Travis Macy is a 2x author, world-class endurance champion across many disciplines including Adventure Racing, 100-mile trail running races like Leadville and Leadman, Snowshoe champion, ski mountaineering, and even Burro racing. He is the host of The Travis Macy Show Podcast and a sought-after speaker including being a TEDx speaker. Travis is also an endurance sports coach and a dad to 2 children.
Travis also happens to be a good friend of mine. You may have heard him on the podcasts we recorded about his book, The Ultra Mindset and more recently, A Mile at a Time. Travis and I have been brainstorming fun ways to collaborate. We both headed to the east coast to do one keynote speech each followed by a group Q&A at a Leadership Conference for some very interesting individuals!
We recorded this podcast at the Denver International Airport prior to boarding our flight (and almost missed our flight!)
“I remember, somehow when I was a kid and teenager, like my dad was doing some of these races, Leadville 100 and stuff. And I remember him saying things like, you know bud, if you only show up when things are perfect, you’re not going to be showing up to anything at all. If you want to do something, sometimes you got to do it, and that doesn’t mean that you’re foolish about things or sometimes we can’t do what we want. Sometimes there’s family things or work things or health or whatever. But sometimes you push through even when it’s not perfect.”– Travis Macy
- My win at Pisgah
- When preparation isn’t perfect
- Flexibility around your plan
- How to let go a little bit
- Maintaining curiosity
- Preparing my keynote on mastery and fulfillment
- Intentional imbalance
- Travis’s book tour and family travel
- Thinking about what’s next
- Travis’s supportive personality
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- Learn more about Travis Macy
- Check out Travis’s new book with his dad Mark Macy
- Listen to Travis’s podcast
- Sign up for my weekly newsletter!
Travis Macy: All right. Sonya, tell everyone what’s going on here.
Sonya Looney: Well, first of all, we’re in person, which is kind of fun. And we’re looking out the window at potential tornadoes and sitting waiting for our delayed flight to fly to the East Coast.
Sonya: What are we doing there?
Travis: Well, we’re doing a keynote in North Carolina. Should be fun. I’ve got to talk. You’ve got to talk. We’ll do some talking together and should be good.
Sonya: Maybe someone will stump us with a question.
Travis: Maybe so. I hope so. So tell us about the last month. So you’ve been here and there and everywhere.
Sonya: Like Roy Kent, if anyone’s ever seen, Ted Lasso.
Travis: Oh, I know. I think there’s a song about that. I don’t think the song is appropriate for the listener audience, but it’s a good one
Sonya: Just sing it in your head. Well, you’ve been everywhere to actually this will be fun, because there has been some adventures on our part. So okay, I was at the Pisgah stage race in Brevard, North Carolina. For those who don’t know what it is, it’s a five-day mile bike race. And it is almost infamous for being technical. So that was actually why I wanted to sign up.
Travis: Nice. And how did it go?
Sonya: It went well, I was not expecting to be racing for the win because in the past, my preparation has been really different for stage races. And I had to readjust my expectations. In fact, I thought about not even going because I got sick in March for two weeks. And as my coach, you can validate that I didn’t do anything for two weeks. I’m not the secret training stuff. But I didn’t do anything for two weeks and was super tired and thought, wow, I’m going to be dragging my entire family across the country. It’s really expensive. I can still bail out now and it won’t cost us anything. And I feel guilty going if I haven’t done the work. But then my husband was really helpful and he said, you don’t race just to win races, you race for a lot of different reasons. What are those reasons? And it was for community and for being part of that community and contributing to that community with talks and just being there and for adventure, and not for only trying to go and be at the top of the podium. So yeah, that was fun, and it was a good surprise. And I got to race against women I’ve never met before, who are superstars on the east coast and in the east coast of Canada. So it was pretty cool.
Travis: Cool. Congratulations. That’s awesome. Tell us more about that field. You said it was a pretty in this is the pro women’s field that you were in. And for those who don’t know what, it’s five stages, and then add up your time every day, kind of like the Tour de France or tour or something.
Sonya: Yeah, it is a cumulative time. And something about North American stage races is that they’re actually short compared to a lot of the ones over across the world, but ours are very single track heavy. So that’s probably why and probably trying to index more on the type one fun over the type two fun. So these were mostly around three, three and a half hour, three to three and a half hour stages. And there was Britt Mason who has won multiple NUE which is a national ultra endurance series for 100 mile races. There was Jen Toops, who has been four time NUE champion. So for four years, she’s won the overall for the ultra endurance series. And then there was another woman named Mackenzie Myatt your last name and she’s she came top 30 in a World Cup last year for Team Canada. And then there was an incredible enduro rider named Nina Machina, who is absolutely shredding, male and female down on the downhills. So pretty fun.
Travis: And is that her real last name machina?
Sonya: I think it’s Machnowski. But she’s changed it on Strava and on her social media, and yeah, and I got to meet her. We’ve talked on Instagram a bit. So it’s really fun to get to put a face to the name.
