What do you do for a living?’
It’s the first question we’re often asked, besides our name. It is as though our career defines who we are, perhaps even our character.
In a previous life, I’d answer ‘Army officer’ – a career I was incredibly proud of. It’s what led me to discover more about myself and more importantly what I was capable of. But once I left the Army, I had to find a new identity. I became an ultra runner. But that’s not a career, I was told.
So, I decided to become an adventure journalist – one that combined my love of getting outside and hitting the trails with that of storytelling – whether that be through film, writing, photos or audio. But even now, having discovered my passion, I’m still asked ‘What’s your plan for the future? You can’t run forever!’
The thing is, the pleasure I get from being outside, pushing my body to the limits, through trail running or on my bike – it hasn’t changed from 15 years ago, when I first got into the adventure game at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. The main difference is that now, I’m happier to go a little slower, to enjoy the moment, stop to take a photo, and create a joint memory with friends.
I SIMPLY LOVE BEING OUTSIDE
It’s not to say I’m less competitive. Crikey – I still want to be the first up a climb, to win a race, to get to the finish quicker than most. It’s more that I’m a ‘little’ less concerned with being in a rush, and more focused on having an adventure.
I simply love being outside. And the weather is as good as it’s been the past week, the outdoors becomes my church. It’s the place I go to find solace, just like Superman would go to his Fortress of Solitude in the Artic. But I also love to share the outdoors, to be in the company of others who will look back with me on that moment when we were clinging to the edge of a cliff and say ‘boy, that was fun!’
Nature is all around us. It’s our playground, our church, our home. It’s not going anywhere, but we are. So we need to make the most of this time on our earth and live each day like it’s our last!