There are so many things you can learn from someone who has so much on his plate. Today, renaissance man and host of Tyler Knows Everything, Tyler Troutman, is on the show. As a state delegate, he has a lot of stories about passing some laws and pointing out opinions on having figureheads. Besides the political side of his life, he also talks about his life as a family guy, teaching his daughter how to drive, spending quality time with family, being a registered dietician and a health buff, and how he fell into sales and podcasting. Learn more from Tyler’s interesting life as he shares his growing interest in the legal process and the future direction of his podcast.
Listen to the podcast here:
Tyler Troutman – Tyler Knows Everything
I’ve got a cool guest in. He’s a guy that I’ve been spearing around for some time but finally got to meet and visit with. I think you’ll enjoy him. Tyler Troutman is on the show. He is a renaissance man in a way. He’s in outside sales professionally. He’s super fit and into nutrition. He’s very interested in the legal process and involved politically at a grassroots level. Interestingly enough, I’ve got a benefit dancing extravaganza coming up where we all get into some dance competition with partners to raise money for charity. I’ve been selected to be his significant other’s dance partner. I thought it’d be a good time to get to meet him. I think you’ll enjoy him.
Welcome, Tyler. I’m glad to have you.
I’m most excited to have you here because you’ve probably lived in this area most of your life.
It’s about half. I went to college at Stephen F. Austin and then moved here right after graduation.
I’d never met you. I’d never seen you. I’ve never talked to you or anything like that. You have a podcast, which we’ll talk about, Tyler Knows Everything.
The Tyler Knows Everything Podcast. It’s a pun because if you look at the logo or if you listen to some of my intros and outros I say, “The nose is crossed out because I want to learn more.” That’s the whole thing. It’s learning more about the guests, concepts and life all through a conversation.
I find incredibly creative. I saw on social media that a mutual friend was on your podcast. I started looking and I was like, “This guy’s cool.”
Which episode did we had a mutual friend?
She’s a food blogger here in Southeast Texas. She travels to all the different restaurants, gives advice, takes pictures and runs Favor, the food delivery program. It’s exclusive to Texas owned by H-E-B. She’s a very interesting person.
I saw that and I said, “Let’s get together.” Unbeknownst to us, we were introduced before getting on the podcast.
You’ve got some dancing shoes that you’re working on for Dancing With the Stars, Southeast Texas, raising money for a good cause.
That’s going to be chalked up to lessons learned. I haven’t even gotten on the stage yet. I had my best friend and then another close friend both in it. My wife was very involved with the junior league, they started it a few years ago. She was President years ago. I never went to it. I wasn’t involved in it and I didn’t go until 2018. When I got there, I was impressed. I was like, “This is a heck of a production.” We had a big time and a bunch of us went dancing afterwards. I had a few cocktails and I started talking trash to the girls. I said, “I’d kill it up there.” It was tongue in cheek. A few months go by, I don’t get a call, “Do you remember this conversation? We’d like for you to be in this,” none of that. I get an email that’s simultaneous with the posting on social media that I’m doing it.
You are going to be good. You’ve got a wringer of a partner.
That’s what I hear. I said, “I want to get you on the podcast. I got to find more out about this girl.” Give me the goods.
She does some interesting things physically that’s unique to this area. She does not only yoga but what’s called aerial yoga. She’s in the air on silks like things that you see in the circus almost. It’s a surprise. I don’t think she’s announced it yet, but they are in coordination with Dance Attitudes, which is Lisa. They’re going to try to implement something big into the routine like that. You don’t have to do it. You could probably dance around in a circle or something.
I might have to get some more insurance to do that.
It’s going to be something that’s never been done at the Dancing With the Stars in Beaumont ever.
I figured we’d be able to do something splashy like that.
I heard you can win by who donates the most money.
When time gets close, we’re going to be making the calls and be asking for table buys. I’ll have a pretty good contingent of lawyers in Houston, San Antonio and other places who’ve already committed to being there.
Did you spend some time in Austin?
I have, yes.
I dabble a little bit in politics.
I heard that as well. I hear you want to be a congressman.
We’re hoping. I’m a state delegate for the Hardin County Republican Party. I’m known as the coolest Republican. I have a solar-powered house and I have a hybrid car. I’m also a moderate Republican and younger guy. I’m able to bridge that gap and get along with more groups of people. I went to the 2016 State Republican Commission in Texas and I’m the youngest person by twenty years. I’m not even that young. I’m 37, pushing 40, but you go to a national Democratic Convention or a statewide Democratic Convention, there are tons of young people. You don’t usually show up to the polls, that’s good for us. The momentum of the Republican Party is dwindling down as far as that age gap. I’m trying to bridge that gap and open up to more younger moderate Republicans that are more in the middle. They’re looking at common sense rather than just polarizing themselves and not listening to other sides.
That’s a worthy battle for you. I’ll support you in that all I can. You don’t see it, particularly on a national level.
I wrote two resolutions for the Texas government back when we had our County Convention. The first one had wide bipartisan support. I was upset that it got killed in the Senate not for national, just in Texas. Several other counties wrote the same resolution for Texas to remain in Daylight Savings Time year-round. What we are is we would stay. We’re going to stop this archaic switching of the times, which is going to happen in November. You’re going to get off from work at 5:00 and it’s going to be dark. We’re not an agrarian society anymore. We don’t need lots of daylight at 6:00 AM.
Most people but not everybody, especially around here that does shift work, are working 9 to 5 or 8 to 5-ish. It makes more sense to remain in Daylight Savings Time. It passed the Texas House but it got killed in the Senate. I posed this question to Senator Creighton because he has spoken at an event with the Young Emerging Leaders at the Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce. He said it got put on the back burner because of hurricane things that got moved to the forefront. I’m encouraging him that this is easy to pass. You don’t have to spend a whole lot of time with committees and deliberations. It seems to have wide support, so let’s just go ahead and get it through.
