Approaching Your Life with Confidence

As Bethany and I conduct our podcast interviews, I have a sheet of paper beside me where I jot down key notes or things I want to remember from that episode. When we chatted with Alyssa Godesky, I think I jotted down the word confidence at least half a dozen times.

She kept referring to blind confidence but as she spoke, I heard a woman who is not afraid to take big chances because she believes in herself. If you missed it, listen now!


The reality is, when we examine our lives, we could often use a bit more of that confidence.

We have dreams, we talk about plans, we want to make a change in our lives but there’s a little voice that whispers, ‘but what if I fail?’

So we stick with life the way we’ve always lived it. Our dreams stay hidden in little notebooks or conversations with trusted friends that never come to life.

What if we started approaching more of life with blind confidence? What if we decided to take more leaps with less doubt? How could this approach to life change the way we live?

I remember when I was training for Ironman Arizona. I was a relatively new triathlete – as in I’d done exactly one triathlon – who really had no business jumping into Ironman training as such a newbie. Fortunately, I trained with some fantastic coaches from Team in Training who gave us a solid plan and plenty of opportunities to ask questions. For the first part of my training season, I approached every week with fear.

I was terrified that I would not be able to finish the race.

That I would embarrass myself because I went for this lofty goal and couldn’t complete it.

I even came up with a backup plan to fake an injury if I thought I couldn’t complete the race – which in hindsight wasn’t the best plan because one of our coaches was also a fantastic physical therapist.

Then about half-way through the season, something shifted.

I decided that I wasn’t going to approach my training with fear anymore.

I was going to be confident in every session. I was going be confident in myself to complete the goal. I was going to be the best version of myself every day.

My training didn’t change. Same coach, same workouts but I completely changed.

Rather than dreading workouts, I looked forward to them.

Rather than whining when something was hard, I started to think, ‘you can’t make this hard enough for me’.

It was a huge shift for me. A million things could have still gone wrong on race day and a few did – let’s just say I’m very familiar with the porta potty stops on the run course – but I had one of the favorite days of my life.

In the last few years, I’ve had some big career transitions. The confidence that I learned to tap into when I trained for that Ironman has served me well in those.

We all need to find more places to develop confidence. To take a leap to live the life we really want. Maybe for some people, the first step will be to take on a big challenge like their first marathon or triathlon. For others, it might be to finally quit that job that you hate or to make that move so you can live the life you dream of living.

Whatever it is, let’s find a way to tap into that. We may fail along the way but life is way more fun and full of adventure when we live with confidence.

Blind Confidence and Other Lessons from Professional Triathlete Alyssa Godesky

Alyssa Godesky is a professional triathlete, coach, and co-host of the Ironwomen Podcast. We had a chance to chat with her and learn all about her story of getting involved in triathlon, how she developed a confidence that has led her to try some unexpected challenges and how she hopes to shape the sport.

Alyssa went to the United States Naval Academy for 2 years before transferring to the University of Virginia. Already an ultra-runner, she got involved in triathlon to make friends. She shares the story of her first triathlon and eventual transition from age-grouper to pro. She shares some of her funny stories of what it was like to take the leap from a great corporate job to full-time athlete trying to make ends meet.

Alyssa also talks about how important the relationship with a coach is and how vital it is to helping an athlete develop his/her confidence.

Tune in to hear more about Alyssa and her journey!


Make a Comeback – The Journey to the New You

We all love a good comeback story and as we are counting down to the Winter Olympics, NBC just launched this inspiring commercial of skier Lindsey Vonn. If you aren’t familiar with the popular skier, she is one of the most decorated female skiers in the US but has suffered significant injuries while racing and training to her knee and most recently a severe arm fracture.

But a champion who doesn’t quit, Lindsey will be representing the US at the 2018 Olympics in the coming weeks. If you haven’t seen the commercial, grab a tissue and give it a watch her comeback story:

This week we also highlighted the story of Paul Linck on our podcast. Paul is an Atlanta-based athlete who almost lost his life to cancer in 2016. He fought back to race the Ironman World Championship in Kona this past year.

