Michael Gayle, an Outdoor Adventure Coach, teacher and trainer shares why training in nature brings about more than endurance and overall fitness.
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Michael’s philosophy of creating Wellness Through Awareness grew out of his military training, his love of wilderness and adventure travel, and his interest in understanding the mind-body connection which led to his study of Kinesiology, Pilates & Native American inspired tracking.
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[00:03:15] Cynthia: Hello, this is Cynthia Shockley with the Well Connected Twin Cities Podcast, and today I am so excited to introduce you to Michael Gayle. Michael has a passion for creating wellness through awareness. This passion is translated into more than 25 years of remarkable results. For clients age eight to 88, there is motivation and.
You’ll experience life changing shifts that expand far beyond the physical. The concept of MGayle Outdoor Ventures was birthed in 2009. Michael’s passions were pushed to his limits as he created prepared mentally, physically, emotionally to lead adventures worldwide. More recently, he’s trained and crossed the finish line with his two first time American Birkie ski Racers, a 55 K race.
In addition to his energy, his first rate credentials have propelled him to become one of the top personal train. No. In addition to his energy, his first rate credentials have propelled him to become one of the top personal trainers in Minnesota. Great physical fitness results from a deep emotional commitment to change.
And through his commitment, his clients realize their enormous potential. This is the overarching philosophy, guiding how he runs his business and inspires his clients and his supporters.
Beautiful. Thank you so much, Michael, for your time, your energy for all that you do and for just the inspiration in our conversation today. I know I’m feeling ready to get out there, maybe face some of my own fears. But it’s been such a gift to talk with you, get to know you, and I hope listeners can really sense your passion, your energy, and there are many ways to reach out to Michael.
You can check the show notes for ways to contact him and work with him. Clearly he would love to connect. So thank you again Michael and everyone, have a beautiful rest of your day. .
So I am here with the man, the myth, the legend. , how are you doing, Michael?
[00:05:39] Michael: I’m doing great. How are you? Good.
[00:05:42] Cynthia: Good. I’m so glad that you’re able to be here and just share a bit more about yourself, your business, cause it, cause it’s so unique, your story and everything that you’ve done with it so far. So, uh, besides the bio that I just shared, you know, tell us about your background and how it’s influenced what you do.
[00:06:02] Michael: Yeah, you bet. I, So I’ve been in that, the fitness industry for about 25 years now, and it’s, uh, gone from, uh, the study of kinesiology at the University of Minnesota. Uh, of course, as you know, we studied Pilates and st. Uh, Paul and uptown Minneapolis. Various martial arts and some tai chi, and I’ve also undergone Winter Desert survival training and the Marine Corps wilderness Outdoor first responder train, ski mount mirroring training with National Outdoor Leadership School and tracking and survivalist training up to the scout level with renowned Native American.
Survivalist Brown. So all those, you know, from the, the fitness side of things, right? To like the survivalist, to like that first responder National Outdoor Leadership School to like living in snow caves and. And traveling the, the world has really given me, uh, an ability to, to realize that we can do some amazing things, uh, with, uh, our minds.
You know, things that are outside of the scope of what most of us do. And so I said, Okay, well I love the outdoors, I love fitness, and, uh, let me use my skills. Right. Let me use my strengths to help people do things that they would wouldn’t imagine they could do. I mean, these are, these aren’t like just athletes that come to me.
These are, these are people that are like, Okay, I wanna get fit again, but I wanna get fit on my own terms. I wanna get fit and enjoy the, the outdoors and, and, um, So this, this is really, really exciting stuff to me. Um, because, you know, it’s needed, it’s a time right now where people need it more than get outdoors.
They need to embrace it and have fun. With their fitness journey and a journey that will last them for the rest of their lives. This isn’t A to B. This is an A to the rest of their lives, and they get the education and they also get, of course, just a wonderful appreciation for the outdoors and skills to boot.
[00:08:16] Cynthia: my gosh. And seriously, we need more time in nature. We need, especially after the pandemic, I feel like people just lost connection to their body, to their sense of aliveness. And so here you are offering. Just so many opportunities to reconnect with body, reconnect with nature, reconnect with purpose.
Uh, so, you know, the way that you do things is so different from, let’s say, a personal trainer. So can you walk us through what it’s like working with
[00:08:47] Michael: you? Yes. Yeah. So it, it’s different of course for different people. Some people come to me, I have a Pilates background, a sensely background, uh, and, and so some people come to me and say, I need to do a rehab on my shoulder.
I, it’s, I have things that are ailing me. First, I wanna get outdoors. I get that I’m, I’m totally on board with what you’re doing, uh, and getting people outdoors and, and, and, uh, catching that fitness bug. But, uh, so that, that process is different. So someone who comes to me that wants to say, do a rehab or the lower back, we typically start with them indoors as they’re feeling better and they’re, they’re feeling amazing and their energies back then make the transition, uh, outdoor.
