, I don't want to go through this’, but he uses those to equip us in ways that we can't even fathom to help us for something bigger that’s coming ahead.” “You have to be able to meet people where they are and talk to them where they're at.” “I think for athletes just constantly, constantly reminding them that, like, you are not the sum total of your score or your place at the end of the competition. Like, you are far more valuable than that. And if you get injured and you can't go on tomorrow, you still have value and purpose and you were created for that purpose.” “I've gotten really good at juggling, and I have an amazing husband who is very supportive. Without him, I mean, honestly, none of this would have happened.” “The older I get, the more I realize I don't know.” “Having kids, they kind of make you really not eat your words, but live up to your words.” “I think athletes and sports ministry leaders alike can learn from what you're putting out there with the guests that you're having.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days                   Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page Tracy Hanson's Pursuit of Gold Episode Power Up Podcast Power Up Facebook Power Up YouTube
The inspiration for today’s episode can be found in a team meeting that Laura’s coaches called recently. The meeting was all about goals, and included an exercise where each member shared their own goals with the others. Even with her years of experience, Laura still found this a little uncomfortable and even a bit intimidating, but also incredibly powerful and beneficial for herself and her teammates, and definitely important enough to share with listeners today.   She starts this solo episode by highlighting the need to set big goals, and the value of writing down and sharing them. She recounts the role that healthy competitiveness plays in making teammates better, emphasizes the importance of being specific about goals, creating a plan involving both short and long term goals, and explaining the difference between goals and expectations. She finishes up by looking at the importance of having and knowing your ‘why’ and by reviewing today’s main takeaways for listeners. Blessed with wisdom gained through experience and reflection, Laura expands upon a key coaching strategy for elite athletes and eloquently translates it for athletes and non-athletes alike in this relatively brief but hugely impactful episode. Episode Highlights:   Setting a goal out of your reach Writing down and sharing your goals Employing healthy competitiveness to get better Being specific with goals and creating a plan to get there Setting short and long term goals The difference between goals and expectations Avoiding the ‘expectation trap’ The importance of your ‘why’ Takeaways from today Quotes:    “If you’re setting a goal that you know you can already achieve, it’s not a goal.” “If you share it with someone, you are 77% more likely to accomplish it.” “It’s now real because somebody else knows about it, and they can hold you accountable in a number of different ways.” “The better your teammate’s getting, that’s just going to push you to get better.” “It’s important to recognize that expectations tend to have very emotional roots and responses.” “At some point you’re not going to be able to keep up with that growing expectation because it’s not a tangible result.” “When you have purpose, you can become capable of so much more than you ever thought possible.” “You’ve got to start acting like you are the person who is going to achieve that goal.” “I grew as a person. I grew as an athlete.” “You are capable of doing great things.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days   Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page
Professional cyclist, Brad White, joins Laura on the podcast this week. While working as a teacher, Brad discovered professional cycling somewhat later than most, but enjoyed great success in a very short amount of time. Eventually leaving teaching behind, he went on to compete internationally full time, and, upon retirement from the sport, has found a way to continue to make his passion his livelihood. Filled with wisdom and experience both within the sport and beyond, Brad has much to share with listeners today.   He starts off by recounting his rather unique beginnings in his sport, his transition to becoming a professional rider, and the type of cycling in which he competed. Brad goes on to share details regarding the team aspect of the sport, his preparation for races, the importance of patience in sports, and some of his most memorable moments. His training focus, special awards, definition of success, and transition out of professional cycling are also explored. Brad finishes up with a description of the work he does these days which keeps him connected to the world of cycling. As Laura notes, Brad’s wisdom and experience is ‘hard earned’, and today he demonstrates once again that so much of what is learned through sport is remarkably valuable in so many aspects of life in general. Episode Highlights:   How Brad found cycling His transition to becoming a professional Tours and road racing Team selection, training, and roles Preparing for races physically and mentally Developing patience Brad’s most memorable