This interview with David Richman went so well. I can’t wait for you to hear it. An entrepreneur, author, public speaker, athlete, and philanthropist, David Richman uses the lessons learned in his life to enrich and inspire others. As a former sedentary, over-weight, smoker, David knew that he needed to focus not on what others wanted out of him, but on what he wanted out of life. Inspired by the passing of his sister due to brain cancer, David set out to chronicle the cancer journey of 15 cancer patients and caregivers.
As an endurance athlete, he chose to ride his bicycle across country, 5,000 miles, to meet with each of them individually. The metaphor for endurance athletics and enduring life comes up over and over in the book and in our conversation because it’s such an apt metaphor. All proceeds of the book go to charity. But, get it for your own edification knowing you’re also helping cancer research.
You can reach David at: https://www.david-richman.com
Brian Smith 0:01
Hey everybody, this is Brian. I’m back with another episode of grief to growth. And I’ve got with me today Dave Richmond, and David Richmond, I should say, David has written a book called cycle of lives. It’s a fascinating book. And we’re gonna get into what that is. First I want to introduce David and then we’ll talk about himself and what caused what prompted him to write the book. So Dave is an entrepreneur’s an author. He’s a public speaker. He’s an athlete, and he’s a lot philanthropist. He uses the lessons he learned his life to enrich and inspire others. And as a former sedentary overweight smoker, David knew that he needed to focus not on what others wanted out of him out of him, but what he wanted out of life. And his first book is winning the middle in the middle of the pack, he discussed how to get more out of ourselves than ever imagined. Now, in this new book, the cycle lives he shares the interconnected stories of overcoming obstacles, specifically cancer. And so with that, I want to welcome David Richmond to grief to growth. Thank you, Brian, really excited to be here. definitely looking forward to a good conversation. Yeah, I’m looking forward to I got the book, like last week, and I was able to chance to take a look through it and read a couple of stories. I want to talk about you first, though and talk about what what prompted you are how you got to the point where you became a cycler. cyclist, I see that you were a sedentary overweight smoker. At one point, I look at you now you’re like, it’s kind of hard to believe so what, what, what transitioned you out of that?
David Richman 1:26
Ah, it was a crazy set of circumstances, Brian. So I mean, basically, what happened was this.
You know, like people evolve over time, and you kind of sometimes you just don’t know what you don’t know until you know it, and then you definitely know it. Yeah. And, and one day I woke up, and I just found myself in a situation that you think I could have had more awareness of until that moment, but I didn’t. And once it had awareness of it, it was such an obvious situation that I was in that I just kind of like, you know, it’s a higher level observation when, what the heck are you doing? So I was pretty successful in business. And I had friends and happy and life’s good. But on the other side of the coin, I was not very happy in my personal life. I was married to a very abusive alcoholic.
My twins were four. And my sister had just been diagnosed with cancer, and it was going to be a losing battle. In the end, they knew that they just didn’t know how long it was going to be. And
one day, I just woke up and said, What the heck are you like, what the heck are you doing? And it just, it just hit me at that point. And I had to get my kids out of that situation. I needed to get myself out of that situation, too. But definitely, I needed to get my kids out of that situation. And without getting into a lot of details. I was kind of able to broker a deal that says,
you know, we’ll split the kids, but I’m driving them everywhere, you know,
you know, back and forth, no interaction between us, I’ll take care of the scheduling, I’ll do whatever. It’s just we need to not be in the situation. And we were able to get out of that situation. That was great. And about me too much later.
My daughter was in their twins. My daughter came home from school and think she must have told her her kindergarten teacher at the time that her Auntie had cancer. And she said, Oh, does she smoke because you know, smoking causes cancer. And my daughter said no, but my dad does. And she talked to me about that. And and she said, Well, you quit smoking. It’s just like, I told myself that I heard that 100 times before, but it never like, hit it. So I said to her, Danielle, I’ll do it. I’ll stop smoking, but you got to stop sucking your thumb. Right? So. So let’s make a deal. So we made that deal. That was in February in March, I I I ran a five k starts I stopped smoking I went running for like a minute. Then two minutes and five minutes and 10 minutes I did 10 K, five K and 10 k, then I jumped on my bike and made it a triathlon. And then we’ll go half Ironman. And then by November that year, I did a full Ironman. Well, when I said to myself, you know, like, I just want to be I want to be healthy and be active. I want to be healthy. And being overweight, and, and being miserable, and smoking and drinking too much. And being unhappy and not caring about myself was not going to make me happy. certainly wasn’t a good thing for my kids either. Right? So. So I just said Well, let’s just keep going on that athletic path. And I did like So far I’ve done like 1500 means I’ve done more than 50 runs longer than 50 miles, I’ve run 100 miles a couple of times, I’ve just done a bike across the country. I’ve done crazy stuff. So that’s kind of the genesis of that whole. You know, that whole transformation?
Brian Smith 5:18
Yeah. And the book is cycles of cycle lives. And I didn’t say it’s 15 people’s stories, but you actually met these 15 people? Well, you met them before, but you did a 5000 mile ride across the country.
David Richman 5:31
Yeah, yeah. Which is not so sure. Here’s how that here’s how that book happened, right? Because I’ll give you the background, and then you’ll understand why I went to go take my bike across the country. So um, you know, I, like I said, to have listened to some of your podcasts, you do talk about the different ways in which people handle grief and kind of what, what enlightens them to take whatever action they’re going to take to process and then move forward from the grief. And when my kids were about nine, so this is like, four years later, my sister’s super close to being taken by the cancer, okay. And she was going to do this Relay for Life. I don’t know if you ever heard of him, it’s an American Cancer Society. You know, everybody gets on the track, you walk 24 hours, put together a team, you raise money, raise awareness, you support people, whenever it’s a pretty big deal. And they’re all over the place right there. It’s kind of cool. So my sister said, Hey, I’m going to do this 24 hour Relay for Life, I’m going to be out on the, on the field cheering on the people that are on my team that are walking there to support me. And I thought, that’s pretty brave, considering how sick she was. I said, if you’re going to be out there for whole 24 hours, I’ll run around. And that felt to me like a good. A good trade off, right? Well, unfortunately, she died a couple of days before that Relay for Life, and what’s wasn’t able to be out there. But I started to hold up my end of the bargain. So me and my kids went out there with the whole team and everybody else, we were out there for the whole 24 hours. Well, one of the things I noticed, Brian was that people were really good about dealing with the tasks of cancer. How do I navigate the healthcare system? How do I navigate work? How am I going to get my kids fed while I’m doing chemo that I think it got the tasks of it. But people didn’t really talk about the emotions of it. And I certainly wasn’t talking about, in fact, I haven’t talked about this too much. But her husband and kids that were left behind, they literally couldn’t talk, right. They, they just they were stuck in their own, understandably so stuck in their own, you know, immediate grief that they had, and loss, so that they weren’t able to talk about the emotions of cancer. And that just kind of stuck in my head, that, you know, why do we have to take this journey about the emotions on our own?
