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Athletes & Explorers

Oct 14, 2019

The Outdoor Journal Podcast Launch

The Outdoor Journal launches its own podcast to share inspirational interviews with athletes, explorers and filmmakers about pushing the limits of human potential in the outdoors.

WRITTEN BY

Davey Braun

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This week, The Outdoor Journal is rolling out the first episodes of its new podcast (available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and more).

I’m Davey Braun, Associate Editor and Content Manager for TOJ, and interviewing these incredible athletes and adventurers has been the most exciting experience of my career. These discussions have inspired me to drastically change my daily routine and also to aspire to tackle seemingly impossible goals. I’m hoping that each episode inspires our listeners to push a little harder in their workout, think about their own lifestyle in a different way and break through their greatest challenges.

INTRODUCING THE PODCAST WITH APOORVA PRASAD


We’ll speak with the Founder of The Outdoor Journal, Apoorva Prasad or “AP”, for a behind the scenes peek into the “why” behind the international adventure travel magazine and how TOJ is developing a new way for readers to live out the adventures they’ve been reading about. AP enjoyed an immersive relationship with the outdoors as a child growing up in India, living in spitting distance from rhinos and later on, after struggling to balance the pressures of graduating college in the States with his competing dream to become an elite mountaineer, AP turned his accidental foray in journalism, when he realized he could make a few bucks by taking a camera with him into the mountains, into a viable media business and use it as a means for good.

EPISODE 01: REWILD WITH TONY RIDDLE


In our 4-part series REWILD with Tony Riddle, we introduced Tony’s paradigm-shifting concepts to connect us with our natural human biology and the lifestyle of our ancestors in rebellion against modern social norms (Listen to the full episode here). Breaking away from a culture that continually seeks out comfort, Tony challenges us to adopt practices that may seem extreme compared to our cushy daily routines, such as cold water immersion, wild swimming, barefoot running and removing all chairs from the home. In this episode, we chat with Tony as he prepares to embark on his 874-mile barefoot run traversing the whole length of the island of Great Britain to raise awareness for environmental sustainability.

EPISODE 02: PREVENTING ICELAND’S APOCALYPSE WITH RYAN RICHARDSON


Ryan Richardson and his wife Hailey, two filmmakers from Western Canada, committed to trek across Iceland in an attempt to force the government to protect the highlands region, an area of over 40,000 square kilometers, by granting it national park status. Ryan and Hailey operate their own small-footprint film production company, Life Outside Studio, in which they actively participate in film projects around the world. We’ll speak with Ryan about the serious survival dilemma he faced on day one, when Ryan noticed that after 42 km of hiking, they were still only halfway to their first waypoint. Because the remote highlands are so untouched and even unmapped, the satellite data they based their route on was 40% wrong. When Ryan and Hailey realized that they would now have to traverse over 400 km to achieve their goal, they decided between cutting their food rations in half and doubling their daily mileage – quitting was never an option. (Listen to the full episode here).

EPISODE 03: THE HUMAN-POWERED RULE WITH JELLE VEYT


On August 19th, explorer Jelle Veyt embarked on an expedition from his home in Belgium to the summit of Kilimanjaro, over 10,000 miles due south in Tanzania. In a completely human-powered journey, Jelle will avoid all planes, trains, and automobiles. In fact, he’ll avoid any vehicle with an engine for the next year, as he expects to reach the base of the mountain by July 2020. This expedition to Kilimanjaro is just one leg in Jelle’s ambitious and monumental project he calls “the Seven Summits of Happiness,” to climb the highest peak on every continent using only human power. Kilimanjaro will be his fourth summit, after Elbrus (Europe), Everest (Asia) and Carstensz Pyramid (Oceania). So far he has cycled more than 30,000 km (18,000 miles), and rowed 4,000 km (2,500 miles). Jelle is the first person ever to have achieved such a feat. (Listen to the full episode here).

EPISODE 04: FOR THE LIVES OF OTHERS WITH THE JENKINS BROTHERS

The nine-year running careers of Scott and Rhys Jenkins read like epic quests composed of challenges that grant the characters new levels of personal growth. The Jenkins brothers conquer their inner demons by setting out on ultra challenges in the harshest places on Earth – from Iceland to Death Valley to running over 2000 miles across the US from Boston to Austin. Their motivation to push through the pain comes from their commitment to causes that have personal meaning for them. (Listen to the full episode here).

