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: October, 2016
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.