Episode 69: Wanda Summers has an incredible story that demonstrates the power of the mind; she got into running by signing up to Marathon Des Sables (MDS), billed as one of the toughest races on earth…certainly not an easy start, but life was about to get much harder.
Soon after MDS she was paralysed in a paragliding accident back in Cornwall and was told that without surgery she had 0% chance of walking again. But Wanda ignored the advice, defied the odds, and is now not only walking, but back to running ultra-marathons!
Claire and I got the chance to chat to Wanda about mental strength both through racing and recovery, going from couch to MDS, the iconic races she has done since, and the secrets to running longer and faster.
What I’ve Been Reading
Michael Jordan credits George Mumford with transforming his basketball game, and in the book The Mindful Athlete Mumford shares the stories and strategies behind his success.
His techniques transform the performance of anyone with a goal, be they an Olympian, weekend warrior, executive, hacker, or artist. A basketball star at the University of Massachusetts himself, injuries forced Mumford out of the game he loved and after years as a functioning addict, Mumford made meditation the centre of his life. He kicked drugs, earned a masters degree, and began teaching meditation to inmates and others. Mumford went on to partner with coach, Phil Jackson, a long-time mindfulness practitioner, working with him and each of the 11 teams he coached to become NBA champions.
What I’ve Been Watching
Margin Call is a 2011 American drama film that takes place over a 24-hour period at a large Wall Street investment bank during the initial stages of the financial crisis of 2007–2008. It focusses on the actions taken by a group of employees during the subsequent financial collapse, including their CEO, John Tuld, played by Jeremy Irons.
Although the film does not depict any real Wall Street firm and the fictional firm is never named, the plot has similarities to many events during the 2008 financial crisis: namely Goldman Sachs moving early to hedge and reduce its position in mortgage-backed securities at the urging of two employees, which essentially mirrors comments in the film by Tuld about the advantage of moving first. John Tuld's name is also said to be a combination of Merrill Lynch's ex-CEO John Thain and Lehman Brothers' ex-CEO Richard Fuld. If you want another opportunity to look at the issues behind the credit crunch, it’s definitely worth watching.
What I’ve Been Eating
I’ve had varying degrees of issues with my gut over the years, and one of the pieces of advice that Phoebe Leibling gave me was to eat more fermented foods, whilst I wanted to continue avoiding dairy products.
I was reading and article called How an "Unhealthy" Gut Impacts Your Health, According to Experts this morning, and it reminded me that the addition of Loving Food Kimchi has both brightened up my salads, but also helped improve my gut health. Available from Nature’s Dispensary in Oakham and online, it is a brilliant way to spice up a meal, lasts for ages and can improve your health.
Quote of the Week
“Success is 99% failure.”
- George Mumford
Finance Theme I’ve Been Considering
Financial literacy isn't a skill, it's a lifestyle. Take it from Curtis "Wall Street" Carroll. As an incarcerated individual, Carroll knows the power of a dollar - while in prison, he taught himself how to read and trade stocks, and now, in his TED talk How I learned to read -- and trade stocks -- in prison he shares a simple, powerful message: we all need to be more savvy with our money.