Ep. 100 – Sherman Lineberg Brings Wisdom for Strength and Healing

Episode Summary

I’m excited to share a milestone celebration with you – our 100th podcast episode! It’s an incredible journey that I’ve been privileged to share with you, and in this landmark episode, I invite someone very special to join us – my son, Sherman Lineberg.

An 18-year-old reservoir of wisdom and strength, Sherman is not only a high school graduate, part-time student, eSports champ, golfer, bowler, and mechanic – but also an insightful young man with a remarkable story to share. Together, we trace the evolution of the podcast and delve into the impact it’s had on our lives.

The heart of our conversation, however, revolves around Sherman’s journey battling an autoimmune illness – a challenging period that tested his courage and resilience. His story of navigating the ups and downs of recovery, weekly trips to Columbus, OH, and the crucial role of finding a functional medicine doctor is both moving and enlightening. But it’s not all about physical health. Sherman candidly talks about the importance of mental health and listening to your body. He generously shares his advice for others facing similar battles, underscoring the significance of maintaining a positive mindset even in the face of adversity.

Toward the end of our heart-to-heart, we turn our focus to the wisdom Sherman has gathered over the years, his dreams for the future, and how he has applied this wisdom to overcome life’s trials. His candid reflections are both humbling and inspiring. In this special centennial episode, prepare yourself to be moved by the courage, determination, and wisdom of a young man who’s weathered life’s storms with grace. Tune in, you won’t want to miss this one!

Brief Bio for Our Wise Guest

Sherman is a recent high school graduate and part time student at Marshall University, where he is studying cyber forensic science. Sherman is a two time state champion in eSports, where he captained his high school squad. He’s also a talented golfer and bowler. He’s a gifted problem solver who’s adept with electronic and mechanical repair. Sherman is presently working as a bowling alley mechanic. He joins in studio from Charleston, West Virginia.


Contact Sherman on Discord: Splash313

Sherman’s functional medicine doctor – Kanodia MD website


Editor + Technical Advisor Bob Hotchkiss

Brand + Strategy Advisor Andy Malinoski

PR + Partnerships Advisor Rachel Bell

Graphic Design Chloe Lineberg

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Episode Chapters

[0:00:01 – 0:04:30] – Intro, welcome and guest bio; thoughts on being the son of a podcaster

[0:05:02 – 0:09:20] – Sherman’s four-year journey through an autoimmune illness; seeking and finding care

[0:09:21 – 0:12:25] – Holding onto hope; advice for others battling extended illnesses or challenges

[0:12:46 – 0:17:57] – Tapping into Sherman’s main-thing wisdom; Hoover Dam – learning to release; applications of Sherman’s wisdom; warning signs and pain points; faith in God

[0:17:58 – 0:22:45] – Looking ahead; new aspirations and hope; advice for parents whose child with an extended, invisible illness; Outro

Show Notes prepared with resource assistance from Podium.

Full Transcript of Episode 100

0:00:00 – Announcer

Wisdom. It’s an incredibly valuable asset, someone say, more precious than gold. It’s attractive, appealing, admirable. Conversely, a lack of wisdom is the basis of immaturity, blind spots and bad decisions. Wisdom, it can be gained over time, but it can’t be rushed. But wisdom can be shared. That’s precisely what we are here to do right now, today. We are here to hack wisdom, to distill it, to understand it and to process it. Why? To get better at life. 

Welcome to The Main Thing. This is your new 9-minute podcast. I’m your host, Skip Lineberg, and I’ve set out to interview the wisest people I know. We’ll see what we can learn from each one when they’re faced with an incredibly difficult, soul piercing question. 

0:01:00 – Skip Lineberg

Welcome to this very special episode of The Main Thing Podcast. This is our Centennial show. The Hundo …  Triple Digits, Number 100. 

An episode this special deserves a very special guest, and I have one for you. You’ll find out who it is in just a moment. How did we get here and how did I select this special guest? Where are we going in the months ahead? Follow along with me. 

When this journey began four years ago, I had a vision of a podcast that would focus on wisdom, one that would bring you 99 special deliveries of wisdom drawn from the wisest people I know. Checkmark. We’ve done that. We’ve accomplished the mission. But should we keep going or should we stop at 99, as per the original vision? The fact that you’re listening to Episode 100 answers that question. I will share with you that the decision to keep going was not made without serious consideration, prayer, soul searching and wise counsel. 

Thank you also to my patrons, those 20 generous folks who listen and provide funding to keep this pipeline of wisdom flowing. I couldn’t do it without you. 

Thank you to the main thing crew, audio engineer Bob Hotchkiss, marketing advisor Andy Malinoski, PR and Partnerships Advisor Rachel Bell, and Graphic Designers Chloe Lineberg and Emma Malinoski.

It is time to reveal our special guest for today. This guest is the youngest person ever to appear on The Main Thing Podcast. Despite his younger age, you will quickly hear that he is truly wise thanks to his lived experience. Sherman Lineberg is an 18 year old, talented young man who has overcome serious adversity and challenges in his life. He is courageous and resilient. He is my son. 

Sherman is a recent high school graduate and part-time student at Marshall University in Huntington, WV, where he is studying cyber forensic science. Sherman is a two-time state champ in eSports, where he captained his high school squad. He’s also a talented golfer and bowler. He is a gifted problem solver who is adept with electronic and mechanical repair. Sherman is presently working as a bowling alley mechanic. He joins us today in person, right here from Parkwood Studios in Charleston, west Virginia. Get ready, over the next 23 minutes in this special 100th episode, we will tee up some serious wisdom. 

0:03:35 – Skip Lineberg

Sherman Lineberg welcome to The Main Thing Podcast. 

0:03:37 – Sherman Lineberg

Hi, thanks for having me. 

0:03:40 – Skip

It’s great to have you on. You are a special guest. You are our wise guest for Ep.100. 

0:03:48 – Sherman Lineberg

It’s an honor. 

03:49 – Skip

I think you’re worthy of that honor, and you’ve been handpicked for this slot for a long time. So, Sherman, given that it’s 100 episodes, why don’t you tell our listeners what it’s like to live with a dad who’s a podcaster, who’s been podcasting for eight years now? 

0:04:08 – Sherman Lineberg

Well, if you didn’t know, Parkwood Studios is actually just our house. It’s at my dad’s desk and when he’s recording. Sometimes, I will have to stay quiet for however long he’s recording. For Some days it gets annoying, but I’m perfectly fine to be quiet if that means I’m supporting one of his passions. So it’s been awesome to see your growth through your production and your quality of work, and even from your first podcast back at your old job to now your 100th episode of your own show. It’s nice to see how you’ve perfected your craft, so it’s been awesome. 

0:04:50 – Skip

Well for our listeners. This is the point in the show where we usually talk about how we’re connected and you’re my son. You’re my one and only son. 

0:04:58 – Sherman Lineberg

Yeah, I think I’ve known you for about 18 years and five months approximately. 

0:05:02 – Skip

I’ve seen you about every day since then. 

Sherman, one of the most notable things about you and your story is this sudden illness that hit you in 2019. Let’s tell that story together. 

0:05:17 – Sherman Lineberg

About the third month of my freshman year of high school, I started missing days of school completely just because I was so exhausted, and we were so lost and we had no clue what was happening. We thought we thought I had mono or Lyme disease. We ended up finding out that I had hypothyroidism, which was one of the causes of my symptoms, but it wasn’t the root cause. It wasn’t the root of it, and it took us a while to find what the root cause was. It was, maybe a year and a half down the road.

0:05:52 – Skip

Yeah that was the first battle in the illness attacked your thyroid gland right and then it was also attacking your adrenal glands. We didn’t know that at that time and we we had to go beyond traditional medicine into Functional medicine, integrative health, and we found, you know, credit to your mom, Lisa Lineberg, for finding one of the best functional medicine doctors in America, who is in Columbus Ohio, Dr Anup Kanodia. Shout out to Dr Kanodia, who had the training and expertise and the experience to really get in there and analyze … and find out what was truly wrong.

