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Why can some people achieve greatness when others can't, no matter how hard they try? What are the secrets of long life and happiness? The New Scientist Managing Editor takes us on a tour of the peaks of human achievement. Drawing on interviews with a wide range of superhumans as well as those who study them, Hooper assesses the science of peak potential, reviewing the role of genetics alongside the famed 10,000 hours of practice.
When Andy Grant’s eyes blinked open from a 10-day coma in February 2009, he was alone in a hospital bed in Birmingham. He had a broken sternum, a broken leg, a broken elbow and shrapnel lodged in both forearms. He had a severed femoral artery, nerve damage to his hands and feet as well as deep gaping wounds in both cheeks. He had been blown up during a routine foot patrol in Afghanistan as a Royal Marine with 45 Commando. He became a gold medallist at the Invictus Games. You’ll Never Walk is his story.
The first part of an evening of delicious cricket talk celebrates the career of the legendary broadcaster and commentator. Now that 'Blowers' has decided to declare his TMS innings closed, his book reveals the secrets of life in the commentary box and of the rich cast of characters with whom he shared it, from the early days of John Arlott and Brian Johnson to Aggers and new boys Boycott, Swann, Vaughan and Tuffers.
One moment Kirkpatrick is attempting a rare solo ascent of Norway’s Troll Wall, the next he is surrounded by the TV circus while climbing Moonlight Buttress with the BBC’s The One Show presenter Alex Jones. Yosemite’s El Capitan is ever-present; he climbs it alone – strung out for weeks, and he climbs it with his 13-year-old daughter Ella – her first big wall.
The great climber charts not only his many triumphs in the climbing world – from the Alps to the Eiger, and the Himalaya – but also the struggles he has faced in his life bringing up a family and maintaining a successful and loving marriage over the decades of travelling the world to conquer mountains. An evening with a legend.
Bryony Gordon was not a runner. A loafer, a dawdler, a drinker, a smoker, yes. A runner, no. Yet somehow, as she began to recover from the emotional rollercoaster of laying her life bare in her mental health memoir Mad Girl, she started to realise that getting outside, moving her body and talking to others for whom life was also an occasional challenge, might actually help her. Going for a run might not banish her sadness but at least it might show that she was damn well trying to beat it, which is sometimes half the battle. As she began to run further she started to see the limitations she had imposed on her life more clearly. Why couldn’t she be a runner? Or a bungee jumper? Or a deep-sea diver? Maybe rather than sitting on the sofa watching the world go by, fulfilling your dreams was just about standing up and taking that first step.