'

The End of the Pursuit of Myself with Olympic Diver David Boudia

by Feb 27, 2019Building Identity, Competing with Character, podcast2 comments

I had to speak truth into the lies that I was thinking.

or find the file at http://traffic.libsyn.com/hopesports/HS01-Redirected-Embracing-the-Unexpected-with-NFL-Long-Snapper-Andrew-East.mp3

Listen with your favorite podcast app:

About This Episode

David Boudia started his athletic career as a gymnast. Although he progressed quickly and showed potential, by age 11 he was already looking for something different. When a friend won diving lessons at an auction and invited him along, he didn’t expect that after just a few dives he would be hooked. It only took a few years before his Olympics dreams began to seem tangible in platform diving. He worked harder than ever before and, in every area of life, had goals to be the best, be known, and be favored.

At only 19, Boudia was bronze at the World Championships and made the 2008 Olympic team. He set the bar even higher for himself – he was fixated on gold. Unfortunately, he took 5th in synchronized diving and completely bombed his individual competition. He went home disillusioned with the whole experience. The Olympics hadn’t produced a medal, glory, or the fulfillment that he craved. He had dedicated every day for twelve years to that experience and came home empty handed and disheartened.

That fall he started at Purdue University and scoured his existence for something to fill the void inside. He chased popularity, partied excessively, and drank heavily, but none of it brought him peace of mind. After a year and a half, Boudia fell into such a deep depression that, at one point, he considered ending his own life. He turned to a friend who recommended approaching his coach, Adam Soldati and his wife, Kimiko. David went to them looking for tactics to beat depression and a clear strategy out of his current state, but instead, he was surprised that they expressed simply support for him at this stage. His self-destructive, self-centered behavior had, in his words, “brought me to the end of the pursuit of myself.” With their mentorship, he began a journey back to faith in God. He grew up “using” God for things he needed or wanted, but that he always placed himself at the center of his world. He began asking questions about his purpose: if life isn’t about my glory and always winning, then what is it about? As he reevaluated his priorities, sports started to take a back seat and almost seemed pointless. He considered quitting so that he could dedicate himself to serving others more practically, but realized, that his abilities could actually become a platform for him to share openly about how his faith saved him.

He went back to to the sport a changed person. “I wanted to be different around the pool deck,” shares Boudia. He continued training and competing, but viewed it as an arena to serve others, be a mentor, and have fun. The 2012 Olympic Games “were a roller coaster,” he tells Laura. “When you’re low, you have to learn to ride back up. And when you’re on top, you have to learn to stay grounded.” He won bronze in synchronized diving and went into the preliminaries for the individual event ranked second in the world. But he completely botched his dive and barely scraped through to the semi-finals, snagging the very last qualifying spot. He focused on his mental game, put his pride in check, and reminded himself that regardless of the outcome, he could walk away proud of his performance. With his perspective in line, content no matter the result, he stepped on to the platform and rose from last place to win gold in the individual event.

Despite the fact that his happiness no longer hinged on winning a medal, it was a dream come true. Keeping to his word, David used his victory to share his faith with others. He released a book entitled Greater Than Gold that chronicles his personal redemption as well as his professional one. Before the 2016 Olympics he got married and welcomed his first daughter, Dakoda. He learned to be a husband and a father while being a competitor and a mentor. Discovering passions and purpose in areas outside of diving brought him to Rio de Janiero feeling even more grounded, confident, and prepared. He walked away, proudly, with bronze and silver medals. After welcoming his second daughter, Boudia took some time off from the sport and worked in real estate. It didn’t take long for the itch of competition to return. Soon in to training, however, he experienced an accident on what he considered a comfortable, standard dive and was sent to the emergency room. He was forced to reevaluate the emotional and mental load he was carrying as he tried to be a husband, father, provider, and competitor.

