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I've been at a loss of words, but not at a loss of thoughts and memories when I learned that my. Grandmother passed away several days ago. I thought I would try to use this microphone. Use this. Podcast to try to find the words to honor the woman who's responsible for much of who I am. Who taught me? So we might be to say, but taught me how to be a man. Taught me about strength, about wisdom.


About compassion, love. That I could do anything that I set my mind to in this world, that anything was possible. And that I of all people can do it. And not to let the world tell me otherwise. She passed away in Moscow, Russia. She was 91 years old. Soon to be 92. If you're listening to this may be the first words I can say is. At any moment, life can end. So tell your friends.


Tell your family your loved ones. They you love them. So I tried to write the words, I couldn't have some disparate notes, but I decided to just speak about some lessons that she taught me and I hope that is useful. Some of you. To anyone who might be listening, the first lesson is to be mentally strong, never to complain, and her life was one heck of a life to test that lesson. She was born and raised near Harkov, which is a Ukrainian city close to Russia in her childhood.


She lived through and survived, called Amoy, which is a famine in the early thirties.


Nineteen thirty, 1932, nineteen thirty three that Stalin.


Had inflicted on his own people or millions of people have died. One of the great atrocities of the 20th century. Just to give you some context, the famine that we're talking about led to cannibalism. One historian has written that. The good people died first, the people who gave food to others, the people who refused to participate in cannibalism, the people who gave everything they have to their children for the survival of their children and therefore died before their children did.


I'll leave it at that. My grandma survived it and as a teenager, she lived through and survived World War Two. Imagine a young teenage girl, a beautiful young woman in fascist occupied city. She rarely spoke of those times, but there were stories of no food, desperation and tragedy, and once again, I'll just leave it at that. My grandmother survived. And her eyes always remain this. Glimmer of hope amidst the suffering. It's a glimmer that I've seen in the eyes of others that I've met in my life.


And it is always inspiring to see that triumph. That triumph over tragedy. And there's something that kind of experience does to the human heart, it hardens it, it protects it from the outside world, but it also softens it. To allow a deep connection with other human beings. And maybe you've seen that I've done a few things with David Goggins. I'm drawn to that kind of mindset. In him, I see my grandmother, the toughest human being I've ever known.


The second lesson she taught me was physical strength, there is all kinds of images throughout my childhood of my grandmother doing incredible feats of manual labor, carrying logs, just carrying heavy things without complaining, just getting the job done. I was a huge fan in Russia. There's something called bucatini bogarted, I guess, similar to America. That would be America doesn't have centuries of history to where you can go to the period of Knights or Vikings.


So in America, I guess for a little kid that would be like a G.I. Joe.


But in Russia that was placatory were kind of like the Knights or maybe the Vikings, the warriors of ancient history. And I've always loved the the stoicism, the power, the fearlessness of the stories told about bigotry. I mean, there's a little kid. That's all I wanted to be is one of those guys. And I remember at a certain point in my childhood, I can't quite place exactly the time. But I remember realizing, looking at my grandmother, that women could be those warriors as well.


You know, my little boy's brain and whatever toys we had at play with, and I always imagine that, you know, bigotry were boys, men going off to war. And when they return as victors home, they'd be celebrated by the women, the children of their family. But my grandmother made me realize that women could be boogity to. But more than that, she was this figure in my life that planted that Eastern European seed of admiring strength and physical power and just toughness in a very basic sense that's required to carry heavy things and to fight.


I think if I were to really psychoanalyze myself at that early age is when I fell in love with martial arts, the whole concept of martial combat before I ever, ever practiced anything like it, the kind of sports I played as a kid with soccer and tennis and swimming, all that kind of stuff were very far away from martial combat. But she planted the seed that when I first stepped on the wrestling mat, it felt like home. And even for the first couple of years when I really had my ass handed to me on the map, the fire that got me to train harder to work harder as my grandmother.


The third lesson is to think deeply. To be quiet and think until you know the situation, you know the right thing to say. And the right thing to say is the one that internalizes, considers and thinks to the big picture of the situation.


So the emotion you feel, especially when you're young, about a particular situation, the desire to be sort of a crybaby about things, about me, me, me, about being upset about this situation or that situation. There was something about the way she was quiet and the way she looked over the world and the moments when she spoke or words of wisdom, of calm and patience. That was so inspiring to a mind that was impatient, she helped me understand that the immediate emotional response to particular situations, the ups and downs of how you feel, influenced the perception, cognition of how everything is interpreted and taking your time thinking.


