The Unforgiving60
S4E14 – Dr Michael Mumford: Pioneering Medical Marijuana

S4E14 – Dr Michael Mumford: Pioneering Medical Marijuana

July 21, 2022

When many of us think about marijuana, our immediate thoughts are of illicit use. But across the world, this attitude is changing as researchers uncover the benefits of medicinal marijuana across a range of conditions.  Progression within Australia has been relatively slow, however our guest this week aims to speed things up in this groundbreaking area. 


Dr Michael Mumford started his career as an Australian Army engineer and saw operational service in Afghanistan with the Special Operations Engineer Regiment.  He then studied postgraduate medicine through the army and is now working to increase awareness of the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids, including for the treatment of PTSD in the veteran community. 


5:05         About Michael – early years…

5:20         ..and into the Army as an engineer within the Special Operations Engineer Regiment, and then into postgraduate study as a doctor with the Army

14:50       How Michael got interested in the potential of cannabinoids as a treatment protocol (including perspectives from Michael’s German Shorthaired Pointer!)

17:35       Given the amount of research supporting its use, why has it taken so long for medicinal marijuana to be accepted within medical applications?

19:05       How does medicinal marijuana differ from what you might buy on the street?

25:55       Current resistance within the medical community

30:30       Michael’s research project with the University of Wollongong

35:30       What is the Veteran Access Scheme – and how can people can access it through the Provocatus website

39:50       What’s next for Michael – and what he hopes to see in the medicinal marijuana space


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Instagram, Twitter: @Unforgiving60


External Links





The Externals – available on Spotify

Ben Frichot - available on Spotify


S4E13 – How to be Indistractable with Nir Eyal

S4E13 – How to be Indistractable with Nir Eyal

July 4, 2022

Let’s talk how to focus! Nir Eyal’s is an incredible thinker- describing himself as a ‘behavioural design expert’- which is the point of intersection between psychology, technology, and business. Then add some behavioural economics, and a twist of neuroscience.

Our conversation in this episode ranges from how to be ‘indistractable’- the title of Nir’s book (and a word he invented), but also what tools and techniques can bring us to a pont of focus. And what about neurochemistry- is it real, or do we use it as an excuse? How can we correctly allocate time to things ….. and can we be bored!?

Nir has a Stanford MBA  and is a best-selling author, who later went back to teach a course on product design at the Stanford University School of Engineering.

Nir’s books are Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products and Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life.


Your toolkit to being Indistractable is after the timeline….


5:00         Nir’s background and explanation of his expertise.

8:40         Old philosophy on distractions- everything old is new again!

10:00       The four pillars of becoming indistractable

17:25       Does neurochemistry  and the reward pathway drive our distract-ability?

19:50       The place of Locus of Control when considering distraction. Ben talks self awareness…. Curiosity instead of contempt

22:50       How do we get motivated?

29:50       Work, you and relationships- how they nest.

35:50       Psychological transitions and deliberate breaks.

39:45       How do we surf the urge?

48:10       How do customers get hooked on products?

51:20       What is Nir’s power song!?


External Links


-Link to the book::
-Indistractable bonus content is here:
-Indistractable summary article:
-Distraction guide here:
-Habits vs routines article here:
-Why schedules are better than to-do lists:
-Time boxing article:
-Values article:
-Habit tracker -
-Also, the schedule maker tool Nir mentioned is here:



Contact Us


Email us at


Instagram, Twitter: @Unforgiving60





Be guests of the authors of The Resilience Shield between 27-30 October 2022 on Fitzroy Island off Cairns, North Queensland, Australia


Info and bookings here:






The Externals – available on Spotify

Ben Frichot - available on Spotify


S4E12 - Mark Wales: Survivor Redux

S4E12 - Mark Wales: Survivor Redux

June 25, 2022

Mark Wales is one of our favourite guests – so much so that Ben can’t remember how many times he’s been on the show (turns out this is only the second).  But each time has been a great conversation, and this is certainly no exception.  Mark, fresh off his momentous half-million dollar Survivor: Blood and Water victory, joins Ben and Tim to talk all things reality TV, tough luxury, fathering, books, music, Anzac Day….and conspiracy theories.  A must-listen episode!  