So there were four, what we would call pathogens, and it took a while to find all four. And it took a while to defeat all four. We went through a lot together over the last four years, including at one stage – I guess that would have been 2021 where we were going back and forth to Columbus every Monday for treatments.

0:07:02 – Sherman Lineberg

During those 12 weeks we would travel on the weekends, I would be wiped out for, you know, two or three days. And it was tough, but I will say that it made me stronger, going through things like that. Because at the beginning we were like, “Twelve weeks, this looks like it’s going to be super hard.” At the end of it, looking back on it, it’s something that we learned from and Gained a lot from.

0:07:34 – Skip

Sherman, the other big thing that I think that I’ve observed and I’ve experienced with you in this journey is just the the idea of not being at war with yourself over this illness. Our  listeners will know that I am a big advocate of mental health, mental wellness. Sometimes counseling is needed, sometimes we have to go to a psychologist for professional help. 

Counseling is a good thing, and you’ve been through it two different stages now. And I remember probably the second visit when you came home from your counseling with your new counselor and one of the things that you guys had agreed on as a goal on your written contract agreement, provider to patient. Here’s what we’re going to do together. Here’s what we’re focused on. And one of those – probably number two on that list – was living with this illness and adapting my life to this illness, given that I may have it for for the rest of my life. Versus the idea of “I’ve got to fight this thing, and I’m at war within myself … and I’m not really going to start living fully and not be fully happy and not have peace in myself until it’s gone.” I mean, that’s a night and day difference in mindset. I’ve observed that was a big pivotal point for you  in your wellness. 

0:09:02 – Sherman Lineberg

Yeah, for sure. I think that people spend so much effort in working on their physical self that they tend to neglect their mental health. I believe that you can’t get better at the rate that you could in a bad headspace. 

0:09:21 – Skip

Sherman, one of the things that you held out hope was that you would be able to play and compete for a full golf season. And so your senior year last fall you had gotten yourself well to a point where you were able to make it through the whole season. You had a chance to experience your dream of playing for your team in the state championship tournament up in Wheeling, West Virginia, at the Jones Course at Oglebay Resort.

0:09:50 – Sherman Lineberg

Yeah, and that that was a big show of progress for me because, you know, my sophomore year of high school, junior year, I was physically unable to compete. I owe it to myself to recognize the work that I put in, because there were times when I would go to the golf course and practice before school and then go to school … and then go to golf practice after school. I had set a goal, and I wanted to achieve it. I would do whatever it took. Luckily, I was in the physical state to be able to do that at that time. I’m so thankful for it. 

0:10:29 – Skip

Sherman, as we wrap up this part of your conversation, it just occurred to me that we hadn’t really revealed what your illness was. You had an autoimmune illness that consisted of a virus, two infections and a parasite. Those were the four pathogens that contributed to this storm of health challenges, attacking your thyroid gland, your adrenal glands, your energy. 

0:10:56 – Sherman Lineberg

If you have felt the tiredness that comes with fighting against an illness. That’s kind of what I would go through every day, because my body was in a constant Fight State. We didn’t really figure that out until a year and a half down the line, and that was the main reason why I was so lethargic all day. We thought it was just, you know, he’s got some type of disease. But it wasn’t that simple.

0:11:26 – Skip

Sherman, what advice would you have for a listener who, themself, might be going through an autoimmune illness or might have a family member, a parent or a child, that is going through a similar battle? 

0:11:36 – Sherman Lineberg

First off, I would say listen to your body. That is probably the most important health related thing that I’ve learned in my entire life, because that’s you know, that’s really the only thing that’s telling you what’s going on—your body. If you need to get an extra hour of sleep, if it’s possible, just do it. There’s no shame in it. 

The second thing I would say is, mentally, don’t put yourself out of it. Even though things may seem bad now, there’s so much time to make progress. Just make sure that you don’t forget where you came from, and some days will be harder than others, but you have to accept it.