In June of 2018, he chose to walk away from the 10m platform and focus on the 3m springboard. He hasn’t competed in this event since a short stint in 2014, but the shift has rejuvenated his love of the sport and heart to mentor younger teammates. The Boudia’s will welcome their third child in April of 2019 and he is excited to see his family and athletic aspirations grow at the same time. Regardless of how his 3m career compares to that of his years on the platform, David knows that he dives for God’s glory and not his own.

To keep up with David follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Read Episode Transcript

Laura:

[00:00:06] Welcome to the hope sports podcast where each week we are chatting with elite athletes about their pursuit of purpose beyond their sport. I’m your host Olympic gold medalist Laura Wilkinson. This week I’m especially excited to have a fellow diver on the show here with us. I feel like I’ve watched David but I grow up in the sport as our careers overlapped. I competed alongside him in his first Olympic Games and then I interviewed him on the pool deck after his fourth Olympic medal. David is an incredibly decorated platform diver many would say he’s already a legend and he’s earned eleven Olympic and world medals in his career. But his journey isn’t over and it hasn’t always been easy. Today he opens up about his battle with depression. The mentors who helped him through it and the mental shift that got not only his career but his life back on track. If this conversation resonates with you and you’re looking to dig deeper into exploring purpose and performance then I have a really great resource for you that I’ll tell you more about after we hear from David. I’m so glad you’re here. Now let’s dive on it.

 

[00:01:04] Welcome David Boudia! I’m so excited to have another diving athlete onto the Hope Sports Podcast.

 

David:

[00:01:10] Hey Laura thanks for allowing me to be on it and I’m excited to jam with you.

 

Laura:

[00:01:15] I love your background by the way to a little Beijing Olympic poster there. Yeah. Now as we were on that team together so.

 

David:

[00:01:21] We were. We were.

 

Laura:

[00:01:23] Bringing back memories there. Well now not everyone in our audience is divers like we are. So give us a little bit of your background so we can be familiar with you because I know you didn’t just start out in diving. So how is your sports beginning?

 

David:

[00:01:33] So sports beginning was more of the dream of going to the Olympics so 96 I wanted to watch. I was watching the Olympic Games. And that’s something I wanted to do. So I was involved with a lot of different sports and gymnastics was a big one. So it kind of is what ignited the dream. That’s the highest teaching me you can do in that sport morphed over time in 2000 or 2001 I began diving and from that point it was kind of a transition from gymnastics to diving. And now this dream can become a reality in this sport. After four years doing it.

 

Laura:

[00:02:16] Well how did you switch from gymnastics to diving? How’d that work out?

 

David:

[00:02:20] It was more of a burnt out in gymnastics so I went from 5 to 11 years old and did a lot of gymnastics and.

 

Laura:

[00:02:29] You’re pretty good were you?

 

David:

[00:02:31] It wasn’t bad. For 11 years old I don’t know what’s good what’s bad. But I was able to I had body awareness I was acrobatic and I was progressing in those levels quickly. But it was just I did it too much and I was looking for something else. So actually one of my friends their parents bought diving lessons in an auction and they knew I was looking for something else. The friend said Hey why don’t you come with me and join along and I started with one little trial and I I started doing it a little bit more and I fell in love with the sport.

 

Laura:

[00:03:04] Well that’s cool. I love that. So just buy some lessons at an auction and you never know you might tear your dream there.

 

David:

[00:03:10] You don’t. You never know.

 

Laura:

[00:03:12] That’s cool. Well in your book which we’re going to get to a little bit later but I just finished reading it so I’m very excited about that. You mentioned that you’re a pretty active child and a pretty mischievous child. So I want to give your parents Sheila and Jim a big hug next time I see them. But what were you. Were you the instigator of all this trouble?

