Adam Lewis Walker is a Leadership & New Media Speaker and 2 x Best-selling Author. He hosts the top-ranked podcasts ‘The TalkXcelerator' and ‘Awaken Your Alpha' interviewing the world’s elite minds in over 400 episodes since early 2014. A former teacher and international pole-vaulter, Adam was attempting to reach the Olympics in 2008 when his career was cut short by a freak accident. Adam gave the TEDx talk Awaken Your Alpha, How to Rise Up and has been featured in The Huffington Post, ESPN, PodFest, Influencers Radio and many more. In 2018 “Awaken Your Alpha – Tales & Tactics To Thrive” also became an international bestseller on it's release.
Listen & Subscribe on:
- Website: www.TalkXcelerator.com
- Website: www.AYAlpha.com
- Instagram: @AdamLewisWalker
- Podcast: TalkXcelerator: How To Get A TedX Talk
- Podcast: Awaken Your Alpha: Tales and Tactics To Thrive by Adam Lewis Walker
Most Influential Person
- Seneca – Lucius Annaeus Seneca and also known simply as Seneca was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, and dramatist.
Effect on Emotions
- “Adversity happens to us all so for me, it's not a shock when it happens. I'm more aware now.”
Thoughts on Breathing
- “I'm a big believer of move and breathe. I'd like to walk to the gym and practice my breathing with my steps.”
- Book: The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living by Ryan Holiday
- Book: Awaken Your Alpha: Tales and Tactics to Thrive by Adam Lewis Walker
- App: Pomodoro Apps like Focus Planner Focus Keeper
- “I was a very little guy in school. I was the smallest guy, by far. One guy would always come up to me and punch me in the arm. I did not punch back.”
- “They also force me to swear but I did not do it because it is uncool to not swear.”
Awaken Your Alpha Meaning
- The concept of Awaken Your Alpha is definitely universal. It's a mindset. It's an approach to life. The word alpha has a lot of negative connotations around it and is a bit of a stigma. Alpha century means star that shines the brightest. From the animal kingdom, alpha means to achieve the highest rank in the dominance hierarchy. An example is the alpha female in the elephant. My interpretation of Awaken Your Alpha is to achieve the highest rank in areas of your life that you hold important to you. Awaken Your Alpha also means to shine as bright as you can with your time here. Being the star that shines the brightest and to illuminate.
- The Gift of Adversity With Marcus Aurelius Anderson
- Cosmic Torture Strengthens the Faith of Zen Pilot, Robert DeLaurentis
Become more calm, focused, and happy by reading the top 12 books recommended on the Mindfulness Mode Podcast. This mini 14-page ebook entitled '12 Must-Read Mindfulness Books' outlines each of the top books recommended by guests on the show. Get your digital copy now at MindfulnessMode.com/top12books
Note: The following transcript is a draft transcript, and as such, may contain computer-generated mistranslations.
Mindfulness mode 527.
Adam Lewis Walker 0:03
Sometimes you're doing things because you feel like it's the right thing to do. But is it the right thing for you personally?
Have you ever struggled thinking like, how do I get where I want to go? I just seem to be wallowing around. I don't seem to be achieving my goals. I don't seem to be really moving forward. Well, we have the man right here on the podcast today, that's going to help you with that. And the reason I know that is because he's got an amazing TED Talk. That just knocks it out of the park as far as explaining to you how to achieve in your life. I've got Adam Lewis Walker with me today. Hey, Adam, are you in mindfulness mode today? Oh,
Adam Lewis Walker 0:49
yes. Even more now. I'm loving it. Thank you. It's good to be here. Thanks for having me on. I always appreciate a good physical studio. I see you got your mindfulness mode behind you. Yeah, I'm ready. I think it's important to have your build your environment have reminders there. So yeah, just being on the show has reminded me to be on an in mindfulness mode.
Yeah, well, like I said, Your TED talk was awesome. I'm going to share with mindful tribe a little bit about you. You're a leadership and new media summit speaker and your two Times Bestselling author. And you have two podcasts, which is fantastic. The one one is the one is called talk, excellent accelerator and an X with an X talk accelerator. And the other one is awaken your alpha. And the one that's called talk accelerator is all about how to get a TEDx talk. So that's a pretty cool thing. And the other one is just lots of very awesome information. Awaken your alphas tails and tactics to survive. And that's what we're all trying to do is I'm alive and thrive.
