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Episode 90: Lean Into Resistance with Vanessa Faye Foerster of Diversify Triathlon Movement

"Integrity is doing what you said you would do when you said you would do it."

We're joined this week by Vanessa Faye Foerster, Mental Endurance Coach and triathlete! Vanessa will get you fired up to tackle life's challenges. She talks about building integrity with yourself, how we shouldn't fear failure, and how she's working to diversify the starting line in triathlon.

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Photo: Nicole Wild


Episode Transcript

Lisa: What's going on all you brand managers, marketing managers, photographers, designers, athletes, outdoor industry peeps? What's going on my people? This is Lisa from WHEELIE. And today I'm the only host of the podcast because Iris is at a Liv Ladies All Ride camp at Grand Targhee, Lindsey Richter’s company, upping her mountain bike skills and crushing it. So I'm pretty scared to ride bikes with Iris when she comes back. Go Iris, stoked for you. And I'm on the podcast without you. Which means I'm working on my organizational skills because, quite frankly, you guys, Iris is the one that books the guests, and she edits the podcasts and it takes lots of notes and does the intros usually, so I am really appreciating Iris extra in this moment. Shout out to her for killing it all the time.

That's kind of how summer is here at WHEELIE. Our crew typically goes on awesome trips and all summer I'm around kind of running backup for everybody and making sure that the crew can go have fun, live their lives. And then I usually go adventuring in the fall. So it's, it's a good system around here. And summer is our busiest time at WHEELIE, holy photo shoots and video shoots, just bananas. We're trying to rent a helicopter for an upcoming commercial, so busy, busy things going on. But I love this episode that you're about to listen to.

I'm really excited about this episode, actually, because it is with Vanessa Faye Foerster. She is an endurance athlete. She is a mental endurance coach. She's qualified for the Kona 100. So she's like, you know, big time endurance athlete. And she's just like this amazing, cool, fully engaging human being that I would just like, want to hang out with all the time.

So, she lives in Bozeman and we met in a photo shoot, which you'll hear. And I get really excited about this episode because Vanessa is a life coach and she is... you can tell she's very passionate and driven and direct. And I appreciate that. So she talks about being integrity with yourself, trusting yourself and not being afraid to let it all go to shit as kind of a good formula for mental toughness, mental strength.

This episode is full of amazing nuggets that you can use in your creative endeavors, as well as your life, as well as your athletic endeavors. And I could talk to Vanessa all day. She's fascinating, fascinating, fascinating, fascinating. Toward the end of the podcast, Vanessa speaks about how she started something called the Diversify Triathlon Movement, which has the goal to create more inclusion and diversity in triathlon. And yeah, Vanessa is a woman of color and very much in support of, of diversifying the starting line and it's tactical. She reached out to BIPOC athletes and coaches and started actually figuring out how to get more people of color at the starting line of triathlons. And it's fascinating and super cool. And so you can check that out. Meanwhile enough from me, let's get to Vanessa because she's awesome.

Lisa: So Vanessa, thank you so much for being on our podcast today.

Vanessa: You are so welcome. Thank you for inviting me. I love the idea of this podcast and I’m grateful to be here.

Lisa: Yeah. And the first question we ask everyone is to describe where you are and what you're looking at.

Vanessa: Hmm. I am sitting in my office in Bozeman, Montana. Directly in front of me is my ring light. And there's no reason for me to have it on because I'm not looking at you. But outside my window is, um, sunshine and blue skies. And it's a good day. I'm looking at a lot of greenery outside, cause it's been so rainy and I love all the green.

Lisa: Yeah, it has been the rainiest spring in Montana I've ever experienced.

Vanessa: Absolutely. What are you looking at?

Lisa: I am sitting in our conference room at WHEELIE, I'm at the office today and it's empty in the conference room. So I'm just at the head of a giant wooden table.

Vanessa: Nice.

Lisa: Yeah, kinda nice.

Vanessa: So much space, so much to spread out.

Lisa: Yeah, because we're still doing... every employee gets to pick, it’s called work where you want. So if you want to come to the office, you can, if you want to work from home, you can. And that's been pretty fun.

Vanessa: Nice.

Lisa: Yeah. So I’m curious, we met at a photo shoot for Swiftwick, where you were the athlete and instantly I knew that you needed to be on the podcast. And I'm just curious, I want to hear your full story. We didn't get to talk that much while you were trail running.

