In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, my guest defies aging by pushing the limits of his own endurance as an athlete and adventurer well into his sixth decade. After a 20-year hiatus from competitive fitness, Robert Hamilton Owens took it up again at age 50. By age 65, he felt ready to take on five of the world’s toughest endurance events. IN. ONE. YEAR.
He competed in an 8-day race over 200 miles across Greece; a combination run/ocean swim event lasting more than nine hours; an Ironman Triathlon; seven marathons in seven days on seven continents; and a 50-hour challenge modeled after a Navy SEAL-style Hell Week.
Yet, Robert says; “I’m an average guy. And what I learned in this process was that if an average person will continue to do the right things and persevere, they’ll do far more than they think they can ever do.”
In our conversation, we talk training styles, grit, toughness, and what it takes to find your “why” and keep going. That includes being vulnerable and asking for help.
“Most people will hit a natural mental ceiling,” Robert says. “Your mind is geared to protect you. You think thoughts to protect you, you don’t want to be hurt. And yet to get to the places you want to go, you’re going to have to go through pain; mental pain, emotional pain, relational pain, financial pain, situational pain. And you don’t want pain. None of us do. But the only way to grow is to embrace that pain.”
Enjoy the show!
Follow Along with the Transcript
- Why did Robert return to endurance racing after turning 50? 00:05:50
- The difference between styles of Army training 00:10:30
- Is the Air Force training deficient or is it appropriate? 00:14:10
- How to build a tough young person 00:18:35
- Having a “why” is important 00:19:00
- The first step is vulnerability 00:22:00
- Most people are happy to help and mentor 00:29:10
- How Robert trained for his marathons 00:30:25
- Mental resilience is a skill and a craft that you can learn 00:38:40
- Why Robert needs to be alone during a race 00:39:40
- Why Robert wrote his book 00:41:00
- How to find your inner strength 00:43:20
- The Spartan culture was pretty “screwed up” 00:47:40
- How Robert made his 90-year-old father stronger 00:49:20
- “You’re at the best place in your life at 60” 00:54:20
- “I want to be a good boomer” 00:57:50
- Dave demonstrates his Gen-X-ness 01:00:10
- Robert wants to live long but not be lonely 01:03:20
Go check out my new book “Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever“ and also “Game Changers“, “Headstrong” and “The Bulletproof Diet” on Amazon and consider leaving a review!
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