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37. "Inch by Inch" _ Craig Kaiser Part 1

Updated: Nov 10, 2021



 

Today Lindsey and I are joined by the indomitable Craig Kaiser who is a husband, father of four, business owner and community leader.

Highlights include:

- Everyone is entitled to the privilege of not allowing an excuse for yourself.

- What do you have to lose?

- The curse of affluence and comfort.

- There is no guarantee that it will pay off.

- You must be humble enough to learn from the failures.

- You are either getting better or worse.

- Fight for every inch.

- America is the tribe.

For a bit of motivation check out Al Pacino’s “Inch By Inch” speech from the movie Any Given Sunday. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myyWXKeBsNk )

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08;06;31;20 - 08;06;23;06

Jon

Hello and welcome to The Grit Theory. This is Jon Mayo, I'm joined with Lindsey and today we have the indomitable Craig Kaiser with us as well. How are you doing today?


08;06;23;04 - 08;06;21;08

Craig

Doing good. Glad to be you guys.


08;06;20;10 - 08;06;09;27

Jon

It's fun. So a little bit of a backdrop that I think is really neat is the last night we hung out for the second time as families. You're the football coach for our boys and you have four girls.


08;06;09;27 - 08;06;00;02

Jon

We have four boys, so it's always fun to get our families together. But the two times we have succeeded in getting our families together so far, it's been like under just insane circumstances.


08;05;59;14 - 08;05;58;07

Craig

Yes. Yes, it has been.


08;05;57;27 - 08;05;46;20

Jon

You invited us up to date the first time. And like your house almost going down, broke out from a forest fire. So we just get up there and making fire break and stuff and then grill out.


08;05;46;03 - 08;05;35;18

Craig

Yeah, the Friday afternoons, the last couple of weekends have just not been not been ideal. I mean, and that's cool. It says a lot about your character, actually. We hadn't even really we've met a few times up until that point.


08;05;35;09 - 08;05;23;15

Craig

You know, I'm so and so's father. You're so-and-so's father, you know, shake hands. And you know, you guys were supposed to come up to the house that that evening. And I was actually on a conference call with my business partner.


08;05;22;27 - 08;05;07;20

Craig

We have some strategic executive things going on in the company right now, so it's pretty important phone call and I'm getting text messages from my family that lives around here saying, Hey, is up fire by you guys and like, what fire in the back of my mind is like, Oh no, there's no way for no reason, just


08;05;07;06 - 08;05;05;05

Craig

pure ignorance. So it's going to be somewhere else.


08;05;05;04 - 08;05;03;14

Jon

I can't see it from my office. It's Friday.


08;05;03;14 - 08;04;52;20

Craig

Afternoon. It's going well like I. There's going to be a couple of beers. I'm going to crack open here a little bit. No, it's going to be somewhere else. And about an hour later, through that call, my wife like she doesn't come into my office.


08;04;52;20 - 08;04;38;29

Craig

If she knows I'm on a conference call, she comes in, she goes, We've got to go. We've got to evacuate. I'm like, Oh man, OK, we're within a certain radius. So I get in the car and I drive down the road a little bit and I look over my shoulder and the smoke is half a mile away


08;04;38;29 - 08;04;35;08

Craig

from it. And we live just for people listening in the context we live in the forest.


08;04;34;28 - 08;04;32;24

Lindsey

Right? Yeah, your smile is it's.


08;04;32;24 - 08;04;32;04

Craig

A big deal.


08;04;32;04 - 08;04;31;03

Lindsey

It'll travel fast.


08;04;30;28 - 08;04;22;12

Craig

Yeah. So I look back and I'm like, Oh, no, you know, a bunch of Four-Letter words. And the first thing goes through my mind is when my house burns down, I'm still going to have to pay the mortgage.


08;04;22;07 - 08;04;10;12

Craig

Yeah, right. That's great. Right? Which I'm not going to be able to do. So I run back home. It was a feeling like I'd never really had throw the girls in the car real quick. Grab a couple of guns that weren't in the safe.


08;04;10;01 - 08;04;00;28

Craig

And, you know, my wife grabbed some stuff. They get in the car and go. And at that point, I kind of realized how real it was. My girls are all crying and I'm like, What are you girls crying for?


08;04;00;22 - 08;03;48;03

Craig

Dad, we don't want you to die. And yeah, I'm probably not going to die, but we'll see. And so I get going. You know, they leave. I jump in the skid loader and it was so close I just drove through fence lines to get to where the fire was.


