Welcome to our Pursuing Uncomfortable Family!
Aug. 3, 2022

Episode 38: Pursuing Strength, Sobriety, and Success at the Gym with Kathryn Bennet

Episode 38: Pursuing Strength, Sobriety, and Success at the Gym with Kathryn Bennet

As a world-record-holding strongwoman, personal growth expert Kathryn Bennett is an 40 under 40 award winner, celebrated speaker and advocate for developing mental toughness. With a background in change management and Lean Six Sigma process improvement, Kathryn's professional career spans industries including tech, healthcare, and engineering/construction. Kathryn used the mental fortitude and tenacity she learned in the gym to more than quintuple her income in a five-year span, working from an entry-level process improvement role into a director position. Kathryn is a Certified Professional Services Marketer and is nationally ranked as a strongwoman competitor. She is passionate about helping her clients develop the mental tenacity and internal strength they need to succeed, no matter the adversity they're facing.


Follow Kathryn:
Instagram
TikTok

Buy her book Productive Pain
Website

Prefer video? Watch the interview on YouTube

Support the show
Transcript

🎶 Podcast Intro: Welcome to the pursuing uncomfortable podcast, where we give you the encouragement you need to lean into the uncomfortable stuff life puts in front of you, so you can love your life. If you are ready to overcome all the yuck that keeps you up at night, you're in the right place. I am your host, Melissa Ebken let's get going. 🎶

🎶 Episode Intro: Welcome back to the pursuing uncomfortable podcast. I'm Melissa, your host. Today, I'm introducing you to Kathryn Bennet, the second place national champion strong woman. I'm so excited she's here to talk to us today. She's got a lot of good lessons to share. Just a reminder, hop over to the blog at melissaebken.com/blog. Leave a comment, ask a question. Let's keep the conversation going. Here's Kathryn. 🎶

Episode
Melissa Ebken  0:02  
Kathryn, welcome to the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast, I'm really excited to not only interview you, but just to hang out with you, I feel like you raise my coolness factor at least 10%. Maybe a lot more, probably a whole lot more.

Kathryn Bennett  0:24  
It's really great to be here today. I always love talking about strength sports, and I always love talking about the mental fortitude that it takes to be physically strong. So I think this is going to be a perfect match. 

Melissa Ebken  0:33  
And I think we're gonna have a lot of fun talking about it. Your accomplishments. Oh, my gosh! I don't get to talk to people who rank nationally every day. Not only do you rank nationally, but you came in second in the nation! In the nation! 

Kathryn Bennett  0:51  
Yep. 

Melissa Ebken  0:52  
There's a lot of people in a recent competition. You're the second strongest woman in the country.

Kathryn Bennett  1:02  
Yep, there's a lot. Now I want to be clear on my in my weight class. Right? So super heavyweight weight class, believe it or not, there were some lighter, lighter folks who had put up really big numbers as well. So I was humbled by that. But yes, second strongest, super heavyweight, strong woman in the United States. Yeah, I got my trophy and everything.

Melissa Ebken  1:20  
Can you show it? Is it within reach? Can you put it for those?

Kathryn Bennett  1:24  
No, it's, it's downstairs, but I can show you, I can show you another one that I got. Because I want just a second, I won the,

Melissa Ebken  1:32  
For those who are listening to the podcast, there's also a video edition of this on YouTube. So I haven't lost my mind and forgot that you all are listening to this. But there are folks who watch it on YouTube. And if you'd like to see what she's showing, hop over to YouTube.

Kathryn Bennett  1:50  
So we in the strongman community, so there's there's kind of a lot of different different varieties and flavors of strength sports, or powerlifting, which is the three the three lifts, right, squat, deadlift, and bench. You've got bodybuilding, where people are really looking for that aesthetic performance, right. But strongman is kind of like, meatheads picking up rocks in the field. Or, like, it's like big, big people pick up big things. And so our trophies are reflective of that, because this is a this is the Warpath, Skullsmash Strength Challenge. And it's got this this very, like refined looking skull with the baseball bat that's right behind it. And so the primary sponsor for this was an ammonia an ammonia company, because we will take a big hit of ammonia before we do a big lift to get our major muscle groups engaged. So it's like smelling, Victorian era smelling salts, that we that we think that's what they use. And we just take a big a big torque of that. And then and then our primary motor motor functions are engaged differently, and we're able to lift more. So anyway, yes, big, will pick up big rock in fields. That's me.

