Shay Eskew | Childhood Burn Survivor, Ranked Top 1% Ironman Triathlete, Best-Selling Author and Motivational Speaker

Shay Eskew

Childhood Burn Survivor, Ranked Top 1% Ironman Triathlete, Best-Selling Author and Motivational Speaker

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Nashville, TN

Shay Eskew

At the age of 8, Shay was set afire by a neighbor’s child with gasoline and credited with saving the life of his 7-year-old friend as well as himself. When the dust settled, over 65% of his body was covered in burns and burn related scars. He would undergo over 43 surgeries over the next 42 years to reclaim his life as an athlete. Shay’s right arm was permanently melted to his body – it would take 3 years for him to be able it over his head. He had to learn how to write left-handed to finish the 3rd grade. His neck was permanently affixed at a 60-degree angle, required 3 surgeries over 2 years to hold it upright. His right ear had to be amputated. The severe burn damage made him unable to sweat on 1/3 of his body. Despite these challenges and being told he’d never play sports again at 8, Shay’s story of perseverance gives hope to everyone that Anything is Possible! 

Shay is a 47x IRONMAN/IRONMAN 70.3 athlete – ranked top 1% of IRONMAN worldwide (6x), member of Team USA (4x), and has competed in 15 triathlon World Championships in 11 countries on 6 continents, including the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. In 2023, Shay teamed up with elite special force members in the never before attempted Human Performance Project – 7 marathons, 7 jumps (skydives/base jumps), 7 swims, 7 continents, 7 days. In 2019, Shay was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame under the Medal of Courage designation and into the McEachern High School Athletic Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Alumni.  Equally impressive, Shay is the proud father of 5 kids under 17.

Shay Eskew
Featured Videos

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Shay Eskew Kona Inspired
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Shay Eskew - The Uncertainty of Life
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Burn Survivor, Triathlete, Ironman, Kona Inspired.
Time 04:01

Shay Eskew
Featured Keynote Program

Keynote Topics

Setting life goals and formulating action plans.

Overcoming unfathomable obstacles.

Competing as an Underdog.

Shay Eskew
Featured Book

What The Fire Ignitedby Shay Eskew

What The Fire Ignited

by Shay Eskew

Shay Eskew
Featured Reviews

Shay Eskew
Featured Articles & Resources

What the Fire Ignited: Inspiring father of 10

Let 2019 be the year of opening your heart to new challenges: mental, physical and spiritual. This week's book recipient defines meeting an unfathomable challenge - adopting 7...
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What the Fire Ignited: Man to be admired

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how." I learned this from my dad. He grew up hard and extremely poor - lived in 1st government housing project in the US, even...
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Topics:   Motivation ,   Inspiration

The power of changing ONE HABIT.

Situation: 30 pounds overweight, working 60 hours/week, 1 income and job in jeopardy, 2 kids under 2, barely “making ends meet”, stress extremely high, “too busy” to work out...
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5 steps to confidence Burn survivor to top 5% ranked Ironman Athlete

One of the greatest gifts you can give a child or anyone for that matter is confidence. It’s not easily bestowed. It is acquired through years of experience, both successes...
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Why Scars are worth more than degrees

It has always been said life is our greatest teacher. I'm a believer scars tell a story. I was fortunate enough to earn a Doctorate from the School of Hard Knocks in 1982 at the...
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