Transcription #147

Hi there, my name is Chris gastic. And I developed a platform called through a therapists eyes, you know on the show that we do a podcast and I’d like to introduce you to, we say that this is the human emotional experience. And we endeavor to figure this thing out together, because that’s really what we want to do. I try to blow up stereotypes and myths about mental health and substance abuse and disseminate like a lot of information. We laugh a lot, we talk about very serious topics, but we have a lot of fun. Look, I’ve been doing this work this life’s work of mine since 1995. So you know, in the show, I like to say, look, you can get personal insights from a therapist in your own home and in your car. But the truth is, really that’s what we endeavour to do to join with you and talk with us on social media. Best way to interact with this is the through a therapists eyes calm, because we got a lot of really cool things on there that you really enjoy. But we’re on all the other social media platforms and wherever you get your podcasts, but I really want to ask you to join us because I think that you’ll gain a certain understanding of all the things that I’ve had through such a long career working with us. So we enjoy doing the show, and we look for you to come join us. Take care.

Hi, guys, welcome to threads, podcast life unfiltered. Thank you so much for joining us. This is Episode 147. The shout out show. Before we do that Ben’s gonna introduce what threads is all about. And then we’ll get

threads podcast life unfiltered, as a show about uncomfortable conversations. We talk about things like mental health and faith in politics and other things, they get a little uncomfortable. And the goal of the show is to show you how to have those conversations so that you can have them with your people. And we believe that great things happen when you get uncomfortable and you step outside of your comfort zone, you stop being Facebook fake, and you’re just real. So that’s what we’re looking to accomplish when we sit down to talk. And it’s something that we want to encourage you as our listener to engage in as well. Before we

get into tonight’s concept. Just a quick personal update as the last show was a personal day show. Our guests had to reschedule that we plan on recording tonight. So we kind of through not through it together. But so this is just a different way to have a podcast I guess instead of doing a whole nother personal update, but Ben does have something to talk about. And I was a part of this, which was really cool. Tell us about your improv showcase after what six weeks of training or seven, something

like that. Okay, yeah, yeah. Well, apparently, I didn’t really talk about it much at all on the podcast leading up to the showcase. So you were

shamed. I heard I don’t know, in a kind way.

I think maybe I was just so unsure of like, Am I really doing this? Like this is really kind of outside of my comfort zone, even though I’m good at it. In between scenes. I was definitely kind of sweaty and a little anxious. And

you had the sweat going on by the end? Oh, yeah. You did. It

was it was rough. So So yes, I did level two improv class at the comedy project in downtown Grand Rapids on the north side of downtown. I loved every second of the class, with the exception of these two musical games that I just could not ever get the hang of. Okay, so with the exception of those two games, I loved every minute of it. And it was just a riot. I love improv. I’ve always loved watching it on like, Whose Line is it Anyway on TV?

That is the battle. I was obsessed with that show nice your carry. I don’t know the other guy’s names. But there was the black guy, Collin some town when I don’t know, man. Yeah, but Collin is one of the names you right?

Yeah. So and then in high school. I had really forgotten about this until the gal who ran the thing commented on my Facebook post. But in high school, one of the older students, I think she might have even have graduated but she led an improv drama team in our youth group. Oh, and I was a part of that. It’s I completely spaced that somehow. It was my senior year. So things were probably a little hectic and busy and I just didn’t really pay much attention to it. But I definitely remember doing improv in that setting. And then in college, I was on a traveling improv team.

Are you guys you listeners? Are you listening to this? This guy? This introvert is like an improv professional over here. ish. Well, yeah, amateur professional. Yeah, there you go. You’re at level two. I mean, come on level three.

Now that’s level two as

well. Ever passes, you paid the fee? It’s

true. No, you can actually be told to repeat level two,

I actually appreciate that. Because if you’re if you’re kind of putting your name like, Hey, I learned improv from the comedy product. He’s gonna be like, Oh, shit, this guy’s not that great, you know? Yeah. So that’s good that they do that

the bar is high with the comedy project is what I found there. There was one guy who, after the first night, never showed up to class again, noca. And I think it’s because from the very start of the class, you were asked to put ourselves out there, yeah, do these games and to do these Musical Games and like these warm ups, and it’s very action packed and you’re doing stuff the whole two hours of class.

I’m really proud of you because I did acting and I saw you up there and like everyone up there, I’m like, I was freaking out watching because I was like, there’s no way I could do this. I would be I would fumble through it. I just I don’t know, I I wouldn’t want to be like, because it’s always like, you feel like embarrassed. Like if you don’t do it, right.

Oh, I totally blew the Beastie Boys game that I was hosting.

Yeah, that was rough. It’s okay. But like to me, I would be devastated. And you’re, you know, and it shouldn’t be that way. Because it’s, it’s improv like, you got the general gist of it. But hats off to you guys, because I was nervous for all of y’all out there. So

that was just a ton of fun. I loved it. So tomorrow, they’re announcing when the next class sessions are okay. Part of my personal update is also the fact that I’ve been insanely busy. every freaking weekend. Every day is just like the whole month of September. I haven’t had a break. Like,

this is the busiest I’ve known you for what’s three years or half years. Yeah. This is the busy. I mean, Ben loves to send random pictures without explanation. And we’ve talked about on the show, and I would get random like feed pictures of him in the hammock, which I don’t need an explanation for that. I got it now. I haven’t seen any of those in six weeks.

I I’ve got this amazing backyard setup. And I’m out there all month.

And that’s like your jam. I’m like, dude, you got to take a breath.

I’m planning I got to get through September. But there will be some breaths

good about the improv. It was it was really fun. I encourage anyone that you know likes that kind of stuff. They it’s every Friday night. They have that right? There’s a there’s a set team that kind of does it. Yep, yeah, check them out the comedy project if you’re from Grand Rapids, and everyone probably knows this brewery, the mitten brewery, it’s kitty corner to that you’ll see Scott’s barbecue. And then behind Scott’s barbecue is the parking lot for the comedy project. So you can actually park there and go to the mitten to you know i when i we did do that. I was like I’m parking here. I don’t care. And then I saw the sign that says for mitten brewing. So I was like, that’s pretty cool. My only introduction to the comedy project is not last year, but the year before when lafosse was still in person, right? We did some shows there. But I never really got to like go in there and stuff. So it’s a really quaint little cool place. It is I loved it. I’m surprised they don’t have any open mic stuff there. They do. Oh, do they?

