#800 – Brian Chontosh | Rowing Across the Atlantic

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Sevan Matossian (00:00):

You look all figured out. Bam. We’re live

Brian Chontosh (00:04):


Sevan Matossian (00:06):

Can’t hear me. Brian Chan Tosh, A man who creates very, very, very intimate moments.

Brian Chontosh (00:16):

Oh, yeah, I can hear me now.

Sevan Matossian (00:18):

I can’t hear you.

Brian Chontosh (00:19):


Sevan Matossian (00:20):

That’s, that’s what I was thinking this morning in the shower. You’re, you’re a, you’re a creator of intimate moments.

Brian Chontosh (00:26):

Is that that what you’re gonna call it today?

Sevan Matossian (00:28):

I mean, shit, I was just thinking about like, you go out on a boat with four dudes for 33 days, intimate moments. Dude, you, you got this, uh, crazy past in, in the military, uh, bonding with these dudes, intimate moments. You go into a comics container, run, run in the dark for 24 hour intimate moments. You gather people for diesel days, create intimate moments, your dude that creates intimate moments. And then people want to hear your stories. And then you have to kind of like, and, and, and what a, there’s God, I was, there’s all these things that people say about what’s the, what’s the most important thing in life? What’s the meaning of life? And today I had this thought I had never had before. The, the, maybe the meaning of life is just creating moments that make good stories. Because God, you make good stories. Dude.

Brian Chontosh (01:17):

I appreciate that. It’s funny that you came up with that in the shower and I, I like to talk all the time. Is, um,

Sevan Matossian (01:24):

Showers my spot?

Brian Chontosh (01:25):

Yeah. <laugh>. I like to, uh, I, I, I talk about this as, um, shared common experiences. You know, I just like to create events that create a sensation for a shared common experience between other people, and then allow the relationships to be what they’re gonna be, um, moment for authenticity, for vulnerability. And I just find that the most rewarding relationships I have in my life are ones that start and consistently revolve around those. So you say intimate moments, it’s kind of cool.

Sevan Matossian (01:54):

Uh, and by the way, this, that’s Caleb down there, Caleb, Tosh, or Brian, you go by both.

Brian Chontosh (02:02):

Yeah. I like Tosh, but you know, Dave refuses to call me TAs. She calls me Brian Taco refuses to call me Taha. She calls me Brian, my mom. Hey mom. Uh, she, she calls me Brian. So just whatever you guys want. <laugh>.

Sevan Matossian (02:14):

How, how many, um, podcasts have you done since you got off the boat?

Brian Chontosh (02:17):


Sevan Matossian (02:19):

Oh, really? That’s it.

Brian Chontosh (02:20):

Yeah. You know, I’m, I wanted to do a couple and then I’m just largely like, I’m good. But I think doing ’em soon after getting off the boat to capture the thoughts before they, like dull, refine and get abused by other people talking all the time and adding shit. That way you get much more of a, a real thing. Right. And I was excited when you reached out and I was like, yeah, hey, like this would be a, this is a great one because I know you’re a phenomenal interviewer and you get it things from a different angle and hold me accountable to what, what we’re gonna talk about.

Sevan Matossian (02:49):

I, I would, that’s, uh, it’s ex not that second part, but the first part is what I was thinking too. I was like, yeah, he’s, I betcha he’s doing a dozen podcasts so he can kind of get the oral record down. And as I look through, uh, your Instagram, I see that you’re seriously considering writing a book. And I thought, oh, that, that would be, that’s brilliant what he’s doing. Get the oral record down somewhere so he can go back and review it. Cuz shit changes right. In your brain.