Vanessa: My full life story?

Lisa: Yeah, what’s your story?

Vanessa: Oh my goodness. We're going to be here. I'm telling you the good stuff. The highlights.

Lisa: Yeah, the highlights.

Vanessa: I wish we had enough time at the photo shoot, but this is good. This is a good second choice. So… I... my goodness, I am so happy to be out West, but I have not been out West my whole life. I'm a transplant to Montana. I've been in Bozeman for two and a half years. And prior to Bozeman, I was in Salt Lake City, prior to Salt Lake I was in Denver. So I've been at West for several years, but way back when I originated, Vanessa originated in the South in Georgia. I went to the university of Georgia for college. I love, love, love Athens. If you've never been, you should definitely visit. I'm not even a big music person, but it's a music town, has a lot of culture and it's so cool. It was a great spot to be for college. I was there for my undergrad and grad school.

And then I moved to the city and quickly realized the city was not for me. And I had this draw to be out in the mountains. A lot of people don't know, and this is like a big secret I'm going to share on your podcast, Lisa, are you ready?

Lisa: I’m ready.

Vanessa: I'm a retired CPA. So I used to be a certified public accountant, which like doesn't really suit me, which is why I don't do it anymore. [laughs]

Lisa: Yeah.

Vanessa: And I worked in Atlanta for a big four accounting firm before I said peace out and moved out to Colorado to study holistic nutrition. And, I didn't do that for very long. That also wasn't right. For me. What you'll learn about me very quickly is that I don't hesitate to figure out what I’m meant to do on this earth. I don't stay in things for too long. I never put money in front of happiness. And my journey to Montana has been the perfect depiction of that because each place I was there to come and figure out if this was the right spot. And now that I'm in Montana doing what I love, it feels like I've finally landed on that and I can't wait to see where I go from here.

Oh, I've been doing long course triathlons for 13 years. That's a really big part of my life as well.

Lisa: Oh yeah, about that.

Vanessa: In college I was a collegiate rower, and it's actually a pretty common transition from rowing to cycling because you use the same muscles. And when I went to... when I left school, when I graduated, I was looking for something to kind of fill that void.

I started running at that point, trained for a half marathon. In route to my first half marathon, I thought, why don't I just try this sprint triathlon? I hadn't swam in years. I swam like the week of the race. I think I got in the pool two or three times. I borrowed my dad's bike. He was six four, and it did not fit me. I did not know how to shift. And I just borrowed it, rode around the block and I was like, this'll work. And I lined up to my first start line in 2007. And it was the most fun. It probably took me double the amount of time. It would take me today, but it didn't matter. I like, I got my money's worth, I the best time and the finish line, like the community of it was so electrifying.

I had been around runners. I loved runners. I'd been around cyclists. I did not love being around cyclists. And being around triathletes was like the perfect mesh. And I found my people. And from then on out, I was just hooked and I eventually landed into long course triathlon. That just felt like a better, a better spot for me.

Lisa: Yes. And that has gone really well. You have qualified for the Ironman world championships.

Vanessa: Yes. Yes. I have done five full Ironman races, countless 70.3’s, but yes, Iron Man, Chattanooga 2019, I qualified for Kona. And I'm so excited to go race Kona. Whenever that's going to be.

Lisa: When is that going to be?

Vanessa: Well, it was scheduled for October 10th, 2020. And it’s now been rescheduled for February 6th of 2021. And fingers crossed that it happens in February. It would be iconic. The first, I believe it was the first year or the second year of Kona… 1982? There were two Konas in the same year, one in February and one in October. Yeah, I think it was 1982. I think this is going to be the 40th anniversary of having two Konas in the same year, because 2020 will happen in February, 2021 will happen as scheduled in October. So it's going to be a really, really special start line and finish line, and I'm really looking forward to it.

Lisa: And now you're a mental endurance coach for people who want to qualify for Kona.

Vanessa: Yes, I am.

Lisa: And like, how are you needing to use your own coaching skills now? Because you were so prepared and now it's like a year later, like what what's happening there?

