Joe De Sena Turns Quitters Into People Who Commit
Do hard things. Become unbreakable. Let’s end the year on a high note. It’s time to turn quitters into people who commit, courtesy of one of the toughest people on the planet. Fire ready aim!
If the name Joe De Sena strikes a familiar chord, it’s likely because he’s the entrepreneurial mastermind behind Spartan—the obstacle course racing series that became a global phenomenon. Fewer know he’s also the evil genius behind Death Race—perhaps the most absurd sufferfest ever conceived.
Under appreciated is just what an utter machine this guy is. An absolute endurance freak, in a mere one week period, Joe completed the Vermont 100 mile run, Ironman Lake Placid, and the Badwater 135. In addition, Joe knocked off 50 ultramarathons and 14 Ironman events in a single year (a certain kind of insanity that must be some kind of record). To top it off, on a whim, he once ran from New York City to Vermont.
A man of questionable masochism, Joe knows hustle. But his relentlessness isn’t limited to athletics. It begins with business, servicing mafioso swimming pools as a Queens high schooler. It appears in academics. It took him four attempts to secure admission to Cornell. And, most importantly, it shows up in service. At his Vermont farm, Joe freely welcomes all who dare join in his legendary daily grind. Everything Joe does—be it Spartan, his books or public speaking—reflects his genuine commitment to helping millions of people live healthier more fulfilling lives.
Today he shares his extraordinary story.
This is a conversation about commitment to an ideal. How to manifest the better self within. And pay it back in service to others.
It’s about Joe’s colorful life path. His Goodfellas-esque upbringing. His natural-born entrepreneurial inclinations. His insane endurance feats and unique relationship with suffering. And the impenetrable focus required to accomplish lofty dreams.
But more than anything, this is about turning quitters into people who commit. It’s about why doing hard things makes you better, happier and healthier. And it’s about the potential we all possess to catalyze radical transformation.
From the heart, Joe is bullshit-free and 100% authentic. His message is powerful. Entirely experience-based. And paired with practical tools fundamental to shattering stagnation.
May his words propel you to craft your own challenge for this impending new year—something extraordinary.
So let’s dive into it headfirst. Or, as Joe says, fire, ready, aim.
Peace + Plants,
Listen, Watch & Subscribe
Thanks to this week’s sponsors
Blinkist: Unlimited access to read or listen to a massive library of condensed non-fiction books from self-help, to business, health, and history—all for one low price. Join me and 12 million others gleaning from the best and brightest. Try Blinkist FREE for 7 days AND get 25% off a Blinkist Premium membership at blinkist.com/richroll.
JUST Egg: A better egg for you and the planet. Made entirely from plants, JUST Egg is protein-packed, has ZERO cholesterol, and is a delicious, nutritious, and more sustainable way to start your day. You can find it at most grocery stores, your local co-op, Amazon Prime Now, and Instacart. Look for JUST Egg in the egg fridge, or find the frozen JUST Egg folded for easy breakfast sandwiches.
Joovv: Enhance your health, recovery, and sleep with Joovv light therapy. Discover the science of light therapy and how it can help you reach your health & fitness goals at Joovv.com/richroll. Use that URL and when you’re there you’ll see a unique code that will give you a free gift with your purchase. Exclusions apply, limited time only.
Squarespace: The easiest way to create a beautiful website, blog, or online store for you and your ideas. Save 10% on your first purchase at checkout when you visit squarespace.com/richroll and use the discount code RICHROLL at checkout.
- Connect with Joe: Website | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook
- Podcast: Spartan Up!
- Book: Spartan Up! A Take-No-Prisoners Guide to Overcoming Obstacles and Achieving Peak Performance in Life
- Book: The Spartan Way: Eat Better. Train Better. Think Better. Be Better.
- Spartan Race: Find Your Race
- Death Race: About
- YouTube: Joe De Sena On Grit
- Outside: Meet the Most Punishing Man in Fitness
- Boston Business Journal: Spartan founder Joe De Sena sounds off on corporate wellness
- Men’s Health: Spartan Founder Joe De Sena On “Letting People Out Of The Zoo”
I'm proud to announce my new book 'Voicing Change'. To learn more & pre-order now, visit, richroll.com/vc
HOW CAN I SUPPORT THE PODCAST? Tell Your Friends & Share Online!
Patronize Our Sponsors: Supporting the companies that support the show! For a complete list of all RRP sponsors and their respective vanity URLs and discount codes, click the 'Sponsors' tab in the 'Shop' menu.
Spread The Word: Help grow our reach by sharing your enthusiasm for the podcast and/or your favorite episodes by posting about it on social media.
Thank The Team: I do not do this alone. Send your love to Jason Camiolo for production, audio engineering and show notes; Margo Lubin and Blake Curtis for video, editing and graphics; portraits by Ali Rogers; and theme music by Tyler Piatt. Trapper Piatt & Hari Mathis.
Amazon Disclosure: Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to the Amazon affiliate program. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.