MEET THE HOST DAVEY BRAUN

OK. So you’ve heard of Mike Horn and Colin O’Brady, but I bet you’re wondering who I am, the host of The Outdoor Journal Podcast.


For the past two years, I’ve been interviewing and profiling some of the most inspirational athletes and explorers on the planet. These conversations have inspired me to reflect on my own lifestyle and accomplishments to become a more disciplined yet more adventurous version of myself.

Hiking up to the Old Man of Storr in the Isle of Skye, Scotland.
Jumping through the bonfire of the “Old Man August” celebration on Milos Island, Greece.

Looking back and connecting the dots on the trajectory of my career triggers an eerie tingle up my spine. As a shy kid from Cleveland, I left home behind on my way to Boston for law school immediately after finishing undergrad with a major in psychology and a focus in film. After surviving law school’s repetitive attack to my nervous system,  I rented an apartment sight unseen in San Francisco to start my legal career in Kamala Harris’s office as an Assistant District Attorney.

“I was drawn to the flashing lights of Silicon Valley’s startup scene.”

Upon realizing that I felt more fulfilled while searching for ways to keep innocent people out of jail rather than while prosecuting cases,  I raced towards the flashing lights of Silicon Valley’s startup scene. I sprinted to catch up to the technology startup learning curve and eventually volunteered to open up a new office for a digital marketing company in Santa Monica’s rapidly expanding Silicon Beach. Like a massive swell, I was overwhelmed by the magnetic power of the ocean in southern California, but I also felt a strong pull to otherness. After three years in LA, I yearned for a new adventure.

Climbing four storeys up the mast of a Dahabiya sailboat on the Nile River.
Hiking up Lying Dragon Mountain in Ninh Binh, Vietnam.

“I’m happiest with a camera in my hand, or nowadays my drone.”

The idea of living an expat lifestyle excited me. I welcomed the challenge of learning words in a new language and blending into a foreign culture. So, my wife and I moved to Luxembourg in Central Europe, which borders France, Germany, and Belgium. I’ve used Lux as a springboard to visit as many new places as possible throughout Europe, Africa and Asia, making every effort to move through these spaces as a traveler, not a tourist. I documented my experiences along the way and I’d say I’m happiest with a camera in my hand, or nowadays my drone. I turned my travel writings and films into a portfolio that caught the eye of AP, the Founder of The Outdoor Journal.

Until I crawled inside the Great Pyramid, endured a tebori tattoo in Tokyo or trekked through Northern Vietnam, I wasn’t fit to join The Outdoor Journal. But now that I’m here, it feels like home.

Crawling up the ascending passage of the Great Pyramid, which is only 3 feet tall by 3 feet wide and 129 feet long.

“Law school teaches you to become an overnight expert in any unfamiliar topic.”

For several years, I’ve looked up to Rich Roll as a fellow attorney who interviews inspirational people with his unique psychoanalytical approach. Like Rich, I feel that my legal background is suited for this podcast interview format, as law school teaches you to become an overnight expert in any unfamiliar topic. And, after conducting excruciating depositions in my previous roles, peeling back the layers behind a subject’s life passion for a TOJ story leaves me feeling exhilarated after each interview.

I’ve often felt intimidated during the preparation phase for an interview because I’m not a professional athlete or explorer. I played hockey through college, including three years on Team Ohio, and I even have a claim to fame highlight over Lebron James.

Cliff jumping over 20 meters from the castle walls in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

As an adult, I’m a consummate amateur. I can talk cliff diving with Red Bull champion Rhiannnan Iffland because I’ve jumped over 20 meters from the castle walls in Dubrovnik. I can ask Valentine Thomas about her spearfishing technique because I’ve pole-speared in the Bahamas. And, I’ve skimboarded at West Street alongside world champion waverider Austin Keen.

I hope you’ll feel as inspired as I do in speaking with each incredible guest to examine the psychology of performance and learn just what it takes to face your fears and come out the other side.

Make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out on these incredible stories of people who have made the decision to push themselves beyond their own limits.


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