Firstly let me apologise. I haven’t kept up to date with the blog recently – I’ve been writing every day in a journal but haven’t managed to find the time to write up online too.
It’s not an attempt at selling more copies of the book I hope to write either – it is simply a matter that the shorter days and longer milage simply combine to give me less time to do anything other than sleep eat and run.
That said – I have been wanting to post for a little while to answer another question that I get asked almost every day. That question, as you may have guessed from the title is:
“But are you not scared…?”
Usually when a stranger asks me this I feel a little put on the spot and scramble together some kind of ‘yes, but…’ reply.
This takes me back to a post I wrote a few months ago about stopping using ‘yes, but…’ and finding things to be proud of instead.
It made me realise that actually I am scared. And more importantly, I’m not actually ashamed to admit it. Not in the slightest.
It would be easy for me, out here, to paint some kind of picture of myself as a bold explorer, fearlessly travelling through wilderness on my own, conquering any doubts and not stopping to think twice about any of the risks involved. This is the kind of adventure blog that would probably win me sponsorships and movie contracts, whilst making me out to be some kind of hero.
However I think it is important to let people know I am not a hero in any way. In fact I’m pretty damn ordinary, but it doesn’t mean I can’t go out and do these things, and it shouldn’t mean you can’t either.
To illustrate this, I have been going over a list of things I am scared of each and every day. It is a pretty long list, and by the end of it we will all be able to agree that I am a massive wimp, but you have to remember I have had a good few days to come up with it…
- Wake up and worrying it’s because something made a noise to wake me.
- Leaving the sleeping bag because it’s too cold.
- That the pain in my feet won’t go away after they’ve warmed up.
- Repeat fear 3 but with calves, glutes, achilles, shoulders, back eto.
- Coming across a ferocious wild animal (less so now…)
- Coming across an overly defensive dog which is not tied/gated
- Getting hit by a car/lorry/bus etc.
- The bank account
- That the tiny pain in my stomach means my ulcer is coming back
- That the tiny blur in vision means my ulcer is coming back
- Being murdered (I have this theory that horrible things happen all the time so why should they not happen to me)
- Leaving something crucial (like tent pegs) behind
- Cyclists creeping up and overtaking
- Cars overtaking from behind and almost killing me
- Running through cobwebs
- When your shadow overtakes you and catches you by surprise
- Being so tired you’re scared you won’t be able to make it to where you need to get to
- Anything that makes rustling noises
- Democracy in the 21st Century
- Running in the dark
- Pitching my tent in the dark
- The dark in general
- That something will happen that means I can’t make it to the end
There are more, I am sure, but I don’t want to bore you.
Things are scary, running hurts sometimes, carrying a heavy rucksack rubs the skin off your shoulders and makes your muscles scream, blisters appear and reappear at their own will, snow and rain can ruin your day in 10 minutes, camping in minus degrees is uncomfortable, I could go on.
These are the realities.
But every single ounce of pain had been worth it for the people I’ve met, the places I’ve seen and the things I have learned.
Never let fear hold you back from achieving your dreams.
I’ve heard that before and thought yeh yeh, but being out here has really sent the message home.
Naivety can be viewed as a beautiful thing if we chose to see it that way. If you think you can do something, don’t listen to what anyone else has to say, just get out there and make it happen.