08;03;47;20 - 08;03;36;20

Craig

And long story short, you know, I had just met Jon and I had been working the skid loader for a little while. I turn around on one of the cuts I was doing. And there's Jon standing there next to his pickup with his chainsaw.


08;03;36;09 - 08;03;26;27

Craig

And I immediately knew, like, that's my guy. That's that's my kind of guy right there. You didn't know who I was, and you didn't know how bad it was up there. I mean, you let him go. You said he needs to go.


08;03;26;27 - 08;03;22;04

Craig

Lindsey. Yeah. And you didn't. I mean, you never know what might happen up there.


08;03;22;04 - 08;03;08;13

Lindsey

But yeah, Liz called me and was like, Hey, we're going to have to postpone. Yeah, there's fire. We're evacuating. I was like, You let me know what you need. I've lived through this many times. Being from Southern California, I've evacuated multiple times.


08;03;08;11 - 08;02;53;12

Lindsey

Yeah. And he was driving home, but I had called him and I go. They need help. How can we help? He goes, I'll grab my chainsaw. I was like, Yeah, because I told him I was like, Craig stayed clear firebreak this stop the other you guys change my shirt.


08;02;53;11 - 08;02;43;12

Lindsey

Put on different boots and I'll grab my chainsaw and go as like, cool. I have their address and he's like, You probably won't be able to reach him because if he's he doesn't have a phone on him and he's like, All right, I'll show up.


08;02;43;04 - 08;02;38;25

Craig

And he did. Yeah, showed up. So I was ready to go. Oiled, gassed up. That's right.


08;02;38;25 - 08;02;36;27

Jon

You brought the tank to thinking he.


08;02;36;27 - 08;02;31;24

Lindsey

Didn't even turn the car off when he got in through the gate. He just left it running and was like, I'm in and out.


08;02;31;22 - 08;02;31;02

Craig

That's cool.


08;02;30;26 - 08;02;29;27

Lindsey

You let me know that's how much.


08;02;29;27 - 08;02;22;09

Craig

Time it was like that. Every minute was needed to happen. Yeah, they threw. They threw the they threw the kitchen sink at that fire. Yeah.


08;02;21;28 - 08;02;17;05

Jon

Which was such a good thing and was really fortunate. It is. I know there's a there's the fly.


08;02;17;04 - 08;02;15;18

Lindsey

He was driving everyone crazy from.


08;02;15;18 - 08;02;14;23

Jon

The frickin devil.


08;02;14;16 - 08;02;10;10

Craig

You know, we've been there together again. Yes, I have to stop this.


08;02;10;07 - 08;02;04;26

Jon

Yeah. So we're dealing with, you know, mild, very mild discomforts here in the studio today.


08;02;04;12 - 08;01;58;25

Craig

But the same flight that landed on Mike Pence's head, I'm pretty sure. Yeah, same one.


08;01;58;17 - 08;01;45;23

Jon

So we're up there. And by the time I get up there, I didn't really get do anything, which which is neat because the fire is starting to shift. So you finished up in the skid loader. We jumped in the truck to see if there's any other properties that needed help further down the road.


08;01;43;25 - 08;01;34;08

Jon

And then we went back to the house, right? OK, I guess the danger is mostly gone unless the wind changes because it blew past and we. Still, how to grill out.


08;01;34;03 - 08;01;32;27

Lindsey

Yeah, there's a lot of fun.


08;01;32;17 - 08;01;20;26

Craig

Well, that's it. Jon was like, Well, I guess, you know, what do you want to do? I was like, Well, I mean, I'm not leaving tonight. And by then, I'd had a couple of beers because I was pretty thirsty and I was like, Well, you guys might as well head back up.


08;01;20;26 - 08;01;14;23

Craig

And I think my family got back almost the exact same time Lindsay and the boys got up there. Yeah. Had a great and had a great time.


08;01;14;23 - 08;01;14;00

Lindsey

And yeah, it was awesome.


08;01;13;28 - 08;01;13;23

Craig

Yeah.


08;01;12;21 - 08;01;00;17

Jon

So like you, fast forward. So that's our first night together, which is neat. And then, you know, two weeks later last night, we plan on hosting you guys here. It's like, OK, this will be fun. Or supposed to be Friday night right now, Saturday.


08;01;00;17 - 08;00;58;27

Lindsey

So it's supposed to be last night. Yeah.


