Hello. Hi everybody. Welcome to the fit to fat to fit experience podcast. Thank you so much for tuning in for another great episode. Today’s episode, we have a special guest, Jim Harsha, jr. Now, for those of you who aren’t into wrestling, Jim Harshaw jr is a former wrestler, a [inaudible] all American, which by the way is something very difficult to achieve. I learned from him that the chances of a high school wrestler becoming a demon, all American are less than a high school football athlete, a football player, making it to the pros. So that’s just how difficult this is to become a D one. All American Jim Harsha has a very popular TEDx talk where he talks about the importance of failure and how he failed himself. So in today’s episode we talk about, um, the power of failure and why it’s important to fail and why Jim teaches his kids how to fail.
Uh, we talk about his story of how he eventually became a demon, all American and what some lessons all of us can learn from failing in life and how to understand that it’s part of the process and to focus more on the process instead of the outcome, which is what eventually helped Jim become, uh, you know, achieve that goal of becoming a D one all American. Um, so there’s a lot of valuable gyms in this, in this episode. You guys, you’ll definitely enjoy it whether you’re, you know, a stay at home mom, whether you’re an entrepreneur, whether you’re, you know, um, a former athlete. There’s a lot of benefits from today’s episode, you guys. But before we jump in and talk to Jim, I want to talk to you guys about the show sponsor. Genics K. E. G. E, N, I X is the sponsor of the show.
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all right, Jim Harsha, welcome to the fit to fat to fit experience podcast. How you doing today man, I’m fantastic, drew. Thanks for having me on. This is great. Yeah, man, I’m super excited to have a former wrestler and a former athlete like yourself on the podcast today. Um, now where are you? Where are you at today? Are you in Virginia still?
Yeah, I’m in Charlottesville. Virginia. Yup. It’s a university of Virginia. It’s my Alma mater. I tried leaving Charlottesville a couple of times. I’m from Pittsburgh originally and got recruited for wrestling to Charlotte versus Virginia. And I’ve tried to leave a couple of times, but we just keep getting pulled back. It’s a great place to be. So we’re grown roots. We’ve got four kids and uh, and, and we love it here.
Well, I’ve heard from multiple people that the university of Virginia campus is one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation. I’m guessing you would agree.
Oh yeah. I mean, I don’t know who told you it was one of those, it’s definitely the best campus in the country. We call it a course Browns. So Thomas,
yeah, I know that’s kind of near my old stomping grounds. Northern Virginia.
I went to Centerville high school out there, Fairfax County. And um, so it’s, it’s good to talk to another Virginian. Yeah, it’s a good, it’s a good state. I really do enjoy the state of Virginia. It’s got a lot of history, a lot of culture. Um, it’s a good place to live. It is. You’ve got the beach, you’ve got the beautiful beaches, beautiful mountains. You got Washington, D C you got small towns like Charlottesville and everything in between. It’s great. Yeah, man. Okay. So let’s, uh, let’s sort of a little bit with your story. Jim. Um, you, how long have you been wrestling or how long did you, you started at a very young age, right? Yeah, I started, I was six years old, so I competed for 17 years in the sport and then, uh, then I coached collegiately for seven years afterwards. So, uh, and I’m still coaching now.
I still, I coach both of my boys are wrestlers are eight and 10 years old, so they’re both wrestling and I coach them and I still work with high school wrestlers and even get into college room occasionally still, man. So you can still bang with those college aged kids, you think? Yeah. Yeah. I could back up a little bit though. But uh, yeah, it’s, it’s great. I, I mean, once they’re, you know, once arrests are always arrests. Exactly man. And that’s the thing, it probably comes back to you like I haven’t rested in a while, but I know for a fact that if I did start wrestling, some old moves would come back, you know, into play and just say, you know, it’s kinda like riding a bike, right? Absolutely. Yeah. You were staying placeholder. So you obviously trained quite a bit and those things, they come right back cause you drilled the moves a million times.
So let’s, let’s talk about that a little bit because I feel like wrestling is, um, overlooked by some people, right? It’s made fun of by people of other sports like, Oh, you’re wearing a li, a leotard. People would say, right, and you’re wrestling with another man and you know, but at the same time, man, people that really understand and respect the art of it, um, there’s something almost sacred about it and you learn so many valuable lessons. What do you think you learned from all the years of growing up wrestling? What are some of the three major lessons you’ve taken from wrestling that you think a lot of people can learn from if they had wrestled? Yeah, I mean, first, I mean like what you said is, is you know about the single at leotard. One of the coolest things going on right now is that the international governing body has recommended that we switch to like, uh, like fight, fight shorts and uh, and, uh, like a tight fitting like dry fed, kind of tight fitting top, which is awesome.
It’s great for the image of the sport, you know, I didn’t know that. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s starting to trickle down and some of the bigger tournaments are recommending it and using it and it’s pretty cool. So anyway, um, and then as far as just being overlooked, it’s like there are, it’s, it’s interesting that they’re, there are only four or five national NCAA championships sports that actually are profitable. They have a profitable champion national championship. And wrestling is one of them. It’s like wrestling, baseball, hockey, basketball, and maybe one other or something like that. So it’s, you know, sold out Madison square garden last month for three straight days, you know, 19,000 people watching the finals on ESPN live. You know, you got Iowa and Oklahoma state put 42,000 people into the arena for a domain this year. So it’s, it’s like one of those niche sports, you know, I mean, if you love it, if you, if you’ve done it, you’ll love it.