Unknown Speaker 8:08
David Richman 8:08
So every year I did another fundraiser for her for the cancer center that took care of her. And I, I did these events, and we’re all kind of bringing light to cancer and whatever. And I realized that everybody was still no matter where I did, it didn’t matter if it was the caregiver, the receiver, a survivor, a loved one or whatever. They just all had one thing in common, they couldn’t talk about the emotions of it. Right. And some of them had talked internally about their emotional journey, right. And so I said, Well, that’s a pretty interesting theme. And I said, Well, so what seems to be connecting? And it isn’t the type of cancer that can access it. Isn’t that how old you are young you are, that connects us. That’s all different on what severity of cancer is different. Whether you are have cancer and live it because of your cancer a certain way or in spite of your cancer. So, no, none of those things connect us. The one thing that connects us as human beings, in my opinion, is our emotions. And that was the one thing that I felt was that was a parallel and connected. And one thing that was for sure, with everybody I talked to was that one common thing, Brian, no matter how many factors came into it, that were different, the one thing that was the same was that not ability to process and discuss their emotions. So I went and I get went on this crazy journey of cold calling Comprehensive Cancer Centers, hospitals, you know, friends, people in the medical industry, people that I knew had friends that had cancer and I just tried to collect these crazy stories about people who had experienced a wide range of different factors. But who hadn’t process the emotions on it. And what made them interesting and compelling was the traumas that Han had endured leading up to when they encounter cancer. And those traumas were not unlike a lot of the traumas that you’ve talked about in some of your podcasts and yours also. loss, abandonment, suicides, drug abuse, addiction, physical abuse, you name it, there are all these things that people have endured in lifetime think we can all relate to,
Brian Smith 10:34
David Richman 10:36
And how did those traumas affect their cancer journey? I thought, boy, if I got these interesting perspectives from all these different types of cancers, ages of people, you know, people across the country, different wealth backgrounds, you know, immigrants, you know, what, whatever. And I just said, You got an interesting story. Let’s talk about the emotional side. So I interviewed him for a couple years. And then I said, Well, what better way to connect us? It’s a long answer to your question, what better way to connect us than if I jump on my bike? And I bike and go meet them all for the first time?
Brian Smith 11:14
Yeah. And that was that was quite a journey in itself is biking. 5000 miles, I don’t know if people can appreciate how difficult that is. and reading in the book. I, I know even starting out, it wasn’t easy.
David Richman 11:26
No, definitely wasn’t easy. I didn’t appreciate how hard it was gonna be. Because what I did was I set out to do it in eight weeks, 5000 miles in a week, but I had to cut it shorter. I had to make it in six weeks. And so I did 4700 miles in 45 days. And I so I only took off four days off. So you do the math. I was doing more than 100 miles a day. And I’m stopping cancer centers and stopping to meet the people that I’ve met at the book, I’m stopping to talk to a bazillion strangers, who also Brian had the same thing. They had all encountered cancer in one way or another. And they all hadn’t talked about or dealt with the emotions. I don’t know how to talk to people about the things that they’re going through. Right? Yeah, but I had no idea how hard it’s gonna be. Because I was flat tire after flat tire most of the time I was on like interstate highways because I had to get from point A to point B. So I got trucks barreling by me. And you know, it’s it. I ran into a hurricane. It was it was fast. It was hard. Yeah.
Brian Smith 12:32
So you you interviewed these 15 people, they’re all different stories. Some of them are survivors, some of them, you know that they succumb to the cancer, some of them are caregivers. And so what did you find in common with the people that that you interviewed?
Unknown Speaker 12:48
David Richman 12:49
well, the thing that they had in common going into it, what was something that shocked me? Right, something that shocked me, and I think you’ll get this I think your your listeners will get this as well is when we’re going through the things are going through no matter how crazy they might seem to other people. They don’t seem that crazy to us, because it’s our life. That’s what we have to deal with right now. So you just do what you need to do to survive, right? And that’s what you do. And other people look at you going oh my god, right?
Unknown Speaker 13:23
How in the world? Did
David Richman 13:24
you make it through that? That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard of you go? No, it’s really not that ridiculous in my life. And I’m just trying to live it right. So the one thing they had in common was that they didn’t think that they’re crazy, ridiculously interesting and spectacular stories, or anything but ordinary.
Brian Smith 13:42
David Richman 13:43
And I think that that’s important. Because when when we peel back the cover and figure out what’s inside of your head or my head, people will be shocked at what we’ve gone through what we’ve dealt with. And we would be the same way with them. But it’s just our lives. So we don’t think we’re ordinary. So I mean, extraordinary. So I was able to really get deep into these people’s stories and their fascinating stories. So that was one thing in common. The other thing in common was that there was a degree in some of them having processed these emotions. But But honestly, Brian, all of them hadn’t really processed it and some of them had begun the process the emotions of cancer. And so when I sat down with say, for example, this wonderful woman who’s a Zen ecologist, and she just had this ridiculous childhood, very difficult, and is a wonderful oncologist. She she’s really well respected in the world of oncology, survivorship and advocacy. When we sat down and talked, I said to her, I said a document. I gotta ask you stuff that you don’t talk about. to others about. And she said good, because I’m talking, Hey, buddy, this never happened. And I got to go on this journey, exploring the emotions of people that are just like you and me who had the time to explore these emotions. So the things they had in common were that, yeah, extraordinary stories were fascinating. And to have processed the emotion so we ever go on that journey together. Yeah,
Brian Smith 15:29
it’s interesting as you say that because I, I deal a lot with people, parents of children transition children crossover passed by. And, you know, I was just right before guidance, I was talking with someone you know, who’s a father whose son passed away. And, you know, people look at us, and they say, oh, wow, you’re such a strong person. I could never do what you’ve done. And I think you put it very, very well. We all do what we have to do. And I think the one one of the things we have in common as human beings is this resilience of the human spirit. That’s just so much stronger. And we and we see it in other people, but we can’t imagine we really have it in ourselves.
