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


All Episodes
Now displaying: August, 2016
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.