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How to be Mentally Fit & Strong? | Activities to Improve Mental Health – Rediscovering You
Mortgage Broker
Trish Reedy Mortgage Broker
Published on January 28, 2021

How to be Mentally Fit & Strong? | Activities to Improve Mental Health – Rediscovering You

Verify your mortgage eligibility (Jan 23rd, 2022)

(If you’re driving or have low bandwidth, we recommend using the audio version for your safety and improved listening enjoyment listed below.)

Welcome to Episode 4 of Podcast: Reedy, Set, Grow with Trish Reedy!

Verify your mortgage eligibility (Jan 23rd, 2022)

Our guest’s name is Josh Wolf. Josh works as a coach and serving at Rediscovering You. It is a non-profit organization. The mission of Rediscovering You is to provide stigma reduction programming, education, and awareness of mental health and illness, in conjunction with financial assistance to individuals who cannot otherwise afford the cost of psychological or other evidence-based treatment.

Trish Reedy: Welcome to Reedy Set Grow the podcast that inspires you to grow into the person you are meant to be. I’m your host, Trish Reedy. I’m a local mortgage lender here in Kansas City, and I just love our community and love the people here. We’ve got so many inspirational stories and people that have done great things. So, I’m excited today to bring another great guest Josh Wolf. Thanks for joining us.

Josh Wolf: Thank you so much for having me. Yeah.

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Trish Reedy: So, Josh and I know each other from the triathlon world, coaching and tell us a little bit about your story, Josh.

Josh Wolf: Yeah. I like to, to introduce myself…you know, faith, family first. I’ve been a coach here for about 15 years. Coach athletes and I started doing some life coaching as well. It’s been phenomenal. One of the things that I love about coaching is the ability to work with people on all levels and help them achieve what they thought they once could not do. We’ll talk a little bit more about that later. Been an athlete myself, I’ve done a couple of other bigger races. I just tried to do a record attempt across Kansas.

Trish Reedy: Yeah. Yeah. Tell us more about this. I was following you on socials.

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Josh Wolf: Yeah, so COVID, I don’t know if you know, this has been a thing going on for a while now.

Trish Reedy: Just a little thing.

Josh Wolf: It happened to take out the endurance racing community as well. So, back in March, I was thinking about all the things that I could do rather than focusing on things I cannot.

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Trish Reedy: That’s super important right there. Let’s focus on the positive. What can I do?

Josh Wolf: Yeah, yeah. That’s always been a big thing for me is, figure out what we can do anyway. So, as I’m sitting there, I’m like, well, I know what’s going to happen. Everything’s been canceled. Things that things are not going to be the same. So, I remember thinking about this race that I saw this guy too. His name is Ashton. He took this record three years ago, four years ago, I think. We were at a coffee shop. My wife and I do a coffee date every Monday.

Trish Reedy: That’s great.

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Josh Wolf: It’s been fun too. Follow us on KC Coffee Dates.

Trish Reedy: Oh, that’s so cute. We’ll get that tagged.

Josh Wolf: So, I remember seeing this Biking Across Kansas and what it is, it’s 418 miles from West to East.

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Trish Reedy: So, from the Colorado state line to Missouri State line.

Josh Wolf: Literally. Yes. It’s quite a long way and the idea is to try to take it obviously in the fastest time. So, there’s a whole organization out there that does this. It’s the world cycling association and they have a 50-page rule book. We looked into it…

Trish Reedy: Oh my gosh. That’s a lot of rules.

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Josh Wolf: …and decided, yeah, this is something that I can do. This is something that I want to train for. This is something that I want to do for a cause bigger than myself.

Trish Reedy: Yeah. Okay. And so, what was that cause?

Josh Wolf: Yeah. So, Suicide Awareness and Depression Awareness was the cause. The reason being is that’s something that I’ve struggled with a lot, in my life. I was thinking…

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Trish Reedy: As do many.

Josh Wolf: Well, right. Yeah, especially around now. So, I was thinking about that. Endurance is kind of a lot like that in the sense that you have a struggle although this one’s being picked, and you have to figure out a way to keep moving forward one pedal stroke at a time. So, what a better way to, to parallel the two. So, it was phenomenal. We did not quite get the record. I ended up having a bunch of stomach issues. I was throwing up the whole time and the winds did not turn West as they had promised. We won’t talk about that. It was a lot colder than I expected. So anyway, it was not a  win so to speak…

Trish Reedy: But you finished.

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Josh Wolf: …in terms of the goal, however, it was a win in terms of what we were able to do. So, Rediscovering You was our partner and we raised, I think around $4,000 for them, which was phenomenal. Again, it was such a great way, I think, to look at the way that it feels sometimes to be in darkness and what you can do to find hope, find that one light that allows you to get through it

Trish Reedy: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, tell us a little more about Rediscovering You.

