Athlete

Traci Callahan | she elevates her beach volleyball game and life with a second chance

Traci Callahan volleyball beach athlete second chances

What does it take to elevate your beach volleyball game?

Traci Callahan is my guest today and she is making a comeback to the highest levels of beach volleyball. My interview with Traci took some wild turns as she discussed her career as a professional beach volleyball player. She spoke about her struggles with bulimia in college and the need to switch schools even after a successful freshman year. She then started her professional beach volleyball career and had some success but not what she was hoping for. It’s rare to have a professional athlete speak so openly about her struggles with weight loss, sexual assault and self doubt. After moving around a bit and even switching careers her husband, Matt, encouraged her to give beach volleyball another try and give it everything she’s got.

She has learned to elevate her game and have gratitude for the people in her life. She is continuing to share her story and work ethic with local high school players as well as writing a book on how to get recruited for younger players.

Connect with Traci Callahan on social media:

Instagram

LinkedIn

Book

Twitter

YouTube

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to The Travel Wins Podcast on Apple PodcastsSoundCloudYouTubeiHeart RadioStitcherGoogle PodcastsSpreakerPodnewsCastboxOvercastBreakerPocket CastsRadio Public, and Spotify.

ABOUT TRACI

Beach Bits:

  • Callahan was featured in the January 16, 2006 edition of Sports Illustrated’s Faces in the Crowd after earning NCAA Division II Freshman of the Year honors.
  • Callahan won a made-for-CBS “Best of the Beach” event for collegians with Jane Chafeh in May, 2011.

2019: Callahan played in all eight AVP tournaments with three different partners. She began the year alongside Maria Clara Salgado, with a best of seventh. She played in one qualifier with Tory Paranagua, then joined forces with Carly Wopat for the final four events of the year. The pair played in the main draw each time, and advanced from the qualifier three times.

2016: Callahan and Aurora Davis played in one AVP tournament, advancing from the qualifier and finishing in 13th place.

2015: Callahan played in just one AVP event, placing ninth with Tealle Hunkus.

2014: Callahan formed a partnership with Emily Stockman, and the pair competed in five AVP tournaments. In their first outing, they advanced from the qualifier to finish in fifth place.

2013: Callahan played three AVP events with Ali McColloch, advancing from the qualifier once. She then played once with Kendra VanZwieten, and the pair advanced from the qualifier and finished 13th.

2012: Callahan played two AVP tournaments with Erin Gray, with a best of ninth. She also played in four NORCECA events, winning in Saint Lucia with Kathryn Piening. In that tournament the duo went 5-0 in matches and lost just one set despite having never played, or practiced, together previously, 

2011: Callahan played in one AVP event, losing in the qualifier with partner Tanya White.

College: Callahan began her collegiate career at Cal State San Bernardino, where she was selected as the AVCA Division II National Freshman of the Year. She then transferred to Concordia University Irvine, where she played three seasons of indoor volleyball. She tallied 1,106 kills and left the school ranked fourth all-time, and had 1,130 digs, which was fifth all time. Callahan was a three-time NAIA All-American, and the Eagles compiled a 92-17 record during her three seasons, including a national championship runner-up season in 2008. Callahan was coached by Paula Weishoff, a three-time Olympian and an assistant coach for the USA Women’s National Team which won a silver medal in the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Personal: Formerly Traci Weamer, she married Matthew Callahan. She owns and operates a yoga club specifically created for women 12 to 18 years old.

Provided by http://www.bvbinfo.com/player.asp?ID=11223

Vanessa Demopoulos | MMA fighter and exotic dancer makes for a dangerous combination

Vanessa Demopolous WEBSITE mma fighter jiu jitsu exotic dancer

Is it okay to fight like a girl?

That would be a compliment if being compared to this week’s guest, Vanessa Demopoulos. Vanessa is a professional mixed martial arts fighter, jiu jitsu fighter, author and exotic dancer. She has her first pro title fight on July 17 and she is excited about the chance to show her skills at LFA 85 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. One of the subjects we discussed is the differences in her training after switching to the Blackhouse Gym in California from Ohio.

“One of the things with traveling, so often and so much, is that you meet really cool people all around the country and all around the world and I love being able to stay in touch with them.”  ~Vanessa Demopoulos on how she fills her travel downtime

Vanessa was the first professional fighter guest on the show and she was great with sharing her stories and travel experiences. Make sure to check out her upcoming fights and you can watch several of her previous fights on YouTube. It was great meeting and hearing someone being so positive during the lockdown and looking forward to her future.

Connect with Vanessa Demopoulos on social media:

Instagram

Twitter

Facebook

Website

SUBSCRIBE

You can subscribe to The Travel Wins Podcast on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, Podnews, Castbox, Overcast, Breaker, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and Spotify.

Intro song “Road Trip” by Robin Tricker

SHERDOG FIGHTER INFO

FIGHT HISTORY – PRO

RESULTFIGHTEREVENTMETHOD/REFEREERTIME
WINLovethpatra YoungLFA 81 – Emmers vs. Barbosa
Jan / 31 / 2020
Decision (Unanimous)
Mike Beltran
35:00
WINNadine MandiauLFA 69 – Perez vs. Moreno
Jun / 07 / 2019
Submission (Armbar)
Jason Herzog
12:37
WINValerie SotoLFA 62 – Kenney vs. Cachero
Mar / 22 / 2019
Decision (Majority)
Aladin Martinez
35:00
LOSSItzel EsquivelLFA 52 – Rodriguez vs. Gutierrez
Oct / 19 / 2018
Decision (Unanimous)
Jon Schorle
35:00
WINEmme WeberIron Tiger Fight Series / Alliance MMA – IT Fight Series 79
Dec / 15 / 2017
Submission (Armbar)
N/A
14:36

FIGHT HISTORY – AMATEUR

RESULTFIGHTEREVENTMETHOD/REFEREERTIME
WINAndrea AmaroTuff-N-Uff – Mayhem in Mesquite 11
May / 20 / 2017
Submission (Armbar)
Joe Sullivan
10:59
LOSSKatlyn ChookagianNAAFS – Night of Champions 2013
Dec / 07 / 2013
TKO (Punches)
N/A
32:11
WINMadeline Simmons KidderAAMMA 32 – Absolute Action MMA 32
Apr / 26 / 2013
Submission (Armbar)
N/A
12:14
WINGina BegleyAAMMA 29 – Absolute Action MMA 29
Oct / 27 / 2012
Decision (Split)
N/A
33:00
ABOUT

Founder & CEO – The Stripper Bible

  • 12yr Exotic Entertainment
  • Internationally recognized
  • Pole Competitor
  • Exotic Entertainment Instructor
  • Twerk Instructor
  • Pole Instructor
  • Professional MMA fighter
  • World Class Jiujitsu competitor
  • Netflix Cover Girl and participant for Original Series “The Ultimate BeastMaster”

#mma #mmawomen #mmagirls #lfa #jiujitsu #brazilianjiujitsu #exoticdancer #demopoulos #stripper #author #businesstravel #jobsthatinvolvetravel #careersthatinvolvetravel #businesstravelcareer #businesstraveljobs #thetravelwins

Amanda Johansen | playing and coaching in the growing sport of women’s lacrosse

Amanda Johansen lacrosse usc hofstra coach pwll team usa website

Amanda Johansen is my guest today. Amanda is an All Star professional lacrosse player and college coach based in the Baltimore area after playing for the inaugural USC women’s lacrosse team. She will always have the distinction of being the first women to score a goal for the University of Southern California lacrosse program.

 “Traveling is tough as a big group. You feel like you’re responsible for a lot of people. You want everything to go well. I had this big binder that I had to take on every trip. You have to be super organized and ready”.  ~ Amanda Johansen on team travel as a coach

We had a great chat about the future of women’s lacrosse and the growth the sport is seeing on the West Coast. She shared how the Covid19 lockdown affected her professional team season, the Hofstra team and its seniors. Make sure to follow Amanda on her social media pages. If you get a chance watch a women’s lacrosse game and become a fan.

Connect with Amanda Johansen:

Instagram

Twitter

LinkedIn

Subscribe

You can subscribe to The Travel Wins Podcast on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, Castbox, Overcast, Breaker, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and Spotify.

