You are currently viewing How one of the fittest guys in Hollywood was inspired by Oprah

How one of the fittest guys in Hollywood was inspired by Oprah

Colin Egglesfield is one of the fittest actors in Hollywood.

With roles on TV’s “All My Children,” “Rizzoli & Isles” and the film “The Space Between Us,” Egglesfield is a hard-core triathlete with three straight wins in the celebrity division of the annual Nautica Malibu Triathlon. The chiseled 44-year-old swims, bikes or runs nearly every day and makes time to run a clothing company, and work with several children’s charities.

You’re one of the top endurance athletes in Hollywood — and you look way younger than your age. Good genes?

No, I’m constantly working out — at least five days a week. I’ll jump on my bike and climb Mandeville Canyon a couple times, swim in the ocean twice a week with a meet-up group, do a 4-hour group ride in the mountains on Saturday morning, run five or six miles. Sometimes, if I have auditions or am out running around looking at houses during the day, I’ll go to Equinox at night and do a “brick” workout that includes all three sports plus some light weight training, like squats and leg presses. One of my riding buddies, an ex-pro cyclist from Moldova, told me you need to do that to keep your power in the hills. I love all the workouts — they make me feel great. I guess I’m an adrenaline junkie. Waking up the morning of a triathlon feels like Christmas morning. You’ve put in the work. You can feel the excitement and energy. It’s exhilarating.

Growing up, were you a competitive swimmer or runner?

Not a swimmer — I had a panic attack the first time I swam in the Pacific Ocean a few years ago and had to get a coach. But growing up in Chicago, I always was an athlete. Played all kinds of sports — football, baseball, karate, track. Played a year of football at Illinois Wesleyan University, then transferred to the University of Iowa and played rugby, a brutal sport. When I lucked into a modeling gig after I graduated, gave up the idea of med school, and moved to New York in 1994, I was looking for something athletic to keep me going. That’s when my sister called up and told me she saw Oprah running a marathon and got me inspired. After that, I ran seven marathons, in New York, Chicago and L.A. But four years ago, when that 26.2 miles got a little boring, and my little brother started doing triathlons, I got into that. It’s really enhanced my life in many ways: My diet, training and my charity work with kids.

How did it change your diet?

I have a sweet tooth. I try to eat lean meats and salads, but do like my ice-cream at night. And that’s a problem. Too much sugary food spikes blood sugar. I learned that when you’re training, you want to train your body to burn fat…. So I keep my heart rate below 140 bpm for a long time, which trains you to burn fat stores.

If you’re lighter, you’re faster, and I’ve found that portion control is key. You go to a restaurant and they serve huge portions, way bigger than what you need. I still eat whatever I want, but only eat half and take the rest home for lunch the next day.

How did triathlon lead to charity work?

For me, It’s fulfilling to know I’m making a difference, so I’ve always been active with charity stuff. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is a beneficiary of the Nautica triathlon. Through that connection, I got a tour from Dr. Alan S. Wayne, the hospital’s director of the Children’s Center for Cancer & Blood Diseases, and became a volunteer. My dad was a doctor and I was a biology/premed student in college. I know that staying positive is difficult for those undergoing cancer treatments. So I go to the hospital once a month and see these kids.

Many of them are just 5 or 6 years old. They’re tied to chemo drips, just scared. They just want to be kids. So I play Chutes and Ladders and board games with them. We play Candy Land. I participate in a program called “Literally Healing,” a bedside reading program in which you just go room to room reading Dr. Seuss and “Curious George.” It helps take their minds off what they are going through. I give them T-shirts.


It’s my brand: Shout Out Clothing. I call it “interactive apparel.” I started it about 10 years ago after I saw something like it in Thailand while shooting a movie. The shirt comes with velcro letters that you can rearrange. Kids have written stuff like, “Kiss Cancer Goodbye.” It’s all about promoting literacy and self-expression, creating whatever it is you want to say and shouting it out to the world.

There a lot of time to kill on a set between takes. So I’ll use it to work on Shout Out and other things that make me feel I’m making a positive contribution.

SOURCE: Los Angeles Times