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Wrestling to Radio

Life Lessons + Interview with Tommy Ahlquist

PLUS. MINUS. EQUAL.

I stood in line, waiting my turn to step on the scale. Next to me was someone I didn’t know, but someone I was about to do battle with.

It was difficult to keep out the seeds of doubt as I measured my size and strength against his. The line ended and we stood next to each other, both likely thinking the same thing: “How will I beat you?”

This was a common scene when I wrestled in high school.

Wrestlers weighed in before the match, always in order of weight class, so we ended up standing next to our opponents, wearing next to nothing because clothes were just extra weight.

You couldn’t help but size up the competition.

In just a few short hours we’d go one-on-one. You either won or you lost, and you did it in front of all of your friends and family.

If I lost, there was no team member I could blame. There were no excuses, just loss. And losing in front of a gym full of people you know sucks on the highest levels of sucking.

I hated to lose. But when I did, it was more fuel to practice and study harder. It was a great life lesson.

I’m reading a book right now that brought all of this back, called Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. I just read a part about Ken Shamrock, a mixed martial arts pioneer and multi-title champion who has a system for training fighters he calls PLUS, MINUS, EQUAL.

He says, “To become great, each fighter needs to have someone better that they can learn from, someone lesser who they can teach, and someone equal that they can challenge themselves against. This begins by accepting that others know more than you and that you can benefit from their knowledge.”

Shamrock’s motto is, “Always stay a student.”

This resonated with me a lot. I love the idea of lifelong learning, not just when we have to pick ourselves up off the mat, but also gaining insight and knowledge from the amazing people in our community.

It’s one of the primary reasons why I do my radio show and podcast interviews every week. I get to meet people doing interesting things, people with intriguing backstories, and learn from them.

Today we’ll be interviewing Tommy Ahlquist, who is running for Governor of Idaho.

I want to know what drives someone to work their tail off to become a medical doctor, then switch careers to be a developer, and now set his sights on Governor. Why politics?

With all of my guests, I want to know about times when they’ve had to pick themselves up off the mat and who they’ve learned from along the way. Learning something with each new interview helps me stay a student (and I don’t have to get beat up and bruised in the process).

If you’re interested in listening, the interview will be broadcast live today shortly after 3pm on FM stations 89.9 and 93.5. You can also stream it on your computer at RadioBoise.org. Past shows can be found at IdahoSpeakeasy.com.

Idaho Speakeasy