Sep 1, 2018

Colin O’Brady

Colin O’Brady is a professional endurance athlete who brings two decades of athleticism, an Ivy-league education, and the life experience of overcoming a devastating accident to prove that anything is possible. In 2008 Colin suffered a tragic accident. He was severely burned in a fire; his injuries covered nearly 25% of his body, primarily damaging his legs and feet. Doctors warned him he might never walk again normally, but Colin was determined to beat the odds. He focused not only on walking again, but set himself a goal: to complete his first triathlon following his recovery. A mere 18-months after his accident while working as a commodities trader, Colin amazed the sporting world when he not only completed his first triathlon, but he placed first overall at the Chicago Triathlon. Colin went on to become a professional triathlete for six years and raced in 25 countries on six continents representing the United States in international triathlon competitions.

Tune in to hear about Colin setting a new World Record in the 50HP Challenge, where in 21 days, 9 hours, and 48 min, he climbed the 50 highest points in each of the U.S. states.

You can really wind yourself up about things that are well out of your control, and it’s just worry and fear doing no good. It’s taking away from the energy you have to put toward the things you can control. That’s a process that we’ve really tried to refine on my team. We’ll start talking about things: what if this happens? Or this? And we say, “wait, is this something we can’t control?” Let’s shift our energy back to what we can.

Colin O'Brady

Episode Highlights


You set a new world record for climbing the 50 highest peaks in each state. What was the highest?

That’s right, 21 days, all 50 in 21 days. It was a mad dash across the country and seeing all the corners of it. It was an amazing journey, for sure. The highest is in Alaska, Denali, of course. You’ve got big snowy mountains up there. Beautiful, actually. My world record that I completed in 2016, which was the seven summits that’s all from each of the seven continents in the North and South Pole ended on Denali, and so in a kind of fun way, it was sort of fun to pick up where I left off. This one began on Denali. So, started up there in Alaska, and then went to Hawaii, and then went to the lowest high point after that in Florida, 345 feet, and then worked our way east to west across the country over the next 21 days to set the new record. The record previously had been 41 days, so set it by quite a good margin. It was fun.


What was it that inspired you to take on this trek?

What I’ve realized in my life, I’ve been a professional athlete for a number of years, and 10 years ago, being burned in a fire and told I would never walk again certainly has fueled me personally. But one of the things that I like to share with my audiences, as well as just what deeply inspires me, is that I believe, as humans, we all have untapped potential inside of us, and can achieve incredible things when we set our mind to them. So, my world record breaking projects are, yes, one part me trying to push myself and setting audacious goals to set them, but I would say it’s 10% that and 90% kind of a collaborative art project, if you will, to inspire other people to chase their own dreams, their own goals, high achievement in their own life, whatever that looks like.

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