Video Transcript

(music plays)

Todd Sampson is in his forties with short wavy brown hair and a shadow of a beard. He wears jeans, a black sweatshirt and a black jacket.

He walks along the Utah desert.

Todd says THIS IS THE MOAB
DESERT IN UTAH.
IT'S THE START OF A JOURNEY I'M
HOPING WILL IMPROVE MY BRAIN.
I WANT SOME MENTAL TOOLS TO
COPE WITH THE CHALLENGES
OF MODERN LIVING.
I WANT TO BE MORE ADAPTABLE.
WE ALL NEED TO BETTER ADAPT TO
THE WORLD AROUND US.

A caption reads “Screen Australia Presents a Mindful Media Production.”

Todd says AND I'M ABOUT TO MEET SOMEONE
WHO TAKES
THAT
TO A NEW
LEVEL...
AND SHE'S UP THERE.

A fast clip shows a woman climbing up a high rock formation.

Todd says STEPH DAVIS IS ONE OF THE
WORLD'S BEST ROCK CLIMBERS.
SHE'S TACKLED SOME OF THE
TOUGHEST ROUTES WITHOUT EVEN
A SAFETY LINE TO CATCH HER.

Steph is in her thirties, with long wavy brown hair in a ponytail. She wears jeans, a pink top and climbing equipment.

She says ROCK CLIMBING IS
ALL ABOUT ADAPTABILITY.
FIRST OF ALL, YOU HAVE TO
CHANGE YOUR BODY TO CONFORM
TO THE ROCK CLIMB.
AND THEN THROUGHOUT THE
EXPERIENCE THINGS KEEP
HAPPENING.
I THINK HUMANS ARE EXTREMELY
GOOD AT ADAPTING THE ENVIRONMENT
TO HUMAN NEEDS AND DESIRES.
AND SO AS A RESULT I THINK
THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE LOST
THE ABILITY TO ADAPT
THEMSELVES.
MY WHOLE PERSONAL REALITY IS
CONSTANTLY DICTATED BY THE
NATURAL ENVIRONMENT.

She reaches the top of the rock and then descends using a parachute.

Todd says OH, MY GOSH!

(music plays)

Todd says OH, WOW.
NOW
THAT'S
AN ENTRY!

Steph says HELLO.

Todd says HI, STEPH.

Steph says NICE TO FINALLY MEET
YOU.

A caption reads “Steph Davis. Rock climber and Base Jumper. Climb2Fly Productions.”

Todd says THAT WAS A CRAZY WAY
IN.
THAT WAS AN AMAZING CLIMB.
WOW, HOW DOES THAT FEEL?

Steph says GREAT.
THE THING ABOUT CLIMBING IS
THE ROCK'S NOT GOING TO CHANGE.
SO YOU HAVE TO CHANGE.
I HAVE A CHALLENGE FOR YOU,
AND IT INVOLVES ROCK CLIMBING.
SO WHAT I WANT YOU TO DO, IN
ABOUT 6 WEEKS, IS CLIMB TO THE
TOP OF A TOWER, AND I WANT
YOU TO DO IT BLINDFOLDED.

Todd says AS IN WITHOUT SIGHT?
OH, GOD.
[laughing]
CLIMBING IS A GREAT METAPHOR
FOR LIFE.
IT'S A TEST OF ENDURANCE,
FLEXIBILITY, CONCENTRATION.
IT'S ALSO REALLY HARD.
IF I'M GOING TO CLIMB THIS
ROCKFACE BLINDFOLDED IN SIX
WEEKS TIME I NEED TO REDESIGN
MY BRAIN USING THE LATEST THAT
BRAIN SCIENCE HAS TO OFFER.
Images of a very high rock appear on screen.

(music plays)

The title “Redesign my brain squared. With Todd Sampson. Episode 1: Help me adapt” appears.

Todd says I'M TODD SAMPSON, A
CANADIAN-BORN AUSTRALIAN,
FROM SYDNEY, AND I'M ON A
QUEST FOR A BETTER BRAIN.
THAT'S A BIG IMPACT THOUGH!

Fast clips show images of Todd under a scanner, wearing a virtual reality helmet, playing ping-pong, being kicked in his back with a stick, slack rope walking, climbing a rock blindfolded, fighting and trying to open a safe box.

He says THAT'S A BIG IMPACT.

Todd says IN THIS SERIES I
EMBARK ON A PROGRAM TO PROVE
THAT ANY BRAIN CAN BE TRAINED
TO COPE WITH THE CHALLENGES
OF MODERN LIVING.
THESE PEOPLE ARE REALLY LOUD.
I'LL BE TESTED, PROBED...
THAT WAS IN MY MOUTH.
AND PUSHED TO MY LIMITS.
OH, JESUS... (bleep)!
AND ULTIMATELY I'LL ATTEMPT
AN EXTREME CHALLENGE.

A woman says KEEP MOVING.
MOVE, ARMS.

Todd says IN THIS EPISODE I'M
ON A QUEST TO BECOME MORE
ADAPTABLE.
AND TO PROVE IT'S POSSIBLE I'LL
TAKE THE ULTIMATE RISK.
HOLY... SHOW.
WOW, THIS IS SCARY.
BUT THIS ISN'T JUST ABOUT ME.
WE CAN ALL IMPROVE OUR BRAIN
TO GET MORE OUT OF LIFE.
WHOA!
SO COME TAKE THE CHALLENGE
WITH ME.
OH, JESUS... (bleep)!
WE DON'T NEED TO GO OVER THAT
AGAIN.
IN OUR RAPIDLY CHANGING WORLD
IT'S NOT THE STRONGEST OR THE
SMARTEST, WHO THRIVE.
IT'S THE MOST ADAPTABLE.
THE HUMAN BRAIN HAS BEEN CALLED
THE MOST COMPLEX OBJECT IN THE
UNIVERSE.
IT CAN MODIFY ITSELF TO MEET
ANY CHALLENGE.
THERE'S NEW SCIENCE ON HOW TO
BECOME MORE FLEXIBLE, AND I
WANT TO LEARN IT.
THE FIRST STEP IS TO IMPROVE
MY MENTAL ENDURANCE.
SO I'VE COME TO THE AUSTRALIAN
INSTITUTE OF SPORT IN
CANBERRA.

Captions read “mental flexibility,” “endurance” and “pain management.”

David Martin says HEY, TODD.

Todd says HEY, DAVID.

David Martin says IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU
AGAIN.

Todd says YEAH, NICE TO SEE YOU.

A caption reads “Doctor David Martin. Senior Sports Physiologist. Australian Institute of Sport.”

David is in his late forties, clean-shaven and with short wavy graying hair. He wears glasses, jeans and a blue and yellow polo shirt.”

Todd says MY MENTOR WILL BE
DOCTOR DAVID MARTIN.
HE'S A SENIOR SPORTS SCIENTIST
AND A BIG BELIEVER IN THE
POWER OF BRAIN TRAINING.

David Martin says OLYMPIC ATHLETES
RIGHT NOW ARE REALLY INTO THIS
MENTAL ENDURANCE.
SO WE PUT TOGETHER SOME
CHALLENGES FOR YOU THAT I THINK
ARE REALLY ILLUSTRATE THE
POINT.

Todd says YOU MEAN TORTURE?

David Martin says IT'S NOT QUITE
TORTURE, BUT IT IS EXCITING.

Todd says DAVID'S CONVINCED
THAT MANY ASPECTS OF PHYSICAL
ENDURANCE ARE A PRODUCT OF
MENTAL ATTITUDE.
AND HE'S GOT A TEST TO PROVE
IT.

They are in a gym. Todd has some electrodes connected to his arms.

David Martin says YOUR CHALLENGE IS TO
HOLD THESE JUGS OF MILK OUT TO
THE SIDE SO YOUR ARMS ARE JUST
BARELY TOUCHING THE SILVER BARS,
AND I'M GOING TO START THE
CLOCK.

Todd says OKAY.

David Martin says I'VE TRIED IT MYSELF
AND I CAN TELL YOU IF YOU GET
PAST ABOUT ONE AND A HALF TO
TWO MINUTES I THINK YOU'RE
DOING WELL.

Todd says OKAY.
STOPWATCH IS ON THE READY.

Todd says GREAT.

David Martin says READY, AND STARTING.
OKAY, I'LL JUST STEP BACK AND
IT'S ALL UP TO YOU.

Todd says IS THIS FULL OF CREAM?

David Martin says I THINK IT'S SKIM.
IT'S LIGHT MILK.

Todd says LIGHT?
NOT FROM WHERE I'M STANDING.
THESE 2-LITRE BOTTLES WEIGH
2 KILOS.
TRY IT AT HOME.
IF YOU WEIGH OVER 80 KILOS UP
IT TO 3 LITRES PER HAND.
SEE HOW LONG YOU CAN ENDURE
IT BEFORE GIVING IN.
YOU'LL BE SURPRISED BY THE
RESULTS.

David Martin says WHAT WILL HAPPEN
EVENTUALLY IS HIS BRAIN WILL
GIVE UP.
HE'LL THINK IN HIS BODY THAT
HIS MUSCLES GAVE OUT.
BUT, IN FACT, IT'S USUALLY
ALWAYS THE BRAIN.

Todd says IS THAT NORMAL,
THE SHAKING?

David Martin says THEY'RE STARTING
TO FATIGUE.

Todd says OH.

David Martin says KEEP THAT RIGHT ARM
STRAIGHT.
IT'S BENDING A BIT.
OKAY.
2 MINUTES 57 SECONDS, WHICH IS
REALLY A GOOD BASELINE.

Todd says NEARLY 3 MINUTES?
GOTTA BE HAPPY WITH THAT.
BUT DAVID'S TEAM ALSO MEASURED
MY MAXIMUM MUSCLE OUTPUT.
IT WAS OVER 2500 UNITS.
BUT DURING THE MILK TEST
I ONLY MANAGED 1200.
SHOCKINGLY, I HAD FAR MORE
CAPACITY LEFT IN MY ARMS.
I COULD HAVE HELD ON MUCH
LONGER.
I'M STUNNED.
SO WHAT DO YOU MEAN?
SO WHAT'S HAPPENING?

David Martin says THE MUSCLE CAN DO
MORE.
IT'S THE MIND THAT GAVE OUT.

Todd says WHAT?

David Martin says IT'S ACTUALLY
THE FEEDBACK TO THE BRAIN
THAT'S STARTING TO LIMIT YOU.

