As this week’s episode with Coach Sam and special guest, Luke Kayyem unfolds, it is sure to have you on the edge of your seat. It confirms the existence of miracles and a higher power, that each of us has a divine purpose, and that in the depths of our darkest pit there is a light shining on the life we are meant to live and the person we are meant to become.
Parable #1: Phantom Dad
- Luke is an only child, was born to his mother when she was 43 years old and grew up without a father. “My dad was a phantom.” When Luke was old enough to speak, he asked his mother where his father was. “He’s got some problems & issues.”
- While in the seventh grade, Luke’s father actually reached out to him from prison and began writing him letters, promising Luke that when he got out on January 1st, he would return and become the father he was missing in his life. That day came and went until finally his mother told Luke, “He’s not coming.”
Did you have a phantom dad? Are you that phantom dad?
Parable #2: Burning It All Down
- After receiving that news, Luke began burning his young life down. He partied, stole, joined a gang, and sold drugs. “Thank goodness the other side of the coin was sports and a mom who did give a shit and who was there for me.” But the damage that he did during grades 8-12 was irreversible. “I did some really dumb, dark shit.” And from the ages of 20-25, Luke did whatever he could to try to forget it all.
- At that point in his life, Luke questioned if there was even a purpose to his life, other than his mother. He had no real goals or aspirations aside from “make some money, spend some money, party and drink.” One Saturday afternoon in June 2015, Luke went to see his mom. Life would take a sharp left turn that day which become one of the darkest moments in his life. “The one person in the world that’s ever believed in me is gone…”
How have you burned down your life?
Parable #3: The Dark Years
- Two hours after losing his mom, Luke bought all the alcohol he could find. Drinking became a way for him to forget everything. “I got so fucked up during the funeral that I can’t even tell you what I said.”
- Business-wise, things were going really well for Luke. But he looked like he was 50 years old because he was drinking, eating like shit, and making terrible choices. At this point, Luke decided that a move to Hawaii with his 20 person entourage would solve all of his problems. A year later, after being told ‘fuck you, I never want to talk to you again’ from his girlfriend, Luke returned to California.
What form of sedation to you consistently turn to?
Parable #4: Twist of Fate
- Here he was, back where he started as a trainer when he was 19. One of his buddies had invited him to Lake Tahoe for New Year’s and within an hour of his arrival, he ran into his ex-girlfriend. “The one person who believed in me and still does to this day more than anybody was this queen whom I had not treated well for a very long time.” They didn’t leave the hotel for three days.
- “At 24, she’s a high-level executive in real estate, she’s crushing it in San Francisco, and wants nothing to do with this ass-hole.” Two weeks later while sitting at a bar, he gets a phone call, “I’m pregnant.” In her eyes, Luke is “an alcoholic, you’ve slept with all my friends, you’re a piece of shit.” He promised her if she would trust and believe in him, he would never make another “shitty fucking decision” again. As the story continues, time would tell if Luke was able to keep that promise and how life would unfold for them.
How are you seeing yourself in Luke’s story?
Parable #5: Letting Go
- During his life, Luke had turned his back on religion. It wasn’t until he entered the gates of Warrior Week where he was introduced to this idea of Meditation as being something beyond an app on his phone. “Finding that reconnection to this power or this third eye was the biggest thing I was missing.”
- His big a-hah moment during the interview with Sam revealed to Luke that he had been using fitness a tool of sedation. “Just nine months ago, I was running away from my missing father and the death of my mom. Those two weights were like carrying around 100 lb sandbags on each shoulder.” It took the power of the brotherhood, the coaches and Warrior Week to allow Luke to express the demons he had been carrying around his whole life.
How have you felt as you’ve let go of the heavy weights you’ve been shouldering your entire life?
Parables from the Pit:
“Men don’t come to Warrior Week for transformation; they come to Warrior Week to find themselves; to find who they’ve always been and who they’ve always known themselves to be.”
“My gap is not my client’s gap, and it’s not my son’s gap.”