Athlete

Anthony Watson – Caribbean Slider

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. 

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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 – Synch Swim

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. 

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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 – 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.

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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 – Slider

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. 

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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

Beach Volleyball Hermosa Manhattan Huntington Beach AVP FIVB 1440
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BEACH VOLLEYBALL

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 – Hang Zen

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.

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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 – Dancing Queen

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.

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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 – King Of The Beach

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

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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 – The Bearded Brother

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:

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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 – Keeping It Real With Family

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:

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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.

Jethro Alcuaz – Magic Black Belt

Jethro Alcuaz at work magic magician bjj jiu jitsu black belt

Jethro Alcuaz is my guest on today’s The Travel Wins weekly podcast. Jethro is an illusionist, performing magic and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. We talk about his efforts traveling to different states performing magic. Some of his tricks need to be seen to be believed. We also discussed some of the similarities between performing magic and training in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Needing similar attributes to be proficient at both disciplines learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu reminded Jethro of learning a magic trick for the first time.

Jethro Alcuaz on social media:

Jethro’s listening choice while traveling for work is:

  • Reggae music, but it really depends on my mood.

Click here to see other guests choices for listening while traveling

Jethro Alcuaz Background

Jethro is available for corporate and special events to help create a magical and entertaining evening. His magic is enjoyed by audiences of all ages and is full of comedy, audience participation, and more!

Please browse through his website to find more information. Make sure check back frequently as more updates are added with video, press, and photos!

Illusionist and Prestidigitator, JETHRO enhanced his knowledge in magic when he graduated at Chavez Studio of Magic in La Verne, California under the instruction of Dale Salwak.

Creating a different style in magic that is truly Mind-Blowing, Entertaining and lots of surprises keeps his audiences off their feet. He likes leaving them with a sense of wonder. “HOW DID HE DO THAT?” Question on their minds after watching the show.

JETHRO can entertain his audiences of all ages. The show involves lots of audience participation. Performing his pure sleight of hand manipulation act done with cards, coins, balls, sexy show girls and mind-blowing Vegas style illusions before your very eyes.

Available for Private Parties, Corporate Events, Holiday Parties, Casinos, Stage, Close-Up magic and Strolling.

5 for Friday with Jethro Alcuaz

Jethro Alcuaz at work magic magician bjj jiu jitsu black belt

Jethro Alcuaz is my guest on today’s “5 for Friday”. Jethro is an illusionist, performing magic thru out California, Las Vegas, New York and Hawaii. Hopefully he will get a chance to perform in the Philippines soon. Utilizing both street magic as well as production shows makes Jethro a well rounded magician. Make sure to check out his social media links below.

I talk to Jethro about how he travels with his gear and some of the fun places he has already performed in. Make sure to listen to the full episode on Monday so you can hear how he recently received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I asked him how learning a martial art is relative to learning illusions for his magic show.

I know 2018 was a great year for him, receiving his black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu and getting married so I hope 2019 turns out to be a great year for him as well.

Jethro Alcuaz on social media:

Jethro Alcuaz Background

Jethro is available for corporate and special events to help create a magical and entertaining evening. His magic is enjoyed by audiences of all ages and is full of comedy, audience participation, and more!

Please browse through his website to find more information. Make sure check back frequently as more updates are added with video, press, and photos!

Illusionist and Prestidigitator, JETHRO enhanced his knowledge in magic when he graduated at Chavez Studio of Magic in La Verne, California under the instruction of Dale Salwak.

Creating a different style in magic that is truly Mind-Blowing, Entertaining and lots of surprises keeps his audiences off their feet. He likes leaving them with a sense of wonder. “HOW DID HE DO THAT?” Question on their minds after watching the show.

JETHRO can entertain his audiences of all ages. The show involves lots of audience participation. Performing his pure sleight of hand manipulation act done with cards, coins, balls, sexy show girls and mind-blowing Vegas style illusions before your very eyes.

Available for Private Parties, Corporate Events, Holiday Parties, Casinos, Stage, Close-Up magic and Strolling.

