Posted on / by Brant Phillips / in Podcast, The Brant Phillips Show

Brant Phillips Show 35: What You Appreciate Appreciates- Stories from Ironman


Welcome everybody to The Brant Phillips Show, the show that is about one thing that we all want which is results. What we’re gonna talk about today is appreciation. Gratitude and appreciation, I’m gonna try to share an experience that I recently had and how this ties into how it’s so important, why it’s so important to appreciate the things that you have in our life ’cause you see my friends, what you appreciate in your life, appreciates, it increases, it expands and it gets even better.

Some of you may know this that I’m a pretty active guy, I take my fitness and my health pretty importantly. Not just for health and fitness reasons but what we experience through our body impacts the rest of our life. How we are showing up in our body, in our health, in our fitness. It is my belief that impacts other areas of our life. It affects not only our health and our fitness, it affects how we show up in our relationships with loved ones, with our kids.

It absolutely effects how we show up in the business world ’cause you see as business people, ass business men and business women, as real estate entrepreneurs, we’re gonna constantly battle fears, adversity, setbacks, problems, pain, whatever it is and if you are conditioned, if you’ve conditioned you are body and your mind to endure these types of challenges and to endure pain physically, like if you know how to deal with pain physically and you experience whatever it may be in the real estate world, it’s typically insignificant compared to things that are going on in your body.

To me, my health and fitness is incredibly important and I make it a point to continually have some type of new challenge or new adventure or something to kind of just push me to get to the next level and just to stay sharp and keep the edge because it’s so important, my friend, it’s so important to keep the edge in life because if you’re not moving up in your life, in your business, that means you are either on a plateau, which means you’re going flat, and that plateau is only gonna go down or you’re essentially dying.

One of the mindsets of a successful, thriving business is you have to be growth oriented and growth minded and always looked up and looking for growth, ways to grow and expand, if not, you’re dying and I believe the same is true for us in our bodies.

One of the things that I recently did, was I competed in an iron man this past weekend. It wasn’t the first time I competed in a full iron man about three years ago and I’ve done a couple of half iron mans since. If you don’t know what an iron man is, it is essentially a full day event. The pros, doesn’t take, don’t take nearly as long as guys like me do, the novices out there.

What it is is this, you start your day, you start your day where you get up, you start your day about 4 AM is when I woke up and you have to get out to the Iron Man site and all this preparation starts depending on the type of training regimen that you have. Some people train for this for a year to compete for this one day. On average, people compete at minimum three months but most, on average, is about six months training leading up to this time.

Getting closer to the event, there’s a lot of things you have to do, get all your gear ready and prep ready. You have to be at the race site a couple of days in advance to get all your gear coordinated et cetera, et cetera. Race day comes, you’re probably up at four, you get to the grounds around five, and start preparing for the race at six, getting in position.

And, it started at seven, so what is the actual race? So the actual race is a 2.4 mile swim, this is an open water swim, with thousands of people around you, so the entire swim, you’re getting hit, kicked, kick ’em with your feet and someone’s hitting your feet. You’re swimming with your arms and you’re hitting someone next to you or in front of you and it throws you off. And you’re sucking in lake water, or ocean water, depending on where you’re swimming at, and I’ve done it in the ocean.

I’ve done it in lakes as well. And it’s, it’s a 2.4 mile open water swim, I don’t know what else much to say about that, and it’s, you know, it’s whatever it is that you make of it and what you train for it to be.

After the swim, that’s how we start our day around 7 AM, get out of the water, you make your way to the bike. So, everyone has a bike, and after that you go on a 112 mile bike ride. 112 mile bike ride, I don’t know how many cyclists there are out there. For some of you, like that’s not that big of a deal. That’s a, you know, five to eight hour thing. But, that’s really what it is, it’s a five to eight hour thing on average for the average novice Ironman competitor. It’s about a seven to eight hour thing at least.

So, you finish the swim, you go on this 112 mile bike ride, and I’ve done it through mountains. I’ve done it in 108 degree heat, on blacktop roads, I’ve done it in high wind, and it’s not easy my friend. Let me just say it’s not easy, especially coming off the heels of a 2.4 mile open water swim.

So, you go on this bike ride for 112 miles, and only then, only then one of the running jokes is, that’s your buy in into the race. After you finish the swim and the bike, that’s your buy in to get into the race, which is the final part of the Iron Man, which is a 26.2 mile run.

That’s right my friends, you finish the Iron Man by running a marathon. So, depending on your training, your age, your experience, your skills, this is a full day event, right? So there’s a 17 hour cut off. It starts at 7 AM, people who don’t finish by midnight, they don’t get to call themselves an Iron Man, and a lot of people don’t make that cut off in time. And, but a lot do. And so, that’s what I went through this weekend on Saturday. I finished my second full Iron Man.

And, you know, I go through challenges like this, whether it be an Iron Man, things I’ve done with Seal Fit, with MMA, with Cross-Fit, opens and things like that. You know, one of the things that I’ve found that’s very useful for me, and it’s just, what a lot of my mentors and great leaders have done, is just, block out time, you know. If not every day, every week, to spend some time journaling and writing down, and sharing some of your thoughts and take aways from your life, and from your experiences right?

Hey this is Brant and I hope you’re enjoying today’s show. If you’re at a place in your life or your business where you just feel stuck, or you just don’t know what actions to take to help you get unstuck or onto the path to creating the results you truly desire. Please take a few minutes and go to my web site. There’s some really valuable resources and information that may be able to help you out. And if you’re interested in really speeding up results with the help of a coach and mentor, and adding true accountability and guidance to your life and business, please reach out to me from my website as well at Or going directly to Now let’s get back to the show.

As I sat down to write and recollect some of the thoughts that came to my mind during that day, it was just a few days ago, there were a couple of words that just came to my mind, like stood out. More than anything else, it is gratitude and appreciation. And, so yes, I had, you can only imagine, for me it was a 14 hour, almost 15 hour day is how long it took me to complete it, and you’re not allowed to have head phones, there’s no cell phones, you don’t have your little iTunes going the whole time, there’s nothing like that.

It’s just you and your thoughts for the entire day, so I had a million thoughts as you might imagine about business, about my family, you have some time to think. You have a time, you have the time to think about a lot of things. So, I had a thousand, a million things, running through my mind throughout the day. But the thing was, right now where I’m at, at the time when I was sitting down to journal, was really just this feeling of gratitude for the blessings in my life.

And, I’ll explain why I think that was the case. Is because this, so, not very far into the race, into the bike ride, you know, you start experiencing pain, and discomfort and, like, man, what the hell was I thinking? Kind of thing. And I didn’t train nearly as hard for this Iron Man as I did for my first one. It just takes so much time, right? So, I didn’t train nearly as hard.

So, I was on this bike ride and I saw a tandem bike with two guys on the bike, and the guy on the back was blind. So, they ended up completing the entire race, side by side, I later saw them on the marathon. And they were like, you know, they had like a little rope, connecting them together. I’m not sure how they did the swim. But it was simply amazing. So like, man, like a, I’ve got so much to be grateful for, and it took me thinking about, you know, should I even be doing this Iron Man thing.

Some of you have heard me tell the story about many years ago after I had my third knee surgery, and I’ve had two ankle surgeries and all this kind of stuff, that I spoke to multiple doctors, and the last doctor I spoke to told me essentially that I had the knee of a 70 year old man who live a hard life. Is what he told me. And I should, and he said, you should stop running, absolutely, you need to stop cross-fitting, you need to stop doing all this stuff that you’re doing, because you need a knee replacement. Maybe not now, but in the very near future.

He’s like, so you need to just stay off your knee, no more running, none of this stuff that you’re doing. He was basically telling me to like shift down and go into old man mode is the way I took it. Because I was like late 30s kind of thing.

And, and I believed him, like, I took it to heart. I said, I gotta like listen to this dude, I’ve already got arthritis. But you see, my friends, I made a decision, I made a decision to determine what was going to be truth to my life. So, we have like information that we can receive, but it doesn’t always mean that it’s going to be absolute truth to us. Because, see, you can be told that you need to have a job and invest in your 401k and things like this, and that people tell you that, and like, you can accept that as truth, or you can listen to someone like myself that says that job, having a job is insecurity, it’s not security at all.

And that the greatest way to experience the most out of life is to follow and pursue what is in your heart, right? So, that is truth to me. So, I made a decision to go after experiential truth, let me just experience, let me just experience what competing in a half Iron Man would feel like and how my knee would feel like.

Here’s the thing that I’ve experienced. And since he told me that, I’ve, that’s when I went on my journey of competing in four Iron Men now, Cross-fit opens, Seal Fit, MMA cage fights, all this stuff that I do. After that time, none of it was before, because see, after taking this time, taking a year off, after the doctor told me that, my knee still hurts. Right? Like I still have arthritis, like not doing the things that he told me not to do. So, therefore, if I do them, I will likely still have that pain, so why not do them and experience life?

And guess what? The pain now, as I’ve built up muscle and endurance and tissue, I don’t know what it is, but my knees do hurt, and I have good days and bad days, but they hurt drastically less than they did from before.

So, I was going through these thoughts during the Iron Man of just immense gratitude and appreciation to even be in that spot. And then, later on in the race, more pain’s coming through, right? More just battling these thoughts of like, what the hell am I doing here, maybe I should quit, and all this kind of stuff. Just like, this is hard, why did I do this?

And you battle those, right, on and off throughout the day. But I later saw this, a man who is at least 15 years older than me. Maybe even in his 60’s, I’m not sure. And he’s pulling, looked to be like a teenage boy who was disabled, I’m assuming paraplegic, is what it looked like. I’m assuming it’s his son. And that man swam the same 2.4 miles, ran the entire race, rode the 112 bike, ran the 26.2 mile marathon, pulling his, what I’m assuming, his son, through each step of the way.

Very similar to the Dick and Rick Hoyt story, if you haven’t seen their story on YouTube, I highly recommend you YouTube the Dick Hoyt story. Incredibly powerful, about a man who carried his paraplegic son through the entire Iron Man and did this actually for years and years and years, to come, it’s a powerful story. But, I saw this man, doing the same thing, carrying the weight of another person, I’m assuming his son, through this 140 total miles, during an entire day, with essentially no rest. Was absolutely humbling to me, to see this and consider this man’s determination, and really the love, for his son, to take him on this journey through, however long it took them. 16-17 hours, I’m not even sure, and I’m not sure that he finished.

So, any thoughts about my issues, or my discomfort and my injury, and I suffered and injury that day, and I’m still experiencing it now, I’ve got to go to the doctor tomorrow. But there are absolutely minuscule issues compared to what I saw these men go through, and many, many others throughout the day. And, like I said, while I’ve been through other Iron Man events and other physical endurance events, and a lot of these events trigger, just some really deep takeaways for me, insights and inspiration. This experience to me, it was really humbling, and the recurring thought that I had was the thought to remember that I have so much to be thankful for.

My health, my family, my team here at the office, and just the ability to do the things that would not be possible to do without the people in my life and without life in itself, or health. And so, here’s really, getting to the point of this podcast, my friends is, that each day is a gift. So, I encourage you to appreciate the gifts that you have in your life.

Even if, and I know some of you are going through struggles, you’re going through challenges, you’re going through maybe job loss, maybe depression, like addiction, whatever you may be going through. Struggles in your business, appreciate what you can appreciate. Appreciate the things that you can appreciate because, understand this, I learned this from a good friend of mine years ago. A very simple sentence statement, very simple statement, but very powerful.

What you appreciate, appreciates. What you appreciate, appreciates. That means it increases and it grows and it expands. So, even if, like, if you’re going through a time and it’s hard to find some things like, find some things to appreciate because they will grow, and they will expand, and what you appreciate, appreciates.

So, like I said, a lot of things came to mind during that particular day, during that Iron Man, but these are just a few things that I wanted to share with you. Some things that I journaled about, and that’s what I wanted to share on today’s podcast. And lastly to say, I appreciate all of you, my friends, for taking the time out of your life and your schedule to listen to this show. And I encourage you to go out and take action, appreciate the things in your life that you can appreciate. Go out and create results. Take action, take massive action to create the results that you desire in your life and in your business.

And with that, I’m signing off. This is Brant Phillips, and I wish you all the best.

Leave a Reply