Travis Brewer Ninja Warrior on Movement & Play

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Katie: Hi, and welcome to “The Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com, and I’m so excited to finally be able to share this episode with you. I am here with Travis Brewer or just “ninja” as we called him on my trip to Finland with Four Sigmatic earlier this year. Travis is a fitness ninja, an entrepreneur, who is on a mission to spread positive energy through movement. His dedication to movement has led him to become a finalist on the hit TV show, “American Ninja Warrior” on NBC, where my kids were familiar with him, to perform on the TV show, “Shark Tank” on ABC, as well as on the World Calisthenics Championship Battle of the Bars.

He’s certified as an instructor in animal flow, Acroyoga, and was requested as a featured parkour instructor on “The Tim Ferriss Experiment” by Tim himself. As I mentioned, I met him in Finland, where he did handstands and backflips on pretty much everything from sleds, to towers, to bridges. And in this episode, he talks about the benefits of movement for mind and body, the importance of gratitude in daily life, how to encourage kids and adults to move and play, and shares a lot of his inspiring stories through the last couple of decades. I really loved this episode. I know you will, too. And it’s one you can definitely listen to with kids. So, without further ado, let’s join Travis. Travis, welcome to the podcast. Thanks for being here.

Travis: What’s up, Wellness Mama?

Katie: I am so excited to finally chat with you. We have tried to schedule this multiple times, and I can’t wait to share you with all of my listeners. And you’re just so fun to talk to. We met in Finland, like I mentioned in the intro, and became fast friends. And I think there’s so much fun that we’re gonna talk about today, but I’m just so grateful you’re here.

Travis: I’m so great to be here as well. Meeting you on that magical trip to Finland was such a magical experience. And it’s been really great to know that our friendship is gonna continue, not only just over the last couple of months this year, but for years to come because you honestly were a life-changing memory and experience that I met, and it’s so awesome. There’s no doubt in what you’ve built so far and so many people that you inspire. It’s really, really magical, and I’m really excited to share with the people who follow me on my journey as well to know more about you. You really just need to reach as many people in the world. So, thank you for being you.

Katie: Thank you. I feel the exact same way about you and so grateful for our friendship. And people may know you, as I mentioned, because of “American Ninja Warrior,” and all the many things you’ve done, but I think that’s a fun place to start. So, can you start with a story of how you became a ninja?

Travis: Yeah, absolutely. So, as a little kid, I just always did love just, you know, climbing, jumping, swinging, doing all of the things. My mom said she found me on the roof as soon as I could start crawling. And so, instead of scolding that desire, she enhanced it by putting me in gymnastics. And so, I did gymnastics as a little kid and started doing, like, team competition because the gymnastics coach at the time was like, “Wow. This guy is a natural talent.”

So, I did gymnastics competition and was actually ranked regionally, and started competing for nationals, but realized that that wasn’t… My full passion was just going all-in on just gymnastics. I really wanna play a variety of sports. Growing up in Houston, Texas football was a big deal. So, in high school, I switched and did football, soccer, lacrosse, the track, ended up actually being on, like, a state champion soccer team, club team.

And then all I wanna do is play sports. But going into college, I ended up blowing out my knee. And over three years, I was rehabbing my knee. I tore my ACL, LCL, PCL, and all the nerves in my knee and didn’t know really…the doctor, at one point, said, “You may or may not be able to walk again.” It was really devastating, so I had to choose a different path on life.

I ended up doing the fraternity thing, that wasn’t it, and got a job in commercial real estate afterwards, and worked in real estate for a number of years and realized, “Hey, this is really I don’t think my true calling in life.” So, luckily the market crashed in, like, 2008, 2009 and gave me an opportunity to reevaluate what my passion, and my calling, and happiness. I’d saved up some money and had a little bit of a nest egg to explore. And at the end of the day, it was movement and in helping others.

And so, through a movement and meditation practice, I realized that I really wanna just inspire people through movement. And so, I was like, “I’ll start an apparel company called the Positive Impact Movement that gives back and makes a positive impact.” And so, I started designing these clothes and just kind of working out. And basically, I started going to the local gyms in Los Angeles. There was a parkour gym that had just opened up, and I was training there.

And I would basically just emulate, go monkey see, monkey do with the best person I saw at the gym. And one day, there was this guy who was there and he’s like, “Hey, do you know who that guy you’re kind of following around doing monkey tricks with?” “I don’t know.” “Well, that’s Justin McGrath, the second farthest “American Ninja Warrior” ever.” And I’m like, “What’s “American Ninja Warrior?” They’re like, “Dude, it’s this TV show.

