Sun Sachs talks about overcoming childhood trauma through physical training in extreme sports, and the lessons he learned along the way that led him to co-founding Rewire Fitness.
Today, Mark Divine speaks with Sun Sachs, about overcoming childhood trauma through physical training in extreme sports, and the lessons he learned along the way that led him to co-founding Rewire Fitness. Rewire Fitness is a unique app that provides assessments and prescriptions for holistic resilience focusing on emotional and cognitive areas, as well as physical.
Work smarter, and harder. Tough workouts can make you more resilient, but toughness is not the only thing that matters. Cultivating self-awareness allows you to be more in touch with what your body needs.
Having a calm mind gives you an edge on the competition. Whether you are trying to win a race, or lead a seminar, having a calm mind allows you to enter a flow state and operate at a new level of peak performance.
It’s important to assess your frustration levels. If you are edgy and easily frustrated, you are experiencing cognitive fatigue. When you identify this, use your favorite mindfulness technique to help you relax and recover.
Learning to see failure as part of the learning process is key. Being afraid to fail paralyzes us, and prevents us from even trying. When we embrace failure, we learn how to build our successes from our failed attempts.
A good mental health approach is multidimensional. It is not one size fits all, but we all require some form of mindfulness, connection, and reflection.
Mark Divine 0:00
Coming up on the Mark Divine show,
Sun Sachs 0:02
all of a sudden going down this downhill portion of the race about 25 miles an hour on a single track. The break broke through the rim. I flipped over with my hands still on the handlebars, it broke both my hands got two black guys. And I got up. And of course, there was a little bit of shock. But then I just had this thought, like, well, what if I could still finish the race, I took off the tire road on the rim. I knew my hands are broken because I was going over all the rocks. I could feel the clicking in my hands. So then I drove myself to the hospital and got the X rays and confirm that it was broken, but that resilience sort of came through when I needed it most.
Mark Divine 0:44
Hey folks, welcome to the Mark Divine Show. This is Mark Divine, your host in the show we discover we dive in deeply and discuss what makes the world’s most inspirational, compassionate, and resilient leaders so courageous. We talk in depth to people from all walks of life martial arts grandmasters meditation monks, CEOs, military leaders, Stoic philosophers, entrepreneurs, proud survivors of whatever, and more. Each episode will turn that guests experience into actionable insights that you can follow and use to lead a life filled with courage, compassion, and wholeness. I’m super excited today to talk to son sacks. Son Sachs is the CEO and co founder of rewire fitness son grew up in Canada then later ended up in Boulder, Colorado, where he got involved in endurance sports, biking, a first road and then mountain biking at a pretty early age. He worked his way up to the elite level in several disciplines only to retire at 26 Suffering from burnout and injury. And he embarked on a journey to discover how to train more holistically. During that time, he pursued a career in software development. And now he’s bringing many of his learnings to Market with a company called rewire. He’s a self described performance geek, and relentlessly pursues all avenues to improve athletic performance and overall well being. Where’d you grow up? And what was your family? Like? What were the patterns that conditioned you to be the way you are? Where are you from originally from Hudson? Er,
Sun Sachs 2:18
yeah, so I actually was born in Canada, in the 70s, early 70s had a non traditional upbringing with parents, they were hippies, they moved quite a lot like, every 10 months or so. Oh, wow. Sort of the earliest memory building on this theme of trauma. About two and a half, I basically choked on Cherry seed. And there was no hospital or anything around within more than an hour radius to turn blue. Was a few minutes of not breathing. And literally the neighbor saved me riding upon a horse.
Mark Divine 2:55
No kidding. Sounds like the wild wild west.
Sun Sachs 2:58
Seriously yet 3000 acres, a lot of bears and wild animals and stuff. And that part’s obviously pretty formative as well. But you know, that set the stage for what for me built a lot of resilience in that my parents ended up joining a
Mark Divine 3:13
cult. What age were you when they were in this cult from four to I think eight. Okay, were you influenced at all by that teaching?
Sun Sachs 3:22
Yeah, mostly. My parents were just gone all the time. I see. From morning till late at night. I was alone. Right? And so, you know, there are all kinds of things that happened at an early age you know, four or five six own codeine on my mother’s medication accidentally to almost blowing myself up with these fishing explosives that were in the neighboring lot of fishermen completely freaked out when he saw me basically trying to try to break them apart. I had a few abduction temps Good lord strangers. Yeah, trying to get pushed into Vance citing
Mark Divine 3:55
childhood you had life of adventure. Do you want to contextualize?