All of us have some sort of come back story. We all start with hopes and dreams and then life derails us.

For some of us, it’s an accident or illness like Lindsey and Paul.

For others, it’s a job loss, a child with a disability, a relationship that went sideways, a bout of depression that never seems to go away, aging parents or –insert your story–.

Sometimes we feel like we’ll never be the person we were before our life was interrupted.

And we won’t be.

But we have the opportunity to be someone else.

Someone wiser and stronger.

Someone who understands loss and has more empathy for others.

Someone who knows that she is strong and can make it through anything.

One thing we have learned over the years is sometimes making a comeback in your life can be as simple as giving yourself the challenge to try something new. That’s why we strongly encourage people to sign up for their first triathlon. Over the years we’ve heard hundreds of stories of men and women who have seen their lives change through the process of training.

We put together a free resource to help you get started on your journey. Just download it here




Tere Derbez-Zacher: The Power of Your Mindset & How to Master It

Tere Derbez-Zacher started swimming when she was 24-years old and began to dream of becoming a World Champion. Her coach told her she was too old and didn’t have the abilities. Rather than giving up, she promptly left that coach and found an inexperienced coach who believed in her and was eager to learn. She now has 10 World Championship medals – 1 Gold, 7 Silver and 2 Bronze. It was through this experience that Tere learned the power of your mindset to achieve big goals.

Listen to the podcast

Wanting to understand more about the power of the mind, Tere moved from Mexico to Arizona to pursue not one but two Master’s degrees (one in counseling and one in sports psychology). It was there she met her husband and eventually had their daughter.

A friend invited her to go out for a run one weekend and she was hooked. Tere set a new goal of representing Mexico in the Rio Olympics. At the age of 44, she went to the games as the first alternate on the Olympic team. She’s not done yet. She hopes to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Team in Tokyo where she would compete at the age of 48.

Tere believes that you are the only one who determines your limits and she spends her time teaching that to both aspiring and high-level athletes. We have a great conversation about how you develop this mindset, how you protect your life from people who will not help you achieve your goals, how to find the right coach and why some coaches will not empower your dreams as well as much more

You don’t want to miss this conversation where we hear her story and learn insights on how to master your mindset to accomplish big goals.

Tere teaches private clinics and works with individual athletes. You can find her at Insightful Runner

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Why I’m Streaking — Don’t Worry, I’m Not Naked

Every year USA Triathlon offers a little challenge during the winter months to help athletes stay motivated. Each month has a focus. December is swim month, January is bike month and February is run month.


My club, Atlanta Triathlon Club, participates in this challenge each year. Having a competitive nature, I’ve really enjoyed the challenge each year as we join together as a team to try to swim, bike or run more miles than other clubs.


This year, the club decided to put more emphasis on training all three sports over the winter after seeing some members struggle with injury or burn out after focusing on a single sport too much. A few years when I swam 25 miles in a month, my chiropractor gave me a stern warning to never do that again with the shoulder issues that I have.


Because December was so busy and I got sick, I wasn’t super into the challenge this year until my friend Tim planted the idea of streaking during bike month. Don’t worry mom, this kind of streaking is done fully (mostly) clothed.

Tim and I riding last year at Energy Lab, where we both coach and do a lot of our training

After my bike accident in June, my bike and I had a break-up. Literally, my bike broke and I put it up not to be touched again for months. I hauled it out of storage and took it to my trusted mechanic at all3sports. A few days later it came back repaired and clean.


I believe I was a few glasses of wine in on December 30th when I sent a text message to Tim saying I was in for the January bike streak. If you’ve ever met Tim, he’s the most dedicated, consistent athlete I know so I knew that when I made a commitment to streak with him, there was no backing out.


January 1 found me tired from a New Year’s Eve party and getting the very short ride in before heading to Shinabrunch, an all-day brunch my friends Jeff and Andre Shinabarger host on New Year’s Day. I really wanted to text Tim to say I’d start on the 2nd, but I knew if I did that, I would never start. So 40-minutes later, I had put in the first trainer ride on my bike in almost 6-months and was ready for brunch.

