Episode 11 of the Fuel the Fire Podcast hosted by Shanon Safi, RD, LDN.
One of the hardest parts of life is not only finding who we are, but also showing ourselves grace and acceptance along the way. In this two part episode, Shanon is joined by special guests Celeste Bonin and Grant Dziak as they discuss their journey of self discovery and owning their true selves.
In this episode we talk about: Everyone shares the same bumps on their journey (05:00) Celeste’s grapple with communication and self value in her upbringing (15:30) The lessons learned joining the WWE and the hardship that followed (20:24) Crossing the crest and finally choosing herself (27:57) Grant’s family experience and inspiration through his mother (35:48) Grant chases the dream of playing football (43:25) Life puts Grant on a different path (50:13)
I was waking up to myself. So I was facing these challenges because I was ready to like, change them. Stopped doing things for the wrong reasons. And I started doing them for myself, started living my life for myself. I just woke up to myself, woke up to my power and like my voice. Hello. Hello, my beautiful humans today.
I am super excited. This is going to be our first guest episode. And I have two people that are super awesome that have been helping me with my personal development. So I'm really excited to have them on here. And kind of like, you know, get to share their experience, their story, their background. So you guys can kind of see like how they not only inspired me, but they're inspiring people all over.
So this is super exciting. It's such an honor to have them on here. We're out here in Texas. You guys know I freaking love Texas. You got your assless chaps on.
Yeah, I'm learning a lot about Texas from this trip. They're really giving me just like the real, the real deal. We're like, you gotta wash yourself out back in a barrel. Put your Ponderosa hat on. Nice. So if you guys don't know them from their voices, I have Celeste Bonin and Grant Ziak. Oh, Ziak. That was great.
That was great. I'm impressed. So good. I was just thinking about how you said don't say yak. Oh, no. Before you thought about it. I've literally gotten everything. The worst is the first time I actually had my name announced. Like in Ohio Stadium, and it was like, they just kind of like, look, because they weren't, they weren't confident in the, how they were pronouncing it.
Yeah. I, I'd been, it was a spring game. I was waiting so long, it was like my motivation for so many things to like, I'm like, I can't wait to hear my voice. And they're like, 46 grant.
I'm like, Oh yeah, you, you, for years and years, that was something you were waiting for to have your name announced. So funny. You can see it on the film. I'm just like slowly walking across the field by myself. I'm like waiting for him, like,
well, thank you. You did a great job pronouncing his last name. It's intimidating because there's a whole letter in front of it that is silent. And he likes to make a joke about the D is silent. Because she swallowed it. Yeah, that'll be our wedding. He's already like decided that. But yeah, dude, thank you so much for we did not, we heard it in real time that we were like the first guests.
Yeah. And we're so honored. It's such a pleasure to be on this with you. Yeah. So cool. So like, I mean, we love to talk about everything. Like, yeah, you, you know, we're inspired by. You and this is so cool. All the things that you have and all the things that you do are so cool. So, so cool. And so many different vessels.
Yeah. Get your message out. Yeah. Oh, thank you. Yeah. So you, you lead us like it's, it's, it's so cool to see your, your leadership and what you do, you're so sweet. You're the captain. Yeah, you are. You are the captain. You like hand her up your captain hat.
Yeah. So, yeah. So, I mean, I'll kind of open up. Like, I came down here to visit and kind of help with some new projects that we have going on with Fuel. So, being here, I kind of knew it was going to be some kind of, like, awakening to something that I haven't been seeing. And it's something that, you know, I really think that a lot of people that are listening are kind of on that same path, where they're, like, trying to wake up to things that they just weren't aware of or conscious of.
In their life thus far, because I think, you know, a lot of our listeners are people who have struggled, like, figuring out the right way, and I think, a lot of times people have thought, like, I know when I first started, I thought I had to put on this show where I'm like, oh, I'm so perfect, and if I look so perfect, then everyone's gonna follow me because they're gonna think I have all the answers, and now, I feel like it's the opposite, where I'm like, okay, listen guys, I'm trying to figure stuff out too, I've struggled a whole lot too, so, You know, I think it's, it's really great to just have an opportunity to have this platform and to kind of show everyone that, you know, you kind of get to this better stage of your life because you struggled and you learned from it.
And then you can use that challenge and struggle that you went through to help inspire others so that you just see like this general rise in the collective. And, you know, you kind of see just everyone getting better. And I think. It's really nice because the both of you see that bigger picture and I think sometimes we get so caught up in our day to day stuff and so focused on ourselves that we kind of like forget that there's something greater than us to work towards and feel fulfillment towards.
Yeah, I dig that. Yeah. Yeah. And that's the thing, it's like, I... I think we all have to have a vision bigger than ourselves but that's also where so many people get caught up is they don't realize in order to like achieve that vision that's bigger than yourself, you have to like own every last bit of who you truly are at your core because there's nothing more powerful than a human, a person who steps into being themselves like owns their power and that's what allows you to accomplish and achieve all those things.
Yeah. Well, you, you've been said it I think yesterday or maybe earlier today. We were talking about like what you talk about on your podcast because you know we had previously talked about being on it when you're down here and And you're saying that like when you truly open up about stuff about like the real, you know the real shit the things that you're really struggling through and like You know, you can think about, Oh, I'm struggling with this.
I can talk about this, but there's things that like have shame attached to them and like, you know, deep fear of like, you know, if people know this about me and so it's like it, those things are so valuable to be offered as you know, a teaching or a principal by you and it. It does. It takes courage to own them.