David Richman 16:09
Yeah. Yeah, it’s really well, sad. And, you know, it’s, it’s a little trite to compare it to an example I’m going to give you from my first book. But one of the things that I learned in this journey of Cassia, I wrote the first book going, like, I’ve been living my life for everybody else, I want to be a good kid to my parents, I want to be a good kid in school, I want to be a good employee, I want to be a good boss, I want to be a good boyfriend. I want to be that husband. But what about being good mate? And I realized that once I started saying, well be in the middle of pack, like, don’t worry about what people are looking at. Because in the middle of pack, nobody cares, right, this issue. So I said, once you start focusing on you, once you worry about setting your own goals, and I think we don’t set our goals high enough. Yeah. And I think that, that, if you’re, you know, if I, if I said to use example, I like to hear I go, I go, if I said to you, hey, there’s 250 storey buildings, and there’s a there’s a ladder across the 250 storey buildings, I’d like you to walk from one side to the other. That’s a goal I have for you, huh? I have no, I would never do that. And I go, Well, okay, I’m gonna put a million dollars on the other side of the building. And you might go, No, heck, no, there’s no way I would do that. And I said, Okay, I’ll put 100 million on their side, you know, amount of money would make me walk across that thing. And I go, Okay, well, how about this, you never have to work another day in your life. If you make it across you go, it’s not worth it. Now I go, Okay, well, this, I’m gonna put your sister and your your son and your mom in the middle of the ladder. And you better rush over there in 50 mile an hour winds and save them before they fall off. People would do without even thinking about, of course. So what is the thing is going to motivate you to just be able to overcome whatever challenge? A lot of times, we’re forced to deal with heavy, hard things. And we don’t know we can until we do we’re just living our life. And you said, Yeah, but sometimes, you know, we also don’t believe in ourselves enough that we challenge ourselves enough, we don’t set a high goal. And I think that’s what limits us. And so I think if you are able to overcome difficult circumstances, and you’re able to understand that you have that resiliency, and you have that ability to overcome, it does give you some empowerment to continually go deeper. I mean, could you imagine what you were you have gone through? And before you went through that, could you imagine that you’d be the person telling other people how to deal with the things that you had to deal with?
Brian Smith 18:50
No, I didn’t think I’d be here. It’s been five years. And there’s no way I thought it’d be here five years later.
David Richman 18:56
Not only here, here affecting people’s lives in a positive way. That’s, that’s something you could have never imagined. No problem, right? I mean,
Brian Smith 19:07
no, not at all. I gotta tell you, I love the the analogy or the metaphor of the endurance athlete, and I think about yourself and you saying, okay, I was I was overweight, sedentary smoker. And I just started running, you know, a minute at a time. And then now I’m doing these Iron Man’s stuff. And I frankly, look at that, and I’m like, I could never do an Iron Man. I could never I could never even run a marathon. And I want to read this quote from the book. I love this quote from from Rick in the book. It says life is kind of like running the last mile of a competitive marathon. You think you know, it’s coming. It’s what you do. You’ve been through so much and done unbelievable amounts of training. You believe in yourself and your ability to push through anything. You’re in command and you’ve got the balls to put it all on the line. And then the last hundred yards comes, you see the finish line, you’ve crossed it before you know what’s coming and how to deal with it. The pain burns a hole through your chest and shreds your legs and me grinder rips your lungs and rips apart your lungs. And you start to question everything you start to doubt, the pain is unbearable, and imagine how much worse than you think you can handle. And if you try to control it, you’re going to lose, the only way to make it to the finish line is given to the pain to let go to embrace the unknown and allow some higher power, some unknown source something outside of yourself, because you have nothing left inside to take you forward across the line. It says I’m blessed to have learned that kind of relinquishment in my personal life. I read that I was like, wow, I just thought that was that’s so powerful. And as I said, I deal with parents when our when our children pass, we’re like, I can’t do this. There’s no way that I can do this. And we talked about this thing called soul planning. It’s like, did we did we plan this? So we set this thing up? And you know, maybe I bit off more than I can chew? I just I love I never run a marathon. But I can only imagine what that must feel like.
David Richman 20:55
Yeah, it’s, um, in You’re giving me chills when you read that, because I’ve read the book about 1000 times, you know, through the writing and editing and rewriting re Editing by the law place. But I’ve never heard the words from somebody else. And that’s what he you know, maybe not exactly word for word. But that’s what he’s told me. And it’s a powerful, powerful lesson to learn is, is when you’re, when you’re shredded through a meat grinder, you got nothing left to give. You just you just got to just figure out a way of going forward. I mean, you just got to figure it out. And I did that. I’ll never forget, I’ll never forget that exact minute in my life. That I determined that I was either going to push myself into an area, I had no idea. I even belonged it alone could explain and where we’re stopping yourself before and turn away and go, No, that’s not me. Right? I know exactly a moment where I was. And it’s just this is minute in my life where I said, you either have to pack your bags and go home, or you have to take a step forward, right? There’s only two. And once you take a step forward, that’s a place you’ve never been before. Obviously, the next step for a leader, patient everything before and the next one and the next one, next one. So who you’re going to be you’re going to go back into place that you know everything about yourself and what you’re capable of, are you going to go explore an area that is someplace you’ve never been before. And I think that that is a thing that we can apply to physical exertion mental struggles, career aspirations, overcoming grief, overcoming a difficulty, it’s like, let’s figure out a way to just give into the unknown and just see see what we’re made of. And not always going to win. Right? I’m definitely going to be a further than I was having not taken that step. Yeah.
