The Mettleset Podcast

The Mettleset

The Mettleset Podcast is on a mission to bring you stories of tenacity, courage and mettle from athletes in the Middle East and beyond. From women’s sports and motorsports to adventure, action- and ultra- endurance sports, and everything in between, listeners will get a dose of the region’s most compelling - fun and funny - underreported sports stories every week. Hosts Dawn Barnable (Sports Communications Professional & Ultra Cyclist), and Afshan Ahmed (Journalist and Endurance Athlete) will be joined weekly by guests who range from record - and boundary – breaking athletes, world-class explorers, community sports leaders and pro athletes at every stage of their career. For more info, visit www.themettleset.com and find us on all major socials at @themettleset. read less

EP17: GROWTH MINDSET: Mountaineer Tima Deryan on going to the ends of the Earth to inspire others to be limitless
6d ago
EP17: GROWTH MINDSET: Mountaineer Tima Deryan on going to the ends of the Earth to inspire others to be limitless
Dubai-based mountaineer Tima Deryan joins us today, a month after she became the first Lebanese woman to ski the last degree of the South Pole and only a few months away from skiing the last degree of the North Pole. This will conclude her seven-year expedition to achieve the Explorers Grand Slam. It’s a mountaineering challenge that only about 73 people have completed of which fewer than 20 are women, according to the Explorers Grand Slam website. As part of the challenge, the 30-year-old has also summited the highest mountain on every continent, and became the youngest Arab to summit Mount Everest at the age of 26. She is also the first Arab woman to climb Ojos del Salado, the highest active volcano in the world.  Tima has climbed more than 25 high mountains around the world, collecting life-changing experiences, fun memories and lasting friendships as she ascended and descending with lessons that have contributed to her growth mindset.She is also the author of the Curly Adventures children’s book, founder of the slow fashion brand Feministiya  and a motivational speaker.As she prepares for the final leg of the Explorers Grand Slam, she tells us why she wanted to do it, her most cherished and sometimes hair-raising memories, and her aim to represent the image of strong Arab women through her initiatives. She also discusses what went into planning and training for each climb and tips on how you can get into mountaineering. To follow Tima, find her on instagram at @mountaingipsy  and timaderyan.com To learn about the Explorers Grand Slam, visit explorersgrandslam.comOur wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. For more info,  visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetWe hope you enjoy the episode! Dawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
EP16A: Ultra-Eating: Ultra-Cycling Coach Niel Copeland chats with Dawn Barnable about race nutrition when riding your bike a really really long time
Jan 20 2023
EP16A: Ultra-Eating: Ultra-Cycling Coach Niel Copeland chats with Dawn Barnable about race nutrition when riding your bike a really really long time
So hopefully you have listened to our earlier episode (Episode 16) this week where we chat with my coach Niel Copeland on all things ultra-cycling. Well, almost all things. One major aspect of these long distance races is eating … eating a lot, a lot, a lot of food. So today, that’s why we’re bringing you a bonus episode on Ultra Eating.  We start off with a quick check-in on my training for the Race Around Rwanda and then go into the importance of nutrition, how you train to eat (yes, you actually need to do this), how much and what to eat on an ultra race, issues that come up and how to avoid them and why planning is key . We also chat through my recent experience using the UltraHuman CGM and how the insights available through wearing it helped me stay fueled during training.  I’ll be wearing one during my upcoming race and am excited to report back on that. So, if you like cycling, and you like food, you may like this episode.  To follow Niel, check him out on IG @nielcopeland (feel free to slide into his DMs) and also on YouTube at @turncycling. For info on his training camps visit https://dotbooster.my.canva.site/home or IG at @dotbooster.academy. For more information on UltraHuman, visit www.ultrahuman.com. For Race Around Rwanda, I’m riding a beautiful Curve Titanium Gravel Bike from Edge Cycling. For more information, visit www.edgecycling.ae.  Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. We hope you enjoy the episode! Dawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
EP16: So you want to be an Ultra Cyclist? Coach Niel Copeland chats with Dawn about just exactly what it takes
Jan 16 2023
