Runner Moms Podcast | Episode 007

Susanne Moore | Understanding and Managing Your Emotional Triggers

Susanne Moore is an ultra-runner with several impressive races under her belt, including a 157-mile race in the Amazon jungle. She shares her journey from not knowing how she could ever build up to running a marathon to eventually stepping into the world of ultra-running. 

Even more, Susanne recently, along with her daughter, released an app called Neuraboot. The app is designed to help people understand their emotional triggers and use that understanding to guide them through times of stress and anxiety. Susanne shares the story on how turmoil within her own family eventually led to the app’s development. They also developed something called The Triggers Method that offers immense value in not only understanding your own triggers but also those of your loved ones. Both the Neuraboot app and The Triggers Method offer immense potential to help you tune into and understand your emotions as well as those of your friends and family. 

Support the Runner Moms podcast: https://www.patreon.com/RunnerMoms

Learn more about Neuraboot:

Learn more about The Triggers Method: https://www.neuraboot.com/entrepreneur-on-fire/

Episode Transcript:

Introduction:

Welcome to the Runner Moms Podcast where we help women embrace their inner strength, take time for themselves and lead healthier lives. So, settle in and soak up some inspiration. Then rise, lace up those running shoes and embrace your inner strength because, momma, you run this world.

Shayla:

Welcome to the Runner Moms podcast! I’m Shayla, founder of the Runner Moms community and I’m so happy that you’re joining me for today’s show. Before I introduce this episode’s guest, I’d like to give a shout out to everyone who has taken the time to leave a review of the show through your podcast player. It means the world to me that the show is resonating with you and that you’re finding value in the content. My overall goal for this podcast is to share the inspiring stories of other mom runners to help fuel your running and momming journeys.

Now, let’s dive into today’s episode. Joining me on the show today is Susanne Moore. She’s an ultra-runner with an impressive and inspirational back story that I can’t wait to have her share with you.

Even more, she recently, along with her daughter, released an app called Neuraboot. The app is designed to help people understand their emotional triggers and use that understanding to guide them through times of stress and anxiety. Susanne shares the story on how turmoil within her own family eventually led to the app’s development. They also developed something called the triggers method that, as you’ll hear, offers immense value in not only understanding your own triggers but also those of your loved ones. Susanne has so much great advice and inspiration to pass along so, with that, let’s get into the good stuff!

Susanne, thanks for joining me on the Runner Moms podcast! I’m so excited to have you on the show today.

Susanne:

Thank you so much! I’m excited to be here, Shayla. I’ve been on your website looking at all of these recipes and now I’m hungry so I hope I get through this!

Shayla:

Well, it’s always something to venture into after our conversation here! A little replenishment after chatting for a while. Well, there’s so much to dive into and explore about your story and I’m just really excited to talk about Neuraboot. But first, I thought maybe we’d start off and talk a little bit about you and your running story. So, I know you’re an ultra-runner. Like an ultra ultra runner.

So maybe, let’s start off by having you tell the Runner Moms community about your running journey. Maybe how long you’ve been a runner and how you progressed to ultra running.

Susanne:

Sure, so I started running. I was kind of late to the sport of running. Honestly, I kind of grew up in gyms and taught aerobics for a few years when I was really young and then I did not start running until my late 20s. And I, you know, it really just became kind of a stress outlet for me.

I did a couple of really short runs outdoors with friends and I just thought, oh well, that was fun. You know, you got to chat and be outside and maybe that’s more fun than going to a gym. And then, I don’t know, I’ve always had a goal list, right? And for some reason I thought, I want to do a marathon someday. I was probably 27 when this occurred to me and I remember thinking, what an outlandish idea! How am I ever going to do this? I can barely run a mile and half, you know, without dying! This is insanity!

But, I started, I joined Team in Training is actually how I really got started. I thought, I want to do a marathon. So, I started trying to train on my own and that was a complete disaster. You know, I mean. People always come up to me and say, “Oh, I just wish that I loved running the way that you do.” And I’m like, “Trust me, no one loves running when they start running!”

I have yet to meet a single person that loves running in the beginning! So, for several months, I was trying to use some plan I had printed off the internet and I was trying to force myself to do these solo runs. It was utterly miserable. I hated every minute of it. I finally actually did build up to seven miles and then I just plateaued. I was like, I can not possibly make myself run more than seven miles at a time by myself and I don’t even think I can replicate it. Like, I managed to do it one time and that was it.

