- Leadership in times of conflict... John Radford P.H.D.
In this episode, Andrew takes his turn in the hot seat with his executive coach, John Radford. The two hold a private conversation publicly with two purposes: John wants to use the interview as part of a leadership project he is using for his practice and Andrew wants to shed light on the thought processes that may occur in leaders while in times of conflict. The two discuss the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic from both a business and a psychological perspective.1h 5m | Apr 27, 2020
- A new way of life with COVID-19 - Prateek Singh, Sandra Ennis & Shawn Webster
Andrew podcasts with three amazing humans all from the comfort of their own homes. Prateek Singh, Sandra Ennis, and Shawn Webster share personal insights on the challenges of work and advising people in unprecedented times. The four discuss their strategies and fears while trying to maintain an appropriate level of business. The group shares their family struggles, concerns they have for loved ones, as well as mental and emotional anxieties. They all try to imagine how this Pandemic will change us all forever and reflect on the good they have seen in humanity. This is an authentic conversation that reminds us all of our humanity in this crisis.
Connect with each Speaker online in the following places:
Hosted: Andrew Bracewell @everydayamazingpodcast
Produced/Edited: Justin Hawkes @Hawkes2158m | Apr 13, 2020
- Social Savvy and authentically uncensored - Jesse Peters
The Middle Province Guru of local eats and champion of video marketing, Jesse Peters, gets real on a couch with Andrew in Las Vegas and the conversation has no limits. The two discuss food passions, Jesse’s history as a mascot, the NHL trade deadline and their passion for their hockey teams, ego vs confidence and how the two relate to success, overcoming body image in front of a camera, Jesse’s ascension in the RE/MAX landscape and his video bootcamps. The conversation turns personal as Jesse reveals a struggle publicly for the first time and the two discuss the benefit in letting the world see their flaws. This will make you laugh and cry, and we hope you love listening as much as we loved recording.
Connect with Jesse Peters online in the following places:
Hosted: Andrew Bracewell @everydayamazingpodcast
Produced/Edited: Justin Hawkes @Hawkes211h 10m | Mar 14, 2020
- Small town girls, big ideas - Jessica Germaine, Brittany Manulak and the Crystal Gala Foundation
Jessica Germaine and Brittany Manulak come to visit Andrew and class up the living room. These two women (Along with many others) have played a huge part in the success of the Crystal Gala Foundation, which has raised over 3 million dollars for the fight against breast cancer. Brittany admits she’s a control freak, Jessica pretends that her baking is not a big deal, both can’t stop mentioning wine, and all three laugh a ton as they share stories about the Gala that make it so damn attractive; the family sacrifice, the bond around a kitchen table, and the tears that have been shed to name a few. Time listening here is time well spent.
Connect with The Crystal Gala online in the following places:
Hosted: Andrew Bracewell @everydayamazingpodcast
Produced/Edited: Justin Hawkes @Hawkes211h 13m | Feb 29, 2020
- The challenge of recovery - Teresa Trask and Debora Jordan
Connect with Teresa Trask and LifeHaven online in the following places:
Hosted: Andrew Bracewell @everydayamazingpodcast
Produced/Edited: Justin Hawkes @Hawkes211h 17m | Feb 15, 2020
- Reimagining Masculinity - Brendan Kwiatkowski
Connect with Brendan Kwiatkowski online in the following places:
Hosted: Andrew Bracewell @everydayamazingpodcast
Produced/Edited: Justin Hawkes @Hawkes211h 17m | Feb 1, 2020
- Immigrant Entrepreneur turned Mentor - Ray Yenkana
Connect with Ray Yenkana online in the following places:
Facebook: Find Your Power Within
Hosted: Andrew Bracewell @everydayamazingpodcast
Produced/Edited: Justin Hawkes @Hawkes211h 13m | Jan 18, 2020
- Mind, Body, Nutrition and Fitness - Barry Ratzlaff
Connect with Barry Ratzlaff online in the following places:
Hosted: Andrew Bracewell @everydayamazingpodcast
Produced/Edited: Justin Hawkes @Hawkes21
Full Transcription of this Interview:
Andrew Bracewell: This is the podcast that finds the most elusive people the everyday amazing kind that you know nothing about. I'm hunting these people down and exposing their beauty to the world. I'm Andrew Bracewell and this is every day. Amazing.
Barry Ratzlaff: Get off social media. Stop looking at Instagram pictures of people who have perfect bodies and are purveying these perfect lives because that is such a negative thing for your brain.
Andrew Bracewell: Happy New Year, everybody. I'm grinning ear to ear because today's guest is one of the reasons I get up in the morning literally. But more on that later, when something is delicious, I mean really delicious. I will often attempt to describe it by saying It's like two tiny humans are having sex in my mouth. Whether or not the metaphor is accurate, my excitement in the moment is effectively communicated, and the person to whom I am speaking knows why I'm losing my mind. That's how I feel about today's guest, but we're not going to eat him or have sex with them. We're going to talk to him because in addition to the fact that he's highly intelligent, he has helped countless people change their lives by shaping the way they view their nutrition, fitness and overall health, including me. Barry Rats Laugh is a gift to mankind. But before I let him speak, I'll give you a short synopsis of what he does in some of his life accomplishments. Together with his wife, Janna, they own proactive transformations, a boutique health and fitness facility operated on their property in the Fraser Valley, their mantra. Helping people achieve their best body in a healthy way. Some of Barry's certifications and accomplishments include a C E certified personal trainer. He's an A C E certified health coach. He's certified in fitness and sports, nutrition certified and overuse, injuries and rehabilitation certified in low back disorders. In 1999 Barry was the body for life champion. In 2003 he was the Ice Atari best body champion in 2000 Very trained The Body for Life, Canadian champion, and in 2001 he trained the body for life. First runner up. That is quite the pedigree, Barry, Welcome to the show.
Barry Ratzlaff: Thanks, Andrew. Good to be here.
Andrew Bracewell: How does that sound? Hearing all of that that read out. Are you amazed by yourself? Just sell the copilot B s. Well, it's difficult to hear positive things about ourselves. It is. It is. So that is actually quite the ah, the list. And I want to start by asking you a little bit about your journey into the health and fitness industry and how it came to be that you're in the place you're in today.
Barry Ratzlaff: Well, I was, uh I'm also a ordained minister. He But you know that. And I spent a lot of time in the church.
Andrew Bracewell: You marry and bury people I did
Barry Ratzlaff: for a long time. I am married and buried. I married your ah, one of your associates. Yeah. So I did that for a long time. And that lifestyle is not a healthy one. Working with kids. I was youth pastor. I worked with, uh, mostly junior high and some senior high kids. I did it for 15 years, and through the course of those 15 years, we eat a lot of doughnuts and you drink a lot of pop and you have a lot of late nights with Doritos on buses heading to youth events. And it's it's it's a gong show, physically like you're just getting fatter and fatter and more and more tired. And you just keep yourself going with sugar.
Andrew Bracewell: This was like eighties and nineties or
Barry Ratzlaff: Ah, yeah. I graduated from Bible school in 91 my first church was up north in Fort McMurray in 92 0 wow. I didn't know for a fact or Mac. Two and 1/2 years. Yeah, my personal hell. But
Andrew Bracewell: I have more on that later. Yes, exactly. The
Barry Ratzlaff: place where you could be nothing other than Pastor Bury. All right. It was awful. Anyway, so, uh, through the course of the of my pastor eight years, I just got more and more out of shape when I had a few attempts at getting into shape over the period of time where I would and I didn't know much. I've been lifting admitting the gym since I was 13 years
Andrew Bracewell: old. Yeah. So you were a child athlete, right? Early? Yeah. I read about these kind
Barry Ratzlaff: of won all the athlete of the year awards through elementary and high school. A big wrestler back in the day. And when the B C championships got a scholarship sf you which I turned down, I didn't want to wrestle anymore. It was just It was misery, like physically punishing that I enjoyed the physical punishment. But you're always dieting. You're always restricting your nutrition to keep your weight class right. It's just like boxing. You're constantly moving, moving down away class, trying to be competitive. And so I just did that for all of my high school years and said, I'm kind of done with this now I just want to move on. Where was I going with that? It was competitive athlete. All through those years
Andrew Bracewell: you're in Fort Mac and for Mr Berry, And the original question was, How did you journey out of the Pastor Berry mode into?
Barry Ratzlaff: So it's your today, tried a few times, get to get into shape, And it was always without any nutritional knowledge. And back in the day, like in the nineties, there wasn't a lot of you walk into a health food store. You walk into a bookstore, you didn't see a lot of good information about how to do this. The Body for Life book hadn't come out yet, which was really the very first user friendly book that came out. The first system don't want Hey, I could do this to Before that. It was like Arnold's encyclopedia bodybuilding, right?
Andrew Bracewell: But that was only good for the guys. The gym rats who were who were living that light
Barry Ratzlaff: was only good for them. And also bodybuilding, weightlifting resistance training at that time and before was considered an underground activity that was not worth anything and set for meatheads. So if you were Oh, yeah, okay, if you're a linebacker for a football team or you want to be a big, thick, no neck wrestler, then you go to the gym and pump iron. But everyone else in the world should really avoid it because it's dangerous. It'll hurt your joints. It'll make you a meathead. Women will get huge and muscular and disgusting if they lift weights. So that was the common knowledge or the common wisdom of the day. And it was completely wrong, which we know now because everybody's getting into it. But back then, that's how it was. And so, uh, I had made attempts to get into shape. I remember didn't want a 98. My my local gym, too, burnt down shortly after. It wasn't my fault, but he didn't hurt down shortly after it had a get in shape contest. And I'm like, Good Lord, I'm gonna do this because I want Oh, they had a very nominal price. Whatever it was like one month, three membership in a egg of grapes. Suddenly it was just It was really dismal. But I was youth pastor. So if you waved anything in front of me, I'd be gone for it. Like Holy crap, I could win grapes. I'm doing this. And so I I did that and I starved myself down to this. But £215 not a really impressive look. Kind of soft and flat because I was starving for three months.
Andrew Bracewell: It should be noted, we need to give people perspective on what, 250lb? Because 250lb for you, Junior 15 215lb for you is actually kind of small.
Barry Ratzlaff: Oh, I was a bone rack. Yeah,
Andrew Bracewell: because you've walked around before At what? To 265 to 270
Barry Ratzlaff: today. Walked around to 265.
Andrew Bracewell: And when you are a lean, mean machine, you've been to 235 to 240. 240? Yeah. So to 215 is actually tiny
Barry Ratzlaff: way underweight for me. Yeah, So I in a classic fashion which so many people are familiar with, I dyed it down to this specific weight that I thought I should get to it. Not even about anything about body composition, how much muscle I had or just get down to this. Wait. How's how late can I get and quickly snap a picture before I lose my freaking mind? And as quickly as the pictures done, get me in the car and I'm going to in W for, like, five team burgers because I want to get the party started. And so I did that, and so literally I
Andrew Bracewell: was actually teen burgers. Did you actually do that?
Barry Ratzlaff: I was straight to in w. Had had
Andrew Bracewell: not Big Mac's, not Cooper's
Barry Ratzlaff: to team burgers to teen burgers. And awesome, I think onion rings. That's amazing. A coke it was in. So
Andrew Bracewell: a cool 2500 calories. So this this is
Barry Ratzlaff: and this could be will be segueing into this later. But that that waas, that's the microcosm of everyone's diet experience, which is I'm gonna I'm gonna be disciplined, and I'm gonna totally just beat my body and make it my slave and I'm gonna be fantastic and just don't get to my goal and I will fall apart because it's completely unsustainable. And once it's like Frank the Tank and old school, once the beer hits his lips,
Andrew Bracewell: it's so good. It's so good. Next thing he's
Barry Ratzlaff: streaking down looks, orders the quad. That's that's most people's that experience, which is ice restrict myself. And then I lose my freakin mind through a season like we just came through. How many times did I hear from people? You know what? I'm just gonna I'm January 1. I'm gonna be back on the wagon. You'll see. For now, I'm eating this entire tray of parties Chocolates. It's like, Okay, I get it.
Andrew Bracewell: The highs and lows of New Year's resolutions. Yeah. So back
Barry Ratzlaff: to the story, which is I. I won that contest, got my bag of grapes in my free month, and within six months I was back up to 60 to 70. Within 10 months, I was at 2 80 So I just my body. So your body is a very intelligent machine. It knows exactly what it shouldn't shouldn't do. And when you restrict it in a way that's very aggressive. It is lying and wait just like a tiger to pounce on. You mean metabolically and take you back up that that ladder is faster. They can
Andrew Bracewell: because it's been starved. And so now it wants to. It's
Barry Ratzlaff: an evolutionary reality that our bodies are designed not to do that. They're not designed to be restricted like that. They will fight back. They fight back with a vengeance. And when they fight back, they come back in a way that we had. You think you feel good again like Oh, yeah, this is fantastic. I do love doughnuts and pasta and breads and entire loaves of bread and one sitting.
Andrew Bracewell: This is fantastic.
Barry Ratzlaff: But you don't realize within a very short period of time you put on 2030 £40 I'm back to where I started. So I was back to where it started and a little more right and that you hear that story again and again. So I gained all the weight back and a little extra because your body is defending itself. It's just doing what supposed to do. So then I was reading. That year was 98 United States had the body for life conscious back then was called body of work. Bill Phillips, his brother Shawn Phillips. They put this out? Yes. Um, experimental Applied Sciences had this contest out and I was looking through magazines. Saw the article. I went, Ah, I want to do it so bad. But I can't. It's only American citizens because he was giving away a Lamborghini. Oh, so it was only us start $250,000 car and it was this incredible thing. And if you've gotten, if you want, you got to be part of a movie. He was making a movie called Body of Work and he flew Flee down too. Colorado. And it was just crazy. So I wanted to do that, But it wasn't available to Canadians. So the next year 99 I hear from my gym manager a Did you hear that body body for body of work is now available to Canadian soon a Canadian version and I went okay. It is game on, but I didn't have the knowledge to do it, so I thought, OK, on. I've been down to 2 15 before. I'm gonna go hard again So for about two weeks, I started doing the same process. Restrictive nutrition and exercise up the ying yang just overkill. Just cardio, cardio, cardio and, you know, lifting weights and just just not really knowing exactly how it all works. But just throwing as much as I could against my body to see what I could
Andrew Bracewell: publish. Were you in competition like you started immediately in competition
Barry Ratzlaff: as soon as they were playing around with your body to see what you don't know, I wanted to jump right in because all you had to do was take a picture with him with a newspaper. Young people familiar with this
Andrew Bracewell: back in the day. That's what you
Barry Ratzlaff: did. You did. You see, it's time stamped. Yeah, and ah, And long as it was a three month window, you could you just start and finish?
Andrew Bracewell: It was a body mass index. Was it or was a fat loss, or
Barry Ratzlaff: what were they preferred that you do scale weight and body mass index and you send that in and then they would be able to judge from your photos if you were telling the truth or not. If you were just trying to take them for a ride. And so I started, and I realized two weeks in. This is not going well, like I'm not gonna I really want to win this because for me, as a youth pastor, the prize was $10,000 plus a trip to Maui. Let's two year sponsorship.
Andrew Bracewell: It's like 35% of your years with
Barry Ratzlaff: $3000 ring and a $5000 your package. It was crazy was about $35,000 worth of stuff all together, which for a youth passed.
Andrew Bracewell: That's a year. So I'm like, My God, I have
Barry Ratzlaff: to win this! And in my brain, you said you can't win. But my brains always been the kind of Brandon goes. Course I can. I just have to figure this out. So I decided I went around to local gyms, and there's only a few of the time V. R. C. There was Cedar Park Fitness Center, which was Gators after the fact. And then there was, you know,
Andrew Bracewell: there are worlds and
Barry Ratzlaff: there was, but this world's was long gone, you know? Where the Savoy? Yeah, the world's Jim. Yeah, And what they rose Gold's gym actually, that's right. Yes. Yeah. I was a member of their little while.
Andrew Bracewell: That was the real monkey cage.
Barry Ratzlaff: It was Don Schultz said that place. And it was Yeah, it was like the guys who consider themselves real lifters. There's chocolate replacing the raps and everything. Like Ruin was grunting and yeah, just a testosterone house, which I kind of like, but they didn't last. They didn't Didn't make money. So So I went around to the gyms that were in the area, and I walked in the gym and I'd look around. I'd pay, though, drop in fee. And I just look and go. Who here is amazing? Like, who looks fantastic. And I pick him up and I'd wait from the finish, their work out. I don't interrupt your workout, and I'd sit by the front door if they had a juice party. But wait there. And I asked him, Can I? And I ask you a few questions and buy you a drink, and they're like, Yeah, for sure. They'd sit down, and so I just asked them. So how did you do this? You look amazing. Like what? What's your routine? What's your nutrition and they'd start telling me they they didn't. Back then, no one was guarding secrets and there was no personal trainers in town.
Andrew Bracewell: And no one's asking people those questions back then. Either know today you'd probably get a bit of a guarded response because everybody's doing it. No one wants to reveal, so
Barry Ratzlaff: you'd get a little bit of a reference to a website or to an instagram account. Or sure, Do you think this guy's June or I'm doing F 45 Mark Wahlberg?
Andrew Bracewell: It is my peach plan. Back off. Yeah, So
Barry Ratzlaff: I saw Mark Wahlberg humping of 45 today. And as soon as I saw him pumping, I said, He's an investor. Oh, and then I saw Yesterday another one comes up on my instagram Gap. Mark Wahlberg, investor and going for investors. Sure, that's last flogging that thing like
Andrew Bracewell: a naked dolphin anyway. But did you know that all dolphins turn? You've never seen that? It's quite the sight. Do you swing it by the tail of the head? How do you do that? Well, we can show you later. That's a live demo. Gonna get letters about cruelty to dolphin. Yeah, keep going very just going.
Barry Ratzlaff: I love the dolphins. Love the war when Dan Marino was at the helm, That's okay. So I went to three or four places, talk to three or four guys that I thought were in incredible shape. And then I had one guy in my in my gym Gators Jim. Brian Wong was his name. He was this this Ah, Asian bodybuilder guy. And he was just freaking out A real like, chiseled and just huge. And every time I saw him, I went has got the craziest body like it's crazy. So I talked to him and he kind of laid it out for me. Okay, Okay. All right. And I kind of put it together, But I still was defaulting to my old habits. I couldn't help it. It's like No, no wisdom dictates. Restrict your calories, do lots of activity. That's how it works. So I kept going down that path, starving your body water, working right, So not taking into account any of the clerk balances and intake and, you know, it was crazy. So I didn't remember this date. This changed my life. In essence, this is what set me on a new path of a new career I worked out. It was probably three weeks into the process, and I worked out worked up the way I always do, just also the wall prank, that just sweating till I was dizzy. I could hardly stand up, had no energy, left my body and I went to the juice bar. They're Gators. Jim and I sat down and Brian was there. He had been watching me work out, and he talked to me earlier a couple weeks earlier or a week earlier. And he's so he sat beside me. He goes, Hey, very you're doing the, ah, the body of work contest, right? That's it. Yeah. Hey, guys, how's it going? Said I think I'm doing pretty good, but I don't totally know. I feel just dizzy all the time and weird, and I've told the story many times and the Gators gym at that time. They sold these oatmeal cookies that were literally the size of a dinner plate, like they were huge, probably 800 calorie cookie. He reaches across and he holds it up to the owner, says, Put it on. My tab passes to me and he goes eat that. I said, You're kidding
Andrew Bracewell: me. I can't eat that. He goes. How many
Barry Ratzlaff: calories do you think he just burned in your workout? I watched you. I said, I don't know. He goes. You're probably 800 to 1000 The way you train. I want 1/2 Crazy said, Eat that. You gotta start feeding this system the system and I want. Really? So I ate the cookie, sat there. He made me eat it, didn't give me any pause, ate the cookie and went home feeling just wow. Amazing. Then I started understand all the things that I'd learn from these people that I talk to you, that there's a system that your body wants to subscribe to it and it works. And you can gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. People always say you can't do it. Same time I did. No steroids, no major products. I gained almost £20 of muscle and lost £50 of fat in a 14 week period. It was insane. I was being accused by guys. Watch me going. You're on juice, man. Oh, yeah. He's old juiced up here. I'm talking about me behind my back. Well, he's old. You still man, like No, not eating like a savage and training intelligently.
Andrew Bracewell: Wow. So that was the beginning of your health. Fitness journey career. You eventually dropped the pastor thing. We don't have to get into the specifics of what you did there. But what year did you all of a sudden say Okay, Barry, Rats laugh, and it should be noted. Janet does this with you. Your wife? Janet. When did you say we are fitness trainers or health coaches or whatever? You call yourself a the time. Was that 2001 too?
Barry Ratzlaff: S o I received. The prize is beginning of 2000. And as soon as I got home from Hawaii, they had a publication in the Muscle and Fitness magazine or the whatever the GS publication WAAS and Ah, my phone started to ring because they just they all
Andrew Bracewell: the
Barry Ratzlaff: published was named not phone numbers and stuff and contact info. But I started getting calls from all over the world. I'd be sleeping too. Am I get a phone call from New Zealand?
Andrew Bracewell: I might have read your article that somebody like you look fantastic. Sort of. You know, it's It's a different top. There's times where and what time. So I too am a bit sorry, man, I didn't mean to do that. Okay? Can you just give me a few tips? Three chips quickly. OK, I'll tell
Barry Ratzlaff: you what I did. And they stood, The phone started ringing, and I started having coffee with guys. And it happened, Maur and more and more. And so, Genesis, you need to start. You're taking a lot of time out of your scheduling. This is operating money. Sure. And I'm a youth pastor. Right? The whole idea is service for nothing. Like your life is worthless. Give it to the Lord and you may or may not get something back. We'll see. We'll
Andrew Bracewell: rewards are eternal. They are. When you see the crown that you're gonna get, you'll be so excited. Yeah, but I've never worn a crown. I know, but you're gonna love Oh, my God. I love you so much. You put language to things that are in my head all the time. Just do it so much better than me. Well, there you go. So
Barry Ratzlaff: the phone was ringing. I was going out with people for coffees, and I was basically giving them my system and not charging. And then I started charging little money for it. And the first time I charge somebody, I felt so guilty. I think I charged him 50 bucks for, like, an hour and 1/2 and he just There you go the next time. And did I tried for 100? Yeah. There you go. And then I tried for 1 50 Yeah, absolutely. Totally worth it. You know, like, Okay, this is stupid. I have to I have to get certified as a trainer, so I can do this for real and charge these people for real. And so yeah. So the Jan and I decided we put our heads together, said, Let's just get certified and get her personal train certificates. And we did that. And we kind of launched while I was still a youth pastor. But knowing that things were changing in my life, I've been a youth pastor for a long time, and my energy and will to keep up and contend with kids was was kind of coming to a close, and, ah, and then the church I was part of her. That time had a big shake up in it. You know, the leader was
Andrew Bracewell: kind of
Barry Ratzlaff: going down the signs and wonders trail of kind of kookiness. And I just wanted to get out so bad. And ah, and then all the stars align. I said, You know what? I'm done the Remember the day this is this is gonna off topic, But you gotta edit this out.
Andrew Bracewell: We're not in Italy on go. Yeah.
Barry Ratzlaff: So I got a phone call I had worked at the at this church that I was in for eight years. I had never had a meeting with an elder. Not once, because I just did what I supposed to do. And I had an amazing youth group, a big team of volunteers. That was awesome. We had a great thing going, so no one ever bug me. They said not Leave him alone. He's doing great. Kids love him. The staff love him. It's great. I got a phone call.
Andrew Bracewell: Hey. Yeah, Yeah. Berry. Yeah, this is Dave here. Ah, from the oldest board would load up a coffee with you just to discuss a few things to see how
Barry Ratzlaff: your ministries going. His voice is cracking. I'm going. You're such a
Andrew Bracewell: piece of shit. You You're just I know exactly.
Barry Ratzlaff: I don't know exactly where he's gonna go. I knew that what I was because I had been teaching on a certain thing. Brian McLaren. A new tank. Yeah, that stuff called wind. And they're all offended
Andrew Bracewell: that there is no such thing as a new dime crystal. It's awful. So I
Barry Ratzlaff: went to the meeting with the elders with my resignation letter in my pocket, walked into Tim Hortons. There they were, these two guys looking pretty nervous. They thought they'd kind of strong hand me a bit and, you know, saying Can we get you back in line? And And they said they talked about McClaren first they talked niceties. I'm going. Just get through. It just gets through that crash. I want to talk to you about my life. Then they got to the second part, which was like
Andrew Bracewell: so based
Barry Ratzlaff: on what we understand, McClaren and a new Christianity all stuff Do
Andrew Bracewell: you think you can still work at
Barry Ratzlaff: our church and hold those views? Because we'd love to have you as part of our
Andrew Bracewell: team, but we feel like you're shifting. I said Nope, I can't.
Barry Ratzlaff: And I pulled my resignation of plotting the table said, There's my two weeks. Thank you, gentlemen. Enjoy your day. And I walked out and they just sat there with white faces because they didn't want to lose me. But they did. And I thought, this is fantastic. So I walked down the street from the Tim Hortons on the corner of South Frazer waiting. Glad when there and ah, I got about 100 feet past store and walk and feel like a 1,000,000
Andrew Bracewell: bucks. I just quit a job. Oh, yes. Oh, God, Like it should be noted at that time in your life. You got young Children, four young Children, four young Children. You're you're not floating in money. No, you're you're living relatively paycheck to paycheck.
Barry Ratzlaff: When I ever went to take vacations, a few of my client's razz me about this. I would go to the auctions, and at that time, in the most lucrative thing that I could flip was a mobility scooter, and some might find these mobility scooters at the auction. I'd fix them up putting batteries, and I'd sell them at a big profit so I could take my family on vacation. Would have enough money to do that. That's how he funded my fun stuff with flipping things.
Andrew Bracewell: Wow. Yeah. So that's quite the story. I meet you in 2007. And so when I meet you in 2007 you've now been operating in a new way For, what, 45 years, then?
Barry Ratzlaff: Yeah, we saw. That was 2001. I finished at the church. 2003 for good. And 2003. We hung basically hunger shingles. Got a website going. I remember the first guy. This is crazy. The first guy that walked through my door to be trained, uh, rob deck. He's a helicopter pilot with with chinook. He sat on my kitchen table. He wrote me a check for the full value of 36 session program the body for life program, and watched him signing this. Check this. I'm like, this is one dude, and he just wrote me a check for $1700. That's what I got paid every two weeks of
Andrew Bracewell: the church. Like this is if I could get like, I'm with
Barry Ratzlaff: these guys, I'm I'm going golden and my very first client, Rob Dick. He won the Canadian body for life.
Andrew Bracewell: That's so so cool because I had no one you coached. You coached him and doing that? Yeah. Okay,
Barry Ratzlaff: now he's just another one.
Andrew Bracewell: I knew you had done that. I just didn't know who you would coach. But that's the guy you coached to. Yeah, Okay.
Barry Ratzlaff: And I coached on the guy in Chilled like Rob, Best former gym owner of gators. And he won the Canadian body for life. So we actually five champions. You're a little old, Jim.
Andrew Bracewell: Not everybody in life gets to experience this, unfortunately, But the thing that you just alluded to that ah ha moment that you can have in life where you get paid fair value for the value that you bring her for your time. Yeah, It's quite a life changing moment to experience that not everybody gets to, but clearly for you, that was significant. And and I have experienced that as well.
Barry Ratzlaff: So it was huge, and it's very difficult to accept that. Like, to believe you're worthy of that money. Absolutely. It just doesn't seem right.
Andrew Bracewell: Hey, you. You touched on something. Really? I want to circle back to because there's a whole rabbit hole that we can go down. You talked about how, when, in the early part of your journey, your old mind thought, work hard, starve yourself And somewhere along the way, your new mind with your cookie story, and then thereafter learned that work hard and actually give your body a bounty. All right, good nutrition. And that is something. If I could explain that, that's a similar experience I had with you. So when I met you in 2007 and we don't have to get into the all of my story, well, maybe we can if you want, but my old brain thought the same thing. Starvation is nutrition, but that is not the case. So can you just dive into that a little bit and then also speak to the significant transformation, or maybe the ups and downs of the nutrition world in the last 20 years of you, as you've observed it from your chair?
Barry Ratzlaff: Yeah, the ah, the value of nutrition cannot be overstated. It's easily 78. 80% of any successful short term and long term program is nutrition. It has to be your body's designed to use fuel in a way that makes sense to it. If it doesn't get what it needs, it's gonna basically shut itself down. It'll it'll turn itself off in and you won't get anywhere. Um, everyone has those experiences of plateaus and in their routines, plateaus, and some of them are normal. Some of them are very, very damaging. So the idea of understanding a your metabolic level like Where's What are you burning at rest in a given day? Well, I'm sitting here talking to you,
Andrew Bracewell: which is different for everybody, right?
Barry Ratzlaff: It's different for everybody, particularly for folks. So when I get people come to the gym doors that I know how it's called metabolic damage. So they have done dieting. They've done Kato. They've done all these horrific things to themselves and some of them not so horrific. Some of them truly are very, very damaging. They really need a start up there. They're burning, you know, 1500 calories a day when they should be burning 2500 calories a
Andrew Bracewell: day because they've trained their body to live on starvation. Their bodies furnace is running at such an incredibly low.
Barry Ratzlaff: They haven't trained anything. They've just caused a huge reaction in their system. The bodies is defending itself. It's just going into this retreat mode where it's gonna hold on to any calories it gets rather than burn them off,
Andrew Bracewell: right? If you only want to give me 1200 calories, then I will learn how to operate off 12. And I have
Barry Ratzlaff: to, and it happens within 7 to 10 days. So so that's why I'm such a huge proponent of Sai clicked. Cyclist. Nutrition and every user were dieting. It's cycling contrition, so eating up and eating down and knowing where the line is and making sure the eating up enough to keep your metabolism stoked eating down enough that if you're trying to get off some body, thought you could do that, but only in a very short period of time. It's it's really a 5 to 7 day window that you can cycle through before your body begins to catch on. So, like, for instance, body for life, I keep referring to that people. It's funny. Whenever I talk to people body for life, they go,
Andrew Bracewell: Oh hey, yeah, I did that program back in the day I'm like and yeah, I got I lost, like, £40 I felt fantastic. And I started stopped doing
Barry Ratzlaff: it because of the next thing came out. Whatever it was, South Beach came out. And And Tony, whatever his name is in the PX nine year P 90 X came out. You know, the next thing came out and people think, Oh, all these programs revolving the human species must be evolving. So I have to change with the times like and then, uh, didn't you read the title of the book body for life Like It's for life? This works for life. I've been doing it 20 years. When I first had the this Ah ha moment began eating like this where I was eating 5 to 6 times a day on o'clock, measured amounts knew it was going in. It was going out. I was still working in the church at that time, and I go down to the staff room. I had I bought a blender, brought it in there. I have my own box of shakes there in the cupboard and remember is blending. One day one of the secretaries came in. She goes, she kind of looked at me with this sort of not really disdain, but, like, really, really, that's what you're doing. I know all about diets and she goes, How long can you keep
Andrew Bracewell: that up? I said, Honestly, well, would Weight Watchers have been a thing at that time? Yes, like that's I remember Weight Watchers. So maybe her experience with dieting was probably something like that, which is heavy restriction
Barry Ratzlaff: going way back. Like you even reference still ity that that Atkins was 1972 started in 1972. Resurgence in the nineties and all the way through James Fix and his running, you know, his extreme running the guy who ran himself to death and had a heart attack. There was stuff all along the way. That was basically they were potholes for people to have these experiences of restriction, to lose weight and then to realize they couldn't do it. They blame themselves, and the diet industry lies heavily on that, that we will blame ourselves for it not working, and then we'll come back again and try harder next time because, well, I failed last time because I am a failure, not the program was a failure. If the program solid it is, does it is supposed to do? And it it has some degree of longevity built into it. It should work for anybody, really. But that's not how it works
Andrew Bracewell: so well, Call it cyclical dieting that fair. So you've embraced cyclical cyclical dieting for the last 20 year. So years. In that time, you've also now observed all of the fad diets, and you alluded to some of them. Whether it's Atkins, Kato, South Beach, I could probably think of a couple others if I scratch my head. Yeah, Paleo Haley. Oh, yeah, yeah. How has that have you? How have you had to deal with that in terms of your clients and your street conversations? And how has that impacted your business and whatever the parties, you're right where you're sipping cocktails and everyone has an opinion on something.
