How Does Ryan Stramrood Push Past Impossible?

How Does Ryan Stramrood Push Past Impossible?

Ryan Stramrood and Kim Nicola Stephens collaborated over many hours and months to release their new book Push Past Impossible.

Stephens spent a lot of time delving into the life and mindset of the ice swimmer-aquatic adventurer-motivational speaker from Cape Town to create the final edition of Push Past Impossible. She writes, “I’m so stoked for Ryan. Read it, be inspired, shift your thinking in terms of your own boundaries. It might just change your world.”

Gillian Attwood said, “Almost a decade ago while on a road trip, Ryan and I decided to build a speaking and coaching business from his experiences and stories from extreme adventures and swimming challenges in the most inhospitable locations on the planet. What does it take to achieve a World First? To conceive, plan and train for a Guinness World Record and how to bring those learnings into everyday life, career and personal, and share them through his inspirational keynotes. For years, I have been campaigning for this book to be written. I think I feel as much relief and elation as Ryan does to finally hold a copy in my hands.”

Ryan presents himself as an Average Joe, but he is anything but average,” says Steven Munatones. “Open water swimmers often say that swimming is 80% mental and 20% physical – and that literally is a huge part of Ryan’s success and what makes him oh-so-not-average. That 80% mental – for Ryan – is the game changer, it is the differentiator, it is the driver and enabler of his goals and achievements. His mental makeup is what sets him apart – and he explains how his mind is the catalyst for his success and how others can achieve their own definitions of success.”

Stamrood says:

“I had no idea when the best time would be to start writing because I still have so much more to do in life. I’m only at the very beginning of this adventure. So do I wait? Yet as I started to jot down notes from only a few potential adventures (thanks to the time afforded me by hard lockdown), I realized quickly that I have at least three books bursting to get out already. And the truth is that a handful of the stories and lessons included in this Volume 1 have been more than enough to set up my international speaking career.”

After months of worry and self-doubt, I only have pride and deep confidence that everyone who reads through my journey from the couch to Pushing Past Impossible will walk away empowered, inspired, well entertained, with a whole new way to look at the challenges, the ‘impossibles’, the hostile environments we all face in business and in life.

In a review by Craig Bishop on The Daily Maverick:

Stramrood and a group of close swimming friends not only shoved forward their own personal envelopes. They pioneered new medical insights into the impact of cold-water immersion on the human body, and arguably were the frontrunners and trendsetters of the recent global fascination with wild swimming.

“Every story, every adventure, every failure, each curveball and every success is filled with learnings, epiphanies, enlightenment and plenty of wow. If you believe that I am no different from you (and I really am not), you’ll finish my book well entertained, but with the benefit of an appreciation of how the mind works.”


Push Past Impossible by Ryan Stramrood

“It’s simply not human!” a passenger proclaims loudly, aghast as to what she is witnessing.

Ryan Stramrood stands at the top of the gangway stairs that are lowered down the side of an ocean liner in one of the coldest, most hostile places on Earth – Antarctica. He wears only a small Speedo costume, goggles and a swim cap. Over a hundred passengers, wearing thick layers of insulation to protect from the bitter cold, are leaning over the ship’s railing on the upper decks, cheering and desperate to get a glimpse, in morbid fascination, of what is about to happen. What Ryan is about to attempt could potentially push boundaries beyond what humans can survive.

The water temperature a deadly -1 degrees Celsius, the distance to swim an impossible one mile.

Only a few years earlier, Ryan was a self-proclaimed couch potato. A 30-year-old salesman and father, navigating life quite successfully, albeit neatly confined in his comfort zone. Today he is a multiple Guinness World Record holder, rated globally as one of the top 50 extreme swimming athletes in the world, and a sought-after international inspirational speaker.

This fascinating story tells the incredible tales of Ryan’s journey and spirit. The inspiration and learnings each and every one of us will take from this highly relatable book are simply invaluable. We can all learn to Push Past Impossible.

“The way Ryan has chosen to live this one precious life is nothing short of inspirational.” – LEWIS PUGH


He often tells his own story in his own impressive, self-deprecating manner:

Stramrood talked about how he pushed past his definition of impossible in a well-received TEDx Talk:

For more information about Stramrood, visit here or contact him by direct message on Instagram @ryan_stramrood

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Steven Munatones