Like a Bigfoot

Motivation, Mindset, Positivity, Endurance, Adventure, Perseverance, and Possibility

Like a Bigfoot Podcast #54: Lindsey Ward 2 –Running Her First Half Marathon, Summer Adventures

This week we welcome back my lovely wife Lindsey Ward to the show. She recently tackled a huge challenge when she signed up for the Georgetown to Idaho Springs Half Marathon. Having never participated in an event over 7 miles before, finishing 13.1 is a huge reason to celebrate and I’m extremely proud of her!!

She also did it on minimal training in the middle of a crazy busy month and by overcoming possible strep throat.

Basically, her message today is best summed up by blatantly ripping off Nike…”JUST DO IT.” Sign up for something intimidating and go out, dig deep within yourself and find a way to get it done!!

Lindsey and I also share some thoughts on being active parents, tips on hiking with little ones, why you should schedule periodic adventures, along with a lot more.

Oh yeah, Lindsey fills us in on what she originally thought “goat yoga” was and it’s by far the funniest thing I’ve heard in months.

I’m so dang proud of Lindsey and want to thank her for the billions of things she does every single day for me and my daughters. Glad I can add “show our girls that you can accomplish giant challenges with just pure will and stubbornness” to the list!

Hope you guys enjoy! Keep pushing yourself and challenging your preconceived notions of what you are capable of. You rock!


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Like a Bigfoot Podcast #53: Adam Jones — How Starting a Running Store Led to So Much More

This week I’m excited to share a conversation with Adam Jones.  Adam is the owner of The Brick, a running store in downtown Danville, Virginia.  He and the store have become key in Danville residents rediscovering and reclaiming their fitness.  Through opening the store and organizing a variety of different meet-ups, clubs, challenges, and races, Adam really is essential in changing his community for the better and has helped lead many people to healthier, happier lives.

Seeing first hand the running community he’s been able to establish has been inspiring and, honestly, makes me hopeful for Danville, a town I really miss and think about often.

In this episode, Adam shares his story.  How did he discover his love of running?  Why did he start the business?  How did he handle making a leap of faith?  How does he approach the challenges of entrepreneurship?  What incredible stories has he witnessed through starting the store?  How does he nurture the running community in Danville and what events are he most proud of?

I hope you guys enjoy this episode as much as I did!  If you’re ever in southern Virginia be sure to head into Danville and check out the Brick, I promise you’ll be as impressed as me with what Adam has been able to do with it these previous 5 years!


The Brick’s Website:

Facebook page:




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Like a Bigfoot Podcast #52: “Bigfoot Sightings 1”– Join 100 Club, Training for First 50k, Climbing First 14er

This week is a very special episode where we spend some time catching up with three previous guests in what we are dubbing the first edition of “BIGFOOT SIGHTINGS” (genius name by Lindsey Ward).


Up first is the one of the most inspiring people I know, Calvin Johannsen.  Since we last spoke at the end of his 14er Project (where he climbed over 100 mountains in 100 days), Cal has been focused on improving all sorts of lives with his “Join 100 Club” which is a daily commitment to a goal, a printable accountability chart to help you visualize your progress, and a devotion to CONSISTENCY and the longterm process of achievement.

Tune in to hear all the details about this FREE club, what is it, how to join, Calvin’s philosophies, etc.  The concepts he uses for success fall directly in line with this podcast and are VERY POWERFUL.

Join the 100 CLUB:

The 100 CLUB Facebook Group:


Last time we spoke with Jason he was down 40 pounds and had just finished an awesome backpacking trip through the Linville Gorge.  Right after the podcast he informed me that he took a huge leap and had signed up for his first 50k.  This is a guy who had never ran more than 6 miles and was courageous enough to sign up for an ultra marathon!!

This week we catch up on his training progress and I share some tips and training strategies for his next two months of training.  If you’ve ever wanted to take on a HUGE challenge I would highly suggest checking out a trail 50k.  You can definitely do it!


A couple months ago we recorded an episode entitled “Guide to Climb Your First 14er.”  Sean was our “newbie” at the time and I’m happy to say that a couple weeks ago we successfully got to the top of one of these behemoths, Mt. Bierdstadt (14, 065ft).

Here we share the story of our adventure, what Sean thought of the hike, whether or not our “training hike” up Buffalo Mountain was harder, and the amazingness of meeting a mountain goat!


