Episode 114 - Tim Kennedy II


Tim Kennedy’s legend began at his local Army recruiter’s office on September 12th, 2001. His training to earn his Green Beret was featured in the book “Chosen Soldier.” Kennedy is now a Ranger qualified Special Forces Sniper with deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, and multiple other deployments around the world.

He is the only soldier to win the grueling 3 day All Army Combatives Tournament three times. Kennedy has a black belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Modern Army Combatives. He is also one of the top ranked mixed martial arts fighters in the world, a position he achieved while simultaneously serving his country at the highest levels of special operations. He is currently ranked among the top Middleweights in the UFC. Tim has been featured on many television shows, most recently “Hunting Hitler” on the History Channel and his upcoming show "Hard to Kill" on the Discovery Channel.

Tim's Website:


Sheepdog Response Website:


Recommended Books:

The Purpose of Pain - Frances M Davis

The Screwtape Letters - C.S.Lewis

The Art of War - Sun Tzu

The Quran

The Bible

Recommended Movies:

The Last of the Mohicans


Black Hawk Down

Saving Private Ryan

Recommended TV:

Band of Brothers

Game of Thrones

True Detective

Episode 113 - Dr Craig Marker


raig Marker, Ph.D., Senior Instructor, CSCS, is a fitness enthusiast who has spent his life trying to help people improve their lives. As a professor, he works with students on how best to understand research and place it into context. He has published over fifty articles, chapters, and textbooks on psychology and research methods.

As a researcher, he understands the cutting edge of strength, sports performance, body composition, and nutrition. As a psychologist, he has focused on research and treatment of anxiety disorders, which positions him to understand motivation and the fear of making life changes.

Craig’s upcoming book, the AntiFragile Self, takes on the topic of building a stronger person in the mental and physical domains.

As a certified StrongFirst Kettlebell Instructor, Craig views kettlebells as one tool in the trade of forging a better person. He uses the Functional Movement Screen and multiple corrective movements to make sure his students are performing at their best for the rest of their lives.

Dr. Marker's Website:


Strongfirst Website:



Dr Marker's Book:

Anti-Fragile Self

Recommended Books:

Simple and Sinister - Pavel Tsatsouline

Messy: How to Be Creative and Resilient in a Tidy-Minded World - Tim Harford

Recommended Movies:



Episode 112 - Farris Barakat


Deah Bakarat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha.

The Our Three Winners Foundation is dedicated to continuing the legacy of Deah Barakat,Yusor Abu-Salha, and Razan Abu-Salha.  Known as Our Three Winners, they were each driven by a love for humanity and service.

n the aftermath of the hate crime that took their lives, the families established an endowment fund to carry on the dental and humanitarian relief and educational efforts that were a driving force in Deah, Yusor, and Razan's lives. Your investment in the Our Three Winners endowment provides not only a continuation of their legacy but also continued impact on communities at home and around the world through love and service. 

Please contact Farris if you would like him to speak in your community.

Our Three Winners Website:


Project Light House Website:


Recommended Book:

The Tipping Point - Malcom Gladwell

Recommended Movie:

The Three Idiots

Recommended Documentary:

America Inside Out - The Muslim Next Door


Episode 111 - Stephanie and Lynn Sorensen


Lynn and Stephanie Sorensen are husband and wife volunteer firefighters in Florida. Lynn had been a firefighter since high school and continued to volunteer even through his long career in the Army. He met Stephanie while volunteering at the school she taught Language Arts at. They quickly became smitten and married within the year. During their courtship Lynn recognized Stephanie suffered from post traumatic stress from both a house fire and a major car accident as a child.

Lynn having suffered from his own combat related PTSD felt a strong desire to help Stephanie resolve her internal conflicts and encouraged her to become a volunteer firefighter with him. Stephanie agreed she would take on the challenge of being a firefighter to overcome her fears as long as Lynn sought help for himself as well through counseling at the VA Hospital. Together they helped one another on the road to recovery and mental wellness. They used their new found inspiration to launch a firefighting comic book series for young readers that benefits autism.

Today, their comic book is well received at local bookstores and comic conventions. Stephanie currently works in school leadership within her school district and Lynn is finishing the last of his training to become a career firefighter. 

