episode 120 | Jan 2, 2024
Personal Growth
Personal Growth
Experts & Industry Leaders
Outdoor Adventure

Silvercore Podcast Ep. 120: Resilience, Mindfulness, and Outdoor Education

Steve Wilson is a remarkable individual who has changed countless lives through his determination, adventurous spirit, and genuine compassion. In this episode, Steve is a Ted Talk alumnus on mindfulness and resilience, and his passion for introducing students to the outdoors, hunting, and fishing. Discover how Steve's work bridges the gap between youth and adults, emphasizing the importance of personal growth and resilience in both groups. Gain valuable insights into fostering emotional and mental well-being, and learn how Steve's grassroots approach has positively impacted the lives of students in profound ways. If you're looking for inspiration, practical tips for personal development, and a deeper understanding of the connection between nature and mental health, this episode is a must-listen. Don't miss out on this engaging conversation that will leave you motivated to embrace the outdoors and cultivate resilience in your own life. Tune in to the Silvercore Podcast with host Travis Bader and special guest Steve Wilson, and be prepared to be uplifted and inspired!
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Silvercore Podcast 120 Steve Wilson

[00:00:00] Travis Bader: I'm Travis Bader, and this is the Silvercore podcast. Silvercore has been providing its members with the skills and knowledge necessary to be confident and proficient in the outdoors for over 20 years. And we make it easier for people to deepen their connection to the natural world. If you enjoy the positive and educational content.

[00:00:30] Travis Bader: We provide, please let others know by sharing, commenting, and following so that you can join in on everything that Silvercore stands for. If you'd like to learn more about becoming a member of the Silvercore club and community, visit our website at silvercore. ca.

[00:00:52] Travis Bader: I'm joined today by a man who has touched thousands of people's lives through his determination, adventurous spirit, and genuine compassion. He's a Ted talk alumni who spoke on mindfulness and resilience and is using his role as a professional educator to introduce his students to the outdoors, hunting and fishing.

[00:01:10] Travis Bader: Welcome to the Silvercore podcast, Steve Wilson. 

[00:01:13] Steve Wilson: Thank you so much for having me, Travis. It's, uh, I'm incredibly grateful to be  here.

[00:01:17] Travis Bader: . Well, we've been conversing back and forth on social media for some time. Of course, we've both been on the collective. Yep. Which is, uh, if people are watching this one right now, where this mug comes from, do your best.

[00:01:29] Travis Bader: And pick up the pace. Pick up the pace, do your best. Pick up the pace. Fantastic. Podcasts there. And of course we just touched base on, uh, one of the mental health walks there that Seb puts on every, what, two weeks? Every second Sunday. Yeah. Every second Sunday. You know how that one came about? Uh, 

[00:01:46] Steve Wilson: I roughly, yeah.

[00:01:47] Steve Wilson: And I think what's interesting is the story of how Seb and I sort of got connected. It's, um, a young friend of mine who you may have seen in the Ted talk, a young guy named Matt Jenkins, who I believe you've had him on your podcast as well. I have. Um, he is the one who introduced me to Seb. And it's a very, I got to admit my imposter syndrome is firing like crazy this morning.

[00:02:06] Steve Wilson: As, uh, as I was driving here, it's like, what business do I have being on a hunting or, uh, or outdoor podcast in general, but it's kind of, it's, it's a perfect, uh, segue into how this all got started for me. Because when I think about working with youth and I think about working with people in general, and I'm trying to bridge that world between youth and adults as well now, because I find that.

[00:02:27] Steve Wilson: The kids don't stand a chance unless the adults that are in their lives are working on themselves as much as the kids are. That's become really kind of a target and a, and a focus of the work that I'm, I'm trying to do these days. And one of the things that I fear that kids haven't taken enough control of in their own lives is just sort of their resilience.

[00:02:49] Steve Wilson: Right. And that's what your whole 

[00:02:51] Travis Bader: conversation was about on the Ted talk. Yeah. I'm going to put a link to that Ted talk in, because it's absolutely fantastic. And you, you know, the, um, uh, you touched on a bunch of topics here, uh, Matt Jenkins. So we haven't aired his podcast yet because he called up and said, Oh my God, I just finished this course.

[00:03:13] Travis Bader: I have so many more things I want to talk about. Can we do a redo? And I'm like, Oh, a hundred percent. And just a fantastic individual. He is. Uh, yours will probably be coming up before his, uh, so Matt's with the RCMP and he's big on the mental health and. Yeah, just really kindhearted individual had a lot of really great things to say about you.

[00:03:33] Travis Bader: I appreciate that. And, um, yeah, of course on those mental health walks, we'll put a link in there as well, just so people can see about it. If they're in the lower mainland. For sure. They, they, where they learn mindfulness. Yeah. You were introduced to Seb who started these things and he started that, uh, a couple of years ago.

[00:03:50] Travis Bader: I remember I was talking to him on boxing day. Yeah. You know that story? I know. I don't. Okay. So boxing day, I'm talking to him. How are you doing, Seb? Not too good, he says. Ooh, okay. What's going on? He says, one of the people that follows me on social media, uh, attempted to take his own life, was unsuccessful.

[00:04:07] Travis Bader: Right. And what I thought was really cool about the whole, whole, uh, scenario here is the action that happened afterwards, both from the individual who at some point will likely be on the podcast. He's been on others since then, but, um, uh, I'm still. Waiting, he's still, he's got a lot of work to do. And I don't want to put that pressure on him.

[00:04:30] Travis Bader: Yeah. Um, but as well from Sepp, who said, you know, there are people out there who need help. Yeah. Who you don't see, right. It's, it's like that, uh, Norfolk football club. Remember their commercial? There's two guys watching the football game. One guy is all down and mopey and his other friend's full of energy and he's cheering.

[00:04:52] Travis Bader: And it shows them game after game. And then all of a sudden the Mopi guy shows up and he puts a shirt down on the seat. And the cheering guy is taking his own life. We don't always see these things, but what we can do is you can take proactive steps to be able to work on ourselves and help others, maybe help identify others.

[00:05:09] Travis Bader: That's what. Seb's been doing with his mental health walk. And that's what I'm seeing you do from a very grassroots level in the most influential way that I can possibly think of with kids, what age span. Yeah. 

[00:05:21] Steve Wilson: Well, grade eight to 12. Like 

[00:05:24] Travis Bader: massively impacting these people's lives. 

[00:05:28] Steve Wilson: Yeah. And that's, it's, that's a hard one.

[00:05:31] Steve Wilson: Cause, uh, this year actually hit double digits for the amount of students that I've lost. Um, there was, uh, one of ours was lost to an ex student to a motor vehicle accident in this case, but when you hit double digits, um, you know, it's always something that's never sat easy with me. Um, the problem is you do get a little bit more desensitized when you get that news nowadays, because with substances and the opioid crisis, I've lost four or five, uh, students to.

[00:05:56] Steve Wilson: To the overdoses and what I've really discovered over 22 years of working with kids is that I've yet to meet a kid who wants to make a tragic choice. I've yet to meet a kid who wants to go down the route of substances or abuse, um, in, in those ways and what happens is, is. People who are left to work through their things with, with no assistance or, or without any adult guidance, they will find the path that takes the pain away from them.

[00:06:23] Steve Wilson: And in a lot of ways, and in, and in a lot of tragic situations that, uh, That tragic choice is simply a way of trying to remove the pain that they're in and not being a mental health professional is a really interesting position to be in, because I'm just a fellow who cares enough to have the conversations.

[00:06:42] Steve Wilson: Um, and when our provincial government came out with a new curriculum about four years ago, uh, there was a curriculum overhaul as there is, it's kind of a pendulum, it swings back and forth in terms of what, what people feel should be taught or could be taught in high schools. And I was really excited to see the last shift because.

[00:06:58] Steve Wilson: It started to be inclusive of a lot more conversation around mental and emotional health. And realistically, if we're not well mentally or emotionally, then how can be well, how can we be well in the rest of the realms of our life? Um, it really does. It's the root of it for sure. And you know, I know a lot of people that are mentally well, but emotionally unwell and vice versa.

[00:07:19] Steve Wilson: I know folks that are emotionally look stable, but they're quite. Challenged, uh, with their mental health in the background. How would you 

[00:07:26] Travis Bader: define the difference between emotional health and mental health? Yeah, 

[00:07:29] Steve Wilson: that's a good question. And, and I think that, uh, when you see people that look morose or depressed, like in the Norfolk ad, you know, the fella is quite sullen and he's just cranky and he looks sad.

[00:07:41] Steve Wilson: I would much rather encounter kids like that every day than the ones who just have this baseline happiness, but you can't, well, he can't tell if it's authentic and. There's a, there's a tremendous amount of social pressure on youth now in high schools and elementary schools alike, um, where you have to appear a certain way, you know, you don't ever want to look vulnerable, you know, and it's, I, I wonder if kids misunderstand sort of their connection to their own wellness because they're, It's very, it's socially awkward for a kid to look unwell mentally in high school.

[00:08:17] Steve Wilson: Like if they represent with, with, um, sadness or, or anger or frustration, they're going to be judged for it. What about like 

[00:08:24] Travis Bader: those emo kids? 

[00:08:25] Steve Wilson: Are they still a thing? That very much so. Yes. Uh, um, my son is who's 12. My, I've, I've two, I have two kids. My daughter's 10, my son's 12. And, uh, my son is very much a preteen.

[00:08:35] Steve Wilson: He is very much in the throes of preteen angst and, and all that comes with it. Sure. Um, but what I find is he's incredibly impressionable about what others think of him. And so he actually said to me recently, he says, you know, his hair was getting pretty long and it was hanging in front of his face, which is quite common amongst his peer groups these days.

[00:08:51] Steve Wilson: But I said, son, I said, why are you trying to block out the world? And he goes, what do you mean? And I said, that hair. Hiding your eyes to me from my experience, working with a lot of kids over a lot of years is you're trying to block out the world. You don't want to see what's coming in. And that Harris is a way of telling me that.

[00:09:09] Steve Wilson: And he said, dad, what? I'm not one of those emo kids. Come on. And I said, well, I said, you might not think you are, but. Passively, you're telling me that you're trying to not see everything in front of you. 

[00:09:21] Travis Bader: Yeah. We, we give off, we've got our verbal, what we're saying, our, uh, non verbal, our body language or paraverbal, how we say it.

[00:09:28] Travis Bader: If each one of these things gives something off and quite often, if I see somebody walking in, I'm going to make these decisions, just snap decisions based off of, even if they're not trying to block out the world, that's. The obvious step that someone's going to just jump to because we're all about pattern recognition.

[00:09:45] Steve Wilson: Amazingly. So in youth, when in that pattern recognition, uh, youth in particular who lack emotional intelligence or just life experience can be fiercely, um, fiercely judgmental and hard on people. And so what happens is this guard gets built or this armor gets put on amongst youth, um, because socially it's, it can make life very hard for them to be authentic or to be real.

[00:10:07] Steve Wilson: With their feelings. And so my job, or I believe what one of my missions in life, or one of my, the sole purpose of my work is to create an environment for not just youth, but anybody to actually be real with who they are. And, and they will know at least when they're interacting with me, that there's not going to be any judgment coming from me about that.

[00:10:27] Steve Wilson: You could be having your worst day. And if we sit and we have a coffee, or if you, if you come into my classroom and we, and we sit and we do the work, like whoever you are is perfect. And, and I believe that every single one of us, myself included, and I, I should probably take a step back and say, I've done an incredible amount of work, I think on myself in the last 10 years or so.

[00:10:47] Steve Wilson: Um, one of my biggest regrets is waiting until my thirties to see a counselor, you know, like, um, in our household, it was always just work harder. Whatever the challenge is, just work through it. I, and I also was a gymnast growing up. So I, I mean, gymnastics is a very heady sport. It's, uh, it's incredibly internal.

[00:11:08] Steve Wilson: And, you know, I had an Eastern Hungarian, um, coach who was there. We didn't talk about feelings. We didn't talk about vulnerability. There was just perfection. And if you didn't achieve perfection, you were less than. And I don't regret that at all, but I think what it did is it taught me not to communicate.

[00:11:25] Steve Wilson: It taught me to not talk outwardly about my struggles, but to navigate them internally. It's a 

[00:11:31] Travis Bader: tight rope because there is value to working through it. There is value to take as long as we can frame it properly and we can say, look at this work and this challenges that I'm having, these failures that I'm seeing or stepping stones to success.

[00:11:41] Travis Bader: For sure. And whatever it might be, there's. There's a lot of value to that as opposed to, um, where some people may ascribe to a victim mentality. 

[00:11:50] Steve Wilson: Yes. Well, victim mentality is, is really what we have to strive so hard to work away from. Cause being a victim is never going to allow you to move forward. You will always find a reason.

[00:12:01] Steve Wilson: To stall if you have a victim mentality. And that's one thing Seb and I are very aligned in when we work with people on the mental health walk or, and Seb has been into my classroom before as well to work with, work with kids here and there. Yeah, it's, I, uh, victim mentality is what everybody is stuck in.

[00:12:17] Steve Wilson: It feels like these days and, and I don't want to judge people for being there because they have, there's a reason they've gotten to that point, but what I really want to do is I want to encourage people to try and be. Brave enough to take a step away from their victim mentality. What do 

[00:12:31] Travis Bader: you think that reason is?

[00:12:32] Travis Bader: Cause I, I have some thoughts on what 

[00:12:33] Steve Wilson: that is. Yeah. Um, I'm a big Gabor Mate believer. So if you've, if you've worked with the Gabor, Gabor Mate's work at all, he's a local guy. Yes. And, uh, I'm all of us, and I want to be careful here cause I don't want to paint with too wide a brush cause I can turn some people off, but I do believe that we, all of us have trauma in our lives that is unresolved.

[00:12:54] Steve Wilson: That we had a traumatic experience and, and the word trauma very much. Can put people in a position of like a physical trauma or, you know, um, something profound. I believe they're much smaller than that. I believe having a negative interaction with somebody can feel traumatic, especially if you had intention of how that interaction was going to go.

[00:13:14] Steve Wilson: Um, and as adults, we have such a profound impact on youth. So, you know, a kid who takes a chance to talk to their mom or dad or guardian or caregiver or whatever that structure looks like nowadays, if a kid reaches out and takes a chance. To voice their feelings or their fears or their vulnerabilities.