It’s on this, like, small little channel called “G4,” but it’s an awesome show. You’d be great at it.” And I was like, “Okay.” “And they’re filming here in Venice this weekend, you should check it out.” I lived in Venice, so I went and checked it out. And he was able to get me on as a walk-on, and I ended up… Last second opportunity, didn’t know it was gonna happen. He kind of squeezed me in after everyone had kind of qualified.

They kind of let a couple, like, lemmings run at the end and just to test this one obstacle that had kind of broken, and they were trying to fix it. And I beat this broken obstacle, and beat the course enough to qualify for, like, the semi-finals. And they were like, they’d already set their top 30, and they didn’t think anyone else would qualify. And so, I made it to the next round, and they were like, “Wow. This guy’s pretty good.” And that was eight years ago. And I’ve been kind of involved with the show ever since, and it was just truly a life-changing experience.

Katie: That’s amazing. So, my kids are also very much interested in that type of movement and climbing everything, jumping off everything. For anyone who’s not familiar, can you explain what parkour is?

Travis: Yeah. So parkour is basically the…it’s probably most fascinating. Like, the people who do the roof jumps or climb up walls and jump from one bar to another or swing. Basically, Parkour is the element of getting from point A to point B as efficiently as possible. That could involve flips, or that could involve jumps, or twists, or rolls. And so, it’s basically the art of just being able to move as fluidly as possible.

And then also, a lot of people are throwing more tricks into it, so they’re learning how to do, like, flip twists, double flips, etc. And so, it’s really cool. If you have you never seen it, just google parkour and the most amazing videos will pop up. There’s a really cool guy named Pasha the Boss or Jesse La Flair. They do some really awesome stuff.

Katie: Did you have stage fright? Like, just jumping into something that fast with, like, almost no time for mental preparation?

Travis: Oh yeah, absolutely. The first time I did “Ninja Warrior,” again, I didn’t think I was gonna get on the show. They’d run everyone the first day, but the last 10 people couldn’t run because this obstacle broke. So they ran the last 10 people the next day, supposedly on the semi-final day. And then, so they needed basically some test people to kind of just make it run and then run those last official people. And so, after those people had run, they let just one or two people go.

And I had no preparation. No, actually, like… There was maybe, like, 100 people who they could have chose from, and I kind of got randomly selected, and I had to just go immediately. And so, I basically made the top 30, but they do a reverse order. So, I just squeezed in. So, literally, they were behind schedule. So I ran, I made it, and qualified, and then I immediately had to run again. And so, I was just, like, literally catching my breath, and I had to run again. So, there was no real opportunity to even prepare if I wanted to. I was just like, “Oh my gosh, just go.” It was that, I wanna say fight or flight mode, where you’re just like, “Ah, just go,” and you have to just…this is how you’re gonna react in a certain situation.

And I think it’s really great for any human to kind of get prepared for those type of moments in any kind of competition or any kind of, like, experience where, you know, you have to react, not on just mental preparation, but just on physical ability or just reaction time because, you know, it’s hard to prepare for that unless you put yourself in those situations. But it really gets to know who you are, you know, and a scary, or life or death situation, or just an obstacle, you know, that you need to overcome, this is how you’re gonna react in certain situations.

Katie: That makes sense. And it kind of goes along with something I’ve heard you mention in passing and also read about that you’ve written about, which is your warrior philosophy. So, can you explain what that is?

Travis: Yeah, absolutely. In the world of philosophy, it’s just, you know, how to live, essentially like a peaceful warrior. So, it’s living with the utmost integrity of promoting peace but also, like, you’re aware who can kind of step in. So it’s not really looking for the fight but looking for fighting for the right to be your best or to be the best around you. So, it’s an opportunity to be a better version of yourself. You’re fighting against yourself to be better every day. And so, using that mentality of your mind, body, and spirit, that each one is a level that you can level up every day is kind of the game. And it’s just trying to reset your foundation of your bottom line or raise your ceiling every day that you can step up to the next level.

Katie: I love that. And another thing that I really picked up on from you in Finland and have incorporated in my own life since then, and that you talk about so much is the importance of play. And I know this is a big passion for you, and it’s something, I think, kids naturally do so wonderfully until we train it out of them. And you do so much work to, not only keep kids moving and in touch with their bodies, and learning through movement, but also to get adults to go back and learn how to play. So, let’s talk about some of the ways that you do that in the world and some ways that we as parents can encourage our kids to keep that going.

Travis: Yeah, absolutely. The art of play is so necessary. I think we’re just humans, in general, and humans can be any age. So, the element of play really, I think, invokes, not only fun but creativity. And playing outdoors can really help reconnect you to your mind and body, which I think connects you to your spirit as well. So, the ability just to play is something that I’ve found passion in and wanna spread throughout the world.

