Episode 214: Lessons From A Pro | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Episode 214: Lessons From A Pro".


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Intro (00:00)

This is 15 Minutes of Freedom. I'm your host, Ryan Neidell, and today's episode is Lessons from a Pro. In today's episode, I'm going to share with you why self-doubt and self-deprecation is eliminating your chance for success. So it's a funny thing. I've been boxing, right? For a while now. For what feels like a long while. Now granted, versus a comparative measure of other boxers, I've been boxing for a very small period of time. If you're new to the show, I picked up boxing January of this year. And I picked it up because I'd never been in a fight before. Not only had I not been in a fight, I don't believe I had ever actively used my fist to punch something. I can think of maybe one or two times in my life where I ever swung my fist and it certainly wasn't at a person. It might've been at a door or something just playing around. And so as I came off anabolics last year and decided to no longer live that life, I wanted the polar opposite. I wanted something that would challenge me to become more of a person than I was to start the year. And so originally I had a 90-day challenge outcome of just learn how to box, learn how to weaponize my body. Well, all of a sudden 90 days turns into 180 and 180 has turned into 270. And really I think 270 is probably going to turn into 365 by the time this whole thing is done. And the reason for that is, to start with, I just wasn't ready to push myself into the ring. I realized that as a 34-year-old man, I didn't have any idea how to actually use my body for functional strength. Think about yourself. If you had only worked out in a certain way literally your entire life and then came up with the polar opposite way of working out, how efficient and effective do you think you would actually be? For me, it was laughable. I had no cardiovascular endurance whatsoever. Obviously, that's a byproduct of anabolic steroid use. But it's also a byproduct of just not doing cardio. I have no problem saying it. I hate cardio. With a passion. And so as I started my boxing quote unquote career, certainly not a career, more of a hobby. I started learning all these lessons. And all these metaphors for what boxing really means as it pertains to life. And I've shared those on other episodes and maybe there's some things to gather from that for you, maybe there's not. I truly believe there's lessons to be learned everywhere if you are open to them. If you're present in the moment and you're ready to receive the gifts that are bestowed upon you, you can get the gift of knowledge from literally every situation. And that's what happened to me this past week. So I have, as it's now the middle of November, I have spent at least eight months consistently one-on-one with a coach or in a very small group setting learning how to box. And I'm down from 290 pounds when I started this journey down to 260 or so right now. I feel very, very comfortable using my body literally as a weapon. There's a certain amount of physics that goes into any sort of punch and the weight transfer and throwing my body from side to side and the kinetic chains that are involved, it's powerful. I fully realize that. And in that power, I haven't had too many opportunities to really spar. The guys that are in the gym here in Ohio, it's much more likely to have people that are under 180 pounds that have chosen the path of boxing. And in full transparency, most of the guys in the gym that I train at are 165 pounds or less. And certainly we jump in the ring together from time to time and we'll quote unquote spar. And I say quote unquote spar because if you're not familiar with boxing, being 260 versus 160 is a massive difference, not only in height, but in reach and in physical strength. It's just, it's not the same. It's not really a fair comparison. So when I get in and spar with those guys, it's more of me practicing my defense and just barely touching them with my gloves. Again, I'm sharing that not because I'm that good, but because it's growth. It's a lesson. It's something to learn. I come to the gym this past Wednesday. Maybe it was even Thursday. Actually, today is Friday. So it was Thursday. It was yesterday. I come to the gym. It's the first icy, snowy, cold day here in Columbus, Ohio. Literally open my front door to every tree being completely encapsulated in ice. You know, that ice that like you can hear it crunching, like the weight of the trees are being pulled down and the tree is actually cracking and crackling from the weight of the ice. I'm like, man, shit. Like I don't want to go out in this. It's 645 in the morning. I'm supposed to be, shit. I don't want to go out in this. It's 6.45 in the morning. I'm supposed to be at the gym by 7. I have just no interest in doing this. And everything inside of me is telling me to go back inside. My coach, he shows up just for me. We've never missed an appointment together. So I'm thinking, what's the big deal? It's only once. I can just skip today and go home. Like, stay home. But, in typical Ryan fashion, I basically say, fuck this I have to go get shit done and I leave the house. I literally take, I have a sugar-free, some sort of natural energy drink that I found in my gym bag. I don't even remember when I bought it.