[00:13:31] Steve Wilson: And an adult just says to them, suck it up. That can feel traumatic to a point where it either shuts them off or shuts them down. And then they're not going to be willing to go down that road again. And that over time. That builds some really, I believe to be some really unhealthy patterns, um, that a person will then settle with and turn inward.

[00:13:56] Steve Wilson: And then what, what the only option that has is to become a victim based mentality. Right. I'm not good enough. I'm not strong enough. I took a chance and it wasn't received well. So why would I try again? What 

[00:14:06] Travis Bader: an interesting, like I looking at this, I see some challenges for you that, uh, some very obvious ones would be the level of compassion that you display to your students.

[00:14:19] Travis Bader: How do you compartmentalize that in a way that you're not taking it home? I see, um. If you're that in tune and you're always sort of on the lookout, how do we, uh, navigate creating a learned helplessness within the students where, uh, where the, you're the person they know they can go to, uh, even if they just maybe bump their knee and it's not the end of the world.

[00:14:42] Travis Bader: And, but. 

[00:14:44] Steve Wilson: Yeah, it, everybody has to have people. Like we all have to have people, and I wonder how many of our listeners right now don't have a person or don't feel like they have a person. So imagine us as adults, we don't feel like we have a person to turn to. So then how can we then be the person for others?

[00:15:02] Travis Bader: I think a lot of the people listening to this, uh, would, and you know, they can write in and they can, I'd be really interested to hear what they have to say, but I think a lot of people listening to this are going to say that they don't have a person. I 

[00:15:13] Steve Wilson: agree. And I, I really think that's where the root like, and as my work extends and as I become more experienced in things, I get far more fired up about the idea of helping adults connect because.

[00:15:24] Steve Wilson: All the adults, if they're connected, then the youth around them are going to inevitably be connected. Right. Um, I had an experience with a parent that I won't get too much into just for like privacy reasons, but I had a dad in my, in my space, we were having a parent teacher interview and he was weeping about his child who I teach and his child is not choosing a healthy path in life.

[00:15:45] Steve Wilson: Um, I have had my struggles with this kid, but I'm. Never going to give up on him. So I said to the dad, I was like, tell me in one way that you have connected with your son in the last three months. And he goes, I just, he just won't talk to me. And I said, okay, well I said, do you know what the, his five favorite songs are?

[00:16:03] Steve Wilson: Like, have you looked on his phone? What is, look at his playlist on his Apple music, what are the five songs he listens to the most? And he's just like, well, I have no idea. And I said, well, you should, if you don't know what the top five songs your kid is listening to are, and then like, just as an olive branch of, of, of connection, like, Hey, tell me why that's your favorite song.

[00:16:21] Steve Wilson: Like even something simple like that, that really can start to open the doors. Cause what does it show? It shows you care enough to know it shows you care enough to hear their opinion about it, and it shows that you're trying to maintain a level of relevance with them. And so if you try them on and they'll just the most simple way, they'll try you on in something that might be much more profound.

[00:16:40] Steve Wilson: Like decisions around life or, or decisions around substance in, in this particular case. And it was really interesting because coming on, uh, prepping to come on the podcast, I said to all my classes yesterday, I said, Hey, I'm going on a, a hunting and outdoors podcast. I said, I'd love to be able to give Travis relevant information.

[00:16:56] Steve Wilson: I said, how many of you have been exposed to hunting or angling with either a mom, a dad, a caregiver, or a grandparent? And 60 percent of the hands in the room went up. Really? Yeah. And so that opened, we'll talk about that. We'll get into that. But in particular, this kid was literally laying in the back of the room, this child I'm speaking about.

[00:17:13] Steve Wilson: And, uh, he and I haven't seen eye to eye on much, but the door is always open and he put, he actually put his hand up and I said, what's up? And he goes, Oh, he says, I harvested a deer in September. And I said, man, that's amazing. I said, congratulations. I said, I didn't even harvest this year, which is, I worked hard and I feel like I don't know anything about hunting after this season.

[00:17:32] Steve Wilson: But, um, I said, who were you with when you scored in September? And he goes, I was with my dad and this is the same person who was. Crying in my space, talking about how he wasn't connected to his kid. Oh, that's amazing. It's amazing. That is amazing. All of a sudden I said, well, did you get, and I didn't know if he had LEH or I didn't know, and I was on the fly and I just said, was it a doe or a buck?

[00:17:51] Steve Wilson: And he goes, no, it was a dandy little buck. And all of a sudden he and I had something to talk about because it was common ground. And I think that's like the perfect example of what I'm trying to get at is just that find anything that will create common ground. Cause then what it does is now, when I see this kid, cause we're off for Christmas break now, but when I see him in the new year, I'm going to have something to talk to him about that doesn't involve discipline.

[00:18:13] Steve Wilson: It doesn't involve behaviors. It doesn't involve, um, his execution or lack of execution on things. We can just talk about hunting. And I think what fires me up is that when you think about these elemental forms of If we root them in the outdoors, if we root them in the woods, if we root them in togetherness or struggle or shared adversity, then all of a sudden we are hitting home runs because how can you not have conversation that leads to the essence of who we are?

[00:18:42] Travis Bader: So you're talking about, you know, a baseline of happiness. Yeah. And the difficulty and like, there's not somebody who's morose and easy to spot out. And maybe there's an issue there. Yeah. Uh, remember those old t shirts and they said, um, based on the old Dick and Jane and it was, we're drinking and driving.

[00:18:58] Travis Bader: It says, see Dick drink, see Dick drive. Don't be a dick. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So, uh, there's a, have you heard the poem? I think I've said it on the, um, on the, I'm sure I've said it on the collective, uh, Richard Corey. You'd have to refresh me. Okay. So there's a guy, Edwin Arlington Robinson, and, uh, he wrote a poem called Richard Corey, who of course, Richard, don't be a dick.

[00:19:21] Travis Bader: I figured if they can do a, uh, a campaign like this, but this interesting fellow didn't have a name until I think he was about two years old and his parents are at some chalet and the other guests were like, what do you mean you haven't named your kids? Let's let's everyone put names in a hat. We're going to draw a name.

[00:19:36] Travis Bader: And Edwin was drawn in the person who, uh, Suggested Edwin. It was from Arlington. So it was Edwin Arlington Robinson. And, uh, this guy seemed to have a, uh, a bit of a difficult life. Maybe he was one of these emo kids by today's standards growing up and had a thing for this woman who ends up marrying her brother and.

[00:19:56] Travis Bader: Wow. Um, they're just a bunch of tragedies, one after the other. And anyways, he wrote a poem called Richard Corey, and it was, uh, if I can remember, so it's something like whenever Richard Corey went downtown, we people on the pavement looked at him. He was a gentleman from soul to crown, clean, favored, and empirically slim.

[00:20:14] Travis Bader: And he was always quietly arrayed and he was always human when he talked. Yet still he fluttered pulses when he said good morning and he glittered when he walked. And he was rich, yes, richer than a King and admirably schooled in every grace and fine. We thought him to be everything to make us wish we were in his place.

[00:20:31] Travis Bader: So on, we worked and waited for the light and cursed the meat and went without the bread. And Richard Corey, when warm summer's night went home and put a bullet through his head. So he is the epitome of the. Baseline happiness. Everyone's looking at this person. It's like, I look at that, like the Instagram, everything's awesome.

[00:20:48] Travis Bader: Look at my life. I got money. I got relationships. I'm traveling, but there's nothing. There's substance. Right. And there's something deeply, deeply hurting that individual to the point where they think that they have to take that final solution. And I, and I think if people in the same way that I think you were talking about, instead of mental.

[00:21:10] Travis Bader: Mental health or no, it was somebody else talked about mental fitness instead of mental health is a way to reframe it and make it a bit more acceptable. Um, the concept of taking one's own life. I remember I had a conversation with a fellow before and, um, these, you know, difficult things going on. And it's a suggestion to him that, um, he should take his own life.

[00:21:34] Travis Bader: Right. It was from his wife and her friends. And, and I said, well. Uh, they said, you would be better if you weren't here. I said, well, maybe they're onto something, but maybe, maybe not necessarily that final solution. Maybe that version of you would be better for wasn't here. And I think so many people have a hard time and they conflate the two as opposed to that version of me sucks.

[00:21:58] Travis Bader: I'm not happy. It's not working. Yeah. Just get rid of the whole thing, as opposed to how do I change that version of me to something that's more desirable? 

[00:22:06] Steve Wilson: Yeah. And that's, I, I mean, I think I use that actually, it's, it's funny you say that. Cause I use that term, um, essentially in my classes, cause I, so for those that are listening, like I, uh, I'm in charge of the strength and strength and conditioning program at my school.

[00:22:21] Steve Wilson: And so in 2023, it's a, it's a very challenging time to be a teacher because there's a lot of fear around triggering. Um, Whether it's body shame, whether it's nutritional habits, whether it's disordered eating, those are all incredibly real things. I'm, I, we can talk a lot about that as I've seen many cases of that over my career, but I just tell the kids on literally day one, I'm like, who you are sitting here right now is perfect.

[00:22:45] Steve Wilson: But I believe that in every single one of us, there's a version of us that exists that we want to try and see. And whether that's a physical version of yourself, an emotional version of yourself, whether it's a combination of all of those things, my job is to help you find the very healthiest version of yourself.

[00:23:02] Steve Wilson: And what I get is buy in, um, pretty quickly from kids because that thought of there being a version of themselves that they would like to see and my ability to support that, that's an exciting thought because a lot of kids get to me and they already are feeling like who they are isn't okay. For whatever reason, whether it's how they look, whether it's their body shape, their body type, whether it's what people have said to them.

[00:23:29] Steve Wilson: I mean, my daughter is a, she's an interesting little critter, so she's a, she's on the gifted spectrum, um, which when you're 10 years old, giftedness is not a gift. Like she feels, she feels the world, um, incredibly, she feels everything about the world. And that includes judgment of others. Like when people judge her for her challenges, um, that cuts deep and you know what, this is four years ago now, she wore snow pants to school one day and this kid told her she looked fat and she remembers that to this day.

[00:24:00] Steve Wilson: Like to get her into snow pants, to go out into the winter, she still struggles with that. She'll probably 

[00:24:05] Travis Bader: remember it the rest of her life. She will. And it's funny how we, especially at that young age, how those 

[00:24:11] Steve Wilson: things will stick. Right. And we have a very, very open communication line in our home. So our, our kind of rule at home is you're never in trouble if you tell the truth.

[00:24:19] Steve Wilson: Agreed. There might be consequences. Same rule in our house. Yeah. And so when she came home and told us that, I was so grateful for that because how many parents. Have, don't know things like that, that have happened to their sons or daughters. And it's a real problem because if you sit with that for years, then what does the, what the only option for something, a negative experience like that, the only option for it is to perseverate and turn into something negative potentially.

[00:24:43] Steve Wilson: Now, one of my worries too, is that, um, and if you ask kids this, they'll say, how many, who, tell me a time when an adult has told you to toughen up or to get gritty or to be resilient. Cowboy. Yep. We say it all the time. The difference is, is that. A lot of kids, nobody's ever shown them how. Most haven't. Yeah.

[00:25:03] Steve Wilson: And that's where, you know, I'm super grateful for my dad. My dad's the hardest working man I've ever met. Um, we come from a very industrious background, like, uh, I'm not sure if you've ever heard of Minstrel Island, but, uh, up north of Sayward, um, my dad grew up on a float camp, my dad's house floated and they just towed it up and down the coast.

[00:25:20] Steve Wilson: And wherever there was timber contracts, that's where they tied the town. And literally my dad like wrote a skiff to school because there was a floating school house that all the community kids went to. My mom grew up in a logging community called Kokish and my grandma was raising six kids on her own, running the camp kitchen and her husband was out logging.

[00:25:40] Steve Wilson: Right. So I come from hardwood, like. Like, like sturdy stock. Um, my dad's not, Bob, if you're listening to this, I'm sorry, you're not the most emotionally intelligent fella I've come across, but I remember my dad always teaching me how to toughen up, but it wasn't, he just, he wouldn't just say toughen up. He would show me what that meant.

[00:25:59] Steve Wilson: And I'm super grateful for that because I think a lot of my resolve or a lot of my resilience or my grit comes from it being role modeled to me. And so I wonder how many kids have that experience, that same experience. I'd say a lot don't. I, I, I agree. And I think that that's as, like I said, as, as I age in particular, and as I'm parenting, I'm like, my passion about my work is transitioning towards the adults that I encounter, um, because I really feel like.

[00:26:25] Steve Wilson: They have a responsibility to their kids, to be good role models and to, to show, not just say toughen up, but demonstrate what that means. 

[00:26:33] Travis Bader: So what does it mean? How do they show that? By working on themselves. In, in what, in what respect? Listening to self help books in a way that their kids can see them doing the same thing by.

[00:26:45] Steve Wilson: So, so I really, I really ascribed to you like a, what I call a mind, body, spirit philosophy. So when we talk about our mind, we're talking about our mental, emotional health. When we talk about our body are, I'm talking about, does it give you access to the things you love or the things you're curious about?

[00:27:00] Steve Wilson: And then when I talk about spirit, it's not a religious context at all. If, if you have a faith system in your life that works for you, awesome, terrific. But when I speak about spirit, it's how you feel about self and how you feel about others. And so when, when I encounter parents and, and some parents are far more open to conversation than others, for sure, especially when they're coming in to have hard conversations about kids, like they're generally on their own level of guard.

[00:27:22] Steve Wilson: Um, but I just ask them, I'm like, are you working on your mind, body, and spirit? And then if they even say, what does that mean? Like you'll often get a terrorist reaction and it'll just be like, no, I'm talking about, are you working on your mental, emotional health yourself? Is your body capable of doing what you're passionate about?

[00:27:36] Steve Wilson: Or at least, or is it capable of doing what you're curious about? And are you showing that to your sons or daughters or critters, whatever they have? And is your spirit, how do you feel about yourself and how do you feel about others? Now, those aren't conversations I can really dive into with depth with adults, because that's not really my.

[00:27:52] Steve Wilson: My role, because I'm working with their kids. But if I can at least open the door to that conversation, then how can that not create a bridge between them and the youth that they're encountering? 

[00:28:02] Travis Bader: Do you ever have parents come back and say, mind your own business? 

[00:28:05] Steve Wilson: A couple of times I've had, but my experience has generally been more, um, not think it's not thankfulness, but it's like.

