006 – The Man Who Died 9 Times: Jamie Poole

Summary

The first time Jamie Pool died, he was wearing a suit.

That suit turned out to be the difference between his cardiac arrest going unnoticed by passers-by, and him getting medical help that would save his life. Jamie suffers from a heart condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, an often undetectable, but fairly widespread, genetic disease that causes unpredictable cardiac arrests.

Today Jamie copes with his illness through the use of a subcutaneous device called an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) – essentially a defibrillator machine that is permanently attached to his heart. But over the last decade, Jamie experienced dying nine times – four of which happened on consecutive Thursdays!  [... read more ...]        go to episode

005 – Jessica Cox: The world’s first pilot born without arms

Summary

When Jessica Cox was born without both arms, her parents didn’t grieve. In fact, her father has never shed a single tear over his daughter’s life-altering disability. Instead, Jessica’s parents challenged her to be great.

And that’s exactly what she did. Jessica is the world’s first, and only, licensed pilot without arms who flies unmodified airplanes with her feet. She is a motivational speaker who has inspired hundreds of thousands of people to overcome their own challenges and to find positivity and strength through their struggles. In addition to all that, she is a Taekwondo black belt, has received a personal blessing from the Pope, a scuba diver and a parachuter.

In this uplifting episode of “Rob Konrad: Conversations”, Jessica tells Rob all about how she came to see her physical limitations as an opportunity to bring hope to others. You’ll discover how she cultivates fearlessness and uses her T.H.I.N.K principle to tackle seemingly impossible challenges (Tear up the challenge. Heighten awareness. Insist on asking the question “how?” rather than asking the question “can?”. on-stop re-evaluating, repurposing or reinventing. Kick the habit of excuses) . She’ll also answer a burning question many people are dying to ask her: if she could choose to have arms, would she want them?  [... read more ...]        go to episode

004 – Bas Rutten: Sick & Bullied Child Turned Fighting Legend & Hollywood Star

Summary

As one of the earliest Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champions, former King of Pancrase and Thai Boxer, Bas Rutten has faced some pretty tough opponents.

But none challenged him as much as his personal struggles, from chronic illness and bullying as a kid, to beating an opioid addiction, to strange happenings in his family home.

In this episode Bas tells Rob Konrad a rollicking tale of learning to swing through trees, standing up to bullies, knocking many people out, coming out tops at a high school reunion, being a grandfather, and finding his way back to his faith.  [... read more ...]        go to episode

003 – This “Fat Girl Running” Defies All Ultramarathon Stereotypes: Mirna Valerio

Summary

On the first day of high school, Mirna Valerio went to hockey practice – and suffered. She was larger than the other players, and a lot less fit. Her coach, instead of telling her she was no good, encouraged her to keep going – and that’s why today Mirna is an ultramarathoner, speaker, author, and the 2018 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

The name of Mirna’s first blog, “Fat Girl Running”, describes exactly who she is – a body-positive larger woman who lives to run (and when she can’t do that anymore, surf). In this episode of Rob Konrad: Conversations, Mirna tells Rob about the challenges she’s overcome to become a professional runner, the bullying she’s endured because of her body type, and the gratitude and compassion she’s discovered through changing her life and living her dream.

And – she believes that anyone can do the same, without so much as jogging around the block.  [... read more ...]        go to episode

001 – The Man Who Gave His Kidney To A Stranger: Harold Mintz

Episode Summary

When Harold Mintz met Gennet Belay, a stranger to whom he had donated one of his kidneys some months earlier, he wondered how that kidney could have possibly fit inside her. He was a  6’5” tall man, and she was a “tiny” immigrant from Ethiopia, that had suffered for years and years due to an increasingly failing kidney… But then she showed him the site of the surgery, and there it was:  a little lump on the left side of her back, clearly visible under her skin – Harold’s giant kidney working perfectly inside its crowded new quarters of a person he never met before…

Harold was the first living person in America to donate an organ to a complete stranger, after a change in legislation allowed this for the first time ever.

But what kind of person would even do that? In this episode, Rob Konrad asks him this and other burning questions, like: Was he afraid? Did he want to meet the recipient after the surgery? What if someone in his family needed a kidney down the line?  [... read more ...]        go to episode