Firegirl Comics website:


Recommended Books:

Karma Sutra - Vātsyāyana

Hunting Al Qaeda: A Take-No-Prisoners Account of Terror, Adventure, and Disillusionment - Anonymous

A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole

Recommended Movies:

The Notebook

Star Wars

Episode 110 - Dr Andy Galpin

Andy Galpin.png

Director of Education: Andy is a tenured Professor in the Center for Sport Performance at CSU Fullerton. He was born and raised in beautiful Rochester, WA and is a die-hard Seahawks, Huskies, & Mariner fan. RIP Sonics. As a youth, Andy played every sport at his disposal, excelling at Football, Basketball, Baseball, and Track & Field. While not playing, he worked at grocery stores, gas stations, hay fields, blueberry farms, and in the road construction business. It was during this time he discovered Strength & Conditioning. 

Andy took his limited talents to Linfield College to join their Football team and pursue a degree in Exercise Science. While he experienced great success in both (2004 National Championship and 2x Captain and immediate inductee into the "All Ugly" Team), the true reward of this time was the meeting of lifelong friend (Doug Larson). The two fed each other's pursuit of knowledge of human performance and led them to attend the University of Memphis for the Masters degrees in Human Movement Sciences. A bit of luck and excellent faculty mentoring led Doug and Andy to meet Mike Bledsoe and the man formally known as "Barbell Buddha" Chris Moore - all of which later led to the creation of the #1 Health & Fitness Podcast in the world Barbell Shrugged. It also marked the start of Andy's competitive Weightlifting (culminating in his 7th Place finish in the 2007 National Championships), Mixed Martial Arts, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu careers. 

Needing to know more about muscle, Andy spent 4 years studying the structure and function of human skeletal muscle at the single cell level, a feat which earned him a PhD in Human Bioenergetics in 2011. This also resulted in the friendship with frequent collaborator Dr. Jimmy Bagley and the ability to open up his own "Biochemistry and Molecular Exercise Physiology Laboratory" at CSU Fullerton.  

He now focuses his attention on teaching classes (Sports Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, Designing Exercise Programs, Applied Strength and Conditioning, Athlete Assessment and Measurement, etc.) and running the BMEP lab (which studies the acute responses and chronic adaptations of human skeletal muscle in response to high force/velocity/power and fatiguing exercise from the whole body, down to the individual muscle fiber and even into the individual DNA. The team does this by taking muscle biopsies from non-athletes and elite athletes from different backgrounds (e.g. normal college student, MMA fighter, Boxer, Weightlifter, etc.) and use highly sophisticated laboratory techniques and equipment to address questions about single fiber "type", size, function, protein quantity, diameter, mitochondria, and myonuclear function. You can get all of our published research here. 

At heart, Andy is simply a story-teller and teacher. 

Dr Galpin's Website:


The Body of Knowledge Podcast:



Unplugged: Evolve from Technology to Upgrade Your Fitness, Performance, & Consciousness - Andy Galpin, Brian MacKenzie, and Phil White

Recommended Books:

Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win - Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Barbell Buddha: The Collected Writings Of Chris Moore

The Demon-Haunted World - Ann Druyan and Carl Sagan

Recommended Documentaries:

A Leaf of Faith 

Blue Planet Series


Episode 109 - Jocko Willink



is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL officer , co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win, host of the top-rated Jocko Podcast, and co-founder of Echelon Front, where he serves as Chief Executive Officer, leadership instructor, speaker and strategic advisor. Jocko spent 20 years in the SEAL Teams, starting as an enlisted SEAL and rising through the ranks to become a SEAL of . As commander of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser during the battle of Ramadi, he orchestrated SEAL operations that helped the “Ready First” Brigade of the U.S. Army’s First Armored Division bring stability to the violent, war-torn city. Task Unit Bruiser became the most highly decorated Special Operations Unit of the Iraq War. Jocko returned from Iraq to serve as Officer-in-Charge of training for all West Coast SEAL Teams. There, he spearheaded the development of leadership training and personally instructed and mentored the next generation of SEAL leaders who have continued to perform with great success on the battle field. Jocko is the recipient of the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and numerous other personal and unit awards.

pon retiring from the Navy, Jocko co-founded Echelon Front, a premier leadership consulting company, where he teaches the leadership principles he learned on the battle eld to help others lead and win. Jocko has also the authored of Discipline Equals Freedom Field Manual, a New York Times Bestseller, and the best selling children’s books, The Way of the Warrior Kid, and The Way of the Warrior Kid: Marc’s Mission.

