Banff Film Festival: it’s the ultimate movie night for adventure junkies and lovers of the outdoors. But it’s more than just a sensory overload of breathtaking landscapes and extreme endurance: it’s also a treasure trove of real-life lessons in what it takes to “feel the fear and do it anyway”.

In life and in business, I draw endless inspiration from all those who dare to defy the odds; to snatch defeat from the jaws of failure; to redefine what’s possible; chase impossible dreams; to set audacious goals and never give up – because I believe that we can all learn from that. Here are the top five soundbites I carried home with me from Banff Film Festival’s 2017 programme – inspirational quotes from inspirational men and women who didn’t give in when the going got tough:

“You have to befriend fear and just do it scared”

 

“We all need help to do something. I need help to do this”

These two quotes came from Paul Pritchard, a climber who was left partially paralysed after a devastating fall from the Totem Pole sea stack in Tasmania. Doing it Scared is “a film about determination and acceptance, patience and humility, grace, and ultimately, freedom. A reminder that disabled never means unable.”

“To succeed in the adventure, you need to have already done it in your mind”

 

“It’s about waiting for the perfect conditions, and then … GO FOR IT!”

Jeremie Heitz is a Swiss freeride skier who set out to achieve something that had never been done before, and that many believed impossible – to ski the definitive list of the toughest, most technical descents in the Alps, all in a single season. La Liste is mesmerising, spectacular and uplifting. 

“When you’ve got the physical ability and the mental strength, that’s where the magic happens”

This is Lizzie Hawker, speaking about Mira Rai: my new sporting heroine and surely the most fascinating athlete on the Salomon running team. Mira tells the story of how she left her home behind in the Nepali mountains to pursue her impossible dream of becoming a successful sportswoman, finally achieving her big break after a stint in the Maoist army and enduring hardships that are barely imaginable. Inspirational. 


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