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Kayaking for Blackthorn

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Kayaking for Blackthorn

To say that Yestival 2017 had a big impact on me is an understatement. I had no intention of coming away with the resolve to undertake a big physical and mental adventure, but that’s what happened after hearing Darren Edwards talk.

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Tribe Stories Round Up - February 26 2017

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Tribe Stories Round Up - February 26 2017

A weekly (most of the time!) round up of stories, events and projects coming out of the YesTribe.

Written and researched by Richard Potter.


DEVON SEA KAYAKING ADVENTURE 17-18 JUNE

Fancy a paddle? Paul Hughes is organising a sea kayaking trip in June, giving YesTribers the chance to see some beautiful coastline, swim, fish for meals, explore sea caves and camp out under the stars. The trip will involve sit on top kayaks which are very stable (and suitable for beginners!) and there'll be a guide leading the way. The trip is only £155 and the few spaces remaining are sure to get snapped up quick, so check out the event here and reserve your place today!


SUP FOR CANCER

Would you like to raise awareness & funding for the fight against Cancer while having a great time doing it? If so, join some of your fellow YesTribers on the River Itchen near Southhampton on the 25th of June.  There's a 3K, a 6K and a 12K course so the event is suitable for paddlers with a range of experience levels. You can find out more about SUP for Cancer here and you can join the YesTribe event here


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GREG HARRADINE - 7 MARATHONS IN 7 DAYS

And now for something completely different: a land-based event! In April Greg Harradine will run 7 marathons in 7 days to raise money for The Musical Brain (which shares the latest research into how music and the other arts can benefit our minds, brains and bodies) and Creative Youth (which enables young people from all backgrounds to reach their potential through the arts). Greg will start his marathons on the 17th of April and do 6 marathons along the 150-mile London Outer Orbital Path (the LOOP, known as the "M25 for walkers") before finishing the series with the London Marathon on the 23rd of April.  

You can visit Greg's fundraising page here to help support these 2 amazing causes. Go Greg!!


Have you been inspired by any of these stories? Do you have your own to share? We'd love to hear about it. The YesTribe is a community that is free to anyone who is looking to make life less restricted, more enjoyable, more interesting and more memorable. Your story doesn't need to be an endurance adventure: many of the YesTribe are making films, raising money for good causes and developing the community.

We'd love to hear from you: share your stories here at Say Yes More or join the YesTribe Facebook group to connect with fellow YesTribers.

Make life memorable, Say Yes More! 

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Falling in love with Nepal

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Falling in love with Nepal

Ironically, my love affair with Nepal with its expansive and all-encompassing scenery, along with its generous and charming people, began early one morning on a cramped tube journey to work in central London in August 2011.

Flicking through the mornings free newspaper, I came across an advert for a charity trek to Nepal following the Khumbu Valley towards Mount Everest, culminating at the head of the valley with promised views of Mount Everest – Chomolungma - the world’s Mother Goddess.

At the time, I was restless and bored in London and, having grown up in New Zealand and loving the outdoors, I was starting to lose myself in the urban jungle instead of the real one.  I had always had a keen interest in Tibet and Buddhism and from that had developed a deep love and yearning for the romanticism of the Himalaya.  That was where my true interest lay, and seeing the ad rekindled these feelings; the trek was a way for me to experience the mountains and Buddhism. 

My YES moment

My YES moment was pretty much instantaneous.  My mind was made up before I’d even got off the tube – the mountains were calling and I had to go (as they say) – but I did have to run it by my husband that evening as our kids at the time were 18, 16 and 13. The conversation with my husband went:

ME: ‘Honey, I want to go on this trek.  You can come, or not come, but I’m going.  You’ve got until tomorrow to decide.’

HUSBAND: ‘OK. Lets go’

Fundraising

Over the next three months, we raised nearly £8000 for the children’s charity Action Medical Research. We held a ridiculously successful auction evening, many many office raffles, an online raffle and the rest made up of donations by friends and family.  Fortunately our fundraising coincided with the 2011 Rugby World Cup and with our good connections with players we were supported very well with items to auction and raffle. 

