Pursue the life of your dreams, follow your heart, find your purpose – all well-meaning, positive sentiments, but how helpful are they really? How do you follow your heart & work in the dream job when you’ve a family to support and a mortgage to pay? Can we all really just down tools and trot off on our desired paths into the sunset?
Counsellor, martial artist and author, Tony Somers, believes everyone has the capability to bring about positive and transformative change in their lives, but not easily, of course. Change is often painful, uncomfortable and alienating, particularly if unsupportive friends and family challenge your desires to want more from life. How do you plough on with your new year plans if loved ones are unwilling to share your vision and optimism for a brighter future? Listen-in to hear Tony discuss goals, fear, relationships and purpose; the ideal episode to herald the start of a new year!
Are you happy? Really happy? Or do you struggle with life’s road bumps and can’t find a silver lining when things go wrong? Former Disney executive turned author, Mark Jaffe, will provide all the tools you need to turn your blue into an ooooh!
Author of ‘Suitcase to Happyness – a Roadmap to Achieve and Enjoy your Happiest Life’, Mark outlines the five barriers to happiness and shares practical and accessible advice to overcome each one. Whether you’re an Eeyore or a Tigger, this latest Off the Ropes podcast will leave you beaming and will equip you with your own suitcase of happiness to travel with on life’s wobbly path.
Paul Archer loves an adventure. But not of the serious Antarctic/Everest/swimming the Atlantic death defying kind. More of the comical, crazy, spontaneous ‘let’s travel around the world in a London taxi’ kind of expedition. An adventure with fun at its soul. The sort of loony trip you might dream up whilst having too many pints in the pub; an idea most of us would leave there. Not Paul and his pals, who took that idea and made it happen! Two years later, the adventurous trio buckled up in their refurbed black cab and commenced a 43,000 mile journey across four continents and fifty countries, scoring two Guinness World Records for their troubles!
How does it feel to be the first woman to summit Mt Everest’s 29035ft from the north and south side? To experience the astonishing feat of standing on the highest point on earth knowing others have lost their lives trying? Is the answer to life’s problems waiting at the summit? Hear author, speaker, adventurer and mountaineer, Cathy O’Dowd recount her experiences on Everest and share with you valuable life lessons learned climbing some of the world’s toughest peaks.
Labelling Paula Reid a 'polar explorer and around the world sailor' is somewhat of a disservice. To accurately describe her in one summarisable sentence is almost impossible! Paula's 'Live life to the full' motto has enabled her to accomplish 117 (and counting) life-changing activities on her 'living life list' including: a 10 month voyage around the world (the wrong way!) by yacht (with no experience!); a six week trek to the South Pole (succumbing to excruciatingly painful 'polar thigh’ one week in); paddling 300 miles down the Mekong River (after purchasing a dug-out canoe from a bemused Cambodian tribe); kayaking the Thames and, cycling the length of the UK! Aside from her adventurous, and sometimes, life-threatening escapades, Paula's life mission is to empower others to push themselves to accomplish feats previously thought impossible, big or small. Paula will remind you to start taking advantage of every precious moment spent on earth!
‘Dream Big’! Two life-changing words which have taken Mel from multiple stroke sufferer to multiple world record holding wheelchair racer. And beyond!
Hospitalised for heart surgery following her third stroke, Mel passed the time mesmerised by the athletes competing in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. Previously a competitive sports-woman, Mel was determined to maintain an active lifestyle and love of sport, undeterred by disability. She immersed herself in any disability sports she could find, ultimately making the decision to focus on wheelchair racing in 2010. 15 months later she found herself representing Great Britain in the London 2012 Paralympics, just the beginning of her life’s adventure!
In 2009, Nathan Millward hopped aboard a second-hand Australian Post bike called Dot, in Sydney, and rode 23,000 miles through 18 counties, arriving back in the UK nine months later. Travelling at an average speed of 36mph, and beleaguered by visa delays, suspicious locals, dwindling finances and an aging, often unwilling motor-cycle, Nathan's soul-searching adventure was far from a jolly bike ride through stunning, previously uncharted landscapes. In fact, the endeavour seemed to cause more problems than it solved. The solution? To continue on riding, until running out of road in Alaska.
