EP16 Tim Morris, BECAUSE I CAN
“G.R.I.N.D. Get Ready It’s a New Day.” Tim Morris
Tim Morris is a paraplegic as a result of being ejected from his Grand Cherokee and having it roll over him in a car accident. In this episode we focus in on how Tim trained his mind to heal his body after he broke nearly every bone. Truly the power of mindset in action and Tim creating a life which impacts thousands!! So many amazing nuggets and stories in this interview from a man I truly admire.
- Talking about transitioning schools and his college experience [05:03]
- Tim’s experience flipping his Jeep, spending a month in a coma and 4 months in the hospital [9:07]
- Learning that he would never walk again after the accident [12:14]
- The start of rehab [15:37]
- Finding meaning, inspiration and life force through Obstacle races (Tough Mudder, Spartan), marathons, triathlons and 1/2 iron man [18:21]
- Working with and inspiring kids and young adults [20:17]
- How Tim masters his mindset and how you can start to master yours [33:33]
- Tim’s training regiment [29:33]
- Why Tim trains, what he gets out of it [32:03]
- Perspective and why its so important [35:37]
- G.R.I.N.D. (Get ready its a new day) [40:17]
- Tim’s morning routine [43:31]
You’re listening to The Business of Life podcast. Practical advice for creating the life you love to live. Here’s your host, Keith Callahan.
KC: Alright, here we go, Episode number 16, and today we have on a friend of mine, Tim Morris, and I got to see Tim speak about a year and a half ago and I didn’t really know much about him, who he was or his story. And then, I saw him start to get ready to go on the stage and it was a smaller. It was sort of one of the stages that they bring in, a portable stage so it was about 3 to 4 feet high, maybe 3 feet high and a friend of his wheeled him, or was walking next to him and Tim was wheeling himself in a wheelchair over to the stage and you could see this whole thing and he wouldn’t let anybody help him onto the stage and he sort of struggled to prop himself up onto the stage, like to twist so his butt was on the stage. And then, got to watch him as he struggled getting on the stage and literally crawled over to where he was going to be speaking and the only thing that his friend helped him with was his friend picked up the wheelchair, brought it over to him and then Tim sat down in it. So, that was the introduction to Tim’s speaking, for the first time that I ever heard him speak and I wanted to share that with you because the one thing that I noticed and the one thing that I got from Tim right away is he’s not going to be a victim of his circumstances. This is a guy who took his situation and is totally running with it. And then, he went on for the next 45 minutes to captivate our audience. So, Tim is a, he’s been doing a bunch of tough mudders. He’s a motivational speaker now. He is in school for nursing and I want you to really listen and just take note of the way this, just this guy lives his life. So, I won’t keep rambling. Let’s go ahead and get Tim on.
INTERVIEW WITH TIM MORRIS
KC: Alright, so I am really excited for today’s show. We have Tim Morris on. Tim, welcome to the show.
TM: Thanks for having me. Thank you very much.
KC: I’ve been wanting to get you on the show, wanting to interview you ever since I had the opportunity to hear you speak out in, we were somewhere like the North Shore of Boston and yeah, it was just, it was an amazing, amazing experience listening to you and listening to your message and the one thing that I really took out of that was the choice that we have as individuals and as human beings in our life. Like, it’s really, it’s not a simple thing but it really comes down to a matter of choice and how we’re going to look at things. So, it’s an honor to have you here and if you’re willing, I’d love to jump right in and have you share a little bit about your story, like you know, your childhood growing up and what brought you here and how you and I sort of connected, like the, you know, with the accident and everything, that whole story.
TM: Absolutely. You know, that’s great. I appreciate that and, you know, sometimes you go to events, speaking engagements and you’re like “Yup, I really, you know, I hit that one. I nailed it.” And, I left the Super Saturday and I felt okay. I didn’t feel great about it but the outreach after the fact was phenomenal. Just people, you know either coming up to me or messaging me through social media, really it was, you know, it was a fantastic day. Coming up as a kid, grew up in Windham, New Hampshire, actually very good friends with Elizabeth Gemmell and which is actually how I wound up on stage at Super Saturday in Boston.
KC: You still call her Gemmell?
TM: Yeah, I call her Gemmy, yeah, I do. Oh geez, Oh my goodness. See, I didn’t even.
KC: I’m going to make sure she listens to this because she’s going to be harassing you about that.
TM: Or, you know, dying laughing. Yeah, just a habit, really funny. I didn’t even, didn’t even think about it, that whole marriage and having a kid thing, you know.
