190-7 Ultras, 7 Continents, 7 Schools Built with Joel Runyon.mp3
4:00PM Sep 2, 2019
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Is it Runyon
All right. Alrighty guys, welcome back to the chief Live podcast. I'm Matthias Turner. And today I have Joe Runyon with me, Joe welcome, dude.
Thanks for having me, man. Very good. Yeah, it's
good to have you. So I mean, you're, you're kind of well known for your 777, which is seven marathons across seven continents. And the goal was to build seven schools. How did that all play out?
the quick background was, uh, yeah, it was the goals. It was called 777 project, and seven ultra marathons. And ultra marathons. Yeah, those Okay, ultra marathon is anything farther than a normal marathon. So I was running anywhere from like a 50, k 200. k? Well, and
so it just vary between all of them. Like, what was the longest to the shortest?
Yeah, the longest was 100. k in Antarctica. Yeah, it was a 10 k circle, and we just ran it 10 times. And that was it's mentally tough. But you know, it's physically tough. But running the same thing. 10 times in a row is is mentally exhausting, too. So, um, yeah, so we did the whole distance, whole range of distances. But, you know, the backstory was, I never really thought about myself as a runner, I kind of backed myself into learning how to run from doing triathlons. And, you know, I, I was an athlete growing up, I played basketball, I, I threw Javelin on my track and field team in college, because I want to be on the track and field team with my buddies, but I didn't want to, I didn't want to have to actually run. Yeah, so I graduated from college and got out, you know, into the real world couldn't get a job. And I found that the only way I could really like, channel My competitive energy into gaining traction in my life, was pushing myself into these hard physical challenges. And a lot of them were running based. And so start off with a small baby triathlon indoors. And it started growing from that ended up getting tricking myself into running. And then sometime in 2012, I ran, I got challenged by this nonprofit called Pencils of Promise to run a marathon to run an ultra marathon and raise money for charity. And I was like, okay, that seems really far. I don't know anything about ultra marathons at that point. And it seemed really far really difficult. And I didn't know if I could do it. But then they're like, well, you're not just gonna let like, you know, kids not having education or anything, you know, they kind of guilt trip. Like, I could probably go be sore for a little bit. And so I ran my first ultra marathon in 2012. And we raised about $26,000. Wow. To build our first school with promise, and like, eight or nine months later, I got to go to Guatemala and see the school built. And I realized after I came back, I was like, Wow, that was really, you know, that was really impactful. That was probably one of the most impactful things we've done. And that was also one of the harder things I've done running an ultramarathon. So the tagline of my site and possible is push your limits do something impossible. And so when I came back from that trip, my mind was just cycling through, I was like, you should, how do you? How do you, you know, this is really hard and really impactful? How do you do something like this again, but you can't just do the same thing again, you got to do something more? Yeah. And so I started looking at all these all these things, and ultramarathon the world. And there's all these cool races, and Iceland, and Chile, and, you know, South America, all all these places. And I was like, What if? What if you read one of those and like question location, because the first one I did was just, you know, just in the US. And then I started looking at more and more of it was like, What if you ran seven of them, and seven continents, and then you know, got to finish out the word so or the the phrase, so let's, let's try to build seven schools. And as soon as I had that thought it was terrifying. I was like, No, there's no way you can do that. That's like $200,000. Like you, you can't like you barely finished one. How are you gonna finish seven. But then once I realized I had the thought, I realized I had to do it. Like, I never had the thought I would have been okay, I could have gone about my married life. But as soon as I had that idea, I was like, this is something that I'm going to have to do or I'm not going to sleep well. And so I put it out there. I started talking about it. And then I went out and I did my first race in Patagonia, Chile, and I promptly wrecked my ankle 26 miles in limp the rest of the way. And then a finished trace number one
miles out of how how far?
About 40. I want to say okay, yep. So I, I ran about a marathon, jack, my ankle up completely ended up finding out later, I had a torn perennial tendon, and then a hobbled the last half marathon. And then got back to the States. It's like, Okay, I'm just gonna keep going. And the doctors like, nope, you've got to rehab for six months. And so I had to take some time off. But then yeah, relaunched it and ended up doing the last five, six races within about three, three and a half months total. And we ended up raising almost $200,000 total over the whole project.
That's insane, man. So you got the seven schools built?
Yeah, they actually, it's funny, because there's such a lag time with the actual, from the fundraising to the groundbreaking to the building, that the schools just got built, I want to say a few months back, and hopefully either later this year or early next year will actually be be able to go around there in Laos, Ghana and Guatemala, and we'll be able to see him
do that. So cool. That's so inspiring. I mean, not to mention, you are actually the youngest person in the world to run those seven ultra marathons across the seven different continents. And I believe the list is only like 700 or six to 10 people, right? Like it's small, the people who don't Yeah,
I don't I don't want to just keep harping on the seventh. But I think there's only like seven people. Yeah, there's, it gets a little contentious with who's running Antarctica and everything. But yeah, the list of people who've run an ultra marathon from everything that we've seen, Guinness, Guinness won't certify it, because there's age limitations because of liabilities on some of the races because they're dangerous. And so they say, we can't certify this as a record, because some of them have like 18, or 21, as age minimum. And so hypothetically, if they made it a record, no one under 18, could ever finished. Yo, beat it. But yeah, as far as far as I've, you know, everything we've seen. Yeah, I was, I think it was 2029. I was just before 30 when I finished that and there's a few other people that have done it, but they're all like,
you know, well into their 40s or so.
