Duke and Bethany were referred to Bradley Wealth in 2013 by one of his co-workers and having them as clients for the last eight years has been a complete pleasure. Duke is Director of Sales Leadership Development for a surgical robotics firm, where he has been employed for 10 years, and Bethany is working on her graduate degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. She plans to work with successful professionals to help them reach their next levels of success.
And that idea of reaching and growing is central to how Duke and Bethany approach life. For instance, Duke is an endurance athlete who has participated in many ultramarathons since 2012, and Bethany is his constant support, usually saying “absolutely” to helping him master long races, even if she might be shaking her head no.
And who wouldn’t shake their head no at the thought of running 100 or more miles in a 24- to 48-hour span? Well, Duke for one.
I think of Duke as an unbelievable Badass because he successfully completed the Badwater© 135 race in 2019. They call it the race across the sun, and “the world’s toughest footrace.” More people have climbed Mount Everest than have crossed the finish line of Badwater 135. Duke attributes completing the race to remaining mentally positive and using a mind-over-mood approach to running and to life. When he’s not working, running races, or spending time with Bethany, he’s in the gym, pushing his limits physically.
And there is no better way to push your mental and physical limits than by running the Badwater 135, which is a 135-mile race through the scorching desert in July climbing three mountains.
Duke says he learned self-discipline from his mother while growing up in Snellville, Georgia, which is just outside of Atlanta. His self-discipline was cemented at West Point, where he developed his passion for leadership and people, and later when serving as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Army.
Self-discipline is a huge factor in making any financial plan work long term, which is why we enjoy having Duke and Bethany as clients. Duke tells me he appreciates BW because our team is easily accessible and responsive, usually returning emails within 20 minutes. Duke recently told me he likes working with me because I’m an over-communicator.
“You answer all my questions,” Duke said. “Finance isn’t my cup of tea and we trust Bradley Wealth to execute our life plan. I trust that you have me and Bethany top of mind. I don’t feel like a small fish in a small pond. I feel important to BW, and I like knowing you outside of work. Also, your team members are professional and experts.”
You would think that being an endurance athlete would make a person egotistical. Not Duke. Enduring the suffering and achieving complete exhaustion has the opposite effect on him.
“Watch the finish of a 100-mile race,” Duke said, “and you’ll see people who are totally empty, the most stripped-down version of themselves ever. They’ll laugh, cry, throw up, and feel humble. That state of raw humanity is the reason I run. You’d think you’d feel like a badass at the end of a race, but it humbles and grounds me. I feel a little bit more bulletproof and a whole lot humbler. You fight demons while running 100 miles. It inspires me.”
Duke and Bethany are getting ready for his run 100-mile run next month in the Florida Keys, starting in Key Largo and ending in Key West. I’m pretty sure I know how the race will go. I wouldn’t bet against Duke, and especially when he has Bethany on his team, making all things possible.
P.S. Watch the 2018 Badwater© 135 race documentary to learn more about the grueling race, people who attempt it, and why so few have crossed the mythologized finished line: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGT3Rw7sl4s