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Warriors Unmasked

Author: Clint Malarchuk and Chuck Thuss

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Warriors Unmasked is a show that will take a deep dive into the life journeys of athletes, both professional and amateur, coaches, military personnel as well as first responders and the people next door. You will hear many stories of tremendous courage and perseverance. Some of these stories will also have an element of dealing with mental illness while overcoming the odds. Your hosts and mental health advocates, Clint Malarchuk and Chuck Thuss, will incorporate their own personal journeys/ experiences as they speak to their guests on a very intimate level.
55 Episodes
They say that laughter is the best medicine in the world, well, when it comes to mental illness it’s not just medicine, it’s a door to reconnecting with those around you.  Welcome back to another Warriors Unmasked episode! Today, Clint and I talk with key-note speaker, virtual business coach, mental health advocate, and all-around stand-up guy, Greg Kettner. He takes us on his journey of mental health when, two years ago, he was deemed along with thousands of others around the U.S. as “non-essential”. What started off as a devastating blow ended with the realization of a dream and a heart for those who are struggling.  Join us as we talk about Greg’s passion for helping others who are battling mental illness and the power of laughter that helps him. You’ll learn why it’s so important for us to laugh, how to make powerful connections with others, and how the gift of vulnerability can change your life for the better. Plus! Greg’s practical tips and tricks for adding laughter into your life every day, and the self-care he practices to keep “working happy”. We hope this episode brought you as much joy as it did us, to learn more about Greg or to connect with him, check out the links below! Always In Your Corner,  Chuck and Clint   More Of What’s Inside: 3 things that Greg does to stay happy (And they’re free!) Taking advantage of being laid off The power of letting go and moving forward Permission for round-the-clock self-care An emergency stand-up comedy show in Vegas Serving others and chasing happiness Why you should start sending gratitude texts The gift of vulnerability Laughing your way to a better mindset Making a genuine connection with those around you And much more!   GUEST LINKS: Website: LinkedIn: Instagram: YouTube: Facebook: Twitter:   LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today! 2:20 - Welcome Greg Kettner 4:39 - Greg’s 3 free tips for self-care 7:58 - Being deemed “non-essential” 12:38 - The kick that Greg needed  17:03 - How Greg did a stand-up show in Vegas 22:44 - The lonely life of a stand-up comedian 24:47 - What does working happy look like? 27:21 - The impact and power of vulnerability 30:49 - Creating a connection with laughter 35:26 - The power of laughter 41:37 - How to connect with Greg Kettner 43:29 - Greg’s advice for you 46:47 - Closing thoughts
Hey, Chuck here, while Clint is out with other speaking engagements I’ll be taking over the helm this week! Over the past two years, we think it’s safe to say that we have all experienced the feeling of loss in one way or another… Loss of sleep, loss of normal routines, loss of in-person connection and community, and unfortunately, many of us have lost loved ones. If you can relate or if you’ve ever experienced loss, then you might be interested in today’s guest. I sit down with Nicki Pike who has shown incredible courage, perseverance, and strength through some major losses in life.  Nicki’s journey is one of growth and loss, loss and growth to the point sometimes it feels like she is stuck on repeat. Listen in as Nicki talks about her close walk with loss and grief, filing for divorce, the diagnosis and eventual loss of her mother to dementia, and the unexpected and hard loss of her brother not long after. Life has knocked her down more than once these last few years but these challenges, these struggles, led to her finding her way to the person she is today.  Join us as she talks about navigating the different types of grief and how she realized self-care was more than just massages and spa days. We talk about the selfless act of putting yourself first because if she’s not taking care of herself, there is no way she's taking care of her mother, there's no way she's raising her daughter, and there is certainly no way that she is still running her business. You’ll learn practical tips for processing grief and Nicki’s own encouragement that no matter how hard it seems, you can get through this.  My hope is that this episode encourages you to keep putting one foot in front of the other so that you can find healing and peace in your life. For more resources, or to get in touch with us, check out the links below!  Always in your corner,  Chuck Thuss   More Of What’s Inside: Dealing with the loss of divorce Losing her mother to dementia Learning to accept help  When you should take a step back Surrendering to the space of growth The freedom of releasing your emotions Grieving the loss of her brother Finding gratitude in grief Creating habits that start your day off right Seeing the hope at the end of the day And much more!     LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today!  2:13 - Welcome Nicki Pike 3:57 - Nicki’s journey through loss 8:14 - The progression of dementia 13:19 - Taking care of yourself during hard times 18:07 - The moments that grow us the most 23:04 - Listening to what your body and mind need  26:30 - When Nicki’s brother passed 29:13 - Grieving differently for different people 32:29 - The two choices that helped Nicki move forward 37:05 - Learning to accept all of you 40:54 - The practices Nicki won’t do without 44:02 - Nicki’s advice for the holidays and loss 47:13 - Nicki’s encouragement for you 48:37 - Closing thoughts
A recent study in the U.S. has shown that nearly 10 million Americans struggle with compulsive gambling every year. While it may not have physical effects like drug abuse or other addictions, it’s still something that can damage your relationships, finances, and life.  Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! Today we have an incredible conversation with father of two, professional speaker and mental health advocate, and recovering gambling addict, Patrick Chester. If the statistic previously shared hits close to home, you’re going to want to stick around for this episode. Patrick lets us into his journey of how innocent bets on football games became an insatiable addiction to gambling. Eventually, leaving Patrick with no job, a marriage on the rocks, and sitting in jail.  Listen in as Patrick opens up about the moment he hit rock bottom, as well as how he found the strength and hope to continue living in recovery. The day he stepped out of jail was the first day he experienced freedom, not just in the physical, but from the overwhelming monster that a gambling addiction brings. You’ll hear the best steps to begin the process of recovery, the support system you can find no matter where you are, and what life looks like free of addiction.  