55. Pro Sports and Mental Health

Today I welcome Kris Beech, who had a 15-year professional hockey career including being drafted into the NHL at 18 and is now the Founder of AIM Mind Training in Canada. Kris shares his incredible journey as a widely sought out young athlete and managing the overwhelming pressures of going pro so young. Kris talks about his love for the game, the business side of it, and how his journey to dialed in mental health and mindfulness really began (from the inspiration of his Mom!). Over the 15 years Kris was traded numerous times, went from majors to the minors and back again, all while working to keep his personal relationships moving forward and his mental state in a safe space. It was no easy journey, but it did inspire Kris to establish AIM Mind Training, where he works with youth athletes to help flex the mental muscle alongside the physical one. Any great athlete knows, it absolutely takes the physical AND the mental to reach your full athletic potential, in addition to general happiness in life. This is an awesome cast for any athlete working to get to the next level (youth or adult) and seeking that mental competitive edge. Parents, if you have a young athletic star, this is also great for you (and your kiddo), be ahead of the game!


Breakdown, breakthrough. A million-dollar contract before you’re 20? Adult pressures on a kid. Questioning a better way. Managing your love for the game in a business environment. Mental health, depression, and self-awareness, real solutions for real people. Life skills through sport. 

A Message from Kris:

Like any athlete, my love of athletics grew as a kid, and my desire to play was driven by pure enjoyment. I developed the greatest appreciation for the game of hockey, and I was fortunate that my skill, dedication and commitment to improvement allowed me to play in the NHL and have Like any athlete, my love of athletics grew as a kid, and my desire to play was driven by pure enjoyment. I developed the greatest appreciation for the game of hockey, and I was fortunate that my skill, dedication and commitment to improvement allowed me to play in the NHL and have a 15-year pro hockey career.  But my experience as a professional was far from always pure joy.

​Like any high-level athlete, there was a mix of success and adversity, and as I navigated that experience as a young adult, it became evident I was not prepared to handle the ups and downs in the mental game. I had unknowingly encouraged and solidified some thinking and behaviors that would all but eliminate my ability to enjoy the game I so deeply loved. The support I received from family and others around me helped me to realize I needed to make some changes.

After some personal research and exploration, I found training the mind in the form of meditation and mindfulness played a significant role in making those changes. Consistently training the mind enabled me to shift my thinking and make choices that uncovered my skill and ability to perform at my best and enjoy the game again. This period of my life had a significant effect on how I viewed athletics and helped me understand the importance of a proactive approach to taking care of the mental side of the game.

About AIM Mind Training

AIM Mind Training is a proactive performance and health system that creates a thriving student-athlete community.

Many things can take away from the true nature of sport and the ability to fully maximize potential, enjoyment and long-term development opportunities. 

How an individual interacts with the student-athlete experience is only part of the equation.

It’s the culture of the community our athletes are subjected too that will ultimately determine potential, enjoyment, and their ability to transition the student-athlete experience into many other aspects of life.

The result is a user that better understands who they are, what they want, the importance of community and how to approach life with a mindset suited for success, happiness and well-being.

● The system analyzes, guides and supports student-athletes, parents, and coaches.

● Provides a personalized approach to cultivating an optimal performance environment. 

● Uses cutting edge technology to determin the strengths, desires, and areas of needed improvement in each user. 

● User information is kept secure and anonymous.

● User information is used solely to enhance the effectiveness of the system for that user.

● The system assures each user is working with the coaches or counsellors that suit individual needs. 

● Creates positive shifts in mindset and leadership that allow our youth to flourish in any environment.



46. Healing And Mental Wealth: EMDR

I had the pleasure of partaking in the PodMax Live 2020:

PodMAX, in its original format, is a one day in-person/live event where entrepreneurs have the chance to record as a guest and be interviewed on top podcast shows in their industry. NOW: it’s time for PodMAX Global: the ONLINE PodMAX experience from On Air Brands! Be part of the same high-vibe, high-energy experience we’ve perfected… Now ONLINE and VIRTUAL for entrepreneurs across the globe!

It was an incredible day aligning podcasters and entrepreneurs, inventors, and varsity humans across the board to converse. I didn’t know what to expect, but it was cooler than any expectation if did have. I was fortune to have 3 very different casts all in one day covering a verity of topics. Robert and I had an awesome conversation around EMDR- a very forward-thinking approach to human optimization, if you will. EMDR is fully explained in the cast, but is a newer approach to optimizing your life experience and mental wealth. Faster than talk therapy and perhaps more effective? I won’t say too much more, but when I heard Robert compare generation wealth to generational mental health, I knew the conversation was more than needed. We are all human, including our parents, coaches, and mentors…. We need to unpack and let go accordingly. I can’t wait to cast with Robert again as the mental health convo is goring (thank goodness) and is long overdue. He is ahead of the game, no pun intended☺.


