Listen to my latest podcast episode:

TMHS 386: Is Detoxification A Miracle Or Myth? - With Guest Dr. Alejandro Junger

TMHS 382: The Danger Of Staying In Your Comfort Zone – With Guest Phylicia George

What could you accomplish if you simply had the audacity to try something different? How could your life change if you were bold enough to step outside of your self-imposed limits and labels? Some of the greatest rewards in life are available to those who have the courage and open-mindedness to step outside of the confines of a comfort zone and try something new. 

It’s normal to feel reassured and content in your habitual, ordinary way of doing things—especially if you are successful and happy in those patterns. But what could happen if you said yes to an opportunity to grow? This doesn’t mean you have to switch careers or move across the country, but consider the ways you could grow and learn by implementing a small shift in your life. There is immense value in picking up a new hobby or trying a new class, traveling to a place you’ve never been, or even just switching up the types of content you consume. 

Our guest today is an incredible example of what can happen if you allow yourself to be open to opportunities. Phylicia George has established herself as one of the top athletes in the world. She is the first Canadian black woman to complete in both the summer and winter Olympics, competing in both track and bobsleigh. Her story is a powerful testimony to what can happen when you have the audacity to dream big, are receptive to possibilities, and are willing to put in the work. I know her story will inspire you to get uncomfortable and seek out opportunities in your own life. Enjoy!

In this episode you’ll discover:

  • The benefits of learning multiple sports as an adolescent. 
  • What you can learn from working beside people who are more skilled and experienced.
  • How Phylicia became a summer and winter Olympian.
  • The most difficult part of being injured as an athlete. 
  • How Phylicia pivoted from track to bobsleigh. 
  • The power of sport to unite people. 
  • Why personifying the voice inside your head can help you achieve more.
  • How to stop comparing yourself, and instead focusing on what you can control.
  • What you can learn from having the willingness to fail. 
  • The danger of living inside your comfort zone. 
  • What it felt like for Phylicia to become an Olympic medalist. 
  • Why being fearless isn’t realistic, and how to cope with fear. 
  • How acclimating to being uncomfortable can help you grow. 
  • The important life lessons that can be extracted from playing sports.
  • How to grow past your self-imposed limits. 
  • The power of trying something different. 

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Items mentioned in this episode include:

Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!

Transcript:

Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to The Model Health Show. This is fitness and nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson and I am so grateful for you tuning in with me today.

I'm so excited about this episode. I grew up just being a big fan of sports and of the Olympics, I watched all the Olympic Games. And all the way back, I believe it was '96 in Atlanta and my mom even went to the Olympics to work there. She was definitely not an athlete, but she was there working. She brought me back this USA Track jacket but it was like extra big and fluffy, I think it was like a double X, whatever, but I rocked that bad boy.

And it's just really cool experience, just growing up and just really idolizing these different athletes, the dream team, and just seeing the human performance. Of course, I grew up playing sports as well, I started off just in a neighborhood, running, racing each other, playing basketball, literally living in some of the kind of "bad" neighborhoods we lived in, literally playing basketball with the crate pinned up on a light pole and that was our hoop in the ally, and just having fun out playing.

And we played literally, if we found a basketball court we might play for 4 hours straight, maybe get a little water, but when you drink water when you play basketball that long as a kid you don't just drink it, you inhale it, all right.

And that water fountain at the park that's like spraying straight up in your face, like you inhale that water. And just doing that to get into high school and play football and running track, but that's where things took a turn for me. Literally, I was coming off the turn on the track, there's a curve and there's a straightaway.

I was 15 years old, a sophomore in high school and I was coming off the curve into the straightaway, it was about to be my 16th birthday. My hip broke. I broke my hip from just running, can you imagine? No trauma, no impact, no fall but just running, because my bone density was so low.

And my aspirations of being at this high level of competition, whether it was the Olympics, whether it was just playing college football, my aspirations were really just vanquished. And I continued to try to figure things out but my body just was really breaking down and not participating with me in my plans.

And so I just left all that behind me and I continued to be a fan of sport, but I was really watching from the sidelines as my health began to go down further and further. And I didn't yet have the audacity to say no, to get outside of the box of what I was thinking was possible because all I knew was that my body was going in one direction and my goals in life were going another.

So I was just quitting everything. I continued to stay in school and to work on my education, but I was really lost with my identity of being an athlete my entire life. And my love, my struggle brought me to a place of really having the opportunity to help people with their health and wellness and to help athletes with their health and wellness, and a huge shout out to all the athletes listening to the podcast right now.

We've got listeners at every level, whether it's high school sports, college sports, professional athletes in Major League Baseball, shout out to you guys, Major League soccer, the NHL, the NFL, the NBA. We have listeners in all of those incredible areas and just a big shout out to you guys, but my mission became to help fuel those athletes and the future generations of athletes and those aspiring athletes who might be considered to be "over the hill" to have another shot at participating in the sports that they really love.

And so my greatest gift was losing my health and not being able to participate in the sports that I love. But now today guess what I do— I'm at the track, I'm at the track training and I bring my kids along with me.

My sons are crazy fast, it's actually scary how fast they are and they just grew up around me because after I regain my health I was able to participate, and I'm not out there like, and I could, I was actually running track a couple of weeks ago and there's this fellow there, I'm going to call him a fellow, he's an older guy, he's 70 and he participates in the Senior Olympics.

And I was doing a 20-meter sprint and he came over to me, he was like, "You could participate in your age bracket of the sprints, I'm sure you can. I think you'd actually win." I was like, "Oh, stop it," but just to hear that kind of thing, like there's always competition, there is always a way that we can play and engage and to use our incredible bodies, like what are we training for if we're not able to get out and have fun, right? And so just all of this to say, just to show you how excited I am, we have on an Olympian today. But she's not your average Olympian, she's a summer Olympian and life would have it, she would become a winter Olympian as well.

And her story is so unexpected, so improbable for her to achieve both of these things, and you're going to hear more about that today. What's so cool again, is like she's somebody who listens to The Model Health Show and so for me, to be in a position to add value to her life as an athlete, it just makes me so excited and so grateful and so happy.

And again, I am just very, very pumped to share this with you today, she's a really incredible person and she stopped in here to our studio to hang out with us. I think you're really going to love this. But another big thing about this athletic equation is obviously, it's not just the nutrition, it's not just the exercise of the movement and the training, it's also our sleep, it's also our recovery.

And I've got so many athletes out there, and also just everyday folks who are just wanting to optimize their life and to be the best version of themselves. I've got them creating their own sleep sanctuary, this place where just relaxation is overflowing, and creating an environment where it's easier to fall asleep and stay asleep and get optimal, efficient sleep cycles.

