Natalie interviews personal development gurus and inspiring people from all over the globe on her super popular online show!

Episode # 537   Sidney Reeves - Surviving Against the Odds (Part Two)

About The Episode:

Do you ever feel too overwhelmed, scared or confused to take action on your goals? Or do your hopes and dreams sometimes seem so far away that you feel like giving up on them? If you’re in need of a serious dose of motivation to keep going, then this uplifting episode of The Inspiration Show could be the highlight of your week. My special guest Sidney Reeves, aka Mr. Fit, joins us to share the second part of his extraordinary story - and how visualization and gratitude played an essential part in his post-accident recovery.

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Episode # 537 Sidney Reeves - Surviving Against the Odds (Part Two)

NL: Hi everyone! My name is Natalie Ledwell and this is the Inspiration Show. Today on the show we have part two of a two-part show that I’m doing with a special guest. First part obviously it was last week with my special guest Sidney Reeves. Sidney is one of these amazing human beings who has overcome massive challenges in his life to have such an extraordinary and inspiring story and so much so that we couldn’t fit it into just one show, we had to do it over two shows. And so if you didn’t get the chance to see the previous show I encourage you to go and do that. But before you do that and before you know, if you are watching this on Facebook live or if you’re watching this on a YouTube channel, don’t forget that after this show is over just to click the link below this video to take my 30-second quiz so I can figure out what’s holding you back from success. So Sidney welcome back, part two of your riveting story.

SR: Happy to be here. Very grateful.

NL: Yes. So in the last show, we talked about how you had like a terrible accident, you’re on top of the world had a terrible accident, was hit by a car while you were jogging with your girlfriend. You’ll go from loss to life and we went through the whole journey of your healing process. And you know from having a leg sewn together to trying to visualize yourself back running again. So, and the thing is, we talked about what your thought process and how strong you were through this whole healing process, which took years. But what I find even more fascinating about this is that, you know, by all accounts and especially with the upbringing that you had, it’s surprising that you had such a positive outlook. So can you tell us a little bit about like your childhood, your upbringing story and even the challenges that you were facing back then?

SR: Yes. Absolutely. I believe that people are first of all born with a certain amount of optimism if you will. And then from there you go from there. I fell in love with sports at a young age. I just loved running the ball in football and it just it became my first love in life. And I like to win like any other kid so I became very competitive and I think that was the first two ingredients that I used to begin the process of coming back from my accident.

NL: So tell me your childhood situation.

SR: Okay. So I was born in Denver Colorado and my mother was a little Italian lady who went off to college at Utah State in Logan, Utah and got involved with a quarterback, you know. And my dad, he was African-American, an American quarterback from Michigan and they were young and they decided to give me up for adoption. I was adopted and raised in Ogden, Utah by two African-American parents - one from Texas, one from Oklahoma, so very Southern and an only child so kind of spoiled and my mom couldn’t have kids due to her diabetes, so she raised me and loved me and I just kept playing sports and up until the time I was in high school, that was working for me and then, like I said, when she lost her legs I saw what that was like and that became a big motivator when my legs were threatened. I knew what that was like, and I just wanted to do everything in my power to overcome what I faced.

NL: Right. And so I know a lot of people who have come from broken homes or put up for adoption. What was that like for you, with the, you know, did that play in your mind while you were growing up? Was that something that concerned you?

SR: I can remember this like it was yesterday. I was playing outside playing football and my mom said, you have to come in and I was upset because I was being, you know, taken from the kids in the neighborhood and I sat down and she said we have something very important to tell you and I said okay, what is that? She said “You’re adopted” and I said “Oh, okay. Can I go back and play now?” So that’s all it was, just driven to play. Driven to play and have fun and knew that they loved me and it wasn’t important. And I probably would never have found my natural parents if it wasn’t for the fact that my mom passed away at 57. And so at that point in my life I decided to find my natural parents and I was blessed that it all came together and they came back into my life. My mom was living in Clearfield and she was, at that point, losing her mom. So I knew my little Italian grandmother for two weeks before she passed. And then I met my dad and his side of the family and it just goes on and on. He was going through his own adversities. He just lost his home in the Auckland fires. And so I came into his life at a time during his adversity but we all came together and they rallied around me to support in my battling knee surgeries.

NL: Right. So in the last show we were talking a lot about how you would visualize being running on the beach and this is just before you make the decision to have the surgery that sort of, you know, sewed your legs together. So tell us what happened after that? I mean what is your life like now? What does it look like now?

