Clifton Lyles, World-Class Expedition Athlete, Talks Racing and Recovery

Exciting news! Former marine turned world-class expedition racer, Clifton Lyles, is officially partnering with Rest Day CBD

This will give us a massive platform to educate people around the world about the undeniable benefits of high-quality CBD. 

We’re even offering all new customers 20% off when you subscribe to our newsletter. (Details below.)

Clifton Lyles has been an adventure racer for over 20 years. As a team captain in the World’s Toughest Race: Eco Challenge Fiji, and leader of the trailblazing Team Onyx, Clifton shares how he got into adventure racing, the race that changed his life, and how Rest Day CBD has dramatically improved his athletic recovery time.   

Clifton Lyles

An unlikely entry into adventure racing 

Growing up in the inner city, Clifton played traditional sports like football. It wasn’t until his late 20’s that he stumbled into adventure racing. The incredibly challenging nature of the sport drew him in, and he couldn’t resist. 

“I’m an extremely competitive person, and the things that I’m generally drawn to are the things that I’m not naturally good at,” Clifton says.

In his first year, he did 5 or 6 events, none of which he finished. But that didn’t stop him. Over 20 years later, he’s still in the game.

He found that races like the Eco Challenge (an extreme, 10-day endurance race recently featured on Amazon Prime) and the Tahoe 200 helped him discover who he really was. “You really find out that the labels other people put on you aren’t necessarily who you are,” says Clifton. “So races like those truly help you define who you truly are.”

Fast forward to today…

Clifton and his team set a shining example of diversity in adventure racing

With two decades of adventure racing experience, Clifton’s passion is bringing together people of diverse backgrounds into the sport. He formed Team Onyx, the first all-black expedition race team composed of athletes from their 20s to their 50s.

“In order to truly have a movement like this, it has to be represented by more people of different ages, different ethnicities, and different sexual orientations,” says Clifton. “We need to come together and have conversations of the things we have in common rather than what we don’t have in common as a society.” 

Clifton has lived in multiple countries and has traveled all throughout the world. The one thing he’s found to be consistent everywhere is, “We’re all much more similar than we are different.”

That said, for the last several years, Clifton has built a team that represents “the best qualities and strengths that come from diversity.”

Today, he continues to search for future team members that share that vision.

The race that changed Clifton’s life forever 

In 2006, Clifton competed in the Primal Quest, a grueling North American expedition race that aired on ESPN2.

Priest & Nuns:Castle Rock

Seven days into the race, he and his team felt exhausted as they began ascending the Priest and Nuns rock structure near Moab, Utah. In that unforgiving environment where temperatures often reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit, Clifton had a life-changing moment. 

“I’m looking over at this amazing landscape, and the sun begins to rise,” Clifton recalls.

“And for some reason, I still can’t explain why, everything just made sense. For the first time in my life, I authentically knew who I was supposed to be. Like the pieces of the puzzle, or the things I didn’t understand or questioned in my life, finally made sense. It was life-changing! ” 

From that point on, his abilities to connect and have deeper relationships dramatically improved. Even his career took a positive turn.

“I’m now an executive of a company, I have a beautiful wife, and four girls. None of these things may have been possible, had it not been for me pushing myself in that race.” 

Of course, along with all of its incredible benefits, adventure racing certainly comes with its challenges...

Dealing with pain, inflammation, and recovery

Throughout his 20s, and into his 30s, Clifton dealt with his pain, inflammation, and lack of sleep by taking over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen. 

But the long-term effects of those medications became so detrimental that now, his body can’t handle even a single dose of Advil. “If you don’t listen to your body’s whispers, then it will eventually start screaming, ‘STOP!’,” says Clifton. 

This led him to find alternative ways to recover more effectively.

“I’ve been focusing on recovering in a way that’s good for my body. And for the last several months, Rest Day CBD has been really key for me.”

Unlike over-the-counter medications, Rest Day CBD gave him a more natural, less invasive approach.

“It’s great to find a product that helps me sleep well,” says Clifton.  “It allows my body to do what it needs to do to fully recover; increasing blood flow and getting things moving so that I can train everyday if I need to.”  

And since his discovery of high-quality CBD, Clifton has developed a routine that works best for him. 

“Honestly, the best recovery for me has been applying Rest Day CBD Rub to all my sore spots. I apply it at the start of my day, but I’ve found it to be most effective when I apply it 15-20 minutes before I go to sleep.” 

Rest Day CBD reintroduced Clifton to quality sleep. “As a side sleeper, the pressure on my hips and back often have me tossing and turning throughout the night. But after using Rest Day CBD, my quality of sleep has improved dramatically. It’s been a game changer.” 

Now he can simply apply the CBD Muscle Rub after running or cycling, and he wakes up the next day feeling fine. “It’s just great to walk around and not feel like an old man, like I did a couple of years ago.” 

As he approaches age 50, Clifton’s super-competitive nature, along with his approach to recovery, keeps him going. 

Clifton’s advice to others who want to get active (or get back in the game)

“Be patient, be kind to yourself,” Clifton says. “The first thing we tend to do is judge ourselves against others, and that’s the worst thing you can do. 

He continues, “Everyone has their own pace, their own speed, their own journey with movement, and that takes time for each of us to find. When we stop and allow ourselves to be kind and embrace that journey, we find that several years down the road, we’re still doing it. So don’t use another person's success to judge your goals. Just listen to your body and take it one day at a time.” 

He stresses that if you miss a day, it’s not the end of the world. Just start again the next day and be consistent when you can.

“You can do this for a long time,” Clifton says. “As long as you take care of yourself and allow your body to restore and recover.”  

Interested in Rest Day CBD? Subscribe to our newsletter and receive 20% off your first purchase.

If you’ve found yourself saying, “There has to be a better way to recover,” then take heart. Rest Day CBD was created with you in mind. 

Our Muscle + Joint Relief Rub and our Targeted Relief Roller are the two products Clifton Lyles has found to increase his muscle recovery and ease his training fatigue, aches, and pains. 

All of our products are rigorously tested and accurately labeled. Simply put, we go above and beyond when it comes to cultivating, formulating, and manufacturing our CBD products. 

If you’re ready to dig deep and discover the adventurer within you with the help from Rest Day CBD, this is your chance.

For more information on our commitment to sustainability, click here. And if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to us at Rest Day CBD. We’d love to hear from you! 

To find out what’s next for Clifton and Team Onyx, follow him on Instagram: @cliftonlyles.  

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