Well that went well. I resolve to start blogging again, even in freeform, scribble it down and chuck it out there who gives a damn style, and two days later find myself locked out of my blog account for reasons arcane and mysterious, prompting one of those endless Kafkaesque roundabouts of shuttling between webhost, WordPress, internet gurus and so on with each telling me to go to the next. All sorted again now though, so here we are again and back on the subject of… Motivation Monday. And waddya know? It’s a Rogan Podcast!
I listen to a lot of podcasts while driving and I drive a lot for my job. I pay an Audible subscription and have a library of audiobooks backed up that I have not listened to, and I sometimes wonder if it is worth it: most of the audiobooks are also available on Scribd, to which I also pay a subscription, and, when it comes to books, I am actually more of a reader than a listener. A lot of the time, with nonfiction I find audiobooks make the subject less accessible rather than more. I can read information and assimilate at my own speed whereas if someone is reading ot to me, particularly if they do not have an engaging voice, it becomes really hard work. The Chimp Paradox is a great example. I read the book and loved it, then a year or two later picked up the audio version as a refresher and … my apologies to the author, who voiced his own book, but… I was losing the will to live halfway through chapter one. How to render a fascinating subject dull…
Consequently I tend to listen to podcasts more on my daily drives: they are more easily accessible due to the chat format and, for me, a good way of discovering new stuff I would be otherwise unaware of. I have a whole bunch I flick between regularly, and Joe Rogan, for all his flaws, is high on the list because he has so many quality guests. Normally I flick through to find someone related to a topic I am invested in: food, keto, autism, fitness, longevity etc, but sometimes I just go for someone I have never heard of whose story sounds cool
and so it was last week when I happened upon the newish Rogan interview with Colin O’Brady. I’ll be completely honest here: I was scrolling through for a podcast on autism and diet but I was at traffic lights and time compressed and as the lights changed, just thought Fuck it, Polar explorer dude will do.
and i am glad I did. Often in life, I have found the best, most inspiring discoveries come about through some element of chance. Albums you bought for the cover, restaurants or bars you went into for the name, …. deleted the next one for sensible relationship reasons, not that my girlfriend is ever going to read my blog, or indeed anyone… but you get the idea.
Colin O’Grady is hands down the most amazing, humble uy I have heard in a very long time. Funnily enough I had found myself stuck with a podcast the day before this where the interviewer, not the interviewee, was the most own trumpet blowing, arrogant annoying arse I had heard for perhaps ever (obvs not forever, but my middle-aged pre dementia memory has flaky timescales) and I was stuck on a stretch of road where there was no option for changing podcasts, and it really made me question whether listening to these things was beneficial to my state of mind.
And lo, my question to the universe was answered because te very next day, this was delivered unto me by chance.
Colin O’Brady walked across Antarctica solo, pulling a 375lb sled of provisions etc, uphill for the first half (I never realised the South Pole is 9,000 feet above sea level before now.) This was a feat previously considered impossible. although tremendous respect must also be given to former Royal Marine Capt Louis Rudd who took on the challenge at the same time as O’Brady only to finish 2 days behind him. A phenomenal achievement.
And his tales of the crossing itself are, as you would imagine, astonishing. he openly admits that on the first day, an hour in, before he is even off the pack ice and onto the mainland, he suddenly felt it was an impossible task and that he had fucked up… and yet he did continue. the stories of his training are amazing in and of themself, and also led me to anothe astonishing person : @mikemccastle. O’Brady’s trainer, who i will cover in a later blog.
So, if that wasn’t enough, he goes on to talk about the other projects he does for charity… all of this is for charity, not personal glory… including climbing all of the highest peaks on all of the continents in 100 days, with no previous proper mountaineering experience. His Everest story has to be heard to believe..
and yet, for all the hyperbolic achievement of his feats, he is supremely humble and down to earth and without any flim-flam or bullshit or ego. I listen to a lot of talks with people who achieve huge feats and they don’t sound so matter of fact as this. I cannot conceive of taking on the kind of challenges this man does, but my real takeaway is how unaffected he is by ot all. he does amazing stuff for a good reason and doesn’t seem to have a thing beyond that. I was truly n awe of that.
The bit that finally floored me however, was when Rogan says that he is surprised that there is no inner darkness that he is escaping: that most of the people he interviews who have achieved such monumental tasks have had some terrible traumatic incident that acted as a trigger for them, and Colin casually throws in the accident while on a gap year holiday that burned off 2 percent of his leg tissue and had doctors saying he would never walk again and credits his mum for coming to his bedside and cheering him back to positivity, at which point he decided to be a triathlete… out of the blue… and went on to win his first ever triathlon and become an US team triathlete for x years… quite as a throwaway thing, if Rogan hadn’t asked that question it would never have come up…
Whatever, enough. Listen to the damn podcast. It’s a hugely motivational use of a couple of hours of your life. I have actually done positive things off the back of listening to this.
@colinobrady we salute you