MGU 84 | Gold Medal Mentality


We are brought up in a competitive world where nobody wants to be in second place. The gold medal mentality is so steeped in us that we put all of our cards in to achieve whatever it is that will make us a champion in whatever we do. But what happens once you’ve achieved your goal? What happens when you can’t do your gold medal thing anymore? How does it impact your struggle to build your identity? Joining Jason Wrobel and Whitney Lauritsen on the show is Dotsie Bausch, an accomplished Olympic cyclist, vegan influencer, and the Executive Director of the nonprofit organization Switch4Good. In a far-reaching conversation, they talk about getting out of the perfectionist mindset and learning to be happy with being average.

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Getting Out Of The Gold Medal Mentality With Dotsie Bausch

Dotsie, there needs to be an explanation of something. There’s been this thing that you’ve been sharing with me that a lot of people don’t know about. It needs to be brought into the light. That’s something called “Robot Mode”. Before you tell the dear readers what robot mode is, it bears a little bit of context. At the time of this interview, we have been dealing with the ins and outs, the strangeness and confusion of many things in human society. One of those biggest things being our quarantine period during COVID-19.

I was speaking to Dotsie and sharing with her how the one big thing that I’ve been dropping the ball in terms of my health and wellness has been movement and fitness. To be honest, I have barely moved my body during the time that we’ve been going through this. Dotsie, you gave me a pep talk. I wanted to start off this episode by talking about robot mode. You got to get a robot mode. Will you explain what the heck is robot mode for those of us who don’t know and more importantly, the mindset of getting our butts up when we’re down, despondent and feeling unmotivated, go into robot mode and why it’s important?

I don’t know how emotionally healthy robot mode is. This is not to be construed as any kind of medical advice because it’s not the best in terms of always being in robot mode, but it can bridge the gap when you’re having a tough time doing something that you know that you should be doing and something that you want to be doing. Prior to this, when our world flipped upside down, I know that you were engaged in physical activity on a daily basis. You’re a fit dude. You look fit to me anyway. If you’re not, you’re pulling it off. When we had a chat and you said, “I’m not doing anything,” I shared with you that in the beginning of COVID, I was feeling that same way where I was feeling I couldn’t do all the stuff that I wanted to do.

I couldn’t get to my yoga class and I couldn’t go to my spin class. I got into a bummer state which is typical when you’re not getting the endorphin release that you’re used to. You are not getting any dopamine hits because you’re already down a little bit because there’s this new normal that all of a sudden, we are supposed to be able to bounce right into and be okay with. There’s quite a steep learning curve with coming into a new normal that has never been normal for us before. I decided to dip back into my training days, which I used a lot of robot mode. It’s autopilot. It’s bringing into your consciousness and taking action on what you know that you want to do. You’re not listening to all of the complaining about it or all of the reasons that your brain is giving you that you maybe shouldn’t do this or shouldn’t do that and doing it.

By the sheer ability to take action in autopilot mode, you’re doing an activity and you’re moving your body in our case because this is what we were talking about, lack of exercise and not moving our body as we used to during the beginning of COVID. Before you know it, a week, four weeks have gone by. I decided to do something completely different than what I was doing before and I took the cars out of the garage, turned the whole garage into a gym and get strong in areas where I didn’t even know I had muscles before. I had to completely change it up and then robot mode it every day. If tomorrow at 4:00 I’m supposed to be in the garage, robot mode is, “Dotsie, put your shoes on. Put your shorts on. Put your hair in a ponytail. Get water, walk outside and start.” It is not any more complicated than that.

People might be unfamiliar with you, Dotsie, not knowing that you have this Olympic background, a champion athlete and the Founder of Switch4Good, all the cool stuff that you have done and are doing. Sometimes, there might be people who are like, “That’s easy for an Olympic medalist to say.” You’ve had robot mode for your whole life or your entire training. I’ve talked to Whitney about this a lot. I may have mentioned this to you too that my biggest struggle when it comes to moving my body, even though I know it’s good for my mental health and my emotional wellness because you mentioned the dopamine and the endorphins and everything.

To me, I’ll line up the shoes, the workout shorts and I’ll put the basketball by the door and whatever the case may be. It’s the mental thing and the boredom side of it. Some other people may feel this way. It’s not necessarily the physical exertion, pushing our body or exploring those physical limits but it’s the resistance. We talk a lot about the resistance to this show. Steven Pressfield talks a lot about this in The War Of Art. Whitney and I are big fans of his work. My resistance is boredom. That’s my demon when it comes to working out, moving my body. It’s like, “You’re going to shoot hoops again,” or, “You’re going to go lift weights again.” I’m curious when it comes to repetition and boredom, how do you push through that resistance? Is that something you don’t experience?

I can certainly turn this to robot mode that has nothing to do with athleticism or moving your body as well. I’ve never been the executive director of a nonprofit. I have no history in it whatsoever. When COVID came about, different people on the team were struggling in different ways as we were trying to figure this out. I had some frustration around the fact that different people were struggling. I didn’t know exactly what to do. I’d never been in this situation before. Robot mode helped me there because I said, “Take one moment, one day at a time. Do what you can in that day and we move on to the next.” It’s almost a complete release of everything that you think you should be doing. You’ve heard my work as a leader, somebody has told you that work, or some book that you read and go into what I’m going to be helpful, loving and encouraging. That can be robotic if you let it be. Do that and then go into the next day.

If you are feeling stagnation, boredom, something in the physical realm or even in the other realm that I was speaking of, it’s changing it up. I didn’t know what I was doing to help people through this time as a leader. I just did it. It changed it up. I was giving suggestions. I don’t even know if they were good, but doing it and being there. A lot of that does reach back to my training, whether it’s physical or not. I know that this has to get done or I’m not going to reach the eventual goal. With switch for good, if our goal is to have a dairy-free world, if I don’t do this, people don’t stay healthy and don’t have the support system, we’re not going to reach the goal at the end. This has to happen now. It’s breaking it up more and leaning into a different aspect. It’s not playing hoops at all. It’s not what you thought you think you needed to get fit because then you’re overthinking it.

This is an interesting turn because there’s almost this predisposition for all of us to look at certain influencers, champion athletes, avatars or people we hold in high regard. Whitney and I talked about this in a previous episode about the danger in aping, taking someone else’s path, their formula, the way they built their business or the way they run their organization and trying to imitate them too much. This is one of the most challenging things for us as humans is wanting and desiring a certain level of success, our bodies to look a certain way or a certain aesthetic, whatever it is that we have in our desires, but then leaning too hard into, “How did Michael Jordan do it? How did Mike Tyson do it?” whoever our avatar is and trying to duplicate their success word-for-word, line-by-line, shot-by-shot. In doing so, we might lose the vision or authenticity of who we were meant to be in the process.