moments Where his nickname came from Brad’s training program focus Some of his special awards His definitions of success when he was racing and now Brad’s transition out of professional cycling Moms in Tow Velo Kids Velo City Cycles Quotes:   “The next thing I knew…I was not teaching anymore, I was racing.” “It's really important that you know your role, you can execute your job, but also that you show up ready.” “The preparation for each course is going to be different, but kind of the same, and then you're just going to react differently.” “The overall time is what matters to some riders, but then, to other riders, winning a stage is a big deal.” “If I need to suffer this that little bit longer, you know, they may give up.” “I think one of the biggest motivators for me was just not wanting to let down my team, my fans.” “Patience is a huge part of, I think, all sports.” “We were just riding so well together all the time, having fun on and off the bike.” “I think there's definitely something about, even with a training plan, listening to your body and being able to react to what your body is dealing with, and get the most out of your training.” “Kind of racing stupid made me stronger, made me a little smarter later, but it also got my name out there a little bit.” “Being able to achieve what you set out to achieve that day is a success.” “I think the biggest thing for people transitioning out of sports is you don’t need to find the thing right away.” “The bike has done so much for me within my career but also, you know, mentally, physically, spiritually, it's connected me with people…and it's amazing what I've seen it do for people.” “With COVID, bikes have been a big hit.” “The programs we have are to give back to our community and to create experiences for people to use the products that we’re selling them.” “You can make your sport very much a part of your life and still have that love for it and just bring it out in different ways.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days   Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page   Connect with Brad: Velo City Cycles Homepage Velo City Cycles Facebook Velo City Cycles Instagram Velo Kids Moms in Tow Homepage
This week, Laura welcomes Olympic hurdler, Sarah Wells, to the podcast. Once an athlete who was cut from every high school team she tried out for, Sarah discovered track and field and went on to become an Olympic semi-finalist and Pan Am Games silver medallist in the 400m hurdles, building a reputation for overcoming challenges and achieving the ‘impossible’ along the way.  She is also the Founder of the Believe Initiative, where she now uses her story to help youth understand the importance of being resilient and the power of believing in themselves, and to help corporations build more resilient teams.   Sarah begins by recounting how she got her unique start in sports, the support networks which have sustained her throughout, her rapid development in the hurdles, and both working and learning through her injuries. She also shares her discovery of ‘her word’, her Olympics Trials and Games experience, managing her stress fractures, and preparing to qualify for Rio 2016. Sarah concludes the conversation by discussing her Believe Initiative, how to get involved in it, her retirement from sports, and her perspective and guide to redefining success. A gifted speaker with a truly inspiring story, Sarah Wells has learned so much from her journey which is so very pertinent to life both within and beyond the sporting arena, and she shares it all here today. Episode Highlights: Sarah’s start in sports Her support networks Sarah’s rapid development in hurdles Working and learning through her femur injury Finding her word ‘Believe’ Returning from her injury Her Olympics Trials and Games experience Managing her recurring stress fractures Preparing to qualify for Rio 2016 The Believe Initiative and how to get involved Retiring from sport Sarah’s perspective and exercise regarding redefining success Quotes:   “At that point I hadn't defined myself by sport and I also had some really amazing siblings.” “You go from zero to competing internationally in, like, eight months.” “When someone else says it, you know, you're instantly a bit more likely to believe it.” “I would almost, like, live and die by how my leg felt that morning.” “I just would get so mentally defeated and, like, halfway through an interval I would just start walking.” “In the most important races in my life, when the gun goes off, I hear nothing. I just lock into completing what I need to do.” “It hurts so much that I'm scared, tomorrow when I run, it could break in half.” “It's a hard line to figure out when to push and when to ease off.” “Success isn't linear, it’s this roller coaster ride of emotions.” “Rest would have been very productive in that moment.” “I miss qualifying by half a second.” “Clearly you don't build self-belief through achievements, you build it through action.” “It helps people everywhere take a passion they have with a problem they want solve, and they use that passion to solve that problem, and they build self-belief through action.” “While hard work doesn't always lead to success, being resilient will always lead to another opportunity for it.” “Far more people are inspired by the time where I didn't make the Olympics over the time where I did.” “If you're able to continuously embody and act from a place of those powerful character traits that lead to success, well then, even in a moment where things don't work out, you're going to be able to rely on those things and find your next opportunity for success.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days   Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page   Connect with Sarah: Sarah's Homepage   Believe Initiative The Believe Leadership Course Redefining Success
