ep182-sean-corvelle

Ep182: Staying True to Your Core Values (When Hollywood Tries to Steal Your Soul) | with Sean Corvelle

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It was one of those things in my life that just clicked…boom. This is where I’m supposed to be, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
– Sean Corvelle

Sean Corvelle has played a variety of different roles in his career as an actor, a comedian, and a television host. But for the last eleven years he has been inspiring and motivating athletes and weekend warriors across the world at the Tough Mudder starting line. He is also the host of Tough Mudder’s No Excuses podcast of which I was recently a guest on (you can hear my interview with Sean here.)

Like most of us, Sean came to Hollywood with stars in his eyes hoping to build a career that would bring out the best in him – a career that fulfilled him while also allowing him to be creative, to perform, and to ultimately be successful. Similar to my own path, Sean discovered that the more success he attained in Hollywood, the further away he got from himself and his core values. The higher he climbed the ladder, the more it burned him out, and the less he wanted to be on the ladder at all. Tough Mudder became the unexpected calling that Sean never imagined.

In today’s conversation Sean shares his advice, experience, and stories about what it took to listen to his soul in order to leave behind a career in Hollywood. If you have ever felt stuck or you’re unsure of the right path for you, get ready to be inspired and motivated to take just one small step towards forward progress today. Whether you have run an obstacle course race or not (or if you could honestly care less about mud runs), the lessons Sean shares in this conversation apply to every aspect of life.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How does Sean answer the question, “what do you do for a living?”
  • How he got the job as Tough Mudder’s starting line inspirational speaker.
  • What Sean’s first ever Tough Mudder starting line speech was like and how it evolved.
  • Sean discusses the audition process in Hollywood from his perspective.
  • Why it’s important to not let success define you.
  • How he became known as “The Mirror Man”.
  • Instrumental quotes from Tough Mudder and what Sean learned from the requests for them.
  • Lessons learned from Hollywood.
  • Why Sean believes our souls don’t change, instead they just expand.
  • How Tough Mudder is designed to be done together and what people learn from that experience.
  • The two common excuses people use to avoid signing up for a race.
  • How to overcome your hesitations to race.
  • The lessons learned in Tough Mudder apply to every aspect of life even if you just show up to volunteer and not race.
  • Inspiring stories of Tough Mudder runners never quitting.
  • Sean’s advice to his younger self in his darkest moment.


Useful Resources Mentioned:

No Excuses Episode 61: Zack Arnold on How to Optimize Yourself – Tough Mudder

Carlos Alazraqui – Comedian/Actor/Producer

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Episode Transcript

Zack Arnold

My guest today is Sean Corvelle, who's played a variety of different roles in his career as an actor, a comedian and a television host. But for the last 11 years, he has been inspiring and motivating athletes and weekend warriors across the world at the Tough Mudder starting line, including inspiring me. He's also the host of Tough Mudder's No Excuses Podcast of which I was recently a guest on. And if you want to listen to that episode, we provided a link in the show notes. Now like most of us, Sean came to Hollywood with stars in his eyes hoping to build career that would bring out the best in him. A career that fulfills him, while also allowing him to be creative, to perform, and of course to ultimately be successful. Now similar to my own path, Sean discovered that the more success he attained in Hollywood, the further away he got from himself and his core values. The higher he climb the ladder, the more it burned him out, and the less he wanted to be on the ladder at all. And Tough Mudder became the unexpected calling that Sean ever imagined. In today's conversation, Sean shares his advice, his experience and his stories about what it took to listen to his soul in order to leave behind a career in Hollywood. If you have ever felt stuck or you're unsure of the right path for you get ready to be inspired and motivated to take just one small step towards forward progress today. Whether you've run an obstacle course race or not, or if you could honestly care less about mud runs, I promise you that the lessons that Sean shares in this conversation apply to every aspect of life. Alright, without further ado, here's my conversation with Tough Mudder starting line motivational emcee Sean Corvelle. To access the shownotes for this episode with all the bonus links and resources discussed, as well as to subscribe, leave a review and more simply visit optimizeyourself.me/episode 182. I am here today with Sean Corvelle for anybody, anyone anywhere in the world that has ever been on the starting line of a Tough Mudder you already know this guy, you know the face. You know the voice. He is the inspirational voice of Tough Mudder you are also a comedian, you are also partially responsible for the holiday Armadillo episode of Friends, amongst many, many other things, all of which we might talk about today. But Sean, what an immense pleasure it is to have you on the mic today. And I'm so excited about sharing all the things that you and I talked about. Officially on the record with my audience.

Sean Corvelle

Yeah, me too. Zack, I am very excited. I was fortunate enough to have you come on to our tough Mudders podcast or no excuses podcast. Couple weeks ago, I got just before we went out and did the Tough Mudder event there in SoCal at Glen Helen. And you and and Wesley showed up. And you guys were awesome, as usual. And you which I'm sure we'll talk about later, did something that was very uncomfortable for you. And man, you wouldn't know if you hadn't said anything. You would never know it. You would never know it. So congratulations to you on that.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, well, we're definitely gonna get to that story a little bit later of how even having done I've lost count, but it's probably in the 20s Tough Mudders and Spartans and obstacle races, thinking that at this point, I'm not sure this is even totally outside my comfort zone. And it's a great workout. And it's a fun exercise. You're like, No, I'm gonna make this terrifying for you. And how is it electrocution? Nope, deep water? Nope, he was handing me a microphone and forcing me to be the starting line emcee. We can talk more about that later, I was also fortunate enough to have my tomato partner Westley recorded, I'll make sure we have a link in the shownotes. So anybody listening or watching is able to see that but here's where I want to begin. Because I suspect you have a very similar challenge in your life that I do. Imagine that you're in a scenario where you're amongst people that have never met you before. And it's not necessarily your world or your audience. Maybe it's at a you know, friends gathering, family gathering, and somebody asked you the question, So Sean, what do you do? How the hell do you answer that? Because you do so many different and unique things? How do you answer the question? Here's what I do.

Sean Corvelle

The last thing I'll answer to that is that I'm a comedian. Because when you tell anybody that you're a comedian, prepared to hear jokes, or they'll always say, Well, you know, you're not funny now. You know, that kind of stuff. There's just some things that everybody says that you hear. So it's like that will be the last thing that I will say. The lately in the last few years, it's been something I'm very proud of working with Tough Mudder the obstacle course mud obstacle course company, people come out there and you come out there and have fun, just to find your best if you're like, one of our top athletes to see where you're at with your fitness. And if you're anybody else from corporate, to church and everything in between. You just come out there, have fun and find your best with friends. That twit I tell them that I do. And then you know eventually gets into more details. It's a great conversation to have with someone.

Zack Arnold

So I'm assuming you just went on to jobs.com and it said, seeking starting line emcee for upcoming mud race inquire here. I'm sure it was that simple, right?

Sean Corvelle

That's very close. Very pretty good. It was Clinton Jackson actually that did that. And it was gigs. What was it something gigs them. I don't think they're up anymore. He did it. Clinton is a fellow comedian. I've known him forever. And he's very human are very close. Were practically we are related as far as I'm concerned. And he was looking, he goes on kick masters, it was. So they are they they look for singers, comedians, anybody in that field to host or whatever it is that they need them for. And this came up through tough mudder that they were looking for an announcer. And Clinton clicked it. It was the one that was going on in Tahoe and 2011 I believe, or 2010. One of those. But but he clicked it there, he was going to do it. Then he got in touch with me. And asked me if I wanted to do it actually was he was management. They asked me if I wanted to do it. And I said No, at the time, when I was busy in LA doing stuff to it on the comedy thing that would have been a hell gig, man, those people weren't listening when they listen to any kind of comedy. So I'm like, No, I'm not doing that. Unless they weren't paying anything. They weren't putting people up or anything. They weren't very experienced in that department yet. So I passed on to Clinton went and did it. They loved him. Because he's so good at that, you know, he's that's his, that's what he's been doing for all of his life. And they called his management who used to be my management now it's, I still work with them. Laurie Kaplan, they called her and they said, Hey, we got to have Clint, we want to lock him up, we want to give him the yatta yatta yatta. And so they negotiated and that's when Clinton came back to me and said, Sean, you got to do this. And that's as simple as your brother, your mom, your dad, somebody that you close to says to you, hey, Zack, you got to do this man. He'll go and do and I did the one that was in Virginia. And he was right. But it's just one of those things in my life that just click boom, this is where I'm supposed to be. And I've been doing it ever since.