There’s a fine line there. For me, when it comes to working out or doing things for a long time, it was like you’re a dude. You’re supposed to go lift weights. If you want to be masculine, you need to go lift. The truth is I don’t like lifting. There are other forms of activity that my body and my mind like better. For a long time, it was convinced by this cultural stereotype that if you want to be a dude and you want to be manly, you got to go lift a bunch of weights. If we all talk about the reasons we’ve all gone vegan, go dairy-free or the things we do, a lot of it has to do with looking at and overcoming the programming we’ve had over the course of our lifetimes.

I struggled a lot in the beginning in trying to look at successful leaders and organizations and you can get a little wrapped up in systems like EOS, traction. There are all these ways and it makes you feel organized because there’s step-by-step. I finally realized that doing exactly what you guys were saying, it didn’t feel authentic to me. I became a better leader when I do me and not try to follow in some systematic footsteps of something else, someone else or some other tool that somebody said this is exactly how it should unfold. To the team, it feels like that. It’s some sort of systematic process that you’re trying to push them through. I see exactly where you’re going there.

You mentioned the uncertainty and the discomfort of not knowing what you’re doing as a leader. First of all, thank you for being so vulnerable about that. A lot of people are like, “I know exactly what I’m doing.” I’m going to fake it for the camera. On social media, act like I know everything but you admitting that you going from this extremely successful Olympic career, and I want to talk about that, to running a nonprofit trying to get people to move away from dairy. That’s a big jump. You’re going from a champion athlete to running a big nonprofit organization. That sounds scary to be honest. Have there been times you’ve been terrified like, “What the hell am I doing? This is going to crumble. This is going to fail?” Have you experienced those times? If so, how do you emotionally cope or deal with those moments?

Almost every minute of every day. I have never, in my entire life, been faced so intensely with my inabilities, insecurities and inadequacies than running this organization. Most days I’m like, “I hate this.” I finally realized it’s because I was trying to do everything. I was trying to be everything to everybody. I was trying in my way to pretend that I was already an expert in all of these different areas that I’m not an expert in. I have a very long-suffering personality. That is transferred over from me, but it was a part of my athletic career and part of what may be successful with an athlete. I had this gritty nature in the beginning where I was like, “I’m going to do this and I’m going to suffer the whole way and it’s too bad if you don’t like it.” That was most days. I’ve traversed through this and gotten incredible mentorship and sage advice from different people that have been in my shoes at different times like, “I don’t know what this is. I want to die. This is horrible. I want to do this work but I’m so bad at it.”

I finally realize, “You’re not good at everything. You’re not everything to everybody. That’s okay.” Find someone who gets up in the morning for all the things that you feel you’re not good and you’re inadequate in because you don’t have any training in and you don’t have any experienced before. Find that yin to your yang in the organization. There are people that get up in the morning and love managing people. They love inner team communication, increasing productivity between team members, and as the team, as a whole. They love everything about human interaction and engagement. They’re very extroverted that all of those things are things that I didn’t like and I didn’t feel I was skilled at all. Finding that person has made it finally where I can see some light at the end of the tunnel like, “We are going to rock this. We are going to be here for a very long time.”

You're not good at everything. You're not everything to everybody, and that's okay. Click To Tweet

It was letting go of so much and being okay with the inadequacies that I have and not trying to force myself into, “You have to be able to do this. You shouldn’t hire somebody else. You have to do it. You started this, you’ve got to follow it up.” I have never felt so supported and free to now be more of me and offer what I’m good to the organization, which is the only way that we’re going to thrive if everyone in the organization is doing what gets them out of bed in the morning. It’s been a massive change but for years, I beat myself up every day. I cried almost every day too. It was not a way to exist or that I wanted to exist anyway.

Thank you so much for sharing that because that’s such an important thing for others. We don’t see that side of running a business or organization. We often see whatever the PR releases. It’s all the best parts, the highlights, the things we post on social media, and we see the outcomes of something that took a lot of time. There’s so much more than meets the eye to them. Until we talk about that more openly, a lot of people start to feel inadequate simply because they think that everyone else is doing a better job than they are. If we hear the truth like you’re sharing here, we realize that other people struggle too. They might not talk about it very often.

It’s also good to become comfortable with being okay with somebody in the organization or whatever you’re running not liking you all that much or you’re not being their favorite person. I’m not saying it because I’m a bad person or they are or anything. Not everybody likes everybody else. Sometimes you are in an organization, you can all get the best out of each other. The organization can pull the best out of each other. You want to be there and you want to do this, but those people need a different management style. I also realized that I’m an okay leader but I’m a terrible manager. I don’t even like to manage would be step one of why I’m terrible. If you don’t like it, you’re not recognizing that and releasing. There are a couple of people that I’m not their fave. I don’t know why we struggle with that so much as humans. It’s painful to think about it but I’m starting to get more comfortable with that and it’s okay. I can be a pain in the ass. It’s fine.

It reminds me and this is an extreme example we’ve referenced a few times on the show about the docuseries about Michael Jordan and the ‘90s Bulls that came out, The Last Dance. Michael being extremely criticized for his leadership style which was having physical altercations with people and not mentally pushing them, but physically pushing them, holding them highly accountable, and having his standard of excellence. If you didn’t meet it, he would “whoop” your ass. It’s interesting. You bring up this idea of perhaps too many of us being a people pleaser, having people-pleasing tendencies or wanting to be liked by everyone.

Depending on your style, your goals or the outcomes you want, perhaps that isn’t the most appropriate or effective way of being. Working with so many different personalities and people in the organization and your Olympic teammates, what’s been some keys you found to human interaction because everyone’s got different fears, aspects to their dream, proclivities, or everyone’s got nuance is what I’m saying. As a leader, teammate and boss, how have you found adjusting your way of reaching, motivating or connecting? How do you alter that from person to person? How do you read that?

I have a bit of a bulldozer type of personality. I’ve been told that before and I can see myself when I get into that mode of productivity. We had support very early on in the organization. I felt its immense weight from that. I was pushing the team so hard that it was not good for any of us in the beginning. People want to be heard. They want to be validated. They want to know that they matter, especially if you’re doing something altruistic than you have that type of personality and that type of heart that’s like, “I want to know that I’m doing something good to add to this overall mission.”

I’ve learned to stop, take a breath for a second and speak to people, “How are you? How was yesterday? How are you feeling during this period of time?” Truly, authentically, wanting to connect with them. I am an extreme introvert. That’s not my first line of action, especially in a workspace for whatever reason. I want to have either deep, rich, intimate relationships and friendships with one person or I can speak in front of 5,000 people. Introverts are that way. I don’t want to have a Monday huddle call with the six of us out there. That is a big problem. I don’t do well in any of that. I’m like, “I might take a curmudgeon. What is that doodle?”

That’s something I’ve felt too. A huge part of it is we, as a society, have an awakening and awareness happening now about introversion versus extroversion but a lot of extroversion is rewarded. I’ve struggled for years with those same challenges because I didn’t understand why my energy was being drained or why at events, I would get to a certain point I wanted to leave. I felt embarrassed and ashamed of those qualities of mine until I realized that’s part of being an introvert and how we manage our energy. We have to learn how to use our energy in the best way as possible like you were talking about. You realizing you don’t like to manage unless you don’t feel like you can be good at it because it’s not something that you enjoy.

