The Rich Roll Podcast
By: Unleash Your Best Self | Rich Roll | Bestselling Author, Ultra-Endurance Athlete & Wellness Evangelist
A master-class in personal and professional development, ultra-athlete, wellness evangelist and bestselling author Rich Roll delves deep with the world's brightest and most thought provoking thought leaders to educate, inspire and empower you to unleash your best, most authentic self. Find out more at: http://richroll.com
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“If you ever get a second chance for something, you've got to go all the way.” Lance Armstrong Everyone has highs. Everyone has lows. But few people on Earth have experienced the unimaginable level of success enjoyed by this week’s guest. Fewer still have undergone a more precipitous fall from grace. What exactly is it like to go from global hero to pariah overnight? This is the story of Lance Armstrong. One of the most decorated, fiercely competitive and controversial figures of our age, today Lance joins the podcast to mine the depths of his infamous dismantling. We explore the demands required to rebuild his life. And together we consider his journey forward. But first, allow me to contextualize. I am well aware that Lance is polarizing. Emotions run hot. And nobody lacks an opinion. Perhaps you have been eagerly awaiting this conversation. Maybe you’re outraged. Either way, I get it. If you hold a strong opinion, this conversation isn’t likely to change that – nor is it my goal. As an athlete immersed in the culture of multi-sport who has closely followed the Lance story for as long as I can remember, I grasp and appreciate better than most the issues and controversy that swirl around the world’s most famous cyclist. This podcast is about exploring humanity in all its incarnations. More than anything, I’m interested in what makes people tick -- why they do what they do; what they have gleaned from their experiences both good and bad; and how we can collectively grow from examining the lives of others. Among my favorite conversations are those with convicted murderer Shaka Senghor; registered sex offender Joseph Naus; felonious insider trader turned FBI informant Tom Hardin; and a battery of reformed reprobates that include alcoholics, drug addicts, and drug dealers. I state this not to draw any comparison whatsoever to Lance, but rather to illustrate my interest in the complex, dualistic nature of the human condition in all its incarnations. I too was once broken and lost. I cannot begin to compare my experience to that of Lance’s, but I do understand what it's like to be dismantled. I know intimately what is required to confront and overcome one's past. And I have great empathy for the degree of difficulty required to rebuild a life. It is with this spirit that I approached this conversation – not as an investigative journalist, nor as judge and jury. But rather, with heart open -- my only agenda to have an honest dialog with one of the most prominent figures of our time. Of course, we discuss his iconic rise, fall and efforts to move forward. But I also endeavored to explore terrain beyond the scandals – subjects like mindset and preparation that often get eclipsed in the grand conversation about Lance. We talk about therapy. We explore his history with anger. And we delve into the evolution of his hyper-competitive nature. We discuss the differences between training as a professional cyclist versus his preparation for Ironman and other ultra-distance events. I asked him what it’s like to contend with a $100 million lawsuit hanging over his head. We discuss common mistakes many athletes make and how he would approach coaching young professional athletes. And finally, I gauge his thoughts on the future of clean sport. This is not the definitive Lance interview. We only had an hour. There were plenty of subjects I wish I had more time to explore. That said, I found Lance to be both open and demonstrative. I think you will be more than intrigued by the discussion. I sincerely hope you enjoy this exchange. Peace + Plants, P.S. The video version of the podcast is also available on YouTube. Listen & Subscribe on Apple Podcasts | Soundcloud | Stitcher Images & Video by David Zammit: Website | Instagram Let's get clean water to those in need WE DID IT! From the b