Zack Arnold

So nowadays, if you mentioned tough, Mudder Spartan Race, and by the way, for anybody that doesn't know the inner workings Tough Mudder is now owned by Spartan. So all the you know, inner workings and competition and different businesses don't have to worry about that. I used to have to be very careful about mentioning both of them on the same show. Now I can very gladly do that. But you're technically working for tough water. And nowadays, if you mention it to the layperson, they at least know of it. Oh, yeah. It's those things you do, you know, in the mountains or the hills and people, you know, run and go, you know, under barbed wire and get sprayed with fire hoses. Yeah, I've heard of that. And 2011. Nobody knew what this was. So you go on gigs.com. And you're like, Oh, I've got a speaking gig. What in the world? Were you thinking when you shut up to this the first time.

Sean Corvelle

So I was thinking, one, you know, this was great. This was a blessing for me because I was kind of done with Hollywood, and Hollywood. And I don't want to get into that thing that people say, Oh, I hate Hollywood or I hate LA. Because that's not how I seen I felt that I understood that I've said it myself. But now I say that I hated myself in LA, I hated myself in Hollywood. There's great things that go on there. And there's great things to be discovered there. But I got blocked, I started worshipping that Hollywood God. So I forgot what it was that I enjoyed in my art. And I was my soul felt like it was dying there. So I was ready to get out of there. So this came along at an opportune moment. And what so when I went there that first day in Virginia to do it, it was dark snow on the ground, cold. All kinds of chaos was going on. Because this is early on, they were still discovering challenges themselves and putting this thing together in the experimental stage. And I remember the young lady who had hired us, she marched me down to the start now, I didn't know I was going to be doing a start line. Clinton was working at the time in the infield in the base area. He was sort of doing they would have a live band, the live band would come off Clinton would come on do announcements, introduce the merchants? Do games just be as charming, funny self. He's a great comedian. I thought I was going to be doing that but it made sense. We were both there was going to be doing that. So she marched me down to the start line. I didn't know that. I get down to the start line. It's like I said it's nighttime it's cold. And nothing is set up the sound equipments not set up, tents down, and it's just muddy, wet and cold. She hands me this little sheet that had these bullet points on and she goes here's the bullet point. Your first wave will come in at 730 last wave will be at 130 I just read this to them, we'll be coming through every 20 minutes, turned around and walked away. I'm like, Okay, but what hit me immediately, then I did love was how hard everyone was working. It was like a real team effort. You know, you've, I've experienced that from the other side, in the industry, and you're in the industry. So you know this.

And especially, to union workers, man, they work hard, they work as a unit, they're very good at what they do. It's, it's, it's very admirable and very inspiring. And that's what I was seeing at this event. So I liked that. And now I get to be a part of this, I knew how to set up the sound equipment, because you know, I drum a lot, as you see over the air, and love music. So I have my sound equipment and all that stuff. So I set that up, and anything else that I needed to do, I got done, and then somebody did help me with the tent, and all that kind of stuff. And I loved that feeling already that I was part of a team that was working hard seeing the fruits of my labor, you know, first wave comes in, and I'm up there, and I forget, I don't even think I had a school yet. I just went out there, I had a little thing. And I started talking to them. And even in that first wave, I noticed there was something more going on. I'm from the fitness industry, I've been working with, like work with crunch for 11 years, I've always been in the fitness industry, in some sort of capacity is straight out of high school. So I got what was going on there even back in my training days that people come and do these things. It's more about the physical that's going on, there's something else that's going on in their lives, that this is helping this exercise is helping. So I was feeling that immediately. And then as the waves kept coming, you start seeing our veterans, you start seeing amputees, you start seeing people that are coming with T shirts that have loved ones that they've lost people that have been diagnosed with something they weren't expecting. People were bringing their lives to this and more than any other job I've had previously, including comedy. I felt a raw connection to that. And eventually, it just ended up tossing that little sheet that I was reading from it's like, Dude, you can't just read but you got to talk to these people toss that. And yeah, it's just started evolving from there. And I'm talking to him talking to him, the power went out. That was when so the inflatable goes down, I have no sound. So that was when I first went into the middle of them then and had them take a knee again, that's how I grew up. And literally, we took a knee you know, and as I say these days, any event, I was a part of growing up, we took a knee to honor those that give service sacrifice so that we could be there out there doing what we were doing. So we took a knee and that felt great. It worked. You know, God didn't have any sound equipment. So when I was talking to them, but you got their attention to so that's a keeper. I'm keeping that.

Zack Arnold

So I'm curious when they hired you did you know you were doing like a speech every 15 minutes for hours,

Sean Corvelle

I had no idea what I once again, I thought I was gonna be on the stage just being a clown and talking about the merchants and in between, like Clinton was doing that's call Clinton the clown. More than that, of course.

Zack Arnold

Well, I would imagine that because you've done it so many times. Clearly you've honed your voice, but do you feel like the first couple of times like you're looking at the sheet and good afternoon, everybody and welcome to the Tough Mudder obstacle event sponsored by the following sponsors and here's how it like did you feel like it was very kind of corporate bullet points? Like here's this thing and you're like, you know what, screw that I just I need to make this me because now it is so perfectly honed in I don't care what event anybody goes to anytime day, any state the United States or otherwise, they're gonna get your speech and get your energy. But I'm guessing there was an evolution to that just like there's an evolution to a set if you're a comedian, right?

Sean Corvelle

It's so funny. It was like you were there. That was a great impression. That was what I sounded like, also, I'm sure that like you said, when you're first doing stuff, you go to the automatic professional way of doing it. And then like I said, as I started feeling exactly what was going on there, started finding more of myself in there and you start losing the corporate voice and like I said, You tossed that script, and through any problems that happened. It evolved singing I remember the first time I had them sing the national anthem, as opposed to playing it because the power went out. It was so it was like a ding moment again. It's like this days, you know, we'll do this whenever. Every now and then we'll do it because it felt great. Yeah, so yes, that is exactly what happened. It evolved through me just doing it over and over again. And also the experience that I had previously with everything I've ever done in my life. It felt like everything I've ever done in my life was for this moment right here. So

Zack Arnold

I love it. And it's really interesting to hear the story of how it evolved to the whole, everybody's circle up and taking the thing. Because I didn't really understand. It's so amazing. Sometimes things like that just come from, you know, a mistake. Well, it's stupid power run out so nobody can hear me. So I better get in the center. And then it just becomes this thing. And I can say from having been in that circle, many times that there are few things I've experienced in my entire life, that are more addictive than the feeling you have in your chest. When you're in that circle listening to here's what you're just about to embark upon. Like, I love that feeling of anticipation. Even after having done very similar races over and over, you still get that feeling. And that's essentially what what I'm chasing now. But for me, when I took I did my first Tough Mudder like I was just terrified. I tell we talked about this at length on your show. And I'll just kind of share a very brief version for my audience and my listeners. But my sister was very into fitness. This was probably 2013 Maybe I had a son that was couple years old at the time, I was in horrible health, working crazy long hours and never getting any sleep going. Basically going about my life with caffeine just to survive. My sister was super into health. She discovered p90x and Tony Horton and said, I found this thing called Tough Mudder. And I just ran my first race. And you have to do on I'm like, What the hell's a Tough Mudder? Oh, I got to tell you about us like 10 miles, and I was in the mountains. And there's like these obstacles as they began an army obstacle course. And you're crawling under barbed wire. And you're, you know, swimming through the river and they electrocute you. And I'm like, Alright, stop for a second. You paid for this? What? What is this thing you're speaking of? And she very reluctantly, because I'm so ridiculous, competitive. I'm like, I can't let my sister who's 13 years older than me be the stronger one in the bedroom. That's not gonna happen. So she got me into p90x Did the full 90 days did my first race. And like the tagline goes for Spartan, which is similar for Tough Mudder. It's like, you'll know when you crossed the finish line. And that was it like you cross it hobbled, tired, exhausted, and you're like, Oh, my God, I have to do that again. And it just it helps you discover so many things. And I'm gonna put a pin in the conversation right there. Because I think this is the heart of it. But I don't want to get to it yet. Okay, there's something that I think is really, really important that you brought up, that's going to resonate with my audience, which is this idea that it wasn't so much that you hated Hollywood, you hated who you were in Hollywood, and you felt like it was taking your soul. So let's rewind back to when you worked in the industry, because most if not all of my audience is either at the place now where they feel similarly, or they're terrified of getting to that point, because this industry just burns people out day after day after day. So I'm curious, what was your evolution or de-evolution, to get to the point where you said, I don't like who I am in Hollywood,

