All I See Is Gold

with Jordan Burroughs

JORDAN BURROUGHS Olympic Gold Medalist, 4x World Champion, 2x Olympian, Husband, Dad. Jordan is an American freestyle wrestler and graduated folkstyle wrestler who competes at 74 kilograms. In freestyle, he is the 2012 Olympic Gold medalist, a four-time World Champion (seven-time medalist), three-time Pan American Games Gold medalist, four-time Pan American champion, and four-time US Open National Champion, making the US World or Olympic Team on nine occasions. In folkstyle, Burroughs was a two–time NCAA Division I champion for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and was awarded the Dan Hodge Trophy (equivalent to the Heisman Trophy) in 2012. Burroughs is widely known for his double leg takedown and is considered one of the greatest freestyle wrestlers of all time. Burroughs’ goal is to become the winningest wrestler in American history. John Smith, the American leader, stands in first place with six total titles. In order to surpass him, he would have to win two more world championships in addition to the five he already has. He has his sights set on another gold at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Dream it. Do it.

IN THIS EPISODE…Jordan and Joe dig into his background and Jordan’s rise in the wrestling world. You will find his work ethic goes hand in hand with our Not Almost There family, and I know you will be blown away by his tenacity and outlook on constantly striving to be the best he can be. Jordan talked about his wins and losses and the lessons he learned in both, how important family is to him and how he is able to make his family a part of his work life. Jordan also ends the episode by sharing what’s next for him after wrestling.

Breakdown with Jordan Burroughs:

Chapter 1 (0:00) Intro
Joe introduces Jordan Burroughs

Chapter 2 (1:00) Campers versus climber
Tim Grover gives a great analogy Jordan lives by about campers and climbers. Jordan shares what that means to him and how he lives his life by that philosophy

Chapter 3 (4:08) The beginning of his wrestling journey
Wrestling wasn’t something Jordan always wanted to do, he started relatively late but soon realized with his work ethic and passion he was able to succeed

Chapter 4 (11:39) How much work you put in
Jordan strives to be the hardest worker in the room. He has never taken a shortcut or cheated.

Chapter 5 (13:31) Experiences Jordan learned from the most
Jordan shares his most memorable win and loss, and what he was able to learn from both experiences

Chapter 6 (18:53) Becoming an olympian
Becoming an olympian didn’t happen overnight, but the change that occurs when winning the gold does change you just that fast

Chapter 7 (24:30) Lessons from defeat
There is so much you can learn after a hard loss. Looking back and taking away those lessons to bring with you helps to continue to grind and become the best

Chapter 8 (42:13) The daily routine
Jordan shares what a day looks like and how he balances working out and staying focused on his career while still being present with his family

Chapter 9 (1:17:12) Spirituality and food are both fuel
Spirituality has been a great guide for Jordan. He has a great mindset and keeps himself focused and has no time for trouble. He is also is a well-known foodie with the best recommendations

Chapter 10 (50:12) Wrapping up
Jordan shares what’s next, and Joe wraps up the episode and shares his takeaways

Material Referenced in this interview:
→GO. Event
→Athletic Brewing
→Winning by Tim Grover
→Relentless by Tim Grover
→Headspace App

📞 Connecting with Jordan Burroughs:
→https://www.facebook.com/jordanburroughswrestling
→https://www.instagram.com/alliseeisgold/
→https://twitter.com/alliseeisgold
→https://www.jordanburroughs.com/

👊 To learn more about Not Almost There by visiting this link
→ Not Almost There http://notalmostthere.com/​

Connect with Joe on social here:
→Instagram https://www.instagram.com/joe_chura/​
→Facebook https://www.facebook.com/notalmostthere/​
→Twitter http://twitter.com/joechura

Joe Chura:
Welcome to this week’s episode of the Not Almost There Podcast. I’m your host, Joe Chura.

Joe Chura:
Guys and girls, I am so pumped for next weekend, August 21, 2021. I’ve been talking about this for weeks, but our event, GO, is finally here, which is why I’m psyched to talk today with Olympic gold medalist, Jordan Burroughs, who will actually be at GO this week. Crazy to think that’s this week, this Saturday, we still have a limited amount of tickets available. So if you’re in the Chicago area, go to notalmostthere.com/go and get your ticket today.

Joe Chura:
So, Jordan Burroughs recently joined me from his new home in Philly. And man, this guy is a beast in all things in his life. He was fresh off a plane from a wrestling camp he hosted in Florida last week, while he was also commentating on the Tokyo Olympics. He and his family are literally getting their house set up as we had our conversation, so you’ll hear some background noise because bunk beds were being installed for his three children and Jordan and his wife are expecting a fourth child this fall. But there’s no pause or quit or slow down in Jordan’s vocabulary. He has a laser-focus on his goals and that is what’s most important to him.

Joe Chura:
So, during today’s episode, we dig into Jordan’s background and his rise in the wrestling world. You’ll find his work ethic goes hand in hand with our Not Almost There family, and I know you’ll be blown away by his tenacity and outlook and constantly striving to be the best he can be. He’s talking about his wins and losses and lessons he learned in both and, honestly, I could have talked with Jordan for another hour, which is why, again, I’m so excited we get to continue our conversation this week. So now, get your shoes on, go outside, let’s be climbers. You’ll get what that means soon with Jordan Burroughs.

Joe Chura:
Welcome, Jordan, to the Not Almost There podcast.

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, it’s good to be here, man. Thanks for having me.

Joe Chura:
I can’t wait to talk to you about a ton of stuff today, your work ethic, your mindset, how important legacy is to you, but first, I know you’ve been such a positive influence in social media with incredible nuggets of wisdom, and this one post really hit me hard, and I was wondering if you recalled it. It is about campers and climbers.

Jordan Burroughs:
I do. Yeah. So I was reading a book by … There’s a psychological guru, particularly for professional athletes, a guy named Tim Grover. He wrote a book called Relentless and he wrote another book called Winning just recently that I’m in the middle of, but anyway, he talks about the two types of people in life, the campers and climbers. So, campers are people who climb up the mountain, they find a comfortable place, right? You get to a setting, you get the job promotion that you’ve always dreamed of, and then you kind of get complacent. You sit there and you’re like, I’m comfortable. I’ve got a good salary. My family’s healthy. I’m good. I can rest here and have a solid life. And then there’re climbers, right? There’s people who’ve reached this job promotion. They’ve reached this particular platform in whatever it is that they choose to pursue, and then they want to continue to elevate themselves, right? There’s never like a place of settling. So, you stop for a moment. You enjoy the view, you reflect, you’re thankful for arriving at this moment of success, but then you just continue to go.