Yeah, definitely. And I mean, something that you did that is really quite inspiring is that you attached it to, to contributing to something bigger than yourself. I feel like that's where it makes the motivation a little bit easier. Not easy off, because it's always tough, but it's like you know that you're contributing to something bigger than just yourself. So it makes the picture of a whole lot easier in the fact that it's not just about you. It's not just although I'm hurting right now you like, Well, what about those older kids, they'll just promise seven schools to like, it becomes that, that little bit more of a guilt trip or whatever, on yourself. And I'm not trying to downplay it. Oh, I'm actually trying to say that, realistically, if people do want to achieve something, they should start to contribute to people around them and to the world that they're in, rather than just thinking, well, I want a six pack. So therefore, I'm just going to get off to this. Like, that's not a really good focus. No, really good, why, to give you the best outcome.
I found, I found there are two things that really helped. One was making the project so big, that, you know, like, I ran 100 k in Antarctica, and get down Antarctica, and you're like 60 or 70 K, and you're like, I'm pretty tired. But, but you're in Antarctica, like you're not not going you're not good. You're not not going to finish this, like you're definitely getting come all the way to Antarctica to give up. Yeah. And so the fact that it was so big was one of those things where like, I'm not, I didn't come all this way to just go home. And then the The other thing was the contribution aspect, it's like, yeah, you're going to be sore, you know, an ultramarathon. I think the longest race I did was maybe 18 hours total, so long day, but it was, it's just a day, you know, you can be so for day, and then you can like, take a minute, take a nap the next day. And it's it's over. Like, it's, it's, it's painful, but it's over. And when you have a a goal bigger than yourself, it's easier to be like, you know, like, for me, it's a hard day. But you know, for kids who don't have a chance to learn or read. It's like that's every day. And that's like their life. Yeah. And so if I can be sore for, you know, 4872 hours total, and make someone's life better. that's a that's a worthwhile trade off to make.
Yeah, definitely somebody we talk about with people is like crawling out and elimination diet where you remove certain foods for 30 days. And that just seems like such a ridiculous concept to some people, because we're just we're full of instant gratification in this world. And we can get anything at our fingertips all the click of a button, like you can literally have food delivered to your house now with Uber Eats and all the rest of and so it's it's interesting trying to almost convince people to do something, when you know, it's going to be for themselves like, hey, you're you're going to feel a lot healthier from doing this. We can arrange the juices, food, we're going to see what's actually stuffing out your gut, like, we're actually going to see why you're being so affected as a person why you're so tired as an individual we can really fix and transition your energy levels. Yeah, for for some people, that's just not enough. Like it's not until you actually say, Well, okay, let's let's look into the deeper reasons why, like, Why Why are you alive? Why are you doing the things you're doing? Why? Why do you really get up and do the things you do day in day out. And having that understanding makes it a lot easier to be able to contribute to themselves, then it's almost like, through giving to you giving us up 100% you can give everyone else around you 110%. And that's kind of almost where it comes, like where I see your your aspect is like, Hey, you You gave 120% because you knew it was going to give back 200% which is crazy. This is awesome.
Yeah, what you mentioned is interesting, because I'll say it a lot to with people who, like, they want to do stuff for other people, sometimes more, they want to do something for them, and for themselves. And one piece of advice I've seen in the past was like treat yourself like someone that you cared about a lot. Like, if you had a you know, if you're doing an elimination diet, and like it was a kid, it was it was your kid that you're taking through it, you wouldn't be like, Hey, you know, I know you don't really want to do it. It's extreme, but it's like, it's good for the kid, because this is why we're going to do it. Yeah, I'm like, treat yourself like that kid. And like, Hey, you know, it's going to be uncomfortable for a little bit, but it's going to be better. And you're going to find out way more at the end of it. And it's gonna be difficult for a little bit. But you're a big boy, you can do something difficult, like, suck it up. It's fun. And it's funny when you can take yourself out of that, like first person mindset. Pain is painful, but it's not. It's not necessarily. It doesn't mean you can't do it. And there's a difference between somebody being hard and something to be painful. So I think that's a interesting differentiation that people don't really always think about.
Yeah, definitely do. And I think a lot of this like nutrition in particular, but also coming down to events and like pushing yourself to achieving high goals. A lot of it comes down to what's between the ears, it's all about your mindset. Was there a lead up? Like Was this something you were doing in the lead up to help you to build like a fortress to build a stronger head to be able to get you from point A to point B and know that you you rock out to this marathon, you're going to be able to cross the line at the end of the day?
Yeah, so I always say, if I make it to the start line. I'm, there's I never show up to the start line thinking that I'm not going to finish. If I show up to the start line I'm finishing now. Let's my leg breaks. Unless my fuel is something like is literally like wrong with me. I'm finishing the race. I might be slow. It might not be the time I want. I'm not. I'm not giving up. Yeah. And I find when people show up to events that are hard, and they're already thinking about ways to get out of it. They're screwed. Yeah. Because there's no way they're gonna go finish it because it's a it's a storyline. Like, that's the easiest part. There's nothing else going there's nothing has gone wrong yet. Yeah. And people show up the start line, thinking about ways or excuses that they get out of it. And I just had the mentality going into each race that. Well, in general, I try to say, you know, if I say something out loud, I've already process it internally. And it's already done, I just need to do the work to make it happen. And for you know, for these races, it was just one of those things like, I just, I'm at the start line, I'm gonna be back at the finish line. It might take me It may take me forever, but I'm not. I'm not going to give up on this race. And so when I, when I busted my ankle, halfway through the first race, I don't know if it was a smart move, you know, like I don't know of a physical therapist would be very happy with me. But there's, there's a mindset and like a gut check for all these races. And the reason you know, I do ultra marathons and marathons that ultra marathons already start after, you know, an ultramarathon is anything longer than 26.2 miles. And so for most people, Bull 26.2 miles or 42 kilometers is about as far as they've ever even thought about running. And so an ultra marathon doesn't start until most people go home. And so if things hurt, if things are difficult, if you're in pain or not, I don't want to say pain. But if things are difficult, that's the point. Like that's the point of an ultramarathon, you came to the race, you came to the challenge to get tested. And you're seeing what happens when you get tested and so on. For me, you know, each of those races was sort of another reminder, another thing like, hey, you're feeling tough, you know, it's tough right now. But you remember a couple weeks ago, or a month ago, when you do that last race, and you thought you couldn't finish and then you did like, it lets you build confidence in yourself that if you show up to something, if you say you're going to do something that you're going to be able to follow through.