Like, majority of my workouts are play-based, in the sense that you can gamify almost any kind of workout. You know, I have all the respect in the world for the people who go to the gym and just like get angry or get mad and, you know, kill themselves for, like, an hour. But my philosophy is, you know, you can have fun with what you’re doing at the same time. And so, adding elements, you know, adding tricks, or human connection can really be amazing.

I’ve really been fascinated with Acroyoga, which is a partner-based yoga, an acrobatic practice, where you can get people to literally just, you know, stand on your feet. People can stand in your hands. You can do, like, push-ups on top of each other, that kind of stuff. So, it’s really an adult-based play, and yoga, and acrobatic training experience. I’ve also been doing a lot of calisthenics, which is basically being able to move your weight efficiently and effectively as possible. So, you’re not really weight-training, it’s your pull-ups, it’s your push-ups, it’s your jumps, and then gamifying that.

So that’s why I think “Ninja Warrior” comes in so handy is basically you need to overcome obstacles. And we always have obstacles in life. That’s why I think Ninja Warrior is so great is because you basically have a very difficult obstacle. You know, 99.9% of us all fail eventually on the show. So, once you fail, how do you react from failure? How do you train to get better? How do you approach a very difficult situation, really, encompasses who you are as a person.

You know, even in entrepreneurship, you know, in running a business, there’s failures every day. In our relationships, in running a family, you know, there’s gonna be things that don’t happen as you want them to. But learning how to react to those situations and take a different approach is really, like, a true key to life that we can never stop learning or can never be too good at. And that’s why I think, like, obstacle course training is so great. It’s like set a very difficult goal and learn how to be better at failing forward.

Katie: I love that so much. And it reminds me of some of my favorite quotes, one from Marcus Aurelius, that “The impediment to the way becomes the way,” or like, as Ryan Holliday puts it, “The obstacle is the way.” I mean, that’s very literally true in an obstacle course. You have to get through the obstacle to get to the end. But it’s such a metaphor for, like you said, everything about life. One of our family motto is “You were made to do hard things.”

And our kids here say that all the time. And it’s gotten me in trouble a couple of times when they’re like gone cliff jumping or things like that, and they’re like, “Come on, mom.” And I’m like, “No, no, I’m good.” And they’re like, “Mom, you were made to do hard things,” and I had to do it. But I think there’s also a really important element to play that a lot of this generation has lost, which is, it’s really important for, like, vestibular development and for basic psychological development for the kids to be upside down, and to have falls, and to learn their own boundaries, and to learn risk assessment.

And a lot of kids don’t get to adulthood having learned that. I know that’s a deficiency I feel like I’ve had and I’ve, thanks to you, been learning things like handstands, and pull-ups, and just things that get me out of my comfort zone, but I feel like play is a really fun way to actually build on so many important skills. And it’s one that a lot of parents maybe don’t prioritize in a world where academics are more forward-facing. So, what are some ways that parents can start incorporating these fun elements of play and obstacles with family, and even for adults?

Travis: Yeah, absolutely. Again, one of the parts I touched on is, like, what you say with play. Like, what I love to teach in people is not just to work out, but essentially, you know, how to get upside down and how to fall efficiently really is the foundation for learning how to play. And, you know, every adult should know how to have that foundation. And ways that we can, as a family, or interacts in a playful way, again, one of the places I touched on was Acroyoga.

Acroyoga.org, or if you google Acroyoga, or Acropedia, there’s a bunch of different, like, ways to get into these different types of playful experiences. Or if you look on the Facebook groups, there’s probably an Acroyoga group somewhere in your neighborhood. There’s a bunch of people who teach all over the world. It’s really awesome. And that is an all-ages, all-skill level experience where you’re learning how to counterbalance or, you know, push and pull, and jump, and play together. So that’s a really great one. There are also a growing number of ninja gyms and parkour gyms all across the world, and I totally suggest looking into one of those.

There’s a bunch of National Ninja League as another ninja league that’s in different gyms across the country. I’m a big advocate of… If you wanna do obstacle course training, check out a ninja gym or check out these ninja leagues. Those are super cool. And those are literally all age groups. Those are from six or seven years old all the way up to 70-year olds. On Ninja Warrior, there are 70-year olds who are doing this stuff. It’s pretty incredible. It’s just a great way to play, train, hang, swing, move. Like movement as a practice, movement is medicine. Even to walk around the block, how to roll, how to connect with your family through the art of movement, is super important. And I think that stimulates us as humans to be better. With the start of my apparel company, it’s inviting people to move.

Yeah, basically, the art of movement is so important for humans, and I think that moving is something that all humans should put focus more into their life. You know, people may or may not be turned on by working out, but I think just even a movement practice is something that’s so inviting and a playful movement practice on top of that.