Melissa Ebken  2:55  
So thank you for showing us that. And I have a picture of you with your medal. And I will get that out there on social media too, when this podcast airs, so people can see that because it's really cool. And you're so accomplished. So congratulations, for that. I remember, I had spoken to you a few days before that and you were just not really feeling it and almost didn't go and then look what happened.

Kathryn Bennett  3:23  
You know, and I think that's a really great perspective for us to have on this podcast today. Because one of my key messages with when it comes to the strongman activities is just show up, just show up because most of the time. So so we talked about embracing, embracing the challenge of trying to, of trying to show up to the gym all the time, and people talk about the motivation and the discipline, all the stuff, but when it comes down to it, successful people are the ones who go do the thing the most often, right? And, and I learned that by showing up at the national contest where I thought I was going to get my entire life handed to me like I was I was going to come in last, everybody was going to laugh, it was going to be a horrible experience. And I showed up and as the contest progressed, I noticed myself like I'm looking checking on my phone to see the standings and all of a sudden, I see myself on the podium. So if you if you want to talk about a lesson in just showing up, even when you think you're probably not going to do well, you might as well just try. There's no harm. You might end up second place in the nation. Totally accidental. Because I had a really, really difficult training cycle. You know, I had a lot of I had a lot of grief over last year. I've lost some key relationships in my life, my dog who I'd had had with me through some really challenging life events passed away. And my training and my training kind of got compromised because of that, but I kept showing up as much as I could. And it turns out that was enough. So I think I think you know what I learned from that, is like not to beat myself up when things don't look exactly perfect in the gym. And that's something that I can take into my career and into my friendships and into my everyday life too. It's like, you know, are you trying? Okay, just keep trying.

Melissa Ebken  4:58  
I love that lesson is a applicable and so many aspects of life. But I know that the gym for you the workouts for you, and this achievement for you is linked to those difficulties in your life that you just mentioned a little bit. But can you tell us how you got started on this path? 

Kathryn Bennett  5:19  
Yeah, a lot of people look at this. And they say, Well, gosh, well, how in the world would you possibly get into picking up, you know, 5-600 pounds and walking around with it. And it because it's not, it's not a typical local hobby, right. And that's legitimate. So I've always been someone who went to the gyms, my parents, my parents got me started in weightlifting, when I was 12 or 13 to prepare for sports. We lived on a military base. And so like that was really, that was really a part of my life forever and ever. I kind of got away from it. And then I decided in 2018, that it was time for me to get sober, because I had been making a lot of really questionable life decisions. And, and I ended up kind of on the verge of homelessness at one point. And I said, you know, I think the, I think the booze has gotta go. And so I started working with a trainer at a local gym, just to start getting that foundation built and say like, okay, you know, I want to maybe feel better get a little healthier, get some of this like ick out. Because when you get sober, your whole body just feels like a coiled spring. That is, that can't release, you know, and so so where did I find a lot of those happy chemicals for my brain is really in these intense workouts. And then through meeting that first trainer, who was who was, you know, one of these big hardcore, meathead guys. He's like, hey, have you ever considered competing? And I said, well, not really. I mean, that's, that's okay. And he's like, you need to compete. So I found a, an all women's strongman competition in Baltimore, Maryland at a gym called 5 by 3 5x3, out in Baltimore. And I went to this all women's show, and it was like 150 women, all celebrating their strength, and I was hooked. So I got on the I got second place in my first novice competition. I trained for about seven or eight months for that event had a an absolute blast. I'm still friends with a lot of the folks that I met there. And from there, from there, I continued on in my strength career, and I've have since earned Utah Strongest Woman in 2020, you know, took first place with the Skullsmash Challenge and have have helped accomplished two world records in the spirit of grip grip sport. So yeah, so it just it virtuous, that virtuous cycle got started, I stopped drinking, and I've been sober for about 4 1/2 years now.

Melissa Ebken  7:23  
Congratulations on your sobriety. So you mentioned grip strength and a grip sport. Can you tell us a little bit what that is?