Intro song “Road Trip” by Robin Tricker

ABOUT

Amanda Johansen just completed her second season with the Hofstra Women’s Lacrosse program in 2020. Johansen serves as the program’s defensive coordinator and oversees the draw team as well. 

In Johansen’s first season with the Pride she helped the team to a 12-win campaign and a spot in the Colonial Athletic Association Championship Game. The 12 wins were the most since 2010 and the appearance in the championship game was the first for Hofstra since 2013. 

The 2020 season saw Hofstra compile a 4-3 record in the shortened season. 

Johansen spent the 2018 season as an assistant coach at the University of Southern California. While with the Women of Troy she helped guide USC to a 10-win campaign and assisted in the development of five student-athletes earning all-conference honors from the Pac-12 and three earning IWLCA All-Region accolades. Johansen served as the offensive coordinator for USC and help lead a unit that averaged 12 goals per game. 

Prior to working at USC, Johansen spent a season as a graduate assistant coach at Mount St. Mary’s. She served as the program’s defensive coordinator at Mount St. Mary’s and also oversaw much of the planning as it related to team travel. 

Johansen was a decorated student-athlete at USC as she compiled 194 points on 134 goals and 60 assists during her 77-game career with the Women of Troy. She also had 258 draw controls. The 2013 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Rookie of the Year and a Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association Third Team All-American as a senior, she was a team captain in 2015 and 2016 and was an integral part of USC’s first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance and run to the NCAA Quarterfinals as a senior in 2016. 

Johansen has also played professionally as she played two seasons with the Baltimore Ride of the United Women’s Lacrosse League and most recently is a member of the Baltimore Brave of the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League. This past summer she captured the WPLL title with the Brave and was also named to the All-Star team. In addition, Johansen is a member of the U.S. National Team Training Team. 

Johansen, who graduated from USC in 2016, earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration and also received a minor in sports media studies. She earned her master’s degree in sports management from Mount St. Mary’s in 2017. She is working towards her second master’s degree, in sports science, from Hofstra. 

Ryan Motes | team roper cowboy with a legacy traveling the states

Ryan Motes cowboy nfr team roping podcast

Ryan Motes is my guest today. Ryan is a professional cowboy competing in team roping on the PRCA rodeo tour and is a 5 time National Final Rodeo qualifier. I was excited to speak with Ryan on the show as I’ve known Ryan for almost a decade now and I appreciate speaking with him every chance I get. Like many of the cowboys, Ryan grew up in a family that competed and lives the cowboy lifestyle. He competes in a sport, Team Roping, where a thousandth of a second can make a difference in how much he is paid. He won the 2019 The American team roping championship in Arlington, Texas, competing in the Dallas Cowboys stadium.

Ryan shares some of his stories of traveling around the country to compete in rodeos and how he shares the road with his wife, Courtney.  We also chat about how the lockdown has affected the rodeo circuit and some of the potentialities of the delayed schedule.

Look up “The Travel Wins” podcast on most podcast platforms including Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, Castbox, Overcast, Breaker, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and Spotify to listen to the episode.

Intro song “Road Trip” by Robin Tricker

Ryan Motes on social media:

Ryan’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

Ryan listens to music when traveling. 

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

ABOUT

2019 world standings place: 8th
2019 Wrangler NFR standings place: 15th
2019 Wrangler NFR earnings: $48,923
2019 earnings: $158,089
Education: Weatherford (Texas) College

PROFESSIONAL
Career Highlights
• 2019: (Partner Coleman Proctor) Placed in two rounds to rank 15th in the average with 27.2 seconds on three head at the Wrangler NFR. Won The American (Arlington, Texas), the Lea County PRCA Rodeo (Lovington, N.M.) and the Tri-State Rodeo Cinch Shoot-Out (Fort Madison, Iowa). Co-champion at the Lawton (Okla.) Rangers Rodeo
• 2018: Won the Bozeman (Mont.) Stampede, with Charly Crawford. Won the Springhill (La.) PRCA Rodeo, the Four States Fair & Rodeo (Texarkana, Ark.) and the Sheriff’s PRCA Rodeo (San Bernardino, Calif.), with Coleman Proctor. Co-champion at the Walker County Fair & Rodeo (Huntsville, Texas), with Tyler Wade. Finished 18th in the world standings with $57,260
• 2017: Won the Kitsap Stampede (Bremerton, Wash.), with Tom Richards. Finished 26th in the world standings with $43,151
• 2016: Did not compete
• 2015: (Partner Aaron Tsinigine) Won Rounds 1, 3 and 10 and split the win in Round 6 at the Wrangler NFR. Won the Greeley (Colo.) Stampede, the Cody (Wyo.) Stampede, Wrangler MDT Gold Rodeo, the Caribou County Pair & Rodeo (Grace, Idaho), the Lynden (Wash.) PRCA Rodeo. Won the St. George (Utah) Lions Dixie Roundup, with Tom Richards. Co-Champion at the Douglas County Fair and Rodeo (Castle Rock, Colo.), with Lane Ivy. Finished second in the world standings with $226,541
  • 2014: (Partner Aaron Tsinigine) Won the Big Sky ProRodeo Roundup (Great Falls, Mont.);the Lawton (Okla.) Rangers Rodeo and Montana’s Biggest Weekend (Dillon); co-champion at the Hugo (Okla.) PRCA Rodeo, with Tyler Waters. Finished 18th in the world standings with $53,828
    • 2013: Won Round 5 of the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo with a time of 5.8 seconds and tied for the win in Round 2, with Charly Crawford; finished fifth in the average standings and ninth in the world with total earnings of $120,735. Won the Guymon (Okla.) Pioneer Days Rodeo, with Charly Crawford. Won the Ram Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo (Waco), with Justin Van Davis. Co-champion at the Texas Stampede Rodeo (Allen, Texas), with Clayton Hass
  • 2012: (Partner Brock Hanson) Shared first place in Rounds 1 and 5 of the Wrangler NFR and placed in two other rounds en route to finishing fourth in the average standings and earning $70,084. Finished seventh in the world standings with $150,657. Won the Nacogdoches (Texas) ProRodeo & Steer Show with a time of 3.3 seconds, which tied the world record set by Chad Masters and Jade Corkill at the 2009 Wrangler NFR. Won the American Royal Rodeo (Kansas City, Mo.)(Oct. 2011), with Colby Lovell; the Amarillo (Texas) Tri-State Fair & Rodeo; the Drummond (Mont.) PRCA Rodeo and the Douglas County Fair & Rodeo (Castle Rock, Colo.). Co-champion at the Red Desert Roundup (Rock Springs, Wyo.) and the XIT Rodeo & Reunion (Dalhart, Texas)
    • 2011: Won the Days of ’47 Rodeo (Salt Lake City, Utah), with Brock Hanson; the Wild, Wild West ProRodeo (Silver City, N.M.), with Colby Lovell; the Santa Rosa Roundup (Vernon, Texas), with Ryan Mayfield and the Crockett (Texas) Lions  Club PRCA Rodeo, with Colby Lovell. Co-champion at the Horse Heaven Round-up (Kennewick, Wash.), with Brock Hanson and the Gladewater (Texas) Round-up Rodeo, with Lance Brooks. Finished 24th in the world standings with $39,749
  • 2010: (Partner Brandon Beers) Won the Cheney (Wash.) Rodeo; finished 23rd in the world standings with $46,614
  • 2009: Won the Sikeston (Mo.) Jaycee Bootheel Rodeo, with Brandon Beers; finished 26th in the world standings with $35,988
    • 2008: Won the Laramie (Wyo.) Jubilee Days, with Jimmy Edens; the Poway (Calif.) Coors Rodeo, with Keven Daniel, and the Andy Devine Days PRCA Rodeo (Kingman, Ariz.), with Keven Daniel. Finished 28th in the world standings with $34,298
  • 2007: (Partner Jimmy Edens) Shared first place in Round 2 of the Wrangler NFR with Travis Tryan/Michael Jones and was 12th in the final world standings. Won the Reno (Nev.) Rodeo; the Angelina County Benefit Rodeo (Lufkin, Texas) and the Parker County Frontier Days (Weatherford, Texas). Won the Dodge Texas Circuit Finals Rodeo (Waco), with Coby Jones
  • 2006: (Partner Jimmy Edens) Co-champion at the Guadalupe County PRCA Rodeo (Seguin, Texas). Won the Comal County Fair & Rodeo (New Braunfels, Texas); the Spokane (Wash.) County Interstate Fair & Rodeo; the Lea County Fair & Rodeo (Lovington, N.M.); Kansas’ Biggest Rodeo (Phillipsburg) and Rodeo Killeen (Texas)
    • 2003: (Partner David Motes) Finished 24th in the world standings with $25,999
    • 2002: (Partner David Motes) Won the Santa Maria (Calif.) Elks Rodeo and the Horse Heaven Round-Up (Kennewick, Wash.); finished 34th in the world standings with $20,087
    • 2001: (Partner David Motes) Won the Dinosaur Roundup Rodeo (Vernal, Utah); the Oakdale (Calif.) Saddle Club Rodeo and the Chief Joseph Days Rodeo (Joseph, Ore.); finished 21st in the world standings with $34,629
    PERSONAL
    Wife, Courtney (Ford); His father, David, won the team roping world championship in 1977 with his brother, (Ryan’s uncle) Dennis, and qualified for the NFR 22 times … Ryan competed with his dad in 2001-2003 and they won five titles … In the offseason, helps run the family ranch and mare breeding program. He also gives roping lessons and trains horses … Paired with Caleb Mitchell to win the 2009 Bob Feist Invitational Team Roping Classic and shared $149,410