There's your book Yeah. Awaken your alpha, you've got this as a book too. So this is fantastic. So what does mindfulness mean to you, Adam?
Adam Lewis Walker 2:08
Wow, great question. Mindfulness in the most basic level, I think is taking time daily to really be aware of, of your thoughts and your mental health. And just looking after that and being and being mindful of these things. So I think mindfulness to me is a daily practice, whatever that is, whether that's lying in the bath for 20 minutes in silence, going for a walk, and just space to get out of the hustle and bustle and mentally that doesn't mean you have to physically go somewhere. You need to have that ability and awareness to be very mindful of your thoughts and, you know, let them pass you know, it's okay to feel like crap. Sometimes it's okay to you know, feel You know, extreme joy and just embrace in that, but just let these these thoughts be there, but be aware of them and not beat yourself up. It's really mindfulness to me means just mental health. And daily practices is important because everyone has good runs where you're thriving, and then everyone has other runs where you're, you're struggling, and you're working to survive. So I yeah, it's hugely important and, you know, anything anyone does, it all comes back to the mindset, you know, you know, I worked as a PE teacher for a decade and a teacher for decades, a decade a strength conditioning coach with, you know, some elite level people. I was a mindset coach, at the end of the day, it always comes back to that it doesn't matter if you've got great information, if, you know, if you're not in a position of influence, and you're not working with people's mindset and the information is irrelevant, because, you know, if you're not in the right state to absorb that and apply, it doesn't really matter.
So let's talk about online. honesty, because on your podcast or sorry, on your TEDx talk, you talked about, you know, how you can move forward and how we have to be accountable to ourselves. And sometimes it, we think we're an honest person, but maybe we're just not being honest enough with ourselves. What are your thoughts on that?
Adam Lewis Walker 4:20
100% because it kind of comes back to that mindset and awareness because sometimes you're doing things because you feel like it's the right thing to do. But is it the right thing for you personally? And also, have you stopped recently in the last six months, three months month and assessed? What? What do you want to do what's important to you, because you can really be following certain paths and that are not authentic to you the and you may have, they may have been authentic to you when you was a child, you may have set this certain career goal when he was 18. And you just just haven't reassessed, you haven't stopped to think actually, I'm so head down in trying to get achieve this goal, assuming this will give me happiness and fulfillment that you haven't reassessed and you might be 10 years older, you may be 20 years older. And you're actually, I'd never stopped to think why am I doing this and what if I do achieve this certain goal you may have set yourself or marker that you assume you're going to be happy when you reach it, when the reality is that what takes what it takes to get there is making you unhappy or even achieving that certain thing. Reality is not going to make you happy. So it is really important to pay attention to what fires you up and what doesn't feel like work. Yes, there's things you will need to do. And you know, it's not all, you know, sunshine and rainbows, but it's important to acknowledge that if it's always a struggle, there's something wrong It shouldn't always be a struggle speaking to you today is not a struggle speaking to who I was speaking to before is not a struggle. And so it's really important to be honest with yourself and and define what success fulfillment and the alpha is to you. Because, you know, I mean example, I'm from just south of London and a big suck from there as everyone gets pulled into London for the money, let's be honest, there's nothing else why else would you go in? Because once you go in, even I'm reasonably close, you're committing to, you know, 14 hour days, you're committing to sacrificing a lot of free time and health and to me personally to someone else. They love it, because they get a lot of money. But then they're, you know, money rich time poor. I would say, I've never been time poor. I wouldn't because myself is rich. Ever, ever, but I'm very rich in terms of fulfillment, happiness and freedom. And that's it. And it's, again, there's no right or wrong, but it's important to be authentic to you, and be able to not have that comparison and envy of others. Who are, you know, you say, Oh, I'd love their their cash or i'd love that job. Or would you? Would you Really? And a lot of times, it's no, you like the highlight reel. You like the thought of that. But then when you're like, Okay, what would you be doing today? How are you doing for your week? What are you doing for your month is like, I like public speaking, but a professional speaker. If you I was only that or only did that. That's a lot of traveling. I love to travel, but I don't want to be traveling all the time and away from my family. So it's one piece of what I do. And it's very tactical, and midweek stuff is a lot more appealing to me than weekend stuff because barring the Coronavirus, everyone's at school in the week, January.
