PODCAST Rich Roll: Redefining Success
Rich Roll is a plant based ultra endurance athlete and host of the super successful Rich Roll Podcast. Rich has battled his own demons with addiction and not only lived to tell the tale but also inspire countless others to take back control of their lives.
Rich has been a big influence on me for quite a while now. As a long time fan of The Rich Roll Podcast it was quite an honour to be invited to join him as a guest on his show last year. It was an experience I enjoyed so much that I wanted to do it more often which resulted in me starting my own podcast. We talked about addiction, athletic performance, goal setting, education and what it means to be successful.
I thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope you do too.
- Rich’s wife Julie will also be at the events, her website is here.
- Dr Andrew Davies website is here.
- These events are run in conjunction with Raw Events Australia.
(00:02:43)……WHO IS RICH ROLL?
(00:09:35)……DEFINING SUCCESS IN SPORTS, FITNESS AND EDUCATION
(00:35:01)…..THE RELATIONSHIP OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE
(00:56:30…..)SUCCESS, SPIRITUALITY AND NUTRITION
(01:12:44)……THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP AND RECOVERY & CONCLUSION
Rich Roll: Redefining Success
This podcast has been automatically transcribed by a software and went for a minor editing. If you notice any mistakes or wrong word entry please help us fix them by leaving a comment. We made sure to be the most accurate as we can. Enjoy!
Welcome to episode 6 of the Spud Fit podcast. I’m your host Andrew Taylor. I’m a bit of a nut who ate only potatoes for all of 2016. If you want to learn more about me, then you can check out spudfit.com. There you can find a book that I wrote called the DIY Spud Fit podcast, not Spud Fit podcast, the DIY Spud Fit Academy, I wrote that with my wife. It’s got all the tips and tricks and psychological tactics to get you through your own Spud Fit Academy and it’s also got a bunch of recipes that can help you as well. It’s uh, it’s available through spudfit.com and you can also just search for it on Amazon and and find out there as a paperback or as an e-book, uh, if you are listening to this, soon after its published. Uh, then you hopefully will have the chance to get along to the uh, living the plant power way events, which are happening in Sydney on uh, this Thursday the 16th of March and then in Melbourne on Friday the 17th of March. It’s uh Rich Roll and his wife Julie and myself and Andrew Davies.Dr. Andrew Davies will be sharing our stories and hopefully a bit of wisdom and uh, and it’ll be an amazing event with uh, with music and meditation and talks and question & answers. And of course amazing food as well. So hopefully I’ll uh, I’ll see you all there.
Now, Rich is my guest today. Rich is the guest which is cool for me. I was on Rich Podcast last year and we flipped it around. I interviewed Rich this time for the Spud podcast had a great time and uh, yeah, Rich is an amazing inspirational guy, and he was able to give me a lot of good advice for my mission to improve my fitness this year. I hope you enjoy the podcast. As much as I did and um, like I said go to bed if you want to learn more about me and go to living the plant power way to find out more about how you can see rich in uh, In the flesh in Sydney and Melbourne coming up this week on to the podcast.
WHO IS RICH ROLL?
Andrew: All right, Richard, welcome to the Spud Fit podcast.
Rich: Great to be here good to be on the other side of the podcast equation with you today.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s great to have you here. Uh, I in an earlier podcast with Anna Chisholm. I said to her that she was one of the Inspirations behind me actually starting my own podcast. And of course you are one as well because uh, I was on a couple of different podcasts last year and I enjoyed the experience so much that I wanted to do it more often.
Rich: And how’s it going?
Andrew: Yeah going really well so far. Yeah. Thanks for thanks for putting the idea in my head.
Rich: That’s great, man. And it’s a it’s a super fun medium and I and it’s powerful and we had a great conversation. So I’m not surprised that you,that the light bulb went off in your head and you’re running with it. A lot of people talk about doing it, but then they don’t actually do it. So you actually did it which is awesome and sounds like you’re well on your way and you got some good momentum. So congrats.
Andrew: Thank you. It’s just it’s a really cool excuse to be able to sit down with some cool people and uh, and have good conversations which are few and far between in general life these days I think so.
Rich: Yeah, absolutely. It’s it’s actually the the greatest scam in the world because of your reason to call up people that you have no business calling up and Hoodwink them and sitting down and answering all your questions under the uh, air quotes rubric of like helping spread their message.
Andrew: You’re letting the secret out, Rich.
Rich: Yeah, but the great thing is that you get to share that, and so it enriches your life.The life of everybody that has the opportunity to listen to it. At least that’s been my experience and sounds like it has been yours as well.
Andrew: Yeah, and in my short podcasting life, definitely a great but uh, I don’t want you to let the secret out that this is just uh, you know a foot in the door to talk to some people.
Rich: No, the thing is like, it doesn’t matter because they still have to execute and most people don’t want aren’t going to do it so I wouldn’t worry about it.
Andrew: Yeah. All right. So let’s uh to start things off. I’m sure there’s at least one or two. People listening to this the diner. So, uh, let’s start off with the obvious question. Who is Rich?
Rich: Uh, that’s how long do we have? I don’t know quite how to answer that. But I guess the sort of uh, the flip way to do it is just you know, I’m an athlete, Ultra Endurance athlete. I’m an author, I’ve written two books, Finding Ultra. Plant Power Way. Which is cookbook, first is a memoir, the second of the cookbook. I’m a podcaster. I have podcasts that I started about four years ago, the Rich Roll podcast were I do basically what you’re doing today. Uh, I’m a public speaker. I am married to the beautiful Julie Piatt who’s sitting over there on the couch.
She’s my co-, She’s my co-author on the Plant Power Way even but it’s really her book, you know, they’re her ???, she’s the genius in the kitchen and she is the strength and the reason behind and the inspiration behind everything that I do and have been able to do. And I’m a father. I have two daughters and two stepsons and we live in beautiful Malibu Canyon, California. Uh, I don’t know, I never know what to say. Somebody says, what do you do? I do a whole bunch of different things. But essentially I think at all kind of falls into the umbrella of being a Wellness Advocate.
Andrew: All right. Well, that’s that’s a pretty good introduction and uh, part of the reason that uh, that your story resonates with me personally and with lots of other people is your history of addiction and uh, obviously maybe with a different type of addiction to what you had but uh, can we just have a very brief history of your experiences with that as well and then we’ll get on the other stuff.
Rich: Yeah, sure. Um, I’m recovering addict, alcoholics. Uh, basically I’ve been sober for a while. But um, I’m somebody who struggles and has struggled with addiction throughout my whole life. Somebody who grew up as a youngster kind of insecure and had difficulty connecting with other people, um, sort of a loner, quiet child. And discovered discovered alcohol around the age of 18 and that kind of opened up a whole new world for me, helped me socialize and it was it was sort of like lubricant in the social you know, gearbox of my life. But it’s something that very quickly started to erode the kind of quality of everything that was aspirational. I was somebody who grew up with a lot of promise. I had a lot of opportunities, a lot of which became squandered through my alcoholism. I drank until I was 31 years old and at the end, it was a pretty dark picture of kind of loneliness and desperation. I don’t have the most dramatic drunkle log story. It’s pretty pedestrian, but-
Andrew: It’s pretty dramatic to me.
Rich: Yeah. Well, you know it was it was it was just kind of lonely and pathetic but it didn’t involve, you know, lots of sort of super dramatic things that lend themselves to Great stories, but you know, ultimately at the very end, I had turned into pretty much around the clock drinker. I was teetering on losing my job, which would have led to me becoming homeless. I was uh, alienated from my friends and family. I was untrustworthy. I was just, I was basically like not a very good person. Got sober, went to rehab for 100 days back in 1998 and that began the process of me, you know, assembling a toolbox for a new way of living. A way of living based on spiritual principles, a way of living premise on service and a way of living premised on faith and trying to connect with my heart essentially. And it wasn’t an overnight thing. For the first 10 years, I basically was a workaholic and then that I sort of transferred all of my addiction tendencies onto my career rebuilding my career and sort of getting back all the opportunities that I had squandered and also living a very unhealthy lifestyle. Medicating myself through my food choices and my lifestyle choices that by 39 had left me 50 pounds overweight and kind of on the precipice of, you know, chronic lifestyle illness.