And like you said that in those moments, you get people reaching out and saying like, Oh my God, it's so amazing to know that someone else struggles with this. And it, it is crazy to think that like. So many people think that their struggles like are just theirs and nobody else feels the same shit Nobody else understands because it is just so for so long It's changing now because like you and you know people they do see the big picture.
It's changing. It's becoming more Normalized it's like more acceptable. Isn't it crazy to say though? It's becoming more acceptable to not be perfect like all the while and it like anybody you talk to about any of their insecurities or the issues It's always based around people saying things like, Oh, this is what society expects from me.
Society wants me, it tells me I have to look this way. Society tells me I have to make this much money or fall in line or do these things or behave this way. And it's like, like, who do you think makes up society? Like you do, you're just falling in line with all these things because it feels like the normal roadmap for you to follow.
And it's like, everybody experiences the same shit. Like everybody struggles. Anybody who's hit any level of success did not get there by just like waking up one day and be like, you know what? I think I'm gonna make a few million dollars a day and I'm gonna be happy. I'm gonna have the perfect relationship.
Like they had to work at it. They had to struggle. They had to go through shit. They had to experience setbacks. And just like in the gym, like that's what makes you overcome and you literally force yourself to adapt and there's nothing more awesome. I think then people who are looked at as like the guru or the expert on a situation who just own every last bit of what they're going through and in real time will say like, yeah, like I have problems too.
I have issues. I'm human. Because like we were talking about earlier is that's what's relatable people feel that and as soon as they can relate to it They go. Oh, I think I am okay to work on this. Like I don't have to actually have shame around all these setbacks I feel like I've had in my life Yeah, I mean, I think that's kind of like what drew me to you guys was that you felt so confident and comfortable putting your message out there and I think you like kind of like dropped that shame barrier in like delivering a message that might have been difficult and you guys put it out there and like ultimately you sharing that message drew me to you guys and I think, you know, that really inspires me to continue to kind of like Be more comfortable with admitting that things aren't easy and like talking about my personal struggles, too.
So that hopefully More people can like hear my message and understand that Life can be better even when you feel like you're struggling and you're in the worst position and you feel so alone There is hope that there's another side to this and there's more growth in the future and like you can have the things you want And it doesn't have to continue to feel like an impossible mission.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, and I think there's so much to that too That's, that's what drew me to you, what drew you to us was us off, like just truly being ourselves and not really caring. Like we, of course we care about, I'm thinking, of course we care what people think, but I'm like, how do I look right now? I'm like, do I look believable when I'm talking?
wE're not like robots. Like people can say things that affect us. So it's not about being like this machine that nothing penetrates your emotions or feelings. It's, it's about acquiring the skills and the tools to be able to rationalize it, make sense of it, compartmentalize it and understand it in real time to like feel it and then experience it and then essentially heal from it.
Yeah. And like. Sorry, reclaim your power from it. But most people, we just let it stack up over it because it could be something super small that happens one day and it's in the middle of the work day and it's like, I don't even have time to like think about this, focus on it, whatever it is. You literally are like, I have to suppress my emotion.
And then a week later, maybe your significant other says something to you and you feel like you can't express it outwardly. So you keep it in. Now you're starting to stack these things until one day, your boss is like, Hey, could you grab those copies real quick? And you're like, Oh my God, I fucking quit.
And he's like, what? What are you talking about? Why? And you literally can't explain it. And this is where we all run into it, where we walk around with this frustration or this like resentment towards people. And we have no idea, like, we're not able to put our finger on one sole thing. And we just list out a bunch of stuff that pisses us off.
And we're never at the core of like, what did it to us? So it ends up creating that victim mindset where you feel like we're just, we're at the will of the universe. Cause undoubtedly bad things happen. Undoubtedly bad things happen. Like in life, like you have loss, you have tragedy, you have heartbreak, you have injury, like all of those things.
But when you choose to become a victim of it, ultimately, like. Ultimately you continue to give it your power over and over and over and over again. And it's like, I get it though. We all get it because we have all been there. We all still go to places where something happens and it's like, it hurts.
It's hard. It's painful. It like causes suffering. It causes, you know, imbalance, you know, depression, anxiety. And then when you're in that state, you literally feel like you don't deserve anything. You don't deserve compassion. You don't deserve like. Understanding forgiveness. So it's like, you don't give it to yourself.
You're fucking harder on yourself. And then it, it perpetuates the cycle of pain and, and the, the victimhood and just like, it's the lenses that you see your life through when you're in that state, it's like a, it's a vibration that, that you're in. And when you're there, you just, you can't see yourself. You can't see, you can't see the other side of things.
It's like it, it, it becomes so heavy. And then like, you talk, you know, you talk yourself, the way that you talk to yourself, you're like, I feel like I deserve these things. Like, I feel like I, and, and like one of the biggest like revelations or things that like impacted me so greatly when I was like trying to have that for myself.
Cause like, you know, I, and everybody's so hard on themselves, but like, I feel like I had a like. Plugging PhD in that, like just being, just not refusing to see myself and, and for, for anything that I truly am and just being so hard on myself. But like I received, I don't know if I read it or heard it or, or, or someone I look at, I don't, I don't know, but it was like, you deserve the most, the most love, the most compassion, most grace from yourself.
