An Interview with The First Man to Trek Solo Across Antarctica + How Walking Can Improve Your Mental Health

In this podcast (episode #419) and blog, I talk to best-selling author and explorer Colin O’ Brady on his adventures in Antarctica, Everest and other incredible places around the world, how to embark on your own life adventure, the power of deep thinking, why we all need to have a “possible mindset”, how to get “unstuck”, and so much more!

Colin O’Brady is a 10-time world record-breaking explorer and one of the world’s top endurance athletes. His athletic accomplishments include a world-first solo crossing of Antarctica (which he talks about in his incredible book The Impossible First: From Fire to IceCrossing Antarctica Alone), a world-first ocean row across Drake Passage (from South America to Antarctica), and summiting Mt. Everest twice.

Colin wrote his most recent book to encourage everyone, regardless of their age, to also become explorers of both their internal worlds and the world around them—to live their best life and achieve their biggest dreams. For Colin, exploring is both an external and internal journey: to see what the mind is capable of.  

Colin has first-hand experience using his mind to achieve what others told him was impossible, which is why he is so passionate about sharing this message with young and old alike. In 2008, while in Thailand, Colin was severely burned in a fire; his injuries covered nearly 25% of his body, primarily damaging his legs and feet, and doctors warned that he might never walk again normally. With the encouragement of his mother, Colin was determined to beat the odds. He set himself a seemingly impossible goal: to complete his first triathlon after recovery. A mere 18 months after his accident and after extensive rehabilitation, Colin amazed the sporting world when he not only completed his first triathlon, but he placed first overall at the Chicago Triathlon. After winning his first race, sponsors took note and signed on to support his future. Colin went on to become a professional triathlete and raced in 25 countries on six continents, representing the United States in international triathlon competitions. 

Through his experiences, Colin learned that “life will test us with setbacks, but these situations aren’t permanent.” As Colin notes, “we have full control of our choices to keep moving forwards one step at a time.” His goal is to help people recognize that they also “have reservoirs of untapped potential that can help them achieve great things”. 

When we believe in ourselves and change our minds, we can achieve the impossible. As Colin points out, his own journey started in his mind: his choice to push forward and achieve the extraordinary. And we all have this power within us—Colin is not superhuman. He used his mind to live the life he wanted, and we have this same ability.   

In The 12-Hour Walk: Invest One Day, Unlock Your Best Life, Colin shows readers how they can develop this kind of empowered way of thinking that unlocks a life of limitless possibilities through walking and exploring. Colin wrote this book as a “one day prescription” to help people “eliminate their limiting beliefs” and shift to what he calls “a Possible Mindset™” to achieve their goals and desires and live the life they want to live. 

In this book, Colin shows how you don’t have to go all the way to Antarctica or Everest to harness the strength of your mind. This power exists within you, and it is something that you can learn to harness to overcome the challenges you face by just stepping outside of your door. It is a time to think about “what if”, explore your internal world, and re-write your narratives. The 12-hour walk is a way to begin changing your life—to start making those shifts that will get you where you want to go. It helps you tap into the sense of stillness deep in you that will give you the power to look within yourself and redefine your life, away from the hustle and bustle of the world.  

You don’t have to train for this, and you can walk 1 mile or 50. Whatever works for you! It is completely free, and it can be done at any time. It is about taking 12 hours out of your time to commit to exploring YOU, disconnected from your phone, your schedule, and all the noise of daily life.  

Not sure where to start? In The 12-Hour Walk: Invest One Day, Unlock Your Best Life, Colin gives you several practical steps to follow to begin your journey:

  1. Commit a time to the walk. Schedule it in! Choose a time and place that works for you.
  2. Record a video or note on your phone describing your intention for the walk.
  3. Unplug. Bring your phone along for safety, but put it on airplane mode so it doesn’t distract you. Colin has actually designed an app to track where you walk in airplane mode, which you can use to keep tabs on where you are so you don’t get lost without getting distracted by incoming texts, emails or any other kinds of notifications. 
  4. Walk. Go whenever you want, walk as much or as little as you want. 
  5. Rest. take as many breaks as you want. This is not a race! Remember, you are training your mind, not your body. 
  6. Reflect. When you get back, reflect on what you achieved. What did you overcome? What limiting beliefs were you battling with? What do you feel more equipped to do now that you have been developing your “possible mindset”? 

It may be hard to spend so much time alone with your mind, but it will also be amazing. You will come away from this experience with so much peace and a new drive for life! 

For more on the power of mindset and the 12-hour walk, listen to my podcast with Colin (episode #419), and check out his amazing work. If you enjoy listening to my podcast, please consider leaving a 5-star review and subscribing. And keep sharing episodes with friends and family and on social media. (Don’t forget to tag me so I can see your posts!).      

You can now also join me on Patreon for exclusive, ad-free content! Sign up for a membership level that suits you, and receive access to ad-free exclusive bonus podcasts. These episodes will include more targeted, step-by-step guides for specific mental health issues AND some fun, more personal podcasts about topics like my favorite skincare products and favorite books, as well as live Q&As, fan polls and requests, and exclusive digital downloads! 

This podcast is sponsored by:

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Podcast Highlights 

3:50, 7:00 Colin’s incredible story 

5:00, 18:31 Why Colin wrote his latest book The 12-Hour Walk

7:15 Exploring is an external & INTERNAL journey  

10:30 The power of having a ‘possible’ mindset 

13:00, 16:25 Our minds have so much strength & power  

18:31, 25:00 How to harness the power of the mind through walking  

22:00 Colin’s journey across Antarctica  

35:00 Colin’s other amazing expeditions & important life lessons he learned  

Switch On Your Brain LLC. is providing this podcast as a public service. Reference to any specific viewpoint or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by our organization. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. If you have any questions about this disclaimer, please contact    

This podcast and blog are for educational purposes only and are not intended as medical advice. We always encourage each person to make the decision that seems best for their situation with the guidance of a medical professional.  

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