Uh, and it’s, uh, it’s the only combat sport that’s, uh, that, that they do in high school or college now. So it’s, it’s, you know, combat sports will never go away. They’ll always be part of part of every culture in the world. So it is an interesting and unique sport that way. But in terms of what you’ll learn from a sport like that, and you know, I think you learn a lot of great things from, from any sport or any activity. Certainly my, like I said, my boys both wrestle, but they also play one plays guitar on plays piano. They do lacrosse and Cub Scouts and basketball and baseball, you know, everything else. And I’m seeing this more and more recognize it in other sports, but, uh, in other activities. But in wrestling, you know, you, you get comfortable being uncomfortable. That’s probably the biggest lesson you get is you just get, you get comfortable being uncomfortable.
You know, I see kids who come out for the sport, they’re first time and like every little thing, every time you do a move to them, even like a, an easy simple move, they’re Ooh out, out. You know, I get everything hurts and it’s like you see him like a week later, a month later, a season later, and boom, they’re hitting the move twice as hard or getting it down to them twice as hard and it doesn’t bother them, you know, so you get comfortable being uncomfortable. That’s probably the biggest one. And then I’d say another one is just, you get these, these positive influences, you know, this positive input, um, from amazing, amazing people. You know, there’s so many former wrestlers who have gone on to do amazing things. As a matter of fact, there’s wrestlers are one of the top groups of people at becoming army Rangers. And Navy seals and I think a Navy seals, the other one to the only one performing higher. Our water polo players, they got the swimming part, which wrestlers don’t have. But other than that, um, it’s wrestlers that are very high performing. It becoming Navy, Navy seals, army Rangers and special forces. So they recruit out of there and those are this, you know, those are, those are great life skills that that can translate into success and everything else in life.
Yeah. And I totally agree. Being a former rest of myself, I feel like, you know, wrestling was one of the hardest physically and physical and mental things I’ve ever been through in my life. You know, especially looking back and I did football and then I would go and do wrestling right afterwards and it was just, it was night and day, just how mentally and physically exhausting each practice was. And I feel like if you can get through wrestling, you can get through almost anything else in life. It makes everything else so much easier. Right.
Yeah, absolutely. You know, Mark Devine, who’s been on your show, uh, with SEALFIT and unbeatable mind, he actually heard him on a podcast say one time that, you know, a lot of the guys that go through, uh, that he’s trained that, that want to become Navy seals. He said, you know, you need this sort of crucible experience that he provides, you know, through his, you know, what I forgot his five or six day program, uh, through SEALFIT. Um, but he goes, everybody needs that. Unless you have that in your background already, like any, the example he used was like a college wrestler that has, that has had that experience, you know, so it’s, it’s definitely a crucible experience in life.
Yeah. So let’s, let’s talk about your, your experience becoming a Dijuan All-American, which is a huge thing. I remember, you know, in your, your TEDx talk, you talked about how the chances of a high school restaurant becoming a D one, all American are less than a high school football player making it to the NFL, right? So it’s very, very difficult to do that. And you’re one, uh, who has achieved that, but you kind of had to fail to get there. Right. Tell us about that story and I’ll put the link to your TEDx talk, which is amazing about failing in the show notes, but kind of sum up that story of how you eventually became a all American.
Yeah, sure. It’s been such a, this story has resonated so well with people that I’ve, you know, I’ve, I’ve done so much speaking on it since I gave this Ted talk and workshops and everything else because it resonates with people, right. Cause we all fail. And I, and I had this opportunity to share this message at, at the Charlottesville TEDx event, which is among the top 1% of TEDx events in the world and target in terms of size and attendance. And so it’s been this really well received message. But the, but, but my story was this, you know, I, in high school, like you said, you were, you got on the podium in high school. I never did. I never got onto the podium and at a high school state championships. But I got recruited to the university of Virginia. I was basically a recruited walk on non scholarship and I said, you know, um, I want to do something with this opportunity.
I go through the university of Virginia and I’m part of a top 10 recruiting class. But I’m like not, it probably would have been ranked higher if I wasn’t there. Like there was so many good wrestlers. Um, but my goal is I’m like, my goal is to be an all American. My goal is to to get onto the podium at the national championships, which would be unheard of really for it, for a high school wrestler who didn’t at least get on the podium in high school to to get there. And my, my, my freshman year I got to the national championships, which is the first step you have to qualify for nationals and you know, there’s 15,000 people in the arena. But I, but I fell short my freshman year, sophomore year, again, I get to the national championships, but again, I failed. And then my junior year was, you know, it was pretty much a repeat of the prior two years.
I got the national championships. This time I won a couple of matches. You gotta win four matches at least to get to, to become an all American, uh, to get top a country. And I, but I lost again. So my season ended and I say this in my Ted talk, my season ended with me in the locker room and you know, my face buried in a towel in tears wondering why can’t I do this? Like, what’s wrong with me? I can’t possibly run more miles, lift more weights, watch more film. I can’t practice more. There’s not enough hours in the day. This just, maybe it’s just not meant to be. Maybe, maybe Jim Harshaw doesn’t have what it takes. And, and so I have my senior year coming up, right? I got one more opportunity. And by the way, we’ve all felt that for the listener listening to this right now, drew, you felt, I mean, we’ve all been there, right?
Whether in sports, in business, with relationships, in work, in a professional life. We’ve all been there, right? We’ve all felt that, that, that hopelessness, that self doubt. And so how do we, you know, so how do we overcome it? Well, you know, I had one more year and I sort of reflect back on this now, you know, 20 almost, you know, 15, 17 years later, I reckon, reflect back and see these lessons. But I had one more year, one more shot in my senior year. I let go of, of becoming an all American. And my focus was on performing at the highest level that I possibly could, and, and, and enjoying the process and focusing on the process and letting go of the outcome. And what happened was I had the most fun that I’ve ever had in my life competing. And I got to the national championships again, and this time I had won three matches and I got one more match and I gotta beat, I gotta beat the guy ranked fourth in the country.