Sun Sachs 4:01
Yeah, wow. Yeah, no, exactly. It’s very, very formative.
Mark Divine 4:06
What was school like? Were you in and out of school at all or were homeschooled or no school.
Sun Sachs 4:10
So I definitely was in a lot of different schools with all the moving and unfortunately, whatever it was about my personality, kids picked up on I was just bullied for a good 10 years you know, from school to school, suffered broken bones, a lot of humiliation, mental physical abuse. And as a result, acid developed severe OCD and speech impediment, which only made things worse of course, right.
Mark Divine 4:38
Now, because of your outdoor living, were you athletic and tough or did you consider yourself to be easily bullied?
Sun Sachs 4:46
Yes, so it was interesting. The athletic piece, you know, sort of some kind of alchemy happen. I felt very victimized, very vulnerable, pretty sensitive kid. And at some point in my preteens, we moved to Colorado, and I got involved in bike racing. At an early age, I think I was like 12. And something about that
Mark Divine 5:10
was it mountain bike or road biking.
Sun Sachs 5:12
So this is in 1983 was my first bike race. So this was really pre the mountain biking circuit, I got involved in junior bike racing, but then, as soon as mountain biking developed, you know, that was definitely my sport, a lot of different disciplines within it. So, right, you know, the interesting thing was, like, what felt like a lot of trauma suddenly became a strength there, not suddenly, I’m sure, it was a, you know, gradual process, but I just felt that I couldn’t do a lot more.
Mark Divine 5:43
So tell, let’s go into that a little bit. Because I have some familiarity, in a sense that, you know, we, I had a stable childhood, and that we didn’t move around, we basically had one home, you know, for my entire childhood. So that was on the positive side, but on the negative side had a lot of violence and, you know, alcohol and whatnot. And so I turned also to endurance sports, and then became a Navy SEAL. And I had a similar experience where resiliency seemed to come easy to me. So I have my theories, but I’d love to listen to yours. And, you know, see how trauma can be naturally or with a little willpower turned into, you know, mental strength.
Sun Sachs 6:18
Yeah, yeah, exactly. Where it started to become kind of striking. And I went all in with really working towards the goal of becoming a professional athlete that got up to an elite level, I ended up dropping out of college to pursue it, okay, was all in. And you know, what the things that surprised me that I didn’t know that on top resilience. One time I was in a bike race, and I was using these Hyperlite wheels, and you know, the wheels are really thin. And basically, within less than three months of use, all of a sudden, going down this downhill portion of the race, about 25 miles an hour on a single track, the break broke through the rim. And it had a violent stop, and basically so fast, like whiplash that I flipped over with my hands still on the handlebars, it broke both my hands, got two black guys. And I got up. And of course, there was a little bit of shock. But then I just had this thought, like, well, what if I could still finish the race, I took off the tire road on the rim, I knew my hands are broken, because I was going over all the rocks, I could feel the clicking in my hands, right. And then when I finished the race, I went to the medic tent, and they’re like, well, there’s no way you could ride with broken hands. So you’re fine. Like it’s just, you know, a severe bruise of some kind. And so then I drove myself to the hospital and got the X rays, and, you know, confirmed that it was broken, but like that resilience sort of came through, when I needed it most,
Mark Divine 7:51
you know, whatever you suffered as a child, but ever kind of emotional abuse, you know, from peers and whatnot. Do you think that part of you shunted pain, you know, some part of your psyche, like shut off certain pain receptors, which allowed you to push through? What would normally be, you know, a showstopper, like broken wrists riding a bike of Iraq?
Sun Sachs 8:12
Yeah, I think on the extreme end, that’s probably true. Yeah, part of what we ended up building is all around the sort of resilience training. And what the science shows is that the resilience that you build a sort of a generic capability, where, when you’re under a higher amount, sort of at your breaking point of resilience, that’s when you have that extra capacity. And so we’ll get to sort of what the sort of how I solve my own problem. But I think that that’s, you know, depending on the type of trauma that you go through, that becomes a resource that can be applied to different things. But the other side of it, I would also say is that what is a sort of a weakness or a trauma, that that becomes a strength can also then eventually hold you back? Right. And that’s also part of my journey is just sort of learning where it was an asset, but also where it was holding me back and, and ultimately, something I had to sort of put in my toolkit, but not necessarily always live that way in a survival mode. You know what I mean?
