Today’s guest is someone that uses epic running challenges to help make a positive difference in the world.
His next endeavor is a big one, he’s getting ready to run about 25,000 miles over the next three and a half years.
I’m looking forward to going a few easy miles with Tomasz Drybala and hearing a bit more about how he got to this point.
Mental Health Benefits
Tomasz Drybala has been running for about 20 years.
For most of those years, he would run a couple of times a week for short distances.
The main purpose of those runs was to help clear his mind and provide mental benefits.
In March of 2016, Tomasz began to increase his training up to 5 to 6 days per week.
He did so, again for the main purpose of mental health.
Two years later, he once again increased his training from one hour per day to two to four hours.
Later that same year, Tomasz heard about a man from Great Britain that swam around the country in 200 days.
Tomasz was inspired by the man’s feat and it set him off on his journey to see what he was capable of as well.
5 Million Steps
The first big challenge that Tomasz decided to pursue, was taking 5 million steps in 100 days.
Tomasz completed his goal in 101 days.
The success of his first challenge motivated him to see what else he could do.
When Tomasz first began running he did so for his mental health and never expected to complete these types of challenges.
Tomasz experienced trauma as a child and running has provided him relief from his anxiety and stress.
Running has always been something Tomasz could turn to when life got rough.
The year 2015 was especially hard, prompting him to travel to Asia solo and do a lot of reflecting.
While there, he decided to alter the course of his life, beginning with small changes.
Today’s Episode Sponsored By: Amino Co.
Unleash Your Best Self
Running has always been painful for Tomasz, but he found that his mental strength only seemed to get stronger over time.
Tomasz wanted to take what he had learned and create a coaching program to help others unleash their best selves.
One key point that he discovered, was that if curiosity is built, it will make a lot of things easier, including running.
Tomasz doesn’t enjoy racing, but rather he has gotten into the practice of mindful running.
According to Tomasz, mindful running is similar to active meditation.
The mind learns through repetition and positive patterns.
Active meditation can be achieved through acknowledging and accepting thoughts.
Tomasz suggests associating gratefulness with pain and negative self-talk.
In the early stages of practicing mindful running, the brain will need to be tricked.
It will take time to learn to not focus on the negative while running.
Staying in the present moment and maintaining awareness will help anxiety begin to dissipate.
One trick that Tomasz suggests is to focus on finding a color that is rare on the run, he suggests orange.
Start with small increments when practicing active mediation, only 3 to 5 minute at first.
Active meditation can be overwhelming to learn at first.
Acheiving the state of flow can mirror resetting the sense of self.
Tomasz is passionate about teaching others this practice, because he has benefitted greatly from it.
State Of Flow
Tomasz is often asked if the state of flow is the same as a runner’s high.
The short answer is no.
A runner’s high is a chemical reaction and a state of flow is a psychological reaction.
In order the achieve a state of flow you need to create the conditions and have a concrete goal.
Flow exists in the present moment and is connected to your passions.
One key point in achieving flow is to ensure that your effort and skills are commensurate with the challenge/goal.
All humans are capable of achieving the state of flow and they don’t have to be running to do so.
Tomasz explains mindful running in detail in his new book, “Flow Up,” with a release date of January of 2023.
A Mission With A Message
Starting in September, Tomasz will embark on a journey that will likely take him till December of 2025.
This journey will encompass running 40.075 km (about 25,000 miles) which is the circumference of the Earth.
Tomasz is dividing the run into 4 stages:
- North America– 10,000 km from the East to the West coast of the United States. He will run a U-shape starting from New York and finishing in Seattle.
- Asia- 11,000 km from Hong Kong to Bali in Indonesia. He will run through China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, and three Indonesian Islands: Sumatra, Java, and Bali.
- Arabian Peninsula– 6,000 km from Kuwait City in Kuwait to Cairo in Egypt. He will run through Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.
- Europe– 13,000 km from Athens in Greece to London in the United Kingdom. Along the way, he will pass through Albania, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Monaco, France, Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal, and England.
Along the way, he will conduct over 100 philanthropic events to raise money for UNICEF and support the Wave Trust Charity and the World Health Organization (WHO) Task Force.
Tomasz is expecting that a lot won’t go according to plan with his trip around the globe.
He purposely planned for breaks in the challenge to allow for flexibility.
Tomasz is excited to have others join him on his journey and will be listing dates and locations of where he will be as the event nears.
When Tomasz first began running he had no idea what awaited him.
A book release on the horizon along with the challenge of running the circumference of the world for charity are some of the many things he never imagined.
Of his many accomplishments, Tomasz believes that his biggest success is how running positively affected him mentally.
Mentioned In This Episode:
- Tomasz Drybala website
- Runners for UNICEF
- Flow Up: Get Rid Of Anxiety, Stress, and Overwhelm And Unlock Focus, Creativity, And Joy. Book by Tomasz Drybala
Stay connected with Tomasz Drybala by following him on Instagram.
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