EP16: So you want to be an Ultra Cyclist? Coach Niel Copeland chats with Dawn about just exactly what it takes
Hello! Dawn here. So you want to be an ultra-cyclist? Well, maybe you do, maybe you are one already, or maybe you’re just curious to know how one can race distances that range from 700 km to up to over 7000 km, all self supported.  Well, today’s episode aims to share a good overview of the sport and how you can get involved as I speak with my coach, Niel Copeland, one of the world’s most experienced ultra-cycling coaches. I’m in full training mode for Race Around Rwanda, a 1000km self supported road and gravel cycling race taking place early February 2023. This will be my fourth ultra, and hopefully my third successful finish. For some background, don’t forget to listen to Episode 1, which details my first race or our last Bonus Episode with Simon DeSchutter, the man behind Race Around Rwanda. So, who is Niel and what do we chat about? Niel has 20 ultra-distance race finishes under his belt. He's podiumed in some of the biggest races in the world and as a coach, he helps people realize their dream of finishing an ultra cycling race.  This year Niel and fellow world renowned ultra coach Jasmijn Muller got together to launch ultra-focused training camps to provide the next level of coaching to any athlete looking to step into this crazy world. In my chat with Niel, we discuss how to get started, training differences for women and men, the timeframe and considerations needed before you sign up for a race, training yourself mentally, race management, the beauty in the experience, race selection and we touch upon nutrition.  We only touch upon nutrition because we have a whole bonus episode on ultra-eating later this week.I hope you find this episode informative, useful and also inspiring. Self-supported ultra-cycling changed my life and if I can help and encourage one person (maybe you?) to take it up, my job here is done.  To follow Niel, check him out on IG @nielcopeland (feel free to slide into his DMs and also on YouTube at @turncycling. For info on his training camps visit https://dotbooster.my.canva.site/home or IG at @dotbooster.academy. Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. We hope you enjoy the episode! Dawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
EP15: IRONWOMAN: Saudi triathlete Dina Al Tayeb on unintentionally blazing a trail for Arab  athletes
Jan 9 2023
EP15: IRONWOMAN: Saudi triathlete Dina Al Tayeb on unintentionally blazing a trail for Arab athletes
If you’ve been paying attention, triathlons are having a moment in the Middle East. More and more athletes from all over the region are taking up the sport.  Equally, Saudi Arabia is seeing a booming interest in sports, especially triathlons, and our guest today has and continues to play a key role in developing it in the region. This unintentional trailblazer is Dr. Dina Al Tayeb, who began competing in triathlons back in 2005 when no one was doing it and there really wasn’t any tri community to fall back on. Dina became the first Arab and first Saudi national to complete an Ironman distance triathlon. She is also the first Arab woman and Saudi National to qualify and complete the Ironman World Championships in Kona.  And she is the first Saudi National to qualify and compete in the 70.3 World Championships. Feats and titles she never set out to accomplish as she was simply looking to challenge herself in sports. In our chat with Dina, she details her start into the world of triathlons when it was largely unheard of, particularly for a Saudi woman. Along with being a triathlete, she is a certified Ironman Coach, an entrepreneur, dentist and mother. She also is one of the founding board members of the Saudi Triathlon Federation. Dina’s impact cannot be overstated and in fact, the day after our chat with Dina, she featured in the New York Times’ weekend magazine. She is an inspiration and role model, a wise owl and the perfect guest for us to welcome into the New Year. To follow Dina, check her out on instagram @dina.altayebTo learn more about Triathlon in Saudi Arabia, visit https://www.triathlon.sa Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. Our chat with Dina makes us want to push our boundaries a little more this year, and hope you get inspired too! For more info,  visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetDawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
EP14: 2023 INSPO: Reflections, lessons and adventures from our 2022 guests to get you excited about the year ahead
Jan 2 2023
EP14: 2023 INSPO: Reflections, lessons and adventures from our 2022 guests to get you excited about the year ahead