Andrew: Interesting story for me and that the book Finding, Finding Ultra wasn’t it? Yeah, the book was uh, really interesting thing for me to read from the point of view of myself as a food addict and and the challenges. There are some parallels there. So, uh, yeah, I appreciate that story. Um now, I am Spud Fit, everyone obviously knows I ate any potatoes for the last year. That’s the Spud part of my name, but now there’s a Fit part of the name that I have to deal with. So that’s mostly what I wanna do.
Rich: Heavy emphasis on Spud, but not so much on Fit?
DEFINING SUCCESS IN SPORTS, FITNESS AND EDUCATION.
Andrew: That’s right. That’s right. So, um, yes the last year’s the year of Spud
and this year’s the year Fitness for me. So, uh, I wanted to uh, try to maybe Focus mostly on that side of things, uh in this podcast. So, uh, yeah. You something you haven’t talked about so far is uh, is you being an elite athlete in a former life and in your current life, but with a different life in between, but as an elite junior swimmer had what did you learn from from that experience as being an elite junior swimmer and and how has that shaped you as a person today.
Rich: Um, yeah great question. Uh, it was extremely informative. Um about how I lived after that experience and lived today. I think the main thing I learned when I was a young person was that uh, when you put in work you get results, you know, when you actually sort of focus on something and show up for it, that down the line, not the next day, not the day after that, but at some point down the line you will be paid dividends for that work and that was my first experience as a young person where I actually saw that because, I was a good swimmer, but I wasn’t some kind of brilliantly naturally gifted swimmer. They were swimmers who were much more talented than me. I so badly as a young person wanted to be like as good as that like that was my driving force and I realized that when I would double down on the work that I could bridge that Talent deficit Gap and catch up to them.
And when I started to see the results of that that kind of informed my whole world view, and I applied that to my academics, I applied that to uh, my you know career later in life and I applied that to my approach to Ultraman. And I continue to apply a lot of those tools today. Um, you know, I was crazy, I had a crazy work ethic as a swimmer and also as an ultra endurance athlete and I think there’s you know, good things about that and there’s not so good things about that and I think for you, as Spud Fit and somebody who is, you know, trying to focus on the fitness part who has you know, some kind of relationship with addictive behavior patterns. Um, it would be interesting to talk about exploring that a little bit because you can kind of Leverage some of that for your benefit, but you also have to be very conscious about how I can you know take you into you know, that sort of obsessive state that leads you astray from the goal that you’re seeking.
Andrew: Yeah, well, I do have uh that sort of I’m struggling with that relationship a little bit at the moment because I feel like I’m a very All or Nothing person and I’m I’m I’m trying to I want to do a lot more training than I’m able to do and uh, I’m at a sort of sometimes feel like, You know, if I can’t get a four-hour training session in then what’s the point of doing anything at all.
Rich: That sort of growth opportunity right there, that right in and of itself. That’s the that’s the lesson for you to learn right? Because you’re not going to be able to go out and train for hours. I’m the same way. I would love to be able to just train all day long every single day. That’s not my life anymore. So, how do you, how do you Embrace a different approach?
Andrew: Yeah, good point. And we actually, that’s another parallel that we have that I forgot to mention that I don’t know. You probably don’t know that I was an elite junior kayaker. So that’s another sort of something that we share but uh, yeah trying to um, you know, I’m used to as and as from my previous day’s and athlete being able to put in four-six hours a day of just going hard work, you know, and uh and to not be able to do that now with all these other commitments that I’ve got, I’m finding it hard to.
Rich: Forget it, I’m not doing it at all.
Andrew: Exactly. It’s not. Yeah, there is that tendency that to think. Well, if I can’t if I can’t do it the way that I use to then I don’t want to do it at all. But obviously that’s not logical but you know, it’s about trying to find some sort of, some sort of uh reasonable approach to it. But anyway, these are these are my issues. We’re talkin about you.
Rich: But this is but you know, they’re the issues that I struggle with as well and I think there are a lot of people out there that you know, deal with that and I think you know for you. You know when I look at someone who’s like I’m only going to eat potatoes for a year and there’s an incredible amount of self-discipline that goes into that, there’s a, but there’s also like an obsessive nature that you harnessed for your benefit. But also like how do you let go of that and like, you know, basically be okay with yourself being imperfect. How are you going to be okay, just if you only get a half an hour of training in and the next day you don’t get anything because you’re traveling for some opportunity that’s come up as a result of like all these things that you’ve done and the out and the sort of opportunities that are now presented to you to be able to like, share the message. What’s the most important? What’s your driving force and how to you balance all of that? And I think that’s how you become like the the sort of taking that on and learning how to be okay with that is how you becomeaA more fully formed functional, you know person with, who’s overcoming those addictive tendencies to you know, be sort of well-rounded and more balanced in your life.
Andrew: Yeah. That’s a really really good point of uh, you know, trying to figure out where my time is best spent at the moment, I guess and actually leads to another question that I had written down for later on but I’ll go with it now. You know coming from that background of being an elite swimmer, you know swimming at College at Stanford. It’s like you said you’re not, you weren’t the best of the best but you were somewhere near that, um, when you decided to go back to swimming and Triathlon obviously in the beginning you sucked at it. So, how do you how did you deal with that?
Rich: Well, I still think I suck at it. I’m not like under any illusions that I mean, you keep calling me an elite athlete now like I’ve done some cool stuff, but I look at it like., “Well any real Pro triathlete would look at what I’ve done and just be like well, that’s nonsense.” You know what? I mean, I’m 50 year old man like so when I go to the pool now I jump in and I swam and I feel like I’m 24 years old and I look at the pace clock and I think oh that’s about, if I’m doing 100 meter repeats, you know, I think, well that I’m coming in because I know my body so well that’s about this time and then I’ll look at the clock and it’s like 12 seconds longer, you know, I’m like wait, you know, I’m not you know, I’m not I can’t I can’t train and be at the level that I was at when I was you know, 20 years old. So I think it’s a healthy lesson in learning how to be okay with where you’re at, you know, and it’s not about. It’s not about like oh I should be here or why am I not here?
It’s, it’s about being comfortable with you with where you’re at and trying to be the best version of yourself in that moment. So that tomorrow you can be a little bit better than you were yesterday. So the more you kind of narrow that time window. And focus on what you’re doing in the moment, and let go of what it used to be like the Glory Days or yeah, you know, what you think you should be, where you should be, why am I not doing this, and why is that guy doing that, whatever. And the more you can like let go of all that because it’s just noise and it’s just projection anyway. Then the better off that you are.
Andrew: Yeah, it’s a really good way to look at it again. Um, yeah, so that’s that’s just something for me to work on I guess of uh, trying to, trying to focus on the job at hand rather than uh, what was or what might be.
Rich: What is your goal?
Andrew: That’s another interesting one. I only, I’ve got at the moment I’m struggling coz I’ve got so many ideas bouncing around in my head of different events that I want to do or different things I want to focus on. And as a few ideas that I haven’t really put out there into the world yet. I’m not sure if I’m ready to but uh, yeah, that’s a hard one to actually figure out exactly what I want to be aiming towards or whether it’s even worthwhile having a goal or should I just be focused on the process, rather than the end result.
Rich: Well, I think that that uh, I mean my my opinion, is that you shouldn’t, you don’t have to make too big of a deal like, you’re like sure of inability to set a goal. That sort of paralysis. Is because you’re building it up in your mind to be this huge thing and if you commit to something, oh my God, what does that mean? I would just pick something and commit to it and you don’t have to be public about it, if you don’t want to. But I think if you do that, it will it will like, create snap Focus around everything else that you’re doing fitness-wise and create sort of purpose and intention behind what you’re doing every day, and I think you’ll find within that structure. Uh, because I think we have a similar perspective, that it will really help drive you towards the results that you’re seeking in a more productive way. Because every day instead of just like well, what am I going to do today? What’s my fitness thing? You’ll know exactly like here’s what I’m doing today, because I know in six months or nine months or three months or whatever I have to do this thing.
And this is the this is sort of the focus or the goal of my current work out today. And there’s just within that structure there’s freedom and I think there’s a greater kind of launch pad for achieving. You know, what you’re seeking to achieve.
Andrew: Yeah, that makes sense because. I compare it to the last year again that you know out of pretty simple goal. That was to eat potatoes for the whole year.
Rich: Look how powerful that was. It drove your behavior in a really profound way.
Andrew: Yeah, made every day was so simple because of that. What am I going to eat today? I’m going to potatoes. There’s no more thought to go into it than that.
