In a world where challenges can either paralyze us with fear or propel us to unimaginable heights, my conversation with Charlie Engle unveils the remarkable power of embracing adversity with curiosity.
Charlie Engle is not your ordinary hero. He is an ultramarathon runner, recovering addict, keynote speaker, and author of the memoir Running Man. Charlie uses his passion for running to inspire those struggling with addiction, helping them discover their strength and resilience.
How Charlie Became the Running Man
Charlie is a true embodiment of the transformative power of sport. He shares his journey from battling addiction, running across the vast expanse of the Sahara Desert, to confronting the justice system after spending time in prison.
Through it all, Charlie’s approach of facing adversity with curiosity rather than fear shines as a guiding light. We delve into the concept of seeking challenges that push us out of our comfort zones, allowing us to truly thrive and experience life’s richness. Join us as Charlie shares his wisdom on living in the present moment, redefining success, and finding the humor and growth in life’s imperfect journey.
Here are Charlie’s key takeaways:
- Turning the dial: Why we shouldn’t make decisions from low points, rather from a place of strength
- The power of curiosity: How this thread carried Charlie through adversity throughout his life
- Addiction and recovery: Hear how Charlie has met sobriety in every phase of his life, how he hopes to inspire others, and advice for people struggling
- The justice system: Why it’s broken, and what Charlie learned during his time inside
- Staying present: The power of presence can change our lives – so why is it so hard to attain?
- Stories from the journey: Learn about Charlie’s run across the Sahara Desert and his plans to journey from the Dead Sea to Everest
Listen to Charlie’s episode
Charlie Engle’s story serves as a testament to the human capacity for growth, redemption, and finding purpose through curiosity and determination. More information about Charlie’s adventures can be found on his website.
If you found today’s episode enlightening and want to hear more, make sure to subscribe and leave a review on your favorite podcast platform.
- Learn more about Charlie Engle
- Read The Running Man by Charlie Engle
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- Interested in overcoming limiting beliefs? Check out this episode with world explorer Colin O’Brady
- How curiosity has been woven through his entire life. 0:00
- How to think and what to think. 3:16
- Finding the joy in running. 6:55
- How alcohol planted a flag in my brain. 13:24
- No one was coming to save me. 16:45
- Advice for people who keep falling off the wagon. 20:02
- Being put on the map makes a target. 27:27
- What was the financial impact of being arrested? 30:53
- Who do you want as your neighbor? 33:47
- The importance of being reliable and being present. 39:27
- Finding your purpose on that day is important. 42:08
- Don’t ever make a big decision when you’re at a loss. 44:57
- How to know what to do when you feel like quitting? 51:37
- How to pick a challenge that scares you so much. 54:35
- Vulnerability is not courage. 58:03
Sonya Looney 0:00
Yeah, Charlie, it’s so great to get to talk to you, because I read your book many years years ago, and it’s something that I still think about.
Charlie Engle 0:09
I mean, that, you know, you made my day right there. And, you know, the book was a labor of love, and anybody has ever written one those that that’s actually way harder than any ultra marathon or long bike race. So it’s, it’s a painful process.
Sonya Looney 0:27
Yeah, and you’re such a great example of post traumatic growth, having something really traumatic happen in your life, and then coming out better in spite of that, and almost because of that,
Charlie Engle 0:39
I appreciate you saying that, and it’s an even since the book, there has been an evolution of understanding of my own personal trauma. And, you know, I’m, I’ve done a lot of hard work, and even going back to my childhood, in some ways that I always dismissed previously. And, you know, I think that defines you, and I’m 60 years old now. And I, I can’t imagine ever not being curious about that stuff. And some people get caught up in this idea of, Oh, you just gotta let that stuff go, you know, put it behind you. I don’t obsess on it. But I can’t help but be curious about my own origins, and why I’m the person that I am both good and bad, the good parts and the bad parts. And, you know, I can’t imagine ever not continuing to look at that part of myself and wonder, hmm, I wonder, you know, how it could have been different, or, you know, was this destined for me,
Sonya Looney 1:37
tell me more about how Curiosity has been a thread that’s been woven through your entire life.
Charlie Engle 1:43
You know, I grew up in a really curious house. I mean, my mom was 18 when I was born, so she was a friggin kid, herself. And my dad left very early, and I was two years old when he was gone. And there was a lot of, you know, not great things that happened in my house in those years. And I’m even kind of touching on what I what I was just talking about, you know, I thought, let’s just say my mom and dad a very tumultuous relationship, but I was a baby, I didn’t necessarily know that, you know, when you’re a kid that young, you don’t really know. And I assume that all those things happen to my mother. You know, but they did happen to me too, because I was there. And we as even as infants, you know, we absorb that stress and that anger, and that, just all the negative parts of it. So when he left, it turned out, of course, to be, you know, a really great thing in a lot of ways. And I suddenly bloomed into this little kid who, as an only child, my mom was a theatre person. So it’s very adult world that I grew up in. And, you know, I was just surrounded by a bunch of very interesting, you know, gay people. And I actually mean that, you know, like, I get to say that because it was the theatre world, and it was the 60s and the 70s. And like, that’s just the, that’s the world my mom occupied. And, and so the, I hit someone up in one simple way. My mother taught me how to think and not what to think. And I think too often parents get into this situation where they feel like it’s their duty somehow to teach their kids right from wrong is the way they would probably phrase it. But you know, every person, every human being has to come to those decisions on their own. And no matter how deeply you try to plant that flag, you know, everybody’s gonna find their own individual path. And I can thank my mom for making me an extremely curious person.
Sonya Looney 3:49
Yeah, that how to think piece also is a big part of autonomy and competence. You know, so that you can do more things in your life. Because if somebody is always telling you what to do you never have that critical thinking skill or that ability to think for yourself. Yeah, well, the hardest
Charlie Engle 4:04
question I think, you and me and anybody listening to this ever has to answer is what do I want? In any situation? Relationships, jobs, athletics, why am I doing this, we’d probably be number two. And like, if you don’t have the ability to dig into that and try to at least examine it and turn it upside down, let it sit for a while. I mean, for me, like so many people listening to this, when I need to really examine something, I go for a run. And that’s where all the marbles in my head that are constantly bouncing around, settle down for the one time in my day, and they find their own little spot and the thing that I really need to be focusing on rises to the top, and I get to spend whatever time I’m out there, on the trails actually, just naturally, organically thinking about that. thing and I just, I can’t even imagine how people who don’t run or bike or do something like that I don’t even know how they would ever make a decision.
