BC 140. Brian & Erin Cain | Family Values, Travel, Meditation & Yoga

On this special relationship podcast episode featuring Brian’s wife Erin “The Bear”, you’ll learn about:

  • The origins of “The Bear” and how the nickname came to fruition
  • A “90-Day Getaway” and why it is so important to Brian & Erin’s relationship
  • Daily checklists
  • The core principles of the Cain’s
  • The biggest challenges in Brian & Erin’s relationship
  • and much more…




Erin:  TLED.  Our core principles are trust, love, excellence, and discipline.  We even have them up on a pillar in our kitchen and that really was a great process to go through together and just say what is really important in our relationship.


Cain:  Hey, how are you doing?  Brian Cain, your Peak Performance coach, here with another episode of the Peak Performance Podcast.  We’re joined by my wife Erin “the Bear” Cain, our French bulldogs Cypress and Yotie.  Say hi, Yotie!  Hello!

So basically what we want to do here today is we just want to kind of give you a little behind the scenes into a day in our life and just kind of talk a little bit so you get to know us a little bit more off and on the podcast.  I wanted to kind of bring the Bear into the mix here and I wanted you to get to know my best friend a little bit more here.  So Bear, why don’t we start off by – why don’t you tell people how we met, as a matter of fact?  That’s pretty good.

Erin:  Oh, how we met.  My brother is a college baseball coach and Brian started to work with his team and we were introduced from there pretty much.

Cain:  Yeah.  What was our first date?  Where did we go?

Erin:  Our first date we went to a Phoenix Coyotes (now Arizona Coyotes) hockey game.

Cain:  Yep.  Thus the name.

Erin:  Yotie.

Cain:  Yotie, named after our first date at the Phoenix Coyotes.  Then where did I propose to you, Bear?

Erin:  Cypress.

Cain:  The Lone Cypress in California – which this is Cypress.  So Cypress and Yotie, our first date and where we got engaged.  You might be wondering, why is she known as the Bear?  Why on Snapchat do you have the Bear Cave?  Maybe you know the great story that is behind the legacy of the Bear but, Bear, could you tell people and share with them the story of the bear.

Erin:  Yes.  The story of the bear.  We went on a cruise to Alaska.  We did a fly-fishing adventure and we went out – there they go.

Cain:  It must be a squirrel.

Erin:  Yeah, seriously.  We went out fly fishing and our guy said, “Well, I have to take this rifle just in case any bears come.  We haven’t seen any in a long time but I’ll take it just in case.”  So we go on our way, we’re fishing, we’re having a great time.  Brian catches a fish and the guide is helping him…

Cain:  A big one.

Erin:  A big one.  And the guide is helping him reel it in.  I’m watching this.  I’m off quite a way away.  I turn and I see a bear coming at us in the distance.  I’m freaking out like, “What do I do?” And the guide is kind of too far away and the gun is pretty close to me so he points to the gun.  I have never shot a gun in my life before so I’m kind of freaking out.  But I go over, grab the rifle, kind of see what I could do, cock it –

Cain:  Cock it like freaking Rambo with the gun down here, not like up here looking out of the sight like a normal human, but like down here like she’s locked and loaded and taking it on to become a movie action star.

Erin:  No idea what I’m doing.  And I turn it towards the bear, but the bear must have heard me cock the gun or some other noise and he just ran away.  So I didn’t have to shoot a bear, which was nice.

Cain:  Yeah.  But then she turns around and I’m still out there with the guide trying to reel this fish in and she turns around and goes “The bear’s gone” – pointing the gun right at us.  We’re like, “Drop the gun!  Drop the gun!”  Thus the evolution of the Bear.

Erin:  Yes.

Cain:  So Bear, we talked about going up to Alaska going on an Alaska cruise.  One of the things just by the nature of my mission and what I get to do with serving people around the country I’m not home that much.  I travel a whole lot more than I would like to and hopefully a lot more than you would like me to.  You might like being home alone with the “Cheese” – I don’t know.  But we do a thing called the 90-Day Getaway.  It’s kind of like a 90-day advance.  Can you talk a little bit about kind of why we do that and why that’s important?

Erin:  Yes, 90-day vacation is really important for us just because I – as he said, Brian travels a lot and every 90 days we plan a getaway, whether it’s even just a day to ourselves, a weekend, or sometimes even more, a whole week vacation.  But that’s been really key in our relationship just because of the amount that Brian travels.  We need time to just fully be with each other.

Cain:  And these adorable French bulldogs as they try to steal some of the action here.  They have a mind of their own.  But the nice thing about the 90-Day Getaway for me is at least I know that there’s going to be dedicated time on the calendar.  We schedule it in advance, almost a year in advance, say every quarter.  So January, February, March, where are we going to go?  Then we’ll take that time and it’s great because we often are going somewhere new.  A lot of times we’re going on a cruise, which we like because you’re out there in the middle of the ocean and there’s no real distraction.  I usually don’t – last time we went I didn’t bring my cell phone.

Erin:  Digital detox.