And one of the things that actually can be an issue for people is their bedding, is their mattresses themselves and also your sheets. Your sheets can be causing you issues with your sleep, crazy as it sounds.

And so what I've found and I am so grateful for this, because I love them so much. I found some sheets that are hypoallergenic, thermal regulating, moisture-wicking, anti-microbial sheets that ensure that your body is not getting overheated.

Because thermal regulation is a big part of sleep and your body being able to reduce its core temperature in order to facilitate hormone release, enzymatic processes, if we're running too hot this could actually disturb our sleep cycle, we've got many studies showing this now.

And now we have access to these incredible sheets that feel so good. It's kind of like that Tony, Tony, Tony song, "When I get into the bed". [song] "It feels good, yeah," it feels like that.

And I can't describe it to you, it's something you have to experience and the great thing about these Ettitude sheets, they're organic, 100 percent organic, the bamboo lyocell. And so they're not using conventional materials that are usually used, even for the most "expensive and luxurious" sheets that are utilizing cotton. This bamboo lyocell is great for the environment, this is efficient and it uses far less water in the growing of the plants.

And the way that they feel, you just can't put words to it, it doesn't even compare to cotton sheets. And also just the anti-microbial part is a big thing as well, we will be talking about this more as we move on to some future episodes, but I just want to know that this is something you have to experience and you have the opportunity to do that right now with Ettitude.

And what's so cool is I've been talking with them and seeing number one let's get a discount for my audience, so number one I got you a discount, you get 10 percent off all of their incredible sheets and also they have pajama jammy jams as well, and you get 10 percent off of everything, so that's number one. Here's what's also cool, there's a 30-day sleep trial, all right, so you get to sleep on them, there's a 30-day sleep trial.

So you actually get to sleep on these sheets for 30 days, sleep on, trim on it, and if you don't love it and think that this has just radically upgraded your sleep experience, you could send it back for a full refund.

So there's nothing to lose, every pleasurable sleep morsel to gain by popping over and checking out Ettitude, get yourself some of these sheets, it's ettitude.com/model, that's E-T-T-I-T-U-D-E.com/model, get 10 percent off and a 30-day sleep trial as well. Pop over there, check them out, ettitude.com/model. Now let's get to the Apple podcast review of the week.

iTunes Review: Another 5-star review titled "Keeps me on track" by PinkFlamingo823. "I love this podcast, it's so informative. The guests are amazing and your voice is so easy to understand. When I feel like eating on my diet or feel unmotivated, I listen to an episode and I get back on track. I'm also happy to share a birthday with you."

Shawn Stevenson: Hey, my birthday twin, thank you so much for sharing that review over on Apple Podcasts, I appreciate it so much. And please guys, if you've to leave or view for the show, please pop over to Apple Podcasts and leave a review, all right, or whatever platform you're listening to the show on, or if you're watching, hanging out with us in the studio on YouTube, make sure to leave a comment below the episode to let me know which you thought this particular episode.

And on that note, without further ado, let's get to our special guest. Our guest today is Phylicia George. She's established herself as one of the top athletes in the world. She's an Olympic medalist, 3 time Olympian, 4-time national champion and is a dual-sport athlete, accomplishing the rare feat of competing in both the Summer and Winter Olympics.

In 2018 she was also the recipient of the female track athlete of the year. And in her time in college, she studied Biological Sciences at the University of Connecticut, graduating summa cum laude, and still holds the school's record in the hurdles.

She's a strong advocate for holistic wellness as well as the empowerment of young girls and women. She works to aspire those around her to dream big and to follow their passion for living the life they truly want. And now we're going to jump it is a conversation with our incredible guest Phylicia George.

You know what's so crazy, is that here in the US we don't think about Canada churning out you know what I am saying, no offense, but there are some incredible athletes, we tend to think of like hockey. And so you being from there and when I heard about you and the things that you have accomplished, like it really tripped me out and I just was like, I got to look into this further.

And so obviously, 2-sport Olympian, which we'll get to in a moment, but how did all get started? Were you like a kid running around playing sports like how did you get into sports?

Phylicia George: So earliest memories I used to like race my dad in parking lots, like we would be leaving stores and I'd be like, "Hey, let's race to the car." It started off with him beating me and then I got faster and faster. But in elementary school we would have play days, and I was like the fastest kid in the school, I mean I'm out there beating the boys.

And so yeah, I just kind of built from that, people always told me like, "You should get a coach, you should get coach, you should do some training." And eventually I went to York University, which is a University in Toronto, I got a coach and started training when I was about 15, 5 days a week.

Yeah, I remember so school used to finish at like 2:45 the bus to get there would maybe get around 3 o'clock and I'd like rush to the bus, and it was like an hour and a half bus ride every single day to get to the track to train.

Shawn Stevenson: Are you serious?

Phylicia George: Yeah, and I'm 15 at that point. But it was like, to me it was like a huge deal.

Shawn Stevenson: Wait, hold up. This is live, I said, "Are you serious," and Siri jumped on. I love you Model Health Show audience, it happens to me all the time, because I say serious.

Phylicia George: Yeah, she's like, "What's up?" Yeah, an hour and a half bus ride every single day. But that was my first time using public transit so it was a big deal for me. I was super excited about that, I get to go there all by myself, it was cool. But yeah, 5 days a week take an hour and a half bus ride to get there every day. That kind of like popped things off for me into track road.

Shawn Stevenson: Wow, so how did school fit into that equation?

Phylicia George: I was in high school at the point, at the time, so I would do a full day of school and then train after that, and the training was like from 3 to 6. And then I went home, then I did my homework and did all that stuff, yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: Holy Moly.

Phylicia George: Yeah, and I was playing basketball and volleyball too. I was like the kid that did everything. My dad's a teacher so education was like super big for him. I always had good grades and you know, doing it all.

Shawn Stevenson: So what do you think about, because this so cool, what do you think about like specialization for kids today? Because like I hear a lot just some of the great athletes that I know, they did a lot of stuff.

Phylicia George: Yeah, exactly. I really believe you need to learn how to play, like play and have fun. And I think a lot of kids are getting into specialization really early and then it's all focused on the training and the technique. And I think we each have a very special way that we personally move and when you're playing and when you're having fun and if you're just like playing basketball down the street, you're learning your specific movement.

And so sometimes, I actually think training can take away from that, because you start to think too much and you're trying too hard as opposed to like letting your body flow and find that, so it's like finding the right cues. But yeah, I think I benefited from doing a bunch of different stuff and then I didn't really specialize on track until I went away to university. And then I did bobsled later on.

Shawn Stevenson: So and that's— you came for university here in the States, so that was, UCONN, right?

Phylicia George: Yeah, I went to the University of Connecticut.

Shawn Stevenson: What prompted that decision?

