An NFL Player’s Mistakes On and Off the Field: Lenny Walls

An NFL Player’s Mistakes On and Off the Field: Lenny Walls

My guest for Episode #51 of “the My Favorite Mistake” podcast is Lenny Walls, a retired professional football player who played for four NFL teams and three teams in the Canadian Football League. He is now a San Antonio-based Certified Personal Trainer, entrepreneur, coach, mentor, and community leader.

I had the opportunity to meet Lenny when I was living in San Antonio and I did a number of personal training sessions with him, as I wrote about here. His businesses and community ventures include Walls Next Level Fitness, the Breaking Down Walls Foundation, Walls2Walls Coaching, and Walls2Walls Capital.

Below is a photo from his days with the Denver Broncos. See other photos from his playing days.

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In today's episode, Lenny shares some reflections about his “favorite mistake” — not the money-losing investments, but his self assessment that he lacked humility “during his most successful time in life.” We talk about what Lenny learned from his NFL experience and that time and how he's applied it to his second career.

I had the chance to ask Lenny about his mindset on making very public mistakes on the field — when do you take the time to learn and correct? We talk about his phrase “the hustle is entertainment” and we also chat about workout mistakes that many people (including myself) have made. All that and more…

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Quotes:

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"My biggest mistake was not having enough gratitude and not showing and demonstrating enough humility during the most successful time of my life. It's easy to be humble when you're down."

"At the cornerback position, you definitely can't be too concerned with making mistakes. You have to play so fast. I mean the game is so fast. And even at that position, we were taught to have a short-term memory."

"Well, one thing that I can take from the NFL is you can never stop growing. Peyton Manning only took two weeks off. What I've learned is to develop better habits each and every day, no matter where I'm at in my life. "

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contain Mistakes)

Mark Graban (0s):

Episode 51, Lenny Walls, former NFL player, certified personal trainer, entrepreneur, and community leader.

Lenny Walls (9s):

The favorite mistake for myself would be just having a lack of humility during my most successful time in my life.

Mark Graban (21s):

I'm Mark Graban. This is My Favorite Mistake. In this podcast, you'll hear business leaders and other really interesting people talking about their favorite mistakes because we all make mistakes, but what matters is learning from our mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again. So this is the place for honest reflection and conversation, personal growth and professional success. Visit our website at myfavoritemistakepodcast.com. For show notes, links, and more, go to MarkGraban.com/mistake51. Go to MarkGraban/contests to enter to win books from various guests, please subscribe, rate, and review, and now on with the show.

Mark Graban (1m 8s):

Everybody. Welcome to My Favorite Mistake. I'm Mark Graban, real excited to be joined today by Lenny Walls. He's a friend of mine from when I used to live back in San Antonio a couple of years ago. And before I introduce him a little bit more formally… Lenny, it's great to see you again. Thanks for being here…

Lenny Walls (1m 24s):

Great to see you, my friend, been a long time.

Mark Graban (1m 27s):

It has, and I'm glad we could do this. And I think it's going to be a great conversation. Let me introduce Lenny a little bit more. You know, I think he's a remarkable person on, on many levels, the things he's done, the things he continues to do. He played cornerback in the NFL for six seasons, Denver, Kansas city, and St. Louis. He was the tallest cornerback in the league at six foot four. And I'll tell you to this day, he is probably the fittest person. I know. And I know, I know this from Lenny's work now, as one of the things he does is working as a certified personal trainer. So don't judge whose work by looking at me, Lenny is really good at what he does.

