Oct 07, 2020
The New Now of Me: Tony Riddle Summits the 3 Bare Peaks
Tony Riddle seeks out catalytic barefoot ultra-running challenges that bring him to a higher plane of self-knowledge.
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Like the biblical story of Moses, who summited Mount Sinai to return with new wisdom on how to lead a just life, Riddle seeks out catalytic barefoot ultra-running challenges that bring him to a higher plane of self-knowledge.
One man, three peaks, 9 days, and only nine toes. Tony Riddle has just completed another record run by reaching the three highest peaks of Scotland, England, and Wales, barefoot. Most runners drive the 460 miles between each peak in a 24-hour challenge, but Riddle completed the full route on foot, a world’s first in barefoot running.
“Why remove the very beings in the world that are showing us what it is to be human?”
Riddle ran the 485-mile distance in nine days, seven hours, and 18 minutes. beating the previous time by four hours and 31 minutes to break the men’s running record, Riddle committed to a week of 4 am starts, and he did it all with a broken toe, which caused a cascade of other injuries as the body naturally compensated for that missing support.
As Riddle literally peeled away his skin through agonizing chafing down his legs, he also peeled away the ego’s protective layers. “I had to go through that level of exhaustion to dismantle and remove whatever masks or facades were in place.” (Listen to the full conversation here).
The father-of-four successfully ran more than 17 marathons barefoot to raise funds for Survival International to help protect indigenous communities around the world, who currently preserve 80% of the planet’s global biodiversity.
In his day job as a natural lifestyle coach, Riddle helps people choose ways of living that are more in sync with human biology. Riddle also seeks catharsis in extreme ultra-marathon challenges. He ran the length of the UK barefoot last September.
“Every step is the new now.”
Riddle has succeeded in his second challenge in as many years that centers around the concept of moving solo and barefoot through the Earth to realize a deep connection with that environment. As a snake molts it’s old skin away, Riddle conceives his epic endurance runs as a means of self-actualization. “I was running and a voice in my head said, ‘Tony, we are literally being reborn right now…each step is a new version of me. Every step is the new now.’”
LEAD WITH THE HEART AND THE FEET WILL FOLLOW
Most people go through their day without the thought of Indigenous peoples of the world crossing their mind, yet Indigenous peoples play an important role in conserving the Earth’s biodiversity, as well as our human knowledge-base for surviving in harmony with nature. Shockingly, around the world today, Indigenous peoples are being removed from their lands – in many cases in the very name of conservation – and then prosecuted for going on their own lands.
“We put these pedestals up for the Dalai Lama, but we’re talking about TRIBES of people that are nature, they’re not separate, they’re the ecosystem itself.”
Riddle linked this challenge to the plight of Indigenous peoples because they maintain the template for living a natural lifestyle today, something that mainstream Western culture has strayed far away from.
“They don’t see themselves as separate from nature. They’re having their rights, their lands, and their traditions removed. We’re seeing protests and riots going on in the streets. People are suffering from a lack of connection to nature. Why remove the very beings in the world that are showing us what it is to be human? They are the natural template.”
Riddle credits the success of his run to his recovery protocols that are inspired by the daily practices of such tribal people, such as breath work, cold immersion, and floor mobility drills. To go down the rabbit hole about natural lifestyle practices, check out the NatLife tribe for a growing community discussion around natural health modalities – choosing ways of living that are more in synch with human biology.
In this episode, Tony discusses the mental and physical obstacles he had to endure on the challenge and the natural recovery techniques he used to overcome them, the role of his family in supporting his goal, his personal connection to the route, the significance of raising awareness for Indigenous peoples and the threats they are facing, and the feeling of being reborn a new man. (Listen to the full episode).
This is Tony’s second visit to The Outdoor Journal podcast. So if you’re interested in learning more about ways to rewild, reboot, and reconnect yourself with natural practices, check out Episode 1, which to date is still our most popular episode.
Read more about Rewilding with Tony Riddle:
Tony Riddle: Introducing REWILD
REWILD with Tony Riddle: Part 2 – Children and Education
REWILD with Tony Riddle: Part 3 – Transforming Your Body
REWILD with Tony Riddle: Part 4 – Barefoot Run Across Great Britain
Tony Riddle Crosses Great Britain Barefoot but Not Broken