This week on the podcast Mikki speaks to Ray Zahab, Canadian explorer, expedition leader, ultra marathoner, and creator of Impossible to Possible. Ray shares his story on how he found his way to the pursuit of the ‘impossible’ after feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied with the direction of his life. This has led to his exploration of extreme environments, and extreme undertakings as a test of his personal and physical limits. They discuss Impossible to possible, a charity set up to provide kids the opportunity to experience the outdoors, and Ray’s most recent undertaking, his cancer diagnosis and how he has navigated this. Ray is just the best human, and you’re really going to enjoy this conversation.

Ray can be found at https://www.rayzahab.com/
Impossible to possible https://www.facebook.com/Impossible2Possible/
Ray on IG https://www.instagram.com/rayzahab/channel/?hl=en

Ray has been recognized as one of Canada’s top explorers, he has done a solo expedition across the Arctic, an expedition in Baffin island, Trans Namibia, and more
Ray trains and strives to have extraordinary experiences in the world. 

He's the author of Running for My Life, a story of his metamorphosis from a pack-a-day smoker to an endurance athlete capable of such extreme feats as a 7,500 kilometer run across the Sahara. His treks are driven by an intense personal feeling for the environment; the Sahara trek, for instance, highlighted the worldwide challenge of water.

Ray is the founder of Impossible2Possible, and sits on the board of directors of the Ryan's Well Foundation and ONExONE Foundation. 

Contact Mikki:

Save 20% on all Nuzest Products WORLDWIDE with the code MIKKI at www.nuzest.co.nz, www.nuzest.com.au or www.nuzest.com
Curranz supplement: MIKKI saves you 25% at www.curranz.co.nz or www.curranz.co.uk off your first order

Creators & Guests

Mikki Williden

What is Mikkipedia?

Mikkipedia is an exploration in all things health, well being, fitness, food and nutrition. I sit down with scientists, doctors, professors, practitioners and people who have a wealth of experience and have a conversation that takes a deep dive into their area of expertise. I love translating science into a language that people understand, so while some of the conversations will be pretty in-depth, you will come away with some practical tips that can be instigated into your everyday life. I hope you enjoy the show!

Transcript produced using AI transcription, errors may occur. Contact Mikki for clarification

Welcome. Hi, I'm Mikki and this is Mikkipedia where I sit down and chat to doctors, professors, athletes, practitioners and experts in their fields related to health, nutrition, fitness and wellbeing and I'm delighted that you're here.

Hey everyone, it's Mikki here. You're listening to Mikkipedia, and this week on the podcast, I speak to Canadian explorer, expedition leader, ultra marathoner, and creator of Impossible to Possible, Ray Zahab. So Ray shares his story on how he found his way to the pursuit of the impossible, after feeling unfulfilled and unsatisfied with the direction of his life.

as a younger adult, you know, close to 30. And this has led to the exploration of extreme environments and extreme undertakings as a test of his personal and physical limits. We discuss all of this in addition to Impossible to Possible, a charity set up to provide kids the opportunity to experience the outdoors, and most recently, Raise.

latest challenge with cancer and how he has navigated the diagnosis and his recovery. Ray is just the best human and you're really going to enjoy this conversation.

So for those of you who do not know Ray, he has been recognized as one of Canada's top explorers. He has done solo expeditions across the Arctic, Baffin Island, Trans-Namidia, Sahara Desert, and he trains and strives to have extraordinary experiences in the world. So he's the author of Running for My Life, a story of his metamorphosis from a pack a day smoker to an endurance athlete.

and he is the founder of Impossible De Possible and sits on the board of directors of the Ryan Wells Foundation and One X One Foundation. As I said, Ray is awesome and I've popped links in the podcast notes to his Instagram account, to Impossible De Possible, so you can find out more information about that and also his amazing website, which...

carries a lot of the blogs and a lot of his stories in and around his expeditions and that is Ray Zahab r-a-y-z-a-h-a-b.com. So before we crack on into the conversation I would just like to remind you that the best way to support the podcast is to hit the subscribe button on your favorite podcast listening platform. That increases the visibility of the podcast out there in amongst the literally thousands of other podcasts.

so more people get the opportunity to learn from guests such as Ray and all of their knowledge and experience. Alright team, please enjoy the conversation I have with Ray Zaharb.

Ray, thank you so much for taking the time to speak to me this morning, your evening. I'm super keen to chat to you about, obviously your background and your sort of personal interest in outdoors, but also how you've created this professional endeavor, impossible to possible, your coffee company, your health journey, all the things basically, Ray. Can we kick off? Cause I'm always really interested to...

understand more how someone ends up in the position you're in, you know, from a personal sort of growing up perspective. So what was your family life like? Like, were you like keen, outdoorsy, younger in your younger years? Well, so I grew up, my brother and I, we grew up with our parents in the country. And we grew up on a small sort of farm. We had horses and mainly horses, but we had horses, we had cattle all around us, cattle farms all around us, we had.

you know, vegetable gardens and we had all kinds of animals. I mean, you know, rabbits, we had dogs, everything. And so basically, I mean, we grew up living sort of an outdoor lifestyle, but I wouldn't say it was, it was by, it was by necessity. That's not even the right words. It just, it was just the life that we live. We lived in a small town in the country on a farm. And so everything you did, you just kind of like,

you had to make it you had to make entertain yourself in the summers and stuff right it was the 70s yeah no i get it yeah i'm not that young right so it was the 1970s so i mean it was a different time yeah so you didn't have your iphone to scroll through or you know text someone to meet up or jump on the internet and send someone an email your mom had to like basically call and hopefully catch the neighbors which are like several kilometers away that you know you might catch their kids

and be able to make a play date happen. I mean, it's just, you know, but whatever, we had a great childhood, you know? I think it was truly for me, pivotal was probably, you know, I've told this story so many times, but every time I tell someone this story, I think about this aspect that for each and every one of us, challenges in life are very relative. And when we're experiencing difficult things in our lives, sometimes we don't.

realize it until there's a change. Like, for example, I used to smoke a pack a day and then I just thought it was normal to go upstairs and it to be a struggle going upstairs. And then, you know, in 2000, when I changed my life and I see over the course of the next few years got into mountain bike racing, adventure racing, and then eventually ultra marathons, I could bound upstairs and I was like, Oh, right, this used to be a struggle, right? But it becomes a relative thing.

So I would say that approaching the millennium in the late 90s, I was heading towards 30 years of age. I was very unhappy. I was happy as the life of the party on the outside, but inside I just was this person who I didn't realize at the time, now I know, that I was unhappy, unfulfilled, no direction in life, wasn't really doing too much with my life. I mean, I was doing, I was dabbling here and there, but I wasn't truly passionate about anything.