I just thought, yeah, this really isn’t working and I’m definitely going to need some help if I continue to go down this route. So, I joined Team in Training, which is part of the leukemia and lymphoma society and that was really my start.

Shayla:

So, how did you progress from there?

Susanne:

So, oh gosh, I was living in Lubbock, Texas at the time and I stumbled on, I don’t even remember how I found the organization. I want to say it was posted in a gym or something. I went to one of their meetings. They had these coaches come and talk to us, “Hey, you can run a half marathon or a marathon and we are going to coach you through it. They’ll be these group runs. It’s really supportive and along the way you’ll raise money for this great organization.” And I remember thinking, “Ok, I think I can do that.”

So, I signed up for the half marathon. And, you know what, it was such a life changing experience for me because what I realized was that, although running by myself is therapeutic in some respects sometimes. You know, you can listen to a podcast or listen to music and it’s great in a lot of ways but I really needed that group synergy. So, what I found was that, where I could not possibly run more than seven miles alone, eventually, I could go out on Saturday with a group and just be chatting and we’d knock out ten miles. Eventually, it didn’t even feel that hard. So, it was just really eye opening for me. That was such a great group. I mean, I really highly recommend that group to anybody that’s kind of starting out and wanting to do you know a half marathon or a marathon. It’s a great way to really break those plateaus and do so much more than you thought you could do.

Shayla:

Yeah, that’s a great tip because, especially as a new runner, going back to your example of how you’re trying to, you plateaued at seven miles, you didn’t know how you could get past that. Just having that group to rely on and others who have been there and can kind of collectively coach you through that, there’s a lot of value in that, that I could see.

Susanne:

Well, and the other benefit that I never even thought of is that I realized every time I came home, I had learned so much from our runs and a lot of it had nothing to do with running. I mean, we’re talking about parenting and jobs and our finances. I came home and it’s like, oh wow, I have like four great new tips on how to do life, this is so helpful. So, that was the other piece that made me feel like it was such a great way to spend my time.

Shayla:

Yeah, absolutely. As you started training with this group, you ran that first half marathon, correct?

Susanne:

I did, yeah.

Shayla:

How did things kind of continue from that point?

Susanne:

Yeah, so I did the half marathon and raised the funds for the organization. Then, I decided to sign up for the full marathon which I ultimately did. I think it was about a year later. I did that one in Dallas, Texas. Again, it was one of those things where I just kept thinking, “Oh, a full marathon. That’s just insanity. How do people do this? Like, I don’t understand.” When you’re a new runner, you just can’t fathom how you could possibly run 26 miles without stopping, right?

So, anyways, I ended up doing the full marathon. It was good. I completed it. I did it pretty slow but it was a good experience, but I remember thinking, “Ok, cool. I did that. I don’t know how. But, I’ll never do another one.” Like, checked that off of the bucket list. Goal done and not looking back.

So, then, really, for the next several years I never did another one. I did 5ks, 10ks, half marathons, and I really just ran kind of socially with my little groups. I joke now, looking back, throughout my 30s, every run that I did was the same pace. So, I had not concept of how to really train. So, it was like, every run that I did was a casual chatting session with my friends and they were all at like a 10 or a 10:30 pace. Then, if I went and did a race, it was kind of the same thing. Maybe slightly faster, but. For about 10 years, I made no forward progress! Literally, just that!

Shayla:

Social hour and consistency. Those are good things!

Susanne:

Weight management and social!

Shayla:

So, what brought the turning point for you to kind of pursue more, if you will?

Susanne:

Yeah, so, I ended up, I moved from Texas to Birmingham, Alabama. It was a big career advancement for me. And it was also very interesting in terms of terrain change. I was living in west Texas, which is really flat and not very scenic to run in. Then, I moved to Birmingham and it, Birmingham is surprisingly really beautiful and there are all of these mountain trails and running creeks. The trail running community is huge in Birmingham. Just running in general is huge. And so it was very eye opening to me because I had never even seen trail running. I’d go out and hike the trails and I’d see all of these runners flying past me and I was like, that’s crazy. How do they do that? You know, I’m out of breath hiking up these hills and they’re running. That’s really fascinating.