Stepping foot in Nepal

Three months after my YES moment, I landed in the madness that is Kathmandu and although I had no idea what to expect, as soon as my foot touched her soil and my lungs breathed her air, this country, this place, her people, her culture, permeated my heart and my soul.

Over the next thirteen days we took an internal flight to Lukla (reputably one of the world’s most dangerous airports) and started trekking the Khumbu Valley to Gorak Shep, where we would summit Kala Pattar, a small hill by Nepali standards sitting at a mere 5550m. Only then would we see her - Mighty Chomolungma - steadfast and overpowering in her magnificence.

On descending the valley I found it increasingly difficult with each step to move back towards ‘the real world’. I had a sense that the mountains didn’t want me to leave, and as a magnet draws things closer, I felt as though the mountains wanted to encompass me with their invisible arms and dance with me for eternity.

It was no surprise that by the time I arrived back in Kathmandu I had already resolved to return to Nepal as soon as time allowed. Plans got underway immediately, and before the next year was up, I found myself back in the Khumbu Valley….back to what had very quickly become my second home.

I have since returned to Nepal every year for increasingly longer periods of time, with my desire to return becoming far more complex than my original self-centered motivation and the personal gratification of trekking and climbing the highest mountains on earth.

I am now irreversibly aware of the discrepancy of privilege within and between countries. I believe that no human should suffer because of where they were born, who they were born to, or what gender they are. I have truly learnt and firmly believe that EVERY LIFE MATTERS EQUALLY.

I have seen this. I have felt this. I know this.

The devastating earthquakes of 2015 and the continuous political discord within Nepal have acted as an impetus for me to work to resolve in whatever way I can the lack of freedom, the discrepancy of privilege and the marginalisation of minority groups experienced by many Nepali on a daily and lifelong basis.

Unite for Nepal

In July 2016 I founded Unite for Nepal, a small charitable foundation dedicated to the support, development and growth of sustainable community initiatives focusing on the UN Global Goals of improved health & wellbeing, clean water & sanitation, reduced inequalities and gender equality  in rural Nepal.

We currently work in the Dudhakunda district of Eastern Nepal and are running several successful projects in association with the local schools and health clinic out post.

We at Unite for Nepal believe anything can be achieved through generosity of spirit, actions based on the imaginings of the mind, a compassionate heart, and a commitment from the soul.

How can you get involved? 

This year we are looking for people to get involved by taking on a challenge and electing to fundraise for us.

You can also help by following us on social media and help us to share our stories with others. This, combined with encouraging people to travel to Nepal and promoting the incredible country that it is, will keep Nepal in everyone’s conversations and hearts.

You can keep up to date with our latest projects by following us on Facebook and Instagram @unitefornepal, and for further information visit www.unitefornepal.com and subscribe to our mailing list.

Summary

Nepal is a country with a particularly alluring and magical energy. It is a country whose irresistible pull is founded in an ancient society and culture which, to this day, is still upheld on a day to day basis by those who call themselves Nepali.

With all of its layers of complexity and its multitude of contradictions, Nepal has a sense of wholeness and calm.

Above all else, the most lasting impression of any visit to Nepal, is that left by the Nepali people themselves who are always smiling in the face of adversity and whose hospitality, generosity of heart and forever welcoming smiles will most definitely have you returning at least once in a lifetime.

Put quite simply, Nepal is unsurpassable.

Jacqs Leui'i

You can also follow my travel adventures in Nepal and around the world by checking out

Facebook: Jacqs Leui'i Adventures  

Instagram: Jacqs Leui'i

#unitefornepal #mystrollthroughnepal #alphabetmarathon #cantrundoitanyway #girlfromasmalltown #jacqsleuiiadventures #adventuremum

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Tribe Stories Round Up - February 7 2017

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Tribe Stories Round Up - February 7 2017

A weekly (most of the time!) round up of stories, events and projects coming out of the YesTribe.