That's right. That's right. You wanted to move to the US. And that was one of your big goals. And you talked about that in your, your TEDx talk. And so why was that one of your big goals? And how did you go about actually making that happen? Because that must have been a really big move.
Adam Lewis Walker 8:13
Yeah, yeah. And it comes back to what we said, I do believe setting these, these big, you know, markers and goals and things. Something to, you know, a mission to move towards and, and that was one of mine and but also, that I'd run it through the same filter. It sounds to me call out like, Yeah, I'd like to move to America. What does that actually look like? What is the reality of doing that? And then specifically, at this point, what the bigger reality is on the island then towards moving to the wilderness, the middle of nowhere, which is not such a big transition to go from England to America. But it is a big transition to go from kind of urban, lots of people to middle of the no middle of nowhere wilderness, that is the biggest transition. So I However, the deadline was huge in that mission. I set and not only became realistic and real when my first son was born, and we were had a conversation, we talked about this, my wife and we agreed on a deadline of we will be in the state before he starts school. So basically gave us five years. And we enrolled him in both in English and American school because it got that close. We landed like September, the first and he started school next week in the US, he still had his place in an English school, and the comparison, he would have been one of 34 in his class in England, and they actually this was a this was like my wife were both teachers and my wife actually was like a school coordinators or went into the actual school he would have been enrolled in. They did this open concept where several times a day they opened up the walls between three classes, and he would have been in one of 90 plus children in this melee have and there was probably nine to 10 different lessons. languages other than English, and he is quite a, you know, a quiet, thoughtful little lad, he would have been lost in the carnage with teachers, you know, the the, the, the ones in the middle get lost because you're you're spending a lot of your time with the, let's not mess around the naughty ones, the ones who you know, are challenging the organizational and the discipline aspects because you have to and then also the ones who are really pushing the boundaries and challenge you in terms of learning that you need to give them extra extra extra if you're in the middle of it, especially in a large group, it's you get lost. So that was the comparison when he landed here. He was one of 18 and in a small school in a you know, and for an English person that's like a private school, you pay the three 4000 pounds a month or the term in England for that sort of thing. So it's just lifestyle choices. And for many people I know It would be a nightmare to be where I am because of where it is. And this sacrifice is I want to live in Michigan that code to live in Michigan. Yep. Northern Michigan.
Yeah. So you must love the outdoors. And is that right out?
Adam Lewis Walker 11:12
I do. I do. And I don't take it for granted a lot of people in this room grown up in this area, which is a lot of people because yeah, not so many people move to where I am. You know, the lake is there. It's always been there for me. I see it every day. I make up my routine is to see it every day. I just absolutely love it. And, and again, it it would it would be insane for me to complain about the lack of people. If then I'm absolutely loving the willingness and the space and the views. You can't have one without the other. And you know, so it's a part of the reason that a podcast was so attractive to me, right? You talk about you know, my, my, you're setting these big goals and then reverse engineering it what are the steps to get there, podcast fitted perfectly. For me, in terms of moving to the middle of nowhere and so tell
me more about your morning routines. What else do you do in your daily routines that really makes life for you
Adam Lewis Walker 12:10