 

David:

[00:03:30] Well first I can’t tell you how many times I’ve apologized to my parents. Like Man Mom Dad I’m so sorry. You know it’s funny I have a 4year old little girl named Koda. And I can see like glimpses of me and then I’m like trying to shut down like assassinate and sort the end it. But God bless my parents. But I don’t know it was kind of a friend group and so everyone played off of each other and. You know the human nature at heart is corrupt. And so. I didn’t know God at that time. And when I was growing up this was something my friends did. This is something that I thought was normal and I enjoyed it. So I think Cindy’s is fun in the season right. But at that time that was everything that I live for. I wanted to be that popular guy I wanted to be good looking and I wanted everyone to think that I had it all together. So to do that I would give in to peer pressure I put peer pressure on somebody else. And it turned out to you know there weren’t total train wrecks but there were just little pieces that turned into some destructiveness later on life.

 

Laura:

[00:04:41] Gotcha! Gotcha! Well, I remember you as a little rug rat back in the 2004 Olympic trials. And then at the 2005 world championships. Because I was too at the end of my career and you were just kind of coming on the scene. But by 2008 I mean you were 19. You were you know you’re kind of getting it together. You won a World Cup bronze medal earlier that year and then you made that Olympic team. So kind of take me through what that experience was like? Because I thought you were kind of you know an outside you’re a young guy but I thought you were an outside shot at a medal for us. So kind of take us through your very first Olympic experience.

 

David:

[00:05:15] Yeah. So it kind of more so I guess like you said in 2004 that was kind of the maybe ignition to this dream could become reality get to the games. And there was no pressure at that trials because there was no expectation of myself from anybody including myself. But I merge onto the scene international scene in 2005 and then it kind of took off there. And I looked back and every single year leading up to those 2008 Games I progressively started to work harder. I progressively started to look at my mental game as something that was crucial. And started to see progress and competition and finally got to the 2008 Games. And this was a possibility to medal so why am I shooting so low on just trying to make the Olympic games why don’t I shoot to possibly winning an Olympic medal. And at the Games it came close and synchronized I was fifth with my senior partner Thomas Nelson like 10 points from Silver. Maybe 3-5 points from bronze and it tastes good. I loved it. I craved it and so I was hopeful glowing in individuals and then individual I just was a total bust.

 

[00:06:27] So finished and did not perform anywhere close to my ability and I think that’s what looking back after those games I think that’s why I went bankrupt with a couple of things. I didn’t live up to what my potential was so I did not reach the greatest attention but I knew I could. And a second I bought into the lie of this is going to fulfill me on every single level of who I am. So I have success at the Olympic Games. That’s going to bring everything that I’ve ever wanted in life. That pursuit of happiness is going to be built.

 

Laura:

[00:07:00] Well so I guess yeah. And from there I mean you went to Purdue you started going University at Purdue and I guess that carried into a kind of a sound like a bit of a depression. And like a lack of purpose like kind of walk us through that. So you didn’t realize all those dreams like what is that like walking that out?

 

David:

[00:07:18] It’s kind of like what you said it led to depression. And I think it’s very common with the Olympic athletes. I don’t know if it’s spoken about enough and people are aware of it. But you get off of this high roller coaster where you’re exalted above everything else. Where you are the man or the woman in that particular week of the Olympic Games. And it’s something that you crave it’s what you want more after we came home from the games just kind of like that door shut. And I looked around like that was it? Everything that I’ve wanted from my 7years old to 19 when I made my personal big gains was evolved around this experience of the Olympic Games. And once I walked through at those kinds of an eye-opener. No this can’t. This can’t be right. This can’t be where the purpose is found. And so I left with a mouthful of sand with the hope that it would bring me something better. But that’s what it left me went into my college trying to just push this side like oh that’s no big deal I got another 4 years. And went hard on the college scene trying to make friends. Trying to be the popular guy again and heavily drinking. And just these little things that I thought would fulfill me and they did for a while. Until it was just wasn’t satisfying anymore. So it led to some deep depression and I could not have been at a better place to go through depression than that Purdue University.

 

Laura:

[00:08:50] Why is that?