08;00;58;22 - 08;00;52;02

Jon

So Saturday and then your baby girl fell off the trampoline, broke her arm Friday night. Need surgery Saturday morning? Yeah.


08;00;52;02 - 08;00;38;10

Craig

And there's more to that, right? When you hear falling off the trampoline, you just assume that, you know, got launched off the side. And no, that's not what happened was trying to get to the ladder because her sister had moved the ladder, fell off the edge of the trampoline, trying to get to the ladder.


08;00;37;25 - 08;00;25;02

Craig

And yeah, so and at the time, I just put replace a new oxygen sensor in my pickup. So I've been trying to figure out the gremlin in that thing for like eight months. Mm hmm. Finally, figure out, OK, it's the sensor.


08;00;25;02 - 08;00;14;26

Craig

So driving around, making sure everything's good. Someone like a nine, nine and a half like finally got the pick up run. It's good. Another Friday night lights. Yeah, for a beer. Time for beer going to crack one open.


08;00;14;07 - 08;00;00;18

Craig

In the driveway from like a 9596 to like a one, my wife Elizabeth meets me in the driveway. Amelia fell off the trampoline, broke her arm. I got to take her in. Oh, OK. All right. So she takes her in.


08;00;00;18 - 09;59;49;26

Craig

And, you know, luckily it was just a broken bone. Those heal pretty quickly, but she had to have surgery early the next day. So, yeah, we went to the trunk or treat. She's a tough little girl.


09;59;49;24 - 09;59;41;16

Lindsey

Yeah. The fact that she was even out was amazing yesterday to get to see her and still just like half awake because she's tired. But she's like, I'm not going to miss out.


09;59;41;15 - 09;59;39;18

Craig

She was not going to miss her trick or treat.


09;59;39;09 - 09;59;36;06

Lindsey

She had determination right there. Absolutely. I'm going to show up.


09;59;36;03 - 09;59;23;25

Craig

She she was not settling for, I don't know. I've been looking forward to this for a month. I'm not going to yeah, I'm going to not miss, trick or treat. And then we got in the pickup. It was her decision, like, what do you want to go see Jeremiah and Gabe?


09;59;23;01 - 09;59;11;14

Craig

And they look, she's like, Yep, I want to go see them. Yeah, okay, all right. But we'll go over there for a little bit. And she had a great time, slept on the couch. And yeah, yeah, it's been a it's been unique every time we've hung out, that's for sure.


09;59;11;13 - 09;59;09;00

Jon

It has been. I'm all for us breaking the streak.


09;59;08;27 - 09;59;07;09

Lindsey

It unique. Yeah, it's been easy.


09;59;07;09 - 09;59;00;03

Jon

I'm OK for like a more like, you know, we're all together. They will show up. We girls and food. We have some fun. No one gets hurt. Nothing, no.


09;58;59;26 - 09;58;58;19

Lindsey

Significant property gets.


09;58;57;25 - 09;58;37;14

Jon

Damaged. But I think this is a really fun intro to like how our relationships kicked off and stuff. Because I mean, the show is the great theory and grit is courage, bravery and determination despite difficulty, right? And if you if you're going to look at someone like who emulates that your whole family does because of the things


09;58;37;14 - 09;58;20;28

Jon

that are clear, you are hoping to encourage and lead your girls in, in your family with and you are a powerhouse team and having watching you like coach the boys in football, like no hit them harder. No, this is the point of the sport and all that type of stuff.


09;58;20;27 - 09;58;01;16

Jon

And we've talked a lot about raising a generation that's not super soft and flaccid and weak, raising tougher, tougher kids to do the work that needs done and also pursuing that for ourselves. So it's just like it's a great snapshot in action in real life of some of the principles we talk about in our fostering and encouraging


09;58;01;13 - 09;57;49;14

Craig

. Sure. Yeah. And it might not even just be raising a tougher generation. It's a it's a generation that you're going to anticipate that there's going to be struggles, just anticipate it, get ready for it. And life is not easy.


09;57;48;17 - 09;57;37;13

Craig

And that's like when I first met your boys, I knew they had the mentality that I'm going to have to work hard. And the harder that I work, the better I'm going to become. Right. And I knew right away they come from a good family.


09;57;36;00 - 09;57;21;16

Craig

But yeah, I mean, that's part of it's not just being tough, it's I know this is going to be a struggle for the grit side of it. I'm going to go through it regardless. I know it. And when I get through those struggles, it makes it even better, right?


