IWP068: Have big purpose like MLK and Ghandi. Focus, Plan, Work Hard. Watch what happens.

IWP068: Have big purpose like MLK and Ghandi.  Focus, Plan, Work Hard.  Watch what happens.

Derek Loudermilk . Art of Adventure . Coaching . Personal Development . Entrepreneurship

Acknowledge that you can learn and grow start new things at any point in life.  Reinvent yourself and adjust to each echo system whether your are a pro athlete or a pro scientist.  Have big purpose and help a lot of people like MLK and Ghandi.





A little birdie says:

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Bio / Transcript

Hi! I’m Derek!

After wrapping up my master’s degree in microbiology at Montana State in May 2014, I set out with my wife Mary on a year-long adventure to explore the world, run our businesses, and create.

I am currently living in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia where I surf, do yoga, meditate, hike, run, read, write, give talks, explore, SCUBA dive, and eat lots, in addition to hosting the podcast!

As someone who has a broad range of interests and multiple career transitions, my goals is to teach others how to learn what the need to know and navigate each new ‘ecosystem’ of life.

Here is the brief summary of my experience:

For my master’s degree, I discovered a new species of virus in the boiling acid hot springs of Yellowstone National Park that may represent one of the most ancient forms of life.

As a former Pro cyclist and NCAA runner I founded Derek Loudermilk Coaching to help cycling and endurance athletes take their sport practice to the next level and navigate endurance sports culture.

Read on for the extended background below!

My work as founder and head coach of Derek Loudermilk Coaching.

In 2010 I founded Derek Loudermilk Coaching, after years of cycling and running coaching. I was being an NCAA runner in college, and after graduation, I decided to follow my true passion which is the beautiful and complex sport of bicycle racing. I found myself competing against many young athletes who had “been through the system”, being coached and developed for over a decade. In order to compete against their superior fitness and experience, I immersed myself in learning the tactics and strategy of the sport. I even moved to southern Spain to build my fitness and learn from the best riders in the world. After returning to the US and racing as a Cat 1 for several years, I started getting more and more questions from cyclists who wanted to improve rapidly, along with requests to be their coach. Currently, I am focused on getting racers the mental and tactical skills along with the fitness they need to succeed in bike racing. (FYI, here is the post on how I became a cycling coach)


In 2013 My team discovered a new archaeal virus in the Yellowstone hot springs and my master’s degree focused on characterizing this new species. I found my way to Montana State University after spending my childhood reading about the great scientist-explorers like Shackelton and Darwin, and visiting my dad’s microbiology lab. I knew I wanted to be like them, but had no idea how. After college I worked as a food microbiologist and R&D scientist at 3M, but found myself wanting to be out in the field where the weird stuff is. After road tripping to Yellowstone with my best friend during college, I decided it was the perfect place to finally be the adventurer and researcher I had hoped to be. My work centered on growing novel organisms from the hot springs and discovering the viruses that infect them.

My passion in science is evolving. Beyond the lab bench, I love to discuss scientific philosophy, the future of research, the economics of science, going on scientific adventures, the collaborations of researchers, failures and lessons. By telling the stories of science, adventure, and discovery, I hope to inspire and make accessible the beauty and curiosity of science as a lifestyle.


In 2013 I completed my lifelong quest to go to all 50 states of the USA. Growing up, my family would travel regularly, and we would keep a map with pins in it for every state each person had visited. In between trips I would sit and memorize the World Book Atlas and imagine what it was like to be in those remote locations. After living abroad in Australia (I studied marine biology on the Great Barrier Reef) and Spain, I wanted to make sure I explored my own back yard so to speak. I see travel as an investment in my ability to live well – to be comfortable being uncomfortable in new situations, to empathize and think of other cultures, and to appreciate the natural beauty and variety of this planet. I love being able to have crazy stories about late nights in strange places!


I am also a photographer specializing in National Park Photography and Biological and Mathematical Photography. When a non scientist looks at a flower they see beauty. When I look at a flower I see layers and layers of beauty, from the molecular biological level, to the mathematical arrangement of the petals, to the emitted light spectra enticing various insects to land on it. The depth of understanding in beauty is what I attempt to capture when I take a photograph. There is an infinite story waiting to be told and I want photographs to instigate and exploration of the levels of understanding.

My other interest include, but are not limited to:

Brainstorming, Questions, Games, Running, Food- especially fermented foods and chocolate, Funny Comic Strips, Origami, Meeting New People, Pranks, Bluegrass Music, The Future, Brightly Colored Clothes, Modeling, and Entrepreneurship.

Insights into Pain Points:

  1. Leaving the Phd program
  2. Opportunity cost of goal vs existing in alignment.
  3. Clarity of self to make distinction between that which you “can do”  and that which you “should do”

Personal Life Lesson:

  1. Minutia requirements of a good bench scientist not complementary
  2. Hard to let go
  3. Discovery – reproducible results – market

Toolsets to bridge the gap:

  1. Seek counsel (wife / advisor)
  2. Inspiration
  3. http://www.thekitchenpaper.com
  4. Living abroad creates the space for you to reset your daily habits.  Start a new at each locale
  5. Reset your daily habits
  6. Continuous Improvement
  7. Podcasting as a platform to reach more people
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  • Derek Loudermilk

    Thanks Chuck! I had a great time!

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