May 11, 2016
You might think that with my adventurous nature and desire to test my limits through long distance running that climbing a mountain might perhaps be high on my bucket list too, but in all honesty it isn’t.
I tried skiiing once and that was a sight to be seen, finding myself on a weeks long trip to the slopes where the Finnish Ski team train with 2 friends who were pretty damn good skiers…which resulted in a comical but rather life threatening episode whereby I sped off down the slope not knowing how to stop a bit like Brigit Jones with the instructor stating “Now we have a problem” much to the amusement of my friends.
So its OK Mum climbing everest is not next on my to do list.
Although funnily enough I keep bumping into mountaineers, at the Professional Speakers Association (where I am a member) I have seen two incredible talks by Deri Lwellyn-Davies who in 2015 was at Advanced Base Camp on Everest, when the devastating earthquake struck Nepal creating avalanches on the mountain, killing thousands.
A few weeks back I also managed (by fluke) to have dinner with Cathy O’Dowd a South African rock climber, mountaineer, author and motivational speaker, famous for being the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest from both south and north sides
So, do you think the universe is trying to tell me something?
Now without the risk of making their epic adventures sound trivial, or suggesting that I have anything close to thir superhero powers I do think there are some similarities between mountain climbing and marathon running
– theres lots of preparation and training
– you have to be a little crazy to do it
– you set off not knowing what lays ahead
– you need all the right kit
– they teach you weird things about yourself
So on Saturday I found myself hiking up a mountain as part of my trip to the Geneva Marathon. I clearly hadn’t read the itinerary properly, because I thought we were simply going in a cable car up Mont Saleve…but NO once up at the picturesque viewing platform with the rest of the team, which looked over the beautiful sight below of Lake Geneva in all its glory…now it was decided we would hike up a trail further to catch a glimpse of Mont Blanc.
So there I was slightly dehydrated, and fatigued from a morning of yoga and stand up paddle boarding (which was incredibly difficult) and I was to hike the 15 minutes up to the top…now I know this is not exactly mountain climbing, but it felt a little bit like it. So with Endurance Athlete Susie Chan and a rather sprightly 25 year old journalist from Women’s Health we made our way up the windy and rather steep trail.
Now my fitness is not great at the moment, it was hot, I didn’t have any water, and I was carrying a rather large and quite heavy backpack, so I am not going to lie it was quite tough, but I was determined not to lose sight of the two up ahead who were pretty much skipping up like goats…the last 3 or 4 minutes I was sweating buckets and could hear my brain pulsating in my head.
Just as I reached the summit…our tour guide and some of the others from our group were descending and the tour guide announced “Its time to go now”
So basically I only had like 60 seconds to enjoy the stunning panoramic views of Mont Blanc, sneaking a few pictures as evidence that I had made it before passing out, before making the slightly easier task of getting back down to the cable car.
I think I learned a few quite important things about myself while making that slightly exhausting hike, things which on reflection are great messages for life in general.
In life we have to go at our own pace, regardless of who we have around us. We have to go for it even if there is a chance of failure or humiliation….because that is what it is to live a life on the edge, a life full of potential, a life full of…well life.
Which takes me on nicely to another uphill struggle of recent weeks….
When I set myself the challenge of raising £50,000 via the Virgin Business competition #Voom, I knew it would be much like climbing a mountain, but I set about doing it anyway, doing as much prep as I could get, ensuring I had a support team, putting as much resource as possible into my attempt…but with 13 days of the competition left we pretty much need a miracle to hit our funding target…but nether the less I will still keep forging ahead.
Because its not all bad news, out of over 800 businesses Too Fat to Run has managed to make it onto the leader board for both its categories, number 7 out of 377 grow companies, and number 5 out of 249 crowdfunding companies…raising pledges amounting to £8,580….why didn’t I just set a target for £10,000…I tell you why because my plans are more epic than that, thats why!!!
All is not lost.
We still have everything to play for in terms of getting this innovative fitness business in front of Richard Branson for a share of 1 million pounds worth of prizes…and I hear he likes mountain climbing occasionally too.
So Richard my arm could be twisted I guess in terms of climbing an actual mountain some time in the future if you ever fancied taking me on one of your expeditions, never say never hey?
To support your campaign please click here, votes and pledges are still gratefully received…and you don’t need to scale anything to be part of this incredible journey.
Now get out there and find your own mountains to climb