Sean Corvelle

because when he went there, I started off in San Francisco, professionally doing stand up, very blessed to be to start off, there was a great place to begin. And a lot of the a lot of the people who are doing very well and very well known now, in the comedy field came through San Francisco, and it was all about the art, then they really, really nurtured the art, they helped you nurture the art, they addicted, the audiences were amazing, too. So through commercials, eventually, I moved down to LA. You had people, you know, agents, and lawyers and all that kind of stuff. And then you start the auditioning process. And you know, I did okay, through the auditioning. I had some good stuff and commercials and hosting things. But on a scale of what you get to what you audition for. I mean, it's like, you take a lot of rejection, people have heard that you do you take a lot of rejections. And each time I go in, I had, but you hear a lot of people that are doing these auditions, say, you know, you're in your head, you're wondering what they want, you know, you're, you're seeing what the ugly part of Hollywood what they want out of their stars a certain way to look a certain way to sound a certain way to be fitted and data data, yada yada these things down on the list, and you start just falling for those things. Because eventually I'm giving up on myself and my art, I'm losing myself, and understand that a lot of us when we're going down there too, especially if you go very early. We're still discovering ourselves in our art, you know, something that I think in the art world no matter what you're doing painting, music, whatever, however, you're expressing yourself. It's a lifetime thing, and an evolving thing. But if you're not locked into a certain point, it's easy to lose yourself. And that's what happened to me through these audition process thinking that now my definition of success is going to be money and how many people think I'm cool, you know how popular I am. Yeah, and that kind of thing. And when I see other people that I've come up with or who came up behind me started Jaime having more success, you know, it's like what? Wait, wait a minute what? You know, there was a little bit of that. And I say a little bit because that's not my nature. And it would it would be a knee jerk reaction and then I would catch myself every now and then I liked that person. What am I so man? Knock yourself out, man, all the success in the world for you? Yes, you know, that's not going to affect me. But that was it. That was how I lost it, you know, through auditioning and all that kind of stuff. And and just trying to figure out oh, how do you become Hollywood successful here? You know, what do I need to do? And that stuff was taking me away from what I loved about doing what I was doing the stand up in the acting and anything in that, that field. Fortunately, I was still connected to the again, I was working a lot of it. I was working with the crunch and crunch fitness at the time and doing other things. I was staying with a fellow comedian Carlos alors. Rocky, he was another Savior to me, Carlos, if you don't know him, he was the voice of the Taco Bell Chihuahua. has done many voices in the Cartoon Network and all that stuff in movies. He's done the voices and he's officer Garcia, Reno nine, one a lot of success with his career. And he was he became like my brother, you know, he helped me during times where I was, had no money, you know, at the house that he bought the house pretty much we bought it together, you know, because he asked me, he said, he came to me earlier, we knew each other from the Bay Area, he came to me just before he bought that house, he says, Hey, Sean, I'm about to buy a house. You you want to be my roommate? Sure. So I came to the house, we got, he got dogs at first, he's like, I'm gonna get a dog. And I'm like, we can get dogs. We're on the road all the time. You know, but it worked out, you know, he prevented he brought this love this. And it sounds like we had a relationship. But that's not what I'm talking about. We're not, we didn't have a relationship or anything like that. It was just a friend thing. And he provided a, again, a family feeling for me, an authentic love feeling in this in Hollywood, that kept me hanging on and kept my foundation strong. Even though I was walking running around Los anytime I felt I had that foundation. And he was part of that provided that for me. So I was with him for many, many years living with that house at that house till I got married, met a young lady who lived in Sweden. And we got married, lived, obviously living partly in Sweden going back and forth to LA in Sweden for a while and she was another blessing. Because she saw La in a different way through her light, I saw different parts of Los Angeles to and SoCal, the beauty of it.

So, through all that stuff, I was fortunate in that my foundation stayed strong, even though I was wandering off, and I was lost beyond that. And, and it just got to the point where I just stopped me, I just like, you know, I told I was didn't have any more agents, or people as they call it, and the manager, Lord Kaplan, she would still get in touch with me now. And then, because we're just close beyond that professional thing. And, but I was just living and again, spending my time at crunch. And I saved them a lot, they should be paying me for this.

Zack Arnold

This podcast is not officially sponsored by crunch, but it kind of sort of is.

Sean Corvelle

But the idea of spending my time in that fitness industry and seeing people as we spoke about before, that are coming there for reasons beyond the physical, it kept me grounded. And then also my time spent, and the little time I spent in Sweden helped ground me the little things again, the house that Carlos provided, you know, and then eventually he met his wife, and then being with them and seeing them have a kid for a while, you know, all that stuff kept me grounded. And then the benefit of finally getting on to Tough Mudder. And it was in 2014, where it was locked in, where I didn't have to be in LA anymore. I didn't have to live there anywhere. If I need to go there to an easy flight there. I could go back home where my family was back up to the Bay Area to Sacramento area, and nurture my soul at the same time there and work with Tough Mudder, which was another again, just a pure way of me getting back to finding me and connecting to people in that way that I want to.

Zack Arnold

I want to dig into something a little bit deeper that I think is so incredibly important for anybody that's trying to get into this industry or frankly just about any industry. I think this applies but very much so for creative and artistic people. And this is a blessing and a curse and I think it's often more times a curse. than a blessing if you don't know how to manage it, and it's the idea of what you do becoming your identity. And if you don't know who you are, before, the industry tells you who you're supposed to be very dangerous ground, like you mentioned, right? Where I, for example, right now, like, there have been a couple of people just through connections of connections that have asked, you know, like, hey, you know, your daughter, she'd be good for, you know, doing like kids clothing, or maybe she can sing or whatever. And I'm just like, Absolutely not. There's no way that I'm going to let her get sucked into an industry before she knows who she is as a person. And I remember right before I moved to Los Angeles, and I graduated from college, I was born and raised in the Midwest. And I said, I am leaving this industry. As soon as it changes who I am as a person. Success is not going to be defined by the credits or the money or the awards. And as soon as it becomes that way, and Hollywood turns me into an asshole, I'm out. And there might be some people that are like, dude, you've always been an asshole. I don't know, maybe. But the point being, that minus accolades, or experience or wisdom from the last 20 years of my career, I feel like I'm pretty much who I was 20 years ago, and who I am now, I don't think that they're drastically different people. But if I didn't have that level of confidence, there are multiple places throughout my career where I said no to something because of the confidence were instead, I probably would have said, yes, that I would have been sucked into a world with people or projects that really would have changed who I was as a person. And I went down a couple of those roads, not knowing it was going to be that road. And I'm like, This is not what I want to be a part of. And ironically, it was the most successful peaks in my career. I'm like, No, I'm out. This is not, this is not a group I want to be in. This is not I don't want this to define me. And I become a lot more selective. And I think that leads into the identity shift that you had from, I'm a comedian, or I'm an actor, too, I get the opportunity to flip and inspire people every single day. So I'm curious beyond just hey, this was another gig and it pays well, and it gets to travel over what part of your identity really fed your soul in doing this job. Versus I'm running around trying to make a bunch of money and get credits in Hollywood.

Sean Corvelle

Okay, two things. Let me say on that, yes. To what you said at first, before you ask me that question. And you see that now it may, it helped me understand when you see a lot of artists get become successful, and then they disappear out of the business. And I get it now, you know, they got the money, they don't have to deal with it anymore. And now they can do the art the way they are go find themselves, even though they got what we think is successful, go find themselves in their art, and do it the way they want to do it to discover their, their souls again. So I get that now. So it's anybody listening when you see like, you're always asking, hey, this person was at the peak of their, their fame and, and all that they just disappeared. You know, it's like they might have been lost, even though like you said they had all the accolades and all that. They weren't feeling wasn't feeling their soul. So now they have the opportunity to go back and feed their soul. So I get that now. So what's your question? I'm sorry, ask me that again.