Vanessa: It’s really interesting that you asked that question, like in that way, because... so I'm a, I'm a certified life coach and I use those tools and coach people on emotional health as it relates to, you know, having a performance mindset and reaching our truest potential. And that's true on the race course or off the race course. So yes, I have to use those skills within my own training, especially as my season has been my like off season, I kind of call it, has been lengthened in the space of building up to the race. But it's also really, really relevant as it comes to what's happening outside of triathlon. Right? There's so much uncertainty, there can be so much stress and overwhelm and worry, and those emotions are often not processed appropriately. In our educational system and as we grow up, we're not... emotional health is something that's not taught, which I hope that changes. I hope so much that changes over the next couple of years that we as humans learn how to process our emotions because we're... in a state like right now it's uncertainty, if we're not truly processing our emotions, then that builds up and impacts every aspect of our life. So yes, I am coaching myself to be... to learn how to use my emotional health in a way that's useful for my daily life, you know, as a coach for other people and just like in my relationships and my marriage, in my relationship with my mom who also lives in Bozeman, but also to show up to my training in a way that's useful and impactful and proactive to build fitness and not take away from my fitness.

Lisa: And so that too is a relationship with your... relationship with your sport.

Vanessa: Yeah. With my sport, with myself and continuing to build that integrity with myself, because I think that's a really, really fascinating part of endurance sport, especially those that are interested in leveling up is that if you don't particularly spend the time building the integrity with yourself and understanding what that means, you miss out on so much potential to level up and be a better version of yourself as an athlete.

Lisa: I love this. I'm so excited for this conversation. What does it mean to level up to you? What does that mean?

Vanessa: What does it mean to level up... to me, it means a couple things. One, as I just kind of alluded to, being in a hundred percent integrity with yourself. Two, trusting yourself, and that you will have your own back, no matter what. And then three, not being afraid to let it all go to shit. I don't know if I can, I don't know if I can cuss on the podcast, but I just did.

Lisa: Sure can. Not being afraid to let it all go to shit.

Vanessa: Because so often we hold back, we hold ourselves back in sport and in life because we're afraid of what could happen - and that could be success or failure. And so we become smaller versions of ourselves. And when we can open up to that sense of, “well, you know, maybe this goes to shit. Maybe I fail. Maybe I totally let this person down, I let myself down.” If we can open up to that and actually gives us the opportunity to level up in a totally different way.

Lisa: Mhmm. This is like a good preview for people who would hire you as a coach.

Vanessa: Yes. Yes. I will show you how to level up. [laughs]

Lisa: Yeah!

Vanessa: And not be afraid to process those emotions. That's a big part of it.

Lisa: Okay. I have so many questions. So what... obviously this is a fast podcast, but for our listeners, like what does it mean to be integrity with yourself?

Vanessa: It means simply... like the simplest way I can describe it is doing what you say you would do when you said you would do it. Which seems so simple to say it out loud, but in practice, what happens is we have two primary parts of our brain, our prefrontal cortex and our primitive brain. Our primitive brain is the one that likes to give into the sense of pleasure and instant gratification. And it's the one that is always speaking to us when the alarm goes off super early in the morning, and the bed feels way more snugly than going out for a run or hitting the pool, or, you know, whatever the case may be. Whatever's on the schedule or whatever's planned. The prefrontal cortex takes over. And we fall into making excuses or kind of changing up our training plan. I like to call it either micro quits or like, total quits. If we just give up on the training session that’s a total quit, if we micro quit, it's when we, you know, make it an easier training session or even push it back later in the day, even though we know we're perfectly capable of getting out of bed and getting it done.

There's a difference between sleeping terribly or being injured and knowing that you need to change things up. I'm not saying that that's not valid, but we all know that we've been in that place where we're like, “Oh, I'll just do this later.” And then later now fucking happens either. Right? [laughs] So being in integrity is that simple space of planning ahead of time, which is where our prefrontal cortex comes into play. Our more evolved brain. We schedule things ahead of time when we say, okay, okay. Tomorrow at 6:00 AM I’m going to get up, at 6:30, I'm going to go for a run, 6:30 to 7:30, and then, you know, by eight I'm having breakfast and getting ready for my day. whatever, whatever works for us individually.

And then we stick to it because we said we would. And the more we do that, the more we're in practice of following through on ourselves, the more integrity we build.

Lisa: Absolutely. I love that. And then too, you said trusting yourself. So obviously if you have integrity with yourself, you're able to trust yourself.