Rich: But if you’re like waking up every day, like what am I gonna do to be fit? And that’s very amorphous idea than all the think of all that crazy, “Well, should I do this? Should I do”- the decision fatigue that’s in. So somebody who doesn’t like decision fatigue or trying to get rid of that, If you have a goal, you could map out like what you need to do every day leading up to that and then you just look at it. It’s on paper. This is what I do. I don’t have to like I don’t have to, you know have a bunch of arguments in my mind about what I’m supposed to do what I’m not supposed to do.
Andrew: That’s a really good point. Yeah, I think I don’t know how I did not come up with that myself with my experience from last year. But anyway, we’ll uh, we learn we live and we learn um, So I want to your lawyer days. Then you spent quite a long time as a lawyer as well. And uh, we’ve talked about how your life is an elite athlete. Well, okay, not elite athlete, uh shaped you, but how, what about being a lawyer? How’s that shaped you and your approach to life these days.
Rich: I think that uh, I mean I enjoyed law school. I like being in Academia. I learned a lot. Law school teaches you how to think in a certain way and it’s something that I appreciate and I’ve carried into my life, but my pursuit of you know a career in law was driven not from the heart or some kind of passion for you know, what that career would have availed for me, but really out of indecision about what it was that I really wanted to do with myself and a disconnection from who I was to really even be able to unpack an answer to that question because I was just on this sort of habit-rail towards doing what you know, sort of privileged, uh person who graduates from Stanford has the opportunity to do, I just went to law school, you know because it seemed like a good responsible thing to do. That’s what somebody in my position, you know would do. Not because it’s I have any passion for it. And so I was able to jam that square peg into a round hole for many years, but I never took to it, I never had a love for it. I was smart enough to be able to get by, but ultimately, you know, I was on a crash course with disaster with that because. There was nothing about it that I enjoyed and I found myself succeeding, you know kind of succeeding at it like failing upwards almost, because I could do the work and I could buckle down and force myself to kind of move forward and you know with my eyes on the prize of achieving the american dream of prosperity and all that sort of thing.
But you know, I didn’t really aspire to have the lives of any of the people that I worked with. And you know, ultimately I just became more and more divorced from my true self more distance from it. And I think that fueled my alcoholism until I just became this sort of combustible scenario that you know, ultimately was going to explode at some point.And so, you know the end of my lawyer career and kind of, the end of my unhealthy lifestyle habits, those things sort of coincided. There was like this, moment in time where this existential crisis about how it was living kind of butted up against all of my unhealthy lifestyle habits and created this sort of crisis. On a staircase that led me to really look at myself in a different way and and ultimately take action on A New Path for How I Live Now.
Andrew: Okay. I’ve uh, I’ve been a teacher for a long time and uh, and I’ve got a little theory about this sort of midlife crisis, which is something along the lines of what you described I guess is that students at school, spend in Australia, 13 years is going to school doing what other people tell them to do most of the time and uh, my theory is that if instead of being able to, being forced to go to school and forced to do what happens at school all the time, if they are able to spend all that time doing what they want to do and figuring out who they are and what they want to be and all of that then um, then maybe that activity wouldn’t then be put off until mid life and maybe the crisis wouldn’t come. So this isn’t something I planned I’m talkin about-
Rich: But I mean, I think you’re absolutely right. You know, I think that that, you know, we’re not asking children. I mean I certainly was never asked but we’re not asking children the most important questions, you know, Who are you? What is it that you want to do what gets you excited and then trying to create support around that, so that learning is driven by you know, an internal passion and an innate interest in a subject matter like, my whole life I just did what I was told and I never asked myself what I was. Like I had no skill set for that kind of internal. Um, you know interior kind of line of questioning because it did just never come up, like you just do what you’re supposed to do and then everything works out and you live this happy life.
That was that’s what I thought you know, so I think we need to really take a hard look at how we’re educating our kids and and come up with new and interesting and different ways, so that we can support the you know, the flame that I think is lit within every human being.
Andrew: Yeah, and then yeah, you don’t the time doesn’t come where you just go, What the hell have I been doing all this time? Yeah, and you have that little freakout moment
Rich: Well as the teacher you have the opportunity to do that, right? Can you or are you just so confined within the structure and the system and how it’s all set up?
Andrew: Yeah. Well, I’m I’m at the moment. I’m not a well. I’m a teacher. I just do relief teaching now when someone’s sick back, they call me and I go in for the day and apart from that, I’m trying to be potato man. We’ll save it. Uh, but yeah, I’ve been a teacher for a long time and and I have tried very hard to you know, change the, change the system from within so to speak as much as I can. But yeah, like I said it really just butting up against the system that’s inflexible. And uh, there’s someone in my position there’s not a lot you can do, even if you’re a school principal. I don’t think there’s a lot you can do to change the system. So, um, Yeah, I feel like if that’s ever going to change, the change needs to me come from outside the system and the demand for that type of change needs to uh, become sort of a Groundswell of this is what the people want and then the system will change.
But yeah, I can’t actually see it happening and it’s a sad State of Affairs. I think in the education system. There’s lots of great things about it and there’s, It’s full of amazing people doing their best, but I think people are just stuck in about system. That doesn’t quite do what it should.
Rich: Well the system hasn’t changed since what like 1820 or you know, the sort of Advent of the Industrial Revolution. We’re teaching kids the same way that we’ve taught them for hundreds of years and we fail to appreciate just how much culture has changed and how much technology has altered the landscape in terms of how people learn and what’s appropriate to teach them. Like the idea of sort of knowledge accumulation seems less important now when you have a super cute computer in your pocket that can answer every conceivable question you might ever ask it. But also it provides an opportunity to to teach children more creatively, to teach them about how to work with other people, about how to you know, channel their creative instincts about how to ask those, you know questions of themselves and I think you know, it sounds like we’re getting far field of you know, the line of questioning but I think it’s I think it’s appropriate and I think it’s actually super relevant and germane because I’m sure you know you travel around you got all these vegetables. I mean all these people right? There’s a lot of talk about kale and what kind of kale do you eat? What kind of potatoes do you eat and like all that kind of stuff and that’s all great. But I think there’s a lot of people that are missing the big picture, right?
Like, like your, I see you as somebody who didn’t want to live his life the way that he had been living and wanted a new and different way and the potatoes are like a vehicle for that, but it’s really a more, you know, spiritual existential adventure that you’ve been on of trying to connect with your higher self in a profound way and the potatoes were like a way to do that. But the potatoes aren’t the point right, point is that you wanted to live differently. You wanted to live more in alignment with your higher consciousness like, and now we’re sitting here today doing a podcast and like you just said like you’re busy trying to be the potato man. You’re the Spud Fit guy. Which like a year, a little over a year ago. I’m sure would have seen insane. Right and everything about your life is different. So, the potatoes got you there, but the potatoes are not the point. The point is that like you made a decision about the direction of your life and wanted to, you know, rejigger that Journey, you know, and now you’re on this crazy amazing adventure that you would have never imagined that you could possibly be on and it’s a beautiful thing, but it’s a spiritual journey. It’s not about like, the recipe for the potato that you ate last night.
Andrew: Yeah, exactly. It’s uh, yeah. This is a point that’s mostly missed. I think not it’s becoming more and more people are picking up on it that it’s not about the potato. But yeah people want to focus on potatoes and they want to focus on weight loss and both of those things to me are irrelevant. It’s a, I’m pretty happy that I lost weight. I’ll totally honest that yeah, that’s great. But the point of It wasn’t about weight loss, it was about changing the way I live my life and changing the way I thought and trying to uh, get closer to being the person that I am now and and I continue to evolve and uh, yeah. To go back to education, It’s that’s the side of things that we give almost no attention to it in. Uh, yeah, we spend so much time trying to uh teach kids how to do jobs that might not even exist by the time they graduate when uh, to me life is, the key to life is it’s all about problem solving. Um, In all of life. He presented with one problem after another after another and the people that can think creatively and logically as well and just come up with as many different possible solutions to a problem as possible. And there that people that are more likely to uh, be successful. And by successful, I mean happy and and living in alignment with their values and become good people basically. Yeah, there’s something that educated the education system struggles with and that’s back to my theory. I think that’s why we end up with midlife crisis.
Rich: Yeah, no doubt about it. I’m with you.
Andrew: Yeah anyway back to sport I wanted to talk about so um, what what sort of. Personality traits Do you think we have that, will you, I guess you’ve probably had to speak for other people or maybe it’s not but, what sort of person, that personality traits do you have or do you need to be successful in an athletic pursuit of some?