Phylicia George: I always wanted to go away to school in the US, like you're saying it's more competitive here, it's way more people and so it's more competitive environment to be in. And also in Canada they don't offer full athletic scholarships, whereas there was an opportunity to get my education paid for, and I'm a twin.

Shawn Stevenson: What?

Phylicia George: I have a twin brother. So it was like, "Hey, we're going to be going to school at the same time," so I was like let me help my parents out, get that paid for. And so yeah, I knew to kind of take myself to the next level. I needed to be in an environment where you're competing against the best and put myself in a situation where I'm not just the only good person, so that's what I'm doing well, I am putting myself in a situation where everybody is just as good and you've got to kind of find that next level to take you to get even higher.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah that's something I work to communicate with my youngest son, because he likes being the best at everything, of course. And I just shared this with him the other day, like if you want to continue getting better, he's like we go to the track and train, we've been doing this since he was a little kid, it's just something we do like at least on a Saturday we go as a family. But the other day he was like, "I'm already fast."

Phylicia George: Yeah, I'm good.

Shawn Stevenson: I was like, "B, you could be the fastest kid," he's like, "I'm on already the fastest kid in my school." And I'm just like, "This is a big call, you need to work," because this is the thing— he doesn't like running against his brother or me.

Phylicia George: Yeah, when he can lose, he could potentially, yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: But now he can beat his mom, which is crazy because she is pretty fast. But I'm just like, "If you work with people who are at or above your level, it makes you get better."

Phylicia George: 100 percent.

Shawn Stevenson: So you believe that too?

Phylicia George: Yeah. I think going away to school was probably a bit of a defining moment for me in terms of like really taking my career to the next level. And I think when I left high school I was a bit of like a soft athlete. Actually my coach is Jamaican and he used to tell me that I was soft like porridge.

And I actually remember like one of my first hurdle workouts, I couldn't get the technique down or something and I started crying. And I think back to that like who I was then and it was like, wow I am so totally different and that and so it made me tougher, it made me mentally stronger, it made me more aggressive, it taught me how to compete.

And the same thing, when we're all talented and I go away to school and everybody's on scholarship, everybody is talented, what are you going to do to make yourself stand out at that point? And so that's when like the mental part of sport comes in and being willing to like stay back and do a little bit more work. And so it just taught me so much and I feel like that put the framework for me like continuing past that.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, wow, that's great. Soft like porridge. So I'm just curious and I just got to know this for myself why hurdles? It's like you're running but I'm just going to throw these obstacles in your way just like is this trip for me?

Phylicia George: It sounds like a crazy person, 100 percent. I started as a sprinter, and I just wasn't seeing the success that I wanted to. I was young but my coach was like, "Let's try hurdles." And I actually started as a 400-meter hurdler.

Shawn Stevenson: Wow, that.

Phylicia George: That is— you want to talk crazy— that's crazy. So I didn't love it, but I was seeing success with it and I more so have a body frame for the 400 meters hurdles than the 100-meter hurdles. But then I tried the sprint hurdles and I don't know, there was just something about it that I loved how aggressive that you had to be. In the 100 meter hurdles there's no giving 90 percent, because you're not going to get to the next hurdle.

At every effort you're giving 100 percent and you're kind of just going all out and it's about being fearless, because I'm standing at the start line and I see 10 obstacles in front of me and it's like literally just have it in your mind like, "I'm going to attack every single hurdle, if I have to knock it down I'm going to knock it down, but I'm going to just sprint through these things." And I just loved that feeling of like fearless, almost being just courageous. So yeah, that was it for me.

Shawn Stevenson: So when did you make that decision? Was that high school or was that college?

Phylicia George: High school. So I'd say my last year of high school. I was focused on the sprint hurdles. I was also sprinting as well and then I got recruited for the hurdles. And until college I definitely was more so specializing at that point but I've always kind of had a lot of range.

I was on the 4 by 1, I was on the 4 by 4. I ran the 200, so you know the conference, I was like, "I'm going to get you all as many points as we need like I'm going to do it for you all." And then even after I've been sprinting so I kind of do everything but the hurdles have been my specialization since university.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. Well, this is where the story gets really remarkable. You went to 2 Summer Olympic Games thus far, right?

Phylicia George: Yeah, yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: So that first one, how did that come about?

Phylicia George: It's actually pretty interesting. Through university, I was getting better every single year, but in my last year, I still wouldn't say that I was an elite hurdler. So there's this number, 13 seconds is kind of the barrier to break into being elite. At that point, I was running 13.39. And basically if you're not running under 13 seconds you're kind of not really elite, but I had this dream of going to the Olympics.

And so I decided to continue. And then in 2011, which was my first year out of university, I had this huge breakout year, and then I went 12.73, made my first World Championships team. I made the finals at World Championships, and then kind of from there it was like, "Okay, I'm one of the best in the world." And then 2012 I started training, made my first Olympics. Childhood dream literally realized.

Shawn Stevenson: Oh my gosh. And so where were the 2012 Olympics?

Phylicia George: London.

Shawn Stevenson: London.

Phylicia George: It was so dope, it was actually amazing, they did an amazing job. 66,000 people in the stadium, pretty much all the time. Usually, for an Olympics, there's a morning session and then an evening session.

Evening sessions are usually packed because they will be finals. In London, morning sessions were packed, you walk in the stadium, [sound of a crowd] all of that, you know. So yeah, a really cool experience.

Shawn Stevenson: Wow, oh my gosh. And so how was that experience for you overall, I mean it already just sounds amazing, like just again, dream fruition. So what was the overall experience like?

Phylicia George: I mean, I think to me it was just amazing. You go into the Olympic village there are literally people from all over the world. And I mean, we talk about sport and the power of sport to really unite people and really understand like, "Here's someone who's from Japan," or, "Here's somebody who's from Spain," and they probably understand the things that I go through more than some of my family members.

I just thought that was such a unique experience to do that. And then, yeah, going out and competing with the best in the world and really standing at a start line and understanding like, "I am one of the best in the world and I belong here," I think that was a really cool experience for me. And then make an Olympic final in my first year, like 2 years ago people were kind of telling me like, "You should quit track, you're not really at that level." People tell me I would never make a Canadian team. And so to make an Olympic final in that first year, it was just super surreal for me.

Shawn Stevenson: Wow, that's powerful. You found yourself being really the top female hurdler in your country by the time the next Olympics comes around, right.

Phylicia George: Yeah, for Rio. Heading into Rio I had gotten injured actually right after London. So those 3 years were a little bit of a struggle and so getting back to Rio was actually a unique experience in and of itself where it was kind of like a lot of lows, and then making it happen for Rio and getting back to being the top in Canada, winning national championship that year and really understanding like the work that I had to do to kind of get back to places, like super unique.