Cain:  Digital detox.  No cell phone, no computer.  You’re just there.  It’s just the two of you.  A lot of times when we’re out there we’ll go through books together, relationship books like The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman or Tony Robbins’ relationship program.  We’ll just kind of talk about some of the things that we’re learning and how it applies to our life and trying to help with kind of the growth of the two of us together.  I think in life so many times people get together and eventually they tend to grow apart instead of growing together and becoming closer.  I think that’s one of the keys of our relationship, is trying to have that continual growth.

Bear, would you talk a little bit about some of the things that you do to help kind of you continue to grow.  I know you’ve got your meditation practice and the books and the things you do on a daily basis.  What are some things that you do?  I’m always talking about things that I do, Automobile University, things to grow, but what are things that you do?

Erin:  Yes.  Mainly I’ve been trying to focus on my meditation practice.  Part of my morning routine is meditating every morning for 15 minutes.  Also I’m a really big fan of PhilosophersNotes.  I try to at least hit three a week.  It’s really nice because I get to incorporate those into my yoga classes that I teach and share that message.  Meditation, PhilosophersNotes, daily exercise routine.  I have a daily checklist even of things that we do in our relationship.  One of my daily checklists is Brian’s leveling, which is words of affirmation.  So a checklist is “did I share words of affirmation to Brian” and things like that.

Cain:  So like on my checklist, one of the things I do every morning when I wake up – and most of the time it’s because I travel – I wake up and I go into my grid diary morning checklist and the first question is, how much sleep did you get last night?  The second question is, read The Daily Dominator and Maxwell Reader?  The third one is, did you send the Bear a nice text this morning? – because one of her love languages is words of affirmation so I always like to send a nice little message in the morning.  I do it when I’m on the road.  I probably need to do it more when I’m at home but even just this morning we slept in the same bed, woke up next to each other, and as I was doing my morning routine at the kitchen table and she was in the chair there meditating 15 feet away, I just opened up my cell phone and sent her a good morning text message.

Another thing we do is on the refrigerator on the side.  I bought a little magnetic whiteboard that goes on the refrigerator and each morning when I’m home I’ll get up, and as I’m having breakfast, I’ll just erase the whiteboard and write a silly message to the Bear and just let her know that I’m thinking about her.

Then when I’m on the road, one of our routines that maybe you heard of in The 12 Pillars of Peak Performance – I learned it from my good friend Coach Kenny from The 12 Pillars of Peak Performance.  Coach Kenny and his wife do what’s called an FTK, which is a FaceTime Kiss.  So I like to most times before we go to bed, if I’m on the road, is just dial up the Bear on FaceTime and say hello and kiss the phone like a high school boy in love.

Erin:  My second love language is quality time.  Even though we don’t get to spend a lot of time with each other because he travels a lot, it’s just really the quality time, the little things.  Even the FaceTime or just spending one day digital detox completely with each other is really big.

Cain:  The other thing we try to do to – and I know a lot of people watching this podcast are going to be coaches in the middle of their season (football coaches, baseball coaches) that are never home and hardly ever get to see their families.  So bringing their family into the mix of their program.

So whether it’s Erin coming to a TCU women’s basketball game or TCU baseball game or going over to SMU and bringing the French bulldogs and getting them to come to a game and being able to walk out after the game and even get that time in the car with her and the dogs (who are probably out chasing squirrels now), getting them back to the house has been a lot of fun as well. And having her be a part of that, whether it’s coming out to a football game at Yale or going off to the College World Series or something like that, has been fun to see her be a part of that.  When I go to places and stay at coaches’ houses, she comes out and stays with those coaches and they’re always asking about her and things like that, which is cool.

So one of the things we do also is a date night, where we try to do it once a week.  Usually it’s on Thursday usually at night, but at least once a week we try to go to dinner (no cell phone)  even if it’s just a two-hour block and just go and kind of check in and be together.

I think another key part of our relationship is our core principles.  We talk about with an athletic program Pillar #2 The MVP Process, a mission, a vision, and principles.  The mission of our marriage simply for me is be the best husband and selfless servant that I can be.  The vision is kind of what are the things that we’re trying to do together in that year, so it’s kind of like a short focus. Then the principles are either TLED or which has since been rephrased into DELT.  Erin, would you talk a little bit about kind of our core principles of TLED or DELT.

Erin:  Yes.  TLED.  Our core principles are trust, love, excellence, and discipline.  We even have them up on a pillar in our kitchen.

Cain:  Pillar, kitchen, DELT.  Sorry.

Erin:  Yes.  And that really was a great process to go through together and just say what is really important in our relationship and how we want to show up with each other every day.  We’ve defined each of those words and we just try and kind of always come back to them and review how we’re doing in them.

Cain:  So if we use the acronym DELT, it’s discipline, excellence, love, and trust.  Talk about discipline  – it’s doing what you say you’re going to do and following through, having a plan and following through with it.  Love is selflessly giving and expecting nothing in return.  Excellence is working to be the best that you can be.  Trust is that doing what’s right and following through and doing what you say you’re going to do.  So if we’re living those principles – and we went through this in our relationship the same way you’d go through it with your team.  You sit down and I said to Erin one day, “This is what you get when you are in a relationship with a Peak Performance coach.”

