Rising Up

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One month ago today, I dislocated my shoulder at the top of Mount Prevost. It was pouring at the time but I had Saucony Trail running shoes so what could go wrong? Two hours later I was in emergency trying to explain my badass actions to the unimpressed doctors and nurses. They knocked me out, popped my shoulder back in and within an hour I was sent home to reflect on my life choices. 

The recovery time is 6 weeks. Then another 6 weeks to get strength and flexibility back. Three months is a long time to not kick it with my Monkey Bar Gym crew. Stand on top of Mount Prevost. Fight in the UFC. The first week was the worst. At night, I struggled to sleep. During the day, I struggled to stay positive. When it first happened, my friends and family had said with concern in their eyes, “You can’t do anything for 6 weeks? You’re going to go insane.” I laughed. Said I’d be fine. 

Waking up early this morning, I brewed my coffee and sat down ready to launch into my morning ritual of TSN and Social Media. But something stopped me. I picked up Brene Brown’s book Rising Strong instead. If you’ve listened to even one episode of the podcast, you’ve probably heard us talk about Brene. She is Ms. Invulnerable. Ms. Get Your Shit Together. Ms. Stop Making Excuses.

Within minutes of reading familiar passages, the tears began to come. Son of a…! This is why I choose TSN. But this morning I stayed with Brene.. Here’s what she said:

“You may not have signed up for a hero’s journey, but the second you fell down, got your butt kicked, suffered a disappointment (or dislocation?), screwed up or felt your heart break, it started. It doesn’t matter if we are ready for an emotional adventure  – hurt happens. And it happens to every single one of us, without exception.” – Rising Strong

In my experience, tears flow from a place of truth. Of a deep knowing. In an instant, I knew I had opted out this month. Became a victim. Chose the sidelines instead of the race. A slow creep had become a fast habit and I had abandoned the obstacle course. This is not who I am.

Shouldn’t the host of Obstacle Course Podcast know better? Brene and Andrew would say, “you do know better, you just forgot.” I blame Propofol. Sigh, no… I blame myself. So what, now?

I Rise Up. 

No more Social Media and TSN to start the day. No more avoiding exercise because I can’t do it to the level I want. No more binging on crap to dull the pain. No more anger and anxiety towards a slow healing process. No more hurting my family with my hurt. No more opting out and lame excuses.

So I stand. One arm raised. 😉 And begin again.

12 Things We Learned from Starting the Obstacle Course Podcast

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With over 700,000 shows and 30 million unique episodes, Podcasts are fast becoming the preferred new media.The first podcast appeared in 2004 but it’s only in the past few years that they have experienced significant growth -nearly 30% in 2019 alone! Consumers love their accessibility, variety, convenience, and the price (nearly always free) is right. The ability to listen to what they want, when they want is key for the modern listener and the reason why Podcasts are likely to be a growing interest for many years to com….. 

SCREEEEEEECH. 

Ok, so our smart media guys told us to write a blog on Podcasting. “It’ll help you get found. Backlinks are the bomb.” So, instead of writing the usual online drivel we decided to let you into our process and share a dozen things we’ve learned in our first year. Hope you find them useful.

  1. Focused Topic: Like this article, people’s biggest critique about podcasters is they are unfocused and just trying to be funny. Know what you’re about and stick to it. It’s going to take some time to hit your stride and get comfortable, and a good topic helps keep a centrepoint in place. You must know why you’re starting this in the first place. If you’re serious about it, take the time to plan, treat it like a business, and understand your target demographics. If you’re free-wheeling, listeners will know it. Remember, you’re competing in the attention market. You’re battling against Netflix and Facebook. It takes a lot to win attention and followers. Be ready to put in the effort. 
  2. Good Gear: We spared no expense and spent about $1500 on great mics and recording equipment. Nothing else will matter if the sound quality is crap. (We’re not going to bore you with gear talk here, but if you’re interested, fire us a message and we’ll give you the details)
  3. Space: Find a permanent location. We record at Andrew’s Mom’s house and Judy makes us cookies. Setting up every recording will get old fast. You don’t need a perfect studio to create quality audio, but limit background noise and smaller rooms are better.
  4. Training: We recommend Seth Godin’s Podcast Fellowship. You’ll learn the ABC’s of podcasting in a community of podcasters. It was super helpful. 
  5. Two Hosts: Andrew and I bring different skills to the table and the result is a more balanced, well-rounded conversation. It’s also nice to have the support and help. This style works for us, as even when we don’t have a guest, we still have each other! But the most important thing is BE YOURSELF. Once we stopped trying to play a role, or be a certain way, the content improved dramatically. 
  6. Weekly Episodes: We started bi-weekly but found we lost momentum quickly and our downloads stagnated. If you care about the work (and you better, or why else are you even reading this), prioritize it – check out Tim Ferriss’ original wisdom from The 4 Hour Work Week for more on this. Focus on your “why”. 
  7. Interview-Based: As much as people might prefer we read the phone book or sound off on things we know nothing about, by interviewing interesting people, we have great content every week. 
  8. Editing: Andrew spends roughly 6-8 hrs editing each 90-120min episode. It’s a lot of work although Audacity makes it a lot easier. Audacity is a free program that’s reasonably easy to learn, and recent updates have helped make it less buggy. 
  9. Social Media: Instagram and Facebook are essential. We merely exist on Twitter. Engage with your listeners. It’s everything.
  10. Website: It’s worth the investment. SEO and all that. If you want to be a professional and polished in your field, your website better reflect that. This is best left to the professionals. We’re super happy with our website and thankful to Stikky for their great work.
  11. Community: See your podcast as building a community around your shared idea. We do LIVE events and an end of year party for the 50+ guests who’ve been on our podcast that year. The conversation and relationship extends far beyond the airwaves.
  12. Money: We saved this for last. Don’t even think about making money in the first year. The fact is, you’ll lose money. Focus on creating quality content and doing something you’re passionate about and believe in. Once that’s in place, approach sponsors like we are right now. Anyone? Anyone? 

If you’ve found this blog helpful, please share and re-post. Other than that, please give us a Like and Follow on Instagram, Facebook and sure why not, Twitter.  You can also email us at obstaclecoursepodcast@gmail.com. Definitely check out our fancy website. Obstacle Course can currently be found wherever you listen to podcasts.