I’ve never, to this point in my career, I’d never beaten anybody ranked in the top five in the country. So I’ve got to wrestle the match of my life, right? I’ve got to learn from these prior failures to beat, not only beat this guy, but overcome this self doubt, right? This, this seed of doubt that we all have that grows because of our failures. But seven minutes later I did it, you know, I Bose the score 10 to eight, it was 10. Wow. Okay. I, I, I just, I wrestled from my life, you know, I let go of everything again. I let go of the outcome and I just said, I’m going to, I’m going to do everything I can possibly do in the next seven minutes. And uh, and I did it and I beat this guy. It was just this incredible feeling of this, this combination of 17 years of struggle of, you know, you talk about blood, sweat and tears.
It was real blood, real sweat, real tears. I mean, I remember driving, gosh, I remember literally this, this is kind of one of those moments. I don’t know if I’ve ever told anybody this before, but I remember in the summer before my senior season, driving across interstate 80 across Pennsylvania from working one wrestling camp to another solid drive around where being a camp counselor at summer college, different colleges at their summer camps, wrestling camps so that I could just train with different people. I was just wanting to train, train, train, and I remember driving down the interstate and like pounding on my steering wheel in tears crying because I wanted this so bad. I want to try to figure out what do I need to do, what’s the next thing that I need to do? And uh, and it was, and it’s just a matter of grinding and following through.
It’s creating that plan and following through on that plan. And, uh, and I reflect back on that, you know, like I said, you know, almost two decades later and I can really pull some lessons out there that have been really powerful that I’ve shared with people. Yeah, I know that’s super powerful gym. Like thinking about what you said and how you overcame it because nothing really you couldn’t do anymore. Like you said, you, you, there’s not enough hours in the day to train harder, watch more film. There’s nothing else that you could do more to, to get the results you want it to. Here’s the, the life
lesson I think a lot of people listening to this podcast can relate to is for example, like people are trying to lose weight or become fit, right? They focus so much on the outcome and they get so disappointed when they’re like, man, I’ve tried this diet and I didn’t lose the weight or I’ve tried this and it didn’t and it didn’t work right and they failed again and again and again. And if we could shift our focus from instead of focusing on the outcome, focus on the process. You know what? I’m just going to live a healthy life. I’m going to eat healthier foods today. Instead of focusing on a specific workout, I’m going to go and do something active and something that I enjoy, for example, and just focus on becoming a healthier version of me. And the weight loss, you know, that’ll take care of itself over time. But instead of that being the focus, focusing on the process like you did, and eventually good things will happen. But it’s hard for people cause they focus that they just want to hit that goal and they feel like if they don’t, they’re a failure. Right?
Yeah. Because there are things that are outside of our control. Like we control, we control maybe 90% of things and there’s this other 10% that we just don’t control. And in sports it’s, it’s the, the referee or your opponent and life. There are so many influences, right? There’s so many influences. And even in your diet, like we know we can, there are certain, obviously we can control our, our workouts, we can control what we put into our body, but there are certain things that you just don’t control your hormones. And, um, you know, different, uh, things that happen to you throughout the day. And maybe if you travel a lot for work, there’s certain foods you can’t eat or you, you know, you end up eating certain foods and, but you just, you know, you hit these plateaus when you’re trying to lose weight or get fit, you hit these plateaus and you’re like, you know, you can’t control certain things, but you’ve got to control the process, you know, focus on what you can control and the outcome takes care of itself.
Yeah, man, that’s a great life lesson and I appreciate you sharing your experience of becoming a D one. All American. I think a lot of people will be able to resonate with that and apply it to their own lives. Um, so let’s kind of talk about the transition after that because here you are, you, you achieved your goal, right? And now fast forward, you know, 15 plus years later here you are talking about it on TEDx talks, doing seminars. Um, you have a podcast of the lessons you learned, but during the, that phase of, from where you are now or from, from back then to where you are now, what does it take for you to get to the point to where you are today of teaching people about this because you went through it, but then what did you do afterwards? Did you go and get a job? Like did you kind of just, uh, reflect on these life lessons and then boom, it hit you 15 years later, I can teach people something from this. Have you, what, what did it look like after, after you won the D one, all American and, um, to get to where you are today? Does that make sense? I’m trying to piece the piece, those puzzle pieces together. Yeah, absolutely.
So right after I graduated, I was offered one of the top assistant coaching jobs in the country. It was at the Naval Academy as the site. It would have been a assistant, but it would have been a great job to jump right into one of the highest paying like second assistant jobs in the country, at least time. And, and I was like, gosh, what a great opportunity. And, um, one of my friends who was a four, actually, he was a four time, he was on four national championship soccer teams at Virginia. He called me from Guatemala and he was like, Jim, you gotta come down here. Um, you know, he was, he was down there, um, just li, you know, having these grand adventures. Right. You know, so I went DAS, I pack the backpack, had three months, a one way ticket, you know, and, and I just backpacked all around Mexico and Guatemala and Honduras.
And after that I came back to the States and I went to Europe for a month and just backpack around. And then I, then I got a job leading adventure camping tours, which is where I met my wife. She and I were both. So it just, you know, I wanted to sell my oats and, and just get out there and experience things that I had because I had been so focused on wrestling and competing for, for so many years prior to that. And then I got called into coach. You know, I got a, I got asked to be the assistant coach at my Alma mater and, and that sort of set me off on my coaching career, which is a seven year career. Um, I ended up being a division one head coach for a couple of years and I actually got out of coaching voluntarily just cause it was a lifestyle that wasn’t attractive to me.