Rich: Well, I think first you have to define success. You know, what do you mean by success? And I think every individual has a different definition of that like if you want to be successful. If your definition of success is an Olympic gold medal or you know, professional contract that’s very different from somebody who you know just wants to like, feel fit and in their body.
Andrew: I guess what I mean the success to to to be able to look back on on your efforts and say I got the most I could out of the body.I was given. That might be an Olympic gold medal or it might be finishing a marathon in five hours. Whatever that is. If you, if you can look back on your um sporting efforts and say I got the absolute most out of my body. What do you think it takes to, as far as a personality traits, like what do you need to focus on to get to that point?
Rich: Well, I think yeah, I think if I think if success is defined by maximizing your potential in the body that you’re given, uh, then then I think uh, Then I think being successful requires a pretty singular Focus. You know what I mean? I think I think a lot of the Addictive tendencies that I have play well into that equation, you know, this most successful athletes are very singular minded. They live their life like a monk and it’s all about performance. And everything in their life is organized and constructed to support that success equation.
Now most of us don’t live like that and I was never a professional athlete. I consider myself successful because I believe that I’ve been able to, I still think I haven’t reached my potential as an athlete and there’s things that I have yet to express. But I feel good about the results that I’ve been that I’ve received. And not just the body that I’ve been given but also the life that I’ve been given, right. So for me success is about getting the most out of my mind body and spirit while also keeping the other important areas of my life in check so I could be a better athlete if I wanted to be a terrible father and terrible husband and just not talk to any people, you know, I might be able to perform better as an ultra endurance athlete if I did that. But would that be worth it? Would I be successful? I don’t think that would be successful. Right? I think success is when all the important areas of your life are are working in Harmony, and that’s a tough equation. To solve, right? So, that’s that’s what I’m that’s where I’m always gauging my success and I think the most successful athletes over time and I’ve had the opportunity on my podcast to interview many of them. Will tell you that they perform better when you know, their relationships are are better, when they’re when they are living in the world.
Like I interviewed Kerri Walsh-Jennings. The most successful volleyball beach volleyball player of all time and she plays better with kids and before, when she had before she had kids, Obviously she had more time to train. Now her time is more precious in terms of how to organize her life, but she’ll tell you that she’s a better athlete now, even though some would consider that to be a distraction, right? because she’s a more well-rounded human being and she has more to bring to her sport. So I think being successful is is when you have your priorities organized in your life and performance and athleticism are fairly high up in that list, but there are more important things in life that have to be, you know, in check. So if those are out of whack, then it doesn’t matter how fast you are or how many games you win or how many goals you score or what have you?
Andrew: That’s great. My next question was I was going to ask you how you personally define success, but I think I think you’ve answered that. Yeah, I think it’s really important to um, to keep in mind that whatever goal we choose. It’s uh, if you achieve that goal, but let other areas of your life turned to rubble then, it’s not really successful.
Rich: But if you like if your goal is to eat, you know only potatoes for a year, but in the wake of that like you had to alienate everybody you cared about in your life in order to achieve that, would that be a successful year for you?
Andrew: Yeah, if my wife divorced me because of that-
Rich: She’s like, I’ve had enough of this!
THE RELATIONSHIP OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE
Andrew: So, my wife has this theory that love and hate are very closely related, right?. Uh, so if you had a, she talks about it like being on a circle and if if love is that uh, 12 o’clock, then hate is at 12:01. There’s like a very short step between the two. So I’m going somewhere with this. There’s uh, I was thinking about that and I was thinking about success and failure and I was. King that, um, perhaps success and failure have a similar relationship. What do you think about about that is, you know, if someone you love sometimes, I haven’t experienced this myself, but it happens all the time. They do one small thing wrong and suddenly the whole relationship turns to shit and they hate each other. Um, and I was thinking that perhaps there’s a similar relationship with success and failure can, if one small thing goes wrong, um, perhaps everything can fall apart. Is that something that you relate to as well or is that my own walk thinking again?
Rich: Um, I’m trying to wrap my head around that I mean, certainly I think the premise that love and hate are close, I can see that I mean, everybody who gets divorced, you know, you see people who go from being very close to being, you know in World War 3 in the snap of a finger. So I understand your point with that. In terms of of how that works with success and failure. Um, I don’t know, because I think, I think it goes back to how you’re defining success and failure professionally like for me, it’s about, success is about being able to pursue what’s in my heart and do it in a way that is of service to other people and supports my family in the meantime. Like to me that’s success. So failure would be what like I’m trying to tell you would be I suppose not being able to find a way to express what’s in my heart in a way that could support my family. I’m not sure I know like so yeah, I don’t know if the analogy holds up.
Andrew: But I think you’re right. I think I guess I’m stuck in the idea that success is defined for this point anyway, defining success by the sporting achievement on its own rather-
Rich: Oh, in sport? I see. Yeah for me, for me success in sport is is really. Um, it’s it’s similar though. Because for me success in sport is the ability to for me success, How do I how do I articulate this? Like the success is in is in the path towards the event, you know what I mean like, It almost doesn’t matter how I do in the race. if I constructed my life in a way that’s allowed me to train which is what I love to do. And I’m able to express myself and be of service to others through that Journey, then I’ve already succeeded. :ike the race itself. It’s just an is like a manifestation a celebration of everything that proceeded it and how I do on that day, to me doesn’t dictate whether I’m a successful athlete or a failure like in 2011 I did, I did Ultraman. And I didn’t finish the race like a day, you know a day and change into the race. I pulled out. I had a respiratory infection. I just wasn’t feeling it. I trained all year for that race. I didn’t compete in any other race. It was all about trying to win that race. I was super fit, like way fitter than I had been in 2009 and I really thought I had a chance at really taking the win. And things just didn’t go my way and on some level it was devastating and I paid the price and that’s a whole other story, but I don’t think that I look back on that and I think I I’m a super failure. It was just an experience that I had that taught me some things about myself that I’ve tried to learn from.
Andrew: Yeah, I get that. I’ve had uh, you know in the people that I’ve worked, that have decided to do their own potato challenge. They say hey, I failed because I ate a banana or whatever or a piece of cake or whatever and I always say that you’re only, you’ve only failed if you haven’t learned something from that,
Rich: I hate that word failure. You know, it’s just it really. It really isn’t helpful. You know, it’s just that feedback is a much better word. It’s feedback. Like what can you learn from this? Okay, I’ll do this next time. Like a more neutral or sort of more encouraging version of that word. I think would would behoove most people like, if we could get rid of the word failure and switch it up with something else.
Andrew: Yeah totally agree and to go back to education again. This is like so many kids that I’ve worked with don’t want to try. A new way of uh, trying to solve an equation because what if I get it wrong, right?
Rich: So when you create steaks that have real-life ramifications like on their, you know their report card, that means something down the line in terms of University and all of that like you’re not encouraging kids to think outside the box and try new things because they’re, they’re holding on to this perfectionist standard and ultimately I think it hamstrings and handicaps people.
Andrew: Yeah, absolutely. Um, yeah, so this uh this idea of um of success and failure again and needs to be a holistic one. Rather than uh, rather than just focusing on on their specific event. Um, how do you choose your events that you do? Like ultraman’s are pretty out there event that uh, I guess it’s a bit more popular now than when you did it, but it’s still it’s uh, not many people know that it exists. And now I forgot the name of the event you’re doing but they’re pretty unusual, pretty out-there event. So how do you get around to making these choices?
Rich: I don’t. It’s almost like they choose me like, I don’t feel like I consciously choose them. Um, it just it’s one of those things where I know it when I see it. And you know in the case of Ultraman, I read an article and I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I just knew intuitively like this is something that I had to do. And for a long time people have been saying because I haven’t raced since 2011. So like when you going to do a race when you do the race, I actually wasn’t sure that I ever was going to brace again. I was like, is it relevant anymore? Do I need to do this? Is there something I still feel like I need to express.
I didn’t know and then I kind of got into my awareness and it’s a similar thing. Like I just got super interested in it. It’s totally different than anything I’ve ever done before it’s an opportunity to compete with a different perspective because I’m doing it with a teammate, my coach. And uh, I don’t know just seems cool and fun and I wanted to like I said, like I still feel like I have things to express in that world and it was an opportunity to bring more focus and structure into my life around the training because at 50.
