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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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!
Jun 25, 2016

Can you possibly begin to imagine how it must feel to physically restrain six accelerating Harley-Davidson motorcycles with your arms and a few tow straps? Probably not. American multiple record-breaking stunt-woman and Olympic gold medallist, Juli Moody, explains not only how it feels, but why she is dedicated to pushing herself to such extremes.

Listen to Juli animatedly explain how and why she performs death-defying stunts, how she overcomes fear and doubt, and why she believes more women should pursue such challenging pursuits.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Explore the mindset of a death-defying stunt-woman
  • How it feels to restrain six Harley-Davidson motorcycles with your arms.
  • Why Juli visualizes success prior to her stunts.
  • How she measures the risk of every performance.
  • How she silences the doubters.
  • How she counters feelings of fear.
Jun 19, 2016

At first glance, this Off the Ropes podcast episode seems incredibly disturbing and distressing. It features Claire McFarlane who was brutally beaten and raped in a Paris side-street in 1999. Yet, despite the trauma, distress and subsequent 16-year arduous battle for justice, Claire has used her horrendous experience to bring the conversation of rape out of the shadows.

In July, she’ll commence her 3-year endeavour to run 16km on almost every beach in the world -184 in total - not only for her own catharsis, but also to raise funds for, and awareness of, victims of rape.

This is a tough listen, but her determination and resilience represent the core attributes of being ‘off the ropes’. To have suffered, physically and mentally, as much as Claire, but not to give up hope or the chance for a happy, fulfilling life is utterly humbling.

If you feel unable to hear the details of Claire’s ordeal, please skip ahead to 20.54 where Claire shares the details of her exciting and incredibly impressive run around the world.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How Claire convinced her attacker to let her go.
  • Why it took 16 years for Claire to move on from the trauma.
  • What book saved her life.
  • Why Claire wants to instigate a worldwide conversation about the stigma of rape.
  • Why she created ProjectBRA to support worldwide victims of rape.
  • How she prepares for her 3-year global beach run.
  • How you can support Claire on her journey.
Jun 12, 2016

Could you climb seven of the world’s highest mountains? Walk to the North Pole and South Pole unsupported? Could you tackle such challenges without a leg, arm or optimal vision? Martin Hewitt, a former commissioned officer with the Parachute Regiment, shares his story of resilience and endurance on the Off the Ropes podcast.

Following injury during his service in Afghanistan, and his subsequent medical discharge, Martin founded the Adaptive Grand Slam, a series of extreme and record-breaking endeavours specifically for disabled ex-service personnel and civilians; inspiring and enabling those with disabilities to lead a life without limitation.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How Martin survived being shot in the chest.
  • Why a paralysed right arm would not deter him from leading an extraordinary and fulfilling life.
  • Why Martin wanted to support fellow injured ex-service personnel and establish the Adaptive Grand Slam.
  • Why defeat on Everest would not prevent him from returning.
  • How vertigo affects his ability to climb.
  • How to strengthen your mindset, the most essential attribute in overcoming adversity.
  • How to participate in the Adaptive Grand Slam.
Jun 5, 2016

Do you have the resilience gene? No? Well, worry not. Executive Coach & TED speaker, Elizabeth McCourt, shares with us her practical and straightforward tips for cultivating greater resilience and tenacity. Learn how to bounce back from adversity; how to silence your inner-critic and discover how one simple pose can transform your confidence. (Let’s meet Elizabeth McCourt.)

What You’ll Learn:

  • How to embrace failure
  • The importance of small wins.
  • Why to express gratitude.
  • How to identify your Jabba the Hut.
  • How to silence your inner-critic.
Jun 2, 2016

On this week’s Off the Ropes podcast, US entrepreneur, Bobby Edwards. Creator of the Squatty Potty, Bobby and family revolutionised the way the world poops. The ‘stool for better stools’ became a multi-million dollar device designed to help the world unkink their colons and poop more freely. His enormously successful viral advert featuring the ‘pooping unicorn’ received 70 million Facebook views and resulted in a 600% rapid increase in Squatty Potty online sales. Let’s meet the man who found gold in poop.


In this episode, you will learn:

  • How constipation fuelled the journey to Squatty Potty success.
  • Why Bobby ignored advice from his Shark Tank investor.
  • Why he was convinced a rainbow-pooping unicorn puppet would catapult their success.
  • The importance of gut instinct in decision making.
  • (And, why you’ve been pooping incorrectly all your life!)
May 29, 2016

In 2011, Steve Bate was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa; a degenerative eye-disease which will ultimately render him blind. 18 months after the life-changing news, and with just a 10% field of vision – akin to looking through a pin-hole – Steve became the first registered blind man to solo-climb one of the world’s tallest rock-walls, El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, California.


