HeroicMinds Podcast

My name is Ben Fanelli and the goal of this podcast is to have open and vulnerable conversations with people that see the world in a different way due to education or experience. Rising up through adversity and challenge our conversations reveal the principles to become the hero of your own story.

Available on: Spotify | iTunesGoogle Play Music


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#45 - Dr. Nathalie Sleno | Nothings Impossible

Dr. Sleno, is a mother of 7, a military doctor, pilot and teacher. Dr. Sleno was one of the last 17 individuals in the running to be selected as one of Canada's next astronauts. The Canadian Space Agency has hired 12 astronauts since 1983. Dr. Sleno is also the CEO of Leap Bio Systems; Canadian professionals in the medical, aerospace, research and engineering fields changing the way medical care is done not only in space but also remote areas on earth.

Dr. Sleno and I discuss the process of staying grounded, accepting the risk in trying to do crazy things… like leaving the planet, how she was tested in the process of becoming an astronaut, and lots more. We even touch on the challenges her organization is approaching such as augmented reality for medical treatment done in space by someone here on earth… another life changing episode. Enjoy!

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#44 - Audrey Kouyoumdjian | A 20 Year Secret

Audrey was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and was told not to have kids and not to open a Physio Therapy Clinic. She has successfully done both those things. She also had to tell her husband of 20 years that she loved another woman.

Audrey and I talk openly, and optimistically about her entire life journey; specifically how her mind set at certain times correlated directly to her health. When something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t right. Talk about it, change it. Find the happiness you deserve. Waking up from surgery with tubes all over her body after having part of her stomach removed Audrey finally decided to be authentic. This is a story of approaching things that are scary, uncomfortable or will require a lot of work. 
Audreys Book


#43 - Ian Bigford | Controlling Your Attitude Part 1 & 2

He’s back! The man on this Heroic Minds journey with me. Philosophy Major, Masters in Business Administration, business consultant and more. In this episode we break down with philosophy and science exactly why YOU DO control whether the rainy day is a “bad” day or a “great” day.

Part 1:
- Thinking fast vs. Thinking slow.
- How to stay motivated; Dopamine vs. Serotonin.
- How the attitude you choose affects your perception of things.

Part 2:
Ian and I break down the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling (1910)
This poem was written circa 1895 as a tribute to Leander Starr Jameson who led about five-hundred of his countrymen in a failed raid against the Boers, in southern Africa. It is a literary example of Victorian-era stoicism.

Ian's Instagram


#42 - Constable Marshall & Chase | K-9 Unit

Tyler Marshall and K-9 Police Dog “Chase” are partners in the Waterloo Police Department. They have been together since day one. Both of them sacrifice enjoyment for the safety of an entire community. Chase is a working dog. He does not live the same life as dogs you may know. He lives in his own dog house in the backyard of Tylers house. He has limited contact with the family, limited treats and definitely limited high pitched "Good boy's." When Tyler throws the tennis ball Chase takes off full speed to track it down. Tyler says without yelling “Hold” and Chase will stop instantly with complete control and wait patiently. Tyler will then say “down” and from 30 yards away, Chase will lay down and wait. Tyler then allows Chase to retrieve the ball and return it to him. What is life like for these two? How are decisions made? What are some real stories of the work Chase has done and the abilities he has. Does chase know the difference between work time and play time? Does he take on different positions in the police force? Where does he come from? All that and more, leading up to a story where Chase tracked down a suspect and had them say “I’ll come out but don’t let that dog near me."

#41 - Dana Sinclair | Managing Your Emotions

Dana is a licensed psychologist who consults with surgeons, actors, musicians, executives as well as professional teams and athletes in the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS and Autosport.

She has worked with a number of Olympic teams, taking her to the Olympic Games in Nagano, Sydney and Salt Lake City in her capacity as the teams’ performance psychologist.

A former international athlete herself, Dana served as captain of the Canadian Field Hockey Team and played hockey for the University of Cambridge, UK. She has two doctorates (from the University of Cambridge, UK and the University of Ottawa) and is a clinical assistant professor with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. The Canadian Baseball Network ranked her #9 on the 2016 Most Influential Canadians in Baseball Top 100 list.

In this episode we talk about how our minds limit ourselves and how we can change that.

