Life Enhancing Lessons from Sports
July 22, 2022

S3 E3 “When God Winks” – feat. Scott Hamilton

S3 E3 “When God Winks” – feat. Scott Hamilton

Cancer Survivor + Figure Skating Star = Olympic Legend


Legendary Figure Skater and Cancer Survivor, Scott Hamilton, joins John Moffet on SPORTS + LIFE + BALANCE to share his journey to Olympic Gold. From a sickly childhood to a battle with cancer, Scott has defeated all odds to become the man he is today. 

 

Transcript

INTRO: 

Great to have you with us. Welcome here to season three, episode three of sports life balance.

Scott Hamilton: 

Minimum, I've fallen 41,600 times on the ice. Minimum, right? That's just the bare minimum. But then you think about that and you think about, right Wait, I got up 41,600 times, I learned so much from that negotiation of falling down and getting up that I put way more emphasis on the getting up than I do the falling down. You know, and I think when we learn to fail, effectively, and when we learn to, you know, learn from our failures, that's pretty awesome. And I people look at failure, like it's, it's a disfigurement or a scarring thing, but it's like, no, no, what if we just say that failures information, right? And then we can just step forward and thinking that well, okay, it didn't work. Let's try it another way. And we don't carry our failures. We learn from them, right? So now they're not curses are blessings.

JOHN MOFFET: 

It's not every day that you get to sit down and chat with a living legend. This week, I'm with author, broadcaster and Olympic gold medal winning figure skater Scott Hamilton. I'm John Moffet. And I'm super happy that you're here for this episode of sports life balance. Scott was adopted at just six weeks old and grew up as an unusually small and sickly child. And for years, he and his parents struggled in and out of hospitals, searching for a cure. But then Scott experienced a miracle the day he stepped on the ice for the first time, his multitude of ailments subsided, and he began to ascend through the ranks of competition figure skating, Scott made his world debut at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York, when he was selected to be the United States flagbearer. During the opening ceremony, he finished fifth in those games, but then went undefeated for the next four years leading up to the 1984 Sarajevo games, where he struck Olympic gold. So let's get rolling with this conversation about Scott's unlikely rise to the pinnacle of sports, surviving cancer, and a reoccurring brain tumor, all through the power of living his life with constant positivity and uncompromising purpose. And by the way, Scott, and I hit the ground running. And before I could even press record, we were discussing a common topic amongst Olympians of our era, the 1980 boycott of the Moscow Summer Games.

Scott Hamilton: 

It was the it was easily the dumbest decision ever made. And you know, when I tell people, they go, Well, we couldn't support the Russians. I go, do you know why we didn't go to the Olympics in 1980. And they go, why? And I go, because the Russians invaded Afghanistan. I'm gonna let that sink in right now. It's still to this day, because that was a gigantic Kurt Thomas fan. And what it did to him and his life just was just so awful, and just tragic and terrible. And you know, my friend, Butch curry, who is a weightlifter, right? made the team because it just, I mean, I get really angry when I think back on that time, because it's just politicians doing what they do, you know? Yes, thank you. They don't think it through. They don't think it through.

JOHN MOFFET: 

Yeah, they weren't, they're able to walk away from it. And as, as you know, firsthand, from all the friends that you've made, who are affected by that, it affects everybody, everybody who's on that team, it affects and, and I was young, you know, and I eventually had my shot. But for those who didn't get their shot, I have several friends very close friends who never got another shot. There's just, there's just a deep

Scott Hamilton: 

wound, it's a wound and a scar and but you know, it's like, I try to encourage people, you know, whatever their Olympic, whatever their Olympic experience was, it just comes down to, it'll always, no matter what it was, it'll always positively affect the rest of your life. If you allow it. It will, and I've seen people Yeah,

JOHN MOFFET: 

it will affect your life.

Scott Hamilton: 

I've seen, I'd say, I know, but negatively I say it will positively if you allow it to, you know, no matter what it was, you know, I've seen people that you know, are injured, right before the, you know, the Nationals and they their shot was gone, right. But somehow, just the pursuit of it. Just the pursuit of being an Olympian, and putting you in a position to do that. It positively affects you for the rest of your life. Because you had that experience. You've made that commitment. You, you did everything you could, and you know, again, to be named to that Olympic team, is you're an Olympian for the rest of your life. You're whether you had the Olympic stage experience or not. To me, it's like you're an Olympian for the rest of your life. And, you know, three people come away with hardware. And, you know, in many respects, and again, I was I was really lucky that I got onto it early. That that can be toxic to the rest of your life. Because for so many people, it's a destination. It's that part of the journey. And they have a hard time rising above it. Right. So, yeah, I have lots of opinions, as you can tell, but the 80 Olympics, I still get I get angry. When I think back on that, I get really angry.

JOHN MOFFET: 

Yeah, it's, I try not to make it a source of bitterness. And I try, as you say, I I say to people that my life was transformed not by making Olympic teams or going to compete at the Olympics, but the preparation, dedication, and all those valuable things that you learn along the way.

Scott Hamilton: 

Yeah, yeah. Yeah. No, that's it. That's it.

JOHN MOFFET: 

About an hour ago, maybe a little more than an hour ago, I was doing final preparation for chatting with you today. And about 20 or 30 feet behind me. In our neighbors on the other side of the fence, a chainsaw fires up. And they start trimming the tree back there.

Scott Hamilton: 

Oh, yeah. Yeah, it's it's like, that's, that's the beauty of zoom. Right? Is is all the things that happen when you're, you're really trying to focus in on something and I was I remember I was doing something it was, it was kind of a bigger podcast, and all of a sudden, the vacuum cleaner starts going and I'm trying to stop it. You know, I got one arm over here, going, going, doing this try not to be on camera. But you know, and then you have somebody walking behind you. And it's like, they're, they're in their house clothes or something. Or they're, they're sleeping but now okay. Well, you know, here we are. And I'm at my offices for my foundation right now. Okay, this works out perfectly.

JOHN MOFFET: 

Do you hear the you hear anything in the background?

Scott Hamilton: 

I do not hear one thing. Do

JOHN MOFFET: 

It was a little while ago it stopped and and and so I was thankful I was just going to use it as a learning moment. Right? It's like this is just this is the way it is, you know, you care for so accepting happens.

Scott Hamilton: 

Yeah. Well, that's the first thing when I was when I was watching or you listening to? It was after Eric, won all five medals. You know, I mean, all five races, everything from the Sprint to the marathons, you want everything going? In at Yeah, right. So out of that, you know, they're asking, why aren't you cashing in? He said, I'm doing one endorsement, one person only, because I just want I don't want to worry about my paying for my medical education. Right? Yeah. And I thought that was really well, and somehow out of that came the quote, it's not the events in your life that define you, or your character is how you respond to them.