SR: So after 11 years and 25 surgeries I remember Dr. Scott said you are free to go and I walked out of the hospital with no crutches, on my own. And I laid on the grass and looked up at the sky and I just felt like an overwhelming feeling of, I did it. I actually am victorious. I’m walking on my own. I have both of my legs, both of my feet. And so at that point I wanted to go out there and live life. Right? So you know I was in medical school and it was really challenging for me because I did three years of medicine on crutches, lots of long surgeries and being on call. So I took a break and I actually got a part in a movie with Glenn Close called “The Ballad of Lucy Whipple.” I lived in the mountains I grew a beard, I lived on set and I started to train Michael Gallant, the producer. We went into Park City, I hope to work out and I thought this working out thing is really cool. And I had been in California and saw lots of personal fitness studios, gyms and so basically I became a fitness trainer and a nutritionist. I have had a TV show called Doctor Fit and I did lots of movies and enough to know that you need to take classes, acting classes. So it was a very short lived, you know, I’ve made some appearances on some movies and stuff and it was a lot of fun. Became a public speaker. I am comfortable in front of an audience. I love to do fitness demonstrations but what I really teach people now is to never give up and never to judge the circumstances that you’re in. That’s the first thing. So when I talk to someone and sit them down in front of me that it might be, you know, 300 pounds, 400 pounds and just getting off the couch is a challenge. They might have diabetes, they might have Parkinson’s disease, but because of my background, what I went through, I can relate to them and get them a starting point and then get them in the moment. And then just keep coaching them to stay in the moment and not feel or worried about everything else that’s going on in their life and set up a routine, a powerful routine of working out and eating right. The time they wake up in the morning and go through their gratitude and their water and their oatmeal and their workout and that routine, it empowers you.

NL: Yeah. So tell me about the first time and what you were feeling, what you were thinking when you got to run for the first time on the beach?

SR:  It’s really hard to talk about it because I get really emotional. I was just an athlete at heart and you know my kids, they say Dad, you run funny. And I say line up Kaysen I’m gonna race you right now. I’m 48 and have a broken wheel and I can still beat you. We had fun with it, you know. And they’re just so surprised, but it’s a blessing, it’s a huge blessing that I was able to establish my - not only walk but to run again. And I just love to still do that. I love to and it’s a funny role, it’s very awkward looking you know. It looks like one of my wheels have spun out but they’re still fast. I was just really blessed and it’s been really, I’ve been really grateful for that.

NL: Yeah. Now you’re not just running and you’re not just walking. But the video I saw of you is that you were trying out for is it the All American Ninja?

SR:   American Ninja Warrior

NL: There you go. Tell me about that kind of training because that’s not just regular training. That’s hardcore ninja training.

SR: Yeah. Right. So as a fitness trainer, I prepare people for certain events, whether it’s a golfer, a mountain biker. So I wanted to prove that my laboratory could prepare me for American Ninja Warrior, despite my inabilities. It’s all in your mind. So I started to see myself doing the obstacles before I did them and I started to set up. If you look at my gym, I set up lots of things in the air where I was swinging on ropes. They’re actually jump ropes that I inverted. I started to imitate all of the obstacles on the show and train the muscles that you need the endurance in all of the climbing muscles. So then a guy named Carson Boyles, who’s on the show, he actually has a replica of the show in his backyard. So I went out there and I tested myself on all the obstacles and I did it pretty good with the 6-foot wingspan, right? I can still reach pretty far. So I went back and retested because he opened up the actual American Ninja Warrior gym and when I retested, I was actually ready. I could do the pegs. I could do the doorknobs. I could do the devil stairs, the Simon Ladder. I realized all the muscles involved and then trained them to prepare myself.

NL: And so have you been on the show?

SR: No. So I’m in a pool of guys right now that they could call me at any time.  I just got an email from them, they want me to try out again this next year. So it’s sort of like I’m in limbo and I just really prepared myself and tried out for the show. It’s been great and a good opportunity if they call me they do, if they don’t, they don’t you know, but I was definitely ready to do the show.

NL: Yeah. And I know that you also work with people with different health conditions. I think of the lady I saw in the video, which had Parkinson’s disease. So how does your life experience translate into how you now all the lessons that you teach your clients?

SR: Um once again, most what’s missing in most people’s lives is a strong routine. A consistent commitment to fitness. Fitness has been one of my goals. I started lifting weights in seventh grade because I knew I was small and I had to get bigger. So I start with that. So I really, like I said, coach people to establish a consistent routine with fitness on their level. Learning to what your level is and then do it consistently over time will really empower you. The other thing is nutrition. So many people just are drinking these energy drinks non-stop. Just a few minutes ago a lady told me she drinks six pots of coffee a day and what that does to your body like, you know, the amount of acids. And so I think that people, they just don’t feel very good on a daily basis. And so just changing one habit at a time and then putting in a consistent workout routine at their level and that’s sort of my creativity, I can create an exercise at your level. I can figure out what your level is and show you an exercise you can do right now. Does that make sense?

NL: Yeah it does. And what about mindset?

SR: Mindset. Ah, absolutely important. Like in my gym, nobody ever says ‘I can’t do that’. I don’t allow the word “can’t”. I say “Listen, close your eyes and visualize those reps before you do them at that weight and then do the set.” You want to visualize it before you do it, always. Like myself, I would visualize myself doing the obstacle in American Ninja Warrior and the feelings associated with hitting the buzzer and then that’s when you say, let’s go I can do this. You don’t even think about it.

NL: Yeah. Well, and that’s the thing, too, I’m filled up through the whole healing process as well. I mean, 11 years, that’s a long time. But also obviously being a doctor, this must have helped, but when you can actually visualize the tendons and everything and healing it’s exactly what’s happening. Is that the most powerful way to be able to visualize something like that?

SR: Absolutely. Going inside your mind and body is so powerful. From emotions, like I tell people if you’re feeling depressed you’ve got to get out of that environment. You’ve got to actually physically move yourself, jump on your bike, start riding, listening to your music to actually get out of that mindset, sort of downward spiral. And so mindset is crucial, either in recovering from an accident or just empowering yourself day to day.

NL: Yeah. So what’s your daily practice? What are you doing on a daily basis to keep you fit, positive, you know, moving forward?

SR: I open my eyes and I think about my kids and it sets my frequency, and love is the strongest frequency, we know that. So I think about my kids and the fact that I have my legs, I have my abilities, I have my strength, I have my creativity. I go all through all the things I’m thankful for that make me who I am and then I get excited and I get all this energy I can’t even control and if you watch my Instagram videos, they’re just crazy outrageous exercises. You can see where my energy use put into the creativity.

NL: Right. And so that’s how you start the day. How do you end your day?

SR: Oh my, I end my day usually pretty exhausted. I like to make sure I get that pre-bed snack so usually I have some oatmeal so that I can dream a lot. I feel like you, what you eat before you go to bed, is directly related to how you dream and as a fitness trainer and coach I want people to dream more. I want them to dump their stress so it doesn’t build up in their subconscious mind. And I want them to rest as their trainer and myself included. So I basically do what’s going to give me the best rest possible.

NL: Yeah. And whatever, it’s not just what we put into our bellies, but it’s what we put in our mind as well. What we watch for the last 10 minutes before going to sleep is what our subconscious mind is mulling over all evening. So we can put something positive in there rather than, you know, if you’ve been watching, watched anything on TV you know exactly what we’re talking about. [inaudible words]

SR: I don’t watch TV. No TV for me. I do meditate a little bit also, yeah. I like transcendental meditation. It’s very powerful.

NL: Well Sidney, thank you for sharing your story. It’s like I said we’re first connected or got connected by, like I said, one of our members from Ultimate Success Masterclass and I saw one of those videos of you I’m like wow, to have come through all of this and then to be as energetic and as positive and have such a fulfilling and passionate life. I want to thank you for sharing your story and congratulate you on everything that you’ve been able to achieve.

SR: Thank you. I appreciate what you are doing also. You know I survived my accident and so I wanted to take the life I was given and make the best out of it.

NL: Yeah. Man you sure have. So how can people reach out to you and connect with you?

SR: Um so yes, once again if you just want to go to my YouTube channel, the Story of Sidney Reeves and just watch my story to help motivate you and inspire you that way. Also you know, Instagram, it’s a great way. You can watch my exercises, you can comment, you can participate. Facebook, if you have any questions that way. So through just the social media, you know, Facebook and Instagram.

NL: Perfect. All right. Well thanks again Sidney. You’re a legend.

SR: I sure appreciate you.

NL: Thank you. So guys I encourage you to share this video. You can do that by clicking the Facebook and the Twitter share buttons on this page. You can click below or the banner to the side here to go through and connect with Sidney.  And don’t forget that once the show is over if you click the link below the video you can take my 30-second quiz so we can figure out what’s holding you back from success. So until next week, remember to live large, choose courageously and love without limits. We’ll see you soon. 

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