Guest Titan: Ray Zahab, Extreme Adventure Runner.
What we cover: Despite being a one-time pack a day smoker, Ray Zahab decided on New Year’s Eve 1999/2000 that it was time to be truly happy. And that quest for happiness ultimately led him to the open road. In this case though, the term Open Road is a loose one, at best. This is a guy who has run across the Sahara Desert. He’s run across the Gobi Desert. And he’s traversed the South Pole — and he was the first person to do it entirely on foot and snowshoes, and not on skis. So there’s that.
In 2007, my husband Chad — himself a one-time cigarette-smoking, beer-drinking, hamburger-eating, dude — was preparing for his first ever Ultra Marathon, after being introduced to Ironman a couple years before. I bought him the book called Running for My Life: On the Extreme Road with Adventure Runner Ray Zahab. I bought it for him because Ray’s story is the one of The Every Person who made the decision to change. For Ray, his vice was partying and smoking and just living a lifestyle that wasn’t conducive to any joy — not the real, meaningful kind of joy. That book was a game changer for Chad — and for me, I loved it. It’s an inside peek into the mindset of transformation, and a reminder that we all have the power to transform if we are willing to dig a little deeper. If we’re willing to be uncomfortable — because that’s what it takes.
In addition to being the subject matter of the 2008 documentary Running the Sahara produced by Matt Damon and directed by James Moll, Ray is co-founder of the super impressive organization: Impossible2Possible, which is all about facilitating real life expeditions with Youth Ambassadors who report back in real time over social media to thousands of students in school around the world, exposing everyone involved to the great big world out there. Of course we talk about that as well. (And, we even manage to talk about the planet’s ultimate equalizer, the universal punch-line: Poop jokes.)
How you can learn more:
- Web: rayzahab.com
- Facebook: ray.zahab
- Twitter: @RayZahab
- Running the Sahara trailer
- Ray’s TED Talk
- Running for my Life: On the Extreme Road with Adventure Runner Ray Zahab