JOHN MOFFET: 

For sure

Scott Hamilton: 

it's just been, that's like, that hit me on a cellular level. Yeah. And, you know, with everything I've kind of experienced in my life, it's really been that mantra, it's, it's not so much what happens, it's your response, right? And so, you know, anytime I've responded positively to something negative, it's generally been positive, you know, if you respond negatively to something negative, then it it, it's double negative, right. So it is trying to stay high road you try to stay fascinated, is trying to stay, you know, it full participation and whatever's going on with you. And generally things turn out fine. And your memories of it are pretty positive. Like, you know, when I went through cancer, it's it was it's like, looking back on that I remember a lot of the tough stuff, but at the same time, I remember how, how amazingly fascinated I was by the process and and in that, you know, kind of how I was able to kind of get back on the horse and get back into life and back on tour the next year. So in that I've tripled down quadrupled down quintuple down, that I'm just going to I'm going to live in a positive response and, and I'm sorry, you're just gonna have to deal with my joy. Well, I'm sorry.

JOHN MOFFET: 

Well, I'm trying to take it to heart. I read your book Finish First. And, and this this whole chainsaw incident. It reminded me of something that you wrote about in your book. And that was the my very first conscious receiving of God's wink.

Scott Hamilton: 

God winks are great yeah, so amazing.

JOHN MOFFET: 

explain where God's wink is.

Scott Hamilton: 

So Gods Wink when he gets like, you know, it's like when you know that God is like, just giving you a little some some, alright, just give me a little something some unexpected and it's just like here. It's like, oh, wow, that was really that was really cool. And they can happen is it As you know, I learned years ago that there's no such thing as coincidences. Everything is a god scheduled opportunity. And it was really funny how when, you know, before I dedicated my life, you know, to my faith, that I would look at things as like, what I was really into how that happened. That was really interesting. That was really amazing. That was really, and now I look at it all as God doing what God does best. And that's, you know, shower us with love, unconditional, and opportunity, unconditional if we just step into that in a way that you know, honors him so that the initial God weight thing came from a guy named squire rational. Okay. He was he was an executive at ABC did a lot of stuff with bio sports. Good Morning, America. I think he created Good Morning America, but he was one of the guys there. But he also did alphabet rock. Remember that? Of course. Yeah. Yeah. So he wrote a book. Like about when God winks, right. And it was about coincidence. Yeah, it was all about that whole idea of like, when you know, these things that just sort of transpire that happens. And it's a god wink, right? Yeah. So I was sitting in a restaurant really close to my home, I like go in there for lunch because it was quiet, and I can do work or whatever. I could just sort of chill out. I like their food. And this man walks up to my table. And he goes, Scott, I go, yes. And he goes, Hi. I'm squire rational, and I go, nice to meet you. And he goes, Yeah, my wife and I are just, we were in Nashville for the day we decided to come down to to Franklin, we just happened upon this restaurant. And did you get my book? And I said, No. And he goes, I sent it to your publicist. And I said, Well, I know I don't know of your book, but I'd love to hear about it. And he goes, Well, it's just so funny and ironic that I wrote a book about God winks and about these little things that happen in coincidence. And my wife and I have just happened to be in Nashville today, going down. And I really wanted you to have my book I sent it to recently, and we just are in the same restaurant at the same time. I go, Okay, that's a god wink. So now, it's like, there's no such thing as coincidence, they're on God's scheduled opportunities. And so you can blow off a coincidence, or you can look at as a guys get an opportunity, and you go, Okay, I need to pay attention to this. Yeah. And it changes everything. And honestly changes, the entire interaction is completely different now, because you look at it, as somebody that has gravity or importance or possibly opportunity.

JOHN MOFFET: 

I love I love that outlook. And I love that positivity. And that, of course, is what you're known so much for. But you begin your book, finish first, with saying right off the bat, that you weren't born a winner. And that one is and that no one is Yes, exactly. But none of us are. So why is it important that that is the launching platform into this book that you wrote?

Scott Hamilton: 

Well, I think because so many people feel like they're in are already, you know, in a way they deserve the victory, right? They, you know, it's like, if you're born in this country, United States of America, you've already won the lottery, when you compare it to every other country in the world, right? It's like there's something about this place, that's just different special that honors, work, that honors, opportunity that honors all those things that you know, you can rise above your circumstances, because the playing field here is like meant for that. Right. And so but you know, so already, you know, people feel like, wow, if I if I take up you know, hockey today, I'm probably going to be in the NHL. No, no, you have to take up hockey. Like yeah, my day by Jacob. I started swimming today. And if I don't show up every day, maybe a little bit, maybe not probably gonna go to the Olympics. Well, no. more to it than that. So it's just about you know, the whole idea of finished first, you know, it just sort of came out of that idea of what is it? What does it take and how, you know, and just like how am i How can I share my experiences with people that I'm the most unlikely person to ever go to an Olympics more or less when one right like easily when you just take the recipe right and it was funny I was I go back to in just a second but if you look at just like just all of it unwanted at you know, but brought into the world nevertheless, right, right. Adopted six weeks later, all these different things. And you know, it was really funny. Here's how crazy my I caught my Forrest Gump moment because I have always Forrest Gump moments in my life where things just like a habit, you know, and it's like, I do have a lot of Forrest Gump moments. So you know, I'm sitting there one day watching Sunday morning watching Joel Osteen and he's talking about how Oh, if you take the individual ingredients for a brownie, and you do them with without combining them and begging them, but you just like one at a time you eat them. It's really not appetizing at all. But when you put them all together, right, yeah, do it according to the recipe, then you have something really delicious. And he goes, which reminds me of a story of a little boy who grew up, you know, he was talking about me, wow. And I just happened to be watching it. It's like, What in the world? Where did this come from? But it is, it's like, if you just take the individual ingredients. They're not really anything much. In fact, they taste awful. But when you put them together, it becomes this thing, right? Yeah. So I look at all of that. And I think I'm probably the most unlikely person on the planet to ever think to like, and I didn't even, like think to dream it. Like, it wasn't even a dream. It was just sort of, like it's sort of happened out of a series of, you know, failures, unfortunate circumstances, all these things that I had to learn to rise above my circumstance that just felt at times unnatural, at times natural, at times, horrible at times. Logical, right. So it's the learning, it's the growing, it's the whole thing. And I thought, well, if I could put that into a sort of a guide, to allow people to tap into their own purpose, and to leverage that into doing something, you know, where they can look back on their life, and they say, you know, I didn't waste it. I actually, I actually did the best I could with what I had, then that's, that's an important book to write and winning changes everything. Yeah. And that's it, winning changes everything. And, you know, Wiz, as I described in the book, they're not just these gigantic victories. It's not like standing on the podium at the Olympics. It's like, no, no, showing up every day is a victory. Right? That's, that's a win, showing up every day with intention of being better than I was yesterday. That's a slightly bigger win. Yeah. Committing to the long haul. That's a big win. That's right. And, you know, learning that, at failure is just information when learning that, you know, you know that all these criticisms that we all get, are they only come in two forms? opinion, in fact, and opinions deleted? Immediately, who cares about opinions? We'll just go and unless it serves you, right, let's see. Okay. But that would be the fact wouldn't it? So if you're criticized, in fact, well, now? Yeah, it doesn't feel good. But thank you, I have something really great to work with now. So all these things that I learned, just in my gigantic adventure, you know, rising above my circumstance, and probably doing more in my field or sport than I ever thought to dream. You know, I just seemed irresponsible to think that I'd ever win a national championship. And I did it just like there's no way in the world someone like me could ever win a world championship. And I did and, and then winning an Olympic gold medal. I mean, I'd be the fourth man ever in the United States to win the Olympic gold medal. No, that doesn't that doesn't compute. That doesn't. That doesn't make sense. That's just that's that's just dumb. Why would I ever think that and it happened and so you know, it just because of the way you participate in it, you know, it's, it's more about the journey than the destination. It's all about, you know, really taking things seriously and in one way, but allowing the load to be light enough where it's, you can handle it. Yeah, right. Well, it's not taking on that first day. I'm in Reynolds gates and my ankles are touching the ground because rental skates are the bane of my existence. But yeah, I get that. But I mean, it's that whole thing about you starting off hanging on to the wall. Yeah. Is that the day you decide you're gonna win Olympic gold medal? Really? No. No, it's just a reveals right? And you know, for some, you know, it's it's, it's just getting to a certain point. It's like, so many people I meet met skater when they were younger. They said, Well, I got to be a teenager and I realized that I had to make a choice between investing in sort of my my academic life and college or pursuing a dream where I pretty much peaked out to what my body would allow me to do and my physicality and and just my being would allow me to do and so they get to that but they go just a All those lessons I learned about falling down and getting up. Yeah. Yeah. Carry carried me through everything. You know, it's that whole idea that. Yeah, you know, as a skater when I wrote finish first I did. I had an estimate, like if I didn't have skated this many hours a day, it's been days a year. Oh, never ever first. Okay. Minimum, I've fallen 41,600 times on the ice. Minimum, right, that's just the bare minimum. But then you think about that, if you think about, right, wait, I got up 41,600 times. Like, I got up 41,600 times. And it's not about the fall, it's about the getting up. Right. And, and I have so many get up stories now. That, you know, I kind of like I, I learned so much from that negotiation of falling down and getting up that I put way more emphasis on the getting up than I do the falling down. You know, and I think when we learn to fail, effectively, and when we learn to, you know, learn from our failures, that's pretty awesome. And I, I try to, you know, people look at failure, like, it's a, it's a disfigurement or a scarring thing. And they, they put all their failures in a big bag, and they carry that bag around their shoulders, you know, and it gets heavy over time, because we fail a lot. We're human beings, we fail a lot. But it's like, no, no, what if what if we just say that failures information? Right? And then we can just step forward in thinking that well, okay, it didn't work. Let's try it another way. And we don't carry our failures, we learn from them, right? So now they're not curses or blessings, right? And there's all of that, you know, because it's just that it's like, we tend to look at failure as something horrible and terrible and awful. And it prevents us from moving forward in many ways, because we collected so many failures, that we don't understand the lesson that comes with them. And I say, you realize that, let's just say you're a baseball player. Right? Right. If you only fail two out of three times, you're in the Hall of Fame. Right? So, okay, how big is failure? Well, it's as big as we allow it. It's, it's as big as we, it's, it has the importance and, and the gravity and the, the long lasting effect that we allow it to have, or we learn from it. And we move forward. Without carrying it with us. We remember it of course, I remember falling five times my first nationals on the novice level came in dead last. I remember that. And I love it every time I go to Nationals, and I see the novice min ago came in last. Some little boys like you're my hero. You're my guy. You're the guy. It's like, don't let this define you let this be fuel for the fire. You know, it's like, you got to figure out a way to do better next time, you know, or not, you know, whatever you want. It just comes from. I was last and novice, you were last a novice, we hold that in common. It's not a death sentence. Right? It's just a part of the journey.

JOHN MOFFET: 

For those people who are listening right now and don't know your background. Either they live under a rock or they're Millennials or younger. Perhaps go back to your what your childhood was like you are your sickly child, to say the least?

Scott Hamilton: 

Well, I mean, first things first, I was, you know, I was brought into the world by a mother who obviously, I was an accident. I was, you know, I was brought to the world in a weird way. But I was adopted at six weeks of age, I had wonderful parents that were amazing and awesome, credibly sacrificial and just awesome. Parents, they'd set a great example for me and I got sick and I stopped growing for several years, I was in and out of hospitals for four years, couldn't come up with a diagnosis for what I was going through. And they finally gave up after four years, they said go home, live a normal life. See what happens. Who knows, maybe it'll die in six months. Maybe they'll grow out of it. We just we don't know. Yeah. So you know that it was very stressful. My parents and it was really tough on them. So when we came home from that last Hospital, which is Boston Children's, they can't fix it. Nobody can. We just decided, you know, my, you know, we just step into the next and our family physician came over and just, you know, had an intervention with my parents and said, You're exhausted. You're shattered. You got nothing left. You've just been through this four year ordeal. You need to give yourself one day a week where you sleep in and you just recharge your batteries and they're like, how are we going to do that? Like it We got kids, we have responsibilities, we got all this stuff. And there's a brand new facility at the Bowling Green State University, we know about it. That's the ice arena. And they teach children how to skate every Saturday morning from eight to noon. Just send them there. It's it's supervised, it's safe. It's great. And, you know, there's a lot of kids there, it's a really, you know, be great socializing thing for Scott. And my kids are in it, you know, I have friends there. And so, I went to the rink, and it was just something that something just clicked and. And as I skated, my health improved, and it was the only thing that worked, and all those years to kind of get me growing again, moving again. And it was miraculous. And, you know, it was years and years and years later is actually after, from those first steps on the eyes to 36 years later, when I decided to step away from skating to raise my first son, yeah, first child. It was there, I became symptomatic again, I quit skating and I became symptomatic. And it was there, they diagnosed a brain tumor that I was born with. Right,

JOHN MOFFET: 

right. So it has been there the whole time.

Scott Hamilton: 

Right, And it's good. It's mischief because yeah, so they're cranial fringy arm or brain tumors are tumors that a child is born with and ends up, you know, lack of growth and development when they're young until they find it. But there was no technology to find it back.

JOHN MOFFET: 

Oh, my gosh.

Scott Hamilton: 

Yeah. So it was this big aha moment where I'm 99.9%. Sure. That's what I had when I was little. And that's what caused all my health issues. But I'm glad they didn't find it. Otherwise, I have a gigantic see in my head, you know, where they kind of went in there and just grabbed it out with their bare hands. And my life would look completely different than it does now. But for whatever reason, all those years I skated. It didn't do its mischief. It was only when I stopped that it decided, oh, okay, now it's my turn. So it showed itself in a really weird way. And, and so I first one was radiation. Well, I go back, so. So I started skating. And I did okay, mentally, and physically, I just wasn't there. You know, I just I hadn't set yet there. I wasn't formed yet. And so, it basically I wasn't me yet, right. So I had to go through all those years of stumbling around and failing and learning and growing and failing and trying it again, and failing and falling down and failing, giving it Jordan getting past that. And, and then, you know, having little successes and failures. It's like kind of that, you know, two steps forward, one step back, three steps forward, two steps back, it's all that stuff that you kind of have to go with, but you just keep moving forward. Right. So finally, my parents committed to sending me to Illinois to come to train, they're happier. And I was the youngest one there. So

JOHN MOFFET: 

how old were you?

Scott Hamilton: 

13

JOHN MOFFET: 

13. Okay.

Scott Hamilton: 

13. And now, the other people that were there, there's another boy there. That was 15. And then everybody else was like, 18, 19, 21, you know, so it was an older crowd. Yeah. You know, during the main trading season, and I just didn't I didn't know how to do that, you know, so you're growing up away from home, you're trying to figure it out on your own, which isn't great.

JOHN MOFFET: 

At 13 It's really rough.

Scott Hamilton: 

It's really rough. And then you know, five years later you know, I I went well, Jr, and nationals, which is crazy. And then the junior side that was going last last or it's four years later, actually, I went last night that a nine and novice nationals night that attendant novice nationals, seven that are nine at the junior nationals, and then the junior level, I should say. And then my mom came home with a cancer diagnosis, and she was very joyful. I've just come from the doctor, and I've been diagnosed with a disease called cancer. And I'm sure she was scared out of her mind. But she didn't want that to be our experience. So she was very upbeat, and like, we're gonna do this, it's gonna be great. It's gonna be fine, we're good. And then she goes, and you missed her. And I said, Yes. And she goes, you're gonna be a senior in high school next year. Yes. And she said, and we are bankrupt. We don't. We will get you through one more year of skating. One more year, oh my gosh, and then and then next year, you'll go to college, and we can afford college because it's free at Bowling Green State University because we're both professors there. And then that'll be your identity. So have a great year we'll figure out a way to pay for it and, and then you're done. And I said, Okay, so I go to the nationals that I go back to Illinois train, and a new coach. He was kind of more of a disciplinarian, more of a way cracker kind of guy. And I go, Okay, well, that's my last year, I might as well just push all my chips into the middle of the table and just sort of submit, do what he wants me to do and listen and just obey. And my last year in skating, what am I got to lose? Right. And so about two weeks before the Nationals, I landed my first triple, you know, and I was like, wow, that's, that's a cool thing. I got actually got a triple before I have to quit skating. That's fine. That's good. So we get to the nationals. And I was in better shape than I'd ever been in because I was more, you know,

JOHN MOFFET: 

well, your coach, your coach was putting you through paces that you hadn't been to been through to that point in your life, right.

Scott Hamilton: 

And I was going through the paces, not just you know, getting pushed, I was actually pushing and pulling and cooperating in every aspect of his regimen. So you

JOHN MOFFET: 

mean your heart, your heart was your heart was in it? It wasn't necessarily before?

Scott Hamilton: 

I think you know, the difference. And that's part of the finish. First thing is the difference between showing up and then showing up with the ambition showing up with? Yeah, so this time, I showed up with ambition, okay. And it was a whole different deal. Like, I wasn't just on the ice, I was on the ice, and I was working to get better. And he was pushing me to get better. And I was like, Okay, again, all my chips were in the middle of the table. And so we get I get on the ice. I get to Nationals. And my mom's there, she arrived, she flew and traveled through Chicago and on the way to Colorado Springs, and she just had this big smile on her face, she had just lost her left breast and the inside of her left arm, surgically get rid of whatever the cancer was there. And then she was on big chemotherapy. And so she was wearing a wig because she'd lost all her hair. And she just had this big smile on her face. And it's like, are you okay? And she was yeah, I'm really great. And it's like, is it like, drugs or something? They have you? I mean, why are you so you must be in pain. And she goes, Oh, I'm fine. I'm just wearing this, this sling on my shoulder. So people have bumped into me because I'm still healing. And the bravest woman I've ever known. And so but she just was joyful. And I go, I really are you, okay, just, we'll talk when you're done, you just go out and have a good time. So I went out to do my long program. And I was really in a good position. After the short the first time I was like up there. And my coach before I went out for the warmup. He said, don't warm up your triple sow. And I said why? And he said, because we really don't want to know if it's there or not. It's lightweight. We don't. Yeah, don't don't throw it away in the warm up. Just Whoa, I see. I see. Well, they're the triple. We don't know if it's there. So we don't want to have a big crash and warm up and then you know, you're all discombobulated. Just do your thing, do a couple of big doubles, and then we'll see what happens in the program. Great. So I go out. For my long program, I do my first job. And it come around for the triple Satco. And I remember thinking to myself, well, I got nothing to lose through it right through it. And normally, I'm on my rear end after my hardest jump in the program, right? Just choke and fall. And this time I'm landing perfect toe edge landing and I'm presented the audience and it was like, I just landed my first. And I got so excited. I forgot to screw up the rest of my program. Oh, my God, and I won Junior nationals. So here's the great thing. And this is a story I just told in a talk I gave in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It's like my mom on the way there. She told me she stopped in Chicago. She didn't tell me that she actually did anything in Chicago. But she met with a couple in Chicago that a judge who really took an interest in me, said you need to meet these people. And so my mom was at the airport, she met this couple who was very wealthy, and love figure skating and hated to see anyone have to quit skating because of lack of funds when they had plenty. Oh my God. And so in that meeting with my mom, they wanted to meet with her first to kind of understand our value system and, and whether you know that I'd be a good candidate for that kind of support. And they fell in love with my mom and she fell in love with them. And they agreed on that on my weight my mom's way to Nationals when I was still a loser. Before I'd won anything that they said that they would take care of my skating from that day forward. Oh my gosh. And she knew all along but she didn't tell me before I competed. She waited till I finished. And so this couple wasn't backing a winner. This couple was backing someone that may or may not have potential, but they didn't want me to have They quit because of a lack of funds. Wow, honey. And so they became like a second set of parents to me and, and from the next year, you know, I went to the nationals and I, I am never told the story without getting thick in the throat. But I went to the nationals and I don't even know how I made it. I call it the trifecta. It's like I was sponsored, I turned 18. I got my own apartment for the first time. And that's a recipe for disaster. I wasn't equipped to live on my own. I didn't even close. And so I was distracted. I was partying with friends, I was doing all the things that go into, like, not being in it to win it, right. And he had this amazing opportunity. And I just that first year, it was just like, what, what in the world? What am I doing? It's like, I'm awful. Like, I I'm not, I'm just not, I'm not doing what I should be doing. And I knew I wasn't I knew it, but I I just didn't have the character to rise above it. So what did the Nationals and I came in night. And that was the last time my mom ever saw me skate in competition. So I after I went home, and I went, I was in her hospital room. Till 330 In the morning, I went home slept on the couch, because we had people there to support us. It was tough time. And my brother in law woke me up the next morning at 830. And he just said your mother is gone. And all I could think to say is I know. So I went out the backyard. I went for a walk and that walk I just go How do I do this without her? And who was I when she was around? Why was I such a jerk? Why was I such a failure? Why was I such a selfish? blankety blank, blank blank. I had a few cuss words on that walk. And then I figured I go the only way I can truly honor her sacrifices and commitment to me was to bring her with me to the ice every single day, and to strive to be the person that she always dreamed I could be.

JOHN MOFFET: 

We'll be right back with Scott in a moment. I want to tell you about our partners ROKA. Their motto is field tested, athlete approved. And I can tell you from my own experience, they make the best performance gear on the planet. And for years, I've been wearing their industry leading wetsuits, goggles, and swimsuits, but ROKA also makes amazing eyeglasses and sunglasses. And yes, I'm wearing a pair right now. And my shades are waiting for me when I hit the beach, all of their glasses are incredibly light and they don't slip even during the most extreme activities. And the best part is you can try them on before you buy ROKA, we'll send you your choice of four frames, so that you can try them on on your own face. And then purchase your favorite. So head to roka.com. That's R O K A dot com and enter SLB as in sports life balance, that's just three letters SLB to save 20% on all of your orders. And that's for anything on their website. And now let's get back to the episode with Scott Hamilton.

Scott Hamilton: 

And so I showed up every day with intention. That's the difference. You show up every day, where you show up every day with the intention of getting better and intention of allowing that day to mean something instead of a brick in the wall. Right. So I just everyday was better every day was every day was I was accountable every day. I was I was focused every day. I was hungry every day. i It was just like, running a little bit late. I honor her on time. I'm low. Checking out during this practice session. I got bored doing these fingers on her focus. I don't feel like doing a lot of program run through today. It's kind of tired summer. On her. Do your long program read through, no matter how hard it hurts how much it hurts how hard it is. Do it and so I in that I went from that ninth place finish to the next year I was ranked third in the United States. I was on the podium on the senior level. And then two years later, I'm in Lake Placid as an Olympian 19. And it was all from Yeah. And so it was it was that commitment of just rising above my limitations rising above my circumstance rising above my failures rising above my heart ache. The devastation of losing the most important person in my life. It was the rising above. There was a reason that they are Oh my goodness, they elected me to carry the flag in the opening ceremonies and like plastic. And, you know, it was like they told me, they pulled me out of a movie in the village and basically presented it like I'm being thrown out of the Olympics, right? Like, oh, you've done it as time you've really done it is like what? They tell me, I'm carrying the flag. And it's like, why? I'm here as a tourist. On the third guy, that three man team, I have no kids and meddling. I'm just here to have a great time and to make, you know, turn some heads. Hopefully, I'll come in eight. You know, why am I and I came up with it, but and then go because it's about the journey, not about the destination. And in that, that really sunk in deep, it's about the journey. They didn't want it to be about success or about gold medals or about anything else. They wanted this team to be blue collar. It's about, it's about showing up. It's about putting the work in. And it's about being the most unlikely person here. They wanted it to be about that. And I was just like, so taken aback by that. That's like, wow, that's really powerful. that I get to do this. Yeah.

JOHN MOFFET: 

Yeah. Well, I, I went back and I looked at the photographs of you being the flag bearer. And I was watching. And I was an aspiring Olympian training for 1980, as well. And I might add, just for people who are might be confused as back then the Winter Games. And the Summer Games were in the same year, they weren't staggered by two years. Yes. So I was training and I was being inspired by what was going on in Lake Placid, which was the home game, which was the home games, by the way, Lake Placid, New York. And I went back, and I looked at the photograph. And my gosh, struck me two things. Three things. Actually. I remember it. So clearly. Scott, I remember you and your story. And this is the first time I was introduced to you and your story and the rest of the world was introduced to you and your story. Number one, number two, your You look like a little boy. Yeah, I think that that that makes an impact as well. The story.

Scott Hamilton: 

Well, I still shop in the boys Department. Thank you. It was I was young, 21 year old. Yeah. Like, you know, I look like I was probably 16, 17 At the most Yeah. And, you know, it's funny when you go in for the parade uniform fitting. Yeah. And they go, congratulations, you're the flag bearer. And I go, Yeah, it's kind of a big deal. And they go, What size shoe do you take, and I go six, and they go, it's seven and a half. Okay, man. And then my, you know, my, everything was like, I was wearing dad's clothes. And that's another reason probably why I look like a little boy. Yeah, was because everything was gigantic.

JOHN MOFFET: 

Even the gloves, they look like

Scott Hamilton: 

Danny here and on the playground, they're like, almost like overlapping and it's like, and the flag of the hat kept coming down over my eyes. And they kept doing this, you know, trying to keep it up. It was just like, you know, about things, you know, you humbled in a big moment in my life. You know, it's just, you're humbled, you know, and it was just amazing that, you know, they were supposed to put the flag down on this queue. And so I'm at the end, right, because, you know, host country comes in, basically, last year, next class, and I'm looking down the line and the queue happens, and nobody puts their flag down. Like, okay, so I'm sitting there, and my, my arms are really tired, like, the elements flag up. And so and we got through, it was really fun. But, you know, it was a great Olympics. And again, coming in fifth was beyond anything I ever thought possible. And it was great because the Americans were three, four or five and that Olympics. So we had a great showing after the Olympics. those top three guys all retired from competitive skating. So all you had to do is wake up one morning at rank second in the world. And it's like, oh, Opportunity Knocks. How do I rise above that first that guy in front of me and that was David Santee and that here's here's the irony, right so a David was a whiz kid genius, like really successful from really young like super young, always successful, because he was a genius at compulsory figures. And I had a vile hatred to compulsory figures. And so David, the year that I came in last and novice the year that I felt five times in three minutes I'm in dead last the novice nationals in front have 17,500 people, David, as a 13 year old boy was on the podium in the senior level. Wow. And he's the guy now I have to be in order to be the national champion, and potentially the world champion. And so it's like, there's there's a lesson that I learned there. It's like, well, what are we gonna do you guess why you've got to fall in love with compulsory figures?

JOHN MOFFET: 

Now explain conflict, compulsory figures. I've seen them a couple of times, but explain what they are. Because you don't see it.

Scott Hamilton: 

No, I mean, but you've seen it on like, Hallmark cards, or the, you know, somebody's out there, Tracy eights on the ice, right? They're just circles, you're just tracing circles on the ice. And you got to be on the right edge at the right time. Very specific. Like the unversioned ice, you're drawing these things with your skates, and everything has to be perfect. And it's to to achieve that is like next to impossible. But, you know, it's that whole idea of, you know, you're working towards the perfection that can never be achieved. And then that you can be better than you've ever been before. Right. So yeah, so I had to fall in love with figures. And I did, the more I it was I invested in the relationship basically as a way to describe it. Because it was, it was a hate hate relationship. I hated figures, and they hated me. Once I just leaned down a little bit, and just repaired the relationship. You know, I my results followed. And, you know, it's funny to this day, I tell my kids, you know, because the lesson I learned there was in order to be successful. You, you you have to eliminate a weakness, right. Achilles had his heel. Right, right. Right. That was his only weakness, right? So I tell my kids that these days I go, so what's your greatest strength? Come on boys, what are the greatest strength and they'll roll their eyes and they go, lack of weakness. It's like, exactly figure out where you're weak, and get strong, and you're probably going to be better than you've ever been. Right. And so in that, I figured out that I had to be strong and figures had to write 100% had to. And so it really made me much more consistent, much better than I've ever been. And and that's why from October of 1982, March of 1984, I never lost the competition. Right?

JOHN MOFFET: 

That's, that's what I was gonna say I was going to ask you about I mean, so it directly correlated to you, focusing on mastering your weakness, or attempting to master your weakness that led because you were undefeated in pretty much everything, I think, right.

Scott Hamilton: 

And to this day, it's really wild that that no one since then. And I don't say this to brag, I'm just saying, you know, it's I don't even know why I'm sharing it, it seems kind of awful to say it, but no one has gone the four years undefeated, since Wow. Even Nathan Chen, he lost skate America this year. And it's not like, you know, I don't feel like I'm like the Miami Dolphins who just cracking the champagne, you know, but at the same time, I look back on that. And I think there's a reason there was a reason it happened that way. And I have to be a good steward of that. Like, I have to, I have to, like respect that and honor that. And, and understand that. It wasn't always me out there. Right. It was also, I was a product of incredible fortune, good fortune, right. And that, you know, I got lucky sometimes and, and but I, you know, it's that old cliche of the harder you work, the luckier you get. It's true, it was kind of like a real representation of that. And I just had to be I just had to look back on that and just sort of be grateful for it.

JOHN MOFFET: 

Yeah. And well, and after that, you you went on to a long professional career as an entertainer first and foremost, how many years so

Scott Hamilton: 

that's all I ever wanted to be. That's all I ever wanted to be even

JOHN MOFFET: 

started skating even as an athlete.

Scott Hamilton: 

Yeah. But I only wanted to do is be an entertainer and, and a lot of the stuff that I put in my competitive routines were really meant for the audience, not for the judges. And so when I, when I came out of the Olympics, you know, I thought, Well, I gotta leverage this into something. And so I sat with the Ice Capades, they gave me a great contract. I had two years with a third year option. And I told the president escapade says it'd be the best employee ever had you said no, not? Because you Olympians y'all think that your work is done? And I go, now, I really kind of i, this is what I've always wanted to do. First and foremost, so I'm going to be really good. I want that third year option. And so he came to my last show my second year, and I'm just rubbing my hands well With all your option, I got third your option, I got enough now where I can invest it. And again, I've got enough money in the bank, right? I think I'll be okay for a while. And so I was really frugal and very smart about, you know, just putting the money away, put the money away, anyway. And, and so he came and he said, Well, you know, congratulations, you did everything you said you're gonna do? And I'm like, Yes, sir. And he goes, No, I, you know, we've just gone through a sale. And I go, I'm really excited to meet the new owner. And he said, Wow, he doesn't really want to meet you. Oh, no. And I go, I go, why. And as well, he's kind of old school in a way he only wants to present female stars. So he doesn't want your contract. He doesn't want you. So great job, and good luck in your future. And so I had a meeting with my manager right after that. And he said, Do you want to help us start a tour? And I go, Well, let me check my calendar. That's like, empty. Yeah. Yeah, I'd love to have you started touring. I've learned a lot in the last two years, because I was actually paying attention to how staging works, how lighting works, how all of it works. Yes, I can totally help you do this. And so we started, we did a five year five, five city kind of college tour in the fall just to keep your expenses down on sort of like the prototype of what this tour would look like. And it went really well. So then we did five more cities, which were basically show up at a rink, and just how slights, music, let's go. And they didn't like that one at all, because it just didn't, didn't feel good. And I only wanted to do the theatrical side, because that's all I've ever wanted to do with a skater. And so they went with it the magical side and stars and ice was born as a theatrical tour and, and I skated with them 15 years as a dedicated member of the cast, and then I skated about three more as guest as sort of a guest star almost to the end. Nice game 20 years as a professional one of yours. And what's what's really crazy is, you know, during that time, I you know, that last year, I got married, and we had our first child, nine months and two days after we got married, we got engaged, married and pregnant, and three months. And I, you know, I set up a little pamphlet to let her be now that's possible. But yeah, so my son was six months old. I'm skating in New York. And the whole time along the ice, I'm just saying, What am I doing here? What am I doing here? I, I need to be home. I've earned the right to be in this boy's life every day of its life. And I am not going to squander that. I'm not going to deny myself that. So I went home from that city. And I went to the rink every day training, like I'm training for the Olympics. And I remember there was one day where I hit every single jump, I tried, backflips, were floating. Everything was just absolutely perfect. And I'm driving home. And I thought, I'm done. I never go back. And that was a day I retired. And I just said, I'm done. I just I want to be a dad, I want to be a husband. I want to and I've seen it 20 years and like, I think I'm gonna be okay for a while. I'm just gonna invest in Mike, I want to see his first steps and yours first words. And it's funny because my son is now 18. He said last night he goes, Okay, I have this project, my psychology class and I go Yeah, it goes. Okay, so tell me about mom's pregnancy with me. I know. Well, she knew more about prenatal vitamins than our obstetrician. Yeah, what else? You were late. Okay, what else? How long was her labor and all this all these memories came rushing back. And it was like, all those memories are there because I stopped. And I took advantage of the opportunity to raise my son.

JOHN MOFFET: 

And also amidst all of this, you you had a cancer diagnosis. What was it in 1997? Yeah. And you had already dealt with way more than your fair share of health issues. So how did you react to this terrible news?

Scott Hamilton: 

Well, that was 20 years, like a month or so shy of losing my mom to cancer. So you can imagine that fear was unbelievable because all of those those memories of her in the hospital and going through chemo and everything are just so specific. And so I I don't know, it just sort of took on this thing where the fear. Like there's a, I don't know where the quote came from, but it says that courage is spirits and it's prayers. And I really believe that, you know, because I, I was staring square into the face this, like I've just been diagnosed with some form of cancer, we don't know what it is, but it's cancer. I'm scared, I'm scared. And then that fear, I don't know, if it was five minutes, five seconds or a nanosecond, it flipped to a sense of power and courage and determination and clarity of mission. And everything changed. It's like, again, it was it was equal and opposite to the fear that I suffered. I had all of this like big gust of like determination, and power in that moment, and only God could do that, right. But then my mom came back. And I remember her battle differently. I in the fear side of it, I remember her suffering is coming in. And the other side of it, I remember her saying things like, oh, this chemotherapy, I finally found a way to lose all this weight. Oh, this chemotherapy, I quit smoking all these years, and now I have no desire in office chemotherapy, that my hair has always been so difficult, so unattractive. And these wigs are so beautiful, and they're so easy. And it's like, I don't want to be her. That's who I want to be. I want to be just like her. And it's, it was like, okay, Nobody's allowed my room unless I make you laugh. And I'm gonna be, you know, in my nurse gotta right away, and she treated me like an eight year old, you know, it's like, oh, it's party time. And she bring the IV trees in with the chemotherapy and the bags are decorated. And mylar and Snoopy stickers and my, my band aids were Spongebob and Scooby Doo and, and so she treated me like a pediatric patient, even though it's 38 years old. And it really was like, Okay, if she gets the joke, you know, I'm probably going to be okay. And a lot of times, I got a great support, you know, throughout, I'm always grateful for that, you know, I'm always grateful, always grateful for the love and support I received, you know, during my, my cancer journey, and, and then, you know, I got to the chemo on schedule, and then I had to wait six weeks, and then it was a 38 staple surgery that would put my sternum all the way down to my groin, and they go through all the lymph and make sure and take out the, the cancer when they diagnosed it. And they did the CT scan, it was about twice the size and the grapefruit.

JOHN MOFFET: 

Oh my gosh,

Scott Hamilton: 

how does the little guy like me not know that. And so I had a lot of abdominal pain that I thought was just stress and ulcer. And. And then when they took it out, it was the size of a golf ball. It was dead. So the chemo worked. And yeah, it was remarkable journey, and it changed my life forever, for the better. I'm really grateful for it, I wouldn't want to go through it again. But the work that it did for me, was beyond anything I could have done for myself. It was remarkable and beautiful and impactful. And it changed the course of my life for the better forever and allowed me to come into the loving living arms of the Lord. You know, I just because none of it makes sense. Until I put it through a faith lens. None of it made sense. You know, Why was I born? Why was I adopted these people? Why did they sacrifice everything? For me? It doesn't make it sound logical. Why did this happen? Why did that happen? Why? Why? Why? And all of them? Were answered with this beautiful, amazing thing. It's because I love you. It's because I love you. Why did I go through cancer? It's because I love you. Why did why did I Why is? Why did this my mom, because I love her. And I love you. So the whole faith journey of looking through life through the eyes of Jesus and His sacrifice and his ministry. And just, you know, the history of you know, God with us. It just it answered every one of my questions and so even now going through periods of struggle, you know, when the brain tumor came, came? I was diagnosed with it in 2004.

JOHN MOFFET: 

So seven years, seven years after,

Scott Hamilton: 

after Yeah, I thought I was gonna get a pass right? Now I get a pass, right? What's your chemo and all that stuff? I get a pass. Right? Like one though you have a brain tumor. And it's still one makes for the earlier that I was born with. So they radiate it goes away. So it is most of my hormonal activity, which is you know, treating that pharmaceutically fine Six years later, it comes back and has presented itself for surgery. And the surgery didn't go as planned about an aneurysm in my brain. So I had basically nine surgeries that summer. And they were able to kind of get rid of it again surgically. And then, six years later, a pattern has emerged. And it's like, wow, it's back. We caught it on a well scan. It was just like, what, every so often for MRIs. So yeah, it's it's very small, but it's definitely back and it's probably going to grow. And it's like, okay, all right. And so they brought in a couple of doctors to tell me about treatment options. And they're talking to me about surgery. And like, I had this overwhelming thing in my spirit, it was just like this. Like anytime they'd say, something I hear gets strong. And it wasn't like an audible voice. It was just this urge of get strong. I didn't want it man. And so then they a surgeon leaves and then he monk comes in, in touch of oncologists comes in and says, Well, there's a experimental treatment that will shrink your tumor. I won't cure it, but it'll shrink it. And it's like, get strong. Get strong. Get strong, man get strong. What am I getting strong for? What does this get strong? And so the main brain tumor document, he goes, so do what do you want to do surgery? Or do you want to try the medical option? And I said, I'm gonna go home, and I'm gonna get strong. And he goes, what does that mean? I go, I have no idea. I'm just gonna get strong. And so went home and I was just thinking about this thing. Am I Am I to get strong? Physically? Am I gonna get strong? Emotionally? Am I to get strong intellectually? Or am I to get strong? spiritually? I decided to go with IE, you know, at least I'm going to be part right, right. I go eat all the above. And it's amazing when I invested myself getting stronger, physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually, how everything just sort of changed for like, everything was bigger, brighter, better. And I go back in for my scan, they go, you're gonna get some good news. Today. I go, I'll take good news. And I went in, they go, Well, it hasn't grown. And it's like, that's spectacular. That's fantastic. Wow, like, Okay, I'm gonna go back and get stronger. Right? So I go back and, and I come back three months later, and they go get some good news again today. And they go, ah, hasn't grown. And the doctor said, the surgeon was in there, actually. And he goes, I'm looking at your MRI and actually shrunk by 40%. No, 25% 25%. And I say, trunk. And I go, can you explain that? Anyway? God. Okay, so it shrunk again. And then it grew and it grew and it shrunk. They grown, it shrunk. And so, for the last six years, I haven't, I haven't had to deal with it. And honestly, for the last two, I've ignored it. Just because I'm getting strong, and I'd have faith that whatever this thing is, I I'm going to be okay. And, and again, now, those four principles, tenants, whatever, I have to look, in every aspect of my life, I have to look through those four things. How is this physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually? And, and it was funny because I was reading the Bible, and I think it's Luke 1027. asked Jesus, he goes, Well, what what, what, what are we supposed to do? Right? Basically, he said, We love the Lord your God with all of your heart, with all of your mind with all of your strength and with all of your soul. Other words get strong. It's like I've treated my life that way. And, and I've been able to avoid treating this noggin nugget as like howling for a whole thing. So yeah, I urge people it's just dude, this gets wrong. Most your problems will just sort of go away.

JOHN MOFFET: 

Yeah, what a beautiful story would beautiful lessons. You I watched a speech that you gave. And in that speech, basically, the topic was about suffering. And in, in your opinion, how does suffering factor into somebody leading a full and balanced life?

Scott Hamilton: 

Well, Romans five says that suffering produces endurance, endurance, character and character hope. Right? You know, I think if I were sitting in front of 1000 people, and I said, How many people in this room have suffered every every single one of them are gonna raise their hands, right? Yeah. So we all suffer. It's just what is our response to that suffer? All right, we have to respond to it. Yeah. So how do we do that? And so I laid out sort of it was a TED talk for Nashville. And, again, that voice in my head crops up every now and then I asked him, I go, What do you want me to talk about? And they said, anything you want, it's like, can you please narrow it down. So suffering kept coming up. And so I did a search on the TED website, I know how many people have talked about suffering, because I don't want to get, you know, accused of plagiarizing anyone, right. And if I am going to talk about suffering, I want to use a different perspective than anyone talked about it before. Not one person has talked about something that we all experience and endure, not one. Coward. So, you know, it's like, I guess I'm supposed to talk about this. So, you know, at the end of it, I just sort of, you know, you want to give sort of marching orders at the end of any speech, right. And so I just said, you know, I looked at suffering, the response is suffering is a fork in the road, you know, and Yogi Berra said, When you get to the fork in the road, you got to take it, right? No, but yeah, three responses to your suffering, because it's not really a left or right fork, it's an up or down for, right. So if you, if you take your fingers and you make like a fork in the road, and your middle finger goes down, in your index finger goes up, that's kind of the picture you can put in your mind of what what suffering looks like, right in your response. So you can the three choices, or you can succumb, you can take that lower that lower road, just let it take you I mean, momentum, the gravity of succumbing to suffering is just a miraculous how fast it can take you down, and how it can put you in a place of even greater suffering, if you allow it to be that way. The other part of it is if you don't go up or down, you just stay right there at the fork and go nowhere, you can sit, you can adapt, right, you can adapt to that, and adapting to something is that's fine, that's okay, you can adapt, you're gonna adapt your condition, this happens, I'm gonna adapt to it, I'm just gonna allow it to be a part of my life. And that'll be that I'll just now I'm probably less than I was before, but I'm going to adapt to it. And the greatest thing is when you can evolve, when you can just start the climb, have taken that harder road that tougher than the more difficult road, you start climbing, and you just start just working harder than you've ever worked to be somehow better than you were before. In any period of suffering. It's the response, that's what gives it its identity. You know, it's it's like, no, you just you just live in, in so many times, you know, where people are going through this indescribable periods of suffering. I just, I like to remind them that maybe you're just being moved. Maybe God is moving you maybe, you know, he wanted you to go left and you weren't right. And now you have to go through a period of suffering. You know, just to write the ship, you know, yeah, you can stay on the course. And you're probably cruising along, and it's fine. And everything is just so. But that's not what's gonna give you your greatest experience. And this finite thing we call life. You know, we have days, we have to live our days, but we have to live them in a way that gives our lives. You know, joy, you know, my wife when she was being interviewed one time they were talking about all my medical maladies. She said, You know, one thing I've learned is that joy isn't the lack of fear and suffering. It's how you go through it. It's beautiful. And you think of it that way. Yeah. You know, joy isn't the lack of fear and suffering, it's how you go through it. And in that, you know, I think I I've sort of got my my black belt in you know, dealing with stuff and then you know, I can speak to it, you know, and and so much of that is why I wrote finish first talk people out of their funk and give me direction and nothing replaces work that the you know, that you know, as an Olympian nothing replaces work. And you get to places you get to a strength you get to an ability level that you never dreamed possible because you were willing to show up every day and do the work right. And in that lesson is that it'll show up in every aspect of your life if you allow it.