Jordan Burroughs:
So what that looks like, no one really knows. And particularly in our sport, in wrestling, like the pinnacle is the Olympic gold medal. And then underneath of that are world championships and then a tier under that are NCA championships and then state championships, all the things that you will win at the youth level. And so at every level you arrive, you start to dream a little bit bigger. Damn, I was a state champ, maybe I could go on and wrestle in college and get a scholarship. Well, I’m in college now on a scholarship, maybe I can be an NCA champion. I’m the best in the country, maybe now I can be the best in the world. Then I’m the best in the world, maybe I can do this two, three, four or five times.

Jordan Burroughs:
And so I think the more you start to see, you can never unsee or undo what you’ve done. Every accomplishment I’ve had, it makes me change my view of myself, who I believe I am, my perspective on the world, how people view me, the way I interact and navigate my life has changed directly influenced by the success that I’ve had. I was never like an uber confident individual growing up. I was the youngest of four. I was the runt of the family, really small, but when I started winning, people started to celebrate my success and it started to give me confidence. And I started to realize like, I could be pretty darn good at this. And I started to work harder and the hard work actually worked. And all my goals started to come to fruition.

Jordan Burroughs:
So I was like, man, let’s see how far I can go. That’s the kind of the climbing mentality for me. It’s just, let’s see what we can do, how far we can go. Like at this point, I’ve pretty much won everything I’ve ever competed in [inaudible 00:04:53] in my thirties, I’ve got four kids at home. Like we were like, listen, be done, just go settle down, spend time with your kids. I’m like, nah, I can’t. I love to compete. This is why I’m still here. I love to compete. I love the thrill. I love the buzz in the arena. I love all eyes on my match whenever I’m out there competing. I love the pressure, the anticipation, the expectation, it all gets me fired up. I may never find anything else in life that I love as much as I love competition, particularly in the sport of wrestling. So I’m going to stay in it as long as I can.

Joe Chura:
That’s great, but I also know it wasn’t always like that for you. So, there is a defining moment, I believe, when you were in high school and up until that point, you were treating wrestling a little bit differently. What happened in high school, and maybe it was even at a different point, but what happened around that timeframe that really got your mindset shifted and changed into wanting to compete and be the best in wrestling?

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, well, honestly there were a few things. Number one was my best friend, my next door neighbor, was a very highly recruited young athlete. He was successful, nationally ranked. He was a two time state champion. He was my guy. So he was kind of like my big brother. He was a year older than I was. I followed him everywhere he went. So I tried to replicate and mimic everything that he did. And so when he started getting scholarship offers, I was like, hey, maybe I could go to college. I’d never really envisioned being a collegiate athlete because no one from my area was doing that. No one went to division one universities and got full scholarships and were highly recruited and had good grades, got good essays and scores, and could pass the clearinghouse, like none of that stuff really existed for me when I was a young man.

Jordan Burroughs:
So when my buddy did it, he kind of gave me permission to do it where I was like, I’m seeing a living embodiment of this, literally right next door. I get to hang out with this guy all the time, and I see everything that he’s putting into this sport, so this is how I’m going to be great at this. So he kind of influenced me. And then my high school coach was a big influence to me, a guy named Rick [Koss 00:07:02]. He was a really special coach because he didn’t really have great technique. He wasn’t like a high level competitor himself, but he just was very principally based. So like he would teach hard work, discipline, consistency, character, integrity. So like little things he would do, he would make us wear suits when we would go to away trips. If we listened to music in the wrestling room, he wouldn’t allow for there to be any profanity on the music playlist that we had. He would make us sign autographs for like youth wrestlers at tournaments.

Jordan Burroughs:
He just taught us about hard work and character. And so that was really cool for me. He sat me down one day and was like, “Listen, I just saw your transcripts. What do you want to do moving forward?” And I was like, “I don’t know, maybe go to college.” And he was just like, “There ain’t no way. There’s no way you’re going to college with your grades like this, bro. It’s impossible.” And so he was like, “Listen, if you really want to do this at the next level, I can help you, but you have to be committed because right now, your goals aren’t aligning with your work ethic, you’re just farting in the wind. It’s impossible. You’re not going to be able to go to college.” So at that point, that was probably my sophomore or junior year. So I went from not placing in the state as a sophomore to be a state runner up as a junior, state champion as a senior, and then obviously really improving my grades, my mindset, like going and taking the SATs, like doing like a bunch of little stuff, just to try to become more responsible and more accountable for my own career.

Jordan Burroughs:
And so those two guys, my high school coach, Rick [Koss 00:08:38], and then also my best friend, he was best man at my wedding, spend a ton of time together. We see each other all the time. He’s still back here in Jersey. This guy named Vince Jones. So he was my guy too. So those were the two biggest influences for me when I was in high school.

Joe Chura:
So, did you just amp up training then right after that and looked at wrestling completely different?

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah. Yeah, kind of, kind of. I think I did. I did. I amplified my training relative to where I was at that time, like being a high school student and trying to compete at the next level or compete at the highest level. Trying to figure out, okay, can I be a state place winner? Can I be ranked in the state? Can I be a state champion? And so relative to what I was doing, yes, I was one of the hardest workers in the room because I wasn’t skilled. I didn’t have the pedigree to be a great athlete. Like there was no lineage or tradition in my family or my high school. No one in my family wrestled. My dad didn’t compete. Neither of my parents even played organized sports growing up. They both grew up in the city. My dad was from Philly. My mom was from Camden, New Jersey. So they just … Like, it was city life. Like no one wrestled, no one really competed. They just grew up and my dad loved sports. Because he grew up in Philly, he was a big Eagles fan, Flyers fan and Phillies fan. So he just naturally like pushed sports in our household and it just so happened I was a pretty good wrestler.

Jordan Burroughs:
So when it came time to prepare for what it was going to be like to start to change my life, yes, I think the work amplified itself, but it was also … Like a lot of being successful is not only saying yes to stuff, doing more, but it’s also doing less, like saying no to a lot of stuff. Making sacrifices, like avoiding the distractions. At that point, you’re starting to get interested in girls, drugs and alcohol, and so like all of those things, it’s kind of like staying away from that. I was a good kid growing up. My parents let me know what was necessary to be successful. So it was kind of easy for me to stay away from those things, but yeah, I definitely amplified my work ethic and my output a little bit at that time as well.

Joe Chura:
So when did you realize then that you had this talent and the potential to become an Olympian? Because a lot of people experience what you did, many more people aren’t Olympic athletes and definitely not gold medalists.