I was really proud of myself to do that. I think injuries can be, there's a silver lining in everything, and every challenge that I've had I think has made me stronger and better. And I've learned so much about myself through injuries and doing rehab programs I kind of fixed a lot of the small little things that I had, that I didn't even realize were issues. But yeah, getting into Rio and making my second Olympic team, yeah, it was cool.

Shawn Stevenson: And this is so funny that I hear this as a thread for the best athletes is like there are these moments where like you know, injury or something takes place that really kind of makes you question and it makes you start thinking differently. I know even myself having experienced it just thinking like, it's crazy thoughts like, "I'm not going to get better, I'm not going to go back to that level that I was at." So you're going through that kind of—?

Phylicia George: I think that's the hardest part about being injured, it's the confidence in the comeback. Because in track and I think in sport in general, there has to be this unwavering belief in self. And in the track it's an individual sport, so I don't have any other players to rely on, everything is about the work that I've put in and my own execution.

And so you have to stand at the start line like, "I can beat every single person on this line," and believe it to your absolute core. And even if you don't but you have to, and then I got to stand on the next line even if I've lost the race before, it's like, "I can beat every single person here," like you have to really trust in your ability. And then you get injured and you start running again and you're not running the times that you were running previously. So I think confidence is probably one of the hardest things to build back.

But for me I was using all the baby steps that I was making as like, "Oh I'm killing this", like, "Oh I'm doing this plank so good." Any little victory that I was having I was using that to like build me up and build me up and build me up. I mean, it takes a lot to get that confidence in competition again but I mean it's a high like no other when you feel it when you feel that back.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, wow. And so this resulted in— what happened, if you could share, at Rio, the Olympics.

Phylicia George: Yeah. In London I finished fifth, I didn't say that. And then in Rio again, made another Olympic final, which again, that was kind of like a year ago, I wasn't even really running that fast. And so making it through the rounds, I ended up finishing eighth in Rio. Yeah, again, an amazing experience to be out there, yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: So this is where the story gets even more interesting.

Phylicia George: We're taking turns and turns.

Shawn Stevenson: I picked up your story, and I just thought it was fascinating being from where you're from, your background. So if you could share too, your— it's Granada, right?

Phylicia George: Grenada, a small island in the Caribbean. Most people don't know about it but I still think it's one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean, it has maintained a lot of its natural beauty. Both my parents are from there.

Shawn Stevenson: So Grenada. But Granada is in Spain.

Phylicia George: Yes.

Shawn Stevenson: Okay. Grenada, both your parents are from there and they moved to Canada?

Phylicia George: Yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: Alright, so they moved to The Six?

Phylicia George: Yes, Toronto, yeah, yeah, TO.

Shawn Stevenson: And so were you born there?

Phylicia George: I was born in Toronto, yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: Okay, and so it's you and twin brother, and obviously it's cold up there, it is a big change.

Phylicia George: 100 percent, yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: So you've been around cold weather, but you weren't necessarily doing cold-weather sports though.

Phylicia George: No, I'm a lover of all things summer, for sure.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, so this pivot that it's just very interesting, dynamic, unexpected, you end up bobsledding, right? And just to kind of, if people don't know the story, I'll just highlight what's coming but you ended up going to the Winter Olympics, not just the Summer Olympics but the Winter Olympics as well. And first of all, I'm like how? How did that even, that idea come up in the first place?

Phylicia George: Yeah. So it's so funny, right after Rio Olympics, I had a Twitter message waiting for me, and it was one of the Canadian bobsledders. And she was looking to recruit people for the next Olympics. And her coach coached track and field as well and so they had seen me and they're like, "I think this girl could be really good at bobsled". And so they were like, "Would you be interested in coming out?"

And honestly, at first it was like literally like, "Nah, I'm good." Like I said, I just finished, I was top 8 in the world, it just didn't really seem like I needed to make a switch like that. And that being said, I still couldn't get the idea out of my head of potentially going to the Winter Olympics. And I'm 100 percent a person that just likes challenging myself in really different ways.

So for me, it was like really enticing the thought of challenging myself in any way, doing something totally different. So then I eventually was like, "You know what, I will come out and see if I like it." Because at the end of the day, if I go down a bobsled track and I absolutely hate it, we don't even need to talk anymore, we can just be like, "Alright, cool forget it." So yeah, in 2017 I think I went out, no, 2016 I went out to just try and see what's it like to go down a bobsled. Tracking that was an interesting experience, the very first time.

Shawn Stevenson: I mean, isn't it like a torpedo?

Phylicia George: Man, it's like it's its own experience, it's hard to even verbalize it but imagine a roller coaster in some ways mixed with being in a car on a bumpy road. Yeah, it's like its own funky thing, but in Whistler it goes up 250 kilometers per hour and like 5 Gs of force is pressing down on your body, so it's pretty surreal to go into it.

And it's like, when I got out there and I'm standing to go at the block to go down it's like I have no idea what this is going to feel like, and nobody kind of even really tells you. It's just kind of like, "Okay, go ahead, do your thing". And the very first time I went down I wasn't even sitting in properly, you're supposed to kind of fold yourself over and I was sitting kind of upright and 5 Gs of force is pressing down on your neck.

So literally, my neck was so sore the next day to the point that I'm like, "I'd like to kind of hold my head," because it was just, I'd never felt anything like that before. And so definitely an interesting experience, but I didn't hate it, that was literally, it was like, "I didn't hate this, so I think I can explore there's a little bit more".

But we had done testing when I went out, they have like a little ice tracks that mimics the start of bobsled and my times were really good too, so they definitely saw potential, so I was like, "Let's see what we can do with this."

Shawn Stevenson: There are two people with the bobsled, where were you at, you're the front or the back?

Phylicia George: The back, so I was a push athlete. So my job was to get the sleigh going as fast as possible. And so a tenth at the top can translate to 3 tenths at the bottom. So the start is actually really important. So the 3 things, the equipment is really important, the start is really important and then obviously the drive is really important. And so yeah, my job was to get the sleigh going as fast as possible.

Obviously, I have a background in speed and so that was helpful. It was interesting though because as a track athlete the focus is very much on having really fast ground contact times, trying to get off the ground as fast as possible. But when you're pushing something really heavy you want to spend way more time on the ground to generate force.

So I almost had to relearn how to spend time on the ground because when I first went out there, I was just kind of spinning my wheels and to me I'm like, "I'm killing it, I'm running so fast," they're like, "But you're doing nothing, you're not applying any pressure or translating any of that force into the sled." So I had to kind of teach myself how to spend a bunch of time on the ground to learn how to do that. And I had to get super strong, I gained 20 pounds to do bobsled.

Shawn Stevenson: Wow, what?

Phylicia George: Yeah, yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: So I would imagine you have to be pretty strong to push that big bathtub down that hill? I mean, what is it even called?