They just don’t advertise, okay. So because our instructor Joe put a very well, he said, we want to give people the opportunity to improve and hone their skills. But we’re not going to advertise that to the public because we don’t want the public to show up on a Monday night. And think that what they’re seeing at open mic night is what the comedy project does. I got you because they really do have a I would call them a professional cast. Okay, have people that are doing the improv every week? whether or not they’re being paid? I don’t

Yeah, that’s what I would that was gonna be my next question. Yeah, cuz that kind of makes you a professional once you’re getting paid even if it’s a small amount, right?

Yeah. But it’s just it was so fun and that that whole I don’t know. I haven’t been to a show there yet. But I want to go

let’s go dude. Absolutely, like I love I. I was a little hesitant. I’m not gonna lie, but I was busting up almost the entire time. Even the script reading towards the end. Some of them got pretty funny. They didn’t like once they needed mics. That was rough. But hey, shit happens. You know, the show must go on. I bet in plenty of ways you just get through it. But no, I had a really great time. So what was your most favorite line of that show? Or the funniest one?

I think my final closing line got the most laughs Yeah. On the the acting out the movie review. Yeah, the bomb that was gonna go off. So the way that game works is there’s two movie critics. And they’re critiquing a movie that doesn’t exist. And they’ll talk in snippets about the movie and then the other the rest of the class. had to act out what they were talking about. So one of the last things that the critic critiquers critics critics Wow. One of the last things that the critic said was something about a musical number. And so I was like shit I’m gonna have to sing But Joe, our instructor who was running kind of the transitions and the lights and whatnot. He ended right before I could sing any final numbers. So I just said as the lights are dimming my timing was perfect. I just said but I haven’t son yet. Yeah, the lights go dim and people are like laughing and that was how we ended the showcase. Yeah, it was so I don’t know. I loved it. Yeah, well,

hey, like I’ve always said, I’ve always done production. They’re a big part role, too. They gotta know when to do things, right? actually an improv because it’s kind of like, I wondered, when they did the I know we’re talking so much about this, but I’m kind of excited when they’d like snap, clapped, and then the other person jumped in. Yeah, was that they’re like, oh, they’re struggling so I’m gonna go in or that

was was it so you watch until you have an idea? Okay, what

they saw there’s no timing. You’re like, Oh, I got an idea. I’m in Yeah. So they

so you’re listening for something that you can transition into a new

So okay, very cool. Yeah,

I didn’t see any of those. I was again, in between games. I was backstage sweating and kind of an anxious mass, but I pulled it off.

Yeah. So one of the things that I noticed and you said his name is Qian, right? He got typecasted. Every time there was something about he’s black. There was something about a slave like the whole bit was about that. I’m like, I think it was a little uncut. I think he he started being comfortable. But at the beginning, I was like, Oh, crap, and then of course, your daughter who’s black right by the way she was that was rough with her. She was so I mean, she had an RBF you know, an RBS? Yeah, like, well, I’m sure you see it. I was like, anyways, but mirror. Andy was mortified. I’m like, Listen, it’s comedy. Everyone’s rolling with it. Like you can’t get offended in comedy if you do. Like you laughed at all the other stuff. You gotta laugh at this. So he got typecasted for that and then there was another older prison one. Yeah, yeah, that was your fault though. It was Yeah, because I yelled out Denmark. Oh, and then it was a maximum security prison and I gave him the prison you gave him the prison I wasn’t thinking but of course that was completely random but I was just like oh poor Qian like what the hell but

he is probably my favorite one to act with. Yeah, he and I could just riff together and build off of what we were doing. Like the whole first one that we did where we were building a deck. Yeah, that was good. It was just so natural. So work with him so have a total blast with Qian I’m sure

you find as you continue on you’ll find people that you just whatever for whatever reason you think better than the other people it’s just yeah just happened.

There was another person who every time we were in a scene we would end up playing husband and wife and we’d be yelling at each other thankfully that didn’t happen during the showcase but we were joking about it right before like we can’t be husband and wife before in scenes together that’s

funny clearly you guys don’t quite like each other so it’s a you were able to I mean not in like this subconscious way

but when I was backstage all by my lonesome she was the one person that came back was like hey are you good?

No Okay, well that’s nice Yeah, well if you want to check it out, check them out. I’m sure they had their schedule online for when they do it but I really I really enjoyed it I’m not going to do it I think you should but I definitely will go to the next one like again, like I said, I was a little hesitant I’m like whatever but I was really busting up so good job.

Did I surprise you?

You did your son was surprised too.

I got a lot of laughs from him Yeah, he

was in some of the stuff was so inappropriate and which was hilarious watching him bust up by that because he and I were kind of kitty corner so I could see his face the whole time just the way we were setting. Oh man, he was laughing I think he was really proud of you. I couldn’t tell a miracle she wanted to stab me with a shiver in the neck but I think he was proud of you I think it was really unexpected for him so that was awesome talked

about it for like days afterwards Yeah, just how cool it was Yeah. Oh,

it’s cool to see your your your parents are both from him get up and just be outside of their comfort zone.

People just see me as this like chill quiet, introverted dude. But there’s a lot going on upstairs and I can I think we all know that I can pull stuff off pretty easily. Yeah, make stuff up on the fly. Which is

funny because we talked about our show how you’re such a more of a thinker, and I’m Kind of a refer but I’m panicked when you guys are up there so um so just my update not much I just wanted to talk real quick about a mental health update the EMDR I was this while I have to make a decision so I’ve decided that if I’m going to do EMDR I’m going every week I’m gonna go once good I don’t even want to go every two weeks I think it’s she’s like, I’ll do whatever two weeks but you know, you tell me and but the problem is, is that if Megan and I want to continue our together work, we have to go to another therapist. And so see Shawn network. That’s a little weird. Nah, Nah, I don’t I don’t want to know anyone have anyone else. It’s like, it’s not weird for him. It’s just weird, for sure. I’m sure he’s totally professional. But so yeah, I haven’t talked to mag about it as far as exactly what I’m going to do. I don’t know yet. Maybe I need to wait. But I think it’s time to do it. I’m terrified. Not gonna lie. We’ve been

talking about it for two years. Well, you

got to remember I mean, COVID. Eight. Yeah, I’m not doing him and she wouldn’t on telehealth.

Okay. I should, I should not have been so hard on

you. That’s okay. But yes, I have been talking about for two years, you are correct. And then the pandemic hit. And it’s like, we always talk about the energy, right? You need energy in that room, you know, absolutely. So yeah, that’s kind of all I have for update went up north, close the cabin down. It was nice, not closing it down. And very cold. Everything went well. No one got injured. So that’s always a plus. Yeah. So why don’t you tell us about the concept tonight, and let’s get into it.

So tonight in lieu of our guest, unfortunately, having to change his plans. Jason and I were talking and it’s like, we don’t really have a ton to update you on because we did our big personal format last week, although we

just spent like 1214 minutes on it. That’s all right. No, no, it’s good. I’m just saying we did have you had a lot to update on. Well,

I mean, now that I’ve done that, I don’t have a whole lot to show here. So in lieu of that change of plans, something that I’ve been tossing around for a while is just this idea of the shout out. Shout outs mean a lot, actually at work, or among friends or in family settings. It just means a lot when somebody recognizes you for something that you did, or something that you contributed. And it’s also fun to do shout outs that are ironic shout outs to people who make our life a living hell, we’ll get into a couple of those. And why because again, good or bad, the things that people are doing or saying or how they’re behaving around us. It shapes who we are, it shapes our reactions, and it shapes who we’re becoming. So by shouting them out, it’s just creates a space for us to pay attention to the things that are meaningful to us and give props where props are due and also point out those people who may have impacted our lives negatively and show how we are making the most out of that and turning it into making lemons. Wait, how does it go making lemonade

out of lemons out of lemons because no one’s going to eat a lemon? True so you make lemonade out and everyone loves lemonade

so you take the lemon that they throw at you and yet you make it into lemonade so

I’m going to say a couple samples before you start yours just so we can get things going shout out to my parents for not wearing a condom and creating the most awesome person alive. Shout out to my neighbors for returning they don’t hear me screaming like a psychopath at my kids. Yeah, that’s me. And then another funny banking one shout out to ATM fees for making me buy my own money. So so true. I

like Michigan credit union gives them back Really?

Yep. Oh, that’s love I love my girl no matter what like wherever ATM if they charge you they send you the money now

give it back at the end of the month. Hmm, that’s interesting. Max checking. It’s amazing.

I don’t ever I don’t read I rarely go to an ATM. It’s not very often where you need don’t your

kids need money for activities like cash? Wave just a cash guy and

you know cash? No, it’s not. So Avery has an a car, a debit card that she uses for stuff but we have some cash here and there but I can’t remember the last time I ran to the bank or rain to an ATM. Oh gosh,

it’s every week for a really I mean Stefan soccer games. They only take cash.

Yeah, I mean, we don’t have anything like that. That we would need to but so yeah, after the ATM fees. Alright, first shout out Ben.

First shout out goes to my new friend Lindsey. Lindsey. I know you’re listening. And I know that you were a little bit bummed when I didn’t say much about my improv class. So hopefully the first 12 minutes made up for that. But I do want to give a shout out specifically to Lindsay in my group Because out of all of them there, she really put herself out there. Like, she gave it her all she even did stand up comedy on a Monday night and invited us to go. Of course, with my schedule and how busy I’ve been, I wasn’t able to be there. But I was just so impressed that she did that. And then tonight, she decided to invite the class or caste or whatever you want to call it over to her house to just do more improv games and hang out and have food. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go but I’m here. And so I didn’t want to switch that up. Because it’s always crazy when we try to reschedule threads recording, yes. So unfortunately, I couldn’t go to that. But again, just the thoughtfulness that she put into it, like she took it upon herself to seek me out. And so often in my life, whether it’s at work, or at church, or in anything else, I’m doing podcasting. I’m always the one who’s doing the seeking, who’s making things happen, who’s making connections, who’s putting in all that legwork to make those things happen. So to have somebody in my class, like reach out to me on Facebook, I loved it. I was like that is so cool. And she sent a super nice message and told me your thoughts about the podcast and I was just like, this is awesome. So yeah, her and I are gonna probably catch up over coffee the next week or so. And yeah, I just thought that was super cool to have her seek me out like that.

Yeah, it’s always nice when you make a connection that didn’t expect I would say that you probably didn’t expect that did not expect I mean obviously you guys got along at the class but you know you you didn’t expect that and it’s always cool and you’re like yeah, you’re cool. Like this is cool. Why didn’t I think of this? Yeah.

And I believe the level one class was just before the level two I’m not sure. So Lindsay and several others in our class they had just done a session together recently before assigned to so when I came into the mix, I was new Yeah, you’re the outsider. I was it. I paused my improv class journey for three years. And I did my first class at a completely different location. So I was definitely the new guy coming in and I think Lindsay making the new guy feel welcome. Yeah, that definitely speaks volumes to well speaks volumes

for someone that does that, because that’s tough. Like it’s just for whatever for whatever reason, even in like a working environment, you have cliques, right? Yeah, no, like high school cliques. Yeah. So a new person comes in your life, whatever, bro, you know what I mean? Like, I try not to be that way. But when somebody it actually goes out and scoops up that new person, I’m like, oh, you’re way better person.

Right? Yeah, and I will say after the showcase, I didn’t know what to do. Like I was like, Am I supposed to stay and socialize with my class or what’s going on? And so I left and I did walk by Lindsay as she was talking to Qian and a couple other people I think, and I heard them talking about getting together at Lindsay’s house and I’m just like Yeah, not gonna worry about it probably not gonna get invited they don’t really know me but then later in the week what do you know she reached out so it was just awesome so that’s my first shout out hopefully

that you know whatever happens with that then probably it’s gonna make you go to three now that you had such good connection with all them people

I’ll probably do it the next rotation Oh, you’re not

gonna go right into it.