That's awesome. And I think that's like that can really be put on to everyday life as well. Like, if you're not, if you're not willing, if you're not getting the feeling of like, this is really hard or I need to quit, then you probably not pushing hard enough in like day to day life. But on top of that you're collecting those small wins. And I think so many people are very hard on themselves in regards to how that day goes, and what goes wrong and what goes right. And a lot of the time we focus on the negative side, that's just how people are bred. It's like, Okay, what what happened today? Oh, well, this thing went wrong at work. And then all of a sudden it filtered into this going bad and and then I stub my toe and it was terrible, diverse. I will What did you win in that day? Like what were those smaller wins is like Well, actually, I go to I go to my all the emails that had to do today. And now he said, I made this person laugh at work. And oh, and actually, I went to the gym and I really healthy today. So realistically, that's that's a few wins. And it probably outweighs the the negatives that were in the day. And so it's almost like you can use it on a larger scale when you're doing something like an ultra marathon. But I feel like you can reverse engineer and put it into your day to day life and actually do reflection and look over well, how is your day going? If it shit, why is it shit? And how can you fix it? Like, how do you use your mindset to change it around? Because at the end of the day, we are in a state of mindset every day, and how we utilize that can really either optimize your day, or it can completely stuffed your day out from the start like yeah, it's a massive thing.
Yeah, I talked about I talked about reference points with people where it's like, every time you come up to something like hard or difficult and you don't quit, it's another reference point that you get a basically bookmark go away. And you can look back at previous experiences you like remember when that got tough, and I didn't quit like, and it works as races. But then you take that. And you take that reference point, you remember when you get to work and you're like, I don't want to do this thing. Like this job is getting hard. This business venture is getting hard. But you remember that you're resilient because you've experienced these other situations in the past, and you can build on them. And then you start to kind of build this multi layer level of resiliency, where, like you, you start to trust yourself and you start to trust that you're going to be able to come through the other side of hard difficult situations. And so that's, I mean, honestly, that's why I do ultra marathons is like half of its physical. I'm six foot two, like 210 pounds or so like, I don't know what that isn't kilos, but like,
not 90 something 90 kilos.
Yeah, like I'm I'm a big dude. You don't see a lot of runners that are over, you know, like, foot. Yeah. Usually tall little wispy guys, and they're running really fast. And so for me running, I never thought about myself as a runner. But for me, it's a it's more mental almost than anything else. And half the reasons I run or not because of physical fitness or whatever. It's like a mental therapy session. And it's a finding out who you are when you have to go farther than you thought you could go.
Definitely Dude, are you listen to music or anything like this when you're running or you know, loud?
So I started running from triathlons and any triathlons, you're typically not allowed to listen to music. Yeah. So I just got used to running without any music and some of the races I did were in like, you know, and when I when I ran in Antarctica, and I ran into like, the Arctic Circle, basically, in Finland. You know, any electronics you have just die. Yeah. So yeah, yeah. So I, I think for most, there might have been one race I did a, I did a race in Arabic been Australia. And it was, it was a two and a half k out. Two and a half k back. Five K, like, out and back. And you just ran it for 12 hours. Wow. Did you try to see it's funny, like how far as far as you got? So I think during that race, I might have had some music with me. But everything else is just kind of it's just just going, you know, me my shoes and the road.
Yeah, that's incredible, man. Now, I'm sure there is a like a lot of different thoughts that go through. And because you have to listen to them all.
Yeah, well, you I always say I solve more problems out there. And then I remember, like, you go out there with all your problems, you kind of sorted out in your head, you forget the solutions to some of them. Yeah. And you come back, but it's a, it's it's one of those things I find it's the best. It's the best way to sort out stuff in your head. And if I, if I'm having trouble with the business, or if I'm having trouble, you know, with a specific problem. If you go out there and you just go sit with your thoughts where there's no distractions, maybe you have a Garmin on maybe you don't but like, I don't, I don't really like running with my phone. I don't like having a lot of electronics around me. Yeah. Because I just like, I like to just deal with whatever I need to deal with when, when I'm out there. So yeah.
Now it's incredible doing nothing. Too many people rely on music and rely on these bits and pieces to get them through and never actually face up to what's going on in their head. And that's half the problem. Realistically, like that's what weighs a lot of people down is what's between the ears once again, what we're talking about before, but yeah, I feel like too many people are very reliant on the type of music that's in the gym, or the type of music that they listen to while they're running like, oh, it doesn't have a good enough beats. I couldn't run fast enough as I fall. Is it because of the bait? Or is it because yourself I what was the actual start? What was the actual block? So it's incredible to hit, you've gone out and done these ultra marathons pretty much completely wireless, which is incredible.
