I met Charlie backstage at a Tony Robbins event, and was immediately drawn to him and his contagious, positive energy.  We talked about shared suffering and how sobriety and fitness has transformed our lives. He has such an incredible story, I was thrilled when he accepted the invite to share it on the podcast with you.

Charlie Engle is a writer, runner, recovering addict, and keynote speaker. As he puts it, he’s an addict who runs and a runner who writes. He’s run across deserts, summited ice-covered volcanoes, swam with crocodiles and served a stint in federal prison. But his greatest challenge is the one he takes on every single day—sobriety. He has been clean and sober since July 23rd, 1992.

As Engle got sober, he turned to running, which became his lifeline, his pastime, and his salvation. He began with marathons, and when marathons weren’t far enough, he began to take on ultramarathons, races that went for thirty-five, fifty, and sometimes hundreds of miles, traveling to some of the most unforgiving places on earth to race. The Matt Damon-produced documentary, Running the Sahara, followed Engle as he lead a team on a harrowing, record breaking 4,500-mile run across the Sahara Desert, which helped raise millions of dollars for charity.

In his memoir Running ManCharlie tells the surprising, funny, and emotional story of his life, detailing his setbacks and struggles—from coping with addiction to serving time in prison—and how he blazed a path to freedom by putting one foot in front of the other.

In this episode Charlie tells the stories of addiction, recovery, prison, sobriety, running, and overcoming struggles with grit and grace. He is a true inspiration, a treasured friend, a light in the world and in my life, and you will get so much out of listening to this episode!


Here’s what you will learn:

  • How to welcome suffering when it enters your life and learn some of the greatest lessons (3:41)
  • How to keep forward momentum going. From addict to record-breaking ultra runner  (12:09)
  • A way to publicly share your sobriety story (21:04)
  • Why owning your own struggle can be so powerful. “The addict part of me is the best part of me,” says Charlie (28:31)
  • How Charlie uses breathwork and meditation to prepare for speaking (34:27)
  • What he learned about moving your body from his time in prison (42:38)
  • How wearable devices help in life coaching (54:22)
  • Learn more about his 30 year sobriety milestone and how he plans to celebrate by running for 30 hours!!

What did you learn from this episode? Share on Instagram and tag me at @amberlylagomotivation and @charlieengle so we can see!


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Links mentioned in this episode:


This episode is sponsored by Nootopia

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