 

David:

[00:08:51] There’s a particular coach here name Adam Soldati and his wife Kimiko Soldati. And at the time I think I would mock Christianity. For me, my religious background is kind of like I need something God so I’m coming to you and I want you to give it to me now. And I’ll do some good things that are on the side. And then when things are going well I’m going to put you back up on the shelf. And so I was trying to play God and started to realize like this wasn’t working. And Adam Kimiko who Adam is my coach just lived something differently and it was enticing. I looked at his life. I looked at their life and it wasn’t like they had it all together. It was they have something different that I don’t have. And eventually after a year of college at Purdue University I started to fall deep into depression to the point of wanting to commit suicide. And you think of that like that’s crazy. You went throughout the games you’ve had so many accomplishments you have a family that loves you and affirms you and encourages you. Like how did you get to that point? And think when you bowed down to something that is never gonna fulfill you eternally it leaves you bankrupt leaves you without a purpose. And so the thought freaked me out. I immediately contacted another diver that I saw that same change in and she recommended that I speak to Adam.

 

[00:10:20] The next day I went over to Soldatis and it was kind of this going into like ah this is gonna be great. They’re gonna give me this like quick fix that’s gonna get this go get it, David. That pursued this first Olympic Games back up on its feet. And things are gonna be great and they did the total opposite. They were talking about how they were super encouraged and excited that I was at this point in my life and I’d like you are absurd. I’m depressed. I’m miserable. Nothing. I think my life is going the way that I wanted to. And you’re saying that you’re excited that I’m in at this point my life. And looking back at it now I would say that to anybody on that point because you’re coming to the pursuit or the end of the pursuit of yourself. And from that point, they began to teach me what my purpose was what. I was created for. And it was kind of just eye-opening. I grew up in the church but it was like something I haven’t heard before because my eyes are blind. My ears were plugged and that was just not something that quite frankly I wanted to hear because things were going well. After that, I started to investigate this myself and I started to see the Bible for what it was. Evidence of who God was and his promise and love story of Jesus. And since 2009 my life has been completely changed from who I was at 19.

 

Laura:

[00:11:53] Oh that’s so beautiful. And I have to say just knowing Kimiko and personally Kimiko used to be a teammate of mine. And she’s actually the matron of honor and my wedding and Adam coached alongside my coach Kenny Armstrong. So I love them dearly and it’s not surprising to me at all that they did that. But I loved hearing it from your side and getting the full story is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. So what happened after that? I mean you kept diving and you’re going for another Olympics like was your head in a totally different place? Well, I mean what was that like? I mean things must have changed.

 

David:

[00:12:25] It’s interesting that once I came to know who Christ was and accepted him into our lives and just acknowledge that. I’m living a life that’s only centered around David. Recognizing my rebellion against him. Recognizing that he came to take that place so that I can have a union relationship with God. It looked completely different. So I was like I was learning life again. And initially when I found the purpose of my purpose is to pursue God and to love him. And through that I’m able to look at others and how I can serve and love them and so that was foreign to me. It was almost meaningless. My sport was almost meaningless. I remember going into practice just after this conversion or my new life of in Christ started and I was like What’s this? This is pointless. Like what am I. Why am I diving? Why. I need to be doing something else for the gospel for Jesus and.

 

Laura:

[00:13:21] It’s like a complete 180.

 

David:

[00:13:23] It was. And it was interesting. It was David as a baby again. And I had to learn how to live life. I had to learn how to reorganize my thoughts that wasn’t centered around what David was syncing but it was centered around what God was syncing. And we can do that through his word in the Bible but. So it was a big transition. It was a lot of sitting down with Adam and Kimiko who just mentored me through that disciple me through it. So going into kind of that first year was a whirlwind of how do I function. How do I live a life that’s pleasing to God? I’m not saying I’ve figured it out but I’ve started to learn just different attributes of God and what God sees as pleasing. And so that morphed into I can use my sport as a platform to show his glory. And that’s not to say God’s going to let me win. I very well think that God is able to put you in a position to win in order that he can get the glory. But just my contentment level was different. I had more of peace. I wasn’t anxious all the time. But I started to see that diving can be used as a position where I can promote the name of Christ. And just be different around the pool deck. In that perspective change was dramatically different in 2008 and I think really it just changed my whole experience in 2012.