When you feel like you don't deserve it. The moment you feel like you don't deserve your own. Forgiveness, love, compassion, grace, like is when you deserve all of it. And like, that's like the, that's the moment where it's like, you have to give it to yourself. You have to trust, you have to trust it and then receive it.
But that's the, that's the caveat is we all think we need to receive all these things externally. So we need validation, love, acceptance, all these things from everybody else. You literally cannot, your brain cannot perceive any level of those. It's outside of the level of what you've given it to yourself.
So if you're trying to be in a relationship, you're like, I don't know, like, I just, I don't feel it. It's because you don't feel it for yourself. Maybe. I mean, like obviously you might be with somebody who you really don't love, but for the most part, like you will only ever be able to receive level love on the level of what you love yourself forgiveness on the level of what you've forgiven yourself or compassion on the level of which you've given compassion to yourself.
And that's why we would say like, you will always be the greatest love story of your life. Cause no matter what, the greatest amount of love you'll ever receive will only be equivalent to the amount you feel that for yourself. Definitely. Yeah, so like, I think it would be really cool for everyone to hear how you guys came to these realizations because I'm sure.
You know, at some point, you know, you were born and then life happens, and like, and here you are! Yeah, one day you're like, fill everybody in! So what happened after your mom pushed? Yeah, yeah, so I think it'd be so cool if people had like a little bit more background on you guys, because it'll just kind of help them see that like, you can come from...
Any place, and like, go through so many wild things super high highs, super low lows, and like, you come to these realizations, and now you're actually living the life you were meant to be living. So I think, yeah, I'd love to hear the come up to this after you, do you want to flip a coin? We like get into a wrestling match.
It's the whole podcast. You're like, why is there hot oil? Yeah, I'd be honored. I know you'd be honored to just talk about a little bit of like our stories and man Just I just want to clarify one thing like we were excited to talk about our stories. It's it's not Most, some people can hear that once in a while.
And it's like, ah, they love to talk about themselves. It's like, we love to connect. Like we love to connect to people. And it's like, cause there's nothing out of the ordinary about us, you know? And it's so cool to let others be like, I am just as good. Like I am all these things. It's a, it's like, I feel like it's this.
Softening of yourself, like, or at least that's kind of like what I picture what I think of when you just said, it's like, we like to connect because like, when you're in a place of like, you know, I want to, I've experienced these things I'm in this place now where I just want to share it. Like, I just want to share what I've been able to feel and experience in life, you know, like that I've before this had no ability to even conceive, you know, any of these things.
Concepts or any of these, the literally the way that you are able to feel, you know, what feels good. And, and because, you know, I know for me and so many others, like you deny yourself so much. Like, you know, I, I grew up really, truly believing, like just having no understanding of communication whatsoever.
Like it just wasn't, it wasn't important or it was, it just wasn't something that my mom learned. And so then like, I didn't learn it. I feel like it was like this big piece I didn't have. And so it's like, I didn't know, I didn't learn how to express my emotions. Learn how to like talk about anything. I didn't know that it was safe to ever like truly express your D your truest self, because I had, I was.
taught through conditioning and experiences that like you just suppress who you are in exchange for peace, acceptance, love, attention. And then so I just grew up just suppressing so many parts of myself without even really realizing it. And then. My mom, she had a single mom, and my brother and I were really close, and Ended up going through, like, when I got, I started developing really early, and I Started getting a lot of attention from men, and I had a very, like, Confused, complex understanding of sexuality, and, like, my sexuality, and, Cause I, there's a lot of shame in my family about your body, and your sexuality, And especially as a woman, and, and my mom really did, has She's like, you know, she has a lot of shame and, and experiences that taught her to, you know, have a lot of fear and, and so like, I learned all those things.
And, and indirectly, and then I, I didn't have anyone to talk to about the things I was going through or like the things that I was feeling. And I started getting a lot of attention from men pretty early. And, and then, so like it, my sexuality and my body just kind of became my tool. It became like a power that I could use.
But it was like fucked up because like I could use it to get attention or feel like I could get it for connection. Cause like, I didn't know how else to feel connection. Like I didn't know how to express things, communicate things. But I also felt like so much shame for it and like shame for my body.
And then also so confused about like my own sexuality. Like, what do I even want? Like, didn't know how to like ask myself the things that I actually wanted. It was more so just like. Survival, like survival to get the basic things that I needed, like connection and closeness, I guess, and all of my values in my body.
I just, I didn't see myself. I had a lot of limiting beliefs about, like, my ability as far as, like, my intelligence and just my capabilities, I guess. And I had a chance to go play, like, college soccer and I didn't, I, you actually called me out on this. I, my mom was going through a lot. Like she, my mom had so, so many things that she had never dealt with in her life and had suppressed them and eventually had a breakdown and she was working like crazy hours.
I never saw her. And it was like. It was, she was like coping with it and she also just, there was, we just never had enough, never had enough. And she eventually had a breakdown and I, when that happens, like my grandma had to kind of step in and my brother moved away to try to go to college. And I had this like opportunity to go play college soccer and I didn't go.
And like the story I always told myself is that like, I just, I think I had my relationship with soccer changed cause I played club ball for a long time and got to a point where like I had a lot of shame because like, we couldn't really like afford a lot of the things that were required to pay, you know, play club ball, like the travel and stuff.
And so like, I eventually just kind of like stopped doing it. And I also was so conflicted with like. Who I was because I was off like partying and like, you know, getting all this attention from guys and like dating older guys and stuff. And then like in, in, in my mind, then I'm like, I have to be one thing or another.
