The Crossover of Personal Growth and Sports
The Crossover of Personal Growth and Sports
Besides working at one of our nonprofits partners, Vogel Alcove, Sammy Gonzalez and Greg Brinkley also have the love of sports in common. Many of the themes and guests featured on their project, The Pursuit of Growth, have a sports tie. Enjoy episode #116 as we discuss Bruce Lee’s best tip ever, and what drives the best of the best to work even harder, push limits and come back after defeat.
Enjoy this episode and other episodes of Hustle and Pro in our archives.
[00:07] Intros for Sammy and Greg
[08:59] Why such a synergy with growth and sports?
[14:59] The drive to come back after injury or defeat
[19:12] “Do One More Rep”
Resources within this episode:
- Sammy Gonzalez on Instagram @dallas852 | LinkedIn
- Greg Brinkley on Instagram @gregwbrinkley | LinkedIn
- The Pursuit of Growth: | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn
- Kelly Walker: Bio | Instagram @kelly_walkertexas | Twitter: @kelly_walker_TX
Connect with Lifestyle Frisco:
Welcome to this episode of Hustle & Pro. I’m your host Kelly Walker. We have Sammy Gonzalez and Greg Brinkley in the studio with us today. Welcome, guys.
Thank you for having us. This is going to be a lot of fun.
Yeah, I’m excited. So, I know you guys through our kind of nonprofit partnership that Lifestyle Frisco has with Vogel Alcove. And, um, that’s how I first got to know you, but then I, you know, we’re, we’re Instagram friends and I see some of the things you guys are doing there and notice the sports tie-ins. And so that’s what we’re going to do today. We’re going to talk about, about that and where you guys sit on some things in sports lately. So, I guess let’s get started.
I love it. Awesome. Well, thank you so much for having us on. It’s, uh, you know, how many episodes now? Three years now, so-
Yeah, I mean, this will probably be in the 115, 120 range, this episode. I don’t even know. I don’t, I don’t have it labeled yet, but yeah. I mean, it’s not a baby anymore. I feel like, but like it’s, it’s getting, it’s getting better and better. So first of all, um, I want to know kind of your own sports backgrounds, because I don’t know that, yet. I know you like sports, but I don’t know if you played sports as kids and what you did and what you were into, or if you still play something now. So, maybe Sammy give us, uh, give us an update.
Sure. So yeah, growing up in South Texas, um, kind of small town, I had the opportunity to do everything. So I played football, basketball, baseball track all the way up through high school. I was one of the few people that was actually able to do that big school, but you know, a lot of opportunity. Um, so always was just a huge fan of doing anything outside. Um, I was the kid that could not sit still inside. So being outside and kind of growing up in the country was great. Um, but just had a huge affinity for team sports, especially I, I really enjoyed the camaraderie. I really enjoyed know helping other people out as well. I excelled at, at, you know, uh, I think it was football and track actually. I threw discus and shotput, um, but I loved baseball. I loved basketball. I mean, even to this day, like just picking up a basketball or walking by a, uh, uh, a shoe store, you know, if I see a new pair of shoes, like, oh, I wanna play basketball.
Like this just happens all the time. Uh, I have, uh, gosh, it’s been years since our, uh, we had the Frisco Throwbacks was our, a team name that we played here and, and we have some plenty of stories about playing some really good teams when we were not as good. Um, but we haven’t played in a while most recently about a year ago, picked up mountain biking, which, um, you know, it can be a pretty solitary experience unless you have a crew. And, uh, we’re just fortunate. We have about seven different guys that we ride with pretty consistently, almost on a weekend, a weekly weekend basis. And, uh, the sport of mountain biking has been really interesting. And there’s a ton of great trails, man. Yeah. You,
The biking bug, when everybody realized let’s, let’s do something else right now. Cause we couldn’t do all the things we were used to doing all the organized sports or watching sports. There was nothing to do for a while. So we did that too. We got more into biking, just more like family recreational stuff. Um, okay. So you mentioned South Texas. What, what were your teams?
So I grew up with all things, Houston. I actually- I was afraid of that. I figured you were gonna say that. Well, I, this is my take on, on sports and rooting for sports. So I grew up with Houston Astros, Houston Oilers, the San Antonio Spurs. Those were my teams. The Oilers abandoned me and then disappeared. Right. So, um, you know, it was that without a oh, a team for awhile.
Did you adopt the Texans? Or are you now Cowboys?
No, I moved up to Dallas and without a team. Okay. But so when I moved to Dallas, I said, you know what, I’m going to plant my flag and I’m going to root for the home team. So I did. And so the Cowboys are my team and I was always an Astros fan there. They will always be my number one, but I like to root for the home teams as well. So I started rooting for the Rangers. Now they put both teams in the same division. So I root for the Rangers anytime they’re not playing the Astros.