KC: Yup, yup.
TM: It slips my mind. Yeah. Yeah so, grew up in Windham with Elizabeth and, you know, really lived in the area my entire life, you know, Salem New Hampshire High School, undergrad I went to Quinnipiac University. I didn’t start at Quinnipiac. I started at another school. It all kind of, you know, makes sense to how I ended up in an automobile accident. I started at University of New Hampshire because that’s where everybody else was going. I was just, I came up just wanting to fit in and it really, you know, I didn’t take control of my life. I didn’t look to be an individual until it was too late really. So, I went to UNH, you know, I was living the life a little too much. I saw my grades just, you know, drop drastically and, you know, I took a look in the mirror for the first time and said, “You know what, this is not me. This is, you know, I got to get out of here. I got to make a change, find another school that’s more suitable to my learning habits and, you know, me as a person.”
KC: What year were you in then?
TM: Let’s see. I graduated high school in ’99, so yeah, well, you know, we’re up about ’99-2000 right now. Transferred down to Quinnipiac University.
KC: So, it was your freshman year there, right?
TM: Yeah, yeah. Yup, transferred down to Quinnipiac University, the greatest school in America and I studied Sports Broadcasting. ESPN was, you know, less than 10 miles away. I was, you know, I went from UNH, there were, my last class was, it was Psych 101 or 401 or whatever and, you know, there were 400 people in this class. I literally, I think with Psychology I’m not going to lie, I went to the first class and the last class. You know, you were a number and I wasn’t taking academics as seriously as I should have or, you know, the thirst for knowledge, it certainly wasn’t there like it is now. So, you know, and my grades reflected it. You know, saw that, got out of there, go to Quinnipiac. My first class is print journalism and it has 8 kids. To go from 400 kids in 1 class to my next class being 8 students and I saw my GPA go from below 2s to 3.8 and, you know, that’s where I made lifelong friendships and brotherhood and, you know, all that. So, that was the story. But, I’m sitting in my internship in Newham, Connecticut, a senior, cutting some clips to go onto the news broadcast at night for the Sports Department and I just said to myself, looking to this computer screen, “I hate this. I cannot see myself doing this. I don’t want to live this lifestyle where, you know, I’m working from 2 in the afternoon ‘til 2 in the morning.” You know, the family life that I will be looking for, you know, would be, I mean it would be possible but it’s a grind to get to anywhere in the industry where you’re comfortable on sports broadcasting. You know, I’d probably have to move out to Idaho, over to, you know, Wyoming, you know, just prancing around the country until you get to a market that is, you know, acceptable or your goal, where you’re trying to get to. So, I left that, spent some time trying to figure out who I was and this was all like a slow downward spiral. I ended up a personal trainer and getting my Master’s to teach Physical Education.
TM: You know, because I wanted to make kids start at an early age, get kids to love physical activity and, you know, that was my path and 3 weeks after graduation with my Master’s, I flipped my Grand Cherokee. I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt. I was ejected from the moonroof and my jeep actually rolled over my body so broke my neck, broke my back, punctured all my lungs. I broke nearly every bone in my body, except for my legs ironically. You know, I gave myself a T4 spinal cord injury, paralyzing myself from the chest down. I was laying in a bed in a medically induced coma for a month. I was in the hospital for 4 months recovering from brain swelling and…
KC: I got to stop you for one second, Tim. So, when, so you were in a coma for a month and the, there’s actually a bunch of things I want to ask with this because it was so, like because I see you now and like know what you had to go through. But, you were in a coma for a month, when you woke up, what was the last thing that you remembered? Like, was your memory there?
TM: Yeah, no, definitely not all of it. I remember bits and pieces. I was a personal trainer at Planet Fitness down in Tewksbury, Mass and I remember going to work at, you know, for 4:30 that morning and bits and pieces throughout the day. I don’t remember too much after the fact.
KC: Yeah. So, like when you woke up, did you remember, like did you know who you were? Did you know…
TM: Yeah, it wasn’t some, you know, Channing Tatum movie, you know. It was, no, I definitely, I knew who I was, I knew I messed up really bad. You know, I had amazing support and that lifted me up. However, you know, there’s a time when visiting hours end, you know, and I’m just lying in this hospital bed, broken, alone, you know, kind of looking at my life in a fishbowl, you know, figuring out how I got myself to where I was. I don’t want to ever say that that accident was the best thing that ever happened to me but it changed the course of my life for the better forever, you know.
KC: Yeah. So, if you’re willing, I have a, like a set of few questions but I want to sort of give you the opportunity to finish the, sort of, the overview of your story. So now, you’re in the hospital and I’m sure that the PT and all that started, like all that stuff started so if you want to maybe pick it back up there.
TM: Yeah, okay. So, finally to get me to this exact minute in life right now talking to you and one of the things that stuck out to me when I was in rehab, a nurse practitioner, actually nobody ever said anything to me ‘You’re never going to walk again’ you know, and any of that stuff, right, which you know some people say that they hear often when they’re in the hospital. That didn’t happen to me. But, the nurse practitioner, the head nurse at the rehab I was in, said to my father, “He’s wasting his time going to Jerry Ford.” Which, is a neurorecovery facility in the area. “He’s wasting his time going and doing, you know, exercising so he can recover the ability to walk. You know, working to walk again. He’s wasting time. He’s wasting money.” That sat with me because, you know, ironically, I’m in rehab. You know, rehab is where you’re rebuilding, you know, your life emotionally, physically and to hear, to have somebody say that, you know, indirectly to me, you know, that’s a tough pill to swallow. That always sat with me. It’s not, I don’t everything I do is, you know, and I’m very intrinsically driven. I don’t use external, negative motivators. I don’t really hold on to that negativity at all. But, I have that in the back of my head. I certainly don’t think about it often. It doesn’t drive me but it’s there. So, left there, spent several years focused on just trying to walk. You know, my spinal cord injury is so bad that my spinal cord isn’t severed so the ability to walk, you know, could potentially be there. You know, I’m busting my butt for 5 years day in and day out, you know, as soon as I wake up, as soon as I, you know, I close my eyes, the only thing I care about. It’s really not realistic, right, you know, at some point, the support, you know, money, all that, you know, people are just, it’s going to run out and, hey, I didn’t want to be a hand up, you know. I can’t be a hand out. That’s a tough thing to do. But, along that road, I really started to, you know, developing into this like, you know, type A, goal-driven, you know, maniac, to be the best version of myself that I could be.
KC: Gotcha. Yup.
TM: What I realized when I was laying in the hospital bed was that I got myself in this situation. I’m the only person that can get me out of it, right. Nobody’s going to be able to say, help me to walk again or help me rebuild my life and early on the biggest thing for me was taking responsibility for my actions and that right there is probably the biggest key to, you know, my recovery and helping rebuild my life and to become who I am today.
KC: Awesome and where are you at, because I haven’t seen you for probably maybe almost 2 years? In your road to recovery, where are you at with gaining, I don’t even know what the correct wording would be, like gaining use?
TM: Sure. Yeah, good enough, right. So, money does run out. So, you know, I just began, I began working on it on my own, crawling, I regained the ability to crawl. Just, you know, being in the basement, you know, having somebody on each side of my legs so I don’t, you know, tip over. I got it from the point needing 2 people to 1 person to nobody, reins are off. I’m able to crawl around now. And also, I do a lot of standing, whether being in a standing frame which is great for people with spinal cord injuries for, you know, a number of health reasons and I also do a lot of free standing with a walker, you know, from like just going from sit to stand, sit to stand and I’m talking like hundreds of thousands to millions of reps, right. And, it’s just the repetitive work of crawling and trying to sit to stand. I’m able to free stand a little bit now, right, so to go from a T4 “complete” injury which is supposed to be complete loss of function and sensation below the injury, I wouldn’t call myself a complete injury if I can crawl and I could stand and I do have sensation below my injury level. It’s just, you know, it’s muted I guess. It’s like if you were wearing 7 pairs of jeans and somebody was trying to touch your leg, that’s kind of what it would feel like. Right, so it’s muted. Yeah, so that’s where I’m at and I didn’t want to get back into being a Phys Ed teacher because I feel like there would be so many instances where I would need assistance. I’m not the type of guy that likes getting help. You know, pulling volleyball nets out of the equipment closet or getting something up a higher shelf or, you know, if students are going out to a field that is, you know, really kind of or to a ropes course or something that’s in a, you know, a difficult spot for me to get to, you know, I’d be able to do it but I don’t want to waste the class, you know, crawling up a hill, you know. So, I’m like “Okay, what can I do?” I took almost 8 months to study to become a certified strengthening and conditioning specialist, which is you know in the exercise world, in the fitness world, it’s kind of like, you know, the gold standard of, certifications have degrees, right?
TM: So, you know, I began to prove to myself that you’re looking at tall tasks and you’re starting to be able to check them off. Currently, I think I’m one of two or three paralyzed strength coaches in the country. And then, from there got into obstacle racing. Tough Mudder, I think I was the first paralyzed guy to do that, one of the first ones to do Spartan Race and both organizations have been phenomenal to me much like Beachbody. You know, the people in the organization are just amazing quality people. Spartan Race owner, Joe De Sena, really has done, you know, a lot for me personally and a lot for my career. I’m fortunate. I’m very fortunate to have doors open up, not just sitting back, being proactive. You know, if a door cracks open, I’m going to bust through it now and, you know, these are all learned traits in really trying to rebuild my life. I’m a dark, dark spot and, you know, to becoming a better, more complete person.
KC: Gotcha, man. So, where are you going now with your career? What is it, it seems like you’re, to me, again we haven’t connected in like a year, a year and a half. It seems like you’re on the brink of something really popping because like your message in the and I would say, listening to you on audio doesn’t do the same justice as watching you speak like in front of people. Like, that day that I saw you, I just saw like you speaking in front of crowds of thousands. Is that where you’re going with your career now?
TM: The question’s so relevant right now that you just asked because I want to get out of the strength training game. I fell out of love. I love my current clients and athletes that I work with but I kind of fell out of love with the program and just the industry. So, funny, I’m actually in school to get a second Master’s right now to become a nurse practitioner and that’s why I made reference to the nurse practitioner when I was in rehab, you know, tell my family that I’m wasting my time. It’s coming full circle. So, I’m in the process of getting a second Master’s degree right now to become a nurse practitioner. And, I do, you know, I do a lot of motivational speaking and, you know, it’s big with high school kids and college kids. You know, I’m 34 years old but, you know, I kind of have like a younger voice or a younger look, you know, but I’m able to connect with these kids still. I think that’s the Phys Ed teacher in me that, you know, I really, I’m emotionally connected to seeing young people thrive and I love it and I get really into it, really passionate, really enjoy hearing stories of people or schools or “you changed my life” or “you gave me something to think about” and, you know, “I appreciate you” and in turn that means the world to me and that’s kind of why I do what I do. So, I think what I’m up to, it’s you know, it’s really a pretty unique situation and I’m looking to impact as many lives as possible. You know, I think as a nurse practitioner, you know, pediatric nurse working with kids, I think that’s all a big part of my personality and, you know, seeing where it goes, professionally and then personally, it’s you know, I’m just passionate about triathlon and I’m taking off with that.
KC: Awesome, man. And so, you know, listening to you go through and explain that, the piece that I’m excited about because I want to really hear you explain the story and for everyone listening I think it’s important and I guess my next question is, you know, you’re mission is to be able to impact and help and somehow, some way, either directly or indirectly alter the course of someone’s life, right? And, I feel like there’s so much literature out there that talks about the, like mind over matter, things like that and I was wondering if you could either share through your personal experience or maybe answer this question. So, if we have, if someone listening has these underlying thoughts that have become part of who they are whether it’s that they can’t do a Tough Mudder, they can’t, they’ll never be successful in business, they can’t have a loving relationship and I was wondering if you could share the power of like changing your thoughts because I’m assuming that when you went through all of your, like you went through your transition, it had to start with your mind.
TM: Yeah, alright. This is my absolute favorite, right? So, it’s all about your thought process. You know, if you are looking to make a change, no matter how small or how big, wherever you are in life, I think you need to take control and realize that you’re not living a life where you’re living at effect to everything that’s happening around you and like it’s cause and effect. You really are in control of your situation and your thoughts lead to your actions and your actions create your life. It’s all about controlling the 6 inches between your ears and once you’re able to wrap your head around any challenge successfully, you can do anything that you want.
KC: So, what if I don’t believe that I can?