Phylicia George: A bobsled. That's the name of it.

Shawn Stevenson: How do you call the track?

Phylicia George: That's also track, and they call it track, yeah. That's also funny about it too, I'm out here on the track, but a different kind of track. The bobsled track.

Shawn Stevenson: So you shared what was like your first time, you didn't hate it.

Phylicia George: Yeah, but I was scared, I was super scared my first time.

Shawn Stevenson: I bet, that amount of speed and that amount of force, oh my gosh. Now, I guess you gave yourself permission to go out for this. Now you coming from being really the best in your country in your sport and now where are you at in this bobsledding hierarchy?

Phylicia George: So I was living in Baton Rouge at the time, I packed up all my stuff, put it in storage and I moved to Calgary, to start training for this. Literally packing up my life to be like, "This is going to go on hold I am going to go ahead and do this." And I think there were about 6 other girls that were already out there that have been doing it for years. And we did the testing I think after 2 weeks of me getting out there, there was testing to make the World Cup team. Yeah, and so I ended up finishing fifth on the team.

So that was enough to make the World Cup team, but not enough to be competing. And so I was traveling with the team and learning how to push, learning how to do everything, but I wasn't given the opportunity to compete which was so hard for me. The one thing I love about sport is competition, I want to go out there and if I'm training I want to compete.

And in track I've never had a situation where I'd only be training but I wouldn't be competing. And so I had the job initially of being a spare which is basically like the alternate, but my job on race day was to collect people's clothes and to bring the sled to the top of the hill and to do all this extra work to support the teammates and what they were doing, the racing teammates.

And I'm like, "I am going to be the best teammate that I can be," but at the same time I was like, "This is so much motivation because I'm not collecting your clothes for much longer, I'm going to make sure I get the spot on this team," and there's only 3 sleds and so there's only 3 spots. And so I knew I had to be one of the top 3 in order to make the Olympic team and yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: Wow. I mean what was going on for you psychologically, in your mind, again like you're at the top of your game over here and yeah, you're not getting the opportunity to be even in the competition. What kind of stuff, because I would imagine you got face to face with a lot of self-talk, "Who is Shirley?"

Phylicia George: Shirley is my home girl but not really. I like to personify the voice in my head. I think it helps me realize that a lot of the thoughts that I have are not me, you know what I mean, they're kind of like the socialization, it's every other thing and sometimes that voice isn't us, it's other people's voices. And so I've personified that person, that person for me is Shirley.

And so whatever I think I'm hearing that self-doubt and that talk of telling me like, "You're not good enough, you can't do this," or, "You should be afraid of this" that's Shirley. And so I literally have a conversation with her, like, "Girl, I need you to just take a seat right over here because I'm over here trying to do this." And so yeah, I think it really helps to understand that those thoughts aren't me and that I'm capable of doing things even if my thoughts are saying something different than that.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, wow. You know, when I first heard that, I was like— We all, we all have a Shirley.

Phylicia George: 100 percent, yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: And I think a good like actual examples of this like in major media is from the TV show Martin, which is just legendary, but Cole had a girlfriend nobody ever saw named Big Shirley. And it's just like, "Cole, you have no girlfriend," but it's just like, it's this invisible force and you know, if we share these things with a psychologist or whatever, you get a diagnosis.

We all have voices in our heads, this is the most incredible thing about the human mind really. But it's being able to understand that that voice is not you, right. That's not— and many of us can get caught into thinking that that voice in our head is who we are.

Phylicia George: Exactly.

Shawn Stevenson: And instead you can even, I love that technique of personifying the negative voice and being able to like dictate like, "Now listen, Shirley," or maybe Shirley's right, to have a conversation in your own mind. Because what we're often looking for is external motivation or external conversation to try to fix what's happening in our own minds.

So wow, that's really profound to even go through that process and have that— I would imagine also that there might be a bigger, you kind of starting over in a sport. Was there a fear of failure would come up for you as well?

Phylicia George: Fear, doubt, I can't tell you how many times I had my friends had to talk me off a ledge of me literally being like, "I'm not going to make this team, there's no way." And the thing is, a big thing for me when I first got out there, I was comparing myself a lot to what the other girls were doing.

And so every time you push up on a bobsled track at the end you can see the time that you pushed, so it's like instantly I know exactly how I did and it's a number, so I can very easily compare myself to every single other person. And so I would push, cool, that's my time. Then I would, one of the girls who've been pushing for like 6 years goes and pushes and I'm like, "Okay, cool, that's not as fast as what she did".

And it's hard, I'm a perfectionist, I think one of the things that make me great is that I will critique myself and try to find out how I can be better but it can also hold you back in a lot of ways. So I'm constantly comparing what they were doing, and I started getting worse. I was getting worse and worse and worse. And so I eventually made the decision of, "I'm not going to look at the times anymore.

I'm not going to look at the times I'm pushing in practice, I'm not going to look at times that those guys are pushing in practice." And really just making the decision to solely focus on myself. And I basically was just like, "I can only focus on what I can control."

So every day I practice, I would choose one thing to say like, "This is what I'm going to focus on, this is the technique that I want to work on," and if I did that, that was a successful day, not if I was better than them or not better than them and just choosing that one thing to focus on and I mean, I saw myself progress like so fast. It was like night and day being able to take that judgment and comparison out of the equation. Yeah, and I think that was kind of like a big deciding thing for me as well.

Shawn Stevenson: Because in your talk, which we'll put that in the show notes, awesome talk. And so this was a TED event, and you shared you were going to quit.

Phylicia George: Oh yeah. I think it was hard because it's like I know I have a fallback, so I was like, "I can just go right back to track." And literally so indoor season started in January, it was December and I still wasn't racing and I was like, "I'll just go back to track." I was literally like, "I'll just quit, it's fine, I can do, I know I'm good at track, I don't need to be here."

And it was hard not competing and then every day, every time before a competition there's a meeting and they're going to say, "These are the people who are racing," and I'm kind of hoping I might get to race, and then they are like say 3 other names and I'm like— you know what I mean.

And it was like my heart was just getting broken over and over and over again. I'm out here trying my best but I'm not seeing the results that I necessarily wanted to see so it was kind of like, "I could go over here and do this and I know I'll be good at it." But at the end of the day, I am really a person that tries to see the possibilities more than necessarily my current situation.

And so I saw, "Okay, this is where I'm at right now, but I understood that there was a possibility in front of me of potentially being the top athlete on the team, of potentially making the Winter Olympic team. And so again, I just chose to focus on that possibility as opposed to focusing on the failure that I might see within that.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, yeah. And so we're going to share what happened right after this quick break, you've got to hear this story. And we'll share there right after the break so sit tight we'll be right back.