Joining Laura on the podcast today is Olympic cyclist Giddeon Massie. Among his many accomplishments are more than 20 U.S. Elite National Titles, Pan American Games Gold and Silver Medals, competing at two Olympic Games, and being selected by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to participate in a series of public service announcements that promoted clean, honest, and fair competition. Giddeon has also been the Program Manager for an International Education and Mentorship Non-profit organization, called ‘Classroom Champions’, and he remains committed to community outreach.   In today’s conversation, Giddeon shares how he first became involved in cycling, his training experience at the Velodrome, his breakout moment, and his time at the Olympic Training Centre. He goes on to review and compare his Olympic experiences, his perspective on doping in sport, the various cycling events in which he competed, the impact of not qualifying for the 2012 Games, and his transition from his cycling career to his current career in real estate. Giddeon finishes up by offering his sincere and deeply thoughtful advice to athletes in setting and achieving their goals in their sport. Uniquely experienced in the joys and challenges of a life both within the world of an elite athlete and beyond, Giddeon takes this opportunity to share his measured and contemplative insights and advice for the benefit of all listeners here today. Episode Highlights:   How he found his way into cycling The Velodrome Giddeon’s breakout moment His time at the Olympic Training Centre Comparing his Olympic experiences His perspective on doping in sport The various cycling events in which he raced Failing to qualify for the 2012 Games Transitioning from cycling to real estate Giddeon’s advice for athletes coming up with dreams and goals Quotes:   “The sprint disciplines were more intriguing and just looked more fun and appealing to me.” “It was a gradual progression and I learned from some of the best.” “You know sometimes you go years without something, and other times you have a year where you have two or three or four falls.” “We lived that together, and we supported one another, and that was a great, great thing about that space.” “The whole experience… is pretty overwhelming and special that first time.” “I feel bad for those people that choose to go that route, but it doesn't impact what I do and how I approach what I do. I sleep comfortably at night.” “If you don't have a purpose it's kind of like not having a destination.” “I'm very comfortable in uncertainty because I know that my preparation is such that, if given the opportunity, I'm going to be where I need to be.” “The individual stuff, it's like, you know, it's chess on bikes.” “I think every Games has its own lifeblood to it.” “Watching from the outside… that was very hard.” “I wasn't ready to be done.” “Sometimes I tell people I'm a recovering Olympic athlete.” “You lose some of yourself when you step away from that because not everybody cares about the Olympics and not everybody cares about, you know, what you’ve spent most of your life doing.” “Okay, what have I learned that I can actually apply here?” “It starts with having a healthy respect for the sport that you're participating in, for the people that are devoting the time to invest in you, to being willing to accept the critique and the criticism.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days   Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page   Connect with Giddeon:    Instagram: @giddeon Giddeon's Real Estate homepage
One topic that Laura has been receiving a lot of messages about lately is that of dealing with injuries. There seems to be some worry, frustration, and uncertainty expressed by more and more athletes when it comes to feeling productive while they’re sidelined for weeks, months, and even longer during their recovery. Definitely no stranger to the world of injuries, Laura draws upon her own experiences, and those of previous podcast guests, to address all of these concerns and share some valuable advice.   