Laval St.Germain is a world-class mountaineer and extreme athlete, cyclist, and ultra-marathoner. He recently set a record rowing solo 5500km across the Atlantic Ocean to raise money for a local cancer hospital and in solidarity with a close friend who had just been diagnosed.
“Experimentation is an act in humility”
– Laval St.Germain
In this episode we cover a slew of topics with a super interesting, courageous, and accomplished individual – parenthood, family, and tribe, the humility, situational awareness, and adherence to procedure that apply to adventure the same way as flying an aircraft, and we even get a sliver of a hint on Laval’s next adventures.
One of Laval’s favorite proverbs: “For lack of a nail the shoe was lost. For lack of a shoe the horse was lost. For lack of a horse the rider was lost. For lack of a rider the war was lost.”
Expert at turning dreams into goals into reality, Laval St.Germain knows what it takes to unzip the tent door and step out from high camp on Everest for a cold, gasping, trip to the top or to shove off the dock to row alone across the North Atlantic Ocean.
Laval is the only Canadian to have climbed Mount Everest without the use of supplemental oxygen, the only person to have climbed and skied Iraq’s highest peak, and the holder of the fastest ever crossing of the North Atlantic Ocean by solo ocean row boat from mainland North America to mainland Europe.
Laval has climbed the highest peak on all 7 of the earth’s 7 continents (the 7 Summits), and the highest peaks of more than 18 nations.
Uniquely blending extreme high risk outdoor adventure with the deliberate and strict adherence to procedures, checklists and risk management inherent in an airline pilot has kept Laval alive.
Laval is an acclaimed keynote speaker, with emotional and striking stories from up there above the clouds and out there beyond the ocean horizon.
Hear and see what it takes to have the ability to step out way past normal, and shove off way past safe, but come back alive.
- From airline pilot to adventurer
- Risk management procedures
- The 1 thing missed on Everest that cost 3 fingers
- Solo rowing the Atlantic
- Imposter syndrome
- The Why to come home alive
- Danger, discomfort, and delayed gratification
- Key daily routine especially when traveling
- The #1 thing is to take action
“The unknown makes you better as a person, as a man”
– Laval St.Germain
If you find the site and content valuable, please click below to subscribe and hear more on a regular basis. The Man of Mastery Podcast is here to help unlock the secrets of elite-level life performance – align happiness, fulfillment, health, wellness, productivity, and peace. Succeed harmoniously in family, relationships, career, finance, fitness, emotional control, and mental toughness. Discover and live your unique, authentic purpose.
We will learn from executives, athletes, entrepreneurs, academics, relationship experts, wealth managers, and warriors. Embrace success as a process – not a singular event – achieved through grit, resilience, and perseverance. Study strategies to achieve extraordinary results through simple consistent actions, accomplishing what others deem impossible.
Not sure how to subscribe or rate the podcast? You can find instructions here. Thanks in advance! The feedback and support is incredibly helpful!
Note to reader: This article may contain product/service recommendations based on my own trial, error, and what I’ve found works well for me. Again, these are my own opinions from my personal experience. Your mileage will vary. For your convenience, I’ve provided links – mostly to Amazon because I’m a fan of the shopping and shipping ease. These are affiliate links, meaning that if you choose to make a purchase then I will earn a small commission – at no additional cost to you. Please spend your hard-earned dollars wisely and only consider those products that are right for you. If you choose to purchase any of these items, I’d be honored if you do so through the affiliate link as the commissions will help to further the mission here at Man of Mastery. For more about affiliate links please see this page on our website.
Laval [00:00:00] Whether it's clipping into a
Laval [00:00:01] line on Everest and double-checking your not or double checking that everything secure. It's that type of mindset. I think that's really helped me stay alive.
Michael [00:00:21] Man of Mastery episode 30 with Laval st. Germain. Hey, welcome back everybody. We're about a week away from Thanksgiving and I've got a special episode coming up next week on gratitude, but in advance of that I just wanted to say a quick thank you again for the support and for being here and for the feedback, I super super appreciate it and I really value your time.
Michael [00:00:42] Today with Laval Saint-Germain. We've got a really special accomplished individual to speak to he's a father husband and it may be one end of the risk spectrum and airline pilot commercial airline pilot, but at the other end of the spectrum, he is an extreme athlete. He's an extreme mountaineering Guru. He's a cyclist.
Michael [00:01:02] He's an ultra-marathoner. He's Road the Atlantic solo and we're going to talk about all that today. But before we jump in a couple quick housekeeping pieces of business. Enos so one is Relentless MV Relentless Martha's Vineyard, I mentioned it last week. So this is an event that takes place this coming summer. It's an annual event. This will be the second annual in Martha's Vineyard and it was recommended to me by a guest few weeks ago Patrick Sweeney the fear Guru, he and Laval Saint-Germain both spoke there as keynote VIP guests last year and and both can't say enough good things.
Michael [00:01:37] So Le vaillant today's episode. He mentioned it. I asked him about it. And again, he reiterated the the the recommendation and at the time I said, I'll take a look at the dates. I have since committed and I'm going to attend with my with my family and it does look like a really special unique intimate kind of not only setting but format to the way that the participants and the VIP guests and speakers get to interact over the course of two days and three nights.