and they are a little bit and altered at this moment because of the Coronavirus, but I still have my routines. So my normal routine, I have seven till eight days or seven to 745 is family time in the mornings. So, I sometimes I'm not a 5am riser or 4am. Guys, I've got no problem with that. But again, linked to what I've been saying. work out what works for you, you know, I'm happy I experiment with everything. I prefer to get up six to seven. At some point, I don't set an alarm. Some mornings and some periods I wake up 6am because I'm just crazily excited to crack on with stuff, which is also a good sign. I just roll with that. If I get an extra hour sleep. I roll with that because I understand that it's gonna probably serve me a lot Back then, you know, doing the extra bit of work. So six to seven is kind of flexible. That would be not meetings that again because of the the global nature of stuff, you can do that and I have done that before, but that would be right in my book, or books or books that are coming and and that kind of creative space in there. And again, it's very open and free flow. And if I don't want to do it, I don't do it. If I do have that urge, I do it. So but seven to 745 is family I organized all the breakfast and coffees from my wife and me and I do the school run every day. That is awesome. They start so early here not so good for them but brilliant in terms of my routine. So I dropped them off about 745 I then as I spoke about, I have my coffee with me I make the best coffee in town again. Being in a small town. They don't have good coffee or good coffee shops. So I'm the I'm the place to come. I take my coffee. I love my coffee. And I take that and I then turn from the school and I just go down the road. You can see the lake from everywhere in our town, but I go down, Park up on the beach faced in as feels like I'm in the water. And then I have my coffee, and I do my daily read. That's huge in terms of people focus a lot on what they should do what they put into their bodies in terms of nutrition, and then movement. But what you put into your mind daily and part of that in terms of mindfulness is the right book or the right pages, whatever that may be for you have some people read the Bible daily, some people read like my wife is the daily word, a little thing that gets sent to her that her mom's done for years. I've read certain books, you know, along the awaken your alpha vibe in that kind of content, and I can tell you my favorite some of my favorite books if we go down that route, but for the last year or two very much into the stoicism as well. And so you know stuff like obstacle is the way is a good book. I didn't read that till after my I wrote my book and put it out there because I felt like it might have that kind of vibe. And I'm so glad I didn't read it till after because there's some huge similarities and that would have been really, really tough to like, write my book off the reading that and what was the name of that book again? The obstacle is the way Ryan Holiday. Okay, yes, right. Yeah, very, very stoic theme. And then one I really like I prefer this book actually, in terms of mindfulness, routines and modes, and the daily stoic, talk better links massively into me talking about, you know, a daily practice. Well, I remember it late 2017. I was back in England, a very depressing time to be in England, December, and December in England is just, I'm coming from why Beautiful snow and sunny to just rain and dreary. And it's so dark and damp at that time of year in England. And I used to struggle with that when I lived there, but I really noticed it coming back. And I was a very critical time in terms of the book writing and just feeling overwhelmed in some ways. And I was in a coffee stroke bookshop in my hometown in England. And I usually do, I stumbled across the daily stoic. I've been out that long, and I got that book. And it just got me and I think around that time, I may have dropped off, you know, my daily reads, you know, for several different reasons. And I read that and I had the discipline to read that over the year, not, you know, in a month as it is designed to read, you know, literally a page a day. It's literally got the dates throughout the year, and it says, a stoic quote and just a simple take on it. And then you've got that, then you fill in the blanks, you then
Adam Lewis Walker 17:01
have kinda like your daily thought. And it just gives you that perspective. And that was a beautiful year. And it's so much so that I, I almost just wrote into the next year and started rereading it, it wasn't as valuable the second time like anything you need to miss, like washing, you know, he needs to do it every day. And same for motivation, you know, you'll wear out the cloth, you need to have these different sources of inspiration motivation. So that was a really good book and, you know, awaken your alpha, I've been told by many people is a really good book and very actionable. And it's not just all me it's, you know, taking the best of the best from, you know, the podcast, which is almost six years, and not just randomly, specifically, why are they there? And what can we learn from them? And then, again, 33, actions it all the way through the book of how can you apply this to your own situation, and move forwards and do something with it?
Well, speaking of awaken your alpha, I want to talk to you about that. What does that really mean to you? How, as men, how can we awaken our alpha or is it for women to?
