All of us are capable of doing the things we desire most if we put our heart to it. This episode is all about asking yourself what you are capable of in this life. We each have a lot more in us than we know. Today, Evan Heinze shares his amazing life journey from downfalls to success and meeting people who matter most. This extremely talented musician out of New York City realized he needed to make a big life change after finishing a tour with a band. A few months ago, the longest distance Evan ever ran was about three miles straight which proves that the body is more capable than we know.
This episode is all about asking yourself what are you capable of in this life. We each have a lot more in us than we know. We have Evan Heinze. He is an extremely talented musician out of New York City. He just finished a tour with his band and realized he needed to make a big life change. A few months ago, the longest distance Evan ever ran was about three miles straight. After deciding he wanted to improve his life, his health, his relationships and his music career, he decided that he was going to jump in 100% and run an Ultramarathon. That is an extremely bold statement coming from someone whose personal record was three miles, but that’s how Evan operates. He cannot do anything halfway. It’s go big or go home. A couple of months ago with five months of training, Evan ran an ultramarathon 50 miles straight without stopping in around fifteen hours.
To me, this is a beyond impressive athletic feat Evan accomplished. I used to commute 55 miles to work in the morning. The thought of running that straight through seems unfathomable. I want to pick Evan’s brain about his mindset, mental toughness, what it is the body’s capable of and how running 50 miles can permeate through your entire life and make every aspect of it better. The main thing I took away from this episode is that we are all capable of doing amazing things. We need to start somewhere, keep going, stay focused, stay driven and our goals are ours for the taking. Please welcome, Evan Heinze.
Listen To The Episode Here
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What Are You Capable Of? with Evan Heinze
Running An Ultra Marathon
We have a very special guest, Evan Heinze. Evan had a very impressive athletic adventure. He ran 50 miles in one shot from somebody that didn’t think they could probably run five a year ago. I don’t know many people that could do that. That’s one of the most impressive things I’ve ever heard, 50 miles in one shot. The body is more capable than we know. Evan, give us a little background on yourself, where you’re from and what you’re into growing up?
I’m from Garden City on Long Island, New York. I grew up into sports. I was a big baseball player. That was my lifestyle. I hit about thirteen and discovered guitar, weed and girls, sex, drugs, rock and roll package. It’s a real thing.
Was that the first time you picked up a guitar?
I was about ten and my dad always wanted to play the guitar. I always had one hanging around the house. He taught me Smoke on the Water. That’s everybody’s first. A couple of Zeppelin tunes here and there. I took three lessons and surpassed him and never looked back.
You took to it right away. You’re like, “This is awesome. I’m good at this.”
Guitar and baseball from when I was a little kid. I golfed a lot too. Sports was a big part of my life until high school.
How did you not get roped into Lacrosse out there?
I did. I played it for two years. It was very promising.
That’s the cream of the crop in Long Island. Everybody’s playing out there.
I don’t think that was too cool. I like the strategy of baseball.
What did you play in baseball?
I was a pitcher. I could have done running back then, it might have helped my baseball career a little bit more. I played until I was about thirteen and I had a torn labrum in my right shoulder because I threw very hard. It was a natural talent and that was before I started lifting weights. That’s right when I started fading out.
Were you throwing any curves?
No curves, just hard as heat. I switched to music in high school. Music was always a passion of mine. To take it far back, my middle name is George and both of my grandfathers are George. Both of them are the only real musicians I know in the family other than me and my brother.
What did they play?
My father’s father, George was a violinist. He’s an amateur and play at home. My mother’s father sang in the subway. People got together back then and started humming. If they go on the subways, he used to tell me that they would have a deal with this one cop back in Ozone Park. He lets them sing until 5:00 PM. The cop would watch them a little bit and be like, “You guys got to get out of here.” My mother’s father, George, would always sing and dance with me when I was a little kid and my siblings and cousins and stuff. Music was always so present in my life. When I was ten, I was into Led Zeppelin and crap like that. Everything clicked and I was like, “This is what I’m all about forever.” From thirteen, I went to a music school in Los Angeles College of Music in Pasadena.
How did you like that?
It was an incredible experience.
I did not know you went to a school out in California?