 

Laura:

[00:14:53] Well so tell us about 2012. I mean you have this kind of second chance you’re like a new person. But it didn’t exactly start off. I don’t think the way you were planning or expecting.

 

David:

[00:15:04] Yeah. So 2012 was I think every Olympics and I think you can attest to this. Every Olympics or every big experience is a rollercoaster. And something I learned in 2008 is he had to learn how to ride that rollercoaster. So just like life just like the Olympic Games. It’s it’s a rollercoaster and learning how to when you’re down low how to ride that backup. But when you’re on that high how do you stay grounded. But having the experience from 2008 I went into the 2012 games the best shape of my entire life diving the best that I’ve ever dove before. And just the perspective that I’ve changed and so I was hopeful going into those games. And right off the bat Nick McCroryand I my secret partner we won bronze. So I won my first Olympic medal ever and was ecstatic. I was over the moon and then it was this flip of a switch like all right I got one more event to let’s keep this going. Went into the prelims ranked second in the world going into the Olympic Games. One of the prelims and totally that just barely made it 18th place going in the semifinals. But I live to fight another day.

 

Laura:

[00:16:15] And only 18 people make it in the semis too. See you were the last spot to make it into the next round.

 

David:

[00:16:20] The last qualifying spot. But I. Honest I look back on that I like man that’s that’s a tremendous amount of grace. Because at that moment God is allowing me to fight again tomorrow to see what else I can accomplish for his kingdom. But also to he was it was kind of like a wakeup call. Like I wanted this prelims kind of with this old David thinking in 2008 like I’m just going to dominate. I’m going to obliterate my competition and I had this narrow focus of this is David’s path this is everything he’s ever wanted let’s get in there and accomplish it and he shook me up. He made me realize that I was going into this sort of thinking and I’m super thankful that it happened. I don’t want to walk through it again. But it was a wakeup call that I needed. But going into the next day it with that perspective change I kind of just got in the rhythm. I worked with Adam a lot on just what my thinking looked like. You know I think a lot of times it’s easy to get into competition the more It’s easy to get in the thick of life. And starting to listen to what your mind is saying to yourself. And that’s a scary place to be when you start listening to what your thoughts are saying. To the sense of if you start listening then you’re going to live by how you feel all the time.

 

[00:17:40] And one of the things I had a start to do is combat that instead of listening I need to talk to myself I need to speak the truth and the lies that I’m believing constantly both in competition and outside of the pool. But I took my thoughts captive and went on a path where you know at the end of this it was interesting a really good friend pastor at our church and disciple me a little bit. He put it in great perspective. I was extremely nervous going into the finals and he like David what is there to worry about. And I was like what do you mean? I’m going in front of millions of people diving in the biggest competition that I will ever dive in and you’re asking me what is there to worry about. He was like well God’s already walked through this year he knows the end of this chapter. This particular event what you get to do is go into this Olympic final and be a vehicle for his glory. And it was like man it’s something so simple and so small but it was just a huge wisdom bomb that I held on to. And I think because of that encouragement along with Adam and his perspective changed from the day before. You know if it turned out great.

 

Laura:

[00:18:54] I would say so.

 

David:

[00:18:55] That’s not going to happen every time. But I’m thankful to be sitting here being named as an Olympic champion. Something that you can attest to as well.

 

Laura:

[00:19:04] Well and I love it. I got a chance to sit there and watch you. I was in London with NBC and I kind of snuck into the event. Was sitting behind the booth watching and it was very cool. And I love hearing the story behind it now. But just seeing it in action it reminded me a lot of when I was in Sydney at my first Olympics when I went to. But it was just cool to watch somebody else walk that out and now know the story behind it. It’s just so beautiful. I just appreciate you opening up and sharing all that with us.