It had been awhile and I felt like it was time to do something new. But yeah, I just didn’t, it shows me. I mean, that’s the short answer.
Andrew: Yeah fair enough. So I get uh, a lot of emails from a lot of comments and things from people, but when I’m talkin about that, I want to try and get fit, most, not all, but most people think that I should be getting in the gym hitting the weights trying to put on heaps of muscle and get massive.
You know, that’s the thing that um, people want to see because you know, the whole idea of um, eating only plants not getting enough protein. “Hey Andrew, why don’t you hit the gym get huge and show people that you can do that.” So I’m sure you’ve had that too. Why not go and do that? Why not spend some time in the gym and get some huge guns and show people where the proteins all are?
Rich: I mean, I could. There’s other people doing that. I don’t think that’s my gift. You now, what I mean? I could actuall,y the minute I touch weights, I like blow up. Like putting on mass for me, would be like if I spent nine months in a gym, hitting it like three or four times a week. I would just blow up. But I don’t really want to be that guy like, I like being outdoors. I like, I don’t, you know, I’m not really a gym rat person. So, you know, it’s about what what do you want to like. I think it’s about what do you want to do that interests you um, and I think you factor in like, how do you carry the message or how does that commitment to that path inform how you advocate to the world. And there’s something to be said for you know, putting on some Mass because that’s what dudes look to. Like,
they want to see dudes that are that are bulked up and ripped, you know, because that’s your way of defying The Stereotype but I think for you, like what do you enjoy doing? It’s your life, you know. And I think you’ll find your way to Advocate through something that you know, you really have a passion for as opposed to like, I’m going to go into the gym to prove a point and you hate going to the gym.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s a similar wildlife thinking anyway. Yeah, I like being outside. I like running. I like kayak. I still like kayaking and uh just doesn’t feel uh, authentic to me to be spent. I like lifting weights, but you know, I’ve got limited time. If I’ve got a time if I had that four hours a day I was talkin about earlier then maybe I’d spend one of them in the gym.
Rich: Here’s the bigger the bigger point. Like I think when you’re doing something because you’re trying to prove a point and convince people or something? That’s not as powerful as stepping into, your most fully actualized self. Like listening to your heart and like following the path that is, you know, uniquely you. And when you have kind of become that fully actualized person, there’s nothing more powerful than that, right? As opposed to like, I’m going into the gym because I’m going to show these guys this this and this. Well, you could get all super buffed up and then they’ll just say, “Well, he’s on steroids.” Like it doesn’t, if somebody doesn’t want to be convinced or doesn’t want to hear the message.
They’re not going to hear it. And the way to kind of penetrate Consciousness is to be like super in alignment with yourself.
Andrew: Yeah, I was never thinking of getting in the gym and doing that but these are the messages I get all the time and uh, you actually starting to sound like my wife. I’ve got, I’ve have a few different ideas that are closer to alignment with myself, but my wife just keeps coming back with this is what you have to do. This is who you are, you know?
Rich: You gotta be who you are.
Andrew: Yeah, making more and more sense to me. Anyway, this is sort of turning into a counseling session, isn’t it? Actually, do you have a goal for your Attila race, or is it just to do with uh, you know lucky or talkin about earlier about keeping balance in your life and making sure that you are doing a good job in all areas of life and just celebrate with the race at the end or?
Rich: Yeah, I mean, I think you know, I turned 50 this year and this whole journey for me began when I turned 40, so it’s been 10 years. And so at this at this juncture in my life, it’s like well, what is a fifty-year-old look like, you know, where do they sit in terms of their Fitness and their diet and there relationship with your, their kids and their profession and their you know, my wife and all of that. It’s another moment to kind of take stock and inventory and I think ,you know, Racing Attila is an opportunity to kind of be an emissary for the plant based movement as an athlete to kind of show in a very transparent way.
Like this is my journey at 50. Like I don’t, I’m not going to be as fast as I was when I was 43 probably, um, but I don’t care I want to be the fittest most actualized version of myself at 50 and use that use the race and the journey towards the race as a platform and a means to continue to advocate for healthy lifestyle.
So, I’ve kind of been sharing it pretty transparently mostly on Instagram a little bit on, you know, YouTube and the other social media platform. To just say this is 50. Like you’re you know, I actually wasn’t that fit like four months ago. Like I was still pretty lean like, I’ve been doing this for ten years, but I wasn’t hitting it that hard and now I’m like trying to get fit again and I wanted to be able to share with that like and to be able to just say this is where I’m at with it, you know what I mean?
And so in terms of my goals for the race. I want to be you know, I want to be competitive but you know, whether whether we can be in the top pack, I don’t know, you know, this is totally Uncharted Territory for me, but I’m not really attached to the result. Like I’m more, I’m more into doing, trying to find a way to you know, do It for the Love of it and have it work within the construct of my life, which is now a lot busier than it was when I was 42 and 43 in training for Ultraman and like, I couldn’t get a phone call returned. You know, like I didn’t have anything. I had no game. I had nothing going on so I could train and nobody was going to bug me and now, that’s not what my life looks like. And so, how can I be okay with that, fit the training in. Make it all work within the schedule continue to be able to take advantage of all these amazing opportunities that have been gifted to me as a result of you know, the decisions that I’ve made the books that I’ve written the podcast that I do has brought me to Australia and giving me the opportunity to sit down and talk to you and go to these events that were here to do. Like I want to be able to live that life. So I don’t want to go back to being a monk just because I’m, you know, I have a performance goal as an athlete like, that’s not my life.
That would not be successful for me. Success for me is going to be derived from being able to do all the things that I want to do in my life to carry this message and to be okay with whatever the result comes from that.
Andrew: So how do you fit it all in then? How does it you know, you’re a busy man. How does it –
Rich: Very imperfectly. You know, I’m able to do it because II’m working hard at releasing my attachment to being perfect and being obsessive about it. You know, so like for a while I’m supposed to do two workouts today, it’s not going to happen, you know. I did one this morning. That’s fine and like okay, it’s cool.
I’m in Australia I get to hang out with you guys. We’re having a good time. We’re putting out a podcast of people are going to listen to. So I chalk it up as a win for today instead of grinding my teeth and saying, I didn’t get to do you know, whatever like I’m not interested in being that person.
Andrew: Are you into like structured time planning
Rich: I mean, I definitely I definitely do well with structure. So I have a coach and he creates my workout plan and so, right then and there it removes the decision fatigue out of like what am I going to do fitness-wise today? And when I know what my workout is, that’s kind of a foundational point around which I can structure other things in my life.
And so I work well with schedule like I want to know what I’m doing next Tuesday. And that may change but just being able to forecast into the future and have a sense of what my life is going to look like, allows me to make better decisions about how I allocate my time and my resources. Oh, you know I would highly suggest because we’re similar in that regard. I would, I would presume that that would work well for you as well.
Andrew: Yeah. Yeah something I have not done yet. So to try to just fit training in when I can.
Rich: And how does that work? It doesn’t work so good, right?
Andrew: More often than not it doesn’t fit.
Rich: So you don’t want to be Spud unfit?
Andrew: No, that’s right. Well, I’m I’m getting fitter.
Rich: No, you look great man. You look great, but I think-
Andrew: I’m trying not to sound too down on what’s going on. I’m getting fitter, it is happening. It’s just not happening as quick as I would like.
Rich: Well because you haven’t figured out how you want to express that Fitness. When you haven’t made that decision. Then there’s all this confusion about what it is exactly that you’re doing right?
So I think fundamentally. From a very foundational point of view, you have to like find some kind of goal. And again, you don’t have to say it publicly. But like once you have that is like an anchor. And everything else in your life will literally come into focus and then it will free up all this sort of, the mental masturbation that’s going on in your head that I think is paralyzing you a little bit.
Andrew: Mental masturbation. That’s a that’s a good phrase I haven’t heard before.
Kanger, if you’re listening, that’s an old coach. I might have to uh might have to get you on the podcast Kanger and uh, maybe we can work out what happens next. Um, yeah, I think you’re probably right. I don’t need a coach. Um, so-
Rich: Not necessarily but you need to make some decision
Andrew: I need to make some decision and Kanger can help me anyway.