Todd says MY ENDURANCE TEST
TIME WAS 2 MINUTES 57 SECONDS.
BUT MY MUSCLE OUTPUT WAS A
DISAPPOINTING 47 PERCENT OF
MY MAXIMUM.
SO WHAT CAN I DO TO KEEP MY
MIND FROM GIVING UP BEFORE MY
BODY DOES?
DAVID WANTS ME TO START
TRAINING.
AND HE HAS ANOTHER SURPRISE
FOR ME.

A caption reads “Brain training to do. 1- Mental endurance.”

(music plays)

Todd says IT'S CYCLING.
I HATE CYCLING.

David Martin says THE IDEA IS TO GO
FROM THE START OVER 4 KILOMETRES
AS FAST AS YOU CAN.
AND WHILE YOU'RE DOING THAT
WE'LL BE MONITORING YOUR BLOOD,
WE'LL BE MONITORING YOUR HEART
RATE AND WE'LL ALSO BE
MONITORING YOUR ENERGY
EXPENDITURE WITH THIS HEADSET
AND MOUTHPIECE.
I'M GOING TO POSITION THIS
AROUND YOUR HEAD.

Todd says THEY DON'T DO THIS ON
THE TOUR.

David puts a gas mask looking device on Todd’s head and mouth, which is connected to a machine through a tube.

David Martin says THAT SOUNDS REALLY
GOOD, TODD.
I'M WITH YOU A HUNDRED PERCENT.

An assistant says 3, 2, 1 AND GO.

David Martin says NICE SOLID START.
NICE SOLID START.
DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOUR LEGS
CAN DO MORE?
CYCLING IS A GREAT CHALLENGE
BECAUSE IT USES SOME OF THE
BIGGEST MUSCLE GROUPS IN
YOUR BODY, WHICH MEANS
MENTALLY IT'S ONE OF THE
MOST DIFFICULT TASKS POSSIBLE
TO RECRUIT ALL THE CAPABILITIES
IN THE LOWER BODY.
BIG SURGE.
ALL THE WAY TO THE FINISH.
COME ON, TODD, DRIVE IT!
DRIVE IT.
I WANT TO SEE A BIG HIGH HEART
RATE.
COME ON, TODD.
RIGHT TO THE FINISH.
ALMOST THERE.
AND STOP.
NICE WORK.

A woman says HEART RATE 164.

David Martin says I'M GOING TO POP
THIS OFF REAL QUICK.
GOOD WORK.
THAT WAS 4 KILOMETRES IN
7 MINUTES AND 17 SECONDS.
IT'S ACTUALLY NOT THAT BAD.

Todd says THAT'S GREAT, DAVID.
CAN I GET OFF THE BIKE NOW?

David Martin says SO WE'RE GOING TO
LET YOU RECOVER.
WE'RE GOING TO LET YOU TAKE A
BIT OF A BREAK, AND THEN I'M
GOING TO ACTUALLY BRING YOU
BACK IN HERE AGAIN TODAY AND
YOU'RE GOING TO DO IT AGAIN.

(music plays)

A caption reads “2 hours later.”

David Martin says ALRIGHT.
READY TO GET STARTED FOR TEST
NUMBER 2?

Todd says TEST NUMBER 2.

David Martin says YEP, GO AHEAD AND
CLIMB ON AND LET'S GET YOU
CLIPPED IN.
SO ON THE RIGHT THAT SILVER
LOOKING AVATAR, THAT'S YOU FROM
THE FIRST TEST.

Todd says I'M RACING MYSELF.

David Martin says THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT
YOU'RE DOING.
YOU'RE RACING YOURSELF, AND
YOUR OBJECTIVE IS TO BEAT
YOURSELF.
OKAY, OFF AND RUNNING.
GET THAT CADENCE UP THERE.
REALLY GET THAT CADENCE UP
THERE.
ALL THE WAY UP IN THE 90, 95
AND AS IT GETS GOING YOU'LL BE
ABLE TO SETTLE DOWN AND SPIN IT.
SO EVEN A LITTLE BIT HIGHER?
LITTLE BIT HIGHER.

Todd says RIGHT OFF THE BAT
I'M DETERMINED TO BEAT MY
OLD SCORE.
I FEEL LIKE I'VE BEEN RACING
AGAINST MYSELF MY WHOLE LIFE.
I'M NOT GOOD WITH FAILING, BUT
IT CERTAINLY FOCUSES MY MIND.

David Martin says ONE OF THE MOST
EXCITING NEW FINDINGS IN
PHYSIOLOGY IS THE PLASTICITY
OF THE BRAIN.
HIS BRAIN HAS ADAPTED TO DEAL
WITH THESE PAINFUL STIMULI
IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
MANNER.
AND TAP INTO THAT RESERVE THAT
WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT.
YOU'RE BEATING YOURSELF BY
280 METRES.
YOU'RE DESTROYING YOUR PREVIOUS
TEST.
300 METRES TO GO.
THAT'S IT, TODD.
RIGHT INTO THE FINISH.
THREE... TWO... ONE AND FINISH.
THAT'S IT.
WITH A TIME OF 6 MINUTES AND
30 SECONDS.

The woman says HEART RATE 172.

David Martin says YOU JUST PUT 47
SECONDS IN ON YOUR PREVIOUS
TEST.
WELL DONE.

Todd says 47 SECONDS FASTER
THAN LAST TIME.
UNBELIEVABLE.

David Martin says THAT WAS SOLID.
GOOD JOB.
YOU SMASHED IT.

Todd says IT FELT A LITTLE BIT
HARDER, BUT I REFUSE TO LOSE TO
MYSELF.

David Martin says SO THERE'S ONE PART
OF THIS TEST THAT WE DIDN'T
TELL YOU ABOUT.
WE PROGRAMMED THAT AVATAR SO
THAT IT WAS 2 PERCENT FASTER
THAN YOUR PREVIOUS TEST.

Todd says WHAT?

David Martin says SO YOU WERE ACTUALLY
RACING AGAINST AN AVATAR THAT
WAS GOING 2 PERCENT FASTER
THAN YOU.
SO EVEN IF YOU JUST STAYED WITH
THAT AVATAR YOU WOULD HAVE DONE
BETTER.

Todd says YOU BASTARD!
IT'S A VALUABLE LESSON.
YOUR BRAIN CONTROLS YOUR BODY,
AND THAT'S THE SECRET OF
ENDURANCE TRAINING.
USE YOUR MIND TO GET MORE FROM
YOUR MUSCLES.
IT'S A MYTH THAT WE ONLY USE
10 PERCENT OF OUR BRAINS.
BUT MAYBE WE ONLY USE
10 PERCENT OF OUR MENTAL
ENDURANCE.

(music plays)

Todd says NOW I KNOW HOW TO TRAIN MY
BRAIN TO INCREASE MY ENDURANCE.
I'LL NEED THAT TO MAKE IT UP
THAT CLIFF BLINDFOLDED IN
5 WEEKS TIME.
SURPRISES ARE BOUND TO COME UP
DURING THE CLIMB.
BUT HOW CAN I TRAIN TO BE
READY FOR THE UNEXPECTED?
WELL, I'M ABOUT TO MEET AN
ATHLETE WHO'S A MASTER OF
ADJUSTING TO CHANGE.

A caption reads “Lucy Glanville. Olympic Biathlete. Australian Biathlon Association.”

Lucy is in her twenties, with long straight blond hair in a low ponytail. She wears black running shorts and a spandex black tank top.

Lucy comes rolling on cross-country skates. Then stops and aims at several targets with a biathlon laser rifle.

Todd says LUCY GLANVILLE IS A WINTER
OLYMPIAN. SHE'S AUSTRALIA'S TOP-RANKED
BIATHLETE, A SPORT THAT
COMBINES CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
AND TARGET SHOOTING.
SO WHAT WAS AMAZING WAS YOU
CAME IN HERE AT FULL STEAM AND
THEN YOU WERE ABLE TO JUST STOP
AND HIT THOSE TARGETS.

Lucy says I DO HAVE A MENTAL
KIND OF FEW STEPS THAT I GO
THROUGH AND I'VE HAD TO WORK ON
THAT OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS.
IT'S REALLY ABOUT THAT
ADAPTABILITY PHASE AND LEARNING
HOW TO CONTROL THE MIND.

Todd says A TYPICAL BIATHLON IS
A FAST 15 KILOMETRE SKI,
STOPPING FOUR TIMES TO SHOOT.
SO LUCY ONLY HAS A FEW SECONDS
TO CALM HER MIND AND BODY
BETWEEN SKIING AND SHOOTING.
SO HOW DOES LUCY CONTROL HER
MIND?
ELITE BIATHLETES CAN DROP THEIR
HEART RATE FROM 200 BEATS PER
MINUTE, TO 140, IN JUST
20 SECONDS.
IT'D TAKE MOST PEOPLE UP TO
5 MINUTES.
IT ALL STARTS WITH BREATHING.

Lucy says AS I ENTER THE
SHOOTING RANGE I TAKE LOTS OF
DEEP BREATHS.
THAT HELPS TO SLOW MY HEART
RATE DOWN.
IT ALSO HELPS IN MY MIND TO
CALM MYSELF DOWN AND TO REALLY
FOCUS AND GET INTO THAT
SHOOTING MENTALITY.

David Martin says BREATHING RATE
STARTING TO DROP.
SHE'S CONTROLLING HER
BREATHING.
HE'S STARTING TO JUST FOCUS
THE TARGETS AND ONLY THE
TARGETS.
SO HEART RATE'S COMING DOWN
BOUT 170, 175.

Todd says LUCY WILL TIME HER
SHOTS TO FALL BETWEEN
BREATHS.
BUT IT'S WHAT SHE DOES WITH HER
MIND THAT'S A USEFUL TOOL
FOR ALL OF US.

Lucy says SO I HAVE A
VISUALIZATION PROCESS THAT I
USE ALL THE TIME WHEN I SHOOT.
I WOULD BUILD RED BRICKS
FROM WHERE I AM ALL THE WAY TO
THE END OF THE TARGET AND IT
BECOMES A RED BRICK TUNNEL
LITERALLY BLOCKING EVERY THING
ELSE OFF.
ONCE THAT'S BUILT I KNOW THAT
NOTHING ELSE CAN DISTRACT ME
FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD.
[beeping]

An animation builds a brick tunnel around the targets.

