This podcast soundclip is taken from one of my favorite podcasters: Rich Roll. You can visit his website at to learn more about this amazing plant based athlete.

Here is what he writes about Mike Cotty:

“Wherever you think your boundary is…if you can get to that point but then step a little bit further…the whole world opens up again.”

– Mike Cotty

What can mined from the abyss that separates ordinary from extraordinary?

Although he’s never pedaled a single stage of the Tour de France as a professional cyclist, Mike Cotty has done things on the bike that would make even Jens Voigt (the consensus hard man of the pro peloton) cringe.

Here’s a taste. Last summer Mike rode his bike 1000 kilometers non-stop across 21 mountains in the Dolomites, Eastern Alps and Swiss Alps, from from Conegliano, Italy, to Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. That’s over 21,000 meters in elevation gain. That’s 54 hours of riding without sleep. That’s like riding 8 to 10 stages of the Tour de France without stopping.

How is that even humanly possible?

Mike also rode 684 kilometers for 30 hours straight across the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. A feat rivaled only by his 33-hour, 677 kilometer ride that ascended 16,000 meters of elevation gain across the Alps.

Obviously I wouldn’t characterize Mike as normal. Far from it. But there is a very relatable everyman aspect to Mike’s story that captured my fancy.

Just because he lacked the pure natural talent to be a competitive professional cyclist on the world stage didn’t mean Mike was going to just hang up his bike. Instead, he embarked on a journey that found him walking out on a very secure career as an engineer to courageously jump into the abyss. A decision to live on his own terms and in accordance with his passion — the simple things he loves about life — riding his bike, connecting with nature, expressing himself creatively, and sharing his experience to educate and inspire others to live more authentically (my kind of guy!)

Mike’s path has hardly been linear, but today he is not only an extraordinarily accomplished athlete, he is a respected filmmaker, brand ambassador, media & marketing consultant and entrepreneur. Through his company Media-24, Mike creates compelling content and develops marketing strategy for top tier organizations like Mavic, Cannondale and the Cannondale-Garmin professional cycling team. Mike’s latest passion project is The Col Collective, a high quality online video resource dedicated to helping inspire and educate cyclists to reach the summit of the most spectacular mountain passes in the world.

Mike’s is also a path without ego, well grounded in a true desire to educate, positively impact and inspire people to overcome their own barriers. All these elements make for great conversation about passion. About pushing past that voice in your head that wants you to quit. About what is required to break through seemingly insurmountable barriers. And about the self-discovery incident to attempting something personally unprecedented.

This is a conversation about the value and importance of hard work over the life hack. About the pain, suffering, joy and pride that comes with embracing the journey. About living in balance with nature. About faith, having a strong conviction about yourself and the path ahead. And it’s about what’s required to turn your passion into your profession.

I sincerely hope you enjoy the conversation.

Peace + Plants,

Rich Roll

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