TM: Start small. Start with something, you know, a small change that you want to make, “Listen, I want to stop drinking coffee” or “I need to stop, you know, doing anything.” We’ll just go with coffee just because it’s easy, right. So, you have 3 cups a day or you want to stop smoking. You know, in anything, start small, 3 cups a day. You know, you need to, honestly, and try to lay out, you know, measurable guidelines for yourself. You know, 3 cups you know this week, 2 cups the next week, one cup the next week, done. Or, cold turkey, if you’re, you know, and but if you’re not strong enough to realize how powerful you are, you know cold turkey may not work for you. You just need to, you know, start small, start making, you know, minor changes. Look at your life. I’m very introspective. I’m always looking at my life, evaluating my life. Honestly, one of the best things that I ever did was read The Secret, you know, it just teaches you that if you can control your thoughts, you control your life. It’s all about how you look at, how you perceive a particular situation. You see people that are always, that always have a, you know, a black cloud above their head and everything is happening to them. Well, it was me. And then, you see people that the figurative sun is always shining on them and good things seem to be happening to them all the time. Well, it’s not like bad things do not happen to their life. They just choose or they’ve trained themselves to look at it, look at situations differently and that, I, you know, wholehearted believe and I think and, you know, I think happy successful people are, you know, all share that commonality. That, you know, if you can control your thoughts, your thoughts lead to your actions and action is the keyword here that, you know, one minor change leads to another minor change and, you know, eventually, your whole world can turn around.
KC: Yeah and kind of what I’m hearing you say is there’s a, it’s sort of a feeding back and forth where there’s, you know you may not believe that you can do it. For me, it’s always been like when I set my mind to something that I can’t like conceptually you can’t believe it but there’s a piece inside of you that knows it’s possible, right? And then, you do a little bit of a thing and then you build a little bit more confidence and then you do a little bit more. And, it’s sort of like, it’s almost like this seesaw that brings up higher and higher and higher and eventually you do get to that full level of belief but, yeah, I think, you know, just listening to what you’re saying, it’s a combination of just kind of faking it ‘til you make it and taking action too.
TM: Yeah, exactly, fake ‘til you make it, you know, feel until it’s real and take action. But, it’s always a process. Like, 3 years ago I’m like, “Okay, I turn my life around. I’m grinding. I’m working hard.” You know, but a month later you re-evaluate the process. You’re like “Wow, I wasn’t working as hard as I initially could be and you learn that through trial and error. You learn it through knowledge. You know, I think successful people are always, you know, thirsting to be, you know, better, more efficient, you know, with whatever they’re trying to do, whatever they’re trying to be successful with, you know, and always learning. You know, knowledge is power, right? And so, once you get into, I’ll just use as an example triathlon because, you know, I’m trying to work my way up the ladder in triathlon and being a paraplegic, you know, doing a sprint triathlon in an Olympic distance. This Sunday, I have a half ironman up in Lake Winnipesaukee which is 70.3 miles. And then, in October, I’m doing Ironman Louisville which is 140.6.
KC: So, give me a visual on how you, like for the 3 different parts, like what type of equipment you use for those.
TM: So, this all plays into, like triathlon is a great example because the first triathlon I ever did, you know, I hop in the water for the first time, I can’t even get, with my spinal cord injury having my shoulders be rounded forward from always pushing a chair. You know, getting in the water my legs can’t go out straight, I did my first triathlon with a backstroke, elementary backstroke in the water to go, you know, a third of a mile. It took me almost an hour to go a third of a mile doing a backstroke. Then, you get out, hop on a bike. You know what. It’s a hand cycle. It’s kind of like you’re laying down and the gear box is kind of flipped upside down. It’s reversed. So, you’re cranking with your arms and then you get in a racing chair. It’s like a push wheelchair with a wheel upfront and instead of just pushing the chair along, you’re wearing a particular, you know, a padded glove and you’re kind of punching at the wheel so it can help you, you know, pick up speed and momentum and go faster. You know, I want to do triathlon. You got to, you know, break it down into discipline, swim, bike, run and then you got to, you know, put the time. You got to put the work and you got to learn, you know, each discipline. So, you know, I’m in the water 4 times a week in the morning. You know, some mornings I’m in the water at 4:30 in the morning for an hour and a half and , you know, it’s just it’s all about hard work and action but also learning the discipline of whatever you’re trying to do. You want to learn how to be better and more efficient and, you know, triathlon for me, you know, I ended up you know flipping over, being able to do a regular, you know, a free style stroke, getting the leg braces I need to help me be able to rotate in the water and I’m becoming decent, right? And, personally, I’m trying to take triathlon, you know, as far as I can. I’ve a lot of dreams. I want to, you know, I want to be a world champion and, you know, the only thing standing between where I am now and my goals is hard work and knowledge and I’m not afraid to do either one of those, you know.
KC: That’s awesome, man. So, with the triathlon and the Tough Mudders and all these things that you’re doing, what do you get out of it? Why are you doing it?