JOHN MOFFET: 

I wholeheartedly agree with you however, one of the things that so many people struggle including me with is you have all people have been extremely ambitious throughout your life.

Scott Hamilton: 

Not always that guy that came in nine three times at Nationals. Seven, right. I show up every day, but I was ambitious. I was having fun. Yeah, but go ahead. I'm sorry.

JOHN MOFFET: 

Well, no, no, no, that's I mean, that's that's it. endpoint, it's good to differentiate that you don't necessarily start ambitious and because you learn to be ambitious, and you learn that the your ambitions would lead you to the dreams where you want it to eventually achieve. But my question for you is, how do you balance your ambitions with your family? And your personal relationships?

Scott Hamilton: 

There? Well, I mean, it there's a tension, right? With it prioritizing, right? So when I, when I had Aiden, my, my first son, I realized that it wasn't about me anymore. And so I made that choice to step off the ice. And, you know, it's time anyway, you know, but it was, it was that whole idea that no, I have to live life differently now. And in that, you know, I do a lot of speaking, that's one night, a week, maybe two nights a month, or whatever, instead of being on the road for three straight months. Yeah, it's like, you know, there comes a choice where you have to let you have to balance sort of life with the life you want to have. Yeah, right. And they don't always get along, I am never going to, you know, one of the things I want to be at my kids games I want to be, I want to be there for their memories and be a part of everything they do. And, and there are times where I miss out, you know, and my wife is there to kind of like, video, everything and send it to me, it's like, with, you know, I got to do a speech because it keeps the lights actually operating in our house, and it puts food on the table. And, and in all these things that you know, it also it models work ethic for my children that they see dad going to work, you know, there is that tension. But at the same time, there's an example to be made in there are sacrifices to be always participating in. But you, you put your highest priorities, the highest, and then your lowest priorities lowest, and then you can think about you can think about, you know, just the end of the day, did I do that? As well as it could be done? Or do I have to make some adjustments, you know, next time around.

JOHN MOFFET: 

To wrap things up. In your book Finish First you write about how the act of you deciding to win so many years ago, has positively affected the rest of your life. Explain to me exactly what you mean by that.

Scott Hamilton: 

It changes everything. So winning changes everything, it means that I made it onto the Olympic team. That's a big win. That's gigantic, right? But it started with, I decided to honor my mom, like three years before, right? So, you know, it's, it's that that idea, I'm gonna show up, it'd be different. That's a win. That's, that's a win. It's kind of a win. So all these wins, they change, not only the way that you operate, but the way others look at you, the respect that you are now worthy. And all those things, right. So now I, I figured out a way to make it onto the Olympic team in 1980. And then it happens, where now the carrot, the opportunity is the top three guys are gone. Now I have one gotta be okay. It's better than beating four guys. I'm around, right. So it just comes down to, you know, that win. And nationals put me in a position where at first nationals may be one, where now I'm looked upon as a candidate for the world championship in 1981. So now I changed. I flipped the script a little bit. We're now in like being taken seriously. That goes into the 1982 season where I'm now the champion, and how do you stay there? Right? So then I win all those four years. And I've earned now the respect of a show that's going to trust me with their brand. And how do I do that? Well, I want to do it better than anybody's ever done it before. How do I do that? Well, it just I'm never going to miss a show. I'm never going to miss a press call. I'm going to be a model employee. I'm going to learn, I'm going to learn, I'm gonna learn I'm going to learn. So you go through that period of time. Well, now that doesn't work out because the new owner doesn't want men. Well, I never missed a show. And I never missed a press call. Now a promoter says, Will you help us start a tour? Again, winning changes everything. So now we get to that first year. You know, we work hard, everybody's around there. They're all in they're all in. They're all in, for instance, the second year or just a third year and by the time we get to our sixth year. We're now profitable. And Christiana Gucci wins the Olympics and says I'm not I I want to go to, I want to go to start Nice. That's where I want to skate. So she comes on, we go from a 30 city tour to a 60 city tour. And it's just that it's like, it's all in that showing up every day, and just trying to make it just a little bit better than yesterday,

JOHN MOFFET: 

you have lived such an inspiring life, just from me watching you through the years. TV, thank you. And it's kind of a thing to hear, to hear your stories and to hear your methodologies and inspirations and everything. It's a wonderful gift. So thank you for spending so much time with us today. And I can't wait to meet you in person. Oh, wow,

Scott Hamilton: 

it'll happen at some point, our paths will cross. And you know, it's like, again, it's, it's all about this was an opportunity. This is an amazing time for us to get together and, and me to share your pain about the 80 Summer Games, and we try to get in front of that. And but again, it's a choice, everything is a choice. And it's all in the response. You know, how do we respond? You understand that you're an Olympian for the rest of your life. And you, you aspire to that you succeeded in that. And that that will show up in every aspect of your life if you allow it. So go get them Tiger, I'm rooting for you. Thanks. Take care.

JOHN MOFFET: 

Scott would like to re emphasize the importance of what he referred to as his mantra. It comes from five time Olympic gold medal winning speedskater, Eric Heiden, and he says, It's not the events in our lives that define our character, but how we deal with them. Eric is also a former Tour de France racer, and is now an orthopedic surgeon living in Utah. How about that for some serious cred? If you'd like to find out more about what Scott's up to go to his website at scotthamilton.com. And while you're there, take a moment to check out the link to Scott Hamilton Cares Foundation, funding advanced and innovative cancer research. And if you haven't yet, please give us your five star review. And don't forget to spread the word. Thanks for joining us, and we'll be back next week with a brand new episode. This was sports life balance with John Moffet.

Scott Hamilton Profile Photo

Scott Hamilton

Olympic Figure Skater Gold Medalist, Cancer Survivor, Bestselling Author, TV Broadcaster