And I guess, I don't know why that was so important to me at the time, but it was that I just wanted to be, you know, truly happy, not fake happy, but really happy. And so I have a brother who's an amazing athlete and one of the leading strength coaches in the world. And he and his wife, who's also a strength coach, but he wasn't married at the time, but he at the time was doing Ironman triathlons and mountain biking and climbing. And I saw in this person a true inspiration.

And I thought, wow, he's so confident and stoked and everything else with the things that he does. Maybe if I did some of the things that he does, my life would be different. And that would lead me down a path of a completely sort of different discovery. And I would end up becoming a passionate climber, quitting smoking, getting into mountain biking, racing mountain bikes at an elite level, and then eventually discover running.

you know, that just took things to a whole new level and I was competing in ultra marathons all over the world and so on and so forth, which I'm sure you'll ask me about after. Yeah, yeah, for sure. So Ray, I mean, this, well, we're talking what, almost 25 years ago now, not quite, but can you remember? Yeah, it's a long time ago. It is. And it's like that type of change that you took, I mean, it sounds so dramatic, but I know.

How long did it take and can you even remember some of the initial how it felt as you were I guess transforming that? Well, I mean, what did it feel like? At the time, the talk of transformation, the talk of the illness kind of stuff wasn't really popular. It wasn't like a normal thing like we all talk about it now. There's a million social media posts about it and there is a social media. So you're connecting with other people that maybe might think the same way or you don't

So you don't really, it was just a different time and a different thought process. So at the time when I was making these decisions to shift my life, it wasn't about becoming an outdoors person or an explorer or whatever. It was about learning things about myself and about just becoming someone who was happier and more fulfilled in their life. And I would, because of my brother, my brother and I have these, you know, with these

with these big engines for endurance. And I saw him doing amazing things in endurance sports. And then all of a sudden I was like, oh, wait a sec, you know, two years into, after quitting a pack a day smoking habit, I have spoke to pack a day for years and years and years. And just a few years after that, I'm racing mountain bikes like all over the world, right? So, and then ultra running all over the world. So, and winning ultra marathons, by the way. So it was, it was just,

discovered that I had this other part of me that I'd never known my entire life and I was being reintroduced to someone so the emotion that I remember the most is probably that one of it was probably the one most about like sense of discovery and sense of being introduced to someone who you know I've known my entire life but maybe I didn't know and that's me yeah so I think that that was the most compelling thing that I remember from that time

Yeah. Yeah. And you know, people, and I talk about this all the time is that, you know, when you want to change behavior, you almost have to change your identity. You know, you have to start thinking about yourself as being someone different in order to then identify with the thoughts and behaviors that go along with those experiences to sort of help make sort of big change. I think that that's a very interesting point. And I think that the other part of it.

for me was that I remembered very distinctly having to work at being happy. Because I was not a glass half full kind of person like I am now glass half. I'm, I just can't help but be optimistic. I try to, you know, some things I'm like, okay, there's no optimism. Maybe, maybe there's like, you know, a little light at the end of the tunnel. So in the old days, pre 30, I would see everything with, you know, a glint of gray, right? And everything was like, well, you know what, instead of waking up and saying,

You know, now I look outside and I'm like, oh wow, it's sunny but there's some clouds out. So maybe I don't have to, you know, put on SPF today or whatever, right? Like looking at, in the old days they'd be like, oh great, it's probably gonna rain, there's a few clouds out there, right? So it's a subtle difference in attitude. And so I would work at being happy and I tell people this all the time. I say, listen, happiness is not just something that all of a sudden.

happens instantly, I suppose it can for some people in certain circumstances, like winning a lottery or something, but for the most part, you gotta work at being happy in your life. It takes more effort to be positive than it does to be negative. Negativity is like a warm sleeping bag. It's very easy to fall into and slip into, and it's very easy for those negative emotions to recreate themselves and become bigger and bigger and bigger, whereas positive, it takes more at work. But the...

you know, the end result is much more rewarding. You know, right. Can you remember like people you were, I guess, that you were friends with at that time, like I find this also curious. So obviously you've got that strong family connection with your brother and his now wife that who were very into the outdoors, but often we gravitate towards people who think and feel the same way, like, did you have to give up friendships as you sort of changed your.

The way you did things. Yeah, I think so. I mean, I don't know if I actually gave up the friendships or if that just the dynamic of life takes over and you're doing different things and you're just sort of losing touch. But I have friends from those days still. Yeah. Yeah. You know, and some of them have gone through life transformations and some haven't, you know, so it's all, you know, yeah, it all depends on the person. Yeah, no, totally. Um, is that how you met your wife, Cathy, through doing ultra ultra Americans? Yeah, exactly. It's so I was working at a.

by this point, so I changed my life and then I, you know, what am I going to do for a living? I love doing these things. And I was like, you know what, I'm fascinated by the work that my brother and sister-in-law were doing in functional aspect of fitness, core strength before it was cool. And talking and working, they were working with elite athletes, Olympic athletes, they were working with hockey players and all these people. And they were working with people that were injured and had very little chance of getting back to doing the things they love.

my brother and sister in law, Sarah, and we're able to return full and some even better than they were. Wow, what a cool gig. So then I started doing this. I learned from them, but I also took courses and became a trainer at that time. And so that also changed who I was and facilitated the life that I was living going around the world, doing these races at the time. And that's where I wasn't at that point.

a professional explorer, you know, as I am now, but that's what I was doing then, right, before I ran across the Sahara Desert. But I may have to segue it off of your question. I can't remember what your original question was. No, no, no. You know, I wondered if that's how you met Cathy, actually. Oh, yes. Like, because I know that she's here. And so at the time, I was, and thank you, at the time I was a functional strength coach and I was working out of a buddy of mine who's a really well-known chiropractor and active release technique provider.

And I was working in an adjacent office with clients of his that were, they had gone for treatment and in his clinic with the therapists. And then I would work with them to create a functional strength program and Cathy happened to be one of those people. Oh, nice. And was that, and with regards to your, because the other thing about Ray, about what you've done is that you haven't just sort of transformed from some sort of couch potato to someone who just runs a marathon. It's like you just sort of went.