Like I was fitting myself in these boxes that I understood that I understood that I, I have to be this thing or this thing, because this will be the way that I get success or respect or whatever. So I, I, I, my story. For myself was that I, I didn't go to college because I stayed to help my mom, which I did, but we were not close.
Like we didn't have understanding. We didn't have communication. And, but I knew like she needed help after she was had a breakdown and was really struggling mentally, you know? And I've told, I've, I've talked about it before and Grant actually was like, that's a cop out that is, that's such a cop out because, and it's because I didn't have awareness around it, but I, I just didn't believe that I was.
Me, who I was, was good enough to, you know, go to a university and, and play a college soccer cause it, it didn't feel like that was a path I was on. I felt. I feel like I just was like, kind of like white trash, you know, like that kind of that feeling. I'm like same. Yeah. You know, it's like school wasn't a big thing in my family and it just like, we just didn't have a lot and, and you just create who you are based on the things that you experience and witness.
And, and I ended up getting into WV. I got, I got hired. I tried out the super random opportunity. Like a year or two after a little bit after high school, but I had stayed like living with my mom, kind of bartending, just like, I don't know what the fuck I'm gonna do with my life. I was kind of just going to some community college and then I got this cool opportunity to, to Russell for, for WWE.
I tried out, got hired and had this like unbelievable experience where I was like, Cause in this position where I ended up debuting on live TV after just getting hired and I had like no experience like literally wrestled with the first time ever on live TV on my TV, like, yeah, like it was so crazy. I, it was like just a, a really like once in a lifetime situation that happens.
And I was like. The person that was available and someone got fired and some, someone else that was going to debut. So I got pulled up and and eventually when I won that reality show, it was a reality based elimination show. And I was just like such an underdog. And that, that period of time taught me so much about myself, like about what I was capable of.
And like, and so I started, I made it on the main roster after that, that, that elimination show. And then I was with, I was with WWE for four years and It was just this, like, unbelievable thing where I got to travel the world and do so much cool shit. I was on TV, and I had like an action figure and a video game and I hated myself.
Like, because I, I already had such a like fucked up idea of who I was and like could just couldn't see myself. All I could see was like my shame and you know, the, the way that I valued myself and, and when I got hired, it was immediate, immediately like, Hey, just lose weight, just like be smaller. And so that was kind of like the consistent culture there.
Like just at that time it was. And it has definitely evolved. But at that time, it was still like kind of this one type of woman that they were really like pushing and featuring. And I didn't really fit into that. And so I had a lot of trouble. Creating a character and also because the way that I, the way that I debuted, like, it was just, ah, this new person had no experience.
And then I made it on the roster. So it was just kind of like floating around. And so I did all I, I did this super and crazy diet and I lost like 25 pounds and I was like, so ripped. And I was like, This is, this will get me on TV more. This will get me relevance. This will get, and it was just kind of more of the same thing.
And I was just like not understanding. I was so focused on the wrong things. I was so focused on like feeling accepted, feeling valued in for what I thought my value was, which is my body and the way I looked. And so I, I struggled so much with like. Just my mental state and it was just a really bad time.
And being on television and like being in the public eye and never having been there before and also having like really detrimental or like bad thoughts of like who you are and, and really. No real, like, no ability to see myself for who I, who I was. And, and yeah, so like I had, I did, but I did, I had a really cool experience and I learned so much and I eventually got the title and I had this like really cool run the last year and a half that I was there.
And I, I, it was so cool. Cause like I, I found, I was able to like rise to the occasion. Each time I got this like cool new opportunity and it felt like it was still built on just like a house of cards, like just at any moment I could crack. And I did, but I, I. And I ended up like getting engaged to this guy I was dating.
And I was getting to the end of the point of where I was getting close to the end of my career, where I felt like I had, I was gaining weight and I was felt like I was kind of losing control of that and which the, you know, that was my only value in my, in my mind. And, and so like, I just was really in a dark place and I ended up.
Asking for my release, like before my contract was up and then I just was like, I have no fucking idea what I'm going to do. I just, I didn't have any, I just didn't know what I was going to do. I didn't feel capable of doing anything else. And, or I didn't, I just, I didn't know what direction to go. And I didn't, I didn't have any direction in college.
And, and. So I was just like really scared and I ended up like getting married and, and, you know, leaning on this, the, my ex husband, my husband at the time. And depending on that financially, I put myself in a really bad position with like, feeling like I had just trapped myself so bad with marrying somebody that I just really didn't have any business, business marrying, because like, I just.
Like it, it felt like, Oh, well, this is the thing that I should do. This is like my, my next option. And I like, it just seemed like the thing to do. And then I, when I got in that position, I was just like, I trapped myself so bad. I just didn't feel like I had any options. I didn't feel like I had my own finances and, and, and the relationship was so bad.
And I was. I, I had so many problems and struggling through so much cause I had literally never, I had never processed any of my pain for my whole life. Like I didn't know how I didn't know how to talk, talk about it. And like I started going to therapy and stuff, you know, and it was just a really, I started a business during that time which ended up being this unbelievable aspect of my life.
But through the marriage was really difficult. And Just violent and, and hard. And now I look back at it, I'm like, Oh my God, like that was like a movie the way that things were. But I am so grateful for how they turned out because like I saw, like now I can look back and see the place that I was in and where I brought myself to and like the people that I surrounded myself with, I didn't see any worth in myself.
