Episode 98 - Alex Hall and Tad Meyer

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SOS 1000 Mile Run Facebook Page:

https://www.facebook.com/SOS1000milerun/

SOS 1000 Mile Run Donation Website:

https://afsp.donordrive.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=donorDrive.personalCampaign&participantID=1315300

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

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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:

http://www.drgregorysmith.com/

Red Pill Medical:

https://www.redpillmedical.com/

Red Pill Wellness:

https://redpillwellness.com/

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

Vaxxed

Episode 96 - Joe LaCognata

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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:

http://lacognata.typepad.com/firerescuesupport/

Recommended Books:

The Bible

Celebration of Discipline - Richard Foster

Tom Clancy novels

Episode 95 - Dr Stuart McGill

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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:

http://www.backfitpro.com/

Dr McGill's Books:

Back Mechanic

Gift of Injury

Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance

Low Back Disorders

Other Recommended Books:

Testimony - James Comey

 

Episode 94 - Jacqueline and Sean Toomey

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IT ALL STARTED WHEN...
 ...my Denver Firefighter husband began using my proven sleep techniques to recover after busy nights. After seeing a drastic improvement in all of his vitals, and noticeable spike in his overall wellness and energy levels, we decided it was important to share these techniques with a larger audience of first responders. We incorporated these techniques and my knowledge from the 10 plus years of working in the health and wellness field and rolled it into what is now called The First Responder Sleep Recovery Program.

ABOUT FOUNDER: JACQUELINE'S STORY
After many years practicing yoga and living a life of wellness, Jacqueline developed a new perspective on what it means to be alive and well after being nearly killed by a drunk driver days after Christmas in 2005. Through the humbling healing of a traumatic brain injury and painful spinal cord injury, Jacqueline became enveloped in the spirit of sharing the healing capacity of yoga with the world! 

Jacqueline holds multiple Yoga Alliance certifications.  She has her BA from Regis University, completed masters-level coursework in Education at Metropolitan State University and trained at the Nutrition Therapy Institute.  Jacqueline has been sharing yoga and wellness with the world since teaching her first class in 2004.

Jacqueline currently lives with her firefighter husband and their rescue dog in beautiful Colorado.

First Responder Sleep Recovery Website:

https://www.firstrespondersleeprecovery.com

Recommended Book:

Extreme Ownership - Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

Norwegian Wood - Lars Mytting

Recommended Documentaries:

Andre the Giant

Forks over Knives

 

Episode 93 - Mike Ritland

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Mike Ritland was born in Waterloo, IA and served 12 years as a US Navy SEAL.
He saw action in Operation IRAQI Freedom and numerous special operations missions.
A nearby marine mission in particular, had a detailed account of an explosive-detector dog alert to a grenade booby trap hidden in a doorway, saving the lives of the Marines assigned to the mission. Ritland then instantly knew that he wanted to work with similar dogs and harness their remarkable abilities to defeat the tools of modern warfare. Due to that inspiration, Ritland became a Navy SEAL Multi-purpose canine trainer.

Mike served as Naval Special Warfare Multi-Purpose Canine (MPC) Trainer for the West Coast.
MIKE RITLAND AFTER HIS NAVY SEAL SERVICE
mike ritland in uniform standing in field with dog
After his service, Mike Ritland founded Trikos International, which specializes in providing working K9s to a multitude of clients. He now has over 15 years experience in importing, breeding, raising, and training multiple breeds of working dogs. With his unique training approach, Ritland has trained thousands of working dogs for real-world applications.

With this proven success, Trikos International has grown into a global brand, providing private protection K9s for celebrities, private individuals, and working K9’s to government agencies, including:

Department of Defense (DoD)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP)

Police Departments across the U.S.

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MIKE RITLAND WARRIOR DOG FOUNDATION FOR SERVICE K9s
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Mike Ritland also founded the Warrior Dog Foundation, a non-profit special operations K9 retirement foundation.

The Warrior Dog Foundation is dedicated to serving working military K9s, the special operations community, and their families. With the Foundation’s state of the art kennel facility, these dogs are given the opportunity to live out the rest of their lives with the dignity and grace they deserve.

The Warrior Dogs are attended to with heartfelt compassion administering to their mental and physical rehabilitation for the rest of their lives.