[00:28:14] Steve Wilson: I didn't know this was going on with my kiddo. Like I'll get an email saying my kid, I now understand this about them and I'm not expecting a thank you because what I've done is I've opened a challenging door for them and who would thank somebody for opening a challenging door. But what I'm hopeful for is that over enough time, there's enough reflection and.

[00:28:34] Steve Wilson: That person will at least understand what I was trying to do. And that's why I actually try to teach the kids how to interact with their parents, because that has more success than me trying to talk to the parents. I 

[00:28:45] Travis Bader: really, really like that approach. It sounds like you and I are on a very similar wavelength in dealing with kids and others.

[00:28:52] Travis Bader: I, I have to wonder though. Yeah. If I were to go back 20 something years, 30, how old am I now? 45. So whatever it would be, 30 years to get into high school and you were where you are at your stage in life right now. I wonder what kind of impact you would have had on me. Like I got, I went to, I think five different high schools, a couple of different elementary schools, moved around a lot, not by my own choice.

[00:29:16] Travis Bader: Yeah. Um, kicked out of a few places, getting in trouble. And that interaction, there's a very oppositional sort of mentality, us against them sort of mentality that, uh, that I had. And I, I remember one school I'd made, I always loved puzzles, right. And I loved, I learned how to pick locks in grade four. I love electronic locks.

[00:29:36] Travis Bader: I love physical locks that threatens people's sense of security, right. Yeah. And, um, it was a, uh, it was St. Thomas Moore, which is a private school and the, the brothers who lived upstairs. I remember, uh, they said, you know, cause I wouldn't, I ended up selling a few of these keys and, um, I wouldn't rat out the people I sold them to.

[00:29:57] Travis Bader: And they said, they said, well. Had you told us, then you would still be going to the school here, but this us against them oppositional attitude that you seem to possess, we can't have that and see you later. Right. Yeah. I have to wonder, uh, how you would reach and get through to somebody that, uh, like that, who's, um, who's not looking for help.

[00:30:22] Travis Bader: Yeah. Who's, uh, not harming outwardly, but definitely on a path that's sub it's counter. 

[00:30:31] Steve Wilson: Yeah, yeah, honestly, I feel like I would have found a way for you to be useful. I would have taken your, I would have taken your intrigue and I would have taken your, your curiosity and I would have taken your, your skillset.

[00:30:41] Steve Wilson: Cause that like to teach yourself to do that is an incredible skill. And I would have found a way to try and channel that and make that useful. Um, I also would have slow played you. I wouldn't have bulldogged you. I've, I've yet to find a kid where bulldogging it actually works. And by bulldogging, what I mean is getting in your face, um, Trying to impose some sort of will or change on you that, that just doesn't work.

[00:31:04] Steve Wilson: No, because 

[00:31:04] Travis Bader: they will, they will outwill you any day of the week. Well, pure obstinance is stubborn. 

[00:31:08] Steve Wilson: And how many times have I pushed back? Right. How many things have I pushed back against? Because I was like, no, I'm never going to let you beat me. And it's not about beating. It's about, it's about trying to bring.

[00:31:18] Steve Wilson: The impressive things that you do possess out, because if you start to feel good about the things you can do, then how can you not start to feel better about yourself overall? It's about creating value for somebody. Everybody listening right now has value. Everybody. I don't care what kind of funk you're in.

[00:31:34] Steve Wilson: I don't care where you're stuck. Find some way to express and have your value be useful because we all can bring something to the table. Every single one of us, every single day has the opportunity to be useful to this world. 

[00:31:48] Travis Bader: That's a very difficult prospect when you have what, 30 kids, 40 kids in one class.

[00:31:55] Travis Bader: Yeah. To be able to dedicate that time and attention to an individual. Yeah. How do you do that? Like there's, there's obviously a limit to the amount of, uh, that you're able to reach. And there's some that you're going to have to say. If I put all my time into you, that means I can't put the time into the others.

[00:32:11] Travis Bader: So 

[00:32:11] Steve Wilson: what I try to do is try and foster enough community in the room that the room will help take care of those people alongside me. That's, um, and I should break that down a little bit. I have definite allies in my, in, in every one of my classes. Where I've got a really like strong student and I don't being strong by their ability to do something.

[00:32:31] Steve Wilson: I mean, strong character, strong level of integrity, strong level of compassion. I really feel like too, it's important to define the difference between empathy and compassion. Empathy is a feeling, compassion is action. So it starts with empathy because if somebody can feel that I, or one of their colleagues or peers is trying to come alongside them just to feel what they feel.

[00:32:54] Steve Wilson: There's safety in that. There's a sense of safety in that. And that's where, you know, I've had kids where I've literally not said anything to them in the first month of school. Like I acknowledge them. Hey, good to see you. I'm glad you're here. Always. And I always give high fives at the door. Like every kid gets a high five on the way in and on the way out.

[00:33:11] Steve Wilson: Um, even if you hate them, even if I hate them. Yep. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And there's, and I'll be, I'll be truthful with you. There's kids I've, I've been glad to see go through the door because I have put my best into them. Um, it's a tough one because it generally, those are the kids you hear from in their early twenties, like I'll get a Facebook message or I'll get like a, uh, something left at the school.

[00:33:31] Steve Wilson: Um, I got one not too long ago where I just got this message and the kid just messaged me and it's like, you were right. Can, can I read you something? 

[00:33:37] Travis Bader: Sure. Of course. I got this thing here. It says, uh, in the handwriting, I hate to say it's terrible, but it's better than mine or the printing, man, I'm just going to jump into it.

[00:33:49] Travis Bader: There are very few people that I credit with not only being the reason I finished high school, but also the reason I'm still alive and you're one of those people. I'm not sure that you realize what a profound effect you've had on me, but I really need you to. You need you to know and know 

[00:34:03] Steve Wilson: why. Yeah. That one was, uh, I've got a rebuttal too.

[00:34:07] Steve Wilson: I'm going to show you one too, but that, yeah. And that kid who I spoke about, um, it was one that was a tough one because he was, he was a tough kid to like, and what happened was, is in his early, um, in the early part of his. High school experience with me. He wasn't attending, he wasn't handing in any work.

[00:34:29] Steve Wilson: He wasn't really a student by any metric. Um, but what he was, was he was just this kind of quirky kid that, and honestly, the bridge was a band t shirt, like he had a t shirt on of a band that he liked and I grew up a punk, right? So like, I mean, and if you look at the community of punks. That we all came up together, it was a bit of anti establishment, anti authority, you know, you're moshing and you're raging against the machine as it were, but he and I had that.

[00:34:56] Steve Wilson: And all of a sudden that just kind of opened this little door. Right. And it was like, Hey man, you like that band? I like that band too. Just let me know if there's anything that you need, you know, and next thing you know, he needed a spot to be a student aid because he just needed a credit. And I'll be honest, this is going to, whew, I'm going to lob this one out there.

[00:35:15] Steve Wilson: High school isn't for everybody. Oh, it wasn't for me. High school isn't for every kid. And, and unfortunately the confines of the box that we have to live and work within, uh, in terms of education, um, really is limiting for some kids and this kid had to stay within the box because I believe every kid nowadays in 2023, you at least have to graduate.

[00:35:35] Steve Wilson: So you give yourself opportunity to. Step into something, you know, the days of, of leaving school to go work at the mill or the days of leaving school to get into a trade. Those days are what I believe to be gone. Like you have to have some basic level of education to be hired by HR with, with almost every company nowadays.

[00:35:54] Steve Wilson: So in a lot of ways, we're, my job is just to help kids get across the stage and get out, get out the door. And if that means they have a student aid block with me that I just kind of give them a space to be, what happens is it builds value. Cause now all of a sudden I'm empowering them to have some influence over somebody else, even though they have had nobody in positively influencing them.

[00:36:14] Steve Wilson: Or it's a case of maybe I teach the, I currently have a situation that is a very challenging one, but I teach this kid in three classes because the admin and I spoke and I'm like, look, just give this kid to me. And we'll get him, we'll get him where he needs to go to get out into the world, into a trades program or a work program where he will start to find some value, but the education system, if he doesn't have success in it, he won't even have that opportunity.

[00:36:38] Steve Wilson: How many 

[00:36:39] Travis Bader: other teachers think this way? 

[00:36:41] Steve Wilson: Uh, there's a handful of us. 

[00:36:42] Travis Bader: Yeah. When you say handful of us, is that in your school or is that in the province? 

[00:36:46] Steve Wilson: That's tough. So, so I, I'm an incredibly big school. We have 2, 200 kids in our building. Uh, we have 170 staff. And if I had to guess, I would say there's 15, 16 of us, pardon me, that are willing to bend over backwards to kind of help kids navigate the system.

[00:37:06] Steve Wilson: So 

[00:37:06] Travis Bader: they say the, you need at least three people in your life. You need someone who's been there, done that in a way that you're aspiring to be there, a mentor, you need somebody to mentor you. You need a peer, someone who's an equal, who can celebrate your wins and be there beside you. And, and then you need a mentee, someone who you can pass that on to.

[00:37:24] Travis Bader: And that's, they say the, you need these three people and you reached out because you wanted to be the mentor to some new teachers and the school says. Uh, you're a little too far outside this box for us. Yeah. Like there is an establishment that is in place that, you know, my personal opinion, I think the traditional school system is a dead structure and that might not be the most, um, uh, well received thing given the audience that I'm, I'm speaking to, but the, um.

[00:37:53] Travis Bader: The way that we teach people and the, the idea behind, uh, segregating people based on age groups into different classes and doubling down on the areas where they're deficient, as opposed to doubling down on the areas where they're. Uh, showing proficiency, like there's a lot of things I think would require changing.

[00:38:11] Travis Bader: All of it's going to take a massive overhaul from, 

[00:38:14] Steve Wilson: uh. It is. Yeah. And that, that, so I don't, I'm not, I'm not a, I'm a zero believer in excuses. I don't believe in excuses. I believe in barriers and barriers can be overcome. But it requires tremendous amounts of work. Um, and, and excuse is dismissive. Sure. And so when we dismiss people or notions or ideologies or beliefs or whatever it is, when we dismiss them, it, it, it, it re it robs the value of it.

[00:38:39] Steve Wilson: Totally. And so some, a kid having a creative solution, um, is if we dismiss that, not only are we devaluing the person with the idea, but we're telling them not only was your idea no good, but neither are you. If that person hasn't been raised with resilience or grit or, or a level of, um, self worth, like imagine some of our most profound ideas, whether it's creating silver core, whether it's, uh, stepping onto a Ted stage to speak with like the purest intention that I had, I gave it on that day.

[00:39:13] Steve Wilson: And if somebody was hard about that idea or hard about a business practice or hard about a belief system or. Whatever, like if you don't have a level of resolve and grit within yourself to take that criticism, then that can be debilitating because you hung it out there and somebody, not only did they not accept it, they slapped it back in your face.

[00:39:32] Steve Wilson: And if you can't sit in the pocket with that, then that can be, that can be debilitating to a person. 

[00:39:37] Travis Bader: Well, what does, uh, George, General George Patton say, Peyton, Patton? Patton. Patton. Um, he says, uh, don't tell somebody how to do something. Tell them what you'd like to see. Uh, accomplished and let them surprise you with the results.

[00:39:51] Travis Bader: Yeah. And I think when you look at the traditional school system, there's a lot of, this is how it has to happen. And you know, no, not everyone's going to be an entrepreneur. Not everyone's going to be an outside the box thinker. Not every, like we, we all have different roles and it's, they're all very important that we have to play.

[00:40:10] Travis Bader: We need the people who are going to push these boundaries. We need the people who are going to. Uh, pull those pushers back because unfettered access to pushing can lead to some pretty, uh, yeah, difficult, 

[00:40:22] Steve Wilson: some pretty unhealthy stuff. 

[00:40:23] Travis Bader: But I like your approach, you know, just cause they have a, uh, a unique way of resolving the situation.

[00:40:30] Travis Bader: And I tell that to all the staff that we have the same thing. And I, I use that quote and I say, I only have two caveats if you're surprising me with the results, they need to be legal and they need to be ethical, right? If we can keep within that framework, we're golden. 

[00:40:46] Steve Wilson: Well, and I think that's important too, cause what it speaks to is it speaks to a root and a base, like a solid base of ethics or integrity or character.

[00:40:52] Steve Wilson: Right. And I wonder how many of our youth. And how many people listening, like can truly speak and, and, and like, tell somebody, what is their base? Like, what do they believe in like on a day to day basis? Most can't, most adults can't. And I think that when we're making decisions of particular around our kids and, and around, um.

[00:41:13] Steve Wilson: Challenging topics or conversations, right? Like I have a checklist, it just checks against my base. Like I constantly am running checklists. Like, does this work against who I am? Am I going to get involved with this? And I also, I think that there's a lot of courage and a lot of, a lot to be said for saying no to things.

[00:41:28] Steve Wilson: Like I have firmly learned how to say no in the last 10 years. And you asked earlier about, um, or had mentioned earlier about the idea of like compassion fatigue or like, yes, I, I have healthy boundaries for myself. And is that hard to set? Absolutely. Yeah. Because what happens is there's judgment about that.

[00:41:43] Steve Wilson: So, you know, I've been involved in all level of extracurricular activities, um, coming up and, and we can speak about the outdoor ed programs and the backpacking programs. Cause those. I can't believe we haven't got that. I know, I know. And it's, but that's the richest stuff that the richest experiences I've had.

[00:41:57] Steve Wilson: But you know, when I had my kids of my own, it's all of a sudden now I have a different responsibility cause I have to be there for my family as much as other people's families. And, and, and that became a time where I had to step away from that program for a couple of years, because just my hands were needed at home.

[00:42:12] Steve Wilson: And, and I have a philosophy about how and who I want my kids to be, um, in terms of their, their, their solid base and then who they blossom into after that's just a win. Right. And I can't wait to see it and I can't wait to watch it. I like, 

[00:42:24] Travis Bader: I really like that approach. Yeah. And I've, I mentioned this on the podcast before, but I remember I caught heat from my wife when I was like, we put a business plan together.

[00:42:31] Travis Bader: For a business. I mean, it all goes sideways a second that the, the rubber hits the road, but you have that framework that at least you can keep aligning and you got that North star that you're working towards. What's our business plan for the family? What's our business plan for the kids? And she's like, that's heartless.

