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The Impossible First

Colin O’Brady’s awe-inspiring, New York Times bestselling memoir recounting his recovery from a tragic accident and his record-setting 932-mile solo crossing of Antarctica is a “jaw-dropping tale of passion and perseverance” (Angela Duckworth, New York Times bestselling author of Grit).

Prior to December 2018, no individual had ever crossed the landmass of Antarctica alone, without support and completely human powered. Yet, Colin O’Brady was determined to do just that, even if, ten years earlier, there was doubt that he’d ever walk again normally. From the depths of a tragic accident, he fought his way back. In a quest to unlock his potential and discover what was possible, he went on to set three mountaineering world records before turning to this historic Antarctic challenge.

O’Brady’s pursuit of a goal that had eluded many others was made even more intense by a head-to-head battle that emerged with British polar explorer Captain Louis Rudd—also striving to be “the first.” Enduring Antarctica’s sub-zero temperatures and pulling a sled that initially weighed 375 pounds—in complete isolation and through a succession of whiteouts, storms, and a series of near disasters—O’Brady persevered.

Alone with his thoughts for nearly two months in the vastness of the frozen continent—gripped by fear and doubt—he reflected on his past, seeking courage and inspiration in the relationships and experiences that had shaped his life.

“Incredibly engaging and well-written” (The Wall Street Journal)—and set against the backdrop of some of the most extreme environments on earth, from Mt. Everest to Antarctica—this is “an unforgettable memoir of perseverance, survival, daring to dream big, and showing the world how to make the impossible possible” (Booklist, starred review).

© Henry Cromett

Colin O’Brady is a world record holding explorer whose feats include the world’s first solo, unsupported, and human-powered crossing of Antarctica, speed records for the Explorers Grand Slam and the Seven Summits, and reaching the highest point in all fifty US states in a record-breaking twenty-one days. He and a crew became the world’s first team to row a boat across the treacherous Drake Passage from South America to Antarctica. A Yale graduate, he is a renowned speaker and expert on mindset whose work has inspired millions. Through his nonprofit Beyond 7/2, he uses his expeditions to motivate young people to live active, healthy lives and pursue their biggest dreams. Native of the Pacific Northwest, he now lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with his wife, Jenna Besaw, and dog, Jack. Engage with Colin and his new adventures on social media @ColinOBrady and find out more at ColinOBrady.com. 

  • Publisher: Scribner (February 18, 2021)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982181147

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