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah. I didn’t really believe I could be an Olympian until I was on the brink of being an Olympian. Like I was 22, 23 years old. I never had that story. It wasn’t my story. You see a bunch of people, “Like I knew from the time I was six years old, I was sitting on my grandma’s couch, watching the Olympics, running around with the flag,” That wasn’t me. I didn’t have that dream. I just was like watching Olympics, like cool. It was never like maybe I could be there because I didn’t even watch wrestling. The most popular sports were … I remember, the Dream Team, Dominique Moceanu and Dominique Dawes and all of those young ladies from the gymnastics team back in ’96. I remember Michael Johnson, Marion Jones and all those amazing competitors but track and field, basketball and gymnastics were kind of the only sports we watched of the Olympics and wrestling didn’t really exist.

Jordan Burroughs:
This is before Twitter, before social media, before FloWrestling, before YouTube. You couldn’t just follow your favorite athletes online. So unless you were subscribed to like a wrestling magazine when I was a kid, you just didn’t see it. So the only time I would ever see wrestling was at the NCA championship which was only on ESPN one weekend out of the entire year. So when I was coming up, that was never my dream. When I got to college, I started to become successful, I went to NCA championships. My college coach was like, “You are pretty good at this, and I’ve watched a lot of guys for a long time. Kenny Monday, Kevin Jackson are champions before you, African-American specifically, and you’re cut from their same cloth. Like I think you could do this at a really high level.”

Jordan Burroughs:
And so, that was the first point where I was like, okay, I’m winning now. I’m the best in the country. I’ve won two NCA championships in a row. Let me take my skillset, my talents to the next level and see what I can do and I made the world team my first year, like two months after my senior year of college, and I won a world championship four months later. Then the Olympics were the following year, and I was an Olympic champion. So it was just kind of like a progression. There was never like this aha moment where I’m like, damn, I’m really good now. It was more just like consistent effort over time, just like continue to chop away, get better. Spending summers in Nebraska, in Lincoln, training, lifting harder, believing more, going to more events, taking Ls, taking lumps, and then coming back and making improvements, refining and getting better. But it was a long process. Like it wasn’t an easy road for me.

Joe Chura:
Would you say that you put in more work than your peers at that time?

Jordan Burroughs:
It depends. It depends. It’s hard, right? It’s hard to measure talent. Like it’s not really … You can’t quantify-

Joe Chura:
Or effort though, like practice?

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, for sure. I wanted to be the hardest worker in the room, every single time. Anyone who’s trained with me knows that I just grind. That’s just who I am because it’s worked. It’s worked. So I was never really like talented. So I don’t really take a ton of responsibility for my success. All I ever had to do was work hard and be disciplined. That was it, work hard, be disciplined and things continued to ebb and flow and work out for me. So yes, so when I’m in the wrestling room or I’m in the weight room, any day, I’m just a competitor at heart. My wife and I, our first day, we went to Dave and Buster’s and basically the whole time she was holding my jacket while I went around to all these machines, getting as many tickets as possible. It’s just ingrained in me. It’s who I am.

Jordan Burroughs:
Everything I do, I want to win, and it just happens, in particular, that wrestling is my craft and my trade by choice. So if I’m competitive in the small things, of course, I’m going to be competitive in the biggest thing and the most important thing to me. So yeah, it was every day that I compete, that I train, that I practice, that I have an opportunity to give effort, yeah, I’m always giving a hundred percent, always. I never cheat. I never cheat. That’s one thing I can always say about myself confidently. I never cheated. I did it the right way, and I always did it the hard way.

Joe Chura:
When you were in high school, was there a loss that you’ve learned from the most or maybe in college?

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, particularly in high school. I lost in the state finals my junior year, which funny story, in a nutshell, basically the guy I lost to my junior year of high school in the state finals ended up being Olympic teammates with me 10 years later in Rio, which is pretty funny. But yeah, so I lost in double overtime my junior year with like three seconds left on the clock. It was basically like equivalent to a buzzer beater in basketball. And so I got beat and I was bummed, I was crying, hiding up in the bleachers. It was a rough night for me, but it kind of propelled me because I came back that following year and I was the state champion.

Jordan Burroughs:
So, like all that summer between that state runner up finish and then that state championship was just a ton of perspective, listening, humility, refinement, hard work, [inaudible 00:15:54], and it worked out. It worked out the next year and I won.

Joe Chura:
When you were in high school, is that when you recognized your talent for the double leg take down or is that later?

Jordan Burroughs:
It probably … I always had a good double, but it wasn’t mine. You know what I mean? Like it wasn’t my own. So, at that time, in high school, I was still trying to like play with a bunch of other wrestlers’ best stuff. So like, I would look at my favorite wrestlers, like okay, John Smith’s got a nice little single, I’m going to need that. This guy [inaudible 00:16:25] he’s got a nice slide by, I’m going to do that, but I hadn’t captured anything. I had no identity as a wrestler. I hadn’t made my own style in particular.

Jordan Burroughs:
So college is when I started to say, okay, this is mine. I’m going to own it, and I’m going to wrestle with this every single matchup, and I’m going to try to continue to compound upon it. Until college, everything was just kind of like trial and error, trial and error, trying a bunch of different stuff, figuring it out, seeing what I liked, scrapping what I didn’t, losing, like figuring out what works, coming back to the table with it. Eh, I don’t like that, that one didn’t work or wasn’t effective against this guy. I can’t keep up this pressure for an entire six minutes. So like just a lot of just like experimentation for like a lot of years.

Jordan Burroughs:
Then when I got to college, I started getting big and strong. So like my senior year of high school, I was a 135 pounder and my senior year of college, I was 165 pounder. You really don’t see that type of jump in weight classes, particularly [inaudible 00:17:23] athlete. I was young. I was a late bloomer, graduated from high school when I was 17. And then when I got to college, I wrestled four different weight classes. So I continued to like progress and get bigger. So not only was my technique getting better, but like physically, I was just developing and becoming a man. And it took a long time for that to happen to me. So it’s like, because I was so small growing up, I had to develop the intangibles, the grit, the mental toughness, the determination.

Jordan Burroughs:
Now, when I get to college, I’m at a high level wrestling program. I’ve got amazing training partners who are the best from all over the country. And now I have all these muscles, right? Like I’m jacked up. I’m like a beast now. And all of a sudden, I’m winning matches. It was like the perfect storm for me. It was the perfect scenario. So, it worked out well.

Joe Chura:
Now, do you remember a defining win? I know I talked about losses, but what was the win, aside from the Olympics, I want to get there and spend some more time there, but prior to that, was there something that stands out to you?

