Interviewee #22 – Jonathan Darling – Personal Trainer and Ultra Marathon Runner

This is a man that’s an ordinary guy trying to make an extraordinary impact on the world.  After starting his fitness journey playing football and wrestling in high school, he began studying exercise science in college.  This propelled him into the world of bodybuilding, powerlifting, and competing for several years.  8 months ago, he decided to compete in his first ever endurance race, a 50k ultra trail race.  That is only the beginning…..

Get in touch with Jonathan Darling

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Things we discussed:

  • How do you start in the fitness industry?
  • What the differences between powerlifting and bodybuilding.
  • Bodybuilders vs Crossfitters
  • Injecting positivity in the community.
  • The reasons why people love and are attracted to crossfit.
  • Empathy.
  • Why the interviewee became a reader?
  • The reasons why the guest signed up for a race.
  • Failure.
  • How do you develop the mental capacity to shutdown negative talk?
  • Believing in yourself.
  • How to deal with mediocrity?
  • Driving force.
  • How you demolish fear and follow your dreams.
  • Failure is better than success.
  • Goals for 2019.

Listen to “Interviewee #22 – Jonathan Darling – Personal Trainer and Ultra Marathon Runner” on Spreaker.

 

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Can You Physically Prepare For Sufferfests?

What is a sufferfest? This is basically  your household Spartan Races (although they’re much funner), Tough Mudders (notable obstacles: Arctic Enema & Electro Shock Therapy); and then there are the upper echelon sufferfests.  I’m talking about the marathons, ironmans, ultra-marathons, anything that involves you pushing yourself, like Amelia Boone does, to the absolute limit.

Amelia Boone quoted, “I love pushing my body to the point whereas I’m suffering.”

A gentleman at a restaurant in Sedona, Arizona saw my shirt and asked me about Tough Mudder.  However, unbeknownst to fitness, he made claims like, “why would people even do that?”

As some of you know, one of my greatest failures in life happened back in 2005 – Southern Nevada Sunrise Regional Track & Field Championships where I was suppose to finish in the top 2; conversely, I fell apart 125 meters into my 300m intermediate hurdle race and finished dead last.  This failure right here is music to my ears and I keep it with me everyday like a little girl keeps that teddybear by her side when she retires at night.

When I’m getting ready to give up on a Tough Mudder Course, or any workout in general, that point of suffering arises.  That moment when I crossed the finish line, collapsed, and wept at the Regional Championships.  That point of absolute defeat drives me everyday of my life, and it’s not in a bad way, either.  This greatest defeat has carried me more than 50,000 miles across the world since then and I’ve become the success I am today because of it.

What a sufferfest does, like I told a doctor from Cincinnati, Ohio yesterday, is it destroys the mind.  It destroys that habit….the thing that controls your life everyday.  It breaks the comfortability bubble that you’re in everyday.  A Tough Mudder could be anywhere from 10-20km (6-12 miles), but your body is only capable of being trained for the first half of that race.  I learned the hard way in Australia.

My first every Tough Mudder was beyond fun.  People, of all walks of life, were throwing each other over mud hills, laughing and dancing.  At the time, I thought I was at the 15km mark.  However, we reached a sign that first said 10km (halfway through) and then a course that said ‘Gorilla Hills.’  Then the moment followed…..that moment when the mental barrier and the word “quit” was beaming at me.  These ants, which were people, were making their way up these mountainous hills.  I’ve never seen anything quite like them before in my life.  I was thinking about cutting the course, taking a go-cart up the hill, quitting, so many things were going through my mind.  My upper back was in a state of pain, knees buckled, shoes were torn with little pebbles scattered throughout – killing my feet even more.  At this time, everything I ever been through in life, in terms of pain, came before my very eyes.  The suffering I endured throughout Thailand, my family, the trials and tribulations of everything came…..that’s when I stood there and looked at my reflection and said, “if I give up now, it will continue to conquer me.”

After walking….3km past; 4km past, 5km past – next thing I know the Arctic Enema was there and I almost went around.  Nope! Since I’m already suffering, I need to get a reward from it, right? That very day changed my life

These are why suffering fests are important for human beings.  The only way the growth will take place in the most uncomfortable situations is when you’re in the middle of nowhere and quitting is not an option.  The body is completely destroyed after a certain mark, and when the mental part kicks in, you begin to control the mind and tell it what to do.  Once you do that, you can start taking control of your life.

This is why they’re vital.

2.5 Tough Mudders later and a Spartan Race approaching in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, I simply can’t get enough of them.

Joe De Sena – Co-Founder of Spartan/Death Race & His Story Behind It All

I was talking to someone on my blog earlier about ultramarathons after being introduced to them by a passerby at my investing job (better way of just tying myself down to ‘job’), and the madness that goes on in these particular marathons are bananas.