Mental health, mental wealth. Talk therapy vs. EMDR. What is EMDR? Why EMDR? Me, my family, my experience, and I. It’s all relative. Questioning a better way. Years of self-improvement vs. months, days or hours. Why improve? Is how I feel ok? What can I do to change, for the long term? Addiction, self-loathing, life. Unity in humanity. Resolution. Solution. Evolution. 

Robert A. Grigore

MCP, RCC is a World-Class Mental Health Expert.

He is a Registered Clinical Counsellor, Certified EMDR Therapist & Approved EMDR Consultant, Published EMDR Author, and the Owner & CEO of Grigore Counselling.

Robert has dedicated his practice to helping executives, entrepreneurs, professional athletes, celebrity talent, as well as their families to eliminate their pain and repair the foundations of their most cherished relationships. Robert’s professional mission is to give you and your loved ones the one thing that money cannot buy: time. Now is the time to repair your relationships.

Now is the time to heal from your past.

Now is the time to invest in your legacy.

Grigore Counseling

We believe in making the impossible possible.

We believe therapy should be the most important investment one makes in their lifetime, and it should have a clear beginning and end date. 

​We do everything in our power to ensure that all our clients receive special care that is sensitive to their unique needs and circumstances.

​We believe that time is our most precious resource. As such, we are dedicated to giving you and your loved ones as much time as possible in your highest, most ExtraOrdinary states. 



38. The Upside To The Down Side

Things happen in life. How we process those “things” is everything. The hard part of being able to process things is not always having the tools to do so. On this cast I sit down with Jason Hopcus and we discuss life, mental health, stress, stigma, and how to approached uncomfortable conversation, and of course, connection. Jason is the Founder and President of The Connection Project,  “The mission of the Connection project is simple- to strengthen the connection to ourselves and others”. Jason has a wealth of experience in life with equal parts education and evolution. We talk about how really hard things are usually the things that define our respective journeys the most and how it is time to celebrate and share that recovery process. There is really only one way to get through anything and that is together- through connection. The Connection Project meets people where they are, reshaping how we (the community) think about and speak about “mental illness” and/or more comfortably digested, stress. Stress is often championed in our society as many of us wear it as a badge of honor. And given this forced slow down because of CV19, we all know a rebrand of thinking around stress is needed! 

The Connection Project focuses on four main pillars: Health (mental and physical),  job, money, and tribe, through four key elements: community conversation, aligned partnerships, resource tools, and then training and education. They want to immediately welcome people in and surround them with people like them, likely letting some of the initial boundaries about connecting on any topic, aside. We need The Connection Project more than ever in society and now that CV19 is here, it’s critical. Join our conversation and please check out The Connection Project if you feel like it sounds like a community that would be beneficial for you or anyone you know. Stay safe out there, we are all in this together!


Mental health and wellness. Community, connection, stigma, and worth, but uncomfortable conversation. The upsides to the downside. Breakdown and breakthrough. Celebrating the journey. Gratitude and strength. Humility and empathy. Graceful disruption. 

Jason C. Hopcus Bio 

In the effort to effect change, Jason Hopcus openly shares his personal story of the struggle with mental health. He battled his own king of hell to climb from the darkest semblance of human self- struggle. As a result, Jason fully acknowledges the amount of work it takes, how necessary it is to share each other’s journeys, and why we as a society need to move the needle towards unashamed conversation. Jason is a catalyst for a powerful, cultural shift because everyone, directly or indirectly, is affected by mental health. 

“The stigmas of mental health cannot be unraveled unless we begin to celebrate those who have pulled themselves back up… and then some. It’s time to acknowledge recovery success.” 

-Jason Hopcus, Founder of The Connection Project

Jason’s mission is to advance human connection by embracing the conversation of fighters; the folks whose journeys from black to light give hope to those that deserve a 2nd or even a 3rd chance to be the ambassadors of conversation. The present narrative about mental health is often perpetuated through sad, scary, or traumatic events, which typically overlook individuals who are simply struggling with functional life issues. The Connection Project takes a fresh approach by focusing on those who have turned their personal struggle around to champion for a community-driven cause. Through the raw focus on the individual, Jason nourishes honest conversation to birth a system of ‘next level’ social responsibility. 

