The CIP Podcast – Episode 3 joined by SAS Who Dares Wins #14 James Gwinnett


and welcome James – thanks for coming on
the podcast my that’s my actually pleasure I’m here I’m honored it’s a joy
to be here thank you for inviting me yeah good good you’re my first guest as
well what a privilege do you know I think the thing that fascinated me about
your story when we met was how there were so many similarities in our lives
but we’d also lived completely different lives and I think it could be a real
eye-opener for people watching this if it sort of you could just tell us take
us right back to the beginning so what life was like for you and all of us yes
interesting you say because we are from from different worlds of effectively
both in a weight on the gone along the same the same journey relative I fully
admit I was very fortunate as a youngster grew up in a in a loving
loving family to parents who loved each other very much and would have done
anything for myself and my younger brother dad worked incredibly hard from
a left school young age but worked his way up through the banking world was was
successful not crazy crazy rich but enough did well enough to put my brother
and myself through through a very good school and we private school it was yeah
yeah and so we never really wanted for it for a great deal and growing up I I
was a cool an achievement achiever captain this sports team and that sports
team and was musical and academic and and did well and and it was constantly
getting the praise from to proud parents and struggled to get through grades and
things like that and but it does make you looking back it does make you think
you throughout your life you’ll sort of pushed through this this journey of what
success is this perception of success it’s you know going going get good
grades at school and then go and go to university good job and
get a family buy house it cetera et cetera yeah and it’s interesting how
that that success directs you a little bit later in years of what success means
for different people but I yeah III I did well and as I say was constantly
being being praised for my achievements and it gave me this sense of I suppose
invincibility in a way was you the eldest yes young yeah but younger
brother yeah a bit more pressure there as well the eldest about wanting to like
set an example as well was there a bit of that as well yeah absolutely yeah
yeah and I I did well and my my brother sort of feel sorry for a minute in a way
no he had that sort of shadow in which to which to follow mm-hmm
and he we’re not very very different he wasn’t totally into sports and so we’ve
never never been terribly competitive you know there’s a they can be a lot of
competition and and combative nurse between between brothers know if you’re
too similar but we never really fought and I just have a very very good
relationship as a result of that but yeah he did have to sort of follow in
that sounds a bit lame without some shadow of of success yeah and I was put
up on this pedestal by my parents teachers and I say gave me this sort of
sense of I can achieve whatever I want and I went through probably the first of
25 years of my life without ever having any setbacks okay
fairly easily because of them that my upbringing I put on that put on that
path yeah exactly exactly so on and eternally eternally grateful to them for
that yeah again get good grades got good grades go
to a good university offer went good University and it was then that’s that
sort of freedom kicked in okay you sort of you’re away from away from you know
the restraints of parenthood and living with living with mum and dad you go off
and yet you spend three years surrounded by effectively similar minded
people all of whom have got a bit of expendable cash from mommy and daddy and
you spend that you spend basically spend mummy and daddys cash getting as drunk
as you possibly can for three years and it’s all it’s all perfectly acceptable so I went to Durham University okay
studied classics which was a complete waste of time involved five hours of
lectures a week most of which I didn’t go to because I was too busy drinking or
playing rugby or running the college bar or know whatever is and in that in that
setting where it’s acceptable to go and be shit-faced it’s fun there’s there’s
it’s very difficult to gauge the level of acceptability as to where the where
the limit is if you pass out with your vomit it’s always it’s hilarious James
is such a bad kind of and there’s this mentality of that sort of alpha male and
that is very very relatable into many many years I’ve spent playing rugby
yeah well this ultra manly sports where it’s all about bravado and being the
biggest and the strongest and sort of proving yourself to to others mmm when
it it should I mean rugby is a fascinating fascinating spore and we
talk on the morning of the Rugby World Cup so in that the bonds made between
players it’s very sort of brotherly kind of
yeah we spent on SAS you spend time in this highly pressurized situation
putting your body on the line taking an absolute battering for 80 minutes
beating seven bells out of each other and you you form a a closeness as a
result of that with your with your teammates and the respect as well for
your teammates and for the for the opposition which means that come 80
minutes when the final bell final whistle goes you’ve spent I’ve spent the
time beating the shit out of each other you want to celebrate that achievement