That’s probably why we met. I was out there. I was out there working on tour.
You were touring around and you stopped at our place in Huntington Beach for a couple of days.
About six months before that or maybe a year before that, I was still in school out there. My touring opportunities crossed over with some connections from school.
Did you start touring with the band right out of high school?
No, I went to college and then started playing gigs in LA.
I met you out there probably 2015 or 2016. What were you doing before the music school out there, another music school?
Not at all. I’m confused.
I’ve met you when you were 25.
No, we’d probably met 23.
What did you do after high school from 18 to 22?
I went to the Los Angeles College of Music.
Discovering Your Capabilities: You will reach a point in your life when you realize that it is worth it to eat healthy.
You were graduated for a couple of years after.
My school was a year and a half. It was quick. About twenty years old, I came back to New York. I started playing gigs, touring around and playing as many bands as I possibly could.
Did it feel right back then like you might have something?
I always knew that I wanted to make a career out of something you love. That’s what everyone tells you that the dream is and I happen to find something that I knew. I didn’t want to go to college when I was a kid because I knew it wasn’t going to help me get to where I wanted to go. Although I was a bit wrong because college did help me a lot.
That’s a powerful thing to know when you’re that young.
It was weird because nobody believed me either. It’s a hard thing to accept when your parents work hard and you don’t want to go to college. There’s all this pressure. I just wanted to play my guitar.
Was your brother the same way? Was he a musician as well?
He came into it probably even before I did. He’s younger. He got a bass or something before I had anything. He is a tennis player. He was on the varsity team in middle school. He’s a drummer and programs beats and stuff. We have eyes on some projects in the works right now that have some brotherly collab with some friends who I consider brothers as well.
How was your health at this point? Were you into working out? The road life can be tough to stay healthy. You’re always eating now and everything like that. Were you always into health and running? When did that start and what was it like being on tour?
I didn’t care about health in high school through college. I didn’t think about it twice. In college, I’ve started running on a treadmill half a mile here and there. I started lifting weights being like, “I probably should stop eating so much and not doing any physical exercise.” At about 22, I got turned on to physical regimen, taking care of myself and eating better. It’s a self-love thing that tied it all together because before then I was young and immature searching around what is this life all about. Why is everything going on? You hit a point where you get a bit more comfortable with yourself. You realize that it is worth it to eat healthy, to take care of yourself, tell yourself “I love you. You’re a good person,” and put those veggies in there. You get the same thing in my book.
What was life like on the road?
It is hard to get a sleep schedule going. It’s hard to eat consistently. I was in this band, The Shacks. We find any good coffee shop in any town in every state we were in, which is probably like 46 states. Other than breakfasts, venues in America like some lower-tier venues, once you get up to theaters and stuff like that, they take care of their artists. If you’re a struggling up and coming band, they usually give you some beer tickets, maybe a twelve-pack, but you’re on your own for food. A lot of times you’re tired and you want something that’s going to fill you up and make you feel good, whatever you see that’s terrible for you.
You weren’t feeling all that bad because you were loving what you did and you were playing music every night. You weren’t eating healthy. How were you feeling at that point?
I was lying to myself. I was telling myself I was feeling probably an eight or nine out of ten. I was feeling a five out of ten telling myself that it was okay. It was a slow climb from eighteen to I’m 26 now. I’ve started about eighteen running a little bit, push-ups here and there, going to the gym, figuring out how to build muscle. It wasn’t until 22 when I was like, “I need to do something,” which is when most of the heavy touring did happen. I was always trying to get squats at the gas station and push-ups in the hotel room. I had a circuit of burpees, push-ups, squats, lunges, planks or anything you could do in a hotel room. It’s hard to stay consistent in that lifestyle. I finally got off of the road which leads to the running. Back in February, I saw a podcast with a guy called David Goggins, who is a beast. Everyone should go check him out because he’s inspiring.
It applies to anybody’s life, any aspect of life. I don’t care what you’re doing. You could definitely take something from anything that guy says because he is truly an absolute beast.
He tells his story as he sees it. His audiobook, he’s reading it with another person. It’s no bs. If you listen to his story, look at yourself in the mirror and talk to yourself about your life, you could continue to lie to yourself, but that’s going to lead you nowhere and they can lead you down. We’re all about getting up over here and getting better.