Echelon Front Website:


Jocko Podcast Website:


Jocko's Books:

Extreme Ownership - Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Discipline Equals Freedom - Jocko Willink

Way of the Warrior Kid: From Wimpy to Warrior the Navy SEAL Way - Jocko Willink

Marc's Mission: Way of the Warrior Kid (A Novel) - Jocko Willink

Recommended Book:

About Face -  David Hackworth and Julie Sherman

Recommended TV Series:

The Pacific

Recommended Documentary:


Episode 108 - Chief Dan DeGryse

dan Degryse.jpg

The Rosecrance Florian Program serves uniformed service personnel such as firefighters, paramedics, law enforcement officers, and military, offering the best opportunity for lasting recovery for co-occurring substance use and mental health disorders by incorporating occupational factors into the treatment process. Florian is the first program in the county dedicated to and specializing in helping fire service members who need substance abuse treatment and who also need care for job-related post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and other behavioral health issues.

The Florian Program gives uniformed service personnel a safe, structured environment where they can begin to heal and pursue long-term recovery.

Florian Program is housed in a designated co-ed unit at the Rosecrance Harrison Campus in Rockford, Illinois, which offers a full continuum of residential and outpatient services. Clients stay an average of 35 days on the unit and receive core services including: physician care; on-site detoxification with medication assistance; comprehensive psychiatric evaluations; individual, group and family counseling; peer support groups; counseling sessions with a certified chaplain; experiential therapies that include art and recreation; and nutrition health education.

How our treatment works
Florian clients benefit by having services tailored to the needs of people who experience ongoing exposure to trauma, access to staff with military and firefighting experience, and relationships with peer support leaders from the Illinois Firefighters Peer Support network and a community of firefighters. When clients’ treatment on the Florian unit concludes, Rosecrance offers comprehensive, individualized discharge planning to provide a smooth transition to aftercare services in clients’ own communities.

Rosecrance also has a well-established family program that takes place every weekend. Family members are invited and encouraged to attend two days of family education, which includes information about addiction and how substance abuse is a family disease. Florian clients also meet individually with their family members during treatment.

Florian is led by Daniel DeGryse, an active-duty Battalion Chief/EMT with more than 27 years of experience at the Chicago Fire Department and 30 years of experience in the field of addiction and mental health. Dan is also a certified employee assistance professional and a certified alcohol and drug abuse counselor. To ensure the highest level of care, all Florian staff participates in regular cultural awareness training so they can better understand the physical and emotional nature of the fire service. That training includes suiting up in full firefighter gear and doing drills under the supervision of the Rockford Fire Department, whose fire chief serves on the Florian Advisory Committee. The 12-member committee, comprised of experienced firefighters, fire personnel, and a police officer with military service, advises Florian Program leaders and helps expand relationships and connections in the field.

Rosecrance moved the Florian unit to a bigger space in 2016 for the recent expansion of the program to serve all uniformed services, including police, military and corrections officers. Rosecrance decided to expand services to all first responders after finding success with addressing the needs of fire service personnel and identifying the often volatile climates faced by police and other first responders.

How to refer someone to our program
People can enter the program several different ways. They can refer themselves, a family member can refer a loved one or the referral could come directly from an employer (in this case, most often a fire department), an employee assistance program (EAP) or peer supporter. Anyone can contact Dan at 815-387-2461, 312-833-0196 or ddegryse@rosecrance.org for information.

Once an inquiry is made, a person is connected with our Access Department. An access staff member asks the person a series of questions to determine if he or she formally qualifies for treatment. After that, a phone assessment or in-person assessment is done with one of our master’s-level counselors. Insurance is verified, then people can be admitted to the Health Center for detoxification, if needed, or directly to the Florian unit.

The Rosecrans Florian Program Website:


The Rosecrans Symposium Website:


Recommended Books:

Warrior SOS: Military Veterans' Stories of Faith, Emotional Survival and Living with PTSD - Jeffrey Denning

Sons of the Flag - Ryan Parrott

Recommended Movie

A Few Good Men

What about Bob

Analyse This

Analyse That

Episode 107 - Brandonn Mixon


The Veterans Community Project (VCP) is on a mission to eliminate Veteran homelessness by providing transitional-housing and enabling access to exceptional 360-degree service solutions. Focusing first on the Greater-Kansas City area, VCP aspires to use Kansas City as the blueprint for achieving similar successes in cities across the United States. VCP has a long-term goal of eliminating Veteran homelessness nationwide.

VCP is a 501(c)(3) Missouri nonprofit corporation founded by Kansas City Veterans who were frustrated by rampant homelessness throughout the Veteran community.