This story is sure to bring you to the edge of your seat as you listen to Patrick’s struggle and eventual victory over addiction. For more resources, or to connect with Patrick, check out the links below!  More Of What’s Inside: The addiction to gambling Understanding the disease of addiction  Finding hope during recovery Why your story matters Falling into the cycle of rationalizing addiction How gambling affected Patrick’s loved ones The moment he hit rock bottom Life after recovery as a gambling addict The last bet Patrick ever made Finding freedom from addiction  The support system that helped Patrick recover  And much more!   GUEST LINKS: Twitter: Phone number: 425-492-0556 LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - A look into the episode! 2:13 - Introducing Patrick Chester 7:26 - Finding hope in the struggle 10:37 - How the gambling addiction started 14:54 - The anxiety of hiding an addiction 18:39 - When Patrick’s business fell apart 21:47 - Struggling with mental illness after 25:07 - How gambling became a high for Patrick 26:53 - The moment Patrick changed his thinking 32:02 - Faith that helped Patrick find recovery 34:10 - Rebuilding trust with his family  38:58 - Dealing with the aftermath of a gambling addiction 43:34 - Feeling thankful for the struggles of life 48:42 - Patrick’s advice for you 50:07 - Where to connect with Patrick 50:35 - Closing thoughts
Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! Boy, do we have an incredible episode for you. When most people think of addiction they think of illegal substances. But what happens when you get hooked on legal medication that your therapist prescribed at eleven years old?  Join us today as our guest Jay Shifman takes us through his harrowing journey of being diagnosed with ADHD at eleven years old, the path that led him to substance abuse, two attempts at suicide, and his inevitable hit at rock bottom. Jay’s remarkable journey doesn’t end there though, he has lived despite all odds and has now dedicated his life to helping others who struggle with mental illness and substance abuse.  Jay started his company “Choose your struggle” with two important goals in mind. Ending stigma and promoting honest and fact-based education around the topics of Mental Health, Substance Misuse & Recovery, and Drug Use & Policy. Listen in as Jay talks about the moment his life changed forever, and how it all started with telling his story. You’ll learn the best way to support those who are struggling and other great tips when it comes to handling medication safely. His perseverance and courage will inspire you, whether you are struggling or know someone who is, that a full turnaround is possible. This episode is sure to open your eyes to the world of prescription drugs and their part in addiction, but also to the hope that every one of us has a purpose and place in this life. For more resources and to connect with Jay, check out the links below!    More Of What’s Inside: Being diagnosed with ADHD as a preteen The dangers of Adderall The obstacles to understanding addiction How the treatment of ADHD can be harmful Getting a second opinion when it comes to your mental health Understanding the medical definition of addiction Being misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder Signs that you’re on too many medications How mental illness and addiction go hand in hand The step-down method to detoxing How telling his story changed Jay’s life The start of “choose your struggle”  How to reach people who are struggling And much more!     GUEST LINKS: Website: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: LinkedIn:   LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - The amazing story you’ll hear today! 1:42 - Introducing Jay Shifman 5:58 - The treatment of ADHD and its ties to addiction 10:13 - The issue of Adderall on campuses 13:53 - A perfect storm of adolescence and medication 19:28 - The importance of diligence with medication 24:09 - Taking six medications by the age of 22 27:41 - Living out of his car and attending music festivals 33:31 - The moment Jay hit rock bottom 40:29 - Choosing life and slowly detoxing 45:40 - Getting sober and starting a new life
It’s official, the holiday season is in full swing! We have Thanksgiving under our belt and Christmas and New Year's are just days away. We thought it was only right to sit down and talk about the blessings and gifts we have already been given this Christmas season and share a few more gifts with you, our amazing and valued listeners! We know that for some, the holiday season isn’t always bright lights and laughter. In fact, it can be a really hard time for those struggling with mental illness. If you can relate, you’re not alone. Listen in as we talk about how we approach the holiday season and how we stay in a routine that helps keep the holiday stress and anxiety at bay. It’s easy to get caught up in the commercialism and expectations that this season brings, but we’re here to remind you don’t get too wrapped up in the traditions if it’s at the expense of your own mental health.    When you hit play you’ll also be joining us on our walk down memory lane to revisit the past Christmases that brought us love, laughter, and joy, as well as the moments that were not so easy for us. We are sure you will pick up tips along the way that could help bring you out of any holiday slump. We hope this episode encourages and inspires you to take the pressure off this season and helps fill your heart and put it in the right place to feel the real true reason for the season. We would love to connect with you, you can find our information in the links below!  Always In Your Corner,  Chuck and Clint   More Of What’s Inside: Keeping the stress out of Christmas  Taking extra time to care for yourself How to celebrate Christmas if you have anxiety A simple Christmas and its benefits Giving yourself the opportunity to stay in a good place Leaning into the real spirit of Christmas  Why it’s ok to say ‘No’ this season The joy of sharing the spirit of Christmas with others Looking back at the Christmases we enjoyed The gift our listeners have given to us Our tips to get through this season successfully And much more!     LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we shared today! 1:32 - Why this season is so important 3:09 - Go the extra mile for your mental health 4:45 - If the Holiday season is hard for you, try this 6:30 - Finding joy in the simple things 8:46 - The importance of staying in your routine  10:51 - Creating magical moments with our families 13:49 - The wonderful memories that we grew up with 17:44 - What we’re thankful for this season 19:13 - The time of year to take care of YOU 20:41 - Closing thoughts