The Adventure Travel Show
The lovely people at the Adventure Travel Show are offering Off the Ropes podcast listeners a 40% discount on tickets for their weekend of talks, seminars & workshops on all things adventure & travel to be held at London's Olympia 21-22nd January 2017.
Nathan Millward, as well as previous podcast guests: Sean Conway, Laura Bingham, Masha Gordon, Dave Cornthwaite and Natalia Cohen will be speaking, & we'll be there too, so be great to say hello!
Visit www.adventureshow.com to buy tickets & enter 'offtheropes' to claim your discount.
Liv Williams, adventurer, film-maker and author, joins Victoria on the Off the Ropes podcast to discuss her beautiful and thought-provoking new book, ‘Chasing the Elements’ which explores the mind-set, heart and soul of extreme sports people from the world of BMX, surfing, free-diving, skate-boarding, free-running and more!
This conversation is so much more than a book promotion! Liv radiates wisdom and compassion and will leave you wondering why you’re here and how your life can impact the world. Hear Liv describe her adventurous childhood, her struggles with choosing the right career path, how she coped with stress and fear whilst documentary making in Iraq and Nepal, and how her path led her to peeking into the minds of some of the world’s most inspiring extreme sports’ stars!
* Liv’s idyllic childhood in Wales.
* The quest of finding identity.
* Difficulty in choosing a career path.
* Liv’s passion for the outdoors.
* Documentary making in conflict zones.
* Why Liv doesn’t experience fear.
* The importance of embracing vulnerability.
* The benefits of connecting with nature.
* Why she wanted to delve into the ‘heart and soul’ of extreme sports.
* What commonality she identified in the athletes & performers she interviewed.
* How her experiences have changed her.
Pacific rower, Natalia Cohen, will inspire you to seek more, do more and be more. One member of the Coxless Crew – a team of 6 super adventurous women who rowed 9000 miles across the Pacific Ocean in a 29ft boat called Doris, Natalia oozes positivity, enthusiasm and tenacity. Skills which were thoroughly tested when the planned 6 month voyage became 9 months due to unforeseen technical difficulties and petulant weather.
Hear Natalia enthusiastically describe her magnificent voyage, how she cultivated the mental strength & resilience needed to spend 9 months at sea, how she overcame difficulties with team-mates, what she enjoyed most about being so isolated from land and society, and why she feels we all have our own Pacific Ocean to cross.
If you believe your days of adventuring or taking on a new hobby are well & truly over, or that you need to be a pup to push yourself physically, today’s guest will hopefully make you reconsider! Actually, several of our guests should have already smashed this preconception.
Masha Gordon is a two-times Guinness World Record holding mountaineer, an activity she turned her attention to only 7 years ago. 7! In those few years she has become the fastest woman to scale the 7 Summits (the highest peak on each continent), plus, to complete, the Explorers Grand Slam – that’s the 7 Summits AND the North & South Pole. All the more fantastic, considering Masha was not an athletic child and she even failed PE at school.
Hear Masha describe the difficulties she’s had to overcome to enable her to achieve her ultimate goal of climbing Everest; how others questioning her dreams has never deterred her, the highs and lows of climbing some of the world’s tallest mountains, and why she’s helping teenage girls cultivate greater resilience through mountaineering.
Dave Cornthwaite took his conventional, meaningless life, turned it upside down, inside out and shook it vigorously. Creating a life which is fulfilling, liberating and enormously enjoyable. A serial adventurer on a mission to inspire others, Dave’s list of awesome accomplishments is huge and every-growing. To date, he has skate-boarded across the entire length of Australia, pedal-kayaked across the Baltic Sea, swam 1000 miles of the Missouri river, and stand-up paddle-boarded 2400 miles of the Mississippi – the first person to do so. Challenges which form part of his adventurer’s bucket-list, his ‘Expedition 1000’, a life-affirming endeavour comprising 25 journeys of 1000 miles or more, each using a different form of non-motorised transport. Why? Because Dave doesn’t want to waste his one precious life on simply existing. He wants to truly live! Catch him before he embarks on his next escapade to scoot the length of Japan!