TM: Personal gratification, right, and just seeing that, you know, the obstacle race and Tough Mudders, the Spartan Races, that’s another great example. So, you start small, see that you can do it and I’ve seen Spartan Racing. I’ve seen Obstacle Racing change lives, right? Because, somebody will get out there, they’ll do a sprint which is only a 5K distance. It’s 3 miles, you know, 15 obstacles either in like a stadium like Fenway Park or up on, you know, Ski Hill or, you know, a park and, you know, they don’t think that they can physically make it through a course but there are thousands of people out on the course at the same time. And, if you’re having a hard time getting over an wall or a temporal wall, there are complete strangers that will come up to you and will help you, make sure you get over that wall. And then, you know, you’re, you know, it’s like that with 10 obstacles, 15 obstacles and you finish and you’re like “Oh my goodness, I can’t believe I just did that.
TM: And, you know that makes me, you know, thirsting to do another one. You go challenge yourself again and once you start to see that you can do these things and you expand and go a little further, you can do that and you expand a little further, you begin to realize that you can literally accomplish anything you set your mind to. Bam. You know, your world has changed.
KC: So powerful, yeah. That’s sort of the exact reason with any physical. For me, it’s not, you know, we’re very similar, like I’m a physical guy and stretching yourself, it’s not even that like it’s the internal power that you gain each time you complete it. Like, that’s the real gift, right?
TM: Yeah, I think the real gift isn’t the, not the metal, the metal’s nice but whatever, it’s the journey, you know, and it’s seeing the effort, you know, that work that you put in to do it, seeing that you can do it. And then, having it expand into the rest of your life, taking the same principles that, you know, helped you create success on a course and kind of implementing the principles out into, you know, professionally or personally and change less, right?
KC: Yup. That’s so good, man. So, I got another sort of loaded question. It’s been documented and proven over and over that often times when people go through a very traumatic experience in their life, something that, you know, that your life literally flashes before your eyes or not even flashes but like you go through something where you may not have come out of it or, yeah, I guess, that’s sort of the simplest way to do it. And, it’s been time and time again proven that during that time, this doesn’t happen to everybody but some people like come to God during those times or some people like they completely change the way they used to look at the world and they never ever look at it again. So, I guess it’s a 2-part question, like with the accident for you, did you have to and did you start looking at everything in life differently after the accident?
TM: Perspective is everything, I think, right. So, the way you look at situations, it’s like we were talking about earlier with, the way you perceive a situation is really whether or not it’s true, it’s your reality. So, perspective, I think after my injury, you know, saying that my injury was the best thing that ever happened to me, that’s not true. But, the perspective that I gained as a human being, you know, I’m 34 years old, you know, in material I don’t necessarily have all that much. I’m, you know, still in the rebuild process of my life. However, 10 years from now, I know my life is going to be amazing and I mean my life already is amazing and only because I’ve put in 8 years of work rebuilding it. And, it’s just going to be, you know, I know the future is always bright because perspective to me is everything, you know, and as a 34-year old, you know, where I kind of put my life on pause for, you know, 5, 6 years, I missed out on a lot but I know I have a lot more than the majority of people because, you know, my perspective, my value I just feel very fortunate that although two-thirds of my body doesn’t necessarily work right, I still have, you know, the other half of it that does and I’m 100% aware and grateful to be able to have my arms to use to move myself around, you know, to be able to take care of myself, everything that the majority of people probably take for granted. You know, I see people complain if they stop at toll or they get in a fender bender, you know, and that stuff does not matter.
TM: And so, social media is truly one of the best things and one of the worst things to ever happen. So, you see those people and there’re some people that you either have to get rid of or you block because it’s always a dark cloud over their life and they love to have people feel bad for them, you know, and they talk about it. But then, it’s also a great tool to connect, to communicate. You know, it’s great for business. It’s great for, you know, if you use it appropriately, it’s amazing. That’s what I got when I was, you know, from that time in the hospital was perspective and for that I am forever grateful, you know, and it’s the ability to look in the mirror and know that I am the creator of my thoughts and my actions, to take responsibility for the accident. If it wasn’t for my actions, that accident would have never happened. I’m able to, you know, taking ownership of my life and I would recommend that to everybody. Learn, figure out that you have the power to control every aspect of your life. If you don’t like a situation, change it. If you don’t like your current job, either work harder and make the higher ups, you know, value you or change your situation. You know, you could do anything you want if you just wrap your head around the challenge and sack it the right way.