Well, it's it's funny, too, because it is one of those things that when you don't have music, and you do have to you, you you hear yourself a lot more. And you know, between podcast, like I mean, even between podcasts, I find myself listening to podcasts while I'm like walking to a coffee shop or whatever. Yeah. There's not a lot of time for quiet, where there's no music, there's no other voices, and you just have to sit with yourself. And I think that's the interesting part. It's like, what do you What's that conversation? Like when there's not, you know, you're you're not scrolling through Instagram and not listen to podcast, you're not, you know, watching TV or anything else? Who are you when you just just you and your head? And what are those conversations like? And I think that's one of the interesting things. If you end up out in the middle of the wilderness somewhere and you're running on your own with no music, you get to find out a lot of those answers.
Was there ever like a rock bottom for you, Joe, like something where you were like, you know what, this is why I'm going to start this like, this is why I'm going off to the things I'm going after. Was there ever anything that was like a pain point that kind of made you start this whole journey?
Yeah, so the starting point is basically I graduated college in 2009. In the middle of the recession here in the state, it was like the worst time to graduate ever. I done everything you're supposed to do. got good grades, did some travel, learn Spanish, like, you know, double major, great GPA, all these things you're supposed to do. And I graduated, and there were no jobs like, basically this script that I've been following for the first 22 years of my life.
Just kind of evaporated. Yeah. And so
yeah, exactly. So I'm sitting around, trying to figure out what's going on. Um, I did a part time gig at UPS in Chicago, delivering packages as like a package delivery guy for six weeks before the Christmas rush. And then after Christmas rush, you know, the path, that position is basically eliminated. So they fired us right after Christmas. And I'm sitting in my parents basement, seeing, you know, some of my friends get jobs. So my friends travel the world. And everybody can enjoy interesting things. And I'm, I'm stuck at home in my parents basement. And everything seemed impossible to me. And so I was writing out like a list of things that I wanted to do. But I just didn't think I could do it seemed like other people could do that, but not me. And I felt bad for myself for a long time. I watched a lot of Netflix. And in 2009 there wasn't a lot of things on Netflix around the shows. But after a while, it kind of came back to my list. And I looked at that list again. And it was like start a business, travel the world do all these things. I didn't have any money, I couldn't start a business, I could barely get a job. I couldn't travel the world, no money. But one of the things on the list was run a triathlon. And I realized that I've got all these excuses. And maybe some of them are legitimate enemies bad. The you know, I don't have all this experience and it's super competitive market. I'd all these reasons for why couldn't travel the world, get a job, start a business. But I don't have any excuse why I couldn't go outside and run around the block. And I didn't have any excuse why I couldn't go get on my stupid mountain bike, and ride around the block and start training for this thing. And I signed up for an indoor triathlon. Like it's a, it was a 10 minute swim a 30 minute bike and a 20 minute run. Yeah. And I decided that was going to be my first thing and I finished it. And I told him, I had a conversation. And again, you know, with yourself, I was like, You spent so much time telling yourself that this was impossible. And you just did it? If that's the case, what other things could you do? that you think are impossible if you just went out and tried. And so that was I mean, that's, that was the rock bottom, like where I started impossible, I started using physical fitness as like a, like an orientation for me to go after the things that I think are hard. Yeah. And use physical challenges to rewire my brain. And then, you know, during, during 777, like I did this first race, and I made this big announcement, I said, Hey, I'm going to do this big challenge can be really hard. And first race in, I bust my ankle, like bad. And I gotta like, eat Crow, it'd be like, I got to rehab for six months. And I gotta like, you know, take care of myself and come back. And it was one of those things where you're like, I, you know, after six months of rehab, I had like, no endurance, and I had no, like, I went from running 20 miles to being able to run like two blocks. And I was like, I had a conversation with myself at one point, it's like, either you're going to finish this thing, and do what you said you're going to do. Or you're gonna just like you should just, you know, pretend like it never happened, delete, delete everything else and
wrap all integrity.
Yeah, or just or just own up to it and just say like, Hey, I'm not going to do this. Like it's too hard. Yeah. And I just realized, like, I'm, there's no way I'm doing that. And so, you know, after all this time off, I basically relaunched the project and said, I'm going to do this thing no matter what. And then over the next four or five months, I went out and did it. Yeah,
that's insane. That's so cool. And so I mean, along the way, obviously, when you're starting to work harder on things like your, your physical goals. What did you start to see happen within your life in general, did you start to all of a sudden you got a job and you start earning some money like was that all things that kind of came pot and pot because you were starting to work harder on this one thing is like it all these doors all suddenly open for you?
