Ep.41 Jaala Shaw: Doing Hard Things



For Jaala, probably the most important reason why you should choose to do the hard things in life is that it will make you happier and it will make your life better. You will feel accomplished, as you tried your hardest, put in the effort needed, and have made a difference in society. In this episode, we have Jaala Shaw, she is a health and fitness coach with over two decades of experience. From elite NCAA Division I swimmers and regional level CrossFitters, to mentoring coaches, regular people, and children; Jaala has guided all humans in achieving their goals. She has lived the life, competing at a high level in sports, coaching at the club and collegiate level, owning her own CF affiliate, and now as a part of the CF Kids Seminar Staff. It is her goal to enhance people's lives by teaching them that small changes = big results.  

In this episode, we talked about:

  • Jaala’s journey as a health and fitness coach

  • How to stretch beyond your potential in any realm

  • How she teaches others how to become competitive at any kind of sports 

  • How she helps others to achieve their fitness goals

  • What it’s like to be a good motivator and coaching in the life of sports

  • Why doing hard things will make your life better

  • And MUCH MORE!

Resources and Links:

www.dropbydropfitness.com

Instagram : @dropbydropfitness


Transcription:

Disclaimer: The transcript that follows has been generated using artificial intelligence. We strive to be as accurate as possible, but minor errors and slightly off timestamps may be present due to platform differences.

Eric Malzone
We are live Jaala Shaw, welcome to the Black Diamond podcast.

Jaala Shaw
Thanks, Eric. Glad to be here.

Eric Malzone
I'm thrilled. I've known you for a few like multiple lifetimes. And, you know, I was I was contemplating before this interview, I'm like, there's so many things to talk about with Jaala Shaw and, you know, talk about many lifetimes, you feel like you've lived so many lives in one life already. And, you know, I've known you for a long time. We were both gym owners and on central coast of California, both in the CrossFit, both coaches, and we love all those things. And we just also become good friends. So it's great to have you on the show. And I'm really excited to just talk about the amazing things that you have done in that you still do. And yeah, so certainly a lot of fun. Thanks for coming on, Joe. I really appreciate it.

Jaala Shaw
Thanks, Eric.

Eric Malzone
So let's start here. Give us your background. You know, where Where'd you come from? How'd you get here?

Jaala Shaw
Well, I grew up in the rainy Northwest in a suburb of Seattle. But I did not ever notice that it rains so much. So, you know, the reason why is because I was in the water I grew up swimming was a competitive swimmer. From the time I was a little kid and summer league swimming, which is the Country Club, swimming in the summer, into clubs swimming, where I spent most of my time outside of school. So I wasn't a typical child, I had really high self confidence because I was always around people who were doing hard things. I got up at 6am, sometimes 5am to go swim for an hour train for an hour before school starting in middle school. And I did that until I got a college scholarship to a division one school, I would swim before and after school, lift weights and run just for fun. So I kind of just started my life in the sports lane. So I ended up swimming at the junior national level club swimming and then the division one college level. I loved sports so much. I walked on to the cross country and track team at University of New Mexico. I did not have much time for other things besides school and sports. So when I was in my fifth year, my super senior year at University of New Mexico 911 happened. And I thought I should go to Afghanistan. And the reason behind that is I really wanted to understand what was going on with our country and how I could help being a young person and going into my life as a teacher. Well, there was no United States Peace Corps in Afghanistan, and I wasn't ready to join the armed forces. So I went into Peace Corps, and I spent time in China, and yap Island in Micronesia. Then I came back to the United States, got an advanced teaching degree, went abroad again, and I was in Afghanistan, finally. So I spent a year plus in Afghanistan teaching. And at that time, I had found CrossFit and all through my time in Afghanistan, I trained to make the CrossFit Games it was the early days 2010. So making the games didn't seem crazy. I ended up being in the Asia regional and getting disqualified in a dubious thruster ladder workout. And I continued my CrossFit journey and went to regionals a couple of times. As I was kind of falling out of competitive status in CrossFit. I went into ultra endurance racing and discovered. Go ruck go ruck puts on an event called go ruck selection. It happens one time a year. It's a 48 hour event, modeled after US Army's Special Forces assessment and selection. One woman has passed it. And I have been the sole woman to survive in five attempts that I've done. I've been training for it for seven years. And I continue to try to pass this almost impossible event all the time in between I was teaching, I ended up living and teaching in Jordan for a while too. So that kind of brings us up to date. I've been a teacher, athlete, Coach my entire life and I've always chosen to do the difficult thing because that's who I am. And that's when I feel most alive when I'm figuring out how to navigate difficult situations whether that's in other cultures. Whether that's through competitive sports, or whether that's through just getting to know myself and becoming a better person, so I, I've arrived here, and I want to continue doing those difficult things, and coach people to do difficult things as well. So now, I am a small business owner and have started my own coaching business. I think that brings us up to date. Yeah,