It’s hard to have a family and really live a balanced life. A lot of guys do it. Uh, I didn’t feel like it was the right thing. So I, I stepped out of coaching and I ended up starting a couple of business. So I was an entrepreneur and, and still am and I, I, uh, built and sold a couple of businesses and then I got back into, uh, athletics administration at my Alma mater here, Virginia. Um, but it, a few years ago, about four or five years ago, I started sort of reflecting on all these experiences and I’ve had, drew have had so many, just great experiences, blessed to have so many amazing experiences in my life and you know, being coached by just amazing people in high school and in college. And then, uh, and then through my, really through my, you know, having great mentors when I was, uh, coaching and great mentors in business and entrepreneurship and, and I began seeing the, these sort of patterns, this pattern for success that people have, you know, what successful people not only do but what they have in their life.
And I sort of identified this four step blueprint for success that I share with people, that that is basically you look at the life of an elite athlete and there are certain things in place that allow them to, to go through the pain and suffering. Cause that’s what it is, the pain and suffering it takes to be a great athlete or like the people on your show, you know, like the, the trainers on your show, putting all the weight on, which is, it’s like, it’s such a process, you know, and then taking it back off and you know, what allows people to push through unbelievably challenging things. You know, and it’s the folk, you know, the, the folks who are on your show who are also losing the weight, you know, the, not just the trainers but the who are losing the weight, you know, why are they all of a sudden able to do it?
Right? So this, this blueprint works for anything, whether it’s losing weight, building a business, becoming an elite athlete, being successful. It as, you know, as a parent, whatever the case might be. And it’s this. So the first part is this. You have to get clear on your values. You have to understand what’s important to you. Okay. So when you’re an elite athlete, you know what’s important to you. It’s winning the championship, right? It’s for me, it was, I wanted to become an all American because I see the type of people, I saw, the type of people that became all Americans. They were, you know, respected people who lived disciplined lives. That went on to, a lot of them went on to significant success outside of the sport of wrestling. So I w that’s, that was my why. So I identify, I knew my why. I didn’t really see this blueprint when I was in the midst of it.
But when I look back, I, I can see that I knew my why, right? So it’s, you know, when you know your why, it’s, it’s, it’s like, you know, why can, you know, why can 110 pound moms lift the car off of their child? Right? You hear these crazy stories. It’s like if you know your, what, if you have a big enough reason why you can do anything. So that was the first step. And then the second piece is not just having goals, but writing down your goals. You know, you talk to successful people and an inordinate amount of them have written goals, not just goals, not just a dream, not just a hope, but they have like documented goals and a plan to achieve them. And I had that, I started doing that when I was competing in college and it took me to another level and then I kind of look back and so was it, was that it?
And it’s like, well no, that’s not it. You know, especially just having, knowing your, you know, what you value but not, not just having written goals, but the third piece is this true. It’s, it’s creating what I call your environment of excellence in your environment of excellence. You have this as an athlete, as a is when you’re a high school athlete, college athlete, professional athlete, whatever, you know that they have this and this. And they have coaches, they have, you know, sports psychologists, they have nutritionists, they have teammates, right? To experience the highs and lows. Like, like the folks on your show, you know, when they’re, when they’re hitting a plateau or we’re there when they’re struggling to lose weight. They’ve, they’ve got, they’ve got a teammate, right? They’ve got a partner to experience this with. It’s going to go through the highs and lows with them.
That helps make that, that the pain and suffering more and more tolerable helps you push through the failure, the struggle, the adversity, the setbacks. And so you create this environment of excellence by getting the right people around you, by reading the right books, by instead of, you know, listening to, uh, uh, sports radio or, or political radio or talk radio on the drive home. It’s like put on the fit to fat to fit podcast. You know, listen, inspiring people with inspiring stories. So we have these opportunities to create this environment because not everybody has this environment or lives in this environment. So you have to create it intentionally. And then the last piece is, and I learned this, my going into my senior year in college as a wrestler was, was followed through. You’ve got to follow through. So when you have the, you have the first three pieces in place, you have your clear clear on your values, you’re clear on your goals and you have your environment of excellence, which I had all three of those, but I still failed my into my junior year.
I just had to follow through because I had the right pieces in place where I could make the necessary adjustments. I had the right people to pull me up when I failed and guide me into to to adjust my course and help me pivot and make changes when I needed to. When you take advantage of all those things, you know, even if you do fail at the end of the day, you’re going to shoot for the moon. If you do miss your among the stars, you know you’re going to get so much farther. Really, I ultimately, my goal is to be a national champion. I still failed at that, but I became an all American. I finished top eight in the nation and that, that’s this four piece blueprint for success and, and I’m happy to, to make that available to your listeners. We can, I can make a link on my website, just Jim Harsha jr com slash I dunno, probably fit or something like that. If you want to. We can do the lesson.
Yeah, yeah, we can, uh, we can talk about that and put it in the show notes afterwards. But first of all, that’s a lot to digest and I love hearing your story of how you went from that to where you are today and it’s, it was really interesting to listen to. So thanks for sharing that first of all. But, um, I did want to kind of dive into your program to, you know, kind of show people what, what you can do for them. Because here’s the thing. I think coaching is, um, the way of the future for transforming people, whether it’s weight loss, whether it’s spiritual goals, emotional goals. Having a coach is very, very powerful and it sounds like you, um, bring a lot of value to the table with your program. And I kind of want people to get a feel for what a coach like you can provide for somebody that’s looking to transform their life. In so many different ways. Right. So that’s the other question I had was, is this just for former athletes because you feel like former athletes have the discipline or they’ve had the discipline in the past and they kind of could follow that blueprint little bit easier versus someone who’s never played sports. Is it just for former athletes? Was it for everybody?
