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August 22, 2019
“It doesn’t matter what other people think. Not everyone is going to always support you 100% but as long as you are doing you and you know that you’re becoming a better person then that’s what’s important.”  Gwen Jorgensen How does a relatively conservative, risk averse person evolve into an unbreakable champion? Someone confident enough to put everything on the line for an audacious dream? This is the story of Gwen Jorgensen — an accountant turned ‘Queen of Triathlon’ who walked away from swim-bike-run at the peak of her powers to ply her skills in an entirely new discipline: the marathon. Gwen’s athletic career began as a swimmer, competing at the University of Wisconsin as a walk on before making the switch to track & field, maturing into an NCAA standout and Big 10 Champion. But the end of college marked the end of her athletic ambitions. She declined a professional running career to instead join Ernst & Young as a CPA. It took relentless pursuit, but USA Triathlon eventually lured Gwen back to sport. Within two years, Gwen made her first Olympic team and would go on to dominate her new sport, accumulating 2 Triathlon World Champion titles, 17 ITU World Triathlon Series wins and 2 Olympic berths, culminating in gold at the 2016 Games in Rio. After a year off racing to give birth to her son Stanley, Gwen announced her retirement from triathlon, along with a brazen new goal: to win marathon gold in Tokyo. It’s a feat no American woman has accomplished since Joan Benoit Samuelson broke the tape at the inaugural women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympiad. A few weeks ago I was invited by Jaybird Sport to join a group of adventure-seeking endurance junkies in Montana’s Glacier National Park. The official occasion was to celebrate the launch of Jaybird’s new Vista wireless earbuds (which I’m loving by the way). The unofficial occasion was to retreat and connect — old-school, analog campfire style — with like-minded, high vibration humans. It’s a group that included Gwen and husband Patrick Lemieux, as well as a few former podcast guests like Knox Robinson (RRP #394), Timothy Olson (RRP #78), and Sanjay Rawal (RRP #389). This podcast is a product of that uniquely beautiful experience — a great conversation and audience Q&A conducted outdoors with my fellow Jaybird retreat attendees. It’s about Gwen’s career. Her philosophy on training and racing. Overcoming injury. And the why behind her decision to pursue the marathon. It’s about how her ambitious dream was received by the running community, and what she has learned training alongside legends like Shalane Flanagan at the Bowerman Track Club. It’s about her ‘Champion Only’ mindset. The nature of her motivation. The importance of agency — the freedom to forge her own unique path. And why this power is so crucial to Gwen’s success and happiness. Finally, we explore how she balances her career as a full-time professional athlete against marriage, family and motherhood — and the crucial role Gwen’s husband Patrick (who makes a cameo appearance) plays in her success equation. But most of all, this is an exploration of the tension between risk and certainty. The rare courage required to walk away from success...
August 19, 2019
“We all have the unlimited power to shift our perspective, and with that the unlimited power to change the way we feel about life.”  Humble The Poet We craft our identity around story. And that story is comprised of beliefs. But you are not your beliefs. And that story isn’t just incomplete, it’s generally wrong. The path to self-actualization requires deconstructing that story. And disentangling your beliefs from the truth of your highest self. To do this we must unlearn much of what we reflexively accept as truth. And open ourselves to a more expansive perspective. My guest for this exploration is the Toronto-based, rapper, author and spoken word artist, Kanwer Singh, known broadly as Humble The Poet. Covered in tattoos, a thick beard, and Sikh head wrap, Humble commands attention with his silly smile and warm, inviting presence. A former school teacher turned artist, he challenges conventional wisdom with dynamic live sets that simultaneously entertain while questioning the status quo. Humble shares his distinctive style and point of view on his wildly popular blog. He’s been featured on a multitude of media outlets, including CBC’s Canada Reads, as well as on Apple’s first Canadian ad spot for their #ShotOnIphone campaign. He’s the author of Unlearn: 101 Simple Truths for A Better Life* and the upcoming book, Things No One Else Can Teach Us*, hitting bookstores everywhere October 15, 2019 and available for pre-order now. Flipping the script for happiness, Humble’s point is simple — our hardest moments are our greatest teachers, because they invite us to change our perspectives. We can’t control the setbacks in life but we do have the power to control how we react to them. It’s a process that begins with unlearning what we think we know. And being open to a new story — about ourselves, others and the world we share. This is a fun and wide-ranging conversation about that very shift. Sharing raw and honest stories from his own life — from his rocky start to becoming a rapper to nearly going broke to his worst breakups — it’s an exploration of how a change in mindset can radically alter our outlook. It’s about arresting our negative impulses to see the positive opportunity in everything. It’s about the power of gratitude and mindfulness. It’s about art, creativity, and authenticity. It’s about the difference between paying attention and getting attention. But mostly, it’s about the power of story. How you are not your beliefs. What we all may need to unlearn. And how a change in perspective about one’s own story can transform everything. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/humblethepoet461 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Humble brings great energy. I loved learning about his life and experience. And I sincerely hope you enjoy the listen. Peace + Plants, Photos courtesy of 
August 12, 2019
“Sometimes, we have to completely let go of intuitions that are actually giving us false information about reality.”  Annaka Harris What is consciousness? How does it arise? And why does it exist? We take ‘experience’ for granted. But the very existence of consciousness raises profound questions: Why would any collection of matter in the universe be conscious? How are we able to think about this? And why should we? Our guide for today’s philosophic and scientific exploration of these mysteries is Annaka Harris. An editor and consultant for science writers specializing in neuroscience and physics, Annaka is the author of the children’s book I Wonder, a collaborator on the Mindful Games Activity Cards, by Susan Kaiser Greenland, and a volunteer mindfulness teacher for the Inner Kids organization. Annaka’s work has appeared in The New York Times and all of her guided meditations and lessons for children are available on the Waking Up app, the digital meditation platform created by her husband Sam Harris — the renown author, public intellectual, blogger, and podcast host. Annaka’s latest book — which recently hit the New York Times bestseller list and provides the focus for today’s conversation — is entitled, Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind. A must-read for any and all curious about one of the Universe’s great mysteries, it’s a brief yet mind-bending read that challenges our assumptions about the nature, origin and purpose of consciousness. Equal parts nerdy and fun, this is a deeply profound conversation that tackles the very nature of consciousness itself — and what it means to be a living being having ‘an experience’. We discuss how Annaka became interested in this field and the path undertaken to writing this book. Parsing instinct from scientific fact, we deconstruct our assumptions about consciousness and grapple with its essential nature — what is consciousness exactly? And where does it physically reside? We discuss meditation and artificial intelligence. We dive into plant consciousness. We explore panpsychism (a theory I quite fancy). And we muse about the role of spirituality in scientific inquiry. All told, this tackles the current limits of science and human understanding and leaves us wondering, is it possible to truly understand everything? The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/annakaharris460 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. An intellectual delight from start to finish, I thoroughly enjoyed talking to Annaka and I sincerely hope you enjoy the listen.
August 8, 2019
“We will stay crippled in the darkness if we cannot feel compassion for the heart that is the darkest.”  Amanda Palmer Today’s guest is many things. A fiercely independent singer, songwriter and musician. A bestselling author and blogger. A playwright and director. A riveting speaker and a viral TED Talk-er. A crowdfunding mom. An ardent feminist. And a fearless activist. Living and breathing at the cutting edge of expression in all forms, Amanda Palmer is an iconic, bold and sui generis performer constantly innovating what it means to be an artist in the modern age. Getting her start as a busking eight-foot bride statue in Harvard Square, she would go on to form one-half of the inventive, punk cabaret act The Dresden Dolls before launching one of the most successful crowd-funded solo careers in music history. Leaning into her devoted audience to support her seemingly endless fount of creativity, Amanda helped resuscitate the ancient art of artistic patronage, giving us all permission to ask. And more importantly perhaps, the encouragement to receive. Further to this idea, The Art of Asking, Amanda’s sensational 2013 TED Talk, would go on to be viewed over 20 million times and led to her New York Times bestselling memoir, The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help*. Leveraging her legion of 15,000 Patreon supporters, Amanda’s career is wholly devoted to her adoring fans eager to support her creations. Her latest offering, There Will Be No Intermission, is a beautiful, haunting and powerful solo album and world tour that grapples with the very personal and social emotional landscape of abortion, miscarriage and death. This past May I had the good fortune to witness Amanda’s epic 4 1/2 hour show at the Ace Theatre here in LA. I was extremely moved by it. And even more privileged to host this conversation with her the following day. This is a conversation about what it means to be radically compassionate — open-hearted to even those we deem undeserving — and why humanity depends on empathy for its survival. It’s about the strength that can be gathered when we’re courageous enough to be truly vulnerable. It’s about the perniciousness of perfectionism — the true enemy of creative expression. Why asking help is so hard, but crucial — also welcome. And some uncomfortable truths about my hero Henry David Thoreau. Hint: it involves donuts. In the spirit of vulnerability, I’ll freely admit I was a bit nervous and intimidated — I mean who wouldn’t be? Nonetheless, it was an honor to spend an hour with one of the great creative voices of our time. I’m delighted to share the experience with you today. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/amandapalmer459 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Enjoy! Peace + Plants, Photos courtesy of Ali Rogers. Listen, Watch & Subscribe
August 5, 2019
“The key to being positive and happy is doing what you love. I’m very lucky to still be able to do that. I don’t have a ‘Plan B’. I never really had one. I just live my life.”  Toby Morse Tattoos. High intensity sound. Stage diving. For the unfamiliar, it’s chaos. Scary. Violent, even. But to today’s guest, being hardcore straight edge is magical — a grassroots community dedicated to art, not anarchy. Celebrating life. And making the world a better place. Best known around the world as the charismatic, energetic and always smiling front man for hardcore punk band H2O, Toby Morse was raised by a single mom in Massachusetts before moving to New York City in 1988 with a dream of becoming a musician. Immersing himself in the burgeoning punk rock scene of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, he worked odd jobs. He was a roadie. And in 1994, inspired by Bad Brains, he formed a band that would ultimately become synonymous with the Straight Edge and Positive Mental Attitude (‘PMA”) movements. Their self-titled debut album came out in 1996. Over the years, H2O has played alongside acts like No Doubt and Misfits. In 1998 and 1999 they joined the Warped Tour. Still together, the band continues to pack venues the world over, including a recent European tour that featured Toby’s teenage son Max on drums. A dedicated vegan who has never himself touched drugs or alcohol, Toby is also a family man, self-professed “Emo Dad” and the founder of One Life One Chance — a non-profit dedicated to inspiring elementary, middle and high school students to make healthy choices and live a drug-free life. Through public speaking engagements, Toby informs kids how possible it is to maintain PMA, break stereotypes, be a leader, and maintain self-respect. Toby first came on my radar a couple years ago by way of podcast favorite, Cro-Mags frontman and fellow hardcore PMA warrior John Joseph. A friend of JJ’s is a friend of mine, so I got hip to Toby’s Instagram and quickly fell in love with his consistent flow of uplifting posts. His family-centric high vibe. The gentle, beautiful and uncompromising way he celebrates individuality, honoring the misfits and uplifting the weirdos. And his unwavering commitment to serving kids with his enthusiastic message of hope and positivity. I needed to know more. So here we are. Of course, this is a conversation about Toby’s life. Being raised by older brothers who taught him to skate, introduced him to the music that would define his life and scared him straight. It’s about what he learned about life from Bad Brains, Cro-Mags and Napoleon Hill. It’s about veganism. Parenting. Art. And, of course, PMA. But most of all, this is a conversation about honoring non-conformity — exalting what makes you uniquely you. It’s about the importance of community and family. And it’s about the courage to blaze your own path. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/tobymorse458 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. One thing is for sure — I’ve found a new friend in Toby. I’m inspired by his wisdom and example. And I’m honored to share his extraordinary life with you today. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe
July 29, 2019
“Gratitude and humility attract opportunity and success.”  Titus Welliver Hey it’s that guy. You know the guy, right? The guy with the crazy moustache in that Ben Affleck movie? The Man In Black from Lost? The Irish gangster in Sons of Anarchy? Oh, right. THAT GUY. Titus Welliver has one of the longest lists of working actor credits in Hollywood. Nonetheless, this über-talented veteran of stage and screen spent most of his storied career slightly outside Tinsletown’s white hot spotlight. But that changed with the 2014 premier of Amazon’s Original Series Bosch. A hardboiled noir crime procedural based on a series of Michael Connelly novels, the show caught fire and is currently in production on its sixth season. Suffice it to say, Titus’ heavily lauded portrayal of  L.A.P.D. detective Harry Bosch landed him center on the zeitgeist stage. But this man is much more than an amazing actor finally enjoying his moment. He is a friend. And a true artist. Raised by a fashion illustrator mom and celebrated landscape painter Neil Welliver, Titus spent his formative years surrounded by a community of influential poets, writers, photographers and fine artists. Initially a painter himself, his father taught young Titus early and often that creative mastery required discipline. Patience. And a work ethic as rugged as New England winters. Perhaps an artist’s life was pre-destined for Titus. But his early passion for painting would eventually be displaced by a love of theater. It’s a career that would eventually put him on a trajectory to work alongside some of the most brilliant minds in storytelling. People like David Milch, the creator of NYPD Blue, Deadwood and John From Cincinatti, who would become a father figure to Titus. Steven Bochco, producer of Hill Street Blues and L.A. Law. And Ben Affleck, who has cast Titus in all of his movies: Gone Baby Gone, The Town and Argo. In fact, it’s been said that Titus has appeared in literally everything. This is a conversation about what it means to live a creative life. What is required to succeed an artist. And what it’s like to devote your life to mastering a craft. We talk about how personal loss and fatherhood informs his process. Why gratitude and humility attract opportunity. And the importance of self-confidence, belief and personal drive in the artistic success equation. While art is subjective, not all art warrants merit. Bad art exists. And there is indeed an objective truth to good art. Titus is dedicated to this ethos. Today he shares his story. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/TitusWelliver457 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. I love this man. And it’s a privilege to share his wisdom and experience with you today. I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | YouTube | 
July 25, 2019
“The biggest problem we all face is the story that we tell ourselves of what our lives have been. It’s keeping us in a box. The ‘cubicle’ you’re really living in is your story.”  Zach Bush, MD He’s back! One of the most fascinating and popular guests to grace this platform, Today Zach Bush, MD returns for a third mind-altering bend around the multiverse. For the uninitiated, Zach’s varied interests belie attempts to properly define him — but I’ll give it a try. One of the few triple board certified physicians in America with expertise in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Hospice/Palliative care, he is the founder and director of M Clinic integrative health center in Virginia. In addition to his experience in functional medicine, longevity, autism, gut health, cancer, and many other areas of medicine, he is an avid environmentalist and activist involved in a multitude of projects that focus on ecology, regenerative agriculture, farmer well-being and spirituality. To advocate for soil health & food independence, Zach is also the creator of Farmer’s Footprint. Seen through the lens of farmers and their communities, it’s a documentary series & grassroots movement that evaluates the impact of monocrop farming and pesticide reliance on chronic disease and planetary health — while simultaneously exploring evidence-based solutions to rebuild living biodiversity and ultimately reverse climate change. But more than anything, Zach is a healer. A master consciousness. A gift to humanity. And someone I am very proud to call friend. Zach’s initial appearance on the podcast (RRP 353) blew minds across the world. Our second conversation (RRP 414) was one of the most moving conversations of my life. So it just seemed right to invite Zach and his holistic health coach, consultant and yoga teacher wife Jenn Perell Bush to join us on our recent retreat in Italy. If you listened to either of our previous conversations, it would be reasonable to expect this discussion to further explore the impact of industrialized food systems on human and ecological health. However, that assumption would be wrong. Instead, we delve inside to explore our individual and collective experience with pain, both psychic and physical. We deconstruct our unhealthy obsession with comfort. We stress test the stories we craft that form our identity, stunt our evolution, and ultimately hold us hostage. And we explore a new path to freedom — liberation from that which ails us so that we can self-actualize, and together embrace our inherent divinity. Akin to the recent episode with Gemma Newman, MD (RRP 449), this exchange was recorded before a live audience of retreat attendees in Italy (thus audio only) and concludes with Zach leading a meditation, edited down for time and the sake of the listener. In closing, I want to express gratitude for our extraordinary Plantpower Italia community, who were collectively moved to donate $81,000 towards Zach’s Farmer’s Footprint organization and docu-series. On behalf of Zach, Jenn and the organization, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. If Zach’s message moves you to get involved, you can learn more and donate at
