This week I talk with my friend and partner in world-wide adventures Ray Zahab. Here’s a little more about Ray.
On November 1, 2006, former “pack a day smoker” turned ultra runner Ray Zahab and two friends, Charlie Engle and Kevin Lin, both accomplished runners, set out on an expedition to cross the Sahara Desert by foot. 111 days and 7,500 kms after leaving the coast of Senegal, Africa they completed their journey by stepping into the Red Sea.
The expedition had the trio running an average of 70kms a day without a single day of rest, for 111 days. National Geographic tracked the expedition by web, as well as the documentary film ‘Running The Sahara’, produced by Matt Damon and directed by Academy Award winner James Moll, was created in an effort to raise awareness for the drinking water crisis in North Africa. After witnessing and experiencing this water crisis in North Africa, Ray decided to leverage his future adventures to help raise awareness and funding for causes, like this one, that he supports and believes in.
In fall 2007, Ray ran the three coastal trails of Canada back to back and virtually non-stop, for a total distance of 400 kms. Logistics were as much of a challenge as the run, and Ray ran The Akshayuk Pass on Baffin Island, East Coast Trail Newfoundland and West Coast Trail in British Columbia, with just enough time to travel in between.
In spring 2008 Ray partnered with the ONExONE Foundation for a unique ultra running project. Accompanied by a team of runners, Ray ran an average 80 kms per day in each of Canada’s 13 Provinces and Territories in 13 days. Once again logistics were a huge challenge. School visits were arranged along the way, students participated and communities became engaged in the run which supported the work of ONExONE, which supports various charities addressing children’s issues globally. In Saskatoon alone, several thousand students and 27 schools were involved in school rallies and a city wide relay with Ray and the team.
In 2008, Ray founded impossible2Possible (i2P) (impossible2possible.com) an organization that aims to inspire and educate youth through adventure learning, inclusion and participation in expeditions. Youth Ambassadors are selected from around the world, and then participate, at no cost, in all aspects of the expedition, from logistics and running to creating educational content and team support. All of the i2P Youth Expeditions have included various challenge based initiatives through an Experiential Learning program, in which thousands of students participate as active ‘team members’ during the expeditions, from classrooms all over the world. This program and its technology is also provided at no cost to the students or schools participating. Since its inception, i2P Youth Expeditions have included 14 gruelling expeditions; Baffin Island, Tunisia, the Amazon, Bolivia, India, Botswana, Utah, Peru, Chile, Italy, California, Greece, Death Valley and Canada. The programs and expeditions are 100% free of cost.
SOUTH POLE QUEST EXPEDITION
In 2009, Ray and two fellow Canadians, Kevin Vallely and Richard Weber, broke the world speed record for an unsupported expedition by a team to the Geographic South Pole. In the process, Ray trekked this traditional route from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole, a distance of 1,100 kms, solely on foot and snowshoes, without the use of skis. Students from all over North America joined the team on a daily basis, a program provided through impossible2Possible, as the trio continued their southern trek. The students received daily communications and actively took part in every step of the trek. Essentially becoming “teammates” of the expedition, and teammates of the Guinness World Record achieved.
In winter 2010, Ray and Kevin Vallely ran the length of frozen Lake Baikal in Siberia, 650 kms, over the course of 13 days, totally unsupported. Once again communication with satellite video conferencing to schools brought the expedition into classrooms, and classrooms onto the expedition.
ATACAMA EXTREME EXPEDITION
In February 2011, Ray ran the length of the “driest desert on Earth”, the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. Temperatures exceeded 50c as he ran 1,200 kms in 20 days with minimal daily re-supply and with emergency supplies on his back. Thousands of students joined this journey, again under his i2P organization, via live web and video conferencing.
In August 2011, Ray and Will Laughlin ran from the north park boundary to the south park boundary of Death Valley National Park, totally off-road. The 237 km run saw temps reaching over 120 degrees F.
Beginning June 23rd 2013, Ray ran over 2,000km across Mongolia and the Gobi Desert. He was accompanied by both a film crew and photographer who recorded not only the expedition, but also created an archive sharing the stories of the people and culture of Mongolia to schools around the world. The expedition marked the beginning of the “To The Edge” series chronicling the stories and people and that Ray comes into to contact with on expeditions… at the edges of the Earth!
