show episodes
 
Hosted by Sophie Elwes, who knows a thing or two about overcoming difficulties, after sustaining a spinal cord injury in 2011. Each episode Sophie will interview an extraordinary guest who has faced and overcome enormous challenges and adversity and is achieving incredible things in spite of what they've had to deal with. She'll be finding out their story, about their greatest struggles and triumphs, and asking them what advice they would share with other people dealing with challenges of th ...
 
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show series
 
Working in the NHS for 27 years, Dr Clair Pollard is a Clinical Psychologist and Acting Director for a large psychology mental health trust in South London and a Cognitive Behavioural Therapist. She also sustained a spinal cord injury during her training at the age of 25 which left her paraplegic and a wheelchair user. Undeterred by this, it was he…
 
Rosie Wilby is an award-winning comedian, author and podcaster who has appeared a number of times on BBC Radio 4 programmes including Woman's Hour, Saturday Live and Four Thought. Her first book Is Monogamy Dead? was longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize and followed a trilogy of solo shows investigating the psychology of love and relationship…
 
Alexandra Adams was the first guest on this podcast, and the inspiration behind starting A Life Less Ordinary. She's also a medical student who is deaf-blind. In 2020 she went into hospital with symptoms of an undiagnosed chronic illness and was there for 17 months during which time she massively deteriorated and experienced some shocking mistreatm…
 
Grace Spence Green is a junior doctor and a wheelchair user. Growing up, she had her heart set on becoming a doctor from the age of eight and was a keen competitive climber. In an extraordinary incident in 2018, while she studying at medical school, a man jumped from a height and fell on her, causing her to break her back and sustain a spinal cord …
 
This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Berry who is my friend and personal trainer. We’ve known each other for years and every time I have a session with him, we end up deep in conversation and he is a real fountain of wisdom and life advice, as well as a great trainer. Growing up on a council estate in Wandsworth, Mark has always been c…
 
Gail Muller is an adventurer, educator and author. Growing up in Cornwall, she was sporty and outdoorsy, but at 14 was told she’d need to use a wheelchair by the age of 40 due to muscular-skeletal issues. She has an extraordinary story of her journey of experiencing chronic pain for 15 years, and dedicating much of that time to finding a solution, …
 
Based partly in Carlsbad, CA and in Keauhou, Hawaii, Kalim Smith and I met a few years back at a ski race in New Hampshire, after which we discovered we had a mutual friend/relative and since then we’ve enjoyed some great times in both London and California, with some wonderful conversations. After becoming paralysed in 2011 he recognised the heali…
 
Head of Wellbeing at leading employee wellbeing platform, Better Space, James Dashwood is a father, a husband, and a recovering alcoholic. Sober for seven years he has been on a journey of introspection where he’s learned so much about himself, about addiction and about what it means to be content. He shares his story about growing up and how he re…
 
Andrew Cotton is a big wave surfer and Red Bull athlete. Growing up in North Devon, he started at 7 and it became his life. He left school and worked in a local surfboard factory until the age of 25 to fund his surf trips. At this point he figured it wasn’t going to sustain him financially so he re-trained as a plumber but this made it clear to him…
 
Cathy Reay is a writer, editor, disability consultant and influencer. She is also a single mother of two and her Instagram account provides a great insight into life as a mum with dwarfism, disability justice, sex and dating, as well as some great skincare tips. Cathy tells me about what it was like for her growing up in north Norfolk and how movin…
 
Gregory David Roberts is the author of best selling novel, Shantaram and sequel, Mountain Shadow. Selling over 6 million copies, it is partly based on Gregory's own life experience of escaping prison in Australia and being on the run, during which time he lived in a slum in India. After ten years as a fugitive, Gregory was re-captured in Germany an…
 
Mo Gawdat is the former Chief Business Officer at Google X (aka the Moonshoot Factory) and before that had a successful career as a stock-trader and tech executive in Dubai. Despite having professional, personal and material success he was miserable, and no amount of new Rolls Royces could make him happy in a sustained way. He decided to use his en…
 
After breaking her neck at the age of 16 in a car crash whilst on holiday in the Highlands, Sarah’s life took a course that was far from ordinary. We speak about her rehab in the spinal unit, where, thanks to some ‘tough love’ from her physio she learned to become completely independent, despite being tetraplegic. She tells me about the early days …
 
Marsha de Cordova is the Labour MP for Battersea since 2017 and is currently the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities. She was born with nystagmus and is registered blind. We speak about her upbringing, with five siblings, where her mum fought for her to remain in mainstream education, she says if she hadn't, she wouldn't be where she…
 
Jonny Benjamin MBE is an awarding winning mental health campaigner, writer, film producer, public speaker and vlogger. At the age of 20 he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, which is a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar. Having been affected by mental illness from a young age, Jonny is passionate about improving mental health for yo…
 