July 22, 2019
“Where you’re born, how you’re born and how you grew up are not your destiny. You can change your destiny. If you do the work, you can be better tomorrow than you were yesterday.”  Matthew Futterman What is the secret to running impossibly fast? Or distances longer than previously imagined? Beginning in the 1960’s, an unknown farm boy turned coach named Bob Larsen launched a decades-long quest to find the ‘secret sauce’ of speed and endurance that would eventually revolutionize the sport and catapult American running onto the national stage. This is the story of how Larsen took turned a rag-tag group of also-ran junior college athletes called the Jamul Toads into cult-favorite national champions. Later, he would apply his secret training regimen to athletes like Meb Keflezighi and Deena Kastor to create victories at the New York and Boston Marathons as well as the Olympics. To unpack this incredible yarn, today I sit down with New York Times Deputy Sports Editor Matthew Futterman. A graduate of Union College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, Matthew has previously worked for The Wall Street Journal, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Star-Ledger of New Jersey, where he was a part of the team that won the Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News in 2005. An avid marathoner, Matthew became obsessed with the history of American distance running and the training innovations that create champions. The result of this quest is his new book, Running to the Edge: A Band of Misfits and the Guru Who Unlocked the Secrets of Speed. Part Bob Larsen biography and part autobiography, it’s a fascinating account of how one maverick coach discovered and developed the unorthodox paradigm that would launch American runners to unprecedented breakthroughs and ultimately inform the protocols of some of today’s most fleet of foot. From Bob Bowerman and Steve Prefontaine to the quest to break the 2-hour marathon, today’s exploration focuses on the science behind running performance. The ongoing quest to find the secret sauce of speed and endurance. And the evolving crusade to run faster and farther than ever before. It’s about what can be learned from Bob Larsen’s example, and the methods he pioneered that led to his stature as one of the greatest running coaches of all time. And it’s about our shared love for the sport of running. Even if running isn’t your thing, I think you will find this conversation compelling. The stories are legend. And the life lessons applicable across disciplines. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/matthewfutterman455 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange! Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | 
July 15, 2019
“The more you can be in this present moment and control what you can control, the better off you’re going to be.”  Mike Lee To be totally honest, I don’t follow the pugilistic arts all that closely. But professional boxer barely describes this week’s guest — a man who has faced stacked odds and overcome career-ending setbacks to meet the biggest moment of his life. Ask him how he did it, and Mike Lee answers with conviction: it’s all about mindset. A professional light heavyweight boxer currently 21 – 0 with 11 knockouts, this Saturday, July 20th Mike will be fighting for his first world title against Caleb Plant — the current Undefeated IBF Super Middleweight World Champion. It’s Mike’s first fight in 13 months. On the other hand, Plant (18-0 with 10 knockouts) is fresh off his biggest victory. Suffice it to say, it’s shaping up to be quite the bout. And it’s all going down live on Fox PBC, live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Hardly your average fighter, what compels me about Mike is the unique path he’s blazed to arrive at this place. This is a guy who studied business at Notre Dame, where he relaxed by reading The Wall Street Journal and watching CNBC. When he graduated in 2009 with a 3.8 GPA in finance, he was welcomed with lucrative opportunities on Wall Street. But then he takes the road less traveled, turning every job offer down to pursue a lifelong dream: winning Chicago’s Golden Gloves. He did just that. The following year, he went pro, winning his first two professional fights. The national spotlight shone bright. Endorsement contracts followed. The boxing world, it appeared, was his oyster. You might say the rest is history. But that belies the severity of his next bout — a fight for his life that blindsided him outside the ring. At the peak of his career, after knocking out Tyler Seever in 2012, Mike fell prey to a mysterious health condition that would bench him for over two years. Experiencing great pain in his joints, severe headaches and debilitating chronic fatigue, doctors struggled to determine the cause. Some believed it was psychological. Others prescribed a multitude of drugs, none of which resolved his underlying predicament. But all of them told him he would never fight again. The hospital bed had become home. His identity challenged, he suddenly felt worthless, succumbing to a deep depression. Nonetheless, Mike never gave up hope. He committed to seeking alternative and non-traditional solutions, which culminated in a diagnosis: an auto-immune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis. A version of arthritis, AS can be devastating both physically and mentally for anyone, let alone a professional athlete who pushes his body to the limit every day. The path forward hasn’t been easy. Mike wakes up in pain every day. But he’s gone all in on this comeback. And that’s something worth all of us getting behind. Layered with life lessons and formative takeaways, this is a conversation about the value of perseverance. It’s about deploying a potent mindset to keep your dream live, no matter the circumstances. It’s about visualizing success. And it’s about the importance of always giving back. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/mikelee454 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. An exemplary ambassador of sport, I really enjoyed Mike. I think you will too. And don’t forget to tune in to
July 11, 2019
“You are here now. Make the most of it and change what’s not working. It’s crucial.” Jeff Gordinier Why is great food important? How and why did restaurants become culturally significant? And what life lessons can be gleaned from the world’s greatest chef? There is no more enthusiastic ringmaster for this exploration than the merry man of food himself, Jeff Gordinier. A writer, journalist and author who sits at the converging junction of food and culture, Jeff is a frequent contributor to the New York Times and currently serves as the Food and Drinks editor at Esquire Magazine. A graduate of Princeton University where he studied writing and poetry, Jeff is a former writer and editor for Entertainment Weekly, editor at large for Details magazine and over the years has written about music and culture for a multitude of national publications, including Travel + Leisure, GQ, Elle, Creative Nonfiction, Spin, Poetry Foundation, Fortune, and many others. The occasion for today’s conversation is Jeff’s new book, Hungry: Eating, Road-Tripping, and Risking It All with the Greatest Chef in the World*. Equal parts mid-life crisis autobiography, adventure travelogue and biography, it chronicles the four years Jeff spent traveling with René Redzepi, the renowned chef of Copenhagen’s Noma — recently fêted as the #2 best restaurant in the world — in search of the most tantalizing flavors the world has to offer. And yet, the book really isn’t about food. A meditation on risk, re-invention, creative breakthroughs, and human connection, it sits atop my recommended summer reads. I first met Jeff in 2015 when he visited our home for a New York Times feature he was penning on the rise of veganism. Dubbed Vegans Go Glam, the piece caught fire, including a day spent as the #1 most e-mailed story on the entire New York Times website. Suffice it say, this was an insanely big moment for us, and the plant-based movement at large. In the aftermath of that experience, Jeff and I struck up a friendship  He sent me an early copy of Hungry, which I devoured. It left me wanting to know more about Jeff. About food culture. About the mysterious René Redzepi. And what can be learned about life from this charismatic, cult-like genius redefining cutting-edge cuisine. So here we are. This is a conversation about total commitment to mastery. It’s about creative expression. It’s about the cruciality of constant, fearless re-invention. It’s about investing in experience. And it’s about the importance of deep human connection — to others, oneself, and the environment we share. As an anecdotal aside, it is this conversation that inspired my recent and uncharacteristically spontaneous decision to join Jeff and fellow food writer Adam Platt in Copenhagen a few weeks back. A once-in-a-lifetime, seat of our pants adventure I won’t soon forget, we toured the city with René and his head fermentation wizard David Zilber (a seriously fascinating dude in his own right). We experienced the Noma phenomenon behind the scenes. And we enjoyed the premier of the restaurant’s new forage-forward Plant Kingdom menu — a truly psychedelic experience incomparable to anything I have previously encountered. For more,
July 8, 2019
“What I really care about is connecting people.” Miguel McKelvey The tectonic plates of the workplace landscape are rapidly shifting. Gone are the days of multi-decade corporate allegiance, replaced with project-based careers. The rapid rise of the freelance economy. And a labor core increasingly distributed across the globe. What are the economic and social implications of this trend? How can the traditional office be re-imagined to fit this escalating movement? And what role can architecture and design play to deepen community and foster personal happiness? There is no better steward to explore these important questions than this week’s guest, Miguel McKelvey. A talented, multi-disciplinary designer and entrepreneur, Miguel is the Co-Founder of WeWork — the ubiquitous, communal co-working space company — where he currently serves as the Chief Culture Officer, directing construction, architecture and web design for the business. Raised on a commune in Oregon, Miguel earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Oregon, where he played on the Oregon Ducks basketball team for two years. Prior to WeWork, Miguel created the design framework and led the national retail roll-out for 170 American Apparel stores. Subsequently, he was involved in the early-stage development of several companies, including Green Desk, Barre3, Versation, and English, Baby! Because Miguel shares responsibility for creating and leading one of the world’s most successful companies, one might predictably suspect this is a conversation about business. It is not. To be sure, we track his entrepreneurial journey. But this man’s success has less to do with commerce and more to do with purpose. A deep commitment to community. And an intentional life devoted to fostering meaningful human connection. Over the course of two and a half hours, we explore how Miguel’s unusual upbringing in a five-mother commune and his experience playing NCAA Division I basketball created the ‘Communitarian’ philosophy that would later inform the cultural foundation for WeWork. We discuss Miguel’s love of architecture and the important role design plays in modeling our professional and personal lives. How growing up in the town that produced Nike inspired an entrepreneurial drive to create an aspirational brand. And what his career at American Apparel taught him about engaging consumer culture at scale. But more than anything, this is a conversation with a remarkably humble man driven by gratitude and purpose to create new and original habitats that fuel a more connected world — and ultimately more fulfilling lives. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/miguelmckelvey452 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Final Thing (and it’s a big one): I’m excited to announce my first LIVE SHOW will take place on the evening of Friday, September 27, 2019 at the gorgeous and historic 1,100 seat Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles. The event will entail a live podcast with special guests (to be announced), and promises to be an immersive, entertaining experience tailored to a live audience. As a gesture of thanks, Patreon subscribers will have exclusive access (by way of a code sent to you and available in my latest Patreon post) for two days to grab the best seats before tickets are made available to the public
July 1, 2019
“Character matters.” Dave Roll For reasons both obvious and perhaps less so, this week’s episode holds a very special place in my heart. There is something unique about sitting before a microphone that permits a species of conversation difficult to otherwise have. Done right, the inherent formality of putting it all on the record can countenance an experience of rare intimacy that scarcely transpires in the course of conventional human interaction. From the very beginning of this podcast journey, I’ve longed to host my father on the show. To provide a ceremonial opportunity to probe his life, uninterrupted. To learn things about him I’ve always wanted to know — but for whatever reason just never found the right occasion to ask. For years, I harbored the fear that if I didn’t make such an experience a priority, it might never happen. And that would be something I would deeply regret for the rest of my days. My drive was never to share such an experience with an audience. I wasn’t convinced the conversation I yearned for would be appropriate for public consumption. It’s always been about creating a moment just for us. A document I could privately keep for posterity. And for my children. However, a compelling reason recently arose to transform this rumination into reality. A gentleman and a scholar, Dave Roll has spent the better part of his life studying history. The apex of this passion is an incredible new book entitled, George Marshall: Defender of the Republic*. An enthralling and deeply thoughtful chronicle of America’s most distinguished soldier since George Washington, it’s also a deeply prescient and timely meditation on selflessness, leadership, and the momentous importance of moral character in political and social structures. The embodiment of these ideals, Marshall influenced the course of two world wars, and helped define the American century. By way of background, my dad has enjoyed a very successful 35 year career as an accomplished attorney in the field of antitrust. Over the years, he successfully defended clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. After government service at the FTC he matriculated to partner and ultimately managing partner of the prestigious Washington, D.C.- based international law firm Steptoe & Johnson. Later in his career, he founded the Lex Mundi Pro Bono Foundation, a non-profit, public interest organization that provides pro bono legal services to social entrepreneurs around the world. Now in his third act, Dave is enjoying a successful career as an author. Also historical biographies, his previous titles include The Hopkins Touch: Harry Hopkins and the Forging of the Alliance to Defeat Hitler* and Louis Johnson and the Arming of America*, a biography of Harry Truman’s defense secretary. Hitting bookstores July 9 (
June 24, 2019
“Affecting my physical body is a way for me to reach inside my soul. Suffering allows me to access who I am emotionally.” Rebecca Rusch This week I sit down with Rebecca Rusch – one of the world’s greatest adventure athletes. Rebecca is a 7-time World Champion, best-selling author, activist, and Emmy winner. In addition to superhuman success on a mountain bike, she has performed at the elite level across a multitude of disciplines including rock climbing, white water rafting, and multi-day adventure events like Eco Challenge. Still crushing it at 50, Rebecca is redefining human capability in real time. Beyond athletics, Rebecca is a TEDx speaker, author of Rusch To Glory* and the founder of the Be Good Foundation. In addition, she is the event producer of Rebecca’s Private Idaho, a bike race in her hometown of Ketchum, and the protagonist in Blood Road, an extraordinary documentary that chronicles her 1,800 km mountain bike adventure along the Ho Chi Minh Trail to reach the site where her U.S. Air Force pilot father was shot down in Laos more than 40 years earlier during Vietnam. Dubbed ‘The Queen of Pain’ by Adventure Sports magazine, Rebecca was named #6 on Active.com’s list of the World’s Top 100 Athletes, Singletrack.com’s Mountain Biker of the Year, Sports Illustrated Adventure Racing Team of the Year, and Outside magazine’s Top 20 Female Athletes of the Year. Rebecca’s accomplishments are beyond impressive. But today’s conversation lives beyond elite performance to explore things like curiosity. The richness of adventure. Feeding the soul. Continuous personal growth. Redefining age. Contributing to the greater good. And giving back. But most of all, this is about what can be gleaned by leaning into the unknown. And living outside the comfort zone. Because there is so much more to this incredible woman than athletic prowess. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with Rebecca. My hope is that it leaves you re-evaluating your personal limits. And inspired to live more adventurously. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/rebeccarusch450 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Peace + Plants, Photos courtesy of Ali Rogers Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts Thanks to this week’s sponsors Quip: Your one stop solution for oral health!
