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Life's Tough Podcast

What we will talk about......

Life's Tough is an inspirational Podcast that explores personal stories of strength and perseverance.  Along with Host Dustin Plantholt, Contributor Olga Herren PhD., Special Guests and listeners share their real and vulnerable life stories of overcoming unique challenges and struggles to inspire and motivate each other towards personal fortitude, healing, growth and empowerment.  Together we share experiences, strategies and skills aimed at building better lives, healthier relationships and a kinder society, as well as inspiring a world of emergent leaders!

Life is tough, but YOU can be tougher!

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Podcast Episodes Streaming on Demand

Life’s Tough, But Dr. Doug Craig is There to Support the Protectors

In this episode Host Dustin welcomes Doug to the Life's Tough Conversation to discuss his career and life journey.  Doug has dedicated his professional career to developing expertise in psychological assessment, an area that ranges from workers compensation evaluations to interventions for occupational injuries. He has also focused on delivering service to first-responder communities. After an early-career position as a seasonal police officer in Ocean City, Md., he decided to head to Chicago and pursue an advanced degree in clinical psychology. He ultimately earned a doctorate in that discipline, and subsequently attained Diplomate status, or advanced certification, in police psychology through the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology.Life’s tough – you can be tougher, like Dr. Doug Craig, a skilled psychologist who has always had a keen desire to support the men and women on the front lines who safeguard our communities.

Season 1 Episode 9

Life's Tough - you can be tougher, like Nicholas Sansbury Smith

Guest Co-Host Christina Napp and Guest Co-Host Oryne Stewart and Christina Napp

In this episode Host Dustin welcomes Nicholas Sansbury Smith to the Life's Tough Conversation.  Nicholas is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of post-apocalyptic science fiction, with over a 1,000,000+ books sold.

Nick is the author of four series, all set in post apocalyptic worlds: Hell Divers, Extinction Cycle, Trackers, and Orbs. He self published his first book in 2013 via Amazon when writing was just a hobby. Since then he has had two major book deals with top five publishers (Simon and Schuster & Orbit Books) and a third with Blackstone Publishing. A hybrid author, Nick has continued to self publish as well, including the Trackers series, and Orbs.

Probably best known for his Extinction Cycle series, a saga that has expanded into eight books in the main storyline, and multiple spin-off stories from a dozen plus authors in the former Kindle World Program. The series was also translated into German in 2018. Narrated by Bronson Pinchot, the first audiobook, Extinction Horizon hit #1 in the entire Audible store.  

The Hell Divers series has also seen major success in Audio and other formats. The saga was recently optioned for film/TV. Narrated by RC Bray, Hell Divers was an Audible editor’s best of science fiction and also hit #1 in the entire Audible store as well as the New York Times bestseller list. The fifth Hell Divers book – “Captives” – is out on May 7th.

Prior to launching his writing career, Nick worked in disaster planning and mitigation for the Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management office. He assisted communities with their plans for responding to natural and man-made catastrophes. This particular field of work later inspired him to begin writing fictional narratives tied to apocalyptic events.

Nick once wrote that he found his writing voice while training as an Ironman triathlete. The rigorous preparation for these triathlon competitions – which require long stretches of swimming (2.4 miles), biking (112 miles) and running (26.2 miles) – afforded him the solitude, time and mental clarity he needed to develop his literary world-building.

He resides in his native town of Des Moines, Iowa, with his wife and dogs.

Season 1 Episode 8

Life's Tough - Sgt. Rudy Reyes is Tougher with Special Guests Sgt. Rudy Reyes and 

Colonel “Godfather” Fernando

Sponsored by the POI Institute

In this episode Host Dustin welcomes Sergeant Rudy Reyes to the Life's Tough Conversation.  Sergeant Rudy Reyes is a former Marine who became a military adviser, motivational speaker, personal trainer, author, conservationist, and, even an actor.While in the Marines, Reyes successfully completed the required training to become a member of Marine Force Reconnaissance. Of 300,000 Marines at the time, only 300 were in this elite unit. He served in three separate campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. One of his missions, which was connected with the invasion of Iraq, became the basis for an HBO miniseries, “Generation Kill.” Reyes played himself in the series. Dustin and Rudy Reyes share a lifetime of challenges, starting with an unsettling home life during boyhood, and ultimately, the savage experiences he had on the battlefield. Through it all, Reyes has committed himself to ongoing personal transformation, while also helping other veterans transition into a post-war existence.