Kathryn Bennett  7:35  
Again, another thing I fell into entirely accidentally, because my, the gym where I train, actually, is is a leech in the sport in grip sport. And it turns out that I just happen to show up at this place that has this this kind of cohort of really strong handed people. So when we think about grip sport, you know, I've got these little rubber things that I'm always fidgeting with at my at my desk. But grip sport is just picking up oddly shaped objects. Obviously, you use your hands for almost everything in weightlifting, right. But this is specific to like arm and like forearm and grip strength. So we'll pick up like a square deadlift bar. So instead of picking, you know, it's usually round, and you kind of curl your hand around it this way. But when you're, when you're doing the square one, it's kind of like four inches by three inches, and it makes it a lot harder to pick up. So at my gym, I think we've got 15 or 17 World Records between the 5 or 10 of us that compete in this discipline. And there's actually for the 3" by 4" Saxon bar, we hold the world record here in Carbondale, Colorado, for every gender and weight class. So just a very accomplished group of folks who kind of specialize in this my roommate, who I go to the gym with, he has the he has the same focus in his everyday life, but he's really into the grip sport. And so I said, well, this seems like a lot of fun. So I got involved in who knew? Two World Record later. Here we are.

Melissa Ebken  8:55  
My dad, my dad grew up on a on a farm and he had to milk the cows every morning. I remember as a kid with my dad grabbed my arm, there was no wrenching free, there was no getting out of that. So when you say grip strength, that's what my mind goes back to. 

Kathryn Bennett  9:13  
Yeah, well and a lot of these things, you know, have their roots in and what did we used to do as human beings and and I think that that's, you know, in our modern society, and I'm not going to pontificate on this too much, but I think there's a lot of value in in challenging yourself to do really difficult physical things that our ancestors knew, like, they had to do that stuff to survive, right. And that's part of our it's part of our makeup and it's part of our blood. And it's part of what makes our bodies and our brains feel really good. It's like overcoming these sincere physical challenges. And so once I started, once, I started putting that time and effort into the gym to do something that I never thought I would do all of a sudden that sort of translating into my everyday life as well. And so, so yeah, I understand that but I can crush an egg. Like I can crush an egg. I do all the funny feats of strength right you know, like crushing the thing with your biceps, so like all the Tick Tock stuff,

Melissa Ebken  10:01  
That sounds like a blast. So you're really hitting on the sweet spot of what this podcast is all about. Leaning into the difficult, leaning into the uncomfortable, so that you can overcome it. And there's so much connection between body, mind and spirit. I actually think they are the same thing, the matter and the energy that have melted together, we are embodied spirits. When we lean into something difficult emotionally, we engage the art, the strength of our bodies, we feel it in our bodies, when we do something physical, like you've described, there are emotional and spiritual rewards that come from that as well. So I applaud you for all the work you have done and the link between using your physical body and strength, to improve your to have sobriety and to continually seek those things. They do go together, and you've really found something profound in what you do.

Kathryn Bennett  11:03  
And that I mean, even the name of your podcast really resonated with me, which is why I'm really glad to be here is because in the strongman community, we have a lot of folks that are old military guys like veterans who who still stay in their physical, you know, their physical activity regimens and whatnot. And, and, you know, Pursuing Uncomfortable, is an awful lot like the old military saying of embrace the suck. And, and, to your point, we talk a lot about how, like, I have found this very, very tangible analogy. We have this big stone that we carry in front of us called the Husafell Stone that looks like a like a coffin kind of, and you wrap your arms around it, and you walk with it, or you run with it, and it's loaded with weight. And usually the weights that I carry are about 200 to 250 pounds in this thing in front of me. And I'll tell you, so like it's like a big, slippery metal implement, that's easy to drop, it like it requires a great deal of discipline to really dig into it and hold it close. When we talk about embrace the suck when it comes to the Husafell Stone. And that's it that's an actual like, in like, actually embrace it physically. Because the closer you can get to that the more surface area of your body that is in contact with this with this particular implement, the farther you're going to be able to carry it, the faster you're going to be able to go, the more weight you're going to be able to lift, it's the same thing with deadlifting. It's the same with any, you know, bench pressing any of these movements that require us to move a significant amount of weight, the closer we can get physically to the hard thing, the more leverage, we have to complete it. And so I think it's really important to note that the reason I drank and the reason I, you know, ran out and did a bunch of drugs and do all this other stuff. It was because I was trying to escape from the problem. But once I started being brave enough to look at it even just a little bit, just a peek at the corner, right? Like I didn't have to tackle the whole problem, just like a little bit of it. Once I started being brave enough to embrace that little bit, now all of a sudden, I've got the physical strength to dig in. And now all of a sudden, I've got the mental strength to dig in. And that's where that pursuing uncomfortable and the embracing the suck, really, really has applicability not only in strength sports, but in your every day life.