Mark Divine 9:16
Right? It’s one thing to be able to push through the extreme, challenging moments, right. But it’s another thing to not let that the patterns from that trauma slowly degrade your motivation and your performance over the long haul. Yes,
Sun Sachs 9:30
yes. That’s fascinating. Yeah, double edged sword. I want to stay on this
Mark Divine 9:35
and relate trauma to the difference between positive and negative trauma and how that we can you know how hard hard training really is a deliberate attempt to traumatize the body and the mind, right, in an effort to get stronger and better at something. Yeah. So there is a correlation. Yeah, but what’s the difference between training induced trauma versus the trauma you know, let’s say about traumatic childhood.
Sun Sachs 10:01
Yeah, and I have maybe a sort of a controversial opinion about it. In some respects, the trauma that I experienced was over quite a long period of time. And sure, there are some, in hindsight, there are some beneficial, you know, results from it just in terms of extra resilience. But the traditional way of building resilience is sort of this, this approach where you push yourself physically, over and over again. And as a side effect, you do build more mental resilience. But in my opinion, and in our team’s opinion, when we look at athletic performance, we believe there’s a better way, a structured way in which to build more resilience, where you’re adding more mental load to your brain in the same way that you would do in physical training. So in other words, does going out and pushing yourself physically result in more resilience? Absolutely. But it’s not very prescriptive. You know, you don’t know your current state of cognitive fatigue and stress. You know, in some cases, it will be beneficial. And as we’ve all experienced, as in some cases, it will not be helpful. And there’s also as you get more fit, you start to have to push yourself harder and harder, right, diminishing, diminishing returns. So what do you do then? How can you be, you know, more like a scalpel? In terms of your resilience training versus something that’s just a little bit more of a blunt instrument? As I like to say, do you
Mark Divine 11:33
consider resilience training to just be one aspect of overall, let’s just say, in athletic field athletic training, or in other areas of life? Is it just one aspect of training for life?
Sun Sachs 11:45
Yeah, absolutely. So building resilience and having grit is important in life. But on the other side of it, the impact of cognitive fatigue, the which we all experienced, especially in this modern society, is significant, and often overlooked, and under measured, right? So a thought experiment would be, you have a long day of work, a lot of stress, and maybe some family issues come up. You go to work out in the gym, at the end of the day, it’s going to feel physically harder. And you’re also going to have some challenges with motivation, right? That’s not necessarily because your body is under a went through a lot of stress. Unless you have a physical job, it’s more because you, your cognitive fatigue is negatively impacting your performance. So what I’m getting at is some kind of mindfulness practice something that will give you a calm mindset. In my opinion, having a calm mind is even more powerful than having a hard mind having a rigid or brittle, do or die mind. I’ve had to learn that over many years because my MO is the hard edge the sort of rigid
Mark Divine 12:58
okay, we’re going to take a short break here from the Mark Divine show your short message from one of our partners. This episode of the Mark Divine show is brought to you by progressive, what’s one thing you’d purchase with a little extra savings, a weighted blanket smart speaker that new self care trend you keep hearing about? Well, progressive wants to make sure you’re getting what you want by helping you save money on car insurance drivers who save by switching to progressive save over $700 On average, and customers can qualify for an average of six discounts when they sign up discounts like having multiple vehicles on your policy. Progressive offers outstanding coverage and award winning claim service day or night. The customer support is open 24/7 365 days a year. When you need them most. They’re at their best, a little off your rate each month goes a long way. Get a Quote [email protected] and see why four out of five new auto customers recommend progressive progressive casualty insurance company and affiliates national annual average insurance savings by new customers surveyed, who saved with progressive between June 2020 and may 2021. potential savings will vary discounts vary and are not available in all states and situations. And now back to the show. Certainly when people look at me and other navy seals that are you know, in this, their quote influencer area, such as David Goggins, for instance, or Jocko Willink, and these are great guys, and I know him both, and I consider them teammates, but there is the messages kind of like, go harder, right? Just do it, push, push, push, then my message is really kind of more aligned with yours. It’s like you know, there’s times to push and there’s times to recover and to go within and it’s more of the Yin Yang because I was a martial artist for years and even before I was a seal so I really learned that kind of, I mean, I was a traditional martial artists where we meditated and then got on the floor and trained and then we meditated trained and so I got that kind of essence of balance the Yin Yang and how they work together and how crucial they were. So when I trained Navy SEAL trainees or candidates when They just think I gotta be tougher, tougher, tougher, go harder, stronger, faster. I say, Well, you know, if a tsunami comes and we had a tsunami, just, you know, recently over in Tonga, the tsunami comes, would you rather be the mighty oak? Or would you rather be the, you know, the read? And they’re like, yeah, look at me kind of glassy. What’s gonna happen to the oak? It’s just gonna get washed away. It’s done. Yeah. But the reed is just going to bend over. And this Nami will wash over it, and then it’ll pop back up. So you kind of want to be a read in those circumstances. And there’s a time to be tough, like you said, there’s a time to be soft. How did you learn how to be soft?
