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Forging Mettle Podcast

Forging Mettle Podcast

By Ron Duren Jr
Welcome to the forge! Ron explores the world of adversity and doing hard things. In a world that has gone soft, here in the forge, we discuss the hard.

Mettle is that uncanny ability to face a demanding situation in a spirited and resilient way and remain calm in the storm.

Each week, he interviews elite athletes, entrepreneurs, business leaders, researchers and academics that have been through the fire and came out the other side, stronger and better for the experience.

Join him as he works to unlock the secrets of how to embrace adversity, cultivate savoring and live our best lives!
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014 | Marisa Porges | How to raise bold, courageous and resilient women

Forging Mettle Podcast

060 | Carrie Leaf | Rewriting the stories we tell ourselves
What are the stories you are telling yourself about your place in the world, your identity, and where you are going? These stories can be incredibly impactful to our wellbeing. Carrie and I discuss how to tell better stories, dealing with anxiety, the difference between PTG and PTSD, how we respond to trauma, our belief systems, changing our behavior and EMDR therapy. You'll come away with useful tips to therapize yourself.  Show notes: Carrie Leaf is currently a practicing psychotherapist, holistic mindset coach, and hypnotherapist. She holds her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from the University of Northern Iowa. She completed her masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, graduating top of her class from Iona College. She has been a practicing psychotherapist for over 10 years and working in the psychology field for over 15 years. Carrie has worked in the field of psychology in a wide variety of settings which include hospitals, community mental health, youth residential homes, substance abuse, military base, college university and private practice. She has worked with a wide variety of clients from all ages and around many different identified problems. She has worked with individuals, couples, families and groups. Carrie is a mother to two twin toddler boys and a step-mother to their older brother and sister as well. She is a furbaby mom to two boxer dogs. She enjoys working out, exploring her health and fitness journey, staying active, nature and being outdoors, traveling, and trying new things. Her website: Her book, "Therapize Yourself: Choose to Heal and Find Your Truth"
January 12, 2022
059 | Addie Bracy | Life is an endurance sport
In today's discussion, it is my hope that although much of our conversation is specific to ultrarunning, that you see the connection to life. Life is, after all, an endurance sport. You’ll want to hear Addie’s thoughts on self-talk, attentional style and focus, her experience at the 2018 Leadville 100, why self-awareness is so important and are women tougher than men? Show notes: Addie Bracy is an expert in mental training for athletes. She excels on the road, on the track, and on the trails and mountains. She’s a Certified Mental Performance Consultant, author of Mental Training for Ultrarunning, and has consulted with elite athletes in various sports. She is an Olympic level runner and 3X mountain runner of the year. Strive Mental Performance: Book: "Mental Training for Ultrarunning"
January 05, 2022
058 | Fireside Reflections | Doing hard things in 2022
In this fireside reflection, Ron discusses the recent wildfires in Colorado. Looks back at the top five episodes of 2021. Shares his thoughts on strategic planning, goals, new year's resolutions and doing hard, uncomfortable things in 2022. What's on your list? Listen in to hear what Ron is going to tackle this year. 
January 01, 2022
057 | Stanley McChrystal and Anna Butrico | Building your risk immune system for resilience
This episode is a real gem, filled with wisdom. Co-authors General Stan McChrystal and Anna Butrico join me to talk about leadership, risk, resilience, adaptability and what they call our risk immune system. We discuss the risks associated with a global pandemic, special military operations, and how to navigate a complex changing environment in corporations.  Show notes: General McChrystal was a green beret, ranger and paratrooper during his career. He is perhaps best known for his command of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in the mid-2000s. As you might guess, he was no stranger to risk. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates described McChrystal as "perhaps the finest warrior and leader of men in combat I ever met." After retiring from the military, McChrystal founded the McChrystal Group in January 2011 to deliver innovative leadership solutions to businesses globally in order to help them transform and succeed in challenging, dynamic environments. Anna Butrico is an Associate at McChrystal Group where she focuses on thought leadership. Currently, she is the co-author with General Stan McChrystal’s for their newly released book, "Risk: A User's Guide" "Team of Teams: New Rules of Engagement for a Complex World" Both Stan and Anna can be reached through the McChrystal group at
December 15, 2021
056 | Courtney Ackerman | Adversity and savoring create meaning
What is resilience? How does it compare to mental toughness and grit? Can we develop it, and what are its benefits? How does adversity influence savoring? We cover all of this and much more with psychologist Courtney Ackerman this week.  Show notes: Courtney is the author of four published books on positive psychology-related topics, including: My Pocket Positivity (link) 5-Minute Bliss (link) My Pocket Gratitude (link) My Pocket Meditations for Self-Compassion (link) The Book of Patience (link) Midnight Meditations (link) The Illustrated Book of Mindful Meditations for Mindless Moments (link) After growing up in Washington state, Courtney attended the State University of New York at Oswego, where she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in psychology, cognitive science, and applied statistics. After graduation, she made the trek to California to attend Claremont Graduate University. At CGU, her coursework and research focused on positive psychology, organizational behavior, leadership, human resources, program evaluation, and survey research methods. She graduated in 2015 with a Master’s degree in positive organizational psychology and evaluation.
December 08, 2021
055 | Bill Mullen | The power of the 5000 year old mind
Today's guest, Bill Mullen, is a voracious reader. We're going to talk about his book list and some of the books that have inspired him in his long 34 year career in the United States Marine Corp. We're going to talk about Admiral James Stockdale, congressional medal of honor winner. We discuss the Stockdale paradox, and how it relates to our ongoing challenges with the pandemic. We're even going to mix in a little bit of General Custer and Crazy Horse. Show notes: Mullen holds a BA and MA in political science from Marquette University, and an MA in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College. He is a graduate of the Advanced Artillery Officer Course, School of Advanced Warfighting, Airborne, Ranger, Summer Mountain Leader and Royal Marine Arctic Warfare Survival courses. Mullen co-wrote the book Fallujah Redux, which came out in 2014. All proceeds from the book go to the Semper Fi Fund. Mullen and his wife, Vicki, have three adult children. Buy Bill's book: "Fallujah Redux: The Anbar Awakening and the Struggle with Al-Qaeda"
December 01, 2021
054 | Jordan Wylie | Making a difference through adventure
Today we talk with extreme adventurer Jordan Wylie about what it's like to take on adventures around the world all in the support of serving a greater good. His experience as a combat soldier drives his passion to give back, and help children from war torn areas. From running underground marathons to paddle boarding the ocean, he embraces adventure as a model for us all.  Show notes: Jordan Wylie is a former soldier, bestselling author, extreme adventurer and also one of the stars of Channel 4’s BAFTA-nominated and award-winning shows Hunted and Celebrity Hunted. In October 2019, Jordan became the first person in history to row, solo and unsupported across the most dangerous strait of water on the planet (Bab el Mandeb Straits) between the Horn of Africa and Yemen. Jordan has also successfully completed numerous major charity expeditions, including the highly publicised Running Dangerously, which saw him run through Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, and Barefoot Warrior which involved climbing Mt Kilimanjaro, the world’s highest freestanding mountain, completely barefoot! In 2020 Jordan wrote his name into the Guinness Book of Records by running the deepest underground marathon (1000 metres below the surface in a mine) and by Standup Paddleboarding (SUP) for further and longer at sea than anyone ever has before in history (149 days / 2377 KM). Learn more about Jordan: Buy his latest book: Power of the Paddle: One Man's Mission to Inspire Hope Through the Spirit of Adventure
November 24, 2021
053 | Leadership panel | Do we need a level playing field? (2)
Part of the mission of Forging Mettle is to provide an equal spotlight on strong female leaders; their seat at the table in the forge is vital to our revolution. In this podcast, we present our "Denver Startup Week" panel discussion with four of our former guests: Kim "KC" Campbell, Shannon Huffman Polson, Jannell MacAulay and Amy McGrath. This is a powerhouse panel of successful women, all with a military aviation background. We discuss important topics of leadership, and how to be successful in your chosen field. This is part 2 of 2. YouTube video:
November 17, 2021
052 | Leadership panel | Do we need a level playing field? (1)
Part of the mission of Forging Mettle is to provide an equal spotlight on strong female leaders; their seat at the table in the forge is vital to our revolution. In this podcast, we present our "Denver Startup Week" panel discussion with four of our former guests: Kim "KC" Campbell, Shannon Huffman Polson, Jannell MacAulay and Amy McGrath. This is a powerhouse panel of successful women, all with a military aviation background. We discuss important topics of leadership, and how to be successful in your chosen field. This is part 1 of 2. YouTube video: 
November 10, 2021
051 | Fireside Reflections | Let's talk about control
In this solocast, Ron discusses the 4 C's model of mental toughness. The 4 C's being: Control, Commitment, Challenge, Confidence. This episode focuses on control, and its sub-categories of life control and emotional control. Hear his thoughts on what we control and what we don't. And why understanding this in your own life can remove stress and increase wellbeing. 
