Jodi Arias’ Defense Attorney Kirk Nurmi on Radical Transformation
Kirk Nurmi found himself trapped for years in the courtroom of one of the most notorious cases in recent history. As the count-appointed defense attorney of Jodi Arias, Kirk’s mental and physical health began to rapidly decline. His love for law left him, his reputation was tarnished and eventually he received a cancer diagnosis that would change the trajectory of his life. Now Kirk is a published author, public speaker, actor, coach and most importantly happy and healthy.
He’s here today to shed some light on the power of personal transformation, the importance of choosing and creating a life that brings joy and share some insights about how the road to freedom may be hard and complicated, but it is 1000% worth it to live a life you love. We talk about navigating change, how that change impacts the relationships with those closest to you, his most recent journey as a cast member on a show about weight loss and there’s some pretty spectacular 80s’ references thrown in there too!
It was an absolute pleasure to talk to Kirk, and I was inspired by his openness, his clarity and fortitude. I know you will be too. Please join me in welcoming Kirk Nurmi to the Stronger Today family as we continue our quest to Grow Love Of Whole-Self.
In the newsletter I'lll make sure you never miss a new blog or podcast, share 5 things making me happy each week, a cool resource or tip to help you through your week, answer questions from readers and listeners and it's your chance to find out what's coming up next and how to get involved or share your story.
Let's #ShineStrong Together
This transcript is created using software. It it my no means perfect. Please refer to the actual audio interview for complete and detailed information.
Timestamp Speaker Transcript
00:00.-3 stronger_today 1 welcome to the stronger today podcast where we hope you leave feeling stronger and better today than you did before I’m your host Melissa farley and today I have a pretty extra special guest in my opinion I have kirk nermi with me. And oh my goodness I don’t even I asked him like how do I even introduce you because he is basically a man of transformation. Um, a lot of people might recognize him as the defense attorney for jody arius. Um, but what happened is he actually kind of made a life pivot and wrote a book about his experience with Jody after getting cancer and um now he’s kind of doing ah a different health journey too that I know he’ll he’ll share a little bit about and um. I am just so excited to have him here today. Thank you so much kirk for joining me.
00:49.4 Kirk Thiss I’m excited to be here I’m always always honored when somebody is putting out such great content like you are takes the time to talk with me.
00:56.5 stronger_today Yeah, absolutely I ah I think that you know I almost got nervous talking to you because you’ve done so many interviews you’ve been so open and candid about everything you’ve been going through and there’s always kind of this experience as a host of like. What could I possibly do that hasn’t been done before with this man. But then I decided you know all all of my viewers know that this is not about me being an expert or telling telling people how things go this is about honest people sharing their honest journeys and I thought you are just so perfect to to bring in and talk about that a little bit. So. Um I do want to go back a bit and and talk about you know that whole process of what it was like for you not just being the defense attorney for jody but how that really impacted your life because I tell you what I don’t know if you know this but I was working at the arizona republic when that trial was happening. And I remember Michael keefer playing voicemails that he would get 1 of the reporters that was covering that that trial and um, the voicemails were just full of like venom and poison and like people saying the most horrible things to this man that I have ever heard. And he took it every day and I was like man I just sit next to you and I feel like the toxicity like coming in wavelengths like how did you I don’t know just share a little bit about that whole experience for you.
02:14.3 Kirk Um, yeah.
02:20.9 Kirk Sure you know I always say my introduction to the world was on January second 2013 and what I did didn’t realize then or didn’t reflect on this much back then is I lost something that day and in that introduction to my world was also the loss of my anonymity.
02:29.0 stronger_today Mm.
02:39.6 Kirk And somewhat a loss of the control of my image under those circumstances when I announced myself as as her attorney The cameras were rolling I mean it was live streamed across the world if you worked for the Republic you might have gone down there and saw all those portable studios they had lining. Um.
02:44.1 stronger_today M.
02:59.1 Kirk I forget the street but they had a whole block of a public studio. You know portable studios lining the streets and it became a bigger and bigger deal over time and you know at that point in time. It wasn’t obvious to people. It wasn’t known to people and price still not obvious to a lot of people today because that’s not they were there for They didn’t take the time to consider that I was there by choice that I was there by court order that I was there fulfilling my duties and that that that misserius was entitled to a defense. So a lot of the vitriol that you spoke about about Michael key forgetting was probably just a fraction of the vitriol that I was getting because I was a convenient target for people because I was her lawyer. So if they couldn’t and I think maybe you know mike experienced that a little bit too because if they couldn’t. Get to miss areas. They could latch out at me or my co-counsel or an expert witness or a reporter who says things that they don’t like you know it might might settle things that a lot of people didn’t like is is you heard you know, right. And I had those same kind of calls coming into my office because and the same kind of emails because we had to put our phone number and our email address on each pleading that we filed so it soon became obvious to people that they could just email me or call my office or whatever and I had to start opening my mail with rubber gloves. Because I got white powder in the mail There’s just all different sorts of things that were happening for that period of time most intensely for the first you know 5 plus months of the trial and it’s something that’s continued on through the second phase of the trial and then even to to some extent.
04:48.8 stronger_today Right? So I’m I’m curious how far along in the process were you when you started really having deep kind of internal realizations. This isn’t good for me. This is this is really hard for me to do.
04:49.2 Kirk Today.