In Winter 2014 Ray completed his 4th unsupported crossing of Baffin Island on the Akshayuk Pass (he would go on to complete 6 unsupported crossings in various seasons).
In January 2015 Ray ran 1,000km across the Patagonian Desert, and then in summer 2015 Ray did a partial crossing of Death Valley National Park, his second project in the area.
ARCTIC 2 ATACAMA EXPEDITION
In February 2016, Ray Zahab (CAN), Jen Segger (CAN) and Stefano Gregoretti (Italy) set out on a unique and challenging expedition that spanned 100 degrees celsius on the thermometer. The team journeyed from -50°C (-58F) to +50°C (120F) over 1,500km, on mountain bikes and foot, crossing both Baffin Island in Canadian winter, and the Atacama Desert in Chilean summer. This would mark Ray’s second crossing the length of the Atacama Desert.
In February 2017- Ray Zahab and Stefano Gregoretti would go on to complete the second and third stages of a three part expedition in the Canadian Arctic after a near disastrous start in which Ray broke through a frozen river in the Torngats Mountain Range. The duo rallied back to ski unsupported across Baffin Island, and then fatbike across the Northwest Territories along the Mackenzie Valley Winter Road (500km).
Ray has also found the time to write two books about his life and adventures. Running for My Life published in 2007 and Ray’s second book, geared at youth readers, Running to Extremes, which recently became a National Best-Seller in Canada. He is currently writing his third book.
In addition to being an adventurer, youth advocate and runner, Ray speaks around the world at events such as TED, IOC World Conference, Idea City, The Economist World in 2010 and 2011, World Affairs Council, and numerous Apple Distinguished Educator events internationally, and numerous corporate events. He has been interviewed and appeared on several talk and news programs including CNNi, CNN, The Hour, CBC, CTV, BBC, Jay Leno, OLN and Discovery. He has also appeared in print media globally, and has been interviewed on numerous popular podcasts.
Outside of his own organization Ray has volunteered as a board member – now an advisor to the Ryan’s Well Foundation, volunteered as Athletic Ambassador of the ONExONE.org, and SpreadTheNet. He continues to volunteer with Run For Water, and various other initiatives. Ray received the ONExONE Difference Award in 2007, and the Torchbearers Award in 2010. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and Royal Canadian Geographical Society. In spring 2012, Ray was invited by H.E. Tsogtbaatar Damdin (Minister of Environment, Mongolia) to join their Internal Advisory Committee. In 2015 Canadian Geographic recognized Ray as one of Canada’s Top Explorers. In December 2015 Ray was presented with the Meritorious Service Cross of Canada by the Governor General of Canada.
He continues today with life as an adventurer and as a volunteer with impossible2Possible. ‘Running The Sahara’ would begin a lifelong journey of discovery. A journey of learning that some of the greatest barriers to achieving our goals are the ones we put upon ourselves. By breaking these down, Ray has learned that we are all capable of achieving truly extraordinary things.
In this episode I’ve posted my chat with @charlesadler on Living with Passion, the Art of Public Speaking & Being Present. Here’s a little more about Charles:
Charles Adler is a 40-year radio and television broadcast veteran, who’s career has seen him tour Canada working in Montreal (CJAD), Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto (CFRB), London, Hamilton, and Winnipeg (CJOB).
In the U.S.A., Charles hosted a nationally syndicated radio show out of Tampa, hitting more than 120 markets, and a nightly primetime television show out of Boston, for which he won a Best TV Host for New England Emmy.
Charles has hosted national radio and television programs in Canada, including Global Sunday for Global TV, The Charles Adler Show on the Corus Radio Network, The Charles Adler Show on SiriusXM Canada, and Charles Adler on the Sun News Network. Charles has made numerous appearances on Canadian national television news and current affairs shows and he has also guest hosted in the U.S.A. for Sean Hannity on Fox News Channels’ television show Hannity and Colmes. Charles’ articles have been published in Sun Media papers across Canada, and he was a regular columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press. Charles currently is host of Charles Adler Tonight on the Corus Radio Network that is heard in Western Canada.
This week I chat to Dr. Sarah West from Trent University and the Hospital for Sick Children about Bones!