Barry Ratzlaff: Everybody has an opinion because everyone has a body and everyone's a mouth and everyone's a smartphone. Put those together and you gotta just a dynamite box for people to have this knowledge about how you know what works and what doesn't the thing about. So let's let's pick on a current one, and I'm not picking on on purpose. I'm picking on it because I've seen too many bad stories or I seen the stories and poorly too many times. So it's Kato. Now People come to me and say, What do you think about Kato? And the thing I always say first is it works. It works like a hot damn if you're trying to get your body fat reduced. If you don't care about losing muscle mass, you don't care about losing your metabolic potential. If you're just trying to get lighter, you can't get better than kitto. You'll you'll lose fat at a shocking rate. But you'll also lose water, which is a big piece of the puzzle, because when you lose carbohydrates, carbohydrates and water bond in your system toehold in the muscle tissue, so you lose water. You lose a big monument that way. But the payoff at the end, or the payout at the end of that process is always always a nightmare. So two stories Ah guy, I know I won't see the place where he's employed, but I saw him at his place of employment about two years ago, and I saw him. And he's normally about £340 for here and £30. And he was maybe 200. I was like, Oh, my goodness. What have you done? He goes a I know, right? Look at this. Crazy. He's touching this. Get on his stomach. It's all floppy in loose and thinking. Maybe he has to have some surgery on that. And I said, So what you do. And he goes, I did. Kato got in a Keogh plan and just dropped 100. And whatever was £140. I'm like, Dude, you look amazing. Like you're You look amazing. And so then I inserted my caveat, which is No, I'm proud of you. Amazing job. Can I ask you a question? Yes. Is this sustainable? Can you do this for the rest of your life? He goes, I don't know if I can eat whole cream and bacon for breakfast every day. And avocados and and steak fat like like I know, I know. So I'm asking you, can you just forever. No, I can't. It's okay. I said, Are you thinking of transitioning into Ah, balanced lifestyle, Ingles? Yes, I am. I said king. Promise me this that you will phone me when the time comes and we can have a discussion. And I can help you set up a plan to get this thing done right? Because I will. I will. I said I won't charge you. I am so vested in this that I want to give this to you as a gift of Don't. Don't do this, man. Don't go down that road. I've seen it too many times. She goes okay. I will. I will. We lost touch. I didn't see him. He got transferred that story to another store. And ah, about a year later, he was then transferred back to the store and I saw him and I went Oh, my goodness. He was 3 50 I saw him and I I walked up and said, Hey, how's it going, man? He goes, Hey, and you could see the look of shame and defeat in his eyes because I hadn't changed at all over that year. But he had put on 100 and £50 and ah, hey, just he was a defeated human being and the chance of him being able to recover from that and get the weight down in a healthy way. Extremely, extremely low possibility of
Andrew Bracewell: that. So I would suggest from my anecdotal experience, which is not as vast as yours but as I've observed many of these bad diets from the sideline, I fortunately, you know, met you years ago when I did and embraced. What I would say is the right long term, holistic, healthy way of tackling the conversation of health and fitness. But what I've seen in the others is that the focus is weight loss predominantly without having to put work in in the gym. Is that a fair statement of a lot of those? Because my experience has been tackled the nutrition piece. But then along with the nutrition piece, is you gotta work your ass off in the gym. And if you're not willing to work your ass off in the gym than long term, it's not sustainable because our bodies are meant to move and work and anything that says you don't have to move and work is a trick that that's my own. Is that fair?
Barry Ratzlaff: Absolutely early. Atkins early Kato. Others variations of Kitano called dirty heat or psych like Ito, where people are trying to make it a process where you could do this for life and you can incorporate exercise extreme exercise. And you can break muscle tissue down like we do in the gym and have it rebuild because carbohydrates are a fairly essential process part of that process. Um, yeah, that's a very fair statement to make.
Andrew Bracewell: So where I go with this in my brain is that I look at the evolution of, you know, mankind and I think Okay, so let's go back 405 100,000 years ago, whatever we did not have to work to move in, that our body movement and physical activity came as a byproduct of what had to happen. Every day we were connected to the Earth. We had to work the ground, you know, work, work, the livestock. I mean, just to live and eat required physical exertion. And then we go through this metamorphosis evolutionary experience in life, and today we don't have to move. You and I could sit here on a chair in a lethargic state and be just fine with computers and smartphones and whatever else we want to add to that so I find, because of my own health experience and the fact that I was obese at a point time. My life. I find myself having these conversations now with our Children who are growing up in an even more lethargic state than I grew up in. And it's interesting because I don't think working out is a natural thing. I don't think a human just wakes up one day and says, I want to go push. Wait, So I'm gonna go for a run so we maybe have toe work. We have to convince ourselves that we need to do this because of the lethargic state that were in there were naturally living. And I'm having this conversation with my Children and they're even fighting me on it. But my fear is that if we don't train ourselves early that we need to do this, then you know we end up in a place that we don't want to be in. It's just Ah, this is a convo that were in every day, and I think we're here because of where we've come evolutionary on evolution basis.
Barry Ratzlaff: Oh yeah, and I mean there's in the last 30 40 years There's been a huge movement in the school system to move away from physical activity as legislated. So my son was here for Christmas, and he's a personal trainer, Victoria. He was reading a book called Spark, and he was very excited about it. He was telling me a little excerpt from it. Basically, it's based on a gentleman's research down in Idaho where it's I think it's Idaho. It's the only state that has legislated physical activity in the states. Still, most of them moved away. They've cut those programs, so they've gotten rid of art. They've got rid of music, and they got rid of a visit. This guy was really interesting to visit because the neurotrophic value of exercise. So in this little enclave in Idaho, where these students air forced to forced to exercise their grades, are off the charts better in some of their math scores than Stan. Chinese schools, like these kids are killing it, and they're discovering that what happens to the brain when it's forced to B e, the bodies used in a way that you know, resistance training, intense exercise. It's the only way you can create these. These neural pathways in these chemicals, your endorphins in your serotonin and all these good things. They're supposed to be part of who we are, and they really helped build the brain in a functional way, an i Q way. And so there were just We've moved away from very, very valuable pieces of who we are as human beings, thinking they were not straws we don't need that would get the car and driver were going. Who wants to walk, well, well, ourselves around the mall, there's escalators. Take us up on the flights of stairs. There's all these things not knowing that we're shooting ourselves in the foot literally, um, physically. And we need to get back to the basics of why it's important for all this work to happen for our bodies. Fascinating for sure.
Andrew Bracewell: You have a unique chair that you sit in in what in your vocation and what you do on the way, I'll do my best to describe it, and you can tell me if I've done a good job of it a little happy Speak to it. But my observation of you is that the majority of your clients are high level achievers in their varying areas of profession. And these people sit with you 34 times week for an hour or more, and you get to dialogue with them. And I've often thought that is fascinating that six, maybe five days, a week, eight hours a day or more. You're with high level achieving humans who have chosen to put their fitness and health versus a priority. What is that? What is that like to be in that environment 24 7 I
Barry Ratzlaff: would say it's ah, it's encouraging in a in a weird way. You think? Oh, man, you're on these people, these these these humans, they're they're worth hundreds of millions of dollars and they're out there pulling strings. You know, in the real world that they're in control of some really cool stuff and they walked through my door and the door closes and agent, I just see the relief would go across your face there like a They're in a safe place, a place where they could be themselves. They can tell me what's going on inside of themselves because they know I have, ah, counseling pastoral history. And that piece of me didn't die like I still have a passion for understanding, helping and loving human beings in a way that gets them to a new place.
Andrew Bracewell: That's the Lord Berry. I know the spirit of peace is in my hut. Gonna touch you in a way you have imagined. Okay, E i e I know it doesn't take much to get you off the
Barry Ratzlaff: tangents air their attention there. So these guys come through the door and it's I just trained guys. I do train. Currently, I have one female, which is your wife, and you come together as a couple, but mostly guys and they come in and
Andrew Bracewell: they should be noted. Your wife trains
Barry Ratzlaff: My wife trains the ladies? Yes, she works with ladies. Shay works, but the lady isn't at work with the gentleman.
Andrew Bracewell: It seems to be the best system we could very old fashioned. Arranged.
Barry Ratzlaff: It is. It is. Yeah. Yeah, it just saves us from from issues. Sure, Yeah, yeah. From issues that could be life altering. So we don't want to go down those paths. So they come through the door and the it's it's fantastic because they get to be riel. They love this. The pieces of it that I find very curious. They love me, telling them what to do because in their lives no one tells them what to do. They make the rules. If they can't make the rule, they'll buy a new rule like it's it's pretty cool. So they walk through the door and they kind of go, OK, Dad, what are you doing
Andrew Bracewell: today like All right, here we go.
Barry Ratzlaff: And off we go on our little journey or fitness journey. But it's way more than a fitness journey for these guys. It's always way more there. Is there so much more? In terms of the they need a place where they can be themselves. They need a place like cheers where everyone knows your name. Or at least one guy knows your name, your true name. And ah, we'll hear you out. You could tell me stuff that
Andrew Bracewell: you get it all right. Like you're you're in the therapist here Stuff? Yeah,
Barry Ratzlaff: but every month I hear someone say I not even my wife knows this. Sure,
Andrew Bracewell: but except me, honey, I don't talk to bury that way on DDE.
Barry Ratzlaff: I'm totally good with it, like and I'd have no no needs toe feel like Oh, yeah, this is great. Having this insider information, it's like, No, it's like you're what you're telling me is in the vault and to guess what, We're all the same. And that's not a piece that makes me feel really good when these guys air coming up. Now what that way is that we are all the same. We all walk the same earth and we have the same issues. It doesn't matter if you have $100 million or $100 you face the same shit and it's how you deal with it that counts. Right now, these guys deal with things very differently. Their minds. So this is This is a note I made earlier in coming into. This is when I see and I was talking to one of my clients essay about this very factor, which is when someone walks through the door of the gym and I can usually tell how they're gonna react to pain. The way a person's pain response is is often how they'll function in life and most Taipei's. When you give them pain, it's sparked something in them. It doesn't shut them down. Most people get pain. They're like,
Andrew Bracewell: Oh, that hurts. That hurts that I
Barry Ratzlaff: I don't want to do that. That's that's uncomfortable, but a type A or like a really achiever. They feel pain, and it actually sparks curiosity.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, I don't I don't even not toe push back on your comment. But I think it would be unfair to say Taipei's because there's there's people, maybe who aren't Taipei's who are high achievers. Yeah, I put that you agree not to pick what you're saying, but I know what I know. The spirit of what you're trying to say. People who are capable of a lot respond differently than those that are not. Is that it or not? Yeah, yeah,
Barry Ratzlaff: I've had clients that that one is specific. Who every time I put a weight in his hand and he would do a rap as the way it was coming up, he was literally be saying out
Andrew Bracewell: loud, out, out, out, out, out, out, and doesn't go down. Oh, out, out!
Barry Ratzlaff: And he lasted two weeks and quit because for obvious reasons, yeah, versus a guy who I'll say, OK, this set is 10 wraps. He'll look at me and I like a challenge like 10. I'm giving you 12 and off he goes and he'll get his 12 like it just doesn't matter what number give. It's always more always more
Andrew Bracewell: the pattern in these people's lives just manifesting itself in the It is in the weight room.
Barry Ratzlaff: Now on the inverse someone who has had not much success in life, who gets their physical self under control. They begin to see a spill over into all of their life. I heard it again and again and again like I don't know what's happening. But as I'm getting in better shape, I'm way more productive at work. Things were going so much better. My relationship with my wife, my family, is getting better like what's happening to me like it's like your body's doing what's designed to do, the chemicals air flowing. It's
Andrew Bracewell: well, I I'll, so I'll share a piece of my story with you. But I mean, I So I encountered you twice, encountered you first in 2000 and seven, and the things that I learned with you in that moment, I didn't stick with it. And, you know, we were with each other for maybe a year and I went away and I continued in some unhealthy living. But I came back to you in 2012 and the transformation I went through in 2012 I think at my highest I was £235. I was over 30% body fat. I was, by definition I was obese and I was 29 years old and I have been told I was pre diabetic from a doctor who scared the living shit out of me and thank God that he did, because had he not I probably I had this false confidence in my brain. Even though I wasn't amazing, I still thought I was amazing. I still have that to this day. Really. But in that moment I was like a soft bowl of pudding, and I probably thought like I was a middle linebacker, you know? But I needed to have the shit scared out of me. I did came back in 2012 point of the story being the transformation I went through with you in that let's say 6 to 12 month period in that second time back, and I've been with you ever since. But through the fall of 12 the first half of 13 I remember I went from £235 down to 182. I got my body fat index below 10%. I'm not living at that level today, but I went there and it changed my life. It so for me there was, you know, something that occurred in the gym spilled over into into the rest of my life. In the my family health, the health of my career, the way I engaged with humans, just my overall well being mental well being actually snapped in that, you know, in that space that we had together in the gym,
Barry Ratzlaff: it's powerful. I mean, the rock calls it his anchor, right? The gym is his anchor. People think it's because he's he loves weightlifting or is addicted to it. Or, you know, he's a huge, muscular guy. But with that guy scheduled the things that he does on a daily basis, the anchor is it gives him his mental stability. It gives him the ability to do all the things he does, comes from his resistance training. Yeah, there's no mystery there and the world is starting to wake up to it. It's taken a while. Like when I first started lifting. That was 13 of 30 years old. When he first got into training, it was still an underground thing. People looked at kind of scoffed at it. Remember talking to people, body for life. And they say, Do I have to do the weight part? Like the weightlifting part?
Andrew Bracewell: That's kind of gross. What other partisans? Yeah, I don't want to do cardio
Barry Ratzlaff: kind to cardio new body for life. You have to modify it for you. It's not really gonna give you what you want, but okay. But now people are starting to to come awake to it. And unfortunately, as humans always do, they've gone just far, far too extreme with it. Power lifting was never meant to be competitive in the sense of repetition wise, it's Yeah. I want to go there right now because it gets me going real hot when I start thinking about those things. Yeah. We
Andrew Bracewell: don't wanna get you angry, Berry. No, no, no, no. So I had a conversation with somebody else. We're not gonna say names, but somebody else who's a client two years. We're discussing the fact that you were gonna be on the show. We both, you know, admire and love you and the conclusion. So the question we asked herself were like, Well, what? What makes very different wise, Very amazing, Because there's, you know, there's a 1,000,000 trainers in the world. Everybody's a trainer. I mean, you must feel like that in your industry. Literally. Everybody's a trainer
Barry Ratzlaff: we started with. There was none in Abbotsford. We're the first ones. People saying Can you actually make a living doing that? I
Andrew Bracewell: said, I don't know. I don't know.
Barry Ratzlaff: So it worked. But now it's Yeah, everyone's got a personal train certificate
Andrew Bracewell: I've got. I've got up European Swiss ball in my basement and I've got padding and I've got dumbbells that range from £3 all the way to £14 I'm gonna get in the best shape of your life. There's people are gonna listen This they're actually gonna feel conviction. Thio Shit. He's talking about me. I might be Oh, and keep doing what you're doing. Cut the air. Beautiful. Just the way. So here's the Here's the conclusion we came to as to why Why is very rats off? Amazing. Why is he not just one of the others? And it was this. You have all the knowledge you have, the physical knowledge nailed. So when it comes to how to lift weights, how to train, how to grow muscle, you know, you know that you know the body very, very well. You also have the nutrition piece absolutely hammered. And the evidence is in the 20 years of proof of successful clients and people who have made significant changes to their body. But more so than any of those two things, it's very obvious that you care the most about the mind. And I don't know if this is something. You just woke up one day and said, I need to care for the human mind more than you know. I don't know what the conversation is. I don't even know if you've ever thought of this or would agree with it. But I would suggest that when somebody trains with you, their brain is as important to you as anything else. What do you What do you think about that?
Barry Ratzlaff: Absolutely. I mean, the first thing was, someone walks to the door they're not, Ah, a client in the sense of a person I make money from. I don't even Janet when for the 1st 3 or four years she had to force me to ask for money because I wasn't I didn't care. I get it. We have to pay bills. But I I was so excited to work with people one on one in a sincere it was almost a pastor or a relationship without the religious crap. It was human, really into human. Let's let's just sort of put our minds together and see what we come up come up with here and ah, so yeah, I I really love it. And when I get a client coming through who's not really willing to open on that level, it's kind of disappointing, Like I realized pretty quick on this person. They don't want to go deep. They just want to get their workout in, and often that relationship won't last that long, but from
Andrew Bracewell: because you only have so much time. You don't want to give your time to somebody who's not. It was not all fully engaged
Barry Ratzlaff: now, and because we are holistic beings, the mind, the body the spirit, whatever that may be, our completely connected. And so we can't pretend that just lifting weights is gonna make me a healthy human. It's like, absolutely not like your brain is 80% of the equation. If your brain's messed up and it's thinking like some really bad shit about who you are, how you function amongst people boat your relationship with your wife for your kids or whatever, you're not gonna be healthy. That's not health.
Andrew Bracewell: And you see that, right? I mean, I can't even say that you've seen that you have to speak about other clients. But in me, let's say there's a direct relation to be in terms of where the person's brain is that and then their physical output. Oh,
Barry Ratzlaff: yeah, moments. Yeah, I've seen it in you. When you went through the process over the last year and 1/2 of purchasing the company and the stress load you're carrying, um, the effect it had on you and your wife like put strain on everything and it shows up in how you perform in the gym. And you know what, Jim? Performance as I say the guys all the time. That's secondary just let the weights be the weights every any given Sunday. Give it a week or two. You'll be back up to the weights you're pushing before. Don't sweat it. Do the routine. Get the chemicals flowing. Feel good. This is good. We're doing a good thing here. And then two or three weeks later Oh, I feel fantastic and you're crushing it again. And it's not supposed to be.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, What's that? You always say this to me. Your cause, your muscles don't know that the weight they don't only whale the resistance. The only No intensity, right, Right, So you could be having a shitty day and whatever doing dumbbells at £70. And you know, you could do nineties or 100 but your your muscles don't know the difference between that. They're under full load and they're maxed out. That's all they know.
Barry Ratzlaff: Fibers. They're they're doing that they're doing. They're very, very best for you at that point. And if they're doing their best, that's all they can do. It's your brain. That's the problem. Your brain sees the 60 on the dumbbells or the 80 and you start beating yourself up. What's your problem? look at that. You're a piece of sheer. So weak. Well, you need, sir. Beat yourself up like
Andrew Bracewell: No, don't do that. Like I have
Barry Ratzlaff: days. I tell guys I have days and actually learn this from from Schwarzenegger, cause I remember reading an article way back in the eighties about him and he and he said, Ah, there, days he goes. He's the first proponent that Ah, weightlifting is 80% mental. It's all in the mind. And so he said he'll come to that. He'd come to the gym and he kind of get his warm up, down and get ready in his first sets and realized I'm not here today mentally. And you'd leave. I'm like, What? No, no, no Pushed through. And it started to embrace that idea that Yeah, there's days when I go to the gym when I'm not present, so I'll walk in. I'll do my warm up. Something's not right. My head somewhere else. Go back to the house, live to fight another day. Come back the next day, feel a 1,000,000 bucks and crush it. So but my clients will that prove a can't just show
Andrew Bracewell: up like you know what I don't
Barry Ratzlaff: feel so good. I'm gonna go and come back tomorrow, Uh, can't fit you in. But okay,
Andrew Bracewell: so if you were to write a memoir or a book, as I alluded to earlier in which he spoken to you, you've spent a lot of time with a lot of high level people in a variety of industries. What would be the theme of that memoir in that? What would be your commentary on? Is there a similar thing that all of these humans do? Or is there a trait where you go? Yeah, they're totally unrelated. Different industries, different professions. But there's this one or two things that are just common. Is that Is that something that exists or no,
Barry Ratzlaff: I would say the most pivotal piece and all that would be what they truly believe about themselves or what they truly have embraced about themselves. That someone else has taught them so for, ah, high achiever. For the most part, these people believe a they can do these things. They believe they're worthy of success. Um, when the money comes, they're okay with that. They know how to work with it. They can manage it. And they feel worthy of that. And when it comes to the gym, they kind of think, Yeah, I'm here because you know what you're doing. And if I work with you, this is gonna be fine. We're going to get somewhere vs a mind that's been beaten down. It doesn't believe anything good about itself and sees nothing but negative around itself. And all those things have a way of manifesting too, you know, financial trouble in relational trouble and all down and poured nutritional habits. The all our site Click it so and they'll spiral down in this pool so that you're spiraling up with positive self image or you're splattering down. And so there's one trait these guys would carry and the few women have worked with its Their minds are strong. They have their self image is intact and they believe good things about themselves. Not not cocky, kind of like you're you're just a dick about about yourself, but actually good, positive things that yeah, you're you're a good human, and what you bring to the table is valuable. It's worth something, and you have something to offer. And so they they believe that. And it has a way of manifesting in their life in success.
Andrew Bracewell: It never ceases to amaze me how I feel like no matter what the topic in life, everything always boils down to the health of the brain. Oh, absolutely, it's just mind blowing. Absolutely. I think our world has opened up more to that conversation there. We're more aware of it now, so it's getting talked about more. But it's just fascinating to me that you could be talking about something that you think has nothing to do with the brain. And then at the end of the day, just it all boils down. Two to the health of the brain.
Barry Ratzlaff: Mental health is it's a burgeoning field. It's crazy to say that because we've had self help books and psychology books around for for 50 years, but it is. It's a burgeoning field, in a sense that people are becoming aware that mental illness. Um, and we used to think mental illnesses like you belong in Riverdale like off to the mental house with you, right? But mental illness has got, you know, so many layers on so many levels, and whatever your level is, it's it's legit. What you're feeling what? The way you're talking to yourself, the voices in your head, the voice of your father in your head, voice of your boss in your head, all conspiring to this sort of ah stew of either positivity or some really, really nasty negativity that old don't have kept your life. It'll make you incapable of doing certain things and achieving certain things.
Andrew Bracewell: And it's also possible that you can be feeling really shitty in your brain and down on yourself, and you don't have a mental illness. You're just in a really shitty state. And so what do you What do you say to somebody? Or what would you say to somebody? Because the majority of the world, I think it's not the people that have the healthy self image image right, and they struggle to find their fitness path and have confidence in the gym and eternal life Run. What do you What do you do with that? Like, what's the What's the first thing to try to overcome? If someone's just so they're shit kicking themselves so much in their head that even if they put the right thing in front of them, they're still gonna have a hard time because in their head they're just pieces of shit.
Barry Ratzlaff: I think the first action step is get off social media. Stop looking at Instagram pictures of people who have perfect bodies and our purveying these perfect lives because that is such a negative thing for your brain. It's complete horseshit. It iss it's so, so destructive. And I think about our kids, Um, and not just teens. I think about kids. Your your kid's age. Yeah. Who are exposed to this already? Yeah, they're grading themselves from judge themselves against these images and thinking, Well, why don't I look that way? How come I don't have a $1,000,000 I'm 19 years old? You know, like Billy Isla? She's a millionaire and she's 19. Like how come I don't have that? It's so unhealthy. So the first thing I'd say to somebody who's struggling with self image stuff is stopped feeding yourself the negativity and it might come in is positivity like, Oh, this is a This this person has amazing instagram account. You've got all these things going that seems really positive, but you spend it and becomes negative because you're not those things get rid of that stuff. That's that's poison to your brain. Second, find to human beings that you know love and trust and hold on to their evaluation of you. They're the ones that matter so that your mom, your dad, your brother, your sister, your husband, your wife and they've been saying for years.
Andrew Bracewell: What are you talking about? You're awesome. I love
Barry Ratzlaff: you. You're perfect. The way you are. Get the other voices out of your head. Hold onto to that. Say you're amazing and hold on to those because that's all accounts we had to pick her life. Who are you? You're you're champions for you. Your cheerleading section, You got everything that's the place to start. And then then once you kind of got your the the the atmosphere around your clear. Now start looking for examples of what you think you could be capable of, Like what I did back in the day when I went gym to gym and said, I want to talk to these guys because they're doing what I want to do. So why would I read a book or try to make it up myself when I could talk to them. They they're doing it right now in front of me. Find people who are doing what you think is, you know, lets your passion and you know that stuff that everyone's talking about these
Andrew Bracewell: days. But, well, we're It's almost New Year's. So we're in the middle of, like, the season of people trying to make significant life change. Yes, and then, of course, in 3 to 4 weeks time, it's the season of everybody falling flat on their face in their objectives that they created 3 to 4 weeks earlier, Right? So this is all very relevant. Oh, for for the context of time that were absolutely, absolutely. There you're you're obviously not a New Year's resolution guy.
Barry Ratzlaff: No, not at all. No, My favorite thing is coming into Christmas with all my guns blazing like workouts are being just I'm crushing. I love Christmas because my clients will go away and my gym is is I've got to myself. So I'm in there two times a day. Just granted. I was in there last night doing legs, and today, this afternoon I'll go back. I'll do my chest, shoulders and arms. I'm excited about it. I love it. So I love crossing a boundary that people think is Ah, here we go. Time to rein it in. And I'm what you talking about? There's no raining to be done. I'm in the zone and here we go. Party time.
Andrew Bracewell: Have you always been funny? Um, well, I guess it was great, too. And this is a true story. I got struck in the forehead with baseball by now. I was told at the time that I could not speak or focus my eyeballs for over two hours. Now, that could have something to do with my funding. This I'm not totally sure about that, but it goes back. Traces back to about that time for those listening, attempting to do Romanian dead lifts while this human like that is a challenge in and of itself. How you know, you've always used humor your whole life, Like as a kid.
Barry Ratzlaff: Yeah. I have used here in my entire life.
Andrew Bracewell: And you are one of your hidden talents. Is your cartoonist? Yes. You're an artist? Yeah, like a crazy good artist. I would consider myself a decent hack. Well, I've seen your shit, and like, I couldn't come over I've taught like
Barry Ratzlaff: cartooning classes for kids, and I've done a single panel cartoon that it made it onto somebody's Web site for a while. But I stopped doing that.
Andrew Bracewell: Okay, so I have a question for you that you may need to get into character for S o. If you were Arnold Schwarzenegger struggling to put your young child to bed and needing to sing Twinkle, twinkle, little Star, what might that sound like? Okay, everybody time Still sleeping time. I think I drank a little star. I don't know I love Ah yeah, you. Every now and then, when we're in the gym, you'll bust out a crazy impression. It's just unbelievable. It's difficult to keep focus sometimes, but it's it's humor is it is an incredible medicine. I
Barry Ratzlaff: find it funny some because you've come in on, like, a Thursday and I'll say to you, Yeah, and your head man off the property in five days
Andrew Bracewell: literally. You actually haven't been off your pride.
Barry Ratzlaff: Haven't been off the property. I've walked from the house to the gym. How's the gym? Back and forth, You know, countless times and I haven't left
Andrew Bracewell: the property. I actually said, Hey, Barry, let's do this in the gym. Could be so cool, toe, you know, get into the environment where we are all the time and, you know, whatever it would be in the environment. And you're like, Could we please go, Seo? I never get off the farm. Yeah, I
Barry Ratzlaff: feel like when I come to town I feel like so Downs Road is Is is the Great Wall. If you're using a game of Thrones analogy, that's the big ice wall on I'm certainly like Uncle Ben Jin who's ranging in the North. And I'm fighting off in the white walkers and my situation. Wait, Walker's our hallmark Film crews on, uh, Jehovah's Witnesses. So you're saying my flaming scepter and getting I I actually I had to banish two jobs this morning. Actually came to the door of my dog's going nuts.
Andrew Bracewell: They came all the way out.
Barry Ratzlaff: Oh, yeah, They come to our house, they love it out there so they'll come to the door. They were there
Andrew Bracewell: this morning. God bless them for how passionate they are and how far they're willing to walk. Like that's a long haul. Down that road they get,
Barry Ratzlaff: they get points for the rejection. So right. And I give
Andrew Bracewell: you definitely get in the firm rejection. Yeah, it was. Did you do it? Close there naked?
Barry Ratzlaff: I was clothed her clothes. Okay. Not naked this time. They were They were sent merrily on their way. So yeah,
Andrew Bracewell: that's amazing. Hey, we're going to Ah, we've probably talked a long time. I'm not even sure I'm not keeping track, but it's been good, But before we, uh, we wrap up, I want to ask you who in your life and all of your journeys that you've come across is somebody that needs to be needs to have the shout out and be told they're incredible or they're amazing. I thought of
Barry Ratzlaff: that. I've been thinking of that for a couple days, and, ah, to be totally honest with you, I am rarely impressed with people at a at a high level. And that's one of the reasons that I can have ah guy worth half a $1,000,000,000 come through the door. And you know, Hildy, he's used to people being impressed by that. I'm not like, honestly, I'm like, it's fantastic. Good for you. Like you got this crazy life you can get all over the place and do things.
Andrew Bracewell: You don't worship anybody. I don't. Yeah, I don't. Which is why you don't want to take away. Your spot won't have you talk here, but that is that is something that makes you incredible. Just that right there.
Barry Ratzlaff: Yeah, I and I don't know why. That is why I haven't. There's a like the rock. If I could be buddies with rock, I think I'd kind of tingle a bit
Andrew Bracewell: like, Oh, man, this is awesome. I'm an iron paradise working out.
Barry Ratzlaff: That'd be quick. Pretty cool. But some of the higher guys like Bill Phillips met him and Sean Philips hung out with him and some of the guys down the states. It was it was fine. But I know they're just people like that's a thing about it right now. They're just people. They take a shit and wipe their ass once or twice a day. They put their pants on one leg at a time. That whole analogy. So, yeah, I I don't really have anyone that sticks out in my mind like I've been thinking about it and no one's popped out like, Oh, because even the ones that I thought were
Andrew Bracewell: like, Oh, if I could beat him and these amazing bag,
Barry Ratzlaff: you meet them and go, Oh, right, you're human just like me and we're we're the same. So hey, let's let's go have, ah, have a beer and be friends or not, But that's how it is.
Andrew Bracewell: So do you think when you've had people pumped up in your mind and you've met them, Do you think it's been mostly disappointing?