Yeah. So this recent series was probably fun for you because the Astros figured out our ticket and could not, we could not figure theirs out
And I’m going to the game on Sunday. So, uh, I’ll be, I’ll be there rooting for the Astros.
Okay. Then moving on. Uh, Greg, what about you?
So grew up in Georgetown, Texas and played every sport that I could sports were definitely the number one aspect of my childhood. And I looked back with so many fond memories. I learned so many life lessons from it. Baseball by far was my love when I was a young kid getting up into about the junior high age and then I transitioned to basketball. And so I’m not a very tall guy. I’m 5’5, 5’6. So a lot of people are surprised when they hear that I played basketball, but that was my passion. And so played that through high school. When I got into college, it was every intramural sport that I could get, uh, I could play. And, uh, I think as I got older, I was very fortunate to meet this guy, Sammy Gonzalez, and we just hit it off and we’ve played on softball teams together, baseball teams together, neither of us had played soccer. So we decided let’s put together an outdoor soccer team and did that had a blast. And uh, now we’re into mountain biking, like you said, and yeah, it’s been, it’s been a fun journey for me because I never realized that mountain biking is an extreme sport if you choose to pursue it with that type of intent and we get after it, and it’s such an exhilarating experience and you talk about like growth and development and always continue to challenge yourself, that’s filled that void. Um, that I think we had when COVID hit and we couldn’t play sports together. Mountain biking came in, it’s just taken us to a new level. It’s been so much fun.
Isn’t it interesting though, as you evolve and your life changes, it still goes back to like wanting to compete even with yourself. Right. You’re talking about my mountain biking, um, the, the, the competitive part of your own, just your own, like, you know, want to get better at things, but it doesn’t really matter the sport. It’s just either being with a group of like-minded people and pushing yourself, like you learn a brand new sport, or, I mean, you, I know you’ve ridden a bike before, but you know what I mean? You can take on a new challenge as you get older, but it all boils back to the same reasons why.
Yeah. And it’s such a confidence boost, especially when you try something brand new. And I’ll be honest. I was a little bit intimidated when we first started riding bikes because you go to some of these trails and you’re thinking, okay, I’m going to ride on some dirt and go through the woods. And then you see these courses and you have that moment of like, can I do this. Right. And this actually looks really scary. And then as you start progressing and you start growing in your skills and you overcome those fears that translates to like every other aspect of your life and you just have this like enhanced self-belief in yourself.
Yeah. Baby steps and have small goals and small challenges. Cause you can’t just walk up to those courses or I don’t, I’m, you’re doing trails, but there’s a course in my mind, I’m thinking of up off 423 that you see these hills are these jumps. And I’m like, there is no way, like, there’s zero chance I’m going to do this. But then if you do take it in baby steps, like I’m, I mean, I’m scared of stuff like that. So I’m talking like I’ll stand at the top and maybe walk down once or I don’t know, figure it out to where I chip away at it. And, but then when you do it, you’re like, okay, I cannot believe I just figured that out and I’m not at the hospital with broken arm.
We have been very fortunate to, uh, you know, we’ve had our fair share of spills and wrecks and all that. Um, you know, as you learn and grow and that’s something that Greg and I are hugely into is like personal development and growth and learning. So one of the things that, you know, as we were talking about this podcast, you know, we’ve talked a little bit about like, what is it in our life like from back in the day that really stood out in sports is always just that common thread. And then looking at some of the different athletes that, you know, came to mind. So one of my all time, favorite athletes, um, someone who’s inspired me even to this day, uh, was Cal Ripken Jr. Um, and I’ve always taken that to heart. What he did was being able to have that longevity, being able to consistency exactly that perseverance. Right. And he even admitted in many of his articles that he read. Cause I used to clip them all out of magazine stuff, but he said, you know, sometimes I got lucky, like my kids were born on off days. Like, so how lucky is that? It just happened, but that’s a vein that it’s carried through even like in youth sports, you know, like you’re saying, you’re seeing kids now, like you’re having to struggle and find your way through so much adversity when you’re young and then that carries over. So that’s what I did. Just like, I carry over that mentality of you can work through it. You can get to, you can, you can do the little things to get you over that hill. So standing at the top of the hill, which we do many times and mountain biking and think, ah, I’m just going to walk this right now and you walk down it. Right. And then you say, okay, well let me, let me see if I can slowly roll down it and then you do it again. So next thing you know, four or five tries deep, you’re rolling right through it. And then, you know, maybe you wreck, maybe you don’t, but it’s still fun.