Travis: Okay, Nina Machina, right?
Sonya: She turned 21 years old at the race. So she’s super young.
Travis: Nina Machina, if you are listening to this, reach out because we want you on the podcast. Yeah, she’s a college student?
Sonya: Yes. She goes to college at Brevard College. And yeah, it occurred to me that I’m turning 40 in August, and she is basically just turned 21. So I am almost twice your age.
Travis: You could be her mother.
Sonya: Yeah, it’s getting to the point where the start lines… I’m getting to be the senior on the start line in the open category.
Travis: It’s funny. I mean, I, you know, you and I both started these endurance sports, like pretty young, kind of right out of college. And we’re both the same age about 40. I mean, at the start for me, like, I was doing these adventure races, and everyone was 30 or 40 something and here I was 20, 21, 22 and yeah, now all of a sudden, you’re the old guy.
Sonya: Yeah. I kind of like it though. I did see Geoff Kabush at Sea Otter and he was saying, you know how he’s gonna go on the start line while these kids and I said How old are you now Geoff and said he’s either 46 or turning 46. Well, he’s still out there crushing it, so why shouldn’t we?
Travis: Yeah, good. Well, there you go, Geoff. Shout out to him too. That’s another thing with cycling. They do that. Like it’s not your real age, it’s like your racing age. That’s right. When my good friend Greg Krause he somehow he was 36 for like three years in a row because he like, messed it up. And then he was right on and then he messed it up again. And, yeah. So Sonya, I think the story of your race, let’s go further into like, the preparation wasn’t perfect. You had two weeks off, you had this illness. If you look back the your last few years, you’ve had two kids over the last, what, three and a half years, and COVID, and all this other stuff. But you still toe the line. Tell us about that. What was that mindset?
Sonya: I got back to racing last year. So I got to kind of break the seal after having kids. And breaking the seal was 100 mile mountain bike race where I swore I’d never do another one ever again, which I’m signed up for the same one this summer. But basically, I’ve had to learn that you just have to do what you can and be okay with that. And it’s hard whenever you’re used to achieving and used to having total freedom over your time, which was such a luxury to have that. But it’s also been such a great lesson in that small actions compound. I’ve been saying that a lot. And learning how to manage your expectations in a way where it’s not just about trying to be a perfectionist. And I definitely have perfectionist tendencies that I thought I kind of nipped in the bud. And I was actually listening to an audio book about raising children. And they started talking about perfectionist tendencies and children and I started noticing them in myself once again. So being aware of those whenever you’re going after a challenge and being able to let go a little bit. And to quote a recent podcast guest and friend, Dr. Diana Hill, who’s an ACT psychologist, she said, if you’re gripping onto something so tightly, your hand starts to hurt, like you’re not going to be doing yourself any good by gripping so hard. So if you just loosen your grip a little bit, what does that feel like? So that really stuck with me when she said that and loosening your grip and loosening your expectations. Because I think that we think things have to be a certain way or it means that we’re not good enough, or we’re not worthy. And it’s very easy in our culture to get tied up in that. And an example is, I won the race, which is super cool. And I really appreciated all of the well wishes and things around it. I appreciated the extra boost I got on social media, but I got second or Breck Epic last year with a four-month-old baby, and I got some well wishes but it wasn’t like winning a race. And that’s something I think about a lot is that we still highly celebrate the winners and the person that comes second or the person who was brave enough to finish we don’t celebrate them in the same way.
Travis: Or the person who toes the line and doesn’t finish. I mean, often, that’s just as hard, just as big of an accomplishment.
Sonya: It’s probably even harder because you work just as hard as everybody else. And a lot of times if you have a DNF it’s because something out of your control happened. And it’s even more devastating.
Travis: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Or, you look at like, the majority of participants in the Breck Epic or Leadville 100, or Pisgah or whatever, they’re not trying to win. And often for most people getting to the finish line is a huge, a lot of people toe that line, and they don’t know if they’re gonna make it or not. You know, they might they might not.
Sonya: Yeah, and it’s where you derive success from and what you’re proud of, and showing up and doing your best and even just showing up period. Yeah, as a success. And who was it someone recently said, just showing up to start line when you have kids is a success in and of itself. But kids can be a metaphor for anything else difficult that somebody has, not the kids are difficult, but added challenges that might take you out of your preparation.
Travis: The book about perfectionism and kids, what’s the title?
Sonya: It’s awesome. So it’s all about kids being good inside, and it’s called Good Inside by Dr. Becky Kennedy. And I usually listen to an audiobook first and then I also buy a hard copy if I like it to reference. Yeah, there’s a lot of nuggets in there for adults, but a lot of it’s actually about emotional regulation as a parent, and she actually, in the audiobook, you hear her audibly taking a breath, and you feel the calming feelings of that and about how kids are separate from their behavior. And we are separate from our behavior. And I think it was interesting that she was saying that in there because that’s a perfectionist tendency is you over identify yourself with your behavior and in my keynote tomorrow, that’s something that I talk about in there for adults.