“You can have everything. But if how you see everything is wrong, you have nothing.” Sacha Gervasi Today I sit down with actor Jamie Dornan and filmmaker Sacha Gervasi, a man I love dearly and have known for over 20 years, to discuss their recent collaboration — My Dinner With Hervé, a brilliant new film premiering October 20 on HBO. Marking his 2nd appearance on the show (his first being episode 249 two years ago), Sacha’s credits include scripting The Terminal, directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks. In 2012, Sacha directed Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins and last year helmed November Criminals featuring Ansel Elgort and Chloë Grace Moretz. But Sacha is perhaps best known for Anvil! The Story of Anvil, his Emmy and Independent Spirit Award winning, real-life Spinal Tap rockumentary about an also-ran Canadian heavy metal band that many critics consider one of the greatest films ever made about rock and roll. Anvil explored what it means to never give up on a dream. Hervé picks up where Anvil leaves off, exploring the darker aspects of lofty dreams realized in a tragic comedy that lays bare the power of unchecked ego, addiction, and unhealed childhood trauma in fueling self-destruction. A look at the wild life of French actor Hervé Villechaize, who famously played Tattoo in the hit ’70s TV series Fantasy Island, the film is based upon one insane night Sacha spent with Hervé (played by Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage) just one week before Hervé’s suicide, and the emergence of an unlikely friendship that permanently alters both of their lives. His very first script, it’s a movie Sacha began writing over 20 years ago. Both hilarious and sad, beautiful and surprisingly emotional, Hervé is hands down Sacha’s best work to date. Peter Dinklage is a tour de force. And Jamie Dornan — as Danny Tate, a journalist loosely based on Sacha — delivers in an elegantly nuanced, powerful performance that will leave you with a new appreciation for this actor’s depth and talent. Jamie is of course most recognized for his portrayal as Christian Grey from the 50 Shades of Grey movies. But if that’s all you know about this young man, you’re in for a delightful surprise. I first came across Jamie’s work several years ago by way of The Fall, a dark psychological thriller series co-starring Gillian Anderson, and was immediately struck by his keen ability to evoke pathos and empathy for a seemingly irredeemable character. But Hervé is a game changer for Jamie — a role I’m certain will leave unsuspecting audiences with a new and grand appreciation for this actor’s considerable talents. On the surface, Hervé is about how a chance encounter between two people in various states of desperation find solace in each other’s pain. One survives to embark on a new life. The other does not. Between the lines, the movie — and this conversation — is about not giving up on a dream. Hervé risked everything to become a star. And it took 20 years of persistence for Sacha to see this vision realized. But it’s how one navigates success and failure that ultimately determines that which we truly seek — fulfillment, purpose, and of course happiness. Today we explore these themes. We discuss our predisposition to judge people based solely on their outsides. We dive deep into the delusion of fame. What happens when we pervert the need to be seen. And the emptiness purchased when we seek validation outside ourselves to salve the pain of life. On a personal note I can’t express how proud I am of Sa...
“Being vegan doesn’t hold you back from anything and in fact, it might make you better at what you want to do.” Keegan Kuhn Today’s episode features a conversation conducted before a live audience at the Laemmle Royal Theatre in Los Angles with acclaimed British ultra-runner Fiona Oakes and friend, multiple podcast guest and filmmaker Keegan Kuhn — one-half of the team behind both Cowspiracy & What The Health. Vegan since she was 6 years old, Fiona is an extraordinary athlete and exemplary human hailing from the UK who holds four world records for marathon running. Perhaps best known as the world’s fastest woman to run a marathon on all seven continents and the North Pole, in 2013 Fiona won both the Antarctic Ice Marathon and the North Pole Marathon. But what makes her accomplishments all the more amazing is that at age 14 she was told she would never walk properly, let alone run, due to an illness that required more than 17 radical knee surgeries that culminated in the removal of her entire right knee cap. This week marks the release of this dynamic duo’s latest creative collaboration, a new documentary entitled Running For Good. Visually arresting, the film follows Fiona as she attempts to set a new world record and complete Marathon des Sables – a 250km race through the Sahara routinely dubbed the toughest footrace on Earth. Fiona runs not for podiums or glory, but instead to promote a compassionate way of living and break the stereotype that veganism holds you back from anything — all while tending to her true passion, operating Tower Hill Stables, where she cares for more than 450 rescued animals everyday. A departure from Keegan’s recent provocative fare, Running For Good is a more contained yet cinematically stunning portrait of an undeniably unique, compelling, funny, self-deprecating, inspiring and essentially anonymous figure deserving of far more notice, attention and acclaim than she has historically received. Executive produced by actor James Cromwell, I had the honor of providing some voice over to the film, as well as co-hosting the recent LA premiere of the film several weeks ago, where we recorded this conversation — which includes clips from the movie itself — post-screening before a live audience. Fiona is someone I respect and admire deeply and have wanted to get on the show for a very long time. My admiration for Keegan and his work is well documented by his many appearances on this show. So I’m delighted to bring them together for you today. In addition, we are setting a new audio production high water mark in this episode. Jason Camiolo (who composed the film’s beautiful score) did a masterful job weaving segments of the film into today’s exchange to elevate the dynamic quality of your listening experience. Big Announcement: Running For Good premieres globally on Vimeo October 11, 2018. For the first four (4) days of release (October 11-14), Keegan is generously making the film available to stream for FREE to the public. All you have to do is visit RunningForGoodFilm.com and type in the code FREE at checkout. To support Fiona’s life work at Tower Hill Stables, click here. For the visually inclined you’re not going to want to miss the video version of the podcast, which includes clips from the movie itself. Watch it here: a href="http://bit.
“Our kids don’t need the burden of our happiness on top of theirs.” KJ Dell’Antonia As every parent will attest, it’s so easy to sublimate one’s self care for the interest of a child’s needs – it’s basically programmed into our DNA. Intellectually we understand you can’t truly take care of another unless you attend to your own well-being first. But this idea runs counter to every parental instinct, making it very difficult to practice this important principle. It feels selfish. But our selfless intentions, albeit good, can lead us astray. Not only do they undermine our well-being, they’re not in our kids’ interest either — because an unhappy parent does not a happy child make. This is a solid solid life lesson, whether you have children or not. So let’s talk about it. While the vast majority of parenting advice focuses on raising happy children, today’s conversation flips the lens to concentrate on the radical, almost verboten subject of how to be a happier parent. To walk us through this hornet’s nest is KJ Dell’Antonia, a former New York Times reporter who wrote and edited the Motherlode blog from 2011-2016 and was a contributing editor to the Well Family section from 2016-2017. In addition, KJ co-hosts the #AmWriting podcast with parenting expert Jessica Lahey, author of The Gift of Failure (and former amazing podcast guest) and recently authored the new, aptly titled book How To Be A Happier Parent, a delightfully instructive, solution-packed, and research-backed primer aimed at helping parents find more happiness and joy in their day to day lives. This is a very fun conversation loaded with practical advice and easy-to-implement take-aways for the parents among us. But even if you don’t have children, there is plenty of wisdom here to mine. The principles discussed are applicable to all, irrespective of your child-rearing status. Because more than anything, this is a discourse on a crucial aspect of happiness we all share: self-care. Specific topics covered include how we can all do more by doing less (something I really need to work on). We discuss the problem spots that cause parents the most grief, with very small and doable steps to create a family life that serves as a pleasurable refuge rather than another stress point. We talk about the importance of promoting self-sovereignty in ourselves and our children so they mature into happy, independent self-regulators. And it’s a conversation about what family is really all about: not just churning out great kids on a success trajectory, but joy. It was a joy spending time with KJ. My hope is that you feel the same and leave this conversation with ample fuel to better the quality of your life and family. For the visually inclined you can watch it all go down here: bit.ly/richandkj Peace + Plants, Portraits by Reece Robinson Listen, Watch & Subscribe Apple Podcasts | YouTube | a title="Soundcl...