How do you come down to the collusion conclusion one day that “I’m going to run 50 miles?” You could have run two or three and probably stayed pretty healthy. What was it that you were like, “I’m putting all the cards on the table and absolutely going for this?”
I’m a pretty extreme person. I like to dive into stuff when I get into it. My friend Andrew, who I work with, make a lot of music and got some projects up and coming. He saw the podcast as well and David Goggins ended up running 200 miles in one shot and holds the world record for most pull-ups consecutively, which is 4,000-plus. He’s the example of what human beings are capable of doing. Not everyone is going to do that. I don’t need to run 200 miles. Maybe one day I will run those. This guy proved that I was lying to myself about so many things. I went from running one mile to three miles. Each week I was going up five, eight. By the time, I hit that eight miles and we were into this podcast and talking about it, we were like, “We should do an ultra.” My friend, Andrew was like, “Why don’t we do a marathon?” I was like, “No way.” It turned me on so much to the idea of going from never running more than three miles in my whole life. The idea of that alone, I was like, “That’s ridiculous.” The closer it got, the more I was like, “My training’s going well.” I’m doubling my distances each week.
How much time did you have for the training from when you signed up?
About five months.
You went from running maybe three miles the most you’ve ever run to 50 miles in five months’ time.
It didn’t happen overnight too, but I got so into the training. I wouldn’t miss a day. It was not going to happen. It was so important to me and it made me feel so good. The instant gratification of the running to me, it’s an easy way to make yourself feel good. I know it’s hard to start doing and to commit to it. I went from running one to three. The next week it’s five miles. The whole week I’m like, “I’m doing eight on Saturday. Next Saturday, we’re doing twelve.” I started jumping bigger. I went from 12 to 18, 18 to 22 and 22 to 32. The biggest jump was 32 to 50 because the highest I trained to was 32 miles. Two weeks before the race I tapered down, which ended up being a mistake. I was following this plan. I was new to it. I was jumping in headfirst. I was like, “Let’s go. I’m going to listen to the body. I’m going to go slow so I can complete this goal.”
All trial and error, that’s amazing. That’s the only way to do it. You could research all of this, but you always get thrown into the situation. You don’t know how you’re going to react or there are about four or five different roads you can go. You just do it. You make a mistake. You don’t do it the next time.
There was so much stuff I looked up online that I could have been like, “What about this or what about that?” My personality is I’m extreme. I was like, “Let’s be dumb about this. I don’t care. Let me see what happens when I go five miles. Let’s see how my body reacts.” Every single time I did twice as much as I’ve ever ran in my life. I feel like I can do that again.
After you run 22 miles, how much would you run the next then?
Either two miles or nothing. It was a seven-day training program where two of the days a week, I wouldn’t run at all and one of the days was strength training.
Were you under any therapy or care to keep your body in check because you’re putting a lot of miles on your body and I’m sure you are feeling some aches and pains from running every day?
I’d never seen doctors. I saw some GPs and it was a negative experience. I felt like they didn’t listen to me and then I saw you. The first time you adjusted me was during my training.
I saw you one time though. That’s impressive. No acupuncture, no chiropractic, no massages and you were feeling pretty good though.
I was feeling the best. I was feeling my life. When I first came to see you, I remember you’re like, “What’s hurting you?” I was like, “I literally ran four miles in the woods right next to your office. I feel amazing right now.” In general, in my life at that time because I was in this training and because I was doing something so new and proving to myself that anything is possible. Many of my friends now are running. I have a friend who hit eight and a half miles and she never did more than a mile before.
Discovering Your Capabilities: The mental strength is the most important and valuable thing that anybody gets out of a physical activity.
That’s the more amazing things you told me. You said not only were you feeling great and you were breaking through all these barriers in your own life, but it seemed to you from your point of view, everybody’s life around you was getting better and healthier and working through their own stuff.