Sun Sachs 15:33
So? Yeah, great question. I mean, basically, I ended up retiring my career very early, burnt out injured around 26. That is really Yes. But the next 20 years, basically trying to unpack what went wrong and trying to improve. And in that process, one of the things that I discovered I read a book called Autobiography of a Yogi, oh, yeah,
Mark Divine 15:54
one of my favorites that got me on my yoga journey. Okay, there you go. That’s such a phenomenal book by Paramahansa Yogananda.
Sun Sachs 16:00
Exactly. So I actually joined his organization. Okay.
Mark Divine 16:04
Yes, right down the street. In fact, myself, the training center was, I could throw a rock at the SRF Oh, wow. philony. Yeah, we used to go to the meditation gardens and run up and down the street in front of them.
Sun Sachs 16:15
Amazing. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I went all in, I signed the lifelong love to not reveal any of the secrets, right? My basically was meditating yoga, ours kriya yoga. Yeah, I earned my Korea ban level, basically, where the they revealed the master secrets. Right? And, you know, I was meditating three or four hours a day.
Mark Divine 16:34
That doesn’t seem sustainable, either that you go all in, don’t you?
Sun Sachs 16:39
Yeah, yeah. But, you know, I learned the lessons, maybe slowly, but I eventually learned lessons. So like, I started to realize the practice was incredibly valuable, but I needed to dial it back. And I needed to find a way to make it more sustainable. So that’s why I ultimately ended up doing still practice some of the techniques, but basically, added that to my toolkit, and, you know, looked at that from, you know, even from a performance standpoint is invaluable. Now, you know, the other thing is that I’ll just sort of equate which I think athletes can relate to, and high performance individuals is getting into a flow state is very similar to meditation, you have this very calm, ready state, and you observe things in a manner that is quite rational, you know, you’re not going to if you’re amped up listening to high tempo, music, you’re never going to get into a flow state, you’re not going to find that quiet place where you actually can have incredible performances.
Mark Divine 17:40
What do you think happens with flow state? What’s your informed opinion about why that occurs, and what makes it happen?
Sun Sachs 17:47
Part of my athletic career, I became a bike messenger in the streets of Seattle, basically sprinting and throwing, you’re telling yourself down big hills all the time. So I was in flow state hundreds of times, literally, for me, the sort of flow triggers one you didn’t need to be in kind of include ready state. The second thing, my kind of deeper theory is that when there are multiple data points that your brand needs to process, in a fight or flight situation, you basically time shift in order to be able to deal with the risk or the circumstance. So I’ll give you an example. I was at a race. A couple months ago, I was off road going down this hill, and the guy right in front of me, hit this rock and flipped over. And as he was flipping through the air, I saw that my trajectory was such that I had to decide where he was going to land before he landed, so that I could be in a position to avoid him. Meanwhile, there’s people right behind me. And there’s obstacles in front of me. That was a classic flow state where suddenly things slowed down, right. And I couldn’t think about any one thing, I had to take in all of that data at once and decide where I was going to be in order to, you know, basically, survive. Now in that circumstance. There’s a skill component. So definitely do not encourage people to throw themselves into situations that they’re incapable of performing in write. But when you have sort of the circumstance plus the skill, that is an effective flow trigger is sort of this fight or flight state where you have to deal with a lot of different data points at once.