November 03, 2021
050 | Paula Reid | Adventure awaits those who dare
This week we talk with the first adventure psychologist. A term she coined and is now writing the book on the topic. We discuss ideas that fit well in the forge. Have we become too soft? How does adventure, fun, challenge and awe improve our wellbeing? What mode are you currently in? Surviving, coping or thriving? What is adventure psychology? Enjoy this very unique discussion with a lovely guest.  Show notes: If anyone knows about mental toughness - Paula Reid does. She has learned resilience first hand and understands how to perform enduringly in the toughest of conditions. From Skiing to the South Pole to Yacht Racing around the world, she has learned how to thrive in hugely challenging circumstances. ​She has a unique combination of business intelligence, personal extreme expedition experience and a MSc in applied Positive Psychology. Her expertise is unique in being able to equip people with the tools to thrive in challenging and uncertain conditions. Learn more about Paula: Buy the book:
October 13, 2021
049 | Fireside Reflections | Women in leadership and imposter syndrome
We've been trying for decades to level the playing field for men and women in the workplace, and we haven't quite made it there. There might be a simple reason for this...what if there is no "level" playing field - regardless of who you are. So, what if we changed the narrative and said, "that's ok." Instead of "leveling" we could work together to build a "new normal." Show notes: Work with us!  Denver Startup Week Women in Leadership: Do we need a level playing field? Imposter Syndrome: Forging your unique value prop Surviving is's time to thrive! Overcoming burnout
September 29, 2021
048 | Tony Blauer | How self-awareness informs situational awareness
Although Tony's background is in the combative industry, much of what he teaches can be applied to all areas of our life where we feel fear. Let's be honest, we face fear on an almost daily basis in myriad ways. If we can know our fear, and befriend it, we are more able to control it. We discuss some catchy acronyms to help demystify fear and understand why it's happening. There is also a fascinating connection between fear management and time management.  Show notes: Coach Tony Blauer has been in the martial art, self-defense, defensive tactics, and combatives industry for over  four decades. His research on physiology and mindset as it relates to confrontation management has influenced over three  decades of reality-based martial artists and enhanced the survivability of law enforcement, military, and  emergency services personnel around the world. He founded Blauer Tactical Systems (BTS) in 1985 and it has grown into one of the world's leading consulting  companies specializing in the research and development of performance psychology, personal safety, and close  quarter tactics & scenario-based training for law enforcement, military, and professional self-defense  instructors. Free guide MAKING FRIENDS WITH FEAR Our main website The GARAGE GYM SELF-DEFENSE - Online training with Coach Blauer ESSENTIALS OF PERSONAL SAFETY - 2-hour LIVE online course KNOW FEAR podcast Album on our website Facebook albums Instagram personal Instagram training page Website Training Calendar
September 22, 2021
047 | Kim "KC" Campbell | You can’t have courage without fear
What do you do when your aircraft is hit by enemy fire over Baghdad and your control inputs no longer function? You have 20 seconds to figure it out or you'll be forced to eject over enemy territory. This week we hear Colonel Kim "KC" Campbell tell the tale of her harrowing mission in 2003. She learned a lot about herself that day. She faced her fear with courage. Listen in as we talk about confidence, perseverance, preparation, assertiveness and authenticity.  Show notes: Colonel Kim “KC” Campbell served in the Air Force for 24 years as a fighter pilot and senior military leader. Kim is a keynote speaker sharing her story about a life changing combat experience while weaving in ideas and lessons about leadership, teamwork, perseverance, and decision making in stressful environments. Kim has flown 1,800 hours in the A-10 Warthog, including more than 100 combat missions protecting troops on the ground in both Iraq and Afghanistan. She is a distinguished graduate of the Air Force Academy and has a Master of Arts in International Security Studies and a Master of Business Administration from the University of London. She has served as a Squadron Commander, Operations Group Commander, Air Force Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Most recently, Kim served as the Director for the Center for Character and Leadership Development at the United States Air Force Academy. In 2003, Colonel Campbell was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for Heroism after successfully recovering her battle damaged airplane after an intense close air support mission in Baghdad.
September 15, 2021
046 | Sean Hyson | Forge a strong body and strong mind
This week we talk with an athletic trainer who has worked with and interviewed many top Hollywood stars. He has learned plenty from some of the biggest names in fitness. He believes that it is important to build not only physical strength, but also mental strength. We talk about mental toughness, intrinsic motivation, motivation, willpower, the power of small steps, conversations about 'cheap heat' with Hulk Hogan and sticking to the plan.  Show Notes: I’m the Group Training Director for Muscle&Fitness and Men’s Fitness magazines. I write about and edit workouts, diets, exercise trends, and the regimens of celebrities and athletes. I’m the author of The Men’s Fitness Exercise Bible (aka 101 Best Workouts Of All Time), an best-seller, and the e-book The Truth About Strength Training. I’ve also been the fitness editor at Muscle & Fitness Hers and Sly magazine, and I’ve done fitness and nutrition segments for several television and radio stations, including WNYW Fox 5 in New York City and ESPN AM1000.