It’s the Law of Attraction too. I wanted to change my life. It’s infectious. I loved seeing my friends being like, “You did what?” They’re like, “If he could do that, I can do that.” I love that expression on people’s faces when they’re looking at me all messed up. I got the long hair and the beard, smoking something. I’m like, “I can run 50 miles.” You can too. That’s the craziest thing because nobody expects that they can do that. If you think about it, don’t stop. Everybody could walk 50 miles in a day if they had to and don’t stop. It’s revving that engine a little bit more, breaking a sweat and seeing what else you could do. It’s very addicting.
You were breaking physical barriers every day. We’re you breaking down any emotional barriers from a psychological state?
It’s funny we’ve been talking about the physical part the whole time and that’s not even the reason I did it. It’s a good byproduct. The emotional issues and mental issues that I’ve dealt with or not dealt with in my life led me into doing this. When you spend so much time running out there, I did the whole 50 miles with no headphones in. I just had a wash and a bottle of water. I did that because David Goggins said so, but also because it’s a more focused experience and you have to be in the moment. Running without the headphones to me was a more natural experience. The whole point of doing it for me was to, as Goggin says, callus the mind. It’s preparing yourself for life. You are getting stronger. Every step you take further than you’ve been before is you but stronger. The mental and emotional aspect of it is insane. I’ve had days where I’m down. You go around and you’re up. You can deal with the down. You understand that it’s a balance in life. Everybody’s got crap to deal with. The mental strength is the most important and valuable thing that anybody could get out of physical activity.
I missed the part where he said no headphones. I understand why he’s talking about that because when I go for a run, I need to get my phone and my headphones. I need to turn on the audiobook. It’s like if you don’t have access to that, are you not going to go run?
You know yourself the best so your mind starts telling you all of this stuff. You know what to say to yourself to get yourself to stop. When you have no headphones, you only hear what’s going on in your mind. To be fair, the first two and a half months of my training, I listened to David Goggins audiobook called Can’t Hurt Me every single time I ran. That’s what got me started. That helped me run further because I’m hearing this guy’s life story, which was so much more difficult than mine. He says in his book too, “It doesn’t matter if you had a hard life or maybe your life wasn’t hard enough and you need to put yourself through suffering.” Not that everyone needs to put themselves through suffering, but this is controlled suffering that’s good for you.
There’s much growth that comes out of adversity. If you don’t have that much your entire life, you could still be a good person and all that. It’s interesting to see people that have been through a lot through and gotten through it when they’re young. You see adults that haven’t been through anything until 40 or 50. It’s a huge panic. It’s good to face that adversity when you’re young. You get ready and your mind gets callus, as you were saying before.
It’s going to happen one way or another. Life has a way of balancing itself out. I’ve always been obsessed with the Yin and Yang symbols in karate in childhood. It’s played out so many times in life in front of me. It’s going to suck so you might as well do some stuff that sucks that you can control that makes you stronger. It is good for you. It’s a direct reward. It’s so quick. It’s instant and it’s also long-term. I can’t recommend it enough. Even not just running. If you love swimming or biking, just push yourself, whatever it is that you’d like to do that gets your heart pumping. Take it to the next level. If you’re doing 50 miles on the bike, do 70 miles because you can do it.
Life is pretty remarkable in the sense that it’s extremely fair because it’s unfair for everybody. At some point, it’s going to hit you hard. I don’t care if you’ve had a good life, a lot of money, if you have no money at some point, life is going to hit you. It happens to everybody.
I am very lucky for my mom, dad, brother Brian, sister Sarah, my grandparents, my friends, everyone who supported me through this process. My friend, Victor, who came up for the race, drove the car and made the protein drinks. My buddy, Andrew, we ran the race together which I might as well throw on this little story about the race. He was always a faster-paced runner than me. He’s a little bit leaner. He had that better time.
Before you start the story, I have one question for you. How did you feel come race day? Were there any doubts in your mind like, “What am I doing? I’m not going to make this.” Are you absolutely ready for it?
Much like every other run, it’s like, “I don’t want to go run,” but I was pumped for sure to start the race. It was exciting. The race started. There are announcers and music playing. All these other people are doing the same thing that you’re doing. It’s like, “This is crazy that all of these other people are doing this too.”
How many people were at the race?
There were maybe 70 people for the 25-mile group, 50-mile group and 100-mile group. It’s called the Beast of Burden in Lockport in New York. Everybody should check it out and sign up.