Mark Graban (2m 13s):

I was only able to work out with him for a couple of months before having to, to move. But I learned a lot from that. And I think maybe we'll touch on that a little bit today, but additionally, in this post football career, Lenny is a community leader. He is the president of the breaking down walls foundation. There's a lot of great events and youth activities in San Antonio. Lenny's an entrepreneur. He coaches businesses and leaders through walls to walls coaching. So Lenny again, thank you. Thank you for being

Lenny Walls (2m 42s):

I'm honored, man. Appreciate it. It's just an honor to be on and to be able to inspire some people. Hopefully I think that's why we're all here is to pay it forward and to contribute in some kind of way with our voices and our stories. And I admire you. I've always admired you and your business etiquette and just being a great person. Most important that you know, is always a treasure to show up to the Broadway and, and kick your butt for four hours. But yeah, I'm honored to be on man and it should be fun.

Mark Graban (3m 12s):

Yeah. And it's fine. If you could see my notes right here. One of the things I jotted down to say was that exact phrase you kicked my butt. It was, you know, but you taught me a lot and you know, it was, it was motivating. And so I was working out this morning. I should have left my, my workout clothes on. Good. One of the things you you taught me was to, to, to keep at it and push through and, and have good habits. I've tried to maintain that, but it's a struggle.

Lenny Walls (3m 38s):

Very good, balance is key, man. A lot of us struggle, you know, balancing out family and career and health. And I pride myself on doing my best, you know, do my best to be balanced. And we all know that that's key in life.

Mark Graban (3m 53s):

So, you know, I think one of the things that's important in life. And as we talk about often all the time here on the podcast is learning from mistakes. And so I'm going to throw it right at you. Lenny, what would you say is your favorite mistake?

Lenny Walls (4m 6s):

You know, this was very difficult for me, as you know, I'm almost thought about some of the investments where I lost money and stuff like that, but I really didn't see those as my favorite mistakes. I think that the favorite mistake for myself would be just having a lack of humility during my most successful time in my life. I think that would be my biggest mistake, you know, not having enough gratitude and not, not being, you're not, not showing and demonstrating enough humility during the most successful time of my life. Cause it's easy to be humble kind of when you're down. But when I was playing at the height of my career in the NFL, I kind of regret, well, I guess I can say regret because with our mistakes we learned from them and we should learn from them just not having enough humility when I was at the highest point in my life.

Mark Graban (4m 53s):

Can you think of some examples or how did you come to sort of reflect upon that looking back? I mean, some of that is age and maturity. How did this start to become clear?

Lenny Walls (5m 4s):

You know, not a couple examples, just not heeding advice of, of, you know, players who had been there before me and now I love the idea of having a mentor. I have one now not listening to people who have been there before me, you know, sometimes we can think we're more awesome than we really are. And, and you, you know, you, you have a certain level of confidence that can, can turn into arrogance to where, you know, maybe you don't, you, you don't prepare or, or train as hard as you may need to, or you should have because now you've made it, you know, when you, when you get to a certain level of, of income, when you come from the inner city, like me, who, a guy who grew up in poverty, who didn't have any, you know, much sources of, from a monetary standpoint, to be able to have that kind of income now.

Lenny Walls (5m 48s):

And, and to think that you've arrived when you're 24, 25 year old kid, you know, you still have the whole, your whole life ahead of you. And so just understanding that and living and learning through those, those Rocky roads, I would, I would definitely say lack of humility because when you, when you're humbled, you're, you're opened up to more learning, you're opened up to more growth. And I always tell people, humility is not stupidity. You know, we don't know it all and we should, we should always continue to keep that in mind.

Mark Graban (6m 17s):

And so, I mean, you, and you, like you said, you know, you grew up in inner city, you ended up at Boston College as a student there playing football. Yeah. There was that rise. And then, you know, I was kind of looking back at some of the notes about your career of being an undrafted free agent, and then, you know, your second season in the league starting all 16 games in Denver. So can you talk a little bit more about, about that rise? Cause you know, there there's quite a lot of accomplishment there and I'm sure there was a lot to be proud of.