Travis: Yeah, yeah. Oh, man. I love that it resonates so much. And you can imagine the child the acting out especially in public, and the parents thinking that you know, oh, my God, how did what does it say about me is as a parent, and then the parents perfectionism is kicking in, but when the parent becomes riled up and dis dysregulated that continues to amp up the kid. Yeah, I’m not saying… my kids are 10 and 12. And I’ve made a lot of progress in all this stuff, but no one’s perfect. You keep learning and the awareness, I think, is the first step, in being aware of your own regulation, or dysregulation. And then you get the whole family is involved. You got two kids, two parents, maybe more kids.
Sonya: I’m not having any more kids.
Travis: Me neither, and for the audience Sonya’s kids are one and three. And, yeah, everything that you’re saying, Sonya, for me, the parenting journey was definitely, I feel like if I had two big initiations into like the importance of letting go of control and just accepting things as they come parenting, well, maybe I’ll say three. The first one was endurance racing, adventure racing, biking, ultra running. The one reason I love these sports is you prepare and you try to control things, but you have no idea what the heck’s gonna happen, and you’re gonna have to figure stuff out. And I think that helped me prepare for parenting and parenting helped me prepare for this Alzheimer’s journey with my dad, which was kind of like a lot of things in life are uncertain. And, if you try to, like you said, hold things tightly, or
back to your podcast guest, I listen to that one, she said, have high standards, but hold them lightly. I liked that model. You can’t control everything.
Sonya: So was there a time for you where you were trying to prepare for something, and the preparation didn’t go the way that you hoped? Because I think that this happens to all of us. And it’s good to hear stories of because we just see people’s outcomes, and we don’t see what happens behind the scenes.
Travis: I mean, a time…how about every single time I’ve done anything, and I remember, somehow when I was a kid and teenager, like my dad was doing some of these races, Leadville 100 and stuff. And I remember him saying things like, you know bud, if you only show up when things are perfect, you’re not going to be showing up to anything at all. If you want to do something, sometimes you got to do it, and that doesn’t mean that you’re foolish about things or sometimes we can’t do what we want. Sometimes there’s family things or work things or health or whatever. But sometimes you push through even when it’s not perfect. One race I did it, I was doing a big ultra run in Europe, when my kids were like, one and three, and we stayed in this tiny little apartment in Tignes I think it’s how it’s pronounced at the top of this mountain in France. Tour de France stage finished there, like two years ago, I think. Anyway, and the night before, finally get the kids to sleep. And then Wyatt fell out of the bunk, like onto the floor. And just, lost it. Thankfully, he wasn’t injured, but like, total chaos, and it’s whatever 1am. And we’re, we’re awake for the next two hours, and then finally fell back asleep. And then I had to get up at like, 3am to drive to the race anyway. And on the way there, I’m like, I have literally maybe slept five minutes here before this is the A race of the season. But I kept driving like, here I am, sponsors have paid for me to get there. I put in the work, just got to do it. And once again, that goes off, I didn’t even think about the fact that I didn’t sleep, but it ended up being a great race. But, in general, I think, especially when a lot of the listeners of this podcast, like you have a job, you have a family and you’re probably also trying to do these things that you like, it’s probably not going to be perfect. If you want to win the Tour de France, your preparation probably should be perfect. That’s how you win that but you know, other stuff and like you did a pro level race and preparation wasn’t perfect, but you did it. You have wisdom, you have experience, you have mom power on your side, like those are real things. Younger athletes who maybe they are sharper, whatever. Like, oftentimes it takes time to learn to roll with the punches and pace yourself over the course of five days. That’s something that’s probably innate to you now that you just do.
Sonya: That’s true. I was third on day one, but this reminds me of something that Catharine Pendrel said, because she’s been on my podcast a couple times. And I asked her because she was racing world cups. And she retired, I think it was last year. But she was racing against 20-year-olds, 25-year-olds. And she said, I may not have as much snap as them or as much high power as them, but I have so much experience that that counts for almost more than the pop. And as you’re talking, I was just thinking about, I did a post about confidence. And I thought of it as I was preparing for the race, because I did a couple of pre rides, which meant that I was riding when it was like 37 degrees in pouring rain, and it was one of those moments where you’re like, this is why I don’t need to do cold plunges. But I was thinking to myself, I didn’t even feel great on those pre rides. But I knew because of experience that doesn’t actually matter. Whereas when I was a younger racer, I would freak out if I had a bad pre ride or if my heart rate was a little bit low. And confidence isn’t showing up thinking I’m going to be the best or I’m going to, you know, this is the best ever. It’s showing up knowing that I am going to be able to handle anything that comes my way. And it has nothing to do with how well you’re going to do. It has to do with how you are going to carry yourself forward. And that was a kind of a cool epiphany. So maybe I just had to be frozen to have it.