[00:42:48] Travis Bader: I was like, I. I think it'd be heartless to send the ship out without any sort of navigation, 

[00:42:53] Steve Wilson: right? A hundred percent, a hundred percent. And any of us that are in the mix doing the job, like any of you parents that are struggling, um, parenting is only hard when you're good at it. Right. Cause you're in the mix and it's dirty and it's ugly and it's messy and we blow it every single day, but it's.

[00:43:12] Steve Wilson: That's when you're doing the job, that's the work, like it's, it's not, cause there's no playbook for it. Stacey and my wife's name is Stacey. And I love you, hon. Um, she and I ask each other regularly, like, where's the playbook for this? Cause there isn't one. And we've needed one with these two kids of 

[00:43:29] Travis Bader: ours.

[00:43:29] Travis Bader: I want to, I just want to make an observation and you can tell me if I'm off base or on base. But one thing that I've noticed, and maybe it was from my own, uh, us against them sort of mentality going through high school, going through whatever, um, we get into these different roles, parent, child, teacher, student, right.

[00:43:50] Travis Bader: And there's a great divide. And I think one of the best things that, um, I try to show my children. Yeah. Is that there really isn't a hell of a lot of difference between child and adult, other than some learned experiences in between, but we all have fears. We all have, uh, uh, different, different issues that are going on and not to try and hide that and be this gloriful all being I've got it all perfected.

[00:44:16] Travis Bader: Do you, I'm getting the sense that you take that approach with your students, like, obviously we're not their friend. I'm not my kid's friends. Yeah. I'm their parent, but it doesn't mean I can't show that there's levels of difficulties that we still have to work through and that their opinion in working through some of these things, whether it's a limited capacity or larger capacity is.

[00:44:37] Travis Bader: Considered and, uh, and, and value. Do you take that approach? I think 

[00:44:41] Steve Wilson: it's critical. I think you, I think you have to live that way. You have to fail in front of your kids. You must, because how are you going to give them permission to fail if you don't fail yourself? I agree. How are you going to, and, and I have a, and you know, maybe it's a bit criticized, but like I have a very transparent relationship with my son and, and see, I'm a guy who's never taken my chips off the table.

[00:45:01] Steve Wilson: You know, I've been riding mountain bikes for. For 23 years, I raced mountain bikes for a chunk of years, and I've been coaching mountain biking for the last 22 years, every summer, that's my summer job. And my son has seen me come home broken. He's seen me come home frustrated, you know, but what we do is we talk about the failure, dad, why are you frustrated?

[00:45:20] Steve Wilson: Well, I didn't ride very well, or I missed this line, or I didn't corner the way I wanted to corner. I didn't feel like I communicated effectively. And we talk about that on the regular and you know, he's very afraid of failure, my boy, because he puts a lot of pressure on himself. And, and I wonder, does that come from me?

[00:45:36] Steve Wilson: Because, you know, I, we speak openly about expectations and we speak openly about, about setting goals. And I think that that's important stuff to speak about. Um, he knows at the end of the day, I love him. And he knows at the end of the day that if he does his work and tries his best and comes up short, that that's the best way to spend a 

[00:45:54] Travis Bader: day.

[00:45:54] Travis Bader: Do you find that the, uh, the fear of failure is something that's, um, growing? 

[00:45:59] Steve Wilson: Profound. Okay. It is profound amongst, um, amongst our teen youth in particular. Um, the, the alarming amount of pressure that they put on themselves. And I want to be really careful here. Um, uh, there's a very, an educational thinker named Tom Schimmer.

[00:46:12] Steve Wilson: He said that stress and anxiety are what we feel when we don't have tools. Pressure is what we feel when we do have tools and pressure is a good thing. Yes. And for all of our listeners out there, like it's, if you have, if you teach your kids anything, it's teach them to use the tools that are around them.

[00:46:28] Steve Wilson: And by tools, I mean, mentorship, friendship, counseling. Um, putting themselves in leadership opportunities to, to work with others. Like all of those things give you tools to handle pressure, right? Cause what's happening is, is we have this within the walls of our buildings. And, and this could be quite a contrary thing to say, and I'm not meaning to be, but we have people that are wilting under the pressure, right?

[00:46:51] Steve Wilson: Um, you know, the word stress is, uh, is a very real word. Uh, the word anxiety is an incredibly real word, but those words are used when they're diagnosed. So when somebody says, I have anxiety. And it's not medically diagnosed through a series of, of, um, testing procedures with, with whether it's a psychologist or healthcare professional, they just say, I have anxiety.

[00:47:14] Steve Wilson: They don't do what they have is they have anxious feelings. I love that. And anxious feelings are incredibly normal. We all have them. Yes. I was anxious coming in here. But I also have tools to mitigate, to mitigate those anxious feelings, whether it's around a box breathing in the truck before I came in, whether it's positive self talk, whether it's a little visualization about how I wanted this to go, this experience I'm having right now.

[00:47:34] Steve Wilson: Of course, I had anxious feelings. Is this going the way that you hoped? Yeah. I can't believe we haven't talked about hunting or the outdoors yet, but we will, we will for sure. So it, um, And I really, I really, and so I also have a big sign in my gym that says it's, it's, it says ride or die. And I spoke about it in the Ted talk as well.

[00:47:51] Steve Wilson: Right. And it is this ride or die philosophy of pushing your chips in the middle every day. Like if you don't push your chips in, how can you ever know that you were either successful or you weren't like, how can you know you it's impossible because you didn't try. And so putting yourselves in stressful situations or putting yourselves in anxious situations.

[00:48:09] Steve Wilson: It's, it's critical if, especially if you have the mentorship around you to help you navigate it. Right. And that's, and that's just it. Cause if you don't know who your tools are, if you don't know what your tools are, then you will continue to avoid the pressure. 

[00:48:26] Travis Bader: The. The thought of, uh, avoiding failure and it's a prevalent one.

[00:48:31] Travis Bader: And I see it in people a fair bit. A hundred percent. I remember, uh, you know, I look at failures as stepping stones to success. I tell the staff, I say, look at, if you fail, I'm okay with that. Yeah. That means that you're pushing and you're trying and you're doing something. You took a chance. Right. If you keep making the same mistakes over and over again, we're going to have a conversation.

[00:48:50] Travis Bader: We're going to see how we can fix this. Right. But I don't expect you guys to be perfect, but if we want to really excel, you need to be able to fail. And you know, the, the idea of having these, um, you go to the gym, you want to be strong? Well, you're gonna have to lift weight. You're going to have to have this adversity and you're going to come out of it stronger.

[00:49:08] Travis Bader: And if we look at failure, this is the same way. This is awesome. I failed. Yeah. Guess what did I learn out of it? Like it sucked. Don't get me wrong, but what did I learn? How can I be better? And how can I mitigate that? Cause we'll keep having the same failures and same problems until we, till we square that, I think it was EH Chapin who said out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls.

[00:49:28] Travis Bader: The most massive characters are seared. With scars and there is a reason just, and then my ADHD brain jumping around here a little bit, but you probably, you may have probably already picked up on the reason why we haven't talked about the outdoor stuff yet. And that's because I'm trying to disrupt your patterns of what you're going through.

[00:49:49] Travis Bader: Cause I could tell before you even came in here that you're well prepared. You have all of these great things and I'm. I know there's some great points that regardless of how much I disrupt, we're still going to get to it. But I, I like to keep 

[00:50:01] Steve Wilson: chipping away, keep chipping away. We can go all day. 

[00:50:03] Travis Bader: Awesome.

[00:50:04] Travis Bader: Yeah. Yeah. I like to just get a little bit, um, to the heart of a few of these things that, uh, that move you and the why and the why you. Uh, art, like you are, like, what was that? You had a mentor in your life. Obviously your father was a big one for. 

[00:50:20] Steve Wilson: Yeah. My father was for sure. Um, it's interesting. Cause somebody asked me recently, they're like, they're like, how did you like, how did you get to be who you are?

[00:50:29] Steve Wilson: And it was, it was quite an interesting question because I wasn't able to respond with just one thing. Like my life has just been a real collection of experiences that I've taken the time to reflect upon. And I think that it's. All of these things we're speaking about take time, right? Like the gym is a, is a great example.

[00:50:46] Steve Wilson: Like I, when I work with a new batch of kids in the gym, like I love to squat and it's, you get under the bar, it is the most true form of work that there is. Cause the bar goes down and the bar goes up. And it's really simple. Um, but it takes a tremendous amount of effort and a tremendous amount of work.

[00:51:03] Steve Wilson: Um, there's also, uh, there's a lady named Karen Hume. She's an educational writer and she has this concept of start where they are. Okay. And so our circle of influence versus our circle of concern. If our circle of concern is bigger than our circle of influence, then our ability to make progress is very, very limited.

[00:51:23] Steve Wilson: So like, Oh, I don't have the right gym clothes. Or, Oh, I don't have the right music in my playlist is a very popular one for kids. Really? Oh yes. And, and I'm like, that's nonsense. And I say it more delicately than that. Of course. Of course. But if what they are is making excuses, their circle of concern is so big that it's limiting their influence even over their own body.

[00:51:44] Steve Wilson: So I, I make the circle of influence bigger than the circle of concern. You can squat in your socks. I don't care. Yeah. I don't care if you start with that plastic piece of pipe, you put it on your back and you execute with precision on the skills that you need to do it well. And all of a sudden that pipe, that plastic pipe becomes a metal piece of, of conduit.

[00:52:03] Steve Wilson: We have some of that. And then all of a sudden it becomes a trainer bar and then it becomes a 35 pound bar and then a 45 next thing you know, you got plates, right? But it, you, what the, what I would love people to understand is you can't rush anything. If you want, if you want to get better at anything, including yourself, it takes patience and a willingness to do the work.

[00:52:24] Travis Bader: I think that we are so inundated with information and everything is just snap of the fingers. It's right there in front of you. That the idea of patience is just kind of going out the window. There's. People who preach patience, Gary Vaynerchuk. He's one of these social media guys who he's like, you got time.

[00:52:41] Travis Bader: He's like, well, you're 50. You got time. I didn't start my, my, this business that got rolling until like my forties or whatever he was. Idea of patience. Um, is that something that you try and instill in people? Is that something that you're finding is a, a difficult thing to overcome? I try 

[00:52:58] Steve Wilson: to foster it as best I can, by example.

[00:53:01] Steve Wilson: So like I, I, in my gym, I have a rule. I will never ask you to do what I won't do myself. And so, well, and I, I, and I think it's the only way we can live, like whether it's with our kids, whether it's as a manager of an owner of a business, whether it's whatever, I will show you what I need to be done and we will, not only will I show you, we will do it together through the good and the bad.

[00:53:22] Steve Wilson: Like I have kids, anchor kids that I go to in my classes that I'll like literally walk over and fist bump them and be like, I need you to drag me through this today. Like I haven't got it and I just need you to give me some of your energy. I need you to help pull me through this. And those kids will like, like mid, so we do intervals on Thursdays.

[00:53:39] Steve Wilson: Those are interval workouts. Like I have a kid that'll come over and discreetly just say, Wilson, get it together, like, let's go to work if I'm struggling, you know, cause some days I do. Like this virus that I, that I've picked up and been trying to get over is a bit of a doozy. And so I have a, I should also say I have a class set of kids that I teach that operates at 7 30 in the morning.

[00:53:57] Steve Wilson: It's outside the timetable. Kids that wanted to have an opportunity to have strength in their program, but they didn't have the class space in their schedule. So we go Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7. 30 in the morning until 8. 30. Those are tough, tough mornings. And I will never get a TOC or a substitute teacher to cover that class if I'm sick.

[00:54:14] Steve Wilson: Right. So this last week I dragged my carcass out of bed two days in a row, or the two, sorry, the Tuesday and the Thursday where I walked in and I was walking dead. Yeah. We were supposed to record this last week. That's right. Not happening, not happening, but I made it in for that. But how 

[00:54:29] Travis Bader: empowering is that for the.

[00:54:30] Travis Bader: Kid to say, look at, I'm respected and I'm valued enough. My opinion is I can actually make an effect on this teacher. 

[00:54:38] Steve Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. And I, and I think it has to be that way because who am I to be, who am I to be an authority over anybody? I'd rather be an authoritative figure with somebody. Yes. Because I have maybe some wisdom or some experience, or I've, I've lived enough life that I can.

[00:54:53] Steve Wilson: I can say, Hey, I've been there kid. Like I get it. I know where you're at, but here's how, here's what I can offer you to make this go easier or better, or to help you develop. And it's interesting because the other thing I see a tremendous amount of that I'd like to speak a little bit about is ego. Ego is an incredibly toxic thing and it is literally the barrier to learning when people think they know better.

[00:55:18] Steve Wilson: That is, that is the barrier. If we, if we can't overcome people's egos or if people can't overcome their own for whatever their reasons, that is the barrier to their learning and their, and their success. And by success, whatever metric that, that means to them. Um, I've got a student that I've been slow playing since September who thinks he knows everything about strength and conditioning, you know, and he's a strong kid.

[00:55:40] Steve Wilson: Yeah. He's a strong kid. Is his technique. Pretty solid it's proficient, but what he is, is he's so stuck in his ego that he can't hear the details or the nuances that would take him from proficient to like exceptional. And he's stuck there. And so one day I just walked up beside him and he and I hadn't seen eye to eye on what he was doing, but I just walked up and I said, dude, what are you so scared of?

[00:56:07] Steve Wilson: Why are you so scared to listen? I'm not scared. And that's exactly what he gave me. But I just walked away. I just, I didn't engage. I just let him sit with it. And it was like, literally like three classes. And then he walked up to me and he's like, you know, I'm not scared. Right. And I was like, you're not?

[00:56:22] Steve Wilson: Well, that's funny. Cause your behavior is telling me otherwise. So tell me what you are feeling. And then, but it took that patience to be able to wait him out and let him come to me. And now all of a sudden it was like, okay, he's got a little injury he's working with that I didn't know about. And I was able to share with him.

[00:56:38] Steve Wilson: So do I, you know, I've got like, I'm a little banged up right now. And it's like, but guess what? You don't see me shirking the work. I just adapt and overcome. I'm a big believer in adapt and overcome. Sure. Whether it's your mental health, your emotional health, your physical health, whatever it is, you can, everybody has the ability to adapt and overcome.

[00:56:59] Travis Bader: If we take the mindset that there is a solution somewhere, we might not see it right now, but there's a solution. We just got to find it. I found that to be a useful way to find the adapt and overcoming. You just play it backwards rather than saying, I can't go forward because I'm injured or this is hard.