Was it sort of headfirst into like the ultra sort of world? Like, well, I was doing, so I went from, it was a mishmash in the beginning. I was ice climbing a lot with my brother. It was something we were passionate about in the winters. That would be, is what we would do. Cause we live in a true four seasons climate here, right? Like it's full on winter. And then, um, in the summers I'd be mountain bike racing and I got into adventure racing. And, um,

really enjoyed that love that multi-sport aspect of it. And then I started racing mountain bikes, 24 hours solos. And then I can't remember how exactly it happened, but I picked up a magazine with an article in it. And there was an article about ultra marathons. And specifically the article was about a race in the Yukon every winter, the Yukon Arctic Ultra. And I was just captivated by the story of people running these extreme distances in one shot.

in such extreme environments. I thought, wow, that looks really cool. And the type of ultra marathon that I was attracted to were the kind that involved adversity like cold or extreme heat or navigation or having to wear a pack or stage races or whatever. And I think that comes from the adventure racing background, to be honest with you, is why I was attracted to those type of races. But at any rate, long story short, I read this article and was so mystified by how these people

could commit to doing something in the extreme cold like that. And it's so difficult. And I thought, geez, I'm going to try and do that. I'd never ran a foot race before. But I thought, what the hell? I mean, I'm in great shape. I'll give it a try. And I sort of, I spent a few months learning, running techniques and you know, how to prepare for the race. And I entered it and won it. And I thought, maybe I should do this with the rest of my life. And so I bumped around trying to learn the aspects of that race that were so overwhelmingly

so overwhelmingly epiphany making in my life. So when I was in that Yukon race, you know, I almost dropped out halfway through, but something compelled me to keep moving forward. And through getting into this absolute focus of wanting to so desperately go as far as I could down this trail that I was on, pain started to dissipate from my body and I started to do things physically like I started out and it sucked.

And then by the end of the race, I actually felt good. And I'm like, OK, that makes absolutely no sense, because I've gone for 100 miles. Right. And what is it that what is those mechanisms that makes us in each and every one of us have the capacity to exceed mental, physical and emotional limits that we think we have? What is it that that makes us do that? And so the only way I could figure out that I would ever learn the answer that was by doing more ultra marathons. And so I went around the world doing these races. And yeah, it's pretty crazy. You know.

Have you been to New Zealand, Ray? No, I'd love to go to New Zealand. I'd love to do that trail, the North to South. I have a lot of friends from New Zealand. There's Ian Adamson, I knew him. He was raised in the eco challenge many times. I know Ian and I know I'm actually the guy that does all of our finance stuff in Capaguanas from New Zealand. And so I'm fascinated with the architecture in New Zealand where we look at that stuff there. Yeah, it's great.

Yeah, no, because I well New Zealand's waiting for you Ray because we've just got an entire playground and you're right the whole Te Araha trail that goes north to south would be amazing. Oh, yeah, I see videos of it all the time It looks incredible. I'd love to do it with my daughters and my wife would be amazing. Yeah, absolutely um, so right how so At what point in your journey? I suppose did this become a career for you like I'd like

That seems like, so yeah, how did that sort of happen? So I'm racing in these ultra marathons, 2004, 2005, 2006, and I met a couple of guys in racing, and we came up with this crazy idea to run across the entire Sahara Desert. And we, you know, so one of the guys on the team had done some work in television, and he was like, yeah, I think I know a guy I can mention this project to, and so he mentioned it to the guy, and the guy's like, hey, you know what, I think I know some people I can mention this project to.

And one thing leads to another and all of a sudden Matt Damon is producing a documentary out of us running across 7,500 kilometers across the Sahara. We have an Academy Award winning director. I mean, it was crazy. And so that sort of started it. And it wasn't because necessarily the film, but it was this notion when we stood on the west coast of Africa, I thought, there's no way I'm going to make it. Like, there's just no way that I can make it. But as I had in other ultra marathons, it was...

just on a grander scale. And although we ran for 111 days without taking a day off, on an average of 70 kilometers a day across the desert, six countries, et cetera, we made it to the end, all of us together. And in completing that run, I again was fascinated by the cultures I was coming into contact with, the peoples whose life stories I was learning about because I was on an adventure. We were learning about economics, agriculture,

you know, biodiversity, everything, because this huge adventure and I thought, jeez, for starters, I love the fact that I didn't know the outcome before it started. I love the fact that it was incredibly challenging, incredibly difficult, and I wasn't sure if I could get it done. I love the fact that it was point to point. I love the fact that I was so compelled to want to learn about everything that was around me. So simultaneous to me deciding, you know what, I'm doing this for the rest of my life, and I'm going to do expeditions.

I also had this idea that my wife and I and a buddy of mine, Bob Cox, would come up with together. And that was to create a foundation called Impossible to Possible where we would take kids on mini versions of my expeditions and use them as learning opportunities for kids. Kids 16 to 21 go on these expeditions, it's totally free of charge. We don't get paid, we're all volunteers.

And then we create learning materials from the expeditions that they're on and they communicate their expeditions to classrooms. And so, you know what I'm saying? So at the same time, I'm like, okay, I'm going to do expeditions professionally. And also I'm going to do this foundation at the same time and I'll use the sponsorship from my expeditions and whatever, and awareness building and everything else to fund this other thing that I love so much, you know? And that's sort of how it started. Yeah. That's so amazing. And particularly because

So what type of kids would come on a, what is this whole, so what is the ethos behind Impossible to Possible? Like what kind of kids do you attract or you want to attract? Well, we don't, you know what? There are no parameters in our organization. They, there is a, I'm not on the selection committee, but when they select the youth that get to go, we take everybody if we had the money, but I mean, you know, it's expensive. So criteria for every expedition is different, depending on the parameters of,

the youth expedition, the subject matter that we're teaching, etc. So mostly what happens is there are essay questions that are initiated. And students first have to, you know, after a social media post, hey, we're going to be launching this expedition, email us to get the application, kids have to work for it, right? Yeah. And then they go through the criteria and the selection committee is our executive director with former Youth Ambassador

And that's how they get selected, you know, and yeah, we get lots of applicants, but we can only take four or five kids at a time, 16 to 21 years of age that come from everywhere. There is no demographic trend, if you will. I mean, I would say, yeah, I mean, that's just, you know, I would say it's right across the spectrum. Kids from everywhere, from all economic backgrounds, religious backgrounds, sex, everything. Yeah, amazing. And I imagine, Ray, that these kids that come on would have a similar experience.

potentially to how you were describing your own sort of journey in this space, you know, your, you know, when you were 30 and then you embarked on the sort of outdoorsy and the, the changes and stuff that you experienced. Oh yeah, some kids do. I mixed some of these kids. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh yeah, some do, some do for sure. And others are already like absolute go-getters, right? So it all depends on the kid, you know, it's, it's what, but there is no correct outcome. It's whatever they take from it. That is the critical thing, right? Yeah.

It's what they get out of it. It's important. Yeah. So the Sahara Desert, obviously that's like one extreme environment, but you're like all extremes, right? Yeah. I mean, typically my expeditions are deserts in the middle of summer and Arctic expeditions in the middle of winter. Desert expeditions I do with some support because I like to hustle. I just can't be bothered trying to drag 4,000 pounds of water. So I have resupplies every...

20 to 30 kilometers, but I'm navigating cross-country, we're super remote areas, and I've crossed most of the large deserts on the planet, with the exception of the Simpson Desert in Australia, I've crossed most of the larger deserts, and all of them, or most of them, in the middle of summer, averaging about 60 to 80 kilometers per day, across country. Arctic expeditions I typically do in the middle of winter when it's minus 50, minus 60, and I'm completely unsupported, so I drag all my supplies with me.

