Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a painful, debilitating, far-off and a tragic experience that affects many veterans and civilians. Within the tragedy of PTSD, there are beacons of hope, healing, and empowerment that serve to use their experience as a platform for good.
In this episode, Adam Hill speaks with Eric Beach, a coach and mentor, a filmmaker, a speaker, and co-founder of Project Echelon, a charitable foundation that helps educate, equip, and empower veterans through physical activity and sport. Eric also hosts the YouTube channel, The Journey Well, a place of ease, surrender, and growth through tarot.
Today, Eric generously shares his stories and experiences through childhood, his military service, coping with self-destructive behaviors, and how he continues to rise above and flow over fear.
Here are some power takeaways from today’s conversation:
- What it was like growing up
- The moment that he gave himself permission to be himself
- How hate fades through interaction
- Why language matters
- Why he’s grateful for the dark moments of his life
- The art of tarot reading
Hello, everyone, and welcome to flow over fear. And I’m really excited about this show today because I have one of my really good friends. And if you have never been in the army or been in the military, it’s really, really difficult for most of us cannot even begin to fathom what it’s like to fight in a war, nor what it’s like to experience PTSD. But for those that do, it’s painful, debilitating and far off and a tragic experience that affects many veterans and civilians. And within the tragedy of PTSD, there are beacons of hope. And there are beacons of healing, and empowerment that serve to use their experience as a platform for good. And representative of that is my guest today, Eric beech. He is the co founder of Project eschelon, a charitable foundation that helps educate, equip and empower veterans through physical activity and sport. He also hosts the YouTube channel, The Journey well, a place of ease surrender and growth through Taro. Yes, Taro. And we’ll get into that in a bit later and self development. And it’s a damn good channel if I do say so myself. He’s a coach and mentor, a filmmaker, a speaker, a creator, He is a husband and a father and I’m proud to call him my friend man this pages long with all the stuff you do Eric beach. He’s here with me today to share his wisdom and how he continues to rise above fear. Welcome, Eric. Thank you for having me, Adam, as always, I’m super super pumped to have you here because I, your story is just it’s amazing. And I want to share about how we met. Because when we met I was in full impostor mode. Imposter Syndrome mode I was, we had just been cast for a show called Iron Man quest for Kona, Eric is also an Iron Man finisher finished two full Iron Man’s and number of 70 Point threes number of triathlons part of his total badass madness. But when we met, we were we had been cast on this on this show. And it was going to feature 10 Ironman athletes on their quest to achieve the World Championship. And of course, when I was cast, the very first thing I did was I looked up everybody else who’s on the show. And I immediately felt overwhelmed and intimidated. Because the very first video I saw was Eric beech, talking about his military service, talking about PTSD, talking about how he started a foundation to help other military people who are struggling with overcoming that through sport. And I was just so inspired. And I’m so privileged that you became such a good friend over over the last few years. So can you so I want to go back in time and just talk about your, your service. But I want to start from where you were, as a child, tell, tell us about young Eric beach? And what, what you experienced what your mindset was like back when you were a kid? Yeah. So that’s a wonderful reflection. And I want to jump into that too, because there’s so much wrapped up in that. But
the little me was a creative kid. I you know, from the ages, I don’t know, up to like five or six, I was a really outgoing kind of happy go lucky. lost in my own imagination, big imagination, a kid like to rough and like rough and tumble, wrestle, whatever. And then at around age eight, I think things changed because that world experience shifted in the hands of an abusive man, not my father, my father, he was a very good man, but a very angry man and a man that had his own shadow and his own wounds. And he was breaking the cycle of abuse that he experienced by doing it better than his dad did. And so on and so forth, up the generations comes down to me, you know, and so now I’m getting the chance to rectify what I didn’t like that he did. But at any rate, his anger, mixed with the abuse from other men outside the family was one that took my voice and trumpet. And I remember this other day I was going through, we just moved to Milwaukee a year ago, I’m going through files and stuff. And I find these things that we keep from childhood, like the second grade reports and, and different things where teachers write notes. And, you know, I’m 38 now and I’m like, oh, let’s look and see and not thinking anything of it. But then I found two things that were really interesting. The first one was a collection of baseball cards that I had. In it, I had this vanilla paper, and this is gotta be I don’t know, second, second grade. And I wrote scratched into this. I took all the stickers from all the baseball teams I collected and it was like my thing, you know, organize it. And every card I got I would make the stickers and it was this beautiful experience. But I was alone and I wrote on top of it. People like you.
It really gutted me because I was this little kid. Whether I had reason to or not. I believe that everyone here
did me that I was worthless at a very young age. And that set the standard for me I had to write people like you. In this little notebook, no one would ever see. And that broke my heart. And then I went and I saw the, the the grade reports of how Eric is an outgoing class, he offers so much to the class, we just love having him in around the time of the abuse. That message changed. The teachers now wrote, he’s risk reclusive, he’s shying away, he’s lost, no, like, he didn’t say I lost energy. They didn’t know me any different. They just said that I didn’t have it, and that I was reclusive. And I was like, Jesus Christ like this. That’s a mark in history that I didn’t remember. But now I know. Because of the things I experienced, I created a worldview that took all of my creativity, all of my desires, and pressed it underneath this box of trauma, as well as worldviews from a very strict a Christian upbringing, that said, These things like tarot, are bad, they are evil, they’re gateways to hell, they are not. But as a child, you believe what your parents say, and you replicate that environment. So I started to go on this path of failure, intentional failure, I didn’t realize it, I would do something very good be a natural at it. This carries over to Iron Man, which we can talk about, I was naturally gifted at things could pick things up very quickly. And I would get a little bit of praise. And then I’d be too afraid because I started to get attention. And when I got attention, that’s when I got touched. That’s when I got hurt. So I didn’t like that I like to get a little granule of it. And then retreat before it got to be too intense. And that was my narrative. And I had a lot of depression. I had a lot of suicidal ideation all the way through middle school in high school. And it wasn’t even that big of a deal with things that happened to me in certain moments. But it was the biggest deal in the world. Because I was looking in my world to find reasons why I shouldn’t be here. And when you look that hard, you will find answers everywhere. And so that was that was childhood me. Wow. So So you, so let’s kind of dig into that. So that. So you were you were outgoing at one time. So you had that attitude of like everybody loved you and everybody, but that that switch flipped on your script on the perspective that you were telling yourself that you weren’t enough. And so you had to actually have that affirmation of, of know, people like me.