British adventurer (and accomplished knife-thrower) Laura Bingham spent six months cycling 7000km across South America without money to not only test the limits of her mental and physical endurance, but also to test the kindness of strangers of whom she’d be replying upon for food and shelter. An enormous, daunting challenge which took Laura through the Amazon jungle, the desert, over the Andes (3 times!) and across the spectacular Bolivian salt-flats. As with all awesome adventures, Laura’s challenge was fraught with difficulty and even disappointment, but did she quit? Nope! Learn how and why, listen now:
If you had the choice of whom to sit next to on a long train journey, would it be the person who excitedly wants to tell you all about his circumnavigation of the world via pedalo; what he learned about himself, what unexpected hurdles he encountered; and what life-changing adventure he’s considering next? Or, the person who can’t wait to show you his new phone, watch or bag; to fill you in on the minute details of his latest ‘must have’ possession; how much it cost; and how hard he needs to work to be able to acquire such luxuries (yaaaaawn)? Hopefully, you’d opt for travel companion 1! Placing value on experience over vacuous materialism. The subject of our latest Off the Ropes Podcast.
Author & trend-forecaster, James Wallman, believes materialism has had its day and our voracious appetite for wanting ‘more’ to help us define our identity and status is waning. Instead, we’re turning to life-enhancing, soul-enriching experiences. Experiences which fill us up with happiness, love, and fulfilment, and have a long-lasting and profound effect on our life; of those around us and even the planet.
Is it time for you to buy less and do more?
If you’ve ever thought it’s too late for you to achieve something epic, Mimi Anderson will force you to reconsider. Mimi began running when she was 36; to assist in her recovery from anorexia, and to help her re-discover her purpose and identity.
Although, initially, only able to run on a treadmill for a few minutes without heaving for breath, Mimi is now one of the world's most accomplished and decorated long-distance runners. To date, Mimi has run the entire length of Britain and Ireland - achieving two Guinness World Records for her efforts; she's won several ultra-endurance races including the tortuous 6633 Arctic ultra-marathon, the Double Spartathlon (153 miles from Athens to Sparta AND back again) and the 135 mile Cyprus Ultra. Now 54, Mimi is preparing to run 3000 miles across America, hoping to snatch her third mind-blowing World Record. Off the Ropes? We’ll say!
Colin O’Brady’s life is teeming with exceptional achievements. A younger-than-average Yale graduate, former Wall Street trader, US triathlete and now a two-times Guinness World Record holding mountaineer, for becoming the fastest person to climb the Seven Summits (seven of the tallest mountains on each continent), plus trekking to the North and South Pole as part of the notoriously tough Explorers Grand Slam. Only 50 other people have achieved the feat, and Colin annihilated all previous records, completing the gruelling challenge in just 139 days. That’s 139 days to summit SEVEN of the world’s tallest mountains and walk to both Poles. 139 days! And to think he was once told he may never walk properly again, following a horrific and life-changing accident in Thailand which severely burned 25% of his body. Oh, and not forgetting his efforts to raise $1 million to tackle childhood obesity. Yep, Colin O’Brady is one super-human!
How does it feel to sky-dive onto a moving car? To land on top of a hot air balloon? Or, sky-dive with the world’s smallest parachute? Find out in this week’s Off the Ropes Podcast with multiple Guinness World Record holder, aerial stunt-man and sky-diving pro, Ernesto Gainza. A man who knows exactly how to live off the ropes!
James Ketchell is going to make you question what you believe is possible in life. Seriously injured in a motor-cycle accident, and narrowly avoiding leg amputation, James proves that incredible opportunities and experiences in life are there for our taking.
Undeterred by the prognosis of never being able to walk properly again, James Ketchell not only went on to make a full recovery, he rowed the Atlantic, climbed Everest and cycled 18,000 miles around the world, to name but a few of his adventurous accomplishments.
Hear James’ exceptional story of overcoming adversity; of testing his physical and mental limits, and why he believes each one of us is capable of following in his courageous footsteps.
Emma Timmis is a woman with extremely itchy feet and a burning desire to discover what adventure lies around the next corner. The first woman to run almost 1500 miles of South Africa’s Freedom Trail, Emma has also cycled across Malawi, run 2500 miles from Namibia to Mozambique, and - an advocate for adventures not needing to cost the earth - she has also roller-skated across The Netherlands, just for fun!