Jordan Burroughs:
A win? Man, I don’t know. Like I think there were a lot of different things that were meaningful to me, particularly in high school. I’d probably say winning that state championship my senior year. It was like, that was my last shot at it. I talk about this all the time. I was talking to some high school wrestlers the other day. And they were like, man, winning the Olympics must be pretty cool. And I’m like, yes, it’s cool, but it’s different. When you’re really committing to doing something, it’s business like when you get to the next level, like I know what I’m putting in. I’ve spent my full life committed to being the best at this. But when you’re in high school, everyone can identify with high school athletics because most people do it. Not everyone can compete at the division one level or even fewer at the Olympic level, but everyone, almost everyone, 90% of American adults have, at once, competed at the high school level.

Jordan Burroughs:
So, from the time I first started wrestling as a six year old, strapped up my shoes and put my headgear on for the first time, I was pursuing being a high school state champ. I wanted to have my name in the paper. I wanted to be on the varsity team. I wanted to have that varsity jacket with my big varsity letter on the back. That was really important to me at that time when I was a young man. And so winning that state championship as a senior really kind of solidified my place where I felt it was the first time I had ever put a goal in front of me and actually attained it. Everything else was just … I was just living life on the fly and just rolling with the punches. It was the first time I ever set a goal and bashed it, gave the effort necessary, felt like I deserved to win, and then when I moved forward from there, I felt good about my future.

Joe Chura:
That’s awesome. And then from that point, obviously you had a fantastic college career and let’s fast forward to when you found out you were going to make the Olympic team or when that happened, what feeling was that? Like before you even compete.

Jordan Burroughs:
It was sweet, bro. It was more sweet to see the people’s reaction around me. Like my parents were like, “We’ve watched the Olympics our whole lives and like my son’s wrestling here. Like my son’s in the Olympics.” It was so special. Like my hometown had banners all over the city. It was so cool, bro. And the world was watching. So it was truly an exciting time for me because it was a culmination of a lifetime worth of effort. Like I started wrestling at six. I won the Olympics at 24, so 18 years of competition, getting beat up, losing it. I just went from six, seven years before wasn’t even the best in the state. I tell people this all the time. Like I told you about my best buddy who went to Nebraska a year before me, I wasn’t even the best kid, the best wrestler on my street, let alone in the state. I wasn’t the best wrestler on my freaking street growing up, and somehow I managed to become the best wrestler in the world.

Jordan Burroughs:
So it was really cool because I started to recognize the magnitude of what it was that I was going to accomplish or on the brink of accomplishing. I didn’t know if I could win, but I knew I was prepared to win. I was going to do everything necessary to put myself in a position to be victorious. And the people around me were really excited. You could see the difference, like being an NCA champ is cool, being a world champion is cool, but there’s just so much surrounding the Olympics that gets the people excited, particularly the American people. It’s a very spirited event and I think it brings out the best in everyone. So, it was a really exciting time.

Joe Chura:
Yeah and the point that you brought up that you weren’t really groomed to be an Olympian, it was just these incremental steps and you compare that to what I would envision as like a professional ice skater or an Olympian ice skater. When they’re three years old, you see pictures of them in ice skates, like that wasn’t you at all. You were just like, I’m going to win at this level. And then I’m going to compete at the next level and just keep going.

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah. That’s exactly how it kind of progressed, bro. Like it was just kind of just continued to get better. Like every level, I was just kind of like, oh, this is cool. Like, when I was a kid, I just wanted to win trophies just to like put on my fireplace at home and get my parents excited. Then I got to high school, I wanted to win because I wanted to be on the varsity team. And then we wanted girls to come to our varsity matches, right? So like when the girls were in the stands, we were like, you got to win today. And then I got further in my high school career and I’m like, well, man, maybe I can earn a scholarship, if I work hard enough, win enough, I could go to college for free maybe. Then I got to college and I was, maybe I can be the best in the country, kind of reset the record books here in Nebraska.

Jordan Burroughs:
And so my motivation and inspiration has continuously changed and shifted and evolved over the years, but it was a fun time. Like it’s always been really fun but it’s been really hard. So like even when I look back and people are like, hey, would you go back to the [inaudible 00:23:29] And I’m like well, I know what I had to do to achieve that at that time, and honestly no, because it was so hard. Like I just remember days where … You have to question yourself every day. If you’re not questioning why you’re doing this, then you’re not working hard enough. So like there were some days where we’d just sit in our dorm rooms after running an incline or doing sprints or having a conditioning workout or a long wrestling workout and you’re just like, man, is this worth?

Jordan Burroughs:
It is this worth all of the sacrifices, all of the weight cutting, all of the time away from family, all of the weeks on the road? And I mean, the answer to me has always been yes and it’s still yes, and someday, I’m sure, I’ll come to a point where my body fails or the answer will be no, but that day hasn’t come for me. And so, even though I’m considered old in the sport of wrestling, I still love it and I’m still willing to work. That’s what I ask myself, are you willing to work? Everyone wants to win, right? Everyone wants to win. You ask me, hey, do you want to win? Yeah, of course. I think a lot of guys leave the sport or leave sports period before their body starts to break down because the mind fatigues way before the body. So mentally, you have to be able to endure all of the rigorous activity that’s going to be necessary to compete at a high level.

Jordan Burroughs:
Sure, you can stay in it and squander … Damage your legacy because you don’t really want to work as hard, but you still kind of want to be in it. You see it in a lot of other sports where there’re guaranteed contracts where these guys are making a lot of money, so like … In this sport, you don’t make a lot of money. So if you’re doing it for a long time, it’s probably just for the honor and the pride of it because I could go make more money elsewhere and it would be a lot easier on my body. So I just love the sport and that’s kind of my …

Joe Chura:
Do you recall what your parents said to you after you won the gold?

Jordan Burroughs:
It was just a sense of pride. I remember running up in the stands and hugging my mom immediately after winning the gold medal, which was a really special moment for me. That’s kind of my view of the Olympics is when you finally get your hand raised, you run with the flag and you’re relieved and you can kind of … I just remember running up into the stands, looking for my mom. And it was just such a wild moment to me because there’s just so much going on around you. Everyone’s so excited. You’re getting a bunch of pats on the back. People are telling you how cool of an experience that was. That was special. That was special. That’s something that I will always remember is running up in the stands and there were people grabbing me to take selfies with me and it was insane, bro. It was insane. I felt like a rock star. It was a cool moment.

Joe Chura:
I can’t imagine that, and I saw some footage of you jumping through the stands and it just looked incredible, that feeling that you had to have.

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, [crosstalk 00:26:28].

Joe Chura:
That’s great. Did you do anything after that to celebrate? Did you have a reprieve of training or did you just go right back at it?

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, a little bit. The hardest is like … Again, it’s the climber mentality. As soon as you hop off the podium and say, okay, see if I can do it again.