Corinne Quiggle | recent Pepperdine graduate making beach volleyball a career

Corinne Quiggle avp beach volleyball pepperdine college

Corinne Quiggle is my guest today. A professional beach volleyball player, Corinne has already traveled extensively around the states and internationally. We talk about the current status of the upcoming volleyball season and how the Covid19 lockdown could potentially affect the season.

She talks about her love of travel and how playing professional volleyball is a blessing to see so many countries and their cultures.

“I ended up going camel riding in China one time because we finished the tournament earlier than expected”

Available on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, Castbox, Overcast, Breaker, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and Spotify.

Intro song “Road Trip” by Robin Tricker

Corinne Quiggle on social media:

Corinne’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

Corinne listens to music when traveling. 

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

ABOUT

I grew up in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. It was in my side yard where my love for volleyball started. After watching the Olympics as a kid, I picked up volleyball and haven’t let go since.

Other than volleyball, my beach related activities don’t stop there. I come from a family of above average surfers, lifeguards and musicians (artists too but I didn’t get those genes). All which I love to do!

When I am not training, you can find me either in the water surfing, in the mountains snowboarding, traveling anywhere, playing the ukulele or trying to learn a new language! 

Volleyball 

I graduated early from high school and moved to California to pursue my beach volleyball career. At 17 years old, I started my collegiate career at Pepperdine. While at Pepperdine, I earned 2018 WCC Player of the Year, 2017 National Championship All-Tournament Team, 2017 National Champion Runner up, and a two-time All-American and All-Academic honors.

My collegiate career set me up for a strong first professional year on the AVP, NORCECA and FIVB tours. In that year, I earned back to back gold medals for the USA on the NORCECA tour, a silver medal on the FIVB World Tour and several quarter final appearances on the AVP. 

Domestic Finishes

2019

5th Place AVP Hawaii

5th Place AVP Seattle

7th Chicago Championships

9th Manhattan Beach Open Gold Series

2018

5th Place AVP Manhattan Beach Open Gold

9th Place P1440 San Jose

13th Place AVP San Francisco Open

2017

7th Place AVP Hermosa Beach Open

13th Place AVP Manhattan Beach Open Gold Series

2015

13th Place AVP Manhattan Beach Open Gold Series

International Finishes

2019

1st Place NORCECA Jamaica

1st Place NORCECA Dominican Republic

2nd Place FIVB 2* Cambodia

2nd Place NORCECA Mexico

5th Place FIVB 3* Malaysia

2018

9th Place FIVB 2* China 

2017

2nd Place in China Collegiate Championships

3rd Place NORCECA Dominican Republic

2016

5th Place NORCECA Cuba

College Career 

2018 WCC Player of the year

2017 & 2018 All-American 

2017 NCAA All-Tournament Team

2017 & 2018 First Team All-Academic, 2016 Honorable Mention

2017 Bronze USAV Collegiate Beach Pairs Championship

April 2016, March 2017& April 2017 WCC Pair of the Month

2017 & 2018 All-WCC First Team

Captain of Pepperdine Beach Volleyball

Other Achievements

Along with Graduating Pepperdine with a Degree in Business Administration, I was recognized on the Dean’s List three times for semesters with a 3.98, 4.0 and 4.0 my junior and senior year!

Lex Gillette | business travel takes on a whole new meaning when you can’t see

Lex Gillette olympian paraolympics world record long jump

Lex Gillette is my guest today. Elexis “Lex” Gillette is a blind Paralympic athlete originally from Raleigh, North Carolina and now training in Chula Vista, California. Lex competes in T11 (track) and F11 (field) events for the United States.

I was excited to speak with Lex about his travels around the world for track and field as well as his travels for his speaking engagements. Obviously he has a different perspective from most business travelers. We discussed how he gets around the airports and what he likes and dislikes about the service at airports.

We also discussed the possibilities the COVID 19 lockdown could have on him achieving his Paralympic gold medal quest. Make sure to look for him in the Japan 2021 Paralympics and if you need a motivational speaker for an event visit his website for more information.

Available on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, Castbox, Overcast, Breaker, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and Spotify.

Intro song “Road Trip” by Robin Tricker

Lex Gillette on social media:

Lex’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

Lex listens to music when traveling. 

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

ABOUT

He competed in the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens, where he won silver in the men’s long jump F11 event. At the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, he won a silver medal in the men’s long jump F11 event and finished fifth in the men’s triple jump F11. He competed in 100 m and 200 m T11 events but did not advance to the finals. At the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, he won a third consecutive silver medal in the men’s long jump F11 event and finished fourth in the triple jump event. 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio, he won a fourth consecutive silver medal in the men’s Long Jump – T11 event.

At the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships in Lyon, France, he won gold in the men’s long jump F11 event and he also won silver in the triple jump event. Gillette was a part of the 2013 IPC Athletics World Championships 4 × 100 m relay team that won a silver medal and set a new American record in the process. Gillette broke his own long jump world record for F11 classified athletes of 6.73 m (22 feet 1 inch) with a leap of 6.77 m (22 feet 2 in.) on April 23, 2015, at a high performance meet held at the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center.

He attended Athens Drive High School and graduated from East Carolina University in 2007.

In November 2015, Gillette received the Athletes in Excellence Award from The Foundation for Global Sports Development, in recognition of his community service efforts and work with youth.

Music

Lex Gillette is also a musician. He plays the piano and enjoys singing. Gillette released a music single on April 16, 2012 that was originally titled Go for Gold and was later changed to On the Stage.

Beep ball

While in high school, Gillette was introduced to beep ball, a modified form of baseball for the visually impaired and blind. In 2003, Gillette was recruited to play with the West Coast Dawgs of the National Beep Baseball Association. His first role with the team consisted mostly of designated hitter duties, but in 2005, Gillette became the starting right fielder for the Dawgs. In 2005 West Coast finished 5th in the World Series that were held in Houston, Texas. 2006 saw the Dawgs play in the championship game where they lost to the Taiwan Home Run. The 2007 World Series of Beep Ball were held in Rochester, Minnesota, and the Dawgs returned to the championship game only to lose to the Kansas All Stars. In 2008, Gillette won his first World Series title with the West Coast Dawgs as they outlasted Kansas for the world title. He was named to the offensive all-star team in the same year. The Dawgs returned to the 2009 World Series title game and repeated as champions against the Taiwan Home Run. In both 2010, and 2011, the West Coast Dawgs played in the World Series title game against the Taiwan Home Run, and both times, Gillette scored the game-winning run to put the Dawgs on top as world champions. ESPN’s E60 featured Gillette and the West Coast Dawgs’ 2011 title run.