June 20, 2019
“Stay positive. Make a change for yourself. Tell others about your change. Feel good and hopefully, the message will spread.” Gemma Newman Recorded live during our recent Plantpower Italia retreat in Tuscany, I’m delighted to share a fun and highly informative conversation and audience Q&A with the delightful, whip-smart “Plant Power Doctor” herself. Gemma Newman, MD has worked in medicine for 15 years, the last decade serving as Senior Partner at a family medical practice in the U.K.. She studied at the University of Wales College of Medicine and has worked in many specialities as a doctor including elderly care, endocrinology, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, general surgery, urology, vascular surgery, rehabilitation medicine and General Practice. In recent years she has developed a specialist interest in plant-based nutrition and lifestyle medicine, serving as an advisory board member of Plant Based Health Professionals UK. On the daily, she provides nutrition and lifestyle advice to her patients, who have gained tremendous results using the power of their plate. As a broadcaster and writer she has been featured on numerous national press outlets including ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky News Sunrise. She is a regular contributor Glamour, Zest and Health magazines and has appeared in the feature film Vegan 2018. Gemma’s journey to plant-based advocacy isn’t rooted in ideology or moral compunction, but rather on hard science matched with self-experimentation. As a young doctor in a high-pressure environment, like many newly minted physicians she began neglecting her own health. Struggling with her weight, and having bought into the background hum of ‘cut the carbs’, she adopted a low carb diet. Calorie counting ensued, combined with a modest daily exercise routine. It worked. Sort of. Dropping from a size 18 to a size 8, she was feeling pretty good about herself. Then she checked her blood profile to discover an elevated lipid profile, markers suggesting a tendency to heart disease. She shrugged off to genetics. Both her father and grandfather died relatively young of atherosclerosis. It’s just something I was born with. Something I just have to live with. Nonetheless, she couldn’t shake the feeling that perhaps there was something she could do to alter this seemingly immutable fate. Meanwhile, Gemma’s husband Richard picked up a little book called Finding Ultra while training for the London Marathon. He decided to give this plant-based diet thing a whirl. Being the skeptical doctor she is, Gemma was less than enthusiastic. Where would he get his protein? Won’t there be nutritional deficiencies? We will never be invited to friend’s houses for dinner ever again! How would I feed my family?  Undeterred, Richard completed that marathon, slicing an incredible one hour and ten minutes off his personal best. This got Gemma’s attention. She had already been passionate about researching lifestyle medicine. How changes in stress, sleep, exercise and diet could improve health for a long time. But nothing was to prepare her for the powerful transformations that were possible when people embraced a whole-food plant-based diet. Hence ensued a deep dive into medical literature, scientific research, and self-experimentation. Today we explore the result of Gemma’s journey. How it transformed her life and medical practice wholesale. And the simple changes you can make and sustain to improve your well-being for the long-term.
June 17, 2019
“If you have a spiritual life, it is for you. It is not something you should inflict on other people.” Russell Brand Every podcaster has their dream list — guests they fantasize interviewing. From day one, today’s guest has occupied my top slot. Officially, Russell Brand is one of the most recognizable and best-loved comedy performers in the world. He is also is also a phenomenally successful author, broadcaster, actor, columnist, political commentator and mental health & drug rehabilitation activist. His global bestselling books include Revolution*, Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions*, and his latest release, Mentors: How to Help and Be Helped*. Now a devoted dad and husband, when he isn’t touring or performing he can be found hosting Under The Skin on Luminary, one of my very favorite podcasts. Unofficially, Russell is iconic for his very public awakening. A recovering heroin addict, his struggles with drugs, sex, fame, money and power were custom tailored for tabloid fodder. And his satirical but always probing takes on politics, celebrity culture and religion often find him in the crosshairs of controversy. I think of Russell as a hyper-intelligent master of modern discourse and disputation. Perpetually armed with a most delicious turn-of-phrase, he is a philosopher of the extreme. A man who has voyaged to the brink of overindulgence, he has returned to share the unique personal wisdom gleaned from such surfeit with razor-sharp musings on the broader humanity we collectively share — and have a laugh along the path. With a sui generis brew of eccentric wit, subversive candor and extreme charm, Russell grapples fearlessly and out loud with that which lays beneath the surface. With the ideas that define our time. Of the history we are told. And the ulterior truth behind our constructed reality. What is truly real? How can we craft a more fair and just society for all? How can we live a more intentional life of meaning? What does it mean be a spiritual being in a human existence? Today we voyage beyond the walls of our constructed material world. We dive into The Matrix. And to coin Russell’s phrase, lick the walls of the hologram. I’m absolutely delighted by this magical, modern-day mystic. Once a dream, this conversation is now a tangible reality. Or is it? Either way, I sincerely hope you relish the conversation as much as I adored having it. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/russellbrand448 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Peace + Plants, Photos courtesy of
June 10, 2019
“Simply put, humans are not wired to be constantly wired.” Cal Newport It’s become increasingly harder to just put the phone down. Because the latest apps and digital platforms are specifically designed to addict, we have become slaves to their irresistible allure. Our precious attention is being hijacked. The ability to focus — to concentrate on that which is most meaningful — simply cannot compete with the magnetic pull of our Instagram feed. No longer need anyone ever be bored. Alone with one’s thoughts. Or simply present with one’s self.  The result is a global epidemic of distraction. A fomenting of loneliness and isolation. And a degradation of our humanity. The solution isn’t Ludditism. Instead it’s agency. We need not be victims of technology. We have the power to liberate ourselves from the tether of digital dependency. And the freedom it creates isn’t just the salve to what ails us, it’s the gateway to that which we seek most. Meaning. True human connection. And a reconnection with our innate humanity. Indeed, there is no substitute for real relationships. Boredom is useful. And focus is the new superpower. Cal Newport is someone who has spent a lot of time thinking deeply about these issues. An associate professor of computer science at Georgetown University, Cal is the author of six books, many of which focus on the impact of technology on society. The primary focus of today’s conversation is rooted in his latest New York Times bestseller, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World*. Cal’s work has been published in over 20 languages. He is a frequent guest on NPR and has been featured in many major publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker, Washington Post, and Economist. Regular listeners know I have a penchant for dropping Cal’s name with regularity. I became acquainted with his work in early 2016 by way of his seminal book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in A Distracted World* — pages that profoundly impacted how I think about and apply my attention. We struck up an e-mail friendship. And I’ve been trying to track him down for the podcast ever since. People often ask me which books have influenced me the most. The aforementioned two rank close to the top — manifestos of great practical import for our modern age. Similarly, I estimate that this episode rates among the most consequential conversations I’ve had in the 6+ year history of this podcast. Packed with practical, actionable steps, Cal’s message will empower you to free up precious time. Declutter your mind. Connect you more deeply to the work and relationships you care most about. And profoundly improve the quality of your professional and personal lives. It was an absolute pleasure to spend time with Cal. I sincerely hope you not only enjoy the listen, but heed his message, and put his advice into action. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/calnewport447 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Peace + Plants,
June 7, 2019
“Human existence is but the blink of an eye. It doesn’t take much research to think about how we evolved and why we evolve the way that we do.” Dr. Sanjay Gupta Western medicine is extraordinary. Over the last several decades, scientific advances in the diagnosis and treatment of previously thought incurable diseases has utterly transformed how we live. But with these breakthroughs comes an arrogance — a hubris that modalities outside the very narrow rubric of our dominant paradigm are without value — archaic, outdated legacies of less developed cultures. But is this always the case? Or do lessons remain to be learned by taking a critical but objective look at how other societies approach health and well-being? This question nagged at Sanjay Gupta, MD. So he decided to find answers for himself. For those unfamiliar, Sanjay is the associate chief of neurosurgery at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital and assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine. But most people know him as the multiple Emmy-award winning chief medical correspondent for CNN. In his tenure as a journalist he has spent decades covering everything from the 2003 invasion of Iraq to the Haiti earthquake in 2010, where he performed surgery on a 12-year-old girl earthquake victim along with Henri Ford and two U.S. Navy doctors. If that’s not enough, this dad, husband, and novelist was named among “The Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine and in 2009 was selected for the position of Surgeon General by President Barack Obama — a job he declined. To answer the aforementioned question, Sanjay spent the last year traveling the world, finding where people live longer, happier and more functional lives than anywhere else on the planet. The result of his quest is the recently-aired CNN Original Series Chasing Life — must-see TV if you haven’t caught it already. Today we cover his origin story and incredible career. We discuss the responsibility of journalism in the era of alternative facts — and the role storytelling has played in his personal brand of reporting. We talk about his time in the White House, what it’s like covering overseas conflict zones overseas, and how he manages his work- life balance. In addition, we canvass the current state of health care in America, what he learned about health, happiness and longevity in the course of producing Chasing Life, and the not to be overstated incredible impact Sanjay has had on my own life. Over the years Sanjay has become a good friend, as well as a mentor to me. He is someone I have wanted to get on the show from day one. I love this guy, and I’m delighted to help share his story with you today. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/sanjaygupta446 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Peace + Plants, Photos of Sanjay with Rich courtesy of Ali Rogers Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | YouTube | 
June 3, 2019
“We are, by definition, an ecosystem. The microbiome reveals a more connected biology, radically transforming our approach to medicine, hygiene, diet, and living.” Ara Katz & Raja Dhir Our bodies are comprised of about ten trillion cells. But our microbiome — all the bacteria, viruses, and fungi that live in or on our bodies – outnumber human cells by a factor of 10. Indeed, we are far more microorganism than human. Moreover, rapidly developing science reveals the vast extent to which the nature of our personal microbiome drives not only our propensity for disease and digestive health, but also, quite surprisingly, can dictate our mental disposition, cognitive function, and even our specific food cravings. Today we take a magnifying glass to the mind-blowing netherworld of microbiota to illuminate their implications not just on human health, but the well-being of planet Earth at large. Our stewards for this fantastic voyage are Ara Katz and Raja Dhir, the co-founders of Seed, a venture backed microbiome company at the pioneering edge of bacteria science. Ara is a serial entrepreneur and fellow at the MIT Media Lab’s Center for Future Storytelling and CCA’s DesignMBA program. She was named one of the “50 Most Influential Women in America” by Marie Claire, listed on Business Insider’s “Silicon Alley Top 100” and “36 Rockstar Women in NYC Tech”, and was recently included in Create + Cultivate’s 100 List for STEM. One of the most knowledgeable people I have ever met when it comes to our rapidly evolving understanding of the microbiome, Raja is a life sciences entrepreneur and a member of the Microbiome Think Tank at Mass General Hospital. He sits on the editorial board for the scientific journal Microbiome as well as the advisory committee for the International Scientific Association for Probiotics and Prebiotics. In addition, he is a director and co-chair of the scientific advisory board for Micropia, a $20MM microbial ecology and education platform as well as the world’s first museum dedicated to microbes. Today we cover it all. First, we define the microbiome. We discuss the difference between prebiotics and probiotics. And to cut through the consumer confusion fomented by gut health commodification, we separate fact from fiction by examining the difference between an effective priobiotic and the countless food and supplement products simply marketed as such. Most importantly, we explore what the latest science tells us about the power of microbes to heal our bodies, positively impact childhood development, reinvigorate the quality of our soil and improve the overall ecology of Planet Earth — including some amazing work Ara & Raja are doing with bee populations. Seed Offer: As a simple thanks for listening, Ara & Raja wanted to offer all of you a gift. For 20% off your first month’s supply of their Daily Synbiotic, go to seed.com/richroll and simply use the code RICHROLL at checkout. Disclosure: In my opinion, Seed’s Daily Synbiotic it is the highest quality probiotic I have tested (which is one of the reasons I wanted to have them on the show). Rigorously evidence-based, I’ve been using this product for the last several months to great effect. However, I have zero financial involvement with the company. Seed is not a show sponsor. Ara & Raja did not pay me to appear on the podcast. (I have never accepted money for a guest to appear on the show and never will). Nor am I an affiliate of Seed. In other words, I get a big zero from you using the above-mentioned discount code other than the satisfaction of sharing a product I myself enjoy. The work Ara & Raja are doing at Seed is equal parts ...
May 26, 2019
“Quitting alcohol isn’t just for alcoholics.” Andy Ramage Over the years, I have openly shared my personal journey with alcoholism and that of many guests. A lifeline for the desperate many that struggle in silence, I do this to underscore that there is always hope, no matter how far down you find yourself. But what if you’re not an alcoholic? What if you, like millions of people, occasionally drink just a little too much? Even though it doesn’t destroy your life, it leaves you feeling off. You’re tired of the hangovers, the lethargy and the low grade depression it provokes. You’d prefer to stop. But because drinking is integral to your social or professional life, opting out seems impossible. What then? This week’s guest faced this very predicament, a relatable scenario for a vast number of people. The only difference? Andy Ramage decided to do something about it. A former professional footballer (as they say in the UK), a career-ending injury prompted Andy to hang up the cleats and enter the world of finance. Channeling his work ethic, it didn’t take long for him to become successful in the traditional sense, co-creating two multimillion-dollar city brokerages. But doing well in banking ‘required’ (or so he thought) drinking. Lots of drinking. Long Mad Men style booze-soaked client lunches. Countless happy hours, pub crawls, and cocktail soirées, followed by clubbing and the occasional after party. It’s just what you gotta do to play the game. Andy didn’t necessarily have a drinking ‘problem’. But the lifestyle left him drained. Listless. And looking for a change. Bucking the unwritten rules of his professional environment, he decided to to take a break from alcohol and embarked instead on a quest for peak performance and well-being. It stuck. Not only did Andy feel markedly better, his work performance improved. His relationships became more meaningful. He fell back in love with the simple things that brought him joy as a young lad. Slowly, a new world of life opportunities began to emerge. Transformed, Andy enthusiastically began sharing his experience, challenging friends and colleagues to quit the booze for 28, 90 or even 365-days. What he didn’t know was that the friendly contest he concocted among peers would soon explode into a full-blown international movement he ultimately dubbed One Year No Beer. Today, Andy and his friend Ruari Fairbairns have birthed OYNB into a world-leading behavioral change platform offering instruction and support for a variety of alcohol free challenges. Their companion book, The 28-Day Alcohol-Free Challenge* is a UK bestseller (now available in the U.S.*). To date, their endeavors have inspired over 50,000 people to boot the bottle and invest instead in well-being. I first met Andy two years ago when he turned up for our Plantpower Ireland retreat. Fast friends from the outset, I’ve wanted to share his story ever since. Alcoholism is a self-diagnosed disease. Left untreated, it will progress, ultimately leading you to one of three places: jail, institutions, or death. So if you are a true alcoholic, or a sober member of a certain unnamed 12-step program, Andy’s message isn’t necessarily aimed at you.
