Welcome to this episode of Heartrepreneur® Radio, this is Terri Levine, your business and marketing strategies and your chief Heartrepreneur, and I’m glad that you’ve tuned in today. Today I have with me Justin Peck, and he is an off-road driver for the Lucas Oil Racing series, and he’s been living with bi-polar disorder, battling addiction, and now is the author to Bullet Proof, and it’s a memoir. And there’s a whole bunch of reasons that I asked him to come here, I’ll tell you a little bit more about him, then I’ll ask him my reasons. As a child, he knew he was different. Extremely emotional, highly sensitive, overly thrill seeking, and in many cases, death defying. Justin Peck tells the true story of a man who learned to re-think the life he wanted to end, master his inner dialogue, and create the mindset that’s made him truly Bullet Proof. So, let me share why I’ve asked him to come. First of all, as many of my listeners know, I’ve been a professional race car driver racing Formula Dodge Cars, so I definitely related to the racing. But I also do relate to the bi-polar disorder, I have a sister who has bi-polar disorder. I also know many friends and family members who have battle addiction for a long time. And I also know with so many of my clients, that one of the biggest difficulties they have in achieving what they really want in their life, are the difficulties they have with the exact words that I also used, inner-dialogue. So, I’m really excited. When I heard about him, heard about his book, I said we’ve got to have you on Heartrepreneur® Radio, so welcome Justin.
Justin: Hi, how are you today?
Terri: I am awesome, and I’m’ just truly delighted to have you. And I have to say, your story’s intriguing and fascinating, and first I just want to really honor you for being so transparent and sharing your story, because it’s serving so many people.
Justin: Thank you so very much, that does mean a lot to me.
Terri: So, fill us in just a little bit. I gave certainly an intro, but give us some of the high points and the low points so that we can kinda be on the journey with you a little before I ask you a few other questions.
Justin: Alright. For me kind of the journey began probably 11 years ago. It was a typical mid-week morning getting ready for work, got dressed, I leaned over, I kissed my wife goodbye. I went upstairs and I kissed the children goodbye, and went outside and picked up my dog and threw the dog in the back of the truck and we went to work, just like I have done for so many years before that. This particular day I was feeling a little bit more down, a little bit more of the depressive state than normal, and found myself at the top of the canyon that I’d been to quite a few times in the past. So, as I’m parked on top of the canyon, I’m looking over at the valley below watching my dog run around. And, like I remember thinking, look at all these people down there, and look at all these families, and all these couples and different types of social aspect groups that I’m looking at, and I was realizing that I didn’t fit in with any of them. And so, at one brief irrational thought moment, I reached over, grabbed the pistol that was sitting in my center console, I loaded it, and I put it to me head and I pulled the trigger.
Justin: It was, talk about an experience. That was an experience. So of course, you know I’m sitting here today, so the gun didn’t go off by no means. But the crazy thing about it that I was pretty upset with myself thinking, you know, how in the world could I screw this up? So, I un-chambered the bullet, and the bullet flipped out of the gun and landed on my lap, and I picked it up and you could see where the firing pin had hit the bullet. So, out of 10,000 or 20,000 rounds that I’ve shot through that gun, that is the only bullet that never went off. And it just so happened to be the one that was pointed next to my head. So.
Terri: Wow. So, uh hence the name bullet proof, ya. So, what did you do then, like you realized this had just occurred, what did you do in that moment?
Justin: Well the big thing that I realized in that moment is the adrenaline that was surging through my veins, it immediately took me out of this depressive state, and put me into a manic, sort of like elation type state. Having the gun, going through that motion, honestly, and I know people don’t understand this, but it was probably one of the most incredible feelings I’ve ever felt in my life. But what I ended up doing is, you know I understood that there’s a defining purpose, and I knew that feeling wasn’t going to last very long, and so I started driving back down the canyon, and I called my doctor that time. We kind of discussed the events that just happened, and he asked me to come down to his office, and we sat and talked for a bit. Then I went on a three-month journey of trying to figure out what was going on in my head. And, you know a lot of medication, a lot of ups, a lot of downs. The end of the day, it was, you know I’ve got a piece of paper that says that Justin Peck is Class 1 bipolar disorder. Which is fine, you know for me I don’t think of it as a disorder anymore. I’ve always called it a mental blessing. Because without the disorder, without having those struggles, I wouldn’t be the man I am today, there’s no way.
Terri: Exactly. I love how you get that, and you turned that around, and you see that. And whatever’s written down as a disorder, or a diagnosis or whatever that is, it’s just part of our journey, that’s all that it is. It certainly doesn’t change and limit us in any way. So how did you move forward? How did you move forward, and what made you write the book?
Justin: So, moving forward, it did take probably six to nine months before we could kind of tune into medication, where I was kind balanced out. The word “balance” is kind of, I typically don’t use that word because what really balance, right? It’s my high or low type thing, right? So, my youngest brother, three days before his 21st birthday, overdosed on opiates and died. And so that kind of sucked me into a little bit of mindset that life is really, really short. We’re only here for a certain amount of time, and that I think that I owed it my children to write a legacy about their dad. And so that’s how this whole book started, is it was just a written account of what I was feeling at the age that I was. And then when they became my age, they could read it and maybe understand it a little bit better. So, I mean we started with one chapter, and eight years later ended up with 38, and handed it to someone, and they said that it was one of the most incredible stories they’ve ever read, and here I am today, so, it’s kind of an interesting path.
