“Have just taught me that when you are-- you might not enjoy what you're doing right now. But if you live in the future and see that what you're doing right now is actually going to benefit your life as a whole, not just happiness but whether it is happiness, financial freedom your goals for sports, you know your goals for just life in general, that's what's worth doing right now.” This episode of the Smart Athlete podcast is brought to you by Solpri, skincare for athletes. Whether you're in the gym, on the mats on the road or in the pool, we protect your skin so you're more comfortable in your own body. To learn more, go to Solpri.com. JESSE: Today on the show, my guest is currently a competitive amateur triathlete. At one time he had hopes of being an Olympic swimmer, and we're definitely going to get into that. As far as I know, he is currently Avionics Engineer General Atomics. Welcome to the show, Bryful Sun. Bryful: Nice to meet you. JESSE: So, triathlon now, swimming before, have you already been in the pool today? Bryful: I have not. But I have plans on going to the pool right after this. JESSE: Oh, okay. Are you feeling the guilt like I need to get in the water? Bryful: Yes, just a little bit. Yeah. So, I actually slept in a little bit and didn't get into the point that I was supposed this morning. So, I was feeling really bad and I kind of almost forgot about the podcast until a couple hours ago. And then I'm like, I have to push back the swim even more. The guilt’s just kick it in. JESSE: I appreciate you coming on. Actually, I need to shoot a video later today about like, it's for running but it applies here too, like, reasons you should run in the morning and one of the reason is like so you get it done, it’s out of the way and like life doesn't get in the way. And I always found that like impending sense of doom closes in on me the later the day gets when I haven't got things done. Bryful: Right. It applies for both your work, academics and sports, just like you always, and I'm the worst procrastinator of all time, no matter for what. Doesn't matter if I'm studying for an exam, or I have a race coming up, I'm waiting till the last minute, but you know, as long as you get it done, that's my philosophy. JESSE: I guess so. This is something that’s always curious to me, it's like, sometimes I'll procrastinate on something and other times, I'm like, right on it. But I'm not quite sure what differentiated it. Do you have any idea where that comes from, like why procrastinate, versus just getting out it of the way since you need to do it, you know? Bryful: Yeah. I mean, it just, it all depends. For me, it depends on the difficult to have the task at hand, first of all, and then secondly, just how motivated I am. And I think that motivation for anything in life is very important. And doesn't matter whether you're doing sports or academics, if you're not motivated, even if your grade is on the line, your GPA, you're going to want to do it until the last minute, then you're like, okay, I guess I do kind of care about this so I have to do it. Whereas if I have a race coming up and I really want to do well at this race. And I have my friends supporting me, I have training that I need to complete to make sure that I do well, at this race, I'm going to stick by my schedule, and try to get as many workouts done at the exact time that I have them scheduled. So, you know a lot of the races, when you're doing like a regional race that you don't care about too much, you’re just doing it to see how where you're at. When you're not that motivated for those races, your training can kind of fall behind and that's sometimes where I fall into that whole of just oh, yeah, I'll do my do both of my doubles after work at six o'clock, which is not really what you should be doing. Because then you're messing up your diet and stuff like that. But yeah if you're motivated for something, then you're going to say, okay, I am going to wake up at this time before work, and get this done. And I'm going to have the motivation after work to still have the energy to complete this as well. So, yeah. JESSE: I'm going to jump off the deep end here, have you read the four hour workweek? Do you know what I'm talking about? Bryful: No, I feel like there's a lot of those kind of books that are out there… I don't know this specific one but I'm assuming it's just talking about like if you decrease the amount of hours in each week, you could get more done as a whole? JESSE: It's kind of it's kind of a-- in general, it's about like, it's a business building book. So, it's like about building a business that is systemized in such a way that requires low input hours from you, so you can do more of the tasks that you like. So, that's kind of my leading into, like, it seems like the procrastination comes from a low prioritization of things, like, I can do it, or I could not do it. And I do that too. I've got my to do list every day, my whole week planned out and - task each day, and sometimes I end up running out of time, and I'm like I don't really need to do that task. And it ends up just like disappearing. So, I kind of think with like as busy as I think you are, like, how do you prioritize doing more stuff that you want to do? Bryful: Right, it all goes down back