Travis: Yeah, yeah, I like that. I like to tell athletes I coach that it’s you do prepare well, you make a lot of plans, you dial in your nutrition and your gear and your pacing, and data, you do all that stuff. But it also it’s less of I’m going to execute and things are gonna go perfect and more of I’m gonna execute and follow the plan. And when the plan changes, I can figure it out, whatever that may mean.
Sonya: I think having flexibility around your plan is important too, like something I was nervous about this year was that, you’ve been doing my running coaching and helping me combine it with cycling and make good decisions. So I’ve never not ridden my bike six days a week in preparation for a race. In fact, I was running during my second pregnancy and a little bit before that, but I stopped running at the end of my pregnancy and moving into racing again. And I only rode my bike last year to get ready for races. So this was the very first time that I did a bike race where I was running three days a week and riding three to four days a week, where I didn’t do normal bike preparation. And that was again, loosening that grasp, and having the courage to try something new, and just show up publicly and see if it actually is going to work. And it’s cool whenever you are able to have the courage and the curiosity to do those things. And it’s nice when it works out. But yeah, I think it’s an important reminder that we always get stuck in a way of doing something. And it’s scary. And it’s hard to do something differently to change your process. And also the importance of good coaching to inform that process is really important. And I really appreciate how you’ve helped me with that.
Travis: No, yeah, sure. It’s been fun. Yeah. And you’re touching on teamwork, which I think for people, I think like you and I, and probably a lot of listeners who are kind of maybe naturally wired towards this thing we’re calling perfectionism, sometimes it can be hard to let that go, to let someone else play a role. And to let go of, I know, for me naturally, it’s my mindset has naturally again, been all or nothing, and I’m gonna do this on my own. And I remember in high school, I’d really struggle with group projects, for example, because it’s like, you cannot make it let someone else do it. Yeah, everyone wanted to be my partner, and I didn’t want to be anyone’s partner. But it turns out that life is a group project, and we all have our strengths and weaknesses. It’s a real life example. It’s not fun or flashy, but on the way to the airport, I was talking with my wife, and she was like, hey, do you want some help like organizing your office because I have a lot of strengths and I try to play to those strengths. And I’m good at things like showing up and bringing energy for a talk or for the thing that we’re doing this keynote, for me, that’s easy. For me really hard is slowing down for 10 minutes to clean up my office and get everything just clothes and everything else out there.
Sonya: I’m just thinking about the pile of laundry that is clean and folded because our nanny folded it that is on the dresser there that I haven’t put away and I just haven’t done it.
Travis: Yeah, well, thank goodness, at least it’s folded. I mean, I don’t even want to maybe I’ll post a picture of my office here after Amy helps me out. But like, in some ways, I even had to think I need to loosen my grasp here because in some ways, I don’t organize things because I know exactly where I want it or if someone else puts it somewhere I won’t be able to find it. It’s probably an innate sort of perfectionism kind of thing that ironically manifests in a lot of chaos.
Sonya: Yeah, I think some takeaways so far for people are well, number one, what’s your laundry look like right now? Number one, where are you grasping things so tightly that you’re creating challenges for yourself? And how would you benefit from letting go a little bit? And would you be willing to have an experiment in your life where you do like a little bit and see what happens. And that doesn’t mean that it’s permanent forever, but just letting go a little bit can maybe be informative. And then number two, we were talking about process and how a lot of times it’s messy. And a lot of times, it’s just showing up and doing your best and just having faith or maybe just hoping that it’s all going to come together. And if it doesn’t, maybe setting different goals for next time.
Travis: Yeah. I like it. That sounds like that sounds like wisdom that sounds like the kind of wisdom that would help you win a five-day bike race.
Sonya: Well, Arthur Brooks wrote this book called From Strength to Strength, which I really loved. And he talks about this thing called crystallized intelligence, which is something that you get whenever you’re older, and he talks about having two different curves. So crystallized intelligence, he actually notes, it’s usually like 40+, and you’re able to take lots of different experiences and make meaning from them and change how you relate to things and then be able to distill it and teach others. Whereas when you’re younger, you’re sharper in different ways.
Travis: Yeah. I like it. I think that’s what Carl Jung would call like, the second half of life. And I listened to that book, and he talked about that other kind of intelligence that you start to lose
Sonya: Fluid intelligence, I think, yeah. What’s it called?
Travis: Exactly. Yeah, I know that I’m losing it. Do you have a podcast about that? Did you podcast with Brooks?
Sonya: No, I tried. But let’s see.
Travis: I heard Brooks on some podcast, and then bought the book.
Sonya: He said, no. So I’m gonna keep trying because I really like his column in the Atlantic. Come on, Arthur.
Travis: Gosh, what else I was gonna say something, but it went out of my brain with the fluid intelligence.
Sonya: We were talking about grasping things tightly, and letting go a little bit and being curious to see what happens.