All right, so it’s cold and it’s wet. It has been in Sydney lately and uh, you know, but uh, well, you know, you’re jet laggged so you get up early anyway, but on a typical morning, let’s say you got a 5:00 a.m. Workout schedule and it’s cold and wet and miserable and and the alarm goes off. What do you do? How do you get yourself up and out and-
Rich: Well I think the main thing is, the first thing I do is, I have an app on my phone called Training Peaks and oh, yes, and and that’s the sort of you know fitness app that my coach and I use it’s a calendaring app for your training where you can upload your workout.
And right there is, you know, I can type on the calendar and I look on the day and my coaches my work out there. Yeah, it’s all I have to do. I look at that the day before or whatever so I know what my workout is the next day. And so what I the best strategy is I just turned my brain off. Like your brain is going to attack you keeps you, “You should sleep in you don’t have to work out today. Oh, it’s raining. You should do this instead.” Like, you have to learn that you have to you have to get to a place where you can become an observer of your mind right to understand and be able to differentiate between the chat the idle chatter of the thinking mind that’s trying to talk you out of whatever it is that you’re supposed to be doing and your higher consciousness.
And when you become the Observer you realize these are two different things. And you don’t have to listen to that idle chatter of your thinking mind. You can actually make a different plan for yourself and take action in a different way that is in alignment with the goals that you seek.
So the first thing is, understanding that bifurcation and then once you understand that, developing some level of Mastery over shutting down the idle chatter of the thinking mind and taking action in contradiction to that, right? So that means just turn your brain off and put one foot in front of the other. Maybe it’s just, taking that first leg out of the sheets and putting it on the floor, you know. And then it’s putting the other foot on the floor and not overthinking it the more you can just be in the moment and move your body without, without getting caught up in that mental masturbation before you know it you’re out the door. The hardest part is jumping in the water or you know that first step that you take on your run or whatever it is and when it’s done, you’re never like I wish I hadn’t done that. But sometimes you have to shut off your brain because it’s not your friend and just take the action. So I call it mood follows action. Um, because, if you’re just waiting around until you feel like doing it like, I’ll feel better if I sleep longer, I do, whatever, you know? Then, chances are you never going to get to it or you’re less likely to get to it. So it’s just about taking action. Irrespective of what your mind is telling you
Andrew: Yeah, this is really interesting because as soon as you start saying it I start thinking, These are all the same things that I was doing with potatoes last year.
Basically, it’s like, you know, you’ve got that little devil on your shoulder.
Rich: You can have this. No one’s looking. No one will know.
Andrew: Exactly. Yeah. I call it like a, you know, used car salesman sitting on my shoulder. He doesn’t, he doesn’t care. About what’s good for me. He just wants me to buy the car, you know? And you know that voice in the back of my mind is telling me, “Oh this bed is
so comfortable and you can train later on it’s okay, you’ll get the training session done this afternoon instead of this morning.” That’s not a voice that has my best interests at heart. That’s a voice that just is uh is trying to just get what he wants which is going back to sleep. So, uh, yeah, these are all things that I did with potatoes and relating it back to exercise for which I should have been able to do on my own.
Rich: It’s great, you know, but yeah, like, what did you, maybe you can sit down and write it out. Like make an inventory of what you learned from that experience of eating potatoes and how it translates into, the goals that you’re that you’ve set for yourself now in the fit part of that. Equation.
Yeah, no doubt. That’s a, that’s a good idea. I should definitely do that because, the more, more we talked the more I think yeah, I’ve done this before I already knew the answer. I just hadn’t applied it to a different scenario. Yeah, so anyway clearing it up. So that’s good. So, um, right, there are four different aspects of, again the singular focus of a sport as a, as a thing rather than a holistic, uh, lifestyle approach, but they can, they can apply to everything anyway. But I was, when I think of what it takes to be successful, I think of training, diet, recovery, and spirituality or mindfulness or whatever word you want to use for that last. It’s all in your head anyway, the fourth category. So, uh, what are those things mean to you? Are they all equally important, do you focus on one of the other. How does it how does it work for you?
SUCCESS, SPIRITUALITY AND NUTRITION
Rich: It’s all spiritual. Yeah, you know if that’s not in check, then nothing else matters or functions properly. So that comes first. My relationship to you know, whatever you want to call it. If you want to call it God or your, you know, sort of spiritual proclivity. It doesn’t matter to me. But that, first and foremost has to be the priority.
It comes before my relationship with my wife or my job because if I don’t have that in check, that will lead me back towards a drink and unhealthy behavior patterns and a whole battery of things that that really will destroy my life. And so nothing else matters and when that is in chec,k and when I am tending to that, everything else in my life kind of comes together in this weird magical equation.
So for me, my athletic pursuits my professional goals, all of these are really just external manifestations of, and commentary on the quality of my spiritual life. So yeah, you know what? I mean? So for me. That’s the Paramount most important thing. And it’s not the thing people want to talk about but in truth, like that’s that’s really what it’s all about.
Andrew: That’s the thing I want to talk about. It’s the same thing I always say about like you said already about the potatoes thing. It’s a, It’s all about what was going on in my head rather than uh, rather than actual activating potatoes. That’s the easy bit. What was happening in my head was the the hard bit and the important bit.
So what do you do then in your life to uh, to make sure that you’ve got that spirituality side of things under control?
Rich: Well, I mean, the first thing I would say is I’m very imperfect in this. Julie will be the first to tell you, I don’t know how to do it very well. Uh, so I’m very much a uh, you know, A project in the making I suppose. But for me, you know treating my alcoholism is the most important thing. So I do that through meditation and 12-step program and community, and working with other people that struggle with addiction. Everything that kind of gets baked into 12-step programs. I’m a successful product of that and, to this day, it’s you know super important to me and I’m very involved in that.
Um beyond that, uh, you know, prayer and meditation are super important. Those are also aspects of of 12-step. Um, and uh, And that really has to be, you know kind of at the core. So what was the question again?
Andrew: Just how you cultivate spirituality in your life.
Rich: Yeah. It’s about, it’s about setting up, setting up kind of rules and parameters around your day to make sure that those things get prioritized right? So meditation in the morning.
I do, you know written inventory and a gratitude list. If I have more time, I do journaling like these are things that, when you know, I am practicing them my life goes better and again, like I’m not perfect at it. And there are days that go by where I’m not doing it and that my day doesn’t go as well. Things like that.
So I’m not holding myself out on any big pedestal about that, but the better I am about creating priorities around uh, you know around those daily practices and warning routines the better.
Andrew: We were talkin about spirituality, I can’t remember exactly what-
Rich: Like structuring, you know your schedule in your daily practices around and prioritizing that.
Andrew: Yeah. Anyway, there’s a I think we might maybe covered that part of things anyway, um in in the active exercise itself or events or whatever is defined a spiritual aspect to that, like for myself if I’m out for a run it sort of feels if I’m running without listening to the ritual podcast and I’m just got- If I’m running with no earbuds in, it feels meditative to me. Is that, is that something you can relate to as well or?
Rich: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean the Ultraman experience the training and the racing were crazy spiritual experiences for me. Um, there’s certainly an act of meditation component to endurance training. And I think that’s qualitatively different from a formal meditation practice and you know, we can parse that out and talk about that if you want, but beyond that, um, yeah for me, the training for Ultraman which involved crazy long days, you know. Eight-nine hour, ten hour bike rides, 40-mile training runs, like doing things I’ve never done in my life had never thought that my body was actually capable of doing, were Transcendent experiences, you know. And they were the manifestation of this journey to try to connect with myself and the difficulties that I faced in the training I welcomed into my life as kind of catalyst or vehicle to help me grapple with this question of identity because I didn’t want to be a lawyer anymore. And I kind of voluntarily submitted myself to this crucible of pain as a means of trying to connect with what was real about myself. So it was a template for asking and answering questions around.
You know, Who am I? What is my place in the world? Like, what do I want to express? What are my innate gifts? All these things that started to crop up that I never really asked myself prior to that. That had now percolated to the service. You can call it a you know, midlife crisis, but it really was much more than that for me.
It was like it was it was a crisis of identity completely down to my core. And so yes the training and the racing were spiritual experiences that helped me, uh, grapple with and ultimately reconcile these questions for myself.
Andrew: Yeah, God answered and you would no doubt if he didn’t have that, uh spiritual approach to training and erasing your life would be very different to what it is now.
if you’re just all about uh training to try to get the result you want and not –
Rich: That’s why triathletes are the most boring people on earth.
Andrew: I haven’t met too many triathletes, but I’ve met a lot of endurance athletes and that’s a very-
Rich: Singular and heart rate in their watts and all this sort of stuff.
