Meet the Team Q&A – Jase Balman, RAF Adventurous Training Instructor

As part of our Meet the Team series, we sat down for a Q&A with our Industry Specialist, RAF Adventurous Training Instructor, Jase Balman. We discuss stepping outside of his comfort zone and find out what he loves most about his work.

When was the last time you stepped outside your comfort zone, and what did you learn?

It would have to be when I was interviewed for my Full Time Reserve Service (FTRS) job back in March 2022. It was an intense 3 hours having not been in that situation since joining the RAF back in April 1999.

I think the biggest thing I learnt was that with preparation and planning, things aren’t as hard as they may seem. It’s hard for us to talk about ourselves in a positive, selling yourself way, but with life experience you will find that you have a lot to offer in ways you wouldn’t believe!

What makes you feel most alive?

Exploring the outdoors and pushing my physical and mental capabilities when undertaking any of these activities.

What inspires you and why?

This is such an open question and I probably have a million answers from family and friends, to colleagues and those random people I’ve met at the top of a mountain or halfway down a river.

However, I think the biggest thing that inspires me is my close family. I see my wife, Karen who has moved jobs for the past 16 years and she always inspires me in how resilient she is by thriving at anything that’s thrown at her. But also my two (not so little) kids, Rosie and Connor who have had to move between 6 different nurseries and schools before the ages of 8 and 12 – this including a 4-year tour of Bavaria, Germany with no military base or English speaking schools, community etc.

Why do you love the work you do?

I love being able to see people develop, be it personally as their character or as an individual learning new skills such as climbing, skiing etc. It’s so rewarding being able to witness that first hand.

How do you prepare yourself to be courageous when you need to step things up?

It depends on what I’m doing; when it’s delivering briefs, discussions or presentations, I’m a big believer of “train hard, work easy”, and by this I mean go over what you’re delivering at first to yourself and then to others, doing this multiple times. One of the biggest crowds I’ve worked with was 250 service personnel from 6 different nations for a 2-hour charity event in the Middle East. I think I did the warm up and circuit about 20 times with the Brits before in preparation. Thankfully, it all went well and we raised over $10,000!

When it comes to the physical side of my job, I study what I’m doing months, sometimes even years out. I along with three others ran an expedition for 12 service personnel to ski tour from Chanonix to Zermatt along the Haute Route. While planning this journey I had a few things to consider, who would be attending (ski ability), time of year (only a short weather window), the route we would be taking (a few different routes available) this leads onto the accommodation (mountain huts). I spent hours going through maps, scrolling through ski mountaineering apps, reading route books and speaking to guides about their perspective of the journey. All of this was done alongside physically training for the expedition; I started training for this 3 years before I actually undertook the expedition. Year one I completed the Otztal Tour, then the second year I successfully undertook the Silvretta ski tour, planning, fine tuning kit, clothing, rations, water skills and finding out who I could work with the best, both fellow guides and clients. The tour was a success and over that week we were the only team that completed the whole tour with 6 other groups not able to do the final day due to poor weather. The reason we succeeded was solely down to the planning we went through a million times.

Jase will be joining us when we bring our flagship speaking course, Authentic Impact, to you this June! If you’d like to hear more from his experiences while discovering how to unlock your natural talents as a speaker, we’d love to see you there. Find out more and book your place.

The Evolve Company - Coaching in Hampshire

Team Evolve