245: Chad Hennings Podcast

April 29, 2022

In today’s episode of the ‘Finding your Summit’ podcast, host Mark Pattison, former NFL Player, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, and Mountaineer who has climbed the Seven Summits, talks with guest, Chad Hennings, US Air Force Fighter Pilot, 3x Super Bowl Champion, Author, and Entrepreneur. He is sharing his journey of making it through from a farm boy to the Academy flying jets, being drafted to play in the NFL, postponing that to fulfill a commitment, and then finally playing in the NFL. He also talks about writing three books.

Listen to “EP 245: Chad Hennings: Former Fighter pilot to Super Bowl champion” on Spreaker.

Episode Highlights

  • 02:40 – Mark inquires about the compelling factors that made Chad go into the Air Force Academy.
  • 04:20 – Chad mentions that it was worth going through the basic training.
  • 06:15 – Chad firmly believes that we’re holistic beings — mind, body, and spirit — and they all have to be in tandem together.
  • 08:40 – Chad can only fit into an F-15 or an A-10 — and his instructors do his personality as a defensive lineman — but his dream plane was the ATF, the Wardog which is closer support aircraft.
  • 09:44 – Chad states that he has led missions in combat as a Flight Leader. He has been through pilot training and a lot.
  • 11:10 – The first squadron out of the safety of the United States Air Force was Chad’s first squad.
  • 13:00 – Chad spent 2-3 month stints flying missions all over Turkey and into Northern Iraq, protecting the Kurdish people and protecting them from any potential harm or conflict in the future.
  • 15:30 – Mark asks Chad what he took out from that time when he was able to play with Jimmie Johnson
  • 19:30 – What was Chad’s intention when he wrote his first book, asks Mark.
  • 21:56 – Mark says that everybody wants to be a rock star, but if one is not willing to go through all those steps, it’s really hard to get to where they want to be.
  • 23:10 – Chad points out that if he conquered the whole world but he didn’t have his family, and if he wasn’t being loved, it would all be for naught.
  • 25:20 – Chad’s church family is extremely important to him. He loves books on social psychology, listens to podcasts, etc.
  • 27:55 – Now Chad has a commercial real estate company. That’s the day-to-day job, but his passion is speaking to groups and mentoring young men about what it means to be a man.

Three Key Points

  1. Collage image with mountainous background displaying Finding Your Summit logo, episode number and photos of both Mark Pattison and Chad HenningsThere are days when you don’t want to do it, you don’t want to be there, but you got to do it, and it’s just a mind game that you’ve got to push yourself through that adversity, to try to accomplish and achieve whatever you set your mind out to.
  2. Chad highlights that when you are going to war with your SWAT and meet your wingman, you establish those bonds in those relationships where they’re tried and true that you can trust these men implicitly. That’s the type of relationship he has with his far away 10 pilots, and when you spend several months together with a group of individuals 24/7, you’re with them all the time. You’re eating, sleeping, flying, and working out with them—you get pretty close—and those relationships and that spirit—that was a very special time of his life, and those relationships that he has with those guys to this day, he can’t replicate that—it’s tough to replicate that.
  3. If one wants to succeed in anything in life, one has to be willing to pay the price. It takes the hard work, the physical training, the mental preparation, the relationships, and it’s a holistic journey.

Tweetable Quotes

My biggest challenge is I wanted to have an experience outside the norm.” – Chad Hennings

I was too big for the ACES II ejection seat. I was too heavy for it and I was too tall.” – Chad Hennings

Would you rather go back and play for the Cowboys or go fly jets?” – Chad Hennings

You were super blessed to play quite a long time, 9-10 years in the NFL, and play in three Super Bowls with the Cowboys.” – Mark Pattison

It’s impossible to reach the Super Bowl, or whatever you’re trying to do, if you don’t have a clear roadmap.” – Mark Pattison

It was for those people that want to be an author. My advice to them is to make sure you have a story to tell.” – Chad Hennings

When I had kids, I realized what my legacy is—that I’m not going to be… celebrity and fame is fickle, and it’s a mist, it’s just a burst in a period of time. I realized that my true legacy is in my children.” – Chad Hennings

You’re known by your relationships. Who are your mentors? Who are your friends? If they’re not building you up, question who they are.” – Chad Hennings

What keeps me up at night and causes me concern is our young man of today.” – Chad Hennings


Resources Mentioned

Chad Hennings: Website | Email

Mark Pattison YouTube Channel


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