Mark Divine 19:27
And I think athleticism is where we most associate flow, you can actually see it in peak performance moments. You know, when you watch NFL football or baseball, you know, that it always just blew my mind, you know, that the outfield are going for that, you know, to catch the ball that would otherwise be a homerun and like scampering up the wall, and he’s got his non gloved hand, just the ball just literally just floats into his hand. And he’s like, yeah, like, yeah, the average human can do that without 1000s and 1000s of hours of practice. And it’s that practice which kind of greases the wheels. To unlock the flow, Mahesh should smell I probably butchered his name in his book flow does talk about yoga and how yoga. Yeah, he talks about how yoga the practice can activate flow, I believe, and I don’t know if you share this, but the practice of yoga in terms of the meditative practices, train your mind to allow you to unlock flow on demand, you know, at will. And you can say that Samadhi is a perpetual flow state, right? Yeah. It’s a state of being that is also associated with this stage of development of the mind. Yes, so I do, that’s why I agree with you that meditation is one of the most valuable skills for anybody, for any performer, whether it’s, you know, boardroom performer or an athlete. Because you’re, you’re basically training your mind to be able to access those flow states without having to be a superb athlete,
Sun Sachs 20:46
necessarily. That’s right. It is something that you can practice. And you can practice sort of priming yourself for flow state. And right, there are things you can do sort of as a habit or a process to sort of help trigger that right on the bike, I was able to experience it almost daily. So it is something you can refine,
Mark Divine 21:04
there’s another aspect of performance, which I’ve noticed in my clients is really almost the long pole in the tent. And that’s emotional awareness and emotional, they have shadow issues that just always kind of creep up, they can creep up and kill motivation. It can torch you because you don’t have the self esteem or the, you know, the confidence to succeed at the highest levels, because maybe you don’t feel worthy, all of those aspects. So how did you deal with that? And uncover that? And how did you overcome that? And those issues? You know, what’s your method for teaching that to your clients?
Sun Sachs 21:40
Yeah, that’s a great one. Many of your listeners kind of know that the theory behind the growth mindset and the fixed mindset, and right, that, to me, was particularly helpful in just identifying the brittleness of my mindset. So while I was really, really resilient, I couldn’t accept failure in any way. And when something would fail, it would be devastating to me, whether it was beyond my control or not. And so I had to start a process of not only allowing failure, but welcoming it and encouraging it, and seeing it as part as a helpful part of the process. And that, and it’s, I would say, it’s still something that I’m continue to work on self talk has been incredibly helpful. That’s something that we have built into our products, having those phrases that are going to sort of recall that state that you want to be in the mindfulness in terms of self reflection, and self awareness, when you start, you know, you can burn a lot of mental energy cycling and fixating on negative thoughts, right. So just being able to observe the self and see when that’s happening and recognize those patterns, some therapy is helped. There’s some neuroscience techniques that we use in the product around subliminal priming that are interesting. A wide variety of tools,
Mark Divine 23:03
right? Yeah, there’s no magic bullet when it comes to the emotional areas there. It really depends on what the issue is, and you know, the most effective tool and also, it’s going to be different by based on personalities. And so a multi dimensional approach is important, isn’t it? It is that you mentioned a product, you have a company called rewire, which I think is really cool, because we grow up conditioned in a certain way by our family of origin and our upbringing and everything. And so, in order to really live our fullest potential, we have to kind of rewire that. Is that where it kind of came from? The man? Yeah,
Sun Sachs 23:36
yeah, 100% really was just sort of taking those things that I’ve learned in my journey, right, and applying a sort of a scientific approach, evidence based approach to providing tools for structured brain training for resilience, for what we consider an alternative to meditation may be something that’s a little more accessible, where we, you mentioned the sort of the multitude of techniques, we’ll combine those and what we call a recipe. So you might do a mix of, you know, breathing, like box breathing, which I know you’ve been a proponent of, for a long time, we’ll do some neuroscience with binaural beats will do self talk will do subliminal priming, will really sort of combine a lot of different approaches, so that we increase the odds of a greater efficacy for the individual. So that’s an important part. And then the last thing is just holistically tracking readiness. So you know, what we see as a lack of innovation in the space. You know, when you look at all of the readiness systems out there, they only look at the physiological measures, right. So those are important. I mean, I discovered HRV, more than a decade ago, and it’s super helpful, but sleep we’re more than just our sleep, our heart rate in our training load. You know, we have an emotional component. We have a cognitive component, and if we’re not looking at that holistically in terms of our readiness to performance and providing the right amount of intervention. Were really missing a not only a great opportunity to improve, but also to be healthy athletes for the long haul.
Mark Divine 25:12
The quantitative folks would say, Yeah, but you know, yeah, it’s objectively measured, the heart rate variability in your sleep is objectively measured. But, you know, if someone’s self reporting, their motivation, or their mindset or whatever, then that’s subjective and not to be trusted. So, right.
Sun Sachs 25:32
I mean, listen, we have hundreds of 1000s of years of biology of self assessment, right? There are aspects to our own understanding of ourselves that are very accurate. If you look at I mean, honestly, anybody who uses a readiness tracker, like the modern ones that are out there, they will have days when they’ll look at the score, and they’ll say, that makes no sense.