Marcus Peterson- Prove Yourself Right

Marcus Peterson NFL MBA Model Business Owner Chargers Wide Receiver Los Angeles

Today’s The Travel Wins podcast welcomes Marcus Peterson, MBA. Marcus is an NFL wide receiver (Los Angeles Chargers), model, business owner and entrepreneur.

His upbringing in Inglewood, California at a very small school made him realize his need to work hard and appreciate everything that happens to him is for a reason. He went on to play football in college at Seton Hill and then traveled to England where he received his MBA. While living overseas he realized how big the world is and that it doesn’t revolve around the US. We also discuss his apparel business, MP Motivational Brand, and what his future holds for him after his football career is done.

I love the fact that he is using motivational phrases for his apparel. Anyone that is sharing positive vibes to the world needs to be recognized.

Marcus Peterson Los Angeles Chargers Social Media 

What The “MP” Brand Represents

“MP” Motivational Brand Apparel, represents for anyone who has ever been over looked, told they couldn’t achieve something, they aren’t good enough, or underestimated. Understanding that there are and will be times in our lives where we will be overlooked and counted out but we can never lose faith or site of our goals. No matter what industry we are in, we all have a story of challenges we endure to achieving success. This notion provides the opportunity to wear our struggles through apparel to ignite our dreams in overcoming the “No’s” in life to becoming living proof of YES! 

“MP” apparel is a great concept to remind others and ourselves that when we recognize our “Why” & “Purpose” in life having control of the ending result and can NEVER give up on our dreams. Understanding, that whatever happens, a human being does not have the last word for on our destiny, God does.

Marcus’s traveling music/song/podcast choice is:

RnB, Hip Hop or soft jazz.

I’m more of a mood guy so it could be various hip hop artists or Sade.

Click here to see all of the guests listening choices when traveling.

5 for Friday with Marcus Peterson

Marcus Peterson at work with the Los Angeles Chargers
Marcus Peterson at work with the Los Angeles Chargers

Today’s 5 for Friday is with Marcus Peterson. Marcus is an NFL wide receiver, model and entrepreneur. Being a young man from Inglewood, California, who attended a small Christian school playing “8- man” football and was not introduced to the game of football until his 10th grade year of high school. As his passion for the game grew he continued to sharpen his craft on the field and make his dream of becoming a professional football player a reality. Without receiving any Division-1 college scholarships, it was a long shot coming from the odds of his situation. Although, his college career did not pan out as expected, he did not let that diminish his drive for making it to the big leagues staying focused on his (Plan A).

After his collegiate senior year he had the opportunity to train with elite NFL quarterback’s, receivers, and trainers. Marcus’s faith in God & himself lead to signing a contract with an NFL team. He received his MBA while studying and working in London, England. Working as a model and entrepreneur, Marcus is using his positive mindset to grow his motivational apparel company, MP Motivational Brand Apparel.

The full episode will be available on Monday so make sure to come back and be inspired. I’d like to thank Marcus for sharing his story and passion with us.

Connect with Marcus Peterson:

What The “MP” Brand Represents

“MP” Motivational Brand Apparel, represents for anyone who has ever been over looked, told they couldn’t achieve something, they aren’t good enough, or underestimated. Understanding that there are and will be times in our lives where we will be overlooked and counted out but we can never lose faith or site of our goals. No matter what industry we are in, we all have a story of challenges we endure to achieving success. This notion provides the opportunity to wear our struggles through apparel to ignite our dreams in overcoming the “No’s” in life to becoming living proof of YES! 

“MP” apparel is a great concept to remind others and ourselves that when we recognize our “Why” & “Purpose” in life having control of the ending result and can NEVER give up on our dreams. Understanding, that whatever happens, a human being does not have the last word for on our destiny, God does

Transcription

TTW: What were some of the things that stood out when you traveled overseas?