Lex Gillette Day

Mayor David S. Gysberts and Washington County Board of Commissioners Terry Baker proclaimed September 25 Lex Gillette Day in both Hagerstown, Maryland and Washington County.

Major Accomplishments

2019: IPC Athletics World Championships Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

2016: Paralympic Games Silver Medalist – Long Jump, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2015: Desert Challenge Games Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Tempe, Arizona

2014: IPC Athletics Grand Prix Finals Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Birmingham, England

2014: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – Long Jump, San Mateo, California

2014: Meeting d’Athlétisme Paralympique de Paris Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Paris, France

2014: Italian Open Championships Grand Prix Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Grosseto, Italy

2014: Italian Open Championships Grand Prix Silver Medalist – 100m sprint, Grosseto, Italy

2014: IX Internacional Meeting Kern Pharma, Gran Prix Sauleda Champion – Long Jump, Barcelona, Spain

2014: Desert Challenge Games Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Mesa, Arizona

2013: IPC Athletics World Championships Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Lyon, France

2013: IPC Athletics World Championships Silver Medalist – Triple Jump, Lyon, France

2013: IPC Athletics World Championships Silver Medalist – 4 × 100 m relay, Lyon, France

2013: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – Long Jump, San Antonio, Texas

2013: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – Triple Jump, San Antonio, Texas

2013: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Silver medalist – 100m Sprint, San Antonio, Texas

2012: Paralympic Games Silver Medalist – Long Jump, London, England

2012: Desert Challenge Games Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Mesa, Arizona

2011: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Miramar, Florida

2011: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – Triple Jump, Miramar, Florida

2011: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – 100m sprint, Miramar, Florida

2011: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – 200m sprint, Miramar, Florida

2011: Desert Challenge Games Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Mesa, Arizona

2011: Desert Challenge Games Gold Medalist – 100m sprint, Mesa, Arizona

2011: IPC Athletics World Championships Bronze Medalist – Triple Jump, Christchurch, New Zealand

2011: IPC Athletics World Championships Bronze Medalist – 200m sprint, Christchurch, New Zealand

2010: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Miramar, Florida

2010: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – Triple Jump, Miramar, Florida

2010: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – 100m sprint, Miramar, Florida

2010: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – 200m sprint, Miramar, Florida

2010: Paralympic World Cup Bronze Medalist – 100m sprint, Manchester, England

2010: Athletics Disability Challenge Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Liverpool, England

2008: Paralympic Games Silver Medalist – Long Jump, Beijing, China

2008: U.S. Paralympics track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Tempe, Arizona

2008: U.S. Paralympics track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – Triple Jump, Tempe, Arizona

2007: Para-Pan American Games Bronze Medalist – Long Jump, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2007: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Marietta, Georgia

2006: IPC Athletics World Championships Silver Medalist – Long Jump, Assen, The Netherlands

2006: U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Atlanta, Georgia

2006: Paralympic World Cup Silver Medalist – Long Jump, Manchester, England

2004: Paralympic Games Silver Medalist – Long Jump, Athens, Greece

2002: United States Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) Track and Field National Championships Gold Medalist – Long Jump, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Todd Eldredge | world champion figure skater and 3 time Olympian and family man

Todd Eldredge olympian ice skating olympics world

Todd Eldredge is my guest today. Todd’s career as a figure skater is storied and decorated as a world champion, 3 time Olympian and Hall of Fame inductee. He has traveled the world for ice skating, including moving several times to different states to work with his coach. We have a great chat about his travels in his competitive days and how much different the times are now for the kids he coaches today. We even talk about some of the differences in current ice skating equipment.

I really enjoyed his discussion about jet lag and trying to get ready to prepare at the highest level of figure skating while adjusting his body clock.

I am thankful for the time he shared with me while we are both out of work during the Covid-19 lock-down. If you get a chance to visit Irvine, California make sure to stop by the Great Park Ice Rink and say hi to him…..or even take a lesson from a world champion.

Todd Eldredge on social media:

Todd’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

Todd watched TV shows and listened to his Walkman when he traveled as a competitor. 

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

Career

Eldredge began skating when he was five years old and moved from Chatham, Massachusetts to Philadelphia at age ten to train with Richard Callaghan. He later trained at the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and at the Onyx in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Todd won silver at the 1987 World Junior Championships and then gold in 1988. He took bronze at the 1988 Skate America.

In the 1989–90 season, Eldredge won his first senior national title and was sent to the 1990 World Championships, where he finished fifth. The following season, he repeated as the national champion and then took the bronze medal at the 1991 World Championships. Although Eldredge missed the 1992 U.S. Championships, he was nominated to represent the U.S. at the 1992 Winter Olympics. He placed tenth in Albertville and then seventh at the 1992 World Championships.

Eldredge struggled during the next two seasons, placing sixth at the 1993 U.S. Championships and fourth in 1994, and was not selected for the 1994 Olympics. He regained momentum in the 1994–95 season, taking silver at the 1994 Goodwill Games and gold at the 1994 Skate America and 1994 NHK Trophy. He then won his third national title and silver at the 1995 World Championships. In 1996, he came away with silver at the U.S. Championships but won gold at the 1996 World Championships.

In the 1996-1997 season Eldredge started off on fire, easily beating Alexei Urmanov (who also skated cleanly) to win Skate America. He controversially lost the Grand Prix final to Elvis Stojko who landed the first ever quadruple-triple combination, but had other errors, including a fall on his 2nd triple axel. Eldredge skated a clean and more complete program, but suffered from the home country scoring of the event in Canada. He regained his U.S title easily, in the absence of defending Champion Rudy Galindo, who was now professional. At the World Championships Eldredge skated a spectacular short program, but due to the very early draw he finished 2nd to Alexei Urmanov who skated near the very end. The top 6 were all clean with triple axel-triple toe combinations. Elvis Stojko though came from 4th to win the gold after a flawless long program with a quadruple-triple combination. Eldredge first singled, then later fell on his 2nd triple axel try, sealing his fate when combined with that he also didn’t have a quadruple jump to begin with.

In the pivotal year of his career in 1997-1998, Eldredge suffered through a sluggish grand prix circuit. First winning Skate America with an uninspiring skate, after injuring himself in warm up. Then placing only 4th at Trophee Lalique, won by rising start Alexei Yagudin. He controversially finished 3rd at the Grand Prix final where most believed he deserved at least 2nd place above Elvis Stojko. Todd skated cleanly, apart from a doubled triple loop, and strangely lost to Stojko who fell on his quadruple attempt. He then finished fourth at his second Olympics, in Nagano, after a crushing long program performance, managing only 5 of 8 planned triples, when a clean skate would have garnered him at least silver comfortably. He rebounded to win silver at a watered down World Championships in his home country, an event missing all 3 Olympic medalists. A fall in the short program cost him the gold to rising star Alexei Yagudin, despite comfortably winning the long program with a strong skate.

Eldredge continued to compete in pro ams and leave the door open for a return to amateur figure skating. In 2000, he landed his first quadruple jump in competition at the Masters of Figure Skating.  He competed in various events through the 1999-2000 season, yet oddly did not skate at the World Championships. Eldredge withdrew from the 2001 Four Continents Championships due to an ankle injury. He returned to the U.S Championships for the first time since 1998, and took silver behind Tim Goebel, but then edged Goebel for the bronze at the World Championships where most felt he deserved silver over an injured and flawed Alexei Yagudin. In 2002, he won his sixth U.S. title and placed sixth in his third Olympic appearance. After retiring from competition, he toured with Stars on Ice.

Eldredge was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame during the 2008 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.  On January 31, 2011, the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame announced Eldredge as a nominee for an outstanding competitor in the men’s category.

Eldredge formerly coached at the Germain Arena in Estero, Florida. In April 2012, he underwent left hip replacement surgery. Beginning in 2014, he coached at the Dr Pepper StarCenter in Frisco, Texas. In 2018, Eldredge relocated to Irvine, California, and he now coaches at Great Park Ice.