Eric Malzone
yeah, that was pretty good. It's, you know, I resonate with so much of that too, because I was, you know, starts swimming club level at age five, got into the, you know, more competitive side of things, probably around age seven. And, you know, I'm curious about this, because I've always looked back at, well, I think swimming as a sport and competitive swimming is horribly boring. You're, unless you're a backstroker. And I am or you're literally staring at a black line, you know, and up and down a pool for hours upon hours upon day. But that being said, I'm also really thankful for it. Because I think and I'm curious to get your thoughts on this, I do believe it gave me the ability to ironically put my head down and just work, right, and just do things that other people may find boring, but commit to it over a long run. And do you have you ever have you ever contemplate on that? Like, how did swimming early for, you know, anywhere between one to three hours a day, sometimes in the dark in a cold pool? How that kind of prepare you for other things?

Jaala Shaw
Yeah, I agree. 100%. I mean, I didn't even know it was a boring thing. until later in my life, I was like, man, swimming is just, you just do it. You go back and forth. So many times, you know, in, in college, they instituted the 20 hour rule NCAA, you couldn't, you couldn't train more than 20 hours as a division one athlete. And when that rule came up, we were all like, how are we going to be good swimmers? You think about us going to school and and working out 20 hours a week. And that wasn't enough for us. Yeah, doing that my entire childhood set me up for being able to endure anything. You know, our swim team ran the Albuquerque marathon for fun and many of us made the Boston Marathon, our first try at a marathon. It's just you learn how to do really hard stuff. And just chip away at it. And in swimming, you know this, but maybe not everyone knows this, a million people could make Olympic trials, it's just a time cut. So coming in first isn't really important in swimming. And I think that also set up competitive swimmers for this mindset that you can achieve anything and it doesn't really matter what everyone else is doing around you. You just set your goal and you keep on going towards it. So I think that's another lesson Upon doing hard work for a long time and just putting your head down is that you don't have to compete against others all of the time. Well, most of the time, most of the time, you can do that really hard thing. And it doesn't matter what the other person's doing. And you can just go for your goals. So I think mindset is a is a big lesson in competitive swimming and competitive water polo and, and all of that. So yeah, I agree about that setting us up for a life of hard work.

Eric Malzone
Yeah, it is a what you're saying actually, when I think about it, you know that you're not necessarily that it's not about first place your second place or being on the podium. I mean, it is that's that's the way within the sport, right? You know, to win a local meet or be you know, the top three and get to that podium or to get that ribbon is is important, but it is true that you cannot work within your own goals and that what keeps you driving I mean, there's so many times like even in college, I you know, when I swam there I asked the coach sometimes like Hey, can I just train it's like, No, don't do that. I just you know, I like I kind of liked the train I learned that I liked the training experience that I love hard work and made me feel satisfied make my body feel good. And I think that's almost where a lack of a better term I guess an addiction came from to just exercise and working hard and I'm glad I'm glad it's a good addiction. I'm glad to have it. So you've you've done so many interesting things with rely on me so many times, Joel that I've known like she's doing what? What drives someone to do that. One of the things that I always really found interesting and I like to actually use this opportunity to learn more about it was your timing. Jordan, I think it was pretty defining for you like, what, what? what period of time were you there? What kind of drove you to go there? And what did you do there?