Elements Of A Fight

Wanting my home exercises (05:59)

But I don't have an ice scraper in my car. So I pull this energy drink out and I'm scraping my front windshield off front windshield off with this full can of some sort of sugar-free drink, and it's crazy. Again, I just don't want to go do this, so I turn the heated seats on in the car, and I drive to the gym. As I get there, I'm warming up, and admittedly, my coach and I are clowning on another guy that didn't show up. There's another guy that said he was going to be there, and it's, of course, cold and snowying on another guy that didn't show up. You know, there's another guy that said he was going to be there. And it's, of course, cold and snowy and icy and he doesn't show up. And so I'm warming up and stretching and getting ready for what I think is going to be just a one-on-one training session. Very similar to what's happened before in my life. And then I see a black car pulling the gym. Like, man, is that the guy that was supposed to show up? So we look out the window and it's not. It's a black car pulling the gym. Like, man, is that the guy that was supposed to show up?

Expected Arrival (06:44)

Until we look out the window and it's not, it's a different car. So we just go back to our normal routine. You know, all the things we do to warm up every day. In walks this guy. And this guy, oddly enough, was in the gym the day before, but my trainer, Kevin, forgot to share with me that this guy was in. Now, in forgetting to share with me, it's because, admittedly, this individual lives in Florida, happens to be home in Sylvania, Ohio, visiting his family for the holidays, and drove an hour and probably 20 minutes minimum to get to this gym.

Brings This Guy 2 HOURS (07:10)

My trainer, Kevin, didn't expect him to actually show up, so instead of running his mouth like he always does about the next greatest guy that's going to come in and finally get me to spar, he just didn't say anything. So I'm hitting the speed bag when this guy walks in and I'm warming up my shoulders and walks in very quiet, very humble and goes into where the ring's at. It's in a separate room. So eventually get my wraps on, go into the actual ring itself and introduce myself. Introducing myself, I can tell this guy has some experience. And when I say has some experience, I can't help myself but just to ask, right? Like I'm a conversationalist. I feel like, you know, he's coming into my arena. I can at least, you know, tiptoe around and figure out a little bit more about him. So I ask him his name and like he's coming into my arena. I can at least tiptoe around and figure out a little bit more about him. So I ask him his name and where he's from and what brings him here. Then the quintessential question that we use to size each other up in the boxing ring. How long have you been doing this for?

How long been doing this (08:14)

As I record this, it's 2018, I believe. And he shares with me he's been doing this since 2008. That's 10 years of experience versus my eight months. And this guy weighs 215, 220. And on the backside of this, not only does he weigh 215 or 220, not only has he been boxing for eight years, but he's also very proficient, had a bunch of fights in mixed martial arts. but he's also very proficient, had a bunch of fights in mixed martial arts. And not only did he do all that, but he also was a collegiate wrestler. And if I move all that to the side, the next part that he shares with me is that he's got his second pro fight, boxing fight, in Florida in December. And if all that's not quite enough, he then proceeds to tell me that he's in the military. He's a police officer and he just loves fighting. Okay. So here I am sitting down, putting my wrist wraps on and trying with all of my being to keep my heart calm.

Pro fights (09:14)

I'm trying to keep my heart calm and keep my heart rate down because I'm truly convinced he is going to just beat my ass. Like every telltale sign up to this moment, from his square jawline to the nose you can tell has been broken a bunch of times to the fact that he's been doing this for 10 years, all the things I just said, they all stack up on top of each other. And in stacking up on top of each other, the doubt starts creeping into my mind. And all the stories start to run like, man, I'm not really cut out for this. It's going to hurt. Like this guy's going to knock me out. What am I going to do if this guy knocks me out? What happens if he hits my chin and I'm on my back? What happens if I lose some teeth? I have a podcast and interviews to do. I can't have black eyes. What if he breaks my nose? Like these are literally all things like sequentially as I'm sitting there wrapping up my wrists, trying to make jokes in order to not have him see just how petrified I am of this moment. And yeah, it's crazy, right? Like I'm sitting here literally telling you like yesterday I was petrified to box this individual. Where in your life, as it sits now, have you been petrified? Like of something that you think is going to be this massive instance. Something that's way outside your capacity. Maybe way outside your capability. Again, I'm sharing very openly. Mine was in the boxing ring. And so I get my wrist wraps on and I you know he's warming up and I can see his footwork is good and his punch speed is good and that cognitive bias of perception exists massively for me in that moment. Because I can never see how quick I punch. I can't really see how my feet move. Sure, I can record it and do all that stuff, but I can't view it from my own eyes in the moment.

