What we cover: “A fall doesn't have to be perceived as a fall. It can be a trip. Or a stumble." – Teryl Rothery
This week’s Guest Titan is flipping amazing. I first met Teryl Rothery, about 18 years ago – I’ll tell you how I know it was a long time ago – I was an ad copywriter at an agency here in Vancouver, and I’d written some radio scripts for a national telco. And the product we were advertising was – wait for it – the Yellow Pages. Like, the hard copy, yellow pages phone books. One of the voice actors, we hired for the scripts was Teryl Rothery. That’s how long ago I met Teryl – we were still in the days of advertising the arrival of phone books at our doorsteps, letting people know that they were on their way. And I am going to post that radio spot in the show notes – because why not?! Go to MJDionne.com, click on the podcaster tab, and you’ll see Teryl’s show notes banner there. Easy!
In between Seasons One and Two, I took the summer off from recording Tea with a Titan episodes. And it’s a good feeling to know you miss something, because I missed it. And I am so happy to be back. But one of the things I’m committed to doing is shortening my introductions, so that we can get right to the meat – or the tofu – of the episode. Which in today’s case, is my chat with Teryl. In a nutshell, to set the stage, Teryl played the role of Dr Janet Frasier for 7 seasons of Stargate SG-1. She was Grace Sherman alongside Andie MacDowell for 3 seasons of Cedar Cove, and truth told, her filmography on Wikipedia is – and I tell her this in our conversation – exhausting: X-Files, The Outer Limits, Super Natural, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules, Best in Show with Christopher Guest, Arrow, and, she’s also part of ABC’s new medical drama, The Good Doctor – which premiers on September 25th, 2017. Which very well could be yesterday, if you’re listening to this on the day we post.
Teryl is instantly likeable, but more than that, she’s just got a wisdom to her that I’ve always admired. Acting is a profession that has a built-in level of “the unknown” to it – and no matter the field or path we each pursue, wrapping our heads around being okay with uncertainty is a skill that would do us all a fair bit of good.
The reason I started this series, is so that my two daughters, Majella (who we call JouJou) and Burgess (who we call Birdie) will have an inventory of inspiring conversations with paradigm-busters to draw upon for those times in their lives when they feel stuck. Each conversations give me the gift of at least one perspective shift – a new way of looking at the situation. And I want to thank Teryl for reminding me that a “fall” doesn’t have to be perceived as a “fall”. We can perceive it as a trip, or a stumble. How liberating is that?!
What we cover: “Where will we be 5 years from today?”
Welcome to Season #2 of Tea with a Titan: Conversations Steeped in Greatness.
This is the series where I get to sit down and have tea with entrepreneurs, athletes, entertainers, artists, philanthropists, thought-leaders, difference makers, -- those people who have one of five, or sometimes five of five, things in common. After evaluating the learning I was so blessed to be on the receiving end of throughout Season #1 (episodes 1 through 55), I have come to the realization that what makes a titan a titan comes down to five recurring themes and qualities -- every time.
1) A titan is self-made; they do not depend on others to determine their fate.
2) A titan has a high adversity quotient -- when they fall, they get back up.
3) A titan believes in reinvention – they are adaptable.
4) A titan is a dreamer. But more than that, a titan is a do-er. They set the alarm earlier, they sit at their desk longer, they hit the gym or the pool or the art easel or the laptop. They re-evaluate how they spend the minutes of their day in order to “Find a way.”
5) A titan knows that no mistake is a mistake and no failure is a failure, so long as there was a lesson learned and then implemented along the way.
Those are the types of people we connect with on this series. While every week a Guest Titans is on air with me, those of you tuning in now from 70 countries – you are my Guest Titans too, and I thank you for having tea with me every week.
It’s good to be back.
I hope you had an outstanding summer. Chad and I certainly did – for those of you who joined us throughout Season 1, you know that in June 2017, I had the extreme good fortune of spending a week with Sir Richard Branson on Necker Island with an organization called Change Makers and Rule Breakers. That was a worldview-shaping experience, to say the least. To be surrounded by people, Richard Branson chief among them, who think THAT big, who really believe anything’s possible… it was intoxicating. While there, I had the chance to moderate a panel of CEOs on the topic of Leadership, Culture and Growth. Feel free to check out the blog post I wrote for the HuffingtonPost, you can find it at MJDionne.com.
I’m fortunate to be married to a big thinker, and a few weeks after I returned to Canada, Chad competed in an event called Ultra520 in Penticton, British Columbia – it was his 4th ultra-distance triathlon, but it was his 3rd ultra-distance triathlon in a 12 month period, so I would like to take this chance to tell him for all of the people in all of the land to hear, just how exceptionally proud I am of him. Fewer people have crossed the finishline of an ultra-distance triathlon than have successfully summited Mount Everest, and he did it three times in a one year period. The event saw him swim 10km (6miles), bike 425km (264 miles), and run 84km (which is a double marathon) over three days.
And he does it, primarily plant based. We always say that our household is about 97% plant-based, with a 3% variability for when life happens. Diet -- and our choices around food -- is personal, and that formula is just what works for our family.
I’ve been plant-based for 18 years, Chad for about a decade, and I bring this up, because – and this is so exciting for me – our family life, including Chad’s throughout his incredible feats of endurance athleticism – our family is fuelled in a big way on Vega… I’ve talked about Vega a lot in the past on this show, because I often have a Vega One Smoothie in my hand while I’m recording. Vega is a certified vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, nutrient-dense line of clean, plant-based nutrition products. From protein powders and snack bars to hydration during workouts, our kitchen shelves are stocked. And Season 2, drum roll please, is brought to you by Vega – which brings me no end of happiness.
My relationship with Vega is such that, if you want to give it a try and you do it via this link – it’s a way for you to have amazing plant-based food delivered right to your door for free (because it’s free shipping on orders of $100 or more, true story), and it’s also a way to support “Tea with a Titan” because Vega offers me a percentage of the sales generated from my site. That’s full disclosure – I thank you in advance if you decide to give Vega a whirl via MJDionne.com, or if you’re already a Vega freak like we are, save yourself a trip to the store and have it shipped to your door for free. If you do decide to go for it, my favourite Vega One shake is Vega One chocolate protein powder, with about a cup of water, a cup of almond milk, a handful of frozen strawberries, half a frozen banana, you can even add a quick squirt of the Vega Antioxidant Omega Oil Blends, zap that bad boy in your VitaMix and you have an easy 3-minute breakfast or lunch.
I am SO happy to be back at the mic. This month in particular marks a major milestone for me – it’s been 5 years since I battled my last melanoma. And in many ways, five years goes by so head-turningly swiftly. So, the seed I want to plant is if the last five years have gone by in the snap that they have, conversely, that means the next 5 likely will as well. In light of the fact that we all have the gift of 5 years ahead of us (God- or higher-being-willing) I ask you, just as I ask of myself, what are we going to do with those 5 years? I just turned 45, so what do I want to have accomplished, achieved, experienced by the time I turn 50? We have 260 weeks. We have 1,825 days. We have 5 years. What are we going to do with the next one year? The next one month? The next one week? The next one day? Whatever it is, I hope it will in one breath scare you and challenge you, and in another breath please you to no end. I thank you for spending part of your precious time, with me.