Travis: Yes, that’s right. And I would agree with that. I also like the idea one of the one of the things I tell myself sometimes and again, maybe this is related to kind of my dad having Alzheimer’s and just I think when we come face to face with mortality, and the mortality of someone close to us or her own mortality, one of my takeaways is a lot of the stuff that we worry about, as with common culture, and the things we get caught up, and a lot of those things are nice step back, it’s like, that shit that like, it doesn’t matter, how clean is your car or is the laundry folded? Or are things perfect? Looking back, again, for me as a as a young student, do I have straight A’s? Do I have the highest score on the O Chem final or something. Those are things I used to worry about. And hopefully I don’t as much anymore. But I think that a lot of the things we can get caught up in aren’t really that important.
Sonya: I agree with that. And I also think, though, when you are younger, or in something that that is very real for that person. That’s something I’m trying to think about with parenting, like when my kids eventually make a really big deal about something that I think is not that big of a deal. But in their world, it is an incredibly big deal. It’s like how do you balance or manage, knowing what the big picture view kind of looks like of life? You know, from our 40 year old vantage point, versus somebody, maybe younger, maybe somebody that hasn’t had similar experiences that does get all encompassed and stuck in something that on the outside doesn’t seem to matter as much?
Travis: Yeah, I think you’re right, Sonya, I may retract my previous statement on the grounds…
Sonya: No, I think I think they’re both right. I think they’re both perspectives that are important to have.
Travis: So and you’re right about the kid stuff like my kids are now you know, sort of this tween phase and like, the social stuff is becoming very big and little things happen between friends or whatever that really upset kids. And those things are real and we need to help our kids.
Sonya: I just think it’s a good reminder of like, the whole idea that things can be both and instead of either or, that’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot and trying to notice a lot. And once you start looking for that, you start seeing it in a lot of places.
Travis: Yeah, there’s a lot of gray in life and you know, it’s it’s not all or nothing more more often it’s all or something.
Sonya: And you can be happy and sad at the same time. Like, right now I’m a little bit sad because I miss my kids. And, you know, my daughter might hopefully she doesn’t walk while I’m here. But you know, yeah. And I’m also super excited and happy to be here. And I feel really good in my career that I’m able to start traveling again and pursuing things.
Travis: Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. So speaking here of your keynote, can you tell the audience, maybe a couple things you’re going to talk about her a couple of your main points.
Sonya: It’s really hard to put together a one-hour keynote, because there’s lots of things that I want to talk about. And I probably have already too many things in mind, but I’ll get through it all. The thing that I’m most excited about is just talking about mastery and fulfillment in life. And that is something that is really on my mind all the time. Because achievement, like we’ve been talking about, and pursuing achievement and how culture celebrates achievement is a really big thing. But we often don’t feel good, as good as we think we’re going to feel, whenever we achieve something. And that feeling is very fleeting. So where do those feelings of well-being come from? What is the foundation of that as we are striving for something? So that’s kind of the last part of the talk. And then a lot of the similar things that I like talking about – emotional regulation and how that pertains to resilience, and then self-talk, and then having a growth mindset and life. How about you, what are you going to talk about?
Travis: I like it, I’m excited to listen. I’ll tell you in a minute. But first, I need to delve deeper into that. On the topic of high expectations, but holding them lightly, sometimes I struggle with that, because I kind of again, back to like the all or nothing idea, it’s like, either I have a bunch of big goals, and I’m just gonna go 300% on it or no goal at all. And I struggle with where’s that sweet spot? And what does that look like? Or how do you do that? Whether it’s as an athlete, as a business person, as a parent, how do you how do you walk that line where you’re not just doing nothing, but you’re still being proactive and having goals.
Sonya: I think that’s where this point of like, intentional imbalance comes in, which is something that I’m talking about, as well. Okay. I view it as like periodizing, seeing what you’re prioritizing. Yeah, because you can’t go 300% all the time, and I’ve tried multiple times, and it always ends badly. Like an example of going 300% is right now I’m going 300% I’ve been traveling every single week, like all these things are great, but I’m starting to feel tired. And I have rest built in where I’m gonna focus on something else, a different goal, but where I’m not exerting my energy in the same way. So I think periodizing and what those goals are. So like, right now, it’s like travel and speaking and racing. And the next month, I’m really focused on writing a book or getting to 20,000 words. That way I can feel pulled to finish thing. And then the next month is going to be about family. So being able to focus on one thing at a time, but also have goals running in the background. And then also asking yourself from that expectations piece, what am I what am I trying to get from having this 300%? And what am I what do I feel like I’m missing whenever I don’t have that? And trying to figure out what that is. Because there’s something there that’s missing? And maybe you can get that without having to go all or none.