And so that was what I surrounded myself with. And, so eventually we got a divorce and that was very difficult and I fell into like addiction and, and like, I had to go to like a medical detox a few times. And each time I did it, I had this, you know, like I need to, I need to stop numbing myself to these things.
I need to stop drinking and, and, and doing drugs. And, and then I would do a medical detox and this is after my divorce. And then I would just go right back to it because I didn't have the awareness to look for what was causing me to do that. So that just like, really, I was kind of in that pattern for a while.
And then I was, I was trying to build my business after my divorce. And then I met Grant at a at a event he was speaking at. I got invited to, and he was speaking at it. And that was probably, it was like the lowest point I think I was in, but not able to acknowledge that. And so like, it makes me emotional because like it, it was like this huge turning point in my life.
And I. I understand there's a tendency to, to believe or to hear and be like, Oh, like I, I attribute it to him, like to Grant, you know, but I do, but I, I don't give my power to that. It's like, I, I ultimately chose my power because I chose myself. So when we met, I, you know, we, we just instantly knew like what we had was just, it's all, this is it.
And even though we couldn't really, you know, explain it and, and I couldn't. I couldn't feel it as deeply as I can now because I wasn't capable of it, but like, I still knew. And so we went through like three years of like him being like, I'm standing right in front of you. Like, I love you unconditionally.
And I just like, I couldn't see it. And like, he had so much like patience with me and through our three years together, it feels like I faced all of the most like difficult shit in my life because it was like, Like, he says this, it's like, everything screams a lot of support guys. So it was like every last bit of me that was like fighting and like holding on to just like the safety of like what I had known, which wasn't safety, but it's like, it's your known.
So it's like safe to you. Cause it's comfortable. And so it's just like three years of just like ripping myself out of this place that I didn't want to live in anymore and like learning that like it's because I never chose myself ever and then like I had to start and that was like really it's really difficult to choose yourself when you never have because like you don't know how but I learned because like what it is and he had he saw himself and because he saw himself like the way that he loved himself You Like showed me how to love myself the same way and in my own way and and I experienced it like really, really difficult.
And I'm still experiencing situation with my mom. And then I realized I didn't want to have my business anymore and it's, it's all because like there are all these just like, it was, they were all they all represented a catalyst of some kind of stimulus for me to wake up to myself. And it was just all happened at one time and like, and the way I see it now is cause like, I was waking up to myself, so I was facing these challenges because I was ready to like change them.
I was ready to change my relationship to my mom. I was ready to change. Like. To, to stop living and trying to make my business work to prove to myself that I could do it, to get validation, that I could do it, you know, like for stop, I would stop doing things for the wrong reasons. And I started doing them for myself, like started living my life for myself.
And like, through all of that, I just woke up to myself, woke up to my power and like my voice and I, you know, I give Grant so much credit because as we're building project, this is me and our life and, and everything like. He was like, so fucking down for all of it, like just, just so beautiful, like such an inspiration to you know, when you say someone like, Oh, you, you know, you inspire me to be a better person.
Like he, he, he literally did like to the, to the, like the truest way that you could perceive that. Because. Here we are. Yeah. I know that was long winded, but all of the things that I used to believe about myself and believe about the world and like just the way life had to be, I was so wrong. I was so like ignorant to what life is.
And it's because like, I didn't, I literally like didn't know how to live life. Like I only knew like my own like fucked up survival way, which is everyone's story. It's everyone's story. Yeah. Yeah. But it's like, it's, it's challenge that though, it wasn't wrong, it was, it, it was right for like what you were experiencing and like the tools and the skills that you had, like they got me through to what I needed to survive and, and then gave me the, you know, the ultimate lessons and, and like the principles, like the lessons, the things that like Allowed me to transcend my level of like consciousness, my level of perception, like how closed down I was, how disassociated from my body.
I was like, all of those principles are, are literally like what we use, what we, what we teach to, to help people unlock themselves, to, to feel the aliveness that's like available to them. To feel like the depth of love that's possible, to feel like true intimacy, true connection, true joy, like it's those principles because they're, they're universal.
And like, my story is attached to mine, but the principles are what we share. That's what, what helps people see themselves in us. Wow. I just pass out after that. I mean, I just want to clarify, like, you make yourself sound like a monster. I didn't feel like I was a monster. I mean, I'm not disregarding you entirely, but you know, when I saw you for the first time, I knew it at that moment, I saw you.
And I never, I never understood what that meant. Like when someone says like, it's a visceral understanding when you know yourself, when you have seen yourself, you've felt yourself, you've met like who you truly are at your core. Like your essence, when it changes, when someone says, I see you like be you, it means something different when you're like, ah, fuck, I know who I am.
Like I know what that means. Like I know, I know what it means to be me. And I, I never did before. I never did. Like I never understood. I Like you see through someone's bullshit, like your story, like your bullshit story, everybody has one. And you know, we, we, that's what we call out. And it's like, when you tell people they have a bullshit story, it's very offensive.
Like people are like, what, what, don't tell me my story is bullshit. And it's like, not like your story of your sequences of events and things like those things are real. The feelings you've experienced are so real. But the, the justifications we create in our head to make that story make sense. Like it's like a book and we have to go back to make it make sense because our brain's always trying to compartmentalize everything.
