While 2021 was another tough year for many of us, it was one for the books for world record-breaking athlete James Lawrence. Lawrence, known as the Iron Cowboy to his 246K Instagram followers, completed the Conquer 101 — racing 100 full-distance triathlons in 100 consecutive days between March and June 2021. That’s a staggering 140.6 miles a day for 14 weeks, totalling 14,060 miles.
In doing so, Lawrence broke his previous world record of 50 full-distance triathlons in 50 consecutive days in 50 states, which he set in 2015. Before that, he held the world record for the most full-distance triathlon races completed in a year with 30 races in 2012.
Lawrence truly embodies what it means to reach beyond our physical and mental limits, and now he’s sharing how he redefines the impossible in his fitness app, which helps users to strengthen their mind, body, and soul.
Lawrence calls his more than decade-long journey of intense physical and mental challenges “intentional suffering,” and hopes his extraordinary feats give people hope and inspiration to tackle their own goals.
“I’ve been on a journey for over 15 years and have a lot of experience coaching athletes and giving people hope and change on their journey, and so through this app, I’m hoping that we can give people the tools that they need to get their health back and get their lives back,” Lawrence says.
Lawrence says he’s satisfied with the physical and mental limitations he has found for himself, and his goal now is to help others achieve their impossible through fitness and mindset.
“The secret to success is doing a lot of little things consistently over a long period of time. It is impossible to fail if you keep showing up on your journey. That is how ultimately you end up winning, by showing up for a long period of time, being consistent, and really enjoying the process and the journey, and eventually, you’ll reach the mountaintop that you’re trying to reach,” he says.
His app offers a Triathlon Winter program, which Lawrence says is designed to help users navigate the off-season and prepare for the upcoming triathlon season with biking, swimming, and running workouts that build power and strength.
“[My app offers] functional training, getting you ready to tackle regular life, giving you an outlet to build some confidence, build some health strategies and just live a healthier, more productive life,” Lawrence says.
Having pushed his physical and mental endurance to the absolute max, Lawrence understands that sometimes, the hardest part is just getting started. He says he hopes his app will inspire people to get moving.
“Motion creates emotion and that’s the shift that most people need. Most people are just struggling [with] getting started. The hardest part of every single day [of the Conquer 100 challenge] was waking up and getting going,” Lawrence says. “I’ve found that to be true with most people around the world, that the hardest thing to do is get going and so we want to help people with accountability through this app, in giving them a team to support them once they start.”
Despite his mind-boggling physical and mental accomplishments, Lawrence reminds us that no one starts out as an expert — his journey, just like yours, started at the very beginning.
“There’s a beginning, a middle, and an end to all of our journeys. And if you’re at the beginning of your journey, it’s OK. As long as you have the courage to start and take that next step. I want people to know that we’re here to support them. We have the knowledge and experience to navigate things that are hard and we want people to know that they have myself and our team in their corner, even when they’re struggling,” Lawrence says.
Lawrence reminds us that anything truly is possible, which is why after completing the Conquer 100, he raced one more day, bringing his total to 101 full-distance triathlons in 101 days.
“We as a society and a community often feel like we’re beaten and broken and can’t get up and do one more. I felt I needed to set an example of being broken and defeated and still getting up and doing one more, one more rep. It’s that one more rep over time that allows us to be the best at what we do and separates us from our competition,” Lawrence says. “I wanted to lead from the front and just let people know that I understand. I understand you’re broken, I understand it’s hard, and even when you’re broken, you can get up and you can do one more.”
About the author
Cara is a passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media. She loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. In her free time, Cara is an avid reader, enjoys meditating, and loves spending time with her husband and their chihuahua pug mix, Callie, streaming the latest horror flick or true crime documentary. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.