So tell us about how that switch flipped, if you would like how, what was the was the traumatic experience within family? Was it in? You mentioned the church? Or yeah, there’s, there’s so many things. And, you know, it’s like picking one incident, I have never been able to do that. But I’ve got a series of them. And whenever I speak about my father, I’m not here to tell you that he was bad. But I do believe we have to unpack the things we didn’t like. And he had a temper. Like if I made one mistake, like I had a protractor 25 cents or something like that, I left it out. And my dog chewed it up and ate it. And he laid into me, like so you’re just crashed the car. So you’re telling us your dog ate your homework? Is that
the tool to do the homework? You couldn’t do the homework because the tool was eaten at him. That’s right. Yeah, you took it to? You took it to another level. Erica, my teachers are never gonna believe me. Okay, so teachers, that’s another one this this is where it really did shift and a lot of ways. So I did have a bad experience with Cub Scouts, where the leader had touched me inappropriately, that was one of two men in my life that touched me inappropriately. The other one was a band teacher in private lessons. And so these were very much rooted in I love music, it still moves my soul I perform, I love it. And he took that from me in a way this man and I,
I really think that the shift came around fifth grade, because up till then, you know, I’m kind of dodging my dad and anger and all that stuff. But then in fifth grade, my dad runs, not runs. But he he writes to the school board about the school that shouldn’t be made. And he makes good. He’s a brilliant man. He was he’s passed since eight years ago. But he was a brilliant man with it. He wasn’t wrong. And that bothered the hell out of me because he was always right. And seemed like and I’m like you mother.
Chill out a little bit, you know, right. But right. So he was right. And these people attacked him. Because Don Beach is against school and hates chilled, you know, all this stuff. And it was really hard on him. And then the train company that he worked for, went on strike. And he went and worked in the factories, and he was going through a lot. And he just wanted a little respect for me. And I didn’t give it to him because I didn’t feel he was safe. So we just always had this back and forth. Never communicate. Just respect me. No respect me. No, you know, this kind of dance. Talk about hell no, no.
So we’re doing this dance. And then the teachers at my school know who I am. They knew who my father is and start to take it out on me. They start to isolate me, they lose my homework, and I fail fifth grade. Or I’m going to wait until my dad comes to the school and says, you know, well, how is this possible? And they said, Well, he didn’t turn in his homework, his assignment
That that is worth a quarter, three quarters of his grade, whatever I don’t remember. And then my dad looks at the wall where all of the artwork is all of these big projects we’ve worked on all year. And he’s like, what’s that? And they’re like, oh, there it is, we are so sorry. And, and so what I didn’t realize was that he then to protect me made me take the sheet of paper that every teacher had to write everything good and bad. I did every single day. And I had to bring it home. And so like, I would walk home with this paper of the bad stuff that I did, all the way, a mile and a half, whatever, going, I’m dead, you know, so but he did that to help me and it broke the cycle. I didn’t know that until he’s dead. You know, like, we never had those conversations. So I’m just formulating all these things. Like, he doesn’t care for me, like people are just out to get me I can’t trust adults, I can’t trust people in positions of power. So that was my psychodrama.
That’s that’s talk about talk about a traumatic experience having to demonstrate nothing. I mean, kids are already under enough pressure already trying to demonstrate to teachers that they’re enough, you know, all that all that kind of stuff and doing that kind of stuff. But for you to have to go that extra step and be be brought into this drama, this politics. That’s, that’s a lot. That’s a heavy, heavy load for somebody who’s eight or nine years old. And on top of that, you know, the additional trauma that you face. So how did so you say you took that into middle school in high school? And how did that? How did those years start to look for you, they started look like I was a clown. I was I, I think that pattern goes, I don’t know who I am. So I’m going to figure out what makes me different than the other kids. And my humor, I was able to make my friends laugh more than my other friends might have been able to laugh. And so I leaned into that heavy, I didn’t act out in class really, or anything like that. But if we were in a group, all I wanted to do was laugh, all I wanted to do is make them laugh and what I didn’t, I reinforce it, I am in fact, a piece of garbage.
And now I don’t fit in because it was one piece of myself that was responsible for all of my joy. So I did carry that energy to every single relationship, every piece of value I had. I had these girls that I had crushes on in middle school. And all of a sudden, it’s hard to get these love letters. And I’m like, oh, secret admirer. This is my dream come true. And I did this, like scientific investigation because one of the letters had lipstick on it. And kids in middle school. Girls aren’t wearing lipstick, except for these one, except for this one girl in my class that day, who was my crush? And I was like, Hell, yes. Not that I would have known what to do with her if we went on a date. Together? I don’t know. Yeah, Mom’s gonna drive you in her minivan to the bowling alley. Yeah.
So I get this letter, and then I figured out who it is. And it’s both of the girls that I had crushes on. And then they told me that it was just a prank. And it like, gutted me to the point where I was like, I was so excited. And then I was so devastated. And so like, there’s a narrative of trust. And always like, you know, watching for who’s going to my dad would say, expect the worst hope for the best, that kind of thing. So never take anything as a gift. Like always be like, Oh, appreciate that. Yeah, yeah. But carrying into high school, it just gets more because you get hormones on board. And, you know, I had some bullying and stuff that I went through. And, you know, I just learned through my abuse from the men to just kind of tunnel vision. And so wherever chaos happened, I just walk in, don’t say a word, just kind of keep moving, and hope it just goes away. And that’s what I did with all my problems was just hope it goes away. Hope this ends soon, you know. And until one day, this is the power of teachers, the true power of teachers. I was a junior or senior I can’t remember which I was junior and our choir director. He said he was this incredible speaker nationally known just how we’re so lucky to have him and he said, you know, graduations coming around to you seniors. If the only mistake you make in high school is tripping. When you go to get your diploma. You’ve wasted your four years here. Now is the time to explore. Now’s the time to fail, and try things to see if you like it, because you don’t know until you try it. And I was like he is right. And then I started to go out and do things in front of kids. I started to broaden my horizons, I acted in a musical I did a talent show I won the talent show I sang in a gota DeVito and broke dance
in spandex and I won you know so and people started going Who the hell is this guy? You know? And, yeah, so I started to have a lot of fun. And you know, I got a standing ovation here. I got to standing ovations in high school my senior year, because I started to go out and do things and I fell in love with that. And then you know, 911 happens and well, I’m going to get to change course and I want to go serve my country because my dad, he was drafted in Vietnam and always said, Go to spend two years in the military to grow up everyone should do it. I disagree with that. But I understood at the time what he meant because he was a class clown too. Sure. Yeah. So that was that was kind of my high school summary. Well, so yeah, I and I want to kind of just put it here.