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#40 - John Young | Be The Hammer

John Young is the only person with Dwarfism to complete an Ironman. Not only that he also regularly races in triathlons, and marathons. John Young was raised in a foster home with a strong female influence. John is also a teacher and basketball coach… yes a basketball coach. He shares funny stories of how he deals with the social situation when people may judge him and what his mindset is when he’s mid race. We also discuss a mindset on handling pain and how his quote “Be The Hammer” came to be.

John Young Instagram

John Young Twitter


#39 - Dr. D.J. Cook | Neurosurgeon, Farmer, Hero

Dr. D.J. Cook is a neurosurgeon and owner operator of OtterCreekFarms. In this episode he tells the story of working on the farm and 10 minutes later in surgery to save someones life. That is the life of Dr. Cook. We talk about decision making as a brain surgeon, how he approaches problems on the farm just how he approaches problems during surgery. Dr. Cook is fascinated by the resilience of the brain and how performance of the brain can now be seen through specialized imaging on stress induced patients. Dr. Cook is one of the most humble people I have ever met; a life saver, a farmer, a hero.

#38 - Gerry Dee | Find Out For Yourself

Gerry Dee is one of the best comedians of our time. Known for his hit show Mr. D, his stand up comedy, Gerry Dee Sports Reporter and his various role’s in main stream movies. Gerry’s journey to comedy is exactly why I wanted him on the show. He still remembers the arguments his parents had when he was a kid over whether they had enough money for food and gas that week. While doing his second degree Gerry had four jobs, one of them being comedy, which grew into what it is today. The interesting thing is that it was never about chasing the money, it was about doing something and trying to be the best in the world at it… the money would be a by-product of that. Gerry’s comedy career took flight in 2002 when he became the first Canadian to win the San Francisco International Comedy Competition (which had past winners such as Ellen DeGeneres, Louis C. K., Dane Cook, and more.) We talk sports, society, failure, goal setting, schooling, comedy, and more. “If you’re going to do something try be the best in the world at it, you may never be, you may only get close, but you have to get close to get there.” - Gerry Dee.

Gerry Dee Website

Gerry Dee - words that end in “an”


#37 - Joanne George & Smiley | See With Your Heart (Oct 14th)

A feel good story about a dog born without eyes that has changed and saved peoples lives. Many years ago Joanne had a foster dog that could not find a home. People thought Smiley could not live like a “normal” dog. One day Joanne decided Smiley would go from a foster dog to her own. Through an incredible journey Smiley turned into a source of hope, a saviour, and a hero. Smiley’s story teaches us how to treat and approach people that may be different, how to adapt to our surroundings and how easy it is for anyone to make someones day…without knowing that it could get them out of a rut or even save their life.

For The Love of Smiley Instagram

For The Love of Smiley Book


#36 - Troy Smith | Two Types of Mental Toughness

Suicide. A conversation I never thought I would be having with my hockey coach. Like anything in this world that we don’t understand talking about it will only make us better and more equipped. In this episode I sit down with Troy Smith head coach of the Saginaw Spirit in the Ontario Hockey League. Before coaching Troy played four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 1995-1999 with the Detroit Jr. Red Wings/Plymouth Whalers organization. We start by talking about Troy’s brother who completed suicide. We move into other topics of how to support someone that doesn’t want help, how to talk to someone that may be having mental health issues, and how mindfulness and meditation aren’t the only way to support your mental health. We even talk about the night I had my injury and how Troy almost got in a fight in the hospital which provided some comic relief, lastly Troy reveals his hobby of playing fortnight and the ulterior motive as to why he plays.

Troy Smith Twitter


#35 - Ben Fanelli | Living Without Sport

In this episode I bring to light something missing in the concussion conversation. Athletes may have to stop playing the sport they love one day… and that is okay. Athletes are never told this nor do they talk about it or plan for it. Once an athlete sustains a concussion they are expected to go against the grain and not play through injury which has been a habit developed from a young age. It is not “tough” to play through injury, it is habit. What is tough is accepting where you are, regardless of how terrible it may feel and acting in accordance. Athletes may have to second think their return to sport and make the tough decision of moving on from playing. You can live just as happy if not happier without sport. This needs to be talked about more to enable athletes to make this decision. It was conversations like this that helped me to accept where I was and the decision I needed to make. I can live without sport… I never believed I could.