Travis: Yeah, yeah. I like that. I liked that idea of micro periodization. And that’s a concept in the training literature. And I think even in professional cycling, you see that more and more people go do a race and then they do like a brief training camp at altitude and then come back and it turns out it works. And, yeah, that’s kind of how I’ve been thinking of the last month for me has been a lot of travel, we did our book launch. It’s been fun. I’ve got to do a lot of stuff with my dad. We’ve been flying all over. And like you said it’s not sustainable. And I’m glad that this is the last time I have to get on a plane.
Sonya: Hopefully, we’re getting on a plane. We’ll see what happens today.
Travis: That’s right. It’s here we are we get this. Maybe well, it’s raining right now. Maybe snow coming we’ll see; we got to get to North Carolina one way or another. You asked me what I’m going to speak about. Well, the requested topic was the ultra mindset. So most of my recent talking with our book things and interviews, etc has been kind of more on the Alzheimer’s journey eco challenge topic. So now I’m kind of switching going back to the ultra mindset kind of stuff. And it’s actually been kind of fun to sort of study up on it. And this book I wrote in 2015, like, oh, what were those eight principles or ideas so planning on going through those stones some of the stories from the book, some stories not from the book and hopefully connecting with the audience. I’m really excited, you and I were talking about virtual keynotes. That’s kind of been more of a thing last few years, it’s nice to actually go and interact with an audience and kind of play off them and hopefully get to get to find out what it what is it that’s going to help them.
Sonya: Hopefully not see anybody yawning.
Travis: Don’t take a personal I yawn all the time.
Sonya: I did a couple of free talks when I was in North Carolina. And yeah, I was just thinking about like the audience, and do they seem interested? And do they like this? And do they like me? And yeah, that’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot. Is the am I evaluating what I’m doing while I’m doing it? Or am I focusing on what I’m doing while I’m doing it?
Travis: Yep. So you tried to shoot for the ladder, sight?
Sonya: So given your talk, what what are you most excited about? Like right now of what after you went back and review those eight principles? Which one really resonated with you the most?
Travis: That’s a good question. I mean, I think one of the ones in the in the book was the idea of like, the stories we tell ourselves good stories, bad stories, how do we watch those? How do we choose the ones that we’re going to kind of roll with or not? And honestly, that’s the one that I struggle with the most, it’s always been the hardest one for me. So I like that one. I like talking about that one. I like telling stories and giving examples about it. And I think that’s one that can resonate with almost anyone. I know there’s something about that in your slides as well.
Sonya: So, yeah, well, you’re gonna do all the heavy lifting on that topic for me, and then I get to just brush over it.
Travis: What else do you have for the rest of the summer?
Sonya: Actually want to ask you about how all of your travel went and where you went. Because people are wondering.
Travis: Our book hit shelves March 14, and we’ve had a number of kind of traditional book signing events in the Colorado area. I’ve had mostly just gratitude about those because four or five, six months ago, I didn’t know if my dad would be able to go to those with me, and the fact that he has, and they’ve been really fun for him, and he enjoys hanging out and just bs-ing with people’s huge. So I’ve felt just like super grateful for those. And it’s challenging there, he does need a lot of support. And most of that comes down to my mom as well. But we’ve had a good a good team for it, you know? So mostly in Colorado, and then my wife, Amy, and I went to Nashville for a couple days, with a Mind What Matters nonprofit, great group that gives money to Alzheimer’s caregivers. So got to kind of participate in their gala event sort of thing. And that was good. And then the week after that, we did something similar in New York City with the Alzheimer’s drug discovery foundation that I found out is the largest contributor towards Alzheimer’s drug research. So they’re doing a lot of good work and my dad, mom got to come to that one. And that was really cool. My dad and I kind of gave some remarks and he did a great job. I was thankful that my kids could see my dad doing something special and put that into their memories. And also to watch my kids supporting my dad through the airport and through the city and just everywhere, like that’s what’s life’s about, helping the people you care about is it was a team sport. Yeah, it is. Yeah. So it was good. And, you know, we’ll we’ll we will my dad and I have another trip like that again on a plane or not, I don’t know. We’ll see.
Sonya: Sounds super meaningful. The family part especially.
Travis: Yeah, it was super special. Yeah.
Sonya: So I know that you might be thinking like, well, 300% or zero. I want to go 300% in something else. I got this book launch done. You’re now the author of two books, which congratulations, hopefully you’ve let that sink in and celebrated the fact that you’ve written not one, but two books.
Travis: I have you’ve helped me do that. So your listeners probably know you do kind of mindset coaching shorter stuff, and you’ve really helped me with that. So thank you. After my first book launch, it’s a high and excitement and all that and there was a dip afterwards. And many people know that from professional experiences, from athletic experiences, it often happens. You train up for the big race, you do great or you do poorly or whatever. And often there’s this lull. And I definitely experienced that after the first book. And that time around, I kind of came to a scramble of like, oh, I gotta write another book. Let’s do it again. And kind of realize, like, I wasn’t ready to write another. I didn’t have like the material. The topic I didn’t really want to the time wasn’t right. So I think I’m glad that I see that coming now that what you might call the post race blues are something so just, anticipating how and when that manifests. I don’t know, but, you know, I think I’ll hopefully be a little more ready. And, I have a lot of family stuff going on, lots of kids soccer on weekends. And I was just talking to a burro racing friend today, so that’s
Sonya: Not many people can say I was talking to a burro racing.
