Colin O'Brady is an American pro endurance athlete, mountain climber, adventurer, and professional speaker.
O'Brady is a two-time world record holder for the Explorers Grand Slam (Last Degree) and Seven Summits speed records. He became the fastest person to complete the adventurers challenges in 139 days and 131 days respectively.
He is a former professional triathlete and represented the United States on the ITU Triathlon World Cup circuit, racing in 25 countries on six continents from 2009-2015.
In 2007, O'Brady began what was planned as a year long backpacking trip around the world. In January 2008, while on the island of Koh Tao, he suffered a devastating burn injury. O'Brady participated in the local custom of fire jump-roping and was tripped by the burning kerosene-soaked rope. Although he instinctively ran into the ocean to extinguish the flames, he suffered second and third-degree burns to nearly 25% of his body, primarily damaging his legs and feet.
12 hours after the accident, he was transported by truck and boat to a hospital in Koh Samui. After a week and 8 surgeries he was transferred to a larger hospital in Bangkok. The doctors warned him that he might never regain the ability to walk normally. He took his first step the following month. "I was determined to beat the odds and focused all my energy on one day completing a triathlon to prove to myself I could make a full recovery," O'Brady said in a 2016 interview
O'Brady moved to Chicago where he took a job as a commodities trader following the accident. He learned how to walk again, and for a year focused on physical rehabilitation. He began to train for triathlon; swimming, cycling, and running.
In May 2009 he won a sprint-distance triathlon in Racine, Wisconsin and in August 2009 he placed 1st overall amateur in the Olympic-distance Chicago Triathlon. He then placed in the age-group nationals in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which earned him a position on Team USA at the 2010 World Triathlon Championships in Budapest, Hungary. In late 2009, encouraged by his mentor, financier Brian Gelber, O'Brady quit his job to pursue a career as a professional athlete.
With Gelber as a sponsor, he moved to Australia to train in a more temperate climate. O'Brady has since completed more than 50 triathlons, ranging from sprint distance to Ironman competitions.
In this episode we talk about:
- Not being rich
- Work hard and smart
- The power of the mind
- Silent retreat
- Never walking again
- Cats in the hospital
- Summiting Mount Everest
- Fear of loosing a hand
- And much more
The non-profit Beyond 7/2
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