Here’s why this topic is so important:
All kidding aside bones are so important for our overall health, but they’re often overlooked. Hence Dr. Sarah West! Dr. West is an Assistant Professor in Kinesiology at Trent University. Her primary research interest is understanding the interaction of chronic disease and exercise, and how this is related to various outcomes – with bone health being her primary outcome of interest.
This is a very special conversation that I recorded while walking through an olive farm in the Algarve area of Portugal. Here’s what it looked like on our hike:
We went for a walk with Tim Robinson, a highly successful business leader who now spends his time taking care of land in the Algarve. This is a deep conversation about life, farming, olive oil and living a life in alignment with your values.
This week I’m sharing a keynote presentation I did at a school on building healthy high-performance teams.
It’s common knowledge that productivity increases when people collaborate well. That goes for businesses, schools, universities, families, even social groups like book clubs. High-functioning teams are good for profitability, student achievement and even fun get-togethers.
But what makes a terrific team? Is it putting the greatest minds together? Socializing outside of work? Grouping people by experience? Having the same level of education? Having a strong leader?
Hi podcast universe!!! I’m back from vacation and ready to take on the rest of 2017. To kickstart the fall I’m sharing a small part of my presentation at the Titan Summit last year on How to Live to 120.
This is a different format so let me know what you think @drgregwells on social!
Welcome back! This week I had the chance to interview 11 time Ironman Champion Lisa Bentley. Here’s a little more about Lisa!
Lisa Bentley raced for 20 years as a professional triathlete. In the course of her career, she has won 11 IRONMAN races, 11 IRONMAN 70.3 races (1/2 IRONMAN), several top 5 finishes at the IRONMAN World Championships, represented Canada on multiple National Teams and at the Pan American Games and was ranked top 5 in the world for a decade. She competed at the highest level despite having Cystic Fibrosis – a genetic lung disease resulting in chronic infections and limited lung capacity. Her CF was very controllable for much of her career and ironically, Lisa saw it as a blessing, which fuelled her passion for sport and excellence. In Lisa’s words, “every time I raced, I knew that my race served a higher purpose to give families hope that their children with CF could achieve similar things in life. And sport kept my lungs healthy so it was a double blessing!”
Since she retired from professional sport, Lisa has been running marathons, doing motivational speaking, television commentary (CTV Olympic marathon running and swim coverage, CBC Triathlon coverage, Sportsnet Ironman coverage), coaching and sales and marketing work with Ironman triathlon. Lisa was inducted into the Etobicoke Sports Hall of Fame in 2012 and to the Triathlon Canada Hall of Fame in 2014.
Lisa has an honors degree from the University of Waterloo in Math and Computer Science and a Bachelors of Education from the University of Western Ontario. She taught high school for 7 years prior to pursuing sport full time in 1999 and now uses those teaching skills to coach and mentor athletes in pursuit of their goals in sport.
This was a HUGEly awesome experience. I was interviewed on the unmistakable creative podcast all about how to leverage physiology for ultimate human performance. You have to check out this show and all the amazing guests that they have had on including Seth Godin, Tim Ferriss, Simon Sinek among others.
This week’s chat is a real kick in the a$$. The reality of building a business and overcoming all the odds to become wildly successful is laid out for all to hear in this episode where I interviewed my friend Alpesh Patel. Here’s a little more about Alpesh:
Born in the Ugandan jungle while his parents were there on safari, Mi- Fone’s CEO and Founder is the true meaning of “Indian Blood…African Heart”. This original African Indian entrepreneur made a name for himself selling large volumes of mobile devices to the Chinese back in the ’90s.
In 2008 Alpesh founded Mi-Fone the first African Mobile Devices brand and one of Africa’s first Tech start ups. Prior to Mi Fone, Alpesh was Director of Sales Africa/Middle East for Motorola Inc. Betweeen 2002-2006 Alpesh placed more than 5m devices into the African continent generating revenues upwards of $500m.
Whilst at Motorola he realised that the big brands were missing the point and that ultimately Africa was best served by Africans themselves. His 20 years of experience in the mobile business is not to be taken lightly and he is well respected in Emerging markets for his knowledge.
He is known to be one of the hardest working people in the African Tech space and is often quoted as “An Innovator, a Disruptor and a true Visionary”. Alpesh and the Mi Fone brand have been regularly featured on CNN, Forbes Africa, CNBC Africa and numerous other media.
Mi-Fone, a completely bootstrapped operation, has also been the recipient of the Frost & Sullivan 2014 award for “Entrepreneurial company of the Year” as well as a finalist in the African Leadership Network Awards 2015. See www.mi-fone.mobi for more information.
In 2012, Alpesh founded OJU, the worlds first Afro Emoticon character brand. OJU received world wide press attention and has garnered numerous awards such as the South African Loeries Grand Prix Digital Winner 2014 and Licensing Expo 2014 “One to Watch” award.
We’re going back into the sports world this week with Olympian Martha McCabe!
Martha grew up in an athletic family who paved the way to competitive sport for her. After high school, she moved to Vancouver to study kinesiology at UBC, and train with Hungarian breaststroke coach Jozsef Nagy. Martha claimed her first international medal at the 2011 World Championships in Shanghai, and in 2012, she placed fifth in the Olympic final. In 2015, she won silver in her home city at the Pan Am Games in Toronto and went on to captain the 2016 Rio Canadian Olympic swim team. After hanging up her goggles for the final time, Martha drove across Canada in “Martha’s Canadian Drive” conducting 45 speaking and coaching sessions to over 3000 participants in 59 days to share her Olympic experiences, and inspire the next generation. Martha sits on the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission where she is passionately trying to improve the landscape for Olympians and youth in Canada.
Her new project is Head to Head . With Martha’s deep rooted passion for healthy living from the inside out she created Head to Head. She believes that by connecting youth with Olympians and National Team Athletes, we can save lives by increasing confidence and improving mindset – all the while, powering athletes.
Given the HUGE interest in mindfulness that I’ve been noticing lately I thought we should do a deep dive into that topic. So this week we chat to the brilliant researcher Dr. Ellen Choi. Here’s a bit more info about Ellen!
Ellen is an expert in the effects of mindfulness in the workplace. She is delighted to be in her final year of her doctorate at the Ivey School of Business after completing a masters degree in social psychology at the London School of Economics. Presently she is studying how mindfulness training impacts such outcomes as performance, creativity, will power, and envy. Overall, Ellen is fascinated by the ability of mindfulness training to help individuals fulfil their potential in a more efficient and more self-compassionate manner. She has designed and taught mindfulness programs within corporations, with police recruits, and in health care settings intended to increase focus, resilience, leadership, and performance under pressure. She is an instructor at The University of Toronto’s Continuing Education program where she teaches a course on Mindfulness and Team Effectiveness. Ellen is a certified yoga teacher, reiki practitioner, and has practiced Transcendental Meditation, Vipassana Meditation, and techniques from both Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. Having recently had a baby, she has never been more grateful for her mindfulness practice.
Hi everyone, welcome back! This week I talked to my friend and colleague Bart Egnal. Bart is an expert on leadership communication and recently published his new book Leading Through Language. Bart and I chat all about how to communicate better and to lead with your words. If you are into public speaking or simply want to get your point across better anytime, anywhere this episode is for you. Here’s a little more about Bart.
Bart is the president and Chief Executive Officer at The Humphrey Group, which teaches leadership communication skills through executive coaching, group training and consulting. As an executive coach and communications instructor, Bart specializes in teaching clients how to inspire action every time they speak. By helping clients communicate as inspiring leaders, Bart has developed strong partnerships with companies such as RBC, Bell, Goldcorp, Enbridge, TAQA, and Cenovus.
Welcome back podcast universe! This week I had the chance to chat with one of my greatest influences Paul Chek. Paul is a legend in the health and fitness space and we went really deep in this conversation. We talked about healthy nutrition, fitness and the pillars of living a great life. Here’s a little more about Paul.
Paul is a holistic health practitioner who has transformed the lives of countless individuals by developing practical and effective methods for addressing all aspects of well-being. His approach to treatment and education is driven by his “system of systems” philosophy: that the body is a fully integrated unit of physical, hormonal, emotional and spiritual components.
He is the founder of Corrective Holistic Exercise Kinesiology (C.H.E.K) Institute, which helps healthcare professionals advance their careers through a holistic approach to health, fitness and well-being. He is also the creator of the PPS Success Mastery Program. This self-mastery program teaches individuals to reach their true potential by transforming their destructive habits and learning to take control of their personal, professional and spiritual life.
Hi podcast universe! This week I am diving back into my passion for travel in hopes of inspiring you to get out there and explore the world! To that end I had a chat with Scott Wilson – Co-Creator/Co-Host of Departures and Descending travel TV programs.
Scott’s passion for travel started very early in life. As a child he covered his bedroom walls in maps from National Geographic and would daydream what those places looked like. Now, together with co-creator Andre Dupuis, Scott is seeing a vision for a new type of travel show come to life. Nominated for a Gemini Award for his work on Departures, Scott continues to share his travel experiences with enthusiastic audiences at speaking engagements and through hosting and producing new and upcoming programs.
Scott and Andre have paired their mutual love of scuba diving with their passion for travel in the acclaimed adventure series “DESCENDING” which airs on OLN in Canada and Travel Channel internationally.
Scott continues to challenge himself personally as a producer, diver, motorcycle enthusiast and pilot.
This week we dive into the topic of Superlearning. As a professor this is a topic that is hugely important, especially in this golden age of entrepreneurship and artificial intelligence where your ability to learn quickly is becoming more and more important.
Jonathan Levi is an experienced entrepreneur, angel investor, and lifehacker from Silicon Valley. Since 2014, Jonathan has been one of the top-performing instructors on Udemy, with his course Become a SuperLearner (now retired) earning him over 60,000 students. He has since snowballed this success into the launch of his rapidly growing information products company, SuperHuman Enterprises, which produces such products as the top-rated Becoming SuperHuman Podcast; the bestselling “Become a SuperLearner” print, digital, and audiobooks; and numerous online courses. Most recently, he launched The SuperLearner Academy, a private, online academy where he teaches premium-level masterclasses in accelerated learning and productivity. He is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
After successfully selling his Inc 5,000 rated startup in April of 2011, Levi packed up for Israel to gain experience in the Venture Capital industry. While in Israel, Levi enlisted the help of speed-reading expert and university professor Anna Goldentouch and Machine Learning expert Dr. Lev Gold, who tutored him in speed-reading, advanced memorization, and more. Levi saw incredible results while earning his MBA from INSEAD, and was overwhelmed with the amount of interest his classmates expressed in acquiring the same skill set. Since acquiring this superlearning skill, he has become a proficient lifehacker, optimizing and “hacking” such processes as travel, sleep, language learning, and fitness.
In addition to publishing his own bestselling book, Levi has been featured in such publications and programs as the Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, TEDx, Entrepreneur On Fire, Mixergy, Dream. Think. Do, Nana10 Television, The Silicon Valley Business Journal, The SoloPreneur Hour, The Smart People Podcast, and Upstarts! How GenY Entrepreneurs are Rocking the World of Business and 8 Ways You Can Profit from Their Success, among other blogs, podcasts, and publications.
Welcome back! About 1 in 5 people will face a mental health crisis at some point in their lives. Having seen the impact of mental illnesses in families, schools and businesses, mental health is now one of my top priorities. To help shed some light on this topic this week I talk with Dr. Kelly Brogan.
Kelly Brogan, M.D. is a Manhattan-based holistic women’s health psychiatrist, author of the NY Times Bestselling book, A Mind of Your Own, and co-editor of the landmark textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from MIT in Systems Neuroscience. She is board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine, and is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. She is on the board of GreenMedInfo, Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, Functional Medicine University, Pathways to Family Wellness, NYS Perinatal Association, Mindd Foundation, the peer-reviewed, indexed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, and the Nicholas Gonzalez Foundation. She is Medical Director for Fearless Parent and a founding member of Health Freedom Action. She is a certified KRI Kundalini Yoga teacher and a mother of two.
In this episode I talk to the wonderful team at What She Said radio about my new book The Ripple Effect! We chat about how to Sleep Better, Eat Better, Move Better, and Think Better!
Here’s a bit more about the show: Christine Bentley and Kate Wheeler have been trusted news sources for Canadians for decades. They interview people for information not sensation and they let you know why you should care about the topics of the day. Whether it’s finance, family, health, estate planning, tech or sex, drugs and rock n’ roll there’s no topic that’s off limits for What She Said!