So, I found some local running groups because I thought ok, I need to kind of replicate what I was doing at home. I need some social running groups. It was very interesting because what I found is that the people here were vastly more competitive than the people back home.

The first couple of runs that I did with them, I was listening to them talk to each other because I was still like the newbie. Right? And they were, the conversation was completely different. It was all, “Hey, what’s next on your race calendar? How did you do at your last race? Did you have negative splits and what pace are you doing today? I’ve get a tempo run next Thursday.” It was all Greek to me. I was like, “I don’t know what any of this is.”

Shayla:

Can we go back to talking about finances and recipes and.”

Susanne:

I was just lost. I had no idea what any of the terminology meant and I was very confused for a while. And they were talking about coaches. Everybody had a coach. I was like a coach, what? You know, we kind of had group coaches for the organization but these people had personal coaches and that was very fascinating to me.

So, I ran with them for a while and just listened. I mean, they were all doing these big crazy races and trying to outdo their paces and they all had these fancy watches and all of this stuff. I was like, this is interesting, you know, I don’t know how I feel about this yet. So, as I kind of got more acclimated to that world, you know, I kind of naturally started adapting to it.

Then, I was at work one day and there was this girl at work and she kind of came hobbling in on a Monday morning. I said, “What in the world is wrong with you? You look terrible.” She said, “Ah, yeah yeah, I’m training for this race.” And I said, “Well, what are you training for?” She said, “Oh, well it’s a 150 mile race in the Grand Canyon.” And I’m like, “What? What are you talking about? We need to chat. I need to hear more about this.” Then she says, “Yeah, I ran 20 miles on Saturday and then I ran 25 miles on Sunday with my backpack weighted. That’s kind of what my training looks like right now.” And I was kind of wow, ok, this is a whole different level. I need to hear more about this.

Fast forward, I guess the little gem that I learned from all of this is, you know how when you’re growing up, your mom says, “Be very careful how you pick your friends.” She and I became friends. She did her crazy race. She ended up with stress fractures and dehydration and it was like this seven day stage race. Crazy thing. It looked like the ultimate suffering and when she came back, I was like, I gotta do one of these. That’s just the coolest thing.

Shayla:

I don’t know if that’s so much what that says about her or what that says about you! No, I’m just kidding.

Susanne:

Right, right. So, we started running together a little bit and then I started paying attention to all of these super competitive runners around me. Then, one day, and I was started to amp up my miles and started trying to do longer races. Just starting to think about what I wanted to do.

Then, one day she said, “Hey, let’s go to lunch.” And, we’re sitting at lunch and she said, “I really want to do another one of these ultra run adventure races.” And I said, “Ok.” She said, “I’m going to do one in a year and a half and it’s going to be in the Amazon jungle.” I was like, “Wow, that’s amazing. How neat.” She said, “It’s 157 miles long. Do you want to do it with me?” And I thought, “You know, for some reason I do!”

And so, that began. Really, it truly completely changed my life in so many ways. Some good. Some not so good. But just an incredible experience.

Shayla:

So, how long ago was that, that you ran that race?

Susanne:

It was the end of 2016.

Shayla:

Ok, and you had a year and a half to train for it. Did you train together with her or did you primarily train alone? Or, what did that look like?

Susanne:

So, we didn’t train a lot together. We both had really intense schedules and she was one of those people that just really liked running alone. She would run at midnight and all of these crazy hours just whenever she could kind of fit it in. I ended up going and hiring a coach because I thought, you know, I’m ok with signing up for a race and not doing my best, but I’m really not ok with being left behind in the jungle and getting eaten by jaguars.

Shayla:

Well, yeah, there’s that!

Susanne:

I think maybe a coach is in order on this one! So, I went and hired a coach and they were amazing. I mean, they really laid out the whole year and a half for me. With, not only training but just, how to fuel my body in a way to change my metabolism so that I could go extreme really long distances with kind of minimal calories. So that my body could turn to burning fat instead of sugar when I needed to because I may not always have sugar available to me. You know, sugar in the form of quick food. So, it was really, you know, what I realized along the way is that the journey of that process is really even so much more valuable than actually going to the event. Just that year and a half of such intensity and being so purposeful about how am I going to sleep? How am I eating? How am I training. How am I doing recovery? How am I making sure I don’t get injuries? It all just became so regimented and so purposeful. It was really neat.

