Interview with Joel Runyon, awesome man who overcomes the impossible

Meet Joel Runyon. He’s probably one of the coolest guy you can ever meet. Why? Well he runs mission impossible his whole life.

Joel is so frigging cool and amazing that he doesn’t stop at anything to achieve whatever the hell he wants, be it running a triathlon, doing 200 consecutive push-ups, travel the world or going without internet for a whole month. You name it he’s done it yo!

Beings overcoming the impossible, Joel is also an awesome dude who continues to push himself and inspire others with his blog. He’s a shining example to how much the human body and mind can achieve, as long as well, you just don’t give up. Also, he kind of looks like Sean William Scott to me. Coolness!

Read on, and be inspired.

Hey Joel! 

Can you define, “Impossible” for us and what does it really mean to you? 

A lot of people think it’s hyperbole, but when I started the blog, everything really seemed impossible. I wasn’t quite sure of myself and I didn’t really know if I could do any of the things I had on my impossible list. It’s a little different to me now that i have run a few triathlons and have more confidence than I used to, but there are still quite a few things that I’m not quite sure I’ll be able to do – that seem impossible – and that I’m going to attempt anyways. 

What was the one thing in life that really pushed you to want to achieve impossible things? 

I got tired of living a normal life and disqualifying myself from doing things before I even tried. I figured if I tried something and failed, that was a lot better than talking myself out of even trying in the first place. I wanted to start living a better story and realized no one was going to do it for me, so I decided I was going to have to do it myself.

What’s the next impossible thing you want to overcome? 

I want to do an Ironman in the next year and a half. I’m also working on scaling up my own businesses right now.  

Which do you think is tougher? Overcoming an impossible task that challenges the physical body or the inner-being? 

Physical things are actually more mental than anything. I like physical challenges because they’re so tangible. You can feel the fear, the pain, and the urge to quit is really strong. But if you keep going and push yourself, you realize most of the fear and pain is in your head and you can go beyond it. Then you can start realizing that in other mental/inner aspects of life. I think it’s harder to realize the gap between what you “think” is possible and what actually is, when you’re only hashing it out internally without external data to provide a 3rd party point of view.

 You actually wrote a post on why you would never earn money off your blog. Could you tell us in detail why? Considering the popularity of your blog, many would be all too ready to monetize it and start living the lifestyle they want. 

A lot of people misinterpret that blog, but it’s pretty straightforward. My blog doesn’t make me money. I have an audience, sure and it allows for a few different opportunities but I don’t run ads on the blog and I don’t do affiliate stuff. I have a triathlon guide, but that’s a product, not a blog. I built Impossible HQ to be a platform to launch a bunch of businesses and projects of off in the future, but I’m building something that will hopefully be much bigger than just a blog.

 You mentioned on your blog you have a day job. How do you find time to actually maintain the blog?

 I quit my job back in December but up until then I had a 9-5 for the first 18-20 months of the blog. It’s mostly a time management thing. If you sleep 8 hours a day and work 8 hours a day, you still have an extra 8 hours. You get to choose what you want to do with them. You can watch tv or you can do something else. I started a blog.

 What do you think people in general are holding back in themselves to really achieve greatness in life?

 I think everybody’s a little worried about looking stupid. You want to try cool things, but are scared of people looking at you funny or thinking you’re crazy. I think it’s good to be a little bit crazy. And once you can get over worrying about how other people will react to what you do and just start doing, cool things start to happen.

 What would you say to someone who has a lot of self-doubt, thinks of quitting and just giving up?

 Those are different questions with different answers. For the self-doubt piece – just do one small thing. Just one. Then another. Then another. Pretty soon you’ve built something substantial.

 On quitting – quitting isn’t always a bad thing. You have to know why you’re doing things in the first place. If you find that you can be more effective doing something else, then quitting isn’t bad – in fact, it’s actually a good thing! The problem comes when people habitually quit. Instead of evaluating their decision, when things get tough they just quit. The best thing to do in that situation is to know why you’re doing something in the first place. If your reason why is greater than the crap you have to go through to get it, then persevering through it is a lot easier.

 Last question! So what happens after you have done it all? 

 I’m never done. It’s all one big story I’m telling. Hopefully it’s one I keep telling it until it’s done.

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  1. Kerry Brooks - March 23, 2012 9:45 am

    Thanks for sharing this .. a very interesting and inspiring guy – I’m now reading his Impossible Manifesto :))

    • alden - March 23, 2012 9:55 am

      No problem Kerry! Glad it helped. I have yet to read the manifesto, but yes it looks really awesome indeed.

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  3. RyzeConnect - March 25, 2012 5:41 am

    He certainly gets it – mental over matter – if you think it’s easy, it is 🙂

    I always remember that scientific experiment where they had 2 groups of people, one group of basketball players shooting baskets, and the other group mentally shooting and scoring every single basket, and guess which group got more shots in after testing?

    Yup, you got it, the “thinkers” in the experiment.

    • admin - March 25, 2012 8:14 pm

      I like how Joel answered directly that physical challenges leads to mental achievements.

      Nice. What is the experiment called?

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  6. bow - August 16, 2012 2:30 pm

    was this a original interview? Just wondering

    • alden - August 16, 2012 2:45 pm

      Yeah it is.

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