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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Now displaying: July, 2016
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!
Jul 3, 2016

Following an RPG attack in Afghanistan, Paratrooper Jaco van Gass sustained a series of life-changing injuries including the loss of his lower left arm, punctured internal organs, a broken tibia, and intensive damage to his upper thigh. Yet, despite the physical and mental trauma endured, Jaco became a first-class downhill skier, multiple marathon runner and Team GB para-cyclist. He was a member of the record-breaking team of wounded soldiers to trek unsupported to the North Pole (joined partly by Prince Harry), and he’s also climbed Alaska’s 6000m Mt Denali, and Everest (narrowly missing the summit due to adverse weather).

Listen to Jaco share his story of overcoming adversity, told with enthusiasm, humility, wisdom and humour.

What you’ll learn:

  • How events in Afghanistan changed Jaco’s life for the better.
  • How he came to terms with being discharged from the army.
  • How a mind-set of gratitude aided his recovery.
  • The importance of achieving small goals.
  • Why he struggled to adapt to civilian life.
  • Why he was determined to join an expedition by wounded soldiers to walk unsupported to the North Pole.
  • Why he turned to competitive cycling.
  • Why you need to be grateful for a cold coffee!