It’s a lot harder to become good at something that you don’t even like to do in the first place. The more I learn about introversion versus extroversion thing, it’s easier for me to tap into my strengths. I’m a big fan of any strength assessments. One thing we’ve talked about before is the four tendencies. Have you heard about this, Dotsie?

I don’t know yet.

It’s called The Four Tendencies. It was a framework created by Gretchen Rubin. She has a book about it. You can take a quiz and it helps you identify your tendencies which is how you tend to act and how you tend to perceive the world. For example, I’m a questioner. Reading that book helped me realize that I love to ask questions and I shouldn’t be ashamed of that because that’s the way my brain works.

Like the introversion thing, for much of my life, I felt embarrassed about how much I liked questions. I didn’t know how to explain to people why I was asking them. People become very frustrated with me in a lot of situations. Now that I have understood it through that framework, I can now explain why I’m doing something and help other people better understand me. Jason is a rebel and that helped me better understand Jason because we would often clash because we have these different tendencies. It’s easier for us to work together and communicate with one another, like the five love languages have helped people in their romantic relationships. The more that we can understand our working abilities and our social skills, that helps us thrive and maneuver through the world in a stronger way.

I would love to read that. Any type of clarity on whatever the intricacies of our personalities is so freeing and helpful. Going through knowing I’m an INFJ and what each of it means. It unlocked what was a lot of shame before and not knowing why I was behaving a certain way but being able to behave another way because that’s me. Right before COVID, I traveled to Florida to speak in Orlando at this thing called the Impact Forum. I was speaking with Louie Psihoyos, the director of the Game Changers. The day before, other people were speaking and it was an incredible networking scenario. Brooke Shields, Chris Evert, Deepak Chopra, all of these people were speaking, and it was extraordinary. It’s one of the best networking situations I could be in, and I escaped out the kitchen door to the hotel.

That is me. I can relate to that so much. I love talking about this because I’m sure other people can relate. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been to something like that. I’m in the room with somebody incredible, but there’s something within me that doesn’t even want to expel the energy to go engage. For me, it’s about small talk. This has happened countless times. The last thing I want to do is have small talk with somebody no matter who it is. Unless I’m put in a position where I’m guaranteed no small talk, it’s tough for me.

We’re going to get along great if we get to hangout.

MGU 84 | Gold Medal Mentality

Gold Medal Mentality: Being in robot mode can actually help when you’re having a tough time trying to do something that you know you should be doing.

That’s the thing is I would rather have a one-on-one with somebody. I feel like that gets me and isn’t going to bother. Part of what I’ve struggled with as an introvert is the obstacle of getting out of the small talk. Some people are not as sensitive to small talk. They’re not even aware of it or their skills around it. You face these obstacles, it’s that awkward feeling of I want to get to know this person but skip all the small talk and dive in deeper with them. That’s something I still have to grapple with in any social situation that I’m in. Jason, being an extrovert, you handle these things differently but you also have those points where you want to escape out the back door too. How do you manage this being a proclaimed extrovert?

I wonder if my extroversion or both of your introversions are part of an innate genetic predisposition? They are ways of being or behavioral mechanisms that we adopted at some point in childhood. I say this because part of my extroversion was a way to get attention as a child when I found out that I could make people laugh, I could entertain them, I’d bring people joy and be the showman. Everyone’s always been like, “Jason, he’s the entertainer. He’s the show pony. He’s the guy that brings the joy.” I realized that at a young age, it was giving me something I wanted. I’ve talked about this on a previous episode on the show of my dad leaving when I was very young and the dissolving of that relationship with my mom.

First of all, innately, I love bringing people joy, having fun, and lighting people up but I also think there’s a component from my childhood using that as a survival mechanism that if everyone is laughing, having a good time, and thinking I’m the life of the party even when I’m four years old, then no one’s ever going to abandon me. I’m never going to be left. I’m always going to have somebody to take care of me. It’s a very fine line of how we’re wired versus how we developed certain behavioral traits based on survival, attention or affection. It’s a fascinating subject. To answer the second part of your question, Whit, I have a threshold too. Dotsie and I met wonderfully at the Remedy Food Conference. We got to see each other speak.

I’ve been doing those kinds of speaking appearances for so long in years and it’s not being on stage giving an hour-long or 90-minute presentation giving that energy. It’s the book signing afterward. shaking hands, kissing babies and smooching and, “Let’s go to the hotel. I have a hotel room party.” Whatever the case is, at a certain point, I hit a wall and I feel so drained by over-giving. That’s not anyone else’s fault. It’s not the fault of the people in attendance or the organizers or the fans. I have a tendency to over-give and if I over-give and overextend myself, I collapse like a ton of bricks. I’ve had to get so much better at whenever I’m doing events or live appearances because the recovery from that if I drain my battery and let the battery get too low, it’s hard to rebound from that.

We went on a nature hike. We were both in that space a little bit.

An introvert and extrovert meet in the woods. It was that though. I remember you’re like, “Do you want to go for a hike later?” I’m like, “Yes, I do.” I was like, “Please God, yes. Let’s go outdoors.”

This also brings up something else, making this a timely matter even though things changed so much in between the time that we record episodes and the time that they’re released. We’re recording during a big uprising in our country around racism. One thing that I’ve struggled with and I wonder, it’s partially related to my introversion where sometimes the way that I cope is I listen first before I act and I’ll tend to spend a lot of time evaluating because similar on the small talk side of it because I don’t small talk which to me is fluff and superficial.

I like the deeper richer conversations and I’m also very careful about what I say and when because I want to make sure I’m speaking from my heart. Sometimes it takes me some time to tune into that and to process things. I also feel like I have a people-pleasing element where I’m trying to say the right things. I’m curious if you experienced that as well and how you’ve been navigating it during this time where there’s a lot of pressure and encouragement to speak out your truth. For me, I don’t want to add to any noise. I found it hard to navigate when it comes to important matters, what do I say and when? How do I act if I’m feeling like I’m going to add to the noise and it doesn’t even feel worthwhile?

The processing thing is a real thing. I didn’t even know much about processing speeds and how they are developed until I did on and off therapy with my husband so we can keep growing together. We had what we call sticky points and then we go see the therapist. It was not being able to discern if there was something that was a problem and we discuss it and I want to say, “Here’s the problem. I’m doing this and you’re doing this.” It’s not a good puzzle fit. He needs a very long time to process what we brought to the table to figure out what to do about it.

Even if we have come to a solution or resolution like we’re going to try this, even processing that that’s how we’re going to deal with this sticky point. I have a lightning-fast processor. From what I’ve learned from our therapists, these are born into us. Some things are innate in us, that we’re born with. It’s like a computer chip and other things that are a collectiveness of our entire lives and everything that we’ve experienced. With this processing speed, she said, “I’ve never seen anyone change it. It’s innate.” We’ve had to do so much work on understanding what each other’s processing speeds are but the awareness that his processing speed takes longer is a beautiful thing because before, I thought he was dismissive, not engaging, and didn’t care what I had brought up because he’s a silent guy for 48 to 72 hours. I’m not even kidding you on that.