Were there any doubts or you’re like, “I got this?”
Every long run is a roller coaster. In the beginning, the first fifteen miles are a breeze. It was a beautiful day. I had left one aid station with an electrolyte drink. I should have taken water. I got a little dehydrated. There’s this one little section. I got through that five miles, got some water and I was cool. I’ll get back to this story now because these all tie together. Andrew was a faster pace runner than me and he started out hot. He thought he could win the whole race, which physically he could have if he did some more training. We’ve got work to do, but he totally is capable of running at the time to win.
He went out of the gate hot. After twelve or something miles, he hurt his knee. He had to start walking immediately. From mile 12, 25 or 27, he was walking in a pain cage as we learned to call it. On the other hand, it was more of a slow burn and probably to mile 27, 28 is when he caught up to me because I had to walk because my left knee, the left Achilles, right hip was starting to burn and then we started waddling, jogging, walking all the way home from about 30 miles to the last twenty miles. It was insane.
Before I succumb to realizing that I had to stop my pace or slow my pace down if I wanted to finish it, I have 32 miles, which was the furthest I’d ever run at that point, my brain was like, “You did it further than you’ve ever done. You can stop now. Nobody would be like, ‘You’re not good enough’ because you beat your best. If you quit now, you’d be good.” It’s crazy. I was there at the race and my brain is still like, “Come on, you’re good. Stop it.” The angel and the devil on the shoulder are real. My angel now knocks that voice and sounds like “No, you’re doing it. There’s no quitting. Drink another gel, eat some PB and J, do whatever you got to do, smoke a little.” It was one of the most interesting and exciting experiences in my life. It was cool that I got to do it with one of my best friends. We were together the last twenty miles almost.
Did you finish it?
What do you have to do to prepare for a race like that nutritionally? Do you have anything on you like CamelBak?
I saw a lot of CamelBaks at the race. I just held a bottle. I had an ergonomic bottle that was easy to carry, that I would switch hands the whole time. For whatever reason, David Goggins is a good role model. I saw him do it. If it’s good enough for him, it’s good enough for me. I had running shorts and energy gels. I had Hammer Nutrition. They sponsored the race and that’s how I heard about them. I ordered their energy gels. It’s potassium and magnesium. I don’t even know what’s in it.
How many did you down throughout the race?
It’s probably one or two an hour. I crushed the gels. My friend, Andrew, didn’t like the gels as much. I don’t think he has much. They also have these endurolytes pills, which is magnesium and potassium mostly. Those help prevent cramping. The calories from the gels. Every five miles, I’d have a protein. There’s a formula they have called Perpetuem. All of it was good. On top of that, I had PB and J on white bread. We’d take breaks. There was an aid station every seven and a half miles. Every five miles, my friend, Victor, could stop with the car. The crew as they refer to it in the Ultra world because I’m still a newbie. He had electrolyte, fizz drinks and stuff like that.
What a guy, that’s a fifteen-hour journey with you.
He’s a homie. He took care of us. During the race at mile 38, they had pizza for us. I had four pieces of cold pizza and it was the best pizza I’d ever eaten my life.
Is it weird running like that, stopping and putting an entire pizza? Isn’t that weird running with a full stomach like that?
At least at that point, after 38 miles, it wasn’t for me. I felt like my body was starved for calories. The rule of thumb is you’ve got to replace one third. I burned about 6,500 calories. I needed to have about 2,000 calories or something to not destroy all my muscles. I wasn’t that good about it. I wasn’t thinking about it that much. I tried to listen to my body. I tried to not overstuff myself with anything. I was about fifteen miles in. There was a five-mile stretch where I brought an electrolyte drink out with me and I should have brought water because the sun started getting hot. I wasn’t as hydrated as I thought I was, which is a rookie mistake. Other than that, I did a good job of listening to my body and being like, “It’s been an hour. Take a gel. You’re going to see the aid station in an hour and a half. You’re going to get a 200-calorie protein drink. They had bowls of M&M’s and potato chips.”