And in that regarding the, the teacher, because teachers are powerful, I have a lot of good friends that are that are great teachers. And I want to thank them a lot, because they just, they do so much for our world more than more than they know. And more than their pay for for sure. Because I mean that they’re just influencing the lives of hundreds of kids every single year. And so the power to say that, you know, it’s almost it sounds like that choir director by saying, you know that now is the time to fail gave you permission to be yourself, am I right? And that or does that Yeah, cuz that’s the thing. His name’s Paul Goldberg. And the thing about it was, he didn’t have to speak directly to me. Because it’s general for everybody, there’s a universal truth, you have to explore. And, to this day, one of I don’t like my birthday, partly because of something that happened in Iraq. But I look forward to every year he writes me a happy birthday message custom personalized to me, really well, just almost every one of his students, like just go. So he’s writing 1020, personal birthdays, plus all he’s doing and makes a big deal to everybody that he does it too, I look forward to every year one of my favorite apps, that’s the power of the power of a personal note from somebody that means a lot to you. I mean, that’s such a simple thing. And if anybody hears this, you know, take out a take out a thank you note, take out just a blank card. Think of somebody who means a lot to you just write them a note, send it to him, I guarantee you’re going to change the trajectory of that person’s day. I mean, it’s just, it’s incredible. So, so yeah, so that giving you the freedom to be yourself, open up those doors to those next that next year. So it was just was was greater for you, because you’re being yourself. But then 911 happens. You have this draw, whether it’s from you know that the experience of your dad or or, or, or just the personal draw to join the military. So tell us how that came about what what happened there. I think the one thing that you might, I didn’t say is, I was really ruled by fear, in many ways, is just afraid. And fear for me is rooted in death at a primal sense, you know, that I’ll be cut out from my group, and I’ll be alone and the lone wolf dies. And so, in this moment of anger, like I get angry, when I’m afraid I react, and that’s how I’d rather fight you physically, than have a conversation at that time, just because that’s how my body would react. And so when 911 happens, I have the same reaction, you know, after they’re like, Are you kidding me? This is happening. I wanted to fight someone. And so I applied to first 3d animation in Madison. I didn’t get accepted. So my alternative was 911 happens. And I’m like, Okay, well, that’s my sign, the universe says, Go fight. Now, the problem was that I was also expecting the military to teach me what it was to be a man because I didn’t have an understanding of what it meant to be enough. I went, and I didn’t go Rangers. But I, if I went to the Army Rangers and special forces, nobody could ever again question my manhood and nobody could ever say I’m weak. And that’s what I was looking for is I don’t want anyone and I’ve realized this through Ironman, no one will tell me that I am weak, because I am not weak, I am going to show myself that I am not weak. So no one can ever put me in that position to make me feel that way. Again, no thanks. So you’re validating yourself through that, through that trying to validate this, this this manhood that you wanted to wanted to show yourself that you were you had that quality? Yeah, under the guise of patriotism, which there was that? Sure, but I think most veterans would say, Yeah, patriotism is part of it. But there’s a lot of other reasons we go into the service. And so sometimes it’s tough to be called a super Patriot or like, yeah, forgotten country. And I’m like, No, not that quite, you know, yes. But no, there’s so much more to it than that. And, you know, when you’re in in the desert, and things are going wrong, you’re not thinking about your country, you’re thinking about this guy and this guy. Yeah, that’s all so it changes depending on the situation you’re in. And so it’s it’s more nuanced than that. But yeah, I, I wanted to serve. So graduated high school and went right to basic training that summer. Wow. So how long between 911? And when you joined? How long was that? See here? What is it do the math for me? September to July? Okay, so it’s just few months, let’s just say a few months, because I don’t want to do math either. So
somewhere between one and 12 months, yeah, this is not a math show, folks. This is automatic brain injury. I can’t do math. Yeah. And well, in fact, this show is called flow over fear and I’m afraid of math. So we’ll not even explore that. It’s a such a fear and let’s not even get over it.
So, so let’s let’s Yeah, so let’s talk about something more pleasant than math war for
No, sorry. But no. So yeah. So you get so you get into the military
Are you? So are you basic training? And then how long between basic training and when you get to
see the service or you start to get deployed? I didn’t look like I did once I did. It’s called offset training. So it’s one stop unit training, something like that. So it was zero week plus nine weeks of basic, and then it rolled into 17 weeks of a it. I believe the math was. So essentially, it was 21 weeks that I was in the same barracks with the same guys. That basic rolled into it. And so November, November, I think so it was July to November, I want to say I was in training before I went to the regular army. Gotcha. Okay. Gotcha. And then, and then when you were deployed, where did you go? What? What did that look like? And what was that experience of being deployed? What did that look like? For you? It was it was just a really nice summer abroad, you know?
Yeah. Europe adjacent. And yeah.
If you don’t like clouds, it was a fantastic trip. No, in this. Yeah. So the the thing that I say, because there was one day, probably mid tour, and a general comes through as generals do to kind of just walk and see like, hello, men. Hello, women. How was my fighting force? Good. See you next year, you know, and then leave or whatever. So they bring a couple of people from every unit to this lunch, and I got selected for whatever reason, I don’t know. Because I’m awesome. Anyway, I was chosen. And so I didn’t realize it, but he went through every single person stand up and tell you what the best part about being in war is, which I thought was a really strange question. Wow, that was a weird question. Are you trying to validate yourself and make yourself feel okay, like, they like being here, if they like being here, I’m not a bad man.
So I guess to me, and I had time to think about it. And, you know, everyone said, serving my country and so my family can sleep safe at night. And I’m like, really? I get it, but I haven’t thought about that at all. Am I a jerk? Maybe I just realized that they can’t hurt us over here more than one blitzkrieg kind of attack, you know, so they’re not going to jump in boats and come to our country and fight us. We’re, we’re okay there. But I realized that that was the first time in my life where I felt every single human emotional possible. And it was, it was only in six, six months or so. And sometimes it was in the same day. Like I felt hate. I felt love. I felt grief, I felt longing. I felt desire, I felt lonely. I felt connected.
I fell in everything possible to feel. And that is a spiritual experience. And I wish there was a way to experience it without it being in war. Hate does fade. I can tell you that hate I learned about because I didn’t hate I thought it you know, you say that you hate things. Yeah, you don’t you don’t really hate things. You strongly dislike things, you know, but we are overseas and we have this enemy who traditionally is wrapped in head wraps or looks a certain way. And they capture two of your guys and after three days you find them executed. I hated those people. Those people not that person. Those people and all sudden I’m walking around with a gun saying anyone give me a reason
I’m 1819 with a gun saying someone give me a reason to shoot you and I mean it. Yeah, so hate so hate there the difference between hate and dislike. So you mentioned you kind of you kind of split said
specify that difference there. So most people just strongly dislike things like strongly dislike Limburger cheese, yes. But hate goes that goes that Farther, farther direction of of you are willing to kill. I think my definition of of strongly disliking something because you wish it wasn’t in your life. Hate is you wish it didn’t exist. So to wish something out of existence is a different energy than saying, I’m just not going to buy Limburger cheese. Sure, sure. Set the party I’m going to not.