 

David:

[00:19:32] It’s an incredible moment that I’ll get to cherish for the rest of my life.

 

Laura:

[00:19:36] It’s so cool. So tell us about your book Greater Than Gold From Olympic: Heartbreak To Ultimate Redemption. Because I just got done reading it and it’s awesome and I want people to know about it.

 

David:

[00:19:45] So the book came out right before the 2016 games. It’s exactly what it says in the titles. It illustrates my life some of the heartbreak to the ultimate redemption of not Earthly redemption but eternal redemption. So I look at this book as a tool to be able to share and be vulnerable with my life for who I was. And how drastically and how alive God’s Word and His gospel can move someone’s life. From someone who is dead and living only for himself and Dowling down to idols other than God. And showing what that looks like with all these bumps in the road and coming out still with hope and still with peace. Still with contentment and all these things that are super sweet gifts from God. When you live for him and live for your purpose by him.

 

Laura:

[00:20:44] Yes that’s great. And it’s not the whole story to me. You do talk a lot about your relationship with Sonnie your wife now. And that kind of happened between London and Rio you married Sonnie and you have sweet little Dakoda. And so I’m guessing going into Rio which is not in your book because this came out before Rio. But I’m guessing that Rio was a little bit different experience. Your third games I mean each one of your games seems like a totally separate experience. So what was Rio like compared to London?

 

David:

[00:21:12] Like you said totally different. So 2008 I was just David solo and only had a.

 

Laura:

[00:21:18] David solo that has a nice ring to it.

 

David:

[00:21:21] Yeah. In 2012 I was now engaged to my soon to be wife Sonnie in 2016. Fast forward 4years I’m now married for 4years and have a 2year old daughter. So you can live or attest to this as well where the all experience is different when you have that different life-changing stages. But I would say 2016 was a huge learning curve. I was learning how to be married. You see marriage on Hallmark cards or Hollywood movies that’s just complete bliss. Amazingness. And Sonnie would sit next to me and say the first six to eight months was not last. You put two people in the same house together and with all their baggage and there’s conflict. So we had to learn how to live life together and realize. I’ll tell you just a little wisdom nugget that I’ve started to learn through a man named Paul “Triple H”. I started to believe what he said when he said I’m the biggest problem in my relationship. When I started to actually live by that I started to see like you know Sonnie’s problem is huge but it’s not as big as mine. And so kind of the principal Matthew 7 talks about take the speck. Don’t take the speck out of your spouses or that your friend’s eye. Why don’t you look at the log in your own eye? But you know.

 

[00:22:50] Anyways. It was a learning experience. I had a daughter named Dakoda. And again just a learning experience so we had to learn how to do life as a married couple as a family as mom and dad. And I look at the 2016 Games and honestly I look at it and I’m like I think I’m way more prepared than any of my competitors going into this game. They’re worried about training. I’m worried about training but also how to be married and how to change a diaper and be exhausted with having a newborn. So I go into these 2016 games like fired up like this is exciting for me. Again I’m in the best shape even better than I was in London. Dives everything but one dive is going extremely well. And I was fired up and I grew my walk with God a little more had some more wisdom. And going into those games I look back and it’s I would. There’s not a lot of things I would relive in my life but going into the 2016 Games I would relive.

 

Laura:

[00:24:01] That’s cool. That’s why you came away with a bronze and a silver medal from Rio which is awesome. You’ve got four Olympic medals. That is just awesome. You became our diving legend. Now after Rio you took some time off deciding whether you’re going to retire or move on. I know you got a real estate a little bit. You had a second daughter but ultimately you decided that you were coming back. But in this past February, you took a pretty bad crash. Can you tell us kind of what happened here? And I know that kind of has changed the whole focus of your story going forward. So please tell us about that.