Brian Chontosh (03:13):

Yeah. You know, I talk about this a lot. It, um, it’s actually chapter in the book, I’ve got it sketched out right there. Um, selective rec recollection, <laugh>, you know, you, the, the joke about, hey, you know, selective hearing, selective hearing, you know, the husband hears the wife when he wants to, when he doesn’t. Oh, he got selective hearing. And I think we do this to ourselves. We have this, we choose to have selective recollection or selective reflection, and we tend to remember the things as support where we want to think ourselves. Unless you have somebody else just holding you accountable like that, that good motherfucker, that good friend, that reliable, trustworthy counterpart, like, Hey, don’t forget this. Don’t forget that. Um, I think that’s important, but I dunno

Sevan Matossian (03:54):

If that maybe I’m just incredibly delusional and I, and I, and I don’t mean that like in this false humility way, like I, I’m really open to the fact that I am, but, and or that being said, I feel like in my life I, at 50, I’m just finally giving myself the credit for shit that I really should have get gotten credit for. So that, that from for myself not to the world, you know what I mean? Like, I’m finally recognizing what a good person I am. Whereas before I was so hard on myself for the first 49 years. Like, I didn’t give myself the credit that, that I deserved. Do you know what I mean? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, which is kind of the opposite. Like my selective isn’t like, I’m not, like, I was always like, yeah, I caught a fish and now finally at 50, I’m like, yeah, that motherfucker was this big.


I’m comfortable saying that <laugh>. You know what I mean? Like that it was big. And, uh, yeah, it’s weird. I I I feel like, um, it’s what, and I bring that up because of account, what you said about accountability. I think when people hear that, most times people think, oh, he’s embellishing, or, uh, he, he thinks he did more than he really did. Or he’s, he’s changed the narrative. He actually didn’t stand up to the bully. He was actually scared and the bully fell in a hole. Um, but, but for me, I feel like it’s kind of the opposite, but I’m open if, if my wife has to correct me and be like, no, you didn’t save the dog from drowning in the pool. I actually did it be like, oh, sorry, <laugh>. You know what I mean?

Brian Chontosh (05:18):

Uh, I think it goes, there’s both sides to that take responsibility for which you’re, what you’re due, you know? And that means taking credit and having, uh, a sense of balanced pride with the things that you did well, but that’s also taking, taking credit and responsibility for the things that you didn’t do well. And both, they have to both live. I don’t find, I don’t find that most people, unless they spend effort and energy creating balance in those, they tend to be farther one side or farther than the other. And that’s where like opportunity for growth is when you’re, when you’re working and you’re mentoring with people, it’s like, oh, this is a person that never wants to take accountability for them being all fucked up. Like there’s just no self-regulation there. And then there’s other people that have so much humility that they don’t accept responsibility. Like, no, you really did do well. You really did. Like you were the person that did this, that drove others to do that. And tends to be people that usually live out here without mentoring, coaching, counseling to help ’em be better at doing both.

Sevan Matossian (06:15):

Do do you think you’re, um, pretty, uh, gracious at accepting, um, uh, compliments and, and thank and thank you. And like, when people thank you or tell you how, how much you helped them or what, how much you inspired them, you think you’re pretty good at accepting, accepting those?

Brian Chontosh (06:31):

No, um, I feel awkward, you know, uh, I’m getting better at it. It’s actually one of the things that I have that I’m, I’m working on and, and that is accepting responsibility for, for this or for that, or that you do have this, or you have a resume, you have a accomplishment. You belong here. Or when people, like you’re saying, I get, it gets really weird for me when people say, oh, thank you for your service. And it’s like, ugh. And they go, oh my God, you did this, you did this and I didn’t do anything more or less than anybody else. And you don’t have to thank me, but I am appreciative that you are thanking me and I recognize that you’re trying to, and then, and it just gets weird in my head and I feel uncomfortable, you know? And I don’t know how to accept it appropriately other than just say, Hey, you’re welcome and give you a hug or a handshake. Um, but that, but it also feels good inside at the same time that it’s just like, you know, so

Sevan Matossian (07:20):

I, I, um, I’m, I’m just, uh, um, sh shooting in the, in the, in the dark here. But, uh, maybe the way to accept that is to let them know how much, how happy it makes you. Cuz then like right away, you’re giving it back. Right? Oh my God, Tosh, thank you so much for having my husband out, uh, to the ranch for his, uh, for one of your diesel days. It completely changed his life. You know, he was suicidal and I, I like the hug thing too. And then you hug the wife and, um, you’re like, oh my, uh, I mean, what do you say? Oh my God, the meaning of my life is to hear things like that. That’s kind of what I say. If someone’s like, oh my God, Savon you red pilled me. I fucking like, I’m like, oh my God, that’s the best thing I’m gonna hear all day. But it’s the truth, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s like, fuck yeah, glad I did that. Yeah. <laugh>. You know what I mean? Yeah. Even though I really kind of didn’t, but I, but I’ll take it.

Brian Chontosh (08:06):

Right? I think that’s a great way to say it. Um, I think that’s a great response to, um, telling somebody how that makes, if, if, if you feel awkward about what to say, what not, to just tell ’em how, how what they’re saying makes you feel. And it’s probably a more honest and genuine transaction of, of some energy between the two of you than trying to, especially like bele words, you know, some people don’t, don’t articulate so well, and some people articulate well, today and like, not tomorrow,

Sevan Matossian (08:37):

I was in Pittsburgh, uh, uh, freezing cold day, snowy day. I was, um, I had a camera in my hand and I was filming at a level one and this, uh, and everyone was bundled up with like snow clothes on and, you know, woo caps and shit and trying to listen and, and learn their CrossFit level one shit. And this dude, these two dudes walked up and one of the dudes was in board shorts in a pair of flip flops. I don’t even know what he was doing there. He, he, he was, he showed up to the seminar late. Like he showed up day two and a bunch of people knew him and greeted ’em and were like hugging ’em. And that was the first time I saw you. You were, I mean, to be honest with you, you look like a kid back then compared to the way you look now. Now you look like a fucking sailor. You look like a man.

Brian Chontosh (09:25):

Yeah. That’s what, uh, that’s what a, a rough life will give you a, a good, rough life, I suppose. But, uh, yeah, I remember that simonon. I remember that well. Um,

Sevan Matossian (09:35):

Where were you coming from? Why were you in, why were you in Pittsburgh and board shorts and flip flops and a t-shirt and, uh, the rest of us were bundled up? Like where were you coming from? What year was that? We just got done running 2006.

Brian Chontosh (09:44):

2006 I think. Yeah. Um, we had just got done running the JFK 50 miler and, uh, another buddy Nick Horton was, uh, wanting to come up and do the intern thing through the level ones. Remember back in those days, like, yeah, you do a level one, you come back and now you’re level two, you do another one, you’re a level three. Like whatever it was. And he was really excited, um, about, Hey, there’s a seminar in Pittsburgh, why don’t you guys meet me there after the, after the run. So we ran the GFK 50, jump in the car and went up there. And largely, I was just going to see, uh, Greg and Nicole. Um, Greg wanted to put me in touch with Nicole. I had met him at a seminar, uh, six months earlier, eight months earlier. And he wanted me to get in touch with Nicole about nutrition. Cause I was into, um, adventure racing and, and doing some ultra endurance stuff and wanted, I thought I was different, right? Like, it’s funny to, to listen to You

Sevan Matossian (10:38):

Were different. You were different. You were different.

Brian Chontosh (10:40):

Well, I think so at the time. Like, hi, just like everybody else. Just, just read the, read the fucking book and <laugh> and, uh, so, uh, that’s what I went up there to do. And we were so hungover, O’Donnell and I, we were so hungover, we weren’t really there for the seminar. Um, and then I think we had lunch together, didn’t you, Greg?

Sevan Matossian (10:59):


Brian Chontosh (11:00):

We all had lunch. We walked down like two blocks to this diner or something, had lunch.