It’s like the Lemonade Bill with the lemonade stands. Summer was letting out and my daughter’s thirteen. She had an idea with her friends. They wanted to go to Lumberton City Park and have lemon stands. I said, “You can’t. It’s against the law. They can shut you down.” She thought I was joking. I was like, “It’s a public place, so it’s a government entity.” I was like, “Let’s experiment.” I called the Lumberton city attorney. I said, “Would it be okay if my daughter had a lemonade stand there?” They were like, “No.” I was like, “September 1st, the law is going to be changing. What’s your stance on that?” They’re like, “You can’t do it until then.” They were stern about not doing anything. That’s one of those laws that seems like it’d be easy to pass. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on it.
The second resolution that I wrote was how you renew your registration on your car every single year. You buy your car and you have to pay to own your car year after year. I wanted to take that away for utility trailers where you put your four-wheeler or your boat or your motorcycle on. Sometimes you may use it once a year or if it’s a utility trailer, maybe no times a year. It’s not on the road every day. It’s not tearing up the road or putting wear and tear, but you’re going to have to pay for a license plate, sticker or tag every single year to own that trailer that you bought many years ago. I proposed a onetime registration or anytime it changes ownership. We’ll see how that goes.
I think something similar to that did pass with regard to boat trailers. I don’t think it’s uniform across to others. For those who don’t know, what does a state delegate do? People walking down the street don’t have a clue what that means.
I usually play it up a little more important than it is. When I go to some of these meetings at Chamber of Commerce or banquets and you have public official sign-ins, they’re talking about congressmen and state representatives. I always sign-in as a state delegate. I said, “I got elected to it. I’m an elected official.” That’s me trying to get my exposure out there more. What a state delegate would do is every county has a party meeting. You either go to the Republican Party convention for your county or the Democratic Party convention. Whereas in Hardin County, we don’t even have a Democratic convention. Most of our elections are over in the primary. When I go to the convention, they ask who wants to go to the state convention. We raise our hands and we try to see who wants to be involved.
That’s going to be where people at the county say, “These are the things that are important to us. These are the things we want our legislators to be on their eyeballs.” I’ll get to go to the state convention. I can get on the microphone and talk about those resolutions. We can have delegation meetings. Some of them are long, some of them are short. You’re the liaison between the person who wants to stay at home and the state representative. You’re telling the state representative, “This is our platform. These are the things that are important to us that we want you to vote on and take it up to the highest level you can.”
There’s a similar structure that works nationally as well. I have a friend that’s on the Democratic national committee or maybe that’s not exactly what they call it. I was listening to your podcast with Damon West who I’ve never met, but he seems like an awesome guy.
He’s in the legal field as much as he can. The public speaking has taken up a lot of his time, but Walter Umphrey was so impressed with his writ that they hired him as a paralegal when he got out. That’s hard for a felon to have a job right out of getting out. I encourage anyone to go look at the story of Damon West. He’s the only college quarterback to ever receive a life sentence in prison and get out with enough life left to tell about it. He was sentenced to 65 years. In one of your shows, you were talking about harsh sentences for one crime versus the other. He had no violent crimes and the jury wanted to stick it to him. They sent the judge a question while they were back there trying to decide the verdict. They said, “Can we give him life without parole?” The judge was like, “Why? For what?” They gave him a maximum of 65 years. Luckily, he was able to get out.
It seems like he’s doing well with it. That was the one in which you said, “I think I want to be a congressman one day.” I thought, “I’ve got to counsel him against this.” I’ve got a bit of a skewed view. You may be one of the few people that have it. In addition to your altruistic beliefs and what you want to do, it takes a lot of consistency and determination to see that out because the system is built against you.
It does and Washington, DC changes you. There are so many factors that are stacked up against you. I’m not naive to think that all the views I have are optimistic. I know that a lot of that doesn’t fly. You get up there with the older guys and they say, “This is how it works.” You have to fall in line and there’s a hierarchy. I think that when I’m the oldest member of my generation, that’s when we’ll see a more significant change.
We’ll have to see. Part of my belief in that is from having friends who were in Congress, who are in Congress now and who’s running for Congress. It’s a struggle because as a freshman congressman, no one even talks to you. You’re a nobody. You get poor committee assignments. You do what you don’t want. You do what the whip tells you to do. They spend way more time than they should on a phone bank. It’s like they were working from some high-pressure boiler room and they’re making calls. They’re dialing for dollars three days a week.
Unfortunately, they only have a two-year term. They spend their first year doing work and the second year campaigning.People who are good at arguing should be a politician rather than a lawyer. Click To Tweet
I think they spend the whole time trying to raise money, unfortunately. I get it and I had raised millions of dollars for a $150,000-a-year job. I don’t know what they pay them now but it doesn’t make sense.
I posed that question to a Texas representative as well because once you get at the federal level, that’s your career. Texas makes it difficult for a guy like me that’s an employee in sales to become a Texas legislator. I asked Senator Creighton about that as well. He’s a lawyer, which a lot of them are business owners and lawyers. They can develop their practice and put it on autopilot and then go to Austin for five to six months at a time. If I do that, they would say, “You’re not going to have a job when you get back.”
“What have you done for me lately?” That’s how business works.
His answer was that Texas developed it that way so that you will be so wholehearted into helping your cause and that you’ll do whatever it takes to make it work. That’s not an answer for the average man. It’s like you said to somebody that works at Motiva or Valero, they’re out of the question. It’s just that it’s not available. Some companies may find it beneficial to have a Texas representative on their payroll. Others will be like, “We’re not going to pay you for not coming to work for five months.” That’s a tough one. I tend to gravitate more towards the city council and school board where you can do it in addition to your career versus something that I don’t know how it would work.
You’re in your community. The only flip of that is they’re only made for 120 days every other year. It’s parallel to your Daylight Savings Time resolution. It’s a throwback from when Texas was much more agrarian and the guys would come in every other year for four or five months, get the work done and move on. Constitutionally, the legislature only has to pass one bill in Austin.
The United States Constitution is about 100 pages. Texas Constitution is about 450 pages because everything’s bigger in Texas.
It’s easier to amend the way it works. To amend the US Constitution is pretty significant structurally to get done even if 90% of the country wants it and the expense of doing it. You have to do it by each state. That’s like card and gas.