to, like, just basic human psyche. My parents have always told me this, but you always want to do something to feel better in the long run, right? But as humans, you don't really-- that doesn't just cross your mind at every passing moment. You're always trying to, I hate to sound cliche, but live your life at the moment and have fun. And if that means putting aside some of the chores or difficult tasks, that eventually you're going to have to complete, but if those jeopardize the fun you're currently having a lot of times, you're just going to be like, no, I just don't feel like doing that. I am going to get it done and I want to enjoy myself right now. So, why don't I just suffer for a bit at the end and have a lot of fun now. It's a bad mentality but i it's difficult to put aside that and actually get stuff done. But that's what I was saying, when you're motivated to do something, that's when you're more likely to actually perform those tasks. JESSE: Well, it seems like, I think you kind of touched on it, it seems like a lot of people live, I have a hard time living in the future. I'm pretty good at delaying gratification, like, let's do the suffering now and I'll reap the rewards later, but I have hard time actually enjoying the rewards right now that I worked for previously. I'm always like, always future focus. It seems like you found some kind of balance between like, I hate this phrase like YOLO. I hate it. I hate it so bad. But between living right now and living in the future, so like, is that something your parents instilled in you? Or? Bryful: Yeah, so it's just that they've been pretty traditional in a lot of things and have just taught me, you know, that you might not enjoy what you're doing right now. But exactly, if you live in the future, and see that what you're doing right now is actually going to benefit your life as a whole, not just happiness, but whether it's it is happiness, financial freedom, your goals for sports your goals for just life in general, then that's what's worth doing right now. And that's something that goes to what my parents would support me as well, emotionally and financially when I was a child. My parents are pretty strict on a lot of things but if there was something that they thought would benefit me in my later life, then that's how I got into swimming, triathlons, and track, everything, my music life. But none of that stuff is cheap. It takes a lot of time investment on both my end, on their end. But my parents thought that that's something that's going to make me happier in my later life and that's something that will benefit me as a human being. And we put in all the time and effort we wanted into that. JESSE: This is something I was curious about, so did your parents get you into swimming or was it like, were you interested in it and they were behind it? Bryful: So, it was really interesting. I'm sure a lot of kids go through this, but I didn't really know what I wanted to do. I started my, you can call it sporting life when I was about five or six. I first started playing soccer, and then did that for maybe a half year and realized that I had no - coordination at all. And I just kept getting either sidelined or goalied in every game because I was a pretty chunky kid back then. And my coach is just like, you got to use your physical strength. And I’m like okay, so you're calling me fat. JESSE: Stick you in the goal, a little bit wider, the ball has to go around. Bryful: Exactly. And then, yeah, after that I played basketball for a little bit. That was fun, but I just, I could never get really good at it. You know, I really-- JESSE: How tall are you? Bryful: Right now, I'm 5’9. I like to say 5’10. But really-- JESSE: Yeah. So, even if you got good, I mean, you can play in college. But that's about as far as you're going to go. Bryful: Right. And my parents pretty much knew that too. My dad is I think he’s 5’4 or 5’5 and he is the tallest person besides in the family. So, yeah, well, I knew I was going nowhere with that, but that was fun. And then after that, I tried a couple more sports. I dug my toe, I dipped my toes into basically every sport that was available, but eventually I found swimming when I was seven, eight years old. JESSE: It seems like a lot of sports to go through by the time you were seven. Bryful: Right. No, I just window shop every sport in the book. But when I was about to turn eight, I think I was seven, I found the pool and I started swimming. And my first couple months of swimming I really hated it. I just had no joy in doing it. I don't think I was very good. But then when I turned eight I joined this team called Montgomery YMCA Barracudas, the Barracuda swim team in Montgomery, my hometown in Alabama. And my progress exploded from there. I went from not being able to swim at all to breaking team records in a matter of six or seven months to qualifying for regionals in southeastern championships in Nashville, it was held every year. And by the time I was, I'd say 11, or 12 at the time, I realized this is something that I was number one I was good at and two, I actually did thoroughly enjoy. And that put me into a whole, like, up until the point where I was 12, I was just doing it just really, to stay in shape. More so my parents being like, oh, you need to not look like you did when you're six or seven. So-- JESSE: ...for calling you fat ?? 