And so you say that hate fades? And how did so and I want to get into exploring feeling all the emotions and how war in particular drought drew you into that. But I want to I want to narrow down on that really quick, which is the hate fades. Because I know that there’s probably a lot of people that that resonates with because they’re probably feeling this, at least this feeling of strong dislike and it may be it may be rooted in fear. It may be rooted in in something that’s unhealthy. But they might you know, welcome that idea of well, how does that fade? What is the process by which that fades,
interaction interaction that you hate? Honestly, I realized, as I hated, I started to realize and we’re driving and we’re seeing these kids playing soccer and realizing that I don’t hate these people. You know, what a terrible thing to say. So I’m a sensitive guy. So it’s sometimes a faster response to me. But sitting with dignitaries sitting with the children talking with them, I had
The most impactful experience of my entire life was in that same deployment, like I said, hate to my heart is broken. How could I ever feel this way and happen on this one day, that best day of my life, also one of the worst, but the best part of my day on that day, as we’re driving into this town, there’s a bunch of crowd, which isn’t good, Alert, alert, there is now a truck on its side, there’s people crushed under it. And so we get out and we have a reaction force, like we know we do in this case, I have my MT four nine machine gun, I set up a perimeter on this part, this person goes 25 meters away, and we just guard Well, the the medics go save the life or treat the person. And so we’re doing that. And this group of about 10 Kids starts to approach me, I’m 2530 meters away from the nearest soldier, and I have the authorization to shoot. And I’m thinking, I’m not, I can’t, but I tell them to stop. If I give him two commands to stop, I’m authorized to fire. And I knew I wasn’t going to do that. And I knew I was sacrificing my life life for you know, ultimately, a group of people that I hated.
I hated the act. I didn’t hate the people. I just blame them. It’s like saying, I hate the Vikings or whatever sports team you want. Like, no, you don’t. It’s what the stamp is what the meaning is attached to the shuriken color. And it’s not that people are like so. But I got over it. Because I let these kids come I realized that I had a heart and I couldn’t take it out on children. It was these adults that were so skewed in their beliefs that I was mad at. And we’re just two warring factions that actually don’t care about what we’re fighting for. We’re just told to care. And so we’re fighting. And it’s Yeah, I mean, there’s, I’ve thought about that over the years. So this isn’t in the moment. But this this, this kids walk up, we’re talking. Samir is one of the boys. He speaks wonderful English. So I’m assuming he’s probably like the mayor or the I don’t know, their political structure. But he’s a notable child and their father is well known. And so we’re communicating, you know, are you safe? What what are you here for, and I’m explaining the role of a soldier and, and how we aren’t here to hurt you. Because if you see us in uniform, you can know that you’re safe. As long as you don’t approach you’re good. But if we can’t tell who the enemy is, we have no ability to feel safe. So that’s why we’re really, like standoffish, and I struck a chord with this girl. She was six, seven, something like that. And she comes to the crowd. Her name is Asana, which means beauty in Arabic, I believe, and she was beautiful. And it really struck me like, I still see her, you know. And she reached out to me with this little broken piece of plastic. I don’t know what it was. And I pushed her hand away. And she started crying immediately. And she kind of ran to the back of the group. And I was like, what Sameer what happened. And he said, That is her her favorite toy. It’s really one of the only things that she owns. And she wanted to give it to you because she believes you are good. And she was always afraid. And I was like, broken, like just tell her to come here. And she comes back. And I have a flak vest. I unbutton one of the snaps, where you know, we put things and put that there, she puts it on my chest, I snap it in, and she’s just happy. And so I have this little piece of plastic look like a broken Frisbee. It was nothing, she probably drew in the dirt with it. But it was meaningful to her. And she gave it to me. And it changed me fundamentally, in that moment. And I was like, That is the best thing I did in war. It wasn’t the gunfights it wasn’t the disposal of ammunition, it was the fact that I made a difference in a child’s life. I showed her the enemy wasn’t scary. And to me, that’s what I wanted when I was a kid. So I got to be that for this little girl in that moment. And it just like fundamentally shifted my perspective. And now when I feel angry and strong dislike towards people or belief system, I know I have to sit with that feeling. And once I meet one of them and sit at a table with that person, and hash out our differences and say here, this bothered me, I find out that we don’t disagree that much. It’s just the ideology. It’s just the verbiage. It’s just the claws that we think we’re fighting for, and are ultimately good people. We just don’t understand each other’s motives. And that’s what has stripped me from saying like I could never hate a person again. That’s powerful. That is incredibly powerful. Because what you’ve demonstrated there is that the most impactful experiences, at least from your perspective, for the most impactful experience in your wartime was an act of peace. And that just demonstrates that soldiers are not fighters. They’re their Peacemaker. I mean, they are peace. You know, I don’t know if that resonates with or maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe I’m speaking out of school, but that’s just
Yeah, okay. Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s a powerful, powerful story. And it’s such a powerful note to to take note of that, that hate fades by through connection through interaction. You know, if we’re feeling that
maybe it’s a it’s it’s an element of fear. Hate is an element of fear. And it’s an element of lack of understanding and it’s
And that connection, that interaction can be powerful. And that that really did,
you know, come from an act of, of courage or self sacrifice in that case, because you’re willing to put your life on the line to, you know, to be vulnerable on that on that instance. So that’s, that’s an incredible story. So moving through that war. What was what was?
What was that experience like of coming of? You’ve talked about coming back from war, and how it’s, it’s a, it’s an interesting experience, because the way you describe this is, it’s, it was really impactful to me, because it’s something that I would never understand coming from the environment of a battle of war of which you spent a lot of time to, you know, this world of civilian life in the United States of that kind of thing. So what was that like? And was there anything else in that in that experience of, of your deployments that, that, you know, might have influenced how you came back the way you did? Well, yeah, the the difference between war and a Friday night is a 14 hour flight. And that’s,
so the other thing that did impact me there was, there was so many I mean, it’s so innumerable, but on the theme of my childhood, my sergeant first class, he, here, we were in a firefight at one at two in the morning, and he ducked down into his seat, and didn’t give us the command to engage the enemy. So I as a specialist, I think at that time, told my vehicle to go black, which is flipped to semi and engage the enemy. Yeah. And after the gunfight after the firefight, and everything was fine. My leader said, I’m gonna lie, you know, smoke, man scared, you know, and I was so pissed. Because I am supposed to rely on you. You’re the same guy, who, who made fun of me in front of the rest of the noncommissioned officers when we were in Kuwait waiting to come up to our act, because I had cut myself in order to get in before we had deployed because I was in a suicidal state. And he’s like, Hey, is that true? Did you cut yourself used to cut yourself some shit like that?
Yeah, he’s like, Oh, well, you gotta with that, right? Crazy son of a bitch. Alright, you can go when I was like,
he called me over to chastise me about my cry for help or my, my, my self abuse that was manifesting some deep feelings from my childhood and stuff and, and chose that time to make fun of me for it. Wow, for whatever reason. So yeah, there was some situations that did carry with me. And it always does fulfill this narrative. Because when we feel fear, we want to feel safe. So we have this availability heuristic, we have the confirmation bias. So I’m filing away all of those things. And either saying, you can’t trust leadership, or people just want to hurt you. They don’t really care about you. So don’t get too close. So what’s a great way to not let anyone feel close to you? Drinking a shitload of alcohol. Yeah, well relatable. Absolutely.