We believe that sharing your story is one of the most powerful things you can do for many reasons. For example, some of the happiest people you can imagine may be struggling with a mental illness and you’d never know…It’s not until vulnerability gives them the courage to open up and share their story that we know what’s going on in their life. This moment can be scary for the one opening up for the first time, but the burden that is lifted when you’re done is like nothing else. If you’re on the listening side of the conversation you are probably thinking  “I thought I was the only one!” When we come together and share our story we realize that the human experience has its ups and downs and we are all on the same journey. When we find similarities in our stories and struggles, the power of healing is within your grasp.  Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! Today we sit down with former NHL player, coach, and owner of the Monkey Mind Podcast, Danny Perez. Talking with Danny today you wouldn’t guess that his past is riddled with anxiety, depression, and alcohol abuse. But he reveals all about his time in college and how he ignored the anxiety that start to compound as he pushed himself to the breaking point. We discuss the importance of managing your mental health and how passion can sometimes put more pressure on us than we’re prepared to deal with.   It wasn’t until Danny started opening up that he realized he wasn’t the only one struggling and how that led him to the path of healing and taking back control of his life. If hindsight is 20/20, then Danny has perfect vision, you’ll get amazing insight into taking ownership of the past and turning dark times into valuable learning experiences. He talks about the lessons he’s learned and how he still uses them to this day as well as the practices that keep his mind happy, healthy, and whole. These days you’ll find Danny coaching both on and off the ice, helping athletes open up and overcome the struggles of athletic life.  We hope this episode empowers you to face your past and learn from your experiences but most of all we hope it encourages those struggling to reach out and open up to someone near you today. For more resources or to connect with Danny, check out the links below!  Always in your corner,  Chuck and Clint   More Of What’s Inside: Growing up as a first-generation American The moment Danny got hooked on hockey How Danny’s parents fed his love for hockey Taking off the pressure and enjoying the journey The importance of managing your mental health How therapists helped Danny shift his perspective Owning up to the past and being self-aware Looking at the learning experiences of life The most important thing you need to start healing Practices Danny does to keep a healthy mind The power of taking responsibility And much more!     GUEST LINKS:  Podcast: Insta: Facebook: Twitter: LinkedIn:   LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today! 1:39 - Introducing Danny Perez 6:34 - Bonding through hockey 9:49 - Going all in for the NHL 13:01 - Drinking to cope with anxiety 17:08 - How pressure makes mental illness worse 22:17 - How opening up brings validation 25:09 - When Danny realized it was time to change 30:00 - Danny’s life as a pro athlete 36:01 - Practical tips to help your mental health 40:43 - Where to find the Monkey Mind Podcast 43:28 - Danny’s advice for you  44:48 - Closing thoughts
For many elite athletes, life after sports isn’t on their radar until it’s too late. When you are performing at your best, focusing on winning games, trying to stay disciplined with your practice and training schedule, getting to know new people and places...all while trying to keep your contract (aka your job) going with your team.  While most people may not relate to being traded to a different team, or losing your starting position, the pandemic left millions without a job...or a sense of identity.   Join us as we take a look at purpose, identity, and the question that comes after every fall.  “What do I do now?” Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! Our guest today has shown incredible courage and perseverance in the face of adversity. George Hughes is a retired professional hockey player and co-founder of “Next Shift” a platform designed to help hockey players find direction in life after they’ve stepped off the ice. George takes us on his journey of struggling with alcohol and nicotine addiction at just fourteen to overcoming all obstacles and finding purpose and hope after hockey.  Michael Jackson said, “I’m starting with the man in the mirror” and that is exactly what George did. Listen in as he talks about the moment he had to sit down and take responsibility for what he wanted to do with his life. And how vulnerability and believing in himself helped change his perspective, overcome addiction, manage his depression, and reduce his anxiety. We talk about the importance of proactively taking steps for “after” and why waiting for it to end will only set you up for disappointment.   No matter if you’re an elite athlete, corporate worker, student, mother, or father, this episode has lessons that will help with any stage of life. If you’ll only steel your courage, and know that it is good on the other side. For more resources or to connect with George, check out the links below!   Always in your corner,  Chuck and Clint   More Of What’s Inside: The power of understanding your story Learning how to deal with failure The moment that anxiety started creeping in for George Looking at the bigger picture to help forgive yourself Using old talents to accelerate your new purpose Taking responsibility for how you respond to disappointment Why you should be proactive with your path Setting yourself up for success Creating connections that last a lifetime Applying life lessons to everything And much more!     GUEST LINKS:  Article: Article: Website: Podcast: Insta: LinkedIn: Twitter: Facebook:   LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today! 1:44 - Introducing George Hughes 6:01 - Where it all started 10:16 - Being shaped by adversity 12:58 - Drinking and smoking at 14 years old 18:13 - Life after hockey 23:03 - Finding a new purpose in life 28:26 - Picking yourself back up after failing 33:07 - How to manage your transition well  37:52 - Where to connect with George 39:57 - George’s advice for you 41:03 - Closing thoughts
Have you ever heard the phrase “you’re too much.” before? Chances are if you have, it came from a teacher, a parent, or someone you held in high regard...for those living with undiagnosed mental illness, words like this can be damaging. Even if the person who said it didn’t mean any harm or have malicious intent. Hearing these words as a youngster can make you feel like who you are is somehow flawed.  Hearing these words and overcoming the limitations that come with it is how the journey of today’s guest begins.  Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! Today’s guest has a journey that is so impactful and uplifting you won’t want to hit the pause button. From overcoming cancer at just two years old to facing death from substance abuse multiple times, Eric Rogers has lived despite all odds. We take a look into Eric’s childhood of growing up in an emotionally abusive household while dealing with undiagnosed bipolar disorder. Battling mental illness is not an easy thing, but for eight-year-old Eric, it was painful enough for him to seek normalcy in pills from his parent's medicine cabinet.  