So I’m unique. Right, the company, as I add more, uh, instructors and what have you that are attracted of course, to what we’re doing is that we spend most of our time year round outdoors training. So we train, and that’s kind of like the bless of it, right? Is you get to experience just that, you know, being in a storm sometimes that’s an extreme state, but, uh, rainstorm for, for instance, a snowstorm.
Uh, you, you, and you’re out there enjoying. Getting fit. I’m teaching you and dressing, making sure that you’re have the right gear on, right? So you’re not wet, you’re totally, you’re dry, you’re enjoying it, you’re warm, you’re moving. And, uh, so that experience, uh, of being outside, uh, outdoors, getting fit. Is, uh, is, it’s just an amazing experience.
So, uh, for instance, we could, we’d go out to a local state park and, uh, hit some of the hilly terrain there. Uh, for those that are looking to build, uh, power and strength, uh, certainly, uh, be creative with some of the outdoor features using picnic tables for, uh, stairs and, uh, using, uh, various things to help, help challenge us along the way.
But, You certainly do not need a gym, uh, to get in phenomenal shape. I mean, you think about the yogis, most people think of yogis and Tai chi, uh, and they think of, uh, people that can just be out there on a beach and just be mindful and be there in the present moment and, and just be in awesome shape. Most of the people we see in our mind’s eye, they’re just in phenomenal shape.
So it is something that you can, once I teach you the system, right, you can do it anywhere. Anywhere you want. You can be out in the middle of a, a wooded, forest. You can be on a, a rocky beach, like at North Shore, Minnesota. You can be on a, a sandy beach anywhere you can imagine. I of oftentimes I’ll go to a Yellowstone National Park.
And, uh, you know, I’ll get awake for Old Faithful to go out and I’ve seen Old Faithful, you know, 5, 6, 7 times, but you’re waiting old Faithful’s eventually to come. And I said, Well, this is a great opportunity to sit on at one of those park benches and, and do some stretches, and do some plots. And, you know, I’m really audible and, and with my breathing inside that you knower coming, coming by.
And they’re staring at me like, What’s this guy doing? . But, uh, so I, I just have a really good time with that. And there really. It’s a, it’s a great opportunity to, um, to do it anywhere. Um, and, uh, like I’ll take weight weights out outdoors. I’ve, I’ve, uh, worked with people and we take wheel barrels out, little stuff, uh, you know, sandbags and wheel barrels.
I’ve pull up bars that I have set up outdoors. Uh, I’ve, I’ve, uh, gymnastic rings that I’ve set up outdoors. Anything you can possibly imagine you could do indoors, almost. You can certainly do outdoors. And again, I teach everyone what they need to know, Right? How to dress, how to gear, how to layer, you know, what to drink, what to eat.
Cause it, it gets tricky as, as, as the weather gets cold, especially here in Minnesota, right? We can get negative 40 degrees ne even, even more than that with the wind sometimes. And uh, the fact is, is last year I was out every single day, training every day out there. How cold it was and, and most often for 2, 3, 4 hours at a time.
So it can be done. And it’s something I think people freak out with, with the cold. And it’s something, what I’m, I’m welcoming people to do is just be open to the possibility where the cold can be a a, a turning point where that fear of, oh, it’s gonna be uncomfortable, actually turns to joy. It turns to, to bliss.
It turns to like, wow, okay. I, I’ve al I’ve been kind of staying inside most of the winter and now. It’s opened me up to another world. Like for cross country scheme, you’re only cold, the coldest temperatures for the first 10 minutes. After that, you’re warm. Mm-hmm. . How cool is that to be out there? Winter wonderland, it just snowed that the trees are covered, you’re going underneath and this beautiful, it’s like, it’s, it’s absolutely gonna snow globe, but you’re warm and you’re getting in awesome shape.
You’re breathing your whole body from head to toe. You’re. Versus being inside and saying, You know what? I just can’t wait to winter’s over. I can’t wait to winters over. I can’t wait to winters over. It doesn’t have to be that way. I’m the winter guy. I love this stuff. And my, uh, enthusiasm. It, it spills over and it’s, it’s genuine.
I mean, this isn’t, uh, this isn’t, uh, a fake thing. I’m out there. And you know what I, I share in the lesson plan that’s come from over 25 years of experience. Yeah. And my, you can living it darn good of getting people to do things they, that they wouldn’t otherwise thought that they could do. That’s the, that’s, that’s where it, that’s where it’s at.
So I wanna bring people on, uh, MGA Outdoor Ventures that have that enthusiasm, that have that passion, that really wanna help people to see them. People that may be without judgment, no judgment, because they wanna see them thrive. Yeah, that’s long. That’s the best gift I could give. It’s the gift of love.
[00:14:49] Cynthia: And seriously, I know that it’s such a common theme, right? That people are like, Oh no, we lost summer. Oh no. Now it’s winter. It’s a lot of dread. A lot of, you know, the seasonal effective disorder, like I’m depressed now and there’s some signs backing that. But I’d imagine when you’re moving your body, when you’re out in nature, when you’re actually challenging these belief systems, Like you’re liberating yourself to truly take charge of how you’re living your life and not letting anything stop you.
Like if it’s, if it’s negative degrees out, like, great, I can dress appropriately in order to still get out there and enjoy my day. And you get to educate on that and really give people that gift of freedom to be able to just choose what they want out of their life without feeling restricted by their environment.
[00:15:44] Michael: That’s right. It is. There’s, there’s a lot of freedom to it and you know, moving year round. But in the wintertime when you’re out there moving and your system is on clockwork, you think about our clockwork as, as it relates to sleeping, right? We want to get on that, that, that sleeping habits where we get to bed a little bit earlier, 10 o’clock, maybe 11, some for some it’s nine, and then get up.
Not just sleeping our, our GI system not gonna go into that, but it, it’s something that, that should be like clockwork as well. That is the brain of the body when that is operating effectively, like the small intestine, for instance, where it. All the nu nutrients go throughout the body to, so that we have those things so that we are not experiencing as much of the seasonal effective disorder.
We’re getting those nutrients, but movement is a catalyst, right, to make that happen. Movement gets things that or shouldn’t be in there for as long as they are out. And uh, you know, it, it’s not uncomfortable for me to talk about cause , it’s something that’s so, so important and with movement. In the wintertime when most people aren’t, they get in clockwork.
And so it’s seasonal dissect effect disorder. It’s like, no, I’m the, the opposite of that. And I go, again, without judgment, this is a way that you can do this. And you know, this is, this is something you can hold on for life. And then once they have. My expectation on is that you’re gonna pass it for the clients.
They’re gonna pass that on to someone they love. Mm-hmm. . So it’s not good enough for me. And I, I, it’s a pact I make with clients. It’s all the best of time. We have, we, we have set up for this amount of hours, right. I’ll go above and beyond, and because I want you to have this for the rest of your life, and I’d like you to pass this on because I know by passing on and teaching it to someone else, you’re gonna know it.
That’s the last phase of learning, and it’s gonna feel good that you’ve helped someone else out. There’s something about that reciprocity, right? Helping someone else out and seeing them shine. You getting into a, a position to where you can now do that too. How empowering.
[00:18:06] Cynthia: Whew. I didn’t realize that.
That’s like the last part of what you offer is like, All right, you ready? Now you are the teacher
[00:18:16] Michael: for, for the, the things that they can teach and they don’t have to teach everything. They could be three, four things. If you can teach those you’re comfortable with teaching them, teach ’em. And I go over and over.
I’m repetitive. I say things about 10 different ways. That’s the teacher in me. I repeat things. Again, patience and lifting people up to help them to make these transitions. But the winter is, is a big thing for many people. And, and I think especially in Minnesota, I’ve been through all these, these winter trainings as I, as I mentioned, it’s in my bio.
Um, but I love it. It’s, it’s pure joy and it, it’s something that. I was at a, I was at a bus stop. I was a freshman in college and I forgot my, my hat, my gloves. Now this is Pennsylvania Mind. Before I knew what the real cold was, , this is ba and okay. In this instant, I asked myself a question, extreme hot or extreme cold, and I didn’t really think too much about it.
I said, Okay, cold this, Cause typically in, in the extreme heat, I get, I get headaches. Uh, the, the cold, it’s actually, it’s a gift. . So at that point in time, I chose to, rather than fight the cold, I chose to align with it. And since then, the relationship, rather than it being in something that I was pushing away and it was mean, it was something that was actually loving on me.
It was something that was reducing inflammation. It was something that was helping me to become a better version of myself and someone else’s way to, to enjoy the colder, to enjoy the outdoors there. There’s different ways to enjoy things. They may not currently enjoy. There’s different ways to get there.
There’s different ways to, there’s different verbiage that’s used, but I’ve been doing this for so long that if I listen, which I’m, I’m a good listener, uh, to what the clients have to say and, and what drives them inside, I can find those things, unlock those things. If they allow it, they have to be. And, you know, it’s amazing these, these changes and these aren’t changes.
That, and that’s the, a big, big difference is I’m doing this for life. And that’s why I asked for, I wanna work with committed clients, people that want it. I don’t care how big of a challenge it is, I’m the guy to get ’em there. You could think about, uh, something like the Drake passage. You go all the way is the bottom tip of Argentina.
Go to a place called Aya that is a launching point if you wanna take an expedition to Antarctica on a sailboat. So you cross the Drake passage, which I’ve done. Say a 60 foot sailboat. Those are some of the most tumult, tumultuous, uh, seas anywhere in the world. Imagine two and a half days or three days on an amusement ride, you never get off
[00:21:09] Cynthia: And you’re just smiling, thinking about it
[00:21:13] Michael: up and down it’s side to side. It’s like, you know, I go on a couple times with my daughter, these spin rides, and okay, lemme get off. It’s like, No, you gotta do. Get off, but this is like half, three days worth. So my point is, is that psychologically, mentally, I’ve put myself through a lot of these things.