Erin:  Yeah.  True.

Cain:  She’s into it.  I said, “I want you to write down all the principles that you think are needed to be successful in a relationship.”  She wrote down her list and I wrote down my list and then we compared, and we had a lot of things that were the same and we took those two lists, made one, and then put them into different groups.  The four groups we came up with were DELT – discipline, excellence, love, trust.  We’re not perfect at it but we have an awareness of it and we’re working to get better at it all the time.

A lot of times we’ll have conversations on those date night dinners or on the 90-day getaways or at different times and just talk about how are we doing in those four things.  Do you feel like you’re loved?  Do you feel like there is a high level of trust?  Do we feel like we’re committed to excellence and being the best that we can be individually and together?  Are we disciplined and actually doing the things that we say we’re going to do in terms of our growth and things like that?

So that’s kind of a fun process to go through and I think something that has really made a difference in the relationship.  It’s something that, as I talk with friends of mine around the country and friends like you, often I think people have those core principles in their programs or place of employment but they don’t have them in their families, so I think that’s a great place to look to get started and start that conversation because that’s ultimately what I would love to pass on to our children – God willing –  would be that they’re disciplined and that they have a clear plan in terms of helping them get to where they want to go, that they’re committed to being their best on a daily basis, that they’re loving and take care of other people and treat other people well and that they’re trustworthy and do what they say they’re going to do.  If they can have those core principles, I feel like we’ve succeeded in our role as parents.

Erin:  God willing, as you said.

Cain:  Yeah.  We’ve got some questions that were sent in here for us when I put out “Hey, we’re thinking of doing a relationship sort of podcast.  Are there any questions?”  The same question that came up 30 times:  “Are you guys going to have children?”

Erin:  My goodness.  Wow.  Yes.  We are.

Cain:  Yeah?  So I guess we are.  It’s something, God willing, that if we’re able to do that, that will be exciting.  Hopefully in the next?

Erin:  Couple years.

Cain:  Couple years that will happen.  Yeah.  When it happens, it happens.  I’m excited and ready for it and yeah.  Hopefully, they’re left-handed.  No, I’m kidding.

Interviewer:  Biggest challenge, Erin, of the relationship?

Erin:  Biggest challenge of the relationship is definitely how much Brian is gone.  It’s definitely been interesting to get used to but just like anything, you find ways to deal with it.  You find ways to embrace it and not let it be something bad in our relationship, but trying to make it a good thing where the time we do spend together is really amazing and special.  Then I love our 90-Day Getaways.  I think those are key.  So that would be the biggest challenge for me.

Cain:  Yeah, no doubt.  That’s the biggest challenge, is just not being home.  That’s a byproduct of my mission of wanting to educate, empower, and energize others.  I’m working to create different training programs, whether it’s The 12 Pillars of Peak Performance Digital Training Program, the Total Immersion Weekends (which I want you to talk about in a minute here) as coaches take over the house, which has been awesome, one-on-one coaching over Skype.

Trying to find different ways as part of our moving to Southlake, Texas, was that there is so much action from an athletic standpoint in this Dallas/Fort Worth area that hopefully I can go and work with enough teams in the area and be able to be home a night instead of having to fly all over the country.  So the days of me traveling all over the country and doing the work I love to do are coming to a close.  Those are going to be minimal.  I’m going to be home more and hopefully coming up with a new plan to be able to still go to campus for a day or two and serve teams and then be able to do it over Skype.  I think that that’s going to be the best use of our time and the best service to your team but also the best investment into my relationship.

So the Total Immersion Weekends.  Super exciting.  Super fun.  Bear, last year it was the first year we had the idea of hey, we’re going to do a Total Immersion Weekend, it’s going to be during the college baseball NCAA Conference Championships, we’re going to have eight coaches come to the house, we’re going to put air mattresses all over the place, underneath the pool table, in the office, on the kitchen floor.  There are going to be people living here and we’re going to be going out the back and playing Spikeball in the garage.  We’re going to set up a classroom and basically take over the house for 72 hours to have the Total Immersion Weekend experience for coaches.  What was that like for you?

Erin:  It was crazy but amazing at the same time.  A lot of coaches are like, “How do you let Brian do this?”

Cain:  The “Cheese” were here.

Erin:  Yes, they were.  The dogs were here.  But I think it’s great for them to really see how Brian lives, how we live, and we’re just very “Welcome into our house and this is how it is and we just want you to learn and grow as much as you can.”  So we’re kind of an open book.

Cain:  Yeah.  As you can tell, there’s not much to hide here other than maybe some dog hair that I have on the black shirt here.  But Total Immersion Weekends.  Fantastic.  Hopefully you get to come be a part of that, or if it’s an event that we happened to pull together in Las Vegas or other places that we got a chance to go to – which I love is the Bear always goes out and does yoga in the morning and kind of talks about the mindfulness then is there and is a part of that.  A lot of what she teaches through yoga fits right in with the mindset and things that we’re talking about here from a mental game and Peak Performance standpoint.


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