Researched and written by Richard Potter.


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SUNDAY CYCLE AND PUB

Fancy a winter cycling day trip? So do we! That's why we're going to Richmond Park on Sunday the 12th of February. We'll meet at the cafe near Roehampton Gate at 10AM and then cycle for 14 miles (which should take about 1.5 hours) through the park, past Hampton Court and then back round via Bushy Park before finishing in The New Inn in Ham.

Most of the riding will be off-road and the pace will be gentle.

Everyone is welcome so please invite friends and family! Full details are available here.


FIONA TROWBRIDGE - WALK THE WIGHT

Walk the Wight is an event aimed at raising money to support the Earl Mountbatten Hospice in its provision of patient and family care. Those raising money can take part in one of a series of walking events, all of which will be held on Sunday 14 May 2017. 

Fiona Trowbridge is doing the longest of the 4 walks and will cover 26.5 miles in total. She's looking for other YesTribers to join her as she estimates it will take about 10 hours to finish the walk. There'll be plenty of wonderful views as you cross the spine of the island, not to mention fantastic company! You can register for the walk here and join the tens of thousands of people who have helped raised over four million pounds since the event began in 1991.

Please contact Fiona on Facebook if you're interested in joining her on the walk or if you'd like more information.


Have you been inspired by any of these stories? Do you have your own to share? We'd love to hear about it. The YesTribe is a community that is free to anyone who is looking to make life less restricted, more enjoyable, more interesting and more memorable. Your story doesn't need to be an endurance adventure: many of the YesTribe are making films, raising money for good causes and developing the community.

We'd love to hear from you: share your stories here at Say Yes More or join the YesTribe Facebook group to connect with fellow YesTribers.

Make life memorable, Say Yes More! 

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Tribe Stories Round Up - January 29 2017

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Tribe Stories Round Up - January 29 2017

A weekly (most of the time!) round up of stories, events and projects coming out of the YesTribe.

Researched and written by Richard Potter.


TIM MILLIKIN - CYCLING AROUND THE WORLD

On the 4th of May 2015 Tim MIllkin hopped on his bike in Reading, Berkshire and began a fantastic cycling journey around the World to Reading, Pennsylvania. Since then he's travelled 25,000 kilometres and have been on his bike for 628 days!

Tim is shortly due to start the second half of the trip which will take him from Ushuaia, Argentina to the finish. He's got 15 more countries to visit and another 25,000 kilometres to cover before he finishes in summer 2018. Go Tim!

You can find out more about Tim's trip on this website and you can also follow him on Facebook.


JOHN DENNIS - DARE2EXPRESS

Dare2express is a charity that helps people with mental health conditions obtain grants for the cost of treatment. On Monday 13 March John Dennis, the founder of dare2express, will give a talk aimed to inspire people and offer courage through daily struggles from a child of suicide, a suicide survivor, severe depression and PTSD. John will also discuss tools he has used to fuel his love of life and of adventure again. 

For more details about the talk and to register for a free ticket, visit this website. You can also visit the website and Facebook page for dare2express. 


Have you been inspired by any of these stories? Do you have your own to share? We'd love to hear about it. The YesTribe is a community that is free to anyone who is looking to make life less restricted, more enjoyable, more interesting and more memorable. Your story doesn't need to be an endurance adventure: many of the YesTribe are making films, raising money for good causes and developing the community.

We'd love to hear from you: share your stories here at Say Yes More or join the YesTribe Facebook group to connect with fellow YesTribers.

Make life memorable, Say Yes More!  

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Running 1000 miles with asthma

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Running 1000 miles with asthma

I was diagnosed with asthma when I was a young boy and grew up managing my condition with inhalers, steroids and antibiotics. For 30 years of my life I believed I was limited when it came to physical activity and that I would always be susceptible to illness.

