Biohack to Win. Nick Foles #489
By: Dave Asprey
Yes, Nick Foles is the Super Bowl MVP for the Eagles, but in this episode of Bulletproof Radio he goes into why it is okay to lose. “If your identity is in winning you’re eventually going to struggle.”
Nick is one of the most humble performance focused amazing people I’ve had the opportunity to interview. I spent time with him in person but in this episode you’ll hear about his mindset, how he includes a spiritual practice, his take on food, and all the other things he does to be at the top of his game.
Including his approach to failure. You’ll hear about how he pretty much got burned out and was thinking about leaving the game and how he stayed motivated and what he does to build this incredible resilience.
You’ll also hear about something called POTS that his wife Tori is dealing with, which is a really common problem, much more common than people know about and we go into some details about what happens if your blood pressure suddenly fluctuates and drops during the day so your brain has no oxygen.
I just found him to be a fantastic human being with this amazing attitude and a pretty high level of accomplishment!
Enjoy the show!
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Links/Resources for Nick Foles
- On meeting Nick at Labs. “Today’s guest is someone I met at Bulletproof Labs in Santa Monica for the first time. Someone who’s pretty well known. I just found him to be a fantastic human being with this amazing attitude and a pretty high level of accomplishment. I’m talking about Nick Foles, the 29 year old quarterback for NFL Philadelphia Eagles. In January of this year he led the Eagles to an NFC championship in their first Super Bowl appearance since 2005 and then he led them to their first ever Super Bowl championship win in franchise history since the team was founded in 1933 and was named game MVP which is pretty amazing because he did it from a back up position after the team’s starting quarterback Carson Wentz got injured in December.”
- “What we talked about what was mostly like recovery and resilience and willpower and leadership and things like that. I want to understand what has motivated you to just do what you do. Like why do you, you’re basically at this point, one of the world’s very best at what you do. What motivated you to take the long and arduous journey to get there?”
- Nick on giving his life to Christ.
- “Everyone has a story and that’s something we’ve talked about is the story, the journey. Really just going through the ups and downs and I think so many times when bad things happen or tough happen in life people can tend to get defeated and it’s hard to get back up. I’ve always had a great support system there to help me through those times. During this time I learned a lot about myself and got stronger with them and it’s crazy to be here talking to you, being a part of a team that won the Super Bowl, being on this podcast, being on this show. I’ve listened to it for several years so I’m honored to be a part of it.”
- Dave asks Nick on his natural talents. And not being good at everything, but continuing to work on it.
- On the Joy of it. “I wasn’t good at everything but I just kept playing, kept on having fun, kept working on my craft, was able to have great coaches along the way. The greatest part about was just finding the joy in what I do. Having that joy when you’re a kid and you’re in the backyard just playing with your buddies, if you can do that, you know, if I can do that my present state of being 29 years old and in the NFL you can do a lot of great things. But no, it’s just something that, I was always active.”
- You talk a lot about your faith and almost like you’re doing what you do for your family and for your religion and the things that you stand for. Are you also doing some of it because you like to win or for yourself? How do you break down the balance between like I wanted to do this versus like I’m doing it almost as an act of service? Nick on shifting the perspective.
- “A lot of times growing up, like obviously everyone enjoys winning, they enjoy that achievement, they enjoy working hard to win. That’s what is sort of intoxicating about playing a game. You just love to do it, but there’s also defeat. There’s also playing poorly. There’s also dealing with that. If your identity is in winning you’re eventually going to struggle.” -Nick on winning.
- “I find out that that love that I have gives me a greater strength than I quite frankly had for myself. Then it’s also humbling myself daily. I don’t want pride to set it because pride comes before the fall. So I’ve learned a lot through the years and it keeps me steady.” On pride.
- Where did you learn to have ego awareness? -Dave
- On the impact of a parent in your life.
- “I’ve succeeded and I’ve failed. It’s not a fun place to be because it’s every day, you’re living or dying with what you’re doing on the playing field and that’s not fun. That’s not really who you are, that’s what you do.”
- “My real job starts when I come home and I walk through the doors I get to be a husband and a father. That makes it easier to play the game.”
- On his wife getting diagnosed with POTS.
- “Health is intertwined because if you feel good, your mental clarity is going to be better, you’re going to have more energy throughout the day, you’re going to be happier. All that stuff is going to make, your faith’s going to grow but more so like just being a husband and a father and then going to work, you’re going to be better, like you’re going to be happier. You’re going to have more energy. It’s all intertwined.”
- On POTS “The tough thing about POTS is it’s so hard to know exactly how it comes on. It could come from a virus, it could come from a toxin exposure and I know for us you know we were in Portland, Oregon, Tori was working at Nike at the time. We love Portland, great food scene. We were active, eating good food, having a great time. I went to training camp my second year in the NFL and then shortly after that Tori was, she had a virus and then shortly after that she went to like a outdoor concert and she felt really sick. She went home and it wasn’t going away so she kept going to see doctors. She didn’t know what happened. The doctors kept trying to prescribe her like depression medication and all this other stuff.
- “You’re the quarterback and you’re making coffee for your team. Do you know how humble that is?”
- “It’s definitely going to be days where we travel cross country and we get back at 2, 3AM after playing a grueling football game and your body is just going to feel like crap. Like you’re probably going to be fighting a sickness coming up but what I’ve noticed is, the big thing is the blue blocking glasses, the TrueDark glasses have been awesome. Wearing those whether I’m on a plane or traveling back from a game or when I get back home and I’m reading. I wear glasses all the time so they actually have a filter on them that blocks a lot of the blue light so I can wear that when I read at night. So that’s really been a great thing for me.”
- I wear compression recovery tights on the airplane. Any time I get on an airplane I wear them. I even had a sleeve for my arm at one time. I don’t really do that anymore but like little things like that, staying hydrated with the appropriate water. I drink FATwater. We have FATwater always stocked in the QB room. The QBs love FATwater.
- “If I know that if I help them with that, I’m not trying to keep any secrets. If this makes you a better player than me, then I’m excited because you’re going to become a better person because you’re feeling good. I don’t have any prerogative in that. I just want you to be a better person and feel good day in and day out and live the healthy lifestyle.” On having enough energy.
- “I know this is for a reason but I’m giving my life to you right now. It was basically going, bringing me down to my knees. I realized at that moment what that meant. It wasn’t following rules, it wasn’t like trying to be perfect. It was basically having a relationship with Jesus.”
- “I love that you’re willing to talk about what works for you and that experience. And so for people listening, you heard, at least if you were listening to what Nick said, he didn’t tell you have to do what he does, he’s just telling you what works for him. I think that that’s noteworthy and it’s worth paying attention to. It’s that deep commitment to something bigger than yourself that I have found in my own life too is just terribly important. It’s important. If you’re doing it for you, you’re not thinking big enough.” On Nick’s spiritual practices.
- “I want her to know that it’s okay to fail, it’s okay not to be an athlete. Will she have athletic genes? I mean, her mom’s way more athletic than I am. So if she gets her mom’s side we’re in business. I’m just going to add a couple things to it. Ultimately I just want her to know that her daddy loves her, her mom loves her and that we’re going to be there to support her through no matter what she goes through in her life and that will never change. I think with that a child can do anything.” NIck on his daughter.