Well, I think it changed the way I thought about problems. And because everything was a problems, it's like, I can't do a triathlon. Okay. And for a long time, I just thought I couldn't run a trough on and that was how the world was, yeah. And then I realized I could train for a triathlon, and I could change my reality. And then I took that mindset. And instead of saying, Oh, I can't get a job, I said, Well, I could probably get some type of job. And maybe it's not a job that I really wanted, but I could get something. And so I found a, I didn't know anything about the internet, or internet marketing at all. And so I found this company in Indianapolis. But I was I was interested in the internet, I was interested in marketing. And I found this company in Indianapolis, I was like, yeah, we'll, we'll give you like a sales job here. And it's like, all commission, and you'll get like, 200 200 bucks a month stipend or something like that. And I was like, that sounds cool. That's more than zero dollars a month. And so I worked there basically, on a a stipend and realized, you know, got to work directly with the owner, and, like, just started looking for opportunities. And the position that hired me for is like, pretty terrible, actually, like, the thing I was selling was too high for the people's budget, like it was, it wasn't a good fit. But I started seeing opportunities in that business that I could help with, and just started adding in value. And, and, and working hard, you know, staying after hours, and, and trying to be as valuable as possible, even though I wasn't getting paid for it. And at the end of 9090 days, basically, they just like, your, you're not selling any of our websites that we wanted you to sell, but you're too valuable to like, let go. So we'll actually give you like a salary. And, you know, we'll split up the types of things you're doing. Yeah. And I just took that mindset over and over. And so I ended up working my way up from like a, like a commission sales guy to the marketing director at that company, ended up getting recruited to another company, before eventually quitting, you know, starting my own thing. All along the while, it's just like, I kind of shifted reality from like, this is what my reality is, and this is how I have to, like live in it do, what do I want to do? Yeah, and how can I try to see about making that happen? Maybe it's not going to look exactly like I want it to right now. But what could I do to get closer to that. And when I shifted, you know, it's like, if you're looking at a marathon, you like, I want to run a marathon, but you can barely run five K, it's like, Okay, well run a five k first, and then run a 10. either run that run a half marathon. And for me, it was just taking that same mindset and putting it to my business, okay, you want to, you want to start your own company, cool, you have no money, you know, nothing about starting a company, why don't you go work for someone who's, who, who does have their own company and learn everything you can, while you have the chance. And so I did that, and then kind of scaled up more and more and more, I did that stair step approach and a lot of the different things. And so I did that, you know, with my job, ended up starting a couple side businesses basically turned to side businesses and the full time businesses, and they just kept scaling those from there. So I think I think physical, physically difficult challenges are one of the most important things that people can do to rewire how they see themselves and just the world in general. Because once you once you think I can't do a marathon and you go out and do it anyways. Like, the way you look at other hard, difficult things. completely, completely different.
Yeah. Yeah, I definitely agree. I think that it's almost like how you do anything, is how you do everything. And when you start to change your clothes. Yeah, like when you start to change your anything, everything becomes a lot easier. Especially if you're going out and starting your day with a hard physical task of running five K, or going to the gym and doing something that you don't necessarily want to do. You feel a hell of a lot better off, you do it and the rest of the day feels a hell of a lot easier after you've done it. But it's like it comes down to the basics, right? Like how you treat individuals, and do you want to pay off the toilet seat or you that person that leaves the toilet dirty, leaves that house dirty, and then they get to work and then all sudden, the whole workspace is dirty. And they wonder why that not getting the raise, it's like well hold up, if you have a look at you as the problem maybe, then you can actually realize that that's potentially where the block is. And that's typically the way that it isn't. We've always got excuses, we've always got ahead to to help us along the way and take the easiest route. But the hardest thing to do in the, I guess the easiest person to lie to yourself, the hardest thing to do is face up to yourself.
That's, that's pretty good like that.
Good. I'm glad the Bruce Lee's got some quote about a man must constantly exceed his limits. And if you accept mediocrity, or you, you limit yourself in one area, it starts to bleed. I like the term, it's bleeding into other areas of your life. And if you start saying, Oh, I can't do this race, I can't do that hard thing, then you start like, you start looking at other stuff. And it's like, Oh, I can't get that promotion, well, you could get the promotion, but you're kind of scared of it, or you don't think you're that guy that's going to go get so you don't. And I think that's I think if you can, if if you can master, the one thing you really have 100% control over which is your body. Like you can control what food you put an external exercise you do with it. If you can figure out how to master that, you send a way better chance of figuring out how to master the world and everything else that comes in it. But if you can't get control over, you know, your body, the one thing that you basically have 100% control over, it's gonna be a lot harder to go out and do all those other things. Actually, I sent an email out just a few weeks ago to a list that was pretty much that like, you've got control of two things in life, which is your food and your exercise. Like everything else. Yes, obviously, like mindset and things like that you do have control of but sometimes depressed can run in and you don't have control of that. But you can control the food that you're at, you can control the exercise you're doing. And you can see a lot of change as you did. Yeah, it's like give yourself a chance. Like, like, like, there's, there's gonna be like externalities, there's gonna be stuff that happens. Life happens, things are hard, like life is hard. Yeah. But if you put yourself in a place where you can handle that, and you're a person that can handle hard, difficult things. That's that's, you're giving yourself a chance, right? Like you're building yourself into someone that is, is ready for those opportunities, rather than someone who's always, you know, unexpectedly blindsided by hard difficult things. Hmm,
yeah, definitely. Definitely. Right, man. So I mean, something that you've done, or something that I actually really like is the the whole don't create a bucket list, but create an impossible list. So this is obviously falls into place with with your business and with the things that you're trying to achieve. Like it's kind of the common theme we've been talking about so far as well. What was impossible and how do I go after it? But why create an impossible list?
Yeah, so the difference between you know, a lot of people say they have like a bucket list, and it's cool, and we'll go after it. I a lot of people confuse impossible isn't a bucket list. And the way I differentiate two is an impossible is a bucket list. People make one time they get all excited about going at this, I want to do that. This is cool, that is cool. But then they just get excited about it. And they don't do anything with it. Yeah, and impossible list is, it's not supposed to be this big endless list. It's supposed to be like things that you can do right now that might seem impossible. For me when I started, it was an indoor triathlon. That seemed like it I was in such a bad spot, I had no idea how I would be able to go out and do that. And when I went out and did it, all of a sudden the limits of what I thought were possible, expand and I was like, Okay, well, you know, maybe I can do a sprint triathlon, maybe I can do Olympic triathlon, maybe I can do a half a half marathon. I Half Ironman, and as I started pushing myself farther and farther, my possible is grew and grew and grew. And so the idea is, you know, you don't have to start off with these grandiose plans, you don't have to go, you know, start off with climb, you know, climb, climb Mount Everest, like, you don't have to start there, you can start off with, you know, I think that's what makes my story you know, relatable, and, and and true is that I was in my parents basement, and watching Netflix, and I decided I was going to go out and run around the block. And then I got on my bike and rode around the block. And it's like, you can start where you are, you can start doing something with what you've got, wherever that is, yeah. And as you push, you're going to find out that you're capable of way more than your small brain thought you are. And as you do, your impossible is expands, your world expands and like your story of what you're capable of continues to expand. And so the idea with an impossible list is never really done. You know, ideally, you know, it's never finished. Like if you finish your impossible, it's that means you quit pushing. So keep pushing, and keep expanding, and you're going to end up with a bunch of things on it that you're you never thought you'd even be considering as like reasonable possible, actionable things that you'd want to do.