It was just neat to watch your body change and watch your abilities change and just go to a level that you could have never possibly imagined that you could get to.

Shayla:

I imagine that, once you get on the other side of something like that you and you look back, what are some differences, how are some of the main ways that you changed from that first ultra-run? Because 157 miles, I mean, my goodness. But, like you said, that entire year and a half there was changes along the entire way I’m sure. So, what are some of the main ways that you changed through that?

Susanne:

Yeah, you know, I think it just, you develop so much grit and hardening in a good way. And gratitude for just the simplest things because, when weekend after weekend, you’re getting up at 4:30 in the morning and you’re going to go hammer out a 20-mile run on trails which means it might be a seven hour morning, you start really thinking about just the silliest things. Like, I wonder what it’s like to get up late and have coffee and watch the news? You know?! And then eventually one day when you’re able to do that, it’s just like massively impactful to you.

It’s like, in a sense life sped up because I was packing so much more into my day but, in a sense, it also slowed down because you were just kind of taking everything in. You just begin to realize that we really are capable of so much more than we think and it’s just a matter of figuring out the formula and then doing it. Just doing a little bit every day. That consistency. I think a lot of times we don’t realize how vastly we can change in a year and half. Whether it’s, you know, going from 10ks to a 157 mile race out in the jungle or it’s financially or it’s in terms of relationships or whatever it may be. Just that consistent really purposeful action day after day. I mean, a year and half, it’s just incredible how much change can happen.

Shayla:

Yeah, absolutely. I love that. So, that race was in 2016. Have you run others since then?

Susanne:

Yes and no. I did a 100 mile race in the, it’s called the Brazos Bend in Houston last year around this time. I haven’t done really any in 2020 due to covid. Every year, I always do the New York City marathon for a charity that I work very closely with. It started for autism but it’s all about sensory inclusion and making entertainment venues sensory inclusive for anyone who may have sensory conditions like, even, PTSD or Parkinson’s or anything like that. So, every year I run the New York City marathon for them. Those are kind of my annual every year race.

 Other than that, I’m trying to think if I’ve done, I haven’t done anything else big like that race since then. There was a lot that happened between 2017 and 2020 that I just kind of had to take what I could handle after the big race.

Shayla:

Well, let’s turn now to talking about Neuraboot. So, you’ve developed this app. If you wouldn’t mind, let’s go ahead and turn to that and maybe share with the Runner Moms community what the Neuraboot app is and how it came to be.

Susanne:

Sure, yeah, so Neuraboot is basically an emotional coaching and self-care app. It’s really designed for any of us just to become more self-aware and more in control of our moods, our triggers, even our motivation. Just to kind of help us stay on track is really what the goal of it is.

Shayla:

So, how did Neuraboot, how did the idea for it come about?

Susanne:

I have two daughters and my oldest daughter who is 25 now, she when she was a teenager and really ironically, this all really kind of started after she got her first smartphone. She claims there’s a connection there. I don’t know but it is a very interesting discovery that we made several years later. But, during her teen years, she became really withdrawn in a lot of ways and really unmotivated. And she was such an out-going, you know, extroverted child, it just, it was really strange.

And, she wasn’t like that all of the time. So, I kind of just kept chalking it up to, well, ok, people always say the teen years are hard. Especially back then, I was very type A and very kind of high strung. So, I was always trying to motivate her and force her in one way or another to be productive. None of that really worked very well. So, it was kind of struggle during her teen years and even the first, you know, 20 through 22 probably. It wasn’t until she was probably her late teens that we figured out that she really had anxiety and depression. But, we just didn’t have a label for it back then. We just knew that she wanted to lay in bed a lot on certain days and didn’t want to go out and do certain events and things like that.

For several years, I was just so frustrated that this child how had all of these talents and gifts just really wasn’t using them. I didn’t know what to do about that and it was really hard and it was hard on our relationship. Interestingly, it was the same year that I did my big race. It was kind of towards the end of 2016. She had kind of tried college and hadn’t really been doing very well and had come home for a little while and was just kind of laying around and I was like, what in the world. So, we kind of had a blow up and then finally I just thought, “You know, I’ve gotta quit, I’ve gotta quit trying to make her into me. She’s not going to be type A, self-driven, go go go like me. And I’ve gotta quit wanting her to be that because it’s just not who she is.”

