Started by University of South Carolina student Brett Ferguson, The Struggle to Sovereignty is a fitness and lifestyle blog looking to unify today's society through lofty ideals and impactful stories.
This group is designed to be a constant open communication between members to work through issues that arise in everyday life. Whether it be fitness goals, personal goals, or life struggles this podcast is designed to uplift all those involved.
Back in early October of 2019, I had the opportunity to meet some amazing individuals who were passionate about their music, life, and relationships.
This group really helped me conceptualize the correlation between hard work and success. Their motivation to develop music that is not only authentic but relatable really stuck out to me. After a quick conversation, I knew we had to get the band on an edition of the podcast.
So in episode 15 (Season 1) of STS, we had the band Tripping on Bricks come on the podcast and talk about who they were. Still to this day, it was one of my favorite episodes we have recorded.
Now our favorite lead singer, Ridge is back to join us for another edition of the podcast. We talk about what Tripping on Bricks has been up to and how their passion for music has not ceased through all of the craziness in the world. Really excited to share this conversation with you guys.
Nicky has humble beginnings. Growing up with divorced parents, he dealt with the struggle by eating. Throughout his young life, he was bullied, rejected, and insulted due to his weight.
Through the help of a Chiropractor teaching him his first healthy meal planning routine, he managed to lose 100 pounds and pursue his dreams of becoming a pro bodybuilder.
Nicky isn’t a pro bodybuilder. He decided that path isn’t for him. Instead, he took the leap and is a full-time photographer, with dreams that made us stutter after we heard them.
@nicky_rizzles is hungry. Hungry for something more. Listen in to learn how he has turned his hunger into a continuous reality.
Ryan Hibbison and Philip Godwin have met only because of STS. Yet, they come from opposite backgrounds. Ryan has been with STS since it’s founding by Brett Ferguson.
Ryan is currently a Senior at the University of South Carolina studying Broadcast Journalism. He has recently achieved becoming a Certified Personal Trainer, and has goals of changing people's lives in and out of their physical routine.
Phil and Ryan use personal experience to talk through body dysmorphia, weight loss/gain, confidence, imposter syndrome, the body image controversy, and what to do both mentally and physically when you’re unhappy with how you look.
Ryan also describes what it was like to be apart of STS from the very beginning.
A former NCAA QB and business tycoon now turned into a passionate servant as a Mental Performance Coach. Phil sits down with Grant Parr to discuss the benefits of visualization, deep breathing, coming to terms with reality, and coping with adversity.
In this episode Brett sits down with a longtime friend and owner of Carolina Coast Kids Fishing Camp. Throughout the episode we dive into many topics that have come about in our life and honing in on the topic of progression.
Season 3 Episode 1 discusses the new beginnings for STS. Throughout the episode we take a second to look at what is to come from this season. What goals we have, who we want to impact, and how STS can help others each and every day.
Authentic Interactions is a mini series that we wanted to start to highlight the individuals that have impacted the team at STS. Instead of going out and finding leads, we look to our left and right to the individuals who have impacted our lives in various ways.
In Episode 1 of Authentic Interactions Brett is joined by two of his best friends, Tyler Pocisk and Patrick Martin. Each of these individuals have walked different paths, but always came back together to help each other throughout this life. I am so excited to share their story and how our friendship has impacted each other.
In the final episode of Season 2 we are joined by Tommy Breedlove. Tommy is an individual that we have been in conversation with for months to have on our podcast. His story truly has changed so many peoples lives and we are humbled that he has joined our community.
At the age of 36 Tommy found himself in a ditch, physically and mentally. He had one choice to make, either live with the guilt and sorrow that has followed him throughout his life, or make a change for the better. Flash forward to today, Tommy has changed the lives of countless individuals by the motivation speaking he has performed and the one on one conversations with individuals to improve their experience as a human. On top of it, Tommy recently has just released a book entitled "Legendary". A simple playbook for building and living a legendary life, and being remembered as a legend.
We are humbled to cap off Season 2 with this incredible individual.