David Martin says SHE'S ALREADY CLICKED
OFF HER FIVE SHOTS.
RIFLE BACK UP.
SHE'S OFF FOR THE NEXT ROUND.
SO THAT'S THE TRICK.
SHE TRANSITIONS FROM MAXIMUM
INTENSITY TO THE ULTIMATE CALM.
AND SHE'S DOING IT ALL WITH
HER BRAIN.

Todd says OKAY, I'VE GOT TO GIVE
THIS A TRY.
CONFESSION TIME -- BORN IN
CANADA, CAN'T SKI, CAN'T SKATE.
BUT RUNNING WILL GET MY HEART
RATE UP.
MY SUIT HAS SENSORS TO MONITOR
MY VITAL SIGNS.
I'M FIGHTING TO BRING THEM
DOWN.

He runs next to Lucy as she skates.

David Martin says THAT SHOULD GET HIS
HEART RATE UP NICE AND HIGH.
NICE WORK.
LET'S SEE HOW HE GOES.
YEAH, YOU'VE GOT HIM UP THERE.
IT'S A NICE HIGH HEART RATE.
UP AROUND 168.
YOU GOT HIM COOKING.
THAT'S GOOD.
NOW HE'S JUST GOT TO TAKE THOSE
BIG DEEP BREATHS.
RELAX.
HIS BREATHING RATE'S ALMOST AT
50 BREATHS PER MINUTE RIGHT
NOW.

He lies on his stomach and aims the targets.

Todd says IF I'M THIS SHAKY
ROCK CLIMBING I'M IN TROUBLE.
I KEEP MISSING.

David Martin says SEE IF YOU CAN GET
ON TOP OF THIS AND HIT AT LEAST
ONE.

Todd says I'VE GOT TO STOP,
BE CALM, AND IMAGINE THAT
TUNNEL.

David Martin says GOT IT.
ALRIGHT, ONE OUT OF FIVE.

Todd says THAT WAS REALLY HARD
TO DO.
I COULDN'T GET MY HEART RATE
DOWN.
I COULDN'T SLOW DOWN ENOUGH.
MY HANDS WERE SHAKING.
I TRIED BREATHING, BUT THAT
MADE IT DIFFICULT.

David Martin says ONE OF THE BIG
THINGS IS EVEN THOUGH THE HEART
RATE DOESN'T COME DOWN A LOT
IT'S TRYING TO GET THE BRAIN
INTO A CALM PLACE EVEN THOUGH
THE BODY IS IN A VERY EXCITED
PLACE.
TODD SAYS IN FACT, A WAY WE CAN
ALL COPE BETTER IN TOUGH
SITUATIONS IS TO PAUSE, TAKE
A COUPLE OF DEEP BREATHS AND
VISUALIZE A POSITIVE OUTCOME.

David Martin says IT'S A GREAT
ADAPTATION TO BE ABLE TO MASTER
BECAUSE IT'S NOT JUST FOR THE
BIATHLON SHOOTING RANGE.
YOU CAN USE IT IN A LOT OF
DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF YOUR LIFE.

Todd says YOU DON'T WANT TO BE
ANGRY WITH A GUN EITHER.

David Martin says YOU DON'T WANT TO BE
ANGRY WITH A GUN, BUT YOU DON'T
WANT TO BE ANGRY WITH CHILDREN.
AND YOU DON'T WANT TO BE ANGRY
IN TRAFFIC.
YOU'VE GOT TO FOCUS ON THE
MISSION AT HAND.

Todd says I'M GOING TO NEED
THOSE ENDURANCE TOOLS ON THE
BLIND ROCK CLIMB.
ON A ROCK FACE, IF YOUR
STRENGTH GIVES OUT, YOU FAIL.
BUT ENDURANCE ISN'T
JUST IN THE MUSCLES AND LUNGS.
IT'S IN THE BRAIN.
I'M ALSO GOING TO NEED MENTAL
FLEXIBILITY.
HALFWAY UP THE 120-METRE CLIFF,
YOU JUST CAN'T QUIT IF THINGS
GO WRONG.
I'LL NEED TO ADJUST TO
UNFORESEEN OBSTACLES, AND FOR
THAT I'LL NEED A REALLY
ADAPTABLE BRAIN.

Todd drives his car with his two daughters on the back.

He says MENTAL FLEXIBILITY IS A VERY
IMPORTANT LIFE SKILL.
CHILDREN HAVE IT NATURALLY, BUT
AS WE AGE WE LOSE IT AS ADULTS.
WE BECOME FUNCTIONALLY FIXED.
AND THE QUESTION IS CAN WE DO
ANYTHING ABOUT IT.
I'M ABOUT TO CATCH UP WITH ONE
OF MY OLD FRIENDS, AKA ARCH
NEMESIS, DAVID CROPLEY.
AND I'M SURE HE HAS PLENTY OF
SURPRISES IN STORE FOR ME.

A caption reads “Doctor David Cropley. Associate Professor of Engineering Investigations. University of South Australia.”

David is in his mid-forties, clean-shaven and with short wavy blond hair. He wears a pale blue shirt.

Todd says DOCTOR DAVID CROPLEY IS AN
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF
ENGINEERING INNOVATION AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA.
LAST SEASON HE SET ME A
MOUSETRAP CHALLENGE.
IT DIDN'T GO WELL.

A clip from a previous season rolls. David evaluates the results of a task Todd had to perform. He needed to find a way to propel wooden model car so it goes from one extreme of a table to another.

David Cropley says FROM THE POINT OF
VIEW OF SCORING THIS I WOULD
GIVE IT SAY 5 OUT OF 25.

Todd says 5 OUT OF 25?!
YOU ARE KIDDING ME.

David Cropley says IT'S NOT ORIGINAL
AND SURPRISING.
IT'S AN OBVIOUS SOLUTION.

Todd says I STILL HAVE
NIGHTMARES ABOUT CROPLEY AND
THAT SMILEY FACE AS HE SAID
'DRINK SOME CONCRETE.
IT'S 5 OUT OF 25.'
THERE HE IS.
HE'S BROUGHT A FRIEND.
WELL.

David waits on the curb with a dog on a leash.

David Cropley says HEY.

Todd says HI, DAVID.

Coco says HI.

Coco is around 7, with long straight brown hair. She wears blue tights and a blue and black dress.

Todd says NICE TO SEE YOU.
THESE ARE MY DAUGHTERS.
THIS IS COCO AND JESS.

David Cropley says NICE TO MEET YOU.

Coco says HI.

David Cropley says VERY NICE TO MEET
YOU.

Jess in around 5, with long straight brown hair. She wears pink leggings, a white T-shirt with a decoration on the front and a pink tutu.

Todd says WHO'S THAT?

David Cropley says THIS IS ABBY.
SO ABBY'S GOING TO HELP US
TODAY.
SO, TODD, WE'RE LOOKING AT
MENTAL FLEXIBILITY, PROBLEM
SOLVING, BUT IN A REAL WORLD
SETTING.
BEFORE WE DO ANYTHING ELSE I
NEED YOU GUYS TO GET TWO BIG
BAGS OF ICE CREAM FOR THIS
NEXT TASK.

Todd says WHO WANTS ICE CREAM?

Coco and Jess say ME!

Todd says YOU'VE GOT TO CHOOSE
WHICH ONE YOU WANT.

David Cropley says MENTAL FLEXIBILITY
IS OUR ABILITY TO DEAL WITH
NOVEL OR UNUSUAL PROBLEMS THAT
WE ENCOUNTER IN EVERYDAY LIFE
WHERE WE'D HAVE TO APPLY THE
KIND OF KNOWLEDGE THAT WE'VE
ACCUMULATED AND USE OUR MEMORY,
OUR PROCESSING ABILITY AND SO
ON TO DEAL WITH THOSE PROBLEMS
AS THEY ARISE.

Coco says I WOULD LIKE THE
CHOCOLATE ONE.

Todd says ACADEMICS TEND TO
THINK OF INTELLIGENCE IN TWO
FLAVOURS.
FIRST, CRYSTALLIZED
INTELLIGENCE THE LEARNED
FACTS AND EXPERIENCES THAT
WE ACQUIRE WITH AGE.
THE OTHER FLAVOUR IS FLUID
INTELLIGENCE, WHICH IS APPLYING
LOGIC AND PROBLEM SOLVING TO
NEW SITUATIONS.
IT DECLINES WITH AGE UNLESS
WE WORK ON IT, SO TODAY IS
ALL ABOUT FLUID INTELLIGENCE.
THANK YOU.
WOW, WE'VE GOT A LOT OF ICE
CREAM.

David Cropley says THERE'S YOUR FRIEND.
OKAY, THIS LOOKS GOOD.
SO, TODD, THE TASK TODAY IT'S A
TEST OF MENTAL FLEXIBILITY.
OKAY.
WHAT YOU'VE GOT TO DO IS GET
FROM THE SHOP TO YOUR CAR,
BUT YOU CAN'T LEAVE THE DOG
OR THE GIRLS ALONE WITH THE
ICE CREAM.
AND THEN YOU CAN TAKE ONE ITEM
IN EACH HAND, WHETHER THAT'S ONE
OF THE GIRLS AND A BAG OR ANY
COMBINATION YOU LIKE BUT ONE
ITEM PER HAND.
OKAY, SO IF THAT'S CLEAR, IT'S
OVER TO YOU AND YOU WANT TO
SOLVE THIS AS QUICKLY AS YOU
CAN SO THE ICE CREAM DOESN'T
MELT.

Todd says ALRIGHT.
THERE'S NOTHING EASY WITH YOU,
IS THERE?

David Martin says NO, I'M SORRY.
THAT'S THE WAY IT GOES.