 

David:

[00:24:36] So we introduced our second daughter Mila into the world just after those 2016 games. And initially I was done and I just started getting this itch and wanting to go back into the sport. And so I sat on that for a while about six months and decided all right this is what we should pursue again after a lot of counsel from the circle that’s around me. And then I started getting back into full time on the platform. At the same time, I was doing real estate carrying a heavy load with a lot of clients which I wasn’t expecting. I was expecting to kind of dabble around have a slow start into it. And it took off in February 2018.

 

Laura:

[00:25:14] It’s a good problem.

 

David:

[00:25:16] It is. It was. But February of this year in 2018 I went up to the platform was doing my stable dive. The dive that I was the best at. The dive I felt most comfortable with. And a dive that I depended on the competition because I knew that it could bring me back into contention to be top three took off. Normally I see three things and that’s one spot, two spots, three spots? This one it was like I saw the world spinning on his axis like everything was spinning fast missed spots and landed. First on my face and then the rest on my stomach went to the ER afterward to make sure everything was OK and most of the pain was not on my head. So I took a couple of days when I realized you know my face is pretty bruised but I kind of shrugged it off. I took about a week off and went back into the sport. But looking back on that there was a lot of different variables with it. I was carrying a heavy load with working with 14 clients in real estate.

 

[00:26:25] I was trying to juggle being a husband and a father of two girls. I was trying to get into the sport again. And on top of that, I was sick. So I had this cloud a sinus infection and you know this thing happened. All those came together and it gave me a good wakeup call. So just like I said there are little things in your life that they don’t seem great at the time but they are kind of that cliché a blessing in disguise. Because it started to show me that you know this one I’m going into the sport kind of with that mentality in 2008. And also to you know maybe my platform career is done. And it wasn’t until June after this a hard few months of dealing with kind of blackouts or dizziness that it wasn’t till June that we decided to switch to springboard and pursue that for the next two years.

 

Laura:

[00:27:20] And so what is that? What is switching to the springboard done for you?

 

David:

[00:27:23] So going from 10meter platform to three industry on board it’s how do I explain this. I’ve explained it this way before where most of your life you drive kind of a small door like super tiny car. And you go to driving a huge diesel truck. So you still know how to drive right? But it’s different. You’re driving a big diesel truck that’s just you know the mechanics of driving but it just feels different. Springboards exact same way where I’m trying to learn the mechanics of riding a springboard and getting a launch after this moving object. And I wouldn’t change it for the whole world. I think it’s kind of rejuvenated my love for the sport. It’s also rejuvenated my desire to want to love my teammates. And just joy comes through it. So I go into practice excited not just because I get to diet but also because I get to be around 18-22year olds. That hopefully I can influence but also just come alongside and encourage. And you know since June I don’t think I’ve ever had this much fun in the sport. And I don’t think I’ve ever had this much enjoy coming out of it with the relationships that I’m building with the pretty divers. And then you know in return that goes back to my family life at home. I’m enjoying being a husband to my wife and I’m enjoying being a dad to my two little girls.

 

Laura:

[00:28:51] That’s awesome. I love how sometimes those unexpected shifts that you don’t want to walk through but sometimes it changes everything to a much more beautiful path. Yeah. That’s really cool. So what’s coming up next for you? A couple of things I think.

 

David:

[00:29:05] Yeah. So there’s a couple of things coming up. I leave for a national championship and that’s mid-December in Atlanta. So I have my expectations obviously going in but we’re training hard for that and I’m excited. This is the first nationals on 3 meters springboard that I’ve done and then launching in.

 

Laura:

[00:29:23] And how long? When’s the last time you did 3 meters nationals?

 

David:

[00:29:25] So 2014. And I was a full thing. So not sure why I was up there but I did. I dabble in it but it kind of launches into the 2019 season. And hopefully, we will see some improvement for where we are now and set USA up to some success in Tokyo. But I think even more than that. My wife and I won’t reduce our first trial in April or first. Our third child.