Yeah, is that interesting question that gets asked of people when they're the champion of something. And it's like, well, how do you feel now that you're the world champion? And they say, Well, actually, I don't feel any different like it. Now that I've achieved my goal actually almost feel a little bit hollow, I need to now find something else to work towards is that is that caused some pursuit, which is what keeps us alive. It's almost like, you show me anyone who's depressed, and I can show you someone who doesn't have a purpose in life. Because it's as soon as we start, we start to filter down, and we started, we start to get clogged up. And we're like, well, what's the purpose of life right now? Well, I don't have anything driving towards. So yeah, that's really cool. I love the the whole concept of the impossible. lyst is is visualization. So many of us, Joe.
So I don't do a lot of it, my biggest thing is, my biggest thing that I do, when I, again, when I get to races is it just like, I have like an agreement with myself, it's like, if I say I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it. I know a lot of people will think like visualize themselves, like on a, like finished crossing the finish line or whatever. And for me, it's much more of like a sort of a pact I have with myself where it's like, you, you're not going to say something out loud that you're not going to do. And so I don't, it's not quite visualization, but it's something like something along the lines of, if I if I speak something out loud, I've thought it through enough in my head that like that repetition has been there one way or another, you know, so I know how to people get into visualization, a lot of pro athletes to it, I haven't done it a lot. But I have done sort of like a I guess not visualization, but it's like just the repetitive, like retraining your brain to be like, if you're stepping up at the starting line, you you you will know everything that goes bad and, and this is this is sort of like a it's like reverse visualization. Like I maybe I'm too negative or whatever. But I imagine a lot of times how bad I'm gonna feel. Okay, I imagined the things that are going to go wrong, and I expect them to go wrong.
That's actually it's actually very relatable though, because I think a lot of people do that. They think about the worst things. And like, if I think about doing like, when I get to a workout sometimes like I do a lot of CrossFit and so I'll get to a workout and I'm like this is going to be fucking terrible. And then you get that and you're like, Ah, it actually wasn't that bad. Because you've built it out to be so bad in your head, that when you go and do what you like, well, it didn't live up to the expectations. So it was quite quite nice.
Or, or for me sometimes it's like it is that bad. Yeah, but you can't complain. going in. So So it's almost like I vaccinate myself against how bad it is. Because I'm like, this is going to be this is gonna be horrible. I'm gonna feel terrible, blah, blah. And I've literally, you know, when I when I'm out running, I will say out loud. Like, I've had a couple races where there was a tornado that came through and it started raining in the middle of it. I was like, all right. It's, you know, you could have 30 mile per hour winds, I don't care, you can start down point and then you're like talking out loud to the race. But then the race starts like talking back as you like, okay, it could downpour starts down toward you like, Well, you know, there's not going to be a tornado, you know, tornado sirens ago, like, all right, uh, and it got to the point where like, I lost my leg breaks, I'm not getting off this course. Right? Like, unless something is wrong, I'm not getting off this course. And then at that point, it doesn't matter what happens. And it's almost it goes from painful to funny. When you have like, you know, I can handle 30 mile per hour winds and the winds kick up to 30 miles per hour, you're like, I see what you did there. Right? trying to get me to quit not gonna go. So I like reverse visualization. I don't know if I have a term for that. But the idea of like imagining what's going to go bad. But instead of, instead of using that as an excuse to not do it, just know that it's going to be hard. Like if you're going after something, you know, the brand is impossible. The idea is go do things that you think are impossible. Like if you go into those things, and you think and they're difficult, and then you're like, Oh, I didn't realize it's gonna be difficult, like what do you what are you doing? Like you should know going in, it's going to be hard. It's going to be difficult, expect it to be hard. And when it is hard. You shouldn't be surprised. It's like the Nate Diaz quote after the UFC, see that? He's like, I'm not surprised. Yeah, like, that's kind of what I always think about when when I go into something that's hard. It's like, I'm not surprised. Like, I, I expected this to suck, and it's sucky. But I'm gonna go through it. And this is what I signed up for. So I'm going to finish it. Yeah,
yeah, definitely. It's so good. And I think a lot of fighters actually use that concept of a new the outcome before it even happened. Because they have to go in with that mindset of like, you're going in saying, I'm going to finish this race. If I step up to this, like to the start line, I'm going to finish this race. And I think a lot of people use that as like, Okay, I'm going to win this race, or I'm going to win this fight, I'm going to win this thing. Because you need to believe in yourself, you need to back yourself before it will ever really happen to some extent. Sure, some things might pop out of the blue, and you might get some things where it's just like, oh, wow, that was surprising. Like, that was a great thing going me. But a lot of the time, it's because of the work you put in because of the belief that you have behind yourself. And because of the small wins or checkpoints we're talking about before I think that kind of get you that get you over the line.
