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Seize Your Adventure

Seize Your Adventure

Author: Francesca Turauskis

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Adventure and outdoor living with epilepsy. The stories and interviews in this podcast cover a spectrum of activities, from long-distance hiking with epilepsy medication in a backpack, to the pleasure of the first duck dive after brain surgery. It advocates adventure in all forms, for everyone, as a way to connect with ourselves, others and the outdoors. This is how we live – with epilepsy.
18 Episodes
The Outdoor Mindset

The Outdoor Mindset


In 2010, thirteen individuals got together in a hut in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The group shared a passion for the outdoors, an unyielding enthusiasm for life… and they also shared a link to different neurological challenges.These hardships could easily have led to a more subdued mindset. The thirteen people could have opted for a quieter, indoor life. But instead, they were inspired by one of the friends, whose diagnosis of a brain tumour encouraged him to use the outdoors as a way to cope, and a way to connect with others.That friend was Kyle Martin, and this meeting was the start of the organisation Outdoor Mindset (OM).Learn more about the Founders and members of the Outdoor Mindset community, and listen to how and why they chose to get outdoors and do adventure sports with conditions such as Parkinsons, MS, epilepsy and brain tumour.ABOUT OUTDOOR MINDSET: THE COMMUNITY: TO OUTDOOR MINDSET: THE PODCAST! BUY MUGS, JOURNALS and DONATE: Guitar - LOOP by joshuaempyre | License: AttributionGroovy Guitar 2 - LOOP.wav by joshuaempyre | License: AttributionLonely Lake by Kev Rowe | License: Creative CommonsFOLLOW SEIZE YOUR ADVENTURE:Facebook: don’t forget to tag when you listen, share, subscribe!
This is not quite Seize Your Adventure, but rather a short trailer episode to send you off to another podcast.Over the past few months I’ve been working on an episode for another independent podcast called Out There. It looks at the big questions in life through our relationship with the outdoors, using storytelling.So it is with huge pride that I can say my episode was released last week. It’s called “The ‘Privilege’ to Choose” and I thought I’d give you a little taster:“In this episode, we’re going to be listening to a story about choice. Having the ability to choose can be something of a privilege. For some people, the choices they are able to make can become limited by factors such as income, responsibilities or health. But can having limited choice sometimes make things easier?”Head over to to listen to the full story.FOLLOW OUT THERE:Instagram: SYA! BUY MUGS, JOURNALS, & DONATE: SEIZE YOUR ADVENTURE:Facebook: please listen, share, subscribe, rate… and don’t forget to tag when you do!
I get a lot of people contacting me. People who have adventurous souls and lived and breathed their sports before they started having seizures and were diagnosed with epilepsy. And the question I get asked most by people in this situation is “can I do this sport with epilepsy?”.And no matter what the sport is, my answer always has to be the same: “I cannot say”.I talk about a very valuable resource from the International League Against Epilepsy or ILAE that was recently shared with with. And I wish that I’d known about this sooner because it’s two tables that clearly lay out some guidelines for taking part in sports with epilepsy.One table is labelled ‘Seizure risk level in sport’The second table is labelled ‘Recommended sport participation by seizure’.Listen to me talk about some of the sports on these tables, and advice on doing sports with epilepsy by the ILAE.You can find the tables by ILAE here: All information presented in this podcast is for your information. I have not contributed to the classing of sports. I take no responsibility for individual decisions made with regards to adventure sports or medical conditions. Risks will be different based on the sport and individual. Always speak to your neurology team.SUPPORT ME: SEIZE YOUR ADVENTURE:Facebook: tag when you listen, share, subscribe!
Seven Lessons

