Bill Bradley’s journey is a metaphor for so many. Most of us will not experience a bankruptcy. Most of us will not experience a frozen retina like Bill did during an Ultra-marathon he ran in sub-zero temperatures. However, a larger percentage of us will experience a crisis of identity. An identity crisis is when you ask questions like who am I? Why am I here? What the bleep am I doing in this flippin job? Why did I start this business?
Big signs of an Identity Crisis are:
- You are comfortable with your life…..yet are bored.
- You are extremely competent and successful in your commercial lives….yet there is little meaning for you in it.
- You are addicted to comfort and afraid of discomfort.
It is great to be comfortable, but if we have forgotten what it was like to do an adventure, race a bike, run a 5k, paint, draw, and otherwise do something with some amount of risk either physically, psychologically, or emotionally then you might be not really living your life to the fullest. I am sorry, but watching a football game while drinking beer and eating chips does not fall into this category…..unless maybe it is a Patriots football game 🙂
Let me take you to the extreme and peer into a Man’s world that is both unbelievable and quite a foil and counter-balance for our safe and comfortable lives. The point of listening to this podcast is to understand the nuggets of wisdom Bill shares and apply them even in small doses in your own life.
Bill Bradley is an Ultra-Endurance athlete. How did he go from an entrepreneur, to bankruptcy, to being an Ultra-athlete in his 50s? Bill’s message of this recovery process has 7 parts:
- Gratitude and counting your blessings.
- Building a circle of confidence even if you have to start very very small.
- Doing that first step – “signing up” then “showing up”
- Starting exactly where you are today.
- Surviving embarrassment of failing.
- The feeling of ‘flow’ and it’s power to carry you through adversity.
- “Chunk it down” – how small steps lead to big accomplishments.
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Bill Bradleys Life
Inarguably one of the most inspiring versatile extreme endurance athletes of our time, Bill Bradley undertakes the most challenging endurance sporting events in the world.
Bradley craves improbable challenges set against nature’s unforgiving scenarios. The average age of an extreme endurance athlete is 35 years old. Bradley, now 54, stands alone yet he continues to take on grueling events around the world and continues to amaze his fans with many completions.
Bradley was the successful owner of 17 video/game rental stores that went bankrupt in 2005. “With my bankruptcy, I lost my identity as one of the top independent video retailers in the country,” (2001 Video Retailer of the Year). “That loss and the devastating divorce that I experienced during the same time decimated me. I could not look people in the eyes. Through my challenges as an athlete, I have regained my identity through pushing myself to go further and further!”
For Bradley, an average event is a 100-mile foot race. To date, he set a world record running the Grand Canyon 7xs rim to rim crossings totaling 167.3 miles with over 42,000’ of climbing elevation and temperatures reaching 114 F; he has completed a Triple Ironman (composed of a 7.2-mile swim, a 336-mile bike ride and a 78.6-mile run); the Race Across America Marathon (RAAM), a 3,000-mile bike race from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland; the Furnace Creek 508 mile bike race through Death Valley and the Susitna 100, a 100-mile run across the frozen Alaskan tundra while pulling a 40-pound sled filled with survival gear. He ran 199 miles with an added 1.2 mile swim under the Golden Gate Bridge at the 100 mile mark, swam 17 miles in the English Channel without a wetsuit or breaks and climbed 14,000 ft. up the coldest mountain in the world, Alaska’s Mt. Denali. As if all of this were not enough to quench his passion to be challenged, Bill Bradley pushes onward. In 2010 he became the 24th person to run and complete the 292 mile Double Badwater Ultramarathon with a Mt. Whitney summit in record setting temperatures reaching 135 degrees, earning him the name “EPIC” Bill Bradley.
Bradley has a special kind of courage, one that faces a great deal of uncertainty. His trademark motto, Show Up and Suffer allows him to conquer fear and push to new lengths. Bradley states, “I can never think about quitting, ever.”
I hope you enjoy the podcast.
No Limits Life is a show containing a mix of interviews with people who inspire me with their heroic Journeys, their fearless approach to living a ‘no limits’ life, and A commitment to integrating all aspects of their life into inner and outer success.
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