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Alright, we are back and we're talking with Olympian, 2 different types of Olympian, winter Olympian, and I guess I'm already alluding to what happened in summer Olympian, Phylicia George. And before the break, we were talking about your experience you were going to quit this mission to be a part of the Winter Olympics. And you shifted gears though, you begin to focus more on you, just stopped focusing on the times and just focusing on yourself and improving. And something happened. What happened? What kind of changed the course of this experience?

Phylicia George: I just started to see myself get better and better through that, through not comparing myself to other people, really focusing on the things that I wanted to focus on. And I finally got an opportunity to race. And I'm a different person when I race, there's a little bit of alter ego that comes in, so I knew I was like, "If you guys give me one chance, I'm going to show you guys what I can do. I'm going to use this opportunity."

And I did, they gave me an opportunity to race and I was like, I'm going to do everything I can in this opportunity to show them I deserve to continue to race and I deserve a chance on the team, on the Winter Olympic team. And we did great. And I'd had every single race after that race. And then I made the Winter Olympic team I think it was announced in February, of being on the Winter Olympics.

Shawn Stevenson: So where was this at?

Phylicia George: The first race?

Shawn Stevenson: No, the Winter Olympics.

Phylicia George: Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Shawn Stevenson: Oh my Gosh, now you're in South Korea and representing your country in the Olympics and Winter Olympics. And so I would just want to make this clear like what did this mean for you?

Because this is rare, this has never happened before, because of some specific things about you and your story. I think there have been some athletes who've done both the winter and summer Olympics but not like you.

Phylicia George: Right. Yeah, so I was the first Canadian black women to compete in Winter and Summer Olympics, which I actually didn't even realize would have been you know when I first started out, but yeah it was huge, I did it and then people were starting and I was like, "Oh that is super cool, I didn't even know that."

But man, I think even I had some young girls messaging me and talking about like, "Hey I want to do bobsleigh," sports that they won't, you wouldn't traditionally see. I'm really big on people just opening up doors and like I said, people seeing possibilities.

And so for me, it was a really cool opportunity to be that person, for that someone could potentially look at and see. That's an opportunity I never thought about or possibility I never thought about but now that's on my way, it's something I think I could do.

Shawn Stevenson: And so in the Olympics, this is again a different, a huge stage, you've been in huge stages before, but I would imagine that this felt different. And it was also—

Phylicia George: It was cold, it was really cold. It actually was freezing because with the wind chill it was close to minus 30, well Celsius, I know you guys do Fahrenheit.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, I mean you already threw on kilometers, I'm just like, "Aaaah". But I respect that, it's all good.

Phylicia George: But yeah it was cold, but yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: So it was cold, it was different I would imagine, you got the butterflies running. But what happened? How did it go?

Phylicia George: Yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: I know the answer.

Phylicia George: So bobsled is interesting it has, you do 2 runs on 2 days. And then it's cumulative of the times from that. So the first 2 days are runs were okay but we finished in 5th. And I had never had the experience of having to go home sleep knowing, "Okay, this is the position that you're in and then you got to come back tomorrow and compete."

So that was hard, I don't know if I slept that night, just so excited and so like, "Man, are we are in the hunt for a medal but we got to really make it happen on day 2". And yeah, day 2 we had 2 amazing runs and ended up finishing in the bronze medal position, winning the bronze medal.

And I remember finishing, getting out of the sled and seeing the time and realizing, "Okay, we won a bronze medal." And I just started crying. And you to imagine those moments and you're kind of like, but when it happens and the emotion is just so raw, to me that's what I live for, like with sport, like feeling that raw emotion.

And it wasn't even so much, I won a medal and that's a level of success or whatever, it was like, "I know where I was and I know all the work that I had to put in to get there." And to me the journey and the process to get to that point, and then being like, "Wow, now I won a medal," and before people were like, "She probably won't even make the team," was yeah that was surreal for me.

That's what that medal meant for me, my willingness to be willing to fail, be willing to stick with it, to put myself out there and that's what the medal was. So yeah, I'm out there crying, but it was awesome, yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: Cold cry?

Phylicia George: Yeah. We got like speed suits on it was, yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: So I'm wondering, this is an incredible story, it's very unexpected and very rare, but what did the process teach you? Coming from something that was your comfort zone, something you had done, your whole life basically into this totally new domain. Is there anything, because I think it's like current human condition, maybe historical but we desire comfort. And you said that, I think you said comfort is deadly.

Phylicia George: Yeah, yeah I mean your comfort zone is great but there's danger in staying there. And so I think for me, the biggest thing was understanding the possibilities and embrace the uncertainty, and being in a situation where like I really don't know what's going to happen here and there's a lot of bad things that can happen but there are also so many possibilities.

I think if you're uncertain, you have to understand that like there's a horizon of possibilities available to you. And so for me, it was embracing uncertainty and just kind of being fully within that process and taking myself completely out of my comfort zone. Because comfort routine, you're going to do it over and over again, you know exactly what you are going to get, but I grew so much as a person through that process.

And I think another big thing that I learned was patience, patience through the process. Because I started and it didn't look like anything was going to happen, but it was me just staying patient and continuing with the process to understand and then getting to the point where I was at the end.

Shawn Stevenson: So one of the things that I noticed in your story and again watching your talk which I'll put that in the show nose for you guys, was obviously there is this thread of getting out of the comfort zone, but there's this dirty f-word that is involved a lot of times. You are like, "What is he talking about?"

Fear. That is often involved, you were like, what kind of tabloid gossip you got. But that's involved that you know we really kind of shy away from. And I think you can obviously be debilitating so where does your confidence come from? Because I know that you were scared and doing this process but confidence is such a huge key to success. So how did you develop that confidence in this whole different domain?

Phylicia George: Well I mean, I guess speaking on fear, I think for me it's understanding that you don't have to be fearless. And I think a lot of people are going into situations thinking like, "If I feel fear that's a bad thing and if I feel fear I can't continue." And to me, I think it's important for people to understand pretty much every high performer that you see feels fear at some point.

And it's not about being fearless, it's about just having the courage, having the courage to kind of move forward through it. And to me, I've always tried and have a 'why' that feels just bigger than my fears. And so for me it was making the Winter Olympics.

So when I'm standing at that bobsled start line on the block and my heart is beating out of my chest and I want to turn around and leave, I was just asking myself for like 50 seconds, just 50 seconds of an insane bravery because we know what we're trying to do, there's a goal that you are trying to get to. So I always have a 'why' that I really, really hold on to in the moments that I'm feeling very fearful to kind of take me to that next level.

Shawn Stevenson: What's that 'why'?

Phylicia George: I think about, I call it the space in between, so this is where I'm at right now and this is where I want to be. And I feel motivated by that space in between, breaking that down to smaller and smaller and smaller to get to where I want to be.