You may find this surprising because you’re a lawyer. Me being on the outside, I find your profession fascinating as do many others. If you look at some of the top three things that people make TV shows and movies about, it’s police officers, lawyers and doctors. It seems like those three, but those are not what a lot of people are beating down the door to do. There’s not a lot of people that want to sign up to be a police officer, but they’re into those police shows. It’s the same thing for doctor or lawyer, mainly for those two professions, probably for the amount of schooling that’s involved. I was curious about those shows and movies or maybe the John Grisham books. Do you see a lot of accuracies may be in one? I’ve always heard that John Grisham was pretty close to being accurate.
There is some semblance. Some are closer than others. I’ll say movie-wise, one of the most accurate movie in many ways is My Cousin Vinny. When I say that it’s more accurate from a trial standpoint, in the legal terms and the rulings from the judge. I had a professor in law school. He loved that movie and he was our evidence professor, good guy. He loved it for its accuracy on the evidentiary points. Unfortunately, what you see on TV or read is not 100% accurate of the profession in my opinion. Those mediums are to entertain.
If we watched a real trial, the average person would probably get bored.
Maybe, maybe not. Given the attention span in 2019 across all mediums, it’s probably so. People don’t have the attention span to go through it.
When they’re in the TV shows, they’re looking for the highlights, the drama or the, “I got you.” A lawyer figures out a way that there’s a case in the past that was tried and the judge didn’t know about. The judge has to follow it. There’s always something like that.
What you don’t see is what I call the paper-pushing back in the office over there. The trial is the fulcrum. It’s the point at which there are so many times where something can happen to that case on the way there that can make it go away one way or the other. For me, I’m doing civil practice. I don’t do criminal law work. I do family law work. Mine is fighting over money.
Is it like will and probate type money or business money?
It will only involve will or probate if there’s a dispute. Someone is alleging that there was undue influence on the deceased and making the will or there was some dispute over trust distribution. We do some of that.
What’s the problem of your typical client that they’re trying to solve?
It’s hard to. It’s not universal. That’s the nature of mine. It’s an attempt to an unfair balance of money. I do a lot of insurance coverage litigation.
Have you had anything come up yet with Bitcoin?
I haven’t. I don’t think there’s a significant amount of people in our area holding Bitcoin or knowing some dispute other than I should have bought a lot of it years ago. I was telling all my friends and family, “We need to get on this” when it was a few dollars. They looked at me and told me I was crazy consistently and scared me away.
I’m surprised you knew about it back then.
I bought a little bit of it and then it was still volatile. I sold it and took a small loss selling it. That thing scared me because I was telling them, “Let’s get at least $100,000 worth.” That would’ve been $4 million, but I get it. It’s a risky proposition even for me.
I wonder if that’s made its way into a courtroom at all because it would be questionable if a judge and the jury would be knowledgeable enough about it. That would be tricky.
The only Bitcoin-related case that I’m aware of is from several years ago. It’s a tangential type relationship. It’s a kid from San Francisco who had the dark website, the Silk Road that he was taking Bitcoin for payment. I don’t know if you’ve read about all that. I don’t even know what the dark web is. I wouldn’t know what technically even mean or how to get there, but a lot of people did know how to get there. You could buy about whatever you wanted. You could buy heroin and there were people offering murder for hire, all kinds of crazy stuff.
It’s like the criminal version of eBay.
I say a kid because it was a young guy probably early twenties. The Feds picked him up in a public library in San Francisco. He had some outrageous amount of Bitcoin. There are some federal courts out in California that’s dealt with it at some level from the criminal side. Other than that, that’s all I knew.
Why do they use legal terms that are Latin-based? Is it tradition?
It’s somewhat traditional. There are English versions of it, but it’s the same reason that our English language has Latin-based terms throughout. It’s a good moniker for a concept. It’s not necessarily something specific other than concepts. The thing stands for itself.
How heavy are the demands for reading to become a lawyer?
That’s probably one of the challenges and a barrier of entry to a lot of people. You may have heard from a lot of mamas or people with loved ones who say, “He or she knows how to argue. They’d be the best lawyer ever.” Very little of my time particularly is arguing. Certainly, there’s a time and place for it, but I see it more of as maneuvering. Reading and writing skills are as beneficial if not more than being able to argue.
The people that are good at arguing should be a politician rather than a lawyer.
They might as well need to chill out a little bit. I deal with the adversarial process on a daily basis. That’s part of why I’m doing the show. It’s something that keeps me engaged in the field. I don’t want to talk to just lawyers. The law touches all of our lives. That where law meets life, but I’m not defined by that. There’s a time and a place. The best lawyers can recognize that time and place. The people who want to argue for the sake of arguing are less effective.
I would imagine every time you finish a podcast, your mood is elevated and it’s satisfying.
Maybe and I’ve had a few friends on here that are questionable. That’s the other thing, I’ve got a network of colleagues, friends and acquaintances that are pretty interesting people. I came across you almost by happenstance. I was like, “This guy is right here. I want to get him on and talk to him.” Especially after I listened to you talking about having interest in Congress. It’s not even if you ever run for Congress, but a general interest in making our world a better place. You’re the guy I want to hear.
What I’ve been doing is helping other people with their campaigns and learning more before I start my own. I helped Judge Mitch Templeton on his steering committee. He’s the first Republican judge in Jefferson county in over 100 years. It’s a great accomplishment there. You could tell by the way the stats came out that there was definitely some crossover votes. It’s very hard to find someone who doesn’t like Mitch. He’s a great guy.
He’s a good guy and he’s a good lawyer. He’ll be fun. They do a random assignment on the four civil courts down there and you never know where you’re going to get. Only about 10% to 15% of my practices are here locally. It ebbs and flows. There have been times where it’s 90%, but for the most part, it’s a fraction. I don’t think I’ve had anything yet with him where we’ve needed judicial intervention. I may have five cases in a row in the same court. It’s random and not random to me but random to everybody filing.
He’s a big fan of Teddy Roosevelt.
I am too. I have my little room. I collect presidential type memorabilia and political stuff where I had in the past. I hadn’t gotten anything for a long time.
I’ve seen a different rendition of the poker table. There’s one where it’s all modern-day business leaders. There’s Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuk, Tony Robbins and Grant Cardone. It’s pretty cool. It’s a twist on that one. I like this room because it reminds me of Madmen like the old ‘50s and ‘60s business and marketing sales offices where you had the whiskey in the office and everybody’s smoking cigars.