September 08, 2021
045 | Fireside Reflections | What I learned being a digital nomad
Tune in this week as blacksmith Ron Duren Jr recaps his summer of traveling through 9 western states. He spent almost three months being a digital nomad. Traveling 4000 miles all the while working and staying at airBnB's along the way. The lessons were profound. He talks about adversity, uncertainty, fear, anxiety and non-attachment in this fascinating talk. Show notes: The Comfort Crisis (book) by Michael Easter
September 01, 2021
044 | Andy Molinsky | Pushing the boundaries of comfort
In a world that seems to be addicted to taking shortcuts, hacks and taking the easy path, this week's guest pushes back on that narrative. He believes that we should strategically seek out times to do "necessary evils." He explains why getting out of our comfort zone is fundamental to our growth. Why is it beneficial and when should we do it? Show notes: Andy Molinsky is a Professor at Brandeis University’s International Business School, with a joint appointment in the Department of Psychology. Andy received his Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior and M.A. in Psychology from Harvard University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a B.A. in International Affairs from Brown University.   Andy’s work helps people develop the insights and courage necessary to act outside their personal and cultural comfort zones when doing important, but challenging, tasks in work and life. His research and writing has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Inc. Magazine, Psychology Today, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, NPR and Voice of America. Andy was awarded as a Top Voice for LinkedIn for his work in education.  His first book, Global Dexterity (Harvard Business Review Press, 2013), received the Axiom Award (Silver Medal) for Best Business Book in International Business & Globalization and has been used widely in organizations around the world, including Boeing, AIG, the US Air Force Academy, and the Clinton Foundation, among others. His new book Reach was published with Penguin Random House in January 2017.  He teaches, consults, and lectures widely to university and corporate audiences. Book: "Reach: A New Strategy to Help You Step Outside Your Comfort Zone, Rise to the Challenge and Build Confidence" Book: "Global Dexterity: How to Adapt Your Behavior Across Cultures Without Losing Yourself in the Process" Reach Andy at: Learn more about Forging Mettle:
August 18, 2021
043 | Amy McGrath | Cultivating courage to follow your dreams
As one of the first female fighter pilots, Amy was a trailblazer in an environment that saw very few women. Her message about what it means to be a patriot, how to forge strength in the face of adversity, how to deal with failure, and how to have the courage to keep going when doors are closed, are not to be missed. This is a powerful message for us all.   Show notes: Amy graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and was commissioned as a Marine Corps officer in 1997. She earned her Wings of Gold as an F/A-18 weapons systems officer and completed two combat deployments, flying 89 combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2002, as a weapons systems officer, Amy became the first woman in the Marine Corps to fly a combat mission in an F/A-18. After her operational flying tours, Amy served as a Congressional Fellow advising a senior member of the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on defense and foreign policy. Subsequently, she served in the Pentagon as Marine Corps’ liaison to the State Department and other federal agencies. After earning a postgraduate degree in global security from Johns Hopkins University, her final active duty assignment was as a senior instructor in the Political Science Department at the US Naval Academy before retiring at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and moving back home to Kentucky to raise her family. In 2018 and 2020, she ran U.S. House and Senate races in Kentucky. Book: "Honor Bound: An American Story of Dreams and Service" by Amy McGrath
August 11, 2021
042 | Fireside Reflections | Are you ready to quit your job?
As we struggle to emerge from a once in a century disruptive event, we are seeing unprecedented spikes in people quitting their jobs. Why? What is causing this phenomenon and how are corporate leaders managing this dilemma? Perhaps you are also considering quitting your job? You'll want to listen in this week as we discuss why you should, or shouldn't follow the crowd.  Show notes: Work with Forging Mettle Academy "Greenlights" by Matthew McConaughey  Episode 39 with Mark Divine
July 28, 2021
041 | Fireside Reflections | Is your self-worth defined by your productivity?
This week we discuss topics focusing on our "always on" culture and how its leading to burnout, lack of motivation and mental health issues. Can we strive for more but also be content with what we have? Can we work hard to be our best selves, but also not get caught up in the "never enough" mindset? Some are calling this phenomena "internalized capitalism." We wrestle with these questions and many more in this episode. Show notes:  Work with us! Tim Ferriss Show with Brené Brown  Time Off (book) Your Time to Thrive (book) John Fitch episode 5
July 21, 2021
040 | Rachel Druckenmiller | Let your voice be heard
So often we silence ourselves at work, at home or out in the world for one reason or another. Approval from others, lack of confidence in our ideas and convictions, or maybe we just misplaced the tools to simply speak out effectively in that meeting at work. That silence however can actually cause us physical, emotional and mental pain that manifests in a myriad of ways. Not to mention - creating missed and meaningful opportunities for us. Rachel Druckenmiller shares her story of living a "muted life" only to be pushed to a place of desperately needing to change that. And so she did. She now spends her time and expertise helping others embrace how to trust their true voice and make that voice heard. This is not only how we influence, but also how we stay aligned with who we genuinely are. Finding and nurturing that alignment within ourselves can be a freeing feeling - leading to less stress, less anxiety, deeper connections, and a more fulfilled life. Rachel is the Founder of UNMUTED and works with teams, leaders and individuals manage stress and anxiety in the workplace with trainings and coaching in unique ways that help with productivity, reconnection, care, resilience and hope within the workplace. All key elements for leaders going forward when it comes to increasing retention in today's workforce. SHOW NOTES: Work with Rachel: Connect with Rachel: Book to read to help you find and use your voice:  "Steal the Show" by Michael Port
July 15, 2021
039 | Mark Divine | Create a better present and future
What does it mean to 'Forge an Unbeatable Mind'? Can we actually 'thrive' in a VUCA World (one of Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity & Ambiguity)?  Retired Navy Seal Commander Mark Divine has practiced a lifetime of martial arts, EMDR and CBT therapy, military training, visualization and trauma healing (these are only the tip of the iceberg) and now through his teachings and training he is able to share and help others implement what he has learned for creating a 'better life' through controlling how we perceive our reality and handle stress and uncertainty. He spent  years as a Navy Seal Commander and is the Creator of SealFit and Unbeatable Mind. Mark has been helping people transform their lives through his books and programs for decades. Website and how to work with Mark Divine -  Books: Unbeatable Mind: Forge Resiliency and Mental Toughness to Succeed at an Elite Level  - The Way of the SEAL: Think like an Elite Warrior to Lead and Succeed  -
July 09, 2021
038 | Erika Armstrong | Can we have it all? Marriage, Family & Career?
The divorce rate is rising in the United States as we start to surface from the pandemic. This week we speak with a career-woman that shares her thoughts on how important it is to your career...that you choose your partner (or next partner) wisely. Erika Armstrong has married and divorced, raised children of her own and climbed to the top of a successful career as an aviation pilot. Her thoughts on "having it all" might surprise you. She will tell you that it's not exactly possible to 'have it all', but she'll also give you a new way of seeing that idea that may be necessary for success. This is a great message for any man or woman who 'wants it all' but is concerned over what that might mean. We also talk to Erika today about what it was like rising to the top of a male dominated industry, where the airline industry is headed today now that ppl are traveling again, and how to find work-life balance between family and career. Show Notes: Erika Armstrong - Website - Her Book - "A Chick in the Cockpit" - In the high stakes, ego-driven world of aviation, this is an extraordinary best-selling true story of how a level-headed, self-deprecating woman with an aviation addiction finds herself in jail, her baby ripped from her arms, her piloting career taken away, and every feasible exit leading to a very dark place.