Season 1 Episode 7

Life’s Tough, But March of Dimes is Tougher with Special Guest Stacey D. Stewart

This episode is sponsored by The POI Institute

In this episode Host Dustin welcomes Guest Stacey D. Stewart, president and CEO of March of Dimes to the Life's Tough conversation,  Stewart guides the national nonprofit in its role as the leading advocate for the health of all moms and babies.“Our nation is in the midst of a maternal and child health crisis and almost every measure of health for pregnant women, new mothers and infants is going in the wrong direction,” said Stewart.  “We must ensure that every mom and baby, regardless of their zip code or race, is afforded the opportunity to have a healthy pregnancy and start at life.They wlll also discuss with Stewart how March of Dimes has continued to support families across the nation for more than 80 years.

Season 1 Episode 6

Life’s tough – you can be tougher, like Bobby Burke.

Sponsored by the POI Institute

In this episode Dustin welcomes Special Guest Robert John Burke, as they discuss Bobby Burke’s enduring commitment to his craft, his dedication to his role as a fire captain, and his perseverance in confronting personal challenges.Burke’s impressive acting career spans both movies and television. His TV credits include the HBO miniseries “Generation Kill” (2008), “Person of Interest” (2011), and movie roles in “Safe” (2012), “Good Night, and Good Luck” (2005), and “Black Klansman” (2018). Early in his career, Burke had the lead role in “RoboCop 3” (1993) and played Denis Leary’s cousin Mickey in Rescue Me. He has also had recurring roles on “Law and Order,” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.”

Season 1 Episode 5

Life’s Tough, but B.J. Surhoff is Tougher! 

Special Guest B.J. Surhoff, former Professional Baseball Player 

This episode is sponsored by The POI Institute

In this episode Host Dustin welcomes special guest, B.J. Surhoff to the Life's Tough Conversation..B.J. Surhoff, an American former baseball player, played professionally from 1987 to 2005. A baseball legend and All Star. Join us as B.J. shares his unique life’s journey, as well as its challenges. B.J will share the obstacles and motivations of his story. Learn how he and his wife, Polly Winde Surhoff came to be founding members of Pathfinders for Autism, after their then 2 year old son was diagnosed with autism. Nearly 20 years later, BJ is still President and an active member of what has become one of Maryland’s largest autism organizations. ; Listen in to see how we can learn from his journey and apply similar strength and determination to our own lives. Life’s Tough – YOU can be Tougher, like B.J. Surhoff!

About the POI Institute:

The POI Institute is a private, luxurious holistic detox center located in gorgeous Cabo San Lucas.  This incredible, luxurious facility offers safe, medically focused Ibogaine detox treatments for individuals suffering from a variety of addictions as well as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.  POI's treatment programs are not only customized to meet the specific needs of each individual, their hands-on, experienced and compassionate team of professionals coupled with the magnificent, private accommodations make for the perfect setting for physical, emotional and spiritual healing.
If you are struggling with addiction, anxiety, depression or PTSD, take the first step and call, the POI Institute at:
833.POI.CABO  or check out their website at  https://poiibogaine.com
Season 1 Episode 4

Life's Tougher - Evander's Tougher with Special Guest Evander Holyfield

Topic:  Life's Tough - Evander's Tougher - "Getting back up; Finding the fuel to do just that!"

This episode is sponsored by The POI Institute

Evander Holyfield, an American former boxer, competed professionally from 1984 to 2011. A boxing legend and megastar, Evander is the only 4-time World Heavyweight Champion and remains the only boxer in history to win the undisputed championship in two weight classes (cruiserweight and heavyweight). Evander’s storied career is not one without its numerous highs and lows. Join us as Evander shares his unique life’s journey. Life’s tough—but Evander Holyfield is tougher!

About the POI Institute:

The POI Institute is a private, luxurious holistic detox center located in gorgeous Cabo San Lucas.  This incredible, luxurious facility offers safe, medically focused Ibogaine detox treatments for individuals suffering from a variety of addictions as well as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.  POI's treatment programs are not only customized to meet the specific needs of each individual, their hands-on, experienced and compassionate team of professionals coupled with the magnificent, private accommodations make for the perfect setting for physical, emotional and spiritual healing.
If you are struggling with addiction, anxiety, depression or PTSD, take the first step and call, the POI Institute at:
833.POI.CABO  or check out their website at  https://poiibogaine.com
Season 1 Episode 3

Life's Tough, Actor Chance Kelly's Tougher - Overcoming Mental Limitations with Special Guest Chance Kelly, Actor & Boxer and Contributor Olga Herren, PhD.