Laura begins by recounting some of the injuries she has sustained during her career and how she and her coach responded to them. Throughout these stories, she highlights the importance of being ‘all in’ on your recovery plan, learning from these injuries and carrying those lessons forward, the power of mind, mindset, and perspective, as well as working through the many resulting emotions. Laura also reviews the stories of some past guests of the podcast whose journeys through injury and illness are both inspiring and enlightening, and she concludes the episode with her advice on ways to deal with injuries, how to use the time while on the sidelines, and just how critical it is to really take the time to assess your injury and recovery before choosing wisely on how to move forward. As you will hear, today’s topic is one with which Laura is greatly familiar, and the knowledge and wisdom she shares here is drawn not only from her own experience but from others in the world of high level sports. This is, truly, an important listen for all athletes, and really, for anyone who may suffer perceived setbacks in achieving their goals in life. Episode Highlights:   Some of the injuries that Laura has sustained throughout her career and how she and her coach responded to them Believing in what you’re doing when coming back from injury Learning from injuries and recovery and carrying those lessons forward The importance of our mind, mindset, and perspective Working through your emotions Inspiration to be drawn from past podcast guests Laura’s advice on ways to deal with injuries and what you can do while sidelined The power of nutrition, video study, visualization, mindfulness, coaching others, and restructuring goals Choosing your response to injuries wisely Quotes:   “Obviously, hindsight, I wish we would have pressed for X-rays anyway, but my coach and I were just hoping that, you know, it wasn’t a big deal.” “That first week, I still had all those mix of emotions that you get when you feel like your world is caving in on you.” “We’re not going to look back and say, ‘What if?” and ‘Could I have?’, we are only going to look forward with a new plan.” “I have to tell you that believing in what you’re doing - as crazy as it might appear to anyone watching - if you believe in what you are doing, you’ve got to be all in.” “I would not have stood on that podium if I had not broken my foot.” “They basically took two of the discs out in my neck and fused the bones together.” “You can come out the other side even stronger.” “If your goals have changed and you don’t want to be in your sport anymore, you don’t always have to use the injury as an excuse.” “Sometimes these injuries turn into something more beautiful.” “These injuries, they can break you if you let them, or they are something that can turn you into an entirely new athlete with a new purpose.” “I encourage you to even check out the small injuries.” “Take your physical therapy seriously.” “Be smart. Know when to go slow. Know when to push forward.” “There is so much you can do while you’re sidelined.” “The mind is powerful. You need to learn how to use it.” “Don’t underestimate the power of coaching. Even if it’s some younger kids that are around you, it can be really, really beneficial.” “It all truly comes down to how you chose to look at it…choose wisely, friends.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days   Laura’s Social Media: Laura's Instagram Laura's Facebook page   Previous episode links:   Robert Paylor, episode 38   Chanelle Price, episode 37   Allysa Seely, episode 29   Dr. Ben Houltberg, episode 27   Abby and Jacob Cooper, episode 23   Chaunte Lowe, episode 18   Apolo Ohno, episode 16   Amy Dixon, episode 14   Brad Snyder, episode 12 Susie Parker-Simmons, episode 7
South African Olympic runner, Dom Scott, joins Laura today for a truly inspiring conversation about persevering and making tough decisions to make your dreams a reality. Born in Cape Town, Dom’s journey to the Olympics meant moving away from her family at a young age to access the training and opportunities offered elsewhere, which resulted in multiple NCAA titles, 12 All-American honors, and, of course, her appearance at the Rio Olympics. Today, Dom takes some time out from her training for the Tokyo Olympics to share her story and the lessons it has to offer.   She begins by sharing some details of growing up in Cape Town, her start in sports, particularly running, and the difficult decision to leave home to attend a high school with a track team. Dom also discusses the road that took her to the University of Arkansas, her career there, her year of fairy tale moments, and her Rio experience. She concludes by delving into the lessons she has learned throughout her career, how COVID has affected her and her training, what keeps her going through the hard times, and the Dom Squad. The overriding themes of following your dream and cherishing support from family, friends, and faith run through Dom’s journey, and offer inspiration for us all in how we can approach our own lives. Episode Highlights:   Dom’s upbringing in Cape Town and her start in running Netball Living away from home to go to a high school with a track team Her Olympic dream and her parents’ support Going to the University of Arkansas Her college experience The differences between indoor/outdoor track and cross country How she improved so much over her college career Dom’s year of fairytale moments Her Rio Olympic experience and the process involved in getting there What helped Dom through her doubts and anxiety leading up to Rio What Dom has learned in terms of her identity Her current definition of success How COVID has impacted her and her preparation for Tokyo What keeps Dom going through the hard times The Dom Squad Quotes:   “I grew up playing every sport.” “I guess as a dreamer and the determined person that I am, as a 12 year old, that just seemed like something that was worth fighting for and worth making hard decisions for.” “Selflessly…she told me to go and to follow my dreams, follow my heart, and if she hadn’t done that, I think I probably would have pulled the plug on the whole thing.” “College, you’ve got to remember, everyone is away from home.” “Very quickly, I started changing the way I was talking…and looking back at it, I’m so sad that I did that.” “Don’t change who you are to blend in and be like everybody else…you want to stand up and rise above that.” “My freshman year was a big learning curve.” “I just tried to start observing.” “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” “Your 10 points just secured the win for the Lady Razorbacks.” “That sermon gave me so much peace.” “You earned your spot on that start line.” “I had taken the necessary steps to make my dream a reality.” “At the time, I was embarrassed to say I’d come 21st,which is ridiculous!” “It’s not about the place, it’s about how you feel about what you did.” “Being an Olympian and having competed in the Olympics is not something that made me a better person, or, like, changed my life significantly either…it wasn’t something I wanted to be branded as.” “If you are searching for your identity in anything other than Christ…it’s never going to fulfill you, it’s never going to satisfy you, and you’re always going to be left wanting more.” “I am…more than Dom Scott, the athlete.” “I really feel like surrounding myself with people that love me and support me – that’s what helps me through those really horrible days.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days   Laura’s Social Media: Instagram:   Laura's Instagram Facebook:   Laura's Facebook page   Connect with Dom:   Dom's homepage   Dom on Instagram   Dom on Facebook   Dom on Twitter
Laura has been looking forward to today’s interview for a while, and the reason will become very clear, very quickly. On May 6, 2017, Robert Paylor was playing for the number one college rugby team in the country as they competed in the National Championship, a dream come true for any young athlete. Mere moments into that game, Robert broke his neck and was subsequently told that he would never walk or move his hands again. His life was changed forever in that instant, but if you think that’s where Robert’s story ends, you couldn’t be more wrong. That fateful day not only impacted his physical life, but his mindset, his faith, and his outlook on life, and he shares the whole story with us all today.   He begins by describing how he got involved in rugby in the first place, his experience at Cal, and then he shares, in chilling detail, the events of that day in May, 2017, as well as the immediate and long-term decisions and treatments involved in his rehabilitation, which continues to this very day. Along the way he touches upon the need for mental toughness, working through the daily grind toward his vision, the role that neuroplasticity plays in his rehabilitation, and the power of forgiveness. Throughout his story are woven Robert’s feelings of gratitude, the incredible support from family, friends, doctors, teammates, and coaches, and, especially, his discovery of the greatest purpose and commitment of his life. What happened to Robert truly changed his life on so many levels, and by listening in to his heartfelt and moving conversation with Laura today you’ll find out why he wouldn’t have it any other way. Episode Highlights:   How Robert got involved with rugby His experience at Cal The day Robert’s life changed forever The advice he received and the decision he made in his darkest hour Accessing mental toughness to make treatment decisions Robert’s post-surgery experience Support of family and friends Robert’s rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Colorado False hope and false hopelessness Working through the grind toward his ironclad vision The first flicker of movement Accessing perspective to be more grateful The three ways to achieve recovery form spinal cord injury The role that neuroplasticity plays in his recovery Robert’s rehabilitation since he left the hospital The support from Robert’s rugby team and especially Coach Billups Graduating from Cal The power of asking yourself, “Compared to what?” The impact that Robert can have on the lives of others Talon’s story The biggest commitment that Robert has ever made The power of forgiveness Counting the days and appreciating the daily grind Quotes:   “It was a day of legacy.” “My face slams against my chest, I feel this crunch in my neck, and I immediately can’t feel or move anything below my neck.” “The reality is, you will never walk again. You will never move your hands.” “The one thing you have control over is your mindset. Your positivity, your ambition, your willingness to wake up every single day and fight is up to you.” “I was going to give everything I had to get absolutely everything I can get.” “I knew I couldn’t live with the regret of not going into this surgery.” “It was like Death was sitting with me in that hospital room, waiting for me to quit.” “If I don’t do this, I might die!” “They look at me and they see potential, not some broken body.” “The one thing we do know is that we are going to give you everything that modern science and medicine has to offer.” “I came here to walk out of these hospital doors.” “Appreciate every victory we have no matter how small they are.” “There was just so much that I had lost that I had taken for granted in my life.” “I couldn’t have graduated if it weren’t for this team.” “Just being a quadriplegic is a job in itself.” “It was my perspective that really fuelled me.” “Remind me not to complain about anything ever again.” “I think that’s very unhealthy when we dismiss our challenges.” “There are so many positives in our lives that we can be focusing on right now.” “If I could go back and change what happened to me on May 6 of 2017, I wouldn’t and I couldn’t, because…it has given me now the greatest purpose that I have in my life.” “I forgive him whether he is sorry or not.” “I’m either going to get out of this wheelchair one day or I’m going to die trying.