Ep24: The Journey of 1000km That Began With a Single Step | with Todd Kopriva

If you spend all day sitting in front of a computer, then you’ll no doubt relate to Todd Kopriva’s oh-so-familiar story of gaining over 70 pounds from working a sedentary job for over a decade as a software designer for Adobe. But even though the beginning of this story might sound familiar, the rest of it is anything but ordinary.

During his final year before leaving Adobe, Todd had a stark realization about the direction his life was headed and decided he needed to make a major change. So that’s just what he did. He committed to changing his life…literally a single step at a time.

After leaving Adobe Todd spent the next year training for a once-in-a-lifetime journey most of us could only dream of including learning several skills he’d wanted to acquire his whole life: Martial arts training, as well as learning several foreign languages including Portuguese. And this journey also led him to South America to travel several hundred miles walking the famous Camino da Fé. In this episode Todd and I chat about his reasons for leaving a secure job in corporate America to experience life outside the cubicle.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • Todd’s realization that he was in middle age, that his time was limited, and that his life needed to change
  • The frightening realization that Todd had gained 70 pounds over a decade working a completely sedentary job in software
  • The leap of faith required for escaping corporate america
  • Learning how to overcome the fear of developing socializing skills (which led Todd to becoming part of a government convoy)
  • Todd’s extraordinary hike over the 1,000km long Caminho da Fé in Brazil
  • Todd’s encounter with a Brazillian mayor
  • Finding small places to implement movement, rather than just reducing your work
  • Understanding the basic good and decency of humanity during very turbulent times in our country
  • The difference that shifting his mindset had on the final year of working at Adobe before his journey even officially began

    Todd’s final fitbit stats:

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Why Brazil

Our Generous Sponsors:

This episode is made possible by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat, my #1 recommendation for anyone interested in moving more at their height-adjustable workstation. Listen, standing desks are only great if you’re standing well, otherwise you’re constantly fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti-fatigue mat, the Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout the day which helps reduce discomfort and also increase your focus and productivity. And they’re really fun and a great conversation starter.

Guest Bio:


Todd has recently been spending his time studying languages, training in Tsun Jo kung fu, and otherwise working on making himself healthier and happier. Before that, he worked for 17 years for various software companies, including almost 12 years at Adobe.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared and published by Jakin Rintelman. Special thanks to Krystle Penhall and Sarah Furie for helping to spread the love!

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”