Back to your point, that’s Teddy there. That’s the first modern campaign poster. These are actual campaign posters from the campaigns in those years.
I’m trying to learn more about Teddy Roosevelt because I’ve been talking to Mitch about him and bring Mitch on the podcast. There are many cool facts about Teddy Roosevelt that I didn’t know. He was born sickly, very frail and weak. His dad said, “You need to lift weights. You need to learn how to box.” He tells him to man up. He became one of the manliest men that we know in history.
He’s a tough guy. In fact, in his one eye, he was nearly blind from boxing. He’d have people come in and spar with him in the White House. He was a big hunter.Dieting is mainly calories in versus calories out. Click To Tweet
The Smithsonian Museum is filled with a bunch of animals that he killed.
If you ever get a chance, check out The Man in the Arena speech. It’s one of my favorites. He was also responsible for our national parks. He’s a great guy who I aspire to be like. I’m sure he had his faults. We all do. It was a different time and it was a different America. There were probably less than 100 million people in America when he was the President. There are 325 million now.
That brings me to the point where I don’t even know if we should have a president anymore like one guy that’s in charge of 300 million. It seems like the president was a good idea back then.
I’m not necessarily against it. I do have an issue and this goes for me across both party lines. I think the Executive Office has slowly over time eroded away some of the protections of the Constitution where it has more power than it was designed to have. They do more things through executive order and telling the various agencies, “Here’s our policy.” I think that’s contemplated by the forefathers. I just believe that. It’s a slippery type of slope. No one person can run the country. That’s too big for that. I get that.
We have to have the figurehead because then there would be nobody to meet with the other world leaders. Some of that is more optics, but you still have to have that person in that position.
Ultimately, it’s a little shortsighted to think that the president’s in control because there’s still a constitutional balance. The judicial system in which I operate primarily dealing with the courts, they’re a little slow. We’re a little behind the times because we look at things years later and review and that’s how things are changed legally through the judicial system. The legislature control one important thing. They control the money. The president certainly has some very strong powers of persuasion, no matter who it is to where they want that money to go. They propose a budget, but that’s not what it says in the Constitution that the president proposes the budget and it goes down and bullies for it. That’s a tradition. The Constitution says the Congress puts out the money.
Some presidents are only there for four years and there are people that are there for twenty to 40 years. Sometimes they don’t always tell the president everything that’s going on. When Bill Clinton first came in, he made the joke and he said, “I want to know about the aliens.” Nobody would tell him anything. I believe he wanted to know who shot JFK.
Carter did the same thing. He wanted to know about the UFO. Carter has some UFO experience.
That’s about the time when he was the President that the technology was ramping up with jet technology. That’s probably some of the stuff he’s telling.
Who knows. I don’t know. I’m not big into some UFO theories or conspiracies or whatnot. If it’s there, it’s there. If it’s not, it’s not. I’ll either find out in my lifetime or not, otherwise we’d operate with what we know. There’s nothing I can do as a lawyer in Beaumont, Texas, that has anything to do with UFO, other than wasting a bunch of time and run down radicals on the internet.
We’re only about two and a half months away from 2020, and we’ve only got six humans in space right now. We’ve got a long way ago.
You said you had solar panels on your roof. You’re in sales for Comfort Control. What does that mean to a technology dummy like me?
Most buildings like Edison Plaza, it’s got seventeen floors. They have giant chillers somewhere either on the roof or in a mechanical tower somewhere. 470 Orleans is another one.
They’re right inside this building next to me. That’s a service building with the chillers.
They’ll have a building manager or tenants that want to be able to control the air conditioning and heating of that building from their phone, from their laptop or any tablet with a web browser and set schedules and parameters. That’s what we do. We implement those systems.
Do you do residential as well?
Mostly commercial because residential typically has one or two thermostats. You can do that with stuff that you can buy at Lowe’s. We’re doing some of the more commercial and industrial stuff. A big part of our business is marine offshore rigs because they have to be up. If they go down, they’re losing millions of dollars a day. We build very custom components that can withstand the harsh conditions of a marine offshore. We’re the exclusive vendor of all the Shell rigs.
How does someone end up with that who goes to college with a degree in nutrition?
I got a bachelor of science in nutrition and minored in biology and chemistry. My original intent was to become a registered dietitian and fell into outside sales. I liked that arena because the harder you work, the more money you make and you’re not locked into a salary position. I got involved in technology sales for several years and got recruited by my friend that owns Comfort Controls.
I was wondering in preparing a little bit, I looked and I thought, “He’s got a degree in nutrition. This is the guy I’ve been looking for.” That’s what I still struggle with. You see me drinking a beer, that’s probably not as good as maybe having those Maker’s instead.
Everything in moderation. I do experiments on myself for nutrition because I still like to stay involved in that side of things. I did the carnivore diet. I only ate meat and eggs for February. I did my lab results before and lab results after. I wasn’t doing it for weight loss, but I did end up getting leaner and all of the lab results checked out good. My cholesterol was slightly elevated, which is to be expected. The doctor wasn’t worried because my HDL was at good levels and so the risk factor was fine. I was doing that to show people that you can live a normal lifestyle, eat that and you’re going to be okay. I did the same thing with the ketogenic diet. I did keto for several months and did lab results.
I always do it scientifically with blood results before and after. Coincidentally, I was switching life insurance companies in the middle. It was one that needed to do a blood test to see which premium level you were going to pay. I’m like, “What a great time to be doing this.” I qualified for the lowest premium for life insurance during the time I was doing the ketogenic diet. I haven’t done any experiments with vegetarian or vegan because I don’t like it. It would almost be a punishment for me to do. I would be interested to see the labs on that. I’m also hesitant to do it because I don’t want it to drop my testosterone levels.
I think it can be done and it can be done healthily. It’s probably a lot more work than you want to do to do it that way. You have to do a vegan diet to get the nutrients that a 37-year-old man needs who’s pretty active. You could do it, but it’d be a lot of planning and work.
It’s more a personal preference. I like meat, so it was easy for me to do the carnivore diet. I was like, “This is going to be the easiest diet to follow.” At the end of that month, I did crave some pizza and cake, but I chose the shortest month of the year.