Lenny Walls (6m 47s):

Absolutely. You know, and that's one thing going in undrafted when I was predicted, projected to go first or second round and to go in and drafted with a chip on my shoulder. I think that that experience humbled me and I worked really, really hard to get on the field, you know, cause I was that guy coming in, we didn't have a big sign in bonus where they could cut very, very easily. And so me understanding and knowing that made me work really, really hard. And then to be able to start all 16 games in my second season, you know, finally get in my next season to seven figures of income. I think sometimes you, you, you forget sometimes where, where you, how, how hard you had to work and where you've come from. And that's one lesson I think I learned again, maybe the hard way you, you find out in my third and fourth seasons, I started to, you know, get some injuries.

Lenny Walls (7m 33s):

I had some really, really tough injuries and I just feel like, you know, if I had been a little bit more grateful because gratitude is the seed to receive it more, as you know, you know, the more grateful we are, the more blessings we tend to receive. And that's a lesson I had to learn really through life's experiences in football to just be a little more humble.

Mark Graban (7m 57s):

But the average career in the NFL is pretty short.

Lenny Walls (8m 0s):

Yeah. Three or four years, maybe tops. Yeah.

Mark Graban (8m 4s):

And w w when you entered the league, I mean, I've heard a little bit, the NFL has started, I think, a formal program for players coming into the league to sort of help set expectations that, Hey, this doesn't last forever. I mean, I guess, you know, like Tom Brady, Drew Brees are rare exceptions, but

Lenny Walls (8m 19s):

Yeah, exactly.

Mark Graban (8m 23s):

They're not allowed to have to get hit really. So it's different than what you were facing, but, but did, did the NFL have that when you came into the,

Lenny Walls (8m 30s):

Well, I think that they should improve it. They have what we call the rookie symposium and, and, and check this out. Undrafted guys don't even go, Oh, interesting. So drafted guys get a chance to go, but it's kinda like, I want to say it's a one or two day event where all the rookies show up and they have, you know, I, I don't know if it's former players, cause I didn't attend it and different people maybe counseling them and preparing them for the journey. But again, I think it should be something that's ongoing. It's just, you know, a two-day or three-day event or whatever, where they just kind of engulfed them into this place where they, it kind of talked them through what's going to happen or maybe talk to them. I'm sure they talked about finances and how to manage money, but I have no idea cause I didn't attend, but that's still not enough.

Lenny Walls (9m 15s):

We need something continuously, you know, throughout the journey. I think where we can go to someone for help. I mean, that's another big thing in the NFL. You know, we have this new macho mentality where, you know, something's going on, you know, outside of football, we tend to not want to talk about it or discuss it. And I think that that's very, very important because we can get our philosophy refined and we can get a different insight, you know, it can really help us down the road. And I don't think the NFL has enough in place of, for guys like myself once we actually start succeeding and, you know, developing an NFL. Yeah.

Mark Graban (9m 52s):

Cause I think there could be a program, you know, after that first season of players like yourself who is clear, we're going to stick in the league for awhile. Yeah. Maybe better, late than never.

Lenny Walls (10m 3s):

Absolutely. I would totally agree. Absolutely. Yeah.

Mark Graban (10m 7s):

So one thing I've, I've really been dying to ask you, you know, you're the first professional athlete I've been able to interview here on the podcast and I'm curious, you know, well, there's your mindset about the idea of making mistakes on the field? I mean, you might have 75,000 fans in person. It might be millions of people watching you on TV. What do you remember about this idea of, you know, making a mistake and your reactions?

Lenny Walls (10m 35s):

Yeah. Well at the cornerback position, you definitely can't be too concerned with making mistakes. You have to play so fast. I mean the game is so fast. And even at that position, we have, we was taught to have a short-term memory. You know, you have to focus on the next play because if you get down about a particular play before that happened, it's going to kill you and come fourth quarter when the game's on the line. And so that's what I love about the game.  . And we all have to go through that process, you know, no struggle, no cross, no progress. And so I've really had a short term memory. I never really worried about making mistakes when I played one thing I did worry about when I, you know, later in my career was, you know, the injuries, you know, and that was a big one for me because you know, having, having a couple of surgeries in 2004, then coming back in '05 and having to play with, with those injuries in the back of my mind.