[00:57:15] Travis Bader: You just work back and say, here's the solution. Here's the end result we want to get to. What different branches do I have that can get back to get there and which one's going to be the most advantageous one to do. Yeah, just 

[00:57:25] Steve Wilson: reverse plan, just set, set where you think you want to be and start working backwards and then look at what tools you have in your toolkit to help you get those steps forward.

[00:57:33] Steve Wilson: And if you have a mentor, then that's great. And coming, I mean, well, let's come back to that for a second. Cause you talked about mentorship and, um, I'm, I couldn't be more grateful, and I hope they do hear this podcast at some point, but I've had, I've had a handful of teachers, um, very early in my career, that, like, literally from my student teaching year, when I walked in as a student teacher, I got paired with, uh, what's called a sponsor teacher, um, I had two of them and one of them, I was actually his student in high school in his first year of teaching.

[00:58:01] Steve Wilson: So all these years later, he became my sponsor teacher, which was an incredibly, my life has always worked this way where I've just been super open to life and life puts really interesting people in my path. And that's how the Ted thing came about. But I had two sponsors. That's how this came about. It, well, it is, it, it absolutely is.

[00:58:17] Steve Wilson: Right. And when, right when I knew when we actually were able to shake hands and meet. And I knew, I was like, yeah, this is, this guy and I are supposed to, our paths are supposed to cross. And I've like, I've just always been open to that. And whether it's Seb, um, whether it's, you know, even Matt coming back to Matt for a second, like I walked in to take my hunter safety course, my core course, and Matt was my instructor and what a crazy full circle that was to walk in and have somebody I taught all of a sudden be my teacher.

[00:58:42] Steve Wilson: And now he's your mentor. And now he's, and absolutely he is. Yeah. And I have so much to learn and I feel like I know nothing. Um, even though he says, take more credit, I've like picked up some stuff, but he's, yeah, and it's, and, and then you bump into people that come into your world and you're like, if your heart's open to them and your mind is open to it, there's mentors everywhere.

[00:59:01] Steve Wilson: And then what you have to do is be willing to actually try what they suggest. And that's where ego coming back to this idea of ego, like early in my career, I thought I was lighting the world on fire and I thought I was going to change the world, my intention was there. But to be entirely honest, my skill wasn't.

[00:59:19] Steve Wilson: And it took a great mentor to come into my life. And Grant, that's you, if you're listening, he was able to just show me the playbook. And be able to, um, compassionately, cause action, compassionately tell me where I was lacking. Like he was willing to say, Hey, you did a good job, but I think this could have gone better, or did you think about this?

[00:59:41] Steve Wilson: And when you find somebody who believes in you and that's what it is, it feels like belief, right? Like that's what a mentor does for you. They make you feel believed in. And then all of a sudden you'll go to war. Absolutely. With a mentor, I'd lay in traffic for Grant. I would. And, and I'm very fortunate that I have had the chance to tell him, that's how I feel about, about his relationship with me and, and what an impact it's had on me.

[01:00:03] Steve Wilson: Um, and if you have people in your life, tell them this. That's a very 

[01:00:07] Travis Bader: important 

[01:00:08] Steve Wilson: point. Like tell them, take the opportunity to actually say, man, you've changed my life, or I really value and appreciate what you've brought to my life. Cause I think there's a lot of folks out there that have felt like they've given and maybe not been appreciated.

[01:00:21] Steve Wilson: Um, and that's a hard feeling to sit with yourself, you know, and you asked earlier about, about just the kids that I have worked with that have been hard kids. Um, it doesn't come right away, but those kids always find a way to say it. And then that is all of a sudden worth it. Well, there's givers, 

[01:00:37] Travis Bader: there's takers, there's matchers.

[01:00:39] Travis Bader: We've all seen that, uh, you know, the givers will always be taken advantage of. Yeah. They're going to give more than they tend to get, but they're also going to. Excel further than what the matchers and what the takers will. 

[01:00:52] Steve Wilson: And if the givers are getting tired, I encourage them just to really try and stick with it.

[01:00:56] Steve Wilson: Like you're, you're doing the work and you know, you are, it's just tiring at times. And that's why it's like fostering yourself, something that you care about more than the work that you're doing. Like, I think that's a really important piece. Like I deeply care about hunting and I didn't expect to deeply care about hunting.

[01:01:13] Steve Wilson: Tell me that I do. I'm 

[01:01:14] Travis Bader: glad we say we'd there. Cause I was just about to as well. Uh, tell me about this because now you're in a, uh, educational system. That hunting, uh, firearms, archery, all of this thing, like I saw on the, uh, the news yesterday. So guy brought in some like replicas musket that, and they did a full lockdown, had the SWAT team 

[01:01:38] Steve Wilson: in there.

[01:01:39] Steve Wilson: Our school, well, and I won't say where or who, obviously for various reasons, but our school was in that exact situation a year ago where we were on a, like a two hour lockdown and I was messaging Seb from my room, like your team is in the building. And he's, and it was an interesting text chain to say the least, but yeah, it is a very polarizing topic.

[01:02:01] Steve Wilson: Um, but I speak about it openly now. Like, I feel like I've got enough courage and enough background to have a great conversation with whoever wants to have the conversation. And I always, I always lead by saying we may not agree. But we can have healthy conversation. And so what happened with me with hunting was I started teaching about food and I started teaching about, about access to food and where our food comes from.

[01:02:25] Steve Wilson: Cause no matter what side of the equation you land on, we all eat and the processed foods that we're feeding our youth in particular are not going to cut it. There's food like substances. And then there's real food. And so what happened was, um, at the time where I started teaching about food, our daughter was also going through a bunch of naturopathic testing.

[01:02:45] Steve Wilson: She's got a super sensitive tummy and our naturopath was just like, this kiddo can not eat processed food. If you're going to have, and they, she needs protein. So she actually asked, she's like, are you, would you consider feeding your child game meat versus meat out of the store? And I was already very open.

[01:03:02] Steve Wilson: To the idea of that. Um, and then I, there's a movie, a documentary that I've shown my students called Eating Animals. There's two documentaries I'll speak to, Eating Animals and Kiss the Ground. Um, Kiss the Ground, I believe is still available on Netflix. Eating Animals gets a bit tougher to find cause it's a polarizing movie.

[01:03:17] Steve Wilson: And what it is, it's just about the meat industry in general and the process of factory farming, um, I was never okay with what I saw. And the other piece to come back to a little bit, maybe before that is this idea that, you know, my mom and dad did grow up very hardy, very coastal, very like salt of the earth folks, um, but never hunted.

[01:03:42] Steve Wilson: And it was a real interesting thing to me, how that my dad never grew up hunting. His brother hunted, uh, his father hunted when was, when was necessary, but it wasn't a part of their life. They just did it here and 

[01:03:53] Travis Bader: there. Well, was it your daughter's diagnosis for game meat? Was that what got you? That 

[01:03:58] Steve Wilson: really was the impetus.

[01:03:59] Steve Wilson: Yeah. Because I was, and I've spent a lot of time in the woods. I've spent a lot of time in my backpack. Um, but for whatever reason, I just never engaged with this idea of hunting. And then it always, and in the, in, in the background, it's always felt like a hole in my game. And I like to be quite as well rounded as individual as I can be.

[01:04:16] Steve Wilson: So, you know, like my wilderness first aid, um, even though it's, it's, it's expired right now, but I can mean I've used my wilderness first aid in critical incidences and, and, and we can speak a little bit about that if we want to, but like, I felt like my wilderness game was okay, but it was lacking that piece.

[01:04:31] Steve Wilson: And then when all of a sudden I knew I had to provide meat for my daughter, it was game on. I was like, I'm going to learn this and I'm going to be successful to provide for my family. 

[01:04:40] Travis Bader: Okay. So for people, and you're a very articulate individual, so I'd love to hear this one from you. Sure. Um, for people who enjoy the outdoors, they see the benefits, well, physical, emotional, mental health benefits of being in the outdoors, which are, are massive, well documented.

[01:04:56] Travis Bader: Yeah. Um, what was the difference from being an outdoors person? To being a person who now hunts in the outdoors. 

[01:05:06] Steve Wilson: For me, if I'm being entirely honest and transparent, it's the primal nature of it. It felt like it, when I was successful in harvesting that 30 seconds after the first deer that I was able to successfully bring home was the most emotionally charged 30 seconds I've maybe ever experienced.

[01:05:24] Steve Wilson: It was every human emotion all at one time. Really? And it ranged from what did I just do? Right. Cause I am a lover of, of all critters. I, I think that nature is one of the most incredible things that we have at our disposal. Um, so it was like that initial, like, Oh, what did I just do to, did I do a good job?

[01:05:42] Steve Wilson: And luckily I had Matt with me and Matt's like, this is, that was as good as it gets because we worked hard for it and we did it with purpose and we did it with ethics. And when I walked up on my animal, it was. Pride is the word that I want to use. It was, it was an overwhelming feeling of like, I did it.

[01:06:03] Steve Wilson: I've worked so hard. I've done all the work. I've, I've done the studying. I've done the leg work. I've, I've, I've learned how to do this with purpose. It wasn't luck. Right. We worked hard for it. And then it was a matter of like, now it is my sole purpose to honor this animal. The best way that I can. So I'm going to care for it.

[01:06:23] Steve Wilson: I'm going to make sure the meat is cared for as meticulously as possible. And then I'm going to make sure that my family enjoys. And I did have a fear, um, that, you know, the kids, cause my kids are sensitive eaters, they're, they're quite fussy that when I brought the critter home. Um, which I had to bring it home before it went to the butcher.

[01:06:40] Steve Wilson: And I was worried that that was going to not scare them, but unsettle them. Um, but it didn't at all. It was actually quite the opposite because they had been a part of my experience. My kids had known dad was studying for the Corps and dad was buying hunting gear and dad was learning and reading and listening and looking at all things hunting because I wanted to be a responsible hunter.

[01:07:00] Steve Wilson: And so, you know, when we're, when we're cutting the antlers off, my daughter was holding them. 

[01:07:06] Travis Bader: What I think that does, that's missing in society a fair bit is it creates a deeper connection between the concept of life and death and death is such a closed doors event and such an abstract thing that perhaps it's part of the reason that, uh, uh, value of life perhaps.

[01:07:25] Travis Bader: Isn't looked at in the same way that maybe it once was. Yeah. Maybe people look and they say, well, I don't know, death is just something I see on TV. 

[01:07:33] Steve Wilson: Yeah. I think that's a very, a very good point because, um, without sharing too many details, like being a new hunter at that time, I wasn't aware that you should give your animal a little bit of time before you approach.

[01:07:46] Steve Wilson: And so when I approached my animal, it was in the process of, of expiring. And that was, you know, I asked Matt at that point, I was like. Do you think it needs another, another round? And he just said, dude, he's like, this is the process. You've done your job. You've done it well. And I was actually in hindsight, I'm grateful that I had that experience.

[01:08:07] Steve Wilson: Cause I was able to witness it myself and, and it made me. There was a reverence there that, that was like, I felt compassion, I felt empathy and compassion in that moment. And then that's where it almost like kicked off my, my sense of duty. Like I have a job now to make sure I respect and honor this the very best way that I can.

[01:08:26] Steve Wilson: And that, that critter fed my family for seven months, you know, and it really did. And, and my daughter, it's interesting. Cause when she eats. Meat from the grocery store. She'll often complain about her stomach being sensitive and upset. And that's because her microbiome is quite, quite, she's got leaky gut, believe it or not, at 10 years old already.

[01:08:43] Steve Wilson: Um, and that's where the kiss the ground documentary really comes into play. Cause I learned so much about the microbiome in our stomachs, um, that when I brought home the tenderloins and I cooked them up. And my kids sat at that Island and gobbled them up, like they were asking for more. And then we did, you know, deer tacos the very next night.

[01:09:03] Steve Wilson: And it was like, all of a sudden it was on. And now my wife, even she's like, she's like, I actually prefer the venison, the ground venison that we use for everything. That's like. And then that filled me with this sense of like, okay, it's on now. Like, I'm going to do my very best to make sure our freezer has healthy, delicious quality meat in it every season that I can.

[01:09:25] Steve Wilson: And so it feels like a real sense of pride for me to be able to provide that for them. Have your kids come hunting with you yet? So I took my son on his first mountain hunt this year and it was, um. And keep in mind, I still feel like I'm quite novice. Like if I dropped it, if I was able to drop an animal, you know, that field dressing, if I had to do it all by myself, I would get through it, but I sure value having Matt or Dan there or even better both of them.

[01:09:49] Steve Wilson: Cause the packout we had on my doe a couple of years ago was, was a, we had a legitimate packout to do and Dan was an absolute warrior. And put half that critter on his back on a day pack. Cause we, yeah. Good job, Dan. Yeah, very much so. Good job, Dan. And this year I was super excited to be able to bring my son, but also a bit cautious too, because he is a sensitive little guy and he knew that I hunted and he knew our, what our experience was from videos and photos and whatnot.

[01:10:15] Steve Wilson: But when it actually came down to it, putting him in the field with me, um, we did talk very honestly and very openly about like his fears. And he said, dad, he's like, what if I cry? And I said, that's entirely okay. I was like, we're taking a life if we're successful and that is something to be emotional about, but we're going to, we're going to honor that the best way we can by making sure that we do our jobs well.

[01:10:39] Steve Wilson: And then next thing you know, he's on a set of binos and he's spotting deer faster and better than us. That's right. I love having the kids. Yeah. Right. They're good at that. It's incredible. And so. It was an interesting experience too, because it tested, so we hunted one area the one day, and then we were actually hunting our way home and we checked out this one zone and, you know, it was tough country and we spotted a monster four by and it was like, okay, we're going to work, but then I have this decision as a father now to make because Matt and Dan are loading up packs and I'm getting my pack and I'm excited, but I looked at Matt and Dan and we're looking at the country and we've seen enough ground together to know this is not going to be a cakewalk.

[01:11:15] Steve Wilson: Like we're going to work hard for this one. And I looked at my son's name is Gus. And I said, Gus, I was like, can you do this? And he goes, dad, he's like, I'm in, let's go. And I was like, I know you want to, but can you? Cause I said, there's real safety things here. We have to consider if you, if we get halfway up there and you melt down or you can't get this done, that's a tougher position.

[01:11:35] Steve Wilson: Cause now we have to get back and the other guys, and so he said, no, dad, he's like, I can do this. And so we went to work and it was like a full blown, don't tell your mom by the, by the time we were done, because it was very steep terrain and, and I couldn't have been more proud of my guy because he persevered.

