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Ed was chosen to join Cracknell and Fogle in a race to the South Pole. They skied for 16 hours each day and came in second – without any polar experience. In his workshop the hospital doctor uses storytelling and mindfulness techniques to give participants the tools to embrace challenge and live for the moment. Ed shows how exploring our feelings, opening up to change, managing criticism and agreeing short-term goals helps us withstand extreme pressure.
Ed Coats was chosen to join James Cracknell and Ben Fogle on their race to the South Pole, the first attempt of its kind since Captain Scott was beaten by Amundsen in 1912. Both the selection process and the race itself were captured in the BBC documentary On Thin Ice.
Six teams took part from around the world, skiing over 470 miles across Antarctica. The trio, who had little cross-country and no polar experience between them, skied for 16 hours a day in temperatures as low as minus 50 degrees Celsius. They eventually finished in second place, an achievement due in no small part to Ed’s clear-headed support and mediation between his two more experienced team mates.
Away from his day job as a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Ed has represented Britain as a decathlete and swum the English Channel with two different teams. The ‘30 at 30’ project saw him tackle thirty challenges, including the small matter of a Thames swim, a coast to coast race across Scotland and an endurance marathon on Dartmoor.
In presentations Ed weighs up individual and collective responsibility, and how to form efficient and effective bonds in both new and established groups. He also compares the pressure, determination and teamwork found in the medical world with that required to tackle the toughest environments on Earth.
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JLA Speakers Breakfast - May 2011