Todd says THERE'S NEVER
ANYTHING EASY WITH HIM.
SO I HAVE TO GET 2 KIDS, THE
DOG AND THE ICE CREAM TO THE
CAR.
BUT I ONLY HAVE TWO HANDS SO
CAN ONLY TAKE TWO ITEMS AT A
TIME.
SEE IF YOU CAN FIGURE OUT HOW
TO DO THIS IN THE LEAST TRIPS
POSSIBLE?
PART OF FLUID INTELLIGENCE IS
VISUALIZING OPTIONS.
WHAT CAN I DO HERE?
OKAY, SO I CAN TAKE THE
ICE CREAM TO THE CAR FIRST AND
LEAVE THE KIDS WITH THE DOG.
GIRLS.
ALTHOUGH THAT CAN GO TERRIBLY
WRONG IF I DON'T TIE THE DOG
UP.
I COULD TAKE THE KIDS ACROSS
AND LEAVE THE DOG...
OH, NO, THE DOG'S GOING TO EAT
THE ICE CREAM.
OR I COULD TAKE THE DOG ACROSS
LEAVING THE KIDS AND THE ICE
CREAM.
THAT'S A VERY BAD IDEA.
THE KIDS ARE GUARANTEED TO EAT
THE ICE CREAM.
FLUID
INTELLIGENCE ISN'T JUST ABOUT
LOGIC.
IT'S ABOUT SEEING PATTERNS AND
RELATIONSHIPS.
SOMETIMES THE SOLUTION IS
COUNTER-INTUITIVE.
OKAY, SO I CAN BRING THE
ICE CREAM ACROSS FIRST 'CAUSE
I'M ALLOWED TO LEAVE THE KIDS
AND THE DOG TOGETHER AS LONG
AS THE DOG IS TIED UP.

Jess says NO ICE CREAM, DOGGY.

Todd says THEN I CAN COME BACK
AND BRING THE KIDS OVER.
OKAY, SO NOW I'VE GOT KIDS AND
ICE CREAM
I CAN'T...
I COULD BRING THE ICE CREAM
BACK.
JUST WAIT, JUST WAIT JUST WAIT.
I'VE GOT TO GET THE ICE CREAM.
THAT'S IT, THAT'S IT.
WHO'S TO SAY I CAN'T DOUBLE
BACK?
OKAY, WAIT THERE, GIRLS.

Coco and Jess say OKAY, DAD.

Todd says I'LL BRING THE ICE
CREAM BACK WITH ME SO THE KIDS
ARE ALONE IN THE CAR, AND I'LL
LEAVE THE ICE CREAM ON THAT
SIDE.
I'LL GRAB THE DOG.
BRING THE DOG ACROSS.
STICK IT IN THE CAR WITH MY
KIDS.
GO BACK, GRAB THE ICE CREAM.
PROBLEM SOLVED.
EVERYTHING OKAY IN HERE?

David Cropley says YOU DID VERY WELL AND
IT INVOLVED THAT ONE COUNTER
INTUITIVE STEP THAT PEOPLE
SOMETIMES OVERLOOK.
THE IDEA THAT YOU HAD TO
ACTUALLY BRING SOME THINGS BACK
FROM THE CAR TO THE SHOP IN
ORDER FOR IT TO ALL WORK.
THE REAL KEY IS YOUR ABILITY
TO CHANGE, TO ADAPT TO THE
SITUATION AND ULTIMATELY FIND
THE RIGHT STRATEGY.

Todd says OKAY, WE MADE IT.
I THINK I DID WELL, BUT DAVID'S
NOT DONE WITH ME YET AND I CAN
SMELL TROUBLE.
HEY, DAVID.

Todd meets David at a recycling center.

David Cropley says HEY, TODD.
SO WHAT WE'RE GOING TO DO
TODAY IS A RECYCLING SORTING
TEST.

Todd says OKAY.

David Cropley says AND WE'RE GOING TO
SCORE IT TO GET A MORE
OBJECTIVE MEASURE OF YOUR
MENTAL FLEXIBILITY.
SO WE'VE GOT 4 CONTAINERS HERE
THAT YOU'RE GOING TO SORT ITEMS
INTO.
EACH OF THESE CONTAINERS HAS A
LABEL LIKE THIS ONE HERE
THAT GIVES YOU AN INDICATION.
I'M GOING TO HAVE A RULE FOR
THE SORTING IN MY HEAD, BUT I'M
NOT GOING TO TELL YOU WHAT IT
IS.
SO YOUR JOB IS TO TRY AND
DISCOVER HOW I WANT YOU TO SORT
THESE THINGS.

David lined 4 wheelbarrows in different colours. In the gray one, he hung 4 plastic milk containers, in the orange one he hung 3 paper boxes, in the blue one he hung 2 soda cans and the green one, one plastic bottle.

Todd says THERE ARE ANY NUMBER
OF POTENTIAL SORTING RULES.
FOR EXAMPLE, IT COULD BE
MATERIAL, NUMBER OF OBJECTS,
THEIR SHAPE, COLOUR OR SIZE.
I HAVE TO WORK OUT WHAT THE
RULE IS, BUT I ONLY GET TEN
ATTEMPTS.
SEE IF YOU CAN FIGURE IT OUT
BEFORE I DO.

David Cropley says SO IF YOU'RE READY
LET'S GO.

Todd says LET'S TAKE A SHOT IN
THE DARK, WITH THESE TISSUE
BOXES.

He puts 2 tissue boxes in the gray wheelbarrow.

David Cropley says CORRECT.

Todd says IT'S CORRECT, BUT I
DON'T KNOW WHY.
THIS IS ALL ABOUT TRIAL AND
ERROR.
WHERE DO THESE JARS BELONG?
[clanging]

He put 4 glass jars in the blue wheelbarrow.

David Cropley says INCORRECT.

Todd says LET'S TRY MATERIAL,
PLASTIC WITH PLASTIC.

He puts a plastic milk bottle in the gray wheelbarrow.
David Martin says CORRECT.

Todd says GREAT, SO CARDBOARD
WITH CARDBOARD.

David Cropley says INCORRECT.

Todd says WHAT DID YOU SAY?

David Cropley says INCORRECT.

Todd says RIGHT.
NOT MATERIAL.
MAYBE IT'S NUMBERS.

He puts 4 bottles in the gray wheelbarrow.

David Cropley says CORRECT.

Todd says IT IS NUMBERS.
ONE JAR IN ONE BARROW.

He puts a glass jar in the green barrow.

David Cropley says INCORRECT.

Todd says ARE YOU SURE THAT'S
INCORRECT?

David Cropley says YEP.

Todd says HMM, NOT NUMBER AFTER
ALL.
MAYBE IT'S SHAPE?

He puts boxes in the orange barrow.

David Cropley says CORRECT.
CORRECT.

Todd says GOT YOU NOW, CROPLEY.

He puts some cans in the blue barrow.

David Cropley says INCORRECT.

Todd says NOT SHAPE?
SERIOUSLY?
I'M ON MY LAST GUESS.

He puts a can in the green barrow.

David Cropley says INCORRECT.

Todd says I HOPE YOU'VE DONE
BETTER THAN ME.

David Cropley says THERE WAS ONLY ONE
SORTING RULE THAT I USED
THROUGHOUT.
IT WAS SIZE I WANTED YOU TO
SORT ON.

Todd says I DIDN'T EVEN THINK
OF SIZE.
SIZE.
I WASN'T VERY MENTALLY
FLEXIBLE.
HE SEEMS TO BE DOING A LOT OF
CALCULATIONS.
I CAN DO THEM PRETTY QUICKLY.
5 OUT OF WHATEVER.
200.

David Cropley says JUST UNDER 26 PERCENT.

Todd says BETTER THAN 5.

David Cropley says IT'S BETTER THAN 5.
AND IT GIVES A LOT OF ROOM
FOR IMPROVEMENT.

Todd says YES, 26 PERCENT IS
BETTER THAN 5.
IT'S MORE LIKE 6 AND A HALF.
BUT THAT'S NOT A GOOD RESULT
IF I'M STUCK HALFWAY UP THE
ROCKFACE BLINDFOLDED.
FORTUNATELY, THERE ARE SIMPLE
WAYS TO MAKE MY BRAIN A BETTER
PROBLEM SOLVER.

A caption reads “Brain training to do: 1- Mental Endurance; 2- Flexibility.”

Todd says HERE'S SOME MENTAL FLEXIBILITY
TRAINING THAT MY GOOD FRIEND
DAVID CROPLEY HAS GIVEN ME.
THIS IS A HORSE SHOE.
I HAVE TO CUT IT INTO SIX
PIECES.
EACH PIECE HAS TO HAVE ONE OF
THOSE DOTS IN IT.
AND I CAN ONLY USE TWO CUTS.
HOW WOULD YOU SOLVE THIS?
TWO STRAIGHT CUTS... SIX
PIECES... EACH WITH ONE HOLE.

An animation shows several failed attempts to cut it.

Todd says THIS IS WHERE THE FLUID
INTELLIGENCE KICKS IN.
FIRST I CUT ACROSS THE TOP.
NOW I NEED TO REARRANGE THE
PIECES BEFORE THE SECOND CUT.
GOT IT.

The animation shows the cut of the top, leaving two holes across. Then the lateral pieces, each one with two holes one below the other, tilt till horizontal, thus aligning the holes in two columns of 3. Then the second cut comes right between those columns.

David Cropley says THIS KIND OF
TRAINING WILL HELP THEM TO
BECOME MORE ACCUSTOMED TO
AMBIGUOUS OR UNCERTAIN
INFORMATION, MAKING HIM MORE
ADAPTABLE SO THAT, FOR EXAMPLE,
WHEN HE'S CLIMBING BLINDFOLDED
IF HE REACHES A SITUATION WHEN
HE CAN'T FIND A HOLD, INSTEAD
OF SHUTTING DOWN AND DOING
NOTHING HE'S MORE LIKELY TO
LOOK FOR OPTIONS, LOOK FOR
POSSIBILITIES AND TRY SOMETHING.

(music plays)

Todd says CLIMBING THE
ROCKFACE, I'LL NEED GREAT
FLUID INTELLIGENCE TO ADJUST
WHEN PROBLEMS ARISE.
IF I DON'T, I'LL FAIL.
ANOTHER WAY TO IMPROVE FLUID
INTELLIGENCE IS TO TRY
SOMETHING YOU'VE NEVER DONE
BEFORE, LEARN A NEW LANGUAGE
OR PLAY A NEW SPORT.
SO I'VE COME TO MADISON,
WISCONSIN, USA, TO TRY
SOMETHING THAT DEMANDS A FAST
BRAIN AND FAST FEET.
LOG ROLLING.
IT'S BIG AROUND HERE.
TWO COMPETITORS SPIN THE LOG.
WHOEVER STAYS ON LONGEST WINS.
I'M NO LUMBERJACK, BUT I'LL
GIVE IT A GO.

A fast clip shows two women log rolling on a river.

Todd says SHANA VERSTEGEN IS A
FOUR-TIME WORLD CHAMPION.
SHE'S A MASTER OF ADAPTABILITY
BECAUSE SHE'S BEEN LOG ROLLING
SINCE SHE WAS A KID.
IS THIS GOING TO BE AS HARD
AS IT LOOKS?