These challenges that where you have to really stretch the, the mind. So I’ve, I’ve become really, really good at helping people to do things that they wouldn’t think are possible. And so you, you know, you say, Okay, well how is that different from the gym? But people do that in the gym with lifting weights.
Well, It’s different because I’m asking you to go beyond the superficial. I’m not this having good muscles and being strong is not good enough. I want you to increase your awareness. I want you to pay attention to things that are around you. I want you, of course, to teach these lessons of someone else so that that law, reciprocity, there’s a lot that goes into it.
I want you to build a relationship with the outdoors. Mm. You know, again, people that are open to it, they don’t have to start with. But I have so much to teach. I’ve had so many awesome teachers over the years. College professors have been great. I mean, professors that have sought me out and say, I wanna work with Michael K.
When I had my studio in Highland Park area, St. Paul. Mm-hmm. , I had all different types of, you know, scientists and, and investors and hedge fund owners. I mean really, really neat people that I got to learn. So I’m teaching, but they’re teaching me something. that life experience counts for something. So again, I have these different lenses, a as Stephen Coby said, late Stephen Covey, to be able to teach these skills.
Not because I, I think I’m better because I wanna help them, I wanna love them. I wanna see them succeed. So that’s the difference. And it’s, you know, that’s where the passion’s there, uh, For the right people. For the people that want it. Right. That clients that want it. Yeah, because I works a hundred percent.
[00:23:26] Cynthia: Would you say you have like a typical
[00:23:27] Michael: client? Yeah. The typical client is, is someone who knows what they want, uh, beforehand. They know that they wanna work with. Mm-hmm. , uh, either they’ve been referred to or they checked me out online. They’ve realized I’ve been in the, in the business for a while. Like, okay, I, I just resonate with what Michael Gayle does.
You know, when he had the studio, it was a very similar concept. Now he’s taking it to the next level. He’s, he’s working me more and more people outdoors. He’s getting, getting trips together. You know, It, it, it’s someone who is. Ready to put themselves first. They’re saying, Okay, you know, a good part of my life, I, I’ve worked 60, 78 hour, uh, work weeks, weekend, week out.
And you know, I got to the point to where either I lost my health. I was pretty close to losing it for good. Like, you don’t get it back. And you know, I’m at this point in time, I wanna put myself first. Yeah. And I’m. And I, I believe what Mike Michael’s saying, I from a, and, and I’m, of course I’m gonna start off with X We’ll, we’ll see, you know, proofs in the pudding, right?
But people that kind of already are in, they’re already in with the philosophy. They’re already in with the, the movement that, that I’m, that it’s building and they want. This for life. It isn’t about an A to B. So someone I can get ready for a tough, I can get ’em ready for a marathon, I can get ’em ready to do X, but after doing, you know, whatever it is, if that’s it and they’re done versus having them do it, do something and be in amazing shape for life.
For life, that they could run 20 miles if they wanted. They could run, they could, you know, cross the state of Minnesota if they wanted to. They keep that conditioning. Now it sounds extreme, but once you put the time and, and, and, and effort into it, and if it’s something that a person wants, that’s key. It’s something that, that excites them, then, uh, it, it, it’s definitely possible to, to keep that, uh, again, for life.
So, someone who’s, who’s committed, who’s, who’s excited. And who meets me is a match for me. , they’re gonna, they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re intelligent. They don’t have to have a whole bunch of money. Uh, you know, I’m not a ju judge. I’ll help people regardless, regardless of, of where they come from on the, the socioeconomics ladder, you know, if I can help them and there’s no charge at all, just because they goodness of my heart.
Cause I wanna see them thrive, I will do that. I’ve done it before. People have helped me out before, thankfully. Mm-hmm. . So it, it, it’s, um, It’s for everyone. I just look for that commitment. I look for them. A person who’s ready to receive what I have.
[00:26:18] Cynthia: Yeah. Yeah. And I know you’ve also, you’ve worked with people as young as, what was it, like eight years old?
So you’ve worked with children and then also people who are much, much older, like past retirement, so across a lifetime because you’re, you are really helping people establish this bug, as you say, right? This bug for outdoor adventure, this bug for like achieving more and doing something beyond your beliefs.
And so, Across a lifetime. How do you see outdoor adventures benefiting a person like age eight through 80?
[00:26:54] Michael: Well, I, I’ll just give you a short example and, uh, it, it was, uh, I’m in Marine Corp bootcamp, I’m in third phase. You may have heard this, uh, this story before. Cause I like to tell it. And, uh, we’re, we’re lined up and to, to go up this, uh, this, this water.
60 feet tall, and we have to, The idea is you get up to the top and you have to rope propel back, and the rope propel. You have to the, the brake. You put your, your hand behind your back, and if you want it to go and this whizz on down, you straighten your arm out at a 45 degree angle and you’re, you’re going, you’re going down.
That’s scary for a lot of people. As a kid, I did that, you know, not in Cub Scouts, but I went to these. Uh, camps in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania, Appalachian Mountains, and I did that often. So I, I got up there, I went down, got to the bottom in my, the hard drone instructor, the, the one that, that wanted to the purpose to make our lives a living hell.