and you want to Mason you get on the beers yeah he said it’s a team bonding
on the pitch and the team bonding after the pitch and the culture is very much
who can who can drink them who’s the biggest dude who can down the most
points and I mean even the even the man of the match was awarded a awarded I say
use that term very loosely yeah a point to down you down apparently there’s many
many many beers and drinking games and shots and coming on to women and it’s
all if you came into a pub for a quiet drink on a Saturday evening and my
myself and my teammates were in the corner being raucous you’d probably do a
u-turn and walk straight back out but you know we didn’t care who we upset it
was all mmm and again this is very difficult to
gauge that level of what’s it what’s acceptable mmm behavior in society’s
terms yeah of course rongkhun vomiting and being inappropriate and was there a
bit of you during that that felt like you wanted to do something differently
but because it was you had such a close bond with all them guys you you felt
like you couldn’t go against the grain probably yeah yeah I mean you sort of I
suppose it’s a case of being a shepherd or a sheep isn’t it very much you know
you’re drawn into this mentality of I must prove myself
well it’s tough isn’t it when there’s a group of guys and you’re all that close
and you’re all sort of doing the same thing you’re doing the same thing on the
pitch it’s almost like a rule you just you just together and you do the same
thing often yeah and and it comes down to it again it comes down to exceptions
when it should be it should be the case that you can be accepted for being a
great player putting in a great performance on the pitch unfortunately
there’s a there’s a mentality that you have to prove yourself off the pitch to
be accepted as well when you really don’t because having drunk for three
years now and I’m still great friends with the guys I used to play rugby with
they accept it well done by the way massive achievement so but yeah at the
time I must prove myself I must be accepted I must be accepted as a social
member of the team as well as and you must drink more than everyone else’s
cetera et cetera and because I’m a big guy I was 15 stone now but I was close
on 17 when I was playing rugby I could drink and drink and drink and it was
just no no stopping and you combine that with what I probably well known Fraser
an off switch yeah I never have I’ve never had it why
the vast majority of people when they when they drink they will have however
many it is four five more different and think we’re just gonna back off slightly
I go into I’ll go up again yeah I get to that point
twice as many I’ve never had that reflux of being able to realize yeah I was
there anyone in your life at that time who sort of pointed that out to you or
was everyone in that team just like doing the same for us the trouble is
that it was acceptable and everyone was doing the same kind of thing right it
was very much a group Wolfpack kind of you’re even like raised more being done
yeah absolutely it’s interesting very interesting how
this was a group setting facilitate it as well hmm and when you’re young and
and you can do this and you can get up and the next morning it’s feeling a bit
woolly but actually you’ll be able to sort of go about your day to day
business it’s doable you get older and older and the hangovers get worse and
worse and it starts to start sweet away did it did it if we got a photo of the
rugby can we get a photo of him there we go that’s is that at uni or is
that I know that’s LeBron me so that’s the team called Tamra 12 club so that’s
where you went to after yes so I had played with them for them as a junior
yeah young young I did a year between school and university I played a bit
played a bit for them during that year before going abroad yeah he went off to
unify years came back right again started playing for time and roles again
get so pretty though they were good they were alright the last last year of my
career I actually did a slightly treacherous thing and went hopped over
to the local rivals who were national league level so semi semi professional
effectively I was being paid a little bit of a little bit of cash be a mummy
effectively for my troubles to the Tunbridge Wells I’m still friends in
fact I’ve since gone back to Tom Ridge wells and coach for yeah he’s not lying
small in that way is it actually like that they’re a bit more civil Tom Ridge
wells were going through a bit of a slump they were I’m sure they won’t mind
me sure they won’t mind me saying this they’ve since gone back up through the
through the leaks but great the local rivals Tunbridge Judd Ian’s came
knocking one one one summer in the offseason I said how do you fancy coming
coming over we’ll give you a bit money so I was no it was tempting at this
stage so if you just to put it in context to you your finishing up you
need the drinking is taking off you’re doing this like sort of on the side as
well sort of what point did it get to the shore you you’re thinking
maybe this is maybe holding me back or it’s causing me probably it was never my
drinking was never a problem in inverted commas because it was always problematic
let’s say until I myself quite quite severely I was very disciplined with my
training I mean wasn’t you know playing playing full-time or anything and
working working a full-time job wasn’t wasn’t playing playing rugby full-time