09;57;21;12 - 09;57;08;18

Craig

You get to the top of a mountain. It's tough. It's really hard to walk to the top of that mountain. It's not worth being top of the mountain if you just see that it's a plateau. If you don't see the things below that you walked through, why you get why you get to the top.


09;57;08;11 - 09;56;55;01

Craig

Yeah, right. That's the it's the struggle, and it's the grittiness of getting to your goal is what makes the goal. You know, that's that's the satisfaction of the achievement. Mm-Hmm. It's not even so much being there that I went through all of that.


09;56;54;26 - 09;56;40;11

Jon

It's the journey of it, right? Like, that's why these rights we hold to be self-evident life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, not the destination, not someone giving you what you want, but to be able to struggle in the journey of life for something that's worth struggling for.


09;56;40;00 - 09;56;26;24

Jon

Absolutely right. Like that is freedom. That is all those things in combat. And 11 thing it's like, OK, I want to get better today than I was yesterday, I want to life's going to suck. There's going to be hard things, but I can make that.


09;56;26;09 - 09;56;12;15

Jon

Like, we can make almost losing your house into a fun night. We can make you. We can still have a good time despite someone getting hurt. We can still make good things out of bad situations, and that's part of the gift of hitting the switch of Hey.


09;56;12;00 - 09;55;59;20

Jon

Just be prepared. Difficulties are going to come. But if you face it head on, if you face it with intentionality, then you're in control of your response. And if you're in control of your response, you can really hope to dictate the outcome, right?


09;55;59;10 - 09;55;58;17

Jon

Which is pretty neat.


09;55;58;09 - 09;55;44;28

Craig

And it's the difficulty that that improves you right back to your example. Yeah, it was difficult going and cutting that fire line, but it's improved my home, right? It's yeah, this morning. I was out there this morning with the chainsaw cutting down ten to twelve trees.


09;55;44;20 - 09;55;27;18

Craig

No need for firewood, but it's it's if I'm not sure if I wouldn't have had that experience that I would go through the fire mitigations that some people might call struggle or work. I've grown to the point in my life where part of the struggle is almost what you look forward to.


09;55;27;01 - 09;55;10;27

Craig

Right? Because your brain's going to tell you you don't want to do ever. Every human brain is going to tell you you don't want to do this. Some people have grinded through it enough to realize that to themselves that the further I go, the harder I push myself.


09;55;10;13 - 09;54;58;08

Craig

That is my reward. Right. So I get up this morning and start cutting some trees down. But if that experience wouldn't have happened, I probably wouldn't have done that if I would have done something else right now with the girls breaking or, you know, only breaking her arm.


09;54;57;19 - 09;54;46;03

Craig

We're probably going to be a little bit more cautious with things that, you know, maybe, maybe turn the throttle down on the motorcycle, things like that. My kids are, you know, invincible things like that.


09;54;46;03 - 09;54;33;00

Jon

But yeah. It really is. A good picture, so help me understand a little bit about your past. I'm going to throw the highlights I've picked up in conversation, not all of them, just just a few of them that really stood out to me.


09;54;33;00 - 09;54;21;10

Jon

So kind of pick yourself up by your bootstraps, especially through college. Right? They have a lot of resources at your disposal going through college years and stuff because we talked about how you enjoyed some raw liver at that time.


09;54;21;01 - 09;54;20;02

Craig

So I think I could afford.


09;54;20;01 - 09;54;13;25

Jon

Yeah. So like, there's that in the picture. I know that you spent a significant amount of time in South Africa.


09;54;13;06 - 09;54;10;06

Craig

Was was West Africa, Sierra Leone specifically.


09;54;10;06 - 09;54;07;09

Jon

So I was way off West Africa.


09;54;07;09 - 09;54;05;26

Lindsey

Geography, it's important.


09;54;05;22 - 09;53;49;17

Jon

And then at some point in all of that, you also decided to leave Adobe to start a business. I imagine a well-paying job to start a business which always comes with a lot of risk and get married and have a bunch of kids in a time where a lot of people are wanting to focus more on themselves


09;53;49;13 - 09;53;49;08

Jon

or.


09;53;49;08 - 09;53;48;18

Lindsey

Their pets.


09;53;48;18 - 09;53;47;08

Jon

Or their pets and kids.


09;53;46;23 - 09;53;26;03

Craig

So yeah, there's yeah, yeah, the 38 to 45 year old, I wouldn't really call them an adult that calls their pets their children. Yeah, it's actually I. I don't want to make light of that because I actually feel sorry for some of those folks because it is an expression.