And so for me that was, "Okay, this is where I'm at now, I want to be a Winter Olympian," and it's like, "You can't be a Winter Olympian in bobsled if you don't go down a bobsled track. So you've got to just, there are steps that you have to take. And so for me, it's just making that space in between smaller and smaller and smaller.

Shawn Stevenson: That is such a cool way to think about it, wow. Wow, I love that. And of course, a song came in my head too, "The Space Between."

Phylicia George: I don't know that song.

Shawn Stevenson: You don't know the song? We'll play a little bit for everybody.

[song]

"The space between, the tears we cry, is the laughter keeps us coming back for more. The space between..."

So that was actually the Dave Matthews Band and they've got like some really die-hard fans out there. I remember the first time I heard about them was, I was working at the casino of all things, I was in college— no, I was in between colleges that was my experience.

It was the manager of the department and he was like just raving about the Dave Matthews Band, and I was like, "Oh, this so typical of like this person's character," and then he played some stuff I was like, "Oh that's kind of dope." So I remember that song from back then. But the space between—

Phylicia George: That could be my new life hype song, it like goes by little mantra, cool.

Shawn Stevenson: It might not fit but it might. So I've got to ask you too, just for folks that can see is in the studio, shout out to everybody watching on YouTube. Your T-shirt? Which we all love, I was like is this [inaudible word] But what is it actually?

Phylicia George: It's weirdo upside down.

Shawn Stevenson: What gave you the courage to rock that shirt?

Phylicia George: I like being different and I think there is— I like being kind of a little bit outside of what everybody else does. And I think that it's a strength and I think you have to dare to be different. And I think we all have our own little something that's really special about us, and so I try to like really play up on that. So I don't, I think being a weirdo is actually like a positive thing to say.

Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely, oh man, I love this so much, man. There are so many things I want to ask you about but I really want to talk to you about you mentioned how comfort zone is dangerous, so what is your next uncomfortable situation?

Phylicia George: So currently I'm transitioning back into track and field. I am going to make my hopefully fourth Olympic team. But yeah, that's just been an interesting transition back and way harder than I thought it was going to be, kind of battling back through that. I think I'm in an interesting situation because I've never had to lose 20 pounds to do track and field, I've never had to reteach myself how to get off the ground. So many different things.

And so in my mind, the Phylicia that's done track and field for the past 15 years, this knows everything, but my body isn't responding in the same way. And so it's figuring that out and it's almost like I'm kind of starting from scratch, I've got a little bit of that beginner's mind as well because it's like, I can't rely on having 4 or 5 years put together to figure out how to get it done.

It's how do I get it done with where I am in this present moment, which has been interesting and like I said, I love a challenge, and so I'm interested in getting myself back to Olympic final in Tokyo and not just that, but adding a summer medal to my winter medal.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah and you're weird enough to do it.

Phylicia George: Yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: I love it, I love it so much. But you know what's so funny, when you were sharing the story about learning to spend more time on the ground, I was like, literally the first thought was like, "She's going to have to unlearn that."

Because I mean, you put, it's not just the muscle memory what people talk about but it's just like repetition is one thing but also the emotional trigger, if you emote, like have deep emotion while you're doing it like you did, it really changes your body the way that it functions very quickly.

Phylicia George: Yeah, it solidifies into you, yeah, yeah. Yeah, the first year back it was like I just have been spending so much time on the ground. But like I said, in my mind, it was like, this is not how I run track, but yeah, unlearning that has been interesting.

Shawn Stevenson: I have no business offering this advice, but it's just the same thing like I just mentioned that emoting, you know that emotion into the new neuro association, the new pattern again, whether it's passion, whether it's you know, whatever emotion is, frustration, that changes things in our body so much quicker. And I'm just excited to see what to do. So this one is in Tokyo?

Phylicia George: Tokyo, yeah. And I haven't been to Japan before so I'm super excited. And I feel like they're just going to do the most like you know what I mean, like really try and outdo every single Olympics that has ever been before so I'm excited about it.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, and so, but there's some, so we've got this aspect outside of the track. And this was so interesting when we first were talking, like you, I think you're more acclimated to being uncomfortable than lot of other folks because the fact that like your home base changes.

Phylicia George: Yeah, I move around all the time. I've been in Baton Rouge, I've been in Phoenix, currently living in Austin Texas. So yeah, I'm always in a situation where things are new and I've got to figure things out. But I think as an athlete, just through like doing workouts and stuff you understand that being uncomfortable is not an issue, being uncomfortable is not a bad thing I should say.

When I'm going through a workout and you know, when you're lifting, you're hurting some of the times or you have a rep and you don't want to do the next rep, but you've got to put it in. And so I understand that discomfort is not a bad thing but discomfort is me growing in some ways. And so you know I think it's positive to put yourself in those situations where you've got to kind of figure things out.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, I totally 1000 percent agree. And so just to go back a little bit, you mentioned something earlier and I just don't want it to go in passing. But with you achieving what you did by going from Summer Olympics to the Winter Olympics and having little kids, just like wanted to get involved with what you're doing.

I mean how does that feel like? For me it comes up, I think is Charles Barkley was like, "I'm not a role model" but like you are, you really are. And not just for athletes, but also for women, also for women of color. And so what does that mean to you?

Phylicia George: I take that super serious because I am a role model. I think it is the little surreal for me like if I am at a track, young girls are coming up to me and, "Can we have an autograph," or they want to take a photo with me, but that just shows me the position that I'm in to potentially influence them.

And I think women in sport, I'm actually pretty passionate about this is really important because I see the things that I've learned through sport, I've learned how to be more aggressive, how to speak up for myself, how to be competitive, things that we don't traditionally lead women towards.

And so the issue is a lot of young girls start in sport but they don't stay. And in high school they stop playing. And there are other things that become more important and I think they're missing out on a lot of positive things that they could be getting, and it's not to be a professional athlete per se, but there are life skills that they could be learning.

And so if I can be that person that a young girl's going to look toward and say, "Hey, she's super cool and she's doing sport and she's doing this," and they're encouraged to be in sport because of that, like that's really important for me, because I know that that's going to make them better people, better well-rounded people. And so, yeah, I mean I really relish the opportunity to be a positive role model and I think it's super important that young girls have someone to look at.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. You know, I know that you're in the process and this story is still unfolding, this part with you being like a world-class athlete, which is just amazing like you're sitting here with me right now, I'm just like catching the vibes off of you.

But if we can fast forward a little bit, maybe 10 years, you've got also a gift like your story in and of itself and just these insights and these small lessons, like I know that you're going to expand on them because they're like really vital messages built into this. So what do you see yourself doing, I mean are we going to be looking out for, I don't know, you coming to our town and speaking or like some books, like what do you see on the horizon?