Barry Ratzlaff: Yes, yeah, yeah, we do a number on ourselves, and again it comes back to two to self belief, even mental health, where we truly are. A lot of people truly believe that these instagram people the rock, these, that they're living at a different level like they're experiencing life. In a way, they're not experiencing it. No, look at the picture. He's eating ham and pineapple pizza. It's available everywhere. He's sitting in a chair. You can sit in a cherry. He's flying in a plane. Okay, it's a Lear jet, but it's a plane you flew in one report to it. There's nothing about his experience that is so overtly crazy that you should be losing your minds, thinking If only I was like that. Because that's one of the most dangerous things in life. That statement, If on Lee. Right? So you buy a union, you're in real estate. Someone buys the new crazy house on Eagle Mountain. Oh, this is gonna be our happy place. Our forever home. Four years later. Three recon. Three decorations later, they're building something bigger and better on top of the hill. They're always chasing that thing. It's just It's if only if only If only you meet a guy whose goals this year are I'm gonna make $10 million or if I could have 10 million in the bank, things will be fantastic. They hit it, huh? It doesn't change a thing about how they feel about themselves. Well, you know what? 50 million. But I can do 50. I think things are going to change. It won't. It won't change at all. In fact, the best thing doubting maybe, is you have no money. Get back to the year base of who you are a human being and start just living so
Andrew Bracewell: life thoughts with very rats laugh. Ah, time with you is always well spent. It's ah, it's at an absolute pleasure. And I I sincerely appreciate your time.
Barry Ratzlaff: Well, that means a lot, because as a person who works with humans all the time, I don't feel that way about myself as most people who are good at this sort of thing. Do they just This is what I do.
Andrew Bracewell: Well, then let me be one of those people that you know, love and trust and hear my voice and saying, You are amazing. You make an incredible difference in people's lives. And I think it's incredibly evident to anybody that listens to this, that you're you're one of the most authentic humans I've ever met. And I'm so, uh, I'm so proud to have you in my life. And I really appreciate you coming on the show and spending and spending a bit of time together. It's
Barry Ratzlaff: my honor and my privilege. Love
Andrew Bracewell: it. Okay. Thanks, buddy. Thank you. You can't spend time with Barry Rats laugh and not feel better for having done so. There's a ton of amazing takeaways from our time together today, but what I want you to remember most is this. Turn off the crap in your brain. Any of the noise that you're comparing yourself against. That's beating you down, whether it's social media or anything else. And, in Barry's words, do the following find 1 to 3 people. No love and trust you and listen to what they have to say about you and hold on to that. Thank you again, very, for being amazing and for sharing with us, your perspective. Much appreciated. Please remember to check out the show notes for more information on today's episode and to find out more about very rats. Love Thanks again for listening to every day. Amazing. You can find us at every day. Amazing podcast dot com and on Twitter at E. D. Amazing Pod.1h 11m | Jan 1, 2020
- Community Healer, CEO Mom- Dr. Shahana Alibhai
Connect with Dr. Shahana Alibhai online in the following places:
Hosted: Andrew Bracewell @everydayamazingpodcast
Produced/Edited: Justin Hawkes @Hawkes21
Full Transcription of this Interview:
Andrew Bracewell: This is the podcast that finds the most elusive people the everyday amazing kind that you know nothing about. I’m hunting these people down and exposing their beauty to the world. I’m Andrew Bracewell, and this is every day. Amazing.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: It’s okay to feel anxious. It’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay to feel scared. All of this stuff is OK.
Andrew Bracewell: Way. Welcome to the everyday amazing podcast. Today I am in way over my head. Joining me is Dr. Shahana Alibhai. I recently met Dr. Alibhai through a Ted X event where she spoke about emotional literacy and reimagining how we treat youth who suffer with their mental health. As I listen to Dr. Alibhai, I was struck by her sincerity and how non clinical she was as she peeled back the layers of a very complex issue. I knew immediately that I wanted to spend more time with Dr. Alibhai and convinced her to come on the show. I’m ecstatic that she agreed. Dr.. Alibhai. Welcome.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Thank you so much for having me.
Andrew Bracewell: Have you ever done this before?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: First time. Doing a podcast.
Andrew Bracewell: First time. Excited, nervous,
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: actually. Really excited. I don’t need to memorize anything. So It’s a good thing
Andrew Bracewell: that’s true. I get to play doctor today and you get to play patient.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: I know this’ll be interesting.
Andrew Bracewell: I’m excited. Before we begin, I thought it would be. It would make most sense for me to read your bile from your website in your words, so that everyone could hear your perspective on what it is you’re doing. Does that make sense?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Sounds great.
Andrew Bracewell: Here we go. In Dr. Alibhais words, I know the pressures many women face trying to be there for our kids trying to push forward in our careers and at the same time doing it all with a smile. Like many of you, I also have a story. I thought I knew the importance of eating well and moving more. But after completing my residency and family medicine, the stressors of life caught up to me. After the birth of my first son, I found myself deep into what I would later find out was postpartum anxiety, the lesser known counterpart to postpartum depression. Postpartum anxiety can present with panic attacks O. C. D type symptoms and feelings of being constantly keyed up and on edge. With over 10 years of studying nutrition, exercise and medicine. I thought I knew what it took to keep me well, but I fell short. The missing link for me was healthy, thinking I was used to sprinting through life at this pace. Eventually you hit the wall. I’ve come up with the pyramid of optimal health because it’s something I’ve used personally with my patients. By focusing first on our thought patterns are internal dialogue and our state. We can then set ourselves up to make better decisions when it comes to things like eating and exercise. How long ago did you write that?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: You know, listening to that again I have for gotten. I wrote that. So it’s probably being about two or three years since I wrote that. It’s refreshing to hear again, though
Andrew Bracewell: you touched on something in there called Your Pyramid philosophy, which I really wantto dive into deeper with you. But before we do that, I have a question. How does a person who starts in chiropractic end up in family medicine, then somehow end up in helping youth with their mental health?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: I think that’s called life in some ways, you know, it’s just so I think, to understand the journey have to understand a little bit about my upbringing. So my parents came to this country as refugees. Basically, they were thrown out of their home in Uganda at 1972 with the exit is so you can imagine when you’re 19 basically there on the first flight to anywhere they could get out of the place. And it happened to be Canada. Thank goodness. But when you’re raised by parents who have that mentality for them, it was find a career that is a safe career, so that would often be nursing or engineering. Or in my dad’s case, it was pharmacy. So for the longest time, they raised my sister and I ah, with the notion that, you know, go into pharmacy. It’s a great career. You have a stable job, you help other people. And that was the goal for me. So I actually wrote it was called the P Cat at the time, did my full application. But the day before I had to submit it. I never did. And the reason for that it was there was something in my heart that told me that this is just not the path for me. I knew it was safe, but what I loved the most was, and it sounds maybe pretty innocent right now, but just exercise. And the reason I loved it is because at the age of 16 I took night classes while I was in grade 11 to become a certified fitness instructor, basically, and I never grew up playing team sports. I never was on a soccer team, and I always really wanted to be good at sports. My parents always stressed individual sports. I was a big tennis player and squash player. I loved that. But you come to an age where you’re just like I want to be involved in people kind of working out together because I never got that when I grew up and I went to my first fitness class. I think I was 15 and I just tripped all over myself doing aerobics. My sister and I were in the back, but they were something about it, of people just working out together, trying to be healthier. Great music is playing, and I was like one day I’m gonna be at the top of that class, teaching everybody, and that’s what I did so long. Story short, I fell in love with group exercise. I fell in love with personal training and then I discovered this thing called kinesiology that you could actually study. And I enrolled myself in what was called human kinetics at the time at UBC. And that’s how I met my now husband, who is a chiropractor. But most people from kinesiology think of one of three things physio Cairo or met, and I thought about all three of them. That chiropractic made the most sense for me because it combined my love of business with my love of health and wellness. And for the first time, it was about keeping people well, not diagnosing people with diseases like I didn’t want that I didn’t want to push medication. The missing link for me was that if you’re going to be, I hope a successful fizzy or chiropractor, you should like treating people with your hands. That should be something that you should enjoy. I didn’t get the memo on that. Basically, I liked everything else. But when I entered choir practice school, my worst class was manual therapy, and I’m thinking well, that I should actually enjoy And so I rerouted. And, um, I applied again to UBC medical school, kind of telling them that I’d made a mistake. Ah, by not accepting their offer the first time. And they luckily let me in the second.
Andrew Bracewell: So how long? How long were you in car Practical Year, Full year for you. And previous to that, though you had been accepted correct into med school. Yeah, ABC turned it down to do the cover
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: price thing. You met your husband. That’s right,
Andrew Bracewell: future husband says. But now you go back.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: That’s right
Andrew Bracewell: into into the medical field.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Exactly. And it was, and I’ll be honest. At that time, I thought about national Catholic. I thought about medicine. But my and I think the date has changed where people is because you have an MD behind your name doesn’t necessarily mean you are trusted. But realize that this was I think we’re talking almost 10 years ago now, right? So things have changed a lot, but I think there was that hope that if I could get through medical school with this love of what I now know as integrative medicine still in my heart, that I would be successful, but I never realized what a kick in the pants medical school would be.
Andrew Bracewell: So let’s unpack. You just made a statement that always jumps out at me. Integrated Medicine Canyon pack without
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: war means. Or so it’s a term that’s actually I was coined by Dr. Andrew Weil, who is the father of integrative medicine. And all that, it really means is blending the best of what we know as conventional medicine with what we think of his complimentary medicine. And the idea is that you take the best of both worlds in a patient centric approach to treat the fur full patient, not to put a Band Aid on the problem.
Andrew Bracewell: So what falls under the banner of complimentary medicine?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: So complimentary medicine is everything really outside of conventional medicine, so it can span from chiropractic scare, acupuncture, homey apathy, all the counseling mechanisms, biofeedback. There’s all of the other stuff that people are looking. Besides, I want to say it. Prescription medication really played
Andrew Bracewell: and natural path. A cure also fits in with an umbrella
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: under percent naturopathic care in not my sister’s in after path. She was a pharmacist and then went on to study naturopathic medicine, and they get taught everything about everything. I mean, manual manipulations, homey apathy, acupuncture, herbal remedies, nutrition. So it’s a huge curriculum
Andrew Bracewell: you have within your family yourself, an MD, your sister and Andy and your parents who are pharmacists. You have the entire spectrum nearly well, and you have your husband. Callen, who is a counter proctor
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: and my brother in law is owns medical clinics. So it’s It’s funny. So
Andrew Bracewell: what is? We’re approaching the Christmas season. Take us inside family Christmas dinner with all of those opinions around the table on how to treat patients properly. Do
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: you know what this conversation comes? At a time where I think if we take a step back, why did we all go into the health profession? But I mean, my sister and my my husband is because of my sister’s health journey, so that’s what we need to understand. So the conversations are a lot of the time centered around her own experiences as a patient with the health care system and the deficits that she’s felt. So just in a quick stories that at the age of 19 she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a very common condition or a type of inflammatory bowel disease. But hers was extremely aggressive. Within about a year, she had what’s known as toxic Mega Colon, so basically the entire colon could have ruptured. She was taken into, Ah, surgery. Her entire colon room was removed in the age of 19. She had a bag basic, really? So you can imagine what that does to a woman’s psyche to anybody. Psyche. So we live together a TV, see, and she’s my hero. She’s the most amazing person I’ve ever encountered.
Andrew Bracewell: Younger, older than
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: older. We’re only 19 months apart. And now for the last 16 years, basically she’s had multiple surgeries, one of the only patients in BC to have a spinal cord stimulator for abdominal pain. So she actually has a implantable device in her spinal cord for pain. So there’s Bean so many negative sequelae because of all of the surgeries and everything else she’s being through. But it’s because of her journey. She completely realizes. Yes, you need the conventional medicine. Yes, you need emergency and all the rest of it. But there were gaps in her care, and she’s able to be able to fill those gaps with naturopathic medicine.
Andrew Bracewell: Okay, so that spawned the family’s pursuit of health care. Is that is that a fair statement?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Completely. And it spawned our our love hate relationship with health care because it’s so different. We all stand on the other side. We all are practitioners in our own way. But just two weeks ago, she was at ST Paul’s emerge. So then we’re on the other side as patients, and you never go in saying My husband’s at this. My sisters of this, you just I’m in pain. I’m a patient, I need your help. But she’s being They’ve been amazing experiences with the health, your industry, and there’s been some not so amazing experiences and me being on the other side. I’ve worked in emerg. I know what their mentality is like, so I can help fill some gaps for her as to why she might be treated that way as well. But, uh, everything goes out the window when you’re a patient and you’re in pain and you need help. And I think for me, this goes back to why I love working at the youth, the Knicks so much not that it’s an emergency But it’s the idea that I can spend time. It’s time that we need more of in our health care system, and it’s nobody’s fault. It’s just the funding mechanism, for better or for worse. But because I have the luxury quote unquote of time when I work with my youth, I feel like I can answer some of those questions that they need answering.
Andrew Bracewell: Okay, you just said Wade perfectly. Thank you for that. But we need to unpack this. So your ah, family practitioner MD yet you’re working at a youth clinic? How is this possible? And how did this come to be and who’s funding this youth clinic?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: So basically, the clinic was a vision of my mentor, Dr. Elizabeth Watt, and it was started in the very, very grassroots level about 10 years ago now. So when I joined it, we were working out of one room or two rooms at the hospital, basically, and since then we’ve had a number of different moves finally to move into our purpose built building the foundry here in app. It’s for that was approximately a year ago, so the youth clinic is funded in a number of ways Fraser. Health helps fund it. The Ministry of Child and Youth and families Health abundant. But yes, we do have to fight for our finding quite a bit. So the youth clinic functions just is a normal walk in clinic. So we see everything we see source throats, we see even minor traumas. But at the end of the day, what we end up seeing most of is sexual health and mental health. Because, let’s not forget, the youth clinic is for the ages between 12 and 24. So those are the two biggest things that will get them through our doors.
Andrew Bracewell: So just to put things into, let me repeat this back to you, to make sure I’ve got it right. We have a clinic that’s staffed by medical professionals, where youth can just show up, check themselves in, see a doctor. But as it turns out, the majority of the time you’re you end up dealing in the mental health field as often, if not more, than you’re dealing with sore throats, fevers, whatever. Is that a fair statement? Absolutely. This is incredible. And how did how did this clinic come to be?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: So I think there was a gap, right? If you think about how we we do really well when it comes to pediatrics, because typically the parents take the onus of that to try to arrange those appointments. And then when you turn to be an adult, let’s say after the age of 19 Okay, you can hopefully find your way to a walk in clinic or hope. Well, you have a family doctor. But what about all the rest of it, right? And who We tend to forget that adolescence is the time of supreme transition in so many ways. So I think it came to be was because my mentor, Dr. Elizabeth Watts, saw this this gap in our health care system and saw that there was a need for it and fought, fought hard for funding and for space and for time. And she rallied not just physicians, but nurses and social workers. And now it’s this entity called the Foundry that we’re not just seeing in BC ah, but with us. They’re not too seeing in Abbotsford, but we’re seeing across BC as well, so it’s become a model of how we should be treating our youth
Andrew Bracewell: approximately. How many practitioners are in touch with the foundry.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Oh my goodness, it’s hard to say, because we we’re on the first floor of the foundry and we have a rotating, so there’s probably a good 10 to 12 doctors that will come and go throughout and try to pick up shifts throughout the month. Ah, then we have nurse practitioners. Then we have nurses that deal with a lot of contraception and sexual health
Andrew Bracewell: is Sorry, I’m There’s so much good stuff here. I just don’t You’re blowing my brain. Doctors who are quote unquote picking up shifts. Are these doctors just getting involved because this is something they’re interested in? Or how is a doctor saying I’m gonna start spending some time here?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Absolutely. That because they’re interested in it because we and Abbotsford have a residency program. So we train. So after you finish your your four years of undergrad four years of medical school, you still have to do two years of family practice, residency or training. And Abbotsford is one of those sites, so these residents have to rotate through the youth clinic, and I was a resident. I rotated through the clinic and there’s I never thought I’d want to work with teenagers. Let’s be honest, like it just was not my I don’t think I could relate. But there was something about working in this environment with the group of passionate people, so we tend to Once the residents graduate, they tend to keep coming back for more. And I was one of those.
Andrew Bracewell: So we’ve got the practitioners we talked about, but then you started talking about the other people in the building and what else is going on? Keep going on that.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: So, like I said, First floor is just the typical. What you think of is a youth clinic or a walk in clinic. But as he start going on the second floor and third floor, then you’re starting to see programs for youth. So we have walking counseling. So basically a youth can just walk into our building, go up into the second floor and, if available, see a counselor right there and then on the spot so it takes away all of those barriers in terms of ocean like how do I book an appointment tour? Which counts, or should I see? And you know all the stigma around counseling cost. Let’s be exactly, let’s our most important one is cost. So there’s there is what we call the start team, which is the suicide intervention team that is lived up on the second or so the things I can floor there. There’s an adolescent day program for kids that need some extra help during the day. So impact or drug and alcohol abuse counselors are part of our staff. Social workers. So it’s it’s this is this is the root of multi disciplinary care. This is what we need is what our youth need.
Andrew Bracewell: It must be fair to say that you guys are plugged into all of the major players and assets in the city. I would imagine policing department is involved from time to time or you’re communicating with somebody there. You mentioned there’s counseling. There’s medical side. Speak to some of the significant people in the community. Who are you you’re involved with on a regular basis?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Yeah, for sure. So it’s the list is so extensive, but if you just kind of hone into the social work realm of things, for example, we have a food bank now on site. So where were directly an affiliation with the Abbotts for food bank. We have kind of an area for used clothes and use products, so there’s a kind of a thrift ing component that’s going on to There’s an exercise component. So innovative fitness is being extremely involved with helping teach our youth the power physical activity. I used to run yoga classes for the youth to like. I could just go on and on. There’s every aspect that you can think of. We try to enmesh ourselves in.
Andrew Bracewell: It’s totally holistic. Completely, completely. How often and in what way are you encountering parents? I imagine there are a huge part of this process or can be, anyway.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Parents are when a youth walks in with their parents and allows willingly the parent to sit there in the interview, I can usually breathe a sigh of relief because I know someone is watching over them, and I know that the youth trust them and I say the word willingly very carefully because there have bean many times where I can sense that that dynamic between the youth and the parent isn’t so great, and I often will respectfully ask if the parent can just wait outside so I can speak to the youth one on one, and sometimes it doesn’t come out the first time or the second time. But by the 10th time I can start to maybe understand where the youth is coming from. And often I’ll ask to speak to the parent individually to because let’s not forget, I see the youth for what, 10 23 30 minutes once every week, once every two weeks. These parents are living with these individuals with they’re teenagers. So it’s no easy on them too, right? They have to deal with that day in and day out. So, yes, I listen to the story that the youth present me. But I also have to listen to how the parents are coping. And oftentimes I will recommend How are you coping? How is your mental health? Because dealing with somebody who is struggling with their own mental health can be just as exhausting for the caregiver.
Andrew Bracewell: Okay, you just said something that I want a key in on there. I think most people’s perspective of a patient doctor relationship is we’re dealing with something on acute level, you know, experiencing something. You go see your doctor. You deal with the issue, and then you may never see them for six months. 12 months, 18 months, 24 months. Who knows? But you just made a statement as if you said something to the effect of, you know, I meet a youth, and then I’m gonna see that youth in a week or three weeks or four weeks or six weeks. That sounds totally foreign to my doctor experience. Once you engage with somebody, what does that look like?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: So it really depends on why they’re engaging with me. So of course I was actually at the clinic. They had no doc yesterday, so I quickly went in to fill in on the end. You know, patient came in with gastroenteritis, like a stomach flu. Easy peasy, right? She would make sure she was hydrated. We figured all what? The root cause, Woz. And you’re gonna be fine. You’re on your weight, and I tell them you come back if X y and Zed, right? That’s very easy. Had another youth. The next patient came in who had been off of his medications and was starting to feel symptoms of suicide. Ality again was starting to feel symptoms of anxiety, depression, all the rest of it. I’m not going to see you in four weeks. I want to see you next week to make sure that everything is going okay.
Andrew Bracewell: And there’s time and money for this.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. Yeah, because the doctors at the youth clinic are paid session Lee. By that, I mean that were paid per hour. So if I see 15 patients in an hour or one patient an hour, I’m not incentivized either way. And to be honest, I don’t care about that. I I care about, you know, giving the time and space to the youth. But the problem now, like anything in health care, is that I would love to spend 1/2 hour or 45 minutes with a patient. But I also have to be respectful that I have a waiting room full of kids who have been waiting for two or three hours.
Andrew Bracewell: This is a significant difference in this clinic versus every other clinic and doctors office correct under present. And how did it come to be that this clinic was set up this way financially? Because this to me, just makes so much logical sense. I understand these issues are complex and, you know, difficult to unwind. But just talk to that and how that impacts patient care.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: The reason it was is because because what we see most of all, like I said, it’s either is, you know, sexual health or it’s mental health. Let’s put a number on it. Like I would say, about 50% is mental health. Not to say that a regular Family GP would is not dealing with mental health. Yes, they are. But you need the time in space. So to give the youth time in space, the doctor also has to be compensated. So by that I mean, if you are getting paid $35 for a typical office visit and you spend an hour with the patient, you’re not really gonna have a doctor who is? That’s not the sustainable model. No, But then again, the amount that were paid per hour is much less than what a walk in doctor who can see Ah
Andrew Bracewell: 6789 10 patients.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Correct, correct. Correct. So you also I think, 10 to find people who yes, you need to be compensated appropriately. But you’re there. The whole notion is not to make money. They’re there because you’re there on purpose. You believe in something, right? That’s the whole reason why When there s o otherwise, could you spend five minutes with a patient who has anxiety? Sure. You just It’s nothing. Take long to write a prescription. It takes a second to sign a prescription. All the rest of it takes time. And that’s why my Ted talk came about because I was signing. And I still do not to say there is a place of his time and place for medication. Absolutely. But when I see the same story played out, over and over and over again, I take a step back going. Okay. What more can we do? What more can I do? What more can our schools do? And that’s how the emotional literacy talk was kind of came to be, right.
Andrew Bracewell: So how much of your time are you devoting to the youth health clinic right now?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: So right now, because I’m considered my own, have a four month old at home, so I guess I’m technically should still be on maternity. We’re gonna We’re gonna talk about that S o. You know right now, because I if I try to work at least one shift a week, one shift every two weeks, I’d love to be there every day. If I could. It’s just child care. That’s my biggest ah thing. But it’s between right now. I work primarily at the youth clinic and I work at the Breast Health Clinic, and, ironically enough, both our session only paid. So I think I gravitate towards things that I can spend time with. Patients
Andrew Bracewell: will jump to the breast health clinic in a second, but I want to come back Toto. One more salt or question I had. When you’re engaging with these youth and somebody walks in and says My stomach’s hurting or this is hurting or that’s hurting is your radar up for what is possibly a deeper underlying issue as the cause of what’s going on? Or how are you? How are you engaging and and what are you looking for? Even if you’re not being told something or how are you approaching that? Does that make sense?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: It makes complete sense, so I think this is what is what you learn through medical school. But you. You also either have it or you don’t have it in the sense that when a patient walks in you, there’s this almost a Spidey sense that you understand could look at the patient. You could start to ask questions if they’re in new patient to me, never met them before. I can tell quite quickly. Are you here because you want to address the stomach pain or you here? Because there’s something more on the reason I know that is because if I’m asking them about the stomach pain, I might get very flaky answers like it’s just not fitting. Like, for example, the woman that had for the teenager that had gastroenteritis yesterday or the stomach flu. It was, you know, I was vomiting. I had this. I had that. Okay, it was very black and white. Very strange forward. Where is some cryptic kind of abdominal pain? As I start toe unpeeled the layers, I’m thinking, I asked a very simple question. Just tell me what’s going on in your life right now. I’m new to you. So just tell me, what are your stressors? What are you happy about? Who lives with you at home? and then it’s their facial expression. They might turn away from me. They might really engage with me. They might be a long pause, all of this kind of stuff. And then I’ll use the words. Tell me more, Tell me more, Tell me more. And then they might have broken up with her boyfriend. They might have been sexually assaulted. They might have all of these different things have come up to. Sometimes you can get it all in the first visit. Sometimes you can’t, but you always first have to wear your medical doctor your hat before you wear your psychologist hat. I don’t want to be missing that you have an acute appendicitis because I want to talk about your anxiety like there’s There’s that, too. So I quickly try to rule out all of my red flags in my head, and then, if I’m not sensing anything, I’ll give them a plan. Let’s do X Y and Zed will do some blood. Work will do this, but then I want to talk more about this right and leave the door open and they know where to find me. They can always come back for more right And with that, Like I said, there are red flags with mental health stuff, too. So I need to be careful with that. I’m to be careful. Are you feeling suicidal? Are you feeling that you’re safe? You’re not safe with yourself for others, all of that kind of stuff. So I guess it’s a bit of a juggling act, and that’s what I love about. That’s part of the reason why I love medicine is because no patients ever straight forward, you’re always gonna get surprised. But sometimes that can also be emotionally draining.
Andrew Bracewell: So you and R I aren’t identical in age, but we’re both in our thirties. We’ll leave it at that. We don’t need to get specific. When we were youth number one, there’s no way a resource like this existed. Number to the mental health conversation was not even a conversation, and something that I’ve gone through as an adult is transforming the way I think about mental health. Going from a place where I believed it was fake was made up. It was it was a thing that that weak people used as an excuse to now understanding that not only is it riel But it’s something that needs to be researched, more discussed more. And it’s all around us, and I’m impacted by it in my own life by people around me. How do your youth patients know that you exist is a resource? And what’s the conversation in their mind? Given that they’ve been now raised in a hopefully a better generation than we were raised in? Are they coming in with shame or when the topic of mental health comes up? Is it something that they’re ready to embrace right away? Or are they in denial? Because I can imagine, as a youth, I would have immediately denied I would have said No, this is I’m not weak. There’s no way I have this. This is not a thing. How are they dealing with this issue versus how we would have potentially dealt with it?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Absolutely. So, to your first point, how they hear about us, we’re we’re very, um, meshed into the school system, and the counselors at the school know about us so they will often refer. Patients are away, even at the University of the Fraser Valley. There, counselors know about us so as the community resource will got and more well known, Um, and even the family doctors will often refer to our clinic if they find that they need help with a certain patient because, respectfully, they might just not have time to deal with it. To your second point about this change in dynamic with the conversation of mental health. It’s extremely tricky. So let me give you a story. When I was probably about seven or eight, I started noticing what I know now that I had a lot of had some anxiety at that time. I had some O. C. D type tendencies at that time that later translated into restricted eating behavior. All of this stuff was going on in my background. And now I understand it so well that all of these this symptom Atala, jeez, all linked together as a kind of personality type in some ways. But when I told my mom about this, this is now what you know, 25 whatever. Years ago, she just said it’s gonna be okay. Don’t worry, you’re fine. She just tried to normalize everything because she did the best that she possibly could. And her We’ve also haven’t had this conversation now, later on, I kind of said, Well, why didn’t you take me to a place? So there wasn’t a place. There was nothing that existed back then. And in fact, she was so scared of me getting put on some sort of medication that her mind her providing her version of counseling was the best possible option. So I think nowadays, yes, we’re very fortunate that we have these resources, but we have to be careful that the pendulum hasn’t swung the other way. And by that I mean that we start to pathologize or make a disease out of any abnormal emotion. Interesting. So by this, I mean, it’s okay to feel anxious. It’s okay to feel sad. It’s okay to feel scared. All of this stuff is okay. It doesn’t mean that you have depression. It doesn’t mean that you have anxiety because we’ve got to realize that the criteria that you need to meet depression is a checklist. The criteria for anxiety is a checklist. And you might meet that checklist one day and not the other day in trusting to meet to actually have a fully fledged, you know, diagnosis. Yes, you have to have those symptoms for more than two weeks. But I think we’ve become so on board with mental health that by telling everyone it’s okay, you have depression. We also have to be careful that we’re not putting a label on their head. So some this I was listening to actually great podcast the other day, and a professional in this field was saying, It’s OK just to say that I feel stuck right now. I feel stuck and that’s okay. And I often tell that to the youth, too. But we also have to realize that these youth walk in our doors with so much often with so much baggage and such a story that it’s their story that needs unpacking. You need to hear about their upbringing. You have to hear about their lack of a stable home. You have to hear about their encounters with abuse toe. Understand that, of course, you have the feelings that you do, sure, but it doesn’t mean you need to be a victim to those feelings.
Andrew Bracewell: Is it fair to say that in your one of the challenges in assessing a patient who’s a youth versus assessing a patient who’s not, is that there’s hormones that play as well, and bodies are changing. And there’s that whole spectrum that could also be impacting things. Is that a Is that something that is relevant to the conversation?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: There is absolutely, and I think, more than even just the hormones and body changing is that the brain is not fully developed. Your brain doesn’t get fully developed to the age of 21 by that I mean your actual prefrontal cortex, which is what helps you with executive planning and decision making. That idea that you can assess a situation, think about it rationally and then make a decision. So impulse control for youth is not going to be where it is for an adult at the age of 35 or 40 right? And hence why It’s so much easier to make poorer choices as a youth, whether it be for drugs and alcohol or sex, or all the rest of it, too. So, and there’s also a very normal phase of experimentation, and if you don’t experiment, really, how do you learn? So there’s all of that at play, too, and they’re also trying to find their own identity, right? They’re also trying to figure out where my favorite question like I mentioned, the Ted talk is asking, Well, what do you want to be like? Where do you imagine yourself? And sometimes I’ll get these blank spaces like, Well, what? Like I’m going to be 30 or 41 day because
Andrew Bracewell: they haven’t even stepped outside the space. There is
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: not at all.
Andrew Bracewell: Whatever they’re in is all there is.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Clea. They live in that like they’re very present, right, So and realize that the views clinic we see between the ages of 12 to 24 a lot happens between the ages of 12 and 24 right? Right. So I if I see a 13 or 14 year old who has become sexually active and is trying to figure all of that out, that’s a very different conversation than someone who is 1920 2122 right on all of the considerations with regards to that. So, yeah, it’s a complex discussion.
Andrew Bracewell: Well, fascinating. We’ve only scratched the surface there, but I you alluded to something else earlier that I that I do also wantto get to with you. You mentioned you spend time in the breast Health Clinic. Yes. Tell us a little bit about that.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: I I love it. I love the breast health clinic. So very similar to the youth clinic. Is that it? Once again, it’s healthcare innovation in the sense that we need to change some things. Once again. There was a problem with the way that women were being screened and treated and tree ours with regards to their breast health. Right. So you could imagine the percentage is still that many of the family doctors are male, and sometimes a female patient wouldn’t feel comfortable discussing their breast health complaints with their male physician. Fair enough. We often know as well that regular breast exams are now not standard of practice unless a woman has a complaint of some sort. So there isn’t that chance to have a dialogue with the healthcare practitioner as to what should I be looking for? And what are my concerns in my family history? Enter the breast health clinic. So the Breast Health clinic is situated at the hospital in the first floor. And once again, we’re a team. We’re a team of physicians. Were a team of nurses that go in and basically treat and surgeons, I should say that treat from the time of diagnosis to the time of treatment for breast cancer and everything in between. So I’m one of the four female family physicians trained in breast health at the breast care center, along with two female surgeons and a host of female nurses that work there. And we see everything breast related, from lumps to breast pain to our skin related breast changes to any mammogram recalls. If there is something that’s looking sinister or suspicious, we will arrange the biopsies. I will break the news to the patient as to what is happening, whether it be that they are fine, or whether it be that they actually need more treatment or if they have breast cancer. And on my slate of when I go in every week of 16 17 patients, at least once or twice, I’ll have to walk into the room of a patient I’ve never met before because we’re a rotating
Andrew Bracewell: group of
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: doctors and sit down with them and tell them that they have breast cancer and it is I’ve done it hundreds of times now, and it never how could it ever get easier. How could it ever get easier that you I just had this conversation. I just worked two days ago and were hitting Christmas time soon. And you were telling somebody? It’s actually if I might give my opinion here. It might be somewhat worse to tell a patient that you have a very, very suspicious lump, but we can’t arrange a biopsy for another week or another 10 days. Like, let’s be honest that How do you live with that? Right.