Josh Wolf: Rediscovering You is a non-for-profit and this is so insane. I didn’t even know they existed until two months before I was going to do this attempt. I was talking to all these different companies, all these different people, and it just didn’t feel right. There was something about it that I didn’t jive with me each time and it wasn’t that the company was wrong, or the organization was wrong.

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I just had this feeling of I want it to be something that’s about our community. I want to reduce stigma and I want somebody that’s going to be active and I know what they’re doing. A friend of mine introduced me to them. That’s exactly what they do. They break down stigmas. They literally will take people that maybe can’t get to an appointment. They’ll find transportation for them. They’ll pay for them to have therapy. It’s phenomenal. So, whether it is addiction recovery, whether it’s a mental illness, recovery, whatever it is, they’re there for them. So, it’s pretty cool.

Trish Reedy: Yeah. So, you have a bit of a history with this. Are you willing to share your personal story?

Josh Wolf: Yeah, for sure. I think that that’s one of the biggest things that we can do too is be vulnerable. I think there’s lots of strength in vulnerability.

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Trish Reedy: Absolutely.

Josh Wolf: So, there are a lot of things in life that I think we’ve tried to keep secret and  I think in darkness, that’s what it wants us to do is keep it secret. So, if you share it, it’s great. Anyway, so when I was younger things were not as pretty as they are now. I didn’t look quite the same. I was dressing in all black eyeliner, darker than yours, way darker than yours, chains, and whatnot and just really despondent, really felt hopeless felt kind of beat up through life. Part of it was just upbringing an alcoholic dad and just a family life that didn’t lend itself well to positivity.

Trish Reedy: Sure.

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Josh Wolf: And then part of it, I think was just the way that I interpreted life in my thought patterns and whatnot. So, that got even worse and worse and things got pretty bad. I turned to drugs for self-therapy and eventually I decided that wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. However, the pain still lingered. So, what do you do with that?  I’m 16 years old and essentially I ended up taking my car 70 miles an hour into a tree and I was trying to end it all. Lots of background behind that and it was hard and I was at my  lowest of lows

Trish Reedy: Absolutely. Oh my gosh.

Josh Wolf: Yeah. So, there are so many things around this. I ended up hitting the guard rail first and the guard rail threw me into this tree. It was one tree. It was actually at 435 and Metcalf, if you’re local back in, I was early mid-nineties and that was the only tree that was there. Behind that were apartment complexes. So, I had the only tree that was there, and I hit it dead on in the center. Then instead of me going through the windshield, I hit the steering wheel, and instead of the branches coming in, they went around us. It was just insane, the number of things that happened that kept me alive. So, I remember hitting the steering wheel and then I remember waking up and I heard the ambulance, and I was still here.

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So, I’ve always been stubborn, always been highly determined and I was almost unscathed. I ended up having a compressed fracture in my back but given everything that was nothing. So, I got up and I asked people, why didn’t I die? Why didn’t I die? Nobody could give me an answer. So, I started to run and when I got to a fence, I tried to jump it and this guy stopped me. I thought he lived behind there. I don’t know what he was doing there now. I said, why didn’t I die? Why didn’t it die? And he looked at me in the eye and said because God has a special plan for you. I just kind of dropped to my knees and I believed it.

Trish Reedy: Wow.

Josh Wolf: Yeah. So, for me, a lot of work has gone on in the past. 20 years to get to where I’m at. There are all kinds of things that I’d love to share about that if that’s okay with you.

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Trish Reedy: Yeah, please. This is very interesting.

Josh Wolf: The first is sometimes our biggest weakness can become our biggest strength. I might just sideline that for a second and come back to it. The second is that when I came out of that, I realized that yes, there are all these things happening to me. However, my thought process is completely skewed. So, the way that I think about the world, the way that I process, whenever anything would not go the way I thought, it would internally drag me down.

Trish Reedy: Sure.

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Josh Wolf: As a kid, I was dyslexic and was eventually diagnosed with a processing disorder. However, I don’t think it was ever correctly diagnosed. I remember as a kid, I would read, and I would be super nervous because I couldn’t understand what’s going on. So, if I was going to read something, I’m pointing to your notes, I wouldn’t know what it was going to say. So, I would be apprehensive

Trish Reedy: Anxious.

Josh Wolf: …and anxious. So, I’d be telling myself all these things about who I was in that and what I felt like. It was not pleasant.

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Trish Reedy: Not positive self-talk.

Josh Wolf: Not at all. Right, right. Yeah. Yeah. Why would it be? I noticed that that was kind of my pattern in my entire life. So, right now, if I were looking at you, I don’t know what you’re thinking. I would assume that you’re thinking, oh, what he’s talking about is dumb. What he’s talking about doesn’t make any sense. He’s just rambling on. My thought pattern would be…

Trish Reedy: For the record that’s not at all what I’m thinking.

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Josh Wolf: Yeah. But I’m saying that’s what it was. So, I think this is so cool that we have the opportunity to change that. Neurologically, we have the opportunity to change that. Science has proven that you know, synapses can be rerouted, can be changed. I didn’t know that as a kid, I just knew that I didn’t want to do that anymore. So, I came up with a way, to change the way that I thought. So, the first was to observe what it is that I’m thinking and then I get to decide, that is decide if that is truly something that I believe, or I don’t want to believe, and then I get to reframe. So, those are the kind of steps that I took. So, all of that to say that whenever I look at my past, it gave me this opportunity to be able to really go deep into my thought process and constantly evaluate it if it’s the truth or if it is what I want to think. Does that make sense? What do you think about that?

Trish Reedy: Yeah. I mean, you can let someone tell you who you are, you can decide for yourself. There are so many different ways to look at one thing. I mean, you look at my pencil and you’re going to describe it in one way. I’m going to describe it in another. The pencil thinks of itself. This was a person in a completely different way, and I mean, you get to choose your narrative. You get to choose what’s true about yourself

Josh Wolf: For sure. I think though, one of the things that we don’t notice though is that we’re having these thoughts. They’re so quick. So, our subconscious has already decided on what we’re going to say before we think that we’re going to say it. The trick is to be able to catch it before it spirals. So, what it used to do is your thought becomes your emotion becomes your behavior becomes who you are. So, what it used to do to me is my thought would automatically dictate who I was, and I would have a negative emotion around it. So, I would feel anxiety. I would feel the depression, the hopelessness. Again, it’s just not how I want to feel. No one wants to feel like that. Anybody that you talk to, they don’t want to feel depressed. A lot of times you just feel stuck.

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Trish Reedy: Especially when you’re in it when you’re in that dark place. It’s hard to change.

Josh Wolf: It’s the worst.

Trish Reedy: And it takes a lot of courage and a lot of bravery and a lot of vulnerability and strength to go get help.

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Josh Wolf: Oh, for sure. That was one thing I wanted to say is, I didn’t do it alone.

Trish Reedy: You can’t

Josh Wolf: I did have to go get help so to speak and what they did not provide I was able to make up, which was so helpful. What I mean by makeup, I was able to substitute with thought pattern changes.

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Trish Reedy: Yeah.

Josh Wolf: Yeah. It’s been again, a journey, so to speak. 

Trish Reedy: What happened after that?

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Josh Wolf: What happened after what?

Trish Reedy: So, you had this crash.

Josh Wolf: Yeah.

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Trish Reedy: You realize I didn’t die. I was supposed to die and then…

Josh Wolf: Oh yeah.

Trish Reedy: …and then this man tells you, God has a plan for you.

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Josh Wolf: Yeah.

Trish Reedy: Do you know who this man was? Have you ever met him?

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Josh Wolf: So, I went back after I was out to look at the police report because I wanted to see the address or the phone number and find this guy and say, hey, thanks for that. That was so encouraging. The police report did not have a phone number. I didn’t have an address. He didn’t have the last name. I had one first name, his name was Christian and that was it.

Trish Reedy: Isn’t it ironic?

Josh Wolf: Well, yeah. And I mean, it did. So, I think what it did for me is it gave me a grounding spot. It did not change overnight. It took and continues to take work and years and years of like you said working through it. What it did is allow me to have that one foundation that’s a truth. Anytime I go, if I ever got to that spot again, I could know that and think that, if I hadn’t been. This is my truth.

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Trish Reedy: So, since then your life has changed a lot. You’re not in black chains and black eyeliner and you’ve gotten into endurance sports. Tell us a little bit about that and the impact of that on your life.

Josh Wolf: Yeah. It’s been so cool. Whenever I was going through that, again, all of my behaviors were negative. I needed something to do. I should go lift weights. So, I did. As a kid was lifting weights and doing that kind of stuff and a friend of mine, his name is Paul, I always give him a shout-out. He introduced me to mountain biking and running and whatnot. When I was a senior, I’m like, oh, that’s kind of fun. So, fast forward I was in college, I was lifting weights. This time I was being pretty, pretty serious about it if you will. Lifting 100-pound dumbbells and I was a major in kinesiology. I had decided that’s kind of what I want to do. I liked the human body and like studying the way that it works and whatnot. I was like, what am I doing? I need a goal. I should run a marathon because that’s logical.

Trish Reedy: Right because that’s the first thing that you do.

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Josh Wolf: Yeah.

Trish Reedy: Only crazy people.