Michelle Floyd | seeing the world thru fast pitch softball

Michelle Floyd softball arizona ncaa italy wildcat

Michelle Floyd is my guest today. Michelle has a storied career as a softball pitcher in high school, college and professionally. She played professionally in Italy after her career at the University of Arizona as well as playing for the Venezuela national team.

 “It really took, like I enjoyed college and I enjoyed travel ball, it took me moving to Italy to really find how much fun softball could be again”

She is now transitioning to her career after softball by working for the Atlanta Braves. Michelle was great in sharing her travel stories and her outlook on the future.

Michelle Floyd on social media:

Michelle’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

Michelle likes being creative during her travel time…..and catching up on sleep. 

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

ABOUT

Michelle Floyd is a former professional softball player with a passion for media, sports, and helping others.

She graduated from the University of Arizona in May of 2017 with a Bachelors of Arts, Journalism degree. Michelle also earned her Masters of Science in Strategic Branding Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign(online).  This degree was earned while playing and traveling to nine different countries, working on campaigns with people across the world, resulting in a 4.00.

During her college career, Michelle has been incredibly involved at the University, not only by being a pitcher on the University of Arizona softball team, where she pitched the ninth perfect game in Arizona softball history, but by also being co-president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, as well as the president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Michelle’s background is in media and live sporting events.  From working at the University of Arizona Athletic’s Creative Services department, Digital Reputations Management, as well as other jobs, Michelle has built a strong background in a variety of areas. Her desire to grow and learn from each opportunity is apparent, which is what led her to her master’s degree, to have a better understanding of the brand she is designing media for. 

Michelle’s media career also includes working Super Bowl XLIX for NFL Films International, ESPN, FOX, and PAC 12 Network. She has been selected to work events such as Monday Night Football, the 2017 World Series, NBA All-Star Series, and other collegiate and professional events. 

Anthony Watson | Olympian skeleton racer competing for Jamaica

Anthony Watson Skeleton Olympics Jamaica caribbean

Anthony Watson is my guest today. Anthony is an American-born skeleton racer who competed on behalf of Jamaica in the 2018 Winter Olympics, becoming the first athlete to represent the Caribbean nation in the winter sport.

We talked about the effort and money that is required to make his dream come true. I always thought countries paid for their athletes, but it’s not like that in the smaller countries and less known sports for that country. It can be a struggle just getting enough food to eat while training to be the best in the world. I will definitely watch the Olympics differently after my talk with Anthony.

Anthony Watson on social media:

Anthony’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

He likes to listen to music while traveling. 

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

Biography

Born and raised in Vineland, New Jersey, he is the son of Basil and Gloria Watson. Walker attended Cumberland Christian School, from which he graduated in 2008. He attended Roberts Wesleyan College before transferring to the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and had competed in track in the 100m, 200m and the 4x100m relay at the junior level until an injury prevented him from advancing to the top levels of competition in track and field.

Watson found the United States Bobsled and Skeleton Federation after checking out the tryout pages for every sport in which the United States was represented in international competition and chose skeleton after seeing a series of videos. An aspiring Olympian from the time he was a child, Walker participated for three years in the American training program for bobsled and skeleton, but “left on peaceful terms”. Given that his father had been born in Jamaica, Walker was eligible to compete on behalf of his father’s native country. Ranked 79th in the world based on his competition results, his qualification standards with the International Bobsleigh and Skeleton Federation were not sufficient for him to be eligible to receive one of the 30 guaranteed berths granted for male competitors to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, but Walker was given the final slot to represent Jamaica after nations with individuals who had better times turned down spots, making him the first athlete from Jamaica to compete in skeleton.

With finishing times of 53.13, 54.04 and 53.35 seconds in the Olympic skeleton competition, Watson finished in 29th place in each of the three first heats. His top speed was 75.4 miles per hour (121.3 km/h), reached during the first heat. His total time in the three heats of 2:40.52 meant that he did not qualify for the final race; he placed him almost 10 seconds behind Yun Sung-bin of South Korea, who went on to win the gold medal

Available on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, YouTube, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spreaker, Castbox, Overcast, Breaker, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and Spotify.

Mariya Koroleva | 2-time Olympic synchronized swimmer from Stanford

Mariya Koroleva synchronized swimming olympics stanford

Mariya Koroleva is my guest today. She is a Russian-born American synchronized swimmer. After immigrating to the United States, Koroleva began participating in synchronized swimming, and competed at Stanford University. She was a member of the teams that won silver medals in the duet and team competitions at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. She competed at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics, London and Rio.

We spoke about her travels for the Olympics and the amount of preparation and training needed to be a Olympic level synch swimmer.

Mariya Koroleva on social media:

Mariya’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

She likes to read a good book, or books, while traveling. 

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

ABOUT

Koroleva was born in Yaroslavl, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union to Svetlana and Nikolay Korolev, and later immigrated with her family to the United States, settling in Concord, California. There, she began to compete in national youth competitions in synchronized swimming.

After being accepted to Stanford University, she experienced considerable success in collegiate and national competitions. In the 2009 collegiate championships, she finished second in team and figures, third in trio, and fifth in duet. That same year at the national championships she came in third in team and fourth in duet. During the following year’s collegiate championships, she finished second place in the trio competition and third in the duet.

Shortly before the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, she was partnered with Mary Killman to compete as a duet. At those games, Killman and Koroleva won a silver medal in the duet competition, and were members of the United States team that won a silver in the team competition as well. The pair qualified for the women’s duet at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and due to the failure of the United States to qualify for the team event, they were the only American women to compete in synchronized swimming at those games.

Koroleva was one of three University of San Francisco students to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics, joined by Israeli long-distance runner Maor Tiyouri and Venezuelan basketball player John Cox. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, she teamed with Anita Alvarez in the women’s duet, finishing in 9th place.

Raquel McNabb | wife, mom and athlete helping even the playing field for all children CARIS SPORTS

Raquel McNabb caris sports foundation donovan

Raquel McNabb is my guest today. She founded the Caris Sports Foundation to give kids, who otherwise couldn’t afford to join a team, the chance to play. An accomplished athlete and mother of four, Raquel has personally supported athletes from low-income families over the years.

Being a busy mom of four athletic, school aged children, she started the foundation because of the importance of helping others achieve their goals. She has a lot of balls up in the air at all times with the foundation getting started last year, four children and their always changing schedules and a husband that is always on the move as well.

Caris Sports Foundation

The foundation was founded in 2019 to help kids and their families meet the costs associated with recreational and competitive sports. 

They are well aware of the fees involved in team sports. Team fees, equipment, uniforms, travel expenses, and other related costs all add up. Some families can afford it; others can’t. But access to sports shouldn’t be limited to those who have the financial resources to play. Income affects sports participation. Children who play more, come from families that can afford more. Only 34% of kids ages 6 to 12 from homes with incomes of $25,000 or less played team sports compared to 69% of kids from home with incomes of $100,000 or more.

Organized sports shouldn’t price out kids who can benefit from the camaraderie, competition, challenges, personal growth, and accomplishments that sports offer. Caris Sports Foundation and its supporters provide scholarships to cover those expenses. By taking the money problem out of the equation, they help young athletes, from kindergarten through high school, get out on the playing field. 

Caris Sports Foundation’s current activities are limited to Arizona; however, they will soon be expanding to other regions.

Intro song “Road Trip” by Robin Tricker

Raquel McNabb on social media:

Raquel’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

She likes to make use of her travel time by catching up on emails or use it for business planning. If there is a longer travel time involved she’ll watch a movie to relax.

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

RAQUEL McNABB – ABOUT

Her birth name is Raquel-Ann Sarah “Roxie” Nurse. She is the daughter of Canadato Arlie and Marjorie Nurse.

Raquel attended Syracuse University, where she was the point guard on the women’s basketball team. She was named MVP twice, Athlete of the Year in 1997, and made the Big Eаѕt academic all-star team thrее times. Raquel graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education. She then earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Syracuse’s Maxwell School and a Master of Educational Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Raquel Nurse is married to her husband Dоnоvаn МсNаbb. After dating for several years the couple decided to tie the knot. The duo married in 2003.