Jason Hopcus is a motivator and catalyst for cultural change within organizations. He believes that connection to one’s self, one’s transparency, and one’s passion to connect, allows individuals to live a wholly authentic, full life. He creates systems of people working to deepen their relationships to their work, their play, and ultimately our world. He presently serves as non-profit President/CEO of NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) of Arapahoe/Douglas Counties and is Founder of The Connection Project, a for-profit company.



23. Responding To The Responder

Rhonda Kelly, Founder of ResponderStrong and Director of Health, Wellness & Resilience for Global Medical Response… AND OG CF BF, joins me on this cast to dig into the lives of our first and emergency responders. 

First responders (definition) typically include paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, firefighters, rescuers, and other trained members of organizations connected with this type of work.

Rhonda is where a wealth of education meets a wealth of experience- she has done, lived, and learned it A LOT, across several service careers, continents, and communities. It’s always refreshing to see people start initiatives, foundations, and business from heart space vs. potential capital gain (and I respect the biz person, as you know) and that is exactly what Rhonda did in establishing ResponderStrong. Rhonda shares her journey, career, and her mission to help not only save the lives of the first and emergency responders, but change the way the entire “service and responder industry” hires, maintains, manages, and protects their own. Mental health is a long overdue conversation that is thankfully, becoming more relevant and less stigmatized. Rhonda has seen this need for a focus on mental health for decades, particularly amongst our men and women of service, and that need is finally being recognized and things are being done about it- because of her and many change agents aka community influencers like her.  The occupational stress put on our first and emergency responders does not just impact them, but their families and communities as well. We cover a host of mental health and wellness topics and talk about what is going on right now to make it better and grow the conversation and awareness. There is great information for anyone in service… or anyone that has a brain:). While this convo is specific to responders- it’s great fuel for thought for everyone. It’s ok to not be ok. We all need more selfcare AND maintaining that self-awareness will prevent us all from slipping down an unnecessary, destructive path. People are out there, resources are out there, it matters, you matter, please reach out! 


Mental health. The lives of first and emergency responders. Support vs. solution. Wanting to help people, but not having the agency to do so. Disputing the disruptive cycle. Self-care. Childhood trauma to adulthood drama. Mind flexibility. Universe speaking, Rhonda following! Maslow’s Hierarchy. Misunderstood human behavior. Occupational stress. Impact. Take care of yourself, take care of the world. The resources out there to help!

Rhonda Kelly:

Founder ResponderStrong and Director of Health, Wellness & Resilience for Global Medical Response

Rhonda has led a varied life as an oceanographer, firefighter/paramedic, and psych ER nurse among other pursuits. Several years ago, she guided her interest in emergency responder mental health into the creation of ResponderStrong, an initiative aimed at improving mental health supports for responders and their families. Most recently, she has returned to her broader passion of overall wellness and is developing a program encompassing nutrition, sleep, movement and mindset to help emergency medical personnel lead their best lives. Rhonda is an ardent believer in the power and synergy of collaboration to solve big issues. 


The mental, emotional and physical impacts of emergency response work can compromise our ability to be there for our brothers and sisters in uniform, to be engaged with our families, and to protect our communities.  Founded at the National Mental Health Innovation Center of the University of Colorado Anschutz, ResponderStrong is a collaboration between emergency responders and their advocates. Our mission is to improve mental health supports for emergency responders and their families through joint focuses on intervention and prevention. Our site serves as a resource map for responder-informed crisis and clinical services as well as easily accessible educational content and tools for responders, their families, their leaders and the clinicians who work with them. ResponderStrong has also created custom educational content regarding relationships, stress management, and resiliency in response to community needs assessments.

ResponderStrong Facebook

13. Body, Mind, Spirit…Humanizing Your Brand

All things CBD! We cover all the good questions you SHOULD ask before you purchase something you’re about to put into your body…mind, and spirit! Being a Colorado native, you’d think KO knows a lot about CBD and anything to do with weed in general, not so!  KO sits down with Erba Essentials Founder, Briana Austin, and covers everything from sourcing, to dosage, to stigma around CBD. Did you know there is a difference between CBD and marijuana? Don’t laugh, most people don’t and will be disappointed they don’t get a high from CBD… but might be less inflamed:) Bri shares her path from her holistic upbringing Armenian roots to her deep passion for mental health (not to mention her master’s degree in it) and how her good practices in a mostly unregulated space are in place for long term, positive societal impact via CBD. Bri also shares how these core values stem from her family and their support- entrepreneurship is in her blood. Thanks Mom!  Major point of the conversation is around humanizing your brand, bring transparent with what’s in your product and who is behind it. How refreshing! We discuss the impact of CBD and the traditional medical and pharmaceutical space, the audience that should be taking CBD, and why it might be ideal for your pet AND your kids?! It’s all about responsibility, as a business owner, consumer, and human being.