Andrew: Yeah and all about what gear you’ve got and uh what training zone you’re in all the time and rather than uh, rather than what’s going on between the ears. Which is where it’s at. Um, so I’d get in a lot of trouble for my listeners. If I didn’t ask you a few other things about uh, what you specifically ate. So can we we better go through then it’s not my favorite topic. It is an important topic but you know, we’ve covered the spiritual side of things so, Let’s talk about what you eat, what helps you try-
Rich: It’s funny. It’s not my favorite thing either. Like I actually just put up a YouTube video last week and it was just like it was like a little day-in-the-life Vlog like, just so here’s like a typical day. You know, I kind of just took people through like what a day looks like. And I didn’t even realize that like there wasn’t one frame of me eating anything in the whole thing and people are like, “oh it’s a day-in-the-life you but like no food.” Like it didn’t occur to me because I just think like it’s not that interesting then I realized like, oh, that’s what everyone wants to know, you know, so it’s a pretty basic like, I’m not, I mean, I eat more than just potatoes. So it’s like a little less basic than you. But it’s not very, it’s not fancy or anything like that like, you know I get up, I drink a bunch of water first thing when I wake up in the morning. Um, usually I’ll add a little apple cider vinegar to that, to try to like alkalize my system. And then, I wish I could tell you that I had tea, but I’ve been drinking coffee lately.
That’s the truth. So I start the morning with a cup of coffee.
Andrew: My wife will be happy to hear that.
Rich: My wife’s not happy to hear that.
Andrew: Uh, my wife’s quit coffee for this month. And uh, Just as a part of her own little Spud Fit Academy that she’s doing and uh, yeah. Anyway, Should be happy to know that you’re drinking. She’s missing coffee.
Rich: I probably shouldn’t be drinking coffee like the goal for me. Like It can get very addictive and compulsive about it. Not good really. So I probably should be doing what she’s doing. But the truth is, I’ll have a cup of coffee in the morning and then I go train. Like often, I don’t eat anything in the morning. Currently like, because my training volume is where it’s at. I haven’t felt the need to and I actually like just going out and getting it done. And my morning training session is usually it’s either, it’s usually a swim or a run. Once in a while its a bike, but I’m not doing much cycling right now. So, um, it can be anywhere from an hour to two and half hours.
And I really don’t feel the need to eat anything to get through that just water or some coconut water and I’m good. When I’m done with my training then I come home and I’ll usually make uh, I’ll have like a fresh-pressed juice and I’ll make a smoothie and the Smoothie is usually comprised of, that depends on what we have happen to have in the house, which is always different. But it fundamentally starts with dark leafy greens.
So it’s been a spinach, kale, chard, are always the basis of it. Uh, then maybe beets or beet greens, if I am super hungry in the morning and I do eat before I train, I always put beets in my smoothies. Its very great. It’s great for pre-workout and I should say on the morning that I do eat before I work out. It’s usually pretty light. It’ll probably be a glass of the smoothie that I’m describing now. Then beyond that, like berries and some Citrus and uh, what else would I put in there? Maybe some pineapple um, and then I can get fancy with some super foods like chia seeds and hemp seeds, and ground flaxseeds and spirulina, and maca powder and you know, whatever else I happen to have. But really, uh, it can just be bananas, apples, and kale if that’s all I happen to have in the house and then I’m good. So that’s like a core kind of fundamental thing that I do, the Vitamix blended drink.
Andrew: You make a two whole liters or?
Rich: I make a huge thing of it, and I don’t necessarily drink at all. Um, sometimes I do if I just put in a huge work out, I’ll drink the whole thing, but more often than not, maybe I’ll have half of it and I’ll thermos the rest and then I kind of keep it with me throughout the day and I’ll sip on it, keeps my energy high keeps my kind of appetite curved. And then you know snacking throughout the day is usually, walnuts, almonds, almond butter, and fruit like, tons of bananas. I keep a bunch of bananas and a little bag of almonds in my car all the time.
Andrew: That’s a really good tips and dates.
Rich: Yeah to make the Healthy Choice. The convenient choice like, I live in Los Angeles we’re in our cars all the time. All the time and you know, if you’re stuck in traffic and you don’t have anything to eat, then you’re setting yourself up to you know, ultimately pull into the drive through window and eat something that you don’t want to be eating. So always making sure that you have healthy choices within arm’s reach I think is important.
For lunch, I keep it pretty light, uh, maybe a big salad. Sometimes I just snack throughout the day and grays and then I’ll eat dinner. Like I don’t, you know, I don’t often sit down for like a formal lunch and it’s just not really part of my day. So often it’s just grazing lightly throughout the day or maybe a salad or a wrap or something like that.
Um, if I’m super hungry, you know rice and beans with some steamed vegetables or quinoa or something like that. And then my big meal of the day is dinner. Uh, Julie is an extraordinary cook. She makes it easy because she’s always making super nutritious, healthy fulfilling meals. Uh, and we eat what’s in our cookbook. If you want to know what we eat like, it’s all in our-
Andrew: The plant power way.
Rich: : So it can be anything from you know, veggie burritos, to uh, kind of bean based pasta, to enchiladas, to veggie burgers, what have you. You know, it’s pretty hearty, stick-to-your-ribs kind of fair and I tend to be hungry at lunch, at dinner because I eat pretty lightly throughout the day. Um, and that’s pretty much it. I’m not a big sweet tooth. So like desserts aren’t a thing for me. I don’t even really crave them. And that would be you know, pretty accurate glimpse.
Andrew: Okay. So foods not a huge focus in your life too.
Rich: Well, I love food and I have a huge appetite and I eat a ton of food and I like food, so it’s not like I don’t care but I’m not like, a gourmet like it’s not about like going to a fancy restaurant for me. Like I could be happy eating rice and beans. Yeah with hot sauce and avocado in it. Like I could eat that every day like I wouldn’t care. Yeah, um, and I don’t do that, but I don’t try to get too caught up and and you know what I’m eating. I don’t really overthink it that.
Andrew: You got more important things to focus on.
Rich: And I don’t, and people are, “What is your ratio of macronutrients?” I was like, I don’t even like, What? You know, like I don’t think about that. Like I’m just living my life. And when I’m eating, lots of plant foods, lots of fruits and vegetables. And you know healthy whole grains like brown rice, and seeds, and nuts, and things like that. I feel good, my body performs as well and I don’t really need to spend too much time, you know going down a crazy Rabbit Hole beyond that.
Andrew: All right, and if you did go on a long training session that you needed to take food with you on what would you take?
Rich: Whole Foods, I would bring if it was a, if it was a cycling adventure because you can digest food a little bit more readily, I would bring bananas, dates, almond butter and probably some baked potatoes. Sweet potatoes or baked potato like because you can they’re soft, they’re mushy. You can eat them when you’re riding and digest them. So, that would be typical for cycling. For running, it would be, it’s harder to digest food when you’re running, so it would be more like almond butter. Uh, like like Justin’s Almond Butter. Things you can like, they’re sure like gels, they come in little packets. Or like dates, or some mashed up banana as well. For liquid nutrition, there’s a product called, Perpetuum by Hammer nutrition. That’s basically like super condensed, a high carbohydrate drink. It tastes like pancake batter, but it’s high calorie and that that fuels me for super long stuff. For swimming, I don’t ever eat anything when I’m swimming.
Andrew: Yeah, you probably you wouldn’t be swimming long enough most of the time that you need to wait.
Rich: Well, not really I mean, well, you know, the longer workouts are going to be two and half hours. But if I just have like, some coconut water, or some water throughout that, that’s, that’s all I need. Like It’s tricky, you don’t really want to be eating when you’re swimming. It causes digestive problems.
THE IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP AND RECOVERY & CONCLUSION
Andrew: All right, uh, Recovery is the other one that I put these questions out on social media and and the overwhelming, uh responses were about, what you eat. And the other one was about recovery. So what do you do for recovery for, from training sessions?