Not content with just the one enormous victory, within a few months of returning from Yosemite, Steve thought his next seemingly insurmountable goal should be the 2016 Olympics; in a few weeks’ time, he’ll hear whether he’s been selected for GB’s tandem cycling team. Adventurer, climber, athlete, champion cyclist: Steve Bate is Off the Ropes!


What You’ll Learn:


  • How Steve came to terms with losing his eye-sight.
  • Why he challenged himself to solo-climb one of the world’s tallest monoliths.
  • How it feels to falls off a rock-face at 700m!
  • How to sleep comfortably on a 3000ft rock.
  • How climbing El Capitan changed his life.
  • Why he challenged himself to compete at the 2016 Olympics.
May 22, 2016

Miles Daisher couldn’t be more off the ropes if he tried! A member of the elite Red Bull Air Force, with a record-breaking 4100+ BASE jumps and a rapidly climbing 7000+ sky-dives, his unrelenting enthusiasm and passion for hurling himself off extreme peaks is palpable and infectious. He animatedly discusses his most challenging jumps and most terrifying; his unbridled motivation for pushing boundaries beyond the realms of perceived possibility, and recounts many an adventure with close friend, the late Shane McConkey. Warning: Listening to Miles may render your life utterly dreary in comparison.

In this episode you will learn:

  • What it takes to be a Red Bull Air Force pilot.
  • How it took 40 years to realise his dream of being a Hollywood stuntman.
  • How Miles assesses and manages the risk of every jump.
  • How it feels to kayak out of a plane!
  • The method in his perceived madness.
  • How to utilise fear to overcome challenges.
May 8, 2016

James Cosmo, known for his larger than life rugged and robust characters from Game of Thrones, Troy, Trainspotting, Highlander and Braveheart (and not forgetting the most convincing Father Christmas ever, in The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe!), is an enormously successful, yet humble actor.

Even though he has endured hardship, including sleeping rough on the streets of London, his attitude to adversity is admirable, viewing any struggle as a beneficial challenge to overcome and learn from.

In this episode, you will learn:

  • How homelessness didn’t break his spirit or desire to succeed.
  • The importance of ‘meaningless’ work.
  • Why acting still terrifies him.
  • Why he’d love to play a romantic lead.
  • How his role in The Pyramid Texts was his most daunting acting experience ever.
  • Why he supports Lion Aid & Street Child Africa.
May 2, 2016

In 2008, whilst on deployment to Afghanistan, Staff Sergeant Michael Kacer became a victim of a rocket attack resulting in severe and life-changing injuries. Yet, even though he lost his left arm, he explains why he believes his life is now much richer. He attributes sport to be his personal saviour and this month, he’ll represent the US at the second Invictus Games in Orlando. If Michael can’t inspire you to step away from the sofa of comfort, no one can.

In this episode, you will learn: Why Michael volunteered for service in Afghanistan; how the events of 18th June, 2008 changed his life for the better; how he discovered his ‘new normal’ after losing his arm; why he believes sport saved him from alcoholism and depression; and how you can overcome adversity to achieve a more fulfilled life.

May 1, 2016

In 2012, whilst setting a new world record for plunging a staggering 252m without the aid of breathing apparatus, a devastating and life-changing error occurred for champion free-diver Herbert Nitsch, resulting in brain damage and a prognosis of being wheelchair-bound. But due to his incredible determination, intuition and remarkable self-discipline, not only did Herbert walk again, but he returned to free-diving.

In this episode, you will learn: How multi-world record holder Herbert Nitsch learned to free-dive; how his extraordinarily disciplined lifestyle enables him to hold his breath for over nine minutes; how a series of errors culminated in his fateful decompression sickness and subsequent brain damage; how he fought his prognosis of being wheelchair-bound vegetable; and why he trusted his own ability to discharge himself from hospital and facilitate his own recovery.

May 1, 2016

Geoff Thompson was once described as Britain’s hardest man who taught for Chuck Norris, and was even asked by Reggie Kray to be his personal bodyguard. Yet, despite a background punctured with sexual abuse, extreme violence and depression, he became a Times best-selling author, playwright, film-maker, mentor and BAFTA winning screen-writer. Learn how Geoff Thompson took himself from factory floor sweeper to revered martial artist and acclaimed author, playwright and film maker; how to stop fear strangling your creativity and a chance for a better life; why you need to ‘kill your parents’; how to identify who you are and discover what it is you’re meant to do; why truth is the only goal worth pursuing; and why Geoff forgave the man who sexually abused him.

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