Sevan Matossian (11:05):

Um, oh yeah, I remem now that you say that, I remember that. I think, uh, Eva, Claire was there too. And I remember Carrie Peterson was there, and Dave hated me for the first year. So that was during my, like, my hazing year. And I remember he sat across from me at lunch and just wouldn’t, like, couldn’t even fucking acknowledge me. It was great.

Brian Chontosh (11:23):

I don’t think he hates me anymore, but I don’t think he’s like Tasha’s best friend either.

Sevan Matossian (11:27):

<laugh>. Oh, I get the impression he likes you, <laugh> when your name comes up. I get the impression he, like, you, you guys have done some bonding things, right? We’ve done

Brian Chontosh (11:34):

Something, we’ve grown a little bit in the last few years. I really enjoy it. And, um,

Sevan Matossian (11:38):

Didn’t you guys do a shooting comp together?

Brian Chontosh (11:40):

Yeah, we competed against each other up in, um, on, uh, Wyoming in Douglas, the Sniper Venture Challenge.

Sevan Matossian (11:46):

Yeah. You guys were never on a team together.

Brian Chontosh (11:48):

We were supposed to be the year before, but, um, it just didn’t work out with schedules. And he had some conflicts. He had to, he had to bail out. And then I secured Brisa to be my partner. And then when he was looking for a partner, I was like, I already, I already said yes to somebody else. So he joined up with, uh, sensei Wax,

Sevan Matossian (12:07):

Who? Oh, that’s right.

Brian Chontosh (12:08):

Yeah. <laugh>,

Sevan Matossian (12:10):

Uh, uh, what, what’s that guy’s real name? He has a fa he’s a famous guy.

Brian Chontosh (12:14):

I can’t remember.

Sevan Matossian (12:15):

Um, he’s like a Gracie or something. One of those guys. Yeah.

Brian Chontosh (12:18):

Yeah. He’s like, um, uh, a ninja guy.

Sevan Matossian (12:21):


Brian Chontosh (12:21):


Sevan Matossian (12:22):

Pretty famous.

Brian Chontosh (12:22):

Pretty accomplished.

Sevan Matossian (12:23):

Yeah. Yeah. Um, Tosh, do you remember, uh, the first goal you ever set in your life?

Brian Chontosh (12:32):

No. First goal I ever set in my life. I remember, let me

Sevan Matossian (12:38):

Think about, do you remember someone introducing the idea to you of goals?

Brian Chontosh (12:42):

I was largely belligerent and non-receptive in my younger years. I think I had a lot of phenomenal mentors around me that I didn’t really recognize and have a maturity. I was, I was pretty, you know, emotionally immature growing up, and I didn’t hear now. And it’s funny because now sitting where I’m at, I’m like, man, I had all these phenomenal people and had I just listened to what they were telling me and tried to onboard 20% of that, I would’ve, where would I be now? Or maybe I wouldn’t be where I was, but I learned a lot of stuff the hard way, um, growing up, making a lot of mistakes. Uh, my parents were phenomenal and the teachers in my, uh, in my school system were, were great patient. Um, I mean, I had a blessed, I had a blessed childhood and I still made stupid, stupid mistakes.


The coaches I had, you know, were were wonderful goals though. Like, I don’t think I was goal driven. I was thrill seeking and in the moment living, growing up. And it wasn’t until I hit the Marine Corps that, uh, I was like, okay, hey, started to get a little bit more organized. I think the discipline, you know, that forced discipline made you mature, uh, emotionally. And probably wasn’t until a couple years into my Marine Corps service that I started thinking about goals and where do I wanna be in five years and what do I wanna do? And it was, uh, wanting to be a squad leader early in my tour in, in Iceland. And it was like, okay, hey, cool. I’m tired of getting haze. I’m tired of getting, you know, shit on all the time. Like, I need to be a squad leader. I need to develop professionally and, um, put, get myself in a position of, of, of small leadership, right? But commensurate with where I was in age and time and service and make a, make a change and not be that way for other people. And that was probably like 21 years old, 20, 21 years old.

