“You’ll never know the highest highs until you’ve experienced the lowest lows. I’ve been there.”
At odds with the world seemingly since birth, the future wasn’t looking so bright for Hunter McIntyre.
A misfit kid with uncontrollable attention deficit disorder, Hunter realized early and often he functioned on one mode no sedative or bipolar medication could possibly curb: full blast.
Discovering drugs and alcohol at 14 give his ill-at-ease nature comfort, but trouble soon follows. A downward spiral that invites increased school suspensions; escalating run-ins with Johnny Law; and even a short-lived, unsuccessful stint at military school in West Virginia.
Facing jail time or rehab for a drug-fueled senior year prank gone terribly awry, Hunter’s despairing parents ultimately ship him off to outpatient care in Montana, hoping clean air and big skies will bring grounding and perspective to young Hunter’s errant ways. But dirty drug tests follow, leading to incarceration-type rehab stays in Nevada and New Mexico.
Ultimately Hunter’s sobriety officer intervenes, hooking him up with a logging job back in Montana.
Hunter bulks up. Sober up? Not so much.
The next chapter finds Hunter in Los Angeles, failing upward with lucrative modeling gigs for companies like J. Crew and Abercrombie and Fitch while setting his sights on becoming a celebrity personal trainer. But life goals are eclipsed by an ever-escalation in partying. Living the sun-drenched frat boy lifestyle in a Malibu bro-house, days and nights revolve around girls, ecstasy, mushrooms, acid, more girls and even more alcohol.
A spontaneous booze-fueled, chest-pumping whim leads to Hunter and his Malibros challenging each other to sign up for a local Spartan Race — unchartered terrain for all involved. But come race day, only Hunter is able to drag his hung over body out of bed. Despite several beers enjoyed that morning, he nonetheless finishes ninth overall, just eight minutes behind world champion and 2:16 marathoner Hobie Call.
And just like that, the lights turn on. It’s the wake up call Hunter needed. The rest is history.
Immediately parting ways with his partying ways, purpose and focus take center stage. Almost overnight, Hunter morphs into the man they call The Sheriff, transforming himself into one of the world’s best obstacle course racers. A rare talent with the body and size of a cross fitter who not only excels at strength, speed and agility but also boasts the endurance of a Kenyan.
Sponsorship offers soon follow. Magazine cover stories abound. And notoriety ensues, outpaced only by The Sheriff’s now famous, quickly growing ego.
Full blast finally found a life.
If you know anything about Hunter, you know he has a huge, at times controversial personality. But there is a thoughtful, far more contemplative side to this brash, outspoken athlete than meets the eye. I think you will be surprised by our conversation. I know I was.
Specific topics explored include:
- Hunter’s colorful past
- what is OCR?
- replacing superficiality with performance
- Hunter’s typical training day
- ego rightsizing
- the importance of meditation
- exploring the vegan lifestyle
- Hunter’s Achilles heel
- Hunter’s daily routine
- the SEAL dream
- advice to the younger self
- Joe DeSena & the Death Race
- the importance of surrounding yourself with selfless people
I sincerely hope you enjoy our exchange. I really enjoyed my time with Hunter and I think you will too.
Peace + Plants,
Check out Julie’s new podcast divine throughline
Check out Hunter’s upcoming television series Boundless on the Esquire Network with co-host Simon Donato, as they travel the globe chronicling 10 extreme races (air date TBA).
Background, Context & Reference:
- Film Documentary: Rise of the Sufferests
- Men’sFitness: Athlete Q&A: Spartan Racer Hunter Mcintyre
- Men’sJournal: Born to Race: Hunter McIntyre by Scott Keneally
- Competitor: Next Gen: Q&A With OCR Star Hunter McIntyre
- Stack: Reebok Spartan Elite Racer Hunter McIntyre Races His Way to the Top (video)
- Stack: Reebok Spartan Racer Hunter McIntyre Helps You Build Endurance With Hill Intervals (video)
- DirtyMiles: Hunter McIntyre – Interview
- Mud+Adventure: Hunter McIntyre: Inside The Mind of a Champion by Paul Bujis
- Book: Power Speed ENDURANCE: A Skill-Based Approach to Endurance Training* by Brian MacKenzie
- SealFit’s mission is to develop mental toughness and promote spiritual growth in their clients – check out their site: sealfit.com
- Film: Unbroken* with Jack O’Connell
- Book: The Old Man and The Sea* by Ernest Hemingway
- Book: Ultimate High: My Everest Odyssey* by Goran Kropp
Notable People Discussed in today’s podcast:
- Laird Hamilton: American big-wave surfer
- Darin Olien: Superfood hunter and formulator
- Dave Scott: U.S. triathlete and the first six-time Ironman Triathlon Hawaii Champion
- Mark Allen: Second six-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion
- Hobie Call: American obstacle course racer
- Casey Neistat: American film director & social media entrepreneur
- Joe De Sena: CEO and co-founder of the Spartan Race
- Mark Divine: coach, author and founder of navyseals.com
- Paul Chek: expert in corrective and high performance exercise kinesiology
- Tim Ferriss: American author, entrepreneur and public speaker
- Ben Bostrom: AMA Superbike champion
- Timothy Shieff: professional English freerunner
Related Podcasts You Might Enjoy:
- RRP #019:Brian MacKenzie
- RRP #153:Superfoods For Superlife: Traipsing The Globe In Search Of Optimal Nutrition & Longevity With Darin Olien
- RRP #197:Jesse Itzler On Living With A Seal, Tackling Life Plateaus & Getting Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable
- RRP #113: David Clark: From Alcoholic to Badwater
- RRP #067: Charlie Engle on Running the Sahara
- RRP #086:Freerunning World Champion Timothy Shieff
- RRP #149: The Iron Cowboy’s Assault On The Impossible
- RRP #115: Dean Karnazes: To Struggle Is To Be Alive
- RRP #166: James “Iron Cowboy” Lawrence, How He Completed 50 Ironmans In 50 States In 50 Days
- RRP #160:David Carter on How A Plant-Based Diet Made Him A Better Player & A Better Human
- RRP #201:Vegan Strongman, Patrik Baboumian on Why Compassion Is His Greatest Strength
Production, music & sound design by Tyler Piatt. Additional production by Chris Swan. Graphic art by Shawn Patterson.
*Disclosure:Books and products denoted with an asterisk are hyperlinked to an 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.
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