“The truth is the teacher. If I just tell the truth, it will have a message.” Jedidiah Jenkins The late Anthony Bourdain once said, “Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks – on your body or on your heart – are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.” I think this quote beautifully captures the ethos of today’s conversation. Travel as an agitator of self-understanding. A template to deeply explore the deep intertwined relationship that lives and breathes in that beautiful space between adventure and identity. Our cipher for this transcendent voyage — how exterior horizons influence scrutiny of our interior landscape — is many things: author, global adventurer, social entrepreneur, human rights activist, lawyer, filmmaker, and magazine publisher. But labels fail to capture what makes Jedidiah Jenkins special. Let’s just call him beautiful human. I can’t quite recall how today’s guest first came across my radar. What I do remember is happening upon his rather stunning Instagram feed as he neared the end of a spectacular bicycle-powered journey that took him from Oregon to Patagonia. Each photograph more arresting than the one prior, every image conveyed it’s own story that perfectly informed an engaging larger narrative. But it’s Jedidiah’s accompanying entries — beautifully composed, contemplative and quite poetic — that set his feed apart. Writings themed less by place than interior geography, it’s Instagram as dynamic journal — an experiment in blogging that camps out hundreds of miles beyond any travelogue, blog or vlog you’ve ever before seen. I was hypnotized. Who is this guy? A graduate of the USC School of Cinematic Arts and Pepperdine University School of Law, Jedidiah began his professional career as one of the founding leaders of Invisible Children, the small non-profit that overnight became world renown courtesy of a little social justice campaign you might have heard of called #Kony2012– a campaign that redefined internet virality. The progeny of adventurer journalist parents who quite famously graced the cover of National Geographic walking across America in the 1970’s, I think it’s fair to say that despite his desk-bound legal career, Jedidiah and the outdoors had a little destiny to sort out. And so, to celebrate his 30th birthday, Jedidiah quit the job he loved to unconsciously follow in his parents’ footsteps, scare himself, embrace the unknown and, like a character out of a Mark Twain novel, light out on the territory. Three years ago, I invited him on the podcast to share the story of his sixteen-month, 10,000 mile journey. To date it’s one of my favorite conversations in the history of this podcast. That day I made him promise to return upon completion of the book chronicling that experience. Today is that day. This week marks the release of To Shake The Sleeping Self. It’s everything I hoped it would be. On the surface it captures his epic bicycle expedition in vivid detail. But beyond the literal, it’s an elegant polemic about the search for identity, the cultivation of community, the struggle to find one’s place in the world, and ultimately embrace what it means to be human. An extraordinary storyteller, Jedidiah has an elegant gift for exploring the interior landscape.
“Running is an act of rebellion.” Knox Robinson What is running culture? I suppose the answer depends upon whom you ask. For example, Sanjay Rawal’s perspective will likely vary from that of Shalane Flanagan. If you ask Knox Robinson, his definition will have little to do with splits and podiums — and everything to do with movement as an art form. Running as a means of personal and philosophical expression. The physical voice of literature. Poetry. Music. And Politics. For Knox, running as an act of rebellion — a means to unshackle oneself from pressures and expectations both external and internal. Freedom from the lies others tell us. And liberty from the lies we tell ourselves. This week he explains. You’re not going to want to miss it. Based in New York City, Knox isn’t just a great runner and coach. He isn’t just a great writer. And he isn’t just the co-founder and captain of Black Roses NYC — a diverse & heavily tattooed collective of amateur New York City runners who routinely gather to hammer out intervals through downtown Manhattan then go slurp ramen and spin vinyl. Inhabiting a space in defiance of labels, Knox is the kind of human who, when asked to describe himself, effortlessly pulls the perfect quote from the poetry of Amir Baraka: “[I am] a long-breath singer, would-be dancer, strong from years of fantasy and struggle.” It follows that Knox’s relationship with running also fails easy definition. Despite his father’s passion for local 10K’s, Knox showed little to no athletic promise as a youth. Nonetheless he notched his way up to national caliber at Wake Forest University. Then he walked away from the sport altogether for the better part of a decade. He studied black history, art, literature and poetry. He pursued a career as a spoken word artist. He worked in the music industry managing artists. And he served as editor-in-chief of Fader – the ultimate print destination for all things hip hop, indie music, urban style and culture — jet setting to Fashion Week parties in Paris and penning thoughtful cover pieces on everyone from Kanye to The White Stripes. It was his son’s birth that compelled Knox to dust off his trainers and revisit his connection with athleticism. Expanding his relationship beyond the scope of performance, he began to imagine new horizons for his role in sport. With this epiphany came a new life. And a mission: to leverage movement as an art form — running as physical manifestation of both individual expression and communal cultural identity. This is his story. One of the more intimate, earnest and layered conversations I’ve had in recent memory, I left this exchange better for having had it, thinking more deeply about my own relationship with running, and how I can better impact others. My hope is that it does the same for you. Peace + Plants, Photos of Knox: 1) in white sunglasses courtesy of Chadwick Tyler; 2) sitting and running along the Hudson River courtesy of Zach Hetrick; and 3) in green singlet courtesy of Jason Suarez. Listen, Watch & Subscribe a href="https://play.google.