Melissa Ebken  13:04  
your, yes, we like to distance ourselves from our emotions. And that creates problems but embracing them, getting up close, getting all the all next to them is where the where the growth happens. I love that. And now I'm having this image of embracing it and holding it close to me and the more I can get into contact with those things, whether it's emotions, or a physical problem, or, or whatever kind of challenge, the better my odds of overcoming it will be. Thank you.

Kathryn Bennett  13:38  
Yeah, well and all these things, it's like it's it's absolutely awful to do that the first time like my first year of sobriety, I've got some art that I made during that first year of sobriety so and it just looks really like, like everything, everything just felt like an assault to my senses. Right? Like the world felt painful, like clothing was gross feeling right? Like itchy and everything felt everything felt awful. And so so what was really important for me there was building up the community to continue to say, hey, push through and get to the good part push through and get to the good part. Because I was working like part time for you know, peanuts at a psychiatric hospital doing art and activities. And then I like 10x'ed my income in the last five years, and I've started three companies. Again, all of this stuff, because I because I got sober. And because I started staring things in the face. And I did the 10 step or 12 steps 10 steps. I did the 12 steps. Like I worked through all that right I that works for everybody. Not or for some people, not for everybody. But I developed the discipline to like look at the things really hard. And it is like I will tell you it's not fun. I'm not like oh yeah, let me embrace all my grief. Like it's a horrible, it's horrible. It's miserable, it's miserable, and it's exhausting, right? But the key is there community, like you've got to have a community and you've just got to understand that you can't perform at top speed every single day. You just again, you just show up,

Melissa Ebken  15:08  
What is possible for you now, that wasn't possible for you before? 

Kathryn Bennett  15:16  
Oh, you know, just basic life functions. I used to let my bank account get down to zero, or because I was too afraid to look at my, my spending, right? Or I couldn't maintain strong relationships, because I would just leave at first sight of a problem. I would never like, stare at the thing, like sit there with someone I cared about and loved and be like, hey, let's work through this together. Right? I think being less reactive, has allowed me to, to build up discipline to get the things that I want in my life. So like, I've been able to purchase a home, which I never ever thought that I would be able to purchase a home. And now I've got I'm able to provide a room for you know, somebody, somebody else in my community who might need a place to stay at a good price, right. And so I think, I think what's possible for me now, is being able also to see a future because I hit 25. And I thought, why am I still here? Like, I don't want to do this anymore. You know, and at my 25th birthday, I had I had a whole like speech for my friends. I was like, I made it, I made it to 25. But I didn't have a plan past that, because I really thought I wouldn't be here anymore. So being able to envision a future, you know, I'm 37 now. I'm 37. I'm at the top of the age range for this for this national contest. It's Master's. Master's starts at 40. So I'm at the top of the age range and I'm still kicking butt and taking names. So what's possible now? I guess, I don't know what's next. But I can I but I'm willing to stick around to find out and I think

Melissa Ebken  16:47  
And another question might be what's impossible? And I'm guessing that's gonna be a really short list. 

Kathryn Bennett  16:55  
I don't I don't know. I don't know. I started like I just recently we just launched our new business, me and my business partner up in Canada. We just launched our business this week. Already we are. Thank you. It's something we've been working on for four years, and we finally finally got out there and made it happen. And we have already been experiencing so much success there and its terrifying. Don't get me wrong. It's absolutely terrifying. But again, I got a buddy who's in it with me, and we're making it happen. And what's impossible? Melissa, anything's possible as long as I don't drink. Yeah. My my one responsibility every single day, is don't pick up a drink no matter what. Don't pick up a drink no matter what. Don't pick up a drink, no matter what doesn't. Any anything, anything if I just sit in my house all day, and do nothing, but I stayed sober, that's a success. So yeah, it's a great question. I don't know what's impossible. I guess we'll find out when I when I hit a wall.

Melissa Ebken  17:51  
To things. Maybe nothing is impossible. I mean, waking up and living on the moon, okay, let's not be silly. But the things that you can accomplish and overcome in your life. Really, that list of impossible starts to shrink when you lean into the difficult things.