Vanessa: Yes, yes. And trusting that you're making the best decision with the most information at the time. So again, if you... like, last night I slept terribly and I really wanted to stay in bed and not get up and go and jump into a cold pool to get my swim in. And I had to have that quick conversation with myself this morning, like, “okay. Is it more reasonable for me to sleep longer and swim later? Or do I just need to, you know, get up and see what happens to the pool?” Cause we always have the opportunity to bail later, right? If we don't... if it's not a session that's going to be high quality, if we're kind of digging ourselves into a hole, we can make those decisions from a much cleaner place when we trust ourselves. So for me this morning, I knew that I only really had one right opportunity to swim. And it was at 5:30 in the morning because the pool is open right now. And I'm here with you recording this podcast. So I needed to get the swim in. And I also know that on Mondays, I have generally active recovery swims. They're not super hard swims. So I had the choice and it made the most sense for me to go swim. And then also I had to trust myself that next time I always need to pay attention to what's on the schedule for the next day, because I went to bed too late last night. Like I need to take responsibility for that. I did not set myself up well to get up and swim this morning. And I also didn't sleep well.

So building the trust, knowing that you're making the best decision for yourself at the moment.

Lisa: Mhmm. And then three is not being afraid to let it all go to shit.

Vanessa: Yeah. Yeah. Not being afraid to fail. Failure is such a loaded state.

‘Cause it's like a state of being, right, that we're afraid of. It's a state of being that could include so many different emotions: disappointment, sadness, unworthiness. So many things. Shame, oh, shame is a big one, right? So it's a state of being, and it keeps us in a place where we don't want to extend beyond what we think we know we can be successful at. Very often in life and in sport we do the things... we work in a way so that we have guaranteed success. We want to do things because we think it will make us successful. What would be different if we flip the switch and we were like, actually, I'm gonna to try all these things with the expectation that I'm going to fail. How much more creative would we be? How much would we learn about ourselves in that trial and error process? Right?

That is applicable when it comes to sport too. Maybe you like, not necessarily... if you don't coach yourself, maybe you don't have as much to choose in terms of what your training sessions look like. But you can still show up in a space of like, yeah, I feel terribly, but I'm going to still go for this because if I fail, that's worse than not trying at all. Because what happens is we fail ahead of time. When we quit without trying, we just fail ahead of time. And so we’re failing on the backend. We want to avoid failure, but we just fail anyway. Isn’t that fascinating?

Lisa: It is fascinating. It is. And for our listeners, it's highly applicable to creative work as well, you know, where you're scared to try something new with your camera, or you're scared to launch a campaign that might get some backlash, you know, like it is super applicable on the athlete side, as well as that business side, as well as the creative side.

Vanessa: Yeah. Yeah. With the, with the creative side, there's the layer of other people's judgment that comes into play. And that's a huge part of the space of being willing to fail. Because the thing we think other people will think about our work is what we already think. So if you think it's not good enough, or if you think someone else is going to say, Oh, that's not good enough, or that's a shitty photo or whatever, it's because you already think that. You're just projecting it on someone else. And if that wasn't true - anyone can challenge me on this - it wouldn't show up in your brain. So you have to be willing to take the responsibility of that as well. And stop being worried about what other people think it's such a useless use of energy.

Lisa: It is. It is. And how does, I mean, I'm sure... I'm not a pro athlete, but I'm sure that those results start to affect kind of the process and kind of like, what those results will say.

Vanessa: The race results?

Lisa: Race results. Yeah.

Vanessa: Yeah, yeah. And that's, yeah, for sure.

Lisa: That’s objective, right, that's less about what someone thinks, but it's more about like a number on a board.

Vanessa: Yeah. And what it does as well, also plays in is comparing ourselves to our past selves or what we've accomplished in the past. And it doesn't matter what space we're in, whether it's sport or work, we think about the possibility of the future based on what we've done in the past. This is just how the brain works. This is a natural human functioning brain. And when we work within that space, then we're always limited by what we've done in the past. So like adults athletes as well, you know, sometimes they look back to college years. And are like, “Oh, I used to be able to do this.” Or even before that, you know, when they held records at certain places.

And so when we stay within that, we, A, are comparing ourselves to past selves, which, we were completely different person then, but also limiting the possibility of what we could create beyond that. And if we're in a different sport, like if you used to be a runner and now you're a triathlete, or you used to work in a different creative realm and now you're, you know, transitioning to something new, then you limit your potential by being confined by your past.