Sonya Looney 5:09
I can relate with that so much all my best ideas come out when I’m writing. And I can actually be a distraction because I want to stop and like write them all down or record them all because I’m going to forget them all. And then I’ll have this esoteric note on my phone when I get home and I’ll look at it and then I just don’t even know what it means.
Charlie Engle 5:24
Like, well, I wake it up in the morning and you jotted down that note from your dream. And you’re like, what? grass on the side of a tunnel? Like, what does that mean?
Sonya Looney 5:35
So how did you find running? Like, how did you figure out that this was the way for you to make all the more marbles fall into place? You
Charlie Engle 5:43
know, what I remember about running most and you read about it in the book is this this ironic meme right here. I’m back in Durham, North Carolina all these years later, which is where I was when I was a kid. And I’m really in the same neighborhood where I was at that time, it’s changed a lot. But you know, my mother, one of the jokes in our household was she turned everything pink. So if I ever owned anything that was white, like underwear. Inevitably, you know, my mom was not a homemaker, it would come out Pink Out of the laundry. And so I always had pink underwear in particular. So I had to make sure nobody ever saw that. But there’s a scene that I described in the book, even where I’m, I’m in a typical southern summer thunderstorm, here in Durham, North Carolina. And it’s just dumping and I’m not running around the yard, in my pink underwear and my hair halfway down my back, tucked behind my ears. And I’m rubbing my hands along the honeysuckle bushes that are in our front yard. And my mom was literally sitting on the front porch, and she’s just laughing. And there’s thunder and lightning, I don’t know, there’s probably people would be like, you know, you shouldn’t be out there. But yeah, that’s just not the way it was. And I just remember that pure joy, you know, that I had from running. And I mean, I know you’re a believer, but you know, we’re meant to run like that is a joyful thing that we do. And it’s not until some middle school PE teacher uses, you know, running as a punishment that it flips some switch in our head that says, All this is bad. This is hard. Like this is this is not fun anymore. And you know, for me, it just was always fun. I loved to run. And it’s it’s I always wanted to do it. And I had a I had a brief I always make the joke that in high school, you know, girls liked football players better than runners, it seemed and so I gravitated towards the more mainstream sports. I still ran track in high school, I did really well. But I should have gone to college and run. And instead I went and I tried to play football and I tried to play basketball. And it was it was it was not good. Did you get the girl? I didn’t get the girl. But you know, that of course ends up falling hollow because she wanted a football player. And I wasn’t actually one. I was pretending to be one. But, you know, in college, what I also found out too was I was, you know, that’s where I really learned that I was a very average runner. Not that I thought I was necessarily a Olympic level or whatever. But I thought I was and look, I’m probably an above average runner, if you take the whole population into account, but in the population of the elite marathoners, certainly I don’t even come in the top, you know, 20% and in the elite ultra runners, you know, I’m probably not in the top 20% either. And that took a while for me to understand, you know, that, that it was okay to just do something that I really loved. And, you know, not necessarily be the best at it.
Sonya Looney 8:59
Yeah, I mean, I imagine that that’s a really difficult thing to learn. Because a lot of times we think, if I’m not the best at this thing, then I’m not good enough. Or I’m not worthy, or I’m not lovable.
Charlie Engle 9:10
Yeah, well, what is the best to me, and it’s so it’s so incalculable in Ultra running, especially, I mean, it’s one thing to say you’re the best 100 meter runner or the best long jumper because those are very, very specific things that there’s a beginning and an end and it’s a track as a track and whatever, but it just doesn’t work that way with you know, with like ultra running and you don’t I don’t know if you saw the western states 100 Was this past weekend. And, you know, Courtney, Dell author ran a time winning the women’s race that was better than all of Scott Zurich’s winning times at Western states and that just Scott’s you know, arguably one of the greatest runners. You know, in that sports history, and yet it continue used to evolve and will continue to evolve past all of us. So the lesson there is the one you already know. And that I said, and that is that finding the joy is so personal. And I’m bummed at myself sometimes because I get stuck on these ultra running listservs, where everything is about who’s the best and all this nonsense and like, I’m mad at myself for not just like, you know, exiting off of it. But there’s a weird, I guess, voyeuristic thing that still wants to make sure that you know, I know what the hell’s going on.
Sonya Looney 10:37
Yeah, it sounds like for you, especially finding defining success. And defining best is really tied up with finding the joy.
Charlie Engle 10:46
It’s totally about the joy and and look, legacy is an interesting thing. And the older I got, you know, I’ve actually come to understand there is no such thing as legacy. You know, I, I was recently with a good friend, I’m a consultant for this really amazing super wealth group and not a wealthy consultant by any means. I’m a health and wellness consultant for this group. And it’s fascinating being around billionaires who have the recognition that just two generations from now, no one will even remember their name, right in their own family. I mean, it’s a funny, it’s a great exercise that I saw, I witnessed in person, and this is so impactful for me, I’m watching all these young people there. So I’m helping coach, this group of young people. And by young I mean, 30 year olds, roughly. And these are the these are the offspring of these very wealthy people who will inherit great wealth someday, all of these, all of these young people will have a lot of money. So money is not ever going to be their problem. And yet, how do they find purpose? Like in that scenario, how does that person actually find purpose in life? And one of the things that the guy who was, you know, leading the, the course, was saying the talk, he just said, Look, how many of you out of the 15 people here, how many of you know the first name of your great grandparents on either side, one person out of the whole group, raise their hand to say that they knew that. And these were, again, these are, these are people who helped generate that wealth, and yet, they don’t even know their first name. So it’s always a good reminder to me, I get after it every single day. And I don’t do it for anybody else. And I don’t, you know, it’s, it’s because I want to maximize the days and that doesn’t mean busy, it just means I get after it, doing the things that I forget and want to do. And I think that that’s, it’s taken me a long time to get there and not just want to fill my day up with a bunch of busy stuff that makes me look, you know, like I’m accomplishing something.
Sonya Looney 12:57
I really want to crack that open and dig into that. But I really also want people to hear your story of addiction and like how you got in to finding drugs and alcohol, and you know, how that trajectory just took off on you.