Unknown Speaker
The reason that I went to Jordan, beyond other reasons, the most important one was that I owned a CrossFit affiliate. And I owned it with a partner. And it turned out to be a really difficult time in my life. I owned it with a person that I didn't really agree with. And we ended up having a falling out. And it was a point in my life where I was an adjunct professor of English, I was doing what my master's degree set me up to do, teaching people writing, but also my dream was to own a CrossFit gym. And that that fell apart, quite surprisingly. So I got an opportunity to go to Jordan on a teaching fellowship with the United States Department of State. And I thought it was a perfect time to leave the United States and change what I was doing. I had gone to Afghanistan on the same teaching fellowship, just five years before I got the offer to go to Jordan on this teaching fellowship. And I thought, you know, this is a great opportunity. I had just met Larry, who is now my husband actually didn't just meet him. We had just started dating. And Larry had a job where he could live anywhere in the world. And so there was nothing holding me in the United States. And it was a time where I was pretty low with losing my CrossFit gym. And I needed to do something challenging and different. And so I accepted that fellowship to Jordan, and move there to train, elementary, middle school, high school teachers all over the developing parts of Jordan. So in the deserts, it's called the badea. In Wadi Rum, where Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom I think was filmed, you know that the treachery at Petra, you know, I was in Petra village training teachers on English teaching methods. So basically, I spent a year and a half there, training teachers all over the country, Larry, my husband got to come and live with me for a few months during that time, and he's a photographer as a hobby. And I, I hooked him up with the Jordanian royal family, and he took photos for the royal family's annual report on the countryside. So he got a driver and just went to all of the deserted castles and camel farms and did all this fun stuff and got to be with me and Jordan while I was also still training for goruck selection at the time. So Jordan was the beginning of mine and Larry's relationship, it was the beginning of a change in my life course for me. in Jordan, I worked, I didn't work, I volunteered at the Atari refugee camp, which is one of the biggest refugee camps in the world for Syrian refugees. It's on the border between Southern Syria and northern Jordan. I was working in a village quite close to there. And the elementary school teachers are like, hey, they need help in this refugee camp. Can you go over here and train some teachers there? And I was like, yeah, that's what I do. Let's do it. Man. I don't know if you have ever been to a refugee camp like that. But it's, it's a it's a stark place. It's right now it's still and you know, I've worked in Palestinian refugee camps, which are cities now. They're not tents anymore. It's been decades. But in that refugee camp, it's United Nations, white tents. And there's, there were 40 children in the school. I'm making quotation marks with my fingers, Chris Farley style. There was a tent and there are 40 children in there. And it ranged from three years old to 18 years old. So think one room schoolhouse, and the teachers were a dad who had seven kids in that room, and 20 something year old man who was in business school before becoming a refugee. So I went there and I I just, I didn't train them. I just kind of sat there with the kids and played and looked around. And I was like, What else can I do? It's the winter, the kids don't have shoes, let alone school supplies. So I thought, you know, a lot of people want to give money to these causes, and they don't know where their money's going. So I think I'm going to ask my friends in America to donate money to build a actual school house with walls and get some school supplies. Because I won't be there for a long time. You know, I can't stay for a year. And build an education system in this camp. So what can I do now, I can build a building where the kids are comfortable, and give them some school supplies and train their their teachers. So I didn't think anything was gonna happen I didn't think people would give. It was 2016. And apparently people did want to give to this refugee camp, my friend Chris and I made a GoFundMe, and I am not good at that kind of stuff. Chris, Chris put it up and started spreading the word on Facebook. And within one week, we had made $10,000. Wow. So I was I was dumbfounded. And you know, as a volunteer, not a volunteer as a fellow on a felt teaching Fellowship of the State Department, I can't really transfer more than $10,000 into a foreign bank account.