Sponsored By the POI Institute

In this episode we welcome to the Life's Tough conversation special guest Chance Kelly, actor and boxer.  Chance will share his inspiring story of overcoming his profound fear of public speaking to share his eloquent and introspective mind as an actor. His resilient spirit has allowed him success in this arena, as well as in the boxing ring as a competitive fighter. Please join us as we learn about the motivation and obstacles in his story, and how we can apply this strength and determination to our own lives. Life’s Tough would love to have you!  The panel is joined by Oryne Stewart.

About the POI Institute:

The POI Institute is a private, luxurious holistic detox center located in gorgeous Cabo San Lucas.  This incredible, luxurious facility offers safe, medically focused Ibogaine detox treatments for individuals suffering from a variety of addictions as well as anxiety, depression, and PTSD.  POI's treatment programs are not only customized to meet the specific needs of each individual, their hands-on, experienced and compassionate team of professionals coupled with the magnificent, private accommodations make for the perfect setting for physical, emotional and spiritual healing.
If you are struggling with addiction, anxiety, depression or PTSD, take the first step and call, the POI Institute at:
833.POI.CABO  or check out their website at  https://poiibogaine.com
Season 1 Episode 2

Premiere Episode with Contributor Olga Herren, PhD. and Special Guest

 Pastor Ed Lochmoeller  

This Premiere Episode is sponsored by Western Limited www.westernlimited.com 

Topic:  Let's Get this Conversation Started -  Life's Tough......you can be tougher!

Tune in to the special live broadcast to meet Host Dustin and his Special Guests as they introduce you to the Podcast, Dustin's personal story, journey and the conversations they have planned and have in store for you! 

Season 1 Episode 1

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Meet Your Host Dustin Plantholt

Dustin Plantholt was born on August 12, 1983, in Oceanside CA, as Dustin Roper into a turbulent childhood. By age 2, he and his sister Tennille age 4, were left with their drug-addicted single father to fend for themselves. By the age of 4, Dustin’s drug-addicted biological father, beat a man to death with his bare hands in front of Dustin and his older sister. 


Dustin and his sister were ultimately put into the California foster system in 1986, then again in 1987 into 1988, following their fathers arrest for numerous crimes. In Dec 1988, When Dustin was 5 1/2 years old, he and his sister Tennille aged 8, were eventually pulled out of the foster system, and sent to live in Maryland, where he & his sister reunited with their mother, now a Pastors Wife. 


In 2014, the untimely death of his sister from a drug overdose caused Dustin to question his own life’s purpose, his families story and began to focus on using his personal experiences to better the world.


Once a model of a top New York / Miami Agency, Dustin now runs several successful businesses and sits on several boards, including The March of Dimes and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.


In May of 2018, Dustin founded Life’s Tough a company that focuses on getting people to tell their story no matter how difficult. He and his co-founders believe that in order to overcome the obstacles that are put before you need to speak your truth and embrace your past. 


LifesTough.com is the central hub for a person to tell their story, train themselves and others with online videos, blogs and webinars for encouragement and methods on how to be tougher.


Dustin’s story has touched the lives of everyone that hears it. He uses his upcoming book, Life’s Tough You Can Be Tougher, to tell his story of overcoming life’s battles to a widespread audience.   Everyone Has a Story!

Meet Contributor Olga Herren, PhD.

Dr. Olga Herren received her master’s and doctoral degrees in neuropsychology from Howard University. Dr. Herren conducts research examining the impact of lifestyle factors, such as physical activity, spiritual practices, and diet, on physical and mental health. Her emphasis pertains to identifying pathways of susceptibility and resilience that explain the impact of the mind-body on health outcomes. She has also been involved in community-based workshops that teach evidence-based methods of reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression through a better understanding of the mind-body connection. Dr. Herren grew up in the Washington, DC metropolitan area and the capital of El Salvador, San Salvador.

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Music for your soul
Lauren Daigle- Come Alive