So Ray, were you in Death Valley on like the hottest recorded day in history? I was, I was attempting a north to south in July 21. I was attempting to go north south of a route I'd already previously established in August of 2011. And I was going with the same guy that I did the 2011, my buddy Will and I, and we were like, you know what, let's retrace our route, see if we can clean up the navigation, it's 250 K it's not too, too far. Let's just see what we can do. Well, 24 hours into it.

And we're looking at each other saying, I don't know what's going on here because we're disconnected from the news and everything. I don't know what's going on here, but this heat is not survivable. Like it just something is crazy. Is it just us or is it the heat? Well, it turned out to be the hottest. We're in the middle of Death Valley in the hottest recorded temperatures ever. It was 134 Fahrenheit at Furnace Creek. But where we were, we had very accurate weather devices. We were measuring 137.

which is like 58 Celsius or something crazy. Yeah, that's crazy. Yeah, it was like not survival. So we had to stop. Oh, mate. So like, because it's, I can't even comprehend how hot that would be. So I was in the UK last year when it was the hottest day in recorded temperature, which, you know, is like 40 something degrees. And you could easily go inside on Econ and be sweet. But like-

I've never been particularly, I haven't really been in cold weather either because New Zealand's very sort of temperate. Yeah. Yeah. So what is the difference between that? Like how much of an increase is that on top of what you would have expected? So what I would have expected was around 120 Fahrenheit. So you know, what is that 50? Yeah. And but it was, it was, there's a, there's a limit. That limit is around 125 I've found.

you know, in Fahrenheit. And it's funny only when I talk about Death Valley, I do the Fahrenheit thing, but it just makes sense to me in that location. But beyond that, when you get above 125, it starts to get very difficult to survive because our resupplies were still, our water caches were 20 meters apart, 30 kilometers apart. So it was really difficult. We were drinking 10 liters every 20K. Jesus Christ. And processing it. And keep in mind, when I'm at home, I live in Chelsea, Quebec.

So with the humidity here, it can be 100% humidity in the Gatineau Hills where I live. And it can be 45 with the humidex here in the summer. So it's very humid and hot. And I can go 30K without drinking anything. But when you're in that climate, when you're in that environment and you're taxing your body so difficultly, you know, and I have a sauna in our backyard, I train for this stuff, but that was just not, the body was not cooling. It's like...

The wind was so hot, Mickey, that when the wind was blowing against my fingernails, they almost felt like they were on fire. Crazy. Yeah, it was crazy. Like, you know, when you reach into the oven and you grab a pizza for the kids or something like that, like that feeling of the heat on the nail, like that's what it felt like. But outside, I mean, it was like surreal. Yeah. See, the thing is what which...

I think is amazing is that you're in such an extreme environment where everything is impacted by cognitive function and obviously is part of that as well. And then you have to make this decision to go on or not. I wonder about the decision making process actually, like how hard it was to say, no, we're pulling this. And then later on...

Do you have any sort of regret or sort of like, oh, we could have gone on or was it like, you know, what? No, it's I've become and I, you know, it's funny you asked that you're probably the only person that ever asked me that with age, I think I don't know if it's an age thing, but I've come to realize I've had to pull the plug on bigger expeditions. So I've done what 30 some odd expeditions and I've probably had to pull the plug three or four times. And I've learned that there's an innate.

decision making that I have. And when I know, I know when there's no regrets. It's not even it's like, I know in the moment and I'm like, my body knows to not forget the moment when I made the decision, right? Because hindsight is 2020. And things always appear so much better when you're in air conditioned truck after going maybe I could after getting picked up, maybe I could have kept going. No, you couldn't have kept going. You pulled the plug. And the reason you pulled the plug is because it was not survivable. So

You know, I've never second guessed those decisions and I've never had regrets. Yeah, that's, that's awesome. Actually. It's funny. Have you read Dave Goggins at all, Ray? No, I know him. Yeah. We've met and stuff and the years past and we have mutual friends from years ago. Okay. So, cause there's, there's one part in his book when he's talking about how he's uh, uh, like he signs up for a hundred mile race on a Saturday and he signs up for that race on the Tuesday just beforehand.

And on the Saturdays, he's doing this 100 mile track race. He's thinking, so easy to make the decision to do this thing when I'm in my aircon office on a Tuesday afternoon and I'm sitting at my seat at my computer going, yeah, I could do a hundred mile. And then of course, four days later and he's doing it and he's like, what on earth was I thinking? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. With on no training, but that what you said about that, about how you could be thinking about it, but not, just reminded me of that. Ray.

How do you train for such an event? Like I'm an endurance runner and I do ultras as well. Um, and I, you know, in, in the type of training that is involved is probably, you know, one fifth, not even like one 10th of the kind of thing that you'd need to think about. So how do you train for, let's say, um, your most recent event? Like, well, you know what? It's, it's Mickey, it's, it's all relative.

Right? You know, when I first started, when I finished running across the Sahara, somebody asked me that I knew in my community, they said, so dude, what was the sense of accomplishment like? Like when you reached the Red Sea and you thought about 7,500 K that you ran. And I said, you know what? The first run I remembered, even though I was in amazing shape from racing mountain bikes, I went with a buddy of mine for a run. It was seven kilometers from where we, we used to have an apartment or the, and

just running from this little apartment, there was a renovated sandwich shop, it's a crazy story, but it was seven kilometer loop to get back to that little renovated sandwich shop, which was our apartment at the time. And I remember the first time I did that with my buddy without having to take a walk break or a stretch break because something was tight. And I thought, wow, I ran from, like I closed my door. And then when I opened my door, I ran that whole seven kilometers.

That was exactly how 7,500 felt to me. It was the exact equal sense of accomplishment because it's relative. So my training and for what I prepare for, I've learned that elements for training for a marathon or an ultra marathon all apply. But what the biggest thing is, is being very specific to the environment that I'm going into and training my body to process food.

and hydration under tremendous stress, whether it's cold or hot. This may surprise you and it surprises a lot of people, but I'll use our hot sauna to train for extreme cold. Because what I'm trying to do is get my body to process calories in a stressful situation. And stress is stress. And the mechanics of stress at the end of the day are very similar, whether it's work stress, relationship stress, family stress, money stress, exercise stress. The chemical reactions that it has on our body

in some ways similar, right? It's detrimental in some ways. So what I do is I train to best prepare for those stressful situations that will occur on expeditions. My training typically takes one year for one expedition. And based on the terrain that I'll be in, whether I'm pulling a sled in the Arctic or running through rocky desert, I prepare for that terrain, elevation gained, etc.

like Fartlick training and that sort of thing on trails. And I trained based on elevation gained a lot is a big primary thing for me. You know? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Totally. So do you have a coach, Ryo, do you coach yourself? No, I coach myself right now. I have had coaches in the past, great ones. And I was coaching. I moved out from, I moved away from the functional strength stuff, although I still dabble with it, and then started, I had a coaching business where I was coaching running clients for several years. And then.