We figured it out and it’s so freeing because now I’m like, “I already know.” Things sometimes get better when you know they’re going to happen. It’s easier to swallow. Now I know he’s going to go process. He’s not dismissing me and he doesn’t not care. He has to process and it usually comes back with something amazing, brilliant, and wonderful. I’m like a trained animal where I want him to have his processing speed be because he always comes back with something better where I want it to be a process. We shake and make up and that’s how we’re going to deal with it. Let’s go walk the dogs and go to the park. I don’t want to be in the stuff for 72 hours of the situation.

Dealing with what we’re dealing with, it’s such a value point that so many people have different processing speeds with trying to process what’s happening because first of all, it’s hard to process. It’s absolutely all sorts of awful in all sorts of different ways. Depending on who we are, how we grew up in our culture and all of that, we have all sorts of other connections to it that feel ugly, uncomfortable and wrong. As a privileged white person grew up with a racist grandfather, I’m having this weird guilt stuff going on. I didn’t go do anything. It’s so bizarre. I feel ridiculous. I’m not going to say that out loud, except for on this show. You were talking about social media. Social media is very weird when stuff like this happens. Part of it is helpful for other people in vulnerabilities are shown, but I feel it’s whiny and I’m not looking for people to be like, “No, you’re great.” I tend to either talk about something completely different or take a break. It’s a very weird space when stuff like this is going on.

It’s interesting because I can relate to your husband in some ways, but also, as you’re describing yourself about wanting to move through things quickly, I’m like that too. I’ve got those two sides of me. It depends on my confidence in the given situation. I like to talk things through and that feels easier on a one-on-one basis. Sometimes I want to get it all out, hear somebody’s feelings, and then I have to be patient for their own processing speed. The difference here is that we’re moving through this as a country and a world. There are many different opinions and most of us aren’t doing this in person. We’re trying to communicate through Twitter and Instagram. Things are getting misinterpreted. There’s all of these extreme, different reactions and opinions. The processing for me is weeding through all of that and then trying to make sense of how I feel when I can agree.

I’m trying to cherry-pick from all these different perspectives to help express myself as an introvert. It’s not an introvert thing but it aligns with that feeling of I want to be mindful of what I’m saying. When I walk out of a room, it’s not that I don’t want to be in there socializing. It’s just that I’m looking for a different experience that I don’t think I’m going to get there and it can feel so overwhelming. Some of the reasons I will leave a big room of people is that I feel so overwhelmed and I need to take a break. Just like you and Jason were talking about with your nature walk. It’s like you have to step away.

The trick is like a relationship, if you step away for too long and that person doesn’t realize that you’re going to come back, they’re afraid you’re going to abandon them. I wonder if that’s what’s happening. Are certain people afraid that it’ll never get acknowledged, it won’t be addressed and that everybody’s stepping away out of convenience? It’s figuring out how do you share that you will address it and how do you hold yourself accountable? The same thing could even be attributed to dietary changes on a different level. Each of us has advocated for the plant-based diet and vegan ethics or different elements of what we’re eating and how. A lot of people aren’t ready for it.

Being the best in the world at something doesn't guarantee you a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Click To Tweet

I went vegetarian overnight. It was easy and fast for me, but a lot of people don’t operate that way. I’ve had to learn that people make dietary changes at a different pace. The trick though is some people say they’re going to do something and then they never do it because they get lazy or they forgetful or something else becomes a priority. It’s finding that balance. How do you encourage somebody while giving them that space to do things in their own time? I’m curious what each of you feels about that?

With what we have going on with this destructive violence, I’m so conditioned. This is part of the reason why I leaned into this movement. I feel like we can take action on our belief systems and share that with the world every day. What do we always talk about? You can make that decision three times a day to make the world a better place. I am struggling so much with this. I don’t know what to do in two hours about what’s happening out in the world. It’s a frightening feeling and it’s a stagnating feeling because we’re activists. We’re used to taking action. How am I going to do something that is going to help someone or some people and matter?

I don’t know what that is. That feels more stagnating than anything. I tend to drawback and that’s a whole another conversation. I’m not leaning in and I can’t figure out. I’ve been having to start to realize that there isn’t always a direct action and a directive of what that action is every single time something happens. You can’t always do something that very next day that’s going to make a difference and that’s okay too. Part of it is like, “Who do you think you are? How am I going to do something tomorrow to change?” I like the feeling of that because of what we’re conditioned in and the movement we’re in. I like that action-oriented approach where I’m like, “You can do something every day and here’s how.” I don’t know how on this one.

A lot of people are looking for how and then there’s a lot of different opinions on the how’s. I get overwhelmed with all the information. I have to spread it out and revisit it. It isn’t a speedy process in some cases. I’m sure people feel that way about eating fewer animal products or cutting them out entirely. It can feel incredibly overwhelming. I’m curious how you feel the robot mode plays a role when it comes to things like this. Is that something that you go into when it comes to whether it was COVID-19 or the protests and the uprising that we’re experiencing?

I have no idea. I haven’t figured it out yet if there is a place for robot mode. If there was robot mode in this, it’s love more and you can be robotic about that if you have to be. It’s taking action on reaching out with love to people you haven’t talked to in a while and people that you met and people that you don’t like very much and don’t like you so much. You’re on my mind. I don’t know I’ve been randomly doing that but it’s selfish because it’s self-serving. It makes me feel better that maybe I’m doing something.

That’s a big conversation online. The balance between, “Are you doing something for a reason that serves others or are you doing something to prove that you’re doing something because that makes you feel better?”

They started labeling that. Searching for a cookie is the way that I saw people referring to it. It’s about intent, and it’s hard to read people. Without getting into judgment mode, especially if we don’t know a person personally, it’s hard to read that, isn’t it? Whether or not someone’s “looking” for a cookie-like, “You did a good job activist. You posted the thing we wanted you to post.” Doing something with a genuine desire in your heart to create change, progress and quality. It’s hard to read that. To Whitney’s point, we’re getting bombarded with so much information, facts, videos, reports and Instagram stories.

It’s hard to know, Dotsie, what to do moving forward that is going to be effective because you have all of these voices. Many of them contradicting one another that it’s almost become harder I find unless I go away and turn all the devices often get quiet at a certain point to listen to my own heart and my intuition. I feel like I’m getting affected by so many of the different voices and the reports and they can, “You should do it this way. No, you shouldn’t do it this way. I’m going to follow you. I’m going to cancel you.” I was talking to Whitney that if I can speak from my heart, trust my gut, intuition, speak and act from that place, then I know I’m doing the best I can at the moment. That’s all I can ever do. It’s all any of us can ever do, right?

I think so. We have to recognize that we’re inherently always in self-preservation mode. That’s how our DNA was set up. It’s okay to do something nice for somebody and for you to feel good after you do it. It’s better than doing something violent to someone and feeling good after you do it, at least for that. That’s okay because if it feels good, you’re going to repeat it.

