Tuesday, October 22, 2013

From The Gratitude Project

Sunday, October 20, 2013

celebrating lives greatly full :: ray zahab...

Ray Zahab is one of these guys that you meet, and you hear his story and you think to yourself: "But... he seems so ordinary, like me - and yet, what he is doing is extraordinary!"  And he gives you permission to believe that YOU TOO can do the extraordinary. 

Following his pivotal experience of running 7500km across the Sahara Desert in 2006 (an achievement featured in the documentary: Running the Sahara), Ray founded impossible2Possible (i2P)in order to Inspire, Educate and Empower youth to make positive change in the world. 
I am thrilled that Ray took the time from his extremely busy schedule to respond to my invitation to participate in *the gratitude project: dare to be grateful*.  (In fact, he sent his responses from Rome, Italy, where he was delivering yet another inspirational talk at a TED Conference.)  Thanks so much Ray!
What PERSONAL QUALITY are you most grateful for, and why?
I am grateful for the willingness to continue learning - for the desire to learn from others and their experiences!

What FAILURE are you most grateful for, and why?
I am most grateful to have DNF'ed at a major ultramarathon many years ago. It taught me not to underestimate a challenge - not to think for one minute that I have everything figured out! 

What LIFE EXPERIENCE are you most grateful for, and why?
I am most grateful for two things. 1. meeting my wife. 2. Running 7500km across the Sahara and learning that we totally underestimate what we as humans are capable of. We all have the capacity to do amazing things in our lives... and never stop learning in the process.
....the gratitude project can be found at http://daretobegrateful.blogspot.ca

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Article from October 2013 edition of Men's Health

MH Grill: Ray Zahab

Ray Zahab

How many hours a week do you spend training?

It depends on what I'm training for. I like to tell people that I train specifically. I take an entire year and I dedicate it to an expedition I'm training towards. For me max volume is somewhere between 100k and 180k per week, but most of my training is speed work, interval workouts and up-tempo runs. I do occasional long, slow runs but they are more social – I like to do them with my friends.

What's your top training tip?

I have three. Number one, set a goal. If you have a goal then you'll train for it. Number two, prepare yourself with a really good programme. You want to train with quality not quantity. Number three, include conditional strength training in any preparation programme – it's so important.

What are you doing in Britain?

The Royal Parks Foundation Ultra, sponsored by inov-8. It's a great event and it gives people the opportunity to try out an ultra. I'm so busy with my foundation impossible2Possible that I do find it difficult to get away but this event sounds so cool that I decided to get involved.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self today?

Believe in yourself. You really can do extraordinary things. I was never a natural athlete and back in the day I used to be a pack-a-day smoker, the whole nine yards. I can remember thinking that I'm not very sporty but – seeing what all these 16-year-olds do as part of my charity – I would just want to say: Don't underestimate yourself'.

What put you on the path to who you are today?

I was 30. I had barely made it out of high school and I dropped out of community college. I had no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life and I just sat wondering what my life was about. My younger brother was a great inspiration to me because he is the athlete of the family. I saw him doing all this cool stuff and I suddenly decided I wanted to try and live my life like him. It obviously took a few years for me to get my stuff together but that's how it started.

How healthy is your diet?

Well for me it's the same as anything else. I start eating healthy but after a while I'll get bored and and go back to eating stuff like burgers (or, if it's the UK, bangers and mash). I try to eat as healthily as I can. I include lots of fruit and veg (all the normal things you usually hear) and try to avoid processed foods as much as possible. Healthy fats are incredibly important for long distance runners (olive oil and avocados are amazing) but I also believe that one day a week you should have whatever you want. That's the best way to break up the monotony.

What’s your worst vice?

Potato chips – I could live off them.

You’ve been offered a pill that will make you live forever. Do you take it?

No. Life is meant to be explored, it is meant to be celebrated but what's more important than that is the fact I don't want to outlive my children.

What are you scared of?

Camel spiders freak me out.

Who would you most like to go for a beer with?

Muhammed, our expedition leader in the Sahara desert. He was such a great guy.

Who is your hero and why?

My brother is my greatest hero because without his inspiration I would never have been able to achieve all the things I have done.

Learn more about Ray Zahab and his foundation impossible2Possible, as he gears up for the Royal Parks Ultra in London

Interview by: Edward Lane

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Article from November issue of Outdoor Fitness magazine in the UK

Canadian Geographic Change Makers!

"The elite distance runner goes to great lengths to inspire change and education through exploration"

Ray has been named one of Canadian Geographic's Change Makers! Click on the photo to read about all of these amazing Canadians!