Seven Lessons


Three months in and seven challenges down, I am right on track with my #30at30forEpilepsy. In this bonus episode, you get to hear the seven lessons I have learned so far from ice climbing, archery, axe throwing, trail running, mountain biking, hiking at altitude and wild swimming.This is how I have safe adventures with epilepsy :)MENTIONS:Archery FitVertical ChillSally OrangeSayYesMore and the Yes TribeTough Girl Podcast and the Tough Girl TribeOutdoor MindsetJOIN IN A CHALLENGE:
Amanda Plomp is a runner with epilepsy based in Victoria in Canada. As we heard in the last episode, discovering running in her twenties helped Amanda to feel strong and connected to her body, a feeling she had missed since her seizures started when she was a teenager. Running helps with her epilepsy. And epilepsy helps with her running. In my conversation with Amanda, I was able to delve into this a bit more. I asked for her tips for me, as a new runner with epilepsy, and asked her to talk me through the different types of running terrain she enjoys.WE TALK ABOUT:How different seizures affect her runningHow running helps with epilepsyHiking and camping in CanadaWhy Amanda chooses not to wear a medical alert braceletWhich is better: backwoods running, beach running or trail running?Running solo vs running racesThe difference between ‘active’ and ‘athletic’The dangers of running solo in bear countryHer advice for me running my first race with epilepsyHow important it is to tell adventure buddies about your epilepsyWhy we should teach raccoons seize first aid...Please remember all stories presented here reflect the personal experiences of contributors . Neither myself or contributors can advise or take responsibility for individual decisions made with regards to adventure sports or medical conditions.TERMINOLOGY:Myoclonic seizures/jerks: partial seizures that cause isolated jerks or twitches, for example in the arms or legs Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy of Janz: epilepsy with various seizures, including myoclonic, diagnosed before adulthood (read more)Tonic clonic: a seizure with loss of consciousness and convulsions Packed trail: maintained dirt path or trail, usually markedMORE ABOUT AMANDA: ME IN AN ADVENTURE: the Wild Things Grow by Kev Rowe | License: Creative CommonsSUPPORT SYA! BUY MUGS, JOURNALS AND POSTCARDS: SEIZE YOUR ADVENTURE:Facebook: tag us when you listen, share, subscribe! 
DISCLAIMER: Please remember all stories presented reflect the personal experiences of contributors . We take no responsibility for individual decisions made with regards to adventure sports or medical conditions. For most people, the teenage years are a crucial period in finding out who we are. We try out lots of new things, we meet new people, we’re growing into new bodies and we’re starting to figure out the adult we will become. It is a period in our lives when we begin to define ourselves. So it’s a horrible irony that the teenage years are also a time that a lot of people start experiencing seizures.Today’s story comes from Amanda Plomp. Nowadays, Amanda defines herself as a runner, an athlete… and as an epileptic. But that wasn’t always the case. When Amanda started having seizures in her teens, it made her feel lost in her own body. Both the seizures and the medication she was prescribed to help stop them impacted on the activities that she enjoyed, and she hid her seizures from everyone, worried it would change what people thought of her. In the end, it was running that helped Amanda reconnect with her body, and redefine her sense of self. TERMINOLOGY: Myoclonic seizures/jerks: partial seizures that cause isolated jerks or twitches, for example in the arms or legs Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy of Janz: epilepsy with various seizures, including myoclonic, diagnosed before adulthood (read more) Tonic clonic: a seizure with loss of consciousness and convulsions Packed trail: maintained dirt path or trail, usually marked MORE ABOUT AMANDA: JOIN US AT THE OUTDOOR MINDSET SUMMER SUMMIT: JOIN ME IN AN ADVENTURE: MUSIC: Where the Wild Things Grow by Kev Rowe | License: Creative Commons Bubblegum by Kev Rowe | License: Creative Commons E I - 5.mp3 by cunningGnome | License: Attribution Noncommercial SUPPORT SYA! BUY MUGS, JOURNALS AND POSTCARDS: FOLLOW SEIZE YOUR ADVENTURE: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram: And tag us when you listen, share, subscribe!
Today’s story is a small epic of a tale. It starts on the other side of the world, it includes some dramatic moments, some aspirations achieved. I also had to download a beep sound to censor some swear words in this episode - and you’ll soon understand why. This is the story of my first #30at30forEpilepsy challenge. This is my ice climbing adventure.  Why Ice Climbing? Well one reason is that I am trying out some of the sports that contributors to Seize Your Adventure already do. Some of you out there will be familiar with a gentleman called Alex Staniforth. Alex was plagued by adversity and epilepsy as a child, and has gone on to do some extraordinary things, including attempting to climb Everest on two occasions. The first time he tried was when he was eighteen, which is quite incredible. So ice climbing is partly inspired by Alex.  I figured, this might be one of the harder challenges to arrange. I live near London, a place that’s not really known for its glaciers or icy mountains. I thought I’d have to jet off to another country, brave the cold on the remote side of a mountain, and contend with all the extra risks there might be from having epilepsy in that environment. But I did some research and I learned that there are actually a few indoor icewalls in the UK and the team at Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports invited me along to an session at their indoor wall, called Vertical Chill. So suddenly, from being one of the harder challenges to arrange it became the easiest. I was so excited I made it the 1st challenge and spent some time on MY ACTUAL 30th BIRTHDAY climbing a wall of ice, in the middle of London which is just... so cool. (I’m sorry for the pun.)  TRY ICE CLIMBING:  You can experience the thrill of real ice climbing in the city at the Vertical Chill Ice walls London and Manchester (located within Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports)  JOIN ME IN AN ADVENTURE:  MUSIC:  Cinematic Trailer - Epic Emotional Background Music / Action Orchestral Music by AShamaluevMusic | License: Creative Commons  SUPPORT SYA! BUY MUGS, JOURNALS AND POSTCARDS:  FOLLOW SEIZE YOUR ADVENTURE:  Facebook:  Twitter:  Instagram:  And tag when you listen, share, subscribe!
Adventurers Talk Epilepsy