Mark Divine 25:54
You know, it’s funny, I lit my aura ring a little while ago. Yeah. Partly because of that, but also more like, the law of diminishing returns fell off a cliff, you know, I mean, yes. The first is like, Oh, interesting. Look, I slept, My God is 90 SleepScore. And then, you know, after about the 50th 90, SleepScore, I’m like, I’m not really learning anything, this is not bringing any benefit to me. So I just took the ring off. And like, it’s interesting,
Sun Sachs 26:15
but not additive to my life. That’s right. And if you look at what the recommendations are, I mean, I like or for the sleep data, but when you look at the recommendations, you know, they’re just, they’re very generic. They’re almost like astrology, to be blunt, you know, interpreted the way you want, right? Yeah, it’s like a go no, go. And more than 75% of the time, at least for me, it’s Don’t go. So I would never be training if I listened to this only prescription every day.
Mark Divine 26:45
No, the scriptures were useless for me as well, and not the thing or at all, I think.
Sun Sachs 26:49
Yeah, no, exactly. But basically, what I’m saying is, the power is the combination of the objective and subjective data, right, you know, both are important. And to discount the subjective data is a major Miss. And also to not even think about the mind as part of your performance state. And to measure that we have a sort of a way to measure the cognitive performance. You know, that’s an essential piece, like every athlete I’ve talked to were like, what percentage of performance is mental? And they’re all gonna say the majority of their percentage, you know, of their performance is mental. But then they’re not spending time really working on that directly. Right. So it’s just a big gap.
Mark Divine 27:30
So tell me, how do we do this? Like, what’s the formula for measuring cognitive performance? And, you know, mental states that drive flow state and whatnot? I mean, how do we train someone to self report effectively? Yes, part of this question.
Sun Sachs 27:46
Yeah. And then, you know, there’s some things you could do on your own, it does help if you have, you know, both, like I said, subjective and objective data, what we use for the mind measurement is reaction time test. So it has been used in the military, you see it in sleep studies, it’s a psycho motor villages test. And basically, every time you see the shape, you tap on the screen, and we measure based on your prior baseline performance. So if you’re off by five 10%, that’s a significant indicator that you’re under a greater amount of cognitive fatigue. Same thing with if you’re, if you see an incremental increase in your improvement in your action time. So like, having a way to objectively measure that performance is helpful. The subjective part of it, everybody is probably familiar with RPE. So your your rate of perceived exertion on a scale of one to 10, you’ll see it in, you know, hospitals as well, doctors use it. That’s certainly helpful. But I’ll point out a few other things that are interesting. Your level of frustration, just noting your level of frustration on a daily basis is important because if you’re under greater cognitive stress, you’re going to have less cognitive control. And sort of the lower level biology or emotionality is going to be more more prominent. And so if you notice, suddenly, you’re getting ticked off by things that normally don’t take you off, you’re clearly under a greater amount of cognitive fatigue. The other thing that I like to look at is sort of what state Am I Am I in a parasympathetic state or a sympathetic state, and if you go really deep into, into that sort of nervous system states, you’re in breath is your sympathetic state your out breath with your parasympathetic state, and also your nostrils, your right nostril is related to your sympathetic and your left as your parasympathetic. So I’ll even just observe, you know, which nostrils clogged up meaning if I’m in a high sympathetic state, my right nostril is going to be very clear. Mm hmm. So just like simple observation to kind of unpack What’s going on has been helpful. But obviously we have sort of a specific tool and a methodology that we use that helps people do it without having to kind of do it ad hoc. Right.
Mark Divine 30:11
That’s fascinating. So you have an app, obviously. And, well, let’s use you as an example. What is your daily ritual look like? And using a tool like that?