but took my training very seriously took my diet very seriously gym cardio etc
etc all geared towards a game of rugby on a Saturday afternoon and then here’s
with the lads afterwards but I did this week in week out week in week out for
for several years it wasn’t until I moved over to Tommy’s jug Ian’s and and
remember it vividly the 9th of February 2013
hammered sort of full full tongs into into an opponent and just missed time to
the tackle ever so slightly so rather than hitting him with my shoulder I just
flew headfirst into his into his midriff and the collision compacted my neck
severely we call it a stinger yeah this sort of shooting pain down yeah down
your arm when you trap a nerve and I’ve still got a slightly numb sensation in
my right thumb from from nerve damage anyway well I sat up so obviously it
wasn’t you know paralyzed there and then fortunately won’t come on yeah i sat up
and and the physio came on and carted me off and I said well we’ll put a bit of
ice on it 15 minutes later I wanted to come back on the pitch fortunately the physio had a little bit
more sense than I did at the time and said no no James will sit the rest of
the sit the rest of the game out we were winning no team were perfectly capable
of doing good final final few moments of the game without me
and I didn’t really think much more of it the next morning I was stiff neck was
stiff and I just put it down to the the post-match bumps and bruises and scraped
up every Sunday morning feeling a hungover and be like I’ve been hit by a
bus so I didn’t think much more of it did you go outwards yeah had a few beers
afterwards right standard yeah okay and that’s probably help from an
pain-killing perspective because 48 hours later on the monday side– game on
the saturday afternoon on the monday night I was lying in bed I said Tuesday
morning it would have been 2 o’clock in the morning and it’s hard to describe my
entire body from head to toe was I was an absolutely agonizing pain I was just
throbbing this sort of pulsing sensation going throughout my body it’s hard to
describe but I I knew from having had various breaks bumps bruises over the
years that there was something wrong and I was lying in bed with my girlfriend at
the time and I sat up and I sort of started putting my clothes on it was 3
o’clock in the morning so James what are you doing I’m taking myself to hospital
and I saw I was I was gonna drive myself to the hospital
anyway she would be grudgingly agreed to a so don’t be silly I’ll I’ll take you
and wandered into the wandered into the hospital and the trouble was I was quite
nonchalant about it I don’t like making particular fuss about these things so I
some wanted hospital said I think of I think I’ve hurt must think I’ve hurt
myself rather than screaming pain from head to toe so they sat me down gave me
a couple of paracetamol and four hours later there’s obviously they forgot
about me and four hours later I was whisked through into the x-ray and then
another couple of hours passed while they assessed it I had a CT scan in them
in the meantime which is no it’s a slightly more detailed x-ray and the CT
scan showed a fracture to my to a vertebra in my neck and you would
not believe how quickly a hospital staff can transition from not giving a shit to
the entire hospital in meltdown oh my god this guy’s broken his neck we need
so I had bears has a bear in mind I was about 17 stone at the time I had six
people carrying me around on a stretcher and was eventually they found a hospital
bed and I was sellotaped to it for five days while they assess whether or not I
had a stable or unstable fracture now bearing in mind I had as I said walked
around for two days walked into the hospital my head wasn’t about fall off
but they needed to be certain of these things to get that clear
so you playing the game you smash up your neck you come off the pitch you
want to go back on the pitch they don’t let you back on you didn’t go to the pub
you didn’t get pissed you carry on with your life for a few days the next day I
woke up to the hospital next day and they’re like day after some day I had my
best friend came over for a Sunday roast we went to the pub listen yeah afternoon
we were playing dice I’m walking around with 448 out right Wow
and we got a photo so this sellotape stuff so that was to prevent me moving
mind my head left and right yeah I was incapacitated like that for five days
five days how was that I mean all you’ve got is your faults
I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy Yeah right I was horrific I say the time
girlfriends I made this sort of cardboard contraption for me with a hole
in it which sort of sat over my head like this
so that I could rest an iPad yeah in in the hole so I was lying there like that
with an iPad about six inches away from my face just just watching crap for five
days and yeah as you say yes or thinking while this King sucks here
and what was going through your head Oh manner of different things mostly well
this is this is rugby done and that was the start of the spiral so I stick so I
guess your identity as a man has been success I was purely wrapped up in being
this yeah a huge thing and yeah really keen to talk about this and I lost him I
think a lot of mental health issues derive from a loss of I’d lost of
identity or not fine not being able to find your identity so very much so lame
now but very much so my identity was that alpha male big rugby player had
kind of bravado I’m able to drink more than everyone else mentality but also