We are a team of connectors, feelers, and doers on a mission to help our kin, our kind. We move with swift, bold action, and will always serve with compassion.

Veterans Community Project Website:


Recommended Books:

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life - Mark Manson

Winnie the Pooh - A. A. Milne

Recommended Movie:



Episode 106 - Dr Michael Gervais


Gervais is a high performance psychologist working in the trenches of high-stakes environments with some of the best in the world, training the mindset skills and practices essential to pursuing and revealing one’s potential. His clients include world record holders, Olympians, internationally acclaimed artists and musicians, MVPs from every major sport and Fortune 100 CEOs.

A published, peer-reviewed author and recognized speaker on optimal human performance, Dr. Gervais has been featured by NBC, ABC, FOX, CNN, ESPN, NFL Network, Red Bull TV, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Outside Magazine, WIRED, ESPN Magazine and others.

He is the co-founder of Compete to Create, a digital platform business helping people become their best through mindset training. The firm works with a limited portfolio of Fortune 500 companies and leaders to switch on culture and individuals through high performance mindset training and coaching. Clients include Microsoft, Boeing and Zynga.

He is also the host of Finding Mastery, a podcast that takes you inside the rugged and high-stakes environments of those on the path of mastery to explore how they train minds to be at their very best. Gervais unpacks and decodes each guest’s journey, psychological framework and mindset skills and practices. Past guests include Los Angeles Lakers head coach Luke Walton, Thrive Global CEO Arianna Huffington, FUBU Founder Daymond John, Mercedes Benz Formula 1 Owner Toto Wolff, Microsoft’s CFO Amy Hood, ultra marathoner David Goggins, two-time Olympic gold medalist and FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion Carli Lloyd, CEO of Amusement Park Entertainment Jimmy Smith, Pixar’s CFO Lawrence Levy, Seattle Seahawks Head Coach, Pete Carroll, big wave surfer Ian Walsh, among many others.

Dr. Gervais received his undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount University. He completed his PhD while studying under the father of American applied sport psychology, Dr. Bruce Ogilvie, at San Diego University, Integrative Studies.

Finding Mastery website:


Recommended Book:

A spiritual text that is not yours!!

Recommended Movie:

Star Wars

Pixar Animations


Episode 105 - Dr Eric Goodman II


As the creator of Foundation Training, Eric combined his experience as a strength coach, personal trainer and Chiropractor to create a simple strengthening program that facilitates the body’s natural healing ability and quickly improves degenerative movement patterns. The results have been incredible. He leads our Instructor Certification Program and is the team’s visionary force. His incessant curiosity for anatomy, movement and healing has led Foundation Training’s evolution. Eric graduated from UCF with a Bachelors in Health Sciences and Physiology and earned his Doctor of Chiropractic at SCUHS.

Foundation Training Website: 


Free 12 minute Foundation Training video:


Eric's Cannabinoid Speech:


Recommended Books:

Way of the Peaceful Warrior - Dan Millman

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind - Yuval Noah Harari

The Brain That Changes Itself - Norman Doidge

Recommended Documentary:

Fish People

Episode 104 - Walt Lewis


Walter Lewis has been involved with the fire service since childhood, with his father and brothers being Firefighters before him. He has served on a volunteer, suburban and urban fire department, currently serving as a District Chief for the Orlando Fire Department. He has had the fortune of working with great personnel throughout his career and is a continual student of the fire service, hoping to share what he has learned with intent of helping others. 

Walt's Email:


FOOLS Website:


Recommended Books:

It Doesn't Take a Hero: The Autobiography of General H. Norman Schwarzkopf - Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. and Peter Petre

It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy - Michael Abrashoff

Pride & Ownership: A Firefighter's Love of the Job - Rick Lasky

Full-Contact Leadership - Anthony Avillo and Edward Flood

Fire Officer's Handbook of Tactics - John Norman

Tom Brennan's Random Thoughts - Thomas F. Brennan

Recommended Movies:

Band of Brothers

Saving Private Ryan


The Passion of the Christ


Episode 103 - Monisha Vasa


Dr. Monisha Vasa is a board certified General and Addiction Psychiatrist in Newport Beach, California.  She works with first responders in her practice, using psychotherapy, mindfulness, self compassion, and medication management to address common issues such as trauma, PTSD, depression, anxiety, suicidality, and substance abuse.  She is also on the volunteer clinical faculty at the UC Irvine School of Medicine, where she addresses similar challenges with physicians and physicians-in-training.  In addition to her practice, Dr. Vasa recently went back to school at Columbia University to study an emerging field called Narrative Medicine, which brings together literature, visual arts, and reflective writing to help doctors and other health care providers better understand patient stories, as well as their own, as a way to deliver more effective and just health care.  In her spare time, Dr. Vasa spends as much time as possible with her two kids, loves to write creative non fiction and poetry on her blog, and is interested in health and fitness, including long distance running.  