Sun Sachs 30:20
Yes. So part of the practice of the process is basically you, you wake up in the morning, and as part of your morning routine for me, I’ll meditate first. And then I’ll do a readiness assessment, which is a two minute test. And so you know, it’ll basically sync with aura ring, and all of the other trackers bring in your physiological data. I like to capture it live with heart rate strap. And then I’ll go through this process where it basically assesses me cognitively, physically and emotionally. And then it gives you an overall score. But then what’s interesting is it then breaks down specifically what your areas of need are. So for instance, it might show that you have a slower reaction time, or a greater amount of emotionality. And for me, as an athlete, still competitive in my sport, you know, like, if I’m planning on doing a big dissent, where I’m going 4050 miles an hour down a gravel road, I want to know if my reaction time is off, or I’m under cognitive stress, like that’s really helpful for me for my own safety. But then different from the other systems, instead of just sort of saying, well go or don’t go, you should rest, which isn’t really realistic for most people, they’ll still have to perform, you know, they’ll have responsibilities. What we then do is take their cognitive, their physical, their emotional states, and we create that recipe, which is this recovery system. So we’ll give them an on the spot intervention, which they could do as part of the morning practice, or just snooze on it, and do it throughout the day. So they’ll basically go through like a two to two five minute recovery protocol. And again, we’ll measure their objective and subjective data so they can see how their body responded to it. And then the last piece is the resilience training, which is basically this scientific protocol where it’s focused on response inhibition, which is basically impulse control. So the athlete will do this cognitive task, and we like to call the task questions. So imagine in a 15 minute cognitive workout, they’re answering 1000 questions. And then if you do that, we have another product, a hardware product, which we’ll be rolling out, hopefully later this year, which you could do it while you’re training. So you’re, you know, imagine pushing some hard intervals, while also trying to be cognitively sharp. And what that does is basically accelerate the cognitive load that you’d normally get just from training. So that we can increase the sort of the performance around resilience and also track it over time. So we have a unique way to sort of measure how mentally resilient you are and how much more resilient you can become that kind of thing.
Mark Divine 33:17
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Sun Sachs 36:09
we do some of that. We don’t have the character behind it. But we’re assess where you’re at. And we’ll recommend
Mark Divine 36:13
show up as a hologram yet.
Sun Sachs 36:15
No, not yet. I’d also love to be on the beach doing mindfulness work as well, virtually That’d be nice.
Mark Divine 36:22
That would be nice. So there’s the holodeck. So Jarvis within the holodeck. Yes. For the construct. You know, we will be training that way someday, which is kind of fascinating. Yeah. And it’s coming fast. So where do you see, let’s just say 22 to 20. For the next few years? Where do you see technology really going in terms of your world and performance training?
Sun Sachs 36:43
Yeah, it’s a great question. I mean, I definitely see that sort of this mental fitness component is going to be a new frontier, right? We were first to Market with kind of a comprehensive solution. But you know, these days, you see all the major brands from Nike to Under Armour to hyper ice, not only investing in mindset, but talking about mindset, as a brand proposition as a way to increase performance. So this is an area that is virtually untapped, and will create, basically, I think, the next level of athlete, when you combine everything we already know about sports science, with a structured way to train the mind, and recover the mind be sort of aware of the whole human being as it relates to performance, that is an incredible opportunity, we’ll just keep pushing the envelope. You know, some of the greatest feats are sort of psychological barriers that people have to overcome, whether it’s a four minute mile, a two hour marathon, and so on. And I also think that, and I hope that rewire is a part of it is that we find and develop a structured way to help people get into the flow state. I think that is crucial. That’s, I believe, something that is a innate gift that we have that we forgotten as human beings. Look at many of the animals out there and you see sort of how they respond to fight or flight, or just the grace that they have, when they’re moving. I think we can get there as well. We can relearn that so that I’d like to be a big part of that. And that’s, I think, another frontier and then obviously, the AI stuff. We’ll see where that goes. But a lot of the big brands are investing in that right now as well.
Mark Divine 38:19
Do you also work with individual clients? Now? Is there any exciting, athletic adventure for many clients coming up that you’re working on trying to help someone achieve something wickedly? Cool?
Sun Sachs 38:30
That’s a great question. We actually have a lot of professional athletes, amateur athletes, brands, Under Armour was an early investor with us. We are working to help support all of those different populations and groups. Kyle Korver, the NBA star also invested in rewire and work with him. So the challenge question is a great one. I mean, a few ones I’ll call out we have this hybrid athlete who’s incredible. He basically combines powerlifting with endurance sports. So like he did a five minute mile, some crazy amount of deadlifts, and then ran more than a marathon all in a single day. So like Yeah, we love that
Mark Divine 39:20
sounds like SEAL Fit training. That’s what we do.
Sun Sachs 39:23
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Well, I’d love to check it out. One day when I’m when I’m over there. That sounds like fun. Honestly, that’s interesting.