I’m going to have to get with you at some point. You help me work out a good nutrition plan. I’ve got real fat. I’d never been super light.
There’s an episode on my podcast, Justin Starr. He gained 100 pounds after hurricane Harvey. He went on the ketogenic diet and lost that 100 pounds over the course of a year. Because he did it over the course of the year, there are no stretch marks, there are no side effects. It stayed off. He’s still lean.
I’ve lost about 70 to 75 pounds. That’s quite a bit. I haven’t lost about 30 more where I want to go, but I’ve been trying to eat better and hitting the gym.
The activity level helps. Luckily for me, I never stopped. I had a great case study and that was my dad. I noticed that when he was in his late 30s, he stopped working out. That was when he became overweight. I said, “What if I don’t stop?” Luckily, I enjoy the activity, I enjoy working out and so far so good.
It snowballs on you. I can attest to that because I wasn’t like that growing up. In high school, I tried to gain weight. I play football. I ate and ate and would barely gain weight.
I was faced with a similar problem in high school.
I kept eating that way. I filled out in college and then fifteen years went by, I wasn’t super active, a stressful job and this and that. My heaviest was at 290, which is not a good place for me to be at. I’m broad, but I’m short. I don’t need to be 290. I need to be maybe 185 or 190. I’m about 215 right now. I had medical problems from that. I went to the hospital for three days. I was near a diabetic coma. My blood sugar was off the roof. The last little bit was putting on weight. My body was so out of whack. I could eat barely anything and I was gaining weight. We’ve got it straight. I’m not diabetic anymore. I’m hitting the gym three days a week. I do some yoga. You talked about Jillian doing yoga. I am telling everybody in the world because I’ve been doing it for a few months. If you can fit it in, especially a man, and get out of your head and feel that this is girly, yoga can be hard as hell.
There are a lot of MMA fighters that swear by yoga and jiu-jitsu. Joe Rogan talks about it. He does hot yoga. I want to get more into it.
Do it, come to a class with me. I prefer the hot class because it makes it easier for me, not overall physically. It takes more conditioning and it’s more work when it’s hot, but it makes the stretching easier. I get there faster. If it’s not a hot class, it takes me the whole class to open up.
Is the hot class an hour or over an hour?
Usually, the one I go to is 90 minutes. I’ve tested it twice in the hot class where it’s about 102 to 103, somewhere in there. I lose about and a half to four pounds of water and then you sweat. I go through with a shirt, a full-size towel over the mat and a hand towel.
I did some experiments with the sauna because that’s coming back into the trend. I used to see people that would go to the sauna. It would be overweight old men. They’re in there hanging out instead of working out. I learned from Dr. Rhonda Patrick that you need to incorporate the sauna with your workout and all of these health benefits from the heat shock proteins. What was happening is you go to the sauna and your body and all your cells, they don’t know what’s going on. They think you’re dying. You get into that fight or flight mode. They ramp up your metabolism. Your brain knows like, “The door’s right there. If I get uncomfortable, I can walk out the door.” At the cellular level, your body doesn’t know that. It’s the same thing as being cold if you do the cryotherapy.
What do you think about that? I’ve tried it. I think it’s BS. I feel no difference.
It’s only beneficial for recovery. I’ll do CrossFit from a workout. I’ve gotten several years of CrossFit under my belt, so I’m not getting insanely sore after each workout. If you’re someone who’s new or if you do a CrossFit competition where you have a Saturday of these long workouts, then you’re going to be very sore. If you’re running a half marathon, a marathon or a triathlon, you’re going to be very sore the next day. Instead of getting in an ice bath where it’s wet cold and numbing, you can go to cryo and it’s a dry cold. It’s colder and more comfortable and you can recover faster. Maybe you won’t be as sore, you can be comfortable sooner or you can work out again sooner. That’s what that’s for. It’s the opposite theory of the sauna. Those cold shock proteins that if you’re getting blasted by a fog of liquid nitrogen, your body thinks, “Did you drop me off on Mount Everest?”
It’ll freak you out. I’ve done it. It’s fine at first. It’s that last 30 seconds that I started freaking out a little bit. You’ll know it’s over because you’re watching the timer.
I would save it for a time when you need it. That’s what I would probably do.
That’s the only time I’ve ever done it. The two times I think I’ve done it, I was sore. I was like, “This is terrible.” I can’t tell if it helped me or not.
It’s the same thing with a massage or chiropractic, I don’t go to anything regularly. I will just go if I need it.When you find something you like, stick with it. Click To Tweet
The hot yoga does this same thing for me.
All that heat reduces inflammation. It loosens you up.
For a fat guy going to the gym three days a week, that’s the only thing keeping me able to do a little bit of yoga once or twice a week. I don’t think otherwise I could.
When you find something you like, stick with it. You’re doing great. That’s a phenomenal accomplishment already of losing that amount of weight at that amount of time.
I’ve been telling everybody at yoga and the gym. I was like, “I’ve got some super athletic TV personality as my partner for this dance competition. I got about four months. I got to get the rest of this weight off or I will make her look bad.”
I try to tell everybody to simplify it a little bit. I mentioned several diets like ketogenic. I don’t push one diet over the other. It’s mainly calories in versus calories out. It’s all a balancing equation of if are you going to burn more calories in this 24-hour period than you consume? Does it fit your macros is what people would say? With that standpoint, you can eat whatever. The reason you would want to avoid certain foods is because of cravings. It’s like when your kids eat dinner and they don’t finish everything on their plate and they say, “I’m so full, I can’t finish.” You have cake and ice cream, “I have a separate compartment for that. I can eat that.” That’s where you would want to curtail the types of food because we tend to overeat. You don’t overeat steak or meat and vegetables. Most people tend to overeat potato chips, ice cream, popcorn and things of that nature.
The rule I’ve been following is if it comes out of a factory or a window, you probably need to try and avoid it. It’s not 100% of the time because we’re making factory food or it’s coming out of a fast-food window. I don’t need to be in that.
Sylvester Stallone said, “Eat something that used to have a face and then something green next to it.”
It’s the same thing. It makes sense. You’re super engaged in everything you do. That’s very bright. You’re interested in the legal process. I can see it. Why didn’t you go to law school?