I thought, “Maybe I just need to go figure out who she is.” Because, I realized that I hadn’t really done that. I went and sat with her and I just held her hands and I just said, “Hey, I just, I don’t understand. I feel like you’re in a lot of pain and I don’t understand what that is or if you’re comfortable sharing it with me or what’s going on in your head but I just want you to know that I’m here for you and I support you. We’re going to get through whatever this is.”

It was really the first time that I had approached her in that way. I mean, it was so phenomenal because she just kind of melted. She gave me a hug and she didn’t say anything. I was kind of struggling with that whole situation because up until that point I hadn’t been very emotional or vulnerable person either and I was like, ok, I’ve gotta get out of this room now.

But, it was very interesting because she came to me a few days later and she had this clipboard. She’s very artistic and so she had it all drawn out in columns and she said, “Hey, I know you want to help. When I’m in that place, I don’t know how to tell you what I need because I’m so in it. But here’s kind of what it looks like.”

In the first column, she had her behaviors which was like, laying in bed all day. Or, when you see me go into my room and slam the door shut. Or, all these different behaviors, here’s what it means. The second column was, if I’m lying in bed all day, that means I’m feeling like a failure and worthless and I don’t feel like I can ever be what I’m supposed to be and I don’t know where to start or what to do.

Then, the third column is, here’s how you can help. Like, here’s what I actually need from you. I don’t need you to come give me a motivational speech. I don’t know you to yell at me. I don’t need you to give me a chore list. Here’s what I actually need. And so, it was just mind blowing to me because it was really simple stuff and I thought, “That’s it? I mean, that’s all I had to do all of these years and it would have prevented all of this conflict?”

We started trying it and it was really just a matter of having empathy for her in those moments. The outcomes were just incredible. Whereas before she would be laying in bed and unmotivated maybe I would have gone and chastised her and then she would have just been worse the rest of the day. Well, now, I look at my cheat sheet and be like, ok, this is what this means. Then I would go in there with a cup of tea because she loves tea and I would just say, “Hey, it looks like you’re kind of struggling today. I got you. Here’s some tea. What do you need from me?” And it was just incredible because she would drink her tea and we’d chat for a minute and then she’d pop up and she’d be fine the rest of the day. Like, it was just crazy.

So, from that, we thought, you know, I bet this happens to a lot of people and wouldn’t it be cool if there were an app where, when you’re having a hard time, you could let me know because not everyone is going to have a cheat sheet like this. Especially when she moved away, if she were feeling anxious, I couldn’t just pop into her room and she didn’t really have the energy to call me but there needed to be a way that she could let me know. So, that’s really the key feature of the app is that it has this mood scale and if she’s having a hard time, she goes in and uses the sliding scale to put in how she’s feeling and the intensity of those feelings. Then, it actually sends me a text alert and notifies me exactly what’s going on with her.

That helps me know, ok, she’s anxious, she’s feeling overwhelmed, I’m going to give her a phone call. She’s probably not going to answer but I know her well enough to know I just need to leave her an encouraging voicemail or send her an encouraging text. That kind of thing.

Shayla:

There’s so much wisdom in the action that she took to really express her needs. It’s almost as if, you know, just the vulnerability that you brought to that first conversation just of opening up a bit yourself and then it’s like that gave her permission to kind of express her needs. I’m always interested in small moments like that that are kind of big turning points. Yeah, it just, I mean that was obviously a big turning point in your lives and Neuraboot, yeah, it sounds like it could be really beneficial, I mean, not only in the family setting but for work, friendships, for some many things just in building that deeper connection between people to kind of know, you know, you can see someone and kind of react to their mood but if you kind of dig a little deeper and understand what’s going on with them, that then empowers you to help in the right way. So, I think, yeah, this is a really amazing thing that you’ve built together.

So, how did you go about the process of, you know, not the technical side of building the app, but just kind of joining together and bringing this into the world?

