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The Adversity Advantage with Doug Bopst

Oct 12, 2020

Gabby Reece: Being of service is the ultimate sign of strength.


My guest today is none other than Gabby Reece -- not only a volleyball legend, but an inspirational leader, host of the Gabby Reece show, author and entrepreneur. But, most importantly she’s a mom, a wife and an incredible human. In this episode, she will be sharing lots of inspiring experience-based stories about her life as an athlete, wife, mother, and entrepreneur.


Tune in to this episode and take notes of all the words of wisdom that Gabby will be sharing with us!


Gabby Reece’s Backstory:

Gabby’s father passed when she was very young. And when she was a junior in high school at the age of 15, she was living in the Virgin Islands. 


She thinks she was going nowhere, because it didn't occur to her. She didn't have people around her who were like, “Go to college.” and all those things. It was like people were having a good time. 


Her  mother pulled her out of that situation and put her into St. Petersburg, Florida, because she was six foot three. And she walked into a very small school, and people automatically were like, “Oh, you're gonna play sports.” Because if you were worth your weight at all in sports, in that community, you would have gone to a bigger school to try to get attention. 


And so she got involved. She had messed around a little bit with volleyball but really got involved with volleyball and basketball.


Her basketball coach was a great mentor. There were a few families in that environment who saw that Gabby was navigating a couple things as far as like her home situation, and people sort of said, “We'll help this kid a little bit.”


Even in her senior year, weirdly, she lived with the principal and his wife and their two small children because her mom was not going back to that school. And that was her senior year and she sort of built some stability and he was like, “No send, Gabby.” And when she got put into the school which was funny for her, because it's a Christian school, and she feels like she was the only “unsaved person.”


Gabby thinks she’s by nature and totally, she’s probably inside pretty defiant in a different kind of way. So then she got offers to play basketball and volleyball in college, and she has chosen Florida State. And then her coach, Dr. Cecile Ron ended up having a huge impact on her life. 


How did sports save Gabby’s life?

Gabby went from the pros back into work life. Her strategic self looked at continuing in volleyball, and it was tough. It was such a small sport, but it’s a community on purpose, contribution to the tribe, and level of self discipline -- these things are very grounding. 


As for Gabby, when someone put in an honest day's work, whatever that work is, she thinks it empowers a person in a way, even though it's challenging and hard, and sometimes they really don't want to do it reinforces their mettle, as a person, their armor, their ability to also believe in themselves that, “I may not know a lot, and I might be uncomfortable, and I'm unsure. But at least I have the ability to work to learn something new.”


Gabby’s successful married life with her husband, Laird:

When Gabby was working, she was always doing other things. And one of those was doing TV. She had a show on MTV sports. But that brought her to another show that she hosted, The Extremists. And then she met Laird, her husband on that show. And now, they’re married for 23 years.


Gabby and her husband are not easy people. They’re both pretty intense. 


For Gabby, a person can't dictate to their partner on how to do something. Both her and Laird are highly self governed. They’re interested in trying to really show up as flawed as it is. And if they have a real issue, the good thing is that Laird certainly is a clear deck guy. Every day, he's the one who taught Gabby about helpful conflict, because before, Gabby thought that when you love someone, you just kind of don't say anything. 


Gabby is not looking for Laird to make her fulfilled or happy. And what she says to him is like, “I can't make you happy, but I could make your life better.”


Gabby thinks that we live in a time where people are really afraid to be of service to one another. And what she knows to be true, is that being of service is the ultimate sign of strength. It is not, in fact, a weakness.


Gabby and Laird’s parenting styles:

She started as a step parent, her oldest daughter was very young, four or five months old, when she met Laird, they've co-parented the whole time with her than eight years into their relationship. They had their second daughter, who's now almost 17, and then her youngest daughter is now 12.


She was like, “Okay, if I'm, if I create a really safe and clean and healthy, peaceful home, I'm gonna, it's going to take care of everything.” And then what she realized is that every kid is different. And they will have to go through things that their parents didn't want them to have to go through. And then they become teenagers, and they start to talk to their parents about their parenting skills, or their parenting techniques.


But for Gabby, if someone can pay attention as a parent, and really not take it personal and really try to hear what their kids are saying, there's an opportunity for the parents to grow in a way that they wouldn't have had.


Techniques… they change all the time.


Tune in to this episode about Gabby and her husband’s other parenting techniques!

Gabby as an entrepreneur:

Losing is as much like if you're an entrepreneur, you probably lose more often than you win. Sometimes you get one win that's bigger than 20 losses. 


Being clear, being systematic, being organized, and you're thinking about your approach, taking criticisms constructive criticisms about what you're not doing well, and also, even sometimes knowing when to pull the plug, and staying realistic. 


Sometimes people get too emotional about something when they're entrepreneurs. 


Learning to keep the space between you and what you're doing is really important. So you want to have the passion to get up each day to do it. 


The XPT:

XPTis just kind of some lifestyle habits that Gabby and Laird were doing and some of it is nothing new. The notion is to breathe, move, and recover. Breathing is obviously, really important to know how to do it right. And Gabby always loved that. It's free and you can do it anywhere. 


Know more about XPT as Gabby shares how they do it and how they help people to become the most versatile and resilient human being possible.

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