A caption reads “Shana Verstegen. World Log Rolling Champion. Madison Log Rolling.”

Shana is in her thirties, with long straight blond hair in a low ponytail with a headband. She wears black running shorts, a black slim fit neoprene jacket and a black tank top.

Shana says THIS SPORT IS VERY
HARD.
WE ACTUALLY MAKE IT LOOK KIND
OF EASY AS PROFESSIONALS, BUT TO
LEARN HOW TO DO IT IT'S GOING
TO BE A BIG CHALLENGE.

Todd watches Shana and the other woman log roll.

Todd says LOG ROLLING IS
PHYSICAL, BUT COMPETITIONS
ARE WON AND LOST IN THE BRAIN.
THE BEST ROLLERS HAVE AMAZING
ADAPTABILITY, COPING WITH
CONSTANT SPEED AND DIRECTION
CHANGES.
THEY'RE THINKING ON THEIR
FEET AND PLENTY MORE.

Shana says THE SPORT OF LOG
ROLLING TAKES BALANCE,
ENDURANCE, LEG STRENGTH, CORE
STRENGTH AND OBVIOUSLY MAJOR
MENTAL FOCUS.

Todd says IF YOU LOSE FOCUS,
AND DON'T ADJUST, EVEN FOR AN
INSTANT, WELL...
[splashing]

Shana says NO, NO, NO, NO.
NICE SAVE.

Todd says SO WHAT'S YOUR
PREDICTION FOR ME TODAY?

Shana says IF YOU CAN STAY ON
THE LOG FOR 5 SECONDS THAT
MEANS YOU'RE DOING AMAZING.

Todd says 5 SECONDS?
SURELY I CAN DO THAT.

Shana says SO, TODD, WE'RE GOING
TO START YOU OFF ON WHAT WE
CALL THE NUMBER 1 LOG.
THIS LOG IS 15 INCHES IN
DIAMETER.
THE WATER'S WARM.

Todd says I'M GOING TO START
OUT SOLO TO GET THE HANG OF IT.

Shana says ALRIGHT, TODD, ARE YOU
READY FOR THIS?
I'M GOING TO BE HOLDING ONTO
THIS SIDE OF THE LOG.
YOU'LL BE STEPPING UP RIGHT
THERE.
AGAIN, EYES ON THE END, AND
YOU'RE MARCHING YOUR FEET UP
AND DOWN AS FAST AS YOU CAN.

Todd says SO DO I USE YOU TO
GET UP?

Shana says YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN
IF YOU WANT TO.

Todd says WOW, THIS THING FEELS
REALLY...

Shana says I'M HOLDING ONTO IT.

Todd says IT FEELS REALLY
UNSTABLE.

Shana says WELL, IT'S A LOG IN
THE WATER.

Todd says OKAY.
HERE WE GO.

Shana says ALRIGHT, NOW EYES
ON THE END.
MARCH YOUR FEET UP AND DOWN.

Todd says MARCH MY FEET UP AND
DOWN?

Shana says START MARCHING RIGHT
NOW.

Todd says OKAY.

Shana says FASTER MARCHING,
FASTER MARCHING, FASTER
MARCHING.
YOU'RE SQUISHING BUGS, RIGHT?
READY, SET, ROLL.

Todd says WHOA!

Todd immediately falls in the water.

Shana says AND ONE AND A HALF
SECONDS ON YOUR FIRST TRY!

Todd says I AM SO GLAD THERE'S
A CROWD HERE TO SEE THIS.

Todd jumps on a log again and gives it another try.

He says MIGHT NOT LOOK LIKE IT, BUT
MY BRAIN IS WORKING HARDER
THAN MY FEET.
IN FACT, LEARNING TO MOVE FAST
SHARPENS YOUR THINKING.
FIFTEEN MINUTES OF AEROBIC
EXERCISE A DAY IS GREAT FOR
YOUR BODY AND YOUR BRAIN.

Shana says ARE YOU OKAY?

Todd says OH!

Shana says ARE YOU ALRIGHT?

Todd says JUST A BIT OF PAIN.
NOTHING SERIOUS.
I DON'T THINK IT WAS A PINCH.
IT WAS MORE OF A...
IT'S A TWISTED ANKLE, NOT
HELPFUL WHEN I'M TRYING TO STAY
BALANCED.
BUT I DO HAVE AN IDEA.
LOG ROLLING IS ABOUT
ADAPTABILITY SO I'M GOING TO
ADAPT MY FEET.
IS THIS A GOOD IDEA?

He takes of his snickers and tries it with his bare feet.

The children say NO.

Todd says WELL THAT'S GOOD TO
KNOW.
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP.
THE PROS NEVER GO BAREFOOT.

Shana says MAYBE IT
WAS
A GOOD
IDEA.
WE'LL TAKE 9.99 SECONDS.

Todd says WOO HOO!

Shana says AS CLOSE ENOUGH TO
10.

The crowd cheers.

Todd says 10 SECONDS FOR A
FIRST TIMER, I'M FEELING PRETTY
GOOD.
GOOD ENOUGH TO CHALLENGE THE
WORLD CHAMPION.
THE UNDER SIX WORLD CHAMPION.
HER NAME IS LIBBY.
SHE'S HARD CORE.

Shana says SHE'S A TOUGH
COMPETITOR.
ALL I CAN SAY IS WATCH HER FEET
AND KEEP YOUR FEET MOVING.
READY.

Todd stands on the log with the little girl.

Shana says WE'RE HOLDING IT.
WATCH EACH OTHER'S FEET.
START MOVING YOUR FEET, TODD.
READY, SET, ROLL.

Todd says WHOA, GEES.
OKAY.

Todd falls in the water.

He says I CONCEDE DEFEAT TO THE
SIX-YEAR-OLD.
WELL DONE.
THAT WAS REALLY HARD.
I'M SURPRISED I COULD ACTUALLY
DO IT FOR AS LONG AS I DID.
THE ONLY DOWN SIDE OF THIS IS
I THINK I ACTUALLY SPRAINED
MY ANKLE.
BUT I GUESS THAT'S OKAY BECAUSE
MY NEXT INVESTIGATION IS PAIN.

Music plays. Images of Steph rock climbing appear.

Todd says THE BLIND ROCK CLIMB IS TWO
WEEKS AWAY.
IF YOU'VE NEVER TRIED ROCK
CLIMBING, HERE'S THE THING.
IT HURTS.
SCRAPED KNUCKLES, BROKEN
TOENAILS, TWISTED JOINTS ARE
ALL COMMON.
PAIN IS GUARANTEED TO BE
AN OBSTACLE.
I NEED TO LEARN HOW TO MANAGE
IT.
PAIN IS A BIG DEAL FOR ALL
OF US.
20 PERCENT OF AUSTRALIANS
LIVE WITH CHRONIC PAIN, AND IT
COSTS THE ECONOMY 34 BILLION DOLLARS
EVERY YEAR.
SO I'VE COME TO BOULDER,
COLORADO, TO MEET A GUY WHO'S
CONVINCED WE CAN USE OUR BRAIN
TO REDUCE OUR PAIN.
YOU MUST BE TOR.

A caption reads “Doctor Tor Wager. Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience. University of Colorado Boulder.”

Tor is in his late thirties, clean-shaven and with short wavy brown hair. HE wears black trousers, a pale blue shirt and a gingham tie.

Tor says HEY, TODD.
PLEASURE TO MEET YOU.

Todd says NICE TO MEET YOU.
YEAH, THANKS FOR HAVING ME.
DOCTOR TOR WAGER IS A WORLD
LEADING PAIN RESEARCHER AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO.
SO, TOR, WHERE DOES PAIN
ACTUALLY EXIST?

Tor says ALL PAIN IS CREATED IN
YOUR BRAIN, AND THERE ARE
WAYS OF WORKING WITH YOUR
MIND AND YOUR THOUGHTS OVER
TIME THAT CAN MAKE PAIN
BETTER OR WORSE.

Todd says SO MY BRAIN CAN
CONTROL MY PAIN, LITERALLY
TURN IT DOWN.
TOR AND HIS TEAM CAN PROVE IT,
USING BRAIN SCANS.
THIS I'VE GOT TO SEE.
I'LL BE TAKING THE TEST IN
AN FMRI MACHINE.

A technician says ARE YOU READY?

Todd says I'M AS READY AS
I CAN BE.

Todd gets on the MRI patient table.

The technician says OKAY.
GREAT, THEN HERE WE GO.

Todd says THEY'VE STRAPPED A
PLATE TO MY LEG THAT HEATS UP
TO FIFTY DEGREES.
HOT ENOUGH TO BURN WITHOUT
DOING TISSUE DAMAGE.

The technician says OKAY THEN.
HERE COMES SOME HEAT.

Todd says AS THEY ZAP ME WITH
THE HEAT, I'M GIVING MY
PERSONAL SCORE OF THE PAIN.
BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, TOR'S
MEASURING THE ACTIVATION IN
MY BRAIN TO GET AN OBJECTIVE
MEASURE OF HOW MUCH PAIN I'M
REALLY FEELING.

The technician says HE'S RATING
THE PAIN AS RELATIVELY LOW.

Tor says SO MAYBE HE'S VERY
TOUGH.

The technician says YEAH.

Todd says MY PERSONAL,
SUBJECTIVE RATING FOR THE PAIN
WAS QUITE LOW.
BUT TOR'S OBJECTIVE MEASURE WAS
THREE TIMES HIGHER.

A caption appears on screen that reads “Subjective pain rating: 10 percent. Objective pain rating: 30 percent.”

Todd says HERE'S HOW PAIN WORKS:

A computerized image of the human brain appears on screen.

Todd says PAIN SIGNALS TRAVEL FROM THE
BODY TO A SORTING STATION IN
THE BRAIN.

The caption “Side. Thalamus” appears.

Todd says THEY'RE THEN RELAYED TO SEVERAL
REGIONS, INCLUDING THOSE
RESPONSIBLE FOR TOUCH
DECISION-MAKING AND EMOTION.

The caption changes to “Side: Somatosensory cortex. Front: Frontal cortex. Side: Limbic system.”

Todd says EVERYONE FEELS PAIN AND THINKS
ABOUT PAIN DIFFERENTLY.

The caption changes to “Front. Frontal cortex.”

Todd says THAT'S WHY MY SUBJECTIVE SCORE
IS LOWER THAN THE SCAN.
SO HOW CAN I USE MY BRAIN
TO MANAGE MY PAIN?

