“Finding Ultra” Author Rich Roll on Harnessing Vulnerability as a Superpower

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman Hodges and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

Rich Roll, globally famous podcaster and former DI swimmer from Stanford, has a superpower—vulnerability—and when times get tough, he taps into its marrow.

There was a point early in his rapid rise when Rich appeared to own the world. His book was on countless top-10 lists, his podcast was blowing up with listeners, and CNN had crowned him one of the Fittest Men on the Planet. At the same time, his finances were devastating. The economics of his new life didn’t match his current reality, not yet. The universe, in Rich’s words, decided he needed to burn a little longer. Rich’s swimming roots guided him through this challenging period:

“It took a lot of faith and a lot of grit and hard work – all things I learned as a swimmer, when you’ve got to get up at 4:30 in the morning and go to practice. I relied upon those habits and those tools that I learned as a very young person to weather that storm and get to the place I am now. These tools that you learn as a swimmer are so important in terms of how you apply them to other goals and aspirations that you have in your life. That ability to show up and grind and do it in the dark when no one’s watching, be anonymous in this pursuit of mastery, is such a gift. So, whether you become an Olympian as a swimmer or you struggle to make your Junior National cut, whatever it is, you’re learning life skills that have applicability in ways that you can’t possibly imagine.”


Rich Roll  Books

Rich Roll Podcast

Rich Roll HQ


Music: Otis McDonald


Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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16 days ago

Any relation to Rick Roll?

Gold Medal Mel Stewart
Reply to  SCCOACH
16 days ago

No…but as crazy as Rich’s life has been, connected to so many people…honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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