Monisha's Websites:  


Recommended Book:

The Mindful Way through Depression - J. Mark G. Williams

Recommended Documentary:

Behind the Orange Curtain

Episode 102 - Mike Dolce


Mike Dolce is one of the world’s top weight management coaches, known for training the best fighters in the world of professional mixed martial arts.

Sports Illustrated describes Mike as ‘the patron saint of weight cutting’. ESPN has called Mike, ‘A lifestyle changer’." 

"I wanted to create an easy to follow program that would help regular people build their own world-class physique."

Mike has been the man behind thousands of professional athletes, earning a reputation as ‘the go to guy in the world of mixed martial arts’ (ELLE Magazine).

Combining his experience in over 20 years of working with the world’s top athletes, Mike created The Dolce Diet system to share his proven body-transforming diet and training methods for optimum weight loss and athletic performance.

Mike's Website:


Mike's Books

Living Lean

Three Weeks to Shredded

The Living Lean Cookbook Vols 1 & 2.

The Dolce Diet (Original, College and Christmas Editions)

Recommended Books:

The Richest Man in Babylon - George Samuel Clason

Recommended Movies:


The Godfather

The Matrix



Episode 101 - Pat Russo


Pat Russo is currently the President and CEO of Chef’s Choice Food Distributor in Brooklyn NY. He is also the Director of both the NYPD Boxing Team, the Atlas-NYPD Cops & Kids Boxing Program and is a retired NYPD Sgt.

While serving with the NYPD, Pat developed a Narcotic Problem solving program called the Narcotics Enforcement Initiative, the program was so effective, he was asked to train every Precinct located within NYC on the various techniques to eliminate chronic, problem Narcotic Locations.

Also while serving with the NYPD, Pat Founded the Cops & Kids Boxing Program within his Precinct. He started this program to build a positive relationship between Neighborhood Police Officers and Local  Youth. The program also provided the youth with a positive alternative to gangs, drug abuse and other criminal activity. Many of the members of this program went on to become NYPD Officers.

Pat's email:


Atlas Cops and Kids website:


Pat's Documentary:

Counter Punch

Recommended Book:

Turnaround - Bill Bratton

Recommended Movie:

The Godfather


Episode 100 - Becky Geering


Rebecca Geering was born in Traverse City, Michigan but grew up mostly in Ohio. She now resides in Ocala, Florida with her husband, two sons and dog.  Becky is a licensed optician with hopes of becoming an optometrist and is an advocate for suicide prevention/suicide awareness.


Rebecca Fuller Geering

Recommended websites:

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention

To Write Love on Her Arms.

Recommended Books:

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Grieving a Suicide by Albert Hsu

Recommended Movie:

Face Off

Episode 99 - Lt. Col. Dave Grossman


In their description of Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, Slate Magazine said, “Grossman cuts such a heroic, omnicompetent figure, he could have stepped out of a video game.”  He has five patents to his name, has published four novels, two childrens’ books, and six non-fiction books to include his “perennial bestseller” On Killing (with over half a million copies sold), and a New York Times best-selling book co-authored with Glenn Beck.

He is a US Army Ranger, a paratrooper, and a former West Point Psychology Professor.  He has a Black Belt in Hojutsu, the martial art of the firearm, and has been inducted into the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame.  

Col. Grossman’s research was cited by the President of the United States in a national address, and he has testified before the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Congress, and numerous state legislatures.  He has served as an expert witness and consultant in state and Federal courts.  He helped train mental health professionals after the Jonesboro school massacre, and he was also involved in counseling or court cases in the aftermath of the Paducah, Springfield, Littleton and Nickel Mines Amish school massacres.  

Col. Grossman has been called upon to write the entry on “Aggression and Violence” in the Oxford Companion to American Military History, three entries in the Academic Press Encyclopedia of Violence, Peace and Conflict and has presented papers before the national conventions of the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.  

Since his retirement from the US Army in 1998, he has been on the road almost 300 days a year, for over 19 years, as one of our nation’s leading trainers for military, law enforcement, mental health providers, and school safety organizations.

Today Col. Grossman is the director of the Killology Research Group (www.killology.com).  In the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks he is has written and spoken extensively on the terrorist threat, with articles published in the Harvard Journal of Law and Civil Policy and many leading law enforcement journals, and he has been inducted as a "Life Diplomate" by the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security, and a "Life Member" of the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute.

Lt. Col. Grossman's Website:


Lt. Col. Grossman's Books:

On Killing

On Combat

Assassination Generation

Stop Teaching our Kids to Kill


Recommended Books:

Horse Soldiers - Doug Stanton

Recommended Movie:

12 Strong

Episode 98 - Alex Hall and Tad Meyer


SOS 1000 Mile Run Facebook Page:


SOS 1000 Mile Run Donation Website:


Alexander Lyman Hall

Lives in Stafford, VA.  Currently rank of Senior Firefighter with Henrico Fire, VA.  Currently stationed at firehouse 10, which houses Engine 10 and Truck 10; assigned to Truck 10.
Henrico is a full career department with 21 stations.  
I have been with Henrico for 5 years, and volunteered in Prince William County at Dumfries-Triangle Station 3, one year prior to that.  

Originally from Wendell, NC, just outside of Raleigh, NC.  I grew up playing most sports competitively.  In high school, I mostly focused on soccer, and was introduced to lifting weights and running distances of 3-5 miles.  I hated running distance, but liked sprinting.  I participated in a church version of Boy Scouts, called Royal Ambassadors (RA’s for short).  I went to a camp for RA’s called Camp Caraway, where besides learning about furthering a personal relationship with God, we learned about being young men/men, archery, shooting, hiking, paddling, camp cooking, and general survival “outdoorsmanship”.  I got a great sense of discipline and a spirit of service from summers at camp caraway.  It’s also where I first learned basic ropes, knots, and repelling.  
I was recruited in high school to play soccer at a handful  of Division 1-3 NCAA schools.
I went to the University of North Carolina at Pembroke for Soccer, playing 4 years of D2 soccer.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Mass Communications, with concentrations in PR and Journalism.

I played semi-pro for the Greenville Lions 2002, and graduated in 2003. After college, I moved to Ludwigsburg Germany and had trials at a couple different clubs before signing to play with FC Heilbronn in the German Verbandsliga.  After my club filed for insolvency, I moved back to North Carolina.  I then followed my Girlfriend (now wife) to the DC metro area.  I got a job with an organization in DC doing communications work with them, and played in the old United Soccer Leagues D3 pro league for the (terrible) Northern Virginia Royals.  I worked 5 days a week, and practiced every night with the team, lifting weights in spare time.  I traveled with the team playing games on weekends all over the east coast getting to play some US Open Cup games, and training with DC United and playing against their reserves occasionally.

I stopped playing D3 in 2006, and resigned from my job in DC, and married my girlfriend also in 2006.  I applied to be a fireman in Fairfax County in 2006, but didn’t get in.  
I needed something to bridge the competitive gap from playing/training/etc…so I started running long distance after reading Dean Karnazes’ book, “Ultra-Marathon Man”.  I ran my first couple marathons in 2007/2008 (Marine Corps & Georgia), and ran my first 50 miler shortly after (JFK 50 mile) in Fall of 2008.  I also coached youth soccer, was the GM for a soccer academy, and taught high school for a while trying to figure out my next move.  
I was hooked on running after running JFK in 2008, mostly because it hurt and sucked.   After that I ran a couple more 50’s, and a 100k before running my first 100 mile race in 2011: the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run (in Raleigh, NC).  

Stopped teaching in ’12, and joined a volunteer fire department and went through the fire academy while working for REI.  I then ran Umstead in 2012, and the Grindstone 100 miler in 2012 while attending the Prince William Fire Academy for Volunteers.  I ran the Umstead 50 mile in 2013 (defaulting to 50, since I ran 80 miles and decided not to finish the 100 that year), and graduated Prince William Volunteer academy, and applied to Prince William Fire Dept. and Henrico Fire.  Henrico Fire called, and I was hired in Summer 2013.  I put running on hold until Fall 2014, when I DNF’d Grindstone with Tad.  We then made a plan to run the GAP/C&O together (334 miles).  He got hit by a car in Feb. 2015, and broke his neck.  