Adam Lewis Walker 18:03
Yeah, it's the concept of awaken your alpha is definitely universal. There's no like sex, gender, age is more of a low, it's permanent. It's a mindset. It's definitely as an approach to life. The men's podcast, the podcast was the one format of it, and one way to deliver it. And so, like, if you try and speak to everyone, you speak to no one so that is a men's podcast as a men's development podcast, but I know the listeners are, you know, very universal in terms of awaken your alpha. When I did the TEDx talk, it made me dig deeper and think about what exactly is it and you know, for me, it meant something but to most people, the word alpha has a lot of negative connotations around it and as a bit of a stigma and you know, in the media as well. So, I started my talk kind of defining awaken your alpha and specifically going from what are the actual definitions of alpha and from the solar system, alpha century, that means star that shines the brightest. That's it Nothing more, nothing less from the animal kingdom, it says to achieve the highest rank in the dominance hierarchy. And it gives the example of the alpha female in the elephant back, for example. So no mention of, you know, male, for example, and particularly, it's, that's the definition. So awaken your alpha and my interpretation to achieve the highest rank in areas of your life that you hold important to you. That's not to be judged by others. So that's really that that personal fulfillment and that awareness aspect of it, and then to shine as bright as you can with your time here. And that's really you know, that the star that shines the brightest, and that's not to put others into your shadow but to illuminate. And that just sums it up for me reasonably quick. And I wouldn't have been able to do that without going through the process of a TEDx talk. And doing that in 2016 really forced me in a nice way to boil it down to what is it? What is it all about? And so I came down to awareness, action, and essentially You know, if you asked me to talk about awaken your alpha and how to do it, and you gave me 60 seconds or five minutes there, the three things I'd focused on, because that's what it is. And then that was an 18 minute talk. And I've also since done that version of that talk probably 50 times, right up to a 75 minute keynote. And it felt like five minutes because, you know, I know what's important, but you can, you can lengthen or shorten it. You can have examples, you could put exercises and you can put stories in it. You can tailor it to different audiences. My when I did that 75 minute keynote, it was the hundredth anniversary of the end of World War One, I think, or it was some huge anniversary. It just happened to land on that Sunday. And so one of the gentlemen in my book and was the bomb disposal expert. He's 10 years younger than me and unfortunately he's passed away now. But Very authentically, that came on, I hadn't planned till the day I was talking about various, awaken your alpha concepts. And it just hit me. That's what I needed to talk about. And that was the example I spoke about his time in, you know, in war zones. And when I was looking around mission, he was very mission driven and coming out of the military, when he felt lost as a as a person with lack of mission and clarity, and, and his approach to fear and taking on, you know, the most dangerous job pretty much on the planet and why would you do that? And, and he's actively sought that out, it didn't find him, he went for it. So, and that, you know, that was something that just was very relevant to talk about at that time.
That's pretty fascinating. You know, you seem like a very upbeat, grounded, mindful, focused kind of man, but you've had your struggles and I know one of them was when you have had that that mishap and you ended up feeling depressed and everything tell mindful tribe a little bit about what happened and how you felt and then how you pulled yourself out of it.
Adam Lewis Walker 22:10
Yeah, so up until my mission for a long time was in terms of lifestyle in general was to be very, very active I was a PE teacher for almost 10 years and in some various shapes and forms and that fit really well for me in terms of my lifestyle because I was looking to excel in my povo in track and field and and get to the Olympics and that was a definitely a stretch goal. You know, people who knew anything, you get the Olympics, well, who knows, but I was really trying hard and I was I would got to a point where I was I was doing pretty well. And you know, the teacher's job they're often the summer which is when the track and field seasons high. So I supported my lifestyle and what I was looking to achieve so I was 28 years old and I'd got into I'd had injuries to my groin at 21. I hadn't had a personal best birth like six years. But I got back and managed to get injury free, had a few minor operations, nothing crazy. And 28 I was having the best season of my life I'd got new personal best for the first time in a long time. And I managed to get into some of the top competitions in the UK and internationally. I managed to do some internationally vaulting and competing. I was loving it, you know, I was I felt like my first really competing as a man as opposed to you know, a young man or you know, a junior, and it was the UK challenge final in this was kind of the combination of the season I have Irish roots as well. I haven't competed in the Irish championships, came third should have won it. But it's very close. And I had aspirations of getting the Irish record. Which was my brother actually got it and held it for a little bit. He's better at povo than me he'd be happy to hear me say. And yeah, so I got into this UK challenge final UK summertime, literally right in August and and horizontal rain. It was awful conditions pavo in is, is dangerous. At the top level I feel it's not as dangerous because people know what they're doing. But in this scenario in the conditions the run up, were, you know, run on wasn't draining, it was a big puddle. It was very dangerous. And we all pavo got together and said the organizers. Can we move inside? No one's good. I mean, you know, someone's gonna get injured. And they had the facilities to do that that actually emailed us before. So and if conditions on were good enough, we're going to move inside. For some reason. They said no, we're make that decision. We're going to continue outside. And I know it's because the pole vault is a big competition is right in front of the stands in the crowd. is a good thing to watch. And also if it's moved indoors, it's not it's, it's behind closed doors. Basically, there's no room for the crowd in there. So that's my thoughts on that. So then it became a real mind set competition, basically, and what are you willing to sacrifice and not willing to sacrifice. And because I felt like the underdog in this competition, I'd done very well to get into it as a top 10 in the UK. I fought to make the best of the situation, it really leveled the playing field because in perfect conditions, the best bowlers with the best heights are gonna win in the reality of life and this environment. It was not going to be the the best physical bowler who's going to win is going to be the one who handled the conditions and also the mental side of the risk and self preservation. So I went very, very tunnel vision on this and I was focused on the doing the best and doing well and I blocked out the dangerous side of it to the fact that I was taken off majority of voters will run him through because it was very dangerous. Your hands was slipping on the pole we literally had umbrellas over us. And I know when you landed on the mat if you've managed to keep reasonably dry, which you hadn't, it was like land in a swimming pool. You aside Oh, wow. So and as the competition went on, you know your, your towels that your direct drying stuff there so your poles so it's just you when you run into put these forces on the pole and jump and your hands are slippery in the pose where it doesn't feel you have confidence. So now the nature of a povo competition is the bar gets higher is the elimination, you're getting down to eventually there's only one person left they win. So 10 voters, I think one off the bat pulled out because they were sensible and said this is not worth it. Someone's gonna get injured. We all agreed on that. And then I think a few we call it no high end where you know you don't even clear open in height because Either you, you can't get off the ground or you just knock it off three times. And that happens more because of the conditions.
Adam Lewis Walker 27:07
So I clear a height which puts you in good shape already. So but in theory then I'm probably like that you Tara height, you're probably in about the top seven in the in the UK in these conditions. Am I clear? Another? Hi, I'm having the conditions Well, again, family members who've never seen me vote like extended family have come to this competition. Saying that isn't a super dangerous and I'm like, No, it's fine. This is and then
Adam Lewis Walker 27:35
it gets down to the last four. There's only four of us there.
Adam Lewis Walker 27:42
I'm thinking of the medal. I really obviously I was I was thinking of doing well initially. And I obviously I want to do as well as I can. It's both place you're one place away from a meadow and in the athletics world off is nothing useless. Like third actually means something. You know, a lot of sports. It's like Win or lose for athletes you know their medals like a bronze medal at the Olympics or any sort of level that means something so and for from January dozen things so I kind of got to the end of what I could achieve on that pole in them conditions. And but I knew I needed one more height like one more height would basically be a medal guaranteed and it could even be a gold medal because of the nothing was guaranteed like every height you care you're kind of in gold medal position until someone close higher and people were not clear and stuff because it was just so random and dangerous. And so another voter you know, once bought was it run through not taken off. their mindset was was gone because you run through once and even in good conditions. It's hard to your foot was either wrong, or you didn't get off the ground. It's hard to get back on it in you've only got two attempts left in these conditions. Once of all ran through They generally didn't take off again was what was happening in front of us. So the new high I got a bigger pole, the soft power used in really good conditions. And these were not. And I needed the good conditions to take off with a high hand grip and get in because if you take off with too big apologies to high angry, and you don't gain is physics, you literally go like that and come back down on the run up or fall in the box, which is really dangerous. Especially if you go for the bar because then you kind of you're naturally you're coming down on your back and people have been paralyzed and people have you know, been killed where they've landed on their head and different things. not as common as you might think. But people do die every year from Polo. So I am I ran down. I ran a little bit hard, I got too close. And so I tried to take off but that self preservation kicked in and I ran through and I was frustrated. And I heard someone from the crowd shout Well, it felt like a shout cuz they're so close. He's done he won't take off again. Hmm and I remember walking back and I was especially at this time I was a more of a negative self talk my coach was more of a negative kind of coach he didn't encourage so much as if you've got like that that's that's okay. That's like that's brilliant kind of coach and I was very negative self talk which I I've since dealt with and changed because I would be on the run up literally talking to my power and being quite abusive to myself list. This is not the best. And so I went back just remember thinking I'm going to take off no matter what, like I'll prove him wrong. I'm going to take off no matter what and it really was no matter what and it it you know, I lost perspective. So I ran in and got too close again, I could feel it natural instinct to pull out and not, you know, not take off or try to take off. My overrode that and I tried to take off but I was close. It was in a puddle, my head Hit the ground which has no grip in spikes. It's those spikes on the toe, which is what you should be running on. But I got too close to my heel came down first. And as I went to take off, you blocked that foot as you go to jump, and it slipped, and I dislocated my patella my knee, tore the ACL rip to the minister's college off the end of the bones and bruise the bone ends from the impact. And it was like someone who took my leg and just snapped it the wrong way. It just felt like you know, I didn't even know I was gonna be attached. It's the most painful thing by far that's ever happened to me. And I felt like Mr. T I remember thinking I wanted to just be knocked out because I couldn't stop screaming. And I remember is out of body. I wish it was more out of body but I was trying to shut up because I I it's in front of the whole Stan and his family there and I just thought they're going to be worried. But I just couldn't stop screaming. I'm not particularly a screamer, but it was just agony and yeah Was it was horrible I didn't land on my head thinking of good things by I remember just the first time being reluctant to look down at my leg because I thought it was I honestly thought it was gonna be like an open fracture or just you know your blood everywhere you see these things and Ray in sports sometimes, but it was it was all. No blood. Thank goodness. And yeah, that was that changed everything.