Bell is really over this whole bike streaking thing. She would prefer a run streak..

As I write this, I just completed day 11. Some days have been good, and some have not been so good. If you’ve ever gotten back on the saddle day after day after a long absence, you know why. And many rides are short – just 30-minutes and very easy!


A few people have asked, why bother? Does a short, easy ride really do anything for you?


Physically, not really. I get a little muscle memory but when is say some days are really easy — they are like easy, easy.


For me, this challenge is more of a mental challenge.


I was having a great season when I had my bike accident and afterwards, I dreaded the bike. I couldn’t keep up when I went to ride. I was seeing all of the hard work I had put in that year vanish and I was nervous about another accident.


The less I trained, the less I wanted to train.


And that was okay, there are seasons to rest and recover.


But one thing I know about myself is that discipline in one area of my life leads to discipline in other areas of my life.


And the easiest place to get the ball rolling is in my fitness routine.


When I choose to do something, even when I don’t FEEL like it., even when I don’t see the immediate benefit, I get empowered.


I train myself to do the things I don’t want to do which in turn helps me be more successful in my overall goals.


Goal setting is fun. It’s the hard work that it takes in between setting the goal and completing it that requires you to push through all of those times you don’t feel like doing something.


And oddly, when I jump on the trainer and put in a ride, even a very short ride, I feel empowered to finish the tasks that I don’t feel like doing that day related to my other goals.


I have big goals for 2018. Like some scary big ones. I’ve realized that goals need habits cultivated in my life if I want to see them through.


So that’s why I’ve committed to riding my bike every day in January. I don’t have a secret Ironman on the calendar. I’m not trying to rack up miles for a challenge. I’m only partially motivated by getting back into shape. Those would all be good reasons.


But for me, I need to once-again train my mind to push through the moments that I don’t feel like doing something to accomplish a goal. To know that I am able to do the things I say I will do.


As Bethany and I have been talking more about our motto at Grit and Dirt, we’ve talked about how much we like the idea of a small change disrupting your life.


The word disrupt often has a negative connotation but in many cases, we need a disruption to take us out of the routine that is comfortable but unfulfilling or the excuses we make that keep us from our goals.


Choosing to bring something in that disrupts us from the norm can be a powerful catalyst for change.


That’s why we really believe that if you’ve been on the fence about signing up for that first triathlon, or 5k, or Spartan Race…or whatever it may be, that you should do it!


Are you ready to get started but need some support? We’ve started a Grit and Dirt online community via facebook. It’s a place you can share your story and get a whole lot of dirt on training and racing….or just ask all the questions you want to ask before you sign up.


Click here to join.


Podcast – Jeff and Andre Shinabarger on How to Live, Love, and Work

As soon as you start a conversation with Jeff and Andre Shinabarger, you know that they are truly opposites in every way. Their playful banter and opposite perspective when sharing a story give you insight into how two strong-willed leaders who want to change the world have learned how to stay in love and raise a healthy family while they pursue their passions.

Jeff and Andre always knew they had big dreams. She serves as a Physician’s Assistant at Grady Healthcare in Atlanta and Jeff is the Founder and Executive Director of a nonprofit in Atlanta called Plywood People, where he leads a community of startups who are doing good. Listen to their story.

It doesn’t take long to hear their passion for impacting the world. They have dreams and have worked hard to build a platform for those dreams. But, early in their lives as new parents, they started to discover that they had to change the way they were living if they wanted to stay in love and raise a healthy family. This led them to a series of decisions which included a 3-month sabbatical in Nicaragua where they began the process of changing the way they operated as a couple and a family.

This interview is chalked full of dirt for anyone wrestling with some of those same questions as they live out their passion. You’ll learn how they’ve created rhythms in life that work for them and the radical steps they’ve taken to stay healthy in the midst of a busy life.