Calvin Johannsen 1:

Calvin Johannsen 2:

Jason Sudduth:

Sean Furlong:


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Like a Bigfoot Podcast #51: Sarah Cooper — Grit & Ultracycling, Winning the Race Across America

Welcome to the world of ultra-cycling and the insanity that is the Race Across America.  Get ready for a conversation with one of the toughest athletes in the country!

Sarah Cooper is about a month removed from winning the Race Across America, an event in which she rode her bike 3,070 miles in 11 days, 18 hours, and 56 minutes.  An event requiring extreme grit, incredible endurance, and stubborn forward progress.  It is also an event that breeds stories of adventure and shows that to accomplish a goal, you sometimes have to just step up and kick adversity in the teeth!

In this episode Sarah shares how to maintain a successful mindset in the midst of hardships like extreme sleep deprival, severe weather, neck injuries, and insanely long distance.  We also discuss her training schedule and how she discovered this crazy sport.

As a bonus, Sarah shares stories from previous Trans-iowa, “a self-navigated, self-supported, 300-plus mile gravel road event” which is also known as one of the toughest rides in the U.S.

Sarah is also a mother of four, showing all of us that having kids is absolutely no excuse not to chase after your own incredibly difficult goals.  Plus, her kids probably think she’s cooler than Wonder Woman at this point!  She also lives and trains around Des Moines, Iowa, proving once again that Iowa can produce some pretty badass athletes.

Hope you guys enjoy the episode!  I would encourage you to check out other great stories from the RAAM and to read all about Sarah in her excellent features in the Des Moines Register.

(Cover Photo by Des Moines Register)

More from Sarah and Race Across America:

Pre-race article:

Post-race article:

Race Across America:

Trans Iowa:

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Like a Bigfoot #50: Ryan Duplassie — Environmental Concerns of Grassy Narrows, Activism and How to Make a Difference

I’m honored to have a platform to share this week’s story.  It’s all about one of the most beautiful places in the world, the lakes, rivers and wilderness of Grassy Narrows in Ontario, Canada.

Grassy Narrows sits on the English River about 40 miles north of Kenora, the nearest town.  It’s an isolated, wild, gorgeous place full of tranquil watersheds and Canadian wildlife.  When I imagine the northern wilderness, I imagine the English River and it’s lakes.

My dad and I have traveled to the First Nation community (similar to a Native American Reservation) for our last few fishing trips up north and have enjoyed the peace the lake has brought us along with all the delicious Walleye.

The last night of our 2017 trip my perception of this area was thrown upside down.

Ryan Duplassie is part of the department of Native Studies for the University of Manitoba.  As we came back to camp, the area we previously had to ourselves was now full of college students.  Ryan was teaching a 10 day travel study course focused on the Grassy Narrows Community.  Within a 20 minute conversation, two things were apparent, Ryan was an excellent, passionate teacher AND the beautiful area we had enjoyed over the last three days and the people who relied on it for livelihood had been completely DEVASTATED by deadly pollution, neglectful politics, and opportunists willing to take advantage without a second thought.

Here’s the story in a nutshell:

Ryan informed us that in the 1960s a paper mill in Dryden, Ontario disposed  incredibly harmful pollution into the English River and Wabagoon River watershed.  This went on for a decade before the government instated regulations causing them to stop.

This severely disabled the Grassy Narrows First Nation Community, essentially contaminating their food source (the fish that I was currently eating), taking away their livelihood, and poisoning their community (90% have mercury poisoning also referred to Ontario Minamata Disease).  When we spoke at the campsite, Ryan explained that neither the paper company (technically it was legal to dump at the time) or the government was willing to pay for the cleanup (in the last month they’ve put up $85 million to begin this herculean task).

First of all I was shocked.  How could this gorgeous part of the world be poisoned and f****ed over like this?? The paradigm I had in my head about where we were choosing to enjoy outside time was shattered.  And, I was ashamed and embarrassed for being so completely uninformed and ignorant of what was happening in a part of the world I enjoyed.

I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since.  So this podcast was my small way to let Ryan’s voice be heard and hopefully inform and influence you about environmental concerns throughout the world.

Time to get preachy….hold on to your britches (pants..for us non-old timers)….

If you’re listening to this podcast, you probably LOVE the outdoors.  You most likely enjoy your time exploring, pushing your limits, and appreciating the beautiful nature we are lucky enough to have in this country, throughout this continent and on this planet.  Personally, I would go absolutely crazy if I wasn’t able to head out my door into the mountains, forests, plains, lakes, and so on.  That’s why understanding and being informed about issues that affect these wild places (which I fully admit I previously was not about Grassy Narrows) should be important to you.  Let alone the concern with how we should treat other humans (which are also addressed in this episode)!