June 30, 2021
037 | Rich Diviney | Challenge, stress & uncertainty 101
When stress, challenges and uncertainty come into our lives, Rich Diviney believes our skills take a back stage and it is our attributes that shine (for better or worse). Perhaps attributes we never knew we had, perhaps ones we wish we didn't. What are attributes? How can we define them? Grow and develop them? Most importantly, how can we become self aware around how we're showing up in stressful situations? Author of the book: "The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance", Rich Diviney takes us on a journey of understanding the science behind how our daily challenges (from a global pandemic to a difficult conversation with someone) can show us a lot about who we are and who we can become. Show Notes:  Rich Diviney Website:  Book - "The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance" by Rich Diviney -
June 23, 2021
036 | Melissa Douaire | Loss! The 'new' work conversation
What's the meaning of everything that's happened in all of our lives this past year and half throughout the course of the pandemic? Some of us have thought about what we've gained during this time, but more often most of us have felt a lot more around what we've lost (understandably). We may not even use the word "loss" for what we're feeling but this discussion with 'loss and healing' expert, Melissa Douaire, will show that there is some real processing we all need to make space for if we want to flourish moving forward. This is not a conversation meant just for home life...Melissa actually focuses her work with leaders in the workplace and their new responsibilities going forward. Show Notes: Melissa Douaire - LinkedIn Website:
June 16, 2021
035 | Jim Loehr | Good character fuels high performance
This week we wrestle with the commonly held belief that reaching the top requires taking no prisoners and vanquishing foes on the journey upward. How important is good character to high performance? The data that Jim Loehr and his team have collected might surprise you. Do nice gals and guys really finish last?  Show notes: Dr. Loehr has worked with hundreds of world-class performers from the arenas of sport, business, medicine and law enforcement, including Fortune 100 executives, FBI Hostage Rescue Teams, and military Special Forces. Corporate clients of the Institute represent hundreds of Fortune 500 companies, including Procter & Gamble, The Estée Lauder Companies, FBI, GlaxoSmithKline, PepsiCo, and Citigroup Smith Barney. Dr. Loehr has worked with hundreds of elite sports clients including 17 number ones in the world in their respective sports, multiple clients from professional tennis, golf, basketball, football, hockey, boxing, race car driving and the Olympics. He has applied his methodology to both individuals and entire teams. Jim Loehr website "Open: An Autobiography" by Andre Agassi "Power of Full Engagement" by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz "The New Toughness Training for Sports" by Jim Loehr "Leading with Character" by Jim Loehr
June 02, 2021
034 | Kumar Mehta | Finding your personal excellence
What is it that world-class athletes tap into, or that the leading names in business are able to harness in order to reach excellence?  Are us everyday people, parents, managers and entrepreneurs able to do something tap into that type of excellence ourselves?  Or are the top 1% of successful people just born 'GREAT' and the rest of us have to settle for just being 'GOOD'? What if we could ALL maximize our physical, mental and social potential using the same tools that the top 1% utilize.  Dr. Kumar Mehta takes us on a journey this week into the world of excellence and explains how he helps everyday people become the best of the best in their relative fields of interest. Show Notes: Website:   Learn more about elite performance coaching and speaking opportunities. Twitter: @MehtaKumar Email: Books by Dr. Kumar Mehta:  - The Exceptionals: How the best become the best and how you can too - The Innovation Biome: A sustained business environment where innovation thrives
May 26, 2021
033 | Doug Strycharczyk | What is mental toughness?
Find out why we all need mental toughness in our lives, how we can develop it and what exactly it is. With it we have more success, more fulfillment in life, less stress, anxiety and fear. Can we assess how mentally tough we are - we can. Do women or men score higher on these assessments - one of the genders does. Listen to find out and learn more as we dig in on the topic with expert Doug Strycharczyk. Doug is the CEO of AQR and for AQR International – Founded in 1989, AQR is now recognized as one of the most innovative (and fast growing) test publishers in the world working in more than 80 countries. AQR established its reputation initially as a leader in Team Building and leadership development. Doug’s work has been featured on BBC Television where Prof John Adair described the material as “highly effective.” In recent years, Doug has worked with Professor Peter Clough to define mental toughness and to create the world’s leading measure of mental toughness. Doug is now recognized as a leading authority on the application of mental toughness to the worlds of work, education, sport as well as social applications. His expertise is focused on helping organizations develop performance, increase retention and employee engagement and more effectively dealing with issues such as bullying and the impact of change. Doug has more than 30 years expertise in a variety of Line, HR & Consultancy roles with a number of blue chip businesses. Doug’s areas of expertise also include Organizational Development, Senior Management/Leadership Development and Top Team Assessment. Show notes: AQR International "Mental Toughness and the Sexes" (Blog post) "Developing Mental Toughness: Coaching Strategies to Improve Performance, Resilience and Wellbeing" (Book)
May 19, 2021
032 | Heather Younger | Caring for others builds resilience
Our guest this week refused to allow childhood adversity turn her into a victim. She changed the story, and she now helps others do the same. She believes caring for others can move the needle in the right direction. Treating people with respect, empowering them, and letting them know they matter will make them "go to the N-th degree" to return the favor. Show notes: Heather R. Younger is an experienced keynote speaker, two-time author, and the CEO and Founder of Employee Fanatix, a leading employee engagement, leadership development, and DEI consulting firm, where she is on a mission to help leaders understand the power they possess to ensure people feel valued at work. Known as The Employee WhispererTM, Heather harnesses humor, warmth, and an instant relatability to engage and uplift audiences and inspire them into action. Rooted in her belief that employees aren’t just numbers on the payroll but human beings with ideas that matter, Heather’s talks and workshops are dedicated to helping teams, leaders, and organizations shine by improving how they listen to, communicate with, and empower employees. Heather's website Get her book, "The Art of Caring Leadership: How Leading with Heart Uplifts Teams and Organizations" TEDx Talk, "Transforming Adversity into Opportunity"
May 12, 2021
031 | Fireside Reflections | Managing burnout with mental toughness
This week Ron & Tara talk about the topic that is EVERYWHERE right now.  "Burnout" Stress, anxiety, exhaustion, productivity, motivation, purpose, rest.  These are all on the table today as each of them are experienced by each and everyone of us, regardless of how much we try to fight, ignore or push through them.  What we'll talk about today is that there are ways to manage each of them in order to thrive...rather than just survive.  Managing the factors that contribute to burnout just requires a set of tools.  Tools we can add to our Mental Toughness toolkit...and tools that anyone and everyone can learn.  We just need to be open to changing our go-to behaviors and build new ones that will serve us in more beneficial ways. Grab a pen and paper and an an open mind and see if you can snag one, just one, new habit to incorporate into your daily life when it comes to utilizing mental toughness to manage your burnout.   Show Notes: Work w/ Us - click here Podcast #5 | John Fitch | Creating a rest ethic to match your work ethic Book: Time Off by John Fitch Podcast #19 | Patrick Sweeney | Changing the narrative about fear Book: Fear is Fuel by Patrick Sweeney Book: Your Time to Thrive by Arianna Huffington Book: Own the Day, Own your Life by Aubrey Marcus Book: Tiny Habits by BJ Fogg, PhD Forging Mettle Workshop on June 10th, 2021: Working w/ Stress, Anxiety & Fear for a Better Life
May 05, 2021
030 | Rorke Denver | 'Act of Valor' isn't just a movie title
Physically recognized for his leading role in the 2012 blockbuster movie, Act of Valor, Rorke Denver hangs with us this week to talk about anything and everything from parenting, to being a movie star, why we should embrace fear and failure, and how to build an ethos to help us through hard times. Commander Rorke T. Denver has run every phase of training for the U.S. Navy SEALs and led special-forces missions in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and other international hotspots. He starred in the hit film Act of Valor, which is based on true SEAL adventures. His New York Times bestseller, Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior, takes you inside his personal story and the fascinating, demanding SEAL training program. In his second book Worth Dying For: A Navy SEALs Call to a Nation, Rorke tackles the questions that have emerged about America’s past decade at war–from what makes a hero to why we fight and what it does to us. Rorke was most recently seen on FOX’s American Grit. The series followed 16 of the country’s toughest men and women as they faced a variety of military-grade and survival-themed challenges set in the wilderness. Today he works with business leaders, corporations and individuals on their mental toughness through keynote speaking, coaching and consulting.  Watch our YouTube of this podcast Show Notes:   Movie Trailer: Act of Valor   Rorke Denver’s Ethos    Damn Few: Making the Modern SEAL Warrior - by Rorke Denver  Worth Dying For: A Navy SEALs Call to a Nation - by Rorke Denver  Reach out to Rorke here  Ever Onward - Rorke’s Commander’s Coffee   Book Speaking Engagements w/ Rorke Other Books mentioned: First, Fast, Fearless: How to Lead Like a Navy SEAL - by Brian "Iron Ed" Hiner
April 28, 2021
029 | Cara Brookins | How to get unstuck and build your citadel
Cara Brookins built a house! Not a big deal, you say, many people have built a house. Cara did it with her own hands, as a single mother of four kids and no prior construction experience. She did it all with the help of youtube videos and a lot of trial and error. You're going to fall in love with her story of resilience and down to earth message. As she likes to say, "what's the worst that can happen?" Show notes: If you’re thinking I built a house because I’m some kind of natural born doer, some non-procrastinator, some anomaly who has never played a time-waster on my cell phone, think again. I have put off calls, ignored emails, and skipped laundry for a weekend Netflix binge just as often as the next person. And it wasn’t until I was in a horrible place as a single mother of four that I even recognized how badly I needed to do something big. Something that would forever change the trajectory of my life. BUT something was holding me back. I felt stuck—even though I knew I was capable of doing so much more. I was ready to do something bold. I was ready to stop being the type of person who says, “I’ll do this someday,” and become the person who says, “I’ll do this now.” I was determined to set my default mode to: Take Action. But first I had to get myself unstuck. Then I had the idea that changed everything. It was big—REALLY BIG. "Rise: How a House Built a Family" by Cara Brookins The Cara Brookins Show (podcast)
April 21, 2021
028 | Brooke Chesnut | Learning the power of listening on Mt. Everest
In this far ranging discussion with mountaineer and generational consultant Brooke Chesnut, we hear his harrowing stories on Denali and Everest. He explains why learning to be patient and listening more were transformational for him on a personal level. We also discuss hard decisions at high altitude and the lessons he learned.  Show notes: Brooke Chesnut has dedicated 38 years of corporate experience building two 7 figure sales teams in two different industries in Colorado. He hired, trained, mentored and inspired 4 different generations of workers to create incredibly successful enterprises. During this time he also discovered his passion for climbing and set out to climb the highest peaks around the world, completing 5 of the World’s Seven Summits. Drawing from these experiences, Brooke coaches Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Senior Level Leaders, HR & Sales Professionals to improve their leadership skills, overcome adversity, optimize their generational talent and grow their organizations in a competitive environment.
