#13: Rod Hutchins Part 1- From Death Bed to Iron Man!

Follow Rod: www.facebook.com/groups/Irondreamteam    and IronDreamTeam.com 

Inspiring. Motivating. Encouraging. Determined. Unwavering. Grit. These are just a few words to describe Rod Hutchins. In this podcast episode, the first part of a two part series, we get an up close and personal look into his life, what he’s been through with paralysis, illnesses and near death, to name a few, the decisions he made, and where he is at today.

Rod grew up the 8th of nine children in Ogden, Utah. His parents always encouraged him and his siblings to work hard, have respect and integrity, be honest and live adventurously. Their mantra is – “It doesn’t matter what you do in life, do it well.”  He has carried these traits and this mantra throughout his life.

As a youth, Rod was heavily involved in scouts where he was an Explorer Scout. He was a National Vice President for the western region and then became the National Explorer President for the western region which included 9 states and Hawaii. This helped him learn the importance of service and being a part of the community, amongst many other things. His childhood and youth were filled with opportunities to learn to be a finisher, to learn from others, leave others and situations better than what you found them, to serve, and to be selfless.

Rod tells us many times about the importance of how making one simple decision can change your life. He speaks highly of the importance of good decision making skills.  He encourages us to have a survivor mentality, not be the victim. In this he explains that by making one good decision after another, you will find solutions to your challenges and problems.

As an adult, Rod has had ample situations and opportunities to be the leader. Through his work in his family, his career and his church, he feels that service is what formed him to do what he does and that is to “inspire them to action, instead of dictate what they’re doing.”  He loves to work in teams and collaborate. He suggests and teaches about developing mental toughness.  We are limited only by our limitations.

When Rod was in his 30s, he did a lot of traveling for business. In one of his travels to Colorado he became very sick. When he came back from this particular trip, he was extremely ill, to the extent that he had the sensations of pins and needles and then eventually being paralyzed from the neck down. During the state of pins and needles, he was in the hospital for 30 days, where he underwent several tests to determine what exactly was wrong. Finally the pins and needles feelings went away, but with that came the numbness and paralyzation of first his left arm, then his legs, then his right arm. It was absolutely discouraging and terrifying.

Finally, the team of doctors, were able to discover he had a form of polio, that attacks the joints, muscles, and nerves. Amongst this horrifying diagnosis, Rod developed an infection that led to strep and staph. He was told he had a good chance of passing away within a few short weeks. “I had to make a choice!” Rod exclaimed. His choice… “I decided to live!”

Rod then tells us how with higher power, God, and his quest for life, he wrote down 70 goals within 24 hours, two of which are a black belt in karate and compete in the Ironman. He explains that he chose to compete in Ironman because he needed a goal bigger than his challenges he faces. He looks at these goals as a godsend, something he is going to do, not just try to do, to live his life. Once he made this choice to live, he found the right team of individuals to help him meet his goals. With this team, his determined mindset, and proper selfcare, about a year later, he had no more paralysis, no more pins and needles sensations and no more blood test. He was well on his way!

In this first part of this podcast episode, we learn the beginnings of Rod’s life and where he’s at now. Rod tells us to “Focus where you’re going, not where you are now!” So in the second part of this series, we’ll learn the challenges that he had to further endure, more of where he is going and all he is doing with the Iron Dream Team.

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