Millie Gooch is the founder of Sober Girl Society, an online community which destigmatises sobriety, and brings women together who want to connect and have fun, without the booze. Millie quit drinking in 2018 after experiencing one too many blackouts and the terrible accompanying ‘hanxiety’, leading her to read Catherine Gray’s The Unexpected Joy o…
 
Megan Hine is a survival consultant, producer, adventurer and television presenter. She is also the author of Mind of a Survivor. During her career she has survived a snakebite, Lyme disease, being shot at and hunted by a lion, amongst many other things. An Ambassador for Scouting UK, Megan is passionate about enabling children and young people to …
 
Karen Darke tells me about being injured aged 21 in a mountain climbing accident and how she overcame her fear of heights following this accident to eventually climb El Capitan, as a paraplegic using just her arms. She shares with me her story from first riding a handcycle to becoming a Paralympic champion in Rio in 2016, helped, along with a lot o…
 
Siena Castellon is an 18-year-old advocate, author, mentor and Young Leader for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. She is autistic, has dyslexia, dyspraxia and ADHD. After being eventually diagnosed with autism she wrote The Spectrum Girl's Survival Guide: How to Grow Up Awesome and Autistic, which is a fantastic guide for neurodiverse girls nav…
 
Actor, writer and TV presenter Charley Boorman has travelled all over the world by motorbike, often alongside best friend Ewan McGregor. He has had two huge motorbike accidents which left him with serious injuries which have left long term damage but he refuses to be defined by his injuries. In the Apple TV+ show Long Way Up they travel up from Ush…
 
Two-time world champion and gold medal-winning Paralympian David Smith MBE was born with a club foot and has had a rare tumour in his neck which left him fighting for his life after several major surgeries and having to learn how to walk again four times. We speak about how learning and competing in karate as a youngster taught him a set of values …
 
A former drug dealer, crack addict and young offender, Brett Moran's life changed when he stumbled across a book on meditation whilst on a drug deal in a prison library. He has since become a published author, life coach and yoga and meditation instructor and his daily meditations on his Instagram account have helped countless people deal with life…
 
Sophie Morgan is a TV presenter, award-winning disability advocate, artist and entrepreneur who became paralysed at the age of 18 in a car accident. Since then Sophie has carved out an impressive career as a TV presenter covering a range of topics, as well as presenting Channel 4's coverage of the Paralympic Games for both London and Rio. Sophie is…
 
Paula Akpan is a freelance journalist and co-founder of Black Girl Festival. She is also co-founder of The ‘I’m Tired’ Project – a campaign which aims to highlight the significance of micro-aggressions and stereotypes faced by people in everyday life. Paula writes about a range of subjects with a particular interest in blackness and queerness. She …
 
Alana Nichols is a five-time Paralympian and six-time medalist who has competed in three different sports - wheelchair basketball, alpine skiing and para-canoeing. She is the first US female Paralympian to win gold medals in both summer and winter games. Coming from a para-ski racing background, Alana is one of Sophie’s biggest role-models and a to…
 
The talented Ashley Belal Chin rose to fame in 1999 BBC film Storm Damage and has enjoyed success as an actor, screen-writer, rapper and spoken word poet. Having thought happiness was found in success and material possessions he realised, after converting to Islam in 2002, where it was really to be found. We speak about his upbringing on a council …
 
Sophie speaks to Netflix’s Sex Education star George Robinson about his rugby accident in 2015 when he broke his neck and finds out about his journey to appearing in one of Netflix’s biggest hits of 2020. They chat about Tiger King, self-image, representation of disability in the media and the audition process. George gives his words of wisdom abou…
 
Sophie talks to Ben West who is an award-winning mental health campaigner who lost his brother Sam to suicide in 2018. Realising there was no formal training for teachers about mental health, Ben created a petition for teachers to receive mandatory Mental Health First Aid training. Sophie and Ben discuss the stigma around the ‘S’ word, how people o…
 
Sophie has a conversation with cross-bench peer and eight time gold winning Paralympic medallist, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE DL. Tanni sits in the House of Lords where she advocates for disability rights, welfare and disability sport. She first went to the Paralympic Games in 1988 and to four more Games after that, winning 11 Paralympic medal…
 
Sophie talks to the multi-talented Alexandra Adams. Alexandra is an athlete, a photographer, a cook, an artist, a writer, poet, TED talk speaker and medical student. She’s also deafblind and suffers from a Mitochondrial condition. Sophie and Alexandra first met on a training camp in Austria with British Parasnowsport in 2016 and that was the start …
 
Hosted by Sophie Elwes, who knows a thing or two about overcoming difficulties, after sustaining a spinal cord injury in 2011. Each episode Sophie will interview an extraordinary guest who has faced and overcome enormous challenges and adversity and is achieving incredible things in spite of what they've had to deal with. She'll be finding out thei…
 
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