#34 - Chris Miranda | Greater Purpose

Chris Miranda, ex-golf pro and golf course owner “had it all” until one day noticed tingling in his hands. He went from shooting a 71 to a 91 on the golf course and had trouble standing up on his hockey skates. He was told by the doctor he had 6 weeks to live. Initially thought to be a rare form of cancer Chris was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disorder in which your body's immune system attacks your nerves. This has rendered Chris without the use of his hands or feet. Raising two young kids, with a full time job and constantly around a game he can no longer play like he used to, Chris has found a way to get back to “having it all”.

Cambridge Golf Course


#33 - Brock McGillis | Fear of Difference

Brock McGillis is the first professional hockey player to publicly reveal he’s gay. He played professionally in both the United States and Europe. At age 19, McGillis was ranked on the NHL draft list, but his prospects were derailed by a series of injuries, from cuts and concussions to mono and knee surgeries. Brock has become an influential advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. His story has been highlighted in newspapers and blogs across North America, and was most recently featured on CBC The National. This fall he’ll be featured in a book about hockey heroes who are changing the game for the better he will be profiled in a National Film Board documentary about LGBTQ+ athletes. He’s also starting a foundation and hoping to speak at every elementary and high school in Canada.

Brock McGillis Twitter


#32 - Wali Shah | The Power of Our Narratives

Wali Shah is a Pakistani, Muslim, Canadian, public speaker and poet. Wali came to Canada in 1997 with his mom. After years of dealing with assumptions and name calling, hate crime and more, a small altercation escalated leaving Wali in hand cuffs. It was at that point he realized the immense power that is in our narratives. The way we speak, the stories we are told and the manufactured ideas we believe make for conflict and anger that could be easily avoided. In this episode we talk his journey from hand-cuffs to the stage of 100's of different schools. We talk about the word terrorist, we talk about cultural misunderstanding, we talk about the heroic initiative we can all take to understand different people better. It is simply educating ourselves that can literally make this world a better place. We don't have to like each other but it would make this world a better place if we respected each other.

Wali Shah on Twitter

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#31 - Emily Kaplan | Human Side of Athletes

Emily Kaplan is an ESPN journalist and ex Sports Illustrated journalist. Her writing is different than the average athletic story. She interviews and writes in a way that the human side to each athlete shines through. It is her type of writing that is so exciting because it allows everyday people, young, old, athlete or not to relate to the story.

We start with Emily's journey in the male dominated world of sports journalism where 11% are female. We move into a number of athlete's journeys, the reason for the culture of hockey and how it can be applied to other "groups", the social issue of concussion, past interviews with athlete superstars and more.

Emily on Twitter

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#30 - Michael Landsberg | Tag You're It 

Michael Landsberg is a Canadian sports journalist and former host of Off the Record on TSN. Today he still works a full time job while spending 2/3 of every day helping people open-up, share, discuss and find courage in their mental health struggles. In this episode we talk as open as possible about mental health but also in general, chirps were thrown and laughs were had throughout the entire episode. Michael shares the details of his continuous journey through life while dealing with depression and anxiety. He talk about how to overcome the ego that stops us from sharing. We discuss how mental health issues are similar to a street fight where you look for any tool you can to help win the fight. We even discuss how to approach the conversation with someone else that may be dealing with depression or anxiety.

Michael Landsberg - Twitter



#29 - Nichole Robertson | We Create Limitation

Nichole is a university professor of piano and ex competitive swimmer that has been blind since birth. I prepared for this episode accordingly with questions and ideas that I thought would lead us to discussion of a different approach to life.... that didn't happen... something more incredible did. Nicole explained how she lives alone, she is a university professor and does 99% of everything people with sight do. Nicole and her story is proof that it is not what we see that creates our limitations in life but what we imagine in our minds. There was never a fear in riding a bike, in swimming, in j-walking, in music, and more. Nichole pushes the envelope of life and life without sight so much so that she forces her peers to improve to keep up.


