Rick Kapala on Getting Comfortable with Discomfort, Living The Dream, and The Love of Sport

This week’s interview is a little different. The Thought For Food Lifestyle extends beyond nutrition and food, and today’s conversation is rooted in getting comfortable with discomfort, athletic performance, mindset, and living the dream. I’m excited to bring you my conversation with Rick Kapala – program director and head coach for the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation’s cross-country ski program. Rick graduated from Michigan Technological University with a degree in biological sciences, after developing a love for cross-country skiing. He then began coaching in Alaska, eventually landing in Sun Valley, Idaho in 1987. He has since coached at multiple world championships and has been integral in the development of multiple national champions and even Olympians. Rick was my ski coach in high school, and has had a profound impact on my life by inspiring in me and others this idea of getting comfortable with discomfort – which is the theme of this podcast. My favorite memories from ski team were not the ski racing, but the epic adventures we went on in the mountains, or Save The Baby King (we talk about this crazy game in the podcast). This is why Rick is such a legend and inspiration for so many. His ability to make the inherently uncomfortable and difficult sport of cross-country skiing fun and appealing to kids of all ages, and get them out of their comfort zones. Building athletes, sure, but beyond that, building high-quality humans.

Although we didn’t talk about food or nutrition, his ethos towards exercise and sport is perfectly aligned with the Thought For Food Lifestyle. Doing epic shit. Doing it for the love, for the adventure, for the growth that we experience when we step out of our comfort zone. And doing this in a way that is evidence based and that perfectly marries the connection between performance and adventure. We talk about his coaching philosophy, getting uncomfortable, and what his definition of doing epic shit is. I owe a lot of my passion for the outdoors, endurance sports, and finding purpose in my life to this man, so it’s truly an honor to share this conversation with you. Enjoy the episode!


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Show Notes

More on Rick and SVSEF:


How To Live The Dream

Books mentioned: David Epstein – The Sports Gene, George Kennan – Tent Life in Siberia, Tim Flannery – The Eternal Frontier

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YouTube Channel: Thought For Food TV

Support TFF: www.patreon.com/thoughtforfood

Twitter: @TFFlifestyle

Follow Jackson on Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/54401

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