05:04.8 Kirk Well to some extent I had those beforehand because I had been in the capital unit of the public defender’s office and that was where I was assigned miss aas’s case for a couple years at that point in time and I had done 2 capital trials which doesn’t sound like a lot to people. But there were people in that unit that had gone 20 years without going to a trial and I had done 2 and you say 2 and 2 years okay not that big a deal but also keep in mind that the shortest 1 was like four months. So.
05:35.6 stronger_today Ah.
05:38.1 Kirk You know that’s a big chunk of your life when you’re working twelve hours a day you’re away from your family you you’re in this stressful situation because no matter what your client no matter what they did or what they’re accused of doing in this situation and in a death penalty case. They’re somebody’s son or daughter. Brother or Sister. What have you and they’re looking at you to save their loved ones life and ultimately as someone who opposes his death penalty that was certainly in line with my mission but after doing those 2 cases when I got towards the end of 2010 I was really reevaluating my choice to join this unit because because I realized this can’t be a long term solution for me and about that point in time is when I also had I had been assigned Miss a’ case in august 2000 and nine so I had her case a little over a year and I kind of. Starting to get a sense of where it was going at least in terms of the defense not in terms of the the massive worldwide phenomenon the case became but ah so in January of 2000 eleven I was resigning from the public defender’s office to get away from death penalty were assuming that I would leave Miss aius’s case behind and then the litigation that followed wound up in me again as my book title says trapped with Misserius because I was you know court ordered to represent her. Throughout the entire process which which lasted some 2 and a half years and after the trial began.
07:07.6 stronger_today See I I find that like it makes my skulls like skin crawl a little bit because I’m not from the legal world and I had no idea that you could be forced to kind of stay in a situation that you no longer wanted to be in like I didn’t know that you couldn’t. Quit and so that was like like really fascinating to me to read that about your story is that something that happens often is it difficult for people that go through something like you to remove themselves from these situations or is that and kind of unusual case.
07:38.3 Kirk Tip it’s I would say my situation was was unusual typically when somebody leaves the public defender’s office or any kind of indigent office. They leave their cases behind the clients can’t pay. They go out and practice and they and they do what they do so. Um, it was very atypical for that to happen. So yeah, and and you know it was again adding to the frustration because you think about it while I’m doing this while I’m representing this area I can’t exactly go out to the courthouse steps or talk to Michael keyfer and say oh hey by the way I really don’t want to be here. I’m just here fulfilling my court order duties that it doesn’t work that way right? So you know I had to in essence keith my mouth shut and endure the kind of things we were talking about earlier.
08:17.4 stronger_today Right.
08:25.3 stronger_today Right? So tell me a little bit about then this whole this whole process that unfolded so you got diagnosed with cancer and you were very open about saying that you believe that ah that it’s totally possible that the stress from dealing with that case and dealing with. With her is is a possible cause of of what made that cancer happen. Um, tell me about kind of these life changes that started happening and and how that all came about you know in in correlation with your cancer.
08:56.0 Kirk Sure so in April of 2015 that was when Miss erius was sentenced to life in Prison. It took 2 trials 1 2 sentencing phases ultimately to save her life which is kind of the mission of of each capital defense attorney and after. That time you know April is still warm but not strikingly hot and I woke up for the first time in months years and I really had nothing to do on a professional basis and I went for a jog and I remember thinking for the first time since Years I mean I’d wanted to be a lawyer maybe since I was in grade school. Maybe not fully actualizing what it meant. But even you know going through college and everything that was always my dream and I had no interest in practicing law and when I was going through this run I think man I don’t want to do this I I don’t know. You know it was trauma what it was I don’t know I didn’t have insight on that. But what I did is chalked it up to burnout and because burnout didn’t really mean that I had to make any life changes other than take vacations. So that’s what I did right? I me and my wife we went on some bucket list trips I’m a baseball fan and went to cooperstown and.
10:00.1 stronger_today Right.
10:08.9 Kirk Kansas city and various places and I was hoping that in those few months that I was taking off that I would reconnect with my passion for practicing law or something else would emerge and in august of 2015
10:19.7 stronger_today Her.
10:25.7 Kirk We were about ready to take our final trip ah of the summer and I was after that trip I was like okay so you know Asu is coming back into session kids get in trouble lawyers are needed things of that nature so it was time to consider going back to my practice and. That’s about the time when I noticed that my lymph node under my armpit was inflamed and you know you can’t substitute a gurgle search for a medical degree but you can certainly get some ideas and you know it was it was ah a striking idea to me that I might have cancer.
10:47.2 stronger_today In whisper.
11:00.8 stronger_today He.
11:02.7 Kirk And you know I tried to fool myself and thinking. no no I’m too healthy because I’d lost like eighty eighty pounds between trials done it the right way and everything else I said no no, no and you know after I came back ultimately surgeries and everything and and before I knew it. I had learned that I had stage 3 non-hotgkin lymphoma and that that there was a tumor near my stomach and 1 near my heart and what that meant was that I needed 6 rounds of chemotherapy in order to send my cancer remission and that gave me about a seventy percent chance.
11:24.5 stronger_today Are.
11:35.2 stronger_today Here.
11:42.2 Kirk Of surviving the cancer thirty percent chance that I wouldn’t and I knew right away you know sometimes we know things in our heart and I knew right away that it was the stress involved in representing this areas that led to that cancer because ultimately Non -hachian lymphoma is healthy blood cells kind of turning on themselves and.
11:59.6 stronger_today And her.