that the camaraderie as I say of of rugby we talked about the bombs on and
off on and off the page that you you form with you your brothers in arms as
it were is incredibly important and that that when in an instant so five days
later I was released from from the hospital with a carrier bag full of
drugs morphine the rest actually I had so I was I was on so many drugs that
they had to give me a drug to stop the rest of the drugs corroding my stomach dosed up on morphine for three months
quite how I’m not addicted to morphine I don’t know but I needs to avoid that one
at least and I was packed off home no no see you later no I’ll have a chat in a
week or so see how you get on it’s like yeah so did you have to hand like a neck
brace or so I warm at that neck brace 24 hours a day for three months and it was
the most uncomfortable thing I can do I can’t describe it to you slept in it for
everything I to shower in it the works right so it’s almost like a constant
reminder of what happened isn’t it yeah can’t yeah yeah I wasn’t allowed to
take it off to to stretch my neck or you know get some relief from it it was
three eight three months yeah I had to take those three months off work
couldn’t commute backwards and forwards to London for I mean the trouble the
thing was I was in my mind I was fine no I walked around for two days afterwards
I would have happily gone off to work but no the consultant I saw no you’re
staying at home you’re basically not moving for three months yeah and it
wasn’t his fault but that sent me on this this journey of depression cool it
cool it what you want you know frustration anger the rest of it and an
ultimately boredom yes five days was bad enough three months of this and there
are only so many episodes of friends that you can watch on repeat on Dave yes
I think it was bad men or Top Gear or whatever is on yeah that the boredom and
obviously at the time was was off to work so I was at home alone from 9:00 to
8:30 to 5:30 in the afternoon so just to put that into context so you’d played
rugby as a kid from wage six from six when were you when you had that injury I
was 28 years every week training and then a match on a Saturday and then now
it’s like bum yeah nothing and it again slightly aside topic but as human beings
we need routine yeah we like to think we’re creatures of habit sorry we like
to think we’re we’re spontaneous and we do things off-the-cuff we can but when
it comes when it boils down to it we are creatures of habit and that obviously
not as a six year old but very much as a an 18 to 28 year old that routine gave
me that rugby the discipline that gave me my routine structure it gave me
structure absolutely so it was a specific training whether it’s cardio on
a Monday team training on a Tuesday you get the
picture throughout the week eating the right things you know that that rugby is
in the back of my head I must be fit for hmm must be healthy for rugby and
actually that leads on to another element of my mindset yeah I I need
something to to focus on in the future yeah I need a goal in order to motivate
myself mm-hmm so playing rugby as always I must be as the fittest I can be for
rugby the best in my position compared to opponents and and that gave me the
drive mmm to go to the gym to eat right and again when that was taken away I had
nothing – nothing to motivate myself nothing to focus on yeah so I had all of
these elements together and the boredom the frustration the lack of routine the
lack of discipline the lack of structure and I found myself fairly early on in
this process one afternoon nipping to the fridge and thinking I’ll
just get a snack cold can of beer there and it’s very tempting and a glistening
little little bit of condensation oh go on then so you know treated myself to a
beer one afternoon thinking nothing nothing more of it the next day it was –
next day it was three you see where I’m going with this yeah and it wasn’t a
daily progression it was a week bye you know it’s a long drawn-out thing but
after three months of this I was putting away you know who were talking bottles
of spirits aged a well and that’s that was there was the start of the spiral I
went back off to work after the three months in it and it and curbed it to an
extent but I suppose that spark yeah had been had been lit yeah and again add
that to my mindset of the lack of off switch
and over the course of it was three years from when I broke my neck to when
I finally gave up drinking over those three years you can imagine that the
spiral of course to the point where I was I was living in London and I went
out for went out for drinks with work colleagues one evening I was living with
another ex-girlfriend I’ve had a couple of them leave me for these problems so
anyway another story and I came home and some I can’t remember why but we had a
raging argument about something mm-hmm and this is I say after three four or
five points whatever it is and with work colleagues I came home I had the best
part of a bottle of wine on my own I have this raging argument and then
something something flicked it might in my brain I stormed out of the flat with
a bottle of Jack Daniels check myself into a hotel and drank the whole thing
and again it goes to show big guy how much I could put away mmm
and it’s scary in hindsight you know the blackouts and the amount of life that is
lost yeah as a result of alcohol whatever your your vices these periods