Adventurers Talk Epilepsy


We’ve heard from people with epilepsy how they seize adventure. Now it’s time to put some adventurers on the spot. I talk to three people who work within the adventure field to find out what they know about epilepsy, what they don’t, and how we can get more people with epilepsy in adventure.We mention:-These three adventure professionals’ first aid and epilepsy experience-How they handle risk assessments-The different types of seizure-Basic epilepsy first aid-How to encourage people with epilepsy to take part in adventure-What adventure means to them-Where to go to learn more about epilepsyTHE ADVENTURERS: Jago Hartland (Outdoor Pursuits Guide, and fellow SayYesMore Ambassador)Find out more about Jago: Willis (Bushcraft Instructor) Find out more about David: Bass (Resilience Consultant)Find out more about Nicki: ABOUT EPILEPSY: TO YOUNG EPILEPSY: JOIN THE YESTRIBE: SUPPORT THE PODCAST: 
Jake Quigley is the executive director of the non profit Outdoor Mindset. The organisation’s mission is to unite and inspire people affected by neurological challenges through a common passion of the outdoors. It is a free membership-based community. When he is not working, Jake can be found adventuring outdoors with his wife, Jeanie, by foot, bike, or ski.If you haven’t listen to Jake’s story, be sure to head back to Part One so that you make the most of our conversation!We talked about:- His epilepsy diagnosis at 11 years old- How adventure can increase confidence, positivity and the ability to deal with challenge- The path to brain surgery- How to dispel the fear and stigma around epilepsy- What is telemark skiing? - How altitude might affect epilepsy- What he could teach me in mountain biking!- Getting support from Diane Van Deren- What you CAN control when you are diagnosed- How exercise can help your brain- The influence of the outdoors on depression and anxiety- The changes in attitude towards epilepsy- His next big adventureTerminology:Grand mal: a generalised seizure where a person loses consciousness and convulses. Also known as a tonic-clonic (more modern term).Aura: a change in brain activity that causes some strange sensations. Often a warning of a seizure. Read Jake’s story: about Outdoor Mindset: Outdoor Mindset:Facebook: Lake by Kev Rowe | License: Creative CommonsSupport SYA! Buy mugs, journals and postcards: Seize Your Adventure:Facebook: tag us when you listen, share, subscribe! 
For Jake Quigley, adventure is more than just a past time, or even a passion. Adventure is a lifestyle, and one he built up around his epilepsy. Jake was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was eleven years old. Rather than being scared by the condition, those around him encouraged and supported Jake to try adventurous things. But having carved out his adventure lifestyle, Jake’s seizures began to evolve when he was an adult, and they started to impact on his quality of life. Eventually, medication wasn’t working, and Jake was left with one last option.Brain surgery.Terminology:Medically refractory epilepsy: Epilepsy that is never fully controlled by medication.Generalised seizure: a seizure that affects the entire brainFocal point: A place in the brain the seizure startsGrand mal: a generalised seizure where a person loses consciousness and convulses. Also known as a tonic-clonic (more modern term).Read the story: about Outdoor Mindset: Outdoor Mindset:Facebook: Guitar - LOOP by joshuaempyre | License: AttributionExtract of "wrapped in dreams" by Frankum & Frankumjay | License: Creative Commons. Lonely Lake by Kev Rowe | License: Creative Commonsgit2016_4.WAV by Hoerspielwerkstatt_HEF | License: AttributionBR_094_Himalaya_Buddhistmonks.mp3 by kevp888 | License: AttributionGroovy Guitar 2 - LOOP.wav by joshuaempyre | License: AttributionExplosion and Ski sound effects from Zapsplat | License: Creative CommonsBuy mugs, journals and postcards: Seize Your Adventure:Facebook:
Adventurer. Soldier. Author. Jordan Wylie is known for his challenges at the extreme end of the adventure spectrum. Described by Sir Ranulph Fiennes as “A determined, fearless adventurer and an inspiring man”, Jordan has run races in Iraq, Afghansistan and Somalia, he has written a book about his time tackling pirates off the coast of Africa, and he has hiked Kilimajaro... barefoot. But Jordan is also known for his passion for helping others in his role as an ambassador, trustee and campaigner for various international charities, including Frontline Children and Epilepsy Action. He was diagnosed with epilepsy himself after he contracted dengue fever whilst in Djibouti. But rather than letting it slow him down, Jordan took on the role of an epilepsy ambassador, and continues to push the boundaries of extreme adventure.We talked about:- His most difficult challenge so far- How he was diagnosed with epilepsy- What an Extreme Adventurer does when they’re not adventuring- Who makes him starstruck- His must-visit travel destinations- How to limit epilepsy risk- Swimming with crocodiles!- And more...Donate to Rowing Dangerously: the Rowing Dangerously Challenge on Twitter: out more about Jordan: Jordan:Twitter:’s Recommendations:Declassified PodcastCitadel by Jordan WylieBuy mugs, journals and postcards to support the podcast: Seize Your Adventure:Facebook: for Rowing Dangerously provided by Jordan Wylie.