Cody is the epitome of what it takes to be a man in today's society. Leading his life by love, compassion, and tenacity this man looks to impact lives all over the globe. When asked about what masculinity means to him, Cody states
"Imagine how many amazing musicians we lost because it was 'uncool' to be in chorus during school."
Allowing love an compassion to lead his life and straying away from values that bring detriment. I am so humbled to have Cody on the podcast this week.
Beata and Ashley have started their own podcasting community looking to share this ideal of adventure throughout society. Their story is inspiring and all stems from their first trip to Hawaii. On this trip they looked around at all of the people and they culture that surrounded them. Immediately they had this idea, everyone has such a different story in their lives. Each experience, relationship, and conversation showed them that we all have different paths for our lives. Not one singular path is the correct answer, only what provides you a sense of happiness at the end of the day.
Censorship, an ideal that is running rampid throughout society. With the rise of social media outlets, we are seeing the suppression of communities that look to help one another. Controlling others thoughts, and not allowing them to speak freely about their passion is unacceptable. During this episode Phil and Brett discuss this conflict, and how it not only is affecting STS, but us as people.
In this episode we are taking a different approach. Two members of our administration board tackle some tough topics during this crazy time in society. Delving into their struggles, talking about qualities that have appropriated growth in their own lives, and also taking the next step after college is finished. So many awesome moments in this podcast from Jack and Phil.
Over the past year or so, Phil and Brett have developed a tight bond through STS. Creating opportunities for each other while striving to improve each other's lives. Throughout this episode we discussed what it's like to be a college senior during these times, Phil's passion behind the "Run for Noah" campaign, and so much more. We are so blessed to have Phil apart of our community and improving each others lives.
In Episode 14 we are joined by Brandon Gingras. Starting life Brandon saw himself following temptations. He is the first to say it, he was lost. It wasn't until he was in his mid twenties he decided to make a change. I met Brandon when we were in a men's group together at Forest Hill Baptist Church. We instantly connected as he showed me no matter how many times you fall down, ALWAYS get back up. Soon after our time in our men's group, Brandon joined the Air Force. Now four years later, he has started a nonprofit organization called Hunt Pray Eat. Connecting veterans of faith & character with boys growing up without fathers in order to experience the outdoors together.
Mitch means so much to our entire team. Being a mentor for every individual on the STS team, Mitch is able to translate his passion for exercise, into a profession. Helping others achieve their fitness goals, Mitch continuously looks to impact others. So excited to get this episode out to you guys!
So many accolades I could contribute to this man. Most importantly he is a servant. Serving his community through his non profit organization, his time as an active duty military personnel, teaching people through his newly published book, and so many other things. I am humbled to Alvin on this episode of STS.
Uli has a passion for helping others. Serving as the National Program Leader for the USDA, Uli learned about infectious diseases throughout society. During his time he dealt with diseases such as Malaria, Zika, and SARS. He understands what impact these diseases make throughout society.
Throughout this episode we discuss the current state of our society, methodologies to deter COVID-19, and what we can expect in the coming months.
I hope this episode finds everyone in good health and great spirits during this difficult time.
Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles, Drew has always been self motivated to be the best. Constantly looking to be "that guy" on and off the field. Striving constantly to be the best each and every day. Throughout this episode we talked about his humble beginnings, draft day, and his path throughout the MiLB and MLB.
Joshua Sparks is a PhD Candidate at the University of South Carolina. Its widely accepted that people looking to become a PhD have a lot of school before them. But Joshua has taken that idea another step further, originally he was enrolled in college to become an Engineer. But through struggle, trials and tribulations he found himself in love with the human body. His passion is shown through our conversation and I am so excited to share this episode with you guys.
Annie leads her life by one word, honesty.
Creating music that is driven by the current situation in her life. Not only does she attend college, but travels every weekend to follow her dream of becoming a musician. Craziest part of it all, shes only 19 years old.
Such an incredible edition to Season 2 of STS!