Lenny Walls (11m 33s):

Now you're thinking about your contract. Now you're thinking about feeding your family and, and not wanting to go down. And so now you may be a little hesitant with how you play the game. Whereas in the beginning I was just reckless, you know, and that's the mentality that we're taught to have and I was taught to have. And so if anything kind of slowed me as far as making mistakes would be the

Mark Graban (11m 56s):

Yeah. Yeah. I've, I've heard that phrase, you know, the short memory, like in sports talk shows ESPN, have you seen the show Ted Lasso? I have not seen it. I think you should watch this. It's on Apple+ it's you about an American football coach from like D-II who gets hired to go coach an English premier league football team, soccer team. And there's, there's a scene where Ted Lasso tells one of the players on his team B you know, it says, you know what memory again, butchered that mistake. Do you know what animal has the shortest memory? And it says a goldfish. And he's trying to convince the player who was upset about something. He says be a goldfish.

Lenny Walls (12m 38s):

Hmm. Hmm. I've never heard of that one. I wonder why would he, why would he say that?

Mark Graban (12m 43s):

Yeah, I think just trying to tell them, Hey, put the, put the mistake behind you and sort of like you were describing.

Lenny Walls (12m 48s):

Yes, absolutely. You have to be, I mean, you have to, and you learn that you, you don't have time to, to worry about what happened in the past. You kind of got to focus on moving forward. It's the same thing, but life, you know, football teaches you a lot about life and we all make mistakes, but we can all change. You know, it's never too late to change, grow, fix the situation, bounce back football teachers taught me a lot about that.

Mark Graban (13m 16s):

Yeah. So we'll let, before we talk about, you know, your transition in the second career and how you bring lessons from one world into the other world, one of the things I wanted to ask about, you know, kind of the process of, let's say there's a play on the field. You make a mistake, you put it behind you at a certain point either. I'm guessing like, you know, when you're on the sideline or during halftime or during the next practice, the coaches, I imagine there's some process to, to review something that went wrong, whether you call it a mistake or getting beat or whatever, and then at some point learn from it. Can you talk about that?

Lenny Walls (13m 49s):

Absolutely. Well, for sure, we definitely want to correct those mistakes so that they don't continue to happen just because we make a mistake. Doesn't mean it's, it's cool to continue to do it. So a lot of the times we have our coaches are up in the booth and they see things, you know, when you have that bird's eye view, so to speak, you can see everything that's taken place. You come to the sideline. And sometimes a lot of the times, if you make a mistake, you'll get on. You ever see the players get on the phone on the sideline, or that player is on the phone talking to one of the coaches up in there, up in the booth. Or even if a coach on the sideline can see it from the field level, tend to correct you. And when we come off the field, that's when we talk about it. And that's when we discussed a way to be able to deal with the situation throughout the week.

Lenny Walls (14m 32s):

And when we come in, we watched the entire film, we watched it, we watched every defensive snap from that game. And as a defensive attainment and we go through it, sometimes it takes us two hours to finish the film, but we go through it and we correct it and we see how we can get better from it. So that the next week, next Sunday, we can, we can be better off. So yeah, there's definitely a process there.

Mark Graban (14m 57s):

I think, you know, this, and I've mentioned before in the podcast, the only thing that ever got me on a football field was being in the marching band.

Lenny Walls (15m 5s):

Yeah. It's a very different experience. I kept me hyped up.

Mark Graban (15m 11s):

That was a big part of what we tried to do, but you know, I think about reviewing game film. So the only opportunity I've really ever gotten to do that is let's say as a speaker, you know, working with a speaking coach or even you learn to do on your own, it's painful. Like everybody says, you know, I hate watching video of myself talk, but you've got to do it so you can pick up on things that you want to do better. So I don't know, is that any sort of habit that you've carried forward, you do speaking and all sorts of different things. Do you ever review game film now?