Great question. It’s for everybody of the former athlete understands these principles intrinsically just because they’ve experienced it. Um, but I’ve had non athletes go through the program as well. Um, so it’s about, you know, like you said, former athletes maybe have that discipline or had that discipline at some point. It’s about creating that, you know, you haven’t had that, that crucible experiences as an athlete. It’s about putting that structure in place in your life. And when you put that structure in place, amazing things happen. It’s like even when you don’t, you know, before you get to your goal, once you just feel like you’re on track, you, you, you, you’re happier. You’re really, ultimately, that’s what we’re talking about is, is being more happy and being happier and being more fulfilled, being more satisfied with your life. And my, you know, the, the clients who have gone through my program, whether it’s the, the self guided program or the, um, I’ve got a self guided program, I’ve got a sort of a group coaching program and then I have a one on one program and they’ve all said that they’ve, the biggest thing they’ve got out of it was clarity on the action they need to be taking every day.
And that’s the biggest thing that we crave, right? We all want to know, okay, this is where I want to go, but what steps do I need to take to get there? And when you put this, this blueprint into place in your life, gosh, the answers just show up and you wake up every day with clarity and you, you’re able to stay focused. You know, a lot of, a lot of us drift off at work. You know, you, you know, we’re on the internet all day at work or on checking email and it’s so easy to drift off and lose focus, but once you put this blueprint in place, your focus is just tunnel vision. It’s, it’s an awesome, awesome feeling for, for myself experiencing it. That’s the way I live now and you know, now that I have this blueprint back in place in my life and then for my clients as well. It’s a lot of fun.
What kind of clients have you brought on that, you know, from different walks of life? What kind of clients have come?
Yeah, it’s been really, it’s, it’s been pretty broad. I’ve had, certainly I’ve had college coaches, but I’ve also had, uh, just busy, you know, corporate executives, professional athlete, you know, Charlie Brennaman Spaniard was on show. Uh, he’s been through it, um, and everything in between. So, I mean, it’s basically, you know, folks who are in athletics, folks who are not in athletics, uh, and just in a professional environment. So, um, yeah, young, old, it’s, uh, you know, it’s been pretty cool.
Cool man. Yeah, we’ll have to put that link in the show notes for people to, to check it out. They’re looking for coaching because I think it’s very valuable. Like, like I said, it’s kind of like the new, uh, the new age thing to have a coach, right? And so many different aspects of life. I know there’s coaches out there for, you know, meditation for example. I know that people pay for things like that or a spiritual guidance or you know, there’s transformation coaches when it comes to fitness or finance. Um, so I think there’s a lot of people that are more interested in having a coach with them every step of the way. Um, I kind of want to go back a little bit to your story cause I thought this was really cool. We don’t have to talk on it a lot, but I like how you, after you, you instead of taking a job right away after you won, um, it became a D when all American, you kind of went and just did your own thing.
You went and traveled the world and had some experiences and made some memories for yourself. I think that right there is so valuable for people to have, uh, to just go and travel and experience the world versus staying in the grind, the, you know, having a set job and just work, work, work, work, work until their retirement age. And by that time they can’t really go backpack through Europe or Mexico. Right? So I think that’s really cool that you got to experience that and I’m sure you learned some really cool things and uh, some memories that you’ll be able to take with you for the rest of your life. And that’s one of the reasons I moved to Hawaii honestly, was because, you know, I don’t want to wait till I’m 60 years old and then retire and come to a place like this. I figured why not do it for a short period of time? You know, we’ve been out here almost a year and uh, I wanted to make some memories for my kids, uh, to experience life outside of where they were living in Utah and experience different culture, a different
lifestyle and a, it sounds like you kind of did the same thing, which is really cool and I’m kind of glad that you, you talked about that and that you got to experience that. Yeah, yeah. It was like one of those things that you just have this opportunity and you got to take it and so many people just jump right into right into the real world, which is fine, you know. But if you are, you know, for listeners like find those ways to, to, to experience and do the things that you, you, you know, deep down that you want to do. Like everybody says they want to jump out of an airplane, you know, when you’re in college, you know that younger anyway, like everybody, everybody wants to do it. But yeah, I’m going to do, I’m going to do it someday. I’m going to do, I’m going to do it.
Well, it’s like I finally called the place to go skydiving. I remember this in college. I called the place to go skydiving. I’m like, okay, that’s how much it costs. I can come in on Saturday and do it. They’re like, yep, that’s it. Okay. So I talked to all my buddies who said they’d go, who for years? That said, yeah, yeah, yeah, I’m going to do, I’m going to do it like, Hey, I’m doing it this weekend. You and guess what? Nobody did it. Me and my dad, my dad, my dad and I. So it’s like you got to take advantage of doing those things and you can’t just keep putting off the stuff you want to do until it, after you retire, you can’t put it off until after retirement. Do it now. Exactly. Um, okay. Let’s shift gears here a little bit and talk about you specifically.
Um, here’s the thing. I’ve noticed a lot of former athletes tend to let themselves go after their playing days, right? They still eat like an athlete, but they’re not training like an athlete anymore. But I notice you, you’re still in great shape, man. How have you been able to maintain staying in shape after your, you know, your playing years after wrestling for so long? Yeah. You know, what’s interesting about this, this question is I can probably relate to a lot of the folks who, you know, let them go. They were an athlete at one point. They let themselves go or, or just are struggling to, to get down to, uh, an ideal weight for themselves. So after I was done competing, I, you know, I traveled for, it was about a year, a little over a year. So I traveled and I stayed fit just despite, I was just doing crazy, you know, hiking, active volcanoes and doing all kinds of stuff like that.
You know, I was staying fed, I would work it out when, you know, when I could and uh, and then I got into coaching and it’s like when you’re, when you’re, when you’re a wrestling coach and you know, this Drew’s wrestling coaches wrestle, you know what I mean? That’s part of what the wrestling coaches do. Football, football coaches don’t play football, but wrestling coaches, Russell. And so for my entire, for I said seven years collegiately coaching collegiately, but really it was more like 10 or 12 that, uh, I was really active, uh, with various teams. And so I wrestled, you know, I was wrestling, I was lifting, I was running, I was training with these guys. And then after I sort of got out of that full time and even, you know, doing it on it as a significant part of my, my time, I had to figure out like, okay, now I got to workout, not my job, but I’ve got to work out like recreationally or I’ve got to find another reason to work out.
And that was a big mind shift for me. Yeah. Mindsets. Yeah. Because you know, for years I just worked every day you go to practice and that’s what you do. You gotta practice and you train, you wrestle, and then you lift afterwards or you lift with the team in the morning. So for me it was a mindset shift, but now what do I do? I do everything drew. I love, like, I love to experience every possible thing in the world. You know, which is why I went to central America and scoop all the crazy adventures I’ve been on in my life and whitewater kayaking and hang gliding over Rio. And, um, but I like to experience everything in life. And, and it’s the same with my workouts that sort of carries over. So, you know, in the past week I’ve been running, uh, mountain biking, swimming, lifting.
I mean, I do, I do everything in anything. I mean, I love, uh, I just, I, I love a variety and, and I do, uh, I do a significant variety of my life. So, and the other thing I’ve done in the past week was actually wrestling with college guys. So done quite a bit. What I do quite a bit of different things. If you want to, if you want a really good workout and go wrestle with somebody, you know, that’s one of the toughest workouts in the world. I’ll be honest with you. But if you’re not in any, not in wrestling shape, even if you’re in decent shape, if you go wrestle for about literally two minutes, you’ll be exhausted. Exactly. So how do you find balance? Because you have four kids, which is a lot man. How do you find balance between that full time job, the stuff you do on the side and making time for yourself to stay in shape?
Yeah, good question. It’s, it’s having this blueprint in your life, right? When I, when I, before I really consciously implemented this blueprint for success into my life, I wasn’t balanced. You know, I didn’t have my priorities all straight and, but whenever I, I got clear on my values, I got clear on my goals. And there’s four areas where I say people should be setting goals and it’s relationships. Number one, that’s priority. And this is in order of rank order, basically re relationships, self growth goals, uh, health and wellness, health and fitness, and then wealth goals. And, and I think that, you know, once you get clear on those, then it’s easy to say no to other things. Cause we all, you know, we, we, we, we tend to say yes to everything. Well, when you say yes to everything means you’re saying no to something else.
You know, if you say yes, you can take on another project or yes you can volunteer for another organization or yes, that means you’re saying no to something else. If you say, yes, I can volunteer for this other organization, that means you’re saying no to something else and that might be your kids or your relationship with your spouse. You know? So that’s how I’ve maintained balances or regained balance was by getting clear on these things, getting clear on this blueprint, implementing it into my life. And then I say no. So I say no to a lot of things that I used to say yes to. And it’s things like, you know, maybe watching foot, watching a football game on the weekend. You know, if you say yes to that, there’s nothing wrong with watching a football game on the weekend, but it’s like if you say yes to that, just understand that you’re saying no to maybe your health and fitness. Maybe it’s your relationship, maybe it’s time with your kids, maybe it’s your education. Maybe it’s your wealth goal, whatever it is, you understand, you notice something.
Yeah. Yeah, that’s very, that’s a very good point. I like that. I hadn’t thought about it like that. Um, talk about your nutrition as an athlete versus now you, you as a dad, how do you eat now? Do you still eat the same? Um, what is it, what does your nutrition look like now versus when you were, um, you know, wrestling back in college,
drew, I remember my sophomore year, it was a, it was in the middle of a left and I really started cranking out my training and realizing what it took to get to the next level. And I was just, just pushing my body to the limit. And I remember being in the middle of a lift and I just tanked. I just like had nothing left and know I’d worked out that morning already. And I was doing a lot more than really though most of my teammates, maybe all my teammates and I got, I just, I just, I crashed, you know, and I’m like, I want to talk to my strength coach and so what do I got to do here? We didn’t have a nutritionist on staff at the time and, and, but this is my first real lesson in nutrition and I changed my nutrition has started eating just when it comes down to, I started eating more like a, like a caveman, you know what I mean?
Eating fruits and more fruits, more vegetables and, and the right things, know less processed foods. And I didn’t know nearly as much and I don’t think the science was advances. It’s today are readily available. So I just started eating, you know, a basic correct diet, you know, with fewer processed foods and more whole foods. And now I look at my life now and it’s, it’s the same way. I drink a fruit and vegetable smoothie every morning. That’s my breakfast. Um, I do best eating healthy lunches when I pack my lunch, when I’m not hungry, then I, before you know, I, I pack a salad and you know, salad and a sandwich with whole wheat bread and, um, yogurt and fruit and vegetables and, um, and then, yeah, my hardest time really for me is when, when I come home for dinner and there’s, you know, there’s, there’s going to be processed foods in the house.
So when you have four kids and you know, eating some of that stuff, that’s my biggest challenge. But, um, but I, but I still eat pretty healthy. And really right now at my, my focus is, you know, it comes back to your why, what’s my value? Why do I want to eat healthy flow? The reason I wanna eat healthy now is because I want to be able to perform, right. I want to be able to perform at work and staying focused and efficient. I want to be able to stay focused and efficient when I’m making a presentation or doing a workshop or giving a talk. Uh, and I want to be able to stay focused and have enough energy when I come home from a long day and I’m with my kids, I’m going to sit down and do homework with them. I want to run in the yard and play with them. I want to be a hundred percent fully there. And that’s what my nutrition is based around now.
No, I think that’s great advice just for your everyday average person out there. Um, it’s, it’s, we get so caught up in like, okay, there’s so much science and we hear so much contradicting, uh, theories about what’s right nutritionally for me. And if you could just start with the baby steps such as getting rid of the processed food and eating more real food, that’s a great first step. That’s a great step in the right direction of being healthier and you’re not, it’s not consuming your life. You’re not counting calories, you’re not weighing your food. Um, you know, you’re just saying, okay, let’s just cut out the processed food as much as possible and then start there. Right. That’s a great, that’s a great advice.