I said, uh, uh, sir, this recruit request permission to do it again. I was so excited, , to help the back line. This is not amusement parks . I was like, Huh. So I got in trouble cause I, I’m supposed to be scared of this. And Marine bootcamp, third phase basic warrior training and. I wasn’t scared, I was alive. So the point of the story is, is that as a young person embraces, that’s why I, I, I’m, I just, uh, did a speech for the Boy Scouts of America in, in Buffalo, Minnesota.
Cuz I’m a big believer in scouts, girl scouts, boy scouts. Because they get these life experiences early on that otherwise they, they, they would, they wouldn’t get. So when, as an. When you’re doing these different things, rope propelling is, is one thing off a cliff or water tower, whatever you, you know, it’s not scary anymore, so it pushes you.
So instead of fearing you embrace something and then what do you do? You share it with someone else. You help them along the way. You don’t judge them because that was you at one point. So it gives them a whole list of skills. I mean, going through a a, a snowstorm, a white out can be scary. It’s one thing going in a car, but it’s another thing if you’re actually with a pack on, you got your, your snow boots on, you got all your gear and your goretex and you, your bottle cla and you’re all set and you’re loving it.
You’re part of the storm versus fearing the storm because you know that you are ready. Yeah, you’re ready for it. You’re respect it. You respect it. And that’s the thing is, is I get people mentally, physically, emotionally, and some that are open to it spiritually ready for whatever life hands them. And there’s gonna be things, life’s gonna bring us curve balls.
But rather than our, our blood pressure going up, bob sudden someone cut you off in, in traffic. Rather than get pissed off about it and have, get tunnel vision, you’re saying, Okay, that’s not gonna bother me. I didn’t get tunnel vision. I’m relaxed. And that act, that’s actually pH i, I studied it, the physiologic response that instead of getting angry and, or, or, or having fear come in, you can actually get calm.
You can train yourself to calm in a storm literally. And that transfers over to life. So is, is that a gift that I’m giving to other people? I, I think so. Is that preferable into other life skills? I think so. I mean, I can go on and on for an hour, but we don’t have that hour. So there’s my example. Marine Corp Bootcamp and uh, uh, serve this recruit request permission to.
Get back in one .
[00:30:40] Cynthia: Yes. And I know that a part of your philosophy is also to make sure that people are having fun, cuz you’re not like that Marine general or corporal or whatever. Uh, you’re, you are. Yeah. You are the person who wants to have fun when they’re doing these adventures, right? And I’m sure that just clearly is something that your clients really love about working with you as well.
That you can bring in that fun, bring in that like non-judgmental attitude and really meet them where they’re at while still pushing them. To go a little further. Go a little further. Um, I wonder. What would you say is maybe one of your favorite inspirational client success stories?
[00:31:23] Michael: Well, I have, I have a couple, Can I do a couple?
There, there, there’s one Vietnamese gentleman, Win believe it’s, uh, that’s c h i and then n g u y e n, uh, pronounced Wyn, I think. So Vietnamese gentlemen didn’t speak a, uh, a word of English. And there’s a couple, uh, teams of physical therapists that came into his, his home, uh, prior to. Now this gentleman, he is in his, uh, mid eighties and he had a stroke and.
He wasn’t able to get out of his chair, his lazyboy chair without the help, uh, of a walker. And that was difficult. So when I first start walk, he, he get to the bathroom just a few feet away was a process. So he wasn’t walking outside of there, He wasn’t doing anything unaided of a walker. And by after six months of working with him, he.
Almost a mile. Almost a mile now, we, we stopped every, uh, 10th of a mile and sat down for a little bit, unaided of a walker, and he stood up out of his lazyboy chair without rocking and stood up on one foot. Raised his opposite arm with a three pound Pilates ball, gripped it, which he wasn’t able to grip anything before over his head and held it there for five seconds.
That, to me, you know, without, again, there was a interpreter there, but that to me is, is amazing because he. That I was there to help him. It wasn’t a job. I’m, I’m in there for half an hour, 45 minutes. I’m an out, It’s whatever it took to make sure that he was healed. So he joined in the process and that’s why the process worked.
Cause he saw that I, he could see he didn’t need to speak English. I didn’t need to speak Vietnamese to know that there’s something there. You could feel it. They invited me in to, they, they experienced their culture. I mean, they, it was, it was honorable. Mm-hmm. . So that, to me, it, it, it, it stands out because it was just huge.
That’s changed his life and, um, I will always remember she, she win. Another person, uh, was on very close to death, uh, and, uh, she was doing, uh, puzzles and we’ll call her Jane and, uh, her, her, I was like four years into the studio. Three, three and a half years. All right. Or three to half to four years in, and I got a phone call and, and you know, would you sit down and meet with us?
We need a whole list of, you know, personal trainers, Pilates, meet in-home chefs. My sister, she’s in a really rough shape. Can you help her? Desperate. And so I said, You know, of course I’ll meet. Let’s meet. So I sat down with, with her sister and, and this, uh, Jane. And uh, they could tell that I cared. I listened and we figure out a plan.