[01:11:51] Steve Wilson: And yeah, did he have a meltdown? For sure he had a meltdown, but that's the moment that's when you do the talking, that's when you give a hug. But you say, we're going to cowboy up. And here's what that means. Like I don't, I very deliberately try not to use expressions that I can't explain. Like when I say cowboy up, Gus, this is what that means.

[01:12:10] Steve Wilson: We're going to walk for the next 10 minutes. We're going to set a timer. We're just going to put our head down. We're going to walk with purpose. We're going to make sure our feet are grounded. We're going to make sure we're not taking chances on where we step. We're going to make deliberate action for 10 minutes, then we're going to take a breather.

[01:12:23] Steve Wilson: And we're going to sit and we're going to regroup and we're going to have some water and you're going to have half a granola bar. And then we're going to set a timer for another 10 minutes. And then we're going to do that again, because that's, because all of us need to be able to give ourselves those little breaks when the going is, is tough.

[01:12:37] Steve Wilson: Right. And next thing, you know, hour and a half later, we're ridged out and now we're glassing and we're making a move on this buck. And he gave us the slip cause that's why he's a big wily old buck is cause he walked it, walked out of our lives. But what was interesting to me was that we failed. On the hunt.

[01:12:53] Steve Wilson: And it was incredibly hard. Like it was taxing and we get to the truck and you know, there's high fives cause we worked hard for it. And, and what my worry was, was that he was going to see that as failure and not want to be involved again. So we hit the road, we're driving back out and he's asleep in four minutes.

[01:13:09] Steve Wilson: He's literally laying like flat out on the back of a bench seat and he let him sleep for about 30, 40 minutes and he pops up and he goes, dad, he said, can we go again next weekend? Those were his, those were his words, not nothing that, yeah. And so we did go again next weekend. And that's where it's like, I think we have the responsibility when we turn somebody on to something, we got to be able to execute for them or at least create the opportunity for that.

[01:13:33] Steve Wilson: And 

[01:13:33] Travis Bader: that's where that resilience comes from. There's a shared adversity. When you have adversity and you can frame it correctly. Yeah. And you know, we're not always going to know that 10 minutes is when we get to stop. Right. It's like that. Can you, can you see the path? You see where you got to go? Yeah. No.

[01:13:48] Travis Bader: Well, can you see your next step? Yes. Okay. Then we're going to take that. That's right. And we're going to keep taking that next step. Eventually we'll know. Yeah. Things are going to change, right? It might get worse, which means at some point it will get 

[01:14:01] Steve Wilson: better. But for every step of the worse, you are building something, you're building strength, you're building, you're, you're building that grit people talk about.

[01:14:09] Steve Wilson: And, and one thing that is, is interesting, if anybody's listening and they've had in like a relatively profound experience, like don't expect others to understand. You know, cause Gus, we're driving home and he, and you know, we go from that intense experience, that mountain hunt to him going to school the next day.

[01:14:25] Steve Wilson: And he's like, dad, he's like, what do I tell people about, about our hunt? You don't. Exactly. And I said, son, I said, you have it in your heart and you've got it with Matt and Dan and I, and that's a shared experience that we have. Sure. If somebody says, what'd you do this weekend? Can you tell them, oh, I went hunting?

[01:14:39] Steve Wilson: Absolutely. But don't try and explain it to them cause they won't understand. No. And then what happens though, is if people are asking or wanting others to understand an experience and they don't, that can feel defeating or deflating to them. Sure. Cause you try and qualify it. That's right. And there's some sort of validity that comes with that and we don't need that because you have it for yourself.

[01:14:59] Steve Wilson: And I think that in the social media world that we live in, it's like, if it didn't go on Instagram, it didn't happen. And that is such, it's heartbreaking to me because how many people are missing the opportunity to really enrich in their lives because it didn't go on Instagram. Like if it didn't go on Insta, it didn't matter.

[01:15:15] Steve Wilson: Of course it mattered. It mattered to the three dudes that you suffered with and it mattered to that critter that you pursued and it mattered to you. And that's important, 12 year old to understand that in the world we live in now. It's a very complicated thing because their validity and our son doesn't have a phone, like I'm a bit of a zealot when it comes to, when it comes to the tech in our house, like everything's passcode protected, everything's time limited.

[01:15:37] Steve Wilson: Everything is, there's no Snapchat, there's no Tik TOK. There's none of that because how else can he build an internal sense of self and our daughter as well? Um, if it's externally validated, right? What mom and dad think is more important than what your friends think. Yeah. What coach thinks is more important than what.

[01:16:01] Travis Bader: There's a book a while ago, I think it was called, hold on to your kids. Okay. Have you ever heard of that one? I haven't, no. Essentially, so I didn't read the whole thing, ADHD kicked in and I had somebody summarize it for me. So that's, that's 

[01:16:10] Steve Wilson: me in reading as well. That's me in reading as well. 

[01:16:13] Travis Bader: But, uh, essentially, yeah, mom and dad are more important than the peer group.

[01:16:16] Travis Bader: When you reach a certain age, naturally, the way that they seem to, Evolve the peer group becomes the most important thing. And how do you, if the peer groups are not always going to be the healthiest thing for 

[01:16:26] Steve Wilson: them. Absolutely not. 

[01:16:28] Travis Bader: So hunting in the school system, back in the eighties, uh, they took in British Columbia, the core hunter education program out of the school system.

[01:16:37] Travis Bader: And then they made hunter instructors, they called them examiners. They're not a teacher, but they can examine, but they're the ones that teach the course. Oh, I never 

[01:16:45] Steve Wilson: thought of that. Yeah. They're core examiners. Right. 

[01:16:48] Travis Bader: So that opens a whole bunch of different loopholes for, uh, for schools and such. I've worked with the province right now.

[01:16:55] Travis Bader: We hold the contract for online hunter education for BC and we hear the good and the bad people say, oh, you can't learn anything from online and people saying. Uh, they get the best hunting stories from me in person. I think there's tons of value to both and having a hybrid model is, is a smart way to go at it.

[01:17:13] Travis Bader: I've also pushed, and I think this is probably the first time I'm probably going to vocalize it on, on the podcast. And it's going to get some heat from the other examiners of removing the firearms portion from the hunter education course. And the reason for that is it was created back in the day when we didn't have a federal firearms program in Canada.

[01:17:32] Travis Bader: So we borrowed from, uh, he, uh, I, he, uh, from the States. And it was basically a replication of their program, which included firearms. I would think that the biggest obstacle in, in today's day and age would be firearms in a school system, even just talking about guns or bringing in disabled firearms. So if we can say, cause we don't.

[01:17:54] Travis Bader: We don't bring in a bow and arrow. We don't bring in compound bows and long bows. And so, and then, and they're not tested on that, but it's a perfectly valid way of hunting. If we can let the federal firearms program deal with the firearms safety training, because all the BC does is they borrow from the, uh, from that now.

[01:18:13] Travis Bader: And concentrate the hunter education program. And it doesn't teach you how to hunt, teach you about laws and ethics and animal identification, all important things, but it doesn't teach you how to hunt. I think we'd have a much better chance of getting hunter ed back into the school. If, even if we just modularize these components, outdoor survival, uh, animal ID, um, maybe you've just keep the laws as a separate add on they can do after.

[01:18:38] Travis Bader: What are your thoughts on that as a professional educator? Is there, are there legs to that? I 

[01:18:43] Steve Wilson: absolutely there are. And it's, it's like anything. If we were to broaden our scope and look at it as like a passion driven thing, like, I think what you would, where I would go with that as I would offer it, I would find the opportunity to offer it outside of a timetable or set thing.

[01:18:59] Steve Wilson: Cause the spark starts a fire. Like I really do believe that most of the ideologies I've lived with and worked with in the school system. It's like, just get it going. Just like a spark will start a fire. So getting prepped for this, I, I. I pulled all of, like I said, I pulled all of my classes and it was like, how many of you have had a hunting experience with a mom, dad, caregiver, or grandparent?

[01:19:17] Steve Wilson: And like 60 percent of the hands in every one of my classes went up, which was surprising. That surprises me. It is. Yeah. And then, so I said, how many of you after that initial experience still have a curiosity about hunting or angling and conservation in general? And I think that's a really important piece to bring to the table too, is that the idea of conservation, I think needs to be more well.

[01:19:36] Steve Wilson: Um, we live in an era of environmentalism where I would love to see us transition to the understanding of conservation far more than environmentalism. Totally. Because we have to continue to take from the planet and we are continuing to take from our natural resources every day, but how do we take responsibly and sustainably and ethically, that conversation is a much more functional conversation.

[01:19:57] Steve Wilson: It's much less emotional. Um. And I think that we live in this emotionally knee jerk reaction situation currently, like that's where the pendulum around education is swung. It's like, this is right or wrong. Right. We should teach this or we shouldn't teach this. Well, we know that that's, that that's never going to work because there's every layer of gray in between those black and white worlds.

[01:20:17] Steve Wilson: Right. And so when we think about mental, emotional health, like that is the grayest area that there is, cause there is no black and white answer to it. So when we think about conservation, I love the idea of conservation because it opens doors to conversation about how to keep this planet moving forward for future generations, but it's also acknowledging the fact that progress comes at a cost.

[01:20:38] Steve Wilson: Right. And so when we think about hunter education and we think about bringing that program in, I think, cause when I, and it's just, you know, I did pull the classes and I said, how many of you would be, if I could offer you the opportunity to get your hunter education safety course, how many of you would be interested in taking that through while, Oh, I almost said the school name.

[01:20:56] Steve Wilson: If I, if, if, if I could offer that through the school, how many of you would be interested and like. 80 percent of the hands went up because I think there's an, there's a hunger for it. There isn't a, there isn't, uh, a desire for people to learn about the outdoors. I think there's a desire for people to understand their connectedness to nature.

[01:21:15] Steve Wilson: I think 

[01:21:15] Travis Bader: that's, I think that's the biggest part of it. And I think in the world where we're so heavily connected, I'm going to use my air quotes here. We've never been so disconnected. We've never been so disconnected from each other, from our natural environment. And I think more than anything, I think that's why podcasts are popular and why people listen to them because they're lacking these conversations in their real life.

[01:21:36] Travis Bader: And they able to sit down and listen to people and be like, I, I like that. I've, I've got something that I can now use as a template to, to work forward. Yeah. Um, Yeah, no, I think there's, there's a hell of a lot of value to the connection aspect 

[01:21:50] Steve Wilson: of that. For sure. There's a whole community waiting for people out there around, like, so if, and the thing too, is if you have a curiosity, feed it, like feed your curiosity.

[01:22:00] Steve Wilson: If you're curious about hunting, start asking around, Hey. Do you hunt by chance? Like I do this often in the high school because hunting is, is not something that is super well thought of or regarded, but you see a kid walking through the hallway with the first light hat on. Right. And there's this kid.

[01:22:16] Steve Wilson: I've never met him before. And I just looked at him. I just gave him the nod and he nodded back and I was like, first light, eh? And he's like, yep. I said, you hunt with your pop. And he's like, yeah, he's like, do you hunt? I'm like, I do. And all of a sudden now, boom, we've got a connection. And I'll, I'm going to make a judgment statement and I probably shouldn't, but that kid in particular doesn't seem super connected in our building.

[01:22:36] Steve Wilson: Sure. You know, cause he's wearing camouflage and he's, he's, and maybe 

[01:22:39] Travis Bader: there's a stigma associated with it and some people wear. Everyone else thinks I'm like this. Maybe that's who I am. 

[01:22:45] Steve Wilson: And that, that to me, I think is we can be anything we want to be and we can have multiple identities. Sure. Like I'm Steve, the Steve, the mountain biker, like the last 25 years of my life.

[01:22:55] Steve Wilson: That's what people have known me as. And, and that's what people have, you know, sponsors know me. Related to that world and whatnot. And there's far more to me than that. Sure. I'm also Steve, the dad and I'm Steve, the backpacker and I'm Steve, the, you know, gold rush character around a campfire with a bunch of kids.

[01:23:11] Steve Wilson: And then I'm, and I'm also Steve, the hunter and I'm, and do I hope to broaden that to Steve, the angler at some point down the road when I have more time? Yeah, sure. And I'm Steve, the philosophy guy. And, and there's lots of layers to me. And I think that's the problem is, is that folks will allow themselves to be, um, Or they will self identify with something so hard that it stops them from like branching out and finding other elements or aspects of themself.

[01:23:36] Steve Wilson: That's for 

[01:23:37] Travis Bader: defining yourself. And we had that conversation on the collective and, uh, I, I took it in a different way because they wanted to talk about how you define yourself. And I said, I don't think you should. Yeah. I think you should have some guiding principles that you can measure things against and always be open to adjusting those guiding principles based on new inputs that you're receiving, but these are your quick reactions and sort of.

[01:23:58] Travis Bader: You gotta go through the checklist. I got my tree. Does it match on one side or not? I can make a decision and move forward. Do I define myself in a set area? No, I think that's extremely limiting. 

[01:24:08] Steve Wilson: Yeah. Agreed. I totally agree actually. Cause then what happens is, is it, it creates echo chambers, which I don't think is a healthy thing.

[01:24:15] Steve Wilson: Um, and it, what it does is it limits your ability to have your own narrative. Like when I tell the story of me, um. It's my story. Why would I ever give anybody else the power to tell my story? Yeah. Right. Like that's the reality of it. And so if I align with hunting and, and people in my other community and I, and even being on this, like there's people in my community that would be surprised that I'm, I'm a hunter and, and that's fine because they're allowed to have their beliefs and their opinions.

[01:24:46] Steve Wilson: It doesn't change who I am at all. And I really hope if somebody. Was surprised by that. They would actually take the time to have a conversation with me about it. I 

[01:24:55] Travis Bader: find a lot of people, Oh, there's Travis, the gun guy. Yeah. And there's like that quick, cause we do that. We do, we like to identify and put people in boxes.

[01:25:02] Travis Bader: Yeah. I've never considered myself a gun guy. I've, I've been a subject matter expert in every level of court, federal, provincial on firearms related matters. Um, I teach courses. I'm a master instructor in certain areas of firearms and I don't self identify as a gun guy. It's one of the things I do. It's one of the things you 

[01:25:20] Steve Wilson: do.

[01:25:21] Steve Wilson: And that's it. And that, what that boils down to is really a sense of self, right? And that's what I find like a beautiful thing about being in nature is that you really find your best self out there because you have time. Like when you're just sitting beside the river and you're having a game of rocks with your, with either a kid or one of your best friends.

[01:25:38] Steve Wilson: And there's just a piece of driftwood and you're just throwing pebbles at it. I've yet to have an experience like that, that didn't come with great conversation, you know, and it's interesting cause on one of our backpacking programs we do at the high school, it's a six day experience, right? And so that first couple of days, it's the full shakedown and kids are figuring out who and what they are.

[01:25:56] Steve Wilson: And they're either detoxing from their tech because the tech doesn't work out there. And you see kids go through with legitimate withdrawal for sure. What does that look like? Um, skittish behavior, um, hiding in their sleeping bags because, Oh yeah, they still bring their phones with them, even though they don't work.

[01:26:12] Steve Wilson: And so we have, we have a decision to make there as, as adults, like you. If you rule with an iron fist in relation to certain things, they just won't take you on. They won't try you on. So it's like, Hey kid, if you want to bring your phone to use it as a camera, go ahead. Sure. But here's the disclaimer, the rain will ruin it.

[01:26:28] Steve Wilson: The do will ruin it if you don't take care of it. It's going to be a 600, 800, 900 paperweight. Mom and dad will be choked, you know, so don't bring it. But if you do, that's fine. You can use it as your camera, but then you'll see them with their headlamps on, especially after lights out, you'll like they'll have their mummy bag.

[01:26:44] Steve Wilson: Tied right up, but you see the glow in there and it's coming from their phone. Right. And it's like, I actually catch, I didn't catch a kid doing anything. There was just a kid I encountered who was like sending a text message and I'm like, homeboy, there is no service for three days. Like, who are you sending that message to?

[01:27:00] Steve Wilson: And he's like, Oh no, we'll just, when it gets to service, it'll go. Like, that's how, like they could not at that moment be detached from the tech. Like they, what they thought, whatever they had to say to their buddy back home. Was more important than being in that moment that they were in, but, you know, fast forward a couple of days, all of a sudden you encounter that kid and we, we had an archery based program, um, where one of our volunteers was a, um, an avid archer and, you know, he brings some long bows out and there's that kid taking a crack at archery and having a great time and like laughing with his buddies.

[01:27:29] Steve Wilson: And I think that what I miss is that kids struggle to be kids, like, like the actual spirit of play. Like how many of us and our listeners are actually able to play? Like take a rip, have some laughs, laugh at yourself, laugh with your buddies, make a, you know, make an ass of yourself, maybe trying something or.

[01:27:52] Steve Wilson: You know, you're right. 

[01:27:53] Travis Bader: Cause you look at kids nowadays. Oh, I got, uh, we're going to get into dance. So you're three years old. Here's what your path looks like. You have to pro dance for the girls. Oh, you're going to get into baseball. Okay. So if you want to get on the fast track to the major league, you're going to have to have the best coaches and the best.

[01:28:08] Travis Bader: Like what happened to just playing? 

[01:28:11] Steve Wilson: Well, and, uh, a neighbor, a neighbor friend of mine who has been an avid hunter in his past, um, I invited him a couple of times. Hey, like want to head out for a day hunt. Let's just go out for a walk in the hills. Knowing we're probably not going to score, but at the same time, oh, I'd love to, but.

[01:28:29] Steve Wilson: My son has this, or I'd love to, and overscheduling. Oh man, we could do a whole podcast on overscheduling because it's something that is a conscious choice, uh, to do or not to do. And, you know, my son's fiercely athletic, like he's quite an athletic critter and, and whatever he generally tries to do, he's.

[01:28:46] Steve Wilson: Has success at, um, but we have been criticized for not signing him up for things. Cause I'm like, no, we're not overscheduling him. Right. He has to be able to play. Yeah. Like he just, they like, if, if the boys knock on the door, Hey, we're going down to the school to play stick ball or blitz ball is a game they play now.

[01:29:03] Steve Wilson: Like. That's a beautiful thing. What's 

[01:29:06] Travis Bader: blitz ball? Is that what you get blitzed 

[01:29:07] Steve Wilson: when you play? It's like a, I wish, but it's a, it's a style of ball that they throw and it's got re you can do really crazy. Um, it's like stick ball. So imagine old school stick ball, but there's a new style of ball they use and it, uh, it goes all in wonky, wonky ways.

[01:29:21] Steve Wilson: And then, but they go to the school and they play stick ball like kids. And that's a beautiful thing to me. Like when you see kids down at a school being, making some noise, playing ball, having fun, that's a, that's a. The other side of that coin though, is like, you know, my son worked quite hard and had some success at achieving some school things.

[01:29:39] Steve Wilson: And so a VR headset, he wanted to get a VR headset and I appreciate tech. Like I think tech is a really interesting thing. Like, look at the new Burris Veracity pH. Like I'm, I'm, I would love to get my hands on one of those just for the tech part of it. I don't know if it's any good, but, um, That to me is intriguing because tech is, is coming into a space that could be very useful for me as a novice hunter who doesn't understand his turrets well, like that would be cool just to be able to dial up my range and go to work.

[01:30:05] Steve Wilson: So for my son to say he can't have a VR headset. Would make me a hypocrite. And so, you know, but has that become a bit of a battle because it's so insular and it's such an escapist technology, if you don't have the checks and balances in place, it can take over, but that's where as a parent and a switched on person personally, like I understand, yeah, you got to have a little escape.

[01:30:26] Steve Wilson: That's okay. Give yourself 30 minutes, but then we're going to transition away and we're going to pivot to something else. That's human connection. And we talk about that quite a bit. Um. Both my kids have, uh, learning disabilities. They're both dyslexic. We found out in the last year, uh, which is really interesting because he's such a masterful hider of his dyslexia.

[01:30:46] Steve Wilson: Like he's made it to grade seven without us knowing he's dyslexic. Sure. I was 

[01:30:49] Travis Bader: diagnosed with ADHD dyslexia. 

[01:30:51] Steve Wilson: Sure. Yeah. And so what we're like, technology is going to be a part of his life, right? Cause instead of him just refusing to read, which he's always been a bit of an obstinate reader, it's like, let's use an ebook.

[01:31:01] Steve Wilson: Sure. Right. Like, why would we, why would we fight that tech when it's there? But it's about that idea of like, it doesn't define you. You don't have to be just a gamer. You don't have to be just a football kid. You don't have to be, you can be all sorts of things and just like put it into the melting pot.

[01:31:17] Steve Wilson: And then at the end of it, you've got something pretty rad because there's lots of cool ingredients in there. You know, he's a great mountain biker. Hopefully he's going to be a great hunter. And whatever I can do to expose him, like I took him on the Harrison hike, which is our six day backpacking program.

[01:31:30] Steve Wilson: I took him on his 10th birthday. He w he was out there for his 10th birthday. And that was super special to share that with him out in the woods. Yeah. Cause you know, 75 other kids singing happy birthday around the fire. How cool is that? But then we also sang happy birthday for every other kid that had a birthday out there, you know, and all of a sudden they are a part of something that is.

[01:31:49] Steve Wilson: Profound, because it's a once in a lifetime thing for some of these kids. Like they may never backpack again. Yeah. Well, 

[01:31:54] Travis Bader: that will never be the same experience again, will be the same set of people will be the same, that whole circle of friends sort of, 

[01:32:00] Steve Wilson: and they said, but, and it's because they chose to say yes to an opportunity.

[01:32:03] Steve Wilson: And that's what I think if anybody's listening, it's like, just say yes to the opportunities. Like say yes, like don't, there's lots of reasons not to do things. There's a tremendous amount of reasons not to do things. You know, we did a float plane trip into the Chill Colton's a handful of years ago. Um, uh, mountain bike trip, and it was like, I was not fit enough for that trip.

[01:32:24] Steve Wilson: Mm-Hmm. . But it was with people that I, I enjoy and it was with a crew that was safe and, and like I knew our safety was gonna be good. And I was like, yeah, I'm in. Let's do it. 

[01:32:33] Travis Bader: It's amazing how your life changes when you take that attitude of, yeah, okay, let's do it. Just say, yes. Am I fearful or am I excited?

[01:32:41] Travis Bader: Yeah. Right. How do I, how do I reframe that? And I do that with my kids too. Like, well, I'm afraid. Okay. Are you afraid or excited? If we look at it as excited, it's the same sort of feelings, but when you're able to, uh, 

[01:32:53] Steve Wilson: one's automatically negative. Right. One has a more positive slant on it. Right. And it's like, choose the positivity.

[01:32:59] Steve Wilson: It's okay to be scared. I'm scared all the time. Sure. But it's like, I'm generally, the juice is worth the squeeze. And I think that's so, because like, I think I have a pretty healthy filter for what's going to go a good direction and what has the potential to go a sideways direction. Have you had 

[01:33:13] Travis Bader: many things go sideways?

[01:33:14] Travis Bader: Um, And I asked, because, you know, I had a friend, he's ex British army and SAS actually, he's been on the podcast in the past and he's into Alpinism and he's now with Vancouver fire and doing the, but, um, I asked him, I relay a few different harrowing experiences that I've had where things have gone basically awry.

[01:33:38] Travis Bader: And I said, but you must have a lot. He's like, looking at me quizzically. He's like, no, Trav. No, I don't. Yeah. We're, we're operating a little bit differently here. I take a look at all the checks and balances, make sure I'm moving through safely. Whereas perhaps my style, which I've worked on has been, yeah, I can do it.

[01:33:57] Travis Bader: Yeah. And just jump in and go. Yeah, that's 

[01:34:00] Steve Wilson: right. Yeah. I think I've probably been a bit more cautious, um, because other people's lives are in the balance, right? Like my per, I, I was in Alaska, we got into, we did the Chilkoot trail, um, which is a five day backpacking trip. We made a, we made a poor choice around weather, um, and not direct, like based on the Intel we had, we, they said, if you can see the mountain peak at daybreak and it's clear, you'll be okay.

[01:34:27] Steve Wilson: Even though the forecast was a bit dodgy and we knew there was weather coming. So we got up at four. First peak of day. And we decided, okay, we can see the top. We're going to go. And we got into a howler right, right in the golden stairs. And it was like, we didn't have crampons. Um, and that was a boot packing situation that, that was harrowing.

[01:34:48] Steve Wilson: Um, but we made it and that's a good one. We got stuck at the Arctic circle one time as well, up above Eagle plains. Um, in Hurricane Alley there, and they hadn't dropped the barrier for the road cause there was a wind warning in play. And we got up to the Arctic, the actual Arctic circle monuments, like where it is there.

[01:35:04] Steve Wilson: And the wind was blowing so hard that it literally picked the truck up off the ground and moved it to the other side of the road and just set it down. And that one was a bit sporty because it was late at night. Um, we stuck the thermometer just out the window, cracked it, and it was 56 below. Um. We couldn't see, it was full white out.

[01:35:21] Steve Wilson: And so I had to gear up and go out and basically posthole to find the ditch, the ditch edges so we could get the truck turned around. And we managed to get back to Eagle Plains. Uh, and literally they had to open the barrier up for us to come back. And that one was like a, okay, we should have done a better job of looking at that forecast and going, you know what, let's just bed down here tonight, as opposed to trying to push through.

[01:35:43] Steve Wilson: And, um, Yeah, we had to make some good decisions around that. And, and luckily everything's worked out for the best. I've yet to have a one that's gone 

[01:35:51] Travis Bader: because when it does, it's over. So yeah. It always 

[01:35:54] Steve Wilson: works there. Yeah. Doesn't, yeah, for sure. You know, I've, the, the two search and rescue jackpots I've been in, um, those have been very, very welcomed.

[01:36:02] Steve Wilson: Uh, not in the moment, of course, but when you reflect and debrief on those after the fact, like I, I've always said yes to training. Mm-Hmm. , whenever there's been an opportunity to train. Like whether it's wilderness first aid, like everybody who's listening. If you're going to venture into the woods, get yourself a solid base of wilderness first aid.

[01:36:19] Steve Wilson: Um, in the mountain bike world, I've used my first aid like dozens of times. Um, some of them quite critical and in my backpacking, um, space with the high school kids, we actually had to do an extraction of an adult who had like an appendicitis, um, episode middle of the night, um, 3000 feet up in the mountains.

[01:36:37] Steve Wilson: It was a heli extraction that night in particular was quite, uh, that was a test of all of my skills, but at the same time, incredibly grateful that I had them, um, cause it worked out well. And, and it comes back to being useful, right? Like if you can be useful and of service, that to me is a very fulfilling feeling.

[01:36:55] Steve Wilson: That's one of the things that's kept me in the field is I love being useful. That's man's search for meaning. I, it really is. And, and why we search, why we search so hard for it, I think is just whether it's self validation or self worth or whatever it is, it's a broader conversation. But, uh, yeah, I think if you can get your hands trained and a mind that wants to do the work, then you're incredibly useful to others.

[01:37:19] Steve Wilson: So we've 

[01:37:19] Travis Bader: talked about a broad spectrum of things here. Is there anything that we haven't talked about that we should be talking about? 

[01:37:25] Steve Wilson: I would love to maybe even just spend a little bit of time, like encouraging people to just like to dig into themselves and to find something to believe in. Whether it's hunting, whether it's fishing, whether it's working out, whether it's riding bikes, like I just, I'm feeling, I won't say sorrowful, but one of the feelings I've been struggling with myself is just like seeing the world around me of people that are disconnected with themselves.

[01:37:51] Steve Wilson: Like somebody said this the other day, they're like, who would you want to go to war with? And I didn't have a strong answer because I don't feel like I'm surrounded by people that I strongly believe in, in terms of their own passions, their self belief, their self worth. They're like, like, who would you go to war with is an interesting question.

[01:38:12] Steve Wilson: Like when I go to war with Seb all day, every day, cause that he's a grounded individual. And he's, he knows, like I, if the chips were down. That's a dude you'd want at your six. 

[01:38:23] Travis Bader: You see, I look at that question a little differently and who would I go to war with? My head immediately goes to, okay, what is this war?

[01:38:33] Travis Bader: Yeah. What's my input? Yep. How do I change the course of this? Sure. How do I, I've, I've, I've never had that. Who, who's got my six, who's at my side. Who's, who am I going to go to war with? It's always, there's a way that at some point we are masters of our own destiny and we have an extraordinary amount of agency and influence over our own lives and what happens around us.

[01:38:59] Travis Bader: How can I exert that in a way where I don't have to have call on somebody to go to war, which is, I don't know if that's the right way to answer that question or not, but that's immediately where my head goes. Yeah. 

[01:39:08] Steve Wilson: And, and I don't think that's a wrong way at all. I think. Probably my lens has just been shaped through the, my day to day experiences and like looking after others and caring for others and some days that does feel war ish, like when we have critical incidences in the school or if there's the death of a staff member or a student or like, those are heavy moments.

[01:39:29] Steve Wilson: That you need allies and strong people beside you, because you know, you're going to take it from multiple fronts. And I think when I think about, and we, it's interesting because we never even got to this, but like sorta how this all came to be like my connection to Seb and sort of, I strongly believe that education should be, um, rolled into part of the first response model.

[01:39:49] Steve Wilson: I really do. Like when you look at our first responders and service people across all realms, um, education is without a doubt. An anchoring piece of that, because all of those people have been trained. All of those people are in roles where they train others, that's education. And when you look at the critical incidences and the rise in critical incidences with youth and minors, it's like, who are the first, what is the general first line of defense for that?

[01:40:16] Steve Wilson: Teachers, counselors, the bridge between the school system and families and community services, whether it's mental health services, victim services. Hopefully parents. You would hope so for sure. Yeah. And so I, you know, are there teachers that have encountered enough that they could be classified as dealing, you know, with like PTSD?

[01:40:35] Steve Wilson: Sure. I. I completely agree that I've been assaulted at work several times. And it's like, I've, I've also been part of a useful team that put myself in that situation because it was necessary to protect others. And, you know, luckily I've got lots of tools at my disposal, so nothing manifested in a negative way for me about it, but.

[01:40:54] Steve Wilson: We're dealing with hard kids on a daily basis with unprecedented situations, whether it's cyber challenges, whether it's social media, whether it's, uh, health and wellness, mental health and wellness in particular, like we are on the front lines. And I know people will hear that and probably think, oh, dude, you're dreaming.

[01:41:12] Steve Wilson: But I really encourage you to, to, to entertain that thought, because when you think about this concept of going to war, it's like some days you walk into the building and you really don't know what you're going to get. And so what I love to surround myself with is people who I know are squared away and who have a real strong sense of self because they have passions and they're grounded and they're rooted in who they are.

[01:41:33] Steve Wilson: So when the chips go down, I know who I'm looking to my left and right for, because they're solid folks who are really, really rooted. And I, I think my experiences in the wilderness have like, we've had some. We've had, we were on the Juan de Fuca trail one time and a storm surge came in in the middle of the night and my tent gets shaken at 2 AM and we have a king tide and all of a sudden six tents are swamped with seawater because we're on a very limited beach.

[01:41:59] Steve Wilson: And it was like, we're timing the waves to run down the beach. And we're getting kids out of their racks and we're getting kids into other racks. And we're trying to square away gear and equipment. And that team of people I was with on that experience, like that's what I'm talking about is people that are, are squared away, that have incredible sense of self that, you know, you work the problem until the problem is resolved.

[01:42:20] Steve Wilson: And then you have incredible debrief after and you learn how to get better. I think 

[01:42:23] Travis Bader: it's, most people won't know that until they're in that situation. I know. Right. And that's why it's important to put ourselves into safe. 

[01:42:29] Steve Wilson: Yeah. Risks. Absolutely. And, and things and things that fire you up, like be fired up.

[01:42:35] Steve Wilson: I like, I worry about being like, well, I was on a Skytrain recently, which I try to avoid because it's just, it, my, I'm too sensory for the Skytrain, but it's like, we're heading downtown to a concert, my brother and I, and it was like, I'm just watching people stare at their phones. I'm watching people that are incredibly situationally unaware, and they're just moving through space.

[01:42:54] Steve Wilson: What do you mean 

[01:42:54] Travis Bader: you're too sensory for 

[01:42:55] Steve Wilson: the Skytrain? Uh, just, I feel too much. I just, I, I feel, I feel people. I feel emotions. I feel the dangers. I feel a lot. I'm just like a pretty perceptive guy. That way I always have been, um, then wonder where my kids get it, but, um, it's yeah, like, But it's just, yeah, it's just people like, I, I struggle with, with watching the world go by on autopilot.

[01:43:19] Steve Wilson: I feel like our, our life is such a gift that to just go through life on autopilot really is, is, I won't ever say it's a waste. Cause some is better than none always, but I really wonder if people could find. Like just greater depth and meaning for themselves. If they just dug into something a little bit, just said, yes, just said, yes.

[01:43:41] Steve Wilson: Like, just say yes. You know, coming on a podcast or going on a mental health walk or, or going to the gym, right. Go to the gym for 10 minutes. If you get through 10 minutes, you will get through 10 more. That's right. Yeah. If somebody offers you an opportunity to go on a trip, it's like, Hey, have you ever backpacked before?

[01:43:56] Steve Wilson: No. Let me take you backpacking. Okay, let's go like have a scary experience and come out the other side, you know, getting stood up by a grizz, like I, we had a grizzly bear encounter in Alaska as well. That was like as real as it gets. And I'm so grateful for it because We did everything that we were supposed to do and it w it worked out okay for us, but it was touch and go, like very much so.

[01:44:22] Steve Wilson: And I'm so much better for that experience. Like I'm, because like if somebody says, well, yeah, you, what do you know about fear? Let me tell you. Yeah, it can be pretty fearful. I can tell you about fear and I can tell you how it felt and I can tell you what we did and I can tell you why I'm better for it.

[01:44:38] Steve Wilson: And then if that gives them a little bit of permission, just to go out into the world and try something not as, as harrowing or dangerous, or maybe it's just, and I honestly feel like if people are struggling and I've struggled, like I'll, I'll be honest, like I've, I have had dark times for sure, but I always forced myself to make one step.

[01:44:57] Travis Bader: I think a lot of people have a difficult, like a lot. A number of the things that you've said here, um, you know, just say yes, just go to the gym. Just, they're going to find reasons why they can't, whether that's their playlist or whatever it might be. Right. Yeah. Um, and they'll say, well, it's easy for you to say, you're a sponsored mountain biker.

[01:45:17] Travis Bader: Oh, it's easy for you to say this sort of thing. You had this harrowing experience that shaped you into these things. I think the, one of the takeaways that people should. Look at is the fact that it doesn't matter. Like the level of fear that somebody experiences is going to be relative to what they've experienced in the past.

[01:45:35] Travis Bader: And to be comparative in such a way that, Oh, well, you had this grizzly bear experience and I just had this, this Rottweiler experience and right. Or whatever it might be. I think there's a real caution that has to be played with trying to compare our experiences and our ways in the same way that PTSD, when they say, well, have I been in put in PTSD type experiences?

[01:45:55] Travis Bader: Well, maybe not from a DSM five, uh, model standpoint, but the DSM five, isn't the be all end all on, on this thing. I think there's, it's a hell of a lot more nuance than that. So I, I think, um, that just say yes mantra that you're saying there, if people can say, just say yes. And. Take that for a small step.

[01:46:16] Steve Wilson: That's it. That's all it is in it. Cause one step will lead to another. And that's that spark starts a fire kind of thing that I live by. And, and, you know, we've talked about that on the collective too. It's like comparisons and comparative behavior is, is very. It's a thief of joy. It is a thief of joy, but it's so pervasive now and you know, like.

[01:46:36] Steve Wilson: It's, uh, if you look at the Instagram model, right? Like, and Seb's spoken about it. We've all spoken about it for sure, because we understand that it's like what you're seeing there is not real life. Oh. It could be the result of somebody taking 20 hours to represent 30 seconds. You know, like I've, I've, uh, a group of friends that are filmmakers in the mountain bike world, um, make some of the finest films that I believe exist in terms of trying to connect.

[01:47:03] Steve Wilson: An action with a feeling, that's what I love about their filmmaking is it makes me feel what it means to me. Like I, if I have, you know, photography is a beautiful thing. I'm terrible at it because what I love about photography is it elicits a physical, like an emotional and physical response. And that's what I think.

[01:47:22] Steve Wilson: You know, like hunting is so visceral that way where it's like, it, it elicits an emotional and physical response. So imagery can do it. Experiences can do it. Conversation can do it. Um, achievements can do it. So whatever it is that floats your boat or blows your hair back, go get some, because that feeling will help you get up the next day to find that feeling again.

[01:47:46] Steve Wilson: And, and, and it doesn't have to be profound, right? Like when it, when the darkness is there, Just get into the light, and I literally mean go outside, let the sun touch your face, open your blinds, set a time limit on your TV, so that, okay, when that thing shuts off, I am purposefully going to stand up and I am going to go outside.

[01:48:07] Steve Wilson: And if I'm, I'm maybe today is a 10 minute walk, maybe tomorrow's a 15 minute, 20 minute hike into the woods in my local park, like whatever it is. And that's where the autopilot thing is that I struggle with on the daily is because you see people just moving through space, but they have, what opportunity have they missed?

[01:48:25] Steve Wilson: And I think what happens with that is judgment comes into play and judgment along with ego, boy, oh boy, that's a toxic combo. Right. If Travis is on the Silvercore podcast saying, just take one step and you don't get up and take that next step the next day, is the potential there for that person to feel less than because of that, because somebody said they should, and they didn't.

[01:48:49] Steve Wilson: Depends on how they frame it, but yes. Yeah. And that, and that's my worry overall. Like that's one of my bigger worries is that people will feel that judgment from others, especially whether it's, if it's a comparative model, which we know is self destructive, will that limit them? So much that they just, they just don't take the step.

[01:49:07] Travis Bader: you know, there's a lot to be said for, um, for judgment as well. I know some countries when they took a look at their addiction crisis and they actually have a social shaming portion of the, um, uh, of the rehabilitation. Basically you got, you group your peers and you got to stand up and talk about the things.

[01:49:26] Travis Bader: Because people naturally want to conform to the group. It's just sort of a human nature thing. I think a certain level of judgment is good, but if it's framed in a healthy way, and I think that's where a lot of this social media doesn't provide the context for people to frame that in a way that's maybe 

[01:49:43] Steve Wilson: positive.

[01:49:44] Steve Wilson: I strongly believe that. Yes. And so, and when we talked earlier, we talked about the idea of empathy being a feeling and compassion being the action, I think accountability. And responsibility share the same duality. So like I see accountability as a feeling. If, if you call me out and you say, Steve, you know, I don't think you're being the guy that I know you can be right now, that's eliciting a feeling in me of accountability.

[01:50:08] Steve Wilson: You're holding me accountable, but then it's my job to be responsible and actually take a step towards. What it is you've now asked me to be or, or called me out about. And, and do you have an, like, do we as mentors or friends or partners, or do we have a responsibility in that? Of course, but the same way that empathy can lead to action, accountability can lead to responsibility, which is the action of taking that step forward.

[01:50:35] Steve Wilson: And I don't, I've yet to encounter a person or a scenario where more responsibility would be a bad thing. Yeah. Now, in, in terms of those that are maybe there's an age, a couple of, there's two, uh, principles I've recently learned about one's called expectation creep, because as like, say as a great boss, you're, you're probably have those anchors in your community that you'd be like, man, if I know, if I ask Bill to do this, Bill's going to do a crackerjack job of it.

[01:51:01] Steve Wilson: Now what happens is, you know, Bill's reliable. Um, so you go to Bill again. Over and over. And then all of a sudden Bill's now the man, but he's also doing a lot more than he was supposed to be doing. And, and what, and then education, the concept of that is called performance punishment. And so when you burn people out, that is generally a result that good ones get burnt out.

[01:51:21] Steve Wilson: The bad ones don't ever feel the burnout. No. Cause they don't, they're not effective. Right. So that's a very interesting line too, because being, I think, a good person who holds people accountable and responsible is also could be helping them take stuff off their plate so they have more time for self. 

[01:51:38] Travis Bader: So in the same mantra of just say, yes, we're also  going to say, just say no.

[01:51:42] Steve Wilson: A hundred percent. And that's at healthy boundaries, right? And that's something that education in particular does a really poor job of is having healthy boundaries. Which is why your teacher's kids are just nuked. Like I'm on the first day of Christmas break and our building was vacant by three 10. It was like the place just ran for the door.

[01:52:00] Travis Bader: Well, I think that's where people have a tough time. Okay. I'll just say yes. Okay. I'll just say no. Yeah. But where, what should I be saying no to? What should I be saying yes to? And honestly, I think deep down, we know in our heart. We absolutely do. I think if we were really, truly honest with ourself, I'd say I'm saying no to this because I'm afraid, or I'm saying no to this because I realized I need some rest.

[01:52:21] Steve Wilson: Yeah. Yeah. And that's, and we'll, we generally don't want to disappoint others. Right, right. Those of us that are in the hustle of helping others, we generally don't want to disappoint others, but then it comes at a cost and every, so burnout is an incredibly real thing, right? Like as an athlete, when I was a gymnast, I was so, I made a national team my last year of my career, if you will.

[01:52:42] Steve Wilson: Um, and I was so fried that I didn't even want to go to nationals. Like that should have been a lifelong achievement. Was to make a national team. And I was cooked. I was done. It retired me because of the struggle that it had taken with no nurturing to get to that point. Whereas now it's like, I, you know, I had, I said it to a colleague the other day.

[01:53:00] Steve Wilson: I said, look, I care about you, but you're cooked. And I can see it and here's how I'm seeing it. And I'm sorry if that hurts, but I'm telling you because I care. I'm wondering if there's an opportunity for you to take a little bit better care of yourself. And does that mean taking a day? And then it was like, how can I help you get there?

[01:53:18] Steve Wilson: How can I support you in this? Not because they, just cause I'm their friend and I'm there and I care about them. Right. But it's like being willing to say that and being willing to say, here's why I'm saying it. I think those are really important things, um, that help people learn how to draw healthy boundaries for themselves, you know, and I'm, and I, I think just inclusive language of that on the daily is, is important.

[01:53:42] Travis Bader: I'm  just looking at the time here and I think we're, I think we should, uh, wrap it up, but I also think, uh, you've got an invite to be back on the podcast. Cause there's a lot more that I'd like to talk to you  about.

[01:53:53] Steve Wilson: Sure. I'd love to. 

[01:53:54] Travis Bader: Awesome. I'm into it. Steve, thank you so much for being on the Silverbook Podcast.

[01:53:58] Steve Wilson: Thanks for  having me.