Joe De Sena, in particular, finished the Badwater Ultramarathon (135 miles at over 120°F/49°C), Vermont 100, and Lake Placid Ironman—all in the same week.

Ummm…..what did you just say?

Let’s put these races into perspective, shall we?

 

The hottest air temperature ever recorded in Death Valley was 134 °F (56.7 °C).  Bad water is the lowest point in the continental United States, which is Death Valley.

I’ll.  Be.  Damned!

Watching this really hit that soft spot in me.  Seeing people overcome tragedy, MS, along with so many disorders that wreak havoc on the lives of millions worldwide….and be able to commit to finishing the ironman is the most incredible GIFT ever.  What does this do? Well, it’s just like Tough Mudder, right? My friends always said, “why did you do it?”  Because since that, my life has completely changed because I had a fortified mental barrier that was tormenting my life and degrading myself, my true self-worth.

What’s even more incredible is the first person who crossed the finish line for the women was Heather Jackson (proud Herbalife sponsor).  Congrats, Heather!

Now back to Joe.  I don’t even have to show the Vermont 100 because you obviously know it deals with 100 miles/km.  I will show you an excerpt from Tim Ferris’ book – The Tools of Titans…

“WHY HE STARTED TACKLING INSANE EVENTS WHILE WORKING ON WALL STREET

“You make and lose $30K, $40K in minutes screwing up an order or having customers tell you that they are no longer going to deal with you. It was very stressful business. [I wanted] to get back to the core of life. . . . [A friend] said, ‘Well, you could die. There is this one—the Iditarod in Alaska. They do it in the middle of the winter, it is by foot, and it is 30 below. But, you have to —’ ‘Sign me up. I have to do it.’ I had to get back to this place where you just want water, food, and shelter. All the craziness of my life—this Wall Street life I had taken on—would go away, would melt away.”

Excerpt From: Timothy Ferriss & Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Tools of Titans.” iBooks. https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/tools-of-titans/id1149615754?mt=11

These types of thing don’t test you, they break you.  All the problems in all the categories of your life are literally up in flames during races like these.  After you finish this gauntlet, you go back home and realize that those seemingly, monstrous problems are now microscopic compared to the rampant fatigue, faint-feeling you had had during the race.

This is why I do it.  This is why in April I’m doing Tough Mudder in Arizona/April.  Spartan Race – Singapore/May. Spartan Race – Malaysia/3rd quarter.  Tough Mudder – Bali, Indonesia/October.

I will continue to break myself….

Gelatin – Is It Good or Bad? America Takes The Affirmative & Thailand Takes The Negative

About a year ago, I was engagement in one of those idle-gossip-conversations at work that involved a teacher spewing rhetoric about factories in Thailand.  At the time I was eating candy that contained Gelatin, an ingredient that’s literally put into candy here and in Germany for some odd reason and the British teacher ERUPTED….

“Omg, you know those are made in factories here in Thailand.  Cow skin and bones is what Gelatin is and it’s put into that mess.”

It wasn’t only him, but other staff members were predisposed to consuming candy that had the infamous “Gelatin” in it.

So, I finally did some research and my oh my, this is why you NEVER listen to the opinions of others and you just have to check it out yourself.

Gelatin is a protein made from the skins and bones of pigs and cows. It’s a common ingredient in a number of products, including: medicine, makeup, vaccines, and food.

Why do people take Gelatin?

Many people with arthritis take Gelatin supplements Gelatin contains collagen. That’s a material in the cartilage that cushions the bones in your joints.

The idea behind this usage is that eating gelatin (with collagen)  will add collagen to your joints. However, that’s probably not true. The collagen in gelatin gets broken down when you eat it. It wouldn’t travel directly to your joints.

Nonetheless, there is some evidence that gelatin could help ease joint pain in people with osteoarthritis.

Then came Amanda Boone.  Amanda Boone, who is the first person to win first at the World’s Toughest Mudder, actually takes hydrolysed Gelatin.  She said in Tim Ferris’ book ‘tools of titans’ why she actually takes it….

“I’ve consumed Gelatin for connective tissue repair in the past.  I’ve never stuck with it long term because Gelatin takes on a seagull poo-like texture when mixed into cold.” – Amelia Boone 

 

“Amelia saved my palate and joints by introducing me to the Great Lakes hydrolyzed version (green label), which blends easily and smoothly.” – Tim Ferris

Amazing results from one of the greatest, ultra athletes in the world and a highly sought after writer/entrepreneur.

Interesting when we just go by the opinions of others and let that dictate what we believe at that specific moment.  However, when you actually check things out and do the research yourself, you have your satori moment.

Podcast – https://www.spreaker.com/episode/10544369