New Year. New Decade. New Challenges.

As we enter this new decade you might have found yourself reflecting on your life’s journey to date and concluded it’s high time you actually did that adventure you’ve always dreamed of, or took up a new challenge that excites you. According to Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on Jeremy Vine’s What Make’s Us Human podcast this week, it is the spirit of adventure that makes us human. So, being human after all, get planning that next adventure or challenge!

In the radio programme, Sir Robin reflects:

“I’ve never felt more human than when I’m ocean racing…Daily wants and needs are stripped back to the core. Simple pleasures of fuel, shelter and companionship are what matters…the long game is driven by a thirst for adventure. Adventure is to survive an ocean crossing, not only in a geographical sense, but also to accept everything the experience brings with it; whether it be doubt of one’s ability, isolation, extreme temperature or physical exertion. When you’re in the midst of a storm you aren’t thinking “this is amazing!”, but later, in a moment of calm, you reflect in a different way.”

As the 100 day count down till race start of Leg 7 from Seattle is almost upon me, I am certainly finding myself prone to doubt; questioning whether I am up to the task, a good team player and if I am fit enough to meet the required levels of physical exertion that ocean racing entails. Thankfully, according to the GB paralympian and endurance athlete, Mel Nicholls, my mental doubts before the big challenge are very normal.

I had the privilege of meeting Mel at a Youth Adventure Trust organised walk for their volunteers this weekend in Somerset. She was extremely generous with her words of hard-fought wisdom when it comes to undertaking challenges and adventures and gave me some good advice for how to cope with the inevitable lows that I will face during the race/offshore. Mel has just got into the Guinness Book of Records for handcycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats in just over 6 days!!!! An extraordinary feat from an extraordinary woman who inspires us all by her motto to ‘Dream Big. Live an Adventure’.

Mel has just had a film about her world record attempt released on YouTube, so if you think you need some inspiration and motivation then watch Dream Big. Breaking a cycling WORLD RECORD below:

Congratulations Mel; an accomplishment for which I hope you are feeling proud, as you’ve definitely earnt it. You and Sir Robin share that human spirit of adventure for sure!