April 14, 2021
027 | Alden Mills | Lead yourself, reach your goals, forge commitment
The only way to get people to be 'all in' at work and at home, is for you to be 'all in' all the time yourself. The only way to achieve this is by making sure you lead yourself BEFORE leading and taking care of others. We talk to Alden Mills, former Navy Seal, about how to forge your commitment by taking action and managing your physical, mental and emotional well-being to find your greatest success. And then how to take that strength and get others to rally behind you and give you everything they've got. Alden became a nationally-ranked rower, a 3-time Navy SEAL platoon commander, then founder/CEO of one of the nation’s fastest-growing companies and author.  Show Notes: "Be Unstoppable: The 8 Essential Actions to Succeed at Anything" by Alden Mills - "Unstoppable Teams: The Four Essential Actions of High-Performance Leadership" -
April 07, 2021
026 | Jess Kidd | Pain! A better you than yesterday
Soft people need to experience pain. “Pain is part of the deal. Pain is growth.” says Jess. But pain brings fear and resistance, so then what do we do we break past all of that and come out better on the other side? Jess Kidd joins us today to share the pain she experienced as a teenager, the pain she takes on herself as an adult, and how all of this allows her to help others today.  An incredible journey that may ‘hurt’ a little to listen to! Show notes: Spartan Races: Jess’ Blogs: Paradigm One: Follow Jess on Instagram: @invictusjess 
March 31, 2021
025 | Chris Bordoni | Overcoming adversity and reinvention
In this week's visit to the forge, we talk with resilience coach and cancer survivor, Chris Bordoni. We discuss facing our mortality. What is resilience? How to build everyday resilience with simple daily steps. What is a 'failure resume,' and why is it something all of us should create. How does post traumatic growth transform us to be stronger and better?  Show notes:  Chris Bordoni is a resilience coach, cancer survivor, and management consultant. He has been through his share of adversity in his life and has been a good student in the school of mental strength. In his podcast, "100 Inspiring Voices" he interviews others who have also lived through hardship. Why do some people, teams, and communities grow stronger when faced with adversity? What can we learn from them, and how might those insights allow us to live better lives? In this podcast, Chris is interviewing 100 individuals with amazing, inspiring, and uplifting stories. 100 Inspiring Voices Podcast Books mentioned: Red Platoon: A Real Story of American Valor Man's Search for Meaning
March 24, 2021
024 | Fireside Reflections | Rewrite your story for success, it's easier than you think
In this Fireside Reflections solocast, we turn the microphone this time to your blacksmith Tara O'Brien. She shares her stories on doing hard things,  beating back imposter syndrome, and how she learned (and now teaches) to use the power of our own narratives to succeed in everything we do. Our mind can tell us powerful (very believable) stories, but taking control of those stories is something we all have the power to do. Tune in to find out how it's as easy as learning how to do a few pushups! Show Notes: -Tara O'Brien. -Leadership Frontiers Podcast - Brought to you by the University of Colorado Boulder's Center for Leadership -Mental Health vs. Mental Illness: -The War of Art by Steven Pressfield: -Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown: Brene Brown on The Power of Vulnerability Ted Talk: Work with us!  Find us at
March 22, 2021
023 | Sandra Stosz | Women in leadership: adapt, adjust & be agile
One of the more amazing women we've had the pleasure to chat with about leadership, character, and how women can navigate leadership in a male dominated organization/industry...and be successful. After 40 years in leadership positions within U.S. Coast Guard, recent author of Breaking Ice & Breaking Glass, our new friend Sandy Stosz shares what she's learned throughout the decades on being an incredible and successful leader...even as an introvert surrounded by military men. Show Notes: Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Outrage by Dan Crenshaw  Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win by Jocko Willink.  How Women Rise by Sally Helgesen.   Breaking Ice & Breaking Glass by Sandra Stosz (pre-order in mid April and book release is June 1st 2021 Leading with Character (Blog) by Sandra Stosz. 