 

Laura:

[00:29:57] Lemme count how one, two, three!

 

David:

[00:30:00] How can I forget that but.

 

Laura:

[00:30:03] Well you have two young children at home already. So your brain doesn’t work quite the same way all the time.

 

David:

[00:30:07] I know. What’s funny is we did a kind of a dry run of competition so I got up and had to be at court 6:30 am. And talk about inviting adversity or having adversity be your best friend. I had a wake up call from our 4year old at 2 a.m. I had a wake-up call from our 1year old at 4:45. And so I would have to change it because what if this happens on the game day you know. And so it was I looked back at adversity and I was like Let’s do this.

 

Laura:

[00:30:37] That’s awesome.

 

David:

[00:30:37] And so now we get to throw in the third hole again in April of 2019.

 

Laura:

[00:30:42] Well keep the fun come in right?

 

David:

[00:30:44] Yes absolutely.

 

Laura:

[00:30:46] So David you you are so awesome and inspiring. I love your story. Where can we follow all of your diving and family ventures online and grab a copy of Greater Than Gold?

 

David:

[00:30:55] Yeah. So I think the easiest way to grab a copy of Greater Than Gold is on Amazon. I actually don’t know the current price. It’s not very expensive. You can get it on Kindle and it’s even cheaper. As far as following what the guys are up to. Probably the most updated one is our Instagram my Instagram. On Twitter on this and on Facebook. But it’s all the same name though @davidboudia. So you can find us there and see what our crazy 4year old and 1year old are doing.

 

Laura:

[00:31:24] Perfect. David thank you so much for being on and good luck with this next run through 2020.

 

David:

[00:31:29] It has been an honor. Thank you, Laura.

 

Laura:

[00:31:32] I’m super grateful to David for being so open and sharing his journey with us. It was so interesting to hear how his mindset was different in each Olympic Games. And how that determined not only his performance but also his acceptance of the outcome. We’ve heard from many athletes about how when they think their entire identity. On one experience or one victory they always walked away dissatisfied even when they won. For David his first Olympic experience the culmination of 12 years of dreaming and dedication sent him spiraling in search of a true purpose. But how encouraging that there are coaches like Adam Soldati out there who care deeply about their athletes to help them navigate those difficult seasons. I love that.

 

[00:32:11] Hey guys! I wanted to let you know about something coming up in the next few weeks that I have been working like crazy on and I’m super excited about. Have you ever been anxious going into a competition or felt like you won the warm-up but not the meat? Or maybe you just don’t understand why you don’t perform when it counts but you do in practice. Is that sounds like you? Then Listen up. I’ve designed an online course that is just for you. I’ll teach you the most crucial mental skills that I’ve acquired over my 20 plus years as an elite athlete. I’ll walk you step by step through the process that will help you optimize your performance and set you up for success. If you’re ready for change and you want the skills to take your performance to the next level then I want you to head on over to LauraWilkinson.com/performance and sign up so you’ll be the first to know when this course is available. And when you sign up. I’m going to send you my list of the five things that you can do today to become a more confident competitor. So head on over to LauraWilkinson.com/performance.

 

[00:33:09] Next week we have 7time Olympic medalist swimmer Dana Vollmer on the show with us. With her optimism and aspirations, it’s no surprise that she swam through a life-threatening heart condition. Falling short of making the Olympic team mid-career and becoming a mother to two beautiful boys. She’s been through it all and she’s not done yet. So make sure to join us next week to hear her full story. Be sure to hit the subscribe button wherever you listen so that you don’t miss a single episode. And remember to leave us a review because that helps us to keep bringing these awesome guests on the show. I’m Laura Wilkinson. Thanks again for listening. This podcast is produced by Evo Terra and simpler media. For more information on Hope sports and access the complete archives please visit Hopesports.org