I can’t

it’s an October Oh yeah.

Like I’ve got I’ve just had way too much I guess yeah, way too much going on. Yeah,

well it’s probably good that you don’t then so we’ll see my shout out is for my parents for creating a fucked up guy that has to battle every day to make it and giving us tons of content for the show

we need to bring down the room

sorry everyone know it’s everyone knows the story and if you’re a new listener you’ll have to go back I can’t I mean we’re talking like probably a third of the episode right? One of my family members have come up but yeah, they they they created I hate to say monster because I’m not a monster but they created somebody that struggles on a daily basis to try not to you know lose his temper or be kind or be tender hearted. I know Ben that’s a sensitive word for you. You don’t like to be called tender hearted but I would love to be more tender hearted. My wife has spoke of that too, but and they have given us a ton of content for the show. And I guess I I got to give them a shout out for that. But just as an update, there is no news for any That I don’t I still don’t know who my dad is. I’m not looking for every month 23andme sends out all your new pings. And it’s usually like a fourth and fifth cousin. So there’s nothing new on that. But I’m waiting. I’m waiting for something to come up. But I’m not going to search for it. And I’ve rarely heard from my sisters and my father, and are my legal that I should say. And so yeah, nothing’s going on with that. But I actually, we had we had this question before, would you go back? And I don’t know how I answered. But as I sit in this chair tonight, I would say no, I don’t want to go back. I don’t want it to be different, because it’s made who I am today, and a lot of this stuff. The skeptical ism on people and the trust issue is, is helpful. Sometimes it’s not. But just like the good stuff that you do like that. Let’s say, I know you hate this, the tenderheartedness that sometimes burns you, I’m sure because you put yourself out there and you know, I don’t I can’t think of anything off the top of my head, but so I don’t think I would change it. I thought it was it really was shitty getting beat up. I’m not gonna lie. Yeah. Especially when you can’t defend yourself. So I know. Sorry for bringing down the room. Ben, that shout out go. All right.

Well, I do want to give a quick shout out to Jason in follow up. I think you need to give yourself a little bit more credit. Or you’re not that you’re not that bad. I mean, you’ve come a long way. Yeah, even in the four years that I’ve known you, you’ve been on an incredible journey. You are changing. You’re shifting, you’re making some really good progress. So yeah, they did kind of fuck you up. Yeah. But you’re on fucking yourself. And that’s pretty awesome. Well, I

appreciate that. Yeah. And this podcast has helped the relationship with you, which is the weirdest relationship had and I say that in a positive way. Like we talked about a while ago, like I don’t, I’ve never had a connection with somebody that’s a deep thinker, an analyzer, a feeler, a tender hearted man, which again, don’t get don’t take that as a negative. I wish I had more of that. But no, it’s been. This is how the podcast has helped by therapy. So if you want to know me, 20 to 30, though.

Yeah. I wouldn’t have gotten along so well.

Yeah, I probably wouldn’t even seek. Yeah, I’d be like, yeah, this, I’m out of here dealing with this, but I appreciate that.

Yeah. Well, my second shout out I want to give to my pastor. And it’s funny in conversations like with Mike, Sometimes he’ll reference your pastor. And I’ll be like, Yes, she is. And I really try to overemphasize the sheet. Because we live in a society here in Michigan, where it’s very culturally uncommon to have a woman in the role of like the senior pastor, more and more women are coming on staff and serving in different roles, whether it’s youth, Pastor, community, Pastor, associate pastor, but to be in that, like, top senior pastor role. We just don’t have a lot of women doing that. And my pastor Christy, she’s just crushing it. And I just, you know, it’s, it’s been a little bit of a shift for me, because I’ve never, never had a woman in a senior pastor role in my life. And in fact, 10 years ago, I probably would have thought, like, that’s not okay. She can’t be doing that.

What is the standard around? Like, why do people like I could give two craps about it? Like, I don’t know, it’s very weird that people think that women can’t do that

it comes down to how they’re interpreting what Scripture says, because there are passages in the New Testament that says that a woman should be silent in church, and that a woman should wear a head covering. Yeah, all that yada.

If we took everything literal to the Bible, we’re all going straight to hell. I mean, come on.

Yeah. So but that’s where that’s where it’s coming from and so many churches in our area, hold on to that so tightly. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to go with my church to a day long Leadership Conference. I was kind of knee pissy about it going into it, because I will I another thing on my

Will you volunteered for it?

What you volunteered for it? Well, it’s required to go for anybody who is involved in leadership at the church. Well, I had to be there. I thought

you were involved in leadership. Like I thought this was just kind of a tongue in cheek, which is your favorite phrase, kind of thing. Like you actually have a position I do the life group coordinator. Gosh, we did probably six times. I don’t know you just kind of played it off that it wasn’t like that big of a deal. But then they’re having to go to a nine to five on a Saturday like yeah, I mean, that’s pretty

Well, and then there’s also the context of where we’re at as a church right now. Back, when we first started going there, Pastor Christie, her husband, Adam was co pastor, and they were a team together. Since then, Pastor Adam has stepped down from that role. So he can focus on a nonprofit that our church supports the immigrant connection. So he’s been shifting into that, which leaves a ton of things that he was doing on done, and so they need somebody to kind of fill in. So that happened. And then just recently, our youth pastor stepped down. So that created another hole. So yes, I am the life group coordinator, but I’m also filling in some holes on a temporary, very interim basis. Could I go to the church leadership and say, Hey, I’m your guy, hire me. Sure, I could make a case for that. But

who’s bringing up hiring now? Now, now you can never go back and Mike and me for saying, we’re trying to push you back right ministry,

I just saying I could go to them and advocate for that, and probably have a good shot. But But and this is what I told pastor Christine, I said, I don’t want to do that. Because the last thing that city life church needs is a white dude. Like me in that role. I feel like it should be a person of color or a woman or something of diversity, because that’s what the church is a church isn’t, you know, a whole bunch of white dudes that look like me. I want to be part of a church that values diversity. So instead of just assuming that role and jumping into it, I’m just choosing to be supportive, and, you know, whatever I can do in this meantime, I’ll do And honestly, I’m loving it. And the conference was incredible. I was really kind of surprised by how much I came away. With after going

to that’s really good to hear. So well. Good job, Pastor Christie, we appreciate you. I think it’s stupid that people have a problem with women in pastors like, I don’t know. I can see us old Christian reformed hypocrites. They’re worried about a woman pastor, but they’re beating their kids in the background. Like No kidding. Just Just my experience, y’all. That’s all I’m saying. So I don’t know why people have issues.

