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    Record Trek: US Man Becomes First Person to Cross Antarctica Alone (PHOTOS)

    Record Trek: US Man Becomes First Person to Cross Antarctica Alone (PHOTOS)

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    An Oregon native made history Wednesday in becoming the first man to complete the nearly 1,000-mile trek across Antarctica without the assistance or companionship of another individual.

    After nearly two months, professional endurance athlete and motivational speaker Colin O'Brady concluded his 921-mile quest across the unforgivingly frigid continent.

    The 33-year-old's Wednesday Instagram post captioned a picture of him grinning ear to ear on his 54th and final day, detailing how he (in spirit) was never alone.

    View this post on Instagram

    Day 54: FINISH LINE!!! I did it! The Impossible First ✅. 32 hours and 30 minutes after leaving my last camp early Christmas morning, I covered the remaining ~80 miles in one continuous “Antarctica Ultramarathon” push to the finish line. The wooden post in the background of this picture marks the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, where Antarctica’s land mass ends and the sea ice begins. As I pulled my sled over this invisible line, I accomplished my goal: to become the first person in history to traverse the continent of Antarctica coast to coast solo, unsupported and unaided. While the last 32 hours were some of the most challenging hours of my life, they have quite honestly been some of the best moments I have ever experienced. I was locked in a deep flow state the entire time, equally focused on the end goal, while allowing my mind to recount the profound lessons of this journey. I’m delirious writing this as I haven’t slept yet. There is so much to process and integrate and there will be many more posts to acknowledge the incredible group of people who supported this project. But for now, I want to simply recognize my #1 who I, of course, called immediately upon finishing. I burst into tears making this call. I was never alone out there. @jennabesaw you walked every step with me and guided me with your courage and strength. WE DID IT!! We turned our dream into reality and proved that The Impossible First is indeed possible. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” — Nelson Mandela. #TheImpossibleFirst #BePossible

    A post shared by Colin O'Brady (@colinobrady) on Dec 26, 2018 at 12:55pm PST

    "I just felt locked in for the last 32 hours, like a deep flow state. I didn't listen to any music — just locked in, like I'm going until I'm done. It was profound, it was beautiful, and it was an amazing way to finish up the project," the brand-new record-holder told NYT, hours after reaching Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf.

    Though O'Brady was the first to complete the feat, he had plenty of praise for those who attempted it before him.

    In particular, O'Brady referenced Briton Henry Worsley, who almost achieved the honor in 2016 before succumbing to exhaustion and severe dehydration with a mere 30 miles to go.

    View this post on Instagram

    Day 52: SAVOR AND FOCUS. Somehow I am still going uphill 🤦‍♂️. I spent the first 6 hours of the day climbing up again to 8300ft (only 1000ft net lower than the Pole). I feel like I am stuck in an M.C. Echer drawing where every direction leads up, a never ending staircase. In this photo I finally crested the big hill looking out on the mountains that lead to my finish line at sea level. Perhaps now I really am going down for good. In these final days I’m reminding myself of two things: First — savor these moments. I’m very eager to finish, but before I know it, I’ll be reflecting on this adventure with nostalgia. So while I’m still out here, I’m trying to enjoy it as much as possible. The second thing is — I need to stay hyper focused on execution. It’s not over until it’s over. Henry Worsely, who was a huge inspiration of mine, tragically lost his life less than 100 miles from completing this traverse. When I was crossing Greenland earlier this year on my very last night, I decided to relax my usual evening routine and didn’t check my campsite well enough and fell waist deep into a crevasse that was 200ft deep. If I’d fallen all the way to the bottom, it could have been game over. It’s often at the end when we are tired that mistakes happen. So for that reason I’m ensuring that I stay hyper focused on all of the details. Merry Christmas Eve everyone. Dear Santa🎅, All I want for Christmas is a stable high pressure weather system to bring 🌞 and no wind. Sincerely, Colin #TheImpossibleFirst #BePossible

    A post shared by Colin O'Brady (@colinobrady) on Dec 24, 2018 at 6:26pm PST

    Detailing his branded "#TheImpossibleFirst" experience on YouTube, Instagram and his personal website, O'Brady's daily digital photo journal gave people a glimpse into the highs and lows of his reality.

    View this post on Instagram

    Day 44: TAKING STOCK. The reason it’s been often said that this traverse is impossible is because of that fact that without resupply, it’s hard to imagine you can carry enough calories to make it to the end. It’s true; the math is a complicated equation and the room for error is razor thin. In my tent tonight I took out all of the remaining food for a calorie inventory with @jennabesaw I’m so thankful for all of the research and preparation we were able to do with @standardprocess to get my nutrition optimized. These “Colin Bars” have been the life blood of my success so far. Jenna and my mom took a look at what’s left and made a strategic plan. Lucky to have smart women who I trust with my life taking good care to devise the plan. I have to be very disciplined now as I have just enough to hopefully get me to the end, but every calorie is precious at this point. I am choosing to stay in the positive, not dwell on the suffering. Jenna and I live by the saying, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.” But the hairy truth of it is…I’ve lost a ton of weight. So much so that I am afraid to take a close look at my body. My calves feel more like the size of my arms at this point. My watch is starting to slide around on my wrist and I’ve had to tighten the strap. However I managed another 20+ mile day on these skinny legs. Fortunately, the most important muscle of all, my mind, keeps willing my body toward the finish one step at a time. #TheImpossibleFirst #BePossible

    A post shared by Colin O'Brady (@colinobrady) on Dec 16, 2018 at 5:33pm PST

    Additionally, the athlete's Instagram posts periodically reminded supporters and skeptics alike that they could track his location in real time via GPS.

    To make O'Brady's accomplishment more impressive, it was completed with 16 days to spare, with the original timetable allotting 70 days to travel the roughly 1,000 miles.

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    Tags:
    exploration, Arctic, world record, Antarctica
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