Katie: I love that. And I have also tried Acroyoga at your recommendation since Finland. And especially, like, there are so many elements of it, but the one where I got completely picked up off the ground and I was, like, balancing on top of someone’s feet, the first 12 seconds, I was like, “No, no, I don’t do this. I have trust issues. I don’t get off the ground like this.” But it was amazing. After I let go of that, I was almost in, like, a flow-type state.

And it was really, like, an amazing experience, and I would do it again in a heartbeat. But yeah, one of those fun things I don’t think most people would really ever thought to try and they’re available everywhere now. I also wanna switch gears and talk a little bit more about Pi Movement and where the name comes from. Because in Finland, we found out that you and I have another commonality, which is that we’re both nerds and we’re both Mensa. And I love Pi because of the math tie-in. So, can you explain where the name, where that came from?

Travis: Yeah, thank you. You know, just kind of diving deeper into, you know, what is my purpose in life? You know, after I’d lost my job in real estate, I really put a huge focus on looking internally. And so, I started a meditation practice. And really, there’s a book called “Autobiography of a Yogi,” written by Yogananda, and this was a book that Steve Jobs had recommended people read on his deathbed and gave to his funeral.

And so, I said, “Man, if Steve Jobs found this book important, maybe I should check it out.” So, in reading that book, it’s this Yogi who came to America and basically was teaching this self-actualization and self-realization practice. And it’s basically looking within what is your purpose in life? How do you share that with others? And since I was, you know, a couple of months old, I loved just climbing, and playing, and moving, and that’s what I wanted to share.

And, in that spiritual practice, I was like, “How can I share this to the world without getting too, let’s call it, hippy-dippy, too California out here, for the rest of the world?” So, what spirit meant to me or what the universe meant to me is something that’s, you know, ever-changing, always growing. And so, I use the analogy of Pi, Pi being that, you know, never-ending number, a symbol that people can recognize all over the world.

And using the initials of Pi, I wanted to spread, you know, a positive energy and using the I as the internal energy that we have within and spreading that positive energy to people all over the world or using the analogy, again, of Pi as in positive impact. How do we make a positive impact through movement throughout the world? So the brand is Pi Movement, and we are spreading positive energy and making a positive impact through the art of movement.

And specifically, we design Activewear. It’s made in America, and we are using either organic or recycled materials in a lot of the stuff that we do to give back and respect the planet. And also, to give back to people, we donate or set aside 3.14% to our nonprofit. And our nonprofit will go and build more movement parks all over the world. A big life-changing experience, for me, is when I found the original Muscle Beach, and the Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, in Venice, California, and just that culture of fitness play acrobatics outdoors and the community that it brings people together, and the respect it has, not only for the land but also coming together and playing.

That really has changed my life and is a focal point for what I do. And I was like, “I would love to see more of this around the world.” So we set aside…we actually went to Jamaica and built a ninja playground, movement playground out in Jamaica. We are finalizing a prototype to help get more of these outdoor movement parks to different places all over the world. And we really just want to have a mission, and a brand, and a community of people who are like-minded, who just want to move and live with a positive psychology mindset and that just love to play. You know, just being playful in movement is really just the ethos of the brand.

And we’re really grateful to see that a lot of the top “American Ninja Warrior” competitors have been wearing them on the show for the last couple of years, from kids to adult. Drew Drechsel just won “American Ninja Warrior.” Congrats, Drew. He was only the second person ever to complete the full stage four of “American Ninja Warrior.” We actually just did a pant collaboration. You can go check it out. He has his real-life ninja logo on there. And, you know, he’s such a big advocate for the sport and, you know, recognized worldwide as someone who’s just really taken the art of, you know, Ninja Warrior and made a successful life out of it.

And it’s really cool that we are in this age of social media, Instagram, YouTube, where you really can do what you want. Like, when I graduated college, those options were not available. And luckily, it didn’t stop me from continuing to do what I wanna do and continue to follow that dream or listening to my inner guide of, “This is what my passion is.” It’s been really beautiful to see social media has been able to help enhance and connect a community like that all over the world, and we’re able to share and connect other people. And it’s so beautiful to see people, now more than ever, being able to just follow whatever they’re calling is in life and really find community around it.

Katie: I love that you brought up Muscle Beach because we got a chance to visit there earlier this year with our kids, actually, and they thought it was the best playground they had ever seen in their entire lives. And I think things like those kind of movement parks, like you’ve mentioned several times, they are the antidote to so many problems in society in several ways. Like, we all know most people aren’t moving enough and we’re too sedentary. And instead of working out, that makes it literally just play, which I think is a huge step toward making people more likely to do it.

But you also said one of my favorite things, which is that it’s a community there. And I think that is also a real antidote to so many problems that we’re seeing in our world is there’s a lack of real community with real people. Like, there’s tons of online communities but there’s that lack of real human interaction, real human connection, and real human touch, which is another great thing about these movement communities, and play, and Acroyoga, is that you’re interacting with other people.

So, you guys have an incredible community that you’ve built into this. Do you have any tips for people fostering that in their own areas? Because that’s something I’ve now also found in my area, but it took work and it took kind of building. So, are there any tips you have for people who are trying to foster that in their own lives?

Travis: Yeah, with that, the one great thing about online communities are there are really great ways to use online communities to also meet up in person, you know. I connect with some people on Instagram, for example, that are just, you know, loving either what I do or I find inspiring what they do. And so, when I travel and meet, it’s a great opportunity to share the art of play and what we’re doing. Like I said, also, there are ninja gems, literally, you know, in all 50 states now, and ninja warriors. And, you know, Germany, Australia, different parts, you know, like, Europe, Asia, like there’s competitions, and the show is all over the world.

You know, I’ve flown out internationally for different experiences, you know, in the Caribbean to Australia just to perform, or compete, or meet and greet. It’s out there if you start looking. And also, I guarantee you if you want to be, you know, the one who spearhead something in your neighborhood as well, I guarantee you that there’s, you know, people through meetup or different organizations who would really be interested in stuff like that. It’s really like the… It’s not a fringe underground thing anymore. There really is… You know, any major and small city across America has some sort of movement on Ninja Parkour, group meetup in their area now. It’s really awesome, or Acroyoga.

Katie: Yeah, for sure, Acroyoga. I think, you can even just Google that. I found it in my area, even. Let’s talk a little bit more about the importance of bodyweight exercise. You mentioned that you did a lot of that over, like, lifting weights. So, my questions would be, what are the benefits of bodyweight specific exercise, and is it safe for kids to do? I know that question is gonna come from parents who are listening. And I know I’ve heard, like, you know, kids should lift weights before too young of an age, but can they safely do movement involving their body weight at a young age?

Travis: Oh, totally. So, bodyweight training or calisthenics training is really, I think, a much safer way of training than weights. I almost strictly use bodyweight training. And why I think that’s so effective is it really is, like, you know, if I’m learning how much I can bench press or how many pushups I can do, push-ups are gonna be much more relevant to what I’m doing in a daily life. Working on your pull-ups, working on the ability to climb, working on the ability to swing, jump roll, makes so much more sense than how much I can deadlift or how much I can squat. Like, these things were designed, you know, for football, and like, you know, becoming a bigger, and faster, and stronger.

But, you know, not all of us are gonna be linemen in NFL. Like, you know, I think learning how to climb a rock-climbing wall is probably or climb a tree is gonna be much more, like, effective in your daily life than…unless you really are just trying to be a professional football player. So, I really think that it’s definitely a more effective way of training. And also, it lets you be more connected. I see a lot of people who specialize in weight training in their mobility. You know, Hunter Fitness can tell you all about specific training with that. That, like, you are super hyper-focused on one element of your body and that strength, and it really does not a holistic approach to moving your body. And so, I really think that calisthenics, yoga, and a playful practice is really what keeps us more effective as humans.

Katie: I definitely agree. And I will put a link to Hunter Fitness in the show notes as well because he’s another friend from Finland, who we both love.

This podcast is brought to you by Four Sigmatic… my source for superfood mushrooms. They make delicious mushroom infused coffees, teas and elixirs that I use daily. From their lower caffeine coffee and coffee packets infused with lions mane that I drink in the morning, to chaga and cordyceps for focus while I work and Reishi to wind down at night… these products are a regular part of my routine. Here’s a tip… I’ve found that for the best sleep, a packet of reishi with a splash of macadamia milk and a tiny sprinkle of salt and a drop of stevia helps me get more deep sleep and I’ve seen this consistently and measurably in my sleep tracking. As a listener of this podcast, you can save 15% by going to foursigmatic.com/wellnessmama and using the code “wellnessmama”

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Katie: I think also something I noticed in Finland and that I’ve noticed in watching “American Ninja Warrior” is that part of what makes it so fun and encouraging is that you are showing people what’s possible, and you’re inspiring them to try things that maybe they hadn’t considered that their body could do. And I think that there’s something really just amazing in the human experience when that happens.

It’s like the first time that, I believe, was Roger Bannister ran a sub-four-minute mile. No one thought they could do it. And then as soon as he did, so many more people did. And so, you guys doing these incredible things, even on TV or in your local communities, it shows kids that their bodies are able to do these things, and it’s really inspiring. I also know from Finland, there were so many stories that you would tell me, and I would be like, “No.” And you’d be like, “Here’s a picture.” So, I wanna go through some of your fun ones just for inspiration, if you don’t mind, starting with, what are probably the strangest places you have ever done a handstand?

Travis: Well, you got to see probably one of my most memorable handstands of all time, was when we were in Finland, we had the opportunity of seeing the Northern Lights, which, I mean, as you know, was one of the most amazing experiences I had ever seen in my life. You know, there’s no guarantee that we would get to see them, and we were really, you know, in that region for a couple of days. And, you know, I think our second night there, you know, we were able to see the lights. That was just crazy. And so, I was like, “We’re staying in an igloo, we’re watching the Northern Lights, I have to do a handstand on an igloo.”

So, getting able to, not only do a handstand on an igloo while Hunter Fitness is sitting on the igloo as well was still probably one of my most memorable ones of all time. Another one being, I had got a phone call, my buddy, Modern Tarzan is an awesome guy. You should also follow if you wanna be inspired by parkour, ninja, and Acroyoga. He’s a best friend of mine and Modern Tarzan on Instagram. And we get a phone call, and he’s like, “Hey, we’ve got these people from Turkey, from Istanbul, who wanna film a Toyota commercial, and they need some crazy, you know, ninjas and Acroyogi’s to come and do some cool parkour stuff.”

And they’ll fly us out there. But they have this trick, you know, they want us to do these cool tricks on the truck. You know, run up the truck, jump on it, flip off it, that kind of stuff. I’m like,” Yeah, we can do that.” And they’re like, “Can you handstand on a moving car?” And I’m like, “Yeah, we can handstand on a moving car.” Like, “Well, we have this stunt driver who can drive it up a ramp and get it on its side to wheels and balance the car. Do you think you could do a handstand on that?”

I’m like, “I don’t know if that’s possible.” And I tried to Google it. I had never seen anyone do this before, so I didn’t really have a visual, like, reference. There’s definitely not how-to video on how to do a handstand on a moving car on two wheels. And so, I was like, “Well, you know, I can check it out when I get there.” And so, after doing a couple of test runs, this guy was not very consistent at all, which did not help with the possibility of making this thing happen. But after a couple of days of testing, he got more consistent, and I got more comfortable with just being sideways in a car.

And long story short, we found the right window, and I build up the confidence to try this. And I did a handstand on the Toyota truck while it’s bouncing on two wheels. And you can also click the link, and you can see a link to that video. But I think I’d never seen any of us do that ever in the world, so might be one of the first people who ever done that. So, that was pretty memorable.

And then also the tallest building at the time in Los Angeles, on the edge of the Grand Canyon, and also, like, those have been memorable experiences but also just, like, get into handstands with people all over the world has been really amazing as well, you know, beautiful sunsets, beautiful buildings, etc., even just on, like, lifeguard towers and stuff. But just the ability to get upside down and know your limits and being able to create art is something I’ve been super passionate, where find, in a weird way, I find my Zen.

Katie: And if I’m remembering, there was also on an alligator? Did that happen?

Travis: Oh, yeah. The most dangerous has ever done. People ask me all the time, and, you know, like I said, I’ve done, you know, tall buildings and moving cars. But the most dangerous one ever, I was in Ghana, Africa, helping with generosity water, restore water to regions of the country that don’t have running water. And while we were there, we went to this place where they had an alligator farm. And they were these alligators that we were with.

And I was like, “Man, I really, really wanna do a handstand over an alligator,” which is quite dangerous because, you know, my head is really close to his head as well. But I was able to successfully do a handstand over an alligator and will probably never do that again. But that was probably the most dangerous handstand I’ve ever done just because there was not much…it was a partner-based movement. I had to trust my partner just as much as I can trust myself.

Katie: Wow, yeah, no. My most dangerous handstand ever is, like, against the wall in my bedroom where there’s no danger involved. So, that’s amazing. Like I said, there’s so many facets to your personality. You also, if I’m remembering correctly, have a couple of world records. So, you gotta tell that story as well.

Travis: Oh, yeah. So, I was doing an activation with this company called WORLDZ with a Z, and they bring together a lot of amazing leaders, and CMOs, and CEOs, etc. And I was teaching at this event. And after teaching the event, the next year, they’re like, “We want you to come back, but we try to break a world record every year. Do you think you could break a world record? We have Guinness World Records coming.” And I’m like, “Yeah, I think so.”

They’re like, “Basically, you have, like, two days to figure it out.” And I was like, “Oh, my gosh.” So, I started researching just handstand records, you know, CrossFit records, different types of gymnastics records that I thought were possible. And I really wanted to, you know, obviously break a record, but I also wanted to share the experience, you know, with a partner or friend. I was really trying to think of, like, a group one that could be done as well. So, I found one that was super unique. I found one, essentially, that involved balance in a plank position.