of time then I woke up the next morning and I was having breakfast in the hotel
treating myself to a full English kind of thing and I don’t necessarily believe
in divine intervention and that sort of stuff but I had what can only describe
as an out-of-body experience in that I I sort of you know drifted out of myself
and looked down at this this pathetic individual who was struggling to eat a
plate of sausages and baked beans because he felt uh so awful from the
night the night before and something something clicked I can’t do this I
can’t do this ever again I can’t feel like this I can’t put
myself through this I can’t subject myself to this anymore
and it was that light bulb that light bulb moment of and and again it’s all
relative but that was my that was my rock bottom wow that’s amazing so just
so I can understand so after the injury I guess they said no rugby yep
no rugby so I saw Atkins after the three months of being in the neck brace I went
back to the consultants and the neck brace came off and a sense of relief I
said right when can I play rugby again and he sort
of looked at me and he’s shook his head you know the finger came out James I
think we need to call it a day on the rugby from this yeah again loss of Emily
exactly and I mean his rationale and it’s it was fairly reasonable in
hindsight his rationale was that I’d almost paralysed myself first time round
I’d compacted my neck so badly that my one of the disks in my spine was was
pressing up against my spinal cord so if it had been any worse I wouldn’t if you
do that if you do the same thing you won’t walk again so it’s kind of a bit
kick in the reality yeah spectrum you have that and then you have a couple of
failed relationship she was tricking along at work and then it’s this moment
in this hotel restaurant I guess where it’s like I don’t I don’t want this
exactly it I’ve had enough I know I can’t be I can’t do this to myself
anymore yeah and and everyone who has had that
that moment of clarity has had it in different ways mine was eating a fry-up March 2016 right okay so that’s you have
an attitude since they’re drunk since then well I mean that’s incredible thing
so take me back to that to that morning you’ve made you’ve had this revelation
what did you do next cuz this is the gold for people yeah listen in his like
a I can relate to what James has gone through you know how did he do it I
think people that want to know what did you do day one yeah it’s I mean it’s
it’s fascinating how the mind can can be programmed I suppose into achieving
whatever it is we want to achieve whether it’s marathon which I’m doing
now or getting sober or getting a new job or buying a house it’s incredible in
I something has to say something switched in my brain and I then it
sounds a bit corny by then I basically became addicted to being sober in I went
to I went to the the program I went to meetings I went to seminars I get had
hypnotherapy I read literature pored through literature on addiction and I
just immersed myself in this this understanding of of how to not drink
yeah so I sort of trained my like I had trained myself in the discipline of
eating healthily and getting fit for rugby mmm-hmm I trained myself in the
discipline of of not drinking and a major major step of that was telling my
friends 20 years or so of not drinking but playing playing rugby and being part
of that that pack yeah and being quite male in that being a big transition was
coming coming coming clean but coming not coming out coming forward let’s just
use the answer and how was that how was that like was with a friend quite well
though I say they were amazing they were amazing in their own way like rugby is
is there so much banter involved in rugby yeah I they were very very
supportive and welcoming off of the fact that I was not drinking but I got a lot
of stick for it so many jokes and so they try and jokingly sort of tempt
me and yeah they would never have allowed me to actually yeah I’ve had a
drink jokey cuz I guess for them they might but it was all this is just a he’s
just had a bad thing and he’s probably gonna drink again in a little while mate
I don’t know I mean cuz I was I I realized quite early on in the process
that being as open as possible about it mmm-hmm was the biggest aid in in in in
sort of pulling yourself through a process like this and that’s a piece of
advice I would give to anyone who is perhaps struggling or consider is is be
open you know there’s no point telling yourself that you are doing dry January
or something whatever it is there’s no point saying to yourself oh well I I’m
not drinking because sorry I’m sort of waffling a bit but you in a social
setting perhaps yeah there’s no point saying to other people I’m on
antibiotics you know coming up with excuses as to why you don’t drink yeah
just be open and honest the mayor just got to be completely open and say I
don’t drink yeah full-stop if someone wants to a lot of people will accept
that and don’t move on and end of it some people will say why ask why and and
again it’s there’s no point beating about the bush and coming up with
excuses or lying about it I’ve had a drinking problem in the past whatever it
is saying it’s driving because ultimately if you’re lying and not being
honest with other people you’re lying not being honest to yourself yeah yeah
so I was very open I talked to him about my because they didn’t know that I’d
been doing this at home and on my own and they were very understanding of the