And that's the space that I was in before qualifying for Kona. You know, I... I'm an adult learned summer, and this is some of the limiting beliefs that I had. I've never... you know, learned to swim as an adult. I've never, I didn't grow up as a swimmer. I didn’t griw up playing sports. I was a speech and debate kid in high school. I mean, come on. And then I went to college and I decided to pick up rowing, but you know, that fear and those limiting beliefs held me back for a while. And before my Kona qualifying race, I hadn't ever been on an Ironman podium before. I'd never been on a podium. And I was like… for awhile that held me back. Until I began doing this work on myself and coaching myself around this mental endurance and around this space of what this possibility really looked like, I said, fuck it.

You know, like instead of, instead of trying to reach for a podium spot, I was like, you know what, I'm going to set an impossible goal to win my age group. I'm just gonna blow them all out of the water. That's what I decided.

Lisa: And you did.

Vanessa: Well, spoiler alert, I did not win. I got second, but I felt like I won. I felt like I won because the entire year leading up to that -or actually, it's really like the six months leading into it - I built up so much integrity with myself. I trusted myself in a way I'd never have before. And I was willing to feel any emotion along the way. But on race day, I knew I would give everything I had. And if it meant that there was someone across the line ahead of me, that was okay because I showed up with my best race and I still got a Kona spot. And I was really, really grateful for that. But I honestly felt like I won the day. And the woman that beat me - I can't wait to see her in Kona because now I set a goal to beat her. She is Mississippi and I'm from Bozeman. And on the day, on race day, it was snowing here, back at home. And it was 95-feels-like-105 in Chattanooga.

And she said (nd we'll never know if this is true, but I just love the fact that she decided to tell me this) that if we were in like normal conditions or like, if we were racing in Bozeman or if we were in like 70 degrees, she's like, you would have beat me. Like, I train in this all the time. I train in 95 degree heat and look at you coming from Bozeman and showing me what's up and I was like, Oh, we’ll, we'll see.

Lisa: Man that's cool, women are cool.

Vanessa: Women are cool. Women are very cool. We had a great relationship. I couldn't wait to meet her after the race. And I'm... yeah. Now I have a lifelong friend who I will beat, you know, it's good competition. [laughs]

Lisa: I love that you own the competitive side of your personality because I think that being competitive is great.

Vanessa: I do too. I do too. You know, depending on... you can say that for a lot of different qualities. And I think there are some people that do tend to like shy away from being competitive. Again, I think in my past I was that way. I didn’t want to be outwardly competitive because then I thought people would think that I'm like conceited or, you know, some sort of other descriptive word. And yeah, and I noticed that like, I'm just projecting what I thought they would... what I already thought about myself. I just released that, knowing that I'm not, like, I'm, I'm a confident person, but in no way am I trying to bring other people down, I'm trying to bring the collective up. Then I can, you know, hold onto that a little bit stronger.

Lisa: Absolutely. Because if something is possible for you to do it's possible for another to do, and then you just kind of, the whole bar starts leveling up.

Vanessa: Mmm Hmm. A hundred percent.

Lisa: Yeah. Oh man. We have not gotten to the Diversify Triathlon Movement. And I want to make sure we talk about that.

Vanessa: Okay.

Lisa: What is it? How'd you start this idea? And how can people get involved?

Vanessa: Okay. So backstory on the diversify triathlon movement is this: I'm going to be super frank about it because I want to like, kind of give you a little bit of an insight into what happened for me on my, like the business side of things.

So as we talked about, you know, I'm a mental endurance coach. I work with athletes who want to qualify for Kona, who want to level up and take that next step and show up differently as an athlete, which spills over into life. So my business directly supports Ironman and Ironman is a brand of triathlon. They put on Kona, the Ironman world championships. So call it about a month ago. I think it was June 10th, Ironman as a brand had not put out a statement on BLM, the black lives matter movement. And that didn't sit well with me because I felt like I like this company that I support that for so many years, I wanted to hear from them and what they were doing.

And so I found myself... you know, for that reason, but also for my own personal journey, I'm a biracial woman. My dad was black. My mom is German. And I was feeling a lot of shame and guilt about the privilege that I grew up in, you know, I race this very expensive sport and I've noticed over the course of the last 13 years that start lines are not diverse.

And so I was in the space of... okay, I either need to pivot my business because I don't want to continue to support a company that's not supporting BLM, or I need to become the leader that I'm waiting for. And I decided on the latter. So I... the reason behind it was to start something and to not be someone else that just wanted to talk about it, but do something about it.

