Entertainment And News

Man Who Sleeps In A Tent While Wife Sleeps In Their Bed Says His Marriage Is As Strong As Ever

Photo: Rich Roll / Twitter
Rich Roll, Julie Piatt

While the title of this story might sound like a delusional man who is being abused by his manipulative wife, it’s actually a story about quite the opposite.

Rich Roll, an athlete and podcaster, who lives in the Malibu Canyon neighborhood near Los Angeles has been sleeping in a tent outside of his nice home for almost two years now — and says that his marriage with his wife, Julie Piatt, is as strong as ever.

How does sleeping in a tent outside make Rich Roll and Julie Piatt’s marriage stronger?

55-year-old Roll has been married to Piatt for 20 years, but has spent the last two years sleeping outside in a tent after having an epiphany one night while he was hanging out with his kids.

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"Being outdoors, breathing that outdoor air, sleeping under the stars is a very simple and basic way of reconnecting with what it means to be fundamentally human," Roll said in his YouTube video that explains why he sleeps in a tent.

Roll is a former lawyer and a recovering alcoholic who changed his life when he was 40 years old by switching to a plant-based diet, losing 50 pounds, and completing a three-day double Ironman Triathlon — that's a 6.2-mile swim, 260-mile bike, and 52.5-mile run — in Hawaii.

He’s written a memoir, titled “Finding Ultra,” that details his transformations and also talks about it on his own podcast — which is self-titled and has been downloaded more than 200 million times.

In a way, his success has led him to sleep in a tent.

"If everything went terribly wrong, and I lost everything, I know that I'm happy sleeping in a tent, and I don't really need that much ultimately," he told Ferriss on "The Tim Ferriss Show" podcast.

But before he started sleeping outside for good, he slept the way any conventional person would — inside, in bed with his wife.

However, Piatt prefers a warmer sleeping environment, and their sleeping conditions weren’t always perfect.

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"No matter how much we would try to compromise to make it good for both of us, Julie would always be bundled up under a ton of covers, and I'm sleeping on top of the covers sweating," he said.

"And then neither of us sleeps, and we get up and we're not happy."

One night, he and Piatt were hanging out with their four kids on their roof — projecting movies on the wall, eating popcorn, and ended up sleeping in sleeping bags.

"I woke up the next day just feeling amazing from the outdoor air and the cool desert air of Los Angeles," Roll said. "And I was like, 'I can't remember the last time I slept so well.'"

As such, he did it again, and again, and when he got tired of waking up in the morning dew, he decided he would just put a tent up on the roof.

When a windy day threatened to launch him and the tent off the roof, he moved it to his yard, where he's been sleeping ever since — even furnishing the inside of the tent with a mattress and plenty of blankets.

"I just love it," he told Ferriss of sleeping in a tent. "It's really been beneficial to my sleep."

And for the people who think it means he’s fighting with his wife, he said "We have our quality time, I promise you. Everything is fine in my marriage."

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.