After I created Impossible to Possible and realized in those first few years, it was going to take a lot more of my time, volunteer time, I was going to have to find a different avenue for earning an income that coaching 50 clients a month was just not feasible. Then I started speaking to companies. That's what I do. I fly around the world and I speak to companies about the expeditions that I do. That's how I earn an income, among other things, with the coffee company and guiding and all those other things. It all adds up. I make enough to take care of my family and keep on trucking.

But with the coaching, I learned a lot in that process. I learned from others and would apply that to my own stuff. But I was coached by Lisa Smith at one point and some other great people over the years. Yeah, cool. Are you good at... I mean, okay, look, you're obviously experienced and you know when you might be overreaching or over training or something like that. But are you...

Are you good at listening? You must be good at listening to your signals as well as to, you know, you might have something planned on paper, but then halfway through the week, you're actually feeling more tired than you think you are. I imagine that you're quite good at that. Yeah. So right now I have probably five or six people that I coach just for fun because I enjoy the process of coaching people and I volunteer my time and I help them out and I get them ready and I've got, you know, a couple of runners that are really, really competitive, like on the world scene competitive. And what I've tried to teach them to do is...

leave their devices at home and learn about their bodies. And, you know, taking a holistic approach. You know, example, nose breathing, right? Like it's a new thing now, it's a big thing now. Lisa Smith taught me about nose breathing in 2004. 2004, way before it was popular, but she knew about it, right? And so these little elements of understanding and listening to your body are critically important. Last year,

And for two years, I started feeling really tired during my training and I'm like, something's not right, something's not right. But I was not listening to my body. I was ignoring my body until I got to a point last summer when I was training for this west to east crossing at the widest point of Death Valley that I had planned to do. I would do a long run one day and I would have to rest the next day. And my wife was like, okay, you got to go to the doctor, right? And so off I went.

And I got my blood work done and it showed that I was anemic. But it was not my gut feeling. My gut feeling was like, okay, I'm totally anemic. I don't have enough red blood cells. I can't get oxygen. I'm foggy headed all the time. Like I need to nap three or four times a day. It's not, this is not me now. Of course she compelled me to go, but I don't think I would have been so intuitive. You know, had I not spent my life in this as an explorer, being intuitive and training with intuition, knowing when to push, knowing when to let off.

I don't think I would have had these other signals and lo and behold, as you know, because we've communicated on social media, I had blood cancer and I didn't even know it, right? And then I started chemotherapy and all that. And even through the chemo, I learned moderation. I learned things about how to train, how to eat even different. I've been eating super clean for years while I learned even more about nutrition through this process. So with it both being a total bummer, it also was an amazing opportunity to learn more about myself and physiology and nutrition and everything else.

So now I got shit super dialed and I'm training for what's next after finishing my chemo. So I'm even more into, I can tell you when I'm running and I use my Apple watch, I got an Apple watch ultra and I use it to track, I track different things that people don't normally try. So I do track my sleep. I track my caloric output daily because I know when I deviate, when my body's burning more calories or under burning just in regular life.

Like it's those things, right? And, but, but, you know, obviously I have the heart rate monitor and all that, but I can be running with you and say, I'm at 121, not 122. I'm at 121 beats per minute. And I'm exactly right every single time. Cause I'm so in tune with my body. Right? Yeah. Well, that's crazy. I've got to say Ray, your optimistic outlook certainly came through when you were talking about, um, the leukemia sort of experience. Lymphoma. Lymphoma. I'm sorry. No, that's all right. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

Yeah, and so prognosis then, so chemo is done. Yeah, prognosis is great. I mean, it's not curable. Nothing, you know, these things, these types of things are not curable. It's going to come back. But hey, I get two or five really good, two to five really good solid years where I'm like I was two years ago. And then I have to go through the chemo thing again. What the hell? It's worth it. And maybe they'll have a cure, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I bloody love that. That's what else can you do, right? Yeah, exactly. Absolutely.

Yeah. What I would say though is interesting that you, that like your mental toughness and I, and I'm, I'm interested to know whether you have any particular strategies that you use to help sort of overcome seemingly insurmountable sort of challenges. I mean, that's basically your life. Uh, that, that can work against you in exactly what you just described that you, you had these signals yet you sort of continue to ignore them because you're so mentally tough. And I find some people do have that with their.

they might be under particularly stressful situations, but not be able to read it properly because they're just so used to having to be tough. I don't know. Yeah, it's a good point. I think for me, the biggest strategy that I've employed the most, I learned this years ago, I was training at a facility that trained cyclists when I was racing mountain bikes.

The University of Ottawa was doing a, the PhD psychology students were doing a study on resonance and you know, projection and projecting yourself like athletes, projecting the outcome they want to have and doing all this visualization stuff and everything. I was like, I'm not doing that. And then, but the students were like, Hey, it's 500 bucks. I'm so desperate for money. I was like, yeah, what the hell? I'll give it a try. And I started doing, you know, it was a psychologist that I, you know,

immediately connected with. And this person was like, fantastic, right? And she taught me these strategies for dealing with stress and coping with stress when you're preparing for an event and focusing on that finish line before it even happens, right? And running yourself through, you know, because it was mountain biking, so I would visualize, I would walk a course the night before, and then I would visualize the entire...

thing before going to sleep. And then the next day I would ride that mountain bike race. And it's like I wasn't even there. It's like my head was somewhere else, but it was just happening. And then this over the years, and I'm getting to my point, over the years, this skill became so refined that I almost have two versions of myself. There's expedition Ray and there's at home Ray. And expedition Ray is when I go on expedition,

The hardest part for me is being away from my family for a month or two months or whatever it is. So I am separated. I don't know how to describe this any other way. It's going to sound crazy, but I'm separated from what it is that I'm doing at the time. I'm there and I'm lucid and I'm in the environment. I'm in the Arctic and I'm hiking my way across the Arctic, whatever. But then when I get home, I slip back into this non-visualizing, non-participant mode, and it feels like I've only been gone three days. So there's no, there's none of this

I'm so bummed. You know, that, you know, when people get like a depression after they've traveled somewhere for a really long time, I don't get that. I'm just like so stoked to be home. It's not even funny. But you know what I'm saying? Like I, I, it's been packaged, it's put away and it's done. And that whole timeframe could be a month and a half. It feels compressed. It feels like, like it feels like what a week now feels like. Do you know what I'm saying? Yeah, amazing.

