The Pursuit of Enhancement Podcast
Welcome back everyone to the Pursuit of Enhancement Podcast.
This week I’m delighted to speak with Rick Cooper, speaker and men’s retreat facilitator.
If you were to Rick now you’d think he had the ideal life and had it all together but as the saying goes ‘Don’t judge my story based on the chapter you walked in on.’ To do so would be to undermine the immense journey he has been through and the challenges he faced.
Growing up he was witness to a lot of domestic violence, which thankfully did not transfer into his adult relationships. Although there were some unconscious insecurities that he had taken on.
At a young age he took up rugby and showed promise early on. An opportunity to channel and release some inner aggression. He dedicated himself to the craft, receiving praise and attention from his father he pursued a professional career. At 16 he signed for local pro team Saracens as the youngest member of their U21 academy.
His career was cut short by a broken spine and multiple slipped discs. He was deemed too great an insurance risk and was sent home with partial mobility. He had to wait 16 months for surgery and doctors only gave him 67% chance of walking again but Rick chose to focus on the 33%. At 20 years of age he wasn’t about to accept this fate he had been given.
As soon as he could walk again he would walk 3 miles to the pool and not leave until he had completed 30 laps. Everyday increasing the number of lengths. He was mentally forcing his body to go to places he had been told it would never be able to.
The next few years were a dark time for Rick, losing his dad, being evicted with his family and struggling to make ends meet. Coupled with his own low self-esteem and not knowing what he wanted to do with his life.
At 25 Rick decided to apply to be a London Firefighter and found a new lease on life. He wanted to be the fittest recruit they’d ever had and he succeeded. He was selected first time and out ran the beep test.
He spent 10 years in the fire service and witnessed things he wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Over the next few years he was always searching for the next thing, the next goal, the next achievement all of which only gave a short reprieve from his feelings until he would need to find the next pursuit. It wasn’t until the birth of his son that is all got put into perspective.
Eventually after many years of serving the ego he started to look within for meaning. For the first time in his life what anyone else thought or how he looked no longer mattered. The only approval he was looking for was his own.
Rick then took himself on a self-mastery and self-development journey. This has had a profound effect on him. He now knows that life is to be enjoyed for what it is now, in this moment, chasing doesn’t bring happiness. He has stripped back all the layers. He now enjoys a simple life based around cold immersion, movement, coffee and breakfasts with loved ones and careful choice of who he gives his energy and time to.
Rick regularly speaks publicly on the topics of self mastery, discipline over motivation, triumph over adversity and using it as a catalyst to extreme growth. He works with small businesses in relation to health & wellness and adopting a holistic approach to staff welfare, he coaches teenagers through depression & anxiety and leads men’s retreats to help them heal the wounded child within to become the fully actualised men that they were born to be.
In this episode we discuss;
- overcoming fear and breaking free of the unconscious patterns from his childhood
- Coming to terms with his past, separating from ego.
- The internal work he has done and his new outlooks on life
- Understanding who he is underneath these personas he had constructed for himself or the masks he wore
- His new found love of physical movement removed from the ego without need for competition and adulation
- Understanding his new sense of worth and what he deems important in life now
- The work that he is now doing with his Men’s Connection Workshops
What really stood out for me in this conversation is that no matter what we have been through we can always come back. We can always reinvent ourselves. You literally wake up tomorrow and decide that you want to be a totally different person than who you were yesterday, But along with that you have to be willing to do the work to not only become that new person but also to unravel and release the person that you were before. The decision to change is the easy part. The work is messy, it’s dark, it’s difficult, it will be the hardest test you will ever ensure. But it will be worth it because what will be revealed is who you truly are and who you are truly capable of being.
Leave me a comment and let me know what stood out for you.
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That’s all from me for now I’m Peter Ledwidge, this is the Pursuit of Enhancement podcast, I’ll catch you on the next episode, in the meantime remember to work hard, be kind, and smile often.