Write Round One backstaged with Your Brain (10:57)

So this guy seems wickedly fast, massively talented, tons of experience, 10 or 12 amateur fights. He's on a second pro fight. He's got a bunch of MMA fights. I'm like, all right, screw it. I'm here. I don't really have a choice. I can't back out. I'm like, all right, screw it. I'm here. I don't really have a choice. I can't back out. And I need the reps, right? I need to learn if I'm actually cut out to hop in the ring and fight somebody that can actually fight back. So I put my gloves on and grab my mouth guard and into the ring I go. As I hop in the ring, Kevin says to me, my trainer, the coach, the only guy that's there other than this individual that's boxing with me, says, hey, do you want to put headgear on? If you don't know much about boxing, as I didn't, one of the main differences between an amateur bout and a professional bout are the use or lack of use of headgear. So headgear is kind of unique because you would think it protects you so you don't get hurt. In my personal opinion, that's actually not true even a little bit. Headgear, all it does is make it so your nose can't really get broken because when you get punched in the headgear, it actually transfers the impact of that punch all over your entire head. Your fucking head just rings. It's miserable. And so I look at my opponent with much more skill that certainly hasn't been using head pieces, you know, head guards for a long time and say, no, unless he wants to do it, I'm good. You know, trying to big league him a little bit, trying to like act tough, really fake it till I make it.

The Game (12:32)

He says, no, no, I'm good. Guy's very humble. He's not arrogant at all. Very quiet, very soft-spoken, very humble demeanor. And so Kevin reaches over and starts the timer, the wall timer. Our rounds are two-minute rounds. Presses the start button, and we walk into the center and touch gloves. If you haven't watched a boxing match before or about, when you touch gloves, it's like the sign that it's time to start. So I can literally feel my heart pounding out of my chest. I'm already gasping for air before we even make actual contact. Because in my mind, there's this perception that this individual has to be multiple times better than I am because of what he states his experience is. And I don't have any doubt that was his actual experience, but I wasn't there to watch his fight, so all I'm doing is hearing about it. I didn't know he was coming, so I couldn't do any research about him.

What you going to do with this guy (13:28)

I just showed up and was there. And after we touch gloves, and after I get in my stance, and after we start creeping towards each other and sizing each other up, I go. The muscle memory of the eight months prior just automatically kicks in. And I throw a jab and then another jab. Then a hook, a left hook. And again, these things, if you're not a boxing fan or don't know what any of these are, it's a little obscure. So I won't go too deep in the technicalities of it. It's a little obscure, so I won't go too deep in the technicalities of it, but basically I'm able to catch him off guard with a punch from my left hand that ends up bruising slash cutting open his right cheek. Almost right away, within the first 45 seconds of the first round. Now, in full transparency, I am so freaking winded at this point because all my breathing techniques have gone out the window. I don't want to get punched. I'm petrified. I don't enjoy getting punched, which is very unique for someone that's trying to become a boxer. I want to say trying to become a boxer. I certainly don't wish to be a professional boxer. My challenge outcome for the 90 days was to get in a boxing match, like a sanctioned match.

Sparring for the first time - reach the max in a spar (14:40)