Lenny Walls (15m 46s):

Yeah. For the, the few speaking engagements that I have done, I haven't spoken as much as you have. And, and I love the challenge of speaking, the rush of getting in front of a crowd and being able to give some insight and it's all about helping others, you know? So I've learned to remove myself from the situation and just make it about the people that I'm, that I'm talking to because that's what I want to help and encourage. But yeah, I've definitely, always, I didn't at first, but now I always have somebody, a videographer kind of record me when I go do some consulting or I speak to a small business, a group of managers or whatever the case may be the correct, maybe where I made a mistake. Correct. Maybe my, my, my, you know, something I could have said maybe better or in a different way, as far as delivery, there's a lot of things that you can do.

Lenny Walls (16m 31s):

And it definitely carries over from what I learned from football as well. Yeah.

Mark Graban (16m 36s):

Yeah. So with all the things that you've been doing post-football is, is there a particular lesson that comes to mind, something that you brought from your football experience into the business?

Lenny Walls (16m 50s):

Anything that comes to mind in particular? Well, one thing that I can take is you can never, you can, you can never stop growing. And one thing about myself and what I've learned from football is, you know, you have to continue to, to focus on your, your education. You have to continue to. And whether that's, you know, like Peyton Manning wanting to all the time grades, you know, I have a lot of respect for Peyton Manning. There were times where, you know, I heard Peyton Manning say one time, you know, he takes about two weeks off after the off season, you know, after the season's over January, February, whatever the case may be, he takes about two weeks off and he's right back at it.

Lenny Walls (17m 34s):

He's watching film, he's back to the drawing board. And a lot of times during my off season, the season is over. I couldn't wait to go party and live it up for three months until it was time to go back to camp. And so what I've learned is to develop better habits each and every day, no matter where I'm at in my life, whether that's reading a good book, whether that's talking to a mentor, but just continuing to put education and growth first and your life or something else will take over, you know, a lot of things, the entertainment world is very distracting. There's a lot of things out there that can take you off of your game and away from your purpose. And so knowing that I played in the NFL, but also realizing too that, you know, a six year career is good, but why, why didn't I play 12?

Lenny Walls (18m 20s):

Right? How, you know, there's some things that I probably could have done, whether it was taking care of my body or, or whatever the case may be to be a better person and a better player. And now I don't ever want to take life itself for granted. Cause the biggest asset that we have in life is time and life is very, very short. So that's what I really can take. And to anything else that I'm doing with my life is continue to grow…

Mark Graban (18m 44s):

Well. That's, that's great advice. It's a great reminder. And so you said, you know, the, the word entertainment, and one thing I was going to ask you about was a phrase I've heard you use a lot. And I say, I see it there on your right hand, the hustle is entertainment. What's that phrase mean to you?

Lenny Walls (19m 2s):

I coined that phrase about six years ago, again, one of my mentors, he was with me when me and my ex-wife were doing some, some direct sales with a company. And he told me, he said, let me in this day and age, there's so much opportunity everywhere. You know, there's opportunity everywhere. We, you know, there's information at our fingertips. And he said, but the biggest reason why people fail in life was that the too busy entertaining themselves rather than educating themselves. And that really resonated with me because, you know, we can find ourselves watching him as much as we love sports and entertainment. We can find ourselves doing things for two or three hours that have nothing to do with our purpose that have nothing to do with our goals. And so the hustle is entertainment.

Lenny Walls (19m 43s):

It's all about making whatever your hustle is. You know, whether that's becoming the greatest speaker or writing the most amount of books on leadership, or if it's, you know, transforming lives through health and wellness, whatever your dreams and goals are and what God put you here for and make sure that you don't get caught up and make that hustle, that particular theme, your source of entertainment, and rather than kind of getting bombarded by mass media and everything else that's going on, you know, all the politics and things that, that we see now going on in the world, people get really caught up in all of this stuff. And yes, we gotta have a certain level of awareness, but again, it goes back to that balance. How much are you getting caught up into these things rather than doing the things that God put you here to do?

Lenny Walls (20m 26s):

Yeah.

Mark Graban (20m 27s):

So when you talk about that, that sense of purpose, what God put us here to do and you know, and what you're saying there, it makes me think of the idea of, you know, if you really love what you do, you're in that state of flow, you know, that that probably puts us into a state where instead of binge watching some show where we're, we're, we're binge working, I don't know.

Lenny Walls (20m 51s):

I like what “the hustle is entertainment is all about.” That's kind of what it's about. It's kind of saying, okay, let's make what we love to do and what we're put here to do our most important source of entertainment, make it the most important source of insight. And when you love it, it becomes really, really fun. You're very, very passionate about that. You know, whether it's, you know, contributing to a group of kids, you know, that's w I have breaking down walls because I, I, my purpose is to inspire the youth it's to inspire young kids to be bigger than their circumstances. You know, I grew up in both of my parents in the eighties, so drugs, you know, I grew up in harsh environment and all the odds were against me to be successful, but somehow I was able to do it.

Lenny Walls (21m 33s):

So identify with a lot of people, especially kids who may be going through certain things at the moment, you know, it's never too late for you, you know? And so kind of share my story and testimony with them about that. It makes them think, okay. Yeah, I can make the hustle, my entertainment too.

Mark Graban (21m 49s):

So, you know, when you were sharing reflections, I just want to make some connections to what you shared about, you know, maybe your early days in the NFL, and now the tables are turned. You might be in a situation of coaching, you know, hot shot, high school athlete, or somebody who's on his way up. Have, have you had a situation where now you're sort of trying to coach somebody who maybe in some ways reminds you of yourself and what, what, what does that bring?

Lenny Walls (22m 20s):

Yeah. Every, every kid is different. I remember one particular kid that I was mentoring, you know, just trying to help him deal with the fact that his dad was about to get out of prison and hadn't been there for him, but just reminded him that you only get one father, you know, and I'm teaching him that, you know, second chances are, are necessary. And, and usually people deserve that, you know, and then having sympathy and empathy for others is important. And I remember just, you know, talking to him about it and looking at, prepare him for that. And, you know, there's probably a lot of people in his ear telling him he's your, your dad's never been there.

Lenny Walls (23m 1s):

You know? So who is he to tell you anything? Who is, who, why would you build a relationship with him? And I was just encouraging him to give him the benefit of the doubt, just because I know, you know, I lost my dad when I was five years old, you know, he, he didn't even make it to 40, but just knowing that my mom had made some mistakes, but understanding the environment, understanding all the positive things that she did do for me and, and amongst all of that, you know, how I owe it to her, that I was still even able to make it out of the situation and get her a home and get her out of that environment. You know, sometimes you just have to, it's, it's all about love, man. You know, at the end of the day, you know, it's all about being a light, you know, once we, once we, once we're born, it's all about this tug of war between good and evil.

Lenny Walls (23m 48s):

And I'm just here to make sure that, you know, there's more good in the world. And that's, I think that's what it's all about. Yeah.

Mark Graban (23m 55s):

Wow. That's a very nicely said. So it's hard to transition from that beautiful thought to, okay, well, what other questions was I going to ask you? But no, it's all right. That's a lot to, it's a lot to think about. So maybe we talk a little bit about, you know, the work you do as a certified personal trainer or a certified athletic trainer. I was going to ask you, well, you know, so I was going to ask you about mistakes. People make when they're working out. But first I was going to volunteer your laugh. You're thinking about the mistakes I made. I'm going to share one with you. You can pile on if you want, but I'm working out with you.