That's my strategy. That's my coping strategy. That's the biggest thing I've got going for me. Yeah, no, that's awesome. So does that mean then when you're out in that environment that home, Ray, or your sort of home life that you're able to, that disconnect happens there as well. So you're not thinking about yourself as Ray the dad, Ray the husband. No, no, I'm thinking about all that stuff. Oh, everything is like, everything is like, everything is like status quo. Just the only difference is.

It's like I'm not emotionally connected to what it is that I'm doing that time frame. Yeah. Time is changed. Time as I internalize it changes. And one day in the expedition slips into the next and it slips into the next. And eventually I get there and then I come home and I'm like, okay, leave it outside the door. And I'm like, Hey, I'm home. And it only feels like I've been gone a week. It's weird. Eh? Yeah. Nice. Crazy. Yeah, no, totally. You know what? Like obviously what I do is on a.

Far less scale to you, but I've, I was training for a hundred K at the start of this year. I broke my fibula, couldn't do it. Um, but what I recognized was as I was training for it, I had this shift in how I was thinking about it. Cause I used to feel really apprehensive about my very long runs and the very long days that I would have out. And then I recognize that actually I was doing myself in because I was making it harder because I was, I was just, it was such a, um, it seemed like such a big.

uh, undertaking. And that once when I had realized that I started approaching these days, instead of being slightly nervous, I'm not sure what I would have been nervous about, but you just do, I started feeling like, no, this is, this is great. This is exciting. I'm able to be out here doing this and, and it's going to be done in like eight hours, you know, like it's actually not a long period of time. And so I need to really be out here and enjoy it and enjoy it for what it is.

because I'm the one that signed up for that race. So there was a reason why, and it was because I wanted to do it. Whereas I did want to be there, but everything in my being initially was like, well, this is a drag. I've got better things to do than spend eight hours on a Saturday running. But- No, that's super fascinating. And I think that you nailed it on the head there. And I think that, you know, my wife, Cathy, does these 200 mile races and she's super busy with her job. She works as an environmental advisor in impact stuff.

and then as a gender and she works in gender as well and policy. And so she's super busy with two different hats and two different things. And she does these two mile races on four days a week of training because that's what she can afford to train. And but she's like you said, she's excited about the distance, the prospect. I watch her do these races. I mean, they're so hard, you know, but she loves them. And so she, you know,

She loves the thrill of the unknown and the adventure that comes with it and all the rest of it. So I get what you're saying, you know, that aspect of it. And it's funny for me, you know, people will say to me, oh, well, you know, you're doing a long run on the weekend and 50k that's not, you know, or whatever it is, like 25 kilometers, that must be nothing for you. And I'm like, are you kidding me? 5k is hard. 5k right now, post chemo is very hard. So it's always relative on the day. And so you you figure these things out. But you know what?

As you say, you embrace it. And we do these things because we love to do these things. Right? And at the end of the day, there's something about us that likes that aspect that makes it so hard. And maybe even more, if I'm being honest with myself, I love aspect of being wasted at the end and being done. That feeling of physical elation that you temporarily have after a race where you just feel amazing and then you eat something really great because it's all about food for me. And then you go to sleep.

and you wake up the next day and it's like when you wake up, you're like, Oh yeah, I don't have to do anything. Like I just, I just totally did this huge thing. I don't have to do anything. I can just like lay around all day if I want to and it's no impact. I can do what I want. It's guilt free. So you go through these transitions of physical erect, but elated. Then you're, you're get the free license seat, whatever the hell you want. And then you go to sleep. You sleep amazingly or sort of amazingly.

And then you wake up and it's guilt free rest the whole next day. Like that whole bundle is amazing. No, I completely agree. It's really like you earn your right to be lazy. I think that's, that's how I look at it as well. And there's a lot of backlash actually not in your circles, but in, you know, as nutritionist, um, who sort of coaches on health and lifestyle and nutrition. Like you shouldn't say things like you have to earn your calories or you or that kind of thing, but. Actually like not that you have to, but.

It's so satisfying when you do it. You know, like it's so satisfying to be able to do it. I mean, the people tell you, like, I mean, I've seen my wife consume like, you know, a burrito that's the size of her arm after one of these races. I mean, I'm like, yeah, why not? I mean, you know, whatever. So, yeah, exactly. You know, I nutrition, it's a very touchy subject. And I mean, you know, you see, and it's gotten more and more touchy with all of the, you know, is someone vegan? Are they vegetarian? Are they keto? Are they this? Are they that? And what I have found for me

And for my daughters who are competitive athletes and my wife, we try to eat a very much a whole food healthy diet as much as we possibly can, mainly based on Mediterranean style of eating because that's my background. And I found the greatest performance gains from that. And I think that, you know, there are certain things that we can do in our nutrition as we prepare and train to...

you know, alter and we're feeling in certain days or certain ways or in our recovery, for example, there's things you can do to start taking out glutamine, for example, you can start increasing your, you know, making sure you're getting enough quality protein, whatever, to help with the recovery. And I think that that often gets overlooked. But my point is, is that after one of these things, it's not like it's a it's a weak kid, because we're saying, you know, it's a license to eat whatever the hell you want. But at the same time, it kind of is because, you know, it's

good for your body to learn how to process those things on back end of something so difficult as well. And to be able to take an abundance of calories and use what you need after. Right? I know, I completely agree. I mean, you know, just, yeah. Totally. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Now Ray, can I actually get specific with you on your nutrition if you're okay with that? Yeah, of course. Because people will...

Would have been disappointed had I not gone down this road with you because I'm so fascinated by what, there's not a lot of science actually, obviously on the, well there's a bit on obviously extreme environments and caloric requirements which are in the several, you know, like 9,000 calories burn today type realm. But what-

So one, I want to know how many calories do you target an hour if that's how you think about it when you're out there on your expedition? Two, where do those calories come from? And three, yeah, let's start there actually. So let's talk about expeditions and then let's go back to my day to day and how I altered my diet for each expedition. Love it. Okay. So there's two scenarios. Hot deserts.

I'm eating what's available to me. So if I'm in Mongolia, I'm going to be very, I crossed the Mongolian desert, the Gobi Desert, 2,300 kilometers. I had available to me, if I remember correctly, we had a couple bags of rice, we had dried beans, we had some things that were canned. So I adapted to that in my training. I knew what I was getting into. When I'm on an Arctic expedition, I'm using 90% of my calories are fat because fat, I'm carrying everything. I'm dragging it all.