#28 - Dr. Bhante Saranapala | Purify the Mind

Dr. Saranpala is known as the Urban Buddhist Monk. He was born in Chittagong, Bangladesh. He continued his secular and monastic education in Sri Lanka. There he joined one of the leading Colleges for the Training of Buddhist Monks in Asia where he received his Upasampada or Higher Ordination. After obtaining a Masters Degree in Religious studies from Hamilton’s McMaster University in 2002, Bhikkhu Saranapala returned to the University of Toronto as a Teaching Assistant, and did his doctoral studies in Religious Studies at the Centre for the Study of Religion. For two decades Dr. Saranapala has been teaching mindfulness and Vipassana meditation in the Greater Toronto Area and across North America. In this episode it is not a personal story. It is learning about the beliefs and mindset that comes with buddhism. This entire episode is like a meditation in itself.
Relax and enjoy.




#27 - Dr. Graham Collingridge | Benefits of Stress, Anxiety & Inflammation

Dr. Collingridge was recruited from Bristol in the U.K. to be the Senior Investigator at Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute in Toronto. He is also the chair of the Department of Physiology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Collingridge studies brain mechanisms that control the strength of brain cell connections, and how this fundamental property (known as synaptic plasticity) affects brain function. The work is critical for understanding the cellular basis of learning and memory. Dr. Collingridge aims to find pharmacogenetic methods (drugs) to restore behavioural and cognitive function and to prevent neurodegenerative processes that afflict people with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease, and mental illness. From why smells reminds us of our past to research on medication that can reverse the affects of depression to pruning our synapses and the best way to keep our brain young. I am sure you will enjoy it.

Dr. Collingridge Facebook


#26 - Michael Cotts | Mission Before Man

Canadian Forces Sargent Major Michael Cotts enlisted at the age of 17. He served overseas six times, in Kuwait, Somalia, Bosnia, and Afghanistan as a master warrant officer and combat engineer. Michael received a medical discharge in 2012 for post-traumatic stress disorder. After returning home Michael has ventured through some dark times to find healthy habits, overcome immense adversity and live triumphantly with PTSD. He has joined numerous groups that encourage active lifestyle and competition within a wide variety of activities such as snowshoeing, cycling, fishing, scuba-diving and Cross-fit. He has biked 800 miles from Ottawa to Washington over several weeks. Michael even runs workout classes for fellow veterans and first responders with operational stress injuries in New Brunswick. 

Vincovis Biometrics


#25 - Camil Dumont | The Similarity That Bond Us

Camil Dumont is the CEO of Inner City Farms. A company that grows vegetables in the city of Vancouver... yes literally in the city, on the front and back yard of peoples homes. He does this to bring people together and to educate. Camil has accepted the pay cut, the risk and the challenges that come with the business all to make our relationship to food a little healthier. A very heroic journey.  

Instagram @InnerCityFarms



#24 - Garret Rank | Power of Perspective

Garret Rank is a full time NHL referee and pro golfer that recently competed in the US Open. He is also a cancer survivor with an incredibly resilient mindset.

Rank has his eyes set on reffing the Stanley Cup Finals and competing in the Masters.

We talk about how NHL players will actually help him after making a bad call, arguments on the ice with past guests (Scheifele, Landeskog), we walk through how to decelerate a yelling match with a pissed off NHL player, bouncing back from a bad call or bad golf shot, and finish with some funny stories from the US Open fans and hecklers!

 Photo by:  Mark Reis

Photo by: Mark Reis

#23 - Brenna Huckaby | Adaptive Athletes 

Brenna Huckaby is up for Best Female Athlete With a Disability at the 2018 ESPY Awards and is the first Paralympian to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition.

Brenna was a nationally ranked gymnast when osteosarcoma took her leg and career when she was only 14 years old.

Now she is a two-time Paralympic Gold Medalist from the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. One gold in the snowboard-cross and one in the banked slalom.

In this episode we talk about how literally getting off the couch turned her life around and allowed her to push the limits of life regardless of her amputation.

From swimming to water skiing, to olympic gold in snowboarding, to prosthetic malfunction mid-race, to defying her odds of giving birth. We even discuss Brenna's future goals of competing in the summer Olympics and driving a standard vehicle.