Yeah. And nobody, right. That’s a way to alienate people right away. Yeah. So So drinking enters your life after you kind of can’t get it? Obviously, you can’t you lose that trust of your leadership of the people that you’re supposed to look up to. And you start to you start to drink heavily. Yeah. And so and obviously that, that, that,
that sergeant was it a sergeant Did you say or Sergeant First Class Sergeant First Class. So obviously, he was succumbing to fear by you know, kind of him taking care of himself first rather than his his team. So that’s
So fear is not the ideal of a leadership is not fearlessness. But it is courage. I mean, there is you have to you do have to rise above that level of fear. And it sounds like you had the capability to do that. But also leaned into alcohol too. So yeah.
I feel like that is something that you said, and I don’t know if this is accurate for me, but it’s clarity leads to courage, you know, like you have clarity and you can be courageous and I resonate so deep with me. But there’s something that’s strange that I would rather I’m not saying I want stuff to go wrong, but I feel the ability to react in those moments of trauma, in war, in a bar fight in different situations, good or bad. Like if something’s going on. I’m a good person to have with because I act. I don’t. I think I see clearly and I act I take good action. But if you give me a bad comment on Facebook
and the problem I realize is there’s nobody to fight
Is my mind perceiving that there is a threat. And then those I hate those worse. I hated the quiet moments in Iraq where nothing was happening more than when they finally shot at me, because it was the waiting for something to go wrong because then I was good. I was empowered when stuff went wrong. And so I think maybe sometimes I sought those out because I knew who I was in those moments in the gray, it sucks black and white. Yeah. If you’re gonna throw down, let’s throw down and I might get my ass whooped. Yeah, but at least we knew there was no gray area, you know? And I’m like, No, you need to live in the gray. But that’s where it scariest. Yeah. So you got the so that clarity led to courage, but it was, it was also.
So you found that you were validated by, you know, through the through the action through the fighting? Almost through that, you know, okay, now now I’m at my now this is where I can perform. Yeah. Yeah. So So then, you know, your deployments over, you’re coming home? What was that? What was that like for you for as far as it’s coming home for for that? And how did that how did that manifest into your, you know, the more of the PTSD? And that that sort of element that you experienced? Yeah, it’s a it’s an interesting process, because they call it delayed onset Post Traumatic Stress Disorder sometimes because there’s a coming down period, and then life has to happen. And I think the accumulation of sleep loss is what factored into me finally saying I had a problem. I drank a lot and drank very heavily. We all did. Yeah, I think I think that’s fair to say, in my unit, and we got disbanded. So that unit got shut down, and we got filtered out. So then we lost connection to all those guys we served with, which was another trauma in a sense, because please understand trauma is not just being molested, or it’s not just being beat. Trauma is anytime your world is causing you great upheaval like what, like if it disturbs you, that’s trauma. And so removing you from these brothers, that I had served with that are the only ones who understood my experience that, that now is with these people who have never deployed and they’re talking trash, because I seem to be weak. Yeah, well, that was trauma. It was it was reinforcement of trauma. And I lost all interest in service, I really did start to become not a piece of garbage, but I slept. I shammed I got cush deal as the mail clerk in this unit. Because I was in therapy, I finally said, I had a problem. And then they demoted me to mailroom, and I was like, sweet, I can take naps. And I just lock the room and hit I was not a good dude, I wasn’t bad. But I was lazy. And then I started to realize that I’ve been working really hard, like, I’m going to be lazy, you know, and I just didn’t care anymore. And that happened after I, you know, went to the first sergeant who was the leader of that company or that battery. And I had, you know, the report from the psychologist and, and he looked at the report, and he looked at my awards and saw some of the action that I had seen. And he said, I just have one question for you. If we deploy because that unit was getting deployment orders, they were going, can I rely on you to kill someone? And not that we’re like these mercenaries but fundamentally, a soldier has to be able to kill? Sure. And I broke down and said, I don’t know that I can. I could. I know that in the heat of the moment in battle, like you can do things. But I also knew the weight of that. And I did not want to experience it. So I said no. And I cried. And then he said, Okay, well, then I have no further use for you. Get out. And so my deployment when I when I left the military, it said I was medically retired or discharged. And it says no longer useful for military service. That’s what it says on my DD 214. And so I took that message, and I read no longer useful. And I left the military, and I lived it. Wow. Language matters. Language matters. It’s, that’s after all, that you did for, you know, to
the time that you served, the time you put in, you know, the the abuse you received and then to get discharged in that way that that’s, that’s powerfully, that’s, yeah, that’s terrible. And it couldn’t have made
getting into civilian life much easier. What I mean, how did that impact your, your mental state? I mean, yeah, I mean, it’s, and I will clarify that I’m not villainizing any of those men, but I am taking from that experience, the choices I made based on situations to say like, Oh, I see, I left the military with this attitude. I’m a super sensitive guy. I still want to heal some people that that wouldn’t have bothered I totally get it It bothered me. So I have to reflect on that. I left I’m no longer useful. So what does it no longer useful guy do? He goes to college and doesn’t go to class but takes the money and and goes to some of the classes but then uses it for instead of rent for drugs? Right? So also gets two jobs to support that habit, but his two jobs are secure.