So I need to be super efficient, hyper efficient on what I'm dragging in my sled behind me. Well, nine calories per gram, I have less volume, I'm getting more, so I adapt my body to that sort of diet months before I go on one of these expeditions. Now, it'll surprise you that I am typically in a calorie deficit when I'm doing these expeditions, but I have trained my body in my day-to-day routine to glycogen spare.

to be very efficient with the calories that I do take on board and to process absolutely everything so that I can utilize and extract as much of the macro micronutrients as I possibly can. When I was, same with my hydration strategy, when I'm on an Arctic expedition, we'll be using tons of coconut oil. So I take ice cube trays and I melt coconut oil in and then I freeze it. And then when I travel up to the Arctic, it stays in cubes. And every meal that we have, we throw a cube in, which is like 300 calories.

of coconut oil into we put one in our coffee, we put one in our soup, we put one in our whatever we're eating, so it's in everything. So your percentage of calories is completely jacked and you're getting all of that extra fat. I use a lot of collagen greens formulas, et cetera, like that when I'm on these Arctic expeditions as well. High fat foods, anything that's super high fat will go with me typically. And then as far as drinking goes, it's cold, it's really cold. So,

over the course of weeks or days and then weeks on an Arctic expedition, all adapt to a point where in the morning I have my coffee and then I may have a sip of water out of the water that we're melting. Then we fill our thermoses with hot water so that we have it with us. And then I don't drink all day for the entire distance. And then when we get in at night, we empty those thermoses and that starts the melting process because it's

really cold in the Arctic winter. So you got to have some, you know, you want to start the stove, you want to get things boiling with water instead of just ice and snow. And then I have my first meal, which is a soup. That's a miso soup with collagen, coconut oil, coconut manna, crushed cashews, all sorts of things in there that make it healthy, vibrant, really good for the body, it's best we could possibly do out there.

and at the same time, lots of sodium as well and hydrating. And then I go from there with the other foods. So that's kind of what it looks like. And a hot expedition would be similar, but it's just the reverse foods. Yeah, yeah. Oh, amazing. Like have you seen those keto bricks, Ray? The keto bricks, what are those? Yeah, yeah. They're like these bricks. They're a thousand calories in a brick, which you would look at it and think, like very energy dense. They're like, you know, Pelican.

Yeah, I've used Pamikin. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Similar to that in terms of the caloric value and where you get your calories from, but I think it's made from cacao and coconut and so it's more of a sweet sort of texture. Oh, oh, you know what I'll do, I'll show you a link on it. Yeah, send me a link, send me a link because I'm always fascinated about finding new stuff. My issue with some of the on-the-shelf keto foods that I see is there's a lot of dairy in them. And I'm allergic to dairy, so I don't have any of that, my God.

Also, I don't like anything with sugar alcohols. I try to eat as many unrefined and unprocessed foods as I possibly can. Now, I'm more picky about that now post-chemo than I was before. I also, at home, my routine, if that interests you, is it's transitional. I periodize my nutrition like I periodize my training. So as I get into the summer months here, I'm preparing now to do a project this summer. I typically do

one shorter project and then one major project a year. The major project is like 20, 30, 40 days and the shorter project could be, you know, 250, 300 kilometers nonstop or maybe a two day project, whatever. So they're usually at opposite ends, they're polar opposites on the calendar, right? So one's in the middle of winter, one's in the middle of summer, middle of the winter being February here, January. It could be the Arctic in the winter.

It could be in the desert in the Southern Hemisphere, which is the middle of the summer, of course, right? So it just depends on where I am going. So I periodize my diet based on these two events that are happening in my life. As I roll into this training now, and it's timed out right with my chemo ending that I can start to build my training and my strength training and everything else. I get up in the morning and the first thing I do is I have a glass of water with electrolytes in it. No sugar.

trace minerals, sodium, electrolytes to get my body going again. And then I have my coffee and in my coffee, I'll typically put a teaspoon of coconut oil. And I mix that up and that's all I have in my coffee. Then I run fasted or I strength train fasted at that point. Then I follow that up now and this has changed recently, but what I'll do, I'm not vegan, obviously, but or vegetarian. But what I'll do is I use a really.

high quality sprouted, vegan protein. Because I like the ingredients, they're very simple. It's non-dairy, it works really well for me. I put a scoop of that in a shake maker and then a little handful of parsley, scoop of L-glutamine, a scoop of amino acids, and then I'll add to that juice that I've made with a masticating juicer and I'll do parsley, romaine, ginger, carrots, blah, blah, blah, all green stuff.

It sounds like a lot of work, but it's really not. It doesn't take long because it's like all happening at one time. And then I put that in there and then I zip it up and then I drink that. And then, you know, from that point forward in the day, I'm doing whole foods. Yeah. Oh, delicious. And you're, um, do you going into an expedition, do you purposefully gain weight that you know you're going to lose? Do you lose a lot of weight? Like, what does that look like for you? It's super great question. I used to do that. I used to do it when I went to the self pole.

I was super heavy before I went. I gained like 20 pounds and lost it all. And then I guess I was doing a project. I'd met an Italian friend, Stefano Gregoretti and I, who we ran across the Nemet desert together almost 2000K, the Patagonian desert, 1000K. Cat and chat, got multiple Arctic expeditions. We done a ton of stuff together over the years. And when we started doing projects together, we said there's got to be a better way because it's not healthy.

for us to be packing all this weight on. This doesn't make sense. If our bodies are functioning optimally, we should be able to train to process the food we're eating at home and mimic the expedition. You know, we don't train at home and become untrained and then say, okay, I'll get fitter on the expedition. Maybe I even used to think that in the old days. So I'm like, why would I do that nutritionally?

So I changed my mindset probably around 2015. And I started being really fit going into my expeditions. And now instead of losing 30 pounds, I just lose three pounds or whatever, right? I barely lose anything, right? And so I maintain myself. And I'm not a big guy to begin with. So I'm like normally about 150, 155 pounds. It's very difficult for me to pack on the weight, although chemo is good for that too.

But it's very difficult to put on weight. And so, but I'm very good at retaining water. So I can retain a lot of water. And that is a real benefit to me on expeditions because I rarely get dehydrated. It happens, but I rarely get dehydrated. Yeah. Do you take creatine? No. I used to. Oh, that could be helpful. In early days, when I was strength training, I used to, but I don't need it. I take L-glutamine.

Supplement wise, for supplements I use a Green's formula typically. Now keep in mind I've had to stop all supplements, but I'm starting some again. But my main ones are Green's formula, CoQ10, Vitamin D, magnesium glycanate, glucosamine MSM, of course all that stuff. A lot of collagen. B complex.

L-carnitine or acetyl L-carnitine will cycle through the two depending on what I'm doing. Occasionally HMB but rare, more rare now, and some ginseng. And a few things like that, that's about it. Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, that's nice. I would have imagined creating could be helpful just from a water retention sort of perspective, brain perspective, but it's a thing to think about. Yeah, absolutely. That's great advice. Yeah. Ray, I find it fascinating that...