Brenna Huckaby Instagram

Brenna Huckaby Twitter


#22 - Gabriel Landeskog | Vulnerability, Stoicism, Leadership

Gabriel Landeskog was one of the youngest captains in NHL history and Rookie of The Year in the NHL in 2011-2012 season.

He moved to Canada from Sweden at 16 years old and is presently the Captain of the Colorado Avalanche in the NHL. He has won multiple medals on the world stage representing team Sweden.

From his bachelor party, to being an NHL captain at 20 years old, to surviving a triathlon, to the scariest moment in his life, to the most embarrassing moment of his life.

In this episode we don't talk much about hockey. We talk about the human side to one of the most stoic, strong and fearless captains in the sporting world today.

Gabriel Landeskog Twitter


#21 - Mike Laughlin | A New Normal

Mike Laughlin looked death in the eyes twice. He is an above knee amputee full time Fire Fighter with endless resilience and tenacity.

We talk about 3 life altering experiences over the course of ten years and how none of them have stopped him from anything in life.

From crawling on his knees with a shattered femur and broken arm in minus 28 degrees celsius to having his leg bones stuck in the ground after a motorcycle accident.

Mike looks and acts just like any other healthy, active young male. The only difference is that every morning when he puts his two shoes on, he also puts his leg on.

This is a story for the books.


#20 - Dr. Bob Stevens | Working With Heroes Everyday

Dr. Bob Stevens has been an oncologist for 25 years. He has seen how incredible the human body and mind is first hand. 

In this episode Dr. Bob and I not only discuss his mindset in the area of oncology but also the mindset of the patients that he works with everyday.

We talk about life, death, breaking edge cancer care and lots more.

For those like myself intimidated by the topic of cancer or even feel insufficient as to not having the right to discuss the topic, this is the episode for you. Dr. Stevens tells incredible stories and realities of just how amazing people are.

Dr. Stevens Instagram


#19 - Daniel Gallucci | Working With Uncertainty

Daniel Gallucci has been through brain cancer and is now pushing the envelope of neuroscience to then push the envelope of human performance.

After discussing Daniels journey through cancer we then move into how he and his team are testing the human body and mind under stress while recording functional images of the brain. 

Daniel and his team with some of the top neuroscientists in the world could change sport and human performance forever.

Daniel Gallucci Twitter | Daniel Gallucci Website



#18 - Steven Woods | Success Comes From Building The Right Team

Steven Woods is an engineering director at Google Canada leading 500 people. He has a PhD in Computer Science and started the first voice recognition software company in 1999 called Quack.com He fired himself from his own company and then re-hired himself, he went to Hawaii to meet someone in person that wasn't answering his calls. He didn't make the school golf team and was named MVP the following year. He has been told that he can be too passionate. Needless to say Steve doesn't like to take "no" for an answer. His journey to Google is one for the books. He went from school to playing hockey in Australia to scuba diving, back to school, to the golf team, to Pittsburgh, to Silicon Valley, finally to Google and more in between.

Hear how one day Google literally came to his house to recruit him.


#17 - Ian Bigford | What Is A Heroic Mindset? Vol. 2

Iain Bigford is a Philosophy major and brand marketer. He has the incredible ability to articulate complex thoughts and ideas. Perfect for this episode. In this episode we work through 3 principles that are consistent across every HeroicMinds guest thus far. We talk through, dissect and debate just exactly what it is that allows each HeroicMinds guest to be the hero of their own story.

- Evolutionary connection between the hero's journey and today's complex world.
- The biological connection between being a predator or pray.
- The neuroanatomy behind composure in times of challenge.
- How articulation of clear objectives primes the mind for goal oriented action.

@Iainnorthe - Instagram


#16 - Dara Howell | You Don't Always Have To Believe

Dara Howell is an olympic Gold Medalist, a RedBull Athlete, and an ambassador for Always #LikeAGirl. There is a lot more to Dara's current journey than simply executing on her ski's and stepping onto the podium. At the age of 19, Dara was thrown into a world of fame and success over night. This came with a feeling of shamefulness, anxiety and fatigue. After years of contemplating exit from her sport and the spot light, Dara had 9 months to train for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Her showing at the Olympics didn't come with your standard fairytale ending... but it did come with an inspiring, courageous story of its own. Dara finished in the bottom half of her fellow competitors yet she turned that situation into one that had the entire country at her back; integrity regardless of winning or losing.