I would probably say that I’m good at sales presentations. For example, the HVAC world was completely new to me. I was coming from office technology sales; IT solutions, copiers, office equipment, then coming into HVAC. They didn’t hire me because I had an extensive HVAC background. They hired me because I was good at making relationships and selling a project. I need to learn about the product. Luckily, I’ve been going to some of these big meetings with general contractors in Houston and these big corporations and none of the people in the room can tell that I’ve only been doing that a few months. I was like, “That’s great. That’s my presentation skills.” I thought maybe I could be a good trial lawyer. It’s the reading that would get me. I spent a lot of time on podcasts and audiobooks because I’ll fall asleep if I read.
If I’m sitting on the couch, I’ll fall asleep if I read. It’s one of those things you’ve got to do. That’s what you don’t see on TV. 80% of the time, this job can be extremely boring and what most people would call boring. Many years ago, I could be regarded as an insurance expert, at least with insurance coverage litigation. Who wants to read a 300-page commercial insurance policy and make a coverage determination based on these facts, whether it’s there or not. If it’s not and they didn’t pay it, is it bad faith or not.
When they send that to me in the mail, you know what I do with it?
Your eyes will glaze over it. I don’t know if it’s by a knack or you do what you have to do. I didn’t have anybody in my family that had ever gone to college.
You’re a first-generation college graduate. What college did you go to?
I went to Texas A&M. I used to be good at school. I just wanted to leave this small town in South Texas. I knew the only option I was going to have to do that is to get my school paid for, go away and go to school. I’ve got a political science degree from an ag school. What am I going to do with that?
The only way to get your school paid for is to be smart. In high school, do your due diligence while your K-12 and you can go to a fine university.
I’ve told some parents who when their kids were young and playing sports, particularly the girls’ sports. When kids nine to ten years old talk about scholarship, I said, “That’s great, but if that’s what you are gearing for, your odds are to go home and start reading.” Because there’s not a lot of money in college athletics except for two sports. If you’re playing girls’ softball, for example, there are scholarships but aren’t many full scholarships out there because there are a lot of good players.
How many kids in their class want to go home and read and want to be top of their class? It’s not as many that want to be a top softball player. That’s a good point.
Frankly, with the perspective of a high school kid, I didn’t know that. I needed a way out. I didn’t want to go home and read, but I want it. It helped that it came easy.
It’s amazing that if we could snap our fingers back in time to our younger self, we would be billionaires. In a sense, you have that with your children, but you can’t make them do it. We all have the knowledge. We know exactly what we should have done, every mistake we made and we can tell them that, but they still won’t do it.
You have a thirteen-year-old daughter and another one.
An eleven-year-old son. I immersed myself in the legal field for the past couple of years because you’d be surprised how much you have to fight as a father in Texas to get equal treatment in family court.
I’m guessing then you’re not married to their mother.
We got divorced and I knew nothing back then. It was presented to me like, “This is the way it works. The mom gets the house, the mom gets the kids.” I’m like, “I’m a person. I’m alive.” That was a long journey. The family law system is inundated with cases. You’re not going to get treated as if you’re their only client. I realized I’m going to have to be prepared on my own and I’m going to have to build this case and show up to my lawyer and say, “This is what we have to work with.”
Luckily, instead of going to court, we were able to work it out through mediation. I showed up to mediation with a file box, two laptops and a briefcase. I think opposition might have got advised not to go to court. We’re able to mediate and all I’m asking is 50/50. I want everything even. That’s what’s best for the kids. Amazingly, that’s not the default and then you go from there. I understand that there are dads that are working seven twelves. They’re never going to be able to pick up their kids from school. They’re probably going to have that standard plan that’s every other weekend or something like that. When you have somebody like me with a flexible schedule, I can go pick them up. My outside sales, I make my own appointments, why not? I’m sitting there twiddling my thumbs waiting on the third weekend of the month to see my own children. I’m glad that I was able to get back 50/50 and everything is even all across the board.
I have an eleven and thirteen-year-old as well. We do have more in common. Two boys and then my daughter is sixteen. She’s driving, so I’m a nervous wreck most days.
I go driving with my daughter on Sundays around the school parking lot, at thirteen, so that she’s going to be prepared.
That’s good. We probably should have started a little earlier.
We went with one of my daughter’s friends one day. I was like, “Here’s what Ava does, she did a lap.” I said, “Do you want to go?” I didn’t know it was her first time to tried to drive. She starts doing the two-pedal thing. I was like, “Hold on. Let’s take this back a bit.” My daughter has gotten good at driving around a loop.
That will make it easier if she gets a little older and gets a little bigger. We practice parallel parking out in front of the office before she got her license. We came down on a Sunday. She had her permit at the time. I said, “Drive me to the office.” She said, “How do I get there?” I looked at her and I said, “Are you kidding me?” It has pictures of you on the walls down there? You’ve been there hundreds of times. I’ve had the building for ten years. It’s on the same road as your high school, it’s just in the exact opposite direction. How do you not know how to get there?”
Do you remember going places when you were younger and printing out the directions on like Yahoo Maps or MapQuest?
I’m about five years older than you. I remember just going and having a road atlas in your car. I didn’t have a cell phone until my last year of law school.
For me, it was in my senior year of high school. I had the bag phone that was under the seat.
I knew three people who had cell phones in college. I went to school with over 4,000 people. One I knew, but my wife and her roommate had cell phones. They were to be used sparingly emergencies only because they were usually expensive or something crazy. I could see if it was available. Sending my daughter off to college, I ain’t see that. None of my friends had them. We just went way to our life. I was talking to my daughter. I said, “I was talking to your grandma the other day. We were talking about changes culturally, society, information, the internet, cell phones and all those.” I said, “Mom, I think the way things were when I was a kid was a lot more similar to you growing up than my kids’ situation.” That’s across all socio-economic strata everything. It’s just a different world.
For your older daughter, have you had to navigated the dating scene yet?