Advocate for adventure and epilepsy awareness. Writer. Editor. Podcaster. Public Speaker. In this interview (of sorts) you get to hear more from me, Fran Turauskis.To celebrate the one-year anniversary for you asked me about my adventures, epilepsy, and more. I talk about:Finding the way when you’re lostAdapting adventures to your abilityWhat having epilepsy has taught meThe highs and lows of starting Seize Your AdventureHiking the CaminoFamily hiking holidaysWhat I say to those that tell me not to do something My next challenge - 30 Adventures in 1 year!And yes, I do say ‘three pikes’ instead of ‘three peaks’... I don’t know why.Questions:Dave Cornthwaite of Say Yes MoreJade NelsonChristalle Bodiford of Life ElektrikTiffany WebbKathi KamlietnerJordan Wylie More about the 30 at 30 Challenge: Adventure advice: Related articles: Buy merchandise or support the podcast: Music:Buskers in Bilbao recorded on the Camino Follow Seize Your Adventure:Facebook:
Let me take you on a very intimate journey from my first seizure to walking the Norte and Primitivo Caminos. With music recorded whilst I was walking, this will give you an insight into my experience of The Way. On a post-referendum quest to discover more of Europe, I decided to take a five-hundred mile walk across Spain. In the summer of 2017, I set out to walk the Camino de Santiago. I expected sore feet, time to think and intimate talks with strangers (mainly about blisters). I didn’t expect my epilepsy to be such a focus of conversation and source of admiration. As you listen to my story, I hope that fellow pilgrims recognise themselves. It might push aspiring pilgrims to buy a guidebook. And if you want to know more about me and my epilepsy, this is your chance. And you get to hear me sing... More about me:   Related articles:   Buy merchandise or donate to the podcast:   Music: Fiesta recorded on the Camino Acoustic Venezuelan Cuatro by iluppai | License: Creative Commons 0 via Didgeridoo recorded on the Camino Buskers in Bilbao recorded on the Camino Tom Paget recorded and sung by me on a path in Surrey Fiesta in Santiago recorded on the Camino   Follow Seize Your Adventure: Facebook: Twitter: Instagram:   Buen Camino!
It is important to acknowledge when we do impressive things. Not just because a sense of pride won’t do us any harm. But because it makes our stories more realistic to that person who is scared that it’s too hard for them. In a strange way, if we acknowledge that something is hard for us, it makes it more attainable to everyone else.Joe Stevenson reached a personal peak when he reached the top of Ben Nevis. In episode 3, he told us how this adventure came about. The conversation in this episode lets you hear a little bit more about:Joe’s everyday life as a hiker with epilepsy How Joe was diagnosed with epilepsyHis 7 year period of depression and how he overcame itThe side effects of the medication His difficulty finding work due to epilepsyAnd we find out where he’s aiming his sights next, now he knows what he is capable of...I’d like to thank Joe for speaking to me so honestly. Some of the subjects he mentioned aren’t easy, but my hope it that us talking about it makes it better. If you’ve been affected by anything discussed,  Epilepsy Action is a charity that provides support and expert advice for people with epilepsy. You can speak to them about all elements of living with epilepsy or if you are interested in taking on your own challenge for Epilepsy Action.If you have depression, or would like to talk to someone about your mental health and how you feel, you can contact Mind for information and support.Find out more about Joe: articles: Donate to support the podcast: Music:From Folk Guitar Music Track by Dvideoguy under the Creative Commons License.