Zack Arnold

Yeah. So essentially, what I what I'm trying to tap into, is beyond just being a gig and something you really enjoyed. What was it about being on that starting line, where you're still holding a microphone, just like you would be if you were on stage doing a set? And it's not so much acting, but it's so you putting yourself out there? And you're the face of something? But why was that so much more nourishing your soul, even though I'm sure it paid way less, and it's dirtier and it's grungier? And it's not on television? And you're not getting millions of viewers? But why was that just the obvious? Hell yes, choice for you.

Sean Corvelle

Everything that I've ever done in my life. And I'm seeing everything, even professionally, you know, working at the gas station, working at Bank of America, working at the race, Bay, metals, raced, horse race, place, anything that I've done, and even before, like, when we were kids, and we'd be playing and then there were moments where everybody would be sitting around and I'm making up some story that I'm telling these kids, you know, and they're sitting, we're all sitting around on the porch, and I'm telling stories and incorporating them in the story. Everybody's digging it, you know, having fun, it all clicked to me that in everything I've ever done. The thing I loved about it most was that connection to the people was that feeling of a positive connection. So I was able to identify that and identify that feeling and say okay, if I'm not getting this feeling out of what I'm doing in life right now, then I am off my flow. I am off my my the way that I think I should be going in and what I'm doing in my life. So that was it. That was the click for me and then like I said, I started feeling it the most I have felt that was doing stand up stand up so it's so fun. Is such a reward. II And then when it's bad even when people say that oh my god, Isn't it scary? Yeah, it's scary. But that's life, you know? And, and what it does is it puts you in the moment. And life in the moment is pure, you know, no good, no bad. no judgment whatsoever. You're in the moment. And you're just dealing with it and it's stimulating. So even with stand up, what I was doing what I started doing with toughened butter, felt even more of me. Pure, you know, because I didn't have to entertain it. It wasn't about me. That's where I went to. It wasn't about me. I was a part of something. Yeah. So that's where the mirror man tag came from. Because people always come to me and they say, Oh, you're so inspiring, and data and all that stuff. And I'm like, Guys, it's not me. I know, you feel that it's me, that I'm just showing you you. I'm the guy that standing in the middle of you guys, I got my imaginary mirror showing you. And I've said this to him. What your family sees with people that love you see people to see you live in like you do see what you're not what you feel, but you're not seeing it's you. You're the ones out here doing this course, you're the ones out here doing something for charity, raising kids going to work trying to make the system that we all live in work, you know, that's you, you see, and I'm just introducing you to you. I'm your mirror, man. I'm not the inspiration. Here you are. So that's what I love.

Zack Arnold

I absolutely love everything about that. And it brings us right back to where I stuck our little pin in our conversation going to unpin it. And we're back to the starting line of Tough Mudder. You have a saying that I alluded to a little bit in the beginning. But I really want you to dig into this very instrumental quote, that's you say, for every single speech that really defines the deeper reason why an event like this is absolutely essential for anybody that's looking to discover themselves. What is that to quote?

Sean Corvelle

Okay, you want Craig's quote or you want my quote, because there's two of them? There? Let's do it. Okay, wait, wait, there was when was and then there is no one is better. So which one you want to go with first?,

Zack Arnold

let's let's start with when was and then we can do the other one.

Sean Corvelle

When was is what I call Craig's quote, Craig's model? It was the I don't know who came up with it. It's a quote that somebody else came up with. I've heard it in songs. And I think David Lee Roth did it in a song many years ago. But it happened, it came to me and one of our mothers, a guy named Seth got in touch with me and he says, Hey, Sean, my cousin Craig, he just got diagnosed, he came out of remission. He just got diagnosed with cancer again, and this is like his third bout around, he's ready to give up. He's done. He does the Spartans and tough Mudders. You know, it'd be great if you could say something to him. And I'm like What am I gonna say? Who am I, you know, when, and I've gotten these, I've gotten a few of these requests. And what it taught me from experience is that honestly, I really don't have to say anything. All I got to do is listen, go there and just listen. So that's what I learned, but it's still overwhelming when people bring that to me. So I'm like, Okay, so, as I was sitting there, and I'm stressing over it, what am I gonna say? Okay, so just listen. But then also, it hit me, okay? He's done Spartan. He's done tough. Mudder. I will give him the thing that inspires me. I'll give him the Tough Mudder people. So we went to at the next event, I told set to have him ready. On the phone, I'm gonna call him when I'm in the circle. And we did this I was in the circle. It was at one of our Northeast events. And we got Craig on the phone. He was at home on the couch. And he didn't know I was going to call so I called and I told him, I'm right here at the Tough Mudder event. Yeah, I'm here with and this is when we used to have like 600 people in that in that start line. I'm like, I'm here today with all of our mothers are mothers here. And you know what we do here we support one another. And they know what you're going through. And they're all here to support you. Craig raised the founder and the CEO at the time, Will dean was there and will never talked to anyone but he actually got on the phone with with Craig for a second too. And then I had another friend of mine who was a pastor because I knew Craig was very, was a man of faith. He was very religious. So I had the pastor sort of represent Him. And we did a body wave where they like from that was back when we had the army wall that you had to climb over to get in there. So we started from the wall and he bought he served everybody to the front And, and then did the countdown and sent them out representing Craig. So after that we got through all that, you know, I got back on the phone with Seth, he's like, Dude, that's amazing. He is outside now like doing something gardening or something. And, you know, his family was happy because he decided, yeah, he'll teammate take this thing on again go through the chemo and all that stuff that he's done previously. So he was declining rapidly, you know, even after that. So I went and visited him in the hospital, I believe it was in Alabama. It was when I was visiting him in the hospital, that that was when the quote came to me. His family was telling me we read the cafeteria and family selling uh, yeah, when he got diagnosed, and he started looking about his quote, When was the last time you did something for the first time. And he would do things like on one day, he he built, made, baked a seven layer chocolate cake, and helped his cousin I think it was take the engine out of his Ford F 150, you know, at the same time, but he was doing things like that. A lot of what you hear people going through these sort of challenges, you know, then they get out there skydiving, they're doing something, they're doing a lot of charitable work, you see, mostly, you know, going overseas to Africa and helping people or helping other people wherever they can. But um, that was when it came to me it was through that. And it just went straight again to my soul. So I would took that, quote back to Mother nation, I started saying it at every and telling his story at every event after that, and I will always say it's Craig, I don't know where it came from again, but I call it Craig's quote, Craig's quote, because I've had people when Darius Rucker, a couple years ago came out with the song, When was the last time you did something for the first time? Which in the lyrics he's mentioned, running barefoot in the mud? You know, I would say, and I don't know, but I would say the mothers got him that song, you know, he heard it to the mothers. And so that's where that song came from. And, but when the song came out, I kept getting all these calls from people saying, Hey, Sean hoody stole your quote. And I'm like, one isn't a mean, hoodie.