But also completely unsurprising about your ability to regulate, for example, how much mass you're going to lose on that, because you work hard at your efficiency in your normal diet. So you're training your body to utilize fat stores, but also fat stored on your intramuscular fat as well. So I imagine a lot of people, if they're gaining a lot of weight, they might not necessarily be training their body to glycogen.

and that kind of thing. So that might place them at more risk of losing weight. So I think that the key with nutrition, and you're the doctor, but for me, I think the key with nutrition is that not to look at nutrition from the perspective of calories in calories out only, but instead looking at it from two perspectives. The old adage, you are what you eat.

So if you eat garbage, you're gonna be made out of garbage, right, so eat quality whole foods, but also you're not eating to just give yourself calories, you're eating yourself to manipulate your endocrine system. And the things that you do and the times that you eat and how you eat, it doesn't have to be complex, but if you listen to your body and you learn from your body, things like intermittent fasting or, you know, they're very easy to do. I mean, listen.

There's a lot of people out there, I'm sure they've experienced this, where they're rushed in the morning and they're getting out the door with the kids, they grab their coffee, they have their coffee, then it's like two in the afternoon, they're like, I haven't eaten all day, but I just feel amazing. And then they eat something and then they crash immediately, right? Well, there's something in there. There's something in there. So you know, you now sit down, really look at it. Maybe it doesn't mean you don't eat until two o'clock every day, but maybe there's a fasting period. And then you've got to find out what you blunt that fasting period with.

so that you don't get that sugar spike or insulin spike. And what is it in your life that you do or how can you eat to have that great performance all the time? You know what I mean? Yeah, totally. And feel that good all the time, right? Because I guarantee you eat a bowl of cereal in the morning, you're gonna feel like shit within two hours. And people wonder why they feel like shit, you know? No, I completely agree. And it is unfortunate because cereal is delicious. But to your point. It's amazing.

Exactly. But no, you're absolutely right. Hey, Ray, I really want to be respectful of your time. I do have just a couple more questions, and hopefully they're not going to take too much to answer. You get asked this all the time, but do you have a number one top place that you've been, expedition you've been on, person you do it with, your experience? Yeah, my favorite place on the Earth is probably Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic. I've crossed it 11 times.

I now take clients there because it's just out of all of the expeditions, 20,000 kilometers that I spent on my feet all over the world. It's got to be the most beautiful place on the planet. It's spectacular. Amazing. Yeah. Yeah. How long do your expeditions last when you take clients with you? When I take clients, it's usually eight to 10 days door to door. And they're small expeditions. So we don't take more like the group I take to Baffitt Island, for example, seven people. That's it. We have a huge guide too. It's two people for every guide.

And then I'm guiding this year as well in the Atikama Desert in November. And I think we're taking 10 people. Oh, amazing. And have you seen, I mean, you've been to so many places and to so many places several times. Have you seen a real change in the environment since you've gone like Ray over the years? You know, like... Oh, absolutely. Yeah, yeah. Absolutely. It's not even a question. I mean, I've seen glaciers receding. I've seen glaciers disappear.

on in the in the Arctic that I navigated towards and they're gone now, just piles of rocks. Yeah, yeah. Oh, that's crazy. I can't even imagine that. And even that you see it. But I mean, you know, you I might see it on TV or like, yeah, but I can't imagine sort of being in that. Yeah. And 2020 and the pandemic hit. How was that for you? Given that you, you know, spend your livelihood, obviously, it's with your family and as well, but you know,

Like, was there a moment of, oh my god, could this all be over? Maybe. I don't recall that. I mean, I had no income whatsoever because everything I do relies on moving about. So like, no income was done. My wife was down to a minimal income with her consulting job. But it was also some of the best time we've ever had as a family because we were doing stuff together every day. We were out on the trails. We were doing stuff with the kids. And so

Yeah, it was horrible, but at the same time, there's a lot of awesomeness about it at the same time. Yeah, yeah. I don't want to sound like a, I don't know if that's the wrong thing to say, but I mean, there was, we did get a lot of good out of it, you know? Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I had similar experience and loads of people say the same thing, actually, in completely different situations. Finally, of course, and I think I know the answer to this, but I'll just ask you anyway, like, has...

becoming a dad and like, has that changed your perspective on what you do out there in the expeditions or is your ability to compartmentalize actually meant that you're still able to do and feel the same things as you go out there and not like has your risk, has your sort of element for risk or your risk taking changed at all? No, I mean, this is the expeditions that I've done have always been risky choices. I just mitigate the risk as best I can with planning and everything else.

You got to remember it's the perspective of the people around you as well. You know, we started out talking, you were talking about friends and who my friends, did I still have friends, you know, from that the olden days, whatever, when I was unhealthy guy previous life. And you do become a product of your surroundings, right? Like my kids think what I do is completely normal. It's a normal job. My wife is like, yeah, big deal. Like, I mean, they do these things, right? So it's normalized. So in that normalization, I'm used to doing these things. I try to plan and be as safe as I possibly can.

I will tell you this, I mean, being a dad is by far the greatest thing that I've done in my life. And seeing them now doing competing in their own sports, they both are biathletes, they're in Nordic skiing, they're in spring kayak, they're doing all their own things that we don't do. And I just love seeing them chart their own course and stuff, right? So you know, if someday I get to retire, I would just follow them around doing like, I'll be their like, you know, manager.

You know, they'll be like, bloody hell, dad, can you just. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, no, that's awesome. Right. Right. How can people find you on the Internet and find out more about impossible to possible the expeditions that you run and of course, your own adventures? Yeah, I was going to say, I mean, the same way that you and I connected through Instagram, I mean, everybody's on social media these days. So that's where I am on Instagram. Just my name, Ray Sayhab.

I have a website, Rayzahab.com, although it's updated less frequently because nobody seems to go to websites anymore. So, but you know, by social media, that Instagram, there's a little link tree at the bottom that's got all the links. Yeah, no, that's amazing, Ray. Well, enjoy the rest of your evening and your cup of tea. And thanks so much for your time. I really appreciate it. Thank you, it was great. Thanks, Meggie.

So such an amazing conversation, it was so great to be able to chat to Ray. I can't even remember how I found him. I think it might have been through Rich Roll actually. And then I just started following him and saw some of his most epic adventures and just his strength of character is so inspirational. So definitely check out Ray on the socials and also his website. Alright team. So we have a couple of days left to...

join up to Monday's Matter. So if you've been thinking about doing something about your body composition, but that's about as far as it's got, it's no point waiting us there. Like you'll just be eight weeks down the track and nothing has changed. So get on, book your seat into Monday's Matter and we can get that ball rolling because we kick off as a group on Monday 29th of May. Until next week though, you can catch me over on Facebook at Miki Willard in Nutrition.

over on Instagram and Twitter at Miki Willardin or head to my website MikiWillardin.com that's where you'll find information to Monday's Matter and in addition to that you can check out blog posts, previous podcast episodes and of course book a consult with me. Alright team you have the best week, see you later.