KC: Before continuing, I just want to share this quick message about our sister podcast. Okay, before continuing, I want to quickly let you know about our sister podcast, All About Beachbody Coaching. So, partnering with Beachbody, the makers of P90X, Insanity, the 21 Day Fix, you know, the Shaun T/ Tony Horton Company. It’s played a huge role for Amy and I in creating the freedom to do what we want, when we want with who we want. And, not only has it helped us to achieve our goals, it’s how I’ve mentored hundreds of others just like you to achieving their goals and ultimately living the life they love to live. So, if you’d like to learn more about how you can partner with me and be mentored one-on-one by me for free, check out the all about Beachbody Coaching podcast. Alright, back to today’s episode.
KC: I love it, man. You actually answered the follow-up question that I had. Real quick, I was wondering if you could touch on Grind and, you know, watching the Tough Mudder video and I’m going to post that up on the show notes here. I love that video. But, tell me a little bit about Grind.
TM: Yeah, so actually that acronym was put together by my best friend. He, it was part of a fundraiser and it led into our first obstacle race, you know, we just, we got the acronym GRIND, came up with the acronym, shared ideas and then we went out with like a team of like I don’t know 50 or 60 people and we kept it quiet between he and I until the week of that, you know, okay, putting together this fundraiser obstacle course team, I’m like “I’m going to participate. Let’s do this. Let’s see what happens.” I didn’t know anybody. I didn’t know, you know, anything about it. Kind of went into it blind as a paraplegic. Like, I use my regular wheelchair that I’m, you know, still using right now. It’s beat up bad. It’s on its last leg but, you know, it’s sentimental. But, I used my regular chair. We went out there and, you know, it took a long time to go out longer than it should have but Team GRIND went out there and kind of, you know, set Tough Mudder on fire with that and we get through the whole course and in Tough Mudder, on the last obstacle, you have to run through electrical wires and before you cross the finish line which I’m like Robocop. I have so much titanium in my body that, you know, I can’t go through the wires with all the hardware. So, I got down on the ground and I crawled the length of the electrical wire field and the emcee had like, at this point, he had like thousands of people, you know, around us watching. He’s choking up. He’s crying and it was just, it was powerful, man. And so, that kind of, that took off, you know, the obstacle took me like 10 or 15 minutes after a 10-hour day out on the course. My body was beat up so, you know, I’m like a bag of bones. I wasn’t moving fast and it was really cool. So, that’s where GRIND, the acronym GRIND – Get Ready It’s a New Day, but ‘get ready it’s a new day’ it’s a mindset. You make the decision that tomorrow is going to be the first day of the rest of my life. Or, you know, I’m sick of hearing myself complain, it’s time to start taking action. Get ready it’s a new day.
KC: Gotcha. So, one more question and then I want to just jump into a few recommendations that you might have and then we’ll close things out. I could chat with you all day but I know that your time’s precious. So, I guess one of the questions I always like to ask people is ‘Do you have a morning routine?’ Like, when you wake up, first thing in the morning, like how you start your day and if so, would you mind sharing it?
TM: Yeah. So, first thing in the morning, what I try to do, what I like to do in the first half an hour, oh, as soon as I get up, a glass of water, you know, hot glass of water with lemon, love it. You know, and I try to eat breakfast in the first half an hour. You know, I’m still a strength coach. You know, I’m still into, you know, nutrition’s a huge piece of my life. If you don’t eat within the first half an hour, particularly if you’re trying to change yourself physically, if you’re not happy with where you are physically, you need to discover the information or a source where you can find out the information, whether it’s working with a trainer, a nutritionist, you know, it’s all about knowledge. If you don’t eat in the first half an hour of the day you’re awake, it’s called breakfast because you’re waking up from 6, 8-hour, you know, fasting where your body’s kind of going into a catabolic state and if you get up and you start moving around you need nutrition. So, anyways, I get up. A lot of times I forget that I’m a paraplegic and motor routines, you know, things take me probably just a little bit longer than they should. It takes a little while just to get ready and then I wake up with a sense of gratitude. I like to wake up in the morning and have the first thing, you know, if you wake up and the first thing that you do is open your eyes, lay in bed, take 5 minutes, think about all of the things that you have to be grateful for your life, your day is going to start off on the right foot. And, it’s all about changing your thought process and the way that you look at things. So, lay in bed, take 5 minutes, think about 10 things that you have to be grateful for and even if in the darkest days, we really all have so many things to be grateful for, whether it’s the mind to think about what you’re actually grateful for, the eyes to see, you know, how beautiful this New England summer is. I have so many friends that, you know, dove off a boat, you know at the wrong time, broke their neck and they can’t scratch an itch on the tip of their nose or they can’t feed themselves. We all have so many things to be grateful for even those guys, the guys that can’t scratch an itch. You know, at least they’re alive, you know. And, because so many people have done that, dove off a boat at the wrong time and unfortunately, you know, they’re not, they didn’t live to be able to, you know, talk about.