Andrew Bracewell: Okay, you just went into a hole. You just went into a whole another rabbit hole that I wanted. So my first thought, when you say that is, what are you doing for yourself when you’re delivering this kind of news and then you’re going home to your family at the end of the day? I mean, you just dropped a bomb on somebody’s life. It’s not your bomb. You didn’t make the bomb, But you were the one who had to deliver the news. How are you unpacking that in your mind and living with that?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: I wish I had a good answer. I wish. I wish I was numb to it by now. And I think that would be a bad sign if I was, But I’m not, um, even though it had experience. I’ll be honest when I go home. I see the faces of the women that I have broken the news to. I see the faces of their partners, and that’s what I think about. But the only thing that gives me solace or hope or feeling like I’m making a difference is the way that I break the news to them. If I can make that moment even a little bit easier for them, then that’s what I hang on to. So even though I will tell them they teach, they try to train you a little bit for this, although a lot of it you have to learn by yourself is that you never. You never beat around the bush Never Haman Hall when you go into the room there often sitting in the room for a good 5 10 15 minutes, and this room is covered with breast cancer paraphernalia, so they’re already on it. They’re often with somebody there, and ah, I’ll quickly introduce myself. I’ll quickly tell them, You know, I’ve read through your chart just so that they know that I know what I’m talking about and then I’ll get straight to it. I’ll use the There’s often different schools of thought. Do you use the word cancer, do you not? Well, cancer is cancer. Used the word Be blunt about it in the sense, but then jump right to the point that, yes, you have breast cancer, but you are in the right spot. You were in the spot that you can be treated.
Andrew Bracewell: You’re trying to provide hope exactly immediately.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Exactly right away that this is for us as women. This is one and eight of us. Yes, Unfortunately, you are the one, right? But there’s one in eight.
Andrew Bracewell: So we one of eight in Canada,
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: in Canada? Yeah, that’s unbelievable. And it’s the same feeling in my gut that I get with you that why can’t I do more than write a prescription when I see the biopsy report, I always feel Why can’t we do more? How do we prevent this? And of course, there is so much conversation people a lot smarter than I’ll ever be who are doing the appropriate kind of research. But you start to think about lifestyle and genetics and environment and all the rest of it of how, uh why is this such an issue for us, right?
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, it’s a convoluted conversation, and there isn’t one thing and it could be environment diet habits. I mean, there must be other places in the world that don’t have this rate of breast cancer.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: And then you start to dig into the whole complex discussion about mammography and the frequency of mammography and us detecting things that we might have not even detected before. And the idea of overdiagnosis There’s There’s so much there to unpack two, which could be a slippery slope because I literally every task force has a different notion as when we should best screen. So there’s not even a good, solid consensus per se if you look across Canada or even different regions in the world as to how often you should be having mammograms and all the rest of it. So we have done our best by saying OK every two years if you don’t have a family history. But at the end of the day, we know that mammograms can also lead you up the garden path in the sense of having a ton of biopsies and testing that actually turned out to be a nothing and in the realm of it caused women a ton of anxiety. So how do you How do you rationalize that? Yes, we’re helping some, but for for a large proportion of them, they’re having all these biopsies, and thankfully they’re okay. But the stress of that time period put a number on that. I don’t know, right.
Andrew Bracewell: It’s fair to say, say yes or no if this is true or not. But this is all in the name of prevention. Yes, which is actually something unique to the medical field. Also true,
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: All such.
Andrew Bracewell: There’s no easy answers there. How are you traversing these issues? So circle back to something we alluded to earlier. Your husband, College chiropractor. Your sister’s a naturopathic doctor. You’re an MD. Your parents are pharmacists. You’ve got the full spectrum in your brain. And I’m sure that sometimes the way you think doesn’t always align with standard MD field or what you’re supposed to think. You know what you’re told to say. How are you navigating that when you’re in these crucible moments and determining what you recommend or what you say to a patient or how you go about best practicing with the people you’re trying to love and care for.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: I think I feel undereducated. Ill, be honest, even though I do have the full, we have the full realm in our household. The way that I’ve Bean trained as an M. D still makes me feel like I’m at a loss on. The reason for that is because I feel like I’m missing this whole other segment of knowledge that could potentially help patients. But even more than that, coming back to my pyramid is that forget nutrition, Forget exercise. Forget all of these other alternative therapies. If I could focus on one thing keeps coming back to mental health. You just can’t escape that I couldn’t escape it. My patients can escape it. And I think if I could choose more training in any one of those fields, it would be Mawr in, you know, realms like cognitive behavioral therapy counseling. But I also have to realize that I’m I’m not accounts there. That’s not what I’ve been trained to do, but I doesn’t mean that I don’t recognize the importance of it so I think for me in my future I want to do more training and there is a program. Actually, it’s a two year program, but it’s through. It’s through the U. S. For integrative medicine, where family practice physicians can go and get trained in the best of the best of off what we call complementary and alternative medicine. But it’s the evidence based stuff of shrimp. The only problem is that it’s a If I go and do my two years of training, I’ll come back to Canada. And then what? There is no funding for it. There is no I’m not prepared to open a private clinic. Then you start going to the discussion public versus private room, and I don’t That’s a tricky, tricky conversation.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, the system is designed to function a particular way, and the system needs to be efficient. But efficiency doesn’t always mean that we’re hitting every patient where they need to be hit. Absolutely, absolutely
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: medicines really good at trying to keep you alive. It’s trying to rule out red flags, sure trying to diagnose diagnosable conditions, but for but I’m not gonna be the only one to say that conventional medicine has gaps. We all know it does. And that’s why people seek out rightfully so other therapies. But the problem becomes is that unlike when you see a physician, you kind of know when you go to a clinic, you know what you’re going to see. You know what you’re gonna get. The doctor’s gonna ask you bunch of questions might do a physical exam. You might leave with a prescription. Okay, for better or for worse, that’s your experience. If you see 10 chiropractors, if you’d see 10 natural pats, you’re often gonna get 10 different experiences and and right there lies the problem.
Andrew Bracewell: In our own household we’ve fallen into, I would say it’s probably accurate for me to say I don’t have a family. I don’t have a doctor. I do have a doctor and that I have a friend who’s a doctor. And when I have something really bad, like I’ve broken something or, you know, it’s very obvious that, you know, I will use my doctor and as this circumstance, my friend, to get the treatment I need. But for the things that aren’t obvious, we have fallen into this habit. Sometimes I think it’s good. Sometimes I think it’s bad of doing the research for ourselves and self diagnosing, because the frustration is that when you go to one particular person in one particular field, you’re not necessarily getting the full scope, and nor is it reasonable or fair to expect that person to be able to give you the full scope. But holistic treatment requires the full scope. Sometimes you have to look at nutrition. You have to look at mental health. You have to look at exercise. You have to be aware of. You know what a physiotherapist can do versus what a coward Proctor can do. And so it’s frustrating. I have found myself frustrated. I know we’ve been frustrated in our health journey and that when you have a conversation with one particular individual, you know you’re only getting advice from one particular perspective. And that isn’t always what’s required.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Absolutely, absolutely. And that’s and we come back to that conversation of time right without spending time with somebody. How do you know all the facets of their life? You just don’t write. And I think that’s once again why? Why gravitate to working at the youth clinic? Because even if it’s not me. I hear from the social worker I hear from the counselor. I hear from the nurse, and all of that puts a picture together, right? And it just makes treating them that much easier If I know what’s happening in their life.
Andrew Bracewell: Okay, let’s switch gears, Okay, we crush that way. Did that the best we possibly could. There’s nothing else we could ever say. Exhausted it. You are a mum. Yes, you have a four month old. We’re currently on a nursing break. Yes, you have a two year old and a four year old.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Yes. And you have this career? Yes, and you probably have to make dinner from time to time or vacuum or vacuum
Andrew Bracewell: the house or do laundry or whatever. How in the hell does this work?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: So motherhood is being my greatest gift in my greatest teacher. Everyone who knew me in medical school knew that I talked about one thing on Lee, and it was to be a mum, to be a mom, to be a mom. That’s all I ever wanted. And I wonder if it’s because I had this notion that maternity leave would be like a break My one thought Maybe that’s why I wanted to be a mom. But ah, like we had caught, you did. Alluded to as well, quickly after residency. I finished my residency in six weeks. Afterwards, I was pregnant with you, Sean. My first child. And it was go time. That’s all I wanted. I spent that year researching, and I was gonna be I read basically every book I could get my hands on on motherhood and the best things to buy. But as any rookie mum, of course, no book ever trains you for a child that doesn’t sleep and breastfeeding problem. You mean you didn’t perfectly sleep? Train all your Children? What exactly? Speak given them completely deprived right now, right? Exactly. So And I think for the first time, motherhood was not just an intellectual hit. It was an emotional hit. I’m used to having intellectual hits are okay. You know, you can you can get a B on a paper or you can not do so well on an exam or whatever the case might be. But I’ve never had an emotional hit before. And by that I mean the fact that something this baby was responding to me as if I wasn’t a good enough mother. And it made me feel like what I ever be a good enough mother because I didn’t feel that quote unquote bond that you were supposed to feel. You know, all of that for you. Were you a natural? I like
Andrew Bracewell: some women. You don’t mean some women. They would explain the first a Ziff like it’s like I’ve done this my entire life. It’s like riding a bike. And then I know some women would say the opposite like this was a foreign experience for me. How would you put yourself in that spectrum?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: You know what it’s like walking through a cloud. Parts were blissful and parts were completely hazy. You know, it felt like I was on Cloud nine, but yet I didn’t know where I was going. If that makes any sense, that’s very good. That that’s exactly the analogies, right? Actually, So and no. And for the first time in my life notebook or my mind couldn’t get me out of it, and I tried and I tried so hard. Ethicists will sound crazy, but between nursing sessions, I actually with schedule meditations I knew. I knew on paper that I needed to do yoga and meditate and do all this stuff for me.
Andrew Bracewell: Were you practicing meditation already for your life?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: 100%. Yeah. You are a guru. No, but meditation doesn’t work. If you’re trying to do it with for, like a minute between switching breasts and you know it doesn’t work, it takes time
Andrew Bracewell: to get in. Absolutely.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Like it doesn’t work to schedule your yoga and get anxious while it’s loading on the last talk like that. Kind of That’s the opposite of what you should be doing. So all of this stuff I laugh about in retrospect. But man, did I hit the wall, man. Did I hit the wall? Because, oh, I can’t even begin to tell you I I was on my knees, figuratively, literally. All the rest of it. I I was at my rock rock rock bottom, and I didn’t hope. Of course, my husband knew what was going on. To some extent, my family knew what was going on to some extent, but once again, very much. It’s okay. It’s going to get better. Postpartum is normal. You just had a baby
Andrew Bracewell: It’s the tools they have in the bag that a very dear friend of mine has explained it to me that way. When talking about you know how are parents have dealt with us, it’s easy to harbour bitterness or to say they screwed up or whatever. But when you realize that they had a hammer and a wrench and that’s all they had, and today we have hammers and wrenches and screwdrivers and way more tools than we had, so we might approach the conversation differently. But they’re just doing what they’ve always known how to do, because that’s the tools I’ve always had
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: and they’re doing it out of love and they’re doing it just I’m sure I’m gonna screw my kids up bad to look high because you do the best that you can. But so sometimes it’s the hardest for family to see what you’re going through, because they just want to see the version that they know of you, not the version that you are now, which was the worst of myself. I’ll share a story which is a little bit of never actually told this to anybody before, but I was driving one day and, ah, I had the split second thought that what if I just drove into the other lane and then it would all be over? And this is the kind of stuff I talked with to the youth. I work with thistles, the kind of stuff I am comfortable talking about. But when I had that thought, and when I realized that you boy, I better take a step back for myself because that kind of thought should not bring me peace. It should bring me fear in some ways that I’ve reached that point right, and that’s what sleep deprivation and emotional burnout and even intellectual burnout will do to you. So I actually reached out to a good friend who’s a nurse at the youth clinic, and I texted her one day and I said, I think I need some help here. And I spoke with my mentor, Dr. What and, ah, my good friend Joanne, who’s the nurse of the youth clinic? And she said, Yeah, this is you need some help here, So I wasn’t comfortable enough to go to my family doctor because she’s a good friend of mine. Um, and this is where ego comes into play. Sure, this is where I wanna be. The super mom. I don’t wanna have any of the stuff going on, so I called. We actually are very fortunate. I think I don’t know if we have it in other provinces, but in BC, We have a confidential physicians help blind or health line. So any physician and their family can call this line and basically access help for anything physical, mental, anything
Andrew Bracewell: for physicians. Only
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: for only physicians and their spouses are pregnant. So I called this and I got put through to an intake worker. And even as they’re doing the intake, I’m thinking, actually, I’m fine. Actually, I’m good. I don’t need help. I’m good. I just made a call like I don’t know what I’m doing for you. Everything’s fine. Everything is blissful. So then, of course the doc calls me and I’m trying to have a very professional conversation. You know, according to the D S M five criteria, I have X, Y and Z because we’re both doctors here, so I’m not sexually Hannah like, just just take it easy. First of all, and second of all, I think you’re gonna need some help and I said, No, I don’t need help. I know what I have. I’ve got postpartum anxiety. Perfect. I’m done. He’s like, No, you’re gonna be Just talk to somebody You might need to consider some medication. And I said absolutely not. Because here I am writing it out for every patient I see, not every but a lot of them. But when my name was at the top of that prescription pad, are you kidding me? I’m too good for that. And that’s rock bottom.
Andrew Bracewell: It’s just fascinating. Like So what do you think is going on in the human brain? This absolutely is not something that only physicians air you you deal with. I mean, I I can say in my own life, I have also dealt with this for some reason. In whatever area that we are deemed to be the professional. There’s this mental block where we cannot suffer with that challenge. And the irony is, is we’re helping people with these things every day. Absolutely, absolutely. And there is I don’t I don’t have an answer for I’m just I’m fascinated by that, and I know that that can’t That can’t be the best of what there is. We’re better than this. We’ve got to get past that.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: I think part of it, too, is because it’s a self protective mechanism, right? If you feel that if I need to help other people will how can I be down and out? I need to be in a role that I can lift other people up. I didn’t mean to get swept under the current, but we’re all susceptible. We’re all human, right? And then the eagle part comes from the fact that like it or not, mental health still is associated with the weakness. Right there is if you just tried harder. If you just thought CB teeter Cognitive behavioral therapy To your way out of this, do more yoga, do more meditation, eat better, drink more fish, oil, whatever you know, make it go away. And it’s not that easy. And this the other piece, too, is that it doesn’t have to be. We use mental health, but mental health could just be an having a really tough day. I’m having a really tough week. When are we going to start to say that that is OK? Because as a society we never go toe. You ask. How are you doing? I’m doing great. I’m doing perfect. I do. Fine. We’re approaching the Christmas holidays. If you ask somebody, how are you actually doing
Andrew Bracewell: their melting down?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Exactly. But do we have to say that you have quote unquote depression needed medication? No. Where is the middle ground? We’ve stopped having riel conversations because all we want to do is present a facade of our life on social media that everything is perfect. And it’s not.
Andrew Bracewell: Don’t go there. Don’t take me to social media. I don’t want to do it. Today started. Let’s rewind, rewind you, you and I. So we got to go for coffee. A few weeks ago, as I was chasing and pursuing you and begging you to come on the show and among other things, I we were chatting. We had a great chat for two hours and you said something that stuck out to me. And I wantto take us back to that moment and just shut up and listen to you talk, if that’s okay. You said something like at some point in time, we, as in you and college, needed to give you a designation and your designation was you were the CEO of your home. And this came in the context of a conversation where we were discussing gender roles and how to make careers work and have people feel validated. And I rolled over. And further context was Is that you’re talking from a perspective where two people have significant careers and yet you have a uterus and three Children, and I was coming out from their perspective where I have three Children. My wife’s career has been to stay home and raised the Children, and I’ve gone out, conquered while she’s done that. And then you just raise this concept of CEO of the home and I went, That’s fascinating. Can you just take off on that?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Yes, it’s funny. There’s, ah, actually various important role model Rachel Hollis. She’s written it, really Girl, just wash your face that kind of book. And she had mentioned one of her podcast that when you have something deep within your heart that just keeps speaking to you, don’t ignore it. And that’s exactly what I feel the CEO of the house concept it. So let me tell you more So like you mentioned I have three boys, all boys think, Ah, four year old, a two year old in a four month old. And it was our choice to have, ah, what I would think of as a larger family now. And like you said, for better or for worse, there is a time frame that you have to make these decisions as to when to start your family. And, you know, typically it’s in your late twenties, mid thirties, whatever it happens to be. There’s also a choice that you, as a woman, can make as to whether you want to stay home or whether you want to re enter the workforce. But that’s a very black and white decision. And what often, after spending 10 years or 11 years in the educational system earning this degree, I was spit out with Yes, an M D. But that means nothing. An MD means nothing unless you’re really happy practicing in a regular family practice office, and that for me, I’m That’s not my happiness. That’s not my groove, right? So here I am, a mom here I am, an MD behind my name, but I still don’t know what I want to do. And if that sounds of the ironic enough, yes, I enjoy the youth clinic. And yes, I enjoy breast health. But there’s something in my heart in my soul that I want to create something. I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to create something sustainable. Four women, four mums, especially that they can start to embrace who they are, their sense of time, their identity and give them purpose. And I think a lot of women who start cos kind of start with this sort of notion in mind because they have felt that loss, so they want to give it to others. So once again, I want to go into unchartered territory with this CEO of the House, which by the white, I should say, is a concept that I came up with in the sense that it speaks to the fact that I’m not just a stay at home Mom, Don’t you hate that When somebody asked me that Oh, I cringe. What do you I’m just a stay at home. Mom, don’t say that. Take the just out of there you are doing being at hole. I got to go. I got to goto work for three hours yesterday and I came back invigorated. I was happier. I love my kids so much, but it is hard, hard, hard work. And the reason the CEO of the House idea came up for me is that my husband bought a book. I won’t say the name of the book, but it was with the theme of taking charge of your mornings. Let’s say right, how do you start to utilize the 45? Aye, aye. Ems kind of slot as, ah, time that you can really supercharge yourself. We
Andrew Bracewell: don’t want to say the name of because it’s controversial or you just go
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Just because I don’t want Thio. I like the concept of the book, but I think it was missing from a God. A female perspective. I
Andrew Bracewell: got it. Yeah. So you want
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: to use what exactly? So you know my ass. It was all, like, charged up about this book that Oh, yeah, it’s likely. Whatever our of power in the morning, I’m gonna meditate. I’m gonna work out, and I’m gonna journal. Oh, this sounds amazing. But I looked and I said, Guess what? I’ve been doing this for four hours four months. All my kids were horrible sleepers, but I’ve been up at 2 a.m. At 3 a.m. At 5 a.m. I’ve been doing this hour of power except I’ve been nursing while I’ve been doing it. Didn’t really mean like, Welcome to the O Club. And it’s so ironic is that we have all of these books for executives and CEOs and entrepreneurs how to unlock the tools and tactics to make yourself the most successful version that you can. But what’s the biggest difference between an entrepreneur, business person, CEO and a mom? What’s the biggest difference?
Andrew Bracewell: I would say the size of the humans you’re talking
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: about the correct, their voices. But it’s This is what I’ve come up with. It’s the ownership of time you ask. Look at yourself. You might have a list of things that you want to do to date.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, I scheduled this exactly where I wanted it.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Oh, that’s interesting. I have three little munchkins at home. We might wanna have breakfast, but guess what? There is a bill a zillion other things that happen like someone has to go to the bathroom and this and that and there’s a tantrum in, there’s a house to clean up. Nothing that I want to happen at a certain time will ever happen at a certain time. It’s the ultimate ask of responsibility and flexibility. You have to be so flexible as a mom because that time is not your time. It’s someone else’s time. You are serving those other people if you want. If you’re hungry and you want to eat at one o’clock and you have three young kids, ask any mum taco. It’s I find in this intermittent fast increase. Hilarious guy talked another month from a month. She’s like being fasting for all this time because of her mom’s. That’s incredible thing is not new people new. We just do this or you just grab the kids off the set off the kid’s plate, and I want to be careful when I say CEO of the house as a gender specific thing, because a lot of my friends who are females and are out at work, it’s their husbands that stay at home so it doesn’t have to be mad woman. Whoever just know that if you’re staying at home, it’s a lot more than raising kids. It’s conducting everything else behind the scenes, just like we talked about with your wife. You have a beautiful home here who’s actually orchestrated all of this. Who’s putting food in the fridge? Who’s cooking dinner? Who’s keeping it clean? Who’s behind gifts for the teachers?
Andrew Bracewell: Well, anybody who’s in our life yes, knows exactly who that is, and they know it’s not me. I will say this this conversation. So my kids are 12 10 and eight, and I would say my level of awareness of this topic and my sensitivity to it up until I’ll be gracious to myself. Let’s say 56 years ago, that’s being gracious, was very poor. And I’m awakening two the significance of this CEO of the House concept and over the last few years, you know, become more aware, and I believe that I’ve been more appreciative and understanding and just aware of the significant role that my wife has played in all of our lives. But my conversation with you a few weeks back, you really struck a chord, and you put language to it in a way that I’ve never heard language to it before, and I think it’s incredibly valuable. Um, yeah, I I don’t have anything else to say. Other than that, I I I think I would put myself in the camp of I am in the group of people that took some things for granted and have been on a journey, walking myself out of that going. No, Andrew, you got to go out every day and conquer and never think for a second about what was going on in behind you and just coming to the understanding of how significant that is. It’s it’s It’s fascinating
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: if we loop it back to our conversation at the youth clinic as well, a question I often ask the youth is. Tell me about your home, who lives in the home, what his family look like to you. And this is the response they often get. What family? What do you mean? What’s a typical upbringing like? Is it just Mum, Dad, siblings. They can’t relate. They can’t relate because they might have. They might not know their parents. They might be in the foster care system. They might be out on a youth agreement. They might have had such conflict with their parents. Like all of this stuff of what? So what your wife gave your Children? What you have given your Children is stability, and I think sometimes we measure what we give to our kids as quality time. But it’s actually quantity of time. Kids don’t suddenly say that’s really bond right now because I feel like bonding. You just have to be there and hope I absolutely want to bond with you. It’s like fishing. You gotta have the line in the
Andrew Bracewell: water all day and you’ll probably catch a fish. But you can’t just go. Oh, there’s a fish right there through the line and hit it. That line’s gotta be in there for a long, long time in order to get what you’re looking for.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: But if you’re not there waiting, hoping that you’re gonna catch something, someone else is gonna be there. And you better have someone else that you trust like your spokes, like a good caregiver, whatever the case might be. So I think this is what the CEO of the House of Man or the woman, whoever it happens to be, will grapple with because it’s talk. Kids need time and I because we want everything to be instant. Just my kids are two and four, so going pee and brushing the teeth is the hardest. And changing them is the hardest thing we have to do because you know there’s too many distractions. But sometimes it’s just like waiting for a badge ical bird to appear. You just have to be really quiet and wait, because the more that you force it on them, they can sense your angst and apprehension, and they will just run away from you. Where is my husband has the advantage of really honing in on the quality time. He might not be able to be there for the quantity that he wants to be there. But when he is there, he’s all about having these quality experiences. So sometimes we have these very productive conversations. You mean you mean like fun? Dad, I called Fund out. Yes, exactly. Exactly. Right. And that’s the thing to like. Kids go through transitions. Sometimes they’re gonna be very mummy centric, something that could be very daddy centric. But this is something that all mums, especially I want you to hear, is that give your kids the best of you, not the rest of you give your kids the best of you, not the rest of you. And by that I mean, you do have to learn for your comfort level when it’s okay to say, I need to go. I need to go and take 10 minutes to go for a walk or to exercise or do whatever it takes or lock yourself in the bathroom for two minutes just to breathe. And it’s a luxury in our day and age to have child care like I have help. And I want to be, ah, 100% transparent, that I have child care help at home, and that there is no way that I could even be sitting here with three kids who are not in the school system and have this conversation so even tow have help means that you need to be of a certain economic standing. So all so why should it be that if you have a certain socioeconomic status that you should be able to achieve things that’s not right either? Right? So all the more credit for the moms who were doing it 100% on their own, like they are the CEOs of the House and they deserve that title and that stance and that credit, and by creating this, which I don’t know what it’s gonna look like. A book of podcast modules, things air in the works. But I want to create a community of women that feel as empowered as I do, because right now I am 1st 2nd I’m a doctor, but first I spend 99.9% of my house putting out at home, putting out fires and trying to be the best mom. I can be
Andrew Bracewell: very well said along this line, these lines still, there must be a conflict that only a woman experiences. I realized that we can have men and women play the you know, the stay at home roll the CEO role. But to this point in our evolution anyway, we still only have women giving birth. So can you speak to the conflict of as a woman who wanted to pursue a career? Yet there’s just still at practicality of having to carry a child for nine months, give birth breast feed, I guess. Should you choose that, feed the child in some way and just be present for an infant. That’s a conversation that just a man is not capable or does not need to have in their brain. How does that how does that play out in your mind? And how does that continue to play out in your mind?
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: So I think it goes back to knowing your options. Just be educated. We’re we’re in this society right now. Luckily, a woman does have options, for better or for worse. And by that I mean, if you were choosing a career like I did, that’s going to take you 10 11 12 years to complete. Maybe the best thing that you want to do is freeze your ex. So that way, you know, it’s like having just the safety deposit box. Like, you know, everything is they’re ready to go. And because we’re taking all of this into account by saying that you have a career and you found somebody by the age of late twenties, early thirties, that’s a fluke. If that’s the possibility, right? And we’re also saying that you are in a heterosexual relationship. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you don’t want a partner, maybe, and I’ve had friends who just want to do this by themselves, and that’s okay. But I think you can’t fool yourself into thinking that I could be spit out of this law degree, medicine entrepreneur or whatever the case might be a 35 36 37 hope like that that you were going to get pregnant. Don’t fool yourself into Don’t don’t think that you might be the lucky one. And I think sometimes with social media, with celebrities, we see women at 41 44 50 having babies thinking, Oh, this is easy peasy and we don’t realize that maybe they’re using someone else’s ache. Maybe they’re using IVF. Thes treatments cost a lot of money, right? So this is where I think we have to start having these conversations earlier on with our daughters that never feel like you don’t need to give in to your dreams. Follow your heart, follow your dreams. But if your goal is to conceive it to carry a child, that may be your best bet. Is ex wires at freezing your eggs? What
Andrew Bracewell: happens physiologically your body wants to carry a child from late teens to 30. That that’s what it wants, and therein lies the conflict in the rub.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: And let’s be honest, too, just because you freeze your eggs And now using Okay, I’m ready to be Ah, Mom. At 41 we often forget to have the conversation about, well, carrying a pregnancy at 41 being a mom at 40 0 Energy having the g having all of that sort of stuff. So you might have your life, your bank books, all in order and feel like, Okay, I have enough money for a child. But what about the energy? What aboutthe supports all of that kind of stuff too? So it I have this and this is the opposite conversation in some ways, but related to the female youth that come in on we discuss birth control because I often tell them I said, although it takes two people, you at the end of the day are gonna be left making a decision. You might love your partner to bits, but let me be honest. This is you. This is your body. I didn’t make it this way. It’s the way that it is. So own it. Now, before you come to me in tears going, what are we gonna do? right. So it is really hard for younger women and any women I should say to make these kind of decisions. But this is life, and that’s what I mean is to be realistic about it. So know your options be realistic.
Andrew Bracewell: So much of what we’ve discussed today was the foundation. I believe for your pyramid philosophy, which we’ve scratched the surface of it actually didn’t really get into it in great depth. And you know, I don’t take too much more your time, but I would like you to just share a little bit about that.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: So I think this came out once again. All the things for me come out of frustration, but it came out perfect situation because I was trying to figure out without having this full on integrative medicine training. Like I spoke about before. How could I summarize my belief system about not just medicine, but about health in general? So it was after I went through my own struggles with postpartum anxiety and depression that I realized OK, foundation have to be get the mind right. I don’t call it mental health for a reason. I call it healthy thinking it sounds juvenile in some senses, but it really means just getting your mind right or knowing your thought processes, for better or for worse, know what pitfalls you fall into. No, you’re thinking traps on, then The second part of that foundation is connection, because I’ll be honest with you. I also work in a regular family practice office, and I’ll have someone coming in for heartburn. Let’s say that would take it. That’s a 32nd appointment here. Some antacids when your way, you’re done. But if I start asking them will tell me about this and tell me about that. I’ll find out that their child is involved in substances, that they have a dysfunctional marriage, that because of all of that, they tend to cope by eating their eating too late at night. You’re drinking too much. They’re smoking. Well, no wonder you’re having acid reflux, right? So it’s all about that. It’s about the stories and that the word connect deeply for me encompasses the story behind the patient. Who are you connecting with in your life? What is your marriage looking like? Because if you’re coming back home to a dysfunctional marriage, you could be eating all the you know, the best food in the world. But it’s not going to help solve that inner angst that you have, right? You move up the pyramid and you simply I just call it decisions. And I was standing that the reason this came out as I was standing in a Starbucks line and the woman in front of me was trying to decide who’s having this conversation with her friends and, well, what should I eat today? Should I eat the healthier choice at Starbucks, whatever that happens to be. Or should I go for the unhealthy choice? And it made me realize that health is not health. Health is decisions. The decisions that we make every day. Absolutely the decision. When you’re in the grocery, Al as to Are you gonna shop the perimeter or you’re gonna go in between the aisle? Is it making that phone call for pizza? Is it like what are you putting in your kid’s lunch boxes? And no one is perfect. But what do you decide in that moment is going to determine your life, right? Your life is a culmination of all of those small Starbuck decisions. Do you want the extra syrup or not, whatever the case might be, right? That’s what I believe. So stop focusing on what exactly you’re gonna eat or how much exercise you’re gonna get. But just make one good decision for yourself every day. That’s all. I ask one good decision.