Hey Team, Happy New Year! It’s a whole new year for all of us, and for The Mettleset Podcast and what better way to start it than with a little reflection and all of the lessons that we’re taking with us into 2023. 2022 was phenomenal for us - The Mettleset was born and with it, we shared stories from athletes from across the Middle East representing all sorts of sports. They’ve pushed boundaries, overcome challenges and fears, jumped into the deep end without a moment’s hesitation, found a flow that balances their sporting endeavours while caring for their mental wellbeing and have grown throughout their respective journeys. In this episode, we give you a quick recap of how 2022 shaped up for us and what we’ve got going on in 2023. More importantly, we discuss all the pearls of wisdom we took from each guest. Every conversation we had in 2022 was a goldmine of inspiration and advice. We walked away from each chat feeling hopeful and enriched and wanted to share some of the best nuggets with you in this episode in hopes it inspires you for the year ahead We’re so grateful to you for coming along with us as we unearth the untold stories of athletes from across the region. We have so much in store for you this year, and can’t wait to get right to it, so keep listening and, as always, we’d love to hear from you!Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. We hope you enjoy the episode! Dawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
EP13: SPORTS SAVED ME: The UAE’s First Emirati Pro Surfer,  Mo Rahma On Happiness and The Healing Power of Sport
Dec 19 2022
EP13: SPORTS SAVED ME: The UAE’s First Emirati Pro Surfer, Mo Rahma On Happiness and The Healing Power of Sport
Our last full episode of 2023 features the energetic and joyful Mo Rahma. Mo brings heart to everything he does, which at the time of recording includes 60 different sport disciplines… and counting. Mo’s sport journey started in childhood has many twists and turns and he’s represented the UAE in football as a youth, and later rugby and surfing all while managing ulcerative colitis, a chronic health condition.  In our chat with Mo, he talks about focus, motivation, mindset, managing a chronic illness, why competition matters, and the importance of the basics. He also discusses becoming the first Emirati to represent the UAE on the World Surfing Tour.  Mo’s journey didn’t stop there and most recently, he’s committed himself to trying (and documenting with the help of his wife) as many sports as possible during the Dubai Fitness Challenge. 60 down, 40 more to go.  We also chat about the power of reflection, celebration and why the best is yet to come. In his own words, sports makes Mo feel alive and this discussion with Mo gave us life - and a lot of food for thought - as we close out a memorable year. Mo can be found on instagram @mo_rahma For more information on the Dubai Fitness Challenge, visit www.dubaifitnesschallenge.com Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. For more info,  visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetWe hope you enjoy the episode! Dawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
Race Around Rwanda - RAR Organiser Simon De Schutter on the race and cycling in Rwanda
Dec 16 2022
Race Around Rwanda - RAR Organiser Simon De Schutter on the race and cycling in Rwanda
Hello! Dawn here. In case you missed it, I am training for the Race Around Rwanda, a 1000km self-supported ultra cycling race, scheduled to start on the 5th of February, 2023. It just so happens that our guest today, one of the race organizers, Simon De Schutter, is a friend of mine. I first met Simon back in 2019 as we traveled to Oman together for what was for each of us, our first ultra cycling race, BikingMan Oman. This is the first in what will be a Bonus Series around the Race Around Rwanda and my preparation for it. This episode gives an overview of the race, the route, an update on cycling in Rwanda and what makes this race so special. Simon offers some practical advice for those signed up and words of encouragement for those thinking of signing up.  He also chats with me about Rwanda Beyond, an initiative to help develop Rwandan cycling talent. I’m not going to lie, I’m not sure if I’ll be physically ready for this race but mentally, I am beyond excited for this new adventure after what has been a challenging two years. I hope you enjoy my chat with Simon and stay tuned for upcoming bonus episodes that touch upon training, ultra eating and also a chat with some fellow racers. For more information on The Race Around Rwanda, visit https://racearoundrwanda.com and follow the race on instagram at @theracearoundrwanda. For more information on Rwanda Beyond, visit: https://rwandabeyond.cc. Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. For more info,  visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetWe hope you enjoy the episode! Dawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