I used a lot of my staff, I appli instructors and yoga instructors and tie in. Anyway I could use. And I found it in home chef that, that in-home chef. And we made it work. And uh, as a result, she lost a whole bunch of weight. She reengaged with life again and because of. She opened up her resources, her connections, and very affluent person in the community.
And that’s where MGayle Outdoor Adventure started. So I started a second company because of that, because her transformation, we went to a wedding for her son and people just can’t count how many people thanked me because of the transformation. Uh, so again, it comes down to, okay, does this person really. Or they, they just know everything.
They’re really good at the science, they’re really good at, uh, you know, the, you know, showing people things and putting program, or they do I, do they care about me? Do they have, you know, the passion, the drive and, and the skills to be able to, uh, articulate messages and ways where, where people can make these shifts.
And that is a gift of mine. And, um, You know, it, it’s, it’s something that it, it’s come over years and years and years of clients teaching me their skills. Topnotch people teaching me things that I wouldn’t have known. I mean, she taught me things that, that, that I just certainly wouldn’t known Jane had taught me a whole bunch of that, again, exposed me to our network of people.
Really, really neat people at high levels. So I’m very, very thankful for those teachers in my life. You know, it, it, it’s, there’s no person, you know, that, that, that gets anywhere in life by accident. There’s a lot of hard work, there’s a lot of dedication, there’s passion, there’s belief in self. Um, but there’s teachers, there’s people that, that, that, that come on to the, the movement.
You know, something that you’re, you’re doing that you believe in that, that you wanna change a little part of the world, but you start in your circle and they come on, they say, I’ll help. It takes one person, right? And then that one person finds other followers and then it, it, it adds. I just saw a video, uh, recently about that, which I thought was remarkable on, on YouTube.
So was it the one low nut? Yes. What was it
[00:36:50] Cynthia: called? Yeah, it was, um, I forgot exactly what it’s called, but it’s, it starts with one lone nut dancing in a crowd where no one else is dancing. They’re just sitting down. Yes. And then all it takes is someone to join the one lone nut. It’s the first follower and all of a sudden a movement starts Everyone’s dancing.
[00:37:08] Michael: That’s right. That’s. That I’m like, they, they asked a question, Are you, If you’re this nut, I’m like, That’s me. I’m, you’re the nut . That’s awesome. But it was the, That’s like a perfecter, . I’m like that. They’re talking to me . I was like, This is so cool. I had to, I responded to right away. I’m like, That is awesome.
I was so pump.
[00:37:32] Cynthia: Yes. You’re that nut out there saying, I’m gonna do things differently. I’m gonna get people outside. I’m gonna work with people right where they are cuz you know, it’s amazing cuz you’ve taken people and all these incredible journeys across the world and yet the stories that really stand out to you are.
The, the little transformations that have given people their independence back, that have given people their self respect and power back, and really that’s what you’re doing. Whether people can walk a mile or run 20 miles, right? Like it doesn’t really matter the end result. It’s that process of discovery and owning their power and recognizing what they’re capable of.
[00:38:18] Michael: That’s exactly right. It’s got chills there. So you mean you, you’re, Yeah, that’s, that’s, yeah. I’m must cry. So that’s what you doing supposed cry. All
[00:38:32] Cynthia: your emotions are welcome
[00:38:34] Michael: all over again. Uh, go. Tears of joy. Tears of joy. Um, good. Um. Right. Yeah. It, it really is about that, that that the process and that people, it, it’s, I think it’s honorable to, to, to help others out.
And, you know, I, I, I’ve had people that have helped me mm-hmm. , you know, lots of people that have helped me, and I’m very thankful for their, their mentoring, their coaching, their help, uh, and, and an opportunity to be able to. To share my gifts with, with the world, not from ego. This is not from ego. I’m 47 years old.
I’m I, I, I, for the most part. I think I’m past ego. This is about something that I, I have the, the gifts. I know I have it. The purpose is to lift others up with the gifts that I have and, uh, I wanna see others thrive. I mean, that’s what it is. It’s not about build my name or whatever. Yes, I’d like the, the company to grow, but the, the purpose of it, the root of it, is to, to see others thrive.
To use what I, I have those gifts while I’m here on this earth. Whether it’s another year or 10 years or 20 or hopefully longer, but to use it to help other people to, to, to be the best. Versions of themselves to go way past what they even dreamt was possible because they crossed my path. That’s not ego.
Mm-hmm. . So you know, that’s. That’s taken years and years and years to, to, to come to that, to be able to verbalize all that, to be very clear about that, that that the mission, Right. My purpose mm-hmm. and the company MD Outdoor Adventures, you know, communicating these different messages. It’s taken time, so I, I really appreciate it.
It’s like, like these, these, these questions are not scripted questions. These are questions you’re asking me. You’re just bouncing off of, and I, I appreciate your, your intent listening skills. I very much.