Yeah. So you mentioned, you know, the personal growth and development, so a project that you guys work on, um, I want you to tell me a little bit about it, but you’re talking about living the Pursuit of Growth. You talk about challenges and growth and failure and accomplishments. And I know that you have a podcast also, and I’ve spied a theme in some of your episodes, which is sports, you know, having athletes or, or organizers of sports or maybe former athletes also on there. So, you know, that’s also why I’m curious about like, what is the synergy with the personal growth and the sports thread that you see so much. And you just touched on part of it, but also like you can’t plan every step of your sports career and you have to sometimes have luck involved, um, or be resilient because of injuries. I mean, you talked about injuries, mountain biking, but every sport, if you don’t expect an injury, you’re, you’re fooling yourself. Yeah. So I don’t know, Greg, talk about that. Like what do, what do you see with, um, with the Pursuit of Growth and why sports is a match with that?
I think it’s a perfect match. And to give it a little bit of background, the Pursuit of Growth is a project that Sammy and I put together. Um, we wrote a book called the Pursuit of Growth. We have a YouTube show called the Pursuit of Growth show, very creative. Um, we also have a weekly blog that we put out. Um, and so you can get that shameless plug at www.livetpg.com. And I’ll link to it in the show notes too. But the Pursuit of Growth ultimately is a lifestyle. And it’s a commitment to enhance your life through personal development, by focusing on growth goals and habits in 11 key areas of life. You talk about sports, it’s so much mindset. It’s so much just what’s going on between our ears. And that’s the same thing with our lives. We live in a world where there’s more anxiety, depression, fear, stress, and trauma that’s going on our country and our world than at any time in recorded history. I mean, it is an epidemic and the Pursuit of Growth basically is a lifestyle that just goes straight in the face of that, and really helps to teach people how to take control of your life, how to have the right perspective and really what are the ways that you should be growing and learning that’s going to put yourself in a spot where your life is going to go well.
Because otherwise it’s detrimental. Absolutely. Your mental health, your physical health at all is one big idea of you either tackle it or it tackles you.
You. And this is where the sports connection comes in. I think this is why so many athletes are attracted to what Sammy and I are talking about is in life and in sports, there is going to be failure. There’s going to be obstacles. There are going to be trials. You should start looking at those things, not as bad things, but as opportunities. You should look at your trials as good. I have a chance to be better, have a chance to get sharper. I have a chance to see if I can overcome this particular scenario. And I think what’s interesting about sports. I know growing up, Sammy and I, we talked about this before we started recording the podcast. One of the things that we learned as youth was what it means to lose, what it means to win. And actually, how do we handle that correctly? We learn what it means to sacrifice, to persevere, we learn what it means to ultimately have to get to a spot to where we faced for the first time in our lives as kids, pressure. So we had to perform, oftentimes it was just maybe mom and dad watching from the stands, or maybe you’re in front of your high school and it’s a packed crowd, but you’ve got to get to a point where you’re in a position that you’ve got to make it happen. And so all that hard work that you put in starts coming out. And I just think that’s just a natural tie-in with sports. And I’d like to let Sammy chime in on this as well. But I think that’s why so many of the athletes that we talked to just love sharing those stories about all those different topics that I just mentioned. Yeah. Yeah.
And it comes down to that common thread of like understanding yourself as well. Um, I know we’ve had recently Cory Procter, former Dallas Cowboy on ours and he, and he was fantastic about talking about it. It’s like, it really took a chance for him to learn who he was as well as he was growing. And I think in sports, you, you kind of have to always have that in the back of your mind, like, who are you? You know, you can do it, you know, like you are also impacting the people around you. So like if you come to, you know, quote, unquote work or practice, right, you come there with the right attitude, the right mindset, um, that’s in that can infect everyone else. And then you can work together as a team
And it can infect them, affect them positive or negative, whichever way you’re choosing to do it. And like, with your example of Cory Procter, I think it’s interesting sometimes when maybe athletes are having to learn who they are through their sport, because they they’re going through it at a young age, like he’s this big offensive lineman. Right. And so like, he’s probably always been told he’s certain types of person or whatever, or his role on the field is, or this or that. But, you know, as you mature and then he becomes a professional, like he probably like, you know, grew up a lot and had to figure that out at a, in a different way than most people, um, who aren’t, you know, professional athletes. But that’s fascinating to hear guys like that talk about it.
