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Haisley O’Leary – Firefighting, Tragedy And Ultra Endurance Running (#78)

The incredible life story of an ultra endurance fire fighter

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Haisley O’Leary - Firefighting, Tragedy And Ultra Endurance Running (#78) | My Home Vitality

Introduction to guest:

Haisley O’Leary is an ultra endurance runner and career firefighter with 25 years operational experience, including five years as a military firefighter in the Air Force.

Haisley has also had to overcome some tragic moments in his personal life, which we discuss during the show, including bullying, a difficult divorce and the premature death of his son.

Enjoy the show and don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel to join the live discussions!

More from Haisley:

Instagram: @haisleyj

Key quotes and takeaways from the show:

Dynamic risk assessment – Mentally observing, assessing and analysing an evidence/environment while we work, to identify and remove risk.

Stop sitting back – get out there! Don’t wait for a major event in your life to get you to make a positive change.

Periods of difficulty usually lead to something beautiful in the future.

If you need to, find someone that will care and listen to your struggles. It relieves mental pressure.

Use “hot debriefs” to analyse performance directly after an operation or action to get a more accurate recollection of proceedings. Combine this with a “cold debrief” (later analysis) for a superb way to assess and improve performance.

One of the most common causes for a house fire is unattended cooking (kitchen fires). Never put water on an oil fire (most notably in your kitchen)! Starve it of oxygen by putting a fire blanket over it. “A kitchen fire can take hold of the whole house in 3 minutes.” The best thing you can do if you have a fire is escape immediately and call the emergency services! Get down, get low, get out and shout FIRE! If you sit up/stand up after hearing your smoke alarm ringing, you could end up with a lung full of smoke and dying from intoxication! Never leave an aerosol can on the windowsill where the sun/heat can get to it! Never leave your Christmas tree lights on unattended!

See beauty in the little things in life.

Find something you can lose yourself in.

Play games with yourself to get through tough times – e.g. get away from cowboys when running ultramarathons. Make it an adventure.

Use momentum to build up your training regime.

“Live every day to the fullest.”

“There is always something you can learn from the day.”

Be kind!

Question of the day:

“In the last 5 years, what new beliefs, behaviours or habits that have most improved your life?”

Links to podcast sites:

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The full podcast:

Related episode:

Check out this podcast with Haisley’s ultra-running partner, Lisa Tamati…

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Show notes:

  • 00:00:00 – Coming up.
  • 00:00:41 – Overall show introduction.
  • 00:01:39 – Finding your purpose, happiness and success in life –
  • 00:02:54 – Introduction to today’s show.
  • 00:04:07 – Gaz gets strangled!
  • 00:05:21 – Becoming a firefighter.
  • 00:08:57 – Military firefighting.
  • 00:14:00 – 9/11 firefighters
  • 00:17:47 – A firefighter’s decision-making process and risk assessment procedure.
  • 00:19:35 – Firefighting in different countries.
  • 00:27:12 – The most intense firefighting situation Haisley has been in.
  • 00:33:41 – “Stand back guys, I’ve got this”.
  • 00:35:19 – Overcoming bullying and embracing introversion.
  • 00:38:06 – Climbing the ranks as a firefighter.
  • 00:44:59 – Dealing with trauma.
  • 00:46:42 – The structure of a firefighters debrief.
  • 00:50:19 – Tips for surviving house fires.
  • 00:55:37 – A good book for introverts.
  • 00:56:18 – Lessons from the death of Haisley’s son.
  • 01:02:20 – How to find a surrogate mother.
  • 01:06:02 – Why Haisley started ultrarunning.
  • 01:12:30 – Haisley’s near death experience during a multi-day stage race.
  • 01:20:02 – Can anyone run an ultramarathon?
  • 01:21:30 – What does ultrarunning bring to your life?
  • 01:22:34 – Haisley’s ultra running training programme.
  • 01:28:00 – When Haisley started ultrarunning.
  • 01:29:12 – Principles and life lessons that Haisley lives by.
  • 01:29:53 – New beliefs, behaviours and habits that have most improved Haisley’s life?
  • 01:30:42 – Haisley’s final message.
  • 01:31:21 – Thank you from Gaz.
  • 01:31:47 – Where to find more from Haisley and his future challenges.
  • 01:32:54 – Where to find more, next week’s guest and
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