May 23, 2019
“Always focus on how far you’ve come, not how far you have to go.”  Doug Bopst Admittedly, It’s a thrill to converse with renown experts, world-class athletes and celebrities. But the most rewarding aspect of my job is occasionally turning my spotlight on the everyman — relatable people who have conquered adversity to reinvent themselves wholesale, all in relative civilian anonymity. These people are a gift. Amplifying their stories isn’t just an honor. And it isn’t just my joy. I see it as a responsibility. Through these individuals we are better able to see ourselves. Their weaknesses, struggles and strengths mirror our own. Their relatability uniquely qualifies them to reflect back upon us our shared, collective humanity. In their victories we can connect more viscerally with our own inner power and potential. Today it’s my privilege to share yet another such story. This is the tale of Doug Bopst – an essentially normal kid who, like so many, suffered in silence from depression. To self-medicate he began experimenting with drugs in his teens. Smoking pot quickly evolved into a heavy opioid addiction. A day in the life involved snorting several hundred milligrams of OxyContin, complemented by a pack of cigarettes and the occasional cheesesteak. No exercise. No interest in maintaining relationships with anyone who didn’t do drugs. No self-confidence. And no care for tomorrow. At 21, it all came to a head. High on opiates and on his way to make a drug deal, a cop pulled Doug over for a broken taillight. The officer found $2,000 in cash plus half a pound of marijuana under the spare tire in the trunk. Promptly arrested on a felony drug charge, Doug ultimately served 2 months in jail. It was hardly the harshest sentence. But it was more than sufficient for Doug to hit bottom. Reflect on his errant path. And commit to an entirely new life. A life redeemed by sobriety, faith, fitness and family. I was initially introduced to Doug through my friend Amy Dresner (another sober warrior you may remember from episode 341) and knew immediately I wanted him on the show. In fairness to Doug, his story isn’t entirely that of the anonymous everyman. Now an award-winning personal trainer, author, and public speaker, his saga has been covered by a variety of media outlets, including The Today Show. But the press intrigue is driven by Doug’s innate relatability. And I’m fairly confident this conversation is the most complete chronicle of his life and redemption to date. This is a conversation about what it was like, what happened and what it’s like now. We cover the low lows. Hitting rock bottom. And exactly how he was able to conquer his demons and put the past in the rear view. It’s about the power of sobriety. Leaning on mentors. And how a love of fitness, spirituality, and putting service service first returned him to sanity. All told, it’s a story of redemption full stop — and I’m honored to help tell it. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube at: bit.ly/dougbopst443 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange. Peace + Plants, P.S. – I love my job. Photos courtesy of Ali Rogers
May 20, 2019
“There’s just no substitute for working hard.”  Jesse Thomas He’s one of the world’s most popular and accomplished professional triathletes. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this week’s guest — a humble athlete, proud dad, devoted husband and dedicated entrepreneur with a unique success equation: Work hard. Play harder. Love hardest. His name is Jesse Thomas. He’s rad. And this is his story. It begins with a stand out track and field career at Stanford and the Olympic steeplechase dream cut short by a career-ending injury. While later pursuing a masters degree in mechanical engineering, he picked up a bike and progressed so rapidly he entertained a professional cycling career. But that dream too was crushed when a spill left him with a fractured C1 vertebra, nine months in a neck brace, a plate and 4 titanium screws to hold it all together. Life as an athlete was over for Jesse. Or so he thought. Spending the next several years as a tech entrepreneur, Jesse got itchy. He didn’t like being out of shape. So he decided to do something about it. Fast forward to 2011. The stage was Wildflower, a prestigious and formidable half-ironman distance triathlon set in the idyllic rolling hills of central California. A complete unknown amateur, Jesse nonetheless won the race outright, shocking the triathlon community by dominating an impressive professional field on a borrowed bike and a pair of $9 aviator sunglasses he bought at the drug store. The victory was so unexpected, as Jesse crossed the finish line the race announcer had to ask, Who are you? The story is legend. And the rest is history. Jesse went on to become the first person to win that race three years in a row. And along his circuitous path as a professional, he has graced the podium at many of the most lauded triathlons in the world, including 3rd at the coveted Challenge Roth ironman distance event last summer. Jesse’s ability to out-exercise the rest of us is impressive. But it’s only a somewhat unrelatable fraction of what truly interests me about him. It’s who he is that compels me most — a person successfully alchemizing an insanely demanding training and racing schedule against the more relatable pressures of being a present dad, husband, podcast host (check out Work, Play, Love) and CEO of Picky Bars — the performance nutrition company he co-founded with his wife Lauren Fleshman, herself a prolific former professional runner with the most All-American accolades in Stanford athletics history. How does he do it all? Today we canvass a life in motion — from the Wildflower race that changed his life to his symbiotic relationship with entrepreneurship and family that fuels his purpose. We discuss the importance of coaches. Leaning on mentors. The challenges faced by the retiring athlete. And the conundrum of replacing sport with newfound purpose and passion. We explore the career importance of storytelling in the era of social media. Why he decided to start a podcast. And — most importantly — how he turned a cheap pair of aviator shades into a global multi-sport fashion trend. But more than anything, this is a conversation about balancing work, play, and family at the highest level of elite sport. It’s about facing and overcoming obstacles. The mindset required for success. And the work ethic entailed to achieve your dreams. Note: This episode was recorded in early March. At the time, Jesse was preparing to race his first true marathon. However, he subsequently suffered a stress fracture that required surgery. To give you an idea of how Jesse turns setbacks into opportunities,
May 14, 2019
“Awareness is peace.”  Pete Holmes Comedian! Writer! Author! Spiritual seeker! One of my favorite people, Pete Holmes needs no introduction. But I’m going to give it to you anyway. A stand up veteran with a cornucopia of comedy specials, television shows and late night appearances to his name, Pete is best known as the creator and star of the semi-autobiographical HBO show Crashing, a riotous and touching series he executive produced alongside Judd Apatow loosely based on Pete’s life in the early days of his comedy career. In addition, Pete hosts You Made It Weird – hands down one of my absolute favorite podcasts (I was honored to be a guest) — and is the author of the brilliant and just released Comedy Sex God*. Part autobiography, part philosophical inquiry, part sacred quest, I can’t recommend this book more highly. Equally hilarious and profound, it hits bookstores everywhere this week. Pick it up immediately*. Read. Ponder. Thank me later. A long-time fan of Pete’s, we were first introduced by our mutual friend (and former podcast guest) Rob Bell. From that moment forward I have yearned to get this fellow traveler on the show. It finally happened. And the experience is everything I hoped it would be. Comedy. Sex. God. And everything in between. We cover it all. We discuss his evangelical upbringing and how his failed attempt to live up to picture perfect standards forced him to question his faith and re-examine long-held beliefs, catalyzing the soul-seeking journey he has pursued ever since. We talk comedy and creativity. How he squares Christianity with alternative faith modalities. And what he has learned spending time with spiritual savants like Ram Dass and experimenting with psychedelics. We explore how fatherhood has impacted his spiritual and professional perspective. What it’s like working with Judd Apatow. The experience of being a celebrity with a big show on HBO. And, more importantly, what happens when that show suddenly goes away. But mostly, this is a beautiful exploration of the messy, confusing, wonderful, mysterious, disorienting thing we call life. You can watch the entire conversation on YouTube at bit.ly/peteholmes441 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. As Pete would say, GET INTO IT! Peace + Plants, Photos courtesy of Ali Rogers Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts Thanks to this week’s sponsors
May 10, 2019
“Guilt is about what you’ve done. Shame is about who you are.”  Jeff Grant An epidemic of colossal proportions, millions struggle with substance addiction. Suffering in silence, they too often slip through the cracks, desperate and alone. As a society, it’s incumbent upon us to better address the problem. Improve our collective understanding of its underlying causes. And enhance access to the resources required to heal the decaying hungry ghosts among us. It is for these reasons I felt compelled to share the story of Rev. Jeff Grant — a former well-respected New York City attorney who got hooked on painkillers and started making decisions so bad, he lost everything. Like so many, Jeff’s using started rather innocently in the aftermath of a basketball injury. But it didn’t take long before the tectonic plates of his ethical landscape began to shift. Under the influence, he perpetrated a series of financial misdeeds that led to losing control of his law firm. A suicide attempt prompted sobriety, but the long shadow cast by past actions revisited Jeff with a felony fraud conviction and a federal prison sentence. After serving 18 months, Jeff was faced with re-entry. His old life was no longer an option. He had to create an entirely new one. Searching for a meaningful spiritual life line to help make sense of his transgressions and inform his trajectory moving forward, Jeff entered the Seminary, earning a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York, with a focus in Christian Social Ethics. Upon graduation, he began serving at an inner-city church in Bridgeport, Connecticut as Associate Minister and Director of Prison Ministries. It is here that Jeff finds his calling assisting convicted felons and their families to navigate the treacherous waters of civilian re-entry. Now an ordained minister with 16+ years of continuous sobriety,  Jeff is the co-founder of Progressive Prison Ministries, the world’s first ministry created to provide confidential support to individuals, families and organizations with white collar incarceration issues. He has been profiled in a variety of media outlets including Inc., Forbes and Business Insider, has graced the stage at The Nantucket Project (where we first met) and hosts the Criminal Justice Insider Podcast. This is his story. It’s a conversation about the perils of addiction and the joys of sobriety. It’s about the the opioid epidemic and the prison industrial complex it supports. And it’s about how spirituality and divinity can pave the road to redemption. Not just a cautionary tale from the perspective of a white collar felon, this is also discussion about what happens to the by-standing family members and loved ones, often overlooked casualties in the perpetrator’s wake. But ultimately this is a story about absolution. It’s about confronting past misdeeds. Making amends. Finding grace. And giving back to those in need by sharing the experience and wisdom procured along the way. For the visually inclined, you can watch our entire conversation on YouTube at bit.ly/jeffgrant440 (please subscribe!) and the podcast is of course available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange. Peace + Plants, Photos courtesy of Ali Rogers Listen, Watch & Subscribe     
May 7, 2019
“We all have reservoirs of untapped potential. The biggest thing standing in our way? Our minds.” Colin O’Brady Life has taught me one essential truth: the human spirit is boundless. Just when you think we’ve reached the absolute pinnacle of what’s physically possible, someone performs a feat so utterly mind-bending you’re left breathless. The skies of perception part. Blanketed in awe, we’re compelled to re-evaluate our own personal capabilities. And humanity is left just a little bit better than it was before. This is the sensation I experience when I spend time with Colin O’Brady – a former Yale swimmer turned professional triathlete turned elite adventure athlete with 4 breathtaking world records to his name. Colin’s latest jaw-dropping feat of athletic prowess, stunning endurance and sheer human will was becoming the first person in history to cross the continent of Antarctica solo, unsupported and unaided. Under nothing but his own power, Colin pulled a 300lb sled 932 miles in just 54 days across the coldest, windiest, most remote continent on earth from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the South Pole. Colin first appeared on the podcast in December of 2015 (RRP 207) — a deep dive into his unique upbringing on a commune; how he survived an almost lethal burn accident that left him unlikely to walk again; his phoenix like transformation into a professional ITU triathlete and Olympic hopeful; and how he morphed into a mountaineer with the audacity to attempt incomprehensible feats of adventure athleticism. After conquering the Explorer’s Grand Slam, a challenge that encompassed scaling the highest mountain on each of the seven continents and treks to both the North and South Poles, Colin returned to the podcast in June of 2016 (RRP 235). Among the 44 who have completed the EGS, only 2 have done it under a year. Not only was Colin the youngest person to successfully complete this most prestigious undertaking, he crushed the world record by a stunning 53-day margin, completing it in a mere 139 days. Along the way, he simultaneously broke the 7 Summits world record by two days. Today he returns to share his most remarkable achievement to date, a freeze solo adventure he dubbed the Impossible First. It’s a jaw-dropping story you might have seen unfold in real time on Colin’s Instagram (@colinobrady) or in the stellar 360-degree New York Times coverage penned by my friend (and former podcast guest) Adam Skolnick. Uncovering the why behind the expedition, we explore how he dealt with the gear, solitude, -80F temps, and 30 mph headwinds. He explains why to sweat is to die. We discuss his battle against the elements and British Army Captain Louis Rudd — the legendary explorer who also set off the same day with the same goal in his heart. We talk about Colin’s final day 77-mile, 32-hour superhuman push to the finish. And Colin explains how a phone call with a certain musician changed his entire perception on who he is. But mostly this is about a man who uses endurance and adventure as art that speaks to the heart and soul of the human experience. The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube at bit.ly/colinobrady439 (please subscribe!) and as always the podcast is available on
April 30, 2019
“We run the risk now of raising a generation that is stressed about being stressed, and anxious about being anxious.” Lisa Damour, PhD Today’s expedition takes us into the beautifully mysterious world of parenting, with a specific lens on navigating the perplexing vicissitudes of the teenage girl — one of the most beguiling and opaque creatures I’ve encountered in my 52 years. I have been a parent and step-parent for two decades. Along the way, I successfully helped raise two young boys. Sure, I made many mistakes. But I also did a few things right. Today they are both amazing young men. And yet somehow that experience failed to adequately prepare me for the rather unique challenges I face guiding a teenage daughter towards adulthood — a joy that has at times brought me to my knees. To elevate my parenting game, I began searching for greater insight into the idiosyncratic psyche of the female adolescent. That quest continuously referred me to one notable expert: Lisa Damour, PhD. A teen whisperer par excellence, Lisa is a Yale educated psychotherapist with a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan who specializes in education and child development. But she is best known for her two New York Times bestselling books — Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood*; and her newest release, Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls*. The parent of two teenage girls herself, Lisa writes the monthly Adolescence column for the New York Times. In addition to her private consulting and psychotherapy practice, she is a regular contributor to CBS News, speaks internationally, is a Senior Advisor to the Schubert Center for Child Studies at Case Western Reserve University, and serves as the Executive Director of Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls. This is all a long way of saying that when it comes to adolescents and teens, Lisa knows her shit. Today’s conversation deconstructs the particular emotional overload and unique social pressures young people face – everything from sex and drugs to body image, grades, navigating social media and everything in between. By better understanding the nature of these dynamics, and how they specifically impact our young ones, we glean insight into how to optimally parent through them. In addition, we discuss the recent astronomical rise in stress and anxiety in young girls — what accounts for it, and what it means. We also cover the common mistakes many parents (myself included) often make. We delve deep into the importance of open communication and how to foster it. Finally, Lisa imparts a myriad of strategies to optimally pilot the healthy developmental transitions that specifically girls (but also boys) undergo as they mature into grownups so that we, as parents, can help cultivate self-esteem and self-efficacy in the next generation under our charge. If you are a parent of young humans trying to make the right moves — or just want to better understand how young people think and why they behave as they do — then this episode is appointment listening. Lisa’s books have been instrumental in improving how I parent my daughters, so this is a meeting of great personal significance I have been hotly awaiting for some time. They don’t call her the teen whisperer for nothing.