MP: Once you think I understood how small America really was when you’re living here all you think about is like how America is so huge the  American impact the population the market is so huge when I was over there it was so small if you have the Chinese and the Japanese market which can double you know for triple the US market yet that UK market the French market alone Germans aspirin so it’s like the world is so cute another thing that point out to me might was time management is key there’s no such thing as enough for instance you wake up maybe eight o’clock seven o’clock and go to sleep boom about 11:00 there’s really no such thing as a point time it’s just I’ve learned that there’s 24 hours in the day yeah it sounds it doesn’t sound like a lot but that that transformation of morning and night to morning and night to 24 hours is very drastic because like you can be sleep here but you know China just waking up you know you have to get that email fill out my signal Thailand was terrible because I was doing my dissertation and trying to build a global brand I’m having to set my alarm clock at 4:00 in the morning because it was 7 p.m. here in Los Angeles so you know if I need to email or get in touch for people in the US or you know in France or in the UAE you know times were different so just understanding that we have 24 hours in a day I will take a nap at like 10 p.m. which is absurd and then going to say that Alexis thing but like everything was just different because there’s so many different time zones

TTW: yeah well yet you know it can prefer my work my day job you know we deal with factories in China Vietnam India and Mexico at the same time so no but you know you start dealing with time zones of different countries and you got to get you know you had deadlines hurt for order cuts and everything else it’s different you know and then you’re dealing with Freight issues from China or India and then you got having cot so yeah you’re right I mean it’s just it’s actually a small world now with technology

MP: yeah exactly and even with that like the dollar fluctuates so low if you know the again when we can be what 85 cent compared and then you know couple days later it could be you know 60 cent so David so you have to look at that as well so everything was just way more advanced when I was able to travel when I came to cultures religions history laws it was just international trade laws and yeah I think that’s why with what you’re trying to do after your NFL career actually getting your MBA in London probably it’s best suited because it gave you that mindset I’ve always looked at it like you know for instant I school to learn Spanish yeah someone rushing help for you yeah so on so my Spanish teacher with african-american he swore dismantle everything it’s been but I think it’s a correlation from running someone who typically is a Latin descent or Hispanic so it’s cut its have a mixed it like that so I learned international business which is called global business there so to learn international business and ordeals internationally kind of made not just more sense that I learn more authentically than I did then I would have probably followed my international affairs in just one market

Curtis Fisher – Fitness, Food, Lifestyle

Curtis Fisher at work

Here is my podcast with personal trainer Curtis Fisher. Curtis has 20 plus years experience training himself and others to be healthier and maintain fitness levels. He shares his story of clean bodybuilding while working a day job and raising a family. He shares his time constraints and is aware of us travelers reasons/excuses we have when we travel for our work.

I particularly like his tips for exercising on the road without going to a gym. Providing simple exercises while being based in a hotel room is essential and easy.

He also shares how to eat healthier on the road which, at least for me, is often a struggle. For me when I’m home I feel like I can control my food prep and cooking. I struggle sitting in a hotel room wondering where there are good food choices around.  Curtis helps by reminding us that most restaurants have better options now and many supermarkets have deli shops and ready to eat meals inside.

If you have any additional questions or want some advice or clarity on a topic discussed, Curtis is more than willing to help and guide you on your way to better health.

Connect with Curtis Fisher:

Curtis’s traveling music/song/podcast choice is:

Rage Against The Machine

Click here to see all of the guests listening choices when traveling.

5 for Friday with Curtis Fisher

5 for Friday with Curtis Fisher

Here’s my 5 for Friday with personal trainer Curtis Fisher. Curtis shares some food strategies and supplementation possibilities for us road travelers. I know for myself I’m always trying to eat better when I’m on the road. When I slip up or have to eat something that isn’t the best for me I remind myself that overall I’m still eating better than before and life is about moderation. Hearing that we should cut out processed sugars, breads and that we should plan out our meals better to stay or get healthy are great goals to shoot for and terrific words of advice. He works with all types of people who look to improve their quality of life as well as the advanced athlete.

On the full episode releasing on Monday, Curtis also shares some travel tips for exercise as well as some mindset goals on how to live healthier.

Anytime I can get advice and tips from someone with 20+ year of experience I take it. I might not always listen at the time and I usually alter the advice to my own personal goals……I always appreciate the time and knowledge shared with me and my listeners.