So, imagine you’re on these medicine BOSU balls, on the medicine balls that move around, right? So, you have four medicine balls. You have one on each hand, one on each foot. And then from there, you find your balance point, you get into a plank, and then you lift up one hand. So, then you’re in a plank, which is with one arm raised. So it’s a three-point plank, and then you’re also trying to balance yourself on the ball. And I was able to beat the world record. They had an adjudicator come down, and we videotaped it, and there was a huge crowd around, and was able to beat the world record by I think 20-something seconds, which is pretty crazy.

And then I found another world record, which was called a partner push-up. Now, imagine, like, you’re in the push-up position and then you have another partner who is 180 from you. So, basically, your feet are touching each other and your hands are out opposite of your feet. And then from there, you lift your feet up and you put them on each other’s back. So, you’re making literally, like, a human bridge, neither one of your feet are touching the ground.

They’re just on each other’s shoulder blades, more or less. And then from there, you do synchronized push-ups. And I think the world record was set by two professional crossfitters at the time, and I think the record was 27 or 28. And we were able to unofficially do 34. But then when they came back, they officially counted 31 of them, I think, to be official. So, we set a new world record doing partner push-ups with my friend Cesar Sosa, and he’s an awesome guy. You should definitely follow him on Instagram as well. He just changed his… Fit Like Sosa is his new Instagram, so check out Fit Like Sosa.

But we set that record as well. And so, yeah, that was unique and pretty crazy experience. And then you should definitely check out Ninja Natalie. She just set a world record as well for the rope climb at Muscle Beach. Ninja Natalie on Instagram is a dear friend, and she set a world record as well for the fastest, I think, short rope climb. And she is just an incredible human who’s just using the art of play and movement to inspire the world. So, yeah, it’s been pretty crazy to know that friends throughout the community are setting the standard of playfulness and strength at the same time.

Katie: I love that. And I wanted to make sure, toward the end, we change focus a little bit and talked about another thing that I’ve fully integrated in my life since Finland inspired by you, which is, little daily reminders of gratitude. And I think this also ties into Pi and 3.14. So, can you talk about gratitude in your daily life and your gratitude reminder?

Travis: Yeah, absolutely. You know, and just going deeper into, like, you know, the point of life, we always have good days and bad days. You know, no one’s life is perfect, but there is beauty in understanding the good in everything that we do. So, a gratitude practice is a great way to do that. And no matter how bad your day is, let’s say you’re sitting in traffic, or you’re sick, or it’s just not your day, but there’s always a lesson to be learned, or there’s always something great within that situation. So, instead of a daily reminder, what I’ve done is you pick a time that’s relevant for you.

For me, I use 3:14, which is, you know, the first three digits of Pi, and I have a daily reminder that goes off at that time. And whenever I’m doing invites and opportunity to just take a minute of gratitude. And so, you know, I could be literally in Finland with Wellness Mama, and Hunter Fitness, and Paleo Chef, having the time of my life. We just got done, you know, seeing some reindeer, and I’m really grateful for that, or I literally could just be, you know, sitting in traffic in LA and be, you know, like, “Why am I sitting in this traffic? But at least I’m in LA, at least I have a car, at least, you know, like, I’m able to be breathing. I’m able to move.” You know, like, there’s always an opportunity to take an opportunity to express gratitude.

And so, I think once you start that practice, it’s really awesome to see, you know, the universe or spirit kind of, like, maybe teach a lesson or point a person or an experience that you need to learn in that day at that time. And it’s been really awesome to just have that mindset and mentality, and I encourage everyone to just try it. Try it for a week and see how your life changes if you like it or not. And I tell pretty much anyone who’s around me, at that moment, when my alarm goes off at 3:14, and I’m grateful to say that people have also adopted that practice.

And these people live in different time zones all over the world, so I often will get a message, you know, at 5:14, 7:14, you know, like 11:14 from friends across the world be like, “Hey, I’m just thinking of you. I’m really grateful for you, or I’m really grateful for this experience.” So, pick a time that’s relevant for you. It could be 11:11, it could be, you know, 7:11, it doesn’t really matter, but just pick a date and time that’s relevant for you and start a gratitude practice. And, I think it’ll bring joy into your life.

Katie: Yeah, I love it. It’s a fun reminder. And, like, you know, that if it goes off and I’m in a group somewhere else, I will ask everybody else what they’re grateful for as well. And it’s fun to kind of, like, shake people up at first, like what? But just the entire focus and the energy of the group to everybody just be grateful for a second, it’s amazing.

Travis: Yeah, it’s also a good excuse for whatever your alarm goes off. You can shift it to them.

Katie: And for families, like another thing we do is, at dinner timer, because we try to make family dinner a priority, we’ll ask the kids what they’re grateful for as well, which is, you know, for anybody’s who has kids, that’s a good time to check-in and make it part of your daily routine that way.

