You Must be Bonkers, Brash….
On 4th July, I started an adventure which we had decided to call the Bonkers Brash Around Britain Challenge 2015. In actual fact that particular Saturday when I set off was not the start of the endeavour at all. It really began some 18 months earlier when the seed of an idea became a crazy plan and the crazy plan slowly evolved into a commitment.
Like anything else in life or business…
No matter how much you know, or how talented you are, it is commitment which turns opportunities and possibilities into been-there-done-that achievements. This particular triumph came about through a similar planning process to previous attempts to discover my limit that I’d embarked on over the years. Only this one was going to get me far closer to reaching that unknown edge than any of the others had…
This process is one which I also use in my business and I know others use it too:
- Have an idea: you cannot start on a journey without having, at least, some idea of where you want to go
- Check feasibility: it is vital that you do this before the next step (or you might end up looking really stupid)
- Announce publically: letting yourself off the hook is easy – going back on a public declaration isn’t!
- Plan meticulously: it is true that the best-laid plans always need adjusting, but they are still critical to success
So, having gone through steps 1 and 2, I invited some carefully selected friends around for dinner one evening and the scene was set. Penny, my long-suffering wife, was a little suspicious having endured this kind of bombshell-dropping tactic from me before. Perhaps it is strange for someone who is obsessed with pushing his physical and emotional thresholds, that I feel much more comfortable with backup when I announce these things.
A quadrathlon a day, for 28 days, while circumnavigating Great Britain!
So dinner was going well and I sat there, eyeing the room and waiting for the right combination of wine consumption, light-heartedness and a suitable lull in the banter. The moment finally arrived and slowly, trying desperately to balance childish excitement, grown-up credibility and wife-conscious reverence, I proceeded to share my plans.
My friends know me well enough not to bother asking ‘why’ anymore, but Penny gave me that look which suggested she would need a few more details this time. After the initial shock, the mood was jubilant and I already had my first ‘buddy volunteer’, with Mike agreeing to accompany me around the outer reaches of Scotland.
Penny soon reverted back to her amazing, supportive and superbly organised self, helping me to fine-tune the plan and smooth through some of the trickier details. As the news spread, other volunteers came forward and signed up to join in the fun (a day here, a few days there). I have held an affinity with the Pepper Foundation Children’s Hospice for some time now, so using the event to raise money for that worthy cause added extra motivation.
No drive = No destination!
So an idea that had hatched in my mind 18 months earlier was set in stone long before I straddled my bike on that first Saturday in July 2015. There were times when I doubted during the planning stages, and a few obstacles seemed too big to overcome, but there was no going back. I was driven by three things, and each of them had become more important to me than the actual event itself.
1) Unsatisfied longing: There is something in me that needs to know my limit – it is an insatiable urge!
2) Other people: I had told everyone, I had promised the Pepper Foundation, and I wouldn’t let them down!
3) Life is short: I realised long ago (that is another story) that every single day that you are alive is precious – and I am determined to live as many as I can ‘to the full’!
A final thought…
If you live to be 82 years old (the current UK average) and you sleep 7.5 hours a night, then you spend over 25 years of your life asleep. That leaves just 57 years to do stuff – and there is a lot of stuff out there to do and to see…