Find Jeff and Andre at

@loveorwork on Instagram

@plywoodpeople on Instagram

Listen now

Podcast – Josh and Erin Guerrieri on Running a Family Like a Small Business

Business owners understand that the time, intentional effort, and planning they put into their business will directly result in the long-term success and growth of their business. As they began to build and grow a successful fitness business (FitWit), Josh and Erin Guerrieri found this to be true. They had to spend time working on the business instead of just working in the business. It’s allowed them to ride the wave of fitness trends and build a sustainable business that continues to grow. Read more “Podcast – Josh and Erin Guerrieri on Running a Family Like a Small Business”

Podcast: Brett Trapp on The Courage to Live Authentically

What if you were hiding a secret that was eating away at your life but you feared to share because it might somehow make you unlovable? What if you were struggling to reconcile the way you feel with the things you’d been taught your entire life? What if you felt alone and isolated? Most of us can actually say that we’ve struggled with those feelings at some time in our life. Today’s podcast guest Brett Trapp gives us some honest insight into his grit journey that led him to the courage to live authentically and some great dirt for people on how to live their most authentic self. Listen now.

For nine years, Brett Trapp kept a secret journal of thoughts on being gay and Christian, knowing one day he’d shout the story he feared most. On a Tuesday morning in late 2016, he logged on Facebook and began shouting… He started by publishing a Gossip Guide to his sexuality—a cheeky way to let friends know his secret. He then began sharing the vivid details of his story through a 44-episode memoir, published as one episode per day. Each episode combined visually-rich prose and stunning photography. He called the story Blue Babies Pink. Within days, word began to spread. Though there was no advertising or major publicity, people began to share the story through social media. Thousands of readers tuned in, eagerly waiting for the daily installment to be released. Several readers called it “the Netflix of blogs.” To date, Blue Babies Pink has drawn nearly 100,000 readers from around the world and spawned a 2,200 mile, five

Within days, word began to spread. Though there was no advertising or major publicity, people began to share the story through social media. Thousands of readers tuned in, eagerly waiting for the daily installment to be released. Several readers called it “the Netflix of blogs.” To date, Blue Babies Pink has drawn nearly 100,000 readers from around the world and spawned a 2,200 mile, five city “Bookless Tour.” In 2017, the series released as a podcast and hit number one on the iTunes Religion/Spirituality chart and the top 40 of all podcasts worldwide. Blue Babies Pink podcast episodes have been downloaded/streamed over 650,000 times.

Listen to Brett’s story

Read the full Blue Babies Pink Story here or listen to his podcast episodes.

Reach out to him at


Ready to Make Your Passion Your Career? Ask Yourself these Tough Questions!

For the past two weeks, our podcast has featured entrepreneurs who have worked hard to build a business centered around their passion. If you missed those great interviews check out Tes’ story of creating Run Social Atlanta and Becky’s story of starting Infinity Yoga. These women are inspiring and they may have sparked a desire to live out your own dream. You find yourself wanting to:

Create your own path…..

Reach for the stars…..

Follow your passion….

There are hundreds of other motivational quotes imposed on beautiful pictures that will inspire you to follow your passion, but before you do, it’s time for a reality check.  Take a solid assessment of your life to see if this is the right time. Here are a few key categories to think through as you make your decision:


How much debt do you have?

Debt won’t disqualify you from pursuing your passion but it can make it very difficult. If you find yourself with more than $10,000 in debt whether it’s school loans, credit cards, or car payments (we don’t include a mortgage because you’ll need to cover living expenses), then you probably want to aggressively pay down that debt before pursuing a passion. You could be looking at 2-5 very lean years once you start pursuing this dream full-time and the last thing you want to do is have the added stress of increasing debts.

You may look at your loans and feel helpless to pay them off. I once worked with some recent college graduates who wanted to move to Italy and work with a nonprofit. They had close to $30,000 in school loans so they delayed their dream and aggressively paid down their debt. Both worked well-paying jobs that they didn’t particularly enjoy. They packed their lunches and ate dinners at home. They didn’t take vacations and planned date nights at free or very inexpensive events. They didn’t purchase new clothing and took housesitting, pet-sitting, and babysitting jobs on the side. After just two years, they had completely paid off their school loans. They were able to move and pursue their dreams without the burden of their debt. It can be done. You just need an aggressive plan!