April 26, 2019
“You are never going to be the same person you were yesterday because there’s always something you learned in that workout about yourself, your fitness, your mind, and your nutrition. That’s the training process.” Chris Hauth Making his latest appearance in our ongoing Coach’s Corner series is none other than Chris Hauth, one of the world’s most respected endurance and ultra-endurance coaches. A sub-9 hour Ironman, Chris (@AIMPCoach) is a former professional triathlete, Age Group Ironman World Champion, and 2-time Olympic Swimmer. In 2006, Chris won the Ironman Coeur D’Alene and went on to be the first American amateur & 4th overall American at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. When he’s not training and racing, Chris hosts the Weekly Word Podcast and runs AIMP Coaching, mentoring a wide spectrum of athletes ranging from elite professionals — including Ironman and Western States top finishers, Ultraman winners and Olympic Trials qualifiers — to first time half-marathoners. Whether you are an elite athlete or just starting out, Chris knows how to get the best out of athletes the right way. A long-time friend and mentor as much as a coach, I have been under Chris’ tutelage since 2008, during which time he deftly guided me through three Ultraman World Championships (’08, ’09 & ’11), EPIC5 in 2010 and the Ötillö Swimrun World Championships in 2017, an event we raced together as a team. I could have never achieved the level of athletic success I have enjoyed without Chris’ deft counsel, so it is with pleasure that I share more of his wisdom with you today. As we put the cold winter months behind us, today’s conversation focuses on balancing your fitness goals against life’s demands as we welcome warmer days. As always, Chris drops knowledge applicable whether you are a professional athlete or a cubicle warrior just looking to improve the quality of your day to day.  Specific topics discussed include: * optimizing fitness as we transition from winter to spring; * scheduling training in balance with real-life pressures and expectations; * when to hold back & how to avoid doing too much; * experimenting with race nutrition during training; * tips to develop the nuances of swimming technique; and * finding joy in the training process DK Goals! In addition, my man ‘DK’ David Kahn joins me for the introduction to talk 2019 goals. Give him a boost at @daviddarrenkahn on twitter with the tags #DKGoals and #DK190. Final Note: As you will hear early in the episode, I had originally anticipated releasing this episode in mid-March. Due to scheduling it got pushed to late April. So please disregard the audible references to March. Nonetheless, the wisdom is timeless. For those in the northern hemisphere, Spring is officially here. Whether you’ve fallen off track or been on top of your game, it’s the perfect time to once again check-in with the coach. I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange. If you’re new to the show, please check out Chris’ previous RRP appearances in episodes 21, 256, 297, 30...
April 23, 2019
“Nothing matters except making the world a better place after you’ve been here.” David Sinclair, PhD Everybody grows old. Everyone dies. But is this scientific fact? Or is it merely a story based on history and our current understanding of biology? What if we instead consider aging as a disease? This begs the question: what is the cure? Welcome to the mind of David Sinclair, PhD, one of the world’s leading scientific authorities on longevity, aging and how to slow its effects. A professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging, David obtained his Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics at the University of New South Wales, Sydney in 1995 and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at M.I.T. where, among other things, he co-discovered the cause of aging for yeast. The co-founder of several biotechnology companies, David is also co-founder and co-chief editor of the journal Aging. His work has been featured in a variety of books, documentaries, and media, including 60 Minutes, Nightline and NOVA. He is an inventor on 35 patents, has been lauded as one of the Top 100 Australian Innovators, and made TIME magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In addition, David is the author of the forthcoming book, Lifespan: The Revolutionary Science of Why We Age — and Why We Don’t Have To* which hits bookstores on Sept. 10 and is currently available for pre-order here*. This is an absolutely fascinating conversation on all things human lifespan, aging and longevity. We begin with the specific scientific mechanisms that contribute to biological degeneration. Then we dive deep into the hard science David and his peers are examining to better understand what contributes to aging and how to prevent it. According to David, the prospect of living to 200+ is not a pipe dream, but a very possible reality. If humans could indeed double lifespan, how would this change how you live? And what does this mean for the future of humanity? This conversation travels deep into the scientific weeds. Perfect for the geeks among us. But it’s also grounded in practical takeaways for all of us — because David’s work isn’t just about extending lifespan. It’s about learning how to live as vibrantly and energetically as possible for as long as possible. It’s an honor and a privilege this brilliant man’s pioneering work and wisdom with you today. Plus he’s a lovely guy. If you enjoyed my episode with Dr. Valter Longo (RRP #367), a fellow brilliant warrior in the longevity space, then I’m fairly confident you’re going to love this one. So break out that pen and paper, because you’re going to want to take notes on this one. I sincerely hope you enjoy the episode. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | ...
April 16, 2019
“If you sweat, you’re an athlete. It’s as simple as that.” Mark Gainey & Michael Horvath Riding up a local canyon climb back in what must have been late 2009, my Airstream-dwelling, frequent cycling compadre Stu Bone couldn’t stop talking about this brand new social network specifically aimed at the 2-wheel community. Always eager to test new tech, I signed up immediately, quickly fell in love and have been evangelizing the platform every since. Meet Strava – the fitness social network designed by athletes for athletes. Evolving beyond it’s cycling roots as a platform for all who sweat, today Strava is widely embraced as the premier workout sharing fitness network — a rapidly expanding ecosystem of Olympic, professional, elite, amateur and beginner athletes that boasts over 1 million new registered new users every month and growing. What distinguishes Strava from other fitness trackers and social media platforms is the positive emotional connection it engenders. Encouraging and community oriented, it’s devoid of the negativity and toxicity that plagues most sharing networks. There’s something uniquely special about being privy to the daily grind of my favorite multi-sport athletes. Their transparency holds me accountable. In turn I help hold my community accountable. And openly sharing our collective fitness experience – the highs and the lows — makes all of us better. So just how did Strava become the only fitness app that matters? To get the story behind the story, today I sit down with Mark Gainey and Michael Horvath — the dynamic duo co-founders who gave birth to Strava and continue to guide it’s ongoing growth and evolution. Currently Strava’s interim CFO, Michael Horvath previously served as Chief Executive Officer from 2010-2013 and President from 2014-2017. Holding a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University and an A.B. in economics from Harvard (where he was men’s lightweight crew team captain), Michael is a former Stanford economics professor and entrepreneurship professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Prior to Strava, Michael co-founded enterprise software firm Kana Communications and was the CFO and VP of Operations at GlycoFi, a biotech company. Mark Gainey currently serves as the co-founder and chairman of Strava. Also a Harvard graduate, Mark is a former venture capital executive and seasoned entrepreneur who has been building successful companies for nearly 20 years, including Kana, which he co-founded alongside Michael as CEO, president, and chairman. In addition, Mark sits on the board of Alter-G, BoardVantage, Daum, Clari, and Coaching Corps. Michael and Mark initially met on the crew team at Harvard. Friendship ensued, but after graduation they pursued disparate paths. Mark went into venture capital in Palo Alto. Michael became an academic. Reunited when Michael took a professorship at Stanford, they hatched their first startup. Kana Communications was a massive triumph. Little did they know that their follow up act — a passion project born out of a mutual love for fitness — would eclipse their first company’s success, reshaping the fitness landscape for millions of athletes across the world. This exchange canvasses everything from technology, business and entrepreneurship to fitness, sports and social media. But at it’s core, it’s a conversation about community. How to create it. How to nurture it. And why the integrity of community is paramount. I love Strava. As an early adopter (I was the 14,443 person to sign up for the service), it’s my pleasure to share Mark and Michael’s story with you today. Disclosure: In the interest of total transparency, I have run ad campaigns for Strava on this podcast in the past.
April 12, 2019
“Sometimes what appears to be negative is the most positive thing you can do. What appears to be ‘safe’ is sometimes the most dangerous thing you can be doing for your life” Guru Singh Welcome to yet another edition Guru Corner featuring Guru Singh, my favorite teacher on all things mystic and metaphysical. Fusing Eastern mysticism with Western pragmatism, Guru Singh is a celebrated third-generation Sikh yogi and master spiritual teacher who has been studying and teaching Kundalini Yoga for more than 40 years. He is the author of several books, a powerful lecturer and behind-the-scenes guide to many a luminary, including Fortune 500 CEOs, athletes, and artists. A peer of rock legends like Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead, Guru Singh is also an accomplished musician who began his recording career on Warner Bros’ Reprise label in the 1960’s. When he isn’t laying down tracks with people like Seal, he’s bringing down the house on the daily at Yoga West, his Los Angeles home base. Today we spin the wheel on positivity. Not your typical disquisition on the benefits of adopting a positive mental attitude, we take a more nuanced approach to self-awareness. Focusing on receptivity over repression, it’s a call to embrace the power of both negativity and positivity as important forces to be experienced without getting lost in either extreme. And we discuss how to break free from the entrenched, looping stories we tell ourselves about ourselves that don’t serve the lives we aspire to lead. Note: If you missed my previous conversations with Guru Singh, start with episode 267 and then enjoy episodes 332, 368, 393, 400 and 418. Final Note: You can watch our conversation on YouTube at bit.ly/gurucorner434b and the show is also now available on Spotify. I love this beautiful being. It’s my privilege to once agains share his wisdom with you today. So let the master class resume. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts Thanks to this week’s sponsors Four Sigmatic: A superfood company popularizing medicinal mushrooms by incorporating them in delicious mainstream products like coffee and hot cocoa. Visit foursigmatic.com/roll and enter the promo code ROLL at the checkout and save 15% on EVERY order! Harrys.com: A superior shave at an affordable price. Visit harrys.com/ROLL to redeem your Free Trial Set, which comes with a razor, five-blade cartridge, shaving gel, and post shave gel. All you pay is shipping. Squarespace: The easiest way to create a beautiful w...
April 8, 2019
“Don’t identify as an artist, be the art.“ Kevin Smith About 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. In other words, America’s number one killer claims 1 out of every 4 deaths. Not all heart attacks are fatal. But when your heart’s left anterior descending artery becomes 100% blocked, the result is a massive heart attack known as The Widowmaker. Few survive its fatal clutch. Kevin Smith is the rare exception that proves the rule. The arch villain in his own personal superhero comic book narrative, Kevin’s Widowmaker nemesis failed in it’s dastardly quest to claim his young life. Instead, like Spiderman in the aftermath of that fateful bite, it made our protagonist hero stronger — more convicted about his life, purpose, family and art. One might even say it gave him superpowers — a new life animated by an urgent productivity. An emboldened creativity. And, more than anything, a spirit ennobled. This week’s guest beat the odds. But this should come as no surprise for those well versed in the Kevin Smith canon. Because Kevin has always been an outlier — a fiercely independent voice who has been successfully cutting against the grain for as long as he can remember. Today this charismatic master storyteller shares his most amazing tale to date — the story of Kevin Smith. For the few unfamiliar among us, Kevin is a filmmaker, actor, comedian, comic book writer, author and early podcast pioneer. In 1994 he burst into prominence with his hyper low-budget comedy Clerks, a film he wrote, directed, co-produced, and filmed in the convenience store where he worked. Premiering at Sundance, it was feted with the festival’s highest award before going on to become an indie cult classic. In addition to countless appearances in both movies and television, Kevin has created a litany of films, including Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Cop Out, Jersey Girl, Red State, Tusk, Yoga Hosers and Clerks 2. Just last week he wrapped production on Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. An iconic and beloved character amongst indie film fans and comic book nerds, Kevin is immediately recognizable and famous for his hockey jerseys, backwards hat and well, his weight.  But in February of 2018, between sets of one his stand-up shows, Kevin suffered his aforementioned heart attack. A lifestyle change was needed. Desperately. Harley Quinn Smith (a vegan herself) suggested Kevin adopt a plant-based diet. Kevin obliged. For the first time in ages, he began exercising. In short shrift, he lost 50 pounds. His blood work normalized. And the rest is history. Today we unpack all of it. How maxing out his credit cards spawned an entire career. His perspective on podcasting as one of the very first to embrace the medium. And of course the amazing transformation that compelled me to seek him out. Heart disease is ubiquitous. But as Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn is so fond of saying, it’s a toothless paper tiger that need not exist. So if you feel stuck in lifestyle habits that are leading to your own fateful confrontation with that villainous Widowmaker, my greatest hope is that this conversation catalyzes the required changes well within your grasp to master — because inside all of us is a latent superhero waiting to unleash its fury on the unnecessary evil that is heart disease. As a long time fan of Kevin, it was an absolute delight and honor to spend a few hours with him. I love everything about this exchange. I hope you do too. Final note: I conducted this interview at Kevin’s house, so no video version of this episode. But as always, you catch the audio on
April 2, 2019
“We’re systematically destroying the life in soil and bringing our crops to harvest with more and more chemical inputs and treating soil like dead dirt instead of the life-giving resource that it is.“ David Bronner Eat local. Buy organic. Avoid GMO. Give back. Be of service. These are all great practices. Good for your health. Good for humanity. And good for the planet. But it’s not enough. The health and environmental problems we currently face are global epidemics of unprecedented scope and scale. We simply cannot solve these issues with the mindset that created them. What we need, now more than ever, is a revolution of consciousness. There are few people more well suited for this conversation than David Bronner. By far the most unique ‘CEO’ I have ever met, this week’s guest is the Cosmic Engagement Officer of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, the top-selling brand of natural soaps in North America and producer of a range of organic body care and food products. The Dr. Bronner story, which is amazing, begins in 1948 with Emanuel Bronner — a German immigrant, third-generation master soapmaker, master consciousness and generally far out dude — who used his ecological soaps to proselytize his “All One” philosophy, labeling product bottles with the key tenets of his teachings on self-realization and unity across religious and ethnic divides. Embraced by 1960’s counterculture for its ecological properties and spiritual sensibility, the brand soon found it’s way into most natural foods markets across the United States. David and his brother Michael eventually took stewardship of the family business, shepherding their grandfather’s brand from counterculture cult status to mainstream embrace by growing revenues from $4 million in 1998 to over $111 million in 2017. Along the way, David went to great lengths to respect, protect and ultimately deepen Emanuel’s vision, cultivating a thriving and truly conscious capitalistic enterprise making socially & environmentally responsible products while successfully pursuing its broader mission to create a better world for ourselves and future generations. Environmental activist. Psychonaut. Visionary.These are but a few of the words that describe David, a man who very much shares his grandfather’s ‘cosmic hippie’ DNA but matches it with entrepreneurial flair, a degree from Harvard and the business savvy necessary to grow and sustain an ongoing concern at scale. Under David’s stewardship, Dr. Bronner’s has championed a number of causes, many of which provide the foundation for today’s conversation — a free range exchange that explores David’s involvement in advancing animal rights, drug policy reform, GMO regulation, regenerative organic agricultural practices, fair trade projects and practices, medicinal applications for cannabis and psychedelics, as well as wage equality, including self-imposed caps on executive pay. Backing up its mission statement, roughly a third of Dr. Bronner’s profits are dedicated to charitable giving and activist causes annually. Furthermore, the company is a founding partner in the Climate Collaborative, which leverages the power of the Natural Products Industry to compel action on climate change. This is David’s story. And it’s sure to blow your mind. Disclaimer #1: David expounds upon his personal experience with with psychedelics and cannabis in the context of spiritual growth.
