Episode #22 – No Fear of Falling Podcast – Marissa Ponich (Fencing Athlete, Canada)

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In this episode, we dived into the world of fencing (not sword first though, as that would be dangerous) with Marissa Ponich, a member of the Canadian National Fencing Team, the current #33 rank in the world in the Sabre, and a crowdfunded athlete through the awesome donors at MAKEACHAMP.

Very few people are able to find an activity that they love. Even fewer are able to find one that they are willing to devote huge parts of their life towards. Even fewer are willing and able to juggle a full-time job and a comprehensive and demanding training schedule while competing at the highest level. But that is the daily life of Marissa, and she does it as she says to ensure that when the time comes to hang up her sword, that she will have no regrets in what she did and accomplished.

We talked about her journey into the sport, the lessons and qualities she has gained from competing within it, and about how pursuing your dreams can be hard, but putting in the hard work always pays off in the end in both results and personal satisfaction and knowledge.

You can find out more about Marissa, and contribute to her crowdfunding campaign at the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/MPonichFencer/ (Facebook)

https://www.instagram.com/mponichfencer/ (Instagram)

https://makeachamp.com/mponich/29226 (Current MAKEACHAMP Campaign)

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Episode #21 – No Fear of Falling Podcast – Nicolas Florquin (Small Arms Survey)

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In this episode, we dive into the serious topic of illegal arms-trafficking and try to learn some more about those that are out there working to try and stop it.

We talk with NICOLAS FLORQUIN, a Senior Researcher at the SMALL ARMS SURVEY, an NGO based out of Geneva, Switzerland, whose aim is to be both a principal information source about the subject for the public and policy makers, but also to be an independent monitor who is out there in the field researching and documenting information that pertains to the illegal acquisition, trade, and smuggling of small arms (which can be anything from pistols to RPG’s and many in between).

We talk about the challenges of working within different countries, different cultures, and differing levels of bureaucratic control. We also talked about Nicola’s personal motivations for doing what he does, his definitions of success and failure as they pertain to his line of work, and his belief to never stop learning and always be creating new things!

Disclaimer: All views expressed by Nicolas in this episode are his personal views, and do not necessarily express or reflect the organizational policy of the Small Arms Survey.

To learn more about Nicolas and the Small Arms Survey, you visit the following links:

http://www.smallarmssurvey.org (Official Website)

https://www.facebook.com/SmallArmsSurvey (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/SmallArmsSurvey (Twitter)

https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/626809/ (LinkedIn)

https://www.youtube.com/user/SmallArmsSurvey (YouTube)

 

Episode #20 – No Fear of Falling Podcast – Houry Gebeshian (Artistic Gymnastics Athlete, Armenia)

Libsyn ButtoniTunesGoogle PlayIn this episode (our first one back after a bit of a hiatus), we are talking with Rio 2016 Olympian, and the first ever woman to compete for ARMENIA in artistic gymnastics, HOURY GEBESHIAN.

You may have heard her story during the Olympics, as many news outlets told her story, which is a very inspiring one. From deciding to leave the sport after failing to qualify for the 2012 Olympics, to returning and training herself into competitive shape in a self-funded and directed manner; all while combining this dream of the Olympics with a full-time career in the Medical field.

Houry is a shining example of what one can do with determination, drive, and very strong time-management skills. Now she is continuing her path in gymnastics in both coaching, and crowdfunding to help develop the Armenian Women’s Gymnastics program.

We talked about combining education and sport, about her journey and the lessons she learned along the way, and how one has to fail in order to succeed. It was a great episode to record, and Houry is so well-spoken and fascinating to listen to.

You can learn more about Houry and what she is up to, and contribute to her Crowdfunding campaign over at GoFundMe for the Armenian Women’s Gymnastics Team here:

https://www.gofundme.com/HootingForHoury (GoFundMe Page)

https://www.facebook.com/HouryGebeshian (Facebook)

https://www.instagram.com/hourygebeshian (Instagram)

https://twitter.com/HouryGebeshian (Twitter)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTahWIWaRTTjZE6Nwam4Jqw (YouTube)

Episode #19 – No Fear of Falling Podcast – Candice Mitchell (Canadian Muay Thai Fighter)

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In this episode, we head to Thailand to talk to CANDICE MITCHELL, a Muay Thai Fighter who currently is raising funds over at MAKEACHAMP to cover travel and administrative costs associated with competing at the upcoming IFMA World Championships in May; taking place in Minsk, Belarus.

Candice’s story is special in that she took an unorthodox route to get where she is now, but in the process she is doing something that many people dream of doing…in that she made the decision to leave everything she knew behind, to go after her dream and see how far she could take it.

She started training in Muay Thai at age 31, and a few years later made the decision to go professional, and move to Phuket, Thailand to train with the Phuket Top Team, one of the premier gyms in the city. She has taken this opportunity to grow stronger and better, and her results have mimicked this development, with a strong fight record, numerous titles, and the synonymous nickname of “Candi Crush” which describes her in-ring abilities quite well.

We talked about her journey to get where she is now, the numerous physical and mental benefits to practicing a martial art, the mentality of a fighter in the ring, and how failure is the ultimate opportunity to learn and grow stronger.

