If you didn’t know, my name isn’t Miles. It has confused many people, so I figured while I am gearing up for the next two challenges in September and October, that now was a great time to say hi and tell you a little bit about myself.
My route in to sport is not a traditional one, I was never the first pick although I gave it all a go from football to rugby to high jump. Uncontrolled competitiveness and a lack of patience meant that I didn’t stick at anything long enough to be great at it, if the instant gratification of a win wasn’t there, I simply wasn’t interested.
As I got older sports became less and less a part of my life. My passion and drive for my career became consuming, long hours, stress and an unhealthy lifestyle combined in to a downward spiral. I had no balance and as a result, my physical and mental health declined and my marriage broke down.
So I decided to stop letting life happen to me, grab it by the proverbial’s and be the change I wanted to see in the world. That’s how I got here.
The journey so far
It all started with the Wokingham Half Marathon in February 2017. I started running at the end of 2016 and set myself a goal of running a half marathon.
I signed up to more and more events and from that created a series of 13 challenges, taking on one thing per month that he’d never done before. So far we’ve raised over £2,500 for Make-A-Wish UK by running, walking and cycling over 2,500 miles. The challenges have so far included Tough Mudder and the Bournemouth Marathon and culminated in a 950 mile unsupported solo cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End in just nine days. Most recently in June I completed the National Three Peaks Challenge by bike – 450 miles cycling between and 27 miles climbing each of the three highest peaks in the UK, in just 3 days.
Me, not Miles
Serious stuff over, for those of you who don’t know me here is 10 mildly interesting and amusing facts about me;
- No, my name is not Miles – It gets 90% of people but my name is Guy. The name Miles for Wishes came from wanting to put a name to what I’m doing (walking, running and cycling lots of miles) in aid of Make-A-Wish UK.
- I was challenging from an early age – As a toddler I got a square biscuit tin stuck on my head – I was wearing it like a helmet and essentially it’s got wedged under my chin and the base of my neck / skull. My Dad and Granddad ran a garage over the road from our house and they had to cut the tin off with a pair of metal scissors.
- Fray Bentos pies are my kryptonite – While cooking a delicious ‘pie in a tin’ at university, I absentmindedly put the sharp edged lid in the bin, which I then proceeded to squash down so as to fit more rubbish in it. My stupidity meant the lid sliced through my thumb, severing the tendon and ensuring a few days in hospital, a cast and 6 months of physiotherapy to repair the damage. Suffice to say I haven’t eaten one since.
- I am a Dinosaur geek – My favourite film is Jurassic Park, I’ve seen all of the films more times than I could count, got the box sets and I bore my children (and other children and adults) by naming the species of their toys.
- I have a degree in Archaeology – It stemmed from my love of Dinosaurs and it felt like a first step in to becoming a Palaeontologist. Life, unfortunately, got real and being out of work wasn’t really an option when you have rent and bills to pay.
- My day job is a world away from ancient history – I am Head of Procurement for a large Housing Association in the Home Counties. I love what I do, the company and the housing sector – our mission is to help house those people in most need and as such it feels like a worthy fight.
- My tattoos reflect my journey – they tell the story of my life. I have the date I got married, I wear my heart on my sleeve and even though we are no longer together I don’t want erase my past. Around the date I have a Phoenix, it’s not about my marriage but more about how I see myself – that sometimes you have to break in order to come back stronger and that I’d rather try and go down in flames than not try at all – Hell or Glory, anything in between is just apathy.
- We’re not broken – I’ve been separated for over two years now and I firmly believe that my children do not come from a broken home. We put those two little humans first every single time and we make sure they are cared for, feel loved and are happy. One day our family will just be bigger and there will be even more love to go around, so how can that be broken?
- My Dad is my hero – a man I grew up seeing worked extremely hard to provide for his family (to be fair both my parents worked damn hard for us), who created a business of his own and did what he had to do to make sure we had a stable, happy home. He’s quietly humble despite being very highly regarded for what he does – a lot of qualities I love and respect in people.
- What next – Having taken on some interesting solo cycling challenges – JOGLE, South Coast Sprint and most recently the Pure Three Peaks – the question I get asked the most if “What’s next?”. There are lots of ideas floating around my brain, I would love to complete an Ironman but I’d also like to cycle more of the world…I like the freedom of being able to decide what I do with my challenges. Either way I think, due to the pressures on work / life balance, next year will have to be different and I think I’ll be taking on only 1 or 2 challenges…They will just have to be really big ones.