Never sacrifice: no matter where you are, no matter what you do, never sacrifice your integrity or your accountability. This applies not only to the people you talk to, but also to yourself. Self-accountability is very important. No matter what path you’re on, follow through on the things you say, and be an example of someone that is reliable.
As a part of our series about “How Athletes Optimize Their Mind & Body For Peak Performance”, I had the pleasure of interviewingRon ‘Boss’ Everline.
Ron ‘Boss’ Everline has made personal fitness and training his life’s work. He attended Northwest Missouri State University on a full athletic football scholarship in pursuit of his football dreams. Once rejected from the NFL, Boss decided to rewrite his future by starting his own businesses doing what he loved; helping others succeed through fitness. He is currently one of the most highly sought-after trainers in Hollywood. His celebrity clients include Russell Westbrook, Kevin Hart, Diddy, DJ Mustard, Ne-Yo, and more. Additionally, Boss is the CEO of Just Train, a global concierge wellness business that includes trainers, chefs, and therapists. Trainers currently travel under the Just Train brand all across the world, including the US and Saudi Arabia. As a result of the vision and growth of the brand, Just Train is becoming synonymous with a network of super high net worth leaders.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! It is a great honor. Our readers would love to learn more about your personal background. Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?
I am one of nine kids, and I grew up in a super competitive household. My older sister was the better athlete, and I had to work really hard to outdo her. All the siblings would go battle, and she would kick my butt every day. I grew up with a competitive edge because of that, but when my mom passed away when I was 10, I kicked it into higher gear. I started playing football very competitively. There are a lot of NFL athletes in my family, and we would all feed off each other’s energy; we all have that ambitious mindset. The first gym I ever went to was a garage gym. The pinnacle of growing up for me was that when things got rocky, we would always work it out in the garage.
My family is everything to me because of my upbringing. My dad is one of 21 siblings, so fortunately I have a large, healthy family. I have 20 beautiful nieces and nephews.
What or who inspired you to pursue your career as a high level professional athlete? We’d love to hear the story.
Overall, I was influenced by growing up in that highly competitive household, where the focus was on winning and pushing the limits. My sister was an all-American athlete who was recruited by every school in the country as a point guard. My cousins and my brother also excelled at football. We were always encouraging each other, even when we lost. My cousins were my inspiration to try to go to the NFL. That’s all we worked for every day; there was a collective “NFL or nothing” mindset. Our family fueled competitiveness in the culture of our home, that’s where the motivation came from. Every time there was a Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner, it was always built around making sure the athletes in the house had enough food.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Was there a particular person who you feel gave you the most help or encouragement to be who you are today? Can you share a story about that?
My family has always been my support system, and I always want to make them proud. Losing my mom at a young age was the common denominator in if I wanted to quit- I had to consider what would my mom think. Even though she is not here, she is always in the presence of my heart. She is the one who motivated me every day. My cousin Ben, who played for the NFL, is also very important to me. He started working for Just Train. Sade was also essential to the business from the very beginning. She was one of the first people I ever hired. It has been incredible to listen and learn from her. Finally, I learn so much from my wife. My mom, Ben, Sade, and my wife are all incredibly important to me. I can’t name just one person, because along this journey, so many people have helped me along the way. That’s why I want to help as many people as I possibly can, because I didn’t get here by myself.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your sports career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?
Getting fired by Ne-Yo was a funny learning experience. I was training Ne-Yo on the road, and thinking I was still working, and I came to find out I actually didn’t still have a job. They wanted someone to be tougher on him. That was interesting, because every day I wake up knowing that tomorrow isn’t promised. When I found out they didn’t have any intentions of continuing to work with me, it was the most unexpected expected thing that I could have ever thought of. I learned to adapt to the needs of my clients and how to hold him accountable. Three and a half years later we had a great working relationship, I was the only person on the road with him and he offered for me to be his road manager, but I respectfully declined because I realized that my calling was in fitness and not in management.