Kathryn Bennett  18:11  
And I think it's, I'm gonna be honest with you, Melissa, one of the most difficult things that I've been facing over the last year is being able to accept the fact that I might get everything that I want in life. And I'm because for many for so many years, I have been afraid and nervous and freaked out about oh my gosh, I just need to make my basic needs. You know, I've been on food stamps. It's not like it's not like this is things have been easy, right? I've been I've been struggling for a lot of years. And now I'm sitting here going, you know, I've got great friendships, I've got this business endeavor that I'm looking towards. I'm a nationally ranked strength athlete, like this is everything I've ever wanted. And I'm allowed to have it and it's okay. You know, I'm allowed to like rest in this and I'm allowed to be grateful and but but I think what comes down with that is that you have to put your hand out to bring other people up the ladder. So there's a responsibility that comes along when you achieve a certain measure of you know, when you get to that successful place, what do I do next is I put up my hand and help other people climb up the same way I did.

Melissa Ebken  19:16  
That's beautiful, that's beautiful. I hope you're also taking the time to enjoy it because you do deserve to enjoy it, too.

Kathryn Bennett  19:26  
Yeah, absolutely. Well, you know, every day that I go to the gym is a blessing. I get to move my body. It's healthy, you know, I'm not injured right now. I get to I get to do everything that I want when I wake up in the day right now. And so I'm the gratitude that I have is is overwhelming but I do want to say also, this has been you know, five years of work to put so it doesn't happen overnight. But again, every single little step that you take to get to wherever it is that you want to go is a worthwhile step.

Melissa Ebken  19:53  
Absolutely. Keep showing up. Keep keep showing up.

Kathryn Bennett  19:59  
Yeah, even if it feels terrible. And it's going to feel terrible sometimes. But that doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong. Sometimes you just feel terrible, you know? It's ok.

Melissa Ebken  20:07  
Kathryn, I love your success, because you aren't in the mold of a person we would create to be successful. I mean, you've had a lot of setbacks, you've had a lot of challenges. You've struggled with alcoholism, you have ADHD, you have things that people wouldn't necessarily say, Oh, that's not the profile for a successful person. But you did it.

Kathryn Bennett  20:33  
Thank you. Thank you. Yeah. And you know, I do it in an industry. So I'm in I'm in RFP sales is my is my business of like, proposal management, which is traditionally a very stoic institution, kind of, like, buttoned up, you know, very, yeah. And I

Melissa Ebken  20:49  
Most of us don't know what that means, so can you clarify, for us what you're talking about?

Kathryn Bennett  20:54  
It's the government, it's like selling to the government. Okay. Right. So like, how do we sell how do we sell medical supplies or plumbing services or, you know, whatever, whatever is coming along that small government, like local government or national government might need, we put together a document and then they then they decide, right? But it's, it's a bunch of engineers and a bunch of attorneys and a bunch of like construction people and like this, this really, this really conservative industry. And and everyone says, don't dye your hair the color that it is. People who are on the podcast right now, my hair is like lime green. I've got a full sleeve of tattoos. Well, I'm working on getting this one filled in, because that's, that's the next spot. But I've got almost a full sleeve of tattoos, right? And I show up and everyone says, oh, you'll never be able to make it in this industry with the way you look. And I just don't even care. I just show up. And I'm my true self. And I'll tell you what, we're building a strong community of people who are just like, like, we're all just like each other. And we're changing the way the industry works. So I say that being your authentic self is a huge risk if that's also really scary. And it's worth it? Yeah, just keep working on it.

Melissa Ebken  21:56  
Absolutely.  Absolutely. And you know, I'm a pastor, I've served churches for 25 years. I do prison or jail ministry, I'm there's a big difference between a jail and a prison, and I do ministries there. And the thing that I keep coming in contact with wherever I do ministry, whether it's in the jail, whether it's in the local congregation, or online, or what have you. The one thing that people battle with most is they are beloved, just as they are, you have value you have all you have love, just who you are. And it's pretty cool and the folks that really suffer in life that have that every single woman that I've met in jail, has been told and believed that they are worthless. And changing that one truth that one understanding about ourselves that we have value, we matter. And we are loved, even if we don't fit some kind of idealized model or form or profile. That is a game changer in life.

Kathryn Bennett  23:10  
How have you seen that? Like, I'm really curious how you've seen people change, once they really internalize that message? 