MIKE RITLAND NEW YORK TIMES BEST-SELLING AUTHOR
All of this experience prompted Mike Ritland to write three New York Times Best Selling books: Trident K9 Warriors, Navy SEAL Dogs and TEAM Dog.

In addition to his novels, Ritland also has been featured in numerous other publications such as Town & Country, Police K9 Magazine, K9 Cop Magazine, Working Dog Magazine, SOFREP, the Washington Post, the Huffington Post, NYPOST, Men’s Journal, Cesar’s Way, Texas Monthly, and a Reddit AMA.

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MIKE RITLAND EXPERT K9 TRAINING SPEAKER
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His expertise has earned Ritland the role of keynote speaker for Purdue University’s Discovery Lecture Series, for Bucknell University, and for various schools for children of all ages across the United States. Conferences across the country have also asked him to present, including Stansberry Conference Series, ESA Security Conference, HITS Training Conference, Police K9 Magazine Conference, K9 Cop Magazine Conference, Working Dog Magazine Conference, California Narcotic Canine Association, and IaAWP Iowa Association of Women Police.

Mike Ritland is not only an accomplished author and speaker, but he has been interviewed by dozens of media affiliates, including ABC, CBS 60-Minutes, CBS 60-Minutes Overtime, CBS This Morning, C-SPAN, C-SPAN2 BOOKTV, Fox News, Fox News Videos, Fox and Friends, NBC, and PBS. Ritland also has numerous appearances on podcasts, such as The Marilu Henner Show, iHeart RADIO, ITS Tactical, and Team Never Quit.

mike ritland book signing
MIKE RITLAND EXPERT K9 TRAINING CONTRIBUTOR
mike ritland with dog and person on tarmac helicopter in background
With his respectable knowledge of all things canine, Mike Ritland has been asked to work with and/or consult with various pet companies like Dogtra, KONG, Oma’s Pride Raw Dog Food, and TEFCO.

It’s not all work and no play, for Ritland, though. He and his personal K9, Rico, collaborated with the Xbox crew to create Call of Duty: Ghosts. The video game brings lifelike characters and immersive worlds together on a new, next-generation engine. The dog in Call of Duty works together with his team to fulfill missions.

Rico has become quite the star himself. Biting books to sign them and even having a action figure made in his likeness.

MIKE RITLAND TEAM DOG ONLINE TRAINING COURSES
Most recently, Mike created the MikeRitland.com Team Dog Online Training website. Mike is looking to revolutionize how we interact with our dogs with his Team Dog program. This platform provides online dog training to dog owners all across the world. Current community members range from first-time puppy owners to well established dog trainers, as there is something for everyone. Ritland personally interacts with members on the site and answers their questions.https://mikeritland.com/

Mike Ritland currently resides in Dallas, Texas and dedicates his time daily to working with his K9s at Trikos International and the Warrior Dog Foundation. When he is not traveling on business, he enjoys spending quality time with each of his dogs, staying fit, playing guitar and perfecting the art of BBQ.

Mike's Website:

 

https://mikeritland.com/

 

Warrior Dog Foundation

https://warriordogfoundation.org/

Mike's Books:

Trident K9 Warriors

Navy SEAL Dogs

Team Dog

Other Recommended Books:

Principles - Ray Daleo

Tools of Titans - Tim Ferriss

Self Reliance -  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Documentary:

Time as Money

 

Episode 92 - Trevor Kecskes

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Career Stats:
Department: Hudson Fire Protection District
Years of Service: 5 volunteer (Colorado Springs area) 3 Career (Hudson) 8 total
Rank: Engineer

Personal Stats:
Residence: Colorado Springs, CO
Age: 29
Kids: 1 daughter (3 years old)

Now I have always struggled in sharing my story not because of embarrassment or fear, mostly out of humility. I have never seen my accomplishments as being very impressive just merely a part of living and enjoying life. Over time however people seem to be impressed by what I have done. I have also met some people that have the mindset of if your sick or not healthy you need to just accept the conditions as such. So I am trying to share my story more to encourage others by showing them what is possible and prove the only limits we have are what we put on ourselves.  