Michael [00:02:10] So relentless MV I will put let's see in this episode's show. No, it's I'll put the the link to Relentless MV show notes. You can find for this episode at the website man of Mastery.com / 0 3 0 4 episode 30 man of Mastery.com size 0 3 0 it will have links to Relentless MV to today's guests and where to find Laval Saint-Germain and I'm also going to throw a link in there for something else. I
Michael [00:02:40] want to mention today. It's something I created early on when we started this journey six months or so ago with man of Mastery and you can still find it on my website, but I just want to bring it up again for anybody who might be interested. It's something I called a 7 Day Challenge and it's is literally one minute of your day for seven days or 1 minute of some physical activity and then some follow up around it and that may sound a little cheesy, but it's actually something that Can gain Insight from and you can scale it and you can extend it and it can be more than a minute but the structure to it is set up in such a way that by just doing something really simple and and it may not be all that easy physically, but something simple that is going to give you some real insight and some real perspective a witness.
Michael [00:03:33] If you want to call it that into into your own thought process when you're facing something that's a little uncertain and a little hard. So I just want to re-raise that. For awareness and get you guys to give it a try give me some feedback on it and what you think and what kind of insight and what value you might get out of it. So again, I call it my 7 Day Challenge. It's a really simple starting place and I'd like to invite you to give it a try again check the website and particularly the show notes for this episode find a link to it the seven-day challenge.
Michael [00:04:04] Okay. So as we jump in with Laval here that mean there's so much interesting stuff the obvious one being his risk management. Attention to detail and discipline and procedural rigidness that he follows that he learned as an airline pilot and the the opposite of that or the deviation from that that he calls procedural drift. So we talked about that.
Michael [00:04:25] I thought was super interesting. We talk about situational awareness. We talk about imposter syndrome which in a way maybe is one of the things that keeps him humble and keeps them safe as he goes out to do these these kind of things we talk about delayed gratification. Ian that practice of Misfortune the the learning through failure and the importance of getting outside of one's Comfort zones, especially with kids these days and pushing them into new things particularly in the outdoors and sort of off the phones and and off the electronics.
Michael [00:04:59] I mean one of one of the things that Laval is really he really emphasized is the number one thing is to take action and take action every every day. So we do talk about that. We talked about his morning routine and then just one of the one of the It's that he brought up that I think is just awesome and it goes back to doing the small things and the procedures and the discipline for lack of a nail the shoe was lost for lack of a shoe.
Michael [00:05:23] The horse was lost for a lack of a horse. The rider was lost and for lack of a rider the war was lost. So that's a great way to frame up lavalle's philosophy and his mindset and his approach to getting out and building on lots of little things and the momentum to do some incredibly big things. So, So let's let's tune in and hear about it from Laval st.
Michael [00:05:44] Germain. Okay. Hey this morning. I am super pleased to have Laval Saint-Germain Laval. Good morning.
Laval [00:05:52] Good morning. Michael.
Michael [00:05:55] Well said no worries. Like I said, I'll answer to anything just a quick I'll introduce you here and I'm I'm not even quite sure where to jump in with a guy who has Road solo across the Atlantic and 53 days. What skied across a Minefield in Iraq first Canadian to Summit Everest without oxygen.
Michael [00:06:17] And I will maybe we're all stars a bit of fact checking at one point. I saw that you had taken down six of the Seven Peaks. Is it now seven? Have you completed that?
Laval [00:06:27] Yeah. Fortunate New Year's Eve 2019. So I guess just under a year ago. I summited the highest mountain Antarctica. So that made Seven. So I've done the Seven Summits now
Michael [00:06:39] congratulations. That's that's incredible you want to actually so we got hooked up through what call mutual friend Patrick Sweeney, you know, one of the other Replaces you and I were kicking off and one of the things that really I found fascinating when Patrick introduce me to your name and your story as an adventure. So I have a bit of a professional background in the commodity space which financially is about risk management and and you're a pilot.
Michael [00:07:02] So we'll talk a bit about how you became a pilot as a young man to really literally get a ticket to see the world, but tell me a little bit more about what being a pilot means as you go out and you adventure and you do some of these incredible things. That's your risk management basis for how you approach everything, isn't it? Yeah,
Laval [00:07:21] for sure. I'm an airline Captain here in Canada and funny enough. I'm actually wearing my uniform now because I fly I have to go to the airport about an hour or so. It's it's pretty appropriate to be speaking about it love it. And yeah, I mean aviation's interesting. First of all, it's kind of the only job I've ever done I got into it very very young and so for me, this is just the way I operate but we follow procedures we follow checklists and we are always thinking about what's in next thing that can get us so If you take that type of mindset and that type of thinking into all aspects of your life, whether it's health and fitness or whether it's clipping on a fixed line high on Everest it it can
Michael [00:08:03] I think it's just a value added for
Laval [00:08:05] sure one thing we do in aviation, which I just touched on earlier is is procedures. We follow procedures even though I have flown this aircraft to the 737 for over 15 actually 17 years. I know the thing as well as I know my own uncle or riding my bike or walking down the street. We still stick to checklist.
Laval [00:08:25] We never sort of freelancer go off on her own even though we could do an entire Mission meaning from startup to to takeoff to landing and taxi and I never touch a checklist. We never do that. So I think that discipline in that adherence to procedures really help. So when you bring that into the Outdoor World, it's things like if I'm in my ocean rowing boat going across the North Atlantic and I want to reach out and grab something that's on the deck and I don't have my safety line on I think oh I can just grab.
Laval [00:08:51] That quickly and I'll be fine. I won't do it. So we call that procedural drifts which assertive appropriately think about being in a boat. But if you if I were to do that in a way which suddenly wash over the boat. I'd be gone my wife and my kids and never know what happened to me. So whether it's clipping into a line on Everest and double-checking your not or double checking that everything secure. It's that type of mindset.