Josh Wolf: I do have quite a bit of crazy. So, I called in hey, you want to do this? Yeah. I’ve always wanted to do that. We did train for it. So, don’t worry. But yeah. So, we spent six months training for this thing and I just loved it. I loved what endurance felt like. I loved the outlet I loved actually, and I continue, this is what I liked the most about it is it teaches you the skills that you can apply to everything in life.

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Trish Reedy: Oh my gosh. Yeah.

Josh Wolf: You’ve done these big races too. So, consistency. It teaches you determination. It teaches you to do things that you now do that once you thought you could not do. So, when you start out running a marathon and the marathon is 26 miles.

Trish Reedy: 0.2.

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Josh Wolf: 0.2, always 0.2.

Trish Reedy: That’s the hard part, right?

Josh Wolf: It is. It is. The very first time that you run, you might run three miles. You might run two miles or whatever.

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Trish Reedy: You might walk.

Josh Wolf: you might walk whenever you first start training for these things and then six miles seems so unreasonable. It seems out there. It’s impossible. There’s no way you can do it and then you look back and six miles is now your easy run. So, how much in life could be your easy run that seems impossible now. So, those are the types of things that I just love about it and so that’s…

Trish Reedy: That one conversation that you’ve been wanting to have with your boss that just seems too hard. If you can train for it and practice and get there then that hard conversation isn’t hard anymore.

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Josh Wolf: Oh, for sure. Oh, for sure or things that you want to achieve in life…

Trish Reedy: Absolutely.

Josh Wolf: …oftentimes we quit before we try. I always tell people don’t quit before you try. We have to be able to show up. The hardest step is the first step. It always is. Most people never take the first step. So, actually, by taking one step forward, you are 80% more likely to achieve anything.

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Trish Reedy: Yeah. Which would you rather have, did not start, or did not finish? Your race I mean.

Josh Wolf: I just fell in love with that. Right. And that’s, and that’s around the same time when I was in college. I don’t know, maybe this dates me now. I always thought of myself as young and every year it gets less like that. Lance Armstrong was big, and he was big into cycling and he most certainly made a big impact on cycling in the United States. So, I was like, oh man, biking, that’s cool. I should bike. So, I bought a bicycle and started riding all the time. So, then my friend’s like, hey Josh, you should do a triathlon and I’m like, okay, what is that? It’s a swim bike run. It sounds phenomenal.

Trish Reedy: Cool, why not.

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Josh Wolf: By this time, I’m out of college and I do my first triathlon. I think it’s like a 400-meter swim. It was outside then like a 12-mile bike and then a three-mile run or whatever. I remember I did like the backstroke and the sidestroke, some form of…

Trish Reedy: Whatever it takes to get through, doggy paddle.

Josh Wolf: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I got through and I did fairly well. I’m like, oh, this is kind of fun.

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Trish Reedy: Yeah, and then that was the first of many.

Josh Wolf: That was, yeah. I’ve done now over 100 triathlons. I’ve done, I think eight Iron Mans, qualified for Kona six times, which is the Ironman World Championships. We’ve gone twice.

Trish Reedy: What’s your PR?

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Josh Wolf: Grateful to be able to go.

Trish Reedy: Your record.

Josh Wolf: So yeah, an Iron Man, a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run.

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Trish Reedy: 0.2-mile run.

Josh Wolf: I think my PR right now I think is I don’t know, 19:14, something like that. But for me, it’s more about what’s going on inside the race.

Trish Reedy: Yeah, man. Well, that’s super inspirational. I mean to go from the lowest of lows to qualifying for the world championships in Hawaii is such a journey.

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Josh Wolf: Oh my gosh.

Trish Reedy: I’m so thankful that you came on and shared it with us.

Josh Wolf: Yeah. Can I say one more thing? Is that okay?

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Trish Reedy: Yes, please. Of course.

Josh Wolf: Super grateful to be able to even do that. I feel like all points above for me, and I was talking about your biggest weakness could become your biggest strength. That was one of the things I said. I think that that is like the biggest takeaway is that sometimes we feel like, you know, whatever it is we feel like we’re not enough. We feel like we can’t do something. We feel like maybe the world is against us. When you, when you break it down and you look at the struggle within that, that allows you to be who you are. Sometimes what seems as if it’s like the world coming down and you can eventually be something that you use for a greater good. Yeah, yeah.

Trish Reedy: Yeah. There’s a lot to unpack there. That’s a lot.

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Josh Wolf: Yeah.

Trish Reedy: It’s something that can be the hardest thing, the worst thing can turn you into the best thing it really can. Yeah. Wow, man. Well, I’m going to leave you, listeners, with that. Think about what’s your hardest thing and has it turned you into the best that you can be. I’d like to thank you, Josh, for coming on our show and thank you all for tuning in to Reedy Set Grow.

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