Earlier this month I had the opportunity to sit down and chat life, bikes and how my passion for cycling ultimately led to it being my profession with the hugely inspirational and highly regarded plantpowered nutrition advocate and ultra-athlete Rich Roll. It was during a visit to L.A. seeking winter sun and new roads to explore amidst the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains, AKA Rich’s local stomping ground (lucky man!) when the roles suddenly reversed and I found myself on the other side of the microphone for a couple of hours going from long-term listener to podcast guest.

My relationship with Rich actually started many months before this however, I’m sure in a similar way to hundreds of thousands of others throughout the world who would regularly tune into his weekly podcast (the RRP). It was the winter of 2013, the time when base training is at its most important, laying the fitness foundations for the year ahead, and since 2014 was shaping up to be the biggest year yet both on the bike and in business now was the time to focus hard on getting the body and mind in the right place.

“Over the months I came to learn about his own life transformation working 80 hours a week as an entertainment attorney, battling drug addiction and alcoholism and barely being able to make it up a flight of stairs with his life seemingly spiraling out of control to becoming one of the world’s fittest men”

At the time I didn’t know a great deal about Rich, but over the months I came to learn about his own life transformation working 80 hours a week as an entertainment attorney, battling drug addiction and alcoholism and barely being able to make it up a flight of stairs with his life seemingly spiraling out of control to becoming one of the world’s fittest men, a best selling author, wellness advocate and, of course, internationally renowned podcast host in just a few short years is a truly remarkable story.

We touch upon the term “decision fatigue” during our conversation, which actually makes me smile when I think about it. In this day and age it’s becoming harder and harder to decipher what’s fact, fiction, marketing hype or make believe just to fuel someone else’s greed. Despite being a vegetarian since the turn of the millennium and having a super clean diet my whole life there are so many mixed messages, theories, fads, bio-hacks and personal beliefs when it comes to this topic that over time you can start questioning your own beliefs. I was at this point at the end of 2013. People putting in their ten cents worth even if there was little science to back up the claim. Casting doubt in my mind if the nutritional lifestyle I’d chosen is the optimal choice for not only performance but more importantly ethics and sustainability.

“Despite being a vegetarian since the turn of the millennium and having a super clean diet my whole life there are so many mixed messages, theories, fads, bio-hacks and personal beliefs when it comes to this topic that over time you can start questioning your own beliefs”

I used the long hours on the bike at weekends to escape this ambient noise, to put the world on pause, get back to basics, absorb the knowledge and ultimately make up my own mind with the message that resonated most deeply within. To me that is the true power of podcasting, being able to tap into such a wide and varied resource of knowledge to help you to try and become a better person to yourself, others and the world in which we all have to share.

Mike Cotty and Rich Roll - January 2015

I started listening to a bunch of different podcasts to get a rounded opinion from many different sources who had a lot more experience than I did, but time and time again found myself returning to the RRP. Going through the back catalogue of guests things started to make sense once more. About nutritional needs, common misconceptions, sustainability and beyond. Suddenly I felt free again in my mind and body, decision made, focus restored, in fact I didn’t even need the dairy and fish that I’d previously thought a necessity (sucked in by the marketing message of life I’d grown up with). A lot of the things that had seemed unorthodox throughout my twenties, my personal theories, that I’d implemented in my own way (from training techniques to health) came full circle when the final piece of the puzzle was put into place, and I have to say I’ve never felt so content, decision fatigue a thing of the past.

“Going through the back catalogue of guests things started to make sense once more. About nutritional needs, common misconceptions, sustainability and beyond.”

So, before we get to the podcast I want to say thank you Rich, for your service to the world, your unique gift at being able to listen to and articulate the inner being of your guests in a way that is easy to relate to and understand. That’s powerful beyond recognition and something that has certainly helped me personally no end.

Thank you for the opportunity to share my story, I hope your listeners enjoy the episode.

LISTEN NOW TO THE RICH ROLL PODCAST #127

Peace, plants and power to the pedals ;)

Mike