I think I think for a lot of people to you know, like if you're like a for stepping in the UFC ring or something like that. There's definitely like, a full on competition. But I've been I've been surprised with myself about how many things I was just holding, like, there wasn't like, someone waiting to knock me out. You know, like, a lot of times, it was like, you had to just step up, and believe in yourself and step up. And this sounds like kind of cheesy, but like, you just had to be the one to be like, I'm gonna throw my hat in the ring or I'm gonna, I'm gonna say I'm gonna go do this. And there's nobody like, a lot of times there's not a lot of gatekeepers trying to stop you. Sometimes there are sometimes it's a little bit more difficult. But it's, it's surprising to me how much you can do if you just say, if you have the, you know, I think I think like courage and boldness is like a an underrated character that people don't always, you know, have the strength to step out and say, I'm going to do this. Now when you say I'm going to do this. It's amazing how many people step out and are willing to help you How, how your brain kind of reorient things around like, Okay, well, this is the goal now. Like, I guess we're just going to figure out how to do it. And things become more doable when you just say I'm gonna, I'm going to step out, I'm going to try to figure this thing out. I don't know how it's going to happen, but I'm going to do it. You know, when I when I launched 777? No clue. You know, I'd done one, one ultra marathon previously. And I, you know, had raised like, $25,000, I basically one of the seven x that and I know cloud is going to do it. But you step up to that challenge. And then you figure it out. And
what do they say creativity?
Creativity is the
mother of invention or something like that. What does that? No, I screwed that up. I screwed that up. Dang it.
I can't even back yesterday,
this is the mother. Shoot. Okay, I'm struggling here. I'm gonna blame it on the time difference. Yeah, it's like is that when you when you step into something that's hard or difficult, and you force yourself to have to figure something out?
You make it that much likely? More likely that you will?
Yeah, I think it's like, you bring on your like initiative, and you have to create things. Otherwise, it's just going to be stagnant, never gonna happen. I think that's where it comes back to what you were saying before about actually saying it aloud. Like owning a decision by telling other people about it. Or by writing it down, like writing goals down is a massive thing. And if you haven't written a goal down before, then you should probably go do that, because that's a really good starting point. But I mean, outside of that is actually telling people about things you want to do. And when you want to achieve it by like, Hey, I'm going to write a book. But when are you going to write it by? Oh, well, you know, just some time I'm going to write a book as I hold no, let's put some guidelines around it. Like what what are you doing? What are you doing a by? I feel like that creates a lot more power. And once you've got someone almost holding you accountable. There's a lot more that you can start to stick to. Yeah, no, definitely. Um, so you went and did you went study? What did you study? Like? What was your
But yeah, I
not not helpful with what I'm doing now. But I did. I did business administration and Spanish Business Administration, you think would be like, helpful, but yeah, it's not. Yep. Like, everything I've learned in business has been like trial by fire and or, you know, from some of the companies I worked at, but it was very much like, if I wanted to be a consultant someplace, like I like a big consulting firm, like those would be things I'd be going through. But I, I found I found, especially with online business that like, things move so fast that by the time it's in a book, I sometimes someone's like, got a class to teach about it. It's already asked me so yeah, I've learned probably mostly from putting myself in situations that probably don't belong in and just saying, like, I'm here and like, soaking up information for people smarter than me. Yeah. Then going out and doing stuff and being like, oh, that didn't go well for that. So I was surprising. And just kind of paying attention to what resonates. What doesn't and
yeah, school didn't like. Yeah.
Cool. So yeah, yeah,
no, I completely agree. And I think one of the things I love about running a business is the actual learning of business. Like, there's, there's 1000 fires to put out always, and there's always something you can be working on. Like, you've got a quiet day, and all the sudden you remember, oh, no, I said I was going to do this Hold up, I need to go and do that. Like, I actually enjoyed that factor of having lots of things to be doing and almost wearing all the different hats and being able to create a team of like, Okay, well, I'm not good at this. So who can I get into do that? For me? Who is actually really good at doing that? And how can I Excel and show the whole business how it's done. So then we can keep moving forward as a whole group, like, that whole siloed of piecing all the puzzle pieces together is is kind of what keeps me going a lot really, with creating and starting and continuing a business. Yeah, it's one of those things where it's like, I need the, like, the mental stimulation of all these things happening doing keep going. So yeah, I totally agree. It's quite interesting. We deal with a lot of like corporate spaces, and sometimes we'll deal with say, Hi, john. And we're only we the only point of contact is HR. But they've got three other people to contact. So you send an email on Monday, and they're like, yeah, cool. We'll get back to you. Friday comes around, like, Hey, what happened with this? And like, Oh, I'm, we're just waiting on person three to get back to us before we can confirm if this is good to go. And I'm like, Oh, my God, I just make a decision already. Yeah, but that's just, that's just business. Dude, so I mean, you have the level up. Sorry, live up to hard mode. Tell me about that.