0:12:25 – Skip

Well, Sherman, that brings us to the pivotal moment in the show where I’ll ask you the question that I never know the answer to ahead of time … that pivotal question that I’ve asked each and every wise guest, all 99 guests that have preceded you: Sherman Lineberg, what’s the main thing you’ve learned in your lifetime so far? 

0:12:46 – Sherman Lineberg

So the main thing that I’ve learned in my lifetime is to not let your past define you. You know, going through this whole battle within myself, like you mentioned earlier, has really made me realize how damaging it is to hold on to things like that, because if you have that piece of you that’s still holding on, you’ll never really fully let yourself go and be yourself. It’s something that I have noticed made a drastic change in my life. You know, going to counseling, having that mindset switch, it’s really been eye-opening for me. I think that if more people were to take in that same belief, they would see great improvements in any aspect of their life. 

0:13:37 – Skip

That’s awesome. Yeah, wow. Your main thing is to not hang on to things that happened to you in the past, right? 

0:13:44 – Sherman Lineberg

Yeah, for sure. 

0:13:46 – Skip

I’m reminded of our first meeting with your new counselor your newest counselor, who you’re going to now. He did an onboarding session for us – your mom and I and you. And when you said that, it made me think of an illustration that he shared with us that day: he talked about the Hoover Dam. The Hoover Dam is this massive concrete structure that causes the water to back up so that they can make electric power. It’s a hydroelectric dam. But that dam has to have an outlet. Water builds up, and that wall of water behind the dam on the one side is hundreds of feet tall. On the other side, at the bottom, there are these outlets, these drains that come out, that let the water flow. And he said to us, “if we don’t let things out, what’s going to happen when that pressure builds up behind even something as strong as the Hoover Dam?”

0:14:42 – Sherman Lineberg

It’s going to overflow. 

0:14:46 – Skip

Sherman, would you share with us a personal example of when you had to apply that main thing wisdom in your recent life?

0:14:57 – Sherman Lineberg

I would say recently, when I had to go into my old high school and get my high school diploma. It was probably one of the most anxious moments that I’ve been through. Just seeing that environment where I had grown sick and seeing those people that had neglected me and kind of abandoned me. Yeah, it was very tough to deal with. 

So at graduation, I let go of those feelings, and I reconnected with some people that I hadn’t talked to in a while and had some great conversation. Then I went up on that stage, and I got my high school diploma, and that was it. It was nothing. I was making it to be way more emotionally taxing than it should have been. When I learned to let go of all those feelings that I had towards other people, I was finally able to relax in that environment and embrace the moment. Graduating high school is a big moment in anyone’s life.

0:16:01 – Skip

You had to release those things from the past.

0:16:04 – Sherman Lineberg

Yes, definitely. Let them go. 

0:16:09 – Skip

Sherman, if someone has not yet embraced your main thing wisdom, what might some pain points be that would indicate to them that they need to spend some time on this wisdom that you’ve shared?

0:16:19 – Sherman Lineberg

So I would say, when you have these things that you’re holding on to, you can never truly be comfortable with yourself in any environment, because these thoughts in the back of your head are just constantly running and it sounds cliche, but there’s a literal weight on you. You can you can physically feel it.

0:16:38 – Skip


0:16:39 – Sherman Lineberg

And I think that’s one of the most telling signs. If you actually ask yourself – do I feel relaxed, or you know, at ease? And if the answer is no, then I would say you probably have stuff that you’re holding on to and that’s weighing you down.

0:16:58 – Skip

And keeping you from being light and bouncy. 

0:17:00 – Sherman Lineberg

Yeah, that’s it exactly. 

0:17:02 – Skip

I just wonder if you would share with us about your your faith in God during the last four years. 

0:17:08 – Sherman Lineberg

There was a point where I had started journaling and really getting my thoughts out on paper. I would say that helped me a lot to realize I had kind of drifted away from God. And I’d say that helped me to reconnect with him. And look into the bigger picture, not just I feel bad. Why? Why do I feel bad? This sucks. 