Mark Graban (24m 38s):

Like with weights, you recognize very quickly and taught me like, when, if it gets really hard after 10 reps, it's those next couple reps that are important. And when I would have a tendency to say, okay, it's gotten difficult. That's time to stop. You taught me. No,

Lenny Walls (24m 58s):

Absolutely. That's a lesson that stuck with me, for sure. I mean, that's a, that's a lesson in life right there. Right? That's where you get your greatest when it hurts the most, you know, a lot of times when you're working on a project or you need to get something done, or, you know, if you're taking a bar for law school, it's when the thing gets most challenging. That's when you experienced the greatest changes in your life and then same thing with your muscles. I always tell people to know if anybody can do the first eight reps, first 10 reps. It's, it's getting those next two out. If you have a, a set of 12 or those next five out, when you have a set of 15, that's where you're going to get your greatest gains. And it's kind of like, you know, where, you know, they always talk about getting outside of your comfort zone.

Lenny Walls (25m 39s):

You're paying, you know, if you can, you can understand that your pain is your purpose and in your pain is where you change the game. Then you'll learn to embrace those challenges a little bit differently with a lot more mental 42. And so, but my biggest go back to mistakes. My biggest thing with my clients is just diet. It's easy for me. You know, when somebody, when I'm looking to, to, to do the right thing or, you know, to finish that rip when you have that encouragement, but sometimes you gotta, you gotta flip that, switch on yourself and have the necessary discipline from a nutritional standpoint to really get the results that you want. And so I commend my clients and those people out there who are on this fitness journey and this, this journey of, of optimal health and greater health, to make sure that you understand that nutrition is the most important aspect of it all, what you put in your body and what you fuel your body.

Lenny Walls (26m 31s):

That's where the discipline really, really has to, has to turn on. Yeah,

Mark Graban (26m 36s):

Well, that's, and that's a great point. So I think if I've gotten to work out with you longer, like for one, there was the physical training, there was what you taught me and what we talked about. And I think that next level would have been a more holistic one

Lenny Walls (26m 52s):

Approach and stuff like that. Absolutely. Plant plant-based. Yeah. Just a more plant-based approach to eating and stuff like that. You know, I'm not vegan, but I do understand the importance of, you know, whole foods, green leafy vegetables, and stuff like that. I, to got, gotta make sure that if I want to live long, you don't want to just live well, but it's good to live long too,

Mark Graban (27m 12s):

Instead of just, yeah. So instead of thinking about the food as entertainment, sometimes that gets us in trouble. If that, if we're just going for what we love, what feels good right now, right?

Lenny Walls (27m 21s):

Yeah. Temporary. Yeah. Those are temporary pleasures, but you know, you want to have long-term pleasures, which is, which is feeling good, looking good. And all the things that we really, really want that takes a little bit more effort. Yeah. Yeah.

Mark Graban (27m 35s):

So one other, and one of the things I was gonna, you know, kind of bring up the comes to mind here. So a mistake I continue to make is not stretching

Lenny Walls (27m 43s):

Enough. So I don't know if you remember,

Mark Graban (27m 44s):

Like when we were working out, I think you, you mentioned one span that you'd said I have the tightest hamstrings.

Lenny Walls (27m 51s):

Yeah. Yeah. I remember that. Have you heard of a stretch lab or stretch zone? Do they have those around? I've

Mark Graban (27m 56s):

Heard about it. Is that worth checking out?

Lenny Walls (27m 59s):

It is. I go once a week, I go once a week, I have a membership over there and they stretch me out for about 50 minutes. So I stretch a little bit, but I've always been, I guess you can say somewhat flexible, but I've also had to be flexible because I'm an athlete. But since I retired, I haven't stretched nearly as much as I did when I played. And so what I've learned is, Hey, it's, Hey, if you know, you're not going to stretch on your own. And I still work out at a very high level, Hey man, go ahead and hire the expert, hire someone who will sit there and stretch you out for an hour and make sure that, you know, your stretch is more optimal and you can just kind of take the guesswork out. They stretched me from top to bottom, man.