12:02.0 Kirk Turning into unhealthy toxic blood cells and there’s ah been a lot of studies and we don’t need to to bore people with it with the effect of stress as it relates to health and things like that they can. There’s There’s tons of studies out there people can read. But yeah, ultimately that connection was made real clear to me and. You know that ah brought me to a real dark place and and kind of gets to the core of your question when these transitions started happening is that I seriously began to wonder whether or not I would undergo Chemotherapy so wasn’t something I discussed with my why or anybody else.
12:35.6 stronger_today Hm.
12:39.8 Kirk Just really kind of wondered whether the life that I would live after undergoing chemotherapy was 1 worth saving. You know, given the ills of chemotherapy given the struggles of going through it was was it worth saving I mean here I was I was in my late forty s I was.
12:47.5 stronger_today Hm.
12:57.1 Kirk Disenfranchised with the practice of law to put it cleanly. My name was mud on a worldwide stage right? because of the live streaming and what have you and I began to really contemplate whether it was worth it and ultimately I came to the decision it was but that was. Really contingent on a promise I made to myself and that was that I wouldn’t live my remaining days the way I had my prior days and it was with that promise that I ultimately Underwent chemotherapy.
13:21.2 stronger_today And. Wow Wow Yeah I think that um until you are put in that situation yourself of trying to make the choice of of you know, doing long-term care like that or not.. It’s such a difficult thing to Understand. Um, you know I have stories that I could share. But I think that what I’m most curious about for you is you know, making that choice in and of itself is a difficult 1 um to to fight the cancer and to to move forward with with chemo and all of the treatments that are going to come with that. But. What I’m also interested about is what started becoming a parent to you about the life that you wanted versus the life that you had now I mean what? what was starting to ring true or ring new to you about what you wanted your life to look like.
14:19.8 Kirk Sure I think consistent with that promise was a feeling It wasn’t a vision. It wasn’t I’m going to do X Y and Z it was a feeling that I had more to do on the planet and that is the basis that got me into that chemotherapy chair I didn’t know what it was.
14:31.8 stronger_today Her.
14:37.6 stronger_today Yeah.
14:39.3 Kirk I mean I think too often in life us humans are apt to decide that we have to have this plan and it’s going to be step a b and c and this is going to be my vision and I’m going to do this and that and that isn’t always consistent with our happiness with our joy right? It’s consistent with.
14:44.8 stronger_today Um, yeah.
14:55.5 stronger_today Right.
14:58.4 Kirk Ah, goal achievement which which I’m not a big, always a big fan of but ultimately it was that feeling that I had something more and that feeling stood with me when I went through the the chemotherapy and it stood with me. You know when I got out of it I broke my promise I took to myself I took a couple cases but I got out of there eventually. Ah, you know I started having trouble with the bar because of the book that I wrote which I believe was an ethical response to misserus you probably working at the republic you might remember she sat down in the well of the ah jail with a local reporter. Probably Michael kefer wishes he was that guy but ah that that um, you know and and basically said you know the defense was my fault. It was of my creation trying to save her image et Cetera et cetera then the next day she’s doing interviews on good morning america and places like that.
15:49.2 stronger_today A.
15:57.1 Kirk Doing what part of what I would say was waiving privilege. But anyway we got into this fight with the bar and that promise to myself was in my head because you know they wanted to suspend me. Ultimately, it came to the idea that they wanted to suspend me for 4 years and this was back in.
16:12.2 stronger_today Who.
16:16.6 Kirk 2000 16 and I told my attorney that rather than suspension I wanted to be disbarred I asked for disbarment knowing that it would be reported as kirkner me disbarred but because I didn’t want to have that cushion.
16:24.6 stronger_today And go.
16:35.5 Kirk Because that I knew that that mission that I had those other things that I felt like I wanted to do on this planet was not lawyering and so if I had that cushion if you will if I had that safety net that rather than. Pursue everything with vigor. You know, even if you know even if we contested and it was a year or 2 years or whatever I just would have relaxed I would have done nothing. You know, um and I just would have gone on with my life as it were and then I just would have fell back into those old habits because that’s easy. It’s comfortable. Retreat back into our comfort zones. So I asked for disbarment around November of twenty sixteen I believe from remembering correctly and it was an awesome an awesome day because when it when that was granted because I knew.
17:18.4 stronger_today Here.
17:27.0 Kirk It was time for a new mission. It was time for something else and you know look how many times do we all get trapped in a profession and we just decide to run out the clock. You know you might choose to be an accountant when you’re a nineteen year old major because.
17:35.0 stronger_today My.
17:42.0 Kirk You know your girlfriend is an account major your boyfriend you know pre-med so you decide it and you just you just stay there because it’s easier than moving you you survive instead of Thrive so ultimately made the choice. Think and then it was time to thrive that it was time to do something else.
18:00.2 stronger_today I relate to that so much that is something that my listeners are super familiar with because I um, after 10 years of working in corporate journalism I was absolutely burnt out and so i. I decided to leave and I didn’t give myself a safety net I didn’t have a job lined up like you I didn’t know what I wanted to do next and I actually wanted to use that time to find out what that was what what actually did bring me joy and so I want to I want to return.
18:21.5 Kirk Um, yeah.
