In 2009, at the age of 16, Ben Fanelli’s pursuit of an NHL career was abruptly halted when he awoke in the hospital to the life-altering news that his aspirations for sports, school, and his familiar existence were forever changed. Confronted with the revelation of three brain bleeds, Ben embarked on a remarkable journey of resilience and determination. Despite the challenges, he not only competed in triathlons and duathlons but also shared his inspiring narrative in schools, arenas, and businesses. Beyond raising funds for brain injury research, Ben clung to a 1% dream of returning to hockey while cultivating a fulfilling life beyond the game.
Against formidable odds in 2010, Ben achieved the extraordinary feat of returning to play for the Kitchener Rangers in the OHL. He not only captained his team in his final season but also earned recognition as the CHL’s Humanitarian of the Year. His remarkable journey extended to attending camp with the New York Rangers in the NHL. In 2011, Ben initiated The Heroic Minds Podcast, amassing over 100k listens. Through insightful interviews with individuals possessing heroic life stories, he sought to unravel the factors contributing to the world’s growing vulnerability and the qualities fostering resilience, courage, and high performance. This passion led him to delve deeper into mental health concerns, prompting him to graduate with a Masters in Counselling & Psychotherapy in 2017 and establish the Heroic Minds platform.
Heroic Mind’s Simple guide to life:
In the intricate tapestry of life, the fleeting satisfaction derived from ego-driven pursuits and material gains proves insufficient for nurturing a sound mind. It’s akin to sustaining a fire with twigs and leaves that inevitably fizzle out. Amidst this transient pursuit, our true essence lies in the journey of continual self-betterment and the sense of progress—a notion deeply ingrained both biologically and psychologically. The key to sustaining this journey lies in the noble aspiration to enrich the world and the lives of those around us, drowning out the self-centered, stress-inducing internal chatter.
In this narrative, we replace the ephemeral twigs and leaves with the resilience of hardwood—a sustainable energy source that empowers us to face challenges, setbacks, and pursue our dreams with vigor. This intentional shift is no mere coincidence, as the universal hero’s tale has served as a timeless guide through humanity’s most challenging epochs. The hero’s framework, rooted in rising to the occasion out of love for others, allows us to quiet the noisy conscious mind. By letting the potent subconscious lead, we embrace the spirit of adventure and adopt traits that transform us into the architects of our destiny—the answer to our challenges, the embodiment of our aspirations, and the hero of our unique story.