Mike Rouse

Ultra-marathoner, Triathlete, Endurance Athlete, Philanthropist

If you’re looking for the definition of perseverance, endurance, and a ridiculous “Never Quit” mentality, you will find it in today’s episode with Mike Rouse. Here’s a guy who went from having it all into falling into a cocaine habit that sent him to prison. But the prison life caused him to seek life again outside the prison walls, which, in turn, caused him to start running. Since his freedom from incarceration, Mike has devoted his life to helping others and has become one of the country’s elite runners. He has run hundreds of marathons, dozens of 50-kilometer races, 31-mile races, and 50-mile races. Twenty-four-hour runs and 100-mile races are like home to him, as are Ironmans and Ultramarathons. Mike has won 2 world championships. One of his closest friends, a Navy SEAL was one of 31 soldiers killed on a mission, and every year since then, he’s been running 3.1 miles, 31 times in a row, wearing a shirt with the names and faces of those 31 men. He changes shirts upon completion of every 3.1 miles. He never met most of those men, but Mike feels like he knows them because of the research he’s done on them, the families he’s met, and his own bond with his friend, JT.

In this episode you will hear:

  • Use your failures as your advancement
  • The first mile of my entire life was when I was 33 years old.
  • When I was incarcerated, I thought “I’ve gotta do something to get my life together.” And running was a big part of that.
  • The majority of ultra-runners I know have some degree of addictive behavior. It drives them to go above and beyond.
  • We’re driven to the next level of competition.
  • When I was doing [cocaine], it wasn’t enough to do a gram or two a day, it was a quarter ounce.
  • I thrive on pain.
  • If you think you are gonna run 26, 50, or 100 miles and have no pain, you have no idea what you’re doing. You’ve got to be ready for it and just embrace it.
  • I choose to do this [running] and I accept that pain.
  • [Marcus Luttrell] Pain is a matter of perspective of the person going through it.
  • 31 men gave everything they had for this country – for this freedom.
  • I know I can’t give up.
  • If you’ve ever quit, the next time, it’s easier to quit.
  • I had all the positives a person could have in life, and yet I had a criminal record.
  • I run 31 miles a day for 31 days, for 31 heroes.
  • [Your son] is gonna be riding on my shoulder tomorrow and I’m gonna be listening to every word he says. When I think I’m hurting a little bit, and he says let’s go, we’ve just got 5 miles left, or 20 miles left.
  • It’s 2020 and those families are still hurting 9 years later.
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