Phylicia George: Yeah, both of those things. After doing that TED Talk at the TED event I realized I maybe have a little bit of a knack for speaking. And so I definitely would want to be doing more speaking and I think in sport, yeah, it's a competition, it's a game or whatnot, but there's like I said, there are so many life lessons to be learned.

And so I'm excited to potentially be sharing those lessons that I've learned through sport with people. And I think when people hear me speak they've kind of said like it really resonates with them. And so I think it's cool to have an opportunity to give people a different way of thinking of things.

And I'm a writer and so I'm really excited about potentially writing some books, I have actually something in the works right now, but I don't think I told you about that, but yes so, you know getting into writing and kind of putting my stories down and I think the way you think kind of dictates the way you see the world. And so like I said, giving people alternate ways to think and understanding that their thinking affects what they can do, and I think that's very empowering.

And so giving people that power, so I am excited. So speaking, writing and then mentorship that's also a really big thing for me, I think as an athlete I've learned a lot and I would love to give younger athletes the knowledge that I have now so that they don't have to make some of the mistakes that I've made and maybe give them like a better starting point than I had.

Shawn Stevenson: I love that so much. So was that something that played a big role for you?

Phylicia George: Mentorship? Yeah, I mean, I think that's a reason why I want to get into it because it's like I was so fortunate for the amount of coaches that I've had that have really like poured into me and spoke positivity to me and told me like, "You can be the best in the world," when I couldn't see that.

And then just having other older athletes as well kind of give me the ins and outs, you have to make your own mistakes but at the same time giving someone a platform that they are not going to make all the mistakes.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, I love it. All right so action steps now. Obviously like your journey, we want to go with you on this, so where can people connect with you online, social media, that kind of stuff?

Phylicia George: So I'm most active on my Instagram and it's just at Phylicia George, my name is spelled P-H-Y which is funky and most people don't know that. But yeah, Instagram is my biggest and I try to document my life journey as much as possible and I actually am really going to work on putting something together in terms of the lead up to this Olympics, I am putting something more regular stuff out. So yeah, follow me on Instagram, I'll be out there. I have a website as well and Twitter a little bit, yeah.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome, I love it, yeah. Same here, I'll throw out some random ideas on Twitter but sometimes I get in a tear, like that Twitter thing—

Phylicia George: You'll do a thread.

Shawn Stevenson: Yeah, I just drop all kinds of stuff. So follow both of us on Twitter, I'm at Shawn Model. So final question for you— what is the model that you are here to set with the way that you personally live your life? What is the model that you're setting for other people with how you live your life personally?

Phylicia George: Man, I think it's a lot of things. I thing one is not being afraid to dream big. That might sound a little cliche but I think a lot of the times we place these limits on ourselves that we don't even realize it's self-imposed. But understanding that you can dream like way outside of the box and do things that you might not have even realized.

I never thought I'd be a bobsled athlete, I never thought I'd be a Winter Olympian. In my identity there wasn't space for that, but opening up space for like way more possibilities. So dreaming big and I think following your passion, doing things that you love and letting that kind of set your soul on fire.

Shawn Stevenson: Oh, that's so good, opening up space for possibility. Thank you, just even that one thing is so valuable, I appreciate you so much for just even coming to hang out with us today. And I'm just really blown away by your story, your audacity to like I mean you really jumped into the discomfort.

That's a total other end of the spectrum in many ways. And the biggest thing for me today is even personally just asking myself like am I leaning too much into my comfort. And I love the fact that you said it's dangerous, because we all have so much potential and I think that that leads to, you know that making space for more is just about getting yourself into different situations and circumstances. So thank you for inspiring me today and just coming and hanging out with us, I appreciate it.

Phylicia George: Yeah, thanks for having me.

Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. Everybody, thank you so much for tuning into the show today, I hope you got a lot of value out of this truly and she mentioned this statement, I've said it here on The Model Health Show before, but I want you to really think about this— when is the last time you did something for the first time? When was the last time you did something for the first time?

We all have a tendency to get caught in our day to day patterns, our routines, and that's great, like our success is in the routine, absolutely. But our success can also be imprisoned or limited by our routine in the sameness, growth is really outside of that comfort zone and being a little weird and not staying and playing in the lanes.

And to do that we have to just again ask yourself that question and just change it up, try something new. Because you never know what thing might just light your life on fire and bring you a new level of joy, of insight, of experience or a quality that is dormant right now, maybe it's patience as she mentioned earlier, like just maybe there's something that is going to help to cultivate that within you in your spirit.

What is so beautiful about these lessons and I know that she will be sharing this over the years as she shares her story, is that the lessons from these things percolate themselves into other areas of our lives. Maybe that patience you were going after was for your business but then it translates over into your relationship with your kids or your relationship with your investments or whatever it might be, but those good qualities that we pick up in one area gracefully translate in other areas of our lives.

And so I really want to encourage you to think about it, ask yourself the question, "When was the last time that I did something for the first time?" And this week it is my request to you and my homework for you is to do something different, try something different If you've been one to go and take a salsa dancing class, you see little salsa on Instagram you're like "I would love to do that." Go and do it, all right, take that salsa dancing class.

Go to a different type of restaurant right, go to a Granada food restaurant, go somewhere different, try something different, take a different type of class, listen to a different type of podcasts, I know this sounds crazy, I'm going to be here for you I'm going to comfort you, take care of you come back, but check out something different that maybe you wouldn't normally listen to.

There's some weird stuff out there in the podcast world, I mean there are podcasts on planet talk, right if you want to talk about outer space, they've got it for you. If you want to talk about solving crimes, unsolved mysteries, got it for you. No matter what it is you're into, you can find something or again, listen to something you might not think that you'd like.

And I do that from time to time myself, and I have found some real gems. And so that's the mission, that's the objective, that's the homework. Try something new this week, a new class, new experience, new podcast, new type of book, magazine whatever it is, just change it up, give yourself a different input that you normally wouldn't.

And I think you're going to experience some growth from that. And we've got some powerhouse episodes and guests coming your way and if you enjoyed this episode, please make sure to share it out with the people that you care about, any athletes in your family— give them this episode.

Any people who are just like feeling uncomfortable about a new venture in life and wondering like what's the reward or is there any things to be gained from trying something new, send this to them. I appreciate you so much for tuning in with me today, take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.

And for more after the show, make sure to head over to The Model Health Show.com, that's where you can find all of the show notes, you can find transcriptions, videos for each episode and if you've got a comment you can leave me a comment there as well.

And please make sure to head over to iTunes and leave us a rating to let everybody know that the show is awesome. And I appreciate that so much. And take care, I promise to keep giving you more powerful, empowering, great content to transform your life. Thanks for tuning in.

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