12:48>. Bryful: It was bad. So, when I was 12, about to turn 13, it transitioned for me just staying in shape to the point where I was is this was going to potentially be what I would strive to do. You know, when I was 13, I was like, okay, my goal is to go to the Olympics, right. And I still kept improving after I was 12-13. I made a couple of national cut times, national standard times competed in - nationals when I was 14, and then qualified for some Junior Olympic National qualifying times. And I was like, okay, this is it. Like, if I keep up with this I could make it. And at this time 14-15, it was rough I was going to high school and I was swimming, on average, probably 11-12 times a week, some weeks. And that obviously, that entails waking up at 3:45 am Monday, Wednesday, Fridays, which I certainly did enjoy. But you know, that's going back to the motivation part. If I wasn't motivated, I would not do that. I wanted my goal and swimming's one of those sports I've done a lot of-- Every competitive sport I've done up into this point, it's just you're putting in so much work, and you're getting potentially nothing in return as far as progression. And I'll talk about it later, but especially in track even more so because it's just even more compacted, the race times. But in swimming, I practice that many hours a week, and I’m slowly, slowly progressing towards that goal. But yeah, after my junior senior year, I kind of hit a wall. I got really close to Olympic trial standard times, but I just could not I could not get past it. And I was literally at the same time, I was at breaststroker 100-200. breaststroker and I think I held the same time for two years straight, exactly the same time, and I was putting in more and more training each week, I got, like, my coach was amazing, we had two or three head coaches that were just putting in my technique and it's not like I was you know, I was getting weak or anything. If anything, my muscle was getting stronger. I had more endurance, it just some things I just could not get faster. And that's when I stopped swimming before I went to college. Because I wanted to focus on something else because I was getting really upset with my progress up until that point. So, it was a long progression. JESSE: So, I mean, you hit that wall, and you're stuck there. I know. I've talked to like collegiate levels swim coaches, and they're talking about-- When I started swimming, I started swimming in college because I too hated the pool when I was little, I just avoided it like the plague. But I did not go back and actually learn how to swim. So, I just learned to swim until college, and then you know, at that early stage when you completely suck, and then you're getting some fitness. So, it was like, I can be knocking off a second per hundred every month. Which feels great because you're like killing it. But then yeah you hit that wall and you're like trying to figure out what happen? Have you done like a mental diagnosis and thought back and said maybe it was, this maybe it was that? Or do you just feel like that was like your genetic wall and you're not good-- Bryful: You know, it's a little bit of both. I like to blame genetics sometimes. But all the time, you know, I've done three competitive sports - I’m currently doing triathlons with my two previous sports, swimming in triathlon, I got to that really 99th percentile level, and I just could not break through to become the absolute ultimate goal I wanted to achieve. But I think about it all the time, what could I have done differently? And whether it's going back to mental, I think about all the time sleep, nutrition, stuff like that, what could I have done differently? You know, could I have, if I had done workouts differently, if I put in for track, more miles, fewer miles a week, would that have made a difference? I think about it all the time. But at the end of the day, it's important that I don't beat myself up over it. I love the sport when I did it up until probably the last couple of months where I was - not at all. But it was definitely, what I'm saying is I'm very glad that I did those and nurtured so much discipline for other aspects of life. I don't think I would have, you know, through swimming, I was able to-- I put in that much time I was able to juggle so many things in college at once. I basically had no free time in high school and in days where so many people were struggling over finals or where you had to go to class and then do this event and then this sport. I didn't get really stressed out over those things because I had so much experience and exposure to basically having my whole day occupied since from my early age. So, it's awesome that I was exposed to that. Go to Part 2 Go to Part 3
Smart Athlete Podcast Ep. 11 - Bryful Sun - INVEST IN YOURSELF - Part 1 of 3
Have just taught me that when you are-- you might not enjoy what you're doing right now. But if you live in the future and see that what you're doing right now is actually going to benefit your life as a whole, not just happiness but whether it is happiness, financial freedom your goals for sports, you know your goals for just life in general, that's what's worth doing right now.