of the situation so I accepted it with no problem albeit with a bit of stick
and banter in there in the process both of mate well done mate thank you so
let’s let’s talk about SAS who dares wins
those of you on here so what was obviously that’s where we met that had
gone missing along with my boobies and they was your change is possible summary
of my boobs or Sam’s bill I go two sizes too big or shall I go one size too small you know you done you done well on there
you gotta find a lady that’s right yeah yeah so what was your reason for
applying I mean obviously we’ve got some context of it now we get your whole
story in its motivational but was there any other reason why you applied so I
mean this is the journey there’s a lovely fluffy words that we
use when we talk about the path that we’ve gone down I as part of my recovery
found that exercise was was was what enabled me to move gave me that
motivation gave me that focus so I just as I say I did the ia on and off
I wasn’t probably as religious as I shouldn’t should have been Barton sort
of dabbled with it but I ultimately came to the conclusion that and and you know
I don’t want people to get me wrong here because the a is a phenomenal program it
helps millions of people but for me I I just I came to the conclusion that I was
I preferred spending an hour going out for a run then didn’t end spending now
going going to a meeting you know run that clarity that the ability to just
sort of switch off that’s my mindfulness that’s my that’s your therapy meditation
and and obviously you know very well about this the the steps the first one
is the high power yeah giving himself over to a to a higher
power knows it first of all there’s third step yeah yeah accepting it so you
accept it and then you find your your higher power hmm and for me that
exercise was gives me that drive yeah but as I said earlier the I need that
that goal that thing to work towards in the future so I set myself
shortly after I I stopped drinking I watched the London Marathon mm-hmm I was
a Sunday morning and I was sat there with my with my dad’s and flicking
flicking through the channels and marathan came on and I had this just
this overwhelming sense of inspiration this this is incredible mmm I must do
this and so the next day I got in touch with a rugby charity within the past
charity called wooden spoon and I said I want to do at the marathon next year and
they had a number of places I got there first
their first charity spot and I gave myself that that goal to work towards a
year in advance I know now know that I will be running
the fund America yeah in 2017 and I set myself its goal and I set myself a time
to do it in and very sort of targets to look to work towards and you know break
down that that have you set yourself an overarching goal and you break that down
into you know so you’re running 5k in the first week and 10k in the first
month the cetera et cetera and it’s a very good way of giving yourself that
discipline back that was 27 aims of America why I ran its 2017 great how did
you get on so the goal was to do some four hours yeah it’s just snuck in three
hours 56 amazing well done thank you I was running down that remember running
down the the embankment towards Parliament and
was overtaken by a Macmillan coffee mug and then a guy in ER and a guy in a suit
a full suit so think this God then I managed to manage to beat a guy in a
full dinosaur outfit by two minutes diabetic and yeah the addictive person I
was just have an addictive personality so you finished America next thing
what’s next right and I say combine combine that with
having had this this injury having done that to my body I’m fascinated by on the
one hand how fragile the body human body can be but on the other hand how when
you push it it can achieve these incredible things so whether it’s
running a marathon or running an ultra marathon or climbing Everest or swimming
the channel or there you know human beings have achieved these phenomenal
feats throughout throughout history so I’m fascinated by the concept of finding
out what my own capabilities are what my own limits are mm-hmm so I’ve set myself
accordingly a number of challenges so the marathon being being one and
obviously the marathon is a worldwide concept of achievement but I then think
to myself I what do I do now and that’s where I say and SAS came into
that albeit obviously on a win because 5,000 people applied and you never think
you’re gonna get a chance do you and you’re not told until two weeks
beforehand that you’re actually on it and they lose you down this exactly and
you know they lead you down this this garden path of X in one interview then
another interview oh you’ve made it through to the next stage sonic test and they make sure you’re not
completely crazy which which we all are we’re all nuts yeah misting and we’re
all now running through deserts but anyway you eventually get told and off
you go and so that was I was very we were very
fortunate in you know in in that that allowed me to that I was able to build
that into my journey of self-discovery in finding my finding my limits
challenge you set yourself is like another thing to focus on another thing
to work towards exactly a lot of I I trained rigorously myself yeah I mean
you could tell when he was out there he was you know up there physically thanked
with the strongest in you was a great person in the group you always kept
before I go yeah I mean if you could if you think the fire came from just the