Listen in as Eric tells his journey of addiction, soberness, and all the lessons in between. We have an honest conversation on the struggles of addiction, how Eric found a new perspective with sober eyes, and the practical steps he takes today to maintain a healthy mind and body. His story has touched not just us, but so many who have also struggled with addiction, and the label of being “too much”. Join us as we learn how Eric came to shed his crippling self-doubt, love who he is, and use his gifts to change the world around him.  We hope this episode encourages, and gives you the courage to reach out for help. For more resources or to connect with Eric, check out the links below!  Always in your corner,  Chuck and Clint   More Of What’s Inside: Growing up with undiagnosed mental illness How Eric was ashamed of being “too much” Escaping reality through substance abuse Finding a new perspective in jail The signs of hope that kept Eric going How you can overcome self-doubt The power of believing in your future self Learning the process of healing and sharing it with others Daily habits that help keep Eric sober-minded Finding hope in everyday pain and discomfort Understanding the gift of being human And much more!     GUEST LINKS:  Website: Insta: YouTube:   LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today! 1:36 - Introducing Eric Rogers 5:59  - Dealing with emotional abuse at a young age 10:27 - Putting energy into the wrong places 16:07 - Sobering up in jail and life after 21:34 - Surviving despite all odds 24:19 - The struggle of self-doubt 28:22 - How Eric Rogers found his purpose 34:23 - What Eric’s life looks like today 40:53 - Where to connect with Eric 44:17 - Eric’s advice to you  44:47 - Closing thoughts
Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! If you are like us, Thanksgiving and this time of year is about more than just turkey, traveling, and family traditions. It’s a time to reflect on all the things we’re thankful for in this life. This week in honor of the Holiday we decided to take a different approach to our episode. Instead of introducing you to another incredible guest, we want to invite you to grab your favorite Thanksgiving snack or drink and join us at “the table” for a conversation about gratitude and thankfulness. Looking back at our past guests there’s a recurring theme that we’ve noticed. No matter how down and out, how much they struggled, or the trauma that our guests had experienced, they were always thankful for where their journey led them. In our opinion, this isn’t a coincidence. Gratefulness is one of the strongest tools you have in your mental toolbox! Listen in as we share our own experience with thankfulness and how taking as little as ten minutes a day to focus on gratitude has changed our lives.  We also want to take a moment today and honor the people who have helped mold us into the men we are today, the gift this show has given us, and the amazing guests we’ve had the honor of talking to. You’ll hear about comparison and the joy it can rob you of, as well as some tips to find thankfulness in any scenario you find yourself in. We know the holidays are not easy for everyone, but our hope is that this episode can give you just a little comfort, companionship, and encouragement to find something you are grateful for in your life.  So hit play, pull up a chair (or an earbud), sit back, and join the conversation.  PS: Creating this show for our listeners, for YOU, is one of the things we are most grateful for.  Always in your corner,  Chuck and Clint   More Of What’s Inside: Why you should start a gratitude journal Intentionally taking time to give thanks Shedding the mask of being “strong” Being thankful for the small things The importance of staying away from comparison  Finding thankfulness no matter what  Becoming vulnerable to help serve others Why kindness is so important  Being grateful for the people in your life Our gratitude towards YOU And much more!       LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today! 1:31 - The power of gratitude 3:20 - How gratitude journaling changed our lives 5:47 - A great way to change perspective 7:28 - The magic of Thanksgiving in the U.S. 9:57 - Finding gratefulness during the holidays 13:20 - How comparison kills gratitude 17:50 - Gratitude’s impact on making tough decisions 20:51 - The people who got us here today 26:13 - Closing thoughts
From the outside looking in, today’s guest had it all… He was the heir to a world-renowned candy company, working with his grandpa, uncle, and father, he had a future set up with everything he could want. All he had to do was follow the path laid for him. But Nello had a different dream, and nothing could keep him from achieving his goals. Can you relate? Today on Warriors Unmasked Nello Ferrara takes us on his journey of defying the odds and traveling his own path. Listen in as Nello talks about growing up as the heir to his family’s candy company and the guilt he felt as a teenager who wanted to pursue a career in hockey instead.  Growing up in a tight-knit Italian family had its own challenges, but when divorce split their family apart Nello began to spiral. Leaning on coping mechanisms he wasn’t even aware of until a couple of trusted friends pointed it out. You’ll hear how he turned his mindset around and the moment his life changed forever when he got the chance to play hockey six years after he had quit.  Join us as Nello talks about the escape that hockey gave him and the lessons he learned from the Game that would make him a better man, role model, and ultimately help him reconnect with his father, healing major wounds in the process. Nello’s story is the epitome of what Warriors Unmasked is all about, his courage, perseverance, and focus on mental health has been crucial not only for his healing but for the many young men who come into his gym, needing support through the struggles of life.  We are inspired and empowered by the resilience that Nello has cultivated in his own life. When you hit play you too will see how his determination has created a better life for him and all those that have the blessing of meeting him. For more resources check out the links below!  Always in your corner,  Chuck and Clint   More Of What’s Inside: The real cost of success Why you shouldn’t be ashamed of struggle Growing up in a family company The power and danger of anger How your parent’s shape your beliefs Finding an escape in Hockey Being a role model for kids The moment he left the family candy company Lessons from the Game of Hockey How Nello reconnected with his dad Learning to roll with the punches And much more!   GUEST LINKS: Website: Facebook: Insta:   LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today! 1:30 - Introducing Nello Ferrara 4:24 - Changing the perspective on struggle 10:08 - Hockey and the family business  15:31 - Divorce’s damage and how Nello coped 20:56 - The men who helped Nello get back on track 26:01 - Learning unhealthy habits from his parents 33:05 - How Nello got back into Hockey 38:21 - Trying out for the ECHL 42:44 - The moment that changed Nello’s life 47:52 - What the game of Hockey taught Nello 51:51 - How Hockey helped during his dad’s sickness 58:18 - Nello’s advice for you 1:00:49 - Closing thoughts