It was the fear of failure that once stopped Dara from achieving her best not only as an athlete but as a person. It is failure that has now fuelled Dara with an inherent excitement regardless of the outcome.

Twitter - @DaraHowell
Instagram - @DaraHowell


#15 - Darren Van Zandbergen | Time Is Always Against Us

Darren Van Zandbergen holds the world record in the over 40 division of the Fire Fighter Combat Challenge, also known as the toughest two minutes in sports. Darren and his team finished first in the relay at the same World Championships and shattered two world records in the process. Beyond that Darren is a training officer for the Oakville Fire Department in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Darren is in charge of training fire fighters to be ready for whatever and whoever is in need when 911 is dialled. In this episode we dive into the mental integrity that is needed to stay focused while either at the top of a 100 foot ladder, or when lives are at stake. We then talk about the combat challenge, 100% output with zero room for error.  Darren has a really powerful approach to PTSD in first responders, which he shares on the podcast. In conclusion, Darren shares a moving story of his grandfather which he reflects on for motivation during competition.


#14 - Heather Moyse | More Capable Than You Think

Heather Moyse has represented Canada professionally in three different sports. From Rugby to Cycling to Bobsleigh. Heather was the leading try scorer in the 2006 and 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup, represented Canada in cycling at the Pan-American games in 2012, and won two gold medals in bobsleigh in 2010 and 2014. Outside of sport Heather has a masters degree in occupational therapy, is a motivational speaker and has recently released her book called Redefining Realistic. Heather is the hero of her own story for many reasons, the biggest reason is utilizing every opportunity that has come her way.
Twitter - @HeatherMoyse
Instagram - @HeatherMoyse
Website - heathermoyse.com


#13 - Amanda Kessel | Pushing Through To Gold

Amanda Kessel is one of the most prolific hockey players today. Three time NCAA champion, silver medalist in the 2014 Olympics and a gold medal in this years 2018 Olympics. She helped lead her NCAA’s team to the first ever-undefeated season in women’s hockey. She became the fourth woman in NCAA hockey history to eclipse 100 points, with 101 points. There is more to Amanda’s story that you may not see. Amanda had to stop playing hockey for almost two years due to concussion and thought a return to playing was near impossible. There’s more to Amanda than the game of hockey. She is doing her part in the fight for equity in women’s hockey and is working on a clothing line that started as a distraction during her time away from the game. Amanda is not only a successful athlete but a successful person and is definitely the hero of her own story.
Twitter - @AmandaKessel28
Instagram - AmandaKessel28


#12 - Mark Scheifele | Sacrifice & Success

Mark Scheifele is an assistant captain of the Winnipeg Jets and one of the most exciting players in the National Hockey League today. After signing a long-term eight-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets he continues to thrive and improve. In this episode we talk about things you don't hear in interviews or in the locker room. How to stay grounded when you are living out your dream, the power of prayer, how to control anxiety and much more. Mark remains in control of his own destiny because he is able to adapt to the inherent adversities that come with being one of the best hockey players in the world.
Twitter | Instagram


#11 - Anthony Stewart | Don't Leave It To Chance

Anthony Stewart made it to the NHL with less than a 1% chance. He couldn't afford to play or commute to the rink. That didn't stop Anthony Stewart or his brother from making it. Early exposure to many things in life, walking to the rink with his equipment, striving to support his 6 siblings, all lead to his dream of playing in the NHL. Anthony is the hero of his own story and now a hero for many others that start life in the same position as he did.


#10 - Karsten Madsen | Success Isn't Owned, It's Leased

Karsten Madsen is a professional triathlete. With a heart out of rhythm he was told sports were no longer. He was reluctant to deal with adversities outside of sport, all while competing on the world stage of cross triathlons. Karsten has stepped away from his sport 3 times. His determination and win at all cost mindset is his greatest asset but he also realizes it can be a weakness when not controlled. Karsten has now made mental wellness a part of his training routine. Rejuvenated and prepared, Karsten is ready to chase success. He now has his eyes set on being the 2018 ITU Cross World Champion in Denmark and competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
Website | Twitter | Instagram | Cliff Bar