Brian Smith 23:00
Yeah. One thing I noticed in the book, I love this part. Also you talk about after your sister after June pass?
Unknown Speaker 23:07
Brian Smith 23:07
You, you felt this abandonment, I guess by by her friends and your own friends. And that’s something that a lot of people talk about, that when we go through this, like the most difficult thing in our life. And I was just talking with a group of parents about this last night, a lot of times the people that we think are going to be there for us just kind of go away. Is that part of what prompted you to write the book?
David Richman 23:27
Yeah, yeah, definitely. And I don’t know, Brian, that I still have processed it. And I have differing opinions on whether or not I care to process it or want to process it. But one of those driving factors is the fact that I’ve been estranged from my mom for going on nearly 40 years. A scary number. That’s a scary, scary number.
Brian Smith 23:54
David Richman 23:56
She, you know, just, it’s just, it’s the choice that she made is not the choice I made, but it’s a choice that she made. And, and, and so I didn’t have her to turn to my dad was very old was born. He was 59 when I was born. So he died when I was very young. So I didn’t have him turned to neither one had any family that we were involved with. So the only person I really had was my was my sister. Yeah, though. It was shocking to me. I mean, Brian was it was really shocking to me that I couldn’t. Even though I reached out to I got nothing back from the people that were in her life. Not one single person shocking to me. And I think it’s because they had such a profound sense of loss, and they had such a lighter connection to me than they did to her. And I don’t know what it was, but, you know, I definitely know that connecting to people on it. on that level about my issues of being abandoned, or my issues of really realizing that I was alone in this thing, that definitely prompted me to do it because I wanted to understand, you know, when I, I, I didn’t make it about me when I was interviewing these people by didn’t try to learn, I did try to learn. You know,
Brian Smith 25:27
what I’ll tell you, David, it’s not uncommon. It’s, it’s, it’s funny, I was just talking with a group of parents I was working on with last night, we were talking about this, this very thing, it’s not uncommon, that the people we think are going to be closest to us, kind of go away for me, we all we all try to analyze it. Is it because they’re scared in case we’re parents? Are they scared, we’re like contagious and their kids are going to die? Is it because we make them feel sad, you know, we all think about what it is. And we all came to the conclusion when we can’t take it personally, whatever it is, because it seems to be almost universal, that when we have this this deepest loss that a lot of times, that’s when people disconnect from us. But I think it goes to what you’re talking about with your whole theme of the book, people not processing these deep emotions, and they’re just not equipped to it. So they, they, they turn in, they walk away.
David Richman 26:17
They do and it’s easy to do, right? I mean, it’s easy to build a safe little box for ourselves, and, and even though might not be the kind of box we want to be in, it’s easy to kind of be in it. And it was shocking me, Brian, how many people? I mean, not having that every single person that I talked to, said said, I kind of tell you super quick story about this. In Mexico. So all along the way. Anytime you’re doing anything crazy, right? You’re starting a podcast and you’re starting to counsel people, you’ve got a question yourself, like, Am I really making an impact? Is this really worth doing? You know, am I faking it? Whatever, right? Yeah. So, but it’s nice to get some reinforcement going, Okay, maybe if I even impacted one person. Okay, let’s go. I’m gonna keep going. Back another keep going. It kind of fuels you to get rid of those insecurities. Right?
Brian Smith 27:11
David Richman 27:12
Right. Right. So you know, so so all along the way, when I’m talking to people so good that I go on the same theme, like I never talked about never talked about so you get their point. So I’m in New Mexico, there with my friend Jerry, my wife is there she was my fiance at the time. My kids are still in school, so they can’t can’t be on this with me. And Jerry’s parents are Jerry’s family takes me out for brunch, I’m on the middle of a bike ride I got I got a free days, my first day off, like an 11 days in Mexico. And, and and as we’re getting ready to sit down to this big family, big close Mexican family, and the dad, who’s he’s got to beans, late 70s, maybe early 80s. And he pulls me aside. He says, Come here, my boy. And I said, Yeah, and he says, Hey, listen, I appreciate what you’re doing. You know, I’d like to talk about it too much. But, you know, you know, 15 years ago, you know, I went to cancers, pretty serious. But you know, I made it through and you rely on family and you know, dinner, but to work and whatever. He says, you know, this thing about talking about what’s in here, and it points to what’s hard and talking about what’s in here, because those things are so important. And I want to thank you, that’s really nice. And then just as we’re sitting down, his daughter is my buddy’s sister. She’s like, in her early 50s. And she waves me over and I come over and she goes, you know, Jerry told you this, but um, I had pretty severe case of breast cancer and made me leave my job and become a lobbyist for patient rates and follow by It was really my journey. And just this whole concept of you talking to people about their emotions is so important. And I’m really glad that you’re doing so we sit down, we had this big brunch with the big family and the whole thing was laughing and joking, whatever. And I’m like, Wow, man, if every family couldn’t just be like this, right? How awesome. They all are. They’re all in it together. Yeah. So get up and I think I’m and I’ve always not everybody that that is like this. And I says, I looked at a dad I go for you to be able to trust your family and trust yourself and talk about this stuff. And he looks down and puts his hands in his lap. And they go What? And he said, Oh no, no, no, no, I didn’t I didn’t talk about this stuff. He said he said I didn’t want to burden my family. school you know you do what you do you get through it. You don’t want to bring other people down. And I’m like, but you just told me. Yes. Good thing. You’re writing the book. And it was well it’s good thing that you’re doing it because you could teach people how to look at the daughter. And I go well, at least you? Well you just told me about how family about Alicia were able to talk to your dad and dad. She looks down and puts her hands in her lap and she shakes her head. When she looks up, she starts crying. And she goes, Yeah, I didn’t talk to anybody about this. I didn’t talk to my dad. He could have lost a daughter. I didn’t want him to feel guilty. I didn’t want him to remember his cancer. I didn’t want him to. I didn’t want to burden him with my, with my staff. I said, but you’re so close. They go, we are. And they go, but you told me is a good thing. I’m doing this book. And they go, we are that we just don’t we just don’t talk about it. Yeah. Like, ah, so keep going. Because you know, that it’s so common. So universal, locked up that part of us?
Brian Smith 30:41
Absolutely. And and maybe that is a part of, you know, what, we’ve talked about this abandonment thing? You know, because sometimes it seems like the people that are closest to us are the ones we can’t talk to about it, which which gets me to so how did you get these these strangers, these people to open up to you on the level that you got to tell these 15 stores?
David Richman 31:03
Um, I paid them whatnot, entertainment. I sold goods, you know, really set out to do something. First of all, I think they were partly okay doing it, because I told them that, that then the entirety of the net proceeds. So whatever I make less the cost of what it is to do it 100% of that’s going to go to a charity of their choice. So we divide up the hundred percent of profits gets divided up between each one’s particular cancer focused, charity or other charity. Mm hmm. Then we divide it up. So the fact that they knew I wasn’t trying to make money off the thing was a big deal. Yeah, I think that at least they weren’t. They were all almost all of them were strange. One of them was a stranger. So at least they trusted me. And then he said to him, Look, here’s what the gold book is. The goal of the book is to start conversation. It’s hard. It’s hard to have these conversations, right. It’s super, super hard. And when I talked to him, just a couple of times, we had to agree about the fact that they hadn’t processed their emotions. Right? Not one single person said they had not one person said I’m at peace with everything that’s going on in my life. Right. Right. Wow. So they all believed in that premise, hmm. That pay exposing themselves. That if I were able to write it properly, that people might learn from it. And if they were able to learn from it, they might know how to talk to people when they’ve had loss, they might know better to understand that the loss is not maybe the only dimension affecting their emotions might not be the only facet, maybe that loss is a remembrance of, of 10 losses they had earlier in their life or what, you know what I’m saying that there’s just people just aren’t one dimensional. And I thought by and they believed in the fact that if I exposed their stories, and we went on this emotional journey together, or they talked about their emotional journey, like they hadn’t heard before, that we might be able to help people start conversations and going into it with those two premises, then it was just a matter of being able to ask them questions, and really listen, and I think people trust you if they’re listening, if you’re listening to that.
Brian Smith 33:38
Yeah. Well, I think another part might have been the fact that you’re coming at it from the from the passing, I don’t use the word loss, because I don’t I we could talk about this, you know, later on what you believe about what happened to your sister June, but I don’t the passing of your sister, I think that gives you some credibility in their eyes, right? You’re here because you’ve gone through this. And I want to ask you, though, so you’re doing this project help other people here heal? They’re doing the project so they can help other people heal?
David Richman 34:06
Brian Smith 34:07
Was there any healing? Do you think that went on with yourself? Are there other subjects of the book?
David Richman 34:13
Is it? It’s a great question, Brian. And I do know, and I feel really proud of the fact that a couple of people in the in the book, a couple of them had some very, very profound transformations of heel appeal efforts. And I’m very proud of that, because I actually feel very honored to have been a part of that, or, and I’m not saying this to bring attention to the fact that I was but it’s very self satisfying to know that I’m, I might have been a prompt for that. Absolutely. So that’s a good thing, right? It’s a good thing. We don’t always get to measure the good things that we’ve done. Or be reminded of them never you know, or we even sometimes are guilty even acknowledge them, right? Yeah, I want to know, right. So that’s. So when it comes to my, my own healing, I think I have gotten a little bit better about it. You know, I talked to somebody recently, who asked me a question I hadn’t pondered. It seems like an obvious question, but I hadn’t pondered it. And they said, Hey, Jim is looking down on you. And you could have a channel right now to talk to her, and what would she say about what to do? And I thought to myself, wow, that’s a good question. And, and, and I think she would say, first of all, is making her crowd, which is nice. Because you don’t, you don’t know that. But I think I think that, and then I also think that she would say that your, your, what you’re doing is meaningful. You know, and I think, as trite as it might sound, to say, something good can come from something bad. To know that you’re trying to do something meaningful, is, is this a deep thing that could come from from negativity? Absolutely.
Brian Smith 36:08
Absolutely. And I tell you, Dave, I, you know, I get people asking me to bring authors on, you know, with different books and, and, frankly, a lot of my dunk because I’m not really interested in him. But when I when I got your, the proposal to bring you on, and I looked at the book and I looked at the the healing that comes from the book and the healing, again, I think a lot of times when we set out to help other people along the way, we actually end up helping ourselves. That’s why I wanted to ask you that question. Because I just I find that like I said, the the metaphor of the endurance athlete and the way we live our lives, I just think it’s such such a perfect metaphor. And you’re getting cross, you know, getting your bike and riding across the country, and I used to bike ride some so I can, I can imagine the pain that you’re, you know, that you went through the actual literal, physical pain, to put this project together, to to put this project out to the world to help other people, you know, to understand and to to know, and I’m not alone, you know, first of all, you we read these stories, and, and I read the stories, and I’m like, wow, you know, these people, some of these poor people just seemed like things just kept happening to them kept happening to them. But they kept overcoming and overcoming.
David Richman 37:17
Yeah. Yeah. And, and you’re right. And, and it is a great metaphor. I mean, it’s a great metaphor, but but I’ll tell you, it’s this is going to sound strange, because people are going to be like, really? How do you? How do you bite? 15 hours? Right? Sleep for six and get by 12? Like, that’s just physically it’s just ridiculous right? There. Right? But I’ll tell you, why Y Brian, why did this continue to do and more and further, endurance, athletics wasn’t for the physical. Right? It was for the mental. Because when you think about it, you go, Oh, I want to I want to break from life. I’m going to, I’m going to go have a drink and sit in front of it. But I want to break from life. I’m going to go to a movie, oh, I want to break in life. I’m going to go for a hike with my girlfriend or my boyfriend or my buddy, I’m gonna go bowling, I’m going to whatever you do to take a break, that break very rarely involves meditation very rarely involves doing, you know, things that where you’re looking inwardly for more than a fraction of a period of time. Yeah. I’ll tell you that. When you run for an hour, you’re not thinking about a lot. But you run for 25 hours, you get to think about what yeah, I can only imagine. Yeah. I mean, you get to think about a lot. When you go out on a on a on a 30 minute walk. You can think a lot go for a 12 hour walk and see if you don’t come back to some revelations. And so I think that endurance athletics, especially for somebody that’s in the middle, I’m not trying to win. I’m not trying to look look good. I’m not. I’m not trying to impress anybody. I’m just trying to do and, and it does allow for some serious contemplation.
Brian Smith 39:06
Yeah, absolutely. I hadn’t really thought of it that way. But awesome. I don’t run but I walk seven miles every day. So
David Richman 39:13
long. That takes you a while.
Brian Smith 39:15
It takes about an hour and a half. Yes. So but it’s it’s I was just talking to someone earlier about this. It’s a time for me to meditate or listen to a podcast or listen to some uplifting music. So that’s my that’s my first thing in the morning that I do to kind of turn within from for myself. I think that’s so I never really thought about this view. If you run long distances, it’s a great time to meditate.
Unknown Speaker 39:39
David Richman 39:40
I’ll tell you why. The first time I went for a super long run that 50 mile race in Vegas, in the heat. It’s called running with the devil. And it’s and then they do one in January. That’s called running with an angel. So it’s St. 50 mile thing but one’s cold weather one tower. Wow. So therefore the names And when I say high, it was like 120 degree shot. Oh, wow. And so I am, I’m taking off on this run late, I’m tired of cranky, it’s gonna be worn, although I like the heat, it’s gonna be warm, and I’m not feeling the greatest or whatever. And then I started running and about like a mile in, I start going,
Unknown Speaker 40:21
David Richman 40:22
you know, I have this internal discussion with myself, I got it 49 miles to go, and this can be brutal. And then I said, Dude, calm down, and I was paying you to do this, right? Nobody asked you to do this. You’re doing it for yourself a grunt, grab a different perspective. Like, seriously, get over yourself and grab a different perspective. And you know what I did for the next four hours until I turned around at the mile 25. Part. I literally Brian, I focused on that word perspective. And I said, Oh, you mean perspective? You mean like a movie maker and all the different perspectives, and I thought of all the different movies and what perspective they were shot from perspective, like, even how you walk into a room and are perceived by other, and I just literally contemplated their word perspective, for four hours, and I went into my life with every opportunity to do that.
Brian Smith 41:14
Yeah. Yeah, that is that is deep. That is really awesome. And it’s, you chose where perspective was, I was, right before we got on this call was talk with the client about. And the whole thing about life is perspective. It’s all about perspective, we can, we can be in the exact same situation. And we can choose how we look at that situation. And we can choose to look at the blessings, if you want to call it from that, or the curses or whatever. And it’s all it’s all a matter of how we choose to look at it.
David Richman 41:43
Yeah, I totally agree with you, Brian perspective is really it really is everything right? And, and it also allows us to relate to people too, if you understand the perspective, because if you can just maybe take a different view, and maybe just slide a tad bit. And really try really try to be on their side to see what they’re seeing. or allow them to come to your site and see what you’re seeing. Yeah, eating up perspectives. And that’s why when I wrote the book, Brian, I did a mess first person. Originally when I wrote it, I wrote it with me in the story, each one of the stories that kind of told it as me talking to them and whatever. And my editor, she looked at me and she said, Dude, she goes, you need to take yourself out of these stories. It’s not about me. It’s about them. And I said, Well, okay, but I want to do like first person perspective, third person that she was absolutely not, she goes, you can write these stories as if it’s them talking, you have to get into there, you’ve got so far into their head, you’ve got to present their stories as them. Mm hmm. So each one of the stories is told first person. Yeah, I had to place myself and into their heads and their hearts and make it first person from that from their story. And because I really cared about listening, and because I was dealing with very personal things with people. I really took that exercise seriously where I had to take their perspective, or try try my best to
Brian Smith 43:14
Yeah, I think you did a great job. But I like the way you interspersed your own thing with your journey was awesome along with them, because I want to know about you as well. And you do I think you do a good job of blending the two. So if you and I know they’re 15 stories, I can ask you to pick your favorite story, but just real quickly, give us a flavor for what one of the stories is.
Unknown Speaker 43:37
David Richman 43:37
can I keep on the theme of your of kind of the themes that you talked about in your podcast? Can I give you that one be great? Because it’s one that that shocked. It really shocked me to know and and I’m going to tell you I know that have used the word this will be the third time I’ve used it while we’re talking try to come up with another word for that. But you know, an artist looks at their own work and they go You know, a lot of actors like they never could watch their own movie because I can’t see myself because I’d be too critical of myself. Or you know, Alger Silva when he was nominated a sexiest man alive, he says, I look in the mirror and see me that seems like sexy, right? So it’s harder to get your own stuff and and not every story moves me every time I read it. And again, because of the writing process and had been rewritten in many different editors and all this stuff. I’ve had to go through the stories a lot there’s there’s a few stories that still move give me chills, made me a little weeping because I saw identify with these people. And I never expected this point three I’m gonna tell you that affect me the way that it did and the way it continues to affect me. And that is I’m not gonna To give the whole story away, because I’m hoping some people go out and buy the book so that the money can go to charity. And then there’ll be surprised when they read it is that this woman, she was introduced to me by a friend, who said, You’re not going to believe the story. So I’m not going to tell it to you, I’m gonna let her challenge because it’s not it’s not it’s literally not believable, but she tells it to you. And you’re going to, you’re going to determine whether or not you believe it or not. And it was the story of this woman, who very athletic, married, happily married a two young kids. And she gets cancer. She’s, she’s a, she’s an endurance athlete, athlete, very active outdoors person, and very positive. And she starts thinking to herself, very religious woman, very, very, very deep faith. She starts looking at herself, and she said, what I do wrong, man, to get this cancer, right, was unhealthy. I was an unhealthy, Was I a bad person not being a good person? Is it genetic? Nanami. My family is as was environmental now. So she goes to her head of all these things that it could be, and she lands on the one thing it could. And God is fighting for something. That’s the only thing she can come up with, is God has decided that she deserves this cancer. And so she makes a deal with the devil. And she says, I will make you a deal. You give me 10 years, that’s all I mean, because that my kids can get out of house by that. As long as my boys are gone. You go ahead and take them. But give me those 10 years. And you can have my soul forever, huh? pretty deep, right? Yeah. And I can understand somebody having a song. It wasn’t a tape, just you could do anything, just don’t let this happen or just make this happen? Or whatever I can I can relate to it. I can relate to it. Yeah. Right. First one in a deep faith, for her to literally walk out of a church and close the doors behind her and say out loud. Take me, I’m yours. Just give me 1010 years. Yeah. So what happens to her in this journey of 10 years? And what happens to her right at the 10 year mark? You literally will not believe? Yeah, I mean, it shocked you. Literally it’s hard to believe what happens there. And and it’s a story about how, how she regains her faith. And goes kind of full circle down that whole emotional journey. And it’s really profound. It’s super profound, very unbelievable, from the outside. And once you once you’re in your head, and you understand what she’s going through, and you hear her tell the story. You believe it? Yeah, that’s one of my favorites.
