The Off the Ropes Podcast

The Off the Ropes podcast is a weekly show bringing you some of the World's most inspiring individuals, but not just those who have achieved enormous success, specifically those who have endured hardship and adversity and overcame their challenges. Plus, interviews with experts in the fields of neuroscience, nutrition, health, fitness and personal development, extracting their wisdom on how to optimise your performance, fulfil your potential and learn how to get your life 'off the ropes'.
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The Off the Ropes Podcast


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Jan 6, 2017

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!

Dec 23, 2016

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.

Dec 9, 2016

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!

Dec 2, 2016

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.

Nov 25, 2016

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!

Nov 18, 2016

‘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!

Nov 11, 2016

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 to buy tickets & enter 'offtheropes' to claim your discount.

Nov 4, 2016

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!


Topics Discussed


* 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.

Oct 28, 2016

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.


Topics Discussed


  • What circumstances in Natalia’s life prompted the Pacific row.
  • Why having no previous rowing experience didn’t faze Natalia.
  • The objectives of the Pacific row.
  • Doris – the 7th team member.
  • How Natalia felt first stepping aboard Doris & why she didn’t want her family present.
  • On coping with fear, especially when swimming!
  • A typical day at sea.
  • PES (performance enhancing strategies) practised aboard.
  • Food, drinks and toilet arrangements!
  • Team dynamics.
  • Applying lessons learned at sea to daily life.
  • The benefits of discovering people’s ‘hot buttons’.
  • Coping with the frustrations of things not going to plan.
  • The highlights of the voyage.
  • The two Guinness World Records.
  • The people who inspire Natalia.
  • How she felt once the challenge was complete.
Oct 21, 2016

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.


Topics Discussed:


  • Why Masha turned to mountaineering just seven years ago, despite not being a typical endurance athlete.
  • How her 16 years’ experience on Wall Street prepared her mentally for climbing mountains.
  • Why she likes returning from an adventure to a hectic schedule!
  • The significance of the Guinness World Records.
  • How Masha dealt with others questioning her ability to climb.
  • What the Poles taught her about the world.
  • Why lack of funds shouldn’t be prohibitive to pursuing adventures.
  • What drives Masha to keep conquering goals.
  • Her charitable endeavour Grit & Rock.
  • The consequences to society of the gender self-confidence gap.
  • The importance of developing hardiness in children.
  • The book which helped Masha overcome difficulties.
  • How grit and resilience was honed in her professional life.
  • On being a female accomplished mountaineer.
  • Running out of food on Denali.
  • Unexpected events which thoroughly tested Masha & how she overcame them.
  • Passing the time when events take a turn!
  • Getting comfortable with being uncomfortable!
  • Experiencing an avalanche – lessons learned.
  • Advice to those who lack the confidence to pursue an adventure.
  • The importance of failure and losing.
Oct 14, 2016

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!

Topics Discussed:

  • The day Dave knew his life needed to change.
  • Why he chose to skateboard across the UK, & then Australia, and how it changed his life.
  • Why he prefers to adventure solo.
  • How we can make a living doing the things we love.
  • The difficulty with stepping away from the pack.
  • How & why to turn away from criticism and doubt.
  • Balancing contentment and ambition.
  • Why he lives on a boat.
  • Why children shouldn’t prevent you from leading an adventurous life.
  • Expedition 1000 - 25 journeys of 1000+ miles on a new non-motorised form of transport.
  • Why he doesn’t train for his challenges.
  • Managing the mental and physical side-effects of adventuring.
  • Risk assessing each challenge.
  • Creating the Yestival festival.
  • Funding his adventures.
  • The ease and accessibility of micro-adventures.
  • Practising the act of kindness.
Oct 7, 2016

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:

Topics Discussed:

  • Laura’s adventurous roots & why she wanted to pursue a career in travelling.
  • Sailing from Mexico to England with two strangers & a cat.
  • Why Laura wanted to cycle across South America without money.
  • Why Laura partnered with Operation South America.
  • How Laura prepared for her 7000km cycle.
  • How she disregarded others’ doubts.
  • The benefits of Bikram Yoga.
  • Why she wanted to cycle alone & how she dealt with the frustration of not being able to.
  • Difficulties faced when asking strangers for help & overcoming disappointment.
  • The trauma of Ecuador versus the generosity of Paraguay!
  • How she fuelled her body for the 7000km journey.
  • The difficulty of parting with her guide.
  • Why she wants to empower woman to undertake adventures independently.
  • What the six-month adventure taught her & what’s next.
  • Being married to fellow adventurer, Ed Stafford.
Sep 30, 2016

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?

