The Iron Cowboy Did It! How James Lawrence Completed 50 Ironmans In 50 States In 50 Days

The Rich Roll Podcast

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The Iron Cowboy Did It! How James Lawrence Completed 50 Ironmans In 50 States In 50 Days

The Rich Roll Podcast

“Just be empowered to do that hard thing in your life…however low you are, wherever you are, there’s someone out there that loves you and there’s someone out there that can support you and there’s a way to climb out of it.”

James “Iron Cowboy” Lawrence

I'm exploding with excitement about this week's hotly anticipated show.

Today I sit down with James Lawrence — aka The Iron Cowboy — fresh on the heels of completing an absolutely unprecedented and mind-boggling 50 ironman-distance triathlons in 50 states in just 50 days.

I honestly believe this is one of the greatest achievements in the history of (voluntary) human endurance.

For the uninitiated, consider swimming 2.4 miles, pedaling your bike 112 miles and then running a marathon, 26.2 miles. After quickly eating and bathing, you enjoy anywhere from two to four hours of shut eye, usually in the back of a Subaru as it drives through the night to meet dawn in an adjoining state. Then you heave your weary bones up, eat, get dressed and do it all over again. Every single day. 50 days in row, across each and every one of the 50 states — including Hawaii and Alaska — without one single day off.

Just think about that for a moment. Let it sink in.

During James' initial appearance on the podcast (RRP 149) just prior to his 50/50/50 attempt, I went on record here and on various media outlets like Triathlete.com voicing my concern that James just might have aimed a bit too high.

As someone who did 5 ironman-distance triathlons in a row on each of the 5 Hawaiian Islands, I happen to have a little experience in this arena. Admittedly my accomplishments now seem paltry (almost embarrassing) by comparison, the fact remains that I happen to be one of the few people on the planet who can truly understand, appreciate and deeply empathize with the abyss James would inevitably face, battle, endure and be forced to overcome in order to complete his extraordinary journey intact.

I know what it's like to meet unforeseen obstacles that threaten to imperil the mission. I know what it's like to fall asleep on your bike. I know what it's like to have saddle sores so painful you can't sit down. I know what it's like to run through the night, hallucinating. And I know what it's like when that inevitable moment arises and you ask yourself: what am I doing to myself?

But James and his entire family were all in from the get go. To underwrite the endeavor, they even sold their house and put all their earthly possessions in storage. So never for a second did I doubt his level of commitment. I knew he could complete 50 ironman-distance triathlons in 50 states. It was the 50 days part that bent my brain. Certainly he'll have to take at least one day off, right? Maybe two. In my mind, I predicted at least three intermittent rest days.

James, you proved me wrong. You proved the world wrong.

And I couldn’t be happier. Or more proud. It's not just that you did what you said you would do. It's the way you did it. It was your composure. It was you tremendous grace under fire. Your selflessness in service to a greater cause. All fueled by an attitude of gratitude.

On a last minute whim, I decided to show up unannounced in Utah to surprise James, join him on his final marathon jaunt, and witness the conclusion first hand. An experience I will never forget, it was thrilling and emotional to be running just off his shoulder as he crossed his historic finish line, accomplished his goal,

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“Just be empowered to do that hard thing in your life…however low you are, wherever you are, there’s someone out there that loves you and there’s someone out there that can support you and there’s a way to climb out of it.”

James “Iron Cowboy” Lawrence

I'm exploding with excitement about this week's hotly anticipated show.

Today I sit down with James Lawrence — aka The Iron Cowboy — fresh on the heels of completing an absolutely unprecedented and mind-boggling 50 ironman-distance triathlons in 50 states in just 50 days.

I honestly believe this is one of the greatest achievements in the history of (voluntary) human endurance.

For the uninitiated, consider swimming 2.4 miles, pedaling your bike 112 miles and then running a marathon, 26.2 miles. After quickly eating and bathing, you enjoy anywhere from two to four hours of shut eye, usually in the back of a Subaru as it drives through the night to meet dawn in an adjoining state. Then you heave your weary bones up, eat, get dressed and do it all over again. Every single day. 50 days in row, across each and every one of the 50 states — including Hawaii and Alaska — without one single day off.

Just think about that for a moment. Let it sink in.

During James' initial appearance on the podcast (RRP 149) just prior to his 50/50/50 attempt, I went on record here and on various media outlets like Triathlete.com voicing my concern that James just might have aimed a bit too high.

As someone who did 5 ironman-distance triathlons in a row on each of the 5 Hawaiian Islands, I happen to have a little experience in this arena. Admittedly my accomplishments now seem paltry (almost embarrassing) by comparison, the fact remains that I happen to be one of the few people on the planet who can truly understand, appreciate and deeply empathize with the abyss James would inevitably face, battle, endure and be forced to overcome in order to complete his extraordinary journey intact.

I know what it's like to meet unforeseen obstacles that threaten to imperil the mission. I know what it's like to fall asleep on your bike. I know what it's like to have saddle sores so painful you can't sit down. I know what it's like to run through the night, hallucinating. And I know what it's like when that inevitable moment arises and you ask yourself: what am I doing to myself?

But James and his entire family were all in from the get go. To underwrite the endeavor, they even sold their house and put all their earthly possessions in storage. So never for a second did I doubt his level of commitment. I knew he could complete 50 ironman-distance triathlons in 50 states. It was the 50 days part that bent my brain. Certainly he'll have to take at least one day off, right? Maybe two. In my mind, I predicted at least three intermittent rest days.

James, you proved me wrong. You proved the world wrong.

And I couldn’t be happier. Or more proud. It's not just that you did what you said you would do. It's the way you did it. It was your composure. It was you tremendous grace under fire. Your selflessness in service to a greater cause. All fueled by an attitude of gratitude.

On a last minute whim, I decided to show up unannounced in Utah to surprise James, join him on his final marathon jaunt, and witness the conclusion first hand. An experience I will never forget, it was thrilling and emotional to be running just off his shoulder as he crossed his historic finish line, accomplished his goal,

See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

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