If you think mental illness or disorders are just affecting a small group of people…here is a stat to put things into perspective. 42% of the global workforce has experienced a decline in their mental health since the beginning of the pandemic.  42% isn’t a number to shake a stick at… It begs the question, why is there still such a strong stigma around topics regarding mental health? With more people than ever experiencing it now, we have an amazing opportunity to enter into compassionate conversation and end the stigma once and for all.  Our guest today is working towards this goal with fierce passion. Michelle E. Dickinson is a Wellbeing Strategist and passionate mental health advocate. She sees herself as the bridge that helps people get comfortable with their mental health. Allowing them to reach out and get the support they need before a crisis hits. Michelle takes us on a journey through her childhood from growing up with a mom who had severe bipolar disorder to shedding her anger and learning to heal with compassion and understanding.  It wasn’t until she was diagnosed with depression that Michelle really dove into therapy. There she would learn through extensive self-discovery and patience that her childhood was more than distant memories. You’ll hear how Michelle has shaped her life for the better, not in spite of her mom’s abuse, but by using it as motivation to create psychological resilience and mental health strategies that cultivate cultures of compassion. Listen in as we discuss the importance of bringing this into the workplace and how leaders can set an example and create a safe place for their employees.  If you are struggling with your mental health, chances are you aren’t the only one. This episode will leave you feeling empowered to take a step out and have that brave conversation. It may just change the course of your life for good.  Always in your corner,  Chuck and Clint For more resources or to get in touch with Michelle, check out the links below!    More Of What’s Inside: Growing up with a mentally ill parent Finding support outside of home The journey of forgiving her mom Changing the perspective on Bipolar Disorder Repeating patterns based on your childhood Being diagnosed with depression The power of your relationship with your parents Educating the corporate space on mental illness How you can support the people you lead Normalizing conversation on mental illness Setting the tone as a leader  Using self-awareness to root out bias And much more!     GUEST LINKS: Website: Website: Website: Website: Instagram: @michelledickinson71 Twitter: @mdickinson13 Facebook: LinkedIn: Free Book Exerpt: Website:   LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today!  1:38 - Introducing Michelle E. Dickinson 6:23 - Navigating a difficult home life 11:45 - The road to forgiveness and healing 16:15 - Gravitating towards familiar people 20:51 - Pushing through pain to find healing 24:13 - How Michelle shaped her life today 27:35 - Where to find Michelle  30:42 - Breaking through stigma in corporations 36:12 - Building trust as a leader 40:33 - The effect society has had on men 45:32 - Michelle’s advice for you 47:26 - Closing thoughts
All of us have been affected by cancer in one way or another. Whether you’ve been diagnosed yourself, know someone who has, or lost a loved one there is no doubt that this devastating disease sometimes leaves us with more questions than answers... There is one side of cancer that is not often talked about or thought about until you find yourself in the aftermath of a diagnosis. That side is the emotional side of the cancer journey. This part of the rollercoaster affects not just the patient but spreads into the entire family and community connected to the patient.  It leaves you wondering...what can you even do to support them? Today we share the story of someone who has been through this first hand. When David Richman lost his sister to brain cancer, he began a journey of not only bettering his health but eventually biking almost 5000 miles cross country to connect the dots between those who have experienced cancer and their emotional journey with it. If you were to ask a patient what they need, their first answer may be something more practical. But through intentional questions, conversations, and offering up a safe space David has been able to record the emotional side of what it’s like to live with cancer.  No two experiences are alike, and not just with cancer. David talks about the importance of the past and how someone’s life experience can determine how they react. You’ll hear about the lessons he’s learned through connection, how someone may react to their diagnosis, and why creating a safe space is one of the best things you could do to help.  Listen in as David shares the stories of some of the people he’s met along the way and how they have impacted his perspective on life. Like we said before there are not many of us who have not been affected by cancer. But with intense vulnerability, compassion, and listening you can make their journey a little easier.  Always in your corner,  Chuck and Clint More Of What’s Inside: Why David started living life on purpose Learning how to address the emotional side of cancer Finding the silver lining and closure Creating connection through relays Why people self-isolate during their cancer journey Allowing each other to be our authentic selves A redefinition of what strength is How to show up for those diagnosed with cancer Understanding gratefulness in a deeper way Taking one step forward no matter what The effect of cancer on our doctors And much more!   GUEST LINKS: Website: E-mail: Facebook: Twitter: LinkedIn: Instagram: Website:   LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today!  1:43 - Becoming a Philanthropist 2:50 - The start of David’s journey 7:56 - Unveiling the mystery of cancer 11:24 - Cross country biking and emotional understanding 13:50 - The power of your past before cancer diagnosis 18:17 - Learning vulnerability through Bobby’s story 22:52 - Creating a safe place for cancer patients 26:00 - Two conclusions that helped David heal 29:06 - How David chose which stories were told 32:05 - Dominic’s story and its ripple effect 36:19 - A look into resilience with Karen and Patricia 43:07 - Sharing a new perspective on life through his book 47:28 - How to find David’s resources 50:04 - David’s advice for you 51:10 - Closing thoughts