Terri: Wow, it’s really incredible, and I’m so glad that you’re sharing it, and I also really believe this is going to help a lot of people. Were there signs, like along the way that you know somebody could have noticed, or you could have noticed that might have even prevented you from firing that gun?
Justin: Oh yeah, there’s always signs. But so, for me, knowing the disorder was in play at that time, it let me reflect back, reflect back onto my earlier life. And so, because I was interested in understanding how long I’d actually had it, how long that my mind had been just a little goofy. It went back, I can remember the ages of seven and eight years old of having just weird thoughts. Thoughts that you know, that young of a child doesn’t have. And so, having it start way back then, what I understood and realized at a very, very young age, is that if opened your mouth, if you talked about it, you’re going to get beat up at school. And so, I was a master, I became a master of hiding all emotion. And so that kind of just went on through, you know, like I was severely bullied, severely picked on through high school, junior high, elementary school, and you know I was just a weird kid. And I get that, and I’m totally fine with that because I’m not a weird kid anymore. Well, I kind of am, but. But, where it is now, is it took me a long time to finally understand that I have a voice in this whole thing. And without my voice, without me having my tribe of people, my little group of people that love me more than anything. If I don’t convey to them what’s going through my mind, and how I’m feeling on a day to day basis, there’s no reason why they would even think anything’s is wrong. And so, when I realized I had that voice, and be able to talk about it, that’s where a lot of the help came into play. I mean honestly that’s kind of why I’m kicking around today. Because I do have that support group, I do have a few close people like my mother, and my ex-wife of all things, right? I’m mean she’s one of my best friends, and so, these people know me.
Terri: I love what you said about, you know finding your voice, and I also really appreciated that you shared the sense of being different. I certainly know so many different people who’ve been bullied in so many different aspects, as they were growing up, and were different, and were unique, or unusually, there’s all this that goes on. It’s just real difficult when you’re a kid too. What is the thing that you want to do on the planet right now? What’s your mission, what’s your legacy? Cuz I just feel like that there’s so much that you have to offer people. What are you about these days?
Justin: So of course it’s race car stuff, I mean there’s always the race car stuff. Mostly because the helmet, when I put my helmet it’s the drug for me.
Terri: I understand
Justin: You understand, I know that you understand. Once the helmet goes on, the chaos of the world stops and you’re super focused, so there’s always that part of my life and I race quite a bit. However, life has changed for me a lot over the last 365 days, and my main focus is life right now is to be that person in 40 years from now, to have them have a conference, or have someone say, you know what, 40 years ago there was this guy, his name was Justin Peck and he was the guy that brought mental health into the limelight where it was not such a stigma. I want to be able to sacrifice my mental state, my mental wall being for others so those people don’t find themselves at the top of the canyon with a gun in their hand. That’s all I want, I want to help, I want to change the world in my way. And I don’t want to change it in a small way, I want to change the entire world.
Terri: Wow, I have goosebumps as you’re speaking by the way. I just will share with you my experience with family members who have attempted suicide, and so far, have not succeeded. But, every day I wonder you know, are they going to at some point? And there’s such a stigma around whatever their diagnoses are, and quote, unquote, mental issues. People don’t talk about these things, so the fact that you’re bringing this out to the forefront, the fact that you’re bringing this out in the open through your book, I just think it’s amazing, I think it’s wonderful. And I think it opens up the inner-dialogue and can also open up the outer-dialogue and that support like you have from the people who love you in your life, I think it’s really valuable what you’re doing Justin. I honor you.
Justin: Thank you so very much. That does mean a lot to mean.
Terri: You’re welcome. How can folks that are listening, that are resonating with any part of your message, cuz I really feel like you have so much to offer, how can they get the book? How can they connect with you, how can they get to interact with you?
Justin: So my book is available on my website, justinpeck.com, and I also write blogs regarding mental illness, and the mental wellbeing, you know, why we do what we do sometimes, so we do have blog information there. The book is also for sale on Amazon, I mean we just hit the Amazon best-seller list last week.
Terri: Congratulations, great news!
Justin: Ya, ya it was definitely one of those high-five moments.
Terri: That’s awesome! Awesome.
Justin: So ya, that’s where I’m able to be find, and then of course social media, I’m all over social media.
Terri: Excellent, I’m gonna really encourage all my listeners to connect, it’s Justin Peck connect. Also, I’m gonna suggest that you do get a copy of the book Bullet Proof, and really listen to this show. Really pay attention, maybe re-listen to it, and think of who in your life needed to hear Justin’s message, because it’s powerful and it’s a message I believe can be shared. This is an episode I’d love to see you share on social media, and I’d love to see you tell your friends and family about. And Justin I want to thank you so much for being here. I really learned a lot, I’ve expanded my thinking, and I’m going to grab a copy of the book myself. So, thank you so much for joining me today here at Heartrepreneur® Radio.
Justin: Perfect. Thank you for a great opportunity.
Terri: And my listeners, don’t forget, tune-in each week, every week, I have more phenomenal people like Justin Peck. Also, make sure that you subscribe to the show on iTunes, that way you won’t miss any episodes. Leave us some comments on the shows, we love your 5 star reviews, and we love when you share the show. And this episode today is worth sharing. So, thanks for tuning in, we’ll see you soon at Heartrepreneur® Radio.