And two, it's not my quote, you know, if it's anyone's, to me, it's Craig's quote, you know, it was, it was something that was handed to me, you know, but it became so popular, and it became a model for I think, Mother nation. And a lot of people that have heard it that I've gotten so much response from, and I've seen people actually tattoo it to themselves. Now that F, it is a thing. That is him using me as a tool, his presence still on this planet, using me as one of his his tools. So that was when was the last time you did something for the first time, the challenge I threw at you, that you did at the start line by picking up the mic and talking to that circle,

Zack Arnold

which I'm now a totally addicted to. And we'll be finding many more opportunities to be doing so in the future. So I thank you for that. And I think that it's such an important question for people to ask themselves specifically, if they feel like they're stuck in a rut, it doesn't matter if they're 18 year old, 18 years old, or 80 years old. If you just feel stuck, you got to try something different for the first time that you've never done because it uses a different part of your brain uses different parts of your body. And I've even read just having done extensive research and experimentation, having been diagnosed with adult onset add, learning how the brain works, and neurodiversity. And I remember reading once that if you want it to kind of offset your entire day, a really simple tip is brush your teeth with the opposite hand, because it forces you to get out of a rut. And it forces parts of your brain to activate the dome. And this is like a giant massive version of the same thing. And for me the discovery that I found and I want to dive a lot deeper into a lot of the the experiences and stories that you've heard of people running their first race. But what I've discovered not just through my first Tough Mudder, but the many subsequent murders and Spartans and everything else. And now training for Ninja Warrior. And I this is one of the things that I talked about on the starting line with the group is that we have this voice in our head 24 hours a day, incessantly saying you can't hear all the things that I can't do that I'm not capable of. And when I started very slowly chipping away at and achieving all of these physical things that I told myself I wasn't capable of I realized, I'm kind of sort of foolish. And this voice is full of and it was tough Mudders and races like it that helped me discover that and I've now applied that to every aspect of my life. And I would love to hear more about other first timers because I know that one of the the most important questions you ask at the starting line, how many first timers we got here. So I would love to know roughly and I know maybe statistically you can't give it but you know just kind of anecdotally from the hundreds of times you've done this. How many people are first timers They just have that like delight deer in the headlights look at starting line

Sean Corvelle

Oh, a lot, especially lately. That would be like, I would say like 80% of our people that are coming in now, at these events, you know, I don't know, I'd have to actually go through the books to see how accurate it is. But it feels like to me at the start line, it's about like 80% of the people coming there now, are this is their first time coming there? And a lot of the times a good percentage of that were brought by somebody who's experienced it before introducing them to it. Or they come Yeah, yeah, whether they're coming in the group with that person or the day heard from that person. So and they all have, like you said, that doe eyed look, you know, what have I gotten myself into, you know, they hear about the electric shock. So it's like, oh, and I love that actually, I love the theater of it, because I kind of play on it. That's what I loved when we had the wall, the when army was sponsoring us, and we had their wall there, I loved that wall. Because once you climbed over that wall, and you were in, you were kind of like now you're locked in to the start line, no turning back. Now. It's like that feeling of the old days when you get on the roller coaster. And then you pull the bar down cricket, tick, tick, tick, tick, tick, and then it's locked in, no turning back. Now, here we go. You know, and that was the feeling I love to play on. So I would tease it a little bit. In the beginning, when I'm talking to the you know, bringing up the hype about it, we got to test you, everything you got you brought it, you brought it, you brought it

you know, and we're gonna, we're gonna do this, you're gonna get cold, you're gonna get electrocuted, maybe you're gonna get muddy, all these things, all these challenges, you know, I'm having fun with it, then Calm down, we come down off of the stool, and go into the middle of them and do the thing like you and I were talking about we haven't take the knee. So the knee has serves two purposes. One, there's legal things I have to say to them before they go out there on the course to its to what you and I talked about before that people are out there, beyond, you know, they come to have fun. And then again, there's those people that have seen how fit they are. And some people don't even know why they're out there, you know, it's stimulating. So this is to put it in perspective of why even if you're not here, for this reason, this is a part of the energy that you are contributing to, that there is someone here, again, that lost a loved one that got a diagnosis that used to be in our armed services and the chasing, that goes for whatever, that somebody's got some depression, diabetes, whatever it is, they're in here. And this has become a place for them to exercise, the skills to take on that challenge and discover new skills that they have, I say new, but they have it just discover those skills to also help them through life. And this is a place where if they fall trying to exercise, we'll discover those, we got all the people in the world here to catch you. If you fail, it's okay. You know, because we got you, you're going to learn that you can fail here, and it's just going to make you stronger. And so that's what that time in the circle is me talking to them. And however I'm saying it and getting them to feel that and that's when you see the doe eyes, all of a sudden become these eyes of okay, you know, I'm still scared about this. But I can do this. I can do this, you know, I'm ready. I'll take this on. I'm, I'm willing to go out there. I don't know what's gonna happen. But I'm willing to go out there. I'm with my people right here. And even if I came alone, now I feel like I'm with people, you know, that are gonna be looking out for okay, I can do this, you know, no matter what happens. And that's where the second quote came from was born from and that was my quote. Unlike Spartan, this isn't a competition, we have our competition ways. But even in those, your biggest competition is yourself. This is about being your best, no one is better than your best, but your best will make you better. And that's going to make us all better. So that is my quote that I discovered born out of my experience with people at that start line. And the idea again, is like you just go out there and do your best. And when you're doing your best, there's no time to that. There's no right or wrong to that. There's a feeling that you will discover about yourself. And when you discover that feeling, you're going to see a better part of yourself. It's like going over a mountain and then there's an even the higher mountain but you feel more confident. You know what I'm gonna do when I can do this, and that feeling I want to become muscle memory or Soul Memory where and anything you're doing in this life, now, you're looking for that feeling in it, you know, you can get that feeling in it,

Zack Arnold

yeah, you just totally tapped into something for me, which I think is so important to bring up I've never heard of so succinctly, I'm totally stealing this from you. By the way, I'm just gonna put that on the record. Now, this idea of, of Soul Memory being like muscle memory, where you get so used to doing a physical activity, that you're an automation that you don't have to think about bringing that to the level of your heart and your soul is brilliant. And it goes directly to what I wanted to talk about next. So dude, like you clearly do podcast because this is what we call in the industry, the perfect segue. But this gets me to exactly where I want it to go next, which is, it's one thing to think that I'm, I'm training for the race, and I get to the finish line. Alright, now I'm done. My belief is that when you get to the finish line of a Spartan or a Tough Mudder, it's the beginning of something totally different. And a big part of it is that change in your soul that you experience, I want to go back to something that you mentioned, in your experience with Hollywood, which is that you found yourself comparing yourself to others. Here's me here, my friends were trying to do similar things. And I want to be happy for them. But I'm kind of pissed, because all of a sudden, they're getting gigs that I wanted to get, or they're making more money, or they've got a nicer house or a nicer car. And that was eating away you because it wasn't part of your identity. And this idea of if I can make myself better, it makes everybody better. I mean, that's literally Boom. That's what this logo on the shirt is all about. For anybody that's watching. It's the optimized logo that I put on everything. And I remember you asking me on our, you know, flipping the microphone podcast where I was on yours, you're like, Well, what does that mean? What does the word optimize mean to you? And it's all about, you're going to make your own line longer, rather than thinking, How do I shorten everybody else's? Like how can I hamstring those around me such that I'm the successful one, as opposed to if I just focus on myself and make me better, it makes everybody around me better. And that is what I think is probably the most instrumental thing specifically about Tough Mudder that's unique, versus any other race out there. It's specifically designed not the entire race, but it's designed in points where you literally can't do it by yourself. The only way you can get through obstacles, is when other people help you through, you either have to create a human pyramid, or you've got three people that have to turn this block and you're stuck onto the block. And you have to, it's just, it's these little kind of mind games and all these different things that are constructed, such that it doesn't matter how strong you are, it doesn't matter how fast you are, it doesn't matter. If you are number one on the Spartan circuit, you cannot get through an obstacle without other people. And that to me is tapping into the soul. Because once you've done that on the course you're like, why am I not doing that every day? Why am I not just walking up and trying to help somebody with something rather than being so focused on my needs and my path and my trajectory, that completely rewired my brain, just that one experience. So talk to me about the camaraderie specifically of the Tough Mudder and how it's designed to force you out of your comfort zone. Specifically, if you're an introvert, like me, where you're like, I kind of have to interact with people and help them and they helped me and you know, I might introduce myself to somebody and 30 seconds later, my hand is up their ass pushing them over. Like, I love that that camaraderie aspect of the race. So talk to me more about that.

Sean Corvelle

That's funny, your hand is up there, as it was, there was a college shooter. I hate that I can't remember his name. But he was an emcee. He was the first emcee in Europe. And he used to do a joke about that you open somebody up, you know, your hands up their ass. And then later on, you discover your watch is gone. But yeah, one of the things early on that I loved about Tough Mudder Tough Mudder. And this is my opinion was the Coca Cola, the Nike, the whoever is number one in their industry, of creating those obstacles that were just so were engineered, not just to her to not to be impossible, but to also make you think, and make you again, become a part of a team. You know, they had a lot of obstacles like that. So and they were great at that. And then you see them, I see them with savage and a few other of the companies that are out there now that are doing great work and doing great stuff. You said something earlier about to change and all that stuff. I feel like again, and this is in anything that I say you know, that you're listening to. This is what I feel in the moment, and I'm going through this life trying to discover things and things that I feel now, if I discover that they're different, which you did something great on my podcast, you know, I want to be open to that. But right now I feel like that word change. We don't change our souls. I feel like our life our souls when you're talking about that they're infinite and it's more about expanding and expansion. It goes every way. So you're not cheating. aging as a permanent part of then you don't, that's not a part of you anymore, or you don't do that. And now that's always been a part of you will always be a part of you, you're just expanding, you know, your, through your experiences. And with the Tough Mudder people, the people that come and do these tough Mudders, you do get a lot of them that will come there. And, you know, they have maybe that through that survival instinct, where we exercise competitions in our sports and entertainment, you know, it's to conquer, to control your environment, to not be vulnerable in your environment, you know, these are the things that coming up, and our primitive ways made us feel safer. You know, that was how we survive in this, in this world in our lives. And, again, my opinion through evolution with the brain. It says, yeah, the herd mentality is good. Yeah, trying maybe to control your environment. But it through a will, you will learn that if you can become a part of that environment. If you become a part of that herd of life in general. That's the more brilliant or safer or at least pure way of living? Safer? I don't know, you know, because then yeah, you could die doing some what we call crazy things out there. But man, did you live in that little time that you live as much as anybody has ever lived on this planet?

So with Tough Mudder that's what people discover out there. I've had some runners come to me that said, Hey, I brought my buddy here was one guy in particular, he said, I brought my buddy here, and to have him run, you know, but I was gonna go and burn the course, you know, because, but then when I was listening to what you said, Sean, I was like, No, I'm gonna slow I'm going to experience this with him. And then the two of us, we spent most of our time out there, helping people on efforts, and helping people on different obstacles where, where it requires help, like you said, you can't do it by yourself. Or when you see that person, that's so many times on our, our platforms, the obstacles that require height, you know, that, like I say, tickle the phobia. Man, I've seen not to exaggerate, I've seen people standing up there for 20 minutes, with a crowd of people down on the bottom, encouraging them talking to them, you can do this, you're gonna be all right, you can go for that. And these people are so happy rather than them trying to get up that wall on Everest or jump off that platform into the water. And then the option also, that I say to them in the beginning, anything, you're not feeling this to get you out there, you know, just like in life, you know, to get you out of the cave, look, anything, you're not feeling just go around, no shame in that game, you can come back and do it, the next time you come to it gives you a golden life now, you know, so that gets them out there. The people out there gets them to do this thing. That is scaring them, that is a phobia for them that is inside of them that they're afraid to go there alone. And people go okay, well hold your hand. And we'll take you there. We'll go there with you to help you discover that. So I hope that's answering your question. I hope that

Zack Arnold

Not only is it answering my question, but it triggered a very, very specific memory in my mind that I hadn't even thought about for years. But it goes back to my first Tough Mudder. And I don't think you guys have this obstacle anymore. At least I haven't seen it for a few years, but it was called Walk the plank. Yep, where you had to climb up, which I would guess give or take 15 to 20 feet, kind of, you know, ladder, and then you're on top of a platform, and you just jump into the water. That's it. Like there's no, it's not like a bunch of monkey bars, there's not any kind of craziness. You just walk up to the top, you walk on the plank, and boom, you jump into the water. And I was frozen, because I've never had a good relationship with water never been a great swimmer. And my sister told me, this is one of the obstacles knowing that I've never enjoyed swimming, like just it's not my thing at all. And I'm like, but I'm going to do it. I know that I have all these people around me. And I know that if something happens, not only is there lifeguards, but my sister is going to be there other people around. But it wasn't just the fear of that the other fear that I discovered that I tend to overcome and not even exist anymore. But it's this fear of, but what am I going to look like run all these other people, if I'm afraid and vulnerable, I'm going to look stupid, or I'm gonna look weak. And that was one of the things that shocked me about the Tough Mudder is it was the polar opposite. As soon as somebody showed vulnerability, it's just like a swarm of locusts. Everybody's there to help you and encourage you and get you through it. And that has now become my absolute favorite part of the races. It's not doing the race. The reason that Wes and I did our race a few weeks ago, when you had to be the microphone wasn't really for us. We asked ourselves really, why do we want to go with like, let's find a bunch of newcomers that have never done it before that just have tear on their face. And let's walk them through the obstacles step by step like somebody, like just little things that for us, we breeze through, let's find somebody that's really terrified of this and just show them, you can get through it. And you see that aha moment on their face. It's just like a drug. It's like the best drug ever. But the for me, it was really number one, oh, I can jump off this plank, and I did it and scared the crap out of me. And now when I do similar things, I just climb up the ladder. I jump in. And like that fear is all but eliminated, because I convinced myself I could do it. But it's so much more this idea of, I feel so much safer, being vulnerable in front of people with my weaknesses, knowing that if I'm surrounded by the right people, they're going to encourage me. And if I'm vulnerable around the wrong people, well, then it's very obvious who are no longer my people and don't need to be in my life. And that's a huge discovery that I got from these experiences. Just it's that feeling of we're all here to get each other through the race together. And it kind of brings me to the next topic of conversation, kind of two different topics of conversation. But one of the hesitations that I hear a lot from newbies that want to run a race when I tried to put together a group of people in my community or friends and say, Hey, let's go run a race to objections, one of which is Oh, but I'm just going to slow you down, I'm going to be at the, I'm going to be the last one, you you go run your race, and I don't want to slow you down. But then the other one that I really want you to speak to is, well, I need to get in shape first, then I'm going to say. So let's talk about these two hesitations and help people overcome them because anybody listening, if you are at least local or want to be around me in Los Angeles, whenever there's a race in Southern California, tough, Mudder, Spartan or otherwise, you let me know, we will get you through from the starting line to the finish line. But these are always the biggest objections, I'll slow you down, and I gotta get in shape first, then I'll call you in a year, which becomes a never. So let's talk about these objections and help people overcome them.

Sean Corvelle

One thing I say to people, and this is part jokingly, you know, as I said, Look, just come there, you know, come there, if you volunteer, that's a great way to discover it. That's an excellent way to discover it. If you come down to support somebody that's running it, that's a great way to co discover, or if it's just nearby enough that you want to, you're curious, just come and check it out. Just look and see what's going on. And I guarantee you, you'll see someone out on that course that you will look at, and you'll be like, Well, if that person can do it, I can do it. Now my joke on that one, but I say to the mothers in the circle, I'm like, you know, and if you're out there and you don't see that person, you are that person. The cool thing about that is you're inspiring others, whether you know it or not, because you're out there doing it. Yeah. So that's one and then I tell the story of one of the first teams I ever met a tough matter was a Navy SEAL team. And these guys, they showed up as a Navy SEALs, when they showed up with the rocks, the backpacks, full of beer and bacon and wine. They walked the whole course they did this obstacle, they didn't do that obstacle. They spent most of the time out there helping people I saw them like eight, nine hours later coming into the finish line, oh, muddy and drunk and laughing. And that's how they crossed the finish line. That's what Tough Mudder is. It is you go there, finding to find you. And then to discover you're better you. But we're out there saying, we're not a drill sergeant saying you got to do something. And now we're out there saying try it, you know, or find that inspiration out there to get you to try it to do it. Do you need to train and be I mean, sure, it'll help just like through life. You know, if you go to school that's going to help you in our society. You know, if you have a family and you exercise loving people, that's going to help you in life. So training for a Tough Mudder is the same thing, you know, and for people like me, so older guys, more importantly, training is just recovery. You know, now it's preventive maintenance and recovery. But no, you don't have to be the fastest out there. You don't have to be able to do every obstacle out there. That's not going to be the gym that you discover out there. It's going to be even if you walk I would go I would say even if you went out there and you just shadowed a team, where you didn't do any of the Oscars, but you went through all of the whole course walking it with them. You're going to get the benefits of being out there. You're going to feel it. You know, what you were talking about earlier, when you just experienced stuff, you know, and that's again, just get out there experience whatever it is in life, that's when all these cliches start to make sense. We can hear things that people say and read things that people say and and, you know, you get it, you understand what it says, I know the language and all that stuff, I get it, you know, just like a love song. I love this song, great melody, I love the lyrics. But when you experience it, that's when it makes sense. That's when it goes to your soul. And like you and I said earlier, it becomes Soul Memory. And then you're like, Ah, this is what it's about. Yeah, I didn't have to go and train like crazy just to do this. You know, certainly, there's benefits to me that if I went that way that it worked. But you go to these tough Mudders. Again, you see church folks out there, they came with their other church people, you know, you see colleges out there with kids. And I think they're athletes, because they're gonna risk them out there, you know, with some little injury and messing up their season, but just the college kids that come there with their friends you see, everyday people, in all shapes and sizes. We have a gentleman that I got to interview on the podcast, an autistic gentleman, you know, he's who runs these ultra marathons and stuff. You see people like him out there, you know, you see every type of people out there. And so don't let, don't let that be the thing that stops you. To me. This gets back to what you were saying earlier. What I love that you said that voice in our heads that say, no, no, no, beware, beware, you know that. What I feel is just code in us to be safe in this world, you know, survival, one of those survival codes, that again, through evolution of free will we learn how to exercise that more properly. And don't let that keep you from living. You know, again, another quote that I came up with through this experience is the body. The body just wants to survive. Soul wants to live. So live Yeah. Yeah, get out there.

Zack Arnold

I love Yeah, I totally love that. And once again, you've triggered another very vibrant memory that I have not thought about once for years, but it goes even deeper to this idea of kind of nourishing your soul and Soul Memory. And it's kind of a tag on to this idea of showing up and being worried about, well, I don't know if I'm in good enough shape, or people are gonna laugh at me or I'm not one of the best ones there. Right. And I remember this so distinctly. I haven't thought about this for years. And it's like, I just relived it as I was listening to you talk. So I gotta share this memory. Because it really is kind of like the microcosmic definition of everything that I do now, I was at a stadium race, which is Spartan and not tomorrow, but I was at a Spartan at Spartan Stadium in, I think it was Dodger Stadium. And they basically turn the entire stadium into a giant obstacle course, where you've got the ropes and the barbed wire, like all the stuff you see in the hills in the mountains, they just put them around the baseball stadium everywhere except for the actual green because they don't want people destroying the green, but you're on the circle, the warning track, you get to be on the warning track, you're going up and down miles worth of bleachers. And I remember very distinctly, I was on the third base line on the warning track in the dirt. And they had the big Jumbotron. And the jumbotron had a camera on the ropes, and I was just kind of running along or jogging and all of a sudden the entire stadium stops and they start watching the jumbotron, I'm like, oh, must be one of the big stars, you know, like one of the elites or whatever it is like everybody's watching somebody crushed the course. And No, instead, it was this woman, hard to tell on the Jumbotron, I would guess maybe you know, early, mid, 30s, overweight, clearly out of shape and out of her element, but she just would not quit on the rope. And you just see that look on their face. They're like this person refuses to quit. And they're going to somehow find a way even if they may not be physically capable, they will find a way the entire stadium. 1000s of people stopped and watched this random stranger climb a rope and they're like, come on, you can do this. I'm like, This is it that my life is going to be this. Because you think it's all about cheering on the best and the brightest, just some random person overweight, had no idea what they got themselves into has 1000s of people cheering them on on a jumbotron just trying to climb a rope. I'm like, This is the coolest thing ever. And that, to me, is what it's all about. So I just I'm chasing that over and over and over. And that's one of the reasons I love Ninja because the TV show American Ninja Warrior isn't about here are the best athletes on the planet. It's here, people that are massively outside their comfort zones that are trying to do something that to them is nearly impossible. And I want to see if they succeed. And to me, that's just the coolest thing ever to watch that. And you get to watch it for a living over and over and over. Yeah,

Sean Corvelle

Almost every weekend. And I'll tell you a funny story. I shouldn't tell it but I like telling it actually because I want to give every perspective of what goes on out in this course. You know, the way we talk about it or any of these courses. Yeah, it's fun and it's a challenge and all that but it's a serious challenge. Just while we talk to you in the beginning and give you these instructions, because you can get hurt out there, you know, once again, as a example of life, you know, there's certain rules we have that we've come up with that, if you don't do this, you can get hurt, you know, you you, you risk a chance of you muscle. So it was one of our events, where I was done at the start line, I took all the equipment over to Everest ever since our half ramp, that it's your warped wall, basically, exactly. And people have to climb up there. And it's always people helping you to get up there, it's wet. By this time, it's, it's the second best time it was the second to the last obstacle. So I would stand there because like you said, a lot of cool things go on, we've seen 400 pound people have everybody, people will build a ladder, where they have people standing on their shoulders on the bottom all the way to the top and say climb up us to get to the top, you know, or we'll rig something together to get someone up there that couldn't get there where they were in the wheelchair and adaptive athlete of some sort, whatever, people are gonna give them up there. And it's that great feeling that you just described with everybody that's involved in cheering and watching. So I'm there with the mic, his plan this guy, there was this guy and this guy was very athletic. And he tried to get up to Everest, he couldn't get it for somebody, he just couldn't get it. He had tried a bunch of times. So he was about to go around. And he kept getting so close. And then there was some guys up there that I saw that were like, they were gonna help him this time. You know, you're gonna, you know, so I said, dude, they're gonna help you this time. You know, you can, they can help you try it this time. You know, so his wife is standing on the side with the two little kids, you know, he says two little daughters there. And it's like standing up there. He's like, alright, I'll try it this last night. And so it comes back. And it was almost like it was in slow motion, man. He takes off running, you know, you hear chariots of fire did did it? And I'm wondering Mike, girding that. And he's getting up there and his wife and his kids they're holding and they're looking at daddy going forward. And he takes that first step on to the ramp right there. And you hear this pop? Yeah, and his knee did something unnatural. Oh, boy. Yes. He goes down and he is just in pain. And you hear him? Asking and his kids. His mom is hiding the kids eyes and they're crying. Oh, Daddy, oh, daddy, and then then the camera over to me with the mic in my house. And you can see me like in this devil outfit with a mic in my hand. But honestly, I'm like, no. So of course we go over there. We're and the medical team comes and they're like, hey, you know what? Yeah, you dislocated your knee. We're gonna take you around, we'll take you on down. This dude says No way. No way. He goes, the finish line is right there. You know, I only have one more obstacle to go. I am not going to let you guys put me on this ATV and take me to the medical 10 I'm going to do this. Everybody is going to keep going forward. So me and this other guy. We help him I gotta drop the mic now and all that stuff. I gotta help him. I'm the devil. I'm the one who made him do this. So we help them and you got to come all the way down this hill. And you come around where Clinton is. It's electroshock therapy. So we help them down there. He couldn't put any weight on that leg. We get to electrical shock. And I'm thinking once again, you know, like I said, everybody, you know, hey, you know go around, guys. If you feel no shame in that game. No. He's going to do it. The crowd that followed us down there like he's gonna do it. Electric electric shock was hot. It was popping this day. People getting blanked, y'all. It's the guy that helped me bring them down man just disappeared. All of a sudden it was like you Zack get it to your mouth. I don't know what happened.

so it's me there with him. So, alright, I guess I gotta go through electroshock with him. He's gonna do it. So I'm holding him. So off we go. The very first strand. I felt it. Bam. It hit me man. It was like Mike Tyson punched me and the two of us are going through. I'm holding him. We're treading through this thing. We're getting hit. I go down, he goes down. I'm picking them back up. I'm getting hit. I'm blind. You know I get my brain gets edited. We're picking up we go down we get a break. We're going through all of this muddy wet now falling down that went through it came out the other side of it. I ended up falling to the ground on my back. You know and then people come over Vernay pay them off. And they're like, Yes. Amazing, that feeling that you described. Do you know this guy, man beyond all odds, he just willed himself through all this. He said, he's not going to give up. And he didn't. And he went there, and they helped him cross the finish line right there. And it's just inspiring to a lot of people, you know that even through all this, he chose to keep going, you know, and his kids are proud of him and life and all that. So I'm laying back there in the mud, because I was hurt and exhausted. So you know, all the accolades gone. You know, so, obviously, one of the Tough Mudder employees come and just looks over me while I'm lying on my back, and they said, Hey, Sean, we just got word from the hotel, they're moving your stuff out of your room, you got to hurry up and get back there and moving into a different room so you can get your stuff. And then she turns around and walks away. So that was my accolades for what I did to help him get through. And what, what popped in my mind, again, it's like, well, you are the mirror, man, it's not about you. Let's go get your stuff out of out of the hotel. So that's the story, you know, it's a scary story to tell, because I know because, one, you know, we talked about somebody getting injured, but that is the challenge out there, you know, this thing, just Disneyland that you're going out there to do, guys, we are challenging you. And there are people out there to help you through it, there will be things that I'm going to tell you what to do, that's going to help you through it, that there's gonna be less risk of you getting injured out there. So listen, that is important. And just like in life, these laws and rules, and these things that you discovered through love are just as important in getting you through life. And that rewarding, less risk, always a risk, of course, but less risk and providing you with the tools that you already have to use to survive it, you know, so everything is wrapped up in the little bow. And