You’re talking about focused on the process, not the outcome. It’s like, you know, it’s just focusing on, on the process of eating the right foods. And then also, you know, again, this talk about the environment. I talked about the environment of excellence. It’s like, okay, so what’s my environment of excellence for my diet, my, my fitness? It’s, well, it’s, it’s making it easy for yourself to eat the right foods. You know, it’s planning your meals, it’s planning ahead. It’s buying food before you’re hungry, you know? Uh, making sure healthy snacks or an arm’s reach arm’s length the way whenever, uh, whenever you might get hungry.
Yeah, man, that’s, I think that’s great advice and yeah, putting yourself around the right people to listen into your show when you’re driving home from work, listening to the fat to fit show, man, you know what? There’s so many people that still don’t listen to podcasts. I’m like, man, if once I discovered podcasts, it was like a whole new world. Like, seriously, it doesn’t, even if you’re not into fitness, if you’re into game of Thrones, there’s a podcast. If you’re into, you know, something specific, there’s a podcast about it, I guarantee you. So it’s, it’s just such great free information that’s available out there. I’ve been listening to podcasts, we’re probably, but I think about 10 years, like 2006 I started listening to, I think that’s when the first couple of podcasts came online. Yeah. And I just started consuming. I love it man. It’s like
free information. You get to listen to these, you know, authors who have written these amazing books and you get to hear, listen to a one hour interview with them. It’s like, okay, well I just got the best stuff out of the book, you know?
I know, man. Yeah, that’s a great, it’s so much more accessible nowadays with the, you know, just an app on your phone and you just put your ear piece in. You can do it while you’re driving, while you’re washing dishes, taking a walk at working out. I mean, I really don’t listen to music anymore when I work out. I just put a podcast on and it’s just a great, cause I still like to read books, but at the same time when you’re reading a book, you have to sit down and be focused on just that. You can’t be doing other things. Right. So that’s what’s cool about podcasts. Yeah. Okay. We’re coming up on time here, Jim. And as you know, we always end our podcasts with the lightning round and I have some good ones for you cause I know you’re used to some of these.
So the first question I’m gonna start off with is a obviously has to do with the wrestling. So here it goes. Okay. Which celebrity would you seriously like to wrestle? Donald Trump. Donald Trump. And do you think you could take him? I’m pretty sure. Okay. What’d you, what’d you pin them or would you try and just mess around with him and, and uh, uh, go for it. It’s a tech fall. Like I probably mess with them a little bit, a few times. And then it was your mom. There you go. That’s funny. Okay. What’d you ever seriously hate to bring up politics? On a show like this. Hey, that’s okay. I think, I think a lot of people would love to see that actually. Would you ever do fit to fat? To fit seriously? Oh man. Drew, I talk about,
I love to experience everything in life. I would totally do it. I would totally do it. I know it would be grueling, especially after watching what some of those trainers have to go through to put on the weight, let alone get off. But I would totally do it, man. I’m, I’m up for it. Have you ever been overweight before? No.
Okay. So here’s the thing. I think wrestlers would make a great, uh, person to do a Fitbit to fit. Because here’s the thing. You understand what it’s like to cut weight and to have only an hour to eat as much food as you can before you have to rest for, right? And so the, you know, the, the mentality that goes into just letting yourself go and eating the food because you, you were deprived of food trying to cut weight, right? Uh, you just enjoy food so much more. So I think wrestlers would make a great type of people to do this fit to fat to fit journey. So if you ever do, let me know, I’ll coach you, show you how to do it, tell you what types of foods and you can, you know, like I do for the trainers on the show, you know, I’m kind of like their mentor throughout the process because at first it’s fun for everybody.
It’s fun to let yourself go. But after a month you kind of get sick of it and you’re like, okay I have to do this for three more months. How am I going to be able to do this? Cause then you just feel horrible. So they just look like, ah, it’s like a miserable experience after that. And the show just does a great job of showing like it in a nutshell kind of what it’s like cause it’s like, Oh man, they’re having so much fun. They would loving the food and then boom, 30 minutes later they’re just like throwing up and feeling miserable. And you know what I’m saying? Versus it was a four month process for these guys. So and girls, so, okay, we’ll put you down. They’re on the list of people that it’s going to do this. What’s your, what’s your go to all time favorite cheat meal. Ice cream, cake, cookies. What, what’s your, what’s your simple for me it’s pizza. I love pizza. I’m a pizza guy too. A pizza guy too. Okay. Would you or did you ever consider going into MMA or UFC at some point in time?
God, good question. I never did. Uh, I should say I’ve had some thoughts about it, but that stuff kind of came. I got, I was done wrestling in 99. It was my senior year and that stuff was just kind of catching on. Most guys weren’t doing it and, uh, so I, I never really seriously, seriously considered it. I actually seriously considered moving to the Olympic training center. I was invited to the Olympic training center to train full time out there. Um, but I, I turned that down. But, um, no short answer
because that’s the, you know, a lot of wrestlers do very good at that kind of stuff. Yeah. Okay. What’s the craziest thing you did or crazy story you have of cutting weight?
Oh man. Are you ready? Yep. So it was, I got, I was injured and this is my, uh, my sophomore year I got injured and we, we went to the Midlands championship, which is a big, huge college champion term tournament over like Christmas break. And I w I trained, I traveled with the team. I didn’t compete at that one because I knew I was going to try to get healthy and compete at the next, we’re going to fly straight to Dallas after that. So I just kinda, I just focused on the process, not the outcome, but I was like, I’m just going to eat right, not check my, and it’s gonna eat right train as best I can throughout the three days, two days of this tournament. And then after the tournament’s over when my, you know, after we, uh, when we head to Dallas, that’s when I’ll check my weight.