And for me, I know that a confused mind says no. And so I wanted to make it as simple as possible for people to say yes. And a simple way to change the landscape of triathlon, even if it had to be on a small level right now, and then build into something bigger. Because if we, if me as an individual, you as an individual, try to attack all of the barriers to entry to triathlon or anything that's less diverse, that's where we get stuck because we can't do it all. And so for me, the one barrier that I wanted to approach to start was knowledge and support. Sothe basis for the diversified triathlon movement brings together BIPOC athletes. So black, indigenous, and people of color who are already athletes with an interest in triathlon, and I'm pairing them with triathlon coaches.

And those coaches are providing three months of support - coached workouts, training plans and support. Because I want to knock down that first barrier or one of those barriers, knowledge and support. That was the basis of it. And, um, from there it's going to build it's, it's not a one and done, but this is my way to bring more diversity and inclusion to triathlon.

Lisa: This is so tactical.

Vanessa: Yeah, it's super actionable. That's the thing. Is that it didn't… it was an easy yes for a lot of people. I found the coaches first because I mean, when I had the idea, I actually was like, okay, how am I going to find coaches? I was a little bit worried about it. I knew I had to find coaches first because I'm not a conventional triathlon coach.

So I don't prescribe swim, bike, run workouts. If I found the athletes, I would have no coaches to coach them. So I asked myself, okay, who do I know... I've been a part of five triathlon clubs in the course of my 13 years. So I just sat down and I just asked my brain, I exhausted my brain, I came up with 22 names. And I was really, really proud of that. And I thought, okay, this is possible. I can do this.

And I reached out to those 22 coaches and within like 12 hours, nine or ten of them were in and I thought, okay, I'm going to do this. So my original goal was 30 athletes, and I needed to find enough coaches to support 30 athletes.

Long story short, it blew up way bigger than I thought it was going to. The power of social media was amazing. I've never seen it before, I’ve never been on the receiving end of the power of social media and sharing and things like that. And I actually increased my capacity from 30 athletes to 50 athletes. So I have 25 coaches and 50 athletes. And the only requirement was that they had to be willing to take on one athlete and give them the three months of training.

So that's what's happening. And I have other companies supporting the athletes and we're doing some Zoom workshops. I actually just emailed the athletes right before this, about a nutrition workshop we're doing in early August and then a running biomechanics workshop we're doing in the beginning of September. And we're just rocking and rolling. And this is round one.

Lisa: Round one!

Vanessa: Yeah. Yeah. It's not going to be a one and done. We're going to keep going.

Lisa: Oh my gosh. So where'd you find the athletes?

Vanessa: I just did an open call. That's where social media came up. I made a post on Instagram and Facebook and then a bajillion people reshared it. And I had a simple jot form. There was a link in the post and they just had to submit the jot form with, you know, basic information - location, email address, age, where they're located and then their current experience in swim bike run or triathlon.

And I think one of the ways that I made it simple and the right people responded is because I asked for BIPOC athletes. So people that are already active, maybe in... you know, maybe they run, maybe they play basketball. Maybe they played badminton. It literally didn't matter, but they're already kind of in that mindset, but they had an interest in triathlon and they didn't, they don't know where to start. And so this gives them the opportunity to have someone in their corner. And that is what I was really passionate about.

Lisa: That's incredible.

Vanessa: I'm excited to see where it goes.

Lisa: Where can... so a lot of, a lot of our listenership consists of brand managers and marketing managers. Where can people learn more and figure out if, if their companies can get involved?

Vanessa: Yeah. So they can... it's all my social accounts. So Instagram and Facebook, Vanessa Faye Foerster. And then I have a website which is So there's updates, I have blog updates on what's happening. And I have a list there of the companies that are supporting the athletes already, and I'm actually sharing them, I shared the first round last week and I shared something today and I'm kind of rolling out the companies that are supporting on my Instagram as well as on the website.

Lisa: Mmm. I can't wait to check that out.

Vanessa: Yeah.

Lisa: We will definitely put notes to that and, or links to that in our show notes for this podcast too. So for everybody listening you can find it.