EP12: BREATHTAKING: World Champion Freediver Nataliia Zharkova on going deep, finding purpose, and mastering the mind
Dec 12 2022
EP12: BREATHTAKING: World Champion Freediver Nataliia Zharkova on going deep, finding purpose, and mastering the mind
Today’s episode features a real life mermaid. Nataliia Zharkova is a world record breaking freediver and five-time World Champion but she didn’t find freediving, freediving found her. Co-host Dawn first met Nataliia in 2021 when she worked with the team at Deep Dive Dubai and took an introductory freedive lesson with her. Yes, you too can train with this phenomenal athlete in Dubai! What struck Dawn about freediving at the time was the slow and graceful athleticism that freedivers need to be successful in their sport. As you’ll hear in Nataliia’s discussion with Dawn, her accomplishments in the freediving world came quite naturally. Among those accomplishments are five World Championships and six World Records. She is one of only two women in history to freedive the Arch of the Blue Hole in the Red Sea with only a monofin. She is also the 7th woman in the world to reach a depth of 100m in a single breath - 102m in fact. Her longest breath hold is a staggering 6 minutes and 23 seconds. In the context of hustle culture and what can sometimes be a toxic focus on achievement in sport, this discussion with Nataliia challenges perceptions on how it’s possible to reach your goals. We chat through her upbringing in the Ukraine, her start in swimming, the power of the mind in freediving, and what it takes to slow down, both in the water and outside of it. We also chat through how Nataliia sees freediving as a sport of hope and a sport of the future. To follow Nataliia, find her on instagram at @zharkova_freediver To take a freediving lesson with Nataliia, visit Deep Dive Dubai’s website www.deepdivedubai.com. To learn more about freediving in general, visit the International Association for the Development of Apnea (ADIA) at https://www.aidainternational.orgOur wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. For more info,  visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetWe hope you enjoy the episode! Dawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL MARATHON: My First Marathon Debrief
Dec 9 2022
BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL MARATHON: My First Marathon Debrief
The Mettleset’s bonus episodes, which complement our regular Monday interviews with athletes from the region, are out on Fridays. Our bonus episodes will bring to you a range of trending and topical discussions around sporting news, races and events, along with our co-founders Dawn and Afshan’s own training and upcoming races.Hi Listeners, it’s Afshan This bonus episode concludes our series on the Beirut International Marathon, which took place on November 13. This week, the marathon organisers shared the official race photos and, as I was sifting through the gallery to find my pictures, I had pleasant flashbacks and reminders of what it took to get marathon-ready and the feeling of crossing the finish line strong. Dawn put me in the hot seat to discuss what training looked like in the lead up to my first marathon, how my race went and all the learnings that I will carry forward for my next race which, hopefully, will help you too.If even one of you non-runners decides to give this sport a go after listening to my journey, I will consider my job as done. If you decide to run a marathon after this, I’d love to hear all about it on afshan@themettleset.com The Beirut International Marathon was established in 2003 by May El-Khalil, the founder and president of the Beirut Marathon Association.  You can follow them on Instagram @beirutmarathon The marathon is accredited as a ’Silver Label Road Race’ by World Athletics, the international governing body for the sports of athletics. This means that the race satisfies important criteria concerning the organisational standards, course measurements, safety, medical standards and media services. Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. We hope you enjoy the show and stay tuned for our next bonus series!For more info,  visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetDawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
EP10: DRIVE: Saudi Motorsport Athlete Dania Akeel on the ‘in the moment’ mindset and racing in the Dakar Rally
Nov 28 2022
EP10: DRIVE: Saudi Motorsport Athlete Dania Akeel on the ‘in the moment’ mindset and racing in the Dakar Rally
Our guest today, Dania Akeel, is the first motorsport athlete on our podcast. And it's fitting since she has a lot of firsts herself:  The first Saudi woman to hold a National Competition License for Speedbike Circuit Racing. The first Saudi woman to participate in an international Rally Competition. The first woman globally to win an FIA Cross Country World Cup in the T3 Category.   The first Saudi woman to complete the Dakar Rally and last but not least,  the first Arab woman to finish in the top ten of that same Dakar Rally All this achieved in a little over three years of racing.  In our chat with Dania, we discuss how her love of driving started early and an unintentional start to her racing career which eventually led her to the prestigious Dakar Rally.  She also tells us about the mindset that carried her through a period of recovery after an accident, and her wonderful and judgment-free perspective on life and racing. Dania shares that she is going to be racing in the 2023 Dakar Rally in January and we will be sure to be watching. Dania can be found on social media at @dania.akeel and at www.daniaakeel.com. To learn more about the Dakar Rally, visit www.dakar.com To learn more about motorsports in Saudi Arabia, visit https://samf.gov.sa Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. For more info,  visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetWe hope you enjoy the episode! Dawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
SHE CAN TRI: Founder Jackie Faye on preparing Afghan women for triathlons
Nov 25 2022
SHE CAN TRI: Founder Jackie Faye on preparing Afghan women for triathlons
The Mettleset’s bonus episodes, which complement our regular Monday interviews with athletes from the region, are out on Fridays. Our bonus episodes will bring to you a range of trending and topical discussions around sporting news, races and events, along with our co-founders Dawn and Afshan’s own training and upcoming races.Our Bonus Episode today follows our interview with Zeinab Rezaie, the first Afghan woman to race and finish the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Utah, this week.We invited Jackie Faye, the Founder of the non-profit She Can Tri, on a virtual chat to discuss how she set up this organisation to empower women like Zeinab to take up and continue playing sports even through the challenges they face in countries where women face repression and inequality.Jackie, who also became the first woman to complete six Ironman triathlons on six different continents in 2018, tells us how she met Zeinab during her time as a journalist alongside NATO troops in Afghanistan and how they worked to get her Ironman-ready.She also shares how sports saved her while growing up in an abusive household and how sport holds the same power for women in countries like Afghanistan and other conflict zones.Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore.Jackie’s vision aligns with our purpose and this chat reinforced how much more work needs to be done for women’s rights and equality in all spheres. Tune in!For more info, visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetDawn & Afshan@dawnable@afshahmed
EP9: HOPE: Zeinab Rezaie, the First Afghan woman to race 70.3 Ironman Championship, on fleeing Afghanistan in 2021 and continuing to dream big
Nov 21 2022
EP9: HOPE: Zeinab Rezaie, the First Afghan woman to race 70.3 Ironman Championship, on fleeing Afghanistan in 2021 and continuing to dream big
If you missed recent headlines about the first Afghan woman to complete the 70.3 Ironman Championship in Utah in the United States on October 28, we’re here to tell you - Zeinab made history. And it’s no surprise that getting there was far from straightforward.Afghanistan is a country where people have been suffering for decades as a result of war and terror and women have been repressed and denied their rights in many areas of life. Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in 2021 made matters much worse for women who are now battling for their right to education and inclusion in public life. In fact, Taliban officials told reporters in 2021 that women’s sports was neither appropriate nor necessary. Afghan women wouldn’t be allowed to play “the kind of sports where they get exposed”.Yet, women like Zeinab have continued to resist and grab every opportunity to break the shackles of fundamentalism. She was born as an Afghan refugee in Iran and returned to her homeland with her family at the age of nine. Her father was determined to send his daughters to school and university. Zeinab has completed a marathon and an ultra-marathon, all while training with many many challenges in Afghanistan. She then found the non-profit She Can Tri, which led her to her first 70.3 Ironman in Dubai and then the championship in the US.Now a Fullbright scholar completing her Masters in social entrepreneurship at the Colorado State University College of Business, Zeinab connected with us from her campus to share what the win meant for her and how it represents more than a personal achievement. She tells us about her escape from Afghanistan in August 2021 and how she hopes her representation andvisibility through sports will bring the spotlight back onto the plight of women in Afghanistan and her people who had to seek asylum in other countries.To know more about She Can Tri, head to shecantri.orgOur wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore.We were at a loss of words at the end of this chat and left with so much respect for Zeinab’s resolve. We hope this conversation provides food for thought to you too!For more info, visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetDawn & Afshan@dawnable@afshahmed
EP8: COURAGE: Saudi cyclist Dara Sahab on competing in her first ever race at the inaugural Saudi Games and the potential it holds to uncover the Kingdom’s talent
Nov 14 2022
EP8: COURAGE: Saudi cyclist Dara Sahab on competing in her first ever race at the inaugural Saudi Games and the potential it holds to uncover the Kingdom’s talent
Dara Sahab is a woman after our co-host Dawn’s own heart. Like her, our 29-year-old gutsy guest took up cycling as a sport only three months before doing her first ever race, and that too in the historic Saudi Games. The biggest national multi-sport, Olympic-style sporting event in Saudi, which took place from October 27 - November 7, was launched to draw out the Kingdom’s athletic talent and provide them an opportunity to grow in their sport. The games are part of the country’s wider ‘Vision 2030’ to diversify the economy and improve the quality of life of citizens. Dara represents a Saudi generation that has been waiting to prove that they have what it takes to get to the top in sports, both on home turf and internationally. We invited Dara on the show, not because she won, but because she embodies all the values we hold dearly at The Mettleset - she showed courage and mettle in abundance even when the odds were stacked against her right from the get go. Dara played sports growing up and took up CrossFit as an adult. Why she chose to compete as a cyclist just before the race, not having any background in it, and how she went into it with several unknowns, a climb that she wasn’t aware of or prepared for, and braving the Middle East heat is what we discuss in this episode. She also underscores what this opportunity means for her and athletes like her moving forward, along with how races can be better organised for a safe and uplifting experience for all.  To know more about the Saudi Games, head to saudigames.saFind out more about Vision 2030 on vision2030.gov.saOur wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. We’ve got so much respect for Dara’s tenacity and achievements - and don’t doubt you’ll find this chat quite inspiring! Let’s get into it.For more info,  visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetDawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
EP7: EXPLORER: Deep Dive Dubai Director and world record-setting cave diver Jarrod Jablonski on exploring the spellbinding underwater world safely
Nov 7 2022
EP7: EXPLORER: Deep Dive Dubai Director and world record-setting cave diver Jarrod Jablonski on exploring the spellbinding underwater world safely
There’s something unexplainable and enigmatic about underwater caves, which Jarrod Jablonski, the Director of Deep Dive Dubai - the world’s deepest diving pool - beautifully paints for us in this episode. He should know! The accomplished explorer, educator, published author and world-record setting diver has spent countless hours navigating caves all around the world with an upward of 10,000 dives in his 30-year career. We sat down with Jarrod to discuss his childhood and university days diving in Florida, where he also set a world record for the longest cave dive, a 90m dive spanning 18km that saw him underwater for 30 hours - you heard that correct - his world record for the longest cave traverse, 11km also at 90km.He also discusses how his own experience in the sport and the critical need for elevating diver safety and aquatic conservation led him to setting up the non-profit Global Underwater Explorers. Of course, we couldn’t let him leave with chatting about some of his most adventurous dives, his role at Deep Dive Dubai and who the best celebrity diver is. Follow Jarrod’s diving expeditions and conservation efforts on @jarrodjablonski .To know more about Global Underwater Explorers’ programme, head to gue.com .You can find more information about Deep Dive Dubai on @deepdivedubai  and deepdivedubai.com . Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. This chat highlighted the power of curiosity and made us appreciate the spirit of exploration. We hope you enjoy!For more info,  visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetDawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL MARATHON: Can anyone run a full marathon?
Nov 4 2022
BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL MARATHON: Can anyone run a full marathon?
The Mettleset’s bonus episodes, which complement our regular Monday interviews with athletes from the region, are out on Fridays. Our bonus episodes will bring to you a range of trending and topical discussions around sporting news, races and events, along with our co-founders Dawn and Afshan’s own training and upcoming races.Can anyone do a marathon? What is the benefit of doing a mix of aerobic, tempo and recovery runs in the lead up to a marathon? Can you overeat during a run? Should you train through pain? What should you be doing a week before your marathon? What are the common mistakes new runners make and can avoid? In our second bonus episode of my road to the Beirut International Marathon series, I sit down with my endurance coach Rob Foster to answer these crucial questions, which can help you get started if you too are considering your first marathon. My takeaway is that when you set an intention, do the work and trust the process, whether you achieve that desired pace or personal best time on race day or not becomes irrelevant. The journey is what matters more. And, there’s always the next one!For more running tips and pointers, follow Rob Foster on @re_foster .The Beirut International Marathon was established in 2003 by May El-Khalil, the founder and president of the Beirut Marathon Association.  You can follow them on Instagram @beirutmarathon The marathon is accredited as a ’Silver Label Road Race’ by World Athletics, the international governing body for the sports of athletics. This means that the race satisfies important criteria concerning the organisational standards, course measurements, safety, medical standards and media services. Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. We hope you enjoy the show and keep listening for more updates from the Beirut International Marathon!For more info,  visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetDawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
EP6: FORTITUDE: Women for Tri Ambassador Melina Timson-Katchis on returning from the brink of giving up in one of her hardest races
Oct 31 2022
EP6: FORTITUDE: Women for Tri Ambassador Melina Timson-Katchis on returning from the brink of giving up in one of her hardest races
Our guest Melina Timson, a triathlon coach and Women for Tri Ambassador, recently completed a 30KM UltraOceanman Kalamata, Greece, open water swim. She walked into our recording studio with pictures of a swollen tongue from a condition called salt mouth that open water swimmers have from long durations of time in salt water. This was only one of the many challenges that she faced during this mind boggling race, including choppy conditions and sea sickness, which she tells us made her want to give up several times while on the course. But there was always something that kept her going that day. The 43-year-old triathlete, who has a background in sport and exercise science, had given up racing after her teenage years but returned physically and, more crucially, mentally stronger to sports at the age of 36. She completed the Ironman distance Challenge Roth in Germany, qualified for and finished the Ironman 70.3 World Championship in 2019, and continues taking on challenges that push her limits. At the same time, as a Dubai-based coach, she has been helping others achieve their triathlon goals and advocates for more inclusion and diversity within the athlete community through her role as a Women for Tri Ambassador. She also participated in leading the first Triathlon Training Camp for Women in Saudi Arabia earlier this year. In this no-holds-barred chat, Melina opens up about her journey into Triathlon, her bounce back after long Covid, how she returned from the brink of almost giving up in the UltraOceanman race and her role in furthering women’s participation in the sport. Follow Melina’s initiatives and races on @tk_melina You can find more information about the UltraOceanman race on their website . For details about the Women for Tri programme, head to the Ironman Foundation . Today’s episode was supported by the awesome and adventurous team at Deep Dive Dubai, the world’s deepest pool. Check them out for some truly awe-inspiring scuba and freedive experiences. Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of
BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL MARATHON: A story of unity and peace in the region through its beautiful course
Oct 28 2022
BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL MARATHON: A story of unity and peace in the region through its beautiful course
Today, The Mettleset launches a new series of bonus episodes, which complement our regular Monday interviews with athletes from the region. Our bonus episodes will bring to you a range of trending and topical discussions around sporting news, races and events, along with our co-founders Dawn and Afshan’s own training and upcoming races.Hi Listeners, Afshan here!The first in our series of bonus episodes documents my road to the Beirut International Marathon, which is on November 13. This is my first ever marathon and I believe it is a good opportunity to discuss why I decided to sign up for this one in Beirut (there’s a special story behind the origins of this marathon), what goes into training for a marathon and, later on, stories and experiences from others participants while I’m actually there!In this first bonus episode, I, without my partner in crime Dawn, connected with Francoise Nehme, the head of operations for the Beirut International Marathon, to talk about its origins - its birth from the determination of founder May El Khalil who coordinated its inception from a hospital bed in 2002 - and its growth, attracting more than 112 nationalities from all over the world now.  We also discuss its mission and message of peace and unity, with this year’s theme being “I am Beirut”.Francoise also gives us a lowdown on the beautiful course, which takes you to historical sites and neighbourhoods, along with the pivotal role that the race has played and continues playing in unifying people and bringing hope during the country’s hard times. This isn’t the fastest or the oldest marathon, but we’re promised an energy and memories that will last with us forever.The Beirut International Marathon was established in 2003 by May El-Khalil, the founder and president of the Beirut Marathon Association.You can follow them on Instagram @beirutmarathonThe marathon is accredited as a ’Silver Label Road Race’ by World Athletics, the international governing body for the sports of athletics. This means that the race satisfies important criteria concerning the organisational standards, course measurements, safety, medical standards and media services.Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. This marathon stands for more than winning or achieving a personal best, and that’s why we’re excited to share its story with you. We hope you enjoy!For more info,  visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetDawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
EP5: RESOLUTE: UAE’s first female camel jockey trainer Linda Krockenberger on introducing women’s camel racing in the region
Oct 24 2022
EP5: RESOLUTE: UAE’s first female camel jockey trainer Linda Krockenberger on introducing women’s camel racing in the region
Camels are an integral part of the region’s heritage and the embodiment of the Bedouin way of life. But seeing a woman race a camel was uncommon until last year when we started seeing images of female jockeys racing camels to the finish line go viral on social media. Our guest Linda Krockenberger, UAE’s first female camel jockey trainer and the co-founder of the Arabian Desert Camel Riding Centre in Dubai, which is the first licensed camel riding school in the region, is to credit for this revolution in a sport that has traditionally been practiced by men only.Linda’s love for camels blossomed when she took a 14-day trek from Liwa in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi to Dubai on this friendly creature in 2019. She shifted her entire focus and career into building a riding centre with co-founder Obaid Al Falasi in 2021, where women felt welcome and encouraged to pursue it as a sport. The centre also established the first and only camel racing championship for female jockeys in the region last year. Now, with a majority of students at the centre being women, Linda sees the vast potential of growing the sport across the region and also leading the way in shaping the regulations around jockey safety, animal welfare and preservation of heritage in the sport. In this episode, we explore the camel racing scene in the UAE and get Linda to share memorable and pivotal moments in her journey, and the upcoming camel racing season for women, which begins on October 29. You can follow the Arabian Desert Camel Riding Centre on @adcrc.me ,  www.adcrc.meThe schedule for season two of the championship for women can be found on their Race Page . Today’s episode was supported by the awesome and adventurous team at Deep Dive Dubai, the world’s deepest pool. Check them out for some truly awe-inspiring scuba and freedive experiences. Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. Linda’s achievements prove that anything is possible when you are resolute in your mission. We hope it drives you to achieving yours. Enjoy! For more info,  visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetDawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed
EP4: SILENT ASSASSIN: Muay Thai champion Anisha Shetty on never throwing in the towel
Oct 17 2022
EP4: SILENT ASSASSIN: Muay Thai champion Anisha Shetty on never throwing in the towel
Can you win a boxing match with a dislocated shoulder? Our guest, Anisha Shetty, a two-time UAE Muay Thai Champion and three-time National Muay Thai champion for India, can and did!The 26-year-old athlete with an unwavering dream of making Muay Thai a household name in the UAE went against her family’s wishes to pursue a career in mechanical engineering and learnt everything there is to know about the sport first in India and then in Thailand before moving to the UAE to become a coach. Anisha is ready to conquer the UAE’s professional Muay Thai scene, but also wants to share her knowledge and techniques with others and make the sport less intimidating, especially for women. An athlete on a mission, Anisha tells us about “not throwing in the towel” when faced by challenges and lessons learnt along the way, her mission to build this as an after-school activity for children and the goal to become the queen of the 50s weight categories in the championship.Follow Anisha’s journey as she takes on the next Muay Thai championship on @anisha.shetty. Today’s episode was supported by the awesome and adventurous team at Deep Dive Dubai, the world’s deepest pool. Check them out for some truly awe-inspiring scuba and freedive experiences. Our wider support team for this episode includes Editor JJ Thompson and our Artwork is by the talented Alexandra Hickey of Studio Theodore. Anisha has convinced us into trying Muay Thai and we hope you get inspired too. Enjoy! For more info, visit www.themettleset.com , and follow us on @themettlesetDawn & Afshan @dawnable @afshahmed