#9 - Ryan Martin | Acceptance Breeds Resilience

Ryan Martin is biking across Canada. It took him a long time to figure out what was going on in his head. Time after time he thought his problems were solved. When he finally accepted his bipolar disorder he found the path of resilience. Overtime Ryan has learned how to manage his thoughts and emotions to live a fulfilling life. He is biking 8000km across Canada to instil courage in others dealing with mental health challenges. Website | Twitter | Instagram


#8 - Marc Savard | The Game Will Always Be There

Marc Savard played 14 seasons in the National Hockey League. He had an obligated yet heroic journey through concussion to finish an incredible career. We discuss how he reached his dream and the moment he realized in the locker room mid-game that it was going to be his last game as a professional hockey player. We finish with a fun discussion about another sport he may play professionally one day. 
@MSavvy91   Taping Twigs With Savy


#7 - Julia Mann | A Pause Doesn't Mean Its Over

On the surface people see a young NCAA swimmer, a friend, a sister, a teammate. What you don't see is that Julia found control over epilepsy and bipolar disorder, overcoming both challenges to compete in the pool again with her D1 Swim Team at La Salle University in Philadelphia.  Julia has since then finished her undergrad degree and is in the process of becoming a lawyer. Julia explains how taking the time to find control over adversity isn't a reason to give up or dwell on being stagnant... because a pause doesn't mean it's over.


#6 - Eric Bolton | Create The Right Choice

Eric Bolton had the choice; med school or music... safety or passion. He chose passion and hasn't looked back. Eric is a successful business owner and recording artist. He goes to work everyday to create, teach and share his passion with the world. We sit in his loft studio and talk about the inherent adversities and exciting risk in chasing your passion, how to organically grow a sustainable customer base, how to make the right decision and the fact that everyone is an entrepreneur.
@EBoltn | iTunes - Shy Harry | Spotify - Shy Harry              


#5 - Brett Maclean | Preparation And A 5% Chance

Brett Maclean just reached his lifelong dream of playing in the NHL...then his heart stopped and his life changed forever. From the moment he woke up in the hospital to sitting here chatting with me, Brett carries an aura of control and composure. That is what made him a successful hockey player and with a 5% chance of living, a successful survivor. We start with his journey to the NHL, then discuss his life changing heart attack, the lessons he has learnt and how you can support the Heart & Stroke Foundation. @mackattack_39


#4 - Amber Shewfelt | Accept What You Can't Control

Amber Shewfelt is the definition of toughness. She is living a triumphant life with Cystic Fibrosis, setting and achieving goals regardless of the daily adversity. Her main goal is to make life better for others with CF in a selfless and remarkable way. We discuss life, death, and how to share your message in a way that can change a life. Amber shares that feeling upset and frustrated shouldn't be avoided to hide the truth, but rather embraced to accept the truth and find a way through.   


#3 - Kelly Boaz | If You Cant Beat Fear, Do It Scared

Kelly Boaz, a successful and vibrant Holistic Nutritionist had an undiagnosed eating disorder from the age of 11-18. She was diagnosed with an eating disorder from the age of 18-28. Her story makes very clear, what it is like to have an eating disorder and what it takes to overcome. In this episode we discuss her story, mental health and how fear can scare us away from the answer or mold us into our own hero. 


#2 - Nik Knezic | Stay Weird And Live In The Moment

Chasing the NHL to Battling Cancer to Engineering at The University of Waterloo. Nik says death was not even a thought at any point of his journey through cancer, a mindset us unexposed to the situation could hardly image. Nik no longer lays his head to his pillow at night feeling as if he just went through the motions, he has a blank canvas everyday and paints it with as many colours as possible. We touch on Eminem, "gutting it out", painting your daily canvas, surgery, and more. @nknezic


#1 - Ben Fanelli | What Is A Heroic Mindset?

This is my first podcast where I share the story of my severe brain injury and how I managed to climb out of adversity. I also discuss the team approach to overcoming adversity and how that is often our best asset. We cannot expect to overcome adversity without exposing ourselves to adversity before hand, we have to challenge it, cope with it and find a way through it. A house cat unexposed to the wild will not survive in the wild. Lastly, I touch on what the future holds for Heroic Minds and the Heroic Minds Podcast.