The caption changes to “Brain Training to do: 1- Mental endurance; 2- Flexibility; 3- Pain management.”

TOR IS GOING TO TEACH ME A
MEDITATION TECHNIQUE CALLED
Todd says ACCEPTANCE TRAINING.
CHANGING HOW I THINK ABOUT
PAIN.

Tor says ONE THOUGHT IS THIS IS
TEMPORARY.
THIS WILL PASS.
ANOTHER THOUGHT IS YOU HAVE
CONTROL OVER THIS PAIN.
IT IS YOUR BRAIN THAT CREATES
THAT PAIN AND THAT CAN HELP
RESOLVE IT.
AND A THIRD KIND OF THOUGHT IS
THERE'S NO URGENCY THERE.
THERE'S NOTHING THAT YOU NEED
TO DO.
OKAY, SO WITH THAT ARE YOU
READY TO START THE NEXT TEST?

Todd says READY.
THIS TIME WHEN THE HEAT COMES
I'M GETTING MY BRAIN INTO A
BETTER MOOD TO DEAL WITH
THE PAIN.
IT SEEMS SIMPLE BUT THINK OF
YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE.
STUB YOUR TOE AND IT HURTS
LESS IF YOU'RE IN A GOOD MOOD
THAN A BAD ONE.
THIS CAN WORK FOR EXTERNAL
INJURIES, OR LONG-TERM CHRONIC
PAIN.

Tor says RIGHT.

The technician says YEAH.

Todd says ONCE YOU DID THE
INTERVENTION WHEN I WENT BACK
INTO THE SCANNER I WAS ACTUALLY
STARTING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
THE PAIN SENSATIONS.
LIKE THEY FELT LIKE A POSITIVE
RESPONSE.

Tor says SCIENTISTS ARE
INCREASINGLY STUDYING THESE
KINDS OF TECHNIQUES.
THERE REALLY IS SOME REAL
PHYSIOLOGY TO THESE MENTAL
PRACTICES.

Todd says LET'S NOT TAKE TOR'S
WORD FOR IT, SHOW ME THE DATA.
BEFORE ACCEPTANCE TRAINING,
I SELF REPORTED MY PAIN AT
ABOUT 10 PERCENT.
AFTER THE TRAINING THAT DROPPED
TO NEAR 1 PERCENT.
WOW, THAT'S A BIG DROP, ISN'T
IT?

The technician says YEAH, IT IS,
DEFINITELY.
IT'S ALMOST GOING DOWN TO ZERO
PAIN.

A screenshot shows a bar chart with the caption “Todd’s pain report. Before training: 10 percent. After training: 1 percent.”

Todd says THAT'S GREAT, BUT IT
COULD BE ME JUST FOOLING
MYSELF.
WHAT DID THE OBJECTIVE SCAN
SHOW WAS REALLY GOING ON?

The technician says THIS IS THE
BRAIN RESPONSE TO PAIN BEFORE
TRAINING AND YOU CAN SEE IT'S
VERY HIGH.
ABOUT 1000.
AND NOW WHEN WE LOOK AT HOW
IT'S CHANGED.

Todd says WOW.

The technician says IT DROPPED
REALLY DRAMATICALLY.

Todd says PRE-TEST MY RATING
WAS ABOUT 30 PERCENT.
BUT IT DROPPED TO 10.
MY BRAIN PERCEIVED JUST ONE
THIRD OF THE PAIN.
HERE'S THE PROOF.
MY PAIN SIGNATURE BEFORE
TRAINING... AND HERE IT IS
AFTER.

Images of cross-sectional and sagittal sections of Todd’s brain appear on screen with the caption “Before acceptance training” Small areas if the brain are highlighted in red.

The caption changes to “After acceptance training” and the highlighted areas are reduced and in yellow.

Todd says LESS OF MY BRAIN IS RESPONDING,
AND THE COLOUR CHANGE FROM
RED TO YELLOW SHOWS THE
ACTIVITY IS LESS INTENSE.
THIS BASICALLY SAYS IT'S ALL
IN YOUR MIND.

Tor says IT'S NOT
ALL
IN YOUR
MIND.
IT'S IN YOUR BODY.
IT'S IN YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM.
BUT THE MENTAL STANCE THAT YOU
ADOPT
CAN
HAVE AN IMPACT.

Todd says THAT'S A BIG IMPACT
THOUGH.

Tor says THAT'S A BIG IMPACT.

Todd says THAT'S A BIG IMPACT
FOR YOU.
BY USING ACCEPTANCE TRAINING
I DRAMATICALLY DIALLED DOWN
MY RESPONSE TO PAIN.
TOR RECOMMENDS CHRONIC
SUFFERERS DO IT FOR TEN
MINUTES A DAY.
IT COULD BE A LIFE CHANGER.
I FIND THAT REMARKABLE.

Tor says I DO TOO.

Todd says THAT WAS AN AMAZING
RESULT IN THE LAB.
BUT CAN MY BRAIN BE TRAINED DO
THE SAME THING UNDER STRESS IN
THE REAL WORLD?
LIKE, SAY, ON A BLINDFOLDED
ROCK CLIMB?
BACK IN AUSTRALIA, DOCTOR DAVID
MARTIN'S GOING TO INTRODUCE ME
TO A GUY YOU MIGHT CALL A
HUMAN STRESS TEST.

David Martin says WE'VE BEEN TRYING TO
ESCALATE THE CHALLENGES TO
BECOME MORE AND MORE EXTREME.
PAUL IS EXTREME.
TODD, I WANT TO INTRODUCE YOU
TO PAUL CALE.

Todd says HI, PAUL.
NICE TO MEET YOU.
PAUL CALE IS AN EX-ARMY
COMMANDO.
HE'S FOUGHT IN AFGHANISTAN AND
IRAQ.
HE ALSO HOLDS BLACK BELTS IN
SIX MARTIAL ARTS.
THIS COULD BE INTERESTING.
WITH ALL THE PAIN TESTING THAT
I'VE DONE I KNEW GOING IN THAT
THEY WOULD NOT EXERT ENOUGH
PAIN TO SERIOUSLY DAMAGE ME.

Todd meets Paul at a boxing gym.

A caption reads “Paul Cale. Combat Instructor. Australian Institute of Sport.”

Paul is in his mid-forties, with very short receding light brown hair and a beard. HE wears blue trousers and an army green shirt.

Paul says CORRECT.

Todd says BUT WITH YOU...

Paul says CORRECT.
I'M GOING TO HURT YOU.
I'M GOING TO HURT YOU.

Todd says I DIDN'T SIGN UP FOR
THIS.

Paul says AND THE THING IS.
NOW BUT THE THING IS I'M NOT
GOING TO INJURE YOU.
THAT'S THE SECRET.

Todd says OH, WELL THAT'S GOOD.

Paul says THE WAY THAT YOU
DEVELOP YOUR TRAINING IS PAIN
WITHOUT INJURY.

Todd says FEELING REAL PAIN
HELPS ATHLETES DEVELOP MENTAL
TOOLS TO OVERCOME IT.
I WANT THOSE TOOLS IN LIFE
AND ON THE CLIMB.

Paul says NOW YOU'VE GOT TO
TAKE THIS OFF ME, OKAY?
YOU CAN'T GO OFF THE BLUE MAT.
YOU READY?
[buzzing]

He threatens Paul with a knife that produces electric shocks.

Todd says NO, NO, NO.
WHOA!
WHOA, WHOA.
[bleeping]
WHOA, OW, OW, OW.

Paul “attacks” Todd with the knife until he bring him to the floor.

Paul says THE SHOCK KNIFE IS
A TRAINING TOOL TO ALLOW FOR
COMBATANTS TO FEEL PAIN
ASSOCIATED WITH THE TECHNIQUES
THAT THEY'RE DOING.

Todd says WHAT WAS THAT?

Paul says IT PUTS A HUGE AMOUNT
OF VOLTS... BUT LOW AMP.
SO NO INJURY.
IT JUST HURTS.
IT FEELS LIKE YOU'VE BEEN CUT.

Todd says WOW, THAT REALLY HURT.
I WAS COMPLETELY SURPRISED.
I DIDN'T KNOW THAT WAS COMING.
I FELT LIKE I HAD BEEN STABBED,
SPECIALLY IN THE STOMACH.
HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU CUT ME?

Paul says I THINK IT WAS QUITE
A FEW.
I THINK I COULD HAVE STOPPED AT
MAYBE FOUR, BUT I THINK I WENT
TO MAYBE SIX OR SEVEN.

Todd says THAT'S GOOD.

Paul says 'CAUSE IT JUST GOT
FUNNY IN THE END.

Todd says IT WAS REALLY FUNNY
FOR ME.
'CAUSE LITERALLY I WAS IN
SHOCK WHEN YOU STARTED GIVING
ME THE...

He makes stabbing moves.

Paul says YEAH, YOU WERE.
YEAH, YEAH.

Todd says WE'RE NOT ALL GETTING
INTO KNIFE FIGHTS BUT, LIKE
TOR, PAUL'S CONVINCED THE
KEY TO PEOPLE OVERCOMING
PAIN IS UNDERSTANDING IT.

Paul says WHAT YOU DO IS YOU
PUT THE PAIN INTO CONTEXT.
IT'S ACTUALLY THERE TO HELP
YOU.
SO IF I CAN UNDERSTAND THE
MESSAGE AND REALIZE I'M NOT IN
DANGER IT REDUCES THE PAIN
STRAIGHT AWAY, AND THEN I CAN
CARRY ON WITH THE TASK.

Todd says MY TASK IS TAKING
THE KNIFE FROM PAUL.
I KNOW IT'S GOING TO HURT,
BUT I NEED TO TREAT THAT
AS PART OF THE PROCESS.

Paul says YOU'LL FEEL PAIN,
BUT IT'LL BE PUT INTO CONTEXT
AND THEN THE PAIN WILL BE
NUMBED.
IT WILL CHANGE, OKAY?
IF YOU GET CUT YOU WANT IT TO
BE SOMEWHERE LIKE ALONG YOUR
FOREARM.
THINGS LIKE THAT.
NOT SO BAD WHEN YOU PUT IT
INTO CONTEXT.
AND IF YOU ARE GETTING CUT HERE
YOU NEED TO ASSOCIATE THAT WITH
POSITIVE PAIN.
I'M CUTTING YOU WHERE YOU WANT
TO BE CUT.
SO YOU CAN ACCESS ME AND SHUT
ME DOWN TO STOP ANY PAIN ON
THE REST OF YOUR BODY.
DOES THAT MAKE SENSE?

