Dustin Riedesel Approaches Life as an Amateur Event


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Today’s guest battled both addiction and cancer and is a father, husband, podcaster, author, and runner.

There will be no shortage of topics to cover during our conversation.

I look forward to going a few easy miles today with Dustin Riedesel.

Dustin Riedesel

The Marathon Is Irreplaceable

When asked what his favorite distance is to race, Dustin will always respond with the marathon.

The marathon is irreplaceable to him because he has evolved/changed, each time he went the distance.

Dustin has learned that life boils down to two things anytime he pushes himself to his limits.

Those two things are:

  • Am I going to be the person who keeps going or the person who quits?
  • Everything else going on in life gets stripped away in the moment.

Training for and running marathons has helped Dustin rebuild his relationship with himself.

His ability to endure has translated to all areas of life beyond just running.

Consistency Makes You Invincible

The first marathon Dustin ever ran was the Chicago Marathon and it holds a special place in his heart.

He chose the charity route and raised money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

His connection with the charity stemmed from his fight with cancer.

In completing his first marathon, Dustin found that the race can be broken down into three parts.

The first third of the races is physical, the second third is physical and mental, and the last third is physical, mental, and emotional.

Months of training for a marathon taught Dustin that not every run has to be live or die.

Maximizing potential isn’t about reaching ultimate peaks, but rather how far you traveled from one point to another.

He discovered that time and consistency make you invincible.

Rediscovering Himself

Dustin experienced a significant life trauma when he was diagnosed with cancer.

Along with cancer he also had a history of drinking to excess.

His heavy drinking eventually led to him getting a DUI.

Dustin had been married for 6 months at this point in his life, and his wife insisted that he enter rehab.

Entering rehab forced him to take an abrupt break in his training.

That forced break was ultimately the best thing that happened to him.

He spent the next 30 days addressing the biggest obstacles in his life.

The day his wife picked him up from rehab was also the day Dustin found out he would be a father.

A Voluntary Burden

Dustin signed up to run the Chicago marathon two weeks after getting out of rehab.

He wanted to rediscover himself after all the life trauma he had dealt with.

His new perspective has shown him that if a burden is voluntarily chosen, then it ceases to become a burden.

Running teaches you what you’re made of and the burden is what makes you strong.

Immediately after crossing his first marathon finish line, Dustin knew that was the person he wanted to become.

He was able to link all the good results in his life directly to completing something hard.

That realization was a big inflection point in his life.

Dustin Riedesel

Strong, Smart, Kind

Dustin has completed 3 marathons so far and his favorite isn’t the one he performed the best.

The San Antonio Marathon was the last full he did and in some ways, it was his most heartbreaking.

His training went well and he lined up on race day with the goal of breaking 4 hours.

The race inevitably got hard in the final stages, but Dustin didn’t quit.

His perseverance meant more to him in that moment than his finishing time which was just over 4 hours.

Dustin took away from that moment that life ultimately boils down to being strong, kind, and smart.

All the lessons that running has taught him inspired him to write a book.

The book is not an expert opinion or guide, but rather an amateur’s approach to marathoning.

Life Is an Amateur Event

In his experience, Dustin has found the goal of life is success.

Success hinges on being honest with oneself about your goals.

Find the tension of what will push you without crushing you.

The process of writing a book came naturally to Dustin.

One piece of wisdom he includes in his book is that you learn things from finishing things.

A person can’t truly know what running a marathon entails unless they complete one.

More joy will be found in all areas of life if you measure less and relate more.


Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected to Dustin Riedesel by following him on Twitter and/or Instagram.


Dustin Riedesel is helping fellow amateur runners learn more about how to become a marathon runner in his new book. Click To Tweet


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