[00:40:37] Cynthia: Of course. I mean, what you’re doing is, I mean, that lone nut video, seriously, it’s just speaking to me like the way it was speaking to you.
It’s like you said, it’s not ego driven. It’s you dancing your dance. It’s you doing what feels right, what feels like your purpose, and. You know, you’re literally out there like dancing with your eyes closed, having the best time, and people are naturally coming in because they wanna be a part of it. And so it’s amazing that you’ve been able to turn your passion into a business and to really start a movement.
That’s what you’re doing. You are. Not even just starting a movement. You’ve already started it. It’s already happening already. You have people who are teaching what you’ve been teaching and it’s spreading. So I’m super excited that you’re here, you exist and you are offering such a cool experience and a cool different way for people to tune in to themselves, tune in to their purpose, and get outside.
I mean, that is so needed. How do people work with you? What does that process look like?
[00:41:45] Michael: Yeah, that’s it. The, the process to, to work with me, it really starts down with, starts up with a sit down conversation, uh, just to make sure that we’re, that, that good fit, right? I, I wanna make sure that, uh, that they’re getting everything they possibly get.
And if I feel like. You know, it’s not a good fit. I, I, I have tons of other, uh, recommendations I can make for someone who could potentially be a better fit than me, and that’s okay. Uh, but for those that there are a good fit, we’ll just, You just can feel it, you know? And so it’s, it’s having, having a cup of coffee or tea, uh, it’s, uh, an hour, sometimes two, sometimes longer, of me taking, uh, copious notes and then making sure that I understand not just taking the notes, but understand.
So I, I, I spit back a lot of this information and say, Okay, if I understand correct, You said this, and they’ll say yes or no. And then so I, I wanna get to and understand them, um, and, and, and dig deeper. And then I’ll have a plan, kind of a, a general plan there. And then they agreed to that plan that makes sense for it for them.
And, uh, then we, we move forward, uh, and, and make it make a commitment so that commitment’s not to me, that commitments to themselves. Hmm. So a again, I’ll, I’ll go above and beyond. You know, it, it’s, it, I, I don’t want it to be transactional, You know, I don’t want it to be dollars and cents. I, I want it to be about building a relationship, uh, a relationship that is gonna be the catalyst for a better life for them.
And for their family unit as well. So that is my intention moving into starting a relationship. And again, if we find it’s a, it’s a good fit. I mean, it has the opportunity for them to be, have remarkable results, but for me as well, it’s going to be, get me more, more excited about what I do. And that’s what, that’s how I stay excited, right from working with really, really neat people.
So that’s the, the process, uh, the, the first five sessions, uh, if it’s, if it’s a private client, uh, and, and the one on one, uh, they really start off depending on what they want. If they’re a rehab client, I’ll start ’em out with the plots, uh, principles. If they’re, they’re someone that wants to get outdoors right away, then I, I, I probably won’t have ’em on their, And do, uh, ly warm up and, and, and principles and such, I, I probably have them get moving right away and let’s get outdoors.
So it really, really depends, uh, based on where the client’s at to meet their needs, not to meet something that I have, uh, that, that I need to meet. So that the process is the same, though. It starts with the conversation. Uh, it’s scary for some, but, uh, you know, I’m a big teddy bear. I, I look like . You, I saw this marine look to it, but inside, I’m warm.
Uh, I’m, I’m caring, I’m loving. And, uh, I’m, I’m there for you, uh, if you’re ready to, to, to take that, uh, that leap of faith. Uh, I just remember that leap of faith from, uh, Inception, the movie Inception with Lead Artica. You take that leap of faith and that just from inception, so of faith. Of faith, right?
You’re taking leap for each other. But I think it has the opportunity. Grow by leaps and bounds. And that’s exciting. That’s exciting to, to uh, to witness that, to be part of that.
[00:45:16] Cynthia: Yeah. And I’ve gotta say, as someone who’s been trained in coaching and like the science of empowering people to make the decisions for themselves, it sounds like through your own personal experience over the years, you’ve just deduced and recognized how important it is to really.
Get at the core of what your client wants and needs, making it about them. Really making sure you’re curating an experience that speaks to their needs and. Using your skill set to also then make suggestions, but of course you’re really focused in on getting to know them. I love that you really take that time in that initial meeting to ask those questions, take those notes, and really confirm that this is what you want, and it just makes it.
That much easier when people, you’re giving them a nice, strong foundation to take that leap of faith. You’re like, All right, this is where you stand. Correct, Correct. Now we can leap
[00:46:18] Michael: that. That’s a, You brought up a good point. So all those things are correct, but they’re typically not always, There’s some sort of vision.
Right. We, we, I take ’em to a place. So say that you feel like x and that they’re, they, they’re happy place is the beach. Then I’ll have them close their eyes and we’ll actually envision it with all their senses. You know, they’ll smell the. It’s just the wildflowers. And they’ll, you know, that, that they’ll hear the, the ocean, you know, crashing in and they’ll just, they feel the breeze against their face and the sun, the warm sunshine and the sand in their toes.