Todd says THAT MAKES SENSE.
OKAY.
BEFORE I TRY, PAUL IS GOING TO
SHOW ME HIS DISARMING
TECHNIQUE.
GOOD TIMES.

Paul says SO AS I COME IN THAT
TOUCH THAT WE SPOKE ABOUT...
AND FROM THERE.

He touches Todd’s neck and then grabs the arm with the knife, lowers it down and places his head across Todd’s neck.

Paul says NOW I'M DOING WHAT YOU'RE
DOING.
AND AS I LOWER THIS DOWN MY
HEAD COMES FORWARD INTO HERE.
SO I END UP HITTING YOU ACROSS
THE NECK AREA.
MY SKULL'S GOING TO HIT HERE.
I'M JUST GOING TO HIT YOU WITH
MY ARM, NOT HARD.
ALRIGHT?

Todd says WHOA!
OW!

Paul says AND THEN I DROP AND
TURN.
OKAY.
SO I'VE HIT YOU IN THE THROAT.
I'VE HEAD BUTTED YOU IN THE JAW
AND NECK AREA.

Todd says GOT THOSE, YEAH.

Paul says GOT THAT?

Todd says GOT THAT.

Paul says YOU'VE HIT THE
GROUND.
NOW I'LL JUST DRIVE MY KNEE
INTO YOU.
SO I COME IN HERE.

He brings his knee towards Todd’s chest and presses his throat against the floor to immobilise him.

Todd says OH, JESUS...
[bleeping]

Paul says RIGHT.
NOW I'M MORE BALANCING ON YOUR
NECK... SO THAT I TAKE THE
WEIGHT OFF YOU.
I DON'T WANT YOU TO BE IN TOO
MUCH PAIN.
NOW SEE THIS?
I'M ACTUALLY USING MY.
I'M USING MY SHIN.

Todd says YES, I FEEL THAT.

Paul says ON YOUR ARM.
THEN I CAN MOVE THE WEAPON.
AND THEN YOU'RE AWAY.
SO DOES THAT ANSWER YOUR
QUESTION ABOUT...?

Todd says NO, THAT'S CLEAR.
WE DON'T NEED TO GO OVER THAT
AGAIN.
I DON'T LIKE THAT.
OVER THE NEXT HOUR, I LEARNT
A LOT ABOUT PAIN.
PAUL'S ADVICE IS FEELING PAIN
IS FINE, BUT DON'T BE AFRAID
OF IT AND DON'T LET IT STOP
YOU ACHIEVING AN OUTCOME.

Todd says IN FACT, SCIENCE
HAS SHOWN ONCE WE REMOVE THE
FEAR OF PAIN, IT HURTS LESS.

Paul says I JUST GRAB LIKE
THIS.

Todd says TRY IT YOURSELF.
YOU'LL BE AMAZED.

Paul says NOW YOU KNOW WHAT
YOU NEED TO DO.
SO YOU'VE GOT AN OBJECTIVE.
INSTEAD OF JUST ROLLING AROUND
SCREAMING, YOUR OBJECTIVE IS
TO SHUT ME DOWN.
IF YOU BACK OFF I'M GOING TO
SLASH YOU.
I'M GOING TO SLASH YOUR BACK
AND I'M JUST GOING TO, SAME
THING'S GOING TO HAPPEN AS
BEFORE.
BUT YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BACK
OFF.
YOU'RE GOING TO SHUT THE WEAPON
DOWN, YOU'RE GOING TO SHUT
ME DOWN.
YOU GOOD?
OKAY, LET'S GO.
AND CLOSE.
GET ON IT, GET ON IT.
THERE YOU GO.
STOP.

Todd grabs Paul’s arm with the knife, twists it and grabs him by his throat.

Todd says WOW, THAT WAS AMAZING.
'CAUSE I FELT THAT PAIN, BUT
IT ACTUALLY FELT GOOD.
LET'S DO THAT AGAIN.

Paul says OKAY, GO.
READY?
YEAH, GOOD.
GOOD.

Todd says AND THAT'S THE SAME
VOLTAGE AS YOU USED ON ME LAST
TIME.

Paul says EXACTLY THE SAME
VOLTAGE.
NO CHANGE.
EXTREME.
I DON'T KNOW ANY OTHER LEVEL.

Todd says WHEN HE FIRST STABBED
ME WITH THAT KNIFE THAT WAS
INCREDIBLY PAINFUL.
BUT AFTER THE TRAINING ON THE
SAME VOLTAGE I DIDN'T EVEN
REALLY FEEL IT.
I HAD AN OBJECTIVE.
GET TO THE THROAT, CONTROL THE
KNIFE AND THAT'S WHAT I DID.
THE PAIN WAS JUST A SIDE SHOW.

Paul says GOOD.
HE'S DONE VERY WELL.
THE WAY HE'S GONE ABOUT THE
TRAINING HE'S LISTENED TO WHAT
HE'S BEEN TOLD.
WHAT'S IMPORTANT IS HE'S
TRUSTED IN ME THAT HE CAN
ACHIEVE THIS THROUGH THIS
TRAINING.

Todd says YOU'RE A GOOD MAN.

Paul says SO ARE YOU.

Todd says THANK YOU.

Paul says PLEASURE TO MEET YOU.

Todd says I'VE SURVIVED 10
ROUNDS WITH PAUL CALE.
BUT HAVE I GOT THE MENTAL TOOLS
TO SURVIVE THE BLIND
ROCK-CLIMB?

David Martin says ARMS OUT.
STARTING THE CLOCK.

Todd says AFTER 6 WEEKS OF
TRAINING, IT'S TIME TO RETAKE
THOSE TESTS AND SEE IF MY
SCORES HAVE IMPROVED.
FIRST UP, THE MENTAL ENDURANCE
TEST AND WITH A GOAL TO FOCUS
ON, FRANKLY, I SMASHED IT.
MY INITIAL TIME ON THE
ENDURANCE TEST WAS LESS THAN
THREE MINUTES.
THIS TIME IT WAS EXACTLY FOUR
MINUTES.
MY BRAIN IS FAR BETTER AT
ACTIVATING MY MUSCLES.

David Martin says THE ONLY THING
THAT'S DIFFERENT IS YOUR MIND.
YOUR MUSCLES ARE NO STRONGER.

Todd says MY MENTAL
ENDURANCE HAS IMPROVED, BUT IS
MY MIND MORE FLEXIBLE?
HI, DAVID.

David Cropley says TODD, GOOD TO SEE
YOU AGAIN.

Todd says IT'S BACK TO THE
SORTING TEST I DID SO BADLY ON.

Todd does a test with cards with different shapes and colours.

David Cropley says CORRECT.

Todd says THIS IS THE SAME TEST
WITH CARDS.

David Cropley says INCORRECT.
CORRECT.

Todd says THIS TIME I'M SEEING
ALL THE OPTIONS AND PICKING THE
RIGHT ONES.

David Cropley says CORRECT.
CORRECT.
WELL DONE, TODD.

Todd says THAT WAS A BIT OF
PRESSURE.

David Cropley says SO YOU SCORED 85
PERCENT WHICH IS REALLY GREAT.
THAT'S UP FROM 26 ON THE
PREVIOUS SORTING TEST.

Todd says LAST TIME MY MENTAL
FLEXIBILITY SCORE WAS JUST
26 PERCENT.
THIS TIME MY RESULT IS MORE
THAN THREE TIMES HIGHER.
SHUCKS, DAVE.
I'M STARTING TO BLUSH A BIT
HERE.

David Cropley says IT'S GOOD.

Todd says THE SCIENTIFIC TESTS
HAVE SHOWN MY MENTAL ENDURANCE
HAS IMPROVED, MY MIND IS MORE
FLEXIBLE, AND I MANAGE PAIN
BETTER.
BUT WILL IT TRANSLATE TO THE
REAL WORLD?
I'M BACK IN UTAH TO FIND OUT.
HI, STEPH.

Steph says TODD.

Todd says HOW ARE YOU?

Steph says GOOD, HOW ARE YOU?

Todd says I'M GOOD.

Steph says GOOD.

Todd says WELL, HERE WE ARE.

Steph says WE ARE AND WE'RE
GOING TO CLIMB
THAT.

She points a a very high oddly shaped rock formation.

Todd says THAT LOOKS DIFFICULT.

Steph says IT IS.

Todd says IT'S A MASSIVE, ICONIC
TOWER CALLED ANCIENT ART.

Steph says ANCIENT ART IS ONE
OF THE MOST FAMOUS ROCK TOWERS
PROBABLY IN THE WORLD.
IT'S UNIQUE BECAUSE IT'S A
FREESTANDING TOWER.
IT'S VERY THIN AND THE SUMMIT
IS ABOUT THE SIZE OF A PIZZA
BOX, AND IT'S TIPPED AND GLUED
INTO PLACE BY HARDENED MUD.
SO IT'S A REALLY INTENSE
EXPERIENCE TO REACH THE SUMMIT.

Todd says NO ONE'S EVER
ATTEMPTED THIS CLIMB
BLINDFOLDED.
NO SURPRISE THERE.
TO REACH THE SUMMIT, YOU HAVE
TO CROSS A NARROW SPINE CALLED
THE SIDEWALK.
THERE'S A 120-METRE DROP ON
EITHER SIDE.
HERE GOES NOTHING.
THIS IS GOING TO TEST ALL
MY MENTAL TOOLS.
CLIMBING, STEPH.

Steph says OKAY.

Todd says I'VE CLIMBED MOUNT
EVEREST, BUT ROCK CLIMBING IS
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.
I HAVEN'T DONE IT FOR OVER
20 YEARS AND NEVER WITH A
BLINDFOLD.

Steph and Todd start climbing the tower.

Steph says YOU GOT IT.

Todd says I'M GOING TO WARM UP
WITHOUT IT.
GEES, THAT WAS A BIT DODGY
ALREADY.

Steph says THAT WAS NOT DODGY.
YOU'LL KNOW WHEN IT GETS DODGY.

Todd says WE'VE HARDLY EVEN
STARTED BUT ALREADY MY NEW
SKILLS ARE BEING TESTED,
SPECIFICALLY PAIN MANAGEMENT.
NOW MY ARM IS STUCK.

Steph says OH, DEAR.

Todd says THAT HURTS.
I'VE STRAINED MY SHOULDER,
AND IT'S GOING TO HURT FOR
THE REST OF THE CLIMB.

Steph says YOU HAVE TO WIGGLE
IT OUT.

Todd says I HAVE TO REMEMBER
WHAT THE PAIN EXPERTS TAUGHT
ME.

Tor’s voice over says ALL PAIN IS CREATED IN
YOUR BRAIN.

Paul says PUT THE PAIN INTO
CONTEXT.
CARRY ON WITH THE TASK.

Todd says I NEED TO STAY FOCUSED
ON THE CHALLENGE AND KEEP
MOVING.

Steph says OKAY, TODD.
YOU ARE DOING REALLY, REALLY
WELL.
SO NOW TO DO A TRUE TEST OF
YOUR ADAPTABILITY WE'RE GOING
TO DO THIS PART BLINDFOLDED.

Todd puts a blindfold on.

Todd says OKAY.
THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.
THIS IS WHAT I'VE BEEN FEARING
FOR WEEKS, AND IT'S WORSE THAN
I IMAGINED.
HOLY CRAP.
I CAN'T SEE ANYTHING.
WHOA.
I'M FEELING MY WAY UP THE ROCK
FINGER BY FINGER.
I'VE GOT NO EXPERIENCE AT THIS,
NO MEMORY TO FALL BACK ON.
IT'S PURE ADAPTATION.
OKAY.

Steph says BECAUSE TODD NOW HAS
THE BLINDFOLD ON, HE CAN'T LOOK
FOR HIS FOOTHOLDS.
HE HAS TO FEEL THEM.
HE CAN'T LOOK FOR HIS HAND
HOLDS, AND HE CAN'T LOOK UP
AND SEE WHAT'S COMING.
SO HE HAS TO BE TOTALLY IN THE
MOMENT.

Todd says I CAN'T TELL IF
I'M GOING STRAIGHT.
THAT'S MY...
IS THERE SOMETHING OVER HERE?
THIS IS A MASSIVE CHALLENGE
FOR MY BRAIN.
WITH SIGHT GONE, IT HAS TO
RECRUIT OTHER SENSES.
I'M ALREADY MORE AWARE OF
TOUCH, SOUND AND BALANCE.
IT SEEMS LIKE THE MORE I'M
CLIMBING YOU KIND OF GET A
FEEL FOR IT.
I'M FEELING BETTER.
STILL A LITTLE BIT SCARED.

Steph says YOU'RE DOING GREAT.

Todd says THE CLOSER WE GET TO
THE TOP, THE STEEPER AND HARDER
THIS CLIMB IS BECOMING.
HIS DOESN'T LOOK GRACEFUL,
DOES IT?

Steph says IT LOOKS GREAT.

Todd says THIS IS THE HUGGING
OF THE ROCK.
IT'S BEEN MORE THAN THREE HOURS
OF CLIMBING AND MY ARMS ARE
SPENT.
THIS IS WHERE I HAVE TO DRAW
ON MY MENTAL ENDURANCE
TRAINING.

David Martin’s voice over says YOUR MUSCLES ARE
STRONGER THAN YOU THINK.
IT'S NOT YOUR MUSCLES THAT ARE
TIRED.
IT'S YOUR BRAIN THAT'S GIVEN UP
ON YOU.

Todd says I KNOW MY BRAIN CAN
CONVINCE MY BODY TO GIVE MORE.
I'VE JUST GOT TO MAKE IT
HAPPEN.
WELL, THERE'S NOTHING THERE.

Steph says NICE.
WAY TO GO.

Todd says THIS FEELS HIGH NOW.
THIS FEELS HIGH NOW.

Steph says GOOD JOB.
WELL, I HAVE SOME NEWS FOR YOU.

Todd says OKAY.
GOOD NEWS?

Steph says YOU DON'T REALLY
PROBABLY WANT TO TAKE THE
BLINDFOLD OFF NOW.

Todd says I DON'T WANT TO.
OKAY.
I RECOMMEND YOU KEEP IT ON.

Todd says OKAY.
I'VE GOT TO TAKE A LOOK.

He takes the blindfold off.

He says OH, WOW.
OH, WOW, MY...
MY LEGS ARE SHAKING.
THIS IS HIGH.
WOW, THAT'S EVEN HIGHER.
AND THIS IS WHERE I HAVE TO
GET ACROSS THE SIDEWALK.
SO THE PLAN NOW IS STEPH IS
GOING TO CROSS THE SIDEWALK.
I'M GOING TO WATCH HER.
IDEALLY MEMORIZE.
THEN I'M GOING TO PUT THE
BLINDFOLD ON, AND I'M GOING TO
TRY AND CROSS THE SIDEWALK.
IT'S 120-METRES DOWN ON
BOTH SIDES, AND IT'S ONLY 30
CENTIMETRES WIDE.
IT'S A HIGH, DANGEROUS PROBLEM
TO SOLVE, A MASSIVE TEST OF MY
MENTAL FLEXIBILITY, STARTING
WITH GETTING STEPH ACROSS.
OKAY.

Steph says SO THE SUPER
IMPORTANT THING HERE IS NOT TO
PULL ME OFF.
JUST MAKE SURE I HAVE ENOUGH
SLACK.
'CAUSE IF I'M TRYING TO WALK
ACROSS THAT SIDEWALK AND YOU
DON'T GIVE ME SLACK... JUST
GOING OFF THE EDGE, RIGHT.
SO I'M OKAY WALKING BUT YOU
MUST NOT PULL ON ME.
OKAY?

Todd says OKAY.

Steph says OKAY, SO THAT MAKES
SENSE?

Todd says YEAH.

Steph says OKAY.

Todd says GEES, DON'T GO SO
FAST.
WAIT NOW YOU'RE GOING REALLY
FAST.
HOLD ON, STEPH.
ARE YOU JUMPING OR SOMETHING?
OH, WOW.
OKAY.

Steph says USUALLY YOU'VE GOT
TO GET TRY AND GET ACROSS THAT
PART QUICKLY.
JUST SO YOU KNOW, I'VE TAKEN A
LOT OF PEOPLE ON THIS TOWER.
I WOULD SAY MAYBE 50 PERCENT
OF THE PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO
CROSS THE SIDEWALK.

Todd says OKAY.

Steph says I'VE SEEN MAYBE ONE
OR TWO PEOPLE THAT HAVE WALKED.
SO IF YOU START WALKING AND YOU
DON'T FEEL COMFORTABLE YOU WANT
TO SIT DOWN.

He puts the blindfold back on and starts walking the sidewalk.

Todd says HOLY CRAP.
OH, I DON'T KNOW.
I'M EXHAUSTED, FRIGHTENED AND
WITHOUT SIGHT.
I NEED MY MIND TO BE
FLEXIBLE AND REMEMBER MY
TRAINING.

David Cropley’s voice over says INSTEAD OF SHUTTING
DOWN AND DOING NOTHING LOOK
FOR POSSIBILITIES AND TRY
SOMETHING.

Todd says OKAY.
READY?

Steph says MM-HMM.

Todd says HOLY CRAP.
IT'S NOT FLAT.

Steph says NO.
IT'S NOT REALLY.

Todd says WELL THAT -- OH, WOW.
THAT'S GOOD INFORMATION.

Steph says OKAY, GOOD JOB.

Todd says WOW.
HOLY... SHOW.
WOW, THIS IS SCARY.

Steph says JUST FOR YOUR
INFORMATION, THERE'S A GAP IN
FRONT OF YOU, OKAY?

Todd says IT'S A JUMP, ISN'T IT?

Steph says NO, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO
JUMP.

Todd says WHAT AM I MEANT TO
DO?

Steph says THE BEST THING FOR
YOU TO DO RIGHT NOW WOULD BE
TO SIT DOWN.

Todd says I'M GOING TO GIVE IT
A JUMP.

Steph says GOOD JOB.

Todd says I ALMOST HAD A HEART
ATTACK.

Steph says YEAH, ME TOO.

Todd says OKAY.
THAT WAS THE CLOSEST I'VE EVER
COME TO A HEART ATTACK.
I DIDN'T KNOW WHERE THE LANDING
WAS.

Steph says I THINK YOU SHOULD DO
A SHOW ABOUT DECISION MAKING
SKILLS INSTEAD OF ADAPTABILITY.

Todd says STEPH MIGHT HAVE A
POINT, BUT THE SUMMIT IS WITHIN
REACH.

Steph says CLIMBING IS NOT
ALWAYS GLAMOROUS.

Todd says YOU KNOW WHAT?
I'M REALLY HAPPY I COULDN'T
SEE THAT PART.

Steph says GRAB THOSE KNOTS.
OH, NO... YEAH, THERE YOU GO.
GRAB THAT.
WALK YOUR FEET.

Todd says HOW'S THE HEIGHT?

Steph says THE HEIGHT'S FINE.
HAT'S THE GIANT'S FOOT AND NOW
THERE'S A LOT OF STUFF TO GRAB
AND A LOT OF FEET.

Todd says THERE'S ...

Steph says NICE.

Todd says THIS IS THE TOP.

Steph says THAT'S THE TOP.

Todd says OKAY.
HOLY... WOW.
I WANT TO HAVE A LOOK.
WOW.
THAT IS AMAZING.
GEES, I DIDN'T THINK I'D BE
ABLE TO GET UP HERE.

Music plays. Todd gets emotional.

He says OH, THAT WAS CRAZY.
THAT WAS ONE OF THE HARDEST
THINGS I'VE EVER DONE IN MY
LIFE.
BUT I CAN CERTAINLY VOUCH...
FOR MY MIND'S ABILITY TO JUST
COMPLETELY CHANGE PERSPECTIVES
AND ADAPT TO THE SITUATION THAT
I HAD.
AMAZING I'M HERE.

Steph says GREAT JOB, TODD.
SEE YOU LATER.

Steph jumps off the top with a parachute.

Todd says OH, MY GOD!
STEPH?
HOW DO I GET DOWN FROM HERE?
STEPH?
STEPH?

Steph laughs.

Music plays as the end credits roll.

Director, Jeff Siberry.

Producers: Paul Scott, Isabel Perez and Todd Sampson.

Series producer, Mark Barlin.

Developed and produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Commission. ABC.

Produced in association with TVO. TVO. Never stop learning.

Executive producer, Paul Scott. Mindful Media. www.mindfulmedia.com.au

Principal development and production investor. Australian Government. Screen Australia.

2015 Mindful Media Proprietary Limited and Screen Australian.