Laval [00:09:12] I think that's really helped me stay alive and the outdoors
Michael [00:09:15] and I so that discipline does that apply and things for example, I mean I'm like Everest but my son wife and I were hiking up a mountain a couple weekends ago and we got to the top and my wife took a deep breath and I mentioned to my son, you know, they say the hardest part is The Descent right? When you get to the top you're only halfway there and I know I've read about some of the disciplines that go into summoning these Peaks like Everest that you've got cut off times for example, and and if you stick to procedure the book says you hit that cutoff time.
Michael [00:09:46] You turn back no matter what is that kind of the type of stuff?
Laval [00:09:50] Yeah, that'd be the same type of Go just decision making and risk mitigation. I mean, I wasn't even close to my cutoff time and I summited Everest fortunately so that wasn't an issue. But when I got to the top I summited with a British buddy of mine and when we got up there, I looked over at him Mark and I said Mark 20 minutes not a second longer.
Laval [00:10:11] We got to get down because they knew that the most dangerous and toughest part of summiting Everest without oxygen is The Descent. So yeah sticking to that type of At type of rigid procedural following as I think super important. I mean don't get me wrong. I still enjoy life and I'm not living by a checklist every day, but I think it's important to to sort of in the morning.
Laval [00:10:36] Wake up kind of write out your own checklist of what you want to do. What makes a good day. We all know what makes a good day and and follow that and it seemed to it's worked for me.
Michael [00:10:48] Yeah, and actually I'm glad you brought that up. I want to touch On that before it's some here some point here on kind of morning routine and evening routine. But so let me ask I mentioned Stevens venables name for a couple reasons. So one I had a chance to meet the gentleman quite some years ago and he took a shoe off to show me the three toes.
Michael [00:11:09] He lost partially to frostbite and Everest and his story. So he said a new route up the mountain four-man team and one turned back with altitude sickness, and I think Steven climbed to the summit maybe maybe ahead or stronger or faster than a couple of his other teammates who did time out and turn back and and I believe Stephen went beyond their cut off.
Michael [00:11:33] He did some it, but he was caught in a storm coming down had the bivouac and that's really survive the night. That's how he lost a few toes. But I read that you lost a few fingers to frostbite as well. So was that anything to do with procedure or deviating or just something that happened?
Laval [00:11:50] Yeah, it's funny. For icing on it. So sorry, my son really cold and ever as well, I guess it's all relative as a Canadian who spends a lot of time there are tickets. It's it wasn't cold at all. It was maybe around minus 30 degrees Celsius. I don't know what that is in Fahrenheit. But the reason I lost my fingers is I had these big Himalayan Expedition mitts on and I had a climbing device that we call that a jumar and it's a friction device that slides up the Rope won't slide backwards.
Laval [00:12:20] Uh-huh. Yeah. And the mitts are too big for the opening in it. So compress the down around my fingers and about three hours out of high camp. I froze three fingers and once they're frozen. It's no big deal. It's just like having wooden fingers, but I had them amputated about a month and a half later back in Canada. And that was that was strictly because of of missing that that small detail.
Laval [00:12:46] I don't know Michael if you've ever heard that saying that it talks about sweating the small stuff and And I don't know who made the quote but it's for lack of a nail the shoe was lost for lack of the shoe. The horse was lost for lack of the horse. The rider was lost and for lack of the rider. The war was lost. So that shows you how how one tiny detail can Cascade and cause these issues.
Laval [00:13:09] So something at base camp on Everest is as innocuous as a tight-fitting jumar handle results in me losing three fingers. He's on Summit day. So we sweat the small details the small stuff and we're in both in aviation. And when you're doing these types of
Michael [00:13:29] trips, that's amazing. Yeah. So a Jew more it's a bit too small or a myth. That's a bit too big. Yeah. It really is this the
Laval [00:13:36] small things and and I've done the same cycling in the Canadian Arctic in the winter time. I did this cycling trip in the Artic on a fat bike and took me two attempts to do it because the first time I froze my one of my toes my right big toe And I just about lost it and that was because I tried to go with sort of my own version of extreme cold weather cycling boot with SPD pedals that that you know, you click in your cycling shoe clicks into the pedal but that metal interface between the boot and your pedal just suck the heat out of my out of my boot and I had it was minus 46 degrees, which is the same in Celsius 46 in Fahrenheit is the same.
Laval [00:14:21] But I froze it toe and just about lost it so I went back the next year with the proper equipment and did it. So, yeah, I've you learn from your errors for sure.
Michael [00:14:31] It really is those little things that Cascade. Yeah, I was going to mention that the Celsius Celsius and Fahrenheit scales. They crossed somewhere there. I learned either my time going to school in Michigan or the time I spent working in Toronto. One of the other although it is a it is a very very cold 62 Fahrenheit or so in California.
Michael [00:14:51] No, I actually read another quote yesterday. That was it's very similar in that cascading effect sort of concept but more in mindset and it's along the lines of your thoughts become your words your words become your actions, which become your habits which
Laval [00:15:07] become your character which determine your destiny the
Michael [00:15:10] preparation. I think I've heard you mention breeds confidence in the things that you're doing whether it's work wise whether it's adventure wise, but I've also heard you say that that despite doing some of these things including setting records, which I know that's not why you've embarked on them, but you've mentioned imposter syndrome which pack Patrick and I also spoke about a bit.
Michael [00:15:32] Do you still feel that way or over here? Yeah,
Laval [00:15:36] for sure. I don't know. I don't know if it's being the modest Canadian or what it is. But yeah when I'm let's say I'm at a speaking gig with a bunch of world-class speakers and I'm looking around going what am I doing here? I step on the stage with 500 people in. Crowd to do a speaking gig and I'm like, you know, what's so interesting about me and I think that's I don't mind that I don't mind having that imposter syndrome. I
Laval [00:16:01] think it keeps you sharp and it's like when you're I mean you talked about being in a Spartan Race when you start when you know, I've raced Ultra marathons and adventure racing and that's everything when you get to the start line you always look around at everybody and you think okay that guy's going to beat me. I'm going to be that guy that guy's fitter than me. I can't believe I'll fit that guy is and then It all shakes out the end and sometimes it works.
Laval [00:16:24] But at the same time you're thinking, you know, I shouldn't be here.
Michael [00:16:28] Yeah, you're absolutely right my wife and I just had this chat with our 11 year old son. So there's a Spartan kids race as well and he qualified last year for the kids world championship and you qualify by making a Podium at least once in a year. So he qualified last year and usually attacks every race with with some real confidence and drive. You'll always see him in the front line of the kids ready to Sprint.
Michael [00:16:51] The gate except when he got to this world championship, he just sunk into the background, you know, like five five rows deep of kids like looking up at these taller Boys around him and and he got crushed and and he realizes that he completely took himself out of the race with his confidence. He lost it before he even started.
Michael [00:17:11] So he's qualified again this year. It's coming up early next month and he just did a video that he submitted to Spartan yesterday where he actually uses those words. He says, As you know last year, I got crushed. I've come back this year training harder than ever. So he's taken bit of defeat there and he's feeling it and using that to work on his confidence for the next time out.
Laval [00:17:33] Yeah great lessons and I think that's important for kids. Especially we live in a world now, that's for some reason. We don't want our kids to ever experience any type of hardship or we don't want them to ever feel failure. I don't know if it's the same in the US, but I know that when my youngest son Eric had just turned 18 The was playing soccer that they weren't displaying the score at some games because they didn't want a winner or a loser and you know, that's not the way life is at all and I think it's important number one the kids experience discomfort that they experience Challenge and that they understand that failure is part of it.
Laval [00:18:10] That's the only way to learn so
Michael [00:18:12] exactly the way you learn. Yeah, I think you've called it the practice of Misfortune the things that make you better as a person as a as a boy as a man. As a parent. Well, I know a lot of people ask you Laval why you go on these adventures and that's a hard one to answer. But maybe I'll ask it a little little bit of a different way.
Michael [00:18:32] So when you are out there and you're in the middle of a climb or a row or recycle, do you have a why that that brings you home brings you home safely?
Laval [00:18:42] Why that brings me home. I've got a goal to walk in the door and you know hug, Janet and the kids and that's an incredibly Strong pull but I think that's a strong pull of anybody whether you're you know, I don't think that that is anything that's unusual. But when people ask me why I do it it's not to try and be pithy or cheeky but it's I just can't think of why I wouldn't want to do it.
Laval [00:19:09] Why don't you want to be out there in the elements? Why don't you want to set a big goal? These are simple goals. They're big but they're simple, I mean getting to the pile of a really high or the top of a really high pile of rocks. Simple Crossing an ocean is super simple. It's a simple goal. That's it's challenging to accomplish, but it's a really simple thing to get there and when you think about in the pure sense and when you get out there, do you and you start moving the lead up to it is very difficult these strips.
Laval [00:19:39] It's the logistics. It's the fundraising. It's the knowing the feeling of saying goodbye to the family, which is the most horrible thing. But once you get moving once you get out there, there's something that is just It's such a high to to dream up something. To write down how you're going to do it and to actually pull it off is is there's nothing like it.
Laval [00:20:00] It's to me. It's the best drug in the world.
Michael [00:20:02] Yeah, that's amazing. I actually had written down a question yesterday that I was going to start to ask you about. I think you've mentioned the importance of tribe. Yeah, or I'll say team and I was going to ask you about how that related to solo adventures and then I heard you talk about for example your row across the Atlantic by no means was that a solo effort?
Michael [00:20:23] It was when one man in a boat rowing Got a whole team behind you, I believe.
Laval [00:20:28] Yeah, and the impetus for the row is sorted to take you on a bit of a journey was the fact that sorry that I've been I've been always doing these trips coming back with great photos and stories and videos and yeah just stuff for myself and that I really close friend at age 40 was diagnosed with fairly serious cancer.
Laval [00:20:48] Fortunately Cory is still still with us and healthy and but he still has this very poor die. Diagnosis and when he told me about it, I felt it must have been like if a if I took you down to the dock and Halifax Nova Scotia at 5:45 in the morning, Michael and said there's your boat. You're going to row 5,500 kilometers to friends.
Laval [00:21:10] There is your or have a nice trip without any training without any preparation and kick off and you're on your own and I think the cancer journey is probably like that where you are. You're suffering the nausea of chemo just like you're suffering from seasickness obviously cancer is far worse and a gun is so rowboat.
Laval [00:21:34] And even though you're surrounded by doctors and nurses and friends and family. You're still a battling not on your own and on an ocean row. I decided I decide to use the ocean row as a way to to get some notoriety and some attention and raise money for cancer hospital in the city that I live in because I thought in some small way that being alone on that boat was probably similar to the sudden feeling of being given a diagnosis by a doctor, but I was surrounded electronically, I guess you'd say I had satellite calms your my friends and family can see exactly where I was I could talk on the phone with Janet if I wanted to even though I only called her once during the trip.
Laval [00:22:12] It was all sad like emails and texts and and that group of people around me. I think you know, they really help me get across in the end and I think it's important to have that and I know that As a family we've suffered tragedy and I think really the only reason that we made it through it and as healthy ways possible as a fact that we had a really good try for on this really good friends and supportive family.
Laval [00:22:40] For sure.
Michael [00:22:42] Yeah, you know, one of the things I talked about is growth through adversity and I'm a firm believer that going out and attacking these these hard things in some way helps us try to prepare for Or things in life that are difficult and certainly there are things that the no one can really prepare for and I was really sad to hear that you guys lost a son to a kayak drowning accident, but not only are you open about talking about that hardship?
Michael [00:23:12] I think you also talk about the tribe that got you through it. But how is a family in a way even become better for it?
Laval [00:23:21] Yeah, you never want to take a tragedy like losing a kid and turn into something positive for sure. But we lost her son Richard. It'll be six years ago in July. He was canoeing up in the Northwest Territories. He's just started as a young pilot up there and about three weeks after starting he went canoeing one evening with the girl that was working up there in a local hotel and long story short the canoe capsized.
Laval [00:23:47] He stayed with the canoe she swam for sure and I was rescued and this river is called the MacKenzie River. It's a second biggest river in North America. So it's second to the Mississippi and and very big river and he we lost we lost Richard and I understand obviously from the previous comments a year parent and as a parent you go through your entire life dreading ever having to confront that and and we did and it's we had the I had the 2:30 in the morning phone call from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and changed our life and it's far tougher than anything I've ever done for sure.
Laval [00:24:31] One thing I did Michael is that when I when I hung up the phone with the with the Constable, I just sat there for 15 minutes and made a plan about how I was going to do this and and how I was determined to come out of this healthy as a a family and we were very deliberate about that as a family and it's yeah, there's nothing tougher losing a child is something that you never get over but I think I mean it's goes without saying that life continues and it is yeah.
Laval [00:25:13] It's a far greater challenge than anything I've ever done by my orders of magnitude and you know, luckily I have Somehow chose the right partner in Janet, and we inanity remaining kids of have survived, but it's been it's been tough for sure.
Michael [00:25:33] Thank you Laval for Having the courage and the openness to talk about that. I really appreciate it and not just to dredge it up but to honor Richard's memory, but also I wanted to ask you if you were willing to share it. Because my wife and I have a very close friend who their family lost a teenage boy last year.
Laval [00:26:00] I think it's important to realize and I'm not trying to say that people are going to in North America losing a child is exceedingly rare and let's just be clear about that exceedingly rare and but I think what's important to realize and you listen to my story and our story as a family as tragedy is is part of life.
Laval [00:26:21] And you're not going to go through and scathed your life is not going to be like an Instagram account, which is generally only the best of the best and everything is filtered and looking good and there's going to be tragedy that is part of of life and there's all these cliches that we're we talk about you decide how you are going to react to things and how you're going to deal with things and we were very deliberate.
Laval [00:26:50] We're very deliberate about that. And I think it really helped we understood that that we're not unique to that that losing a child is not something that has never occurred before it's occurred for Millennia, and it's going to continue to occur. But we had to to continue moving forward and one of the analogies I use is.
Laval [00:27:15] In my when I do my talks is that when you're running a an ocean rowing boat, you're always looking backwards. You're always looking at where you came from, but you still moving forward and it's okay to to do that. You know, you see people always saying never look, you know never look to your past always move forward and I think that's wrong.
Laval [00:27:35] There's nothing wrong with with looking back at your air is nothing wrong with looking back your mistakes and nothing wrong with with missing those that have gone before and then of that have that you've lost nothing. There's nothing wrong with that. I think it I think it's really important. You're not you're not moving away from it, but you're still moving forward even there looking behind you and I don't know.
Laval [00:27:59] I think it's helped and one of the reasons I felt the ocean row was good for me as it was allowed me to go out there and suffer physically and be in my own and somehow feel closer in a way to to Richard's.
Michael [00:28:17] Yeah. Well well said Laval and certainly keeping an eye to where we've come from, you know that its journey and that perspective is always useful while we're on the hard stuff. Let's just knock it out. So I've also heard you mention that you were estranged from from your dad kind of incommunicado for a number of years.
Michael [00:28:37] And I think that came out in a discussion about some of potentially why you do what you do, but question I've got for you is what brought you guys back together. How did that
Laval [00:28:47] happen? I think time and the fact that he suffered a pretty serious stroke. Yeah. There's there's there's just no use and holding that type of animosity anymore or I mean he is my dad and no matter no matter what he gave me a lot of what I am today and he gave me that love of reading he gave me that love, you know, dreaming of Faraway places.
Laval [00:29:13] He's the one who took me the airport at age 15 and said you're doing your your familiarisation flight you're going to get your pilot's license and and they all just those things Yorkie those the influence of a and not necessarily doesn't necessarily have to be a parent but Anybody in a child's life that comes into that that child's life can really change the trajectory of somebody's life and that that fam flight.
Laval [00:29:42] I remember that day the familiarization flight. I remember I was hanging out with my friends or as with my girlfriend and I didn't really want to do it and he kind of said get in the car were going and it set the hook and and my dad taught me something there that sometimes you have to push kids. To try new things and to and to just get things done because everybody just wants to comfort they don't want to not hang out with her friends nowadays back then there's none of this but they didn't want to get off their phone and there's you know, my kids wouldn't Richard in Andrea or small wheat?
Laval [00:30:18] We rode a thousand kilometers up in Arctic Highway in the summertime. They were 11 and 13 years old. They didn't have a choice. I just said we're going on this bike ride and they didn't know anything. They said oh that sounds great. And you know next thing, you know, they've done it at this remote Arctic Gravel Road and sleeping in a tent on the side of the road and kids are capable of this stuff and my dad taught me that so I'm thankful for that.
Laval [00:30:44] So yeah, he's he's suffered horribly it physically because of the stroke and it's sad to see for sure, but you know, it's time to To hang up the animosity,
Michael [00:30:57] right? Okay. Yeah. Thanks for sharing that as well. Well, you mentioned you mentioned your kids and and certainly particularly now in an electronic Society. I think we live in a world of as you said, everything is sort of the positive. We don't talk as much about the setbacks and failures the challenges the negatives delayed gratification is something that we don't practice as much as maybe we should and and I think one thing I've heard you say, is that the Our one thing is to take action whether it's you know, getting the kids out there on the thousand kilometer bike or for somebody else.
Michael [00:31:33] It might be a much much smaller step, but there's always one small step and one action. I think they can make a very big difference whether it's in a day or in a life.
Laval [00:31:44] Yeah, it's it's so important. I've I've even forgot I'm previous podcast have talked about this. But yeah, it's instead of sitting around thinking about it and looking at other people's social media and what they've done just started, you know, one thing that that Patrick Sweeney posted the other day when he previous podcast guests in a friend of mine was about procrastination as a type of fear.
Laval [00:32:12] And I never heard it mentioned like that. And I thought wow like I don't want to don't tell Patrick. I thought this was such a great quote, but I thought it was I thought it was so appropriate that so accurate that procrastination really is just a sheer you're procrastinating you put your shoes on and go for Ron you're procrastinating to go to the gym. I'll do that lady procrastinated take that big trip you're procrastinating to lose that weight procrastinating to to to take your wife on a date or whatever. It
Laval [00:32:40] may be, but you know what? What I've learned and I think what we all learn is that the life is exceedingly short and you don't know how long you're going to have the capability whether physically financially or personally to do this stuff. So you got to get moving you got to start now and life is just short. I mean, it seems like yesterday.
Laval [00:33:02] I had my 30th birthday. Well, I just passed my 51st birthday and it didn't seem like it took that long and it doesn't seem like I did that much in between and and you got to you got to stay at it.
Michael [00:33:14] Yeah blink of an eye. All right. Well, maybe I've said Patrick so you go a bit because I loved that post as well and I re-shared it. But to me it was yeah it was it was spot-on and I've heard people procrastinate fear makes us rationalize and I've heard people rationalize. Well, you know, I could never do what you did or I could never do what Laval did but to me it's that's the wrong way to approach it.
Michael [00:33:40] You can only compare yourself. To yourself. And so whatever that relative spectrum is you just you take that first step or you know, people sort of say it maybe goes back to that imposter syndrome and I'll dredge up another older quote from you that said experimentation is an act in humility. So no matter what our relative impossibility is you go out there and start taking steps towards it has a real way of humbling and teaching each of us wherever we are on that first
Laval [00:34:11] step. Yeah, I agree and and your comment about about rationalization everybody builds a narrative to not do something. It's like it's the old story where you know, you're you're trying to let's say you're you're trying to to do intermittent fasting for example, or to do a keto ish type lifestyle and you see that fresh, you know Montreal bagel sitting there and you build a story that well.
Laval [00:34:38] I'll be running stairs later today or I'm going to do a long. I cried or you know, I worked really hard at the gym, you know, that'll be fine. And we always build these these stories these these narratives in this rationale to let us let us cheat and away and it's it's okay every once in a while for sure, but you can't you can't let that take over your life. You have to you have to maintain some type of chronic level of discomfort. I
Laval [00:35:04] think meeting that you need to you need to restrict yourself in Life or you're just going to you know, you're going to be a quivering mass of jelly and never get anything done in this and that and that that chronic The Chronic Baseline level of restriction and discomfort of I think I think personally is very important
Michael [00:35:26] hundred percent. Yeah. I'm with you on that. One of the things I've realized in kind of check in with myself is that for me is one stuff, right? The the conscious recognition of I have a choice here of that that Bagel or whatever. As the other one that I've struggled with is sort of the I call it my subconscious sort of rationalization or flight from Fear.
Michael [00:35:51] So I had a I had a 12-hour boot camp event that I was registered for back in July and man this this thing scared the hell out of me going into it and I had all kinds of conscious rationalizations trying to talk myself out of it. And I finally just go like hey look Michael, you know, you're doing this thing. So like hang it up.
Michael [00:36:11] Upright and then I found myself making poor decisions in those couple weeks up to leading up to it and and injuring myself. Like I knew I shouldn't have gone out and played indoor soccer the Wednesday before and I go out there and I pull a groin or I'm working in the backyard with my son and I jump Barefoot off a 6-foot wall on the concrete and Destroy both my feet because just making bad decisions to convince myself that I injured myself just being a guy.
Michael [00:36:40] Yeah. Make those decisions year round no doubt about it.
Laval [00:36:44] Yeah, that's subconscious thing. You got to keep an eye on that and you have to always question your theory of situation. Just something we use in aviation. So we always have to have situational awareness. So when you're when you're operating in aircraft and you're in Cloud, first of all, you've got no reference to anything. It's just like flying in a glass of milk and you have to always have what we call SA situational awareness. You
Laval [00:37:06] have to know exactly where you are three dimensionally where you are above the terrain where you are speed. A wise you have to control the velocity aircraft the deceleration of it you're trying to fly to fishing lie and you have to keep questioning your theory of where you are because you start to build a theory of where you are in the sky three-dimensionally and you use all your instruments use all your tools to always double check that and I think that's important that we do that.
Laval [00:37:33] You have to constantly re-evaluate where you think you are being in your life or in this example in an aircraft on the approach for example,
Michael [00:37:41] so since you took it to the aircraft and the flying metaphor the thing that made me think of it when you said 360-degree awareness, so in hindsight, I think the scariest flight I've ever been on was not a not a first-world fly. It was in in Nepal from jomsom to Pokhara and like this that if you've been on that one it, you know, it gets it gets cancelled.
Michael [00:38:02] Lee and there's only a short window based on the winds and and you fly through a canyon and there's cloud cover and you know plain zipping by you on the two-way street going the other direction. Yeah. That one was a bit
Laval [00:38:13] scary. Yeah, there's yeah Nepal is Infamous for four accidents for sure and Indonesia and places like that. I mean one time I was flying in an airline and Indonesia going deep into the jungle and I used my sort of my Airline cred to get in the jump seat so I can keep an eye on the guys. Yeah, because you're going into Is remote mountainous airport and I really did through clouds of cigarette smoke as they smoke the entire flight.
Laval [00:38:38] I kept an eye on them.
Michael [00:38:40] Brilliant. Well, I've had people ask you what's your favorite place in the world? And it's such a tough question. I mean Nepal is one of my favorite places surprisingly to me Paris is one of my favorite places. So let me ask you a little differently. What what makes a place or an adventure or somewhere you go special to you or stand out.
Laval [00:39:02] for you That's so tough. I mean a spectacular Mountain Vistas pretty hard to be but at the same time I've had, you know, great times in Oklahoma City and then Roswell New Mexico and then you know little Podunk towns all over the us or remote places in Canada, and those I think are because when I get to someplace I'm always excited to be there and I will do so Much research on that place so that I know exactly where I'm going to run what I want to see and then to make it even better.
Laval [00:39:39] It's when you travel I think you are you always emanate vulnerability. So in that way it's easier to meet people and to talk to people and some of the people I've met on these trips that have been have made even though in the worst place is spectacular and so I don't have one favorite place in the world. I've got some you know, and I've seen a lot of the world.
Laval [00:40:01] I've seen some pretty unbelievably spectacular places, but I don't have one favorite and its people always ask me that but there's not one. I just enjoy I am a real travel bug. I love Trump. I love seeing new things. And yeah, I mean running down the sin and Paris is spectacular, you know running the stairs directly across from from the Eiffel Tower and early in the morning when there's people skateboarding down there.
Laval [00:40:25] It's it's awesome. Some running the stairs and Katmandu up to the monkey temple early in the morning is like nothing else or sitting in a cafe in Portugal with my wife. It all depends. Like it's I don't have one favorite. You don't I don't I don't necessarily like Vegas, but I certainly like the area around Vegas the desert Death Valley Red Rocks incredible City.
Laval [00:40:52] No, thanks. But once again, it's it's all based on what you do and what you make of these. He's places.
Michael [00:40:58] Yeah, there you go, a friend of mine from Vancouver who lives in Vancouver would call call your approach playful curiosity. Yeah, I completely agree. I think my my take for myself for my answer is it's all about the people that make the experience and make the Alias
Laval [00:41:15] as long as you're with other people, but sometimes I'm
Michael [00:41:17] not well then hopefully you enjoy your own
Laval [00:41:21] company. Yeah sometimes yeah.
Michael [00:41:24] I know, you know, we don't have a ton of time left here. So Maybe hit a couple things quickly I mentioned early on I wanted to ask you about what your typical day looks like or you may not have a typical day but morning routine evening routine and in particular you travel like crazy, especially with your pilot's job and I had a lot of friends quite often travel for work.
Michael [00:41:46] So do you have it you have a good routine to try to keep things consistent, especially when you're on the road?
Laval [00:41:52] All right. I do something every day physically whether it's run ride work out of the gym. M or I do multiple things every day that's just not even a it's like brushing my teeth it's not even negotiable and I really try and eat healthy like I just really try and look after myself and I've heard people so many times say how difficult it is to stay healthy on the road. I
Laval [00:42:12] don't think it's difficult at all. I think it's far easier than when you're at home. I mean when you're at home, you boys got the refrigerator door right there to crank open when you're bored. When you're you're working on something and you put your clothes your laptop and walk over and have a bite to eat or you're watching something on TV. The between periods in the hockey game you go and grab something to eat. I mean, yeah, I don't buy that and I think that on the road is the best it's the best for that type of stuff because you're always in a new city.
Laval [00:42:38] You can explore it. There's a real impetus to get outside and see what this town is about our this place wherever you are and I just I just don't go anywhere without my gear. So whether I'm renting a bike in a city that I'm in whether I'm bringing a bike running gear workout gear, whatever. I think it's real simple, but at home home we watch my wife is very Fitness orientated.
Laval [00:43:02] So am I obviously and we know we're very careful what we eat. Not a lot of carbs at the same time though. Well, we love going out for beautiful dinner with friends and you'll see me sometimes eating some good sourdough and but I I cycle the work every day and no matter what the weather and then I work out at the gym and I think that's just so important as is doing something every day.
Laval [00:43:27] Made to move and I don't do any cardio indoors at all zero all my cardio is done outdoors. And you know, I've heard especially Americans Marvel at the fact that that even in the winter time, but you know, there's that old Scandinavian saying there's no bad weather just bad clothing. If you've got the right gear you can you know, if you got the right gear you can you can handle it.
Laval [00:43:51] So it's there's no excuse to not not stay active.
Michael [00:43:57] I like It yeah our friend Patrick Sweeney. He definitely chastised me a bit for having an indoor rowing machine don't like what's going on here. You live in Southern California. Get out. Get out there on the bay and another. Oh, well, all right. I just love your approach. It's incredible. What's next for you? What's next in terms of audacious goals of your of your charity Endeavors your speaking and make sure we know where people can find you and get in touch and keep track of what you're doing.
Laval [00:44:25] Yeah, so the next goals are Part kind of top-secret. I don't know. I'm going to let him out until it's all done and like figure it out and there and you know, one of them is in a hot spot in the world that's dangerous. So I don't want to let it out yet, but I'm working on it right now and I'll let you know for sure when it's what I've got it all put together, but I've got a couple I'm working on right now for sure and you know one major Expedition and then one very unusual Expedition and it all depends on what I can do is work with respect to Time off and that type of thing and and then convincing Janet.
Laval [00:45:00] But yeah, I've got a couple that are in the hopper. So to speak if people want to follow me or have me speak and you just go to my web sites just Laval Saint-Germain got cam lav, Al STG ERM AI n.com or at Laval Saint-Germain on Twitter or Instagram and they can reach out there.
Laval [00:45:22] But yeah, that's how you find me and keep an eye on what I'm doing.
Michael [00:45:26] Okay, perfect and I Make sure to put links to all that in the in the show notes for this episode. Hmm dangerous places wonder where you're going next could be could be like Washington DC that seems like one of the most dangerous place I
Laval [00:45:37] did. Yeah. This is the guy who skied in a rack. So
Michael [00:45:41] let's see, right. Yeah. I'm not sure where you go from there Relentless MV. I know you spoke there last year and Patrick highly recommended it. I'm really interested. I know we're not going to make it there this year because of a conflicting trip. But are you are you speaking or appearing there again?
Laval [00:45:57] Here. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah unless I'm on a trip but one of my trips make inflictor that but you know, I can't recommend that enough like I didn't know anything about it because it was the first year this year and it was an absolute mind-blowing event. So if anybody has the ability to go and go to the Relentless MV website and get a ticket, it's in Martha's Vineyard at a beautiful in you've got all kinds of interesting.
Laval [00:46:27] I think speakers from weirdos like me to more leaders like Patrick and it's it is just an unbelievable good time and very value-added. I can't say enough about it. My wife and I were completely blown away. I think even if I'm on an expedition is spring and she goes that are she'll go up without me for sure.
Michael [00:46:50] Yeah Patrick highly recommended. I think we might have been talking about so Patrick and I have another in comedy Mark Divine San Diego guy who's next Navy SEAL and he runs that seal fit boot camp that yeah scared my socks off back in July 12 hours overnight, but he's got a 24 hour version and a 50 hour version and then you know, I think I may I may jump back in again this year for for another round of abuse and I'd commented to Patrick, you know, that's just, you know, there's a learning experience there, but it's not the type that my wife is going to sign up for and he said yeah, you know Relentless Envy incredible event.
Michael [00:47:27] We'll set of personalities and at night you can kick back in Martha's Vineyard and your wife can have a glass of wine. Yeah, it's
Laval [00:47:34] probably the way to go. I can't even I can't tell you how crazy good that was in John Kane is wife can't put this event on and it's well worth it. It's it's something else you get to meet some super interesting people very intimate. There's probably about a hundred fifty people there and it's it's in a spectacular location.
Laval [00:47:54] So check it over let my sanity.
Michael [00:47:57] All right. Going to take another look at that and double check our travel schedule. See if we can make it work. Yeah. Well, thank you for that and LaValle sharing your story some of the incredible stuff. You've been through the ups and downs and really look forward to keeping an eye on what's next and following along with with your adventures
Laval [00:48:12] and right back at you Michael. I'm I'll be following along with you and seeing how you're doing and good luck to your boy. And I really enjoyed speaking with you down in freezing-cold San
Michael [00:48:21] Diego. Yeah, if you ever down this way, you know, bring your mitts and your parka. We'll go out and do
Laval [00:48:28] something actually what we call you guys call it an IT. Ski hat, I believe we call it a toque. Let's bring my tooth. That's a Canadian word. And that's that knit. I think you guys call it an IT. Ski hat or beanie. There's a Canadian term you've learned today at toque.
Michael [00:48:43] All right, sounds good. Well, we learn something everyday, I'll file that one away. And yeah, hopefully we'll cross paths somewhere around the world soon. I really enjoyed it. Thank you Lavelle. Thanks Michael. Well great Insight really super guy. I mean I'm humbled and really really pleased and thankful that live all took some time to come on with us. Yeah, as you heard he was literally sitting there in his Pilot's uniform ready to read to take off and any deals not only with a hectic professional.
Michael [00:49:10] The pilot but weather and things like that here in the in the in the winter months going into Canada. So again, thank you Laval really appreciate the insight and the time you spent here with the audience today and for myself and if others are interested in Relentless MV, I certainly hope that that's a place where we'll get to hear more from Laval and and get to know him better.
Michael [00:49:31] I failed to mention here at the beginning of the episode John Cain who is the founder and owner of Relentless MV has set up a group discount. Aunt for the man of Mastery audience so we've got quite a nice discount opportunity for that event for anybody who might be interested. Okay, and I'll just wrap up today with a couple reminders.
Michael [00:49:52] If you would please follow us on Instagram Facebook at the man of Mastery. We've got some interesting stuff going on there on a pretty much daily intraday basis Facebook. There's a there's a private group for guys over there which is going to have some exclusive stuff sneak previews of podcast. Suds and some other hints challenges things like that and then the things I mentioned in today's episode Relentless MV access to that discount code or to follow Laval Saint-Germain and know more about his adventures and then I even mentioned that the seven-day challenge all of that you can find in the show notes for today's episode.
Michael [00:50:30] Again. That's at man of Mastery.com / 0 3 0 and lastly again. Thank you for the support so much on. The podcast if you haven't already, would you please take a couple minutes just to go out to wherever you listen to the podcast Apple podcast iTunes so forth and just give it a rating give it a review.
Michael [00:50:52] It really helps the the the engine the search engine the rankings engine to spread the word get it out in front of other people and help help build the audience. So again, thank you so much. Have a great week. We'll see you back here next week for episode 31 Thanksgiving on gratitude.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.