“Every single moment is a teacher.” Guru Singh Welcome to another edition Guru Corner — a spiritual version of my popular Coach’s Corner series featuring my favorite teacher on all things mystic and metaphysical, Guru Singh. For those new to the show, imagine a modern-day Gandalf who rocks like Hendrix while dropping pearls of wisdom that beautifully fuse Eastern mysticism with Western pragmatism. A celebrated third-generation Sikh yogi, master spiritual teacher, author, and musician, for the past 40 years Guru Singh has been studying and teaching Kundalini Yoga. He is the author of several books, a powerful lecturer and behind-the-scenes guide to many a luminary, including Fortune 500 CEOs, athletes, and artists. A peer of rock legends like Janis Joplin and the Grateful Dead, Guru Singh is also a supremely talented musician who began his recording career on Warner Bros’ Reprise label in the 1960s. When he isn’t recording tracks with people like Seal, he’s bringing down the house on the daily at Yoga West, his Los Angeles home base. Over the last couple years, I have grown quite close with Guru Singh, a beautiful and highly relatable consciousness I’m proud to call friend, family and mentor. It’s a privilege to share more of his powerful wisdom with you today. Today’s conversation is an intimate exploration into the depths of our darkest emotions — shame, grief, sadness and depression — and the lessons they hold. We discuss the process of releasing our attachment to ideas and identities that no longer serve us. How to navigate the pressures of our modern existence, embrace tumultuous times, and serve the planet as it serves us. And we mine the truth that all of us — irrespective of circumstance — possess the ability to overcome our circumstances and transcend our perceived limitations. My hope is that this conversation will empower you to more deeply invest in the development of your conscious awareness, personal boundaries, and spiritual growth. Because, to quote Guru Singh, life is not about controlling the outside world, it’s about mastering perceptions from the inside. Note: If you missed our initial conversations, start with episode 267 and then enjoy episodes 332 and 368. Final Note: The visually inclined can watch our entire conversation on YouTube HERE (just make sure to subscribe!) Let the master class resume. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Soundcloud | Stitcher | GooglePlay Thanks to this week’s sponsors Amazon Prime Video: With Prime Video Channels,
“In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power.” Yuval Noah Harari What is the relationship between history and biology? What is the essential difference between Homo sapiens and other animals? Is there justice in history? Does history have a direction? Did people become happier as history unfolded? What ethical questions do science and technology raise in the 21st century? These are the queries that compel Yuval Noah Harari – a man unafraid to tackle the biggest questions of our time. For those unfamiliar, Yuval is a renown historian who received his PhD from the University of Oxford in 2002 and is currently a lecturer at the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. But Yuval is best known as the author of three groundbreaking, massive bestsellers. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind is a narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution —a #1 international hit that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” A worldwide sensation recommended by Barack Obama, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, Sapiens has sold over 15 million copies, been translated into nearly 50 languages, was listed on the Sunday Times bestseller list for over six months in paperback, and was a New York Times top 10 bestseller. Whereas Sapiens peered into our past, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow tunes Yuval’s perspicuity on his estimation of our species’ future — specifically our quest to upgrade humans into gods. Within two years of publication, the book has sold in excess of four million copies and been translated into nearly 50 languages. Yuval’s latest work is 21 lessons For the 21st Century, a probing and visionary investigation into today’s most urgent issues as we move into the uncharted territory of the future. Here he stops to take the pulse of our current global climate, focusing on the biggest questions of the present moment: What is really happening right now? What are today’s greatest challenges and choices? And what should we pay attention to? I can’t adequately express the profound extent to which Yuval’s work has impacted my perspective on humanity’s past. The bizarre future that will undoubtedly reshape our species. And the unprecedented predicaments we currently face — acute problems that if not adequately solved will harken the end of humanity as we currently understand it. Yuval’s work is defined by his ability to see things clearly – with a distance and objectivity that provides a welcome and much needed expanse to explore big ideas. It’s a clarity he credits to meditation, a ritual he diligently practices two hours daily with an annual 60 day silent retreat. Today I sit down with one of the world’s great public intellectuals to explore these urgent questions — and what might befall humanity should should we fail to craft solutions — all through the clarity of Yuval’s finely ground lens. We discuss the problem of disinformation and distraction. How artificial intelligence is rapidly reshaping our world.