At 12:30am on 1st of January 2017 I left the New Year’s Eve party, changed into luminous yellow clothes, popped on my well worn running trainers and headed out to run my first mile of 2017. This year I’m raising £2 for every 1 mile I run throughout the year, with all funds donated to Asthma UK – and I’m aiming to run 1000 miles in total.

How did this come about?

In September 2016 I ran my first marathon. I thought about fundraising at the time but there was a big part of me that didn’t think I would ever make it to the starting line let alone finish the race, so I ran the Nottingham marathon for myself. As the weeks and months passed my confidence grew and about a month before the race I started to believe “I can do this”. The race went well and I finished under my goal time but I was not prepared for the post-race blues.

Six months had passed between signing up to the marathon and crossing the finish line, so it had become a significant part of my life. With it being over, I suddenly felt like there was something missing. I signed up for other races but I soon realised that it wasn’t having a race on the calendar that I missed - rather I was missing working towards something I deemed to be impossible.

Saying YES!

The most enjoyable part of my marathon experience was training, going out for a run and knowing that the miles were adding up to something. With that in mind and an impossible dream I said YES to a new challenge. This year, I want  every run to mean something and I also want to challenge myself by running 1000 miles which is double what I ran in 2016. Bring it on!

My intentions

Having overcome my own limiting beliefs, I hope that my story – and the next 999 miles I run this year - prompt other people to ask themselves what they think they can’t do and go out and give it a go. it’s true that success doesn’t always come overnight but with hard work I firmly believe we’re all capable of achieving more than we think.

The unknown

I’ve made a rough plan for the year and by May I aim to  have run more miles than I ran throughout the whole of 2016. After that point it’s all new to me and with that comes some fear. I’ve given up plenty of times before and to prevent this, I want to be held accountable for reaching my goal which is why I’m selling each mile so that I’m focused on running the next mile for whoever owns it.

I look forward to reporting back later in the year to let you know how far I’ve got. You never know - maybe we could go out for a mile at Yestival?!

Tim

You can buy a mile here or follow Tim on his journey to 1000 miles on these channels:

www.milebuyclub.com
Facebook - facebook.com/milebuyclub
Twitter - @milebuyclub

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Tribe Stories Round Up - January 19 2017

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Tribe Stories Round Up - January 19 2017

A weekly (most of the time!) round-up of stories, events and projects coming out of the YesTribe. 

Researched and written by Richard Potter.


YESTIVAL 2017 - TICKETS ON SALE 21 JANUARY

We're pleased to announce that Yestival is back for a third time in 2017! Tickets go on sale in only 2 days (on the 21st!) so get in quick to grab an early bird ticket before they're gone! You won't regret it! You can read more about the Yestival experience here and get news about Yestival here.

See you there! 


SUP AND SOCIAL BRISTOL AND SOUTH WEST

Do you love to Stand-Up Paddleboard? Would you like to do it more often but don't know enough SUP aficionados? If so and you live in Bristol or elsewhere in the South West, check out this Facebook forum where you can connect with like-minded people and plan SUP trips.

Happy paddling!


AN EASTER ADVENTURE ON THE FLAEMING SKATE

Looking for an adventure over Easter? Emily Burns is planning a 2/3 day, 92km trip along the Flaeming Skate in Germany. Emily will be on rollerblades but the track is also suitable for skate boards, bicycles and anything which rolls. The trip is scheduled for 12-14 April: full details are available here


GETTING BACK TO THE BOOKS

We're know you're interested in adventure (since you're here): do you love reading about it as well? If so you should become one of the founding members of our Adventure Book Club! For only 15 pounds per month you'll get one book every month, the chance to attend monthly meetings with a fantastic group of people, Q&A sessions with authors and an accountability system to help you achieve your reading goals.

Make life memorable, Read Books More! Visit the book club page here to read all about it and to become a member.