Sevan Matossian (14:32):

Uh, when you say, um, emotionally immature, is that the equivalent of like a low emotional IQ or high emotional iq? Are those, um, are those, um, similar? Is that the same, same word and, and what are the characteristics of someone who’s emotionally immature?

Brian Chontosh (14:52):

Yeah, so, so you know, if we were to take the book stuff like emotional intelligence, right? I’ve been doing a lot of reading a lot about, about that and just not being selfish, thinking about others, understanding that this complex, super, super complex, uh, relationship between communication and, and other people’s interests and other people’s wellbeing, and just not thinking about myself often time, I guess that’s redundant was selfish. But, um, and kind of growing in that way, people skills, social skills, um, realizing that you weren’t the epicenter of all things in the world. That you are just this satellite spinning around able to either influence for, for positive or influence for negative. And, um, just developed that way. I, I think I was highly intelligent in the intelligent intelligence. I guess that’s the IQ stuff and not, not the EQ stuff, right? I did really well with grades. I was, I was mathematically inclined. Um, and I think largely through, through high school years, I was pretty unchallenged. You know, again, thrill seeking and things like that. So emotionally intelligent, just understanding and appreciating others to a different degree that, that others are as important as yourself. I’m not gonna say more important or less important, but I think others are just as important as yourself. And, you know, um, refining my thoughts on that.

Sevan Matossian (16:14):

Uh, um, and, and a form of selfishness is, uh, like being, uh, e ego, like being, being offended. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> being offended is a form of a k kind of, uh, exposes challenges your emotional status, right? Someone cuts you off and you get offended, um, how you process that or what you’re aware of. You, you say something in one of the podcasts, um, when you’re on the boat that you had one emotional reaction, you distinguish between having a reaction versus acting and that and, and that I on on the boat, um, and I’m sorry if I’m, if I’m, um, mischaracterizing this, but on the boat you had one, um, reaction that was that you don’t go into detail what it was, but the, I think you said that you wish you wouldn’t have had it because most of the stuff you were doing, you wanted to do as a leader in it to be a reaction so that it was calculated and effective at propelling the journey forward. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, so mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like a low, emotionally mature is when you react, right? So someone cuts, someone flips you off in the car and you, next thing you know, you’re flipping them off without it even like being a choice. You’re just watching your hand go up. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> is that,

Brian Chontosh (17:21):

I think that’s a big function or a big part of it, you know? Right? Yeah. I remember on the boat, you know, you just, we we’re all, we’re human,

Sevan Matossian (17:28):

Right? Right.

Brian Chontosh (17:29):

Right. And, uh, when, when circumstances and energies influence start to build, build, build, and you just reach this tipping point, you know, you’re tired, you’re fatigued, you’re dealing with a, a significant ache or pain or, or new, new nuisance, um, tired. Somebody else is doing something that’s pissing you off. It’s frustrating you, you’re hungry, you’re sunburn what, whatever, like all these things are happening and then it’s just like, bang, one more thing. It’s this, the straw in the camel’s back, and then you just boom. And an emotionally intelligent person will be able to have more straws on their back, more straws on their back before that one straw, right? And they’re, they’re calculating in their head like, okay, hey, you’re feeling this right now. This isn’t the, this isn’t the response that will add value or, or mitigate these things, right? Or dissolve these other things.


And they just, an emotionally intelligent person will be able to carry more straw. Uh, an emotional person will have a shorter and shorter and shorter lag time after they have an outburst and realize that they had an outburst, and then be able to repair that with, with humility and, and, and apology and explanation, right? They’ll, they’ll understand the implications of their outbursts or the reaction on others and what it may be doing to the situation. You know, a person with lower emotional intelligence, it might be three days that goes by and then they realize like, oh, I did this already, did that. A a person with high emotional intelligence might be almost instantaneous, right?

