Adventure and testing new boundaries

Damian Browne

Damian Brown, former professional rugby player talks to us about the exploration of his physical and mental limits, rowing the Atlantic and conquering the Seven Summits.

Damian played elite rugby with clubs such as Leinster, Connacht and Brive. After retirement, he embarked on a life of exploration and adventure successfully defeating the Marathons des Sables, single-handedly rowing the Atlantic and is currently working his way to climbing the Seven Summits – preparing for his Mount Everest climb in 2021.

It’s an exciting narrative with some unique insights into motivation, grit, performance and pushing yourself to the limits from someone who still hasn’t found his own boundaries despite conquering some of the toughest challenges in the world.


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3:07 Family life growing up in Galway City

4:50 The mindset of challenging himself from a young age

7:14 Hidden gems in Ireland

9:01 His rugby years and its influence on ‘peak performance’

10:49 Memorable moments from the rugby career

13:02 Different coaching styles across each stage in rugby career

16:09 Joe Schmidt’s reputation and his approach to pushing limits

18:18 How an extraordinary team is built from ordinary people

21:30 His approach to retirement from rugby

30:08 Transition from group to solo challenges

30:08 Maintaining core values

32:55 Regular challenges Damian sets himself

39:40 What drew Damian to Marathon des Sables

41:35 How tough is Marathon des Sables?

47:27 On the world’s longest train across the Sahara desert in Mauritania 

49:19 What exploration means to Damian

51:37 The motivation around adventures and exploring

53:30 His solo and unsupported 5000km row across the Atlantic in 2018

56:07 Strategy to deal with ‘slumps’ during the Atlantic row

1:00:40 Capsizing twice and seeing a whale

1:08:26 Managing pain on the row

1:14:26 Readjustment to ‘normal life’ after an adventure

1:17:06 Trusting your gut

1:18:37 Rowing across the Atlantic again in 2022 with lifelong friend Fergus ‘Gussie’ Farrell

1:21:00 His relationship with fear

1:24:09 Motivation to climb Mt. Everest

1:30:24 Physically and mentally training for Mt. Everest

1:36:57 Impact of Covid-19 on Mt. Everest expeditions

1:39:31 Approach to fear on the mountains

1:41:55 Losing weight on Mt. Everest expedition

1:44:29 Advice to people about achieving their potential

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