Travis: Oh, yeah. I was gonna say, you know, with my partner, Little Beast Mode on Instagram, she is a wonderful soul. We teach Acroyoga, and movement, and play together, but she had the idea of starting a practice of doing three things you’re grateful for before you go to bed every night. And so, that’s been a really enjoyable practice as well that I love sharing that way to do it. You know, either start your day or end your day with that practice as well.

Katie: I love that too. And, as we get close to the end of our time, a couple of questions that I love to wrap up with. The first being, if there is a book or a number of books that have really impacted your life, if so, what they are and why?

Travis: Yeah. “Autobiography of a Yogi” is one book that really transformed my life. Also, how to get into flow states or just flow research, in general. So, Steve Kotler and Jamie Wheal are two inspirations in my life, and they wrote a book called “Stealing Fire,” which I definitely recommend. It’s a great book. I had the opportunity to work with Tim Ferriss, and knowing him, and working on his TV show, “The Tim Ferriss Experiment,” and also the books that he wrote, I can definitely attest to him being an amazing person. And he really thoroughly researches everything that he does.

So, anything by Tim Ferriss is really awesome. And then there was a book called “Conversations with God,” which I think was a beautiful, like, a spiritual and death book, getting to know who you are better. And then “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” by Deepak Chopra. Again, another amazing human. And it’s crazy how the world works. I’ve been reading this guy’s books for years.

And then one day, someone on his team found out what I do on social media, just sharing what I love, and they asked me to be a part of his app called Jiyo, which is a mindful, curated community group online, which I definitely recommend looking at Jiyo, and got to meet him, and was even asked to be a human hologram on stage with him speaking on the art of mindfulness one time.

And it’s really crazy to, not only just be reading his books and everything, and I get to meet him to actually meeting him and him living up to every expectation of being such a wonderful advocate to mindfulness and the research of living a happy spiritual life. He’s awesome as well. So, those are the people that really inspire me, and I really think they’re doing great stuff in the world in the books that they write as well.

Katie: Such great recommendations, and I’m with you on all those. Tim Ferriss’s “4-Hour Workweek”, I think, changed the trajectory of my adult life and led to “Wellness Mama.” So, very grateful for him. And yeah, Stephen and Jamie’s, “Stealing Fire” is a fascinating read. I’ll make sure I’ll link to all the books that you mentioned in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. So, if you guys are exercising or driving, don’t worry about writing them down. Just head over to the show notes. And Travis, lastly, any parting advice you wanna leave with listeners today, and where can they find you to stay in touch?

Travis: Yeah, honestly, my parting advice, make a positive impact in your movement and anything that you do. In general, movement can be anything that you love. I mean, it literally can just be walking the dog. It can be running a marathon. It really doesn’t matter what it is, but find a movement practice and get outdoors and connect with other humans or connect with yourself, is truly an obstacle and an opportunity that will never get old.

It’s something that will always find benefit in what you do. You can never be too good at that, and understand that there are always gonna be obstacles in life. So, it’s how you approach the obstacle before, during, and after is really the skillset that, you know, you need to learn as a human or as a ninja, whatever you wanna call yourself. And, you know, don’t take yourself too seriously. Learn how to play and you will find joy in all the things that you do.

You can find me at travisbrewer.ninja is my website, as well as travisbrewer.ninja is my Instagram. And those are probably the easiest ways to get in touch with me. And thank you for anyone who continues to follow my journey. We will be continuing to promote a lot of the movement that we do. And the website for my apparel company is pimovement.com or pimovement.ninja. And, we’ll do a special discount code for all the listeners here as well because we really wanna say thank you to everyone that is following the Wellness Mama because she really does know some of the best things in the world and we just wanna share that health and wellness to you guys. So, thank you, so much.

Katie: Thanks so much, Travis. I’ll make sure the link and the discount code are in the show notes. My kids and I both love the ninja pants, actually my husband too. The whole family wears them. They’re so comfortable. My kids just wish they made them in, like, size three-year-olds, but we all love it. I’ll make sure the links are there. You guys can check them out. They’re truly probably the most comfortable pants in the entire world. And Travis, I love you for being here. I really appreciate all that you’re doing to inspire kids and adults to move in the world and to share gratitude, and I’m so grateful that you shared time with us today.

Travis: Well, thank you so much Wellness Mama. You truly are such an amazing, amazing soul. You know, I consider you my spiritual mama. You’re so great in everything that you do, and I really am excited to continue to be friends and work together for as long as I’m playing around on this planet. So, thank you.

Katie: Thank you. And, in that spirit of gratitude, thank all of you for listening and sharing your most valuable asset, your time, with us today. We’re so grateful that you were here. and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of “The Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.