Susanne:

Yeah, so, that was a really interesting dynamic too because she and I are so different. So, I’m very analytical and kind of organized and not very creative at all. She’s the opposite. She’s very creative and very visual. We just, we started working together and it was hard for a while because she had in her mind exactly what this needed to look like and how it needed to be and it took a while for me to kind of extract that and put it into, ok, how do I get this into a format that a developer can understand. But, yeah, it was such a neat process for the two of us to navigate through that with very different wired brains.

So, there was some conflict that happened along the way that would be really funny in the end because she would be trying to explain something and I would be like, “Yeah, no you can’t do that. That’s not gonna work from a development standpoint.” And we would just go round and round and then we would figure it out and just laugh. So, it really, we both grew so much during that process and became so much closer. It’s just, it’s neat because we’re closer today now that she’s grown probably since she was a little kid. It was a challenge but it was a lot of fun.

Shayla:

So, in addition to the Neuraboot app, you’ve also developed something called The Triggers Method. Could you explain what that is to the Runner Moms community and its applications?

Susanne:

Yeah, absolutely. So, I love how you said it just a moment ago. You said something very interesting in that, when someone is acting a certain way, we tend to just react to them. Right? Whereas, if we can stop for a moment and get underneath why they’re acting that way, it changes everything. And that’s really the basis of The Triggers Method. It’s a way of, instead of, kind of reacting to someone else or blaming or judging what we perceive as their bad behavior, it’s coming at the situation with a lot of curiosity and compassion and empathy to figure out what’s really going on here.

A lot of The Triggers Method is figuring out our own reactions and why we have the reactions that we do. It’s really interesting, we’re all wired so differently. For years, I think I was probably a really easily triggered person and I didn’t even have any idea that I was because when you’re being triggered, it feels so justified. Right? You’re like, “I feel so angry.” And it feels so totally justified in that moment. But I finally realized, when you have that wave of emotion that goes over you, like, you know, if somebody pulls out in front of you on the highway or your partner leaves their dirty laundry all over the floor again and you’ve told them like 42 times how much that drives you crazy but they’re still doing it. It’s very interesting. One person can have a really strong reaction to that and another person could care less. So, the question becomes, why is that? If your partner leaving dirty laundry all over the floor, for one person, they maybe really don’t care and it’s not even really an issue in the relationship. Whereas for another person, it may be like, deal breaker.

So, when we kind of really begin to dig deep and try to understand, why do we feel the way we do, why do we have the reactions that we have, and how can we kind of have more control over our own reactions so that we don’t blow things up and self sabotage relationships and work and all of these different things. So, we developed a method where it really helps you understand how you’re wired as a person. Your unique individual personality and what kind of makes you tick. We go through a process where we help you learn to identify your core traits. Once you understand what your core traits are, it becomes really easy to predict what your triggers are going to be. Then you can kind of walk through a process to predict those triggers and to calmly manage those triggers and then just to handle the situation with a lot more poise and grace and rationality.

Shayla:

Looking at, as you’ve described the differences in your personality and your daughter’s personality, I’m imagining as you sat down to go through these traits and then compared the traits between you two, I’m guessing they were a little bit different. Would that be accurate?!

Susanne:

Vastly different, yeah! And when she and I did that it was so funny because it was like oh this explains so much. Now we understand what’s going on here! It’s such a neat exercise truly to do with someone you’re close to because you’re just, whereas before where you’re like, “Oh, I can’t believe she gets so mad every time I leave my dirty socks on the floor. I mean, how ridiculous it that! She’s so high strung. What is her problem?” But once you understand people’s traits and where they’re coming from, you just have, you’re just able to laugh so many things off.

My daughter has a strong need to feel important. I have a strong need to be in control and to be right. So, one of the things that we figured out that was hard for us is that, because I do have the traits that I have, I’ve always been in leadership roles. I’ve always been kind of delegating and making sure things got done and being highly organized and executive and all of these things. So, I realized that I wasn’t taking that hat off at work. I was coming home and I was still being that person. Like, I’m right. Do what say. Here’s the rules. Follow them. This is the mission of the company!

Shayla:

You will adhere to it!