Sevan Matossian (18:58):

You know what’s interesting you say that this is way off subject here, but I’ll, I’ll hear things about how like, um, psychopaths or sociopaths are the kind of people that just explode out of, out of nowhere and then, and then it goes away. But it’s interesting because I watch my kids now and I see them going through emotions that I, that I haven’t had in, um, they have emotional seasons, right? Like, I, like, I’ll see a boy cry for 20 minutes straight, and I’m like, wow, this is winter. I don’t have season, I don’t have seasons anymore. I have lightning strikes. You know what I mean? I mean, they’re really happy for a second, really sad, really upset, but it goes away really quickly. And I pride myself on that, that I had to work hard to make it so that, like you said, I have to use a big dose of acceptance and humility to sprinkle humility and acceptance dust on myself. Uh, and, and my default is always to say sorry and get out of it so that I can, you know, think clearly about it, right? If I, if I’m not sure what’s going on, I know I don’t wanna be stuck in some storm, but, but it’s interesting how some people see that as a psychopath or sociopath be behavior and yet, um, being, uh, I don’t know what the word is, but be drowning or, um, indulging in emotion is, uh, debilitating. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it’s fucking debilitating, right?

Brian Chontosh (20:15):

Yeah. On the high and the low.

Sevan Matossian (20:17):

Yeah. Right, right. Exact right. Exactly. Exactly right.

Brian Chontosh (20:20):

I might even challenge, like, you don’t, you don’t get rid of it, you just process it better and package it in a more constructive way. Like having highs and having lows aren’t something that you necessarily need to rush through getting over you. And it might seem like, oh, I’m having a boom, a snap, and then I resolve it, or whatever. But it’s, it’s not like disappeared. There’s still things going on, but it’s just given better context reframing, it’s organized and it’s shaped to be constructive and what it’s constructive either through the apology or through the negotiation of differences in hurt. Um, but it’s not just a, um, hey, I’m sorry, boom, we’re moving on and it’s all, it’s all done. I would say that would be less emotionally intelligently, oh, I have a spike, higher or low an apology or a whatever, and then boom, boom, hands are washed and I’m done.


That would be a lot lower on, on a scale most else. Whereas, okay, hey, I’m going to recoup what happened on the higher, the low and we’re gonna package it up and form it, and we’re gonna be constructive about the process because that’s what’s gonna solve it for the next time. Right. A person that’s just, Hey, oh, I’m sorry. And they move on. They’re probably, I would submit they probably have a tendency to spike high and low at greater frequencies. Yeah. Right? Yeah. Um, a person with high emotional intelligence can anticipate a low coming and then they can put things in place before they hit the low in order to mitigate the depth of that trough and mitigate the length of time spent in the trough. And there’s a consciousness involved with recognizing, Hey, I’m coming into a low, I need to do some things.


I know I’m gonna reach a low and this is what’s gonna happen. This is what I’m gonna do to get out of it. I’m not gonna rush to get back up on a high. I’m going to spend the appropriate amount of time to reconcile my impact while I was at a low. Right? And, and I’m, I’m looking to even out and, and the same thing on a high, cause we know there’s, there’s a lot of backlash light, right? Um, from having a spike in a high, just in a, in a physical sense, when you let, at the start of a race, right? Adrenaline’s really high excitement, boom, boom, boom. You’re feeling good, you’re fresh, and it’s like, oh, I’m way up here. And then you just try to peg the needle. And then what happens is, is there’s this backlash that you drop in performance and it’s like, wow, A smart person will, will, will regulate, you know, there’s this self, this autoregulation that says, I’m, I’m, I’ve got this.


