“I can’t control what happens outside of me, but I can control what happens on the inside.” – Ted Ryce
The Cheat Sheet:
- What was it like to see his brother’s murderer executed? (21:00)
- Ted’s warrior mindset and how it has served him. (26:20)
- The principles of resilience (31:10)
- Why aerobics and yoga can be beneficial, even to men. (39:05)
- What is stress inoculation and why is important? (43:30)
- And so much more…
Today it’s bordering on trendy to blame your early childhood for your present day screw-ups. For some, their dad wasn’t around enough or their mom didn’t hug them enough.
But there are those people who truly experienced harrowing childhoods, the kind that could (and by all accounts should) – really mess you up into a non-functional human being. And yet there are stories of triumph from those who rise above to lead happy, healthy and impactful lives.
Such is the case for our guest on episode 299, Ted Ryce, fitness expert and martial arts competitor.
In this show, Ted talks candidly and powerfully about the impact of the kidnapping and murder of his young brother Jimmy, as well as his mom’s mental illness and abusive treatment of him and his subsequent personal journey. We also discuss how all of those experiences helped Ted become a warrior in mind, body and spirit and to discover the resiliency tools he uses today to create a life of fulfillment and joy.
More About This Show:
When he was only 14, Ted’s mother was killed in a car accident. After the birth of his sister, she became mentally ill but was never properly diagnosed or treated. Around that same time, she began beating Ted.
Naturally, he was pretty distraught about the loss of his mother. He was angry and sad and lashed out as teenagers do: he skipped school, experimented with sex and drugs and even stole the family car and ran away. As he says, his high school days were all about sex, drugs and rock-n-roll.
But he did enough to get through high school and get into college, where he began to enjoy himself. Still the rebel, he skipped class but was earning A’s in his courses and working on subjects he enjoyed.
One day, while skipping class, he went to his friend’s house to see his little brother, Jimmy, after school. Ted’s parents were on vacation and Jimmy was staying at Ted’s friend’s house.
When Ted arrived, Jimmy wasn’t there and had missed a piano lesson that day; all of that activity was unusual for him because he was a punctual and on-point kid. Eventually the police were called in and then the FBI. Search teams were sent out to look for Jimmy and people were questioned, especially Ted and the rest of his family members. Susan Smith had recently been arrested for drowning her children and lying about it to authorities and in the media, so the FBI wasn’t going to overlook a potential family member’s role in Jimmy’s abduction. Despite their interrogation tactics, the FBI turned up no leads. The search parties found no trace of Jimmy for 3 months. Until one day a neighborhood woman realized she was missing some jewelry and a handgun. She suspected her farmhand of stealing them and went to the trailer he was living in on her property to look for the missing items. She didn’t find her jewelry or handgun, but she found Jimmy’s backpack and one of Jimmy’s missing person’s flyers in it. The farmhand was arrested and, after numerous wild goose chases and tall tales, he finally confessed to kidnapping, murdering and disposing of Jimmy’s body. Ted and his family were distraught. The case went to trial the next year; Ted left college, stopped eating and generally didn’t function even in the most basic sense of the word. It took several years before he even began to turn his life around. And he believes he was only able to do so because of martial arts and fitness. He found principles and tools in each of those areas which have helped him not just cope with his horrible loss, but also find empathy and compassion for others. What he has learned from training his body and the mental discipline of martial arts is the joy and happiness that comes from serving people and how to help those who need it AND are willing to work for it. In this episode, we talk about Ted’s early life of course because it was so crucial in his path, but also how he applies nutrition, fitness and the principles of resilience to lead a warrior’s life. Ted’s message is a powerful one and he shares it from his heart, it’s one of the many reasons I wanted to have him on the show. There’s plenty more Ted and I talk about, I hope you’ll listen and digest all the great takeaways…and then start applying them to your life for self-mastery.