Connect with Curtis Fisher:

Hakeem Valles – NFL to Real Estate

Hakeem Valles NFL Real Estate Investor Public Speaking

The Travel Wins podcast this week is with recently retired NFL player Hakeem Valles. Hakeem decided to make the career switch from professional football player to real estate investor and public speaker. He came to the self realization that he would not be a franchise player in the NFL and wanted to spend more time pursuing his careers in real estate and speaking while having the time to be with his fiancée and new baby.

In this episode Hakeem shares his thoughts on:

  • Time management
  • Being uprooted every year while in the NFL
  • Balancing time with his family and new careers
  • The start of raising a child
  • Being a positive influence to children
  • The benefits of investing in your future
  • Using the leverage you have

Hakeem Valles Football to Real Estate on social media:

BIO

Hakeem Valles is a former American football player who is currently a free agent. He played college football at Monmouth and was signed by the Arizona Cardinals as an undrafted free agent in 2016.

Early years

Valles was born in the Sicklerville section of Winslow Township, New Jersey.

He played high school football at Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey as a wide receiver. He garnered First Team All-New Jersey Prep accolades his junior year. He also spent some time at quarterback and defensive back while at Peddie

College Career

Valles played for the Monmouth Hawks of Monmouth University from 2012 to 2015. He was redshirted in 2011. He majored in Business Administration at Monmouth.

He was a wide receiver from 2011 to 2013. He played in four games in 2012 and 12 games in 2013.

Hakeem converted to tight end during training camp in 2014. He appeared in 11 games, starting nine, during the 2014 season. He caught 18 passes for 255 yards and three touchdowns. He played in 11 games, all starts, his senior year in 2015. He recorded 22 receptions for 236 yards. He was also a team captain as a senior.

He played in 38 games, starting 20, during his college career. He recorded career totals of 40 receptions for 491 yards and three touchdowns

Professional career

Valles was rated the 30th best tight end in the 2016 NFL Draft by NFLDraftScout.com. Lance Zierlein of NFL.com predicted that he would be selected in the seventh round or be a priority free agent. Zeriein said that Valles was an “Intriguing prospect due to combination of size and speed and an apparent willingness to scrap it out as a blocker.” He also said Valles “Has an outside shot of being drafted and might kick around on a practice squad a year or two while he hones his skill at the position

Arizona Cardinals

Hakeem signed with the Arizona Cardinals on May 2, 2016, after going undrafted in the 2016 NFL Draft. He was released by the team on September 3, 2016, and was signed to the practice squad the next day. He was promoted to the active roster on October 6, 2016. He made his NFL debut, and first start in Week 5 against the San Francisco 49ers. He played in 11 games, starting 1, during the 2016 season and recorded three solo tackles.

September 2, 2017, Valles was waived by the Cardinals.

Detroit Lions

September 6, 2017, Valles was signed to the Detroit Lions’ practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster on December 26, 2017.

October 6, 2018, Valles was waived by the Lions and was re-signed to the practice squad. He was released on November 7, 2018.

New York Giants

November 27, 2018, Valles was signed to the New York Giants practice squad

His younger brother, Max, also plays in the NFL.

Hakeem’s traveling music/song/podcast choice is:

Gary Vee audio experience podcast

Click here to see all of the guests listening choices when traveling.

“5 for Friday” with Hakeem Valles

Hakeem Valles
I’m excited to share this “5 for Friday” with Hakeem Valles. Hakeem is a real estate investor, public speaker, fiance, and new father, who also happen to have had a successful career in the NFL. After playing several seasons in the NFL Hakeem made the decision to move on to the next chapter in his life on his terms. I reached out to Hakeem on a social media platform after watching a video showing Hakeem speaking to others in a public speaking venue about his decisions to invest some of his football earnings instead of just spending it. I was blown away by his maturity and wisdom at such a young age. He was gracious enough to share his time and I hope we all learn something from his words.
 
Here is the “5 for Friday” introduction to Hakeem talking about his biggest challenges of time management with the NFL and the “why” he started investing in real estate and public speaking. The full 1 hour episode will be available on Monday at www.thetravelwins.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and share your comments.
 

Connect with Hakeem Valles: