12 episodes

“Life’s Tough: Explorers Are TOUGHER!” podcast is hosted by Richard Wiese—TV personality, explorer extraordinaire, and President of the renowned Explorers Club, an American-based international multidisciplinary professional society with the goal of promoting scientific exploration and field study.

In each episode, Richard spends 30 minutes with some of the world’s most compelling adventurers, explorers, and socio-environmental advocates, listening to their distinct adventures, unique discoveries, projects & goals, while discovering their multitude of challenges, surprises, triumphs and set-backs they encounter along the way. Join Richard as he pulls back the curtain on what it’s like to travel around the world; explore some of the most exotic and often dangerous places; and uncover what makes “people, places and our planet” so special.

Life's Tough - Explorers Are TOUGHER Podcast Richard Wiese

    • Documentary
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

“Life’s Tough: Explorers Are TOUGHER!” podcast is hosted by Richard Wiese—TV personality, explorer extraordinaire, and President of the renowned Explorers Club, an American-based international multidisciplinary professional society with the goal of promoting scientific exploration and field study.

In each episode, Richard spends 30 minutes with some of the world’s most compelling adventurers, explorers, and socio-environmental advocates, listening to their distinct adventures, unique discoveries, projects & goals, while discovering their multitude of challenges, surprises, triumphs and set-backs they encounter along the way. Join Richard as he pulls back the curtain on what it’s like to travel around the world; explore some of the most exotic and often dangerous places; and uncover what makes “people, places and our planet” so special.

    Life’s Tough, but Richard Garriott is TOUGHER, the first person to visit Space, both Poles, and the lowest physical point on the Planet; Part 1

    Life’s Tough, but Richard Garriott is TOUGHER, the first person to visit Space, both Poles, and the lowest physical point on the Planet; Part 1

    The environment that parents create for their children is what becomes normal for them. And Richard Garriott's normal was a little different than most kids. He grew up next to the Johnson Space Center, the Houston-based outpost of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and most of his neighbors were astronauts, contractors and engineers at NASA. His father was a NASA astronaut and while other families had magazines, bills and schoolbooks lying around, in Garriott's household, space artifacts and hardware cluttered the living spaces. It wasn’t until later in life that Garriott realized other kids didn’t dream of space travel. 
    "While growing up, there were things that, in retrospect, were truly amazing. But at the time, it not only seemed normal for our family, but for most families in the neighborhood." Garriott says.
    In this fascinating conversation with Richard Wiese, Garriott shares about what it was like growing up as the son of a NASA astronaut and how, at 13-years old, he had his childhood dreams of becoming an astronaut dashed after a failed eye exam. But he never fully gave up on his dream, saying “NASA doesn’t hold the keys to space!”
    During his freshman year of high school, Garriott convinced the school to let him create a self-directed course in programming, in which he created fantasy computer games on the school’s teletype machine. He later estimated that he wrote nearly 30 computer fantasy games during high school. He went on to create the game Akalabeth, (the first published computer role playing game) and signed a deal with California Pacific Computer Company receiving three times his father's NASA salary as a teenager. His successful gaming career has funded his space travel and exploration.
    In February 2021, Garriott traveled to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest oceanic trench on the planet, which made him the only person in the world to have visited space, both poles, and the lowest physical point on the planet. He also played a founding role in starting the Challenger Center for Space Science Education. To learn more about Richard Garriott, visit www.richardgarriott.com. Join us for part 2 of Life’s Tough: Richard Garriott is TOUGHER! at https://www.lifestough.com/podcast/explorers/.
    Host Richard Wiese is an American explorer and author of the guidebook, Born to Explore: How to Be a Backyard Adventurer. He became the youngest person to become president of the exclusive Explorers Club in 2002. Richard is also Executive Producer and Host of the PBS weekly television series Born to Explore with Richard Wiese.

    • 39 min
    Life’s Tough, but Stig Severinsen is TOUGHER, Holding His Breath for Over 20 Minutes and Capturing the Guinness World Record!

    Life’s Tough, but Stig Severinsen is TOUGHER, Holding His Breath for Over 20 Minutes and Capturing the Guinness World Record!

    One thing explorers have in common… they challenge the limits of their physical bodies.  The ability to bump up against the edge of the impossible, and then push a little bit further, is what sets them apart from others.
    Dr. Stig Severinsen is one such explorer, and his recent conversation with Richard is compelling. Stig learned at an early age as a competitive swimmer that he could hold his breath longer than the other swimmers if he would relax.  This gave him a natural edge against the others, and he’s gone on to set many world records over the years.
    Stig strives to show what’s possible. Most people want to realize good health but don’t understand the importance of breathing in achieving health goals.  He tells us about the difference between stress breathing and relaxed, optimized breathing.
    His remarkable technique, Relaxation on Demand, is the key to increasing the ability to hold your breath and to achieving greater strength and health.  Listen as he explains some of the free and simple things you can adjust in your life to improve lung capacity and general well-being.
    Stig has a degree in biology and a PhD in medicine. He was a part of the Danish National underwater rugby team and played underwater hockey on the Spanish National team. To learn more about Dr. Stig Severinsen, visit his website, https://www.breatheology.com/. Join us for new episodes of Life’s Tough: Explorers are TOUGHER! at https://www.lifestough.com/podcast/explorers/.
    Host Richard Wiese is an American explorer and author of the guidebook, Born to Explore: How to Be a Backyard Adventurer.  He became the youngest person to become president of the exclusive Explorers Club in 2002. Richard is also Executive Producer and Host of the PBS weekly television series Born to Explore with Richard Wiese.

    • 33 min
    Life’s Tough, but Barry Clifford is TOUGHER, discovering legendary shipwrecks and pirates’ treasures!

    Life’s Tough, but Barry Clifford is TOUGHER, discovering legendary shipwrecks and pirates’ treasures!

    Life’s Tough Media is pleased to announce the latest episode of our “Life’s Tough: Explorers are TOUGHER!” podcast series. Hosted by Richard Wiese—explorer extraordinaire and President of The Explorers Club—this episode features Barry Clifford, an underwater archeologist and among the world’s best known underwater explorers, known for discovering the remains of Samuel Bellamy's wrecked pirate ship The Whydah, the only fully verified and authenticated pirate shipwreck of the Golden Age of Piracy ever discovered in the world.
    In this episode, Barry Clifford tells how he first got excited about exploring by spending hours playing in the drained cranberry bogs by his house, and finding the treasure that surfaced there. Barry grew up in Brewster Massachusetts and remembers hearing his uncles telling tales of the war, and their latest fishing expeditions. Most exciting was the story they told of the wrecked pirate ship, the Whydah (pronounced wih-duh) and the legend of Samuel Bellamy and his girlfriend—a condemned witch at the time, whose eyes were the color of the deep sea and her hair like cornsilk.
    “I’m just fascinated with solving riddles,” Barry says. “The key to a lot of this is having experience with diving and being able to recognize things that most people wouldn’t recognize.” Some of his discoveries include The Fiery Dragon, commanded by the pirate William “Billy One-Hand” Condon; Captain Morgan’s flagship, The Oxford; the wreck of The Sainte-Marieoff the coast of Madagascar that he believes was part of Captain Kidd's treasure, where he found a 110 lb. silver ingot in.
    But then Barry found it! The legendary pirate ship from his uncle's stories—the remains of the Whydah—just off the coast of Wellfleet, Massachusetts. The Whydah is the only fully verified and authenticated pirate shipwreck of the Golden Age of Piracy ever discovered in the world and it is Barry’s most cherished discovery. Artifacts from the wreck provide historians with unique insights into the material, political and social culture of early 18th-century piracy. According to the federal admiralty law in 1988, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that 100% of the Whydah rightfully belonged to Barry Clifford. In fact, Barry also has exclusive diving rights to the site which is patrolled by the National Park Service and U.S. Coast Guard.
    Barry has kept the Whydah Collection intact without selling a single piece of the more than 200,000 recovered artifacts, which includes tens of thousands of coins, more than 60 cannon, and the "everyday" objects used by the crew. He maintains a large private facility in which the majority of the Whydah artifacts are kept for conservation and examination; however, Clifford exhibits a variety of the ship's artifacts, as well as from many other shipwreck discoveries, for the public to enjoy at his Whydah Pirate Museum in West Yarmouth, Massachusetts. In addition, a smaller selection of artifacts are kept with an international touring exhibition through a National Geographic/Premier Exhibitions joint venture, called Real Pirates.
    Join Richard and Barry in their fascinating conversation about pirates, their treasures, and the stories these fabled shipwrecks hold.

    • 37 min
    Life’s Tough, but Laurie Marker is TOUGHER, the world’s leading expert on all things cheetahs.

    Life’s Tough, but Laurie Marker is TOUGHER, the world’s leading expert on all things cheetahs.

    Life’s Tough Media is pleased to announce the latest episode of our “Life’s Tough: Explorers are TOUGHER!” podcast series. Hosted by Richard Wiese—explorer extraordinaire and President of The Explorers Club—this episode features Laurie Marker, a research scientist and boots-on-the-ground conservationist, Oxford-trained zoologist, author, cheetah veterinary health expert, goat farmer, dog breeder, cattle rancher, educator, inspirational thought leader, public speaker and policy maker who travels nonstop on her mission to help save the world’s fastest mammal.
    Cheetahs are the fastest land animals in the world, going from 0 - 70 mph in 3 seconds. However, they are also the most endangered African cat. A century ago, there were 100,000 cheetahs in the wild, and today, there are fewer than 7,500. Laurie grew up in Northern California, where she first realized she had a love for animals. She eventually ended up working at the Wildlife Safari in Oregon for 16 years, taking her love for animals into a career path. Today Laurie is as comfortable trekking through the bush in search of cheetahs as she is briefing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington, DC.
    Laurie graduated from Oxford University with a doctorate in Zoology and became an A.D. White Professor-at-Large with Cornell University. She was Executive Director of the Center for New Opportunities in Animal Health Sciences at the Smithsonian Institution and after a trip to Namibia, Africa in 1977, Laurie realized thousands of cheetahs were getting killed by farmers. Compelled to do something to put an end to that, she started collaborating with other scientists to create a safe space for captive cheetahs.
    Cheetah Conservation Fund
    Laurie sold all her possessions and started the Cheetah Conservation Fund, the longest running and most successful cheetah conservation program in Africa. Laurie has pioneered research, established conservation models, and created cooperative alliances on behalf of the cheetah that never existed. Under her leadership, CCF has grown into a world-class cheetah research, education, and conservation institution. The town of Otjiwarongo, where the Cheetah Conservation Fund is based, is now known as “The Cheetah Capital of the World.”
    Laurie's crowning achievement was changing Namibia’s attitude towards its native wildlife. She convinced the local livestock farmers to stop trapping and killing cheetahs as their primary means of predation control, and in 1994, Laurie decided to import a rare breed of dogs—the Anatolian shepherd—to be placed with herds of livestock to help protect them from predators. This shepherd is known for its giant size and extremely loud bark. The Cheetah Conservation Fund Livestock Guarding Dog has proven to be one of the most popular and successful conflict-mitigation measures ever developed.
    Laurie was declared a Hero for the Planet by TIME Magazine in 2001 and awarded the Tech Museum of Innovation’s Intel Environmental Prize as well as the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.
    Join Richard and Laurie for a lively chat about her work in Namibia with the exotic cheetahs that have become like family to her.

    • 30 min
    Life’s Tough, but Dr. Martin Nweeia is TOUGHER, a dental surgeon by trade and a renowned narwhal researcher & explorer by passion!

    Life’s Tough, but Dr. Martin Nweeia is TOUGHER, a dental surgeon by trade and a renowned narwhal researcher & explorer by passion!

    Life’s Tough Media is pleased to announce the latest episode of our “Life’s Tough: Explorers are TOUGHER!” podcast series. Hosted by Richard Wiese—explorer extraordinaire and President of The Explorers Club—this episode features Dr. Martin Nweeia, dental surgeon, marine mammal dental specialist and renowned narwhal researcher whose exhibition, "Narwhal: Revealing an Arctic Legend," recently opened at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.
    Dr. Martin Nweeia received fellowships in anthropology and vertebrate zoology at the Smithsonian and was content curator for the Smithsonian exhibit, Narwhal Revealing An Arctic Legend. Martin is also a fellow of the Explorers Club and Canadian Royal Geographic Society and recipient of the Lowell Thomas Award. He has conducted research in the high Arctic of Canada and Greenland for over 20 years as an NSF research scientist and National Geographic Explorer and represented United States/Canada collaborative research as opening speaker at the International Pavilion in Ottawa celebrating Canada’s 150th Anniversary.
    Rather than pursuing a childhood dream of being an orchestra conductor, Martin chose to be a dentist and marine mammal biologist instead. Martin has always been fascinated with teeth—from the humankind to the 9-foot spear-shaped tusk that juts out of the narwhal, an Arctic whale. His interest in teeth and dental health deepened as a 14-year-old who read a Time Life book on health care that focused on Case Western Reserve’s model of forging a new pathway in medical education. “The commitment to innovation made a lasting impression,” Martin says.
    Martin received his dental degree at Case Western Reserve, and now has returned to Harvard and Case Western Reserve Schools of Dental Medicine and Marine Mammal Program, Smithsonian, where he lectures part time.
    With help from a National Geographic grant, Martin sought to uncover the secrets behind the extraordinary tusk of a whale—the narwhal—that resembles the horn of a unicorn. In 2000, Martin and a team of scientists discovered that the tusk is actually quite flexible and can bend one foot in any direction and that its nerve system could detect temperature, pressure, motion, and more. “I love when life points you in directions that you resist,” Martin explains. “It’s too easy when things make sense, and life hums along. There was nothing about the narwhal that made any sense to me.”
    In 2014, Martin and his team published what he calls their “astounding” discovery: the narwhal tusk is a sensory organ that can detect subtle changes in the concentration of salt in the surrounding seawater, helping the animal find mates and possibly forage.
    Martin collaborates closely with Inuit elders and hunters of the Arctic, whose deep, traditional knowledge informs his research. His quest began 17 years ago and has taken him on more than a dozen summertime research trips to inlets in the Arctic waters of Canada’s Northwest Territories. “I am fascinated by teeth, all their myriad forms in nature,” he says. “What better way to learn about teeth than to better understand the one that questions all you’ve learned.”
    Join Richard and Martin for a fascinating discussion about Martin’s philosophy of life and the lessons he has learned during his extensive research of the narwal, and his time spent with the Inuit people.

    • 40 min
    Life’s Tough, but Captain Alfred McLaren is TOUGHER, nuclear attack submarine officer turned deep-sea explorer—a true “Indiana Jones of the Sea.”

    Life’s Tough, but Captain Alfred McLaren is TOUGHER, nuclear attack submarine officer turned deep-sea explorer—a true “Indiana Jones of the Sea.”

    Life’s Tough Media is pleased to announce the latest episode of our “Life’s Tough: Explorers are TOUGHER!” podcast series. Hosted by Richard Wiese—explorer extraordinaire and President of The Explorers Club—this episode features Captain Alfred McLaren, former President of The Explorers Club, President of The American Polar Society, Senior Pilot of the Super Aviator submersible, author, deep-sea explorer and a veteran of more than 20 Cold War missions.
    Captain McLaren is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and U.S. Naval War College. He holds master’s degrees from George Washington University and Cambridge (Peterhouse) University, and after retiring from the Navy in 1981, he received his doctorate from the University of Colorado. He is also a highly decorated submarine captain; his awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the nation’s highest peacetime award, two Legions of Merit and four Navy Unit Citations.
    North Pole Expedition
    Captain McLaren has completed three successful missions to the Arctic—and the first submerged transit of the Northwest Passage aboard the USS Seadragon. This mission resulted in the first baseball game ever played on the North Pole. Aboard the USS Queenfish, his following missions were a Baffin Bay cruise and an expedition to the North Pole, with the primary intention of this mission being the first-ever exploration and collection of hydrographic, oceanographic and sea-ice data. En route, Captain McLaren and his crew examined the underside of icebergs, navigated the unpredictability of deep-draft sea ice, mapped the plains, crags and fissures of the seabeds and successfully completed the first, and only, underwater survey of the entire Siberian Continental Shelf.
    As a deep-sea explorer and scientist, Captain McLaren has completed dives to explore historic wrecks, participating in “The First Manned Dives to the German battleship Bismarck,” at an incredible depth of 4,750 meters beneath the sea; and to the wreck of the R.M.S. Titanic and the Rainbow Hydrothermal Vents near the Azores, working with the Russians, using Russian deep-diving MIR submersibles to get a closer look at what’s left of this once magnificent vessel.
    Author and Speaker
    Captain McLaren is the author of three books detailing some of his incredible missions during the Cold War and his discoveries under the icy seas, with a fourth coming this summer sharing in more detail his deep dives exploring historic shipwrecks. His book, Unknown Waters (University of Alabama Press, 2008), was judged a “Notable Naval Book of 2008” by the U.S. Naval Institute. As a research scientist in climate change in the Polar Regions, he has also written over 50 peer-reviewed research papers and is a National Geographic Global Perspectives lecturer.
    “Retirement isn’t in my vocabulary. There’s still too much I want to achieve. I am still thoroughly enjoying the rich smorgasbord of life,” says 84-year-old Captain McLaren.
    Join Richard and Captain McLaren for exciting tales of life and exploration aboard a nuclear attack submarine and what the “cat and mouse” games during the Cold War were really like.

    • 35 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Noelle Turner ,

Real Life Adventure Stories

Richard is a wonderful storyteller and each guest he interviews never disappoints! This show is filled with fascinating tales of adventure, travel and discovery - stories you might think only existed in the movies! Even my kids have enjoyed listening to this podcast!

Andy & Michele ,

A wonderful adventure about adventurers

This is a great series. Love meeting so many courageous explorers and hearing tales of their exploits and accomplishments. Richard knows how to connect with them so easily and sets just the right tone of wonder and exhilaration.

Davidi383 ,

Highly entertaining

A great series highlighting incredible explorers. Richard Wiese is a fantastic host.

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