Rich: Uh, so just to kind of preface it I would say that recovery is super duper important as an athlete. It’s the last thing you want to skimp on because, it’s during the periods of recovery that your body gets stronger. Your body doesn’t get stronger during your workout, it gets stronger after your workout. The period in between the workout. So, to the extent that you can create an environment around those periods that is conducive to making yourself stronger than you’re going to perform better as an athlete and ultimately be, you know, a healthier human being so the number one fundamental thing the most important thing about recovery is sleep. You cannot skimp on sleep and expect your body to optimize that recovery period. Sleep is the number one performance enhancer when it comes to recovery. So for me, sleep is super important and I need a lot. Like eight, when I’m training really hard, eight or nine hours. And if I don’t get it, if I don’t sleep deeply enough or I don’t get enough hours of sleep. And I just don’t perform well, I don’t feel good mentally, physically, you know emotionally like I’m just off my game. And so I really emphasize that and as I get older, like when you get older like, sleep becomes trickier, you know, it’s harder to get a good night’s sleep.
Your body is you know, it’s more difficult to you know, create the environment to be as restful as possible. So, I’ve gone to great lengths to try to set this up because I struggle with it. You know what I’m training really hard. I’ll fall right asleep, but when I’m not training is hard, it’s really difficult for me to de-escalate and so that’s why I sleep in a tent on my roof because I-
Andrew: Sleep on a tent?
Rich: Yes I sleep on a tent on the roof most nights.
Andrew: That’s something I thought I would have heard on my-
Rich: Yeah, I just found out I like the cold air and sleeping under the stars. Like i sleep five to ten times better. So and I’m and I’m just a more functional, better human being.
Andrew: That makes sense I think I would sleep better in a tent too.
Rich: Yeah, I love it, you know and I love it. And I know people think it’s weird or whatever but like, I don’t I sleep like, that’s how far I’ve taken that. Like actually sleep in a tent and so there’s a lot of other strategies around that but I think in terms of recovery sleep, is super important. Nutrition is super important.
We touched on that a little bit but, making sure that you’re hydrated. Most people don’t drink enough water. Most people don’t eat enough fiber. It’s not about protein. You don’t have to worry about protein. But you need to make sure that you’re paying attention to your micronutrients and your phytonutrients and all these things that most people are deficient in. And that comes through eating tons of fruit and veg, right?
That’s the bottom line and making sure that your replenishing. Uh, not just your electrolytes, your fluids, but also your glycogen stores within a relatively short period of time after, your workout I think is important. And eating the right foods, eating foods that keep your energy high. Like if gluten makes you feel tired, then stop eating all the bread and the pasta and the pizza crust, and all the kind of stuff that make you feel like crap and start feeling yourself with the foods that give you good energy and allow you to vibrate, you know, higher. So, nutrition, sleep, those are super important and then I think also, something I’m not very good at, which is kind of all the prophylactic stuff that you need to do to prevent injury. Like the foam rolling and you know, I have some back issues right now. Like I’ve got a sciatic nerve thing that, I’m not paying enough attention to. I should go to the chiropractor. I should be doing certain exercises that I’m not doing and as I get older those things become much more important in terms of making sure that you’re healthy and injury free. So, cairo foam rolling and I think strength and especially core exercises are super important no matter what kind of athlete you are. Ensuring that you have a strong core strong abdominal muscles, lower back muscles, will make you less injury-prone and just more facile and and more adept at whatever sort of sport that you’re pursuing.
Andrew: Yeah, that’s uh, I totally agree with everything. That’s uh, yeah recovery is absolutely as important as the training that you do, right? We’ve got to wrap this up. We’ve got a couple of minutes left. My last question is, uh, what what do you think is stopping people from making the changes that you want to see people making, and then I want to see as well? Like, we want people to take steps towards becoming the people that they should, and deserve to be and that’s there’s a whole range of things that involves or what do you think is the number one thing that gets in the way of people making these changes that they should be making?
Rich: Fear and attachment to comfort, you know, I think, I think people get very stuck and in their lifestyles and how they think about their life. And as you get older, it becomes more and more difficult to alter those perspectives people are very afraid of getting outside their comfort zone of doing something that are unfamiliar with. And we’re very attached to the idea of comfort and security. And like living the good life and we’ve become holy divorced from the notion that we are most alive and we are most vital, when we have the courage to step outside of that comfort zone and challenge ourselves with, new tasks and things that are really outside of anything that we’re used to doing. It scares people.
So, my message is always to try to encourage people to take that initial first step outside of their comfort zone to realize that, yeah, maybe the water is a little cold, but you’re going to be okay. Not only are we going to be okay, you’re going to feel more alive than you ever have before. But until somebody entertains that for themselves, It’s hard for them to really embrace that idea especially with, you know, the culture of the way it is right now, we’re bombarded with messages of you know, basically telling us that happiness is related to you know, the size of our television screen and how comfortable are couches and how you know, amazing our sports car is. These are not the tools that are going to lead us to happiness, but it’s very difficult when that’s all you see all day long for you to think differently about that and it’s scary for people. Well, you know people don’t want to change and people say that people don’t change all the time.
Oh people don’t change look at how much you’ve changed, you know, look at how much I’ve changed. People can change, people change all the time. And often, you know pain is a good motivator for that. You had your, you know, crisis of conscience that led you to make new decisions for yourself as did I. But the truth is is that those decisions are available to anyone anytime. You don’t have to be suffering. It’s easier if you are, to make those changes, but you don’t, that doesn’t necessarily have to be your circumstance, but it does require the wherewithal and the conviction to you know, to, see it and act on it and that’s tough for a lot of people. But it’s not only possible. It’s doable for everybody.
Andrew: All right. Oh, yeah agreed at uh, I think that’s a great place to finish it on and uh and thank you for joining me on the Spud Fit podcast. One more thing. Before we go is that you’re in Australia for the, Living The Plant Power Way events. There’s one in uh Sydney on Thursday night, the 16th of March next week. And then one in Melbourne on Friday the 17th of March next week again, What can people expect from that If they go.
Rich: Well, we’re gonna expect you to take the stage and tell your story. That’s for sure, right?
Andrew: Yeah, looking forward to that.
Rich: That’s going to be awesome. Um, no, they’re gonna be super fun. I can’t wait. Uh, they’re kind of, we’ve created these entire evenings where, we get to share and talk about these ideas that we’ve been talking about on this podcast that I think can be transformative to people. So I’m going to get up and tell my story, Julie’s going to tell her story. There’s going to be meditation. There’s going to be music. There’s going to be you telling your story. We’re gonna do Q&A. I want to make it interactive with the audience and we’re going to have amazing food and desserts and it’s just going to be an awesome time to cultivate a greater sense of connection and community. Around all these ideas that I think are completely transformative. So I’m super stoked to be here. Uh first time in Australia, and like everyone’s saying, I’m so, I’m so sorry that the weather is so terrible that like, I just love it so much like I don’t even care. I’m like, I went down and swam icebergs and went running this morning on that like like sort of, coastal hike path and I’m just like, I love this place. It’s incredible. So super happy to be here and we’re in Bondi. There’s all these vegan options vegan amazing vegan restaurants everywhere we look like, this place is like-
Andrew: Its a pretty good spot.
Rich: Yeah. So anyway, it’s going to be great. Um, and we still have some seats and tickets available for people. So if you’re listening to this and you’re in Melbourne or Sydney or approximate enough to attend, we’d love to, we’d love to have you.
Andrew: Man, livingintheplantpowerway.com, if you’re interested in finding out more and uh, hopefully we’ll see everyone next week.
Thanks for uh, thanks for joining me on the podcast rich and thanks for coming to Australia. And uh, yeah, I’ll let you go now.
Rich: All right, awesome, man.
Andrew: All right, SPUD UP!
So that was that the Rich Roll episode of the Spud Fit podcast. I almost said the Rich Roll podcast then but it’s not, it’s the Spud Fit podcast. It’s pretty uh, cool for me to have rich as a guest on my podcast, uh, the first podcast i’ve ever listened to, and obviously someone who’s uh, is an inspirational guy in my life and someone home proud these days to call a friend.
So, uh, Thank you Rich and thanks for listening everyone again if you’re interested in coming to see Rich speak as well as his wife Julie and Dr. Andrew Davies and myself and uh and have some meditation yoga some education and some awesome food then go to livingtheplantpowerway.com for information about him events in Melbourne and Sydney come out this week.
Uh, if you’re like, if you like what I’m doing then Spudfit.com, sign up for the newsletter check out our book and and also it would be amazing help if you share this podcast with your friends, and also if you go to iTunes and click the Subscribe button and leave a review. Uh, all those things are really helpful and uh and make it easier for me to do what I do.
So thanks everyone for the support. Hope you enjoyed the podcast today. Spud up!
Thanks to my wife Mandy van Zanen for the theme music.
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