Joe Chura:
Yeah.

Jordan Burroughs:
You know there’s another championship next year and another Olympics four years from now. So like, it never stops. You kind of let your hair down for a little bit. You get excited. You celebrate the fruits of your labor. So you make money, you gain a following and people want to see you. They want to be around you. They want to spend time with you. And so you have to … Your perspective of the world starts to shift for multiple reasons, right? You become jaded a little bit because now you’re like, okay, well, who really are my friends? Who wants to be around me because of the purity of my spirit, who I am? Who just wants to be around me because I’m successful?

Jordan Burroughs:
And you have to reevaluate your training. And there’s so many things that happen once you experience that level of success where it’s kind of tricky. It’s tricky to stay focused after you actually win it. Trying to have it all sometimes is better than actually having it because once you get it and you get to it, now, you’re like, you’re different. You’re different. Like as soon as I hopped off that stage with that metal on my neck, I was different. Like my life was different, and it was going to always be different, how people regarded me, how they perceive me, the way they announced me, how they interacted with me. It was just a much, much different life that I had from that point on. So there were some adjustments that I had to make socially to try to figure out how to navigate the world after winning that Olympic gold medal. It was good. I would have almost rather … I almost always rather have success that would be character building than failure to be character building, but I still worked hard in the process and I feel like I earned that gold medal, but along with responsibility comes …

Jordan Burroughs:
It becomes a heavy burden that you have to wear because there’s so many expectations of you from that point forward. So, I went from free and broke college student to now like the breadwinner in my family to like the most popular, most famous and most financially successful person that really anyone in my circle had known. So it was a very different experience from that point on.

Joe Chura:
That’s incredible. You should be super proud of yourself. And I mean, the title of this podcast is Not Almost There for those very similar reasons, not on the Olympian side, but on the business and entrepreneurs side that I found that out the hard way too, just like, there’s an analogy that … Not an analogy. There’s something that happened to me when I was a kid, when I was swimming in this lake and I thought I was getting to this grass island to take a break, and then when I got out there, the grass island wasn’t grass, it was weeds growing from underneath the water. So I thought I could rest there and turn back, and it turns out I couldn’t. So I turned back and I almost drowned because I thought that was like a place.

Joe Chura:
So I always use that as an analogy in life because you think there’s a destination, but it’s never there. You’re never there, there. There’s always something else. So fast forward a decade later, I know that you had just competed in the Olympic trials. What did you learn from that experience?

Jordan Burroughs:
What did I learn? I would say the margin of victory is very small. You have to seize the moment in the moment. I think there are a lot of times in life where we’re like, I’ll get another chance at this. Like, it’ll come again. Like, don’t worry about it. The match is going to happen. It’s going to ebb and flow. I’m going to get back to this position again. I’m going to be able to win it this time where I feel more comfortable with it. Sometimes, and this is one of the things that we’ve really been working on, sometimes the obstacle’s the way, right? So just because something is hard, doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I think that, particularly in wrestling, when you get to a position that’s really difficult to get through, you’re like, this can’t be right. I got to get out of here. I’m uncomfortable.

Jordan Burroughs:
But sometimes, it is right. The technique is right, but the resistance is strong from the opposition, but it’s okay. You just have to build through it. And you have to break down this barrier to get to the other side. And if you can do that, not only will you score the points, but you will become more confident. You’ll snatch the momentum. And then also the psychological battle that is going to play on your opponent because now he gave you his best effort and he still lost. So, I think that that’s one of the things that I had to learn was sometimes the obstacle’s the way. The hard way is sometimes the right way, oftentimes the right way. And then lastly is some things in life you’d never get a chance to do again.

Jordan Burroughs:
I’m always confident that my best days are ahead of me. I was trying to be optimistic and hopeful. I always cling to hope rather than despair, right? I’m like, oh, my life stinks. I’m not going to be able to do anything cool again. But I know that there’re some things that you lose an opportunity to do. There’re some things that, whether it was the timing was wrong or you squandered the opportunity or you sat on something for too long and it’s gone, and so you have to be a very vulnerable and transparent individual to be able to reflect and deal with that and still continue to move forward with enthusiasm. And so I think that I try to take life’s punches as much as I can with the same level of optimism because I’ve got a lot of little ones at home. My son, he’s seven years old. He’s old enough to watch and kind of understand, hey man, daddy got beat. Does this mean we’re not going to Tokyo?

Jordan Burroughs:
And so there’s like a lot of things that I have to deal with. I have to understand, I have to provide for my family. I can’t really do well in this dark place for a long time. I’ve got to kind of snap back instantly to being a husband and being a father, but also just realizing that some things just weren’t meant for you and that’s okay. It really just depends on who you are and how mentally resilient you already get through this tough time and then move on with optimism. But I’ve never broken by whatever life throws at me. I know that I can continue to kind of move forward and adjust, pivot, be flexible because I’ve done a lot of good stuff, but because I’ve come from not necessarily the bottom, but I come from a very honest upbringing where modesty was kind of the way that we were developed, it’s much easier to kind of understand that I’ve lost so many times in my career that no loss can necessarily break me.

Jordan Burroughs:
It hurts. It stings. Obviously, I wish I would have won. I would love to be in Tokyo. I think I could have mad another run at a gold metal but it wasn’t in the cards for me. And so, what do you do? You cry or you move on or, I mean, you could do both, but as long as it ends with moving on, that’s important for me.

Joe Chura:
So how did you move on from that or when? Was it the next day you woke up and you’re like, screw this, I’m going to make the next Olympics and went back at it or how do you recover?

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, but that was always the goal, right? So it didn’t really deter me, like I’m going to work even harder because I always work my hardest. So there’s never like, can you do more? It was like I’ve given all I have.

Joe Chura:
You already maxed out, yeah.

Jordan Burroughs:
[inaudible 00:34:13] I’m maxed, bro. I’m maxed. This is 100%. I can’t give any more. So, I get it, right? You start to … You reflect and you start to reevaluate and breakdown the dynamics of your situation. Do I need a new training situation? Do I need a new training partner, coaches, new lifting strategy, new plan, new structure? And all those things are good to kind of question, reevaluate, but I gave my best. So, the day after, I’m just like this guy, I just got beat. I just got beat. I think oftentimes we need an excuse as like a coping mechanism.

Joe Chura:
Right.

Jordan Burroughs:
Like here’s why this happened, here’s why you got beat. Cling to this so you can move forward without feeling bad about yourself, but sometimes someone’s better than you on that day, right? They may not be better than you period, but they might just be better than you on that day or someone was more qualified than you and they got the job and you didn’t, and you’re like, well, what the heck? You try to discredit all the things that that person has done, and you try to say, well, they just didn’t like me, right? Or they were discriminatory or like all these different things, like bro, that person was better than you. Get over it. You’ve got to move on.