Vanessa: Perfect. One of the two ways that they can be so they can support the athletes is a company called Tund Her Try, uh, is, is we're creating a fundraiser to support the athlete’s first race registration. So that's going to be launching next month, middle of August, and then Smash Fest Queen has created a triathlon kit for the athletes and, um, anyone can purchase a kit. That's actually launching tomorrow. Anyone can purchase the kit and all the proceeds are being donated right back to that race registration fund.

Lisa: Perfect. This podcast comes out in three days, so it will be ready.

Vanessa: Perfect, it will be out and live.

Lisa: Yeah. Woof, amazing. I could talk to you all day.

Vanessa: I wish we could.

Lisa: I know!

Vanessa: That would be so fun.

Lisa: But what have I not asked you that you would like to share with our listeners?

Vanessa: Hmm. I would love to give the listeners one tactical way to practice their own mental endurance. If that's... if you think that's useful for them.

Lisa: Oh yeah. Can't wait. I’m on the edge of my seat.

Vanessa: [laughs] and this can be applied to sport or life or work. So the easiest way I want to describe it is being willing to lean into the resistance. So notice when you don't want to do something or your natural tendency is to quit or to do something else. So for example, you know, if you're on a run and you plan to do three by eight minute threshold intervals, and you don't feel like doing the intervals, so you do an aerobic run instead. Or you're doing something at work and you have like four different things on your to do list and you always gravitate towards the easiest things and leave the hardest things for last, which means you run out of time and you either do them in a terrible way or you don't get that done at all. So these are examples of micro quits, and so you might not necessarily quit altogether, but you don't stay in integrity as we kind of talked about earlier. So this is an opportunity to lean into the resistance.

Micro quits can be micro-commitments with just a slight change in focus. So what I want to offer is that you can decide to lean in ahead of time instead of shy away. So not wanting to do something, whether it's work or sport, is actually one of the greatest reasons why we should. And if you're willing to accept that and try it on for size, I think you actually will see that you can build your integrity from very small micro commitments and just build from there.

Lisa: Mm! Love it. Love it. What, um, what's an example of like how you use that, not in sport, but in life.

Vanessa: Hmm. Uh, what I just said about to do list stuff. So like, I made a list yesterday and the things I wanted to do and I noticed myself this morning going to the easy stuff first. And then I leave like four of the hardest things that I don't want to do. And then as soon as I start doing one of those, then I notice like, I get easily distracted. I might check my Instagram. Or I might get up and get a snack when I know I'm not hungry, right? It's just my brain telling me, okay, let's go find something more pleasurable to do versus this more difficult thing, because your brain is wired to look for pleasure, go away from pain, and be as efficient as possible.

So I notice those things and then I come back and I get more focused on the things that actually the harder things usually make the most impact. So just being more aware of that so we can change it.

Lisa: Sounds life-changing.

Vanessa: It is. That's why it's called life coaching.

Lisa: Life coaching! Ah!

So people can follow you on your Instagram. Where else can people find you online? Is that the best place to send everyone?

Vanessa: Yeah, and I have a website as well, which is my, my name,

Lisa: Excellent. Excellent. Well, thank you so much for your time. And yeah, I can't wait to stay in touch and it's been amazing.

Vanessa: Yeah. Thank you so much again for having me on. If anyone has any questions about anything I am always willing, you can reach out. You can DM me on Instagram. You can chat. And Lisa, I hope that we go do some more photo shoots. Let's play in the mountains.

Lisa: Yeah.

Lisa: All right. Thank you so much for listening and to our audience, I told you that was going to be a good one. I really enjoyed that episode and I hope that you got a lot of good takeaways. I know I did. And that was a fun one.

So you can follow Vanessa online. We do have links to these in our show notes, but on Instagram it’s Vanessa V-A-N-E-S-S-A F-A-Y-E F-O-E-R-S-T-E-R, Vanessa Faye Foerster. And from there you can find her website, as well as

If you like this podcast, which I hope you do, sometimes I feel a little socially awkward on it because as an artist, sometimes I'm a little bit socially awkward. But if you like it, and I love it and I work really hard at it. And Iris works really hard at it. Feel free to go to wherever you listen to podcasts and give us a five star review. If you think we've learned it and write a comment, it really helps it get into the ears of more people. And we appreciate it a lot.

And thank you for listening. Thanks for putting us between your ears. And I think having the ability to get in the heads of people, having a podcast and having listeners like you is really meaningful.

And thank you so much. Have a good day. Bye.

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