The marriage ceremony took place in Valley College Ministries International, Oak Valley, Illinois, with her family and college teammates who joined the bridal couple at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Chicago. They spent their honeymoon in the beautiful Dominican Republic.

They have four children: daughter Alexis, who was born in September 23, 2004, now playing club basketball and making a name for herself, twins Sariah and Donovan Jr., who were born in 2008, and Devin James, who was born in 2009. The family splits its time between homes in Moorestown, New Jersey and Chandler, Arizona.

McNabb’s nephew, Darnell Nurse, was the seventh overall pick by the Edmonton Oilers in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.

McNabb’s niece, Kia Nurse, is a college basketball player for the Connecticut Huskies and the Canada women’s national basketball team. As well, her other niece Sarah Nurse competed on Team Canada’s national women’s hockey team at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Her Husband Career Summary

On the other hand, her husband is an American former football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons, primarily with the Philadelphia Eagles. Prior to his NFL career, he played football and basketball for Syracuse University.

The Eagles selected him with the second overall NFL Draft win in 1999, and McNabb played eleven seasons with the team, followed by one year each with the Washington Redskins and Minnesota Vikings. Raquel Nurse and her husband are involved in many charities.

Bree Schaaf | becoming an Olympic bobsledder after college volleyball

Bree Schaaf podcast bobsled slider sliding nbc

Bree Schaaf is my guest on today’s podcast. Bree is a winter Olympian in bobsled, coach of sliding sports, Olympic commentator and a member of the athletes’ advisory council. I always enjoy speaking with world class athletes about their travel experiences and Bree was no exception. She discussed diet and fitness tips while being an athlete and even as a coach and commentator. She is a wealth of knowledge and I was happy she was willing to share it with my listeners.

Bree Schaaf on social media:

Bree’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

Bree enjoys listening to music when she travels. 

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

ABOUT

Bree is an American skeleton racer who competed from 2002 to 2007, then switched over to bobsled as a pilot from 2007-2014. Her best Skeleton World Cup finish was sixth at Calgary in November 2006.

Early years

In high school, she competed in track, volleyball, and basketball before playing volleyball exclusively.  She earned a scholarship for volleyball and played collegiality at Portland State University in Oregon.  Schaaf graduated with high honors and a BA in Anthropology.

Sledding

Schaaf’s best finish in skeleton at the FIBT World Championships was 11th in the women’s event at St. Moritz in 2007.

Bree switched to bobsled for 2007-8, starting on lower racing circuits before qualifying to race World Cup in 2009 after winning the 2009 US National Championship in bobsled. Bree also finished 4th at the Bobsled World Cup in Park City, Utah in November 2009. She also took 6th at the 2009 World Cup Whistler track debut, and 5th at the February 2009 World Cup race in Park City, with 9 top-ten world cup finishes in total.

It was announced on January 16, 2010 that she made the US bobsled team for the 2010 Winter Olympics. She finished fifth in the two-woman event.

Broadcasting

In 2009 Schaaf started work as a sliding commentator for Universal Sports Network. She joined NBC’s team at Sliding Center Sanki for the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Beach Volleyball | AVP Tour pictures at Hermosa and Manhattan Beach

Beach Volleyball Hermosa Manhattan Huntington Beach AVP FIVB 1440
AVP Beach Volleyball Action

Beach Volleyball is the local sport to where I live, Southern California.

The close proximity gives me a great opportunity to see world class athletes compete at their highest level. I mean, these are Olympic level athletes competing next to the ocean, on the beach, usually sunny and the cost of admission is FREE. One of the many things I have learned from starting and running a podcast is that I am given the opportunity to meet and speak with people from different careers/worlds than my own.

My first interview with a volleyball athlete was Karissa Cook. That’s like hitting a homerun your first time at bat. Karissa was very kind to share some stories and what it is like to travel the world playing beach volleyball. She also had some insights as what she told her college athletes to expect in traveling during her time coaching the Stanford beach volleyball team.

My next interview was with Maddison McKibbin. Maddison was awesome in sharing his stories of playing in the snow in Italy. We also spent some time discussing the digital media presence he and his brother Riley have created. I really enjoyed this part of our conversation as I am very interested in hearing what other professionals are doing outside their immediate field of expertise.

I was able to chat with Casey Patterson before the end of his 2019 AVP Beach season. This was my first time speaking with an Olympian for my podcast and it was a very cool experience. Casey was very open about the ups and downs of coming back after injuries and having to provide for your family while being injured. You can tell when you listen to our episode that Casey is very aware that the support he receives from his wife and family are big factor to why he has been able to remain successful playing a game he loves. He is still years away from the nickname “buttons” (Benjamin Buttons) but with his current success who knows how long he will play.

NEXT YEAR

I’m looking forward to watching more volleyball next summer and maybe even chatting with more of the athletes we get to watch in person and on television. You can visit the AVP website for more information on the athletes and their schedule for 2020 (don’t forget to notice Casey as their homepage supermodel).

SIDENOTE

Karissa had her first win on the AVP tour this year in Austin, Maddison and Riley had their highest AVP finish as a duo this year in Chicago and Casey and his partner, Chase Budinger, won the AVP Hermosa Beach Open this year…..just saying that maybe chatting on my podcast is a good thing???

Maddison McKibbin - 2019 Hermosa Beach Open
Maddison McKibbin - 2019 Hermosa Beach Open
Karissa Cook Beach Volleyball AVP Manhattan Beach California Stanford
Karissa Cook - 2018 Hermosa Beach Open
Karissa Cook - 2019 Manhattan Beach Open
Karissa Cook - 2019 Manhattan Beach Open
Casey Patterson 2019 Hermosa Beach Open AVP beach volleyball
Casey Patterson - 2019 Hermosa Beach Open

Below are some of the pictures I took this year at the two tournaments closest to me, Hermosa Beach Open and Manhattan Beach Open.

Traci Callahan
Charlie Ekstrom
Christian Honer
Riley McKibbin
Carly Wopat
Corinne Quiggle
Travis Mewhirter
Amy Ozee
Allie Wheeler
Falyn Fonoimoana
Katie Spieler
McKibbin Brothers
Betsi Day and Emily Flint

Kathryn McCann | taking a dance career and converting into a yoga business in multiple states

Kathryn McCann hang zen corporate yoga yogi san diego hawaii texas

Kathryn McCann is my guest on today’s podcast. She is the owner and founder of Hang Zen Yogis based in San Diego, California. Kathryn founded the Hang Zen Yogi company after years of being a professional dancer. Contemplating “what’s next” after dancing Kathryn now works on bringing harmony to the corporate environment and has stats to back up why we should learn to relax while at work. I thought her yoga expertise and mindset would be a great addition for business travelers and maybe we could all learn to relax a little while on the road.

With her expansion to Hawaii this year and expanding the company to San Antonio, Texas this upcoming January, she will learn how to balance being a yogi, boss, mentor and business traveler.

Kathryn McCann on social media:

Kathryn’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

Kathryn enjoys watching movies while flying to and from Hawaii while expanding her business. She loves listening to music as well.

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

Kathryn McCann BIO

Movement is life for Kathryn McCann. The power of movement has no limitations for this dedicated teacher and practitioner. As a nationally certified E-RYT 500 yoga instructor by Yoga Works, Kathryn is known for her passion to health and wellness, unique self-expression, and inspirational style of teaching that incorporates both the physical and spiritual realms of the practice. Her classes integrate dynamic vinyasa flow asana (linking movement with breath) with the application of precise alignment, stemming from extensive ballet and modern dance training. Furthermore, she infuses meditation, visualization, intention, and prayer to create an inner journey towards healing, growth, and empowerment.

A former professional dancer and performer, she studied with the Boston Ballet School and Walnut Hill School for the Performing Arts. She attended Lawrence Academy, a private New England preparatory school, most commonly known for its commitment to academic excellence, the arts, and athletics. She graduated from East Carolina University in 2002, with a Bachelor of Fine Art’s degree in Ballet. Having danced professionally for The Moving Poets Theatre of Dance, Sea World San Diego, and San Diego Dance Theatre, she now enjoys a full time career as a yoga instructor and SUP yoga (stand up paddleboard yoga) instructor in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, CA.