Annie's Instagram - www.instagram.com/annieomalleyy
Annie's Website - www.annieomalley.com
Graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Penn has followed his dream of becoming a director. Inspired by various movies and directors, his notion to produce films that appeal to human emotion is incredible. We are so proud to have Penn apart of our community for another fantastic edition of the podcast.
This man has many accolades such as Co-Owner of Vertex PT, an undergraduate degree from the Citadel, a graduate degree from the University of South Carolina, competing in Crossfit and Ironman competitions and many other amazing accolades. Most importantly Brandon is a family man, with a notion to help athletes return to the field of play after suffering an injury. We are so excited for you guys to listen to our conversation.
Dropping out of college, working door to door sales, and now working with multi-million dollar clients. Danny has developed his own path to happiness and success. The craziest part about it, hes only 23 years old.
We are so excited to bring you this edition of the Struggle to Sovereignty Podcast. Season 2 continues to build our community and I am so blessed to have each an every one of you along for the ride.
Leading by faith, Jay instructs youth all around Columbia to look for a life that is bigger than sports. Hence why he founded Bigger Than Sports SC, a non-profit organization looking to better the youth through instruction and practice. We are so blessed to have had Jay on the podcast.
University of South Carolina student Savannah Cerniglia lives her life by one word, explore. Venturing the world, from the top of Mounta Kilmanjaro, to the depths of the Great Barrier Reef. Her notion to view this world from a wide lens and experience what we are surrounded with is beautiful. We are so excited to release this episode to you guys.
In this episode we are joined by Emmanuel Ayala. Facing adversity at young age, Emmanuel used hard work to elevate his performance on the field, in the classroom and throughout life. He never was given anything, having to work to ensure his education was continued after high school. We are so excited to share Emmanuel's story this week on the podcast.
At the age of 25 Elise Matthews founded Kore Wellness. Looking to better individuals through nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyle habits, Kore Wellness has set the bar. In this episode Elise speaks on her past, her present lifestyle, and the future of Kore Wellness.
Happy holidays, from the team over at the Struggle to Sovereignty. We bring this episode to you guys to remind others what this time of year truly means to us. Thank you so much for being on this journey with us.
In this episode, Brett sits down with best selling author Chris Tuff. Entitled "The Milennial Whisperer", Chris's book breaks down to the integral steps to working with a younger generation in the workforce. His ideals of grit, determination, and passion make Chris such a wonderful guest. Going forward Chris looks to make a huge impact within our society, as he continuously is improving himself and others around him.
In this episode Brett is joined by the team at the Struggle to Sovereignty. As a team, we discuss what being thankful means in regard to all situations that arise in our daily lives. Also celebrating the wonderful holiday of Thanksgiving and how we can give back to others as they have given so much to us.
In this episode Brett is joined by "Little Ryan Seacrest" Blake Eason. Blake is a current senior at Kennesaw State University. Studying Broadcast Journalism, this individual has taken steps to set up the rest of his life. Working for the Bert Show, hosting countless live events, and constantly driving himself to be the best man possible.
In episode 17 of The Struggle to Sovereignty Podcast, Brett is joined by Gunnery Sgt Soto and Quinn Higgins.
Gunnery Sgt Soto served 14 years active duty in the Marines. His outlook on life and the way he carries himself as a father, friend, husband, and service member is incredible. Quinn Higgins is a current student at the University of South Carolina where he is currently to join the Marines after college.
These two individuals are such a blessing to our country, community and society. As I thank them for everything they have done thus far and going forward into the rest of their lives.
In this episode Brett is joined by Deangelo Stevenson. Poetic in nature, he has such a beautiful outlook on life. Looking at adversity as a means to challenge himself. Deangelo looks at life as a journey to a means of a happiness and does not stray from the path he has put himself on. On top of it all, he started a community at the University of South Carolina entitled "Spurs Up", to speak on current events in the sporting world.
Ranging in age, personal experiences, musical appreciation, and many other areas. Tripping on Bricks develops raw, unfiltered material. They communicate the essence of emotion through their music in such a beautiful way. Truly an unbelievable experience to speak with men of their stature.