I know. So one of the things about the conference, there was a woman in like, she was like the superintendent of the denomination, which basically means there’s nobody in leadership above her, right. So she served in that role for many years. She was one of the speakers. And one of the things that she said that was so encouraging to her is seeing the lid being taken off, and women elevating to different positions within the church, and not just children’s ministry or youth ministry. But stepping up and rising into these senior positions is incredible. So props to pastor Christie. Yeah,

one more thing, and we’ll move on. I think a lot of the older generation has trouble with women leaders, even my mother in law says she does not ever want a woman president. It’s so weird this because they don’t believe that they can lead. And it’s just like, I mean, that’s strange. And so I think as that generation moves on, moves on in quotes, I think you’ll see a big change. We’ve already seen a big shift in, in everything like in reporting abuse. Yeah. And, you know, in in leadership roles, not just women, but people of color and those kinds of things. So yeah, it is crazy,

but and the conference yesterday was put together by a woman led team.

Okay, so and like, why? That? What’s your Oh, gosh, man, we’re digressing. Oh, boy, Mike. Wow. 35 minutes in. Yeah. So why is it that we feel like, and this is not against you, because you’re just shouting out to her because you like her, but she just happens to be a woman if it was a male pastor do the same thing. But like, do you feel like women should get extra props for doing something that is just like, whatever. Like, I feel like that’s kind of condescending, like, Oh, good for you. Good job. Like, I mean, obviously saying that Toad is very condescending. But I mean, it’s just like, okay, there’s women that do this. That’s great. Like, why can’t they do that? I mean, what’s the big deal? I mean, I don’t know I just look at it. In an ideal

world. I think you’re right. It shouldn’t be a big thing. But the fact that church leadership structures have been this male white male dominated thing, then for a woman to break the mold. And I know that pastor Christie has had critics who have left the church because they can’t afford in a church led by a woman. So, in a perfect world, yeah, I don’t think they deserve props because they’re just doing what God created them to do. But in this backward system where the church in America is getting so many things wrong, one of the things that they’re getting wrong across the board is this view of women. So yeah, if a woman pastor is choosing to continue to rise in the ranks, and to press on and to fight the good fight, and to be a senior pastor, even in the midst of that, and even in the midst of COVID, and the political craziness and everything else going on in our world, how Yeah, she deserved some major props.

Yeah. And but I want to I want to clarify, I’m not talking just about religious leadership. I’m talking about anything.

Well, yeah, a woman does. applies to anything. Yeah.

I mean, they’ll be like, Oh, the first woman that went to space, it’s like, okay, like, wait, I mean, I guess it’s for a new start. I don’t know. I just look at it like that. Like, I’m happy that that happened. But it’s just, it’s just the weirdness around that, I think is dumb. So

yeah, and another area too, especially in West Michigan is the business world. Yeah. So to see women rising in business positions, I think is amazing. And deserves to be called out. Yeah. So if there’s a system that favors men and women are choosing to pursue and, and climb the ranks, then yeah, that does deserve

Okay, so we don’t we’re not on the same page, then. Everything you’ve said is like, I want to call them out. And I’m like, No, I it’s if

that but the condition is if there’s a system that favors men, yeah. If there’s not like, that’s fair enough. I don’t know mother of the Year awards, whatever. I mean, there’s not a ton of competition. You’re I don’t know. Yeah, off the right.

Are we good? Are we digging a hole that we’re gonna have trouble getting out? I don’t know. Maybe I’m not. So speaking of that, though. No, I’m reporting. No, we’re digging a hole. Alright, moving on. Moving on. So my next shout out is for Larry Duncan. If you don’t know who Larry is, I’m sure you do. He’s been a if you don’t, he’s been a supporter of the gig economy podcast from the beginning. And threads pretty much from the beginning. Because we started this six months after we started that one. Ben was on the original GR Rideshare Adventures, and I gotta say, this guy is just been, you know, he’s one of those friends where we go for a month and not talk and then send a message and we pick up right where we left off. Or we’re like, Hey, what’s up? You know what I mean? It’s not It’s not like, Hey, you haven’t talked to me and stuff like that. He’s just like, Hey, what’s up? And so kind so laid back. Just an incredible man. He I wish everyone could meet Larry. Yeah, just I know. It sounds like I’m just kissing his ass. But it’s true. I I honestly don’t have a bad thing to say about him. And that’s pretty amazing. Yeah. To have somebody like that. One

of my couple of things I want to bring up about Larry, first of all, what you said about the fact that months can go by and he’ll you’ll just pick it up with him. Yeah. Never. Has Larry ever said anything to me. Like, dude, I sent a message like a day ago. Why didn’t you get back to me? Yeah. Or Dude, it’s been a month since you talk to me. What’s up with that? None of that. It’s always Hey, Ben, how you doing? Just like this upbeat tone. It doesn’t matter. Like, he doesn’t take that stuff. So seriously, I guess or personally, yeah, he doesn’t take it personally. And so yeah, he is just always a source of encouragement. I mean, back when we were going through it with our daughter, especially I just remember several times, Larry, be like, Hey, I heard about what’s going on in your family. Just wanted you to know that I’m praying for you. And I’m thinking about you. And I think you’re doing a great job. Like I remember a couple of times, like tearing up. Yes, I’m listening to his message. Because again, I’m this tender hearted sensitive dude. But just hearing Larry’s encouragement, yay. So kind of just like an out of the blue like when you least expected. Oh, look, I got a message from Larry. Yeah, doing a birthday card in the mail or something. Yeah,

he, he checked on me like two or three times when I had COVID. We roomed together at the podcast conference, it was so fun to spend time time with him, sit down with a cup of coffee and just shoot the shit without, you know, going back and forth on telegram, right? So yeah, he’s incredible. He’s financially supported both podcasts continues to do that. And, yeah, I want everyone to meet Larry. Maybe I don’t because I don’t want to give him up to anyone out right. And

so when Larry came up for the picnic that the other podcast put on, he told me, he’s like, Ben, we gotta go kayaking. I’m like, Alright, I’m gonna make this happen. I don’t know how but Larry is this incredible encouragement in my life? I can’t let him down. We’re gonna do this.