A little bit. You’ll appreciate this because you’re a CrossFit guy. She’s only brought one boy home. They dated. He was her first boyfriend. He was a nice kid, the same age and she’s tiny. I call her Yum because years ago we started calling her Baby Yum-Yum. It’s a long story. Her best friend’s dad comes up with all kinds of good stuff and they started calling her that. She’s 5’1”, 5’2” probably 120 pounds. She’s this tiny little girl, but she’s strong. She brings on this little boy and he’s tiny. Apparently, he’s fast, plays football, runs track and I’m asking questions. He’s on the powerlifting team, but like her size. He’s at the house and he’s talking to me and I was standing there looking at him. I was very nice. I wasn’t going to be ugly because it does nothing for me. It’ll just alienate her and not wanting to bring people around. I don’t want that unless I’m putting my foot down. That’s not my daughter. I said, “I hear you’re on the powerlifting team.”
A lot of, “Yes, sir” and I got a serious face. I said, “What do you bench?” He started to answer. I was like, “I’m not giving you a hard time.” Poor kid, I probably scared him. I said, “Let’s go lift.” I’m a grown man. I shouldn’t have done that to him, but it was fun. I don’t have a lot of issues with her. I think it’s because her personality is a lot like my wife, which is a good thing. I can be a little more emotional high and low, but I know that about me. My wife, I joke with her. I tell her she’s like a metronome. When things are good, she’s steady. When things are bad, she’s steady. We’ve been married for twenty years. She certainly loves me, but she’s not a real affectionate type person, which bothered me when we were younger. I’d buy her something nice and she’d say, “Thank you.”
You need more of her reaction.
It’s stuff that was to me very expensive and I was doing it. I don’t know what I was expecting because I know her, but it would surprise me. Now that doesn’t surprise me. That’s her and I have to warn people, particularly women, she’s just cut and dry but very funny too in a dry sense of humor. My daughter is like a mini-version of her in so many ways. At sixteen, I was trouble.
I got lucky with my daughter. She’s eighth grade and never made a B. She’s still all As and the captain of the cheer team. I guess you had all As too.
I did. My children tend to not come to me for homework help. Everybody’s mind works differently and they’re certainly bright. I’m not known for my patience. I can sit down and do geometry or physics homework still to this day. I know it’s ridiculous. It may not jump right to me, but once I read what’s going on, “Here’s what you do.” They don’t like me working with them. They make pretty good grades.
I wanted to mess with my daughter’s eighth-grade science teacher because they’d had the molecule project that everybody has when you come home. You get styrofoam balls, you draw the circles and the electrons. That was the Niels Bohr Model. It’s quantum physics that’s different. You’re observing the electron, the space and the cloud. I was like, “Everybody that did the Niels Bohr gets an F,” which everybody did it. I like messing with them about stuff like that. I always fill out the paperwork at the beginning of the year. They say, “For parents,” in case, they want you to volunteer for something where you work if you have any special talents or skills. I write on there. “I can be a guest speaker for astronomy.” They never asked me.
That’s pretty good. I’m going to try that one. I won’t get asked. I started volunteering at the school. I think I’m going to try and do it again.There's far less interesting content on reality TV than the conversations that you're going to have. Click To Tweet
What school do they go to?
My daughter goes to West Brook here in Beaumont, one of the two public high schools. She’s a junior. I started to help them with the mock trial team. It’s not because they needed me or not that I could help them in any way. There were already great coaches.
Were those kids studying law like a debate?
It’s not necessarily in Lincoln-Douglas debate, it’s a mock trial. What they do is the state promulgates a theoretical type facts scenario and they go have a mock trial. It’s a fake trial. There’s a competition which grades based on presentation and accuracy. Typically, lawyers in town will come and be the judges.
It’s like a science fair but for lawyers. The one I got excited about when I was in high school is we did the pretend stock trading. We’d pick stocks and see who wins and loses.
We had an economics class where we did some of that. Mallory is not in the mock trial. She has no interest in it and she wasn’t going to do it. That was something I thought I could help with. I think it’s my responsibility to be somewhat involved at school. I can’t go help the softball team or the golf team that she’s been involved in. I can go help the mock trial kids. I threatened her that she had to join it and at least be a witness. We’ll see because I’ve got a friend who is one of the coaches as well and his daughter is on it. Parenthetically, that’s how I met him was through the girls. I met him at the hospital. They were born a couple of hours apart. Eventually when we were standing out there looking at each other. There’s a point in which we’ve got to talk and then a month or two later, he moved into the building I was working out of. Sixteen years later, we’d been friends. We’ll see if we can get her on there. My boy is in eighth grade and he’s on the math and science team. A little bit of competition is good for them.
I’m in rare form. I’ve got all this science knowledge and perform poorly at math. It doesn’t go together. I’ve got this great presence in public speaking and sales presentation, I don’t want to read so here I am start podcasting and talk what I want.
I gravitated to more of the liberal arts myself. I liked science and math and I’m serviceable in those areas, but that’s not my strong suit.
Luckily you got a degree that propelled you into a lot of work that can be equivalent to your pay grade versus your degree. I always tell people, “If you’re going to be a public school teacher, don’t go to Baylor, go to Lamar.” That’s common sense. You’d be surprised how many people are going to private school for a career. They already know that they want that particular pay range. It’s not a smart thing to do.
I went to law school because I didn’t know what I wanted to be. I’m still working on it. I’d always thought that, but you make a good point. The cost of schooling has gone up. I remember my life here in law school. They had some announcement and I don’t remember all the details, but the tuition was going up by 50% the next year. For the first-year students, they felt like a bait and switch. It was, for example, $5,000 a semester tuition and now it’s $7,500. It adds up over two years. Luckily, it was my last year. I’m like, “Sorry guys, I’m out of here.”
The things they’re adding to these universities with the rec centers and the lazy rivers and the cafeteria, you’d never want to leave.
Who’s got a lazy river?
All of them. They’ll have rec centers that have a recreation pool with a splash park and a lazy river. When I was at SFA, we were voting on all of these improvements because you had to raise the tuition. I was 3rd or 4th year, we were like, “Give us all this.” I go back and I don’t even recognize the place. I lived in a dorm that was almost like a jail cell; two bunk beds, no bathroom. You had to walk down the hall to go to the bathroom. Now it looks like Elegante Hotel down there.
My dorm was pretty rough too.
Mine they nicknamed The Zoo back in the ‘50s. Now they have a movie theater and the student center and all kinds of stuff. It makes it where you’d never want to leave.
