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Shay Eskew: What the Fire Ignited


Episode description

Shay is an All American and World ranked triathlete, burn survivor with scars over 65% of his body and is a sought out national motivational speaker. Despite being told he'd never compete in sports again at the age of 8, Shay is living testament to "Anything is Possible": 4x Ironman, 4x member of Team USA, ranked top 2% of Ironmen worldwide and has competed in 8 triathlon world championships, including the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. His mantra has always been to not merely be a "finisher" but to be a "competitor." Last year, he finished 21st at the International Triathlon Sprint World Championships - all of this despite not being able to sweat on 1/3 of his body due to his scars and suffering from severe dehydration during each race.

Shay's story is a parent's nightmare - an innocent 8 year old set afire with gasoline by a neighbor's child. The severity of his burns resulted in the amputation of his right ear, years of rehab to regain use of his right arm after being permanently melted to his side, learning how to write left handed to resume attending school and the wearing of plastic orthotic braces for 3 years - including 35 surgeries over 30 years. Always the first to make light of his situation, Shay shares how having a detachable prosthetic ear can be quite entertaining, even when it pops off at unpredictable times.

His message underscores we all face adversity, some physical, some mental, but "everyone has a story" and it is how we embrace adversity that defines who we are. Shay truly believes getting severely burned as a child was a blessing and served as a motivator to excel in athletics and become a top 1% income producer. It's hard to imagine a kid who cried himself to sleep at night for years due to being compared to Freddy Krueger would one day be an extremely successful sales executive. "It's all about being memorable" Shay tells his audiences.

Shay is well-known in the national triathlon community. He was selected as 1 of 6 nationally most inspiriting stories in the 2012 Ironman Kona Inspired contest and featured during the NBC Broadcast of the 2012 Ironman World Championships. He was also featured as the amateur male athlete in the 2012 Ironman 70.3 World Championships and as a feature cover story "Forged by Fire" in the 2012 USA Triathlon Olympic Preview issue. Shay is also a sponsored triathlete and a member of the Ironman Foundation/Newton Running Triathlon Ambassador team.

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Music: Carl Stover MusicHost & Current Production: Meredith Atwood

Copyright 2018, Meredith Atwood, LLC

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Making Barack Obama, the High Court, and more. Meredith geeks out a little about favorite Supreme Court justices with historian and author, David Garrow. In this captivating epsisode covering Obama, Roe v. Wade and Dr. …

Kim Dinan: The Yellow Envelope

August 2nd, 2017


One Envelope, One Thousand Dollars, and One Life-Changing Adventure.  After Kim and her husband decide to quit their jobs to travel around the world, …

Jeff Goins: Real Artists Don't Starve

July 28th, 2017


REAL artists starve NOT. Jeff Goins is the best-selling author of five books including the The Art of Work and Real Artists Don’t Starve. He believes that, "We all have a creative gift worth sharing with the world, and …

Annie Grace: This Naked Mind & Alcohol

July 21st, 2017


Naked Mind & Alcohol.  An interview with Annie Grace, author of the amazing book "This Naked Mind: Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover …

Mirinda Carfrae: IRONMAN World Champ, Triathlete, Wife (and Mom)

July 14th, 2017


IRONMAN world champion and mom-to-be, Mirinda "Rinny" Carfrae. 

Rinny is an Australian professional triathlete and an IRONMAN world champion. Carfrae has achieved podium positions in six of her seven attempts at the …

Natalia Cohen: Losing Sight of Shore

July 7th, 2017


Grit, rowing, and 8,000 miles. Four women set out to row across the Pacific Ocean, from America to Australia. As they row over 8,000 miles during their nine months at sea, they must overcome extreme mental and physical …

Kyle and Brent Pease: Ironmen Times Three

June 30th, 2017


Bro. If you think you can't do something, then think again. Kyle and Brent Pease are BACK on the show, with the UPDATE from IRONMAN Boulder. Check …

Josh Mathe: I, Athlete

June 22nd, 2017


You are an athlete. Yes, YOU.  In 2012, I published a book with the subtitle "You can be a Triathlete. Yes, You."  And when I talked with Josh Mathe, I realized that he is cut from the same cloth in his beliefs.  

His …

Sarah Hepola: Blackout

June 17th, 2017


Alcohol. Blackout. Walking in high heels drunk. Things that Meredith and Sarah Hepola have/had in common.

For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was “the …

Scott Rigsby: Unthinkable & Making an Impact

June 16th, 2017


Double Amputee & Making an Impact. Scott Rigsby was 18 years old and looking forward to his first semester at college. He was riding in the back …

Deb Cheslow: Unrealogicial & Brave

June 9th, 2017


Using your brain for good, not evil... breaking boards, flying supersonic jets, and teaching others to be badass and brave just like her---the incredible Deb Cheslow, peak performance coach, on this episode with …

Dr. Anthony Jay: Estrogeneration

June 2nd, 2017


Fat. Sick. Infertile. In this eye-opening interview with Dr. Anthony Jay, we talk about the devastating truth about a class of chemicals called "estrogenics" and how your daily exposures can cause weight-gains, …

Michelle Kalinski: Bring the Kidz

May 31st, 2017


Bring the Kidz! That's right. Michelle Kalinski is making it easier on parents to accomplish their goals and dreams by providing childcare at races - …

Lesley Paterson: The Brave Athlete

May 27th, 2017


Abs and a$$-whooping. Lesley Paterson is a three-time world champion triathlete, professional mountain biker, coach, motivational speaker, reluctant …

18: Jeff Galloway: Running and Walking and Running

May 24th, 2017


Running and walking and running again---the beauty, strength and brilliance behind the Galloway Method (and Injury Prevention!). Jeff Galloway is one of the kindest, most compassionate people I have ever met - AND maybe …

David Leite: Notes on a Banana, Mental Illness & Oatmeal for the Soul

May 22nd, 2017


Food. Love. Manic Depression. This interview warmed my heart AND gave me some serious things to think about in my own "rollercoaster" world. A big …

Lauren Handel Zander: Maybe It's You

May 18th, 2017


Maybe YOU'RE the problem? LAUREN HANDEL ZANDER is a life coach, university lecturer, public speaker, and the Co-Founder and Chairwoman of Handel …

Megan Melgaard: Fix My Swim

May 17th, 2017


Swim, swim, swimmy swim. A sit down with Megan Melgaard, with "Fix My Swim" in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a swimmer extraordinaire and Swim Across America events director. A fun interview about swimming, technique, stunt …

Dr. Darryl Johnson: Marijuana (Yes, Really)

May 13th, 2017


Marijuana. Yes. Really.  Legal Statement: Medical marijuana is legal in the state of Nevada, where Dr. Johnson conducts his research; Adult-use …

13: BethAnn Telford: Brain Cancer and Beyond

May 13th, 2017


Brain Cancer. Wow. BethAnn Telford, in 2004, while running the Marine Corps Marathon, she felt a “pop” in her head around mile marker nineteen and over the next couple of months started to experience problems with her …

Audrey Sanchez: Balanced (Part II)

May 5th, 2017


Following the health primer with Dr. Michael Greger (Part I), I talk with Audrey Sanchez, the Executive Director of the new non-profit: BALANCED. …

Dr. Michael Greger: How Not To Die and Balanced (Part I)

May 5th, 2017


How not to die? A health primer with Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, the author of "How Not to Die," founder of, and founder of the new non-profit: BALANCED. The mission of Balanced is that "TOGETHER, WE …

Jason Cohen: #BigChangeTheFilm

May 4th, 2017


Inspiration, one pound at a time. Check out this short episode with Jason Cohen, his story and all the amazing people who have made "big changes" to inspire Big Change, The Film. 

Big Change the Film on Social


Bridget Quinn: Art and Life

May 4th, 2017


Art and women and women and art. Bridget Quinn is the author of Broad Strokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and Made History (in That Order), which NPR’s …

Sika Henry: Big Goals

April 29th, 2017


Goals are meant to be crushed. Sika Henry is a two-time marathon winner (yes, that's right---WINNER), and recently finished a marathon in 3:00:06. She found triathlon a few years ago, and has been hooked ever since. In …

Susan Wintersteen: Savvy Giving

April 29th, 2017


Give and make beautiful. Susan Wintersteen is a San Diego interior designer and the founder of Savvy Giving by Design - a non-profit organization …

Holly K. Dunn: Sole Survivor

April 22nd, 2017


Serial killer survivor. *Listener warning, this podcast contains descriptions of graphic events and adult content. Audience discretion is advised." …

Dani Grabol: Fear No Distance, Epic 5, and Ultras for Women

April 22nd, 2017


A long and hard race. The EPIC Danielle "Dani" Grabol is mind-boggling... in a good way. After developing "terrible eating habits" in her teen years …

Kyle & Brent Pease: Together We Wheel

April 22nd, 2017


He's not heavy, he's my brother. If you think you can't do something, then think again. Kyle and Brent Pease are the ultimate "no excuses" brothers. …

Anna Woods: sheSTRENGTH

April 21st, 2017


An interview with the amazing Anna Woods.  "I am a wife and mom of 3.  My kids are 10, 7, and 6.  We have 2 girls and a boy. We adopted my son, who rocks an extra chromosome in 2011 from Ukraine, through Reece's …

Gerry Halphen: Heart Rate Training

April 21st, 2017


Heart rate and such. Have Heart! Meredith Atwood sits down with Gerry Halphen in her first solo podcast. Gerry Halphen is an IRONMAN athlete (IRONMAN …

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