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days   Laura’s Social Media: Instagram:   Laura's Instagram Facebook:   Laura's Facebook page   Connect with Robert: Robert's homepage Robert's Facebook Robert's Twitter Robert's Instagram
World Champion runner, Chanelle Price, joins Laura today to share her remarkable story and the lessons she has learned through it all. A supremely talented elite athlete, Chanelle’s many achievements include competing at the 2007 USA Outdoor Championships at the age of 16, running the second fastest 800m of all time by a high school female which qualified her for the Olympic Trials when she was 17, and becoming the 2014 World IAAF Indoor Champion – the first American woman to ever win 800m gold at an indoor or outdoor world championship. Along with these great successes, Chanelle has experienced some devastating low points in her career, and she courageously discusses them all here today.   She begins by sharing how she came to find her way into track, her early successes, her struggles with insecurity, and the dark days of her time at college. Chanelle then provides a highly personal account of the factors that led her to contemplate suicide, and how beginning her journey with Christianity pulled her through that tragic time. She also discusses the many challenges she still had to face throughout this journey, the difference between her Olympic Trials experiences, and training for Tokyo during COVID. She draws the conversation to a close by highlighting the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with sport, surrounding yourself with the right supportive people, her current definition of success, and the crucial role her ‘why’ plays in keeping her motivated and moving forward. Chanelle holds nothing back as she recounts the shining mountain peaks and dark, dark valleys she has encountered in her fascinating journey, and how these have helped her to become the woman she is today - an individual overflowing with faith, strength, character, and commitment, who undoubtedly ‘brings a smile to God’s face’. Episode Highlights:   How Chanelle found her way into track Her early success Chanelle’s struggles with insecurity Her college experience Seeking a sponsorship deal Chanelle’s contemplation of suicide Her journey with Christianity Drifting away from and returning to God The many challenges Chanelle has worked through Moving to train in Eugene, Oregon Training for Tokyo during COVID Chanelle’s Olympic Trials experiences The importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with sport and surrounding yourself with supportive people Her current definition of success Chanelle’s ‘why’ Quotes:   “I just didn’t really find track fun. It felt more like punishment.” “Once I started that singular focus on track once I got to high school, you know, it really paid off.” “It was definitely the success that got me to like it.” “That is where my sense of identity came from was my achievement on the track.” “I don’t know who I am if I’m not Chanelle Price the track star.” “It was like a 100 pound weight on my shoulders every time I went to race.” “Behind closed doors, I was really, really, really struggling.” “Chase after Me like you chase after track.” “Your worth is not based off of how you perform out there on the track.” “To whom much is given, much is required.” “I was just a completely different person on the track.” “You know, God, I’m going to come back to You.” “The past 4 years have been the hardest years of my life…He answered, but it just wasn’t really what I expected.” “I miss being that desperate for Him.” “It was a very humbling experience.” “God, I don’t know what You’re doing, but I’m about to break here…I don’t know if I can take this.” “Every other month I said I was going to quit.” “Maybe He’s telling me it’s time to move on.” “I knew that this extra year was definitely a blessing in disguise for me.” “Honestly, I considered retirement after that.” “The woman that you have become through this journey is worth it.” “I’m not thinking about anything else besides using my gift, and for me that’s when things seem to fall into place.” “Some pressure is good, don’t get me wrong, but it shouldn’t get you to the point of suicide like it has for me in the past…that is not a healthy relationship with sport.” “This is what you do. It’s not who you are.” “The person that we become along the way - I think that’s what brings a smile to God’s face.” “The sole thing that kept me going was my ‘why’.” “Don’t sacrifice the gift.” “There is always hope beyond what is happening in front us right now.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days Laura’s Social Media: Instagram:   Laura's Instagram Facebook:   Laura's Facebook page   Connect with Chanelle:   Chanelle's Instagram Chanelle's Twitter Chanelle's Facebook
