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Day fifteen: A welcome rest in paradise and the winning feeling returns 

Sango Sands sounds like it should be some kind of tropical paradise, doesn’t it? Well, the people at the campsite were warm and generous; the restaurant was inviting and full of good food, and I’m sure on a good day that the views could be quite spectacular (I’m told this is a great place to view the Northern Lights)… but paradise?

It was certainly a great sanctuary and rehab place for me at the time as this was the second of my planned rest days – and boy, did I need a rest! It was a great opportunity to take a bit of time out, gather my thoughts, recuperate, get a few supplies in and do a little preplanning for the days ahead. Having Mike with me added to the energy that I was able to generate during those precious hours of inactivity while my body enjoyed a few more hours of recovery mode.

It takes more than legs to peddle!

When I say preplanning and gathering my thoughts, I really mean tweaking and reasserting myself to the task ahead. You see, the hard work of establishing a route (checking that there were places to cycle, swim, kayak and run), ensuring there were overnight locations and food stops, and finding enough friends to support my endeavours had already been done. This trip had been in the planning for around 18 months in all, and the dream had been alive even longer still. This ‘time out’ was all part of the bigger picture.

During the first half of the journey, and those long hard miles that brought me to this point I had been learning my trade. Whatever training I had done, or planning and preparation I had put in place, nothing would actually be the same as doing the real thing. That means I would need to continue learning, coping, adjusting and replanning all along the route, making sure each mile brought with it a better understanding of me, my equipment and the art of endurance.

Business is no different, and anyone going into an entrepreneurial venture would do well to take heed. You simply cannot get it right first time. You can go to business school, earn diplomas, shadow a mentor, read books, study the experts and make the best business plan ever (in fact, you will ‘have to’ do at least some of those things), but in the end, you still need to walk the walk.

The end of the mountains is in sight.

So, as I sat in my pseudo paradise, enjoying the rest, thinking about the lessons of the last two weeks and pondering the challenges of the next two, I couldn’t help but smile. It was not that there had ever been any doubt in my mind that I would complete the course, but this day told me something significant. I had almost conquered Scotland: by far the biggest, coldest and most formidable companion of my adventure. I had scaled its heights, swam in the cold depths of its lochs and lakes, tackled the roughest waves and strongest storms it could muster, and soaked up the amazing views at every turn.

With the end of the mountains in sight, a good day’s rest under my belt, and my good friend Mike ready to tackle the next day beside me; I slept well that night, looking forward to more promises of adventure on the second half of the Bonkers challenge.