March 17, 2021
022 | Simon Marshall | The neuroscience of suffering
Let's take a journey into how the brain works when facing adversity. We're going to talk brain science in this fast moving episode that is sure to educate and entertain. What happens in the brain when we do hard things and suffer? More importantly, can this be trained and developed? Tune in to find out. Show notes About Simon Marshall:  I grew up in Zambia, Africa, and in different parts of the UK. My travelling childhood was spent obsessively playing soccer, rugby, and tennis, before I found competitive cycling. I started training and racing at age 12 and never really stopped.  As my dreams of becoming a professional cyclist faded, I decided to study sports science instead.  This led to rather lengthy collection of degrees that simply proved with science why “Simon” and “professional athlete” were destined never to be used in the same sentence. I have a bachelor’s degree in Sports Science, a master’s degree in Kinesiology, and a PhD in Sport and Exercise psychology.  For reasons I’m still baffled by, I’m an internationally renowned expert in exercise and health with a focus on changing people’s behavior. I’ve published over 80 scientific articles (yawn) and book chapters (more yawn) about the science of health behavior change (cool). The Brave Athlete: Calm the Fuck Down and Rise to the Occasion Braveheart Coaching Xterra Podcast
March 10, 2021
021 | Margot Morrell | Leadership during crisis
We talk about the grit and perseverance it takes to be an effective leader of people when faced with the worst conditions and the most unfortunate circumstances. To do this, we travel back in time to learn more about and discuss the journey and survival of Sir Earnest Shackleton and his crew aboard The Endurance. Here to dive into the details of this world-renowned survival story of over 2 dozen men...led by one man who had to overcome 18 months of hell in the most extreme conditions.  Margot Morrell brings this story to light for us.  She has studied, traveled all over the world and written about Shackleton since 1984.   Show notes: Margo Morrell's Book: Shackleton's Way by Margo Morrell & Stephanie Capparelle
March 03, 2021
020 | Abigail Marsh | How fear is related to altruism
"If humans are evil, why do we sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to help others even at a cost to ourselves?" This week we talk to an expert psychologist about what makes people more altruistic than others...and why some people have no empathy and can even be labeled as 'psychopaths'.  We cover the spectrum between the two which brings about some fascinating ideas on what a year of isolation is doing to people and what effects it might have on how we understand what others think and feel.   Show notes: About Abigail Marsh: She is a psychologist and neuroscientist who works as a professor at Georgetown University's Department of Psychology and the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, where she is the director of the Laboratory on Social and Affective Neuroscience.  She addresses questions using multiple approaches that include functional and structural brain imaging in adolescents and adults from both typical and non-typical populations, as well as behavioral, cognitive, genetic and pharmacological techniques. Among her ongoing research projects are brain imaging and behavioral studies of altruistic kidney donors and brain imaging studies of children/adolescents with severe conduct problems and limited empathy. The Fear Factor (book) Abigail Marsh (wiki) Why Some People are More Altruistic Than Others (TED talk) Lab website
February 24, 2021
019 | Patrick Sweeney | Changing the narrative about fear
Has fear even held you back from achieving your dreams? Or is it your relationship with fear that held you back? Patrick shares his journey to change his narrative about his fears and how you can too. He is candid about how it changed his life in unimaginable ways.  About Patrick: "I grew up terrified of everything. I didn't have confidence or self-esteem. My biggest fear was flying. I made excuses every time I had a chance to fly – on exchange programs, to family reunions, for big races, I made excuses to cover up the shame I felt of being afraid. I was lying to the world and myself. Then at 35 I got one of the rarest forms of leukemia. The doctors told me to say my good-byes. That was when I chose courage. Yeah, it's a choice. Not for me but for my 1-year-old daughter and unborn son. I decided if I beat the disease and got out of John’s Hopkins I’d get over my fear of flying. I did. I decided I’d get my private pilots license. It was terrifying, but I still took the first frightening step. Then an incredible thing happened. I fell in love with flying. I now fly a stunt plane in aerobatic competitions. It is one of the greatest joys in my life, a true passion that was hidden from me because of fear. My choice had a halo effect on my whole life. Suddenly courage became my superpower. It all started with that first small step. My life changed and so can yours. That’s why I left the lucrative start-up world behind; to write Fear is Fuel and help millions of people find courage and the life of their dreams. When we become authentic, strong and confident we can achieve world peace. That’s my dream" Fear is Fuel (book) Patrick's website
February 17, 2021
018 | Allie Reuter and Nick Kohler | College students on the front lines
It's time to talk about hard things. Allie and Nick share what it's like being a college student during a 'once in a century' pandemic. We'll talk about what challenges they face as they navigate isolation, social media, dating, life after graduation, political unrest and mental health. This is an eye opening discussion from the perspective of the next generation of leaders. 
February 10, 2021
017 | Mark Udall | Adventure builds mettle
Former Colorado senator Mark Udall talks to us about adventures on Everest, the Baja and long dessert backpacking trips. The lessons he has learned from pushing his physical limits, building mettle and engaging with nature are fascinating. This is a podcast filled with rich stories of adventure and leaves us with nuggets of wisdom on why we all should do hard things to enrich our lives.  Show Notes:  Colorado resident and native Westerner Mark Udall represented the people of Colorado in the U.S. Senate from 2009 to 2015 and the 2nd Congressional District from 1999 to 2009. Before serving in Congress, Udall was a field instructor and later Executive director for the Colorado Outward Bound School. He is an avid mountaineer and has climbed or attempted some of the world’s most challenging peaks, including Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Nanga Parbat, Denali and Aconcagua. Books mentioned in the podcast "Sometimes a Great Notion" by Ken Kesey "Into Thin Air" by Jon Krakauer
February 03, 2021
016 | Shilo Brooks | Comfort is not the highest good
This episode takes a trip down a different path than many of our guests. But it is no less relevant to the development of mental toughness. Shilo talks to us about how tolerance should be painful, strengthening the mind like the body as an exercise, and that comfort is not the highest good. What does your intellectual diet look like? This conversation will challenge some preconceived notions of what a good life looks like.  Show Notes:  Shilo Brooks is Faculty Director of the Engineering Leadership Program, Associate Faculty Director of the Benson Center for the Study of Western Civilization, and an affiliated faculty member in the Engineering Management Program and the Herbst Program for Engineering, Ethics & Society. He has held fellowships at Princeton University and the University of Virginia, and has been a visiting professor of government at Bowdoin College. He teaches and writes about leadership, liberal education, politics, and science. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Boston College, and his B.A. in liberal arts from the Great Books Program at St. John's College, Annapolis. Nietzsche's Culture War: The Unity of the Untimely Meditations by Shilo Brooks The Wright Brothers by David McCullough The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure by Jonathan Haidt and Greg Lukianoff
January 27, 2021
015 | Laurence Gonzales | Survival skills for everyday life
In this riveting discussion, Laurence shares his father's incredible story of survival from World War II. This led him to become a subject matter expert on survival. What separates survivors from victims? Are there secrets in the stories of survivors that can help all of us survive everyday life? We will explore all of this and more. Show notes: Laurence Gonzales is the author of numerous books and has won many awards, including two National Magazine Awards and the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. He was also awarded the Montaigne Medal from the Eric Hoffer Society in 2018 and won the Eric Hoffer Award in both 2018 and 2019. After reading in neuroscience for several years, he wrote the best-selling book Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why and its sequel Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience, which attempt to answer related questions about how people make bad decisions and what leads some of them to survive and some to perish. His most recent non-fiction book is Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival, a detailed reconstruction of the crash of a fully-loaded DC-10. It was adapted for the stage by The House Theater of Chicago and played to sold-out houses and rave reviews in both 2016 and 2017. It also had successful runs in both Boulder, Colorado, and Miami, Florida. For more than a decade and a half, he has appeared as a featured speaker before groups ranging from the Los Alamos National Laboratory to Exxon-Mobil, and from the Wilderness Medical Society to the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His most recent novel is Lucy (Alfred A. Knopf). His essays are collected in the book House of Pain (University of Arkansas Press). In the past he has served on the adjunct faculty at Northwestern University in the Medill School of Journalism, where he taught writing. "Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why" "Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience" "Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival"
January 20, 2021
014 | Marisa Porges | How to raise bold, courageous and resilient women
Dr. Marisa Porges has been in the room with Barack Obama, interviewed Al Qaeda terrorists, and flown jets off aircraft carriers. She now leads an all girls school and her passion is imparting her wisdom on her students. Her take on how to raise the next generation of female leaders is eye opening. There is are plenty of nuggets of wisdom, not only for our female listeners, but our men also.  Show notes: Marisa Porges, PhD, author of What Girls Need: How to Raise Bold, Courageous, and Resilient Women, is the eighth Head of School at The Baldwin School, a 130-year-old all-girls school outside of Philadelphia renowned for academic excellence and for preparing girls to be leaders and change-makers. Dr. Porges served in the Obama White House; was a research fellow at Harvard Kennedy School and the Council on Foreign Relations, where her research focused on counterterrorism; and served in the U.S. Navy as one of eight female aviators in an air wing of about two hundred. She lives in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, with her family. Buy the book on Amazon:
January 13, 2021
013 | Fireside Reflections | Why do hard things?