fact that I didn’t sleep for 12 listen to your insights into this in the
previous previous at podcast and you’re just wired yeah for 12 12 days yeah you
can’t sleep yeah worried that they’re gonna burst through the door at any
moment the lights go out at 10 o’clock in the accommodation and 11 o’clock they
will come back on again and you’re be stood around the parade square for an
hour yeah back in you know it’s 12 o’clock then you’ve got a do night shift
at 2:00 from 2:00 to 3:00 and you go back to bed and five o’clock the lights
come on and you’re beast it around the parade square again yeah
brutal beestings you got the nickname out there from at Middleton of the
nickname of rube that’s and I’ve got to say like amongst us fellow contestants
we all thought you handled that extremely well I took it as a compliment like a negative thing yeah
take it on the chin I mean I’m fine with it what made me laugh watching the show
back is that you know I was given a bit of a hard time by Billy and yeah an ant
in that interview and you know managed to keep my I think they were trying to
rile me trying to get me upset and I kept it together no problem give me as
much stick as you like I’m not gonna launch myself across the table and you
know try and attack you yeah but then as soon as I walked out of the room Billy
turned to and I said I like it he’s a good guy yeah I was quite happy to be
particularly like to comment that foxy made in that they were they were sort of
discussing us final eight recruits and he said he’d probably be in the command
based giving out the orders officer material supposedly I think one of the
big moments everyone remembers from that show with you is that moment with Rick
yeah when you know yeah the rope and you let you down the rope and then you hit
the rocks you know I think offer it be good for everyone to offer some insight
in today my understanding was it was a little bit different to how it was seen
on the telly it was now dropped 50 feet onto a rock
on the other hand saw another hand I was I was okay yeah it looked sort of
cinematography and things I’m it made it look a lot worse that said my sort of
leg seized up and we had to do this ridiculous trek up a hill the next steps
of hobbling on one leg without you know 30 kg berg yeah anyway yeah but again
you handled it so Gabe Rica cuddle Rick you know bless him so he took it so hard
he was beating himself on it it wasn’t his fault to the full extent that it was
made out the thing was rigged incorrectly if he watched the
celebrities did celebrity show was was on air after we did ours and I watched
it looking specifically at the position of the rope and they had rigged it
three three meters further out from the rocks for the celebrities had us right
okay so I wonder if there was an element of we’ll try and get something on a little bit late and it wasn’t rigged
properly an ant made a bit of a fuss of a drop the see bomb and you know this so
it was brick took its blessing so bad so hard you saw that on Rica night there
was no point me doing the same effing and blinding and making because we’re
opposed at that you know but we’d been selected together a new route were close
we gone yeah that’s right yeah we laughed and joked throughout we had we
had this shame it didn’t come out on the television but it was edited out we had
this ongoing joke about yaks so no we got we got very well yeah so rather than
just just it’s fine it could have but it wasn’t it wasn’t and then I was
interviewed later on by foxy and nollie and they said well you know what
happened what did you think about that okay these these things these things
happen mistakes are made you didn’t do it intentionally yeah so we move on move
on with our lives and that’s we’ll know that no harm no foul yeah it’s great
that’s what I love about you James May you’re such a good guy so for everyone
watching now what are you doing now because I know you’re you’re doing a few
other things I know you’ve got a couple of Fitness events coming up so just
that’s right where you’re at and you know where everyone comes so I off the
back of SAS I did some publicity for a company called life insurance sorry life
search there are a life insurance company and as a thank you they they are
they offered to pay for entry into my next crazy challenge and last summer
I did a 100 kilometer ultramarathon the next is 100 mile all grimaces
ultramarathon how that will I hope take 20 hours 20 hours if I do anything under
24 I’ll be I’ll be happy apparently you get belt buckles saying
100 miles in a day if you do it under 24 hours so they’ll be the back when is
that that’s May so it’s 10 past 100 running
from London to Oxford along the Thames right that’s nice what
I seen in corner yeah so that’s the the next big challenge physically as well so
did a long one last year and it was I was incredible such a great event people
sort of see running is quite solitary pastime but when you come to the actual
events themselves running the marathon you’ve got running in slightly different
cuz you’ve got tens of thousands of people and everyone’s in fancy dress and
it’s very much a sort of festival atmosphere but even when there’s 500 of
you doing an event over 70 miles you talk to people you get to know people
you find out people’s stories you help each other out you give each other
sweets you help each other you fill your bottles and that’s crazy it’s lovely in
this sort of community so it becomes bit back to my my rugby process it’s that