Ultrarunners say it’s an eating contest. You can eat whatever you want because you’re burning so many calories. Leading up to the race though, your cousin, Ellie Moynihan is amazing. She hooked me up with healthy meal prep recipes that for the last three months of my training helped me to eat regularly. The training is the biggest thing because the race day is like how am I feeling and what do I want? You look at the stand and all this food and you’re like, “I’m putting that in my body right now.” Ultrarunners are crazy. I saw a guy take his crap on the side. I was pacing with him probably like an hour. He stopped and pulled his pants down. Two seconds before I even caught up and passed him. It’s nonchalant. I saw another dude puking. It’s a hardcore vibe there, but it’s also like not to me at the same time. That’s what you do to achieve your goals. It’s how you better yourself. If you stopped because you vomited, put more food down. Sometimes you’re sick, you have to stop. That’s the other thing too. Luckily, I haven’t found that limit yet.
Was there any delirium setting in? In his book, Goggins was talking about he saw some guys running in circles because he’s so out of it. Did any delirium set in or hallucinating?
Not for me. I was smoking some weed, but not that much like one hit every couple of hours. I was already buzzing myself the whole time. I felt great the whole time. I’ve read that the delirium sets in more when you’re getting into the 100-mile range, around 70 to 80 miles. I’ve heard of people doing that. There’s this incredible woman, Courtney Dauwalter. She won this race called the Moab 240. This is a 240-plus mile race. She only slept for ten minutes or a minute or some ridiculous amount and beat everybody by a ton. I’m not even going to say how much because I don’t know the exact number, but she crushed everybody by hours and hours. She talks about she like drinking beer and eating mac and cheese. She’s an amazing woman. You look at her and she looks like a regular girl. She’s one of the best Ultra runners who’s doing it right now.
Do you think there’s a common denominator with some of the best Ultra runners that you’ve noticed?
It’s like the guy who won the race that I ran in. He said, “It was the relentless pursuit of forward motion.” I feel it was more poetic than that. There’s never an end to showing what you’re capable of because you’re only here for so long. One day your body is going to give out and you can’t run 50 miles anymore. There was a 75-year-old man who did 50 miles in our group. The thing that remains true amongst anybody who is in Ultra running, even the best ones, anyone who decides to do it is that it’s a relentless pursuit of bettering yourself. This is one experience that makes you feel so alive and so in the moment. People are always talking about being in the moment and meditating. People will do anything to forget the past and the future for a moment.
The fourteen hours I took for the 50 miles, the last four to five hours was the most in the moment of my life. The last ten minutes of the race coming up on the finish line, knowing that I did it, it was the most in the moment I had ever felt. My friend, Andrew was like, “Can you believe it’s been fourteen hours?” I looked at him, I was like, “I can’t even comprehend what that means right now.” There’s a finish line and we’re still going. After this, we’re going to sit and drink a beer. That’s the prettiest moments in life. The most beautiful moments are when you’re happy to be doing what you’re doing.
What was that exact feeling crossing the line? It’s done. It’s over. You ran 50 miles in one shot in the time limit you want it to.
Now, I have to do 100 miles. That was on my mind. Before I ran, I was in Lockport near Niagara Falls. We went to the falls. I had a beautiful weekend. The whole time and the training too, I’m like, “I’m going to run this 50 miles.” I’m not a runner. This is some crazy thing I’m going to do. The weekend I’m like, “This is coming up.” I was getting nervous. When we started running the race, I was like, “This is the only 50-mile race.” I still was telling myself. I was actively thinking about this. Somewhere around probably mile 40, 45 maybe. I was like, “I think I like this.” I under-prepared so much. I could have done so much more to run the race better, but I did it.
At that point, I’m done. When I crossed the finish line, I was like, “There’s definitely more for me to do.” I was in so much pain and it hurts to walk. The next day was brutal. As I crossed the finish line, I still had energy. I almost knew that was going to happen because that’s what happens after you run further than you’ve ever run before. You realized, “I still have energy to walk home, open the fridge, make myself food, turn the TV on and brush my teeth.” You realized, “What else am I capable of? How much have I been lying to myself about what I’m capable of doing? What am I saying is okay, I’m not okay with?” It leads you to do crazy things like running 50 miles.
How did that affect other areas of your life? You did this extreme and amazing accomplishment that clearly dealt with running. Did it transcend to any other areas of your life after that?
