Coach Sam Falsafi has a powerful conversation with Warrior Week 37 graduate, Matt Skinner.
Parable #1: Warrior Week 37
- Matt: When I signed up for Warrior Week, I thought it was going to be something very physical like SEALFIT. Yes, the physical aspect is part of it, but it’s so much deeper than that. It’s a mental endurance test, an emotional deep dive into the Pit and back.
- Getting into a program where I had to be somewhere every day at the same time, do certain tasks, follow assignments and listen to people tell me what to do – all of which I knew was benefiting me – my immediate knee-jerk reaction was fuck you. It was so difficult for me to get into that pattern, and I initially rejected the structure of it.
How do your knee-jerk reactions play out in your life?
Parable #2: Fat Matt
- Matt had a very traditional upbringing. He looked up to his father and aspired to be manly like him, yet he totally rebelled against his father’s definition of being manly. Matt wanted power and respect and found that he could gain these through violence and sex. “I thought these were the stronger, more masculine traits that my father didn’t possess that I could outperform him in.”
- In fifth grade, I beat the shit out of a kid for calling me Fat Matt. He was bigger and older than me and had some social status on campus. I gained respect that day from the other students and learned that through violence and intimidation, I would be respected. That violence carried on through high school and eventually into football. Offseason, I was looking for fights. I was a fucking bully. My motto was drink, fuck, or fight.
What does “being a man” look like to you?
Parable #3: Midas Matt
- Matt: At age 21, I was a horrible person doing all kinds of crazy shit. My dad sent me the book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. My first reaction was, fuck you. Once I started reading it, I realized that everything I had chosen up to that point was my responsibility, and therefore everything moving forward would also be my choice and responsibility. For nearly a decade, I felt like Midas Matt.
- Coach Sam: Everything is going your way, production is the name of the game, everything you touch turns to gold. You meet this beautiful woman, you’re on the path to a white picket fence life, and two days before the wedding you get hit with the news that causes the world you’ve known for nearly a decade to begin crumbling and falling apart all around you.
What book has had a significant impact on your life?
Parable #4: Significance
- Matt: The stress of the situation kicked in on my honeymoon where I spent all of my time on the phone trying to save our asses. Eventually, everything collapsed. I no longer felt like a man and returned back to the behaviors from the past that had given me respect and power. I started training at a boxing gym in L.A. with a professional fighter, eventually leading me to get involved with mixed martial arts.
- I know now that I can feel powerful with just being myself. I don’t need to have that fight or step into a cage, I don’t need to beat down another man or be with other women – things that, at one point in time, made me feel whole and significant as a man. Once you can find that peace and truth in your heart, when you can say, “Hey, I’m enough,” that’s so powerful.
How do you find significance?
Parable #5: Iron Sharpens Iron
- Matt: Life’s a team sport. There’s no man that does it on his own; there’s no fucking ranger who handles all his business on his own. We need to stand independently, but we’re stronger when we’re interdependent. Iron sharpens iron. When as bothers we hold each other accountable, we are stronger together.
- When truth finds us, or when truth is presented to us, we know it’s true because we already had it. What Warrior does is attach a system to it and a Brotherhood around it, which is the magic of Warrior. Being able to utilize that and being able to lean on other men is powerful.
How does being accountable to others affect how you choose to live your life?
Parables from the Pit:
“There is impact in education that is backed up by experience.”
— Coach Sam Falsafi
“Sure, we get power from physicality, but we really get our power from handling our business. In CORE4 when you’re standing up to the plate and handling your shit in every category, and advancing forward at least a little bit each day, that makes a man feel significant.”