Being quiet. And speaking when you have something to say is the kind of man I should be. Fourth lesson she taught me was to believe in myself.


She made me believe that I, the most special person in the world and that I can achieve anything, and then she would tell me that since I was a little baby until I was a big baby and.


Her excitement about the little successes in my life. Really made me fall in love with the successes of others, she inspired me to enjoy the success of others, to believe in the people around me, to encourage them to dream big, to work hard, to accomplish anything, because she did that for me. And, you know. It's heartbreaking to think that very few people in my life believed in me. I was always a dreamer, I reached for the stars and most people, even people who love me, gave me what they thought was wise advice to stick to the safe path to to be reasonable to.


Find stability, comfort. All those kinds of things that seem wise. In the grand scheme of life. To be normal. And she didn't. She told me to go big, the dream big. And that I could accomplish anything I wanted to. Everyone is different, and I'm not a parent, and I think that kind of over-the-top encouragement can perhaps spoil some people or give them a false sense of ego. But for somebody like me who was genetically full of self-doubt.


And forgive me for saying even. Disliking myself. She was a breath of fresh air. And so whatever dream I have now, that still stays with me. Is the fire she kindled is the fire she kept going and a fire that will never die because of her. Over the past several years, this has been many days that I'm grinding to a halt or self-doubt. I feel that in all kinds of ways, I'm a fraud. For daring to dream to go outside of.


What I'm supposed to do, what other people much smarter than me are telling me I'm supposed to do. In those moments when I say I listen to my heart, I listen to my gut. I really listen. To the thing that my grandmother left me. It's it's that fire the belief in myself that I can do anything that that the dreams I have are not just silly dreams. Their visions of a future that I can create. If I work hard.


I can create. And finally, the fifth lesson she taught me through words, through her actions. It's about love. Is to put love out into the world. Her husband. Grandpa Gregory died when he was 58 in 1986. She loved him her whole life, she loved him after he passed away and that love while quiet in terms of her not talking to me about it. Was always there in the background, was always in her eyes, that unshakeable love.


So that's the love between her and her husband, my grandfather, there's something about loyalty, about deep, unshakable human connection in that that stayed with me. I think that kind of love with with friends, with really close friends, I think that kind of love with the world around me and I definitely seek that kind of love with a life partner. With a person that I could cut as the saying goes, ride or die with, I can bury the bodies with them.


You know, it's kind of a bond that's stronger than any any other thing in this world. Bond is stronger than any fundamental force of physics. She, uh, I could see it in her and something in that stage with me. But bigger. Just love, love of life, love of the ups and downs of life, love and gratitude of everything around me. She had that this glowing joy, that's not a simple joy, but a deep joy that acknowledges the that life is suffering, that life is hard and that love is hard.


But to appreciate it anyway, the whole of it, not just the ups, the whole of it. She taught me to love people, love life, love the world, no matter what the world does to you and to love unconditionally simply. And to not be afraid. To be cliche. To be simple, naive. Because that's what love is, it's quite. Simple. Love is the answer, as some guy has some broadcast once said.


So I wanted to honor this woman that was a great human being in my life and the life of many others with these words and the few folks who listen, I hope can draw some inspiration from the lessons she's given me to be strong mentally and physically, to dream big, to work hard. And to put a little bit of love out into the world. And on that point, let me, if it's OK, read a poem in Russian that my grandmother enjoyed called Lubov You Araji to meet you loosely translated, to learn to treasure a love.


Based upon supportive Lubov View, the Raje to meet the Scaddan mean there are Rich Divinia, you both if dodginess can make any progress care. Prelinger zero budget security Perusia victimised in other projects. They both sheepishness a base new media coslovich. It's a simple poem that a couple of Russians listening out there right now perhaps could appreciate, but the gist of it is that love is not easy, life is not easy, and the best we are to do is to learn how to treasure love, to treasure the few years of life we have on this earth.


My grandmother's name is Anne, and my brother and I in Russian would call her affectionately. But Barnea. For buying houses Koocher. I promise I will work hard and hope that your strength, your brilliance, your love lives on my thoughts and in my actions. This drop of vodka. As for you. You know, I have shot glasses, but I think she's looking down and knows I'm drinking her memory, so she would want me to drink it out of a real glass, so.


Bye bye. I miss you. I love you. I hope to make you proud one day.