You better not let Larry doubt his. His Grandpa, grandpa Larry. So,

but going kayaking? I mean, obviously there was the whole experience of kayaking by the dead body. I won’t get into that right the previous episode for that story. But when we got to the takeout spot I had never attempted taking out at canal Park before. And it’s not like there’s no angled ramp at canal Park. Yeah, I

saw that picture. You boasted. It’s like, you got to use your upper body to pull yourself up.

Yeah. So I saw this mat pillars. And I’m just thinking, no thinking in my head. And I was like, okay, we can lasso those and pull ourselves out. I’ve been working out for quite a while and I wasn’t too worried about it. But as we’re paddling up there, he’s looking at it. He’s like, I don’t know, Ben. I think I’m gonna tip like, how am I gonna get out of this thing? And so he did just fine. But it was one of those moments where it was like, something was no big deal for me. But then I’m realizing Oh shit, like glary might actually tip and not be able to get out. Yeah, I’m sure he’s not getting in kayak very often. Exactly. Like, this is not his world. It’s not as jam. I’m doing this all summer long. You know, helping people in and out of kayaks. I know how to do this. But Larry doesn’t do this very often. So I got out first kind of to model how to do it, I guess. And then it’s Larry’s turn. And he’s like, I don’t know, Ben. Like, you got this. You got this. So sure enough, puts his forearm on this mat, uses the rope in the other hand, and he managed to pull himself out just fine. I was like, Look, you did it. That wasn’t so bad. He’s like, why Sure. I’m sure glad I’m on land. It was just I don’t know. Like I guess what stands out to me is I saw a moment where Larry was weak. Weak

is not a mean thing to say but vulnerable. Yeah, like no one ever see that? Or

inexperienced? Right? And so to have somebody who has been such an encouragement and kind of like a rock in my life to see him struggle was like, Oh, well, I get to be the strong guy now. Yeah, help him out. Right? Oh, it was just an interesting thing that I felt like yeah, that

is that is unique because I I don’t I don’t look at as Larry as like, a super strong like this rock but I mean, emotionally I love him as a rock. Exactly. So do I like if I if the shit hits the fan and like my relationship with my wife like he’s gonna be one of the you know you of course, but he’s gonna be one of the people I call like, I am. I am in the shit here. Like he is on the shortlist. So thanks, Larry, we appreciate always supporting the show. And us personally, Ben, you’re up.

I know this is probably a really, but I’m gonna give a shout out to my wife. And I know that’s so cliche. But I have I pursued my dreams and everything fun that I want to do in life. And I’ve just been in this road of just like, seeing it and doing it, whether it’s the improv class, the bike riding stuff at church. And recently, I’ve just been kind of feeling like, man, I am spending so much time away from home. And I’m leaving her to deal with the kids and the home and everything else. This just is way out of balance. And it it it was certainly was in come October, making a lot of changes so that she can have some fun and not be, you know, supporting my crazy adventures. But just the fact that she went so long without saying anything and just supporting me and believing in the things that I was doing and seeing the value and importance and how much the things that I’ve been doing have been impactful on me like that’s awesome. Like she’s quality for putting up with that for so long. But we both agree that we need to find a little bit better balance Yeah, not not a little bit a lot better balance, right? But just the fact that she’s still like, tolerate more than tolerates me like she still loves me and we’re, you know, we had a we did have a rough conversation and it was a doozy. But we made it through and she’s we’re still team Ben and Andy Morris. She has just been my rock as well. So just a shout out to my wife for putting up with my shenanigans and adventure. crazy ideas and I’m just so excited to chill at home and let her go out and do whatever her heart desires

are you gonna be frustrated if she doesn’t do anything? Not necessarily like is that gonna be like oh man I could go no and

maybe initially I

think you would probably cuz you you’re just go go go go and then you’re like stop yeah like go do your thing oh I don’t want to do anything like Megan I think would be like that like I just want to be home I’m like, honey like I’m doing this sacrifice for you like go I don’t know go have a beer right right.

I think part of it is the fact that I think she just wants to have time with me too.

Yeah, that’s true. That’s a good point.

We used to be really good at that. You know, we’ve done Thursday nights Monday nights we’ve had blocks where it’s a great upon we’re not doing anything. We’re just hanging out right? We haven’t had that probably and, gosh, two months three months it’s been a while so

probably since the job change or yeah for that way. Yeah,

yeah, well,

Andy’s great I’m glad you’re taking time to to do that because it’s a more calibrate recapitalize calc calibrate pivot pivot. Alright mines another short one kind of funny. So I just got to get out give a shout out to Johnny’s at the Shell gas station so Johnny’s is a is it um i mean i assume it’s owned by shell but it’s like their nicer Shell Gas Station there’s and their corporate owned they’re not individually owned so as a guy that my gig work and my real job I work outside the home and not an actual office so I use a lot of public bathrooms and a lot of Gatorade bottles so my as we’ll talk about on this show to you had to go I had to go there so I just want to say if you ever need a public bathroom search for Johnny’s now there’s not a ton of them I think there’s only there may be one out by your end at your work and as a town I don’t know if there is anything on your home end of town Monroe and and is that yeah that is a Johnny’s Yeah. But anyways, there’s there’s like four or five of them in the city. They’re just an incredible I appreciate the staff I appreciate the management that takes time to clean the bathrooms because funny enough if you go to fuller in Michigan I know this for Michigan for Grand Rapids peeps, but there’s a Speedway and a Johnny’s right across from each other. This Speedway you might get poked by needle in the bathroom like it’s that bad. I mean every time I went in there there was s on the wall. It was it was terrible, but you go to Johnny’s right across the street and it was clean then people are gonna say well why didn’t you always go to Johnny’s? Well, I’m a person that hates to make a left turn as I’ve gotten older and drive all the time I don’t like to wait for left it’s it’s it’s hard to get out or whatever so I was home like an old man I know. So I would always go to the speedway and then I found out Johnny’s was incredible clean yeah find great food and snacks I mean more than just the average you know hostess cupcakes right? So I know it sounds silly but I just I can’t thank them enough for the clean bathrooms when I have to go number

Yeah, and as one who’s trying to pay attention to my house and this gets into my next shout out the fact that they have as fresh food as you can get at a gas station is pretty great. I

think it’s brought in daily Yeah, so that’s pretty fresh.