We’re certainly seeing that on the other end of the spectrum with the looting that’s been happening. That’s my perception, at least. I don’t know exactly what’s happening. There’s only so much that we know from media coverage unless we’re on the ground witnessing it. Even in that case, it’s easy to make assumptions about people’s motivations and not look at the full spectrum of who they are as people. That’s what I’ve been practicing over time, finding the humanity in every individual regardless of what their actions are showing. Jason and I talk a lot about the canceled culture and I don’t want to engage in that because people deserve second chances. If someone messes up and they’re willing to do things differently in the future, we should give them the opportunity because what does that say about humanity if we don’t, if we write someone off entirely?

That’s part of the roots of racism is making all these assumptions about somebody based on what they did once or what somebody that looked like them did and we get into that mode. That’s also part of self-preservation. We’re trying to protect ourselves from getting hurt. If somebody hurts us or we’re offended by them, it’s so much more convenient. It’s easier to say, “Never again,” and cut them off because it’s a protection thing. The real work is when we can give people second chances. The same thing is true in relationships. As you were saying, relationships are hard work. Going to therapy as part of you working through things, understanding each other, having better tools, learning on your communication, and not everybody does that. Some people end relationships as soon as it gets tough. I want to promote the hard work. As you were saying, coming back to the love because that’s ultimately one of the biggest answers to any problem is how can we be more loving to other people?

For example, a friend of mine sent me an Instagram video of somebody taking a picture. It made it look like they were doing something just for an Instagram because as soon as the picture was done being taken, the person walked away from the situation. I looked at that and I was able to see my own growth because in the past, I would have been so judgmental and I would have felt like, “This person is so awful. They’re trying to get validated. They’re trying to get a good Instagram image.” I still have those thoughts but they’re quieter. I’ve noticed I’ve created a thought pattern that if I think those things instead of thinking those things, in some cases, I start to realize that I don’t know the full picture. I’m making a judgment on one moment of somebody’s life feels so unfair to them. I wouldn’t want somebody to judge me for a weak moment of my day. Are they going to judge me for five seconds of what they see of me? I’m sure a lot of us do weird things a few seconds each day. Do we want our whole character to be defined on that?

I hope not because then I would be characterized as a very grumpy, irritable person, which you’ve both seen me. Whitney has seen me more. Dotsie, you’ve seen me exhausted and slightly grumpy. I know you can feel like, “He’s tough to work with. He sure is grumpy.” My reputation will be shot, “I’m not working with Chef Grumps Magoo over there.”

Let’s not hope that there’s a possibility in the future when the future is robot mode for everyone. In general, we are all robots that we have can take snapshots of people when they’re at their worst.

I wanted to loop back to something, Dotsie. We talked a little bit about the nature hike in Washington State where we both got to bond with each other and get to know each other on a deeper level that’s given birth to so many great collaborations and friendship here. You said something on that hike that I want to bring up. It’s something that Whitney and I have talked about, but I also want to reopen the conversation. We were talking about you as a champion athlete, an Olympian, and someone who is known for having so much success and excellence in your sport in cycling and how you’ve worked with other athletes, pro athletes, big-time people and struggle to find meaning, purpose and new identity after the pro sports playing days are over.

MGU 84 | Gold Medal Mentality

Gold Medal Mentality: A lot of people feel inadequate simply because they think that everyone else is doing a better job than they are.


You mentioned to me how difficult from a mental health perspective it is for a lot of men and women who have had incredible success, championships, awards and tons of money. The playing days, the competing and the Olympian days are over. All of a sudden, it’s like, “Who am I?” That stuck with me when we were talking about the mental health side of it. In terms of identity, purpose, and finding meaning in one’s life, first of all, did you struggle with that when you chose to end the chapter of your Olympic career? Observing other friends and collaborators and other athletes you’ve worked with, how do you think we can find meaning when our perceived identities we’ve had for decades, been celebrated for, put in the media, and that’s no longer a part of our life. How do we make that transition? How do we handle that on a mental and emotional level?

You have to be careful to not be addicted to it when it’s happening. It’s in the process while it’s unfolding that you can get some clarity onto, “Who am I?” I’m going to do this certain sport for a specific amount of time because no one’s playing pro ball at 70 or in the Olympics. That’s the reality here and getting a grip of it while it’s unfolding. I recognize for some that’s easier than others because you could be Michael Jordan fame or you could be whoever that was a great basketball player but they have more pressure. Even with more pressure, you have even more of an opportunity to not let that feed into your character and become a part of who you are needing that.

It’s rare for the ones to be able to do that who have been doing it since they were very young. I was lucky that I found cycling so late. I was 26 when I first picked up a bike. I had an entire life and career before I even picked up a bike. The bike was a long stop. It was a fourteen-year career, but I never was steeped in my identity as an Olympic athlete and not until the end. I wasn’t in the Olympics for fourteen years. It was once. Even as a pro athlete, my identity was connected to it during that period of time, but I wasn’t steeped in like, “This is who I am as a person.”

That was luck that I found it later and I didn’t even have to process with that because of the society that we live in. Sport’s heroes become heroes and there’s something this whole ulterior personality that they’re supposed to live up to whoever we think they are and want them to be is unhealthy for that person. It’s not easy when you’re young and you’re getting all that fame. Think of gymnasts or something where it’s happening to them when they’re 12, 13, 14, 15 on top of the top step of the Olympic podium. It’s hard to imagine how you would ever come out of not being in your identity.

We watched Michael Phelps go through that. He didn’t have any other identity than being an Olympic swimmer with metals hanging off. He’s been so open about the very deep dive that he went into depression and substance abuse with that. It takes good friends and family, but knowledgeable friends and family to be able to say, “This isn’t who you are. This is what you’re doing for a period of time and you’re freaking good at it.” You will wake up one day and this won’t be what you’re doing anymore which means it cannot be who you are as a human.

It’s profound. It goes against the cultural narrative of pick a thing, dominate at it, make a ton of money, and be as successful as you can. There’s no conversation in that structure of the societal impetus to what do you do with yourself after you’re done doing that thing. It’s interesting too. You brought up Michael Jordan and going back to that docuseries that came out. I had mentioned that there was an ESPN interview that came out right around Michael Jordan’s 50th birthday. I’ve referenced this before on the show but it’s poignant. He says famous and influential as you can get in the world period but that even ten years after he retired because he retired from the NBA in ‘03.

This came out in 2013. He had turned 50. He said he was still struggling to find meaning and purpose and his idea of success ten years after he retired because he was so wired. He still wants to go out into the court to dominate and crush people. The satisfaction, the drive, and the passion he got from that. Even in his business ventures, owning the Charlotte Hornets and being a billionaire, at that level he still struggles to find meaning, purpose, and validation. You hear that and it’s like, “Damn.” I don’t know if it’s a cautionary tale but in a way, it is if we link ourselves too much to being this one thing, and then we physically can’t be that one thing anymore for a litany of reasons. Do we let it destroy us psychologically?