18:27.4 stronger_today To that actually to how you started to find your joy because you ended up doing some pretty amazing fun things and that’s that seem Joyful and I’m curious how you kind of stumbled into them but before we go there I want to talk a little bit about something that I think a lot of people would have a hard time with and it’s kind of evolving. Involving this concept of the ego which is you know when you wrote that book and when everything kind of started happening. There were articles things that came out that said oh he’s just trying to save his reputation and he’s you know he’s sacrificing all of these these ethics to save his his name and his reputation and. How did you feel about that I mean it kind of felt like you were damned if you do and damned if you don’t kind of thing like how like how did that affect you as you were trying to kind of step into this new new life that you wanted to create for yourself.
19:16.0 Kirk Sure I mean it became you know the ultimate idea you know writing that book was very cathartic. The the first in the area series was very cathartic as they both were ultimately but this 1 for the first 1 most most prominently, but 1 of the the realities was that. To me was not that I really cared about the judgment I just wanted people to judge on the facts not on their misconceptions. So I wanted to publish the book in a because it would survive me if cancer took me off the planet before.
19:51.6 stronger_today And I hope.
19:54.9 Kirk You know before my time was due as it were in a way that was sustainable right? My words would would live on and so that’s why I made the choice to publish the book because her lies had been 1 of the biggest sources of the misconception in in my opinion. And so I wanted to impose truth upon her lies and that was really it and if people wanted to judge me for my choice to write the book or or represent her whatever it was. That’s okay I mean ultimately. It did become a lesson ah a viable lesson in not caring about what other people think ultimately it it led to that because it’s like okay here it is here’s the truth. You judge me if you want I don’t care and there we go.
20:33.6 stronger_today May I.
20:43.7 stronger_today Yeah I think that just takes so much courage I Know so many people that don’t do what they want to do with their life because they’re precisely afraid of that kind of judgment you know and so I think whenever I see somebody do what you did? Um I just I just. Love bringing light and attention to that because I think that that’s such a a great example. Um of being clear on your mission and why you are doing what you’re doing and putting that out into the world. So Thanks for doing that.
21:13.1 Kirk Well thank you and what I would say to that is I understand that fear right? I I mean you know 1 of the first we you mentioned earlier the things that I was going to pursue after practicing law and 1 of those things was was being a life coach for lawyers because I knew there was so much stress and misery within the profession. And part of that that latching onto the job of lawyer could be any job really is is that egoic attachment to an identity that is considered prestigious right? I’m a I’m an accountant I’m a lawyer I’m a doctor I’m important this you know.
21:43.9 stronger_today Right.
21:52.0 Kirk I Can my mom’s proud of me my dad’s proud of me because I’ve reached this status when really that status is just a transitory label that we put on ourselves I mean you know we existed before we were blank like you all use myself as I an example I existed before I was a lawyer.
21:59.9 stronger_today Who.
22:10.0 Kirk And I existed after it was a lawyer I’m not quote unquote a lawyer that is what I did for a living for a certain amount of time. It’s not my identity and we get hooked on that so much that that freezes us in place because that identity is part of the. Forum from which people judge us right? if you and I were strangers and we met at a cocktail party. We might say well. What do you do? And what do we do? We’re not really that doesn’t really give us any insight on each other right. It gives us a form to judge each other but it doesn’t give us any real insight.
22:25.7 stronger_today Um. Her. Um, yeah, yeah, that was 1 of my I tell the story all the time that was 1 of my favorite things about after I quit my Job. You know I’d go to networking events because I’m in film and people would always ask me Oh what do you do? What are you? What are you working on right now and I’d go.
22:47.5 Kirk Yeah.
22:54.0 stronger_today Nothing and they wouldn’t know what to do with that. You know they would like wait for me to fill that space and there was like such this power and freedom that came with it. It was like I’m not going to let you define me by my projects and by my title like I’m a human I still exist you know and it was was a lot of fun. But um.
22:54.7 Kirk Um, yeah.
23:03.5 Kirk Um, yeah.
23:09.1 Kirk Um, yeah.
23:12.8 stronger_today Thank you for sharing that so I want to get back to how you started to find the things that lit you up again I mean how did that How how did that Discovery process happen for you I mean because obviously you were healing and going through everything with the cancer. So then in conjunction with that.
23:24.6 Kirk Um, yeah.
23:31.4 stronger_today How were you? How were you finding these things that that gave you kind of excitement in life.
23:35.3 Kirk Well I wouldn’t necessarily say that I found them so much as they found me and and I also use the analogy that ah I’ve heard that I love is more like a Gps and you know I didn’t as I said earlier didn’t have some master plan right.
23:40.5 stronger_today Who.
23:52.6 Kirk I saw the pain that was associated with the lawyers and the drinking and the ah substance abuse and things like that and I wanted to help so I started putting myself out there as a life coach I was passionate about that I like speaking I started getting speaking gigs I did a keynote at the. Ah, Tempe center for the arts all these different things just started kind of coming into my my journey and it’s just it is. It’s like this simple gps of this this brings me joy and we talked off the air a little bit before we started about the books and.
24:17.7 stronger_today Listen.
24:30.7 Kirk I wanted to finish the area series. Then I really wanted to encapsulate. Um, the lessons I learned battling infamy and cancer and that resulted in defend your greatness. It took over 2 years to write to fed your greatness but so it was just those little things that were bringing me joy like you know.
24:42.5 stronger_today Um.
24:49.8 Kirk Appearing on Nancy grace okay, that sounds like fun. Why not um, you know court the the things I do on core tv sure why not that sounds like fun speaking at my alma mater that sounds like fun and just kind of doing that and some things flow through me like the the pieces of fiction I wrote. Just kind of came to me and I just felt compelled to to put them out there. So yeah, it’s just a matter of just that the little chasing the bliss and going with what feels good I mean too often. Don’t we associate achievement with misery we have to.
25:12.7 stronger_today Yeah.
25:28.1 Kirk Sacrifice nose to the grindstone everything else right? like a friend of mine said to me because I was off you on my first acting assignment and a friend of me says I know this girl and she went to college and she was doing all this for acting and she can’t get anything and. Here you are flying off to do this tv role for the streaming service and I thought because when she was in school. She probably learned how difficult it was no when you told me I couldn’t do it I started acting because I made a joke in my 1 man show that if people thought I believe miss area is the story I must have some untapped.
25:54.1 stronger_today Right.
26:05.7 Kirk Acting Talent Meryl Streep level untapped acting talent and you know the old saying right? There’s an element of truth and a good joke and I said well what the hell Why not let’s give it a whirl and you know so.
26:13.9 stronger_today Um, yeah.
26:19.6 Kirk Ah, my 1 man show being 1 of those things overcoming Jodi eris being 1 of those things that I was inspired to do kind of nudged by 1 of my mentors to do and then and then picking up some of this acting stuff you know, just because it seems like fun.
26:34.8 stronger_today I love that I love that so speaking of of kind of choosing things that feel like fun. How do you handle decisions and opportunities that come up that don’t feel like fun and I know that sounds like an obvious question. But so many people have a hard time. Saying no or even just like falling back into old patterns because it feels comfortable. You know so like how do you handle kind of navigating the yeses from your nose and kind of shaping this new joy -filled life.
27:03.9 Kirk Well I think you know it goes back to the idea of like what we talked about before the safety net not having that safety net right? You said you quit without that safety net and so having to do that is is great right? And then.
27:12.9 stronger_today Are. Um, hold on my dogs barking like crazy Wow Charlie Enough Sir Charlie. Ah.
27:33.6 Kirk Charlie doesn’t like my answers.
27:34.5 stronger_today Ah, Charlie needs a triodone. Okay, okay, go ahead start start that 1 over sorry.
27:39.6 Kirk Ah, ah.
27:48.9 Kirk That’s okay, um, you know it’s it’s really a matter of you know that? Maybe what I said earlier disconnecting yourself from the idea that you have to be miserable in order to be a success right? because a lot of those 1 of the.
28:02.6 stronger_today Um.
28:06.2 Kirk Ways I phrase this things is is have to versus get to so you know I could say oh I have to do this podcast with Melissa today or I get to do this podcast with Melissa today which totally shifts the groundwork of the decision. Anyway, right? It’s ah you know, even when we have jobs We don’t like.
28:20.3 stronger_today Right.
28:25.4 Kirk We can sit there and say I based on this job I get to put gas in my car I get to put food in my kid’s belly et ceterat cetera so I start looking at more of the positive of things. But ultimately it’s still about making that choice of wanting to be Happy. It’s about putting happiness as a priority. Talk about that demon of practicality where we say if we get the if we get the house. The 2 point five kids. The barking dog. Whatever it is what happens right? We’re supposed to be Happy. It’s supposed to be a trail behind us right? But we put the cart before the horse. And when we start looking back for our happiness. It’s not always there so consistent with that shift I made was to make happiness a priority and let other things fall into place and they did so you know I have the acting gigs I have the the fitness show that I’m sure we’re going to talk about.
29:03.1 stronger_today Her and.
29:19.2 Kirk And I have all these different things that weren’t on my radar but just because it was a matter of following that bliss. So if it feels confining and uncomfortable etc etc. Then don’t do it I mean? Yeah, okay if you got to do a job to put food on your table for your kids. Yeah, but take it as a different.
29:19.9 stronger_today Nope.
29:38.4 Kirk Step take it as I get to do this to put food on my table and then ultimately I will find something else I will follow that Bliss allow for it to come in.
29:48.0 stronger_today Yeah I love that because so much of what you talked about has to do with um your mindsets and how you choose to view things with ah with a specific perspective and you know Jim quick in his book. Limitless. Um, talks about that even with learning new information trying to do hard things if you can get your mind right? It just sets the foundation to be able to do things in such a bigger way and so I think that that’s really incredible to hear you say that and I want I do want to talk about your fitness show because.
30:19.3 Kirk Um, yeah.
30:22.3 stronger_today I introduce you as a man of transformation and I really feel like that’s that’s very fitting. Um, and so tell us what’s going on with that. There’s there’s less of you from a lot of the pictures I’ve seen recently. So yeah.
30:31.3 Kirk Yes, there is yeah well you know it’s 1 of those things we talk about when we follow our bliss and we don’t have a Gps and we don’t have a roadmap right? because the other thing is when we have a roadmap I’m going to be this or that of the other thing. What happens. And that’s why I don’t like goals because goals kind of become myopic I’m going to do blank and then we don’t see all the other great opportunities that are around us right? and then when we’ve reached the goal then we got to find another 1 to be happy and etc Etc. So when we have intentions we move towards things with an open mind other things come into play.
30:56.7 stronger_today Ah, here.
31:08.4 Kirk So going back to what I said earlier about that joke about this untapped meryl streep level acting ability I was on casting service and voila there’s this post for this reality fitness show and I was over thirty pounds heavier than I am. Now at the time I was working on losing weight. Believe it or not I gained forty five pounds during chemo and was having trouble adjusting my body back to what I wanted it to be even you know 4 or 5 years later and I found that about the same time that I hit that 5 year mark and became cancer free.