Wow. And then and then it took you nearly two years to recover from it, didn't it? Yeah,
Adam Lewis Walker 32:30
yeah. Yeah. It was. And that's just not mentally that was literally almost two years of operations because it did. Did you sink into depression at that time? Yeah. And it took about a year to really get rock bottom. I was massively in denial for a long time. And he's like you said I might be I was still at B. I tried. You know, I tried to tackle this challenge as best I could, but it slowly chipped away at me, you know, after you know, after they you think you're moving Foods and then it's like the college hasn't really repaired that they tried to sew it like they said it's like soaking wet spaghetti together and it didn't read at all. And this is me doing all the right stuff. So that for go in and remove it again you're back to square one it was prehab before the operations which is a big delay as well and you you're not recovering until these things aren't going to get better until they've had that operation. So this is your kind of stagnant and then you know you have the operation you're back to square one rehab and rehab and you're really doing your best and then it's not work you've got to go back to square one and back to square one. And I just quit my teaching job for that that summer. So as that summer when this happened, I was had as you know, Sports Academy, a huge strength and conditioning business that had been building on the side, which was a relied on me being very active. I did have outside coaches working for me, but when it all hit the fan, you know a good coach is hard to find. It really showed up And it was getting an added level of stress that before the quality of the company, you know, in terms of fulfillment and coaches letting me down and things happening, I just refunded one and said, You know, this is just what to pause this for now. And the reality is it never came back when it pauses for now, because, you know, I've got to deal with other things. And I don't want the quality, the way I can see certain things going. So it meant if I hadn't have quit my teaching job, I would have pretty much been fully paid or at least, you know, yeah, ripped off there for a couple of years whilst I was recovering because I was on crutches off and on for, you know, a good couple of years. And, wow, I'd never had I never I was sort of dude who never had any sick days, because I'm generally healthy. So the the steady wage never appealed to me. I had it all that time. And it was boring to me, right? Like when if I'm never having days off, I might as well work for myself. And then this happened and it was just a nightmare. And it was an added level of what really kicked me when I was down type thing and yes about a year year in was when I would officially say and admit it to myself I was depressed.
Adam, I always ask a question about bullying on my show because I've worked in bullying prevention for over 10 years. Do you have a story? Were you ever bullied? Were you ever a bully to other people? Do you ever story you can share with us where mindfulness would have made a difference?