Well, let me just temper a little bit in order to extend my high for a period of time. And then as I come down, it’s not a, a big sharp drop off. It might drop off a little bit until I find some sort of steady state and I can ride that. And I used to experiment with that a lot. It was funny. It was, it was around the time that, um, I had met CrossFit and Greg, I was working with doing that in the, in the physical sense with the Marines on the obstacle course. And it was, Hey, let’s see who, how many times you can do the obstacle course in an hour. And people that came out really, really hot and you would, I would just track times for myself or for others and for others. And you’d, you’d run the o course in like 54 seconds, and then your next one would be 55, and then the next one would be 58, and then the next one would be a minute 10, then a minute 30, and then a minute 30, then a minute 28, and then it would kind of come back up to like one 10 and you’d get X amount.


But then when you, you paste yourself a little bit in the beginning and not a, like a over pacing for the sake of pacing because you were too concerned, but it was like, how can I optimize Right. This duration of expected performance. And that was in the physical world, but I would always draw parallels to the psychological space as well, you know, and, um,

Sevan Matossian (23:53):

Just trying to, that’s true with relationships too, Tosh,

Brian Chontosh (23:55):

I do a hundred percent do

Sevan Matossian (23:58):

Dated girl for two years. Your chances of success before you sleep with her chances of success are better than, uh, you just sleep with her on the first date. And, and when I see sleep with her, I mean, you, you, you know, it’s like eating your, the bag of candy early instead of like building like some sort of intellectual, emotional, physical.

Brian Chontosh (24:18):

Yeah. That’s interesting. Um, I’m not saying that sleeping with a girl on the first date doesn’t mean that people don’t have 40 year marriages and 50 year marriages.

Sevan Matossian (24:25):


Brian Chontosh (24:26):

Right, right. But like, oh, you’re so, you’re so eager to, to get all of the pleasure Yes. Yes. That the work invested into

Sevan Matossian (24:34):

That’s a better way to say it than see what they, I made it sound too crass. I I, yeah. You basically just, and I don’t mean to say, say it’s wrong, you’re basically Yeah. Trying to get all the, you see this flower and you cut it, sniff it, and turn into a perfume all in one day. It’s like, Jesus, dude, couldn’t you lift it in the yard for a week?

Brian Chontosh (24:50):

Right. And enjoyed it for longer. Yeah. Yeah. And build a, a a, a very intimate appreciation across multiple avenues instead of just one, the purely physical, sensual, sexual realm, right? Like, you’re, you’re gonna get that, but wouldn’t it be nice to get that and this and this and this and this? Uh, and I, you know, maybe we’re just talking about wisdom too, right? Because people, if somebody told me this back when I was 18, no, you know, 30, no. And we are all on a different timeline for, for growth and maturity, but the, the function of wisdom of, okay, hey, patience, you know, tactical patience with, with the things that we do, knowing that you’re gonna have, uh, a higher level of fidelity of, of appreciation or, or whatever, right? Like by playing the long game.

Sevan Matossian (25:38):

Right. Um, uh, how, how old were you when you entered, uh, the Marines?

Brian Chontosh (25:44):

I was 18.

Sevan Matossian (25:45):

And, and, and how does that work? There, there, you just go to the strip mall and, and walk into one of those places?

Brian Chontosh (25:50):

That’s what I ended up doing. Yeah. I, um, I graduated high school and then I was in some trouble and it was catching up to me

Sevan Matossian (25:57):

And, uh, like with the law or stealing cars or something?

Brian Chontosh (26:00):

Yeah. You know, mild criminal mischief, right? Like yeah,

Sevan Matossian (26:04):


Brian Chontosh (26:04):

Recklessness and thrillseeking and, and shit like that. And uh,

Sevan Matossian (26:08):

Me too. Me too.

Brian Chontosh (26:09):

Yeah. We, uh, I went to community college, played baseball for the fall tournament ball. Baseball season was over. And then it was like, well, why? I wasn’t into academics at that point and just kind of dropped out of, you know, this community college started working long, long days and lots of hours at the grocery store getting a car accident, have a little bit of trouble with alcohol.