The way I picked my dorm is I wanted the cheapest dorm that had air conditioning. When I was at A&M, there were still dorms with no AC. No AC dorm in college station near summertime, you might as well be in hell. It’s so hot.
It’s crazy that people live there at that time. We were like, “This is my place.”
It was across to a grass yard. There was a bigger Walton. I think they’ve torn it down since.
It’s amazing how that wouldn’t fly even for a couple of hours these days.
I didn’t have a television. I was missing ceiling tiles and floor tiles. We had a bathroom. We had a sink in the room and then we had, it was Hollywood where we shared a toilet and a shower with the guys next door.
Mine was more like a locker room style down the hall. The showers had individual stalls, but you had to walk down the hall. It was all guys. It was awkward like Sunday morning, you walk in the bathroom and you see a girl in there and you’re like, “I know what’s going on.”
Ours was all male. I took Mallory back several years ago. Mine was called a balcony dorm. It’s nice, the way they’re saying is an old Motel 6 where you still shared a toilet. That’s what it’s like. I was on the first floor, so it opens to the outside and you walk right up to the door. A few years ago, I took her to a game and we went by the dorm, the door was open to the room. I looked in and it was a girl’s room. It’s coed and it’s girls and boys. I think if you share a restroom, you have to be all boys or all girls but otherwise, it’s all mixed.
My daughter goes to cheer camp at A&M every summer. I get to see a little bit of it.
They have all the camps. I went up there and it’s dramatically different.
That’s where all the Dude Perfect guys went. The YouTube celebrities, they do the trick shots. They’re doing basketball from a helicopter and they’re all A&M graduates.
My kids will know. They make all kinds of references. I used to think I was still hip, but I’m not. They talk what’s the latest. My wife’s been subbing at a middle school where my oldest son goes. There’s some term that I’d never heard and I’m not sure what it means. I probably shouldn’t even say that.
I try to stay hip as much as I can. I’ve gotten to DJ in the middle school dance in the past years. That’s exciting because our parents don’t listen to the same music we did. They had their music and they went out and then we grew up and had our music. Now the kids, I still listen to the same music that’s coming new.
Sometimes I do as well.
That’s an interesting dynamic. I always wonder if we’re going to be in the nursing home one day listening to Post Malone.
I might have Dr. Dre going. I’m still a little ‘90s heavy.
I go to Columbia House where I get the ten CDs for a penny if you promise to buy another CD the next month. Because if I went to the store with my mom, she wouldn’t allow me to buy that. You can’t buy the Chronic album by Dr. Dre when you’re with your mom.
I still remember some guys getting the NWA album in the late ‘80s. Somebody’s mom or dad heard it and they freaked out full meltdown.
The funny story about NWA is you’re all equal in the CrossFit gym. I usually go at lunchtime. A lot of professional working men that are on their lunch break, they’re going to work out, they’re going to shower and go back to work. You could be working out with a police officer, a federal judge, lawyers, doctors and you’re all equal for that one moment. We’re calling everybody by their first name and messing with each other. We’d be in there with police officers and Federal Judge Zack Hawthorne and NWA is playing. They’re in there working out and getting after it. It’s literally saying, “F the police” but it’s only in that environment is it okay.
Where do you go do CrossFit?
CrossFit Beaumont is owned by Neal Riley. He’s an A&M aggie grad from probably 2002, somewhere in that range. He has a unique setup where if you’re a member of that gym, you can go to CrossFit Lumberton, you can go to CrossFit Mid-County, you can go to CrossFit Beaumont. They have free classes every Saturday for people to try it out. It’s a lot of fun. I enjoy it. Before that, I would go to the gym and it’s chest day, the next day is arm day. That helped me have a program and not just wander around doing stuff. You go in and you’re going to be there for an hour work and get out.
You may have to talk me in to come in one Saturday.
Check it out, it’ll be fun.
You might kill me.
That’s what I tell everybody. People are like, “I’m not in enough shape to come to CrossFit.” You signed up for CrossFit so that you can get in shape, not the other way around. We’ve got people there that need to lose 100 pounds, people that are 70 years old, 80 years old that work their way up to doing pull-ups. An older attorney Gilbert Adams and his wife Marilyn. I think she’s the mid-70s and sometimes she’s in the same class that I’m in and they’re getting after it.
I may come to try on one Saturday. We’ll have to get together and I’ll go try it. Some of the stuff we’re doing at the gym is similar. I’ve got a little class to do it.
It’s good to change it up. Sometimes I go the opposite and I’ll go back and do my old routine for a few months and then I’ll switch it back up to change a bit.
I appreciate you being here. Before we go though, I’m enjoying your podcast. I’ve listened to parts of probably three different ones. Where do you see Tyler Knows Everything going?
My hope is to stay consistent and have one episode every Saturday. That’s a pretty good pace that I can commit to where I can usually have some type of content even if I get to a point where there’s not an episode or I have some cool things planned. I took out an entire full-page ad in a football program and filled it up with an excerpt from Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan. It didn’t say in the ad where it came from. I’m doing stuff where I’ll read that excerpt behind a video of the earth rotating. Where it goes is to see how far out I can bring it. I’ve started with my circle of friends like you did. I start getting people that I don’t know and inviting them on. The show picks up a little momentum and gets more validity and people say, “I think that’s a show I want to be on.” I’ve got to the point where people are asking me like, “Can I be on your show?” That’s when you’re getting out there a little bit more. I want to keep growing it to where someday there will be somebody that will want to fly down here and feel like it’s important enough to be on that show.
I think you’ll get there because you’re willing to work. You’re a nice affable guy and you exude the confidence and the dedication. I’m happy to have gotten to know you and I’m sure we’re going to be around each other a lot more in the coming months.
The first thing you told me about your show is like, “Don’t worry, we don’t talk about the law the whole time.” I think that’s great because there are people that are outside your profession like me that find that fascinating. You probably forget that because you’re immersed in it every single day.
That’s part of this that draws me out and then sometimes we get a little more specific to educate people on specific issues.
I tell people that there’s far less interesting content on reality TV than the conversations that you’re going to have. Keep doing what you’re doing. I think it’s great to have local podcasts in Beaumont. Beaumont is getting cool.
I appreciate it. We’ll do it again.