I often get asked why – why are you doing these challenges? Why are you supporting Make-A-Wish UK?
In response, I thought I would share a few updates each Monday in which I will share some of the answers and reasons. In this update I wanted to just show my appreciation to the people who have inspired me in my own, albeit relatively short, journey so far.
Every time I talk to friends, go on social media or read magazines I will hear or read something that just blows my mind – I am drawn to people who have a passion, who get out their and follow their dreams and who make life happen for them – the people who just do it their way. The more I do, the more people I meet and the more stories that are shared, the more I get inspired. I never set out for anything more than to be happy, to find something to be passionate about and to see how far I could I pushed myself for an amazing cause in Make-A-Wish UK.
Following my 144 mile cycling challenge from London to Brighton and back at the weekend it was suggested I take a look at Robbie Ferri’s pages. If you don’t know, this is a man who will be taking part in the Transcontinental Race, one of the worlds toughest ultra endurance races, why?”…proving to myself that I can do it”. His training consists of regular 200+ mile rides in a day – I look at that and am in awe, I’m going enjoy seeing what this guy can do. I know I was done after 144 miles but I started thinking “could I do 200 miles in 24 hours?” Quite possibly…new ideas are forming!!
Go check him out at – http://www.ltdrobbie.org/
Image source: https://t.co/nHWZyZORpq”
The people I admire, like Robbie Ferri, are those who do it for no other reason than to see if they can and to want more from their lives. Two people who’s names reoccur time and time again along this vein are Sean Conway and Sophie Radcliffe, both people unhappy with the lives they had worked hard to create, who decided to change that and dedicate their time to what they love. The list of things each of them have done is as endless as it is inspiring. For me Sean’s record as the first and only man to cycle, swim and run the length of Britain must stand as one of the greatest feats of human endurance (that and being a fellow brother of the flame (…he’s ginger)). Again Sophie Radcliffe bagged a worlds first expedition with the Alpine Coast to Coast by climbing the highest mountains in the eight alpine countries and cycling between them in 32 days, why? “I wanted to create the type of life I dreamed of living, I needed to make big changes, take risks and make it happen”. Go read their amazing stories at;
Image source: dailyrecord.co.uk & www.challengesophie.com/gallery
These were two people I had semi-followed for a while, looking in complete admiration at the adventures and experiences they were creating for themselves. It was this and a good friend of mine that made me realise that I needed to stop talking about living and get on and do it. So, I made a list of all the things that I wanted to do – it started with running a half marathon, then tackling the Three Peaks Challenge and LEJOG and its gone from there and my list continues to grow.
People naturally name public figures as those they admire, as I’ve done above – in the age of social media they feel more accessible to us I think. I am fortunate enough to have some people in my life who have and continue to make a big difference in my journey. Steve Hyder, a man who I met through work, one of those people. A man mountain with a personality and character to match, he is one of the most engaging people I know. What strikes you most about Steve is the passion and humility with which he talks about his life and the amazing things he has done. Steve has taken on some amazing challenges for himself and for charity, including climbing Mt Elbrus in Russia, Stok Kangri, India later this year, and twice taking on 26 miles of the South Downs Way all in aid of the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. I could genuinely listen to him all day and I have, resulting in a missed train back from London and a £40 Uber. It was totally worth it though.
Check out Steve’s Facebook page for more information on his fundraising efforts – https://www.facebook.com/The-20187-Challenge-1694537174109676/
The challenges I’ve set myself this year are in aid of Make-A-Wish UK – a charity I have no connection with other than I wholeheartedly believe in what they do, the ensure that children are able to be children by granting their wishes and making their lives so much more than just an illness, or hospital appointments or tests. I came across the story of wish child Milla through a blog written by her father Tony Frobisher. At the time I was suffering – I was asking a lot of my body and I was seriously demotivated and exhausted. Reading Milla and Tony’s story, and his own incredible fundraising efforts which include John O’Groats to Lands End and a trek to Everest Base Camp, reminded why I am doing this – to help Make-A-Wish UK provide hope and joy to children and families who need and deserve it. As you can see from Milla, these children are so much more than an illness and as such their lives shouldn’t be defined by it. Though we’ve not met yet Tony continues to provide encouragement, support and advice for which I am eternally grateful.
Please do go and read Tony’s post on the Make-A-Wish UK blog – https://www.make-a-wish.org.uk/wish-child-milla-a-lifetime-of-smiles – I promise it will lift and inspire you. If, like me, you want to find out more or buy a copy of Milla’s Inspiration, a cookbook Tony has written himself, head over to http://millasinspiration.weebly.com/ – all proceeds go to Bliss and Make-A-Wish UK.
I have the lyrcis to a Fall Out Boy song incorporated into a tattoo on my arm, they are a band that I have loved for a very long time, and the words “Hell or glory, I don’t want anything in between” will be a motto for life. I came in to this world with nothing, I am doing this because it matters, because life is bigger than me and because I can – I wont be the fastest, I might not break any records but I will give it everything I have and leave it all out there. I’d rather try and go down in flames that settle for something less.
So to those people named above, those of you who I follow and who follow me in return, those who go out and make it happen – thank you for being my inspiration, for keeping me going and keeping me honest.