Topics Discussed:

  • What circumstances in James’ life prompted the creation of the stuffocation philosophy.
  • The problem with having too much stuff – for humankind and the planet.
  • Why we pursue stuff in the first place.
  • Death of materialism - what’s next?
  • Why possessions do not make us happy.
  • The connection between materialism and unhappiness & anxiety.
  • The consequences of calorific and material abundance.
  • Why more of us are finding happiness, identity and status through experiences.
  • Why James is not anti stuff.
  • The danger of being destination focused.
  • The importance and ramifications of status.
  • The rise of the experientialist movement.
  • The benefits of experientialism.
  • How to tell whether you’re stuffocated.
  • How to de-stuffocate.
  • Why experiences do not need to be costly or expansive.
Sep 23, 2016

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!

Topics Discussed:

  • How to begin running and overcome embarrassment.
  • How to overcome the intimidation of exercise.
  • The appeal of ultra-running.
  • Mimi’s 15-year battle with anorexia & how running helped.
  • Mimi’s first Marathon des Sables – what went wrong.
  • Why Mimi felt running shaped her identity.
  • Why we shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to do things alone.
  • Mimi’s favourite, and also her most challenging, race.
  • The consequences of her father’s death during the gruelling 6633 Arctic Ultra.
  • The power of visualising success.
  • Who motivates Mimi.
  • Preparing for her 3000-mile race across America.
  • Mimi’s Off the Ropes Challenge!
Sep 16, 2016

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!

Topics Discussed:

  • The power and influence of a supportive and nurturing family.
  • How Colin’s natural competitiveness has fuelled a lifetime of achievement and adventure.
  • Why Colin is such a high-achiever.
  • Becoming a professional athlete.
  • Colin’s 4000 mile cycle from Connecticut to Oregon.
  • His desire to see the world before settling into a career on Wall Street.
  • How a severe accident in Thailand altered Colin’s life course for the better.
  • Dealing with the prognosis of never being able to walk again properly.
  • The power of incremental goals.
  • The personal motivation behind accomplishing the Explorers Grand Slam.
  • How to overcome life’s unexpected obstacles.
  • The importance of meditation & nutrition to enhance performance.
  • The worldwide obesity crisis, and how Colin is contributing to the conversation.
  • How to persevere and find the rays of light in any negative situation.
Sep 9, 2016

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!

Topics Discussed:

  • Moving to England from Venezuela.
  • How a fortuitous job working on a ferry lead Ernesto to sky-diving.
  • How it feels to jump out of a plane!
  • Why Ernesto wanted to sky-dive with the world’s smallest parachute.
  • How to mentally prepare for such a challenge.
  • Why world records are merely a pleasant aside to Ernesto’s career.
  • Ernesto’s pre-jump rituals.
  • How sky-diving has strengthened his courage and resilience.
  • How to deal with those who underestimate your potential.
  • Why Ernesto pursues such a risky career, despite seeing others die.
  • What sky-diving has taught him about life.
  • Why he wanted to jump onto a hot air balloon!
  • How it feels to land on a moving car!
  • How family feel about his pursuits.
  • The importance of pursuing goals for happiness.
  • Sky-diving in Everest.
  • How Ernesto relaxes.
Aug 26, 2016

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.

Topics Discussed:

  • The importance of working towards a goal to aid recovery following a bike-cycle accident.
  • What motivated James to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic, by himself.
  • Dealing with loneliness at sea.
  • How it feels to be truly starving.
  • Coming eye-to-eye with fin whales.
  • Accepting that things will always go wrong, but learning to adapt and overcome difficulties.
  • Climbing Everest & surviving a lung infection.
  • Managing extreme fatigue.
  • Cycling 18000 miles around the world – from east to west.
  • Overcoming loneliness and keeping strong mentally.
  • Rowing the Indian Ocean.
  • Setting-off on a 2000 mile row around Great Britain.
  • Why we are all capable of achieving similar feats.
Aug 26, 2016

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!

Topics Discussed:

  • Why Emma wanted to be the first woman to run South Africa’s Freedom Trail.
  • Mistakes made along the way.
  • How to juggle a full-time job with a desire to explore the world.
  • Not being super-human!
  • The importance of running for pleasure.
  • Running across Africa, from Namibia to Mozambique.
  • Physical effects of running a marathon every day for three months.
  • How to persevere whilst in pain – ‘Pain is just pain; it doesn’t last.’
  • Consequences of her support team breaking-down.
  • The anti-climax of completing her run across Africa.
  • Lack of women participants in adventuring.
  • Why you don’t need money to have an adventure.
Aug 19, 2016

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.