Unknown Speaker
Or else it looks really weird. So I consulted with state departments and Foreign Service officers, and they were like, you need to turn off your fundraiser. Because if you transfer more than $10,000 is gonna look really weird for the IRS and for the State Department. Because, you know, we have so many laws about funding terrorism, and I'm doing this and giving it to Syrian refugee camps. So there's like some questions. Anyway, we ended up transferring all of the money to my bank account in Jordan, and it was about 90 $500. So the State Department signed off on it, they're like, this is awesome document everything. Granted, this is all just me. And Chris, we didn't, we didn't have any State Department help, like I went in to teach teachers in the public school system, and volunteered at the refugee camp. So anyway, um, the rest is kind of comedy, Eric, I had to in Arabic, get a portable building, like buy a building. First, I had to find the industrial zone. Like I had to find this. And I'm on Jordan, by the building materials, figure out how to get the portable building to the refugee camp on this road. So we had to build a road also, I had to navigate all this in Arabic. And people just popped up to help me the royal families Development Fund gave me a driver and they had to interpreter Come with me eventually, which I bought the portable building in Arabic by myself. And when I was signing, I was like, I hope I didn't buy cement or something. No idea what's going on. So we did this, the the shorter story is, we ended up delivering a school to this refugee camp and $2,000 of books and shoes and book bags and balls and all these teaching resources, a computer and printer, which is a little ironic, because there's not power there. But they can find power outlets to charge their computer and printer, but all these resources and I stayed and went back to the camp five or six times to do teacher trainings. But man, that was the best part of my experience. There was just building that school, building the road training the teachers, working with the kids. And that wasn't even part of my project. It was just something I saw and I knew that I could help and I did it because this as we'll continue talking, doing hard things, makes life better. Compare that couldn't speak Arabic. I could a little bit Who cares if I didn't know how to buy a building or build a road. When you when you commit to doing the thing that makes you feel happy, helps other people and is right, then the help shows up for you kind of materializes. So that's one story from Jordan.

Eric Malzone
Yeah, yeah, that's why I was curious. So how far does $10,000 go there? I mean, is it like one of those countries and you know, obviously, I've never I've never set foot in the Middle East. But you know, is it is it like a you know, a country in Africa or maybe, you know, some South American country $10,000 goes a long, long way or was it you know, still consider cam a shoestring budget?

Unknown Speaker
No, I think 10 to $10,000 there. I would equate it to probably $100,000 in America. I was able to buy I forgot the dimensions but like, I think it was 20 feet by 40 foot portable, build the road, get the get all the materials, give the teachers some money buy a computer and a printer. Jordan is kind of like a middle middle. Class Arab country, I think the average income is 1000 to $2,000 a month, depending on where you live, like, if you're in a city like Amman is the capital, that's average. But then when I'm going into the villages, the teachers only get paid about 400 to $800 a month. So it's poor. But the standard of living is is adjusted based on where you live, like in the village, if you make $12,000 a year, you can have a house and food and everything. in Amman, if you make 12,000 to 20,000 a year, then that's pretty much middle class. So it's not a poor, poor country, but it's poor by our standards below the poverty level. So $10,000 was a lot of money in in a refugee camp. So we were able to do a lot with it.

Eric Malzone
The you know, I remember when you're out there in Jordan, and my first thought was, you know, this was 2000, like you said, 2016, circa roughly Yeah. You know, this, the Middle East is known as a not very good place, especially not very good place for women. And I was like, What is she doing? And everybody I know, who knew you is asking the same thing? Like, what is she? She's crazy? Like, why would she do that? You know, what? Walk me through that, like, what did you think about being, you know, an American woman going into the Middle East in, you know, roughly a time that you know, it wasn't very peaceful? At least that's what our media tells us here. You know, what, what do you want to tell? I guess, what would you communicate to people here in the West, about the Middle East compared to what we know, just through, you know, the media and and the information we get here?

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, I want to I want to start in Afghanistan, which is, it's considered Central Asia, but we see it as the Middle East because it's one of those engagements we have that falls under the night post 911, Middle East umbrella. But first in Afghanistan, I was there in 2010, to 2012. Although there's suicide bombings, war, and all that violence, I was so safe in my community. You know, I have to wear a child, our head covering, whenever I'm outside, you can't go outside alone. You can't drive all those things that you know about Afghanistan. But everyone in my community knew who I was. The teachers knew who I was, the police in my neighborhood knew who I was, and they protected me. And so in Afghanistan, I felt much safer than is portrayed in Jordan. It's one of the most liberal Middle Eastern countries in the Middle East. Even the Queen Queen Rania is not veiled. She does not cover her hair, I would say 50% of the population in the country of Jordan do not cover their hair. They are Muslim, but they're they're liberal Muslim. I would say most women in Amman, the capital do not cover cover their hair. I was in the rural parts, and they're more conservative. But I also felt very safe in Jordan. And I was able to drive there, which is hilarious, because, you know, there's there's different rules, there's really no rules when you're driving in the Middle East. And it kind of suited me when I'm on the Capitol. It's not It's not unusual, everyone. It's just like a Western city. Everyone drives everyone does their own thing. You can go out you can, you can hang out there shopping food, it's just a really safe place. I feel safer there than in most American cities. And in the countryside, though, it's a little bit like ephi, Afghanistan, everyone's covered women don't drive. So I was a bit of an anomaly. I drive myself to all of my schools, and the villagers would wave at me when I was driving through. And so here's the thing. Governments and politics are one thing in a country, but the people are another thing. When you go to a country as an individual, you are a human and people relate to you on a human level. And even though there are disagreements and different values, people everywhere I've gone have tried to get to know me on a human level. So that's the reason I'm not afraid. I know that as long as I'm a good human, with good intentions, and I try to adjust and adapt to the culture. by that. I mean, I'm not just going into Afghanistan and a pair of shorts and a tank top. I'm covering myself and respecting the culture. Same in Jordan, I'm covering myself to the degree that they do as long as you go into a culture with respect and an open mind. Most of the time people treat you really well. It's the government's that just Agreed, and people are really good at separating the citizens from the government. So the answer to your question is, it seems crazy because when you don't know someone, you have this, this idea that might or might not be true. And the only way to find out is to go yourself and be there. And that's the same as it is with any athletic goal. The only way to find out if you're able to do it is to do it. You know?

Unknown Speaker
We have it firm. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker
Are that crazy? It's just I'm gonna go do this thing. And if it is the way that I preconceived it to be, well, that's cool. But most of the time, it's not most of the time. I felt safer than I do in the United States. There's no petty theft in Jordan. There's no crimes of violence. There probably is, but the statistics are very low. So it's, it's a beautiful place. And Larry and I, my husband, Larry, and I really loved it. We did great rock climbing and sandstone there. And people are awesome, especially the villagers in Wadi Rum, which is where the Martian was filmed. Are there some parts of the Martian Matt Damon's movie? It's just a really beautiful place welcoming people and do you feel pretty safe? So not crazy? Just kind of different, right?

Eric Malzone
Yeah. Well, it's, it's, uh, you know, one thing we do really well here in the states is produce fear for ourselves. And, you know, many times it's like, in places where, you know, maybe I should have when I've been traveling, I should have felt less safe. Like, statistically, I'm way worse off in LA. Or, yeah. You know, Rio de Janeiro that was that was one area where I was like, Okay, I yeah, I got stuff stolen. Like that really happened. And yeah, that was the thing I didn't even know I got my license stolen. I didn't even know it. I didn't know how I was just wait wait a minute. It was in the drawer somewhere and now it's out there. Yeah, it's really interesting. So let's I want to go on to another of many chapters in your life and in let's talk about go rock like for people who are uninitiated what what is go rock and how did you get? How'd you find it?

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, go rock is a company founded by greenbrae. It's a company that started making backpacks, just great tactical backpacks that the owner, the founder, Jason McCarthy wanted to cross over. He wanted a great backpack for someone in Los Angeles or New York City that looked trendy but it was it was strong, and you can throw it around and wear it on a track or you could wear it to the office. He partnered with Spartan Race to test these backpacks. He wanted to do like a short video or commercial to show how tough his backpacks were. So he brought him to a Spartan Race. And that was actually the beginning of events that go rock. People decided we should do an event, our own event and test these rucksacks so the first goruck challenge, a 12 hour event was scheduled in San Francisco, Jason would bring all of the backpacks and all of his friends would show up to test them for 12 hours. It ended up being a hit and people started asking for more events. So Jason started as a backpack company. But then he started doing these events. And his mission was to bridge the gap between military and civilians. He wanted to use these events and these rucksacks to to help people understand what it was like to serve in the military, but also to give them a venue where they could do something hard and work as a team and learn the skills that he learned as a greenbrae. So the events are athletic events, but they're also an opportunity for people to test themselves. And to learn from the best to learn from these leaders. These Green Berets, it it expanded to special operations, not just Special Forces, the Special Forces is army greenbrae special operation forces his navy seal, recon Marine, Air Force comptroller, they're all the other special operations. So he expanded his group of cadre they call them so the event leaders to special operations forces. So go ruck makes badass backpacks and And do events that bridge the gap between civilians and military to help them help the civilians do difficult things, Build Team and just experience what it's like to maybe be in a in a military group of special operations forces and just understand what it was like for these cadre to serve. So the crux of goruck events are those type of events, team building events where they educate people and push them, but then help them to be better people. Well, some people in the goruck community were like, We want something more, we want something tougher, we want to know what assessment and selection was like for Special Forces. So this is the birth of goruck selection. goruck selection is a 48 hour event, individual modeled after Special Forces assessment and selection. And it is just a grueling kind of individual test of grit and fitness, but more more mental. Once you have that fitness level, it's a it's a mental test. And the passing rate is about 2%. Less than 30 people in the last decade that it's been going on have passed this event passing means you finish it. So 0123 people finished and maybe 100 people start every year, I discovered goruck. After CrossFit, I'm still doing CrossFit. But after CrossFit, I mean after I stopped competing, so there was a point where I just wasn't making it to regionals anymore. That was about 2013. So I wanted to do ultra endurance events. And a CrossFit friend said why don't you try this goruck selection thing? I just saw it an outdoor magazine. And apparently it's the toughest endurance event on the planet. And I was like, yeah, whatever, I'm gonna do that. And that was six years ago. And I have been trying to pass this thing ever since. So that is a little bit about goruck. And my connection with selection.