Sevan Matossian (26:30):

What did you do at the grocery store? Bagger, checker,

Brian Chontosh (26:32):

All of it. Yeah. I loved it. It was a small mom and pop

Sevan Matossian (26:34):

Shop. I loved it too. It was

Brian Chontosh (26:36):

Great. Angie Markets, the George family, they were incredible to me. You talk about phenomenal mentors, the, the George family, you know, Abe, senior, Dave Abbe, um, just great people that were patient and recognized you for your flaws. And the, the, they model largely who I wanna be as an adult today, not only for my own children, but for other people’s children, like as an adult. And, um, I remember I was just doing long hours at the community service center, Jewish community service center. I think I had like 120 hours. Are you Jewish? No, it was just a place that accepted free labor. Um, and I was scrubbing racquetball courts, right? I had a little, little squishy and all the blue marks that you could reach from as high as you could get to bending over. And by the time you got through racquetball court, 1, 2, 3, 4, it was time to go back to racquetball court one and six hours a day just scratching blue marks off of that thing. And the judge, judge Stein walks, um, another phenomenal guy was like, Hey, you’re, you’re due for industry, basically juvenile, um, or military service will straighten you out. And

Sevan Matossian (27:42):

Oh, really? He gave that industry meaning, uh, jail. You had to go to an adult jail. Mm-hmm.

Brian Chontosh (27:46):

<affirmative>, uh, juvenile jail of sorts. I mean, even though I was 18, he was gonna recommend, uh, this place called industry. And, um, that was kinda

Sevan Matossian (27:54):

Really, and he gave military as an option, huh?

Brian Chontosh (27:57):

Well, I don’t know if it was necessarily an option, like, cause I don’t know if he legally can do that or whatever, but he put that suggestion in while we were doing somewhere along in the court court process. And, you know, my father always used to, uh, the military service was gonna send you to the military, you know, straighten you out or whatever. And so I just had one of those days and I went into that strip mall that you talked about, went into the Air Force recruiter’s office and was like, Hey, you know, I had a, I had a buddy, it was about four years, my senior, he, he left school, graduated and joined the Air Force. And in, in four years it’s, he’s like, married, got a house, he’s got snowmobile, he’s got a car, he’s got a tractor. He is living this, this ideal American dream that I was kind of had in my head that was imprinted mommy from my upbringing.


Right? Like, that’s what you’re gonna do. And largely without thinking about it, you know, it was just kind of mm-hmm. <affirmative> what I thought I was gonna do in life. And, um, you know, he’s been promoted like 40 times in 40 years cuz he was in the Air Force and just doing really, really well. His family was proud of him and everything. I was like, oh, well I’m gonna join the Air Force. It sounds like it worked for Lance. It’s gonna, it’s gonna work for me. And the Air Force recruiter, you know, I started explaining to him, I’m like, well, I’m in a little bit of trouble, you know, I’ve got another court date and I’m doing, he’s like, yeah, you’re not, we’re, you’re not what we’re interested in. No. And I was like, whoa. I’ve never been told that before at that point in my life.


Like, no, you’re not good enough. You’re trouble. People told me I was a little bit of trouble, but I just remember being really dejected walking out his office. And then, um, there was this Marine Corps recruiter. I picture him, he’s about five eight black guy jacked in this amazing uniform, all tight creased boom. And I was walking out of the, the recruiter’s office. He’s like, Hey, going on young man. And I was like, ah, you know, I just tried join the Air Force. The guy told me, no, fuck that guy. And really like, whoa, well, what’s wrong? Come on in. Let me, let’s just talk for a minute. And for sure he is like, well, what are you, what are you looking to do? And I, I remember telling him, I just want to jump outta airplanes and cruise around the woods with a gun or something. Right? Like that was just.

The above transcript is generated using AI technology and therefore may contain errors.

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