It goes back to how do we set up a system, not just with athletes, but anything. Even me, when I think about hanging up my knives and not being a chef anymore, which I do think about sometimes. I’ve done accomplished a lot. There are other things I would want to do sometimes. Are people going to take me seriously? Are people going to want what I do next? It’s a struggle even I go through sometimes. I wanted your opinion personally on how you dealt with it and what came up for you in that process. It sounds like you handled it with a lot of grace.

It wasn’t any grace. It wasn’t something that haunted and I think it was because it was later in life. I had had a whole career. This was a career that I knew what I wanted to do after. When I moved to a flat-based bike a couple of years before the Olympics, it became very clear to me in those moments that this was something I’m going to spend my life fighting for. I didn’t know how and anything it looked like. I had some years that all of us where I couldn’t find my footing and I didn’t know if I was doing it right. I wanted to do more, do better, and all that, but my identity was not a professional athlete. It wasn’t steeped in that. It wasn’t who I was.

I’ve been around some of the greatest cyclists to ever live and there is a very specific personality type and they’re very singularly minded. There’s quite a bit of autistic type of pieces to their personality where they’re so brilliant at this one thing, but everything else especially dealing with the world and communicating, not just the public but even communicating with a teammate or something, is so difficult for them and it is such a struggle. The best female cyclist that’s ever lived is homeless and lives under a bridge in Seattle. That would be the perfect example if there was this one thing and that’s autism in its full sense that’s so amazing and wonderful. If you can find that one thing you’re the best in the world at, everything else around that including your life, your relationships, and happiness is difficult to do.

Doing life is difficult, whether it’s being an engineer, an athlete, a seamstress or a businessman. If you can find that one thing, some people find them and some don’t, but that’s what I have found to be the case with the ones that have the biggest struggle afterwards. It’s not only was their identity steeped in but there was no other option for them not to be steeped in that identity because that was their thing. They were better than anyone ever to have lived. That’s profound. How are you the best at something that better than any human ever that your entire self, physical, mental, emotional, entire psyche, everything you are is built around being able to do that one thing at the highest level. When that’s gone, there you have it. You can’t do anything else. There’s no option B.

I don’t know the backend of the story. You said the greatest female cyclists who have has ever lived is homeless under a bridge in Seattle. What is this all about?

I don’t want to say who it is but that’s privacy for her. She was a bit before my time. I don’t know her personally. I have a teammate who knows her very well. It was exactly what I was describing. She had this one thing that she was out of this world brilliant out, and somebody will beat her time. Some have. You progress in sport. For that time, what she was able to do in comparison to now and what people are able to do. She couldn’t ever function outside of that so when it was over, life was over. I’m not here to judge. She likes what she’s doing. It’s none of my business nor it is for me to judge. Most of us would say it’s a rough existence to not have a home or know where your next meal is coming from.

I can relate in the sense. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you, Dotsie, but my dad was homeless for a period of years at the end of his life. It’s difficult seeing him in that position. Circumstances being completely different, he was not a champion athlete or anything like that. There’s this weird cultural myth. It’s almost this thing that our society tells us that if you push all your chips in, you go all in. We hear all that, “You got to be fully committed.” They tell us that as if there is some guarantee of sustained greatness, success, or financial prosperity. You got to go all in and then you’re going to have all the riches at the end of the rainbow, but not so. This particular tale that you’re telling us, it goes back to there are no guarantees in life, even if you’re the best in the world at something. It doesn’t guarantee a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow per se. It doesn’t guarantee all the things that society tells us it will give us.

Not that I’m the most balanced person in the world by any stretch of the matter but I dig life a lot. I have always been an always was a B-plus student in high school as vice president. I was B-plus student in college. I got a silver medal at the Olympics. I’m a B-plusser. I’m not an A-plusser. The longer I’ve lived, the more I embrace my B-plussiveness because it’s a more balanced way to live. I don’t know a lot of inherently, truly happy A-plussers. I haven’t met them, but I know a lot of A-plussers. I’ll tell you that.

Find the humanity in every individual regardless of what their actions are showing. Click To Tweet

That’s such an interesting way to phrase it. I don’t think I’ve heard it like that before, but I can certainly relate because I was also one of those B-plus people. With you saying that I’m like, “I am a B-plus person as well.” It’s almost hard to admit that if you’re somebody that strives hard to be the best, but then when you put it in the context of getting a silver medal, that’s incredible. One thing that’s come up a number of times on this show is examples of people who have achieved great things and then sat there and said, “This wasn’t as good as I thought it was going to be,” or “Now what?” The depression that can set in when you reach some massive goal and then realize you don’t know what’s next for you because the goal is over.

It’s part of this thing in life where it’s all about the journey. The journey is often the greatest part. I found myself even in small, personal things. I don’t know if you remember this, Jason, but we went to a concert. I don’t know if you remember this specific moment, but I was anticipating this concert for months. I was so excited. Jason and I drove from Los Angeles to Denver, Colorado area. We went on this road trip to go see this concert. We made this whole thing out of it. As soon as I got to the concert venue, I started to feel sad because I thought there was so much joy and the anticipation of it. I was realizing that within a couple of hours, it was going to be over with and that joy that I had been experiencing for so months is going to be over.

I was feeling a little bit sad. It’s like when you wait in line for a roller coaster, you spend an hour in line at a busy theme park. You get on the ride and it only lasts a few minutes. The adrenaline is gone and the excitement is over and then you’re onto the next ride. Sometimes we go through life onto the next thing looking for the next high. That can be very destructive, but we can also go to that other place of striving to achieve all the time. When we get what we’ve been achieving for, it becomes incredibly depressing because it’s over with and we’ve done it. What else is there beyond that? It was like you said too about success happening to the youth. That’s one of the reasons that some young celebrity stars, big achievers end up in bad places in their lives because they don’t know how to handle the lows in their life after all those highs.

There’s a lot of celebration around if you think you’re B-plusser out there. B-plussers are more focused on the journey whereas A-plussers are focused on this one thing, whether it’s excitement of going to a concert or it’s a goal, you get there and then what? If you’re focused on journeying the journey, which is it is my story in the Olympic sport. There was nobody in my entire sphere that would have ever guessed that that would be somewhere that I would land at some point in my life. I was doing the journey and doing my best at every part of that journey, but not focused on the end goal like, “I have to win gold at Olympic Games.”

I couldn’t believe I was alive to then go to the Olympic Games because I had been very sick before. I stood on that podium and you would’ve thought somebody put 50 gold medals around my neck. That’s silver medal is the coolest thing. I get so annoyed when athletes are so distraught or destroyed because they got the silver or bronze or whatever their problem is. It was such a cool ending to such a hard-fought journey that our team went through. We were so proud of that. In a lot of people’s eyes, nobody wants to be second place.