And that story becomes so ratchet. It's just like, we fill it with whatever we need and it happens subconsciously. Like you aren't trying to do it. You're not creating it. Like you'll literally create someone, an innocent bystander into a different character. And they're a horrible person because we need to put the blame for our pain on something else and it's just like I saw three years like it, but it was like what you were trying to show the world, but I saw you instead.
Yeah, and I like that psychic said I was going to challenge you. Yeah, I went to a psychic early, early on. We went and like, he had a dope reading and like, it was like pretty cool. Like I witnessed it. It was like. Like, you know, Oh, I see that spot. Yeah. Yeah. And then, yeah, it was like, cool. And it's cool.
Cause we like got to witness each other's and she was really awesome. And then like, I went and like, mine was super short because like, I was so closed down. So like energetically closed out at that point. So like just every part of me was so just in a clenched survival mode all the time. And so like, I couldn't access any of the things within myself, like the pain and the things that needed healing.
So like. She was like, she drew my, I drew my cards or whatever and she's like He's gonna challenge you. I was just sitting here across the room and I was like I literally did not know what that meant. I had no level of like, I had no ability to like, even become close to understanding. I remember sitting there being like, I'm gonna get in trouble for that one.
Yeah. God. But then she said, after that she's like, you, first you I Like, my body, cause your body is so wise, like, my body, I cried, my, I had tears coming out, but like, I wasn't, it didn't compute to me. I was like, what pain? Like, I don't have pain. Cause like, I was telling myself this story of like, nope, I'm, this is here.
I'm good here. Like. You know, cause I couldn't face it. I didn't know how to face it. I didn't, I didn't even know how to tap it open, but yeah, I would love to have a conversation with that psychic now. She's like, told you. Yeah. I just give her a slow clap. You guys are crazy. Well, and what about you? Oh me now?
Yeah, that's what I follow Yeah, I mean like I have a really original start to my my story is I come from a small town Like nobody says that No, like I come from a small town in northern, Ohio and I have One, like blood sister and the rest are, I have a ton of stepsisters, half sisters. My dad's been remarried quite a few times.
He like walks in a room and people get pregnant. My mom got remarried once. And I love them all. I love them all so much. I have never had any relationship with my dad growing up. Out of all the siblings, I'm the only one who never lived with them. So like growing up, I always felt like the odd one out and they're all sisters, almost all sisters.
I have one older brother. So I grew up with a very feminine energy around me. And that was like, so that's like my dad's side. And I attribute like everything I am to being raised by my mom and my mom's side of. The family which was like her, my grandma, my grandpa, my uncle, my aunt, and my sister had such impacts on my life.
So it was crazy though, cause my dad was this giant human. I mean, he was a, I just remember him being like a shit break house, very abusive, alcoholic. So I had so much fear from a very young age, but he did give me some good genes. Like I was, I was, I was a big kid. Like I grew up, I had all my girls first pretty fast and he never accomplished like what he wanted to athletically in high school.
Like he was a good athlete and the only way we ever connected was. Based on my size, like growing up and it was like, man, you're going to be a freak. You're going to be, you know, Michael Jordan and all these things. And like, I'm like, buddy, you are so, if you could see now basketball definitely wasn't my sport, but so I didn't have much to connect with him on.
And I remember. I always wanted to be around him, but I was always so scared to be around him because he like, he beat all of us. I mean, I, there's so many times and moments I remember before I was probably six or seven, even you know, overhearing him, like hitting my stepmom or showing up and my sister's had bruises on their faces or like one sprained her ankle.
He broke. sTuff like that, threw me down a flight of stairs and pushed me so hard in my back at the top of the stairs that I hit the the ceiling that ran in parallel with the stairs before I hit the ground. So I, I hit my face on the wall and then chip my tailbone when I hit the stairs and I just took off running out the door and I still wanted to be around him all the time.
And like my mother is probably the closest thing to a saint on earth. She. I'm like saying on earth, I'm like, I think that's what it's saying, but like there's so many aspects of her that she's just amazing. I mean, she's owned her own business for 45 years now, like way before it was cool to like put entrepreneur in your Instagram profile.
She started out behind 17, 18 years old and then worked her way out of that. Then started her own flower and gift store. Well, she's now had for, you know, 40 plus years and she's been through the ringer in so many ways, like just how my dad, like took a verbing, left her bankrupt. She worked way back from that.
My stepdad did the same, worked her way back from that and then she was, she was in a relationship and, you know, for years with this person and found out, you know, he has an entirely other family across the country that she would drive him to the airport thinking she was driving to the airport so he could fly across the country to do work because he would, you know, work out there for like two weeks and then come back for like four weeks and then found out he was actually going out to visit his other family.
And I swear this woman has never said anything bad about anybody ever. She growing up, like even in the situation I was in, she never spoke poorly of my father. And she always encouraged me to have a good relationship with him. Like she didn't want to influence that she didn't want to throw her influence into it or her resentments or her pain.
And so she let me make my own decision through it. And of course, like being a young guy, I was like, Oh, you know, I want to be around my dad and all the kids are there and everything. And you're the worst, you're the devil. And, and it didn't take long. I mean, by the time I was like 14, 15, like, dude, I saw my mom for who she was.
I. I was obsessed with her. I wanted to be just like her. Everybody loves her and I didn't want to be here. Cause everybody loves her. I wanted to be here because everyone loves her because she's such a good person. She really, she cares about people so much. She goes so far above and beyond for absolutely anybody, like even she'd literally give you like the last bit of change she had in her pocket.
