Chasing Death w/ George Kourounis
A super special and fun episode this week. We sit down with world adventurer George Kourounis. The man chases death for a living and shares some of his most adrenaline filled stories. Be sure to tune in over on iTunes!
Come on over and be a guest on the Sickboy Podcast”… It was a bit of an odd request, but then again I’m kind of used to getting odd requests… Like to rappel into an active volcano to film an erupting volcano and capture a flame to light the grill for a Burger King commercial, or to map caves in remote Madagascar, or climb onto an iceberg to install a satellite tracking beacon…The list goes on. People ask me to do weird things, but I never expected to be asked to be a guest on health and wellness podcast.
Officially my vocation is “adventurer and storm chaser” (at least that’s what’s on my business card). For the past 20 years or so, I’ve been travelling the world, documenting the most extreme places, and forces of nature. Basically if there’s some way that Mother Nature might be trying to kill you, I’m probably close by with a camera rolling. From chasing tornadoes across Kansas and Oklahoma, to driving into the heart of hurricane Katrina, or taking an inflatable rubber raft out onto a lake of sulphuric acid (yes, that’s a thing, in Indonesia), I never know where I’m going to find myself next. The escapades typically end up on television somewhere. From my own TV series “Angry Planet”, to National Geographic, CNN, The Weather Network, Discovery Channel… You’ve probably seen me or my work. I consider myself a bit of an explorer… The kind that explores parts of the world that are undergoing extreme, often violent transitions.
I spend so much time staring danger, and sometimes death in the face, the Sick Boys figured that it would be fun to have me on their show to see what makes me tick, and to get my thoughts on life, living, and taking risks. It was a blast.
The brief time i spent with Brian, Jeremie and Taylor was one of the best interview experiences I’ve had… It was more of a conversation than an interview, I like that. These guys have seen the breadth of human experience and have talked to people with all sorts of illnesses, diseases and other challenges. I felt somewhat under-qualified to be on the show.
We all take things for granted; our health, sometimes our loved ones, so many things. Being on the podcast made me really wake up to the notion that I really take certain simple medical technologies for granted. Most people don’t know that I’ve been legally blind since birth. At the age of 3, my parents were able to fit me with glasses and the world opened up to me. At 14, I got my first pair of rigid contact lenses… Now, I’m at the age where I have to wear both contact lenses AND use reading glasses simultaneously (sigh), but having my vision is something that I cherish more than most people could possibly imagine. I know what it’s like to be without it. Without corrective lenses, I can only see in focus a few cm from my face, and that’s with my good eye. I favour the right one about 80/20%, so don’t even ask how well I see with the left one.
It’s something I’m reminded of every day, and sometimes even I find it amazing that I’ve been able to make a living in a visual field of photography and television.
I hope you all find to show entertaining, educational and fun. I know I certainly did.
- George Kourounis