3:25         Welcoming Mark back for the second – or is it third?! – no, wait – second time!

5:30         On Survivor – second time around

7:00         The dangers of playing tactics on Survivor – with your wife! (or – can you leave all that stuff on set, or does some of it come home with you?!)

8:55         How does Survivor compare with the SAS selection course?

11:05       The trappings of reality TV fame – how often does Mark get recognised in the street?!

15:09       Mark’s reflections on being an author

19:00       What does Anzac Day mean to Mark?

21:30       A quick detour into opinions on Australian defence capability

24:45       Mark on parenting – and on leaving his four year-old son Harry to play Survivor

29:51       Ben on helicopter parenting

32:00       Kill Kapture – has Survivor and Mark’s book moved the needle on jacket sales?  Includes some great whiskey discussion – and some discussion about great whiskey, including WhipperSnapper (click here for our discussion with Jimmy McKeown, Master Distiller at WhipperSnapper)

38:30       A few questions and comments from the Instagram livestream

39:30       Mark’s current fitness regime – and how did he prepare for Survivor – from a physical and mental perspective

44:30       What’s Mark reading at the moment?

50:30       And then, somehow, the conversation shifts to UFO and conspiracy theories…

57:10       Ben explains more than anyone ever wanted to know about Little Bird – the song he recorded in Saddam’s toilet in Iraq


Email us at


Instagram, Twitter: @Unforgiving60


External Links


Kill Kapture – Mark’s ‘tough luxury’ company.  And home of the best leather jackets on the planet.



The Externals – available on Spotify

Ben Frichot - available on Spotify

Ben Pronk - not available anywhere (with good reason)

S4E11 – Cam & Sharn Watts: Foxhole Buddies In the Fight Against PTSD

S4E11 – Cam & Sharn Watts: Foxhole Buddies In the Fight Against PTSD

June 9, 2022

This is a very special episode of the Unforgiving 60 podcast.  Over the years, we’ve spoken with a number of people who have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – and a number of people who are helping those who are suffering.  But while a lot of the focus is – rightly – placed on the individual with this diagnosis, it’s rarely just that person who is impacted.  In this episode, we get to hear the perspectives of both an individual who has fought PTSD – as well as his amazing partner.


Cam Watts spent almost 14 years in the Australian Federal Police and as a result of his service, developed the symptoms of PTSD and was eventually diagnosed with the condition.  The one constant in this tumultuous journey was his wife Sharn.  In this episode, Cam and Sharn share their stories and talk about how they’re now using their experience to help other families.   


6:33         How Cam and Sharn met – and what Cam was doing at the time

11:55       A bit of a primer on the difference between the Australian Federal Police and the state police services

14:19       Sharn’s backstory

18:19       Sharn’s experiences setting up a small business

20:45       What makes yoga so important to Sharn?

23:45       What exactly is PTSD – and when did Cam realise that he had it?

28:00       Coming to terms with PTSD – from a personal and professional perspective

33:10       What brought on Cam’s PTSD – was it a single incident, a constant series of traumas – or a bit of both?

38:30       Sharn’s perspective – how she first became aware that something wasn’t right.  Plus – the psychological dangers of over-flexing your ‘fine’ muscle!

56:05       Getting a formal diagnosis – and what happened from there

1:06:05    The impacts on Sharn – ‘no-one was looking out for me!’

1:12:35    What advice would Cam and Sharn give to people going through similar experiences

1:23:18    Fortem – one of the ways that Cam and Sharn are using their experiences to help others.  And an organisation which works to support the families as well as the impacted individual


Email us at


Instagram, Twitter: @Unforgiving60


External Links


Fortem Australia – supporting those who defend, protect and care for our community



The Externals – available on Spotify

Ben Frichot - available on Spotify

S4E10– Meet Liv Robinson v2.0- Beating Anorexia and Dominating Life through Art Therapy

S4E10– Meet Liv Robinson v2.0- Beating Anorexia and Dominating Life through Art Therapy

June 3, 2022

WARNING- This powerful and inspiring episode also discusses eating disorders and related mental health struggles. 