Travis: Yeah, I got my boots. I got stopped in security because I had this big belt buckle. I kind of like to wear my belt buckle when I do talks and stuff. It’s like an ultra running thing. Yeah so I made it through security. What was the question?
Sonya: We’re talking about just like what you’re doing next and what you’re focusing on?
Travis: Yeah, I don’t know more… But you know, it’s not getting back to the ultra running metaphor, I think many people in a lot of sports. It’s like, it’s always what’s, what’s next, what’s next, what’s next. And that can be good. It’s good to finish your thing and to get back to the process, whatever your process is riding the bike running, parenting, working, I think that’s good. But I’ve learned to be more accepting of, I don’t always have to have the next thing staring me in the face. You know, I spent most of my adult life and you can probably relate to this. I always knew the next race, like, you know, and it was usually coming within probably a month at the most. So I always knew like, I’m getting home, you know, maybe there’s a little recovery time, but this is what’s next. And over the last few years I’ve come to accept like, maybe I don’t always have to do that. So I don’t have to have the next book. I don’t have to have the next race. And back to my burro racing buddy. Again, these things exist, Sonya, am I going to do some burr races this year? Maybe so maybe not? I don’t know. We’ll see. Maybe some bike races. I told you. I’m doing my first enduro race on Sunday in Salida. People may have heard about that on a previous podcast, and you know that that’ll be fun. You know, it’s it really is for fun, but I’ve been training in that I’m riding a couple of the trails are pushing my limit as far as what can I ride smoothly. And it’s been good, though, like, kind of have pushed me over the edge to that there’s trail called hooligan in Salida. It’s a double black trail. I mean, it’s rocky and technical and I’ve lived there for three years. And I didn’t ride it much because I was scared of it. And now I’m like, shit, this thing’s in the race. Like, all right, first I would ride it with my buddies and try to figure out the lines. And now I’ve been riding it some alone. And I’m not gonna beat the real enduro riders down it, but I can ride it confidently now.
Sonya: So thanks for saying that you don’t have to have something big when someone asks you what’s next. Like I was almost hesitant to ask that because people always ask that question. But I think that what you said of not having a huge thing and taking the time that you need to not have a huge thing. But also that little things can be huge things like you said soccer and your family. And those are really important meaningful things. And on paper, they might not be quote, impressive or an accolade. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not important or not meaningful to you.
Travis: Yeah, yeah. And often, I mean, taking care of your kids and just digging in deep on a daily basis, like that’s as hard and heroic, as doing a big race or something. And yeah, I mean, some of that comes down to your identity, does it have to be totally connected with your achievement, or what you do? And I think for people in the endurance sports world, you’re at the party or the family gathering or whatever, like that’s a question like, oh, you know, what’s your next race? Like, what do you do? And we can get addicted to like, being able to say, oh, you know, going to China to do this thing or whatever. It’s fun to be able to talk about that stuff, but like, you’re a person beyond that and maybe you’re not an athlete, but you’re a person beyond your career or the things that you that you do.
Sonya: I was just thinking as you’re saying that, like lately, I’ve just been feeling super stoked and I think it’s because I now have an answer to what’s next. Because for many years, I didn’t have an answer to that. Because of a lot of people didn’t during 2020. But two pregnancies and then just like border closed…and what’s next was having a family. Yeah, that’s a really different thing than saying this race or this cool trip or whatever. So I feel like a bit invigorated in my life, again, to have a little bit more dimension to go after some things that I’ve been wanting to go after for a while, but also trying to pay attention to not overdoing it because I know that that’s what I tend to do is like, oh, now I just want to do everything.
Travis: Yeah, it’s, it’s true. And yeah, I mean, here we are back to the gray area in between, it is good to have things coming up to have things to look forward to. Everyone needs that. But it doesn’t always have to be everything. And I’m also learning it doesn’t always have to be right now. Which is hard for me, because I’ve always had an urgency. And also, again, when I think about mortality, it’s like, oh, shit, if I want to do something like, now’s the time, I’m young enough, I’m strong enough, whatever. But oftentimes, you can’t do it right now. Maybe it can come later. There’s this ski line, this mountain, a backcountry ski line that, that has been like my goal. It’s not a race or anything, but like, I look at this thing, like every day, and I want to ski it. And I had a window last Sunday, but it didn’t fit with the family schedule. We were heading out of town, and my wife, Amy had meetings. And she was like, hey, I really need your support here. And so I didn’t do it that day. And I still got to do something I went out and you know, had a great bike ride early in the morning, got back in time. And, you know, am I bummed that I didn’t ski that line that day, maybe a little bit, but two weeks later, does it really matter? Probably not. Maybe I can maybe there’ll be enough snow next week, and maybe not.
Sonya: Something’s better than nothing. I went for a 15 minute run yesterday. That’s all I did. Something better than nothing. I told myself.
Travis: Nope, there you go. And especially with running frequency is really important. Those little bits of impact on your legs, it actually makes a difference. Yeah.
Sonya: So we think should we wrap this thing up? We’re not in the tornado shelter yet. It’s raining now. So it’s probably a good sign. Maybe, actually, I’ve one more question for you. You’re incredibly supportive, and you bring everybody else up around you. David Roach said the same thing about you when you interviewed him on his podcast. How do you do it? I think many people want to be supportive of people and like myself, I’m always trying to think of ways that I can support other people, but it seems to come so naturally to you.
Travis: Well, thanks for thanks for saying that. I appreciate the compliment. I don’t know, I think maybe it’s just part of helping other people has always been a core motivation for me, and yeah, it’s just, it’s something I believe in. And I like the idea of a mindset that’s not based on scarcity or like a set amount of let’s say, career opportunity. You got a number of people in the Colorado area who are endurance coaches in one mindset can be like, oh, well, there’s only so many athletes who need a coach. And so I’m gonna get them and I’m not gonna share. It’s just, that’s not what I think. I like to have just a mindset of there’s enough to go around, whether it’s time or energy or love or athletes or whatever. Is that always true in my head? Sometimes in my head, those negative stories like, oh, there’s a limited resources, there’s not enough of this, that or the other, but I definitely try to live of there’s a lot of things. I think about I mean, gosh, we’ve got eight or nine billion people in the world, there’s enough business, there’s enough coaching, there’s enough whatever. So we might as well just support each other. Is there a truth to the idea of karma? If you help other people, does it come back to you? Probably so but it’s less about that and more about
Sonya: What type of person do you want to be?
Travis: And what makes you feel. People want to help, like we are social species and we’re supposed to help each other with things; humans don’t survive alone. So I think if we have that mindset of we’re in it together, we’re helping each other, it’s a lot more natural. Where the rubber hits the road, if you’re always in this sense of scarcity and competition and us versus them or take down the competitors or whatever, it’s not like a happy place. Those are the people who are writing terrible negative reviews on Amazon or taking down people on social. I can’t imagine that feeling good.
Sonya: So, yeah, I think people working on that, like noticing how it feels in your body when you’re doing those things, and the constricting versus and expanding feeling. That’s something I’ve worked on a lot like, Matt, my husband said to me, around sponsorship specifically, because people were coming to me asking me for help, other women. And I initially would feel like, oh my gosh, they’re gonna take what’s mine? And it’s like, I don’t like admitting that out loud. But I’ve mentioned it multiple times. Because I think it’s important to be honest with that. It’s what you do after that, that matters. And it’s noticing that feeling of what did they take what’s mine? Or what if I lose an opportunity, because of this, and then pausing? How do I feel whenever…Even just talking about it, I feel constricted feeling and I don’t like that feeling. And then saying, well, how does it feel when I actually help somebody? And how does it feel when I take my ego out of it? And how does it feel to say, what if somebody helped me in the same way, and to strive to be that way, and you can be helping somebody and have it be not feeling good in the moment, but knowing that you’re doing the right thing because that’s, that’s the type of person you want to be?
Travis: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I think you’re, I think you’re right. So again, in there can like, it doesn’t mean competition is bad. And that’s why I like the idea of competition happens in the competitive places. So for you and I, that that might be a race. It feels good to toe the line and race and like, have strategy and try to beat people and use your strengths and what are there? But like it also, for me, it doesn’t mean you can’t be friends afterwards.
Sonya: Yeah, something that I said that, actually, I have been thinking about a lot. And I did an entire, post on competition, because, for me, it used to be a zero sum game. And now it’s not anymore. It’s about competition, having the best people around you competing, you might not be getting number one, because you’re having the best people around you. But you get the best out of yourself. And that’s way more important than being number one. I’ve been at races where I’ve been number one, but I knew that I didn’t get the best out of myself. And I wasn’t proud of that result. And I’ve been at races where I was third, fifth, 10th, and I felt way more proud of that result, because I knew I got the best out of myself. So that’s why it’s important to have good people around you. And that’s why I think competing is important if you can have this mindset around it so that it’s an opportunity to reach for more than maybe you thought you had and people around you can support you to do that even if you’re competing against them. There we go. Our first in person podcast. Yeah, we did it. Hopefully more to come I can see how the people that do these in person ones why it’s like three and a half hours because yeah, there’s a different like presence whenever you’re in person than it is on the screen and I can see why people want to. Like Rich Roll only does it in person, although that’s a pretty big table that everybody sits at.
Travis: Well, let’s do some more and to the podcast world out there, go to Vancouver and find Sonya.