March 26, 2019
“I really try not to pay attention as much as I can to the reaction to the art. For me the reward is in the making of the art in the first place.“ Mike Posner  An accomplished singer, songwriter, poet & producer, Mike Posner knows what it’s like to be rich and famous. He also knows what it’s like to be forgotten. To grieve. To grow. To embrace that which is most important. And ultimately express his truth through art. This is the story of a remarkable talent’s attempt to live an artist’s life — the struggles faced and lessons learned along his most mercurial path. In 2010, while still an undergraduate at Duke, the Detroit native’s career exploded with the release of his debut song Cooler Than Me. The irresistible pop song topped charts worldwide, selling more than two million copies and launching him into the stratosphere almost overnight. But fame is fleeting. Unable to immediately top his debut, Mike’s solo career soon faltered. Turning to writing, Mike spent the next several years behind the curtain churning out hit songs for everyone from Justin Bieber (‘Boyfriend’) and Maroon 5 (‘Sugar’) to Pharrell, Snoop Dogg, Nick Jonas and Avicii. Then, in 2016, his career as a solo artist once again blossomed. A remix of his song ‘I Took A Pill In Ibiza’ unexpectedly surfaced as an international smash on the electronic dance scene, landing him a Grammy nomination for Best Song that year. Not long after, Mike was hit with a trifecta of heartache. He weathered a break up with his girlfriend. His father passed after a bout with brain cancer. And his friend and frequent collaborator Avicii took his own life. It was a dark time for the young musician. But the life of an artist is one of persistence. No matter what, Mike continued to show up for music. The result, and his best work to date, is the recently released album, A Real Good Kid — a mature, vulnerable and infectious pop meditation on grief, celebrity, ego, loss, art and personal growth. Without a doubt, Mike is an incredibly talented musician. But what inspired this conversation has little to do with music and everything to do with character. What draws me to this human is his spirit. An old soul with an expansive perspective on art, life and meaning that belies his age, Mike overflows with emotional wisdom forged from experience. And his unbridled, authentic enthusiasm for life and personal expression is as infectious as it is instructive. This is the story of unpredictable highs. Low lows. Love and loss. What it means to move on. And finding solace while stuck in the middle. I first saw Mike perform before an IN-Q spoken word event several years ago and ever since have appreciated him from afar. But I fell in love with him during our conversation. I’m fairly certain you will too. For those visually inclined, you can watch our conversation on YouTube at: bit.ly/mikeposner431 or listen in on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | 
March 22, 2019
“There’s no path towards evolution and making something better unless we can talk about it.“ Jack Dorsey  Imagine shouldering responsibility of one of the planet’s largest social networks. Now imagine that’s just one of your jobs, the second focused on reinventing the world’s relationship with money. This is Jack Dorsey’s life. The co-founder and CEO of both Twitter and Square, today’s guest is one of the most influential figures of the modern age — a man who has made an indelible impact on our cultural landscape by quite literally shaping how society communicates in the emergent digital era. What started as a simple means to share personal status updates, Twitter has swelled into arguably the most important social media platform for breaking news, journalism, and political discourse. A powerful tool for speaking truth to power, it’s put wind in the sails of important social movements. Provided safe haven for whistle blowers. And given marginalized groups and dissidents a voice that can be heard across the globe. But Twitter must also account for the noxious devolution of civil discourse —  a behemoth apparatus easily weaponized for motives nefarious. Twitter is nothing if not controversial. And Jack is the face of such controversy — a polarizing figure in the crosshairs of Twitter critics across all sides of the social and political spectrum. Recognizing the need to more thoroughly address Twitter’s role and responsibility in the growing toxicity of public conversation, Jack has spent the last month publicly addressing the platform’s missteps, challenges and aspirations on a wide variety of media platforms and podcasts that include two appearances on The Joe Rogan Experience, Sam Harris’ podcast Making Sense, and many others. My sense is that critics were left unsatisfied with Jack’s answers to the many hard questions posed. I understand and appreciate the criticism. Just how exactly can Twitter successfully promote healthy conversation, eliminate toxicity and fairly police bad actors across 500 million daily tweets? I don’t know the answer. But I do know that I heard an intelligent, empathetic and well intentioned man in an almost impossible situation — someone owning his failures and transparently endeavoring with great equanimity to solve these herculean problems in both good faith and real time. In approaching this conversation, I made the choice not to retread territory explored at great length on Rogan. Instead, my interest is to better understand the human behind the curtain. What does it actually feel like to be at the helm of one of the largest and most powerful social media platforms in the world? What is a day in the life of Jack Dorsey like? What daily self-care practices does he employ to mitigate the stress of his gargantuan responsibilities? And just how did this young man blaze such an extraordinary entrepreneurial path? I first met Jack about two years ago during a visit to San Francisco. A fan of the podcast, he invited me up to the Square offices. Although our encounter was brief, I liked him immediately. Soft spoken, kind and curious, I left our meeting wanting to better understand what makes him tick. Open to sharing his story on the podcast, I visited his San Francisco home on a foggy Saturday morning a few weeks ago. Unsurprisingly, his home is beautiful and well appointed. But it’s also strikingly modest given his stature. Minimal to the point of spartan, it’s devoid of material excess. No entourage. No private chef. No crazy car collection. Not even an assistant. Just Jack, barefoot, unpretentious and excited to show me his infrared sauna, his cold plunge,
March 19, 2019
“There is both good passion and bad passion. And what direction your passion takes is largely up to you.” Brad Stulberg & Steve Magness    Follow your passion. For many it’s a mantra. For others, an over-hyped trope. I plead guilty to advocating this pursuit — a subject worthy of frequent exploration on the podcast. But is a life propelled by passion always the best course of action? The answer, it turns out, is complicated. Passion can be a gift. But only if you know how to properly channel it. The same drive that fuels breakthroughs — whether they’re athletic, scientific, entrepreneurial, or artistic — can be every bit as destructive as it is productive. Unchecked by balance (that other culturally touted virtue), passion can manifest as a curse, leading to endless seeking, suffering, and burnout. Simply put, passion is a paradox. To demystify this important subject, my friends Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness return to the podcast (their 1st appearance was RRP 293 back in June 2017) to explore how to develop, harness and express the right kind of passion to unlock potential and actualize a meaningful, purpose-driven life. Long time listeners might recall Steve as a former elite track & field athlete who clocked an extraordinary 4:01 mile in high school. Today, Steve is one of the most accomplished, respected and in demand track & field and cross country coaches in the world. In addition to serving up duties at the University of Houston, he is the personal coach to some of the most accomplished professional and Olympic runners on the planet. In addition, he consults with start-up technology companies on innovation and growth, holds a Master’s degree in Exercise Science from George Mason University, and serves as an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s University in the United Kingdom. Brad is a former McKinsey & Co. health care consultant turned writer specializing in the health and science of human performance. Lauded for his ability to merge the latest science with compelling personal stories and practical insights, his work has been published in The New York Times, Outside Magazine, New York Magazine, Forbes, NPR, The Los Angeles Times & Runner’s World. Together, Steve and Brad are the co-authors of Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success*, a science-based primer on the principles that drive and sustain high performance in sport, business and life. This week marks the publication of their latest collaboration, aptly titled The Passion Paradox: A Guide to Going All In, Finding Success, and Discovering the Benefits of an Unbalanced Life*. A fascinating look int0 the science behind passion and it’s double-edge-sword nature, it’s a must read for anyone searching for that spark or how to best harness its magical powers to unlock inner potential. Today’s conversation is a wide-ranging exploration into the very nature of passion. Chock-a-block with scientific takeaways & experiential insights, we examine the pros and cons of this intoxicating impulse. We mine how one finds and cultivates the kind of passion that lets you ach...
March 12, 2019
“God, please help me not be an asshole, is about as common a prayer as I pray in my life.“ Nadia Bolz-Weber Today we continue my exploration of faith with one of the most fascinating spiritual leaders in America today — a Lutheran pastor and public theologian dedicated to redefining how we think about church, practice religion, ritualize divinity, and cultivate community. But her latest concentration, and the focus of today’s conversation, is reforming religion’s antiquated, sexist ideas about sex, gender and our bodies – and all the pain, guilt and shame they provoke — to reclaim our sexuality and boldly begin anew. You see, Nadia Bolz-Weber is no ordinary pastor. Standing six-foot-one, this heavily tattooed former drug addict rocks the collar with bright red lipstick, fancies serious custom-made jewelry (her rings and belt buckles are off the hook) and swears like a sailor. Confusing matters more, she’s also very much a traditionalist – a fearless and deeply reverent pastor for America’s outsiders with intrepid beliefs about what “church” can and should be for the seekers among us. For eleven years, Nadia served as the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, a colorful and eclectic, all-comers welcome congregation she started in 2007 with just eight members in her living room in Denver. She is also a three-time New York Times bestselling author. Pastrix: The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner & Saint*, is her prayer-and-profanity laden narrative about an unconventional life of faith. Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People* recounts her religious but not-so-spiritual path and perspective. Her newest book, Shameless A Sexual Reformation*, unleashes her critical eye, her sharp pen, and her vulnerable but hopeful soul on the caustic, fear-riddled, and religiously inspired messages about sex that have fed our shame. I first laid eyes on Nadia when she took the stage at The Nantucket Project to interview Lance Armstrong. Her opening line? “So, I see from my notes that you took some drugs you weren’t supposed to and then you lied about it? OMG. I did that shit SO MANY TIMES!” The crowd erupted. Instantly, I was hooked. Later that same weekend I witnessed Nadia deliver a sermon unlike anything I had ever experienced in church or otherwise. Wrapt by her charisma and compelled by her unapologetically honest message, I knew immediately I had to get her on the podcast. Growing up fundamentalist, at 12 she was diagnosed with Graves’ disease, a thyroid-related autoimmune disorder that caused her eyes to literally bug out of their sockets. Socially ostracized, rage and cynicism led a descent into drugs and alcohol. In 1991, a 12-step program ultimately lit her path back to faith — and the church she ultimately founded to create a home for those who have never felt home. Today we explore Nadia’s amazing story, set against the backdrop of her current focus: reforming Christianity’s historically to...
March 8, 2019
“Nobody has to give you permission to do the work that you want to do.” Brian Koppelman Today’s guest was always creative, but never thought of himself of an artist. Then Brian Koppelman shifted his mindset. He adopted consistent daily practices to nurture his voice. He finally gave that voice the respect it deserved. And his life was forever changed. As direct result, this former music industry executive turned screenwriter, director, producer and showrunner has spent the last two decades churning out an avalanche of consistently great creative output as the co-writer (alongside lifelong friend David Levien) of iconic films like Rounders and Ocean’s 13 and co-creator a little hit show you might have heard of called Billions on Showtime. Today we convene for a fun and highly instructive conversation about the interior life of a master storyteller and modern day artist — and the lessons that can be gleaned from investing our own creative instincts. We discuss how he discovered Tracy Chapman while still in college, facilitated her first record deal, and the hows and whys behind walking away from the music business to pursue his dream of being a writer. We mine why devotion to process over results, mastery over success, and love of craft is the path to a meaningful life. We examine how to overcome negative self-talk and how Tony Robbins and Julia Cameron changed his life. And we dive deep into how his daily habits — journaling and meditation paramount among them — have paved his road to long-sustained success. But, as a long time admirer of Brian, what strikes me most is his generosity. A source of personal inspiration for my own creative endeavors, Brian shares his copious experience freely (what works, what doesn’t and why) on his twitter feed (@BrianKoppelman) and as host of The Moment — his stellar podcast in which he shares conversations with all manner of successful creative people about the pivotal moments that fueled their fascinating careers. I think of him as a benevolent mentor at large to anyone and everyone seeking to live more fully, creatively expressed lives of purpose and meaning. So how does he do it? What can we glean from his example, habits and practices that can inform how we think about ourselves as creative beings? And why is this important? Even if you don’t consider yourself creative, Brian will leave you questioning this assumption. Because deep down, we are all artists yearning to be fully expressed in that which makes us uniquely who we are. When we engage this inclination, the world is a better place. And we all deserve permission to do the work we want to do. Final Note: This conversation took place a few months ago while visiting NYC. Alas, my film crew did not join me, so this episode is audio only. Final Final Note: Season 4 of Billions returns to Showtime on March 17. If you’re new to the show, it’s truly appointment viewing. So take the next week to get caught up. Season 3 was unreal and I can’t wait to see what Brian, David and their amazing cast and crew have lingering up their sleeves. The only thing I know for sure is that we won’t see it coming. It’s both a delight and honor to share today’s exchange with a master storyteller. I sincerely hope you not only enjoy it, but that you put his sagacious wisdom to work. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe
March 5, 2019
“I knew I had to take ownership of what I did and regardless of the circumstances, I was going to try and become somebody different.” Chris Schuhmacher This is a story of mistakes made. Of penance served. And the hard wrought path to atonement, self-forgiveness, and ultimately redemption. It begins with a young, standout volleyball player. A smart guy who later joins the Air Force, spending nearly two years at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA studying Korean. His career looked bright. But it wasn’t long before Chris Schuhmacher started making some bad decisions. A laundry list of errant decisions, in fact, that deposited him into a dark, hard partying crowd in Hollywood. Decisions that led to dealing weed to support that lifestyle. And decisions that ultimately culminated in a suitcase of drugs under his dispatch being stolen from him. In a drug and alcohol fueled rage, desperate and fearing the consequences should he be unable to retrieve the contraband, Chris took another manʼs life. And for that offense he was sentenced to sixteen to life. Well aware that he might never see another day outside San Quentin, inmate number T31014 nonetheless committed to taking responsibility for his actions. Searching for spiritual purpose and meaning, he got sober — and stayed that way. He made amends for his crime, began running and earned a college degree. He even studied software engineering, developing a promising app called Fitness Monkey under the tutelage of The Last Mile, a non-profit program that trains incarcerated individuals for successful reentry, All told, Chris transformed himself into the kind of person he always knew he could be. Then came the impossible. In 2017, after serving 17 years, a parole board granted him his freedom.  Re-entry hasn’t be easy for Chris. But he has emerged from the experience a better man. Now a productive member of society reunited with his family and gainfully employed, he is intent on sharing his cautionary tale in service of others. I had the privilege of hearing Chris speak at The Nantucket Project last year. In a time where prisons and prisoners are mostly forgotten, I was deeply moved by his story of change, rehabilitation and improvement from the lowest points. And I was compelled to use this platform to better understand both his humanity and the current state of our prison industrial complex. There is no “un-doing” what Chris did. There can be no sufficient apology for taking a life. And yet there are lessons to be gleaned –both profound and instructive — from his deep dive into self-examination. The support he leveraged to reinvent himself wholesale. And the innovations afoot that can better rehabilitate the current and future incarcerated among us. Indeed, this is a story of drugs, alcohol, addiction, betrayal, anger, and tragically, murder. It’s about what currently ails our prison industrial complex. And it’s about how society can do better. But at its core, this conversation is about atonement. It’s about second chances. And it’s about empathy. With that, I urge that you entertain Chris’ testimony with an open mind and even more open heart. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe                 
February 26, 2019
“Once you realize that you can do anything that you set your mind to, how you spend your time becomes a spiritual consideration.” Tom Bilyeu Like most of us, Tom Bilyeu chased money for nearly a decade only to end up emotionally bankrupt. What this filmmaker and serial entrepreneur came to realize is that the struggle is guaranteed. The money is not. So you damn-well better love the struggle. Acting on this epiphany, Tom and his partners sold their technology company and founded Quest Nutrition — a play premised not on profits, but rather on creating value for people. Ironically, Quest exploded, becoming a billion-dollar business in roughly 5 years, making it the 2nd fastest growing company in North America according to Inc. Magazine. This is all very interesting of course, but it’s Tom’s next chapter that captured my curiosity. After exiting Quest, Tom embarked on a mission to truly empower people — an act of service aimed at eradicating, at scale, what he sees as an epidemic of impoverished mindset. Hence was born Impact Theory — a media company with a juggernaut talk show cornerstone in which he goes deep with all manner of inspiring people dedicated to positive transformation. The aim? To influence the cultural subconscious by building a single-minded content creation machine that makes exactly one type of content — content that empowers people. A long-time fan of Impact Theory, I had the good fortune of being a guest on Tom’s show a few months back. I walked away from that experience even more impressed with Tom. Sure, he’s über successful. And the legacy he is now building is as masterful as it is laudable. But it’s his generosity of spirit, matched with a keen and heartfelt curiosity, that left a lasting impression on me. The more I looked into this man and his mission, the more convinced I became that he would make a great guest for the show. And so here we are. This is an exchange designed to upend your sense of personal possibility. Shock you out of The Matrix. Change the story you tell yourself about yourself. Facilitate greater expression of the true self within. Access reservoirs of hidden potential. And ultimately become the best version of who you really are. And it all begins with changing your mindset. As someone who operates in a similar landscape, I have the upmost respect for Tom’s mission and him as a person. Chocked with practical advice and implementable takeaways from the frontlines of business, relationships, personal growth, self-improvement and everything in between, this conversation does not disappoint. To view our conversation on YouTube, visit bit.ly/tombilyeu425 And don’t forget we’re also now on Spotify here: bit.ly/rrpspotify Let the master class begin! Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts Thanks to this week’s sponsors
February 22, 2019
“The war inside is totally different from the one we were trained to win.” Sarah Lee  Imagine finding yourself in a place so painful, dark and hopeless that suicide feels like the only option. Welcome to post traumatic stress disorder. Few things are more important than mental health. Nonetheless, the World Health Organization estimates that about 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. In the United States, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness, affecting 18% of the population — 7.7 million of whom are afflicted by PTSD. Sarah Lee is one such individual. A former Army Sergeant and Operation Iraqi Freedom II Combat Veteran, Sarah experienced more than her fair share of trauma during her 2004 deployment. After 8-years of service, she retires to civilian life and begins to struggle mightily with re-acclimating to normalcy. Numb, she begins to withdraw from friends and family. Her only companion becomes chronic neck and knee pain. And her only solace the food she binges to salve her emotional wounds. 100 pounds heavier, she is then diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening, grapefruit-sized ovarian cyst. By April 2017, Sarah descends into a depression so bleak, she very nearly takes her own life. Today she tells her story — an inspiring tale of survival and service that begins with a bike However, countless who suffer from PTSD never find their way out. In fact, 22 veterans take their own lives every single day. The very day I hosted this podcast was no exception. On November 7, 2018, just miles from my house, 28-year old combat veteran Ian David Long was planning an outlet for the dark thoughts he couldn’t shake. And just hours after Sarah shared her solution with me, Long succumbed to his pain. Pulling out a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol with a laser sight, he opened fire on a crowd of 20-somethings gathered at the Borderline Grill in Thousand Oaks, killing twelve before fatally shooting himself. The confluence of these two events — and the disparity in their respective outcomes — perfectly underscores the severity of PTSD, our mental health epidemic at large, and the dire need for better diagnostics and more innovative treatment solutions for the untold millions who suffer. So let’s talk about it. This is a story about courage. It’s about healing. And it’s about redemption. I’ll let Sarah tell the rest. To view our conversation on YouTube, visit bit.ly/sarahlee424. And don’t forget we’re also now on Spotify here: bit.ly/rrpspotify Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts Thanks to this week’s sponsors Jaybird: Premium sound Bluetooth headphones, perfect for athletes, runners, & fitness fanatics! Go to jaybirdSPORT.com and use the promo code RICHROLL to receive 20% off of a pair of the just released RUN XT true wireless headp...
