morning bigmoose squad,
you'll be pleased to hear that tiny tears isn't here this week, well not at the moment anyway!
this next 58 days is going to be a bit of a rollercoaster for yours truly, so bear with me though.
first of all this week i'm going to say a massive thanks to every one of you that have invested in me getting back to climb mount everest, and then bringing the adventure back to share and inspire others with, so hopefully together we manage what looks like a big old ask.
some of you lovely gang have invested your bangers already, but if you can't manage that, it would be lush if you could help by sharing my story with anybody you think might be interested in helping out. one of the ways that a couple of folk have said they will help is by doing an own clothes day at work, and whilst i am rubbish at self promotion, and it makes me cringe reading stuff about myself, i am aware that i have to market and sell to stand a chance of getting my trip fully funded, so here is a description one of my mates has put together, so if you fancy copy and pasting it for anybody you know, especially your office manager who agrees own clothes day donations, i would be mighty grateful.
I just wonder if you might like to help a good friend of mine – a very successful guy who devotes an amazing amount of time and energy helping others. He is actually pretty inspirational.
His name is Jeff Smith and he has been training to climb Everest for a few years – and now with weeks to go before departure two of his sponsors have dropped out. The cost of the attempt is £55k but the shortfall is now £24k. I hope you will be able to help in some way, if not a direct donation, by circulating this to your friends – colleagues and network.
Jeff set up a charity called Bigmoose a few years ago after his best friend died of cancer – and has raised over £185k which has supported good causes such as homeless people – and providing food for the needy. He has also arranged for barbers to give free haircuts to homeless people in Cardiff.
He has set up triathlons for under the name Supertri for children with disabilities and over 150 kids have taken part in those. He arranged for over 100 Bigmoose supporters to run the Cardiff half marathon in 2016 raising over £30k.
Jeff’s current project is to set up an academy to train homeless people in food and beverage skills. They will progress to gain a City and Guilds qualification before going on to work in a café now being leased by Bigmoose in central Cardiff.
His good work took him to No 10 to meet David Cameron and he now works in conjunction with Cabinet Office staff on business plans for charitable work.
Please give your support to this Everest ambition by going to Jeff’s website -
i am gonna get totally rinsed by my mates over this, i can't wait for the texts, but hey desperate times call for desperate measures, and if i get there it will have been worth it, if not i might never leave the house again!!
anyway, i am still training super hard, as i am working on the theory that i am still going, so i did a long gym training session last sunday, and finished off with walking thirty lengths of our david lloyd swimming pool, which was a training method that maria conceicao, a friend of mine used prior to summiting in 2013, but i haven't done since my previous everest trip.
i met maria when we climbed in russia together, but i haven't spoken to her for a couple of years, so it was very weird indeed that as i came out of the pool my phone had a message from her, which was very poignant, and has helped me tremendously to prepare for the next chapter.
maria told me not to lose faith, and that she only managed to get the last $10,000 to pay for her expedition 24 hours before her departure, which whilst really scary, has caused me to be ready for this, and manage my expectations, and to stay calm and focused throughout.
maria is an amazing woman, and a true inspiration to me, check her out http://mariacristinafoundation.org/maria-conceicao/
so that is maria, a great person to have sending messages to keep the faith, and that was sunday.
the rest of the week was standard fare when training for a big mountain, time in the gym, daily hypoxic training, eating well, weight dropping like billyo, and chasing dopamine like it's going out of fashion, and then it was wednesday and my life changed.
believe me, i do not say this lightly.
here is the backstory to this big statement.
last year i boarded a plane to morocco to attempt to run the marathon des sables, and as i landed i knew one person, my coach, the legendary rory coleman.
the race organiser patrick bauer hugged me hello, and made me feel very welcome in his sandpit.
as we boarded one of the fleet of sparkling brand new 52 seat coaches, i sat next to one of my soon to be tent mates, one nick butter, aka slippery, anchorman, you name it he'd heard 'em.
nick is a good looking 27 year old whippet physiqued chap, and was keen to do well in mds, and i explained that i wanted to complete rather than compete. we started talking, and got on super well, he is a very intelligent guy, with a very high powered job in banking, but apparently not happy with what difference he was making to the world.
ha ha ha, you so know that i opened the bigmoose box o' tricks on him, 'man you gotta be happy, there's no point otherwise', i proferred from my rather hastily built soapbox.
we talked running, we talked mountains, we talked life, we talked death, we arrived, and little did we both know that this conversation would be a game changer.
eight tent mates in tent 105, and one fantastic week that i absolutely loved, and have made some great pals, one of whom big kev, aka kevla has terminal prostate cancer, which i have spoken of before.
we all ran, we all cared for each other, and we became a team, and we fought for each other, and when the last day of the race came, nick had suffered a double fractured ankle and was walking on crutches, so tent 105 walked the ten miles over burning hot sands, in 40 degree temperatures, alongside him, and for six hard hours, but tent 105 did it, together, and we all bonded.
nick and i roomed together in our hotel, and speak regularly now, with him travelling from bristol to help train our cardiff half bigmoose running crew, and i was proud to see him run the half wearing his bigmoose running shirt.
so where's the life changing bit?
well he mentioned we hadn't seen each other for a while, and suggested coming to the 'diff to catchup.
i stocked up with malbec for this guy that runs an average 130+ miles a week, and as i just googled hermes, the greek god of running, the description that came up stated that 'hermes stamina is virtually inexhaustible due his godly metabolism', which is a polite way to say this boy can eat and drink, in equal measure!
so as he sat down to eat, he said he had some news for me.
i didn't have a scooby, what's happening mr butter, i'm excited.
'i'm going to quit my job and run around the world, running a marathon in every country in the world, all 196 of them over 18 months starting january 2018.'
my jaw behaved like a cartoon character, literally dropping open as the magnitude of this statement washed over me.
'oh, and i'm going to raise a quarter of a million pounds for prostate cancer for kevla'.
'oh and write a book, oh and take pictures of the journey, and have an exhibition when i get back showing them off.
wow, there's big, and there's nick big, 'who run the world, nick', i exclaimed.
i love it!!!
brave, daring, scary, wonderful.
we spent the next few hours brainstorming ideas, and how bigmoose can help, and the energy was electric, truly electric.
i eventually drove this crazy human to the train station, and we hugged long and hard as we said goodbye, and as i walked away into the cold night air i thought about how my mates life was gonna change forever, and hopefully i could help him in some way, what an absolutely amazing adventure, and i felt proud to be privileged to be asked to be part of his new world.
the next morning we exchanged a number of messages, mainly me saying how buzzing i was for him, until he informed me that this was all my fault.
it was all because of the chat we had on the bus sparked something inside him, and as i read the message i felt a mix of guilt and joy, guilty that i had caused a complete shift in his life, but then joy that i had caused a complete shift in his life, and more joy at how the world was gonna be a far greater place with mr butter doing all the amazing stuff he had planned, and i smiled, very very proud that a simple conversation could have such an effect, and i really can't wait to work with him on it.
here is a link to his website, check him out and read some of the detail it looks great.
i think that's a good place to finish todays blog, i hope you get a chance to click on my pals links, they're both pretty spesh people, and i hope they inspire you to do some cool stuff in your worlds, i love hearing and reading about what they're up to, and would love to hear your stories as well so send them over.
finally big shout out to bigmoose stalwarts nadine and steve who are expecting their second baby this week, we have a bigmoose babygrow waiting :)
have a great week, and follow your dreams,