EPISODE 73 — James Lawrence — Iron Cowboy: 101 Ironmans in 101 Days
James Lawrence is the record-setting “Iron Cowboy,” who recently completed 101 Ironmans in 101 days — and he doesn’t even like to run.
His inspiring feats continually push him to the edge of what the human body is capable of. Through trials and adversity, he’s learned how to go beyond when all the body wants to do is break down.
In this episode, he discusses:
- How to approach giant goals
- The importance of facing adversity
- Finding success in an uncharted territory
- And much more
4:32 – Sacrifice to create success. “Ultimately, we discovered that through speaking around the world, our story is giving people hope. If that’s the result of our suffering and sacrifice, I’m all-in. Helping people get out of their own way and to have hope on their journey is incredibly meaningful.”
8:42 – Don’t try to be a hero. “You don’t just wake up and go, ‘You know what? 100 Ironmans in 100 days? Let’s go.’ Because you will fail. I promise you that. You have to methodically attack it with intent to achieve the goal, and you need to gain momentum. You’ve got to start chalking up little tiny wins along the way. If not, you’re going to fail, and then you’re going to associate failure with you, which isn’t who you are. We’re all winners at our core, but if you go too big too quick, I promise you will fail. And then you’re going to be labeled that and it’s going to be harder and harder to get off the ground doing successful things.”
16:40 – Find your reason for achieving. “Before anybody starts any big project, I think you should really sit down and figure out, ‘Okay, what’s my ethos, what are my core values, and what do I stand for?’ And then really commit and buy into those statements. Then every question you have on a tough journey becomes very easy to answer because you just revert back to what your ethos is and what you stand for.”
19:18 – The responsibility is yours. “It’s so easy and quantifiable. You eliminate any type of excuse or entitlement, and you show up and do the work. That’s seriously as simple as that can get. Everybody needs to stand up, look at themselves in the mirror, and go, ‘I’m in this position in my life because of me. I need to take full accountability for where I am. I’m broke? It’s my fault. I’m rich? It’s my fault. I’m fat? It’s my fault. I’m fit? It’s my fault.’ Once you can get to the realization that you’re taking accountability for where you are in your life, only then can you start to make the changes that you need to.”
28:30 – Controlling the power of the alter ego. “During the 50 is when that alter ego [The Iron Cowboy] came because I had to dig to a depth that I’ve never been to before and go into that extreme flow state. It requires you to put on your uniform and be something different. That alter ego is not a bad thing. People associate ego with a bad thing. It’s not. It’s getting your mind into a state where you can accomplish something that nobody else thought was possible. I’ve learned how to channel this individual when needed or when I’m backed into a corner and things get ugly. That’s in athletics, parenting, marriage, friendships, and in business. When it gets tough and things aren’t going well and adversity and hardship are in front of you, you’ve got to be able to put on your tough boy uniform and power through it. Sometimes it takes that mental shift. An alter ego is just a good cue or a weighted way to trick your mind.”
37:55 – The importance of choosing adversity. “In order for our bodies to be healthy, we have to stress them — same thing with our minds. You have to stress your mind in order for it to be a healthy functioning part of who we are, and the easy route is not always the best way to go. I’ve got two ways to go here. This one’s going to challenge me a little bit more. I think I’m going to intentionally choose that route so that I can develop, grow, and progress.”
39:49 – Nobody needs you to be perfect. “We’re not perfect; we’ve never claimed to be perfect. We make mistakes. We’re human like everybody else. Anybody that says they’re perfect is a complete liar and full of themselves, and they’re just having an ego party with themselves. But yeah, absolutely we’re proud of what we did. This last campaign was executed exactly how we wanted to. I didn’t want to have those injuries that I did. I didn’t want to have to battle in the way that I did, but I think it brought value to many people who wouldn’t have been able to join us had I been at 100% the whole time.”
41:00 – When it’s time to quit, go again. “The reality is, I promise you, no matter where you are or what you’re doing — if you’re broken, you’re defeated, you can get up and do one more. I don’t know how many times you’re going to have to get up and do one more, and sometimes you’re going to have to get up and do one more alone. You can do it, and I felt I had to do it myself. If I wanted to be a person that would eventually want to say, ‘Look, you’ve all got one more in you. You can do one more rep.’ I felt like I had to do it in order to be able to speak about it.”
45:45 – The evolution of you. “The human journey is interesting, and I think my goal is just to continue to try to try to be the best I can be. I struggle like everybody else. I don’t think I’m better than anybody else, and I truly believe that everybody’s heart is different and based off of our experiences. I’m just on a journey. I like to hope that I’m a better person than I was five years ago, and I hope five years from now a different person than I am is sitting here having this conversation with you. I think everybody should strive to have that growth. You better not be the same person you were when you’re 20, when you’re 30, when you’re 40. I’m 45 now, so I hope I’m not the same person at 50 that I am sitting here today.”
46:33 – What does being a game changer mean to you? “I think it’s continually trying to find the best version of yourself and realize that even though you may not think so, someone’s watching you at all times. Who you are in the dark, when you think nobody is watching, is who you really are. If you can be that person, you’re just going to be an even more spectacular person in the light. So lead life with strength and integrity. Keep showing up. That’s how you can be a game changer for other people.”
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