And I, I was around her growing up all the time in her business and just the way she would talk about things. And this is before, like, you know, I would do anything about masterminds or business gurus or anything. And this woman was like teaching me so much about people. oNly to find out, you know, 20 years later, like businesses, people, that's all it is.
It's understanding people working with people. And so I had that all around me growing up. When I, I played soccer, I was a, I was a big kid. Like when I say big head, I mean, I think by the time I was in sixth grade, I was five, 10, like 200 pounds. My mom like, bless her heart going into seventh grade, I was still playing soccer and she's like, Hey, you just like, you don't.
You don't get up and down the field as easy as some of the other players. Maybe we should the goalie. What do you mean? I don't even have to run. Yeah, you probably should be ordering those cheese pizzas. I did. I ate like such an asshole growing up. I ate everything. And I was just a big kid. Played hard.
Went hard. I was always active growing up. I was, I would say like my father figure was my uncle. My uncle is probably one of the humans I'm the closest with. Like to me, he like showed me what it was to be a man. Not through this masculine intense energy, but through the ability to care for others, like take care of people.
Your mom and your uncle are just like such amazing people. And my aunt, like the three of them. And they serve, like they serve their community. Yeah, they totally do. It was so grown up around that. It was so cool to see. And then I had my grandma and you talk about a hard bitch. I'm like, she just passed away recently.
I'm like, don't strike me down. But I lived the first five years of my life with my grandma and grandpa. Because my mom was coming up with a situation where my dad took everything from her and she was literally sleeping in the, she had a day bed in the back office of her store and her business.
And she didn't want us to live like that. So, yeah. This one, she would drive 15 minutes out to put us to bed at night, 15 minutes back into work, 15 minutes back out in the morning to wake us up, 15 minutes back and work. So every day she would drive an hour just so we didn't have to like live in a tiny little area and then you know, when I was like five, she'd be like, I said that.
And then we all moved in together and when I was a teenager, they split up. But when I was in seventh grade, I chose randomly at the last minute. It wasn't because my mom was very politely being like, you are not in shape to play soccer. It was because my dad, like the one thing I always, I never played was football.
And he loved football. And I wanted to connect with him. So going into seventh grade, I was like, I was like, Ralphie, I was like, yeah, football. Cool. I didn't know anything about it. And I went and I was like, who are you? Like I was a seventh grader and they're like, are you the teacher? And the first time I put on pads and the helmet and like, I got to hit someone like just hit you as hard as you can.
I was like, Oh my God. It was like, this, just this feeling that went through my body. It felt like I was letting out like 13 years of rage. Because growing up around so many women and like knowing the way my father was, it was this very strange energy. It was this, like, I was this big man and I was masculine and I grew up around very masculine, feminine energy.
And so they encouraged it. They never like shunned me down for it. They never like tried to be like, don't be a man. Don't, you know, don't be authoritative. Don't be these things. They just taught me how to have respect. So much of the way. So it was like, it blended together with this. So like today, I mean, I'm probably the most feminine masculine person, like you'll ever meet because and I attribute it all to my family.
So it was so cool. So because my dad, I want all I ever wanted to do. I had this insatiable hunger to protect people because I couldn't do it when I was younger and would watch, see my sisters get hit by him or protect myself or my step mom or finding out later on, like the things that he did to my mom.
And I'm like, man, fuck, like I had no ability to do that. You know, when I was really little, my, my sister was raped about five feet away from me that I didn't know. I was five, she was nine and I found out about it when I was 13 and that just like sent me to this whole spiral again of like protection, like I'm a protector.
I have to protect everybody. Like forget anything I want. Like the only thing I want is to protect people because if, if anyone around me, my loved ones are put in a bad situation, like I would never even enjoy anything I'm doing anyways. So. That was like, became this huge thing to me and then through football, it like kind of helped me amplify that character that I was creating myself like big jock man, like protector, like whatever my family would come support it.
I loved it. Like my family came to every single game and every, every practice game scrimmage, every sport I did all year long, they were there for everything. And it was through athletics that I thought I was like fulfilling a void of a way of like, they could express their love to me and I could feel it and I can be good enough.
And. I, I don't know, eighth grade, I decided I, more than anything, I want to go play football at Ohio State. Again, nobody in my family did college. Nobody in my school had done like the recruiting process. Like we were pretty rough high school when it came to athletics. And so there was, there wasn't like a roadmap for it.
There was nobody saying anything. And I didn't really tell anyone for a long time. That's what I wanted to do because it seemed like such as big, grandiose goal coming from a small town. And all the way up to like, I think it was about, I was a sophomore in high school when I finally started saying what I wanted to do and everyone just shit on me for it.
Everyone just made fun of me. He said like, that's not your, you're, you're from Brooklyn and like, that's never going to happen for you. And I'm like, no, no, no, it's definitely going to happen. I trained my ass off. It works my ass off. And my junior year I got invited down to the spring game and it was so cool.
And at that point, I mean. This is how naive I was. I was like, dude, I'm probably getting scholarship like while I'm down here and they're inviting me down and we get there and so it's my mom and I, we got to go. It's like 200, 300 people they invite. And I'm like, Oh, okay. It wasn't just me. But I'm like, Oh, it's still happening.
And then I went to the camps over the summer and crushed their camps over the summer. Going into my senior year, I literally thought like, I'm going to probably graduate high school early. I'll enroll there early. I'll be in spring ball by next spring. Flash forward to like May of my senior year getting ready to graduate and my guidance counselor is like, what are you doing?
Like after after school, I was like, I'm gonna go play football at Ohio state. She's like, have you applied? And it was just like like dun dun. I was like what, what does that mean? And I mean, I literally didn't know anything about it. I didn't know anything about it. I was not academic at all. I wasn't I didn't apply myself to things that I felt like I wouldn't be able to figure them out.
So I ended up going to a community college for a year back home, like an outrageous amount of hours each quarter, just to be able to apply and get in by the following winter to Ohio State. Got accepted over the summer and, and moved on to Columbus. And I think it was 2007. And I walked on and I made it out of 160 guys.
It was everything I'd ever wanted. I felt like I was vindicating everything for everyone back home. I was, I was helping pave a path for like all these young kids that like, I didn't want them to have to like go through what I went through. So I was like, fuck yeah. Like they'll get to see it at the highest level.
Everything was amazing. It was great. No injuries. I was a freak. I was an athletic freak. Almost too much to the point where. I started hanging out with all the cool guys on the team. Like all the guys I used to idolize like three weeks before I was like, Oh my God, it's you. And I was like, hanging out with them, going to parties, hanging out with them during the day.
Also during my classes, I was a walk on, they were scholarshiped. We came back from spring, the coach was like, yeah, you got to like a one, seven, three. And I was like, what does that mean? They're like, they're like, that's your GPA. And I was like, that's above zero. Like, that's good. Right? Like, what does that mean?
And it's like, yeah, that's awful. That's horrible. And I just didn't, I totally messed up. I wasn't going to class. I was putting all of my value into my body. Also. I was training with all of them. I was hanging out with all of them. I was like, I got it. Like I let it all go to my head and it took me two more years to get back on.
And I suck with it and I did it. And by the time I got back on, I was like 21 years old. I had sustained a couple of injuries. I tore my rotator cuffs, my hamstring a couple of times. And because of that, like within the first few weeks of practice, I got turf toe really bad because I was a walk on, couldn't tell anyone about it.
No, it was like fucked up by the way. Do you know what that is? We have, like oddly, I was like, what is turf toe? And now I feel, oh, it sounds like not as bad. Right? No turf toe. It's fucked up. It sounds like you have just like a little rash on the side of your tongue. Yeah, my god. But so with my, my big toe on my, my right foot, my dominant foot, I had like, I was running and we had, you had a plan and turn and go back the other way.
And I turned, I planted it, I put my toe down and I, and I like my, the toenail of my big toe came up towards my actual foot so hard with the angle I planted at. Normally it would tear the tendon underneath instead it, the tendency to attach and I got a bone spurt in the knuckle of my big toe. And it was like a week before we were going to be hit hitting for the first time, like really showing what you were capable of.
So they put a steel plate in my shoe, like. Take my toe down. So I was running an honest piece of steel with my toe bent and how many times like you go over that. Oh my God, the pain of your dominant foot. And I'm taking on all American 350 pound offensive lineman running full blast at me, trying to impress coaches for, and I did that for 18 months and I made it through everything.
Got it. But like I wasn't, man, I was, I was a wreck. Like, and that just led to so many other things. And yeah. Through that, I started realizing, I'm like, I'm 22. I'm like, I don't love this anymore. Like, I don't need this for the love of my family. Like, I don't need to prove anything to anyone. And at the same time, like, I just started bartending back home or bartending.
I had a buddy back home that was killed in a car accident. And the girl I was with who we were pretty much engaged at that point found out she was actually in like five other relationships. So it was this onslaught of things all at once. I was making money. I was making cash for the first time. So I quit football with one year of eligibility left.
I was just like, I mean, we had a straight up conversation as the coaches and me. And it was like, you're good enough to play. You could play. You're just not going to like, we have a whole roster of all these fresh, young linebackers that we're investing all this money into. So. Wow, there is so much gold in their stories, guys.
It got so juicy that we had to break it into two episodes. Just because, I don't want you to miss a second of what's going on in these stories. I think that what they have gone through is so powerful and it has created such a shift. in the energy of the universe just from them two alone. It is seriously so inspiring.
We're gonna put their Instagram handles in the show notes so you guys can go check out their pages and see what they're all about. I'm really excited for you guys to explore them further and get to know them a little bit more. They've helped me so much personally, so I'm hoping that you get a really similar takeaway and have something really awesome.
Come from again, like just exploring their pages and checking them out and connecting with them as well. So yeah, we're going to just wrap it up for today And like I said, make sure you tune in for the next episode that's gonna drop in two weeks to hear the rest of the story I know we left you on a cliffhanger and you are super eager to find out what comes next And you will absolutely 100 percent Find out so yeah, make sure Give us some feedback.
I'm really excited to have had the first guest episode on And I wanna hear what you guys think, and if there's people that you're interested in us trying to get on the show, I'm all about it. I'm ready to explore this world of podcasting alongside of you guys, and connect with more and more people so that we can better serve you, and again, just be better as a group of humans living in this world, and empowering each other, and sharing each other's stories.
So awesome. Give us a follow on fuel the underscore fire on Instagram if you're not already following us and write us a review. I still have a little bit of merch left. So hit me up before it's all gone. If you write a review, send a screenshot, send it over to me and I'll hook it up for you. Thank you so much guys.
Love you. Bye.