It took one phone call to change Mike Cameron’s life forever. After losing his girlfriend to gender-based violence Mike went on a journey of grieving and healing. What he learned has become a crucial ability in his life, using this expertise he lends his voice to help eradicate violence against women.  Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! We are blown away by Mike’s story and the amount of courage and perseverance he has shown in the face of tragedy. Mike is a leadership coach and uses his S.O.A.R framework to help leaders reconnect with their passions and purpose in life. He is the co-founder of the Ignore No More Run for Respect, an event designed to raise awareness around gender-based violence and specifically engage men and boys in the conversation. Listen in as Mike recounts the day his life changed forever and the time around the moment he learned Carissa had died at the hands of her ex. This achingly honest account is the start to Mike’s dedication, you’ll hear how he found the strength to move forward and the people and resources he is still thankful for to this day.  Join us as Mike talks about his coaching and the work he’s doing to dismantle the harmful beliefs that cause men to suppress their emotions and erupt on the people in their lives. You’ll hear him talk about the importance of starting at the foundation and equipping men and boys alike to learn how to healthily handle their feelings. As well as the unexpected friend he found in vulnerability.  This episode is one of tragic heartbreak and comfort. Our hope is that you feel inspired and empowered to make your own mark and create a better future for our world. For more resources or to connect with Mike, check out the links below!  Always in your corner,  Chuck and Clint  More Of What’s Inside:   The day that changed Mike’s life Being aware of traumatic anniversaries Finding beauty and joy in feeling The letter that gave Mike a new perspective Why Mike keeps his heart open despite the grieving The realization of having to find forgiveness Honoring Carissa by fighting against gender-based violence Changing the world by walking through trauma Getting to the bottom of the gender violence problem  Helping men connect to their feelings  And much more!     GUEST LINKS: Facebook: LinkedIn: Twitter: @axiommike Instagram: @axiommike Web: Book:   RESOURCES MENTIONED:  A letter to Rachel  The Little Soul And The Sun   LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today  1:44 - Introducing Mike Cameron 7:23 - The moments around the bad news 12:16 - What it was like questioned for murder 18:00 - Finding the courage and strength to move forward 23:15 - Using anniversaries as moments of gratitude 28:19 - Being willing to explore your feelings 33:29 - Creating hope out of tragedy 37:50 - Exercising your emotional fitness 43:24 - The definition of a true warrior 47:21 - Mike’s advice for you 49:47 - Closing thoughts
What do the Bible and medical journals have in common?  Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! We promise that the question above is not the opening to a bad joke. But it is something our guest today has researched extensively, and the answer? It’s more than you think. Today we sit down and talk with Sgt. Aaron Quinonez, or Sgt. Q, about his journey of heartbreak and hopelessness that by the grace of God he was able to face head-on and overcome his trauma.  From growing up on a marijuana farm in northern California to enlisting in the Marines Sgt. Q has endured some unique hardships that not many can say they’ve experienced. He talks about what it was like coming home after his service and how he struggled with major PTSD to the point of homelessness and attempted suicide.  But the story doesn’t end there, in a life-changing moment Aaron was able to see that, just maybe, there was more to life than what he had experienced. It’s been said that the Bible and science are at odds but through his journey of healing Sgt. Q has found the parallels between medical journals and scripture. Listen in as he talks about the science of trauma and how the bible has been giving us the answers to healing for generations. You’ll learn all about Sgt. Q’s process to overcoming trauma, how he found healing through serving others, and why no matter what you’ve been through you can find the silver lining.  Join us for this powerful conversation and learn how you can start overcoming trauma in your own life, today. This episode will leave you feeling inspired, empowered, and a little more hopeful for the future so hit play and let Sgt. Q show the way to healing.  To check out the resources we talked about today look into the links below! Always in your corner,  Chuck and Clint More Of What’s Inside: Growing up in a family that farms pot The slingshot principle  What you can do to use your hardship for good How you can practically find the silver lining Refocusing on what’s valuable  How your subconscious filters your thoughts The importance of challenging your beliefs Life after the military Taking back control of his mental health The moment that changed his life for good Creating a program to help with trauma And much more! GUEST LINKS: Website: Book: Suicide Prevention Community and Mobile App: Website: Website: YouTube:   LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today  1:42 - Introducing Sgt. Aaron Quinonez 7:55 - Why your hardship is holding you back 13:06 - Choosing to join the military 18:11 - How hardship prepared Sgt. Q for the Marines 23:11 - A look into the brain and subconscious 27:56 - The moment Aaron started to turnaround 32:58 - Attending church and applying science 37:43 - Creating a program for vets and civilians 42:43 - A look into Aaron’s upcoming app 47:34 - Aaron’s advice for you  52:21 - Closing thoughts
Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! If you listened to our last episode with Mac Scotty McGregor you know he left us with a fascinating process that brought him healing and breakthrough. Today we take a dive into Mac’s letters to his younger self and how he continues to live life like a champion. If you haven’t heard our first interview with Mac, check out episode 39 before starting this one!  Mac takes us on his journey of writing letters to his younger self, as well how he managed to find compassion for the people who neglected him. He talks about the importance of forgiveness not just for others but for yourself as well. Learning to compartmentalize at a young age, martial arts was essential to Mac facing his fears and dealing with his emotional past.  Join us as we discuss the intense process Mac had to go through to become a master of combat chi and how this next-level art has only given him more insight into how you can heal from the inside out. You’ll learn about toxic masculinity and why Mac is so passionate about breaking the cycle and setting men free.  This episode is a wild ride from start to finish and we hope you feel encouraged, empowered, and inspired to start your own journey of healing if you haven’t already. To find more resources or to connect with Mac, check out the links below!  Always in your corner,  Chuck and Clint More Of What’s Inside: The practice that helped Mac Heal Finding compassion for his family duing hard times The power of forgiving yourself  Learning to compartmentalize at a young age How Mac became a Champion martial artist Becoming a master of combat chi  Mixing martial arts and healing  The compound effect on sharing your story Toxic masculinity and its dangers How vulnerability shows power not weakness And much more!   GUEST LINKS: Website: Positive Masculinity | About Us Twitter: mckick LinkedIn: Facebook: Positive Masculinity  LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My App Compassion Connection   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today 1:54 - Introducing Mac Scotty McGregor 4:29 - How Mac started to heal 9:45 - Visiting his younger self more 14:24 - What keeps you from forgiving 18:34 - Keeping success and chaos separated 22:21 - Mac’s success in martial arts 27:28 - The development of combat chi 31:05 - How facing Mac’s fears helped heal him 36:02 - Mac’s journey today  40:16 - How you can learn more about toxic masculinity 46:27 - The power of being vulnerable  53:19 - Mac’s advice for you  54:03 - Closing thoughts