To every other aspect of my life, it permeated unbelievably. It’s the mental work you do through it. The strength that you build gave me so much confidence in everything else. Goggins has the accountability mirror and you write Post-it’s like what are you all about? What are you doing to better yourself to achieve your goals?
How does that work with the Post-Its?
Discovering Your Capabilities: People will do anything to forget the past and the future for a moment.
Throughout the book, there are ten challenges. You have to ask yourself what are you happy about your life? What are you not okay with? What are your goals? How are you going to achieve those goals long-term or short-term?
I listened to the book and there was a challenge but I didn’t do it.
I listened to the book about five times and the first four times, I didn’t do it. I didn’t do it until after I ran the 50-miles because it was a lot to deal with. It was a lot of emotional issues I didn’t want to deal with and to think about. It was a lot of personal issues I didn’t want to deal with and I didn’t want to admit to myself. Running is a good escape for that also because you work and you make your body starts looking better.
You’re not necessarily dealing with the actual issue until you decide to do.
You make a conscious decision to be like, “I’m going to go run and talk to myself about how I’m dealing with this situation or this relationship.”
That’s probably not easy either.
No, it’s not. It’s something I still struggle with.
It’s interesting that you’re going for a run, exercising and thinking out.
You got to get two bird stone at the same time. A good mentor of mine who always used to say like, “People would call me lazy, but I’m not lazy. I’m efficient.” I don’t want to go to a psychiatrist. I don’t want to go to a trainer. Let me go kick my own ass on the track, see what I’m made of and see what my brain is made of too. That’s my psychiatrist’s office and some good friends too. You got to have some good friends to talk to.
The accountability mirror helped sift through some stuff there.
It’s something I’ve only started doing. I’m listening to the Goggins book again post-race, doing an autopsy as he calls it. That’s one of the blaring things that I was lying to myself about even through this whole process. I ignored his call to action. I wanted to do one thing at a time. I felt it was pretty overwhelming to do it all.
It’s probably a lot like the running where you post one Post-it and it felt pretty good. You keep putting them up until it permeates.
It’s so much easier too because it’s less stressful when you write stuff down and have it out there. You don’t need to remember to do the things that you know you want to do, which I know sounds crazy. It’s the difference between carrying it around with you all day and not doing it. There are some days where I’m not doing certain goals because other things have to get done. I look at it every day, but when I leave the house that’s it. I’m not thinking about it all day because I know it’s there back on the mirror and I know I’m going to tackle it. Before, everything was jumbled in my brain Like, “I got to do that. I don’t know when I’m going to do this. I didn’t know when I’m going to do that.” Now, I’m using my 24 hours a lot more efficiently.
There is another great guy who’s on that game, Jesse Itzler who had Goggins come live with him and wrote a book called Living with a Seal. He was part owner in the Hawks. He sold Zico water. Zico Coconut Water and Marquis Jet were his companies, East Long Island guy. I walked through his Instagram post before and he throws out his day. He’s like, “6:30 to 11:00 PM, family time, running, speech time.” He’s posting it to everyone every minute of the day. He’s like, “An hour and fifteen minutes for a flight.” That’s the only thing that was on there that wasn’t him and he’s traveling to do speeches. He’s running in two different states on the same day. This is savage. There’s no excuse not to do things that you want to do. Some people don’t want to exercise and they don’t want to run, that’s fine. Some people say they want them, but they can’t because, “I don’t have time, my this, my that, my knees aren’t good.” Your knees are hurting because you’re not active. You need to stretch. You take it slow and listen to your body. You need to start moving around, get the blood flowing.
It can pertain to any aspect of your life. I think Goggins was saying in his book, “It doesn’t have to be running or working out. Go read more books that you’ve ever read before.” It could be a mental workout, breaking a mental sweat. If you have no intention of running or exercising, it’s more for the people that say they want to do it and they’re still sitting on the couch and mad at themselves that they didn’t do it.
It’s holding yourself self-accountable. Life is crazy. It’s easy to fall into a rut. At least for me, I always told myself or people always told me too that I was capable of doing great things and I felt that. One day I was like, “I definitely do more than I’m doing now.” I just turn it right around.