And it’s like, and, and you’re in the best shape of your life. You’re alive. You’re, you’re, you’ve, you’ve gotten, you were even better than you. You had had, you know, thought you’d be, How does it. And they open their eye. Open your eyes. And how’s it feel? I feel great. . It’s so excited. I’m like, they, they just take it seriously.
But that’s an important part. And again, Stephen Covey has, as you probably tell, has been big influence or late Stephen Covey, you know, Seven Habits, A highly effective people. Mm-hmm. , because he, he said, Begin with the end in mind. I mean, again, with the end in mind. So what is it that you wanna accomplish?
You know, envision that. I mean, that’s powerful stuff. Sports, psychology, it’s all about envisioning things before, uh, you know, performance before competition. This stuff works. Yeah, I know for a fact it works. So that’s a big part of the process. Not for all, but for many people. And it, it does begin with the end in mind.
Get as many emotions involved live. Before, and then that’s the first win. That’s the first time you’ve achieved it, and then you achieve it in, in, in the, in life. And it’s, it’s like, it’s great stuff. We did that with the Birkie, uh, last year with, uh, Andrea Cop, uh, just learned how to ski on the 20th of November of 2021.
She did the Birkie on the 26th of February, 2000. This, this year. So it would’ve been what, 2020 2021? Uh, she, she did 22 as I was, and to make a, a long story short, we envisioned, even though she didn’t know how to ski of November cross country ski, we envisioned her doing that before she, we even started training her, crossing the finish.
And did she cross the finish line? She did. I mean that, that’s a pretty high task to go 35 miles of hills and sign up for a race where the biggest in, in North America and not know how to cross country ski. But she saw it, she lived it. She was serious about that exercise and she crossed that finish line.
You know what she said when she crossed, I still have more in the tank. I still have more energy. . I can another 5k, I dunno, maybe two K, but. Uh, the fact matter, she was conditioned to not just do it, but to surpass that goal of 35 miles at 55 K. So there’s a lot of power in that. Uh, again, for those that are open, for those that aren’t open to it, I’m, I’m certainly not looking to, to force someone into something and they’re not comfortable with, But if they are, I, I may just be a good fit.
[00:49:37] Cynthia: Yes. Not for the faint of heart. MGayle Outdoor Adventures. .
[00:49:43] Michael: I like that. Love it.
[00:49:45] Cynthia: Ah, amazing. Well, I’m so glad that we were able to have this conversation and you know, we we’re gonna have all the information, the show notes so that people can connect with you and start working with you, or at least get that conversation going.
Cuz I know there are people out there who. Need this service, need that little extra spark who are looking for adventure, who are looking for pushing to push themselves that extra step or maybe 20 extra steps right than where they are now. And you can be that person to be by their side to really support them to see them.
And I, I love what you said too. You’re there to really love them, right? You’re, you’re giving your love and it’s something that’s gonna radiate beyond that person. Onto the next person. Onto the next person. So here you are, that amazing, making a movement happen.
[00:50:41] Michael: S exciting. And you know, there, there’s a few times in this conversation, uh, that, uh, got the chills.
So, you know, when you you get the chills. It, it, there’s some, there’s some truth to. , uh, there’s meaningful to that. There’s something, there’s some sort of synergy that we have, right? Uh, you’re not just to interview, you’re not interviewing me, but there’s something meaningful that you felt, that I felt, and I think there’s, there’s something to say to that.
So I’m looking for people to where we can have that, that synergy, right? Mm-hmm. , uh, that people like to join on board as a, as a. People or people like to join on board as, as clients. People like to join on board as someone that can help us get the, the word out, uh, such as yourself that believe in it, right?
People. Even this stuff, they believe in, in, in the, the essence of it, right, of the open being open to being outdoors for better mental health, for better physical health, for better emotional health. And, and for those that are open to spiritual as well, they can connect them with that spiritual side if they so choose.
So that’s, that’s really the essence and I really appreciate you helping me to bring these, these key messages out. You’re just amazing and I appreciate you. So thank.
[00:51:53] Cynthia: Thank you so much, Michael. And if there was one takeaway you’d hope people walk away from this conversation with, what would it
[00:52:00] Michael: be? I’d, I’d say on the other side of fear, whatever fear you have, if it, if it’s something, you know, physical fear or it’s something outdoor fear, if it’s cold, if it’s heat, if it’s, you know, water.
On the other side of that fear is bliss. And I, I, I’d say it, it, it, it’s worth a conversation to sit down and, and talk to me and, and open up about any, any fear or fears that you have and see if I can help you to overcome, because that is one of my guests to help people move past fears without judgment.
And I’ll, I’ll hold your hand again. Respectfully along the. Until you’re able to do it on your own. So if you have something that’s fearful, just remember on the other side of it, most of us do be open to being, you know, vulnerable by being vulnerable. There, there there’s an opportunity for you to move past that and just think about the joy on the other end of that fear when you, when you’re able to, to, to, to conquer that, to move past that, that that’s not holding you back anymore.