Having had to postpone today’s interview due to the recent winter storm in Texas, Laura is absolutely delighted to finally welcome Rachael Adams to the podcast. After getting off to a relatively late start in the game of volleyball, Rachael has gone on to great success in the sport including being a member of the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team, a professional player overseas, and an Olympic medalist. Throughout her career, she has demonstrated a desire to keep learning and to persevere through any challenge, which has served her incredibly well, and which is also clearly evident in her conversation with Laura here today.   Rachael begins by sharing her somewhat unique introduction to volleyball, the rapid progress she made, and how her parents’ approach to her career has helped her immensely throughout. She then discusses her experience with recruitment, college, getting to the Olympic squad, and playing professionally overseas. Rachael then finishes up by detailing her return to playing since her surgery, the sense of inner trust and determination which has helped her through it, her definition of success, and the website that she has created to offer support and inspiration to other athletes. A model of  authenticity, Rachael Adams is a true champion in life as well as sport, and we are all truly blessed to be able to soak up the words of wisdom and inspiration which she shares here today. Episode Highlights:   How Rachael found volleyball Her rapid progress in the sport Rachael’s parents and their approach to her career Her recruiting process Rachael’s college experience The process of getting to the Olympic volleyball squad in the past and for Tokyo Making the 2016 Olympic squad Maintaining her mindset How the pandemic and the Tokyo postponement have affected Rachael Transitioning from college to professional volleyball Rachael’s experience playing overseas Her favorite country to play in Coming back after surgery Rachael’s inner trust and inner determination Her definition of success at this point in her career Rachael’s most memorable tournament Quotes:   “Thank you for being such a great social media person.” “Why have the crazy journey if you aren’t going to share and inspire others along the way, you know?” “I became addicted to that learning process…my Dad always told me to be a sponge, and that’s what I became.” “It’s been a kind of a crazy long journey, but I’ve learned a lot about myself through so many ups and downs.” “I still feel like there’s so much left to learn.” “So much a part of my career was self-driven.” “They let me fail, they let me succeed, and didn’t try to sugarcoat everything.” “Would I want to go to this college even if there was no volleyball?” “You see more experienced players, more older players, more seasoned players, making Olympic squads than, like, younger players.” “All you can do is, like, be your best, show up, put your best skills in front, be a good teammate, and hope that the body of work that you’re building is what the coaches want for the team.” “It’s so much out of your control.” “I’m literally just focusing on, like, one day at a time, one rep at a time, one accomplishment at a time, one practice, and just building little things from there.” “You think you know everything, but you don’t, and you’re just very humbled.” “You can’t be mindless in a foreign country.” “The lonely grind…that’s what I’m in right now.” “I totally feel you on so many levels.” “It kind of feels like a little bit of your mission is to make sure other people know that they’re more than they might think they are.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days Laura’s Social Media: Instagram:   Laura's Instagram Facebook:   Laura's Facebook page   Connect with Rachael:  journeystrength homepage Rachael's Instagram journeystrength's Instagram
Due to the winter storm that hit Texas recently, and the ensuing power outage, Laura has had to postpone some of the fantastic interviews she had lined up for the podcast. However, today’s episode proves equally fascinating as she delves into something which we all experience, and about which she is asked all the time: fear. While no one is immune from it, there are ways to manage it rather than let it spiral out of control, and today, Laura breaks it all down for you.   