In this episode of the Align Podcast, top ultra marathoner and world-record holder Michele Graglia shares empowering insights that will get you off the couch and start running towards your highest dreams.
His unimaginable wins are plastered in various websites but, in this rare interview, Michele reveals why competition ruins the essence of ultra running, what sets his mindset apart from other ultramarathoners, and how to overcome your ego-centric tendencies that keep you from growing into a better version of yourself.
From getting high on the addictive supermodel lifestyle at age 24 to feeling the unbearable existential void at 27, Michele found an escape in the world's most inhospitable places: ice mountains and torrid deserts. His pivot from the limelight set him off to epic adventures that test the limits of human potential. Giving his all to run extreme distances in extreme conditions, he has conquered both the scalding canyons of Death Valley and the sub-zero Yukon region. Amid the COVID pandemic, he won the 2020 Moab 240 Endurance Run, a death-defying 240-mile foot race through some of Utah’s most challenging terrains.
It seems insane to give up fame, fortune, and comfort for intense mental and physical pain, suffering, and despair, but Michele believes it’s necessary. “We can all transcend our perceived limitations to grow as a person,” he remarks. If you feel trapped in your current situation and struggling to break free from your comfort zone, this episode is perfect for you.
What we discuss:
3:15 - What made him leave the luxurious modeling world for ultra running?
6:00 - Why ultra running is about self-exploration, not competition
8:30 - On beating world-renowned ultramarathoner David Goggins in a race
13:50 - What mind and body transcendence is, and why running a race is an spiritual pursuit
20:08 - How your ego keeps you from achieving greatness
22:35 - Michele's realizations after his confrontation with David Goggins
38:04 - How your ego makes you do stupid things
45:00 - Why life is an endless pursuit of self-discovery
51:50 - Tips to preparing for a big race
57:15 – Ultra Running Diet: Optimized Fat Metabolism (OFM) diet, ketosis, or veganism?
Learn more from Michele Graglia:
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