This podcast takes you to one of the most remote parts of the UK, an area renowned as the last wilderness of Britain. Even the most touristic areas take some effort to get to. Welcome to the Scottish highlands. Joe Stevenson tells us about a charity hike he did a couple of years ago. Charity events are a great way of becoming a little bit more adventurous. The challenges are organised for you, the group leaders have plenty of experience with people of all finesses and of course, you can raise some money for a good cause at the same time. The hike that Joe decided to do was the Ben Nevis Challenge for Epilepsy Action. Joe hadn’t climbed a mountain before his trip to Scotland, but he decided to take on the highest peak in the UK. Epilepsy Action is a charity that provides support and expert advice, raises awareness and advocates for people with epilepsy. You can speak to them about all elements of living with epilepsy or if you are interested in taking on a challenge for Epilepsy Action. If you have depression, or would like some help with your mental health, you can contact Mind for information and support.   Find out more about Joe: Related articles:   Donate to support the podcast:   Music: GuitarDandCWithLONGERFade.wav by Kevin Boucher Folk Guitar Music Track by Dvideoguy Tick Tick Tick by k2tr   Head to for the full story. Find us on: Twitter Instagram Facebook
In this Q&A, we’ll learn a bit more about Jade Nelson, who wrote and read the Episode 1 story, “Peace in West Texas”. Jade is a licensed Massage Therapist, Epilepsy Advocate, Public Speaker and Writer based in Austin, Texas. Her focus is helping spread awareness of epilepsy and the ketogenic diet (a high fat, low carb diet that was invented in the 1920s to help control seizures) via her talks and writing. Her website,, is packed with recipes and information on the ketogenic diet and learning to live the ketogenic lifestyle. Jade and I have been talking via Instagram and email for over a year now, but this was the first time we had actually spoken to each other, so it was great to have a talk. There’s about a 6 hour time difference between us, and Jade kindly got up before sunrise to speak to me. It was a pretty intense conversation for that time in the morning, but it was so good to learn more about Jade! We talked about some of the activities Jade’s been involved in over the years, including karate, stand up paddleboarding, and ultimate frisbee. We talked about some of her bigger adventures, and the small routines she does to keep her active. And we talked about Jade’s epilepsy, the various medications and treatments for epilepsy over the years, including the ketogenic diet.  I’d also like to pre-emptively correct my ignorance. At one point during the conversation, I say that stand up paddleboarding is a new sport. I have since researched, and it’s not new at all. It’s been practiced in Hawaii since about the 16th Century.DISCLAIMER:  The discussion in this episode relates to Jade’s personal experience, and it is important to discuss with your doctors and professional team whether the ketogenic diet will be suitable for you.  If you take AEDs or medication, do not stop them except on doctors advice.  The ketogenic diet should only be attempted with the knowledge and advice of your neurology team and a nutritionist.If you would like to learn more about epilepsy, or have been affected by this episode, you can phone the epilepsy society (UK) on 01494 601 400Articles: to buy: Music:acoustic guitar interlude by graham_makes 
Camping is one of the simplest ways to spend some time outdoors, so when Jade was determined to get back out into nature, a short camping trip seemed like the obvious choice. When she and her husband Eric set out with their dogs, she had specific expectations. Fond memories of camping trips in the Pacific Northwest and New England meant she hoped to find comfort in the beauty of her surroundings. But camping in West Texas was a new experience. And when a small mistake threatened to upset the whole trip, Jade discovered that the Lone Star State had an emotional lesson to teach her... Find out more about Jade:   Stuff to buy:  Work with Seize Your Adventure:   Music: Poignant Texas by Mark T Dandelion.mp3 by TexasMusicForge acoustic guitar interlude by graham_makes   Head to for the full story. Find us on: Twitter Instagram Facebook
Adventure Teaser

Adventure Teaser


Start gearing up for the Seize Your Adventure podcast: this is where the adventure community and the epilepsy community meet. This podcast will share intimate stories and conversations from people with epilepsy who enjoy the adventure lifestyle. For those of you who have no contact with epilepsy, these stories will let you connect with the people behind the diagnosis and will give you an idea of how the condition fits into our lives. For those with epilepsy, I hope it will encourage you and give you confidence to get out there at bit more.  For all of us, it will bring a little bit more adventure and inspiration into our lives. Head to for the full story. Find us on: Twitter Instagram Facebook
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