Jordan Burroughs:
So that is just like, I’m a very honest person when it comes to self-reflection. It’s like it is what it is. Sometimes it’s for you, sometimes it’s not. And if it’s not, then you just move on.

Joe Chura:
Yeah, the intricacy of wrestling, especially … You just watch it and you’re like, one step in one direction can change and that doesn’t mean someone’s better, it’s just like you took a step. You know what I mean? Like it’s crazy.

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, because you could wrestle the same person 10 times and every match would be different. Every score would be different. The dynamics of every match would be different. So it’s really tricky that way. It’s very tricky. It’s like baseball, you play a double-header, one team wins 10-1, then the next team wins 10-1 the second game. So that’s just competitive sports. It just sucks that you only get a chance to do it once every four years. That’s the hardest part about it.

Joe Chura:
So now that you’re commentating, are there any insights that you’re picking up from doing that and observing others?

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah. You know what, one thing that I noticed is that it keeps you from being bitter because when you’re watching, you’re like, damn, I should be here. I could have beat that guy. I could have won that. So you have to really like kind of read the room and take a good assessment of your heart, and the best thing for me has been to celebrate my teammates and my opponents because at the end of the day, I’ve represented Team USA for a decade straight. So the US wrestling team I still consider my team. I still considered myself as a leader. I wasn’t on the team this year, but I’m still a big component of their success and a reason for why they’ve arrived at this level of success because of my sustained excellence in this sport. So I wanted to do multiple things.

Jordan Burroughs:
One is I want to always assess my own heart. So for me to celebrate other people, it makes me feel better about my current situation. Two, people are going to be watching me. How’s JB going to react here? I bet he wishes he was there. This must be really hard for you. And so I want to make sure it’s like, hey, no, I’m fine. I’m doing well. And anyone else who goes through a difficult time and gets beat, I want you to also do well by watching the way that I am interacting with the world here. And then lastly, like I think it was just, it was fun.

Jordan Burroughs:
I love wrestling. I love wrestling period. So it’s like, you can say no and just kind of hide under a rock for a week while wrestling goes on and just pop up, like, okay, what happened? Or, you could face it head on and enjoy the sport that you’ve done for 20-something years. So I loved calling the matches. I loved talking about the matches. There’s nothing in the world that I know more about than wrestling. And it was a lot of fun. I had a really good time.

Joe Chura:
That’s great. Yeah. No, you did a great job and I can imagine that struggle.

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah. Yeah. It was good. I tried stay neutral the whole time.

Joe Chura:
I’m super curious on what a typical day is like for you today, knowing that you have a growing family, you have three children, one on the way pretty soon. Congratulations on that and being a father. How do you, I guess, balance that or what’s a day look like for Jordan Burroughs with balancing a family and training?

Jordan Burroughs:
They’re crazy. They’re crazy, bro. Every time we have another kid, we’re like, what are we doing? Why? Why do we do this? No, honestly, it’s fun. I try to include my family as much as possible. So like we had practice this morning at 10:00 AM. So like today, for me, I woke up at 7:30 and I had like a small workout or we call it like a priming. So basically getting you ready for the day. So it’s like going out, stretching, going through like a series of movements. That’s at 7:30. I come back at 8:00, have like a small breakfast. We get the kids up like 8:30, get them dressed. We head to the wrestling room at like 9:30. So everyone comes to the practice, the whole family. So they just play on the wrestling mats. The kids are always in the … They just grew up around wrestling.

Jordan Burroughs:
So they’re kicking the soccer balls around, doing rope climbs, running around, messing with the guys while I’m engaged and I’m going through my practice. So practice today was about two hours, so like 10 to noon, a solid practice this morning. Hard strenuous work to kind of complete the week, and then we went and did some grocery shopping afterwards, came back here. Now we’ve got some people from Restoration Hardware, putting the bed together in the kids’ room and we’ll probably go to the pool. Now that we’re living in the city, we’ve got this beautiful building. We’ve got pools on the rooftop of our building, which are really cool. So we’ll probably go do some swimming this evening. But it’s good, man.

Jordan Burroughs:
Like typically for me, I practice once a day and I train in the morning. So like a Monday for me, now that the kids are out of school, typically I’ll train in the morning, like six, seven. I’ll get in the weight room, do lifts and then I’ll come back. I’ll have breakfast with the kids. We’ll go hang out at the pool or we’ll go for a walk or we’ll do something fun, go to a museum or do something of that nature around like 11. Noon, I’ll come back. We’ll have lunch together. And then I’ll head to practice at 3:30. And then after practice, 3:30 would go to like 5:30, come back. We’ll either get dinner, order dinner or something, cook and then we’ll kind of hang out at the crib, watching movies, spend some time with one another and just lie low and relax.

Jordan Burroughs:
Now that my family’s close, we see my parents a couple of times a week, which has been nice too. But yeah, we’ve just been trying to get settled in. It’s much different here. Now the kids were … We’ve had to find new everything, new schools, new routes, new … Just new rhythms to how we operate here. It’s so much different in Lincoln. But yeah, we’re still trying to figure it out.

Joe Chura:
Yeah. It sounds like it’s integrated really nicely. It’s not typical.

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s good. So the kids do a really good … And that’s the one thing I love too about what I do is there are times where I spend 10 days to two weeks on the road, away from the family but I’ve been there for the birth of all my kids, and I’ve been there for all their special [inaudible 00:41:54]. And I don’t have to go to work nine to five, like we have a very unique work schedule. So I’m typically in the … I train for maybe four hours a day, so like two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon or late afternoon but I’m always there. I take my kids to school every day. I’m there for them when they have lunch. I’m either there to pick them up or I’m there to have dinner with them, put them in the bath or put them in bed. So that’s what I kind of love about my schedule is I get to do what I love, work hard and be deliberate in my training.

Jordan Burroughs:
It’s still about balance. There’s a lot of balancing and there’re times where the scales are tipped far to the wrestling side, where it’s like, hey, Lo, like I need to be focused or I need to be dialed in because there are times where we go to the same tournament in the same city and we get two hotel rooms in the same building. It’s like, hey, you’re going to sleep here with the kids. Dad needs his own room so I can get some rest for this event. Or there’re times where I’m on the road for a long period of time or even like this past week down in Miami for the commentary for the Olympic games. Like I was there for a week on my own, brought a training partner down with me so I could practice in between shooting.

Jordan Burroughs:
And so it’s different. We try to integrate as much as possible. Like my kids have been pretty much everywhere. I didn’t leave the country for the first time until I was 20 and like all three of our kids have had passports before their first birthdays. So like, it’s pretty special. Like they get to do a whole lot of stuff with us. They’ve been all over the world to different countries, travel [inaudible 00:43:22] train, met a lot of cool people. So it’s really fun. The opportunity you get to afford them based upon my wrestling, so it’s really fun.

Joe Chura:
Yeah. It’s cool. I try to tell my daughter, I’m like, I don’t think I took a flight until I was close to 30. It was probably a little less than that, but it was definitely my twenties and yeah, they’re flying all over the world and have passports. It’s nuts. She’s like, “Yeah, I want to go to Paris.” I’m like, what?

Jordan Burroughs:
It’s pretty strange. We had to hold them up for their passport photo. I was literally like holding them up by their arms and let them take their photo. It’s crazy.

Joe Chura:
So now you’re doing that. I noticed that you have a partnership with Headspace and also I want to talk about Headspace in a second, but Athletic Brewing, they’re sponsoring the event you’re going to be at next week with us called to GO.

Jordan Burroughs:
Oh, that’s dope, bro.

Joe Chura:
Just curious. How do you find partners? What partners do you have and what does that world look like for you?

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, for sure. So we get an opportunity to do a lot of … A lot of what we make as Olympic athletes comes through sponsorships and endorsements, heavily skewed. We don’t make a ton from competing itself. A lot of what we make is just based upon building a name, building a following, having a strong brand, and then being endorsed by companies and doing digital marketing campaigns, things of that nature. Social media has become huge. And so I’ve been able to kind of accrue a solid following for an Olympian and it’s been great. So like number one, we just try to be authentic to who we are, like actually using products that we would use at home, things that kind of stand true to what we believe, how we operate. So, I don’t drink alcohol, so it made sense to have a non-alcoholic beer, which when I was college, I was a young man, I was a big beer drinker.

Jordan Burroughs:
As I started to grow and get a little older, wanted to take better care of my body and have kids, wanting to have clear definitive minds in the household of where we stood, and so that was kind of one of those brands where I’m like, man, this aligns closely to how we operate, what we believe, but I know we have a lot of followers that are beer drinkers, but are still health conscious where it’s like kind of a way for you to get the best of both worlds if you’re trying to make that transition out, if you feel the need to do so. So yeah, it’s been really cool. And then Headspace, for me, I’m a very reflective person, so I like to spend time alone. I like to meditate. I like to do breathing exercises. I like to do visualization, spent time just thinking about where I am, being at peace, whether it’s prayer or just like time just relaxing.

Jordan Burroughs:
That’s been really helpful for me and I think that it’s been so prominent in the social spotlight because of all of the athletes now that are starting to talk about mental health from [inaudible 00:46:25] to Kevin Love to [inaudible 00:46:27], like all of these athletes are starting to say like, hey, like we struggle. Just because we’re elite athletes doesn’t mean it’s not hard for us. We got a ton of pressure. So yeah, it’s been a lot of good stuff, man. We’ve done some really cool campaigns. We’ve been like Calvin Klein, we’ve done some stuff with Pampers with the babies. We’ve done Athletic Brewing and a couple of our major sponsors are like Bridgestone, Polo, Ralph Lauren, Asics. We’ve done a lot of really cool stuff in the past couple years, and it’s fun. It’s fun. You get to represent a great company, reputable brand. You get to build your following. You get to kind of cross section between their following and your own and you get free product, which is always cool. So it works. It works out.

Joe Chura:
How much has spirituality played into your success? I know that obviously meditation and mindfulness has been huge, just like you’ve said.

Jordan Burroughs:
Honestly, like it’s less about my success and more about the perspective heading into my success. And honestly, like it might be even less about my wrestling and more about avoiding distractions to maintain engagement in my wrestling so I can stay focused. So like being a faithful husband, being a good father, like avoiding scandal and you know, just like unnecessary public scrutiny, like all those things, I’m like, because of my faith, I’m able to operate with character and integrity and everything, right? So you don’t have to worry about me being like on the news or like in some sort of like crazy TMZ article, because of my faith, the way that I operate is always dialed in. The way that I treat the people around me is always on point. And so [inaudible 00:48:18] a little less probably about how I compete and moreso why I’m able to compete at such a high level, because I’ve been able to just avoid distractions because I’m always focused.

Joe Chura:
That makes a lot of sense. And I’m sure your sponsors like that too. They don’t have to take big insurance policies out on you, right?

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, yeah. Listen, it’s a tough time. Listen, you [inaudible 00:48:41] the wrong thing at this point in time, you’re going to be in trouble. People can hear that I’m always on point. My wife does a good job too making sure that I’m in the right place at the right time.

Joe Chura:
Yeah, no, I know it. And you’re a foodie too, right?

Jordan Burroughs:
Big foodie. Love food.

Joe Chura:
What’s your go-to staples now?

Jordan Burroughs:
I would say I’m a big seafood guy. I’m an East Coast guy, so I’m a big seafood guy. So I do a lot of fish, oysters, lobster, shrimp, all that stuff. And pretty much any sushi I’m good with. I like sushi. I had some sushi today, some sashimi and nigiri. Honestly, I like everything, bro. Like there’s not a single thing that I don’t like. Whenever I go on a trip to a big city, I’m a Yelper, I’m a big time Yelper. I don’t miss on Yelp. Whenever people are with me, I’m in a large group, they know like I’m the guy. Yo, ask JB, he knows the best spots in the city. So we’ll pick out … I’ll pick out like four or five spots for every meal in every city. So if you’re in like Dallas, Chicago, LA, New York City, Philly, I’ve got three breakfast spots, I got three coffee shops, three lunch places, three dinner spots, three dessert, ice cream, donuts, pie, whatever you need. I got you. Come see me. So I’m a big time foodie.

Jordan Burroughs:
So now, being here in Philly has been great for us because we’ve been eating in like a different restaurant every week and it’s been really fun because there’s so much good food here. I don’t eat red meat, so one of the staples of Philly is a cheesesteak, right? And I haven’t even … I haven’t had a cheesesteak because I don’t eat red meat, but Philly pretzels are also another staple here, so I have had a lot of pretzels since I’ve been here. No steaks, a lot of pretzels.

Joe Chura:
The first time I was there, they’re like you want it with Whiz? And I’m like “Cheez Whiz?” Like what’s Whiz?

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, yeah, yeah, you got to get it … Get Cheez Whiz, fried onions, maybe like some salt and pepper.

Joe Chura:
That’s good stuff.

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah. Yeah.

