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Michael O'Brien - Unbound XL

On the morning of July 11, 2001, I was struck head-on by a Ford Explorer traveling at 40 mph during a training ride before a corporate off-site retreat.

My trauma team was amazed I survived.

That morning, I was training for my first race in a few years, having taken time away from competitive cycling and running to start our family. In a moment, our world was turned upside down and shaken violently.

During my recovery, I began to remove the "rocks in my backpack" that I had been carrying for years. It wasn’t easy, to say the least, and it wasn’t a linear process. It involved taking one pedal stroke or one step at a time.

Several years later, I pinned a number on again and in 2022, I rode my bike across America—with a total knee replacement, no less. In 2023, I rode across New York State on the Empire State Trail in five days.

This year, I'm easting the whole burrito with Unbound XL. I credit my practices in mindfulness, breath work, meditation, and visualization, for aiding my recovery and executive career.

In 2022, I launched the Pause Breathe Reflect Meditation and Coaching app, designed for those new to meditation or those who prefer shorter sessions. It also includes a few sports visualization practices.

Recently, I sat down with podcast guru Rich Roll to share more of my story and the wisdom I've gained over the years. I hope you’ll listen. And if you’re in Kansas in May, I'll be riding in an Open inspired by Jackson Pollock's work.

Keep pedaling, Michael


Check out Michael's feature on the Rich Roll Podcast! Episode #824 "The #1 Habit for Happiness"

Boundless Coaches: Heather Fischer & Dr. Justin Ross

Instagram: @PauseBreatheReflect & @the.mindful.cyclist