09;53;26;03 - 09;53;10;18

Craig

They want more to their family than they actually have, and they likely want another, you know, they either want a husband or wife and kids. But yet? You know, you use the word risk. Some people look at that relationship as a risk.


09;53;10;09 - 09;52;59;10

Craig

Well, if I enter this relationship and I lock my and I lock myself down, that's how they look at it. What am I going to miss out on this? They're looking at it 100 180 degrees the wrong way.


09;52;59;09 - 09;52;42;06

Craig

What are they missing out on by trying to keep this lifestyle that is that they liked when they were in college, in their early twenties and they're still living it? I'm not knocking that, and I'm sure some people really do want that, but they're calling their pets their kids.


09;52;42;06 - 09;52;23;20

Craig

There's clearly something there that they want more than what they actually have. Mm-Hmm. But yeah, I mean, risk is a. That happens to me at least at least once a day on meetings. Well.


09;52;22;25 - 09;52;12;21

Jon

Let's listen to what happened. We've decided instead of relying on someone else coming to watch the kids to train them so that we can do a recording. So today's recording No. two today. So two fuller days, that's a.


09;52;12;21 - 09;52;11;19

Craig

Long day for those kids.


09;52;11;10 - 09;52;10;03

Jon

It's four hours total.


09;52;09;29 - 09;52;08;27

Craig

That's a long day, buddy.


09;52;08;24 - 09;51;55;15

Jon

And frankly, that's the first time we've had someone come up during a recording. So all in all, I'm I'm proud of them. They need to continue to learn and build that discipline. We're going instruct them in that. But hey, we'll keep rolling.


09;51;55;05 - 09;51;40;16

Craig

Oh yeah. We got to do. There's no, obviously. I mean, I'm not a big deal at all. But like I said, there's there's been some. Yeah, I would tell people that I wouldn't want that happened with some, like some conference calls and just words like, Yeah, that that noise you just heard.


09;51;39;25 - 09;51;33;09

Craig

That's my daughter there, because she got the motorcycle stuck against a tree. Know I'm going to. I'll be back in like 30 seconds, correct? Yeah.


09;51;33;03 - 09;51;17;14

Jon

And I think that there's a difference between, like, I don't know, part of the journey we were talking just before recording about man. Right now, things are an uphill my fight, right, with all of the choices Lindsay and I made in our protest and stand for freedom and some of that and then just other life events, it's


09;51;17;14 - 09;51;05;07

Jon

like everything seems to be an uphill fight right now. It's like, that's life. And we don't want to have to rely on something we don't have control of. To be able to keep doing the work we think is important, like having these conversations.


09;51;04;27 - 09;50;50;07

Jon

So having a small interruption from time to time and being transparent about it, owning it and then continuing forward, they're going to learn each thing. I mean, they're really proud of how the kiddos are doing. And we're going to develop that self-reliance to continue doing the work we want to do so.


09;50;49;28 - 09;50;44;18

Jon

Thanks for your understanding. And and that's why I want to address it and talk about it for a second instead of just try to edit it out. Oh, yeah, right?


09;50;43;27 - 09;50;39;24

Craig

I wouldn't put it out. In a way that's it's real. We're having a real conversation soon with each other.


09;50;39;18 - 09;50;33;16

Jon

We're real deeds across the table. That's it. And there's nothing real special about it to your question.


09;50;32;05 - 09;50;20;24

Craig

I guess, you know, I came from I come from a family that I won't ever. I will. My parents worked far too hard and made way too many sacrifices to me for me to sit here and say I was born.


09;50;20;23 - 09;50;06;01

Craig

I was raised in a poor family. Mm-Hmm. We didn't have a lot. I knew a lot of families in our community that had a heck of a lot less than we did because their their family, for whatever reason, didn't make the sacrifices and didn't put the work in that my parents did.


09;50;05;19 - 09;49;53;18

Craig

But we still didn't have a lot. And what I guess, you know, the biggest privilege that I had growing up was a privilege to never make an excuse for myself. Hmm. If you don't make the team, that's your fault.


09;49;53;10 - 09;49;39;27

Craig

You know, it doesn't. I don't care what the coach said if he was mean to you. If some, you know, some kid took your position because he's the coach's dad, that's irrelevant. There are no excuses. Did you get up the next day?


09;49;39;27 - 09;49;21;24

Craig

Did you start going out and playing catch with yourself? Did you run sprints? Did you do something more than every other than what was asked of you? We never were allowed to make an excuse. And I'd say that's the biggest privilege, and the best thing my parents could have ever done for me is never if something's not


09;49;21;24 - 09;49;03;23

Craig

going the way I wanted it to in life, that's on me. I have the power and authority to be able to make that, that change, right? And I guess that's, you know, that's kind of how I started, whether it was athletically, you know, I knew the only way I was going to go to college was through sports


09;49;03;19 - 09;48;53;00

Craig

. Mm-Hmm. I come from a very, very, very small school. I mean, I graduated with 22 kids in my high school class. There were virtually zero college athletes that came out of that school.


09;48;52;21 - 09;48;52;03

Jon

Is located.


09;48;52;03 - 09;48;36;12

Craig

Again, it's called Marino High School. It's up northeastern portion of Colorado. OK, Plains Country played eight man football. I mean, it was it's not a powerhouse type program. I mean, I would get invited to some of these recruiting camps at bigger colleges.


09;48;36;12 - 09;48;18;16

Craig

And this list legitimately happened to me, Jon, because I worked. I worked every summer. I didn't get to go to a lot of football camps. That's how you get recruited. Typically, I was working in a grain elevator through most of my high school summer, so I finally was able to take a week off my senior year.


09;48;18;16 - 09;48;07;03

Craig

I went to this one camp and did very well, got to, I think, number two or three in this group of the corners eight man football. You don't have corners. So I didn't even know what that was. There's a kid that was going to USC.


09;48;07;03 - 09;47;54;03

Craig

He was ahead of me. Another kid, he was going to Florida. And then there was me kid wearing Marino High School football shorts and the position coach from CSU really liked me and he goes, Hey, man, we've never seen you.


09;47;54;03 - 09;47;49;04

Craig

Where are you from? And I said one for Marino. Well, he thought I meant Marino del Ray, California.


09;47;48;23 - 09;47;46;18

Jon

Yeah, that's what popped into my head when you first heard Marino. Well, you.


09;47;46;18 - 09;47;28;10

Craig

Say you're right, but everybody thinks, Oh, Marino, and you know he's black, dude. So he's like, Oh yeah, we played Marino. Well, I'm from Northeast Colorado, right? There's not a whole there is mostly white farm kids. So I think this is how naive and ignorant I was as a 17 year old high school kid as I'm trying


09;47;28;10 - 09;47;17;07

Craig

to think the biggest school that Marino could have possibly played. I'm like, You mean, like, did you go to Haxton or something? And he goes, Wait a minute, I, where are you from? I said, I'm from Marino High School.


09;47;17;07 - 09;47;04;23

Craig

I'm like, two hours away. This is. And like I said to my the point, my story is there are no excuses. I could have made so many excuses of why this happened. This next thing happened. I didn't have the privilege to make an excuse for myself.


09;47;04;02 - 09;46;54;22

Craig

The coach turns his back on me, walks away. The next day I was in a different group. I was in the number two group. He didn't say another word to me and other. No other coaches ever said another word to me.


09;46;53;26 - 09;46;41;01

Craig

Now, in other circumstances or in other if I came from different families, I could have made every excuse in the world. You know what? Screw that coach. You know he's looking at you for how you look and where you're from, and that's why you didn't make it.


09;46;40;19 - 09;46;29;04

Craig

I didn't have that. I never had that. My excuse was, you know what I something I did went wrong. I either messed up in a drill or I did something there. I said something I shouldn't have said, and that's why I got moved to the other group.


09;46;29;04 - 09;46;13;12

Craig

They didn't like me, so I better get better at what I'm doing. And that's how I've lived my entire life. Got recruited by shadow and state played football. There was on some incredibly good teams, played with a lot of guys that played in the NFL for a very long time.


09;46;13;04 - 09;45;57;07

Craig

Danny, what arouses lifting partner for two years, which I was he was a freak, still is a freakish athlete. I mean, he's a. There's there's a lot of special people in the world that play extreme like professional sports.


09;45;56;28 - 09;45;44;17

Craig

Danny Woodhead is one of those guys. He is special and he touches a sport or a ball. He's going to be the best person you've ever seen. Do it. But I was privileged because they put him with me because I I would grind in the weight room.


09;45;44;16 - 09;45;30;21

Craig

I worked really, really hard because I had to find playing with competing against guys like him. I had to work really hard because I wasn't nearly as talented talent as I graduated, and then life punched me in the face again.


09;45;29;24 - 09;45;16;23

Craig

Graduated in 2009, I was going to be an engineer in the oil and gas industry. When the gas industry shut down that year, I could have made every excuse for myself that, you know, the world's cards are stacked against me.


09;45;16;22 - 09;45;04;04

Craig

I had no excuses. I got the first job I could find laying concrete in Sterling, Colorado. I was living in my buddy's basement, and I did that for probably like two or three months and my plan was actually going to the military.


09;45;03;29 - 09;44;43;21

Craig

My buddy was getting my buddy was training for buds. He was getting ready for the pipeline and I was considering maybe getting a contract and joining him. Meanwhile, I have an amazing woman that loves me very much. At the time, my current wife, Elizabeth and I realized, I don't really want to.


09;44;43;16 - 09;44;32;18

Craig

I don't want to be deployed and do the the special sacrifices that those guys, because I don't think I could do it. I tip my hat to those guys and their families. But I knew I wasn't going to do that right.


09;44;32;18 - 09;44;14;09

Craig

So I realized quickly. I don't want to lay concrete the rest of my life not knocking that my grandfather laid concrete his entire life. But this was kind of the the pivot point in my life was I was kind of talking shit like everybody knew I was fairly intelligent.


09;44;14;05 - 09;44;05;25

Craig

Like, what are you doing? Laying concrete? I was like, Oh, I'm going to go to school mines. Don't worry about it. It'll be fine. My plan was never really go to the Colorado School of Mines. I was I was afraid.


09;44;05;07 - 09;43;48;23

Craig

I didn't think I was smart enough. I shouldn't be there. And one day, unknowingly, my buddy and I got a lot. His name is Jake Lockhart. I have to thank him a lot for for this because my life is radically different.


09;43;48;23 - 09;43;40;09

Craig

If we weren't sitting in that bar and he didn't call me out and he didn't mean to. But he called me out on my own. That was one time in my life. I was making excuses for myself. Hmm.


09;43;39;11 - 09;43;28;13

Craig

Nothing's worked out and you got trapped on here, here, here, here, whether that's true or not. It's a real. I let that in my head. He called me on it. You mean we're sitting there at the bar and he's like, Hey, Craig, he was living in Golden.


09;43;27;20 - 09;43;16;10

Craig

That was my excuse. I didn't have a place to go live. Yeah, right. I'm safe in sterling, my hometown laying concrete. It's all right. He was living in Goldman at the time and he goes, Well, hey man, I heard you want to go to school.


09;43;16;07 - 09;43;08;18

Craig

And I was like, Yeah, man, I just don't have a place. That was my excuse. Just want a place to stay. And he goes, Well, hey man. Like a bedroom. Just open up in our house. You should come live with us.


09;43;07;23 - 09;43;06;04

Craig

And at the time, I'm like, Oh shit.


09;43;05;29 - 09;43;03;07

Lindsey

Yeah, you just called me out on it.


09;43;03;06 - 09;42;49;06

Craig

I did. He's like, I don't have an excuse now. Yeah. And I have a place to stay. And I'm like, Oh man, I just I. I don't think I'm smart. Every doubt, every human emotion of doubt hit me at that point is like, now, what are you going to do, man?


09;42;48;27 - 09;42;36;19

Craig

You've been telling these people, you're going to go to school. Now, what are you going to do? So for the next, I think I was like six or seven months. I saved every penny that I could. I mean, when I was when Liz would come and visit me because we were living in different towns.


09;42;36;04 - 09;42;26;09

Craig

I was saving everything we could when we went out. eight, we would go to Subway. And that was like eating out for us was, you know, each one of us got our own subway sandwich. So we still didn't have much.


09;42;26;09 - 09;42;14;10

Craig

So saving my own personal money to go to a school. I wasn't even a student. I didn't apply. I just showed up. I showed up. I don't pretty sure this has never happened in the history of that whole school.


09;42;14;04 - 09;42;08;15

Craig

I just showed up, I showed up. I started taking 15 credit hours of the hardest courses that I could find. How did.


09;42;08;15 - 09;42;06;27

Jon

You get enrolled or do you just start.


09;42;06;27 - 09;41;55;11

Craig

Singing? Well, the school doesn't care. They're going, get my money regardless. There's no guarantee that I'm I'm not in the program, so I'm just it's just going to go in the document documentation from the school that I'm here's my name.


09;41;55;10 - 09;41;44;15

Craig

I've taken these courses, and here's the scores that I got. Yeah, right. So if I want to keep doing that, I can, and maybe eventually I can get in the program and graduate. It's an enormous risk. I mean, who would do that?


09;41;44;15 - 09;41;32;06

Craig

Yeah, there's no guarantee you're not even going to get a degree. And I called a professor there cold called him out of the blue. His name is Dr. Jon Curtis. Super highly respect that that individual. He called me back on a Sunday evening.


09;41;31;23 - 09;41;16;11

Craig

I mean, this is one of the most prestigious professors at this incredibly prestigious school, calling back a guy laying concrete who's living in his friend's basement, Sterling, Colorado. And he's answering my questions like, Well, I'm probably not going to be able to get in for this semester.


09;41;16;11 - 09;41;05;26

Craig

Like, What should I do? I just want to become a better geologist. I want to get information. What can I do? Go show up and start taking classes. He goes, No one. No one's ever done that, but all you have to.


09;41;05;18 - 09;40;54;24

Craig

He's no guarantee. Like, if you don't pass the classes, you're not getting anything back. Yeah, you're going to pay for this classes upfront and there. And he's like, What class do you want to take on this one? This one, this one, this one?


09;40;54;11 - 09;40;42;16

Craig

He goes, this those are some of the hardest course we have in the geology program. I said, Well, if I if I got one shot at trying to get as much information as I can, zero expectation I was going to pass any of these classes.


09;40;41;28 - 09;40;25;07

Craig

And so I show up day one. I've got like a sweatshirt that's got holes in it. I mean, I look, I am a construction worker. I look like one. And we're going through at the start of all these graduate level classes and everyone's introducing themselves who they are, you know, and we go as common people.


09;40;25;00 - 09;40;09;04

Craig

And the reason I remember his name because he's still my friend, his name was Koman Pino. He was getting a Ph.D. in geophysics. He was already like a drilling manager in this Indonesian drilling company. Yeah. So he's like, That's my dream job.


09;40;09;03 - 09;40;01;05

Craig

This guy is already doing it, and I'm in the class with him. So it goes around and I'm in the very back of the classroom sitting with my hood on like, just please don't make me have to introduce myself.


09;40;00;11 - 09;39;57;19

Lindsey

Don't call on me. Please don't sit here in the corner.


09;39;57;19 - 09;39;45;26

Craig

I just sit here and like, you guys can kick me out at the end of semester and laugh, and I introduced myself and Craig Kaiser and I came from a school that none of them had heard of, and I've been laying concrete for the last ten months.


09;39;45;07 - 09;39;32;09

Craig

And I kid you not people started laughing at me. They started laughing, like, what is he doing here? Because there's this Personen mentality that if you're in that school, you're the smartest person in the planet. They're so, so smart and they're really not.


09;39;31;23 - 09;39;18;13

Craig

They just they did. They worked harder than most people do in high school and college, and they do their work. But rather than go out and get drunk and drink beer at shadow and state, which is what we did, but they literally laughed at me and I.


09;39;17;29 - 09;39;04;11

Craig

And this is my own fault. I bought into that, too. I was like, You know, they're right. I shouldn't be here. I'd already spent the money, so now I'm going off to go to work. And I remember it was like our second test, and this is probably the hardest course that we took that in that I took


09;39;04;11 - 09;38;46;24

Craig

at that school. The professor put a distribution of the test scores up there and he goes, This is going to be probably your hardest test of the semester and puts the distribution up there. And the the the the P 50, the 50th percentile was like a 45% on the test.


09;38;46;24 - 09;38;36;22

Craig

I mean, it was a weed out. We don't take tests and I just like, put my head down. I'm like, Oh no, and there's like a couple of people got like two or three percents and puts a distribution.


09;38;36;22 - 09;38;20;29

Craig

Oh, goodness, somebody's got 100%. Somebody hit 100% on that test. And I'm just like, Oh my God, there's like one of those people are in this class. There I am over there the two or 3%. And I knew at that moment was like verification.


09;38;20;20 - 09;38;08;11

Craig

I need to be back in sterling laying concrete. Every human. Was just piling on. The enemy was piling on me. I told you, you shouldn't be here. Yeah, told you you shouldn't be here. But I worked hard and worked hard all week on that study.


09;38;08;03 - 09;37;59;04

Craig

I mean, when I was eating dinner, when I was eating food, I was sitting there studying and I love the information. So it wasn't that much. It wasn't like I was having to grind through it. I liked it.


09;37;59;00 - 09;37;42;19</