Susanne:

Right, right. And so, I started realizing, when I’m like that with my daughter, she’s not ever going to feel important. Because, it’s like, here’s the rules, follow them. If you don’t follow them, you’re banned! I had to stop and realize, ok, feeling valued and important is critical for her. Even though my mind is not wired like hers, and, you know, I’m trying to talk about the logistics of how this app should be built and she’s trying to talk about what color scheme it should be. And, I’m like, that’s not important right now, we’ll figure that out later. I’m not an aesthetic person, so, who cares what color it is! That’s not important. But, it was just understanding that, even though that doesn’t seem important to me, it is important to her and it’s important that I value her opinion. So then I started looking at things in that way and it was the craziest, eye-opening thing for me because I would stop myself and be like, ok, just because it doesn’t matter what hue of teal we use on the app, I need to value this moment with her and let her explain why she thinks, you know, color point two is the right one. So, I would let her do that and then she would feel confident and strong and reassured. What I learned in that process is that so many of things that she did, and said and thought, they really were really important and valuable. They were really necessary to creating the app. They just weren’t things that I would have thought of because it’s not my bucket. So, I think we really just gained a lot of mutual respect for each other.

Shayla:

That sounds like an amazing tool for families to sit down and do together. As you were talking about the differences in personalities between you and your daughter, it actually reminded me of me and my husband. He’s a very type a, he’s an engineer and so he sees the world in a completely different way than I do. I’m in marketing and communications. That’s my background. And so, just to give an example of a common struggle in our household when we’re redecorating or putting things on the wall, his main focus is, is there a stud in the wall in a certain place, because that’s where we need to hang it. I don’t care if it’s in the middle. And I’m coming at it from a completely different viewpoint. So, I could see a lot of benefit from us sitting down and going through The Triggers Method.

Susanne:

And you can just see how, couples will blow up over something like that. And that, the fact is, both viewpoints are really valid. Right? They are. But in that moment, it’s so hard to not just react. From your husband’s standpoint, he’s like, well don’t be ridiculous. You’ve got to hang it someplace where it won’t fall off!

Shayla:

Right, do you want a big hole in the wall when it falls down?!

Susanne:

Yeah, it’s really fascinating learning how to understand our own personalities and then have that curiosity about, ok, why is this other person so adamant about their viewpoint? Let’s dig into this a bit more and understand it.

Shayla:

Yeah, absolutely. So beyond helping to avoid or resolve conflicts, what are some other applications for individuals to benefit from The Triggers Method? Just in understanding themselves better.

Susanne:

Yeah, so, it really builds so much self-confidence. I think a lot of us have been in the scenario where we overreacted to something and then we regretted it later. Yeah, I mean I know I have.

Shayla:

Oh yeah, absolutely.

Susanne:

Right? I mean it just happens, especially in close relationships with spouses and kids and stuff. Where, you just, you feel really triggered and you react so strongly and it feels so justified in that moment. Then, a day or two days later, you’re really thinking, oh, did I actually say that to this person I love? I didn’t mean to do that. So, The Triggers Method is helpful for that in two ways. One, it helps learn how to manage those moments so that we don’t overreact which is great because it makes you feel so empowered inside.

You can feel the wave of emotion. You can acknowledge it and then you can just handle it and you don’t feel out of control. The second thing it does it really build a lot of self-confidence because, when we walk you through, and it’s such a short course. I mean, really, it’s less than 15 minutes long. It’s really simple. But, when we walk you through this process of identifying your core traits, those are also the gifts that you bring to the world. People don’t usually realize that but like in the case of your husband. You know, you said he’s an engineer. He’s really analytical. So, I’m sure he probably has some of the traits that I do. Like, he needs to be right. You know, he needs to do things a certain specific way because if he doesn’t, the building is going to fall down.

So, when you walk through that process and you identify it, then you start to realize, ok, I’m wired like this for a reason. This is the gift I bring to the world. Because I am this way, I build buildings that don’t fall over. That’s kind of important. So, you start really embracing who you are and then realizing how you can share those gifts in more ways. It’s just really cool to dig that deep into yourself and understand your own feelings and drives and motivations. And then also being able to control those feels really good as well.

Shayla:

Yeah, absolutely. Well, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like to go back for just a bit to that time when you were still trying to uncover the root cause of your daughter’s angst. I know that you mentioned when that was, when you were in training for your first ultra marathon and when running had become a bigger part of your life. So, what did running provide you during that time?