Melissa Ebken  23:15  
Well, it's a lot of what you've said that the steak that they put in other folks opinions tends to, not overnight. In some cases it does overnight, but it slowly wanes. Until it's a growth process. And some grow fast, some grow slowly. Folks who have hold, held grudges for a long time and have held on to all of those negative feelings, who are able to forgive themselves, and to forgive others and let those grudges go. So much stuff that they've been holding on to in life falls away, weight will fall away. resentments fall away, resistance falls away, and so much more is available to them in life. I've seen it in people who want to go to school want to go to college, but didn't think they were college material or worthy of having a career in a profession. And just kept showing up and kept doing it. And they found that they do have value and that people value their value. So in a lot of different ways. Thank you for asking that. 

Kathryn Bennett  24:23  
Ya know, I think our society teaches us and particularly women, you know, or or non-men, if we don't fall into a certain if we if we aren't caretakers or if we don't have this certain kind of approach to our life. We're made to feel guilty about the parts of ourselves that we you know, that we put forward and I will tell you, I will tell you that working the 12 steps saved my life because it helped me understand that the things that I viewed as absolutely terrible that I had done in the past. I'm like, make no mistake I've done a lot of really questionable stuff. But, but I heard other people talking about those same things, and how they were able to move past it and instead make a positive life for themselves afterwards, while integrating the lessons that they have learned when they were younger. And I thought, you know, I can, I can either be held back by the really unfortunate things that I did in my past, or I can acknowledge that that person was trying to survive, and was trying to, like, make the best of the situation and love her through it. And now I'm, you know, now I'm older, and I'm going to make better choices. But along, you know, I feel like I have to get this message out there and talk about this type of stuff, because there are a lot of people who don't live through the bad choices that I lived through. And so, so how do we make sure that other folks, you know, know, what resources are available to them, whether it be 12 Step community, whether it be, you know, halfway house or like, or like a sober living type situation, or even just some of these online sobriety resources? You know, folks, folks who are struggling with that there are so many resources today. And if and if you want to stop drinking, you can. So people like me, are here to help. 

Melissa Ebken  26:02  
Thank you for that. Because when everyone has a story about themselves that they don't ever want anyone else to know about them. And when you're able to really look at that story of yourself, to really see the whole context and the perspective of yourself, there was something there that was edifying you in a way that no other part of life was. And don't punish yourself for that your person at that age, and in that context, and then that circumstance, they got you to this point today. Don't punish them, don't be ashamed of them. Thank them, thank them for surviving that time. Thank them for growing into this person, and allow them to rest because you got the wheel now. And yeah, resources, there are resources. And I do have a blog that goes along with the podcast. And I want people to come and write on this episode. I want people to comment where their struggles are, what resources they need. I want people listening to this ask Kathryn for advice and for wisdom and for resources. And I know she will answer and be responsive to that, and help you find a direction in life. You know, I'll show up too and offer what I can offer. But the link to that blog site is going to be in the show notes. So make sure that you click that. I want to hear your responses to Kathryn's story. I want to hear your struggles. And I want to see the questions you have. And I know Kathryn does too.

Kathryn Bennett  27:44  
And the great thing about the you know, the great thing when we think about sobriety is that there's instant, there's an instant sense of validation, because if you've been sober for one day, you know a little bit more about sobriety than the person who's been who's not been sober for a day. Right? So so we as a community of people reach out our hands to whoever's climbing up behind us. And and I think that's where some of that understanding of our value comes in, because we have not only a responsibility, but also the joy of being able to watch other people develop as they as they follow on these paths as well. And I think that's the power of making amends too because making amends isn't just apologizing, it's setting things right that you've done in your past. And again, whether you do this in the context of a 12 step program, or if you do it in on your own time. making amends is one of the more powerful activities that I've ever done. Because it's saying, okay, you know, I'm going to make right to the things that I've done in my life that that didn't live up to how I should have behaved, and I can talk for hours on this, right? Do I need? Do you need money? Do you need do you need resources? Like do you need me to apologize? You need me to like do some service for you like what's going to set this right for us to be okay, again? Yeah, and that's been a really that's been a really powerful lesson too so you're I love this concept of like, everybody having inherent value, and how this conversation has turned to that that direction? Yeah. Because, listen, whether if I get my if I get my butt handed to me at national contest, I'm still somebody who is just as valuable as somebody who wins first place. It's it's just the fact that I can. 