Yeah, so this is kind of like the, the idea of we talked about where it's like, you kind of expect stuff to be hard. And this is just that idea of like doing something every day. Everybody wants life to be easier. like everybody's always holding out for stuff to be easier to get, like, simpler or when things calm down, or like, you know, if I could just make you know, that challenge a little a little, little less intimidating. And the idea of hard boat is flipping that on its head, and just saying, What's, what's a harder way? I can do that? Yeah, then just realizing that you're capable of doing things that are harder. So a couple examples of this. I met Joe to Santa from Spartan Race. Yeah, cool. And Joe walks around with a kettlebell. It's a 40 pound kettlebell. He walks around with it. Yeah. And you're like, Joe, why do you have a kettlebell? And it's just something that's harder every single day. And now most people complain about most people would ever like you have to deal with the social aspects you have to deal with. Like, it's not a like kettlebell. Yeah, but carried around and the first day, it's kind of a pain. Second day, it's kind of hard. And then eventually, you become a person that can carry extra 40 pounds around with our batting an eyelash. Yeah. And what I love about this is like, you could do this in different ways. It's like, okay, like, you want to run a five k? Like, yeah, maybe maybe that's hard for you. Maybe that's too difficult. Maybe you want something easier to do? What if you tried to find a harder way to run a five k? What did you throw a weight vest on? What did you did a rock, and and you ran a five Canada rock. I've got something called Cold Shower therapy, or a challenge people take, instead of warm showers, take cold showers. And the idea is everybody talks about, you know, practice being uncomfortable. But as soon as you say like, here's a way to actually physically be uncomfortable. People get all get all weird. Like, no, no, I didn't mean like, I meant, like, you know, an Instagram quote, that's what I was going to add. And I love pushing people out to be like, do something that's physically difficult, and make it harder than it has to be. And the great thing about the kettlebell is like, it's harder, but it's not impossible, you're going to be fine. Like, you're not going to like, you're not going to hurt yourself, you're going to maybe feel a little stupid, but people are going to be like, that's, that's actually interesting, it's going to be a good story, people are going to, you know, ask you why you're carrying around a kettlebell. And I like their stuff like that you can add in your day on a regular basis. And, you know, I did a lot of a lot of involved physical challenges, like just, you know, do 25 push ups every hour, no matter where you are, at the top down, or just drop 25 little coffee shop, mall doesn't matter, go do it. And it's just the idea. It's like you're capable of way more than you think you are. And if you just force yourself to like play on hard mode. Instead of you know, the analogy I made in the blog post was hard mode versus easy mode, a lot of people get stuck. You know, you said, People get depressed, because they don't have a purpose, or they don't feel challenged. And you know, when you play a video game on easy mode, it's really good to learn the concept of the game playing on easy mode. But after you get like, moderately good, and you're still playing on easy mode, it's not fun. Yeah, you're just like kind of putting mashing, you've memorized a bunch of stuff, it's not challenging, you're just kind of zoning out. And that's what a lot of people do with their life. And so if you're able to take it, you either have to quit that game and start a new game, or you actually play it on hard mode. And there's like, way more bad guys. There's way higher, difficult to setting, it's harder to aim, whatever the, you know, whatever the settings are ratcheted up. And, you know, a lot of people go through their life and they're bored. And they figured out how to get through their day to day with, but imagine they sold out. If they can take that mode and turn it into hard mode, and all of a sudden, it's like, okay, you can't just get away with doing what you've done. On a daily basis, you got to walk up, you got to do your entire routine. But now with the kettlebell, yeah, just start that. Or you have to wear a weight vest everywhere. Or you have to do these push ups, you're doing cold showers or something along those lines, all of a sudden, you can't be comfortable all the time, because carrying a kettlebell around isn't comfortable all the time. And it forces you to rewire how you're thinking about stuff. So that's the idea. That was behind hard mode.
That's awesome. I love that. We actually, so we run health, health and wellness retreats, and something we do on them is ice baths. And a lot of the time people come in, they don't know that we're going to the ice bath, and we set up all these ice and we set up this bar and I'm like, What are you doing? They get really nervous. And you see the cogs going like I'm not going to do that. Maybe I will do it. No, no, I'm not going to do that. And it's like that hard battle straight away of like, is this something I'm going to do today? Am I going to step up and do it? Or am I going to be scared and not do it? And it's really interesting to watch the people who do it. And then we actually tell them like, Hey, we're actually going to do this two or three times today. Like, ideally, we're going to get you through this three times, not just once, but three times. And people like non No, that's not happening as like, no, you'll get there, you'll do it, you'll be really good. And the people who do it, they come out of it. And they say, oh, man, I had no intention of doing that today. yet. I'm so glad I did. Because now I feel like I can accomplish anything. Like it's just an icebox. But now I can go and beat the world. Like it's crazy what little things like that can actually do for improving you and you as a person, your mindset as a person, it's so cool.
The the snowball effect from those is crazy, where it's like, you know, just, if someone shrinks back from an ice bath, they start to shrink back. Like it's the bleed over thing we talked about earlier. And if if you pull back in one area, you start to pull back and others and you know, it's it sounds simple, and it sounds like oh, it's just an ice bath. It doesn't matter, but it does. And it affects other things. And it's it's interesting to see that play out in real time. Because, you know that first time they go through it, they're like, Oh, no, by the third time, they're just like, you know, you could tell me, but I bet that they're like, okay, like,
yeah, they're ready to hit it. It's like I just need to get and get this done now rather than Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no,
it's good. It's like we're only doing this three times. Let's keep let's keep it going.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. It's super cool. So Joe, I think that's probably a good place to start to wrap up dude, let's let's let the listeners know like what you've got going on and where they can follow you.
Yeah, so you can check out
possible HQE calm for everything. Impossible. Instagram Twitter impossible. HQHQ ism headquarters. And yeah, we do a lot of a lot of mindset posts, email list and working on impossible gear apparel so you can get your impossible shirt when you're going out and doing impossible things. Remind yourself that you can't give up when it's hard. Yeah, and we're coming out with some new products this fall as well. So if you get on the email list that impossible HQ will be let you know all about that.
That's insane. Thank you so much. It's been a really fun interview, dude, I really enjoyed it.
Alright, thanks for having me, man. Thanks, listeners, visit the chief lack
calm for all of your nutrition coaching needs, your own personalized meal plan, as well as how you can get involved with one of our seven pillar retreats.