One of the other amazing things I took from that book was Goggins is very efficient and he makes sense. A lot of people say they visualize and don’t think about the badges, only envision yourself having it and it’s there and everything’s good. Goggins was the first person I ever heard, which I thought was amazing. He’s like, “Visualize anything that can go wrong.” He’s right because no matter how much you visualize that perfect thing happening, there’s always be bumps. He’s like, “Visualize those things that go wrong so when they do, you are ready for it. If it doesn’t happen, what’s the big deal? You’re ready for it anyway.” I thought that was brilliant.
It’s callusing your mind and preparing for those moments in life you know are going to suck. We’re all going to lose loved ones. We all have lost loved ones. That’s a reality that nobody likes dealing with. Preparing yourself to be strong in these moments because you’re going to need to be strong for other family members, for yourself too, to get through and make every day worth it and enjoy this gift that we have. As you were saying before about applying this to other facets of your life, one of Goggins hardest things for him was learning in school. He used to always cheat and when he got to take military tests, he could no longer cheat because everyone next to him have different tests. He started studying and he had a real problem with that.
He was dyslexic with third grade reading level at senior in high school.
He could not read when he was a grown man. He realized his memory, he had to read things over and over again. He applied his crazy mindset of running. He did it with studying too. The test was called the ASVAB, the Navy qualifying test or something. He took it multiple times and failed. You can hear the joy in his book when he finally passed the test. It’s an annotation at the end of the chapter because they would have a conversation about each chapter, which is why the audiobook is valuable. You could hear in his voice in the audiobook, I felt like I was there within the room. I was so happy for him too.
Not to mention most of his accomplishments didn’t start to at least his late twenties maybe even 30s. This wasn’t a dude that was completely driven perfect his entire life. It’s not like he was born with these skills to endure everything he’s gone through. He was not doing much in his late twenties. Look where he’s at now.
His upbringing is very abusive and messed up. In a way, that’s the balance of life. The early parts of his life were so traumatic and so stressful that I feel like it probably did prepare his brain to run 200 miles and hold the world record for pull-ups. You got to check him out. He’s a beast.
Probably any person that’s like that in any field guarantees it wasn’t a smooth coast where they’re at. You don’t get that from winning all the time or having an easy life.
There’s a good quote, “For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction.” I think I nailed that.
It’s Murphy’s Laws. What are you up to now? What’s next on the list? You go on straight for 100 miles here. What’s going on?
I’m heading out to Seattle to visit my buddy, John. There’s a trail there called The Enchantments Thru-Hike. It’s twenty miles, maybe 8,000 to 10,000 feet in elevation, I’m not sure. The altitude and oxygen are going to be a big adjustment for me and a big challenge. The hike too, there’s 2,000-feet elevation going over three-quarters of a mile, which is almost straight up. I looked at some photos online. I’m going to be doing a lot of squats getting ready for that. It’s twenty miles uphill and it comes back down almost the same too. I’m very excited about that. I haven’t picked a race yet, but I definitely going to sign for an Ultra. I might do another 50 and try to improve on that time. The 100s, I don’t know if my body is ready for that. I’ve got to come see you a bit more.
I don’t know if anybody’s body is ever ready for a 100-mile run. Every time you heard Goggins or somebody else run, it was like they were far from being in perfect health just from training.
There’s a great moment in his book where he’s running a Vegas marathon with his wife and mother. He’s going to walk it. It was after his first 100 miles that he did, which he did with no training.
He decided to run 100 miles that week and he did it.
A couple of months later, he still has trouble walking.
It might have been weeks because he was still pretty banged up. He has no business being on the track.
He said he was going to walk the marathon and he started the race. Shortly into it, he started cruising. He ran a three-and-a-half-hour pace. He may qualify for the Boston Marathon.
At the end of every show, I like to ask people, what is one piece of advice that has resonated with you over the years that you would like to give the audience? It could be absolutely anything.
It’s loving yourself. I feel like that’s where everything starts. If your cup is not full, it’s hard to give to others. It’s hard to be compassionate. It’s caring for others, feeling full yourself and love yourself.
Thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story. It’s a very impressive athletic feat that you accomplished. It’s unbelievable. I’d like to have you back on when you do the 100.
Thanks so much for having me. I love to come back.
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