Adam Lewis Walker 35:24
Yeah, and no one has ever asked this. So thank you for asking this because you know this is all fresh stuff for me. And I don't think I've never told anyone about this and I've never really spoken about it. But I was a very little guy in terms of in school I was I had a thank goodness I had a growth spurt you wouldn't think that now cuz I'm like normal height but I had a growth spurt to get to this normal height. So in what would be like, not high school is about 1112 years old. I was the smallest guy around by far. I mean like a head below everyone. I've got like a photo of a sports team. And I was the head below the shortlist, guys Who is now like, I know that guy is like to my shoulder. So linked to that, and even later, I did put it out I clearly I was not a bully, I was not some little ninja I was I was little, and I was into my sports. And I was compared to now I was pretty quiet. You know, I kind of I would have been that. Not middle of the road kid. But I was so excited when in certain subjects who but I was never in trouble for any teachers. You know, I was just, I was just them, you know, the sort of person who was a potential would attract potentially bullies because you'd think it could be an easy target maybe. Interestingly, I don't remember particularly having any early experiences when I was little little right when I started to, and I wasn't big, but when I started to grow a little bit, so probably they might notice me more. And I was did very well. In sports, I had I like we talked about the pole vault. So for that age, and I was used to do gymnastics when they're young, so I was in good shape. Like, I was muscley when I was young, and I, I can remember. And they probably don't even notice this, or recognize this, I can remember period, where, because of my physical sort of build, plus the fact I was reasonably quiet, I didn't swear I remember being taken them, like kids taking the Mickey out of me for not swearing, and trying to get me to swear, right? There's like a game. And again, I suppose I had my mindset there. I didn't do it. So that's one good thing. Yes. I'm glad to look back on that. I think I you know, I just like that was against the trend, like it was uncool not to swear, especially when I could have just sworn just to get them off my back and then not had to swear again, if you know what I mean. I didn't do that. I just stuck my guns which caused this cycle to go on, which was definitely a psychological kind of definitely Her it really got to me but linked to that, I remember because again, especially back then, so much of what you call bullying now was banter or just being a lad. But this was definitely physical I remember it her in and I remember that the aspect of it was its relentless nature and that it went on regular as clockwork, which meant I was always anxious about it and trying to avoid scenarios when I knew it would happen. One or two particularly one guy would always come up to me and punch me in the arm. Right? Yeah. You know, like dead end dead dead arm type game. Yeah. I didn't punch back. Which looking back now was was a, I would say a mistake. But again, I I'm, I'm quiet. So number one, I'm thinking, you know, as a lot of people do in this mode, keep your head down. Don't make a big deal out of it and it will go away. Well, guess what? It seems off. Because now it didn't go away, right? And again, when you get punched in the same spot on your arm every day, more than once a day, that really starts to hurt. Yeah, again, and again, when you're not getting punched in the arm, you're thinking, am I gonna get punched in the arm? So I can remember I, I know the person I know who the person is up now and
Adam Lewis Walker 39:21
I they will not put money on they won't even remember this, right? Because it's not a big deal to them. And I think that's an important note on it because I didn't want to make a big deal out of it because I just wanted it to go away. And I felt like if I'd have made a big deal out of it, but you know, then it becomes it's almost like, you know, being a grass or a snitch or you know, our was just a bit of fun. I didn't know and this is important. I tell my son No, that person probably didn't know you know that maybe they're probably bullying someone and this is just them being friendly in their mind. But it was because I was seen as a little bit. You know, I had a bit of muscle there to take that hit but So maybe they're thinking it doesn't hurt. And yeah, and also, as I become bigger, and then I do grow a little bit, and for that age, you know, I was, I was the same sort of, and maybe that's why I hit the gym a lot, especially when I got to 1416 I was the same physical build I am now when I was about 16. And on the surface, you know, you would think, Oh, I look like a tough guy. But the reality is, especially as then to 18 I kept putting on muscle tall, I was 18. And I was, you know, way bigger than maybe that's linked to why I was doing it for self defense. But I would attract a different kind of bully because of the physical nature of me, people would come and challenge you. And, yeah, I I'd learned by that point, that stuff doesn't go away unless you you know, make a stand even physically so I had less trouble then but it was when I was younger and smaller. Allah and I didn't get because I hadn't had the experience of this going on for a good year or two, that it's not going to go away. And it's a lot better to just okay, if you get your ass kicked, that's going to have on one make your stand and then you know, I'm all about yes or no now I don't like these maybes or these open loops. And that's, I feel like what bullying is a lot of times, it's just that thing that's flowing around. And generally the people who are getting bullied are hoping it goes away and trying to just keep it quiet and it doesn't unless someone says something. And that I feel really strongly about that. And it's the first time I've spoke about it. So thank you. Yeah, well, thanks for telling us that story. Appreciate it. As we move forward in the interview, Adam, I want to ask you five quick answer questions and so just 32nd answers are perfect. First one is this who is one person who has influenced mindfulness in your life? Seneca I'm gonna go I'm gonna go old school I was gonna say stoicism. That's too broad. I love. I love quotes in general, I've always they've inspired me, but the stoic quotes and then getting even more of that, if I had to say one, Seneca has got some beautiful stuff in terms of mindfulness. And you know, he's an old guy. He's long gone. But yeah, yeah, huge in terms of my mind.
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