52 episodes

Peak performance, lessons learned at the limits of human experience and the obstacles people overcome to do great things explored with guests from sports, politics, business, tech, the military and more.

Choose the Hard Way Andrew Vontz

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 120 Ratings

Peak performance, lessons learned at the limits of human experience and the obstacles people overcome to do great things explored with guests from sports, politics, business, tech, the military and more.

    Life Cycles: The Women’s Tour de France with Documentary Filmmakers Jill Yesko & Ally Davis

    Life Cycles: The Women’s Tour de France with Documentary Filmmakers Jill Yesko & Ally Davis

    In 2022, the women’s Tour de France is back. What most people don’t know is that there was also a women’s Tour de France from 1984-1989. Uphill Climb is a documentary film that tells the story of that race and the legendary cyclists who competed in it.

    If you enjoy this episode, please give it a five-star rating on Spotify or Apple podcasts, subscribe and share it with a friend.

    My guests are the filmmakers behind Uphill Climb. Director Jill Yesko is a journalist, author and Fellow at the Center for Sports Communication & Media at The University of Texas. She represented the United States in cycling at the 1983 World University Games and competed in the Olympic trials. Jill’s previous films include Tainted Blood: The Untold Story of the 1984 Olympic Blood Doping Scandal and Broken Trust: Athlete Abuse Exposed. She is the host of the podcast The Bounce: Sports Talk With a Spin on WYPR and NPR.


    Uphill Climb’s executive producer, Ally Davis, is a life-long serious cyclist, an entrepreneur who has started up three companies and an award-winning veteran of television, sports production, global marketing and brand partnerships, athlete marketing and brand development. Ally has held senior leadership roles at Fox Sports, E!, NBC Universal Sports and Red Bull. 

    Go to www.uphillclimbfilm.com and @uphillclimb.film on Instagram to learn more and support the film. 

    This episode is part of Life Cycles, a new series I’ve launched within Choose the Hard Way. Conversations in this series cover the topics you’ve come to expect from Choose the Hard Way with guests whose lives and careers have been shaped by cycling or whose lives and careers have shaped the world of cycling.

    To suggest a guest or say hello, hit me at choosethehardway@gmail.com or @hardwaypod on Twitter or Instagram. 

    Choose the Hard Way is the podcast where guests share stories about how doing hard things build stronger, more resilient humans. Share it with a friend and subscribe to the newsletter at www.choosethehardway.com.

    • 52 min
    Special Operations Strength Coaching, Tier One Unit Screening Prep & High Performance Training Tips Everyone Can Apply with Casey Glass

    Special Operations Strength Coaching, Tier One Unit Screening Prep & High Performance Training Tips Everyone Can Apply with Casey Glass

    Casey Glass is a strength and conditioning coach who works with special operators in the United States military including special operators preparing to screen for Tier One units, the most elite military units in the world. 

    We talk about training and stress management techniques from the world of special operations that anyone can use to improve mental and physical performance in work, in life and in sport. 

    Normally I would steer you to a guest’s social media or website. While Casey graciously shares her knowledge in this interview, due to the nature of her work, you won’t find her on the internet.

    Casey got her start working in collegiate strength and conditioning for Olympic sports before shifting to work with tactical athletes. 

    This marks the 50th episode of Choose the Hard Way and I want to say thank you to everyone who listens to the show and shares it with their friends. When I started out three years ago, I had no idea there would be such an overwhelming response to the show or that it would get this big. 

    Thanks for listening, thanks for helping Choose the Hard Way grow, and I’m excited to keep growing it with your help. 

    If you enjoy this episode, please give it a five-star rating on Spotify or Apple podcasts, subscribe and forward it to a friend who likes doing hard things. 

    If you want to suggest a guest or be in touch, hit me at choosethehardway@gmail.com or @hardwaypod on Twitter or Instagram. 

    Links mentioned in this conversation:
    Casey’s appearance on the Building the Elite podcast.
    Pavel Tsatsouline’s 2004 essay outlining tactical periodization.

    • 54 min
    Alex Laws - From Pro Triathlete to Coaching World Champions, World Record Setters, Wimbledon Champions & Executive Teams

    Alex Laws - From Pro Triathlete to Coaching World Champions, World Record Setters, Wimbledon Champions & Executive Teams

    Danny Way, Rob Dyrdek, Paul Rodriguez, Laird Hamilton, Gabby Reece, Jeff Emig, Ai Sugiyama and Michellie Jones are some of the world-class pro athletes that human performance coach Alex Laws has worked with in her practice during the past 25 years. Her athletes have won World Championships, Olympic Medals, X-Games gold medals, Ironman Championships, victories at Wimbledon and the French Open and have set numerous World Records.

    A former pro triathlete who earned four World Championship medals, Alex now coaches executives and corporate teams to reach their full potential using the same high performance techniques and technologies she applied in her work with the world’s best athletes. You can learn more about Alex at https://performancelaws.com.au/ and reach her directly at alex@performancelaws.com.au.

    I met Alex in 2005 when she was revolutionizing the way action sports athletes trained and working with Danny Way as he prepared to jump the Great Wall of China and have been learning from her ever since. If you enjoy this episode, please give it a five-star rating on Spotify or Apple podcasts, subscribe and forward it to a friend. That helps the show surface higher in search so more people can find the inspiring stories of my guests, and I really appreciate the support.