Brian Smith 48:09
Yeah. Well, they’re I think they’re, they’re all good. And I can said, we mean to ask you to pick a favorite just one just give us a little bit of a flavor for what’s for what’s in the book. Because one of the questions that, you know, I asked your public publisher for some questions, and when the question was, are all the stories heavy? Are there any uplifting stories in the book? So I’m gonna let you answer it, then I’ll answer it.
David Richman 48:28
Okay. Most definitely, there are uplifting stories in the book. Most definitely. And, um, and not just uplifting stories in the book, but there are themes that are uplifting. For me, it was shocking, shocking to me how many people that I did not know, stopped and said, Oh, what are you doing? Can I help you? Do you need help? or whatever? Do you mind if I pray for you? Hmm. Like, what do you want to pray for me for Dude, I’m just a guy in a bike. Like, right across. Cuz you know, you know, we need to pray for you to be safe. We pray to get your message out. And I was kind of moved by that because I’m not a very deeply religious person. I have some hard beliefs and strong beliefs. But that came as a shock to me that open. That’s a very positive thing, right? how people are willing, how very positive how everybody wants to talk about these things. Very positive, sir. Some very positive themes throughout the book. Not every story is heavy. But I’m going to say we do it heavy subjects in every story. Yeah.
Brian Smith 49:41
Yeah, for sure. Sure.
David Richman 49:43
Right. Certainly the goal is not to burden people, but it’s to get them to understand the journeys that people went on, and what kind of things they overcome, or might still be trying to overcome, so that we can better identify with what they’re going through what people we care about are going through, better recognize what we’re going through. And there are a lot of very positive outcomes. In the book, there’s some negative no question, but this reality of life, I guess.
Brian Smith 50:14
Yeah. And I and from my perspective, gave it I can see why people would think you know, it’s the cycle of life is about all these people with cancer. Why don’t want to rebook like that. But it’s, it’s, it’s very uplifting. And it’s, I see the the power of the human spirit coming through throughout this book, I see, you know, the commonality of humanity, we think, I’m going through this, I’m the only one that’s ever gone through anything like this, you know, whoa, is me. And we read this book, and we go, Okay, wow, this this person’s got through something is bad. We always want to compare this is worse when I’m going through that, that that age old question that you just touched upon? Why me know, I was why do bad things happen to good people, what we call bad things. And I and I know people that have that have had cancer or dealt with cancer. That said, it’s actually one of the best things that ever happened to me. And help and understanding that perspective. The fact that, you know, you, in my opinion, honoring your sister with this work, I mean, I just think it’s fantastic that you take something like your sister’s passing, and you turn it into this beautiful piece of work. So people say, Well, you know, this bad thing happened, what good could ever come out of it, that this project itself is inspiring and uplifting. So I would encourage people to get the book, first of all, because I think it’s a great book. And I think you’ll get a lot out but also supporting this, this great cause that you’re doing. And it reminds me, I just interviewed someone very recently a project called speaking grief, and speaking grief. org. And they just, they just put together a film of people just talking about the grief and i’m, i’m i’m loving seeing people talk about grief, talking about hardship, talking about overcoming. And you touched on earlier, these families, we sit around the table with the people that are supposed to be the closest in our lives. And we can’t share these things with them. But this gives us an outlet, right? This gives us this gives us not an excuse. But this gives us permission to share those things, you know, and talk about them and process them.
David Richman 52:23
Yeah, and we’re just gonna sound a little self serving, serving brand. But yesterday, I’m on the phone with the director, Interim Director, Director of this one, cancer organizations out on maternity leave. So there’s an intern director, and I called her up and there’s some things we’re trying to do to help promote the book or whatever. And I said, How far are you in the book? And she was on like, at this point, and I said, What do you think? And she goes, I did something I’ve never done before. And what she said, Well, one of the people in the book we both know, okay, she said, I thought I knew this person. She goes, but when I read what happened to him, she goes, I literally could ask my husband, she said, I literally posture book across the room. I was so angry at what happened to him. It’s so affected me. I thought I knew him. And I am so sorry. I didn’t know this about him. I was so angry about what happened to him. And I went, well, if that’s a good thing, right? what he went through was not good. It was the worst thing ever. But, but the fact that you could identify and you could feel about it, and maybe that’s going to open up a new avenue for you to be able to talk to him about it. Maybe you understand better his perspective. Yeah, that’s right.
Brian Smith 53:46
Yeah, absolutely. I think it’s, I think it’s a great thing. And we keep we all run around Maslen. And so even the people that think they know us, they don’t really know us. And, you know, it’s interesting, it takes a project like this to read about someone that we thought we knew and say, Oh, I didn’t know this about this person. Because we don’t we don’t give ourselves permission to to be real with each other.
David Richman 54:08
Absolutely true. Absolutely true.
Brian Smith 54:11
So we didn’t talk about this before, but I you know, you mentioning that, you know, my show is there’s a lot of metaphysical use that word, I guess, you know, themes to my show. And I know you listen to some of the things I talked about. So what are your beliefs? You said some of the some of the stories have negative outcomes. But what are your beliefs? What happens to people when when their body stops functioning?
David Richman 54:34
put me on the spot. I’m not I’m not sure that I know. You know, I? I honestly, I don’t know. But I didn’t know what I believe. I think what I believe I’m not positive about this. But I think what I believe is what a couple of your previous guests have touched upon that we are somewhat maybe just a form of energy and So if we are a form of energy, then you know, energy can be related to time. Because in order to measure energy, you have to measure it against something you’ve measured in time. Right? And we are here for the briefest blinks of time. But we’re pretty big force and energy. So if that is true, and we are just a piece of energy, and collectively, the amount of energy through the history of time in the history of people when they die, that’s a pretty big powerful source. So I guess I believe that when people transition, we passed it down. How do you want to view it? That I think I think somehow some way, they still remain part of some piece of energy. And I’m not sure how that’s manifested. I’m not sure. What what happens over time. But I got to believe that as the universe is expanding, and and as we go through the next couple of million years, we’ll try to get closer those answers.
Brian Smith 56:09
Yeah, I know, that was a bit of an unfair question I threw at you. But I wanted to kind of throw it out there. Because as I said, you know, from, from my perspective, when I read the book, they’re all positive outcomes. And I have a very good friend who just recently passed up cancer. When was it? Time flies so fast? It was it was in May, I guess it was two years ago. And she had gone to a healer, an energy healer. And the thing is, you know that the healer worked on her. And then she passed, she transitioned. So people would say, Well, she wasn’t healed. She wasn’t healed of her cancer. But she was healed, she was healed of all the spiritual stuff she had going on when she was here, all the all the junk that she needed to clear out. And once she was healed of that, in her spirit, than her body was ready to let her go. And she’s still an extremely powerful force, even to this day. And she’s she’s come to many of us, you know, since since she’s passed, so that’s, that’s my belief. So when I when I read your book, I don’t I don’t see any negative outcomes.
David Richman 57:08
Wow, that’s really cool. Man. I like that perspective. I mean, I certainly feel for people and see the things that they’ve had to deal with. But I’m also like you I’ve seen what they’ve overcome. And that is a positive and lightened thing. And it does. I think the story does, the stories in the book do give you a belief that, that you want to say people can handle more than they can handle and you push yourself to handle or forced to handle more than what you thought you could handle. But we can all take more. Right? We can all handle?
Brian Smith 57:40
Yeah, that’s the thing we need to we need to see the hero in ourselves. I mean, we read the books like I read Victor Frankel’s Man’s Search for Meaning, you know, being in a concentration camp, and we, we watch movies and stuff like that. And we think that somebody else they could do that, but I can’t do it. But I again, I think these books when we when we went out when we read your book, remember, these are common people, these are people just like you and I. And you said at the very beginning, it’s we we deal with what we have to deal with. Mm hmm.
David Richman 58:07
Yeah. And we and you know, and look at, thankfully, there’s people like you, that people can turn to, to help them try to better understand the things that they’re dealing with. And all you’re trying to do, and I’m not I’m sorry, this is not right. But I think what I’ve gotten from the three interaction I’ve had with with your voice, is that what you’re trying to do is help people deal with the difficult things to do. And provide them maybe with some avenues to explore, to help understand what they’re going through. And the fact that you’re willing to do that is having an effect on people. And sometimes when you want a profound effect on people, and that’s a good thing, right? That’s a good thing to not just stay in our bubble, and keep our masks on. It’s a good thing to open up and to help share. Because, you know, I mean, not everybody believes this, but I believe that part of why we’re here. So yeah, I Well,
Brian Smith 59:04
I believe that I believe that’s a big reason why we’re here. And I was I was again, just talking to a client right before we got on and we were talking about, you know, the idea of reincarnation and coming back and you know, lose when you when your child transitions, every single parent I’ve ever known says I’m never doing this again. And I’m like, don’t say never, because I think a lot of us come here to help other people. I think that’s the reason why we’re here. And I see what I see a project like the project, like your book project. And you just said that you just said it. I believe a big reason we’re here is to help other people. This is what you’re doing. You said, I’m going to take what happened to my sister I’m going to take with what’s going on in my life, this abandonment that I feel this loneliness I feel. And I’m going to turn it into something positive. I’m going to help other people processes feeling.
David Richman 59:47
Yeah. Yeah. And it’s nice. It’s nice to know when people say, wow, that moves me or Wow, that gave me a perspective I didn’t have that’s a neat as a neat thing to be able to do.
Brian Smith 59:57
Yeah, I think that’s what we’re here for. So Dave, I want to thank you very much for being on and I want to give people your contact information. So your website is David dash, Richmond calm. And that’s ch ma n. And the book link is David horseman.com, slash cycle of lives with dashes between cycle and lives. I’ll put that in the show notes. And for anybody that’s watching on YouTube, this is the book cover.
David Richman 1:00:23
Hey, look at that.
Brian Smith 1:00:25
So it’s David Richmond cycle of lies, 15 people’s stories 5000 miles in a journey through the emotional chaos of cancer. It’s an excellent book. It’s, it’s, it’s, as you said, there’s some heavy it’s a heavy subject, but I think you’ll come away feeling good after reading it.
David Richman 1:00:41
Thank you. Yeah, the books available wherever books are sold, Amazon, Barnes and Noble you name you could buy a signed copy on the website. And doesn’t matter where it’s bought varying levels of profit, depending on where you buy it. But hundred percent of the net on every atom goes to support these wonderful organizations. They’re all trying to make a difference and help people so I just think there’s nothing bad that can come of it.
Brian Smith 1:01:09
Yeah. Well, David, I want to again, thank you for being here. Thank you for your project. You add someone asks you what do you think Jim would think if she gets I know June is proud of you. And I know June is still with you. That’s that’s my belief.
David Richman 1:01:22
This way you say Damn, I’m finally starting to be able to process that. thought, you know, it’s hard. It’s hard. It’s a hard thing to think about, you know? Yeah, for sure. Okay.
Brian Smith 1:01:35
Oh, great. It’s good media. Enjoy the rest of your day
David Richman 1:01:37
on YouTube. Brian, take care. Thanks again. Really, really good. Thank you. Take care.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai