• Eva Holland is an adventure enthusiast, athlete and freelance writer. She is the author of Nerve: Adventures in the Science of Fear. Eva spent a large portion of her life living in fear. It was the fear of losing her mother that transcended many parts of her life and created a constricting grip over her ability to experience life fully. One day in her early thirties Eva’s biggest fear came true. In response was an incredible journey that began as hiding inside and ordering in food day after day, then the socially popularized idea of facing your fears head on, and finally, learning about fear, how it works, the purpose it serves and our ability to change it.

    Eva Holland faced her fears and that did not work so she took a different point of attack and that incredibly authentic, educating and empowering journey is packaged up into her book which we scrape the surface of in this episode.

    How love is often the cause of fear, sky-diving, exposure therapy, EMDR eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing and its ability to turn down the fear response, a newly studied individual pill that can turn down the fear response. We touch on what life is like for someone without a fear response, and much more.

    As always when we have an author on the podcast, The link to Eva’s book, Nerve is in the description of this episode.

    Send me an email: ben@heroicminds.live

  • Right after graduating from his musical theatre and performance degree from Sheridan college, David became the only amputee to perform on Broadway.

    For the screen, David has directed and choreographed several series for CBC as well as projects for CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS. David has collaborated with artists including Katy Perry, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, kd lang, Patti LaBelle, Sarah Brightman and many others.

    Currently, David Connolly, is the Associate Artistic Director at Drayton Entertainment, one of Canada’s most successful not-for-profit, professional theatre companies.

    This incredibly exciting and successful career began with the amputation of both of his feet. We will get to that in the episode...

    David has directed concerts and shows for large organizations across North America such as, The United Nations.

    What began with Shriner’s hospital turning a broom closet into a nursery because his mom would not take “no” for an answer that they could not care for him, turned into a journey of never taking “no” for an answer. A journey of powerful story telling through the arts that continues to change people’s lives.

    In this episode we talk about David going to auditions, which he nailed, and never telling anyone about his physical differences. We talk about the power of being present and the simple ‘two step’ approach in how to get there. We talk about how a leader’s job is to limit the fear and discomfort in their group. And of course, lots more in between.


    Send me an email: info@heroicminds.live

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  • The best approach to behavioural change in the inclusion space is often argued and often political. Having the conversation with Mark is a breath of fresh air. It is a conversation with nothing off the table, constructive, honest and most important, creates relatability.

    Mark Fraser spent 15 years in pro hockey, 8 of those in the NHL. Those years came with being treated differently for the colour of his skin and his cultural differences. Today, Mark has a lead role in Maple Leaf’s Sports & Entertainment, Equity Diversity & Inclusion team.

    In this episode we point out why the top down approach doesn’t work and why the bottom up approach does. We talk about the power of the minority and the majority working together toward improvement. We reference stories of significant change being made in the sporting world without any governing direction. We also dive into how people can begin creating this change in their own environments/communities without convoluted direction or regulations.

    Send me an Email

    Heroic Minds Apparel

  • For those that watched Eco-Challenge on Amazon Prime you will definitely be familiar with both Travis and his father Mark, the incredible duo exemplified what we know as the hero’s journey and a thirst for living fully.

    Travis is a professional athlete completing over 120 ultra endurance events in 17 countries, he is a speaker, author and coach. He is the author of The Ultra Mindset: An Endurance Champion's 8 Core Principles for Success in Business, Sports, and Life. He set a record for the 2013 Leadman series epic endurance event consisting of a combination of five trail running and mountain biking events held in Leadville, Colorado over the course of two months each summer, in a combined record time, of 36:20 covering 282.3 miles 10,200 feet up in the Rocky Mountains.

    I was watching the show, Eco-Challenge and heard the narrator Bear Grillz tell the audience of this Travis Macy guy…. Who decided not to participate with the goal of finishing in a top position, Instead he wanted to do the 500km (or 310 mile, 10 day race of travelling by foot, kayak, horse, swimmimg, mountain climbing and mountain biking with his father Mark a long standing endurance athlete himself who has early onset Alzheimer’s.

    In this episode we get into the details of maintaining a love for living fully, by doing. By having a respect and appreciation for the journey that is life not by hoping for a submissive world that will cater to our needs.

    I am going to quote my friend Ian Bigford who has been on the podcast before and will be back on soon, he sent me a quote from an Ancient Indian Parable… which I think aligns with the courage that both Travis and his Father exude in life:

    A man wants to walk across the land, but the land is covered in thorns. He has two options, one is to pave a road - to tame all of nature into his compliance. The other is to make sandals.

    In this episode we talk about your relationship with the difficult things in life… developing a love for living, meaning a love for the journey that has both darkness and light, we talk about how you think your way through challenge while your body is so depleted you cannot even feed yourself.

    Of course, we conclude with a discussion about Mark Macy, Travis’s dad, who again if you need a hit of inspiration to keep going, check out the eco-challenge on Amazon Prime and see the heroism that we discuss in this episode.

    The Travis Macy Show Podcast

    The Ultra Mindset Book


    Send me an email! ben@heroicminds.live

  • Three generations of the Israel family, Carl, Jamie and Brett decided to convert their long standing family farm to Organic, but it came at a high cost. After converting to Organic and taking on millions in debt, the market they were promised, vanished. The family didn’t put blame on anyone else. They dug their feet in. They decided to reinvent themselves. They changed the story of what they create and why they create it. They changed the story they were telling both internally and externally. This is a story of family, trust and willpower. 3Gen Organics

    In this episode:

    We run through the family story How the 3rd generation decided to leave the traditional education system to spearhead the family business How getting off the farm is not really a priority How they philosophically changed who their customer is How they identity as Food Producers, not Farmers. The way they approach the physically demanding aspects of their job

    Send me an email! ben@heroicminds.live

  • Dr. Galati is a traumatic brain injury survivor, and medical doctor. He has the goal of making aerobic training a part of brain injury recovery protocol. He is doing this through the Brain Changes Initiative. In this episode we discuss taking control & ownership over the brain injury recovery process with the 5-Pillars of a brain healthy lifestyle. A vital part of this conversation is envisioning the benefits of your interventions. Instead of using rationalized motivation to complete recovery objectives, picture the benefits as you plan & complete your recovery processes.

    Send me an e-mail: ben@heroicminds.live

  • Ben Switzer is a disruption architect, community accelerator, and technological storyteller. He is an entrepreneur in the health technology and virtual reality space with his present companies EXAR Studios & True Focus.

    The connection between imagination and behaviour.

    The cognitive process of reflecting on behaviour and how this can lead to catalytic change in your life.

    Determining what is driving the negative behaviours in your life.

    The process of tying the difficult tasks to the greater future vision of your life, of who you want to be and embodying it in immediate action.

    Send me an email! ben@heroicminds.live

  • Lauren Johnson is a Mental Conditioning Coach for the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball. Her goal is to improve the resilience, performance and mental strength of all the athletes in the NY Yankees System.

    Lauren does not believe there is a set of tools for in sport and out of sport. You are the same human whether you are at home, on the street, on the mound or on the ice.

    This episode functions as a guide and self-reflection that asks:

    Who do you want to be?


    Do your present habits and patterns align with who you want to be?

    Lauren on Twitter

    Heroic Apparel

    Send me an Email: ben@heroicminds.live

  • Vincent Aiello spent nearly a quarter of a century as a US Navy fighter pilot. He deployed overseas on aircraft carriers numerous times and was selected to attend and instruct at the US Navy Fighter Weapons School, better known as TOPGUN. Retired from the US Navy in 2017, Vincent is now the host of the Fighter Pilot Podcast.

    In this episode we cover a lot of ground, from landing on an aircraft carrier at night, experiencing 9 G’s on your body, leadership in the Navy, heroism, the growth mindset of debriefing, maintaining focus while alone in the cockpit and A LOT more.

    We conclude with a story of being fired at unexpectedly over Iraq and the most memorable flight of his career, ‘a hero coming home’ is what I would call it.

    Fighter Pilot Podcast

    Send me an email! ben@heroicminds.live

  • Victoria Arlen’s life drastically changed in 2006 at the tender age of eleven when she developed two rare conditions known as Transverse Myelitis and Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis. She slipped into a vegetative state in which doctors had written her off as a lost cause. Victoria spent nearly four years “locked” inside her own body completely aware of what was going on just unable to move or communicate. Doctors believed there was little hope. She could hear doctors say to her family, it may be better off to give up. Nor she or her family gave in.

    In 2010 after almost four years she began the nearly impossible fight back to life. Learning how to speak, eat and move all over again.

    Victoria went on to exceedingly defy the odds and not only recovered but has since become an accomplished Motivational Speaker, Television Host and Swimmer. Her swimming resume includes three Silvers and a Gold medal from the London 2012 Paralympic Games as well as multiple World, American and Pan American Records.

    In April 2015, Victoria made the transition from professional athlete to sportscaster and joined ESPN. In the Spring of 2016 Victoria defied yet another odd and after spending nearly a decade in a wheelchair paralyzed from the waist down was able to learn how take one step after another and eventually not only did she learn how to walk but within a year and a half in the Fall of 2017 she learned to dance as a contestant on Season 25 of Dancing with the Stars.

    Victoria's Book - Locked In

    Send me an email! ben@heroicminds.live

  • John Boockvar is the Vice Chair of the Department of Neurosurgery and the Director of the Brain Tumor Center at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan.

    Dr. Boockvar is well known from the incredible Netflix Documentary, Lennox Hill, Where the viewer gets to dive into the lives of four doctors as they navigate the highs and lows of working at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

    I encourage you to watch the show because Dr. Boockvar and everyone else in the show, (doctors, nurses, patients and patients families) are everything we talk about in this podcast rolling out in front of your eyes. Without the science, without the complexity, just raw humanity in its most courageous and resilient form.

    From Michael Jordan to Tom Petty, why you should "never let the holes in the Swiss Cheese align", why performance begins with a mindful minute, and why throwing tennis balls randomly at your kids to catch is an innovative life lesson, hear about all this and much more in this incredible episode.

    Send me an email! ben@heroicminds.live

  • Dr. Gale Gazelle is a medical doctor, assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, physician coach, mindfulness teacher and author of, Everyday Resilience, released this past august 2020.

    Growing up, Dr. Gazelle was abused by her father. That is where the episode begins. In this episode we talk trauma, how it hides in our subconscious, how it surfaces and how it can be dealt with. Then we move into a long list of tools and techniques anyone can implement into their life today to increase their ability to sustain the stressors of life.

    "Far from being a passive endurance of life’s tribulations, resilience is an active process with which you can choose to engage."

    I love doctors Dr. Gazelle's approach to awakening resilience because it is simple and easy to implement right away. It is realistic, primitive and not a "life hack"

    Dr. Gazelle gives story after story explaining how slight adjustment of everyday habits can change your ability to handle stress. This is an episode where you can instantly test out the ideas in your life, like the idea of micro-connections, the first and second arrows of pain, what to do next time you are picking up garbage, and what your life purpose statement is. Yes, get ready!

    Everyday Resilience

    Send me an email! Ben@heroicminds.live

  • Jesse Thistle is Métis-Cree, from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He is an Assistant Professor in Métis Studies at York University in Toronto.

    Honestly, I wanted to name this episode, the toughest man you never met, because when you see this intelligent, well spoken, empathetic, caring, loving person today, it is difficult to image the past he had.

    Before Jesse landed at York University and became one of Canadas most decorated phD students, he was dealing with mental illness, homelessness, addicted to crack cocaine, paid regular visits to correctional facilities across Ontario, couldn’t read or write, and couldn’t walk because of a staph infection. He says he was the limping homeless person on the side of the road begging for change.

    Jesses story and his incredible work makes the passed on, intergenerational trauma from generation to generation so tangible and digestible. In hearing his story you begin to understand the pain, the sadness and the emptiness that dominated his nurturing. It was little experiences of love through his youth into adolescence that kept a tiny spark inside him alive.

    After an unsuccessful robbery in 2006 or what a judge claimed was the worst criminal he’d ever seen, Thistle turned himself in to police and entered a drug rehabilitation program.

    In 2012 he entered the undergraduate history program at York University.

    So yes, lots of questions, lots to unpack, and that is what we will cover in this episode.

    Jesse’s book, from the Ashes, is as much educational, as it is empowering. This is the first book that has made me stop reading in awe of what I just read. It is so difficult to fathom where he is today. It truly is a life changing book and may change your life differently than it would your neighbours

    Book - From The Ashes

    Send me an email! Ben@heroicminds.live

  • Ryan Straschnitzki was a couple days from his 19th birthday playing for the Humbolt Broncos Hockey Club in 2018 when the bus crashed where 16 people died and left 13 injured. Ryan left him paralyzed from the chest down. In only three months he was getting back onto the ice as a sledge hockey player. His goal is now to represent Canada at the Olympics.

    This is one of those episodes, similar to many in the past where it is not complex psychological or philosophical ideas but rather a call to action, a positive meditation if you will, on living a resilient and courageous life, no matter what.

    Send me an email: Ben@HeroicMinds.Live

  • Ben Flanagan is an NCAA Champion from the University of Michigan. Ben went into that same race seeded as the 23rd fastest runner out of the 24 who qualified. Ben became the 2018 men’s outdoor 10,000m NCAA Champion with a time of 28:34. Today Ben is a professional Reebok sponsored runner and Olympic hopeful.

    In this episode we dive into the mind of a long-distance runner and how it all relates to life.

    How does one go into something THEY know will be uncomfortable and avoid getting caught up in their own head? How do you create a sustainable plan for improvement where your input may not be 100% everyday but your output is? How do you deal with uncertainty? Especially in a sport that is so numbers driven? What doesn’t work from the common narratives around motivation How did Bens parents change the script on how they motivated their son How did his coaches feedback on the night before that big race, give him everything he needed to succeed? One of my favourite topics discussed, I have heard this many times on many podcasts about how to get into a dark place or survive in that quote un quote “dark place” to be successful? Last but not least, Why trying to “will” yourself through things… even long distance running, won’t work.

    Send me an email! ben@heroicminds.live

  • Sam Chase delivers programs in mindfulness, yoga and resilience for organizations and high performers, nationwide. Sam teaches the science of the human mind and the tools that help people lead flourishing lives. Sam is certified to teach by the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, the largest yoga center in the nation, he received his Master's Degree at Harvard University's A.R.T. Institute, he has his own private practice in New York City and is the author of the incredible book, Yoga and the Pursuit of Happiness.

    Heroic Apparel #PayAHeroForward

    Send me an email: Ben@heroicminds.live

  • Dr. Cowan is a Board-certified Naturopathic Doctor and leading authority/practitioner of high performance medicine who is most recognized for his work with professional athletes. Dr. Callum clearly explains how food can be something that holds you back or powers you to enhance how you feel, work and recover.

    We can be performing well below our maximum and not even know it purely due to what we are eating and how we are eating.

    Get your notebook out… but seriously…

    From coffee to inflammation, vitamin-D, sleep habits, gut-health, detoxing, hormones, sleep-wake cycle, and more, we cover a lot of ground!

    Everyday Hero Cap

    Send me an Email: ben@heroicminds.live

  • Matt Nichol received his Bachelor of Education degree (Kinesiology/History) from McGill University and his Masters of Kinesiology & Masters in Coaching Theory from York University. He is the Creator of Biosteel Sports Drink and is a strength coach for some of the best athletes in the world. In this episode Matt defines strength, he debunks myths about what is strong and what is not. In a social media, research driven world, Matt provides insight into how we should approach “exercise” and how we should execute it. We then dive into some specifics, What is the relationship between strength and mobility? What is a strong core? Is HIIT Training as good as “they” say? Should we always train to failure? and MUCH more.

    Send me an email Ben@heroicminds.live

  • This episode has two outstanding guests. Dr. Kim Dawson, professor of sport & exercise psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University and the infamous Joey Hishon past Ontario Hockey League All-Star, and NHL All-Star hopeful until injury pivoted his career path in a new and exciting direction.

    Kim’s extensive education and research in psychomotor behaviour and exercise science gives her a deep understanding of the issues that affect performance. Kim also continues to do extensive work on career transition and identity. Working with elite athletes, Olympians and professional sport organizations for over 10 years, Kim developed the principles of Mind2Achieve to support people in their quest for personal success.

    Joey is presently the Assistant coach and Assistant GM of the Owen Sound Attack of the Ontario Hockey League while also working with top NHL players and elite NHL prospects through on-ice still development.

    In this episode I wanted to facilitate a discussion between the science and the lived experience of career change. The issues intertwined when the change is forced or chosen, how to approach the situation, how to leverage it and how to improve through it.

    We start with where the issues begin and move through the process to overcoming the issues that may have been present for an entire career.

    Last but not least Joey shares some updates on his newest client of his on-ice skills business. Every Canadian knows this individual but I don’t think you would predict his attempt at the NHL.

    Send me an email! Ben@heroicminds.live

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  • Noah is a behavioural ecologist and published author. He is the founder of The Best Bees Company, a top to bottom bee keeping service. The company also functions as a means to raise funding for scientific research to improve honey bee health.

    Did you know that investing into the health of honey bees we can enhance our environment, secure sources of food and improve our economy?

    Before we get to the bees we unpack Noahs empowering journey through life as a young boy that went from insect avoiding to insect studying and the life/business lessons learnt along the way.

    Bees. We begin with what we can learn from bees when it comes to our own survival both physically and socially. We then move into what bees do for us, why some bees survive better in the city, and last but not least how you can help strengthen the bee population with your own garden or balcony.

    Did you know that scientists can track exactly where and what plants your honey came from?