In October of 1997 I passed out at school. This event lead to a lot of tests and possible issues. Finally, the doctors decided I needed a Heart Transplant. Without it I was given just two years to live. At nine years old in June of 1998 I received that life saving transplant. While this event changed my life I never let it stop me or limit what I thought I could do. I believe this mindset was encouraged by my doctors having stated the only thing I shouldn't do is dig ditches. Having never dug ditches but having worked some manual labor jobs, I believe even that statement was incorrect.   

Post Transplant my family never limited me from doing the things I wanted. This gave me the ability to never consider myself sick or unable to do something. A couple of weeks after having the transplant I was riding roller coasters and other amusement rides. Growing up I played roller hockey and was on the swim team in high school. As an adult I ride motorcycles both on the street and on the race track, hike mountains, and ride mountain bikes. 

In 2010 I became a volunteer firefighter. This was my first step in becoming one of very few (about five) heart transplant patients to have become career firefighters or returned to duty post heart transplant. I accomplished my goal of becoming a career firefighter in January 2015. This was not an easy path I had two fire departments tell me that I could not do this job. Initially, this discouraged me. Mostly become of the amount of effort it takes to even get to a job offer. I decided I wasn't going to let it stop me and I was going to prove those people wrong.

After the first fire department told me it was not possible. This motivated me to work towards a goal I randomly set for myself when I was a teenager. This was to finish an Ironman triathlon. I started by doing a half Ironman in June of 2012. In June of 2013 I was planning on finishing my first full Ironman. However, this did not happen. When I entered the water for the swim that day I could not breath. I made it about two hundred meters in the swim before I made the decision to drop from the race in what should have been my strongest event. A few weeks prior to the race I had worked a big wildland fire having spent a lot of time in smokey conditions, I believed this was a factor. A few days after I returned home I discovered I actually had pneumonia, that explained a lot. Luckily, I had already signed up for a second Ironman before having finished my first. This gave me a second chance sooner then one would usually get. 

During my second attempt at finishing an Ironman I remember hitting the point where I was beyond exhausted and my only plan was to do everything I could to keep my legs from cramping and keep moving forward. Approaching midnight on November 17th, 2013 I finished Ironman Arizona becoming the third ever, the second American, and the first pediatric heart transplant to finish an Ironman.

As my twenty year transplant anniversary approaches. My goal right now is to hike the fifty-eight peaks in Colorado over fourteen-thousand feet, I have currently hiked ten. 

While some of my goals have by chance been to prove people wrong. This was never my intention. I merely just wanted to be happy, healthy, live my life, and accomplish the goals I set out for myself. While I don't know what the future holds for me. I know if I keep moving forward I will continue to surprise myself, by not setting limits on what is possible. 

I am a high school drop out that is currently working on my bachelors degree, a firefighter, an Ironman finisher, most importantly a father, and forever grateful someone gave me the ultimate gift of life. 
 

Trevor's Email:

takecskes@gmail.com

Recommended Books:

The Forgotten Highlander - Alistar Urquhart

The Long Run - Matt Long

Recommended Movie:


The Truman Show

Recommended Documentaries:


Bigger, Faster, Stronger

Icarus 

Pharma Thugs
 

Episode 90 - Dan Severn

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Severn began his career in the fight game as a Greco-Roman and freestyle wrestler. He quickly became a top high school and collegiate wrestler capturing many titles, honors, and several national and world titles. As a high school wrestler Severn was a two-time national champion and set eight national records in his career. Dan was inducted into Arizona State University’s Wrestling Hall of Fame at the end of his prestigious collegiate career. He was even the 1984 Olympic Alternate for the United States Wrestling Team.

After completing his degree program and graduation, Dan continued on a quest to be the best amateur wrestler in the world. Numerous competitions from 1982 to 1994 took him to Japan, Hungary, Cuba, France, and Turkey. On each trip, Severn captured another title. Dan secured 13 National AAU(Amateur Athletic Union) wrestling championships during those years. He also coached wrestling at Arizona State University and Michigan State University as he continued to compete and excel after his collegiate career. In 1994, this distinguished athlete stepped into “The Octagon” for the first time. The octagon is a 6’ high steel cage that is the focal point of the Ultimate Fighting Championships. The UFC is a no holds barred competition where athletes display their skills in a full contact event. This sport is the only event that pits athletes of different disciplines against one another. In the beginning there were few rules: no biting and no eye gouging.

Through the years more rules have been added to the event to help the promoters work with the athletic commissions around the country. A bout is ended by a KO, TKO, athlete tap out, referee stoppage, or the towel being thrown. Severn easily established his place among the best fighters in the world with his awesome competitive fire to be the best. The Beast’s world class wrestling skill, commitment, and desire provided the foundation for his success. Severn knew he needed to continue to improve his arsenal, so he added black belts in the sports of Sombo, Judo, and Jui Jitsu to his athletic expertise. In addition to being technically skilled and feared by his opponents, Dan is undeniably popular with the public. His athletic abilities and charisma with the fans have created a bond with supporters of this controversial sport. Severn always enters the arena to thousands of fans chanting “Beast”! Severn, through his notoriety in the UFC, stepped in a different ring in 1998. The World Wrestling Federation wanted to capitalize on Severn’s skills.

Dan wrestled weekly for the WWF as he continued a grueling schedule of appearances, seminars, and no holds barred fighting. He is known around the world as the most active competitor in sports today, competing for over 30 professional wrestling organizations, 12 fight promotions, and speaking engagements. Dan also held the National Wrestling Alliance(NWA) heavyweight title in the professional wrestling ranks for longer than any other previous NWA champion. He has over 95 state, national, and international wrestling titles under his belt, and in 1999, reached a milestone by competing in his 4000th match. Dan is a 2-time NWA Heavyweight Champion, one of the most prestigious Championships in the history of professional wrestling, ranking amongst the top ten of all time. Also in 1999, Dan created a Mixed Martial Arts promotion called “The Danger Zone” and currently showcases tremendous fight cards around the country. This promotion is geared around the amateur fighter to help develop a backbone to the sport. Professional bouts and amateur tournaments are all part of “The Danger Zone.”

In 2004, Dan created “The Dangerzone: Defensive Tactics,” where he travels around the country training law enforcement officers about various ground techniques to protect them further from possible hostile situations. See our “Services” page for further details. The future of this renaissance man is unlimited. Dan has been profiled in the press around the world in such publications as USA Today, People, Karate and Kung Fu Illustrated, Black Belt Magazine, MAD, Full Contact Fighter, and many of the pro wrestling publications. The Internet is full of the Beast’s accomplishments, as well as his official web site. Severn also runs a wrestling product company and holds annual wrestling clinics for kids of all ages. He has appeared on 48 Hours, 20/20, The Gordon Elliot Show, Nash Bridges, and many commercials. Dan has been instrumental in introducing fighters into the UFC, including a two-time tournament champion, Don Frye. He also introduced the first female no holds barred fighter in the U.S. to the world. She is now the number one ranked fighter on the scene today.

Severn built a 10,000 square foot training facility on his property in Michigan. This facility is able to house and train individuals for martial arts, amateur wrestling, professional wrestling, or the fight game. This facility is a haven for athletes to train and gain the knowledge that the Beast has to offer. With all the success and attention, Severn remains humble and down to earth. Dan has strong ties to the community in Coldwater, Michigan and is a good role model for children. His motto is “Not only do you need to build a strong body, but you must also build a strong mind to enhance it”.

Dan's Website:

http://dansevern.com

Recommended Books:

How to make friends and influence people - Dale Carnegie

The power of the mind - Tony Robbins

Recommended Movies:

Rocky I, II and III

 

Episode 89 - Bill Godfrey

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WILLIAM “BILL” GODFREY retired as Chief of the Deltona (FL) Fire Department after 25 years in the fire service. He is chief consultant for C3 Pathways, a public safety consulting, training, and exercise firm. He has an MBA with additional degrees in public administration and EMS management. He is a paramedic, firefighter, and fire instructor III; a former planning manager for USAR FLTF4; an author, software developer, inventor, and an expert in simulation training, fire training, mass casualty incidents, active shooter, incident command, and disaster response.

Chief Godfrey is heavily involved in law enforcement-centered and Active Shooter Incident Management research, training, and exercises. He is co-author of the “Active Shooter Incident Management Checklist” and accompanying Help Guide, the “4 Best Practices for Active Shooter Incident Management”, and several active shooter curricula. Bill is a presenter at the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) conference, is one of the principal investigators of a DHS funded research study on Active Shooter Incident Management conducted by Texas State University ALERRT and C3 Pathways, and is lead instructor for the Active Shooter Integrated Response Course for Police | Fire | EMS.

Chief Godfrey served as incident manager on multi-alarm fires, mass casualty incidents (including 400+ victims), hazmat, and natural disasters. In addition to developing numerous simulation systems and dozens of 2D and 3D simulations, Bill has conducted hundreds of incident management classes using multiplayer simulation as well as using simulation to conduct HSEEP compliant functional and full scale exercises.

WILLIAM “BILL” GODFREY retired as Chief of the Deltona (FL) Fire Department after 25 years in the fire service. He is chief consultant for C3 Pathways, a public safety consulting, training, and exercise firm. He has an MBA with additional degrees in public administration and EMS management. He is a paramedic, firefighter, and fire instructor III; a former planning manager for USAR FLTF4; an author, software developer, inventor, and an expert in simulation training, fire training, mass casualty incidents, active shooter, incident command, and disaster response.

C3 Pathways Website:

https://www.c3pathways.com/

Recommended Books:

Active Shooter: Events and Response - John P. Blair, Terry Nichols, David Burns, John R. Curnutt

Recommended Documentaries:

HBO Special on the Westgate Mall Shooting

PBS Special Manhunt on Boston Bombing

Episode 88 - Ishmael Beah

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Ishmael Beah, best-selling author and human rights spokesperson, was appointed UNICEF’s first Advocate for Children Affected by War on 20 November 2007.  In accepting the position Mr. Beah said, “… for me it’s just a way to give me more strength to continue doing what I’ve already embarked on, what I’ve dedicated my life to doing – which is to make sure that what happened to me doesn’t continue to happen to other children around the world.”  He pledged to give a voice and hope to children whose lives have been scarred by violence.

In 1991, the outbreak of a brutal civil war in Sierra Leone upended the lives of millions.  Ishmael Beah’s parents and two brothers were killed and he was forcibly recruited into the war at age 13. After two years, with UNICEF help, he was removed from the army and placed in a rehabilitation home in Freetown.

At the 1996 United Nations presentation of the Machel Report on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children, Mr. Beah spoke about the devastating effects of war on children in his country. In May 2000, at the UN Special Session on Children he served on a panel entitled ‘Reclaiming Our Children: The UN Responds to the Plight of the Child Soldier’. The panel included then Secretary General Kofi Annan and UN agency heads.

Mr. Beah continues his advocacy to help change the course for the thousands of children still trapped in wars. He is a member of the Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division Advisory Committee and has testified before the United States Congress. In 2008, he co-founded the Network of Young People Affected by War (NYPAW) with a mission to raise awareness of the plight of children in conflict zones, advocate for an end to hostilities and provide role models for children who are currently struggling to recover from war.

Activity highlights

Ishmael Beah’s book, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier was published in the United States in 2007. It has since been published in Canada, Europe, Latin America and Asia and appears in over 35 languages. The book was also available in Starbucks shops, and for each book sold, US$ 2.00 went to the US Fund for UNICEF.  A Long Way Gone has been assigned to freshman classes of several universities in the US.

Mr. Beah has received numerous humanitarian and writing awards. He has spoken at many literary festivals including the Hay on Wye Literary Festival in Wales, United Kingdom. He appears in Bling: A Planet Rock, a 2007 documentary that draws attention to the diamond conflict.

Ishmael's UNICEF webpage:

https://www.unicef.org/people/people_47890.html

Ishmael's Books:

A Long Way Gone

Radiance of Tomorrow

Recommended Books:

Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Battle of Algiers - Alan O'Leary

Recommended movies:

Flags of our Fathers

Letter from Iwo Jima

 

Episode 87 - Pip III

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Rob Piparo, better known as Pip, is a Lieutenant with the City of New Brunswick Fire Department, located in New Brunswick, NJ and a Paramedic with Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy, NJ. He has been involved with emergency services for 17 years. Pip holds certifications as a Firefighter 1 & 2, NJ Level 1 Fire Instructor, Extrication, High Angle and Confined Space Technician, NJ and National Registry Paramedic, and Crossfit Level I.

Pip has always been passionate about fitness. He spent several years running half marathons and training strictly with kettlebells until he discovered Crossfit. He is currently a Coach at Iron Crossfit in North Brunswick , NJ . He has also completed a marathon and an Olympic distance triathlon with hopes of someday being able to compete in an ironman distance.

Pip’s passion for training lead him to the 555 Fitness page, where he quickly developed a friendship with its founder. After several months of back and forth banter, he asked Pip if he wanted to join the team. One could say the rest is history, but for now, we will just say we are too busy making history. email – pip@555fitness.com

Website: http://www.555fitness.org

Recommended Book:

Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual - Jocko Willink

Recommended TV:

The Crown

 

Episode 86 - Jason Kasper

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Jason Kasper is the bestselling author of the David Rivers series. He served in the United States Army for fifteen years, beginning as a Ranger private in 2001 and ending as a Special Forces captain and team commander in 2016.

Jason is a West Point graduate and a veteran of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and was an avid marathon and ultramarathon runner, skydiver, and BASE jumper, all of which inspire his fiction.  He currently lives with his wife and daughter in Cary, North Carolina.

Jason's website:

https://www.base1178.com/

Jason's Books:

Greatest Enemy

Offer of Revenge

Dark Redemption

Recommended Books:

How Not to Die - Gene Stone and Michael Greger

Talent is Overrated - Geoff Colvin

Willpower - Roy Baumeister and John Tierney

Recommended Movies:

Team America World Police

Heat

Episode 85 - John McCarthy

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Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
One of the premier commentators for this sport working for Bellator on their broadcast team.
Refereed thousands of bouts worldwide, including hundreds of Bellator and UFC bouts.
Refereed for a diverse number of organizations globally including K-1 (Japan), Strikeforce, Affliction, Bellator, King of the Cage, RIZIN and a multitude of others.
Over the past 20 years, has been a licensed Referee in 21 states in addition to numerous Canadian provinces and countries throughout the world.
Key figure in the writing of the Unified Rules for the sport of MMA, which is recognized by the ABC and Athletic Commissions across North America.
Certified MMA Referee & Judging Instructor for the Association of Boxing Commissions (ABC).
Conducted the first ever MMA Referee and Judges Instructional Training Seminar for the ABC at their annual conference and has continued teaching at these conferences on multiple occasions over the years.
Creator and Head Instructor of COMMAND - Certification of Officials for Mixed Martial Arts National Development, an internationally recognized (and ABC accredited) MMA Referee and Judging training school.
Conducts COMMAND Referee and Judging courses for regulatory bodies and Commissions worldwide.


Boxing
Licensed Referee and Judge under CSAC, and licensed Judge with NSAC.
Attended the ABC’s Boxing Referee and Judging Courses on multiple occasions throughout the years.
Refereed and Judged numerous amateur and professional boxing matches.
Refereed a WBC NABF World Championship.


Recognitions
Awarded Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt in 2006.
Opened Big John McCarthy’s Ultimate Training Academy, a 26,000 sq ft state of the art MMA training facility in 2006.
Inducted into the Masters Hall of Fame in 2006 for “Outstanding Achievements in the Martial Arts”.
First-ever recipient of the 2008 World MMA Awards “Lifetime Achievement” accolade, voted on by the sport's most prestigious journalists.
Awarded 2007 commendation by Senator James Battin for “Career Accomplishments” in MMA, “for the work done to increase the safety, visibility, and importance of Mixed Martial Arts”.
Awarded 2007 proclamation by the California State Athletic Commission for “dedication and commitment to other officials in helping developing their skills and concern for athletes”. 
Awarded "Best Referee" 2016 World MMA Awards.

Facebook:  Big John McCarthy

Recommended Book:

Lone Survivor - Marcus Luttrell

Recommended Movie:

Braveheart

Rocky

Recommended Documentary:

Beyond the Glory

Mask

Episode 84 - Chief Bobby Halton

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BOBBY HALTON, editor in chief of Fire Engineering and education director of the Fire Department Instructors Conference, began his fire career in structural firefighting with the Albuquerque (NM) Fire Department. He left as chief of operations in 2004 and joined the Coppell (TX) Fire Department as its chief. He left this position to assume his duties at Fire Engineering. He is a graduate of the University of New Mexico. He has served on National Fire Protection Association technical committees and is active with the National Fallen Firefighters Life Safety Initiatives. 

FDIC website:

http://www.fdic.com/event-information/googleppc.html?cmpid=google-FDIC_Search-Fire_Conference_Phrase-firefighters%20convention-g-c-248624380792&gclid=Cj0KCQjwzIzWBRDnARIsAAkc8hEKQAusBnpsbknsgGts-t-WSyQZecG5wll_r5zSsaZY5eVTczx9pWAaAv-oEALw_wcB

Recommended Books:

Guns, Germs and Steel - Jared Diamond

The Rational Optimist - Matt Ridley

Any Nasim Taleb book.

The Last Sailors - Harald Mertes and Neil Hollander

Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher - Timothy Egan

The Immortal Irishman - Timothy Egan

Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari

Homo Deus - Yuval Noah Harari

Shakespear

Seneca

Episode 83 - Peter Park

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Peter Park, Founder of the Platinum brand and co-owner of the Platinum Fitness Summerland facility in Santa Barbara County, CA, brings a past rich with his own professional athletic achievements to his 23 years of experience training elite athletes, big-screen celebrities, top touring musicians, and common citizens that are serious about their fitness, mobility, and longevity.

As a culmination of his experience, Peter recently authored a book on Foundation training, which lengthens and strengthens the back body, equaling out one’s total body strength, posture, flexibility, and overall body awareness.

Instagram:  platinumfitsb

Recommended Books:

Starting Strength - Mark Rippetoe

Easy Strength - Dan John and Pavel Tsatsouline

The Go Giver - Bob Burg

Recommended Documentary:

What the Health

 

 

Episode 82 - Josh Brolin

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Academy Award® nominated actor Josh Brolin is one of Hollywood’s top leading men who continues to balance challenging roles in both mainstream studio productions as well as thought-provoking independents.
 
This summer, Brolin will be seen in a trio of films. First up, he stars as super-villain ‘Thanos’ in Avengers: Infinity War, which will be released by Disney on April 27th.  He then stars opposite Ryan Reynolds in the highly anticipated sequel Deadpool 2, starring as ‘Deadpool’s’ nemesis ‘Cable’. 20th Century Fox will release the film on May  18th.  And lastly, he stars in Sicario: The Day of the Soldado, which will see him reprising his role as pragmatic special agent ‘Matt Graver’ opposite Benecio Del Toro’s mercurial ‘Alejandro’. The original film, which also starred Emily Blunt and was directed by Denis Villeneuve, was nominated for three Academy Awards®.
 
Brolin most recently led an all-star cast in Joseph Kosinski’s film Only The Brave, the true story of the Granite Mountain Hotshots,  an elite crew of firefighters who fought the Yarndell Hill fire June 2013. The film was released by Columbia Pictures in 2017. 
 
Other recent credits include Joel and Ethan Coen’s comedy Hail, Caesar!, opposite George Clooney, Channing Tatum, and Tilda Swinton; Everest, opposite Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, and John Hawkes. Based on the book Into Thin Air, the film recounts the devastating events which occurred as a group of hikers attempted to conquer that summit in 1996; Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller-directed Sin City 2: A Dame To Kill For; Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice, an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon detective novel of the same name alongside an all-star cast including Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, and Owen Wilson.
 
He starred in the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, and Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps opposite Shia LaBeouf and Michael Douglas.  He received rave reviews for his portrayal of George W. Bush in Oliver Stone’s biopic, W. 
 
In 2008, Brolin was nominated for an Academy Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and received awards from the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Board of Review for his portrayal of Dan White in Gus Van Sant’s acclaimed film Milk. 
 
Prior to that, Brolin earned a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of an ensemble for his work in the Coen Brothers’ No Country for Old Men, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Additionally, Brolin starred in Ridley Scott’s blockbuster American Gangster and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award as part of this ensemble.
 