It is. I mean they’ve got things like oatmeal carrot cake,

a lot of fresh cold stuff that’s like in a different cool sandwiches.

Yeah jerky just stuff that again you wouldn’t expect to find that a gas station they have it and that’s good yeah my previous jobs I spend a ton of time on the road that would that became a go to stop for me for lunch or bathroom break or whatever else. It’s they’re always clean and super nice staff and everything else. So go Johnny so Johnny’s well I’ve been on a quest since February to improve my health. So I want to just give a quick shout out to the things that have helped the whoop that we were the whoop it’s I signed up for another six months because a to another band I get I get the latest and greatest band. Yeah, be the data has been super helpful. I’ve made some decisions about my health and whether I’m going to work out on that day or if I need to rest. Like it’s just so insightful and helpful. So I love it. My bike. God, I love my huge Fat Tire bike. It’s been a blast. And shout out to foot levelers for making these insoles that make walking and being active pain free like I used to get such bad back pain if I would go out for long walks are even on my bike just because my legs were so out of balance. So to have the foot levelers it’s a dream as pain free as possible.

Can you imagine living in the caveman times when that like, obviously people died a lot sooner, but how long? how uncomfortable because you know, that shit was probably happened. And then I mean, it’s happened for 1000s of years, like all these, you know, your feet are a little messed up. Yeah, you know what I mean? And you’re just like, I’m, I’m being pain for the rest of my life. Like, we got it so good and 2021 there’s not a lot to actually be like, this is the worst thing ever. Yes. So I love the whoop two, you can in the description. If you’re interested in trying it, you can check out the link, you get a free month when you try. So go ahead and do that I if you are into working out, this will give you great data. And it’s good to join a group. Yes, find somebody even if you’re joining. It’s a little different if it’s a big, big group, but if you can find some other people, us, we can keep you accountable on what you’re doing how you know, if you want Yeah, it’s great. It is really great. So next up for me, I want to give a shout out to Mike and I’m sure Ben will pile on with that too. But Mike is a friend that we met Ben went to college with him but this kind of disconnected and recently in the last year and a half you think or maybe a little longer

it’s been since I’d started he was on. We talked about him on like one of the very first episodes of threads. Yeah,

so yeah, so he got connected with us. And then we kind of became friends like us three than on the show probably half a dozen times maybe. And he’s just great. It’s it’s a little interesting because he’s a lot like me, he’s kind of an aihole at times or sarcastic or tongue in cheek, if you will, right Ben and so we connect that way but we also butt heads. But as far as like the fitness part of it. You know, Mike and I’ve been training for this half marathon has just been he’s been really encouraging you know, when we don’t talk and our little chat when we’re just talking about running. Just Just be kind with things. And he was there when I was injured, I’m finally back. And now he’s injured. So I’m like, it’s time for me to step up and try to support him through this and I know he’s really bumming about not being on the train right now. And he should be able to hopefully come back and train but I just appreciate my he’s just been I think he’s been good for both of

us. Yes. And you say all the time that he’s so much like you but I think he’s also like me

too. Yeah, what I should have I should have clarified he’s got the snarky blah blah blah like me, but he also has the bad part Yeah, it’s like a mix of both of us. Yeah, so I should have said and Mike is always like I’m on Team banner I’m on Team j he’s mostly on team that I’m not gonna lie. It’s always almost always team band. Which pisses me off.

Yes. When I knew Mike, I he was so quiet in college. Oh man. Oh, quiet, like so introverted. So to know him now as adults when we’ve got a little bit more life under our belt. He’s just quality guy and

not quiet anymore. He runs his mouth.

I wasn’t gonna say it I die. Well, but yeah, it’s just been so cool to see that friendship grow and all good things have come from it. I mean, yeah. health wise, friendship wise. Faith wise, like Mike’s just solid

any challenge you like, Oh, so I asked Mike. The other day. I was like, where did this 800 miles come from Ben because I thought it was 500 He’s like, Oh, yeah, back in June. Yeah. It was May I was even earlier than that. Yeah, I was like, I must have missed that because I’m like, why were Why did the ad mile saw this so is challenging. Like, yeah, he does that stuff and keeps you accountable.

I posted on Facebook. I site, I’ve cycled at some miles. Yeah, how many Should I go for? And he out of that everybody who responded he had the highest. But he also had a good explanation for it. And I won’t get into it now. But like he actually took the time to think about it, and came up with the 800 number, because he knew I could do it. But he also knew it would be a challenge to do it. And it’s a challenge. Well,

I mean, you backed off in like August in July a little bit so that kind of hurts you so now you’re like getting it done. What do you do today? 35? Five,

so I am at 635 ish. Okay. And

are you trying to get it done by the end of September? Yeah. Cuz you could ride into October.

I know but I want to be done. Okay, because I I told Mike initially at the end of August, I had to obviously renege on that. I don’t want to go back and say Actually, I need to Do this in October. Okay, I want to be done in September. You want to prove that you can do it. Mike’s kind of holding me to that September deadline. No, he wants

you to fail because then your root number will be small and then he can. So with whoop two you have a monthly score that accumulates and Mike’s one it I’ve won at once. I wanted twice, twice. And Mike’s one of the rest of them. Yeah, so he was hoping that you wouldn’t do it and then now he’s hurt so my guess is you’re going to win this mine.