You can find out more about Candice, donate to her crowdfunding campaign and keep track of her news and results by checking out the links below:

https://makeachamp.com/candicekmitch (MAKEACHAMP Page)

http://candicekmitchell.com (Official Website)

https://www.facebook.com/CandiceKMitchell (Facebook Page)

https://twitter.com/CandiceKMitch (Twitter)

https://www.instagram.com/candicekmitch (Instagram)

https://www.youtube.com/CandiceKMitchell (YouTube)

Episode #18 – No Fear of Falling Podcast – Nigerian Women’s Bobsled Team

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In this episode, we head to Houston, Texas, USA to talk to the three members of the NIGERIAN WOMEN’S BOBSLED TEAM, Seun Adigun, Ngozi Onwumere, and Akuoma Omeoga, who are currently crowdfunding on GoFundMe to raise funds for training and competition costs as they aim for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

To date, there have been 7 athletes from the continent of Africa who have competed in the Winter Olympics. None of them have competed in Bobsled, and none of them have been women. So these three are breaking new ground in their journey, and in turn inspiring a generation of athletes in Nigeria and Africa to look outside the normal, and to aim to do something different.

But not only are they breaking new ground, they are doing it in a DIY fashion; to the point of making their own training equipment, conducting their own social media, and combining the training schedules of an Olympic athlete within their own lives which already have higher educational studies and careers within them.

Their journey so far has been documented by a number of different media outlets, both in print, television, and on the internet. For some, this exposure would go to their heads, but these three continue to maintain that what they are doing is so much bigger than just them, and have stayed humble and selfless within it all.

We talked about their journey so far, the nuances associated with learning Bobsled,    the impact that they hope to leave in their continent through what they are doing, and how failure is a way to learn, grow, and develop yourselves into a stronger person.

To check out their updates, news, and to find out more, you can check out the following links:

http://www.bsfnigeria.com (Official Website)

https://www.facebook.com/Bobsled-Skeleton-Federation-Of-Nigeria-1698794513771544/ (Facebook)

https://twitter.com/BSF_Nigeria (Twitter)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt8zECC75IJhqwRtR1R81dA (YouTube)

https://www.instagram.com/bsfnigeria/ (Instagram)

Episode #17 – No Fear of Falling Podcast – Yasnyiar Bonne Gea (Professional Surfer, Indonesia)

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In this episode, we head to the beautiful beaches of Bali, Indonesia to talk to YASNYIAR BONNE GEA, a professional surfer who currently is crowdfunding over at our favorite crowdfunding platform MAKEACHAMP to raise funds for her upcoming competition schedule as she aims for the Asia Champion Title.

She is a 5 Time Indonesian Women’s Champion (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012), and a 2 Time Asian Champion (2011, 2014).

What makes her story so fascinating is how she got to this point, in that Bonne was completely self-taught. She started surfing quite late in life (20-21), and she got herself to the point that she is now completely through hard work, trial and error, determination, and a love for being on the waves.

We talked about her journey to get where she is now, about surf tourism in Indonesia, how surfing can be used for female empowerment, the parallels that surfing have on normal life, and you’ll hear a touching story by her friend Lentera Lentaya (who also is the second voice you hear translating in this episode) talking about how she met Bonne and how amazing a person Bonne is.

You can contribute to Bonne’s MAKEACHAMP campaign, and keep track of her news and social media (she does a lot of great videos) at the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/yasnyiarbonnegea (Facebook)

https://makeachamp.com/yasnyiarbonnegea/27376 (MAKEACHAMP)

Episode #16 – No Fear of Falling Podcast – Juan Pablo Lopez (Sprint Kayak Athlete, Puerto Rico)

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In this episode, we head to Puerto Rico to talk to JUAN PABLO LOPEZ, a Sprint Kayak Athlete who is currently raising funds for training and competition fees using MAKEACHAMP;  and is aiming to become Puerto Rico’s first ever Sprint Kayak Olympian at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

He fell in love with the sport quite late in life, deciding to put on hold a college scholarship to play soccer to push himself and see where he could end up. So far, it has led him to becoming the National Record Holder in all competitive distances, to training in Poland with one of the country’s strongest canoe clubs, and has instilled in him a iron will and determination which seems to be very difficult to break.

This determination and will have been tested though, especially in regards to the measures he has taken to continue training and competing with limited funding. But throughout these difficulties, he comes across as someone who knows that he can push through anything through working hard and pushing himself.

We talked about his journey to get where he is now, living and training in an entirely different culture, his love for Poland (he’s the unofficial ambassador to Poland for Puerto Rico :)), and how there is no substitute for working hard when dealing with failure and its after effects.

You can follow Juan, keep track of his news and results, and donate to his crowdfunding campaign on MAKEACHAMP using the following links:

https://www.facebook.com/Juan-Pablo-Lopez-473381949379171/ (Facebook Athlete Page)

https://makeachamp.com/juanpablo (MAKEACHAMP Page)

https://www.instagram.com/juan.pablo20/ (Instagram Profile)