Mark Divine 39:30
You say, with our seal for training, you know, we do crucible, which is like a pressure cooker type training. You know, it’s modeled after the Navy SEAL Hell Week, which is just this genius training tool or methodology. And there’s so much more going on than what anybody you know, just observing from the outside could possibly imagine. Yeah, there’s this deep, comprehensive, holistic, whole person, you know, training going on when you are sleep deprived, and you’ve got these complicated challenges that an industry can’t solve on their own. So they really relies on them to open up to ask for help and to receive help and to be a teammate, you know. And then you’re dealing with, you know, physical performance challenges, psychological challenges, emotional challenges. And it all is just this petri dish that, and it lasts for 50 hours, what happens, those who, who can push through, you know, have the resiliency and the grit and the presence to really push through about two thirds of the way through suddenly, it’s like the sun comes out, then their whole being their spirit just like flourishes. Yeah, they end with these like, wickedly long flow states that lasts for eight to 10 hours. And they’re on the beach at night, singing songs and just literally having the best time. And I talked to people after they’ve been up for 48 hours, and just nonstop physical training. Most people think these people just ready to literally crumble, and they’re just the strongest can be. And then like, I could go for another 50 hours. Yeah. And it’s just extraordinary to see what the human body being, you know, mind is capable of, you know, when you really train it that way. And you challenge
Sun Sachs 41:04
it. Yeah. And you sort of embraced the difficulty. You know, that’s right. Instead of resisting it, like, it’s funny, like, I’ve had a lot of experience. So I obviously have some resilience that I can tap into when I need it. And sometimes when I’m demonstrating that it’s interesting how people are sort of resistant or uncomfortable, like I was at a race earlier this year, and the beginning of the race, I got a flat. And I was basically like, okay, how am I going to get this done? And I thought, well, what if I could just finish it? What if I could just race the whole race on a flat? So I did. And you know, the riding on the rim? The you know, obviously I’ve done this before the metal was grinding and, and the athletes I was passing were like, You shouldn’t do this. This is a bad idea. There’s a lot of resistance. Yeah, resistance to it, and you see it. And meanwhile, we have such incredible capacity way more than we recognize. Yeah. So like finding these these different methods to unlocking that is the most exciting thing as athletes. Yeah,
Mark Divine 42:07
I agree. That’s probably a great place to to, to wrap things up so people can find more about you and your company. Where do we find more about you, they can
Sun Sachs 42:16
go to rewire fitness dot app. And also find us on social just search for rewire fitness, you’ll find us we launched this year, and we’re growing a big community of like minded athletes who care about performance at all levels and want to help everyone improve. So we look forward to hearing from folks and we have beta programs and other ways people can participate more deeply if they’d like So,
Mark Divine 42:41
alright, Sun, thanks so much. Really fascinating conversation and good luck with the company. Good luck with your training. I’m gonna go check it out myself. And sounds fascinating. And I’ll be watching you and at the forefront of mental fitness. We are thanks so much.
Sun Sachs 42:57
Exactly, yeah, but great conversation, appreciate it.
Mark Divine 43:03
There’s some really interesting things I find about that interview, first house son grew up at yet another individual who grew up with a fairly traumatic childhood, bouncing around every 10 months to a new home and living in the wilderness. And, you know, getting essentially traumatized as a youth and how he turned that into resiliency. And then how he began to investigate that through endurance sport, how did resiliency or How did his childhood, make him resilience? And then the pros and the cons of that? Where were the limitations of trauma based resiliency? So we had an interesting conversation about that and how training is essentially choosing traumatic experiences through discipline training, to develop resiliency, but how it’s also not enough. So we go into different types of training for cognitive fitness, such as mindfulness, positive self talk, and how we can use a multitude or a recipe of these different mental emotional and physical training tools to achieve optimal performance and access flow state. So it’s great listen, and I hope you’ll join us. Thank you very much, Mr. Sun, sex shownotes and transcripts are on our site at Mark Divine.com. A video will go up on our YouTube channel, Mark Divine comm slash YouTube. On Twitter. I’m at Mark Divine and at real Mark Divine, Instagram and Facebook. And you can always hit me up on LinkedIn. I’ll be launching our new newsletter divine inspiration soon I’d love to have you on our email list. So go to Mark Divine calm and please enroll as a subscriber. Special shout out to my team, Jason Sanderson, Geoff Haskell, Michele Czarnik, and Amy Jurkowitz, who helped produce this amazing podcast, bringing incredible guests to us every week and producing the show. It’s a lot of work, and they do an incredible job who Yeah, and I also continue to appreciate the reviews. If you haven’t reviewed the show, please do so it helps everyone else find it. So wherever you listen, please consider reviewing and sharing the podcast 2022 is well underway, it’s going to be a fascinating year. So hang on and continue to do the work. It’s crucial to take care of ourselves, train our minds so that no one else is training them, and to develop more compassion and courage, so that we can bring these skills and show up as the world’s centric compassionate leaders that we are starts with you. And our teams. Let’s be the leaders that we want to see in the world. Hooyah. Until next week, this is Mark Divine and this is the Mark Divine Show.