Lenny Walls (28m 39s):

I mean everything, all the muscles. And so I enjoy it. I like it. I get a chance to get away and free my mind for a minute. It's just like getting a massage or something, just like hiring a massage therapist. But those companies are doing really well. And I appreciate them.

Mark Graban (28m 57s):

Yeah. So it's interesting to think of it's it's, it's a coach, it's guidance. It's a mentor wherever you want.

Lenny Walls (29m 3s):

Yep. Yep, absolutely. We need those. We need that. You know, that's why we work so hard to, to be able to have those people there so that we can afford to pay them to take care of us. Right.

Mark Graban (29m 14s):

Good point. So I, I I've, I've tried to get better about being more disciplined about it, doing my piriformis stretches and that I that's a muscle. I didn't even know I had until, Until you were health and me, so yeah. Yeah. So maybe, you know, I need to call you up or engage with you for some remote coach to give me that pep talk, to keep doing my stretches. I'm not trying to even five

Lenny Walls (29m 42s):

Minutes, a post-workout, you know, five minutes before and five minutes after you work out, that's not a lot of time, but you know, those, all those deposits help, you know, especially when you're talking about tight hamstrings and tight piriformis muscles, those muscles all attached to your back, you know, a lot of people go back pain and you know, a lot of, you know, disc pain. And so when you can, when you can loosen those things up, allows you to feel better. It makes you more productive throughout your daily life. And

Mark Graban (30m 11s):

Yeah, about a year ago, I I've had a lot of pain from a slipped disc. And the one thing that I've learned is, I mean, you know this, but I'm learning, it's all interconnected. So loosening up. My hips makes a big difference with my back.

Lenny Walls (30m 29s):

Absolutely. 1000%. Yeah.

Mark Graban (30m 33s):

So our guest today has been Lenny Walls. You, you can learn more about the different things he does at www.walls2walls.org. That's the number two walls2walls.org. And then maybe if you want to tell us before we go, you, it sounds like you're, well, you told me before we started recording, you've got a new venture, a new thing you're you're taking on this year.

Lenny Walls (30m 56s):

It's I retired from football. Then I've been written out a small space from a bodybuilder, his studio, and it's, it's been working great as we, we specialize pretty much in just personal training. It's not a big open a membership style gym, a public gym, but it's, it's more private and exclusive and just ready to expand everything. It's about expanding and growing. And so looking forward to opening my own luxury sports club out North side of San Antonio, near the dominion, hopefully by the fall, everything's falling into place and excited to be able to service more people. Now I can do more volume training, larger groups instead of just more private lessons.

Lenny Walls (31m 37s):

And then I'm also very, very passionate about the young athletes as you know, to be able to have more of a performance facility with indoor turf. And now I can, I can work with those kids who aspire to, to take their, their skills to another level. So I'm excited about it.

Mark Graban (31m 53s):

Great. Great. So look forward to hearing updates from you about that Lenny, and thank you so much. I'm really excited that you could be a guest here and share all your different perspectives with us.

Lenny Walls (32m 4s):

Absolutely. My friend it's been, it's been fun, man… thank you for having me on Sure thing. Thank you to learn more about Lenny Walls, his work and his foundation, and more, you can go to MarkGraban/mistake51. Upcoming guests here on my favorite mistake include Heather Zumarraga, financial commentator from many TV news networks, entrepreneur and author, Kent Billingsley, and business humorist. Lisa David Olsen. Lots of good stuff to follow. Thanks for subscribing. If you haven't already done so, rate and review us, if you have the chance on your favorite app of choice, and I hope this podcast inspires you to reflect on your own mistakes, how you can learn from them or turn them into a positive I've had listeners tell me they've started being more open and honest about mistakes and their work.

Mark Graban (32m 58s):

And they're trying to create a workplace culture where it's safe to speak up about problems. Cause that leads to more improvement in better business results. If you have feedback or a story to share, you can email me myfavoritemistakepodcast@gmail.com. And again, our website is my favoritemistakepodcast.com.


Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.