Sierra is an individual that truly understands her life goals, her aspirations, and where she wants to be. Being able to challenge herself introspectively while influencing everyone around her. The story she shares within the world of Sports and Entertainment business is truly inspiring and brings another layer to The Struggle to Sovereignty.
In episode thirteen of The Struggle to Sovereignty Podcast I am joined by JohnLee Barnett and Benjamin-Thompson King.
These two individuals have a passion for creating their own reality. Their perception on life, personal situations, and the never ending pursuit of excellence is inspiring. An incredible experience to speak to men of their stature
In this episode Brett sits down with Forrest Tucker. Forrest is a journalism student at the University of South Carolina. Reporting on USC athletics, Forrest has constantly developed himself. His notion of breaking down life into integral sections has allowed him to self reflect and heighten his mindset to a new standard.
In this episode Brett sits down with Nicole Fischer to discuss a variety of topics. Traveling all over the world, experiencing thousands of different cultures, and continuously improving herself, Nicole seems to have it figured out. Her story is incredible as it pushes the boundaries of the human mind to consistently get better about whatever your passion is.
In episode 10 of the Struggle to Sovereignty Podcast, Brett and Jack are joined by Prer. This individual has been a huge inspiration for why the Struggle to Sovereignty was founded. Currently Prer is a junior at the University of South Carolina where she inspires a large amount of students with her platform. Entitled "Pocket Full of Positivity", her podcast community started just as an idea, and now has thousands of people that are religiously following it. Super excited to share Prer's story, her platform, and our relationship as friends.
Phil is a student at the University of South Carolina. Before the production of this episode, Phil and i had never met before. After this conversation I know this individual will be someone who I keep close to this community for a long time. Battling with weight loss, physical impairments, and societal pressure, Phil has been able to overcome so much in his life. A true testimony that I am so excited for our community to hear.
In this episode I am joined by Caleb Gipple. Caleb is a current student at the University of Northern Iowa. Speaking across the country, leading young professionals, and constantly progressing his professional life. Tackling tough topics like; time management, establishing a mindset as a leader, and death.
In this episode I am joined by Christopher Shulstad and Lauren Hunter. Christopher founded Carolina Coast Kids Fishing Camp in Wilmington North Carolina alongside Lauren who is a registered nurse at Novant Health in Charlotte North Carolina. Both of these individuals express such an incredible mindsets about life, and are constant servants to their community.
In this episode, Brett sits down with Mario Nawfal. From his humble beginnings selling blenders, to owning 14 different companies, generating millions of dollars each year. Mario Nawfal is the prime example of creating his own path and breaking down self imposed barriers. His story is an incredible addition to the podcast and I hope you enjoy it.
Gray Hinson is a current rising senior at the Citadel Military College in Charleston South Carolina. This episode is a crucial installment to the podcast as his knowledge of servant hood is unmatched by most in today's society. Gaining most of his knowledge through mission trips to a variety of different countries, his relationship with Christianity, and his service so far in the military.
In this episode Brett tells a personal story from his life about losing his identity. This really hit home for Brett as he battled with depression, anxiety and other factors after losing himself. Overcoming these demons, Brett articulates the steps in order to find your identity within your passion.
In this episode, Brett sits down with Michael Lartman AKA "Big Mike". During this episode we discuss the ideals of mental health, maintaining a positive attitude, and never quitting. This conversation is extremely pertinent as we find ourselves dealing with these issues every day.
In this solo episode, Brett breaks down what it looks like as a young person in today's society. Discussing ideals that arise in everyday life and being able to overcome adversity that strikes. As this is one of the most influential times in a person's life, as a generation we look to change the stigma that surrounds us in society.
In this episode I sit down with professional football player Antonio Dawkins talking about his journey from hard beginnings, to now a fruitful future. With this installment we look at the topic of "Why? vs Where?". This communication between myself and Antonio is extremely powerful as his story is nothing short of legendary. Really excited to share his story with you guys and I hope you learn a little bit from our conversation.