In this Fireside Reflections solocast, we turn the microphone to your blacksmith Ron Duren Jr. He shares his stories of doing hard things, running 50 miles, and why taking on hard things is so important for purpose, fulfillment and meaning in life. He believes they are a rite of passage where we learn about the true fabric of who we are. In short, they test our mettle. Show notes: Visit our website Rich Roll interview with Rich Diviney The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers to Optimal Performance by Rich Diviney Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself
January 11, 2021
012 | Todd Stottlemyre | Be the observer of your emotions
In this raw, moving conversation about vulnerability, shame, anger and guilt. Todd gets real about his struggles. Although Todd faced his demons about his brother's death, he has emerged from the fire as a better, stronger, kinder person. Listen how Todd talks about rescuing himself from his despair by forgiving himself for his perceived sins of the past.  About Todd:   Todd Stottlemyre is a former MLB pitcher, high-performance business coach, bestselling author, keynote speaker, business owner, active investor, and advisor to multiple companies, including a fast-casual poke concept. Each day, he works to help his clients achieve unparalleled success in every dimension of their lives. Official website: Instagram: Facebook: The book "Observer: A Modern Fable on Mastering Your Thoughts & Emotions"
January 06, 2021
011 | Fireside Reflections | Finding the good in 2020
Tara and Ron discuss 2020 and look ahead to 2021. They will talk about their struggles and triumphs this year. They will discuss what it's like to be a podcaster and what has surprised them about the journey so far. They review riveting highlights from previous and upcoming shows. They'll leave you with a glimpse of great things to come on the Forging Mettle podcast going into the new year. Don't miss this end of year wrap up! Show notes: Facebook: Instagram: Website: Garth Brooks - The Road I’m On,Watch%20all%20you%20want. The Hero’s Journey: Joseph Campbell on His Life and Work The Hero with a Thousand Faces Healthy Mind Platter (blog) by David Rock Noble Leisure Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferris The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday Stockdale Paradox Recommended Podcasts: Rich Roll podcast Michael Gervais podcast The Happiness Lab NPR: Hidden Brain podcast
December 30, 2020
010 | Julia and Travis Gentry | We dare you to pursue your dreams
This podcast breaks the mold, and unapologetically goes against the grain. Julia and Travis are not your ordinary couple with four kids. They refuse to be shackled to a dreary life devoid of adventure. They have boldly decided to follow their dreams and break free from what society tells us we should do, and they do it all with young'ns in tow. Tara and Ron have a fun and lively discussion that is well suited for the start of a new year and perhaps new adventures. Do you dare to follow your dreams as Julia and Travis have? If so, they can help. About Julia and Travis Gentry Hey! We are the Gentry’s. And we’ve decided to live our lives somewhere between brilliant and insane because we believe if it’s in you, it’s possible. 5 years ago, after having our 2nd child, we found ourselves living in a beautiful home, grinding out “the American dream” only to realize it wasn’t our dream. We found ourselves asking a very simple yet profound question: Is there something more? That started us on a journey of a lifetime…Now, we live to wake up Dreamers everywhere! We started The Dream Factory And Co. to give people just like you the tools and resources to get unstuck and clear on what they want most in this life. Our greatest mission: We are on a quest to constantly #rethink, grow and chase our dreams and now we are unapologetically giving you permission to do the same. It’s time to Dream. We dare you! With our WHOLE heart, Julia and Travis Gentry Find them here: Referenced: "Iron Cowboy"
December 23, 2020
009 | Kyle Coon | Adapt, improvise and overcome adversity
Kyle shares his views on creativity, problem solving, and finding a way. Instead of focusing on what you don't have, focus on what you do have. His message that we always have a choice and we are not helpless is empowering for us all. Join us as we gain real world tips on navigating your way through adversity in life. About Kyle Kyle Coon lost his sight at the age of six after a battle with Retinoblastoma—cancer of the eye. However, not having sight has not stopped him from pursuing vision. Since then he has become a competitive rock climber, downhill skier, runner and triathlete. As a young child, Kyle was shown how to embrace his adversity by world-class blind athlete Erik Weihenmayer who encouraged him to live life to the fullest. Kyle took Weihenmayer’s advice to heart and began pursuing a life of adventure. In 2006, he hiked the Ankascocha Trail into Machu Picchu. In 2007, he summited Mt. Kilimanjaro at the age of 15.  After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Communication, he became an endurance athlete competing in numerous marathons and triathlons. In 2018, he was a member of the first team of tandem cyclists with all blind or visually impaired stokers (person on the back of a tandem bike) to complete Race Across America—the world’s toughest bicycle race—racing from Oceanside, Calif to Annapolis, Md in seven days 15 hours. Later in 2018, at Ironman Arizona, Kyle became the first totally blind person to complete an Ironman branded Triathlon (2.4 mi swim, 112 mi bike, 26.2 mi run) in under 11 hours. He continues to push himself physically and mentally as he now pursues his goal of representing the USA at the 2020 Paralympics in the sport of Triathlon. As a young man, Kyle has spoken to major organizations about his adversity and triumphs including various Rotary Clubs in Florida and Taiwan, the International Association of Refrigerated Warehousing, and The American Cancer Society. He has been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show and in Backpacker and Triathlete magazines. Losing sight has only served as a base for Kyle’s ability to master his ambitions despite his inability to see them. Inspiring those with similar challenges and sharing a few laughs along the way has become his trademark. Drawing upon his experiences as a totally blind person and adventure athlete, he demonstrates the importance of vision, commitment and courage to pursuing an “Eyeronvision” and embracing the adversity along our life’s journey. While he wasn’t the first blind person to climb a mountain, run a marathon or compete in a triathlon, his goal is to be one of the best and ensure he isn’t the last. Contact Kyle If you'd like to have Kyle speak to your organization, ask him a question, or otherwise collaborate with him. You can find him at following social media sites.
December 16, 2020
008 | Jannell MacAulay | Utilizing a 'mindful minute' to find your badass warrior's edge
This week in the forge, we talk with retired Air Force pilot, Dr. Jannell MacAulay. She is the founder of "Warrior's Edge," which provides mental skills training to military, first line responders and anyone in a high stress environment. We talk about how you can unlock your "badassery" and find your warrior's edge by doing some of the mental push ups she prescribes. Her philosophy is that we need to exercise our minds to make them strong just as we do our physical bodies. You'll enjoy this fascinating discussion where we even break a rule, or two. Don't miss this one!  About Jannell Dr. Jannell MacAulay is a combat veteran who served 20 years in the US Air Force as a pilot, commander, special operations consultant, and professionalism instructor. With her innovative leadership style, she was the first leader to introduce mindfulness as a proactive performance strategy within the US military. She continues to consult within the US government and corporate America delivering keynotes and a high-performance warrior mindset training program, called Warrior’s Edge, which she developed with Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks and Dr. Michael Gervais, a high performance sports psychologist. She is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, has a Masters Degree in Kinesiology from Penn State University and a PhD with work in the field of strategic health & human performance. Dr MacAulay is a TEDx speaker, certified wellness educator, yoga instructor, mindfulness researcher, and holds a certificate in plant based nutrition. She is a mother of two, military spouse, and a combat veteran with over 3000 flying hours as a pilot in the C-21, C-130, & KC-10 aircraft. Dr MacAulay is on a mission to help individuals excel in high-stress and rugged environments, by showing them how to lean into each moment to find their best selves. TED talk, "How to Achieve High Performance Under Stress" About Warrior's Edge It is imperative to prepare our military with the mindset skills to not only fundamentally transform their individual lives post-duty, but to function as mental pre-hab in preparation for the necessary physical and mental stressors of active duty. It is time to transform the third largest organization and employer of our country from the inside out. Compete to Create has partnered with Dr. Jannell MacAulay, Lt Col USAF retired (combat pilot, military operational commander, and performance specialist) to bring their Finding Your Best training to the various military, government and first responder branches. Calling back to the traditions of the ancient warrior, where a disciplined mind enabled smart and contemplative split-second decisions, scientifically researched and evidence-based mindset skills can fill a vital training gap and ensure each individual human weapon has the psychological flexibility to excel both personally and professionally to reach their full potential. Warrior's Edge provides the essential psychological tools to train one’s mind and command your thoughts under stress— no matter which arena you are in.