Andrew Bracewell: You’re gonna get about 2500 applications for new patients after people listen to this, because what? I mean, I knew this to be true of you. But what comes out of your mouth, the depth to your thoughts and the way you think through you’re practicing how you help people is just It’s so refreshing. And I know that you’re developing to develop a family. I mean, I’m I’m a fan, but your your fan base is gonna grow significantly because of what just came out of your mouth for the last hour and 1/2 of what we’ve done here. So it’s time to wrap things up. You’ve been more than generous with your time. Something I’m really excited to do on the podcast is too. Obviously find people like you, and I think we’ve been a tremendous job with you today in that we’ve truly found someone who’s everyday amazing where not enough people know about you. We’ve shown the light on what you’re doing, and it’s incredible what you’re doing. So thank you for what you’re doing in the community. But now you get the platform for a few minutes and to tell us about someone you know who needs to have that spotlight because they’re amazing. So fire away.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Well, thank you so much for the kind words to. So for me, I have to honor my mentor, Dr. Elizabeth Watch. She’s the reason why I’ve become the kind of physician I am today, especially working with the youth. So Dr. Elizabeth watches her name. She founded the Abbotts for Youth Health Center here in Abbotsford. She is the pioneer, the visionary of worked with her for a number of years. And every time I work with her, I’m just blown away by her humility. She is She’s the epitome of service beyond self. She comes to the youth clinic and she does not get paid. She volunteers for time just to be there. She is the ultimate advocate for youth. She cares beyond measure. She has her own health concerns and never once did she let that hold her back. She’s the mum of the youth clinic she’s so carrying. She actually works at the women’s penitentiary here, so she’s used to dealing with incarcerated women. Very, very vulnerable populations. But she was the one of the first ones to teach me in not even such a black and white way, but just to tell me the importance of the story behind the patient. And it’s because of her that even working with incarcerated women, you start to realize that they all have a story they all bought there because of a purpose and a reason. And she treats everyone equally. So I think it’s because of her that we have the foundry here in app. It’s for today, and I can think of no more of an amazing person than her.
Andrew Bracewell: Well, in what year did that that if it was a foundry, found it,
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: found it with 2018 just last year is opened its doors.
Andrew Bracewell: So, Dr. Elizabeth, what? We owe you a significant amount of gratitude. Absolutely. Thank you for impacting Doctor Shahana Alibhai. Thank you, Doctor. What? Shauna? Thank you for giving us your time.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: My pleasure. I had a blast.
Andrew Bracewell: We’re in your debt, and I hope to see you again very, very soon.
Dr. Shahana Alibhai: Sounds like a plan. Thank you. Happy holidays to
Andrew Bracewell: you too. Okay, I know that she’s a doctor, but can I say that Shahana Alibhai is one of the coolest chicks I know? Is that fair? I think that’s fair Way. Talked about a lot of fascinating things. We spent time talking about her incredible impact at the youth center she shared with us her pyramid philosophy on health, which I think could be transformative for her patients. And it’s clearly been transformative for herself. Way talked about her involvement at the Breast health clinic and all the amazing things that are happening there in the lives of women who are dealing with and struggling with, what is most likely the greatest battle of their lives. And I think what we learned is that Shahana Alibhai is an engaged caregiver in our community, and she is the epitome of everyday amazing, and she’s exactly what I want on this show. But I’m so happy to have been able to share her with. Please be sure to check out the show notes for more information on today’s episode and for Dr. Shahana is website. Thanks for joining us today. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and to check out our website at everyday amazing podcast dot com.1h 19m | Dec 21, 2019
- Compassionate Zombie Killer - Curt Derksen
Connect with Curt online in the following places:
Hosted by: Andrew Bracewell @EverydayAmazingPodcast
Produced and Edited by: Justin Hawkes @Hawkes21
Full transcription of this Interview:
Andrew Bracewell: This is the podcast that finds the most elusive people everyday. Amazing kind that you know nothing about. I'm hunting these people down and exposing their beauty to the world. I'm Andrew Bracewell, and this is every day. Amazing.
Curt Derksen: I don't want to give them what's left of me. I'm gonna give him the best of me.
Andrew Bracewell: I am both nervous and excited. Maybe even more nervous than excited because of the individual who's sitting across from me today. Curt Derksen. Welcome to the podcast. Thanks for having me, Phil. It is absolutely my pleasure. I'll Ah, I'll start with that. I'd like to start things with confessions sometimes. And so Ah, the reason that I'm nervous is because you and I actually do this all the time. And the only difference is is today we're doing it with microphones in front of our faces.
Curt Derksen: Yep, True that. And a whole bunch of people that might hear it.
Andrew Bracewell: And a whole bunch of people that might hear it a little bit. And so, no, no, There won't be any editing. We're only doing we're only doing it in the raw. But what I have Thio say in admit and this is part of the reason why I'm so excited and and yet nervous at the same time is that there's been a number of times in the last couple years that you and I have spent late nights together Ah, out on the patio or the porch or in the backyard and I drive home from that experience where I walk inside my house and I say to myself, that has to be one of the best conversations in the history of mankind. Somebody needs to be recording this. That was amazing. That was life giving, and it was incredible. So, um, well, the feeling is mutual. You're making me blush a little bit. Well, I'm not I'm not trying to make you bless. So So this morning is that was getting ready. Ah, the nervous thoughts that came into my mind Where Andrew, don't screw this up. Just be natural. Let it flow, Do what you do And you guys are gonna have a great time. So I am truly excited to ah to have you sitting across from me and in keeping with our tradition that we've tend to have, whether it be through intent or not, we are sipping bourbon. Well, we Well, we talked to one another, and it should be noted for the audience that it's roughly 10. 30 in the morning. Won't say where we are. You know where that is. But we're not driving. We're actually in my living room, and we're Ah, we're gonna We're gonna do bourbon together because that's what we do. Brings out the best and the conversation seems to feel I have a question for you, actually on that on that topic. Good. Do you think so? Neither of you. Neither you or I has educated enough to probably intelligently answer this question, But let's try to do it together anyway. What do you think alcohol does to you in conversation? What is it doing? Your brain does it open you up? Does it shut you down? Speak to that a little bit because you and I have have had lots of alcohol into his conversations.
Curt Derksen: Yeah, that's a good question. So I think about it often, actually, because it depends on a few things for me. Circumstances of my Dave, my own body chemistry, food that's on board. Kind of where I'm at emotionally, but often what it will do is it will help me come grounded in present in the moment. And then I can just be really some of my inhibitions or concerns of just being vulnerable out of subside. And then I could just be fully engaged in the moment. And it opens up some amazing opportunities for, like, we had some really cool conversations that you just feel like you're connected with somebody.
Andrew Bracewell: So again, it's funny that we're having this conversation because we're probably not fit to have the conversation properly because we don't actually know what's going on in the body chemistry. Maybe we do a bit, but do you think that it takes us out of a current state of reality and allows us to get into a different space that therefore then opens up conversations that we otherwise wouldn't be ableto have, or how do you think that works? I think
Curt Derksen: it's for me. Anyways. It's more just about some of the barriers coming down, like my own inhibitions, as far as like, maybe I won't say that right now, because he may be. He'll think something weird of me or whatever, and that is just kind of gone and then You just got to get into a flow. Almost. You just let it be. Some people can probably do it easier without alcohol. And I can definitely do it without I'll call as well. But I just find that regardless of what my circumstances are during that day, it will help the be present.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, it goes without saying that this certainly isn't an endorsement of that. You course you need alcohol in orderto have real authentic conversation. Well, I mean, usually before nine. I'm onto my second little bit. Delete today. Yeah, I know. It just so happens that, you know, you and I have spent a lot of time together, but we have this great history of incredible conversations late at night. Well, while sipping on bourbon. So in keeping with our tradition, we're doing that this morning and, ah, you know, here's to us doing it one more time to choose. Um, So hey, I want to introduce you a bit to the audience, and I wanna give you the platform, and I want to let you know, tell us who you are, where you came from in a bit of your stories. So, um, I want to give you the platform. I'll I'll say that. You know, you're a guy who's married with three kids and you live in Abbotsford and you sell real estate. But maybe, um, I'll let you go from there. Take it over and away. You go.
Curt Derksen: Okay. Not originally from atmosphere to grow up in Kelowna, just outside of Kelowna. And I was the oldest of three kids. Never thought that I would be anything to do with sales. That just wasn't my cup of tea. I volunteered in Cairo, Egypt, for a year, and I went to school in Alberta and went to school and Abbotsford and again, real estate was never on my radar. I had some experiences, met some people, read some books when I was in university at the University Fraser Valley that started just giving me a paradigm shift, challenging the way I thought opening up my mind to different possibilities and reading different perceptions, really, And so that led me to real estate, and I got to the place where I feel like it's actually a really good fit for me, and so it just I've grown a lot as a human and a lot of really great things have come as a result of had good opportunities to connect with and serve people and and create a cool life for my family
Andrew Bracewell: and your your family just to catch everybody up. You're married for how many years?
Curt Derksen: So my wife, Michelle, we've been married since 2008. So 11 years at this 110.11 and 1/2 years we have three Children going. His eight. Thailand is six and Norris for. So we are in the full on chaos of all that is young families and loving it. We actually actually feel like we're kind of emerging out of like treading water, but mostly being underwater and coming to a place where I feel like I spend more time with my head above water than below. Which is a refreshing feeling. I think Michelle would say the same thing. I know she would.
Andrew Bracewell: Oh, there'll be parents out there listening to this, nodding their head guy. I understand. Well, yeah, but I already means
Curt Derksen: once you're a parent, you you get it. You don't really know what chaos is until I mean, everybody has different levels are different kinds of chaos. But as a parent. The chaos that you deal with condense?
Andrew Bracewell: Yep. I want to circle back to your You alluded it eluded to your university experience and how you're said your mind started to shift. You started thinking different ways. What were you What were you studying in university? And then what kind of experiences did you have that started to, you know, shift the way you were investigating the future of your life?
Curt Derksen: I'd probably back it up even a little bit further before that, because I went to school and I went to three different schools. Three different postsecondary education institutions, one including a one in Calgary, then one in Abbotsford. And when I went in Kelowna, I was playing on the men's soccer team there, and my experience was mostly just about playing soccer. When I went in Calgary to that school, I was playing basketball, and my experience was mostly based around basketball. So what I was actually getting out of my studies was only what I needed to in order to keep their to this city there. But I didn't enjoy it. The studies that I was taking wasn't really for me. It was more typical like what you would do in high school. You just kind of jump through the hoops after both of those experiences. That's when I went to Egypt, and I just I went on a trip. Michelle, my wife is from there.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, So this this was a FEMA female inspired this year. Go to E
Curt Derksen: Exactly. She she lived there for 12 years, and so it was
Andrew Bracewell: a noble, noble reason. It's totally well, yeah, get in with
Curt Derksen: the family, show that I'm actually good shit and then we
Andrew Bracewell: can see where it goes from. There
Curt Derksen: it was You got to go to Egypt and I fell in love with you. We're just on a tourist trip at that point were there for three weeks, and I fell in love with the opportunity and actually the opportunity that I sought to basically connect with and served Sudanese refugee kids. And so when I came back from Egypt, actually dropped out of school is supposed to be going for my second semester, but it was okay because the first semester was when we had soccer and the second semester soccer season wasn't going on so I could drop out. It was totally cool actually went back to the rigs at that point. Julian Reason, Northern Alberta paid off some debt, save some money and then went to Egypt. And so when I came back, Thio Canada So was in Egypt for a year when I came back to Canada. After that, I went raid in tow. Michelle and I got married, and then I wouldn't read into the University of Freezer Valley and started slitting kinesiology. And so kinesiology is the study of the human body in the human body in motion. And I always played sports and was active and trained pretty fit. And so getting into kinesiology at you, if he was a different like not only was I now older and mature and I was better because I was engaged in the studies and I kind of had a bit of an end goal and you where I wanted to be, Uh, But this this is what I was actually studying was actually fascinating to me because it was an application with stuff that I already at some core level, understood and new. And so the studies when I got to that position being a little bit older having some life experience studying something that I actually enjoyed. I started thinking differently. I just started, maybe even actually just thinking rather than going through the motions in life. And so I got to the end of my university studies, and rather than pursue kinesiology, I actually might last. I laughed one of my last second or third. Last semester, I started reading some books about investing in real estate. One of the fundamental books for me was the Robert Kiyosaki Bic Rich Dad, Poor Dad, and it's a really basic Michelle and I actually bought that book. We're driving to Remington for, uh, we're going to a family wedding or something out in Edmonton. We bought the book before we left. We read it to each other. At that point, I'm a student at you. If you were renting a condo and Michelle's and nurse just in her first year of practicing as a nurse working at the office for a hospital, we buy this book. We're driving a 2006 black Honda Civic, which was our first car that we got together. We're driving Delbert a reading this book, taking turns back and forth. Read it to each other. By the time we got home back to Abbotsford, we decided that we were going to buy a house. And it was never really on our radar, something that we talked about before. But there was some very simple principles that were like, We're gonna apply this. Our agent at the time was James Armstrong and poor guy. We just We're new to this whole world and didn't have any, like guidance. Really? So we're just like I thought it was the best thing to go and see every possible listing that there was. So we probably actually have a folder with all of the pieces of paper that Jim printed for us. We saw, like, 40 homes.
Andrew Bracewell: You were the client from hell,
Curt Derksen: right? Exactly. We totally he was just a happy go lucky love to just super social love to be with us and tell stories. And so we just saw everything that we could see anyways, So we go from living in a condo that we're renting to buying a house and within like, six months, you buy this house, I'm in university, still full time. Michele's working at this point. I'm working at Great West Fitness, that gym in town. I'm a personal trainer and or I'm studying to be a personal trainer on top of the other things that come along with kinesiology. And so I'm working at the gym studying, and we bought this house and I started renovating the basement. So we bought it without a sweet, renovated the basement, put a sweet and illegal suite, and then we lived in the basement and rented out the upstairs for the 1st 2 years. And so this was kind of like our problem at this point. I wasn't planning on being a realtor. I just had the idea from Robert if we use what we have, and we can actually make it work for us rather than paying somebody else's rent, and that's kind of where it all started.
Andrew Bracewell: You were putting into action what you had read, and you were You were living it out
Curt Derksen: exactly, and by time we actually got the living in that basement suite. We were little. We were living for less money. We're paying less money to live in our own house. Then we would have been paying rent it this other, and it was our own house. It was our own basement, so
Andrew Bracewell: I want to circle back to something. Um I don't wanna miss over something. Miss out on something that could be good here, and I don't even know. I can't remember the exact dates. I know. You know, I have discussed this before, but when you were in Egypt, you were involved in a fairly significant accident. Was that Is that pre marriage or when? What does that
Curt Derksen: was? Yes. So that was March of 2000 and six, sort to March of 2008. And so Egypt was quite significant for me. Like not only was I in a situation that I would have never imagined before on several occasions I went to Egypt playing spy before Egypt had always played sports. Never got hurt, never broke a bone, never been in an accident. Never had anything bad happen versa. Master, I'm playing basketball against one of the students that I was working with. One of the refugees on the run. He was a moth, was like six foot nine, like he was a full grown human, like there's a whole side story here, if they often will when they when they come into, like so with a lot of the Sudanese living in in Cairo have refugee status, but they're not like in a refugee camp. They're just like in the shit mix with the Egyptians. And so there's a lot of differences between the Sudanese and an Egyptian like very, very different from the Sudanese air, not overly accepted in a lot of a large part, like they come and they don't have income potential. They can't work the speak different languages. They're not overly accepted. So there's like this massive problem of the Egyptians not loving the Sudanese and not I'm generalizing a little bit. But as a general rule, like the general person on the street is not overly excited that the Sudanese were there because they're just an extra burden, like we would be here like it was an extra burden on our society. Totally. It's not to the fault of the Sudanese. It's just the reality anyways, so I'm playing basketball games, this massive guy who says he's 17 but he's probably 35 he's probably older than I was just a monster. I drive the whole and I do a lay up and I came to the end of the Congo like end of the corpse in a concrete corner at the end. There's a little drop off when I rolled my ankle and broke my foot and I've never broken anything before. And so I walked. We walked everywhere. I was like a volunteer at the time, so I have $0 to my name. You could take a taxi everywhere you go, and it doesn't cost very much, but I don't even have enough money to do that. I'm just a volunteer. So I walked everywhere, so I walked for like, three days around Madi. That's the part of Cairo where we were on a broken foot before I went to the doctor and got X rays and sure enough got casted. So the first semester I was in a cast for like and Weeks came home at Christmas, proposed, went back to
Andrew Bracewell: Egypt and then just fit in all the things that really all the things that
Curt Derksen: proposed Christmas. We're getting married that summer, July and go back. And then that spring break, Michelle came over to visit, to hang out with me there for a couple weeks and I got into a car accident. I was on a bicycle. First semester. I walked. Then when I had a broken foot, it was hard to walk. So I got a bike and was riding around. Well, trafficking Cairo is make noon. That's like Arabic for crazy, like it is mental. It's probably one of the least safe places in the world to drive. At one point, I remember hearing that there was something like 90 related traffic deaths per day in the city of Cairo. It like it's just absolutely traffic laws don't apply. They aren't there aren't any. And so I had this brilliant idea that I was gonna write a bike. I wasn't wearing a helmet, and I went to a soccer practice that I was coaching with a bunch of the Sudanese kids, and I'm riding back, and it's kind of like dusk getting to the end of the day, and it's the end of the week. So Friday's air the beginning of their weekend. So it's like a Thursday night at dusk. Everybody's getting out of town toe, go home or whatever. I'm trying to ride across traffic and I get to this mad Dan like a roundabout, and this should be like probably three lanes of traffic all the way around the Madan. But this was there's probably five, and so it's super busy. There's one traffic cop kind of directing, making sure that there is a flow. But it's just chaos. And so in the chaos, if you want to like yet anywhere you have to be aggressive. So whether you're walking or riding a bike or driving, if you don't go, then you'll stand forever and you're not.
Andrew Bracewell: You're not going to Israel. You go
Curt Derksen: where you don't where you stay. And so I decided to make a quick second approached the the Madden, and I made a quick decision that I was gonna give her. I was going to get across this Smith Dan and I got past the 3rd 1st 3 vehicles, and what I didn't see was that there was another vehicle on the inside that was cutting really tight, coming quick. And so I got past the 1st 3 you got to the fourth. I didn't see him and oh shit and right there he his I remember, and I actually nightmares about it for a while, but I remember the hood of his car hitting me on my left leg. And I always thought, being athletic, that if I got into that situation you like, I would Spider Man this shit out of this
Andrew Bracewell: situation. I would totally like, come out like his movies. Air rial. I know, right? I was complete.
Curt Derksen: I would be like a cat. I would land on my feet. No issues. That's not what happened. I, um, cranked on front and rear brakes went up on the front. Well, the front wheel actually, like mangled completely, just from the my weight and the impact of the car and the bike went underneath the car, and I went over the handlebars and landed on the pavement. Luckily, just passed his car on and close enough to them center of the Madonna, where there is no other vehicles coming, have landed on my face first on my chin, then on my nose broke off. Three of my teeth, destroyed my nose, big cuts over my chin, and it was a bloody mess. I blacked out for a second, came through, came to brought up, grab my bike from underneath the car, and when sat down on the curb and my whole face was just on fire and blood was just gushing. And I looked up and I never seen a traffic cop being in front of the car. Traffic stopped and a couple people came over to see if I was OK. And by the time I looked up again, traffic was flowing in. That car was gone. He probably paid off the guard and was done. It was the end of it.
Andrew Bracewell: Wow. So I had I had an equally traumatic accident in my life. I've heard your
Curt Derksen: story. It might be more traumatic.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, well, I'm just different. Just different. And something I experienced Waas, uh, I had, like, significant nightmares for I want to say, intense at first for the first year yet where, On a weekly basis, multiple times was waking up in sweats, reliving what happened? Yep. And then, um, you know, doing my level best to control it with drugs in a healthy and unhealthy way. And then, uh, you know, it dissipated over time, but it probably years to completely, you know, leave my memory as I was trying to sleep. Yeah, is that Did you have anything like that. Yeah, probably.
Curt Derksen: Why I never had. I was never medicated. Um, even being in Cairo, having those procedures done, there really wasn't a lot of medication that was given their very afraid, being an Islamic country, they're very afraid of, uh, drug dependency. So it was more tough it out and and deal with it. And so being that all of my primary care was there, I was in the hospital there for a few days at couple surgeries there. All my teeth I worked in my teeth was done there. There was no medication. But I do remember for a significant period of time having waking up in having sweats, being afraid, I was afraid. The first time I got back onto a bike. There's a lot that kind of came with it, but one of the best parts that came from that whole experience. And there's this one moment, this one, maybe evening. More than a moment is captured in my brain better than most of my time in Cairo. So my wife's mom, my mother in law Brenda, was living in Cairo at the time. And so after this accident happened, I actually moved into her place and she kind of was taken care of me. And one night, a boat, maybe a week where the even, maybe even less than a week after the event, the Sudanese kids that I was working with actually came to the apartment where I was staying toe to see me and take care of me. And just just to basically love on me like that was one of like, the most humbling and amazing experiences that I've had, because you're my this like, blond haired, blue eyed Canadian guy who's going over there to, like, serve the needy. That was kind of like my programming, and they came to, like, take care of me. They came to love on me. And so there was, like, 30 of them that piled into this little apartment like these monstrous kids that are like six toe six foot five and well ranging in age from probably 25 all the way down to 12 and they just it piled in the elevator. They came up the series. We're on the 10th floor and they just, like, came and just sat with me for like hours. And it was the connection that I had with them afterwards was amazing. And it was like, the for the first time, we connected on a different level. So really cool.
Andrew Bracewell: So let's jump back to university now. Kinesiology? Yep. You've had an experience of smashing your body to pieces of an accident. You're learning about the body. You've You've told me many times you're fascinated with with the body and how it functions. What fascinates you? Why can you see ology fascinated? Well, how how
Curt Derksen: much weaken accomplish or what we can actually physically do, and how training and preparation can actually expand your capacity. And so these traumatic experiences that I had breaking my foot or smashing my face or know any of the events playing sports, those kinds of things you become aware of, kind of like where your ceiling is and then learn that you can actually push past that house. Some of those traumatic experiences can actually make you better. And then the other part is like the accident was traumatic. But there is a hole like emotional psychological component to it that made me better. I'm better because of the pain that I went through. And so that's that's really intriguing. That fascinates me. That weaken actually learn from these experiences and you can apply that. I think you can apply the same principles of that kind of like growth. And if you apply the same principles to anything that you do, you actually have an opportunity to become better at. You know, any avenue business, for instance, like I've been in this business now have been in real estate since 2012 and I haven't done anything different than I've done in every other part of my life. Like I learnt your intentional you grow. You surround yourself by the right people that are doing what you want to do. You borrow from them until you can kind of make your own way and then implement and change and start to recognize kind of your own authentic voice and pay attention to that beast. That's been my journey. I feel like I've borrowed from others until I get to a place where I could be comfortable in my own skin and then kind of go on my own from there.
Andrew Bracewell: So were you born with the Greek god body that you have or did you have to build
Curt Derksen: it, built it. No, I don't. I don't think that's entirely true. I think that
Andrew Bracewell: what? That you're a Greek god or that you have.
Curt Derksen: Of course, Greek. God is true. But
Andrew Bracewell: you realize that I that I'm asking this question not for myself, but for the masses that are listening that want to know. Is that a gift from God? It occurred. Build that. And how do I get it?
Curt Derksen: Yeah, I I I definitely worked hard at my body and I have my whole life and I've always been active, and I've been careful what I eat and what my nutrition looks like. And not to say that I don't have ice cream or, you know, my treats of choice. Those things happen. It's just a moderation. And then the majority of time, I'm intentional about it. But there is definitely a genetic component like my dad. I trained with my dad when I was 12 years old in our basement, like my dad was, he modeled something for me as faras being active and taking care of his body. And so that is something that is, you know, from a very young age I was playing sports. I was training and maybe my diet wasn't the best When I was a kid is here. I was a kid, but I still you know, at some level there is a genetic component where my dad's activity and it was imprinted upon me What he also modeled so
Andrew Bracewell: well, that is. I mean, that's one of the things that I mean. I admire a number of things about you, but one of the things that I admire about you and have been challenged on it's your habits that you have in your life in the decisions that you have in place Speaking about, you know, specifically the body What you put in what you consume, how you train. I've trained with you before and training with you is not to be taken lightly. It's ah, it's impressive. And I would you know, I don't know. I never knew you when you were 56789 years old But But I've known you recently and I know that you know you you work your ass off for what you have, you can and the world the world thanks you for it because, you know, we get toe take you in it. It's a beautiful thing to take in.
Curt Derksen: I was gonna say you could look at my son because my son, I think, is a pretty much like an identical. He looks a lot like me, but just the way he trains for baskets into basketball right now on the way he trains for basketball is focusing. Commitment to it is would have been the same for me. And I remember my mom telling stories about me sleeping with my soccer ball like I didn't have a stuffy like I slept with my soccer, but like that was what I did. That was my thing. I think that kind of mentality is that's just who I am. And that's who my son is. So,
Andrew Bracewell: so a question that people would probably have is Where do you fit on the on the spectrum of the and it's a large spectrum. The physical fitness, the the diet, the food intake. Do you align with a particular philosophy, or has that shifted for you significantly over time, or what does that look like? I think it's
Curt Derksen: constantly evolving as I try things out, and as technology or science advances and we understand more. But as I trial things for myself, I'd like to just try different things for a while. I get bored, so I switch back and forth from different things. I'm just starting some yoga. I've seen that before, off last year, and I'm enjoying that. There's a whole element of, like mindfulness being aware of my body and exposing the supposing Some of my own kind of internal weakness is that I'm gonna find with yoga. I love hiking, so there's a whole outdoors element connecting with nature. That kind of comes for me from that CrossFit something that I is a kind of style, that I would train for high intensity interval training like condensing a lot of work into a short period of time. Really, it's just it's a lifestyle thing for me, like trying to be active every day, and and the reason that I do it is that I know what I feel like when I when I'm not, and I know how I perform with my family. I perform for work, how I feel about myself. All of those things come when I'm disciplined. When I'm on track and I'm eating well and I'm resting well and I'm training for equally. I can do better at life, and I wanted you will, though,
Andrew Bracewell: so your physical routine has evolved quite drastically over time. What have you done with the food element and the calories you're consuming? Has that also drastically changed? Or what does that look like for you? I think
Curt Derksen: it's It's definitely changed. I don't how drastic. Like my fares. Parents didn't feed me shit growing up like we had pretty ballistic recently, well balanced meals as a young 20 something you
Andrew Bracewell: weren't raised on Froot Loops. And
Curt Derksen: oh, there was a capital wasn't every day. But we also don't have the money to have fruits. That's an expensive cereal. So we like. That wasn't something that was That was an extra. I would go to my friend's houses that had more money so that we could have those things. We were maybe Rice Krispies or something. So it's still cereal. But I
Andrew Bracewell: had two of those friends. They were strategic partnerships. Yes, right. It was very important for the enjoyment of elementary school. Totally, totally
Curt Derksen: planning times to go and visit have sleepovers. I don't have a few too and I frequently went to their place will significantly more times than they came to mind. And that was orchestrated by this guy.
Andrew Bracewell: That's intelligence. That's right. What that is
Curt Derksen: right is adapting exactly next stage of evolution. So being married to Michelle, though Michelle has been instrumental for sure in having healthier, more balanced food, I don't ever have to think about going to the grocery store like sometimes all a go and help her out. But for the most part, like she plans meals there's always have are for fridges were very lucky. Your fridge is always full, There's always good choices, healthy options. And so a big part of it is just not having the shit options available. Lot of the stuff that when it is
Andrew Bracewell: in the
Curt Derksen: house, I still consume it. But having as little of that around, it's possible. But I
Andrew Bracewell: find this
Curt Derksen: so this is probably comin from a lot of people, but for me, especially like there's a very big correlation when I'm active and I'm disciplined, you know, conscious about like doing the activities, having exercise, hiking, walking, exercising all those things, my diet, like I just tend to want to be more intentional about my diet. I don't take in as much crap because it just I want to make sure that I'm fueled properly. But I also
Andrew Bracewell: feel
Curt Derksen: good. And so when I feel good, then I want to keep that ruling
Andrew Bracewell: totally. It's not chicken and egg thing, that that vicious cycle that has no answer to it. But when you when you're physically taking care of yourself, you're more inclined to put the right things in. And then when you get into a space where you're not, which it's important to have those those spaces to to to take a break, it's much easier to fall into a trap of all. Eat that bag of potato chips or I'll do that. I'll do that, which I think is also healthy to take time for for sure. But I I can identify that with that completely
Curt Derksen: for me, that the control part comes back when, like I can control it better if I was gonna say him off the wagon, okay? And I'm not exercising and I'm eating shit, and that maybe happens for Noah periodically throughout a year, a couple times where I have a week or two or three year a month When I'm just not engaged and not taking care of myself, I get back on back on track by exercise. And when I exercise intentionally, then I can. The food component just comes naturally for me, like it just it falls into line when I'm when I am working when I am training,
Andrew Bracewell: that's an interesting thought. I would wonder if if a pole could be taken. I would bet that some people would be the exercise first to get back and some people would be the food first step. Get back, I think Absolutely. And I actually wonder now that we're talking, I think I'm a food first person because when I eat shit and feel like shit, there's, like, no fucking way. Yeah, I'm going out and, you know, lifting weights or whatever. So for me, I think it's the opposite. I think you know, if I get the right food and then all of a sudden I feel better. Confidence changes. Not so foggy in the brain. Okay? I wanna go left, right. We'll run.
Curt Derksen: Yeah, I think anybody that has any kind of tendency towards a distortion on their food it's it's a it's a difficult thing. And if you are in a boat, a rut burn, extended period of time and you're you of food is distorted, then it's that much harder, actually, Turn it around. And those people would probably be the similar to you. That
Andrew Bracewell: and that's me. I had my food journey in my life. You know what I was, um you know what? I was handed in terms of food, intelligence and habits as a child and then and then not to put the blame on, you know, how I was raised on my parents. But then even what I did for myself in my early adult formative years, I mean, I developed incredibly terrible habits and bad belief systems around food, and some of it was just ignorance, you know, lack of education. And so then when I made a change and I didn't want to be a diabetic in my twenties, it was the food thing where the battle was won and lost. I always I was an athlete as a child, you know, I played basketball, I played hockey, all of those things. But then when you feel like shit and you don't have energy. You actually can't even be athletic anymore. So for me, the battle is always won and lost in the kitchen and then even to this day, to get back on track. For me, it's a food thing before it's Ah, it's a physical thing,
Curt Derksen: but that that probably makes sense compared to like your your family. It was modeled for you and for me, how it was modeled with my dad. My dad was training when my dad is 5 to 10 and when I was young, he was like to 40 like just a beast, just a beast. And he would consume like he'd sit down and have a dozen eggs like he just was constantly like in taking proteins and just intentional about lifting, benching over £300 squatting like ridiculous numbers and leg pressing £1000 that was that was that was what he did.