We then contacted Matt Long of FDNY (Author of “The Long Run”) to do a fundraiser.  We told Matt we were going to raise some money for his “I Will Foundation” due to Tad’s good fortune in recovery from his broken neck.  We dedicated the run to the 343, and then decided to run 343 miles from Pittsburgh (1 mile for every 9/11 Firefighter death), through DC, and ending at Arlington National Cemetery.  We did the 343 in 7 days (averaging 50 miles per day).  
I then took 2 years to recover, and train.  Last year, Tad’s mother took her life (April 2017).  Tad called me, and we discussed a plan to run for suicide prevention.  Due to my job, and the encounters with suicides, and friends and loved ones depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress, we then decided to run for Mental Health Awareness and Suicide Prevention.  

Thaddeus 'Tad' Meyer, 39, grew up in a small town in Indiana as the youngest of four. He was always active as a kid and involved in any number of sports when he wasn't out riding bikes and making trouble with the neighborhood boys. He was a regular on the soccer field, baseball diamond, and tennis court, and by the time he reached junior high, he got involved in track and field. His oldest sister was a competitive track and cross country athlete in high school and college, and he looked to follow in her footsteps. After a short stint running the hurdles, he realized--or his coach told him--that his strength was in distance running, so he was running the mile and 800 from that point on. As he entered high school, he stuck with track and added in soccer and wrestling. It was wrestling where he discovered the drive to push himself and to test his limits. As the coaches trained the wrestlers for hours a day, Tad realized that he enjoyed working out and seeing how hard he could go; he learned to be comfortable being uncomfortable.


Following high school, Tad stopped playing sports competitively and instead focused his energy on college. He continued working out and running but spent far more time in the weight room than on the road or trail. It wasn't until his fourth year of grad school that his older brother, by then an experienced marathoner, convinced him to train for and run a marathon, so in October of 2004, Tad ran his first 26.2, the Hartford Marathon. He finished in 3:16, narrowly missing qualifying for Boston. As hard as that race was, he crossed the finish line that day convinced he could run further. Sure enough, 8 months later he found himself signing up for a 50-miler, and in November of 2005, he ran the JFK 50, finishing in just under 8 hours. Once again, he crossed the finish line convinced he could run further than that. To say that his passion for running snowballed after that would be a bit of an understatement: more 50-milers, 100k races, 100-milers, 12- and 24-hour events, and a 7-day 343-mile run from Pittsburgh to DC in October of 2015. What drives him to run so far is still that same passion to push himself to his limits that he discovered back in high school. 3:30am wake-ups to run 20-milers before most people even hit snooze, CrossFit to cross train, being flexible with his workout schedule, and little things like taking the stairs to go up 7 floors instead of using the elevator have been the keys to his ultrarunning training. Having a job in federal service and an understanding wife and kids has certainly helped too: they have allowed him to find the time to train and maintain a healthy balance between work, life, and working out. 


When Tad's mother died by suicide in April of 2017 (https://afsp.org/million-steps-mental-health-awareness-suicide-prevention/), Tad immediately knew that he needed to turn the tragedy of her death into something positive. Since Tad had long used running and exercise as his own therapy and means to deal with his own bouts of stress and anxiety, it was a no-brainer that he could use running in a similar manner to honor her memory and raise awareness for mental illness, PTSD, and suicide prevention. He enlisted the help of Alex, and the two of them worked together to design an event that would grab attention for the cause that was so important to them. That was the genesis of the SOS 1000 Mile Run--a run that is NOT about Tad and Alex but about those who are suffering, our service members, veterans, first responders, teenagers, moms, dads, brothers, sisters, and friends. It's about it being okay to not be okay. It's about removing the stigma surrounding mental illness. It's about being open to talking about suicide. 1,000,000 steps to mental health awareness won't cure mental illness, but it's a start to a long journey to do so.

Recommended Books:

The Long Run - Matt Long

Born to Run - Christopher McDougal

Resilience - Eric Greitens

Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance - Alex Hutchinson

The Vanishing American Adult - Benjamin E. Sasse

Recommended Documentaries:

The Barkley Marathons

Episode 97 - Dr Gregory Smith


In 2012 Dr. Smith formed Pain MD Productions Inc. from which he executive produced and co-wrote the feature film American Addict (2013) and American Addict 2: The Big Lie scheduled to be released in July of 2015. The film Cancer in Wonderland is in production with a scheduled release date of April 2016. “I believe people can get vital information while being entertained at the same time documentaries don’t have to be boring”.