At the end of the episode Ryan shares a very important message of hope.  Start at a local level.  Understand the issues that are affecting the area you live in and pursue ways to make positive changes.  Start small, be consistent, and speak up when you see or hear about something you don’t think is right.

[Sermon Over]

Get ’em guys! And enjoy this week’s show! Ryan was awesome, intelligent, well-informed, and ultimately optimistic about a place and a group of people he loves and admires.

More Info about Grassy Narrows:

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Like a Bigfoot #49: Shane Dowty 2 — Life Lessons Learned From Climbing the Coaching Ladder

This week we are continuing the tale of Shane Dowty’s quest to coach in the world of college football.

Over the course of starting this podcast my unofficial theme song has become “It’s a Long Way to the Top, If You Wanna Rock n’ Roll”.  The idea to accept that anything worth wanting in life is not instantaneous, instead taking patient consistent hard work to achieve. Shane’s journey fascinates me because it is the embodiment of that philosophy.   And really, when you start from the bottom, embracing the journey and becoming a sponge absorbing knowledge from various mentors is absolutely key.

In 2009 Shane had the opportunity to work as a student assistant for the Iowa Hawkeyes, an experience that set him down this path.  (Going to the Orange Bowl probably had something to do with hooking him!)

In this episode we hear about the lessons Shane learned from his time spent at the absolute bottom of the coaching food chain, how he embraced the stoicism philosophy of legendary coach Kirk Ferentz, why you should be conscious of your principles and always be in alignment with your integrity, and a lot more!

Shane was out here live in studio (aka my porch) and I just had the best time chatting with him.

He currently is about to start his second season as an assistant coach for the Division 2 Missouri S & T Miners and I wish him the absolute best this year!

More from Shane:

Previous LABF Episode:

Follow Him on Twitter:

Missouri S & T Bio:

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Like a Bigfoot Podcast #48: Caroline Paul — Author of “The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure”

A few months ago I watched a TED Talk from today’s guest, Caroline Paul.  It was called “To Raise Brave Girls, Encourage Adventure” and, as a father of two daughters, to say it connected with me is not a strong enough sentiment.  Her talk was not just something I watched thinking “huh…that was interesting”, rather it made me fully self assess what I was doing as a parent, how we are unintentionally nurturing fear in our girls, and what strategies we can use to change fear into bravery.  It’s my favorite TED Talk EVER!

Because let’s be honest, we all want our daughters (and sons) to grow up to be courageous, happy, brave members of society who are confident in their decisions.  We want them to experience life and all that it has to offer, to go out and embrace their own adventures, and use those adventures to develop self understanding and realize just what they are capable of.

Caroline has embraced a “jack of all trades” attitude and has spent her time throwing herself into all sorts of experiences.   Just to mention a few adventures: she had an entire career as a San Francisco firefighter, was on the national Luge team (think sledding down an ice tunnel at speeds over 50mph), guided whitewater rafting, flew paragliders, and now flies experimental airplanes.

In this conversation Caroline shares stories from her life of epic adventure, discusses what we can do as parents to raise brave daughters, and how to encourage “risky play”, amongst much more.

Caroline’s book “Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure” is a book that empowers all girls to have adventures, face adversity and be brave.  In fact, I would honestly encourage everyone to check it out.  So if you’re reading this and you have daughters or nieces, this is something I would highly recommend gifting.  As I prepare my 7th grade classroom for the upcoming school year I’m envisioning an “Adventure Book Shelf” where kids can check out various books that help encourage positivity and multiple copies of “Gutsy Girl” will definitely be available to each and every one of my students.

I honestly think Caroline’s mission of empowerment and advice is one of the more important messages we have had the opportunity to share, so I hope you enjoy today’s episode and receive as many takeaways as I did.  Humongous thanks to Caroline for chatting with me!  You are definitely beyond inspiring and I wish you nothing but luck in the future!

Thanks for listening! Go out and have your own adventure this week!

More from Caroline Paul:

Caroline’s website:

Gutsy Girl website:

Order “Gutsy Girl”:

NY Times article “Why do we Teach Girls that it’s Cute to be Scared?”:

TED Talk “To raise brave girls, encourage adventure”:

More Like a Bigfoot:

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Like a Bigfoot #47: Ryan Chukuske — Running and Writing About the Bigfoot 200

This week we welcome ultra endurance athlete and writer Ryan Chukuske to the podcast!