Charlie Engle 13:09
Yeah, and, look, I’ll keep this lead up to brief but when I was that young, little hippie kid in the late 60s, in Durham, there wasn’t a lot of you know, we were poor. But you know, when you’re a kid, you don’t actually know you’re poor. We were just like, college poor. My mom was in school, she was a college student for the first 10 years of my life and, and they were cast parties every night. And like, we just didn’t have a lot in the house. And I just remember being like nine or 10 years old, and there was a party going on, everybody’s dancing in the front yard, and it’s very tight died. And you know, I thought the smell of weed was like just a I thought that was an incense. It was in everybody’s house when I was a kid, and and I picked up a beer that was on the bottle on the table, because there was nothing else around and, and I drank that beer, you know, all the way down. And I what I like to say is like, it’s like alcohol planted a flag in my brain and and claimed that space for itself. And it’s not like I got up the next day as a 10 year old and started drinking but I knew I got that warm fuzzy feeling that told me someday this was going to be important and you know, I ended up having a you know, typical overachieving high school career, you know, are good in sports in grades and dating and student government and just all this stuff. And I go to Carolina University, North Carolina. And as I was saying a minute ago, it took me about a minute to figure out that I was actually very average, every the other 4000 other freshmen, they’re all had the same resume I had and what I was better at pretty much all of them out was drinking, and this is 1980. And it’s also what I like to refer to as the cocaine decade. And, you know, and I found drinking and cocaine and and I achieved a lot in that decade, you know, I was I flunked out of school as a junior, but I went on to, like, get great jobs at big companies and I lead every single one of them in sales. You know, while I’m going to the bathroom and snorting a line of coke off the, you know, kitchen, I mean, off the bathroom sink, you know, I mean, that’s the life I was living and change cities about six times, because clearly it was the city’s fault. And, you know, and the, the, the characteristic that was always there, of course, was that I took myself, you know, everywhere I went, and I just never could figure out that it was me, that was the issue and I went to rehab. I went to church and went to shaman, I would if I could have found a witch doctor, I would have done that, like, I tried everything outside of me to take this away to basically make me stop. And by this time, at 29 years old, I was married and, and my first son had been born, and I thought he would be the thing that would finally stop me. And the fact is, that didn’t happen in a couple of months into his life, you know, I, I found myself predictably, handcuffed on the ground outside my car with some bullet holes in the car, and the police, you know, searching my car and pulling out a crack pipe. And, and the joke I always tell on stage, because it’s a fun one is, you know, any rational person would have been thinking, I’m in some serious trouble like this is going to be, this is gonna be terrible. And like, all I could think was, so that’s where that was. It’s like, I spent a few days looking for that. And like, you know, it’s just the craziness and the sickness. And, you know, but it is, when I learned I would say, you know, top five most meaningful lessons of my life, and maybe the first real one, and that was that nobody was coming to save me. You know, there was no, my son, my infant’s on my, my wife, my job, none of those things could save me, they could all support me and love me, if I made that first genuine step towards quitting. And you know what, I went to an AAA meeting that night. And I got up the next morning, and I put on my running shoes. And I went for like a two mile run, where I puked in the bushes and in the bathtub when I got home, and it was terrible. But I committed to do those two things every day. For 30 days, I just made a 30 day commitment. So I went to a meeting every day, and I went for a run. And I ended up doing it for three straight years. For three straight years, I did not miss a single day of going to a meeting and doing a run. And my life got just unimaginably better. Everything about my life improved. And you know, the detail the rest of the details of that aren’t even all that interesting. The point was, the only thing that mattered to me every day was that I got to go for a run. And I went to a meeting. And that allowed me to build an entire life. And I look, I always say running saved my life and then running gave me a life.
Sonya Looney 18:15
Yeah, and I mean, I think that’s something that people who haven’t been either experienced addiction to recovery or been touched by, you know, a close friend or family member is that there’s many people who say, today is going to be the day, today, it’s gonna be or they go to an AAA meeting every day for three years. And then one day past three years, they, you know, have a setback. And
I don’t think that people truly understand what it means to be an addict until you’ve seen this firsthand. You just think, oh, like they’re cured, or they’ll just quit or whatever.
Charlie Engle 18:48
No, I mean, my, my biggest problem these days, I mean, I’m 30 years, clean and sober. And assuming I make it one more month, you know, July 23, I will actually run for 31 straight hours to honor my 31 years of sobriety. And I do that every year. And the joke that my kids always make is like, man, just think if you just had one beer, you could go all the way back, you wouldn’t have to run for so long. Could they’re kidding, of course, but you know, it’s, you know, it’s this idea of commitment to a thing and understanding that that commitment is actually more important than the results of the Can I still have a you know, I’m still an asshole you know, sometimes I’m still like, just because I’m sober doesn’t mean that I all my other problems went away. I mean, you read my book, so you certainly know that. You know, and it’s been a tumultuous life but I’m but I, what I know is it would be I wouldn’t be alive in all likelihood, but it would be unbelievably worse. If You know, if I wasn’t sober?
Sonya Looney 20:02
What do you have to say? Or like, what advice do you have for people who they keep falling off the wagon, or they keep trying? Or maybe they have a family member or like they’ve done every, like, everything under the sun to try to help this person. But like you said, nobody’s coming to save me it has to come from that person.
Charlie Engle 20:18
Man, that’s about best question. Nobody’s asked me that for a while. And it’s such a it’s complicated, because I’m actually not kidding when I say my 31 years is intimidating. I mean, there’s part of me that won’t and I’m not kidding you acts as part of me that wants to like publicly drink one beer, where I then go back to zero and I can stop being this person with a number of years that seems unattainable. Because it’s like, I don’t know, I don’t know how to make the comparison. But it’s like, it is like watching you know, Killian run up a mountain then thinking that you’re going to ever be that person or carry out your I saw she was a guest race. So you know, it’s it’s like you can’t compare yourself to others. But that’s the what we do. And chronic relapse is a much more prevalent thing these days, even than it ever has been, and there’s a much longer version that I won’t give you. But suffice it to say it’s it’s because of fentanyl. It’s because of the class of drugs that fentanyl has brought into the into the field of play. Because someone like me, who started using cocaine when I was 19, it was still a plant, you know, at least roughly. And I ended up smoking crack and like all kinds of terrible things. But it was this long, slow ramp up of drinking and drug use. Sure, something could have killed me at any given time, but not like today. So the problem is now what you have is 16 year olds who are willing to put a needle in their arm or take a pill that they don’t know what it is, or even do fentanyl on purpose. And they don’t even ever become addicts. You know what I mean? They’re not actually a drug addict. They’re just a normal teenager that decided to experiment like almost everyone listening to this. I mean, just imagine if the weed you smoked when you were 16 years old was laced with fentanyl. Like, so we can’t judge what the youth are going through today. So but what’s happening is people are relapsing at astonishing rates. And so what I would like in fact, I mean, it’s something I’m really working on with the two big organizations I work with Ashley Addiction Treatment Center in Maryland is one. And I think they’re one of the best in the country. It’s a nonprofit in Maryland, and I’ve been working as an ambassador with them for years. And we talk about erasing the stigma of relapse. Because people die all the time, because they get a year or two years, or even just a couple of months. And then they relapse and they’re ashamed. The system even with AAA creates shame. So they don’t want to go back and admit that they had a relapse and pick up a one day coin again, they just can’t do it again. So they don’t go back. And they die. Or they just stay out there doing their thing. And so I I don’t have an answer for it. Other than I do want to address one other thing you said, I’ll try to not keep talking too long on each thing you asked me but family members. First of all, everybody has a family member or a friend or co worker. So everyone knows this conversation, who’s struggled with addiction. Enabling is a very complicated thing. We want to keep the people we love safe. But if you have a person who has been doing this for years and years, you are not helping them by continuing to clear the path and solve problems. And you know, get a professional call me I’ll tell you how to do it. But eventually there has to come a time, when you’re willing to say to that person who’s struggling in your life, I love you, I will always be here for you. I am not cutting you off. That’s not what this is about. But I understand that you need to just go do this thing for a while. So go do it. And when you’re tired of doing it, call me and like and that’s just gotta be it for a while. Like I had to do it with my own my own son, you know, so it’s not he grew up in a sober household yet he became a heroin addict. And that’s it’s, it’s not you. Nobody avoids this craziness and but you can’t help someone by continuing to solve their problems.
Sonya Looney 24:39
Yeah, thanks so much for like just talking about that. I think that the more we talk about this, it’s just I don’t want to say that it’s gonna get better, but it’s just so important to have this be a normal part of the discussion.
Charlie Engle 24:53
When don’t hate the person you know, if it’s your if it’s your mom or dad or your kid or your cousin or just your best friend is had all this struggle, you know, you you? They might not make it. That’s a reality. You might you might say, look, I love you so much, but you need to go do this thing that you need to do and when you need my help you call me. And they might die a week later. I mean, you just don’t know. But that is not on you. And people need to hear that. And they have to like, you know, the also look, I’m going to just throw it out there. This is way off in the weeds, but no pun intended. Like I’m a huge fan of psychedelic therapies. I think it’s absolutely asinine to think that, you know, antidepressants or a lot of other drugs, or these things aren’t the only answer or that 12 step recovery is the only answer. It doesn’t work for everybody. I used to be that that AAA snob who thought this is the only way. And I let that go 10 years ago. And now, hey, if somebody wants to go to a clinic somewhere and do a couple, I mean, the Harvard just came out with another review recently that about psilocybin and its effects on depression. Like there’s not just one way to look at this stuff. And people need to get over their squeamishness about, like, we don’t we have no problem taking prescription drugs, which are terrible for us most of the time, but just because a doctor said we should take them like that’s okay. And, you know, we have to look for other ways to help people right now, the addiction treatment industry, and it is an industry reliant upon I mean, millions of people have jobs because of it. Hospitals, jails, rehabs, they’re all related. Now I work with a couple that I think are exceptional. But you know, the fact is, it’s an industry and it needs to continue to crank people through but it doesn’t, you know, less than 10% of people who go to rehab actually stay sober for a year. I mean, you can’t tell me that we can’t find ways to do better than that.
Sonya Looney 27:03
Yeah, seems like there’s a lot of growth to happen in this area. And open mindedness is a really big part of that.
Charlie Engle 27:10
Yeah. Yeah. No, thank you.
Sonya Looney 27:12
So you mentioned jails. And I’d be remiss not to mention your time in prison, which is, you know, you’re smiling as I as we talk about all of these really sort of heavy things that, you know, most people can’t even imagine. So, can you talk about your stint with going to prison?
Charlie Engle 27:27
Yeah, I don’t recommend it first. Actually, you know, what’s funny, I mean, like, you know, I did this, I did a bunch of stuff, my life got a lot better as a sober person. As you know, I ran races all over the world and did these things and ran across the Sahara Desert. And that, that long run and partnership with Matt Damon sort of put me on the map. And, you know, and sometimes being put on the map, I mean, we all know that, you know, it also makes you a target, you know, in a lot of different ways. And in 2010, you know, and again, I would encourage people to to look at my website, it’s all on their front page in the New York Times, and all of that, but like, I got arrested, ostensibly for basically, I became the only person in the United States in 2010, to be charged with overstating my income on a home loan application. And for that, I could be sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. And I’ll never know why it happened, per se, you know, if I had done what I was being accused of in 2010, and I would have been one of about 20 million people that had overstated income on a home loan application. I mean, it’s kind of the reason we were in the big mess that we were in, but it wasn’t really the bar or is that we’re doing that it was the banks, it was the mortgage brokers. And it was this, it was this shell game that all the big finance institutions were playing. You know, and that’s not I’m not excusing anything. I mean, ultimately, I was found not guilty, in fact, of false providing false information on a look because I didn’t at trial reads like a friggin spy novel. But like at trial, my mortgage broker got on the stand and admitted to forging a loan application in my name and signing my name to it. And one would think that would be like game over, you know, in the story, but I signed a closing package that included this false loan application and it didn’t matter whether I knew it was in there or not. Once I signed the closing package, I attested do it that became mail fraud. And I was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison in West Virginia. And, you know, Valentine’s Day 2011 My kids my teenage boys dropped me off at the front gate of the World’s Worst summer camp at Beckley Federal Correctional Institute where I began serving an 18 month sentence. And, you know, people think today like they hear the word canceled culture, that kind of thing I sort of snicker to myself, because as if it’s a new thing, you know, in 2010, the day I was arrested, the next day, I lost, I was booted off the board of my nonprofit, which it today is called water.org is the world’s largest clean water nonprofit. And I mean, I am the co founder of it. And yet, you won’t find any mention of me anywhere. And, you know, but I mean, it’s all well documented. And if it weren’t true, they wouldn’t let me be out here saying this, but I was I lost six or seven, you know, sponsorships, which they weren’t. For me. I was just an ultra runner. So it’s not like I had huge sponsors, but probably 100 grand, but I lost a million dollars in speaking fees, because I was being booked all over the place, you know, and interestingly, this whole thing was over about $50,000 on a home equity line. That’s what this was. So and the government spent about $3 million, prosecuting me and it’s crazy, crazy, crazy ass story. Because they, you know, it was at a point where they needed someone to blame for the financial crisis. And apparently, me and a few others, like me sort of qualified. So all that aside, I’m gonna get to the part that you really want to know. I go to prison. I’m scared. I’m sad. And I’m super pissed off. I mean, like, I am beyond angry about, you know, what has been done to me. That’s, that’s the way I would frame it. And it took me about a minute, okay, not really a minute, it took me a couple of days to understand the perspective of where I was, you know, the first guy that I meet is in the cell next to me, early 60s, African American 25 years sentence, basically, for a tiny amount of crack cocaine. That, you know, was his third offense. You know, a couple of shoplifting charges. So this guy gets his whole life taken away. 25 years, you know, I’m a guy who, okay, yes, it sucks for me, I lost everything. I’m in federal prison, I lost whatever reputation good or bad I had. Now, it really wasn’t good. And, you know, and people, nobody reads the details of an article, they just read the headline. So when someone back then read, Oh, Charlie Engle goes to prison. It’s like, Oh, if they saw my movie or something like that, and they thought I was an asshole in the movie, then they’re just like, Oh, see, I told you that guy was an asshole. And it’s a very the way our society works these days. It’s so snap judgment. And I get that I’m sure I do the same thing. So I’m not I’m not even saying that’s just a fact. So I get there. And I realized very quickly, though, the greatest lesson I’ve really ever learned. And it’s a lesson that keeps me thriving and smiling every single day. And that is, My happiness is 100% up to me, no matter where I am on this planet, anyplace in the world who I’m with what I’m doing. That is always up to me. And so even locked up, I recognized it was up to me. And so I just I started running. I did what made me happy. And when I got to prison, there were maybe three guys running around the rec yard and out of 500 men. And by the time I left, a year and a half later, I had 50 guys in my running group running with me every day. A dozen of them lost more than 100 pounds. I got 25 Dudes doing yoga with me on the softball field three days a week, I’m teaching AAA, which is actually out and it’s not allowed in prison, if you can believe it. 80% of all inmates are in there for drugs and alcohol yet. There is no to feds, man, it’s the federal government. And you know, and essentially, they do a drug, what they call a drug education program. I’m doing air quotes, but as you can see me and they, the drug education program kind of goes like this. And if you had a 25 year sentence for drugs, two years before you get out, you would get a chance to take this drug education program, which might knock six months off of your sentence and in essence, you can sum it up like this. You are a burden to society and your family don’t do drugs. Like that’s the programming behind it. Like there’s no actual help. There’s no guidelines. There’s no There’s no getting out and being better or improved when you get out. It’s a system based entirely in punitive damages and the damage as it does to people, I always say, Who do you want as your neighbor? Like, no matter if you’re a tough on crime, conservative or you’re a liberal, like, whatever you are like, Who do you want as your neighbor, you know, some dude, he’s got 20 years in prison, he gets out, and he’s all pissed off. And he didn’t even couldn’t even get his GED or a high or a college degree. And he didn’t learn any skills. Now he can’t get a job, he’s a felon. So taxpayers get to pick up the tab for him for the rest of his life. You know, because you can’t get anything other than a dishwashing job, if he’s lucky. It’s just a, it’s a, I was meant to go there. So yeah, I was meant to go there. And it was because I needed to get to see the depravity that just terrible situation. So now I work with anytime I can just, you know, justice reform groups, the Innocence Project, which is, you know, the ones who almost always you see, if someone got released, from a wrongful conviction after 20, or 30 or 40 years, it’s almost always the Innocence Project that got them out. And, you know, and also just reminding the world that, you know, things like, the things like the prison system are nothing more than, you know, a financial game. And it’s got very little to do with keeping society safe and a lot to do with lining the pockets of politicians and business people. And you know, and those people who stand to profit from keeping people locked up.
Sonya Looney 36:38
Yeah, it’s quite sickening to think about that.
Charlie Engle 36:41
It’s just such a not only waste, of course, it’s an incredible waste of human life. And the burden it puts on families is beyond anything I’ve ever seen, whether you’re black or white, or some are in between, but it’s but it’s really the burden on society. And that says that most of the people who support policing and prisons, if they understood how much of their tax dollars actually went to keep, you know, like weed smokers locked up for 10 or 15 years, or these, you know, I mean, they would be horrified to know that that’s where their tax dollars, you know, are going because it’s, it’s just a system because it’s easy to forget people in prison. I mean, I had, I had so many great experiences in there, and I made amazing friends. And the day I left, people were crying and thanking me for, like, what I did for them. And in 12 step recovery, we have this idea of attraction rather than promotion, which is a very common saying, which means I don’t talk about what I’m doing is do what I’m doing. And other people, the right people will be attracted to that. And if they want to come do what I do, because they think my life is getting better, and they want some of that, then I share it. And my very first sponsor when I was 29, he was 75 years old. And you know, and John said, to keep it, you have to give it away. And it’s this very simple concept that whatever you have, whatever your gift, art, music, running, coaching, writing 1000 Other things, if you’re not freely giving that to other people without an expectation of return, why in the world? Do you have it? Like, what was the point of gaining all that expertise, if you can’t give it away to other people? So I wouldn’t have chosen that path. And I don’t recommend it as a career path. But you know, look, I got out and I just continued living my life, and unapologetically around what happened to me, I don’t sit around and make excuses. I don’t want it to sound that way. I put myself in a position for that to happen. And I own some of the responsibility in that. Some of the rest of it is just the way life happens for some people and and, you know, I wouldn’t, I literally wouldn’t give it that part of my life back if I could.
Sonya Looney 39:07
Yeah, if they could have a picture in the dictionary next to the word resilient, that would be your picture, because you have an incredible ability to have multiple adversities in life and not just a little a little thing, a really big thing. And make the best opportunity, the best possible situation out of a really crappy situation. And to create perspective and meaning from that.
Charlie Engle 39:29
That’s the nicest thing you could say. And I really appreciate you saying it, and it’s, you know, it’s important and I mean, I’m gonna sound like, this sounds almost crazy. You probably don’t know this piece, but you might, but my, you know, my wife of 10 years now, so I got married. Not long after I was released from the hoosegow as my my kids say, and you know, anyway, she’s she’s a former pro psych less like yourself. She’s played professional beach volleyball for years. And for six years now she’s been slowly trying not to die from cancer. And so, you know, I have this, this other backstory in my life that I have spent, I’m 60 years old, I spent 54 of them doing whatever the hell I wanted to do, basically. And some, some of it was good, some of it was bad, whatever. For six years, now, I’ve had to reorder my life and understand that, you know, racing isn’t the most important thing, and doesn’t mean that I’m not still out there chasing big adventures, I’m still doing that. And I want to be on store on stages, telling stories, and I want to travel and do all these things. But I almost feel like I was, you know, built for 54 years to actually be present for another human being, and help them through, you know, the biggest fight of their life. And, you know, however it goes, ultimately, you know, I know I will have done what needed to be done. And like, I wasn’t that guy years ago, I was always working on becoming that guy. But I definitely was not that, you know, that guy. And I do take pride and reliability, you know, and my friends, my actual friends out there in the world, you know, they know if they ask anything from me that’s within my power, you know, that reasonable or not reasonable? You know, I’m going to try to help make it happen. And that’s, that’s important to me.
Sonya Looney 41:38
Yeah, sounds like being reliable is one of your top values.
Charlie Engle 41:42
I mean, that’s what else can you say about yourself, that’s more important that if you say you’re going to do something, you do it? And if a friend steps up and at not everything I’m asked, I’m capable of doing but I’ll try to find an answer or, you know, or whatever. And there Look, man, there are still though, I just had a friend, you know, I had a friend recently who passed and, you know, I made excuses for six months, he wasn’t sick or anything. I just hadn’t gone to see him and he had a relapse, and he died. You know, and I, you know, so I’m still open to those same wounds that we’re all open to the guilt of feeling like we could have done more. Even though really, I don’t, I probably couldn’t have. But yeah, I think even being awake to that kind of idea, though, is is important. And a lot of people just aren’t even open to that.
Sonya Looney 42:34
I want to come back to something you said. And again, I’m really sorry about your faith in what she’s having to go through. And I imagine that’s very difficult.
Charlie Engle 42:43
She’s awesome. You’re gonna have her on this podcast, and I can’t wait. I can’t wait to meet her. He’s a badass. She’s about ASOS. He’s a he’s one of the world’s preeminent bird experts. And so she’s really fascinating human being and brilliant scientist and great athlete and like, you know, it’s, it’s, uh, you know, we’re, she’s gonna, we’re, we’re not the kind of people who sit around and say, Oh, we’re going to make it like, you just go one day at a time, you know, to focus on the outcome is actually pointless. And to focus on what’s right in front of us and, and happening right now is is all that matters.
Sonya Looney 43:21
And that’s a great kind of way to tie in a lot of the things that you’ve been talking about, like going back to the legacy is meaningless comment that you made. And you said that, you know, you have to get after it for today and do it for because you’ve committed to doing it the commitment itself is what’s almost more important than what you get from that commitment. And the same goes to like all these things that you talked about being imprisoned, my happiness is 100% up to me, that comes back to that perspective of finding your purpose on that day.
Charlie Engle 43:51
Yeah, and we spend way too much time worrying about what other people think of us. I can’t remember that old saying I like to attribute it to my grandmother but I doubt she actually said this, but like you know what, what people think of you is none of your business. And you know, I also am a believer I make this into a joke which maybe I shouldn’t have but like if you don’t have some haters, you’re really not trying hard enough you know because it if you don’t have people that disagree with you out there, it probably means you’re staying in a very very safe space in the middle and I just don’t ever have any interest in that you know, I’m we are all on this never ending roller coaster of highs and lows and wherever you are today, you will probably be at the other end of the spectrum very soon. And, you know, I operate on this idea and I mean, if I’ve taught my kids any good lessons, the one that I really drilled into them very early on was hearing him I’m contradicting my mother not telling them what to think. But I think this is a how to think thing. Just don’t ever make a big decision when you’re at a loss. A moment. And also don’t go like buy a new car when you just got the new job because those are not real instances, those are very short lived times, you know, the end of a relationship or some tragedy in life, it will pass you, you have to let it just move by, give it a little bit of time and, and you know, things will look different, you may still end up making the same decision down the road. But you know, try not to make the emotional decision when you’re when you’re at some particular low point, especially when it comes to I use that in relapse all the time. You know, just, you know, just wait a day before you take that drink or do the drug because things will probably look different when you get up in the morning. And, you know, and I like to I like to think it’s a great way to go about just sort of daily life.
Sonya Looney 45:49
Yeah, my husband gave me that advice, probably about a year ago. And I always think about that, because whenever things are hard, and whenever you’re low, it feels so intense, and it feels like it’s gonna last forever. And it feels like you’re never going to come out of it.
Charlie Engle 46:04
Well, that is such a you just hit home with me so hard. I know I go I go these long rants, I’ll keep this one short. Like I always say my wife has also like, you know, we occasionally have the very serious argument and, and it feels devastating. I mean, I’m just it just does, like it feels devastating. It feels you take that moment, when you’re hurt, angry, and it feels empty. And like there’s no way this can be resolved. I mean, that’s just how it feels in that moment. And you project it out to the future. Because it feels like there’s no way it’s not going to always feel this way. And that’s that I actually a better analogy is I use it and running all the time.
Sonya Looney 46:47
That sounds a lot like some of these.
Charlie Engle 46:50
Why run 100 miler still today not because of any other reason I don’t need to run anymore. I don’t There’s nothing else I need to sort of do out there. But I still do them because I want to get to that place in the run and it will come where I am going like what is wrong with you? Are you an idiot? Did you not remember what this is? Like? Like? Are you just stupid? Like I mean, just beaten myself kicking my own ass?
Sonya Looney 47:15
I signed up for this. Yeah,
Charlie Engle 47:17
what are you just stupid? Are you an idiot, and but I want to get to that moment. And then I want to use all the tools that I’ve spent a lifetime accumulating. Because I know and this metaphor works for business for relationships, I know that what I need to do is I need to eat 1000 calories, I need to drink a couple of cold drinks, I probably need to slow down and walk a little bit. And 30 minutes later, like magic, my pain may go from attend only to an eight. But that’s a huge difference when you’re in the middle of something. And it allows you to go on and that moment, literally that 30 minute window, you can carry that that window with you to every other part of your life and for the rest of your life. And it’s the it’s the years later, it’s the only time in that race that you’ll actually even remember, the rest of it fades away. But that piece holds true. And that’s why I say all the time, comfort is overrated. And people too often worry about how they’re going to look to other people as if anybody gives a shit what you’re doing. We are we are selfish, self centered. beings, we care. But we don’t really care. We care. And we want to encourage other people. But ultimately, I’m not going to spend time looking through people’s marathon times wondering like, Hey, what happened to Dave today? Like, it really doesn’t matter to me. All right. I mean, and people forget that going out and doing hard things just to go do them is so important, and it creates the opportunities of your lifetime.
Sonya Looney 48:55
Yeah, I think it’s almost funny because a lot of times people spend all this energy worrying whenever they sign up for an event. Well, what happens if I feel this way? Or what happens if I feel like crap and want to quit or I’m on the 10 out of 10 or I’m bonking or I get heatstroke or whatever the things are, when what you just said is, that is why you why you signed up, like, one of my mantras is, this is what you came for. Like when I’m in the race and things are falling apart. And I feel like hell I told myself, this is what you came for. This is why you signed up so that you could feel this way. And we spend so much energy, being afraid that we’re going to feel that way when that’s the whole point.
Charlie Engle 49:30
Yeah, that moment is the only one you’ll remember. Like I could ask you right now, you know, in whatever race tell me the most important moment in that race. And, and you could you could give me a list of those moments. I asked big audiences, you know, sometimes do I’m like, I put them through some pain. I’m like, let’s take 30 seconds. I want everybody to think about the most formative thing that’s ever happened to you in your life. I mean, the thing that has made you who you are today, at least one of those things I’ll ask him sometimes to write it down, I’ll do whatever. And I mean, people will be crying and whatever and I get I, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out every single one of them thought of hardship. That hardship very specifically helped make them who they are today. I mean, it’s very cliche, but we all know that yeah, people just forget it. And they, they want to somehow, Snowplow, a woman just last week, she’s like an audience he’s like, but I just, I just want my kids to have it so much easier than I had when I was growing up. And I’m like, why? What do you have against your kids? It’s like, you know, and everybody laughed, and she got it. But I mean, like, why would you do that to your kids? I mean, you do you consider yourself an enlightened, you know, growth oriented person. She’s like, Yeah, like, why would you take that away from your kids? I mean, I know, I know, you don’t want to get hit by a car in the street. I’m not saying you know that. But like, other than that, man, let people just go out there and make mistakes. And the thing is, what people will do instead. And I wonder if you agree with this on you, but like, instead, they’ll get married, and they’ll start, they’ll start having kids, or they’ll, they’ll start a business. And like, these are heavy things, where their take, they’re risking everything, on starting that business, yet, they’ve never actually allowed themselves to face real adversity, that’s not consequential. Because I’m sorry, if you enter a marathon or a 50, or you doing Ironman and you quit, it’s not the end of your life. Right? It’s not that big a deal. It’s a lesson even if you quit. And hopefully it will be, you know, you’d go back and try again. But like, if you have no experience and hardship, and in getting to that place where you can’t go on, you haven’t ever felt that the How are you going to know what to do or how to feel when that time comes, sports allows you to do that, and especially individual sports, like cycling, and running and swimming, you know, you’re, you’re gonna hit those moments where you can’t keep going. And, you know, you’ve got to come to that. When I ran across this era, I say it all the time, after seven days, I realized that the only miles I could focus on were the miles right in front of me. I mean, literally right in front of me. And if I got anywhere beyond that, I freaked out. Like I still had 4700 miles to run at that point. And I was falling apart. And you know, and it’s it’s getting hyper focused on what’s right in front of you is the is almost always the answer to, you know, every problem and trying to detach yourself from outcomes. It’s hard to do, though,
Sonya Looney 52:44
it’s very hard to do. And I think that touching that hot stove multiple times and almost realizing too, that we think that if we get an outcome, we’re going to finally feel a certain way and you’re not going to feel that way you’re going to still be you
Charlie Engle 52:58
know, and I somebody sent me a t shirt. It’s very funny if anybody listening to this sent me a t shirt recently that says the words the juice is the joy is in the journey. The juice is in the journey. It’s a great t shirt. I love it. I just have no idea who said it to me.
Sonya Looney 53:12
That was me. I’m just kidding.
Charlie Engle 53:14
And it is this. I know it’s cliche, but people forget. You know, it’s so anticlimactic. Again, I wrote about this in the book. Well, when I got across the Sahara, I actually had a phone call with NPR like an hour later. And I’m, you know, I just finished running 111 straight days. I mean, I’m wiped out. And I’m answering this question. And unexpectedly, the question I was asked was, how does it feel to to have run all the way to be done and all the way across this era? And I actually without plan or foresight, I said it feel it’s incredibly sad. Yeah. Yeah, it was terrible. And the recognition that the journey was over, you know, and the good part is all that crazy turmoil and pain and everything that we think we’re afraid of, but is everything that we actually need, you know, is is right there. And, you know, that’s why I want to go continue to do things that are, are hard, whether anybody’s watching or not, or whether there’s a record or not, or anything else, I just want to I want to be out there in the world. Testing my own personal limits and getting to that place where I don’t think I can continue.
Sonya Looney 54:35
Yeah, this I can relate with that so much. That’s why I’ve picked up Ultra running and these other things in my head because I want that question mark. I want to be lining up for something saying I don’t really know what’s going to happen and that like there’s so much I’m going to have to go through in order to even have the opportunity to make it to that finish line. And the question I have for you Charlie is like you’ve done so much. How do you pick a challenge now that scares you? you so much, but also, that doesn’t completely take over your life.
Charlie Engle 55:06
Yeah, I don’t know if that’s possible or not, it does take over and and you know, even as I was telling you a little bit about my wife, and I will say that, you know, I’ve had to rethink a few things. Yet, she’s incredibly encouraging about wanting me to continue to chase some dreams. And, you know, I’ve been talking about this massive project for years, which is, which is going from the lowest place on the planet to the highest and the Dead Sea to Mount Everest and human powered. And, in fact, you know, this year, I will continue, I’ve actually done one of the seven continents, Africa from the lowest place, which is in East Africa, and I went about 2500 miles across Ethiopia, and Kenya and Tanzania to the top of Kilimanjaro a few years ago. And that was the first one and I’ll do two or three others this year, and next year, and then in January of 2025, I will do this thing from the Dead Sea to the top of Mount Everest, and it is terrifying, honestly. And it’s so fantastic. Like, I You said it a minute ago, and I think I look we crave first I think we change we use our whole lives chasing first. And I mean, that is why people become addicts, even like you, you can’t replicate really that sort of first euphoric experience, and you spend a lot of time trying to, and I would even say to you, I’m not giving advice, you certainly didn’t ask me for any. But when you toe the line, there’s something that you’re terrified, or you’re really scared, that means you’re in the right place. Um, you know that as an athlete already, but like, if you if you’re doing your 50th marathon, and you’re no longer even, like, concerned about your ability to finish, I don’t know, why are you still doing it? It’s like, I don’t even get that anymore, go climb a different mountain, go do that thing. Because those first couple of marathons, you did all that turmoil and your guts all twisted up, and you’re terrified, you know, terrified. And that’s the fun part. Like that’s, you know, that’s the craziness and and so this Dead Sea to Everest is I mean, it’s going to happen, it’s going to be it’s going to be filmed, I’ve got a deal in place, I’ve got the financing in place, and it’s actually just now a matter of, of going to do it. Honestly, I’m, there’s a portion of it, I’m going to row across the Indian Ocean. I’ve never, I’ve done a lot of kayaking, I’ve been on the water quite a bit. I’ve never rode across anything in my life. I’m also doing a very deep free dive during this experience. I’ve never done a free dive before. So you know, I’m adding things to this that are they really are terrifying to me. And they’re going to be hard. And I and I don’t know that I can do it. And that’s a beautiful thing. I think this this podcast conversation, I would frame it in the vulnerability category. And I think that that’s the thing that’s so missing a lot of times when you’re talking about hard sports and adventures and life is that people are afraid to admit out wow, you know, I actually don’t know if I can do this. Or I don’t know how I’m gonna feel or any of these things. And, you know, I’m here to say that’s the whole point, you know, is is and sharing it with other people that you are not sure if you’re capable of doing this thing is it allows them the ability to then open up and be vulnerable about their stuff and standing on a stage saying Be tough all the time. I just have never understood that it doesn’t. I don’t think it resonates with very many people.