THE UGANDA MARATHON 2017 LAUNCH

The Uganda Marathon is a race like no other. Its a chance to run 10K, a half marathon or a full marathon alongside 3,000 Ugandans, spend 7 days (29 May to 5 June 2017) on the Equator and get involved in charity projects that will have an impact which lasts for decades. 

The 2017 launch event for the Marathon is on Thursday the 26th of January in Moorgate, starting at 6PM. Full details are available here. Its a great way to find out more about the Marathon and to meet fellow runners and charity enthusiasts.

You can also go to the marathon's website or to its Facebook page (which includes details about how you could win a free place in this year's race).  

Have you been inspired by any of these stories? Do you have your own to share? We'd love to hear about it. The YesTribe is a community that is free to anyone who is looking to make life less restricted, more enjoyable, more interesting and more memorable. Your story doesn't need to be an endurance adventure: many of the YesTribe are making films, raising money for good causes and developing the community.


We'd love to hear from you: share your stories here at Say Yes More or join the YesTribe Facebook group to connect with fellow YesTribers.

Make life memorable, Say Yes More!

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The Wildest Journey

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The Wildest Journey

Last year Chaz Powell walked further along the Zambezi river in one journey than anyone else in recorded history. He will be returning to Zambia in March 2017 to finish the final stretch. Until then he will be undertaking mini adventures in the UK and abroad to raise more funds for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation. If you'd like to join him on one of the mini adventures, contact him through his website. Details are at the end of the post.

In 2016 I took up the biggest challenge of my life and walked from the source of Africa's wildest river, the mighty Zambezi, through Zambia all the way to the Mozambique border. At this point, I was forced to end my epic walk due to security issues in Mozambique.

The explorer beard coming on nicely after 3 months along the Zambezi. Credit: Alex Frood

The explorer beard coming on nicely after 3 months along the Zambezi. Credit: Alex Frood

Yet it was still what I would describe as an epic journey! I walked more than 2000 km over 97 days in blistering temperatures that reached 50°C some days. The remote, inhospitable areas I encountered are not usually visited by westerners, so most people I met were nomadic tribes who were at first very suspicious and wary of my presence. However after tense explanations they treated me as their guest with great kindness and hospitality, offering me food and a place to stay.

The dry and dusty paths that run along the Zambezi’s bank. Where temperatures can often reach 50°C. Credit: Alex Frood

The dry and dusty paths that run along the Zambezi’s bank. Where temperatures can often reach 50°C. Credit: Alex Frood

I often walked for up to 12 hours in a day, covering as much as 50km. At night I slept in villages or camped near the Zambezi. The river runs through some of the remotest and wildest places on the planet, the kind of environments I was really not accustomed to. I was accused of witchcraft, diamond smuggling, being a ghost, being Jesus Christ and even a reincarnation of the great Scottish explorer Livingstone!

I crossed the Barotse floodplains where I waded waste-deep through a maze of swamps. I walked through the deep sided Zambezi gorges without seeing people for days on end; I almost lost my life when I moved away from the river and became seriously lost and dehydrated.

   Crossing the many tributaries along the Zambezi was often like navigating a maze of swamps. Credit: Alex Frood

 

Crossing the many tributaries along the Zambezi was often like navigating a maze of swamps. Credit: Alex Frood

But eventually – between 10th August - November 17th 2016 - I reached Mozambique, which means I have walked further along the Zambezi river in one journey than anyone else in recorded history.

Why?

I wanted to undertake a wild journey in a wild place, and explore parts of the world that few westerners venture into, to discover how people are living in these remote areas. Also taking on this challenge is enabling me to raise awareness about the devastating loss of wildlife that is happening along the Zambezi and throughout the rest of the world due to poaching. I hope to find a way to work with local people to help protect the wildlife that remains.