Andrew Bracewell: Wow. And you had that model for you
Curt Derksen: exactly. And I took part in it like, Yeah, I remember being 12 like we just sold our family home this last year, and I remember I have one of the some of the weight sets that we used when I was a kid and I would my dad and I would train that in the basement 23 times a week like that's what we did together. So that's obviously because that's ingrained in me. That's my default. And Michelle, my wife, who lives in the same house, is me. Would be food similar. More similar to you. Be food First exercise kind of falls in line when her food and nutrition is where it needs to be
Andrew Bracewell: right. Let's switch gears for a bit. Ah, you've alluded to Michelle and your kids and your family a number of times and families. Big topic. But let's first dive into your immediate family, your wife and kids. How has being a father, a husband and a father? And as that's evolved, how is that changed particular philosophies in your life about how you approach work or how you approach this last topic we've been talking about, You know, the major topics in life. If you look at your life in last, say 8 10 years, what major evolutions have you come through in terms of the way you think, and how will you approach things
Curt Derksen: before I got married. I would have told you that I am not selfish like I'm not a selfish human Like I'm other focused like I Mother Rish. Right? And then I got married and living cohabiting with someone When human makes you realize that actually, I was pretty selfish. And then if after a little while, I figured out like, you know, I I can do this, I could be married. I'm not that selfish anymore. I've learned I've grown and then we had kids and it was like, That's a huge time. Suck like you love those little buggers, but like it's a huge time. Suck on. I realized once again how selfish I actually am. And so now, three kids later in a wife, later that that I feel guilty for a while about this selfishness that I had. And I saw the pendulum kind of swing far from feeling like I wasn't selfish to then feeling like I was really selfish and that beating myself up and that's a common theme for me in my own head is beating myself really hard on myself. But feeling guilty about it being guilty and shame even around this idea that I was selfish. And then now the pendulum kind of swinging back, probably more towards center. And I'm realizing that, like, I can't Well, you everybody's heard this idea of you get on a plane And this flight attendant says if we you know, we lose pressure in the cabin, the masks fall down. You got to take care of yourself. Put yours on first. If you can't take care of yourself, you can't help someone else. And so the guilt and shame slid me into this pattern with young Children and a wife that was dealing with postpartum depression. And you know, her own journey, her own process for body being literally ripped apart him and trying to put it back together and not being able to do what she did before All all the psychological and emotional trauma that happens happens as a result of trying to raise these little humans being completely sleep deprived. We've kind of both now come to this place where it's like, Well, if I don't take care of me, then I can't be the best version of me for my family. And if I can't be the best version of me for my family than what am I setting them up
Andrew Bracewell: for now we're into the meat of what I want to talk about. It takes a
Curt Derksen: little while to get here, but we're here now.
Andrew Bracewell: We've arrived. We worked into a lather. How does it go on? He needs more bourbon and he'll be good. So one of the things if not the thing that I both admire about you the most, but also worry about you the most is you are the most self sacrificing human in my life that I'm aware of which I love and admire about you. But then when I observe you in life circumstances, where others around you, whether it be family or not, family experienced tragedy. You are throwing yourself in front of the bus, metaphorically speaking, or people. And you and I have talked about this before. And one of the things that it doesn't me is when I've watched you, either in that, in your space is a father or a husband is Eiko. Holy shit. I'm not doing enough like I'm watching what Curt's doing, and that's unbelievable. And I just need to be I got to be more like hurt. Yeah, But there's two edges to that blade, and the other edge is that you're throwing yourself in front of that bus and you're getting run over and run over and run over. I want to hear you talk about that a little.
Curt Derksen: You can only run over so many times, right? Like you kind of ball down and get back up and learn a little bit from it. And so I went back to my accident like I learned something from that event, like I got knocked over and life is like that. It continues to knock us over. And so the the Pro is that I care about people, and I do what I can in the people that I love. Know that I love them and I would do anything for them. But then there becomes a point where you also take on burdens beyond you take on. You start picking up people's burdens when they don't even want you to pick up their burdens, and it's actually not serving them the way I intend to serve them, like I'm trying to just help. But it's actually not being received like that. It actually comes across as almost being like this air against like you can't do it. Let me do it for you, Massa. Not my intention, but I kind of ran into this wall, and I think the business that I'm in is really great for that. It's helped me ro and become aware because my default and my mom is like This is well, my default is just to do everything for everybody. But then you burn yourself out. And so the business being coming into people's lives and seeing their circumstances and seeing that there is need and there's opportunity to help but learning of the line of what's actually appropriate and what's their responsibility and what you're actually have to constantly remind myself that doing something for someone else is actually robbing them. Often it can rob them of the experience or some of the experiences that I've had. And so in my brain, that's what I've had to do is actually like Helen myself. But I'm actually taking away from them, even though I'm trying to help them. I'm actually taking away from them and it's like a selfish thing, really, cause I'm learning toe, not pick up other people's rocks and put him in my backpack. Yeah, I'm learning that like it's their job to carry their rocks. And sometimes people's rocks there they're back back is so heavy that they need an extra hand but learning that line of like, what's appropriate and what's not for the sake of their growth, in their own development, in their own life, like their life, but also for mine, because it takes away from my ability to, like, get the most out of this life and beauty there for my kids and wife. Okay,
Andrew Bracewell: there's a lot here that I don't want to miss out on this. There's there's two routes I want to go down and you you touched on one of them that I want to circle back to. And that's the how does this play out in your in your business? You're in the personal service industry and you're dealing with human needs Sometimes that are incredibly selfish. So I will go there in a sec, but I want to go to family tragedy. You've experienced a few things. We don't have to get into all of them, but I've observed you in your immediate family with with one of your brothers and your dad talk about either one of those circumstances, whichever one you want. Yeah, And in the context of this conversation and and what you've had to wrestle with it. So maybe give us some background.
Curt Derksen: I feel like families like a different level for me. Like I I'm so in my business. I started off carrying everybody like they were my family, and I love everybody that I work with, and then I get to help. But I also need to draw a line somewhere of who I actually can carry stuff for and who I can't. That line is easily muddied, but my family side were going through. My dad has been 61. He's been diagnosed with dementia, and it's been going on for probably a handful of years undiagnosed. But we've been watching subtle changes, and it's really freaking hard. Man like this is heavy. Like, this is really heavy. This is not something that you, uh this is what I trained for. Actually, this is why I train. I train in life to be able to be in these kind of situations and be someone that helps and not be someone that's a burden by taking care of my own shit. I can help you situations. And so my parents are going through bar none. The hardest period of their lives. My dad's unfortunately, less his capacity and awareness is decreasing by the day, and there's nothing that we can do about it. There's nothing that anybody could. There's no a pill to take. There's not a lifestyle change. It's like the damage is done. And we're just like on this train to this point. And so there is a lot that my mom carries. There's a lot that my dad has lost, and there's a lot that I try and carry because my mom is. Her bag is so full that she's like she's treading water and having a hard time keeping your head above. And so I I have been for the last couple of years, probably longer than that, But intentionally right now and going forward, I'm going to be there with her in the water, helping her carry her back. And I could do that only because I take care of myself because I make sure that I sleep and I rest and I have time for me to do what I like. And I have time with my family where I can be engaged, and that gives me joy in life and exercise like those air. If I don't have those things sorted out, then if my mask isn't on, then I can't help my mom. Yeah, and so I I work on making sure that I have things put together in my life. And then obviously there's That's just one area of my life that's not that's just one thing, like there's still work and all the burdens that come with all these different people in their different situations and circumstances. But it for me fundamental piece comes back to taking care of myself. And so my journey this coming up this year into, uh, understanding myself better so I could be more authentic person of have a better understanding of myself, be more authentic in who I am, and then not have some of the extra stress is that come from trying to please other people or impress other people, take care of myself, be authentic? Then I can serve and be there for the people that mean the most to me.
Andrew Bracewell: So as you're in this maze of dementia with no clear path it with your dad. What is the And you're in it. You're not through it. I mean, you're you're living it right now. What is the messaging that needs to be out there that you've had to dig and find on your own? But what people need to hear if they're in the space that you're in right now?
Curt Derksen: Well, I think this is like all the things that I'm trying to practice right now is what I'm learning. Self care is of the utmost importance, like understanding your the way you tick, accepting who you are, not trying to please other people or perform to satisfy other people's expectations, saying No when you need to say no to something when you know that it's too much making sure that you get proper sleep
Andrew Bracewell: because let me interrupt for a second because the need within the context of dementia, like with the person that's being affected by it, the need is so blind to other people's needs, right percent like it has the ability just to be the most selfish state it becomes, and it's not. The person's wrongdoing is a black hole. It's completely out of control so that if you're around that, everybody also have the barriers up. You can get sucked in, and before long, you know, there's nothing of yourself that that's accurate. 100% Yeah,
Curt Derksen: but that's true of everything in life, right? That that is true, like especially for someone with personally like mine where you tend to. I want to be liked and I wantto do a good job for people. And I want I want to feel I feel fulfillment, and I feel significant when I feel like I've done a good job in somebody's a little bit better today or their financial situation's a little bit better because of on investment that I helped them with or you know they got really will take care of as we sold their home or whatever, no matter where you go. If you're not able to be fundamentally strong and who you are an authentic in yourself, take care of yourself, then you can easily get swayed. You lose your ability to be objective and then you get pulled into other people's shit. I want to be there to serve and honor my parents through this journey that they're on, not at the cost of my own sanity, nor the cost of my family. And but I'm also not willing to just I guess one way I could do it is be like, Well, no, hands off, like you deal with it and I'm busy with my own shit. I don't I don't want to be that person either. I want to be able to be engaged, developed that relationship, support them, love them, honor them as they go through this trialling Tyr trying time.
Andrew Bracewell: I'll switch gears a little bit. Something that's been said about you is that Curt is one of the most playful fathers ever. And what I observe in you with your kid's eyes absolutely true. You know, I I agree with that statement. Where does that come from? Your desire to be engaged with your Children when given an opportunity?
Curt Derksen: I think it comes from a couple of places. One. I just actually really love them, And I would just love playing with um, like I love it gives me joy to see them laugh. Like Nora is four and five times a day. Right now, she says, Daddy wrestle. Let's wrestle like a soon as I get in the door of the end of day. She's, like, wrestle first thing she said to me this morning when she came down the stairs. Danny, let's go wrestle like it gives her joy, and that makes me happy. That fills my tink. The other parties have a hard time even saying no to her like she's
Andrew Bracewell: okay, so I want it. I'm gonna I'm gonna play Devil's Advocate in this conversation.
Curt Derksen: Give her because I see you sitting,
Andrew Bracewell: I I'm a dad. I got three kids and not Devil's Advocate. That's the wrong way to structure the statement. But what I observe in you with your Children I have to work so hard, Tim Manufacturer in my own relationship. And let's just set the record clear on something. I love the shit out of my kids. I think the world rises and falls on the shoulders of my son when he's playing soccer or my eldest daughter when she's leading a musical or my youngest daughter, when she's just kicking ass in gymnastics like I think there unbelievable. But when I walk through the doors of the house and I compare that to when you walked through the doors of the house. I go, man shit. Like I don't have that natural instinct to wrestle. My natural instinct is I'm exhausted. I'm tired. I'm worn out. Shit, kid, give me space like a fuck. I can't. You know, I just can't. I'm not done yet. And so I wonder like, so is that thing that you have that I, by the way, fucking admire the shit out of you. Is that again? Are we talking nature nurture? Is this a d n? A thing? Is this AA thing that you've worked towards? What's your what's your take on that?
Curt Derksen: I think it's the nature nurture question is complicated. And I think it's both, like, I think that at some level, that's just who I am. Like I remember being 12 and playing. We went to church as a kid and I remember, like playing with other younger kids and just making them laugh, chasing them, playing tag with them, picking up and running with them like I remember them like just howling with laughter and feeling like excited and joy filled. And part of it was that I remember how much it meant to the parents at that time that I was engaged with their kids and how much fun they're kids had and how much they're. Those kids looked up to me and how much fun we had together. Like I that that part just is that's just a part of who I am. I remember that. Yeah, I get home at the end of day and I'm tired, too. And as cute as my kids are sometimes chasing, I get home in. Nora Bellis is Dad chased me. Colin in Thailand will come and jump on me for hugs
Andrew Bracewell: her pursue me, man pursued.
Curt Derksen: So Nora will, like, come close and give me, like, a little bit of a little stare, little smirk, hide behind the pillar and then run away. And so sometimes chasing her isn't what I feel like doing. But when she gets laughing like I get home and I'm exhausted and I don't feel like chasing her, but she starts laughing at, I just kind of fall into it. I just give in. And I think at some level I just like, turn my brain off of what I actually want to do in that moment and just be who she wants me to be. Because I know that I've been away from her all day and I might only have a now hour or two hours or three hours with her before she goes to bed. And so I just kind of like gear down, find another gear and give them what I have left and try and make it the best of what I've given all day, even if it's for five minutes or 10 minutes. Because usually I can play with them for 20 minutes. Tops five minutes, 10 minutes and they're like they're good, They're tanks are full, they're ready to move on to the next thing, but at some level it's like it's inside of me. But another part of it is it's a choice. You're making an injection of choices so that I want to give. I don't want to give them the left of me. I'm gonna give them the best of me,
Andrew Bracewell: and your window is only so big with them
Curt Derksen: and they're so young. You're stages a little bit different to like where your kids were at. Like they make teenagers are different.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, yeah, Oh, they're different. Teams are different. Let's just let that resonate through the podcast. Teenagers are different. Um, what's your go to space right now for, um, refueling and given yourself what you need in order to keep going. What's that? What's the thing? Or the space or the habit or whatever that you go to toe to fill yourself up?
Curt Derksen: One of them is we have two dogs right now. Just a whole other conversation. But we have two dogs and I
Andrew Bracewell: want to talk. About what? Just two dogs.
Curt Derksen: Do you want me to get
Andrew Bracewell: divorced? Maybe we should bring with shell into conversation. Ah, we, uh,
Curt Derksen: wanted so one of the places is just getting out on the trails with the dog because we live up in Sandy Hill. He stabs her, and we have great trails that I can get on and just within a five minute walk. And so just getting away from everything and either listening to a podcast or listeningto quiet music or listening thio. My heart listeningto just whatever just being out there. So that's that's constantly something that fuels me. Podcasts are a huge part of my life driving. I spend a lot of time with her on the phone or driving, and so that helps me stay on track and keep focused with the direction that I want my life to go on, what I want to get out of this experience.
Andrew Bracewell: And what's that? What's, Ah, current conversation that you're having in your head right now from something that you're listening to or you learn? What do you What is Curt telling himself right now? In this moment,
Curt Derksen: I've been listening to a guy named Alan Watts, and there's some fascinating stuff that he has to say. But one of the most recent things that I've listened to probably 1/2 dozen times in the last month is talking about. Okay, so let me back up a business planning gold setting for 2020 and I look back on some of the intentions and plan that I put in place some of goals that I had in preparing for 2020. I look back on what I did, what I had set aside for 2019 and one of the things that I said to myself going into 22,019 was that when I wrote it down was that the struggle and the obstacles were going to make me better, that I was gonna become better as a result of those things. And I've So that was what I said the beginning. I started doing this business planning like End of October, which is the earliest I've ever started before. Then, in early November, I started listening to the song called Hell of a Year by Country Artist. I just heard him like, you know, he's an up and coming guy and singing this song, which it's a good listen don't necessarily his circumstances of what he's saying that song about don't necessarily apply to me. But application is in recognizing that it's been a hell of a year. Sure, my dialogue for a lot of this year was just that. It's been a hell for not a lot of this year. For a lot of November, as I'm business planning stuff was like, it's been a hell of a year now I'm gonna feel sorry for yourself. It's been a hell of a year and held the year fast forward Thio Alan Watts the last two weeks listen to this 16 minute, 16 minute segment a number of times, and it's basically talking about dream and how if you have thought, exercise and if you think about it, if you could go to sleep at night and dream absolute pure bliss and you could do that, you dreams in one night you dreamed 75 years like a full life 75 years of nothing but bliss. No hardship, no heartache talking like beaches in Hawaii like mountain Top moments your whole life. 75 years of bliss. This suggestion is you could probably on Lee Dream that dream with absolute pure bliss for like, four or five times of 75 years. Like that's a law that's like 300 years of experience over four nights, pure bliss. Then the next night, you might say, Well, that was really cool, but like a wonder what would happen if I wasn't in full control and some things happened that were a little bit out of my control, and maybe they were good and maybe they were bad, but I didn't really have full control. And so, as you did that for maybe 70 another dream, another dream, another dream like that and you get to the place. And his suggestion is at some point you would get to the place where you are right now and recognizing that you you actually don't have control. But this is where you would want to be if you had the ability to just live pure bliss all the time. And so I've often being in sales, talked and thought of, talked with Michelle and thought through myself, like this idea of what? Mountain top moments, Valley moments? Yeah, mountaintop moments, Valley moments. And when you're in the valley, you come out of it on the other side and you think, Okay, Don't really want to spend too much time in the Valley. But there's lessons that I've learned here, and it's gonna help me appreciate the mountaintop that much more. And so this idea of coming to like where I am right now some way, somehow if I had full control, I would probably choose to be here totally if I could live in pure bliss like some of some of the challenges, some of the obstacles. My child didn't sleep last night, you know, my physical bodies eking and I'm in. I'm in pain. My business isn't where I want it to be. I'm not doing some of things. You could focus on those things that you don't have or you could recognize that you should appreciate them, because those are things that you would actually choose if you had pure bliss all the time. Or this because you could only do pure bless for so much to appreciate where you are yet what you can from where you are and keep moving forward.
Andrew Bracewell: We'll bliss. So by definition, bliss can only be considered bliss in relation or comparison to something that is not bliss. If that's all you have now we're getting deep. Okay? We're probably not acquit equipped to have this conversation, But let's go for it. Yeah, you know what I mean? Like you, we think in comparison. So So that that makes a lot of sense to me.
Curt Derksen: Death in life. Yeah, you're alive, and you appreciate being alive because you're aware of the absence. Or like the opposite of young. This being a life,
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.
Curt Derksen: That's what I've been fixated on her have been thinking about a lot lately. Like last little while is just as I'm preparing now for this next year and making sure that I really I kind of, like, screwed myself over in the sense that, like I set myself up, I wrote it down. That I was gonna be the obstacles were going to make me better. And as a result, I feel like I had a handful of obstacles and in relation to a lot of people that go through a lot harder stuff than me. This is, you know, this is minor, but this is my journey. This is my process. And so there has been 2019 had quite a quite an unraveling for me in a lot of senses. And those three unraveling has made me more authentic. I just help me have a large desire to be more authentic and identify more clearly who I am and what I want. And then just be that more often, let go of some of this stress and anguish that I create from trying to be something that I'm not be something to please somebody.
Andrew Bracewell: It sounds like one of the takeaways. From what you're experiencing, this conversation you're having in your head is that you have a higher level of contentment about the space You're in 1% and it's funny cause contentment in some circles or in some contacts, people say contempt. Shit. Don't be content, you know, strives, drive, drive, drive, drive. But I think that's actually false messaging for the most part. And that contentment is bringing you something that you didn't have before. And I think
Curt Derksen: it's It's that this idea of, like, contentment in striving it's a pendulum again, like I feel like in so many areas in my life. I've seen these pendulums where you can go one way or the other, and contentment is different than settling and striving can actually burn you out like striving can, actually, if you're okay, So I'm a do er like I do like I fill my time with doing things, and to this point, I'm I am where I am as a result of my getting shit done like I I I commit. I focus, I get after it and I make it happen. But I've also learned the double edge of that this year, that trying to do all the time and not taking time to appreciate and be in the moment and yet from the moment, and be content and express gratitude for where I am will burn me out. So I I read a book earlier this year and I can't think of the title of it right now. But it talked about the idea that there's different kinds of people. And so there are people that are intent or settlers. They'll just stay at the base of the mountain and they'll set up camp and they will get all the amenities and they're super happy just to be there. For sure. This is like the average person average, not in the sense that one's better than the other. Just that things are different. Yeah, so you're you're at base camp and you're happy to be there. And then there's another group of people that will, like climb a little bit above base camp and they'll set up camp, and then that's their home. They're happy to be there. And then there's another group of people that are climbing their whole life, and they spend their whole life trying to get the topic Everest. And so they've climbed to past base camp. They've climbed past the next level past base camp, and now they're like perpetually climbing. Mmm. And it's a matter of figuring out some kind of balance and figuring out what's right for you and for me. This is it's for immutable. Figure out what's right for me, like I default to being a climber who's constantly striving and trying to make things better for me and better for those around me. But I've also learned that climbing all the time, without rest and without, like appreciation and gratitude and and being content with what I have and who I am creates turmoil. Intention that living attention all the time is not not effective. Way to live like we actually only have this minute right now, like this is all we have. And so if this is the moment that we have, being here is what's important.
Andrew Bracewell: That's a great metaphor that that mountain climbing metaphor resonates. Lemme all Shayera on anecdotal thought from my own life. Using that metaphor, I would suggest that to your point earlier, one is not better than the other. Whether you're the settler, the person who has a tendency to go halfway 3/4 the way, all the way life has got all types, and we all fit in somewhere in that. In that spectrum, I think in the current context of our world, there's certain people that get worshipped more than others, right. They fill the spectrum of our social media mediums and outlets. They get presented a particular way in Hollywood or on the news or whatever. And unfortunately, we are often times comparing ourselves to these people on a global level, no longer just comparing ourselves to our own tribe in our own backyards and our own, you know, cities. But we're now comparing ourselves to people who live halfway across the world, and this particular type is held up a ziff. It's something to be pursued or chased or admired or mimicked. And my own personal anecdote or moral to the story as a person who has a tendency to be a climber is that the best thing I can do is find rest and peace at base camp and learned to live in somebody else's space and see the beauty in somebody else's space and be content or be happy or find joy and something that you otherwise wouldn't naturally find Joy and and if you can force yourself to do that. Number one. You don't even you learn how that you don't even have to force yourself. It becomes more natural, and then you can find peace and beauty and and contentment and things that you you otherwise maybe wouldn't have naturally found.
Curt Derksen: I think what you just said, like I remember that as well, in the sense that as as a climber is as a default climber, I feel like I part of the burden that I carry is that I feel like if I'm going, then I should be bringing people with me, and everybody else should want this, too. But that's not truth of it. And so when you can actually recognize that some people are in different places and not try to make them what you think, you should be your weight, want what you think they want to be, just let them be who they are. That's talking before about picking out of people's rocked up in putting in my back back. But that's part of my this year, just like let it go like it's not my job to determine if somebody else is a climber or a settler. if they're content. If they're happy to be a settler than I need to find, I need to, like, be intentional about just calming myself down, matching where they are and appreciating the beauty that they see and just be present. And at that level,
Andrew Bracewell: that's good. Wow, We might have just blown up people's minds with that. I don't know. I mean, was that that was half his deepest. I think it was then, then were incredible. Well, it's all regurgitated. It's all
Curt Derksen: right. It's not new information. This is just like me trying us trying to process.
Andrew Bracewell: Oh, absolutely people's stories. There's nothing new under the sun. No way. We
Curt Derksen: no credit can be taken. This is just where we are right now.
Andrew Bracewell: Absolutely. Okay, let's play a game to fun games. I wanna play. I play these games all the time in my head, and now I just love that I have a microphone and I get to play these games with people. To me, this is like my favorite part. If you aren't who you are today, you're not a dad. You don't have three kids. You're not a realtor, you know you're tied to nothing. What are you? Where you living? What do you amazing at? What's the best cats kept secret about you? What do you wish you could have done had you not just by default landed in the circumstances you're in?
Curt Derksen: I scare myself sometimes thinking about where I would be if I didn't have Michelle. If I didn't have someone to regulate me as like a default climber Achiever? What would I who would I become? What would my life actually look like? Would I be actually happy with who I am As a result of just left to my own vices? And we're talking like I know that I could produce a big income. That's not something that I would be concerned about. I could go on, make a bunch of money, but then, without having something to ground me, a family, a wife, priorities I feel like there's a side of me that would just go off the deep end and live a huge life and make a bunch of money and do silly things that I would wake up alone one day and not have connections or relationships.
Andrew Bracewell: So I was trying to take this conversation in a fund direction. I know. And you just made every female listening swoon over you because and by the way, this is exactly why I had you on the show. Because this is actually the human that you are. I have a really hard time
Curt Derksen: with not taking something to that level. I don't know. I have a hard time. I'm
Andrew Bracewell: not gonna small talk. Actual quotable quote by Curt Jackson I have a hard time not being amazing. Those are your words. Your words, huh? What? Yeah, that's why I wouldn't spend time. I haven't
Curt Derksen: spent time thinking about what I what I would do you? No,
Andrew Bracewell: that's okay. I have a different game. Okay. You can't avoid. Okay? And twist up on me with your with tricks. This is something we've actually talked about before. A little bit. So it's not totally new to you, but we've never gone into in in depth with it. It'll be fun to go in depth. So were you a walking dead guy? Did you watch? No, no, you're familiar.
Curt Derksen: I'm aware of it. Yet you're familiar with. So there's a ton of movies about that kind of thing. So yet,
Andrew Bracewell: so I been like when walking dead came out. Actually, I was late to the game as I am with a number of, but, um, walking dead comes out, the world goes crazy over. People are telling me about it, and I kind of think it's like, stupid. I'm like zombies, not really whatever. And then I start watching it. And my God, did my brain blow up seeing how they had managed to take, you know, real world and combine it with something that maybe is far fetched. But then if you allow your brain to go, maybe not that far fetched and kind of awesome. And then the thing that I love so much about the show and other shows that have explored similar topics is what happens to the human dynamic. When all order is removed, all structure and systems that we adhere to are taken away. And what happens in human beings and tribes were formed alliances, air created, and we're starting from complete scratch. I love that, and I love playing this out in my mind and going who would be my tribe? What would I do? What kind of character ivy, could I be this cold blooded killer who doesn't feel anything. Or would I be the person who gets killed because I've been unable to detach from my humanity and my compassion got me killed. So I want to play this game with you. How does that play out? How do you think? So the person you are today, how do you think you transition into that world? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? What's your go to? How do you form a tribe? Let's let's dig into it.
Curt Derksen: So I haven't seen that show, but something that one movie, for instance, that I feel like I can identify with is I am legend. That's the Will Smith one. And so it's
Andrew Bracewell: totally so totally applicable. Okay, Like completely yet completely. By the way that movie is on,
Curt Derksen: it's amazing. I actually want you again now that I said it, but absolutely it, um I feel like I have this complex like like I would be I feel like I would rock. I've always told myself the narrative in my head is that I would rise up and be that guy I would be Will Smith movie will be elected. I would I would like. I would be the one to make tough decisions. And I would be the one to be physically capable of killing some things and doing what needs to be a large part of like me. Taking care of myself is like, I want to be prepared that if shit goes sideways, my world doesn't blow up in people that I care about Have a chance
Andrew Bracewell: These air Rhea life conversations in the mind of a male, right? By the way, number one superheroes aren't fake their options, things that we can actually be. And if the zombies come, are you ready? Are shits. Gotta remember. So continue. OK, I want everyone here like this is actually a really thing in our
Curt Derksen: brain. I I actually have, like, a plan like my next house is going to be a
Andrew Bracewell: house. I fucking love this where
Curt Derksen: I'm ready for things to go sideways, and I'm not necessarily saying that I'm gonna have a stock of food, but I want to be able to live off the grid. I wantto I want to be ableto have solar panels and I wanna be able to live on septic and well water and whatever be able to be a center, a place where I can survive if things go sideways, you only scare my family and have people be able to come to me, right? And then we figure it out from there. But we have a place up country too, and I've thought often about having Okay, so we have our house that we live off the grid and we have some enough food and garden, and we can kind of survive. Hunting is a component. So I have a few things on my reader. One martial arts is part of this plan for me. Absolutely. Because I need to be able to, like, kick some ass. Yeah, I feel like I'm athletic and physically capable. I could do. Okay, but if I ever came a grace well, a zombie or maybe that was, like, didn't feel pain or someone who was actually really well trained in martial arts I would get my ass kicked, but I want to be better to build hold my own. So martial arts hunting is another part. Like, I just want to be able to do it
Andrew Bracewell: and like and like, survival skills, this lesson this is
Curt Derksen: It's just pure basic. I don't like the sport of hunting Doesn't appeal to me. Maybe if I got into it, it would. But just the idea of being able to like my family needs to eat. I'll need to put food on the table. I want to be the able to have some set of skills that I can do that without losing a child because it took me too long to learn howto Mahanta Nano. So I actually have this whole plan in place and not, like, written down or anything. So maybe it won't come real. But it's in the back of my mind that I want to be physically prepared. And I want to be able to have house our space property where people can come, too. And then we have the place up country to you where she got real sideways in the Lord me, and then we can get out of here. I love it. And the tribe? You asked about a tribe? Yeah.
Andrew Bracewell: Who would be? So you want to know names? Well, no, no, no, no, no. You don't to say names. I don't wanna I don't know what you're looking more than names. I have, like ideas of personality types, personally, so one of the personality types that you would have to surround yourself with, that's a great way to say
Curt Derksen: so personally. Tapes. I also feel like there's rules that need to be played, So there's like a fundamental role of, like caring for humans that get hurt. So a doctor, a scientist, something like that, someone that can actually physically. And my wife is a nurse so she could play a part of that. But I also have friends that are doctors, and I think they would be really valuable assets having someone this and you
Andrew Bracewell: can't be married to an asset. See, that's the challenge. If your spouse is I mean, you know, this is life or death shit we're talking about here. Sometimes, you know, decisions will be made about who's got to go on who can't go. I think I think it complicates things. If one of them one of the assets, I'm just a So obviously you've played out in your mind. You, Cassidy me, I'm only replace relaying what I've seen. OK, some of this stuff is played on my head, but yeah, that could get complicated When, like all of a sudden, you know, your wife is an asset to the group you're in. And then, you know your judgment gets gray because you know, you've got something for this person that you don't have for the other person.
Curt Derksen: Yep. Anyways, continue. Yeah, So there's that whole, like taking care of humans dynamic. There's obviously feeding the humans as I dynamic. There's like defending the humans as, like one of the key pieces. Yeah, so I have, like, handful people in my life. I'm actually really fortunate to have some amazing people in my life, a lot of amazing people in my life. And so there's lost different people that complain. But it's hard to say, like you two wanna actually either, because it depends on where an event happens and how people scatter and who's actually around and available on communication. And I mean, you can just spend all the time thinking now, interesting times, I feel like I would like most guys, I think, rise to the challenge that's in my head. That's my narrative. Like I would be the guy.
Andrew Bracewell: Yeah, Oh, yeah, I totally within that within the male ego. We all have the ability to create this story in our brains where we are. Will Smith, even though we made look nothing talk like that, nothing like Will Smith. But that's that's where our brain goes for sure. Well, as you can tell, I've spent you know, Ah, fraction, amount of time, thinking about this just a little bit. And I take it to space where I look in my in my context of friends and peers and I go like, Who would be like if I had to make a team on the fly? Shit goes sideways. The zombies have come, you know, What would I do? And who would I go to and you would absolutely be. Thanks for on my on my team and ah, and one of the, you know, one of the reasons why I I would find incredible that well, there's There's a number I find incredible value and you your athletic ability, or I mean, that's all That would be an incredible asset in that circumstance. But one of the things that I fear in myself in times of extreme conflict, um, where moral order is lost or or our structure is lost. Is that you know, you referenced. You made a statement. Like, you know, I think you said something like I could get afraid of this in my head. I can get afraid of myself in my head in a context like that, where I think, ah, switch could flip. And I could get pretty cold and pretty dark pretty quick. And so I have an awareness of that. And so in my brain, I go, I'd have to be with Curt. Curt would keep me level. Curt loves mankind. Current is compassionate. Curt is caring. Curtz also an athlete, and he could kick ass. So you're you would be, like, the perfect call. You'd be the yang to my yang. You keep me levels like, you know, I could murder a little bit, but you gotta, like, you know, scaling back a little. So I don't Don't don't kill that much. Just kill a little bit. Thought the women and Children and, you know, it wouldn't it wouldn't be the women and Children. I don't know. I don't know. It's a crazy conversation, but I You're ah, you're in my zombie tribe. Let's let's put it that way, but
Curt Derksen: okay, so do you give me a little bit of lead up on that conversation? But I think that there's also, like, an element of that line of thinking that plays into, like, who? You show up as every day because it's like, a bit of, like, extreme situation for me. Anyways, I think about like, a lot of who I am on a daily basis is like a piece of that and of coming through. Do I think I would be
Andrew Bracewell: interested? Hey, I want to, um, wrap up with a couple things. Number one. The world has now heard you. They've been exposed to Curt Derksen if they haven't been already done. And ah, they're probably blown away. As impressed as I am in the time that I've had getting to know you. Ah, If somebody wants to reach out and find you, how do we Ah, how do we connect with Derksen?