TM: So, just being alive and, you know, thinking about, thinking about all of the things that we have to be grateful for and, you know, beginning your day that way. I don’t mean to sound like Mr. Rogers but it’s so, you know, it’s so…
KC: I think good beginnings and good endings are one of the most important things, if not the most important thing you can do to change your life.
KC: Such good stuff, man. So, rapid fire here real quick, any other, you mentioned The Secret, any other books or authors that you recommend we check out?
TM: My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It takes you on a, you know, a personal spiritual journey of figuring out self-discovery in the way you look at things and, you know, figuring out your purpose in life.
KC: I got The Alchemist on my shelf and I probably bought it 10 years ago and I’ve read it but I didn’t get much out of it so just listening to you talk, I’m going to go back and pull it out. It’s probably, now I’m ready for it.
TM: Yeah, perfect, The Alchemist. There’s another book by a strength coach I’m working on now, the book is called Relentless, Tim Grover.
KC: Tim Grover, alright, I’ve never heard of him.
TM: Okay, yeah, he’s a strength coach. He used to be Michael Jordan’s, you know, strength coach.
KC: Oh, I have heard of him and it’s not really about strength is it? Like, it’s a ton of mind stuff.
TM: Yeah, it’s about mental strength really.
KC: Yeah, I have heard of it. Because, he did someone else, like another, didn’t he, isn’t he Kobe Bryant’s coach too or something like that?
KC: So, for people that are listening, if they’re listening to you, they’re inspired by your story or they just want to learn more about you, how can they stay in contact, how can they follow you?
TM: Awesome. Well, currently, right now I’m a semifinalist for the cover of Runner’s World magazine which is pretty rad. I was recommended or I was nominated by a friend and I answered 3 questions. I never shared it and so I had like 5 votes, you know, like nothing. And, I think I was 3 of those votes, I voted for myself. And, she was the other 2. Alright, so Runner’s World saw my profile and they still chose me out of 5,000 people as one of the top hundred finalists, semifinalists. And so, so I’m happy to share that a little bit more now and if I truly, you know, have the opportunity to make the cover of Runner’s World if I can get my, you know, my message out there to help change lives, I’m all for that.
KC: What’s the date that those votes have to be in by?
TM: I’m not sure.
KC: I’ll grab the link for that from you and I’ll put it in our show notes.
TM: Okay, cool. Yeah, Runner’s World cover search number 190 is me. Out of 5,000, in order to be a, you know, I think I’m in the top 3rd of voting right now.
TM: So yeah, so there’s that. You know, they can hit me on Facebook, Tim Morris M.Ed., Master of Education and CSCS – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist.
KC: And, for everybody listening, these are all going to be in the show notes and at the end of this episode I’ll give you the link to the show notes as well. Awesome, man, well, it was so good to have you on. It was good to catch up and, you know, just proud of you in all the work that you’re doing and the lives that you’re changing. And again, just want to give you a big thank you because listening to you and watching you speak, it really, it moved me in a way that I hadn’t been moved in a while and helped me to, helped to really remind me of the blessings and the beauty that we all have in life and to really honor those things and to continue to focus in on those things. So, I appreciate you taking your time out, Tim, and yeah give you a chance to say goodbye.
TM: Oh, man. So, everything that you just, you know, first man, I got to, you know, return it tenfold to you. Thank you, Keith, for you know choosing me for the podcast and having me on and valuing what I have to say. You know, it really means a lot to me and I truly appreciate you taking the time to do this with me.
KC: Alright, there you go guys. We’ll see you next time.
KC: Alright, I told you. Tim Morris is the man, isn’t he? So, if you are listening, you wanted to grab any of the information that you heard mentioned, if you go to KeithCallahan.com, KeithCallahan.com/episode 16, just spelled that whole thing out or episode spelled out and then number 16. So, KeithCallahan.com/episode16 and we’ve got all the information there that Tim talked about, all the links and stuff to the show notes. Alright, guys, hope you enjoyed this episode and we’ll see you next time.
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