December 09, 2020
007 | Brad Anderson | How to keep moving forward with type I diabetes
Multiple time Leadville 100 mile run and mountain bike finisher Brad Anderson shares with us the trials and tribulations of dealing with type I diabetes. Brad was diagnosed with adult type I diabetes just a few years ago. Amazingly, he just kept on running and biking long distances. How he continues to do these amazing feats of endurance and mental fortitude is a fascinating listen. Join us as we learn the secrets of how to keep moving forward in the face of uncontrollable obstacles.
December 01, 2020
006 | Kelli Calabrese | How the inner work will help you become intentionally fabulous after divorce
We talk with a divorce coach as she shares how you can take a body-mind approach to healing after loss. Often we feel like a failure after divorce and a have a sense of loss of identity. We'll discuss pain through purpose, and how you can turn that pain into a catalyst for reinvention. Whether you are going through a divorce or not, this episode is about how to face a traumatic life event, process it, and then heal. You too can have a bonus life after loss.  About Kelli Calabrese After my excruciatingly painful divorce, I got certified as a Divorce Coach to get healed and help others do the same. I founded Intentionally Fabulous and began my mission to help women going through any stages of separation and divorce go from fearful to fearlessly pursuing what sets their soul on fire. I take a spirit, mind-body approach to help women redefine themselves to live an extraordinary bonus life filled with peace, joy, gratitude, self-love, and celebration. My divorce left me filled with anxiety and in a state of depression. I went looking for help but it was all so scattered it was tough to find what I really needed. I went on a quest to learn about how to heal from what I was experiencing. The result was a path that took me from that empty place to one of joy, freedom, and peace. References "Mom & Dadpreneurs: Stories, Strategies and Tips from Super Achievers in Family and Business"  "Passionistas: Tips, Tales and Tweetables from Women Pursuing Their Dreams"  "Success Habits of Super Achievers" 
November 25, 2020
005 | John Fitch | Creating a rest ethic to match your work ethic
In this episode, we explore the other component of mettle that is often overlooked. How do you spend your time off? How do you rest? Do you have a rest ethic? What does time off mean to you? For most people the answer is going to be vacation or holiday. But as John Fitch explains, to be our best it should go much deeper than that. Although rest and relaxation are part of it, it goes much deeper than that. Your rest ethic should serve as a nourishment of your soul through many activities that may surprise you. I invite you to give some of your time to listening to this important message in a world that is always "on" and dangerously teetering on burnout.  We live in a time where busyness is seen as a badge of honor. Time off can seem like a forgotten or even despised concept. But in this book, you will learn how the deliberate practice of time off will enable you to be your most successful and creative self. Time off and leisure will be the essential skills and competitive advantages that keep you happy and unique. "Time Off" book link "Atomic Habits" book link (referenced by John) "The Way We're Working Isn't Working" book link (referenced by Tara) "The Top Five Regrets of the Dying" book link (referenced by John) "Indistractable" book link (reference by John) About John Fitch John is a startup coach and entrepreneur. He lives in Austin, Texas and enjoys jiu jitsu, cooking and hosting dinner parties in his time off.  "I love connecting new dots and creating prototypes of products and businesses. When new ideas aren't successful, it’s usually because a team was overconfident about how well customers/users would understand the idea and how much they would perceive its value. I specialize in quickly receiving customer/user reactions, before making any expensive commitments. It involves a lot of play, unlearning, and empathy." Twitter @johnwfitch
November 18, 2020
004 | Shannon Huffman Polson | Using resistance to help you rise and the importance of narrative
In this rapid fire discussion with Shannon Huffman Polson, we discuss healthy ways to face your fear. Understanding and then owning the narrative arc of your life. If we can change our story regarding fear, it can help us overcome challenges, rather than hinder us. Shannon shares with us what it's like to face that primal fear in the cockpit of an Apache attack helicopter in Bosnia. And then relating it back to the pressure of being a keynote speaker and Today Show guest.  About Shannon Speaking and writing have been part of my DNA since leading our high school debate and forensics team and running the literary journal (when we still used scissors and glue!). I believe words change the world, and I thrive on seeing transformation come as a result of sharing lessons and stories through speaking and writing. After a childhood in Alaska, I studied English literature and art history at Duke University. At graduation I was commissioned as a 2LT in Army Aviation and became one of the first women to fly Apache helicopters, serving on three continents and leading two flight platoons and a line company. In the midst of school and flying came skydiving, scuba diving, big-mountain climbing and long-course triathlons. To turn all that into something practical, I earned my MBA at the Tuck School at Dartmouth, and worked with some excellent people in the corporate jungle for a few years in the medical devices industry and technology. I started an MDiv (part-time), and decided not to pursue it, returning to my love of words with an MFA Shannon's website  North of Hope  The Grit Factor 
November 11, 2020
003 | David Bidler | In the sport of life, to talk about mindset, we must talk physiology first
In this intriguing discussion David walks us through how to use our breathing as a superpower to not only regulate our physiology, but also our stress levels. In these chaotic times, this message carries even more importance. By understanding our physiology, we can better manage our mental health through our mind-body connection.  About David David Bidler is a speaker, author, and leader in professional development. David is the CEO of Breathe to Perform which shares the science of stress management and peak performance with industry leaders and their teams. David proudly serves as the President of the nonprofit organization Physiology First which provides brain and body based education to students and teachers around the United States. David owns The Distance Project: Strength and Conditioning, in Freeport, Maine and is an avid endurance athlete and ultramarathon runner. "Breathe to Perform" website and Instagram handle. @breathetoperform "Physiology First" website and Instagram handle. @physiologyfirst Link to "Breathe to Perform" book on Amazon.
November 04, 2020
002 | Lesley Paterson | Mastering your craft, mollycoddling, seeking out adversity
A lively discussion with 5-time world champion, Lesley Paterson, from the world of Xterra triathlon. Join us as Lesley explains what it's like to reach the top of your field and then come tumbling down. Her insights on how to deal with the pressure of success, setbacks, and struggles are lessons for us all. She will share her thoughts on mastering your craft, self worth and body image issues. She feels that seeking out adversity and even embracing suffering is important so that we can grow and reach new heights. About Lesley Basically I’m a little Scottish lassie who packs a mean punch!  But here’s the longer version… While growing up, my ‘thing’ was rugby…yes you heard it right, rugby! I loved to get dirty and I loved to fight boys. Being the only gal outta 250 boys in the squad, I learned pretty quickly how to take care of myself! However, as with most good things in life, it came to an end. I was too old to play with the boys, so I found an equally crazy sport called triathlon. Since the tender age of 14, I’ve competed all over the world for the British and Scottish triathlon team, developing awesome friendships and seeing some amazing parts of the world. Lesley's websites The Brave Athlete 
October 28, 2020
001 | What is forging mettle?
Welcome to the forge! Tara and Ron discuss why doing hard things and resisting taking the easy path in life is beneficial to your wellbeing and happiness. Get to know your blacksmiths and why they believe this podcast is so important in our modern world. 
October 21, 2020