He also hosts the radio show Truth, Medicine and Politics on KABC in Los Angeles and has appeared as a guest on multiple local and national radio and television shows. He has lectured around the United States and currently resides in Redondo Beach, CA with his family.

Man on a mission

Since I was a little boy I always felt that I was here for a great purpose. Over the years I have grown to know what that purpose is. There is so much beauty and love in this world and at the same time so much pain, suffering and deception. I believe it is the deception that is linked to most of this pain and suffering, at least in America. People are thirsty for the truth and truth is difficult to find these days. People want so badly to believe in something; a cause or a person and so often they are let down by people who deceive them.

I believe everyone should be given information without bias, just the information and then, when they take a stand or make a decision, it is truly their own and they are not being manipulated, controlled or told what to think. It seems like such a simple concept but all I see in our society is the illusion of unbiased information being served up as different points of view but in all reality it is the same message being put out by multiple media outlets that have common owners. Often alternative media is not much better because they can be so cynical of anything mainstream that they criticize and discredit everything put out by the mainstream and put their bias in their analysis of the information.

So many people are hurting, so many frustrated, so many are lost and depressed. I cannot just ignore all of this I have to do something…

My something… is my time, my energy, my financial resources all put forth in films, print, radio and television, and of course in the treatment of patients. Hopefully I can help millions and not just the hundreds that I can see personally in my office. Hopefully I can help you find the truth in complex political-health issues that affect us all. I have strong opinions but they are mine; my goal is that my efforts will allow you to find your own truth without making up your mind based on propagandized information.

People need to have an open mind and realize every time they react to a new idea as “crazy” or “ridiculous” it may be their years of programming from what they have seen on TV and heard on the radio or read on the internet; keeping them from considering other points of view. If I can jump start people to really begin thinking for themselves then I believe that will help fuel the intellectual revolution that needs to occur to make this world a better place for the generations to come.

Dr Smith's Website:


Red Pill Medical:


Red Pill Wellness:


Recommended Books:

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen Covey

Sharpening the Sword: A Call to Strong and Courageous Leadership - Stephen D. Hower

Dr Smith's Documentaries:

American Addict

The Big Lie

American Weed (Coming Soon)

Other Recommended Documentaries:

What the Health


Episode 96 - Joe LaCognata


Joe LaCognata is the Founder and President of Fire Rescue Support, Inc.  Joe started his involvement with emergency services in 1986 as a volunteer firefighter and EMT.  Since becoming a pastor in 1994, his connection with emergency services has been through the chaplaincy with both police and fire departments.  Joe currently serves as Chaplain with Marion County Fire Rescue, Ocala Fire Rescue and the Florida State Fire College all located in north central Florida.

Joe has completed Basic Chaplain training through the International Fellowship of Chaplains. He is an Approved Instructor in Individual and Group Crisis Intervention with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation and has his Certification in Critical Incident Stress Management from the University of Maryland Baltimore County Department of Emergency Health Services. Joe is an Endorsed Chaplain with the North American Mission Board and a Master Fire Chaplain with the Federation of Fire Chaplains. Joe holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from Illinois State University and is an Instructor III with the Florida Fire Service.

Joe has been married to Kim since 1985 and they are the proud parents of 5 amazing children and one wonderful son-in-law.

Fire Rescue Support Website:


Recommended Books:

The Bible

Celebration of Discipline - Richard Foster

Tom Clancy novels

Episode 95 - Dr Stuart McGill


Dr. Stuart M. McGill is a professor emeritus, University of Waterloo, where he was a professor for 32 years. His laboratory and experimental research clinic investigated issues related to the causal mechanisms of back pain, how to rehabilitate back-pained people and enhance both injury resilience and performance. This produced over 240 peer-reviewed scientific journal papers, several textbooks, and many international awards. He mentored over 40 graduate students during this scientific journey.

During this time he taught thousands of clinicians and practitioners in professional development and continuing education courses around the world.

He continues as the Chief Scientific Officer for Backfitpro Inc. His advice is often sought by governments, corporations, legal experts, medical groups and elite athletes and teams from around the world. Difficult back cases are regularly referred to him for consultation. Any product associated with this website has been tested in Dr. McGill’s laboratory.

Dr McGill's Website:


Dr McGill's Books:

Back Mechanic

Gift of Injury

Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance

Low Back Disorders

Other Recommended Books:

Testimony - James Comey