Curt Derksen: Yeah, though I have ah website just Curt Derksen dot com also on social media. Though I only dabble at this point. You may or may not see more of me going forward, but I'm on Instagram at Curt Aid. Derksen and I am on Facebook as well.
Andrew Bracewell: Okay, Sweet. One of the coolest things about this podcast or what I think is one of the coolest things is you know, we dig into the world, find what we consider to be everyday amazing people, and we do what we did today. We get them to share their stories. We bring to light their amazing this and hopefully people are inspired and learn from what we're doing. But what I want to do now is I want to give you the platform for a few moments, and I want you to be given an opportunity to tell our listeners about somebody that you're aware of in your life, who is everyday amazing. It needs to be talked about. So take it away.
Curt Derksen: This is hard. I knew this was Question was coming, so I spent some time thinking about it and a hard time picking one. You said you didn't want family, so that ticks off a number of
Andrew Bracewell: people. Thank you. Now your family's gonna hate me and Ah,
Curt Derksen: what? I'm kind of cheating on that a little bit because the person that I decided that was not in the first ring of family kind of in the next showing of family is ah, Mike Davis. And so Mike Davis is a business owner in Chile back and he is married to my cousin and he has got to be one of the biggest parted humans that I know well. And he's done some ridiculous things in his emotion that I've been there right beside himto help him through. The biggest thing that comes from Mike is just his love for people. And if you are a part of his tribe, he will literally go to the ends to the earth. Well, to prevent bad things from happening to you or from you protect you. There is a period in my life where Michelle and I were broken up and Michelle was going to the clubs with Lindsay, doesn't and they were doing old things that young, beautiful women. D'oh! And Mike was kind of like the big brother that was taken out in care of her, and that was always assuring to me. And there was a time where Michelle got hurt. I was in university first year or two in university, in school, full time, not working at that point Michelle was working at the hospital and she got injured at work, was laid up on the floor for months and are renting. At that point, our fridge was empty. We're living on like lentils and rice and being like just whatever we could to get you. And Mike and Lindsay went and filled our freezer with food like, Whoa, he's just that kind of guy that he goes above and beyond. And that's how he treats everybody. He he owns this iron shop in Jill Walk the partner there. And
Andrew Bracewell: what's the name of the tire shop
Curt Derksen: ends? Tire and wheel,
Andrew Bracewell: Ken's tire and wheel and Children
Curt Derksen: and the way he treats every client the way that he treats all of his employees, It's It's like that's from a place of like caring for humans. He's got his own journey with, you know, dealing with challenges of his family, and we all have challenges. But he just continues to deliver three other humans, and I just got a lot of respect for
Andrew Bracewell: Mike Davis at a tennis tire shop in. If
Curt Derksen: you're looking for tires, go to Ken's tire shop in chill like,
Andrew Bracewell: Well, there you go. You want to deal with an awesome human. That's where you go is right. And we're going to Ah, One of the things that we're gonna do on this show is we're gonna reach out to people like like Mike and and tell them they're amazing because her things were amazing and congratulate them for for being awesome thio to humanity. So we're
Curt Derksen: gonna He deserves appreciation, So I'm glad he'll get it.
Andrew Bracewell: That's cool. Hey, thanks for doing this, man. My pleasure. Fun hanging out the living room drinking bourbon? Yep. Around to felt Felt natural. Yeah. When we when we when we press stop here, we'll probably have less. But, you know, um, this has been awesome. And I really appreciate you. Ah, you chatting with me and letting the world inside your brain and can't wait to do it again. Another time
Curt Derksen: if you want to have been here. So thanks for asking.
Andrew Bracewell: Okay. Thanks, buddy. You are welcome. Curt Derksen is an absolute gem. And I am so glad that I could share him with you today. He has one of the most beautiful bodies, but the guy could have. You're welcome for that. We talked about zombies you're welcome for that and our plans if should they happen to come? And a multitude of other fascinating topics that I hope you enjoyed as much as I did. So Curt, thanks for sharing your time with us. We sincerely appreciate it. Please remember to check out the show notes for more information about today's episode. And don't forget to follow us on instagram Twitter and subscribe so you can listen to and learn from every day Amazing.1h 15m | Dec 21, 2019
- Karaoke Popstar Realtor - Marites Kliem
Connect with Marites online in the following places:
Hosted by: Andrew Bracewell
Produced and Edited by: Justin Hawkes
Full Transcription of this Interview:
Andrew 00:01 This is the podcast that finds the most elusive people, the everyday amazing kind that you know nothing about. I’m hunting these people down and exposing their beauty to the world. I’m Andrew Bracewell and this is every day. Amazing. And so my life is linked to shell. And then real estate is kind of like the commercial thing.
Andrew 00:25 Mary tests. Hello, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for having me today. I am very excited to be chatting with you in my living room. This is, this is quite the thing to be doing and very cozy. I got my blanket. Well, we’ll have to make sure to take pictures of you cause you do look cozy. I’m just hoping you don’t fall asleep. We’re gonna try not to. We gotta we gotta keep you gotta keep you awake while we try to dissect your brain and learn all that we can. Um, so is it, is it
Marites 00:53 clean or climb? It’s cleam. I know. I have a very difficult first name and then even a harder last name. So I’ve, I was at a wedding once and I was singing, they’re like, all right, please welcome Mariah to kill them. I was like, I think that’s me. I think
Andrew 01:11 yeah, right. Just kill them. So confession, um, I always like to start confessions. I feel like, you know, he get something off your chest. So we’ve worked together in the same company for quite a few years. I think you’ve been around for 12 years.
Marites 01:24 Uh, I’ve been at Remax only F uh, maybe seven or eight, but,
Andrew 01:29 Oh right, okay. Sure. License 15 but so we’ve, we’ve been in each other’s lives without actually being in each other’s lives for quite some time cause we’ve only recently started to spend some more time together. Um, but when I started to see your name, I had no idea what to say. Like I don’t, I don’t know how to pronounce that. That’s great. There’s a couple of times that I did do Hey to you, I don’t know if you remember. And so, and then there was another couple of times where like, I actually avoided interaction because of that awful embarrassing. Like, you know, you get that sometimes where it’s like, you know, either forget the person’s name or you don’t know how to say it. So I’m just going to avoid, I’m that person. I’m the avoider walking down the hallway if I don’t know where is it.
Andrew 02:07 I was like, Oh, I gotta pee, I gotta go just hard left, turn into the bathroom. Uh, but at some point in time I learned it was married test, but I’ve also wondered the clean climb thing. So now we know it’s, it’s, it’s claim and claim is okay. So you’re, I mean, this is clearly your, you’ve, you’ve taken on the, the name of your husband. We’ll, you know, we’ll get to more a little bit later. Yeah. But it’s clean. Is this German or whatever background? I married a German guy. You married a German guy? Yeah, my life boy. Well you made your Filipino parents.
Marites 02:37 He’s, he, you know, you think of white guys would be like taller Filipinos. Like, Oh, we’re going to get like a tall grandkids. Like, no, my husband’s
Andrew 02:44 does seem as me. Yeah. Yeah. He’s not playing basketball or volleyball. Basketball. He says it’s a right vertically challenged sports. Right. That’s very true. So, uh, you know, we stumbled into family talk here, so why don’t you just I don’t know, take a few minutes. Tell us who you are, what life is and um, yeah, start there.
Marites 03:05 Yeah. Okay. So I’m, I’ve been married for about eight years now to my husband Tyson and I’ve got two little boys that are two and three years old. So too little monsters. What are their, what are their names? Leo is the oldest one. He’ll be four pretty soon. And Bennett is the youngest.
Andrew 03:23 And for anybody who’s ever encountered you on Instagram, they see your, you have two of the most endearing boy. They are amazing. Well, we’ll talk more about that, but my God, I’ve laughed so many times watching them. Yeah, keep going. Sorry I interrupted.
Marites 03:39 Um, yeah, and so we live in the Fraser Valley and uh, I grew up in Richmond. That’s where my real estate career kind of started. And yeah, now I sell real estate here in the Valley.
Andrew 03:50 So how did you end up in, like, what’s your, your, um, your family background? How did you land in Richmond? Let’s go back a little a little further.
Marites 03:59 Okay. So my parents moved here from the Philippines in the 1970s and they landed in a small logging camp in the queen Charlotte islands. So my dad had these sideburns. My mom looked like she was 12 years old, but early twenties. They were newlyweds, pregnant with my oldest sister at the time.
Andrew 04:22 So married in the Philippines and then yard themselves out too.
Marites 04:27 The queen Charlottes. Yeah, I know. Well, I think they just knew that Canada was a good place and there was lots of opportunity for kids, um, for their kids to have better education and, and so I think that’s why they made the move.
Andrew 04:41 So were they given a, I dunno, I mean this is maybe a total infant question, but were they given the option of where to go or are you just told, congratulations, you’re welcome to Canada, here’s where you must,
Marites 04:52 no, I think my mom’s brother had gone first and worked for this company, um, in the Charlottes. And so then he sponsored him to come. And so my dad didn’t know anything about queen Charlotte islands. Uh, like my mom thought snow grew on the ground because that’s all she’s seen. It does. Um, and so my dad was just telling me the other day how the first day he landed, they threw him in into the forest basically with a shovel and he had to dug, dig the snow outs for the loggers and that was his job. And so he had gone from like 90 degrees to like negative 10, and he said his lips just chap like instantly. And they were so badly blistered. And uh, he lasted two and a half days and they’re like, okay, you’re slowing down their production team, we gotta pull you outta here. So they threw him into the office, made him a part time a timekeeper, and then he actually continued on to do his, um, has accounting designation with them. And then like 40 plus years later, he retired with the same company.
Andrew 06:03 My goodness. What a story. So lands in Canada starts with one company and finishes a, that’s amazing. Yeah.
Marites 06:08 So he’s very, very loyal and, um, really hard worker. And then my mom ran the little commissary shop, the postal store, um, kinda typical Asian running the convenience store for the camp. Wow. Yeah. And so I feel, I feel very fortunate to be here in Canada. I think that my parents sacrificed a lot. He, my dad tells me the day that he remembers they left the Philippines and he was at the airport looking at my mom through the glass and there she was, his new bride, pregnant with my oldest sister. And he’s like, I’m, I’m leaving my home, I’m leaving my family. I’m leaving my country to set up for them to come and for us to have a better life together. And so I feel very, uh, grateful too to live here and to have the opportunities I have and I feel like my opportunities that I have were bought at a price by my parents. And so I don’t feel entitled to anything that I, I think a lot of my peers may be feel sorta entitled. The millennials get a bad rep for having, um, that stereotype of like, Oh, we’re owed. Yeah. Yeah. But I don’t, I don’t really struggle with that feeling. So do you,
Andrew 07:25 do you feel a, um, a duty because you know, because your parents, let’s use the terminology, you know, paid for your opportunity. Do you then you carry that through life and is that, that’s part of your, like you wake up every morning, it’s like, well I don’t, I, I don’t feel good. I don’t want to do this. Shut up Mary Tesco, get your ass out of bed. Go do that. Is that, is that part of your,
Marites 07:47 your your mantra? Yeah, I think, I think my parents were very heavily involved in my childhood and, and they drove us to do really well in school and any passions I had, they invested fully in. Um, when I was doing music and acting, my mom would drive me to all over the lower mainland and when the car all night long while I did my thing. And then, um, so I feel indebted to them for sure.
Andrew 08:12 For those of you listening that heard Mary test say music and acting, don’t worry, we will get to that. We’re not, we’re not, we’re not passing over that. I’ll get you on that in a minute. So, um, so you are, I, I’m, I’m uh, I’m an infant in this conversation. You’re then a second generation immigrant. Is that, what, is that how you’re classified cause your parents immigrated and you were born here? I don’t, I’m not sure. I might be first, first generation Canadian. Yeah, these are, these are things we’ll have to look up and, and educate ourselves on.
Marites 08:42 So
Andrew 08:43 um, you’re born then and the queen Charlottes or you’re born in Richmond?
Marites 08:47 I was born in Richmond and lived in the queen Charlotte’s for the first couple of years cause we didn’t have a hospital there. There was only there, I think there’s 400, 500 people there. So, um, and
Andrew 08:56 then after we live in the shots for a couple of years, my sisters grew up there, but then they had no high school system. So then we had to move. So I was raised as a city girl. Got it. City girl and you come across that way. I don’t, I don’t see you, you know, with an ax out in the Bush. That’s not,
Marites 09:15 yeah, I don’t hike camp. Oh, you don’t care. We should talk about this. Okay. You know what, my parents worked too hard to get me into a country where I don’t have to poop outside. I will not camp.
Andrew 09:26 See, you know, I think subconsciously my spirit knew that I loved you. Even though we haven’t talked about these things, I don’t understand it. I don’t know. Like I, and you know what, as a child I camped like I, and I really kept my dad and my parents, we went out in like shitty tents that had holes and we weren’t properly equipped and we actually cooked over the fire. And more often than not, camping, uh, was cold, wet, you know, uncomfortable, constipated, like whatever. Like life isn’t normal and I just don’t understand. Like we, people, we have like, you know, the world has developed like Weston’s and Fairmont’s and, and I don’t, I don’t understand why you would choose to, to not do that. And then the argument where people go, well it’s, it’s inexpensive, it’s cheap. That’s a load. Because I mean I expensive. I understand that what my parents did with me was cheap and inexpensive because they had no money. But then what I observed people doing today that is not inexpensive, all of the equipment and crap that they buy is, is very expensive. So anyways, we share that together. That’s, yeah, that’s phenomenal. So you never camped as like an adult human.
Marites 10:35 I think my sister took me once and I hated it. I’m like, never again.
Andrew 10:39 Yeah. Kindred spirits. Amazing. We’re going to get, you know that we’re going to get glared at by people
Marites 10:45 I know. I know my friends love camping and they all go together and I never get the invite and I’m like, I’m not offended. Knock your socks off. I’ll be in my warm bed.
Andrew 10:55 Th this causes conflict in my marriage because my wife loves that. The whatever that she would love to camp more and do that kind of rough ed or you know, whatever, whatever people call it. And we’ve done it and she’s done it even with friends. But it’s just, it’s hard to get me motivated to, uh, to want to do something like that. Just leave me at home. So, okay. So you’re not camping as you’re growing up. Yeah. You’re in, you’re in Richmond doing whatever. Just the regular Richmond kid thing. I would presume. And you alluded to something, which is, I never knew this about you. I only learned this about you, I think when we were talking about doing the show together. Um, you actually had like a childhood pop star career like that. That’s not misrepresenting. I’m not calling you Brittany Spears. I know you’re not Brittany Spears. Yeah. Talk about that a little bit.
Marites 11:48 So my entertainment career started when I was about eight years old. I was,
Marites 11:54 I grew up doing karaoke and kind of, that was part of our cultural upbringing. And so I was used to being in front of the, uh, entertaining people. And so my, my, uh, people would always tell my mom, you should put her into acting. She do really well on acting. And so we booked an appointment to meet with an acting coach. But before we did that, I was walking and Steve and some people approached my mom and they’re like, we need your daughter for a commercial right now. And my mom is paranoid Filipina lady, like they’re trying to kidnap my daughter. She’s like, no way. And they’re like, yeah, you got to get in our van. We’re going to go do. And she’s like, no, no, no. And they’re like, we’ll give her $2,000. And she’s like, okay, go
Andrew 12:33 know. Apparently, apparently Steve stuns known for childhood Filipino kidnapping
Marites 12:39 real thing in my, in my upbringing. That was a thing that we had to be afraid of. And so it was legit. It was a commercial for Canada’s 120 fifth birthday. And I had to just like run up to the camera and then, uh, yeah, I can’t remember exactly. It was 2000 hours, but I got paid a lot, really for being eight years old. It was a lot of money. And then I went to my acting agent and I said, I’ve already done a commercial. So she’s like, great. So, yeah, I did some acting and then, um, yeah, did like a dozen or so TV commercials, a couple TV shows, just, you know, two or three lines, not nothing major. And then I transitioned to doing music. So, um, I recorded some songs. We had them on the radio. They were on the beat 94.5.
Andrew 13:23 Okay. Okay. You’re not, you’re not blowing over this quickly. We need Lena. I could even see it in your body language. I did. I did some, I did some songs and then it’s nothing. No. I want the name of the song, how much it was played. Like come on, give us the details here.
Marites 13:42 Okay. So I recorded a song called back in the day.
Andrew 13:45 Yeah. You wrote it. No, I didn’t write it. I was a pop star. Like the typical pop star. I just went in there. This sounds amazing. Shout out to all the pop stars out there. We know you don’t write your own ship. Okay. Oh man.
Marites 14:00 Okay. So yeah, it was, it was on the radio and it was in heavy rotation, meaning every couple of hours it was on. So I’d be walking in
Andrew 14:07 hold on. What year is this? Is everyone’s trying to think back in their life right now? I need to remember who I was dating, what car I was driving, whether or not I’ve made out to you. No, I was probably married at the time. This was like early two thousands Oh perfect.
Marites 14:26 I think I started recording. I was about 1516 so quite a quite a while ago. Okay. So the name of the song was again back in the day. It was since we had a falling out with the producer and so they eventually rerecorded it and rereleased it. So it’s hard to actually find, cause I know as soon as they tell people they like try to Google it. I’m like, good luck. This was before like YouTube was really big and all that.
Andrew 14:47 You do know that we’re going to get it and we’re going to play it out at the end of this podcast. That’s amazing. Our producer Justin, he should, nobody can see him and he’s not on the mic, but he’s just absolutely loving. This is writing notes right now. Get song. That’s fun.
Marites 15:03 Oh yeah. Yeah. So then I performed in nightclubs. I, the weirdest thing that happened was I was on vacation in the Cayman islands sitting at a bar and the bartender recognized me and he was like, I know who you are. And he’s like, I listened to your song. I’m from Edmonton. I was like, Whoa. That was pretty bizarre for me.
Andrew 15:25 Wow. Okay. So, so that’s, and then so the music was more, what was your bigger, was it music or acting that you were more passionate about?
Marites 15:34 Probably music. Yeah. To this day I still like music. I still like to sing at church and stuff like that. Acting. It got to a point where I was just a cute kid and I could say a couple of fun lines, but then as I got older, they’re like, Hey, you have to invest in lessons and actually dive in. I was like, nah, I don’t really want to do that. Music’s more of a, my karaoke roots coming out. I feel like that’s something,
Andrew 15:59 like, I’ve heard you say, make that Filipino karaoke reference number of times. And I’d be lying to say that I’d never thought that before this point in my life. But it’s also something I didn’t think I was allowed to say.
Marites 16:10 Oh, it’s, it’s so stereotypical, but it’s, it was literally a part of my upbringing. Like how kids play softball. I karaoke like we karaoke when I was sad, when I was happy, when we had a birthday party, when there’s a funeral, like it doesn’t matter any opportunity to pull out the magic Mike, we did it.
Andrew 16:27 You know what, in this, in this environment, uh, in the world we’re in today, you know, sometimes stereotypes are, you know, not supposed to talk about them or you know, they’re, they’re offsite or whatever. But I, some of them are real and they’re not. That’s right. Totally honest. So we, one year, uh, Kristen and I, my wife Kristen, where we are, we’re in Maui. I can’t, we’ve been to Maui a few times. I can remember what year it was, but it was, you know, probably somewhere prior to 2010 maybe after, I have no idea. She’ll listen to this later and she’ll correct me and it’s fine. Um, but we go to this, uh, we go to the sushi restaurant and I think we had read that there was karaoke there if I remember correctly. But like we needed to eat and I wanted to check this place out. I’m a big Japanese food and nut and the place had great reviews so, so we walk in and it was clearly karaoke night and it was clearly dominated by Filipino people on the Island of Maui at a sushi restaurant. Why is everybody Filipino here? But like they were just there to crush it. Like, and watching them was unbelievable.
Marites 17:30 This is not like the way that like white drunk people do karaoke. It’s like we’re really given her, you sing with billings,
Andrew 17:38 right? You stay with feelings yet. Yeah, no, it’s a, there’s no comparison. This is what will watching them. It’s, it’s like you wonder like, okay, how much did you practice for this? Cause this is clearly not, like you said, the drunk white guy who just stumbled onto the stage and doesn’t know what he’s doing. These people have put effort into the performance. It’s quite a young age. They train us and it’s quite amazing. So yeah. Anyway, so that is a stereotype. I believe we should be allowed to talk about embrace cause it’s, it’s fantastic. So you, okay. Uh, we’re growing up in Richmond. You’re, you became a pop star. You got recognized at a bar. And where was that? Barbados. What’d you say? Cayman islands. But fast forward a bit. So you’re today you’re, you’re married and you have a couple of kids. Um, how does that, how does that story come to be?
Marites 18:23 So when I met my husband, this was 2011, we got married in 2011 and he got a job opportunity in Abbotsford. And at the time I lived in Richmond and when we were dating he said, Kay, Mary, Tess, I’m a pastor. So that means God could call me anywhere like Abbotsford. And I scoffed. I said, ha ha, I’m never moving to Abbotsford. Like ha ha ha ha. Kind of thing. And then of course he gets a job opportunity and we pray about it and we’re like, okay, I think, I think I’ve got to go to it’s bird. Wow. Yeah. From Richmond. Yeah. Which you might as well have been Toronto like I was for just seemed like,
Andrew 19:03 like so foreign. So that’s like 2007 eight something like that. 11. Okay. Okay. And we got married like that next month we moved. Okay. So you start life out here and you’ve got to, you’ve got a couple boys, Leo and Bennett and they’re not old like what? Two and three? They’re little and they are absolutely wild. So wild is an amazing,
Marites 19:27 I just fill them all the time and throw them on my Instagram stories because it’s pure entertainment. They save like the fun kids say the funniest things. It’s so true. Like I watched your this morning last night and he, he took a liking to this woman with blonde hair and he was just like so infatuated with her and he’s like, can you please fart on me? You know? And I’m like, and then she’s like, does your mom ask you to do that? And he’s like, no. I’m like, well thank God. He said no, because it’s like, I don’t know these people very well. And so he’s just like, and then today, I’m like, why did you ask that woman to do that? And he’s like, it’s my job to ask girls to fart on me, mom. Like, so matter of fact,
Andrew 20:05 that is unbelievable. You know what I, in fairness to you, it’s probably the German side coming out in them. It’s, you know, the Filipino things got, he’s got some stuff from that, but, but that does sound, I married into it. I’ve married into some German roots and so I can understand there’s some, there’s, there’s some different things. Yeah, we can, we can call it that. So you, um, so you’ve got a two. So what’s it, you got a two and a three year old. You have a career selling real estate. Yeah. You are a, you know, you’re a mom, you’re a wife, you’re, you’re a career woman. You’re, you’re a Filipino minority. I guess if you wanted to say that’s a, that’s a ball of wax. You got a lot going on.
Marites 20:52 For me it’s just normal. Uh, my mom, he was an entrepreneur so she did every business under the sun. She came to Canada with like $10 in her pocket and she, when she moved to the mainland, she became more interested in business. And so she got into um, like a car mechanic shop and I’m like, mom, you don’t even know how to change oil. She’s like, I don’t care. I want to start this business. And so she did concert promotion. She had a magazine, she ran a convenience store. She ran a grocery store, like she’s just done anything and everything and it never phased her that she was a minority. Cause this was in the eighties and nineties. So even more so on minority. And um, she was just fearless about it. And so she paved the way for me to realize like what, there’s nothing stopping me.
Marites 21:40 And so I can quote unquote do it all. But the difference is that my mom has amazing capacity and I feel like my capacity is a lot less. We joke that she’s got the energy of a 30 year old and I’ve got the energy of like a 60 something year old, so I have to get more help. And so that’s the difference is that my mom never really asked for help. She’s just kind of this like stubborn, vivacious woman that’s, I’m just going to do it all and I’m like, I need help. I can’t do this. You know?
Andrew 22:07 So in your mind, um, as you, you know, as you transitioned from a teenager into an adult, married, were you always going to have a career? Um, like not knowing, you might not have known you were going to go into real estate, but w was your framework and your brain like go get a job? Or was it, I mean some, someone, women will say, well, I knew I always wanted to be a mom and, and that’s, that takes the primary role and then the career as a secondary conversation. How did that play out in your, in your mind?
Marites 22:37 I think because I got started in real estate when I was 19, and because I had been acting since I was eight and then seriously pursued music throughout my teenage years that I had always been working. So for me work was very normal and that was part of life. Uh, I’ve always wanted to have kids. It was, uh, but my career was kind of always ingrained into me ever since I was a young, young child.
Andrew 23:04 So let’s dive into that a little bit then. Cause this, this is one of the things that fascinates me about you. Um, you, I mean, my impression is that you’re an incredibly present and available mom and yet you withstand the incredible pressures of the real estate industry. And, and then my impression of you as a realtor is that you’re an incredibly present, hardworking individual who devotes a lot of time to your clients. So what, like that is a, that is a thing that is completely foreign to me in that, you know, I’m a man, I don’t have a uterus and I’m, I’m automatically eliminated from that conversation. But speak to that a little bit. What does that, what does that like balancing those things and not just on a surface level, like let’s go, what do you really feel married tests about this conversation?
Marites 23:55 There is a tension that I think is the mom. I feel that my husband doesn’t feel like when he goes to work, he just goes to work. You know, when the kids are like, Oh dad, we’ll miss you when I go to work. I feel like crying. And I remember very early when my kids were, were even younger than they are now. And I could see them out the window and I could see their Mt. Mommy ma, like I could see their mouth calling for me and tears falling down their face and I, and I stopped the car and I’m looking at them and then I’m crying, looking at them crying and going, I need to go to work. I have a responsibility to get stuff done. And so having children has made me more efficient at my job. And when I’m with my clients, I’m very present.
Marites 24:36 I’m very dedicated to getting them results and not just networking or, and so I do miss some things like conferences and maybe I don’t run the smoothest business behind the scenes. I’m not looking to grow my business exponentially because I’m, I do have to focus on being a mom as well. And so my, my favorite thing is when telemarketers come and they call me and they’re like, Hey, don’t you want to grow your network and reach new clients? And I’m like, no. They’re like, what? You don’t want to make more money? I’m like, I don’t want to make more money. I don’t even like my life the way it is. So, so I do have that tension because all the training and leadership and coaching I’ve had in real estate is, you know, you’ve got to drive and make more sales and be bigger, better, faster, stronger. But I can’t, I physically can’t be number one and be producing a certain level. And so I have to accept that my career is maybe capped at a certain amount because I have to be with my kids. And, um, there are times when I have to choose and it’s, it’s a tough choice to make. Yeah.
Andrew 25:43 Do you think, so I, I’ve spend some time thinking about this recently in preparation for our conversation, but also, you know, this is just a dialogue that I’ve, I’ve had with other people ongoing, cause it’s, it’s interesting to me, but I’ll just make a statement and tell me if this, if you think this is fair or not. Um, today our audience is the world. Like, you know, if you go back, whatever, 75 a hundred years, whatever pre-internet pre-social media are, are the people that we would compare ourselves to. Um, we’re basically are the tribe around us. That’s all we had access to. So like immediate family, immediate friends. But it was actually a small group of people right? Today, you know, social media is, it can be great and the internet is great and you know, having access to all corners of the world, you know, there’s, there’s good things in that.
Andrew 26:35 And I, but I think one of the, the, the negative sides to that is that we are comparing ourselves to this tribe that I think we’re not naturally fit to do. Like, you know, so now instead of like, you know, looking at my friend who lives across the street and seeing how he’s a dad or what he does in his business and kind of, you know, like measuring myself in that way, I’m exposed to 7 billion people. And I think in every facet of life there is somebody who’s way better than me kicking my ass at that, you know? And then, yeah, I have the ability to like go like, man, I’m, you know, I’m shitty at this or I’m shitty at that because I, I am on a global scale. But you know, in my own local village, if I were to be able to confine my brain to that, I think I’d come to the conclusion that, you know, I am actually pretty good at this.
Andrew 27:24 Or pretty good at that in comparison to those around. And so where that conversation is relevant to you as a mom and you know, balancing work life is, there’s been this huge, you know, and for the positive there’s been this, this huge push of, you know, um, equal opportunity and equal outcome and you know, you know, um, things, things like that, you know, in that conversation of, you know, giving women opportunity. But then now you are also whether you want to be or not compared to all of these other like whatever, conquering moms through social media and, and the internet, which, which I can imagine is, is not easy. It must be,
Marites 28:01 it’s not and you have to keep your focus really small and you can’t get stuck down that rabbit hole of following other people and staring and playing that comparison game. Um, and, and I don’t just play it with other women. I play it with other men because I see men there, they’re crushing it. And I know he’s at the office till 10 o’clock and I’m home at four 30 cause I want to make dinner. And so he’s going to make that many more sales. But how many more sales is it? Do I really need? And at what expense is that going to cost my family? Because in an instant my career could be taken from me. Everything could be taken. And so I can’t focus on, on trying to be better than other people. I just have to do what’s, what’s best that I can do.
Marites 28:47 Like for example, when I was nursing my child, I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of, of pumping. She was like, I don’t know to see about this, but no women that are listening for children. I watched my wife, you know, raise our babies with very little of mine. I’m familiar with pumping. I mean, you have to carry this backpack around and find a bed. It was like, it was just a hassle. So I said, forget this. I’m just going to go home every three hours. And so I’d go to a meeting, show some property, drive back home, nurse my baby, go back out, do another meeting, drive back home, nurse my baby. And so this was a different type of busy-ness and multitasking that I had to manage that. Um, maybe some of my male counterparts don’t have to worry about. And so I also worry about food. I mean, I’m a foodie. I love food, but I also want to make sure that my kids are well fed. And if it’s up to my husband, it’ll be every night. So
Marites 29:42 I have to make sure that they are listening. Tyson, get your ass in here. That’s right. You know, if there’s no milk in the fridge, if there’s no vegetables in the drawer, I feel responsible for that. So I need to work out groceries, grocery planning. And
Andrew 29:58 so that, that you just raised a very interesting point. You touched on it earlier. I mean, I think it would be safe to say that even when you’re focused on one thing, maybe that’s, you know, whatever, working with a client, your mind is not at rest because your mind is in other places. And I had, I had coffee with somebody, um, the other day. Uh, it was fascinating conversation and actually she’s, she’s going to be on the show as well. And she made this statement about, she asked me this question. Sure. Her name is Shahana. She’s incredible, incredible individual. We’ll talk to her, uh, very soon on the show. But she said, Andrew, when’s the last time you left for work and had any kind of like mental anxiety about what was going on at the home during the day? And this sounds like a completely, I’m, I’m all, I’m, well I’m, I’m, I’m, I don’t want to say ashamed, but it’s embarrassing to admit this.