being part of something so yeah but I managed to achieve manage to complete
just about complete the 70 mile er in daylight whereas the the hundred mile er
will be through the night that will be mentally as obviously well as well as
physically mental side will be tough yeah but it comes back to the SAS
thought process and especially the way that the Special Forces operatives
conduct themselves and they have this understanding for want of a better word
that once you your mind gives out before your body mm-hmm
when you think you when you think you’re done you’ve actually got
left in the tank is in case of flicking a switch in the brain and saying one
foot in front of the other yeah and it’s a case of no discipline as well and
understanding your body’s needs from a fuel perspective the right amount of
carbs the right amount of sugar the right amount of liquid etc so it’s a
good exercise in understanding your body and as I say come back to that that
interest in my own limits yeah so that’s the physical side from a
career side of things the relating to the fitness relating to the mental
health relating to the we talked about this is where I come back to talking
about success the perception of success we are guided through get a good go to
get good grades go to a good university get a good job by house by car
we’re ways of driven by society and the number of people out there that get to
35 years old and they’ve got a good house and they’ve got a good car and
they’ve married with kids and they think that I do now yeah and they’ve got 65
years of their life to work that out I was – yeah and I I now believe that I
have found that purpose of helping other people find their purpose through my own
through my own experiences so I am looking at a well wellness escape
concept designed around giving people that understanding of what they want in
order to feel like they have been successful rather than what society
wants yeah and the the concept of this of the
retreat the wellness retreat mm-hmm is a very common one my my take on it is that
a group of 20 people who go to my be fair for the week and all do a yoga
class together and all do meditation together and the breakfasts on to dinner
and they sort of go through this fairly regimented boot
camp-style few days doesn’t necessarily fulfill what is an incredibly
personalized thing mental health wellness success they are all very very
it’s all very different according to the individual everyone has their own
concept of what that entails so I am I’m looking to do a more personalized
offering consultations in advance with a raft of nutritionist
PT’s roster path physio sleep coaches life coaches you name it sounds really
exciting giving people the that one-on-one tuition where perhaps they’ve
lost their way or not yet found their way great burnout is a is now a medical
syndrome recognized by the World Health Organization high-flying CEOs who are
distressed beyond belief and not perhaps managing the sort of personal side of
their lives as they could be not eating the right things not exercising them
because they’re so focused on well I mean that yes success yeah I read an
interesting article about that when the amount of suicides in in highly
successful so I think it’s a great course so if if we want to find out more
info about that sure should we just get people to follow you on their websites
up and running it’s just saying in the initial phases at the moment but
reconnect escapes calm great also that we’ll put a link to that on the screen
has a tree connect escapes on Instagram and yet looking to they’ll build that
out over the over the coming weeks and weeks and months great may well listen
my um something I’ll be quite interested in myself to be honest with you so yeah
so if anyone listening today heard anything I think a lot of people will
relay especially people who are rugby in the Rugby World how can they connect
with you like can they connect with you on on Instagram or yeah more than happy
to chat to anyone on on insta well the company handle my own personal
one is apt James Gwinnett very very simple great more than happy to chat to
anyone more than happy to offer support offer advice where I can say that advice
is obviously very personal to it to each individual yeah but but where I can help
I will do that’s great and yeah love people to share their own experiences
with me and as I say you know where they’ve come on that on their own
journey yeah great great so you probably wrap it up one more question when it’s
all said and done what would they say about James Gwinnett cool I would like
to be I mean as I say I think people go through life without without a purpose
mmm without having achieved something something and they get to their deathbed
and you know they’ve had a good job and they’ve they’ve had a good car and
they’ve had a good house so what you know what does that mean I want people
to see see me as having pushed myself both in a mental and physical capacity
to my my limits whether that’s by going on a crazy TV show or running a an ultra
marathon at the same time as having actually made a difference in terms of
people’s mental health and well-being through through sharing my experiences
and giving people strength and hope for their own their own circumstances may I
love that thanks for coming on my absolute pleasure I think buddy
congrates chat yeah nice one bro

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *