Today’s guest is a master of two seemingly competing ideas; achieving on the world’s highest stage and the art of non-attainment. He’s a multiple time Olympic rower, and in 2008 he was part of the Canadian men’s eight team that won the gold medal. He has won more than 60 medals in his career, 43 of which were gold medal performances. A couple of years after his retirement in 20018, the itch to continue rowing and finding his edge through adventure resurfaced through a project he put together that became the first ever attempt to row over 4,000 miles unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean from Dakar Senegal to Miami Florida. The journey was the subject of the NBC Dateline documentary Capsized. 73 days into his team’s journey across the ocean, their sleeping cabin flooded and their boat capsized inside the Bermuda Triangle ending their journey and leaving them stranded in a tiny lifeboat in the middle of the ocean. Despite failing to attain the enormous goal he set out to accomplish, he used his ability to reflect, learn, grow, and let it go to turn his journey into even more fuel for his already blazing fire.
As a management consultant, social entrepreneur, executive coach, and TedX speaker, he has taught the strategies and skills of leadership, high performance, and perseverance to hundreds of thousands of people at some of the world’s most prominent organizations including Microsoft, General Electric, Mercedes Benz and L’Oréal just to name a few. He’s a former board member of the Canadian Olympic Committee and Clean Air Champions, chairs the board of the Cowichan Energy Alternatives, is a champion for the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation and holds a degree in Geotechnical Engineering & Hydrology from Stanford University. It’s my pleasure to introduce the man that believes in setting clear goals and embracing the happy fail, Adam Kreek.
From the creators of the groundbreaking Sports, Energy and Consciousness Festival™ comes Omni Athlete™, a new weekly interview show that explores the perspectives of the world’s highest achieving mind, body and spirit competitors to learn their secrets for accessing peak performance. Co-hosted by Rich Walcoff and Josh Crist, Omni Athlete is designed to give athletes the techniques and knowledge they need to access their peak performance state. Subscribe for new episodes every Tuesday.
Today We’ll be Talking About:
Why after high school, Adam decided to take a break from both his athletic and business career (3:14).
“It was an epiphany moment for me, but from a storytelling perspective it was just me working in an accumulator shack, spending too much time with my thoughts, doing physical labor, and thinking ‘There’s got to be something better than this,’… that was rowing.”
What would’ve happened if Adam hadn’t taken that break after high school (6:30).
“Especially throughout my youth I had this philosophy of following the energy. You’ll feel the energy inside; we all have an energy, and sometimes we stifle it, and sometimes we empower it.”
Athletes who have successfully taken pause & how athletes become successful; Patrick Chan in particular (9:16).
Adam’s relationship with pain throughout his career and what role that relationship has played in the peak performance he’s sustained throughout his life as an athlete (11:34).
“I’m a mild masochist; I love the joy of pain.”
How Adam learned to balance the emotional and mental health sides of his relationship with pain (15:00).
“One of the other benefits of physical pain is that you become very vulnerable… because there’s an element of helplessness and hopelessness.”
The unique way in which rowing teaches an athlete how to fight through physical pain (19:40).
“You produce more endorphins when you exercise as a group… [you] can endure more pain and exercise harder when you do it in a group.”
How relationships help an athlete expand his or her capacities (23:08).
“Why did we stay alive in the middle of the ocean? Well, we had these three things: respect, openness, and a drive for doing great things.”
What love has meant to Adam as a competitor and entrepreneur (25:55).
The methods Adam and his teams have developed to push themselves to the edge (30:00).
“The athlete will best absorb information when they’re looking for it; you’re most open to feedback when you’re asking for it.”
“Debate ideas, not people.”
The different feelings Adam felt after the 2004 (5th Place) and 2008 (Gold Medal) Olympics (35:00)
What Adam did to combat Gold Medal Syndrom (44:55).
Spirituality in sports (49:05).
“…spirituality is the embodiment of universal truths that are difficult to prove through science.”
The power of the placebo effect (1:03:00).
What it means to John to be an Omni Athlete (1:06:19).
Also make sure to check out the 2018 Sports Energy and Consciousness Festival in San Rafael, California July 12-15. Get your tickets today!