She begins by defining what fear actually is, how healthy fear works and can help, the relationship between fear and control, and the only way to overcome fear. She also discusses the need to change the way we talk and think about fear through refocusing and reframing, the gift of gaining courage through fear and commitment, and then finishes with an offer to participate in her ‘Free 5 Day Fear Challenge’. This is a topic with which Laura possesses a vast amount of experience, and her insights and advice here today, once again, go far beyond the world of sports and into each of our daily lives, making this yet another ‘must listen’ episode of ‘The Pursuit of Gold’. Episode Highlights:   Defining what fear actually is Healthy fear Fear and control Overcoming fear Changing the way we talk and think about fear Refocusing and reframing Gaining courage Commitment Laura’s Free 5 Day Fear Challenge Quotes:   “Fear is huge in my sport…I am no stranger to fear.” “Fear basically boils down to a strong feeling.” “A healthy fear should not be absolutely paralyzing.” “However big your fears are, you are not powerless against these fears.” “Fear has no actual control over you, it’s only making you feel a certain way.” “When we ignore our fears, they don’t get smaller, they begin to grow.” “When we’re trying to push our fears away, we’re actively interacting with them.” “The only way to overcome fear is to face it.” “We have to begin trusting ourselves and our knowledge and what we know will help us.” “You cannot have courage or be brave unless you are first afraid.” “The most important ingredient to becoming courageous is commitment.” “It’s normal to freeze up and get scared just before a big, important moment. That just let’s you know how important it is to you.” “You can’t dip your toe in from the 10m to see if the water feels nice.” “The thing on the other side of fear is more important to me than the fear itself.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Conquer Your Fear in 5 Days   Laura’s Social Media: Instagram:   Laura's Instagram Facebook:   Laura's Facebook page
Randy McIlvoy, Sports Director and anchor of KPRC 2 Television in Houston, is Laura’s very special guest on the podcast this week. A four-time Emmy winner, Randy has received numerous additional nominations, as well as honors from the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Association. He and Laura have known each other for quite some time, but this is the first time that she has had the opportunity to turn the tables and be the one to interview this celebrated interviewer. Randy begins by sharing his own history in sports, his development into sports reporting, and his tips for athletes who are interested in doing so themselves. He then discusses many aspects of his job including the most important character trait for it, the most difficult aspect to it, the importance of establishing relationships, and his advice for athletes preparing for interviews. Randy also reviews some of his most memorable moments in his job over the years, and offers his perspective on the sport that has transformed the most, the quality he feels elite athletes share, how COVID has impacted his work, and the sporting events he would like to cover that he hasn’t yet. The mutual respect between these two remarkably successful individuals is palpable during this conversation that is as comfortable as it is revealing, providing a behind the scenes glimpse into the world of sports reporting and the joy that can be found in making your passion your occupation. Episode Highlights: Randy’s history in sports His development into a sports reporter Randy’s tips for athletes wanting to get into reporting The most important character trait for his work The most difficult aspect of Randy’s job The importance of developing relationships Advice for athletes preparing for interviews His favorite sport and game he’s covered Keeping viewers excited Randy’s memorable stories His play-by-play experience Interviews that made Randy nervous The quality he feels elite athletes share What has surprised him the most in interviews The sport he believes has transformed the most and become the most competitive over the years The ‘Tiger Factor’ How COVID has changed covering sports The sporting events that Randy would still like to cover in person Quotes: “My dream was to play college baseball.” “Breaking into TV, you know, I would have been willing to do whatever…I wanted to cover sports, I wanted to tell stories.” “You’ve got to have a skillset that’s a little broader now that can kind of separate yourself from others trying to get after these jobs.” “You can’t just sit back and let it come to you…you’ve got to grind. You’ve got to always look to improve what you’re doing.” “You could easily let this job that we do, this profession, kind of consume you if you don’t find a balance.” “Act like the camera’s not there.” “Just have a conversation with the person asking the question.” “You do know we just witnessed one of the greatest all time moments in college football history, right? “It can get monotonous if you let it…you’ve got to go find stories.” “You’re constantly in the planning stages.” “I almost drove off the road.” “You seem to experience everything with the athletes.” “I’ve got to act like I’ve been here before.” “You’ve got to be committed to what you’re doing.” “You’ve got college golfers that come out and are just lighting it up.” “The athletes were becoming a bit of the reporter for you.” “You miss the contact, that’s what you miss. You miss the face-to-face stuff with them.” “The Olympic Games would be cool to cover.” Links: The Pursuit of Gold homepage 5 Smart Strategies to Confidence Laura’s Social Media: Instagram: Laura's Instagram Facebook: Laura's Facebook page Connect with Randy: Click2Houston homepage Randy's Click2Houston page Randy on Twitter Randy's Facebook page Randy's Instagram page References: Apolo Ohno Episode
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