    Go to www.choosethehardway.com to sign up for the newsletter and never miss an episode. To suggest a guest or be in touch, reach out to choosethehardway@gmail.com or DM @hardwaypod on social. 

    • 54 min
    Life Cycles: Losing the Unbound Gravel 100, Getting 2nd for the 2nd time + Pro Tips for Peter Sagan with @vontz x @blakeoftoday

    Life Cycles: Losing the Unbound Gravel 100, Getting 2nd for the 2nd time + Pro Tips for Peter Sagan with @vontz x @blakeoftoday

    Pro cycling World Champions, National Champions and World Record holders like Stephen Hyde, Ashton Lambie and past Hard Way guest Rebecca Rusch are among the legendary winners of the Unbound Gravel 100. Held annually in Emporia, Kansas it’s one of the most prestigious and competitive gravel bike races in the world

    In 2022, multi-time cycling road race World Champion Peter Sagan, who has won 17 stages in cycling Grand Tours and has also won the Green Jersey at the Tour de France seven times, will toe the line. 

    In 2015, I got second at the Unbound 100 for the second year in a row riding with my good friend, training partner, content marketing ace and now rising TikTok star @blakeoftoday. If you’re new to Choose the Hard Way, go back to episode 19 to hear about the first time I got second in the Unbound 100 in 2014.

    Severe food poisoning, the generous wisdom of Chris Carmichael, a magical tiny screwdriver purchased at Rite Aid wielded in a scene from Game of Thrones in the middle of the race, aerobars, the revelation of the actual physical location in the human body of the Spirit of Gravel--this experience had it all. 

    Losing isn’t fun, but it’s often funny. Sit back and listen to this tale of two humans who did everything to win and lost anyway. 

    This episode is part of Life Cycles, a new series I’ve launched within Choose the Hard Way. Conversations in this series cover the topics you’ve come to expect from Choose the Hard Way with guests whose lives and careers have been shaped by cycling or whose lives and careers have shaped the world of cycling. 

    If you have a great story about losing, I’d love to hear it. Hit me on Twitter or Instagram @hardwaypod. If you enjoy this episode, please give it a five-star rating on Spotify or Apple podcasts, subscribe and forward it to a friend. That helps the show surface higher in search so more people can find the inspiring stories of my guests, and I really appreciate the support. 

    Go to www.choosethehardway.com to sign up for the newsletter. To suggest a guest or be in touch, reach out to choosethehardway@gmail.com.

    • 1 hr 43 min
    Saul Martinez - Purple Heart Recipient, Army Veteran, Warriors & Quiet Waters Chief Program Officer

    Saul Martinez - Purple Heart Recipient, Army Veteran, Warriors & Quiet Waters Chief Program Officer

    Saul Martinez is a former Army Infantryman, a Purple Heart recipient and the Chief Program Officer for Warriors & Quiet Waters, a nonprofit that empowers post-9/11 combat veterans to find peace, meaning and purpose through outdoor experiences and community.

    A George W. Bush Institute Veteran Leadership scholar and a subject of President George W. Bush in “Portraits of Courage,” Saul is a fine artist, a husband, a TEDx speaker, a philosopher, an actor and a father.

    We discuss Saul’s childhood, his service, the EFP IED that took the lives of two of his close friends and both of his legs and explore what he has learned on his journey.

    You can find Warriors & Quiets Waters at warrriorsandquietwaters.org.

    If you enjoy this episode, please give it a five-star rating on Spotify or Apple podcasts, subscribe and forward it to a friend. That helps the show surface higher in search so more people can find the inspiring stories of my guests, and I really appreciate the support. 

    Go to www.choosethehardway.com to sign up for the newsletter. To suggest a guest or be in touch, reach out to choosethehardway@gmail.com or @hardwaypod.

    • 1 hr 34 min
    Life Cycles: Bikes, Cars, Cities & Human-centered Transport with West Midlands Cycling & Walking Commissioner Adam Tranter

    Life Cycles: Bikes, Cars, Cities & Human-centered Transport with West Midlands Cycling & Walking Commissioner Adam Tranter

    The relationship between humans, bikes, cars and streets is polarizing, but it shouldn’t be. Humans are the original autonomous vehicles. UK-based Adam Tranter is working to build a world where people can get around safely and efficiently without fear of a vehicle running them over. 

    Adam is the West Midlands' first Cycling & Walking Commissioner. Appointed by the Mayor of the West Midlands, Adam works with policymakers and the government to steer the region’s cycling and walking policies and plans. 

    A former national-level elite cyclist, Adam grew up training and racing with riders who have competed in (and won) the Tour de France. He is the founder of the communications agency Fusion Media and co-host of the Streets Ahead podcast on active travel. 

    Find him on Twitter @adamtranter.

    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
120 Ratings

120 Ratings

C9600 ,

Fantastic Stories, Great Interviews

Lots of people think they can find and interview interesting people but few can really pull it off. Andrew is one of those people and this podcast is a great exploration of those who make things happen and have a story to tell.

Craigweller ,

Entertaining and informative

Andrew is a talented interviewer who packs a lot of great information into each episode by drawing out powerful stories from each guest. Important topics, without the fluff you find in a lot of other podcasts.

jennjoneskc ,

A Show, Host, Guests

Really impressed with the sound quality, storylines, and overall fantastic quality of Choose the Hard Way. Keep up the great work! You have a lifer.

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