“Compassion is the most important form of strength.” Mike Mahler When we ponder health, we tend to think about things like diet and exercise. Overlooked in this conversation is the primacy of hormone regulation. Chemical messengers that control almost all biological functions — from hunger to mood and everything in between — hormones play a massive role in overall well-being. When properly balanced, we function at our best. But should they fall out of whack, we become susceptible to everything we endeavor to avoid: weight gain, depression, poor energy, impaired sleep and a litany of chronic lifestyle diseases to name just a few. So let’s stop overlooking this critical aspect of wellness. Today’s maestro for all things hormonal is Mike Mahler — a human specimen of strength and power whose personal expertise in hormone optimization was catalyzed by an acute health crisis he struggled mightily to solve. Perhaps best known as one of the leading experts on effective kettlebell training for size, strength, fat loss and conditioning, Mike is a renown strength coach with a specialization in hormone optimization via nutrition, training, supplements, and lifestyle. He is the author of a variety of best-selling kettlebell training e-books and DVDs. He teaches popular kettlebell workshops globally and is a regular contributor to publications like Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Fitness, and Testosterone Magazine (yes, this is actually a thing). And he has been featured in Muscle & Fitness, Men’s Fitness UK, and CBS News. In addition, Mike is the host of the Live Life Aggresively podcast and the author of Live Life Aggressively! What Self-Help Gurus Should Be Telling You. Refreshing for his raw honesty and no B.S. style, Mike developed a deep interest in hormone health after a serious bout with pneumonia and chronic stress left his immune system debilitated. Solutions to his malady eluded him until he pulled focus on correcting his hormonal imbalances — a journey that provoked a passion for preaching the importance of understanding the crucial role our internal regulators play in order to live truly well and perform at our peak potential. This is conversation about that journey. We nerd out on the specifics, which hormones do what and why, and how regulatory imbalances can lead to everything from obesity to exhaustion. We talk intermittent fasting; effective training techniques; how to avoid over-training; and the importance of restoration, stress reduction and sleep. We cover this interest and role in the growing kettlebell revolution; the importance of functional strength and mobility; and his every-day rituals. We discuss Mike’s interest in combating human trafficking and his support of Project Child Save, a non-profit devoted to locating and recovering children kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery. And we explore his vegan journey, why he doesn’t wear it on his sleeve, the importance of leading by example. But more than anything, this is a conversation about what it means to live live aggressively — and why compassion is the ultimate strength. Chocked full of great information, Mike was awesome. I sincerely hope you enjoy the exchange as much as I enjoyed having it. And make sure to break out that pen and paper — you’re going to want to take notes. Peace + Plants,
“Attraction always works better than promotion.” Rich Roll This episode features the audio from a live event I hosted this past summer at Smock Alley Theatre in Dublin with Stephen & David Flynn of The Happy Pear. Long-time listeners will well remember David and Stephen from #RRP 233, one of my most popular episodes of 2016. Since then the lads have made two subsequent appearances on the show in episodes 331 and 380. For those newer to the show, The Happy Pear are the joined-at-the-hip identical twin brothers behind a family run chain of natural food stores and cafés in Ireland as well as a line of organic, locally harvested plant-based food products available across the UK. The face and voice of Ireland’s quickly growing healthy food revolution, the twins are omnipresent on social media and the bestselling authors behind a series of runaway smash-hit plant-based cookbooks, including The Happy Pear (of course), World of the Happy Pear, and their most recent release, The Happy Pear: Recipes for Happiness. Today’s exchange opens with an extended monologue on the power of decisions by your truly. Extends to embrace the innate power we all possess to change and grow. Pivots to the importance of community. And opens up to audience Q&A on everything from healthy eating habits to how best to catalyze change in others. I talk about the power of decisions. The importance of community. And the fact that we are all capable of positive change – and how to be a beacon to catalyze change in others. This event inspired me to host more live experiences. At home and beyond. If you’re in favor me taking the show on the road, I’d love to hear from you. I sincerely hope you enjoy the listen. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe Apple Podcasts | YouTube | Soundcloud | Stitcher | a href="https://play.google.com/music/m/Ik2a22yi44ypcky7h6vnjvran4e?
“Running unites us. At one point, every culture on Earth relied on running. It’s baked into our DNA.” Sanjay Rawal Most contemplate running as exercise. A physical practice we reluctantly endure. An uncomfortable discipline we tolerate for the sake of fitness. For weight loss. Or to competitively measure ourselves against ourselves and others. Running is about metrics. Pace maintained. Distance covered. Calories burned. Energy expended. And results quantified. But ask Sanjay Rawal and he’ll tell you that definition isn’t just limited — it misses the point altogether. Running is so much more than podiums and aesthetics. At its core, it’s a most primal activity that unites us all. It’s about growth. It’s about self-understanding. And for many cultures dating back millennia, it’s about spiritual growth. Survival. Healing. And even transcendence. Running as devotion. Today Sanjay and I explore this theme in a riveting conversation focused on the inherent and indelible power of this shared human experience to better understand ourselves, our environment and the unseen world. A graduate of U.C. Berkeley with a B.A. in Molecular & Cell Biology and Neurobiology, Sanjay was on the fast track to a career in medicine when he began to question his path, seeking answers and solace in meditation. This quest led to becoming a devoted student of Sri Chinmoy, an Indian spiritual teacher based in New York. What followed is life committed to spiritual expansion. And a calling to improve the collective human condition. Sanjay spent a decade in human rights philanthropy before realizing he could deepen his impact by turning a lens on cultures and communities worthy of notice. Hence was born a career in documentary filmmaking. Sanjay’s oeuvre includes Ocean Monk, Challenging Impossibility, and Food Chains, which takes a hard look at migrant farm labor exploitation. Sanjay’s latest offering, and the focus of today’s conversation, is 3100: Run and Become. A behind-the-scenes immersion into the Sri Chinmoy Self-Transcendence 3100 Mile Race — the world’s most elusive and elite, multi-day running race. Held annually around one utterly unremarkable half-mile urban sidewalk block in Queens, New York, it demands competitors to complete at least 59 miles daily for 52 straight days. The goal? Not glory, but rather the promise of personal expansion and a deeper sense of self. The film also explores the historic and current relationship between running and spirituality through intimate visits with the Marathon Monks of Japan’s Mt. Hiei; the persistence hunters of Africa’s Kalahari tribe; and Arizona’s Navajo Nation. The act of running to transform oneself is as old as time. Ancient man and woman ran not just for survival, but to connect with Nature and the Divine. This is a conversation that explores this essential truth. Because to run is to be human. I sincerely hope you enjoy this very special exchange with a truly remarkable man. And make a point of seeing the movie. Peace + Plants, Listen, Watch & Subscribe