Topics Discussed:

  • Uncertainty following university.
  • Struggling with an eating, and anxiety disorder.
  • Disappointment when her first attempt to row the Atlantic failed.
  • Life inside a 23ft x 6ft rowing vessel.
  • Coping with sea-sickness.
  • How to pass the time at sea.
  • How to bounce back after repeated disappointment.
  • Healing the wounds of a difficult childhood.
  • What Sally learned during her adventures.
  • Wanting to break a record for the fastest women’s 4 to row the Atlantic.
  • Resisting resentment following a team-mates departure from the Atlantic Rowing Race.
  • The highs and lows of IVF.
  • Making a film about her rowing adventure.
Aug 12, 2016

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!

Topics Discussed:

  • Why Shaun felt despondent & depressed with his career as a photographer.
  • Why he sold his business shares for just £1 & walked away into a future unknown.
  • Material success versus fulfilment & purpose.
  • Sean’s meaning of happiness.
  • How he dreamed up the idea to cycle around the world with no money.
  • Why a fractured spine didn’t deter him from completing his round the world cycle.
  • How he became the first person to swim from Land’s End to John O’Groats.
  • The story behind the beard!
  • How he uses others’ doubt and his fear of failure to fuel his adventures.
  • Why he chose to cycle, run and swim 4200 miles around Britain in the ‘ultimate triathlon’.
  • What unexpected difficulties occurred.
  • What he learned about his capabilities during his challenges.
  • How he found his life purpose.
  • Why we should set ourselves enormous challenges.
Aug 5, 2016

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:

  • How Spina Bifida didn’t prevent Tanni from pursuing an active and sporting lifestyle.
  • How it felt to make selection for her first Paralympic Games at Seoul 1988, age 19.
  • Why Tanni favoured the 400m wheelchair race.
  • How she managed fear and doubt at the start line.
  • Managing others’ expectations.
  • How sport can garner greater resilience.
  • How Tanni adjusted to life following retirement from sport.
  • How Paralympic success transfers to life in politics.
  • Why we’re a nation of sport spectators, not participants. And what that means for society.
  • The legacy of London 2012.
  • What policy would Tanni implement in primary schools if she could.
  • What’s driving Tanni now.
Jul 31, 2016

‘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:

  • What inspired Nicholas McCarthy to start playing the piano at 14-years old.
  • How Nicholas dealt with rejection by the teacher who told him he’d ‘never be a pianist.’
  • How he convinced his parents to pay for piano lessons.
  • How he combats the negativity of doubters.
  • How being told not to audition for college motivated Nicholas further.
  • How running enhances Nicholas’ musical performance and stamina.
  • How and why we should inspire children with classical music.
  • What frustrates Nicholas about the public’s perception of ‘classical music.’
  • How it feels to play alongside Coldplay.
Jul 24, 2016

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:


  • How Wim Hof’s first experience of ice-cold water as an inquisitive teenager changed his life.
  • Why deep-breathing and cold exposure is essential to a healthy life.
  • How to breathe correctly to prevent and cure disease.
  • Why Wim Hof was ridiculed for 35 years for his beliefs and practices.
  • Why he continues to encourage the world to breathe correctly.
  • Why scientists are eager to study the physiology of Wim Hof.
  • How science validates his claims that the autonomic nervous & immune system can be wilfully controlled.
  • Why Wim only eats once a day.
  • Why he is working with Facebook and Google to spread his message.
  • How Wim Hof can turn up his internal thermostat.
  • How Wim controlled his immune response when injected with an endotoxin.
  • How his methods helped him deal with the grief of losing his wife.
  • Why Wim is challenging everything we thought we knew about the human body.
  • What unending quest drives Wim Hof.
Jul 17, 2016

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:


  • Why we should all spend more time in the park!
  • How Ryan became the first world champion free-runner at the Red Bull Art in Motion competition.
  • How a broken leg didn’t deter him from becoming the best in the world.
  • Why Ryan created his Airborn Academy.
Jul 10, 2016

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:


  • Why being a single-mother of toddler triplets didn’t deter Ann from her achieving her extraordinary feats.
  • How a tenacious and unrelenting mind-set secured two world records.
  • How imagination can help overcome hardship.
  • Why Ann plans to lead a team of individuals with former mental health issues to the North Pole.
  • How our day-to-day activities at home are changing the landscape of the North Pole.
  • How to go to the toilet in -58 degrees!
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