Sonya Looney 58:59
Yeah, thanks for sharing. So with so much vulnerability, I’ll be seeing all the these things from your life.
Charlie Engle 59:05
Yeah, well, there’s plenty of them. And it’s, it’s what we missed on a little bit today. Hopefully, there was a little bit of humor involved here because I I also I laugh. In fact, I like the sort of sick, twisted nature of laughing at you know, prison and addiction and, you know, running and all of this. It’s all just folly. You know, we’re just here for such a very, very tiny, short period of time. And, you know, don’t do anything. I mean, again, I’m giving advice, I guess the listeners, I don’t really mean it as advice but like, just do whatever it is you want to do. If you feel that urge and that passion, find a way to make it happen. There’s always going to be people in your life who tell you it’s a bad idea. And they may be right. But so what you know the easiest thing to be in the world as a critic or to be an anchor to other people, you know, and I have to remind myself, don’t ever be that anchor to somebody else and unhook the anchors in my life. If there’s people who every answer that comes out of their mouth is that’s a bad idea. That’s not somebody that I want in my life. You know,
Sonya Looney 1:00:16
I think about my life, if I had listened to everybody telling me not to go do all the things, man, I would not be, it’d be really different than where I am right now.
Charlie Engle 1:00:24
Yeah, I mean, that’s, it’s beautiful. You have such a great spirit. And I mean, I can I can feel it. I know you’re gonna be I know that. You’re, I don’t mean to say I have no idea how good and ultra runner you’ll be. That’s but you understand? Exactly. That’s not even the point, you are going to be a great Ultra runner, because you’re an ambassador for going out and doing stuff and like experiencing it. And I guarantee that smile that you have will probably be on your face. You know, when you’re out there racing and that kind of thing. Yeah, there you go. Seriously, that’s amazing, right? It’s amazing if that’s the thing that helps you get through those tough moments. I mean, that’s, it’s a sport where you absolutely get to be whoever you want to be. And I love that about about Ultra running.
Sonya Looney 1:01:14
Something I want to say just to wrap it up, is it we’ve been talking about fear a little bit, and like people are too afraid to try something and you know, they’re afraid of the outcome or not having the outcome or the discomfort that they might feel, but really on the other side of fear is not courage. It’s that curiosity that you talked about in the very beginning. And if you can approach something with curiosity, like, I don’t know, let’s see if I can go to the Dead Sea that was helping Mount Everest and this free diving thing, oh, I don’t know, let’s go see what’s gonna happen. Like having that curiosity creates an openness and a space to be brave enough to try something. And that’s what creates the courage not to saying I’m not afraid, or I have it all figured out.
Charlie Engle 1:01:52
Man, and I have to, I’m going to name drop here, sorry. But I’ve had the good fortune in the last couple of years to spend some time around Richard Branson, and I’ve gotten to go to his island a couple of times, and as a speaker and some other stuff. And like, he is the epitome of that guy. If you go if you are around him. If you ever get a chance to be around him and you want to talk business, you might as well be talking to a stone wall, he has no interest in talking about anything. But if you talk about nature, or adventure, or whatever he is the most curious human being I have ever met seriously, in his mid 70s, all the money they could ever spend, like he’s got this empire and everything else yet, the spark in his eye, when there’s a conversation about something that he doesn’t know about, or that maybe he wants to dig a little deeper into. It’s fascinating. And I just, I think that that is the thing. If no matter what is going on in your life, you can find that curious part of your brain no matter what misery you might be in, you can still find the moment to go Hmm, well, this is unexpected, whatever it is, you know, then, you know, then I think you’ve accomplished something. And I mean, I don’t know I am a I’m a longevity guy. But I also do a lot of stuff in the stem cell space. I’m partners with Deepak Chopra and a business I’m, I got a bunch of stuff going on, you know, out there in the world, you know, in the addiction recovery space and in the longevity space. But ultimately, all of it is still balled around curiosity. I don’t have any answers. When somebody calls and says, Hey, what do I do for this thing? I’m like, I don’t I have no idea. Like, I can tell you what I did for it, like training or eating or I’ve been vegan for 25 years also. So know that there’s a lot left to talk about what to do at another time. But
Sonya Looney 1:03:50
yeah, we have so much to talk about,
Charlie Engle 1:03:52
like, you know, I mean, it’s it’s a it’s an approach to life. I think that is not the mind is right. But it is a really curious one. And all the way back to the beginning. You know, my mom gave me that gift. She was a bit of an anarchist to like she, I grew up carrying signs, protesting things that I didn’t, you know, I don’t even know what it said on this time. But like, you know, and it was a lot of fun. It was an adventure, that part of it. And, you know, I’m hoping I got, you know, 20 3040 more years, and I plan for all of them to continue to be adventurous. You know, whatever that is, I mean, whatever, whatever part of that I can still embrace.
Sonya Looney 1:04:36
Well, thanks so much for coming on the show. I really feel like I could talk to you all day. And like you said, there’s so many stones uncovered that we didn’t even get to today, but where can people find you and all of your adventures and everything we’ve talked about?
Charlie Engle 1:04:48
Yeah, thanks sign in. It’s it’s really simple for me. I’m pretty much a one stop shop on my website. So just Charlie angle.com. And there’s, you know, there’s talks on there and if you want like an autograph book version of my book, you know, you can ask me for one their social media handles are on there, I’m not a, you know, I’m not a huge social media guy. You know, but I’m on their Instagram primarily and all that’s on the website though and, and I would also say, you know, to finish this way, I’m the easiest person to find. And my you know, on my website is my phone number, like my cell phone, it’s my email address, and if someone wants to reach out and talk to me about addiction, or recovery, or running or prison or anything else, cancer, like, you know, I offer up whatever it is that I have, and all you have to do is write to me and I will
Sonya Looney 1:05:49
respond. Thanks so much. I really appreciate getting to chat with you. It was a
Charlie Engle 1:05:54
great pleasure. Thanks so much.