31:34.8 stronger_today Her for her for her. And go.
31:46.5 Kirk And I thought this is a great way to really kind of encapsulate it all and do it in a public way. I mean I came out halfway through my chemo treatment and announced that I had that I had cancer. Um, and you know publicly and then I decided Well why not. Do this transformation publicly and show those people because the sad reality is there are people out there now that are waiting to hear back whether they have cancer. There’s people that are getting the call that they had cancer I mean I always remember that day. So I think if I can do something in any way.
32:14.0 stronger_today Right.
32:23.3 Kirk Sets an example for somebody that what they can be when they get out of the cancer chair. That’s certainly something I wanted to do so that led to a connection with the great people at radical body transformation which is a show that airs on amazon prime and last month
32:38.6 stronger_today Her.
32:42.4 Kirk Was up filming the production company was in Canada they couldn’t even cross the border till august but fortunately it all synchronized and last month I was in Dallas or Dallas was the other yeah I was in Vegas filming the season 3 of radical body transformation and it’s been a great process.
32:45.9 stronger_today A.
33:01.6 Kirk Um I can’t say it’s perfectly easy, but it’s not you know it’s not me with some trainer. You know it’s not like biggest loser some trainer yelling at me and screaming at me. It’s none of that I mean people might enjoy watching that a little more given given their there. The typical view of me. But um.
33:08.3 stronger_today Okay, yeah.
33:20.0 Kirk No, it’s it’s it’s far from that. It’s really kind of a neat deal with technology now I have ah I have a coach and she puts a ah calorie kind of content in and with a breakdown of carbs and protein and fibers and fat things like that and that’s just in my phone. It’s in an app. And I just put everything I eat in my phone which is a paint in the bot at first but it becomes second nature after a while and then she puts an exercise program in my you know in another app and so every week I have an an exercise program and I just show up to the gym and I just go for it I just.
33:41.5 stronger_today No yeah.
33:58.8 Kirk Get in there and do the program and um I have workout schedule five days a week and you see I do I usually I do 6 but it’s nothing. You know you don’t have to have a special gym or anything else I go to a very basic gym and.
33:59.2 stronger_today Do you have to work out every day. 5 days a week okay
34:17.6 Kirk Work out and just just it’s the best to me. It’s such a an act of self-care that goes beyond the physical changes in our body I think it gets us a greater connection with our spiritual selves and I think it.
34:27.8 stronger_today Yeah.
34:33.2 Kirk Gets us to the point where you know like in defend your greatness I talk about how I believe we’re all here for a mission where you’re born for an unique reason and I think the healthier we keep ourselves the more we’re showing the universe that we’re willing to to show up for that mission. So yeah, it’s been an awesome process in the intangible ways i’m. Ah, down 35 ish pounds. Um, thank you. Thank you? I’m losing my my gut you might have seen my videos I’m I’m going for a six back for christmas so i’m. So i’m.
34:58.9 stronger_today Congrats. Nice job.
35:06.3 stronger_today Um, okay.
35:10.1 Kirk Trying to lose my lose my gut I’ve lost about four inches off my gut since July so I’m working towards even when I was a skinny soccer player I didn’t have a 6 pack so that’s my goal a 6 back for christmas I don’t know if I’m going to make it or sounds like a bad lifetime movie doesn’t it so but.
35:14.4 stronger_today Here.
35:24.6 stronger_today It really does.
35:28.6 Kirk Um, but but who knows write it up Melissa maybe it’ll be a big hit. Ah, but but yeah, so go ahead.
35:32.8 stronger_today Ah, um I do I was like I feel like I should just do a comedy now at this point. Ah, that’s many so when when so when does it air like when can we is It are you live already.
35:46.2 Kirk Well, that’s a good quote. That’s a good question. Am I what? no no no filmed we just film in august and um, you know my transformation didn’t begin till January so I assume it’s going to come out sometime next year
35:51.4 stronger_today Are you is it live already where like can I watch you? No no okay.
36:01.8 stronger_today Okay.
36:03.5 Kirk You know with all the difficulties and everything else the the before is just going to be pictures and and the after will be some pictures as well I assume but you know I haven’t heard in ah an exact day yet. But I assume sometime next year
36:10.6 stronger_today Ok. So is this like a feel good kind of motivation thing or is this like I’m assuming it’s not like biggest loser where you’re competing against other people like what’s kind of the the vibe of the show.
36:25.7 Kirk Yeah, like it’s more like a feel good like I say it’s not trainers you’ allll know over you. It’s not people crying Well I Cried a little bit but and no not like on dick not like I’m biggest loser or you see those breakdowns. But yeah, it’s a lot of inspiring stories. A lot of really neat people. Have have had unique Journeys unique but Common Journeys that I think we can all relate to and so yeah, this this kind of is more of an interview context and and talking about what the transformation is is meant to people and hopefully it’ll inspire. Some people out there. So that’s kind of the I think the design of the show.
37:04.3 stronger_today That’s really great I’m I’m really looking forward to seeing it because I think you probably notice a couple of my posts I gain like thirty pounds from a medication that I started taking and man is it hard to like get that off and I’ve been working my my butt off and.
37:11.4 Kirk Yeah.
