Never one to die wandering, I am now only a couple of days away from starting one of the most testing and challenging things I have ever done. I am fairly sure I am built for endurance, and actually love testing my boundaries and limits through challenges like 100km/24hr walks, the odd (completely unprepared) marathon (won't be doing that again) and my biggest one to date - Kilimanjaro. The next 10 days will be all consuming, brutal...and I can't wait to start; a challenge on limitations it will certainly be.
This goal has been around for a while, the ultimate UK exploration and I guess something that is widely considered as a right of passage, but the current iteration of this story started early in 2020 and has grown from there.
Like millions of other people around the world, I contracted Covid and actually ended up in hospital, twice, but I consider myself lucky compared to the people that lost their lives, and the families that have had to deal with that loss. I have a permanent reminder of the illness, through lung scarring and a 5% permanent loss to my lung capacity, but have just taken the approach that the other 95% is just going to have to "man-up" and take the strain. From that point I started eating healthier (not that I ever really ate badly), exercised more regularly (not that I have ever been a stationary soul), and started to plan towards some medium and long term goals that would focus me and push my boundaries further than I have done and gone before.
The last few years have been very tough and draining, but can comfortably say that I have done everything by myself, have been resilient and (somehow) maintained a positive attitude throughout. I can honestly say that even though I am now in my mid-forties (I know, I don't look it), I am in the best health and shape that I have ever been in - I hope that will help me through the next 2 weeks and looking forward to standing next to the John O'Groats signpost on the 21st September.
So I here I sit at my computer for the last time in a couple of weeks. My alarm will awaken me early, there will be a short sleepy ride over to Paddington in order to board the train to Penzance, and then it will probably feel very real. I am looking forward to getting to Cornwall, have only been down there a couple of times, but absolutely love it. There are some stories around that I might share over the next couple of days, but in the interim will let you in on one fact to finish off. Although I was born and raised down under, I have a lot of Celtic blood flowing through these veins, in fact, with my mum being Cornish, I am officially half pirate.