If you find yourself in a tough financial situation, we recommend Dave Ramsey as a great source of financial advice.

How much money do you need to make every month to cover your expenses?

Take a realistic look at what you need to make each month to cover your living expenses. The goal is for your passion to become a viable source of income but it may take a few years to get there. Can you downsize in any way? Sell a car that you have payments on to get a used car with no payments? Can you cut your cable? Downsize your living situation? Start packing your lunch or break your Starbucks habit? When you decide what sacrifices you’re willing to make, create a reasonable budget that you can live with while pursuing this passion.

How much can you save?

Ideally, you’ll have the equivalent of 4-6 months of income set aside in an emergency savings account. This money is only used for emergencies. You may have some lean months where you’re just making it and suddenly your car breaks down. You want to have a reserve that you can tap into without going into debt.


What kind of insurance do you need?

With the change in the marketplace in the past decade, insurance and benefits are easier than ever to get for individuals but if you’re going from a corporate environment that provides good insurance and benefits, you may encounter some sticker shock when you start to do your research.



Do the people closest to you believe in you and believe that this is the right step for you? Don’t be afraid of the people in your life who ask you the hard questions. They are the people who are going to help you refine your plan and if you

Don’t be afraid of the people in your life who ask you the hard questions. They are the people who are going to help you refine your plan and if you consistently hear the people in your life question whether or not this is a good idea, you might want to reconsider or at least consider that now is not the time.

Is your spouse on board?

There is no better way to ruin a relationship than to move forward without the buy-in of your spouse or significant other. The change you are planning to make will not only impact you but the other person as well. You need to have some very open conversations about his/her risk tolerance and what this will mean for your lifestyle.


Have you learned the skills that will be needed to manage yourself? Going from a job that may be highly

Going from a job that may be highly structured with someone giving you a timeline to having your own deliverables can be challenging if you’ve never worked in an environment that is completely dependent upon you.

Working on your own business or project can also be very lonely. How will you manage your work week or time? Can you use a coworking space a few days a week? Can you join a mastermind or networking group? What organizations can you be involved with that will help you hone your skills and get you out of the house? Do you have a good office set up in your home?

How will you ‘turn off the job’? One of the most surprising things people find when they go from working for someone else to building their own business is how difficult it is to just relax. There is always something else that could be done but everyone needs time to rest and play. FIguring out how to ‘turn off’ the work is an important part of self-management.

Is now the time?

Is this dream so compelling that it’s going to be worth the sacrifices, (especially the short-term ones) that you have to make?

or another question to ask yourself might be:

Is there something significant in your life that you’ll miss out on if you start this?

For example, we’ve met individuals who have delayed opportunities because of the life stage their kids were in. One friend chose to delay his ideas for a year because his daughter was a senior in high school and an active soccer player. To start his own project would mean missing out on many of the really important markers in her life. Sometimes it takes as much courage not to do the thing you want as it does to take the leap.

Is there something significant in your life that you’ll miss out on if you start this project now? For example, we’ve met individuals who have delayed opportunities because of the life stage their kids were in. One friend chose to delay his ideas a year because his daughter was a senior in high school and an active soccer player. To start his own project would mean missing out on many of the really important markers in her life. Sometimes it takes as much courage not to do the thing you want as it does to take the leap.

If you’re ready to take the next steps, check out Plywood People, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that leads a community of start-ups who are doing good. They have a six-week learning community called, Path by Plywood, designed to take your ideas into purpose-driven work.

Podcast – Becky Nickerson on Going from a Side Hustle to Successful Business

Have you ever felt unfulfilled in your chosen path but wondered if chasing your dream could lead to a sustainable lifestyle? Have you questioned whether or not it’s possible to make a living while doing the thing you love?  Today we get to chat with Becky Nickerson, who owns the popular Atlanta-based Infinity Yoga Studios, along with her husband Matt Shechtman.

Read more “Podcast – Becky Nickerson on Going from a Side Hustle to Successful Business”