You know, one thing that he mentioned that I thought was really fascinating was he talked about the importance of coaches and really, while he was a professional caliber athlete, he needed these coaches to take them to the next level, especially when he got into the NFL. And he realized very quickly that when he was on the practice squad for the Detroit Lions, that he needed a lot of additional help to be able to get him to that next level. And I think that translates to our lives outside of the sports world. We all need coaches in the key areas of her life. And we talked about this with Corey, we all have blind spots. We have things that we don’t see about ourselves. And when you can surround yourself with the right people that can help you identify what those blind spots are and then help you to push and persevere ahead of that. It’s huge. And I think, again, it just goes with sports, that’s the coaching, the teamwork, and then having the goals. I mean, when you’re playing sports, you are focused on where you’re going. And I think that again, that just translates over into every aspect of lives.
Yeah. It’s that you don’t know what you don’t know. And you know, a lot of us like to think we were excelling in this, so we do know it all right. But there is always more, there’s always more to learn, especially sports, but in normal life and work and all the things, there’s always someone else’s perspective that can teach you something to make you better at, at, you know, the piece you’re doing. So I also want to talk about, um, you mentioned something a while ago, Sammy, that reminded me of this, about bringing a certain attitude like into the locker room or on the field with your teammates on one of your blog posts. I think on your, um, Pursuit of Growth site, you guys had something about Bruce Lee talking about like the best tip ever or something, whatever you guys call it. But it was about doing “one more rep,” which all goes back to like pushing yourself past plateaus.
Um, and this is, you know, sports and fitness and athlete, all these other things too. Um, but it, it made me think about certain athletes like Alex Smith or Dak who faced these really big injuries on a huge stage. And how are they going to, like, what is their mindset? How are they going to make a decision to take a baby step? And then, and then ultimately push themselves past and thinking about like the Dirks and the LeBrons who are kind of known for like the gym rat, you know, thing, like I’m going to be the first one in and the last one out and how that rubs off on all the people around you.
Yeah. And that blog post, actually, that Greg wrote that. So I’m going to let him touch on that. Um, here, uh, shortly after my small little answer there, but one of the things is that I guess in that same vein was, you know, we talked to some of these athletes, we talk, talk about people that are overcoming a lot of adversity, like Dak and Alex Smith, when you hear their stories, it’s that mindset. Right. It’s but it’s also, they’re putting a lot of effort into it as well. But look at the people they have around them. Like they have their champions around them. They have the people that are going to inspire them, motivate them. And they surround themselves with the quality type of people. And I think that’s like also coming from a sports background, you know, they have their crew around them. They’re going to help uplift them. I think it was Dak like recently. I mean, you look at him and he’s, he’s on Instagram and like he’s smiling, having fun. Like he’s, I think he was like delivering something like a donation to somebody.
Yeah, I saw I’m serving to-go meals, maybe a homeless shelter or something recently.
Exactly. And so like, that’s the thing it’s like, it-
With lots of smiles and like fist-bumps for everybody. And I mean, he wants to have a full conversation with everybody who walks past him.
Yeah. Oh, well just this morning. Uh, before we started recording this, I was on a Zoom call with, uh, with an artist and he was born without hands, but he’s amazing, like fine artist. And he talked about resilience and I think that goes back into like learning it when he was younger as well, but he had a sports tie-in, too. But his whole thing was, and I think kids learn this today too. And athletes wanting this and I’m sure Dak went through this as well. And so did Alex Smith because he talks about it: don’t deny your feelings of, you know, whenever something bad goes on, you know, when something bad happens. We saw Dak with the ankle, right. Crying. Cause you know, he was in that emotional state. Right. And everyone, I think the whole stadium watched them and probably like had that same feeling with him. Yeah. But then he- including Jason Garrett. Everybody. Right. Everybody. Right. So then he takes that, use it as motivation. And then now he’s going to come back bigger, bigger, better, stronger. Alex Smith, same thing he wanted to get back on the field. He never denied himself that opportunity to have those feelings, but then he moved past it.
Yeah, because you do have to process it. It’s happening to you. You know?
Exactly, and that was the main thing that we talked about this morning was don’t deny it, apply it. And I love that theme and it just gave me extra motivation that as soon as Greg pulled up in the parking lot, I talked to him about that. I was like, I’m pumped up already. I want to go do something. Yeah. Yeah.
That’s I mean, yeah. Especially with the artist. I mean that is his life. That is his circumstance. Um, and you, it goes back to how you choose to see that. Is it, is it something that’s going to overcome you or can you figure out a way to overcome it, push yourself even harder. Yeah.