I kind of reframed it as: God’s teaching me something with this. And through all of this, I have learned to be resilient and stay determined, and you know, I feel like there’s not much else that could get in my way anymore. If I can conquer this, I can conquer, you know, whatever.

0:17:58 – Skip Lineberg


Sherman, as we look ahead, we’ve covered your story over the last four years, which is significant and notable, and we’ve covered your main thing wisdom, the main thing you’ve learned in your lifetime so far, which is to not hold on to things in your past, instead to release them. 

0:18:15 – Sherman Lineberg


0:18:17 – Skip

Now, let’s look forward a bit. We, as a family … you and I and your mom … we just made a conscious decision to not dive right into college after high school. So we did not start you into college in August of this past year. As we sit here on the first of November, recording, we are in the midst of what we are all calling a strategic gap year. I know a lot of high school kids talk about a gap year and you know, the first question people ask is: Oh, did you go to Galapagos or did you go tour the Grecian Islands? And it’s not that kind of gap year. For us, the gap year is more about getting more well. 

0:19:01 – Sherman Lineberg

Right – rebuilding. I think it was the right decision to take time off this year, because just  watching my .… I’ll use my older sister as an example. I was not ready to go through the things that she went through in college, and I still don’t think I am. But that’s why I have this time. 

I think there are a lot of people that aren’t ready. But they take it upon themselves to force themselves to go. And I think that if they were to take a step back, and realize like there’s some things that I need to work on and admit that, then people would have a much less stressful time.

0:19:42 – Skip

What are some of your hopes and aspirations now? What do you want to study in school? Take us through, maybe the next five years. 

0:19:50 – Sherman Lineberg

So in the next five years, I would like to, of course, get my degree in cyber forensics and security, which is something I’ve really grown passionate about these past couple months. Because I took a tour of the school at Marshall University, and I loved what I saw. I’m now in some intro classes for it, and I definitely see myself in that field in the future. So that’s a goal. I just want to complete my education and have a stable source of income when I get out of college, because that can be a struggle for some people. 

I want to travel with my friends, I want to make new friends, I want to build relationships with people that I know I can count on, and I want to keep growing in the physical aspect. I’ve become passionate about bowling recently. I want to get better at that. And become a better golfer. Now I’m a mechanic at a bowling alley. You know … not what I had initially seen myself doing, but I love it. 

0:20:57 – Skip

Didn’t see that coming, did we? 

0:20:59 – Sherman Lineberg

Definitely not. 

0:21:00 – Skip

Sherman, you’ve shared so much, so openly and candidly. I believe that you sharing your story, how you navigated through this autoimmune illness that was hard to pinpoint took patience, it took time, it took faith over four years. I think that it will inform and provide encouragement to others out there that are struggling with a similar thing. So thank you for that impact that you’re making by sharing your story and your testimony today.

0:21:34 – Sherman Lineberg

Yeah, of course. It’s something that I’m willing to do, because I don’t want people to have to go through the same thing that I did. 

0:21:40 – Skip

Yeah, and I want to talk to the parents out there for just a moment. If your child is going through a similar situation, like Sherman shared, what we learned was to just literally be present in that day. Take that day at face value. Address it for what it was and not try to think about the future. Be open and honest with your son or daughter. Listen to them, truly listen to them. Accept what they’re telling you and come to that place of honest understanding with them. It’s a mature way to operate. It’s a respectful and humane way to operate. So if you’re pushing too hard … or getting too far ahead of yourself … worrying that I’d better push because they’re missing out on too much. That might not be the best course of action in the situation where your child, your son or daughter, has an autoimmune illness. 

Sherman, thank you for coming onto the show and sharing so openly and honestly. I just can’t thank you enough. You know how proud I am of you, and thank you for what you shared today. 

0:22:48 – Sherman Lineberg

Of course. Thank you for having me. 

0:22:50 – Skip

So long for now. 

0:22:53 – Announcer

Wow, that goes by incredibly fast, doesn’t it? Time flies when you’re hacking wisdom. I hope you’re left wanting more. Sync up with us again next time, on the main thing, for nine more minutes of wisdom. 

Transcribed by https://podium.page

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