My highlights

I enjoyed spending time with villagers, whose hospitality and humbleness frequently overwhelmed me. I loved visiting local schools and seeing their shocked and excited expressions when I recounted the tales of my adventures along the Zambezi. Talking with them made me feel a huge sense of purpose, helped me fully embrace the incredible and unique journey and gave me the motivation to continue when I was mentally and physically stretched to my limits.

Only towards the end of my journey did I realise the deadly Tetse fly was attracted to my blue bag. I always wondered why my bag was covered in so many flys. Credit: Alex Frood

Only towards the end of my journey did I realise the deadly Tetse fly was attracted to my blue bag. I always wondered why my bag was covered in so many flys. Credit: Alex Frood

Top three lessons learned

To be patient and respect how different people live and their traditions.

To live without the need for modern comforts and to appreciate the little and special things in life.

That I have a lot of self belief and determination, and that a human being can do anything they truly put their mind to.

My expedition was self-funded. To date I have raised £1000 for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, which is working towards fighting the war against poachers, setting up and establishing more nature reserves for wildlife and educating young people about the importance of protecting wildlife for future generations.

Plans for this year

In March I fly back to Zambia and pick up my Zambezi walk where I was previously forced to finish. I will walk the final 600km to the Indian Ocean, where the challenge – to walk the length of the Zambezi river – will be completed.

Until I set off in July, I will continue to raise vital funds for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation by taking on mini challenges here in the UK and abroad. In February I fly to Romania for a few days to do some winter hiking in the Carpathian Mountains. I am also planning a source-to-sea trek along the River Thames, and am hoping to trek across the Cairngorms, a mountain range in the eastern Highlands of Scotland.

All donations warmly received!

 www.justgiving.com/WalkingTheZambezi 

To find out more:

Twitter: @WalkTheZambezi

Facebook: The Wildest Journey

www.thewildestjourney.com

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Tribe Stories Round Up - December 27 2016

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Tribe Stories Round Up - December 27 2016

A Weekly (most of the time!) round-up of stories, events and projects coming out of the YesTribe.

Researched and written by Richard Potter.


LUCY BAKER - 500 MILES FOR ROB

After losing her friend Rob Worboys to an undiagnosed heart condition, Lucy Baker has embarked on a series of 500 mile challenges to raise money for Cardiac Risk in the Young. She's completed a 500 mile commute on a single speed bike and is now onto a 500 mile triathlon, after which she'll retrace a 500 mile route which Rob followed during his life (Bedford to Leeds to Sheffield to Edinburgh). 

You can find out more about Lucy's adventures on her fundraising page.


TIM PLATTON - THE MILE BUY CLUB

In just under a week, Tim Platton will start a 1000 mile run to raise money for Asthma UK. Tim was diagnosed with asthma as a young boy and, while he's been able to manage his condition, his ability to engage in physical exercise was limited. 

He's selling the miles for £2 each: to grab one, visit his fundraising page. Buying miles will help Asthma UK work to stop asthma attacks, support people with asthma and, ultimately, find a cure.

Have you been inspired by any of these stories? Do you have your own to share? We’d love to hear about it. The YesTribe is a community that is free to anyone who is looking to make life less restricted, more enjoyable, more interesting and more memorable. Your story doesn’t need to be an endurance adventure, many of the YesTribe are making films, raising money for good causes and developing the community.


We’d love to hear from you, share your stories here at Say Yes More or join the Yes Tribe Facebook group to connect with fellow YesTribers.

Make life memorable, Say Yes More!

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A 400 mile walk and kayaking adventure that’s changed my life

In June earlier this year, I completed a 400 mile adventure, “Walk for Aoife”. The walk took me from Manchester, where I live to Dingle, Ireland, where I grew up. Oh, and it was actually more than a walk since it also included kayaking 60 miles across the formidable Irish Sea, which took me almost a day.

The whole adventure took 29 days and I raised £21K for mental health and disability charities.