37:20.2 stronger_today You know you have moments of really high highs where you’re feeling extremely proud of yourself and and really good and then you have times where you’re like man I can’t make the scale move ever Again. You know so it’s like. Ah, so I’m I’m very much looking forward to watching your journey and and seeing that and experiencing that with you. So Thanks for doing that.
37:38.8 Kirk Well, you bet and you know I always there’s a couple things I would say I’d say the tale doesn’t tell the entire the scale doesn’t tell the entire tale because you doesn’t know what you’re working on and I always love and I talk about this and.
37:49.4 stronger_today That’s true. That’s true.
37:54.4 Kirk Defend your greatness the old oingo buinggo song. You’re not old enough to know igo boinggo at least but this that’s that’s from the 80 s you know when we were wearing purple chuck taylor and stuff like that right and divvo was was cool.
37:57.3 stronger_today No I have no. Ah I was like oh no boy girl that sounds fantastic.
38:09.4 stronger_today Yeah.
38:14.1 Kirk But they have this song called who do you want to be today and the question isn’t as metaphysical as as I cast at least I don’t think it was meant to be that way because it was you know 80 s pop music but is to me that’s a great question when you think about those frustrations and everything that you’re going through in life whether it’s. With your workout. You know the scale doesn’t go by. You know you get frustrated. Maybe you’re tempted to just give up or whatever that question who do you want to be today becomes important because who do you want to be? do you want to be someone who’s driving towards your best health or do you want to be someone who gives up. Do you want to be someone who’s frustrated.
38:47.0 stronger_today My.
38:50.8 Kirk You know because like these transitions that I’ve made. We’ve been talking about I don’t want to give the impression that they’ve they’ve been easy I mean the times of doubt have been numerous thinking? Oh maybe I should have kept that law lights and maybe I should have done this or that or the other thing but but.
38:57.8 stronger_today The.
39:06.5 stronger_today Ah, mary.
39:09.7 Kirk You know when you ask yourself that question who do you want to be today and the question is always would I want to be a lawyer packing up my briefcase to go downtown to represent somebody who did who knows what or would I want to be a guy who’s on his road to a changed in consistent and happier life who has complete control of his own schedule. Okay I think I’ll take the latter and then those doubts start start fading right? So um I think that’s an important question because like I say would even like you say you get up and you maybe a scale hasn’t moved for a week and you say I’ll screw this I don’t want to go to the gym. Ask yourself who do you want to be today.
39:28.8 stronger_today Yeah, and.
39:43.8 stronger_today Right? Yeah yeah I love that I think that’s a great motivator. Yeah I I want to ask you this question and it’s It’s a little bit of a pivot and I’m not even sure how to ask it So we’ll see how it comes out of my mouth. Um, so.
39:45.6 Kirk And you’ll get your butt to the gym.
39:56.4 Kirk All right? ah.
40:01.7 stronger_today Well, you know I because you know I know that you’re you’re married and and that you’ve been married you know for a long time and so I’m curious Sometimes when people um, go through big life transitions. It can be difficult for the the people that we’re with you know, depending on how they feel about certain things and so I’m Curious. You know how have you handled navigating relationships not just with your wife but probably with a lot of people close to you as you’ve made really big like pivots and changes in your your life and your career like how is that all kind of worked for you.
40:36.1 Kirk Yeah, you know that’s 1 of the things I think that that scares people a lot when they talk about making a transition because your friends have a particular view of you or you have a particular peer group right? and and or a relationship right? and you know it’s.
40:49.6 stronger_today Right.
40:54.9 Kirk It’s correct to point out that this idea that like for instance, you know I’ve been married 2020 eight years and when when I was married when I got married I was a guy who wanted to go to law school and then I was a guy who was in law school and I was a lawyer right? and you’re right then all of a sudden. It’s something different.
41:06.5 stronger_today Um.
41:14.0 Kirk But I think and it sounds Maybe this is another lifetime movie title. But if you marry the right person. It’s not that hard you know because there’s establishment there. You want that person to be happy I Mean if you marry someone for their image or because of their status because they’re a lawyer.
41:19.9 stronger_today Ah, rape.
41:33.1 Kirk You know a big time. Emmy winner guy right? then that what right? and and and so and and that changes or whatever you know they decide. They don’t want to make movies anymore or whatever it is if you marry that image then then there’s can be separation. But if you true.
41:37.1 stronger_today But.
41:53.0 Kirk Truly love the person behind that then it’s not that difficult when you marry the right person right? So but then as it goes to people it is There is no doubt about the fact that when you make changes like this like we’ve been talking about in your life whether it’s weight.
41:58.1 stronger_today Yep.
42:10.2 Kirk Because even something as silly as weight people cast you in a certain light when it comes to weight and when you change I mean I remember when I lost weight years ago and I went back to seattle hadn’t been there for like 2 years is where I grew up and I was much skinnier between trials and.
42:13.1 stronger_today Oh yeah.
42:27.8 Kirk I wasn’t the fat guy anymore. There’s people saying I look too skinny everything else it was It didn’t change the relationships would certainly change how they viewed me but there are those relationships that are going to vanish which is what probably most people are most afraid of right? like you know I had all these several lawyer friends and and my most of my circle of.
42:28.3 stronger_today My.
42:47.3 Kirk Peers were lawyers at the time that I decided to make this transition publish the book etc and there were a lot of people that didn’t get it and there’s a lot of people that still don’t get it and for the most part those people have faded away but the miraculous or maybe not so miraculous thing.
42:55.8 stronger_today Bill and. Yeah, but yeah.