That’s such a great reminder too. It also comes down to not being attached to the outcome. I don’t know if this is what part of what you experienced, but you were in it for the journey and potentially more focused on that than you were to whatever that journey led you to. A lot of the times when we are so focused on what we want to get out of something, if we don’t get it, it’s incredibly frustrating. We feel so disappointed. If you’re enjoying yourself throughout the process and unattached to whether you get what you want, or you’re not even focused on what you want, you don’t even know what’s going to happen. Over the years, I’ve started to feel uncomfortable and people say like, “What’s your five-year plan?”

There’s something to be said around having goals and moving towards something especially for our well-being. Having something to look forward to and having structure in your life is helpful. It’s true with business in general. If you don’t have structure, things can fall apart. However, I also simultaneously realized I have no idea what’s going to happen in five years, let alone tomorrow or an hour from now. If COVID has taught us anything, it’s that the world can change in drastic ways that we’re not expecting, and we’re not promised anything. I found the balance there and working towards things, but not knowing what the result is going to be. I don’t have that control anyways.

You and I are the exact same person.

That explains why I love you both. That explains a lot.

If the beginning of Switch4Good, you’re feeling, “Let’s make a five-year plan,” I was like, “That’s cute. Let me tell you that nothing is going to look the same next year, in six months or five days.” I get it. We want to have some channel to look forward and we want to have goals and stuff, but spending a large amount of our time creating a five-year journey plan, what a joke. There is no way possible that that is what we will follow. There is no way possible that we will be the same organization or be doing the same things in five years. We’re not making a five-year plan.

It’s comfortable to have a plan. It’s nice in theory. I don’t necessarily have anything wrong with it. it also reminds me of some memes that I’ve seen going around to people throwing away their 2020 planners. They’re like, “What use was this? I bought it and I used it for a month and now it’s completely useless.” There’s also a lot of research I’ve seen about how having plans does help us work through tough emotions and gives us something to look forward to. We talked about this in the episode we recorded. It’s not looking forward to anything. It’s letting go of the certainty it’s going to happen. You can look forward to Christmas or any holiday that you’re celebrating.

Maybe it’s not going to be the way that you think it’s going to be that time. Not also basing your entire life around it turning out the way you want it to. You can look forward to the Olympics, but not mean striving for medal within it. The Olympics in itself is going to be fun. Is that how you went into it when you found out that you were even going or you were even working towards that? I’m sure there were many different stages of your career of getting to go to the Olympics in the first place is a huge surprise for you in some ways.

From a stand back, look at my life perspective for sure. When you’re in it, I was very aware that I had a good shot at a certain time and you’re aware that you’re going to make the team. We were underdogs. The US team in this discipline of track cycling, there are some giants in countries that this is their religion. The British won the gold medal and those girls are recognized on the streets. It’s our baseball.

Were they in a big documentary like you were?

They’ve done multiple documentaries on those girls.

MGU 84 | Gold Medal Mentality

Gold Medal Mentality: People deserve second chances. If someone messes up and they’re willing to do things differently in the future, we should give them the opportunity to do so.


I don’t know who they are, but I’m saying you still got a cool documentary regardless.

I’m going to tell them that when I talk to them. What movies have you been in? We’re up against these giants like Great Britain, New Zealand, and Australia. We knew that we were underdogs but we still gave everything throughout the entire journey. It’s an interesting conversation in terms of B-plusser versus A-plusser. When I’m in the journey of something and I want to reach a certain goal, I behave like an A-plusser. I’m also aware that this is a journey that I’m taking, I’m aware that I will not be devastated, and it will not be the end of life as I know it if it’s not reached.

This is based of all the World Cups in the years before. This is based on a ton of data. We honestly thought we could pull out a bronze. The bookies in London had how does it 5th at best, the US team. We had not beaten Great Britain, Australia or New Zealand for that matter. We have not beaten their A teams ever. It didn’t seem like it was entirely possible but that’s what’s so great about the Olympic Games. It’s producing that one moment on that one day. That one moment that you’re supposed to produce it and sometimes the favorites falter because of this A-plus journey and it’s too much pressure. That’s what happened to the Aussies in my opinion. We beat them by 8/100 of a second to take us to the Olympics.

I haven’t finished watching it but one of the early episodes of The Last Dance, the basketball documentary and my knowledge of basketball is what I’ve seen from that documentary, Jason, but that was what they’re continuously coming up against is these great teams and coming up against the odds.

The whole point of that journey and that docuseries was you had the Bulls who had a three-peat under their belt, and then Michael Jordan retired for eighteen months, and then they’re going for a second three-peat. On that level, at least in his mind and the organization’s mind from what we could glean from that period was anything less than a championship is a failure. It’s such an interesting mindset, Dotsie, as you’re exploring this thing of coming into it with an A-plus work ethic, but letting go and letting whatever’s going to happen is going to happen. Come game day or competition day, all bets are off even the underdogs have their day. Miraculous comebacks can happen and miraculous victories. The overall thing of that series was anything less than another championship was considered an absolute failure.

On the one hand, there’s almost a sense of admiration to such a myopically focused all or nothing type of attitude where someone is proverbially speaking bloodthirsty to win. You put your sanity, mental health, and wellness at stake if you don’t do the thing. You have this lofty goal that you reach it great but if you don’t, in some ways you set yourself up for devastation. In Michael Jordan’s case, since we’re talking about that, he used it as anger and retribution. I sometimes look at him as an example. There was a thing in the ‘90s where I was like, “If I could be like Mike.” He was fueled by a lot of rage, anger, and retribution. He even admits that if he didn’t have a beef with someone, he would create a situation to get angry at them and create a feud in his mind so that he could dominate them the next time he saw them on the court. He would create completely fantastical situations about a person so he could brutalize them in the game. I’m like, “Is that a healthy way to go about life? It’s interesting but I don’t know if it’s healthy.”

Let me go with no on the health part.

Jason, I’m not trying to speak for but more to prompt you in terms of I’ve seen you go through those places with yourself where you’ve had some big career highs, and you’ve talked about this in some episodes. Do you feel like you used to have that mentality like, “It’s all or nothing. I’m going to be the A-plus student in this situation or otherwise, I’m a failure?” How have you evolved since then? I’m thinking of a couple of instances in my head that I’ve seen you go through with your career and moments where you were all in it and then things didn’t go your way and you were devastated by it. Do you feel like you’ve had to reframe things and have you made progress on that? Were you at mentally and what have you learned through those experiences?

I have had to reframe it because I know that for a long time I was in that mindset. Whatever my gold medal was, whatever my NBA Championship or MVP, whatever that was for me, I was so psychotically focused on getting that thing. If I were to fall short on my goal and try again and fall short, it wasn’t the falling short, it was the expectations I built in my mind of my abilities and my talent to achieve the thing. It’s a dual-edged sword for me because the motivation and the drive to accomplish that thing, the other side of that blade or coin, whatever you want to say, is beating myself that I failed.

You had all the talent, the backing, the agent, the TV network, whatever it was like, “How could you have failed? You had everything you needed.” I was in the role of the doer, the artist, the achiever, and striving for my gold, if you will, but also playing the role of the stern overbearing father that would beat up his son for not accomplishing the thing. It was very unhealthy. I’ve had to unravel that psychopathy for myself because I realized that it wasn’t all or nothing approach. If I didn’t do the thing I set out to do, I would violently beat myself up over failing. It’s taken me a long time. I’m still in the process of letting go with that. Is that where we end the show, “Jason is going to survive. He’s all right.”

You’re talking to two introverts that didn’t have anything to say. We didn’t want to engage in small talks.

In summary though, and Dotsie, I love the way you phrased it, I’m an A-plusser in reform learning to be okay with being a B-plusser for you. I can give my best and in my heart, if I know I’ve given my best, given love, support and come from a place of authenticity, the result isn’t what matters. It’s that I showed up, gave, and came from my heart.

It’s never about the final result. It never is.

That’s an important lesson. I don’t think that we’ve touched upon this or have articulated it quite like that. I’m so glad that you brought this to the table because perfectionism is rampant in our society. We have so much pressure. I have been reading a book called Beauty Sick. It talks about beauty culture. One of the points in the book that was so helpful for me was the point that we can’t all be the most beautiful person in the room. Otherwise, there’d be no such thing as beauty because we’d all cancel each other out or something. I forget how it was articulated, but at this point, we can’t all be the best then there’d be no such thing as the best. If we’re all striving to be perfect and get everything right, then it gets rid of the opportunity to learn.

That’s something that’s helpful for me when it comes to being okay with making mistakes because we grow through our mistakes and we grow through our perceived failures. If we’re winning all the time, we’re missing out on that high and low feeling and the adrenaline. A lot of the times my greatest accomplishments are coming out of my perceived failures or my lows and that feeling of gratitude I have when I go from a low period to a high period. Not a manic sense, but more that I appreciate the heights and the small things. When you’re starved of something, a morsel of food or a drink of water is the best thing you’ve ever had. If we are getting something all the time, we’ve always had access to it, we lose so much gratitude for it.

If we're all striving to be perfect and getting everything right, it gets rid of the opportunity to learn. Click To Tweet

It’s all about context. The phrase that came to mind is average is awesome. I want to get a T-shirt that says either, “I’m B-plusser or average is awesome.” It’s like, “It’s cool. I’ve got a moderate house. I drive a Honda Accord. I have 33-sized waist pants.” I want that to be my new mantra.

Going back to that quote is that most of us are average. There’s an average for a reason. Even if we’re not average in all ways, most of our lives were about average. It could be our body weight or our achievements, whatever it is. It’s interesting that culturally we have this distaste for being average, an aversion to being an average like, “Don’t be average.” Somebody has to be average. We can’t all be the best in the outliers. It’s impossible.

He doesn’t have to be. I don’t like that t-shirt. How about above, “Average is awesome,” not perfection is awesome? We’ll get those made.

New t-shirts from Switch4Good. Get them on

You’re above average. You’re not going to be average.

Above-average height or above-average grades, it’s fine. That’s fine. Slightly above average, a memoir. Maybe It’ll be my memoir. Who knows? We kept you a little bit overtime, Dotsie, because I know you’ve got to run to something else. We want to thank you so much for going deep with us, sharing so intimately, so vulnerably, and so joyfully. You’re an absolute pleasure and I can’t wait for you and Whitney to meet in real life. That’s going to be an awesome sit-down dinner.

I want to be there.

Knowing that we won’t have to have any small talk, it’s instantly a relief.

Thanks, guys, for all you do on this show and everything else that you do in your world and making it better.

Thank you, Dotsie. If anybody wants to get more information about Dottie’s amazing work in the world, her Instagram handle is @VeganOlympian. Her amazing nonprofit organization is called Switch4Good, helping people to make the transition to a dairy-free lifestyle. You can check out some of the amazing recipes that I created with Dotsie, the Switch4Good Goodbowls. We’ve got some amazing new projects coming. I love working with her and it’s always such a blessing and a pleasure to work with you, Dotsie. Whoever is out there who wants to get dairy-free recipes, dairy-free lifestyle advice, whether you’re a professional athlete or regular person wanting to do better in your life and eat more alkaline and healthy, checkout and on all of the social media handles as well.

Jason, can you list out some of the recipes you made? I know there was one of them that I was amazed by and so we want to get people’s mouth-watering and entice them.

We had an array of GoodBowls. They were around the world. Dotsie challenged me in late 2019 to come up with some flavors from around the world. We’ve got a Mediterranean GoodBowl, South African GoodBowl, Latin Bowl and a few breakfast recipes

There was something that you did and I thought, “I have to try that.” What was it?

Was it the Swedish meatballs?

No, it wasn’t that. I wish I can remember. There was one that I thought, “I can’t believe he made that.” That sounds so great.

MGU 84 | Gold Medal Mentality

Gold Medal Mentality: Often, when we are so focused on what we want to get out of something, if we don’t get it, it’s incredibly frustrating.


The West African or the Barbecue? The Barbecue Bowl is my favorite because it’s so easy to make.

I have to make something for Whitney. For many palates, whatever your palate is, one of the GoodBowls is going to do it for you. Dotsie, you’re amazing. We adore you. I can’t wait to see you in person again soon.

Lots of love. Thank you.

Thank you!


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About Dotsie Bausch

MGU 84 | Gold Medal MentalityAfter concluding a prolific professional cycling career that produced a medal at the 2012 London Olympic Games, eight US national championships, two Pan American gold medals and a world record, Dotsie Bausch has become a powerful influencer for plant-based eating for athletes and non-athletes alike. Named by VegNews in 2019 as one of the top 20 most influential vegans in the world, she utilizes her degree in plant-based nutrition to inform her impassioned messages as an advocate on behalf of humans, planet earth and animals.

Never one to shy away from facing staggering odds – just like she did in the Olympics while riding for Team USA, whose unlikely and triumphant story is chronicled in the Netflix documentary “Personal Gold” – her latest initiative is founding the non-profit Switch4Good. Switch4Good launched in early 2018 with a television commercial featuring six Olympians from four different countries and proves that cow’s milk is not part of a high-performance diet. The ground-breaking commercial aired on NBC during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games closing ceremonies and on ABC during the Academy Awards broadcast. View the commercial at: Bausch is also one of the stars of the film The Game Changers (, which chronicles the story of the world’s most dangerous myth. Directed by Academy Award-winner Louie Psihoyos and executive produced by Oscar-winner James Cameron, The Game Changers released to worldwide audiences in October of 2019 and in just one week, became the #1 downloaded film of all time on iTunes.
Long before embodying radiant health and becoming an influential game-changer, Bausch struggled for years with severe eating disorders and a recreational drug habit, that combined, led to a suicide attempt. It was during her recovery that she discovered her gift and love for the bike. Bausch speaks passionately around the world, spreading her message about the numerous benefits – humane, nutritional and environmental – of plant-based eating. Her popular TEDx Talk, “Olympic Level Compassion,” has garnered over 275,000 views and has been a catalyst of change for thousands of people.


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