I took this challenge on from my own, completely inexperienced perspective - an ordinary guy wanting to do something extraordinary. I’d never walked any distance before in my life, and I only learned to swim last year. When I got into the kayak at Holyhead (see this clip of me starting out) to cross the Irish Sea, it was only the third time I’d been in a kayak!

I pushed through blisters, torn ligaments and a stress fracture on my foot, none of which could stop me from completing the journey and in the end I finished a day ahead of schedule.

Why did I do it?

I lost my sister Aoife in 2011. She was severely disabled, suffering from cerebral palsy all her life which meant she could not walk, talk or communicate. I undertook the challenge in her name as I wanted my relationship with her to be my focus and inspiration; and the challenge i saw asthe resolution of that relationship.

A few years ago I read “A Walk to London” by William Mcgillivray, a little known book by the Scottish ornithologist and bird artist. This planted the seed of an idea for a long distance walking challenge. I also knew I wanted to fundraise for charities that would help people in Manchester and Dingle.

While I was lucky (and still am) to have an amazingly supportive wife and daughter, I came to realise that I had always felt a little dissatisfied with what I was doing with my life. I felt like something was missing. So I worked with a life coach to identify what I wanted to focus on outside my job and family life.

Saying Yes

These Whys all came together to help me say “Yes, I can do this”! On Aoife’s birthday (November 12th 2015) I revealed to friends and family what I planned to do. Making it public ensured I was going to see it through and made me feel a huge sense of freedom because it helped me feel more responsible for the outcome, and to feel motivated to live up to my word. I used to be really bothered about what other people thought of me so I used this to tap into that fear in order to turn it into fuel! I found this way of finding motivation to be very effective.

During the challenge itself, it was remembering these Whys, together with my sheer determination and the memory of my sister Aoife, that kept me motivated.

After the challenge

The changes that have happened in my life since the challenge have been as enlightening and life changing as the challenge itself.

I learnt there is healing to be found within pain, and that pain is not something to be afraid of. We all experience pain at some point in our lives, and it’s better to experience it rather than run away from it because ultimately, we can and will handle it. This is true for both emotional and physical pain.

I have learned to let go of the past and when I’m scared, to confront fear head on and  push through it by having more belief in myself and saying Yes to life.

Since I completed the walk I have been giving public talks about the challenge, to a broad spectrum of people – always with the aim to encourage them to identify their life goals, to see past fear and pain, and to believe they can do something they might never have thought possible.

The walk has led to other new challenges for me: I am now working on the second draft of my book about the challenge and hoping to have it published next year. I am about to begin training as a guide, taking people into the wilderness to find space in which to disconnect from the stresses of daily life and relax by connecting with nature. I am also writing more and making more time for regular reflection and to spend with my family.

I have developed a different attitude to overcoming obstacles – I now see them as just things to get through! I endured such physical and mental pain over the 29 days and pushed through it. Nothing can ever be as bad as that!

 Advice

If you’re thinking of fundraising, I recommend setting a big target – mine was £50K.I knew that if I set myself a huge target I would probably do some crazy things to fundraise. I haven’t hit that target yet, but it certainly encouraged me to ‘aim high’.

Also, it is ok to not have all the answers immediately. The idea for the journey evolved over several months – I knew I wanted to get from Manchester to Dingle, and that I wanted to walk wherever possible, but the rest I made up along the way. There was no path or track for my walk. It wasn't the Camino, it was my personal pilgrimage - from my front door to my parents' house - and it was totally unique and had to be built from scratch. I gave it space to evolve until I was at a point with the idea where I could fully commit – and say YES!

If you want to read more…..

My blog details the challenge: www.walkforaoife.com

If you would care to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/teams/Walk-for-Aoife

8 hours into the Irish sea crossing with Mike Alexander. Wales somewhere in the background!
On the Grand canal in Offaly, the centre of Ireland
First glimpse of the Atlantic at Foynes, 5 days from the finish.

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