It’s in the bag. It’s already in the bag. I mean, if the month just if it if I didn’t do anything until the end of the month, like I’d still

no way not if he was still running. Maybe I don’t know. I wish he was still running. So I could see if he could pull it out. But I’m not either because I’m feeling better. But I’m not doing I mean I was working out six days a week. I wasn’t running six days a week but I was going to the gym on the off days and stuff like that. I’m only just doing running right now until probably till the race and then I’ll go back to the gym. But anyways, this isn’t a health update. But Mike’s awesome, Mike, we appreciate your friendship, for the show for both of us and keeping us accountable for being healthy ish.

Yes. All right. My last and final shout out goes to the city of Los Angeles. I’ll be short as possible with this but sheltered Ben, first time I got to got on an airplane was to Los Angeles. I was a sophomore in college, between my sophomore and junior year, I had this vision of what Christianity was and what faith was and what my role was. And it was just very Pollyanna, very polished, very basic, very self centered. And then I went to LA for the summer and I led mission trips in inner city areas and I lived in the inner city and I encountered Christians who were also democrats and Christians who were of political persuasions, and I’m it freaked me the hell out I was like everything I knew of my faith came crashing down and I had to rebuild it. And so I just want to give a shout out to Los Angeles, the City of Angels, because that is the place where my faith really was I think truly born not this handed down version of faith that is so common in West Michigan but an actual organic experience where I really came alive in Los Angeles and there’s so much in my life that has happened because of that and I’m just yeah, I can’t I don’t know it seems weird to think of city right I just can’t think my time in LA enough and all the people maybe the

opportunity thank the person that gave me the opportunity to go there right It must have been I mean, I think it would be a sticker shock for me going to like a place that I mean we have homeless in GR but not like not Skid Row, not Skid Row homeless like that. some serious Yeah, shocking things. If

I need to give a shout out to anybody, it’s to Dave beech, who I would love to have on our show and I need to work on that. But he was my mentor in college professor he was also a therapist. I called him probably daily during the first couple of weeks because there was so much to process and so much going on and just like oh, this is heavy.

Did anyone give you like a warning of what you’re gonna see or just kind of like

No, well, I think that was intentional. I think they do that. So that it is that experience for you because if you think about it, you’ve got youth group kids coming in who have never been there either right? So they’re going to have that experience and us as hosts having that experience allowed us to be more influential I guess on them yeah, so Oof, it was it was heavy. Yeah, so cool.

Well the last shout out and then we’ll wrap it up is of course since Ben but his wife on there I gotta put my Not that I wouldn’t do it anyways on what I pay for that one if she listens. Well, you just seeing the statue right

there. That’s new. nude.

So real quick, my mother in law. And her and her husband when he was still living but they had this statue and it’s a with a woman. That’s it now it’s sculpted, but she literally is naked. You can see the boobs, and if you get really close the paints rubbed off the nipples and send the guys behind her and like I don’t think they’re actually like, doing anything they’re about ready to but I always wanted to grab it and she finally gave it to us and I was gonna put it down here and see how long it took you. I mean we’re we’re been on here for an hour and you just saw it so that’s pretty funny. Would I get kicked off Facebook if they pick that up? No, because It’s art it’s our go ahead and try oh my gosh, so you should have seen Sally he was like, Oh my gosh, what is that it was kind of a funny interaction this weekend. So anyways, speaking of a naked woman, my wife anyway, she’s kind of paused and listening to the show. I’m not sure what Well, some of it is that she’s not doing grocery shopping. She’s doing the Aldi pickup. And then she’s going to Meijer and doing shopping but it’s like 20 minutes in and out, but, but anyways, that’s fine. If she doesn’t listen, I mean, I don’t cry myself to sleep every night, Megan, we’ll see if she listens to this one. But I’ve talked about Megyn before and she’s just an incredible woman she came into my life when I needed someone that was strong and loving and kind. As I talked about on the show, I don’t have a lot of women influences that are positive, other than my wife, my sisters aren’t positive, my mom wasn’t positive. I had a couple of girlfriends early on and then a wife that was not positive It was a rough rough go with all of them. So I’m not saying I wasn’t part of some of that I’m just saying I hadn’t had a good female influence so she came into my life she stepped up and kind of carried me along until I could get my shit together and and it’s just been great and now her and I are working she’s working on herself. And I’m working on myself and so our relationships getting stronger and she’s just incredible. She’s She’s a strong leader in in the work environment where she works and she kicks ass and takes names and I can’t be I’m so proud of her for for what she’s done at work and what she’s done for this family, the amazing cook she is and those kinds of things so Megan, I love you thank you so much for being who you are and always being supportive of your dopey husband over here and let me do like Ben said with Andy all these crazy hobbies right like I’ve been a beekeeper I grew my own flowers last year I had took drum lessons This is the longest hobby that’s I’ve had it’s like going on for years so but yeah, thank you Megan

awesome well any takeaways yeah um

no, I don’t have any right off right off the top of my head I was trying to think I looked at it earlier but my takeaway is this was a fun episode was I know I told you I was little stressed about it early on anything out of my mind you know? We you talked about putting something different in the rundown so I would read it silly but we talked about how I read what’s on the teleprompter not that we read what’s on our rundown I mean we do but I was nervous about it. I’m not gonna lie I was like Ben like I don’t know but you out of your comfort zone. Yeah, you did and this was really fun and I had an I had a great time.

It just feels good to speak of the people and places Yeah, things that have impacted us

yeah, it’s good that we’re we’re intentionally taken an episode to do that not like cuz it happens in passing when we record of course, but no, this was good. Awesome. Well, guys, this is the end of the episode. We really appreciate it. We hope you enjoyed it. If you could do us a favor and please share this episode with somebody that might you know, might be impactful for them. Or share it with the people that we talked about. That would be great. Like my wife, maybe I’ll tag her in it. So Episode 148 is with who we are we’re interviewing Teresa who walked so I was mistaken if you’ve talked about before she walked from Michigan to Kansas City that’s as far as she made it. So it’s 800 miles I know she wants to do more. But it’s kind of like my camp who did a walk to from like, I

don’t know from Grand Rapids Hastings to the Mackinac Bridge. Yeah,

thank you very much. You should have done this. So she’s going to be on she’s been through a lot talk a lot about mental health. So I would say that’s a mental health update. So look forward to that and just remember keep the faith Do you work and live life unfiltered

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