The battle with mental illness may not go away forever, but there is a confidence that comes with having the right tools to handle it. Today Clint and I sit down to talk about the things we are currently struggling with and the victories we’ve had along the way.  Join us as we sit down and do a check-in with our lives and mental health journeys. We have had some amazing guests on our show, with backgrounds and stories from all over. But we want you to get to know Chuck Thuss and Clint Malarchuk a little bit better. We not only share our stories but expand on how we’re doing now and the tools we’ve acquired over our journey.  You’ll learn the practices and tips that help us during our times of struggle, as well as the lessons we’ve learned about ourselves so far. Listen in as we discuss the self-analysis practice that helps us to re-evaluate where we stand, replacing bad habits with good ones, and even how you can become more self-aware. Your journey may have the power to drag you down at times but with these tools, you can learn how to handle them more effectively. Our hope is that our stories will give you the encouragement and support to either reach out to others for help or to maybe be that shoulder for someone you love.  Some of the best work we can do is to be kind to ourselves and remember that the world is waiting to see who we really are. For more resources or to connect with us, check out the links below!  Always In Your Corner,  Chuck Thuss and Clint Malarchuk More Of What’s Inside: Why we started doing “self-analysis” Looking at beliefs that may have started as children Replacing bad habits with good ones Tips to make you more self-aware Learning how to handle PTSD Finding the method that works for you Being the example for others Why struggling is not a weakness The power of sharing your story  Connecting with those who understand you Finding peace in scary moments   And much more!     LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram My Community Contact Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today  0:59 - A look into the episode 1:39 - Our journey so far 6:40 - Challenging beliefs that hinder you 12:49 - Becoming a product of your environment 17:17 - Understanding trauma and its anniversaries 23:10 - Seeing the plan of our lives 27:44 - The amazing moment of reaching out for help 32:19 - Dealing with the stigma of mental illness 36:50 - Finding people who understand your journey 41:04 - Our advice to you 42:26 - Closing thoughts
Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! Chuck here, this week I sit down with a powerful person both in and out of the dojo. Mac Scotty McGregor takes us along on his journey of pain, perseverance, and above all else, healing.  We take a deep dive into what it was like growing up with a mother who battled mental illness, and the responsibilities and stress Mac took upon himself. Including watching over his younger brother, and making sure their mom was taken care of. Mac talks about the moment he realized he wasn’t living in a normal home as well as the dojo he found refuge and family in. You’ll hear how he went from an unstable home to creating a life that was whole, happy, and free.  Listen in as we talk about life after high school and the many people Mac still remembers today who helped and supported him (even if it was little things). Though he hid his wounds through means of overachieving and staying busy Mac knew there was a time where he needed to confront his past to help his future. He talks about the letters he wrote to his younger self and how extending a hand, even if it was his own, was a turning point for him and his mental health. We discuss the courage it takes to be vulnerable and how practicing vulnerability can help you change the very reality you see.  For those of you who are struggling you are not alone, and for those who know someone struggling just remember a little goes a long way. We hope this episode gives you the encouragement to reach out for help or to reach out your hand to someone in need. For more resources or to connect with Mac, check out the links below! Always in your corner,  Chuck Thuss   More Of What’s Inside: Growing up with a mentally ill parent Finding a family through martial arts Climbing the ladder to martial arts success Stepping out of a life of silence Being a seeker of knowledge Writing letters to your younger self Understanding that it’s ok to have emotions Learning vulnerability from a strong role model Taking off responsibility that is not yours Changing your reality with healing And much more!   GUEST LINKS: Website: ​​ Twitter: LinkedIn: Facebook:    LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook My Community App Contact Subscribe To Our YouTube   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today 1:47 - Introducing Mac Scotty McGregor 5:53 - Growing up in the south with a mentally ill parent 11:18 - Finding success in martial arts 16:39 - The importance of talking about issues 21:41 - Being different 25:24 - Life after high school 30:11 - Beginning the journey of self-healing 35:57 - Admitting your past trauma 39:43 - The power of coaches 43:57 - How Mac sees his mom now 48:17 -  Doing it for yourself 51:10 - Mac’s advice for you 52:48 - Closing thoughts
Trigger Warning and Depictions of Violence: This episode shares graphic details of child abuse, war explosions, and other traumatic events. We do not recommend this content for children. If this is overwhelming or hits a little too close to home for you, we encourage you to check out another episode and come back when you’re ready!   You’ve heard the term ‘hindsight is 20/20’, but sometimes when we look back at our journey, things aren’t always so easily explained. Our guest today has an incredible story of courage, resilience, and making the best of what you have. But looking back at the trials and tribulations Bjorn Hermansen has gone through there is no doubt in our mind that nothing short of the grace of God could have kept him alive. Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! Today we have the honor of hearing Bjorn Hermansen’s story from growing up in an abusive household, to nearly being killed in Iraq, to now owning a gym and instilling life skills into the younger generation. Bjorn talks about the dread of spending summers with his father and the impact both physical and emotional abuse had on him and his younger brother. You’ll hear about the moment he stood up to his father, ending the physical abuse, and how he navigates their relationship today.  