Do a lumberyard and Spencer gifts in the mall. So not the highest achieving, you know, effort, but it was enough to be, you know, employed and also be able to play. So I was protecting my play much more than my usefulness because I wasn’t useful. So what’s the point? And then I started to see how drugs and alcohol provided me something. And I’m grateful for what they provided me for I just didn’t quite get the message early enough. What they provided was they allowed me to be for a brief moment the man that I wanted to be, they took that fear away. They made me not reclusive, but super engaged. I did cocaine. That was my favorite. Because it made me chatty. It made me really interested. Please tell me about your grass. How do you grow it? Wow, that’s fascinating. You know, like I was, I was like in it, man. And I just loved that feeling of connection. And I craved it, but my brain was, it was a TBI. So it’s like brain damage, but it was damaged. So I didn’t have the right brain chemistry. And that drug gave me a glimpse of that. And it was intoxicating. And I craved it. You know, and I’m spending $600 a week on cocaine. You know, as a very, I’m going on the GI Bill, I have two jobs to support my drug habit. And my alcohol habit. Because you know, you can you can buy a 30 pack for $11 of old style. Oh, yeah. Yeah, very practical. You know? Absolutely. You You are a financial wizard when it comes to that when it comes to drugs and alcohol and getting what you need. Yeah, I mean, sure. You can’t pay rent. You can’t figure that out. But you can figure out how to buy alcohol or drugs. That’s you got this ledger. You see here, because this might not do this. Yeah, I definitely needed 20 I needed I needed a 320 packs or 24 packs. By the end of this week. Let’s let’s get that let’s get that money coming in. Yeah, we figured out a way to do it. Is it better to buy the to the buy two get one free cigarette pack or go carton? Because how much do I really smoke in a week? And what’s your underspecified? You know, you start doing all that math, but nothing actually enhances your life. You’re not taking direction, but you get the illusion you are? Yeah, I used to take bottles of wine when I found them at the grocery store. This is when I was I was drinking and by no means by the way, are we glorifying this this is this is this is terrible behavior on our parts. This is terrible behavior on my part. But I would go into the the the grocery store, and I would instead of looking at the label, I’d be reading the label of the wine looking like a fine kind of sewer, and reading the alcohol content to make sure that I was getting the best bang for my buck. Whether it’s 15 or 13%, that to present mattered. So yeah, we’re I’m a real alcoholic in that case. But so. So drugs and alcohol, you’re supporting that habit. And you said something interesting that I don’t hear a lot but is an interesting perspective. You said that you appreciate you’re grateful for what those what that gave you. So can you kind of expand on that? And how does that? How does that relate? It’s and the reason I have that perspective is I believe things happen and you give it meaning. So that happened, that’s a part of my life. I’m not going to glamorize it. I laugh at it, because I’m healed. I’ll laugh at it, because that’s my shadow. And we have to bring that shadow into our lives today. So that we don’t just become the super goody goody guy, and all sudden, like holier than thou like, No, I have skeletons in my closet that I’ll happily show you. But I’ve learned from those skeletons. And the thing that I learned from drugs and alcohol was a couple of things. One, like I said, it’s, you know, I desired engagement, I desired to talk to people and to care what they were saying care about what they were saying. But I didn’t you know, I cared about video games. But yeah, even those provided me escape and drugs and Guitar Hero provided me the same thing in a way. And that was proficiency. I had a I was good at guitar hero and I would play at parties on expert. Yeah. And and one kid was like, you’re like Eddie Van Halen. And I’m like, not even close. But I appreciate what you’re saying. Because I was five buttons and Eddie Van. No, very different.
Whatever. You know what I’m talking about? Yeah, it’s like, I got those compliments. So I mean, I doubt Eddie Van Halen could play Guitar Hero as good as you get good. Probably not. That’s the thing. Yeah. He, I mean, he needs strings. I mean,
what an amateur.
But I got that I got that. I got that boost of confidence. And, and I started getting praise for different things. I got, like I said, I’m not a I’m not a gifted fighter. I just couldn’t handle myself. And so also with the army, it was like, oh beaches in town so we can get into a fight. And I’m like, Why? Why? Right, you know, and, but I liked it, because I felt strong. You know, you felt about that that way with me. I almost got arrested and didn’t and was like, I’m gonna change my life, but I got to the party. And, you know, I had a felony in the car. You know, but when I got to the parties head hanging low, though.
The party cheered because my friend saw it all happen went to the party, when I got off and told everyone the epic story of Eric beach. And they if they could have put me on their shoulders they would have and I felt like the king. Yeah. So instead of go, yeah, so instead of becoming the, the big a transformative moment, it became a reinforcement of that. Yeah, yeah. But the good thing about that was, I have gratitude for not, you know, being caught in that moment. I have also, appreciation for the fact that as much as my mind wanted me to, I mean, I, I blocked out the curtains, so light couldn’t get into my room because I would be on benders. And I watched the parade on my TV that was literally 25 feet outside of my house. I didn’t want to go outside. I was that guy. But the party scene showed me that I wanted more. And it just was a really just ugly way for that. But there was deep conversation, or at least I thought it was so you know, I appreciate connecting and having that value. It’s just at a certain point, you have to realize, Oh, holy crap, this is not my life’s not going anywhere. For me, that was an overdose. You know, that was the part that shook me up to get me out of it. And so do I glamorize that? Do I am I grateful for that? Not really. But it happened. So I have to be, I have to be grateful that I screwed up so badly. You know that I made a pivot in my life. That wasn’t far enough to get me away from suicide, but it was enough to get me out of the city. Yeah. And then that suicide attempt 2008. You know, I’m not grateful for that. But I have to be because it happened. And now I realized that the best moments of my life have come after that. And I would have missed all of that. So anytime that I get in that position, again, if I get depressed, I know damn. Well, that if I end it, that I’m not going to see all of the wonderful things that are going to happen to me, because I know they will, because they’ve already done it. I’ve already proven that I’ve lived more life since 2008. Since that suicide attempt than ever did in the preceding years. And I was I would have missed it all. I would have missed everything. Oh, don’t miss this. Yeah, no, I cannot. I can’t imagine that. So no matter how dark it gets, I’m grateful for those experiences, because I learned from them. Yeah. And they Yeah, and for those of you listening, that’s a powerful point to, to hold on to if you’re experiencing any hopelessness anywhere in your life, or somebody you love is experiencing me hopelessness, because I’ve experienced this too, at a different with a different story. But the same thing that at one time in our lives. Eric and I both experienced hopelessness, absolute hopelessness, maybe a more times in our lives. There’s many times where we’re where we felt that yet, here we are today. And I would I’m so glad that you stuck around Eric, to let the miracle happen. So glad that I’m here to that, that these are two miracles sitting in front of, of of each other talking today about their transformation. And I’d like to kind of know, because you touched on the suicide attempt in 2008. What was that transformational experience? What was that experience that that happened? That led to the change that ignited the change in you?
Know, it’s, it’s a tower there a are there a series of them? Yeah, it is. It’s and the sad news about it is it took years. Yeah, it’s like, I attempted suicide in 2008. And I would map again, sorry, forgive me, if my wife watches this, you can fix it in comments or something.
I realize, you know, how horrible that decision was. And I’ve also talked to people that said, after their suicide attempt, they regretted it, you know, it’s like, they survived. And they’re like, Oh, that was that was really bad. You know, and I had that feeling of like, I have to change, I see the hurt that I caused, and all these people, and I’m really, really am tired. And the suicide attempt I realized was, it was a call to kill my false self. This way I was being because my inside my real self, which is a kind of woowoo kind of term. But I was acting in ways that wasn’t authentic to who I was as a person. And so I was trying to kill that with drugs, alcohol, and with literal suicide. And I said, you know, I need to be single, I need to not date anymore. Because I didn’t think I was being a great boyfriend. I just was annoyed with people and just wanted sex or, you know, connection that way. And so I said, you know, I’m going to be single for the rest of my life. And that’s cool. I had a friend that I, you know, hung out with. And he’s like, you know, me, too. Let’s just be single forever. And about four months into it, I met my wife. And I think that was the first lesson I got in saying, Stop expecting reactions from the world stop seeking your validation from anything outside of yourself. Because it’s all false. It’s not it’s it’s not the real good shit, you know, like, and then I met my wife and I was like, Oh, boy.
I really don’t want to be single anymore. So, but then it didn’t it didn’t go away. Like I still was messed up and I pulled her out of bed because of my PTSD. And she was scared like, I didn’t ever like go to hit her, but I woke up trying to pull her out.
Have a burning Humvee and she, you know, and the reason i
Okay, so before that happened there was she knew it was coming.