Andrew 30:48 Like I’ve been married for 16 years. I have three children, 12, 10, and eight. And when she asked me that question, um, I’ve given lip service before to saying like, you know, my wife is incredible and I do think my wife is incredible and I’m, I’m grateful for everything she does. But when she asked me this question, I kinda had this like, Holy shit moment. And I went, yeah, like I roll out of the home at, depending on the day, anything between 7:00 AM and 9:00 AM or whatever. And I never worry about anything. So whether we’re talking about like the basics of like, you know, groceries, whatever. But like you get into the kid, drop off the mental wellbeing of the children, anxiety they might have when they get home from school, there’s somebody there to catch them and then like, you know, deliver them back into the nest of the home. And we’ve had that, right? Like we have days where the kids, one kid comes home and tears or there was a fight or whatever. But like when I’m at work, I’m on and I don’t think about that until I walk through the door and then I’m hearing about it from Kristin. And so what that does for me in terms of my effectiveness at work, it allows me to just be completely, you know, honed in on whatever I’m doing. You don’t have that luxury.
Marites 31:55 I have not. It requires a lot more effort for me to focus and do what I’m doing in the moment. But then it’s a lot more pressure for me to get the job done fast.
Andrew 32:05 Hmm. Fascinating. So do you think related to this that the conversations, you know, we’re in a, I feel like there’s a lot of big issues being talked about in the world today. Right? You know, what, we don’t need to get into all of them and nor do I want to try to get into some of them cause I’m not equipped to talk about them. But, um, but on the topic of, you know, um, equal opportunity for women and, and not just equal opportunity for women, but like helping moms get into the workforce or companies, uh, maybe making adjustments to their policies, to getting moms into the workforce. Do you think the conversation that’s being had in the public than the media is the conversation that needs to be had? Do you think it’s an honest conversation? Is there any way that in your mind it needs to be tweaked or shifted to, to better address the issue?
Marites 33:00 I haven’t really heard of it being spoken of, so maybe that’s the issue is that it’s just, I, I haven’t heard that it being discussed publicly. Um, I just know like the personal pressures that I feel from it. So like, I know when I’m at home and I’m, I’m cooking dinner, I often have my laptop open beside the stove and I’m responding to emails while the water’s boiling. And then I’m cutting vegetables and then I check a text message. And so I’m kind of always working and sometimes that affects my kids because my son will say to me, mommy, look at me in the eyes.
Andrew 33:36 Wow. And he’s like three
Marites 33:39 that is unbelievable. And so as much as I say, you know, I try to be present with my kids when I, I really do. But, um, sometimes I can’t because I’m doing multiple things at once. And so that’s why I’ve tried to implement a day off, which for an entrepreneur is really difficult. But I try to really, really protect our day off together. And my husband takes the same day off and we try to do things just as a family. And then I’m just purely reactive to fires in the business on those days. But I’m not doing any prospecting, not responding to anything that’s not urgent that day, once a week.
Andrew 34:14 So I know the answer to this, but I wanna I wanna um, I want to raise it because I want to hear you speak to it, but how then I shouldn’t say I know the whole answer. I maybe know part of the answer. How have you gone about, um, relaying the importance of your family and balance to the people you work with so that they understand and respect, you know, the boundaries that you have.
Marites 34:39 It’s hard because clients kind of want you available 24, seven. There’s a bit of that expectation. And so I, I don’t outright tell the client, this is my day off. I just might, because I try to move people through the system pretty quickly. And in theory, they’re not working with me with weeks and weeks on end. So it’s not like they’re picking up that, Oh, she’s always taking this day off, but I’ll just say, Hey, I, um, I can’t make it for tonight at five. Can we do tomorrow at 9:00 AM? You know, so I’ll just try to push it to the next day. Yeah. And then sometimes if they text during bedtime, then I’ll, I might be a little bit slower to respond, but then sometimes I’ll say to my kid too, like, mommy has to just send this really quick message. Like, can you just wait one minute? You know? And so my kids have to learn to be patient and so I have a very supportive husband as well. And so I’ll just say don’t like, Oh it’s a phone call. I got to take the call. It’s another realtor. He’ll, he’ll take the kids and then I’ll hide in the closet and then make the phone call. You’ll actually, you will hide in the closet. There’s been times where we have guests over, they opened the closet door
Marites 35:38 to hang their coat and I’m standing on there on the floor signaling them like pull away and you see one of your boys. That’s what mommy does. She crazy, it’s fine. So, and then my kids, they don’t find me and I try to keep the phone call short and I don’t tell the client. On the other line. I’m hiding in a closet right now because
Marites 35:57 you know, I, I don’t want them to see that I’m trying to multitask. I kind of want them to envision that I’m, I’m focused, I’m doing but this, this is the reality of things. And sometimes I pull up to the house and I sit in the garage and I stay there on my laptop and people will come out and she’s like, she’s in my garage, like she’s still working and I’m like, Oh, I’m coming like three more minutes. I’m like, I need three more minutes. And I just bust through my work as fast as I can. And then I have a part time assistant as well. So on those days off, I’ll delegate as much as I can to her and just try to pass off. Like I’m, I’m pretty good at just being like, okay, this is not for me to take care of. She can handle this and just delegate, delegate. And if I have pain in the butt clients that I don’t want, I’m at the point in my career to you, I’ll just pass them off to somebody else.
Andrew 36:41 Yeah. Okay. I have a question I want to ask you. Is there a, is there an experience or multiple experiences, whatever that occurred in your earlier life, anytime, any point in childhood that you think you’ve taken with you and then you use as, you know, maybe sometimes people will, will use the terminology, you know, something happened to you at a certain age and you made a vow that, you know, that would never happen again or it was, it was a shaping experience for the positive or the negative. Like this doesn’t have to be, this isn’t, doesn’t have to be a clean answer, but is there something that sticks out in your mind or are a few things that stick out in your mind that you carry with you today and you know, impact the way you either mother, how your espouse, the kind of, you know, how you work, things like that. Speak to that a little bit.
Marites 37:30 Uh, it wasn’t really from my childhood. It was when I was first licensed as a realtor and my mom and I were buying and selling real estate and we had one property in particular that was the property from hell. Basically everything that could go wrong with this property and went wrong. The tenants ended up in jail. They didn’t want to pay their rent, so I had to post notice on their door, but they would tie their guard dog to the front door. So I couldn’t do it. Um, we had them parking in RV and dealing drugs there. So I had to deal with police. We had dumping issues and garbage. So I had to deal with the city bylaws and fines and complaints. Um, we had a major plumbing disaster, which was a big insurance issue and I’m just, everything just, it was such a pain in the butt trying to deal this property.
Marites 38:14 So we had to unload it and I couldn’t, for various reasons, I couldn’t refinance the property. And so it actually ended up going into foreclosure. Wow. As a realtor, that was really embarrassing for me. And as a young adult, I didn’t have the skills to cope with the stress of, of this type of investment and all the problems that came with it. So I was very stressed out. Um, this was kind of around the time when I was newly married and moving from Richmond to Abbotsford just shortly after that. And so for my career, it was a bad move because Richmond real estate was average. Price was 600. And um, Richmond was about 600. Abbotsford was about 300,000. And I grew up in Richmond. I had a database, I was selling real estate for about six years. I had a steady income to move to Abbotsford where I knew zero people and home prices were half.
Marites 39:07 I thought for sure I’m not going to make it. This is career suicide. I don’t know why God has called us here. This is not going to be a good idea. And so, so we got him into this foreclosure with this investment property. So this was intended to be a rental or rental. And then we were gonna develop the property with a neighboring site into a townhome site. And then you, but you at some point in time you needed to refinance it. Yes. And we just couldn’t, there was, yeah. Is complicated for why, but sure. And so it ended up foreclosure in a foreclosure. You get an accepted offer, which for this house was for 14. Yeah. I didn’t know what all the costs would be exactly with legal fees and I, I’d never been through foreclosure before, should, I just knew that it was going to be about a hundred thousand dollars short.
Marites 39:54 Wow. So moving, having this uncertain career, $100,000 debt pending a, I was terrified, stressed out. I didn’t sleep. Um, I cried every day. A new marriage, new marriage. That’s a great thing. My husband is very, just such a sweetheart because he carried hearing and prayed with me through that whole ordeal. And like, this is a baggage he signed up for. He knew about this property when we got married. Wow. And, and so we’re waiting for the court date for four 14. And I, I had a dream that I told the guy in this dream, someone made me an offer. I told him I need five Oh four and I don’t know where that number came from. It was just a dream. And so we’re waiting for this court date, uh, for them to approve the four 14 offer. And Mmm. The realtor call then, or no, I called him and I said, okay, what happened?
Marites 40:48 Like did it get approved? And I remember he said, boo. And I said, boom, who starts a sentence? Boom, it goes, boom. The property sold for five Oh five, 100. And I felt all the strength in my body disappear and I had to fall on my knees. It wasn’t like this act of like, Oh, I’m going to fall on my knees to pray. Like I literally could not stand, just melted. And that’s when I felt God’s grace and hope again, enter in and I, I, it was a six minute drive to my husband’s office and I drove over there crying and laughing the whole drive. And I’m like, I look like a crazy person on the road. I’m like, I hope I don’t get into an accident. That’d be a terrible way to end this story. Um, and so I got to his office and I told him the whole thing again, just bawling my eyes out and just realizing I was this close to living a certain type of life where I would have had to have paid this debt.
Marites 41:50 And that meant maybe we would’ve stayed in our basement suite a lot longer. Maybe we wouldn’t have kids for awhile. Um, and I, and, but I remember getting to a point of surrender and going, okay, if this is a burden that I have to carry, then God, I entrust you to, to help me do this and to provide for me. And maybe I have an unhealthy relationship with money and maybe this is your way of teaching me something through that. Maybe there’s lessons of stewardship in this. And so when, when I didn’t have to carry that $100,000 debt, I felt very, very relieved and very grateful. And it was a huge growth in my faith.
Andrew 42:29 So have you encountered, I mean that’s, so, yeah, for you to have experienced that and then be in real estate is, is an irony in and of itself, but have you encountered, uh, have you sold for closures? Have you encountered people who are being foreclosed on or going through the process?
Marites 42:46 I’ve had some people who, who’ve been close to it and so I can relate to them and have empathy and, and just when people I know they, like, they’d just barely have enough down payment to buy something. And the joy that they feel it, I feel that same joy with them because I know what it’s like to just to just barely have enough. Um, and the, the iron, I mean, like the kind of cherry on top for that story is that despite me knowing nobody in Abbotsford and despite home prices being half of what they were in Richmond, my income should have been half, but I ended up doubling my income the next year.
Andrew 43:23 Well, story. So how does that, so th th uh, not to say that you didn’t answer the question, but this, this experience that you’ve, um, that you had, which was clearly difficult and trying at times, um, today when you, when you do what you do and, and you know, whether you’re being a mom or being a wife or being a friend or, or, or being a realtor, um, do you carry that with you? Like is that always top of mind or is this something that’s now faded back into the subconscious and you, you draw upon it when you need it?
Marites 44:00 It has faded back in, in a lot of ways, but the relationship that I have with money is very different now. I think back then I put a lot of faith into my money thinking that that’s going to provide me stability and security and hope and, and just realizing like, no, that can just disappear in a instant with one judge making a call. And, um, and so I think that carries in with me and also a humility of being like, I’m not the top dog. Like I, you know, like I know that everything’s kind of meaningless at the end of the day. And so that’s why I put my heart and soul into selling real estate. It’s not just a transactional business for me and you can’t really learn humility by reading about it. I think you have to be humbled and go through a period where you, you end up on your knees cause you have no other choice.
Andrew 44:59 Yup. There’s a, there’s a saying that I, I can’t take credit for because I surely didn’t make it up, but I, I can’t even remember where I heard it. But it goes something like this, you know, when, when sometimes someone will ask me like, well why do you like that individual so much? And I’ll say I like that person because they have the scars and by scars, you know, I just mean, um, those life, those crucible moments in life that, you know, you come to a realization that like, I am not equipped to deal with this. And, you know, it forces you to read, to look beyond yourself for answers and you know, for you, you know, very, it’s obvious, you know, you’re a person of faith and that was very important to you in that moment. Um, sometimes it’s leaning on other people or whatever, but regardless of what it is, it’s, I can’t figure this out on my own and I need an, I need something else or someone else outside of me to help me deal with this. And that is, um, yeah, you can’t take you, you either have experienced something like that or you haven’t and it, and it’s, it’s hard to, it’s hard to describe racism. Is this a, is this something you’ve, you’ve encountered and dealt with?
Marites 46:07 Because I grew up in Richmond, which was such a multicultural
Andrew 46:12 hub. Yeah.
Marites 46:13 I didn’t really feel different than anybody cause everybody was different from everybody. But I, I remember one day coming home and, uh, on our white garage, somebody spray painted in black ink, chink. And I just thought, man, these racists are dumb because I’m not even Chinese, can’t even insult me properly. Um, and so I was like, that means that somebody who doesn’t like my ethnicity knows where I live. And went through the effort of getting spray paint and tarnished our house just to send some sort of message. Like I didn’t really know what to make of it. And I remember my mom, how she handled it. She was more just irritated that she had to now figure out how to remove paint and get like the hurt. It just got added to her to do list. She didn’t really seem to take offense to it. And so then I didn’t take offense to it.
Andrew 47:11 And to your knowledge, is that the, is that the only encounter you’ve had with it in your life or do you,
Marites 47:17 I would say that’s the most outright racist experience I’ve, I’ve had, I’ve had lots of ignorant conversations with people who say, you know, ignorant things. What does that look like? And I’m, I’m cause
Marites 47:30 like, I,
Andrew 47:32 I don’t know what that’s like, you know, like if you, if you sit in a, you know, if I’m, if you’re, if you’re not a visible minority, if you’re, whatever you are, if you’re, you’re a white Canadian by European descent, you can’t possibly know what it’s like to be in a conversation or a situation in life where, um, you know, maybe somebody hasn’t spray painted something on your door, but there’s like this circumstance or this like offside.
Marites 47:56 Yeah.
Andrew 47:56 Say what does that, how have you encountered that and what does that like?
Marites 48:00 I, I mean I’ve had people say like, Oh, you’re a singer. Like did you sing in your mother tongue? And I was like, Mmm, you mean English? Cause I don’t S I don’t have them. Like, you know, so they’re not mean spirited. They’re not trying to put me down. They’d just, it’s just an ignorant question. And so I don’t, I don’t take offense to that. I mean, actually moving from Richmond to Abbotsford is where I actually felt like I was different from everybody cause we wanted to, I can’t imagine why. Let Mary test tell you about Abbotsford. I remember our first Sunday at our new church and there’s like 800 people and I looked around the room, I was like, there’s only three other people with black hair in this room. Like this is very different from my last church in Richmond, which when we had cultural day we had 40 different flags representing 40 different countries.
Andrew 48:50 By the way, for anybody listening to this show who is not from Abbotsford, who had beliefs about
Marites 48:56 what Abbotsford is, you’ve just confirmed. I was heard a bunch of hillbilly farmers who were all blonde hair, blue eyed and they’re all, it’s actually not
Andrew 49:07 the case, but yeah, that is, that is, that’s very real.
Marites 49:10 Yeah. And so people weren’t rude or rate like everyone was so welcoming. I’ve actually never felt more loved and accepted by a community, so I don’t have anything negative to say about it. It was just, I was more aware of for the first time I’m like, Oh,
Marites 49:23 one of these things is not like the other and it’s me. Wow.
Andrew 49:27 But in terms of your day to day today, now you would say 99% of the time this isn’t, this isn’t an issue in your life and you’re not
Marites 49:35 generally speaking in countering anything like that. No. I mean, when I, when I first moved here to Abbotsford, I w I was pretty self
Marites 49:41 conscious about it and I was worried how it was going to affect my business because I was scared that, Oh, these people have like deep roots with each other. They’ve grown up together and here I am, I’m a foreigner in every sense of that word. Why would they hire me? And I talked to Ray and Ghana and he, and he talked to me about how if you just bring enough value than ethnicity and age have nothing to do with it. And he spoke very frankly, he’s like, very test, just bring value at this SD has nothing to do with it. Is that okay? So I focused on just being very skilled. I did all the training classes, I became a better realtor and I never let my race, um, enter that self-doubt again. So
Andrew 50:27 one of the, uh, one of the reasons, I mean, there’s many reasons why you’re wonderful, but when I first got to know you more, the thing that I thought, well, what you know, why is Mary Tess amazing? I, the word that came to my mind is she’s authentic and the way which I think people can hear that and you, you know, in, in this interview, it’s, it’s quite clearly obvious. You know, you’re, you believe certain things, you’re passionate about them and you’re not, you know, you don’t shy away from them. But where I, where I encountered your authenticity is, you know, you and I didn’t have much of this relationship. We weren’t, you know, we weren’t face to face. We in the same industry, work together, whatever. But then I encountered you through Instagram. Yeah. And an Instagram is an interesting arena to encounter someone on because I would actually suggest for the most part, it’s one of the most inauthentic spaces on the planet earth today.
Andrew 51:19 And even social media in general. And I know like people will listen to this, you know, who this love social media, they’ll call bullshit. And they’ll say, Oh, Andrew doesn’t know what he’s talking about. But I would say that that the social media platforms can be a very inauthentic space where people are showing or presenting the side of them that they’re comfortable with, that they want the world to see. And, and not that that’s even bad, you know, like we do that on a daily basis. Like, you know, when I have people into my home, do I leave shit on all over the floor? No. I, you know, I present of course it’s not me that cleans the home, Chris, Kristen that prepares it, but it’s us. But, um, you know, so I don’t think these, this is a bad thing to do, to present well, but when we present well in a, in a, in a, in a context where, you know, there’s humans in front of humans and it’s real life, I think there’s an understanding that, that, you know, there, there’s another side to people, but then when you encounter people online and you don’t know them from a hole in the ground and all you ever see is that best PR presentation or representation, then that’s where, you know, we can find ourselves, you know, comparing ourselves to people in things that aren’t necessarily real or whole.
Andrew 52:27 And um, and so then in that space, I find it especially refreshing when I see somebody who’s totally authentic and you’re getting every side of them. And, and T I’ll, I’ll take it one step further. Like, I have been slow into the social media game, you know, and I have received a lot of pressure to get there quicker for various reasons. Uh, but my hesitation in that process has been I value authenticity and I don’t see a lot of authenticity there. And I just wasn’t quite sure how to engage in a way where I don’t want to like blow my brains out because I felt like the closer I got to some of that stuff, the more I hated it. Right. So then along comes you into my life and I start to see you and watch you and I see you on Instagram and I just go, Holy shit. Like here’s this, you know, everything we’ve talked about today, you know, working mom, Filipino background moves from Richmond and whatever, blah blah blah. Two kids making it all happen. And you are on Instagram. Exactly. The same person who’s sitting across me today on my couch. I think that’s amazing. And I think you’re amazing because of that. And I just want you to, I dunno, I want you to, I want you to hear that and absorb that and to sit in that because I think that’s phenomenal.
Marites 53:40 I, yeah, I don’t know how other people do it. I feel like that would require so much effort to always have to put the best foot forward all the time. Like Instagram is like quick stories are just like, you are on the fly, I’m recording stuff and hitting send. Like I don’t have time to edit and put on makeup or you know, like it’s just, that would be tiring if I, if you’re not an authentic person, then you have to always be changing hats from your workplace to the Nam on social media. And then I’m at home, then I’m at church. Like if you’re just the same person, it requires way less effort. So I think it’s just a matter of efficiency that I want that
Andrew 54:15 so, and that is, that’s, that’s, I mean, that’s the conversation in your brain and that’s why you’re able to do it. I think, um, a lot of the conversations in people’s minds as they are, you know, grappling with how to engage with social media and video and, and, you know, engage the world in that way, is that, Mmm. They’re not comfortable with things like the sound of their voice or the way they look or, you know, like it’s, it’s this huge obstacle to, um, to present themselves in that way. And so then yet you get, you get a couple of different types of people. You get the people like, like me, like where I’ve been, I’ve been hesitant to engage for a variety of reasons. And then you get a lot of people where they engage, but then their engagement is, it’s only you can just tell.
Andrew 55:05 So clearly it’s only the side that they want to present. It’s the highly educated or highly, um, edited, edited video, edited photo, uh, or it’s only one particular type of post all the time. Right. And, and I mean, I’m not, and this isn’t my attempt to, to slag any individual. It’s just an attempt to say good on you for, um, for showing all sides, um, in what I say is it really real way. And then I would then say that is, if it’s not the most significant reason, it’s gotta be one of the most significant reasons as to why people gravitate to you and why you’re so successful and you know, why you do what you do. Because people love that. Um,
Marites 55:47 I think that’s what life is really about is connecting with each other and helping each other and not one upping each other. And so, I mean from a business perspective, my, um, I didn’t even know what you call it, like not the wall but the, your posts. My posts are pretty uh, professional. Like I had a branding lady come and help me figure out, you know, that my colors and all that kind of stuff. So my poster and I’ve got the edited listing videos where I walked through the property. So those are pretty clean and crisp. But um, if I’m feeling something a certain day, I might post something personal, but then my stories are really, those are really
Andrew 56:24 off the hook. Well, and I would say, you know, not to, not to knock your professionally taken photos of homes or whatever, but like, just as a human, forget the felt, the fact that we know each other in the business when I go, when I engage with you on social media, I couldn’t give a shit about the host. You just listed your, what you’re doing with your kids and your husband. And out in your day to day life or whatever where you’re, that’s the entire spectrum of Mary tests. Yes. That’s the only thing I’m there for and that’s why I’m engaged. There’s a million people in the world that if we just want to talk about our industry or, but in any industry where all they’re doing is presenting, this is what I sell, this is what I do, here’s the best of this, or whatever gag. Like I just want to puke when that’s all I see. But then because of the way you’re engaging by showing, you know, the entire spectrum of who you are, that’s why I think people are there. That’s why I’m there. And I, and I, and I think I can speak for the world when we say this is why we love Mary tests.
Marites 57:22 Well, I, I kinda think of it as like a TV show. People don’t watch TV to watch the commercials. Right. They watched the show to watch the show and then there’s a couple of commercials. Unless we’re talking about the super bowl, but I don’t want to get us off track. Yeah. That’s why I’d watch the Superbowl. Um, and so my life is like the shell and then real estate is kind of like the commercials. Like I kinda throw it in there cause it’s a part of my life. It’s not like I’m a secret realtor, you know, it’s there, but it’s, it’s not who I am. It’s not, my identity is not based on my career.
Andrew 57:55 That might be the best thing you’ve said all day. My life is the show and real estate is like the commercials. I like that. That’s good. Everybody listening needs to write that down. Okay, let’s play a fun game. Okay. What is your, you and I both love, we both love calories. We love, I’ll take calories in any form. Uh, but what is your like when you are alone in a room and the door is closed and there’s nothing to be a barest of a, nobody can see what you’re shoving into your face. Like what is your thing? Pork rinds.
Marites 58:29 This is amazing. I don’t know if you’ve ever had work rides. It’s, it’s, Oh man. Filipino world. He’s so offended. You take pork skin, which is fat. I’m going to get letters from PETA. I know they’re going to hate this, but then you fry it in more fat until it gets crispy and then you dip it in vinegar. This is the Filipino one. This is the, you gotta dip it in the vinegar because the vinegar I think like eats the fats. So then it’s like you’re eating celery.
Andrew 58:58 That’s how that makes sense. You just made that good for vegetarians. It’s like you’re eating celery, so, okay, give us you gotta you gotta put this on the spectrum for us because there’s, there’s clearly 99% of the world has never consumed this. Although I’m telling you, I’m going to now after we’ve discussed this, so you, where is this on the, on the taste spectrum, like is this like a salt and vinegar chip? Is this more like bacon? Does this taste like
Marites 59:24 the nation of bacon and a potato chip? Like it doesn’t get better than this. Like this is why I have gallstones. Cake.
Andrew 59:34 That was amazing. I have gallstones, but I’m willing to sacrifice for them. So are we like when we consume these things, is this like a thing? We’re, we’re doing this in front of the TV while we’re binge-watching or how is this, how is this food consumed?
Marites 59:47 You can like crumple it up. Like put it on salads, put on like noodles. Like
Andrew 59:52 so is this a regular, are they always in the clean household? Cause it’s like peanut butter.
Marites 59:57 Yeah, this is in the drawer.
Andrew 59:59 Wow. And they’re just stored in a bag or whatever. I’m not going to finish the whole bag in one sitting. I’m not a pig. Like Whoa. We went, no pun intended. So we wouldn’t judge you if you were it be fine. So you know for those, for those listening, like you know, if they’re someone’s curious, I’m like well where would I be? Where would I buy something like this Asian market. What about like Superstore? Superstore has everything. Do you want to sell your story or any or any Asian market and have a more variety of different flavors? I can’t believe we’re talking about pork rinds this long. Well, you brought it up and contrary to what you might think everyone is going to be like, I’ve never heard someone say, Hey, we need to invest in pork rinds because yeah, it’s about to boom, the stock is about to boom.
Andrew 00:42 Okay. Okay. That was question number. That was very, that was very good answer. Pork, reds, my, yeah, not that you’re asking me this, but I, my, my answer would definitely not be that interesting. I would have been very blend like some kind of candy or potato chip or, or something like that. So Andy’s good too. We had a candy theme wedding and a big candy bar. And that’s a big thing these days is, I, I’ve, I’ve seen many things like this. Recently we had donuts and candy and like those pop rocks, they’re not pop rocks. The rock candy. Yeah. Icicles around like a big buffet with various different Heights of all sorts of candy. Like the kids loved it. Huh? So, okay. If you weren’t. So if Mary test claim was not a married realtor was two kids living in Abbotsford, British Columbia, uh, doing what she does and, and the world was your oyster and you’re like, you can answer this question without causing any offense to your spouse or children because you know, it’s, it’s purely for science. Where, where would your, where would your life be? What would you be doing and what would you be amazing at?
Marites 01:55 I don’t know if I would’ve continued my music career. People kind of asked me that and because I got into real estate and it took off, this was when the like the peak of the market in 2005. So I kind of just went that direction. So I don’t know if I would have continued music, maybe I would have been a bit more artsy and gone into more songwriting. But law has always intrigued me. I love the idea of being able to go against another lawyer and you use your brain to come up with a better strategy to help your client. And in particular, um, immigration laws also fascinating to me as well to help people get into the country that maybe don’t have any sort of skills in navigating the immigration process though I don’t know that those are two totally different careers. I don’t know.
Andrew 02:40 And you can’t tell me that if you were in that career, you’d be living in Abbotsford, that that is just not a thing. I dunno, you’re only here because you met the short Mennonite dude. There’s zero chances you’d ever be here. So where, where, where would you be? You be? My sister lives in the Cayman islands and so we visit her all the time and I’m like, that’s not a bad place today, you know? I would say that’s pretty good. I liked that. So when you go, when you go to the Caitlin, are you, does she have a house there? You’re hanging out a little guest room for us. So I’ve never been to the Cayman that is like, that’s in the Caribbean. No kind of IQ budge. So do you fly through Florida? Stop in Florida and then head over and straight from Toronto to the Caymans?
Andrew 03:17 To the Caymans? Yeah. Wow. Do you go there every year? We try to go every year. Like this time, like around Christmas time or January. Are you going this year? Are you going to be, Oh, you know what? Actually, now that you say that, I think you were making, I was going to ask you here, you’re going to be making posts online, but yeah. You posted last year when you were there. I remember seeing beach shots or hotshots shots. The Caribbean. How do you not like the water soap? Yeah, it’s unbelievable. I’ve actually never outside, other than like the, um, the, you know, that whatever the canned Coon part, I don’t even know if you can call that Caribbean. I’ve never been to like the real Caribbean. Like,
Marites 03:55 it’s so nice and the people are just laid back and yeah, it’s just a really like awesome vacation.
Andrew 04:03 I’ll have to go soon. Perhaps. The thing that I’m most excited about, our I loved the most about the podcast is, um, you know, here we’ve spent, I don’t even know how much time talking, probably longer than I think, but I want to give you a platform for a few minutes. Um, you’re here because I think you’re amazing. And the purpose of this podcast is to find people who are just everyday amazing, doing incredible things, but don’t necessarily have a microphone or a platform like, you know, modern day celebrities too or whatever. And I want to, I want to be able to tell people’s stories, um, as we’ve done here today, but now I want to give you a platform for a few minutes to share with us somebody that you know, who needs to be talked about and who the world needs to know about.
Marites 04:49 Uh, my husband and I have this friend named John Lowe and he’s a veteran. He served in Afghanistan for six months and he came back and kind of became the poster child for wounded warriors, which is an organization that helps veterans who come back and, um, deal specifically with, with mental injuries. And so that’s like PTSD and, and stuff like that. And he, he’s just really stepped up in and supported his brothers. Um, you went to war with them and he’s really involved in that and just fundraising and just, we just think he’s an a and then him and his wife are just awesome people all together and he’s got this kind of quirky passion for picking, you know, when you like go around to garage sales and old barns and find vintage stuff. And so they’ve started up a little business. They just opened, shopped on Gladwin road here on Abbotsford. Yeah, that’s the name of it. Do you know the name of the shop? He just has a temporary name right now. I think it’s like lost using a lost vintage museum or something like that. It’s where the granny’s market used to be just launched and uh, yeah. And so I think they’re amazing good people and
Andrew 05:59 yeah. So he, he’s, he was a Canadian veteran. When did he serve?
Marites 06:04 Um, I don’t know the years, but it was, it was a before. Um, I would, I’d guess around maybe 2009. Okay. So it was like this gentleman said like, how old would he be my age? He’s like, been in Afghanistan or Iraq or, yeah. And he shared his stories before and he’s, um, yeah, he’s very open about it. And
Andrew 06:25 was he in combat?
Marites 06:27 Mmm, I don’t, I don’t think so. Yeah. But he still, he’s, he’s experienced. Um, I mean that’s kind of his story to tell, but the fact that he is willing to lay down his life for other people, I mean, how is that not amazing? And did you, did you only encounter him by chance or how did he was a youth pastor at the same time that my husband was a youth pastor, so we knew him through that connection. Yeah. And then we, uh, yeah, we’re just really good friends and many guys,
Andrew 06:56 well, he’s right in our backyard and everybody who’s listening probably didn’t know who this man what John low, right? Yeah. Yeah. And now we know John and Natasha Willow. Yeah. So if anyone’s going by the old granny market and Gladwin, you now know who John and Natasha are and you can, you can say hi and tell John why we think he’s amazing. Hey, before we wrap up, I just want to give, I want to be able to tell people how to find you because I know everyone’s going to have heard you today and say, wow, Mary, Tessa. So incredible. I need to, I need to talk to her and get to know her. How do we, uh, how do we find you online or what’s the best way to reach out?
Marites 07:30 Uh, I guess my Instagram is pretty active right now, so that’s at Mary test clean and you can see that in the show notes or just look me up on a very test realty.com. All my contact info is there. Um, even if you’re like a new realtor or if you want to talk about faith or anything, like I’m very open to meeting people for coffee and yeah. So cool.
Andrew 07:50 Thanks for coming to my house and spending time. This was amazing. And uh, I guess we’ll see around. Bye for now. Thanks.
Andrew 07:59 Well, that was exactly what I thought our time together would be. Mary. Test clean. What an incredible human being. She was. Thoughtful, intelligent, well-spoken, authentic. She is everything that I hoped we would have with her today. So thank you very tests for engaging with us and are being so open and honest in our time together. Don’t forget to pick out the show notes for more information to subscribe so that you can listen to and continue to learn from every day. Amazing.1h 8m | Dec 16, 2019