Susanne:

You know, it’s, I always say, I get a lot of my best ideas while running. I think it’s that space where you’re not bombarded with emails and phone calls and people needing different things from you. You’re not thinking about what chore you need to do next or anything like that. You’re just in this one foot in front of the other automated kind of space. So, to me, it just really helps clear all of the monkey brain I guess. I think for some people, meditation does that. I’ve tried to learn in the last few years to do a lot more meditation and it kind of does that for me as well, but, running just really helped clear my mind and just clear the tension and any anxiety. Anything that I felt in my body kind of just melted away and kind of just helped me to decompress I guess is probably the best way to put it.

The idea generation thing is really funny. Sara Blakely who started the Spanx company, I guess any sort of automated type thing that you do whether it’s running or driving a similar road or anything like that, you’re, it actually allows your brain to kind of go into a different wave length where you can kind of be more creative and I thought it was the most interesting thing. I get all of my ideas when I go out for an hour long run in the morning. She actually goes to work an hour early and just drives around the streets of Atlanta and that’s how she gets all of her ideas, which I think is fascinating.

Shayla:

I’d prefer the running route! But, I guess if you’re the inventor of Spanx, it must work, so! Is there any interplay for you personally in working through emotional triggers and running?

Susanne:

Oh absolutely, yeah. When I was younger, I feel like I’m a lot more emotionally calm and contained now. But, when I was younger, I just really remember being in relationships in my late twenties when I first started running. If I had a difficult conflict of some sort in a relationship, I mean, that’s what I would do. I would walk out the door and go for a run. It was just amazing because, by the end of the run, it was like, you know, that run wasn’t really that big of a deal. Whatever it was that we were fighting over just really wasn’t that important and I’m kind of fine now. Let’s go get ice cream. So, yeah, there’s a lot of powerful therapy in that for sure.

Shayla:

Absolutely. Well, I have really enjoyed our conversation today, Susanne. There’s just so much great stuff in here and I hope everyone goes and downloads the Neuraboot app and checks out The Triggers Method. Before we leave today, is there a main takeaway that you’d like to leave with the Runner Moms community?

Susanne:

Yes! You know, I just love what you’re doing. I love that so many moms have gotten into running. I’m just so impressed by everyone. Just know that every run is a good run. There are times I go out and a two mile run just hard. And I say that having done 100-mile races multiple times. So, I just praise every run that you guys are all doing because it all counts. Every single run counts. The other piece of that is that, I think a lot of us spend so much of our time kind of with our heads down and worrying about things and fretting about things. Worry is like a rocking chair that just never goes anywhere. So, if you can go out and run and just clear out all of those cobwebs and just be in the present and live life, that’s it. That’s the secret sauce.

Shayla:

I love it. And your story is such an inspiration, both from being able to progress as a runner, just knowing what you can be capable of and also from a family perspective. In just being able to work through the struggles that you’re having in your own household and the beautiful things that can come out of that. So, again, I really appreciate you sharing your story with us today.

Where should listeners go to learn more about Neuraboot, The Triggers Method and to download the app?

Susanne:

Yes, thank you so much. So, it’s www.neuraboot.com. You can download a free PDF with some more information from the website. You can certainly download The Triggers Method and you can download the app. Otherwise, thank you so much. I really appreciate being on the show.

Shayla:

I’ll be sure to link to everything within the show’s episode notes if you’d like to go out and learn more about Neuraboot and The Triggers Method. Well thanks again for being here today, Susanne. I really appreciate it.

Susanne:

Absolutely, thank you, Shayla. I really appreciate it.

I hope you took away as much value and inspiration as I did from Susanne’s story. As she was describing emotional triggers and the story of her daughter, it took me back to my high school  years when I was filled with angst but had no idea why. I was very withdrawn from my family for several years and didn’t have any tools at hand to help me understand my emotions or work through them. I hope that the tools and advice Susanne provided will be useful in your life and help you avoid similar turmoil. I know they will be in mine not only with my kids but also with my husband and with others in my life.

That wraps up today’s show. If you’d like to connect with the Runner Moms community online, head on over to Instagram and search for runner.moms. You can also join our private Facebook community and connect with other runner moms there. Just search for Runner Moms and our group should pop up for you on Facebook.

Until next time, happy running and happy momming!

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