Audiences already know Mike Diamond for his business acumen, running top nightclubs in Vegas followed by the biggest tattoo shops during the Inked TV series, but over the last decade, Diamond made a name for himself in the fitness and life coach space.

After being told by doctors that he had to have his colon removed and was septic or would likely develop colon cancer and never walk again if he survived, he decided to take his health into his own hands. He left the nightlife and TV space and committed to a regimen of nutrition, mindful meditation, weight training and running.

He went on to become an INBA Masters Natural Olympia (Top 3) and recently penned the book “7 Steps to an Unbreakable Mindset.” He also chose sobriety (13 years +) and began mentoring others on living a healthy, sober, and fulfilled life with giving back at the forefront of his mission. Since then, Diamond has helped hundreds of people on their personal road to recovery- be it sobriety or overcoming their own health challenges.  He’s spent time in lockdowns mentoring young men and women on turning their lives around. Mike recently became a father to his own baby boy which made his introduction to the Rae family even more poignant. Diamond’s decision to run for Layla was something he felt compelled to do.

Run For Layla

Diamond is using his influence to bring attention to a six-year old girl named Laya Rae, suffering a very rare autoimmune disease with his “Run For Layla” challenge which includes running 30 half marathons in 30 days- a Guinness World Record-  to raise awareness and funds for research.

Even more impressive, Diamond is pursuing this record while battling his own lifelong struggle with ulcerative colitis.  The current record is 19 half marathons which Diamond unofficially passed on August 20th, and he will continue his runs through the end of the month to reach his goal and set a new unbreakable world record!

Grit Daily spoke with Diamond about his attempt at breaking the Guinness World Record.

Grit Daily: Tell our audience how you decided to take on this World Record Challenge of running 30 half marathons in 30 Days. How did you train for it?  How will it help Layla’s battle?

Mike Diamond: I decided to take on the world record challenge to raise awareness and money for Layla. People ran for breast cancer and all types of causes, so I thought I would run for Layla. I knew stretching myself with colitis and only having ran one half marathon the year before after stomach surgery would build interest and inspire help with Ulcerative Colitis, as well. Training was very unusual as there is no format for such a challenge. I did a lot of hill running, weight lifting, and cycling. I did some crazy workouts to put myself in a very uncomfortable position to deal with the stress of running 400 miles in 30 days.  The runs with help us raise the money to pay for research.

Reflecting Back

GD: Why was it so important for you to give back in this selfless way? Share if any your own struggles that brought you to this point in your life/career. 

MD: Once I got sober in April 2006, I knew it was time to make a change. I was living a very selfish life and had to turn myself around.

GD: Many fans know you from the various Inked shows and your acting work. How did your career in entertainment influence your goals now?

MD: Being on the “Inked” shows has given me a great audience to inspire. I feel I have been blessed to be on TV, so I truly want to use that platform to further inspire, educate and motivate.

GD: Today you work as an author, motivational speaker and life coach. What prompted that transition? What is the most satisfying thing about this work?

MD: I have always loved to motivate people. As a child, I was a track & field captain, football captain, and always love to see people shine. I love helping people get sober and find their purpose in life. I believe anyone can find their calling with the right coaching and unconditional love.

7 Steps to an Unbreakable Mindset

GD: You recently put out your first book “7 Steps to an Unbreakable Mindset.” What motivated you to share this knowledge?

MD: The book came about after my appendix burst.  I went into septic shock, nearly died, and had to heal myself naturally. I just started writing and wanted people to be inspired.  I know that anything is possible with the “4 P’s.”  You must execute proper planning, purpose, perseverance, and patience.

GD: You’ve been sober for more than a decade and mentor young adult men looking to change their life. Can you share with us what you’ve learned spending time with these men who struggle? What have they learned from you?

MD: I have been blessed to work with all types of people from celebrities to young kids.  My most rewarding work has been with young teens. I worked in a lock-down unit for over six months, commuting eight hours a day, and basically living with the kids. I would wake the kids up at 5am, train them, and teach them how to run mindfully.  I use a principal called MAP, mental and physical training.  We would run for 30 to 45 minutes, then sit the kids down and do 10 to 20 minutes of mindfulness meditation. The running helps boost dopamine and endorphins.  Afterwards, slowing the kids down with diaphragmatic breathing helps them manage their emotions.

GD: What’s next for Mike Diamond? Any new TV projects, books, or businesses we should look out for?

MD: I have a new book in the works called the Ultimate Unbreakable Dad Body. Mindfulness, running and weight training, which I used to break the half marathon world record. I also have a new TV show called Project Shine that’s in the works.

GD: Anything else you want our fans to know about you?

MD: You can follow my journey and receive the tools for leading a more enriched life at https://themikediamond.com/about/.  I appreciate each one of you.