Ep. 175: Robert Earl Stewart - The Running-Shaped Hole

What happens when your ability to make decisions gets clouded – and driven – by addiction? Why does ‘letting go’ make sense in these circumstances? What does it feel like when doing the right thing for your health seems somehow risky and frightening? And what in the world does running have to do with all of this?

Making his second appearance on the podcast is my good friend Robert Earl Stewart. Based in Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Robert (or Bob as I’ve always known him) is a writer, poet, and former journalist and bookseller. He is also a recovering alcoholic and has struggled with food addiction. At one point in his life, he weighed nearly 400 pounds and struggled to breathe while talking.

As you will hear, he took up running in an effort to save his life and ended up writing a fabulous book about his journey. The book is called The Running-Shaped Hole. It’s funny, moving, and inspirational as it chronicles how Robert lost 140 pounds, ran the Detroit Free Press half marathon, ended up in jail at one point, and tons in between. He shares his thoughts on all of those things in this episode and more, including what addiction feels like, family, the importance of surrender, and how authorities suspected he may have been at the head of an international organsised crime syndicate that provokes monied interests at picnics (you will have to listen to learn more about that last one). Like his book, this is an entertaining, funny, and thought-provoking conversation.

Show notes:

The Running-Shaped Hole

Robert on Goodreads

Robert on Twitter

Robert’s first appearance on All Things Risk

Blaise Pascal’s God-shaped hole

Michel Foucault’s heterotopia

Willistead Park

Hiram Walker

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Our free course module “How to Set Up Any Decision for Success” from our upcoming course How to Make Decisions With Calm and Confidence