Eric Malzone
So walk us through what is what is the selection experience like this particular event? So if I'm, if I'm getting this right, go, Rick has a ton of different events for different levels. But the selection that's like, that's the pinnacle, that's the super hard one. That's the one that you actually really have to commit to and train for, to walk because you've done it. How many times have you have you gone through it

Jaala Shaw
five

Eric Malzone
times? And what is the walk us through? Like, what is the training? Like, what is the day of the event? What is Yeah, give us some insights into that experience? Because I don't, I don't think too many of our listeners are ever going to have an experience like this.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, goruck selection is kind of like the CrossFit Games. So goruck selection, is, as Eric said, the pinnacle of goruck. It's the only competitive event, it's the only individual event. It's the only event where Cowdray the leaders of the event are trying to get you to quit actively. So not only is it a 48 hour test of your will and your fitness, it's unpredictable, so you don't know what they're going to have you do during the event. And they're trying to get you to quit. So imagine, imagine making the cut I think is the Navy SEAL program where they show you what happens in buds, they're yelling at you, they want you to go faster, you're not lifting enough weight, you're weak. These are the things that they say to you. The structure of goruck selection is loosely known by the participants we know it's 48 hours, we know we're going to have to be carrying a 45 pound rucksack the entire time. And 45 pounds is laughable because that's not with your water. And that's not with all the mud and everything else that goes into your rock from being on the ground and in the ocean and in the swamp. So basically you're carrying a 60 pound ruck the entire time, you have added weight, you're doing work, you're getting yelled at, and it's 48 hours. The standards are the same for men and women. There are no divisions everyone has to do the same work. Um, there's not too much eating. They let you eat I think at 24 hours you get an MRE so you're doing this work with little fuel. You can't just stop and pop a noon in your water bottle. It's just not something you can't have a cliff stat You can't eat that jerky stick. You must sustain yourself on your own body fat and will change To start the event, you have to pass the PT test, you have to do certain amount of push ups sit ups, a five mile run under 40 minutes with no weight and then a 12 mile ruck under three hours and 30 minutes with 45 pounds. That's just the beginning. So if you pass that, then you start the event. The event, you know, it's 48 hours and very few people pass it. It's it's the end of training for a year. So my training goes on year cycles. I usually have a strength coach, an endurance coach and a nutrition coach. At least a strength coach and a nutrition coach. So I always have a couple of coaches. I train on a year cycle. So as soon as I don't pass, which is never the plan. I start working on weaknesses. I probably do CrossFit for a couple of months after selection. So from it's usually October is the season, from October to January. I do CrossFit five times a week, and I run five times a week and that's my resting season. And then from January to September, I'm working out probably 20 hours a week. And I've always been a teacher during this training. So it's a lot of training. There's a lot of rucking lifting, I swim, I do yoga, I do cold training. If you've ever heard of Wim Hof, I do cold showers and cold immersion. And I read everything I can I talk to finishers, and this cycle has gone on for six years now. And I'm training for another one. So hopefully this will be my last one. But yeah, it's it's a huge commitment. And it's not just I'm going to run that marathon, it's I'm going to break myself mentally and physically and get through to the other side. Because I want to and I know I can, there's no there's no reward. You get a patch, if you finish, like a sticky patch to stick on your backpack.

Jaala Shaw
Yeah, that's it

Eric Malzone
48 hours. Just to kind of hammer that home. That's no time for sleep very little time to eat. You get you get water in your pack. So you can sip on water right at,

Jaala Shaw
ya know, imagine?

Eric Malzone
I mean? Where does your mind go? during that time? Like, does it does it time go fast? Does it go slow? Does it switch on and off between those two things? Is it What? What's going on in your head?

Unknown Speaker
That's such a good question. I think those so many years of swimming, set me up for selection. Because time flows in different ways. Sometimes it goes so fast that I wonder how four hours just went by, and then sometimes it goes so slow that I've been crawling on my stomach on a road for an hour. And it feels like it's been three days. So it just, it depends on what you're doing. I think if you're really struggling, it slows time down. So I'm talking about in 2019, it was my fourth selection. And I quit at a point where I was low crawling on a road in a swamp in southern Florida, Central Florida for I don't know, it was probably an hour. But like I said, time just slows down or speeds up. And it's so strange. And I just couldn't crawl anymore. I thought I had been crawling for three days. And your mind goes to a place. The place I want it to go to is that I can endure this and I can keep on going. But the place I was at was I might die if I keep going. And I'm really satisfied with how far I've gotten. But during other hard times, the last time I did selection, I kept on telling myself there's just one more movement or 10 more reps or 100 more meters. So the good place your mind goes to is breaking that down. You never say 40 more hours you say one more minute or 10 more seconds. So that's where my mind goes to. When I'm strong and I'm moving forward. The place My mind goes to when I'm not so strong is I've been crawling for three days and I have three more Or I don't even know how long this has been. And I really care, I want to know what time it is. But the other places your mind goes to is all the times that you've done something like it before. So I think about those times swimming, I got into open water swimming and Hawaiian style prone paddleboard racing, after collegiate swimming in the Peace Corps. And I would do 20 miles on a paddleboard in the Pacific Ocean by myself, sometimes I would do 10 k swims in the ocean, and you just, you just think about things that make you happy, I would sing the same song over and over, in my head for like, hours. So that's a great question. It's the mind is so interesting. And it changes from moment to moment, right?

Eric Malzone
Yeah, it is. Whenever, you know, from people who have done really any sort of endurance event, you know, I would say anything over maybe an hour or two, you, your mind does things, you know, and you have to really kind of keep, you have to keep tabs on it. Otherwise, it'll run away. And, you know, I love what you said about literally, in this kind of, you know, I presume goes into you know, the name of your company now dropped by dropping in fitness, but it's like, you just, you know, like running peer to peak, which both you and I had done. It's, you know, very small for compared to what you normally do on a endurance level, but it was always about Okay, I just got to get past that corner. Yeah, you know, if I can just make it around this next turn, then I'll make it around the next turn. You never think like, oh, man, I got seven more miles. And I'm, you know, you just don't think like that. You can't you gotta just, you know, take those little bits at a time. I mean, one of the things I was, you know, I think it means something to forego rock is, you know, a very small number of women actually a participate and then also have passed it right?

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, one woman has passed it a lady named Paige who was a professional basketball player in Europe and is a battalion chief in San Jose fire. So she's not normal.

Eric Malzone
Yeah, I mean, that's, that's a big driver for you, too, I think is I mean, just knowing you. It's like when people say, Hey, no, you, you know, that's not something that people do, you know, or WIC women or, you know, whatever you tend to be like, huh, yeah, I'll challenge that.

Jaala Shaw
No. It's true.

Eric Malzone
So, you know, it's it. I think one of the themes that I see in your life, and that we've talked about here, and a couple points is, you know, doing hard things, right. And it's, it's important to do hard things, whether it's, you know, I don't think people have to necessarily jump up and, you know, start training for a goruck selection, or fly out to the Middle East and build a school. But, you know, there is a lot of value to finding hard things in our day to day lives that we can work towards. I think it's just part of human nature. I mean, in your mind, why is it so important for for you and for other people to do hard things?

Unknown Speaker
You're right, when you say it doesn't have to be goruck selection, doing difficult things is relative to who you are. And it is a difficult thing is just stretching yourself beyond your potential in any realm. I'm already coaching a couple of clients as I'm starting my business, and one of them is a nutrition client. And the difficult thing for her is just getting into a routine and not eating emotionally. And that's really hard. And we've been working on it just step by step, habit by habit for months, and she's doing so well. And the other day, she said, You know what, committing to this thing, changing habits and becoming healthier helps me in every part of my life. She owns a restaurant, and she says, you know, my chefs always have me taste the food because I show that I don't trust them. I say I have to taste everything before it goes on to the floor. She said, I just let my chef's taste their own food last week. And it seems like my relationship with them is better. She says she's letting go of controlling everything. Because through doing this difficult thing, she realizes she does not need to control everything to be happy. She can do things on her own and push herself and it it builds her confidence so that she does not need to control and micromanage in her business. So I see that Connection when we push ourselves beyond our comfort zone, and past what we think is our potential, it makes us confident in so many other areas. And it just makes life better. You said, we're human when we're doing that, yeah. Because we just realized we can do so much more than we think we can. And this client wasn't training for goruck selection, but through changing habits, you realize she can do so much more with her business life. And now she's starting to work towards doing a strict pull up. And that was not in her goals when she started nutrition coaching. So the point is, doing one difficult thing makes every difficult thing easier, right? And if it's just a physical thing, then more power to you.

Eric Malzone
Yeah, you know, it's an it can be so, so simple and seemingly mundane. I mean, you and I, I take a cold shower, first thing in the morning, is difficult. I mean, is it really difficult just to turn on the shower. But it kind of is right. And just by doing that, even because you know, after the first 3060 seconds of that cold shower, you're like, Alright, I'm awake, I'm alive, I did something hard, I can check off that box. And now everything else may seem just a little bit, either, whether it's conscious or subconscious. And I think that's, you know, for a lot of people who listen to this show, or you know, maybe entrepreneurs or business owners, and you're automatically doing a hard thing you're doing something that most people don't do is you're kind of venturing out, try and build your own thing. And that's hard. You know, it's not easy. But if you can kind of find other ways to, I guess, supplement the tough stuff that you do, and usually the physical realm is is the easiest, right? You know, physically doing hard things. Just Yeah. It creates some sort of resilience in you that makes everything else more digestible, I guess. And even after a while you start to crave it like you, right? Yes, that seek out these things? Which is awesome. Yeah. Well, yeah. Well tell us how do you work with your clients give us some insights into what your business is now.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, the business is dropped by drop fitness. And the the title, the name of the business comes from an African proverb, which is cut the ricotta Daria mesha, drop by drop a river is made. And I think you can Intuit what that means. It just means that breaking something down into smaller parts makes the whole easier. So the idea behind my business, it's a nutrition and fitness coaching business. And the idea is that you have this big goal, but the small parts are easy to achieve. So we're going to break it down. And we're going to get you there by doing small things every day, it's much easier to do five push ups every day than it is to do 500 on every Saturday or something like that. I know the math doesn't add up, but but the idea is we're gonna do these little things to get to that big thing. And it's this thing with nutrition coaching as it is with athletic coaching. So any goal is achievable for somebody who can see it in those small parts, and I help them do that. I coach people who want to do difficult things, whether that's in the realm of nutrition, or fitness, or both. And I do it because it makes me feel more alive as well. I want people to get that joy in achieving something that they think they can't. So that's what I do with drop by drop fitness. coaching people.

Eric Malzone
Awesome. Well, there's, there's no shortage of inspiration. That portion you whether you know it or not, I feel like sometimes your life seems so normal to you that you remind you that, no, this isn't the way most people live their lives. And it's extraordinary. And it's really, really cool. So I'm so happy that we got you on here. And we could talk about just, you know, like I said, just maybe two or three of many chapters of your life that have been really, really, really cool. So I appreciate it. So give us one last time where do people find your job, give them give us the kids.

Unknown Speaker
You can find me at www dot drop by drop fitness.com or you can find me on Instagram at drop by drop fitness. Or you can just search my name jhala Sha, J a la SHAW and you can find me those ways. So get some nutrition and fitness coaching, do some hard stuff. And I'd love to help out.

Eric Malzone
Awesome. Well, john, thank you again for coming on the show. always enjoy our conversation. And yeah, I know we'll be talking soon.

Unknown Speaker
Thanks, Eric. It's great to talk to you. Thanks a lot.

Eric Malzone
Ladies and gentlemen, Jaala Shaw.



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