As founder of Hang Zen Yogis, she hopes to be a catalyst for positive change amongst Corporate America. Her goal is to educate, inspire, and transform lives in the workplace through a mind-body experience. Each class is uniquely designed to energize the body, cultivate a meditative consciousness, and bring greater health and vitality to all. 

Meryl Davis | gold medal ice dancer and mirrored ball winner on DWTS

Meryl Davis Dancing Queen ice skating dancing gold medal sochi olympics

Meryl Davis is my guest on today’s podcast. Meryl skated to Olympic gold in ice dancing in 2014 and won the coveted mirrored ball on Dancing With The Stars. Since that time she has continued her education at the University of Michigan in cultural anthropology, got married in France, skated professionally around the world and she is empowering girls thru various philanthropic endeavors. I was excited to spend some time talking with Meryl about her travels around the world and her perspective of different cultures.

“You just have to buckle up and just accept what comes along with the travel lifestyle”

Meryl Davis on social media:

Meryl’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

Meryl enjoys watching movies while flying around the world for skating when not studying for schoolwork.

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

Meryl Davis Bio

When Meryl first fell in love with figure skating on a frozen lake by her childhood home outside of Detroit, Michigan, she had no idea the journey she was about to embark on. Teaming up with partner, Charlie White at the young age of nine, Meryl and Charlie began their quest together. Neither knowing much about the discipline of ice-dance, the team was driven by a passion for skating and the desire to learn, grow and see improvement from one day to the next. 20 years later, Meryl and Charlie are the reigning Olympic Champions and the first and only Americans to win the event. They’re also six-time U.S. Champions and 2-time World Champions, making them the most decorated U.S. ice dancers of all time.

Immediately following their 2014 Olympic win in Sochi, Russia, Meryl and Charlie continued to dance into the hearts of Americans on season 18 of the hit TV show, Dancing with the Stars. With pro partner, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Meryl again came away with a win and the coveted Mirrorball trophy.

Post Olympics

Continuing their post-Olympic whirlwind, Meryl and Charlie now travel the world sharing their passion for skating with some of the most loved international skating tours, including Stars on Ice. With education always having been a priority for the pair, both are currently finishing up degrees at the University of Michigan while exploring other passions and interests.

For Meryl, the journey to becoming an Olympic Champion was filled with challenges and opportunities that allowed her to find strength and confidence. As such, Meryl now seeks to empower girls and young women through her multiple philanthropic endeavors. Most prominently, Meryl is proud to be a Founding Co-Chair of Figure Skating in Detroit, a youth development organization that empowers girls to develop life skills through the sport of figure skating with a heavy emphasis on education. Meryl Davis is also on the Advisory Panel of the Women’s Sports Foundation, a UNICEF Kid Power Champion, and Classroom Champions Athlete.

When not at home with her family in Birmingham, Michigan Meryl most loves sharing her story and experiences in the hopes of inspiring others to follow their dreams.

Casey Patterson | beach volleyball Olympian shares how he balances family and success

Casey Patterson beach volleyball AVP family mormon

Casey Patterson is my guest this week. Casey is a professional beach volleyball player and family man. See below for the listing of his volleyball accomplishments…..it’s a really long list. Volleyball is only one aspect of this successful businessman and family man. We bonded over the similarities in our careers with the fact that if we don’t perform in our jobs we don’t make money for our families. Casey shares some stories of his travels, 100K miles over the summer, and how he and his wife, Lexi, raise their 4 children.

We discuss the growth of beach volleyball and what it was like for him to represent his country in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Casey goes into more detail about what is really involved in being a professional athlete and some of the money making opportunities that are available for the players.

Casey on social media:

Casey’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

He listens to podcasts and music while traveling

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

BIOGRAPHY

Casey Patterson BIO

Sport: Volleyball

Discipline(s): Beach Volleyball

Height: 6-6

Hometown: Newbury Park, Calif.

High School: Newbury Park High School

College: Brigham Young University, ’05 recreational management

Team/Club: Club Santa Barbara

Olympic Experience

  • 2016 Olympic Games (tied for 19th with Jake Gibb)

World Championship Experience

  • 2017 World Championships (tied for 17th with Theo Brunner)
  • 2015 World Championships (tied for 5th with Jake Gibb)
  • 2013 World Championships (4th place with Jake Gibb)

Other Career Highlights

  • MOST NOTABLE
  • Tied for 19th with Jake Gibb at the 2016 Rio Olympics
  • Finished fifth at the 2015 Beach World Championships with Jake Gibb. Duo was eliminated in the quarterfinals by Brazil
  • With Gibb, named USA Volleyball’s Beach Team of the Year for 2013 and AVP’s 2014 men’s Team of the Year
  • DID YOU KNOW?
  • Has competed in four 2019 FIVB World Tour events, three with Slick. Tied for 9th in The Hague with new partner Chase Budinger
  • Competed in eight 2018 FIVB World Tour events with Stafford Slick. Best finish was third at Tokyo three-star
  • Played in six 2018 AVP Tour events with Slick. Best finish was third in Austin
  • In 2017, partnered with Theo Brunner and posted a best finish of fourth on the FIVB World Tour; duo had two third-place finishes on the domestic AVP Tour
  • At the 2016 Olympics, Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson lost to Spain 21-19, 16-21, 15-7, making them 1-2 in pool play. The pair officially tied for 19th when they were eliminated after pool play due to point differential
  • During the 2016 season, finished fourth two times with Gibb for their best finishes on the FIVB World Tour
  • Took fifth place at the 2015 Hamburg Major, finishing Olympic qualification with best finishes of one gold (St. Petersburg) and one silver (Olsztyn)
  • Tied for seventh at the inaugural FIVB World Tour Finals (2015) with Jake Gibb
  • On the 2016 AVP Tour, won three events with Gibb, including Huntington Beach and Manhattan Beach
  • Partnered with Jake Gibb during the 2013 season, when both players were left without partners for the first tournament of the year. On the FIVB Tour between 2013-16, duo had two golds, silver and bronze
  • 2013 AVP Best Offensive Player; Only team to advance to seven semifinals as the top-ranked team on the 2013 AVP Tour
  • While partnered with Ryan Doherty in 2012, the duo participated in two AVP events, one NVL tournament and seven Jose Cuervo events where they won twice and had three other podium finishes
  • Named MVP in the 2010 Puerto Rican indoor league
  • Competed in the indoor Swedish Elite Professional League as an outside hitter for the Falkenberg professional team, and led team to the finals where they won the gold medal
  • Played for Club Santa Barbara in high school

Personal: Married wife, Lexi, in 2005 and has two sons and two daughters…Graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in recreational management

Maddison McKibbin | Hawaii to USC to the beaches around the world playing beach volleyball

Maddison McKibbin podcast business travel volleyball bearded brother riley USC beach AVP

Maddison McKibbin is my guest on today’s episode. It was great speaking with one half of the “Bearded Brothers” pro beach volleyball team. Maddison shared some stories about life as a professional volleyball player, indoors and beach. He also shared his snow volleyball stories as he talked about the possibility of the sport becoming a Winter Olympic game.

We talked about life outside of volleyball and how players in professional sports need to diversify their talents and connections. The McKibbin brothers have successfully developed their audio/video company supporting the volleyball community and sharing the fun times with everyone.

You can watch the McKibbin brothers play in the AVP beach tournaments in person or streaming on Amazon Prime. The volleyball community as a whole is welcoming to new fans and truly appreciates the support they receive.

Maddison McKibbin was a three-time state champion at Punahou High in Honolulu for indoor volleyball. He was the MVP of both the 2009 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 list as well as the Mizuno/Volleyball Magazine All-American Team. Maddison continued his indoor career as opposite/outside hitter at the University of Southern California.

Maddison on social media:

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

McKibbin Brothers BIO

The McKibbin brothers, Maddison and Riley, grew up on the island of Oahu playing volleyball in their backyard and on the sand of the Outrigger Canoe Club. They are the only brothers in the history of the sport to have played together in high school, college, professionally overseas and now professionally on the beach on the AVP tour. Born two years apart, the McKibbins attended Punahou High School. They lead the boys varsity volleyball team to a pair of state championships. In high school, they represented the United States at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Junior World Championships in China, Bermuda and The Netherlands.

