There are some people who bring a level of energy to a room that you can feel – it’s authentic, all embodying and tangible. Our next guest embraces these exact qualities.
Please welcome, Kent.
What You Need To Know
- From Fort Worth before Austin
- Has won multiple fitness competitions.
- Drives a 1988 Toyota Camry with 500,000 miles.
Like one of our other Society guests and co-creators (Tanner), Kent discussed a lot of what I’m calling his ‘Kent-isms’. Small nuggets of advice and ways to live your life that he has gathered over the years. Kent and I snagged time after one of his breath-work sessions at Casa De Luz this weekend and peeled back the layers of who he is, but more importantly – some of his Kent-isms.
“I grew up in Fort Worth and came here to attend UT for undergrad – but after I graduated, I knew I wasn’t ready to jump into the real world, so I worked as a bank teller, then moved on to an oil exploration ship. I was able to travel to the Bahamas and the Caribbean before sailing around the Mediterranean Sea – then the Red Sea where I saw Egypt then went up to the North Sea and Norway.”
This dude has traveled more early in his life than most people well ever do! But what’s more important is that Kent knew he wasn’t ready for the real world – and jumped in with both feet to an experience that would allow him to digest various world cultures at an early age.
“After that I ended up back at UT for law school and essentially have stayed in Austin ever since. Once I graduated UT I got a job with a local firm where I was the 16th attorney hired – when I left there were over 300.” Kent smiles. “At the same time, for the first year or so of me working at the firm, I also worked weekends at the first ever Whole Foods – It was a cool experience wearing a suit and tie during the week then dressing down on the weekends at the grocery store.”
Kent is a fixture – and by fixture, I mean that when he goes in on something – he commits, with unequivocal focus, devotion, and love.
“I was at the same firm for 32 years, been practicing law for 42 years, I’ve been married for 35 years – and I drive a 35-year-old Toyota which has 503,000 miles on it” We both laugh.
This guy is committed – half a million miles on a car?! I ask Kent about his car and the connection between all of us having our own version of just one car for the rest of our life in our own body and mind.
“When I think of the car I think of stability, I am emotionally attached to this car just like anything else. It’s like a toy you have as a child that you can’t get rid of – it’s been loyal to me and I’ve been loyal to it as well.”
Kent pauses, looks into the distance – and continues.
“It’s just very much in character for me – I’ve been married forever, had the same job forever – those are the qualities I embody. My wife and my family keep me inspired.
We start to pivot into some of his Kent-isms. And let me tell you, we are getting t-shirts made with these nuggets of wisdom!
Accepting who you are
“I used to be so critical of myself for not being outgoing or witty – I’ve done a better job of just accepting who I am. I still admire people who are outgoing or quick witted – but I have become more conscious of just who I am, and I’m now comfortable with that.”
Finding out who you are
“Figure out who you are and be that person completely, as opposed to driving towards being something you’re not. You want to grow and allow yourself to open up and expand – in the long run we must accept who we are. Each person is unique – we all have qualities that are unique to us.”
Staying inspired and driven
“I realize that I’m getting pretty old by the calendar year. But I still want to accomplish things – I’m not sure of exactly what they are yet, but I have a drive and a strong desire to do them, ideally in fitness. I have been so inspired by the commitment, intensity, openness, and kindness of people I have met in the fitness community, including of course all the folks in sphere. I have a window of opportunity that’s allowed me to be in good health, and nobody knows how long that’s going to last – so now, I rarely take a day off from fitness and am always paying attention to nutrition. “
On hitting goals
“Consistency in having goals is key. Short term, medium-term, long-term goals. If you want to hit a certain body fat % or lift a certain amount of weight – it’s important to set goals. But, you don’t want your success to be all goal based – you need to enjoy the process. If you can enjoy the process of reaching them – the goals will take care of themselves. Small incremental changes that you stay consistent with will add up to massive transformations over time. The championship powerlifter couldn’t lift the weight he can now, he had to start somewhere”
On being present and conscious
“I’m very interested in mindfulness, meditation and getting control over the chaotic thoughts in my head. I went to a meditation retreat some time ago and we were focusing on just being present. But my mind would go to so many different thoughts I couldn’t keep it fully conscious for more than 10 seconds. What’s important is to realize is this is normal – and we all are experiencing this daily. But recognizing that our mind is wandering is the first step in becoming more mindful and conscious. From here, you can go deeper.”
On doing things people say you can’t
“People can do a lot more than we think we can – the human body, soul and spirit are part of an infinite power. We all need to tap into ourselves more and take advantage of what has been given to us by God. For me, this applies particularly to where I’m at now, later in life. One time I was taking a yoga class, and everyone was stretching better than I could, I started to just laugh at myself in a joking, non-serious way and said to myself – come on man, you can do better. From here, I changed my thinking.”
Kent pauses again.
“We sometimes let our setbacks or heartbreaks, or disappointments define us – we can overcome this thinking. We all have a window of opportunity we can take advantage of.”
As we close – I’m enlightened by Kent’s view of life. I’ve known Kent for quite some time, playing soccer and chatting here and there – but as with most of our society interviews, I’ve never really known him.
As I leave, I’m reminded of an analogy I typically reflect on. Life is like going to get ice cream. Sure, there’s tons of flavors you can add to your bowl – but at the end of the day, there’s just two or three that you really love. Adding other flavors is just a distraction. For Kent, his flavors are Family, work, and working out. He has devoted his life to them and won’t let himself get distracted by a new flavor, and that’s something we all should take a scoop from.