A Warrior's Spirit
I've encountered numerous tales of perseverance, over the years, but none quite like Simon Harmer's. From the treacherous terrains of Afghanistan to the speaking stages of global corporations, Simon's narrative is a testament to human resilience. With his remarkable ability to weave tragedy into lessons of strength and purpose, he's truly a force of nature. He's also a thoroughly genuine, decent guy.
I recently sat down with him, to dive a little deeper into his journey and shed light on his relentless drive to use his experience to inspire and empower audiences at every level.
In the heart of London, in a dimly lit corner of a high-end café, Simon Harmer and Tracey Duke settled into deep, plush chairs. A light jazz tune floated in the background, the clink of glasses providing a rhythmic accompaniment to what promised to be a profoundly meaningful conversation.
Looking at Simon, one sees the epitome of resilience. But behind those bright eyes lies a story of darkness and light, pain and perseverance. "Afghanistan was brutal, no two ways about it," Simon began, leaning in "You see the gunshot wounds, IED blasts - they're instantaneous. But the aftermath? That's a different kind of battle altogether."
A silent pause enveloped them as Simon's memories briefly transported him back; the weight of the statement palpable.
"What was the hardest part about the recovery?" I asked, referring to the explosion that claimed both legs and injured his arm.
Simon's eyes, so full of life, clouded momentarily. "The pain was like an enemy, relentless and unforgiving. But it was the idea of leaving my wife, Marisa, behind, that I found unbearable." His voice showing the briefest hint of emotion. This was not just about a soldier's fight; it was about love - raw, real, and profoundly deep.
The conversation lightened as we delved into Simon's passion project: The Blokes Supper Club. He spoke animatedly, like a proud father describing his child's first steps. "You know, men have this invisible wall. They hesitate to show vulnerability. The club? It's about breaking that wall, brick by brick." His statement was powerful, resounding with the truth of today's society, where "Men's silence is often their loudest cry." Intrigued, I asked about the club's inception. Simon responded, detailing his observations about men's reluctance to discuss their struggles, and highlighting a gap he aimed to bridge. His vision for the club was clear: a sanctuary for men to uplift each other. Then came the topic of mentorship. Simon's fervor was evident as he described life's cyclical nature. We're learners at one moment, teachers the next. "The key," he shared, "is to always remain open. To listen, learn, and lend our experiences." The conversation wouldn't have been complete without touching upon Simon's passion for sports. His face lit up, the enthusiasm unmistakable. "It's more than just sport, Tracey. It's life lessons on a field or in the water or slopes. The resilience, the tenacity, the sweat - they all echo the journey of life." As our evening drew to a close, the atmosphere was heavy with tales of courage, resilience, and change. It was evident: Simon Harmer is not merely a tale of survival. He epitomises the spirit of hope, of turning one's wounds into wisdom. He's an unwavering beacon for all those souls navigating their storms.