Listen in as Bjorn talks about his time in the Marines as a radio operator and the moment he should have died in a C4 explosion. Bjorn attributes his life to God’s protection both while dealing with physical abuse and his time in Iraq. We talk about where Bjorn is now and the lessons he’s learned along that way that have given him the confidence to choose a life of happiness and healing.  We hope this episode encouraged and inspired you to make the best out of any situation you encounter. To connect with us, check out the links below!  Always In Your Corner,  Chuck and Clint   More Of What’s Inside: Growing up in an abusive household The moment Bjorn decided he had enough Choosing the right path for you Narrowly escaping death in Iraq How Bjorn has kept a healthy mindset Seeing God’s hand in past situations Buying a gym in Mississippi after the military Teaching life skills through gymnastics Instilling courage into the younger generation And much more!     LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community App Info   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today 3:11 - Growing up with an abusive dad 7:56 - How Bjorn decided enough was enough 12:14 - Bjorn’s relationship with his dad now 16:57 - Learning to survive 20:29 - Bjorn’s time in Iraq 25:09 - Caught in an explosion of C4 29:54 - Making a name as a radio operator 33:00 - How these experiences helped Bjorn 38:02 - Life after Afghanistan 42:33 - Buying a gym  48:52 - Bjorn’s advice for you 50:16 - Closing thoughts
Trigger Warning: This episode talks about attempted and committed acts of suicide. If this is overwhelming or hits a little too close to home for you, we encourage you to check out another episode and come back when you’re ready! There’s a moment in someone’s life where one conversation can change the way they see themselves. Our guest Jesse Brisendine had this moment at just five years old. But how it starts isn’t always how it ends and the journey to healing was just a part of unlocking the greatness that Jesse embodies today. Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! Jesse Brisendine is an award-winning speaker, best-selling author, and internationally known coach who helps individuals and organizations push past their limitations. We take a deep dive into Jesse’s life and journey from experiencing divorce at five years old to internalizing emotions to the point of attempting suicide at nine. Jesse talks about his struggle with mental health as a teenager and how he managed to break away from the self-loathing and begin growing confidence while in college.  Listen in as we talk about the moment Jesse took his first step in healing and the difference a small change made to his mental health. Jesse talks about one of the hardest days of his life when he lost a friend and how that opened a new sense of consciousness that Jesse still lives with today. From a moment of divine awareness to gaining a new perspective on gratitude in another country, Jesse’s story is full of heartbreak, hope, healing, and inspiration.  This episode is full of eye-opening and life-changing insight into the power of gratitude and mindset shifts. We hope you find encouragement and hope from this story to take that next step in your own journey. For more resources or to get in touch with Jesse, please check out the links below!  Always In Your Corner,  Chuck and Clint   More Of What’s Inside: Growing up too early  What lead to Jesse’s attempted suicide  Accepting someone for who they are  The moment Jesse realized he needed to change Making simple guidelines to keep you on your path How Jesse grew his self-confidence Losing a friend to suicide Holding multiple levels of consciousness Gaining a new perspective in life Not letting your trauma define you Finding gratitude in the small things How Jesse sets his day up for gratitude And much more!   GUEST LINKS: 7 Essential Mindshifts: Ted Talk: Website: Podcast: Facebook: LinkedIn: Twitter: Insta: Youtube:   LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today 1:36 - Introducing Jesse Brisendine 6:32 - The start of Jesse’s journey 10:19 - Struggling with shame 15:53 - Communicating with the ones who hurt us 20:24 - Dealing with expectations of loved ones 25:05 - The first step to healing 30:15 - Taking on responsibility in relationships 35:29 - Living in multiple levels of consciousness 39:13 - Life after tragedy 44:55 - Carrying gratitude in everyday life 49:10 - Jesse’s advice for you 52:29 - Where to find Jesse’s book 53:36 - Closing thoughts
Welcome back to Warriors Unmasked! Today’s episode is one filled with incredible perseverance. From a hyperactive child to a world-known Olympian our next guest will bring you encouragement, hope, and empowerment with his story.  Today we go on a journey with two-time Olympian and highly decorated gymnast Blaine Wilson. You’ll get an inside look at how Blaine got into gymnastics and the perseverance that took him from letting out energy to competing in division one college tournaments and even into the Olympics. Blaine talks about the endurance that most gymnasts have to deal with not just physically but mentally and how when the going got tough, he just got tougher.  Listen in as we discuss the pressure of being a top athlete and how Blaine was able to use his struggles as motivation to persevere through physical injuries and negative commentary. He talks about the biggest pressure he faced as a gymnast and why keeping himself mentally healthy was the most important thing he could do. You’ll learn about the impact and legacy that Blaine plans to leave his children and others who are willing to learn from him.  We hope this episode gives you the courage and the hope to follow and enjoy your own journey to becoming the best that you can be. For more resources or to connect with Blaine, check out the links below!  Always In Your Corner,  Chuck and Clint   More Of What’s Inside: How Blaine got started in Gymnastics Transitioning from high school gymnastics to college Blaine’s best moment in gymnastics The decline of college gymnastics programs The biggest pressure you can face What it really takes to be in the Olympics Pushing through the mental battle of injuries Blaine’s impact and legacy as a father The importance of believing in your potential Finding the motivation to keep going And much more!     GUEST LINKS: Website: Email: Phone: (614) 733-0818 Address: Integrity Gymnastics: 8185 Business Way Plain City, Ohio 43064 LINKS:  Follow us on Instagram Like us on Facebook Subscribe To Our YouTube My Community Contact   Episode Minute By Minute: 0:02 - What we cover today 1:42 - Introducing Blaine Wilson 6:15 - The intense training of Gymnastics 10:40 - Pushing through negative feedback 14:26 - Transitioning into playing for the Olympics 19:21 - The role models Blaine looked up to 23:07 - Dealing with injuries and competing 29:13 - How Blaine dealt with the anxiety of being a top athlete 34:16 - The impact of Blaine’s legacy 38:01 - Blaine’s advice for those needing encouragement 39:02 - Closing thoughts and advice
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