I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Rich Roll, an ultra-endurance athlete named one of the 25 fittest men in the world by Men’s Fitness magazine. I interviewed him for my upcoming Sticky Habits Course.
Rich’s story is fascinating and inspiring. He wasn’t always an ultra-endurance athlete and for most of his life would not have been on the list of the top million fittest men. He was a slightly overweight attorney who had an addiction to drugs and alcohol. As he says in his profile on his website, it was “an addiction that led him astray for the next decade, alienating friends, colleagues and family, landing him in jails, institutions and ultimately rehab at age 31.”
His real life epiphany occurred on the eve of his 40th birthday when he was climbing a flight of stairs. Nearly 50 pounds overweight, Rich buckled over in pain, sure he was going to have a heart attack. The very next day he completely overhauled his life. He became a dedicated vegan, started running and swimming, and began a quest to participate in the Ultraman competition.
As his profile describes, “Two years later, 50 pounds lighter, and fueled by nothing but plants, he surprised the triathlon & ultra communities by not only becoming the first vegan to complete the 320-mile über-endurance event, but by finishing in the top 10 males (3rd fastest American) with the 2nd fastest swim split — all despite having never previously completed even a half-ironman distance triathlon.”
Since then Rich has accomplished many amazing feats including completing the Epic5 Challenge – an odyssey that entailed completing 5 ironman-distance triathlons on 5 islands of Hawaii in under a week. He’s also the author the bestselling book Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World’s Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself, and founder of the wildly popular Rich Roll Podcast, which persistently is on the iTunes top-10 lists. He’s also a motivational speaker, husband, father of four, and inspiration to people worldwide as an example of courageous and healthy living.
During my interview with Rich, I asked him how regular people, who will likely never become ultra-endurance athletes, can change their lives by adopting some of his healthy habits.