Then 90 turned into 180, and 180 turned into 270, and 270 is going to turn into 360. Part of that's because we can't find somebody with my number of fights under his belt, i.e. one or less, top in the ring with me. And so I'm gasping for air with this guy that's had tons of rounds and he doesn't look like he's even trying yet. But his face is cut open. And so I'm feeling good about that. Then he steps in and finally gives me some contact. I don't block everything. Take a good shot on the chin. Or take a good shot on the forehead. Then one in the eye. Then the bell rings. Two minute bell rings. Take out my mouth guard and I am breathing as though I've just sprinted a mile and a half. My lungs are burning. My legs are burning. My arms feel like they're 30 pounds a piece. I can't lift up my hands on the gloves. I'm like, what in the hell is going on? Here I am practicing for an hour and a half, at least an hour a day, if not an hour and a half. I don't ever feel this way. But based off the nerves of getting punched and how tight I am in the ring and not relaxed, I'm dying. I'm just out of breath. And we jump into round two and then three and then four, and eventually, you know, I think we probably did eight or nine rounds. And every time, I'm able to rely on that muscle memory, all the reps that I put in, all the time I've spent in the gym, and things just fire the right way. Combos fly the right way. Hit him a couple good times in the forehead. His forehead gets scuffed open and it starts bleeding a little bit. There's just things that are happening that are showing me like, wow, this is not as, not only is this not as bad as I thought, but I can actually see the things that I can improve on real time. There's been so much training and so much coaching and so much help that I just know what I need to do next. But there's a difference between knowing what I need to do next and actually being able to do what I need to do next. And so there is no substitute for cardiovascular health as it pertains to boxing. And in the last round and a half of our time together in the gym, he is able to completely work me over. I don't believe he even broke a sweat in those eight rounds. And so he's hitting me and making contact. I'm just making sure I don't get knocked out. And it's certainly not a lopsided fight between him and I. He gained some traction in the end. And so we sit there. Once we're done, I take off my wrist wraps. I take off the gloves, all the fun stuff that goes into that. And I just ask him more about his experience and what I could do better. And that's just camaraderie that's built because I don't know this guy. He's from a different state, really. And I'm looking for insight because he's seeing things about me that I can't see and that my coach Kevin can't see because as an opponent you see things differently. And he literally looks at me and says, you're just going to be trouble for somebody because I expect you to be slow, not quick on your feet. I didn't expect your punch speed to be so good. Your defense doesn't have any holes. The only thing that happens is when I step around you, you don't pivot out and shift backwards quick enough. And I got you a couple times there. I said, man, thank you. It's incredibly humbling to hear that from somebody with so much more experience than I have. But as we continue down, I start to ask him about what his pro fights look like, like what makes a pro fight. He says, man, I'm used to four, three minute rounds and I train for eight, four minutes rounds. I'm saying, well, that makes a whole hell of a lot of sense to me because here I am gasping for air after two minute rounds. And this guy's not even sweating. Had it been a longer fight, had we kept sparring, he would have absolutely knocked me out. I mean, I couldn't keep my hands up high enough to protect my chin if I wanted to. And so it got me thinking, as I sat down in the studio today, about all the times that I had actually talked myself out of my own success, where I had justified that I shouldn't start something or that I shouldn't try something because I listened to something that someone else said. And there are more times than I can count. Whether it be my coaching practice, whether it would be this podcast, whether it would be writing a book, whether it would be working at a dealership or working at the hosting company or owning a piece of it, whatever those things are, if I really look at it, all along the way, someone had said to me, you're not good enough. And they might not have said it out loud. They might not have actually looked at me and said it. But that's what I heard. And I heard it because I was running through my own filter of insecurities. No different than in the boxing ring, I'm insecure that this guy tells me he's got more experience and I don't feel like I can size him up. I feel like he is going to work me over. But because there was no out, because there was no way for me to leave, and because I had pushed for so long for an opponent to come in so I could spar with them, I had to jump in the ring. And in jumping in the ring, I was able to actually find out that all the reps and all the time and all the practice and everything I'd been through in life up until that moment had actually prepared me for that moment.

Jump into the ring (19:46)

I didn't get knocked out. If you're watching this on social media, I don't have any black eyes right now. I don't have scuffs on my forehead or my knuckles. Everything feels intact with my body other than a little soreness this morning from getting dinged in the head a few times. And so where in your life as you sit, are you allowing someone else's story to dictate your future i know it happens all the time it happens in the gym with somebody saying like what you for me like you're gonna run an iron man how are you gonna do that i don't have to know how i'm going to do it to actually do it. I just have to say I'm going to do it, find someone to teach me how to do it, honor my commitment to myself and to that person and put in the reps so I know how to do it. And then when the voice is telling me to step back and not do it, believe in myself enough to step forward and actually do it. No different than you.

Preparation For Fighting

Prepare yourself for the fight (21:01)

Same thing can be said for a relationship. Like in my own life, had I listened to that internal voice, I would have never went and spoke to my wife. She was a girl in the gym, the woman in the gym that was far too attractive to ever date me. I had my own stories running in the background, my own insecurities, my own lies and infidelities, all these things that were going on that I had talked myself out of ever having a chance with her prior to even going up and saying hello to her. She always had men around her. She always had people that were in her sphere of influence. I just assumed, which made an ass out of me, that there was no chance. Well, here I get to go home to her every day. She's my wife. How crazy is that? And same thing as it pertains to business. It's easy to look on social media and see somebody posting how great their podcast is or how much success they have or how big their coaching practice is or how big any of their things are, the car they have, the vacations they have. It's easy to size them up and judge, right? I think how many times you judge somebody on social media, I'm like, man, I can't have that. I don't know how to get there. I mean, for me, I've literally trimmed down the people that I'm following to such a small number for twofold. One, because it helps the Instagram algorithm. I'm not proud of that. It doesn't bother me to say it. The other is because I'm done comparing myself to people. I can only live the best version of my own life every day. I can only do what I can do, and that's putting in the reps to make myself better every day. Anything above and beyond that is literally out of my control. And so how many different places in your life are you operating the same way that I used to? And I say used to because you have a choice yourself. You don't have to keep talking yourself out of your own success. You can throw yourself into the deep end of the pool and know that the reps that you've done up to that moment will teach you how to swim. It's just finding the courage or the accountability to actually do it. And what I found is when you find that courage or accountability to take that big leap, every day thereafter, you'll get shit done

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