Zack Arnold

man, I don't know if it's even possible to tap that. I'd never heard that story before. Absolutely love that story. If that. That isn't just the perfect analogy or microcosm for what this is all about. Like what a way to top it. That having been said, I do have one more question. And you might still be able to even top the story we'll find out. It's not a question that I ask all of my guests, but I asked it when it is relevant to the topic at hand. And what we're going to do is called a little time traveling exercise. So I want you to imagine whatever the deepest, darkest moment was, where you were thinking to yourself, this industry is just consumed my soul. I don't know if I can spend another day doing this. Who am I becoming? Why do I even want this anymore? Just think of whatever that moment is, at any moment in time where it was before this positive transition happen. Can you picture what that moment is?

Sean Corvelle

There was a moment when I was in and again, this was like, just when I was coming out of the dark clouds of Hollywood and I had bent my dead wife. And I was in Sweden. I was at our house in Sweden. And it was two weeks there, I was sitting back. And Sweden has a totally different vibe. And I discovered a lot about myself just being in Sweden, I discovered one just how much I was affected by racism in this country. And I didn't know it. But to me the best I can describe there's a subliminal hum that's going on to black people, people of color maybe even and everybody has something you know, even women in this world there's something that they they challenge to them that we as men don't have even men such as yourself. There's a challenge to you guys that you have that I may not have, you know, and no one's challenge. I've said this before is greater than another's. They're relevant to your life. But in this one Yeah, I had no idea how much I was affected by that racism that little hum of your third class citizen you're a stepchild in this country affected me because my life has been pretty cool. I mean, people in general, I mean, I've experienced the ignorance but for the most part, I got a lot of great people. I'm surrounded by a lot of awesome love. But in this moment, I felt it there because I have a sonar when I'm here in the states that go out that especially when I don't see any other people of color, it'll go out and win a win. This is sad to me how I've been affected by like things like seeing Klan activity and racist activity is that a white guy like you if I didn't know you and let's say I'm in Tennessee and you were walking towards me, I have a sonar that goes out to you before you approach me that through all that carries all my experience and warnings and cautions. And then I've had in life, that's going to come back, it's going to hit you, and it's going to come back to me before you get to me about so there's a fear there, I have a view right away, then maybe the conversations, you know, there's certain things I'm going to be listening for in your conversation. Otherwise, you're a threat to me. And then eventually, there'll be the comforting things that we know the nodes that we know that will say, Oh, okay, this guy is cool. He's, he's moved into my cool column. And that's how I travel through the country. You know, it's sad, but and it's sad for me to say, but yeah, in areas I'm not familiar with, and especially again, where I don't see people of my color, it's potentially racist until proven not. So I'm gonna be careful. And you know, really keep a low profile. And when I'm doing it. So, in a sense, I'm terrorize. So I'm sitting there, on the, on my couch in Sweden. And one I wasn't getting that there, I sonar would go out and wouldn't come back. So that was kind of a scary one. And then to just being away from Los Angeles, I had no idea how much stress I was carrying. And that thing you hear about that people say about exhaling, it literally happened to me, where all of a sudden, I just went. And it was like a ghost just came out of my body. And I started to cry. I really did. I just sat down, I started crying because it was like this stress just came out of me that I didn't know I was carrying. And, and again, it was an experience in life that sort of expanded me It introduced me to a part of myself, I wasn't acknowledging, and something that was going on in this world that I was not really acknowledging, you know, sort of putting back there, you may may be dealing with it instinctual, but not cognitive of it. And, and that was one of the things that changed my life again, that says,

you know, I'm not going to live like this, I understand. It's a survival instinct and a tool. But I have the tools now to use this tool properly, where when I see Zack Arnold coming at me, if I didn't know him previously, I don't have to fear him. I don't have to feel a great threat from him. You know, you gotta get to judge you as who you are. Maybe how you approach what you say to me. I don't want to be naive about it, you know? Because certainly, you know, you don't just get rid of that, you know, it's there. But better. I'm better with it now. In a sense, I hope I'm saying that right. So I think that's the moment that you're asking about for me. In life, you know, where that just changed? How now I, you know, move forward travel through this world?

Zack Arnold

Which brings us to the question, because we haven't even gotten to the question yet. But I'm glad that you set it up very, very well, which is we're going to jump into that time machine, we're going to go back in time, to let's say, 60 seconds. Before you exhale, you're full of all this stress and this energy, and you've developed this awareness of all these things you've experienced back in the States, struggling with the career, what it's doing to your identity, what it's doing to your soul, knowing everything you know, now, what do you tell yourself at that moment?

Sean Corvelle

I didn't tell i There wasn't anything I didn't have like answers right away, like, Ah ha, it was a feeling of letting go. And, and kind of like what you and I say, getting out of our own way with our negative thoughts or negative feelings, you know, which, again, I feel like our natural survival feelings, but as you educate yourself and experience life more, you learn how to use those survival skills, more accurately, more efficient, and know them for what they are. And that's what it was. It didn't have words to it, it was a feeling of me pushing something out of my way. So that I can experience those things that I love even more, I can go and discover more of me, in this world and more people in this world, that the things I love about people even more, that's what it was.

Zack Arnold

I don't think I can top that. cannot thank you enough for all the insights and stories and anecdotes and everything that you've shared. Now I'm just like super pumped to do another race as fast as humanly possible and chase this. Hi again, for anybody that is listening today that wants to dig in and learn more about us specifically, or Tough Mudder or whatever words The best place to send somebody that we have just pumped up and inspired,

Sean Corvelle

I just sent my put my website I had redone so I've just put my website back up seancorvelle.com, you can go to that go to Tough Mudders website, toughmudder.com. And you'll see their social medias great that describe a lot of what's going on. And you also get to interact with people that have done it our legionnaires, we call them our ambassadors, these are people that have done it for so many times. And they've they're sort of like the foundation of the Tough Mudder community, great people, you see the best of people there, you know, I mean, the people so you know, you see your doors, the people and the best of people, but you see how people going through life, then that sort of that Tough Mudder way that we've learned of supporting and helping each other. So I would say go there to the toughmudder.com. Also, you know, for me, you'll find me. And this almost like goes to Tom Jones. If you're out there, whatever it is that you're doing. And it may be uncomfortable. There may be fear to it. But you're moving forward, and you're being your best discovering your better. You'll find me there.

Zack Arnold

I love it. On that note, thank you so, so much for inspiring the hell out of me, inspiring my audience. And I would also say anybody that wants to connect with you directly, get on the starting line of a Tough Mudder and introduce yourself and say hello, that's the way to connect to this guy is in the dust in the dirt, fist bump handshake, whatever. But that's the place that connects this guy's on the starting line because man has had an experience So Sean cannot thank you enough.

Sean Corvelle

God, this was awesome, man. I feel like I should pay you you should bill me I had a therapy session. Thank you so much, Zack. You're awesome man. I can't wait to see you out there again.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


Guest Bio:

sean-corvelle-bio

Sean Corvelle

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Born in Annapolis MD, Sean Corvelle grew up partly in Baltimore and the other half of his childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was soon after high school when he began his professional journey in the field of entertainment as a stand-up comedian. With his instant likability and fresh enthusiasm on stage he quickly became a favorite act in clubs across the country and eventually moved to Los Angeles where he also enjoyed success acting in commercials, hosting and guest starring in TV shows. The three highlights in his professional career that stood out for him are: hosting a travel show, guest starring in an episode of “Friends,” and now working with Tough Mudder.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

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Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”