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Project: Guatemala - Review from Last Nights Episode

The Project: Guatemala More Than Just A Reality Show

Posted: 09/23/2013 12:11 pm

The Project Guatemala
Aside from dance reality competitions and amazing and wild adventure shows where pairs embark on a race or journey together, I don't really dig reality shows. Big Brother, The Bachelor, Jersey Shore, The Real Housewives -- all shows I can't wrap my head around. It probably doesn't help that many of the contestants (of the ones in which a pot of cash is awaiting a winner) or cast members (where cameras follow them around, waiting for stupidity and hijinks to ensue) can be so damn annoying.
So if I didn't know the premise of The Project: Guatemala, I would've been throwing something at the TV. OK, a slight exaggeration; I would've just changed the channel. Really, though, just about everyone involved -- with the exception of awesome host Ray Zahab (Running The Sahara) -- deserved a punch in the mouth at one point. Again, perhaps a slight exaggeration, but a slap upside the head would also do nicely.

The Project: Guatemala features nine privileged 20-somethings who think they've been chosen to take part in a fluffy reality show where they can drink, party and hook up with fellow hotties in paradise. But because it looks like a reality show and sounds like a reality show and annoys like a reality show, then it must be a reality show, right? Well, let's just say it's certainly real.

The nine knuckleheads -- all of whom hail from either Ontario, Alberta or B.C. -- learn that instead of a posh hotel in Guatemala City, they're actually headed to a rural area to help build a community hall for orphaned children via Canadian-run charity The Project Somos Children's Village.

Back in June, Zahab spoke about the show, telling media at the City upfronts, "I'm very proud it's Canadian. This is groundbreaking, it's something that's never been done before on TV." Honestly, how many times can a reality show (or any show, really) boast that?

The young Canadians are given the choice right off the bat on whether to stay or go, and no one is forcing them to stay. They can go back to their privileged lives and pretend this awful, horrible nightmare didn't happen. Or they can suck it up, lose the "woe is me" attitude, look around and see what a true nightmare is and how lucky they actually have it, and work like they've never worked before. (No, really, some of them have never worked before.)

Once reality (real reality, none of this concocted BS "reality") sets in, it's the girls who are most affected by what the following six weeks will bring. Like, OMG, what are they going to, like, do without their heels and hair products and self-tanners? How could they go a day without showing their cleavage?

Maybe it's because my idea of dressing up involves a comfy pair of jeans and flats, not sky-high heels, shorts up to here, and a shirt down to here, but the women crying over what their hair looked like and bitching about being told what not to wear was both laughable and infuriating. I get that they're really far out of their comfort zones, but considering their new surroundings, one would think they would realize how trivial their complaints are. Honestly, I think I would have more of a problem with the latrine situation but, funnily enough, that doesn't seem to faze them.

The guys have an easier time of it, presumably because clothing and accessories and beauty products aren't that much of a concern, and some of them actually seem ready to embrace the challenge. And that is what I can't wait for with the rest of them. I can't wait for them to have that sense of accomplishment, something only hard work and dedication can get you. I want them to feel actual emotion about someone other than themselves, and while they might not completely lose the flighty, nitwit attitudes, I am rooting for them to dig deep and learn things they would have never known about themselves and the world. For the next six weeks, I can't wait to see how this entire experience changes them. Fingers crossed.

'The Project: Guatemala' premieres Monday, Sept. 23 at 10 p.m. ET on OLN and City.

Ray at Grand to Grand Ultra ~ 2013

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Youth Expedition Peru ~ Youth Ambassador Team!

Impossible 2 Possible is proud to announce the Youth Ambassador team for Youth Expedition Peru!!! 

Abbie, Mollie, Amanda, Jenny, and Mick will be going on the journey of their lives as they head to the Peruvian Amazon!!! 

The i2P Youth Ambassadors will relay information back to thousands of students in classrooms around the world, share the experience of covering marathon distances day after day, and learn what it takes to execute an international expedition! 

Stay tuned for more announcements!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Homeward Bound!

On my way home to Canada from Mongolia via Beijing and just wanted to say once again thanks to ALL of you!  We make a great team! 

I truly believe we all can achieve amazing things in our lives, and having such great friends fuels that. 

Cheers to YOU!  ~ Ray

Expedition Gobi ~ Every End is a New Beginning!

Expedition Gobi - Every End is a New Beginning from GOi2P on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Expedition Gobi Success!!!!

Expedition Gobi Done and a success!!!! 

Arrived this early aft to our finish we planned at this gorgeous lake, as this area of Gobi now transitions to greener area! 

THANK YOU to everyone of you....your energy helped me to get here across dunes/heat/rocks and intense storms, and your kind words were an inspiration! Ran over 2,000km across most of Mongolia and could not have done it without YOU, also my amazing Mongolian team who saved me so many miles by knowing this desert and its best routes, my amazing wife who joined me for a laborious 200+km walk in the end as my back was injured, and my i2P Team including Bob Cox, Ferg Hawke, Jordan Thoms and others. 

Stay tuned for a video coming soon of last day, and when we get home a massive archive of footage and photos from the expedition to be used in impossible2Possible curriculum and for free use by schools...more to come!

Expedition Gobi ~ Khongoryn Els (Singing Sands)

Expedition Gobi - Khongoryn Els (Singing Sands) from GOi2P on Vimeo.

Expedition Gobi ~ Route Update

Expedition Gobi - Route Update from GOi2P on Vimeo.

Expedition Gobi ~ Day 21, 22, 23 Photos