Quality> Quantity, responsibility, marketing and supplements, the right fish> the big fish, questions to ask when buying CBD, holistic healthcare, inflammation, help with sleep, pro sports and retired athletes, seeking the truth and voting with your dollar. Mental Health. The universe speaks, you just need to listen.  

Briana Austin, Erba Essentials:

Erba Essentials is a hemp CBD oil company based in Boca Raton, Florida. Founded by its all female team, Erba was inspired by the natural beauty of Florida, from its famous beaches to the everglades. These places are known for bringing peace, relaxation, and happiness to those who get the chance to experience it. We aim to create those same types of experiences for people who use our products.

Our products provide our customers with a sense of peace, relaxation, & happiness by being held to the highest standards of quality. Our full spectrum, CO2 extracted hemp CBD oil comes from organically grown, NON- GMO industrial American hemp in Kentucky, that is free of pesticides, herbicides, solvents, and other harmful ingredients. After the product is grown & extracted, it is sent to our headquarters in Connecticut where your final product is finished, packaged, and sent
right to your doorstep. We guarantee a high quality product & experience, from start to finish. Don’t just take our word for it though!! Take a look at some of our customer reviews and the 3rd party lab results that we provide with each product on our site.

Erba Essentials is a brand that you can trust to produce a high quality hemp CBD oil product everytime you order. Your satisfaction and well-being are essential to what we do! You can feel confident that when you buy a product from us, that you’re getting the most affordable, all natural, eco-friendly product on the market.

08. Mental Wealth (Health)

Mental Wealth (Health)! KO sits down with NeurOptimize Founders, Rachel Ragsdale and Carli Streich, and Laura Mahony, professional photographer, mom, and currently getting her Masters in mental health counseling. Mental health is becoming quite the conversation these days, finally! So, we called in the pros to chat on it all. Discussing mental health overall, what is, what stigmas are around it, what options there are to address it. We touch on the different angles as well: concussion in sports, learning abilities, behavior, brain waves and make up. Understanding your brain will help you understand yourself- exponentially. 


Options around medications, sports performance, human optimization, young people and mental health, impact on the whole family, identity based on strengths, function vs. fixing, a great start to a much larger and very important continuing conversation!

Rachel Ragsdale, LPC, BCN

Rachel, Founder and Owner of NeurOptimize, studied Psychology at Baylor University where she earned her undergraduate degree. She went on to earn her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Denver Seminary. Rachel oversees all clinical operations and team specialists across all locations, while serving as a licensed professional counselor and board-certified neurofeedback specialist and handling all qEEG analysis, treatment planning, and protocol creation. Rachel’s own life was transformed by neurofeedback more than 10 years ago. She has unique insight and personally values each and every client’s own journey thanks to her own experience with neurofeedback. In her free time, Rachel is an avid golfer and adrenaline junky. She loves spending time with her dog and her two-year-old son, Jordan. Rachel would tell you that NeurOptimize is her other baby and she cares for it as such.

Carli Streich, LPC, BCN

Carli, Founder and Owner of NeurOptimize, graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of New Mexico with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. She went on to earn her Master’s in Clinical Counseling from Colorado Christian University. In addition to overseeing all clinical operations and clinical team of neurofeedback specialists, Carli is a licensed professional counselor and board-certified neurofeedback specialist, handling treatment planning, protocol creation, and qEEG analysis. Carli believe that communication and clear expectations are key contributors to the exceptional client experience she strives to provide at NeurOptimize. She believes that life, especially the challenging parts of it, are not meant to be done alone and she works to offer that support to each and every client who walks through the door. In her free time, Carli loves to hike, do yoga, and spend time outdoors with her family and her puppies.

Laur Mahony

Laura is an intuitive that combines different modalities to connect with spirit and to provide guidance and healing. Laura is also a portrait and commercial photographer. Laura uses natural light, studio lights, strobes, small flashes, ginormous lights, itty bitty lights, existing light, no light, and just about any kind of light she can get her hands on. Her style is playful, warm, and comfy, and she focuses on movement and relationships in her photos. Her photographs range from ethereal to dynamic and always portray the genuine and personal. Laura works with schools, political campaigns, famous people, not so famous people, businesses, professionals, people in Colorado, people outside of Colorado, and anyone who wants exceptional photographs. She feels privileged to capture each amazing slice of life. All sessions are held on location, whether natural light or other. All sessions are fun and playful, whether portrait or commercial.  Laura can be reached at www.thejapaneselantern.com or laura@thejapaneselantern.com.