Robert Owens- Adventure, Endurance and Mental Toughness

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Robert Owens, Member #1185

Robert Owens is the Author of “Beyond Average,” a treatment on leveraging mental toughness to perform at an extraordinary level. Mental toughness is the key to endurance events and business success. Robert will share his compelling stories of overcoming physical and mental pain.

Robert Owens is Member #1185. He’s been and done a lot – mountain climbing, radio and TV personality, keynote speaker, minister, Ironman, philanthropist, triathlete, Special Ops Pararescueman, and father of five – to name a few. But of all the pursuits he’s undertaken, there’s one title that best describes this literal force of nature: Robert is The Fittest 66-Year-Old in the World. Period.

Robert was born and raised in Orange County, California without ever having met his parents. Adopted by a California judge, Robert was raised as a special-needs child who was unable to play kickball with his classmate due to the corrective shoes he was required to wear through sixth grade.

In 1973, he entered the U.S. Air Force Special Operations School with a class of 157 men to train as a Pararescueman, the Air Force equivalent of a Navy SEAL. Of those 157, only seven made the through and graduated, one of which was Robert, who was designated Team Leader.

Robert about to run the Antarctic Ice Marathon around the South Pole.

In total, Robert has completed 12 Ironman Triathlons – from Florida to Oahu to South Africa – and is one of the few Ironmen to complete both Honolulu in 1980 as well as Kona in 2003. “My goal is to be the longest active Ironman in the world,” he says. The 140.6-mile Ironman (2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride and 26.3-mile run, all done without a break) is among the shorter competitions Robert’s put himself through. At age 65 he embarked on the 238 mile “300 of Sparta Endurance Race,” an eight-day endurance race in Greece to help raise over $315,000 for the families of fallen Navy SEAL contractors who died at Benghazi. A mere four days before his 66th birthday, Robert took on the SEALFIT’s Kokoro 50-Hour Challenge, originally created to train Special Operations Candidates. He was the oldest of the group by 25 years to finish, and at the same time became the oldest to ever complete the challenge, for which he was awarded the “Most Advanced Age Ever Award” by SEALFIT. And then without any training, he took on the Ironman Mexico – his 12th Ironman. And in January, 2018, Robert took on and completed “The World Marathon Challenge – 7 Marathons 7 Continents 7 Days.”

Training a class of special operators.

While it takes extraordinary physical condition to be in the Air Force Special Ops or to best the many Ironmans he’s bested, Robert will readily affirm that success in these physical endeavors – and in life in general – is as much a matter of will and mental attitude as it is physical conditioning. When most have long since slowed as they approach their golden years, The Fittest 66-Year-Old in the World continues to routinely take on unprecedented challenges, and to help others see what can be achieved in their own lives.

This program was organized by Robert Owens, Member #1185.