Joe Chura:
So I guess my last question is what’s next? Training for the Olympics, right?

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, yeah, sure. The Olympics are still three years away. They’re in Paris. There’s a world championship coming up in October though. So we have a world team trials competition that I’m preparing for in Lincoln, Nebraska, September 11th [inaudible 00:50:58]. So we’re about a month out now and I’ve been training hard daily, getting ready for this event. The world championships will be in Oslo, Norway in October. That’s in the immediate future. And then another world championship every year, ’22 and ’23, and then the Paris Olympics in ’24. And honestly, just like trying to do as much as possible to figure out what’s next. I’m 33, I’ll be 36 in Paris. So that’s probably a hard pause for me from a wrestling perspective. And then I’ll start to figure out what the next thing is for us. What the next phase, the next season of life. That’s kind of why I’m dabbling in things like commentary [inaudible 00:51:39] trying to create small businesses and getting to entrepreneurship because I want to have ownership of something.

Jordan Burroughs:
Like I made a lot of companies a lot of money, but they’re still their companies, right? They don’t have the Burroughs namesake. I can’t pass this along to my kids, but I’ve made money, but I don’t have ownership. So like for us to create something through lineage, that’s what legacy means to me. I want something that I’ve created that we can pass along that can represent the values of our family. All the hard work that I’ve put in that’s like tangible, touch it. And so that’s the goal as we continue to move forward and progress is figuring out what’s next, moving into this new season of life, trying to finish out my career on my own terms, which is on top of the podium. I’m doing what I love and then also bringing my family and the people in my circle with me as I go through this process and try to figure out how to create something long lasting.

Jordan Burroughs:
I can’t pass down by my wrestling abilities to my kids. Like I teach them the sport, but ultimately that journey is their own to figure out. So I’m doing my best to see the next … What else I love, what else I’m into. Until then, just working hard daily.

Joe Chura:
Nice. Have you given more serious thought into a performance or training center combining the meditation mindset with hardcore training or anything like that? I heard you talking about that on another podcast.

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, for sure. For sure. That’s the goal. We’re trying to figure out a location. I like the East Coast because my family’s here and the wrestling culture is strong here, but it’s cold in the wintertime. No one wants to be here in the wintertime. All the best MMA gyms and the best performance centers are in Florida, California-

Joe Chura:
San Diego, yeah.

Jordan Burroughs:
Texas. San Diego, right? So everyone wants to be in these nice places. We’re trying to figure out where, but yes, I would love to have an academy that was holistic training or developing individuals based on character and principles, and then also refining them in sports, but teaching them about life and how to navigate as they move forward, compete at the high level too. So creating great men and great women, but also great competitors in the process as well. So I’m going to get to that soon. We’re actually in the process, we’re starting a youth wrestling club here in the city of Philadelphia.

Joe Chura:
That’s great.

Jordan Burroughs:
That’ll be pretty cool. And so it’s going to be a lot of fun. My kids are going to be like our first two enrolled. And so it’s going to be a lot of fun. And we’re going to try to start to learn how to build structure, a systematic approach to development in sports and athletics. And then also learning how to engage with parents, how to balance sheets, how to be a leader and cut checks for individuals who work on [inaudible 00:54:25] just trying to figure out things that as athletes we never really had to do, like all we do is just like show up and kick butt and go home. And so it’s such a new experience. Like being a leader is more than just giving a speech at the end of the practice to get people fired up about the future. It’s really a whole lot of work. So trying to figure out how to be a [inaudible 00:54:46]

Joe Chura:
I just figured it out. I know your game plan. You’re going to build the Gracie clan to 30 kids that Helio and Carlos fathered. And you’re going to create your army of wrestler warriors. That’s your game plan.

Jordan Burroughs:
Yeah, [inaudible 00:55:00]. It’s going to be cool. I’m excited about it. I love kids because they’re really impressionable and you can kind of still balance the fun within it, right? When you get older, like everyone wants to win. It’s all about winning, win, win, win, win, win. I’m like, listen, kids are so pure. They just want to have a good time. So if you can teach them to have fun while getting better in the process, they don’t even know it, right? That’s how you create special athletes where you just … You pursue the fun and you become creative in the process and that’s a really special athlete. So, we’re trying to do that.

Joe Chura:
Nice. Yeah, piggybacking on that last comment, I’m reading Rickson Gracie’s book, Breathe. I don’t know if you saw that. It just recently came out and it’s super fascinating because they literally grew up like that. They had 30 brothers and just basically created this warrior clan to compete and at family parties, they would roll out the canvas and just go at it since they were kids, but it was super fascinating how the lessons that Helio taught Rickson and one of them was when he would go to compete, he would say to him, something like, “If you lose, I’ll give you two gifts. If you win, I’ll give you one.” At that point in time of just thinking about winning, he wanted him to have fun to compete, to know that if he had fun, he would keep going back and wanting to do it. And that’s how one of the big things why he became such a world champion in jujitsu is that, at an early age, he learned to have fun doing it. So I thought that was a really good lesson.

Jordan Burroughs:
That’s cool, man. I love that. I love that. That’s every parent’s dilemma is trying to figure out how to make hard stuff fun. If you can make hard stuff fun, chores, grades, sports, being nice to your siblings, if you can make the hard stuff fun, then you’ve got it figured out. That’s everyone’s job as a parent.

Joe Chura:
Awesome. Hey, Jordan, thank you for your time. I’m looking forward to meeting you in person next week at GO. It’s going to be awesome, but have fun training until then. And we’ll see you soon.

Joe Chura:
Big thanks to Jordan and for taking the time out of his busy day to talk with me. He literally was in the middle of moving. I think he was laying against a wall on his laptop, having the conversation while probably pretty close to him, there were bunk beds being put together, but I truly appreciated it because you made time in between practice and that to have a quick conversation. And I’m looking forward to seeing you, Jordan, in a week. And I know that the audience will get a lot out of that conversation. My biggest takeaway is how Jordan doesn’t let in negativity. As he said for the Olympics this year, he could have been bitter or angry when he wasn’t on the Olympic team, but instead he cheered on his colleagues and used what he learned from his qualifier loss to sharpen his skills and be more prepared to dominate Paris in 2024.

Joe Chura:
I have so many more questions to ask Jordan next weekend, but I do want to hear from you. Do you have any questions that you’d like me to ask Jordan? I’ll be live streaming our fireside chat on Facebook. I will post the video on my YouTube channel after. So comment on this episode with your questions and you could hear your question being asked live. Thank you so much, Not Almost There family, for listening and make sure you subscribe to get notified of all the latest episodes and remember, you, me, we are Not Almost There.

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