I love mixed martial arts. That’s MMA. I interview fighters. I am very humbled that the top MMA show is actually ranked in the top two and a half percent of all podcasts globally. I love starting all of my shows off with the same question. Tell me about where you grew up and what was childhood like for you? Did they come from a broken home?
My mom got together with a man who was very physically abusive almost right away. I thought it was strange that she decided to keep us there in that environment and keep him around. As I peeked around the corner to see what was going on, he was on top of my mom. Boom. Boom. Boom. One-shot after the other punching her in the face. I thought I gotta get this guy off of her. I went up behind him and grabbed a cast iron pan. I swung as hard as I could and hit the back of his head and split his head open. He turned around and as he turned around he said, “What the?” As he said that I took another swing and split his forehead open. The cops finally show up and end it. I was then kicked out of the house. I had three months left of my freshman year of high school.
I was working in a CD store called FYE when those were around. A guy walked in one day. He worked for Universal Records. I jokingly said, “How do I get your job?” He said that you have to intern. You have to go contact this person.
While I was at Universal I was going to two-three concerts a week. I had access to the backstage shenanigans. I had open tabs. I was really living that life of a rock star without being a rock star. I remember there was this moment at one of the concerts that I was at. I was in my early twenties. I saw this girl there that was in her early thirties. Certainly not old at all. But I remember this moment seeing her thinking; I don’t want to be her age and still be out at a concert two or three nights a week. I want to have a family.
On my one-year anniversary, I got laid off from Universal Records. I was working at Starbucks one night, totally depressed. I would get off work, get my six-pack of beer and go to my apartment. One night this girl walked into Starbucks and goes; we’ve got this cool college-age event down at our church, would you be interested in going? I was depressed, had no friends, and she was very good-looking. I said; absolutely, I’m going to go. So, I go down there and there were all of these connections from guys I knew from five, ten years prior. I was like; man I haven’t seen you in five years, I haven’t seen you in ten years. Went out and partied with a band that I was managing. We played a show the night before Easter. I woke up Easter morning in my buddy’s basement surrounded by probably fifteen guys. It was at that moment, I woke up about five o’clock in the morning. I felt God really speaking to me at that moment saying; dude you’re going down this path that’s going to end your life quickly if you don’t start making some serious changes. I decided at that moment to give my life to Christ right there in my buddy’s basement. I quit cold turkey drugs, drinking, cigarettes, everything in that moment. I called that girl up, I got her voicemail, that had invited me to that church event. I said; hey thank you so much for inviting me to that church event. I really appreciate it. Happy Easter, maybe I will see you at the store. A month later we were dating. A year later we were married. Now we have been married for almost seventeen years.
The strength of a fighter is not only for MMA fighters but it’s for husbands, fathers, EMTs, military, and first responders. We have to be warriors in the spiritual realm. We have to battle those desires, battle those temptations that are drawing us away from the Lord.
I think being a fighter, in general, helps you to be mentally strong to be able to come out of that cage and be a humble warrior. And know that they have to also fight not only physically but go through failures, rejections, and abandonment of life as well. If you have this relationship with Christ then it’s going to give you the strength mentally to get through anything that comes your way.