Liv Robinson’s first few decades of her life were a huge struggle. She found it hard to fit in to ‘normal life’. She battled with anorexia and related mental health illness which left Liv fighting for her life on a number of occasions. 

Sport, creativity & Art were Liv’s invaluable tools to recovery. She now uses art as a form of therapy for others but also for team building and self awareness.



03:30       About Liv….. and insights from our tiny shower cubicle podcast studio.

06:50       The 800-pound gorilla in the room- battling anorexia

09:20       The pressure from school and expectations

12:10       ‘How hard can this be? Just eat something!’. Why that doesn’t work for anorexia.

18:00       Cycling in and out of good-bad-good health and the culminating point

22:00       Liv reinventing Liv … the power to choose your own identity

26:30       Liv’s mindset… noting that mindset can be negative and positive

29:00       Liv 2.0 arrives

32:15       Let’s talk Art! The formal study….

35:00       What piece of art has moved Liv the most in her life?

39:00       Female form and oceans

39:45       Working for UHNWI… and how to inspire workforces

42:20       How to use art as therapy

44:00       Massive murals….. how to do it!

47:50       Liv’s dream for art

53:05       What about art to buttress resilience?

57:00       What does Liv do for Liv

58:30       What is Liv’s Power Song! (See the U60 playlist on Spotify)

59:00       Is there a future collaboration……… ???



External Links



More About Us


Email us at


Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Linked In: @Unforgiving60




The Externals – available on Spotify

Mitchell Martin - available on Spotify



S4E9–Cleared Hot! Shannon Huffman Polson on flying Apache Gunships, bagging big peaks and being a badass

S4E9–Cleared Hot! Shannon Huffman Polson on flying Apache Gunships, bagging big peaks and being a badass

May 30, 2022

Shannon Polson was one of Americas first female gunship pilots. We talk flying and that incredible aircraft but also climbing, losing loved ones and grit and resilience.

After a childhood in Alaska, Shannon studied English literature and art history at Duke University then commissioned into the Army to fly Apache helicopters, serving on three continents and leading two flight platoons and a line company.

In the midst of school and flying came skydiving, scuba diving, big-mountain climbing and long-course triathlons. She climbed Tim’s dream mountain- Denali.

Now she devotes her work to speaking, research and writing, as well as online and bespoke facilitated leadership journeys for leaders at The Grit Institute. 

 Shannon has an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth, and an MFA in creative writing.



05:00       Shannon’s background…. And swimming in Alaska!

07:20       What is ROTC in the US… and how does that allow you to fly Army helicopters?

09:00       Learning to fly helicopters…. Rub your tummy and pat your head!

11:10       What are the roles and responsibilities in an Apache gunship…. Tandem seated!

12:10       How do two pilots in the same aircraft collaborate and cooperative?

14:50       Ben talks about receiving air support in Afghanistan

17:20       Shannon’s advice for women wanting to fly in the military

20:00       Shannon climbs Denali….. the story J

25:00       Tragically Shannon loses both of her parents …. the story L

28:00       Interlude- Information on The Resilience Retreat off Cairns

29:15       What is resilience to Shannon?

33:15       Ego and self efficacy…. And grit and resilience

37:50       Talking transferrable knowledge from the military into corporates

40:30       Advice on determining purpose in work- Paths to Purpose at Tuck School

43:20       How can we separate role and identity?

50:45       Shannon’s Power Song!  



External Links


The Grit Factor book by Shannon is here

Shannon’s LinkedIn

More about Shannon from her Instagram


More About Us


Email us at


Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Linked In: @Unforgiving60




The Externals – available on Spotify

Ben Frichot - available on Spotify



S4E8– Olympian Melissa Wu is Diving Into Life!

S4E8– Olympian Melissa Wu is Diving Into Life!

May 12, 2022

Melissa Wu is an Australian treasure- and of course Olympic, World and Commonwealth Games Diving medallist! Starting diving at 10, Melissa immediately fell in love with the sport… and here we are 20 years later. In 2008 she was the youngest Australian ever to win an Olympic medal in diving, and she is still medalling including in Tokyo 2020 Olympics where she won Bronze in the 10metre platform.

But she doesn’t much like water!

We talk motivation and how Melissa remains focussed and in the moment.

More recently she has been on SAS Australia, and she explains why a professional athlete would want to go on a reality TV show, and what she learned from the experience.


04:20       Melissa’s dislike of water!

06:20       Melissa gets captivated by diving 

08:30       Shout out to Ruby!

10:20       What about motivation?- how Melissa gets and stays motivated

13:10       What about failure?

15:00       Subjectiveness in diving

17:45       Emotional regulation techniques

21:50       Why Tim couldn’t dive from the 10 metre tower

25:30       Poolside Sudoku!

27:20       How does synchro diving work- how do you prepare as a pair?

32:20       Tower, pool and venue differences

38:30       Talking SAS Australia- why did Melissa commit to the show?

40:40       Bodyweight and moving mass- how did Melissa go?

42:20       What Melissa learned about herself from the show?

47:40       When Melissa got gassed (tear gassed!)

50:00       How supportive were the instructors?

52:00       What happens on selection courses when people don’t receive feedback?

56:20       What does Melissa do for Melissa?

1:01:10    The Plans for Commonwealth Games 2022


Email us at


Instagram, Twitter and Facebook: @Unforgiving60


External Links


Melissa’s LinkedIn

More about Melissa from her Instagram



Mitchell Martin - available on Spotify

The Externals – available on Spotify

Ben Frichot - available on Spotify



S4E7– Brian Firth – Breathing – you’re doing it wrong!

S4E7– Brian Firth – Breathing – you’re doing it wrong!

May 5, 2022

Breathing is something most of us take for granted.  But the more we’ve looked into it, the more there seems to be to this ostensibly simple practice.  You don’t have to search far to find a wide range of advice on breathing – ranging from the obvious, to the counterintuitive, to the downright strange!  In this week’s episode, Ben and Tim take a deep dive into Buteyko breathing with one of Australia’s leading practitioners, Brian Firth. 


Brian’s own struggles with asthma led him to discover Buteyko breathing.  As Brian explains, Buteyko is not a breathing technique, but rather a method of re-training yourself to breathe better – for life.  Brian takes us through the principles behind the Buteyko methodology and along the way busts some of what he considers the biggest myths about breathing.


5:43         Breath by James Nestor.  A good read

6:00         Brian’s issues with asthma, his history as a mouth-breather and his discovery of Buteyko

8:00         The history of Buteyko

10:00       How did it get so bad?!  Why would we need to be taught to breathe more efficiently?

11:50       Why deep breathing is NOT a good thing!

15:30       …and why this gets worse when we sleep

17:30       How complex is the Buteyko method?

21:00       Wider benefits of Buteyko

31:00       Buteyko and asthma

41:14       Mouthbreathing – bad!  But should you tape your mouth shut when you sleep?

44:40       Sleep apnoea

47:30       Buteyko is not a breathing technique per se; what are Brian’s views on the myriad of techniques out there?

53:15       What about exercise?  Are there benefits to nasal or mouth breathing techniques during exercise?

1:01:09    What breathing advice should you give to someone suffering a panic attack?


Email us at


Instagram, Twitter: @Unforgiving60


External Links


Get in touch with Brian

More about Brian

Brian’s B&B



The Externals – available on Spotify

Ben Frichot - available on Spotify

S4E6– Mick Neven is Fair Dinkum

S4E6– Mick Neven is Fair Dinkum

April 21, 2022

The 3-way….. (or is it 3-peat?) with Mick Neven is here!

Either way for the 3rd time Mick joins us on the podcast. The first we were combatting the Zombie Apocalypse; the second Mick was Melon Head, and this time Mick is Fair Dinkum.

We talk about the show and presenting in comedy festivals. How comedy IS a team sport. And the differences between festivals… including the uniqueness of Edinburgh Comedy Festival.