Well, she made a mistake here. But I was at a party and we were dating for weeks, I think. And
someone threw firecrackers into a fire. I jumped off the picnic table, duck down, I’m embarrassed, it wasn’t a full on blackout. But it was a reaction. She sees it. I’m embarrassed, I run around the house to hide, and I just cry, because I was so embarrassed, ruined everything. I’m an idiot. And then she just wraps her arms around me, and just holds me and I just cry harder. And she didn’t run away. And I felt like up until that point, people ran away from me. And when she didn’t, I knew that she was the one. And there’s other reasons that I love her. But that was the first time that I knew I loved her. And we got engaged a couple weeks later. I mean, we were only dating for a month and a half or something before we were engaged. Wow. But then she was with me. And, and she pushed me. And when I lost my job, I lost two jobs. And then she took up photography to start a business so we could afford our mortgage. And you know, she said, Hey, you like video, right? And I was like, yeah, it’s my passion. Let’s buy you a camera. And let’s make you a filmmaker, for weddings. And so we partnered together. And so she became this voice that said, I love you. Let me empower you. And I was like, empower. Well, that’s new. I like that, you know. And so it started this course. And I was still depressed, I was still suicidal. And I went to therapy and, and she went with me sometimes and and then she found a service dog thing. And I said no. And then eventually I said yes. And, you know, Maddie, she’s laying down here right behind me, you know. And so she started to find ways and she was I liken it to this, I found someone who helped me learn how to ride a bike. And she pushed me it eventually I was, you know, riding this bike by myself. And now that I learned, and I’ve healed after 10 years or something like that. I turned around, I said, Hey, it’s your turn. And because I developed that security, yeah, we were a partnership. And now she’s thriving. But it’s she’s just dance, you know? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, Jenna is, is an amazing human being the few times that I’ve met her, and just seeing how, I mean, I’m very grateful for her because of the man that you’ve become. But not just that she you’re right, she is thriving. She’s building, you know, her own career now with through construction and doing a lot of that stuff. And that’s, that’s amazing. That’s, it’s you guys, you guys are a power couple. And, and you’re an inspiration to Maria and I, because of what you’re doing and, and that’s powerful, the healing power of connection that you were talking about. Just that ability not to run away, but to truly just be there.
That’s huge. And so you, you, you went through that period of healing, and I guess we’re always always going through that healing process, right. But once you kind of studied your ground, you know, fast forward in many, many, you know, years you we’ve gotten into filmmaking, you’ve become an incredible filmmaker, I’ve seen a lot of your videos, you’re becoming you know, you’re getting onto YouTube, you’re you started getting into somewhat something of an unconventional practice, which is is the art of Taro, Taro reading. And, you know, I know some would hear that and say, oh, like kind of like, maybe be turned off a little bit by that. And I can, I can understand that. Because before I happen to be turned off by it, just because it feels like Oh, psychic readings, all that kind of stuff. But the way that you approach it is so incredible. And I love the the perspective you put on it. Because it’s nothing like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It’s so powerful that you’ve made me a convert on it. So what? So tell us about the journey? Well, how how is that playing a role in your life right now. It’s the place that I go to every day. And it’s this idea of the well, in ancient society was the hub of community. Without the well the community couldn’t live, and it was in the center of the town. And so that’s often where everyone was guaranteed to meet up at least once a day. And they would talk while they drew water from the well. And we’ve lost that as the society to some degree, I lost that well, with, you know, with delivery systems and everything. I don’t have to see anybody if I don’t want to. And I realized that if I don’t go to this, well, you know, every day, then I just, and that’s healing to, if I don’t stay connected to my healing, I go through a five day program, a 21 day program, a year long program, and then slowly start to dehydrate in my spiritual sense, because there’s no one, you know, feeding me anymore, but I have to feed myself, I have to go to this well, and it’s a sense of ease and surrender that allows you to look at these bitter moments of the past and polish them for the goal that they are. And it doesn’t mean that the experience was wonderful, but you can mind something out of it every time. And Taro was one of those things like I mentioned earlier that I was interested I snuck in on a Ouija board you know, I wanted to be a ghost hunter and all that stuff, but that was not approved.
Read at my, my, my house. And and also, you know now that I’m exploring I see it’s very dominated by women, you know, it’s a very feminine space, my wife is now in a super masculine role. So Right? Just go flip that, that that script on its head, but I then went to a program K four and there was this man named Ollie still is he still there, and he’s an Astrologer and Tarot reader. And so he showed a tarot card and like, Oh, I’ve always been interested in it, but I’ve never let myself do it. And I find that a lot of the stuff that I suppressed as a child is stuff that I’m unpacking now. And it’s becoming my greatest joy. So filmmaking and taro are two of those examples. And so he empowered me and showed me that I was good at it, like I really could see the story within the card. And, and now I’ve just like running with it, I took some time off, but nevertheless, six months I’ve been like, checking it everyday reading it, and then figuring out how I share it with people. And how Tarot forms the community system of the journey well, and and it’s just this wonderful thing that you know, you can you can look at as a spiritual thing, if you want to, you can look at it as divining. There’s lots of different ways to read a card. I like to say, it’s a prompt that your spirit wants you to contemplate. It’s a meditation. And if you look at this imagery, what story does it tell you? So I have tarot cards right here. And I’d pull bring it up, man, bring it up. Let’s do it. So alright, so the card I pulled, I think you’ll appreciate this one, because it’s a 1970s deck called Awesome Greer. And wow, let’s see if you can see the stash. Yeah. This guy. Yeah. So. So this is the magician, and he’s an alchemist. And you can see the hand up is as above, so below, he’s pointing at the ground. He has all the tools he needs to manifest whatever he needs in his life. So if I pull this card, and I start to reflect on it, I say, What am I creating in my life, because this magician says you have the power, whether you want to dam yourself or you want to empower yourself, you have it, whatever you’re telling yourself, whatever spells you’re casting, so it is, as in heaven as in your thought. So it will manifest in your life. And so this card, and there’s so much more meaning to it, you know, like every card has all of these meanings, but you let your spirit tell you like, what is it that’s trying to communicate? How does this resonate? Because they do they all do? And you’re such a diverse person, that if you just sit down and be like, What am I thinking about? What do I need to know, you’ll probably say nothing. But you go here, you pull a card, and you say,
Ooh, the four of swords? Yeah, this is meditation. This is relaxation. These swords are above him. But he doesn’t have to worry about it. These are the thoughts in your mind that say, what are you worried about? They’re suspended in air, you have armor on your face. So even if they fall on you, they’re not going to hurt you. But if you open up to the thoughts, maybe you can process them or more, it’s saying you need to rest you’ve been going too hard. You know, so is that true for you? Yeah, it’s not me defining. It’s not me saying Adam Hill, I know the deep, dark, dark thoughts of your soul. It’s saying like, what does this make you think? And then think about it, it’s just the easy way to get in touch with your, your inner monologue. Absolutely, that’s, that’s incredible. Yeah. And that’s why that’s what really drew it to me with you, is because you said the story within the card, there’s a story within the card. And, you know, I personally am a spiritual person. But that the beauty in it is that you don’t, it doesn’t feel like you have to be spiritual in this, because we all have these, these things that these thoughts that are rolling around in our mind constantly, and they’re jumbled up, and they’re not organized. And all we need a lot of times is just something to organize that thought. And if it’s a card in front of us that has three swords over a man who’s sleeping with armor, you know, with a with a helmet on, you know, that might just be enough to narrow our focus onto something that will help us to organize those thoughts, and discussing that with another person. I mean, we can just talk for hours just about that card. Yeah. And that’s that’s the beauty of it. It’s it’s a conversation piece that has a purpose. And that seems to be the power of tarot and the power of the message that you’re delivering. So it takes it out. It takes me out of the equation, like I do this thing where I like to take two cards, and then I let them what story is this? It’s a scene from a movie a card as a scene from movie, what does this movie mean to you? And if I have two of those, what are they saying to each other? It changes the meaning. And now you have this monologue, the psychodrama playing out before your eyes, and you’re like, Oh, my God, I do that, you know, because we, I believe in the collective unconscious. And I do believe there’s a spiritual element to the cards, and it’s being led to certain things and then unlocking certain parts of yourself. But it’s the power of that is that conversation. It’s the it’s the dance that we play with the inner monologue and being able to bring awareness to it allows us to make choices allows us to take the fear out of it and get into that kind of flow state of now, it’s not me saying, Adam Hill, I see you messing up in this area in your life, and you’re like, Well, screw you, Eric. But if I’m like, well, let’s just pull a card, you know, oh, the this. I think what this is saying, Does this resonate with you? And you’re like, actually, yeah, it kind of does. I can see that.
It’s not it’s not me jumping on you saying this. It’s saying let’s just talk about a prompt and then it’s less aggressive. Yeah, that’s a that’s a, that’s a great point that yeah, if you put something in between you, and the problem, or you and the issue that you in the personal, it from a friend standpoint, you can you can get really personal. But, you know, but if there’s a card there, it’s like, yeah, let’s, you know, let’s, let’s talk about what’s bringing this up, obviously, something brings you here for that. That’s, that’s powerful. And, man, I know, we’re getting to the end of our hour here, there’s so much more we could dig into. And I mean, we didn’t even touch on Iron Man, we didn’t touch on a lot of stuff. So there will definitely be a part two on this. But I do want to ask, you know, just one final question of you, if you if you
if you could tell you, if you go back to that, in that time, where you were hurt where you were in pain, where you were, where you were suffering, where you were at your lowest right now Eric Beech was thriving, who is doing so well in his life and has a family? What would you tell it to that to that person, that person who’s living in fear? How to rise above it?
That’s a really good question. I’ve contemplated that. And it’s really hard to sit with that. But
in Ironman France, I did that. It was at the marathon, it was the last 5k or less 10k. And I was gonna miss cut off time. And the boy in me that was scared came out. And I was I was crying on the course. And I was begging for someone to pull me off the course I even staggered towards the medics, and they didn’t see me. And I was like, Well, okay, whatever. You know, I just keep walking. And I just kept walking. And eventually, I started running because this person on the other side of the course said, I kept my watches dead. Last for nine hours. I’m in 15 hours and whatever. And so I was like, where? How much time and everyone’s French in France, which is weird, right? Weird. Yeah. Why would that be the case? Why don’t you speak English? In there? Like, let’s do that. Like, dammit. And so like, what is cut off what time is and then finally someone was like, you have perfect time you have enough if you do not stop running, you know, you have complete God, you can do it in America. And I’m like, Oh, okay. And I start running. But the boy in me was saying, but you can’t. It’s it hurts too bad. I had to jump up a curb to do the turnaround for the last 5k. And that almost put me on the ground jumping down it. I was like, How can I do this? And I’m not going to do it. And I’m like, we can do it via machine and hope you’re wrong. And that 17 hours, not a 16 hour cut off be a machine just keep moving forward. But then this lady came up and was like, I was like, am I cut off? Yeah. They said, No, you have 800 meters left, you know, you just don’t stop. And I’m running and I hear the announcers in German, you know, dicey and vino Minute and I’m like, oh.
And then finally they’re like, two minutes or something. And they were wrong thing, God. And I’m like, and I’m sprinting, like just everything. I have just pain all the way through my body. And the boys like King stop. This hurts too much. And I’m like, we can do this. And I get there. And then I hear I was wrong. It wasn’t two minutes. They actually had a mistake in it. And it was 10 minutes. Yeah, great timing, by the way. Good timing. I’m making a mistake timekeepers
sprinting, and I, I fell across that finish line, almost my wife catches me and stuff. And I went to the hospital because my body was my kidneys were shutting down, in a sense, like not like, you know, I’m gonna die away. But I was bad. I was in a bad condition. And I, in that moment, answer that question, what would I tell myself, just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I’m not an Ironman today, if I didn’t keep walking when I wanted to quit if I just didn’t take stupid little shuffle steps. I just kept moving forward. And I did that through pain and anguish, and crossing that finish line. It’s not always an Ironman, sometimes it’s just making someone laugh. Hold onto those moments and keep fucking walking. Because if you keep walking, you’re guaranteed to succeed. If you keep walking, you will succeed. If you stop walking, you will die, you will perish. That’s when it ends is when you stop. That’s the only way to guarantee failure. You’re not a failure. You are a strong kid. You’re just going through a lot of shit right now. And in time, you’ll see that this was a gift and you’re gonna help so many people, but just keep walking a little bit further. And then when you want to quit just keep going a little bit further and find the small wins. Because it’s not always glamorous, even when it is it sucks. People are gonna hate you for no reason, regardless of what you’ve gone through in life.
Could I have accepted that? I don’t know. But I must have because I did it. Yeah, you did it because you’re a strong man Eric beach and I wish you could tell my younger self that as well because it’s a powerful message. And I’m so glad that you’re delivering it to the world because it’s a it’s a message that
Everybody needs to hear I want my kids to hear it. I want your kids to hear it. I want the world to hear it. And I hope that you listening out here have gotten some something important from Eric and Eric, where can where can people find you? Where can they go to the journey? Well, where can they find you? Instagram is the dot journey dot Well, I hate that I had to do that but some stupid account did like two posts three years ago, 10 years ago and I can’t use it. So it’s the dot journey dot well, and then on YouTube, it’s the journey well, and that should come up I think. If not, you just have to look for a picture of me like crop like this. Nice. always been like this.
So yeah, that’s, that’s it. It’s a great channel. Please check it out. And please check everything that Eric does out. You will not be disappointed. Thank you so much, Eric, for joining us today on the flow over fear podcast. And thank you all for listening. We’ll see you next time.