IRONMIND - My Plant-Fueled Challenge To Race The Ironman

Brian Rose
Mar 14, 2018 · 5 min read

“This is Ironman, not Pussyman!”

John Joseph yelled at me on a cold, rainy night in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.

Needless to say, I was a bit shocked.

It’s intimidating standing face to face with the lead singer of the hardcore punk band the “Cro-Mags” who dominated the New York music scene in the late 1980s. Growing up on the streets had made John one of the scariest dudes I’ve ever seen.

“It’s time to man up Brian, I need an answer!”

Why I ever went back to New York City, a place I barely escaped with my life in 2001 after I hit rock bottom, is yet another story.

“What’s it gonna be man?” John bellowed.

Just three months earlier I had sat in my warm, dry recording studio in London wearing a three-piece suit and sipping tea while having a much more civilised conversation with John at our first meeting.

So how did I get here?

Well London Real has a way of making crazy things happen.

It seems John had sensed something in that first conversation with me…some darkness, some fear, some unfinished business…and he had summoned me to his hometown of New York City, a place that reminded me of my worst failures.

“Are you gonna be there on May 20th in Chattanooga, Tennessee?” John screamed.

He was talking about the Ironman triathlon, widely considered to be the most difficult, one-day sporting event in the world.

Sure I had heard of it, but that was something only crazy people did.

Hardcore athletes.

Marathon runners.

Professional cyclists.

Open water swimmers.

AKA people trying to exorcise their internal demons…one mile at a time.

But sure as hell not for me.

Well it seems John had other plans.

“For once and for all , you need to tell you r mind who’s boss!” John shouted.

For him, this Ironman competition was the only way to go deep into my soul, to challenge those demons, to confront my past failings, and to right all of those people I had wronged.

And John would know. After hitting rock bottom himself with a destructive crack cocaine addiction in the 1990s, he had rebuilt his life again thanks to the rigorous Ironman training and now had completed nine races included two in the coveted Kona, Hawaii competition.

So I thought, “Brian, what ARE you going to do?”

They say life all comes down to a few moments…this was one of them.

Would I take this challenge, confront my dark past, learn from this man, and push myself to the very limits of my physical being just days after my 47th birthday?

I hate to admit this.

But the truth is that if no one was watching, I wouldn’t.

But this is no longer my life, this is London Real.

So I took a deep breath and said,

“Let’s do this John.”

And a big, broken-tooth smile emerged from those grisly, mosh-pit beaten features of his.

“Good. And we’re doing this on a 100% plant-based diet.”

“What?” I said.

“Look man, I’ve been eating this way for 37 years. It’s not about being some ‘stick up your arse vegan’, it’s about healing your soul.”

Come on, really?

For the biggest physical challenge of my life?

Unfortunately John doesn’t exactly take “No” for an answer.

So as we say in England, “In for a penny, in for a pound.”

“I’m in.”

— — — — — — — — — — -

This all happened two weeks ago and I’m now back in London training for this crazy race.

And while I might be the individual who will be swimming, cycling, and running on May 20th…

all of London Real is going to complete this Ironman race.

I need your help.

I need your support.

Swim with me.

Bike with me.

Run with me.

Eat plants with me.

Send food to me! :)

Help me overcome the mental barriers that come my way.

Help me fight the negativity of my past when it surely emerges over the next two months.

My team has created an INCREDIBLE short video trailer of me and John in New York City:

Please share it on your social media platforms with the hashtag #IRONMIND

Here is also a link to join me in our Facebook group called “Ironmind” where I will be posting daily reports on my training, nutrition, mindset, successes, and failures.

Please help me cross the finish line in Chattanooga, Tennessee on May 20th.

Let’s inspire the world to face their fears and push through life’s challenges.

I want to personally thank YOU so much for pushing me to become the best version of myself every single day through London Real.

I am so grateful for the man you have made me become and I am so grateful for London Realers all across the planet.

Let’s finish this race, together! 👊👊👊

Much love,


P.S. Please go HERE to watch the video trailer and share it on social media with hashtag #IRONMIND and join our Facebook group.

Written by

Founder & Host of London Real, The weekly video programme that introduces you to the most fascinating people on the planet.

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