What advice would you give to a young person who aspires to follow in your footsteps and emulate your career?
There are three pinnacles that I think are important if you want to follow in my footsteps:
- Be consistent: I’m really big on being consistent in my actions. If you want to accomplish any kind of success- whether you’re a trainer, aspiring CEO, writer, etc.- the principles are always the same. You have to be willing to put in the work and be consistent.
- Never sacrifice: no matter where you are, no matter what you do, never sacrifice your integrity or your accountability. This applies not only to the people you talk to, but also to yourself. Self-accountability is very important. No matter what path you’re on, follow through on the things you say, and be an example of someone that is reliable.
- When you can’t do something, admit it: don’t leave people to wonder if you’re going to follow through. Honest communication is key. Most people can understand, for example, if you’re running 20 minutes late. Don’t say you’re around the corner if you’re going to keep people waiting.
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
Right now, the biggest transition in my life is entrepreneurship. I am excited to show people the business side of me, to be able to show my growth (and lack of). I don’t know everything, but I do know a lot, and I’m willing to come to the table to listen and learn, and to be a vessel of good. I’m 36 and a new dad, and I want to let the world know that opportunities can continue to grow. I am excited about my work with C4 and Cellucor, for example. I have been working with this company for five years, but I used to dream of the day I could say I was a partner of C4 and Cellucor. It took a lot of hard work and time to make this happen, and I am excited to share the journey. I am looking forward to sharing, to learning, and for people to see me in the way of business and be an example of someone who truly preserves.
OK, thank you for all of that. Let’s now shift to the core focus of our interview. As an athlete, you often face high stakes situations that involve a lot of pressure. Most of us tend to wither in the face of such pressure and stress. Can you share with our readers 3 or 4 strategies that you use to optimize your mind for peak performance before high pressure, high stress situations?
Be prepared: when you’re prepared, pressure becomes less of a stressor. Be well prepared, and if you don’t know something, be prepared to learn. If you make a mistake on the way, that’s ok. I’m ok with making a mistake going forward, but I’m not ok with being unprepared.
Condition your mind: mindset is everything when you’re in a high-stakes situation. Condition yourself to believe that you are deserving. This comes with time, but I am constantly telling myself that I am capable and that I deserve to sit at the table.
Don’t be afraid: learn to lean into the pressure instead of running away from it. Don’t be afraid of the big moments. For me, it’s been a long road with a lot of failure and a lot of losses, but I can’t live in fear and I can’t worry about the things I can’t control. When I met Phil Knight, the head of Nike, I had my questions lined up. You never want to walk into a room with the people you admire and be afraid.
Do you use any special or particular breathing techniques to help optimize yourself?
Unfortunately, I don’t have any breathing techniques.
Do you have a special technique to develop a strong focus, and clear away distractions?
I like to go for a drive. I turn off the music and just look at what’s around me. I also drink C4 Smart Energy every day before a workout, or when I need clarity in general. C4 Smart Energy contains ingredients that support focus, mood, and memory, which help keep me sharp. I always have a case in my garage.
How about your body? Can you share a few strategies that you use to optimize your body for peak performance?
Again, I rely on C4 before every workout. I take it daily, and it gives me the energy to perform at the highest level. I also use Theragun a lot, and I do try to get two massages a week. I realize that I’m an athlete, and I put my body through rigorous training every day. People are trusting me to perform at my best, so I need to prepare myself as such. For me to optimize other people’s fitness, I first need to be present, so I am taking care of my body more than I have in the past. Aside from the massages, I’m doing a lot of stretching and focusing more on warmups. As I get a little bit older, listening to my body has become really important. If my leg hurts, I need to get to the root of the problem and figure out why it hurts. Being more responsible with yourself creates longevity of movement.
Finally, I am also prioritizing the recovery of my mind, not just physical recovery. Recovery for me now, is reading. I’m also listening to more motivational speakers, which helps me a lot. Mental recovery is super important in the day-to-day. Pay attention to what are you’re fueling yourself with- what you’re watching and what you read are also huge factors in optimizing your body.