43:06.7 Kirk That happens is that those people are replaced by people that are more consistent with who you are now that are more capable lifting you up Now you know I use this great analogy. Um, we have a friends B friends and C friends.
43:13.5 stronger_today Yeah.
43:19.0 stronger_today Right.
43:26.7 Kirk A friends of those friends that consistently lift us up every time we see them B friends are those friends that sometimes they lift us up sometimes they drag us down depending on their situation and see friends are those ones that always drag us down like those people you know you pick up your cell phone.
43:29.5 stronger_today Oh.
43:39.9 stronger_today Here.
43:44.6 Kirk And you see who’s calling you go oh jeez those are your sneak friends and the c also stands for see you later because it’s time to move on Beyond those friends doesn’t mean they’re bad people anything else and so when you go through these transitions in life people aren’t going to understand.
43:46.0 stronger_today Yeah, um. A.
44:03.2 Kirk You know, maybe your choice to quit your job or your choice to get a divorce or whatever and those people that don’t understand that or wait or whatever it is. Those people can become sea and it’s not done out of Anger or anything else. It’s it’s done out of you know, just evolving and that’s exactly what has happened I have so many. Great new people in my life and including you right? So you know, um that you know it’s not as scary as is it as it might be.
44:24.6 stronger_today Now.
44:33.8 stronger_today Amen to that and I just have to say Kirk I don’t know if you know this but hearing this story made me think of a a very specific golden girls episode I’m a golden girls super fan I don’t know if you remember, but.
44:44.0 Kirk Ah, a fish.
44:49.2 stronger_today So Dorothy was dating Dick Van Dyke who was a lawyer and decided to quit to become a clown and she decides not to stay with him and he’s like it’s the clown thing isn’t it and she’s like you know what? it’s not because if I loved you if I was really all in this I wouldn’t care what you do I would go with you anywhere and I thought that was such a a. Profound thing because it was like that’s true, right? when you find your person when you find the people that you really love it. Doesn’t matter what they do you love them and so anyway it just reminded me of that episode.
45:11.3 Kirk Um, yeah.
45:17.9 Kirk Well I’m glad I could remind you of a pleasant memory and I that’s so funny. You don’t know ago Boingo but you know the golden girls are the boy basically the same era. Yes, you probably are.
45:30.3 stronger_today Oh I’m I’m probably going to fall in love with Ogo Boingo I will look them up on spotify when we’re done I’m I’m like born in the wrong generation I tell you so um.
45:37.3 Kirk Yes, so you you you look like you could put on some purple Chuck Taylors and and and head to a devo concert. You look like that kind of person all right.
45:48.4 stronger_today I feel like that kind of person. So let me ask you this? Um, we’re we’re going to kind of wrap it up here and I just want to say first and foremost thank you so much kirk this has been a delight and I have learned so much and I’ve had so many. Moments of inspiration myself. So I know all of the listeners will also be inspired. Um, but I want to ask you you know with all of your work. You know whenever you meet people or when you go do these these public spit. Um talks that you do or you know anything? What is it that you hope people.
46:06.8 Kirk Oh thank you.
46:24.2 stronger_today Take away from you and you have such a specific life experience right? You have such specific things that you’ve gone through that have taught you these these pieces of wisdom and and things that you can share with us and and so I’m just Curious. What is it that you hope to sort of. Gift All of the people as you as you interact with the world.
46:43.5 Kirk Well, you know it’s it’s interesting because when I created overcoming jodi aius my 1 man show the the joke 1 of the other jokes in the show that I can overcome cancer and jodi aris you can overcome everything in your life.
47:00.1 stronger_today I.
47:01.8 Kirk Um, so it was a lot about overcoming and you know defend your greatness is a lot about connecting um you know to yourself the greatness within you that that gets stamped out by the demon of practicality and and various things and.
47:15.6 stronger_today Ah.
47:17.3 Kirk It’s been heartwarming I’ve got a lot of great feedback on this book. But it’s funny when when you were asking me that question for the first time something shifted in me and my answer became whatever they need because you know when.
47:30.3 stronger_today I Love that.
47:35.6 Kirk You know when you put out a piece of of art. You know a 1 man show with Speech a movie. Whatever it is. You know people come to that space to view your art with all different kinds of problems and all different kinds of history. And all different kinds of worries and concerns going on and whether it’s as a filmmaker speaker. Whatever you’re not going to know what those are but you can only hope that what you give them is something that they need.
48:03.2 stronger_today Yeah.
48:09.5 stronger_today Yeah,, that’s so true and so powerful. Thank you Kirk so much and um, I’m just going to throw this out there now I think when your show airs. We should do a watch party and have you do like live commentary of your weight loss Show. You’re doing I think that would be a lot of fun. So think about it’s too on that. Um, but for for all the yes for all the folks that um, that.
48:25.3 Kirk Ah, ah, all right I host.
48:40.7 stronger_today Want to hear more or or seymour or read more from kirk um I am going to have links up. Um you know so you can find where to follow him on social media where to buy his books all of that good Stuff. And um, hopefully someday we might have kirk back as a guest to kind of give us an update on on what’s going on because it seems like he’s continuously doing phenomenal things and so we would love to hear more about that and thank you everyone for listening to stronger today podcast we do hope. That you feel stronger and better today than you did before if you liked us, please leave us a loving review if not, you know, be like thumper. Keep it to yourself and we will catch you next time right here on stronger today.
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