Do the Impossible with Joel Runyon

May 10, 2012

Today, we have the next installment of ‘Alpha Interviews’. Who’s up?


Alpha Male #2: Joel Runyon

Where is he normally? Over at the Impossible HQ – right click and open in a new window please!

Why should I care about what he has to say? Joel was once like us … an average guy. He used to work the typical jobs and do the typical things but it was his reaction to being let go from his job that was anything but typical … it was pure Alpha! Joel decided to start challenging himself and doing the things he always dreamed about. He blogged about what happened and in a short space of time, he gathered a large following, proof that the world needs guys like Joel and the ‘Impossible League’ was formed. Joel spends his day helping others turn the Impossible into the Possible in their lives. He’s a cool dude with an awesome message. Let’s see what he’s got to say …


AME: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me Joel. For those of us who are maybe new to your work, can you please tell me a little about yourself … in other words, how did you go from an average dude to a heavyweight blogger?

JR: I started a few years ago and was bored with my life. I was laid off from UPS, unemployed and living at my parents house and I wanted to change a few things about my life and start doing stuff i had never done before. I wasn’t quite sure if I could or if I’d fail miserably, but I was so sick of doing nothing that I just started and I began writing about it on my blog. Everything sort of evolved from there.


AME: That is a great reaction to a redundancy, one we should all heed in this current climate. A redundancy is little more than an opportunity to retrain. I can relate as the same thing happened to me earlier in the year.

So where did the ‘Impossible League’ movement come from? Can you describe the philosophy behind it and what someone needs to do to join?

JR: I started the Blog of Impossible Things, because I literally felt like all the things I wanted to do were impossible. As I started actually doing some of those things and crossing them off my impossible list (running my first triathlon, taking 40 people skydiving, and running my first marathon and half-ironman), people began reading and paying attention. I started to realize that in addition to the story I was telling, they had a few stories of their own they were telling. We created the impossible league to help connect those people, encourage them to share their story and keep doing something impossible. If you want to join, all you have to do is start.



AME: That’s really cool. It’s amazing what you can do, when people just take that first step towards their goal and keep going. So out of all the things you have done so far, what do you consider your greatest achievement? What is the most ‘impossible’ thing that you’ve done?

JR: My first thing that i ever finished where I really felt ‘Wow, that was tough ” was my first Olympic Distance Triathlon. I didn’t run it smart and ended up overheated and dehydrated. That was one of the first times I did something and looked back and thought to myself “I can’t believe I actually did that.” My first marathon was the toughest thing I’ve done. Although I wasn’t in as bad of shape physically, it was much more mentally taxing.


AME: I think what puts a lot of people off doing this sort of thing, is that they have no idea where to start. Worse yet, the typical advice on how to start living this sort of lifestyle, really isn’t helpful.There is too much non-sensical information out there from people who don’t do what they talk about and we need to heed advice from those in the know.

Talking of advice, can you tell me any tips that you have found that were so counter-intuative and absurd sounding that shouldn’t work but do? (e.g. ignoring a girl makes her work harder to get you). I love tips like that!

JR: The hard things in life aren’t always as hard as people make them out to be. Just because they seem hard, most people write it off from the get-go and pre-disqualify themselves. So, sometimes, when you go after the impossible things, you actually have less competition than you do if you go after things are that supposed to be “easy.” For example, a lot of people run marathons, but if you’ve never done it before – you tend to think only super-humans can do it. When I started, I never had ran more than 3 miles in my entire life and a year and a half later I finished my first marathon. If you want to do something impossible, you can.


AME: That’s inspiring dude! I lived 28 years of my life in a boring, typical stupor so I know the fear and anxiety, that people can feel when they try and move out of their comfort zone.

What would you do to get someone living the ‘Impossible League’ lifestyle? how would you motivate them?

JR:  can’t get anyone to do anything. I can do what I can do to show them what it looks like, but i can’t actually force someone to step outside their comfort zone – they have to choose to do it themselves.

A great example of this is Kurt Swann. I met him at WDS in 2011 and he was disappointed he didn’t come skydiving with the crew. He said he was going to home give it a shot. But he didn’t just do that – he did one jump, then another, and then another and then decided to get certified to jump on his own. I might have planted the idea in Kurt’s head, but the execution was all him.



AME: Your site is filled with great content but what do you personally believe to be the three best videos/articles? 

JR: I would say
Apathetic Living and the Edges of Reality –
Impossible Manifesto –

I’m pretty proud of Impossible TRI as well.


AME: Your manage to snag an invite to the ‘Mankind Summit’. You have a chance to talk to all men at once. What do you say?

JR: Stop being so scared to do the things you really want to do and just do them.


AME: Finally, do you consider yourself an Alpha Male? Why do you believe or disagree with it?

JR: Alpha Male has a aggressive connotation. I’m competitive, but I don’t feel like I had to fight off people who are potential threats to my ranking. I work at doing what I really enjoy doing and try to be the best at it and it usually turns out well.


If you’ve liked this dude and would like to keep up-to-date with what he’s doing, click on the following links to find his stuff:




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