These ideas are excellent, but for most of us in order for them to become integrated into our lives and really put them to use, we have to turn them into habits and make them become ‘second nature’. Has this been true in your life? How have habits played a role in your success?
When you wake up every day, think about what you’ll set out to accomplish and get it done. I call this creating cadences of the day. People are attracted to discipline, because the way you look, the way you feel, and the way you carry yourself all send the message that you’ve created the habit of taking care of yourself. I am consistent with living a healthy lifestyle for me- that could look different for somebody else. At the end of the day, it’s all about being consistent and progressing forward.
Can you share some of the strategies you have used to turn the ideas above into habits? What is the best way to develop great habits for optimal performance? How can one stop bad habits?
You really have to be mindful if you want to stop bad habits. This is more of a mental battle than anything else. I know people who decided to stop smoking without a patch or any other gradual steps; they just wanted to stop smoking badly enough that they did it. In fact, the Just Train mantra is “just train the mind and the body will follow.” I truly believe that breaking bad habits comes down to your mental capacity. Remember that long term consistency is always a lifestyle change, too.
As a high performance athlete, you likely experience times when things are in a state of Flow. Flow has been described as a pleasurable mental state that occurs when you do something that you are skilled at, that is challenging, and that is meaningful. Can you share some ideas from your experience about how we can achieve a mind state of Flow more often in our lives?
Flow and those types of “highs” come from self-satisfaction. The key to unlocking Flow more often is constantly pushing your limits and being uncomfortable. When you don’t want to go, go anyway. If you’re trying to get in shape, do 12 reps when it says to do 10. As an athlete, that is a high moment. As an entrepreneur, those high moments come from overachieving on a project or in a meeting. When you’re seeking the mental high of self-gratification, it is important that you go the extra mile. That’s when you walk away satisfied, knowing you accomplished what you set out to do.
Do you have any meditation practices that you use to help you in your life? We’d love to hear about it.
I do try to meditate, but I always seem to fall asleep. I don’t know if it’s because I’m tired, but my meditation coach says it’s ok. I do believe in meditation and try to keep my head clear.
Many of us are limited by our self talk, or by negative mind chatter, such as regrets, and feelings of inferiority. Do you have any suggestions about how to “change the channel” of our thoughts? What is the best way to change our thoughts?
If you want to “change the channel” of your inner thoughts, you have to stop listening to yourself and turn on someone else that may be more motivational. YouTube, podcasts, and self-help books are all great tools for this. Listen to a motivational speaker, and believe what they say. If you don’t trust and believe what they are trying to teach you, you’ll end up in a rut of your own negative self-talk and you won’t progress.
Negative thoughts can also be a product of who you surround yourself with. It is hard to stay negative when the people around you encourage and motivate you. An exercise you can do is drawing a circle, and write your name in the middle of the circle. Then, write the names of the five closest people to you in the circle. If those people aren’t fueling you and contributing to your life in a positive way, it might be time to reevaluate the relationships you have with them. Always be cognizant of your inner circle.
Ok, we are nearly done. You are by all accounts a very successful person. How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
It all goes back to the mind. Teaching people about mental fortitude is how I bring goodness to the world. Fitness is just a vehicle, the mental part- helping people with consistency, resiliency and positive attitude- that is always my priority.
Can you share your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Why does that resonate with you so much?
“Consistency over sensational” is a quote I live by. Consistency is the thing that resonates with me the most. If you’re looking at a sports game, I would rather be the guy who plays well consistently through the whole season than the guy who plays one or two great games a year. That’s the way I look at life.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we both tag them 🙂
I feel similarities to David Goggins story and he’s someone that I would like to have an interesting conversation with over breakfast but really, I’d love to have breakfast with my mom. I would ask her if she’s proud of me. Ultimately my validation comes from my family. My family means the most to me.