Other film credits include: Labor Day directed by Jason Reitman; Spike Lee’s Old Boy; Gangster Squad; Men in Black 3; Planet Terror; part of the critically acclaimed Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez double feature, Grindhouse; You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger opposite Anthony Hopkins and Naomi Watts; In the Valley of Elah; John Stockwell’s Into the Blue; Victor Nunez’s Coastlines; Paul Verhoeven’s blockbuster hit, Hollow Man; Scott Silver’s Mod Squad; Ole Bornedal’s psychological thriller Nightwatch; Best Laid Plans opposite Reese Witherspoon, produced by Mike Newell; All the Rage; and Guillermo Del Toro’s science-fiction thriller, Mimic.  Brolin also received recognition from critics and audiences in David O. Russell’s Flirting with Disaster, portraying a bisexual federal agent alongside an outstanding ensemble cast led by Ben Stiller.  Brolin made his feature film debut starring in the action-comedy classic Goonies, directed by Richard Donner for producer Steven Spielberg.
 
On television, Brolin made his mark as a series regular in the popular ABC series “The Young Riders,” as well as “Private Eye” for NBC and “Winnetka Road” for CBS. Brolin also received critical praise in the TNT epic miniseries Into the West, opposite Beau Bridges, Gary Busey and Jessica Capshaw. In addition, Brolin starred in the title role of NBC’s acclaimed political drama, Mr. Sterling.
 
As a producer, Brolin joined Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Anthony Arnove, and Howard Zinn, in a documentary entitled The People Speak, based on Zinn’s influential 1980 book A People’s History of the United States. The film, which aired on the History Channel in 2009, looked at America’s struggles with war, class, race, and women’s rights, and featured readings by Viggo Mortensen, Sean Penn, and David Strathairn, among others.  Brolin made his directing debut in 2008 with a short entitled X, which he also wrote and produced. It premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival before screening at such festivals as South by Southwest and the AFI Dallas Film Festival.

Instagram: joshbrolin

The Eric Marsh Foundation website:

https://www.ericmarshfoundation.org/

Recommended Books:

Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts

Recommended Documentary:

Buck

Recommended Movies:

Leolo

Paris, Texas

Dog Day Afternoon

The Warriors

 

Episode 80 - Ryan Parrott

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Ryan “Birdman” Parrott, Author, Public Speaker, and Founder of two non-profits benefiting Veterans and First-Responders is originally from Detroit, MI.

Ryan enlisted in the Navy after watching the Twin Towers fall on 9/11, and Parrott served eight years as a U.S. Navy SEAL attached to Team SEVEN, completing three combat tours to Iraq before being assigned to Advanced Training Command as an Instructor.

In 2012, Ryan established Sons of the Flag to help burn survivors and their families find the help and medical attention that they deserve.

He is also the founder of the Bird’s Eye View Project, a web and TV series addressing the extreme needs of Veterans and First Responders through extreme sports.  Ryan is also the author of Sons of the Flag:  Real Accounts from the last 100 years of American Service.

Ryan's Website:

http://www.ryanbirdmanparrott.com/

Sons of the Flag Website:

http://sonsoftheflag.org/

Ryan's Book - Sons of the Flag

Recommended Books:

Extreme Ownership - Jock Willink and Leif Babin

The Great Book of Base - Matt Gerdes

Recommended Movies:

McConkey

Band of Brothers

 

Episode 79 - Dan Kerrigan and Jim Moss

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Dan Kerrigan
Co-Author
Dan is a career chief officer, published fitness author and presenter on the local and national levels. A passionate firefighter health and wellness advocate, he works with the IAFC, NFFF, and NVFC in efforts to reduce health-related LODD’s. He is a Russian kettlebell instructor and uses Firefighter Functional Fitness to achieve optimal performance.

Jim Moss
Co-Author
Jim Moss is a career fire officer, certified personal trainer, and published fitness author. He is a passionate advocate of firefighter fitness and wellness on the local and national levels. He trains, writes, and teaches firefighters how to optimize their physical performance, careers, and lives through Firefighter Functional Fitness.

Website:

http://firefighterfunctionalfitness.com

Book:

Firefighter Functional Fitness - Dan Kerrigan and Jim Moss

Recommended Books:

Firefighter Preplan - David Soler

Play the man - Mark Batterson

Extreme Ownership - Jocko Willink and Leif Babin

 

Recommended Movies:

Tombstone

Smokey and the Bandit

Fed Up