After both accepting scholarships to the University of Southern California, the McKibbins led the USC men’s volleyball team to two NCAA Final Four appearances. On the professional indoor volleyball circuit, they played one year together in Greece. The brothers joined forces on the AVP tour in 2015. The McKibbins have played in 12 AVP events as partners, finishing as high as ninth place four times. An injury to Riley separated them for five tour stops last season, during which time Maddison won the 2017 San Francisco Open (and sibling bragging rights). The McKibbins have strong family ties to volleyball, specifically at USC. Their uncle, Owen, also helped the Trojans to a pair of Final Fours. Their aunt, Claudia, won a national championship there in 1980.

5 for Friday with Maddison McKibbin

Maddison McKibbin podcast business travel volleyball bearded brother riley USC beach AVP

Maddison McKibbin is my guest on today’s 5 for Friday. A world class athlete and professional beach volleyball player, Maddison has learned what it takes to be the best. I really enjoyed my conversation with Maddison as we discussed his life as a professional beach volleyball player and video content creator with his brother Riley. Maddison talks about the differences in traveling for the AVP tour and the FIVB tour. As their video content creating gets better they have to remember to pack all of the additional recording gear when traveling to tournaments.

Make sure to listen to the full episode on Monday.

Maddison McKibbin was a three-time state champion at Punahou High in Honolulu for indoor volleyball. He was the MVP of both the 2009 Volleyball Magazine Fab 50 list as well as the Mizuno/Volleyball Magazine All-American Team. Maddison continued his indoor career as opposite/outside hitter at the University of Southern California.

Maddison on social media:

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

McKibbin Brothers BIO

The McKibbin brothers, Maddison and Riley, grew up on the island of Oahu playing volleyball in their backyard and on the sand of the Outrigger Canoe Club. They are the only brothers in the history of the sport to have played together in high school, college, professionally overseas. They continue to play professionally on the beach on the AVP tour. Born two years apart, the McKibbins attended Punahou High School. They lead the boys varsity volleyball team to a pair of state championships. In high school, they represented the United States at the FIVB Beach Volleyball Junior World Championships in China, Bermuda and The Netherlands.

After both accepting scholarships to the University of Southern California, the McKibbins led the USC men’s volleyball team to two NCAA Final Four appearances. On the professional indoor volleyball circuit, they played one year together in Greece. The brothers joined forces on the AVP tour in 2015. The McKibbins have played in 12 AVP events as partners, finishing as high as ninth place four times. An injury to Riley separated them for five tour stops last season, during which time Maddison won the 2017 San Francisco Open. The McKibbins have strong family ties to volleyball, specifically at USC. Their uncle, Owen, also helped the Trojans to a pair of Final Fours. Their aunt, Claudia, won a national championship there in 1980.

Ryron Gracie | seeing and meeting people of the world with Gracie Jiu Jitsu

Ryron Gracie family

Ryron Gracie is my guest on today’s podcast. A 5th degree black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Ryron shares his upbringing in jiu jitsu and some of his travel stories. Ryron shares stories from his travels over the past 20 years while teaching the gentle art of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. Included are stories while training and cornering for fighters like Ronda Rousey. We discuss the differences in traveling as a single person and now having a family. I found out that Ryron and I have very similar outlooks in the desire to travel and see and meet as many people and places as possible with the time that we have.

“I want to to start making a list of everywhere I’ve traveled now that I’m talking to you”

A recognizable figure within the jiu-jitsu community, Ryron Gracie became also a familiar face among mixed martial arts (MMA) fans after a series of web episodes named “The Gracie Breakdown” where Ryron and his brother Rener Gracie go over techniques utilized in UFC events. Ryron Gracie is also an instructor at the Gracie Academy.

Ryron was raised on the mats of the Torrance academy, beginning his training as a toddler. Ryron also started teaching Gracie jiu-jitsu from a very young age, and by the age of 12, he was already coaching children under his father’s guidance. At that same age, Ryron was involved in the historical first UFC event, a competition created partly by his dad. Ryron had the chore of cleaning the mats after each bout. Having a 12-year-old clean blood off the mats was not taken lightly by the crowd, thus forcing Rorion to replace him with an adult after that first event.

Ryron and his brother Rener became known among mixed martial arts (MMA) enthusiasts through a series of YouTube videos called: The Gracie Breakdown. In these videos, the Gracie brothers broke down grappling techniques used on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Strikeforce in some of the promotions most important fights.

Ryron on social media:

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

Gracie Academy Overview

In 1925, Carlos Gracie established the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Brazil. In 1978, Rorion Gracie brought Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the United States, and in 1989 he established the first Gracie Academy on North American soil in Torrance, California.

To accommodate the worldwide expansion of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, in 2017, Ryron and Rener moved the family business to an even larger facility and established “Gracie University” to reflect the shift from a single academy to a global organization. The Torrance location is one of the most successful martial arts schools in the world with over 1,000 students. Torrance also serves as the global headquarters for hundreds of Certified Training Centers and over 150,000 home-study students learning online in 196 countries. Whether you live in Southern California, or you’re just visiting, we invite you to join us on the green mats in “Jiu-Jitsu Heaven” to experience first-hand the beauty, simplicity and effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

5 for Friday with Ryron Gracie

5 for Friday with Ryron Gracie

Ryron Gracie is my guest on today’s 5 for Friday. Ryron is a 5th degree black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu, Helio Gracie‘s grandson and the eldest son of Rorion Gracie. This is a quick and exciting episode of Ryron sharing a few travel stories from his work, sharing Gracie Jiu Jitsu around the world.

I ask Ryron a question at the end of this clip, “where has been your favorite place to teach around the world”? Try and guess Ryron’s answer to the question before the full episode is released on Monday.

“Everywhere you go there is something to see”

A recognizable figure within the jiu-jitsu community, Ryron Gracie became also a familiar face among mixed martial arts (MMA) fans after a series of web episodes named “The Gracie Breakdown” where Ryron and his brother Rener Gracie go over techniques utilized in UFC events. Ryron Gracie is also an instructor at the Gracie Academy.

Lineage: Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie >Ryron Gracie

Team/Association: Gracie Academy

Ryron was raised on the mats of the Torrance academy, beginning his training as a toddler. Ryron also started teaching Gracie jiu-jitsu from a very young age, and by the age of 12, he was already coaching children under his father’s guidance. At that same age, Ryron was involved in the historical first UFC event, a competition created partly by his dad. Ryron had the chore of cleaning the mats after each bout. Having a 12-year-old clean blood off the mats was not taken lightly by the crowd, thus forcing Rorion to replace him with an adult after that first event.

Even though he taught classes regularly at the Torrance academy when growing up, Ryron Gracie still managed to compete often in jiu-jitsu, including against his own cousin, Crosley Gracie, in 2001 as a brown belt, a fight that lasted 90 minutes and ended with Crosley giving up due to a knee injury. Ryron Gracie earned his black belt in 2003 from the hands of his grandfather, Grand Master Helio Gracie, after his victory at the Gracie International Open.

Ryron and his brother Rener became known among mixed martial arts (MMA) enthusiasts through a series of YouTube videos called: The Gracie Breakdown. In these videos, the Gracie brothers broke down grappling techniques used on the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and Strikeforce in some of the promotions most important fights.

Ryron on social media:

Gracie Academy Overview

In 1925, Carlos Gracie established the first Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy in Brazil. In 1978, Rorion Gracie brought Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the United States, and in 1989 he established the first Gracie Academy on North American soil in Torrance, California.

To accommodate the worldwide expansion of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, in 2017, Ryron and Rener moved the family business to an even larger facility and established “Gracie University” to reflect the shift from a single academy to a global organization. The Torrance location is one of the most successful martial arts schools in the world with over 1,000 students. Torrance also serves as the global headquarters for hundreds of Certified Training Centers and over 150,000 home-study students learning online in 196 countries. Whether you live in Southern California, or you’re just visiting, we invite you to join us on the green mats in “Jiu-Jitsu Heaven” to experience first-hand the beauty, simplicity and effectiveness of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.