You know, growing up every athlete that I played with or, and played against, I think those that always had the competitive advantage were the ones that had it in between their ears. It was the mindset, right? I I’m a believer that the way you think determines the way you feel, the way you feel determines the way you act and the way you act determines the way you live. So I say that all again, one more time, the way you think, determines how you feel, how you feel, determines how you act and how you act determines how you live. It all starts in between the, the years. And there’s a quote that I love that I’m not sure it’s been attributed to Henry Ford. I’ve seen it attributed to Confucius. Um, but it says “he who says he can’t and he who says he can are both right.”
And I think that’s so much when you talk about people that are facing injuries, obstacles, challenges in their life. And I love, you know, you alluded to the Bruce Lee blog that we wrote about I actually many years ago bought Bruce Lee’s, uh, I guess it’s his workout like journal. And so there was actually put together by his family and his close friends and they document all these different ways about how he went to like approached his workout, which is just insane and completely motivating. Well, the gentleman that wrote the forward to the book talked about how he would work out with Bruce Lee and Bruce would always challenge at the end of the workout. Hey, let’s do one more. Let’s do one more. And so after Bruce Lee died, he adopted the saying, every time he worked out, I’m going to do one more for Bruce Lee. And so when I read that, I got so inspired by it that I started telling people.
And so when I’m in the gym now, or if I’m running or we’re doing anything in my mind every single day, do one more for Bruce Lee. So it’s that mindset of just push yourself a little bit more, a little bit. And that’s, I think that goes exactly what these athletes, especially when you get to the professional level, those guys are sure they’re talented, they’ve got amazing skills, but it’s what they’ve done with them. That’s taken to that level. And while they may not say, do one more for Bruce Lee, I guarantee you, there’s a why that’s inside their mind, that continues to push them. And that’s what separates them from the people that have a lot of skills, but never quite make it.
Yeah. There do-one-more is probably, I don’t know. I think more like a family member who taught them the game, you know, a dad or an uncle or somebody like that, or a mom who is going through something and raised you. Like, we hear that from Dak a lot. You know, those kinds of things where it’s a little bit like, that’s what I picture a lot of these athletes like Jason Witten, we always heard about his family situation and that pushed him to be a better man on and off the field. And you know, those, those things that are going on between their ears that pushed them one more rep to be a better everything.
You know what I adopted that and, and I am no Bruce Lee by any means, um, yeah, as much As I try, he’s being modest. Right. Um, but my thing was, and a coach told me this a long time ago was never leave on a missed shot in basketball. Right. And he’d never leave on the miss shot. You shoot until you make the last one. And that can be your last one.
I love that. I, I think about that a lot too. So Greg, we’re similar in that, like your baseball was kind of your main love when you were younger. Mine was softball. And so with my dad, as a coach, it was always like, you can’t end on a bad bobble or miss hit or whatever. And so I was pitching some batting practice to my son’s team the other day. And you know, we do like three, like it’s full count scenario. What are you going to do with the next pitch? And if I pitch of a ball, I’m like, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I want to give you something you can hit. Like I want, I don’t want you to walk out of the batting cage on a watch, you know, watching a bad ball, go past you. Like, no, hold on, let me get you a strikes. You can hit it. I want them to, I want them to feel that like ending on something good that they’ve done, you know, to build off of that moment.
I can remember playing basketball as a kid in the driveway. You know, you start wrapping things up and it’s also it’s game seven. It’s the NBA finals. I’ve got the ball. I’m going to go around the screen shot. Missed it. Guess what? Go back in time. Let’s start that over. Put some more time on the clock. Here we go. And you do it over and over until you make it. And then you walk up, walk off the court with your hands held high. No doubt.
Yes. That’s the beauty. We can write our own, write our own awesome sports dreams and sports stories. Well, Sammy and Greg, thank you so much. Um, for coming in here, I feel like there’s a lot more we could explore and maybe we will, um, on some of the future episodes, I like when y’all were talking, I, I wrote down Rafa. I’m like, oh, we need to do an episode, two things while we were talking, if you haven’t watched the 60 minutes about Rafa, Rafael Nadal, all like, let’s watch it or let’s talk about it. Um, because he talked to his question was have the wins done more for you than the losses, that kind of thing. And like such a good topic. And then your, your Frisco Throwbacks, I’m like, Ooh, let’s do an episode on Throwback uniforms and basketball.
Oh, I love it. As a designer, like a background in graphic design and art, yeah, I would definitely love to have that.
So, we’ll lock those in soon. And have you guys back in here.
I can also share a short story about when we played against Del Harris. His team against the Frisco Throwbacks and things did not go so well. So, we learned a valuable lesson in losing. So, that may be a tease for next time.
Very good tease. Awesome. Well, thanks for coming in and thank you all for listening to this episode of Hustle & Pro. We’ll see you next time.