Emma describes herself as just a normal person who believes awesome adventures are within all our grasps. Listen-up and get inspired!
If you’ve ever considered taking on an epic adventure but feared you lack the requisite skills, Sally Kettle will allay your concerns. Restless after university and uncertain in what direction to take next, Sally accepted a seemingly random challenge set by her boyfriend of the time, to row the Atlantic. Sally was not a seasoned rower. Worse, her mother stepped in to join the adventure and she’d never even rowed a boat. Ever! The pair went on to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic, receiving a Guinness World Record for their spectacular endeavour, thus beginning a life of adventure and purpose for Sally Kettle.
Sean Conway has been described as Britain's answer to Forrest Gump for his love of setting himself seemingly insurmountable endurance challenges: he’s cycled around the world - with a fractured spine; was the first person to swim from Land’s End, on the UK’s south-west coast, to John O’Groats, in Scotland - via Ireland! And has recently completed a 4200 mile ultra-triathlon around the coast of Great Britain which he described as the ‘toughest 85 days of my life’. Off the Ropes? You bet!
Did you know what you wanted to do with your life when you were 13? Tanni Grey-Thompson certainly did; and her dream took her to 5 Paralympic Games, winning 16 medals, 11 of them gold. Tanni’s incredible determination and competitiveness also resulted in 30 world records and winning the London wheelchair marathon 6 times. Since retiring from competitive sport, Tanni has become a broadcaster, campaigner, motivational speaker and now resides in the House of Lords as a cross-bench peer championing disability rights, welfare reform and, of course, sport!
Subjects Tanni Discusses:
‘If I can inspire just one person to pick up an instrument, I’m happy.’ One-handed pianist, Nicholas McCarthy.
Nicholas McCarthy was born without his right-hand; a minor set-back for such a tenacious and committed individual, who, at 14, turned his attention to playing the piano. Unfortunately, some people didn’t think this was a worthwhile pursuit. Refused entry to a local music school and told he was ‘wasting his time’, Nicholas used others’ doubt and rejection to propel his journey to stardom. Accepted into the distinguished and world-renowned Royal College of Music, Nicholas became the first left-handed student to graduate in the college’s 130-year history. Recently signed to Warner Music, Nicholas has toured the world with his left-handed repertoire; performed alongside Coldplay for the 2012 Paralympics closing ceremony, and is living-proof that the word ‘no’ should never be an obstacle to achieving our goals.
Nicholas McCarthy appears by kind permission of Warner Classics.
What you’ll learn:
Wim Hof is the Dutch pioneer and human guinea-pig affectionately known as the Iceman for his ability to endure extreme cold for prolonged periods of time. The bearer of 26 Guinness World Records for physiology-defying stunts including: withstanding the coldest ice bath for almost 2 hours; climbing 24,000ft of Everest without oxygen and just wearing his shorts; running a marathon in the Arctic circle in shorts; and marathon running in the Namibian desert without water! Remarkable achievements, but feats we can all accomplish with the right breathing techniques and cold exposure. Even more astonishing is Wim’s belief that we can all wilfully control our body’s autonomic immune and nervous system preventing us from, and curing, inflammatory diseases.
You’ll need your mind open for this interview; it might just change your life.
What You’ll Learn:
Ryan Doyle, Red Bull parkour pro and free-running champ, discusses the importance of pushing beyond our boundaries. For someone who spends his life travelling the world hurling himself off buildings, walls, roofs and generally, any fixed object which look like it should be jumped, Ryan’s recipe for living off the ropes is well worth listening to. The martial artist, actor, film-maker and multiple tricking and free-running world champion can teach us all a thing or two about living without limits.
What you’ll learn:
If you spotted an advert in your Sunday paper, seeking volunteers to trek to the North Pole, would you apply? Ann Daniels certainly did, despite having absolutely no expedition experience, or outdoor skills of any kind. On a whim, she replied to the advert, was selected, against the odds, and embarked on the all-female record-breaking expedition to the North Pole. An appetite fully whetted, Ann later became one of the first women in history to trek to the South and North Pole.
Hear Ann so descriptively discuss the beauty of the North Pole; how she survived the incomprehensible temperature of -58 degrees; and how she finally discovered what she was really made of when on the brink of death.
What you’ll learn: