It is said that you can either be an elite athlete or an award-winning artist, but never both.
Here to break this paradigm is 5x World Champion professional triathlete and the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of last year’s smash hit, All Quiet on the Western Front, Lesley Paterson.
With over 400 triathlons to her name, Lesley is a 3x XTERRA Triathlon World Champion and 2x World Triathlon Cross Champion. But if you asked about her greatest test of endurance, it wouldn’t be a race. It would be chasing an Oscar.
For 16 years during her professional triathlon career, Lesley fought to secure and maintain the film rights to All Quiet on the Western Front out of her own pocket from race winnings. She wrote and rewrote the script, and despite the odds stacked heavily against her, never gave up on her dream of getting the movie made.
“It’s not about the outcome, but about the process and the love for your craft.”
– LESLEY PATTERSON
After many years of starts and stops the film was finally made, and became an absolute awards season darling. All Quiet On The Western Front took home four Oscars and seven BAFTAs—including one for best-adapted screenplay (this was Lesley’s first screenplay might I add). All of which is a testament to her patience, discipline, and hard work.
Lesley’s relentless persistence is the focus of today’s conversation. In addition to discussing her film, we also talk about self-belief, playing the long game, setting audacious goals, and the ‘never quit’ drive required to do amazing things.
Delightful, engaging, and strong, I adore Lesley. There’s a lot to learn from this fiery Scottish lassie.
Note: If you like this exchange, be sure to check out her book The Brave Athlete, which is packed with actionable practices to build an endurance mindset.
Peace + Plants,
Listen, Watch, & Subscribe
For 1000s of delicious, customized plant-based recipes & so much more, check out our Plantpower Meal Planner.
Seed: Stewarding the future of how we will use bacteria to restore and sustain human and planetary health, Seed’s DS-01® Daily Synbiotic combines 24 clinically verified and naturally-occurring, probiotic strains with plant-based prebiotics. Visit seed.com/RichRoll and use code ROLL for 30% OFF your first order.
BetterHelp: This episode is brought to you by BetterHelp, the world’s largest therapy service, 100% online. Designed to be convenient, flexible, and suited to your schedule. Just fill out a brief questionnaire to get matched with a professional, licensed, and vetted therapist who you can trust. Listeners get 10% off their first month by visiting BetterHelp.com/richroll.
Squarespace: The easiest way to create a beautiful website, blog, or online store for you and your ideas. Visit Squarespace.com/RichRoll for a FREE trial, and when you’re ready to launch, use the offer code RichRoll to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.
Momentous: High-caliber human performance products for sleep, focus, longevity, and more. For listeners of the show, Momentous is offering an exclusive deal on their sleep pack, vegan protein, and their entire product collection. Go to LiveMomentous.com/richroll
Indeed knows that when you’re doing everything for your company, you can’t afford to overspend on hiring. With Indeed you only pay for quality applications that meet your criteria. There are no long-term contracts and Indeed gives you full control so you only pay for what you need. Start hiring now with a 75$ SPONSORED JOB CREDIT to upgrade your job post at indeed.com/RICHROLL. Terms and conditions apply. Offer good for a limited time.
Babbel: Start speaking a new language in as little as 3 weeks with lessons designed by over 150 language experts. Babbel teaches you language skills for real-life scenarios, and all of their tips and tools are approachable, accessible, and delivered with conversation-based teaching. Babbel is offering 55% OFF your subscription at Babbel.com/RICHROLL. Rules and restrictions may apply.
- Connect with Lesley: Website | Instagram | Twitter
- Book: The Brave Athlete: Calm the F*ck Down and Rise to the Occasion
- Braveheart Coaching: About
- CNN: How a world champion triathlete earned an Oscar nomination
- Financial Times: From triathlons to the Oscars—Lesley Paterson’s grueling journey
- The Guardian: ‘Obsessive? This is who I am!’ How Lesley Paterson funded her 16-year Oscar dream–by winning triathlons
- DW: Lesley Paterson: From triathlon world champion to the Oscars
- Variety: German ‘Quiet’ Scribe Is Also a Scottish Athlete
- Shondaland: Lesley Paterson Goes the Extra Mile
There are a few simple ways you can support the show and the content we strive to craft and share every single week
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 audio engineering, production, show notes and interstitial music; with additional audio engineering by Cale Curtis and additional music by Moby; Blake Curtis & Dan Drake for video, & editing; graphics by Jessica Miranda & Daniel Solis; portraits by Davy Greenberg, Grayson Wilder & Gizelle Peters; video clips for social media are created by AJ Akpodiete; copywriting by Georgia Whaley; and theme music by Tyler Piatt, Trapper Piatt & Hari Mathis.
Amazon Disclosure: Third-party books and products denoted on this page and website may be 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.