February 19, 2019
“I went voiceless because they’re voiceless.“ James Aspey  Why do we love dogs, eat pigs and wear cows? Dr. Melanie Joy coined this phenomenon speciesism. James Aspey calls it what it is — just plain wrong. Motivated to raise greater awareness for the planet’s voiceless victims, in 2014 this passionate, young, Australian animal rights activist took a 365-day vow of silence. After an entire year without uttering a single word, he ended it on Australian national television with an interview that inspired millions to make more conscious and compassionate lifestyle choices and cemented him as a charismatic new force in the fight for the ethical treatment of animals. Ranked #3 among the “Top 25 Most Influential Vegans” by Plant Based News, James has gone on to cycle 5000kms across Australia to prove that vegans can be fit & healthy. He got tattooed for 25 hours straight to raise $20,000 for charity. He’s been featured in a multitude of prominent mainstream media outlets; given free speeches at countless schools, universities, and conferences; and attended local activism events, slaughterhouse vigils, and street outreach events all across the world. He transparently shares his life and campaigns online to a massive tribe of global followers. On YouTube, his speeches have reached tens of millions of people. And his most popular speech has been viewed over 12 million views. Enthusiastic, accessible and highly skilled behind a podium, James is inspiring a new generation to change how we eat and live in communion with the animals that share this home we call Earth. But there’s so much more to this young man’s life than meets the eye. At 17, James was diagnosed with leukemia and told he only had 6 weeks to live. He beat the cancer only to slide into a life of drugs and alcohol punctuated by a profound eating disorder. Then a chance encounter with an Indian man would forever change the trajectory of James’ life. Today I’m proud to help this passionate defender of the voiceless share his powerful story. But first, a caveat. I’m not unaware that a contingent of you shut down when the subject turns to animal welfare. I know, because I used to be that person. I didn’t start out inherently compassionate about these issues. My shift to a plant-based lifestyle was initially motivated purely for personal health reasons. In fact it was years before I became sensitive to the horrific and inexcusable manner in which we treat our animal friends. But it’s an issue I now care deeply about. And it’s an issue we simply can no longer ignore or tolerate. Ghandi once famously said, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” History will not look fondly upon our track record. And I, for one, want to be on the right side of history. So for those who think this episode just isn’t for you, I urge you to set aside any judgment, projection or pre-conceived ideas you may have about James or this subject matter. Trust me. And open your heart. Because to move forward, we cannot continue to turn a blind eye. I really dig this conversation. I hope you do too. More importantly, I hope it inspires you to take positive action for change — both personal and global. To view our conversation on YouTube, visit bit.ly/jamesaspey423. And don’t forget we’re also now on Spotify here: bit.ly/rrpspotify Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe
February 12, 2019
“There’s a big difference between interested and committed.” Todd Herman  What if I told you that one secret to success just might be adopting a secret identity? I know. It sounds weird. I too was skeptical. But today’s guest sold me with one unique thought: What if your alter ego is a more accurate representation of who you really are? Pondering this left me wanting to learn more. So I invited high performance coach Todd Herman on the show to elaborate. An author, advisor, and entrepreneur, Todd has spent the last 2 decades helping professional and Olympic athletes, entrepreneurs, leaders, and executives unlock peak performance at the highest level to achieve wildly outrageous goals while enjoying the process. Featured on the Today Show, Sky Business News, Inc. Magazine and CBC National News, Todd is also the author of the recently released book, The Alter Ego Effect: The Power of Secret Identities to Transform Your Life*. Equal parts instructive and entertaining, it’s a provocative exploration of the heroic self within as a means to overcome that which holds you back with one goal in mind — to empower greater expression of your inner best self. This conversation tracks the viability of Todd’s alter ego thesis through the lens of successful case studies who have used this strategy to their advantage. It explores the fraught terrain of actualizing peak performance and the proven strategies to maximize human potential. And it’s about how to best confront and overcome the hurdles that unnecessarily prevent the best of us – often repeatedly or in some cases continually – from inhabiting our most expressed selves. In addition, we explore the why behind Todd’s work. More specifically, Todd relates how confronting a severe childhood trauma helped him overcome profound feelings of guilt and shame that held him back for years. Impactful for anyone who suffers in silence, it’s a powerful story of healing and empowerment (but perhaps inappropriate for the little ones among us — so fair warning). Very much in the vein of my recent podcast with James Clear (RRP #401), I found this conversation both fascinating and entertaining. My hope is that you will too. To view our conversation on YouTube, visit bit.ly/toddherman422. And don’t forget we’re also now on Spotify here: bit.ly/rrpspotify Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts Thanks to this week’s sponsors Ten Thousand: The World’s Most Durable Training Shorts. Built for Your Needs. Designed for Performance. Every order gets FREE shipping, FREE exchanges and FREE returns. Save 20% OFF your first purchase at
February 8, 2019
“Everybody wants the finish line. Everybody wants a medal. But people don’t want to put the work in.” Danielle Grabol In 2010, the tireless and intrepid Jason Lester hoodwinked me into his latest fit of voluntary suffering insanity: an attempt to complete 5 Ironman-distance triathlons on 5 Hawaiian Islands in under 5 days. Hence was born the EPIC5 Challenge — and somehow we survived to tell the tale. Now institutionalized, EPIC5 annually attracts a global handful of athletes adequately unhinged to retrace our steps. Over the last 8 years, 29 individuals have successfully completed the challenge. Three of these intrepid humans are women. Two of them are here today. Meet real-life Wonder Women Danielle Grabol & Melissa Urie – both athletes thriving on the cutting edge of ultra-endurance. But it wasn’t always that way. Pushing 225 pounds, 15 years ago Dani was a junk food junkie and a pack-a-day smoker who couldn’t even climb a flight of stairs without losing her breath (sounds familiar!). In 2005, her doctor told her that if she didn’t change her ways she’d be dead before she turned 40. So she hit the gym. It was hardly overnight, but ultimately Dani reinvented herself wholesale. Down 70 pounds, an athlete was born. But on a training ride a year later, Dani was struck by a drunk driver. Her injuries were so severe she was told she would never run or bike again. Instead, she went on to compete in multiple Ironmans and even a double-Ironman. In 2013 she was one-half of the youngest two-person female team to finish RAAM — the legendary bike race across the entire United States. And in 2016, Dani became the very first female to compete in and finish EPIC5 — a stereotype shattering story she lays bare in her beautiful memoir, Fear No Distance*. A mental health nurse from Melbourne, Australia, Mel grew up active but never competitive. But in 1998, in an effort to lose a bit of weight and get fit, she participated in the Great Victorian Bike Ride with her dad. Thus was sparked a passion for ultra-endurance. Over the years, Mel has completed 6 Ironmans and a few double ironman distances races, including Ultraman Canada and Ultraman Australia*. Like Dani, she discovered EPIC5 by way of Finding Ultra, signed up and in 2017, Mel became the second female to ever complete the challenge. The bottom line? Mel and Dani are two badass women who know how to get it done. And this conversation is about just that. It’s about putting in the work. It’s about patience. Determination and grit. Not being afraid to fail. It’s about the mindset required to break stereotypes. And it’s about the mental toughness demanded to compete at the highest level in an arena dominated by men. So check your excuses at the door and enjoy! To view our conversation on YouTube, visit bit.ly/danielleandmel421. And don’t forget we’re also now on Spotify here: bit.ly/rrpspotify Peace + Plants, *I recorded this interview way back in mid-November. At the time, Mel was preparing for the Ultraman World Championships in Hawaii. Unfortunately she did not finish that race. I’m not sure what happened but I’ll find out and let you know. Listen, Watch & Subscribe         
February 5, 2019
“What is it all about? It’s about being healthier, happier, better to the animals, kinder to each other and the planet – and it all stems from what we’re putting into our bodies.” Marco Borges Last week, Beyoncé and Jay-Z made news across the world with a headline grabbing offer: take the plant-based pledge and you just might win concert tickets for life. When the most culturally significant and influential entertainment couple on the planet throws down like this, it’s a big deal. The tectonic plates of social culture shift. Conventional attitudes and habits around food change. And our social paradigm is nudged forward. So what’s the story behind all this? The man behind this curtain isn’t a musician. No, Marco Borges is a trainer and exercise physiologist. He’s a family man and friend. He’s the person who first inspired Jay-Z and Beyoncé to adopt a plant-based lifestyle. He’s the entrepreneur that partnered up with the duo on 22-Days Nutrition. And he’s the environmentalist who enlisted the global icons in his latest venture, The Greenprint Project — a plant-based “blueprint” designed to shift your mindset, improve your health and impact the planet for the better. In addition, Marco is the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers, including The 22-Day Revolution*, The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook*, and his latest offering, entitled (you guessed it), The Greenprint: Plant-Based Diet, Best Body, Better World*. An inclusive, practical primer on all things plant-based, it’s a beautiful must read for anyone looking to lose weight, increase energy, boost metabolism or reduce your carbon footprint. Marco has been prominently featured in every major media outlet from Good Morning America to Vogue and today marks his third appearance on the podcast. If you’re new to the show, please check out episode #195 for Marco’s full backstory and episode #271, which features a panel discussion Marco and I conducted before a live audience at the Miami Seed Food and Wine Festival a few years ago. Today’s conversation pivots around the why behind Marco’s new Greenprint book and app. We discuss transcending labels. Marco’s focus on inclusivity over tribalism. And how mastering a few simple lifestyle changes can positively transform your life and the planet. Because I have grown quite close with Marco and his family, I can say with great conviction that he is the real deal. A man who walks his talk. A father, husband and entrepreneur who has devoted decades to empowering positive change in people from all walks of life. And so it is with delight and great enthusiasm that I share our latest conversation with you tod...
January 29, 2019
“Only one [species] has the power to determine what level of suffering is acceptable for all other sentient beings to endure.” Damien Mander You don’t want to fuck with Damien Mander. The very definition of an alpha-male modern warrior, Damien is a former Australian Royal Navy Clearance Diver (the Australian equivalent of the Navy SEALS) and Special Operations Military Sniper for the Tactical Assault Group East, an elite direct-action and hostage-recovery unit. Post-military career, Damien spent years as a private military contractor in Iraq, where his duties included training the local police force in Baghdad. But after 12 tours, disillusionment rendered Damien’s occupation no longer tenable. Burned out and cynical, an existential crisis precipitated a directionless walkabout. Seeking adventure, Damien ultimately found himself in Africa volunteering in the fight against big game poaching. Coming face-to-face with the horrors of this practice, an encounter with a pregnant wild buffalo viciously trapped and mortally injured by poachers basically changed Damien’s life – and sparked a new one altogether. Immediately thereafter, Damien began liquidating his personal assets, founded the International Anti-Poaching Federation (IAPF) and reinvented himself as an African wildlife crusader — a warrior leveraging his modern tactical warfare experience to advance the cause of animal welfare and environmental conservation to put an end to the barbaric practice that is big game poaching. Damien and the IAPF have had much success. But over time, Damien began to identify limitations in his highly militarized approach to solving the poaching problem. In 2017, this realization lead to his formation of Africa’s first armed, all-women anti-poaching unit. Dubbed the Akashinga (The Brave Ones), these incredible women have been incredibly successful at changing the way that animals are protected — arresting poachers without firing a single shot — and permanently changing the conservation landscape for the better. Damien’s work has been featured in National Geographic, 60 Minutes, Animal Planet, Al Jazeera, Voice of America, Forbes & The Sunday Times. He is prominently featured in the upcoming James Cameron produced, vegan athlete documentary Game Changers. And I highly recommend everybody watch his incredible TED Talk, Modern Warrior. A riveting tale you won’t want to miss, today Damien’s relates his transformation from ‘man’s man’ meat-eating mercenary to hardcore animal conservationist to women’s rights champion. His story is as extraordinary as it is inspiring. His work has completely changed the poaching and trophy hunting landscape. His heart is massive. And his example shifts the tectonic plates on how we think about masculinity and ecological responsibility in the modern age. It was an honor to spend time with Damien. He is a role model to me personally. A man I respect deeply. And a paradigm breaker if there ever was one. I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange as much as I enjoyed having it. More than that, I hope it spurs you to action. To learn more and get involved, please visit IAPF.org For the visually inclined, you can watch our entire conversation on YouTube at bit.ly/damienmander419 and the podcast is now available on Spotify. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe         
January 25, 2019
“Are you a fraud to society or a fraud to yourself?” Guru Singh Welcome to another edition Guru Corner featuring my favorite teacher on all things mystic and metaphysical, Guru Singh. Fusing Eastern mysticism with Western pragmatism, Guru Singh is a celebrated third-generation Sikh yogi and master spiritual teacher who has been studying and teaching Kundalini Yoga for more than 40 years. He is the author of several books, a powerful lecturer and behind-the-scenes guide to many a luminary, including Fortune 500 CEOs, athletes, and artists. A peer of rock legends like Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead, Guru Singh is also a supremely talented musician who began his recording career on Warner Bros’ Reprise label in the 1960s. When he isn’t laying down tracks with people like Seal, he’s bringing down the house on the daily at Yoga West, his Los Angeles home base. Today’s conversation focuses on the importance of cultivating your true self in a world that values conformity over individuality. Too many of us live disconnected lives. Lives led not mindfully, nor from a place of personal agency, but rather in reaction to external expectations and pressures. Personal expression is left repressed. The authentic voice is silenced. As a result, we suffer. No longer. It’s time to sing your song. May this conversation with one of my very favorite people help you find the notes. Note: If you missed my previous conversations with Guru Singh, start with episode 267 and then enjoy episodes 332, 368, 393 and 400. Final Note: You can watch our conversation on YouTube at bit.ly/gurucorner418 and the show is also now available on Spotify. Let the master class resume. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts Thanks to this week’s sponsors Warby Parker: A new concept in eyewear – prescription glasses and sunglasses you try on at home for free. Head on over to warbyparker.com/richroll to order your free “Home Try-On’s” today. Order 5 pairs of glasses, and try them on for 5 days — there is no obligation to buy! Ships free and includes a pre-paid return shipping label. Harrys.com: A superior shave at an affordable price. Visit harrys.com/ROLL to redeem your Free Trial Set, which comes with a razor, five-blade cartridge, shaving gel, and post shave gel. All you pay is shipping. Peloton – Discover this cutting-edge indoor cycling bike that brings the studio experience to your home.  Get a great workout at home, anytime you want. Go to onepeloton.com,
January 22, 2019
“Conquering mountains is an ironic phrase. We are not conquering them. We can never pretend to be fighting nature because we are part of it.” Kílian Jornet Never meet your heroes, they say. Fortunately, this entire podcast is based on ignoring that advice. And today, that’s a good thing. First, Kílian Jornet — one of the most humble, accomplished and inspiring athletes in the world — rarely sits for long form press. Second, this hero lives up to the hype. And this conversation is everything I hoped it would be. For the uninitiated, Kílian Jornet is inarguably the most prolific and dominant mountain runner of all time and amongst the world’s greatest athletes, period. Born and raised at 6,000 feet above sea level in the Spanish Pyrenees, at age 5 he climbed an 11,000 foot mountain — the highest mountain in the region. Now Jornet adores the mountains with the same ferocity with which he runs them. Racking up wins in most of the world’s premier ultramarathons, his many accomplishments include: * 4x champion of Europe’s Skyrunner World Series; * 3x champion of the grueling Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc; * 2011 winner, Western States 100; and * 4x consecutive winner, Hardrock 100; and * 2017 winner at Hardrock 100 despite dislocating his shoulder at mile 14 In search of inspiration outside formal competition, Kílian embarked on a self-styled adventure project dubbed Summits of My Life — establishing the fastest known recorded times (“FKT”) to ascend and descend the world’s most challenging peaks, including the Matterhorn, Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, Denali and even the planet’s tallest summit. Not only did Kílian set the Mt. Everest FKT at 26 hours from base camp, he did it without supplemental oxygen or ropes. A mere six days later, he repeated the performance — an accomplishment that inspired Adventurer of the Year accolades from National Geographic. Kílian’s feats of poetic athletic prowess are beautifully depicted in his gripping memoir Run Or Die*, the new documentary Path To Everest, and his latest book Summits of My Life* — all of which I urge you to check out. Today he shares his remarkable story. This is a conversation about what drives one of the planet’s most uniquely gifted fleet of foot — a man devoted to redefining what is possible, continually pushing the limits of human ability, and never failing to astonish competitors with his near-superhuman fitness and ability. So what lies behind the success? Kílian’s motivation isn’t what you might imagine. It has nothing to do with race results. And his happiness derives not from victory. Instead, it’s adventure that sparks Kílian’s joy. Immersion in nature. Living outside the comfort zone. And always, always exploring. A truly amazing human, what strikes me most about this other-worldly athlete is his profound humility. Kiílian’s passion and respect for nature’s prowess is earned. Refreshingly grounded, he lives simply, an ethic and aesthetic reflected in the minimalistic purity of his athletic pursuits. Today I’m glad I met a hero. I think you will be too. For the visually inclined, you can watch our entire conversation on YouTube at
January 15, 2019
“The opposite of addiction isn’t sobriety. It’s connection.” Johann Hari Why are we seeing unprecedented rates of depressions? What’s behind our current opioid epidemic? And what can be done about it? Journalist and author Johann Hari suggests that everything we think we know about addiction and depression is wrong. Johann has written for The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and many other outlets. He was named ‘Newspaper Journalist of the Year’ by Amnesty International UK and his TED Talk, aptly titled  “Everything You Think You Know About Addiction Is Wrong”, was viral hit, with over 25 million views. Pertinent to today’s discussion, Johann is the author of Chasing The Scream*, which chronicles his 3-year investigation and research into the war on drugs and the nature of addiction. And his more recent book, Lost Connections* is a compelling deep dive into the nature of depression, its underlying causes and unexpected solutions. As many of you know, addiction and mental health are subjects of great personal importance. Better understanding that nature of these conditions is the motivating force behind this conversation, which is is everything I hoped it would be. This is an incredibly powerful, educational — and at times controversial — exploration into what drives these malignancies, why they are so difficult to overcome, and how a new approach can plot a more hopeful and solution-based course forward. Many see Johann’s ideas as radical. And although I don’t entirely agree with everything Johann prescribes, there is great wisdom in much of his findings. If you suffer from addiction or depression, this is a must listen. If you don’t, chances are someone you care for does. This conversation can provide the insight and tools for better understanding the struggle — because mental health truly impacts everyone. For the visually inclined, you can watch our entire conversation on YouTube at bit.ly/johannhari416 and the podcast is now available on Spotify. Peace + Plants, Portrait of Johann courtesy of Simon Emmett Listen, Watch & Subscribe                  Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts Thanks to this week’s sponsors Postmates: Food, drinks, groceries & more available for delivery or pickup, anytime and anywhere. Get $100 of free delivery credit for your first 7 days.
January 11, 2019
“We’re able to give so much more when we take care of ourselves on a daily basis.” Chris Hauth Making his latest appearance in our ongoing Coach’s Corner series is none other than Chris Hauth, one of the world’s most respected endurance and ultra-endurance coaches. A sub-9 hour Ironman, Chris (@AIMPCoach) is a former professional triathlete, Age Group Ironman World Champion, and 2-time Olympic Swimmer. In 2006, Chris won the Ironman Coeur D’Alene and went on to be the first American amateur & 4th overall American at the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. When he’s not training and racing, Chris hosts the Weekly Word Podcast and runs AIMP Coaching, mentoring a wide spectrum of athletes ranging from elite professionals — including Ironman and Western States top finishers, Ultraman winners and Olympic Trials qualifiers — to first time half-marathoners. Whether you are an elite athlete or just starting out, Chris knows how to get the best out of athletes the right way. A long-time friend and mentor as much as a coach, I have been under Chris’ tutelage since 2008, during which time he deftly guided me through three Ultraman World Championships (’08, ’09 & ’11), EPIC5 in 2010 and the Ötillö Swimrun World Championships in 2017, an event we raced together as a team. I could have never achieved the level of athletic success I have enjoyed without Chris’ deft counsel, so it is with pleasure that I share more of his wisdom with you today. Today’s discussion centers around maintaining fitness engagement during the cold winter months, when the halo effect of your New Year’s resolutions have faded and inspiration tends to wane. We cover a wide variety of topics, including: * setting proper goals; * creating enthusiasm for your yearly resolutions; * maintaining connection with your fitness when motivation fails; * how self-care can provide clarity, reflection and intention; * why this is the season for functional strength work; and * the importance of connecting with self and nature through physical activity 2019 is now. Who you want to be come summer begins today. So let’s get after it. I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange. If so (and you’re new to the show), check out Chris’ previous appearances in episodes 21, 256, 297, 309, 313, 329 and 377. For the visually inclined, you can watch our entire conversation on YouTube here: bit.ly/chrishauth415 and the podcast is now available on Spotify. Final Final Note: Together let’s help my friend and team member David Kahn “DK” set some health goals for 2019. Tweet @richroll and @daviddarrenkahn with your suggestions and feedback...
January 8, 2019
“If we don’t reconnect with nature, we will just destroy it again.” Zach Bush MD In my humble opinion, Zach Bush, MD isn’t just one of the most compelling medical minds currently working to improve our understanding of human and environmental health. He’s a virtuoso healer. A master consciousness. And a gift to humanity. Today Dr. Bush returns to the podcast (his first appearance was RRP #353 in March of 2018) for a formidable and moving conversation that will leave you rethinking not only how you eat and live, but what it means to be a conscious consumer and engaged citizen of this precious planet we all share. A pioneer in the science of well-being, Dr. Bush is the founder and director of M Clinic, an integrative medicine center in Charlottesville, Virginia, and one of the only ‘triple board-certified’ physicians in the country, expert in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Hospice/Palliative care. How we treat the planet impacts human biology. Intuitively, we understand this to be fact. But what distinguishes Dr. Bush from his medical peers is his rigorous application of science, strength of humanity, and the intelligence of nature to his commitment to transforming our world. A man with a deep understanding of the interdependence of macrocosm and microcosm, Dr. Bush’s brilliance truly shines on subjects like soil degeneration and regeneration. The relationship between intensive farming practices and the rise of environmental degradation and chronic disease. And his vision for a more integrated and holistic approach to physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. My initial conversation with Dr. Bush remains one of the most mind-blowing, impactful and popular discourses in the history of this show. Picking up where we left off, today’s episode exceeds all expectations — another conversation for the ages that will permanently alter how you think about everything from health, nutrition, disease, medicine, agriculture and environmentalism to what it means to be a spiritual being in this human experience we collectively share. It’s 2019 people. It’s time to stop screwing around. It’s time to get educated. And it’s time to once-and-for-all take control of our personal health and that of the planet we inhabit. I ask only that you listen keenly. Take notes. And no matter what, stick around to the very end. Zach concludes the podcast with what I can only describe as the most poignant and moving closing monologue in the history of this program – a bold statement I don’t make lightly. If you thought last week’s podcast with David Goggins was peak RRP, think again, Because today, the doctor is in. Final note: the podcast is now available on Spotify and viewable on YouTube at: bit.ly/zachbush414 Final Final Note: My friend and team member David Kahn “DK” joins us this week for an extended introductory segment to discuss his health goals for 2019. I’m interested in your thoughts on having DK pop in from time to time so we can track his progress. Together, let’s help him transform! Tweet @richroll and @daviddarrenkahn with your suggestions and feedback using the hashtag #DKgoals. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe
January 1, 2019
“You have to go to war with yourself before you can find peace” David Goggins I can think of no better guest to usher in 2019 than the mighty one himself. Incontrovertibly the most inspirational person I have ever met, today David Goggins returns for his second turn on the podcast — a conversation that will catapult you into the new year with the tools and hard truth you need to chase huge dreams, shatter personal limits and transform your life wholesale. Often referred to as the hardest man alive, David is the only member of the US Armed Forces to complete SEAL training (including three Hell Weeks), the U.S. Army Ranger School (where he graduated as Enlisted Honor Man) and Air Force Tactical Air Controller Training. But David is perhaps best known for his superhuman feats of strength and ultra-endurance. After several of his friends died in a 2005 helicopter crash while deployed in Afghanistan, David honored their memory by tackling the most difficult endurance challenges on Earth to raise funds and awareness for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which provides college scholarships and grants to the children of fallen special ops soldiers. Hence began a most unexpected yet remarkably storied athletic career as one of the world’s most accomplished endurance athletes. Highlights include: * 2005: ran 100 miles in under 24 hours on no training; * 2013: world record for most pullups in a 24 hour period (4,030); * 2007: 3rd place — Badwater 135 – a 135 mile ultramarathon across Death Valley widely considered to be the world’s most difficult foot race; * 2006: 2nd place — Ultraman World Championships, a double-ironman distance race widely considered to be the world’s most difficult triathlon; * 2007: 1st place — 48-Hour National Championship endurance foot race, where he ran 203.5 miles, beating the previous record by 20 miles; and * 2007 – 2016 — additional top finishes at dozens of the world’s most grueling endurance races, including The HURT 100, Leadville 100, Western States & more. But David’s greatest accomplishment isn’t athletic. It’s self-mastery. From day one, David has faced a concatenation of seemingly insurmountable obstacles – poverty, psychological and physical abuse, obesity, learning disabilities, asthma, sickle cell anemia, and even a congenital heart defect that often left him competing — and winning — on a mere fraction of his actual physical capabilities. It’s a scenario that would have buried the best of us. And yet, against all odds, David conquered them all, and ultimately found a way out. It’s the story of a man who transformed pain into obsession and, phoenix-like, rose from a state of utter desperation to take complete ownership of his life and total command of his mind to manifest a most extraordinary life. David’s implausible journey is laid bare in his recently released memoir, Can’t Hurt Me* — one of the most honest, powerful and impactful stories of hardship, redemption and personal perseverance I have ever read. Certain books instruct. Others inspire. But it’s the rare read that holds the potential to reframe your sense of personal capability and completely change your life. This book does just that — a statement I don’t make lightly. I highly suggest
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