Dr. Rob Bell Made the Most Of His Second Chance

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Today’s guest is an expert in an area that many athletes struggle with which is the mental health side of sports.

He has a long resume, including an author, podcaster, and ultra-endurance athlete.

I look forward to going a few easy miles with Dr. Rob Bell today!

Dr. Rob Bell


Always Testing Himself

Dr. Rob Bell has been an athlete his whole life, but it wasn’t until after college that his fitness journey really took off.

He completed his first marathon in 2002 and his second in 2004.

Following his second marathon, Dr. Rob took a break from strictly running and focused more on swimming.

His shift in focus led him to sign up for and complete a half Ironman on a whim with less than 2 weeks of training.

Dr. Rob enjoys testing himself and seeing what he is capable of.

After the completion of the half Ironman, he began to explore what other race distances were out there.

A Who Are You Moment

The first ultra that Dr. Rob completed was a 50k race and it was also his most meaningful race.

As he has done before, Dr. Rob went into his first ultra without adequate training on trails.

He knew midway through the race that it was going to be a tough day.

Upon reaching the mile 20 aid station, Dr. Rob took in all the calories he could, both liquid and solid.

That choice turned out to be a poor one when major GI issues arose in the following miles.

Pouring rain and the inability to keep down food, were driving factors in Dr. Rob deciding to drop out from the race.

After leaving the course, his young child asked why he had to quit.

Dr. Rob experienced a “who are you moment,” and decided to turn back around and finish the race.

Dr. Rob Bell

Focus On The Comebacks

Over the years, Dr. Rob has learned that life isn’t about the setbacks, but rather about the comebacks.

The mentality one has going into a race is a good predictor of how the day will unfold.

With longer races, rough patches are inevitable, but Dr. Rob has found that proper hydration can fix/prevent a lot of issues.

Dr. Rob wasn’t deterred from running more ultras after that first 50k.

He progressed through various distances, including 50 miles, a full Ironman, and 100 miles.

Many athletes routinely try to test themselves during training.

Alternatively, Dr. Rob believes that appropriate training will guarantee someone is ready for race day.

Put Yourself Out There

Dr. Rob continues to do hard races because they translate to real life.

If he can persevere through a challenging race, then he can do the same when life gets hard.

Some battles are worth fighting even if you lose.

Endurance sports will often require mental games.

Dr. Rob has found that in long events, a brutal acceptance of where you are is required, but so is hope.

When he finds himself getting inside his own head during a race, he has found it helpful to connect with others.

The mind is designed to keep oneself safe, so a distraction is provided when getting outside of it.

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A Second Chance

Dr. Rob has always been an all-or-nothing person.

In college, he went all in on partying and took no accountability.

His actions led to an accident where he fell off a cliff and broke his back.

That day and his subsequent recovery was a turning point in his life.

Dr. Rob was inclined to take a psychology class which gave him a focus on what he wanted to do as a career.

He was passionate about wanting to help athletes and teams cope with adversity and setbacks.

His goal of wanting to work with athletes never deviated from that point on.

Dr. Rob was determined not to waste the second chance he had been given.

Mental Tricks

Dr. Rob shared his most useful mental tricks to help athletes during events.

First and foremost, you must have a strategy or plan to head into the race.

Rough patches can and will happen, but it doesn’t mean that the rough patch will persist.

Get back to reality as quickly as possible and don’t think too far ahead.

Good times don’t last, which is proof that bad moments won’t last either.

The ability to adjust doesn’t have to be complicated.

Dr. Rob suggests focusing on finding your rhythm.

Improving Relationship With Time

Dr. Rob recently had the release of his newest book: I Can’t Wait To Be Patient (and the Fastest Way to Get There).

He has found that most people equate doing something faster with it being easier.

The older people get, the more premium they place on time.

Dr. Rob wrote the book with the purpose of improving one’s relationship with time.

Along with being an author, Dr. Rob also hosts Mental Toughness Podcast.

He started the podcast in 2018 because he loved interviewing other people.

The guests on the show include experts, athletes, and coaches.

Dr. Rob dives into their mental game along with the hinge moments that shaped them.

Dr. Rob Bell

Mentioned In This Episode:

Stay connected with Dr. Rob Bell by following him on Instagram and/or Twitter.

Dr. Rob Bell got a second chance at life and has used it to help others with their mental games. Share on X

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