03:30.     The Stats on Mick Neven and the Unforgiving60 podcast. The etymology of 'Fair Dinkum'.... and why this fits Mick.

16:30       Is improv a bit scary? When you are short of material.

19:44       How far is too far when it comes to comedy…. And Chris Rock’s recent experience.

22:11       What about the slap?

23:00       How much can you pick the audience member to work with them (without upsetting or insulting)?

24:40       The new show has some reflection- what are Mick’s lessons learned?

26:10       Mick’s second career in boxing… and is it post Will Smith self-defence?

28:40       Mick’s running- park run times.

31:45       Who does Mick like across the new comedy talent?

34:00       Cultural differences between festivals.

35:30       Talking Edinburgh Festival- the magnitude of Edinburgh

39:00       Interlude with our amazing Emily….

39:30       Is it still fun?

41:40       Talking Mick’s tattoos

45:50       Mick’s power song

47:00       Tim’s power song

48:01       Ben’s power song (via Mon Georgieva)

48:30       Mick’s left field option…. And Mick’s celebrity hall pass

49:00       Where is Mick next?

50:00       Google …. It’s broken! Websites will never take off!



Email us at


Instagram, Twitter: @Unforgiving60


External Links






The Externals – available on Spotify

Ben Frichot - available on Spotify


*Other music snippets with thanks to Guns N’Roses, Jimmy Barnes and Sound of Madness

S4E5B– Kev Toonen – Training SpecOps, Sports Stars and Celebrities: Part B

S4E5B– Kev Toonen – Training SpecOps, Sports Stars and Celebrities: Part B

April 14, 2022

In Ben and Tim’s book The Resilience Shield, they refer to Kev Toonen as a ‘superstar Army PTI (Physical Training Instructor)’ - and certainly when they first met him, that’s exactly what Kev was – a thought leader in the development of special operations physical capability, who helped evolved SAS training methodologies, as well as prepare the amazing Monika Georgieva (see Season 2 Episode 3 for more on Mon!) for her pioneering attempts at the SAS selection course.


Since that time, Kev has taken his passion and knowledge for human performance to clients ranging from some of Australia’s most beautiful and recognisable celebrities to elite sporting teams.  In this episode, Kev talks to what he learnt from his military service, how he saw the military approach to physical training change over the years and what he currently considers the key requirements for optimising the human body. 


In this second part of a special double episode, Ben and Tim chat to Kev about helping Mon prepare for SASR selection and then his transition out of uniform into the much more beautiful world of celebrities, models and professional sportspeople, including his work with Candice Warner prior to her appearance on SAS Australia. 


1:30         On Monika Georgieva’s workup to being the first female to attempt SASR selection

3:00         The significance of the infamous 3.2km webbing run – and why it’s such an important component of SASR selection

5:30         …and why this was a particularly difficult test for Mon

11:00       Mind-body connection, how it impacts selection performance and what potential candidates don’t do well in their preparation and on the course

12:15       Kev’s input into modernising the pre-selection training program

21:05       How did the lessons that Kev learnt in uniform translate into his current roles?

22:30       From the predominantly very ugly demographic of SASR to a ‘gym full of celebrities and models’ in Sydney’s trendy suburb of Darlinghurst

26:10       Building a fitness app – how hard/expensive can it be?!

27:00       Meeting rugby legends Ben and Owen Franks – a pivotal moment for Kev’s transition into supporting elite sports

33:20       What’s the difference between developing physical programs for Special Operations and elite sports and preparing them for the wider population?

40:30       Preparing Candice Warner for SAS Australia

47:00       What are Kev’s current personal fitness goals?

48:50       The future of 98 Gym - the business of fitness

52:30       On Crossfit and F45 – the pros and cons of fitness movements like these

55:00       What’s Kev’s powersong – to fire him up when he needs to deadlift 250kg


Email us at


Instagram, Twitter: @Unforgiving60


External Links


98 Gym


If you want some great black and white photos of Kev squatting the equivalent weight of a small car (and who doesn’t?!) check out his Insta.



The Externals – available on Spotify

Ben Frichot - available on Spotify



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