Well, I was 23 pounds over two and a half day, but two and a half days before weights, 23 pounds, weight, 23 pounds in two. And a half days. It was a, it was terrible. And this is back in the day. So for the listener, you know, wrestling, they totally changed the rules. You actually weigh in one hour before you wrestle now. But this time I weighed in the day before, so you got to weigh in and then rehydrate, get a night’s sleep, put the right food and, but I still 24 hours later, I still wasn’t recovering. I wrestled horribly the next day. But yeah, it was a nightmare.
Yeah. That is crazy. 23 pounds in two days. So what were you just working out all day and sweats and just like, uh, what, what were you doing to lose the weight?
Do it in like cycles, you know, you and the plastic suits were still legal back then. You can’t wear them. You’re not allowed to wear any of that. All this stuff’s illegal anymore. I mean, it’s against the rules. So, but yeah, it would, I would just go crush myself in a one to two hour workout with the, with the sweatsuit on the plastic suit and just sweat, sweat it out. And then, and then you, you know, you might lose three, four, five, six while in the earlier the first couple of workouts you can lose, you know, six, eight pounds pretty easily. And then as you get later on, you work out for like two hours and you lose like two pounds and it’s a nightmare. But um, but you know, athletes rehydrate a little bit. You meet like a banana and a little, you know, six ounces, eight ounces of water and then you just keep going through that cycle. You’ve been through it.
Oh man. It’s, it’s horrible. It really was a grueling process. Luckily I only had to do it my freshmen and sophomore years, uh, junior year and not so much. I went from one 19 as a freshmen in high school to one 89 weight class my senior year. So my senior year I really wasn’t cutting any way. That’s kinda just where I was at. So, yeah, I had some crazy experiences cutting weight as well back in my freshman and sophomore years. Cause yeah, man, that’s the thing is like back then it was just kind of the pressure to be like, Oh you weigh one 50 you could easily rest of the wrestle one 35 and you could, but man, just back then we didn’t understand nutrition. It was just like, Hey, go sweat it out, don’t eat anything, don’t drink anything. You’ll make weight. And then just push it, push through it when you feel horrible going into the second or third period, you know, it’s like how tough for you. But really there’s a lot more science behind it. And I wish I understood nutrition a lot better back then versus, you know what I do now? I understand that so much better. But anyways. Yeah. Okay, Jim, you did. You did awesome man. Congrats. That was a, it wasn’t too bad. Right?
Exactly. So before we end, go ahead and tell people you know, your social media, your website, where people can find you if they’re interested in your coaching program.
Yeah, you can just find me. Jim Harshaw jr com. You can find me. Jim Harshad jr on Facebook. You can wrestle success. So just wrestle success on Twitter, Instagram, Harshaw jr. Um, yeah, so check out, I got the podcast which is wrestling with success. So on iTunes you can find me at, uh, just, just Google or just search on iTunes for wrestling with success. Uh, iTunes, Stitcher. Now Google play actually on there too now, so I’m cool.
Yeah, listen to a couple of your episodes. I liked them. They’re, they’re uh, they’re very good and they’re short, right? 30 minutes roughly.
I try to keep 30, 35 minutes, you know, make them, you know, the length of a commute or a workout for some people, you know, the cardio part of the workout or whatever. So yeah, I try to keep them a little shorter.
Yeah. Perfect man. And we’ll put all that in the show notes and once again, I really appreciate you coming on. A lot of valuable lessons taken from today’s episode for a lot of people and I’m, I really appreciate it, Jim.
Love what you’re doing, drew. I mean with the TV show and with the podcast, you’re inspiring a lot of people and just bringing a lot of knowledge out there that people need.
Well, thanks so much, man. It’s always good to connect with a former wrestler like yourself and I appreciate the inspiration. Likewise, Kay, man, stay in touch. Likewise, talk to you soon.
okay, you guys, hopefully you enjoyed today’s episode with Jim Harshaw and we’re able to take away some valuable lessons from his experience. And I know I did. You guys, don’t forget about our show sponsor key genics.com use the code fits vets fit for 15% off. It’s definitely worth a try experiencing what it’s like to be in a state of ketosis. I definitely recommend, uh, embracing the lifestyle, like living a ketogenic lifestyle, uh, first and foremost. But let’s say you can’t be that strict or it’s just too difficult for you. That’s what’s so cool about teaching Xs is you can still receive benefits of being in a state of ketosis even if it’s just for a few hours per day. Um, there’s definitely some benefits to taking these exemption as ketones. Um, uh, even if you’re not strictly following a ketogenic diet, but I definitely recommend the ketogenic diet on top of taking Kegenix.
You’ll notice amazing benefits. Uh, the mental acuity, the cognitive function, the consistent energy throughout the day. It’s awesome you guys. It’s definitely worth experiencing. Um, uh, if you guys liked today’s episode, please leave us a review on iTunes. That’s how we get, you know, better ratings and more people know about us. Uh, also leave us a five star, uh, uh, sorry, leave us a review and a five star rating. If you guys enjoy your podcast. Also, don’t forget to share it with friends and family and, um, if you want to reach out to me, if you have suggestions for people you want to, uh, for me to interview on the show, just reach out to me on social media. Um, I’m on Facebook, Twitter, email@example.com. There’s a newsletter you can sign up for there. I always appreciate you guys’ support. Um, you guys are awesome. I can’t believe that, you know, I had this idea of getting fat on purpose. And now here we are today with a TV show, a podcast, a book, um, speaking engagements. Uh, I really appreciate it. None. This is possible without you guys. So I really appreciate it from the bottom of my heart. Thank you guys. Don’t forget to tune in next week for another great episode on the fit to fat to fit experience podcast. And we’ll talk to you guys soon.