Melissa Ebken  29:17  
Absolutely, and the person who finished first place isn't going to be able to reach out and help the people that you are able to reach out and help along the way. You know what I just flashback to? When I was a kid, I had Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer would come on every year. It still does. My kid watches it. But when I was a little kid watching that show, you know my emotions were all over the place as a kid and I was terrified by the Abominable Snowman. I was just distraught and sobbing over their plight with the elf and Rudolph and how the communities just cast them out. And it was so wrong, but the thing I loved the most about that show, was the Island of Misfit Toys. Like oh, my gosh, is that heaven because they weren't the North Pole. As a kid, maybe that was, what heaven was that place where everybody could fit in and find their place. And at the end of the show, it showed where each of those toys on the Island of the Misfit Toys, found the right kid that needed them. So that's always been a part of my psyche and makeup. Is that, yeah, those of us who might be labeled misfits, we're special fits for those who can't. Who need more than the average.

Kathryn Bennett  30:39  
Yeah. And if people tell you, you're too much, then go find different people. They're not your people. Like, people will tell me, they'll be like, Hey, you're lifting too much weight. And I'm like, your opinion about this doesn't matter. You know, because yeah, I am doing I'm doing way more than you can maybe, or maybe I'm doing way more than you want to, or I'm doing something that scares you. But it doesn't scare me. And so I'm like, like, to that point, if someone tells you, you're too much, if someone tells you, all these things about yourself, don't immediately believe someone who criticizes you like that. Like, it's okay to be a lot. It's okay to have a ton of energy. It's okay to be somebody who's kind of like all over the place and trying to figure out what you want to do. Like, I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I'm an author. I'm a strong person, like I am, I'm a business owner, but like, what do I want to do when I grew up? We're still discovering that so um, so yeah, don't believe don't believe people, when they say you're too much, if then then they can go find less, in my opinion. 

Melissa Ebken  31:28  
And their comments say a lot more about them than they do about you.

Kathryn Bennett  31:34  
Yeah, absolutely. Well, okay, so so are we are we reaching towards the end of our end of our experience today?

Melissa Ebken  31:41  
Kathryn, I would love to hear more about your book.

Kathryn Bennett  31:47  
I just I have it sitting right here, which is why I'm super excited. Um, so I wrote a book. It's called Productive Pain, My Life as a Strong Woman. It's designed with a few just little short chapters, about about 20, short chapters, three to five pages. I designed it this way because when I was in early sobriety, I was struggling to be able to read anything longer than just a few paragraphs. And so this is a like, neurodivergent, free neurodivergent brain friendly book that's designed to help you learn a few lessons, get some some memoir items in there of mine, that you can learn a little bit about my own history. Learn how to become your authentic self, and and learn how to achieve the goals that you want with it really, really snappy and quick read. So you don't have to dedicate a ton of time to getting through it, you can learn a lot of great lessons available at warmaidenfitness.com. And if you use the code, War Paint, you can get a that's all all capital W AR P A I N T, I can give you a special discount on the book.

Melissa Ebken  32:42  
I have pre-ordered, and I'm impatiently I mean, patiently waiting for it to come to my box. So yeah, I'm really looking forward to that. The link to this book is in the show notes, the coupon code, the warpaint is also in the shownotes. So make sure you check this out, because I can't wait to read this book, knowing Kathryn and hearing her stories, and just the interactions we've had. I really can't wait for this book. It's it's one of those things where my family is going to have to fend for themselves until I get through this book. I want to just cocoon myself. The world can wait, I want to read it cover to cover.

Kathryn Bennett  33:26  
I appreciate you. And you know, you know, it's funny, because this is the first book that I've ever written. And I did it in 10 days, as one does. A lot of people think oh, you've got to and this is again, just another example like do do, you. Don't let other people tell you tell you what works best for you. Because I sat down, I sat down over a 10 day stretch in November and just wrote the whole thing. And, and to be able to experience that and to be able to just get this into the right people's hands especially, especially especially for women who are looking to build their own physical and emotional strength. No, nobodys scared of picking up heavyweight, whether that's personal weight, whether that's physical weight in the gym, like you're strong enough, you can do it. Don't be afraid. 

Melissa Ebken  34:04  
Perfect. Thank you, Kathryn. And we look forward to seeing where life takes you in the future and maybe someday we'll come back and get an update.

Kathryn Bennett  34:15  
Thank you, Melissa. I appreciate you. This has been a blast.

🎶 Episode Outro: Thank you so much for tuning into today's episode. If this encouraged you, please consider subscribing to our show and leaving a rating and review so we can encourage even more people just like yourself. We drop a new episode every Wednesday so I hope you continue to drop in and be encouraged to lean into and overcome all the uncomfortable stuff life brings your way. 🎶