Ryan is in the middle of training for one of the premier endurance events in the country, the ultimate challenge, the Bigfoot 200.

Since starting this podcast I’ve been utterly fascinated with each conversation I’ve had about these insane ultra runs (see the episodes with Melissa Sinclair and race director Candice Burt).  Chatting with Ryan was no different.  A 200 mile race is so mindblowingly crazy and I love hearing about various training strategies, mental and emotional preparation, and the stories that led these athletes to stepping up to the plate of one of the biggest challenges the sport of ultrarunning has to offer.

In other words, I’m curious to find out if these 200 mile participants are simply out of their freaking minds!

Ryan has added another twist into his story: he’s an author who is planning on telling the story of this year’s Bigfoot 200 from his perspective along with the perspective of other runners, crew members, and Candice, the race director.  Pretty lofty goals that I’m excited to see play out!

You can check out his past books “100 Miles of Thought: Finding Success Through Failure” and his sequel “Into the Darkness: A Runner’s Revenge” on Amazon.

Throughout this episode we really hear how Ryan discovered ultrarunning.  He is also has a lot of experience running various races around the Midwest so we geek out about some lesser known events in Iowa and Minnesota (I’m looking at you Booneville Backroards Ultra south of Des Moines and Arrowhead 135 in International Falls on the Minnesota-Canada border)

His upcoming book is called “Bigfoot 200: Because, You Know, Why the #@&% Not?” and I will definitely keep you guys updated on Ryan’s race and when he plans on releasing the book.

Huge thanks to Ryan for sharing all his adventures, training strategies and ambitions with us and HUMONGOUS (trying to think of a word bigger than huge….writing blogs about authors is intimidating….) shout of “Best of Luck” to him during the race in August.  You rock!

More from Ryan Chukuske

Order “100 Miles of Thought”:

Order “Into the Darkness: A Runner’s Revenge”:

ABC News Article:

Past Interviews about 200 Mile Races:

Melissa Sinclair – How to Survive the Tahoe 200:

Candice Burt – Race Director of the Tahoe, Moab and Bigfoot 200:

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Like a Bigfoot Podcast #46: Bill Sycalik — Running the Parks, National Parks Marathon Project

Photo by Nick Danielson

Taking the leap to chase a massive goal, uprooting your life and heading out into the wilderness, and running through the most beautiful places in the United States.  This week’s episode has it all!

About a year ago, Bill Sycalik quit his comfy job in New York City and hit the road, starting his quest to run a marathon in every National Park in the country.

Flash forward to now and he’s through number 47 and has adapted to his new nomadic life, exploring new places every single week.

In this episode Bill shares stories from his adventures through various National Parks, describes what it takes to step completely outside of your norm to follow your dreams, explains how he plans each and every marathon, and discusses his plans for the big events in his future (aka- the 8 REMOTE parks in ALASKA!!)

Hope you guys enjoy listening to Bill as much as I did.  Really a ridiculously inspiring dude who had a great since of humor and drive.

From his website:

One Nation

National Parks are our antidote to the seeming divisive country in which we live. In a National Park there is equality. The mountains, the trees, the animals set forth no judgment of man nor care about man’s judgment. On the grounds of a National Park everyone enjoys the same land, air and water; the same experience regardless of gender, orientation, age, education or economic background.

We are one Nation in a National Park.

Go plan a trip to one of our National Parks! You will find a peaceful respect for our natural places, step outside of your normal routine, and maybe, just maybe, reconnect with that inner Bigfoot!

More from Bill:

National Parks Marathon Project Website:

Facebook Page:


Sponsor Bill:–2

Support the National Parks Conservation Association:

Support Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine:

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Like a Bigfoot Podcast #45: Susan Nowell 2 — How to Prevent and Manage Common Running Injuries

This week we are honored to welcome Susan Nowell back to the show!

Susan is an accomplished endurance athlete, a lifelong runner and adventurer, and a physical therapist in Northern California.  She is also my cousin and is someone whose fearlessness and discipline I’ve looked up to since I was a kid.

She is a wonderful resource for all of us athletes who are concerned about injury prevention and pain management.

In this episode we discuss the four most common running injuries.  How do you prevent them?  How do you rehab them?  We also talk about how she found success at the recent Carrara de Baja stage race and how she is going about training for an Ironman later this summer.

Hope you guys enjoy and hope you learn something!

More from Susan:

Stage race article she wrote for Trail Runner Magazine:

Last time she was on the podcast:

More Like a Bigfoot:

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